July 31, 2006
Thanks to Israel's savagery, the scales begin to fall from everyone's eyes
French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy described Iran as a significant, respected player in the Middle East which is playing a stabilising role.
. . .
Asked earlier in Beirut whether he would meet his Iranian counterpart, Douste-Blazy said: "It's normal that politicians who want a political agreement can meet each other."
. . .
"It was clear that we could never accept a destabilisation of Lebanon, which could lead to a destabilisation of the region," Douste-Blazy told a news conference in Beirut.
"In the region there is of course a country such as Iran -- a great country, a great people and a great civilisation which is respected and which plays a stabilising role in the region," he told a news conference.
July 29, 2006
The Great Feat of the IAF and IDF
July 28, 2006
The reason for Israel's targeting of the UN outpost in Lebanon
The situation with the deliberate bombing on the UN outpost made me more than a little angry. There is no way possible that it was an accident. For one, Israel employs satellite-guided laser 500 lb. bombs. The co-ordinates for targets come down from the U.S. military satellite system. So any bomb that hits a specific target had those co-ordinates programmed in.
The media fail to mention that on June 8, 1967 the USS Liberty was attacked by aircraft and boats from the Israeli military. The Liberty was flying three U.S. flags — one a large flag. When the attack was finished, 34 U.S. sailors lay dead and 174 were wounded. Israel claimed it was a mistake, but the ship was an electronic ship listening to the chatter and picked up the fact that Israel was the aggressor nation.
So the bombing of the UN outpost fits into a nice history and Israel gets away with it.
Jim Trautman, Orton, Ont.
The UN observers in Lebanon were observing war crimes. So they had to be eliminated. Neither Israel nor Israel's biggest cheerleader, Canada's Prime Minister Harper, wanted them there. This is the other letter:
Are Stephen Harper and the Israeli ambassador to Canada trying to deflect serious concerns about the bombing of the unarmed UN observers in Lebanon by questioning why they were in a war zone? That is their job, Prime Minister, to be witnesses for the UN during a conflict. That is why they have a bunker, built to withstand 155mm artillery shells but not a heavier guided missile. That is the role of the UN mission there. Shame on you for questioning their integrity.
Capt. David Platt (ret'd), Toronto
Gerard Kennedy is the one!
What would you have done differently than Prime Minister Stephen Harper?
If you were prime minister, what would you do now?
In my opinion, Gerard Kennedy's answers put him far ahead of the rest of the pack as a progressive:
Gerard Kennedy, former Ontario Liberal cabinet minister, said he would have reacted more quickly, both diplomatically and in getting Canadians out of Lebanon, adding, "Certainly, I don't think the Canadian government acted as quickly as other governments did.
"I believe that Canada should have been calling for a ceasefire, and we should have been doing that some time ago. We should be talking to all the responsible parties in the region ... It will be the cause of some regret that Canada did not exercise its good offices in this and people are dying on both sides of the border. It's not that we are a friend of Israel or a friend of Lebanon — we're a friend of peace."
Kennedy, too, is open to providing Canadian peacekeepers.
"If (Harper) has dismissed Canada's peacekeeping role, I think that's a mistake. And that's where I would differ with him. I think at some juncture there will be room for peacekeeping in this and Canada should stand ready, not just to respond, but to be part of the group, within the UN initiative. I don't think it should be left solely to the United States' initiative ... In some way, Prime Minister Harper has let down the parties in the Middle East and Canada by not exercising himself in this way (as a negotiator)."
I am neither a delegate nor a member of the Liberal Party. Had I been one, Gerard Kennedy would have been the clear choice for me.
Gerard Kennedy's leadership site
July 26, 2006
When will NATO bombing of Tel Aviv commence?
"When Serbia responded to an armed insurrection by the Kosovo Liberation Army with a military campaign that created Europe's worst humanitarian crisis in decades, no objective observer could deny that, notwithstanding Serbia's legitimate state interests, its response to the insurrection was entirely disproportionate to the threat. Not only did NATO have no problem condemning Serbia's aggression against Kosovo's ethnic Albanian population, but it bombed Belgrade to stop the military aggression."
July 25, 2006
Member of Ontario's legislature silenced by Canadian Jewish Congress for telling the truth about Israel
July 23, 2006
A pictorial answer to one lie about Iran
Well... I, for one, would definitely think twice before I try to oppress Iranian women who play rugby football:
The pictures are from a series of national tournaments in various sports currently being held in Iran. True, the women are dressed in an extremely modest manner, showing no "skin" whatsoever. In my opinion, only voyeurs and misogynists object to modest dress in women.
Humanity is very far from achieving equality for women, or for men for that matter. At the same time, the American propaganda about the situation of women in Iran is no more than the usual bunch of lies that are meant purely to serve American interests. Iranian women are no more or less oppressed than women in any other part of the world.
For good measure, here are a couple of pictures from an Iranian fashion show:
July 22, 2006
A friend in need...
The tactic would have been hilarious in a less tragic situation. With the major Arab governments having formally abandoned Lebanon to Israel's clutches, Lebanon's only remaining friends consist of... you guessed it: Iran, Syria and Hamas.
The people of Lebanon know who their enemies and their friends are. Israel's brutal invasion has only served to unite the people of Lebanon around Hezbollah.
A member of Argentina's Arab community shows a tattoo of Iran's late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini during a protest rally in Buenos Aires against the Israeli attacks on Lebanon
July 12, 2006
From mice to men (and women)
Egypt's al-Gomhuriya [newspaper] commented the Palestinian cause has historically been instrumental in uniting Arab ranks in the struggle to liberate the Palestinians and Jerusalem from Israeli occupation. The semi-official daily said it was now time to once again reunite to save the Palestinians from the "daily massacres carried out in their ugliest forms before the eyes of the silent world that has been preoccupied with the personal American agenda." The mass-circulation daily's editorial warned that waiting for an American intervention to stop the "Israeli massacre against the Palestinian people" is "delusional due to the agreement between Washington and Tel Aviv's policies and objectives." This requires an immediate meeting of Arab leaders, it said, to work seriously to "use what elements of power and pressure cards they have left, not only to save Palestine, but to rejuvenate the diseased Arab body."
We will have to wait and see whether al-Gomhuriya's prescription for action by Arab governments will be put to practice. In the past, Arab governments have tended to act more like mice than men. (That was what Robert Fisk called Arabs a few years ago in a moment of anger at their apathy or inaction in the face of Israeli atrocities)
For the moment, Palestinian guerrillas have certainly been nothing less than lions (and lionesses). The capture of the two Israeli soldiers in Lebanon by the Hezbollah has not only helped strengthen the solidarity and resolve of the Palestinian nation, but it may help put pressure on Arab governments to take some real action against Israel. Israel thought it could wreak whatever havoc it wished on the boxed-in Gaza strip, on the pretext of freeing one soldier. With the capture of two Israeli soldiers in Lebanon and their removal to unknown distant locations, making it impossible to find them no matter how many bombs Israel drops on defencelesss Palestinian and Lebanese civilians, the pointless violence of the Israeli State will become clearer than ever for everyone to see.
July 09, 2006
"How I've come to know Gilad Shalit"
An article in today's Toronto Star by Simon J. Black, a Toronto freelance writer:
I know Gilad Shalit. Not personally, but I could tell you what he looks like, his age, where he went to school, his hometown, his father's name, what his father looks like, and how he weeps for his son.
I know that this is not the first time that the Shalit family has felt the emotional impact of armed conflict. I know that during the Arab-Israeli war, Gilad's uncle, Yoel, was killed.
I know that Gilad's brother is named after Yoel. I know that his brother attends university in Haifa and is worried about him. I know that Gilad is being held by Palestinians after his army outpost was raided and Gilad was captured.
I know that Gilad is the first Israeli soldier captured by Palestinians since 1994. I know Gilad's friends describe him as a peaceful and quiet young man.
I know that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has spoken with Gilad's father. I know that Olmert has assured Galid's father that everything in his power is being done to secure the release of his son.
I also know that the "everything" Prime Minister Olmert speaks of includes the collective punishment of the Palestinian people by further military incursions into their territory, destroying Palestinian infrastructure and cutting their power supply, leaving families in the dark.
I know these things because I watch the nightly news and read the daily paper. Since his capture, I have been unable to avoid the image of Gilad Shalit and the life and history behind this image.
What I do not know is the names and faces of the hundreds of Palestinian children held in Israeli jails.
I could not tell you about their brother or sister, whether they would like to go to university, or whether they have a dead relative for whom they were named after.
Nor could I tell you about the thousands of Palestinian men and women who are held by the Israeli state without charge or trial. I could not tell you whether their friends and family describe them as peaceful or quiet.
These people are nameless, faceless, reduced to bare life — human beings not entitled to rights, dignity and respect.
Nor do they merit the attention of the BBC, The Globe and Mail, Ha'aretz, or The New York Times.
Unless of course they engage in an act of violence so horrific, so apparently unexplainable and incomprehensible that they must be subject to biography, psychological profiling, a where-did-it-all-go-wrong-for-the-aspiring-fun-loving-university-student-type docudrama.
Apparently their suffering does not deserve the attention of the media.
Their incarceration is not the stuff of headlines in the national media. Their detainment is without explanation and justification in the op-ed section of the dailies or subject to the analysis of talking heads on the evening news.
No ink will be spilled over their life stories.
And here lies the tragedy of the Palestinian people. Here lies the tragedy for many of us.
We only know Gilad Shalit.
Fifty Palestinians killed to save one Israeli soldier, and yet Israel claims it has not used excessive force. What, in God's name, would be "excessive" force?
July 07, 2006
Unprecedented levels of cruelty, even by Israeli standards
Below is a statement/petition on the current situation in Palestine being circulated by Britain's Palestine Solidarity Campaign. It is currently being forwarded to British public figures, organizations, trade unions and others who are asked to sign it. The British Palestine Solidarity Campaign has asked sympathizers in other countries to undertake similar initiatives in their own countries. The British initiative has already received considerable support. Here is the text of the British statement:
The Israeli government's behavior at present is to be comdemned. The failure of our government to speak out against Israel's oppression of the Palestinian population is complicit with those actions of the European Union, the United States and Israel. It is in effect a coordinated attempt to collectively punish the Palestinian people for electing a government of which they disapprove .
Having lectured the people of the Middle East about `democracy' for decades, our government, the EU and the United States are seeking to trample upon the right of the Palestinian people to exercise their democratic right to elect their own government.
The suspension of aid by the EU and the US, the withholding of Palestinian taxes by Israel, and Israel's illegal blockade, are crimes against the Palestinian people.
They are creating a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza and the West Bank and have emboldened Israel to sustain an unrelenting bomb and missile barrage , which regularly kills innocent children and other noncombatants in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention which protects civilians under occupation.
Israel has bombed the only power station in Gaza , destroying electricity and water supplies to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, and forcing tens of thousands to flee from their homes. These are crimes against humanity.
These actions have now culminated in the kidnapping by Israel of a quarter of the parliament elected by the Palestinians, and half of its democratically elected government. They join thousands of other Palestinians illegally kidnapped or imprisoned by Israel, including over 300 children.
We call upon the British government:
1. To immediately work for the restoration of EU aid to the Palestinian Authority.
2. To demand that Israel ends its blockade and restore taxes to the Palestinian Authority.
3. To demand that Israel cease all military action in the Occupied Territories.
4. To demand the release of all elected Palestinian officials held by Israel and the instigation of a programme for the release of all prisoners held in violation of international law.5. To apply pressure through the United Nations for Israel to respect the UN resolutions requiring its withdrawal from the territories it illegally occupied in 1967.
6. To end Britain's arms trade with Israel until it abides by international law.
The statement by the British group Palestine Solidarity Campaign has so far garnered the signatures of the following public figures:
Betty Hunter, Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Lord Eric Avebury
Lord Ian Gilmour
Prof Moshe Machover
Prof Avi Shlaim
Peter Kilfoyle MP
Clare Short MP
Derek Wyatt MP
Helen Goodman MP
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Paul Flynn MP
Frank Cook MP
John Austin MP
Hywel Williams MP
Mike Hancock MP
Mike Wood MP
Keith Sonnet UNISON Deputy General Secretary
Rev. Canon Garth Hewitt
Rev. Stephen Sizer
Majed Al Zeer
Andrew De La Tour
Baroness Jenny Tonge
Dr. Ghada Karmi
Gargi Bhattacharyya, Vice-President University and College Union (personal capacity)
Andy Bain President TSSA (personal capacity)
Baljeet Ghale NUT Senior Vice-President (personal capacity)
Prof Anthony Zahlan
Prof Hilary Rose
Prof Steven Rose
Ruqayyah Collector, NUS National Black Students Officer
Steve Kemp NUM General Secretary
July 06, 2006
No words can describe the suffering of Palestinians
"Collective punishment is illegitimate and it does not have a smidgeon of intelligence. Where will the inhabitants of Beit Hanun run? With typical hardheartedness the military reporters say they were not "expelled" but that it was "recommended" they leave, for the benefit, of course, of those running for their lives. And what will this inhumane step lead to? Support for the Israeli government? Their enlistment as informants and collaborators for the Shin Bet? Can the miserable farmers of Beit Hanun and Beit Lahia do anything about the Qassam rocket-launching cells? Will bombing an already destroyed airport do anything to free the soldier or was it just to decorate the headlines?
"Did anyone think about what would have happened if Syrian planes had managed to down one of the Israeli planes that brazenly buzzed their president's palace? Would we have declared war on Syria? Another "legitimate war"? Will the blackout of Gaza bring down the Hamas government or cause the population to rally around it? And even if the Hamas government falls, as Washington wants, what will happen on the day after? These are questions for which nobody has any real answers. As usual here: Quiet, we're shooting. But this time we are not only shooting. We are bombing and shelling, darkening and destroying, imposing a siege and kidnapping like the worst of terrorists and nobody breaks the silence to ask, what the hell for, and according to what right?"
Read the full article
July 03, 2006
The poor, poor, Israelis -- so weak and vulnerable
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