KERRY’S ‘PEACE’ PLAN ~~ A PEEK AND A LEAK

The first proclaimed leak from Secretary John Kerry’s efforts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, as it is so often called, were published last week in the reputable London-based daily Arabic newspaper, Al-Hayat.
*
abbas-netanyahu-kerry
*
A Peek inside Kerry’s “Peace” Efforts or Propaganda?
By Sam Bahour

The first proclaimed leak from Secretary John Kerry’s efforts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, as it is so often called, were published last week in the reputable London-based daily Arabic newspaper, Al-Hayat. The source is said to be from a posting from the website of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, who claim the information was leaked to them by someone attending the tightly closed negotiating sessions. The validity of this claim and the contents of the leak are unverifiable and the infighting between Hamas and Fatah give both a vested interest to publicly damage the other, however, a read through the supposed leaked information makes anyone familiar with this issue take a worrying note.

 

The Al-Hayat article on the leak states that Secretary Kerry obtained Palestinian President Abbas’ approval on general parameters for the restart of negotiations, at meetings between the two in Amman on 17-18 July 2013, prior to Secretary Kerry’s announcement that negotiations would restart. According to the leaked document, “Kerry set a maximum period of time ranging from 6 to 9 monthswould be dedicated to bilateral Palestinian-Israeli negotiations … without anypreconditions,” beyond the principles listed below and whereby Jordanparticipates in meetings on refugees, Jerusalem and borders where necessary:

 

1.                The Separation Wall will serve as the security borders of the ‘Jewish’ state, and the temporary border of the ‘Palestinian’ state… Both parties will acknowledge and announce this.” 

2.                There will be “an exchange in disputed territories within the plan of the Separation Wall noted above, as agreed to by both parties and with the blessing of the Arab League Follow-up Committee, as specified by this Committee to Mr. Kerry during their last visit to Washington, ranging in size from eight to ten percent of West Bank lands.”

3.                There will be also be a “freeze in the settlement projects at a number of outposts, as approved by the Israeli government, which does not apply to existing projects in large settlement communities located in the vicinity of Jerusalem and in the Jordan Valley, including the settlements of Ma’ale Adumim, Givat Ze’ev, Har Homa, Gilo, Neve Yacov, Ramat Shlomo, Ramat Alman, Kiryat Arba’, and other densely populated settlements.

4.                The document adds that “residents in frozen settlement communities will have the right to choose between Israeli citizenship, or Palestinian citizenship, or both, at the conclusion of negotiations,” and that “talks will culminate with a historic agreement … along the lines of the Oslo Agreement, during which both parties will announce the end of the historic conflict between their peoples, as well as full normalization with all Arab states, at a celebratory meeting attended by the Arab League and representatives of all Arab countries, announcing their approval of Israel’s establishment of a Palestinian state within the limits set out … above, according to agreements…. concluded by the two parties at the end of the negotiations, which will also entail Palestinian recognition of Israel as the state of the Jewish people.

5.                It adds that “at the end of negotiations some Palestinian families will be allowed to reunite in the West Bank, Rafah and Gaza, while others will have the right to compensation, or emigration … to Arab countries, especially the Gulf…” where they will be “…naturalized… utilizing the Right of Return Fund for this purpose.

6.                Concerning the status of East Jerusalem, the leaked document indicates that it will be “placed under an international administration (Palestinian-Israeli-Jordanian) for ten years, whereby  resident Israelis in East Jerusalem will have the right  to choose their identity,” i.e. citizenship. 

7.                Furthermore, “Israelis and Palestinians agree to discuss the issue of land exchanges, in the West Bank and Jerusalem, through negotiating committees despite the non-core points of contention between the two parties… especially those points that are considered important by the delegation of the Arab League, including the proposal to grant citizenship to every Palestinian who has been resident in the Gulf for more than ten years.

8.                The document indicates that there will be a “discussion of executive steps in this agreement during negotiations within the time-limit mentioned above, and that its implementation will extend to ten years from the signing of the agreement.

9.                Israel will also “release a number of Palestinian detainees have who spent twenty years or more in detention, and no longer pose a security threat.

10.           It also stipulates that “President Mahmoud Abbas will call for legislative and presidential elections in the West Bank after the public announcement of the Agreement, in anticipation of the possibility of the emergence of objections to it, and that the terms of the agreement will not fully be announced until after the start of negotiations and the preoccupation of Palestinians with the battles of the Legislative Council and the Presidency.

11.           It also says that “with the signing of the agreement at the end of the specified time-limit and the declaration of an independent Palestinian state, the Palestinians and Jordanians will, with the blessing of Israel and the Arabs, reach an understandings on the role of Jordanian security assistance … to the Palestinian Authority … to stand by its side and help it overcome potential internal or external dangers … as part of a Confederation, which will be announced in conjunction with a trilateral economic initiative, in which Israel will play an active role in its formation.

Shocking, to say the least!

 

If these are anywhere near the truth, the region should be preparing for yet another major fallout, this time in Palestine and Israel, again.

 

If the U.S. and Israel continue to choose the game of might is right, then they should expect, sooner rather than later, a new generation of Palestinians to lookIsrael straight in the eye and say, “You win! You get it all Israel: Israel, theWest Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem, both east and west sides, all of the settlements, all of the water, all of the Jordan Valley, all of the electromagnetic spectrum, all of the airspace, and most importantly, you also get all of us. Now, we heard you have free health care in Israel; where do we pick up our medical cards? We also want some of that free education too.”

 

In other words, if the U.S. and Israel are adamant to throw into the sea international law, humanitarian law, UN resolutions, human rights, rights of refugees, and sheer common sense, then expect the Palestinians to redefine their self-determination from a struggle for statehood to a struggle for civil rights between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River.

 

In the words of the late Palestinian (and global) intellectual, Edward Said, it’s “equality or nothing.” What is it about these three simple words that are so hard to comprehend?

 

Written FOR

THIS PHOTO SHOULD BE MADE INTO A BILLBOARD

1009850_700450016635613_1248370188_n

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


CAN YOU GUESS WHO MASTERMINDED THE COUP IN EGYPT? …. ONE GUESS ONLY

“Israel is behind the coup in Egypt, we have evidence,” Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told members of his party meeting in Ankara on Tuesday.
*
Surprised? Surely not …
*

Erdoğan: Israel is behind Egypt coup, has evidence

*z33aqn3u

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (Photo: İHA, Abdullah Cıbır)
The Turkish prime minister has suggested that Israel is behind the military intervention in Egypt that removed President Mohammed Morsi.

“Israel is behind the coup in Egypt, we have evidence,” Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told members of his party meeting in Ankara on Tuesday. He cited a French intellectual, without mentioning his name, who, according to Erdoğan, said in 2011 that the Muslim Brotherhood won’t be in power even if they are elected because “democracy is not the ballot box.” Erdoğan stressed the Jewish identity of the French intellectual.

Source

*

Related From HaAretz

ROGER WATER’S BOYCOTT LETTER TO ‘THE FAMILY OF ROCK AND ROLL’

The publication of this letter today makes Waters’ position in favor of on the boycott of Israel clear – in support of the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.
*

Pink Floyd star’s new Israel boycott letter to “family of Rock and Roll”

  Asa Winstanley 
*

Roger Waters performs The Wall Live in Barcelona, 2011.

Roger Waters performs The Wall Live in Barcelona, 2011.

 (Wikipedia)

*

Pink Floyd star Roger Waters has today published a long-awaited open letter calling on his fellow musicians to boycott Israel.

The letter explains that Waters has been part of the boycott, divestment and sanctionsmovement for seven years, and has been mulling the letter over for some time.

He condemns Israeli human rights violations and explains the reasons to act:

Given the inability or unwillingness of our governments [to act] … it falls to civil society and conscientious citizens of the world, to dust off our consciences, shoulder our responsibilities, and act. I write to you now, my brothers and sisters in the family of Rock and Roll, to ask you to join with me, and thousands of other artists around the world, to declare a cultural boycott on Israel … proclaiming our rejection of Apartheid in Israel and occupied Palestine, by pledging not to perform or exhibit in Israel or accept any award or funding from any institution linked to the government of Israel …

Long-awaited

In an exclusive interview with The Electronic Intifada’s David Cronin back in March, Waters revealed he had been drafting the letter.

“What caused me to write this public letter was an affair where Stevie Wonder was hired to play a gala dinner for the Israeli Defense Forces,” he said, recounting how he and others wrote to Wonder asking him to cancel – which he eventually did.

The interview went viral at the time, gaining the attention of Rolling Stone, among others.

By April the letter had yet to appear and, following an interview with The Huffington Post that Waters says was “misinterpreted,” several media reports claimed Waters was “reconsidering” his position on boycotting Israel.

Waters wrote on Facebook soon afterwards that he had only meant he was considering the text of the letter, and not “my position on the Israel/Palestine issue” overall.

The publication of this letter today makes Waters’ position in favor of on the boycott of Israel clear – in support of the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

Full letter

18th August 2013, Warsaw To My Colleagues in Rock and Roll

Nigel Kennedy the virtuoso British violinist and violist, at The Recent Promenade Concerts at The Albert Hall in London, mentioned that Israel is apartheid. Nothing unusual there you might think, then one Baroness Deech, (Nee Fraenkel) disputed the fact that Israel is an apartheid state and prevailed upon the BBC to censor Kennedy’s performance by removing his statement. Baroness Deech produced not one shred of evidence to support her claim and yet the BBC, non political, supposedly, acting solely on Baroness Deech’s say so, suddenly went all 1984 on us. Well!! Time to stick my head above the parapet again, alongside my brother, Nigel Kennedy, where it belongs. And by the way, Nigel, great respect man. So here follows a letter last re-drafted in July.

25th July 2013 To My Colleagues in Rock and Roll.

In the wake of the tragic shooting to death of un-armed teenager Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of his killer Zimmerman, yesterday, Stevie Wonder spoke at a gig declaring that he will not perform in the State of Florida until that State repeals its “Stand your ground” Law. In effect he has declared a boycott on grounds of conscience. I applaud his position, and stand with him, it has brought back to me a statement I made in a letter I wrote last February 14th, to which I have referred but have never published.

The time has come, so here it is.

This letter has been simmering on the back burner of my conscience and consciousness for some time.

It is seven years since I joined BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) a non violent movement to oppose Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and violations of international law and Palestinian human rights. The aim of BDS is to bring international attention to these Israeli policies, and hopefully, to help bring them to an end. All the people of the region deserve better than this.

To cut to the chase, Israel has been found guilty, independently, by international human rights organizations, UN officials, and the International Court of Justice, of serious breaches of international law. These include, and I will name only two;

  1. The Crime of Apartheid: The systematic oppression of one ethnic group by another. On 9 March 2012, for instance, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination called on Israel to end its racist policies and laws that contravene the prohibition against racial segregation and apartheid.
  2. The Crime of Ethnic Cleansing: The forcible removable of indigenous peoples from their rightful land in order to settle an occupying population. For example, in East Jerusalem non Jewish families are routinely physically evicted from their homes to make way for Jewish occupants.

There are others.

Given the inability or unwillingness of our governments, or the United Nations Security Council to put pressure on Israel to cease these violations, and make reparations to the victims, it falls to civil society and conscientious citizens of the world, to dust off our consciences, shoulder our responsibilities, and act. I write to you now, my brothers and sisters in the family of Rock and Roll, to ask you to join with me, and thousands of other artists around the world, to declare a cultural boycott on Israel, to shed light on these problems and also to support all our brothers and sisters in Palestine and Israel who are struggling to end all forms of Israeli oppression and who wish to live in peace, justice, equality and freedom.

I am writing to you all now because of two recent events.

1) Stevie Wonder. Word came to me, the first week of last December that Stevie Wonder had been booked to headline at a gala dinner for the Friends of The Israeli Defence Force in LA on 6th December 2012. An event to raise money for the Israeli armed forces, as if the $4,300,000,000 that we the US tax payers give them each year were not enough? This came right after The Israeli defence Force had concluded yet another war on Gaza, (Operation Pillar of Defence), according to human rights watch, committing war crimes against the besieged 1.6 million Palestinians there.

Anyway, I wrote to Stevie to try to persuade him to cancel. My letter ran along these lines, “Would you have felt OK performing at the Policeman’s Ball in Johannesburg the night after the Sharpeville massacre in 1960 or in Birmingham Alabama, to raise money for the Law Enforcement officers, who clubbed, tear gassed and water cannoned those children trying to integrate in 1963?” Archbishop Desmond Tutu also wrote an impassioned plea to Stevie, and 3,000 others appended their names to a change.org petition. Stevie, to his great credit, cancelled!

2) Earlier that week I delivered a speech at The United Nations. If you are interested you can find this speech on you tube.

The interesting thing about these two stories is that there was NOT ONE mention of either story in the mainstream media in the United States.

The clear inference would be that the media in the USA is not interested in the predicament of the Palestinian people, or for that matter the predicament of the Israeli people. We can only hope they may become interested as they eventually did in the politics of apartheid South Africa.

Back in the days of Apartheid South Africa at first it was a trickle of artists that refused to play there, a trickle that exercised a cultural boycott, then it became a stream, then a river then a torrent and then a flood. (Remember Steve van Zant, Bruce and all the others? “We will not Play in Sun City?”) Why? Because, like the UN and the International Courts of Justice they understood that Apartheid is wrong.

The sports community joined the battle, no one would go and play cricket or rugby in South Africa, and eventually the political community joined in as well. We all as a global, musical, sporting and political community raised our voices as one and the apartheid regime in South Africa fell.

Maybe we are at the tipping point now with Israel and Palestine. These are good people both and they deserve a just solution to their predicament. Each and every one of them deserves freedom, justice and equal rights. Just recently the ANC, the ruling party of South Africa, has endorsed BDS. We are nearly there. Please join me and all our brothers and sisters in global civil society in proclaiming our rejection of Apartheid in Israel and occupied Palestine, by pledging not to perform or exhibit in Israel or accept any award or funding from any institution linked to the government of Israel, until such time as Israel complies with international law and universal principles of human rights.

Roger Waters

Written FOR

*

RELATED REPORT

FOLLOW THE ROAD TO THE OCCUPATION WITH COCA COLA

coke-ad
*
Coca Cola’s latest campaign in Israel …. only with Coke can you personally follow the road to the occupation.
*
See for yourself, then add Coke to your personal BOYCOTT LIST.
*

POLITICIANS LIE, DON’T THEY?

Truth or Consequences??

*

MIMC98IR5TPVJOKV-rszw500
*
-Lies about the need to drop the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagazaki (not to end WWII but to start WWIII or the cold war)
-Lies about why Britain issued the Balfour declaration and France the Jules Cambon declaration in support of Zionism
-Lies about why Israel was created in Palestine
-Lies about why Henry Wallace was replaced by Harry Truman as a vice president in the Democratic convention
-Lies about why Truman supported the creation of Israel on top of Palestine
-Lies about the ethnic cleansing of 530 Palestinian villages and towns
-Lies about  September 11, 2001
-Lies about the reasons for the war on Iraq
-Lies about safety of nuclear power plants
-Lies about violations of US citizen rights by their own government
-Lies about US/Israel want to subdue  Iran now
-Lies about the US role in propping-up dictatorships
-Lies about western governments and human rights
-Lies about Vietnam, Cambodia, and much more
*

Politicians lie

Compiled by Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
*
Note of Thanks to Japan and Montana: After a tiring but highly productive trip to Japan, I am back in Palestine welcoming visitors and speaking to visiting delegations and about to start teaching the fall semester.  While in Japan, I was awarded Montana’s Peace Seeker of the Year
More about my trip to Japan at

*

There is no way to say this truth nicely: Politicians lie.  That includes Japanese, American, Egyptian, Israeli, and Palestinian politicians! Is there something more common sense than that?  Yet, so many citizens around the world believe their own politicians or wistfully acknowledge lies but think it is part of the job needed to run things.   They believe even when politicians contradict themselves blatantly.  This phenomenon is rather remarkable.  It is a dissonance and disconnect from reality that many seem oblivious to.  It is very dangerous because it can lead to accepting rational for going to war.  These can be deadly wars that lead to millions of lives lost as happened in what was called World War 1 and WW2.  Even when incredible and declassified evidence abound, politicians continue to lie and old mythologies refuse to die.  Here are just a few of the countless  lies told to us over the past few decades:
*
-Lies about the need to drop the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagazaki (not to end WWII but to start WWIII or the cold war)
-Lies about why Britain issued the Balfour declaration and France the Jules Cambon declaration in support of Zionism
-Lies about why Israel was created in Palestine
-Lies about why Henry Wallace was replaced by Harry Truman as a vice president in the Democratic convention
-Lies about why Truman supported the creation of Israel on top of Palestine
-Lies about the ethnic cleansing of 530 Palestinian villages and towns
-Lies about  September 11, 2001
-Lies about the reasons for the war on Iraq
-Lies about safety of nuclear power plants
-Lies about violations of US citizen rights by their own government
-Lies about US/Israel want to subdue  Iran now
-Lies about the US role in propping-up dictatorships
-Lies about western governments and human rights
-Lies about Vietnam, Cambodia, and much more
*
With a little effort, any person could easily find 1001 lies and the sometimes painful truth about them.  With very minor effort, I compiled 65 lies/myths told to us about Zionism  There are many more. 
*
But even when it has nothing to do with going to war, lies can be very dangerous. I am not talking about naiveté or stupidity because that is not what the politicians have.  Take for example the Palestinian authority “leadership” represented by Mr. Mahmoud Abbas.  Is it naiveté that  would make him go into fruitless negotiations for 20 years with Israeli politicians then suspend negotiations telling his people that we will not go back to negotiations until Israel stops colonial settlement building and then tell his people that he went back to negotiations anyway while Israel is building.  This flip-flop is the typical politician: no principles and no honesty.  Yet, again many continue to clap for him.  I do not say vote for him since his term is expired a long time ago and no elections are going to happen.
*
Even when confronted with paper evidence of political lies, many people ignore the mounting evidence.  In our case, there was the lies about support for right of return told to our people while Abu Mazen tells Israeli TV that 1948 areas are Israel and he has no right to go back there (maybe should be able to go “visit”).  There were the lies about being good negotiators with Israel.  Saeb Erekat even wrote two books about negotiations full of such lies.  Those lies were clearly debunked by the leaking of the Palestine papers which show that even a middle school student could do a better job at these negotiations than this groveling charade that these Palestinian negotiators are going through. The fate of 12 million Palestinians and the legacy of 80,000 martyrs are left to lying politicians: Israeli, Palestinian and American. 
*
But we cannot blame politicians for our ill societies.  It is us the people who let them do what they do by not challenging them.    
*
An example of a good grasroot project (this one in Canada but similar ones can be done in every country)
*
Israel Deserves to Be Expelled from UN, Miguel D’Escoto Says
*
*
*
US Green party foreign policy platform: a breath of fresh air in the politics of the US
*
*
Tawfiq Saleh, famous Egyptian Director and Producer died at age 86.  The film that most effected me was his film AlMakhdoun (the Duped) based on Ghassan Kanafani famous novel “Men in the Sun” (Kanafani was assasinated by Israeli agents in 1972)
*
*
Dying for Freedom in Egypt: I was shocked by how many generally good people lost their basic values by fear or hatred or political calculations…This is a call to go back to the basic values, and first of all Human Rights, Dignity, Freedom and Democracy. We, the oppressed people, need them just as we need air to breath. 
*
[I would simply ask those who support the crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood (a group I obviously do not support) one simple question: how will you have political reconciliation or build a democratic Egypt if you kill, exclude and jail the leaders of the largest organized group in Egypt?]

ALICE WALKER RE-INVITED TO SPEAK

See yesterday’s post
*
Pollack in the letter reiterated the university’s “firm commitment to free speech and to the expression of diverse viewpoints.”
*

Alice Walker Gets New Invite To Speak at University of Michigan

After Being Disinvited by Women’s Center, Provost Invites Walker

*

GETTY IMAGES

By JTA

*

Author Alice Walker will be invited to speak in a public forum on campus, the provost of the University of Michigan said, after being disinvited from a women’s center celebration.

The provost, Martha Pollack, said in a letter to university faculty posted on the university’s Center for the Education of Women’s web page that the center and the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies plan to invite Walker to speak on campus.

Walker in a blog post on her website last week said she had been disinvited from speaking at the 50th anniversary of the university’s Center for the Education of Women. The Pulitzer Prize winner maintained that she was asked to step down as speaker at the initiative of donors.

The center said the decision to withdraw the invitation was based solely on the “celebratory nature” they hoped to achieve at the anniversary event.

Walker is a well-known supporter of the boycott, divestment and sanctions, or BDS, movement against Israel, in particular “a cultural boycott of Israel and Israeli institutions,” such as her decision last year to not allow an Israeli publishing house to translate her book “The Color Purple” into Hebrew.

Pollack in the letter reiterated the university’s “firm commitment to free speech and to the expression of diverse viewpoints.”

“At the same time, we respect the right of individual academic units to make decisions about whom they invite to campus, consistent with university principles and values,” she wrote.

Pollack added that the women’s center “apologized for the way the interaction with Ms. Walker was handled and has made clear to me that their decision was not driven by the content of speech.”

Source

ISRAEL URGING SUPPORT FOR EGYPTIAN TERRORISM

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
egypt-massacre (1)
*
On Sunday, 38 Muslim Brotherhood detainees were suffocated to death by tear gas fired at them as they tried to escape trucks that drove them to a detention facility. According to reports, the detainees held a security officer hostage. Security forces rescued him and said he sustained serious injuries.
*
Report: Israel urges West to back Egypt’s military

Jerusalem launching campaign to urge Europe, United States to support military-backed government in Egypt, New York Times reports. ‘What’s the alternative? it’s army or anarchy,’ says Israeli official

Israel is planning to intensify its diplomatic campaign urging Europe and the United States to support the military-backed government in Egypt, a senior Israeli official involved in the effort told the New York Times Sunday.

According to the official, Israeli ambassadors in Washington, London, Paris, Berlin, Brussels and other capitals would lobby foreign ministers. At the same time, leaders here will press the case with diplomats from abroad that the military is the only hope to prevent further chaos in Cairo.

“We’re trying to talk to key actors, key countries, and share our view that you may not like what you see, but what’s the alternative?” the official explained. “If you insist on big principles, then you will miss the essential — the essential being putting Egypt back on track at whatever cost. First, save what you can, and then deal with democracy and freedom and so on.

“At this point,” the official added, “it’s army or anarchy.”

*

Ruin in Cairo (Photo: EPA)

Ruin in Cairo (Photo: EPA)
 *

On Saturday, the New York Times quoted diplomatic sources as saying that Israel and Egyptian Defense Minister General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi have been in close contact.

These same diplomats say that Israel assured Egypt it did not have to worry about the US threat to cut its enormous aid package to that country.

The US is in no hurry to stop its aid to Egypt, which would severely damage its relations with the Egyptian army, the report said. The Egyptians allow the Americans to move their military forces, quickly and almost without warning, over Egyptian skies and the Suez Canal, which is a necessity for its activities in the war on terror in the Horn of Africa, the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and the area of Israel and the Gaza Strip.

On Sunday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the arms supply to Egypt may be compromised in the course of pressure on the interim leadership in Cairo to stop the violence in the country.

“Exporting arms to Egypt may be influenced by steps we may take. Soon the EU foreign ministers will meet to discuss the situation,” Merkel announced in an interview for a German TV channel.

*

Muslim Brotherhood supporter (Photo: Reuters)
Muslim Brotherhood supporter (Photo: Reuters)
Soldiers take down barrier (Photo: EPA)
Soldiers take down barrier (Photo: EPA)
 

*

Also Saturday, the European Union said it was reexamining its relations with Egypt. France and Britain called for Europe to send a strong message on the escalating crisis in Egypt, urging the EU to review its relations with Cairo.

The French presidency said in a statement that after talks by telephone, President Francois Hollande and Prime Minister David Cameron agreed “on the seriousness of the violence of recent days and on the need for a strong European message.”

On Sunday, 38 Muslim Brotherhood detainees were suffocated to death by tear gas fired at them as they tried to escape trucks that drove them to a detention facility. According to reports, the detainees held a security officer hostage. Security forces rescued him and said he sustained serious injuries.

Source

ALICE WALKER PAYS THE PRICE FOR DARING TO SPEAK THE TRUTH

In recent years, Walker has become increasingly outspoken in her support of Palestinian rights, sometimes likening Israel’s abuses to the Jim Crow racist system she grew up with in the southern United States.
*

Alice Walker disinvited from University of Michigan over ‘Israel comments’

 Ali Abunimah 
*

Alice Walker speaks in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.

 (Lazar Simeonov /TEDxRamallah)

*World-renowned American author Alice Walker has been disinvited from giving a speech at the University of Michigan because a donor objects to her views on Israel, the agent negotiating the contract was told.

Walker, the Pultizer Prize winning author of The Color Purpleposted on her blog an excerpt of a letter from the agent informing her that the invitation to keynote the 50th anniversary celebration of the Center for the Education of Women at the University of Michigan had been withdrawn.

The agent wrote:

I’m saddened to write this because I’m a proponent of free speech and have been brought up to allow everyone to have their say. But I also realize that there are other considerations that institutions are faced with. This afternoon I was contacted by the University of Michigan instructing me to withdraw their invitation due to the removal of funding from the donors, because of their interpretation of Ms. Walker’s comments regarding Israel. They are not willing to fund this program and the university/Women’s center do not have the resources to finance this on their own. They are deeply regretful but I wanted to let you know immediately either way. I hope you can appreciate the fact that I’m uncomfortable even having to send this email in the first place. Hopefully we can work together again down the road. Thanks for understanding. I wish things had turned out differently.

Calling the withdrawn invitation “Censorship by Purse String,” Walker wrote, “Such behavior, as evidenced by the donors, teaches us our weakness, which should eventually (and soon) show us our strength: women must be in control of our own finances. Not just in the family, but in the schools, work force, and everywhere else. Until we control this part of our lives, our very choices, in any and every area, can be denied us.”

Walker is listed as one of the speakers represented by the American Program Bureau agency.

Alice Walker not “optimum choice”

Gloria D. Thomas, director of the Center for the Education of Women, acknowledged that Walker had been disinvited, but said that the matter was a “misunderstanding.” In an email to The Electronic Intifada, Thomas wrote:

The [Walker’s] blog was a result of an unfortunate misunderstanding. As director of the Center for the Education of Women (CEW), I decided to withdraw our invitation because I didn’t think Ms. Walker would be our optimum choice for our 50th anniversary. 

Our 50th anniversary funding is assured. All donations, for this and other events, are accepted with no provisos or prohibitions regarding free speech. In fact, in a conversation with one of Ms. Walker’s friends/representatives, I indicated that I would be willing to speak with other units around campus to serve as a possible co-sponsor for a lecture by Ms. Walker in the near future.

Asked if a speaker had been chosen to replace Walker, Thomas wrote, “No contract has been signed yet. This information will be made available on our website once the contract is confirmed.”

Walker: supporter of Palestinian rights

In recent years, Walker has become increasingly outspoken in her support of Palestinian rights, sometimes likening Israel’s abuses to the Jim Crow racist system she grew up with in the southern United States.

Walker has written about her visit to Gaza, and participated in the June 2011 solidarity flotilla that attempted to reach the territory besieged by Israel, which led to her beingdemonized by the Israeli army.

Her position on boycott has also been deliberately distorted by Israeli media.

Walker has campaigned for other artists, most recently Alicia Keys, to respect the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS).

In her letter to Keys, Walker wrote:

I have written over the years that explain why a cultural boycott of Israel and Israeli institutions (not individuals) is the only option left to artists who cannot bear the unconscionable harm Israel inflicts every day on the people of Palestine, whose major “crime” is that they exist in their own land, land that Israel wants to control as its own.

Could Walker, one of the most celebrated figures in American letters, now be paying the price of refusing to be silent about Palestine?

 

 

Written FOR

ADL SPEAKS OUT AGAINST DEFAMATION OF GAYS IN RUSSIA

 Is the ADL finally realising what the ‘D’ in their name stands for? They seem to be waking up to the fact that many injustices are taking place in the world today not involving Jews. This seems to be the start of a good trend, let’s hope it continues …
*
130807133113-granderson-anti-gay-laws-russia-story-top
*
*

Anti-Defamation League Compares Russia’s Abuse of Gays to Soviet Treatment of Jews

Calls for New Jackson-Vanik Edict for Pressure

By JTA

*
The Anti-Defamation League called for a new version of the Jackson-Vanik amendment to pressure Russia to improve its treatment of gays.

Jackson-Vanik was a provision of the 1974 Trade Act that denied favored status to nations that restricted emigration. The amendment was used to pressure the Soviet Union to loosen its restrictive emigration policies.

“It is obvious that Russia is oppressing the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community in a manner similar to the ways in which the Soviet Union once oppressed the Jewish community,” ADL National Director Abraham Foxman wrote Friday in an article in the Huffington Post. “We need a new Jackson-Vanik to convince Russia that steps backward on this issue of basic human rights will be met with strong repercussions from the United States.”

In June, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed new anti-gay legislation that prohibits “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations amongst minors,” including any gay-rights literature; banned gay-rights advocacy in general; and prohibited gay pride events in Moscow for the next 100 years.

Protests against the new law have met with violent retribution in recent months.
Source

TODAY’S TOON ~~ REAPING THE FRUITS OF EGYPTIAN ‘DEMOCRACY’

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

egypt-massacre

WOODY GUTHRIE SEZ “BOYCOTT ISRAEL!”

woody-guthrie-machine
*
BUT ….. despite that, his name and memory are literally being dragged through the mud by the zionists.
Woody Guthrie was a man of the people, surely he would have been a friend and supporter of the Palestinian people, but you would never know that after reading about the following;
*
Woody Sez – The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie. August 21-31, 2013 – See more at: http://www.touristisrael.com/woody-sez-the-life-and-music-of-woody-guthrie-august-21-31
*
The internationally acclaimed musical Woody Sez, telling the life and music of the legendary American folk singer Woody Guthrie, tours Israel in August 2013. Featuring 25 of Guthrie’s most famous tunes, including ‘This Land is Your Land’, and ‘This Train is Bound for Glory’, the musical travels through the fascinating life of Guthrie, a man whose works inspired the likes of Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, and defined music as it is today. Following sell-out performances around the world, including the stages of London and New York, Woody Sez comes to Jerusalem, Haifa, and Tel Aviv between August 21-31, 2o13.
*
SHAME ON YOU ZION FOR DEFAMING ONE OF THE GREATEST HUMAN BEINGS EVER TO HAVE LIVED!
*
image (2)
That includes zionism!!

TODAY’S TOON ~~ SLAUGHTERHOUSE DEMOCRACY IN EGYPT

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

rabaa-massacre-egypt

PHOTO ESSAY ~~ MORNING BLUES AT THE CHECKPOINT

It’s inhumane. They treat us like animals. Every morning I feel like an animal in a cage.
*

The morning commute (through the checkpoint)
Philip Weiss

*

Bethlehem2
Bethlehem
Bethlehem1
Bethlehem
Bethlehem3
Bethlehem
Bethlehem4
Bethlehem
Bethlehem5
Bethlehem
Bethlehem6
Bethlehem
Bethlehem7
Bethlehem
Bethlehem8
Bethlehem
Bethlehem9
Bethlehem
Bethlehem10
Bethlehem

Recently a Finnish photographer who had worked in the region sent us these photographs that were posted at his/her blog Ubuntifada. They were taken in late June, at the Bethlehem checkpoint to enter Israel. They depict the everyday experience of hundreds of Palestinians who go to work in Israel. I am respecting the photographer’s desire for anonymity because of employment/funding issues. He/she wrote the following at that site to explain the photos: 

Morning blues in the checkpoint

5:00 in the morning in Bethlehem. The rising sun is replacing the blue morning mist with its first warm rays. Hundreds of men are standing in a cage, holding the metal bars like prisoners and anxiously waiting. The atmosphere is as blue as the air.

Actually, it could be just a crossing between two countries – though a very disturbing one with its iron gates and cages, bars and burrows, loud PA systems and shouting, soldiers and police and private security guards all armed to the teeth. But instead of being in the border, checkpoint 300 stands 2 kilometers south of the green line, deep inside of the occupied West Bank.

Every working day from 4:00 to 7:00 around 4000 Palestinians cross this illegal checkpoint on their way to work in East Jerusalem or in Israel. And the ones standing in line are actually the lucky ones – they have been able to even get a permit.

It’s inhumane. They treat us like animals. Every morning I feel like an animal in a cage.

Adel, who crosses the CP five mornings a week

 

 

Source

CANADA PICKS AND CHOOSES WHICH ‘TERRORISTS’ TO SUPPORT

The Harper government is plowing full steam ahead with its support for Israel. Double standards and morality be damned.
*

Canada’s double standards on Middle East sink to new low

Yves Engler* 
*

Canada helped encourage the EU to ban Hizballah’s military wing.

 (Wagdi Eshtayah / APA images)

*

The extremism of Canada’s support for Israel just keeps growing.

The latest example is the Conservative government in Ottawa helping convince the European Union to list Hizballah’s military wing as a “terrorist” organization. After that decision was taken, Foreign Minister John Baird declared, “We are thrilled that the European Union unanimously has agreed to designate Hizballah as a terrorist organization. We’ve been pushing for this.”

The National Post detailed Canada’s behind-the-scenes effort to get the EU to list Hizballah as a “terrorist” organization. Despite opposition from the Lebanese government, a foreign ministry official told the paper that this was “a clear priority that was set out by the minister.”

Canadian diplomats held bilateral talks with various European countries and also pushed for Hizballah to be listed at numerous multilateral meetings. At both a recent United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime meeting and a UN conference on radicalization in Europe, Canadian officials pressed key EU officials to define Hizballah as a “terrorist” group (“Canada pushed EU to add Hezbollah to list of banned terrorist organizations, official says,” 24 July 2013).

Canadian law enforcement and security officials were also part of the lobbying effort. Reportedly, they’ve been feeding their European counterparts information about the supposed threat Hizballah poses to both Canada and Europe.

Jumped at opportunity

The Conservatives push to get the EU to list Hizballah was given a boost when six Israelis were killed in Bulgaria in July last year. Within hours of the bus bombing, Israel claimed Hizballah was responsible, yet more than a year later it’s still unclear exactly who committed this crime.

With a Canadian passport holder allegedly implicated in the bombing, Ottawa jumped at the opportunity to get involved in the investigation. Presumably, Canadian investigators shared information with their Bulgarian counterparts designed to steer them towards the conclusion that Hizballah was responsible.

In response to the EU listing its military wing as a terrorist group the Hizballah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, said: “Why don’t you classify the state of Israel as a terror state? Why don’t you classify Israel’s military wing … as a terror organization if you recognize Israel is occupying Arab lands and refuses to implement international decisions for decades now? The entire world bares witness to the massacres perpetrated by Israel” (“Nasrallah to EU: Why not brand IDF as terror group?,” Ynet, 24 July).

Nasrallah raises an important point that Canadian foreign affairs professionals must be familiar with. It’s a simple fact that Israeli forces have killed far more civilians than the military wing of Hizballah.

The Israeli military and its allies in Lebanon have killed thousands of civilians. In fact, Hizballah was created in large part to fight the Israeli occupation of that country. Israel has conducted scores of targeted assassinations in many countries across Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Certainly, Canadian foreign affairs officials must remember Gerald Bull. This Canadian engineer and designer of the Iraqi “supergun” was, according to CBC journalist Linden MacIntyre, shot dead by Israel’s secret service Mossad outside his residence in Belgium in 1990 (“Murdered by the Mossad?”, CBC The Fifth Estate, 12 February 1991).

And what about members of the current Israeli government who support illegal settlers and the killing of dozens of Palestinian civilians?

Relishing hypocrisy

But apparently none of this “terrorism” bothers Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government. The Conservatives are either ignorant or relish their hypocrisy.

Though they are allowed to support the Israeli military, Canadians can go to jail for sending money to a group operating a school or medical clinic in Lebanon “directly or indirectly” associated with Hizballah, which comprises an important part of the Lebanese governmental and social service structure.

Dozens of Canadian companies sell to the Israeli army and many groups with charitable status promote the Israeli military. The Canadian Jewish News is full of advertisements for such groups: “Express your Zionism by serving as a civilian volunteer on an Israeli army supply base,” reads one ad. Another advertiser, the Libi Fund, runs educational projects for the Israeli military.

Established in 1971 the Association for the Soldiers of Israel in Canada also provides financial and moral support to the Israeli military. A June 2009 Canadian Jewish News ad promoting the group invited readers to “show your support for the brave youth of the IDF at our gala dinner.”

Prominent Toronto couple Heather Reisman and Gerry Schwartz, who own or control more than two thirds of Chapters/Indigo/Coles bookstores, created the Heseg Foundation for Lone Soldiers. Reisman and Schwartz provide up to $3 million per year for post-military scholarships to individuals without family in Israel who join the Israeli army. After completing their military service these non-Israeli “lone soldiers” gain access to this scholarship money.

For the Israeli high command (Heseg’s board has included a number of generals and a former head of Mossad) “lone soldiers” are of value beyond their military capacities. Foreigners volunteering to fight for Israel are a powerful symbol to reassure Israelis weary of Israel’s behavior. Schwartz and Reisman’s support for Heseg has spurred a campaign to boycott Chapters/Indigo/Coles, which controls 70 percent of Canada’s retail book trade.

The Harper government is plowing full steam ahead with its support for Israel. Double standards and morality be damned.

*Yves Engler’ is the author of The Ugly Canadian: Stephen Harper’s Foreign Policy andCanada and Israel: Building Apartheid.

Written FOR

FALSIFYING LIFE IN GAZA

Rather than admit that life in the Gaza Strip was virtually destroyed by actions of the Israeli army, they now want you to believe that just the opposite is the case …. here is how they do it; 
*
A few questions came to mind after reading the following ….
1. Where are the building materials coming from (and how are they getting through the closed border)
2. Where are the goods on sale coming from seeing as the siege does not allow goods to enter the Strip?
Does the IDF really believe we are all stupid??
*

Israel army publishes fake image of huge “Gaza shopping mall”

Ali Abunimah
*

An enormous shopping mall the Israeli army claims is in the Gaza Strip. (Source: IDF Blog)

*

In one of its periodic efforts to deny the devastating effects of its siege of Gaza, the Israeli occupation army published a blog post on 12 August claiming that Palestinians in Gaza are “out in force, enjoying themselves in sparkling new malls, beautiful beaches and hotels, and doing their shopping in pristine grocery stores and markets heaving with fresh produce.” (Screenshot of entire “IDF blog” post).

The “IDF blog” includes the impressive photo above of a shopping mall where Palestinians in Gaza are supposedly shopping for the latest imported fashions.

I showed the photo to The Electronic Intifada’s correspondent in Gaza, Rami Almeghari. His reaction: “I can assure you that there is no such mall in Gaza.” Rami is quite right.

Fake image

If you do a Google Image search using the image from the “IDF” blog post, the same image turns up associated with the Metro Plaza shopping mall in Kolkata, India as well as several other places. 

 

*

kolkata

A Google image search turned up many examples, like this one, of the image associated with other malls.

*

Where is it really?

But the “Gaza mall” photo published by the Israeli army is actually an image of the Suria KLCC Mall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as numerous user-generated photographs on the travel review site TripAdvisor.com attest.

You can also see many people shopping at the mall – in Malaysia – in this video:

*

*

Israeli army sources: anti-Palestinian, Islamophobic blogs

Before publishing it on 12 August on its English-language website, the Israeli army published the same post in French on 4 August.

It was then published by the anti-Palestinian website Tribune Juive the same day.

But some of the material had already circulated on many other Islamophobic websites long before.

For example, the same Kuala Lumpur mall photo, purportedly in Gaza, appeared on a virulently Islamophobic blog called “Barenaked Islam” in April 2012, and was disseminated on Facebook by “Geert Wilders supporters,” a page dedicated to the Islamophobic Dutch politician.

It also appeared on “Religion of Peace,” another anti-Muslim hate site.

It would appear that the Israeli army gets its information about Gaza from Islamophobic hate sites.

Forced dependency

The Kuala Lumpur shopping mall is vastly bigger than any commercial facility anywhere in Gaza.

But another image, the supermarket shown on the “IDF” blog, appears to be the Metro supermarket in Gaza. I didn’t visit it, but I did visit the Abu Dallal supermarket in Nuseirat refugee camp.

I was told that Abu Dallal is one of largest supermarkets in Gaza. By American, European, or Jordanian standards it is not very big, smaller than an average CVS or Boots drugstore.

More important than its size, however, is that like other stores in Gaza, it is packed full of Israeli goods.

That’s one of the ways the Israeli blockade creates dependency: While Gaza industry and agriculture are devastated by the siege, Israel is happy enough to see its own companies profiting from people in Gaza, siphoning off what little income they have, whether from work, humanitarian aid or remittances abroad, by selling them Israeli goods.

Poverty and dependency are the real effects of siege

But Israel is much more restrictive when it comes to supplies that meet basic needs and could allow Gaza to move out of dependency. There is, for example, a shortage of 250 schools for Gaza’s children, which cannot be built due to the lack of building supplies.

And the reality is that while there is food in Gaza, “severe poverty has increased over years of closure and because of travel restrictions,” Gisha, an Israeli nongovermental organization that monitors the siege, noted in a recent factsheet.

More than 70 percent of the Gaza population receives some form of humanitarian aid, compared with one third in the year 2000.

For imports of raw materials and many basic goods, Gaza’s economy remains heavily dependent on underground tunnels to Egypt, as I saw myself during my visit, and as Gisha also documents.

Since the Egyptian military coup on 3 July, the Egyptian army, which works closely with Israel, has been instensifying its effort to destroy the tunnels.

Exports crushed

Israel continues to crush Gaza’s export industries. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Israel has allowed a total of 94 trucks out of Gaza in 2013 – that’s about a dozen a month from a population of almost 1.7 million people. Insignificant.

By contrast, in 2007, the year before the siege began to bite, more than 5,000 trucks were allowed out of Gaza. In 2001 it was 15,000.

Cynical propaganda

The Israeli army’s cynical propaganda is supposed to distract people from the fact that the vast majority of people in Gaza live in deep poverty and a very precarious economic situation, without electricity for 8-12 hours per day, and depend on humanitarian aid, due to Israel.

Gaza’s per capita annual GDP is just over $1,000 dollars. Compare that with $32,800 for Israel.

The lesson: learn the facts and don’t be taken in by Israeli army fabrications.

With thanks to Twitter user @sallyidwedar who initially spotted “IDF” fakery, and Omar Ghraieb for answering my queries about Gaza’s supermarkets.

Written FOR

TWEETING FOR ZION

“In light of the success in the battle for awareness during the Pillar of Defense Operation [the Israeli military operation against the Gaza Strip in November of last year] and the experience gained in activating a large number of situation rooms on university campuses and work with students in general, it was decided to establish a permanent structure of activity on the Internet through the students at academic institutions in the country.”
*

Israel setting up “covert units” to tweet, Facebook government propaganda

 Ali Abunimah
*

Screenshot shows Israelis in an organized digital “war” room posting tweets against the flotilla to Gaza in the summer of 2011. (Source)

The Israeli prime minister’s office is organizing Israeli students in “covert” and “semi-military” style units to tweet and post pro-Israel messages on social media without revealing they are doing it as part of a government propaganda campaign, Israeli media reported today.

But as The Electronic Intifada has previously revealed, this effort is not entirely new.

Haaretz reports today:

The Prime Minister’s Office is planning to form, in collaboration with the National Union of Israeli Students, “covert units” within Israel’s seven universities that will engage in online public diplomacy (hasbara).

The students participating in the project, who would post on social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter on Israel’s behalf, will be part of the public diplomacy arm of the PMO [prime minister’s office], but would not identify themselves as official government representatives.

It is clear that the Israeli government views universities and students as tools in its international propaganda, as a government document, cited by Haaretz, reveals:

“In light of the success in the battle for awareness during the Pillar of Defense Operation [the Israeli military operation against the Gaza Strip in November of last year] and the experience gained in activating a large number of situation rooms on university campuses and work with students in general, it was decided to establish a permanent structure of activity on the Internet through the students at academic institutions in the country.”

Haaretz adds that it is apparent from the document “that a diplomacy group will be set up at each university and structured in a semi-military fashion.” The person in charge of the initiative is Daniel Seaman, former director of the Government Press Office, who has used his personal Facebook page to post racist, Islamophobic and violent material.

Israel’s covert use of social media not new

But this effort is not new. Last year, The Electronic Intifada revealed that the National Union of Israeli Students was already a full-time partner in Israeli government propaganda and set up a project to pay Israeli university students up to $2,000 to spread propaganda online.

As The Electronic Intifada also reported, the National Union of Israeli Students sent its members for government propaganda training and described students as Israel’s “pretty face,” to be deployed as a propaganda auxiliary force.

The union set as one of its organizational goals, working “in cooperation with government ministries and additional organizations, to improve the explanation [hasbara] of Israel’s position around the world.”

At the time, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Jillian C. York compared Israel’s online propaganda efforts to those of China, Syria and Bahrain.

“I have seen considerable efforts, both by Israeli companies like Ahava and–apparently–government-supported groups, to utilize some of the same techniques as Syria and Bahrain, particularly on Twitter,” York also previously wrote.

Such Israeli government efforts, which attempt to disguise official propaganda as the work of ordinary concerned citizens and students, date back at least to December 2008, during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead assault on Gaza.

Every computer user is a “kind of soldier”

At that time Israeli social media strategist Niv Calderon wrote that he was hired by the foreign ministry for a first of its kind effort to create a digital “war room” to promote Israel’s propaganda message internationally.

Calderon was later involved in similar organized social media efforts to discredit the Gaza flotillas, and in one report on Israeli TV from June 2011, Calderon can be seen managing a social media “war room” working against that summer’s flotilla to Gaza

*

*

“There is a media war here,” Calderon explains, “and every citizen, every computer user, is a kind of soldier.”

“Equipped with laptops and iPhones,” the report says, government social media propagandists go to war using “tweets as their weapons.”

The report even shows social media propagandists being trained to find random images of market places in Gaza to post online to obscure the fact that Israel’s siege has caused severe hardship to the civilian population there.

Calderon has also previously worked on the social media campaigns of the anti-Palestinian group StandWithUs.

Desperate

The new “covert” social media push comes as surveys confirm Israel’s status as one of the most negatively viewed countries in the world.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shrugged off these findings, declaring, “it’s not about the facts, it’s about the defamation of Israel and our portrayal as peace rejecters, war mongers instead of an enlightened nation that is fighting against aims to destroy us.”

Netanyahu, like the Israelis behind these various covert schemes, seems to think Israel can still market, sell, cheat and tweet its way out of being seen, rightly, as an apartheid-practicing, colonizing occupier, violently depriving millions of Palestinians of their most fundamental rights.

One obstacle the Israeli campaigns must overcome is the fact that Israel’s biggest social media hits have been entirely negative – a result of the tendency of many Israelis, especially soldiers, to post violent, hateful and outright racist material on their social media accounts, especially on Facebook and Instagram.

Strengthens case for academic boycott

The recruitment of universities and their complicity in government propaganda efforts aimed at justifying Israeli violations of Palestinian rights will likely strengthen arguments in favor of the Palestinian call for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

This call received a boost this week – unrelated to these social media campaigns – from dozens of international faculty calling on their peers to boycott an upcoming conference on oral history at the Hebrew University.

Written FOR

C I A: WHEN THEY WEREN’T KILLING PRESIDENTS IN CHILE THEY WERE SPYING ON AMERICANS

cia-loves-u-760208
*
“What was frightening in the ‘60s into early ‘70s was not so much spying as the domestic terror operations, COINTELPRO,” Chomsky said, referring to the FBI’s program to discredit and infiltrate domestic political organizations. “And also the lack of interest when they were exposed.”
*
Report: CIA ‘admits’ to gathering info on Chomsky

Memo obtained by Foreign Policy magazine reveals US intel agency kept file on prominent Jewish anti-war academic in 1970s. Chomsky in response: Systems of power typically try to extend their power in any way they can think of

*

WASHINGTON – After years of denials, the Central Intelligence Agency has revealed that in the 1970s it kept a file on prominent Jewish-American linguist and anti-war academic Noam Chomsky, but the files may have illegally been destroyed, the Foreign Policy reported Tuesday.

According to the magazine, the CIA had previously denied that it gathered information on the 84-year-old Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor, well-known for his anti-war activism in the Vietnam era. But now, after a freedom of information request, attorney Kel McClanahan received a memo that confirms the agency gathered records on the American leftist icon, the Foreign Policy reports.

In the document – dated June 1970 – a CIA official asks colleagues from the FBI for information about an upcoming trip of a group of anti-war activists to North Vietnam. The official says in the memo, which was obtained by Foreign Policy, that the trip had “the endorsement of Noam Chomsky.”

Professor Athan Theoharis, an expert on FBI-CIA cooperation and information-gathering, told Foreign Policy that “the June 1970 CIA communication confirms that the CIA created a file on Chomsky. That file, at a minimum, contained a copy of their communication to the FBI and the report on Chomsky that the FBI prepared in response to this request.”

*

 

‘Lack of interest.’ Chomsky (Photo: AP) 

*

According to the expert, earlier CIA responses to requests about Chomsky files indicate that the records were destroyed “at an unknown time.” Additionally, that might have been done in violation of the law, which requires that all federal agencies get approval from the national Archives before eliminating federal records.

“It is important to learn when the CIA decided to destroy the Chomsky file and why they decided that it should be destroyed,” Theoharis is quoted as saying by Foreign Policy. He also alleges the Chomsky file was not the only record scrubbed from archives.

When asked about the alleged CIA file, Chomsky told The Cable “some day it will be realized that systems of power typically try to extend their power in any way they can think of.”

“What was frightening in the ‘60s into early ‘70s was not so much spying as the domestic terror operations, COINTELPRO,” Chomsky said, referring to the FBI’s program to discredit and infiltrate domestic political organizations. “And also the lack of interest when they were exposed.”

In May Chomsky, an outspokenIsrael critic, made headlines in the Jewish state when The Guardian reported he was among a group of 20 academics who lobbied British physicist StephenHawking to boycott the President’s Conference in Jerusalem.

During a visit to Gaza last year, Chomsky called “to end the Israeli siege” on the Hamas-ruled territory. “The Palestinian people have a right to live peacefully and in freedom,” he was quoted as saying.

In May 2010, Israel barred Chomsky from entering the West Bank, where he was to deliver a lecture. He finally broadcast his speech by video link from Jordan.

Written FOR

THOSE INSOMNIAC ZIONISTS

The following report from HaAretz could be considered Part 2 of my post from yesterday
*
The PMO is looking to invest close to NIS 3 million to recruit, organize and fund the activities of hundreds of university students, as part of the country’s public diplomacy effort.
*

Prime Minister’s Office recruiting students to wage online hasbara battles

PMO and national student union to create covert units at universities to engage in diplomacy via social media; unit heads to receive full scholarships.

By Barak Ravid
*
Ben-Gurion University
Ben-Gurion University students. They, too, may be social media diplomats.  Photo by Eliyahu Hershkovitz
*

The Prime Minister’s Office is planning to form, in collaboration with the National Union of Israeli Students, “covert units” within Israel’s seven universities that will engage in online public diplomacy (hasbara). 

The students participating in the project, who would post on social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter on Israel’s behalf, will be part of the public diplomacy arm of the PMO, but would not identify themselves as official government representatives.

About a week ago, the outgoing deputy-director general of the Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Ministry, Daniel Seaman, sent a document to the government tender committee seeking to exempt the national student union from being chosen as the partner in the project through a public bidding process.

The PMO is looking to invest close to NIS 3 million to recruit, organize and fund the activities of hundreds of university students, as part of the country’s public diplomacy effort.

The Public Diplomacy Ministry is being closed and its staff are being integrated into the national public diplomacy unit in the Prime Minister’s Office. Seaman, who previously served as head of the Government Press Office and also ran as a candidate in the Likud party primaries, is expected to assume a new position shortly – that of head of an office with the very official sounding name of “the interactive media unit.” In practice, this is the entity that is expected to coordinate the public diplomacy efforts of the Prime Minister’s Office on the Internet and social networks.

Seaman informed the public tender committee that the Prime Minister’s Office was interested in having the student union recruit up to 550 students with knowledge of foreign languages from Israel’s seven universities. The student union is to publicize the project among tens of thousands of students and be responsible for the screening process, which will include submission of resumes, submitting answers to questionnaires, providing translation samples and participating in individual interviews. It is also the student union that is to provide computers and work space for a project headquarters on each campus.

Seaman informed the committee that the diplomacy units at each university would take direction from staff at the Prime Minister’s Office, but its public face would be one of an independent student entity. “The entire idea of the setup is based on activity of students and by students,” Seaman wrote to the committee. “The idea requires that the state’s role not be highlighted and therefore it is necessary to insist on major involvement by the students themselves without any political link [or] affiliation.”

It is apparent from Seaman’s document that a diplomacy group will be set up at each university and structured in a semi-military fashion. The head of the unit will be a student “senior coordinator,” who will receive a full scholarship from the Prime Minister’s Office. Working under the senior coordinator will be three other student coordinators, each of whom will head one of three desks, responsible for languages, graphics and research. These coordinators will get smaller scholarships. A group of student activists, who will receive nominal student stipends, will work under each coordinator. The Prime Minister’s Office will fund a total of NIS 2.78 million in scholarships for the program in the upcoming academic year.

“In light of the success in the battle for awareness during the Pillar of Defense Operation [the Israeli military operation against the Gaza Strip in November of last year] and the experience gained in activating a large number of situation rooms on university campuses and work with students in general, it was decided to establish a permanent structure of activity on the Internet through the students at academic institutions in the country,” Seaman wrote. “The students are an organized population that is familiar with, and active on, the Internet on an ongoing basis, trained in use of the field, [who] live and speak the language of the .”

The Prime Minister’s Office said in response that the project is designed to strengthen Israel’s public diplomacy and adapt it to changes in how information is being consumed. “The national public diplomacy unit in the Prime Minister’s Office places an emphasis on social network activity,” the office stated. “As part of this, a new pro-Israel public diplomacy infrastructure of students on Israeli campuses is being established that will assist in advancing and disseminating content on the social networks, particularly to international audiences.”

Sources in the Prime Minister’s Office said the main subjects that the campus-based units will deal with are diplomatic- and security-related issues, efforts to combat the boycott of Israel and anti-Semitism and the delegitimization of Israel. The students will emphasize Israel’s democratic values, freedom of religion, pluralism and “other subjects that give expression to the Israeli government’s public diplomacy policy.” The Prime Minister’s Office added that similar efforts with students were successful in recent years. “This model significantly advances Israel’s public diplomacy capabilities so that concurrent with messages conveyed by the country’s official spokespeople, content will also be conveyed that has been developed and disseminated by the students that is adapted to social media.”

“We believe that this involves an essential tool to strengthen Israeli public diplomacy and addresses the major importance that we attach to advancing public diplomacy of the State of Israel on the social networks.”

Hagar Yisraeli, a spokeswoman for the Union of Israeli Students, added: “Israel is dealing with an extreme, ongoing delegitimization campaign that is being conducted against it on the social networks. The student population is a talented, educated group of people with independent and diverse views and speaks [a variety of] languages and can therefore assist in dealing with such an [anti-Israel] campaign… The students are an integral part of the Israeli reality and it is therefore appropriate, in our view, that they take an active part in dealing with the delegitimization. It is accepted in the world that students are integrated and take part in various diplomatic activities. The student union is not a political organization and is not identified politically [with one school of thought]. The members of the union hold a range of views from across the Israeli political spectrum, and it is our intention to preserve that.”

« Older entries Newer entries »