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URUK Net 3 May, 2009

Last updated: Tuesday, May 5, 2009 14:06

When, Where the Pope Inspires No Hope
Nicola Nasser
…the Holy See is determined to rule out Gaza from the Pope’s itinerary. In a recent letter to the Vatican 40 prominent Christians from the occupied Palestinian territories appealed to the Holy See to add Gaza to his itinerary. They could not understand how the Pope has been to Auschwitz to pray for the people murdered there, “as a duty to truth and to those that suffered,” as he said, but could not similarly heal the wounds of those who are still suffering in Gaza (…) When His Holiness is to meet on April 14 with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has dispelled all hopes for even the resumption of a peace process, let alone peace, both by his on-record political platform as well as by the composition of his extreme right ruling coalition, and when he will meet with Israeli President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem, the spiritual capital of Christianity and Islam which his Israeli hosts are determined to Judaise as theirs only eternal capital, and to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, the Islamic Al-Buraq Wall as the Jewish Western (Wailing) Wall of the Temple, and when Israel forces his protocol team to drop from the list of his Arab audience in Nazareth the Palestinian mayor of Sukhnin, Mazen Ghanaim, because he rallied against the Israeli war on Gaza, then the itinerary of his pilgrimage could be described as anything but being apolitically balanced when Gaza is ruled out…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53917

Fallen journalists
Eva Bartlett, In Gaza
Fadel Shana’a is among the most prominent of Palestinian journalists and media workers recently killed by Israeli soldiers. The 23 year old was targeted by an invading Israeli tank which, after observing Shana’a filming for a number of minutes, unleashed a flechette bomb, a shell filled with up to 8,000 miniature darts designed to shred and inflict the greatest harm possible. On World Press Freedom Day around the world journalists are recognized and honoured for their work in danger zones or exposing covered-up malfeasances. When it comes to Palestine, the honouring extends to martyred and injured journalists, of which there are many…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53919

Barack Obama Is Lying About Pakistan
Daily.pk
Mr. Obama used a domestic event to ‘accidentally’ declare war on Pakistan. Now his team is trying to encourage the Pakistani military to seize power. The Americans destroyed Pakistan’s stability through the Benazir-Musharraf deal in 2007. They are doing it again. Here is the easiest way of telling the Americans to: Lay off, stop lecturing us on India, stop supporting separatism, and mend your ways in Afghanistan. There is not a single towering personality in the Pakistani landscape today, with enough credibility, strong personality and effective communication skills, to stand up and tell U.S. President Barack Obama: You are a liar…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53926

The Pink Army
Meris Lutz
… Then again, Iraq seems to have become a laboratory for testing the limits of human endurance, and the results are always sickeningly surprising. “What happened to the other five gay men who were with you?” I asked. “They killed them,” he said flatly. “I paid.” Hassan (not his real name) is one of a handful of gay Iraqis who have sought refuge in Lebanon since the beginning of the year, when, according to Iraqis and human rights workers interviewed for this post, some sort of understanding was reached between the Iraqi government and the Mahdi Army to “cleanse” Iraq of homosexuals. According to Hassan and M.M., another gay Iraqi who fled to Jordan and eventually made his way to Lebanon, Moqtada al-Sadr was given the green light from the government to attack homosexuals after video footage of a private party attended by gays, lesbians and transsexuals began circulating Iraq. Neither had attended the party or seen the footage, but several others confirmed they had heard the rumor. The BBC recently posted a number of videos depicting homosexuals and cross dressers being harassed by security forces… Since the killings were reported in the American press several weeks ago, the Iraqi government has vociferously denied any direct involvement. But according to Hassan, who was arrested at a government checkpoint, “The government and the Mahdi Army are working together to kill [homosexuals].”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53925

Israel ‘ups questioning of Gaza patients’
AFP
Israel’s Shin Beth internal security service has increased its interrogations of people seeking to leave Hamas-run Gaza for medical treatment, a rights group said in a report on Monday. Data collected by Physicians for Human Rights-Israel “indicates a rise in the number of Palestinian patients interrogated and forced to provide information as a precondition to exit Gaza for medical care,” it said. “Between January 2008 and March 2009, at least 438 patients have been summoned for… interrogations… as a precondition for the review of their applications for an exit permit for the purpose of accessing medical treatment outside of the strip,” it said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53927

On Censorship.
Layla Anwar, Uncensored Arabwomanblues
Freedom House – some NGO in charge of monitoring Freedom of Speech and Expression with regards to Journalism came up with its latest report…Freedom House remarked in its report that the worst cases for Journalistic censorship in the Middle East are : Libya, Tunisia, Jordan, Iran… Oddly enough and maybe it is not so odd, Iraq was not listed in the Freedom House report. There was a small paragraph saying that the situation in Iraq has improved in as far as Journalists are concerned – they don’t murder them anymore. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Fucking Jokers. I want to ask Freedom House how much Freedom is there under Occupation ?
Maybe Freedom House needs to read about what it’s like to live under Occupation…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53922

Urgent: Release Palestinian activists arrested in al-Ma’sara on May Day. Walls
Popular committee against the Apartheid Wall of al Ma’sara
On May 1, people from the village of al-Ma’sara and the neighbouring villages in Bethlehem area commemorated Workers Day with a march in protest against the Apartheid Wall. The Wall continues to encroach on their land and isolates their villages. The demonstration and Workers Day festival was organized by the popular committees of the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign in al Ma’sara and Bethlehem district, in cooperation with the Bethlehem branch of the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU). Israeli Occupation forces repressed the mobilization and fired on the crowd with tear gas, sound bombs and rubber coated steel bullets. Nine people were injured, among them the head of the PGFTU, Shaher Sa’ad. Soldiers arrested ‘Azmi Sheukhi from Hebron, Mustafa Fawagreh from Um Salamoneh and Muhammed Brajiya, Mahmoud Zawahreh, Hasan Brajiya, all members of the popular committee in al Ma’sara. They are still held in prison…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53920

Are Your Tax Dollars Going To Fund Human Rights Abuses in Gaza?
Now it’s your turn
Sameh Akram Habeeb
For months now I have been trying to make sense of what happened in Gaza. And yet I never know where to start or how to find the one story that says everything that needs to be said about what happened—and still is happening—to us. I have many accounts to choose from and pictures as well. I am a photojournalist, you see, and I have been documenting in words and pictures the shortages of food and electricity that preceded the attack and continue to this day, and the many civilians who were killed, maimed, or made homeless during those terrible 22 days in late December and early January. I have collected many accounts of bravery and despair under extremely trying circumstances. My house was exposed to shrapnel from Israeli rockets. Without power, I had to walk around four kilometers (about two and a half miles) in the middle of this cruel attack, simply to charge my laptop in order to get the truth out. Now it’s your turn. I am asking you now to carry my story forward. The US government is planning to pour more money—billions of dollars—to continue this madness…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53934

PFLP calls for the unity and empowerment of the Palestinian working class
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine -PFLP
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine -PFLP, called for the unity of Palestinian and Arab people on May Day and stressed on the unity and empowerment of the Palestinian trade unions and the labor movement in Palestine. PFLP called upon all Palestinians and their allies to confront the Israeli occupation policies and the US-Israel siege imposed against our people in Gaza. The front also called for the defeat of the oppressors of the workers and the exploiters of their rights anywhere in the world… On May Day, the PFLP re-affirm its commitment to the struggle and interest of the working class in Palestine, the Arab homeland and the Diaspora, calling for unconditional support of our workers, employees, and for solidarity actions with all popular classes of our society…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53923

Iraq bloodshed rises as US allies defect
Obama’s withdrawal pledge is at risk as militias paid by the US begin to rejoin the insurgency
Ali Rifat, Hala Jaber and Sarah Baxter
IRAQ is threatened by a new wave of sectarian violence as members of the “Sons of Iraq” – the Sunni Awakening militias that were paid by the US to fight Al-Qaeda – begin to rejoin the insurgency. If the spike in violence continues, it could affect President Barack Obama’s pledge to withdraw all combat troops from Iraqi cities by the end of June. All US troops are due to leave the country by 2012…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53928

UNLIKELY SUPPORTERS OF FAIRNESS TO IRAQ (BEFORE MARCH 2003)
Malcom Lagauche
On May 2, Jack Kemp died. He is now receiving the standard accolades. Mostly, he is being mentioned as the great conservative who supported the programs of Ronald Reagan and successive political conservatives. This may be so, but not one word has been written about his efforts in the 1990s for a quick end to the Iraqi embargo. To me, along with his great prowess in the sport of American football, this should be his greatest legacy. Most people forgot about Iraq’s plight after March 1991. After all, the U.S. had just kicked the Iraqis out of Kuwait and there was an embargo affixed. Few realized just how severe the embargo would turn out and also that if Iraq, which it did, acquiesced to the terms of the embargo it would not be lifted as long as Saddam Hussein was in power. There was no document stating this, but it was well-known…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53933

Gazans demonstrate in Gaza City for May Day Gazans demonstrate in Gaza City for May Day
ISM Gaza
Thousands of Palestinians, mainly supporters of the 3 main Palestinian leftist parties (PFLP, DFLP, PPP) gathered in Gaza City for the Workers Day demonstration, which was celebrated this year on Thursday the 30th of April because of the holiday on Friday. Many children and young men participated, but almost no women. The supporters of the 3 different parties were marching all together, without forming separate blocks, giving a clear sign of unity of the left and of the Palestinians in general…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53930

Video: Israeli settlement homes sold to foreign buyers
AljaeeraEnglish
In Israel the issue of settlement activity is a sensitive one.Successive UN resolutions have called for an end to illegal settlement activity and for existing settlements to be dismantled, but Israel has refused to comply. In a new twist, properties in these settlements are being offered up to foreign buyers…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53932

Ha’aretz Meets The Soft Bigotry Of Low Expectations, And Still Manages To Fail
Lawrence of Cyberia
I hear so many Americans talk gushingly about Ha’aretz that I always feel a bit like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas whenever I suggest that, despite having some remarkable quality journalists on its staff, Ha’aretz is overall far less “liberal” than its reputation deserves. (I think the exact term I may have used for it in an earlier post was,”collectively and institutionally a piece of propagandizing crap”). And I’m not really won over by the argument that at least it reports things about Israel that the U.S. newspapers won’t. I would acknowledge that having an Israeli newspaper that is willing to criticize Israeli policy vis-a-vis the Palestinians does open the door for non-Israelis to enter the debate, just as Jewish Americans who speak up create a space for non-Jews who would otherwise be deterred by fear of the blanket smear of antisemitism. But that doesn’t change the fact that “Ha’aretz: It’s Less Dreadful On Israel-Palestine Than U.S. News Media!” is not exactly setting the bar very high. Nor does it change the fact that Plucky Little Ha’aretz is perfectly capable of publishing reports that are just as awful on the I/P issue as anything you read over here…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53937

Khater: IOA wants to turn Jerusalem into a closed Jewish ghetto
Palestinian Information Center
Dr. Hassan Khater, the secretary general of the Islamic-Christian front for the defense of Jerusalem and its holy shrines, charged that the Israeli occupation authority wants to turn Jerusalem into a closed Jewish ghetto after getting rid of all its non-Jewish inhabitants. He said in a written statement on Saturday that the UN warning that the IOA was trying to force the emigration of 60,000 Palestinians out of Jerusalem was not enough. He called on the international organization to adopt practical measures to stop the IOA racial cleansing in Jerusalem…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53936

AIPAC Conference Comes Amid Turmoil
By Daniel Luban and Ali Gharib
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Washington’s powerful and hawkish pro-Israel lobby, kicked off its annual policy conference this weekend during a period of unusual turbulence both for the organisation and for the U.S.-Israel relationship. AIPAC won a notable victory on Friday, when prosecutors moved to dismiss charges against two former AIPAC staffers who had been accused of committing espionage violations by passing classified information to the Israeli government and to reporters. But the group remains in a difficult position. It faces a multi-million-dollar lawsuit from the two staffers alleging that they were wrongfully terminated, and it has been swept up in the mushrooming scandal involving alleged espionage and influence-peddling centred upon Rep. Jane Harma..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53931

US, Iraq at Odds Over Extending Pullout
Despite Surging Violence, June 30 Means June 30, Iraq Govt Insists
Jason Ditz
Despite soaring violence, Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh says that they will not allow the United States to extend the June 30 deadline for removing American troops from cities. Dabbagh said the dates in the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) cannot be extended. Violence in Iraq has continued to rise over the past two months, with April standing as the deadliest month in over a year…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53935

Iraqi forces arrest U.S.-allied militia leader
Reuters
Iraqi forces backed by U.S. troops have arrested a U.S.-allied Sunni Arab militia leader, Iraqi and U.S. officials said on Sunday. The U.S. military said Nadhim al-Jubouri, leader of a government-backed local militia and a religious leader in the town of Dhuluiya, 70 km (45 miles) north of Baghdad, and his two brothers were seized from their home on Saturday. Derrick Cheng, a U.S. military spokesman in northern Iraq, said “members of the Iraq National Police with coalition advisors arrested three individuals. Included in the arrest was … Mullah Nadhim Mahmud Khalil and two brothers”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53921

Israeli forces arrest nine Bedouins as ‘terrorists’ for throwing stones, toppling poles
Saed Bannoura – IMEMC
According to Israeli police, nine Bedouin Arabs from the town of Shfaram in Israel have been arrested as a ‘terrorist cell’ for throwing stones at Israeli cars while Israel was invading Gaza in January. The nine men also allegedly toppled two electric poles into an Israeli highway – one woman was lightly injured when she swerved off the road to avoid the obstruction. No injuries were reported from the stone-throwing. The Israeli police reported that the nine men, all of whom are in their 20s, were detained by police over the last few days in an anti-terrorist STING-style operation. A gag order placed on the arrests was lifted on Sunday, when Israeli police announced that they had the entire ‘terrorist cell’ in custody…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53918

GI Special 7E3: “Taliban In Every Village” [ 3 May 2009 ]
Thomas F. Barton
“There Are Now Taliban In Every Village”. “Many Of Them Have Rejoined The Movement After The Savage Attacks Carried Out By Americans”. “The People Who Are Fighting With The Taliban Are The Brothers, Uncles And Relatives Of Those Killed By The Americans”. “They Have Joined The Taliban And Are Fighting Because They Want To Avenge Their Brothers, Fathers Or Cousins”.
Obama has shifted the deadly burden of air strikes onto Pakistani border Pashtun tribe people. This would seem to be an especially flawed tactic insofar as most Pashtuns adhere to the code of Pashtunwali where a mal deed against a family member requires revenge. In other words, such attacks causing civilian injury or death are creating an endless supply of new resistance fighters.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53915

Italian troops kill 12-year-old girl in Afghanistan
By Sharafuddin Sharafyar, Reuters
Italian troops fired on a passenger car in western Afghanistan on Sunday, killing a 12-year-old Afghan girl and wounding three members of her family, the family said. A spokesman for the Italian contingent in Afghanistan said the girl was in a car that was driving at high speed and had ignored warning signs… Reuters television footage showed a white Toyota car with its rear and side windows destroyed and its frame punctured with bullet holes. The girl, named Behnooshahr, lay dead on a gurney at a hospital in Herat, a city near the Iranian border. “Suddenly I heard a loud bang, I couldn’t work out what it was, but I saw that my daughter was dead and my family were badly hurt,” said her father, Ahmadi, who did not give a last name and is from the neighbouring province of Farah…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53924

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