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Deconstructing Israel's 'Right to Exist'

February 11th, 2009

Rannie Amiri

"There was no such thing as Palestinians ... They did not exist." - Former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir (The Sunday Times, 15 June 1969)

Gaza is abuzz with activity.

Humanitarian groups and relief agencies are trying to squeeze through Israeli and Egyptian bottlenecks to deliver their much-needed supplies; fighter jets bomb tunnels and kill ‘militants’ as Ehud Olmert maintains he is abiding by the ceasefire; international human rights lawyers are busy recording eyewitness testimony and gathering evidence for future war crimes tribunals; Palestinian civilians are returning to their destroyed homes to sift through the rubble and mourn their dead; and intense negotiations underway in Cairo hope to broker an extended truce between Israel and Hamas.

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Yes We Can Waffle!

February 11th, 2009

Edgar J. Steele

"If you don't know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else." -- Yogi Berra

President Barack Obama held his first press conference last night. Thirteen questions from the press corps, albeit some of them compound. Thirteen chances to impress us with his promised transparency and forthrightness. Bottom line: We lost.

This guy quite simply does not know where he is going, though he does convey the self-confident aura of one who does know the road ahead. I like to think that Bush, at least, knew he was clueless. I'm not sure which is worse.

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Still patting the Mad Dog? US, British and European appeasement of Israeli fascists

February 10th, 2009

Stuart Littlewood

Binyamin Netanyahu

Stuart Littlewood considers the prospect of progromist Binyamin Netanyahu becoming Israeli prime minister and asks whether he is “the right man” and if now is “the right time” stipulated by Israeli military historian Martin van Creveld as preconditions for the deportation of Palestinians from Israel and the occupied territories.

Martin van Creveld, a former professor of military history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a world-leading writer on military matters, has made many enemies with his seemingly outrageous views.

But actually he does a great service by sharing his thoughts about what “mad dog” Israeli might do next.

In a September 2003 interview in Elsevier (the Dutch weekly) Van Creveld said:

We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets for our air force... We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under.

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February 10th, 2009

Arthur Silber

Part I and Part II provide the background and context needed to more fully appreciate what follows.

Some General Observations

The analysis of the final part of the true story we are considering will reveal several significant patterns of thought and behavior. Before turning to the story's specifics, I want to offer certain observations about the behavior of tribes in general. With regard to these issues, the particular basis of tribal definition is of no moment: these characteristics are true of tribes defined on the basis of family, religion, sex and/or sexual identity, race, political party, and/or nation. I will be discussing all these points in much more detail as this series progresses, but it might be useful to begin even now to see how these patterns operate.

I would not go so far as to describe the following as "Laws of Tribal Behavior" or in similar grandiose terms. Let's designate them in a simpler way, perhaps as "Observations About Tribal Beliefs and Behavior."

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Balkans: Staging Ground For NATO's Post-Cold War Order

February 10th, 2009

Rick Rozoff

The world hasn't begun to recover from the events of 1991, a true annus terribilis whose watershed nature was insufficiently appreciated at the time and has been practically ignored since.

The year initiated the first attempt in history to enforce worldwide military, political, economic and cultural unipolarity; the advent in earnest of neoliberalism with all the devastating economic and social consequences it has wrought since then; the genesis of US-led and Western-supported air, ground, counterinsurgency and proxy wars against defenseless targets from the Middle East to the Balkans, South Asia to Africa. The major political events of the year were three:

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Requiring Accountability From Pampered Public Servants

February 10th, 2009

Emily Spence

The taxpayers of Mississippi, whether they condoned the action or not, bought their current or a former governor an eight seat plane for 3.7 million dollars. The state's authorizing fiscal managers, obviously, must have deemed it an essential for his office and ratified its purchase order. In addition, it costs approximately $1,200 to operate for each hour in use for trips by the present governor's family, associates and himself.

Despite its advantages, he, nonetheless, has decided to possibly recommend its being auctioned off to generate some additional revenue for his state even though the resale value won't be all that high in light of the poor surrounding economic circumstances. However, he, apparently, doesn't feel too "put out" by the thought of giving it up since the state government owns two or three other planes for "official" use that he can commandeer any time that he would elect to do so for his various excursions. (The background information concerning this plane, including the possibility of its sale, was briefly discussed on a recent news program aired in Massachusetts.)

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The Economics of Tunnels

February 10th, 2009

Mohammed Omer

Tunneling essential goods into the Gaza Strip. (Photo:
Iyad Albaba.)

Options are few in Rafah. As in other societies throughout history trapped behind walls or segregated in ghettos, the smuggling in of basic necessities, as well as weapons for defense, means the difference between life and death. In Gaza, tunneling dates back to the 1980s, when Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt. During the first intifada, which began in late 1987, tunnels were used as an underground railroad, transporting people out of Gaza, as well as serving as safe houses for resistance fighters, and storage spaces for weapons and supplies.

Since Israel imposed its siege on Gaza after Hamas won democratic legislative elections in January 2006, the number of Palestinians tied to some segment of the tunnel industry has grown in direct proportion to the increasing lack of availability of raw materials and basic necessities, including food, fuel and medicine. Palestinian sources estimate that some 6,000 people are employed as diggers in the hundreds of tunnels crisscrossing the Gaza-Egyptian border.

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A Short History of the Israeli - Palestinian Conflict: Past Is Prologue

February 9th, 2009

Stephen Lendman

Its roots are from the late 19th century when Theodor Herzl founded modern Zionism at the First Zionist Congress in Basle, Switzerland in 1897.

In his book "Overcoming Zionism," Joel Kovel writes:

Zionism seeks "the restoration of tribalism in the guise of a modern, highly militaralized and aggressive state. (It) cut Jews off from (their) history and led to a fateful identity of interests with antisemitism (becoming) the only thing that united them. (It) fell into the ways of imperialist expansion and militarism, and showed signs of the fascist malignancy."

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Why Lee Harvey Oswald Had to Die!

February 9th, 2009

Len Hart

Without a bullet that can be proven to have been at the scene of the crime, the government would have had no case against Lee Harvey Oswald, tried in absentia because he was murdered. Conveniently! The government needed a piece of hard evidence --a magic bullet'!

They got one! Conveniently!

The government needed a truly magical bullet that did magical things --the work of six or seven other bullets most which got beat up and misshapened, deformed in the line of duty. They got one!

Arlen Specter must be credited with ascribing magic properties to ordinary bullets that could smash bone and cartilage and emerge with nary a scratch! The government need a single bullet that could do the work of six or seven bullets! They got found one! Conveniently! Arlen Specter would pull a pull a 'magical theory' out of thin air while a friendly shill would pull an equally 'magic bullet' out of his ass.

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The resistance option

February 8th, 2009

Robin Yassin-Kassab

In both Lebanon and Gaza, the resistance is still standing.
(Wesam Saleh/ MaanImages)

What really protects our people and gain back our rights is the sincere Resistance and everything else is mere Illusion.” -Nasrallah

Hamas isn't Hizballah and Gaza isn't Lebanon. The resistance in Gaza -- which includes leftist and nationalist as well as Islamist forces -- doesn't have mountains to fight in. It has no strategic depth. It doesn't have Syria behind it to keep supply lines open; instead it has Israel's wall and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's goons. Lebanese civilians can flee north and east, while Gaza's repeat-refugees have no escape. The Lebanese have their farms, and supplies from outside; Gaza has been under total siege for years. Hizballah has remarkable discipline and is surely the best-trained, most disciplined force in the region. Although it has made great strides, Hamas is still undisciplined. Crucially, Hizballah has air-tight intelligence control in Lebanon, while Gaza contains collaborators like maggots in a corpse.

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