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Another Look at Israel
To support Israel was an expiation, and many of us gave our hearts to the cause. To question the wisdom of displacing the native Arabs with foreign Jews was to play the game of the wicked Grand Mufti. To feel sympathy with the million or so Arabs refugees was to turn ones back on the Six Million who had died in Hitlers fearful extermination pits. As war followed war, and Israel waxed ever stronger, it was always the Arabs fault and their sufferings were of their own making.
Yet, despite their fatal genius for putting themselves in the wrong, the Arabs have a far more powerful case than most American liberals care to admit. They have suffered wrongs that, under ordinary circumstances would be considered cruel beyond belief. In order for a Jewish state to be establish in Palestine, a thousand year old Arab Palestine community was wiped out and most of its residents scattered into squalid shanty towns of hate and hopelessness. Because of the crimes of a Christian nation in Europe, the people of the Near East had a catastrophe visited upon them, and they have been repeatedly punished in wars that they cannot seem to avoid precipitating. Another Look
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Israel, without the United States, would probably not exist. The country came perilously close to extinction during the October 1973 war when Egypt, trained and backed by the Soviet Union, crossed the Suez and the Syrians poured in over the Golan Heights. Huge American military transport planes came to the rescue. They began landing every half-hour to refit the battered Israeli army, which had lost most of its heavy armor. By the time the war was over, the United States had given Israel $2.2 billion in emergency military aid.
The intervention, which enraged the Arab world, triggered the OPEC oil embargo that for a time wreaked havoc on Western economies. This was perhaps the most dramatic example of the sustained life-support system the United States has provided to the Jewish state. Israel was born at midnight May 14, 1948. The U.S. recognized the new state 11 minutes later. The two countries have been locked in a deadly embrace ever since. Washington, at the beginning of the relationship, was able to be a moderating influence.
An incensed President Eisenhower demanded and got Israels withdrawal after the Israelis occupied Gaza in 1956. During the Six-Day War in 1967, Israeli warplanes bombed the USS Liberty. The ship, flying the U.S. flag and stationed 15 miles off the Israeli coast, was intercepting tactical and strategic communications from both sides. The Israeli strikes killed 34 U.S. sailors and wounded 171. The deliberate attack froze, for a while, Washingtons enthusiasm for Israel. But ruptures like this one proved to be only bumps, soon smoothed out by an increasingly sophisticated and well-financed Israel lobby that set out to merge Israeli and American foreign policy in the Middle East. . . .
U.S. foreign policy, especially under the current Bush administration, has become little more than an extension of Israeli foreign policy. The United States since 1982 has vetoed 32 Security Council resolutions critical of Israel, more than the total number of vetoes cast by all the other Security Council members. It refuses to enforce the Security Council resolutions it claims to support. These resolutions call on Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories. Chris Hedges A Declaration of Independence From Israel Truthdig
He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.Bishop Desmond Tutu Every time anyone says that Israel is our only friend in the Middle East, I can’t help but think that before Israel, we had no enemies in the Middle East.Fr. John Sheehan of the Jesuit Order The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.Albert Einstein
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Racism: A History, the 2007 BBC 3-part documentary explores the impact of racism on a global scale. It was part of the season of programs on the BBC marking the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. It’s divided into 3 parts.
The first, The Colour of Money . . . Racism: A History 1/3
Begins the series by assessing the implications of the relationship between Europe, Africa and the Americas in the 15th century. It considers how racist ideas and practices developed in key religious and secular institutions, and how they showed up in writings by European philosophers Aristotle and Immanuel Kant.
The second, Fatal Impact . . . Racism: A History  – 2/3
Examines the idea of scientific racism, an ideology invented during the 19th century that drew on now discredited practices such as phrenology and provided an ideological justification for racism and slavery. The episode shows how these theories ultimately led to eugenics and Nazi racial policies of the master race.
And the 3rd, A Savage Legacy . . . Racism: A History  – 3/3
Examines the impact of racism in the 20th century. By 1900 European colonial expansion had reached deep into the heart of Africa. Under the rule of King Leopold II, the Belgian Congo was turned into a vast rubber plantation. Men, women and children who failed to gather their latex quotas would have their limbs dismembered. The country became the scene of one of the century’s greatest racial genocides, as an estimated 10 million Africans perished under colonial rule.
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By Ilan Pappe
This article, excerpted and adapted from the early chapters of a new book, emphasizes the systematic preparations that laid the ground for the expulsion of more than 750,000 Palestinians from what became Israel in 1948. While sketching the context and diplomatic and polit- ical developments of the period, the article highlights in particular a multi-year Village Files project (194047) involving the systematic compilation of maps and intelligence for each Arab village and the elaborationunder the direction of an inner caucus of fewer than a dozen men led by David Ben-Gurionof a series of military plans cul- minating in Plan Dalet, according to which the 1948 war was fought. The article ends with a statement of one of the authors underlying goals in writing the book: to make the case for a paradigm of ethnic cleansing to replace the paradigm of war as the basis for the scholarly research of, and the public debate about, 1948.
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For our purposes here, the following excerpts (over half the entire text, with all cuts indicated by ellipses) are sufficient not only to establish the placement and context of the Ben-Gurion (direct) quote at the heart of the controversy, but also to follow the full progression of [David] Ben-Gurions argument, and in so doing assess the accuracy of Pappés paraphrase. Passages of particular relevance have been highlighted.
. . . Of course the partition of the country gives me no pleasure. But the country that they [the Royal (Peel) Commission] are partitioning is not in our actual posses- sion; it is in the possession of the Arabs and the English. What is in our actual possession is a small portion, less than what they [the Peel Commission] are suggesting as a Jewish state. . . . But in this proposed partition we will get more than what we already have, though of course much less than we merit and desire. The question is: would we obtain more without partition? If things were to remain as they are [emphasis in original], would this satisfy our aspirations? What we really want is not that the land remain whole and unified. What we want is that the whole and unified land be Jewish [emphasis in original]. A unified Eretz Israel would be no source of satisfaction for meif it were Arab. From our standpoint, the status quo is deadly poison.
We want to change the status quo. But how can this change come about? How can this land become ours? The decisive question is: Does the establishment of a Jewish state [in only part of Palestine] advance or retard the con- version of this country into a Jewish country? My assumption . . . is that a Jewish state on only part of the land is not the end but the beginning. . . . We will admit into the state all the Jews we can. We firmly believe that we can admit more than two million. We will build a multi-faceted Jewish economyagricultural, industrial, and maritime. We will organize an advanced defense forcea superior army which I have no doubt will be one of the best armies in the world. At that point I am confident that we would not fail in settling in the remaining parts of the country, through agreement and understanding with our Arab neighbors, or through some other means. . . .
Our ability to penetrate the country will increase if we have a state. Our strength vis-à-vis the Arabs will likewise increase. The possibilities for construction and multiplication will speedily expand. The greater the Jewish strength in the country, the more the Arabs will realize that it is neither beneficial nor possible for them to withstand us. On the contrary, it will be possible for the Arabs to benefit enormously from the Jews, not only materially but politically as well. I do not dream of war nor do I like it.
But I still believe, more than I did before the emergence of the possibility of a Jewish state, that once we are numerous and powerful in the country the Arabs will realize that it is better for them to become our allies. They will derive benefits from our assistance if they, of their own free will, give us the opportunity to settle in all parts of the country. The Arabs have many countries that are under-populated, underdeveloped, and vulnerable, incapable with their own strength to stand up to their external enemies. . . . This need for protection means subjugation and dependence on the other. But the Jews could be equal allies, real friends, not occupiers or tyrants over them.Palestine-Studies
Institute for Palestine Studies publishes 1937 Ben-Gurion letter advocating the expulsion of Palestinians (Adam Horowitz, 12 March 2012)
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Israel Doing What it Does Best
11 March 2012 4pm
The Israeli army continues its military attacks against the Gaza Strip. The attacks started Friday, March 10 at 5:30pm. I heard the first terrible explosion as I drove back to Gaza City from Khan Younis. There was a lot of smoke, shattered windows, and a fire in this blue car that was targeted by a missile from an Israeli drone. These offensive acts, though supposedly targeting Palestinian armed resistance men, are illegal according to international law. Every human is entitled a trial.
As usual, the entire civilian population including women and children, pays the highest price and bears the brunt of this terrible situation. Already several children have been killed, one was on his way to school when he was hit by shrapnel.
Our concern is not just the attacks but also the lack of medications and supplies. If Israel continues this operation, the number of causalities will increase. The toll is 16 dead and 30 injured until this minute.
Gaza’s population already lives in a dire humanitarian situation. We are still under Israel’s military occupation and the internal conflict between Palestinian political groups is not solved. But worst of all, the governments of the world are silent and indifferent.
We at the Red Crescent Society of the Gaza Strip and the Middle East Children’s Alliance appeal to the international community, and to our friends and supporters to spread the word about what is happening now in Gaza and pressure your governments to stop these attacks soon.
The humanitarian situation in Gaza is on the verge of collapse, the military attacks continue while we lack electricity and our medical facilities and hospitals have little amounts of fuel to operate their backup generators. We have insufficient medications. 186 basic medications are lacking in our pharmacies. Besides the insufficient medical supplies, children in the special neonatal intensive care units as well as renal dialysis patients are in great danger due to the power outage. Our cancer patients are dying unnecessarily, unable to have their treatments. Our diabetic and asthmatic patients, as well as many others with chronic illnesses who need their medications regularly cannot get it. The list of the victims is too long to mention.
Please act immediately to stop this attack against Gaza population. You have been always great supporters and showed your solidarity, at the most difficult times.
Dr. Mona ElFarra
Vice President, Red Crescent Society for the Gaza Strip
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The Biggest Jailbreak in History (John Maxwell)
June 5, 2009)
Israel– a Kingdom Divided by Leonard J. Schweitzer
Maangamizi (the Ancient One) (film review)
The Niggerization of Palestine (Jonathan Scott)
Nidaa Khoury, Palestinian Poet (book eview)
Our Shared History (David Schwartz)
Our Shared and Incomparable Sorrow (David Schwartz)
Shawn (David Schwartz)
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Palestinian Talmud (Blog)
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The Israel Lobby Finds a New Face Black College StudentsSeth Freed Wessler18 January 2012When Vincent Evans arrived as a bright-eyed first-year at Florida A&M, the countrys largest historically black university, he knew he wanted to get involved in politics. So when an older student leader approached him one afternoon after a student government meeting to ask if he wanted an all expenses paid trip to D.C., Evans jumped at the opportunity. The trip, it turned out, was sponsored by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, the countrys most powerful pro-Israel lobbying outfit. Israel is under growing attack from Palestinian and international activists who call the country a racist apartheid state.
In response, its staunchest U.S. lobby is recruiting black students as moral shields to make the case for Israeli impunity. At historically black colleges and universities (known as HBCUs) around the country, AIPAC is finding and developing a cadre of black allies to declare theres no way Israel can be racist.
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Report: Being Black in IsraelThe Ethiopian Jews are commonly known by the slightly derogatory term Falasha but the name they chose for themselves is Beta Israel (Hebrew for The House of Israel). They are today virtually no Ethiopian Jews anymore in Ethiopia. Israel organized mass migrations in the late 80s (Operation Moses). If you want to know more about Operation Moses read this. Many Ethiopian Jews converted to Christianity at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century. They faced discrimination and hardship and chose to become Christians in a predominantly Christian country to make their lives easier. However, today many of the descendants of these converts feel they are still Jews and should also have the right for aliya, i.e., to return to Israel. These people are named Falash Mura and after many discussions the Israeli government made them eligible for migration although with many restrictions and limitations. More on this phenomenon here. . . .
Blacks in Israel are also African Hebrew Israelites also known as Black Hebrews, who settled in Israel in 1969. They are of black American ancestry and were therefore not recognized as Jews. But after decades they have been granted permanent residency status in 2004 and became eligible for military service since then. In 2006, Eddie Butler, a Black Hebrew, was chosen by the Israeli public to represent Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest. They mainly live in the Negev town of Dimona were they form a community of 3000 people, but other families live in other towns too.AfroEurope
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Palestine and the United NationsAngie Todd8 November 2011Palestine is advancing in its aspirations for international recognition as a nation state, with its borders prior to the Israeli war of expansion in 1967 and East Jerusalem as its capital. In the wake of the overwhelming vote of 65.8% in favor of Palestinian statehood in the UN General Assembly in September, UNESCO voted to accept it as a full member on October 31, and applications are underway for the nations acceptance within the UNs 16 institutions. In fact, Palestines UNESCO membership also automatically extends to the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), through these agencies regulations.
There was jubilation in the hall when the vote by 173 countries of the 194 members of UNESCO was announced: 107 in favor, 52 abstentions and 14 against. Countries voting against, apart from the United States and Israel, included Australia, Canada, Germany and Sweden. Votes in favor came from nearly all of the ALBA countries, most of Latin America and the Caribbean, the majority of African nations, the Russian Federation, China and Vietnam, France and Spain. Countries abstaining ranged from Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
The reaction from the United States was immediate, taking the form of the withdrawal of $60 million in dues scheduled to be given over to UNESCO this November. To date the U.S. has funded 22% of UNESCOs budget. Canadas similar response raises this budget reduction to approximately 25%.
In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the rapid escalation of 2,000 new settlement units in the Palestinian governorates of Bethlehem and Jerusalem. They are concentrated in Har Homa, an illegal settlement built next to Bethlehem in the southern West Bank, and Neve Yaakov, near Ramallah. This move was accompanied with a withholding of taxes payable to the Palestinian Authority. “The land on which these settlement units are to be built is occupied Palestinian land,” affirmed Palestines chief negotiator Saeb Erekat. “The money that Israel is withholding is also Palestinian money. This theft is happening in broad daylight and the international community is bearing witness This will not change our course of action.”Granma
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Israel Intercepts Gaza-Bound Flotilla; Dozens Detained Including Democracy Now! Correspondent
Israeli forces intercepted two Gaza-bound boats in international waters on Friday to prevent the boats from breaking the naval blockade of Gaza. The Canadian and Irish boats made up the “Freedom Waves to Gaza” flotilla. Israel detained the 27 activists on board, as well as all of the journalists including Democracy Now! correspondent Jihan Hafiz. According to flotilla organizers, 21 people remain in Israeli custody, including Hafiz. The flotilla marked the latest failed attempt by international activists to challenge the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza. We speak to journalist Lina Attalah, who was on the Canadian boat named “Tahrir” in the flotilla and was deported to Egypt yesterday. She is the managing editor of Al-Masry Al-Youm, English edition, an independent news website.
The Israeli navy “cornered our boats from all sides . . . We were all equally put at gunpoint. Even before they boarded our boat, everyone was put at gunpoint from Israeli ships,” Attalah says. “Although we were clearly showing that we are journalists, Jihan Hafiz, for example, who is a Democracy Now! journalist, had her press card out and clear, but she was one of the first people asked to kneel on her knees and to raise her hands.” Attalah said some passengers were tasered.DemocracyNow
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Video from Gaza Flotilla as Israeli Navy Prepares to Intercept Boats4 November 2011Two Gaza-bound boats carrying pro-Palestinian activists are within 50 nautical miles of their destination, but reports are emerging that Israeli Navy ships have intercepted the “Freedom Waves to Gaza” flotilla. Communication with the boats has largely been cut off. Prior to losing contact, we received two exclusive video reports from aboard the “Tahrir,” the Canadian ship. Speaking to Democracy Now! correspondent Jihan Hafiz last night, passenger Ehab Lotayef said, “We are approaching the 100-nautical-mile point away from Gaza, which is usually the point where Israel declaresstarts the blockade . . . Will they try to come and board us? All these questions are now at the moment of truth. The major preparation we did is to prepare that we dont want anybody to act in any violent way or in any way that can even induce violence by the Israelis.”
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Exterminate all the Brutes: Gaza 2009Noam Chomsky6 June 2009On Saturday December 27, 2008, the latest US-Israeli attack on helpless Palestinians was launched. The attack had been meticulously planned, for over 6 months according to the Israeli press. The planning had two components: military and propaganda. It was based on the lessons of Israel’s 2006 invasion of Lebanon, which was considered to be poorly planned and badly advertised. We may, therefore, be fairly confident that most of what has been done and said was pre-planned and intended.
That surely includes the timing of the assault: shortly before noon, when children were returning from school and crowds were milling in the streets of densely populated Gaza City. It took only a few minutes to kill over 200 people and wound 700, an auspicious opening to the mass slaughter of defenseless civilians trapped in a tiny cage with nowhere to flee.
The attack specifically targeted the closing ceremony of a police academy, killing dozens of policemen. The international law division of the Israeli army (IDF, Israeli Defense Forces) had criticized the plans for months, but under army pressure, its director, Col. Pnina Sharvit-Baruch, gave the department’s approval. “Also under pressure,” Ha’aretz reports, “Sharvit-Baruch and the division also legitimized the attack on Hamas government buildings and the relaxing of the rules of engagement, resulting in numerous Palestinian casualties.”
The international law division adopts “permissive positions” so as “to remain relevant and influential,” the article continues. Sharvit-Baruch then joined the Law Faculty at Tel Aviv University, over protests by the director of the university’s human rights center and other faculty.
The legal division’s decision was based on the army’s categorization of the police “as a resistance force in the event of an Israeli incursion into the Gaza Strip,” Hebrew University Law professor Yuval Shany observed, adding that the principle scarcely “differentiates them from [Israeli] reservists or even from 16-year-olds who will be drafted in two years” – hence takes much of Israel’s population to be legitimate targets of terror.
To take a different analogy, the IDF rules of engagement justify the terrorist attack on police cadets in Lahore in March 2009, killing at least 8, rightly condemned as “barbaric”; Pakistani elite forces could, however, respond in this case, killing or capturing the terrorists, an option not available to Gazans. The narrow scope of the IDF concept of “protected civilian” is explained further by a senior figure in its international law division: “The people who go into a house despite a warning do not have to be taken into account in terms of injury to civilians, because they are voluntary human shields. From the legal point of view, I do not have to show consideration for them. In the case of people who return to their home in order to protect it, they are taking part in the fighting.”
In his retrospective analysis entitled “Parsing Gains of Gaza War,” New York Times correspondent Ethan Bronner cited the first day’s achievement as one of the most significant of the war’s gains. Israel calculated that it would be advantageous to appear to “go crazy,” causing vastly disproportionate terror, a doctrine that traces back to the 1950s. “The Palestinians in Gaza got the message on the first day,” Bronner wrote, “when Israeli warplanes struck numerous targets simultaneously in the middle of a Saturday morning. Some 200 were killed instantly, shocking Hamas and indeed all of Gaza.” The tactic of “going crazy” appears to have been successful, Bronner concluded: there are “limited indications that the people of Gaza felt such pain from this war that they will seek to rein in Hamas,” the elected government. Inflicting pain on civilians for political ends is another long-standing doctrine of state terror, in fact its guiding principle. I do not, incidentally, recall the Times retrospective “Parsing Gains of Chechnya War,” though the gains were great.
The meticulous planning also presumably included the termination of the assault. It ended just before the inauguration, thus minimizing the (remote) threat that President Obama might have to say some words critical of these vicious US-supported crimes. Two weeks after the Sabbath opening of the assault, with much of Gaza already pounded to rubble and the death toll approaching 1000, the UN Agency UNRWA, on which most Gazans depend for survival, announced that the Israeli military refused to allow aid shipments to Gaza, saying that the crossings were closed for the Sabbath.4 To honor the holy day, Palestinians at the edge of survival must be denied food and medicine, while hundreds can be slaughtered on the Sabbath by US jet bombers and helicopters.Chomsky Info
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Dear Mr. Netanyahu, Please Don’t Speak to My President That WayBy Jeffrey GoldbergIsrael depends on the U.S. for its survival, while America, I imagine, would continue to exist even if Israel ceased to existI would find myself feeling resentful about the way Netanyahu speaks about our President. Netanyahu had an alternative, of course: He could have said, as he got on the plane to Washington, where today awkward!he will be meeting with President Obama: “The President today delivered a very fine speech. His condemnation of Hamas and Iran, his question about whether the Palestinians actually seek peace; his strong language against Syria; his recognition of Israel as a Jewish state; his re-assertion of the unshakeable bond between our two nationsall of this and more brought joy to my heart.
“There are a couple of points in the speech, having to do with borders and refugees, that I would like to clarify with the President when I see him, and I’m looking forward to a constructive dialogue on these few issues.” Of course, he didn’t say this. Instead he threw something of a hissy fit. It was not appropriate, and more to the point, it was not tactically wise:
If I’m waking up this morning feeling that the Israeli prime minister is disrespecting the President of my country, imagine how other Americans might be feeling. And, then, of course, there’s this: Prime Minister Netanyahu needs the support of President Obama in order to confront the greatest danger Israel has ever faced: the potential of a nuclear-armed Iran.TheAtlantic / Anthology of Modern Palestinian Poetry
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Adolf Hitler (20 April 1889 30 April 1945) was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party (German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP), commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state (as Führer und Reichskanzler) from 1934 to 1945. Hitler is most commonly associated with the rise of fascism in Europe, World War II, and the Holocaust.
A decorated veteran of World War I, Hitler joined the German Workers’ Party, precursor of the Nazi Party, in 1919, and became leader of the NSDAP in 1921. In 1923 Hitler attempted a coup d’état, known as the Beer Hall Putsch, at the Bürgerbräukeller beer hall in Munich. The failed coup resulted in Hitler’s imprisonment, during which time he wrote his memoir, Mein Kampf (My Struggle). After his release in 1924, Hitler gained support by promoting Pan-Germanism, antisemitism, and anti-communism with charismatic oratory and propaganda. He was appointed chancellor in 1933 and transformed the Weimar Republic into the Third Reich, a single-party dictatorship based on the totalitarian and autocratic ideology of Nazism.
Hitler’s avowed aim was to establish a New Order of absolute Nazi German hegemony in continental Europe. His foreign and domestic policies had the goal of seizing Lebensraum (living space) for the Germanic people. He oversaw the rearmament of Germany and the invasion of Poland by the Wehrmacht in September 1939, which led to the outbreak of World War II in Europe.
Under Hitler’s direction, German forces and their European allies at one point occupied most of Europe and North Africa. These gains were reversed in 1945 when the Allied armies defeated the German army. Hitler’s racially motivated policies resulted in the deaths of as many as 17 million people, including an estimated six million Jews and between 500,000 and 1,500,000 Roma targeted in the Holocaust. In the final days of the war, during the Battle of Berlin in 1945, Hitler married his long-time mistress, Eva Braun. On 30 April 1945less than two days later the two committed suicide to avoid capture by the Red Army, and their corpses were burned.Wikipedia
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End of the Jewish experiment in the Middle East. The weakening of the United States, economically and militarily, is giving rise to new centers of power. The U.S. economy, mismanaged and drained by the Iraq war, is increasingly dependent on Chinese trade imports and on Chinese holdings of U.S. Treasury securities. China holds dollar reserves worth $825 billion. If Beijing decides to abandon the U.S. bond market, even in part, it would cause a free fall by the dollar. It would lead to the collapse of the $7-trillion U.S. real estate market. There would be a wave of U.S. bank failures and huge unemployment. The growing dependence on China has been accompanied by aggressive work by the Chinese to build alliances with many of the worlds major exporters of oil, such as Iran, Nigeria, Sudan, and Venezuela. The Chinese are preparing for the looming worldwide clash over dwindling resources. The future is ominous. Not only do Israels foreign policy objectives not coincide with American interests, they actively hurt them. The growing belligerence in the Middle East, the calls for an attack against Iran, the collapse of the imperial project in Iraq have all given an opening, where there was none before, to Americas rivals. It is not in Israels interests to ignite a regional conflict. It is not in ours. But those who have their hands on the wheel seem determined, in the name of freedom and democracy, to keep the American ship of state headed at breakneck speed into the cliffs before us. Chris Hedges A Declaration of Independence From Israel Truthdig
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China, Twitter and 20-Year-Olds vs. the Pyramidsby Thomas L. Friedman5 February 2011The Arab world has 100 million young people today between the ages of 15 and 29, many of them males who do not have the education to get a good job, buy an apartment and get married. That is trouble. Add in rising food prices, and the diffusion of Twitter, Facebook and texting, which finally gives them a voice to talk back to their leaders and directly to each other, and you have a very powerful change engine. I have not been to Jordan for a while, but my ears are ringing today with complaints about corruption, frustration with the king and queen, and disgust at the enormous gaps between rich and poor.
King Abdullah, who sacked his cabinet last week and promised real reform and real political parties, has his work cut out for him. And given some of the blogs that my friends here have shared with me from the biggest local site, Ammonnews.net, the people are not going to settle for the same-old, same-old. They say so directly now, dropping the old pretense of signing antigovernment blog posts as Mohammed living in Sweden.NYTimes
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Womens Role in Holocaust May Exceed Old NotionsIn an anomalous twist on Christopher R. Brownings groundbreaking 1992 book, Ordinary Men, it appears that thousands of German women went to the eastern territories to help Germanize them, and to provide services to the local ethnic German populations there.
They included nurses, teachers and welfare workers. Women ran the storehouses of belongings taken from Jews. Local Germans were recruited to work as interpreters.
Then there were the wives of regional officials, and their secretaries, some from their staffs back home.
For women from working-class families or farms in Germany, the occupied zones offered an attractive opportunity to advance themselves, Ms. Lower said. There were up to 5,000 female guards in the concentration camps, making up about 10 percent of the personnel. Ms. Grese was hanged at the age of 21 for war crimes committed in Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen; Ms. Koch was convicted of participating in murders at Buchenwald. NYTimes
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Gazans Are Being Slaughtered by Israeli Bombardiers
Over 1300 Dead Since 27 December, Over 5,000 people Wounded
January 16, 2009
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If the war ends with Hamas still standing, bloodied but unvanquished, in face of the mighty Israeli military machine,
it will look like a fantastic victory, a victory of mind over matter. Uri Avnery
After 22 days of war against Hamas, and the deaths of more than 1,200 Palestinians and 13 Israelis [over 5,000 Gazans injured]
Hamas said on Sunday it would cease fire immediately . . . and give Israel . . . a week to pull its troops out of the territory. NYTimes
The overwhelming number of high elected officials in this country fear the Israeli lobby and tremble at the thought of being labeled as an anti-Semite for being in the slightest bit critical of Israel . . .Dennis Bernstein, Israels attack on an entrapped population: A 21st century war crime?
Israel has imprinted on world consciousness a terrible image of itself. Billions of people have seen us as a blood-dripping monster. Uri Avnery
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Gazans Struggle for Clean Drinking WaterAt the end of February the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) assessed that over 2,000 families needed their homes to be rebuilt, while nearly 11,000 families required urgent repairs to their homes. The agency said it expected the figures to rise. Six Palestinian Authority (PA) schools in northern Gaza were also severely damaged, forcing nearly 5,000 school children to relocate to other schools. The overcrowding meant that additional double-shifts were introduced, further burdening the 351 schools, approximately half of which already run double-shifts. Meanwhile, Gaza’s hospitals are struggling because equipment such as neonatal machines lack spare parts, while some medicines are not available. Furthermore, only half of more than 300 Gazans who wanted to travel abroad for emergency medical treatment succeeded in getting permits from Israel. Malnutrition is another growing problem, and children and pregnant women bear the brunt. UNICEF recently provided vitamin supplements to 50,000 babies and children under five. The OCHA says that the 127 truckloads of daily aid permitted in by the Israeli authorities is insufficient to meet market needs. Prior to the blockade 475 trucks entered daily. Poverty and unemployment plague Gaza following Israel’s destruction of various sectors which provided employment. The Private Sector Coordination Council (PSCC) assesses that 700 private sector establishments were either completely destroyed or damaged. The damage is valued at 140 million dollars. The UN Development Programme (UNDP), the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture estimate that 180 million dollars worth of damage was done to agricultural infrastructure. The fishing sector was estimated to have suffered direct and indirect losses of 2.2 million dollars, due to destruction of fishing boats and related materials. And even those who are employed and earning are struggling. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Israeli restrictions on the entry of cash into Gaza has affected the livelihoods of up to half a million Gazans, in a population of 1.5 million. (END/2009) IPSNews
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Israel accused of indiscriminate phosphorus use in GazaIsrael’s military fired white phosphorus over crowded areas of Gaza repeatedly and indiscriminately in its three-week war, killing and injuring civilians and committing war crimes, Human Rights Watch said today. . . . “In Gaza, the Israeli military didn’t just use white phosphorus in open areas as a screen for its troops,” said Fred Abrahams, a senior Human Rights Watch researcher. “It fired white phosphorus repeatedly over densely populated areas, even when its troops weren’t in the area and safe smoke shells were available. As a result, civilians needlessly suffered and died.” He said senior commanders should be held to account. . . . White phosphorus burns in contact with oxygen and causes deep burns when it touches human skin, sometimes reaching to the bone. Guardian (25 March 2009)
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Ariel Sharon, Israeli PM
Making Peace in Palestine
<—Some Photo Samples of His Work—>
May, 19, 2004
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“All that you have done to our people is registered in our notebooks.” Mahmoud Darwish, poet
Glenn Loury of Brown University and Ann Althouse of the University of Wisconsin Law School debate the Israeli-Palestinian endgame
The Palestinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people.
“When the truth is replaced by silence the silence is a lie.” Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Soviet dissident
As we are in the middle of this crisis, we tell our people we, God willing,
are closer to victory. All the blood that is being shed will not go to waste. Ismail Haniyeh
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What credibility is there in Geneva’s all-white boycott?What do the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Italy and Israel have in common? They are all either European or European-settler states. And they all decided to boycott this week’s UN conference against racism in Geneva even before Monday’s incendiary speech by the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad which triggered a further white-flight walkout by representatives of another 23 European states. In international forums, it’s almost unprecedented to have such an undiluted racial divide of whites-versus-the-rest. And for that to happen in a global meeting called to combat racial hatred doesn’t exactly augur well for future international understanding at a time when the worst economic crisis since the war is ramping up racism and xenophobia across the world. . . .The dispute was mainly about Israel and western fears that the conference would be used, like its torrid predecessor in Durban at the height of the Palestinian intifada in 2001, to denounce the Jewish state and attack the west over colonialism and the slave trade. Guardian
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#1 – Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark #2 – Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree #3 – Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane #4 – Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper #5 – Stackin’ Paper 2 Genesis’ Payback by Joy King #6 – Thug Lovin’ (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark #7 – When I Get Where I’m Going by Cheryl Robinson #8 – Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby #9 – The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane
#10 – Covenant: A Thriller by Brandon Massey
#11 – Diary Of A Street Diva by Ashley and JaQuavis
#12 – Don’t Ever Tell by Brandon Massey
#13 – For colored girls who have considered suicide by Ntozake Shange
#14 – For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree
#15 – Homemade Loves by J. California Cooper
#16 – The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper
#17 – Player Haters by Carl Weber
#18 – Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare
#19 – Stackin’ Paper by Joy King
#20 – Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey
#21 – The Upper Room by Mary Monroe
#22 Thug Matrimony by Wahida Clark
#23 – Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark
#24 – Married Men by Carl Weber
#25 – I Dreamt I Was in Heaven – The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter
#1 – Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable #2 – Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans #3 – Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane #4 – Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper #5 – Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant #6 – Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey #7 – The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight #8 – The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing #9 – The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson
#10 – John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History by Ahati N. N. Toure
#11 – Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley
#12 –The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
#13 – The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell
#14 – The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore
#15 – Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can’t Commit by RM Johnson
#16 – Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins
#17 – Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell
#18 – A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
#19 – John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard
#20 – Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris
#21 – Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice
#22 – 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino #23 – Chicken Soup for the Prisoner’s Soul by Tom Lagana #24 – 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields
#25 – Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class by Lisa B. Thompson
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By Tracy K. Smith
Tracy K. Smith, author of Life on Mars has been selected as the winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. In its review of the book, Publishers Weekly noted the collection’s “lyric brilliance” and “political impulses [that] never falter.” A New York Times review stated, “Smith is quick to suggest that the important thing is not to discover whether or not we’re alone in the universe; it’s to acceptor at least endurethe universe’s mystery. . . . Religion, science, art: we turn to them for answers, but the questions persist, especially in times of grief. Smith’s pairing of the philosophically minded poems in the books first section with the long elegy for her father in the second is brilliant.” Life on Mars follows Smith’s 2007 collection, Duende, which won the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, the only award for poetry in the United States given to support a poet’s second book, and the first Essence Literary Award for poetry, which recognizes the literary achievements of African Americans.
The Bodys Question (2003) was her first published collection. Smith said Life on Mars, published by small Minnesota press Graywolf, was inspired in part by her father, who was an engineer on the Hubble space telescope and died in 2008.
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By Irshad Manji
In Allah, Liberty and Love, Irshad Manji paves a path for Muslims and non-Muslims to transcend the fears that stop so many of us from living with honest-to-God integrity: the fear of offending others in a multicultural world as well as the fear of questioning our own communities. Since publishing her international bestseller, The Trouble with Islam Today, Manji has moved from anger to aspiration. She shows how any of us can reconcile faith with freedom and thus discover the Allah of liberty and lovethe universal God that loves us enough to give us choices and the capacity to make them. Among the most visible Muslim reformers of our era, Manji draws on her experience in the trenches to share stories that are deeply poignant, frequently funny and always revealing about these morally confused times. What prevents young Muslims, even in the West, from expressing their need for religious reinterpretation?
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By Nidaa Khoury
Khoury’s poetry is fired by belief in the human and the spiritual at a time when many of us feel unreal and often spiritually hollow.Yair Huri, Ben-Gurion University
Written in water and ink, in between the shed blood. Nidaa Khoury’s poems take us to the bosom of an ancient woman . . . an archetype revived. The secret she whispers is ‘smaller than words.’Karin Karakasli, author, Turkey
Nidaa Khoury was born in Fassouta, Upper Galilee, in 1959. Khoury is the author of seven books published in Arabic and several other languages, including The Barefoot River, which appeared in Arabic and Hebrew and The Bitter Crown, censored in Jordan. The Palestinian poet is studied in Israeli universities and widely reviewed by the Arab press. The founder of the Association of Survival, an NGO for minorities in Israel, Khoury has participated in over 30 international literary and human rights conferences and festivals. Khoury is the subject of the award-winning film, Nidaa Through Silence.
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by Austin Bay
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was a Muslim visionary, revolutionary statesman, and founder of the Republic of Turkey. The West knows him best as the leading Ottoman officer in World War Is Battle of Gallipolia defeat for the Allies, and the Ottoman empires greatest victory. Gaining fame as an exemplary military officer, he went on to lead his people in the Turkish War of Independence, abolishing the Ottoman Sultanate, emancipating women, and adopting western dress. Deeply influenced by the Enlightenment, Atatürk sought to transform the empire into a modern and secular nation-state, and during his presidency, embarked upon a program of impressive political, economic, and cultural reforms. Militarily and politically he excelled at all levels of conflict, from the tactical, through the operational, to the strategic, and into the rarified realm of grand strategy. His ability to integrate the immediate with the ultimate serves as an important lesson for leaders engaged in the twenty-first centurys great military struggles. He became the only leader in history to successfully turn a Muslim nation into a Western parliamentary democracy and secular state, leaving behind a legacy of modernization and military and political leadership.
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By Ayad Akhtar
American Dervish is a brilliantly written, nuanced, and emotionally forceful look inside the interplay of religion and modern life. Ayad Akhtar was raised in the Midwest himself, and through Hayat Shah he shows readers vividly the powerful forces at work on young men and women growing up Muslim in America. This is an intimate, personal first novel that will stay with readers long after they turn the last page. Mina is Hayat’s mother’s oldest friend from Pakistan. She is independent, beautiful and intelligent, and arrives on the Shah’s doorstep when her disastrous marriage in Pakistan disintegrates. Even Hayat’s skeptical father can’t deny the liveliness and happiness that accompanies Mina into their home. Her deep spirituality brings the family’s Muslim faith to life in a way that resonates with Hayat as nothing has before. Studying the Quran by Mina’s side and basking in the glow of her attention, he feels an entirely new purpose mingled with a growing infatuation for his teacher.
When Mina meets and begins dating a man, Hayat is confused by his feelings of betrayal. His growing passions, both spiritual and romantic, force him to question all that he has come to believe is true. Just as Mina finds happiness, Hayat is compelled to actwith devastating consequences for all those he loves most.
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By Simon Sebag Montefiore
Jerusalem is the universal city, the capital of two peoples, the shrine of three faiths; it is the prize of empires, the site of Judgment Day and the battlefield of todays clash of civilizations. From King David to Barack Obama, from the birth of Judaism, Christianity and Islam to the Israel-Palestine conflict, this is the epic history of three thousand years of faith, slaughter, fanaticism and coexistence. How did this small, remote town become the Holy City, the center of the world and now the key to peace in the Middle East? In a gripping narrative, Simon Sebag Montefiore reveals this ever-changing city in its many incarnations, bringing every epoch and character blazingly to life. Jerusalems biography is told through the wars, love affairs and revelations of the men and womenkings, empresses, prophets, poets, saints, conquerors and whoreswho created, destroyed, chronicled and believed in Jerusalem.
As well as the many ordinary Jerusalemites who have left their mark on the city, its cast varies from Solomon, Saladin and Suleiman the Magnificent to Cleopatra, Caligula and Churchill; from Abraham to Jesus and Muhammad; from the ancient world of Jezebel, Nebuchadnezzar, Herod and Nero to the modern times of the Kaiser, Disraeli, Mark Twain, Lincoln, Rasputin, Lawrence of Arabia and Moshe Dayan. Drawing on new archives, current scholarship, his own family papers and a lifetimes study, Montefiore illuminates the essence of sanctity and mysticism, identity and empire in a unique chronicle of the city that many believe will be the setting for the Apocalypse. This is how Jerusalem became Jerusalem, and the only city that exists twicein heaven and on earth.
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By Robin Wright
While Wright’s book, which examines the multifaceted “counter-jihad”the phenomenon of moderate Muslims confronting violent and authoritarian interpretations of Islamis consistently engaging, it too often feels more like advocacy than analysis, and tends to be overly coloured by optimism. Wright’s Rock the Casbahtaken from the title of the famous Middle East-themed song by The Clashpicks up where her earlier Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East left off. And that’s the problem. Wright finds new reform-minded Muslims to praise, but conceptually, this book is almost identical to her previous one. An award-winning journalist, Wright originally set out to write about the counter-jihad in both the Middle East and the West. (The book’s working subtitlestill found on some websiteswas How Sheikhs, Comedians, Rappers, and Women Are Challenging Osama Bin Laden.) Her overview of this subject proves quite appealing.TheNational
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By Sylviane Diouf
Despite the explosion in work on African American and religious history, little is known about Black Muslims who came to America as slaves. Most assume that what Muslim faith any Africans did bring with them was quickly absorbed into the new Christian milieu. But, surprisingly, as Sylviane Diouf shows in this new, meticulously researched volume, Islam flourished during slavery on a large scale.
Servants of Allah presents a history of African Muslim slaves, following them from Africa to the Americas. It details how, even while enslaved many Black Muslims managed to follow most of the precepts of their religion. Literate, urban, and well traveled, Black Muslims drew on their organization and the strength of their beliefs to play a major part in the most well known slave uprisings. Though Islam did not survive in the Americas in its orthodox form, its mark can be found in certain religions, traditions, and artistic creations of people of African descent.
But for all their accomplishments and contributions to the cultures of the African Diaspora, the Muslim slaves have been largely ignored.
Servants of Allah is the first book to examine the role of Islam in the lives of both individual practitioners and in the American slave community as a whole, while also shedding light on the legacy of Islam in today’s American and Caribbean cultures.
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By Andrew Scott Cooper
The Oil Kings: How Nixon courted the shahJoan OleckThe transcripts of the oil deals reveal how Kissinger referred to Nixon as “that drunken lunatic” with “the meatball mind,” and how he negotiated a settlement with Iran that cost US oil companies their strategic hold in the Saudi oil industry.Rigged defence contracts also emerge in these pages, most notably the one fashioned by Nelson Rockefeller, then the governor of New York, who solicited Kissinger’s help to save New York-based Grumman Corporation from bankruptcy by pushing the shah to purchase the company’s F-14 jet fighter. That deal would help carry New York state for the Nixon-Agnew ticket in the 1972 election. For his part, the shah leapt at the opportunity. There’s more, such as the preparation of military contingency planswhich called for Iran to invade Kuwait and Saudi Arabiaand the war games that were held in the Mojave Desert to prepare for such an eventuality.
Then there are the millions of dollars in kickbacks paid by Grumman and Northrop to “middlemen” in Iran, facilitating all those weapons sales. And the scariest deal of all: Nixon’s agreement to sell nuclear power plants and fuel to Iran, with no apparent concern for the wider implications such a transaction might hold. TheNational
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By Ilan Pappe
It is amazing, according to Pappe, how the media had not managed to see the similarities between the ethnic cleansing that was happening in Bosnia with the one that is happening in Palestine. According to Drazen Petrovic (pg.2-3), who has dealt with the definition of ethnic cleansing, ethnic cleansing is associated with nationalism, the making of new nation states and national struggle all of which are the driving force within the Zionist ideology of Israel. The consultancy council had used the exact same methods as the methods that were later to be used by the Serbs in Bosnia. In fact Pappe argues that such methods were employed in order to establish the state of Israel in 1948.
The book is divided into 12 chapters with 19 illustrations in black and white, with 7 maps of Palestine and 2 tables. These include old photographs of refugee camps, and maps of Palestine before and after the ethnic cleansing of 1948. Pappe continues his writing as a revisionist historian with the intention of stating the bitter truth to his Israeli contemporaries and the fact that they have to face the truth of their nation being built upon an ethnic cleansing of the population of Palestine.
One can sense an optimistic hope in Pappes writing when he talks about the few who are in Israel who are aware of their countrys brutal past especially 1948 and the foundation of the state upon ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.PaLint
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From The World and Africa, 1965
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update 3 March 2012