WHY WAS MY DAUGHTER’S WEDDING SEEN AS A SECURITY THREAT TO ISRAEL?

Palestine-99542987592_xlarge

*

 Yes, I would like to receive an honest and convincing answer to my frustrating question.

My daughter and her fianceי have never been involved in any wrong doing or security violations. However, Israel is so notorious for invoking the security mantra to justify denying Palestinians their basic rights. 

One Civil Administration official in Hebron told me that “if your daughter wanted to join her husband in Gaza, she would have to sign documents, wavering her right to return to the West Bank. In other words, she would have to willfully accept eternal deportation.

*

What does preventing a wedding have to do with Israeli security?
By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Palestine

Yes, I would like to receive an honest and convincing answer to my frustrating question. What does preventing a Hebron fiancיe from being wed to her Gaza fiancי have to do with Israeli security? Does it constitute a security risk? Does it compromise Israeli security in any real manner?

In recent months, I have left no stone unturned in order to obtain a real answer to my question from Israeli officials, but to no avail. Yes, I heard all sorts of prevarication and mendacious justifications and pretexts to justify the unjustifiable.

My daughter Azhar, 19, was engaged to Abdullah Abu Allaban, 23, from Jabalya in the Gaza Strip last year. Their marriage certificate was officiated at the Islamic Sharia court in Dura near Hebron where we live. Ever since, she has been trying in vain to travel the 30 mile-distance from Hebron to Gaza to join her husband. (It is like the distance between Oklahoma City and Norman).

We contacted the civil administration of the Israeli occupation and army and were told to contact the Palestinian Authority (PA) liaison office. However, when we did, we were told that the PA had no authority or power over these matters.  At the Israeli liaison office, a young female soldier told us rather sarcastically to “see Mahmoud Abbas, perhaps he could help you,” Mahmoud Abbas is the helpless chief of the helpless entity known as the Palestinian Authority. He is always at Israel’s beck and call.

My daughter and her fiancי have never been involved in any wrong doing or security violations. However, Israel is so notorious for invoking the security mantra to justify denying Palestinians their basic rights.

One Civil Administration official in Hebron told me that “if your daughter wanted to join her husband in Gaza, she would have to sign documents, wavering her right to return to the West Bank. In other words, she would have to willfully accept eternal deportation.

This is not fair by any standard of civility. Where else in the world does this gross injustice happen? Even the most rogue states don’t do this. Why must traveling a 30-mile distance from Hebron to Gaza lead to eternal banishment from one’s homeland?

The Israeli army authorities would deny that they are preventing a fiancיe in the West Bank from joining her fiancי in Gaza. They would argue that the couple could always travel abroad for the marriage ceremony and consummation and then return to occupied Palestine

This is partly true, but it usually involves a lot of problems, mainly stemming from the unkind treatment meted out to Palestinians by neighboring Arab authorities especially in Jordan and Egypt. Moreover, the traveler would have to incur a lot of extra expenses.

As a journalist who has been covering the bitter conflict between Israel and the Palestinians for more than 30 years, I have long become aware of Israel’s real goals behind this illogical policy of denying Palestinians the sort of things that other people around the world take for granted.

Israel simply doesn’t want us to be around. Israel wants a land without people and is always seeking an opportune time to get rid of us.  But, we won’t give Israel this opportunity, no matter what.

Israel also manipulates humanitarian issues such as this one in order to recruit informers and agents for its security agencies so that they would inform on their communities, friends and neighbors, thus corroding the Palestinian society from within.

The Israeli intelligence didn’t ask me, either implicitly or explicitly, to “cooperate” with them in exchange for permitting my daughter and me to travel to Gaza. Perhaps they knew that my profile wouldn’t allow this sort of thing to happen.   

But it is really sad that the very people who call themselves “the chosen people” and “light upon the nations” would ask the father or mother of a child afflicted with cancer, who need to have a travel permit to take the child to hospital in either Israel or the West Bank for medical treatment, to either “cooperate with us” or have your child dead in a few days or weeks.

Israel, for the sake of argument, may have some “legitimate security” concerns if it allowed Palestinians to commute freely between the West Bank and Gaza Strip. But Israel also employs meticulous security measures that make it virtually impossible for Palestinians traveling through Israel checkpoints and roadblocks to indulge in any foul play.

Hence, the only remaining explanation for the draconian Israeli measures is that Israel is interested first and foremost in frustrating, harassing and tormenting the Palestinians in the hope that the latter would contemplate leaving their ancestral homeland for good in order to have a normal life in exile.

HOW TO SILENCE THE PRESS IN GAZA

Lieberman accused the Qatar-based channel of being a mouthpiece for Hamas, and said the foreign ministry was taking steps to prevent it from broadcasting from Gaza, according to Israel’s Channel 2 TV.

Here are the steps taken ….. as seen by Carlos Latuff

avigdor-lieberman-aj-jazeera-gaza

*

Al-Jazeera Gaza offices evacuated after direct hit by Israeli fire

Israel denies deliberate targeting of TV station, but staff claim that ‘two very precise shots’ were fired
Al-Jazeera journalists evacuate their building in Gaza

Al-Jazeera journalists evacuate their building after it came under fire in Gaza. Photograph: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto/Rex Features
*

Israel‘s army has denied targeting the Gaza offices of al-Jazeera TV after the network’s correspondents reported that the building had come under fire on Tuesday.

Staff in Gaza said their 11th floor bureau was hit by two Israeli bullets as a crew was preparing to broadcast live from the balcony. “Two very precise shots were fired straight into our building,” said Stefanie Dekker. “We are high up in the building so we had a very strong vantage point over the area. But we have evacuated.” Al-Jazeera aired footage of their staff standing outside the building.

A spokesman for the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said no warning shots had been fired but could not confirm or deny whether there had been indirect damage to the building from firing at nearby military targets, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The incident came a day after Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, called for al-Jazeera to be banned.

Lieberman accused the Qatar-based channel of being a mouthpiece for Hamas, and said the foreign ministry was taking steps to prevent it from broadcasting from Gaza, according to Israel’s Channel 2 TV.

Al-Jazeera “has abandoned even the perception of being a reliable news organisation and broadcasts from Gaza and to the world anti-Israel incitement, lies, and encouragement to the terrorists,” he said.

“All the big networks operate in Israel, some of them are not exactly pro-Zionist, and yet as a democratic state we allow them to operate here. In the case of al-Jazeera it is not an issue of freedom of the media but of a terrorist wing that currently fights against Israel.”

A statement posted on the al-Jazeera website said: “Al-Jazeera network considers statements made against it by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman a direct incitement. (It) considers (his) comments as a very serious matter. Israel is accountable for the safety of al-Jazeera teams working in Israel and the Palestinian territories.”

Al-Jazeera also reported that Israel’s communications minister, Gilad Erdan, has asked Israeli cable and satellite providers to stop airing al-Jazeera, calling it an “enemy” broadcaster. The request is not mandatory.

Al-Jazeera said: “Our journalists have been doing an outstanding job in reporting to our mass audience in the region what is happening on the ground. A threat to one is a threat to all, and this is a dark sign for all journalists operating in the territory. Journalists must be protected while doing their job of giving the public information they have the right to know, helping them understand what is going on. Journalism is not a crime!”

Al-Jazeera has often come under fire in war zones and been banned, at different times, from almost every country in the Middle East. Its most recent troubles have been in Egypt, where three journalists working for al-Jazeera English were sentenced to between seven and 10 years in jail on charges of aiding terrorists and endangering national security.

ENFORCING APARTHEID VIA THE ISRAELI ID CARD SYSTEM

The type of ID one has determines how much of historic Palestine one is allowed to access. Israeli Jewish citizens are free to move and live in virtually the whole country, while at the bottom end Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza are restricted to tiny enclaves.

*

vp-id-opchart-final-en-20140515 (1)
*

Infographic: How the Israeli ID card system enforces apartheid

ISRAEL WINS THE ‘TORTURE THE CHILDREN’ AWARD

The following video is so revolting that viewer discretion is advised by the producers …

*

Last December, the advocacy group the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) revealed that Israeli authorities had locked Palestinian children in outdoor cages during a severe winter storm.

*

Children describe torture in Israeli solitary confinement

*

Israeli occupation forces try to arrest a Palestinian during a demonstration against the separation wall built in the West Bank village of al-Maasara, 9 November 2012.   (Oren Ziv / ActiveStills)
*
A rising proportion of Palestinian children arrested by Israeli occupation forces are subjected to solitary confinement, harsh interrogations and ill-treatment amounting to torture, according to a report published today by Defence for Children International-Palestine Section (DCI-Palestine).

“In 21.4 percent of cases recorded by DCI-Palestine in 2013, children detained in the Israeli military detention system reported undergoing solitary confinement as part of the interrogation process. This represents an increase of two percent from 2012,” a press release accompanying the report states.

DCI-Palestine collected 98 sworn affidavits from Palestinian children aged 12 to 17 in 2013. The disturbing findings in the report are based on 40 solitary confinement cases documented in 2013.

Night arrests

In the vast majority of cases (34 out of 40), children are arrested from their beds. “Children report that heavily armed Israeli soldiers arrest them in violent circumstances during night raids on their family homes,” the report says.

The children “are often woken up by the sound of Israeli soldiers banging on the front door before a family member opens the door or the soldiers force their way in, storming the home.”

Then, the occupation soldiers “gather all the occupants of the house, regardless of their age, in one room or outside and then demand identification. Generally, the entire home will be searched during the raid. Once a child’s identity has been verified from his identification card, his family will be informed that he must accompany the soldiers.”

Blindfolded

Children or their parents are almost never informed of the accusations and, the report says, this moment “is most likely the last time the family will see their child until he appears in a military court following an unknown period of solitary confinement and interrogation.”

“Once the soldiers have identified the child, his hands will be tied with plastic cords, most likely behind his back, and he will be blindfolded and led to a military vehicle.”

More than half of the children reported some form of physical violence during the arrest and transfer to interrogation facilities, including Petah Tikva detention center, Kishon detention center (also known as Al-Jalame) near Haifa, or Shikma prison near Ashkelon.

These facilities are under control of the Israel Prison Service and/or the Shin Bet secret police. Al-Jalame is among several Israeli facilities equipped by the international incarceration profiteering firm G4S.

“Foul smelling”

On average, children spent 10 days in solitary confinement, but children have been held for up to 29 days in isolation. Children held at Kishon described being locked in a small, windowless cell lit 24 hours a day by a dim bulb.

There they slept on a concrete bed, on the floor, or on a thin mattress they often described as “dirty” and “foul smelling.” Cell walls are grey “with sharp or rough protrusions that are painful to lean against.”

Forcing confessions

While being deprived of legal counsel, family contact and almost never being informed of their rights, including the right to remain silent, children are subjected to prolonged interrogations, abuse and violence amounting to torture.

Most children are accused of stone-throwing, “an offense that can potentially lead to a sentence of up to 20 years depending on a child’s age.” But the accusation may be a pretext to coerce children into providing information useful in Israel’s effort to suppress any form of resistance to occupation.

“The interrogation techniques are generally mentally and physically coercive, frequently incorporating a mix of intimidation, threats and physical violence with a clear purpose of obtaining a confession,” DCI-Palestine states. “Shouting and intimidation are regularly used to elicit confessions, incriminating statements, and information on neighbors or family members.”

During interrogations, “children report being forced to sit in a low metal chair secured to the floor with their hands and feet cuffed to the chair, often for several hours.” In 31 out of 40 cases, children reported being subjected to such “position abuse,” the most frequent form being that the child is shackled to a chair in a painful position for long periods of time.

Role of informants

After experiencing horrifying abuses and days of solitary confinement, children are psychologically vulnerable. Israeli interrogators take advantage of this by the use of informants. DCI-Palestine describes the technique Israel uses, based on the children’s accounts:

Following many days held in isolation and subject to prolonged interrogation sessions, a child will be informed that the interrogation is over and that they will be transferred to a prison cell.

Once the child arrives in a typical prison cell, an adult prisoner warmly welcomes him, often bringing warm food, a pack of cigarettes, or other items. The adult prisoner attempts to gain the child’s trust by sharing information about the child’s family or members of his community. Children report being warned not to talk to anyone but this specific individual regarding their interrogation. Often, the adult prisoner will either ask a child about the interrogation and what questions were asked, or offer to alert others on the outside if he shares information.

After a day or two, the child is ushered back to interrogation where he is often confronted with an audio recording or statements he made to the adult prisoner informant. During interrogation, the child realizes for the first time that the adult prisoner is an informant collaborating with Israeli intelligence officers, and the child’s interaction with this individual was part of the interrogation process.

After being confronted with this reality, children generally provide a confession without access to counsel to allegations made against them during the interrogation.

Impunity

DCI-Palestine’s report was submitted to a number of UN bodies and includes an analysis of how Israel’s mistreatment of children and increasing use of solitary confinement amount to grave violations of international law, including conventions on torture.

“The practice of using solitary confinement on children in Israeli detention facilities must be recognized as a form of torture and be stopped immediately,” the report states.

But it also notes the total impunity that has ensured that Israel’s abuses have continued unchecked.

During 2013, DCI-Palestine reports that it filed 15 complaints with Israeli authorities concerning ill-treatment and torture of ten children while in Israeli military detention.

But, the report states, “not a single indictment has been issued against a perpetrator, and in many cases it is unclear if an investigation has been initiated.”

Mounting evidence

The latest report from DCI-Palestine adds to a mountain of evidence about Israel’s systematic abuse and killings of Palestinian children, including earlier reports from DCI-PalestineB’TselemHuman Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

Last December, the advocacy group the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) revealed that Israeli authorities had locked Palestinian children in outdoor cages during a severe winter storm.

TURKEY GOING ALL THE WAY TO DESTROY FREEDOM

Image ‘CopyLeft’ by Carlos Latuff

*

*


Turkey defends YouTube ban

After company refused to take down problematic recordings, Turkish FM defends move to block service, citing need to defend national security.

*

Full AP Report HERE

 

SPOOF ON ERDOGAN; THE CORRUPT SULTAN OF TURKEY

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

LATUFF’S LATEST ANTI DEMOCRATIC SPOOFS

Images ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

*

Switzerland’s new immigration policy …

*

*

Switzerland has voted 50.3 percent in favor of limiting annual migration from the EU, thus ending the policy of free movement within the bloc that was established in 2002.

Full report HERE

*

Turkey’s new Internet restrictions ….

*

Turkey Internet censorship

*

Turkey’s Family and Social Policy Ministry submitted a bill to parliament this week that would allow authorities to block specific websites and keep a record of users’ Internet activities for up to two years. This represents the latest attempt of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to curb web freedoms.

Full report HERE

EDWARD SNOWDEN’S ALTERNATIVE CHRISTMAS MESSAGE

http://www.newsyaps.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Edward-Snowden.png

*

“Asking is always cheaper than spying”.
*

Edward Snowden’s alternative Christmas message

NSA whistelblower Edward Snowden has broadcast a Christmas message to the world. This is the first time he has made a public statement and it was aired as the ‘Alternative Christmas Message’ on the UK’s Channel 4 network. In the 1 minute 43 second video, Snowden spoke about the erosion of privacy in the world and that there was a “concert of governments” that has created a worldwide surveillance network. He goes on to state that a child born in today’s society will never know anything about privacy and that this was what writer George Orwell warned us about. He calls for both the public and government to work together in order to restore privacy, end mass surveillance, and find that perfect balance: “Asking is always cheaper than spying”.

MAKE SURE IT’S THE REAL SANTA CLAUS

nsa-santa

*

‘THE NSA IS COMING TO TOWN’

*

TAKE ACTION NOW WHILE YOU STILL CAN!

CLICK HERE

ESSAY OF IMAGES ~~ WHAT DEMOCRACY IS (NOT)

As Thanksgiving approaches, we reflect on what we were once thankful for …

*

dem1

*
dem2
*
dem3
*
dem4
*

ANIMATED VIDEO ~~ THE HORRORS OF GUANTANAMO

dachau_guantanamo

*

Guantánamo Bay: The Hunger Strikes – video animation

*
In March 2013, reports of a hunger strike at Guantánamo Bay, the US detention camp in Cuba, began to surface. Details were sketchy and were contradicted by statements from the US military. Now, using testimony from five detainees, this animated film reveals the daily brutality of life inside Guantánamo. Today there are 17 prisoners still on hunger strike, 16 of whom are being force-fed. Two are in hospital.
*
 Warning: contains scenes some viewers might find disturbing
*
From The Guardian

WHAT KERRY OVERLOOKED IN GAZA >>>

The siege is collective punishment of Palestinians in Gaza, but it is also a collective crime.
*

As noose tightens, Palestinians in Gaza face darkest days

 Ali Abunimah 

 

Palestinians wait at a gas station in Gaza City on 1 September 2013, as tightening blockade has worsened fuel crisis.

 (Ashraf Amra / APA images)

Click HERE to see Tweets ….

 

These tweets by blogger Omar Ghraieb capture the despair felt by many of Gaza’s almost 1.7 million Palestinian residents as Israel’s blockade, compounded by Egypt’s intensifying crackdown, has brought the territory once more to the brink of catastrophe.

Since the 3 July military coup against Egypt’s elected president Muhammad Morsi, the military regime has destroyed almost all the vital underground supply tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border.

This week, Egypt began demolishing houses along its side of its border with Gaza, a futile and criminal Israeli-style tactic, that is seen as a prelude to establishing a “buffer zone” to further isolate Gaza.

As a result of these and other Egyptian measures, supplies of some critical medicines have hit zero, the construction industry has collapsed, and the Rafah crossing, the only entry and exit for most Gazans, is frequently closed.

The population of Gaza still faces 12-hour daily blackouts due to Israel’s destruction of the electricity infrastructure, but even the relief provided by noisy and often dangerous portable generators is fading into darkness as fuel supplies run out.

Slow death

A new report, “Slow Death; The Collective Punishment of Gaza has reached a Critical Stage,” from the human rights monitoring group Euro-Mid Observer, highlights the acute crisis that compounds the effects of the prolonged Israeli blockade.

Ten facts about the Gaza blockade

The report is worth reading in full, but these ten facts about the impact of the blockade capture the scale of the mounting catastrophe and underscore the urgent need for pressure on Israel to end it and for Egypt to end its complicity.

  • According to the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 57 percent of Gaza households are food insecure as of July 2013; however, if the current Israeli and Egyptians measures remain as they are, 65 percent of Gaza households will be food insecure (World Food Program estimate, June 2010).
  • As of August 2013, more than a third (35.5 percent) of those able and willing to work are unemployed (Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics) – one of the highest unemployment rates in the world. Economists expect that the continuous closure of the tunnels will lead to a sharp increase in the unemployment level (43 percent by the end of 2013 compared with 32 percent in June 2013).
  • The continuous closure of the tunnels will lead to a 3 percent decline in the growth by the end of 2013 compared with 15 percent as of June 2013.
  • The construction sector is working at less than 15 percent of its previous capacity, leading to more than 30,000 losses in job opportunities since July 2013.
  • A longstanding electricity deficit, compounded by shortages in fuel needed to run Gaza’s power plant, results in power outages of up to 12 hours a day (UN OCHA, July 2013).
  • Only a quarter of households receive running water every day, during several hours only.
  • More than 90 percent of the water extracted from the Gaza aquifer is unsafe for human consumption.
  • Some 90 million liters of untreated and partially treated sewage are dumped in the sea off the Gaza coast each day, creating public health hazards.
  • Over 12,000 people are currently displaced due to their inability to reconstruct their homes, destroyed during hostilities (UNOCHA, July 2013).
  • The economy has endured severe losses worth $460 million in all economic sectors within the past two months (Ministry of Economy- Gaza).

Collective punishment, collective crime

Although it remains the occupying power, Israel declared Gaza a “hostile entity” in 2007 and its then Prime Minister Ehud Olmert declared, “We will not allow the opening of the crossings to Gaza and outside of Gaza to the extent that it will help them bring back life into a completely normal pace.”

These and other Israeli official statements quoted in the Euro-Mid report highlight that the catastrophe in Gaza is a calculated and intended effect of the siege, making it a war crime and collective punishment under international law.

Complicity

Euro-Mid calls on the “international community,” to pressure Israel to end the blockade.

That call is right, but it is an unavoidable fact that the siege would not have lasted seven long years already without the complicity and support of the “international community” in the form of the United States and its allies, particularly the European Union and compliant Arab regimes.

The siege is collective punishment of Palestinians in Gaza, but it is also a collective crime.

 

 

Written FOR

EGYPT: WAR OF WORDS ….

war-of-words
*
First see yesterday’s post
*
Tuesday, the White House said media reports that suggest the US cut off aid to Egypt are not accurate, adding that the Obama administration is still reviewing its options.
*
BUT
*
The White House will hold a Cabinet-level meeting to discuss cutting some of $1.5 billion in US aid to Egypt.
*
WTF???
*
US condemns Erdogan’s comments on Israel, Egypt

White House spokesman says Turkish leader’s comments suggesting Israel is responsible for Egypt unrest are ‘offensive and wrong'; says reports that US is cutting military aid to Egypt ‘inaccurate’

News agencies

*

The United States condemned comments by Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan accusing Israel of having a hand in the Egyptian military’s overthrow of president Mohamed Morsi, a White House spokesman said on Tuesday.

“We strongly condemn the statements that were made by Prime Minister Erdogan today. Suggesting that Israel is somehow responsible for recent events in Egypt is offensive, unsubstantiated, and wrong,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters in a briefing.

In Israel, an official in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office told AFP: “These comments by the Turkish prime minister are nonsense.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Erdogan told provincial leaders of his AK Party: “What do they say in Egypt? Democracy is not the ballot box. What is behind it? Israel. We have in our hands documentation.”

Also Tuesday, the White House said media reports that suggest the US cut off aid to Egypt are not accurate, adding that the Obama administration is still reviewing its options.

“That review has not concluded and … published reports to the contrary that assistance to Egypt has been cut off are not accurate,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters in a briefing.

Earnest also said that Egypt’s detention of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie was not in line with the standard that the United States would hope to uphold in protecting basic human rights.

The White House will hold a Cabinet-level meeting to discuss cutting some of $1.5 billion in US aid to Egypt.

Earnest confirmed that a National Security Council meeting of top officials will take place Tuesday. Cabinet members such as Secretary of State John Kerry will participate.

Up to now, the administration has insisted that it has taken no final decision on halting aid to Egypt since the military’s July overthrow of Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood-led government and an intensifying crackdown on Islamist opponents.

Both officials said Egypt aid would be the focus of the meeting. One official said a decision was likely on cutting some elements of US economic and military support.

Reuters, AFP and AP contributed to this report

 

 

Source


OLIVER STONE ON NSA SPYING

 ‘Do we control the government or does the government control us?’
*

Oliver Stone: Don’t Stand By While the NSA’s Surveillance Machine Eats Our Civil Liberties

By Noa Yachot, Communications Strategist, ACLU
*

After The Guardian and The Washington Post revealed the astonishing scope of some of the NSA’s surveillance activities, some people claimed that Americans wouldn’t care. But Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone doesn’t accept that.

In the video below, produced by the ACLU, Stone discusses the NSA spying program, recalling a disastrous legacy of unchecked government abuse of power. He reflects on the terrible consequences of runaway surveillance during the 1960s and 1970s, when intelligence services exploited fears of external threats to the United States to enjoy a carte blanche for their illegal activities. “We did not pass the Fourth Amendment to protect those with something to hide,” Stone tells us. We passed that amendment “because we know all too well the cost of an unaccountable government.”

*

*

Now is a critical time in our nation’s history for all Americans to stand up for our civil liberties, Stone says – by asking representatives in Congress to roll back the surveillance state.

Section 215 of the Patriot Act and Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, passed in the wake of the September 11 attacks, have drastically eroded our Fourth Amendment rights. These statutes allow the government to access our most sensitive information without meaningful judicial oversight.

“I won’t stand idly by while our civil liberties are eaten by the NSA surveillance machine,” Stone says. “You shouldn’t either.” You can join Stone and the ACLU in demanding an end to the surveillance state, by signing a petition calling on Congress to repeal these problematic sections of the Patriot Act and the FAA. The time to act is now.

 

 

*

Click HERE to sign petition

 

PALESTINIANS ARE THE FIRST TO SUFFER UNDER EGYPT’S NEW GOVERNMENT

 Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff  (Freedom for whom???) 
military-coup-in-egypt-2-english
*
The Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza, which is a six hour drive from Cairo airport, has been closed indefinitely, ever since the Egyptian army overthrew elected PresidentMuhammad Morsi on 3 July after days of street protests.
*

Egypt deporting Palestinians trying to return to Gaza

by Ali Abunimah 

A Palestinian woman waits at the closed Rafah crossing with Egypt in the southern Gaza Strip on 5 July.

 (Eyad Al Baba)

*

Palestinians trying to return home to the Gaza Strip via Cairo airport are being deported by Egyptian authorities to the countries they flew in from, at their own expense.

The Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza, which is a six hour drive from Cairo airport, has been closed indefinitely, ever since the Egyptian army overthrew elected PresidentMuhammad Morsi on 3 July after days of street protests.

In recent days, militant groups in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula have repeatedly attacked Egyptian army posts and checkpoints.

Yousef M. Aljamal, a writer and occasional Electronic Intifada contributor, was among those deported. Aljamal was returning home to Gaza from New Zealand, where heparticipated in the recent Conference on Palestine in Auckland.

Aljamal tweeted about his deportation from Cairo, back to the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, where he had stopped in order to obtain an Egyptian visa.

He reported seeing other Palestinians sent back to Algeria, Jordan, Tunisia and Canada, among other countries.

on Twitter

The Palestinian government in Gaza has appealed to Egyptian authorities to re-open Rafah, citing thousands of Palestinians, including many pilgrims, stranded away from home.

Even before the latest crisis in Egypt, conditions at the crossing have remained difficult and unpredictable, with “Mubarak-era cruelty” remaining the norm.

Anti-Palestinian campaign intensifies in Egypt

The deportation of Palestinians comes as campaigns against Palestinians are intensifying in Egypt.

Anti-Palestinian campaigns in the Egyptian media are not new, as Joseph Massad wrote last August. They have included outlandish claims that shortages of basic supplies including fuel and medicines for Egypt’s 83 million people are caused by supplies being sent to Gaza’s 1.7 million Palestinians.

The volume has however increased amid the ongoing crisis. Rumors circulated by Egyptian media and social media accuse Hamas – without evidence – of sending operatives to support the deposed Muslim Brotherhood government.

Such rumors have led to false accusations and deportations of Palestinians living in Egypt,as the Egyptian journalist Fahmy Howeidy reported in a 7 July article in Egypt’s Shorouk News.

Howeidy concludes his powerful piece with these observations:

Who is the party that is keen to terrorize and humiliate Palestinians and fabricate charges against them in Egypt? And what is its interest in doing this? And why is there no clear political stance to stop these humiliations? My information is that there are elements within the Palestinian security apparatus still working against the government in the Gaza Strip and trying to malign it and bring it down.

There are also elements within the Egyptian security services – whose arms reach into the media – who despise Palestinians and sneer at resistance, and who cannot bear to hear the name of Hamas because of their relations with the Muslim Brotherhood. And these parties have rebounded lately, for well-known reasons. This leads to ask who they represent and to what extent they are connected with the deep state whose elements do not cease for even a day from spreading hatred between Egyptians and Palestinians in violation of all national and ethical norms.

Syrians, as well as Palestinians, have also been targeted by such rumors and campaigns.

As Egypt slips further into political chaos, Palestinians stranded abroad are hoping they can get home without falling victim to the increasingly poisonous atmosphere.

Written FOR

TOONS OF MEMORY AND HOPE IN EGYPT

Both images ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
military-coup-in-egypt
*
(Click Here) …. SCAF; Supreme Council of the Armed Forces
*
egypt-memory

CAN OBAMA SAVE MORSI’S ARSE? ~~ PHOTO ESSAY FROM TAHRIR SQUARE

 Or …. The Second Coming of The Arab Spring? …. See THIS report.
*
A massive wave of anti-Obama sentiment in Egypt has been utterly ignored by vintage media, even though the protests may be the largest in all of human history.
*
130703-egypt
*
130701-obama-egypt-080
*
130701-obama-egypt-070
*
130701-obama-egypt-042
*
130701-obama-egypt-020
*
130701-obama-egypt-010
*
130701-obama-egypt-003
*
Photos FROM (more at source)
*
‘And the people in the streets below were dancing round and round’
*
Fireworks over Cairo! Protesters opposing Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi are gathering in Cairo’s Tahrir Square as a deadline set by the army for the leadership to find a solution to the country’s political crisis has expired. The mass rallies are the culmination of frustrations over what the demonstrators say is Morsi’s failure to tackle the serious economic situation and continuing security problems in the country since assuming office a year ago.
*

TIMELY TOON ~~ FREEDOM OF INFORMATION HUNTING SEASON BEGINS

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
snowden

HOW DO YOU SAY ‘CHUTZPAH’ IN SPANISH?

  
   DESCARO!
There is no other word to describe America’s threat to Ecuador …
*
On Wednesday, led by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), the US threatened to deny Ecuador preferential trade status if it accepted Snowden’s application for political asylum after he leaked a trove of classified documents that revealed details about the NSA’s vast surveillance programs in the US and abroad.
*
Ecuador to US: We Won’t Be ‘Blackmailed’ over Snowden

Vowing not to be bullied, nation cancels trade pact preemptively and offers US human rights training

- Jon Queally*

 

30-year-old Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor who embarrassed the US government by revealing details of vast Internet and phone surveillance programs, has requested asylum from Ecuador.(Photo: scmp.com) *

The clear message from the Ecuadorean government on Thursday is that it would not be bullied or ‘blackmailed’ by the US government over the possible asylum of Edward Snowden.

At a government press conference held in Quito, officials said the US was employing international economic “blackmail” in its attempts to obtain NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, but that such threats would not work.

Snowden, who remains inside an airport terminal in Russia, has become a flashpoint between Ecuador and the US after confirmation that the 30 year-old intelligence contractor has sought asylum in the Latin American country.

 

On Wednesday, led by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), the US threatened to deny Ecuador preferential trade status if it accepted Snowden’s application for political asylum after he leaked a trove of classified documents that revealed details about the NSA’s vast surveillance programs in the US and abroad.

“Our government will not reward countries for bad behavior,” Menendez said in a statement from Washington. “If Snowden is granted asylum in Ecuador, I will lead the effort to prevent the renewal of Ecuador’s duty-free access under GSP and will also make sure there is no chance for renewal of the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act. Trade preferences are a privilege granted to nations, not a right.”

But on Thursday, Ecuador nullified the US threats—and made it clear it would not be intimidated by the global superpower—by proactively cancelling the trade agreement.

“Ecuador unilaterally and irrevocably renounces these preferential customs tariff rights,” government spokesman Fernando Alvarado said at the news conference.

“Ecuador will not accept pressures or threats from anyone, and it does not traffic in its values or allow them to be subjugated to mercantile interests,” he said.

Alvarado, who called threats from the US over trade arrangements a form of “blackmail,” said Ecuador’s government would not only willingly accept the loss of approximately $23 million in trade benefits, but in addition would offer a gift, in the form of an aid package of the same amount, that would be directed to provide human rights training in the United States.

According to reports, Ecuador indicated the money could be used to help the US address its recent problem with torture, illegal executions, and the attacks on the privacy of its citizens.

As Agence France-Presse reports, the trade agreement between Ecuador goes back decades:

The United States is Ecuador’s main trade partner, buying 40 percent of the Andean nation’s exports, or the equivalent of $9 billion per year.

The preferential trade program was set to expire on July 31 unless the US Congress renewed it. The arrangement, which dates back to the early 1990s, originally benefited four Andean nations and Ecuador was the last country still participating in it.

And Reuters adds:

Never shy of taking on the West, the pugnacious Correa last year granted asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to help him avoid extradition from Great Britain to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over sexual assault accusations.

The 50-year-old U.S.-trained economist won a landslide re-election in February on generous state spending to improve infrastructure and health services, and his Alianza Pais party holds a majority in the legislature.

Ecuadorean officials said Washington was unfairly using the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act, which provides customs benefits in exchange for efforts to fight the drug trade, as a political weapon.

The program was set to expire at the end of this month.

 

 

Written FOR

HELP US STOP A HUMAN RIGHTS DISASTER IN THE MAKING

Act Now to Stop the Prawer Plan: A Human Rights Disaster in the Making
bed620

The Prawer Plan is an attack on Bedouin People, and on universal human rights

Click here to take a stand!

photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org

*

Late yesterday in Israel, the Knesset approved the first reading of the infamous Prawer Plan – a blueprint for removing 40,000 Bedouin people from their ancestral homeland.This massive violation of human rights just got a big step closer to reality. But it’s not too late to stop it: if we act now, we can make a difference.

So we’re asking you to send a message to Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren: we are appalled by the Prawer Plan, and all it represents.

From the years I lived in Israel, I remember visiting “unrecognized” Bedouin villages in the Negev that had been destroyed multiple times.I remember children and grandmothers sitting near the rubble of their homes, and especially the young man who had been called to serve in the Israeli Army – on the very day his home had been destroyed.

The Prawer Plan threatens that level of destruction on an unprecedented scale.

It is appalling that transfer based on nothing more than ethnic identity is even under consideration.

And if our government is going to offer unconditional support to Israel, we need to send that message to Ambassador Oren, Israel’s official representative to the U.S.

Click here to send an email now – and stand up for universal human rights and equality.

*

Send email to ….

Ambassador Michael Oren

Email: info@washington.mfa.gov.il
*
Suggested letter;
*
Dear Ambassador Oren,
The passing of the first reading of the Prawer Plan threatens disaster for the Bedouin people, and is a sad day for all who believe in justice, equality, and human rights.
I urge you to use your influence to warn Knesset members from taking further steps forward, while there is still time to avoid this human rights catastrophe.
*
Above written by:

Rebecca Vilkomerson
Executive Director, Jewish Voice for Peace

 

« Older entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,158 other followers