Saturday, January 31, 2009

Peace By Theft and Ethnic Cleansing

January 2009
There is a hopeful trend of thought towards peace and fairness for Israel and Palestine, but that trend is NOT happening in Israel. To the contrary, Israel is turning increasingly towards the One-State ethnically cleansed solution to the Palestine-Israel conundrum.

Today it is unclear if the Palestinians will ever have a country of their own, or even be able to live in peace with a little dignity.

Jimmy Carter has been the wisest, most open and humble voice in the Mid East. He is the only President who managed to negotiate a real peace for Israel. That was with Egypt and he had intentions of completing the negotiations with Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and the PLO but then he was voted out of office. Now Mr. Carter has laid out the three possible denouements of the tragic situation in Palestine.

1.- The Two State Solution, Being a wise man, Jimmy Carter realizes that it will be impossible to dislodge most of the "stubborn" settlers. So his suggestion is to let the majority of the settlements stay, especially those closest to the Israeli border, and then have Israel trade an equal amount of quality land (such as land around Nazereth) to the Palestinians.
Here is a map for reference

2.- The One State Solution that incorporates the Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank. The common understanding in the press and the Foreign Service is that this is the outcome that will transpire if #1 is not achieved soon. Many Palestinians who have given up hope for the Two State Solution favor One State in which both Jews and Arabs would have equal rights. The Israelis fear that they would lose their Jewish State.

3.- The third possible outcome of this long struggle is the One State Solution that does not incorporate the Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank. Personally, I think that this is clearly the goal of the Israeli government and it explains why Israel never really negotiates, but rather just drags things out for years. Years in which the settlements continue to expand ("the number of new structures in the West Bank settlements and outposts increased by 69 percent in 2008, compared to 2007"), years in which more checkpoints are built, more settler only roads cut the West Bank into tiny isolated enclaves.

To achieve this "solution" the Israelis could force a confrontation in the West Bank like what just happened in Gaza, but this time they would force the Palestinians out of the country. The IDF would clean out each Palestinian enclave killing the Palestinians or force-marching them across the river into Jordan. The whole world would scream bloody murder, but by the time anyone would actually organize to do anything the operation would be over. It would be a fait accompli. Once the Palestinians are gone, they will never get back in. Who has the power to force Israel to do what they don’t want to do? Only the United States and the United States won’t do anything. Israel would suffer for a while, but the US will always forgive Israel. The US will pay billions to the homeless Palestinians in Israel's name and gradually the world will forget.

OK, I'm not a mind reader, but I'll bet a month's wages that #3 is the Israeli hard-line plan. They will never accept #1 and certainly not #2

Here’s a little more information that leads me to believe that I am on the right track. Bibi Netanyahu said that he “would let Jewish settlements expand in the West Bank if he’s elected prime minister” will probably win the election. He is definitely not leaning towards peace. In fact today (January 30th) he stated that he would not evacuate any settlers if he is elected next week.

I heard on NPR last week that over a third of the IDF's officer corps now comes from the settler families or the hard-line religious groups. Other articles state that over half of new officers come from the hard-line religious parties. In all probability if the IDF (Israeli “Defense” Force) were to attempt to dislodge a number of settlements, they would see a mutiny in the Officer Corps.

I think that Israel will want to work fast, before Obama can organize world leaders to impose a peace deal. I imagine that they will take advantage of the worldwide economic collapse that will have people’s attention focused away from the Middle East. Expect something very ugly in the next twelve months.

Pray for the Palestinians.

Update March 2010
The Israeli advance towards the third outcome is on schedule. Slowly, inexorably Israel builds more settlements and locks more Palestinians out of their farmland and builds more checkpoints and steals more land.

But what is most shocking to me is that Israel just expropriates land and farms and water rights and homes at gunpoint without even considering paying for what it has taken. That is theft. It is in fact armed robbery.

Israel is rich, partly becuase of its own efforts and partly because of billions in transfer payments from other countries. If the goal is to expropriate all the West Bank and Jerusalem, why don't we ever hear that the Israelis offer to pay for what they grab at gunpoint?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Washington Lobbying Grew to $3.2 Billion Last Year, Despite Economy

WASHINGTON--While companies across the board were losing record amounts of money and laying off employees last year, at least one industry seemed to weather the recession: lobbying. Special interests paid Washington lobbyists $3.2 billion in 2008, more than any other year on record and a 13.7 percent increase from 2007, the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics has found.

Analyzing 4th Quarter disclosure reports filed Jan. 20, the Center calculated that interest groups spent $17.4 million on lobbying for every day Congress was in session in 2008, or $32,523 per legislator per day.

"In this economy, most industries would have been elated to grow even half as much as the lobbying industry reported growing last year," Center for Responsive Politics Executive Director Sheila Krumholz said. "The federal government is handing out billions of dollars by the day, and that translates into job security for lobbyists who can help companies and industries get a piece of the payout."

Click here to read the rest of this sickening report.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Gaza Horror: Large Photo Gallery of Gaza Massacre

This link goes to a website full of photos of the Gaza massacre. These pictures are graphic and very disturbing, but all Americans should take a look and see what the weapons that we give Israel do to women and children. America, this blood is on your hands.

read more | digg story

Friday, January 23, 2009 - Opinion: The World Won't Buy Unlimited U.S. Debt

Peter Schiff writes a great article that asks the question: for how much longer will the rest of the world finance our trillion dollar deficits?When the rest of the world (principally China and Japan) decides that they have better things to with their money, then the gig will be up. US interest rates will spike and the dollar will collapse.But there are a lot of economists telling the junkie to shoot some more dope. Paul Krugman in particular thinks that we need to run a 2.5 trillion dollar deficit this year. He and the rest of the Keynesian idiots don't seem to understand that sooner or later other countries will stop financing our debt. Read the whole article please and comment.

read more | digg story

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Map of Jewish owned land in Palestine 1947

As part of the official mythology of Israel, Americans and Israelis are taught that Jews had bought most of land in what is now Israel before the Nakba (as the 1947 war is known to the Palestinians). As with most of the official mythology of Israel, this is simply not true. Not even close. Click on the map for a large scale view of how little land the Zionists actually owned before they expropriated the rest of the country.
For more detailed information click here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Desmond Tutu Speaks To The Cowed Americans

"People are scared in this country [the US], to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful - very powerful. Well, so what? For goodness sake, this is God's world! We live in a moral universe. The apartheid government was very powerful, but today it no longer exists. Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Pinochet, Milosevic, and Idi Amin were all powerful, but in the end they bit the dust. Injustice and oppression will never prevail. Those who are powerful have to remember the litmus test that God gives to the powerful: what is your treatment of the poor, the hungry, the voiceless? And on the basis of that, God passes judgment. We should put out a clarion call to the government of the people of Israel, to the Palestinian people and say: peace is possible, peace based on justice is possible. We will do all we can to assist you to achieve this peace, because it is God's dream, and you will be able to live amicably together as sisters and brothers."

(Desmond Tutu, April 2002)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Punishing the Palestinians

by Ralph Nader
Common Dreams
January 19, 2006

In the long sixty-year tortured history of the Palestinian expulsion from their lands, Congress has maintained that it is always the Palestinians, the Palestinian Authority, and now Hamas who are to blame for all hostilities and their consequences with the Israeli government.

There is more dissent against this destruction of Gaza among the Israeli people, the Knesset, the Israeli media, and Jewish-Americans than among the dittoheads on Capitol Hill.

The latest illustration of this Washington puppet show, backed by the most modern weapons and billions of taxpayer dollars annually sent to Israel, was the grotesquely one-sided Resolutions whisked through the Senate and the House of Representatives.

While a massive bombing and invasion of Gaza was underway, the resolution blaming Hamas for all the civilian casualties and devastation-99% of it inflicted on Palestinians-zoomed through the Senate by voice vote and through the House by a vote of 390 to 5 with 22 legislators voting present.

There is more dissent against this destruction of Gaza among the Israeli people, the Knesset, the Israeli media, and Jewish-Americans than among the dittoheads on Capitol Hill.

The reasons for such near-unanimous support for Israeli actions-no matter how often they are condemned by peace advocates such as Bishop Desmond Tutu, United Nations resolutions, the World Court and leading human rights groups inside and outside of Israel, are numerous. The pro-Israeli government lobby, and the right-wing Christian evangelicals, lubricated by campaign money of many Political Action Committees (PACs) certainly are key.

There is also more than a little bigotry in Congress against Arabs and Muslims, reinforced by the mass media yahoos who set new records for biased reporting each time this conflict erupts.

The bias is clear. It is always the Palestinians’ fault. Right-wingers who would never view the U.S. government as perfect see the Israeli government as never doing anything wrong. Liberals who do not hesitate to criticize the U.S. military view all Israeli military attacks, invasions and civilian devastation as heroic manifestations of Israeli defense.

The inversion of history and the scope of amnesia know no limits. What about the fact that the Israeli government drove Palestinians from their lands in 1947-48 with tens of thousands pushed into the Gaza strip. No problem to Congress.

Then the fact that the Israeli government cruelly occupied, in violation of UN resolutions, the West Bank and Gaza in 1967 and only removed its soldiers and colonists from Gaza (1.5 million people in a tiny area twice the size of the District of Columbia) in 2005. To Congress, the Palestinians deserved it.

Then when Hamas was freely elected to run Gaza, the Israeli authorities cut off the tax revenues on imports that belonged to the Gaza government. This threw the Gazans into a fiscal crisis-they were unable to pay their civil servants and police.

In 2006, the Israelis added to their unrelieved control of air, water and land around the open-air prison by establishing a blockade. The natives became restless. Under international law, a blockade is an act of war. Primitive rockets, called by reporters “wildly inaccurate” were fired into Israel. During this same period, Israeli soldiers and artillery and missiles would go into Gaza at will and take far more lives and cause far more injuries than those incurred by those rockets. Civilians-especially children, the infirm and elderly-died or suffered week after week for lack of medicines, medical equipment, food, electricity, fuel and water which were embargoed by the Israelis.

Then the Israeli bombing followed by the invasion during the past three weeks with what prominent Israeli writer Gideon Levy called “a brutal and violent operation…far beyond what was needed for protecting the people in its south.” Mr. Levy observed what the president of the United Nations General Assembly, Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann called a war against “a helpless and defenseless imprisoned population.”

The horror of being trapped from fleeing the torrent of the most modern weapons of war from the land, air and seas is reflected in this passage from Amira Hass, writing in the leading Israeli newspaper Haaretz:

“The earth shaking under your feet, clouds of choking smoke, explosions like a fireworks display, bombs bursting into all-consuming flames that cannot be extinguished with water, mushroom clouds of pinkish-red smoke, suffocating gas, harsh burns on the skin, extraordinary maimed live and dead bodies.”

Ms. Hass is pointing to the use of new anti-civilian weapons used on the Gazan people. So far there have been over 1100 fatalities, many thousands of injuries and the destruction of homes, schools, mosques, hospitals, pharmacies, granaries, farmer’s fields and many critical public facilities. The clearly marked UN headquarters and UN school were smashed, along with stored medicines and food supplies.

Why? The Congressional response: “Hamas terrorists” everywhere. Sure, defending their Palestinian families is called terrorism. The truth is there is no Hamas army, airforce and navy up against the fourth most powerful military in the world. As one Israeli gunner on an armored personnel carrier frankly said to The New York Times: “They are villagers with guns. They don’t even aim when they shoot.”

Injured Gazans are dying in damaged hospital corridors, bleeding to death because rescuers are not permitted to reach them or are endangered themselves. Thousands of units of blood donated by Jordanians are stopped by the Israeli blockade. Israel has kept the international press out of the Gazan killing fields.

What is going on in Gaza is what Bill Moyers called it earlier this month - “state terrorism.” Already about 400 children are known to have died. More will be added who are under the rubble.

Since 2002, more than 50 Arab and Muslim nations have had a standing offer, repeated often, that if Israel obeys several UN resolutions and withdraws to the 1967 borders leaving 22 percent of the original Palestine for an independent Palestinian state, they will open full diplomatic relations and there will be peace. Israel has declined to accept this offer.

None of these and many other aspects of this conflict matter to the Congress. Its members do not want to hear even from the Israeli peace movement, composed of retired generals, security chiefs, mayors, former government ministers, and members of the Knesset. In 60 years these savvy peace advocates have not been able to give one hour of testimony before a Congressional Committee.

Maybe members of Congress may wish to weigh the words of the founder of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, years ago when he said:

“There has been anti-Semitism the Nazis Hitler Auschwitz but was that their [the Palestinian's] fault? They only see one thing: We have come here and stolen their country.”

Doesn’t that observation invite some compassion for the Palestinian people and their right to be free of Israeli occupation, land and water grabs and blockades in the 22 percent left of Palestine?

8.5 Trillion more debt over the last year

Please clik twice on the image to see the entire chart.
Read it and weep.

Sir Gerald Kaufman speaks out against Israeli barbarity

Saturday, January 17, 2009

All our meddling always blows back in our face

The wisest man in Washington speaks out against a resolution in support of Israel. His speech is a lesson in intelligent foreign policy for the hired politicians and idiots in Congress.

What has the Fed done with our money?

What has the Fed done with our money?

Don't ask because they are not going to tell us. The charade of letting private bankers run our Central Bank has to come to an end. Close the Federal Reserve Bank.

Friday, January 16, 2009