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URUK Net 5 March, 2009

Last updated: Friday, March 6, 2009 10:42

The Fifth Annual Israeli Apartheid Week March 1 – 8, 2009
Israeli Apartheid Week
Mark your calendars – the 5th Annual Israeli Apartheid Week will take place across the globe from March 1-8, 2009! First launched in Toronto in 2005, IAW has grown to become one of the most important global events in the Palestine solidarity calendar. Last year, more than 25 cities around the world participated in the week’s activities, which also commemorated 60 years since the expulsion of the Palestinian people from their homes and land in 1947-1948. IAW 2008 was launched with a live broadcast from the South African township of Soweto by Palestinian leader and former member of the Israeli Knesset, Azmi Bishara…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52361

Human Rights in Israel and Occupied Palestine
Stephen Lendman
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) publishes annual reports on “The State of Human Rights in Israel and the Occupied Territories.” This article reviews its December 2008 one as human rights activists commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on December 10. ACRI is Israel’s leading human and civil rights organization and the only one addressing all liberty and rights issues. It was founded in 1972, is independent and nonpartisan, believes human and civil rights are universal, and leads the struggle for these issues in Israel and Occupied Palestine (OPT) through litigation, legal advocacy, education, and public outreach…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52345

War Comes Home to Britain
JOHN PILGER
…In January last year, a report by the respected Opinion Research Business (ORB) revised an earlier assessment of deaths in Iraq to 1,033,000. This followed an exhaustive, peer-reviewed study in 2006 by the world-renowned John Hopkins School of Public Health in the US, published in The Lancet, which found that 655,000 Iraqis had died as a result of the invasion, with the majority killed by the invaders. US and British officials immediately dismissed the report as “flawed” — a deliberate deception. Foreign Office papers obtained under Freedom of Information disclose a memo written by the government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Roy Anderson, in which he praised The Lancet report, describing it as “robust and employs methods that are regarded as close to ‘best practice’ given [the conditions] in Iraq.” An adviser to the prime minister commented: “The survey methodology used here cannot be rubbished, it is a tried and tested way of measuring mortality in conflict zones”. Speaking a few days later, a Foreign Office minister, Lord Triesman, said, “The way in which data are extrapolated from samples to a general outcome is a matter of deep concern.” The episode exemplifies the scale and deception of this state crime. Les Roberts, co-author of the Lancet study, has since argued that Britain and America might have caused in Iraq “an episode more deadly than the Rwandan genocide.”.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52362

Sounds of Passion and Beauty.
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
A beautiful piece by Omar Bashir, the Iraqi Oud player, son of the late Munir Bashir. I find Omar to be very talented, a student of his late father…infusing his father’s teaching and knowledge of Oud with his own personal style. What has become of Iraq’s Oud players ? Apart from the few exiled ones… What happened to the institutes of Music, Ballet and Fine Arts ? What is fine about Baghdad and Iraq these days ? What has this “Liberation” -Occupation produced in terms of Creativity, apart from a few lone voices and Ouds, in the wilderness, reminiscing on Passion and Beauty ?…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52363

Hamas condemns international warrant for the arrest of Bashir
Palestinian Information Center
Hamas on Wednesday strongly condemned the international criminal court’s decision to arrest Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir for alleged war crimes in Darfur region west of the Sudan. Hamas in a statement commenting on the decision said that the Arab, Islamic and foreign countries should refuse to deal with it. It declared full support for Bashir and the Sudan in confrontation with this “American-Zionist targeting”, pointing out that the UN was once again proving that it had turned into a tool in the hands of the super powers topped by the USA…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52359

From Gaza To London
Drawing Gaza by Photos and words
Sameh Habeeb
As a first speaker who survived the Israeli war on Gaza; I would be starting a very comprehensive speaking tour in the U.K. I’ll be speaking at the parliament, touring at colleges and universities to bring more awareness about Palestine and the last war launched against Gaza. I just got to Cairo and I’m flying to London within hours. Just in the car, I started to make my first simple and humble report, however, I was so tired from the long hours of travel. I try in the below work to let you updated of the Gaza Strip. I’m having more repots and stories from Gaza; I would be releasing them so soon! The Israeli War left massive damage that nearly hit all aspects of life…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52342

The Israel donors conference
By Amira Hass
The extent of the funding pledged to the Palestinian Authority by donor countries reflects the extent of their support for Israel and its policies. The American taxpayers’ contribution to the Ramallah government’s bank account is dwarfed by the large sums the U.S. government donates to Israel every year. It’s impossible to get excited over the American pledge of $900 million (two-thirds of it for strengthening Salam Fayyad’s government and the rest for Gaza’s recovery) and forget the $30 billion the United States has promised Israel in defense aid by the end of 2017, as last week’s Amnesty International report noted. The $900 million pledged to the Palestinians in Sharm el-Sheikh should be seen as part of the regular American aid to Israel. As an occupying power, Israel is obligated to assure the well-being of the population under its control. But Israel is harming it instead, after which the United States (like other countries) rushes to compensate for the damage…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52365

Three NATO soldiers killed in Afghanistan
Three Canadian soldiers were killed and two wounded in a bomb blast in southern Afghanistan, the Canadian defence ministry said Wednesday. The troops were on duty in Arghandab, northwest of Kandahar, when the explosive device hit March 3, the department said…The deaths take to 52 the number of international soldiers to lose their lives this year…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52346

Refugee Stories
Heavy rains add to Gaza misery
UNRWA
Families whose homes were destroyed during the recent offensive in Gaza and are now living in tents face new misery as the heavy rains that have swept Gaza in the past few days have reduced tents to sodden piles of cloth and turned camps in to a quagmire. Living conditions in the tents were difficult enough before the bad weather hit. Following the offensive five tent camps (Al-Zaitun, Al-Qirim Roundabout, Abedrabbo, Beit Lahia and Al-Rayyan) were set up in the Gaza and Northern areas. Those living in them face cramped conditions, with little privacy and a lack of basic facilities…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52358

PA urges Iran to stop “interfering” in Palestinian affairs
Ma’an news
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urged Iran not to meddle in internal Palestinian affairs on Wednesday. “We are sending a message to the Iranians and others: stop interfering in our affairs …They are interfering only to deepen the rift between Palestinians.” Abbas was responding to a journalist’s question about “attacks against” the president leveled by Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei…

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When we stop dreaming
Najwa Sheikh Ahmed, Nusierat Camp, Gaza Strip – thepeoplesvoice.org
The life of the Palestinian refugees over the last 60 years was very unique, and rich, rich of the amount of sufferings they have to endure, rich of their capability to live and to cope, and rich of the their willingness to survive and continue, to challenge all the circumstances around them. The dilemma of the Palestinian refugees was not only about loosing the homeland but also about loosing all the human rights that the free world is calling to adapt, loosing the security, the respect and the dignity…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52356

US plans for military intervention in Sri Lanka
Wije Dias
Sri Lanka’s Sunday Times has revealed plans for a US-led military mission into the island’s northern war zone in the guise of evacuating civilians trapped by intense fighting between the army and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). According to the newspaper, the task would be carried out by a Marine Expeditionary Brigade attached to the US Pacific Command (PACOM). The US Navy and Air Force would also be involved. The newspaper reported in its initial article on February 22 that a high-level PACOM team was in Colombo to pave the way for the operation…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52355

Prison of nations
Sarkozy’s ‘incoherence’ is a sign of the euro-impasse
Eric Walberg
Riots swept across Eastern Europe this winter. In Latvia 100 were arrested when they attacked the Finance Ministry with cobblestones from the quaintly restored tourist area protesting unemployment, budget and wage cuts. In Lithuania, riot police fired rubber-bullets and tear gas on a trade union march. A demonstration in the Bulgarian capital turned violent leading to the arrest of 150 protesters. These three states are all members of the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM2), the euro’s pre-detention cell. They must join…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52357

American presence in Iraq will continue
By Joseph A. Kechichian, Special to Gulf News
Ten years from now – that is, beyond a possible second term for US President Barack Obama – there will be at least 35,000 American combat troops in Iraq. While it is also true that the bulk of the 142,000 plus US troops currently deployed will leave that helpless country between 2010 and 2011, the United States intends to maintain a presence in Iraq for the long-haul – perhaps stretching until 2040…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52351

The Rand Papers on Iraq and Afghanistan
The Banality of Occupation
RON JACOBS
Recently, the online site known as Wikileaks (which frequently publishes documents from government and corporate think tanks not meant to be seen by the general public) released a Rand Corporation report on Iraq and Afghanistan counterinsurgency operations titled Intelligence Operations and Metrics in Iraq and Afghanistan. Although unclassified, the document is marked “For Official Use Only” and was distributed to various high officials in the United States and other “Coalition” governments. In one respect, it can be argued that this paper, along with a series of three or four other Rand reports, could be considered in the same vein as the Pentagon Papers on their release in 1971. A more accurate appraisal, however, would characterize this 318 page report as a summation of what the US military and intelligence agencies could have done more effectively…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52349

Finding Ways to Stay in Iraq
Scott Horton
Those who bought into the slogans “Hope” and “Change” last fall should have read the fine print. We were warned. Over and over during the campaign for the presidency Barack Obama made it clear that “withdrawal” from Iraq on his flexible 16-month timetable meant only the removal of “combat forces.” He has also made it clear all along that “combat forces” means whatever he wants it to mean – until he decides to change his mind…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52347

Grumbles as Lebanon Heads into the Elections
Franklin Lamb
It is tough to get very excited about media reports reaching Beirut that the American Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) has already chosen a winner (Mitt Romney) in the first Republican straw poll of the 2012 campaign, so soon after the last interminable four year campaign mercifully ended.
The selection was not much noticed in Lebanon because rapt attention in on the probable, but not certain, June Parliamentary elections, variously described as “the most important in Lebanon’s history”, the event that will determine the outcome of the Arab peoples central cause Palestine”, whether Lebanon becomes “Iranistan”, or is turned over by Washington, to a regional power to administer.The contest, just 12 weeks away, has tightened dramatically and it is commonplace to hear citizens list the names of the countries backing one faction or another with money, political influence or both…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52354

Israel’s death squads: A soldiers story
Donald Macintyre, Independent
The Israeli military’s policy of targeted killings has been described from the inside for the first time. In an interview with The Independent on Sunday, and in his testimony to an ex-soldiers’ organisation, Breaking the Silence, a former member of an assassination squad has told of his role in a botched ambush that killed two Palestinian bystanders, as well as the two militants targeted…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52243

Toys For Gazan Children Denied Entry Into Gaza
Ma’an news
A UN report revealed that Israel, though refusing to allow construction materials into Gaza, allowed a Brackish Water Desalination Plant, nine trucks of prefab materials for school assembly between 22 and 28 February. During the same time period 57 boxes of children’s toys from UNICEF were denied entry. “According to COGAT (coordinator of government activities in the territories),” the UN report released Tuesday said, “The toys were not a humanitarian priority.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52343

Who should care?
Inside Iraq
Today was one of the worst days in the life of the western side of Baghdad. An Iranian official who started his visit to Baghdad yesterday decided to visit the holy shrine of Imam Mousa al Kadhim in Kadhemiyah neighborhood. For the sake of the guest, all the roads were blocked and hundreds of different security forces spread everywhere. And for his sake also, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis couldn’t go to their schools, offices and stores. For the sake of the guest, the taxi drivers could earn a penny to their families. For the sake of the guest, my uncle who suffers a heart failure and came from another province to go to a hospital in Baghdad had to make a long trip to reach the hospital and I don’t know whether he caught his turn or not and for the sake of the guest,I had to pay extra money to the taxi driver to get me to the office because my driver couldn’t leave his house…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52341

Did Clinton sabotage a Palestinian reconciliation?
Hasan Abu Nimah and Ali Abunimah
…Clinton was asked by Voice of America (VOA) whether she was encouraged by the Cairo unity talks. She responded that in any reconciliation or “move toward a unified [Palestinian] Authority,” Hamas must be bound by “the conditions that have been set forth by the Quartet,” the self-appointed group comprising representatives of the US, EU, UN and Russia. These conditions, Clinton stated, require that Hamas “must renounce violence, recognize Israel, and abide by previous commitments.” Otherwise, the secretary warned, “I don’t think it will result in the kind of positive step forward either for the Palestinian people or as a vehicle for a reinvigorated effort to obtain peace that leads to a Palestinian state.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=52348

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