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By Hamed Aleaziz

 

June 13, 2011

Since Google launched its Google Earth feature in 2005, the company has become a worldwide leader in providing high-resolution satellite imagery. In 2010, Google Earth allowed the world to see the extent of the destruction inpost-earthquake Haiti. This year, Google released similar images after Japan'sdeadly tsunami and earthquake. With just one click, Google can bring the world—and a better understanding of far-away events—to your computer.

There is one entire country, however, that Google Earth won't show you:Israel.

That's because, in 1997, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act, one section of which is titled, "Prohibition on collection and release of detailed satellite imagery relating to Israel." The amendment, known as the Kyl-Bingaman Amendment, calls for a federal agency, the NOAA's Commercial Remote Sensing Regulatory Affairs, to regulate the dissemination of zoomed-in images of Israel.

When asked about the regulation, a Google spokeswoman said to Mother Jones, "The images in Google Earth are sourced from a wide range of both commercial and public sources. We source our satellite imagery from US-based companies who are subject to US law, including the Kyl-Bingaman Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 1997, which limits the resolution of imagery of Israel that may be commercially distributed."

And it's not just Israel. The regulation also applies to the occupied territories. It's why Human Rights Watch can't provide detailed imagery of the Gaza Strip in its reports. Of course, this regulation cuts both ways; one also cannot see the destruction in Sderot resulting from rockets sent out of Gaza.

But, the impact of the regulation might be dwindling; after all, the US can only regulate the actions of American corporations. Turkey recently announced that its GokTurk satellite will provide high-resolution imagery of Israel when it becomes operational in 2013. Israel is unhappy with this possibility: An Israeli official told Al-Arabiya, "We try to ensure that we are not photographed at high resolutions, and most (countries) accommodate us." The official adds: "Should we request this of the Turks? We won't ask for it. There is no one to talk to."

Hamed Aleaziz is an editorial intern at Mother Jones. For more of his stories,click here 

from uruknet.info



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from here

Jack Straw, the former Home Secretary in the Blair government is a war criminal who relayed to the nation about the mythical WMDs in Iraq, and now he has alleging another `truth’ about the so-called Pakistani cultural problem of rape. One must not forget that he is doing this as a representative of his loyal, Pakistani and Muslim, voters in Blackburn who have helped him to retain his seat in parliament. However, it seems that his remarks are aimed at appeasing the BNP (British National Party) and UKIP (United Kingdom Independence Party), voters. Is Labour trying to regain some lost grounds?  

 
The racist comments of Jack Straw alleging that some Pakistani men preying on white girls, because they are ‘easy meat’ has been swiftly condemned by his fellow Labour MP, Keith Vaz, who pointed out the inherent problem of stereotyping an entire community based on the actions of a few. The stats show that overwhelming number of rapists comes from the indigenous white population. On a more specific issue of gang rape there is a disproportionate representation from the Afro-Caribbean community1, does this mean it is a racial problem; nobody would dare say anything here and risk a riot.  One can extend that logic to ask, why there is a disproportionate number of Jews involved in the porn industry, but for sure, it has nothing to do with the Torah.  What about the serial killers who are predominantly from the white population, does this mean the entire white community have a case to answer. In fact, Mr Straw’s brother has been convicted for indecently assaulting a girl, in addition, his son has been convicted for supplying drugs2, applying his argument there is a inherent problem within his family.
 
 

One must also ask what Jack Straw was implying about the white girls; why are they available in the first place as easy meat?  Why are those girls roaming the streets leaving themselves exposed to being exploited by any rapists?  It would be helpful for Jack Straw to focus on the supply of ‘easy meat’ and not just the demand for it. The rapists are not selective about race. Those Pakistani men would not pass the opportunity, if their victims were Asians or of any other race. The Judge correctly concluded that the race of the perpetrators and the victims is entirely coincidental. 

Therefore, the issue of rape is not about race or culture, but the values of the perpetrators. What went wrong here? Were those Pakistani men not fully integrated into the British society? From their appearance and actions, it is far more likely they are consuming alcohol in the pubs and frequenting the nightclubs in the weekend, rather than the Mosques (Masjid) listening to some bearded ‘fundamentalist’. Just ignore the racial element; they are like the typical BNP/EDL activists or the football hooligan. Had those Pakistani men been practising Muslims, such an act would have been highly unlikely. Maybe it is the wider community that needs to consider integrating with the Muslims and adopt our values. In such times of austerity, it would save millions, as the Muslims are not the ones found drunk on the streets every weekend placing a heavy toll on the Police and the NHS.

Now is a good time to reflect and consider the Islamic viewpoint on rape, which would argue that if you really cared about those women, you would punish the perpetrators adequately. Under Sharia Laws, rape is an act of war against society; those men would have been executed in public. For sure, rape would decline considerably if the society were made aware of the serious consequences; naturally, rape is rare in any Islamic society that is governed by the Sharia Laws and Islamic values. Dispensing such harsh punishment is a reflection of how Islam views the seriousness of the crime of violating a woman’s honour; such an act constitutes declaration of war on society. In contrast, the liberal punishments dispensed by free societies are a reflection of how little emphasis it puts on the honour of a woman. After all what’s the big deal about losing one’s virginity, since being a virgin has become an abnormal state in most liberal societies. Therefore, Sharia Laws are not barbaric; it actually protects the women by imposing harsh punishment on the perpetrator, whereas the liberal laws of a free society implicitly encourages rape, such laws are barbaric from the point of view of the victims.    

Apart from the lenient laws, rape is also encouraged through the liberal values imposed in society; men and women are let loose under the culture of sexual freedom, naturally, the bull will seek to spread his seed as much as he can using his physical prowess. A healthy strong male would not pass the opportunity to implant his seed even by force, hence, numerous surveys have revealed that many men have spiked up the drinks to commit date rape. No matter how much the Muslims are lectured about women’s rights, issues of rape and other forms of exploitation exposes the hypocrisy of the West banging on about women’s rights, that there is little regard for women in terms of protecting her honour in a free society. The American soldiers did not invoke women’s rights bible when they continued to rape women and children in Abu Ghraib without remorse. This is expected from the US forces, as rape is rife within3, it reported in 2003 that one third of the women have been raped4. These soldiers are in turn reflecting the larger society where rape is common, where 1 in 6 women has experienced an attempted or completed rape5. One has to bear in mind that this only reflects from what has been reported to the authorities, the real figure is likely to be higher.

 
Yamin Zakaria (yamin@radicalviews.org)
London, UK

1http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/gang-rape-is-it-a-race-issue-1711381.html
2http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/jack-straws-brother-found-guilty-of-indecent-assault-on-girl-16-698881.html
3http://www.radicalviews.org/index.php/analysis/gender/230--rape-rampant-in-us-military-.html
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from here




British cabinet promised to support "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." But the views and motives of the politicians were hardly simple, let alone pure.
Monday, 13 September 2010 14:17

By Jonathan Schneer

On Nov. 2, 1917, the British cabinet promised to support "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." Today, we consider the Balfour Declaration, as that promise has been known ever since, to be the foundation stone of modern Israel. But the views and motives of the British politicians who approved the epochal document were hardly simple, let alone pure.

What British leaders wanted more than anything in November 1917 was to win World War I -- all other goals were secondary. Victory, however, seemed increasingly distant at the time. After three and a half terrible years of war, Britain's allies were shaky: French armies had mutinied, Italian armies had been catastrophically defeated, and the Russian Army stood upon the brink of total collapse. The United States had joined the conflict the previous June, but U.S. soldiers had not yet arrived in Europe in numbers sufficient to make much difference. Meanwhile, Germany was preparing to launch another great offensive on the Western Front.

In these circumstances, British leaders grasped at straws. They thought, for example, that they might bribe Germany's ally, Turkey, to leave the war. They offered territory and money. Turkey was interested but -- in the end, after numerous secret, back-channel meetings in Switzerland and elsewhere -- would not bite.

The British also sought new allies. In particular, they hoped to successfully attract to their side the one great power, as they mistakenly referred to it, that had remained on the sidelines: the forces of what they called "international Jewry." During the lead-up to the Balfour Declaration, Britain's leaders engaged in a sustained effort to woo Jewish support. With the declaration itself, they offered the engagement ring.

British leaders drew primarily on two anti-Semitic canards: that Jews simultaneously commanded the U.S. financial system and held the strings controlling Russian pacifism. In other words, they believed that American Jews could bring the United States into the war and that Russian Jews could keep their country from dropping out of it. They also believed that Jewish money could help finance the war effort. Moreover, they believed that all Jews were Zionists (which they weren't). That is why the bribe -- or rather, the engagement ring -- took the form of the Balfour Declaration.

One of the most influential true believers of these anti-Semitic misapprehensions was Gerald Henry Fitzmaurice, who had served before the war as a British dragoman, interpreting and translating Ottoman interests to his superiors at the consulate in what was then known as Constantinople. There he had formed the opinion that Jews and Dönmes -- or "crypto-Jews," whose ancestors had converted to Christianity, but who continued to practice the old faith in secret -- controlled the Turkish government. Their great goal, he thought, was to hand Palestine over to the Zionists. With the war on, Fitzmaurice had an epiphany: Britain should promise Palestine to the Jews right now. In return, the Dönmes would withdraw their support from the Turkish government, which would inevitably collapse.

Fitzmaurice, now attached to the intelligence division at the British Admiralty, lobbied Hugh James O'Bierne, an experienced and well-respected British diplomat. O'Beirne responded positively to the idea. On Feb. 28, 1916, he composed the first Foreign Office memo linking the fate of Palestine with both Jewish interests and British chances of victory in World War I.

"It has been suggested to me," he wrote to his colleagues, "that if we could offer the Jews an arrangement as to Palestine which would strongly appeal to them, we might conceivably be able to strike a bargain with them as to withdrawing their support from the Young Turk government which would then automatically collapse." O'Beirne went on to endorse this ridiculous plan.

As O'Beirne was penning his memo, another British Foreign Office figure was mulling the same issues. Sir Mark Sykes had just finished negotiating the infamous Sykes-Picot Agreement, by which Britain and France divided up the Ottoman Empire between them, despite the fact that they had not yet defeated the Ottomans. Palestine, they stipulated, should be governed by an international consortium of powers -- except for its northern part, which would come under French control. In March 1916, Sykes and French diplomat François Georges-Picot visited Russia, their eastern ally, to acquaint officials there with the terms of their understanding.

Picot, however, found his mission complicated by O'Beirne's new suggestion that Britain should offer Palestine to the Jews. The British Foreign Office had just indicated to the Russians that it was favorable to this recommendation. The Russians had little difficulty with the new proposition -- so long as they got Constantinople, they were satisfied. But Picot, speaking for France, had serious issues with the proposal. His country had longstanding interests on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean, which he feared were endangered by an agreement that did not give France direct control over parts of Palestine.

Sykes, however, had changed his tune. After reading O'Beirne's memo and some other materials, he concluded that the Zionists represented "the key of the situation," by which he meant the key to victory in the war. "With 'Great Jewry' against us," he warned, there would be no possibility of victory. This was because Zionism was a powerful if subterranean force in the world -- in his words, it was "atmospheric, international, cosmopolitan, subconscious and unwritten, nay often unspoken."

Sykes now painted a dire picture of what would befall the allies if they did not endorse a Jewish homeland in Palestine. It would mean "optimism in Berlin, dumps in London, unease in Paris, resistance to last ditch in C'ople, dissension in Cairo, Arabs all squabbling among themselves," he wrote.

Sykes was only expressing what most in the Foreign Office already believed. Back in London, Robert Cecil, the parliamentary secretary of state for foreign affairs -- who also happened to be the son of former Prime Minister Lord Salisbury and cousin of the present foreign secretary, Lord Balfour -- was writing to his colleagues at just this time: "I do not think it is easy to exaggerate the international power of the Jews."

As for the British government itself, philo- and anti-Semitism mixed uneasily in the minds of its principal members, most importantly Prime Minister David Lloyd George and Foreign Secretary Balfour. Lloyd George, who had been raised among devout Welshmen, once remarked during the war that he was more familiar with the geography of Palestine than that of Scotland and that the battles there interested him far more than the battles in France and Belgium. Yet this Christian Zionist, as scholars have sometimes termed him, once described his colleague Herbert Samuel as "a greedy, ambitious and grasping Jew with all the worst characteristics of his race."

Balfour also operated under similarly conflicting stereotypes regarding Jews. He had been moved to tears by British Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann's recital of the ills done to the Jewish people. Nevertheless, he told Weizmann that he shared the "anti-Semitic postulates" of the virulent Cosima Wagner, who would become one of the first patrons of Adolf Hitler. Balfour apparently did not believe that Jews could be assimilated into Gentile British society.

In fact, the sole Jewish member of Lloyd George's government, Edwin Montagu, strongly opposed the Balfour Declaration because he thought it would encourage anti-Semites throughout the world to expel Jews from their countries. "Palestine will become the world's ghetto," he warned.

Zionists did not take this argument seriously. However, they encouraged the British governing elite in its belief that Jewish influence was a global force. On June 10, 1917, Weizmann warned the Foreign Office that Germany was about to issue a Balfour Declaration of its own, and Zionists were increasingly beginning to question "whether [they] were to realize their aims through Germany and Turkey or through Great Britain," he wrote. While Weizmann declared that he was "absolutely loyal" to Britain, he implied that other Jews would not be so dependable.

In October and November 1917, as the British cabinet debated the declaration, ministers voiced this very fear. So they decided to issue their own statement of support for a Jewish homeland first. "Many [gentiles] have a residual belief in the power and the unity of Jewry," one of Weizmann's followers observed many years later. "We suffer for it, but it is not wholly without its compensations.… To exploit it delicately and deftly belongs to the art of the Jewish diplomat." Few exploited it more deftly than Chaim Weizmann.

Of course, British officials had other important reasons to favor the Balfour Declaration. They thought Britain must control Palestine because of its proximity to the Suez Canal, Britain's economic windpipe. They thought British control of Palestine would allow the construction of a railway that would run from the northern city of Acre through Iraq to the Persian Gulf, facilitating trade with India. For these reasons, an autonomous Palestine within the British Empire, along the lines of South Africa or Canada, suited these men very well. They were also cognizant of the skills that Jewish immigrants could bring into the region, and sympathetic to the ancient claim to Palestine that Zionists invoked.

However, an even larger portion of their minds was occupied by anti-Semitic prejudices and stereotypes. Paradoxically, these beliefs only caused them to embrace the Balfour Declaration more readily and served as a crucial ingredient in determining British support for the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine. History has never been the same.



Jonathan Schneer is the author, most recently, of The Balfour Declaration: The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict.

Foreign Policy

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from here

 

Sports Illustrated has found a new role in American mainstream media. No more sports analysis, no more demeaning swimsuit competitions, and no more college football predictions. Instead, they’ve decided to become a foreign policy website. And an ignorant one at that.

Today was their first attempt at providing FOX News-like political commentary:

Two more athletes became political victims at the Games when Mohammad Soleimani, an Iranian tae kwon do athlete pulled out of his gold-medal bout in the 48-kilogram class against Gili Haimovitz from Israel, claiming a leg injury. Athletes from Iran and some other Muslim countries often withdraw from competitions against Israeli athletes because they do not recognize Israel as a country. Rather than stand on an awards podium a step below Israel during the medal ceremony, Soleimani also claimed he was too sick to attend the ceremony in person. The great irony: The medals were presented by Alex Gilady, an IOC member from Israel who was actually born in Iran.
Political victims at Youth Olympics; more Olympic notes, Brian Cazeneuve

Dear Mr Cazeneuve, I’m sure you’re an expert political scientist and I’m sure that’s why you work for a sports magazine, but I’ll tell you one thing: It goes well beyond whether or not an athlete recognizes Israel as a country. It involves whether or not Israel recognizes non-Israelis as people worthy of human rights, self-autonomy, equality, and life.

 

Let’s take a trip down memory lane to May 30, 2010, the day Israeli commandos stormed a civilian passenger aid boat en route to the Gaza Strip and left nine dead bodies in their wake. In the ensuing public outrage, Sweden and Turkey attempted to withdraw from upcoming football matches against Israel. It is important to note that Sweden is not a “Muslim countr[y]“, and just like Turkey, their respective governments actually do recognize Israel as a country. So what exactly prompted these two nations to be among the many that have boycotted or protested Israel on the playing field?

Like all human beings, we deplore violence and are shocked at what we saw.
Swedish Football Association President Lars-Ake Lagrell

Of course, there might exist a broad range of small-scale factors that encourage people to pull out of sporting events with Israel. But like Lagrell said, the driving force is Israel’s disregard for human life as witnessed during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, the attack on the Mavi Marmara, and the overall occupation of Palestine. It is an issue of humanity more than anything else.

Something that Sports Illustrated doesn’t mention is that Israeli sports teams face more pressure from crowds and spectators than from politically-motivated match cancellations. In June, Turkish spectators and civilians demonstrated against Israel’s national volleyball team as it faced Serbia in Ankara. A year and a half before that, Spanish fans rose from their seats and chanted in protest of Israeli policy during a basketball match between Barcelona and Maccabi Tel Aviv. (The YouTube video can be found below; I highly recommend watching it.) And in 2006, anti-war activists demonstrated at a football match in England between Liverpool and Maccabi Haifa.

But the protests aren’t only limited to fans. In 2009, professional footballer Freddy Kanoute scored a goal and revealed his support for Palestine with a shirt he wore underneath his jersey. BBC interpreted the move “as a response to Israel’s recent attacks on Gaza that have killed nearly 700 people [so far.]” Kanoute’s display of humanity, along with the countless worldwide protests, does not carry the label of “Islam” and has nothing to do with whether or not Israel is a recognized country. Once again, it’s an issue of humanity more than anything else.

Freddy Kanoute lifts his jersey to reveal his support for Palestine.

There are many who argue that Israeli sports teams shouldn’t suffer the consequences of global outrage against Israeli policy. I’m of the opinion that it’s virtually impossible to separate politics from sports, especially when teams represent entire countries. The blue and white flag emblazoned on team jerseys is the very same flag that hangs from the backs of Israeli tanks and waves from the demolished rooftops of homes once belonging to Palestinian families. It all represents one entity and its policies, and if someone is critical of the flags on the tanks, the same person must be critical of the flags in the locker-rooms. The Nation‘s Dave Zirin provides a better response:

Should Israeli sport actually be a safe space from how its government conducts itself? In my mind, the answer is a simple one: hell no. [Regarding the Flotilla attack] Israel committed an act of state terror on an aid ship in international waters whose passengers included an 85-year-old holocaust survivor, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and hundreds of activists committed to delivering the most basic kinds of food and medicine to the Gaza Strip. It’s actually dangerous, in such a situation, to just “shut up and play” as if there is nothing to see behind the royal blue curtain.
Are Teams Right to Refuse to Play Israel?, Dave Zirin

I’m not sure why Sports Illustrated would attempt such an ignorant analysis of petty politics. Maybe they’re giving into growing Islamophobia and have decided to pin the blame on the Muslims. Maybe they think that boycotting Israeli teams is an integral part of Islam. Maybe. Or maybe they were too busy analyzing the speed of a curveball to even think twice about acknowledging why Israel is demonstrated against in almost every country in the world.

This is not a Muslim issue nor is it an Arab issue, and it definitely isn’t an Iranian issue. This is an issue concerning the safety and wellbeing of entire groups of people. So long as Palestinians are oppressed, the world will protest Israeli policy – even if that means bringing Palestinian flags to a tae kwan do match or simply not showing up at all.

Sami Kishawi




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By Anait Brutian* | Sabbah Report | www.sabbah.biz

On June 2, 1010, immediately after the massacre on Mavi Marmara, in an emergency IAC meeting in NYC, Sara Flounders briefly described the events of the past few days: "While world opinion has been galvanized over the massacre that took place in an Israeli raid on ships bringing humanitarian supplies … Israel has carried a whole number of bombings in Gaza … resulting in at least 16 deaths. Has anyone here heard about that?" As expected, the overwhelming response from the audience was negative – indeed, no one had heard of the recent bombing raids on Gaza. Sara Flounders charged "the U.S. and the entire Western media" with "absolute corruption" for framing the questions relating to Palestine in a way that Palestinian lives didn't matter – "16 dead Palestinians in Gaza, lost in bombing raids are completely off the news here."Comparing the total "silence" on the 16 deaths to the world-wide attention given to the massacre on Mavi Marmara, Sara Flounders observed that the "silence" had been going on for too long and that the world was unaware of the conditions in Gaza – "An absolute concentration camp, which is what Gaza is, an open-air concentration camp."

According to former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, keeping Israeli atrocities off the news is achieved through the "Zionist Media." Even after the killing of U.S. citizens by Israel, the U.S. has not held Israel accountable. The killing of the American activist Rachel Corrie, crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer, did not stir an outcry in the American media. The same is true for the 34 seamen killed and 170 crew members wounded on USS Liberty exactly 43 years ago, on June 8, 1967. During the Six-Day War, Israeli Air Force and Navy attacked U.S. Navy technical research ship USS Liberty in international waters, killing, wounding and severely damaging the ship. Yet, "to this day 99.9% of the Americans know nothing about the 34 seamen killed on the Liberty and 170 wounded because our Zionist media have kept that out of the public domain." McGovern's assessment is accurate: not only Israel's attack on the USS Liberty was deliberately kept off the news, but also, according to Charles K. Ebinger, "the attack on the Liberty is the only maritime incident in U.S. history where … [U.S.] military forces were killed that was never investigated by the Congress."

 

Ray McGovern is not the only one to openly criticize the "Zionist Media." Saeed Shabazz of The Final Call, describing the Zionist influence on the Western press, claimed that "most of the press core at the U.N.," "if not Zionist sympathizers," "are Zionist." "The reporting that you're getting" from the New York Times, AP, Reuters, CNN is controlled by the Zionists. Relating his experience from two years ago, during the horrific attack on Gaza, Shabazz said that he had "silent battles" with Zionist reporters because "they were in complicity with what went on in Gaza." "Right now it's the same attitude; so you're not going to get anything called balanced reporting." "Don't expect the New York Times, don't expect any of them to give you the truth. They cannot give you the truth; they are not allowed to give you the truth."

The fact that the Western Media is controlled by Zionists is adamantly dismissed by Zionist sympathizers. In a debate with Noam Chomsky, Alan Dershowitz, a staunch supporter of the Zionist State, argued that since certain news items were not reported by the U.S. media under both Democrat and Republican administrations, "they just never happened." "To hide the truth from the American public just doesn't bear reality." Dershowitz blamed Chomsky of unjustifiably accusing the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, or the New York Times for not telling the truth. Typical to the Zionist manner of diverting attention from the reality by discrediting the messenger of truth, he engaged in personal insults and name calling, tagging Chomsky's claims as "figments of Chomsky's imagination" and mockingly suggesting that "in order to get the true meaning of the world you have to move to planet Chomsky, where the news reflects his perspective on reality." Dershowitz' overt anger betrays the Zionist attitude towards the critics of Western media. The control of the media, painstakingly achieved through money and manipulation, would not serve its objective, if critics like Ray McGovern, Saeed Shabazz and Noam Chomsky were to question its truthfulness. Discrediting the critics of the mainstream media allows the Zionists to continue manipulating public opinion. And this is what Dershowitz' plea to his young university audience – "I urge you to move to the real world, read the real news, don't read the selective Israeli journalists that he [Chomsky] talks about" – stands for.

Zionists' manipulation of the media doesn't stop at controlling the news items that make to the front pages of the newspapers. It is also actively engaged in deliberately misrepresenting reality, distorting facts and fabricating news. Israel's preposterous accusation relating to the Freedom Flotilla is a case in point. Calling the members of the Freedom Flotilla terrorists and terrorist sympathizers, Israel completely ignored the very important fact that the passengers onboard the ships included people, whose age ranged from 0 to 88. A child barely a year old and an old man of 88 are unlikely candidates for "ties to global Jihad, Al-Qaeda and Hamas" as Israel's deputy foreign minister, Daniel Ayalon claimed. Similarly, an exiled archbishop of Eastern Catholic Church of Jerusalem, MPs, doctors, paramedics, humanitarian aid workers don't seem to fit the profile of a global Jihadist.

Israel's outrageous accusation that there were terrorists on board the ships, designed to fool the public into believing that the massacre on Mavi Marmara took place in Self-Defence, is clearly denied by Viva Palestina coordinator Kevin Ovenden who explained that the attack took place in "indisputably international waters.""We were 70-80 miles off the coast of Israel. The internationally recognized limit is 22 miles, within which a country can claim that they have territorial sovereignty." Confiscating "every single camera, computer, mobile phone belonging to people aboard the ships," Israeli authorities produced pictures of their own, claiming that "knives were used as weapons." According to Kevin Ovenden, "the knives that they show were quite simply taken from the kitchen by the Israelis to claim that knives were used as weapons." Ovenden's evaluation that the story "won't wash anywhere in the world" as Self-Defence is accurate, but one should not underestimate the power of propaganda that has been going on for years both in the United States and Israel.

Israel's strong influence on its national media means that Israeli citizens will not see the world's outrage against the IDF's killing of nine civilians onboard Mavi Marmara. Ehud Shem Tov of Israeli Social TV explains that "all Israeli military correspondents worked in the army and there is a deep connection between them because they rely on the army for contacts and access to information." According to Mr. Shem Tov, "the IDF controlled the way the Flotilla videos were represented in the media. They chose to release it one by one, so they could make their message clear. They also seized all the footage from the Flotilla, so they could control it. Definitely, there are videos the IDF is not releasing."

But the videos the IDF did release are all too familiar to the world. They show passengers beating up IDF soldiers – by all means an impossible feat because those heavily armed soldiers belonged to an elite group of commandos trained to withstand military opposition, let alone the resistance of unarmed civilians. These days, LT. Aliza Landes, the New Media Head of IDF's Foreign Press Branch, faces heavy criticism because one of the images posted by IDF showed military equipment Israel claimed belonged to the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara. To offset the angry reaction of the world, Israel came up with an "explanation." LT. Landes said that the camera used by one of the photographers had a technical problem which resulted in an old picture from 1998, appearing as a recent one. But the "explanation," a cover-up of sorts, would not have been necessary if the world had been less vigilant in noticing the "mistake." Similar to other preposterous Israeli claims, this one would have passed as unalterable truth.

Looking at the images of an Israeli newspaper, Prof. Tamar Liebes of Department of Communication at Hebrew University calls the media "a very bad trap," "a terrible trap." Blogger and Film-maker Danny Schechter explains: "Israel is in the business of manipulating public opinion. It's been in that business for … forty or fifty years. They're very smart about how to create a media narrative, how to present themselves as the victims in almost every … instance, and how to … portray anyone else as the aggressor, even perhaps, anti-Semitic."

Confiscating the existing footage from the passengers of Freedom Flotilla, doctoring the audio of the raid, controlling the images it put on the IDF website, Israel attempted to manipulate public opinion as it had done in the past. Indeed, victimhood helped to create the necessary support for this "Illegal Settler State imposed on the Arab world, implanted at the crossroads of Asia and Africa." But Israel's show of victimhood will not silence international community. Legal authorities around the world dismiss Israel's claims of Self-Defence arguing that at the time of the attack, the humanitarian ships were in international waters. The director of Justice International S. Mohyeddeen Wahed explains that since international waters are used by all nations, Israel has violated Turkey's right to navigate in international waters, when boarding Mavi Marmara. Moreover, by killing Turkish civilians on board a Turkish ship, Israel has technically declared war on Turkey. Unlike the doctored audio and video footage, these facts won't wash away easily. Israel's 62 years of premeditated slow genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians has suddenly dawned at the world. But, it doesn't seem to have affected Israel's relationship with its main supporter, the United States.

According to Jeremy M. Sharp, a Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs, Israel has been the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II. "From 1976 to 2004, Israel was the largest annual recipient of U.S. foreign assistance" and "since 1985 the United States has provided nearly $3 billion in grants annually to Israel." "In August 2007, the Bush Administration announced that it would increase U.S. military assistance to Israel by $6 billion over the next decade." The Obama Administration requested $2.775 billion in FMF (Foreign Military Financing). At present, most of the U.S. bilateral aid to Israel takes the form of military assistance. But Israel also received "significant economic assistance" from the U.S., in the past. Mr. Sharp observes that "strong congressional support for Israel" has resulted in "benefits not available to other counties." This statement explains Israel's insistence on continuing the manipulation of the U.S. media with more ferocity than the media of any other country in the world.

The "strong congressional support," enjoyed by Israel at the moment, largely depends on two factors: the commitment of the politicians to the Zionist cause of conquest disguised as Self-Defence, and the perpetual manipulation of public opinion. Brenda Stokely of the Million Worker March Movement explains: "We have to find popular ways to counteract the lies." The way to "break the silence is by arming people with information." Information is what Israel and its supporters do not tolerate. The Freedom Flotilla raid, resulting in the confiscation of almost all photographic and video equipment, first and foremost was aimed at suppressing the flow of information, especially truthful information Israel considers hostile to its grand manipulative designs. The "Illegal Settler State," visibly imposed on the Arab world, invisibly imposed itself on the United States, the largest democracy in the world.

Reporting the recent bombing raids in Gaza and the death of the 16 Palestinians would hurt the victimhood make-believe. Instead, the victimhood farce was successfully presented at the United Nations in New York by the Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak on Monday June 21, 2010. "For Israel, the Gaza Strip today is an Iranian military base three kilometres from the closest Israeli city, and 60 kilometres from Tel Aviv." Calling the Freedom Flotilla a "pure provocation," Barak bluntly denied the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, let alone admitting that Gaza is "an open-air concentration camp": "The ships that were organized throughout the last few weeks to ‘break the blockade', are actually pure provocation, since there is no humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip." Playing the role of a benefactor, Barak claimed that "Every day Israel provides, in addition to electricity and water, approximately 150 trucks loaded with equipment, and not only humanitarian aid products. Therefore, any international group or organization interested in sending additional aid, is welcome to do so through the Ashdod port, which in accordance with an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, is also used for the needs of the Gaza Strip."

Barak's blunt lies are not difficult to dismiss. But breaking the silence takes more than that. Israel's premeditated atrocities against the Palestinians and its manipulation of the media must be brought to light. The Zionists' cumulative catalogue of crimes, openly exposed to the world will serve as a wakeup call if not for the politicians but at least for the people that have been held "ignorant, blind, deaf, dumb and stupid," to keep them silent. Armed with information, people will hold their elected representatives accountable for supporting the "Illegal Settler State" with taxpayers' money. Armed with information, people will hold Israel accountable for "the murder of a nation." Armed with information, people will fight for American Democracy long hijacked by the Zionist media.

* Anait Brutian (B. Mus. with Honours in Theory, McGill University; M. A. in Music Theory, McGill University) is a student in the Faculty of Religious Studies at McGill. Her previous research includes a self-published book entitled: Reconciling Geometry, Rhetoric and Harmony: A Fresh Look at C. P. E. Bach. She is currently working on another book on mathematical paradigms in literature (Old and New Testaments), art, architecture, and music. She can be contacted at anaitbrutian@videotron.ca

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 By Stuart Littlewoodon JUNE 9, 2010 | Sabbah Report |www.sabbah.biz

What were Israel's excuses for hi-jacking the Free Gaza ships in international waters and imprisoning their passengers after gunning down 9 of them and wounding several more?

  • There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza, and
  • Israel already allows sufficient humanitarian aid into Gaza so the flotilla was "an armada of hate and violence", said Israel's deputy foreign minister.

But according to John Ging, UNWRA director of operations in Gaza, "It's a struggle to survive [with] the infrastructure and water and sanitation in a state of collapse and all that goes with that… People are at their wits' end to understand when all of this will come to an end."

  • If the Free Gaza ships delivered the humanitarian cargo to the Israeli port of Ashdod, Israel would ensure it was delivered to Gaza after checking it for arms.


That's very unlikely. The report Failing Gaza: No rebuilding, no recovery, no more excuses by a group of 16 European NGOs, published in December 2009, showed that the Israelis allow only a feeble trickle and what is permitted changes from day to day.

  • Israel could not allow the ships into Gaza without searching them for arms that might be of use to Hamas.

There are peaceful alternatives for checking cargoes. Besides, it's time Israel implemented The Agreement on Movement and Access it signed in November 2005, under which it promised to allow its crossings into Gaza to "operate continuously" so that people and goods could move freely.

The agreement also provides for

  • the reduction of obstacles to movement within the West Bank
  • bus and truck convoys between the West Bank and Gaza
  • the building of a new seaport in Gaza
  • re-opening of the airport in Gaza

There would then be no need for ships bringing humanitarian aid.

The European Council on 8 December 2009 stated: "The EU again reiterates its calls for an immediate, sustained and unconditional opening of crossings for the flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons to and from Gaza. In this context, the Council calls for the full implementation of The Agreement on Movement and Access."

Israel has ignored countless verbal appeals. The EU is in position to twist its arm because it has granted Israel privileged access to European markets under the EU-Israel Association Agreement and the plug can be pulled. These trading advantages are conditional on Israel showing respect for human rights and democratic principles. Compliance is an essential element, not an option.

  • Israel's interference with the mercy ships was an act of self-defence against the threat posed by Hamas firing rockets and mortars out of Gaza.

This isn't about rockets. A ceasefire, brokered by Egypt, was negotiated with Hamas in June 2008. Hamas honoured the agreement, firing no rockets and restraining other resistance groups. Israel broke the ceasefire on 4 November by suddenly making a military incursion into Gaza and killing 7 members of Hamas. Operation Cast Lead followed, supposedly to stop the rockets. The deaths of over 1,400 people and the maiming of thousands more were unnecessary. All Israel needed to do was observe the ceasefire. It chose not to.

And whatever Israel may say, the blockade inflicts "collective punishment" on the people of Gaza, which is a violation of international law and Article 33 of the 4th Geneva Convention.

  • Hamas wants to destroy Israel.

Not true. Hamas has said it will accept Israel within its internationally-recognised 1967 borders, which is the same position the United Nations has adopted.

  • Prime minister Netanyahu now says "dozens of thugs" from what he called "an extremist, terrorism-supporting" organisation were on-board the flotilla.

No evidence has been produced so far.

  • Israel is a vibrant democracy.

Actually Israel is a racist ethnocracy, which discriminates in countless vile ways against its Arab minority.

As usual Israel's chief propagandist, Mark Regev, was on hand to give the tragedy the benefit of his spin.

  • "We did everything we could to avoid violence… They [the aid workers] chose the path of confrontation… Our boarding party was attacked with live fire…"

No such weapons were found.

  • "Violence was initiated by these activists…"

No, violence was initiated by armed troops storming the peace ships in the dead of night.

  • "We didn't attack them, they attacked us… We tried to do, in accordance with international law, a peaceful intervention as they were entering a blockaded area…"

International law does not permit armed intervention in international waters, and the blockaded area has no legal basis.

  • "There are no shortages in Gaza…"

That is not what the UN and countless NGOs and charities say.

Meanwhile, in London, Israel's Ambassador Prosor was saying:

  • "The people on board the ships behaved appallingly… they really did everything in order to provoke and confront…"

What is confrontational about sailing lawfully and peacefully on a humanitarian mission?

  • "We disengaged completely out of Gaza…"

No, Israel remains in occupation of Gaza's airspace and coastal waters and in control of all entrances and exits except on the Egyptian border. It has Gaza bottled up.

As always, newspaper and television editors, reporters and presenters were happy to retail the Israeli version of events, the distortion and the plain lies, along with the exaggerated language such as ‘extremists' and ‘militants' to describe aid workers, without bothering to examine or question the material in any way.

More pearls of wisdom from Regev

Mark Regev, the Israeli prime minister's spokesman, is a rich source of propaganda nonsense, for example…

  • "It's not just Israel who refuses to speak to Hamas. It's the whole international community… Most of the democratic world refuses to have a relationship with Hamas because Hamas has refused to meet the most minimal benchmarks of international behavior."

Isn't that a little cheeky, Mr Regev, coming from a regime widely condemned for war crimes, piracy and mega-lawlessness?

  • "It was the former UN secretary general Kofi Anan that put four benchmarks on the table. And he said, speaking for the international community …That if Hamas reforms itself… If Hamas recognizes my country's right to live in freedom… If Hamas renounces terrorism against innocent civilians… If Hamas supports international agreements that are being signed and agreed to concerning the peace process… then the door is open. But unfortunately – tragically – Hamas has failed to meet even one of those four benchmarks. And that's why today Hamas is isolated internationally. Even the United Nations refuses to speak to Hamas.

Which of those benchmarks has Israel met, Mr Regev?

If you're getting the impression that Israel is going all-out to demonise Hamas you'd be right, as we'll see later.

  • "Iran's President openly talks about wiping Israel off the map. The Iranian nuclear program is a threat, not just to my country, but to the entire region. And it's incumbent upon us all to do what needs to be done to keep from proliferating."

Why is Israel the only state in the region not to have signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Mr Regev? Are we all supposed to believe that Israel's 200 (or is it 400?) nuclear warheads pose no threat to the region? Would you also tell us why Israel hasn't signed the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, and hasn't ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty or the Chemical Weapons Convention? What proof do you have of Iran's nuclear weapons plans?

And why do you deliberately misquote Mr Ahmadinejad? For the record, the Iranian president said, quoting the late Ayatollah Khomeini: "The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time".

Israel's Crapaganda Handbook

The Israeli administration's scriptwriters use a propaganda training manual that teaches the art of lying and how to sugar-coat their poison so that gullible audiences will easily swallow it. Everything Israel dislikes, and everything that thwarts their lust for domination, is now labeled "Iranian-backed"… They would have us believe that everyone in the West – and that includes you and me and the dog – is in mortal danger from Iran and must therefore huddle together in a collective act of aggression orchestrated by Tel Aviv and Washington.

Situations are defined in language that suits only Israel's case and ensures that Israel's narrative, which has little or nothing to do with truth, is the one that is carried by the media.

Take, for example, Israeli prime minister Netanyahu's speech to the UN in 2009.

Referring to the critical Goldstone Report on Israel's blitzkrieg against Gaza, he said:

"Israel justly defended itself against terror. This biased and unjust report is a clear-cut test for all governments. Will you stand with Israel or will you stand with the terrorists?"

The false choice is a propaganda favourite. Why would anyone wish to stand alongside either? The fact is, Israel reneged on a ceasefire agreement just before it launched its murderous onslaught, which it had been planning for months.

"In 2005, hoping to advance peace, Israel unilaterally withdrew from every inch of Gaza… We didn't get peace. Instead we got an Iranian backed terror base fifty miles from Tel Aviv. Life in Israeli towns and cities next to Gaza became a nightmare. You see, the Hamas rocket attacks not only continued, they increased tenfold. Again, the UN was silent."

Israel, camped on the Gazans' doorstep and still occupying Gaza's airspace and coastal waters, lobs high explosives into the tiny enclave's 1.5 million starving and defenceless civilians, and there's no escape because all exits are sealed.

"…If Israel is again asked to take more risks for peace, we must know today that you will stand with us tomorrow. Only if we have the confidence that we can defend ourselves can we take further risks for peace."

What exactly are these "risks for peace" Israel has so bravely taken? In 62 years what peace dividends has Israel delivered?

The 116-page manual is designed to help the worldwide Zionist movement win the propaganda war, keep their ill-gotten territorial gains and persuade international audiences to accept that their crimes are necessary and in line with "shared values" between Israel and the West.

It was written by The Israel Project, which describes itself as "devoted to educating the press and the public about Israel while promoting security, freedom and peace". The organization provides journalists, leaders and opinion-formers with "accurate information about Israel".

What it really does is undermine with clever words and discredited techniques the inalienable rights pledged by the UN to all peoples, including the Palestinians.

The manual teaches the sort of propaganda bollox that Israel's scribblers and drivellers use to try and justify the slaughter, the ethnic cleansing, the land-grabbing, the cruelty and their blatant disregard for international law and UN resolutions, and make it all smell sweet with a liberal sprinkling of persuasive words. It is designed to hoodwink hard-bitten media types into believing that we actually share values with the racist regime in Israel and that its abominable behaviour is therefore deserving of support.

Priority: isolate Hamas

How does it do that? The manual's strategy from the start is to demonise democratically-elected Hamas and rob the resistance movement and the Palestinian population of their human rights. It is packed with advice such as this…

  • "Clearly differentiate between the Palestinian people and Hamas… Hamas is a terrorist organization – Americans get that already. But if it sounds like you are attacking the Palestinian people (even though they elected Hamas) rather than their leadership, you will lose public support."
  • "The big picture approach is this: You must isolate Hamas as:
    – A critical cause of the delay in achieving a two-state solution

     

    – The biggest source of harm to the Palestinian people, and

    – The reason why Israel must defend its people from living in terror.

Read from the Hamas Charter. Now, here's how to attack Hamas: indict them with their own indoctrination materials. Yes, people know Hamas is a terrorist organization – but they don't know just how terrifying Hamas can be. The absolute best way to heighten their awareness is to read from the Hamas Charter itself. Don't just "quote" from it. Read it. Out loud. Again and again. Hand it out to everyone."

That's a very good point. Hamas is mad not to have re-written its charter. Israel's barbarous behaviour makes Hamas look good, but all that will count for nothing if the charter remains unchanged.

  • "ISRAEL'S RIGHT TO DEFENSIBLE BORDERS: The big picture is that they [specifically the Americans, but equally the British and other Europeans] believe that Hamas' leadership of Gaza has made Israel and the region less safe… they are willing to grant Israel more leeway in resisting calls to give more land for more peace."

Here we see the motive for demonising Hamas….Israel wants more leeway to continue its land-grabs and colonisation. The idea that they are "giving land for peace" is utterly absurd – they are required to return land they have seized at gunpoint.

  • "If… If… If…Then. Put the burden on Hamas to make the first move for peace by using If's. If Hamas reforms… If Hamas recognize our right to exist… If Hamas renounces terrorism… If Hamas supports international peace agreements… then we are willing to make peace today."

Just substitute Israel for Hamas. It reads much better.

  • "Peace can only be made with adversaries who want to make peace with you. Terrorist organizations like Iran-backed Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad are, by definition, opposed to peaceful co-existence, and determined to prevent reconciliation. I ask you, how do you negotiate with those who want you dead?"

Hamas and Hezbollah are only regarded as terrorists by the White House and Tel Aviv and by US-Israeli stooges elsewhere.

The definition Bush used to blacklist those it suited him to accuse of committing, threatening to commit or supporting terrorism goes as follows

 

"The term "terrorism" means an activity that —

(i) involves a violent act or an act dangerous to human life, property, or infrastructure; and

(ii) appears to be intended —

(a) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;

(b) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or

(c) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, kidnapping, or hostage-taking."

This of course fits the US and Israel perfectly.

  • "There is NEVER, EVER, any justification for the deliberate slaughter of innocent women and children. NEVER…. civilized people do not target innocent women and children for death."

So where does that leave Israel, which recently killed 320 children in Gaza and 773 civilians including 109 women? From 2000 up to the start of Operation Cast Lead in December 2008 Israel had slaughtered 4,790 Palestinians in their homeland, including 952 children, according to the Israeli human rights organisation B'Tselem. In the same period Palestinians killed 490 Israelis in Israel including only 84 children. So Israel's kill-rate is nearly 10 to 1, and rising since the blitzkrieg on Gaza.

Israelis are also expert at making families homeless. Since 1967, according to ICAHD (the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions), Israel has demolished in total 24,145 homes in the Occupied Territories including 4,247 (a UN figure) destroyed during Operation Cast Lead.

Israel talks a lot about its right to defend itself. Here is the rationale….

  • "Americans fundamentally believe that a democracy has a right to protect its people and its borders… There is one and only one argument that will work for Israel:

1) As a democracy, Israel has the right and the responsibility to defend its borders and

protect its people.

2) Terrorist groups, including Iran-backed Hezbollah and Hamas, continue to pose a

direct threat to Israeli security and have repeatedly taken innocent Israeli lives.

3) Israel is America's one and only true ally in the region. In these particularly unstable

and dangerous times, Israel should not be forced to go it alone.

4) With America's financial assistance, Israel can defend its borders, protect its people,

and provide invaluable assistance to the American effort against the war against

terrorism."

But it seems that Americans don't believe in democracy enough to allow Palestinian democracy to flourish.

  • "When the terror ends, Israel will no longer need to have challenging checkpoints to inspect goods and people. When the terror ends we will no longer need a security fence."

No rockets are coming out of the West Bank, so why is the wall still there – and still being built? Why are the occupation troops still there? Why are hundreds of checkpoints still there? Why is Israel still stealing land, demolishing Palestinian homes and building settlements there?

  • "Remind people – again and again – that Israel wants peace. Reason One: If Americans see no hope for peace… they will not want their government to spend tax dollars or their President's clout on helping Israel. Reason Two: The speaker that is perceived as being most for PEACE will win the debate… peace should be at the core of whatever message you wish to convey."

Israelis do NOT want peace and never have. They failed to honour previous peace accords. Every action is directed at provoking security crises and keeping the conflict boiling until they have stolen enough land and established enough 'facts on the ground' – Jews-only settlements, highways, disconnected Palestinian bantustans – to enable them to re-draw the map to suit their expansionist agenda and make the occupation PERMANENT.

  • "Draw direct parallels between Israel and America—including the need to defend against terrorism…. The more you focus on the similarities between Israel and America, the more likely you are to win the support of those who are neutral. Indeed, Israel… faces many of the same challenges as America in protecting their citizens."

Israel's strategy is dependent on the false idea that they are victims of terror and western nations need to rally round Israel for mutual protection.

  • "The language of Israel is the language of America: 'democracy', 'freedom', 'security' and 'peace'. These four words are at the core of the American political, economic, social, and cultural systems, and they should be repeated as often as possible because they resonate with virtually every American… Remind your audience that Israel wants peace and then repeat the messages of democracy, freedom and peace over and over again…. we need to repeat the message, on average, ten times to be effective… But don't confuse messages with facts…. ".

Right, never let facts get in the way of a good message! The only word that matters to Israel is security (at everyone else's expense, of course). How can democracy be a shared value when Israel is a nasty ethnocracy? How can freedom be a shared value when the world is still waiting for Israel to end the occupation and allow the Palestinians their freedom.

  • "How can the current Palestinian leadership honestly say it will pursue peace when previous leaders rejected an offer to create a Palestinian state just a few short years ago and now refuse to live up to their responsibilities as outlined in the Road Map?"

This refers to Barak's so-called "generous offer", a favourite myth. It wasn't enough that the Palestinians, at the time of the Oslo Agreement in 1993, were willing to concede 78% of the land that was originally theirs, accept the remaining 22% and recognise Israel within 'Green Line' borders (i.e. the 1949 Armistice Line), Barak wanted to include 69 Israeli settlements within the Palestinians' 22%. He also demanded that the Palestinian territories be placed under "Temporary Israeli Control", meaning Israeli military and administrative control indefinitely. The 'generous offer' also gave Israel control over all the border crossings of the new Palestinian State. What nation in the world would accept that?

  • "Why is the world so silent about the written, vocal, stated aims of Hamas?"

Why is the world silent about the written, stated aims of the racist regime and its political parties? Read their manifestos.

  • "The situation in the Middle East may be complicated, but all parties should adopt a simple approach: peace first, political boundaries second."

Why should Palestinians renounce resistance while Israel's jackboot is still on their throat? The international community should first insist on Israel's compliance with international law and the many UN resolutions it has defied. The boundaries are already defined by these. Whatever issues then remain to be decided, Palestinians should not have to negotiate with a gun to their heads.

  • "Bottom line: What will happen if we fail to get the world to care about the fact that Israeli parents in southern Israel need to literally dodge rockets when they drive their children to kindergarten in the morning?"

Only one in 500 makeshift Qassam rockets causes a fatality. The devastation and carnage resulting from the barrage of Israel's state-of-the-art rocketry targeted on Gaza is a very different story.

  • "Humanize Rockets: Paint a vivid picture of what life is like in Israeli communities that are vulnerable to attack. Yes, cite the number of rocket attacks that have occurred. But immediately follow that up with what it is like to make the nightly trek to the bomb shelter."

Israel claims 12,000 rockets were fired from Gaza in the 8 years up to the start of Operation Cast Lead. Would they care to tell the world how many bombs, rockets and shells (including the illegal and prohibited variety) Israel's F-16s, tanks, armed drones and navy gunboats poured into the densely-packed humanity that is Gaza in the same period? Probably not.

And Israelis are careful not to mention that the township of Sderot, targeted by Gaza's rockets and a major propaganda asset for Regev & co, is built on the ruins of an ethnically cleansed Palestinian village whose inhabitants were forced to flee by Jewish terrorists.

  • "Living together, side by side. This is the best way to describe the ultimate vision of a two-state solution without using the phrase."

Sounds cute and fluffy, but who would want to live alongside bigots and extremists who have made your life hell for 62 years?

  • "When talking about a Palestinian partner, it is essential to distinguish between Hamas and everyone else. Only the most anti-Israel, pro- Palestinian American expects Israel to negotiate with Hamas, so you have to be clear that you are seeking a 'moderate Palestinian partner'."

What gives anyone, American or Israeli, the right to ignore a nation's democratically elected representatives? And where are the moderate Israeli partners?

  • "The fight is over IDEOLOGY, not land; terror, not territory. Thus, you must avoid using Israel's religious claims to land as a reason why Israel should not give up land. Such claims only make Israel look extremist to people who are not religious Christians or Jews."

If the fight isn't about land, why has Israel been stealing it? And why won't they give it back when told to by the UN?

  • "Think PRO-PALESTINIAN…I particularly want to reach out to Palestinian mothers who have lost their children. No parent should have to bury their child."

Reach for the sick-bag. Israel won't even allow cement into Gaza to build the graves.

  • "And so I say to my Palestinian colleagues… you can stop the bloodshed. You can stop the suicide bombings and rocket attacks. If you really want to, you can put an end to this cycle of violence. If you won't do it for our children, do it for your children."

This is recommended as "an effective sound bite" for pro-Israel activists.

  • "I want to see a future where the Palestinians govern themselves. Israel does not want to govern a single Palestinian. Not one. We want them to govern themselves. We want them to have complete self-determination."

Pure tosh! That's not what Israel's political parties are pledging. For decades Israel has dismissed the Palestinians' right to self-determination. It is desperate to snuff out Palestine's fledgling democracy and destroy its chosen government.

What's to become of The Holy City?

  • "The toughest issue to communicate will be the final resolution of Jerusalem. Americans overwhelmingly want Israel to be in charge of the religious holy sites and are frankly afraid of the consequences should Israel turn over control to the Palestinians."

Israel is in control right now and prevents Muslims and Christians from outside the City visiting the holy places. Israel has proved it can't be trusted. In any case, the UN's partition plan decreed that Jerusalem should become a ‘corpus separatum' – an international city – under international management.

And here's a final example of the twisted mentality of those who wrote the manual….

  • "The force undermining peace is Iran and their proxies Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad. You must not call Hamas just Hamas. Call them what they are: Iran-backed Hamas. Indeed, when they [the West] know that Iran is behind Hamas and Hezbollah, they are much more supportive of Israel."

By the same token should we call the racist regime what it is – US-backed Israel or US proxy Israel? Take your pick.

In addition to their expertise in disinformation the Israelis are adept at concealing or destroying the evidence of their crimes. We saw it again with the confiscation of the flotilla passengers' cameras, phones, laptops and other personal effects. If they ever get them back they'll be corrupted. Israel also makes it difficult for even VIPs to enter Gaza – they don't want outsiders inspecting their major crime scene. Anything to obstruct justice and make it difficult to bring their thugs to book.

Israel's dirty tricks will be to no avail in the end. They are beginning to lose the propaganda war. That was inevitable. In the long run you cannot succeed with a communications programme based on lies and deception. Even the best PR is only as good as the ‘product' or brand, and Brand Israel's reputation was never great. It has now fallen off a cliff. The truth is spreading despite big efforts by mainstream media to block or disguise it.

The thing we must cling to is the obligation that binds all decent people to respect and promote human rights. The following words, written nearly 62 years ago, explain why good will eventually triumph over the selfish and evil outpourings of the Israeli crapaganda machine.

"Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction."

* Stuart Littlewood is author of the book Radio Free Palestine, which tells the plight of the Palestinians under occupation. Read other articles by Stuart, or visit Stuart's website.

NOTE: Greatful thanks to Dr David Morrison for sending me the Sadaka Briefing Papers that inspired this article. See…
http://www.sadaka.ie/Files/Israels_bogus_excuses_for_piracy.pdf
http://www.sadaka.ie/Files/The_blockade_of_Gaza_must_be_lifted_completely.pdf

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By Jamal Elshayyal inon June 6th, 2010

Firstly I must apologise for taking so long to update my blog. The events of the past few days have been hectic to say the least, and I am still trying to come to grips with many of the things that have happened.

It was this time last week that I was on the top deck of the Mavi Marmara, and first spotted Israeli warships at a distance, as they approached the humanitarian flotilla. Little did I know how deadly and bloody the events that soon unfolded would be.

What I will write in this entry is fact, every letter of it, none of it is opinion, none of it is analysis, I will leave that to you, the reader.

After spotting the warships at a distance, (at roughly 11pm) the organisers called for passengers to wear their life vests and remain indoors as they monitored the situation. The naval warships together with helicopters remained at a distance for several hours.

At 2am local time the organisers informed me that they had re-routed the ship, as far away from Israel as possible, as deep into international waters as they could. They did not want a confrontation with the Israeli military, at least not by night.

Just after 4am local time, the Israeli military attacked the ship, in international waters. It was an unprovoked attack. Tear gas was used, sound grenades were launched, and rubber coated steel bullets were fired from almost every direction.

Dozens of speed boats carrying about 15-20 masked Israeli soldiers, armed to the teeth surrounded the Mavi Marmara which was carrying 600 or so unarmed civilians. Two helicopters at a time hovered above the vessel. Commandos on board the choppers joined the firing, using live ammunition, before any of the soldiers had descended onto the ship.

Two unarmed civilians were killed just metres away from me. Dozens of unarmed civilians were injured right before my eyes.

One Israeli soldier, armed with a large automatic gun and a side pistol, was overpowered by several passengers. They disarmed him. They did not use his weapons or fire them; instead they threw his weapons over board and into the sea.

After what seemed at the time as roughly 30 minutes, passengers on board the ship raised a white flag. The Israeli army continued to fire live ammunition. The ships organisers made a loud speaker announcement saying they have surrendered the ship. The Israeli army continued to fire live ammunition.

I was the last person to leave the top deck.

Below, inside the sleeping quarters, all the passengers had gathered. There was shock, anger, fear, hurt, chaos.

Doctors ran in all directions trying to treat the wounded, blood was on the floor, tears ran down people’s faces, cries of pain and mourning could be heard everywhere. Death was in the air.

Three critically injured civilians were being treated on the ground in the reception area of the ship. Their clothes soaked in blood. Passengers stood by watching in shock, some read out verses of the Qur’an to calm them, doctors worked desperately to save them.

Several announcements were made on the load speakers in Hebrew, Arabic and English - "This is a message to the Israeli army, we have surrendered. We are unarmed. We have critically injured people. Please come and take them. We will not attack."

There was no response.

One of the passengers, a member of the Israeli Parliament, wrote a sign in Hebrew, reading the exact same thing; she held it together with a white flag and approached the windows where the Israeli soldiers were standing outside. They pointed their laser guided guns to her head, ordering her to go away.

A British citizen tried the same sign - this time holding a British Flag and taking the sign to a different set of windows and different set of soldiers. They responded in the same manner.

Three hours later, all three of the injured were pronounced dead. The Israeli soldiers who refused to allow them treatment succeeded where their colleagues had earlier failed when they targeted these three men with bullets.

At around 8am the Israeli army entered the sleeping quarters. They handcuffed the passengers. I was thrown onto the ground, my hands tied behind my back, I couldn’t move an inch.

I was taken to the top deck where the other passengers were, forced to sit on my knees under the burning sun.

One passenger had his hands tied so tight his wrists were all sorts of colours. When he requested that the cuffs be loosened, an Israeli soldier tightened them even more. He let out a scream that sent chills down my body.

I requested to go to the bathroom, I was prevented. Instead the Israeli soldier told me to urinate where I was and in my own clothes. Three or four hours later I was allowed to go.

I was then marched, together with the other passengers, back to the sleeping quarters. The place was ransacked, its image like that of the aftermath of an earthquake.

I remained on the ship, seated, without any food or drink, barring three sips of water, for more than 24 hours. Throughout this time, Israeli soldiers had their guns pointed at us. Their hands on the trigger. For more than 24 hours.

I was then taken off the ship at Ashdod where I was asked to sign a deportation orde. It claimed that I had entered Israel illegally and agreed to be deported. I told the officer that I, in fact, had not entered Israel but that the Israeli army had kidnapped me from international waters and brought me to Israel against my will; therefore I could not sign this document.

My passport was taken from me. I was told that I would go to jail.

Only then were my hands freed, I spent more than 24 hours with my hands cuffed behind my back, with nothing to eat, and barely anything to drink.

Upon arrival at the prison I was put in a cell with three other passengers. The cell was roughly 12ft by 9ft.

I spent more than 24 hours in jail. I was not allowed to make a single phone call.

The British consulate did not come and see me. I did not see a lawyer.

There was no hot water for a shower.

The only meal was frozen bread and some potatoes.

The only reason I believe I was released was because the Turkish prisoners refused to leave until and unless the other nationalities (those whose consulates had not come and released them) were set free.

I was taken to Ben Gurion airport. When I asked for my passport, the Israeli official presented me with a piece of paper and said "congratulations this is your new passport". I replied "you must be joking, you have my passport". The Israeli official's response: "sue me".

There I was asked again to sign a deportation order. Again I refused.

I was put on a plane headed to Istanbul.

Masked Israeli soldiers and commandos took me from international waters.

Uniformed Israeli officials locked me behind bars.

The British government did not lift a finger to help me, till this day I have not seen or heard from a British official.

The Israeli government stole my passport.

The Israeli government stole my lap top, two cameras, 3 phones, $1500 and all my possessions.

My government, the British government has not even acknowledged my existence.

I was kidnapped by Israel. I was forsaken by my country.

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from marksteelinfo.com


It's time the Israeli government's PR team made the most of its talents, and became available for hire. Then whenever a nutcase marched into a shopping mall in somewhere like Wisconsin and gunned down a selection of passers-by, they could be on hand to tell the world's press "The gunman regrets the loss of life but did all he could to avoid violence." Then various governments would issue statements saying "All we know is a man went berserk with an AK 47, and next to him there's a pile of corpses, so until we know the facts we can't pass judgement on what took place."
To strengthen their case the Israelis have released a photo of the weapons they found on board, (which amount to some knives and tools and wooden sticks) that the naive might think you'd expect to find on any ship, but the more astute will recognise as exactly what you'd carry if you were planning to defeat the Israeli army. It's an armoury smaller than you'd find in the average toolshed in a garden in Cirencester, which goes to show the Israelis had better destroy Cirencester quickly as an essential act of self-defence.
It's a shame they weren't more imaginative, as they could have said "We also discovered a deadly barometer, a ship's compass, which could not only be frisbeed at someone's head but even had markings to help the assailant know which direction he was throwing it, and a set of binoculars that could easily be converted into a ray-gun."
That would be as logical as the statement from the Israeli PM's spokesman – "We made every possible effort to avoid this incident." Because the one tiny thing they forgot to do to avoid this incident was not send in armed militia from helicopters in the middle of the night and shoot people. I must be a natural at this sort of technique because I often go all day without climbing off a helicopter and shooting people, and I'm not even making every possible effort. Politicians and commentators worldwide repeat a version of this line. They're aware a nation has sent its militia to confront people carrying provisions for the desperate, in the process shooting several of them dead, and yet they angrily blame the dead ones. One typical headline yesterday read "Activists got what they wanted – confrontation." It's an attitude so deranged it deserves to be registered as a psychosis, something like "Reverse Slaughter Victim Confusion Syndrome".
Israel and its supporters claim that Viva Palestina, made up of people who collect the donated food, cement and items for providing basic amenities such as toilets, and transport them to Gaza, wanted the violence all along. Because presumably they must have been thinking "Hezbollah couldn't beat them, but that's because unlike us they didn't have a ballcock and several boxes of plum tomatoes".
One article told us the flotilla was full of "Thugs spoiling for a confrontation", and then accused them of being "Less about aid and more about PR. Indeed, on board was Swedish novelist Henning Mankell." So were they thugs or about PR? Did they have a thugs' section and a PR quarter, or did they all muck in, the novelist diverting the soldiers with his characterisation while the thugs attacked them with a lethal spirit level?
But some defenders of Israel are so blind to what happens in front of them there's nothing at all they wouldn't jump to defend. Israel could blow up a cats home and within five minutes they'd be yelling "How do we know the cats weren't smuggling semtex in their fur for Hamas?"
If this incident had been carried about by Iran, or anyone we were trying to portray as an enemy, so much condemnation would have been spewed out it would have created a vast cloud of outrage that airlines would be unable to fly through.
But as it's Israel, most governments offer a few diplomatic words that blame no one, but accept the deaths are "regrettable". They might as well have picked any random word from the dictionary, so the news would tell us "William Hague described the deaths as 'hexagonal'", and a statement from the US senate said "It's all very confusing. In future let's hope they make every effort to avoid a similar incident."
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They say that ‘Misery loves company’….. here’s proof! Apartheid loves Apartheid!

Why is the United States government trying to pretend the following never happened? Simple answer…. so they can continue looting the US taxpayer. It’s bad enough to support the apartheid and genocidal policies of Israel….
 
How can Obama justify supporting a nation that was prepared to sell nuclear weapons to Apartheid South Africa?

The article that follows was buried deep in HaAretz…. one had to search carefully to find it.

One question…. why would a reputable newspaper like the Guardian lie about something like this?

It took an article and a Blog Post in the Guardian to bring the following to light….

Israel denies offering nuclear weapons to Apartheid South Africa

British daily The Guardian publishes documents it says prove that then-defense minister Shimon Peres tried to sell nuclear weapons to P.W. Botha in the 1970s.

By Haaretz Service and Reuters

 

Israel on Monday vehemently rejected claims in a British newspaper that it offered to sell nuclear warheads to Apartheid-era South Africa in 1975.

“There exists no basis in reality for the claims published this morning by The Guardian that in 1975 Israel negotiated with South Africa the exchange of nuclear weapons,” the president’s office said in a statement.

“Unfortunately, The Guardian elected to write its piece based on the selective interpretation of South African documents and not on concrete facts,” said the statement. “Israel has never negotiated the exchange of nuclear weapons with South Africa. “There exists no Israeli document or Israeli signature on a document that such negotiations took place.”

The Guardian newspaper said Sunday that documents uncovered by a U.S. academic during research for a book on Israel’s ties with South Africa provided the first hard proof that Israel has nuclear weapons. Israel maintains an official policy of “nuclear ambiguity” over whether it is an atomic power.

The Guardian said documents declassified by South Africa’s post-apartheid government at the request of author Sasha Polakow-Suransky included top-secret minutes of meetings between senior officials of the two countries in 1975.

Those papers, the newspaper said, showed that South Africa’s defense minister at the time, P.W. Botha, asked warheads and his counterpart Shimon Peres, now Israel’s president, offered them in “three sizes”. The Guardian claimed that this referred to conventional, chemical and atomic weapons.

Asked about the report, Peres spokeswoman Ayelet Frisch said: “There is no truth to the Guardian report.”

“We regret that the newspaper did not seek a comment from the president’s office. If it had done so, it would have discovered that the story is wrong and baseless,” she added.

According to the Guardian report, the alleged nuclear deal did not go ahead, partly because of the cost.

Speculation about Israeli-South African nuclear cooperation was raised in 1990 when a U.S. satellite detected a mysterious flash over the Indian Ocean. The U.S. television network CBS reported it was a nuclear test carried out by the two countries.

Source

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 A MUST WATCH VIDEO


Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKyC-BRm-HY

By Christopher Bollyn* | Sabbah Report | www.sabbah.biz

This article has been updated with photos of a Zionist Jew attacking Zan on a sidewalk in Los Angeles as he peacefully picketed with a sign that said "Israel – not Muslims – did 9-11". These photos open up the much neglected subject of Zionist violence against American 9-11 truth activists. Like Zan in Los Angeles, I have been subjected to Zionist violence and malicious prosecution for exercising my Constitutional rights while pursuing the truth of what happened on 9-11, as have fellow 9-11 activists in Worcester, Massachusetts. It should be noted that all three victims of Zionist violence (Zan, Bollyn, and Hmura) were attacked for peacefully exercising their Constitutional freedom of speech.


Violence is inherent to Zionism, a racist ideology of Jewish supremacism that seeks to impose itself on the people of Palestine and the Middle East — and the United States of America. People who support Zionism are supporting a state and ideology that was born in massacres and ethnic cleansing and which requires constant violence just to maintain itself. Having seen the injustice and violence inherent to Zionism during my many trips to Israel and Palestine, I am well aware of the support militant Zionism has among American Jews and misguided Gentiles. I also realized that it is not possible or prudent, as an American Christian, to challenge Zionism in Israel and that the crucial struggle is really for the hearts and minds of my fellow Americans. The false-flag terror attacks of 9-11 were actually a massive manifestation of Zionist violence – against innocent Americans. The struggle is now to bring the facts about who is really behind 9-11 and the "War on Terror" to our fellow Americans and to liberate our nation from unnecessary violence and suffering.

Zan, a long-time reader and supporter of Bollyn.com from Los Angeles, shows how one man can make a big difference. Zan exercised his fundamental American right of free speech holding a sign which said:

 

ISRAEL* – NOT MUSLIMS -
DID 9/11!
(* with Jewish and Gentile American helpers)

WATCH CLOSELY: Zan also mentions the story of Deir Yassin Massacre

 

Zan peacefully held his sign and handed out a four-page flyer to those who wanted it, while standing on a sidewalk near a theatre in Los Angeles where an event put on by the conservative radio station KRLA (a Salem Communications station) was taking place last November.

While Zan picketed peacefully with his sign he was attacked by a belligerent and aggressive Jew who is seen in the video saying that his violent attack against Zan was his way of expressing his opinion. Zan wrote this to me:

We didn't get video of the man in the long white shirt grabbing my signs, trying to rip them up. Failing that, he threw them on the ground and started haranguing me. The video shows him a little later claiming he had a right to express himself as I had a right to express myself.

He expressed himself by an act of battery. I told him this is not Israel and I am not a Palestinian. I am attaching two still photos that show the incident, not as fully as I would like but thought it might interest you.

The Jewish man attacks Zan, ripping his signs away, trying to tear them up, and throwing them to the ground. Zan is seen picking up his signs. Who is this man?

After the attack, the aggressive and arrogant Jew tells Zan that attacking him (and his freedom of speech) is his way of expressing himself. I would like to know if anyone knows the name of the arrogant and violent man who attacked Zan.

The hostile and abusive reactions of some of the people are very interesting and show how difficult it is for many people to accept information that does not square with the Zionist worldview presented by the controlled media in the United States. The Zionist-controlled media defines reality for most people in America. If they have not seen it on CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, or FOX News, and read about it in the New York Times, TIME, Newsweek, and the Washington Post – well, it must not be true. Many Americans accept and parrot the political point of view of their favorite TV or radio personality (e.g. Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, etc.). You often hear people expressing their opinion using the exact same terms and phrases spewed by these highly-paid talking heads. One of the people in the video below displays this when he says that the official version has been proved – by the media! (The controlled media is the last place to expect to find any truth about 9-11.)

The interaction with the woman who tries to make a joke about "nano-thermites" is an example of trying to laugh off the evidence of a very real mass murder. It is similar to the man who tries to belittle Zan by joking that he had lost his mind following a stroke, or the other who said he is "not well." This is the typical use of ad hominem attacks to deny the facts of the message by attacking the messenger.

Zan shows how an average American can exercise his right of free speech, peacefully and intelligently, to shame the real culprits of 9-11 while bringing public attention to the huge deception that changed the world. What a great example Zan is for all free, patriotic, and Truth-loving Americans – and like-minded people around the world. Well done, Zan, well done!

* Christopher Bollyn is an independent American investigative journalist

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One of the former kings of the Children of Isreal had a number of sons. Whenever one of his sons would reach the age of manhood, he would attire himself in coarse clothing, join worshipers who live in mountains, and continue to worship Allah until death overtook him. The king did not prevent his sons from going; he recognized that it was Allah (SWT) who guided them to the truth and that he himself could do nothing to change their hearts.

But the king had a change of mind when, in his old age, he had his last son. Having gathered his ministers and close advisors for a meeting, the king said, "I indeed love this son (more than I do the others), and I feel that death is approaching me. I fear that, if he joins his brothers, those from outside of our family will then try to take over this kingdom. So take him while he is yet small and instill into him a love for this world and its pleasures. Perhaps he will then want to be your king after I die."

The king's advisors immediately came up with a plan and put it into action. They chose a huge chunk of land and enclosed it with a wall; inside, they surrounded the child with all of the luxuries they could gather. He lived within the bounds of the four walls until he became a man. Then one day, he looked around and said, "I deem there to be another world on the other side of this wall. Take me out of here, so that I can increase in knowledge and certainty."

"There is nothing other than what you see," his guardians said to him. He didn't argue; instead, he continued to live there for another year; nonetheless, he spent a lot of his time riding his horse alongside the inner sides of the walls. He then repeated the same request that he made the previous year: "I deem there to be another world on the other side of this wall. Take me out of here, so that I can increase in knowledge and in certainity." His guardians gave him the same reply that they gave the previous year.

But this time, the young man remained adamant and said, "I must leave." His guardians could hold him back no longer, yet they could not simply allow him to leave, and so they took the matter to the king. The king said to them, "Take him out, for we want what we want, but Allah brings about only that which He wills."

They returned to the king's son and opened the gate of his sanctuary for him. For the very first time in his life, he stepped outside and had a look at the world. Yet he was not totally free of constraints, for the king's advisors went where he went and supervised his every move. Though the king's son had become a man, he knew nothing of the world save for the closed and limited life of luxury he led since he was a child. Thus the king's advisors felt it necessary to accompany him and observe his reaction to what he was about to learn from the world; after all, they still nurtured hopes of him becoming their king.

While they were walking, they came across a man who was clearly afflicted with a serious illness. "What is the matter with him?" the young prince asked.

"He is afflicted with a serious sickness," they said.

"Does every person become afflicted with his sickness," asked the naive prince. "Or do only some people become afflicted with it?"

"It afflicts only a group of people, those upon whom Allah decreed for it to befall them," said the king's advisors.

"Oh, so those people know that it is coming and then prepare for it?" asked the prince. "Or is there no prior warning, so that everyone is afraid of being afflicted by it?"

"Actually, everyone is afraid of being afflicted by it," they said.

"Even I, with all of the control I have (as a prince)?"

"Even you," they answered.

"Therefore," said the prince, "This life of yours is tainted and not pure."

They continued to walk until they came across a man who was old, decrepit, and frail. Since he had no control whatsoever of his bodily functions, he drooled inadvertently, so that saliva flowed down onto his chest. Never having seen an old person before, the young prince asked, "What is this?"

"A man who is so advanced in his years that he has become decrepit," they said.

"Does this afflict only some people, or is every person afraid that, if he reaches old age, he will be afflicted with the same frailty that this man is now afflicted with?"

"Actually, everyone is afraid of this eventuality," they answered.

"Therefore, this life of yours is tainted and not pure," said the young prince.

They continued to walk until they passed by a corpse that was being carried by a number of men. "What is this?" asked the prince, to whom the concept of death was completely foreign.

"A man who has died," they answered.

"Ask him to sit up," said the prince.

"He cannot sit."

Then ask him to speak."

"He cannot speak."

"Does this condition afflict only certain people?" the prince asked. "Or is everyone afraid that it will befall them?"

"This is the end of every person, including both those who fear it and those who don't fear it," they said.

"Is this what you were hiding me and protecting me from?" the prince asked.

"No person can flee from this ending, and no person, no matter what the abilities are that he is endowed with, can ward it off."

"(Had I not left to see the world,) I would have died upon a sudden without knowing what was happening to me," said the prince, expressing his hurt at being deceived for such a long time. "Verily, you will have no control over me after this day."

He tried to bolt from their company and run away, but they were too many, and soon they had him surrounded.

"We will not leave until you go to your father," they said. When they met with the king, they recounted to him everything that had happened with the prince.

"Did I not tell you," said the king resignedly, "We want what we want, but Allah brings about only that which He wills. Let him go, for you can no longer hold any sway over him."

Source: Glimpses of the Lives of Righteous People
By Majdi Muhammad Ash-Shahawi
© Maktaba Dar-us-Salam, 2004

[Story can be found in such books like At-Taqrib (1/106), Hilyatul-Awliya' (2/224), Al-Mawai'iz Wal-Majalis (pg. 17-18), among many others]

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from the Holy Quran, chapter 19, Surah Maryam;

16
. And mention Mary in the Book when she drew aside from her family to an eastern place;

17. So she took a veil (to screen herself) from them; then We sent to her Our spirit/angel, and there appeared to her a well-made man.

18. She said: Surely I fly for refuge from you to the Beneficent Allah, if you are one guarding (against evil).

19. He said: I am only a messenger of your Lord: That I will give you a pure boy.

20. She said: When shall I have a boy and no mortal has yet touched me, nor have I been unchaste?

21. He said: Even so; your Lord says: It is easy to Me: and that We may make him a sign to men and a mercy from Us, and it is a matter which has been decreed.

22. So she conceived him; then withdrew herself with him to a remote place.

23. And the throes (of childbirth) compelled her to betake herself to the trunk of a palm tree. She said: Oh, would that I had died before this, and had been a thing quite forgotten!

24. Then (the child) called out to her from beneath her: Grieve not, surely your Lord has made a stream to flow beneath you;

25. And shake towards you the trunk of the palmtree, it will drop on you fresh ripe dates:

26. So eat and drink and refresh the eye. Then if you see any mortal, say: Surely I have vowed a fast to the Beneficent Allah, so I shall not speak to any man today.

27. And she came to her people with him, carrying him (with her). They said: O Mary! surely you have done a strange thing.

28. O sister of Aaron! your father was not a bad man, nor, was your mother an unchaste woman.

29. But she pointed to him. They said: How should we speak to one who was a child in the cradle?

30. He said: Surely I am a servant of Allah; He has given me the Book and made me a prophet;

31. And He has made me blessed wherever I may be, and He has enjoined on me prayer and charity so long as I live;

32. And dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me insolent, unblessed;

33. And peace on me on the day I was born, and on the day I die, and on the day I am raised to life.

34. Such is Jesus, son of Mary; (this is) the saying of truth about which they (vainly) dispute.
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By Mohamed Khodr* | Sabbah Report | www.sabbah.biz


"We sent thee not, O! Muhammad, save as a mercy to all the people. Say, O! Muhammad: "It has but been revealed unto me that your God is the One and Only God: will you, then, surrender yourselves unto Him?" (Qur'an: 21: 107-108)

There is only one "Absolute" form of Free Speech in the west, the freedom and right to bash Islam, stomp, shoot, and flush the Holy Qur'an down the toilet, and portray Islam's beloved Prophet Muhammad (p) in the most vile manner in all forms of "art".

Freedom of Speech is an ever changing and evolving right that depends on time, person, place, method of delivery, issue, and people involved. Since the time of Socrates who was prosecuted for corrupting young minds to today's blasphemous attacks on Islam, the Quran, and Islam's Prophet; freedom of speech has always been defined and determined by those in power.

Bashing Islam is not new. In fact it began during the Prophet's own lifetime by those who rejected his message in Arabia only to be followed by Christians, Jews, and followers of other faiths. Saint John of Damascus (7th – 8th C) while ironically working as an administrative officer for the Muslim ruler of Damascus wrote that the Prophet Muhammad (p) was a "false prophet…heretic…an Anti Christ." Such attacks continued throughout historical Christian Europe by men such as Martin Luther, Voltaire, Dante, to , right wing European parties, to the U.S. by such men as Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Hal Lindsey (who called Allah (God) Satan), and politicians. Bashing Islam has become a respectable political and money making cottage industry.

Thus it's not surprising that 9/11 opened the flood gates for a wider multitude of westerners who inflame and further incite hatred of Islam. Such vileness arises out of total ignorance of Islam and the historical innate fear of the "other". The West fears what it does not know. In Europe, especially, fear of an Islamized Europe has conveniently morphed into a political agenda against the immigration of the "other", mainly people of color who immigrate to Europe from formerly European colonized nations.

It is inexplicable to describe the West as civilized when such uncivil behavior toward those of a different faith or color permeates a significant portion of the population. If civilization is based on education then such people must be hailed as arrogant, racists, supremacists, and ignorant fools.
The Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks as part of an art exhibition entitled "Dog in Art" decided to follow in the footsteps of the Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard (who drew cartoons depicting Muhammad as a terrorist) and drew a cartoon of the Prophet with the body of a dog. While the public rationale is freedom of speech, the underlying motive is pure racism. But freedom of speech in the west depends on who you offend. Offending Jews, discussing the Holocaust, criticizing Israel's brutality against the Palestinians is either attacked as "Anti-Semitic", or met with jail time while the western kosher media quashes such "free speech". God forbid such a cartoonist would draw a similar cartoon of Moses (p), a Jew with a swastika as a tail, or of the Crown Prince of Spain. (Spanish cartoonist fined for royal dishonour", UK Telegraph, Nov. 14, 2007)

The Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard wrote of Freedom or Speech, "People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."

The European Union Human Rights reports on Racism and Xenophobia annually reports that racism against Muslims and people of color in Europe is an ever increasing problem. While the E.U. and Sweden have laws on "hate crimes", which I consider these foul cartoons to be, they seldom if ever prosecute the perpetrators of such hate crimes if the intended victim is Islam or Muslims. On the contrary such politicians and artists are applauded and welcomed in the U.S. (Salman Rushdie, "The Satanic Verses", in the White House), by Conservative Christians and Pro Israeli lobbies, think tanks, and the mainstream Pro Israel media as idols of free speech. Yet in Europe and the U.S. if the perceived crime is "Anti Semitic" governments are in the fore front to decry and prosecute such "hate crimes".

When Israel is portrayed in a negative light in the Arab media due to its murderous occupation of Palestinians and constant theft of their land both European and U.S. governments immediately and publicly condemn such actions as hateful and anti Semitic, but when Islam's Prophet is subjected to vile hate it is considered "freedom of speech". It is a fine line and slippery slope between what is considered free speech and blasphemy. Didn't the Nazis use hateful cartoons of Jews as part of their propaganda for the "final solution?

It is this double standard and hypocrisy by western governments that inflames the Muslim world against their policies and practices, especially with respect to Israel's invasions and genocide against Lebanese and Palestinian civilians. Criticizing Israel for its illegal occupation, inhumane siege of Gaza, massacring Gaza's children, demolishing thousands of homes, destroying hospitals, clinics, schools, churches and mosques, depriving the population of food, water and medicine, it's massive abuse of human rights and defiance of International laws, and much more is unacceptable, censored, hateful, and strongly defended by western governments and the media as "Israel's right to self defense", a right that its victims are denied.
Muslims are strictly forbidden from carrying out any violence or calling for death threats against the perpetrators of hate against the Prophet. The Holy Quran forbids such violence and directs Muslims to endure and be patient as the Holy Prophet endured during his lifetime.

"And, whenever they heard frivolous talk, having turned away from it and said: "Unto us shall be accounted Our deeds, and unto you, your deeds. Peace be upon you – [but] we do not seek out such as are ignorant [of the meaning of right and wrong]." (Quran: 28:55)

"Believers (Muslims), stand out firmly for God, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others toward you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear God. For God is well-acquainted with all that you do." (Qur'an 5:8)

The European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) and the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE) condemned the death threats issued by Al Qaeda and other small extremist groups against Lars Vilks, the Swedish cartoonist, and Ulf Johansson editor in chief of the paper that published his cartoon of the Prophet with a body of a dog. Such hate must be met with patience and a strong educational outreach program to tell the truth about Islam and its beloved Prophet Muhammad (p).

Perpetual racism, arrogance, and ignorance of Islam in the west are the combustible ingredients for assured mutual destruction of our planet. The lack of any sacredness in the west that belies the misguided application of free speech against the "other" rests on the premise that if I hold nothing sacred and I damn my own faith and religious figures then I have the right to damn yours and if you are civilized like me you will accept such racist rantings as free speech. That is the rational of fools who've surrendered their superficial intellect to misguided stupidity.

It's not enough that the west has annihilated, bombed, and committed holocausts across the globe against the "other"; now the "other" must endure the verbal and written bombs upon their faith, culture, and traditions.

What conceivable civilized aim can be achieved by denigrating a Prophet of 1.6 Billion Muslims? Why aren't Muslims retaliating with the same vile hate against Judeo-Christian religious founders such as Moses and Jesus, peace be upon them both, or the Torah and Gospel? Because Muslims believe and revere these two prophets and the original holy revelations they received.

The least that can be expected from "civilized" people who wish to criticize a faith is to have a working knowledge on the subject to confer some credibility for their critique. Such knowledge of Islam is sorely missing in the West, thus such critiques are frivolous and meaningless.
Both the Danish and Swedish cartoonists who drew the vile cartoons of the Prophet were unknown entities until they entered racist contests concocted by two small papers in a competition to defame and demonize a most exalted person. After the controversy these two men achieved the celebrity status that has eluded them for decades.

But what of this man, Muhammad (p), who for centuries became the object of racist depictions by people who knew nothing about him in Christian Europe and in the U.S. (Read: "Muhammad in Europe", by Minou Reeves)

The British Historian Michael H. Hart in his book: "The 100: Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History" chose Muhammad (p) as the most influential human being in history. He wrote:

"My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world's most influential
persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he
was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the
religious and secular level."

The famous French writer, poet, and politician Alphonse le Lamartine (1790-1869) in his book, "Histoire De La Turque", wrote of Muhammad (p):

"If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astounding results are the
three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in
modern history with Muhammad"?

The renowned Professor of Comparative Religion Karen Armstrong wrote a book in 2006 entitled "Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time"

There are endless biographies, books, speeches and statements on Prophet Muhammad (p) by renowned authors around the world that exalt his person, his unshakeable spiritual beliefs, morality, ethics, compassion, mercy, and extraordinary leadership.

Sadly in America's educational system the study of cultures, world religions, history, and geography are sorely lacking. Such a vacuum can only lead to further misunderstanding and conflict between religions and peoples

"There will be no peace among the nations without peace among the religions. There will be no peace among the religions without dialogue among the religions."
–Hans Kung, Catholic Theologian

The foundation for a peaceful world is the knowledge that all humanity is equal in the eyes of God and in human laws and that human nature is the same throughout time, place, and geography. The secret is simple: R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

"O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is he who is the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted with all things. (Qur'an: 49:13)

* Mohamed Khodr M.D., M.P.H. is a political activist who frequently writes on the plight of Palestinians living under the brutal occupation of Israel, U.S. Foreign Policy, Islam, and Arab politics.

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from here


A Religion Divided Against Itself

By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

Muslims are numerous but powerless. Divisions among Muslims, especially between Sunni and Shi’ites, have consigned the Muslim Middle East to almost a century of Western control. Muslims cannot even play together. The Islamic Solidarity Games, a regional version of the Olympics, which were to be held in April in Iran, have been cancelled, because the Iranians and the Arabs cannot agree on whether to call the body of water that separates Iran from the Arabian Peninsula the Persian Gulf or the Arabian Gulf.

Muslim disunity has made it possible for Israel to dispossess the Palestinians, for the U.S. to invade Iraq, and for the U.S. to rule much of the region through puppets. For example, in exchange for faithful service, Egypt receives $1.5 billion a year from Washington, which enables President Mubarak to buy off opposition. The opposition had rather have the money than support the Palestinians. Therefore, Egypt cooperates with Israel and the U.S. in the blockade of Gaza.

Another factor is the willingness of some Muslims to betray their own kind for U.S. dollars. Don’t take my word for it. Listen to neoconservative Kenneth Timmerman, head of the Foundation for Democracy, which describes itself as “a private, non-profit organization established in 1995 with grants from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) to promote democracy and internationally-recognized standards of human rights in Iran.”

By now we all know what that means. It means that the U.S. finances a “velvet” or some “color revolution” in order to install a U.S. puppet. Just prior to the sudden appearance of a “green revolution” in Tehran primed to protest an election, Timmerman wrote that “the National Endowment for Democracy has spent millions of dollars during the past decade promoting ‘color’ revolutions in places such as Ukraine and Serbia, training political workers in modern communications and organizational techniques. Some of that money appears to have made it into the hands of pro-Mousavi groups, who have ties to non-governmental organizations outside Iran that the National Endowment for Democracy funds.” So, according to the neocon Timmerman, funded by the National Endowment for Democracy, it was U.S. money that funded Mousavi’s claims that Armadinejad stole the last Iranian election.

During President George W. Bush’s regime it became public knowledge that American money is used to purchase Iranians to work against their own country. The Washington Post, a newspaper sympathetic to the neocon’s goal of American hegemony and war with Iran, reported in 2007 that Bush authorized spending more than $400 million for activities that included “supporting rebel groups opposed to the country’s ruling clerics.”

This makes the U.S. government a “state sponsor of terrorism.” For confirmation, one of the U.S. paid operatives, who conducted terror operations in Iran, has ratted on his terrorist supporters in Washington. Abdulmalek Rigi, leader of the Baloch separatist group responsible for several attacks, was recently arrested by the Iranians. Rigi admitted that the Americans in Washington assured him of unlimited military aid and funding for waging an insurgency against the Islamic Republic of Iran. (Read his confession here.)

Possibly he was tortured into confession. It is the American way. If the “light of the world,” the “indispensable people,” and the “shining city on the hill” tortures people, perhaps the Iranians do as well. Rigi’s younger brother, himself on death row in Iran, has said that the U.S. provided direct funding to the separatist group and even ordered specific terrorist attacks inside Iran

The U.S. and its NATO puppets have been killing Afghan women, children, and village elders since October 7, 2001, when the U.S. military invasion “Operation Enduring Freedom,” a proper Orwellian title for a self-serving war of aggression, was launched. The U.S. installed puppet president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, is bought and paid for with U.S. dollars.

The money that Washington gives Karzai finances the corruption that supports him. Karzai’s corruption and his treason against the Afghan people encourage the Taliban to keep fighting in order to achieve a government that serves Afghans instead of Washington, D.C.

Without the puppet Karzai selling out Afghans to Washington, the U.S. would have already been driven out of the country. With Karzai paying Afghans with American money to fight Afghans for the Americans, the war drones on into its ninth year.

Feminists, liberals, and naive American flag-wavers will say that what is written here is utter rot, that Americans are in Afghanistan to bring women’s rights and birth control to Afghan women and to bring freedom, democracy and progress to Afghanistan, even if it means leveling every village, town, and house in the country. We, “the indispensable people,” are only there to do good, because we care so much for the Afghan people who live in a country that most Americans can’t find on a map.

While this collection of naifs rants on about America “saving” Afghans from whatever, the White House and the Congress are conspiring against the American people to cut $500 billion dollars out of Medicare in order to give the money to private insurance companies. Jobless benefits are about to run out for millions of Americans, whose jobs have been moved offshore in order to make the rich richer. The U.S. Senate failed on Friday, Feb. 26, to extend jobless benefits. A single Republican Senator, Jim Bunning of Kentucky, was able to block the bill because it would cost a measly $10 billion and “would add to the budget deficit.”

The “fiscally responsible” Bunning supports blank checks for wars of aggression (war crimes under the Nuremberg standard) and payoffs to investment banks for wrecking the retirement plans of most Americans. Bunning sends the bills to the unorganized and unrepresented Americans, whose jobs have been stolen by corporate offshoring of jobs and whose retirements have been stolen by the endless greed of the Wall Street investment banks.

What fool believes that the U.S. government, which is totally indifferent to the fate of its own citizens, cares so much about Afghanistan that it will spend blood and treasure to bring “progress” and “women’s rights” to a country half a world away, while it drives its own citizens into the ground?

At Washington’s behest, the government of Pakistan is conducting war against its own people, killing many and forcing others to flee their homes and lands. The Pakistani government’s war against its own citizens has caused military expenses to soar, putting Pakistan’s budget deep in the red. Deputy US Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin ordered the Pakistani government to raise taxes to pay for the war against its own people.

The puppet ruler, Asif Ali Zardari, complied with his American master’s orders. Zardari declared a broad-based value added tax on virtually all goods and most services in Pakistan. Thus, Pakistanis are forced to finance a war against themselves.

The “cakewalk war” in Iraq has lasted 7 years instead of the promised 6 weeks, and the violence is still ongoing with Iraqis killed and maimed nearly every day. The reason Americans are still in Iraq is because the Iraqis hate each other more than they hate the American invader. The vast majority of the violence in “the Iraq war” was committed between Iraqi Sunnis and Iraqi Shi’ites as they cleansed one another from neighborhoods.

The majority Shi’ites regarded the American invasion of Iraq as an opportunity to gain power over the minority Sunnis, who ruled under Saddam Hussein. Therefore, the Shi’ites never engaged the American invading forces. The minority Sunnis (20 percent of the population) gave most of their effort to fighting the Shi’ite majority, but in their spare time a few thousand Sunnis were able to inflict serious losses on the American superpower.

Finally realizing the power of lucre in the Arab world, the Americans put 80,000 Sunnis on the U.S. military payroll and paid them to stop killing Americans.

This is how the U.S. won the war in Iraq. Iraqis sold out their independence for American dollars.

Considering that a few thousand Sunnis were able to prevent superpower America from successfully occupying Baghdad or much of Iraq, had the Shi’ites joined with the Sunnis against the invaders, the U.S. would have been defeated and driven out. This outcome was not possible, because the Shi’ites wanted to settle the score with the Sunnis, who had ruled them under Saddam Hussein.

This is the reason that Iraq today is in ruins, with one million dead, four million displaced or homeless, and the professional class having fled the country. Iraq, under the American puppet Maliki, is an American protectorate.

As long as Muslims hate and fear one another more than they hate their conquerers, they will remain a vanquished people.

Paul Craig Roberts was an editor of the Wall Street Journal and an Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.  His latest book, HOW THE ECONOMY WAS LOST, has just been published by CounterPunch/AK Press. He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com

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from here

There have been many biographies written and speeches given on Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) that have provided a glimpse of his life, the role that he played as a Messenger of God, and the message that he brought for mankind. However, the speech delivered by Ja‘far bin Abi Talib to the Christian king of Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in the 7th century to date is referenced as one of the most succinct and eloquent speeches that captured the moments of that era, and expressed the message of Islam concisely and clearly.

The speech was delivered in the fifth year of Muhammad’s Prophethood. As we recall from the early days of Islam when Muslims were tortured, persecuted, and humiliated in many ways, a few Muslims emigrated to take refuge in Abyssinia (Ethiopia) that was ruled by Ashamah Negus (also known as al-Najashi), a Christian king. The prophet had known him as a fair ruler and thus had permitted the followers of Islam to take refuge in his kingdom.

Makkah’s Quraish, who at the time were amongst the foremost in persecuting the new Muslims could not tolerate the Muslims living peacefully in the Christian kingdom. Hence, they made a last ditch effort to get those Muslims extradited to Makkah and sent two of their strongest envoys to demand their extradition. Those envoys were Amr bin Al-As and Abdullah bin Abi Rabia (the two embraced Islam a few years later). The two envoys took valuable gifts for the king and his clergy in the hopes of convincing the king to return the new Muslims. The pagan envoys demanded the Muslims’ extradition on grounds that they had abandoned the religion of their forefathers, and their leader (Mohammad) was preaching a religion different from theirs and from that of the king.

On hearing the claims against Muslims that the envoys had presented, the Christian king summoned the Muslims to his court. The Muslims selected Jafar bin Abi Talib to speak on their behalf. With silence in the court, Jafar bin Abi Talib stood up and addressed the king in the following words:

“O king! we were plunged in the depth of ignorance and barbarism; we adored idols, we lived in unchastity, we ate the dead bodies, and we spoke abominations, we disregarded every feeling of humanity, and the duties of hospitality and neighborhood were neglected; we knew no law but that of the strong, when Allah raised among us a man, of whose birth, truthfulness, honesty, and purity we were aware; and he called to the Oneness of Allah , and taught us not to associate anything with Him. He forbade us the worship of idols; and he enjoined us to speak the truth, to be faithful to our trusts, to be merciful and to regard the rights of the neighbors and kith and kin; he forbade us to speak evil of women, or to eat the substance of orphans; he ordered us to fly from the vices, and to abstain from evil; to offer prayers, to render alms, and to observe fast. We have believed in him, we have accepted his teachings and his injunctions to worship Allah, and not to associate anything with Him, and we have allowed what He has allowed, and prohibited what He has prohibited. For this reason, our people have risen against us, have persecuted us in order to make us forsake the worship of Allah and return to the worship of idols and other abominations. They have tortured and injured us, until finding no safety among them; we have come to your country, and hope you will protect us from oppression.” [Reference: Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum]

It is quite obvious from the speech that it has stood the test of time and delivers the message of Islam today just as effectively as it did more than 1400 years ago. The eloquence of the speech leaves no doubt regarding the strength of the faith and clarity of the new Muslims’ understanding of Islam and the message brought by Allah’s messenger. This speech also serves as a reminder not just for us Muslims but also for those who are still struggling to get the message that Muhammad (peace be upon him) brought for mankind
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Tobacco is the only consumer product that will kill half its users when used as intended.



For those who are conscientious, there are gardens of happiness in the presence of their Lord. Shall We then treat the acquiescent like the rebellious? What is wrong with you? How do you judge? Do you have a scripture you study wherein you are assured of what you choose? Or do you have a covenant binding on Us until the day of resurrection assuring you of what you decide? [68: 34 to 39]

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from here

By Olivia Sterns for CNN
January 29, 2010 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)


London, England (CNN) -- Think of the origins of that staple of modern life, the cup of coffee, and Italy often springs to mind.
But in fact, Yemen is where the ubiquitous brew has its true origins.
Along with the first university, and even the toothbrush, it is among surprising Muslim inventions that have shaped the world we live in today.
The origins of these fundamental ideas and objects -- the basis of everything from the bicycle to musical scales -- are the focus of "1001 Inventions," a book celebrating "the forgotten" history of 1,000 years of Muslim heritage.

"There's a hole in our knowledge, we leap frog from the Renaissance to the Greeks," professor Salim al-Hassani, Chairman of the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation, and editor of the book told CNN.
"1001 Inventions" is now an exhibition at London's Science Museum. Hassani hopes the exhibition will highlight the contributions of non-Western cultures -- like the Muslim empire that once covered Spain and Portugal, Southern Italy and stretched as far as parts of China -- to present day civilization.

Here Hassani shares his top 10 outstanding Muslim inventions:

1. Surgery
Around the year 1,000, the celebrated doctor Al Zahrawi published a 1,500 page illustrated encyclopedia of surgery that was used in Europe as a medical reference for the next 500 years. Among his many inventions, Zahrawi discovered the use of dissolving cat gut to stitch wounds -- beforehand a second surgery had to be performed to remove sutures. He also reportedly performed the first caesarean operation and created the first pair of forceps.

2. Coffee
Now the Western world's drink du jour, coffee was first brewed in Yemen around the 9th century. In its earliest days, coffee helped Sufis stay up during late nights of devotion. Later brought to Cairo by a group of students, the coffee buzz soon caught on around the empire. By the 13th century it reached Turkey, but not until the 16th century did the beans start boiling in Europe, brought to Italy by a Venetian trader.

3. Flying machine
"Abbas ibn Firnas was the first person to make a real attempt to construct a flying machine and fly," said Hassani. In the 9th century he designed a winged apparatus, roughly resembling a bird costume. In his most famous trial near Cordoba in Spain, Firnas flew upward for a few moments, before falling to the ground and partially breaking his back. His designs would undoubtedly have been an inspiration for famed Italian artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci's hundreds of years later, said Hassani.

4. University
In 859 a young princess named Fatima al-Firhi founded the first degree-granting university in Fez, Morocco. Her sister Miriam founded an adjacent mosque and together the complex became the al-Qarawiyyin Mosque and University. Still operating almost 1,200 years later, Hassani says he hopes the center will remind people that learning is at the core of the Islamic tradition and that the story of the al-Firhi sisters will inspire young Muslim women around the world today.

5. Algebra
The word algebra comes from the title of a Persian mathematician's famous 9th century treatise "Kitab al-Jabr Wa l-Mugabala" which translates roughly as "The Book of Reasoning and Balancing." Built on the roots of Greek and Hindu systems, the new algebraic order was a unifying system for rational numbers, irrational numbers and geometrical magnitudes. The same mathematician, Al-Khwarizmi, was also the first to introduce the concept of raising a number to a power.

6. Optics
"Many of the most important advances in the study of optics come from the Muslim world," says Hassani. Around the year 1000 Ibn al-Haitham proved that humans see objects by light reflecting off of them and entering the eye, dismissing Euclid and Ptolemy's theories that light was emitted from the eye itself. This great Muslim physicist also discovered the camera obscura phenomenon, which explains how the eye sees images upright due to the connection between the optic nerve and the brain.

7. Music
Muslim musicians have had a profound impact on Europe, dating back to Charlemagne tried to compete with the music of Baghdad and Cordoba, according to Hassani. Among many instruments that arrived in Europe through the Middle East are the lute and the rahab, an ancestor of the violin. Modern musical scales are also said to derive from the Arabic alphabet.

8. Toothbrush
According to Hassani, the Prophet Mohammed popularized the use of the first toothbrush in around 600. Using a twig from the Meswak tree, he cleaned his teeth and freshened his breath. Substances similar to Meswak are used in modern toothpaste.

9. The crank
Many of the basics of modern automatics were first put to use in the Muslim world, including the revolutionary crank-connecting rod system. By converting rotary motion to linear motion, the crank enables the lifting of heavy objects with relative ease. This technology, discovered by Al-Jazari in the 12th century, exploded across the globe, leading to everything from the bicycle to the internal combustion engine.

10. Hospitals
"Hospitals as we know them today, with wards and teaching centers, come from 9th century Egypt," explained Hassani. The first such medical center was the Ahmad ibn Tulun Hospital, founded in 872 in Cairo. Tulun hospital provided free care for anyone who needed it -- a policy based on the Muslim tradition of caring for all who are sick. From Cairo, such hospitals spread around the Muslim world.

For more information on muslim inventions go to: muslimheritage.com. For more information about the exhibition at London's Science Museum go to: science museum.org.uk

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How do you disbelieve in Allah, seeing that you were dead and He gave you life! Then He will cause you to die, then He will give you life, then unto Him you will return. [Al Qur'an (2:28)]


When they are thrown into it (hell), they will hear its gasp as it flares, nearly exploding with fury. Every time a group is thrown into it, its keepers will ask them, "Didn't a warner come to you?" They will say, "Yes, a warner came to us, but we scoffed and said, 'God never sent down anything down------you are very much mistaken.'" And they will say, "Had we listened or been rational, we wouldn't be among the inmates of the blaze." Then they will acknowledge their fault, but those to be inmates of the blaze will be taken away, condemned. [67: 7 to 11]

The purpose of life is a life of purpose.  Not being dead doesn't mean being alive.  Life is like a coin.  You can spent it any way you wish, but you can only spend it once.  It is not the length of life, but the depth of life.  Only a few things are important for life.  All the art of  living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on. 
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by Shulamit Aloni*  


J
ewish self-righteousness is taken for granted among ourselves to such an extent that we fail to see what's right in front of our eyes. It's simply inconceivable that the ultimate victims, the Jews, can carry out evil deeds. Nevertheless, the state of Israel practises its own, quite violent, form of Apartheid with the native Palestinian population.

The US Jewish Establishment's onslaught on former President Jimmy Carter is based on him daring to tell the truth which is known to all: through its army, the government of Israel practises a brutal form of Apartheid in the territory it occupies. Its army has turned every Palestinian village and town into a fenced-in, or blocked-in, detention camp. All this is done in order to keep an eye on the population's movements and to make its life difficult. Israel even imposes a total curfew whenever the settlers, who have illegally usurped the Palestinians' land, celebrate their holidays or conduct their parades.

If that were not enough, the generals commanding the region frequently issue further orders, regulations, instructions and rules (let us not forget: they are the lords of the land). By now they have requisitioned further lands for the purpose of constructing "Jewish only" roads. Wonderful roads, wide roads, well-paved roads, brightly lit at night--all that on stolen land. When a Palestinian drives on such a road, his vehicle is confiscated and he is sent on his way.


On one occasion I witnessed such an encounter between a driver and a soldier who was taking down the details before confiscating the vehicle and sending its owner away. "Why?" I asked the soldier. "It's an order--this is a Jews-only road", he replied. I inquired as to where was the sign indicating this fact and instructing [other] drivers not to use it. His answer was nothing short of amazing. "It is his responsibility to know it, and besides, what do you want us to do, put up a sign here and let some antisemitic reporter or journalist take a photo so he that can show the world that Apartheid exists here?"

Indeed Apartheid does exist here. And our army is not "the most moral army in the world" as we are told by its commanders. Sufficient to mention that every town and every village has turned into a detention centre and that every entry and every exit has been closed, cutting it off from arterial traffic. If it were not enough that Palestinians are not allowed to travel on the roads paved 'for Jews only', on their land, the current GOC found it necessary to land an additional blow on the natives in their own land with an "ingenious proposal".


Humanitarian activists cannot transport Palestinians either.

Major-General Naveh, renowned for his superior patriotism, has issued a new order. Coming into affect on 19 January, it prohibits the conveyance of Palestinians without a permit. The order determines that Israelis are not allowed to transport Palestinians in an Israeli vehicle (one registered in Israel regardless of what kind of numberplate it carries) unless they have received explicit permission to do so. The permit relates to both the driver and the Palestinian passenger. Of course none of this applies to those whose labour serves the settlers. They and their employers will naturally receive the required permits so they can continue to serve the lords of the land, the settlers.

Did man of peace President Carter truly err in concluding that Israel is creating Apartheid? Did he exaggerate? Don't the US Jewish community leaders recognise the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination of 7 March 1966, to which Israel is a signatory? Are the US Jews who launched the loud and abusive campaign against Carter for supposedly maligning Israel's character and its democratic and humanist nature unfamiliar with the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid of 30 November 1973? Apartheid is defined therein as an international crime that among other things includes using different legal instruments to rule over different racial groups, thus depriving people of their human rights. Isn't freedom of travel one of these rights?


In the past, the US Jewish community leaders were quite familiar with the meaning of those conventions. For some reason, however, they are convinced that Israel is allowed to contravene them. It's OK to kill civilians, women and children, old people and parents with their children, deliberately or otherwise without accepting any responsibility. It's permissible to rob people of their lands, destroy their crops, and cage them up like animals in the zoo. From now on, Israelis and International humanitarian organisations' volunteers are prohibited from assisting a woman in labour by taking her to the hospital. [Israeli human rights group] Yesh Din volunteers cannot take a robbed and beaten-up Palestinian to the police station to lodge a complaint. (Police stations are located at the heart of the settlements.) Is there anyone who believes that this is not Apartheid?


Jimmy Carter does not need me to defend his reputation that has been sullied by Israelophile community officials. The trouble is that their love of Israel distorts their judgment and blinds them from seeing what's in front of them. Israel is an occupying power that for 40 years has been oppressing an indigenous people, which is entitled to a sovereign and independent existence while living in peace with us. We should remember that we too used very violent terror against foreign rule because we wanted our own state. And the list of victims of terror is quite long and extensive.


We do limit ourselves to denying the [Palestinian] people human rights. We not only rob of them of their freedom, land and water. We apply collective punishment to millions of people and even, in revenge-driven frenzy, destroy the electricity supply for one and half million civilians. Let them "sit in the darkness" and "starve".


Employees cannot be paid their wages because Israel is holding 500 million shekels that belong to the Palestinians. And after all that we remain "pure as the driven snow". There are no moral blemishes on our actions. There is no racial separation. There is no Apartheid. It's an invention of the enemies of Israel. Hooray for our brothers and sisters in the US! Your devotion is very much appreciated. You have truly removed a nasty stain from us. Now there can be an extra spring in our step as we confidently abuse the Palestinian population, using the "most moral army in the world".

*Shulamit Aloni is the former Education Minister of Israel. She has been awarded both the Israel Prize and the Emil Grunzweig Human Rights Award by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.

taken from www.radicalviews.org/index.php/analysis/politics/67-yes-there-is-apartheid-in-israel.html
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by Yamin Zakaria yaminzakaria.blogspot.com/

Appearance of Nick Griffin, the leader of the far-right British National Party (BNP) on the BBC Program, Question Time1, has caused a furore and raised questions on the limitations of freedom of speech. Should an individual be permitted to express views that cause offence to a certain section of society? Even if the views are technically permitted by law, should the mass media encourage this by giving racist bigots like Nick Griffin a platform on a primetime TV? A more fundamental point in this debate is - should freedom of speech have a limit in the first place. 

With the exception of Nick Griffin, there was consensus amongst all the panellists on the limitations of freedom of speech. Those limits specify that it is unacceptable to express views that are deemed racist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic. Most pertinently, you should not deny the holocaust; even to question this sacred subject is taboo. However, you can express anti-Islamic and anti-Muslim views, no matter how much offence it causes; in fact the more the better, because it is often used by sections of western societies as a barometer for freedom of expression. After struggling against the censorship for centuries, suddenly their freedom of expression rests on their ability to insult Islam and Muslims. 

The political lightweight Nick Griffin was convincingly knocked out in the first round, and humiliated on all the issues, except when it came to the subject of Islam and Muslims. All the panellists failed to respond to the baseless anti-Islamic rants of Nick Griffin, except the ‘mufti’ ‘Syeda Warsi, whose answer was inadequate and superficial, not really worth dwelling upon. 

It is not surprising for Nick Griffin to express anti-Islamic or anti-Muslim views, as a racist bigot naturally dislikes foreign people and their culture. Although, I am sure, many members of his party enjoy the Indian curry or the Turkish/Arabic kebab! I still remember the racists thugs would end up eating curry in the Indian/Pakistani restaurants in the evening, after taunting the Asian kids for smelling of curry during the day. Although these bigots were in the minority, but couple of drops of urine is sufficient to spoil a bowl of milk. The British society has progressed considerably since those times, but not the primitive members of the BNP. 

When specifically asked by a member of the audience why Nick Griffin considers Islam a wicked and an evil religion, his response was on two points a) it oppresses women b) allegedly the Quran 'ordains as a religious duty the murder of Jews as well as other non-Muslims'. 

Let us examine each of these points. 

On the issue of women, it is perplexing as to why Nick Griffin would be concerned for Muslim women. After all, majority of the Muslims in the UK are from Asia and the Middle East, therefore clearly visible to eyes of the British National Party members, unlike the recent East European migrants! 

If Islamic Laws were oppressive to women, they would naturally abandon Islamic values and exchange their modest clothing for the mini-skirt and the bikini. Nobody is forcing the Muslim women to remain as practising Muslims in secular West or in secular East. However, according to the mainstream media and major parties in the UK for some strange reasons they like to remain oppressed. What is even more puzzling, majority of the converts to Islam are in fact women, but these small details are always overlooked! How is it that such an evil religion continues to attract these women from all sections of a free society? Why do they choose to oppress themselves by embracing Islam? 

The same kind of secular-prophecy was made prior to the invasion of Afghanistan; the Anglo-American forces would liberate the Afghan women from their veil. It failed. Today in certain European countries, the attitude is, if the Muslim women do not want to be liberated from their modest clothing, we will force them to do so! This is a blatant contradiction with the notion of freedom, and reflects the mindset of medieval Europe on the verge of launching a liberal-inquisition. 


With regards to the second point of killing Jews and non-Muslims, Nick Griffin did not elaborate with any reference from the Quran, of substantiate it by citing scholarly works and historical examples. There is no verse in the Quran orders the indiscriminate killing of non-Muslims. On the contrary, a section of Islamic law deals with how the non-Muslim population should be protected, hence they are known as the Dhimmis, which means the protected people. It is fact that non-Muslims flourished within the Islamic Societies, Jews and Christians lived peacefully under the Muslim rule in Spain for centuries, as they did in places like India, Syria, Turkey and Palestine. In fact, facing religious persecution in Christian Europe, the Jews sought sanctuary within the Ottoman Empire, and prospered there for centuries. 

The rise of BNP (British National Party) can be partially attributed to the demonisation of Muslims and Islam fanned by sections of the mainstream media. The nasty propaganda machine has often reversed the roles of victim and aggressor. The cowboys were always the virtuous people chasing the terrorists of the time, the Native Americans, often depicted as irrational wild savages; of course nothing to do with the new colonisers taking over their lands and resources. Today the impression created in the minds of the masses is that the Muslims are the anti-Semitic, illustrated by reversing the role of victim (Palestinians) and aggressor (Zionist State) in the region. 

It is easy to blame others for your problem, this is the politics of the far-right according to the likes of Jack Straw and others, however, the reality is the mainstream media and the major parties have a majority share of this blame game, along with sections of the Muslim community. 



Yamin Zakaria (yamin@radicalviews.org)
London, UK 

www.radicalviews.org
http://yaminzakaria.blogspot.com

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EBA [نسيبة محمد ذوالكفل]; high hopes. big dreams.

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