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URUK Net 23 December, 2009 Part 2

Last updated: Friday, December 25, 2009 8:56

Bethlehem’s modern nativity scene – crib, wise men and separation wall
Rory McCarthy in Bethlehem
December 23, 2009 – The shelves of Bethlehem’s tourist shops this winter are filled with the gifts you might expect. There are countless carved olive-wood crucifixes, angels and last suppers. But there are also unexpected nativity scenes complete with Joseph, Mary, crib, wise men and large Israeli concrete wall with military watchtower. Israel’s vast separation barrier is at its most prominent around Bethlehem. Here it is a tall concrete wall that crosses into the occupied West Bank, runs up tight against the Palestinian city and cuts it off from much of its farmland. For Palestinians it has become one of the most striking symbols of Israel’s 42-year military occupation…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61384

From Southern Iraq…
Layla Anwar
December 23, 2009 – …But as the Iraqi proverb goes “ What’s the point of your protest, after “kharab” (the destruction) of Basra !!” For those still trying to figure out the map of Iraq, Basra represents the South. We were several (family and friends) this evening glued to the TV screen, and I was watching this ongoing, never ending rape of my Beloved, and jotting down notes, some spontaneously shouted, as they saw the Iranian flags wavering over Southern Iraq mingled with old pictures of the Iraqi army: “ Waynak ya Saddam, waynak “ (where are you Saddam, where are you ?) And I thought to myself — too fucking late “brothers”, too fucking late…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61367

Hillary Clinton: We’ll Still Be In Afghanistan in 50 or 60 Years
Washington’s blog
December 23, 2009 – On December 1st, President Obama talked about withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan within 18 months. Everyone now knows that there is no firm withdrawal date from Afghanistan. But in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee on December 2nd, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton actually gave a much longer horizon for the presence of U.S. troops in America…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61385

The rising numbers of deformed babies caused by the War on Gaza
By Senussi Bsaikri
December 23, 2009 – The suffering of Gaza’s population did not stop with the end of the war waged by Israel on the civilian population of the territory earlier this year, and it does not seem that it will end soon. Recent scientific analyses have shown that the war was a direct cause of the increasing numbers of birth defects, miscarriages and cancer, the latter particularly among children and the elderly, in the Gaza Strip. The effects of Israel’s aggression are going to be with the people of Gaza for many years to come…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61375

Video: AMAZING SPEECH BY WAR VETERAN
ThePhaedrus83
December 23, 2009 – Our real enemy is not the ones living in a distant land whose names or policies we don’t understand; The real enemy is a system that wages war when it’s profitable, the CEOs who lay us off our jobs when it’s profitable, the Insurance Companies who deny us Health care when it’s profitable, the Banks who take away our homes when it’s profitable. Our enemies are not several hundred thousands away. They are right here in front of us…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61388

The NYT’s view of “journalistic objectivity”
Glenn Greenwald
December 23, 2009 – I’ve written many times before about Sami al-Hajj, the Al Jazeera cameraman who was abducted by the U.S. in late 2001, tortured at Bagram, sent to Guantanamo for seven years — where he was never charged with any crime and was interrogated overwhelmingly about Al Jazeera’s operations, not about Terrorism — and then suddenly released without explanation last year, as though the whole thing never happened […] Today, The New York Times’ media reporter Brian Stelter profiles al-Hajj, who is now an on-air correspondent for Al Jazeera…the article contains some rather striking and revealing passages, beginning with this: Among Al Jazeera’s viewers in the Arab world since the 9/11 attacks, perhaps nothing has damaged perceptions of America more than Guantánamo Bay. For that reason, Mr. Hajj, who did a six-part series on the prison after his release, is a potent weapon for the network, which does not always strive for journalistic objectivity on the subject of his treatment. In an interview, Ahmed Sheikh, the editor in chief of Al Jazeera, called Mr. Hajj “one of the victims of the human rights atrocities committed by the ex-U.S. administration.” It’s amazing that the NYT would claim that Al Jazeera’s description of the Bush administration’s conduct as it concerns al-Hajj and other detainees — “one of the victims of the human rights atrocities committed by the ex-U.S. administration” — departs from precepts of “journalistic objectivity.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61376

An Outrageous and Pathetic Weapon Against BDS: Stop Instrumentalizing Anti-Semitism!
Alternatives International
December 23, 2009 – Every time the State of Israel is confronted with substantial international criticism for its political behavior and its violations of basic international standards, it counter-attacks by using the infamous tool of accusations of anti-Semitism. One remembers the campaign on anti-Semitism launched by Ariel Sharon and his friends throughout the world, Jews and non-Jews, after the murder of Muhammad al-Dura in Gaza in September 2000, in order to create a diversion (in the very words of Roger Cukierman, then chairman of the French Jewish umbrella organization—CRIF) and to transform the victim into a victimizer and the victimizer into a victim: for more than two years, western media “exposed” the anti-Semitism of the critics of Israel instead of denouncing the massacres committed by the Israeli military in Gaza and the West Bank…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61383

Obama Year One: Betrayal and Failure (Part II)
Stephen Lendman
December 23, 2009 – …As president, he heads an imperial enterprise presided over by a war cabinet engaged in lawless militarism, aggressive wars, the permanent occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, the planned conquest of Eurasia, and world dominance overall, with a defense budget exceeding the rest of the world combined at a time America has no enemies… Besides the Afghan escalation, he’s also destabilizing Pakistan to balkanize both countries, weakening them to control the Caspian Sea’s oil and gas riches and their energy routes to secured ports for export…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61391

Poor conditions in Iraq drive returned refugees back to Syria
UNHCR
December 23, 2009 – Omar Salman’s* Syrian visa expired two weeks ago. A refugee from neighbouring Iraq, he believes his family’s residency permits will not be renewed but says that returning to Iraq is not an option. Travelling to Jordan, which also hosts a significant number of Iraqi refugees, is also not possible. After overstaying his visa in 2006, he has been barred from entering the country for another five years. “I’ll pitch a tent on the border if they won’t let me stay, but I will never return to Iraq,” he says, surrounded by his wife Shahla* and three children. The Salmans have already made one attempt to return home. In October 2008, they boarded an Iraqi government chartered flight alongside some 50 other families bound for Baghdad…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61377

Display of used tear gas canisters shot by Israeli army earns Bil’in activist an arms charge in Israeli military court
Popular Struggle Coordination Committee
December 23, 2009 – Abdallah Abu Rahmah, a school teacher and coordinator of the Bil’in Popular Committee Against the Wall, was indicted in an Israeli military court yesterday. Abu Rahmah was slapped with an arms possession charge for collecting used tear gas canisters shot at demonstrators in Bil’in by the army and showcasing them in his home…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61378

Gaza: cemetery casualties
Eva Barlett, In Gaza
December 23, 2009 – Mohammed Abu Sharrar (22) was with 3 friends, walking to the eastern cemetery, east of Jabaliya, early on 27 November when he was hit by the shrapnel. Said Sharrar, “a UAV (drone) dropped a missile next to me. I was hurt the worst.” Around 6 am and quiet, according to Sharrar, there was no activity in the area, no reason for the Israeli army to target them. “It was the first day of ‘Eid. We were going to visit the grave of a friend who was killed one year earlier, also during ‘Eid.” Sharrar, a volunteer with the Red Crescent, was accompanied by three other volunteer medics when targeted. “We were well over 1 kilometer from the border fence,” he said. “I didn’t hear or know of any problems in the area.” For the next 8 days, Sharrar was in critical condition, kept on a mechanical respirator. For a total of 11 days, he was in a coma. Now conscious and in Beit Lahiya’s Kamal Adwan hospital, Sharrar is awaiting permission for transfer to Egypt for removal of the shrapnel still in his body…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61379

Killing Activists in Honduras
by Joseph Shansky
December 23, 2009 – The bodies of slain activists are piling up in Honduras. While it’s being kept quiet in most Honduran and international media, the rage is building among a dedicated network of friends spreading the word quickly with the tragic announcement of each compañero/a. Now that the world heard from mainstream news outlets such as the New York Times of a “clean and fair” election on Nov. 29 (orchestrated by the US-supported junta currently in power), the violence has increased even faster than feared…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61387

Anti-Iranian demonstrations spread across Iraq in oil well dispute
Alice Fordham
Baghdad, December 23, 2009 – A row over an oil well on the Iran-Iraq border has triggered anti-Iranian demonstrations across Iraq, angry statements by politicians accusing the Government of supporting Iran and the announcement of a new cross-tribal armed force to combat Iranian incursions… Tribal leader Abdelkareem Muhammadawi, from Missan, claimed that armed Iranians had also moved onto wells 11 and 13 on the oilfield. This was denied by the Government and by a source at the Iranian Embassy, who said that “no Iranian forces have entered Iraqi territories.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61380

WAR ON GAZA: One year later
Rebuilding efforts are severely hampered in Gaza
Bryan Birtles
December 23, 2009 – In the middle last year’s assault on Gaza, Vue Weekly spoke with Canadian activist Eva Bartlett of the International Solidarity Movement, a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestine through non-violence and direct action. Still working in Gaza, Bartlett spoke to Vue Weekly about the effects of the war on the people of Gaza over the past year…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61381

Another church bombing in Mosul
The Common Ills
December 23, 2009 – …Today in Mosul, Iraqi Christians were again targeted with violence. Al Jazeera notes one bombing was at the Syrian Catholic Church of the Annunciation and another exploded at “the Syrian Orthodox Church of Purity and a nearby Christian school”… Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports the Catholic Church (which is billed as “Mariamana Church”) was targeted with two bombings — the first apparently to draw a crowd of which the 4 were then killed and the forty injured. The other church, Issa states, only suffered “material damages to the church” with no one reported dead or wounded…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61382

There is no Business like Shoah Business
by Gilad Atzmon
December 23, 2009 – According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz , Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz will demand between 450 million to 1 billion euros in reparations from Germany on behalf of Jews forced into slave labor during the Holocaust, it emerged on Sunday…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61386

Clashes reported at Iran protests
Aljazeera.net
December 23, 2009 – Iranian security forces are said to have clashed with protesters demonstrating in the central city of Isfahan. The reported confrontations occurred as large crowds gathered at the Sayed mosque on Wednesday to mourn the death of Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, a prominent religious leader who was critical of the Iranian government…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61389

A week of Actions for Palestinian Victims as the 1st Anniversary of Gaza war is closer
The Palestinian Return Center
December 23, 2009 -Several Organizations are preparing for a memorial week for the Palestinian victims over the past 60 years. The organizations are picking the last week of the barbaric attacks on Gaza “Gaza genocide-war” to be the yearly annual week to mark the suffering thousands of Palestinians who passed the mayhem and exile. The actions are called by The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC), Palestinian Forum in the UK, European Campaign to End Siege on Gaza, Islamic forum of Europe (IFE), Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS), Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), Islamic Human Rights Commission in Britain (IHRC), Student Council Goldsmith University and Action Palestine..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61392

Palestinian official: Israel to demolish 900 houses in Jerusalem
Xinhua
December 23, 2009 – Israel plans to demolish 900 Palestinian houses in Jerusalem, a Palestinian official warned on Wednesday. “The plan was given to a private firm to demolish the houses and building housing units and settlements in the Old City in Jerusalem,” said Hatem Abdul-Qader, Jerusalem affairs’ commissioner in President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party. “The plan is based on reducing the Palestinian presence in Jerusalem,” Abdul-Qader told Voice of Palestine radio, adding that Israel “is terrified from the demographic situation 42 years after it has occupied the city.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61390

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