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Signs of the Times for Fri, 03 Feb 2006

Hind Khoury
Thursday January 26, 2006
The Guardian
The hollowness of Israel's commitment to free, fair elections was exposed in East Jerusalem yesterday

Yesterday just over 6% of the Palestinian electorate in occupied East Jerusalem were granted the opportunity to vote in their city in the second Palestinian parliamentary elections - a total of 6,300 out of a population of nearly a quarter of a million (including children). Yet even the lucky 6,300 - the number permitted by Israel to vote is entirely arbitrary - faced a campaign of intimidation to discourage voting.

Israel tried to score points internationally by allowing elections in East Jerusalem, while trying to choke the life out of them. As well as severely restricting the number of Palestinians allowed to vote, Israel photocopied registration lists. A refusal to give a previously issued letter of assurances that voting would not affect residency and other rights added to the atmosphere of fear.

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Recent studies of U.S. media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict reveal that the media reported Israeli children’s deaths at rates 7 to 40 times greater than Palestinian children’s deaths. Some typical examples:

* In 2004, when 8 Israeli children were killed and 179 Palestinian children were killed, NBC reported on 100% of Israeli children’s deaths and on 10% of Palestinian children’s deaths, ABC on 100% and 11%.

* The New York Times reported on 50% of Israeli children’s deaths and 7% of Palestinian children’s deaths.

* In the first six months of the current uprising – during which time four Israeli children were killed and 93 Palestinian children were killed – the San Francisco Chronicle reported prominently on 150% of the Israeli children’s deaths (through repetitions) and on 5% of the Palestinian children’s deaths.

* A 2004 study of Portland’s Oregonian newspaper revealed headline coverage on 88% of Israeli children’s deaths and on 2% of Palestinian ones.

At least 82 Palestinian children were killed before the first Israeli child. Why is there such an immense differential in reporting on deaths related to the ethnicity of the victim? Why are so few Palestinian children’s deaths being reported to the American public?

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Comment: Notice former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Thomas Moorer, a World War II hero and one of the country’s highest ranking officers, just months before his death, appeared on Capitol Hill heading an independent inquiry, which found that Israel had “committed acts of murder against U.S. servicemen and an act of war against the United States” – words he repeated in an op-ed in the military’s Stars and Stripes newspaper on Jan. 16, 2004.

On Moorer’s death three weeks later, AP quickly sent out a 366-word report. The story included a sentence stating that Moorer had “...accused Israel of deliberately attacking the USS Liberty, an American spy ship.”

Within a few hours, AP sent out an expanded, 529-word obituary. The above sentence had been removed, and with it any hint of Moorer’s real views on Israel: “The American people would be goddam mad if they knew what was going on.”

We notice that it was the Navy communication center that was targeted in the Pentagon Strike. Sorta makes you go "hmmmm..."

Hassan Tahsin
Arab News
27 Jan 06
Sharon defected from the Likud party he founded to establish a new political organization. Sharon’s motives were clear: The Likud party was in his opinion becoming an obstacle to achieving his vision of implementing Palestinian apartheid after getting his hands on Jerusalem and as much of the West Bank as possible in return for leaving the Gaza Strip.

Sharon’s plan was simple: Israeli expansion, first into Palestinian lands and then beyond. The difference between Sharon’s vision and that of the Liked is that Sharon wants to implement the expansion into Palestinian territory and beyond step by step while the Liked wants to take Palestinian lands in one step.

Even with Sharon gone, Israel still has one concept that will never change. The concept is establishing a state from the Nile to the Euphrates. The only difference now is how they will attempt to implement this plan.

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27 Jan 06
A Minnesota senator said he was concerned that congressional trips to Israel could be cut under lobbying reform proposals.

Speaking at a hearing Wednesday of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Republican Norm Coleman said the American Israel Public Affairs Committee provides a service by sending lawmakers to Israel to meet its leaders.

“That would be prohibited if we take the approach that’s been articulated here,” Coleman said. “So I don’t think that helps us be better senators.” Several congressional leaders and outside groups have proposed lobbying reforms that would curtail all private travel by members of Congress.

Other suggested reforms would allow non-profit groups to take legislators on trips.

Former Michigan Gov. John Engler, a Republican who now is president of the National Association of Manufacturers, praised AIPAC’s engagement.

“They’re far better than anybody else that could lobby on that issue when they have an opportunity,” Engler told the committee. “They don’t lobby, but they are powerfully persuasive on a point of view.”

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By Israel Adam ShamirFri Jan 27, 2006
My beloved countrymen, sons and daughters of Palestine, you defied the orders of the Living Dead, you dared the threats of his servants in Washington, London and Brussels. You chose the party of faith and resistance. You manifested your spirit unbroken by oppression. I feel so proud of your noble daring, of your steadfast belief in God, of your defiant rejection of Tel Aviv’s diktat. Even under the foreign military rule, you are the freest people in the world, the most unbending and resilient. You are freer than Americans who submitted to their Patriot Act, you are freer than Europeans who repeat the instructions of Washington and threaten Iran with sanctions and war. You are more pious than Vatican who toys with the mad idea of beautifying Judas in order to curry favour with the Jews. You can’t even move from a village to a village without Jewish permission, but you are free in spirit, and it counts most. Even today they kill your daughters and sons, but can’t kill your indomitable spirit.

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