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National unity to isolate the traitors

January 27th, 2009

Khalid Ameyreh

The meeting in Cairo on Monday, 26 January, between a Hamas representative and Fatah leader Azzam al Ahmed is a glimmer of hope for millions of Palestinians and their allies who are hoping and praying for a speedy end of the enduring rift between the two biggest political camps at the Palestinian arena.

Though symbolic and procedural in nature, the meeting shows that the problems between the two sides can be overcome if both sides display good-will and especially if the Ramallah regime ends its ignominious subservience to Israel and the United States.

Needless to say, the rift has wreaked havoc on the reputation of the just Palestinian cause and caused many bleeding wounds to our people, the scars of which will take a long time to heal. ―However, we are still one people, feeling the same pain, languishing under the same hateful occupation, and harboring the same hopes for freedom and justice.

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Doctors Show Horrific Proof of White Phosphorus Abuse in Gaza

January 27th, 2009

Joseph Mayton

[Doctors show munitions containing white phosphorus in al-Shifa hospital in Gaza after an Israeli strike in Gaza City on Jan. 16. The Geneva Convention of 1980 prohibits the use of white phosphorus as a weapon of war in civilian areas. Wounds of the dead and injured at hospitals in Gaza and Cairo offer further proof that the incendiary weapon was used illegally by Israeli troops. (PTS Photoshot via Newscom)] With Israel's latest war on Gaza over, international rights groups and medical professionals have begun a campaign to reveal the human cost of the three-week war. In Cairo a group of Egyptian doctors, who had traveled to Gaza during the war, showed pictures of the devastating carnage and lambasted Israel for the illegal use of incendiary white phosphorus on civilians.

One of the most gruesome photos presented at a public meeting at Egypt's Doctor's Syndicate Sunday was of a three-year-old girl who had been extensively and deeply burned, in some places revealing the bones. The dead girl's injuries were consistent with those attributed to the chemical weapon, doctors said.

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Main Core, PROMIS and the Shadow Government pt.1

January 27th, 2009

Ed Encho

"Over the last two weeks I have encountered just such an apocalyptic situation, where I and the Department of Justice have been asked to be part of something that is fundamentally wrong."

(Excerpt from Deputy Attorney General James Comey's draft letter of resignation to President Bush, dated March 16, 2004, which Comey did not in the end send.)

"Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimetres inside your skull" (George Orwell: 1984)

I: Main Core and PROMIS

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For Palestinians, Obama's Message is Crystal Clear

January 27th, 2009

Ramzy Baroud

[URUKNET] When former U.S. President George W. Bush departed for his final trip home, that very moment represented an end of a long and unbearable nightmare, one that Bush epitomized until his last day in office. Americans may decry what we can finally dub as the 'Bush legacy', for it brought economic ruin, but also pushed the country into avoidable, if not completely preventable wars, disgracing the collective history of a nation that for long imposed its sense of moral authority on the world.

But the new president is set to change all of that. True, Barack Obama is duly warning of hyped expectations; but, frankly, he can only blame himself for the eagerness and hope, realistic or otherwise, that has engulfed the nation, even the world over. During his presidential campaign he made many promises, the gist of which is that an Obama administration would be everything that the Bush administration was not. That was enough for 'Obamaniacs' to sing and dance the world over.

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Iran: No Change in Obama's Diplomacy?

January 27th, 2009

Sarah Meyer

“Focusing on diplomacy”. The words sound good. But Obama, Hillary, Biden and ‘Zipi’ still appear to be following Bush”s policy on Iran. The articles below illustrate NO CHANGE for Iran. The ‘diplomacy’ looks more like arm - bending pressure for America’s ‘special interests’ - with the help of AIPAC. Belonging to the WTO, which exploits the poor, is not a priority for many countries. Is Hillary already stabbing Obama in the back? Why does ISRAEL/ 'Zipi' have to be involved in Obama's "diplomacy" in Iran? Was Israel's war on Gaza a forerunner to Iran?

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The BBC’s pact with Israel

January 27th, 2009

Special correspondent

Money and ideology behind BBC’s decision not to broadcast Gaza humanitarian appeal.

The BBC’s refusal to broadcast a humanitarian appeal for Gaza on behalf of a group of charities is motivated by a desire to appease US advertisers for its commercial TV channel and website, and by Mark Thompson’s own political proclivities.

Many people have been shocked and bewildered by the BBC’s refusal to broadcast a national humanitarian appeal for Gaza on behalf of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), an umbrella organization for 13 humanitarian aid agencies.

However, the decision by the BBC’s director-general, Mark Thompson, not to broadcast the appeal should have come as no surprise. In fact, media observers have been witnessing a steady tilt by the corporation towards Israel since the turn of the millennium.

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A Shameful War: Israel in the Dock

January 26th, 2009

Raymond Whitaker & Donald Macintyre

Did Israel – or its enemy, Hamas – commit war crimes during 22 days and nights of aerial assault, rocket launches and ground fighting in Gaza? In one sense the question is academic, because Israel will not recognise the conflict as an international one, and has not signed the 1977 Geneva protocol designed to apply to the victims of internal conflicts. But international lawyers say general principles can be drawn from the laws of war, which may have been violated in several ways. The main issues are these:

Proportionality

Up to 10 times as many Palestinians were killed as Israelis. The Palestinian Ministry of Health says 1,314 Palestinians were killed, of whom 412 were children or teenagers under 18, and 110 were women. On the Israeli side, there were 13 deaths between 27 December and 17 January, of whom three were civilians killed by rockets fired from Gaza. Of the 10 soldiers killed, four were lost to “friendly fire”.

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Going back to work

January 26th, 2009

Najwa Sheikh Ahmed, Nusierat Camp, Gaza Strip

The road was dreary, it was the second day after the cease fire was announced, and people started to leave their houses to see what has happened to the other places, I was on the taxi going to my work in Gaza, and all the way I was trying to prepare myself of what I am going to see, the destruction in the houses, the lands, the roads and every thing, but it seems that I was so humble on my expectations, every thing was different starting from Natzarim junction a long to Gaza city, to the destroyed houses, offices, streets, buildings, play grounds, even worship places, the mosques where we found peace and security.

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FOILING ANOTHER PALESTINIAN "PEACE OFFENSIVE": BEHIND THE BLOODBATH IN GAZA

January 26th, 2009

Norman G. Finkelstein

Early speculation on the motive behind Israel's slaughter in Gaza that began on 27 December 2008 and continued till 18 January 2009 centered on the upcoming elections in Israel. The jockeying for votes was no doubt a factor in this Sparta-like society consumed by "revenge and the thirst for blood,"[1] where killing Arabs is a sure crowd-pleaser. (Polls during the war showed that 80-90 percent of Israeli Jews supported it.)[2] But as Israeli journalist Gideon Levy pointed out on Democracy Now!, "Israel went through a very similar war...two-and-a-half years ago [in Lebanon], when there were no elections."[3] When crucial state interests are at stake, Israeli ruling elites seldom launch major operations for narrowly electoral gains. It is true that Prime Minister Menachem Begin's decision to bomb the Iraqi OSIRAK reactor in 1981 was an electoral ploy, but the strategic stakes in the strike on Iraq were puny; contrary to widespread belief, Saddam Hussein had not embarked on a nuclear weapons program prior to the bombing.[4] The fundamental motives behind the latest Israeli attack on Gaza lie elsewhere: (1) in the need to restore Israel's "deterrence capacity," and (2) in the threat posed by a new Palestinian "peace offensive."

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With friends like these

January 26th, 2009

Sherine Bahaa

KHALED AMAYREH, the Al-Ahram Weekly correspondent in the West Bank was arrested Sunday evening by the Preventive Security Forces (PSF) in Hebron. He was released after two days. Amayreh, 52, lives in Dura, 12 miles southwest of Hebron and has worked as the Weekly correspondent since 1997, as well as for a number of other media outlets.

He has a BA in journalism from the University of Oklahoma and an MA in journalism from the University of Southern Illinois. For a long time, he suffered, as do all Palestinians in the occupied territories, being confined by the occupation to his home village.

Not long ago, he was prohibited by Israeli forces from leaving Hebron at an Israeli checkpoint, detained and released only after being threatened for his courageous articles documenting Israeli crimes in the Weekly.

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