UN World Conference Against Racism and the Israel Lobby

In mid-February Obama met with Jewish leaders to explain why the government had decided to participate in planning the “controversial” World Conference Against Racism.  The Haaretz reported that:

The closed-door talks were led by the White House and the State Department, according to the JTA, and the content of the meeting was off-the-record.

The meeting was held after the State Department sent a high-level team to an informal preparatory session in Geneva this week, but declared that a “change in direction” was required before it could commit to full participation in the April meeting.

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Naomi Wolf Slams ‘Fake’ Activism

She isn’t her usual eloquent self here, but Naomi Wolf is on the money all the same. I think the recent student occupations across UK have set a precedent. And the overly bureaucratized and unrepresentative irrelevance that is the NUS is already being mobilized to eliminate the last vestiges of student democracy. This must be resisted.

Naomi Wolf, author of The End of America, argues that bureaucracy has killed effective protesting because mass social protests in the U.S. now have a feeling of “Disneyland activism.”

“It feels fake, because it is fake,” she says.

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Science Museum Takes Political Stand – for Israel

More on the Zionist Federations PR operation “Israel Day of Science” designed to distract from Israel’s criminal behaviour by implanting a positive image of the state in those that it can.

It is ridiculous for the Science Museum to say it will not cancel the event because that would be taking a political stand.  Do they fail to see that holding an event that promotes Israel is a political stand too?

The Zionst Federation are not a neutral body interested in educating children about science.  They are interested in education children about, what they see as, a positive side to the Zionist state as a PR offensive attempting to control the public mind.  It’s perception management by a lobby group for a foreign criminal state and the Science Museum should not be a party to its manipulation.

The Science Museum, one of Britain’s most prestigious public institutions, was embroiled in a row last night after being accused of promoting Israeli universities whose research was used in the country’s military campaign in Gaza.

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Manchester University Occupation Continues – Day 27

As the student occupation at the University of Manchester enters its 27th day, preparations are underway for a national demonstration to take place this Wednesday, March 4, 2pm at the University’s Student Union.

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Given Vice-Chancellor Alan Gilbert’s persistent refusal to discuss the students’ demands, the rally will be a crucial test of strength for the growing pro-Palestinian student movement in the UK, which has already scored several victories.

For frequent updates and more information about the occupation visit the students’ blog.

A national demonstration has been called in support of the student occupations. It’s crucial that we have as much representation from different Universities, Colleges and Schools as possible.

We in Manchester have been in occupation for almost four weeks now, yet the University has so far refused to negotiate with us. The University still invests in the arms trade, leading to some students having to disrupt a DSTL stall (an agency of the MoD) at an official graduate recruitment fair.

The Vice Chancellor Alan Gilbert has threatened expulsion for students who are involved.

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It’s Obama’s War Now

USMC / LCpl Michael J. Ayotte

TruthDig: This is the text of a talk by Chris Hedges that will be read at anti-war gatherings to be held by The World Can’t Wait in New York’s Union Square, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Nashville, Louisville, Chicago and Berkeley on March 19 to protest the sixth anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq.

Barack Obama has shown that he is as capable of doublespeak as any other politician when he announced an end to the war in Iraq. Combat troops are to be pulled out of Iraq by August 2010, he said, but some 50,000 occupation troops will remain behind. Someone should let the Iraqis know the distinction. I doubt any soldier or Marine in Iraq will notice much difference in 19 months. Many combat units will simply be relabeled as noncombat units. And what about our small army of well-paid contractors and mercenaries? Will Dyncorp, Bechtel, Blackwater (which recently changed its name to Xe), all of whom have made fortunes off the war, pack up and go home? What about the three large super-bases, dozens of smaller military outposts and our imperial city, the Green Zone? Will American corporations give up their lucrative control of Iraqi oil?

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The youth of today – they just don’t show no disrespect

In the following article Mark Steel pokes fun at the absurdity of neoliberal student life while commenting on the recent success of the occupations movement.

One of the many upsetting aspects to being in your forties, is hearing people your own age grumbling about “young people” the way we were grumbled about ourselves.

Old friends will complain, “Youngsters today have no respect like we did”, and I’ll think: “Hang on. I remember the night you set a puma loose in the soft furnishings section of Pricerite’s.”

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Cindy Sheehan interviews Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges Interview (53:40): MP3

Cindy Sheehan speaks to Chris Hedges, author of the classic War is a Force that Gives us Meaning. (The actual interview begins at 6:30)

Palestinians haven’t a partner for peace

Israel PM’s family link to Hamas peace bid. For long a constant refrain in Israeli propaganda has been the line that Israelis don’t have a partner for peace. In fact, since at least the ’50s Arabs have been offering Israel peace which it has repeatedly rejected. Here is new evidence that Israel isn’t interested in peace. ‘Olmert rejected Palestinian attempts to set up talks through go-between before Gaza invasion’, reports Peter Beumont.

Hamas, the militant Palestinian organisation, attempted to conduct secret talks with the Israeli leadership in the protracted run-up to the recent war in Gaza – with messages being passed from the group at one stage through a member of prime minister Ehud Olmert‘s family.

Confirmation of attempts to establish a direct line of communication between Hamas andIsrael – and the willingness of senior figures in Hamas to contemplate direct negotiations – fundamentally alters the narrative of the build-up to the war in Gaza which claimed more than 1,300 Palestinian lives and led to about a dozen Israeli deaths.

Most remarkable is the story of the involvement of a member of the prime minister’s family in the passing of messages to Olmert about the case of the kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

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Israel’s Death Squads

A former member of an Israeli assassination squad has broken his silence for the first time, and speaks to The Independent’s Donald Macintyre:

The Israeli military’s policy of targeted killings has been described from the inside for the first time. In an interview with The Independent on Sunday, and in his testimony to an ex-soldiers’ organisation, Breaking the Silence, a former member of an assassination squad has told of his role in a botched ambush that killed two Palestinian bystanders, as well as the two militants targeted.

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