Archives: July 2004

Sat Jul 31, 2004

The case against war: Tales to frighten children

In the end, I think we are just tired of being lied to. Tired of being talked down to, of being bombarded with Second World War jingoism and scare stories and false information and student essays dressed up as "intelligence". We are sick of being insulted by little men, by Tony Blair and Jack Straw and the likes of George Bush and his cabal of neo-conservative henchmen who have plotted for years to change the map of the Middle East to their advantage. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Jul 31, 04 | 8:34 pm

Fri Jul 30, 2004

Let's Dump The American Empire

There is an American Empire, but we should dump it, because we Americans are woefully incompetent when it comes to maintaining empires. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Jul 30, 04 | 11:40 pm

Obeying the Law

Once again Israel has vowed to flout a United Nations resolution and once again America will let it. In voting against the general assembly's resolution demanding that Israel obey a World Court ruling to dismantle the wall it is building through the West Bank, the deputy US ambassador James Cunningham said the move was missing the point. "The resolution diverts attention from where it should be - on the practical efforts to move the parties towards realisation of the ultimate goal of two states living side by side in peace and security," he said. But who exactly is making these practical efforts? Not the US, if we are to believe the analysis written by the Department for International Development and signed off by the development secretary Hilary Benn. DfID said there was a real risk of US disengagement from the peace process, just at the moment when diplomatic pressure was needed to stop it collapsing. One can always look for reasons for inaction: the current meltdown within the Palestinian Authority, a fast-approaching presidential election in November in which nothing must be said by either candidate to upset Jewish voters, the all-consuming effort to stabilise Iraq. The same argument that it is never a good time ensured the longevity of attempts to seek a political settlement in Northern Ireland. But time is not on the side of those who maintain that oxygen can be administered to the limp corpse of the road map. The separation barrier is going up, and no one but the profoundly optimistic believes it will come down soon. A new political border is being created, effectively dividing the West Bank into three or four cantons, and America and Europe look on, as if powerless to stop it. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Jul 30, 04 | 6:26 pm

Anybody but Bush- and then let's get back to work

Last month, I reluctantly joined the Anybody But Bush camp. It was "Bush in a Box" that finally got me, a gag gift my brother gave my father on his 66th birthday. Bush in a Box is a cardboard cut-out of President 43 with a set of adhesive speech balloons featuring the usual tired Bushisms: "Is our children learning?" "They misunderestimated me" - standard-issue Bush-bashing schlock, on sale at Wal-Mart, made in Malaysia. More...

Posted by: nachoua on Jul 30, 04 | 4:47 pm

The Guardian Reveals Identity of Telegraph's Islamophobic Commentator

Marina Hyde
Thursday July 29, 2004
The Guardian

Back at once to the mystery gripping British commentary: the identity of the Sunday Telegraph's new star columnist "Will Cummins". To recap, for the past four weeks Will has written a series of pieces peppered with references to Islam's "black heart" and "black face", whose intellectual thrust is perhaps best summarised as: "These vile Muslims are coming to get us and we're all going to die unless we get them first." When last week we wondered why he had no other hits on Google, comment editor Mark Law would only reveal that Will Cummins was a pseudonym for someone who wished to work anonymously. More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 30, 04 | 7:44 am

Thu Jul 29, 2004

Israel expands West Bank settlements

Months after Ariel Sharon announced his dramatic plan to pull Jewish settlers out of Gaza, portraying it as a sacrifice for peace, the government is grabbing more land for West Bank settlements.

Israeli peace groups and Palestinian officials say thousands of homes are under construction in the main settlements, in addition to an expansion of Jewish outposts that are illegal under Israeli law. Mr Sharon has promised the US he will dismantle the outposts, which are usually clusters of containers or trailer homes serviced by government-built roads, but has failed to do so.

One Israeli group, Settlement Watch, says in the three months to May, West Bank settlements expanded by 26 hectares (65 acres).The government has approved construction of thousands more homes in the three main settlement blocs on the West Bank, encouraged by an apparent endorsement by George Bush for their eventual annexation. More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 29, 04 | 10:56 am

Baghdad is a city that reeks with the stench of the dead

The smell of the dead pours into the street through the air-conditioning ducts. Hot, sweet, overwhelming. Inside the Baghdad morgue, there are so many corpses that the fridges are overflowing. The dead are on the floor. Dozens of them. Outside, in the 46C (114F) heat, Qadum Ganawi tells me how his brother Hassan was murdered.

"He was bringing supper home for our family in Palestine Street but he never reached our home. Then we got a phone call saying we could have him back if we paid $50,000 (#27,500). We didn't have $50,000. So we sold part of our home and many of our things and we borrowed $15,000 and we paid over the money to a man in a car who was wearing a keffiyeh scarf round his head. More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 29, 04 | 10:53 am

The Myth of Gulf War 2

The daily press and the telegraph, which in a moment spread inventions over the whole earth, fabricate more myths….in one day than could have formerly been done in a century.

Karl Marx, 1871

There was no war in the Gulf in 2003. Rather, a myth of heroic, spectacular warfare was manufactured, in large part, as a desperate measure to help provide a raison d’être for the (increasingly out-of-control) military industrial complexes in the US and UK - and to hide the reality of a rout of a hopelessly overwhelmed "enemy" army. The links between mainstream journalists and the intelligence services are crucial factors in the manufacture of the myth. But it is not essentially a massive elite conspiracy. Rather, the myth’s origins lie deep within complex military, historical, economic and political forces which it is crucial to identify. Moreover, the manufacture of the "war" myth has profound implications for any study of the political and military origins of the conflict and press representations.


Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 29, 04 | 9:35 am

Wed Jul 28, 2004

Time to apply South Africa remedy to Israel

THE United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly last week to accept the ruling of the International Court of Justice on Israel’s apartheid wall and demand Israel dismantle it.

The vote was 150-6, the dissenters being the United States, Israel, Australia, and three U.S.-dependent island states. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 28, 04 | 8:42 pm

Teaching Torture: Congress Quietly Keeps School of the Americas Alive

Remember how congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle deplored the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib as "un-American"? Last Thursday, however, the House quietly passed a renewed appropriation that keeps open the U.S.'s most infamous torture-teaching institution, known as the School of the Americas (SOA), where the illegal physical and psychological abuse of prisoners of the kind the world condemned at Abu Ghraib and worse has been routinely taught for years. More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 28, 04 | 10:02 am

Banners held high as thousands bid farewell to a journalist and revolutionary

The funeral, like the man, was "open to all". Two hours before the ceremony to say farewell to Paul Mackintosh Foot was due to take place at Golders Green crematorium in north London yesterday afternoon, they had started gathering in their hundreds.

There were the banners of the Socialist Workers party and the unions, of the anti-war and the anti-racism movements, all the causes to which the journalist, revolutionary and campaigner Paul Foot had been so pivotal and with which he was so proud to be associated before his untimely death at the age of 66 last week. There were the victims of miscarriages of justice, like Vincent Hickey, Jim Robinson and Colin Wallace, for whose freedom he had battled, and the countless trade unionists and campaigners whose picket lines he had addressed or whose mistreatment he had exposed. More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 28, 04 | 9:57 am

Tue Jul 27, 2004

"My Land is, in fact, a Paradise"

Johayna Marlow speaks on Pacifica Radio with Jamal Juma' of PENGON (The Palestinian Environmental NGOs Network); he is Coordinator of the Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign; Johayna also speaks with Shariif Omar, President of the Committee against Land Confiscation. He is a farmer from Jayyus, whose 175 dunums of fertile land is now behind the wall which runs 10 yards from his home.

In this interview, Shariif tells us how Israel has stolen some 2,700 of his fruit trees and how he has lost some 95% of his income, while Jamal urges the International Community to stand behind the International Court of Justice ruling and to condemn Israel's oppression and apartheid.

In order to talk to us, Shariif Omar had to forego the possibility of being granted permission to pass through the apartheid wall's only gate to work on his land because the gate opens for just 15 minutes at certain times of day. Jamal Juma', recent delegate to World Court in the Hague, urges "all people who love peace, who have a sense of humanity, that this is the time to end the tragedy of the Palestinian people." More...

Posted by: Charles MacKinnon on Jul 27, 04 | 9:11 pm

Sun Jul 25, 2004

Presbyterians divest themselves from Israel

WASHINGTON - The Presbyterian Church's 216th General Assembly caught American Jewish organizations off guard and by surprise. The Presbyterians have never concealed their criticism of Israeli policies in the territories, but years of dialogue between Jews and Presbyterians had created an impression of an understanding between the communities.

Hence U.S. Jewish leaders were astonished to find that the Presbyterian Church has adopted the most censorious decisions ever embraced by any Christian denomination in the United States against Israel.

The Presbyterian Church has three million American members and is one of the strongest denominations in the country. This time it did more than issue declarations condemning Israel's occupation of the territories. In a precedent setting decision, it took practical steps to halt investments in Israel, and to discourage contacts with companies that do business in Israel. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 25, 04 | 6:20 pm

Sat Jul 24, 2004

Misunderstanding Iraq: Saddam's people are winning the war

WASHINGTON: The battle for Iraq's sovereign future is a battle for the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people. As things stand, it appears that victory will go to the side most in tune with the reality of the Iraqi society of today: the leaders of the anti-U.S. resistance.

Iyad Allawi's government was recently installed by the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) to counter a Baathist nationalism that ceased to exist nearly a decade ago.

In the aftermath of the first Gulf War, Saddam Hussein's regime shifted toward an amalgam of Islamic fundamentalism, tribalism and nationalism that more accurately reflected the political reality of Iraq.

Thanks to his meticulous planning and foresight, Saddam's lieutenants are now running the Iraqi resistance, including the Islamist groups. More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 24, 04 | 12:24 pm

Fri Jul 23, 2004

The spies who stole my name

An Auckland family have told how their tetraplegic son's identity was stolen by an Israeli secret agent who moved in just down the road.

Zev Barkan, who has fled New Zealand and escaped the justice faced yesterday by his two co-accused spies, lived within 300m of the man in whose name he applied for a passport to assume a New Zealand identity. More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 23, 04 | 5:02 pm

Israel breached NZ's sovereignty and international law, says PM

Israel breached New Zealand's sovereignty and international law when two of its agents attempted to fraudulently obtain a passport, Prime Minister Helen Clark said tonight.

The Prime Minister announced a virtual suspension of diplomatic relations with Israel after Uriel Zoshe Kelman and Eli Cara were each sentenced to six months jail in the High Court at Auckland. More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 23, 04 | 2:09 pm

Michelin Guides Sue Israeli Satirist over Spoof

Micheling Guides have recently filed suite against Israeli expat satirist Shimon Tzabar, publisher of a pamphlet titled MUCH BETTER THAN THE OFFICIAL Michelin Guide to Israeli Prisons, Jails, Concentration Camps, and Torture Chambres. Below is an excerpt from the guide, followed by Tzabar's defense submitted to the British Hight Court.

Excerpt: The Guide (pp. 6-11):
Before we start our guided tour of Israel's prisons, concentration camps and torture chambers, it would make sense to ask why we are doing this. Why should anyone go on such a tour? The answer is simple: to see history in the making.
Usually, it is through newspapers that history unfolds before our eyes. In the case of Israel however, we cannot trust newspapers. They mix everything up and make us confused. We cannot distinguish any more between anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, and anti-Israeli government policy. The only way to know the truth is to go there in person and see with our own eyes and watch history, true history, in the making.

Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 23, 04 | 10:30 am

Israel and South Africa: History repeats itself

On Wednesday, the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to accept the ruling of the International court of Justice on Israel’s apartheid wall and demand Israel dismantle it. The vote was 150 countries in support and six against (US, Israel, Australia, and three US dependent Island states). The wall literally makes concrete the colonization of roughly 30-40% more of the 22% of Palestine that remains. Palestinians will end up with about 12-15% of their land but even this will be in disjointed large prisons/ghettos that will have no sovereignty.

Israel is in defiance of over 35 UN Security Council Resolutions and countless General Assembly resolutions. Israel was also shielded from many others by US veto or threat of veto. But this will be different. In 1971, despite US objections, the UN general Assembly asked the International Court of Justice to rule on South Africa’s violations of International law in Namibia. An International movement to dismantle apartheid in South Africa followed the ruling. The movement succeeded because of resistance within South Africa buttressed by an International boycott and divestment campaign. Already such campaigns are being initiated against Israeli apartheid. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 23, 04 | 8:17 am

Thu Jul 22, 2004

UN Assembly votes overwhelmingly to demand Israel comply with ICJ ruling

20 July 2004 – The United Nations General Assembly today voted overwhelmingly to demand that Israel comply with an advisory opinion issued earlier this month by the World Court, which declared the construction of a separation barrier in and around the West Bank to be illegal.

In adopting a resolution by a vote of 150 to 6, with 10 abstentions, the Assembly also called on all UN Member States to comply with its obligations as contained in the finding by International Court of Justice (ICJ), which include a duty "not to recognize the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall in the occupied Palestinian territory, including in and around East Jerusalem" and "not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by such construction." More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 22, 04 | 12:47 pm

Wed Jul 21, 2004

'A better and safer place'

For mile after mile south of Baghdad yesterday, the story was the same: empty police posts, abandoned Iraqi army and police checkpoints and a litter of burnt-out American fuel tankers and rocket-smashed police vehicles down the main highway to Hillah and Najaf. It was Afghanistan Mk2.

Iraqi government officials and Western diplomats tell journalists to avoid driving out of Baghdad; now I understand why. It is dangerous. But my own fearful journey far down Highway 8 - scene of the murder of at least 15 Westerners - proved that the US-appointed Iraqi government controls little of the land south of the capital. Only in the Sunni Muslim town of Mahmoudiya - where a car bomb exploded outside an Iraqi military recruiting centre last week - did I see Iraqi policemen. More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 21, 04 | 11:23 pm

Points of friction

Public and legal discussions of the separation fence all mainly focus on the route, the exact positioning of the barriers and walls that are supposed to bring security to Israel's citizens. There is very little talk about the crossing points in the fence. Where are they? Who will use them and what procedures will this entail? How will the location and organization of the fence crossing points affect the lives of Israeli and Palestinian residents who use them?

There are economic, social, political and security issues involved here. The various reports that have been released mention some 40 planned crossings along the length of the fence. Some already exist, some will be located in familiar places where there are now roadblocks, and some are already under construction. There are no specific plans for all of them, mainly because the final route of the fence has yet to be determined. But there is at least one area, in northeast Jerusalem, about which it may be said that planners are at a loss for what to do. They simply don't know how they will be able to arrange the transfer of people and merchandise between the two sides in a reasonable way. More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 21, 04 | 10:53 pm

Linda Ronstadt booted from gig for praising Michael Moore

LAS VEGAS - Boos and bedlam ensued at a Linda Ronstadt concert in Las Vegas on the weekend after the singer praised controversial filmmaker Michael Moore and his new movie Fahrenheit 9/11.

Before launching into her encore at the Aladdin Casino & Resort Saturday night, Ronstadt took a minute to laud Moore as a "great American patriot" who "is spreading the truth."

She also dedicated the song Desperado to Moore and encouraged the audience to go see his award-winning documentary, which criticizes the Bush administration's handling of the Sept. 11 attacks and explores the connection between the Bush family and prominent clans in Saudi Arabia, including the family of Osama bin Laden. More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 21, 04 | 10:28 pm

Mixing prophecy and politics

Christian Zionists are growing in influence - even as they fight for policies their critics say work against peace in the Mideast. For these believers, it's all about fulfilling biblical prophecy.

JERUSALEM – Ray Sanders and his wife, Sharon, grew up on farms in the American Midwest, but Israel has long been their home. Their journey began in the 1970s, when they read Hal Lindsey's apocalyptic bestseller, "The Late Great Planet Earth," which laid out a scenario for the end of the world according to a literal interpretation of Bible prophecies.

"That awakened our understanding to Israel and its prophetic role in the Last Days," Mr. Sanders explains in his spacious Jerusalem office. "That was a real paradigm shift in our lives." More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 21, 04 | 3:41 pm

In Hebron

Yitzhak Laor writes about an exhibition of soldiers' photographs in Tel Aviv and introduces some of the soldiers' memories of their military service

Israel's Independence Day fell this year on 27 April. For his homework my nine-year-old son had to interview me about my military past. Before giving out the assignment, his teacher had invited the father of one of the children, an IDF colonel, to give a talk in full military uniform. The children were fascinated. Urged to ask questions, they mostly wanted to know whether he was afraid, though they also asked if he had killed Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, whose picture and the picture of his destroyed wheelchair were quite a hit on Israeli TV. The colonel said it was another unit, not his, 'but he deserved to die,' and he promised the children that 'we don't kill unless there is a really good reason.' He ended the talk by telling the children he hoped that they too would one day have the chance to become senior officers in the IDF. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 21, 04 | 12:24 pm

Tue Jul 20, 2004

The Story of Assassinating Prof. Khaled Salah

On 6 July 2004 Professor Khaled Salah of An-Najah National University, along with son Muhammad, were killed by an Israeli attack unit. The Salah home was later demolished by six helicopter rockets.

A press conference by the wife and daughter of Prof. Khaled Salah

"If I am Palestinian they will kill me...If I am American they will kill me… should I be Jewish to be safe?"

"My name is Diana Khaled Salah, I am 23 years, the only daughter of Khaled Salah. He was more like a friend than a father. Last night, about one o’ clock I heard a bomb explosion. I saw Israeli soldiers come into the house. My father rushed into my room. I told him, Dad, it is full of soldiers downstairs."

"Are you kidding?" he said.

"No," I answered.

'He went to look in the kitchen. He rushed back and took me from my bedroom into another room. More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 20, 04 | 6:52 pm

Lapid: Israel on verge of becoming int'l pariah

Justice Minister Yosef Lapid warned Sunday that Israel is on the verge of becoming an international pariah and urged the government not to ignore the International Court of Justice.

"The Hague court, groups like Amnesty, and United Nations committees, act as a kind of global high court that, while they do not have to be liked, cannot be ignored," said Lapid. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 20, 04 | 6:24 pm

Our lies led us into war

So Andrew Gilligan, the BBC reporter who claimed that the government had sexed up the intelligence about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, was mostly right. Much of the rest of the media, which took the doctored intelligence at face value, was wrong. The reward for getting it right was public immolation and the sack. The punishment for getting it wrong was the usual annual bonus. No government commissions inquiries to discover why reporters reproduce the government's lies.

All journalists make mistakes. When deadlines are short and subjects are complicated, we are bound to get some things wrong. But the falsehoods reproduced by the media before the invasion of Iraq were massive and consequential: it is hard to see how Britain could have gone to war if the press had done its job. If the newspapers have any interest in putting the record straight, they should surely each be commissioning an inquiry of their own. Unlike the government's, it should be independent, consisting perhaps of a lawyer, a media analyst and an intelligence analyst. Its task would be to assess the paper's coverage of Iraq, decide what it got right and what it got wrong, discover why the mistakes were made and what should be done to prevent their repetition. Its report should be published in full by the paper. More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 20, 04 | 6:21 pm

If it were the reverse

What would happen if a Palestinian terrorist were to detonate a bomb at the entrance to an apartment building in Israel and cause the death of an elderly man in a wheelchair, who would later be found buried under the rubble of the building? The country would be profoundly shocked. Everyone would talk about the sickening cruelty of the act and its perpetrators. The shock would be even greater if it then turned out that the dead man's wife had tried to dissuade the terrorist from blowing up the house, telling him that there were people inside, but to no avail. The tabloids would come out with the usual screaming headline: "Buried alive in his wheelchair." The terrorists would be randed "animals." More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 20, 04 | 6:17 pm

ISM activists use Birthright program to get to Israel

Max, a volunteer for the International Solidarity Movement and a student at Bir Zeit University, is hardly a poster child for birthright israel - a
program that offers young Jews a free trip to Israel in an effort to strengthen Jewish identity and a connection with the Jewish state.

But as a 21-year-old Jewish university student who had never been to Israel on an organized trip, he qualified, despite the fact that his goals clashed, to put it mildly, with those of the program's organizers. More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 20, 04 | 6:14 pm

Mon Jul 19, 2004

Jesus and Jihad

If the latest in the "Left Behind" series of evangelical thrillers is to be believed, Jesus will return to Earth, gather non-Christians to his left and toss them into everlasting fire:

"Jesus merely raised one hand a few inches and a yawning chasm opened in the earth, stretching far and wide enough to swallow all of them. They tumbled in, howling and screeching, but their wailing was soon quashed and all was silent when the earth closed itself again."

These are the best-selling novels for adults in the United States, and they have sold more than 60 million copies worldwide. The latest is "Glorious Appearing," which has Jesus returning to Earth to wipe all non-Christians from the planet. It's disconcerting to find ethnic cleansing celebrated as the height of piety.


Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 19, 04 | 10:21 pm

Iraqi academics targeted in murder spree

The Mongols stained the Tigris black with the ink of the Iraqi books they destroyed. Today's Mongols prefer to destroy the Iraqi teachers of books.

Since the Anglo-American invasion, they have murdered at least 13 academics at the University of Baghdad alone and countless others across Iraq. History professors, deans of college and Arabic tutors have all fallen victim to the war on learning. Only six weeks ago - virtually unreported, of course - the female dean of the college of law in Mosul was beheaded in her bed, along with her husband.

Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 19, 04 | 9:49 pm

US Presbyterian Church calls for sanctions on Israel

Leaders of the Presbyterian Church in the US approved a divestment campaign against Israel in a series of annual resolutions that included a condemnation of Israel's security fence, a decision to continue funding churches aimed at converting Jews to Christianity and a disavowal of Christian Zionism as a legitimate theological stance.

In a vote of 431 to 62, the 216th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA compared Israel's policies to those of South Africa and approved gathering data to support a selective divestment of holdings in multinational corporations doing business in Israel/ Palestine, a July 2 church release noted. The church's liaison to the Middle East, Rev. Victor Makari, noted after the vote that if nothing else seems to have changed the policy of Israel toward Palestinians, we need to send a clear and strong message. More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 19, 04 | 1:52 pm

Wither the Empire: The Rise of Global Resistance

Mahmoud Darwish, arguably the Arab world's leading contemporary poet, wrote in his recent poem, Nothing but Iraq, the following

Dead blacksmiths awaken from their graves to make our shackles
but we never dreamt of more than a life like life
and of dying our own way

One doesn't have to be endowed with the eloquence of Darwish to identify with his quest. When a "life like life" becomes too much to dream of, humanity as such is essentially defied. More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 19, 04 | 1:49 pm

Sun Jul 18, 2004

UNRWA: Israelis fired on food convoy

An UNRWA convoy delivering food to a besieged Palestinian town has come under Israeli fire in the occupied Gaza Strip, according to UN officials.

A statement by UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees) said the incident occurred after it delivered 370 tonnes of flour, oil, lentils, sugar, rice and whole milk to Bait Hanun in northern Gaza on Wednesday - food supplies meant for 20,000 civilians, or two-thirds of the besieged population. More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 18, 04 | 12:01 pm

From Hague to Mas'ha

The International Court of Justice has determined that Israel “has the right, and indeed the duty, to…protect the life of its citizens” but that “the measures taken are bound nonetheless to remain in conformity with applicable international law.” The Court found the present route of the separation fence or wall to be a serious and egregious violation of international law.

In an interview given last weekend, Israeli Chief of Staff Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon contested the applicability of international law. Such a system was appropriate for the conditions of World War II, he declared, but not for the present war on terror. Apparently, as Ya’alon envisions it, in this war the armed forces are bound only by their own law. Indeed, a battle is being waged in the world today over the status of international law. While the US and Israel are agitating for its nullification, the rest of the world understands that international law, as the framework that governs the conduct of states, is a necessary apparatus for the preservation of society. Even if it does not always function perfectly, without international law there is a danger that large segments of the human race will simply be wiped out, as we Jews learned through our own terrible experience during World War II. More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 18, 04 | 11:55 am

Britain's worst intelligence failure, and Lord Butler says no one is to blame

What a wonderful specimen of the British establishment is Lord Butler of Brockwell. Urbane, unflappable and understanding. He should be put on display somewhere as a prize example of our ruling classes. Possibly the Victoria and Albert Museum would provide the right grandeur and period ambiance.

There is an emotional disconnect between his measured tones and the brutal reality of the topic he was examining. The events on which he was reporting were the origins of a real war. In its carnage between 10 and 30 thousand people were killed, some of them blown apart by the largest bombs yet made from conventional explosive. For some death would have been mercifully swift. For others the end would have been agonisingly slow and death welcomed as a release from unbearable pain. More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 18, 04 | 11:43 am

Sat Jul 17, 2004

The case for sanctions against Israel

What worked with apartheid can bring peace to the Middle East

The bomb attack in Tel Aviv yesterday highlights the desperate need to achieve a peace settlement. It highlights, too, the futility of the wall Israel is building in Palestinian land, a wall condemned by the international court of justice last Friday and whose route was condemned by Israel's supreme court last month. What action is needed to put an end to this dance of death?
When the international court demanded the removal of the wall, the Israeli government replied that it had a "moral duty" to protect its citizens. Quite apart from the fact that this government - the most rightwing and bellicose in Israel's 56-year history - could not recognise a moral duty if hit in the face by one, the protection of citizens is, above all, the duty in which it is failing.

Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 17, 04 | 8:24 pm

Protestant Group OKs Divestment From Israel

In an unprecedented victory for pro-Palestinian activists, leaders of the largest Presbyterian denomination officially
equated the Jewish state with apartheid South Africa and have voted to stop investing in Israel.

With the decision, approved in a 431-62 vote at the 216th annual General Assembly of Presbyterian Church (USA), the church, boasting nearly 3 million members, is believed to be the largest organization or institution to join the fledgling divestment campaign against Israel. It is the first Christian denomination to do so, according to Sister Patricia Wolfe, executive director of the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility, coalition of 275 Christian denominations.

Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 17, 04 | 8:22 pm

OU professor revives call for Israel boycott

UK academic Stephen Rose has renewed calls for an international academic boycott of Israeli universities at a conference to find solutions to Israeli-Palestinian hostilities.

Professor Rose, a founder of the international academic boycott campaign, read out a letter from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel at the opening session of a conference on solutions to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, held in Brussels.

The letter calls on the international academic community to refrain from any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions, including a suspension of all forms of funding and subsidies. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 17, 04 | 8:05 pm

Suicide top killer of Israeli soldiers

For the first time, suicide has become the leading cause of death in the Israeli armed forces, according to an Israeli newspaper report.

Quoting statistics from Israeli army's rehabilitation division, the Hebrew daily Maariv said that in 2003, the number of Israeli soldiers who committed suicide was significantly higher than those killed during military incursions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

A total of 43 Israeli soldiers took their own lives last year compared to 30 soldiers killed in intifada-related hostilities, said the report.

This represents a 30% increase in the number of suicides over the 2002 figure of 31.

Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 17, 04 | 8:02 pm

Don't Blame Arafat

Camp David failed because Israeli hardliners manipulated intelligence

David Hirst
Saturday July 17, 2004
The Guardian

In his memoirs, the former US president Bill Clinton writes that the Camp David summit, of which this month marks the fourth anniversary, was the greatest failure of his career. And that, he says, was overwhelmingly Yasser Arafat's doing - for, unlike Israeli premier Ehud Barak, who had been ready for "enormous concessions", the Palestinian leader couldn't "make the final jump from revolutionary to statesman". More...

Posted by: nachoua on Jul 17, 04 | 5:58 pm

Wed Jul 14, 2004

Greasing up to power: A US comedian brings us closer to the truth than the BBC

When starving people find food, they don't worry too much about the ingredients. Michael Moore's film is crude and sometimes patronising. He puts words into people's mouths. He finishes their sentences for them. At times he is funny and moving, at others clumsy and incoherent. But I was shaken by it, and I applauded at the end. For Fahrenheit 9/11 asks the questions that should have been asked every day for the past four years. The success of his film testifies to the rest of the media's failure. More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 14, 04 | 4:10 pm

Settlers said to have put rotting chickens into village well

Palestinians in a West Bank village south of Hebron said Tuesday that settlers had thrown rotting corpses of chickens into their central well, which supplies drinking water to the local school.

The residents of the village, a-Tawna, have in the past complained of harassment by settlers in the adjacent enclave of Maon.

"This morning, four settlers came to the water well near the school," said village headman Sabra Hareni. "They put in 10 or so chickens, and something else with a bad odor." More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 14, 04 | 2:31 pm

Tue Jul 13, 2004

“We need to alarm the world… to scream - to silently scream”

Exclusive Interview with Dr Azmi Bishara, MK, on the Hunger Strike

Azmi Bishara (AB) spoke with Johayna Marlow (JM) and John Young (JY) on Pacifica Radio

JY - Good evening, etc… Dr Bishara is currently in Occupied Palestine at the ar-Ram roadblock between Jerusalem and Ramallah where he is encamped to stand with the people of Palestine in their long struggle for Freedom. On Saturday, Dr Bishara began an open-ended hunger strike to protest the construction of the illegal Israeli Apartheid Wall now snaking its way all over Palestinian land. He now speaks with us from his protest tent.

Posted by: Charles MacKinnon on Jul 13, 04 | 12:32 am

Mon Jul 12, 2004

Imperial Misconceptions

In late May 2004, interviewed on CBS's 60 Minutes, former US general Anthony Zinni castigated US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his coterie of neo-cons with regard to their misconceptions concerning the war in Iraq. He had already published his views in a book called Battle Ready, co-authored with Tom Clancy.

Zinni claims that political ideologues have hijacked American policy in Iraq. It was the wrong war at the wrong time, he says, because "Saddam was effectively contained," whereas the real problem facing America was the war on terror. Moreover, on the way to achieving and justifying their end, the Pentagon and the civilian heads of the Bush Administration made every conceivable error: They relied on mistaken intelligence that was infected with ulterior motives. They underestimated the force that would be needed to rebuild Iraq. They disregarded international criticism and belittled the UN. More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 12, 04 | 2:49 pm

Peace in the Middle East: United Methodist Church Resolution

"Peace in the Middle East"
United Methodist Church Resolution

May 2004

We join with Palestinian Christians as well as our Jewish and Muslim brothers and sisters in feeling a deep sense of rootedness to the land which has special meaning for our three religious traditions. We celebrate the diversity of religious customs and traditions throughout the Middle East.

Jerusalem is sacred to all the children of Abraham: Jews, Muslims, and Christians. We have a vision of a shared Jerusalem as a city of peace and reconciliation, where indigenous Palestinians and Israelis can live as neighbors and, along with visitors and tourists, have access to holy sites and exercise freedom of religious expression. The peaceful resolution of Jerusalem's status is crucial to the success of the whole process of making a just and lasting peace between Palestinians and Israelis.

We seek for all people in the region an end to military occupation, freedom from violence, and full respect for the human rights of all under international law. More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 12, 04 | 1:20 pm

Assembly endorses Israel divestment: Palestinian says merely issuing another statement is not enough

RICHMOND, July 2 — The 216th General Assembly approved several measures opposing the Israeli occupation of Palestine Friday, including a call for the corporate witness office of the Presbyterian Church (USA) to begin gathering data to support a selective divestment of holdings in multinational corporations doing business in Israel/Palestine.
Divestment is one of the strategies that U.S. churches used in the 1970s and '80s in a successful campaign to end apartheid in South Africa.

The vote was 431 to 62 to have the church's Mission Responsibility Through Investment Committee (MRTI) study the matter and make recommendations to the General Assembly Council (GAC). More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 12, 04 | 1:15 pm

Rumsfeld Gave Go-Ahead for Abu Ghraib Tactics, Says General in Charge

The former head of the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad has for the first time accused the American Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, of directly authorising Guantánamo Bay-style interrogation tactics.

Brig-Gen Janis Karpinski, who commanded the 800th Military Police Brigade, which is at the centre of the Abu Ghraib prisoner-abuse scandal, said that documents yet to be released by the Pentagon would show that Mr Rumsfeld personally approved the introduction of harsher conditions of detention in Iraq. More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 12, 04 | 1:08 pm

More than a million bullets

The key to the mystery that is at the core of the important argument between former Military Intelligence commanders may be found in an anecdote told by former MI head Amos Malka to Akiva Eldar (Haaretz, June 11). It turns out that during the first few days of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, soldiers in the territories fired 1,300,000 bullets. This astounding statistic embodies the entire story. This massive firepower is the operational translation of the argument between Malka and Amos Gilad. More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 12, 04 | 12:59 pm



Cape Town, 1 July 2004


We delegates of African civil society meeting in Cape Town at the UN Forum of Civil Society in Support of Middle East Peace on the 1 July 2004, having heard first hand accounts of Palestinian life under occupation and having deliberated on how we can play a role in supporting the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people make the following declaration.

We call upon the United Nations individually and collectively to take action to ensure that the state of Israel complies with all UN resolutions and requirements of international law and conventions.

We further call on the international community to:

1. End the Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 12, 04 | 12:53 pm

The second intifada - an Israeli strategy

Israel's hawkish Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon last week lashed out at the Knesset's influential committee on defence and foreign affairs, accusing some members of disclosing "classified army secrets".

Ya'alon scolded the committee for revealing that the Israeli occupation army effectively provoked the Palestinians into escalating the violence during the first few months of the second intifada in order to give the army a pretext to hit hard on the Palestinian society and bully it into unconditional surrender. More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 12, 04 | 12:38 pm

Israel, Zionism and anti-Semitism

"The anti-Semites will become our most loyal friends, the anti-Semite nations will become our allies." (The Diary of Theodor Herzl)

As an Israeli peace activist, I believe that Israel's future depends on our ability to promote a just and lasting peace with our neighbours, primarily with the Palestinian people. Given the huge inequality in all aspects of the balance of power between the Israeli and Palestinian societies, only effective external intervention can prevent Israel from continuing its oppressive policies towards the Palestinians. Although these are common ideas, the paralysing fear of being labelled an anti-Semite prevents many from acting effectively or even raising a voice. More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 12, 04 | 12:32 pm

Sat Jul 10, 2004

Wresting tradition from the conformists

How is the history of the conflict with the Palestinians being written? And who will write our tragedy?

"A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples" by Ilan Pappe, Cambridge University Press, 333 pages, $22

Is the science of history buckling under the weight of the media, which sees "history" everywhere, but also contributes to producing history by cheapening it? Who among us still remembers what happened since the Oslo Accords were signed 11 years ago? What does the newspaper remember of the time since the Oslo Accords? What does the "man in the street" remember? Does he remember yesterday's paper? Last week's? Where do they come from, all those flat, unfounded answers - for example, "First we made concessions to them, then they began with the terrorist bombings"? And what of the intelligence assessment of Arafat the partner, an assessment made in the fall of 2000? Under what rubric shall that be filed? The rubric of producing history, or the rubric of interpreting it? At one of the moments of defeat in 1940, Bertolt Brecht commands his son: "Yes, learn mathematics, I tell him, learn French, learn history!" More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 10, 04 | 9:22 am

Fri Jul 09, 2004

ICJ Spells Out Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Advisory Opinion

The Court finds that the construction by Israel of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and its associated régime are contrary to international law; it states the legal consequences arising from that illegality

THE HAGUE, 9 July 2004. The International Court of Justice (ICJ), principal judicial organ of the United Nations, has today rendered its Advisory Opinion in the case concerning the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (request for advisory opinion).

In its Opinion, the Court finds unanimously that it has jurisdiction to give the advisory opinion requested by the United Nations General Assembly and decides by fourteen votes to one to comply with that request.

The Court responds to the question as follows:

-- “A. By fourteen votes to one,

The construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and its associated régime, are contrary to international law”; More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 09, 04 | 10:52 pm

7 Palestinians killed in Beit Hanoun and 40 Houses Destroyed in Khan Yunis

Press Release

Ref: 106/2004
Date: 08 July 2004
Time: 11:30 GMT

On Thursday morning, 8 July 2004, Israeli occupying forces, continuing a wide scale offensive on the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun which started on the 28 June 2004, killed 7 Palestinians, including a woman. Thus, the number of Palestinians killed since the beginning of this offensive has mounted to 13, including 3 children and one woman. In addition, dozens of Palestinians have been wounded and at least 1400 donums of agricultural land have been razed. Also this morning, Israeli troops totally destroyed 30 Palestinian houses and severely damaged 10 other ones in Khan Yunis refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip. Four Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded by the Israeli gunfire during this operation.

According to PCHR's preliminary investigations, at approximately 01:30, an infantry unit of Israeli occupying forces moved into al-Na'aima Street in the east of Beit Hanoun, towards a house belonging to the family of Nahed 'Abdul Rahman Abu 'Ouda, 44, who is wanted by Israeli troops. PCHR learned that Abu 'Ouda was killed in an exchange of fire with Israeli troops, but those troops have continued to hold his body in a Palestinian ambulance, without allowing the ambulance to travel out of the town. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 09, 04 | 11:00 am

Thu Jul 08, 2004

Academic's death adds fuel to Israeli boycott campaign

Leading proponents of an academic boycott against Israel today condemned the killing of an academic in the West Bank and vowed to step up their campaign to cut ties with Israeli universities.

University professor Khaled Sallah and his 16-year-old son Mohammed were among five Palestinians killed last night in raids on the West Bank city of Nablus. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 08, 04 | 5:14 pm

Wed Jul 07, 2004

Military Death Toll While Enforcing the Occupation of Iraq

This article contains images and tables. Click here to read it in full. http://www.monabaker.com/paul24jun04.htm More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 07, 04 | 11:01 am

Shovrim Shtika - Breaking the Silence: Soldiers Speak Out About their Service in Hebron

What follows is a compilation of testimonies by IDF soldiers who served until recently, or are still actively serving, in the West Bank city of Hebron. The testimonies were gathered by five of the soldiers, and this is what they write:

Recently, we were released from active military duty. Hebron was the hardest, most confusing place we served. Until now, each of us dealt with the difficult things we saw there on our own. Our photo albums - souvenirs from the time we spent in Hebron - have remained, until now, sealed on our respective bedroom shelves. Since we were released, we came to realize that these memories are common to all the guys who served alongside us. We decided to speak out. We decided to tell our stories. Hebron is not on another planet; it’s an hour’s drive from Jerusalem. But Hebron is light years from Tel Aviv. So we decided to bring Hebron to Tel Aviv. Now, its up to you to come, look, and listen. To understand what’s going on there. More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 07, 04 | 10:43 am

Don't Call it a Wall

A year ago, I urged readers to forget about President Bush's "Road Map to Peace" – on which so much attention was wasted at the time, by now a dead letter – and concentrate on the real map of Palestine, radically changed by the construction of Israel's Apartheid Wall, which was virtually ignored by the international media. A year has passed, and the silence has been broken: thanks to the work of several conscientious journalists, thanks to Palestinian efforts culminating in referring the Wall to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, which is due to decide on its legality soon, and – last but not least – thanks to thousands of Palestinian, Israeli and international activists, of Ta'ayush, Gush Shalom and many other groups, whose daily non-violent demonstrations are dispersed with ruthless brutality by the Israeli army. The Wall is now on the agenda, and it should be. But is it a Wall at all? More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 07, 04 | 10:24 am

Rumsfeld Gave Go-Ahead for Abu Ghraib Tactics, Says General in Charge

The former head of the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad has for the first time accused the American Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, of directly authorising Guantánamo Bay-style interrogation tactics.

Brig-Gen Janis Karpinski, who commanded the 800th Military Police Brigade, which is at the centre of the Abu Ghraib prisoner-abuse scandal, said that documents yet to be released by the Pentagon would show that Mr Rumsfeld personally approved the introduction of harsher conditions of detention in Iraq. More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 07, 04 | 10:18 am

Israeli interrogators 'in Iraq'

The US officer at the heart of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal says she has evidence that Israelis helped to interrogate Iraqis at another facility.

Brig Gen Janis Karpinski told the BBC she met an Israeli working as an interrogator at a secret intelligence centre in Baghdad.

A BBC reporter says it is the first time a senior US officer has suggested Israelis worked with the coalition. More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 07, 04 | 10:13 am

More than a million bullets

The key to the mystery that is at the core of the important argument between former Military Intelligence commanders may be found in an anecdote told by former MI head Amos Malka to Akiva Eldar (Haaretz, June 11). It turns out that during the first few days of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, soldiers in the territories fired 1,300,000 bullets. This astounding statistic embodies the entire story. This massive firepower is the operational translation of the argument between Malka and Amos Gilad. More...

Posted by: adminr on Jul 07, 04 | 10:08 am

Tue Jul 06, 2004

How Israel "Disperses" Demonstrations: Chemical Warfare on the West Bank?

"On June 10th, 2004, the two clinics in Al-Zawiya treated 130 patients for gas inhalation. The patients were children, women, old people and young men. Dr. Abu Madi related that there was a high number of cases of [tetany], spasm in legs and hands, connected to the nervous system. Pupils were dilated...Other symptoms included shock, semi-consciousness, hyperventilation, irritation and sweating." (1)

Thus reads a report by medical units serving the West Bank village of Al-Zawiya, where nonviolent resistance to Israel's impending wall has been extraordinarily resolute. According to the medical report (procured by the International Middle East Media Center - IMEMC), "the gas used against the protestors is not tear gas but possibly a nerve gas."

The following day, Israel's 'Peace Bloc', Gush Shalom, began a press release with the following quote from Al-Zawiya: "What the army used here yesterday was not tear gas. We know what tear gas is, what it feels like. That was something totally different.... When we were still a long way off from where the bulldozers were working, they started shooting things like this one (holding up a dark green metal tube with the inscription "Hand and rifle grenade no.400" - in English). Black smoke came out. Anyone who breathed it lost consciousness immediately, more than a hundred people. They remained unconscious for nearly 24 hours. One is still unconscious, at Rapidiya Hospital in Nablus. They had high fever and their muscles became rigid. Some needed urgent blood transfusion. Now, is this a way of dispersing a demonstration, or is it chemical warfare?" (2)

Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 06, 04 | 9:34 pm

Sun Jul 04, 2004

The Rootless Cosmopolitan

When Edward Said died in September 2003, after a decade-long battle against leukemia, he was probably the best-known intellectual in the world. Orientalism, his controversial account of the appropriation of the East in modern European thought and literature, has spawned an academic subdiscipline in its own right: A quarter of a century after its first publication, it continues to generate irritation, veneration and imitation. Even if its author had done nothing else, confining himself to teaching at Columbia University in New York--where he was employed from 1963 until his death--he would still have been one of the most influential scholars of the late twentieth century.

But he did not confine himself. From 1967, and with mounting urgency and passion as the years passed, Edward Said was also an eloquent, ubiquitous commentator on the crisis in the Middle East and an advocate for the cause of the Palestinians. This moral and political engagement was not really a displacement of Said's intellectual attention--his critique of the West's failure to understand Palestinian humiliation closely echoes, after all, his reading of nineteenth-century scholarship and fiction in Orientalism and subsequent books (notably Culture and Imperialism, published in 1993). But it transformed the professor of comparative literature at Columbia into a very public intellectual, adored or execrated with equal intensity by many millions of readers. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 04, 04 | 4:01 pm

'The liberation of Baghdad is not far away'

06/24/04 "Asia Times " - BAGHDAD - On the eve of the so-called transfer of sovereignty to the new Iraqi caretaker government on June 30, former Saddam Hussein generals turned members of the elite of the Iraqi resistance movement have abandoned their clandestine positions for a while to explain their version of events and talk about their plans. According to these Ba'ath officials, "the big battle" in Iraq is yet to take place.

"The Americans have prepared the war, we have prepared the post-war. And the transfer of power on June 30 will not change anything regarding our objectives. This new provisional government appointed by the Americans has no legitimacy in our eyes. They are nothing but puppets." More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 04, 04 | 3:42 pm

The Jewish Divide on Israel

For a glimpse of how Israel plays out in an American election year, recall the day in September when then-Democratic presidential frontrunner Howard Dean told reporters he would like to see the United States take an "even-handed" approach to Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Thirty-four Congressional Democrats responded by sending Dean a harsh letter questioning whether he shared their "unequivocal support for Israel's right to exist," and anonymous e-mails inundated Jewish listservs, accusing him of abandoning Israel. Dean promptly appeared on CNN to defend Israel's assassinations of Palestinian militants. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 04, 04 | 3:34 pm

81 British Members of Parliament Expresss Human Rights Concerns With Israel's Citizenship and Family Unification Law

81 British Members of Parliament representing all the major parties have supported an Early Day Motion expressing grave human rights concerns with Israel's possible decision to renew Israel's Citizenship and Family Unification Law.

The British MP's wrote "That this House expresses grave concerns that the Israeli Government is due to renew the Citizenship and Family Unification Law in July; notes that the law clearly discriminates against Israeli citizens of Palestinian origin and their spouses by denying Israeli citizenship or residency status to spouses of Israeli citizens who are residents of the West Bank or Gaza". More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 04, 04 | 10:02 am

Sat Jul 03, 2004

Over 340 British Jews call on leaders to end silence

347 Jews from Britain, including Israeli citizens living in the UK, have signed an open letter to the Board of Deputies of British Jews, demanding that it acknowledges and represents the opinions of the many British Jews critical of Israeli government actions.

Signatories range far and wide in the Jewish community and include a member of the Board itself, as well as the director of Jewish Council for Racial Equality (JCORE) and many other notable names including Harry Cohen MP, Rabbi John Rayner, Alexei Sayle, Janet Suzman, Dr Jonathan Miller, Harold Pinter, Susie Orbach, Francesca Klug OBE, and Professors Eric J Hobsbawm and Mary Kaldor.

The letter states: "it is time to distinguish the interests of the Jewish community in Britain from the policies adopted by Israeli governments ... We call on the Board to stand up and respond to the widespread desire in Britain's Jewish community for a just and peaceful long-term solution to the conflict. These issues must be brought into the open. Silence discredits us all."

Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 03, 04 | 7:36 pm

U.S. General Says Met Israeli Interrogator in Iraq

LONDON (Reuters) - The U.S. general who was in charge of Baghdad's notorious Abu Ghraib prison said on Saturday she had met an Israeli interrogator in Iraq, a controversial allegation likely to irritate many in the Arab world.

A U.S. military spokesman in Washington said he had no information and an Israeli official denied Israel was involved.

Brigadier-General Janis Karpinski, who was responsible for military police guarding all Iraqi jails at the time prisoners were abused by U.S. troops there, told the BBC she met the Israeli at a Baghdad interrogation center.

"He was clearly from the Middle East and he said: 'Well, I do some of the interrogation here and of course I speak Arabic, but I'm not an Arab. I'm from Israel'," she said.

Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 03, 04 | 7:30 pm

Israel's Plan B

June 20, 2004

Perri Dorset, Director, Public Relations (212) 286-5898
Daniel Kile, Publicist (212) 286-5996

Current and former intelligence officials in the United States, the Middle East, and Europe confirm that "Israeli intelligence and military operatives are now quietly at work in Kurdistan," in Iraq, "providing training for commando units," Seymour M. Hersh reports in "Plan B," in the June 28, 2004 issue of The New Yorker. The Israeli operatives include members of the Mossad, Israel's clandestine foreign-intelligence service, "who work undercover in Kurdistan as businessmen and, in some cases, do not carry Israeli passports," Hersh writes. Mark Regev, the spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington, says, "The story is simply untrue," but a senior C.I.A. official tells Hersh that the Israelis are indeed operating in Kurdistan, that the Israeli presence is widely known in the American intelligence community, and that the Israelis "think they have to be there." Hersh reveals that "by the end of last year Israel had concluded that the Bush Administration would not be able to bring stability or democracy to Iraq, and that Israel needed other options." More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 03, 04 | 11:38 am

How To Sell a War: The Rendon Group deploys ‘perception management’ in the war on Iraq

As U.S. tanks stormed into Baghdad on April 9, television viewers in the United States got their first feel-good moment of the war—a chance to witness the toppling of a giant statue of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Americans channel-flipping over breakfast between Fox, CNN and CBS all saw the same images, broadcast live from Baghdad’s Firdos Square. For those who missed it in the morning, the images were continually replayed on cable news throughout the day, and newspapers carried front-page color photos.

Posted by: Mona Baker on Jul 03, 04 | 10:28 am