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URUK Net 15 April, 2009

Last updated: Saturday, April 18, 2009 9:50

The rhetoric of “peace”
Ziyaad Lunat
The Israelis have offered the Palestinians many types of “peace.” Their first attempt to reach out to the Palestinians was in 1948 with an offer of a “racist peace.” Ethnic cleansing was the basis of a “racist peace” where Zionist terrorists drove out two thirds of the Palestinian population from their homes. Its logic was that expulsion would end strife between Zionists and Palestinians (by eliminating one side) enabling the Zionists to enjoy peace in an ethnic Jewish haven…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53454

Woman Recalls “Horrific” Israeli Detention
KHALED AMAYREH
A Palestinian women freed this weeks after six years in detention on charges of resisting the Israeli military occupation is speaking out against “horrific mistreatment” and “hair-raising episodes” in Israeli jails. “They beat us, they kicked us, they humiliated us. They treated us as if we were animals,” Sherine Sheikh Khalil, 24, told IslamOnline.net in an exclusive interview. “It is really difficult to communicate to you the bestiality and savagery of their behavior,” added the young activist from the central Gaza Strip town of Khan Younis…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53461

Punitive house demolitions as “deterrence”
Marian Houk
By the time we arrived in Sur Bahir, a Palestinian village near Bethlehem in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, on the afternoon of 7 April, it was calm. At the entrance to the village, in a small traffic circle where three olive trees were planted, there were rocks all over the road, the only sign of what had happened suddenly earlier that day. Everything was all over, but the grief and the anger. At 6am, some 2,000 Israeli border police and special forces and other personnel descended on the village to demolish a wing of a house that belonged to the family of a Palestinian construction worker who allegedly went on a rampage while operating a bulldozer last July…

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Chalabi: ‘Iran Benefited From Toppling Saddam’
Think Progress
… The idea that Iran has been the main beneficiary of the Iraq war isn’t particularly controversial any more — except, of course, among the war’s neoconservative advocates, who continue to insist that removing Iran’s greatest enemy and empowering Iraqi factions with longstanding close ties to Iran was a huge defeat for Iran. Incidentally, many of these people — Sen. John McCain and his adviser Randy Scheunemann among them — were also Chalabi’s biggest boosters… I’d be very interested to hear more about the “implicit agreement” that Chalabi asserts between the U.S. and Iran…

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The battle for Iraq’s oil
Sarah Arnott, Independent
Royal Dutch Shell is talking to two of China’s biggest state-owned oil companies with a view to pursuing a joint venture in Iraq. Although Shell would not confirm details of the talks, a possible tie-up with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec) is reported to focus on a bid to develop the Kirkuk field in the north of the country. “Discussions with potential partners are at a very early stage,” a spokesman for Shell said yesterday. The putative deal is just the latest move as both international oil companies and their state-owned counterparts jostle for position in the vast and underdeveloped Iraqi oil market…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53456

Anatomy of Bush’s Torture ‘Paradigm’
The prose of the recently leaked report of the International Committee of the Red Cross on torture seems colorless. It is at the same time obscene — almost pornographic. The 41-page ICRC report depicts scenes of prisoners forced to remain naked for long periods, sometimes in the presence of women, often with their hands shackled over their heads in “stress positions” as they are left to soil themselves. The report’s images of sadism also include prisoners slammed against walls, locked in tiny boxes, and strapped to a bench and subjected to the drowning sensation of waterboarding…

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Video: New Guantanamo abuse claim
AlJazeeraEnglish
A detainee at the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay is claiming that tear gas was used on him and he was beaten by guards. In a phone call to Al Jazeera, Mohammad al-Qurani said the abuse continued this year, after Barack Obama, the US president, took power and promised to end abuse at the jail. Al Jazeera’s Monica Villamizar reports…

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Video: Excavations deepen Israeli-Palestinian divide
AlJazeeraEnglish
Israeli authorities are digging tunnels under East Jerusalem, as part of its takeover of Palestinian neighbourhoods. Palestinians fear that the very foundations of their lives could be under threat from the tunnels that cut close to the heart of what Muslims call the Haram al-Shareef, known as the Temple Mount to Jews and sacred to both…

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Israel will not cooperate with UN over Gaza war crimes inquiry
Reuters
Israel does not plan to cooperate with a UN agency’s investigation into alleged war crimes by Israeli troops and Hamas during fighting in Gaza, an Israeli government official said on Wednesday. Israeli forces launched a 22-day offensive in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip in late December with the stated goal of stopping cross-border rockets fired by Palestinian armed groups. According to a Palestinian rights group, 1,417 Palestinians, including 926 civilians, were killed in the fighting…

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Aid Rots Outside Gaza
Erin Cunningham
Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of aid intended for the Gaza Strip is piling up in cities across Egypt’s North Sinai region, despite recent calls from the United Nations to ease aid flow restrictions to the embattled territory in the wake of Operation Cast Lead. Food, medicine, blankets, infant food and other supplies for Gaza’s 1.5 million people, coming from governments and non-governmental agencies around the world, are being stored in warehouses, parking lots, stadiums and on airport runways across Egypt’s North Sinai governorate…

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GI Special 7D10: KIA [ 15 April 2009 ]
Thomas F. Barton
Big Surprise: U.S. Troops Could Stay In Mosul Past June Deadline.
U.S. troops could remain in the Iraqi city of Mosul after a June deadline for withdrawal following a spate of high-profile attacks. Army Colonel Gary Volesky, commander of U.S. forces in the Mosul area, said U.S. and Iraqi officials are now assessing security in the northern Iraqi city to determine whether his troops should leave by June 30, when U.S. combat forces are due to pull back from towns and cities across Iraq. The deadline is part of a U.S.-Iraqi pact reached last year that also calls for all U.S. troops to depart Iraq by 2012. “We are conducting an assessment right now with our Iraqi counterparts to determine what the way ahead is for security in Mosul. And based on that assessment, a decision will be made,” Volesky told Pentagon reporters in a video link from Iraq. “If the Iraqi government wants us to stay we will stay,” added Volesky, who could not say when the assessment would be completed.

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Investigating Israeli War Crimes in Gaza
by Stephen Lendman
Independent investigations and convincing testimonies, on both sides, provide compelling evidence of Israeli war crimes in Gaza. It’s time to hold the guilty accountable. In February, the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights showed conclusively how Israel violated core international law principles by indiscriminately attacking civilians in spite of IDF claims such instances were justified. Amnesty International accused Israel of war crimes and called on the UN Security Council to impose an arms embargo…

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Gaza Refugees “Perpetual” suffering
Palestine Return Center
Palestine Return Center (PRC) expresses deep anxiety over the conditions of Palestinians in Gaza, especially refugees who are the majority. A harsh siege followed by a deadly war has destroyed the lives of people there. PRC calls for a prompt intervention to ease the refugees’ conditions in Gaza until long term solution is implemented. The PRC has been calling for a resolution to the ongoing problem of refugees. The Refugees of Gaza as well as abroad demand that their basic human rights, right of return, and self determination which is recognized by UN resolution 194 and International law…

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Art exhibit illustrates horrors of Iraq occupation
Bernadette Steward
Upon entering The Station Museum of Contemporary Art on the edge of the city’s downtown to view the exhibition “Iraqi Artists in Exile,” I was hit with the questions “How do we justify the destruction of a country and her people? What do we say?” This wonderful museum is renowned for its thought provoking exhibitions. This phenomenal exhibition has not been placed at any other museum in the United States due to its controversial nature. The exhibition evokes feelings of what oppressed people around the world are experiencing. The first piece you see upon entering is a man disrobed with his hands bound and his head completely covered by a bag, and he is sitting in a very vulnerable position. This sculpture symbolizes the subjugation of the Iraqi people under the occupation…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53447

Iran willing to build new relationship with US
Ali Akbar Dareini, Associated Press Writer
Iran’s president on Wednesday sent the clearest signal yet that the Islamic Republic wants warmer ties with the U.S., just one day after Washington spoke of new strategies to address the country’s disputed nuclear program. Taken together, the developments indicate that the longtime adversaries are seeking ways to return to the negotiating table and ease a nearly 30-year-old diplomatic standoff. President Barack Obama’s administration has sought to start a dialogue with Iran — a departure from the Bush administration’s tough talk…

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US Aircraft and Elite Navy SEALs Defeat Three Somalis in a Lifeboat
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
What a weekend for American foreign policy! The United States Navy, backed up by warships from 20 other nations, knocked off three Somali guys crouching with rifles in a lifeboat tied by a rope to a U.S. destroyer. To hear the U.S. corporate media tell it, the Americans had won a huge victory over the forces of evil. The sole surviving Somali was in custody – a 16-year-old who essentially gave himself up, earlier, after being hurt in a scuffle with the American cargo ship captain who is now celebrated as a hero of the seven seas and defender of United States national honor. There is something obscene about a superpower whose media and population find great satisfaction, and some sick form of national catharsis, every time they manage to overcome a weak and desperate opponent…

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Avoiding World Conference on Racism Shows Obama’s Disrespect For Blacks
BAR executive editor Glen Ford
President Obama’s “fawning, damn near servile behavior when accommodating Zionist demands” to boycott and sabotage the Durban II conference on racism President Obama’s “fawning, damn near servile behavior when accommodating Zionist demands” to boycott and sabotage the Durban II conference on racism “should have been a deal breaker” in his relations with African Americans. But what passes for Black leadership accepts any and all insults from Obama, who naturally treats them like the spineless creatures they are. Meanwhile, the White House keeps “Jewish leaders” up to date with conference calls on how Obama is protecting Israel from charges that it is an apartheid state, and also ensuring that the United States is not compelled to make amends for its racist past and present…

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US airstrike kills six civilians in Afghanistan
Bill Van Auken
…According to data compiled by the Afghan Victims Memorial Project, between 156 and 160 civilians have been killed by the US-led occupation forces since President Barack Obama took office on January 21. Of these victims, 56 were children, 15 women, between 41 and 43 men and another 38 to 40 whose age and gender were unknown. A similar steady escalation of the civilian death toll has been recorded across the border in Pakistan, which the Obama administration is now treating as part of a broader regional theater of war. According to figures compiled by Pakistani authorities, in the course of 60 missile attacks by pilotless Predator drones carried out since 2006, 701 people have been killed, 687 of them civilians. At least 152 people have died in these attacks in the first 99 days of 2009, according to the Pakistani authorities—only two of them linked to al Qaeda…

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Iraq study: Executions are leading cause of death
KIM GAMEL, Associated Press Writer
Execution-style killings, not headline-grabbing bombings, have been the leading cause of death among civilians in the Iraq war, a study released Wednesday shows. The findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, point to the brutal sectarian nature of the conflict, where death squads once roamed the streets hunting down members of the rival Muslim sect… “I think that a lot of the executions with torture had to do with trying to get people to move out of their houses,” said Michael Spagat, one of the study’s authors. “It had to strike fear into people’s hearts. A lot of it is just hatred and retribution.”

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Iran says has new proposals to end nuclear standoff
Reuters
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday Iran had ready proposals to end a standoff with six world powers as Washington insisted it would not drop a demand that Tehran suspend uranium enrichment work. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said major powers had not had a response yet from Tehran for talks over its nuclear program and she had not seen “any kind of proposal” from Iran to resolve the stalemate over its nuclear plans. “We have prepared a package that can be the basis to resolve Iran’s nuclear problem. It will be offered to the West soon,” Ahmadinejad said in a televised speech in Iran’s southeastern province of Kerman…

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Jailed leader Marwan Barghouthi chides Hamas, Fatah for failing to unite
Ma’an news
Jailed Palestinian lawmaker and Fatah leader Marwan Barghouthi criticized Palestinian factions for failing to reach an agreement to end nearly two years of political division on Wednesday. In an interview marking his 7th year in Israeli prisons, Barghouthi said he was “saddened and irritated” at the failure of Fatah, Hamas, and the other factions to unite. After failing to achieve a breakthrough during several rounds of meetings, Hamas and Fatah negotiators suspended talks in early April and now plan to resume talks at the end of the month…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53439

Marwan Bargouthi most trusted politician
Dave Thompson, IMEMC
According to an opinion poll conducted in the Palestinian territories at the end of March, Marwan Bargouthi commands the most trust within the Palestinian population. Despite his imprisonment by the Israelis, the Fateh leader Bargouthi is trusted by more people than both current President Mahmood Abbas and Ismail Haniyeh, head of Hamas.In the poll carried out by the Ramallah-based Near East Consulting respondents were asked whether they would put their trust in Bargouthi or Abbas – 56% favoured the former and 44% the latter. When compared to Haniyeh, trust in Bargouthi rose to 69%. The poll also shows that the main Palestinian political factions continue to lose the trust of the electorate. Currently 47% of Palestinians do not trust any faction – a sharp increase on previous months. Trust in Fateh stands at 34% and in Hamas 12%. ..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53438

Moscow will not sell Tehran S-300 defense systems: top official
AlArabiya.net
Russia is not currently implementing its planned sale of sophisticated S-300 air defense systems to Iran, a top official with the state office for arms sales said on Wednesday. “Nothing is happening. Supplies are not taking place,” Interfax news agency quoted Alexander Fomin, deputy head of the Federal Service for Arms Cooperation, as saying at an arms fair in Rio De Janeiro…

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Iran says S-300 missile deal with Russia on track
RIA Novosti
There are no obstacles to the delivery of Russian S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to Tehran, Iran’s deputy foreign minister said on Wednesday. “There are no problems with this [S-300] contract,” Mehdi Safari said at the end of his visit to Moscow…

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U.S. troops could stay in Mosul past June deadline
Reuters
U.S. troops could remain in the Iraqi city of Mosul after a June deadline for withdrawal following a spate of high-profile attacks carried out by al Qaeda in Iraq, a U.S. commander said on Tuesday. Army Colonel Gary Volesky, commander of U.S. forces in the Mosul area, said U.S. and Iraqi officials are now assessing security in the northern Iraqi city to determine whether his troops should leave by June 30, when U.S. combat forces are due to pull back from towns and cities across Iraq…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53435

Report: 700 patients waiting for Rafah crossing to open
Ghassan Bannoura
At least 700 Palestinian patients are waiting for the opening of the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip so they can access medical treatment, according to the department responsible for border crossings. The department report, issued on Wednesday, said that many of those waiting are people who were injured during the Israeli Cast lead offensive on Gaza…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53433

Hamas leader Mashal holds talks with British MPs
Ma’an news
Top Hamas leader Khalid Mashal met with a delegation of British lawmakers in his office in Damascus on Tuesday in a sign of Europe’s increasing willingness to open communication with the Islamic movement. The MPs were led by Roger Godsiff, a member of the Labour Party. Sources present in the meeting said the British MPs expressed the view that peace cannot be achieved without including Hamas in the peace process. The lawmakers also expressed support for the Palestinians in the wake of the Israeli offensive on Gaza and the ongoing siege of that territory…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53432

Video
Interview: Naeim Giladi – Author of the Jews of Iraq 11-07-94
Palestine Video
“Naeim Giladi (Hebrew: ???? ??????) (born 1929, Iraq, as Naeim Khalaschi) is an Anti-Zionist, and author of an autobiographical article and historical analysis entitled The Jews of Iraq… While living in Israel, his views of Zionism changed. He writes that, he “was disillusioned personally, disillusioned at the institutionalized racism, disillusioned at what I was beginning to learn about Zionism’s cruelties. The principal interest Israel had in Jews from Islamic countries was as a supply of cheap labor, especially for the farm work that was beneath the urbanized Eastern European Jews. Ben Gurion needed the “Oriental” Jews to farm the thousands of acres of land left by Palestinians who were driven out by Israeli forces in 1948"…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53429

Palestinian prisoners in detetion by U.S. occupation forces in Iraq
Gaza; Peace n’ Freedom
The Palestinian newspaper al-Hourriah has released a report with 17 names of Palestinians, identified as prisoners held by the U.S. occupation authorities in Iraq. The majority of the seventeen are held at the Boca prison near Basrah, whilst the location of others in unknown. Overall, it has been difficult for Palestinian organizations to assess the human rights violations against the Palestinian community in Iraq due to the prevailing situation there. The newspaper has also released a list of names of Palestinians held by Iraqi authorities…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53428

The Politics of Faith
By Joharah Baker for MIFTAH
…I innocuously came upon a travel advertisement on MSN entitled “Journeys of Faith.” The writer, who generously provided the readers with an attractive slide show of the aforementioned destinations, had narrowed down the world’s 13 most significant destinations for the most faithful. Of course, upon seeing this, I thought, no doubt, my beautiful country would certainly occupy at least four or five of these. How could it not? They don’t call it the holy land for nothing. As I clicked my way through the slideshow, I was taken to exotic destinations in France, Mexico, India, Saudi Arabia and the United States. What? No Jerusalem? No Nazareth or Bethlehem? It couldn’t be. Then, somewhere wedged between Mecca and Lourdes, France was Jerusalem. Ahh, of course, the slide that came along with it could be no other, could it? This was MSN. Religious Jews praying at the Western Wall, piles of Torahs on a table behind them. The text did not make me feel any better…

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Urgent action for Palestinian school children
CPT
Of utmost concern for CPT and Operation Dove is the safe travel of Palestinian school children who walk from the nearby villages of Tuba and Magaher-al-Abeed to At-Tuwani’s elementary school. These school children face a treacherous daily walk past the illegal Israeli settlement of Ma’on and the illegal outpost of Havat Ma’on. For years, armed adult settlers have attacked, threatened and harassed the children along the path from Tuba to Tuwani. In 2004 the Knesset recommended that the Israeli military provide the children with an armed escort. However, since settlers constructed a gate across the road one year ago, the escort soldiers have refused to walk with the children far enough to ensure their safety…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53424

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