Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel
Articles Archives - November 2011
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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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Saturday, November 26, 2011
Is Britain Plotting With Israel to Attack Iran?
Jonathan Cook, CounterPunch 11/25/2011
      Ex-Ambassador Exposes Government Cover-Up
     Last February Britain’s then defense minister Liam Fox attended a dinner in Tel Aviv with a group described as senior Israelis. Alongside him sat Adam Werritty, a lobbyist whose “improper relations” with the minister would lead eight months later to Fox’s hurried resignation.
     According to several reports in the British media the Israelis in attendance at the dinner were representatives of the Mossad, Israel’s spy agency, while Fox and Werritty were accompanied by Matthew Gould, Britain’s ambassador to Israel. A former British diplomat has now claimed that the topic of discussion that evening was a secret plot to attack Iran.
     The official inquiry castigating the UK’s former defence secretary for what has come to be known as a “cash-for-access” scandal appears to have only scratched the surface of what Fox and accomplice Adam Werritty may have been up to when they met for dinner in Tel Aviv.
     Little was made of the dinner in the 10-page inquiry report published last month by Gus O’Donnell, the cabinet’s top civil servant.
     Instead O’Donnell concentrated on other aspects of Werritty’s behaviour: the 33-year-old friend of Fox’s had presented himself as the minister’s official adviser and jetted around the world with him arranging meetings with businessmen.
     The former minister’s allies, seeking to dismiss the gravity of the case against him, have described Werritty as a harmless dreamer. Following his resignation, Fox himself claimed O’Donnell’s report had exonerated him of putting national security at risk.
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Organized chaos and bare life (*): The non-story of the night raids
Noam Sheizaf, +972 Magazine 11/24/2011
      There exists a general, intentional, cleverly constructed misunderstanding surrounding the true nature of the Israeli occupation. Some say it’s a simple dispute over land, like many others in the world; other think the conflict is about national independence for the Palestinians, prompting statements like, “The Basques and the Kurds aren’t independent either, so why do people pick on Israel?”
     But the occupation is something else. It is the ongoing military control over the lives of millions, and everything that comes with it: The lack of civil rights, the absence of legal protection, and perhaps more than anything else, a sense of organized chaos, in which the lives of an entire civilian population is run at the mercy of soldiers 18 to 20 years old. Most of the time, it’s almost hard to explain how bad it is for those who haven’t seen it with their own eyes. Night raid in Nabi Saleh 24 November 2011.
     Joseph Dana posted this picture today, of a military raid on the home of an imprisoned Palestinian activist in Nabi Saleh. This is a non-story in the West Bank: The army enters Palestinian homes as it pleases, day or night. No warrant is needed, just like you don’t need a warrant to arrest a Palestinian (even a minor). Once the soldiers are in the house, the nature of the interaction between them and the family living there depends on their good or ill will – and in the 44 years of the occupation, we have had everything: from “polite” visits, to beatings and cursing, all the way up to the murder of civilians in their beds. A Palestinian is never safe – not even in his own home. He can never know what’s coming, the way most of us can even during unpleasant encounters with the authorities. The important point is that both the Palestinian and the soldier know that.
     To illustrate this issue, here is a video from a couple of weeks ago. It was taken in Nabi Saleh, the same village where the picture above was taken. The soldiers enter a man’s house at night, and demand he wakes up his children, so they can take their pictures in order to keep them for identification in case of stone-throwing.....
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The right context
Hassan Jabareen, Haaretz, Israeli Occupation Archive 11/26/2011
      The disingenuity of the Israeli government’s international comparisons is evident when one compares politicians’ rhetoric for audiences within Israel with the diplomatic discourse abroad
     The government frequently tries to justify its anti-democratic bills by comparing them to laws in democratic states. For example, it contends that the newly proposed bills regarding the nomination procedures for Supreme Court justices reflect the process used in the United States. When the coalition passes anti-Arab legislation like the “Nakba law,” which lets the finance minister cut the budgets of publicly funded institutions that commemorate the Nakba, it argues that we have to defend Israel’s values as a “Jewish and democratic” state, by citing the German legal principle of “militant democracy.” The government also has made similar comparisons to justify bills that would severely limit foreign funding to local human rights organizations.
     It is important for governments to compare themselves with other nations. Given the current state of affairs, it is perhaps even a good sign that the Netanyahu coalition still believes it needs international legitimacy to justify these bills. However, when a comparison does not consider the other nations’ social, political and historical circumstances, it can be inaccurate and misleading. It is true that some of the worst crimes against humanity have been committed by “Western” democracies: the Holocaust, slavery, apartheid and segregation. But today, regimes such as those in Germany, South Africa and the U.S., whatever their defects, are based on fundamental civil rights and respect for separation of powers.
     The U.S. Supreme Court has a long and distinguished history of constitutional review; it has intervened in numerous laws passed by Congress and in executive political decisions. A decade ago, in Bush v. Gore, it even decided who would be president, based on a majority vote of just one justice. No political leader called for limiting the court’s power in response to this decision, which was fully implemented. -- See also: Source
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The Hypocrisy of Arab League and the West
Dissident Voice: 26 Nov 2011 - After the Arab League hypocritically suspended the membership of Syria amid the mounting pressures of NATO and the United States, the resurgence of violence in Egypt and the increasing use of excessive force in Bahrain and Yemen, and the unrelenting massacre of innocent civilians by the barbaric regime of Al Khalifa and Ali Abdullah Saleh once again attracted the attention of conscientious observers in the international community. According to official figures released by the Bahrain Center for Human Rights website, so far 44 Bahraini citizens were killed at the hands of the mercenaries of Al Khalifa regime. The Bahraini martyrs include the 6-year-old Mohammed Farhan, 14-year-old Ali Jawad Alshaikh and 15-year-old Sayed Ahmad Saeed Shams. The Bahraini organization has reported that many of these martyrs were killed while in custody. The Center has also published documents indicating that more than 1,500 Bahrainis, including about 100 women, were incarcerated since the...more

Assassinating Egyptian Dreams
Dissident Voice: 26 Nov 2011 - Nostalgia for more innocent times is a comforting refuge when hope is scarce. This week, as we inhaled a toxic dose of tear gas in Tahrir Square, we were all gasping for a resurrection of the spirit of the January uprising that led to the spectacular fall of the House of Mubarak. Many Egyptians would give their right arm to relive the spirit of the 18 glorious days that dazzled our collective imagination and filled our hearts with hopes and dreams of a new dawn for young and old. Those dreams have been assassinated and we know the identity of the assassin. For nine long months, we have witnessed an undeclared but unrelenting war of attrition against the Egyptian revolution. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces led by Field Marshall Tantawi has executed one of the most brilliant counter-revolutions in modern history. Even if Tantawi were to step aside...more

The Palestinian Struggle for Water in the Jordan Valley
Dissident Voice: 26 Nov 2011 - Speaking to the American Congress in May, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remarked that Israel would maintain a long-term presence in the West Bank’s Jordan Valley. In the months that followed, the Israeli army stepped up its attacks on the water wells of the Palestinians who live there. On November 14th, two water wells were demolished in Baqa’a, east of Tammun, robbing hundreds of families of the ability to irrigate their land. On October 13, farmers received demolition orders on several water wells in Kufr al-Deek, a village in the town of Salfit near Nablus. In September, Israeli military forces demolished 6 water wells belonging to Palestinian Bedouin communities in the Jordan Valley, and have threatened to demolish six more. In all these cases, the unilateral IOF actions are explicitly illegal because these wells were built with full permission from the Palestinian Authority, in areas of the Valley supposedly under...more

Articles Archives - November 2011

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