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July 2014

Netanyahu government knew teens were dead as it whipped up racist frenzy

At a right-wing protest in Jerusalem a sign reads “May God avenge their blood” and a youth wears a sticker stating “Kahane was right,” referring to the Brooklyn-born violent settler movement leader, 1 July. (Tali Mayer / ActiveStills)
At a right-wing protest in Jerusalem a sign reads “May God avenge their blood” and a youth wears a sticker stating “Kahane was right,” referring to the Brooklyn-born violent settler movement leader, 1 July. (Tali Mayer / ActiveStills)

“Cursed be he who says, ‘Avenge!‘ “ 
—Chaim Bialik, from “On The Slaughter”

From the moment three Israeli teens were reported missing last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the country’s military-intelligence apparatus suppressed the flow of information to the general public. Through a toxic blend of propaganda, subterfuge and incitement, they inflamed a precarious situation, manipulating Israelis into supporting their agenda until they made an utterly avoidable nightmare inevitable.

Israeli police, intelligence officials and Netanyahu knew within hours of the kidnapping and murder of the three teens that they had been killed. And they knew who the prime suspects were less than a day after the kidnapping was reported.

Rather than reveal these details to the public, Israel’s Shin Bet intelligence agency imposed a gag order on the national media, barring news outlets from reporting that the teens had almost certainly been killed, and forbidding them from revealing the identities of their suspected killers. The Shin Bet even lied to the parents of the kidnapped teens, deceiving them into believing their sons were alive.

Instead of mounting a limited action to capture the suspected perpetrators and retrieve the teens’ bodies, Netanyahu staged an aggressive international public relations campaign, demanding sympathy and outrage from world leaders, who were also given the impression that the missing teens were still alive.

Meanwhile, Israel’s armed forces rampaged throughout the occupied West Bank and bombarded the Gaza Strip in a campaign of collective punishment deceptively marketed to Israelis and the world as a rescue mission.

Critical details that were known all along by Netanyahu and the military-intelligence apparatus were relayed to the Israeli public only after the abduction of more than 560 Palestinians, including at least 200 still held without charges; after the raiding of Palestinian universities and ransacking of countless homes; after six Palestinian civilians were killed by Israeli forces; after American-trained Palestinian Authority police assisted Israeli soldiers attacking Palestinian youths in the center of Ramallah; after the alleged theft by Israeli troops of $3 million in US dollars; and after Israel’s international public relations extravaganza had run its course.

The assault on the West Bank arrived on the heels of the collapse of the US-led framework negotiations, for which the US blamed Netanyahu, and immediately after Hamas’ratification of a unity deal with the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority. Netanyahu was still smarting from the US recognition of the unity government when news of the kidnapping reached him. Never one to miss an opportunity to undermine the Palestinians, he and his inner circle resolved to milk the kidnapping for maximum propaganda value.

Weeks after the incident, it is now clear that the Israeli government, intelligence services and army engaged in a cover-up to provide themselves with the political space they required for a military campaign that had little to do with rescuing any kidnapped teens.

The disinformation campaign they waged sent a heavily indoctrinated, comprehensively militarized population into a tribalistic frenzy, provoking a wave of high-level incitement, the shocking revenge killing of an innocent Palestinian teen and rioting across East Jerusalem.

Where the chaos will end and how far it will spread is unknown. But its origins are increasingly clear.

Gagging the media, lying to teens’ parents

see full article here

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Exclusive: Democracy Now! Goes Inside Embassy Refuge, Talks w/ Julian Assange About WikiLeaks, Snowden

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assange

see this article on Assange’s “victims”

Our wretched Jewish state

Now we know: In the Jewish state, there is pity and humane feelings only for Jews, rights only for the Chosen People. The Jewish state is only for Jews.

A price tag attack in Beit Hanina, northeast Jerusalem. June 24, 2013. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi
A price tag attack in Beit Hanina, northeast Jerusalem. June 24, 2013. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi

By Gideon Levy| Jul. 6, 2014 | 5:34 AM |  21

A price tag attack in Beit Hanina, northeast Jerusalem. June 24, 2013. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi

 

By Haaretz | Jul. 6, 2014 | 4:26 AM |  10

 

The youths of the Jewish state are attacking Palestinians in the streets of Jerusalem, just like gentile youths used to attack Jews in the streets of Europe. The Israelis of the Jewish state are rampaging on social networks, displaying hatred and a lust for revenge, unprecedented in its diabolic scope. Some unknown people from the Jewish state, purely based on his ethnicity. These are the children of the nationalistic and racist generation – Netanyahu’s offspring.

For five years now, they have been hearing nothing but incitement, scaremongering and supremacy over Arabs from this generation’s true instructor, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Not one humane word, no commiseration or equal treatment.

They grew up with the provocative demand for recognition of Israel as a “Jewish state,” and they drew the inevitable conclusions. Even before any delineation of what a “Jewish state” means – will it be a state that dons tefillin (phylacteries), kisses mezuzot (doorpost fixtures with prayer scrolls), sanctifies charms, closes down on the Sabbath and keeps strict kashrut laws? – the penny has dropped for the masses.

The mob was the first to internalize its true significance: a Jewish state is one in which there is room only for Jews. The fate of Africans is to be sent to the Holot detention center in the Negev, while that of Palestinians is to suffer from pogroms. That’s how it works in a Jewish state: only this way can it be Jewish.

In the Jewish state-in-the-making, there is no room even for an Arab who strives his utmost to be a good Arab, such as the writer Sayed Kashua. In a Jewish state, the chairman of the Knesset plenary session, MK Ruth Calderon (from Yesh Atid – the “center” of the political map, needless to say), cuts off Arab MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List-Ta’al), who has just returned all shaken up from a visit to the family of the murdered Arab boy from Shoafat, impudently preaching to him that he must also refer to the three murdered Jewish teens (even after he did just that).

In a Jewish state, the High Court of Justice approves the demolition of a murder suspect’s family home even before his conviction. A Jewish state legislates racist and nationalist laws.

The media in the Jewish state wallows in the murder of three yeshiva students, while almost entirely ignoring the fates of several Palestinian youths of the same age who have been killed by army fire over the last few months, usually for no reason.

No one was punished for these acts – in the Jewish state there is one law for Jews and another for Arabs, whose lives are cheap. There is no hint of abiding by international laws and conventions. In the Jewish state, there is pity and humane feelings only for Jews, rights only for the Chosen People. The Jewish state is only for Jews.

The new generation growing in its shadow is a dangerous one, both to itself and its surroundings. Netanyahu is its education minister; the militaristic and nationalist media serves as its pedagogic epic poem; the education system that takes it to Auschwitz and Hebron serves as its guide.

The new sabra (native-born Israeli) is a novel species, prickly both on the outside and the inside. He has never met his Palestinian counterpart, but knows everything about him – the sabra knows he is a wild animal, intent only on killing him; that he is a monster, a terrorist.

He knows that Israel has no partner for peace, since this is what he’s heard countless times from Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett. From Yair Lapid he’s heard that they are “Zoabis” – referring dismissively to MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad).

Being left wing or a seeker of justice in the Jewish state is deemed a crime, civil society is considered treacherous, true democracy an evil. In a Jewish state – dreamed of not only by the right wing but also by the supposed center-left, including Tzipi Livni and Lapid – democracy is blurred.

It’s not the skinheads that are the Jewish state’s main problem, it’s the sanctimonious eye-rollers, the thugs, the extreme right wing and the settlers. It’s not the margins but the mainstream, which is partly very nationalistic and partly indifferent.

In the Jewish state, there is no remnant of the biblical injunction to treat the minority or the stranger with justice. There are no more Jews left who marched with Martin Luther King or who sat in jail with Nelson Mandela. The Jewish state, which Israel insists the Palestinians recognize, must first recognize itself. At the end of the day, at the end of a terrible week, it seems that a Jewish state means a racist, nationalistic state, meant for Jews only.

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source

see also this
Amid calls for revenge, Rachelle Fraenkel is a light in this dark place 

 

Insanely Racist Twitter Rant From Opie & Anthony Show Host

Egyptian Author Omar Hazek’s ‘World Cup’ Letter from Prison

The poet and novelist Omar Hazek, sentenced to two years at Borg El-Arab prison ostensibly for violating Egypt’s controversial anti-protest law, has written his seventh letter from inside prison:

The letter was written last month and published in El-Badil. It has been translated by Zahra Abdel Aziz:

omar-hazeq-275x192This is a lovely morning, the morning of June 12, 2014. I have just finished the revision of the fourth draft of my new novel, which I started in Hadara prison by the light of a candle and completed here in Gharbaniyat—Borg El-Arab prison. It is my habit to write half of the text or more in the first draft, and in the following drafts I complete the text after further editing either deleting or adding, and I think there may be fifth or sixth drafts. Now all the features of the novel have become clear, and I am delighted with it — so have a delightful morning, my few friends and my many brothers in loving this country.

Despite  this, there is another reason for this morning to be lovely. Yesterday, I learned that today is the beginning of the World Cup, which brings joy to millions. I don’t like football and hate its capitalism and unwise industry. Millions of the poor will be happy with unreal victories of the national teams of their countries. Let the poor become happy because there are no real reasons to be happy in their countries. These poor and simple people avoid politics and prefer to “walk close to the hall” or even walk inside it (that is, lead the quiet and keep themselves away from any troubles). These are the people that I am addressing here.

I remember a few days before the 30th of June; there was a long discussion on one of my friend’s and colleague’s Facebook wall about participation in the 30th of June. I remember that I wrote: whatever the arguments against participation, I will participate. This is because millions of the poor protested against Mubarak’s regime dreaming of a better life and they became poorer and this is enough reason to protest against any president even if he is an elected president.

I say to you poor man, my brother, when you make the tea with the biscuit packet which is worth half Egyptian pound, and turn on the old fan and sit on the sofa watching the television that you purchased through paying monthly instalments. When you are amazed by the Samba dancing at the World Cup opening ceremony, when you cannot restrain yourself while reacting after a goal or after watching a player keeping the football from the other team in a skillful way, and you start applauding, cheering, or even insulting. After the end of a very good match, you return the empty tea cups and the empty biscuit packets, or when you leave the café where you watched the match with your friends and return home, you are still analyzing the match. When something like this happens, be happy and best wishes for being happy. I just from here want you to think about a small, simple and inspiring idea.

Think of an exceptional girl — her name is Maheinor El-Masry who is currently in Abaddiyya prison in Damanhour because of a clear, shameful crime: dreaming for a better tomorrow for you, with more freedom, justice and dignity. Maheinor led our protests since Mubarak and taught me a lot, and now she’s imprisoned for defending her dreams. I am not afraid for her because I know her very well.

I also have learned that Alaa Abd el-Fattah and his companions were sentenced to 15 years in prison. Think also about thousands of young people who paid their lives and others who paid their eyes and injuries as a price for our freedom, your freedom and my freedom. Don’t forget this and don’t waste your rights, my poor brother, because life is beautiful with freedom.

More:

A previous letter from prison and background on Hazek’s case

source

mlynxqualey | juillet 6, 2014 à 6:01   | 

Ancient Caliphates – They’re Not What You Think

The scholar he quotes :

Khaled Diab is an Egyptian-Belgian journalist, blogger and writer who grew up in Egypt and the UK and has spent around half his life in Europe and the other half in the Middle East, including nearly two years in Jerusalem. He currently moves backwards and forwards between Geneva, Switzerland, and Ghent, Belgium.

Khaled is working on a book that goes beyond the polarised politics of the Middle East to look at the Israeli and Palestinian peoples, their societies and cultures, and the human faces behind the conflict.

He blogs at www.chronikler.com and tweets at @DiabolicalIdea

Depleted Uranium And The Iraq War’s Legacy Of Cancer

In Archive, Iraq, News, USA on July 3, 2014 at 2:10 AM

Depleted uranium was used in Iraq warzone weaponry, and now kids are playing in contaminated fields and the spent weapons are being sold as scrap metal.

IRaq uranium

As instability in Iraq is forcing the United States to consider a third invasion of the Middle Eastern nation, the consequences of the first two invasions are coming into focus. For large sectors of the Iraqi population, American intervention has led to sharp spikes in the rates of congenital birth defects, premature births, miscarriages and leukemia cases.

According to Iraqi government statistics, the rate of cancer in the country has skyrocketed from 40 per 100,000 people prior to the First Gulf War in 1991, to 800 per 100,000 in 1995, to at least 1,600 per 100,000 in 2005.

The culprit behind all of these health issues is depleted uranium, a byproduct of uranium enrichment. With a mass fraction a third of what fissile uranium would have, depleted uranium emits less alpha radiation — up to 60 percent less than natural uranium, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. This “relative” safety offered a rationale for many nations — particularly, the U.S. — to put the waste material to use.

As depleted uranium is 1.67 times denser than lead, a depleted uranium projectile can be smaller than an equivalent lead projectile but produce similar results. This smaller size means a smaller diameter, less aerodynamic drag and a smaller area of impact, meaning that depleted uranium bullets can travel faster and inflict more pressure on impact, causing deeper penetration. Additionally, depleted uranium is incendiary and self-sharpening, making depleted uranium ideal for anti-tank ammunition. It is also used as armor plating for much of America’s tank fleet.

The problem with using depleted uranium, however, lies in the fact that depleted uranium is mostly de-energized. In practical terms, depleted uranium can have — at a minimum — 40 percent the radioactivity of natural uranium with a half-life that can be measured in millennia (between 703 million to 4.468 billion years). While the depleted uranium presents little to no risk to health via radiation due to its relatively weak radioactivity, direct internal contact with the heavy metal can have chemical toxicity effects on the nervous system, liver, heart and kidneys, with DNA mutations and RNA transcription errors being reported in the case of depleted uranium dust being absorbed in vitro.

While depleted uranium is not as toxic as other heavy metals, such as mercury or lead, pronounced toxicity is still possible through repeated or chronic exposure.

The politics of depleted uranium

With the Iraqi government currently crippled by the insurgency efforts of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria — a group requesting that it be known simply as “the Caliphate” or “the Islamic State,” reflecting its perceived lack of challenge to its claims — and with the U.S. and the United Kingdom holding to the stance that depleted uranium presents no direct threat to Iraqi civilians, there is no active effort to properly dispose of the material.

As little information on the dangers of the material has been shared with the Iraqi people, depleted uranium and depleted uranium-tainted metals are regularly sold for scrap metal and re-used for any numbers of purposes — including machinery parts, cookery implements and home furnishings. Children play in depleted uranium-contaminated fields, which presents a heightened risk of unintentional ingestion due to hand-to-mouth activity. Abandoned vehicles salvaged for metal present a particularly high risk, as depleted uranium dust could accumulate from depleted uranium munitions, without access to an active airflow to dissipate it.

This lack of shared information may be intentional, though. The U.S. and the U.K. are actively blocking or opposing a binding international response to or study of the use of depleted uranium in warzones. Citing previous studies from the World Health Organization, NATO and the International Atomic Energy Agency, France, the U.S. and the U.K. — the world’s primary users of military-grade depleted uranium — argue that future studies are unnecessary and are being requested in a bid to ultimately hold the U.S. and its primary allies responsible for a health situation in Iraq that may have nothing to do with those countries. This, despite the fact that the studies cited by the U.S., the U.K. and France in their rebuttal did not look into the health implications of depleted uranium exposure, but simply depleted uranium radiation.

Depleted uranium is commonly used in the civilian market — from the triggering sensor in smoke detectors to a colorant used in dental porcelain. As it is weakly-radioactive, the radiation exposure danger of the metal does not typically exceed the ambient radiation normally present at sea level. It is believed that it would take more than 200 years for the radioactivity from a piece of depleted uranium to penetrate a person’s skin if that person was grasping the metal in his bare hand. This, however, does not mitigate or dismiss risk the metal poses to internal organs.

A known problem

However, according to Wim Zwijnenburg, policy advisor for security and disarmament for PAX, a Dutch pro-peace organization, and author of the paper “Laid to Waste: Depleted uranium contaminated military scrap in Iraq,” the U.S. is aware of the dangers of depleted uranium because the country has spent millions safeguarding its bases and military personnel from it.

As of 1999, military regulations on how to deal with vehicles contaminated with depleted uranium have been implemented, and in 2005, the General Accounting Office alleged that the Department of Defense was not monitoring the soil in Iraq to ascertain exposure to hazardous materials by American service members. At the time, however, a number of states, Congress members and military service organizations were actively challenging the Defense Department’s assertions that depleted uranium had minimal effect on the lives of the Iraq War veterans claiming depleted uranium poisoning.

“In regards to the U.S. responsibility for the depleted uranium, the Iraqi government has been put under pressure by the U.S. government not to publish too much information about it or to speculate on what it thinks has happened and to limit government resources to this issue,” Zwijnenburg told MintPress News, “as the Iraqi government still receives a lot of support from the U.S. government. Additionally, the Iraqi government does not want to scare off investment, particularly in the south, such as oil investors who may be scared off with talk of depleted uranium contamination.

“Also, the Saddam Hussein regime used depleted uranium use as a propaganda tool against the U.S. So, there is a generation of Iraqis that — in large portions — believe that the Americans gave them these diseases, including cancer. While there is an increase in the rise of cancer in Iraq, it cannot be easily attributed to [depleted uranium] use. However, the difficulty in studying the effects leave the issue in contention.”

Heavy metal America

The U.S. has suffered from its own heavy metal contamination crisis. Steve Fetter, professor at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy and co-author of the paper “The Hazard Posed by Depleted Uranium Munitions,” suggested to MintPress an analogous comparison to the use of depleted uranium in Iraq in order to highlight the danger of the depleted uranium.

From the 1920s to the mid-1970s, tetraethyl lead was added to gasoline to boost octane and increase fuel economy. The problem is that tetraethyl lead is toxic. The patent holders knew it was toxic, but used it anyway, despite the fact that ethanol was widely available at the time and was also known to be an octane booster.

The choice between tetraethyl lead and ethanol was a question of profit. At the time, ethanol was commonly distilled in backyard stills and mixed with gasoline to prevent “knocking,” or the misfiring of an engine’s cylinder before the air-gas mixture is properly compressed. As the use of ethanol in gasoline was a known procedure, it was not patentable, and therefore, not controllable.

As tetraethyl lead had the added benefit of sealing the microwelds used for the cylinder heads of early cars — extending the life of the car — the additive was pushed through. Although, this was done despite the fact that a collaborator on the development of the chemical wrote that “it’s a creeping and malicious poison.” During its first three years of production, eight workers died from lead poisoning at DuPont’s manufacturing plant in Deepwater, New Jersey, and another five died and 45 were hospitalized from the Baywater, New Jersey, Standard Oil plant.

Despite the known dangers, the Public Health Service ruled that the need for fuel outweighed the danger to people or the environment, and it allowed leaded gasoline to be sold until the Environmental Protection Agency ordered a scheduled phase-out of tetraethyl lead in 1974. Auto manufacturers ultimately backed this move when it was discovered that leaded gasoline clogged catalytic converters.

During the 50 years of leaded gasoline use, lead concentration in the blood rose 400 percent. As car use is heaviest in urban centers, the inner city and the populations that live there — the poor, blacks, Latinos and migrant populations — experienced the effects of lead toxicity the most. These effects include mental retardation; high blood pressure; neurological issues, including spasms, mood swings, memory loss, tingling and/or numbness in the extremities, muscle weakness and headaches/migraines; miscarriages or premature births; reduced or mutated sperm; and severe bodily pain.

As lead is naturally-occurring and a stable, non-decomposing element, lead concentration inside the body will not diminish under normal processes. If someone was exposed to lead, then, the effects of the metal could continue to cause harm even after the source had been cut, and for women of child-bearing age, the contamination could be transferred in vitro.

While comparing the United States’ use of leaded gasoline to Iraq’s depleted uranium is not a perfect analogy — lead is more toxic than uranium, for example, and there is an estimated 440,000 kilograms of depleted uranium in Iraq, compared to over a million tons of lead per year by the time the rollback began — the moral parallels are striking.

In the aftermath of leaded gasoline — which is still sold in the U.S. for non-consumer automotive uses — the U.S. is still dealing with entire socioeconomic groups affected by lead poisoning. The negative effects have manifested in a host of illnesses and disabilities in the black community and have been pointed to as a likely cause for the spike in criminalityin the inner city.

When looking at the potential of inflicting the same level of hardship on the Iraqis, caution indeed becomes the better part of virtue. While it can be argued that depleted uranium is likely not a threat to the Iraqis, the danger of the chemical should not be dismissed. (It should be noted, too, that early testimony for leaded gasoline similarly suggested that there was no risk to the public.)

“Contaminated vehicles and fragments of depleted uranium penetrators abandoned on the battlefield represent an ‘attractive nuisance.’ Curious passers-by, both adults and children, will enter the vehicles and thereby be subject to potentially significant levels of uranium exposure from resuspended and ingested aerosols. Fragments of penetrators may be picked up and taken home as souvenirs,” read the conclusion to “The Hazard Posed by Depleted Uranium Munitions.”

“In the absence of more costly decontamination efforts, we would propose that all [depleted uranium]-contaminated vehicles be filled with concrete and buried and that [depleted uranium] penetrator fragments be picked up and buried as low-level radioactive waste.”

source

Pizza – Daily Show Stephen Colbert

Old but still good : Stephen Colbert’s got a little investigating to do in the world of pizza delivery and porn-star republicans (Sept 7 2012)

US Goalie May Have Set New World Cup Record!

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