Peace Recedes as Israeli Settlements Expand

With the Western mainstream media’s attention focused on the ‘peace’ efforts of the new US envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, one would expect the latest report by Peace Now, the largest extra-parliamentary movement in Israel, detailing the illegal expansion of settlements in the West Bank, to be of utmost relevance. But no. Yet again, key documentary evidence of grave violations of international law by the Israeli state is consigned to oblivion…

Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank increased sharply in 2008, despite Israel’s pledge at the beginning of the year to freeze all construction, according to a new report by an Israeli non-governmental organisation.

The report, released Wednesday by the group Peace Now, found that settlement construction in 2008 increased by almost 60 percent, including new construction both inside and outside of the security barrier and within illegal settlement outposts.

Continue reading “Peace Recedes as Israeli Settlements Expand”

Turkish PM Erdogan storms out of Davos over Gaza

A star is born.

Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan quotes Avi Shlaim, reminds Shimon Peres of the sixth commandment (Thou shalt not kill), tells him ‘You are killing people’, and tells Davos he’s never coming again before storming off the stage.

So first it was Venezuela, then Bolivia, and now Turkey. Have the Arab states no shame?

Norman Finkelstein doesn’t think so. Here is what he told an audience in Bahrain: ‘The reaction from the Arab world was a total disgrace, a disgrace to the whole region and its people…What you showed in the last massacre in Gaza is that you have no shame at all…The most powerful reactions in the world came from Bolivia, Venezuela, Mauritania, Turkey and Qatar…There was more solidarity in South America than here’.

Stormy debate in Davos over Gaza

The Turkish prime minister has stormed out of a heated debate at the World Economic Forum in Davos over Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan walked out of the televised debate on Thursday, after the moderator refused to allow him to rebut the Israeli president’s justification about the war that left about 1,300 Gazans dead.

Before storming out, Erdogan told Shimon Peres, the Israeli president: “You are killing people.”

Continue reading “Turkish PM Erdogan storms out of Davos over Gaza”

The BBC on basic moral values

The following is an extract from a BBC internal document from 1972 called Principles and Practice in News and Current Affairs.


The BBC cannot be neutral in the struggle between truth and untruth, justice and injustice, freedom and slavery, compassion and cruelty, tolerance and intolerance.  It is not only within the Constitution: it is within the consensus about basic moral values.


Evidently this is no longer BBC policy.

Petition the EU

Louis Michel of the European Union has talked of “the overwhelming responsibility of Hamas” for the massacre in Gaza. This petition calls for him to be sacked, and for an apology to be made to the people of Gaza. I wish the text were stronger – it should mention that Israel, not Hamas, broke the ceasefire, that Gaza has been subjected to a brutal siege, that ethnic cleansing and occupation are the root of the problem, not resistance. Still, it’s worth signing. Here’s the text:

Petition – Protest EU Policy on Gaza

To: European Union

January 26, 2009

Touring some of Gaza’s worst-hit areas of Israel’s 22-day assault which killed about 1,300 Palestinians, including 400 children, Louis Michel, a senior EU official and former Belgian foreign minister, described the situation as “abominable, indescribable”. Continue reading “Petition the EU”

Foiling Another Palestinian “Peace Offensive”

The Israeli regime’s bloodbath wasn’t just about upcoming elections and re-establishing deterrence, Norman G. Finkelstein writes [doc], though it did have much to do with this and was indeed calculated to pander to the worst elements of that society. Beyond this, the main goal of Israeli intransigence and its main goal in the Gaza slaughter was to fend off the latest threat posed by Palestinian moderation: that is, to sabotage credible peace efforts. This is an excellent summary of otherwise already well-established facts and a reminder of Israel’s stoush with Hezbollah:

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] Continue reading “Foiling Another Palestinian “Peace Offensive””

Carter says Hamas must be included

‘In the previous 16 years, most of the envoys for the president in the Mid East have been openly and publicly committed to Israel’s side. Some of them have been professional lobbyists for Israel.’

Jimmy Carter, the former US president, has said any future permanent Israeli-Palestinian agreement had to include Hamas, the Palestinian movement that controls Gaza.

Carter also told Al Jazeera’s Riz Khan on Wednesday that US presidents were unable or unwilling to take on Israel’s supporters in the US, but said he had high hopes for George Mitchell, the new US Middle East envoy.

International Writers and Scholars Endorse Academic Boycott of Israel

International support for the academic boycott of Israel. This time in the Progressive magazine.

We stand in support of the indigenous Palestinian people in Gaza, who are fighting for their survival against one of the most brutal uses of state power in both this century and the last.

We condemn Israel’s recent (December 2008/ January 2009) breaches of international law in the Gaza Strip, which include the bombing of densely-populated neighborhoods, illegal deployment of the chemical white phosphorous, and attacks on schools, ambulances, relief agencies, hospitals, universities, and places of worship. We condemn Israel’s restriction of access to media and aid workers.

Continue reading “International Writers and Scholars Endorse Academic Boycott of Israel”

US Liberates More Afghans

Having already wasted more than a dozen innocent Pakistani civilians, Obama draws first blood in Afghanistan. One Afghan government employee threatens to put on a suicide-vest if that is what it would take to drive out the invaders.

US air raid fuels Afghan anger

Continue reading “US Liberates More Afghans”

UN nuclear chief boycotts BBC over Gaza appeal

Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel peace prize winner and the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, adds his voice to the growing outrage over the BBC.

The head of the UN”s nuclear watchdog has cancelled planned interviews with the BBC in protest at the corporation’s decision not to air an emergency appeal for Gaza on behalf of the Disasters Emergency Committee.

Continue reading “UN nuclear chief boycotts BBC over Gaza appeal”

Israel delays aid trucks from Egypt to Gaza

In recent days, officials and drivers at the crossing said that the trickle of trucks passing through this month had all but stopped. None went on Thursday. Friday and Saturday are days off, so nothing passed. On Sunday, a few trucks went through, aid workers said. Monday, nothing. Tuesday, nothing.

Continue reading “Israel delays aid trucks from Egypt to Gaza”

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