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URUK Net 29 December, 2009

Last updated: Thursday, December 31, 2009 10:36

Gaza One Year Later
Stephen Lendman
December 29, 2009 – A December 2009 report prepared by Oxfam International, Amnesty International UK, United Civilians for Peace, Christian Aid, and a dozen other international NGOs (called NGOs below) titled, “Failing Gaza: No rebuilding, no recovery, no more excuses” is hard-hitting and to the point. It says a year after Operation Cast Lead, extensive damage hasn’t been repaired and thousands “are being prevented from rebuilding their shattered society.” It’s not from a lack of commitment or enough resources with over $4 billion in pledged aid. It’s because Israel blocks goods and equipment from entering Gaza. The world community and Arab world do nothing to stop them, so much of the Strip still lies in ruins…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61582

A view from an Iranian reader
The Angry Arab News Service
December 29, 2009 – …More than a hundred of people have been killed, thousands of people have been imprisoned, hundreds of people have been tortured, executions occur daily. Why do some in West worry about the murder of an amed Basiji without even investigating the accuracy of the news? Some Western commentators treat Basijis as Zionist media would treat Israeli soldiers, and Iranian protesters as Zionist media would treat Palestinians. The accusations of violence among Iranian protesters is largely fabricated by the Iranian state media. Some commentators think the movement is pro-capitalism and US imperialism because they believe the protesters to be mostly students or members of the middle class, and rarely poor. I once asked such a commentator to consider an analogous situation in which university students in the US protested, say, the Vietnam war. If the students’ protests are oppressed by primarily working class police, it does not imply that the students’ cause is pro-capitalism and imperialism or it doesn’t mean that the war with Vietnam is a good thing…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61594

Gaza report finds major powers complicit in Israel’s collective punishment
By Jean Shaoul
December 29, 2009 – To mark one year since Israel’s military assault on Gaza, a report by 16 aid agencies has strongly condemned the major powers for failing to end Israel’s illegal and inhumane blockade of Gaza. While the report holds Israel primarily responsible for the appalling conditions under which the Palestinian people are living (see “Aid report details social devastation in Gaza”), it holds the European Union, the United States, Russia and the United Nations (known collectively as the Quartet) responsible for allowing the situation to continue…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61592

From a tent to a mud house in Gaza
Rami Almeghari writing from the occupied Gaza Strip
December 29, 2009 – Majid al-Athamna, 70, stands next to his new home in Gaza’s Izbet Abed Rabbo neighborhood of Jabaliya. Since the Israeli attack one year ago, which destroyed his family’s three-story building, he and his family lived in a tent. The al-Athamna family’s new home is made of mud. It is part of an effort by UNRWA — the UN agency for Palestine refugees — to cope with the fact that due to the ongoing Israeli blockade only 41 trucks of building supplies have been allowed in to Gaza during the entire past year. This negligible quantity cannot begin to make a dent in the massive need to rebuild thousands of homes, schools, public buildings and basic infrastructure targeted by Israeli bombing…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61591

Washington’s Yemen Front
Khaleej Times
December 29, 2009 – Washington’s passion to go after Al Qaeda is landing it in a new territory. Pentagon, by sending its special forces to train Yemen’s military, has opened a new front in its despicable war against terrorism. How effective it will be in netting high-profile targets is anybody’s guess. Given the flawed intelligence network at hand, which has helped Al Qaeda make inroads in Yemen, it is going to be a daunting task. The United States’ desire to multiply its overt and covert presence in another Middle Eastern country will definitely lead to more resentment…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61590

Another legacy of ‘Operation Cast Lead’: 500+ US-based academics, authors & artists endorse the academic and cultural boycott of Israel
Adam Horowitz
December 29, 2009 – A year since the assault on Gaza, Israel continues to evade accountability. The failure of the international community to use the Goldstone Report to address the war crimes committed during the fighting has been a boon to the growing movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. This movement seeks to hold Israel accountable through non-violent means…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61589

Comrade Sa’adat calls for a new year of struggle, unity and resistance
PFLP – Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
December 29, 2009 – The imprisoned General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat, sent greetings to our people marking the new year and the Christmas holidays, saying that the new year, 2010, can be a year to restore the unity of our Palestinian people, break the siege on our heroic people in Gaza, and bring the occupation war criminals to trial before international courts. He called for the new year to be a year of our inalienable right to resist, to drive occupation and settlement from our land, of the liberation of prisoners, of independence, self-determination and Jerusalem as our capital, and the right of refugees to return to their homes from which they were displaced…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61596

“I live today, but I am afraid of tomorrow”
Jody McIntyre and Sema Onbus writing from Tulkarem refugee camp
December 29, 2009 -My name is Sema Onbus. I am 37 years old, from Tulkarem refugee camp. My story starts when my brother was killed, on 6 September 2001, when an Apache [attack helicopter] dropped a bomb on him and his friends. It was the same day that my sister was due to get married, and he was on his way from Ramallah to visit the wedding when he was murdered. After my brother’s death, my husband decided to join the resistance, and started working with the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. He had soon joined Israel’s wanted list. On 28 October 2002, the Israeli army invaded the camp and started shooting at random, spraying bullets through the streets at anyone who happened to be in sight. My 15-year-old cousin was killed … they shot him six times…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61588

Tactics of desperation: using false accusations of “anti-Semitism” as a weapon to silence criticism of Israel’s behaviour
By Ulli Diemer
December 29, 2009 – For more than 60 years, Israel has engaged in an unceasing campaign to dispossess Palestinians of their land and their rights. Its ability to do this has depended on three factors in particular: * overwhelming military superiority; * keeping public opinion, especially in North America and Europe, on its side; and * making ordinary working-class Israeli Jews believe that it is in their interest to support Israel’s Zionist elite rather than making common cause with ordinary Palestinians. Israel’s military dominance is unchallenged, thanks to unconditional support and limitless supplies of advanced military technology and equipment provided by the United States and its allies (including Canada). However, military dominance has not been able to achieve Israel’s ultimate goal: forcing Palestinians to stop resisting and to acquiesce in their dispossession and oppression. Israel’s relentless onslaught has been met by equally determined Palestinian resistance which, despite the odds, steadfastly refuses to accept the injustice of occupation…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61586

Iran Boils: First Street Fights, Then Major Arrests
Mike Ely
December 29, 2009 – …Important sections of people are rising in fearless resistance to their oppressors. They have built new organizations secretly over the last months, made vital new connections in the streets, learned important political lessons through bitter experience — and they have clearly emerged more and more determined to break the spine of the hated Islamist Regime. Clearly there are all kinds of reactionary forces hoping to gain advantage of “regime change” in Iran — starting first of all with our own overlords, the U.S. imperialists, and followed by various ruling class forces in Iran (who hope to prevent deep or fundamental change). The fact that reactionaries intrigue in such crises is not news — while we all need to understand that, in revolutionary situations, the people often find ways to thwart and defeat the attempts by new reactionaries to exploit their struggle…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61585

Deadliest year for U.S. troops on Afghan duty: 311 killed in 2009, up from 155 in 2008
BY Stephanie Gaskell
December 29, 2009 – This was the deadliest year ever for U.S. troops in Afghanistan – a span that saw more than twice as many killed in 2009 compared to the year before. A total of 914 U.S. troops have died in Afghanistan since the war began more than eight years ago. The number of U.S. troop deaths has been on the rise since 2001, when just 12 U.S. soldiers and Marines were killed. That number jumped to 117 in 2007 as the Taliban made a comeback…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61584

Afghan soldier kills U.S. service member at army base
Reuters
December 29, 2009 – An Afghan soldier killed a U.S. service member and wounded two Italian soldiers when he opened fire on foreign troops at an army base in western Afghanistan on Tuesday, a senior Afghan army officer said. The shooting is the latest in a string of such incidents, at a time when Western countries are pouring resources into training Afghan soldiers and police to fight the Taliban insurgency. “The soldier opened fire on the two Italians and one American in a joint Afghan and foreign base,” General Khair Mohammad Khawari, a senior officer in western Afghanistan, told Reuters…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61583

PHOTO ESSAY ~~ THOUSANDS GATHER IN NEW YORK IN SUPPORT OF GAZA
Commentary by Chippy Dee, Photos © by Bud Korotzer , Via Desertpeace
December 29, 2009 – On December 27th, the first anniversary of Israel’s brutal attack on Gaza that left 1,400 dead (mostly civilians) thousands wounded, and hundreds of thousands homeless, about 2,000 people met at Times Sq. in N.Y.C. They marched through the streets filled with both New Yorkers and tourists in holiday mode, passing crowded Rockefeller Center, and ending at the Israeli Consulate on 42nd St. and 2nd Avenue. Participants represented all ages and all racial and ethnic groups. The march was also timed to coincide with marches in solidarity with the people of Gaza that are taking place all over the world…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61587

Iraq snapshot – December 29, 2009
The Common Ills
Tuesday, December 29, 2009. Chaos and violence continue, Iraq makes oil contracts legal and . . . oops, not so fast, the press can’t stop gushing over some oil contracts while ignoring the big one (the one the White House is steering), Sahwas come under attack, Robert Knight’s reward for doing a solid and amazing job is to be fired by KPFA, and more.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61601

Balance of Terror: From Detroit City to Ghazi Khan
Chris Floyd
December 29, 2009 – A lone man on an airliner makes a badly botched attempt to ignite what appears to be some kind of hastily cobbled-together device that might or might not have caused some kind of unspecified but apparently non-crippling damage to the plane. The plane lands safely; no one is killed. Yet the reverberations from this half-baked enterprise quickly roiled the entire world. Within hours, a whole range of new, even more intrusive and draconian security procedures were imposed on travelers across the globe […] Here is another story in the news: in an isolated rural province in Afghanistan, 10 people were killed in a raid by American-led forces. The Afghan government, installed and sustained in power by the United States, said the victims were all civilians — including eight schoolboys. But there was no international outcry about this incident; it barely garnered a few mentions in the global press…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61561

In wake of airline incident: Drumbeat for US war in Yemen
Bill Van Auken
December 29, 2009 – In the wake of the abortive Christmas Day attempt by a 23-year-old Nigerian, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, to detonate a bomb on a Detroit-bound Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam, there has been an escalating drumbeat for a wider US military intervention in Yemen. While US officials initially said they believed that the suspect acted alone and had no formal ties to any terrorist organizations, this did not deter leading politicians of both political parties and much of the US media from immediately raising the prospect of war in Yemen, where Abdulmutallab has family ties (his mother is Yemeni), and where Al Qaeda has a presence…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61569

Obama Vows ‘Accelerated Offensive’ in Yemen
Will Use ‘Every Element of National Power’
Jason Ditz
December 29, 2009 – Taking time out from his Hawaii vacation to comment on last Friday’s lap bombing on a Detroit bound airliner, President Barack Obama vowed an “accelerated offensive” against militants in Yemen. The president said he would not rest and would commit “every element of national power” to the new mission of attacking those speculatively accused of some vague complicity in the failed bombing…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61573

GAZA: BLOODIED BUT UNBOWED
A shining symbol of unyielding resistance
Gulamhusein A Abba
December 29, 2009 – Gaza! That small, beautiful but turbulent and besieged piece of land, just a little more than 40 km long, no more than 12 km wide, a little bigger than New Jersey, crammed with more than one and half million people, battered by wave after wave of Israeli incursions and bombardments, has been bloodied but remains unbowed, a proud symbol and a stirring example of unyielding resistance. For long under the Ottoman Empire, it came under the British Mandate in 1920 and then, when the British left Palestine in 1948, and the ensuing war between Arab states and Israel came to an end in 1949, much of the Gaza Strip that was earmarked for an Arab state in the UN partition Plan was retained by Israel under the 1949 Armistice line. The rest of the Strip fell under Egyptian control…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61562

Israel arrests nuclear whistleblower Vanunu
Ma’an News
December 29, 2009 – Israeli police arrested nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu on Monday for violating a ban on speaking to foreigners, police said. Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld told Ma’an Vanunu was arrested late on Monday night “after meeting with a number of foreigners, which was against the previous court decision about his status.” Rosenfeld said Vanunu was questioned and appeared before the Magistrate’s court in Jerusalem on Tuesday. The court ordered him released to house arrest…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61563

Rights group: Israel covers up torture
Ma’an News
December 29, 2009 – Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israel systematically prevents accountability over allegations of torture against its Shit Bet security force, a new report by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) charges. The group said the 98-page report “exposes an intolerable reality.” “Officials at the highest levels of Israel’s justice system directly and indirectly thwart the opening of criminal investigations against torture suspects,” the committee said in a statement…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61578

PFLP: One year after aggression, resistance is necessary to break the siege on Gaza
PFLP – Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
December 29, 2009 – The resistance and steadfastness of the people of Gaza remains powerful and strong one year after the criminal war and aggression on Gaza, said the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine on December 26, 2009 in a statement marking the first anniversary of the assault. The occupation massacres claimed the lives of nearly 1500 Palestinians and wounded and displaced tens of thousands, demolishing tens of thousands of homes which still await reconstruction today…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61577

Gaza activists detained at US Embassy in Cairo
Ma’an News
December 29, 2009 – Egyptian police detained 40 American protesters at the US Embassy in Cairo after they arrived seeking assistance to enter the Gaza Strip, pro-Palestinian activists said. “Forty were detained outside the American Embassy,” said Ziyaad Lunat, a spokesman for the Gaza Freedom March. Another activist, Gael Murphy, said in a statement that she believed US Embassy staff asked Egyptian security to detain the americans…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61576

Iran rally leaders ‘enemies of God’
Aljazeera.net
December 29, 2009 – A representative of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said opposition leaders were “enemies of God” who should be executed under the country’s sharia law. “Those who are behind the current sedition in the country … are mohareb (enemies of God) and the law is very clear about punishment of a mohareb,” Abbas Vaez-Tabasi, the representative of Khamenei, who possesses ultimate authority in Iran, said in a statement on Tuesday…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61581

Egypt Approves Gaza Freedom March Passage, Viva Palestina Blunders Paperwork and Blames Egypt
Sabbah Report
December 29, 2009 – In a press conference conducted earlier this evening, the Egyptian foreign minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit announced some threats, warnings, surprises as well as some good news. The press conference that aired on Egyptian official TV a few hours ago was boiling with Aboul Gheit’s very firm and angry answers to the journalists’ questions who did not spare him a topic. They asked about the peace process, Hamas, Rafah tunnels and the Iron Wall besides the questions about the Gaza Freedom March and Viva Palestina…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61580

Gaza’s writing on the wall
By Toufic Haddad
December 29, 2009 – The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, which has controlled Gaza since 2007, fully facilitates the work of its graffiti artists – from purchasing spray paint, to inviting artists to work on choice locations. Elaborate, colourful calligraphy brightens the drab streets and alleys of the Gaza Strip’s densely populated towns and refugee camps. Most is political in nature, inscribing slogans of defiance against the Israeli occupation, or commemorating fallen martyrs…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61579

Iraqi MP: 30 Thousand Baathists Included in Debathification Program
By Qassim al-Kaabi
December 29, 2009 – Najaf, Asharq Al-Awsat- Baathists said that they feel like they are heading towards an increase in “stability and security” thanks to a number of [political] lists that will participate in the upcoming legislative elections scheduled for March 2010. These [electoral] lists will work to “return the rights of Baathists who were wronged by some political parties” following the collapse of the previous Iraqi regime. For his part, Iraqi Virtue party MP Sabah al-Saadi said “there are 30 thousand Baathists included in the Debathification [program] who hold sensitive [political] positions in the Iraqi state today…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61575

Israel To Build 700 Homes For Jewish Settlers
Saed Bannoura
December 29, 2009 – The Israeli settler-led government, headed by Benjamin Netanyahu of the Likud Party, decided to construct additional 700 homes for Jewish settlers in illegal settlements it considers part of the “Greater Jerusalem” area. The so-called Israeli Housing Ministry invited the contractors to place their bids for the construction of 198 setter homes in Pisgat Zeev illegal settlement, 377 in Neve Yakov, and 117 in Jabal Abu Ghneim (Har Homa), all near Jerusalem. Israel considers the constructions as part of the so-called Greater Jerusalem, although settlements are built in violation of the International Law and the Fourth Geneva Conventions…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61574

Obama Vows ‘Accelerated Offensive’ in Yemen
Will Use ‘Every Element of National Power’
Jason Ditz
December 29, 2009 – Taking time out from his Hawaii vacation to comment on last Friday’s lap bombing on a Detroit bound airliner, President Barack Obama vowed an “accelerated offensive” against militants in Yemen. The president said he would not rest and would commit “every element of national power” to the new mission of attacking those speculatively accused of some vague complicity in the failed bombing…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61573

Video: Talk to Al Jazeera – Richard Falk
Aljazeera.English
December 29, 2009 – Professor Richard Falk describes himself as an American Jew, but it is his support of Palestinian rights that has earned him the profile and abuse that is threatening to overshadow five decades of achievements as a lawyer, an academic and an author. One year after Israel’s war on Gaza, Al Jazeera talks to the UN special rapporteur on Palestine and asks him about his views on that war, the impact of the Obama presidency and the future of the peace process…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61572

A patient dies in the Gaza Strip; death toll due to the siege reaches 367
Ghassan Bannoura
December 29, 2009 – A Palestinian patient was reported dead on Tuesday after he was unable to leave the besieged Gaza Strip for medical care. 48 years old Mohamed Jassier had hart condition, he needed life saving medical care out side the Gaza Strip but the Israeli army never gave him the permission to leave, medical sources reported. The Palestinian Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip said that with Jassier dearth, the total number of patients who died because of the Israeli siege has reached 367…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61571

Tweeting for Gaza
By Jillian York
December 29, 2009 – …On December 27, the one-year anniversary of Operation Cast Lead, the hashtag “#Gaza” reached Twitter’s list of trending topics and remained amongst the top spots for over eight hours, thanks to a concerted effort by Lebanese activist Nadine Moawad, who recruited nearly 100 Twitter users to dedicate a four-hour time frame to tweeting about Gaza. By the end of the day, that 100 had multiplied to more than 500. So, what makes a campaign like this work?..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61570

Egypt blocks US activists’ march
Aljazeera.net
December 29, 2009 – Egyptian security forces have attempted to prevent dozens of US activists from reaching their embassy in Cairo. Hoping to ask the American ambassador for help in reaching the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, some 41 American citizens instead found themselves surrounded by riot police. All those rounded up were members of the Gaza Freedom Marchers organisation, a group planning to travel to Gaza to protest an Egyptian and Israeli blockade of the besieged territory…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61568

No Friends in Egypt
By Ahmed Amr
December 29, 2009 – This just in – read all about it in Al Ahram – Egypt’s semi-official paper. A multi-millionaire, Yehia El Komy, denied marrying Kheloud al Onzy. I ran across this earth shattering news while scanning the front pages of the government operated rag looking for something – anything – relating to the “Viva Palestina” convoy that is now stranded in Jordan. I can’t say I was terribly disappointed, but I did expect some mention of the hundreds of French citizens who were protesting in front of their embassy in Cairo. Apparently, these foreign agitators are also making outrageous demands to deliver aid to Gaza. You’d think some genius at Al-Ahram might have noticed that little development and scribbled a few lines about it…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61566

“Four Afghan civilians killed in Baghlan air raid”
Habib Rahman Sherzai
December 29, 2009 – Four civilians have reportedly been killed and eight others wounded in a fresh air strike by foreign forces in northern Baghlan province, residents alleged on Tuesday. The overnight attack took place in Kohna Qala area of Baghlan-i-Markazi district, residents told Pajhwok Afghan News. The fresh air raid came about three days after 10 civilians were killed during military operations in eastern Kunar province…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61565

Settler shoots Palestinian north of Hebron
Ma’an News
December 29, 2009 – An Israeli settler on Tuesday shot and injured a Palestinian shepherd near the settlement of Bat Ayin, north of the city of Hebron, a witness and the Israeli military said. The settlement is built on lands that were confiscated from Palestinian villages of Al-Jab’a, Safa, and Surif. Ahmad Shakarna, a taxi driver who witnessed the shooting, told Ma’an that Nabil Ibrahim Abdul Majid, in his thirties from Al-Jab’a, and a Bedouin man who lives in the same village, were herding their sheep in the fields near the village…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=61564

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