Archive for August, 2009
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has obtained evidence suggesting that documents which have been described as technical studies for a secret Iranian nuclear weapons-related research program may have been fabricated.
The documents in question were acquired by U.S. intelligence in 2004 from a still unknown source — most of them in the form of electronic files allegedly stolen from a laptop computer belonging to an Iranian researcher. The US has based much of its push for sanctions against Iran on these documents.
The new evidence of possible fraud has increased pressure within the IAEA secretariat to distance the agency from the laptop documents, according to a Vienna-based diplomatic source close to the IAEA, who spoke to RAW STORY on condition of anonymity.
Walled Horizons is narrated by and features Roger Waters (founding member of the rock band Pink Floyd), who visits the Wall in the Palestinian territories and comments on his observations as a musician and a songwriter who has written on walls. The film explores how Palestinians in urban and rural areas have been impacted by the Walls construction since the International Court of Justices Advisory Opinion in 2004, which declared the Walls route illegal. Several senior Israeli security officials are interviewed in the film, two of whom were directly responsible for planning the Wall route and who explain the Israeli position for constructing it. The film was made by the United Nations Jerusalem.
AUTHOR: Michel WARSCHAWSKI
In a colonial conflict, the main protagonists are, on the one hand, the colonial power and, on the other, the colonized population, and, when it exists, the liberation movement of the latter. This was the case in the Algerian liberation war, the struggle of the Vietnamese people, in Angola and in Mozambique. The ability of the national liberation movements to create, by civil and/or military struggles, a favorable relation of forces in relation to the colonial military and administration, determines, in last account, the end of the colonial domination.
A year ago, 44 of us saw the coastline of Gaza in the distance, after 30 hours of traveling across the Mediterranean Sea. We were jubilant. We had made it to Gaza. We had actually made it to Gaza. We had really, really made it to Gaza.
We had MADE IT TO GAZA.
From a distance, the shore looked like stalagmites had sprouted across the landscape. Every piece of sand, every section of pier, every chunk of rock was occupied by people. Thousands of Palestinians greeted us, blowing whistles and cheering and high-fiving each other. At first, just one small boat came out to greet us. Then every kind of vessel swarmed around our two small fishing boats, boys jumped in the water retrieving the balloons we had inflated, stuffing them inside their shirts and tying them onto their small boats. The balloons said FREE PALESTINE with a dove and an olive branch on them. They were in the colors of the Palestinian flag… white, red, green and black. Once we saw the shoreline, many of us had started to blow the balloons up, dropping them onto the deck of the boats, a small pool of bouncing color ready to be set free
On the sides of both boats were banners in English and Arabic… WE ARE COMING and END THE OCCUPATION
We motored into port, the flags of 17 countries flying from the halyards, the Palestinian flag the highest of them all.Fishermen climbed onto our boats trying to shake our hands and hug us. At one point, we worried that the boats would tip and toss us all into the port, but, just as our Greek partners had said, these boats were sturdy, even if they were not pretty.
Our seasickness disappeared. Our worry that we would be stopped by the Israeli Navy was gone. Most of us had not slept, and we no longer cared. Some of us women tried to comb our hair and put on lipstick, then realized no one minded that we looked haggard and messy. We had arrived.
The Palestinians of Gaza were overjoyed to see us. They had been waiting three weeks for us. They had waited 41 years for internationals to visit. And they had waited 60 years for Palestinians to return to Gaza without going through checkpoints, immigration and humiliation by Israeli and Egyptian authorities.
Much has been written over the past year about our dedication and determination to get to this small enclave, shut off from the rest of the world by Israel’s draconian blockade. None of that was on our minds or in our hearts that day. For all of us, Palestinian and International, August 23, 2008 will be a day that none of us will ever forget. If we get discouraged, we pull out that memory. When our boats were rammed by the Israeli navy, we remember that day. When our boat was hijacked and our passengers kidnapped and thrown into prison by the Israelis, we are more determined to continue our missions.
We will return. We will come back. We will never forget.
Barack Obama, the US president, is attempting to seal an Arab-Israeli peace deal that has eluded the region for more than six decades. In the fourth of the series, Al Jazeera’s Ayman Mohyeldin loo…
On Thursday, August 20 the LA Times published an op-ed in which Ben Gurion University Professor Neve Gordon, a prominent political scientist and long-time peace activist, wrote that the question that kept him up at night, both as a parent and as an Israeli citizen, was how to ensure that his two children as well as the children of his Palestinian neighbors do not grow up in an apartheid regime. His pained conclusion is that the only strategy left is “massive international pressure” in the form of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). He therefore endorses the Palestinian BDS campaign proposed by a wide swath of Palestinian civil society.(1)
Following the publication of the article there has been a vehement and aggressive attack against Gordon in Israel that calls into serious question Israel’s committment to academic freedom and the democratic right to free speech.
We now believe that “massive international pressure” will be needed to keep him from being fired from his job.
Tell Ben Gurion University and the Israeli Minister of Education to defend academic freedom.
Prof. Gordon’s endorsement of economic pressure offers what Naomi Klein termed “the most effective tools in the nonviolent arsenal” to address the Israeli occupation (2).
And yet, Prof. Rivka Carmi, the President of Ben Gurion University, was quoted in the Jerusalem Post as saying that the “university may no longer be interested in his services.” She added that “Academics who feel this way about their country, are welcome to search for a personal and professional home elsewhere.” (3)
Is Prof. Carmi really calling on Prof. Gordon to leave his country?
Several Knesset members from the right called upon Carmi and the Minister of Education to sack Neve Gordon, while Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar called the article “repugnant and deplorable.”(4) In the thousands of talkbacks generated by articles in Israel, hundreds of angry readers have called Gordon a traitor, a virus, cancerous, and have threatened to expel him from Israel and some have even called for his execution. Unsurprisingly Israeli rights-abusive policies, the occupation and how one might resolve the conflict are side-stepped, and the central issue becomes how to do away with the messenger.
In Prof. Gordon’ words: “From the responses to the article it seems most people don’t have the courage to discuss the main issues: Is Israel an apartheid state? How can the Israeli-Palestinian conflict be resolved? Is the settlement project good for Israel or will it cause the state’s destruction? It’s easy to criticize me while evading the tough and important questions.” (5)
The dismaying response to Prof. Gordon’s article is but the latest manifestation of attempts to silence dissent within Israel. In only the last six months, activists from New Profile have been arrested and investigated, Ezra Nawi is in danger of going to jail for non-violently defending the destruction of a Palestinian home, and just last week the Vice Prime Minister called Peace Now “a virus.” Are these the actions of a democracy?
BDS is a legitimate non-violent strategy with a storied history, most famously in South Africa. It deserves honest, thoughtful appraisal, such as Dr. Gordon offered in his recent article. By supporting Professor Gordon, we are protecting the ability to talk openly about the Israeli occupation and about nonviolent options to address it, including boycott, divestment, and sanctions.
Write a letter to the President of Ben Gurion University and to the Ministry of Education in Israel to defend Dr. Neve Gordon’s, and every Israeli’s, ability to discuss political issues without fear of losing their jobs.