You are browsing the archive for Mondoweiss.

by CTuttle

Operations Brother’s Keeper & Protective Edge

6:45 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Jeff Halper wrote this excellent post at Mondoweiss…

Israel’s message to the Palestinians: Submit, leave or die

The Kerry initiative may have ended with a whimper instead of a bang, but its impact on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was significant and fundamental nonetheless. The end of the political process, futile as it may have been, triggered the collapse of the status quo as we have known it for the past 47 years. It set in motion a series of events that will confront us with two stark alternatives regarding Israel and Palestine: either the permanent warehousing of an entire population or the emergence of a single democratic state.

Both the blatantly disproportionate response to the kidnapping and killing of the three Israeli boys and, as I write, the all-out air strikes on Gaza, have been cast by Israel as military operations: Operations Brothers’ Keeper and Operation Protective Edge. Neither had anything to do with the operations’ purported triggers, the search for the boys or rocket fire from Gaza. Palestinian cities supposedly enjoying extra-territorial status were invaded in Operation Brothers’ Keeper, more than 2000 homes were ransacked, some 700 people arrested. Who knows as yet the devastation wrought on Gaza – 100 dead in more than 1,100 air attacks so far, mostly civilians according to reports; deafening around-the-clock bombing of communities by American-supplied F-15 and artillery from the ground and sea that amounts to collective torture; Israel’s Foreign Minister calling for cutting off all electricity and water amidst threats to completely obliterate Gaza’s infrastructure; and the prospect of almost two million people being permanently imprisoned, reduced to bare existence just this side of starvation. {…}

Operations Brothers’ Keeper and Protective Edge represent the imposition of a regime of warehousing, of outright imprisonment of an entire people. The seemingly blind and atavistic destruction and hatred unleashed on the Palestinians over the past few weeks is not merely yet another “round of violence” in an interminable struggle. It is the declaration of a new political reality. The message is clear, unilateral and final: This country has been Judaized: it is now the Land of Israel in the process of being incorporated into the state of Israel. You Arabs (or “Palestinians” as you call yourselves) are not a people and have no national rights, certainly to our exclusively Jewish country. You are not a “side” to a “conflict.” Once and for all we must disabuse you of the notion that we are actually negotiating with you. We never have and never will. You are nothing but inmates in prison cells, and we hereby declare through our military and political actions that you have three options before you: You can submit as inmates are required to you, in which case we will allow you to remain in your enclave-cells. You can leave, as hundreds of thousands have done before you. Or, if you choose to resist, you will die.

As Tikun Olam’s Richard Silverstein just reported…

Israeli Invasion to Begin in “Coming Hours”

In a recent post, I published a State Department notice it was evacuating U.S. citizens from Gaza. The message asked those wishing to leave to provide necessary contact information by the morning of July 11th (yesterday). I predicted that meant an Israeli invasion would happen the next day (July 12th) or the following one. True to form, Israel Radio aired this announcement minutes ago:

A senior military source says that the IDF will mount a significant military operation in the coming hours, after the [civilian] population is cleared from areas from which rockets are fired, mainly in northern Gaza. Residents [to be cleared] will receive announcements, SMS messages, media bulletins and leaflets. According to the military source, this type of operation is accepted under international law. Israel did the same in the past in Lebanon and that experience proves a population may be cleared from an area exploited for the purposes of acts of terror.

To be clear, the news item announces a “significant [new] military operation.” I’ve interpreted this (reasonably I think) as the expected ground invasion. You often have to interpret such statements from Israeli military-intelligence sources using previous experience and understanding of sub-text. A lot is communicated through hints and coded language. AP has also confirmed the IDF was clearing northern Gaza in preparation for “stepping up its offensive.” {…}

This is the moment so many of us have expected and dreaded. It is the crossing of the Rubicon. From here, Israel crosses over from a massive, punishing air assault to outright invasion. The Obama administration and United Nations, which have stood by thus far impotently, must rouse themselves from moral torpor and act decisively. Of course, they will wait until the killing becomes even more senseless than it already is. If they act at all.

Here is the latest ineffectual pap from the State Department on the crisis: Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

“Your ‘independence’ day is our Nakba”

6:00 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Yesterday marked Israel’s 66th Independence Day, and a good time was had by many…

Parental love, Israeli-style

Does a parent love his toddler when he sends him to crawl on Independence Day in the sand under a fence, a huge army backpack attached to his little body? Does a father love his son when he sends him to kindergarten to return with a memorial candle and Holocaust kit in hand? Does a mother love a daughter when she bakes a cake for a soldier who will come to kindergarten and tell the little one about his heroic acts in the territories? Do we love our children when we sign them up for the monstrous ‘Adopt-a-barricade’ campaign?

Do we love them when we send them to high schools that compete with one another for the most graduates enlisting in combat units and even take pride in the number of fallen? Do we really love our children when we agree to their starting Holocaust studies practically from age zero? Do we really love them when we agree for the school to show them horrendous images from a terror attack? Do parents who remain quiet, or who may even get excited, when the brainwashing campaigns planting fear, jingoism and militarism begin here earlier and earlier really love their children and look out for them?

Here’s Ali Abunimah’s excellent take on it…

On 6 May, Israelis celebrated their “’independence day,’ which they mark according to the Jewish lunar calendar.

Traditionally Israeli Jews hold public celebrations and picnics, especially in ‘national parks’ typically built over the ruins of ethnically cleansed and destroyed Palestinian villages.

Meanwhile, with broad support from the Israeli Jewish public, Palestinian public commemorations of the Nakba – the ethnic cleansing of Palestine – can be punished by law.

Many of the Israeli festivities are celebrations of the so-called ‘Israel Defense Forces,’ better known to Palestinians as the army that occupies them, arrests and kills their children with impunity and helps settlers to steal their land.

Some of these disturbing images of Israeli children being put through military-style training displays at Efrat, an illegal Israeli colony in the occupied West Bank, have been circulating widely online and were published in Haaretz and other media.

A repeated theme of pro-Israeli, anti-Palestinian propaganda is to circulate images of Palestinian children taking part in such militarized displays in order to advance the belief that Palestinian culture is inherently violent and ‘teaches children hate’ and that therefore Israeli violence is a justified defensive response.

But these pictures are remarkable because they reveal the extent to which Israeli culture has been militarized and how Israeli children are not immune to this – a key theme in Max Blumenthal’s book Goliath.

There is no doubt that both Israeli and Palestinian children have been subjected to this kind of brutalization by adults. It is horrifying whenever children are given guns and encouraged to imagine themselves as killers.

Such activities are arguably in violation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states that member countries ‘shall refrain from recruiting any person who has not attained the age of fifteen years into their armed forces.’

Here’s but one example of the spin on the Palestinian actions yesterday…

From Mondoweiss‘ Annie Robbins…

Your “independence” day is our Nakba:’ Thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel join ‘march of return’ to destroyed village of Lubya

Thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel participated in a rally and “March of Return” yesterday to commemorate the Nakba, chanting ‘Your “independence” day is our Nakba’ as Israel marked its 66th Independence Day. With flags raised high, singing the Palestinian national anthem, reportedly between 10,000 to 15,000 participants (including non-Palestinian supporters) marched to Lubya, a Palestinian village in the district of Tiberias that was ethnically cleansed and turned to rubble during the Nakba. Marchers called for unity and the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

To be sure… 10,000 Palestinians hold Nakba protest in Israel

From +972 Mag…

PHOTOS: March of return to a destroyed Nakba village

On the day that many Israelis celebrated their Independence Day, thousands of Palestinian residents of Israel and Jerusalem marched to the site of the northern village of Lubya. Lubya was one of more than 500 Palestinian communities destroyed by Zionist militias in the Nakba, Arabic for ‘catastrophe,’ the term given to the forced displacement of some 750,000 refugees before, during and following the 1948 War.

So naturally, the Zionists snapped…

Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

MENA Mashup: Al Aqsa, Egypt, and Yemen

7:15 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Once again the IDF violently assaulted the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem…

Israeli forces clash with worshipers in Aqsa compound, dozens hurt

Dozens of worshipers were hurt Wednesday morning in fierce clashes with Israeli forces who stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound via the Moroccan and Chain gates.

Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers and police officers broke into the compound and deployed in the southern quarter firing stun grenades and rubber-coated bullets at worshipers.

Director of al-Aqsa Mosque Sheikh Azam al-Kahtib told Ma’an that ‘about 1,000 Israeli officers stormed the compound.’ He highlighted that Israeli officers used live ammunition.

Special forces deployed at the main gates since dawn prayer, witnesses said, denying Palestinian worshipers entry to the compound.

Employees of the ministry of endowment and students who attend schools inside the compound were also denied entry. Only security guards were allowed in addition to men over 65 years old. Several people performed dawn prayer in the alleys near the gates.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP that Palestinians threw ‘stones and firecrackers’ at police when they opened the walled compound’s gates.

Police responded with stun grenades, Rosenfeld said, and closed the complex to Jewish visitors after a small number had toured the site.

About 100 Muslim worshipers have decided to stay inside the compound day and night after right-wing Jewish organizations urged Jews to flock to the compound which they believe is the site of a former temple and slaughter their Passover sacrifices inside.

Mazel Tov, eh…? Meanwhile, in nearby Bethlehem, as Mondoweiss reported today…


Remote-control gun installed atop wall near Bethlehem — Ma’an

The above device, fixed lately to the top of the separation wall north of Bethlehem, is a remote-controlled machine gun, according to Palestinian sources. Ma’an News published a report on the device three days ago, saying it’s ‘unprecedented’ and is causing anxiety among Bethlehemites. A Facebook page called ‘Bethlahem Today‘ has the same report.

Staying with the I/P…

Israel’s new land grab is clearly illegal

The Defense Minister’s green light to appropriate land in the West Bank places him in the extreme right and shatters Israelis’ hopes for resolving the conflict with the Palestinians.

With the stroke of a pen, Israel seized control of 984 dunams of territory in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc, as Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon declared the area ‘state land.’ The terrain would be more aptly defined as contested territory, since it surrounds private Palestinian lands, which will now become enclaves that are inaccessible to the owners.

The area also includes the illegal outpost Netiv Ha’avot, home to Ze’ev Hever, secretary of Amana, an organization that primarily builds illegal outposts in the West Bank. It’s likely that this outpost will be ‘laundered’ as well, and along with the settlements Neve Daniel, Elazar and Alon Shvut, Netiv Ha’avot will see significant expansion.

Ya’alon’s outstretched arm did not stop in Gush Etzion. On the eve of Passover, he allowed Hebron settlers to inhabit the so-called ‘House of Contention,’ in the wake of the High Court of Justice’s rejection of the petition by the home’s former owners and ruling that the sale of the building to a Jewish investor was legal.

Although the defense minister is acting in accordance with his authority his powers are based on a warped legal system. That system was developed over decades as a means to chip away at international law and provide a cover of legality for illegal occupation policies. Otherwise, how could it be that expanding settlements or populating a West Bank Arab city with Jews could be legal, while settlement itself is illegal?

Now, If anybody really doubted that Abu Mazen was part of the problem, rather than the solution for the Palestinians…

Palestinian leader signals willingness to extend peace talks

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told Israeli lawmakers on Wednesday that it was still possible to revive moribund peace negotiations.

Abbas told five Israeli opposition legislators from the Labor and Meretz parties that he was willing to extend the negotiations past their April 29 deadline ‘if the Israeli side commits to the principles that can allow an extension,’ his spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said.

The Palestinians first want Israel to release a fourth group of Palestinian prisoners as promised, and to announce a total settlement freeze. They also want Israel to accept a Palestinian territory based on boundaries that existed prior to the 1967 Middle East War.

‘If there is an agreement on these principles, we are ready,’ Abu Rudeineh said at a news conference after the meeting in Ramallah. ‘But if Israel does not accept them, the Palestinian leadership will meet again to take the proper decision.’

Here’s an interesting op-ed… Palestinians and Israelis: Negotiating in all the wrong places

And, for sh*ts and giggles, The Mustache of Fury, flaps his lips… BOLTON: A ‘three-state solution’ for Middle East peace Reality calls for attaching Gaza to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan

Moving along…

Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

The I/P Peace Farce

4:00 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

(Pls watch from the 40 min mark, at least!)

From today’s Ma’an News…

PA: Israel settlements led to peace talks impasse

US-sponsored peace talks with Israel have reached an impasse because of Jewish settlement activity, a Palestinian spokesman said, as plans for over 2,000 West Bank units were moved forward.

The latest crisis comes as Washington scrambles for a formula to allow the Palestinians and Israelis to carry on the peace talks beyond an April 29 deadline.

“Israel’s settlement activity caused the negotiations to fail and led them to an impasse,” Nabil Abu Rudeina, a spokesman for Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, told AFP.

Abu Rudeina was reacting to the decision of an Israeli defense ministry committee, revealed earlier on Thursday, to push forward with plans to build 2,269 new West Bank homes.

A ministry spokesman said last month the committee had approved the building of 1,015 units in Leshem, Beit El and Almog, leaving Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon’s approval as the final step.

The same committee approved 1,254 units in Ariel, Shvut Rachel and Shavei Shomron. Those projects will be published in the media for public comment before returning to the committee for further discussion.

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are teetering on the brink of collapse, with Washington fighting an uphill battle to get the two sides to agree to a framework proposal to extend the negotiations to the year’s end.

To be sure…

From hocus pocus to open sesame to recognition as Jewish state: It’s a kind of magic

Forget refugees, settlements, Jerusalem or security: Everyone is waiting for Abbas to say the magic words that will launch a whole new world, presto-change-o.

To the long list of such enchanted incantations as open sesame, hocus pocus, and bibbedy-bobbedy-boo, we can now add “recognition as a Jewish state.” If Mahmoud Abbas would only say the magic words, then presto-change-o, the walls will come tumbling down, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will end and we’ll have a whole new world, shining, shimmering and splendid.

This, at least, the impression one gets from the focus of the discussion in recent weeks about U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s struggling peace initiative. Forget once-burning but now-boring issues such as settlements, security, refugees, borders, Jerusalem or Temple Mount: recognition as Jewish state is the only game in town. Once the words are said, it’s going to be wham-bam-alakazaam, welcome to the magic kingdom.

It’s not for nothing that Benjamin Netanyahu was once widely known in Israel as hakosem, the magician. His mastery of the media, his meteoric rise in the Likud, his utterly fantastic victory over Shimon Peres in the 1996 elections – all of these endowed Bibi with a supernatural mystique. And while the magic didn’t last forever and Netanyahu was subsequently subjected to a barrage of obligatory clichés – his spell is broken, no more tricks up his sleeve, King Midas in reverse etc – once an illusionist, always an illusionist. He’s still got plenty of wizardry left up his sleeves.

Standing up to AIPAC means supporting Israeli dissidents

The voice of ‘pro-Israel’ militarism has been ringing through the halls of Washington D.C. since the 1970s. Now, to end the occupation, American citizens must couple their opposition to AIPAC with support for anti-occupation groups in Israel.

BDS works…! Boycott movement has empowered Palestinians, says co-founder

However, it seems the PA is not the solution either, from Haaretz…

The Palestinian Authority is on the brink of collapse, study says

Only achieving statehood could save the West Bank from an impending wave of violence, crime, chaos, disease, says major Palestinian report

The breakdown of the Palestinian Authority would turn the West Bank into a violent, criminal, chaotic, disease-ridden place. But even though most Palestinians want the PA to survive, either for the sake of basic social order or personal interest, and although Israel dreads having to resume responsibility for 3 million West Bankers, President Mahmoud Abbas’ regime will collapse before too long if Israel continues to thwart Palestinian aspirations for independence.

This is the conclusion of a massive six-month study by the highly-regarded Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah, directed by Dr. Khalil Shikaki.

A great many Palestinians have a deeply vested interest in the PA’s continued existence, Shikaki notes. Connections with the PA bring “financial well being, social and political status in society, and there are circles that depend on their relation to PA. Anything that happens to the PA will take all of that away from them. These could be organizations, business interests or individuals who have positions of power that allow them to reward sympathizers.

“If they could call the shots, they would do their best to prevent [the PA’s collapse],” Shikaki said, “But even those who have a vested interest in satisfying Israel, for the sake of preserving the PA, cannot do it for too long.”

If ordinary Palestinians still support the existence of the PA, it’s because they have a need for some kind of order, he adds. “People do not want to see themselves without a central authority that prevents chaos and anarchy in the streets, even if they have a lot of criticism of the PA and its functioning. But the Palestinians are willing to risk it collapsing completely, if it happens in the midst of a struggle for a change in the status quo. If there is a good reason for it to collapse, then [the attitude is] let it be.”

The PA is 20 years old, but voices questioning its efficacy were already being heard at the start of the second intifada in 2000. They’ve returned and intensified over the past two or three years, as it has become clear that the PA is not delivering on either of the two goals it was established to achieve: statehood and the provision of public services. Add to this the increasing economic difficulties and the rupture with the Gaza Strip, and the picture of failure is complete.

And, I have to agree with Abbas’ son… Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

Israel’s ‘Trigger Happy’ Ways

8:45 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

From Alex Kane at Mondoweiss…

Gaza heats up: Israel bombards coastal enclave under siege with multiple airstrikes

The immediate cause of the latest round of fighting in the Gaza Strip, which featured rockets and mortars fired into Israel and air attacks on the coastal enclave, occurred over the last two days. But the roots of the latest fighting are Israeli violations of the November 2012 truce between Hamas and Israel, and the years-long blockade and occupation crippling the Gaza Strip.

Yesterday, the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad attacked Israeli soldiers said to be advancing towards the Gaza Strip. In response, an Israeli airstrike killed three fighters. That, in turn, caused Islamic Jihad to unleash a barrage of some 70 projectiles into southern Israeli communities. No injures in Israel have been reported.

The Palestinian group said that its attacks were a way to avenge the deaths of six Palestinians killed in the West Bank and Gaza in recent days, as Allison Deger reported here.

The rockets and mortars fired into Israeli territory were the most significant Palestinian counter-attack since the end of Operation Pillar of Defense in late 2012. The Islamic Jihad attacks caused some Israeli officials to act tough, with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman saying Israel needed to “reoccupy” Gaza–most likely bluster, since the Israeli military has no interest in actually doing so.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that “if there won’t be quiet in the south, there will be noise in Gaza – a lot of noise, and this is an understatement.”

Sure enough, Israel reportedly launched 29 airstrikes and attacked Islamic Jihad positions with artillery. According to Ma’an News Agency, no Palestinians have been killed or injured, perhaps reflecting an Israeli intention to escalate just enough so that peace talks with the West Bank leadership continue. Islamic Jihad and Hamas also have little interest in provoking an all-out assault.

Still, even if this latest escalation doesn’t immediately break out into full-scale war, it’s one more step on the way towards that path. That’s because the Egyptian and U.S.-brokered ceasefire from 2012 between Palestinian militant groups–including Islamic Jihad and Hamas–has been threatened by repeated Israeli violations. And it’s those Israeli violations that have provoked rocket fire into Israel.

From MEMO…

Isolating Gaza to justify Israel’s continuous state terror

The latest Israeli violent incitement against Palestinians in Gaza has been distorted into the usual rhetoric of defence. Following the murder of three resistance fighters in Khan Younis by Israeli soldiers, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised further violence in the wake of Palestinian retaliation against the murders.

“If there is no quiet in our south, no quiet for the residents of Israel, there will be noise, lots of noise in Gaza. And that’s putting it mildly,” he said. The threat was uttered in the presence of Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron, who upheld Netanyahu’s distorted reality and defended the settler-colonial state’s self-imposed right to defend itself. According to Cameron, Israeli aggression against Gaza’s legitimate resistance illustrates “the importance of maintaining and securing Israel’s future and the security threats you face, and you have Britain’s support in facing those security threats.”

Cameron deemed legitimate resistance “indiscriminate, aimed at civilian populations” and a reflection of barbarism. The statement evokes an accurate depiction of Israel’s settler-colonial state and its constant refinement of atrocities to maintain its illegal presence in Palestine, supported by its imperialist allies. {…}

The statements attest to the enforced permanent isolation of Gaza. Gaza has never relinquished its right to resistance; hence the regurgitated argument disseminated by mainstream media excusing Israeli violence as a consequence of rocket attacks is invalid. Resistance is the legitimate and necessary response to Israel’s colonial and imperialist-supported terror; a means to combat the sanctioned illegality endorsed by the UN. Gaza’s resistance does not contribute to the destabilisation of the region. However, the pervading discourse hailed as absolute truth is indicative of Israel’s commitment to incarcerate Palestinians in Gaza, this time in collaboration with a neighbouring country which has already proved its allegiance to Israel.

“Collective punishment”, the convenient term describing Israel’s brutality against Palestinians, should be rendered obsolete. In case of another superfluous Zionist campaign aimed at consolidating Israel’s “defence”, it is worth remembering that the sole entities which can claim defence are historic Palestine and the Palestinian population. Any Zionist actions against Palestinian land, people and memory is nothing but an extension of refined colonial violence, displaying Israel’s constant need to protect its illegal settler presence upon land it can never claim to own – a fact proven by Palestinian resistance.

A look-see at Cameron’s recent Knesset appearance… Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

AIPAC, Barak, Hagel, Kerry, and Mattis

4:01 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Mahalo to Medea Benjamin, for that RT interview and all of Code Pink’s efforts, along with these brave souls…!

Americans protest against AIPAC

Now, lest you thought the US Military was averse to starting a war with Iran…

Top US commander: Iran sanctions not working

Head of US Central Command says diplomatic efforts against Islamic Republic are useless, but it’s not too late to bring Iran ‘to its senses’

Top US commander in the Middle East, General James Mattis, said the current sanctions and diplomatic efforts to stop Iran from gaining nuclear capabilities are not working. He said Tehran has a history of denial and deceit and is enriching uranium beyond any plausible peaceful purpose…

That’s absolute Bullsh*t…! But wait, there’s more BS Mattis…

U.S. efforts on Iran not working, Syria planning underway: Mattis

…A top U.S. general said on Tuesday that American efforts aimed at preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon were not working, even as he voiced support for crippling sanctions and diplomatic efforts aimed at isolating the Islamic state.

“I still support the direction we’re taking. I’m just paid to take a rather dim view of the Iranians, frankly,” General James Mattis, the head of the U.S. military’s Central Command, told a Senate hearing…

A Freudian slip, perhaps…? To be sure… “Iran remains the single-most significant regional threat to stability and prosperity.”

Anyways, if you’re not pissed off enough… In Qatar today, SoS Kerry confirmed the blatantly obvious… ‘US now openly supports Syria militants’

Now, getting back to the Pentagon, I was truly flabbergasted by this Lovefest…

Chuck Hagel meets Ehud Barak (and wants to make sure the Israel lobby knows it)

New U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel hosted Defense Minister Ehud Barak at the Pentagon on Tuesday, making a special effort to express warmth and friendliness toward his Israeli counterpart during their first meeting together since the prior assumed office.

Hagel assured Barak during their meeting that he was committed to the security of Israel and of preserving the Israel Defense Forces’ qualitative advantage over the armies of the Arab world. He also said that he would work to ensure that U.S. funding toward Israel, particularly with regard to its defense systems, would continue “despite fiscal uncertainty.”

Where’s all that “I’m not Israel’s Tool Senator” rhetoric now…? *sigh*

Now, in closing on a humorous note, Phil and Annie, at Mondoweiss, wrote a great post on Stephen Colbert and the real Israeli tool, Michael Oren… Did Oren’s iron dome of affability stop Colbert’s brilliant strikes?

by CTuttle

Debunking The Latest IAEA Report on Iran

4:52 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

From that RT blurb… The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned threats by Israel and the US to strike Iran. This comes after Tehran rejected as a ‘political move’ the latest report by the IAEA which claimed the country has doubled its nuclear capacity…

First off, you can take a look at the IAEA report here from the Grey Lady…! Now, let’s take a gander at what the Grey Lady’s in-house AIPAC mouthpieces had to say about it…

Report on Iran Nuclear Work Puts Israel in a Box

…For Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the International Atomic Energy Agency on Thursday offered findings validating his longstanding position that while harsh economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation may have hurt Iran, they have failed to slow Tehran’s nuclear program. If anything, the program is speeding up…

Phil Weiss raised a great point about the Grey Lady’s true intentions… ‘NYT’ serves as echo chamber for Israeli hawks, quoting 7 on Iran, plus 2 Israel lobbyists…!

Now, I happen to agree with b at MOA that Gareth Porter did jilt b by not giving him a hat tip, but, Gareth did write a marvelous post on IPS…

IAEA Report Shows Iran Reduced Its Breakout Capacity

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report made public Thursday reveals that Iran has actually reduced the amount of 20-percent enriched uranium available for any possible “breakout” to weapons grade enrichment over the last three months rather than increasing it.

Contrary to the impression conveyed by most news media coverage, the report provides new evidence that Iran’s enrichment strategy is aimed at enhancing its bargaining position in negotiations with the United States rather than amassing such a breakout capability.

The reduction in the amount of 20-percent enriched uranium in the Iranian stockpile that could be used to enrich to weapons grade is the result of a major acceleration in the fabrication of fuel plates for the Tehran Research Reactor, which needs 20-percent enriched uranium to produce medical isotopes.

That higher level enriched uranium has been the main focus of U.S. diplomatic demands on Iran ever since 2009, on the ground that it represents the greatest threat of an Iranian move to obtain a nuclear weapon capability.

When 20-percent uranium is used to make fuel plates, however, it is very difficult to convert it back to a form that can enriched to weapons grade levels…

…The reduction in the stockpile available for weapons grade enrichment was the result of the conversion of 53.3 kg of 20-percent enriched uranium into fuel plates – compared with only 43 kg in the previous five months.

Iran was thus creating fuel plates for its medical reactor faster than it was enriching uranium to a 20-percent level.

But although that reduction of the stockpile of enriched uranium of greatest concern to the United States was the real significance of the new report, it was not conveyed by the headlines and leads in news media coverage. Those stories focused instead on the fact that production of 20-percent enriched uranium had increased, and that the number of centrifuges at the underground facility at Fordow had doubled.

“Nobody has put out the story that their stockpile is shrinking,” said Joe Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund and a leading independent specialist on nuclear weapons policy, in an interview with IPS.

As b had put it so succinctly, earlier…

IAEA: Iranian “Nuclear Danger” Decreased

Iran has now 10% less “dangerous stuff” in the form of further easily enrichable 20% UF6 than it had in May 2012. Further enriched this stockpile would not be enough by half to create even one nuclear device. The “imminent danger” of a “nuclear Iran” has thereby decreased.

We can reasonably assume that Iran is doing this decrease on purpose and will in future convert any newly produced UF6 into fuel plates. This will keep its stock of UF6 at a level below what is needed to make a quick run towards a nuclear device.

But as the whole “nuclear Iran” scare has little to do with reality but a lot with U.S. and Israeli desire to subjugate Iran and thereby further their global and regional domination we can not expect to read about this reality in any of the western propaganda media.

The main point of contention is the false claim that Iran is now producing HEU, which is defined as 20.00+% enrichment, the IAEA can only confirm that it’s still 19.75% LEU enrichment, with some minor aberrations of 20% obtained, but, let’s not lose sight of the fact, the IAEA is indeed monitoring the whole process…!

Cyrus Safdari also provides a great paragraph-by-paragraph vivisection of the IAEA report…!

Even FDL Alum, Jim White, noted what a farce it’s become…

Fear-Mongering Over New IAEA Iran Report Falls Flat

…IAEA inspectors are onsite at Iran’s nuclear facilities and they confirm that all of Iran’s nuclear material is accounted for, with none being diverted for unknown purposes. Despite all the bluster from the war mongers that Iran is making progress toward a weapon, the fact remains that uranium enrichment still goes only to 20% and not to the 90%+ needed for a weapon, Iran’s functioning enrichment centrifuges are still very old technology and all uranium entering the enrichment process has been accounted for by IAEA inspectors.

With such gaping holes in the claims that Iran is dangerously close to “break out” capability on weapons development, it is no surprise that this latest round of beating the drum for war is being lost in the attention on the upcoming election.

Btw, does anybody realize that 120 nations just unanimously approved of Iran’s nuclear program…?

Non-Aligned Movement Unanimously Backs Iran’s Civilian Nuclear Program

The 120-member Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has unanimously endorsed Iran’s civilian nuclear energy program, saying Iran has not only the right to produce energy through nuclear fission, but has a right to enrich their own uranium to do so…

…The NAM endorsement is particularly important as its membership amounts of about 2/3 of the nations on the planet, a strong voting majority in the UN General Assembly. This would make it extremely difficult for the Obama Administration to push to punish Iran for its program through the general assembly.

Funny how our Chair of the JCS, Gen. Dempsey, is publicly questioning the ‘legality’ of an Iran strike…

…The U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, has always cautioned against a go-it-alone approach, but he appeared to up the ante this week by saying Washington did not want to be blamed for any Israeli initiative.

“I don’t want to be complicit if they (Israel) choose to do it,” Dempsey was quoted as saying by Britain’s Guardian newspaper on Friday, suggesting that he would view an Israeli attack as reprehensible or illegal.

He went on to repeat that although Israel could delay Iran’s nuclear project, it would not destroy it. He said that unilateral action might unravel a strong international coalition that has applied progressively stiff sanctions on Iran.

“(This) could be undone if (Iran) was attacked prematurely,” he was quoted as saying…

A whole lot more would be undone too…!

*gah*

by CTuttle

Flytilla Grounded by Typical Israeli F*ckery

5:45 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

As a former Knesset Member wrote today…

…”Today is a black and shameful page in the history of the State of Israel. The massive aggressive play staged today at Ben Gurion Airport, the hundreds of police flooding the terminal, the systematic hunt for every traveler who dared to openly admit being headed to Bethlehem, as if this was the most horrible of crimes, the hysterical assault on a handful of Israeli peace activists who dared to express a dissident opinion, the worldwide campaign of pressures and threats to make airlines cancel the flights of hundreds of passengers. Had the government set out to exhibit to the world the image of an ugly Israel – oppressive, aggressive, nationalistic, tolerating no criticism – then today was a huge success. But if they had wanted to corroborate the assertion that Israel is “the only democracy in the Middle East”, the government’s conduct conveyed the very opposite message. The government’s “victory” over the the international activists was the very epitome of a pyrrhic victory…

What truly surprised me was the sheer extent of the collusion between the individual European Govt’s(local and federal), the Airlines, and, Israel…

‘Flytilla’ detentions spark fury

…But Israel vowed to prevent their entry, warning airlines they would be forced to foot the bill for the activists’ immediate return home in a move which saw many carriers toeing the line.

With airlines cancelling at least 300 passengers’ tickets, scores of activists staged angry demonstrations at airports in several European capitals. Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

Déjà Vu Parte Douze…

6:00 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Honestly, read my post from last November entitled: Wag The Dog: Green Salt is The New Yellowcake, and tell me it’s not Déjà vu, all over again…?

To wit: New IAEA Report Hypes Fear on Iran’s Nuclear Program, IAEA: Iran rapidly increases controversial nuclear work, and then, Netanyahu: UN report proves Iran’s nuclear program advancing ‘uninterrupted’

Now, it’s certainly reassuring to finally see some serious pushback from the Intel Community, and, the fact it’s being covered at all, in our Lame Stream Media…

U.S. does not believe Iran is trying to build nuclear bomb

The latest U.S. intelligence report indicates Iran is pursuing research that could enable it to build a nuclear weapon, but that it has not sought to do so.

…Although Iran continues to enrich uranium at low levels, U.S. officials say they have not seen evidence that has caused them to significantly revise that judgment. Senior U.S. officials say Israel does not dispute the basic intelligence or analysis.

But Israel appears to have a lower threshold for action than Washington. It regards Iran as a threat to its existence and says it will not allow Iran to become capable of building and delivering a nuclear weapon. Some Israeli officials have raised the prospect of a military strike to stop Iran before it’s too late…

Now, parsing through all the verbiage, I’ve ascertained that short of a ‘false flag’ operation, a very likely event, we’re not going to bomb Iran, either the US and/or Israel alone…! I should also add that all of Yukiyo Amano’s main ‘allegations’ still derive solely from the ‘Laptop of Death’…

What it boils down to is the fact that the Western Hegemonic structures are crumbling down, and, the MOTU’s sorely need to distract the ‘unwashed’ masses…! Since a ‘preemptive’ strike on Iran is ruled out, the Western/Israeli PTB’s seek to chip away at the Iranian periphery, such as Syria…! Btw, don’t you find it ironic that, not only are we on the same side of the Syrian Abyss as AQIM, but, Hamas too…! That’s gotta stick in Bibi’s craw, just a tad…!

Now, speaking of Bibi and Israel… My favoritest, long time virtual friends, outside of FDL, Annie Robbins wrote at Mondoweiss today, what truly underscores Bibi’s recent efforts…


Look over there! All eyes on Iran as Israel quietly devours Area C

…No East Jeruslaem, no Area C and what is our mainstream media, our politicians and our public focused on? Iran.

So, this is the ethnic cleansing scam of the century and were are being lulled into another horrid war. A war in which, in all likelihood, Israel would use the distraction to effect territorial expansion and expulsion of Palestinians….just as they did when we were told that the road to Jerusalem lay through Baghdad and we went into Iraq and Palestinians watched unprecedented illegal settlement growth, bringing tens of thousands of illegal settlers to the West Bank.

There is no conceivable way anyone can build a state with whatever piddly crumbs will be left over after Israel finishes eating this pie. And after that, will it still be hungry?

To expand on her point that Palestine will essentially be reduced to the de facto ‘Bantustans’…

Israel’s Left Annexation Plan of 60% of West Bank

…On Thursday, Ynet Israeli news website revealed Bennett’s annexation plan that the former Yesha Council director, Neftali Bennett, suggested to annex and impose full sovereignty over Area C, which is currently under full Israeli security control in the West Bank. Area C constitutes 62% of the land, unilaterally…

…According to the plan, the lands that would be annexed to Israel includes: the Jordan Valley, the Dead Sea, Ariel and Ma’ali Adumim Settlements as well as the Israeli settlements in the West Bank, so the Jewish who live in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv would be protected from the threats that come from the East as Bennett said.

Bennett’s plan also calls on Israel to naturalize 50,000 Palestinians from the annexed lands and that will also cause the rest of the West Bank’s Palestinians to demand citizenship.

Peace Now director, Yariv Oppenheimer, said “Bennett’s plan is a failed attempt to cut corners and make the occupation more comfortable.” He also added “The initiative is detached from reality.”

“Bennett’s initiative is immoral and undemocratic. It will only aggravate Israel’s situation with regards to the Palestinian issue,” said Oppenheimer, “Bennett’s solution, which includes the unilateral annexation of settlements, would deepen the crisis between Israel and the international community and may bury the chance to separate from the Palestinians.”

Basically it boils down to a One State ‘Solution’ and all non-Jews will be eternally persecuted…!

But, I digress…

As I’d last warned about in my Wag the Dog post… ‘Do we really want to awaken the slumbering Dragon…?’

China: U.S., Europe have hegemonistic goals in Syria

The United States and Europe are “harboring hegemonistic ambitions” in Syria, China’s state news agency said Saturday, a day after Beijing was condemned at an international conference held to find a way to halt the Syrian regime’s nearly year-old suppression of an anti-government uprising.

At the Friends of Syria meeting in Tunisia, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton blasted Russia and China as “despicable” for vetoing UN Security Council resolutions backing Arab League plans aimed at ending the conflict and condemning the crackdown by President Bashar Assad’s government.

Well, Do we really want too…?

*gah*

by CTuttle

US Senate Talking About More Sanctions on Iran and Other F*ckery

5:00 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

Un-f*cking-believable… U.S. Senators mull sanctions on Iran’s Ahmadinejad…

…U.S. lawmakers are considering a bid to force President Barack Obama’s administration to blacklist Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in an effort to thwart Tehran’s nuclear capabilities, a congressional aide said on Wednesday.

The new measure under consideration would designate the Iranian leaders as human rights abusers and freeze whatever assets they have in the United States as well as deny them visas needed to enter the country, the aide said.

The Senate Banking Committee could decide as soon as Thursday on whether to include the provision in a broad package of sanctions aimed at curtailing Iran’s access to oil revenue, which the West says is being used to develop nuclear weapons… {snip}

…The new measures being considered in Congress include requiring the adminsitration to identify officials, affiliates and agents of Iran’s revolutionary Guard within three months and impose sanctions on them.

Intrade has an airstrike on Iran by year-end at 30%…! If/when war happens, there’s a 100% chance oil will go to $160+…!

It’s rather funny that both, Col. Lang and Philip Giraldi, cast a jaundiced eye on the DNI’s CYA briefing to Difi’s Intel Committee hearing and the subsequent Wapoo pile of poo, yesterday…

Btw, while Mitt won the Floridaze Gooper primary, Bibi cinched his Likud Party primary yesterday. 2012: The year of the Bibi…

This is truly spooky… Mossad chief held secret talks in DC with top U.S. officials…

…The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence met yesterday for the annual Worldwide Threat Assessment. And it was broadcast live. Haaretz reports “cursory comments” made by Senator Dianne Feinstein and General David Petraeus indicate they recently met with Mossad chief Tamir Pardo in Washington…

The clandestine Washington visit was exposed during a hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which was participated by CIA Director David Petraeus, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Senate panel.

During the meeting, Feinstein asked Clapper whether or not Israel intended to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, with the top U.S. intelligence official answering that he would rather discuss the issue behind closed doors.

Feinstein then indicated that she had met Mossad chief Pardo earlier in the week in Washington, with Petraeus adding that he too met Pardo and cited what he called Israel’s growing concern over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Shocking.

Where’s the Sunshine…? Shocking indeed…!

Meanwhile, Israel asks U.S. to prod Palestinians to continue peace talks, and, UN chief says it is Israel that must make next move…

*gah*