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Archives: March 2006

Sun Mar 19, 2006

So Much for "Sunshine Week": AP Erases Video of Israeli Soldier Shooting Palestinian Boy

"The trend toward secrecy is the greatest threat to democracy."
- Associated Press CEO, in a speech about the importance of openness

"The official response is we decline to respond."
- Associated Press Director of Media Relations, replying to questions about AP

In the midst of journalism's "Sunshine Week"--during which the Associated Press and other news organizations are valiantly proclaiming the public's "right to know"--AP insists on conducting its own activities in the dark, and refuses to answer even the simplest questions about its system of international news reporting.

Most of all, it refuses to explain why it erased footage of an Israeli soldier intentionally shooting a Palestinian boy. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Mar 19, 06 | 11:04 am

Unions Rally for Palestine

TOP South African trade unionist Willy Madisha issued a white-hot condemnation of Israel’s apartheid policies at a London conference on Saturday.

Addressing the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s trade union conference at TUC Congress House, the COSATU president declared that South Africa’s apartheid policies had been ‘a Sunday picnic’ compared to the state of Israel’s brutal treatment of Palestinians.

‘Apartheid was characterised by killings, hangings, disappearances, arrests, exile, confiscations, inferior education, rapes and the creation of bantusans.

'All this was a Sunday picnic compared to what is happening to the Palestinians. I say with confidence that Israel is an apartheid state’ said Mr Madisha. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Mar 19, 06 | 10:31 am

Sat Mar 18, 2006

The Israel Lobby

For the past several decades, and especially since the Six-Day War in 1967, the centrepiece of US Middle Eastern policy has been its relationship with Israel. The combination of unwavering support for Israel and the related effort to spread ‘democracy’ throughout the region has inflamed Arab and Islamic opinion and jeopardised not only US security but that of much of the rest of the world. This situation has no equal in American political history. Why has the US been willing to set aside its own security and that of many of its allies in order to advance the interests of another state? One might assume that the bond between the two countries was based on shared strategic interests or compelling moral imperatives, but neither explanation can account for the remarkable level of material and diplomatic support that the US provides.

Instead, the thrust of US policy in the region derives almost entirely from domestic politics, and especially the activities of the ‘Israel Lobby’. Other special-interest groups have managed to skew foreign policy, but no lobby has managed to divert it as far from what the national interest would suggest, while simultaneously convincing Americans that US interests and those of the other country – in this case, Israel – are essentially identical. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Mar 18, 06 | 12:49 pm

Sun Mar 12, 2006

Tortured, shot, ambushed, victims are found dumped outside morgues. What is happening to Iraq's intellectuals is chilling

Dr Mohammed Tuki Hussein Al Talakani Dr Eman Younis Dr Jammour Khammas Dr Mohammed Washed Professor Wajeeh Mahjoub Professor Sabri Al Bayati Professor Laila Al Saad Professor Muneer Al Khiero Professor Emad Sarsaan ProfessorMohammedAl Rawi Professor Munim Al Izmerly Dr Ali Al NaasI

The horrific killings of Iraqi intellectuals have left suspicions that occupying forces may be behind some of the cases, says Felicity Arbuthnot

I t is estimated that between 250 and 500 intellectuals have been killed or have disappeared since the fall of Saddam Hussein. There is a rising surge of anger over attacks on Iraq's intellectuals and many believe some of the killings may be part of a deliberate policy of targeting those who speak out against the "occupation". More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Mar 12, 06 | 2:18 pm

Drawn into a blueprint of bias

RICHARD ROGERS, the noted British architect, was recently summoned to the offices of the Empire State Development Corp. to explain his connection to a group called Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine. Empire State is overseeing the redesign of New York's $1.7-billion Javits Convention Center, and Rogers is the architect on the job.

According to media reports, Rogers has sparked the anger of various New York politicians and Jewish organizations for what he now claims was only a fleeting association with Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine. The group has taken the "outrageous" position that Israel's West Bank barrier (sometimes referred to euphemistically as a "security fence") is, well, problematic — because most of it is built not on Israel's 1967 border but within the West Bank; because it violates international law; because it separates farmers from their land, one town from another, people from their doctors, children from their schools; and because it generally wreaks havoc on Palestinian life. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Mar 12, 06 | 9:41 am

Sat Mar 11, 2006

U.S. Again Bars Cuban Scholars From International Conference

The United States has denied visas to all 55 Cuban scholars who had planned to attend an international conference of the Latin American Studies Association next week in Puerto Rico.

According to the association, known as LASA, the Cubans were informed of the decision on February 23, just three weeks before the conference is scheduled to start, on March 15. The association holds an international conference every 18 months. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on Mar 11, 06 | 4:41 pm