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:: ONU - XX Assemblea Generale (1965):
La XX Assemblea Generale dell’ONU (1965) dichiara "la legittimità della lotta da parte dei popoli sotto oppressione coloniale, per esercitare il loro diritto all' autodeter-
minazione e all'indipendenza".
Inoltre, l'Assemblea invita "tutti gli Stati a fornire assistenza morale e materiale ai movimenti di liberazione nazionale nei territori coloniali".

:: ONU - Risoluzione 1514
"L'Assemblea Generale dichiara che: la soggezione dei popoli a dominio straniero, conquista e asservimento costituisce una negazione dei diritti umani fondamentali, è contraria alla Carta delle Nazioni Unite ed è un impedimento alla promozione della pace e della cooperazione mondiali.
Tutti i popoli hanno diritto all' autodeter-
minazione; in virtù di tale diritto essi devono liberamente determinare il loro status politico e liberamente perseguire il loro sviluppo economico, sociale e culturale".

:: Convenzione di Ginevra, Protocollo Addizionale I (1977):
La lotta armata può essere usata, come ultima risorsa, come mezzo per esercitare il diritto all' autodeter-

:: Tribunale penale internazionale
In base allo Statuto del Tribunale penale internazionale, sono definiti “crimini di guerra”:
(1) attacchi lanciati intenzionalmente contro popolazione civili in quanto tali o contro civili che non prendano direttamente parte alle ostilità;
(4) attacchi lanciati intenzionalmente nella consapevolezza che gli stessi avranno come conseguenza la perdita di vite umane tra la popolazione civile, e lesioni a civili o danni a proprietà civili ovvero danni diffusi duraturi e gravi all’ambiente naturale che siano manifestamente eccessivi rispetto all’insieme dei concreti e diretti i vantaggi militari previsti.

:: Iraq anthem
(click to listen)

For the First Time, A Nurse at Guantánamo Refuses to Take Part in Force-Feedings, Calls Them a “Criminal Act”
Andy Worthington

July 16, 2014 - Reprieve, the legal action charity whose lawyers represent a number of prisoners still held at Guantánamo Bay revealed yesterday that a nurse with the US military at the prison "recently refused to force-feed" prisoners "after witnessing the suffering" it caused them.Abu Wa’el Dhiab, a Syrian prisoner long cleared for release from Guantánamo, who is in a wheelchair as a result of his physical deterioration after 12 years in US custody without charge or trial, told his lawyer Cori Crider during a phone call last week (on July 10) that the male nurse "recently told him he would no longer participate in force-feedings." Dhiab reported that the nurse said, "I have come to the decision that I refuse to participate in this criminal act."....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108504] [ 24-jul-2014 15:39 ECT ]

The Hollywood-style barbarism behind the 'strategic' killing of Palestinians
Nabila Ramdani

July 16, 2014 - Beyond the images of dead and maimed children coming out of Gaza, the most repugnant pictures have been of Israelis cheering on the slaughter from a bordering hill. There was a cinema-type atmosphere close to the town of Sderot all last week as, near enough to see the missile flashes and hear the blasts, the excited audience clapped each lethal strike. Successive days and nights of live carnage were accompanied by drinks and popcorn. Danish newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad described the macabre gatherings as 'most closely resembling the front row of a reality war theatre'. Such scenes - which are usual on the so-called 'Hill of Shame' during times of conflict - were replicated across Israel. In Tel Aviv and Jerusalem young people chanted 'Death to Arabs' in between celebrating each murderous attack on their hated neighbours....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108503] [ 24-jul-2014 14:52 ECT ]

Syria News - July 15 , 2014 (Warning: Graphic Videos)
Local Coordinating Committees of Syria

July 15, 2014 - By the end of Tuesday, the coordination committees were able to document 60 martyrs including 4 women, 11 children and 5 martyrs under torture: 18 martyrs were reported in Daraa; 13 in Damascus and its suburbs; 12 in Aleppo; 9 in Hasakeh; 5 in Raqqa; 2 in Idlib; and 1 in Hama...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108502] [ 24-jul-2014 03:39 ECT ]

Lost Voices of Dissent
Israel’s War Echo Chamber


July 15, 2014 -For several days now, some of my neighbours have suggested that the time has come to "destroy them"- meaning either Hamas or Palestinians – "once and for all". The rockets being fired from Gaza clearly do have the effect of raising the level of hysteria within Israel.However, not only have the dozens of Grads been fermenting the spirit of war – government ministers, members of Knesset and leading media commentators have also been consistently pouring oil onto the fire. Indeed, it seems the only vocal criticism against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is that he is too soft on the Palestinians. There is no public debate about the necessity of another war, but only about how punitive Israel should be....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108501] [ 24-jul-2014 02:47 ECT ]

No exit from Gaza: A new war crime?
Richard Falk

July 15, 2014 - ....Leaving aside the debate on causes and justifications, the civilian population of Gaza, estimated to be about 1.7 million with women and children comprising 75% of the total, are trapped in an overcrowded war zone with no apparent exit from terrifying danger. Even if families are lucky enough to avoid direct physical injury, the experience of screaming jet fighters attacking through the night, targeting and surveillance drones overhead day and night, sustained naval artillery barrages, not to mention the threatened ground invasion combine to create a continuous horror show. It has been repeatedly confirmed by mental health specialists that these realities act as a trauma inducing phenomenon on a massive scale with prospects of lasting psychological damage, especially to children...

  continua / continued avanti - next    [108500] [ 24-jul-2014 02:25 ECT ]

Barbarism Unleashed: Israel’s Attack on Civilized Norms
By Ron Forthofer

July 15, 2014 - The following material is excerpted from a column I wrote about Israel’s attack on Gaza in June 2006. This column could have also been written about Israel’s horrific attacks on Gaza in 2008/2009 and in 2012. As long as Israel can continue to commit war crimes with impunity, Israel has no reason to modify its behavior. Excerpts from column about Israeli’s 2006 attack on Gaza:
The civilian casualty toll and the destruction of civilian infrastructure in Gaza is appalling. When will we ever learn that violence only begets more violence? And, sadly, in modern warfare, innocent civilians are usually the primary victims...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108499] [ 24-jul-2014 02:11 ECT ]

Grandmother Sentenced to One Year in Prison After Protest at US Drone Base
Democracy Now!

July 15, 2014 - In New York, a peace activist and grandmother has been sentenced to a year in prison for her role in peaceful protests at a base where U.S. drones are piloted remotely. Mary Anne Grady Flores had been issued an order of protection aimed at keeping her away from Hancock Field Air National Guard Base after she participated in an act of civil disobedience there in 2012. Last year, Grady Flores says she attended another peace action, but did not participate, instead photographing it from the roadway, beyond what she believed was the base’s boundary. She was later told the base’s property extended into the road. On Thursday, Judge David Gideon of the DeWitt Town Court sentenced her to the maximum sentence of a year in prison for violating the protection order and fined her $1,000. In a courtroom packed with about 150 supporters, Grady Flores spoke about what she called the four perversions of justice in her case...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108498] [ 24-jul-2014 01:53 ECT ]

Settlers attempted to kidnap and shoot two young Palestinian children
International Solidarity Movement

July 15, 2014 - Yesterday in the village of Deir Istiya, two young boys, Hasim Abu Zeed (13) and Hathem Yaser Abu Zeed (9) were attacked by Israeli settlers. Every day Hasim and Hathem’s family have to cross a road, which separates their homes from the village. This puts them in a dangerous position, exposing them to settler harassment and violence. Yesterday evening when they were passing a road to visit a store in the village, a car drove by and dragged the two boys inside. Hasim screamed, causing people to wake in the village, this appeared to unnerve the settlers and the two boys managed to escape into the olive fields, close to their house....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108497] [ 24-jul-2014 01:19 ECT ]

Gaza families flee Israeli bombing of their homes
Asmaa al-Ghoul

July 15, 2014 - ...Palestinian Ministry of Health spokesman Ashraf al-Qadra told Al-Monitor that 17 members of the Batsh family were killed by Israeli aircraft when they were bombed in their home, adding that one family member, Zakaria al-Batsh, was wounded and in intensive care.On July 13, Al-Monitor visited the area of the Batsh home, which was turned into a pile of rubble. The search was continuing for five people missing since the evening before....

  continua / continued avanti - next    [108496] [ 23-jul-2014 23:54 ECT ]

The fatal Palestinian trinity
Haneen Zoabi

July 15, 2014 - There are no concrete military outcomes for what is happening in Gaza. Israel has not eliminated Hamas nor has it obliterated any other resistance forces or liberation movements that seek to break the hold of the occupation. Israel has achieved nothing through its use of excessive military force; through its killing; through its destruction of Gaza. Yet, at the same time, Hamas alone has not been able to prevent Israel from deepening the roots of the occupation, nor has it been able to prevent it from continuing its violence and killings...Indeed, what Hamas has killed is Israel's conviction that it is able to impose a state of occupation without a physical occupier via this trinity. It has facilitated the stability of Israel's grip on occupied Palestinian territory for the past ten years...

  continua / continued avanti - next    [108495] [ 23-jul-2014 21:53 ECT ]

ISIS kills 23 Iranian Soldiers in Iraq
BasNews, Iraq

July 15, 2014- So far the Islamic State in Iraq and Sham (ISIS) has killed 24 Iranian Quds Soldiers during fighting in Iraq in the last month. According to Iraqi local media, since the start of ISIS attacks in Iraq and Iranian involvement in the clashes, 23 Iranian soldiers have been killed by ISIS with most of them killed in Samarra, a city north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.According to Iraqi media, most of the Iranian soldiers have been killed in cities and towns near the Iraqi Capital, as they are protecting Baghdad and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki from any ISIS attacks....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108494] [ 23-jul-2014 21:42 ECT ]

Israeli calls for Palestinian blood ring at fever pitc
David Sheen

July 15, 2014 - Concerned humanists may have hoped that when a group of Jewish Israelis confessed to kidnapping and killing Muhammad Abu Khudair, a Palestinian teenager in Jerusalem — forcing him to drink gasoline and torching him to death from inside his body — that top Israeli legislators and rabbis would have been horrified at what their revenge rhetoric had triggered, and seriously scaled back their calls for war.These hopes would have been in vain. In the days since the lynchers were arrested, the anti-Arab rhetoric has continued to ring at a fever pitch. Even as the Israeli army pummels the Gaza Strip with explosives — more than 1,500 tons have been dropped on Gaza by the time of this writing, killing 193 people and wounding approximately 1,200, the vast majority of them civilians — Israeli political, religious and cultural leaders continue to incite sectarian divisions for political profit...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108493] [ 23-jul-2014 21:35 ECT ]

Netanyahu says there will never be a real Palestinian state
Philip Weiss

July 15, 2014 - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a press conference in Hebrew in which he stated that he would never accept Palestinian sovereignty in the West Bank because Israel’s security needs are too great in an era of Islamic radicalism. His remarks have been summarized by David Horovitz in the Times of Israel, with limited quotations. "I think the Israeli people understand now what I always say: There cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan," Netanyahu said, leading Horovitz to say: "That sentence, quite simply, spells the end to the notion of Netanyahu consenting to the establishment of a Palestinian state." Just Bantustans, what we’ve observed again and again in recent years. ...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108492] [ 23-jul-2014 21:25 ECT ]

Open letter to Members of the European Parliament
International Anti-Occupation Network and the BRussells Tribunal

July 15, 2015 ...The failure to protect the ordinary citizens of Iraq, the deliberate harm inflicted on certain communities as well as the gross human rights violations being committed by the Iraqi government’s forces on a daily basis with total impunity have been met with silence. According to Human Rights Watch 255 Sunni prisoners were murdered mainly by militia supporting prison guards in the last four weeks. All detainees must be protected immediately! The reality of the situation is bleak: Prime Minister Maliki has built an authoritarian state where ruthless paramilitary groups such as Assaib Ahel Al Haq have more military weight than the regular army. These sectarian militias are given a free hand to terrorise communities, to commit kidnapping, to torture and to carry out extra judicial killings with impunity. The militias have been carrying out sectarian cleansing in Baghdad against the Sunnis, as reported by the media and NGOs....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108491] [ 23-jul-2014 21:15 ECT ]

Iraqi Shi’a parties prepare to nominate Chalabi for PM
Hamza Mustafa

July 15, 2014 - Iraqi lawmakers elected a new speaker of parliament on Tuesday, as Shi’a political parties prepared to nominate candidates to replace Nuri Al-Maliki as prime minister. Iraqi state TV showed footage of MPs congratulating Sunni MP Salim Al-Jabouri, after he was elected speaker of the body with 194 out of 328 votes. At time of writing, it was unclear if lawmakers had also agreed on a new prime minister and president. Incumbent Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki continues to seek a third term in office following inconclusive elections earlier this year, despite widespread opposition from across Iraq’s political spectrum...

  continua / continued avanti - next    [108490] [ 23-jul-2014 21:06 ECT ]

"Israel Targets Civilians, the Casualties Speak Volumes": International Protection Urged for Besieged Gaza
Democracy Now!

July 15, 2014 - ....The real issue here is whether Israel is going to be held accountable. And so far there hasn’t been any international actors who have stepped forward to say anything to Israel or to do anything against Israel. There haven’t been sanctions lobbied against Israel. There haven’t been any statements. And at the end of the day, it’s going to be simply a question of whether Israel gets tired of continuing to bomb a civilian population. We’ve seen this in the past, when it’s carried out bombing campaigns against Lebanon and also the previous bombing campaigns against Gaza...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108489] [ 23-jul-2014 19:10 ECT ]

Palestinians in Israel demand war crimes probe for Gaza

July 15, 2014 - Palestinian civil society organizations in Israel are urging international efforts to investigate alleged war crimes committed during Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip . There are nearly 1.7 million Palestinians with Israeli citizenship, who although they can vote and be elected, face systematic legal and social discrimination and racist incitement. A dozen organizations serving Palestinians in Israel, including legal advocacy groups Adalah and Mossawa Center and the Arab Association for Human Rights, made the call in a statement strongly condemning Israel’s assault...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108488] [ 23-jul-2014 18:09 ECT ]

Witness to an International Crime: Israeli State Terrorism in Gaza
Ajamu Baraka

July 15, 2014 - "Protective Edge," the cartoonish name given to the latest Israeli military offensive against the occupied people of Palestine, is representative of the inverted reality whereby the 1.7 million captive and largely defenseless Palestinians in Gaza are the vicious aggressors against the peace-loving settlers of Israel. Similar to the inverted reality in the U.S., where the myth of the innocent settler was created to justify the systematic slaughter of Indigenous peoples, the genocidal policies of Israel are camouflaged by the transformation of its position from an armed colonial invader to one of victim.This repositioning is aided and abetted in the U.S. by a corporate media whose worldview and angle of reporting is framed by the innocent settler narrative...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108487] [ 23-jul-2014 15:28 ECT ]

Has Israel appointed a war criminal to probe civilian deaths in Gaza?
Charlotte Silver

July 15, 2014 - Joshua Hantman, a senior adviser to Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, was invited to speak on the TV program Democracy Now! last Friday, where he asserted: "For Israel, any civilian death is not only a tragedy, but it’s a failure, as well. And we review every single operation and every single strike to see how we can improve."Earlier this week, it was reported that Noam Tibon, an Israeli major-general, will conduct an investigation into the extensive civilian fatalities suffered in the Gaza Strip from massive Israeli bombardment. Since the latest assault on Gaza began eight days ago, the number of those people killed in Gaza has reached more than 190 and continues to grow rapidly, with over 1,200 injured. Eighty percent of those who have lost their lives are non-combatants, including at least 34 children...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108486] [ 23-jul-2014 14:18 ECT ]

Colonial Experiments in Gaza
by Samera Esmeir

July 15, 2014 -....Although Gaza is walled off and isolated, it is not detached from the rest of Palestine. The particular forms of confinement, destruction, and experimentation in Gaza are constitutive of Israeli colonial rule. This rule maintains and reproduces itself through the fragmentation of Palestine and the Palestinian people into different population groups—those in exile, in Gaza, in the West Bank, in the Galilee and the Triangle, and so on. The proliferation of Palestinian populations has resulted in diffuse "solutions" to diverse populations—solutions that do not consider the possibility that the very production of discrete populations and separate solutions is the main achievement of Israeli colonial rule. Gazans, like camp refugees elsewhere, have become objects of humanitarian aid. Palestinian citizens of Israel demand equality and the transformation of the state into a democracy with equal rights for all citizens. Palestinian residents of the West Bank are in some sense the recipients of development funds from international donors and business communities, while Jerusalemites seek to strengthen their legal status as residents to avoid their deportation or forced relocation. The siege on Gaza and the experimental wars this makes possible are only the most visible and violent means through which Israel consolidates its colonial rule. ...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108485] [ 23-jul-2014 14:10 ECT ]

The unfolding lie of Operation Protective Edge
By Idan Landau (Translated from Hebrew by Ofer Neiman)

July 15, 2014-...The kidnapping and murder of three Israeli youths in Gush Etzion in June 2014 was a boon to the prime minister. This is a harsh statement, but it can be corroborated by what Netanyahu said just two days after the incident, before there was any lead for the resolution of the case: "The incident demonstrates what we have been saying throughout long months: the alliance with Hamas brings about very bad consequences, which run contrary to the advancement of peace between us and the Palestinians." This statement was unfounded. Among the Palestinian public, it was obvious to all that the kidnapping was in fact a test of the alliance and an act that subverted it. As one can recall, even Abu Mazen’s unequivocal condemnation, delivered to the entire Muslim world, a condemnation that furthermore crumbled the shaky unity with Hamas, was not good enough for the Israeli government. Once more, Netanyahu’s office made clear in its response that there was only one thing on its mind – rockets or no rockets, kidnapping or murder, condemnation or whatever: "Cancel the agreement with Hamas." And then, at the beginning of this month, the flow of goods into Gaza was reduced...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108484] [ 23-jul-2014 14:06 ECT ]

Israel firing experimental weapons at Gaza’s civilians, say doctors
Rania Khalek

July 15, 2014 - Doctors treating patients in Gaza have accused Israel of using experimental weapons on Palestinian civilians.Addressing reporters at a press conference on Sunday, Youssef Abul Resh, undersecretary of the health ministry in Gaza, said, "Medical teams have registered injuries consistent with those caused by DIME [dense inert metal explosives] and other banned weapons." He added, "Israel has mercilessly targeted Palestinian civilians, leaving many of them with life-threatening injuries and future handicaps." ...DIME munitions were developed by the US Air Force in 2006 and have since been tested repeatedly on the people of Gaza, who have long served as involuntary lab rats for Israel’s weapons industry. DIME bombs contain tungsten, a cancer-causing metal that helps to produce incredibly destructive blasts which slice through flesh and bone, often decapitating the lower limbs of people within the blast radius....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108483] [ 23-jul-2014 14:01 ECT ]

Israeli officials call for cutting energy and food supplies to Gaza
Middle East Monitor

July 15, 2014 -Israeli officials yesterday renewed their calls for cutting food and electricity supplies to the Gaza Strip as a punitive measure against Hamas and the area's residents.Israel's Deputy Defence Minister Danny Danon stressed that it is important to pressure Hamas and the people of Gaza through cutting off electricity and bombing Gaza's power plant and destroying it completely. In a radio interview yesterday Danon called on Netanyahu to cut off the electricity supplies that Israel provides to the power plant, and to prevent the flow of fuel, food and basic goods into Gaza...

  continua / continued avanti - next    [108482] [ 23-jul-2014 12:06 ECT ]

Bloodbath in Gaza: Abnormal becomes normal
Iqbal Jassat

July 15, 2015 - As world powers watch the slaughter of Gaza's besieged population in deathly silence, ordinary people are shocked at the levels of barbarity displayed by Israel. Gruesome and grotesque to the extreme. Visuals in mainstream media of entire families including little babies being blown to pieces, cannot but move viewers. Their sense of outrage will most certainly have been fueled by being aware that tons of explosives raining down on homes, hospitals, schools and mosques can be halted if world leaders have the guts to pull the rug below Netanyahu's feet....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108481] [ 23-jul-2014 02:52 ECT ]

Syria News - July 14 , 2014 (Warning: Graphic Videos)
Local Coordinating Committees of Syria

July 14, 2014 - By the end of Monday, the coordination committees were able to document 39 martyrs including 4 women, 5 children and 2 martyrs under torture: 14 martyrs were reported in Aleppo; 9 Damascus and its suburbs; 7 in Idlib; 6 in Daraa; 5 in Aleppo; 1 in Lattakia; 1 in Qunaitra and 1 in Raqqa...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108479] [ 23-jul-2014 01:12 ECT ]

Ongoing Israeli Offensive on Gaza: 162 Palestinians Killed, of Whom 137 Are Civilians, Including 34 Children and 28 Women, and 1,058 Others Wounded, Mostly Civilians, Including 332 Children and 212 Women;
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)

July 14, 2014 - Israeli occupation forces have continued their brutal and immoral offensive on the Gaza Strip for the 7th consecutive day, and have continued the policy of collective punishment in disregard for the international law and humanitarian law, which ensure protection for civilians in times of war, and in violation of the principles of necessity, proportionality and distinction. Israeli forces have continued their aerial, ground and sea attacks throughout the Gaza Strip, causing more civilian casualties and damaging civilian facilities, including houses and mosques. Israeli forces attacked workers of municipalities who provide vital services to the civilian population. As result of these attacks, 3 workers have been killed and a 4th one has been wounded. Thousands of Palestinian civilians have been forced to leave their houses in the northern Gaza Strip following warnings by the Israeli forces to leave their houses as they would initiate military operations in these areas...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108478] [ 22-jul-2014 23:52 ECT ]

Russia, Saudi Arabia to Sign Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Deal
RIA Novosti

July 14, 2014 - Russia and Saudi Arabia plan to sign an intergovernmental agreement in the civilian nuclear cooperation, the head of Russia’s Rosatom nuclear energy corporation said on Sunday."Everything is ready, at the level of delegations everything has been initialed and agreed. We expect to sign [the document] in the fall," Rosatom chief Sergei Kiriyenko said. In June, reports said Russia and Saudi Arabia had agreed on the draft document and discussed prospects for advancing bilateral cooperation in civilian energy and related sectors...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108477] [ 22-jul-2014 23:26 ECT ]

Iraqi Baath spokesman denies alliance with Islamic State
Omar al-Jaffal

July 14, 2014 - Khodair al-Morshedi, the official spokesman for the Iraqi Baath Party and the secretary-general of the Islamic National Front of Iraq, comprising various armed factions, described the Islamic State (IS), formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, as "an extreme, terrorist movement."Morshedi, who said his factions entered Ninevah after it was occupied by the armed organizations on June 10, denies having formed any alliance with IS. However, one member of the Baath Party told Al-Monitor that the Baath Party has coordinated with 14 armed factions to enter Ninevah and control it.....

  continua / continued avanti - next    [108476] [ 22-jul-2014 22:57 ECT ]

Andy Worthington: An Archive of Guantánamo Articles and Other Writing – Part 15, July to December 2013
Andy Worthington

July 14, 2014 - Over eight years ago, in March 2006, I began researching and writing about the Bush administration’s "war on terror" prison at Guantánamo and the 779 men (and boys) held there since the prison opened in January 2002. ... My mission, as it has been since my research first revealed the scale of the injustice at Guantánamo, continues to revolve around four main aims — to humanize the prisoners by telling their stories; to expose the many lies told about them to supposedly justify their detention; to push for the prison’s closure and the absolute repudiation of indefinite detention without charge or trial as US policy; and to call for those who initiated, implemented and supported indefinite detention and torture to be held accountable for their actions.

  continua / continued avanti - next    [108475] [ 22-jul-2014 22:46 ECT ]

The Tribal Component of Iraq’s Sunni Rebellion
By Nicholas A. Heras

July 14, 2014 - Following the Iraqi armed opposition’s seizure of Mosul on June 10, and the subsequent capture of large areas of Ninewah, Salah al-Din and Ta’mim governorates, several Iraqi organizations have proclaimed their role in the fighting. Emerging as one of the most powerful opposition groups in the rebel offensive is the General Military Council for Iraqi Revolutionaries (GMCIR) and its affiliated tribal militias, organized as the Military Council of Iraqi Tribal Revolutionaries. GMCIR members state that the organization has existed since the summer of 2013, but announced its existence in January 2014, in order to respond militarily against Iraqi security forces for firing on Sunni demonstrators in Anbar governorate....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108474] [ 22-jul-2014 22:26 ECT ]

Nouri al-Maliki's up to his old tricks while the press remains silent
The Common Ills

July 14, 2014- Violence continues in Iraq today. All Iraq News notes the Iraqi Air Force bombed northern Iraq and killed 10 suspects, from the safety of the sky the military bombed what they hope were suspects in northern Tikrit leaving 3 people dead, and 7 corpses were dumped in al-Hidaya Village. Sinan Salaheddin (AP) adds a Baghdad car bombing killed at least 4 people and left at least twelve injured. And AFP reports, "Militants on Monday assaulted the final area of the Iraqi town of Dhuluiyah still outside their control, after tribesmen rejected an offer to let them enter uncontested, an official said."...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108473] [ 22-jul-2014 22:16 ECT ]

Hamas: no cease-fire until siege of Gaza lifted
Adnan Abu Amer

July 14, 2014 - On the evening of July 10, Abu Abida, the spokesman for Hamas' military arm, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, asserted that a ground war offers an opportunity to free Israeli-held prisoners of war. The al-Qassam Brigades have prepared themselves for a long battle of many weeks. Abu Abida also said that Israel will not determine the timing of the conflict’s conclusion or its terms, emphasizing that the battle will involve many surprises....

  continua / continued avanti - next    [108472] [ 22-jul-2014 20:53 ECT ]

In response to Patrick Cockburn and Sir Richard Dearlove
Faisal J. Abbas

July 14, 2014 - In a recent article in The Independent, Patrick Cockburn made a number of wide and questionable assumptions relating to Saudi Arabia, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the recent crisis in Iraq.However, to Mr. Cockburn’s credit, at least he didn’t pretend to be unbiased in his argument, as he made it clear from his first few words that he had reached his own conclusion that Riyadh is indeed involved with ISIS. Indeed, his article leaves no room for misinterpretation as he doesn’t begin it by asking "if" Saudi Arabia is complicit, but rather asking "how far is Saudi Arabia complicit?"...To start with, Mr. Cockburn seems to have based his whole article on the views of Sir Richard Dearlove, the former MI6 chief who retired ten years ago and he himself has admitted that he had "no inside knowledge obtained" ever since. Furthermore, at the heart of Mr. Cockburn’s article is a questionable quote which he was told was attributed more than 13 years ago to Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the former head of Saudi Intelligence...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108471] [ 22-jul-2014 20:08 ECT ]

Is Iraq's Maliki taking a page out of Assad's playbook?
Susannah George

July 14, 2014 — As the Iraqi government struggles to contain a Sunni militant advance on Baghdad and hold the country together, more and more Iraqis are blaming Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki for their country’s increasing resemblance to neighboring Syria. Maliki isn't just responsible for the Iraqi army's poor showing against the Islamic State, critics say: Like Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, he’s responsible for the violence itself, for having ordered a military crackdown on a public demonstration, triggering the recent wave of unrest. And now, he’s relying on a military strategy that guarantees high civilian casualties..."Maliki was using aircraft against normal civilian people. He bombarded the entire city," says a man from Fallujah who asked to be called Ali. He said the indiscriminate, sustained violence eventually forced him and his family to flee to the relative safety of Iraq's Kurdistan region. But he said after watching the news from Syria unfold over the last three years, he wasn't surprised by Maliki's response. "All dictators, they all do the same things," he said referring to Maliki and Syrian President Bashar al Assad...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108470] [ 22-jul-2014 16:55 ECT ]

Israel Is Captive to Its ‘Destructive Process’
By Chris Hedges

July 14, 2014 - Raul Hilberg in his monumental work "The Destruction of the European Jews" chronicled a process of repression that at first was "relatively mild" but led, step by step, to the Holocaust. It started with legal discrimination and ended with mass murder. "The destructive process was a development that was begun with caution and ended without restraint," Hilberg wrote. The Palestinians over the past few decades have endured a similar "destructive process." They have gradually been stripped of basic civil liberties, robbed of assets including much of their land and often their homes, have suffered from mounting restrictions on their physical movements, been blocked from trading and business, especially the selling of produce, and found themselves increasingly impoverished and finally trapped behind walls and security fences erected around Gaza and the West Bank....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108469] [ 22-jul-2014 16:27 ECT ]

Gaza attacks: Lethal warnings
Eyal Weizman

July 14, 2014 - On the night of January 9, 2009, the Salha family were sleeping, and Gaza was under attack. They were woken by a loud bang at 3am: a missile, fired at the house, entered through the roof, and landed in one of the rooms. What the family did not know was that this was a warning. From that moment of impact, they had just three minutes before the house would be destroyed. After moments of terrified confusion they began to leave. A first group managed to escape but as the second group reached the bottom of the stairs, a bomb struck the building, killing six of them: Randa, 34; Fatma, 22; Diya, 13; Rana, 12; Baha, 7; and Rola, 1....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108467] [ 22-jul-2014 16:07 ECT ]

A mother in Gaza
Lina Al-Sharif

July 14, 2014- When Israel launched operation Pillars of Clouds back in 2012, I was 8 month pregnant with Yasmeen. Yet, I knew very little, about the enormous emotional complexities of loving, raising, and protecting a child. From the anxiety of giving birth to the sleep depravation, to the everyday tasks of keeping the wellbeing of a human being, motherhood is not easy and never gets easy. And that’s in normal situations where your and the safety of you child are something you can take for granted. But in Gaza, this is not the case. As one mentioned on Twitter, children in Gaza born in 2007 are witnessing the third assault in their lives. Many were killed in the first 2008-2009, many were killed in 2012, and many are being killed these days. So being a mother in Gaza means that your and your children’s worst fears is Israel and its brutality...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108466] [ 22-jul-2014 15:37 ECT ]

Out to Kill: Israel’s assault on Gaza is not to stop rocket fire
James Marc Leas

July 14, 2014-....The data published on the Israeli Government and ITIC websites show time and again that attacks on Hamas members in the West Bank and Gaza produce an increase in rocket fire. Each time a wave of rocket fire followed fatal attacks inflicted on Hamas by Israeli government forces. And each time that rocket fire persisted until a new cease fire was in place. The facts do not just pose a public relations problem and a credibility problem for Israeli officials. They also pose a legal problem. The facts about rocket fire published on its own web site mean that the Israeli government cannot rely on self-defense to legally justify any part of its onslaughts. If not to stop rockets, what could the motive for these onslaughts be? One realistic possibility is that the purpose of the onslaughts is to do exactly what the massive attacks on Gaza did do and are doing to Gaza, its families, and their property...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108465] [ 22-jul-2014 14:31 ECT ]

‘We’re Like Toys for Them’: Young Gazans speak about Operation Protective Edge
Sheren Khalel and Matthew Vickery

July 14, 2014 - Ali al-Halabi just wanted to focus on learning French. He graduated high school this fall, and dreams of one day seeing the Eifel Tower for himself, but on his first day of French lessons the bombing started. Ali, 17, is from Al-Zahraa in the Gaza Strip, and for the past week he hasn’t been able to leave his home, let alone attend French lessons. Leaving the besieged area alive feels more and more unlikely as each bomb is dropped.For young people in Gaza, whom make up over 50 percent of the population, this latest military assault on the Gaza Strip is the third in their recent memories—but that does not make it any easier...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108464] [ 22-jul-2014 13:01 ECT ]

Europe condemns civilian casualties in Gaza while procuring Israeli ‘combat proven’ drones
Mary Dobbing

July 24, 2014 - We know from the Israeli assaults on Gaza in Winter 2008-09 and November 2012 that armed drones will be playing a major role. Israeli drones fire Raphael made Spike missiles and bombs sometimes fitted with tungsten sleeves – so-called dime bombs. Elbit Systems which makes the Hermes range of drones often markets its products as "combat proven" and its this valuable sales tag which has helped drive Israeli drones sales to at least 53 countries according to Drone Wars recent briefing Israel and the Drone Wars.While Raphael claims "pinpoint precision" for its Spike missiles and coupled with the fact that sensors and cameras on-board drones are expected to enable highly precise and accurate strikes, the high proportion of civilian casualties (80% as of today) is inexplicable – unless they are deliberately or recklessly being targeted – a clear contravention of IHL...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108463] [ 22-jul-2014 12:47 ECT ]

Iraqi religious authorities: the Quiet and the Outspoken
by Haifa Zangana

July 14, 2014- ...Religious edicts (fatwas) by Sayyed Sistani given through his Media Spokesman throughout the years of occupation has led to the enhancement of the occupation’s "political process". These fatwas gave the political process an air of the infallibility the religious authority claims for itself, in spite of its sectarianism and the corruption of those who participated in this political process. The supreme Marji’ was politically exploited, whether he himself knew it or not, (clearly his spokesmen at least do know), to manipulate the emotions of people and at time to incite them to irresponsible reactions. ...Religious edicts reached its utmost limits in fueling fear and instinct defense emotions on Friday,13th,2014. This was when Sayyed Sistani issued a fatwa, through his Spokesman, Sheikh Abdulmahdi Al-Karbalaie, that jihad is an imminent duty to defend the land, its people and their honor. This suggests that the land, until the moment the army members escaped from Mosul on the 10 June, was fine, and that the people’s honor was preserved...In the absence of law and order in the Iraq, jihad fatwa sanctified the policies and practices of Nuri Al-Maliki’s regime, including the bombing of the cities. Everyone knows that bombing cities wouldn’t eliminate "terrorism", and that bombing is a collective punishment for the innocent inhabitants..

  continua / continued avanti - next    [108462] [ 22-jul-2014 12:32 ECT ]

A handful of Israeli academics responds to call to condemn Gaza slaughter
Ali Abunimah

July 14, 2014 - As Israel’s relentless bombardment of the Gaza Strip claimed more Palestinian lives, Haim Bresheeth, a film scholar at SOAS, University of London, helped initiate an open letter to Israeli academics urging them to condemn the slaughter.The open letter states in part: " We have been asked by our academic colleagues in Gaza – whose universities have been destroyed a number of times in the last six years, who are unable to teach or study, and who are also in growing need of food and medicines, like the rest of the almost two million Palestinians living in Gaza – to urge you to act urgently, to make your voice heard in Israel and abroad against what the Israeli government is inflicting on the Gaza population. We invite you, as fellow academics and intellectuals, to join your voices in an open and resounding protest about these war crimes by the Israeli government – your government. " ....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108461] [ 22-jul-2014 11:05 ECT ]

Israel student union sets up “war room” to sell Gaza massacre on Facebook
Ali Abunimah

July 14, 2014 - As the death toll from Israel’s savage bombardment of Gaza continues to climb, Israel has once again turned to students to sell the slaughter online."Although they haven’t been called up to the army yet, they’ve decided to enlist in a civilian mission that is no less important – Israeli propaganda [hasbara]," Ynet’s Hebrew edition reported about a massive initiative organized by the Israeli student union branch at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (IDC Herzliya), a prestigious private university. "Hasbara," literally "explaining," is the term used in Israel for government propaganda aimed at overseas audiences. "The goal is to deliver a very clear message to people abroad – Israel has the right to defend itself," Lidor Bar David told Ynet...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108460] [ 22-jul-2014 10:58 ECT ]

The overwhelming silence of Gaza’s streets
Rami Almeghari

July 14, 2014 - ...In Gaza, we call our victims "martyrs," whether they intended to die or not. Some people in the West find this puzzling. We make no apology for doing so. We have always believed that those who are killed by the Israeli occupation will be rewarded by God in paradise.I have not been trying to become a martyr. I am a journalist trying to do my job. Last week, I was trying to ensure that the voices of Gaza are heard in the outside world, something I do all the time.While I was taking a taxi home after conducting some interviews, I narrowly missed an Israeli drone attack on a motorcycle. Two martyrs died instantly in that attack. Protecting my children is not easy....

  continua / continued avanti - next    [108459] [ 22-jul-2014 02:48 ECT ]

Al-Hosni vows to prosecute Al-Maliki and Al-Sistani
Middle East Monitor

July 14, 2014 - Close sources to the Iraqi Shia cleric Mahmoud Al-Sarkhi Al-Hosni confirmed that he is in good health and in a safe place, accusing the religious authority affiliated with cleric Ali Al-Sistani of being behind the attack on Al-Hosni after he announced his opposition to their cleric.The same sources also confirmed that they intend to prosecute the Iraqi government for what they described as "its crimes" against Al-Hosni's supporters. The Director of Al-Hosni's Office of Relations, Muhannad Al-Tay, said the cleric's supporters who refused Al-Sistani's fatwa that encourages fighting the Sunni rebels in the west of the country, have been subjected to what he described as "heinous crimes"...

  continua / continued avanti - next    [108458] [ 22-jul-2014 02:41 ECT ]

Repetition and Death in the Colony: On the Israeli Attacks on Gaza
by Nimer Sultany

July 14, 2014 - ...In short, war, peace and morality are united at the moment against the Palestinians’ quest for freedom. The war machine crushes Palestinian daily life as well as their actions of resistance. The peace process is conditioned on their abdication of their right to resist an unjust foreign occupier and is conditioned on their subordination of demands on behalf of justice for the sake of peace. But they are trapped. Because the relative justice they are willing to accept is increasingly relative to the extent it becomes indistinguishable from unconditional surrender. In the gradual nature of a prolonged peace process the real issues are continuously deferred at the time the facts on the ground are being created. Any Palestinian move, diplomatic or otherwise, effective or meaningless, has to be confined to the bilateral logic of the process. Otherwise, it is deemed harmful to the peace efforts and considered a unilateral move that may justify Israeli unilateral moves or punishments...

  continua / continued avanti - next    [108457] [ 22-jul-2014 02:31 ECT ]

Syria News - July 13 , 2014
Local Coordinating Committees of Syria

July 13 , 2014 - By the end of Sunday, the coordination committees were able to document 76 martyrs, among them 10 children, 9 women, and a martyr under torture: 36 martyrs were reported in Aleppo; 19 martyrs in Damascus and its suburbs; 6 in Daraa; 5 in Deir Ezzor; 4 in Hama; 3 in Idlib; 2 in Hasakeh; and 1 in Homs...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108456] [ 22-jul-2014 02:28 ECT ]

Life In Gaza Explained
AJ+ Labs

July 13, 2014 - Gaza has been described as the world's largest open air prison. Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip has had catastrophic results for average Palestinians living there. AJ+'s Dena Takruri looks at the unforgiving realities they face everyday. ...

  continua / continued avanti - next    [108455] [ 22-jul-2014 02:22 ECT ]

HRW's Pro-Israel Partisanship on 'Protective Edge'
by Helena Cobban

July 13, 2014 - The NYC-based organization Human Rights Watch, which has grown increasingly closer to the US government over the years, has sunk to a new low in the kneejerk response it published July 9, to Israel's deadly 'Operation Protective Edge'. See how....

  continua / continued avanti - next    [108454] [ 22-jul-2014 02:07 ECT ]

New Palestinian World Heritage Site Under Threat of Defacement
By Ido Liven

July 13, 2014- - The Palestinian village of Battir, just six kilometres southwest of Jerusalem and a similar distance from Bethlehem, is the latest to be trapped in the gap between international recognition and Israel’s policies in the West Bank. The village’s agricultural terraces covering the surrounding hill slopes, and the spring water-fed open irrigation channels that run through them, have been in use for centuries.Last month, this unique landscape was designated a World Heritage site by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), making it only the second such Palestinian site after the Old City of Jerusalem site. Already in autumn last year, the World Monuments Fund, an international organisation working to preserve important cultural heritage sites, had added Battir’s ancient terraces to its 2014 World Monuments Watch...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108453] [ 22-jul-2014 01:50 ECT ]

Video: While the world watches Gaza, protests rage across the West Bank
Kelly Lynn

July 13, 2014 - Palestinian youth gathered again for the ninth consecutive night near Rachel’s Tomb on Bethlehem’s Jerusalem-Hebron Road on Friday, June 11th. Clashes began on July 3rd in response to the murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir and have continued with the Israeli government’s current operation in Gaza. At least 8 young people have been treated for wounds sustained from Israeli forces’ use of live ammunition and dozens more for injuries from rubber bullets and tear gas inhalation. Approximately forty IDF soldiers and Border Police fired tear gas, skunk water, rubber bullets, sound grenades and live ammunition at demonstrators last night. ..
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108452] [ 22-jul-2014 01:47 ECT ]

International activists form human shield to protect El Wafa Hospital in Gaza City
By Haley Paladino

July 13, 2014 - International activists are acting as a human shield on El Wafa Hospital in the Gaza Strip. The medical facility is the only rehabilitation center in the besieged Strip, and is currently housing fourteen patients in critical condition who cannot be moved. The building is slated to be bombed by Israeli forces, according to Haaretz. Two warning shots were fired at the building at 2 a.m. Friday morning. The practice, called "knock on the roof," is intended to demonstrate the severity of the situation to inhabitants of buildings about to be struck."I didn't see anything resembling a rocket," American activist Joseph Cotran told Haaretz of his tour of the hospital...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108451] [ 22-jul-2014 01:43 ECT ]

Israeli strike kills family having coffee
Asmaa al-Ghoul

July 13, 2014 - In the early hours of July 9, Hafez Hamad, 37, was sitting in a small courtyard in front of his house, along with his wife, Suha, 31, his mother, Fawzia, 70, his brothers Ibrahim, 35, and Mahdi, 41, and Mahdi's teenage daughter Dina. They were chatting and drinking coffee, escaping the power cut inside their home, when an unmanned Israeli aircraft fired a missile, killing them all.
Al-Monitor spoke with Amir Hamad, the 11-year-old son of martyr Hafez. With a pale face after losing his father and mother, he said, "I was sitting beside my father and we were chatting when the plane bombed the location...

  continua / continued avanti - next    [108450] [ 22-jul-2014 01:40 ECT ]

On the photo of three Gaza brothers whose parents were killed by an Israeli bombing
Mark Rausch

July 13, 2014 -...Which exact moment is the center of a day of distilled objects? Do you—100 trillion cells, carbon and water, manually dexterous—usually attribute value to a central moment, or do you allow it to fleet by? The finding of keys which persecuted you with loss, the violence of humiliation from guilt, your child running towards your car after school lets out. Success, sadness, connectivity, isolation, renewed agency, love. What happened to us before the moment? We swiped the toothbrush across our top row with one hand, clicked the mouse with the other; we leaned toward a friend’s gasp and regarded their phone screen; we clicked on a blue-worded link, we clicked right clicked right clicked right we are clicking and then we saw the photo of three boys in Gaza whose parents were killed by a bomb from an Israeli airplane and there, that is the center of the day....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108449] [ 22-jul-2014 01:21 ECT ]

Tormenting Gaza
Richard Falk

July 13, 2014 - For the third time in the last six years, Israel has cruelly unleashed the full fury of its military machine against the defenceless 1.7 million people of Gaza, inflicting heavy civilian casualties and further devastation on the long besieged and impoverished Gaza Strip.With cynical disregard of the realities of this latest confrontation between Israel and Palestine, instead of condemning such recourse to massive violence as "aggression" that violates the UN Charter and fundamental international law principles, the reaction of western diplomats and mainstream media has perversely sided with Israel. From the UN Secretary-General to the president of the United States, the main insistence has been that Hamas must stop all rocket attacks while Israel is requested ever so politely to show "maximum restraint"...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108448] [ 22-jul-2014 01:11 ECT ]

156 Palestinians Killed, of Whom 132 Are Civilians, Including 34 Children and 27 Women, and 938 Others Wounded, Mostly Civilians, Including 280 Children and 194 Women
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)

July 13, 2013 - Israeli occupation forces have continued their offensive on the Gaza Strip for the 6th consecutive day, and have continued the policy of collective punishment in disregard for the international law and humanitarian law, which ensure protection for civilians in times of war. Israeli forces have escalated their aerial, ground and sea attacks throughout the Gaza Strip, causing more civilian casualties and damaging civilian property. In another crime, Israeli warplanes bombarded a house belonging to the al-Batash family in Gaza City without a prior warning, when worshippers were exiting a nearby mosque. As a result, 17 members of the family were killed and dozens of civilians were wounded. This morning, Israeli warplanes dropped flyers in border areas in the Gaza Strip, especially in the north, demanding the population to leave their houses and move to the centers of cities, as they intend to carry out military operations in these areas. Hundreds of Palestinian civilians were forced to go to safe shelters...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108447] [ 22-jul-2014 00:54 ECT ]

US message on enrichment helped open Iran channel
Laura Rozen

July 13, 2014 - The secret US-Iran diplomatic channel that helped advance the interim nuclear deal last year got underway after a message from US President Barack Obama was conveyed to Iran: The United States would be prepared to accept a limited Iranian domestic enrichment program as part of a nuclear agreement in which Iran would take concrete and verifiable steps to assure the world its nuclear program would remain exclusively peaceful." Basically it was to inform Iran that we are prepared to accept a limited enrichment program in the context of an otherwise acceptable deal," former US-Iran negotiator Robert Einhorn told Al-Monitor in an interview July 13. "It was not a specific quid pro quo."...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108446] [ 22-jul-2014 00:51 ECT ]

Iraq and the full of crap press
The Common Ills

July 13, 2014 -It's always of interest to note what gets reported and what gets ignored. The press, for those who missed it, loves, loves, loves to tell of Sunni death squads. Do Sunni militias exist? Absolutely they do.However, so do Shi'ite militias. A fact the press tends to be less vocal about -- this despite the fact that the number of Shi'ite militias, as well as the number of people in Shi'ite militias, are greater than their Sunni counterparts. Equally true, Nouri al-Maliki arms the Shi'ite militias, the Shi'ite death squads.And that's not a new development. Saturday, a large number of women were killed in an attack on two residential buildings in Baghdad. In Baghdad -- already that means it's likely Shi'ite militias but how the press loves to cover and cower. AP notes, "Police officials say the gunmen showed up in four-wheel drive vehicles before storming the buildings" and you can stop right there. Since the beginning of the Iraq War, Four-wheel drive vehicles used in a Baghdad attack tends to mean a Shi'ite militia. RT counts 33 dead -- 29 of them women. "Authorities have not been able to confirm who was behind the attack, but locals have pointed toward Shia militias, as they have been accused of killing women branded as prostitutes in the district." Yeah, locals have pointed to....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108445] [ 22-jul-2014 00:43 ECT ]

Florida Congresswoman sides with Israeli police over her own brutalized teenage constituent
Max Blumenthal

July 13, 2014 - On July 10, Democratic Representative Kathy Castor of Florida’s Tampa Bay area issued an impassioned plea for the protection of endangered manatee whales. At the same time, she remained conspicuously silent about the brutal beating and ongoing detention of one of her constituents by a foreign government.Tarek Abu Khdeir, a 15-year-old Palestinian-American high school student from Tampa, was brutally beaten in a videotaped July 3 incident in occupied East Jerusalem by Israeli border police. After being thrown in prison, he is now held under house arrest without charges, unable to receive adequate medical care for the extensive injuries he sustained during the beating....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108444] [ 22-jul-2014 00:38 ECT ]

I Remember...

July 13, 2014 - ...I'm sitting alone now in an empty house thousands of miles and a lifetime away from all of that. Many of the people I've just written about are now dead and a lot of the shops have closed. They were the small people, little, with little worries. People who just wanted to get by and see their children grow up and become doctors and lawyers and successful and happy. They had feuds and quarrels, but deep down they still loved one another. Somebody told me that's all dead. That those sights and sounds and smells are no more. But if that were true why do they still rush at at me when I least expect it? Why won't my heart believe what they say? The next time you see Syria on the news be gentle and think a little of these places and these people who are long dead. That's not just any place, it was my home...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108443] [ 22-jul-2014 00:33 ECT ]

What 'no country in the world' should tolerate
Text and photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org

July 13, 2014 - Israel says that 'no country in the world’ would agree to live under the threat of Gaza’s rockets, but ignores its own culpability in its 100-eyes-for-an eye spiral of violence. One of the common talking points used to defend Israel’s pummeling of Gaza is that "no country in the world" would agree to live under the threat of rockets. (Robert Fisk gives at least one historic example to the contrary.) But thin as the argument may be, it begs the question: Why single out Israel for criticism? Here’s one guess: has any other self-declared democracy killed its enemies (mostly civilians) at rates of 1,400-to-9 in Operation Cast Lead, 176-to-6 in Operation Pillar of Defense or 163-and-counting-to-0 in the current offensive, Operation Protective Edge?...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108442] [ 22-jul-2014 00:24 ECT ]

Massacre of the Innocents: Slaughter in the Gaza Ghetto
Chris Floyd

July 13, 2014 - The horror of Israel’s latest slaughter in Gaza speaks for itself — despite the mountainous flow of media sludge designed to obscure the reality of the aggression. Even the New York Times has been forced to print a few stories about the high number of civilian deaths being caused by the Israeli assault on the "Warsaw Ghetto" they have made of Gaza, noting the hospitals and mosques and private homes where dozens of innocent people have been blown to pieces by Israel’s weaponry (much of it American-made). Israel has imprisoned the people of Gaza in a stateless limbo while carefully controlling almost every aspect of their lives, including what medicines they can have, what manufacturing and building materials they are allowed and even, at times, how much food they are allowed to eat to keep the population weakened but just above malnutrition levels....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108441] [ 22-jul-2014 00:05 ECT ]

Israel is deliberately targeting civilians in Gaza
Rania Khalek

July 13, 2014 - The UN says 77 percent of the Palestinians killed in Israel’s relentless bombing campaign on the besieged Gaza Strip have been civilians. A report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs details Israel’s current assault, now it in its sixth day... Even as Israeli officials openly admit that they are deliberately and systematically bombing the family homes of suspected militants, the international community has raised little objection.Moshe Ya’alon, Israel’s so-called defense minister, boasted to Israel Army Radio: "We are destroying arms, terror infrastructures, command systems, Hamas institutions, regime buildings, terrorists’ houses, and killing terrorists of various ranks of command." This explains why entire families have been wiped out by US-supplied Israeli bombs...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108440] [ 21-jul-2014 23:28 ECT ]

Bombing of Gaza children gives me “orgasm”: Israelis celebrate slaughter on Facebook
Patrick Strickland

July 13, 2014 -Israel’s latest assault on the besieged Gaza Strip has been accompanied by yet another sharp increase in incitement against Palestinians and solidarity activists on social media outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter.
Facebook groups have been set up to call for the collective punishment of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Others host incitement against Palestinian students at Israeli universities, including posting pictures of and personal information about individual students. The radical and violent anti-Palestinian climate in Israel is not divorced from reality.After more than a week of Israeli government threats to do so, commandos launched the first ground incursion into the northern Gaza Strip early Sunday morning, reported Ma’an News Agency...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108438] [ 21-jul-2014 23:05 ECT ]

Israel’s incremental genocide in the Gaza ghetto
Ilan Pappe

July 13, 2014 - In a September 2006 article for The Electronic Intifada, I defined the Israeli policy towards the Gaza Strip as an incremental genocide. Israel’s present assault on Gaza alas indicates that this policy continues unabated. The term is important since it appropriately locates Israel’s barbaric action — then and now — within a wider historical context. This context should be insisted upon, since the Israeli propaganda machine attempts again and again to narrate its policies as out of context and turns the pretext it found for every new wave of destruction into the main justification for another spree of indiscriminate slaughter in the killing fields of Palestine...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108437] [ 21-jul-2014 23:05 ECT ]

Diego Garcia emails show UK Government is keeping renditions evidence from Parliament

July 13, 2014 - UK Foreign Office documents concerning the use of British territory by CIA 'rendition' flights show that ministers have been keeping key evidence in their possession from MPs, it has emerged. The emails and hand-written notes, which are visible in the hands of a UK official in a photo obtained by the Observer newspaper, reveal that flight logs from the island of Diego Garcia have been handed to British detectives investigating renditions. However, despite repeated questions from MPs, ministers have so far refused to provide them with the same documentation...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108436] [ 21-jul-2014 22:45 ECT ]

Living in a state of fear: The rising spectre of vengeance attacks on the Palestinian population
Matthew Vickery and Sheren Khalel

July 13, 2014 - The East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Shufat lays in rubble, its residents still in a state of shock after the murder of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir, and the clashes that followed in its wake between residents and Israeli forces. Decorative lights strung up as part of the Ramadan celebrations in Shufat remain intact, however the group of friends who put them up before the beginning of the holy month are not complete anymore."The last time I saw him we were putting the lights up together" a friend of Abu Khdeir, Mahmoud, told Middle East Monitor, "Now he is gone. He was the nicest person, everyone liked Mohammed." Abu Khdeir was kidnapped, beaten and burned alive before a strike to the head finally killed him. The murder of the teen has become the most well-known and shocking example of a revenge attack launched on the Palestinian population since the discovery of three dead Israeli teens on June 30th, but it doesn't stand alone...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108435] [ 21-jul-2014 22:25 ECT ]

Israel, not Hamas, is the serial truce-breaker
Telche Abu Sulttan

July 13, 2014 - You would be forgiven for thinking that the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza strip is an unfortunate necessity for the Zionist state; that Hamas holds full responsibility for the dead and the wounded; and that Israel is merely "responding" to Palestinian aggression, simply defending itself with no interest in escalating the conflict. You would be forgiven because, although it is an inaccurate and biased narrative, it is the only narrative you will hear in the mainstream media. Yousef Munayyer, Executive Director of the Jerusalem Fund, a non-profit organisation based in Washington, DC, has explained why this is not the only narrative by examining data about all the ceasefire violations on either side since the last Egyptian-brokered deal agreed by Israel and Hamas on 21 November 2012, which brought to an end Israel's so-called "Operation Pillar of Defence". The terms of the agreement included "ending all hostilities by Israelis and Palestinians, and facilitating the freedom of movement and transfer of goods within Gaza."...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108434] [ 21-jul-2014 20:59 ECT ]

Yemen : President Hadi’s Failings
Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

July 13, 2014 -Yemen’s President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi has accused Iran of being behind the turmoil in Yemen more than once. He blamed Iran for the Houthis’ recent seizure of the city of Omran, the gateway to the capital, Sana’a. I have no doubt that Iran is active in Yemen, including funding and arming rebels, but this does not justify the failure of the Yemeni leadership, the defeat of the army, or the way the country has been left to slide to the edge of a cliff...
President Hadi cannot blame Iran for all that is happening in Yemen. Rather, he should blame his political team, which has failed to unite rivals and take advantage of the UN envoy’s efforts to minimize disputes. Hadi did not provide realistic solutions, and so he did not succeed in reducing conflicts. ...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108432] [ 21-jul-2014 20:27 ECT ]

Israel viciously bombs Gaza, that’s the only truth
Ali Hariri

July 13, 2014 - To those of you who don’t know, we in Lebanon have lived three major wars with Israel, in 1993, 1996 and 2006 not to mention the daily brutalities that Israeli soldiers committed at check points and villages as they conquered various parts of Lebanon from 1982 till 2000. I know what it feels like to hear the bomb as it drops down wondering if it’s going to hit our house next. I know what it’s like to be a 5 year old boy unable to comprehend why we can’t go out of the house for days, why we have to sleep on the floor with a mattress on top! ....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108431] [ 21-jul-2014 19:59 ECT ]

Syria News - July 12, 2014 (Warning: Graphic Videos)
Local Coordinating Committees of Syria

July 12, 2014 - By the end of Saturday the Coordination Committees were able to document 38 martyrs in Syria including : 4 martyrs under torture : 20 martyrs were reported Damascus and its Suburbs; 6 in Aleppo; 4 in Idlib; 3 in Daraa, 3 in Hama; 1 in Homs, and 1 in Raqqa....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108430] [ 21-jul-2014 18:26 ECT ]

Military Resistance 12G2 Death is Not Peace
Thomas F Barton

July 12, 2014 - Government forces are stepping up a counterattack against the
Taliban after stumbling in their efforts to retake territory seen as critical to preserving Kabul’s hold in the country’s south. A resurgent Taliban last month amassed hundreds of fighters in northern parts of Helmand province—a hotbed in the long-standing insurgency against Afghanistan’s central government and the focus of President Barack Obama’s troop surge in 2009 and 2010.After making little headway in an initial bid to wrest back control, the Afghan government is preparing for a broader offensive in some of the most contested parts of the southwest province. "The situation is bad," said Suliman Shah, Sangin’s district governor. "The territory seized by the Taliban hasn’t been retaken, and the government hasn’t made any steps forward. The Taliban will take control of more territory." ....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108429] [ 21-jul-2014 17:32 ECT ]

Iraq’s Greatest Calamity
Geneva International Centre for Justice (GICJ)

July 12, 2014 - ...What remains astonishing, however, is that nothing has been mentioned so far in relation to the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq in 2003; nor have the failures of Iraq’s successive governments been brought to the fore. These elements, all of which somehow seem to have been selectively ignored by many, are important causal factors that collectively underpin Iraq’s current crisis. Such selective reporting, whether intentional or unintentional, has unfortunately undermined the real and long-term issues plaguing Iraq. The attempt today to make it look as if the onslaught of militant fighters on Baghdad, and the sectarian wars being waged amongst Iraqis, must be decried and halted as they are not, and should not, be the main crises that the international community needs to lay focus on....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108428] [ 21-jul-2014 17:24 ECT ]

The players may change, but the game remains the same: The use of racism to justify the massacre of innocent civilians in Gaza
Jenin Younes

July 12, 2014 - ....According to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israelis are different from Palestinians because "they sanctify death, we sanctify life, they sanctify death, they sanctify cruelty, and we mercy and compassion. That is the secret of our strength." Netanyahu is hardly alone in harboring these sentiments, and, in fact, his statement is more restrained than many other Israel supporters, including politicians, religious leaders and the general public. To read the comments section of New York Times articles about the aerial bombardment of Gaza over the last several days without knowledge of the conflict’s background, one would come away with the impression that Hamas is a nuclear power that is occupying and dispossessing Israelis...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108427] [ 21-jul-2014 00:27 ECT ]

On the 5th Day of the Offensive on the Gaza Strip, Israeli Warplanes Attack Civilian Facilities, Including Charities, Parks, Disabilities Rehabilitation Centers, Sport Clubs and Mosque, and Increasingly Target Houses
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)

July 12, 2014 - Israeli occupation forces have continued their offensive on the Gaza Strip for the 5th consecutive day, and have continued the policy of collective punishment in disregard for the international law and humanitarian law, which ensure protection for civilians in times of war. Israeli forces have escalated their aerial, ground and sea attacks throughout the Gaza Strip, causing more civilian casualties and damaging civilian property. Overnight, Israeli warplanes targeted charities, NGOs, public parks and some mosques. Israeli warplanes have continued to target houses with an allegedly legal cover, as an Israeli drone firs fire at a targeted house a "warning" missile, and a few minutes later, Israeli warplanes target and destroy such house. Israel would not be able to commit such crimes unless it has support from the United States, which considers Israel's acts as self defense, while the international community remains silent. ..
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108426] [ 20-jul-2014 22:59 ECT ]

Zionist Lying Unchecked
By Jamal Kanj

July 12, 2014 -Scene one: Disappearance of three illegal Jewish settlers in Hebron. Israel closes the West Bank, demolishes homes of supposed kidnappers, nonstop air raids on Gaza, kills two dozen Palestinians and imprisons more than 600 mostly newly released prisoners.Scene two: The kidnapped 15-year-old Palestinian Muhammad Abu Khudiar. Israel takes very measured response: No military raids searching for the non-Jewish victim, no checkpoints or closure of Jewish only colonies, no home demolishing and certainly no wholesale arrests. Two perpetrators commit congruous offence, yet two different responses under Israel’s Jewish democracy...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108425] [ 20-jul-2014 20:39 ECT ]

Good torture, bad torture
Charlotte Silver

July 12, 2014 -In June, two US courts issued rulings on cases in which victims of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo had sought justice. In one, a Washington DC court upheld the foundational rationale for the extrajudicial detention and abuse of men at Guantanamo during the "war on terror"; and in another, it was determined that yet a few more of our bad apples will be thrown on the garbage heap.As in the old trials of a few lowly US soldiers caught torturing Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib, there continues to be a gaping chasm between prosecuting the "bad apples" and uprooting the whole stinking orchard. Its most recent iteration can be found in these two disparate US court rulings...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108439] [ 21-jul-2014 23:24 ECT ]

Let's not follow 'Syria model' in Iraq
Michel Kilo

July 12, 2014 - .... Instead of mobilizing against ISIS in Iraq, the world included under the terror label anyone who has taken up arms against Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s gangs and assassins, such as: * The clans of western Iraq have been exposed to regime aggressions since 2003 and are deprived of their natural and political rights. Maliki’s army launched several successive wars against these clans, killing and abusing them, insulting their notables, violating their individual freedoms, storming their villages and cities and killing, detaining and shredding the bodies of thousands of them in the process. It thus comes as no surprise that the majority of those fighting Maliki are part of these clans, and that they decided to fight him only after multiple warnings that their response would be violent if he did not stop bombing and killing them, handing their villages and cities over to ISIS and wrongfully accusing them of fundamentalism and terrorism. * The Iraqi Baathists have been fighting for more than 10 years and are certainly no part of ISIS. ...

  continua / continued avanti - next    [108423] [ 20-jul-2014 20:01 ECT ]

Urgent call from Gaza civil society: Act now!
Various undersigned

July 12, 2014 - We Palestinians trapped inside the bloodied and besieged Gaza Strip call on conscientious people all over the world to act, protest and intensify the boycotts, divestments and sanctions against Israel until it ends this murderous attack on our people and is held to account. We call for a final end to the crimes and oppression against us. We call for: * Arms embargos on Israel, sanctions that would cut off the supply of weapons and military aid from Europe and the United States on which Israel depends to commit such war crimes; * Suspension of all free trade and bilateral agreements with Israel such as the EU-Israel Association agreement; * Boycott, divestment and sanctions, as called for by the overwhelming majority of Palestinian civil society in 2005...

  continua / continued avanti - next    [108422] [ 20-jul-2014 19:42 ECT ]

Gaza: Signposts on the road to liberation
Haidar Eid

July 12, 2014 - Edward Said wrote extensively about the necessity of writing the Palestinian narrative. But he also argued, very eloquently, that we were never allowed to do so. Now, we in Gaza have decided to write our narratives, sometimes with blood. Because they leave a mark on our individual and collective consciousness, we call them martyrs. Those who took up arms or pens — Che Guevara, Ghassan Kanafani, Naji al-Ali, Dalal Mughrabi, Shadia Abu Ghazaleh, Steve Biko, Salavador Allende, Rosa Luxemburg, Patrice Lumumba, to mention but a few — have booked their places there.But there are others, much younger, unknown to many, who have played a major role in the formation of our consciousness. They visit me every night; I see them in my dreams. I talk to them: I discuss serious issues with them, more serious than any living person can imagine....
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108421] [ 19-jul-2014 17:36 ECT ]

Obama lawyers claim Gitmo detainees still not persons after Hobby Lobby; Judge needs more evidence of Ramadan abuses

In a court hearing held today (July 10) at the DC District Court, the US government argued that Guantanamo detainees are 'not persons’ entitled to the protection of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) – unlike US corporation Hobby Lobby.It also suggested that hunger-striking prisoners did not need to be allowed to pray in a group, as is traditional during the month of Ramadan, because they could 'hear’ one another praying while standing alone in their cells.Lawyers for Pakistani Ahmad Rabbani and Yemeni Emad Hassan, both of whom have been detained without charge since 2002, argued that hunger strikers in Camp V are being punished by the prison authorities, who force them to pray alone in their cells. In court, Reprieve lawyer Alka Pradhan stressed that denying communal prayer to men held without charge or trial for over a dozen years just adds 'another deprivation and humiliation to their lives....’
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108420] [ 19-jul-2014 17:28 ECT ]

Chelsea Manning and The Power of Empathy
by Nozomi Hayase

July 12, 2014 - It is 3 am. Something in me is unsettled and I cannot sleep. Earlier today, the Israeli military intensified its assault on Gaza Strip as a kind of collective punishment of the Palestinians; those vulnerable and marginalized who have been locked up and denied their humanity. After more than 440 air strikes since the beginning of the week, I saw photos of injured and dead men, women and children by the dozens. I hear a man walking on the street outside my window shouting loudly; "you are a liar, a liar". In this explosion of anger, I feel his pain. Life does not have to be this way. We can live with dignity and treat each other with respect and kindness. We can do much better.When we see suffering of others, it upsets and saddens and keeps many of us awake at night. This reminds me of the words of Chelsea Manning and what she said about the scenes of the Collateral Murder video she witnessed; "we’re human . . . and we’re killing ourselves . . . and no-one seems to see that . . . and it bothers me"...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108419] [ 19-jul-2014 17:22 ECT ]

Amerikistan, Not Afghanistan... Warocracy, Not Democracy
by Hakim

July 12, 2014 -Afghanistan Analysts Network reported on July 9 that Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah had told gathered crowd "that he had received phone calls from both US President Barack Obama and State Secretary John Kerry and had been told that Kerry would make a stop-over in Kabul on Friday. It was clear he wanted see what could come of that."Abdullah Abdullah’s phone call with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry—who arrived in Kabul on Friday—shows that it is the U.S. government, and not Afghans, who run this country. This is Amerikistan, not Afghanistan.Even U.S. Senator Carl Levin has chipped in with his suggestion for this land which is about 10, 864 kilometres away from America’s eastern shores...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108418] [ 19-jul-2014 17:13 ECT ]

‘Protective Edge’ has nothing to do with protection
Graham Liddell

July 12, 2014 - I just flew overnight from Tel Aviv to New York. As I dozed in my seat, crossing the Atlantic, Israeli forces killed some 30 Palestinians in Gaza ...Among those killed in the night’s airstrikes was a family of eight in southern Khan Younis, a five-year-old boy in northern Beit Lahiya. Another nine were killed when warplanes targeted a cafe on the beach, where locals were gathered to watch the World Cup semifinal match. By the time you read this piece, the toll will have risen over the 100 mark. The majority of the dead will be civilians. Innocents who want to flee to protect their families will have nowhere to go, and will sit in their homes in the thick summer heat, listening to explosion after explosion, praying for their children’s sake the bombs stay far away...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108417] [ 19-jul-2014 17:07 ECT ]

Soul-crushing video shows Gaza father unable to accept his little boy’s killing
Philip Weiss

July 12, 2014 - Please don’t open this video if you don’t wish to know what horrific violence is being visited on Palestinian families with the support of the U.S. government. Don’t open it if you don’t wish to have scarred into your mind the devotion and nurturing and wild grief of a Palestinian father. Don’t open it if you don’t wish to see highly disturbing images of a dead child. Omar Ghraieb, Gaza blogger, states the matter clearly : "GRAPHIC vid: Father asking his dead son 2 wake up & see the doll he got him "...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108416] [ 19-jul-2014 17:01 ECT ]

The players may change, but the game remains the same: The use of racism to justify the massacre of innocent civilians in Gaza
Jenin Younes

July 12, 2014 - ...In the digital age where a wealth of information is available at the tap of a keyboard documenting background facts that are disputed by no serious historian—the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people from their land, and the continued occupation and oppression of the Palestinians–it is difficult to understand how otherwise reasonable, fair-minded people can continue to support and justify Israel’s aggression against this helpless group of human beings. While the reasons underlying this anomaly are many and complex, ultimately Israel uses the same tool that has been used for centuries to justify various forms of oppression of an ethnic group, from enslavement of blacks and ethnic cleansing of Native Americans in the United States to apartheid in South Africa: the dehumanization of the oppressed by portraying them as inherently inferior in some aspect, and the insistence that, regardless of its acts, the oppressor is morally superior and therefore justified...
  continua / continued avanti - next    [108415] [ 19-jul-2014 16:58 ECT ]

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