Human Rights Get Short Shrift in Israel

December 26th, 2012

by Stephen Lendman

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) assesses human rights in Israel annually. It's 2012 report is "bleak."

It's true in virtually every category assessed. Netanyahu and dominant Knesset hardliners spurn human and civil rights. They do so for Palestinians, Israeli Arabs, and most Jews.

Neoliberal harshness is policy. So are hardline belligerence and institutionalized racism. Poverty, homelessness, and hunger harm growing numbers in society.

Conditions in Israel get worse, not better. Palestinians suffer most. Horrific conditions harm them. They're reflected in ruthless police state policies. Militarized occupation enforces them. In 2012 alone, 557 Palestinian structures were lawlessly demolished. So were 172 homes. Over 1,000 Palestinians were displaced. Their land was stolen. Israeli policies mock fundamental freedoms. Palestinians have no rights.

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The People Must Lead the Way to Save the Planet

December 26th, 2012

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers

Dysfunction of government, corruption of U.S. elected officials shows itself on climate change

“The American way of life is not up for negotiation. Period.” President George Bush, 1992, first Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro

With the re-election of President Barack Obama in the midst of Hurricane Sandy, some hoped that there would finally be a change in the U.S. posture on climate change. However, at the recent climate talks in Doha, Qatar when a reporter told Todd Stern, Obama’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, that “people expect to see either a major change in tone or substance from the U.S. this week,” Stern dashed all hopes, saying “Well, I—look, I don’t know if I would—if I would—would think about this in terms of a different tone here.”

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Scrambling for Africa's Resources

December 26th, 2012

by Stephen Lendman

It's more than about oil, stupid. It's for vast African riches. Resource/mineral wars define America's agenda.

On December 15, 2006, the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) was authorized. On February 6, 2007, it was announced.

On October 1, 2007, it was established. On October 1, 2008, it became operational. It's mission is controlling Africa's riches.

They're vast. They're some of the world's largest and richest. Potential new deposits await to be found. Others known about await development. Modern exploration methods enable global exploitation. Virtually nothing escapes discovery.

Africa's rich in oil, gas, gold, silver, diamonds, uranium, iron, copper, tin, lead, nickel, coal, cobalt, bauxite, wood, coltan, manganese, chromium, vanadium-bearing titanium, and much more.

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Political Grinches Stealing Christmas From Palestinian and Syrian Refugees

December 26th, 2012

Franklin P. Lamb

Church of Notre Dame, Damascus.

Church officials in Damascus advanced the hour of last night’s traditional Christmas Eve midnight service to 6 pm because few Damascenes’ venture out past sunset these days. The reasons include ubiquitous checkpoints, security fears and the fact that there are few taxis and no buses around. Plus most shops and cafes close early and the thuds and whining of artillery and bomb blasts from this ancient city’s suburbs tend to sound more menacing at night.

But that does not mean that Notre Dame and other churches in Damascus were not over-flowing with Christians and Muslims for Christmas Eve service, which has become an ecumenical event in this secular country where Syrian and Palestinian refugees of both faiths attended from Yarmouk camp and elsewhere. One Palestinian friend, who had been turned away at the Lebanese border at Maznaa just three days earlier, explained that his family was celebrating ” both the birth of Jesus Christ and the birth of the state of Palestine” referencing last month’s 130 to 8 UN General Assembly vote.

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