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URUK Net 9 January, 2010

Last updated: Sunday, January 10, 2010 8:06

Gaza’s horror show
By Tayyab Siddiqui
January 8, 2010 – A human tragedy of enormous proportions has been continuing over the last year in Gaza, and yet it has not stirred the conscience of the international community and those responsible for global peace. The western media has also been a part of this conspiracy of silence. On Dec 27, some 1,200 international activists from 40 countries gathered in Cairo to enter Gaza to display solidarity with the suffering Palestinians. However, this show of sympathy and support by peace activists is significant only in symbolic terms. International NGOs and UN agencies occasionally raise this issue, but find no resonance because the victims are Palestinian and the oppressor is Israel…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61981

Image of the Beast
Peter Chamberlin
January 9, 2010 – Up until now, the United States has been able to exert control over most of the earth just by controlling the narrative that reflects popular opinion about the war on terror. Whatever government spokesmen or reporters have said happened on a particular day, was what really happened; it was validated by popular consent. The ability to shape people’s thoughts and opinions is a power that every tyrant has dreamed about. Global trust in the good intentions of the people of the United States moves individuals and entire nations to give American leaders the benefit of the doubt, even when common sense cautions against it. Until fairly recently, popular opinion did not often call into question the American or allied version of events. Widespread civilian “collateral damage” from air strikes and disagreements between the Pakistani and American military have opened the door to questions about the very nature of this war and the leadership, or lack thereof, displayed by Western decision-makers…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61988

Iraq’s Interior Ministry’s calls for public executions
By Kareem Abedzair
January 8, 2010 – Iraq’s judicial council has passed 77 more death sentences on convicts charged with different offenses, namely terror. Hundreds of Iraqis are on death row but the penalty is only administered after being approved by the country’s presidency. Scores are reported to have been executed in 2009, according to Amnesty International. There are many in Iraq who doubt the trials to be fair in a country seen as the world’s worst in corruption and one of the most violent…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61984

PFLP detainees call on Fatah and Hamas to reconcile
Ma’an News
January 9, 2010 – In a statement released from Israeli prison on Saturday, the leadership of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) called on Fatah and Hamas to immediately sign the Egyptian-backed reconciliation document and to work on its implementation. “We categorically reject the resumption of talks with Israel unless they contain new features and are under the auspices of the UN Security Council, through convening an international conference that would discuss implementing the internationally legitimate resolutions concerning the Palestinian cause. There can be no return to the bilateral negotiations which proved a failure and useless, after two decades of its beginning,” the statement said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61991

Afghanistan mission price tag passes 525,000 Dollar per soldier
Tally doesn’t include salaries or equipment
BY MATTHEW FISHER
January 9, 2010 – It costs taxpayers about $525,000 a year to keep one Canadian soldier in Afghanistan, according to the simplest calculation possible, which is to divide the approximately $1.5-billion cost of the mission for the 2009/2010 fiscal year by the 2,850 troops who are part of it. These figures does not take into account soldiers’ salaries and benefits or the long-term health-care costs associated with service in South Asia. They are in line with official Pentagon estimates of what it costs to keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61992

Video: Israeli army imposes harsh restrictions on fishing in Gaza Strip
B’Tselem
January 9, 2010 – This video presents the stories of three fisherman from the Gaza Strip who have difficulty earning a living because of the blockade and the army’s harsh restrictions on fishing off the coast. In breach of Israel’s undertaking in the Oslo agreement to allow fishing up to a distance of 20 nautical miles (37 km), the army has gradually reduced the distance in which it permits fishing. At the time of filming, the limit was six nautical miles from the Gaza coast. Since then, the permitted distance has been further reduced, to only three nautical miles (5.5 km) in December 2009. The restrictions harm thousands of fisherman and their families, who depend on fishing for their livelihood, and deny residents of the Strip a vital food source…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61990

Deported BU student to receive degree in Gaza
Ma’an News
January 9, 2010 – Finishing her classes over the phone and e-mail, Berlanty Azzam, pulled out of a car, handcuffed, blindfolded and deported from the West Bank to Gaza in October, will be awarded her degree on Sunday, officials from Bethlehem University announced. In a statement issued Saturday, the university said a Sunday mass in Gaza’s Church of the Holy Family would be held to honor Berlanty,21, and confer on her a Bachelor of Arts degree. The student was denied permission by Israeli courts to return to Bethlehem to complete her degree…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61994

Nidal: A 10-year-old Victime of Israel´s Aggression
gazanews2009
January 9, 2010 – “Prior to the December 27 to January 18 Israeli massacre of Gaza—during which Israel used its power as the 4th largest military, unleashing an arsenal of F-16 bombing, Apache and tank shelling and machine gun fire, shelling from Israeli warships in Gaza’s sea, bulldozing and explosive— Nidal was a normal boy of 10 years. He ran, he played, he studied, he was as mischievous and energetic as life in Gaza under siege allows. When the Israelis shelled our house, there was also heavy tank shooting in the area. There were Israeli tanks all around. So much noise, so much danger. Nidal couldnt take it, said his father. Since the massacre, Nidal has lost his ability to speak, doesn’t think or concentrate clearly, and walks with a crippled gait…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61995

Afghan President Karzai: “Corruption? What Corruption?”
David Dayen
January 9, 2010 – … A defiant Afghan President Hamid Karzai defended his record on corruption in an interview broadcast on Friday, saying the issue that has damaged his reputation had been “blown out of proportion” by Western media. […] Afghanistan is the world’s second most-corrupt country, behind only Somalia, which isn’t much of a country at all. A hallmark of that corruption is a leader who denies that there is any corruption. Indeed, when the mayor of Kabul was recently convicted in an Afghan court of graft, Karzai defended him, insisting he was innocent…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61996

More than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners suffering chronic diseases in IOA jails
Palestinian Information Center
January 9, 2010 – The Ahrar center for prisoners’ studies and rights said that the year 2009 was full of Israeli violations of Palestinian prisoners’ rights especially the patients. Fuad Al-Khafsh, the director of the center, said in a statement on Friday that the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) delays the treatment of many prisoners especially those suffering chronic diseases. He said that no prisoner enters an IOA jail then gets out safe and sound…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61997

Guantánamo 8th anniversary: Demo at US embassy, Parliamentary Meeting for Shaker Aamer, January 11, 2010
Andy Worthington
January 9, 2010 – On January 11, 2010, the 8th anniversary of the opening of Guantánamo, the following events will be taking place in London: 12.30 to 2 pm: The London Guantánamo Campaign will hold a demonstration outside the US embassy in Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, London, W1. The demonstration will call on the US administration to close down the Guantánamo Bay detention camp as soon as possible and ensure justice for all the prisoners held there.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61998

Mass layoffs at UPS, Lockheed Martin
US loses 85,000 jobs in December
By Tom Eley
January 9, 2010 – The US economy lost 85,000 jobs in December, the Labor Department reported Friday, the same day new major layoffs were announced by UPS and Lockheed Martin. The ongoing destruction of jobs in what the Obama administration has touted as an economic “recovery,” is indicative of a social disaster affecting ever wider layers of the population. Friday’s report comes on top of a whole battery of recent reports showing the widespread growth of hunger, homelessness, and poverty…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61986

One seriously injured by Israeli tank fire in central Gaza
Ma’an News
January 9, 2010 – A Palestinian was seriously injured in a Israeli artillery shelling on farmlands east of the Al-Maghazi Refugee Camp in the central Gaza Strip on Saturday. Muawiyah Hassanein, head of ambulance and emergency department in the ministry of health in Gaza, said Israeli tanks deployed on the borders shelled the agricultural area east of the camp,” and confirmed that one man was seriously injured…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61985

Iraq Bans Politicians From Polls, Stirs Outcry
Afif Sarhan
January 8, 2010 – A decision to ban 15 politicians and political parties from running for the March general elections is sending shockwaves across Iraq, amid warnings of undermining the country’s nascent political process. “The government move just show how democracy is far from Iraq and clearly demonstrates a persecution from some other parties,” Saleh al-Mutlak, leader of the Sunni National Dialogue Front, told IslamOnline.net. “They government will be surprised with the reaction they will get from Iraqis at the country’s streets who are our supporters and conscious voters.” The Independent Commission for Justice and Accountability on Thursday banned Mutlaq and 14 other politicians and parties from running for the 7 March elections…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61983

Sale of Land to Israel Threatens to Split Church
By Mel Frykberg
January 9, 2010 – Israel’s bid to keep occupied East Jerusalem under its sovereignty and prevent its incorporation into a future Palestinian state has been boosted over the years with the acquiescence of the Greek Orthodox Church. The church’s sale of politically sensitive land in East Jerusalem under dubious circumstances and amidst charges of political blackmail have caused outrage amongst Greek Orthodox Palestinians and threatened to split the church. In a bid to prevent Jerusalem’s division, Israel has accelerated its Judaisation of East Jerusalem which, under international law, is part of the occupied Palestinian West Bank and which Palestinians wish to see become the capital of their future state…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61989

Egypt – Palestine : The Wall of Shame
By Tariq Ramadan
January 8, 2010 – …It cannot be repeated often enough: the Egyptian “national security wall” is a wall of shame. The religious authorities that have legitimized it have behaved exactly like the notorious “ulama” (Muslim scholars) or “Islamic councils” that openly serve power, whether of dictators or the forces of colonialism, or of some self-styled Republic specializing in the manipulation of religion. What can possibly remain of their credibility after issuing a “political fatwa” that lends the Islamic endorsement of craven scholars to the power of dictatorship? Silence would have been far better…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61982

Exchange with Guardian journalist about US drone strikes
Ian Sinclair
January 8, 2010 – Below is an email exchange I had with the Guardian’s Declan Walsh (declan.walsh@guardian.co.uk) regarding Pakistani public opinion and the continuing US drone strikes […] You say it is “demonstrably true” that the “Pakistani public has tolerated” the US drone attacks. This seems to be a very strange way of interpreting the three polls that show around 70 percent of Pakistanis oppose the US drone attacks. What would the Pakistani public have to do to actually oppose the attacks, and be reported as opposing the attacks, in your eyes?…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61980

Children Suffer The Most As A Result Of The Siege On Gaza
Ayman Quade
January 8, 2010 – This is the story of Mahi abu Zer, 14 years old, living in a very marginalized area called the Qarah district, Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip. His father was killed leaving the family in dire need of support. The re-marriage of his mother has made Mahi’s life even worse rather than better. Mahi and his other two siblings were forced to leave her and live under the guardianship of their jobless grandfather along with their aunt. Mahi’s home was completely destroyed two years ago as a result of the ongoing incursions in their area . Since that time, the entire family consisting of 3 members has been living miserably in a tent of 17 square meters.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61977

Imprisonment as political pressure: Addameer’s Sahar Francis interviewed
Adri Nieuwhof
January 9, 2010 – The Palestinian nongovernmental organization Addameer was founded in 1992 to promote and protect the rights of political prisoners. The Electronic Intifada interviewed Sahar Francis, a human rights lawyer and the director of Addameer, about the recent repression wave targeting Palestinian human rights activists protesting Israel’s wall in the occupied West Bank. Three activists, Jamal Juma, Abdallah Abu Rahmah and Mohammad Othman, have been detained over the past several months. They join the 8,338 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons that Addameer recorded at the end of 2009. More than 300 detainees are children, 18 are members of the Palestinian Legislative Council and 738 are from Gaza. At least 291 prisoners are held in administrative detention, while 778 prisoners are serving life sentences…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61987

Hope betrayed in Gaza
Fares Akram
January 8, 2010 – It has been a year since we huddled in our homes in the dark, waiting sleeplessly for the sound of the bombs to stop. It is a year this week since my father, a 48-year-old lawyer with no link to Hamas, the Islamist movement that governs Gaza, was killed by an Israeli air strike, supposedly on Hamas militants. And it will soon be a year since my first child was born, as fleets of ambulances queued up outside the A&E unit of the same Gaza City hospital with the wounded, maimed and dead. Twelve months after the invasion of Gaza, not a single house has been rebuilt, and we, the 1.4 million people trapped inside this blockaded territory, dream of escape but our heads stay haunted by unbearable memories…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61979

Foreign Presence in Afghanistan Enriching Yet Another Afghan Human Rights Violator
Derrick Crowe
January 8, 2010 – Many of Afghanistan’s most notorious warlords are making a killing off of the Afghanistan war. Today via the Irish Times [h/t Steve Hynd] we learned that a “notorious violator of human rights,” Matiullah Khan, is being paid to let Dutch supply trucks pass through his territory. He’s been making $2,500 per truck. This isn’t the first time Khan made the news for the fortune he’s making off of foreign forces. Gareth Porter reported on October 30, 2009 that he’d been making millions from the U.S. and Australians…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61978

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