This video, smuggled out of Israel, purports to show the execution of the US citizen aboard the Gaza flotilla by Israeli Defense Forces. Whether this is the US citizen or not, the execution of this civilian by Israeli military is chilling and it shows exactly why all camera film was confiscated besides the IDF controlled footage.
Archive for the 'media' Category
I am thrilled to see that sending email to a US government agency can get our government to bow down to popular pressure to stop their evil ways… at least temporarily.
Mohammed Omer is a young and gifted reporter from Gaza who is known as one who gives a “voice to the voiceless,” documenting life in Gaza in work critical of anyone who does wrong, including Israel and Hamas. He won the prestigious Martha Gelhorn award for reporting a while back and was beaten severely as he returned to Gaza, by Israeli security forces, who tried to steal his award money! He is now scheduled to come to the USA on a speaking tour and was denied a visa from the US Consulate in Amsterdam, seemingly changing the speaking tour into a skype tour.
I and a host of others wrote the Consulate, imploring them to issue a visa to this good man. I received this reply on 3/26:
The U.S. Consulate General in Amsterdam informed Mr. Al Moghayer on Thursday, March 25, 2010, that his visa was ready for issuance.
I wrote back asking who the heck they were talking about and was just informed today that he apparently has a writing name and that his real name is Al Moghayer.
Doubtless AIPAC and other Israeli lobbyists were behind the denial in the first place. I am glad to have been part of a different kind of lobby in the pressure laid on our government to actually serve it’s people and not the secret combinations that currently exist… at least for a moment in time.
Did anyone read about this in the news? Was it popping out of the front page like the recent missile attack from Gaza by a group very few Palestinians support? Why do you have to hear it from me first? Ask your local newspaper editor about that.
This afternoon the Israeli military killed 16-year old Mohammad Qadus from Iraq Burin, a village south of Nablus, with a live round on his heart. A second youth, Asaud Qadus, 19 years old, was critically injured after being shot in the head. Mohammad was trying to carry Asaud to safety when he was hit.
Today, just as every Saturday in the last few weeks, settlers from the settlement of Bracha attacked the village of Iraq Burin. The community of around 600 people has lost over 100 dunum to the settlers who claim more land.
Eyewitnesses report that today the number of settlers and Israeli military was unusually high. At around noon, settlers and soldiers invaded the village.
People stepped out of their homes to defend their village and a struggle ensued. The military took up positions with several jeeps at strategic points and chased the youth in the streets of Iraq Burin.
They shot tear gas, sound grenades and life ammunition randomly at homes and people. Asaud Qadus was shot by live ammunition in the head. Young Mohammad ran to carry the injured youth to safety but was himself targeted in the heart by live ammunition.
Medics and ambulances were prevented from entering the small community. Only after a long time both youth were allowed to be carried out of the village and to a hospital in private cars. Mohammad was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital in Nablus while Asaud is still in critical condition.
Two people were arrested but no further details are known about them yet.
Mohammad was the latest victim shot while protesting since Bassem Abu Rahmah, 31, was killed by a high velocity tear gas canister in Bi’lin last April. His death comes only two weeks after Ehab Barghouti, a 14-year-old boy from Nabi Saleh village near Ramallah was shot in the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet by the Israeli military on 5 March 2010. He is still in critical condition.
Killing children with live ammunition is not an accident, It is a crime. Of the 16 people killed by the Israeli military in connection with anti-Wall protests since 2002, half were under the age of 18.
The pattern of killings related to anti-Wall protests shows that the occupation forces engage in killings cycles: during a wave of killings in 2004/2005 8 were killed, then again between July 2008/ April 2009 6 were killed. This is very likely just the start of yet another wave of killings.
This systematic criminal policy against our people is a war crime and supports the settlers in stealing Palestinian land. Israel will continue with its shoot-to-kill policy against our children and youth until the international community starts to hold it accountable for its crimes.
Read this entry from Facebook on Mohammed Othman, how he is a politcal prisoner of Israel because of his peaceful efforts to encourage divestment, sanctions and boycott against Israel to pressure it to ease oppression of Gaza. Before I paste in what was written about him, I’d like to point out that yes, I know there are political prisoners in Iran and in other parts of the world. Why don’t I write about them and give them equal face time instead of being a “one trick pony?” The reason I harp on Israel and the US is because, our media does not do it’s job in reporting on this sort of thing. Anyone heard of Mohammed Othman from the US press? Anyone heard of political prisoners in Iran from the US press? Need I say any more?
I also write of Israel’s political prisoners rather than Iran’s political prisoners because, the US supports Israel massively with economic, military and moral support. We do this while ignoring Israel’s massive human rights violations and murders. Now for the news on Othman:
[Ramallah, 24 November 2009] On 23 November 2009, after 61 days of detention for the purpose of interrogation by Israeli Security Agency officers, human rights defender Mohammad Othman received his first administrative detention order. The administrative detention order is set for a three month period, during which time Mohammad will be held without charge or trial. The judicial review of the order is scheduled to take place on 25 November at the Military Court of Administrative Detainees in Ofer Military Base, near the West Bank city of Ramallah. IMG_0119 (2)The administrative detention order against Mohammad comes just one day after a hearing on 22 November 2009 at the Military Court of Appeals ended Mohammad’s interrogation period. In the Appeals Court hearing, the judge decided to release Mohammad because no measurable progress had been made during the two months he had been held in interrogation, no external evidence had been brought to the attention of the court and the military prosecution had been unable to formulate substantiated allegations or charges against him. The Appeals Court judge thus accepted Addameer’s appeal against the seventh extension of Mohammad’s detention, which had taken place five days earlier. At the same time, the judge ordered Mohammad’s release on 10,000 NIS bail (about $2,500 USD) and with the conditions that he not travel outside the occupied Palestinian territory, and that he regularly reports to the Israeli police. However, the military judge also gave the military prosecutor 24 hours to issue an administrative detention order against Mohammad, and remanded Mohammad to detention during this period. At 6:30 p.m. on 23 November 2009, Addameer confirmed with the Israeli Security Agency that an administrative detention order had been issued against Mohammad, and that he would not be released. Mohammad Othman, a long-time human rights defender and activist with the “Grassroots Stop the Wall Campaign”, was arrested at the Allenby Bridge Crossing between Jordan and the West Bank. On the day of his arrest, 22 September 2009, Mohammad was on his way back to Ramallah from an advocacy tour in Norway where he had been engaged in a number of speaking events. Addameer is alarmed by reports from Mohammad that he was repeatedly threatened with administrative detention during his two-month long interrogation period. Addameer believes that with these repeated threats, the Israeli interrogation police aimed to coerce Mohammad into giving a false confession to crimes he did not commit. Most recently, on 19 November, after Mohammad was transferred back to Kishon detention center from Ohalei Keidar prison in Beersheba where he had been held in a so-called “collaborators’ cell”, he was told by one of the Israeli interrogators that his detention would not be extended again and that he would be placed under administrative detention if he failed to confess. Addameer therefore contends that Mohammad’s arrest and administrative detention are completely arbitrary and are a prime example of Israel’s use of administrative detention as a substitute for prosecution, rather than as a preventative measure allowed by international humanitarian law for “imperative reasons of security” or “if the security of the Detaining Power makes it absolutely necessary” (Fourth Geneva Convention, Articles 42 and 78). Further, Addameer reiterates the position that Mohammad’s arrest constitutes a violation of a number of international human rights instruments, in particular the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. Considering that, sixty days after Mohammad’s arrest Israeli authorities have been unable to cite any legitimate suspicions or allegations to justify his detention, and that the Court of Appeals judge directed that Mohammad should be released, Addameer believes that Mohammad is being detained administratively as a punishment for his human rights activism. In addition, there is reason to believe that the Israeli military authorities use Mohammad’s continuous detention as an example to deter other activists, including those active against the occupation and the Annexation Wall in particular, from continuing their human rights work. BACKGROUND ON ADMINISTRATIVE DETENTION Administrative detention is a procedure that allows the Israeli military to hold detainees indefinitely on secret evidence without charging them or allowing them to stand trial. In the occupied Palestinian West Bank, the Israeli army is authorized to issue administrative detention orders against Palestinian civilians on the basis of Military Order 1591. This order empowers military commanders to detain an individual for up to six months renewable periods if they have “reasonable grounds to presume that the security of the area or public security require the detention.” On or just before the expiry date, the detention order is frequently renewed. This process can be continued indefinitely. There is no explicit limit to the maximum amount of time an individual may be administratively detained, leaving room for indefinite legal detention. The grounds on which someone can be detained under Military Order 1591 are also unclear, leaving it up to the military commanders to decide what constitutes “public security” and “security of the area”. Detainees subject to administrative detention orders are rarely informed of the reasons for their detention; neither are their lawyers. At the judicial review of a detention order, which is held in a closed hearing before a military judge, the judge can uphold, cancel or shorten the order. In most cases, however, administrative detention orders are confirmed for the same periods as those requested by the military commander. Although the detainee can appeal the decision at the judicial review, in practice, the vast majority of appeals are rejected. For more information about administrative detention and Addameer’s Campaign to Stop Administrative Detention please visit our website: http://www.facebook.com/l/89755;www.addameer.info. For more information about Mohammad’s arrest, please refer to previous statements and updates on the case issued by Addameer and “Stop the Wall”, or directly contact: Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association Tel: +972 (0)2 296 0446 / (0)2 297 0136 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.facebook.com/l/89755;www.addameer.info
Just pointing out a few things here. Apparently, Obama has recently reaffirmed US unofficial policy of keeping Israel’s nuclear weapons status a secret and has vowed not to pressure Israel to signing on to the NPT:
President Obama has reaffirmed a 4-decade-old secret understanding that has allowed Israel to keep a nuclear arsenal without opening it to international inspections, three officials familiar with the understanding said.
The officials, who spoke on the condition that they not be named because they were discussing private conversations, said Mr. Obama pledged to maintain the agreement when he first hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House in May.
The agreement has apparently been super-secret since 1969:
There is no formal record of the agreement nor have Israeli nor American governments ever publicly acknowledged it. In 2007, however, the Nixon library declassified a July 19, 1969, memo from national security adviser Henry Kissinger that comes closest to articulating U.S. policy on the issue. That memo says, “While we might ideally like to halt actual Israeli possession, what we really want at a minimum may be just to keep Israeli possession from becoming an established international fact.”
Mr. Cohen has said the resulting policy was the equivalent of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
The Netanyahu government sought to reaffirm the understanding in part out of concern that Iran would seek Israeli disclosures of its nuclear program in negotiations with the United States and other world powers. Iran has frequently accused the U.S. of having a double standard by not objecting to Israel’s arsenal.
Mr. Cohen said the reaffirmation and the fact that Mr. Netanyahu sought and received a written record of the deal suggest that “it appears not only that there was no joint understanding of what had been agreed in September 1969 but it is also apparent that even the notes of the two leaders may no longer exist. It means that Netanyahu wanted to have something in writing that implies that understanding. It also affirms the view that the United States is in fact a partner in Israel’s policy of nuclear opacity.”
Someone explain to me again why the US gives Israel such complete deference like this. This type of news should astound the public. However, it will not be picked up and aired out by the media and noone will notice it and everything will be back to the usual again.
At the same time, the US media is using the fake nuclear weapons expert, David Albright, to scare the US public about a nation that has absolutely no nuclear weapons:
David Albright, a former international weapons inspector and president of the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security, said it would probably take Iran some time to conceal activities. But, “if you have a month, you have the time,” he said.
Notice how Albright is referred to as a former international weapons inspector. Recall how this was thoroughly set straight by Scott Ritter not too long ago:
However, the combined efforts of the government and the willingness of the US media to print their propaganda has resulted in the manufacture of the consent of the people of the US for military action against Iran. Check out this poll, question #26 from Fox News from 9/29-30 which shows that 61% of those polled think the US should use military action to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons:
I just had a post taken off of the Mormon Worker blog for the scent of “anti-semitism” creeping into the text of what I had written. I was deploring the murder of Palestinian Arabs by Israeli Jews and noted that God knew the hearts of the Jews thousands of years ago when Isaiah wrote of them in the book of Isaiah 59:2-8. Is it anti-semitic to say such a thing? I am disgusted with the murders of any people and yet… the murders of Israelis against Palestinians occur on such a regular basis with no fanfare in the media, no mention whatsoever in the US press, no justice for the murdered and their loved ones, no punishment for the murderers, that it is particularly reprehensible to me these murders are. An Israeli murder against a Palestinian gives me more pain and causes a deeper sadness in my heart than any other type of a murder. Why does this have to be? Why does the world ignore these murders? For the next little while, this site will be one that, though dormant lately, will not ignore the deaths of Palestinians at the hands of Israeli murderers… dare I even say… Jewish murderers.
For example, this one just in today:
The Child was identified as Ghazi Maher Al Zaaanen, 13. He was shot in the head by Israeli troops stationed east of Beit Hanoun town.
He was moved to Al Shifa hospital where he was operated and remained in a critical condition for several hours before he was pronounced dead.
His body was moved to Beit Hanoun Hospital in preparation for his burial.
All people of conscience abhor the violence we see coming out of Iran, regardless of the electoral fraud issue. It is easy to abhor it when it is splashed all over our newspaper front pages and making the headlines of the nightly news. Iran is our enemy, part of the axis of evil, and thus it is easy for us to dig up their dirt and point our fingers.
However, there is a similar situation which has been occurring in the middle east for years and years (only it is much more brutal and damaging) and we are able to ignore it with great discipline. Israel recently massacred 1400 people in Gaza and our nation, including our brave President Obama, was able to hold it’s tongue and keep the carnage off of the front pages. The videos were not as visible. There were exceptions, but in general, for all intents and purposes, the dead children were not seen except for in the alternative media.
Israel has set up a regime of terror and torture and is so practiced at it that it occurs everyday. One of the recent egregious incidents is the account of the Palestinian journalist, Mohammed Omer. It has been over a year now that he returned from receiving the prestigious Martha Gelhorn award for journalism in England… only to be tortured by the Shin Bet at the border, and put into the hospital. His ill-treatment was vehemently denied and lied about by the official Israeli lying apparatus. However, his story continues to be told along with witness testimonies and medical records to back him up. One year after the incident of his torture, he writes:
Since 2003, I’ve been the voice to the voiceless in the besieged Gaza Strip for a number of publications and news programs ranging from The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs to the BBC and, Morgenbladet in Norway as well as Democracy Now! These stories exposed a carefully-crafted fiction continuing control and exploitation of five-million people. Their impact, coupled with the reporting of others served to change public opinion in the United States and Europe concerning the dynamics of Israel and its occupation of Palestine .
After receiving the Martha Gellhorn prize I returned home through the Allenby Bridge Crossing in the Occupied West Bank between Jordan and Israel. It was here I was detained, interrogated, and tortured for several hours by Shin Bet and border officers. When it appeared I may be close to death an ambulance was called to transport me to a hospital. From that day my life has been a year of continued medical treatments, pain — and a search for justice.
One of the amazing recollections of his ordeal is this:
When Associated Press reporter Karin Laub called me on my cell phone for an interview after my ordeal, I detailed how I was stripped and held at gunpoint. Her reply? “Go on,” she stated. “This is normal about what we hear happening at Ben Gurion Airport . It’s nothing new.”
Nothing new. Normal. This is what happens all the time in the middle east and it doesn’t appear on the front pages or make the nightly news. It doesn’t cause protest around the world. It doesn’t get Obama up on his soap box, pontificating about human rights abuses and freedom. (Of course, he’s too busy killing kids and the elderly at Pakistani funerals to be worrying about this sort of thing.)
Read the rest of Omer’s recollections here:
It is rather maddenning to see this man pop up as an expert in the area of nuclear weapons non-proliferation again after the revealing opinion article written on him by Scott Ritter a while back. I noted this information in a post on David Albright last July:
In his most recent interview which appears in the New York Times, Albright is scaremongering the world about the nuclear weapons capability potential of Iran. He was interviewed by a consulting editor for the Council on Foreign Relations (a group that Dick Cheney belongs to… need I say more?), and the entire interview can be found here:
Again, he is introduced as a “long time expert on Iran’s nuclear program” and right away he starts offerring advice on how to negotiate with Iran:
Don’t accommodate Iran with short-term solutions. Iran is determined to move forward right now. Compromises that the United States may offer, such as settling for merely slowing down the enrichment program, are guaranteed not to work. The important thing is to maintain the U.S. goal of an Iranian suspension of uranium enrichment.
I don’t think that Albright and people like him have the foggiest concept of the inherent right that Iran has as a member of the NPT to enrich uranium. Remember that Iran stopped enriching uranium back in 2004 in a good faith gesture during negotiations with the European Union. The EU broke its part of the bargain and then tried to get Iran back into enrichment cessation with another offer of empty gestures which Iran dismissed as an insult.
Stopping enrichment has gotten Iran nowhere fast in the past and Iran has no legal obligations to stop enrichment now either. The IAEA has been unable to discover the diversion to a weapons program of uranium enrichment and Iran is in full compliance with the NPT.
Albright then goes on to advocate a nuclear weapons-free zone in the middle east and explains how that wouldn’t affect Israel’s current stockpiles of nuclear weapons:
It’s very important right now to start talking about a Middle East free of enrichment plants and reprocessing plants [that can separate plutonium], which could be used in nuclear weapons. And so, you want to achieve a region that doesn’t have nuclear weapons capabilities. Then inevitably, bring in other players, some very much of concern to Iran. Israel would be number one…
It’s also not asking Israel to give up its nuclear weapons. It’s asking Israel to give up production of plutonium and any highly enriched uranium for nuclear weapons. They’ve already got plenty of nuclear explosive material.
Oh, I see. You want a nuclear weapons-free middle east except for the nuclear weapons that Israel already has which is enough to blow up the entire rest of the Arab and Persian world? And we seriously consider this guy to be a nuclear weapons non-proliferation expert? That he is quoted as such in the New York Times means that we have a long way to go before we come to some serious consideration of true non-proliferation efforts such as FISSBAN etc. Again, the New York Times proves that it prints all of the propaganda it can find.
Chavez today won the elimination of term limits handily by what is looking like a 7 point margin or so.
Of course, this is criticized roundly by the US Media as an autocrat seeking to become, “President for life.” When it comes to Chavez, we tend to ignore remarks like the following regarding the principle of term limits:
I’m generally not in favor of term limits… I believe in one form of term limits. They’re called elections.
Who said that? Why Obama himself.
It is interesting to see the way term limit strikedowns are handled in the US press when it comes to Venezuela in contrast to what we saw in 2005 in Colombia. Uribe won the opportunity to become “President for life,” but noone called it that in the US press. We think nothing of Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor of New York pushing for the elimitation of term limits in the mayoral race in New York, but criticize Chavez severely in the New York Times and Washington Post for doing the same thing.
The following article discusses this topic in depth and gives us a good look at term limits in relation to Venezuela, wiwth a discussion of Colombia and Uribe as well:
This is an open letter from Nader to Limbaugh:
WASHINGTON, Jan. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The following is an open letter to Rush Limbaugh from Ralph Nader:
The Rush Limbaugh Show
2 Penn Plaza
New York, NY 10121
Dear Mr. Limbaugh,
The Associated Press reports your new contract with Premiere Radio Networks will enrich you with at least $38 million a year over the next eight years. You are making this money on the public property of the American people for which you pay no rent.
You, Rush Limbaugh, are on welfare.
As you know, the public airwaves belong to the American people. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is supposed to be our trustee in managing this property. The people are the landlords and the radio and TV stations and affiliated companies are the tenants.
The problem is that since the Radio Act of 1927 these corporate tenants have been massively more powerful in Washington, DC than the tens of millions of listeners and viewers. The result has been no payment of rent by the stations for the value of their license to broadcast. You and your company are using the public’s valuable property for free. This freeloading on the backs of the American people is called corporate welfare.
It is way past due for the super-rich capitalist — Rush Limbaugh from Cape Girardeau, Missouri — to get himself off big time welfare. It is way past due for Rush Limbaugh as the Kingboy of corporatist radio to set a capitalist example for his peers and pay rent to the American people for the very lucrative use of their property.
You need not wait for the broadcast industry-indentured FCC and Congress to do the right thing. You can lead by paying a voluntary rent — determined by a reputable appraisal organization — for the time you use on the hundreds of stations that carry your words each weekday.
Payment of rent for the use of public airwaves owned by the American people is the conservative position. Real conservatives oppose corporate welfare. Real corporatists feed voraciously from hundreds of billions of dollars in corporate welfare gushing out of Washington, DC yearly.
Whose side are you on? Freeloading? Or paying rent for the public property you have been using free for many years?
I look forward to your response.
PO Box 19312
Washington, DC 20036
Good point Ralph. Why didn’ t you get elected again?