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Sat, 24 Sep 2022
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Star of David

Why Israeli apartheid is worse than South Africa's version

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Once involved with Palestinian Solidarity you have to accept that Jews are special and so is their suffering; Jews are like no other people, their Holocaust is like no other genocide and anti Semitism, is the most vile form of racism the world has ever known and so on and so forth.

But when it comes to the Palestinians, the exact opposite is the case. For some reason we are expected to believe that the Palestinians are not special at all - they are just like everyone else. Palestinians have not been subject to a unique, racist, nationalist and expansionist Jewish nationalist movement, instead, we must all agree that, just like the Indians and the Africans, the Palestinian ordeal results from run-of-the-mill 19th century colonialism - just more of the same old boring Apartheid.

So, Jews, Zionists and Israelis are exceptional, like no one else, while Palestinians are always somehow, ordinary, always part of some greater political narrative, always just like everyone else. Their suffering is never due to the particularity of Jewish nationalism, or Jewish racism, or even AIPAC dominating USA foreign policy no, the Palestinian is always a victim of a dull, banal dynamic - general, abstract and totally lacking in particularity.

This raises some serious questions.

Star of David

65 years ago the green light for Zionism's ethnic cleansing of Palestine

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I find myself wondering how many of our present day leaders, President Obama in particular, are aware of what happened in Palestine on 10 March 65 years ago.

On that day in 1948, two months before Israel's unilateral declaration of independence in defiance of the will of the organized international community as it then was at the UN, Zionism's in-Palestine political and military leaders met in Tel Aviv to formally adopt PLAN DALET, the blueprint with operational military orders for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

They did not and never would refer to the crime they authorised as ethnic cleansing. Their euphemism for it was "transfer".

As noted in an excellent anniversary briefing paper by IMEU (the American-founded Institute for Middle East Understanding), from the earliest days of modern political Zionism its advocates grappled with the problem of creating a Jewish majority state in a part of the world where Palestinian Arabs were the overwhelming majority of the population.

The earliest insider information we have on Zionism's thinking is from the diary of Theodor Herzl, the founding father of Zionism's colonial-like enterprise. He wrote:
"We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it any employment in our own country... expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly."
Those words were committed to paper by Herzl in 1895 but they were not published (in other words they were suppressed) until 1962.

Eye 2

Cheney admits that he lied about 9/11

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What Else Did He Lie About?

The New York Times' Maureen Dowd writes today:
In a documentary soon to appear on Showtime, "The World According to Dick Cheney," [Cheney said] "I got on the telephone with the president, who was in Florida, and told him not to be at one location where we could both be taken out." Mr. Cheney kept W. flying aimlessly in the air on 9/11 while he and Lynn left on a helicopter for a secure undisclosed location, leaving Washington in a bleak, scared silence, with no one reassuring the nation in those first terrifying hours.

"I gave the instructions that we'd authorize our pilots to take it out," he says, referring to the jet headed to Washington that crashed in a Pennsylvania field. He adds: "After I'd given the order, it was pretty quiet. Everybody had heard it, and it was obviously a significant moment."

***

When they testified together before the 9/11 Commission, W. and Mr. Cheney kept up a pretense that in a previous call, the president had authorized the vice president to give a shoot-down order if needed. But the commission found "no documentary evidence for this call."
In other words, Cheney pretended that Bush had authorized a shoot-down order, but Cheney now admits that he never did. In fact, Cheney acted as if he was the president on 9/11. *

USA

The coup against Hugo Chavez

Newsnight also has new allegations by 'Chavistas' that US funding is behind three plans to assassinate President Chavez.

Comandante Guillermo Garcia Ponce, leader of Chavez' political organisation said: "From the information we have gathered, credible information: there are three components to the [plots to] kill our president.

Vader

U.S. and Europe in 'major airlift of arms to Syrian rebels through Zagreb'

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© AFP Photo
The West, and especially Turkey and the United States, want the rebels to be better armed
The United States has coordinated a massive airlift of arms to Syrian rebels from Croatia with the help of Britain and other European states, despite the continuing European Union arms embargo, it was claimed yesterday.

Decisions by William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, to provide non-lethal assistance and training, announced in the past week, were preceded by much greater though less direct Western involvement in the rebel cause, according to a Croat newspaper.

It claimed 3,000 tons of weapons dating back to the former Yugoslavia have been sent in 75 planeloads from Zagreb airport to the rebels, largely via Jordan since November.

The story confirmed the origins of ex-Yugoslav weapons seen in growing numbers in rebel hands in online videos, as described last month by The Daily Telegraph and other newspapers, but suggests far bigger quantities than previously suspected.

The shipments were allegedly paid for by Saudi Arabia at the bidding of the United States, with assistance on supplying the weapons organised through Turkey and Jordan, Syria's neighbours. But the report added that as well as from Croatia, weapons came "from several other European countries including Britain", without specifying if they were British-supplied or British-procured arms.

British military advisers however are known to be operating in countries bordering Syria alongside French and Americans, offering training to rebel leaders and former Syrian army officers. The Americans are also believed to be providing training on securing chemical weapons sites inside Syria.

Star of David

Rivalry between psychopaths: Sparing the Mossad at the expense of Military Intelligence

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© Reuters
Two women inspect the bodies of Sabra and Chatila massacre victims in this file photo taken on September 18,1982.
New documents shed light on the decision-making during the vital chapter of the first Lebanon war − in particular the slaughter at the Palestinian Sabra and Chatila refugee camps in September 1982.

In the story of the relations between Military Intelligence and the Mossad, the chapter on the first Lebanon war has been pushed to the sidelines. The tense relations between the two powerful intelligence arms is rooted in rivalries that developed in the 1950s and '60s, when competition reigned between the MI chiefs − Binyamin Gibli, Yehoshafat Harkabi and Meir Amit − and Mossad head Isser Harel.

In 1973, there were rivalries during the Yom Kippur War between Mossad chief Zvi Zamir and MI head Eli Zeira. Now we may gain clearer insight into decision-making during the vital chapter on the first Lebanon war − in particular the slaughter at the Palestinian Sabra and Chatila refugee camps in September 1982.

Thursday morning, one week after the State Archives published part of the minutes from a February 1983 cabinet meeting on Sabra and Chatila, the censor let additional parts of the discussion be made public. The minutes documented the government's deliberations following the publication of findings by the Kahan Commission. That commission was set up to investigate the Sabra and Chatila massacre by Lebanese Christian Phalangist militias, which entered the refugee camps in Beirut while Israeli troops were standing nearby.

Eye 1

Harvard University administrators secretly searched deans' email accounts, hunting for media leak

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Harvard University central administrators secretly searched the email accounts of 16 resident deans last fall, looking for a leak to the media about the school's sprawling cheating case, according to several Harvard officials interviewed by the Globe.

The resident deans sit on Harvard's Administrative Board, the committee charged with handling the cheating case. They were not warned that administrators planned to access their accounts, and only one was told of the search shortly afterward.

The dean who was informed had forwarded a confidential Administrative Board message to a student he was advising, not realizing it would ultimately make its way to the Harvard Crimson and the Globe and fuel the campus controversy over the cheating scandal.

All the Harvard officials interviewed by the Globe declined to identify the dean, although one said no punishment had been involved.

The other 15 deans were left unaware their email accounts had been searched by administrators until the Globe approached Harvard with questions about the incident on Thursday, having learned of it from multiple Harvard officials who described it in detail. Those officials asked for anonymity out of fear of reprisal.

Harvard administrators said they would inform the remaining deans today -- almost six months after the search.

Snakes in Suits

Afghan president accuses U.S. forces of colluding with Taliban

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© Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo/US Department of Defence/EPA
Chuck Hagel in Afghanistan: the US defence secretary had been due to give a press conference with Hamid Karzai at the presidential palace but it was cancelled.
US defence secretary cancels plans for joint conference with Hamid Karzai hours after comments, citing security reasons

Strained US-Afghan ties have suffered a fresh blow after newly appointed US defence secretary Chuck Hagel cancelled plans for his first joint news conference with the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, the second reminder of serious tensions in a brief visit to Afghanistan.

US officials cited security concerns, but the decision came just hours after the Afghan leader accused America of colluding with the Taliban to keep foreign troops on Afghan soil. Afghan officials said the presidential palace, where the men planned to meet the press, was totally safe.

"It doesn't make any sense," said one Afghan official, who asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorised to discuss the sensitive issue. "It was supposed to take place at the palace, we don't see any security problems there."

US officials said the decision was taken because security concerns were raised, and only after consultations with the Afghan government.

Snakes in Suits

California Republican faces calls to resign over rape comment

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© Shutterstock
A progressive group has demanded the head of the California Republican Assembly resign from her position due to a controversial comment she made about rape.

In a press release issued Sunday, the Courage Campaign said it planned to deliver about 30,000 signatures calling for the resignation of Celeste Greig to the California Republican Party Headquarters in Burbank on Monday. The signatures were collected on MoveOn.org's petition website SignOn.

"Everyone is welcome to their own opinion, but not to their own facts," the petition stated. "Rapes cause pregnancy. Celeste Greig (and other factually challenged politicians) need to resign from their high profile political positions so policy can be made based on science, not ideology."

Bad Guys

Nigerian Islamists claim seven foreign hostages killed

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© AFP/Getty Images
A screengrab of members of Islamist group Ansaru, which claims to have killed seven foreign workers.
Foreign Office investigates claims by Ansaru rebels, while Italian government is quoted as saying hostages are dead

The Foreign Office is investigating claims by a Nigerian Islamist group that it has killed seven kidnapped foreign construction workers, one whom is understood to be British.

The hostages were taken on 16 February while working for Lebanese construction company Setraco in Jama'are, a town about 125 miles north of Bauchi, where militant Islamists have launched numerous attacks. Ansaru, a splinter group independent from Boko Haram, the main terrorist group in northern Nigeria, claimed responsibility.

The FCO said it was "aware of reports of the death of a British national in Nigeria" but declined to comment further, urging the media not to speculate because of the "extremely sensitive" situation.

Italy's foreign ministry has said it believes the group of hostages are dead, according to an Italian news agency.