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URUK Net 14 February, 2009

Last updated: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 10:06

The Second Nakba
Reem Salahi
History repeats itself. With the key to her demolished home around her neck, the middle-aged Palestinian woman standing before me had escaped the first Nakba (meaning ‘Day of Catastrophe’ marking the exodus of Palestinians from their homes with the creation of the State of Israel) of 1948 only to live through the second Nakba; the Nakba of 2009, which was more destructive and deadly than the first. In order to reach the tent city in Jabalia, we walked down a long road of pure destruction and demolition; destroyed homes, mosques, buildings, bakeries and stores…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51799

Saddam, Iraq and Obama
Pakistan Daily
… According to the neo-lib/neo-con alliance propaganda, Saddam Hussein was an evil dictator. All evidence to the contrary was repressed. But what are the facts? Do democracies deliver the goods better than dictatorships? Lets look at a few points… 1. the alleged massacres he committed were so shaky and based on minimal evidence, his rigged “trial” that sent him to the gallows only convicted him of one charge of comitting a war crime. His alleged “crime” amounted to about 10 minutes of the firebombing of Japanese cities during World War II, or the war crimes of the American Civil War, or Israel’s current crimes in Gaza. Keep in mind that the “hundreds of massacres and torturers” his “regime” was accused of were quietly dropped during his trial. In reality, even the prosecution during Saddam’s trial could find very little in terms of abuse of power to directly link him to. 2. The United Nations had stated that Saddam’s social achievement in Iraq was soon to create a “first world country” out of a third world mess. 3. Saddam, with oil money, used German technology to create a first world health care system in Iraq, free of charge. 4. 4. With the same oil money, Saddam imported western form of education at all levels, including that for women, which led to him being hated by the very Islamic forces that sought his removal…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51798

Iraq confirms election fraud
Al Bawaba
Iraqi officials nullified election results in over 30 polling stations due to fraud in last month’s provincial balloting, but the cases were not significant enough to require a new vote in any province, the election chief said Sunday. According to the AP, Faraj al-Haidari said final results of the Jan. 31 voting would be certified and announced this week. Initial official results announced Feb. 5 showed Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s ticket swept to victory over Shiite religious parties in Baghdad and southern Iraq. Voters in 14 of the 18 provinces were choosing members of ruling provincial councils in an election…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51804

Olmert says he will continue to punish 1.5 million Palestinians until Shalit is released
Saed Bannoura – IMEM
In a flagrant violation of international human rights conventions and the Fourth Geneva Convention, which bans collective punishment of a population, outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stated Saturday that he would continue his collective punishment of the entire population of the Gaza Strip until Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier captured by Palestinian fighters in 2006, is released. In Olmert’s statement to the press on Saturday, he said, “We will not open the crossings without Shalit’s release. Any other statements are irrelevant.” This ensures the continuation of the Israeli siege on Gaza, which is essentially holding the entire population hostage, preventing them from leaving, and freezing all economic commerce…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51803

Israel’s Occupation – Book Review
Jim Miles
There are many sources of information from websites through newspapers to books that carry significant referenced information about the history and context of the Israel/Palestine problem that, with the support of the U.S. government and the ambitions of the Israelis, has become a global problem. There is much material that accounts for the misery and suffering and imposition of a military regime on an occupied territory, and it all supports the general idea of an occupied people suffering under the power of an invading military. Now added to this relatively strong list of materials is Israel’s Occupation, a book that is so well written and presented that it provides a captivating and amazingly powerful read…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51801

UK police seize Gaza aid vans
AlJazeera.net
British police have seized three vans that were to form part of a 100 vehicle aid convoy headed for Gaza. Lancashire police said on Saturday that the seizure was made as part of an anti-terror raid in the northwest of England. The convoy had been organised by the pro-Palestinian organisation Viva Palestina and left central London on Saturday, the group’s website said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51800

Iraqi Kurds want US help to avoid war with Arabs
SEBASTIAN ABBOT, AP
The closest U.S. allies in Iraq — the Kurds — feel abandoned by Washington these days and say war with the Arab-dominated central government is likely without American pressure to resolve disputes that predate even the era of Saddam Hussein. Tension between the Arabs and Kurds is multifaceted, but one of the major flashpoints is the status of Kirkuk, an area that contains 13 percent of Iraq’s proven oil reserves. The Kurds believe the area should be part of their semiautonomous region in the north, which the U.S. helped set up in 1991. But that position has caused serious friction with Baghdad, including a government decision to send in new mostly Arab troops to the Kirkuk area last month. Kurdish officials want the Americans to put more pressure on Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to resolve the disputes before the U.S. military leaves Iraq. If the disputes remain after the U.S. leaves, Kurdish regional Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said “it will be war between both sides.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51797

Religious-Political Cults and Israel
Mary Rizzo, Palestine Think Tank
…One thing though, that did trouble me in these forums, sites, lists, was the lack of appearance of some groups that I believe are every bit as dangerous and deluded, and I mean a category of groups that to me are on the wild side of rational thought, the Christian Zionists. I didn’t see any areas in these sites that would include this branch of cults. Christian Zionism has a few purposes, the practical one is to keep (especially US) international policy favourable to a Jewish State in Palestine, and to do this would do anything possible and imaginable so as to have leaders in office that will always have as their priority to render this scenario possible. The Christian Zionists need this for their escatological goal, the battle of Armageddon to be fought in Israel, thus saving the souls of the Christian Zionists who will be raptured. It gives me the creeps to actually write about it, to think of the implications, but all religions contain elements of a final scenario, and I suppose Christian Zionism has abandoned the principles that made Jesus Christ into a univeralist model of love and forgiveness, and instead focus in on the final countdown, where they can be protagonists in the big war…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51802

New Settlement Approved East of the Apartheid Wall
Palestine Monitor
In 2006 Peace Now and Palestinian land owners petitioned the Israeli high court regarding the evacuation of the illegal outpost know as Migron. The high court finally heard the petition and in 2007 Ehud Olmert gave the defense Ministry two months to have the outpost evacuated. However, with the arrival of the new Defense Minister Ehud Barak, this process was delayed. Eventually at the beginning of 2008 Olmert and Barak had declared that Migron would be evacuated by August. It was proposed that 18 of the 26 outposts built since 2001 were to be demolished, and Migron was to be the first…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51795

Public meeting: Two doctors’ eyewitness account of war on Gaza, Mon 16 Feb @ 7pm
Islington Friends of Yibna
Eye Witnesses and the authors of “The Wounds of Gaza”, published in the Lancet last week, Dr Ang Swee Chai and Dr Ghassan Abu Sittah, will speak at our next IFY meeting at Islington Town Hall, on Monday, 16 February 7pm. See below their report in the Lancet of the horrific suffering they found in Gaza, resulting from the 3 weeks Israeli onslaught. The two British surgeons, who treated the Palestinians wounded during the Israeli bombardment of Gaza, have just returned from a fact finding mission to Gaza. They also visited Yibna and will report on their findings at the IFY meeting…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51790

Americans Want Torture Inquiry, Obama Doesn’t
Thomas R. Eddlem
A Gallup Poll released February 12 revealed that 62 percent of Americans want to investigate or criminally prosecute Bush administration officials who authorized torture in the so-called “war on terror.” But even though President Obama has said numerous times that “nobody’s above the law,” on February 10 he used the Bush administration’s “state secrets” gambit to quash a lawsuit attempting to penalize some of those involved in renditioning torture subjects…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51793

Mr. Obama and Israel’s nuclear arsenal
John Robertson, War in Context
In a recent essay, Grant Smith very appropriately hammered President Barack Obama for an omission — or perhaps, a dodge — when he was asked a question by the venerable Helen Thomas during Monday night’s big press conference. (Obama actually recognized the moment as a big one when he called on her, saying with a smile that this was his “inauguration.” She is the dean of White House correspondents, and is well known for asking tough questions and then doggedly pursuing with follow-ups.) Ms Thomas asked him: “Mr President, do you know of any Middle Eastern country that has nuclear weapons?”.. The obvious answer — the ka-zillion-ton gorilla in the room — was, “Yes, Helen, of course — Israel.” …

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The Massive Trap that Awaits the U.S. in Afghanistan
Michael Payne
America, since its successes in defeating the twin threats of Germany and Japan in WWII, appears to have suffered a historical mental lapse. We waged an unjustified war, not of necessity but of choice, in Vietnam and lost. We duplicated that debacle by invading and occupying Iraq and now, plans are being made to escalate our military actions in Afghanistan, a move that I fear will lead us into a massive trap and disaster. After two monumental failures that never should have even been initiated, you would think that we would have learned from history but, from all appearances, we have learned nothing. The U.S., teetering on the edge of national insolvency, is now on the verge of upping the ante in Afghanistan with increases in troop deployment…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51791

On a world so indifferent
The next carnage in Gaza may just be around the corner unless the Arabs understand why the world is always letting them down
Assem El-Kersh
Have we forgotten Gaza in such a short space of time? That is, except for some residual anger and grief, the occasional mention in the course of endless hours of chat shows on satellite channels, and the paltry dribbles of aid getting through the crossings. Everyone can breathe easy again — apart from the people of Gaza, of course — now that the subject is no longer front-page news. After all, the media only stirs into action when there is something sensational afoot and world attention is only riveted in moments of the inferno. So all the minor sparks surrounding the fragile ceasefire, tensions surrounding the Strip’s reconstruction, photos of the martyrs on the remnants of walls, and the desolation of the aftermath, are simply not big enough to grab the headlines…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51775

The Israelis do not Want Peace – New Attacks on Gaza and killing of a child in the West Bank
Hiyam Noir, PalestineFreeVoice
On Friday night Israeli warplanes pounded with missiles a number of targets in the Jabalya refuge camp, and along the northern parts of Gaza Strip.Six Palestinians were wounded in the missile attacks at around midnight on Friday when a warehouse containing wood blasted in downtown Jabalia. Gaza security sources said that the warehouse is completely destroyed and several homes and buildings were damaged.In the area of Janbal Al-Rayes,Israeli missile was launched at two workshops, but missed the target and hit the open ground in the northeastern parts of Gaza Strip…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51789

While eating chips and chocolate
Eva Bartlett | In Gaza
Violation after violation of international law, international human rights law, and of the Geneva Conventions, are being revealed and documented as Palestinians’ testimonies are taken of their aggressors and assassins, the Israeli soldiers and those authorities who commanded the slaughter of over 1,370 Palestinians in 3 weeks of incomprehensible bombing and terrorizing of the people of Gaza. Not only are testimonies being taken [more testimonies], but remnants of the illegal weapons and activities of the Israeli army in Gaza are being collected and documented for legal prosecution of the war criminals of Israel. [US lawyers report on Israeli crimes in Gaza] One of the more profound criminal acts little-discussed in the corporate media is Israel’s encaging of 1.5 million citizens while bombarding them, meaning that “No children, women, sick people or disabled people were allowed to leave. For the first time, the option of becoming a refugee has been withheld,” as highlighted by Richard Falk, the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51787

US Drone Strike Kills At Least 30 in South Waziristan
Official Says More Buried Under Rubble of Destroyed House
Jason Ditz
A US drone launched two missiles at a large house in South Waziristan this morning, killing at least 30 and wounding seven others. A Pakistani intelligence official is quoted as saying more people are believed to be buried under the rubble. At least 50 people were in the house at the time of the attacks, mostly Uzbeks and Arabs believed to be fighters for the Taliban and al-Qaeda. The compound reportedly was frequented by Baitullah Mehsud, a top Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader, though he does not appear to have been present during the attack…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51786

Israeli Air Force and Navy shell Gaza
Saed Bannoura – IMEM
The Israeli Air Force and the Israeli Navy late on Friday at night bombarded three areas in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, including Gaza city and Rafah, causing several injuries and excessive property damage. Local sources reported that four residents were wounded, and were moved to Kamal Adwan hospital, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, after the Israeli Air Force fired at least one missile at a lumberyard near the Jabalia market…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51785

Israel: No truce without Shalit
AlJazeera.net
Israel’s prime minister has said that no long-term ceasefire will be agreed with Hamas unless an Israeli soldier captured in 2006 is released. “Israel will not reach any understandings regarding the calm before the release of Gilad Shalit,” a statement from the office of Ehud Olmert said on Saturday. The call for the release of Shalit, who was seized in a cross-border raid by Palestinian fighters, came after Hamas accused Israel of undermining the chances of a long-term truce in the Gaza Strip by changing the conditions of a proposed deal…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51783

300 Israeli settlers under military guard invade Artas village in Bethlehem
Palestinian Information Center
About 300 Israeli settlers escorted by IOF troops and border guards invaded Friday several areas in the Artas village, south of Bethlehem, and set up several tents on these areas which are threatened with annexation. This Israeli escalation came after Israeli bulldozers established 800-meter road linking the area of Khalat Al-Nahl in the village with the Efrat settlement built on the territory of several villages in the area including Artas and Khadr…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51782

The aftermath of war in Gaza
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
Throughout the Israeli offensive on Gaza, Sana Rajab and Mohamed “Abu Abed” Mughaiseeb worked at the heart of the emergency health services run by MSF. Sana, a nurse, and Abu Abed, a doctor, are first and foremost Palestinians from the Gaza strip. “Every single one of us, without exception, has suffered in this war”, they explain. Today, Sana works with the mobile teams, which visit areas worst affected by the violence and the various healthcare facilities to identify and refer patients to the MSF hospital. Abu Abed coordinates MSF medical programmes in the Gaza strip. Both remain shocked at the trauma suffered by Palestinian population…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51781

Christians in Jerusalem want Jews to stop spitting on them
Chris V. Thangham
Christian groups are feeling threatened in Jerusalem, and reports indicate they have been spit on in some incidents. One Armenian Christian group claims this has been ongoing for years and the Israeli government is not doing enough to stop attackers. While leaving a meeting at the government office in Jerusalem’s Givat Shaul quarter, a Greek Orthodox clergyman was spit on. He said he was in his car when an elderly man with a skullcap knocked on the window. When the clergyman opened the car window, the stranger spit in his face…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51780

PCHR Special Report, February 2009.
Inter-Palestinian Human Rights Violations in the Gaza Strip
PCHR – Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Since the launch of the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) military offensive in the Gaza Strip on 27 December 2008, there has been a significant increase in human rights violations perpetrated by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. For the past five weeks, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) has collected testimonies from victims and eyewitnesses regarding dozens of human rights violations perpetrated across the Gaza Strip by armed members of the Palestinian Security Services (PSS) and unidentified gunmen. According to PCHR documentation, at least 32 Palestinians have been killed by members of the PSS and unidentified gunmen during this reporting period…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51792

Video: Gaza: Living in the rubble
# Clancy Chassay, Michael Tait, Mustafa Khalili and Christian Bennett , Guardian
Mohammed al Attar, his wife and five children’s home in Beit Lahiya was completely destroyed along with all their possessions in the recent conflict. Clancy Chassay spends 24 hours in the rubble with them in the tent they now call home

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51779

Valentine’s Day Arrived in Gaza Earlier This Year
Iqbal Tamimi
Sure it was red all over Gaza this year, and earlier than any other country in the world, blood red, not rose red. The Independent published an article today entitled Israel allows Valentine carnations out of Gaza. The Independent reporter described Israel’s allowing 25,000 carnations to cross the border in the first exports permitted from blockaded Gaza in a year as a gesture. Is this funny or what? Usually the expression gesture holds meanings of good will and kind intentions or so I thought, since gestures usually do not come after killing the people and bulldozing their homes to the ground as well as creating orphans and widows…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51778

Mullah Valentine.
Layla Anwar, Uncensored Arabwomanblues
…Some of you are already wondering, why has St.Valentino been re-baptized as Mullah Valentine ?! Don’t dig too deep, it’s only for culturally sensitive reasons…Trying to turn Love,”halal”, I suppose. You see, our Mullah Valentine, is a terribly jealous, frustrated, envious, capricious, sexually obsessed, fearful, hater of women, issuer of Fatwas. You never know when he will come up with a new decree banning this or the other. And, being an Arab woman, I have to walk on egg shells around Mullah Valentine… Mullah Valentine does not operate individually, he is a team player. He leads groups of men, sometimes arming them to their teeth and their mission is to purify this earth from the fassad, the fisq and the fitnah. So he will go for your jugular – naturally, and especially if you are an Iraqi woman that does not fit his ideological “romantic” concepts. He will go after you with zeal. He will harass you, insult you, slander you, beat you, kidnap you, arrest you, detain you, imprison you, rape you, torture you, mutilate you, dump you in piles of garbage and in rivers and you can kiss your Valentine’s Day preparation, celebration and Love altar goodbye, forever goodbye… Happy Valentine’s Day to democratically occupied Iraqi women !…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51784

Lurch to the right
Khaled Amayreh
With most votes now counted the results of the Israeli general elections show a clear drift to the right and a collapse in support for centrist and leftist Zionist parties. The Kadima Party, led by Tzipi Livni, is expected to end with 28 seats, followed by Likud, led by Benyamin Netanyahu, with 27, though one, perhaps two Kadima seats may prove vulnerable once the votes of serving soldiers are counted…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51776

Financial Crisis: A Short History of US Government Handouts
Stephen Lendman
Global economies are withering while Washington conceives “Financial Recovery Plan(s) from Hell,” according to economist Michael Hudson in his latest February 11 article. Bankers demand more trillions, “or (they’ll) plunge the economy into financial crisis.” What they want they’ll get, and here’s where things now stand. On February 10, Bloomberg.com reported that Treasury Secretary Geithner “pledged government financing for as much as $2 trillion…to spur new lending and address banks’ toxic assets, seeking to end the credit crunch hobbling the economy.” Hudson calls it “Stage One of a two-stage plan,” so far unannounced, to transfer trillions more to corrupt bankers who caused the problem in the first place, yet taxpayers will get little more back than the bill…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51774

Geithner’s Debut: “Not Ready for Prime Time”
Mike Whitney
Tuesday was Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s coming out party. He was supposed to outline Obama’s Financial Stability Plan to the Senate Banking Committee. Wall Street was looking for clarity, but it didn’t get it. Instead, they got 25 minutes of political posturing and blather. The markets went into freefall. By the end of the day, the Dow was down 382 points. It was a complete fiasco. Geithner is a smart man. He knows what Wall Street wants. They want a plan and they want the details…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51788

February 13, 2009: 1 UK Soldier, 45 Iraqis; 91 Iraqis Wounded
Margaret Griffis, Antiwar.com
A female suicide bomber entered a tent filled with Arbaeen pilgrims and killed dozens in a third day of significant sectarian attacks. Overall, at least 45 Iraqis were killed and another 91 were wounded across the country. One British soldier was also killed during a shooting incident in southern Iraq. Also, Former interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, whose National List made modest gains in provincial elections, insisted that national elections later this year must be made “fairer” that the recent one or else Iraq’s fragile peace will be in danger…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=51777

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