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Articles Archives - September 2010
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Reasoning Against Peace
Jonathan Cook, CounterPunch 9/28/2010
      Too Heavy a Price for Israeli Elites?
     With the resumption of settlement construction in the West Bank yesterday, Israelís powerful settler movement hopes that it has scuttled peace talks with the Palestinians.
     It would be misleading, however, to assume that the only major obstacle to the success of the negotiations is the right-wing political ideology the settler movement represents. Equally important are deeply entrenched economic interests shared across Israeli society.
     These interests took root more than six decades ago with Israelís establishment and have flourished at an ever-accelerating pace since Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip after the 1967 war.
     Even many Israeli Jews living within the recognised borders of Israel privately acknowledge that they are the beneficiaries of the seizure of another peopleís lands, homes, businesses and bank accounts in 1948. Most Israelis profit directly from the continuing dispossession of millions of Palestinian refugees.
     Israeli officials assume that the international community will bear the burden of restitution for the refugees. The problem for Israelís Jewish population is that the refugees now living in exile were not the only ones dispossessed.
     The fifth of Israelís citizens who are Palestinian but survived the expulsions of 1948 found themselves either transformed into internally displaced people or the victims of a later land-nationalisation programme that stripped them of their ancestral property.
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Israelis 'Executed' US Citizen Furkan Dogan
Gareth Porter, Truthout, Information Clearing House 9/27/2010
      UN Fact-Finding Mission Says...
     September 28, 2010 "Information Clearing House" -- The report of the fact-finding mission of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on the Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla released last week shows conclusively, for the first time, that US citizen Furkan Dogan and five Turkish citizens were murdered execution-style by Israeli commandos.
     The report reveals that Dogan, the 19-year-old US citizen of Turkish descent, was filming with a small video camera on the top deck of the Mavi Marmara when he was shot twice in the head, once in the back and in the left leg and foot and that he was shot in the face at point blank range while lying on the ground.
     The report says Dogan had apparently been "lying on the deck in a conscious or semi-conscious, state for some time" before being shot in his face.
     The forensic evidence that establishes that fact is "tattooing around the wound in his face," indicating that the shot was "delivered at point blank range." The report describes the forensic evidence as showing that "the trajectory of the wound, from bottom to top, together with a vital abrasion to the left shoulder that could be consistent with the bullet exit point, is compatible with the shot being received while he was lying on the ground on his back."
     Based on both "forensic and firearm evidence," the fact-finding panel concluded that Dogan's killing and that of five Turkish citizens by the Israeli troops on the Mavi Marmari May 31 "can be characterized as extra-legal, arbitrary and summary executions." (See Report [.pdf] Page 38, Section 170) -- See also: Source and UN Report (PDF)
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Nobel Peace Laureate denied entry to Israel
Mya Guarnieri, Ma’an News Agency 9/28/2010
      Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire was denied entry to Israel on Tuesday morning and detained at the country's Ben Gurion International Airport.
     Maguire, an Irish peace activist and a co-founder of the Nobel Women's Initiative, was traveling to Israel and the West Bank with a delegation to learn about the efforts of Jewish and Arab women working for peace and co-existence.
     "Dedicating your life to peace should not be a threat to national security," one of the six founders of the Nobel Women's Initiative, Jody Williams, said as she prepared to board a flight to Tel Aviv in the wake of the detention.
     Maguire began the fight against deportation immediately, with the help of Adalah, a local NGO that advocates for the rights of Israel's Palestinian citizens.
     "We believe that the decision to refuse entry to Ms. Maguire is based on illegitimate, irrelevant, and arbitrary political considerations," Adalah attorney Fatmeh El-Ajou commented.
     "All of her activities [in Israel and Palestine] were done in a peaceful and nonviolent form and all of her activities should be protected under the right to express her opinion," El-Ajou added.
     Maguire has been a vocal critic of Israeli policy towards the Palestinians, including the siege on Gaza. In May, she participated in the Freedom Flotilla, a convoy of aid ships that set out to bring aid to the besieged Gaza Strip....
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UN mission finds Israel used "incredible violence" in Flotilla raid
Electronic Intifada: 28 Sep 2010 - "No one was safe," once Israeli soldiers began using live ammunition on board the Mavi Marmara , says an authoritative UN investigation team into the Israeli attacks on the Gaza aid flotilla.more

Israel's Reasoning against Peace
Palestine Chronicle: 28 Sep 2010 - By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth With the resumption of settlement construction in the West Bank yesterday, Israel's powerful settler movement hopes that it has scuttled peace talks with the Palestinians. It would be misleading, however, to assume that the only major obstacle to the success of the negotiations is the right-wing political ideology the settler movement represents. Equally important are deeply entrenched economic interests shared across Israeli society. These interests took root more than six decades ago with Israel’s establishment and have flourished at an ever-accelerating pace since Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip after the 1967 war. Even many Israeli Jews living within the recognised borders of Israel privately acknowledge that they are the beneficiaries of the seizure of another people’s lands, homes, businesses and bank accounts in 1948. Most Israelis profit directly from the continuing dispossession of millions of Palestinian refugees. Israeli officials assume that the...more

A Lie at the Heart of Israel's Settlement Project
Palestine Chronicle: 28 Sep 2010 - By Richard Irvine As Israel's self-imposed and largely irrelevant settlement freeze ends, Prime Minister Netanyahu has asked settlers to show 'restraint'. It is an interesting choice of adjective, for people who show restraint are the injured and outraged; they are victims who although entitled to a full measure of justice settle for less to maintain good will and harmony. In the context of the West Bank settlers and Israel’s illegal colonisation no adjective could be less appropriate. Yet unwittingly it also reveals the mendacity behind Israel’s whole approach to these negotiations. Settlements - or to describe them accurately, illegal Jewish only colonies - did not happen by accident; nor do they continue as some sort of unfortunate but unavoidable historical hangover. Rather they are central to Israel’s entire policy with regard to the Palestinian territories. Centrally planned, funded and protected the settlements are aimed at achieving strategic goals. What those...more

Is South African Foreign Policy with Palestine Tied in Knots?
Palestine Chronicle: 28 Sep 2010 - By Iqbal Jassat – Pretoria In a recent interview, South Africa's ambassador to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, Ted Pekane, made an intriguing observation: “Currently we have no intention of breaking ties with Israel. That would be counter-productive. Our policy of engagement applies to Israel as well. Only if the [Palestinian Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas] asked us to support the disinvestments and sanctions campaign against Israel would we consider packing our bags”. This admission is the closest any senior foreign ministry official has come to in revealing an inherent weakness in this country’s relations with Israel/Palestine. It is shocking too in that it implies our diplomatic engagement in the world’s number one conflict zone is blinded and being pursued while voluntarily having our hands tied behind our back! More importantly, it discloses an intolerable weakness that inevitably is exploited by the stronger of the...more

It Takes a Cynic: 'If I Were Not Obama, I Would Be Diogenes'
Palestine Chronicle: 28 Sep 2010 - By Dallas Darling As a lawyer and one time activist, President Barack Obama should not have lashed out at the Cynics when he asked the United Nations General Assembly and the world to back his plan to forge a Palestinian State and a secure Israel. Actually, it is Cynicism itself that is sorely and desperately needed in order for a just and secure Palestinian State and Israeli State to peacefully co-exist and thrive. It is unfortunate too, that the current meaning of “cynic” is someone who assumes the worst about human nature. However, Cynicism was an Ancient Greek philosophical movement probably founded by Diogenes of Sinope. The Cynics took their name either from their meeting place or from the word kynikos, referring to the free, unfettered-and always questioning-lifestyle mixed with contempt for the established social and political orders of their day. Cynics continually challenged and rejected the tyrants and tyrannical...more

Israel's Political Firewall against the Truth
Palestine Chronicle: 28 Sep 2010 - By George Polley In an article published in the September 6th edition of The Palestine Chronicle (“Imagining Palestinians as Equal”) I began with this quote from novelist Aldous Huxley: “The propagandist's purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.” It is the key to separating out what is blatant propaganda and what is fair and honest communication. The purpose of Israel’s political firewall is blocking out and discrediting the testimony of the people it abuses on a daily basis and their supporters, through using high level elites. In my mental health career working with abusive systems was a main interest, and this is classic abusive system behavior. The example I used in the article was The Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism (YIISA), formed earlier this year. Billing itself as dedicated to the scholarly research of the manifestations of...more

Israeli Raid on Gaza Flotilla: A Revealing UN Rights Council Report
Palestine Chronicle: 27 Sep 2010 - By Richard Lightbown Following Israel's raid on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla on 31 May, the UN Human Rights Council elected to establish an independent international fact-finding mission to investigate violations of international law, including humanitarian and human rights law. On 23 July the three-person Mission was appointed. It consisted of Chairman Karl Hudson-Phillips, retired Judge of the International Criminal Court and former Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago; Sir Desmond de Silva, former Chief Prosecutor of the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone; and Ms Mary Shanthi Dairiam, a specialist on international women’s rights. They were assisted by a large team including external specialists in forensic pathology, military issues, firearms, the law of the sea and international humanitarian law. The Mission began work in Geneva on 9 August and an advanced unedited edition of its report was published just over six weeks later on 22 September. Israel’s response so far...more

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