Archives: May 2003

Sat May 31, 2003

Bell attacks Iraq rolling news coverage

It was a bold assertion, especially bold, given the rapid victory against Iraqi forces and the ousting from power of Saddam Hussein.

"I think historians are going to come to judge this as the greatest mistake by a British prime minister in 50 years," said the man in the white suit. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 31, 03 | 2:29 pm

Bell berates media giants for warmongering words

Martin Bell, the former BBC war correspondent and independent MP, yesterday condemned the hypocrisy of the media owners Conrad Black and Rupert Murdoch, whose news organisations had led the calls for war in Iraq.

He said the proprietors had never taken the sorts of risks they had urged on British service personnel in calling for the war. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 31, 03 | 2:22 pm

Fri May 30, 2003

Most new immigrant IDF soldiers aren't Jewish

Most of the new immigrants who joined the Israel Defense Forces over the past year were not registered as Jews, Chief Education Officer Brigadier Elazar Stern said yesterday at a conference in Jerusalem's Heichal Shlomo, headquarters of the Chief Rabbinate.

"Last year 51 percent of the immigrants who joined the IDF were not registered as Jews," Stern said, adding that some 8,000 non-Jewish soldiers are serving in the IDF. Until now the number of non-Jewish soldiers was estimated at about 6,500. Some 20 percent of IDF soldiers are new immigrants.

Posted by: Mona Baker on May 30, 03 | 9:45 pm

PM would deny citizenship to children with Palestinian parent

The prime minister and defense heads have requested an amendment to the Citizenship Law to prevent automatic Israeli citizenship for a child with a Palestinian parent.

The move follows the discovery that the suicide bomber who blew himself up at the Mazza restaurant in Haifa was the son of a Jewish mother and a Palestinian father. The bomber had automatically received Israeli citizenship and this aided him in moving freely and carrying out his attack.

Posted by: Mona Baker on May 30, 03 | 9:42 pm

Israel discovers that democracy is not an Israeli value

For obvious strategic reasons, Israel and its uncritical supporters in the United States have long focused on presenting Israel as the sole bastion of democracy in the Middle East in order to attract continued political, military, and economic support from Western democracies by evoking a "people like us" sense of common identity and values. More...

Posted by: LDavidson on May 30, 03 | 7:55 pm

Business as usual: The UN has capitulated. Now let the north's plunder of the south begin again

Unsurprisingly, the UN security council has capitulated completely, recognised the occupation of Iraq and approved its re-colonisation by the US and its bloodshot British adjutant. The timing of the mea culpa by the "international community" was perfect. Yesterday, senior executives from more than 1,000 companies gathered in London to bask in the sunshine of the re-established consensus under the giant umbrella of Bechtel, the American empire's most favoured construction company. A tiny proportion of the loot will be shared. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 30, 03 | 3:30 pm

Bloomberg News Changes Dateline Policy After Criticism About Stories on Iraq

NEW YORK -- (AP) Bloomberg News is eliminating datelines from its news stories following criticism that some stories datelined from Iraq during the war were written by reporters in other locations.

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 30, 03 | 2:30 pm

Judith Miller Says Post-War 'Embed' Review Needed

NEW YORK -- In a speech to graduates of Barnard College in New York last week, New York Times correspondent and Barnard alumna Judith Miller called upon the media and military to examine the program of embedding journalists with U.S. troops during the Iraq war. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 30, 03 | 2:17 pm

Newspaper reporters in row over Chalabi

A row between two New York Times reporters over a story on an Iraqi exile leader raises questions about the paper's coverage of the search for weapons said to be hidden by Saddam Hussein.

An internal email by Judith Miller, the paper's reporter on bio-terrorism, acknowledges that her main source for such articles has been Ahmad Chalabi, an exile leader who is close to senior Pentagon officials. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 30, 03 | 2:00 pm

Follow That Story: Deep Miller

On Monday, Press Box fastballed a couple of bricks at New York Times reporter Judith Miller for the rococo—and somewhat creepy—sourcing behind her Page One scoop about the search for unconventional weapons ("Illicit Arms Kept Till Eve of War, an Iraqi Scientist Is Said To Assert," April 21). More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 30, 03 | 1:55 pm

Victory per Rumsfeld's Say-So

NEW YORK -- Donald Rumsfeld throws off charm like a just-bathed dog shaking off water. He jokes, he banters, he teases. He has the facts, the numbers and the Pentagon jargon to sound very smart indeed. But the one thing he does not have is humility. Hunky-dory Don will never admit that mistakes have been made in Iraq. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 30, 03 | 1:36 pm

Thu May 29, 2003

Mandela leaflet is banned

There was a time when student activists worshipped the then imprisoned South African freedom fighter Nelson Mandela, voting to name their union buildings after him. Now Birmingham University's guild of students has threatened disciplinary action against members who circulated a leaflet quoting Mr Mandela.

Posted by: Mona Baker on May 29, 03 | 12:45 pm

Tue May 27, 2003

On the detention of Dr. Huda S. Ammash

The U.S. publishers of Dr. Huda S. Ammash assert that there may be political motivations for her detention on Monday, May 5 in Baghdad by the U.S. military on allegations that she oversaw Iraq's purported development of biological weapons. Dr. Ammash, Dean of Baghdad University, is the author of "Toxic Pollution, the Gulf War, and Sanctions," a peer reviewed research paper published in Iraq Under Siege (South End Press, 2002) an anthology that examined the effects of the Gulf War and sanctions on Iraq. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 27, 03 | 6:29 pm

The Arab Condition

Why do the Arabs never pool their resources to fight for the causes which officially, at least, they support. And how much further can we sink, asks Edward Said More...

Posted by: sameh fekry on May 27, 03 | 6:14 pm

Reporter Chris Hedges' Anti-War Speech at Rockford College Graduation Sparks Protest

I want to speak to you today about war and empire.

Killing, or at least the worst of it, is over in Iraq. Although blood will continue to spill -- theirs and ours -- be prepared for this. For we are embarking on an occupation that, if history is any guide, will be as damaging to our souls as it will be to our prestige, power, and security. But this will come later as our empire expands and in all this we become pariahs, tyrants to others weaker than ourselves. Isolation always impairs judgment and we are very isolated now. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 27, 03 | 5:58 pm

Army Orders Troops to Seize TV Station in Northwest Iraq

MOSUL, IRAQ -- The U.S. Army issued orders for troops to seize this city's only television station, leading an officer here to raise questions about the Army's dedication to free speech in postwar Iraq, people familiar with the situation said. The officer refused the order and was relieved of duty.

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 27, 03 | 5:37 pm

Iraqis Unhappy With U.S. Signals

BAGHDAD -- Putting Iraqi television back on the air has proved to be no simple matter, from the electrical outages to the makeshift staff assembled in the postwar chaos. Telephones do not work, and news is hard to confirm. And then there is the dispute over the editorial influence of U.S. occupation authorities. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 27, 03 | 12:14 pm

Mon May 26, 2003

Blair faces war crimes suit

Greek lawyers say they are going to sue British officials - including Prime Minister Tony Blair - for their role in the Iraq war.
The Athens Bar Association says it will file a suit against Britain at the International Criminal Court - the recently created tribunal for cases of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

The lawyers call the attacks by the United States and British forces against Iraq "crimes against humanity and war crimes".


Posted by: peace/justice on May 26, 03 | 6:25 pm

Sun May 25, 2003

Gush Shalom Advertisement, Ha'aretz 23/5/2003


You have bombarded.
Demolished homes.
Uprooted plantations.
Starved out.
Conquered towns.
Occupied neighborhoods.
Taken over villages.
Imposed curfews.

You have tried everything.
You have nothing left. You are bankrupt.

Go home.

Checks to help fund this and future ads to:
Gush Shalom
pob 3322,
Tel-Aviv 61033


Posted by: Mona Baker on May 25, 03 | 10:46 pm

On the map, thanks to the road

At lunchtime, Yigal Cohen- Orgad ran into the Middle East expert Alex Bligh in the cafeteria of the department of architecture. Bligh, who lectures at the college, pulled out the current issue of the international journal Israel Affairs, which is devoted to "the Palestinian Arabs" and which Bligh edited.

"It came out this morning," he said, holding the periodical in front of Cohen-Orgad's nose. "You can still smell the print." The smell was of no interest to Cohen-Orgad. "Is the name of the college mentioned?" he asked.

Posted by: peace/justice on May 25, 03 | 3:50 pm

A Boycott Song

Verse 1
To help the people of Palestine
we won't buy grapefruit or Israeli wine
And if you're wondering
what you can do:
please join the boycott
and help them too!


Posted by: sameh fekry on May 25, 03 | 9:42 am

Victims of the peace decide Americans are worse than Saddam

THE small dank cells with cold stone floors, tiny windows and iron bars for a door used to house criminals and the victims of Saddam Hussein’s regime. Now Khan Bani Saad prison, overlooked by watchtowers and surrounded by razorwire, is filled with families who are victims, not of the war, but of the peace. More...

Posted by: sameh fekry on May 25, 03 | 9:31 am

The real target

It was an operation organised with the kind of ruthless precision needed to capture Osama Bin Laden. In the early hours of Tuesday 13 May, hundreds of armed Israeli police and security officials massed at different locations in northern Israel and snatched senior members of the country's largest Arab organisation. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 25, 03 | 1:49 am

Sat May 24, 2003

The Dean, the President and the Historiography of 1948 Palestine


The Conference

Three weeks ago, my colleague in the University of Haifa, Dr. Asa’d Gahnim of the department of political science suggested convening a conference on the 1948 historiography. We agreed to present in the conference the recent developments in both the Israeli and Palestinian historiography on the 1948 war and Nakbah. He and Salman Natur were asked to introduce the recent critical trends in the Palestinian side (with particular stress on works which deconstruct the roll of the traditional leadership and the Arab regimes in the 1948 war). In the second half of the day we wanted Udi Adiv, Teddy Katz and myself to present an updated picture of the historiographical debates on the 1948 war within the scholarly community in Israel. I asked my own division, the International Relations division, to host the meeting. The head of the division, Dr. Michael Gross agreed.

Posted by: Mona Baker on May 24, 03 | 8:23 pm

Now, it's your turn

CAPETOWN, South Africa - On the day after Amram Mitzna resigned from the leadership of the Labor Party, the position was offered to Frederik de Klerk. On a spacious porch overlooking a beautifully kept golf course and the deep blue waters of a small bay, Israelis and Palestinians ringed de Klerk and asked him how to go about making peace.

De Klerk of course didn't take seriously the idea of replacing Mitzna, which was proposed - with an equal lack of seriousness - by two Knesset members, Yuli Tamir (Labor) and Eti Livni (Shinui), but he did take very seriously the question about making peace. Taking a deep puff on a cigarette, he smiled and said: "Peace is made very simply. You sit down and talk. That's what my friends and I did after the famous Parliament speech on February 2, 1990."

Posted by: Mona Baker on May 24, 03 | 8:00 pm

Prestigious Award Received by the Global Campaign to Rebuild Palestinian Homes (http://dbw@rebuildinghomes.org/index.htm)

The Global Campaign to Rebuild Palestinian Homes is being awarded the 2003 Lewis Mumford Award for Development by the Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility.

We join a distinguished list of past recipients: Habitat for Humanity, tenants rights organizer Bertha Gilkey, and affordable housing designer, Michael Pyatok. Past recipients of the Lewis Mumford Peace Awards include Dr. Helen Caldicott, Mr. & Mrs. Jimmy Carter, Yitzak Rabin, and Barbara Lee.

Donna Baranski-Walker, US based Campaign Manager of the Global Campaign to Rebuild Palestinian Homes, has been invited to accept the award in Berkeley, California on June 18th, 2003. Friends and supporters of ICAHD and the Rebuilding Campaign are invited to attend. For more details contact Donna directly at dbw@rebuildinghomes.org

This award is a recognition of the dedicated work of Donna and her team in the USA, The ICAHD and JCSER teams in Jerusalem, and the thousands of donors around the world who have supported our rebuilding work. It also validates the work of our Palestinian, Israeli and international volunteers who come to our work days to give their labor in the cause of solidarity and non-violent resistance to the continuing Occupation of Palestinian lands.

Fred Schlomka
Operations Manager
Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD)
PO Box 2030, Jerusalem 91020, Israel

Tel: +972-(0)56-875-893 Fax: +972-2-622-1530
Email: fred@icahd.org Web: http://www.icahd.org
Voice Mail/Fax (from USA): 1-800-809-7913

For information on:

'Right to a Homeland - Global Campaign to Rebuild Palestinian Homes'


Posted by: Mona Baker on May 24, 03 | 7:44 pm

MPs slam 'unethical' arm sales

An influential group of senior MPs has condemned as unethical the government
's practice of selling defence equipment to America in the knowledge that it
will be passed on to Israel, possibly for use on the West Bank or in Gaza.

Posted by: peace/justice on May 24, 03 | 9:44 am

Fri May 23, 2003

Iraq War, “Unprovoked Invasion of A Sovereign Nation”

Truth has a way of asserting itself despite all attempts to obscure it. Distortion only serves to derail it for a time. No matter to what lengths we humans may go to obfuscate facts or delude our fellows, truth has a way of squeezing out through the cracks, eventually.

But the danger is that at some point it may no longer matter. The danger is that damage is done before the truth is widely realized. The reality is that, sometimes, it is easier to ignore uncomfortable facts and go along with whatever distortion is currently in vogue. We see a lot of this today in politics. I see a lot of it - - more than I would ever have believed - - right on this Senate Floor. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 23, 03 | 2:25 pm

Thu May 22, 2003

Instant-Mix Imperial Democracy, Buy One Get One Free

In these times, when we have to race to keep abreast of the speed at which our freedoms are being snatched from us, and when few can afford the luxury of retreating from the streets for a while in order to return with an exquisite, fully formed political thesis replete with footnotes and references, what profound gift can I offer you tonight?

Posted by: nachoua on May 22, 03 | 10:41 pm

On rescuing Private Lynch and forgetting Rachel Corrie

The Israeli army got away with murder - and now all activists are at risk

[align=center]blah blah blah[/align]

Jessica Lynch and Rachel Corrie could have passed for sisters. Two all-American blondes, two destinies for ever changed in a Middle East war zone. Private Jessica Lynch, the soldier, was born in Palestine, West Virginia. Rachel Corrie, the activist, died in Israeli-occupied Palestine. More...

Posted by: Sami on May 22, 03 | 10:35 pm

Wed May 21, 2003

Israeli boycott divides academics

Sackings on two obscure journals fuel debate on cooperation with universities

A pair of obscure journals run by a Manchester professor have become the focal point for an angry debate across the international academic community over a boycott of Israeli universities.
A decision by Mona Baker, a professor of translation studies at the University of Manchester institute of science and technology (Umist) to sack two liberal Israeli academics from minor roles on her journals have provoked a stinging response from academics led by Stephen Greenblatt, the Harvard professor, Shakespeare scholar and president of the Modern Language Association of America.


Posted by: Mona Baker on May 21, 03 | 8:32 pm

Tue May 20, 2003

Searching Jenin: Eyewitness Accounts of the Israeli Invasion

Over a year has passed now, since the Israeli army invaded the refugee camp in Jenin, destroyed its houses, killed many of its inhabitants and committed one of the worst war crimes in this present Intifada, Intifada al-Aqsa. With a successful campaign of distortion and manipulation of evidence, the Israeli foreign ministry, with the help of the United States, succeeded in hiding from the world the horrors of Jenin, and even worse, in intimidating anyone daring to tell the truth about what had happened there. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 20, 03 | 10:34 pm

University of South Florida Report <1>

This report deals with actions taken by the administration and the governing board of the University of South Florida against Dr. Sami Al-Arian, associate professor of computer science and engineering, beginning in the fall of 2001 and culminating with his dismissal on February 26, 2003. The administration placed Professor Al-Arian on paid leave of absence in September 2001. In December 2001, it notified him of its intent to dismiss him. No further action was taken affecting his status until August 2002, however, when the board of trustees, while keeping him on paid leave of absence, initiated civil litigation against him in an attempt to obtain a declaratory judgment on whether discharging him would violate his First Amendment rights. In December 2002, a federal district judge declined to issue the judgment being sought by the administration and dismissed the litigation. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 20, 03 | 10:08 pm

The Daughter I Can't Hear From

To all moms here, happy Mothers' Day. This is a day some of us wait for in order to have a little reward for all the time we have spent in our lives reminding and making sure that all of the family birthdays, Fathers' Day, and important days in our families' lives are properly acknowledged. We deserve this day! We have earned it! More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 20, 03 | 9:45 pm

U.N. Official Criticizes Israeli Travel Restrictions in Gaza

UNITED NATIONS, May 19 — Stepped-up Israeli travel restrictions have been preventing dozens of international workers and managers for United Nations refugee programs in the Gaza Strip from getting into and out of Gaza for the last week, the United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process told the Security Council today. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 20, 03 | 9:11 pm

Step Forward, Tony Blair

It took just a few hours for US Secretary of State Colin Powell's mission to implement the road map to founder on the rocks of Israeli intransigence. Ariel Sharon's "gestures" to humor his American guest lasted barely longer than the visit itself. The movement restrictions that Sharon ordered lifted in Gaza were re-imposed after a mere 23-hours, while Jewish settlers announced plans to establish new colonies in the West Bank. More...

Posted by: LDavidson on May 20, 03 | 3:01 am

Sun May 18, 2003

Next year in Mas¹Ha

On the eve of Passover, after a month I spent in the occupied territories of Palestine working with the International Solidarity movment, a month that saw one of our people deliberately run over by a bulldozer driven by an Israeli soldier, and two young men deliberately shot, one in the face, one in the head, I found myself unable to face the prospect of a Seder, even with my friends in the Israeli peace movement. I couldn¹t sit and bewail our ancient slavery or celebrate our journey to the promised land. I was afraid that I might spew bitterness and salt all over any Seder table I graced, and smash something More...

Posted by: sameh fekry on May 18, 03 | 6:37 pm


Every few months, a "peace plan" is pulled out of the drawers of the white house and keeps the public discourse busy for a few weeks. Although this ritual has a fixed pattern and predetermined end, it is curious that many in Israel are still tempted to believe that this time it is different.

Posted by: Mona Baker on May 18, 03 | 10:51 am

The Truth about the 'Peace' Plans

Here is a useful summary of the various 'peace' offers to the Palestinians

United Nations "Partition Plan" to the Palestinians:

You are going to have 47% of the 100% which was originally yours.

"Oslo Agreement" to the Palestinians:

You are going to have 22% of the 100% which was originally yours.

Barak's "Generous Offer" to the Palestinians:

We are going to give you 80% of 22% of 100% of the land which was originally yours.

Sharon's "Peace Plan" to the Palestinians in 2000:

We are going to give you 42% of 80% of 22% of 100% of the land which was originally yours, and this 42% will remain under continuous curfew.

"American Zionists" to the Palestinians:

According to our version of the Bible you are entitled to 0% of 42% of 80% of 22% of 100% of the land which was originally yours.

The “Road Map” to the Palestinians that Bush envisions:

* If you stop your resistance to the occupation (which we call terrorism), and

* your refugees give up their right of return to their ancestral homes, and

* you agree to only elect officials acceptable to Bush and Sharon, and

* you agree to lock up all your resistance fighters, and

* you agree to drive your cars only on roads that Sharon assigns for your use, and

* you do not object to the ‘wall’ that Sharon is building, and

* you agree not to claim Jerusalem as your capital, and

* you agree that your children’s school curriculum only includes courses and books approved by the Israeli government, and

* you agree not to give birth to more than three children per family,

then Sharon might consider negotiating with you on the 42% of 80% of 22% of 100% of the land which was originally yours.

See Tanya Reinhart's article 'The Guaranteed Failure of the Road Map'

Posted by: Mona Baker on May 18, 03 | 10:42 am

The Terror on the Other Side is Just as Faceless

lease, come inside," says the man with the faint smile, opening the iron door in one of the very narrow alleys of Yibne, a refugee camp neighborhood in Rafah. But after stepping through the open doorway, it's difficult to say if his "please, come inside," was said in the spirit of hospitality or was meant ironically, because inside the house, the interior walls were demolished and through the partially demolished outer walls, one sees a large pile of rubble - all that remains of the two houses next door.

Posted by: nachoua on May 18, 03 | 2:20 am

Ghosts of Oklahoma City

The dead are buried, but the wounded can't be healed. More...

Posted by: nachoua on May 18, 03 | 2:07 am

FEMA- The Plan to KILL America

Since that day our bumbling boy wonder stole the office of president some have wondered about the ulterior purposes behind this administration and all it's nefarious doings. They have not been alone in this mini-quest. Part of the dilemma for anyone who truly wants to understand these actions and re-actions, within the circles of power and greed is that 'nothing they do' seems to make any logical sense.

Posted by: nachoua on May 18, 03 | 2:00 am

In the Last 90 Days . . .

In the last 90 days we have entered a unique period in world history.

In roughly the same amount of time it takes someone to close escrow on the purchase of a home, the United States of America has embarked upon the final phase of its plans to reshape this nation and the world. In that light - let's look more closely at what has happened in the last three months.

In the last 90 days, the Bush Crime family has ended the Atlantic Alliance, severely damaged our working associations within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and managed to begin the practical dissolution of the United Nations, as an effective force in world affairs.


Posted by: nachoua on May 18, 03 | 1:54 am

Thu May 15, 2003

US Military to shoot looters on sight

United States military forces in Iraq will have the authority to shoot looters on sight under a tough new security setup that will include hiring more police officers and banning ranking members of the Baath Party from public service, American officials said today. More...

Posted by: Sami on May 15, 03 | 6:14 am

Wed May 14, 2003

New Iraqi TV Complains of U.S. Censorship

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The U.S.-sponsored Iraqi television station began broadcasts Tuesday after complaining of American censorship, including efforts to stop it airing passages from the Koran, the Muslim holy book. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 14, 03 | 5:25 pm

Inquiry urged on Gaza shooting

Sir, The Israeli Foreign Minister, Silvan Shalom, arrives in London on Wednesday and meets Jack Straw the next day. As the main news broadcasters in the UK we wish to express our outrage at the shooting of journalists by the Israeli Army. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 14, 03 | 3:05 pm

Iraq in danger of starvation, says UN

Iraqi agriculture is on the brink of collapse, with fears that many of its 24.5 million people will go hungry this summer, according to a confidential report being studied by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation. A special assessment prepared by the UN agency's staff in Rome, which has been seen by The Observer, reveals a catastrophe in the making, with crops and poultry being especially hard hit.


Posted by: peace/justice on May 14, 03 | 1:13 pm

Mon May 12, 2003

Israeli Forces Snatch, Beat and Arrest ISM Volunteers


Radhika Sainath
11 May 03

Osama* and I headed out of our apartment yesterday at approximately 6PM to take personal accounts from refugee families whose houses are frequently occupied by Israeli soldiers. As we walked we heard repeated bursts of live ammunition fire in nearby downtown Tulkaram. Concerned that Israeli Forces or the Border Police were shooting at children-as we have repeatedly witnessed in the past-we called a third ISM volunteer, Charlotte, to the scene to witness and deter any potential human rights violations.

Upon arrival to Tulkaram's main street we viewed a burning hummer (military jeep) stuck in the middle of the road, and three armored personel carriers (APC) and mulitple jeeps wildly circling the city. However, what most concerned us was a family's car that included three small children under the age of twelve parked meters away from the burning vehicle. The army had confiscated the car keys and instructed the family to stay inside, effectively using the father and his small children as human shields. The crying children were clearly terrified of being shot so we agreed to stay with the family and try to speak with the soldiers in an attempt to retreive the car keys.

Two local journalists soon joined us and minutes later an army jeep started to back up in our direction. Given the Israeli Army's recent policy of targeting and shooting internationals, I began to feel concerned for our saftey. Suddenly, the back doors of the jeep opened and soldiers jumped out grabbing Osama and the journalists and shoving Charlotte to the side. Once inside the jeep Osama reported being grabbed by the commander, who beat him in the head, after which the other soldiers threw him on the floor and forced him to cover his face with his T-shirt. While putting their rifle butts on his chest, the soldiers demanded to see his videotape stating, "We will kill anyone we see on this tape." The journalists were also beaten on their chest and neck.


Posted by: Mona Baker on May 12, 03 | 11:24 am

On the detention of Dr. Huda S. Ammash

The U.S. publishers of Dr. Huda S. Ammash assert that there may be political motivations for her detention on Monday, May 5 in Baghdad by the U.S. military on allegations that she oversaw Iraq's purported development of biological weapons. Dr. Ammash, Dean of Baghdad University, is the author of "Toxic Pollution, the Gulf War, and Sanctions," a peer reviewed research paper published in _Iraq Under Siege_ (South End Press, 2002) an anthology that examined the effects of the Gulf War and sanctions on Iraq.

United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) spokesperson Hiro Ueki has confirmed to South End Press that based on earlier research "UNMOVIC did not single Dr. Ammash out for interviews because UNMOVIC did not have clear evidence to link Dr. Ammash to BW [biological weapons] programs" when visiting Baghdad University on January 13th, 2003


Posted by: peace/justice on May 12, 03 | 11:15 am

Sat May 10, 2003

Lecturers reject call to boycott Israel

Union votes for maintaining links to support progressive academics

The largest university lecturers' union last night voted by a majority of about 2-1 to reject a call for an academic boycott of Israel, saying such a ban would harm progressive Israeli academics campaigning against the Sharon government.

In an intense but not acrimonious debate at its annual conference, the Association of University Teachers backed its executive on the grounds also that a boycott would dilute the impact of its support for an independent Palestinian state.


Posted by: Mona Baker on May 10, 03 | 10:43 pm

We went to war just to boost the white male ego

With their dominance in sport, at work and at home eroded, Bush thought white American men needed to know they were still good at something. That's where Iraq came in... More...

Posted by: Sami on May 10, 03 | 8:13 pm

Israel/Occupied Territories: Amnesty International delegates denied access to Gaza

News Flash

AI Index: MDE 15/040/2003 (Public)

News Service No: 117
9 May 2003

Amnesty International today condemned the Israeli authorities' decision requiring foreigners entering Gaza to sign "waivers" that absolve Israel from responsibility should they be killed or injured.

"The organization is categorically opposed to any attempt to get people to sign away their rights," Amnesty International said. "The signing of 'waivers' does not absolve the Israeli army of its responsibility in any way, nor the Israeli authorities of their duties to ensure that armed froces respect human rights in all circumstances."

The organization is concerned that one aim of these new and drastic restrictions is to prevent outside monitoring and scrutiny of the conduct of the Israeli army. It is also concerned that these restrictions will lead to more killings in Gaza and calls on the army to immediately end the use of excessive and unlawful force.


Posted by: Mona Baker on May 10, 03 | 7:55 am

Fri May 09, 2003

Israel restricts Gaza access

Foreigners and Israeli civilians entering the Gaza Strip will have to sign waiver forms absolving the army of responsibility if they're killed or injured in military operations.

The form requires all foreigners, including United Nations relief workers, to acknowledge they are entering an unsafe area More...

Posted by: Sami on May 09, 03 | 9:12 pm

The Unthinkable is Becoming Normal

Do not forget the horror. The saving of one little boy must not be a cover for the crime of this war.

Last Sunday, seated in the audience at the Bafta television awards ceremony, I was struck by the silence. Here were many of the most influential members of the liberal elite, the writers, producers, dramatists, journalists and managers of our main source of information, television; and not one broke the silence. It was as though we were disconnected from the world outside: a world of rampant, rapacious power and great crimes committed in our name by our government and its foreign master. Iraq is the "test case", says the Bush regime, which every day sails closer to Mussolini's definition of fascism: the merger of a militarist state with corporate power. Iraq is a test case for western liberals, too. As the suffering mounts in that stricken country, with Red Cross doctors describing "incredible'' levels of civilian casualties, the choice of the next conquest, Syria or Iran, is "debated'' on the BBC, as if it were a World Cup venue. More...

Posted by: LDavidson on May 09, 03 | 7:18 pm

Palestinian Toddler Gunned Down by IDF

A Palestinian toddler was killed Wednesday when Israeli tanks opened fire at residential neighborhoods in the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Younis.

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 09, 03 | 2:45 pm

Thu May 08, 2003

Autopsy of British cameraman shows he was killed by IDF fire

British journalist James Miller, who was shot dead last week in the Gaza Strip town of Rafah, was hit by IDF fire, not by Palestinian fire, according to an autopsy carried out at by the Forensic Institute, Israel Radio reported Thursday. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 08, 03 | 2:56 pm

Fragments From a Diary

New Year's Eve--so quiet--unlike any New Year's Eve that I can remember. Even people who usually have three or four parties to go to were invited nowhere or purposely decided to stay in. We stayed in too. We were falling asleep when big bangs and odd screaming seemed to announce that midnight had come.

In the cold weather, in New York, in January of 2003, everyone is frozen.

We're passengers. We're waiting. We're sitting very quietly in our seats in the car, waiting patiently for the driver to arrive. We're nervous, of course, looking out the window at the gray landscape. Soon the driver will open the front driver's side door, sit down in his seat, and take us on a trip. We're going to Iraq. We don't want to go. We know we'll be driving straight into the flames, straight ahead into the flames of hell. It's crazy. It's insane. We know that. But we're paralyzed, numb, can't seem to move. Don't seem to know how to reason with the driver. Don't seem to know how to stop the car from going. Don't seem to know even how to get out of it.


Posted by: sameh fekry on May 08, 03 | 12:11 pm

Wed May 07, 2003

Israeli Minister Accompanies Gang of Criminals to Break into Homes

Sunday, May 04, 2003
The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions
info@icahd.org / http://www.icahd.org/eng/news.asp?menu=5&submenu=1&item=90


They do it in the middle of the night. On dark nights. Quietly, stealthily. In large groups. Well organized militias - armed and all. A crowd of about 50 religious settlers. Came in the night to two houses in Israeli-annexed, Arab East Jerusalem, Sheikh Jarrah, over the Green Line. They threw a child out of the broken window they'd entered by. A two-year-old flying baby, falling from the 2nd storey window, five meters high, ending up in hospital traumatised. They hit a man so badly he was driven away unconscious in an ambulance; I saw him go. Three others also hospitalised. Blood everywhere, broken doors, broken windows, chains and padlocks they put on gates to stop the neighbours coming to help.

They were organised like a small army brigade and came even though the court has yet to rule finally on this matter. Two even reconnoitred earlier that evening, arriving at 7.00 pm at the houses, lying to the people living there that they were from the Municipality: "How many people live here? We just want to know if the water's running and electricity switched on?" The residents wouldn't let them in, knowing at that hour no one comes officially.

By the time I arrived, summoned from sleep by the phone, the baby was in hospital. Thankfully, a resident phoned a diplomat, the police and a peace activist. A small handful of us gathered to witness the aftermath, to learn the truth, to show support and solidarity; while Saudi TV got it down on film. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on May 07, 03 | 9:49 pm


They call themselves, self-mockingly, the Cabal—a small cluster of policy advisers and analysts now based in the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans. In the past year, according to former and present Bush Administration officials, their operation, which was conceived by Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, has brought about a crucial change of direction in the American intelligence community. These advisers and analysts, who began their work in the days after September 11, 2001, have produced a skein of intelligence reviews that have helped to shape public opinion and American policy toward Iraq. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 07, 03 | 1:37 pm

Tue May 06, 2003

Killing prompts new war crime call

The killing of reporters in war zones should be made a new war crime after the death of a British cameraman in Gaza, campaigners say.

James Miller, 34, from Devon, was shot in the southern troublespot of Rafah. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 06, 03 | 8:32 pm

Letter to Aharon Barak, Supreme Court President

Supreme Court President, Aharon Barak,

My son, Jonathan (Yoni) Ben-Artzi, is a pacifist. He refused to enlist for military service and asked for an alternative civil service. As a student of Physics and Mathematics, he believed he could best serve the Israeli Society by tutoring children in underprivileged schools, for example.

Yoni's request was rebuffed by the Army. He was called up for service on August 8, 2002. He came to the Induction Center, refused to wear uniform and was immediately incarcerated in Military Prison 4, for a one-month term. Here is the statement he made to the officer who sentenced him that day:

Posted by: Dimitris Asimakoulas on May 06, 03 | 6:40 pm

Israelis fire on parents of injured British peace activist

The parents of a British peace activist who was shot in the head by Israeli troops came under fire themselves as they travelled to the spot where their son was critically injured.

Anthony and Jocelyn Hurndall were in a British diplomatic convoy entering the town of Rafah in the Gaza Strip when Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint fired a shot, which passed narrowly over the top of their vehicles.


Posted by: Mona Baker on May 06, 03 | 12:27 pm

Lecturers under fire after call for boycott of Israel

Britain's largest university lecturers' union will this week debate the introduction of an academic boycott of Israel in protest at its military crackdown in Palestinian-held territory.


Posted by: Mona Baker on May 06, 03 | 12:20 pm

Lecturers' union to debate boycott of Israel

A university lecturers' union will debate a call for an academic boycott of Israel at its annual conference in Scarborough this week.


Posted by: Mona Baker on May 06, 03 | 12:08 pm

The Israeli Occupation Forces Arrest the Academic Dr. Fadel Abu Hein

On Thursday May 1st., Israeli Occupation Forces invaded El-Shujaea neighborhood in Gaza city, and arrested Dr. Fadel Abu Hein, a well-known professor of Psychology in Al-Aqsa University and director of Community Training Center for Crisis Management (CTCM) in Gaza.

Dr. Abu Hein has contributed significantly through research and various community activities in the field of trauma and its impact on the mental health of Palestinians. He is also an active member of the NGOs community, where he is the director of CTCM, which overlooks a number of programmes dealing with children in the area of education and psychology.

Dr. Abu Hein was arrested from his home by the Israeli forces after killing three of his brothers and blowing up their home, during their incursion to their neighborhood. This incursion has resulted in killing thirteen Palestinian citizens, three of whom were children and injuring forty people.

Posted by: Mona Baker on May 06, 03 | 9:55 am

Mon May 05, 2003

One of the Few Who Repudiated the War

When growing up in the Fifties, I read only one comic book: Superman. What most fascinated me wasn't the hero's valiant deeds but Lois Lane's smoldering passion for him and her equally smoldering indifference for her journalist colleague Clark Kent. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 05, 03 | 9:27 pm

U.S. miscalculates in Iraq

Watching the Shiite Muslims marching through Karbala and Baghdad last week brought back uncomfortable memories. It was Iran in 1979 and 1980; Jimmy Carter was president, and the insufferable Walter Cronkite was counting off the number of days Americans were being held prisoner in the U.S. embassy in Tehran. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 05, 03 | 3:45 pm

Sun May 04, 2003

Ominous Precedent

With coalition forces now in control of Baghdad and much of the rest of Iraq, Saddam Hussein’s odious regime is finished. As expected, the United States and its allies have achieved most of their military objectives. But will they be able to attain their overarching political goals as well? Israel’s experience in Lebanon 20 years ago suggests that it is possible thoroughly to defeat one’s adversary on the battlefield yet still not win the war. Similarities between Israel’s Lebanon war and our war in Iraq raise concern that we might also find it difficult to turn military success into political triumph. Given the parallels, it is worth pondering Israel’s disastrous experience in Lebanon as we consider the challenges the United States faces in post-Saddam Iraq. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 04, 03 | 11:38 pm

Sat May 03, 2003

The Dixie Chicks & Civility

A crisis in human history is likely to reveal more about the human condition than we might be comfortable with. The war on Iraq is no exception: It has revealed more than the inside of Saddam’s palaces. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 03, 03 | 9:47 pm

British cameraman killed by IDF fire while filming in Rafah

Israel Defense Forces troops demolishing a home suspected of concealing an arms-smuggling tunnel in the southern Gaza Strip shot dead a British television cameraman late Friday, military officials and Palestinian witnesses said. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 03, 03 | 10:44 am

Fri May 02, 2003

New Update – Aida

It seems as a great end of the month of April to end the day and begin the celebration for May 1st by a noisy game, with a lot of hide and find stuff.

The Israeli polite military jeeps (about 7 that we have seen) entered the camp around 17:15, though uninvited, and wanted to show the people in Aida camp, how an occupation could be concerned with small details in the life of people. They came in, and started with the sound bombs to disperse the children who started to gather in the streets wondering whether to allow them to pass or prepare them a ‘hot’ welcome. With the sound bombs being fired, the celebrations began and the sky of Aida was raining stones.

Posted by: peace/justice on May 02, 03 | 10:16 am

Reborn, Marduk of Babylone

-Hillah, Iraq, April 2, 2003

1. Ahmed, hiding

Gunsound, bombs, the crash of falling tin,
hissing noises, snakes and bombs.
Donkeys scream in pain.
Bombs and chickens,
dusty feathers singed by fire and wind, a
bomb, another, bomb, another night,
all silent now.

Posted by: nachoua on May 02, 03 | 6:04 am

The Bridge at Nasiriya

 For a pulsing moment
he cannot remember
whether he came from Georgia
or some place further inward,
a recruiting office,
Captain Tilly congratulating him,
painting murals inside his head,
promises of a noble heart to be saved
     for heaven, a good spot there.

Posted by: nachoua on May 02, 03 | 5:36 am

What was Newt thinking?

Last week's pre-emptive strike by ex-Speaker Newt Gingrich on the State Department and Colin Powell may appear purest madness. But there is method in Newt's madness. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 02, 03 | 1:17 am

Thu May 01, 2003

Bush's "Road Map" Is A Road Map To Disaster

NEW YORK- The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has strongly criticized the Bush administration's "Road Map" plan, warning that it is a road map to disaster--it will create a Palestinian Arab terrorist state that will endanger Israel and undermine America's war against terrorism:

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 01, 03 | 10:38 pm

Found Iraqi Intelligence Bogus: Investigative Journalist

WASHINGTON, April 30 (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) – After the U.S. and Britain were shown to be providing bogus "intelligence" documents to the U.N. Security Council to proved Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program, the world's media is now being fed a steady stream of U.S.-found Iraqi "intelligence" documents from the rubble of Iraq's intelligence headquarters. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 01, 03 | 10:20 pm

No politics, please

A controversial award-winning artist, accusations of censorship, and a resignation. And the Tel Aviv Museum says it wants to keep politics out of art. More...

Posted by: Ed Howard on May 01, 03 | 5:07 pm

Israeli troops mark Palestinians with numbers; army promises action

NABLUS, West Bank (AP) - Israeli soldiers have written numbers in ink on the hands of hundreds of Palestinians waiting at a crowded West Bank military checkpoint, several of the people marked said Monday. More...

Posted by: Sami on May 01, 03 | 12:30 am