Ever since he first stood at the helm of power nearly 30 years ago, President Mubarak has ravaged his country in every conceivable manner. Under his corrupt and despotic regime, the status and stature of Egypt in the international arena declined to an unprecedented low degree.

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

Mubarak must go

Khalid Amayreh

No serious political analyst outside Egypt can claim to know President Hosni Mubarak more than the Egyptians themselves, and they are the  very people who have been out in the streets, demanding his resignation. They are doing this at the risk of being shot by the regime’s thuggish security forces who have been ordered to murder, vandalize, rob and spread chaos and anarchy everywhere in the country, for the purpose of stifling the revolution against tyranny and dictatorship.

Hence, claims that Mubarak is just a benevolent dictator who can maintain stability in a volatile region should be treated with contempt. Interestingly, some of the calls for the West to give Mubarak the benefit of the doubt, presumably until he kills and maims more Egyptians as he exhausts his energies to cling to power are coming from Israel. We could expect little else from the Zionist state, which all too readily adopts fascist-like policies and embraces Arab despots as long as they are soft on Israel but harsh on their own people. Needless to say, the Mubarak regime was one of those rotten regimes which paid great importance to relations with the war criminals running Israel, while harbouring an insensitive and even hostile attitude towards other Arab and Muslim states.

Ever since he first stood at the helm of power nearly 30 years ago, President Mubarak has ravaged his country in every conceivable manner. Under his corrupt and despotic regime, the status and stature of Egypt in the international arena declined to an unprecedented low degree.

Prior to his rule, Egypt had the potential to be an industrial power to rival countries such as South Korea and Malaysia; just look where they are now. Under Mubarak, Egypt is unable to feed its own population of 80 million souls. Israeli arrogance has grown with Egypt under Mubarak, to the point that it has near hegemony in the Middle East. Egypt has come to be considered by Israeli strategists as a satellite state kept on track by the US and its foreign aid.

It is true that Egypt was not an oasis of democracy and prosperity before Mubarak, but the country enjoyed an international stature and national dignity under both of his predecessors, Presidents Gamal Abdul Nasser and Anwar Sadat. Since the 1952 revolution which brought Nasser to power, Egypt had maintained a semblance of sovereignty, despite unrelenting conspiracies by Israel and the west. But when Mubarak succeeded Sadat following his assassination on 6 October, 1981, the first thing he did was basically to hand over Egypt’s sovereignty to the United States and Israel; some say that he gave Egypt on a silver platter to the CIA and Mossad. He has since shown repeatedly that he is answerable more to the White House than to his own people, and that he valued the legitimacy that came from Washington’s acceptance more than that which came from ordinary Egyptians who have waited for thirty long years in the hope that Mubarak might change his autocratic style of government. However, he has shown that he is not the sort of man who will change of his own volition.

To the chagrin of every Arab and Muslim, Egypt under Mubarak became an impediment rather than an asset, especially over the central issue of Palestine. This scandalous reality was made clear during Israel’s brutal assault on and invasion of the Gaza Strip in 2008-2009 when the Egyptian regime colluded with Israel in the killing and maiming of thousands of innocent Gazans, and the destruction of thousands of homes, mosques and other private and public buildings throughout the coastal enclave.

Gaza cried out for help from its big brother across the border at Rafah. Instead of a helping hand, Mubarak offered more treachery, more perfidy and more betrayal. The Mubarak regime even built an underground steel and concrete wall along the border with Gaza to stop the Palestinians being able to use tunnels to smuggle essential goods and break Israel’s siege of the territory.

Much of the depravity of the Egyptian regime is attributed to its pathological hatred and fear of the Muslim Brotherhood. This is the reason given for the regime’s perfidy against the conscience of the Egyptian nation, from handing over sovereignty to the United States to agreeing to become Washington’s watchdog against nationalist and Islamic forces in the region. Now, Mubarak is accusing the Muslim Brotherhood of organizing the revolution in Egypt, a lie that shouldn’t be dignified by passing a comment on it.

There is no doubt that the Egyptian regime is living on borrowed time, regardless of whether Mubarak himself stays on for days, weeks or months. The magic has gone. It is up to him, but Mubarak can now choose from the scenarios that brought an end to tyrannical regimes in places like Iran, Rumania and Tunisia. The choice is likely to narrow the longer he hangs on.

He should also know that when the moment of truth arrives, no one will help him, not even his masters in the White House, for whom he has become a liability. As for the other Arab despots, they can’t even help themselves; soon they too will face a similar, inevitable fate. Israel should watch the situation closely and learn from it; oppression and brutality have a limited shelf-life, no matter where they exist. Freedom waits for those who struggle with patience and constancy; yesterday it was Tunisia, today it is Egypt   could tomorrow be Palestine?


Written FOR


The best Congress AIPAC can buy….

‘How many years can a man turn his head and pretend that he just doesn’t see’? In the case of the dictatorship in Egypt, it was 30 years. Thirty years of relentless support for a regime contrary to the very principles of the governments that supported them.

From a report in today’s HaAretz; Israel called on the United States and a number of European countries over the weekend to curb their criticism of President Hosni Mubarak to preserve stability in the region. Preserve stability? Don’t they mean preserve tyranny? Israel has been content with Mubarak’s government, they were able to control their every move. Now they are worried that without Mubarak, the ‘stability’ might change to reality. The reality of a new government that supports the rights of the Egyptian people as well as the Palestinian people rather than one that has been cooperating in keeping both of them down.

What I am saying is that America’s support for Egypt over the past 30 years was not actually support for Egypt, it was support for Israel! Egypt has been a loyal friend of the zionist state for decades, Israel has done everything in its power to garner support for them from the West. AIPAC has done everything in its power to make sure the US stands by them!

The tables are turning and the truth is coming to light.  Egypt’s greatest fear at the moment is that the truth might actually set its people free. To prevent this from happening, they shut down the Internet a few days ago, they booted out Al Jazeera. It seems their intention is to prevent the world from seeing what is going on there today. This might have been possible in the days of the Pharaohs, but not today! It’s game over for dictatorships! It’s game over for governments that supported these dictatorships! There’s a new game on the horizon, it’s called PEOPLE POWER! No one can stop that from happening and America’s incongruous Congress better wake up to that fact. They helped get the Egyptian people into the mess they are in today…. it is they that must help get them out of it!

Images ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

The following skit from Saturday Night Live is meant to be funny (which it is), BUT…. it’s very close to the real picture. Unfortunately, too much of the world is laughing at the situation while the people of Egypt are crying out for Freedom….

Mubarak is afraid…… very much afraid!


Many of you have been asking what has been going on with our latest victim of zionist mind control on campus…. This morning I received the following email from Kris Petersen bringing us up do date….

Dear friends and colleagues:

First, please let me express my gratitude for the incredible outpouring of support you have all offered during this experience. We just passed 1,300 signatures on the petition this morning and it’s still rising. In the first 48 hours, we hit 1,000. That is quite simply phenomenal — and very humbling.

Second, many of you have asked to stay in the loop, so I thought I should send an update. Here is what is happening now:

Yesterday I did an extended interview about my dismissal with Manhattan Neighborhood Network — so look out for that. They’ll be running it soon. I will also be speaking on Asia Pacific Forum today (Monday) evening:

The Advocate is keeping a live blog on the case and they have compiled many of the wonderful letters that prominent intellectuals have sent to Brooklyn College on behalf of academic freedom (including, among others, Neve Gordon, Noam Chomsky, Rosalind Petchesky, Susan Buck-Morss, Marshall Berman, Katha Pollitt, Anne Norton, John Wallach, Moustafa Bayoumi, Greg Grandin, and President of the AAUP Cary Nelson). See the following links:

As many of you may know by now, the Political Science department at Brooklyn College will be holding an emergency meeting today (Monday) to discuss the situation further. I feel confident they will organize a strong response and that this unfortunate controversy will draw to a fair resolution. I am also in touch with student activist groups in the event that Monday brings bad news.

Thank you all so much!


-Kristofer Petersen-Overton

You can still sign the Petition AT


Brooklyn College rally this Thurs, 12-2pm, to defend Kristofer Petersen-Overton, Academic Freedom*

Attention CUNY Community,

Brooklyn College:

Stop Attacks on Academic Freedom! Reinstate Kristofer Petersen-Overton!

Just a week before the start of spring semester classes, Kristofer Petersen-Overton was fired from his position as an adjunct lecturer of political science at Brooklyn College. A scholar highly regarded by many distinguished faculty at CUNY, Petersen-Overton was scheduled to teach a Middle East Politics course. His firing by Provost William Tramontano came hours after college President Karen Lee Gould was contacted by a New York State assemblyman who complained about the instructor’s academic writings on Israel and the Palestinians. It is clear that Petersen-Overton’s dismissal was the product of political pressure.

The college’s actions are a clear violation of academic freedom, including the university’s own official policy. We demand that Petersen-Overton be fully reinstated in his position, and that his course on Middle East Politics be allowed to proceed as originally designed. The university must respect the academic freedom of all its employees and students. This is especially crucial with contingent faculty like Petersen-Overton, who receive none of the protections of tenure despite the fact that they teach the majority of courses at the City University of New York.

Stopping attacks on academic freedom is crucial to the rights of all of us who work and study at Brooklyn College and the City University of New York!

RALLY details

When: Thursday, February 3, 12-2pm

Where: Brooklyn College
Outside Boylan Hall in the campus Quad, near Bedford Ave.
Trains: Q Local to the Avenue H station, at Avenue H & East 16th Street. Walk 4 blocks east to the Ocean Avenue entrance. #2 (7th Avenue Local) or #5 (Lexington Avenue Express) to the Flatbush Avenue/Nostrand Avenue station.

Featured speaker: Kristofer Petersen-Overton (list in formation)

Sponsored by: CUNY Adjunct Project, CUNY Contingents Unite, Doctoral Students’ Council, Brooklyn College Student Union, Brooklyn College Palestine Club (list in formation)

For more info, or to co-sponsor, contact: Conor Tomás Reed at, 979.204.9253

UPDATES: The GC Advocate is keeping a live blog on the case and they have compiled many of the letters that prominent intellectuals have sent to Brooklyn College on behalf of academic freedom (including, among others, Neve Gordon, Noam Chomsky, Rosalind Petchesky, Susan Buck-Morss, Marshall Berman, Katha Pollitt, Anne Norton, John Wallach, Moustafa Bayoumi, Greg Grandin, and President of the AAUP Cary Nelson). See the following links:


The Brits, trying their darndest to outdo the American zios, have set up  a ‘Monitor’ called CiF Watch ….. ‘watching’ the ‘Comment is Free’ section of the Guardian…. looking for anti-Semitism….. BUT actually creating it where it doesn’t exist.

Case in point is the following report from their site …..

It’s reports such as these that makes DesertPeace MIGHTY PROUD of having Carlos Latuff as an Associate.

How low will they go? Guardian publishes cartoon by notorious anti-Semite, Carlos Latuff

by Adam Levick

Today’s Guardian “Palestine Papers” update included the following illustration by one of the most prolific anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic cartoonists, Carlos Latuff – depicting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as a sinister looking (gun wielding) Orthodox Jew.  (The Guardian casually referred to Latuff as “a Brazilian based cartoonist.”)

As I noted previously (in a piece for the JCPA, as well as a guest post for Elder of Ziyon), Latuff is a Brazilian political “activist” and cartoonist with an impressively large portfolio of work – much of which openly express anti-Semitic themes. Some of his caricatures seem to suggest that Israel is a unique and immutable evil in the world.  His work includes imagery frequently suggesting a moral equivalence between Israel and Nazi Germany – and he has explicitly acknowledged that this is indeed his political view.

Latuff’s work has been posted on various radical left websites and blogs, as well as several terrorist affiliated websites such as ‘The Islamic Front for the Iraqi Resistance’ (JAMI) magazine. Norman Finkelstein’s official website has also featured Latuff cartoons. As I noted in my Elder of Ziyon post, a blogger at the site, Mondoweiss, made use of one of Latuff’s cartoons during the flotilla incident. (Scroll down to bottom to see link to Latuff‘s cartoon)

Latuff’s notoriety includes his participation in the 2006 Iranian International Holocaust Cartoon Competition – for his cartoon comparing the Israeli West Bank security barrier with the Nazi concentration camps. Latuff placed second in the contest.

In their 2003 Annual Report, the Stephen Roth Institute compared Latuff’s cartoons of Ariel Sharon to the antisemitic caricatures of Philipp Rupprecht in Julius Streicher’s Der Stürmer.

Even the Guardian’s Ian Black noted that Latuff was among those cartoonists “drawing, without inhibition, on judeophobic stereotypes in the service of the anti-globalisation movement.

Latuff also has employed racist themes in service of his critiques of President Barack Obama.

Here is some of Latuff’s work:

The Latuff cartoon above, showing Sharon kissing Hitler, appeared on the (Washington) DC Indymedia site.

The above Latuff cartoon was published by Indymedia on Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The above is yet another Latuff cartoon on Indymedia.  It makes sure there is no doubt that the Jewish state has morphed into the new Nazi Germany by showing the tracks of the Israeli tank shaped like swastikas.


The cartoon above by Latuff, depicting former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert cradling a dead Palestinian baby, was published on Indymedia. It suggests that not only do Israeli leaders intentionally kill Palestinian children, but also that such child murder is popular among the Israeli public and helps Israeli politicians get elected.



And, finally, an Israel so evil as to douse gas on a burning Lebanese child.

Their decision to employ the services of an extremist such as Latuff is a reminder that the most important story pertaining to the “Palestine Papers” is not the contents of the documents as much as it is the lengths the Guardian is willing to go in service of their viscous anti-Zionist agenda.


Spoof on US State Departments Position on Egypt


#NYC Demo in front of the UN today 2 show our solidarity w & send our support 2 the brave #Egyptian protesters #Egypt #Jan25

NYC Demo in front of the UN today to show solidarity with & send support to the brave Egyptian protesters

Egypt does not stand alone during these days of unrest

The entire world is walking with them, standing with them, demanding the resignation of their President. Former residents of Egypt are among them….

In Europe
In Israel
In Gaza
In Yemen
In Montreal
Our Associate, Mazin Qumsiyeh, adds the following observations and comments;

Transformation in the Arab World

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

“Mubarak has been an ally of ours in a number of things and he’s been very responsible on, relative to geopolitical interest in the region, the Middle East peace efforts; the actions Egypt has taken relative to normalizing relationship with Israel.… I would not refer to him as a dictator” US Vice President Je Biden ( a lackey of AIPAC)

I first visited Egypt 30 years ago in 1981 to do research for my master’s thesis which was later published in my first book “The Bats of Egypt”.  I visited Egypt twice since then and I recall vividly police abuse of their own people and yet the Egyptians I encountered mocked and joked about dictatorship.  We tried at least from a distance to support our Egyptian brothers and sisters as they struggle for freedom. Arabs everywhere (yes even here in occupied Palestine) are talking about a transformation and about revolution.  But all such transformations carry pain. Over 200 Egyptians were killed, thousands injured, and there is much destruction.  Yet in a nation of 85 million people this is still a relatively peaceful transformation.   While dealing with the present is critical we must also at this juncture start to look post dictatorship in the Arab world and plan the future.

I recall vividly a talk by a self-described “Liberal Zionist” (an oxymoron) at Duke University on 1 March 198l; at 77 year old he had no inhibitions in saying “Zionists do not want democracy in the Arab world.”  He explained that if Egypt was a democracy, it would not have signed a peace deal with Israel since the sentiments of the Arab people does not accept such arrangements that could be done with someone like President Sadat or King Hussein.  On this point he was absolutely correct but in the long run such short-sighted perspective is self-destructive (1).

As I watched last night Hosni Mubarak make his (hopefully last) speech, I was very much reminded of the last speech of the Shah of Iran, Marcos of the Philippines, Bin Ali of Tunisia.  They all claimed after so many years of torturing their own people that they now want to “reform”.  The US funded and supported the brutal Mubarak regime for over 30 years even as plenty of evidence from human rights organizations documented its abuse of its own citizens. See example videos of torture by Egyptian police (2).  This is also the same police who, on the instruction of the Mubarak dictatorship, beat international activists trying to provide humanitarian relief to besieged Gaza (3).  Mubarak then went on to for the first time appoint a vice president (his intelligence chief and ex-army buddy Omar Suleiman) and appoint another army officer as prime minister.   It is now recognized that his reign is ending and a new era is beginning.

It is rather amusing that the brutal dictator of “Saudi” Arabia (a country named after a ruling family!) called to support Mubarak and stated that the demonstrators are hooligans and criminals.  Anyone who knows anything about Egypt knows that this amazing and inspiring mostly nonviolent revolution is a true expression of the will of the Egyptian people regardless of their political or religious persuasions (leftist, Muslim Brotherhood, Nasserite Arab Nationalist, Christians, Muslims, etc).

In other news in brief for those who don’t keep up with internet news or those who watch mainly the (supine) Western Media:

-Large demonstrations by Egyptians and human rights defenders at Egyptian embassies around the world all demanding democracy

-Israeli embassy in Cairo essentially emptied (an apartheid state embassy in the largest Arab country is an abomination)

-Israeli pundits very worried about how Egypt might look after Mubarak.

-There are many signs that the Egyptian military (like the Tunisian military) may be critical in this struggle.  Already there are instances where the demonstrators were protected from the Egyptian police by the Egyptian military. See footage (4)

-A number of human rights groups and Egyptian community representatives abroad all called for ending the Egyptian police brutality. By contrast EU and US government officials are making feeble statements to hedge their bets and at best call for “peaceful” actions from “all sides”. Slowly they were forced to modify their retorhic to talk about “change” but must finally call on their puppet Mubarak to leave power and insist that he and his sons and family return the billions stolen from the Egyptian people.

-A number of religious and civil organizations in Egypt broke their silence to support the ouster of the “last Pharaoh”

-The dictatorship cutting of web and mobile phone services and banning reporting by groups like Al-Jazeera did little to stem the tide of protest because people are living it daily in their homes and on the streets and they are not being incited from outside.

-Protests spread to Jordan and Yemen (two other Western supported governments).  There are now plans for large protests in Syria and other countries.

-On the Palestinian Authority TV news, they noted that Mahmoud Abbas called Mubarak and stated his support for stability of Egypt.  Other news outlets stated that he fully supports the Mubarak regime.  Hamas then came in to say that they support the Egyptian people.  Sadly, I think all rational human beings know which horse to bet on in this struggle between people and a western-supported dictator who accomplished nothing for his people and instead enriched his family (his sons are billionaires in a country in which tens of millions of people live on less than $1 a day).

I wrote seven months ago that “The political leadership in the fragmented Arab countries and Palestinian authority have convinced themselves that they have no option but to endlessly try to talk to politicians from Tel Aviv and Washington (the latter also Israeli occupied territory) hoping for some ‘gestures’….I know most politicians like to feel 100% safe (mostly for their position of power) and are afraid of any change.  But I wish they would realize that daring politicians make the history books and those who hang around trying to protect their seats will be forgotten.  Cowardice is never a virtue.” And then I concluded that “In the demonstrations yesterday, a child in Gaza was carrying a sign that says ‘we demand freedom’ and a child in Cairo that says ‘children in Egypt and in Gaza want the siege lifted’. That is our future – not elderly politicians meeting to do media damage control with empty words. “(5)

But make no mistake about it: no power transformation happens without a period of unrest, instability, and pain.  I believe in these difficult periods, humans are tested.  Some are weak and may even try to use the situations to make some quick personal profit. Others are of strong and decent character and this shows in their watching for their neighbors and their community.  I have seen countless pictures and heard countless stories of acts that can only be described as heroic (e.g. people protecting the national museum in Cairo or their neighbors’ houses).  Intellectuals are stepping forward to articulate rational scenarios for the future.  People helping other people.   So I think we will weather the transition.  As to what the future holds.  Clearly, the era of ignoring the masses is gone.  It will not be easy since we have a legacy of decades of poor education (one that does not emphasize civic and individual responsibility etc). Getting rid of dictators is not enough. Building a civic participatory society is not easy (Europe’s enlightenment did not come just from removing a few dictators).

People’s expectation raised for change will dash against the reality that it will take decades to create systems of governance, accountability, economic justice, etc to allow for unleashing the great potential in the Arab world.  And there is great potential (natural resources, water, educated hard-working middle class etc).  It is critical that people begin to chart this future honestly and pragmatically.  Slogans will not work.  We the people must take responsibility for our own lives and for our communities.  We need to take time to educate children in a very, very different way than we were educated.  The beginnings may be simple.  For example, in many Arab countries, people were thinking that as long as the country is not theirs (ruled by dictators), they can only watch over their own personal space and literally dump trash in the public space.  In the new era, they have to learn that public space is theirs too.  Order and respect for fellow citizens and for the country will have to be taught very early to our children.  This is but one example for laying a brick in the road to real freedom and real prosperity.  The bricks though are many and they will have to be fashioned and laid by the people.  It is very hard work but it is the only way forward.

(1) I challenged him on this in the Q&A and then wrote a follow-up letter that was published in the Duke Chronicle. See

(2) Torture at Egyptian police stations, here are three examples (warning disturbing content!)

3) Egyptian police beat Free Gaza convoy activist on December 30, 2009

4) See this associated press story about role of Egyptian military

and this interesting footage of military shielding demonstrators

5) Mazin Qumsiyeh “Of Cowardice, Dignity and Solidarity”


Probably fearing a repeat of ‘leaks’ in tune with the ‘Palestine Papers’, Egypt shut down Al Jazeera’s operations this morning. Best to hide the truth so the people cannot be set free.

In a statement, Al Jazeera said it strongly denounces and condemns the closure of its bureau in Cairo by the Egyptian government.  The network received notification from the Egyptian authorities on Sunday morning.

Egypt shuts down Al Jazeera bureau

Network’s licences cancelled and accreditation of staff in Cairo withdrawn by order of information minister.

Al Jazeera denounced the closure of its bureau, saying the move was designed to stifle free reporting

The Egyptian authorities are revoking the Al Jazeera Network’s licence to broadcast from the country, and will be shutting down its bureau office in Cairo, state television has said.

“The information minister [Anas al-Fikki] ordered … suspension of operations of Al Jazeera, cancelling of its licences and withdrawing accreditation to all its staff as of today,” a statement on the official Mena news agency said on Sunday.

In a statement, Al Jazeera said it strongly denounces and condemns the closure of its bureau in Cairo by the Egyptian government.  The network received notification from the Egyptian authorities on Sunday morning.

“Al Jazeera has received widespread global acclaim for their coverage on the ground across the length and breadth of Egypt,” the statement said.

An Al Jazeera spokesman said that the company would continue its strong coverage regardless.

‘Designed to stifle’

“Al Jazeera sees this as an act designed to stifle and repress the freedom of reporting by the network and its journalists,” the statement said.

“In this time of deep turmoil and unrest in Egyptian society it is imperative that voices from all sides be heard; the closing of our bureau by the Egyptian government is aimed at censoring and silencing the voices of the Egyptian people.

“Al Jazeera assures its audiences in Egypt and across the world that it will continue its in-depth and comprehensive reporting on the events unfolding in Egypt.

“Al Jazeera journalists have brought unparallelled reporting from the ground from across Egypt in the face of great danger and extraordinary circumstances.  Al Jazeera Network is appalled at this latest attack by the Egyptian regime to strike at its freedom to report independently on the unprecedented events in Egypt.”



Our talented Associate Carlos Latuff prepared all of the following to support the people of Egypt in their brave resistance to the oppressive government they have been living under.

Feel free to use any or all of them on your Blogs or Websites. Use them on placards as the Cairo demonstrators themselves did.


All images ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff


From Jaffa to Cairo all people power is revolutionary

Posted by Joseph Dana

As Egypt continued its revolution on the streets, the citizens of Jaffa held a passionate march thorough the city against racism and settlements. About 800 Palestinian and Israeli residents of the city marched through the streets chanting in Arabic and Hebrew against the wave of racism taking over Israeli society.

“Jews and Arabs Against the Hate and Terror of Settlers’ and ‘From Jaffa to Cairo all people power is revolutionary.” Some protesters carried Egyptian flags and many seemed energized by the events unfolding in Egypt. Despite a heavy police presence and even police helicopters, no incidents of violence were reported from the nonviolent protest.

Jaffa Protest Against Israeli Racism and Settlers. Photo: Joseph DanaJaffa Protest Against Israeli Racism and Settlers. Photo: Joseph Dana

Jaffa Protest Against Israeli Racism and Settlers. Photo: Joseph DanaJaffa Protest Against Israeli Racism and Settlers. Photo: Joseph Dana

Jaffa Protest Against Israeli Racism and Settlers. Photo: Joseph DanaJaffa Protest Against Israeli Racism and Settlers. Photo: Joseph Dana

Jaffa Protest Against Israeli Racism and Settlers. Photo: Joseph DanaJaffa Protest Against Israeli Racism and Settlers. Photo: Joseph Dana

Posted AT


Images ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff


Time is running out……


So is Mubarak 😉


Last night I posted the following…..

Image by Bendib

‘Make room for meeeeeeeeee!’

ya’think there’s enough room on the plane for both of them?


NO….. it’s not a spelling error above, it’s the fact that a movement is underway to destroy and cremate the authoritarian regimes in the Middle East. The people of Tunisia set the fire and it has now spread to Egypt.

One question comes to mind, why is America afraid of Democracy? Why has the United States supported all of the undemocratic governments in this region, including the ‘only democratically elected dictatorship in the Middle East’? The unique eunuch President of the United States promised ‘change’, he obviously doesn’t have the cojones to do it himself so it is being done without him. But why can’t he support those moves?

Watching the ‘news’ on the Fox Network last night was like watching a skit on Comedy Central. It wasn’t about why events were taking place in Egypt, but the emphasis was on what it means to the price of oil (up $4.00 a barrel since the rioting broke out). Who controls those prices? It was about who was behind the ‘riots’. The report started out by saying that they were sparked by university students posting their feelings on FaceBook, calling it a ‘Web Inspired Revolution’ ….. but ending with the support of The Muslim Brotherhood, Al Quaida, Hamas and of course, the Iranian government. In other words, it’s the Boogey Man that is behind the ‘riots’. They obviously have nothing to do with the fact that the people of Egypt are sick and tired of living under a dictatorship………..

An Op-Ed in today’s Ynet states that The natural American tendency is to support individual freedoms, freedom of religion, freedom of expression and freedom of association, which constitute inalienable US assets and the essence of the American nation. However, democracy at home is one thing, while democracy abroad is an entirely different matter.

In order to preserve its global hegemony, the US over the years knew how to openly endorse democratic reforms in the Arab world and other regions, yet at the same time support tyrants such as Mubarak and the Saudi and Jordanian kings – as long as they were loyal to the US and to the West, of course.

Of course they were loyal to the US …. wouldn’t you be if you were given 1.5 Billion dollars a year?

From a NewYork Times report; Addressing the nation from the White House after a day of rage across Egypt, Mr. Obama said he called Mr. Mubarak and told him “to refrain from any violence against peaceful protesters” and to turn a “moment of volatility” into a “moment of promise.” Declaring that the protesters have universal rights, he said, “The United States will continue to stand up for the rights of the Egyptian people.”

Ummm….. “continue to stand up for the rights of the Egyptian people” ….. I always thought that the word ‘continue’ meant doing the same as was always done. WHEN has the United States government given a damn about the rights of the Egyptian people, or the Iraqi people, or the Palestinian people or for that matter, the American people themselves? As was said by President Lincoln, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time”. Obviously Mr. Obama is not acquainted with that particular quote as he continues trying to fool all of the people all of the time.

A report in HaAretz states simply and to the point that Without Egypt, Israel will be left with no friends in Mideast. Very true!  What it doesn’t say is that America’s only friend in the Middle East would be Israel itself.

This past week we were given a glimpse of how America views Democracy. The leaks about Palestine are but one indication of the types of regimes the Americans want to see in the Middle East, regardless of what the people want. In the last Palestinian election, it was Hamas that received the majority of the votes. This was totally unacceptable to both the Israeli and American governments. Their support for the opposition and eventual division of the Palestinian Occupied Territories has resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians. Their continued non recognition of Hamas will surely guarantee that Palestine will not be a friend to the present administration of the United States.

Does Hamas support the moves for change in Egypt today? Of course they do. How could they be expected to support a government that has been collaborating with Israel by keeping the Gaza Strip under a siege that is literally killing the people living there. So yes, Fox News got part of their report right ….. but the reasons are good ones.

America is in a position where it can still redeem itself by implementing the changes promised by the Obama Administration. It must stop the support to the tyrants in the Middle East and shift that to support of the people. In doing so, it will in effect be supporting the people of the United States as well. As things stand today, it is their tax dollars that are keeping the tyrants in office. It is their hard earned wages that are filling up their gas tanks, leaving little left to put food on their tables. The American people will finally be set free.

The days of the American Empire are over! The sun has finally set on it. Now it is time for America to prove to the world that it can be a friend, not an enemy of the people.


An Interview with Kristofer Petersen-Overton


Another Professor Fired for Views on Middle East


Brooklyn College fired PhD student Kristofer Petersen-Overton yesterday, one day after New York state assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) sent a letter to BC president Karen Gould accusing Petersen-Overton of being an “overt supporter of terrorism.” Hikind has complained in interviews that Petersen-Overton’s academic work is anti-Israel, and that his attempt to “understand” suicide bombing is unfathomable. Petersen-Overton and I are colleagues at the CUNY Graduate Center.

JS: You were preparing to instruct a course on the Middle East and were fired. What happened?

KPO: I was hired by Mark Ungar at Brooklyn College’s political science department on the recommendation of Dov Waxman at the Graduate Center. I went in for an interview, and he was impressed with my credentials. I have an MA and I’ve published on the situation [in the Middle East], and he said “I would be honored to have you.” And this was for a grad level seminar, which is not lecture-based, meaning that our classes would be discussion-oriented and not some sort of alleged platform.

JS: What was the official explanation for your firing, and why doesn’t it make sense?

KPO: I have not once been contacted by the department itself, but I was told that the official reason I have been fired is that I don’t have a PhD, which is untrue, because no student teaching this course has a PhD, and there are of course many student teachers at BC who do not have their PhD’s. And I’ll point out that I am somewhat more qualified than many student teachers because I came into the program with a Master’s degree, which many students who are teaching for CUNY don’t have.

I was fired immediately after Dov Hikind contacted the school. He is an especially radical assemblyman who goes after people who he perceives as being anti-Israel. He’s actually made a career out of targeting people for alleged anti-Israel bias.

JS: And the charge of bias is doubly problematic. Because, one, it’s inaccurate. But, two, even if it were accurate, what does it imply?

KPO: We all come to the table with our personal political views; there’s not a single professor who doesn’t have their own views. So it all comes down to how one approaches those views, and I devoted an entire class in the syllabus to the subject of objectivity and humanism, meaning I wanted to put this issue of bias on the table to facilitate open and productive discussions.

JS: What does your firing suggest about contemporary politics and higher education?

KPO: They’ve targeted professors up for tenure for so long and have been relatively unsuccessful except for several cases, like with Norman Finkelstein (JS: and, among others, Nicholas De Genova and Thaddeus Russell, at Columbia University and Barnard College, respectively), now I think they’re going after graduate students before their careers even begin. One of the most direct implications of this which is deeply troubling is not the fact that people take issue with one particular class, which is inevitable, but the way in which the college administration caved so quickly – for it to occur within 24 hours is incredible to me, and the school never even consulted me. For this to be decided by a state official poking his nose in a college syllabus is Orwellian. I’ve received tremendous support, which I’m very grateful for. Norman Finkelstein wrote me, and after I contacted Neve Gordon he (Gordon) contacted BC’s provost, writing that he reviewed my syllabus and that it was excellent and reflected a number of different perspectives, noting that the textbook was mainstream and “emphasizes the Zionist narrative.” He also read a scholarly paper I had written, and wrote that he was “struck by (my) academic rigor.”

JS: What can people do to lend support?

I would be greatly appreciative if people can send an email to the provost, even better a letter, and tomorrow it would be great if people could call, and more importantly if people could disseminate this story. It’s especially disgusting that they would go after a grad student, because they have not only impacted my career but also my income and health insurance.

Office of the Provost (William A. Tramontano)
Brooklyn College
2900 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11210







Also see This related post from Muzzle Watch





Image by Bendib


‘Make room for meeeeeeeeee!’

click on image to enlarge


The Mubarak dictatorship is a core pillar of the U.S./Israeli order in the Middle East, an order that completely ignores the wishes and aspirations of people on the ground.  The U.S. and Israel are scared of the new order that is to come.

Quartet in F Minor

The Egyptian intifada and what it may mean for Israel/Palestine

Posted by Alex Kane

The Egyptian uprising against the Mubarak regime is historic and important in its own right.  But it may also lead to significant changes in the region that could be positive for the Palestinian cause.  Israel is worried about a reliable ally being toppled next door.

The Mubarak dictatorship is a core pillar of the U.S./Israeli order in the Middle East, an order that completely ignores the wishes and aspirations of people on the ground.  The U.S. and Israel are scared of the new order that is to come.

As As’ad Abu Khalil notes at his blog, “the Israeli strategy in the Middle East has been firmly set on the continuity of the Sadat-Mubarak dictatorship.”  Israel’s peace agreement with Egypt in 1979 removed a military threat to Israel and secured millions of U.S. dollars and military support for the Egyptian dictatorship.  The Mubarak regime got carte blanche for its repressive rule.

Currently, there is extensive cooperation between Egypt and Israel. Cables obtained by WikiLeaks, and published by Counterpunch, reveal that the Israeli military coordinated bombing runs with the Egyptian military during the 2008-09 assault on Gaza and closed the Rafah border when told in advance that Israel’s ground invasion was to begin.  WikiLeaks’ documents shed further light on Egypt currently building a wall meant to choke off smuggling tunnels into the Gaza Strip.

The fall of the Mubarak regime, which is what the youth revolt currently sweeping Egypt is calling for, could mean a number of things related to the siege of Gaza, continued efforts to crush Hamas and the political situation Israel finds itself in.

All told, what happens in Egypt will not stay in Egypt.  It will have ripple effects across the Middle East, and especially in Israel/Palestine.


Posted AT


As a father, I may not always agree with the opinions of my children, but I respect and honor their right to have them and I am proud when they have the courage to express them, even if those opinions are unpopular. How else can any of us continue to learn?

The following was sent as a Comment on the following post…. ZIONISM TRIUMPHS OVER REASON AT BROOKLYN COLLEGE
‘Food for thought’ as they say…..

As Kristofer’s father, I am keenly disappointed with this decision. One of the things that I love about a free country is enjoying the right to maintain and express opinions without fear of discrimination or prejudice. I served in the US military for almost all of my adult life because I believe in protecting individual freedoms, and I believe that all nations have an obligation to set a good example in this regard. This decision does not appear to be a good example. I have no fluency on the issue at hand, but I know why I served and I believe that this decision is counter to the fundamental principles of that service.

What is particularly painful for me is that an inaccurate, irrational, and indefensible accusation from Assemblyman Dov Hikind was quickly followed by Kris’ removal, which would suggest that the leadership of the school is in agreement with the Assemblyman’s opinion. If that is not true, then the only other conclusion that I can reach is that the decision demonstrated a deplorable lack of moral courage. Kris has never condoned violence of any kind and never could. I believe on that topic, I am completely fluent.

From a purely academic perspective, I am currently enrolled in an EMBA program at Rochester Institute of Technology. I can write with certainty that one of my most important sources of learning comes through robust dialog with others in my class (or with my Professors) who hold conflicting opinions. While I am not an educator, suppressing the opportunity for such interaction does not make sense to me.

As a father, I may not always agree with the opinions of my children, but I respect and honor their right to have them and I am proud when they have the courage to express them, even if those opinions are unpopular. How else can any of us continue to learn?

One of the biggest complaints in the US today is that the truth is often hidden because people in authority give in to special interests groups, lobbyists, and individuals who pay or use political power to have their position pushed to the forefront…often squashing opposing opinions. I imagine that it would be impossible to stop that behavior in politics due to its very nature, but I would not have expected an academic institution to “fold” so easily and so quickly.


Mark D. Petersen-Overton,
Captain, USN (ret)

You can support Kris by signing and circulating the following Petition …. do your part to help restore Academic Freedom to the ‘Land of the Free’!

Defend Academic Freedom at Brooklyn College, CUNY

Also see the following report from Salon News ….

Showdown over Israel and academic freedom

By Justin Elliott

Showdown over Israel and academic freedom

CUNY graduate student Kristofer Petersen-Overton

An adjunct political science professor was fired Wednesday by Brooklyn College following complaints by a student and a local politician about his pro-Palestinian political views.

The college maintains the instructor, graduate student Kristofer Petersen-Overton, was let go because he did not have proper credentials to teach a master’s level course on Middle East politics. But there’s evidence that other graduate students with the same level of experience as Petersen-Overton have had no trouble teaching advanced courses in the department both in the past and the present.

And now a group of Brooklyn College professors are blasting the administration for undermining academic freedom.

Here is what happened:

Petersen-Overton, a political science student at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York, was looking for a course to teach in the spring, and he heard about an opening at Brooklyn College, which is part of the CUNY [City University of New York] system. Petersen-Overton had a B.A. in political science from San Diego State and a masters in development from a university in Denmark. He has published several articles about Israel and the Palestinians in academic journals and books. He also previously worked at the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, a Gaza NGO, in 2007-08. He started his studies at CUNY in 2009.

He got the part-time adjunct professor’s job at Brooklyn College to teach Middle East politics, a master’s level course that is regularly offered in the political science department. That was in late December. The acting chair of the department, who had hired him, asked Petersen-Overton to send him a syllabus to circulate to prospective students.

That’s when the trouble began.

One student, whose identity is not known, did not like the books in the syllabus. The student complained to the department and also contacted a blogger and Brooklyn College alum, Bruce Kesler. He attacked Petersen-Overton in a Jan. 19. post titled “Gaza Defender Hired To Teach Middle East At Brooklyn College.” Kesler criticized Petersen-Overton for being “preoccupied with the Palestinian narrative,” for describing Zionism as a “philosophy of separation,” and for having published articles on the website Electronic Intifada.

Around that same time, a student (likely the same student) contacted the provost and complained about Petersen-Overton. All the details of the communication between the student and the provost are not clear, but, according to Brooklyn College spokesman Jeremy Thompson, the original complaint  was about “the credentials of the instructor, not about his politics.” Thompson adds: “What motivated that student? I don’t know.”

Meanwhile, State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, whose district includes Brooklyn College and who actively supports Jewish settlements in the West Bank, got wind of Petersen-Overton’s appointment from the unidentified student. This past Monday, Hikind fired off a letter to the president of Brooklyn College calling Petersen-Overton an “overt supporter of terrorism” and arguing that “Mr. Petersen-Overton’s personal biases should not be allowed to pollute the academic realm.” Hikind specifically pointed to a paper by Petersen-Overton, “Inventing the Martyr: Martyrdom as Palestinian National Signifier.” In fact, Petersen-Overton has quite clearly condemned suicide bombings as “heinous acts.”

It was also on Monday that Petersen-Overton signed a contract with Brooklyn College to formally accept the adjunct position. On Tuesday, he got a call from a local Jewish newspaper to ask for comment on Hikind’s charges. On Wednesday, the chair of the political science department called Petersen-Overton and informed him that his contract had been terminated, even though he had not even begun to teach the class.

The reason, according to Brooklyn College? “Mr. Petersen-Overton was not sufficientlycredentialled to teach at this level,” says Thompson, the spokseman, noting that he does not have his PhD. “The course is an advanced [master’s level] course and he is only three semesters into his doctoral studies.”

Thompson also notes that the provost had been looking into the matter since several days before Hikind’s letter. The assemblyman’s complaint had nothing to do with the decision, Thompson says.

But here’s where Brooklyn College’s explanation does not hold up well to scrutiny. According to a professor of political science and another graduate student, there are plenty of other adjunct professors teaching advanced courses who have the same credentials as Petersen-Overton.

Patricia Stapleton is a CUNY political science doctoral student who has herself taught several master’s level courses at Brooklyn College in the past few years.

“I would say that half the political science master’s courses being taught per semester are being taught by grad students who do not have PhDs, and some don’t have master’s degrees,” she says. “I have repeatedly taught master’s courses without having a master’s degree.”

Stapleton adds: “The argument they’re making is just patently untrue. They do hire adjuncts who do not have PhDs to teach master’s courses all the time.”

Asked about other graduate student adjuncts who had the same credentials as Petersen-Overton but were not fired, Thompson responded: “If that is indeed the case, under the leadership of this president and this provost, it is not going tolerated in the future.” He declined to say whether the provost will actively seek out other such cases.

Mark Ungar is the political science professor who, when he was acting department chair last month, hired Petersen-Overton. He says in an email that “many adjuncts have not yet attained their degrees. If they have not, we weigh their other credentials as well.” Petersen-Overton’s on-the-ground human rights work in the Middle East was taken into account when he was hired.

Ungar and eleven other members of the department objected to the Provost William Tramontano’s decision to fire Petersen-Overton. “His decision to reject our appointment undermines academic freedom and departmental governance,” Ungar says.

CUNY students, meanwhile, have begun circulating a petition “to defend academic freedom.”

Petersen-Overton, for his part, is now unemployed. “It was fear of controversy,” he says. “The administration looked at this and thought, ‘Why should we stick our neck out for a graduate student?'”


Fear and the Palestine Papers
By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

Ignoring the hype about the Palestine papers is hard.  I spent a lot of time
reading through page after page of the documents showing minutes of meetings and other exchanges regarding the Palestinian-Israeli “negotiations” (the quotes are warranted).  The Guardian newspaper summed up the back and forth arguments about these papers as follows:

” PA and PLO leaders such as Saeb Erekat can be expected to point out that one of the core principles of the negotiations is that ‘nothing is agreed
until everything is agreed’. As such they are not necessarily committed to
provisional positions that in the event failed to secure a settlement –
though Erekat made clear to US officials in January 2010 that the same
offers remained on the table. Critics are likely to argue that concessions –
such as accepting the annexation of Israeli settlements in occupied East
Jerusalem – are simply pocketed by the Israeli side, and risk being treated
as a starting point in any future talks.”



For me two things come out clearly from these painful documents (some of
them have parallel data in the US embassy cables on Wikileaks).  First it is
not that the Palestinian officials are traitors but merely (and this is bad
enough) mistakenly and passionately going through motions hoping against all odds that by talking and compromising more they could achieve a tiny fraction of what we are entitled to. The second observation is that Israel will not sign a peace deal regardless of how low and ridiculous the
concessions on the Palestinian side: hunt down resisters (abandoning the
internationally recognized rights of resistance to occupation even unarmed
one), give up on most settlements built illegally on Palestinian lands,
allow Israel sovereignty over nearly 1/3rd of the occupied old city of
Jerusalem, give up on the refugee rights, allow Israel to keep looting
natural resources in the West Bank, give Israel the right to control our
airspace, and even assure a statelet devoid of sovereignty. Not even tourism income would be allowed in this emasculated state.  Some critics asked:  if, as the documents show, the Palestinian negotiators were willing to accept all of this then WHY did Israeli politicians hold out?


The answer is obvious to anyone who ever faced Zionism. They believe
(rightly or wrongly) they can get 100% so why should they settle for 91% or even 99% especially when the ceiling of the Palestinian requests kept
dropping in the past 22 years (since they accepted in 1988 to let Israel
keep most of the looted parts of Palestine 1948).  Today, Israel’s three
main sources of income are dependent on a continued conflict and occupation: the 6.5 billion military and security exports, the 6 billion US and other western direct aid, and 3 billion from the captive markets in the West Bank and Gaza. All three would be threatened with end of conflict even if Israel gets to keep most of its stolen loot.   Israeli officials are keen to keep
negotiations going to avoid an anti-Apartheid scenario and for PR and
normalization to keep pumping more money and more settlers into the
remaining small shriveling Palestine because it is economically profitable.


The recorded meetings show no real interest or even emotion or any sense of urgency on the part of the Israelis or their American benefactors.  Saeb
Erekat comes out basically pleading and begging sometimes and other times using the presence of Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran to try and convince these officials.  Jim Jones, David, Hale, and (Israeli lobbyist Dennis Ross),
Tzipi Livni, Mofaz etc. all just repeat utter few selective words and simply
drag their feet to keep the “process going”.  What would be the nature of
the conversations if there was no Hamas to wave as the boogeyman to US
officials and claim success in containing Hamas and other “extremist
movements” (In Egypt Hosni Mubarak uses the same notion of containing
Islamic Jihad but for the sinister goal of justifying his dictatorship)?  US
officials are very confident of their strength and the Israeli strengths and
the fact that they only need the Palestinians to prevent any attempts at
international isolation of Israel.  This they get just by innuendo or hints
of threats on the Palestinians authority.  They studied the situation
carefully and think that Abbas and company have no other options but to
simply keep negotiating and compromising even if it takes another 20 years. In some very rare instances the negotiators seem to connect with their humanity and actually feel sorry for the fate of these Palestinian
negotiators.  But then you could sense how they curb their own feelings (as irrelevant) and go back to the scripted positions of their governments which are simply antagonistic to anything that is not 100% in support of Zionism. Erekat’s occasional threats of a one state seem vacuous and not serious.  My book on Sharing the Land of Canaan showed with lots of data that “two state for two people” approach can never lead to genuine peace (if apartheid was the problem in South Africa, why is it considered a solution here?).


I have a suggestion for the Palestinian authority: try to deal with the
issues and do release your own documents instead of trying to shoot the
messenger.  Take lemons to make lemonade.  Help introduce an even stronger resolution at the UN security council (e.g. in support of the Goldstone report or to recognize a Palestinian state along the borders of 1967) or a resolution at the UN General Assembly that calls for expelling Israel from the UN since it has never honored its commitments when it was admitted in 1949.  Maybe announce publicly that the Oslo Process was a mistake or at least is now dead (now every idiot knows it was and most of those who are getting salaries from the authority know in their hearts that it was contrary to basic human rights and to basic international law). This
suggestion essentially is to show courage and backbone.  It could also mean the difference: making mistakes is human, continuing the path as in the past only validates those who accuse the authority figures of treason.  Abbas says he will surprise us in September but I believe he and those around him do not have that kind of time.


I, like Edward Said and millions of Palestinians, disagreed strongly with
the choices made by this Oslo group to built the Palestinian autonomous
administration (of the Palestinian people warehouses or concentration camps) that relieved Israel from the burdens of managing us and from International isolation based on not even promises of freedom or return of rights.  But I also can’t help but feel sorry for those who took that path. It must be very painful for a human being to go down a tunnel where there is no possibility of a light at the end and during this trip into the depths of darkness feel the leaches crawling up his back sucking his blood and voices from behind calling him back (some of them his political enemies, others ex-comrades in Fatah). Palestinian negotiators are fearful of going back because they think it might give political opponents a PR tool. They are just fearful of losing face; I am always grateful to a wise advisor who 30 years ago convinced me to drop this fear of admitting mistakes (a fear common especially among men). They may also be fearful of losing a job. The Palestinian people are very angry though many feel afraid to speak out for fear to lose their sources of income, fear that the alternative to Fatah maybe just as bad, fear of Israel, fear of the US or just simply fear of their own power.  But ultimately fear is a lack of self-confidence to take another course. And their fear should be balanced by the fact that people are literally dying for justice and wanting leaders to care about them and not about themselves. [Here we must remember the thousands of martyrs who gave their lives and hundreds of thousands who were injured or lost homes and livelihood and still yearn for freedom]. The status quo is to many humans a comfort in the known/predictable.  Taking another path is feared because humans fear the unknown.  I believe that fear is the most destructive and paralyzing human emotion.  Common people around
the world are just beginning to break the barrier of fear and speak up more for themselves. From Tunisia to Egypt to Lebanon, the walls of fear are cracking.  We common people and even some leaders must  realize that many of these walls are far weaker than we may think.  I can actually hear them cracking.


The Arab world is in revolt.  The fire is spreading.  Responsible people
need to step forward with courage and conviction.  There could be surprises along those lines even from Central Committee members of Fatah.  Already Nabil Shaath took a position different than Mahmoud Abbas.  This is just the beginning.  Palestine will survive.  The Palestinian people are not sheep. They are mature enough to take the truth and to rebuild our national liberation movement.  History marches on and I am 100% sure that Zionism will fail and Palestine will be free.



Palestinian Students take over Palestine London offices demanding
representation of all Palestinians.  I think their call for representation
based on the Prisoner’s documents and the Cairo Declaration) should be
taken-up by all Palestinians of conscience.



A Call to the People and Governments of the Free World from the Egyptian
National Coalition: We call upon all of you to support the Egyptian people’s
demands for a good life, liberty and an end of despotism. We call upon you
to urge this dictatorial regime to stop its bloodshed of the Egyptian
people, exercised throughout Egyptian cities.. We believe that the material
and moral support offered to the Egyptian regime, by the American government and European governments, has helped to suppress the Egyptian people.  We hereby call upon the people of the free world to support the Egyptian people’s non-violent revolution against corruption and tyranny. We also call upon civil society organizations in America, Europe and the whole world to express their solidarity with Egypt, through holding public demonstrations, particularly on People’s Anger Day (28/01/2011), and by denouncing the use of violence against the people. We hope that you will all support our demands for freedom, justice and peaceful change.

The Guardian Newspaper: Palestinian distrust of Iran revealed in leaked
papers. Mahmoud Abbas asked businessman to donate $50m to Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad’s opponents, according to the documents.



Media Matters M.J. Rosenberg stated about the Papers: “The bottom line is
that, despite the assurances the Palestinian Authority gave to the
Palestinian people that it was driving a hard bargain with the Israelis, the
Palestinian Authority accepted Israel’s position on every key point:
borders, Jerusalem, settlements, refugees.  On no major issue did the PA
hold the line. None. The Palestinians offered Israel everything Israel wants
and Israel still said “no” with the backing of the United States.”


It is interesting to see such analysis as from former top CIA official
Robert Grenier.


But even though career diplomats are voicing interesting opinions and
diversions from official policy, the Obama administration still shows the
notion of just drawing on AIPAC associated fossilized brains. (see
Why Obama’s “new thinking” initiative on Middle East peace is doomed to fail by Lawrence Davidson )


Palestinian intellectuals and activists articulated why this is the end of
the charade of the peace process industry Karma Nabulsi gives a pointed

Prof. Saree Makdisi shows more emotion as he writes “The Palestinian people betrayed”

Yet another BDS victory: John Lewis stops stocking Ahava products in Britain






Furious reaction to Al-Jazeera documents

Revelations contained in Palestinian documents leaked to the television channel Al-Jazeera this week left Palestinian negotiators with much explaining to do, writes Khalid Amayreh in Ramallah


The Palestinian Authority (PA) reacted with shock and fury to revelations made by the Arab satellite TV channel Al-Jazeera this week that it had received leaked documents showing that Palestinian negotiators had been ready to make far-reaching concessions to Israel on cardinal issues of the Arab-Israeli conflict, including Jerusalem and the right of return for millions of Palestinian refugees.

The seemingly authentic documents, on which PA negotiators’ signatures can be seen, largely consist of the minutes of meetings held between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators. American officials and mediators also took part in some of these meetings.

The documents show Palestinian negotiators as having been willing to cede large parts of East Jerusalem to Israel, including most if not all the colonies built in the Jerusalem region east of the former armistice line since 1967.

The PA is also shown as having been ready effectively to liquidate the paramount right of return of Palestinian refugees by entertaining ideas that proposed the repatriation of a negligible number of refugees to their original homeland in what is now Israel.

Similarly, the documents, now dubbed the “Palestinian Papers”, show a clear PA propensity to cooperate and occasionally even to collaborate with Israel against the Islamist group Hamas, especially during the all-out Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip nearly two years ago.

While the papers contain very few real secrets, as details of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations since the Oslo Accords of 1992 are widely known among journalists and academics, this is the first time it has become known that the PA had been willing to abandon, or at least evade, long-held Palestinian national constants that had come to form the closest thing to a Palestinian consensus.

These constants enjoy general acceptance by all the Palestinian political factions, including Hamas and Fatah, the two largest political movements in occupied Palestine.

It is not yet certain who leaked the documents to Al-Jazeera. Some Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) officials allege that an insider from the PLO negotiations department leaked them for mercenary reasons, while others accuse the hawkish Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman of deliberately leaking the documents in order to embarrass and therefore weaken the PA leadership in the hope of blackmailing it into further concessions.

Whatever the identity of the leakers turns out to be, the leaks are unlikely to be very consequential, given the known positions of both sides.

PA officials reacted angrily to the revelations, accusing Al-Jazeera of attempting to carry out a character assassination of the PA and tarnish its image. One PA official went as far as to charge that the Qatar-based network had “declared war” on the PA and was working with Israel to undermine the Palestinian cause.

Some Fatah supporters tried to storm Al-Jazeera’s offices in Ramallah but were dispersed by police.

Many Palestinians among the more educated segments of the population have scoffed at the near hysterical manner in which PA officials have received the revelations, judging that there is no smoke without fire.

PA chief negotiator Saeb Ereikat, who appeared on Al-Jazeera as the network was broadcasting its report on the documents, seemed unprepared and shaken by the revelations, even losing his composure when responding to questions about documents bearing his signature.

The following day, the PA instructed Yasser Abed Rabbo, the secretary-general of the PLO, to launch a scathing attack on Al-Jazeera and Qatar, including the country’s emir, Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani.

Abed Rabbo said that Qatar was in no position to lecture the Palestinian people and its leadership on patriotism, adding that the existence of a large American military base in Qatar, as well as the emirate’s relations with Iran and its support for “sectarian forces” (a possible allusion to Hizbullah), made Qatar unfit to tell Palestinians what they should think or do.

However, Abed Rabbo’s remarks appeared to be off the subject at hand, as he refused to discuss the serious aberrations from the declared Palestinian stance that appear in the documents.

“Some of these remarks were jokes and human reflexes that were not meant to be formal positions,” said an angry-looking Abed Rabbo.

“I must also thank his highness the emir of Qatar for his promoting the issue of transparency in the hope that he will now expand it to include the American military base in Qatar, especially its role in spying on the Arab nations.”

The most moderate reaction came from PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who described the negotiation documents as “nothing new.”

“I don’t know how Al-Jazeera obtained all these ‘secrets’, because there is nothing secret about the negotiations with Israel. Everything we do with regard to the negotiations we inform our Arab brothers and [Arab League Secretary-General] Amr Moussa about,” Abbas told reporters in Cairo.

Nonetheless, Abbas seemed to have decided to take measures against Al-Jazeera. Fatah sources said a circular had been sent to all Fatah members instructing them to boycott the channel.

A few hours later, Nabil Shaath, a high-ranking Fatah official, appeared on the network, saying that Al-Jazeera should not attempt to make an issue out of every word or observation appearing in the documents.

“It was agreed from the very beginning that nothing is finished until everything is finished. So what is written in these documents has no practical value,” Shaath said.

Shaath was silent, however, when interrupted by one of Al-Jazeera’s presenters, who argued that the observations appearing in the documents showed at least a propensity on the part of PA negotiators to compromise on paramount issues related to Palestinian rights, such as Jerusalem and the right of return for the refugees.

As expected, Hamas also castigated the PA for “hiding the truth from the Palestinian people and for showing a willingness to sell out on inalienable Palestinian rights.”

“We consider these documents to be further evidence of the security and political decadence to which the PA has stooped,” said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri. “The documents show that the PA is not to be trusted in leading the Palestinian people towards freedom and liberation.”

Another Islamist spokesman, Mahmoud Zahar, called on Arab populations to take to the streets to declare their rejection of PA “treachery and capitulation.”

While the bombshell of the papers may undermine overall Palestinian standing, some pundits have argued that Al-Jazeera’s revelations may also have a long-term positive effect.

They argue that Palestinian negotiators will think twice from now on before ceding to Israel on sensitive matters such as Jerusalem and the refugees, knowing the angry reactions to any capitulations to Israel.





The Palestine Preventive Security Forces interrogates Khalid Amayreh and Awadh Rfajoub

The Palestinian journalists  Khalid Amayreh and Awadh Rajoub were briefly interrogated by the Preventive Security Force in Dura, south of Hebron, Thursday, in connection with their coverage of al-Jazeera documents revelations.

Amayreh said  he was interrogated for several  hours and was asked to return to the PSF  local headquarters again on Sunday, ostensibly for  further interrogation.

He described the interrogation as utterly illegal. He also urged the Palestinian Press union to do its utmost to prevent security agencies from  interfering with journalists’  work.


When will the doors of Freedom be opened at America’s universities?

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff


This morning I received a very short email from Kris simply stating that Zionist pressure worked. I was let go. I want to get very loud over this and will be appealing. The department and many colleagues are behind me. I have attached a press release.There will be coverage in the Daily News and Post tomorrow.

Kris Petersen

Hopefully the situation will soon change.

Here is the Press Release that was attached;

CUNY Provost Intervenes To Cancel Appointment of Controversial Brooklyn College Professor: Grave Implications For Academic Freedom

Kristofer Petersen-Overton, a political science doctoral student at the CUNY Graduate Center, has been fired from his position as an adjunct professor at Brooklyn College one week before his course on Middle East politics was slated to begin.

The case was taken up by the Brooklyn College administration after a student enrolled in his course raised concerns that Mr. Petersen-Overton’s alleged pro-Palestinian bias would prevent him from conducting a balanced seminar. The student expressed these concerns with the political science department but agreed not to pursue further action until after the course actually began. However, this student contacted state Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who then characterized Mr. Petersen-Overton as “pro-suicide bomber” in a letter to the college President.

In a response sent to Hamodia newspaper on Wednesday, Mr. Petersen-Overton expressed concerns “that a state official would denounce my work so strongly without, apparently, having offered it more than a cursory reading. [Hikind’s] press release … is slander pure and simple.” Mr. Petersen-Overton emphasized that his work has little to do with suicide bombers and that Mr. Hikind deliberately twisted his conclusions to make it appear otherwise.

“I was not contacted by Brooklyn College administration at any time during their decision-making process. This politically motivated action undermines CUNY’s longstanding legacy as a stalwart defender of academic freedom,” Mr. Petersen-Overton said.

The allegations against Mr. Petersen-Overton center on time he spent in the Gaza Strip working for the Palestinian Center for Human Rights and on an unpublished scholarly paper that analyzes the symbolic place of martyrdom in Palestinian nationalism. Petersen-Overton’s detractors also took issue with the fact that, according to his personal website, he still maintains “close contact” with the Palestinian activist community.

Mr. Petersen-Overton’s academic work deals broadly with issues of identity formation in Israel and Palestine.

# # #

And here is how New York’s two tabloids reported the story today…


Kristofer Petersen-Overton, Brooklyn College prof, says he was fired for pro-Palestinian politics

Brooklyn College spokesman said Kristofer Petersen-Overton was fired for not having a Ph.D.  

Brooklyn College spokesman said Kristofer Petersen-Overton was fired for not having a Ph.D.

A Brooklyn College professor says he got canned because of pressure from a local pol angry over the teacher’s pro-Palestinian politics.

A college spokesman said Kristofer Petersen-Overton, 26, was dropped Wednesday from teaching a Middle East politics class because he didn’t have a Ph.D.

“[He] simply did not have the credentials to be teaching at the graduate level,” said spokesman Jeremy Thompson.

But the adjunct prof says he thinks he was fired because Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) complained to City University of New York Chancellor Matthew Goldstein about the course reading list .

“It’s pretty clear that this was politically motivated,” said Petersen-Overton. “I don’t blame the pro-Israel crowd. I blame the administration for caving in to the pressure.”

The dismissal came one day after Hikind fumed to Goldstein about the syllabus – which he said included many anti-Israel books – and Petersen-Overton’s internship in 2007 with the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. “This guy was literally radical and one-sided,” said Hikind. “Whatever your point of view is, if you’re a teacher you’re supposed to present both sides.”


and from the New York Post…..

‘Anti-Israel’ prof canned

Brooklyn College yesterday fired an adjunct professor teaching a class on Middle East politics just hours after a state assemblyman accused him of supporting Palestinian suicide bombers.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) faxed a letter to the college president, Dr. Karen Gould, on Monday expressing his reservations about Kristofer Petersen-Overton.

Hikind said yesterday that Petersen-Overton, 26, has written several academic papers that are anti-Israeli and attempt to understand suicide bombers.

Hikind told The Post that after he was alerted by students, he reviewed the proposed curriculum and saw about 50 books listed — all of which blamed Israel for problems in the region.

“Not one of them presents another point of view,” Hikind said.

Petersen-Overton, a doctoral student at CUNY’s Graduate Center, said Hikind’s accusations were “slander, pure and simple.”

The Jewish newspaper Hamodia this week quoted Petersen-Overton on suicide bombers, saying , “I certainly do not condone such heinous acts.”

Jeremy Thompson, a spokesman for Brooklyn College, said that Petersen-Overton was bumped from the classroom because he was not “sufficiently qualified,” since he is “very early on in his doctoral studies.”

Thompson said that Hikind’s accusations had no bearing on the decision and that Petersen-Overton should never been have hired in the first place.


Letters in support of Kris’ reinstatement can be sent to;

Office of the Provost (William A. Tramontano)
Brooklyn College
2900 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11210
Let’s flood his email box by writing to…
Or by calling….




University is closed today due to heavy snow…. so best to email


As responsible Israeli citizens, we are working together with Palestinians to achieve justice for Palestinians, and a future for all of us. We urge Ian McEwan to take a stand for human rights and justice and turn down the prize.

The following letter appeared in today’s Guardian;

Ian McEwan should turn down the prize

    As Israeli citizens who support the boycott, divestment and sanctions call on Israel, we believe that if Ian McEwan accepts the Jerusalem prize next month in Jerusalem (Letters, 26 January), it will make him a collaborator with Israel‘s worst human rights offenders and its “business as usual” policy. The Jerusalem prize is awarded by the Israeli establishment, which is keen on branding Israel in general, and Jerusalem in particular, as beacons of enlightenment and democracy. In reality, Ian McEwan will be playing into the hands of and shaking hands with cynical politicians who are trying to whitewash their systematic human rights violations. Specifically, he will be legitimising the actions of Jerusalem’s racist mayor, Nir Barkat, who pursues and defends the expulsion of Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem, in order for them to be occupied by Jewish settlers. If McEwan “opposes illegal Israeli settlements”, how can he accept the accolades of the people who are responsible for that abomination?

    Mr McEwan’s hiding behind the acceptance of the prize by others is an example of an unprincipled approach. Furthermore, his attempt to imply that the boycott movement is against cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians is refuted by our joint political activities. As responsible Israeli citizens, we are working together with Palestinians to achieve justice for Palestinians, and a future for all of us. We urge Ian McEwan to take a stand for human rights and justice and turn down the prize.

    Ronnie Barkan, Ofra Ben-Artzi, Joesph Dana, Professor Rachel Giora, Neta Golan, Iris Hefets, Shir Hever, Eytan Lerner, Dr Anat Matar, Rela Mazali, Ofer Neiman, Jonathan Stanczak

    Jerusalem, Israel




Anchors Away! – The ‘Stability’ of U.S. Puppet Dictatorships

By Nima Shirazi

I’ve been beating up on State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley lately, first over his disingenuous support for freedom of the press as the U.S. cracked down on WikiLeaks and more recently over his amazing ability to say nothing while being asked direct questions about the illegality of Israeli colonization of the Palestinian land.

So why stop now?

Speaking on Al Jazeera English today, Crowley addressed the massive protests seen in Egypt over the past few days. Crowley urged “restraint on both sides,” which has been a boilerplate refrain for State Department spokesmen and their boss, Hillary Clinton, when addressing turmoil all over the world, from China to Israel and Palestine. Recently, during a January 7, 2011 press briefing, Crowley stated that the United States wanted “to see restraint on all sides” in Tunisia. A week later, Clinton released a statement concerning the “several weeks of demonstrations and popular unrest” in Tunisia which “condemn[ed] the violence and urge[d] restraint on all sides.”

Unsurprisingly, however, the State Department did not urge protesters and rioters in Iran to show restraint in the wake of President Ahmadinejad’s re-election.

In his televised interview today, Crowley also repeatedly referred to the Egyptian government as “an ally and friend of the United States,” as well as a “partner” and “stabilizing force in the region.”

Yet, one thing Crowley said stuck out among the repetitions. At one point, he called the Mubarak government “an anchor of stability in the Middle East.” This phrase is strikingly reminiscent of what President Jimmy Carter said thirty-three years earlier in regard to the unflinching U.S. support, both vocal and material, of the Shah of Iran’s brutal dictatorship.

Carter, speaking at a New Years Eve state dinner in 1977, called the Shah’s Iran “an island of stability” in an otherwise turbulent Middle East. Carter said this at a time when in Iran, under the Shah’s tyrannical rule, “dissent was ruthlessly suppressed, in part by the use of torture in the dungeons of SAVAK, the [US and Israeli-trained] secret police,” as reported by Time magazine article from January 7, 1980.

The article continued,

“The depth of its commitment to the Shah apparently blinded Washington to the growing discontent. U.S. policymakers wanted to believe that their investment was buying stability and friendship; they trusted what they heard from the monarch, who dismissed all opposition as ‘the blah-blahs of armchair critics.’ Even after the revolution began, U.S. officials were convinced that ‘there is no alternative to the Shah.’ Carter took time out from the Camp David summit in September 1978 to phone the Iranian monarch and assure him of Washington’s continued support.”

Popular street demonstrations against the Shah’s rule became frequent throughout Iran in 1978 and, eventually, many cities were placed under martial law. During a peaceful demonstration in Tehran on September 8, 1978, government security forces opened fire on unarmed protesters, killing and wounding hundreds. The Shah and his wife Farah fled Iran in early 1979, never to return. They flew to Egypt, of all places, where they received a warm welcome by Anwar Sadat. A year and a half later, the Shah died in Egypt, was given a state funeral, and was buried in Cairo at the prestigious Al-Rifa’i Mosque.

Later in the Al Jazeera interview, Crowley let the cat out of the bag by revealing the real importance of Egypt to the United States. Egypt, Crowley said, had “made its own peace with Israel and is pursuing normal relations with Israel. We thinks that’s important. We think that’s a model that the region should adopt broadly speaking.” This “peace,” of course, signed at Camp David between Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, was famously brokered by Jimmy Carter in March 1979.

As part of the peace deal, the United States has since given upwards of $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt each year. When asked about this massive amount of financial assistance, which funds the Egyptian security forces currently unleashed against protesters, Crowley answered:

“Egypt is an ally and we rely on Egypt as an ally to be a stabilizing force in the region and that’s exactly what they are. And we contribute in terms of military and security assistance to help Egypt because that has benefits across the region as a whole.”

Clearly, these “benefits” include the violent suppression of Egyptian self-determination and democracy, as well as the buying of the Egyptian government’s cooperation and acquiescence in imprisoning and assaulting 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza.

So, considering the United States’ official assessment of Egypt’s “stability” during this time of unrest, how much time does the Mubarak regime really have left?


Nima Shirazi is a political commentator from New York City. His analysis of United States foreign policy and Middle East issues is published on his website,, and can also be found in numerous other online and print publications.

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Al-Awda Condemns Betrayal By Unelected Palestinian Leadership

Palestinians around the world and all their supporters watched in shock, but not total surprise as secret documents, “The Palestine Papers”, detailing carefully the years of so called peace negotiations were released by the news network Al-Jazeera during the last few days. While Palestinians are struggling to win back their rights to their homes and lands, some in the unelected leadership of the Palestinian Authority (PA) were making offers to give away these rights.

The documents show that they were willing to give up the rights of seven million Palestinians living in forced exile to return to their homes and lands. They were willing to cede Palestinian control over most of East Jerusalem as well as nearly all the land on the West Bank on which the major Israeli settlements around Jerusalem were illegally built. Even the major Muslim holy site the al-Aqsa mosque, Harm al’Sharif, was open to “creative” solution.

Long before these revelations, Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, its members, supporters and people of conscience in the US and around the world were already deeply suspicious of the maneuvering against the Palestinian people that Saeb Erekat, Ahmad Qurei and others demonstrated during these secret negotiations over the past many years. The Palestine Papers released by Al-Jazeerah confirm our people’s worst fears. What the PA officials committed is a grave breach of duty and a betrayal of their own people.

The chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and sitting PA president Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, whose term has long expired, bears full responsibility. We demand his immediate resignation or removal from office. A self-appointed puppet leadership beholden only to its US and Israeli occupation masters cannot be allowed to stand. It does not represent the aspirations of the Palestinian people, the vast majority of whom are living in forced exile.

Al-Awda reiterates that a just and lasting peace can only be achieved with the return of all Palestinians to their original homes, towns, and villages, with full restitution of all of their confiscated and destroyed property, and compensation. The Palestinian people,
regardless of their religious affiliation, are indigenous to Palestine. Therefore, they are entitled to live anywhere in their homeland Palestine which encompasses present-day ‘Israel’, the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

No agreement, negotiations or parties which purport to trade away these rights or any other inalienable rights can have any legal basis and cannot bind or compel the Palestinian people to end the struggle for the fulfillment of all of their rights.

The current PA/PLO leadership has proven to be both untrustworthy and unworthy. We call on all peace-loving people around the world to condemn this unelected unrepresentative leadership. We also call on leaders who support the Palestinian cause to boycott this leadership until it is removed and replaced with legitimately elected representatives.

It’s time for the Palestinians to take charge of their own destiny and be represented by those who can bring justice to their cause and not serve the illegitimate racist aspirations of their enemies.

Until Return,

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition

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