So you want to boycott Israel and organise boycotts of Israeli goods? - well if you live in the US - its illegal.
The Bureau of Industry and Security / Department of Commerce has a handy website laying down the law .
For example ;
Who Is Covered by the Laws?
The antiboycott provisions of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) apply to the activities of U.S. persons in the interstate or foreign commerce of the United States. The term "U.S. person" includes all individuals, corporations and unincorporated associations resident in the United States, including the permanent domestic affiliates of foreign concerns. U.S. persons also include U.S. citizens abroad (except when they reside abroad and are employed by non-U.S. persons) and the controlled in fact affiliates of domestic concerns. The test for "controlled in fact" is the ability to establish the general policies or to control the day to day operations of the foreign affiliate.
The scope of the EAR, as defined by Section 8 of the EAA, is limited to actions taken with intent to comply with, further, or support an unsanctioned foreign boycott.
It is of couse OK to boycott Cuba but those ARab league inspired efforts ...noway Jose.
It doesn't look like Naomi Klein who writes in today's Guradian Enough. It's time for a boycott The best way to end the bloody occupation is to target Israel with the kind of movement that ended apartheid in South Africa ... knows this.
She tells a heartwarming story of commercial calculation about, Richard Ramsey, managing director of a British telecom (company) specialising in voice-over-internet services, sent an email to the Israeli tech firm MobileMax: "As a result of the Israeli government action in the last few days we will no longer be in a position to consider doing business with yourself or any other Israeli company."
Ramsey says his decision wasn't political; he just didn't want to lose customers. "We can't afford to lose any of our clients," he explains, "so it was purely commercially defensive."
Saturday, January 10, 2009
So you want to boycott Israel and organise boycotts of Israeli goods? - well if you live in the US - its illegal.
US makes sure Israel doesn't run out of ammunition - hires ships for extra deliveries before inauguration
Haaretz reports today, based on a Reuters story - Pentagon denies arms shipment to Israel linked with Gaza fighting
The U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command (MSC) has hired a merchant ship to deliver ammunition to Israel this month. ender documents show the ship was to carry 325 standard 20-foot containers of what is listed as "ammunition" on two separate journeys from the Greek port of Astakos to the Israeli port of Ashdod in mid-to-late January.
The ammunition was intended for a U.S. stockpile as a pre - positioned stockpiles according to a Pentagon spokesman who confirmed the shipment.
A "hazardous material" designation on the manifest mentions explosive substances and detonators but provides no other details.
The request for the ship was made on Dec. 31, with the first leg of the charter to arrive no later than Jan. 25 and the second at the end of the month.
A commercial ship was hired in December from a German company to carry a much larger consignment of ordnance.
Meanwhile Iranian Press TV / Al Alam building in Gaza has been attacked without warning.
Alex Thomson of Channel 4 challenges Israeli Government spokesman Mark Regev ..
There is a history of crucifixion in Jerusalem.
Friday, January 09, 2009
Relish the silence with which his remarks are heard ...the bigger the bang the louder the silence ..
Ynet news reports : US officers deployed along Egypt-Rafah border
London-based Arabic-language newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi reported on Wednesday 7th january that American Engineering Corps' officers have been stationed at Egypt's border with Strip in order to unearth smugglers' tunnels in area
According to this report, these are not the first US Military in the area. The US deployed troops to the area several weeks ago, at Israel's request, in light of its statements that Egypt is doing nothing to curb weapons smuggling into Gaza through the Rafah border.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak, added al-Quds al-Arabi, has protested the breached border in conversations with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and has also presented him with images taken at the border, showing Egyptian officers assisting smugglers.
See almost identical report from "Press TV" (?) dated 7th January. also at Information Clearing House
NBC anchorwoman and chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell said on Sunday 4th january on morning TV show "Meet the Press" that US military officers from the Corps of Engineers had been stationed on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing in order to prevent " smuggling from illegal tunnels" by Palestinians. This was reported by Window into Palestine
Why are the US troops on the ground in Gaza ?
Maybe they have found a hole in the ground and are loking into it. Maybe they are mapping, backfilling the tunnels. Maybe they want some winter sun on their backs.
In a post Tuesday, January 06, 2009 Israel burning Palestinians to death - like Nazis with flame throwers in Warsaw + testing new highly lethal weapons on civilian populations. we pointed out that Gaza is now actually CENTCOM (EAST) Bomb Proving Grounds.
Bombs of incredible lethality have been used which have left horrific injuries and burned victims described by Norwegian Docto Mads Gilbert. Go here for detailed information on these horrific weapons and the damage they cause to the human body. Global Security : Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME) is uniquely suited for Low Collateral Damage.
In September Condileezza Rice, who withdrew US support from the UN peace resolution at the last minute yesterday helped supply US$77 MN worth (1,000 units) of the GSP guided GBU-39 Bunker busting bomb. See Friday, January 02, 2009 Lord Patel forecast the uses of the GBU-39 bombs Condi Rice sold the Zionist murderers in September .
Quite simply the US Engineers are there to evaluate the effects of these weapons. Gaza provides a wonderful testing ground to play around with fuzings, distance to drop, speed, etc., etc.,resultant depth of penetration , blast force etc., etc.,
Because they have further uses for such bombs in Iran, as a precursor to threatening a nuclear strike.
The Germans tested aerial bombing on Guernica now the US / Israel use are using Gaza for the same purposes... and these are the weapons we know about !
Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring trying to save his neck at the Nuremberg Trials said : "I urged him [Adolf Hitler] to give support [to Franco] under all circumstances, firstly, in order to prevent the further spread of communism in that theater and, secondly, to test my young Luftwaffe at this opportunity in this or that technical respect.
Nothing changes.UPDATE : 1700 GMT Nothing changes - Except character assassination by the Fox Press - Fox News has set about trashing the reputation of Dr Mads Gilbert who exposed the use of DIME weapons and the associated traumas.-Profile Doctor in Gaza Called an 'Apologist for Hamas'
They point out that Norwegian Dr. Mads Gilbert is not an "ordinary doctor" ..
Gilbert, 61, is a political activist and member of the Norwegian Maoist "Red" party, and he has been involved in solidarity work for the Palestinians since the 1970s.
He has criticized the international aid organization Doctors Without Borders for refusing to take sides in conflicts.
NGO Monitor, an Israeli human rights watchdog group, says Gilbert presents one-sided criticism of Israel to the media and has accused Israel of deliberately targeting civilians in its Gaza offensive to stop Hamas from firing rockets into Israel.
They drag up a newspaper report in Dagbladet on Sept. 30, 2001"The attack on New York did not come as a surprise after the policy that the West has led during the last decades,"
A representative for Sky News said it has not presented a biased picture of the conflict in Gaza when interviewing Gilbert.
“We are reporting events as they happen and interviewing all of the protagonists and a wide range of commentators on the situation," the network said in a statement.
"Dr. Gilbert is a working doctor in Gaza interviewed by the international news agencies in Gaza. A short interview clip with him has been included in one of our reports. Sky News has consistently reported on the Hamas rocket attacks into Israel, given extensive context and background to the dispute and interviewed the Israeli President live on air for 15 minutes."
The BBC did not respond to Fox for a request for comment - nor have they broadcast any interviews with him on Radio or TV.
Gilbert told FOXNews.com that he is neither anti-Israeli nor anti-American, he added that he and NORWAC do not hide their pro-Palestinian bias in the Hamas-Israel conflict.
"I do not support the wall on the West Bank and I do not support the siege of Gaza," he said.
Just to keep you up to speed on reports for January 6th 2009 of the air wars currently being undertaken in the Middle East under US control.
In total, 68 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.
In Iraq, coalition aircraft flew 43 close-air-support missions for Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The CIA report that the Israeli Air Force conducted more than 60 airstrikes in Gaza on Wednesday. Airstrikes killed Hamas' commander responsible for launching rocket attacks from Rafah and Hamas' commander in Khan Younis.
The CIA have delayed reporting the Jan. 1 attack in the town of Karikot in South Waziristan , Pakistan. This killed Osama al Kini and his senior aide Sheikh Ahmed Salim Swedan, intelligence officials told The Washington Post. These two Kenyans had been (unlike Osama bin ladin ) on the FBI most wanted list for ten years and had US$5 Mn bounties on their heads.
Al-Kini was believed to be behind last year’s deadly attack on the Marriott hotel in Islamabad (?). A U.S. counter-terrorism expert said to FOX news that “They died preparing new acts of terror.”
Two other unnamed operatives were also killed in the airstrike. More gory details - some of which might not be correct.
A breathless post partum Rachida calls to tell Lord Patel that all is well with her and her daughter and is she is off back to work.
Struggling a little with the Manolo Blahnik's we sent as a small puorboire , to cheer her up, she tripped off to work ( and frankly she tells us ) to make sure she didn't find anyone in her chair who had been slipped in during her absence.
NOTE : Judging by the pics those sling backs are a couple of sizes too big, better get them replaced. Never was good says Lord Patel, bra , shoe and dress sizes ... women seem to think it is so important to get them right.
PPS She calls back to say that the little girl needs a brother or sister - she could get to like this being a mum.
UN votes for peace (except the US) and AIPAC makes sure the Senate votes for Israel and Zionism - all in one day.
In interviews, the Boy David has been showing increasing signs of stress. Dark patches in his pallid midnight face surround his eyes so they resemble pissholes in snow. He is evidently feeling the brute pressure of UN real politik as run by Condileezza Rice and the US State Office ,pimping for their client state Israel.
Last week he nervously said he felt the UK could "help with words" and no doubt the Oxbridge educated, double first , Rolls Royce minds of the FCO have been assiduously helping drafting a Security Council resolution which the UK presented to the Council ( the text of which is not yet available at the UN website).
A Press release for the 15 man Security Council says inter alia
The United Nations Security Council tonight overwhelmingly called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza leading to a full Israeli withdrawal, the unimpeded provision throughout Gaza of food, fuel and medical treatment, and intensified international arrangements to prevent arms and ammunition smuggling.More here ..."renewed efforts to achieve a comprehensive peace "...." Hamas, which seized control of Gaza in 2007, does not recognize Israel’s right to exist. The resolution “encourages tangible steps towards intra-Palestinian reconciliation.”
However the resolution passed 14 with 1 abstention - our great ally and coalition partner the US abstained (although they could have sunk it by vetoing it).
Condileezza Rice explained that , "the US wanted to see the outcome of the Egyptian initiative first, but allowed the resolution to go forward because it was a step in the right direction. " (The Egyptian initiative is some low grade dips and clerks, jawing away in Cairo sunshine, absent Hamas - who do have some say in all this)
Current General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto was reported at a UN HQ press meeting saying “I can’t stand the smell of formaldehyde. Rigor mortis seems to have taken over, and we are failing the world, we are failing the cause of peace,” and spoke of the “the dysfunctionality” of the Council.
The Silence of the lambs
Meanwhile where the real power lies, AIPAC issued a Press release gleefully announcing that The U.S. Senate demonstrated its unwavering support for Israel's quest for peace and her right to self-defense and bombing of Gaza with Thursday's passage, by unanimous consent, of S. Res. 10.
AIPAC is thrilled to bits with the bi-partisan support for their ethnic cleansing program cosponsored by Senate Majority Leaders Harry Reid (D-NV) and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) which received a voice vote with no one objecting or abstaining.
AIPAC also applauds the Senate for conveying America's unequivocal and steadfast support for Israel's right to self-defense against relentless assaults by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hamas, and praises President Bush, the bipartisan leadership of the House and Senate, President-elect Obama and the countless American leaders who have defended Israel's right to a terror-free existence. (texts of the Senate and House resolutions here)
David Milliband , (pic - struggling with the world saved by Flash Gordon) now a father of two adopted children is, a decent guy. Trapped by the brutal Zionist power brokers and the cowardly political representatives they plainly control b y the purse strings he has had a lesson in how power is wielded by the world's strongest players.
We think you should pray for him.
Fighting (ie shooting fish in abarrel) has recommenced, this will continue until next Friday - then there will be a decent interval whilst the US celebrate Martin Luther King asd Inaugurate the First US Jewish President.
Then about time for Lord Patel's birthday on January 25th they will be busy starving, burning, maiming, killing, shelling, the Gazan huddled teeming masses.
UPDATE : 1500 GMT here is the story of the Senate vote from Reuters on line now go look for it in any MSM media either side of the Atlantic. It ain't there.
UPDATE 1700 GMT US Senate Endorses Israel's War on Gaza by Jeremy R. Hammond the editor Foreign Policy Journal
First rate article about the decision and the debate (?)...
Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) voiced her support for the resolution by saying that Israel’s war on Gaza was “a phase in a war against Iranian terror”.
Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV) expressed having “every confidence that the incoming administration would continue the unwavering support of the United States of America for the state of Israel.
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) characterized Israel’s war as “self-defense” and said it was well within its rights to engage in such action.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) was a lone voice in the Congress expressing any kind of empathy for the plight of the Palestinians. In remarks from the floor of the House, he said:
“Wake up America. We have trillions for a war machine and the banks while our government stands by and sniffs at the slaughter of innocents in Gaza, where Israel is blocking aid for wounded Palestinians.
Here’s today’s Washington Post.
It says, ‘The International Committee of the Red Cross said Thursday that it found at least 15 bodies and several children emaciated but alive in a row of shattered houses in the Gaza Strip and accused the Israeli military of preventing ambulances from reaching the site for 4 days. 12 corpses lying on mattresses in one home, along with 4 young children lying next to their dead mothers.’
That’s a quote.
Today, US tax dollars, US jets, and US helicopters provided to Israel are enabling the slaughter in Gaza.
The administration enables Israel to press forward with the attack against defenseless civilians, blocks efforts at promoting a cease-fire at the UN, and refuses to make Israel compliant with conditions that arms shipments will not be used for aggression.
Israel is going to receive $30 billion in a ten year period for military assistance, without having to abide by any humanitarian principles, international laws, or standards of basic human decency. Wake up America.”
Chris Gunness UNWRA spokesman - Israel accepts the alleged mortar fire was outside the UNWRA al-Fakhura girls school when 40 + refugees died
For background to this story see 1/7/08 How the BBC Newsnight and Today programmes unquestioningly help peddle Israeli lies
In the "Fog of War" you will now never hear about this again - the IDF don't care and it embarasses their friends on the Beltway.
What You Don’t Know About Gaza By RASHID KHALIDI, NY Times Op-Ed
NEARLY everything you’ve been led to believe about Gaza is wrong. Below are a few essential points that seem to be missing from the conversation, much of which has taken place in the press, about Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip. >>>> more
Thursday, January 08, 2009
Folks mystified by the damaged windmill in Lincolnshire should read the post Thursday, August 30, 2007 Wind Energy as a source of electricity - benefits overblown ..
"After the industry's recent boom years, wind power providers and experts are now concerned. The facilities may not be as reliable and durable as producers claim.
Indeed, with thousands of mishaps, breakdowns and accidents having been reported in recent years, the difficulties seem to be mounting.
Gearboxes hiding inside the casings perched on top of the towering masts have short shelf lives, often crapping out before even five years is up. In some cases, fractures form along the rotors, or even in the foundation, after only limited operation.
Short circuits or overheated propellers have been known to cause fires. All this despite manufacturers' promises that the turbines would last at least 20 years."
Insurance costs increasing in Germany
Among insurers, who raced into the new market in the 1990s, wind power is now considered a risky sector. Industry giant Allianz was faced with around a thousand damage claims in 2006 alone. Jan Pohl, who works for Allianz in Munich, has calculated that on average "an operator has to expect damage to his facility every four years, not including malfunctions and uninsured breakdowns."Many insurance companies have learned their lessons and are now writing maintenance requirements -- requiring wind farmers to replace vulnerable components such as gearboxes every five years -- directly into their contracts.
A gearbox replacement can cost up to 10 % of the original construction price tag, enough to cut deep into anticipated profits. Indeed, many investors may be in for a nasty surprise. "Between 3,000 and 4,000 older facilities are currently due for new insurance policies," says Holger Martsfeld, head of technical insurance at Germany's leading wind turbine insurer Gothaer. "We know that many of these facilities have flaws."
Lots more at the link with pictures.
The problem in Lincolnshire wasnot little green men but simply ice build up on stationary blades which were then released, the load deformed and stripped a blade which hit another.
The missing one will be found somewhere
Gaza: ICRC demands urgent access to wounded as Israeli army fails to assist wounded Palestinians (Press release full text)
"The ICRC had requested safe passage for ambulances to access this neighbourhood (in Zeitoun, southeast of Gaza City) , since 3rd January but it only received permission to do so from the Israel Defense Forces during the afternoon of 7th January.
The ICRC/PRCS team found four small children next to their dead mothers in one of the houses. They were too weak to stand up on their own.
One man was also found alive, too weak to stand up. In all there were at least 12 corpses lying on mattresses. In another house, the ICRC/PRCS rescue team found 15 other survivors of this attack including several wounded.
In yet another house, they found an additional three corpses. Israeli soldiers posted at a military position some 80 meters away from this house ordered the rescue team to leave the area which they refused to do.
There were several other positions of the Israel Defense Forces nearby as well as two tanks. "
In an interview on Sky TV (NO text or video available at this time) it was explained by the ICRC representative that they had tried to get access with ambulances.
The IDF refused access and they had eventuually to walk 1 KM and faund the above scenes.
The IDF refused help but found them a donkey cart to evacuate the bodies and the survivors. theICRC evacuated 18 wounded and 12 others who were extremely exhausted. Two corpses were also evacuated. The ICRC/PRCS were due to recover the remaining corpses today.
Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War
(Full text here)
Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.
The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.
An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to the conflict.
The wounded and sick, as well as the infirm, and expectant mothers, shall be the object of particular protection and respect.
Mr Regev , the smirking, supercilious lothasome Israeli Government front man was interviewed by Channel 4 and raised all sorts of puerile obfuscation. He was anxious tio imply that it was acruel hamas trick to use them in this way - with IDF troops within metres. The man is sick or deranged. Whatever his medical condition it would be nice to see him at the ICC for compounding war crimes committed by his superiors.
You have to ask yourself how the young men ( we vas only obeyink orders) deprived of their mobile phones and contact outside can cope with these monstrous crimes - how in klater years they will manage to cope with the guilt.
It is time to start building Vad Yashem II, chronicling the genocide, rape, murder, of a country and a people.
Neal Saiki is the founder of Zero Motorcycles . After designing designing world-class mountain bikes for Santa Cruz, Mountain Cycle, he is bringing his new all electric "dirt" bike to the London Motorcycle Show Jan 29th - Feb 1st 2009. Fox video of it in action.
Earlier in his career, Neal worked as a project manager at NASA developing high altitude research vehicles. While he was in college, Neal set a World Aviation Record by creating the first successful human-powered helicopter. He holds masters degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.
As lightweight motors became available, Neil realised “All I needed was a battery, and I could make an electric motorcycle.” It wasn’t really that simple, as the lithium-ion batteries that power things like your laptop generate a lot of heat. Saiki knew his battery would have to dump about 300 amps of power at peak load which currently gives 50lbs ft torque and they say (eventually - er...real soon now) upwards of 150 ft-lbs.
Saiki developed and (more important) patented a way of packing the cells and controlling them that makes his ‘Zenergy’ battery the smallest, lightest, most powerful - 2 hours to full charge and gives some 2 hours of action.
Whilst 20 horses power doesn't sound much the beauty of electric motors is they deliver peak torque at all revs.
The Zero X weighs 140 pounds – it’s geared for a top speed of about 55 mph.
It’s set up like a twist-and-go scooter, with footpegs but no foot controls. There’s a rear brake on the left ’bar, and front brake on the right one, as well as a “throttle” on the right twistgrip. There’s no gearbox.
Turn the key, (they call it "arming" the bike) a row of LEDs lights up to indicate the amount of time you have left on the battery. The bike doesn’t make any sound at all . If you reflexively blip the throttle, it’ll take off. That’s been a problem when one person hands the bike off to another.
Snagette to using one - it's designed only as an off roader. and the list price is .... US$7,450 (ish) spare battery US $2,950.
A street version (ZeroS) good for 70 mph and a range of 60 miles for eco-celebs to tool up Rodeo Drive is due this month - sticker price of US$9,000.
Silent off roader - handy for the SAS in Afghanistan ?
The first NSU motorcycle rolled out of a sewing machine factory / bicycle factory / motorcycle factory in Neckarsulm Germany, in 1901. This used a Swiss motor petrol engine from Zedal - 234 cc engine which put out 1.75 horse power, and had a top speed of 48 km/hr, or 31 mph.
In 1964 NSU offered the first Wankel rotary internal combustion engine car in the world , the twin rotor 115hp NSU Ro 80- NSU has been part of Audi since acqusition by Volkswagen in 1969. The Mazda RX 8 is the only production car using Wankel technology.
2 UNWRA forklift truck drivers on Umanitarian mission murdered by IDF - all aid to Gaza grinds to halt
It seemed impossible that the Humanitarian crisis in Gaza could get worse - it has.
A trucking company, Sa'd Shuhaiber Transportation Company, (MD :Osama Shuhaiber Phone Number:97282868521,Fax Number:97282868521 based in Gaza )deliver humanitarian aid as contractors to United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA). On Monday 5th January 2 trucks were hit by missiles from a helicopter as the trucks were leaving a garage in Gaza City. That attack left 2 men dead.
Today, 3 forklift trucks operated by the only trucking company authorized to carry out deliveries near the Israeli-Gaza border were collecting food at Kerem Shalom crossing. At 9.am they came under IDF fire.
32 year old Bassem Quta, one of the drivers was killed. This has been verified by , an official of UNWRA. United Nations Relief and Works Agency said.
Andrew Whitley, director of the United Nations relief agency office in New York has announced “We have suspended all food distribution because of lack of security.”
UPDATE : 2100GMT : Channel 4 news report ( and Al Jazeera) that Israeli tanks shelled a UN convoy earlier in the day, killing a Palestinian UN worker and injuring two others, (one of whom has since died Newsnight BBC2 tonight 1100 GMT) as lorries were travelling to the Erez crossing to pick up humanitarian supplies meant to have been allowed in during a three-hour suspension of fire.
Sky interviewed the glamorous, blond, beautifully programmed Miss Avital Leibowitz from the IDF who said that they could not establish the facts, who fired the shots, what happened, when it happened, was it raining , was it sunny, were their tyres the correct pressure, were the drivers licensed ......but she admired the work of Humane organisation throughout the world - which is just as well because the IDF give them so much to do.
In short absolutely fuck all will happen and you will hear no more about it. Ever.
During the 3 hour chance for the IDF top re-arm, re-equip, re-group, block UNWRA supplies, Al Jazeera's Ayman Mohyeldin, reporting from Gaza City, said that 50 bodies were recovered , raising the (known) death toll of Palestinians in Gaza to at least 763, including more than 200 children, since air raids first began on December 27.
More than 3,121 people have also been wounded. Eight Israeli soldiers and three civilians have died in the same period.
As a sort of antidote,about 700 people die on Israeli roads a year - their drivers managing to kill 2.8 people per 100,000 of the population compared with the US / UK / Germany / France of aout 1.4 per 100,000.
Missiles from S Lebanon into N Israel - opening 2nd front ?
3 missiles hit Nahariya, 10 km south of the border with Lebanon and left two people slightly injured when one rocket tore a hole in the roof of an old people's home this morning (See pic ,click to enlarge). There has since been another missile fired from S. Lebanon and the Israeli military fired artillery in retaliation at an area close to the southern Lebanese village of Marwaheen, located near the Lebanese-Israeli border.
We first posted about the possibility of a 2nd Front after missiles were uncovered on Christmas Day - Larnaca /Gaza mercy boat is damaged by Israeli Navy and docks in Lebanon - will Hezbollah start 2nd Front ?
Some people are claiming these events today have the halmarks of a "false flag" operation to take heat from the events in Gaza and boost the victim culture within Israel.The Israeli Army later dismissed the rockets on Thursday as “a minor event” and, in Lebanon, the government said Hezbollah had distanced itself from the attack. The US selected puppet Prime Minister Fouad Siniora of Lebanon immediately condemned the rocket-fire. In a statement, Lebanese Information Minister Tarek Mitri said: “Hezbollah assured the Lebanese government that it remains engaged in preserving the stability in Lebanon and respects Security Council resolution 1701.”
So far there has been no claim of responsibility. ... how very odd. Sky TV Hizbollah Denies Israel Strike
UPDATE :Urban Myth the smooth MI6 operator on Neesnight is palling out with the IDF (he has had a dramatic haircut - possinly on the way to being called up) tells us (mysteriously) that earlier in the week IDF were briefing their pally journalist that they expected Palestinian breakaway group(s) might send some missiles over from Lebanon on behalf of Hamas.
Which is probably why informed observers on the ground are saying these were "fals flag" attacks.
Good old Urban Myth, first there with the sneaky leaks.
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
The BBC report that Israel has agreed "on the principles" of a ceasefire proposal. Whooooop de doo !!!
130 people killed in one day (Tuesday) in Gaza by the IDF, by shells, bombs, fire, light arms, phosphor bombs, rockets.
Palestinian health officials say at least 683 Palestinians have been killed and more than 3,085 injured since Israel began its offensive on 27 December, according to the UN's humanitarian agency.
The BBC say, "Casualty claims in Gaza cannot be independently verified. " ..so presumably UN agencies do not come under that description.
Israeli defence official Amos Gilad ( who he ? Ed. - Coordinator of Government Operations in the Territories - quite evidently a very little cheese in the IDF) will travel to Cairo on Thursday to discuss ceasefire options followed at a leisurely pace by Quisling Mahmoud Abbas from a shopping trip to New York, a day later.
The Israeli's war machine has acheived 50% of their targets for "Cast lead", a spokesman said on the BBC 6 o-clock news today - they want this settled before Martin Luther King Day - the day before Obama's Inauguration.
If it is settled much before then Lord Patel will show his arse in M & S's window. ( We used to say Woollies window when I was a lad but Woolworth's has alas closed all their 320 stores (half the death toll in Gaza)).
Meanwhile the 3 Daily hour windows will allow the IDF to re-group, eat, sleep, re-arm, mend, repair, plan, roulade troops, pray to their God, etc.,
The Humanitarian Allee will experience difficulties as all major roads and many minor have been bombed - fancy driving a truck from the border, unloading and back in 3 hours ? Apply UNWRA.
Mads Gilbert on Sky News - like Dante'as inferno ...it's like Hell.. Curiously the BBC haven't been able to interview the eloquent docor although available to Al Jazeera, Sky and Scandinavian channels.... Probably technical problems ... the fog of war , you know the sort of thing..
... an all out war against the civilian population of Gaza ..
PS : Mr Regev talking of Fog of war on Newsnight last night jiggled the brain cells - CounterPunch , February 26, 2003 , An Open Letter to Tony Blair
"Be careful however that, if on the "fog of war" the Israelis decide to resolve the Palestinian problem, a la Sabra and Chattila camps."
Obama - rising without trace - but with some well known and surprising friends for a "liberal progressive" ....
Here is a fascinating insight by Victor Thorn at War on You Obama rising without trace from obscure Chicago Senator to President in 4 years ....
US voters have been told that Obama is for change ... but nothing much actually seems to ...er ... change. In the picks for his cabinet we’re seeing a cadre of more deeply entrenched insiders than any administration that has preceded it.
In regard to key foreign policy advisors, all three of Obama’s selections either initially supported the Iraq war, or still do. On the economic front, each appointee maintains a close relationship with the Jewish triad of Ben Bernanke, Robert Rubin and Alan Greenspan—as well as bailout engineer Henry Paulson. Barack Obama himself is a Council on Foreign Relations member, has strong ties to Zbigniew Brzezinski, and participated in a clandestine meeting with Hillary Clinton at Bilderberg member Diane Feinstein’s house at the time when 2008 Bilderberg members were congregating only a few miles away.
Below is an overview of Obama’s top 14 selections to date. When considering their collective histories, a trend becomes clear, proving that the more things change under Obama, the more they stay the same.
1. TIMOTHY GEITHNER – TREASURY SECRETARY
Bilderberg, Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, president and CEO of Federal Reserve Bank of New York, director of policy development for IMF, member Group of Thirty (G30), employed at Kissinger & Associates, architect of the recent 2008 financial bailouts, mentored by Lawrence Summers and Robert Rubin.
2. PAUL VOLCKER – ECONOMIC RECOVERY ADVISORY BOARD
Bilderberg, Council on Foreign Relations, North American chairman of Trilateral Commission, Federal Reserve chairman during Carter and Reagan administrations, president of Federal Reserve Bank of New York, G30 member, chairman Rothschild Wolfensohn Company, key figure in the collapse of the gold standard during the Nixon administration, longtime associate of the Rockefeller family.
3. RAHM EMANUEL – CHIEF OF STAFF
Member of Israeli Defense Force, staunch Zionist, senator, Board of Directors for Freddie Mac, member of Bill Clinton’s finance campaign committee, made $16.2 million during 2.5 years as an investment banker for Wasserstein Perella. His father was a member of the Israeli Irgun terrorist group.
4. LAWRENCE SUMMERS – NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL
Bilderberg, Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, treasury secretary during Clinton administration, chief economist at World Bank, former president of Harvard University, Brookings Institute board member, huge proponent of globalization while working for the IMF, prot�g� of David Rockefeller, mentored by Robert Rubin.
5. DAVID AXELROD – SENIOR ADVISOR
Political consultant whose past clients include Sens. Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Christopher Dodd; main Obama fixer in the William Ayers and Reverend Wright scandals.
6. HILLARY CLINTON – SECRETARY OF STATE
Bilderberg, Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, clandestine CIA asset used to infiltrate the anti-war movement at Yale University and the Watergate hearings, senior partner at the Rose Law Firm, key figure in the Mena drug trafficking affair, architect of the Waco disaster, implicated in the murder/ cover-up of Vince Foster, and many other deaths.
7. JOSEPH BIDEN – VICE PRESIDENT
Bilderberg, Council on Foreign Relations, U.S. Senator since 1972, member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, current chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, strong Zionist sympathizer who recently told Rabbi Mark S. Golub of Shalom TV, “I am a Zionist. You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist.”
8. BILL RICHARDSON – COMMERCE SECRETARY (Now retired due to impending legal problems on graft, corruption etc.,) see Monday, January 05, 2009 Governor Richardson resigns from Obama cabinet after exposure by Lord Patel over new factory deal
Bilderberg, Council on Foreign Relations, former U.S. congressman, chairman of the Democratic National Convention in 2004, employee of Kissinger Associates, UN ambassador, governor of New Mexico, energy secretary, major player in the Monica Lewinsky cover-up with Bilderberg luminary Vernon Jordan.
9. ROBERT GATES – DEFENSE SECRETARY
Bilderberg, Council on Foreign Relations, former CIA Director, defense secretary under President Bush, co-chaired CFR task force with Zbigniew Brzezinski, knee-deep in the Iran-Contra scandal, named in a 1999 class action lawsuit pertaining to the Mena drug trafficking affair.
10. TOM DASCHLE – HEALTH SECRETARY
Bilderberg, Council on Foreign Relations, former Senate majority leader, Citibank lackey, mentored by Robert Rubin.
11. ERIC HOLDER – ATTORNEY GENERAL
Key person in the pardon of racketeer Marc Rich, deputy attorney general under Janet Reno, facilitated the pardon of 16 Puerto Rican FALN terrorists under Bill Clinton.
12. JANET NAPOLITANO – HOMELAND SECURITY DIRECTOR
Council on Foreign Relations, Arizona governor, attorney for Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas hearings, U.S. attorney during the Clinton administration, instrumental in the OKC cover-up, where she declared, “We’ll pursue every bit of evidence and every lead,” described as another Janet Reno, soft on illegal immigration (i.e. pro-amnesty and drivers licenses to illegals).
13. GEN. JAMES L. JONES – NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR
Bilderberg, Trilateral Commission, European supreme allied commander, special envoy for Middle-East Security during Bush administration, board of directors for Chevron and Boeing, NATO commander, member of Brent Scowcroft’s Institute for International Affairs along with Zbigniew Brzezinski, Bobby Ray Inman, Bilderberg luminary Henry Kissinger and former CIA Director John Deutch.
14. SUSAN RICE – U.N. AMBASSADOR
Council on Foreign Relations, Rhodes scholar, campaign foreign policy advisor to presidential candidates John Kerry and Michael Dukakis, member of Bill Clinton’s National Security Council and assistant secretary of state for Africa, member of the Brookings Institute (funded by the Ford Foundation and the Rockefellers), and member of the Aspen Strategy Group (teeming with Bilderberg insiders such as Richard Armitage, Brent Scowcroft, and Madeleine Albright).
Another fascinating insight into the President elect is afforded by THE STRANGE RISE OF OBAMA @ Undernews
In his autobiography, "Dreams From My Fathers", Barack Obama writes of taking a job at some point after graduating from Columbia University in 1983. He describes his employer as "a consulting house to multinational corporations" in New York City, and his functions as a "research assistant" and "financial writer." The odd part of Obama's story is that he doesn't mention the name of his employer.
However, a New York Times story of 2007 identifies the company as Business International Corporation. Equally odd is that the Times did not remind its readers that the newspaper itself had disclosed in 1977 that Business International had provided cover for four CIA employees in various countries between 1955 and 1960. The British journal, Lobster Magazine -- which, despite its incongruous name, is a venerable international publication on intelligence matters -- has reported that Business International was active in the 1980s promoting the candidacy of Washington-favored candidates in Australia and Fiji.
read on ....
Youthful, good looking, Captain Elie Isaacson of the Israeli Defence Force (who looks like he should be wearing short trousers) told BBC's Ben Brown yesterday (Tuesday 6th 2008) that the Israeli army wants to "get this thing finished as soon as possible" .. but wouldn't comment on the school massacre of over 40 people UNWRA al-Fakhura girls school Gaza, as they didn't have "accurate information". How right he was.
Some of us were lucky to catch the repulsive the Israeli Government Spokesman Mark Regev with steely gaze and a solid smirk explaining to Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight, much as you might explain to a rather dumb child that the UNWRA al-Fakhura girls school which was the refuge of over 40 frightened (now dead) people had earlier seen the launch earlier mortars - presumably by Hamas - which was a total, blatant, calculated lie. ( Whole Newsnight program from last night available here (probably not available outside UK copyright issues - don't miss the Urban Myth prop. Tel Aviv Media Circus Ltd.,) Watch Mr Regev and his magic "Fog of war".
They had a video of it. (despite the Fog of war)
On BBC4 "Today" this morning the sneering and deeply unpleasant Ron Prosor, Israeli Ambassador the Court of St. James gave exactly the same story.
They had a video of mortars being fired earlier from the school.
So we searched the IDF Spokesperson's Unit You Tube site set up especially to dissemniate their lies and propaganda. No evidence whatever of such a video.
On BBC4 "World at One" at 1300 GMT , all became a trifle clearer, the BBC had pressed the Embassy in London for further and better particulars, there had been a mistake, the Ambassador was misinformed - they had a film but it was over a year old, and it was a different school.
There is however a brief update video today from yet another
liar spokesman for the IDF which clumsily explains this clumsy lie.
The video the Ambassador and Government spokesman were refrring to was (handily) posted on January 1st 2009, and is entitled Mortar Bombs Shot from UN School in Gaza 29 Oct. 2007 (view here) and is officially described ..
Terrorists from the Gaza Strip fire mortars from an UNRWA boys' school in Gaza on 29 Oct. 2007. Hamas and other terror organizations in Gaza
make deliberate use of civilians living in populated areas as human shields.
Ah, but ... but ... the IDF were hit by mortars and they returned the fire ( is the partial lie used by Regev and prosor to cover up what happened now) from whence it came and hit the school ... besides the fact that the pinned down refugees were from all reports hit from the air (the UN being categorical about that and certain there were no mortars fired nor Hamas present at the school)... somehow we feel disinclined to believe any of the genocidal maniacs such as the reptilian Ron Prosor, Israeli Ambassador the Court of St. James and the supercilious Israeli Government Spokesman Mark Regev or the lies the BBC have allowed them to peddle.
The BBC should be a bit more careful in believing what the Israeli Government and the IDF say in future.
Maybe we will get an apology from the Editors of Newsnight and Today for having allowed these lies to be peddled....at least praise is due to the "World at One" Editorial team who ferreted out and exposed their grubby lies.
PS : Despite having provided the BBC with all the evidence needed to follow up the tale of Dr Mads Gilbert and the experimental DIME bombs and their horrific effects (Tuesday, January 06, 2009 Israel burning Palestinians to death - like Nazis with flame throwers in Warsaw + testing new highly lethal weapons on civilian populations. ) they haven't been back to ask for further and better particulars.
UPDATE 1500 GMT : UN News centre
Also in Jabaliya, a boys’ school was attacked but it was empty.
Last night, three Palestinians, who had sought refuge in a small co-educational UN school in Gaza City, died when a missile hit the building’s toilet facilities.
The three men who were killed were “Gazans who had fled their home earlier that day,” the UNRWA official said, adding that they thought “they would be safe in a UN school in Gaza City.”
In a separate incident, seven UN staff were injured, three seriously, along with three patients, when a strike on a nearby building caused significant collateral damage to a UNRWA health centre.
UPDATE 2 : To show true BBC balance we direct you to this fascinating piece in the Murdoch press - well known for it's objectivity and impartiality.
Militant Islam Threatens Us All Hamas rockets have the same terror goal as Hitler's blitz. WSJ by By BENJAMIN NETANYAHU today http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123128827234659279.html
... and pray Mr N what is the "goal" of the terrifying and massive force of the IDF / IAF , the wholesale slaughter of women and children, the descrtuction of opublic services, bombing UN facilities etc ., etc., in Gaza ?
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
The BBC are reporting that, "at least 40 people have been killed in an Israeli air strike on the United Nations-run al-Fakhura girls school in the Gaza Strip". BBC video (timed 4.35 GMT) Israeli captain on school attack - Captain Elie Isaacson of the Israeli Defence Force said that they had had "major operational successes" in Gaza. He told the BBC's Ben Brown that the Israeli army wants to "get this thing finished as soon as possible" .. but wouldn't comment on the school massacre as they didn't have "accurate information".
Palestinian medical sources have said the school took a direct hit and slaughtered people taking refuge. Casualties were taken to 2 hospitals. Doctors at the Kamal Adwan hospital in Beit Lahiya said 30 people had died there. A further 10 people died at the al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, doctors said.
UN officals said at least three Palestinians were killed when a school was hit in the Shati camp earlier in the day.
Earlier, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) warned of a "full-blown humanitarian crisis" in Gaza.
Speaking on the 11th day of the Israeli assault, a senior ICRC official, Pierre Kraehenbuhl, said life in Gaza had become intolerable.
This from the Palestinian Solidarity Blog by Sharon
We have also had reports that in the Zaytoun area two days ago, Israeli soliders rounded up a group of people into two houses; women and children into one, men into the other, where they were kept for two days. Then this morning at 11am Israeli forces shelled the houses. We have heard the number of deaths as between 7 and 20. One was a seven year old boy whose father was interviewed on TV while holding his body. We are trying to find out further details. It is getting very hard to keep up with this insanity.The Israeli's have only contempt for any contrary opinon to their actions...The U.N. special rapporteur for human rights in the occupied Palestinian taerritory, former Princeton University law professor Richard Falk, (see Wednesday, December 10, 2008 Gaza: Silence is not an option - Richard Falk UN Rappoteur on Palestinian territories ) has labelled what Israel is doing to the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza "a crime against humanity."
We asked the Jabalia Red Crescent admin person how much of the emergency calls Israel is not letting them go to. These are in areas where co-ordination must be made with the invading forces via the Red Cross to enter. He said they are not being allowed to attend to about 80% of the calls from the north, covering the Beit Lahia, Beit Hanoun, and Jabalia area.
Shall I repeat that?
Eight of ten people calling for help are being prevented from receiving it.
Falk, who is Jewish, has condemned the collective punishment of the Palestinians in Gaza as "a flagrant and massive violation of international humanitarian law as laid down in Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention." He has asked for "the International Criminal Court to investigate the situation, and determine whether the Israeli civilian leaders and military commanders responsible for the Gaza siege should be indicted and prosecuted for violations of international criminal law."
Falk's unflinching honesty and outspoken views which he is happy to air (he was on BBC4 Radio World at One today) has enraged Israel. He was banned from entering the country on Dec. 14 during his attempt to visit Gaza and the West Bank.
Israel burning Palestinians to death - like Nazis with flame throwers in Warsaw + testing new highly lethal weapons on civilian populations.
Craig Murray recommends viewing this ..
Dr Mads Gilbert texted a colleague in Norway - Mosquito Blog
My dad works at the same hospital as Mads Gilbert. he got a txt message from Dr. Gilbert. Translated from Norwegian it says: They bombed the central fruit and vegetables market in Gaza town two hours ago. 80 wounded and 20 killed. All of them came here, to Shifa. Hades! We are up to our knees with death, blood and amputants. Lots of children. Pregnant women. I have never experienced anything this terrible. Tell people, pass it on, shout it from the rooftops. Everything. WE MUST DO MORE! We are living in the history books now, everyone! Mads G, 1.3.09, 13:50, Gaza, Palestine (Anesthesia Doctor)Subsequent to a petition filed by the Foreign Press Association with the High Court of Justice last week , Israel agreed to let a pool of 8 foreign journalists into Gaza when the border crossing was opened for humanitarian needs. (J Post) The FPA claimed that the suggestion that the ban was for "for our protection" is patently ridiculous.
But ... but ... Maj. Peter Lerner, said Sunday that there had been a plan to open the border crossing on Sunday and let a small group of reporters through, but that in the end the crossing was not opened ... "due to the security situation on the ground."
Bomb women and children in their houses, that's OK because they use surgical strikes but for everyone's sake protect the journalists - or conceal their murderous slaughter.
Shas leader Eli Yishai ( one of 4 Deputy Prime Ministers) said on Friday that Israel should not let the foreign press into the Gaza Strip to cover the offensive, since they would only work in the service of a terror organization.
Shas (ש״ס) represents Haredi Sephardi and Mizrahi Judaism. Following the 2006 elections in which Shas won 12 seats, it plays a critical part in the Kadema coaltion and hold four cabinet posts.
The FPA issued a statement today- The Board of the Foreign Press Association
6th January, 2009
The FPA strongly protests the Israeli government's decision to continue the ban on international journalists entering Gaza despite the Supreme Court ruling requiring it to allow access.
The unprecedented denial of access to Gaza for the world's media amounts to a severe violation of press freedom and puts the state of Israel in the company of a handful of regimes around the world which regularly keep journalists from doing their jobs.
We call on the Israeli authorities to lift this ban immediately in line with the decision of their own country's Supreme Court and the basic principles of democratic statehood.
If these pictures are of Phosphorous bombs and causing the wounds described by Dr Mads Gilbert this is a clearly a war crime - just as collective punishment is.
The silence of the Church. The silence of the Politicians .. is palpable.
UPDATE 6th Jan 2008 1000 GMT :
Unconventional Weapons against The People of Gaza
Interview with Dr. Mads Gilbert by Akram al-Sattari
"we have clear evidence that the Israelis are using a new type of very high explosive weapons which are called Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME) (see Wikipedia) and are made out of a tungsten alloy.
These weapons have an enormous power to explode.
The power of the explosion dissipates very quickly and the strength does not travel long (far ?), maybe 10 meters, but those humans who are hit by this explosion, this pressure wave are cut in pieces.
This was first used in Lebanon in 2006, it was used here in Gaza in 2006 and the injuries that we see in Shifa [Hospital] now, many many of them I suspect and we all suspect are the effect of DIME weapons used by the Israelis.
On the long term, these weapons will have a cancer effect on those who survive. They will develop cancer we suspect. There has been very little research on this but some research has been among other places in the United States, which show that these weapons have a high tendency to develop cancer. So they kill and those who survive risk having cancer."
Global Security : Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME) is uniquely suited for Low Collateral Damage. It produces lower pressure but increased impulse in the near field. Far Field damage is reduced (no frags/ impulse rolloff). The lethal footprint can be tuned to precision footprint. Strike Weapon Scaling Tests were completed in August of 2004), and full-scale Mk-82 tests were in the planning stage as of early 2005. DARPA funded RPG defense system feasibility tests in January 2005, which were successful.
Additional Small Diameter Bomb funding (ie what the GBU- 39 s) would allow the facilities to continue development of a Focused Lethality Munition (FLM) using the Dense Inert Metal Explosive technology integrated into SDB I. With lawmakers' approval, the dollars would allow AFRL to "continue to mature FLM technology. The armament center would integrate the technology with the SDB I baseline model within the advanced technology demonstration construct and demonstrates utility through a flight test program.
It is noteworthy in regard to what Dr Gilbert says that when testing ...
"AFRL encountered survivability problems of conventional air-blast transducers while measuring the close-in blast environment from DIME charges."
"According to the Israeli daily Haaretz October 12th 2006 , the weapon was launched from drones in the summer of 2006, most of them in July, and led to "abnormally serious" physical injuries. Physicians in the Gaza Strip noted the pattern of wounds they were treating were unusual, with severed legs that showed signs of severe heat at the point of amputation but no metal shrapnel. The American version is still in a testing stage and had not been used on the battlefield at that time. It has not been "declared an illegal weapon", though the weapon was claimed [without described basis] to be "highly carcinogenic and harmful to the environment".
Haaretz reported ..."Israel Air Force Maj.-Gen (res.) Yitzhak Ben-Israel, formerly head of the IDF's weapons-development program, told the Italian reporters that "one of the ideas [behind the weapon] is to allow those targeted to be hit without causing damage to bystanders or other persons."
On the matter of DIME, Ben-Israel told the Italian reporters that "this is a technology that allows the striking of very small targets." ...like children ?
According to those who testified, the wounded were hit by munitions launched from drones, most of them in July. (If this isn't a war crime please explain why ?)
According to the U.S.-based website Defense-Tech, "the result is an incredibly destructive blast in a small area" and "the destructive power of the mixture causes far more damage than pure explosive." It adds that "the impact of the micro-shrapnel seems to cause a similar but more powerful effect than a shockwave."
The report says that the weapon is not banned by international law, especially since it has not been officially tested.
This is unspeakable - testing lethal weapons on civilian populations.
It must be stopped. NOW ...without delay.
Our hitherto silent Mid East envoy who enjoys such a close working relationship with gorgeous, pouting, leggy and lovely brunette Ruth Turner , was on the BBC4 "Today" programme this morning. It was Ruth , who now runs his office at Yale University (real handy for her dad's office as well) who acted as the Number 10 go between for Lord Levy, when he was trawling for funds for the 2005 election offering coronets for cash amongst his rich North London pals such as Sir David Garrard, Barry Townsley, and Andrew Rosenfeld.
Anyway Tony surprised us all by representing the West Bank as a booming economy under the wise hands of the Quisling Abbas and explained that Bethlehem was now awash with visitors.
Evidently there has recently been a concerted PR campaign to boost the upturn in visitors to Bethlehem - but it is a picture that is somwhat distorted.
Ynet reported on Christmas Day (when elsewhere the murderous genocidal Government set "Cast lead" in motion in Gaza ) that, "Thousands of Christian pilgrims gathered in Bethlehem's Manger Square on Wednesday to celebrate Christmas under the protection of security forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
It appears that 500 extra security men arrived from Ramallah and Jericho to provide security for the religious festival. Similar deployments have taken place across the West Bank over the past year with US backing.
The picture painted of happy Christians jostling the crowded streets was somehow tarnished by the news that , "About 900 from Gaza applied for Israeli permission to go to the site where Christians believe Jesus was born, but only 300 got it." .. of course, whether they got back to Gaza we don't know.
It is also possible that the concrete 8 metre high (26 feet) apartheid wall with watchtowers which visitors can enjoy viewing between Jerusalem and Bethlehem as an ugly scar defiling holy Christian sites lends a sombre backdrop to this joyous and bustling crowd.
However Tourism ROI is a trifle more upbeat listing the intense efforts made by Governments - rather reminscent of the Liverpool Garden festival extravaganza organised by Michael Heseltine after the Toxteth Riots ....
Visitors to Manger Square arrive through streets repaved by Germany, past stairways rebuilt by Norway and walk through a marketplace constructed by Japan. The square itself, rebuilt by Japan and the USA, is now a gracious stone-paved plaza, no longer a parking lot for tour buses. A Swedish-funded Peace Center is under construction nearby....
Curiously all of this extravagant international funding on "cultural heritage preservation and promotion, and tourism development" appears to have by - passed Gaza.
Ecumencial News International must have reacted to the same briefings from the Government and reported on 22nd December that that Bethlehem, had celebrated its one millionth visitor of the year in November and expected at least 100 000 more visitors by the end of 2008 - and the Pope to visit in May 2009.
Chairman of Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce did explain to journalists that the 100 tour buses that arrive daily allow their visitors only a 2 hour visit - due to delays and problems as buses have to negotiate an Israeli-manned checkpoint, or to walk through a labyrinth-like checkpoint.
With 23% unemployment Bethlehem faces a brain drain, as many of the educated population emigrate because of the lack of job opportunities.
There are great hopes however of an agreement for a French light industrial zone and a training centre which has been attracted by insurance from the IFC [International Finance Corporation] of the World Bank on their investment.
However all is not going too smoothly for this project as the land for the industrial zone has not yet been identified due to difficulties created by the “Israeli occupation”. Apparently President Sarkozy was due to arrive on June 22nd to lay the cornerstone but as district head Al-Ta'mari ahs pointed out Zone A is unavailable "due to the siege that has reached the borders of the city and of which nothing remains ". As for Zone B the Israelis are preventing any Palestinian effort on it, and the Israelis forbid construction in the C areas totally under Israeli control.
The American Jewish Committee’s Paris representative, Valerie Hoffenberg, visited Bethlehem on June 12, 2008 acting as President Sarkozy's "envoy" in advance of his visit try to sort this out, without success. (See Footnote)
See the other orchestrated reports in the Kuwaiti Arab Times the China Post and of course the good old BBC,"Tourist revival boosts Bethlehem "
FOOTNOTE : ...or what Tony missed out about the wonders of economic boom in the West Bank.
The American Jewish Committee "A century of Leadership", operates Project Interchange where they ,"provid(e) educational seminars in Israel for America’s political, civic, ethnic and religious leaders" On December 19th 2008 , happily coinciding with the PR brouha outlined above Valerie Hoffenberg, director of AJC France led a delegation of French Muslim civic leaders including a police commissioner, the president of the French Young Entrepreneurs group, and the general director of a French television and radio station.
David A.Harris, Executive Director, American Jewish Committee (AJC) was lucky enough for the Jerusalem Post to publish his modestly one sided article "Why Israel had no choice ", on December 3oth.
The group met privately with Israeli President Shimon Peres. The trip included visits to Jewish, Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, and the obligatory visit to Yad Vashem. The delegation also visited Ramallah and Bethlehem, and met with Palestinian Authority officials, including President Mahmoud Abbas - Gaza with it's teeming crowds of Muslims was somehow missed off this tour itinerary.
Jean-David Levitte , President Nicolas Sarkozy's Jewish diplomatic adviser on Middle East and North African affairs , who was French Ambassador to Washington until 2007 also joined the party. Levitte is also the new head of Sarkozy's new US style National Security Council (text June 2008) and there are fears (Figaro) that he might eclipse fellow Jew Bernard Kouchner the current Minister for Foreign Affairs .
Kouchner and Levitte broke ranks with the French government in 2003, refusing to oppose the invasion of Iraq. Kouchner published an article in Le Monde arguing the positives in toppling Saddam Hussein. Kouchner was described by neo con Richard "bomb 'em from 20,000 feet" Holbrooke as ‘an effective early advocate of “humanitarian intervention”’.
Sylvain Semhoun, the representative of Sarkozy’s Union for Popular Movement (UMP), told the Jerusalem Post, “Israel got lucky [with Kouchner]. Israelis should thank God it’s him and not Vedrine“
It cannot be forgottten either that Likud chairman, and likely next Israeli prime Minister, Binyamin 'Bibi' Netanyahu has said that with the coming to power of his friend Sarkozy, he expects French Middle East policy “will no longer be characterized by reflective anti-Israelism.”
"Cast Lead" the current phase in the Israeli genocide plan for the Palestinians in Gaza which kicked off before 9/11
The Invasion of Gaza: "Operation Cast Lead", Part of a Broader Israeli Military-Intelligence Agenda by Michel Chossudovsky @ Global Research.
He argues that Operation "Cast Lead" is but the latest phase in the so called "Operation Justified Vengeance" which is also called the "Dagan Plan", named after General (ret.) Meir Dagan, now head of Mossad.
"Operation Justified Vengeance" was presented in July 2001 (note this was prior to 9/11 - see Stepehen Sniegoski) to the Israeli government of Ariel Sharon by IDF chief of staff Shaul Mofaz, under the title "The Destruction of the Palestinian Authority and Disarmament of All Armed Forces".
"A contingency plan, codenamed Operation Justified Vengeance, was drawn up last June  to reoccupy all of the West Bank and possibly the Gaza Strip at a likely cost of "hundreds" of Israeli casualties." (Washington Times, 19 March 2002).
These included several steps which he identifies..
1. The assassination in November 2004 of Yasser Arafat "Arafat, the person, is a severe threat to the security of the state [of Israel], and the damage which will result from his disappearance is less than the damage caused by his existence."
2. The removal, under the orders of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2005, of all Jewish settlements in Gaza. A Jewish population of over 7,000 was relocated.
3. The building of the infamous Apartheid Wall
4. The Hamas election victory in January 2006. Without Arafat, the Israeli military-intelligence architects knew that Fatah under Mahmoud Abbas would loose the elections. This was part of the scenario, which had been envisaged and analyzed well in advance and the quisling Abbas installed as the chosen leader for the Arabs, eventually, after the schism with Hamas had been manufactured..
With Hamas in charge of the Palestinian authority, using the pretext that Hamas is a terrorist organization, Israel would carry out the process of "cantonization" as formulated under the Dagan plan. Fatah under Mahmoud Abbas would remain formally in charge of the West Bank. The duly elected Hamas government would be confined to the Gaza strip.
5. We are now seeing the " invasion of Palestinian-controlled territory by some 30,000 Israeli soldiers, with the clearly defined mission of destroying the infrastructure of the Palestinian leadership and collecting weaponry currently possessed by the various Palestinian forces, and expelling or killing its military leadership. "((Ellis Shulman, "Operation Justified Vengeance": a Secret Plan to Destroy the Palestinian Authority, March 2001):
6. Mass expulsion could occur at some later stage of the ground invasion, were the Israelis to open up Gaza's borders to allow for an exodus of population. Expulsion was referred to by Ariel Sharon as the "a 1948 style solution". For Sharon "it is only necessary to find another state for the Palestinians. -'Jordan is Palestine' - was the phrase that Sharon coined." (Tanya Reinhart, Evil Unleashed, Israel's move to destroy the Palestinian Authority is a calculated plan, long in the making, Global Research, December 2001. Details of the document were published in Ma'ariv, July 6, 2001.).
It is of interest that the Ruritanian Hashemites sat in Amman are surprisingly vociferous in their opposition to "Cast lead" - the last thing they wish, is a further influx of Palestinian refugees.
7. The broader question Chossudovsky ponders is ," whether Israel in consultation with Washington is intent upon triggering a wider war."
To which the answer of anyone familiar with the wails from AIPAC over the last 2 years means an outright attack on Iran.
PS : Stepehn Sigorski in "September 11 and the war in Palestine " makes a persuasive case that that in the context of the American "war on terrorism," "Sharon got his green light in Washington" to smash the Palestinians.
He says, " it seems reasonable to propose that if the Israeli spies in the United States did know of the impending 9/11 attack, they certainly would not have done anything to try to prevent it. Indeed, it is conceivable that they might have sought to facilitate such an ideal condition, if such assistance became necessary. Such an explanation would account for the presence of the Israeli explosive experts in the United States ..."
"Given the kid-gloves treatment the major American media afford Israel, there seems to be virtually no chance that their reporters might plumb the depths of a murky conspiracy to implicate the Israelis in 9/11. Thus far the established media have managed to ignore the whole Israeli spy issue — especially the question, which cries out for an answer, of what all those spies were doing on these shores. The likelihood that the U.S. government wanted a terrorist incident to provide the rationale for military intervention would provide additional reason, if one were required, why no Israeli involvement in the vast crimes of 9/11 would ever be uncovered. "
Monday, January 05, 2009
Iraqi President Maliki snubs opening of US Iraqi Embassy jets off to Iran to see Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, VP, Parviz Davoudi
Whilst Israel continues its murderous genocidal mission in Gaza Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki has been on a jolly for a couple of days this weekend to meet Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iranian Vice-President Parviz Davoudi and Foreign Minister Manushaher Mottaki.
Al Maliki told reporters before he left Teheran that his visit had resulted of the formation of a supreme joint committee and a follow up committee for bilateral relations development.
He noted as well that it has been agreed to form a services company with Iran when Iraq is completely stable and when the national unity government starts reconstruction affirming that he is looking forward for Iraq’s help in rebuilding Iraq (despite squillions squandered and years wasted by USAID etc.,
Maliki made it clear that Iraq will cooperate not only with Iran but with other countries in the region such as Saudi Arabia, Syria and Turkey in order to accelerate development and prosperity in Iraq.
Al Maliki confirmed in an interview on Iranian State Television that his government will not allow Iraq territories to be sued as the basis of a threat against its neighbors.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned Al Maliki that “treacherous” United States habitually broke pacts like one it recently concluded on American troops quitting Iraq.
Khamenei “pointed at the American government's mischief and efforts to consolidate its domination and plunder the resources of the country.”
He reiterated Iran’s view that the presence of U.S. and British forces was largely to blame for violence and other problems in Iraq.
This trip meant that President Maliki was unavailable for the opening ceremony of the vast new US Embassy (the largest they have anywhere in the world , on 104 acres , which will house 4,000 staff) in the Green Zone amidst massive security. Ryan C. Crocker, the current American ambassador, spoke, as well as John D. Negroponte, the first ambassador to Iraq after the invasion in 2003 and currently the deputy Secretary of State.
This also conicided with the return of Saddam Hussein's principal palace which the US have been temporarily using for 5 years.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani praised President Bush and the United States.
“Allow me to express our firm belief that America’s history will have a most favorable view of the liberation of Iraq, and the creation of a democratic, federal and independent Iraq which will serve as a model to be emulated by other peoples of the eastern world.”