US veto blocks UN anti-Israel resolution

The UN Security Council has been unable to force an end to Israeli attacks against Gaza due to the intervention of the United States.


bageri_d20081228113347218Washington once again used its veto powers on Sunday to block a resolution calling for an end to the massive ongoing Israeli attacks against the Gaza Strip. 

The council has only been able to issue a ‘non-binding’ statement that calls on Israel to voluntarily bring all its military activities in the besieged region to an immediate end. 

The statement comes as Israel has begun a fresh wave of air strikes on Gaza on Sunday, killing at least six people. At least 230 people were killed and 800 wounded in similar attacks on Saturday. The number of Palestinians deaths has so far risen to 271. 

The council called on the parties to address the humanitarian crisis in the territory but has not criticized the Israeli air attacks. 

Croatian UN Ambassador Neven Jurica read out the non-binding statement on behalf of the 15-member body that “called for an immediate halt to all violence” and on the parties “to stop immediately all military activities.” 

“The members of the Security Council expressed serious concern at the escalation of the situation in Gaza,” he said, as the president of the council. 

The council also requested the opening of border crossings into Gaza to address the serious humanitarian and economic needs in Gaza and to ensure medical treatment and a continuous supply of food and fuel. 

US representative to the UNSC, Zalmay Khalilzad, defended the Israeli move, saying Tel Aviv has the right to self-defense. 

“I regret the loss of any of all innocent life,” he said, adding that Hamas rockets precipitated this situation. 

Palestinian fighters in the Gaza Strip fire rockets into Israel in retaliation for the daily Israeli attacks against them. Unlike the state-of-the-art Israeli weapons and ammunition, the home-made Qassam rockets rarely cause casualties. 

The US, a staunch ally to Israel, has so far vetoed over 40 anti-Israeli resolutions sought by the council since 1972. 

Since 2004, Washington has prevented the adoption of four other resolutions that called for Tel Aviv to halt its operations in the Gaza Strip. 

America on the verge of defeat

Soldier Crying

Soldier Crying

The United Iraqi Alliance, which is the biggest political establishment of the country, announced its opposition to the security agreement between Baghdad and Washington. This political establishment rose in opposition happened after they put forth an effort to coerce their party members to sign the agreement with America. This move of theirs was unexpected to many Americans.

The day before this opposition was announced the people of Iraq widely protested the agreement showing their negative reaction and clearly announcing their opposition to the world.

Religious authorities of Iraq showed their opposition to this agreement in many stages and warned the present politicians in Baghdad to not fall into the pressure and sign the agreement.

In addition to this, the Religious Scholars of Iraq, a Sunni organization, expressed their opposition to this agreement.

Before this, Mashahdani, Iraq’s speaker of the parliament who also heads one of the parliaments sub-committees clearly stated that the Iraqi parliament will never sign this agreement.

In such conditions the Arab Lawyers Union, which is an Arab political organization stationed in Cairo, leaked the hidden aspects of this agreement by explaining the points of the security agreement between Baghdad and Washington. They also warned the Iraqis from signing it.

full article: http://www.insight-info.com

Ahmadinejad – Larry King: Iran opens door to ‘friendly’ US relations

IR Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

IR Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Iran’s president says he is interested in ‘friendly’ relation with Washington, regardless of who is in charge of the White House.

 

In an interview with CNN’s Larry King Live, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he is willing to meet with both US presidential candidates, Senators Barack Obama and John McCain but had no preference between the two.

“We believe that these are issues relating to the domestic affairs of the United States. And decisions pertaining to that must be made by the American people,” he said.

When asked whether Obama’s proposal to meet would interest him, Ahmadinejad said he does not rely on the promises candidates make in the ‘campaign period’.

“(During this time,) anyone can say anything. So we disregard that. What matters is that once someone is in office, we have to watch and see if that person will bring about some changes in policy or continue the same old path,” he expounded.

 

Full article: www.insight-info.com

A hot but happy summer

America’s goal was to seek revenge from Hizbollah for its victory in the 33-Day-War and establishing a government completely dependent on it in Lebanon. But, this scenario was destroyed with the strategical error of Fuad Siniora’s cabinet deciding to take away Hizbollah’s telecommunication capabilities.

 About six months ago, David Walsh, an undersecretary for the Department of State, in a travel to Saudi Arabia talked about a hot and difficult summer for Lebanon. Soon after these remarks American politicians and military started changing their actions in the region. Washington, with the excuse of strengthening the Lebanese military and helping the government in Beirut, armed the 14th of March Political Party and prepared them for a hot and difficult summer with many weapons. A few months ago over 3000 armed personnel were ready to play their role carrying out American orders. In this framework, George Bush labeled Hizbollah a terrorist organization and his readiness to destroy it. The general that was the head in Afghanistan and Iraq was deployed to Beirut to announce the readiness of the paramilitary wing of the 14th of March Political Party for this hot and difficult summer. The last link to this scenario was the deployment of the American Battleship Cole to the Mediterranean and its entrance to the Lebanese shore.

 Everything was ready for Walsh’s hot summer until America, with the excuse of a Lebanese civil war and the effects of it in the region and well as world peace and with a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for the direct presence of its military in Lebanon.

Full article: www.insight-info.com

A DECLARATION OF U.S. INDEPENDENCE FROM ISRAEL

Israel, without the United States, would probably not exist. The country came perilously close to extinction during the October 1973 war when Egypt, trained and backed by the Soviet Union, crossed the Suez Canal and the Syrians poured in over the Golan Heights. Huge American military transport planes came to the rescue. They began landing every half-hour to refit the battered Israeli army, which had lost most of its heavy armor. By the time the war as over, the United States had given Israel $2.2 billion in emergency military aid.

The intervention, which enraged the Arab world, triggered the OPEC oil embargo that for a time wreaked havoc on Western economies. This was perhaps the most dramatic example of the sustained life-support system the United States has provided to the Jewish state. Israel was born at midnight May 14, 1948. The U.S. Recognized the new state 11 minutes later. The two countries have been locked in a deadly embrace ever since.

Washington, at the beginning of the relationship, was able to be a moderating influence. An incensed President Eisenhower demanded and got Israel’s withdrawal after the Israelis occupied Gaza in 1956. During the Six-Day War in 1967, Israeli warplanes bombed the USS Liberty. The ship, flying the U.S. Flag and stationed 15 miles off the Israeli coast, was intercepting tactical and strategic communications from both sides. The Israeli strikes killed 34 U.S. Sailors and wounded 171. The deliberate attack froze, for a while, Washington’s enthusiasm for Israel. But ruptures like this one proved to be only bumps, soon smoothed out by an increasingly sophisticated and well-financed Israel lobby that set out to merge Israel and American foreign policy in the Middle East.

Israel has reaped tremendous rewards from this alliance. It has been given more than $140 billion in U.S. Direct economic and military assistance. It receives about $3 billion in direct assistance annually, roughly one-fifth of the U.S. Foreign aid budget. Although most American foreign aid packages stipulate that related military purchases have to be made in the United States, Israel is allowed to use about 25 percent of the money to subsidize its own growing and profitable defense industry. It is exempt, unlike other nations, from accounting for how it spends the aid money. And funds are routinely siphoned off to build new Jewish settlements, bolster the Israeli occupation in the Palestinian territories and construct the security barrier, which costs an estimated $1 million a mile.

The barrier weaves its way through the West Bank, creating isolated pockets of impoverished Palestinians in ringed ghettos. By the time the barrier is finished it will probably in effect seize up to 40 percent of Palestinian land. This is the largest land grab by Israel since the 1967 war. And although the United States officially opposes settlement expansion and the barrier, it also funds them.

Full article: www.insight-info.com

Bush forced to rethink plan to keep Iraq bases

Faced with Iraqi anger over a US plan to enable Washington to keep military forces in the country indefinitely, George Bush is offering concessions to the government of Nouri al-Maliki in an effort to
salvage an agreement, it emerged yesterday.

bush rome

The proposed terms of the impending deal, which were first revealed in The Independent, have had a predictably explosive political effect inside Iraq. Negotiations between Washington and Baghdad grew fraught, with Iraqi politicians denouncing US demands to maintain a permanent grip on the country through the establishment of permanent military
bases.

Officials complained that the plan which allows US troops to occupy permanent bases, conduct military operations, arrest Iraqis and enjoy immunity from Iraqi law, would turn Iraq into a colony of the US, and
create the conditions for unending conflict both in Iraq and the Middle East.

With Washington’s Iraqi allies rising up in revolt against the plans, Mr Bush ordered a negotiating shift this weekend after speaking to Mr Maliki, the Iraqi Prime Minister. “Now the American position is much
more positive and more flexible than before,” a leading Iraqi negotiator in the talks was quoted as saying.

Senior Iraqi officials want a major reduction of the US military footprint in Iraq as soon as the UN Security Council mandate approving their presence expires at the end of the year. Iraqi officials also want US forces confined to barracks unless the Iraqis ask for their assistance. Emboldened by recent successes by Iraqi security forces, many officials want the US troops to leave altogether.

Full Article: www.insight-info.com

Cheerleading Genocide

With spectacular fanfare and a plethora of highlighted events, Israel celebrated its 60th birthday on 18 May 2008.

israel 60

According to an Israeli government website called Israelfestival.com, the festival included “non-stop entertainment, [a] fashion show, a variety of ethnic food for sale, Israeli folk dancing, arts and
crafts, Israeli and Jewish cultural and heritage pavilions and art exhibits”.

The centrepiece ceremony takes place in West Jerusalem and be attended by Israel’s political and military leaders as well as foreign dignitaries. Among those expected are US President George W Bush,
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Israeli media and non-governmental organisations have already begun celebrations in earnest. For example, Israeli television has begun airing a new series called Shishim (meaning “60”), which looks back at the six decades since Israel was created in May 1948. The series, which began 31 March, is divided into six episodes, each devoted to one of the decades following the founding of the state.

Israel hopes that the high-pitched celebrations will serve as an opportunity to promote Israel and enhance its questionable standing abroad. “It is an opportunity to celebrate our achievements, our
successes, our national being,” boasted Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who was not yet born in 1948.

From the Zionist viewpoint, Israel is a story of success. Today, Israel is a political and military force to be reckoned with, even if its power is based on the patronage of foreign entities. A country of
no more than seven million people, including nearly 1.5 million non-Jews (mainly Palestinians), Israel more or less directs the politics and policies of world’s only superpower, the United States, thanks mainly to powerful Jewish lobbies in Washington.

The power of the Jewish lobby largely explains how massive American financial and military support is to Israel, which is measured in hundreds of billions of dollars. Were it not for this nearly unlimited
financial, economic, technological, political and military backing, Israel would never have been able to survive, especially given its predator tactics.

Israel, which has been mounting a vitriolic incitement campaign against Iran for its acquisition of nuclear technology, is a nuclear power on par with other established nuclear powers, and its military
supremacy — at least until summer of 2006 — has covered the vast bulk of the Middle East from Turkey to Iran and from North Africa to east and central Africa.

Economically, Israel is also a regional economic superpower, with a GNP bordering on $0.5 trillion. In fact, Israel is among a few pioneering states in the field of electronics and the development of
new generations of medicine, with Israeli pharmaceutical firms’ share of the world market reaching billions of dollars.

Notwithstanding all its success and achievements, Israel remains a state based on racism, apartheid and criminality against the Palestinian people whose homeland it seized and whom it is trying to
obliterate to this day. To be sure, Israel has failed. Palestinians remain, both as a human entity and as a national entity.

Israel, in order to achieve its goals, always sought to acquire, by hook or by crook, as much Palestinian land as possible while taking in as few Palestinian people as possible. The policies and tactics employed by Israel to achieve this goal are both blunt and insidious and amount to ethnic cleansing and the international crime of genocide. Israel has institutionalised racism, bulldozed hundreds of Palestinian towns and villages, shamelessly confiscated Palestinian land and property, including private homes, and recently built the so-called “Separation Wall” in the West Bank, aimed first and foremost at annexing to Israel as much Palestinian land as possible.

On top of all of this, Israel has perfected the practice of state-sponsored mass terror; a deliberate policy aimed at making Palestinian life as unbearable as possible with the ultimate goal of forcing Palestinians to leave their homes and land altogether. This is done in broad daylight; in full view of key world powers, such as the US, EU, Russia and China, which either keep silent or issue a few terse and innocuous words about the need to stick to a peace process that has form but very little substance.

Today, as Israel is getting ready to celebrate its 60th birthday, the massive theft of Palestinian land in the West Bank, especially in East Jerusalem and its surroundings, continues unabated. Against all odds, the Palestinian people have survived. Indeed, Palestinian resilience to Israeli oppression is legendary — a trait that continues to baffle and frustrate Israeli strategists. Perhaps it is this resilience that is encouraging influential Israeli political, military and religious leaders to openly call for genocide of the Palestinians.

Recently, Israel’s Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai threatened to “inflict a greater holocaust” on Palestinians. Similarly, a growing number of rabbis associated with the two largest religious camps in
Israel, the Haredi ultra-Orthodox religious sector and the national Zionist religious sector, issuing one edict after the other, permitting soldiers to murder at will Palestinian civilians, including children, on the grounds that in war all among the enemy population ought to be treated as combatants, including children.

One might imagine that this is exaggerated, but it is not. Recently Rabbi Yisrael Rosen, director of the Tsomet Institute, a religious seminary attended by Israeli settlers in the West Bank, declared: “All
of the Palestinians must be killed; men, women, infants, and even their beasts.” And the chief rabbi of the City of Safad, Shmuel Eliyahu, urged the state and the army recently to hang the children of
a Palestinian fighter who last month attacked the Merkaz Haarav Centre, run for Jewish settlers in West Jerusalem, killing eight pre-military Talmudic students in retaliation for the killing by the Israeli army of more than 130 Palestinians, most of them innocent civilians, in the Gaza Strip.

The mushrooming of fascist impulses is not confined to the religious sector. In March, the Israeli media quoted Knesset members and former cabinet ministers as threatening to extend discriminatory laws against non-Jews in ways reminiscent of Nuremberg Laws passed in Nazi Germany. One Israeli Knesset member reportedly told his Arab colleague: “the day will come when we will kick you out of this house.”

Such instances raise no eyebrows in a country where some rabbis, like David Batsri, openly teach that non-Jews are animals and donkeys. A recent opinion survey published this week showed that as many as 75 per cent of Israeli Jews support ethnic cleansing of Arabs from mandate Palestine — Israel proper and the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
Understandably, the poll drew angry reactions from the Israeli Arab community. Jamal Zahalqa, an Israeli Arab Knesset member, suggested that Arabs are being treated in ways similar to the way Jews were treated in the Third Reich ahead of World War II.

“The hateful smell of racism and fascism is wafting everywhere in this country. You must know that we didn’t come to Israel from abroad… On the contrary; it was Israel that invaded us. We are the indigenous people of the land, and we receive our legitimacy from our belonging to this land, not from having Israeli citizenship,” he said.

Zahalqa described the poll as “additional evidence underscoring the growing rampancy of racism and fascism in Israel as a result of the ongoing waves of hate against everything and anything Arab.”

The fears of Zahalqa and other Israeli Arabs are real. Recently, hundreds of Arab residents from Jaffa, Lod and Ramleh took to the streets to protest against the planned eviction by the state of thousands of Arab residents from Jaffa. Authorities had issued warrants for the evacuation and destruction of hundreds of homes, claiming infringements on building regulations. The state also claimed that, “the families [had] lost the right to continue living in their homes, since these homes belonged to their parents … ”

“We are here and we won’t leave. We will either live on this land or die on this land. We will not let you touch our lands or our holy places,” said Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the Arab movement in Israel. “All your rulings belong in the trashcan. We are not afraid of you. We will continue to live in our homeland,” he added.

Last year, Richard Falk, a renowned American Jewish professor of international law and practice, wrote an article entitled “Slouching toward a Palestinian holocaust,” in which he warned that Israel was moving towards the perpetration of a holocaust against the Palestinians. “Is it an irresponsible overstatement to associate the treatment of Palestinians with this criminalised Nazi record of collective atrocity? I think not,” said Falk.

Justifying the Israel-equals-Nazi analogy, Falk argued that developments in Gaza (the blockade against its estimated 1.5 million inhabitants), were especially disturbing because they expressed
vividly a deliberate intention on the part of Israel and its backers to subject an entire human community to life- endangering conditions of maximal cruelty. “The suggestion that this pattern of conduct is a holocaust-in-the-making represents a rather desperate appeal to the governments of the world and to international public opinion to act urgently to prevent these current genocidal tendencies from culminating into a collective tragedy,” Falk wrote.

In sum, from the standpoint of fascism, Israel has much to celebrate in terms of political and military achievements. But in terms of justice, morality and humanity, one struggles to name a country on
earth that so openly practices oppression and racism. As such Israel, on its 60th birthday, remains what it was when born six decades ago: a state built on blood, murder, theft and lies.

Is Israel about to change its ways? Don’t hold your breath, Israeli leaders might say. Unless, that is, you’re Palestinian.

in Ramallah

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