Thursday, September 30, 2010

AKKA a Palestinian National Priority - Stop the Judaization of Akka

Akka: A Palestinian Priority

Return to Acre
כדילתרגם לע

by Eyad Barghouti

Arab Palestinians still live in the old city of Akka, with their buildings, cultural, religious and historic sites largely intact as a result of these Palestinian residents' tireless efforts. With the exception of Nazareth, Akka is the only historic Palestinian city within the green line where this is the case. For various reasons, this strong Palestinian presence in Akka is an uncomfortable fact for Zionist and Israeli authorities who have expanded and escalated their Judaization efforts in the city over recent years.

We can consider the continuation of a strong Palestinian presence in Akka, and the commitment of the city's Palestinian residents to stay in their city, as a national and historic achievement. This presence is also evidence of a partial failure of old and new Zionist plans to evict them from the city, transforming it into a tourist attraction empty of its indigenous population. It is true that this achievement can continue into the future and grow stronger, but it is also true that what has failed in the past may yet see success.

What is Judaization? How is it manifested in Palestinian cities in general, and Akka in particular? What are the projects encapsulated in such a plan? Will the Israeli regime really succeed in clearing the ancient city of its indigenous people and its identity?

    * On Judaization
    * The Judaization of Akka: Live Examples
    * Palestinian Land Confiscated by the Absentee Property Law (1950)
    * Notes on the October 2008 Events in Akka
    * Confronting the Judaization of Akka

On Judaization

Judaization is the policy and practice of implanting, or more accurately, forcibly replacing Palestinians with Jewish settlers in areas with an Arab-Palestinian majority. The effect of Judaization transforms the demographic composition and cultural identity of a place from Palestinian to Jewish-Israeli.
Looked at on the ground, Judaization usually involves either the displacement of indigenous Palestinians from their homes and subsequently housing Jewish-Israelis in these homes; or establishing brand new residential areas in Palestinian cities exclusively for Jewish-Israelis with the purpose of overall demographic superiority and absorption of Jewish immigrants.

On the political level, Israel's Judaization projects aim to win the "demographic battle" by entrenching and expanding the Jewish majority, which provides a semblance of legitimacy for the Jewish monopoly on decision-making authority over the land and people of Palestine. Zionists see Judaization as a strategy and as an integral part of the larger Jewish-colonization project; it is an Israeli national priority, a foundation of the entire historical Zionist project.

There are currently no Israeli campaigns to Judaize remaining Palestinian towns and villages within the 'green line' per se; there are no plans to settle Jews within the towns of Sakhnin or Um al-Fahm, for example. For in the case of these Palestinian towns and villages, the colonial project involves the confiscation of the land around these areas populated with Palestinian, and on this land new settlements are built and old settlements are expanded. The Palestinian population of the town will increase, but the geographic size of the town will shrink, inevitably suffocating under its own ever-increasing population density. Palestinian towns and villages are not Judaized, but various educational, cultural, economic and security policies ensure the constant erosion of the Arab Palestinian residents of these population centers, and the de-development of these places; where the population continues to grow while no planning or investment is contributed to residents' quality of life. Meanwhile, the nearby hilltops are transformed into ever more planned, neat and growing settlements for exclusively Jewish residents, or ever-quieter lookout points in the ever-greener national parks and forests of the Jewish National Fund.

Rooftop view of Acre (Akka) looking West to the sea, Matson Collection (before 1920)

Historic and ancient Palestinian cities within the "green line," often referred to as "mixed cities," have their own unique scenario, their own dynamics involving historical and economic dimensions that cannot be ignored, and which call for increasingly complex levels of struggle. There are four general pillars of the policies and practices of Judaization in Palestinian cities within the green line (Yaffa, Haifa, al-Lydd, Ramleh, Nazareth and Akka):

Tightening the noose around the Arab-Palestinian residents of these cities by policies of economic, cultural and social marginalization, discrimination in the provision of services and law enforcement, all aimed at reducing Palestinian quality of life to the point where Palestinians "voluntarily" leave their old neighborhoods;

Erasing the Arab-Palestinian identity of the city by practices of writing-out the Palestinian in the official histories of the place, systematic neglect and demolition of old Palestinian buildings, and the Hebraization of the names of public spaces and streets;

Seizure of Palestinian homes and real estate through governmental agencies and corporations through legislation and policies that hinder inheritance rights for Palestinians, maintenance of Palestinian control over Muslim and Christian religious endowments, and facilitate the transfer of property titles to Zionist capital and institutions;

Transformation of very old Palestinian neighborhoods into tourist and cultural attractions (notably artists' colonies) emptied of the indigenous residents, and transferring ownership of larger buildings and landmarks to Jewish tourism entrepreneurs.

All too often, Judaization projects don the mask of "development," and it is no coincidence that the government has a ministry called the ؟Ministry for the Development of the Negev and Galilee؟ with the clear goal of Judaizing these areas. Nor is it by chance that the past few decades have seen the growth of the development industry in historic Palestinian cities, and that this industry attracts investors and residents to projects that use the language of development to cloak their racist intentions and effects.

The Judaization of Akka: Live Examples

The Judaization of Akka, with its various colonial and cultural components, did not suddenly begin in the last few years. The vast majority of Akka's indigenous Palestinian residents, as well as those who had sought refuge in the walled city after their communities had been depopulated by Zionist forces (mostly from Haifa and the towns and villages of the Western Galilee), were expelled from Akka during the 1948 Nakba. This despite the city being considered part of the Arab-majority state proposed in the 1947 Partition Plan (UNGA Resolution 181).

Jewish colonial settlement in Akka began in the early 1950s, with a large wave of Arab and Eastern Jews being settled in one of Akka's old city neighborhoods in the early 1970s, although the Israeli government pulled many of those new immigrants out when it became apparent that they were integrating into their new Palestinian surroundings rather than imposing the Jewish character of the state. During the British mandate period, middle and upper class Palestinians in Akka established a new neighborhood outside the city walls that they called al-Rashadiyyah, with beautifully built homes. In the 1970s, the Israeli government began settling thousands of Jewish immigrants in this area and expanding it onto the agricultural land to the north and east of the city.

From the perspective of Israeli government authorities, Akka is the city beyond the walls, the buildings and people inside the walls constitute ؟old Akka.؟ For the Palestinians of Akka, and Palestinians in general, Akka is the city inside the walls, the area outside the walls is ؟new Akka؟ or al-'Imarat (the tall buildings). Jewish Israelis consider Akka to be theirs, a Jewish city with an annoyingly increasing number of Arabs. As such, the city's municipal authorities work with the support of the Jewish Agency to do all they can maintain a growing Jewish population in the city, and to initiate an increasing number of housing, cultural, athletic and religious projects to attract larger numbers of Jewish Israelis to the city.
Al-Jazzare Mosque's courtyard, 2007

In 2001, UNESCO recognized the old city of Akka as a world heritage site. This became a major incentive for Israeli authorities develop, implement and expand its Judaization plans for the city. Besides the potential influx of tourist dollars that could result from the UNESCO recognition; a central impetus for accelerating the Judaization plans has been the fear that the world might discover the actual rich Arab-Palestinian cultural heritage of the city which poses a direct threat to the official Israeli narrative that denies the collective history and existence of Arabs and Palestinians on this land.

The main priorities of Akka's municipal and Jewish religious authorities, predating but accelerated by the UNESCO recognition, have been to stop the migration of Jews from Akka to Nahariya, Krayot, and the cities and towns of the center; increasing the number of Jews moving into the city, and preventing the growth of the Palestinian population in the city beyond thirty percent (according to the 2006 statistics, Palestinians accounted for 15,000 of the 46,000 residents of Akka). These priorities are not part of a secret plot, but are quite openly stated: the current mayor of Akka boasts that his most important achievement has been reversing the migration trend ؟ that more Jews moved to Akka than left it ؟ during his tenure. In 2007 the chief Rabbi of Akka called on Jews to move to Akka and stated that he wanted to see Akka transformed into an ؟absolutely Jewish؟ city. We Palestinian residents of Akka were not shocked by these comments, we recognized them for what they were, an escalation in the struggle between Palestinian presence in their ancient city, and Zionist efforts to Judaize it.

The Israeli establishment has planned for and implemented several parallel and complimentary Judaization projects. In what follows I present some of the most prominent of these projects so that readers can better understand the different aspects of the Judaization of Akka, and the urgency with which we need to work to protect the city's Palestinian community.

Acquisition of Homes and Real Estate

After the 1948 Nakba, the Israeli Lands Administration (ILA) seized the property of Palestinian refugees from Akka (as it did with the property of all of the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians displaced that year). Title to the land was transferred to the Custodian of Absentee Property, and the Amidar corporation was established to administer these properties.
Al-Jazzar Mosque, 2007

Palestinian Land Confiscated by the Absentee Property Law (1950)

Before the 1948 Nakba, and despite the five decades and millions of dollars spent by the Jewish National Fund and other Zionist organizations trying to acquire Palestinian land, Jewish land ownership in Palestine was no more than 6.7% of the land of historic Palestine (10% of the land controlled by the state of Israel after the Nakba). Israel's Absentee Property Law (1950) transferred title over the properties of displaced Palestinians ("absentee property" belonging to refugees and internally displaced Palestinians) to the Custodian of Absentee Property.

Estimates of the size and value of the land confiscated by the Absentee Property Law vary. The Custodian of Absentee Property's official figure is that 70% of the land controlled by the Israeli state is Absentee property.1 According to the Jewish National Fund, 2% of Israeli controlled land after the Nakba had been state domain on the eve of the war; 10% was owned by Jewish individuals and organizations on the eve of the war, and the remaining 88% belonged to Arabs.2

The difficulty with determining exactly how much Palestinian property was taken by Israel in 1948 lies in the fact that, as Don Peretz puts it, ؟... information concerning the use, amounts, and distribution of abandoned Arab property and the government's policy toward it was secret. Records and most reports of the Custodian of Absentee Property were secret. Sessions of the Knesset Finance Committee, when it discussed the problem, were closed. Even the United Nations, in spite of frequent requests, was unable to obtain adequate information about Israel's disposition of Arab property.؟3

In the decades following the Nakba, the ILA used various housing laws and policies to force Palestinians to leave their homes in Akka, as it did in other Palestinian cities under Israeli control. For instance, Palestinians were not allowed to repair or renovate their homes within the city, while incentives were offered to Palestinians to move to the nearby village of al-Makar, built especially to absorb Palestinians displaced from Akka.

As with most discriminatory Israeli laws, the discrimination is not apparent in the text of housing laws used to displace Palestinians from the city. Instead, properties within the old city are divided into two parts, those that fall under the Ministry of Housing, which are mostly housing projects set up by the government to house Jewish immigrants, and those that fall under the city's ؟Development Authority؟, which is responsible for the historic buildings of the city, i.e. those predominantly inhabited by Palestinians.

The Development Authority issued policies, which prohibit Palestinians from transferring title through inheritance more than once, preventing the third generation from inheriting, and remaining in, the property. Thus, if a Palestinian inherits property from his father, it cannot be inherited by his son. Even if the property was not inherited, the inheritor must prove that they have lived in the home for at least six consecutive months before the death of the person with title to the house in order to inherit the property. Even though Palestinians can now renovate their homes, renovation of a building governed by the Development Authority is far more expensive than regular renovation, with most of the renovation expenses shouldered by the resident (not the case in government housing projects). Another clear difference is that the process of evicting residents, a complicated task in the case of government housing projects, is a far simpler administrative order for the Development Authority, with far fewer protected housing rights for the Palestinian resident.
Scene inside Acre (Akka) few years after Nakba, 1950.

Today's Akka has 240 shut-down empty homes whose Palestinian residents have been evicted, and 160 homes housing families who face eviction orders. Tens of Palestinian homes have been purchased over the past two years by Jewish businessmen for large amounts of money, and Zionist land-brokers are working overtime to convince the remaining Palestinians of Akka to sell; particularly in the Fakhoura neighborhood on the west shore of the old city.

Another major issue in Akka is that of religious endowment (waqf) property, which accounts for 40% of the property in the old city of Akka. The Israeli government and municipality appointed a Board of ؟Trustees؟ to administer these properties, and in turn, these trustees leased the properties to the Israeli Lands Administration (ILA) for 99 years, who in turn has begun leasing the properties to wealthy Jewish entrepreneurs. The most recent of these deals, technically called ؟generational leases؟ because of their long duration, was the de facto sale of Khan Umdan, the largest and most important of Akka's historic guest-houses and the closest one to the city's port. The deal was closed in the summer of 2008 to a Jewish businessman from the UK for over 12 million shekels.

A New City in the Galilee to De-Palestinianize Akka

In a report prepared for the Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar by my colleague Feras Khatib, he outlines plans by the Israeli Ministry of Interior to establish an Arab community in the Galilee which is to be marketed as a modern community for young Arab couples.4 At present, the site of the ؟New City؟ has not been finalized, but the proposed site is close to the Palestinian village of Judayida a few kilometers from coastal Akka. Contrary to what has been reported in the Hebrew-language press, plans for the new community are not to build it from scratch, but to expand an area of Judayida village. Urban planning specialist Yusuf Jabbarin explains that there are ؟political factors؟ in the decision-making surrounding this project, ؟it must be close to Akka, and there are ongoing plans to empty Akka of its indigenous Arab population, and it is quite likely that this city will be used as a kind of refuge for the Palestinians who will be displaced from Akka.؟

The Ayalim Association Settlement Project

In 2007, the ILA handed three renovated buildings in the Ma'aliq neighborhood in the western part of the old city to the Ayalim settler association without any legal auction. The association housed twenty university students in the buildings offering them 10,000 shekels worth of scholarships. Recent information suggests that the Jewish Agency has begun renovation of several other buildings in the same neighborhood with the intention of handing them over to the Ayalim to bring in larger groups of students.

According to its website, Ayalim was founded in 2002 by young veterans of the Israeli army with the intention of increasing Jewish settler activity in the Galilee and the Naqab. It aims to do this by creating a new moral climate and by modernizing Zionist ideology to suit the needs of the 21st century. Its work on the ground involves establishing socially interconnected permanent student settlements. To date, Ayalim has established eight such settlements in the Naqab and Galilee, its work having been greatly facilitated by support of the national and municipal governments, with special support provided for the creation of a "student settler village" in old Akka.

Ruah Tsvonit Religious Seminary

Four years ago it seemed that the state of Israel was on the verge of losing the city of Akka since the establishment of the state; over the last fifteen years, over twenty-thousand Jews had left the city, and Arab families from the Galilee had moved into the city... the Wolfson neighborhood went from being a Jewish neighborhood to a neglected Arab neighborhood, and the Ohel Tsedek synagogue remained in its place. In 2003, the religious seminary found its natural home in the synagogue, which the Arabs had tried to turn into a mosque.5

General view of Acre (Akka) famous Harbor

This is the translation of the text found on the website of the Ruah Tsvonit Religious Seminary, in which over 150 religious students are enrolled today, all living in the Wolfson neighborhood beside the train station, and which has indeed transformed back into an Arab-Palestinian neighborhood. As is clear from the text, fundamentalist religious movements do not attempt to hide their national-religious Judaization goals, rather they make clear that the Israeli establishment and government share and work towards these same goals. The same site informs us that ؟the municipality of Akka, which sees our work as a means of bringing Jewish individuals and families into the city, has set aside a piece of land for us to build our campus.؟

The fact that such organizations have set their sites on important landmarks in Akka is also quite clear. For instance, one story on the Ruah Tsvonit website is that of Rabbi Haim Ben Attar, who ؟arrived in Akka in 1741 with tens of his students. They settled in the city and established Knesset Yisrael, the current location of which seems to be the Thaher Omar mosque.؟ There is a strong Zionist tradition of "reclaiming" sites which are said to have been visited by renowned Rabbis, which does not bode well for important Arab-Palestinian landmarks such as the Thaher Omar mosque.

The Branding Campaign

The Branding (or Re-Branding) campaign announced by the Akka municipality at the outset of 2008, aims to change the character and marketed image of the city from a "Crusader City" into a "Mediterranean City." In both cases the Palestinian, Arab and Ottoman character of the city is completely ignored and sidelined, and in both cases the municipality and the Ministry of Tourism have done all in their power to hide the fact that today's Akka, with its historic and distinctive architecture, is the city that was rebuilt by Thaher Omar al-Zeidani over the ruins of the crusader city, a project that was continued by Ahmed Pasha Al-Jazzar and the rulers that followed him until the fall of the Ottoman empire and the onset of the British occupation. Akka is an Arab city with over four thousand years of human history spanning Phoenician, Pharaohnic, Hellenic, Roman, Islamic and other civilizations, and is one of the best urban areas of the world where so much of this architectural and civilizational inheritance is still significantly intact and well-preserved.

In fact, the UNESCO recognition of Akka as a World Heritage Site came as a result of an Israeli application for this recognition. The core of the Israeli application was that the old city of Akka is a living example of an Ottoman port-city, which has preserved its cultural life since the Ottoman period, in addition to the important Crusader architecture (Akka was the capital of the second Crusader kingdom). The Israeli authorities who made the application made sure not to use the word ؟Arab,؟ let alone ؟Palestinian؟ in the UNESCO application, in spite of the fact that the actual residents of Akka's old city have been Arab throughout the city's history, and despite the Arab identity of Thaher Omar himself, the initiator of the first Arab political independence movement in Palestine in the modern period, and who had chosen Akka as his capital.
General view of Acre (Akka) from the sea, 2001

Notes on the October 2008 Events in Akka

The violent aggression that stormed through Akka on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur (8 October 2008) and the nights that followed marked a critical escalation in the chain of racist assaults against the Palestinians of Akka, specifically those living in the newer neighborhoods outside of the old city walls. Assaults on Palestinian families and religious sites in the Eastern Neighborhood have been increasing over the past six years, with a marked intensification over the past two years epitomized by such acts as the arson attacks on the Manshiyya Mosque, on Palestinians' cars and homes, and violent physical assaults on many Palestinian families. The past two years have also witnessed Jewish-Israeli neighborhood committees' refusal to accept Palestinian families as neighbors, and harassment of Palestinian families who have managed to take residents in the Eastern Neighborhood. Racist graffiti, notably the common settler slogan ؟death to the Arabs؟ has been regularly spray-painted onto the walls and buildings of the Neighborhood as well as on the mosque.

Details about the October 2008 events are outside the scope of this article,6 but it is important to note that great deal of these violent and racist acts took place before the eyes of Israeli police and law enforcement personnel who made their complicity very clear by their refusal to protect the Palestinian victims of the various physical violence and arson attacks. The main purpose of the Jewish-Israeli violence against Akka's Palestinians had the central aim of forcing out the Palestinian families who had moved into the newer neighborhoods of Akka, and police complicity with such a goal makes evident the state's backing for this forced displacement campaign.

Just as important was the Palestinian response to the Jewish-Israeli violence. Palestinian political, commercial and social organizations and networks, as well as several prominent individuals, came together to form the Akka Residents' Coalition which worked to disseminate information about what was actually happening in the city to the Arabic, Hebrew and international press. The goal was to present an Arab-Palestinian position, providing the political and historical context of the violence that had erupted, as well as taking practical measures to organize and support the Palestinian residents of the city. Zionist organizations had called for a boycott of Arab enterprises, and for the cancellation of important Arab cultural activities such as the theater festival, so the Coalition called on Palestinians within the green line to come to Akka, and organized delegations to visit the city and see for themselves what had taken place, organizing various cultural activities to attract visitors to the city.

On the community level, the Coalition worked to provide material support to the Palestinian residents of Akka who had been evicted or hurt by the settler violence of October 2008. Money raised by the Coalition was used to repair damage done to some of the homes and shops, as well as in hiring counselors to provide psychological support to victims of the racist violence.

In addition to discrimination, marginalization and Judaization, the Palestinians of Akka lack the institutionalized civic and political infrastructure necessary to face discriminatory Israeli policies, and plan for the future of Akka's Palestinian community. Thus far, the community has not been able to transform its demographic strength into effective political power, and have faced a debilitating internal crisis at the level of civic and political leadership, a factor which serves to augment the dangers faced by the community. As such, the experience of the Akka Residents' Coalition is an important one well worth maintaining and building upon, especially in light of the ongoing nature of the crisis facing the Palestinians of Akka, but risks falling into the trap of being a spontaneous response to particular events and that dies down as the events recede into the past.

Confronting the Judaization of Akka

We cannot simply sit on the walls of Akka and lament the loss of our beloved city, angrily counting the waves, homes, landmarks, religious sites all put up for sale. Nor can we feel content that we have exposed the political schemes that have tightened the noose around our impoverished community, battered by the various forms of forced displacement.

The other face of opposition to the government's policies and practices aiming to displace us is the creation of our own Palestinian alternative. Such an alternative must go beyond slogans and denunciations to mobilize the energies of the entire community, transforming them into the engine for a social movement for the steadfastness and development of the community, with a clear vision backed by the consensus of the population and its institutions, and that can be translated into particular campaigns and initiatives that can bring the people closer to their goals.
General view of Acre (Akka), 2001

The foundations for a movement to defend and advance the Palestinian population of Akka must be the organization and unification of this community, with its various political and civic institutions. Such a movement should aim to coordinate political and social action to regain and defend the rights of the Palestinians of the city, both as individuals, and as an indigenous collective with a particular historical relationship to the city whose housing, employment and education needs should be prioritized.

A social development project such as this should strive to restore Akka as a vibrant cultural and economic center for the Palestinian community throughout the country. Akka is not simply an issue of concern for the indigenous residents of Akka and its refugees, but is a Palestinian national priority. There can be no solution to the crisis faced by the city and its people without Palestinian recognition that Akka is indeed a priority, and action to address the crisis facing the Palestinians of the city.

1. Robert Fisk, ؟The Land of Palestine (pt.8): The Custodian of Absentee Property,؟ The Times, 24 December 1980.
2. Walter Lehn & Uri Davis, The Jewish National Fund
3. Don Peretz, Israel and the Palestinian Arabss (Washington DC: Middle East Institute, 1958), 142.
5. Ayyalim website, accessed 25 August 2008,
6. Ruah Tsvonit seminary website, accessed 25 August 2008,

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Intellectual Rights Retained

Should reservations consider secession from the States in which they reside?

This post is being resurrected (rezurrected?) after reading Bob Mercer's story in the Aberdeen American.

Maybe it's time to consider a radical alternative to reservations land-locked within South Dakota, Montana, and other States. Political manifestations on tribal lands are becoming more organized as frustrations mount with legislative bodies paralyzed by entrenched racism and dwindling federal appropriations to State and local governments.

While the Palestinian homeland looks like holes in the slice of Swiss cheese analogous to the illegal Israeli state, progress toward resolutions of Native trust disputes would have far more political traction after tribes secede from the States in which they reside and then be ratified to form one State sans contiguous borders with two Senators and a House member.

Revolutionary? ip says, "Hell yeah!"

Bob Mercer:

The 2010 NCLB results show 80 percent of white students and 50 percent of Native American students were advanced or proficient. In 2005, there were 85 percent white students and 59 percent Native American students who were advanced or proficient.
State board member Stacy Phelps of Rapid City, who has worked for two decades in tribal education efforts, said the lessons from the successful places need to be shared with other schools.

He said local school board members should be shown what they can do, especially in situations where the board members tend to be white and the populations of Indians students are growing rapidly.

“They would make changes, but they don't know,” Phelps said.
State education deputy secretary, Melody Schopp:

“Things are not working in Indian country,” she said. “We're open and ready for change, but it has to come from outside (the department), not from within.”

Republican Dennis Daugaard is just one more example of the Rounds administration's failure to thrive.

Venezuela's Choice

By Michael Albert

September 30 2010

Venezuelan election commentary is still in flux - reactions are still trickling in. Still, so far available analyses are mostly failing to address the election's most important implications. 

Yes, the Bolivarian Revolution is still in the saddle. 

Yes, Chavez is vastly more popular - despite being in office ten years - than Obama, now in office for two years. 

Yes the PSUV has retained more support and influence than, for example, the Democrats in the U.S.

One could continue in that vein, but viewing the election as if it is a one off experience that is lost or won depending on the ballot count from electoral district to electoral district measuring assembly seats won by Chavistas and the opposition, so that the Chavistas can say - hooray, we won - or viewing it in comparison to what goes on in the U.S. or other typically top down and politically bankrupt societies, so again the Chavistas can say, hooray, we are doing better, is highly simplistic. 

Venezuela is continuing an already decade long incredibly complex struggle for its future. This means what goes on in Venezuela cannot be usefully compared to what goes on in simpler settings.

In Venezuela, some wish to reassert or preserve old relations - basically capitalism, political bureaucracy, racial hierarchies, gender hierarchies - all the old crap. 

In Venezuela, there is also a drive toward something new - a goal that is not spelled out and in fact in many respects barely even intimated, but that is nonetheless also clearly anti racist and anti sexist, clearly for the poor and weak, and maybe profoundly self managing. 

The agents for reaction will do whatever they can to obstruct the agents for change - and the reactionaries have no scruples and plenty of resolve or resources for their tasks. 

If a coup will work, give it a try. Or try a referendum. Or try an election boycott. They tried, and failed, and failed. Chavez was way too popular. So they needed another more sophisticated strategy. 

What they arrived at was to subvert the Chavez government's efforts to move forward on behalf of the poor, and then to blame Chavez for failing to solve problems and better people's lives. As people become tired and doubtful, the opposition ups the ante. How can a reactionary opposition do all that? Let's count the ways. 

1. Old owners subvert plans to produce for the poor and weak. They obstruct efforts at building housing and other projects in numerous ways, including just selling off the needed resources over seas, creating bottle necks, or even simply not working, or working slowly, or working poorly, on various projects. This is very effective, especially in Caracas.

2. Old police don't curb violence and theft - but instead engage in it. They become the criminal element in order not only to enrich themselves, but to create an environment of fear and anger. They even kill - to the same end. It isn't the stolen bounty that is the most important goal. Nor is it the dead victims. No, the most important goal is the assault on the social imagination. It is making people wary, fearful, and not willing to talk, organize, and participate. This is very effective, especially in Caracas, but throughout the country, as well. 

3. Old political bureaucrats - or new ones for that matter - can obstruct rather than aid (as the Chavez government mandates) the emergence of new grassroots people's assemblies. The new structures are supposed to become the new government. It should not be surprising that old mayors and governors are slow to aid them, or even, very often, quick to subvert them, thus bringing local government often out of the revolutionary process and into a reactionary one. The bureaucratically oriented even on the left see popular progress as personal loss. Their obstructionism, rather than their advocacy, of popular participation is very effective, all over Venezuela.

4. Old media - nearly all of Venezuela's media - maintain a never ending assault on Chavez and the government including blaming them for anything and everything that causes people pain or worry - from crime to draught, from continuing poverty to frustration with efforts at local governance - even if, as is most often the case, it is the owners of the media and their allies who own other industries and who administrate cities and regions and who "police" the public, who are actually at fault.

5. The above fourfold strategy to obstruct, disrupt, and blame, it must be admitted, has been very successful. And it also must be admitted that the success can extend even unto impacting Chavista agendas. It can not only distort outcomes in the field in ways that block libertory changes and then undercut support, it can also infect even Chavista motives, inducing a defensiveness about and even denial of ills as well as isolation from the public in turn causing additional problems including, for example, local lethargy of government branches and resistance to admitting and thus dealing sufficiently with crime issues.  

"But the Chavistas won still another showdown. How can you claim the opposition has had great success" - I can hear some reply, or demand, on hearing the above.

Well, if you look at seats in the parliament, and if you simply count the final tally of who won those, then these critics of my stance are absolutely right. There have been some losses, sure, but overall the election marks another victory, albeit a bit tighter. 

But what if we look at the situation as befits judging not a simple parliamentary election but instead an accounting of sentiments in a broad and long social struggle?

After ten years of a government that seeks revolutionary transformation in the direct material, social, and psychological interest of 80% of the population, and, arguably, also in the social interest of quite a few more - support has dropped roughly 10%. Where support for the Bolivarian process should, in the past ten years have risen from about 60% to up near 80%, it instead appears to have fallen to roughly 50%. Momentum is undercut. The publics hopes decline, their support much less inclination to act, diminishes. Even the resolve of avowed revolutionaries starts to wither.

This trajectory has to be seen for what it is: a downslope to hell. 

This trajectory must be reversed. 

This trajectory cannot be reversed if the fourfold oppositional strategy listed earlier, and also the additional internal Bolivarian flaws of process and practice persist. 

This trajectory cannot be reversed if efforts to deal with the fourfold oppositional features and internal failings proceed so slowly that their minor gains are swamped by continually growing pubic exhaustion and doubt. 

The Bolivarian Revolution needs to regain aggressive momentum and wide spread participation. 

The Bolivarian Revolution needs clarity as to its aims. Why else will people be energetic supporters? How else then by knowing what the revolution's aims are, and being able to adapt and alter the aims for themselves, can the public be part of and literally command the process?

The Bolivarian Revolution needs mobilization at the base of communities and throughout workplaces to attain its aims. How else can progress be gained and defended? 

Nothing much can be achieved over night. But reticence to act due to not wanting to arouse stronger opposition so as to avoid serious conflict - or not being willing to see and admit the need - is a direct road to hell. 

The Bolivarian idea, or one might say the Bolivarian hope, incredibly admirable, was that in a fair and rational debate with vote after vote - reason would prevail and sympathy for the public would win out. And well it would have, except for one thing. The opposition is not interested in a fair and rational discussion. The opposition simply wants to win by whatever means they can find, including obstructionism, lying, manipulating, fear mongering, and criminality. Waiting for a fair debate is suicide. While waiting, one's support is undercut or grows tired and despondent, and one's priorities and policies become distorted as well. 

There comes a time when one must finally admit - however admirably much one wished to avoid the implications - that to have Venezuela undergo a truly democratic and self managing popular assessment of options and then freely and insightfully choose among those options - the opposition must be denied pride of place and practice. 

The opposition can debate like all others - but they cannot own and control the only megaphone in society - its tv, newspapers, etc. 

The opposition can work at producing social outputs like all others, but they cannot obstruct work by owning firms and directing them away from revolutionary agendas. 

The opposition can help to govern like all others, but they cannot use governing positions to obstruct popular organizing and decision making and abuse participation. 

The opposition can aid in fighting against corruption and theft like all others, but they cannot become the country's most egregious corruptors and thieves.

And even among the agents and allies of the Revolution, ever greater receptivity to the desires of masses of people throughout society, ever greater willingness to admit and correct errors rather than deny and paper them over, and ever more receptivity to widening participation, are also essential.

From outside Venezuela, admittedly having only modest connection to or information about the details of complexly developing options inside Venezuela, it does seem that to overcome reaction and to seriously pursue liberation something quite like the following steps must somehow soon be achieved as the necessary minimal basis for continuing success.

(1) The media must become democratic and public - critically insightful and inspiring - not a lapdog mouthpiece of the revolution, but also certainly not a lapdog mouthpiece of insane and venal reaction. Yes, there will be a price in rhetorical assault and real confusion around the world when the mass media are taken from venal and even criminal private ownership and turned into exemplary vehicles of public participation, education, criticism, and exploration - but this is a price that must be paid at some point - and sooner is better. 

(2) Mayors, governors, and other officials throughout Venezuela, whatever their other inclinations may be, must become abettors of and advocates for popular power. Neither Chavez nor the PSUV should support candidates or elected officials rerunning for office who do not as a core element of their program and practice work hard to develop the popular assemblies of popular participation and rule, including supporting and working to implement programs mandated by those assemblies. Yes, those who lose support and then office may become overt opponents of the Revolution, but they will be far less damaging in that role than as trusted officials given power to subvert progress.

(3) Old police, wedded to reaction and engaging in crime and fear mongering - whether by action or by calculated inaction - must be replaced. If the new national police can push and teach and force local police to comply, fine. But, if not, then more aggressive steps must be taken. Are there centralizing dangers in such scenarios? Most certainly there are very serious centralizing dangers as well as a rhetorical cost in criticisms. But what must be done, must be done - and putting off acts which, by their delay make their eventual success harder, not easier, is self defeating. The solution to the dangers is to address policing like one addresses production, or health care, or anything else - not only improving it beyond abysmal, but thinking through what would be exemplary, in accord with self management, etc., and implementing that.

(4) The old owners must have their property appropriated for control by the relevant workforces. Their compensation should be that which the society sees as morally warranted - which is to say, at least in my view, enough to maintain a viable income level while seeking new economic involvements. Owners who have sabotaged Bolivarian agendas for the poor and weak, however, should arguably get nothing. Again, any transfers will lead some losers of land or property to overt opposition - but that overt opposition will do far far less damage than the same people's quiet opposition undertaken as heads of workplaces, rather than mere citizens.

(5) The revolution also needs to look again at itself. Not all current problems are a function of overt external opposition. Some problems reside within, albeit perhaps largely induced by the long obstruction and threats of reaction, but by this time also rooted in on going and self sustaining habits of the present. So in addition to dealing with the above four opposition obstacles, there must be a new level of practical commitment to rectifying stale or misguided practice by incorporating criticism from and the desires of the broad population into the actions of local government, of the PSUV, and of the national government as well.

The above steps are not the revolution. 

The above steps don't bring plenty to the poor. They don't elevate the weak to influence. They don't remove hierarchical difference. They simply remove the obstacles to seriously and steadfastly seeking those greater aims including ever growing popular participation and popular self managing control over political life and over production and allocation, and indeed over all dimensions of Venezuela's future, with new social structures and programs suited to the purposes. 

But in the absence of fulfilling the above steps, more encompassing positive efforts will continue to be subverted, the public will continue feel despondant and cowed, and Chavista support will continue to atrophy. 

The road to hell - or the road to solidifying and enlarging revolution. 

From outside, it appears that that is the current choice.

In Brazil, when the PT and Lula won office, they succumbed to fears of reaction and violence. To avoid that calamity they settled on a path less radical and encompassing than their rhetoric had suggested they would pursue. 

In Venezuela, the path has been the opposite. Threats have provoked Chavez and the Bolivarian government to move further left, not retreat to the right. But now comes the real crossroads. 

To now stand pat and keep debating the opposition while they criminally subvert projects - a calculated opposition behavior that will in coming months only become more aggressive - will end in disaster. 

To rear back and decide that the Brazilian social democratic route at least preserves broad political participation and avoids overt conflict, will end in disaster. 

The only road with promise is the road forward. And the road forward must be traversed over and through - not simply around - the old owners, the old political bureaucracy, the old police, the old media, as well as new but hopefully only superficial habits of aloof defensiveness in the PSUV and the Revolution, as well.

Michael Albert's Venezuela analyses submitted by Znet

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Gaza high alert - security warnings of Israeli air strikes on Rafah..

September 30 2010

PalestineFreeVoice GAZA - The southern parts of Gaza is on high alert after warnings of a possible large scale Zionist aggression on Rafah. 

Earlier on Wednesday evening Gaza security vacated all the buildings of the Palestinian Interior Ministry, anticipating a possible Zionist aggression later on tonight in the area of the Rafah border with the Egyptian republic.

Egyptian security forces have ordered evacuation of Palestinian security positions, expecting Zionist warplanes to launch air strikes on the areas around Rafah smuggling tunnels,the Gaza life-lines. 

Rafah is a continued target of the Israeli occupant, preventing the Gaza community from smuggling basic food and medicine through the smuggling tunnels stretching into Palestinian territory from the Egyptian side.

On Tuesday three Palestinian freedom fighters were killed in an Israeli attack on the Eastern parts of the al- Bureij refuge camp in central Gaza.The Zionist entity also targeted a rally in Khan Younis, one participant of the rally,a young man was seriously wounded while he intended to place a Palestinian flag near the border.

In the areas of Erez crossing a 21 year old man was shot by Zionist troops when he was collecting building material, he survived the attack,and was taken to hospital for his injuries.

In an-Nusserat refuge camp a Zionist drone ( unmanned aircraft)fired a missile at a private home.Members of the family escaped death,while the bombardment caused material damage to the building and nearby area. 

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Manji for Salutin? Worse than Kordic for Courtnall

I never thought I'd see the day the Globe was making worse personnel decisions than the Leafs. As a Habs fan, the Leafs amuse me. But the Globe is important, and this is staggeringly bad. Salutin: witty, insightful, humane, original, with a sharp and unique perspective in media. Manji: a bore. A complete bore. I remember trying to watch her back in her by-the-numbers lefty days, TVO etc., and I could never deal with more than two minutes of her predictable shouting cant. Anyone with a brain on the Left (doubtless same on Right with theirs) knows these types, and how awful they are whenever you have to listen/meet/deal with them. I have never been able to make myself listen, watch or read her, because she is perhaps the most boring, predictable person on Earth, and a SHOUTER. The evolution of her politics means little to me, I couldn't stand her when she was on the Left, and whatever she thinks she is now, or is, it's just as bad, if not worse. Once you know how she's positioning herself, there's no reason to read/watch/listen to her, you know how she expresses herself, and you know that the ideas and self-expression are going to be brain-numbingly boring. My God, no person should waste their time on her, life's too short. I wouldn't have written this post but for the contrast between the two. Salutin thinks about things and decides, for example, to put Rob Ford in context. You just never know - he's got a brain. Manji has the mind of a communist, and I don't mean politically, I mean rhetorically. Everything in its place, and in order, and whatever world view she's working from, she just spews out programmed conclusions, LOUDLY. For Heavens' Sakes. She's really a replacement for Rex Murphy, who devolved into such in old age. At this rate, the Globe will be uncritically publishing zombie talking points from the NDP, CPC and all the parties. Actually, I'm unfair: those talking points are more original than Manji, Murphy,

I beg of you Globe, stop this folly. The world needs less Manjis, Teneyckes, Lavignes, etc., and more brains, more originality, more wit, more insight, uh, like...hmm, who again? Ah yes, Salutin! The worst part of Manji is just thinking about how awful she is, how must-smash-head-with-brick-so-as-to-render-myself-unconscious-and-immune-to-her-cant boring she is, turns one into a Manji. Another good reason I always give anything she does a wide berth.

♫ ♫ It's the end of the Globe as we know it, and I feel ill.♫ ♫

Israel's reasoning against peace: Deal comes at high cost to Jewish privilege

By Jonathan Cook in Nazareth

30 September 2010

Jonathan Cook considers the forces ranged against a just peace for the Palestinians, arguing that these forces include not just the squatters that inhabit the ever-expanding colonies in the West bank, but also many Israeli Jews living within Israel's recognized borders and retired senior army officers who profit from the burgeoning “homeland security” and “defence” industries.

With the resumption of settlement construction in the West Bank on 27 September, Israel’s powerful settler movement hopes that it has scuttled peace talks with the Palestinians.

It would be misleading, however, to assume that the only major obstacle to the success of the negotiations is the right-wing political ideology the settler movement represents. Equally important are deeply entrenched economic interests shared across Israeli society.

These interests took root more than six decades ago with Israel’s establishment and have flourished at an ever-accelerating pace since Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip after the 1967 war.

Even many Israeli Jews living within the recognized borders of Israel privately acknowledge that they are the beneficiaries of the seizure of another people’s lands, homes, businesses and bank accounts in 1948. Most Israelis profit directly from the continuing dispossession of millions of Palestinian refugees.

Israeli officials assume that the international community will bear the burden of restitution for the refugees. The problem for Israel’s Jewish population is that the refugees now living in exile were not the only ones dispossessed.

The fifth of Israel’s citizens who are Palestinian but survived the expulsions of 1948 found themselves either transformed into internally displaced people or the victims of a later land-nationalization programme that stripped them of their ancestral property.

Even if Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, signed away the rights of the refugees, he would have no power to do the same for Israel’s Palestinian citizens, the so-called Israeli Arabs. Peace, as many Israelis understand, would open a Pandora’s box of historic land claims from Palestinian citizens at the expense of Israel’s Jewish citizens.

But the threat to the economic privileges of Israeli Jews would not end with a reckoning over the injustices caused by the state’s creation. The occupation of the Palestinian territories after 1967 spawned many other powerful economic interests opposed to peace.

The most visible constituency are the settlers, who have benefited hugely from government subsidies and tax breaks designed to encourage Israelis to relocate to the West Bank. Peace Now estimates that such benefits alone are worth more than 550 million US dollars a year.

Far from being a fringe element, the half a million settlers constitute nearly a tenth of Israel’s Jewish population and include such prominent figures as foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman.

Hundreds of businesses serving the settlers are booming in the 60 per cent of the West Bank, the so-called Area C, that falls under Israel’s full control. The real estate and construction industries, in particular, benefit from cut-price land – and increased profits – made available by theft from Palestinian owners.

Other businesses, meanwhile, have moved into Israel’s West Bank industrial zones, benefiting from cheap Palestinian labour and from discounted land, tax perks and lax enforcement of environmental protections.

Much of the tourism industry also depends on Israel’s hold over the holy sites located in occupied East Jerusalem.

This web of interests depends on what Akiva Eldar, of the Ha’aretz newspaper, terms “land-laundering” overseen by government ministries, state institutions and Zionist organizations. These murky transactions create ample opportunities for corruption that have become a staple for Israel’s rich and powerful, including, it seems, its prime ministers.

But the benefits of occupation are not restricted to the civilian population. The most potent pressure group in Israel – the military – has much to lose from a peace agreement, too.

The ranks of Israel’s career soldiers, and associated security services such as the Shin Bet secret police, have ballooned during the occupation.

The demands of controlling another people around the clock justify huge budgets, the latest weaponry (much of it paid for by the United States) and the creation of a powerful class of military bureaucrat.

While teenage conscripts do the dangerous jobs, the army’s senior ranks retire in their early forties on full pensions, with lengthy second careers ahead in business or politics. Many also go on to profit from the burgeoning “homeland security” industries in which Israel excels. Small specialist companies led by former generals offer a home to retired soldiers drawing on years of experience running the occupation.

Those who spent their service in the West Bank and Gaza Strip quickly learn how to apply and refine new technologies for surveillance, crowd control and urban warfare that find ready markets overseas. In 2006 Israel’s defence exports reached 3.4bn dollars, making the country the fourth largest arms dealer in the world.

These groups fear that a peace agreement and Palestinian statehood would turn Israel overnight into an insignificant Middle Eastern state, one that would soon be starved of its enormous US subsidies. In addition, Israel would be forced to right a historic wrong and redirect the region’s plundered resources, including its land and water, back to Palestinians, depriving Jews of their established entitlements.

A cost-benefit calculus suggests to most Israeli Jews – including the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu – that a real solution to their conflict with the Palestinians might come at too heavy a price to their own pockets.

Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is

A version of this article originally appeared in The National, published in Abu Dhabi. The version here is published by permission of Jonathan Cook.

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Abbas is unfit to lead the Palestinian people

September 28, 2010

By Khalid Amayreh

The reaction of the Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to the latest Zionist provocations, including the all-out settlement expansion drive in the West Bank, has been disastrous and calamitous.

Abbas  has issued a plethora of  conflicting statements, some signaling his willingness to remain engaged in the so-called "peace process" with Israel. This is despite the fact that Israel keeps trampling on that damned, whoring process, if only by embarking on more settlement building, and more land theft at the Palestinians' expense.

This is not a minor matter. The occupied territories are the proverbial disputed piece of cheese which Israel keeps devouring  around the clock  to the extent that most Palestinians are justifiably worried  that  no territories will  be left for establishing a viable and territorially contiguous state that is worthy of the name. Some, including this writer, believe that it is already too late for Palestinian statehood.

When Abbas is speaking to a Palestinian audience, he expresses his dissatisfaction with Israel and warns that he may pull out of the American-brokered talks with Israel.

It is not very difficult to diagnose Abbas's duplicity and inconsistency. The PA leader can't displease Washington for obvious reasons.

The financial bloodline upon which the deformed Ramallah entity depends comes from Washington. Moreover, Abbas realizes that should Obama or the US congress, both under effective Jewish control, clear their throats, a financial and economic earthquake would instantaneously occur in Ramallah and thousands of civil servants would lose their jobs and their salaries.

This is how stupid and bankrupt regimes that allow themselves to be hostage to foreign countries end up because he who pays the piper calls the tune.

Abbas often claims that this is not the case with his authority. However, his words in this regard can't really be believed.

In the meantime, Abbas, like other despotic dictators in the Arab world, would very much want to retain a semblance of popular legitimacy. This he does by pretending that he is still faithful to Palestinian national constants when in fact he is striving to destroy them, knowingly or unknowingly, by way of lying to the public and desensitizing the Palestinian masses.

In the past few years, many people gave Abbas the benefit of the doubt, citing the immense international pressure  which he was subjected to as well as the phenomenal weakness overwhelming the Arab world.

However, there are things that can't be justified under any circumstances, but Abbas doesn't seem to know the difference.

Abbas keeps lowering the Palestinian national ceilings by allowing Israel to gain more time to build more settlements. And when the steps he is demanded to make prove too embarrassing or too scandalous, like resuming peace talks in the absence of a settlement expansion freeze by Israel, Abbas hastens to Cairo or Amman or Riyadh, begging Arab leaders to save him. The next day, he would reappear in Ramallah to tell the frustrated Palestinian masses that "I can't not refuse to take the advice of our brotherly Arab leaders."

In the not-too-distant past, Arab leaders did give us truly brotherly advice. They would urge us to reject Zionist schemes and resist Zionist aggression. "However, for many years now, the only Arab advice we have been receiving from most Arab capitals is a demoralizing message calling on us to surrender to Israel and cede all or most of our legitimate rights, including the right to freedom and independence.

In brief, the Arab regimes want us to "be happy and not worry." In other words, these regimes are a liability, not an asset in the struggle for the liberation of our countries from shackles of Zionism.

I don’t know for sure why Abbas is behaving the way he does. Is he senile? Is he not fully aware of what he is doing? Does he have a blind faith in Barack Obama, the man who shakes at the mere notion of criticizing Israeli insolence and arrogance of power?

Ok, cowardice is a natural phenomenon just as courage and wisdom and other attributes, good or bad. However, it is illogical to entrust the enduring Palestinian cause to a man who is unable and unfit to navigate the national boat to the shore of safety.

Like the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Abbas refuses to face reality as it is. He is also becoming increasingly peripatetic, preferring to be far away from the theatre of events. He also prefers very much to listen to himself, and when one confronts him with news or views he doesn't like to hear, he get nervous asks the speaker to shut up.

Abbas on many occasions justifiably attacked the governance style of Yasser Arafat. He thought that the second intifada was a disaster for the Palestinians.  However, instead of suggesting a wiser approach, Abbas has effectively reached the conclusion that surrendering to Israel is the best alternative, not knowing that Israel is very much like a treacherous crocodile, the more meat you give it, the more it demands.

Indeed, the latest gestures Abbas and his aides have been making toward Israel have not only been scandalous from the view point of Palestinian national dignity. They have also been politically disastrous.

In the final analysis, displaying weakness and compromising our people's dignity will not make Israel come to terms with our usurped rights.

Today, the Palestinian cause stands at a crossroad as the US seems both unwilling and unable to pressure the Zionist regime to end the occupation that started in 1967.

I am not a prophet of doom and gloom. However, it is difficult to believe that the US would be able to force Israel to return to the 1967 borders when it can't get the Zionist regime to extend a partial and insignificant settlement freeze for a few more months.

As to what should the Palestinian leadership do in the face of Zionist insolence and American connivance with it, the matter shouldn't be too complicated. Let Abbas, whose term of office already expired a long time ago, let him resign and retire in dignity.  (end)

From Khaled Amayreh to PalestineFreeVoice via PIC


Editors note;

If we take a good look at the past, honestly and fair, the Palestinian people can never alter the image they have retained of Mahmoud Abbas !

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Poll sez TEA movement will accelerate the death of the GOP

Yep. Well over half of ip readers believe that the lunatic fringe is throwing gasoline on the fire already burning in the Big Tent.

This bodes well for Democrats likely to benefit from the schism rattling the Republican Party. In Minnesota, Democrat Mark Dayton is one beneficiary of a nut-jobbery wringing the hands of moderate Republicans.

In South Dakota, Democratic At-large Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin has opened a commanding lead over TEA-stained Republican Kristi Noem, who recently "netted the nut nod" from a far-right gun group while the NRA endorsed the Democrat.

Montana's own Inebriate At-large, Denny Rehberg, rabidly courting the Xe wing of the Republican Party, holds a morbidly obese fund-raising advantage over Democratic challenger Dennis McDonald.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

More Monsters From Dain Fagerhom

Artist recently mentioned here.

See more at Dain's flickr gallery and blog.

El Pueblo, Unido : Viva Rick Salutin!

I really hope the Globe isn't really so stupid as to lose one of its greatest assets, someone with a brain and style, The Salutin. I've always wished he wrote two columns a week. And I know others who judge him the reason for buying the Friday Globe. If this news is true, it's a pity for Salutin, but it's a terrible condemnation of someone or other's judgment at the Globe, and puts a real damper on their relaunch. Seems more like a backlaunch, or a backflip, now, and not sure how a big old chap like the Globe is going to fare, trying a backflip... There is a report he's going to The Star which makes sense and I hope it's true and they feature his ugly mug on the front page, staring down Front Street, but the Star is not a national paper, yet...I've thought for a while that The Star should do as the Guardian did, back in the day, and keep a "Manchester" edition, but also have a national edition, since their national reporting has become very good, and some time back they decided to load up with good national columnists, Walkom, HÉBERT, Gwyn, Travers, and on and on. I know it can be bought in most major cities, but it's not widely available, and maybe it doesn't make sense, commercially, I couldn't say, but Canada could really use The Star as a proper national paper (note, like the transition from Manchester Guardian to plain Grauniad, most refer to it as simply The Star, now).

There is apparently a bunch of people emailing the Globe, the Editor in Chief, to be precise, to protest this, and ask they keep Salutin. If this is all true, maybe both parties are happy to be quits. But, in solidarity, it still seems the decent thing to do:

Zionist Israel Bombed Gaza Refuge Camps : 3 killed, 2 injured ..

September 28 2010

Large Palestinian family escaped death.

PalestineFreeVoice - GAZA - On Monday a Palestinian family of 30 people narrowly escaped death when a Zionist drone ( unmanned aircraft) fired a missile at the 3 - story home of the family, situated in the Nusseirat refuge camp.Material damage occurred at the building and in the surrounding area.

Zionist assassinated three Palestinian freedom fighters east of the Al-Bureij camp

The Zionist bombardment in the Al Nusseirat refuge camp, conceded the targeting of the Eastern part of Al Bureij refuge camp in central Gaza. The air strikes killed three Palestinian freedom fighters. All were young men in their twenties.The victims are identified as Muhammed Eid, Awni Abdul Hadi and Ala Abu Zbeida. Their bodies are transferred to Al- Aqsa Martyrs Brigade Hospital in Deir Al-Balah.  
Zionist air strikes targeted Palestinian homes and farmland.

Simultaneously with the air strikes, several Zionist tanks and bulldozers crossed the Gaza border near Al-Qarara, in the southern district of Khan Younis on Monday.
The Zionist invaders opened heavy fire towards Palestinian homes and farmland, no injuries are as for now reported.

Zionists shot and seriously injured Palestinian man outside Khan Younis

On Sunday,a group of Zionist state terrorists shot a young Palestinian man outside the city of Khan Younis during one of several peaceful anti-settlement protest rallies held in Gaza in solidarity with the West Bank.The man was seriously injured after being shot as he tried to place a Palestinian flag on the Palestinian side, near the"No go zone".

Palestinian worker targeted and wounded by Zionist fire near Erez crossing.

On Tuesday a Palestinian man was injured by Zionist gunfire when he was collecting stone aggregates by the northern border of Gaza, near the Erez crossing.The young man, identified as Fadi Tambours, 21, was collecting rubble from an evacuated Zionist settlement, he was treated for gunshot  wounds at the Kamal Edwan Hospital in Jabalya.

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À lire, absolumment : "Canada Is A French Country"

Il y a quelque temps, j'ai lu une chronique d'Andrew Coyne dont je voulais absolumment en faire la recommandation à tout et chacun, soit Canada Is A French Country. Je viens tout juste de m'en souvenir, et afin d'éviter que ma mémoire me joue encore des tours, je prends le soin de vous faire part de ma recommandation, immédiatement. Tout Canadien français, tout Québécois, tout Canadien, et même tout le monde sur notre petite planète devrait prendre le soin de la bien lire. Et, pour m'assurer que cette recommandation ait la plus grande portée possible, je répète mon commentaire anglais, suite à sa diffusion sur le web. EFL · 10 weeks ago :
Excellent piece. Hope it's widely read.

Also meant to mention I liked the one about negative liberty vs. racial discrimination in employment a while back. I'm probably more open to measures furthering positive liberties, but I always enjoy a quietly principled argument, and rebuttal of fake, or confused, libertarianism. (I'm not sure the quiet pieces aren't usually the best. But then, I don't have to sell a magazine).

International Law Expert: Ahmadinejad is Right about 9/11!

September 25 2010

Source: Press TV

“Ahmadinejad is absolutely rational and correct on this, that the American people are now coming to the point of demanding an international inquiry (into the 9/11 attacks), ” Franklin Lamb told Press TV. [Listen to Franklin Lamb's radio interview with Kevin Barrett of Muslims for 9/11 Truth.)

The Beirut-based lawyer was referring to remarks by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in his address to the 65th UN General Assembly that the 9/11 incident might have been the result of an inside job in the United States.

"This call [for an international investigation] didn’t start in the Middle East. It stated more than a year ago in Canada, in Europe, in Latin America, and increasingly in America itself,” he continued.

“There are just too many questions raised by architects, by pilots, by experts, by engineers, by [US Department of] Homeland Security employees and the FBI,” the international lawyer reiterated.

“There is every reason to have an inquiry and the US President Barack Obama administration should join this call, not oppose it,” he underlined.

The lawyer added what President Ahmadinejad said was a ‘logical proposal’ and that “the president of Iran is now in synchronization with the majority of the American people.”

“Only 16 per cent of respondents say the government headed by U.S. president George W. Bush is telling the truth on what it knew prior to the terrorist attacks, down five points since May 2002.” Angus Reid poll, 2006

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