Archive for the West Bank Category

Britain’s MI6 trained Abbas in suppression of Palestinian opposition [World Socialist Web Site]

Posted in Amnesty International, Egypt, EU, European Union, Guantanamo Bay concentration camp, Israel, MI6, Palestine, Tony Blair, Torture, U.K., US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, West Bank, Western nations' human rights distortions on February 3, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手
By Jean Shaoul
29 January 2011

Secret documents show that Britain’s intelligence service, MI6, and civil servants played a key role in crushing all opposition by militant groups, including Hamas and other Islamist factions, to Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine by developing a “security” blueprint for President Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA).

The papers are just a few of the 1,600 confidential documents that Jazeera and the Guardian have published, relating to the secret US-brokered peace talks between Israel and the PA over the last 10 years.  They shed light on Britain’s role in shoring up the PA in the interests of Tel Aviv and Washington.

The revelations underscore the degree to which the peace talks were a cover for reorganizing the region in the interests of Israel and the US, aided and abetted by Britain, the European Union and Egypt, at the expense of the Palestinians. T he deal, insofar as one was even on the table, was so wretched that it could only be imposed through the most brutal, and necessarily criminal means—under the rubric of “security”.

Britain, with its long and violent history as a colonial power, has the most impeccable credentials for such a venture.

The first document from late 2003 contains a detailed draft of a security plan.  Its origins are significant.  It was faxed from the Egyptian embassy, indicating MI6’s close working relationship with Egypt’s , the secret police so notorious for their brutality that Washington rendered prisoners to Egypt to be interrogated and broken before being sent to Guantánamo Bay.

This was worked up into a seven-page document, dated 2004, entitled “Palestinian Security Plan” and marked “confidential”.  Its purpose was to “encourage and enable the Palestinian Authority to fully meet its security obligations under Phase 1 of the Roadmap”.

The Road Map was the Bush administration’s 2003 initiative, under which Israel agreed to stop settlement building and the Palestinians agreed to clamp down on militant activity prior to negotiating a Palestinian entity.  The plan set out detailed proposals for setting up a new security taskforce using Britain’s “trusted PA contacts” that would be outside the control of “traditional security chiefs”, a British/US security “verification team”, and “direct lines” to Israeli intelligence. 

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U.S. Savage Imperialism, Part 2 by Noam Chomsky – The Israel / Palestine Issue [Zmag]

Posted in Bill Clinton, Egypt, France, Gaza, George W. Bush, Haiti, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Nelson Mandela, Nicaragua, Obama, Palestine, Pentagon, Philippines, South Africa, U.K., US "War on Terror", US foreign occupation, US imperialism, USA, West Bank on January 16, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

January 2011

It’s pretty common now for supporters of the Palestinians and Palestinian leaders themselves to say, “Well, we have to abandon hope in the two-state solution.” As one of the Palestinian leaders said, “We should give Israel the key and let them take over the entire West Bank. It will be one state, we’ll then carry out a civil rights struggle. We can win that one, like South Africa.” But this view overlooks a simple point of logic. Those are not the two options. There is a third option, namely that the U.S. and Israel continue doing exactly what they are doing. They’re not going to take control of the West Bank. They don’t want it. They don’t want the Palestinians. So the analogy to South Africa’s anti-apartheid struggle is pretty misleading. South Africa needed its black population. They were its workforce. They couldn’t get rid of them. They were 85 percent of the population doing the work of the country. So, as under slavery, they had to take care of them. Bantustans were bad enough, but they were intended to be more or less viable because it was necessary to reproduce the workforce. That’s not true for Israel and the Palestinians. Israel doesn’t want to take responsibility for them, rather it wants them to get out. It’s like the United States and the indigenous population. There’s no sense in taking care of them, just exterminate that “hapless race” of Native Americans.

Israel can’t just murder them. You can’t get away with that these days, the way the U.S. could in the 19th century, so you just get them to leave. Moshe Dayan, who was one of the more dovish members of the Israeli elite, happened to be defense minister in charge of the Occupied Territories in 1967. He advised his colleagues at the time that we should tell the Palestinians, “We have nothing for you, you’re going to live like dogs, and whoever will leave will leave. And we will see where it all ends up.”

And that’s exactly the policy they’re following. In recent years, the U.S./Israel have somewhat modified the policy. They are taking the advice of Israeli industrialists who some years ago suggested that Israel should shift from a policy of colonialism to one of neo-colonialism.

The Philippines is the standard model from which many of the modern programs of neo-colonialism were carefully crafted. We know what happened during the conquest with, as usual, the most “benevolent intentions,” while slaughtering a couple of hundred thousand people and committing massive war crimes. Al McCoy now has a fine study of what happened after the conquest, which he goes into in 800 pages of detail. The U.S. crafted a new technique of control of the population, using the most advanced technology of the day. They imposed a system of close surveillance over the entire population, co-opting a Westernized elite who would be able to live in luxury, breaking up nationalist groups by various methods—sowing rumors, buying people off. And, of course, a paramilitary force—the Philippine constabulary—in case things go wrong.

That turned out to be very effective. In fact, it’s still in place in the Philippines . If you look at today’s papers, you’ll notice that the U.S. welcomed the new government in the Philippines. They do point out that most of the population lives in misery. In fact, if you think about it, that’s the one part of East and Southeast Asia that hasn’t taken part in the spectacular East Asian economic growth during the last generation. It’s also the one U.S. colony/neo-colony that is still run virtually the same way it was run 100 years ago—same elite elements, same brutal constabulary, different names—with the U.S. in the background, but not very far.

That was an extremely successful mode of colonization. It became the model for Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and many other neo-colonies later. It also turned back to the imperial countries. Both the U.S. and Britain adopted similar measures of population control domestically . At first, during WWI. Even more so today. So Britain is one of the leading surveillance societies with the U.S. not far behind. They’re using modified versions of what was crafted with great care and success in the Philippines a century ago…

~ Noam Chomsky is Professor of Linguistics (Emeritus) at MIT and author of dozens of books and articles, mainly focused on U.S. foreign policy, as well as linguistics. ~

This is an excerpt of the full article, which I have some disagreements with; however I find some of the information in it to be useful. – Zuo Shou 左手

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British secret file confirms Israeli nukes [PressTV]

Posted in Israel, Israeli Nukes, Palestine, South Africa, U.K., West Bank on January 13, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

~ A newly released British document confirms that Israel has possessed nuclear weapons for more than three decades. ~

December 29, 2010

Secret files released by Britain’s National Archives said on Wednesday that British officials feared Tel Aviv would use its nuclear weapons in case of another war with Arab countries in the region.

Israel, which is considered as the sole possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, has never confirmed or denied that it has produced nuclear warheads. It has refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and also adamantly rejected international inspection of its nuclear facilities.

Former US President Jimmy Carter acknowledged for the first time in May 2008 that Tel Aviv has 150 nuclear warheads in its arsenals.

In 1986, Israeli nuclear technician, Mordechai Vanunu, leaked the news that Israel had between 100 and 200 nuclear weapons.

Vanunu was a former worker at Israel’s Dimona nuclear reactor in the Negev desert.

In May 2010, the UK’s Guardian newspaper said secret South African documents reveal that in 1975, Israel offered to sell nuclear warheads to the then-apartheid regime in South Africa.

According to documents obtained by the newspaper, a secret meeting between the then-Israeli defense minister, Shimon Peres, and his South African counterpart, P.W. Botha, ended with an offer for the sale of warheads “in three sizes.”

The Guardian claimed that those “sizes” referred to conventional, chemical and nuclear weapons.

Israel has initiated several wars in the region in its 60-year-old history of occupation of Palestinian territories in the West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

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Obama at the UN: The arrogant voice of imperialism [World Socialist Web Site]

Posted in 9/11, Afghanistan, Anti-China media bias, Anti-China propaganda exposure, China-US relations, Early 21st Century global capitalist financial crisis' US origins, Economic crisis & decline, Fraud, Gaza, George W. Bush, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Obama, Pakistan, Palestine, south Korea, Torture, US drone strikes, US imperialism, Wall Street, War crimes, West Bank on October 10, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手
By Bill Van Auken
24 September 2010

President Barack Obama used his speech at the United Nations General Assembly Thursday to defend US wars and state terror abroad and to proclaim that the economic crisis has been resolved thanks to his Wall Street bailout.

The US president received a noticeably tepid response from the assembled UN delegates.  While in his first address to the body last year, he was able to pose as a fresh alternative to the crimes carried out by the Bush administration, by now it has become clear to most on the international stage that his administration’s policies are largely in continuity with those of its predecessor.

In its tone and its content, the Obama speech was the authentic and arrogant voice of US imperialism.

Parroting remarks delivered by George W. Bush from the same podium, Obama began by invoking September 11, 2001, once again exploiting the terrorist attacks of that day to justify the acts of military aggression committed by both US administrations in the intervening nine years.

In the same breath, he referred to Wall Street’s financial meltdown of September 2008, as an event that “devastated American families on Main Street,” while “crippling markets and deferring the dreams of millions on every continent.”

These two events were presented as the source of the core challenges confronting the US administration.  Supposedly in response to the first, the Obama administration has continued and escalated wars in Iraq and Afghanistan-Pakistan, while reaffirming Washington’s “right” to carry out unilateral military aggression anywhere on the planet.

In response to the second, the administration continued the massive bailout begun under Bush, committing more than $12 trillion to propping up the US banks and financial institutions, while holding none of those involved responsible for the criminal forms of speculation practiced on Wall Street.

Obama claimed that the so-called Wall Street reform legislation passed by his administration would ensure “that a crisis like this never happens again.”  It does nothing of the kind, placing no serious limits on the speculative activities and profitability of the big banks and leaving Wall Street to continue with “business as usual.”

“The global economy has been pulled back from the brink of a depression,” Obama told his UN audience.  This statement flies in the face of the grim conditions confronting working people on every continent.  This includes the US itself, where the official unemployment rate remains near 10 percent, the unemployed and underemployed account for 17 percent of the workforce, some 30 million people, and one out of every seven Americans is living below the poverty line.

While profits have returned to pre-crisis levels, the reality is that none of the underlying contradictions that have given rise to the deepest world economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s has been resolved.  They have only grown in intensity.  The response of the ruling classes throughout the world has been to redouble their attacks on the working class in an attempt to force it to pay for this crisis.

Obama followed his assertion about the economy being pulled back from “the brink” with an even more absurd claim that he would not “rest until these seeds of progress grow into a broader prosperity, not only for all Americans, but for peoples around the globe.”

In the US, throughout Europe and in much of the rest of the world, governments are pursuing unprecedented austerity policies that are ripping up basic social rights and dramatically lowering the living standards of working people.  Meanwhile, Obama himself spoke before a global poverty summit the day before his speech, warning the world’s poorest that Washington was determined to break their cycle of “dependency.”

The US president’s lies about the economy were followed by the fraudulent claim that the military operations his administration is pursuing abroad are aimed at upholding “our common security.”

Obama said that he is “winding down the war in Iraq” and will pull out all of its occupation troops by the end of next year.  At the same time, he declared Washington’s intention to forge “a lasting partnership with the Iraqi people,” by which he means maintaining a US protectorate over the oil-rich country in order to advance the geo-strategic interests of American capitalism.

He said that the drawing down US troops in Iraq had allowed the US military to be “refocused on defeating al Qaeda and denying its affiliates a safe haven” in Afghanistan.  This is another lie.  US military and intelligence officials acknowledge that there are no more than 100 al Qaeda members in all of Afghanistan.  The nearly 100,000 US troops deployed in that country are not combating “terrorism,” but asserting US neo-colonial control in a bid to advance Washington’s quest for hegemony in Central Asia.

In one of the speech’s more chilling passages, Obama bragged that “from South Asia to the Horn of Africa, we are moving toward a more targeted approach” in the war on terror, that did not require “deploying large American armies.”  In other words, while constrained in its ability to carry out another major military occupation, US imperialism is pursuing its policies by means of assassinations, drone missile attacks and the deployment of elite killing squads, and has arrogated to itself the right to target and kill its perceived opponents anywhere on the planet.

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Despair mounts 6 years after Hague court decision to remove West Bank wall [People’s Daily]

Posted in Israel, Palestine, West Bank on July 18, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手
July 9, 2010
Six years after the court in Hague called for removing the separation wall that Israel is constructing in the West Bank, Palestinian officials voiced despair on Friday for the international failure to stop constructing the wall that had swallowed large areas of the territory.

Palestinian officials said that over the past six years, Israel has already confiscated large areas of lands and finalized 95 percent of the separation wall, adding that the wall is considered as one of the most dangerous Israeli settlement plans in the Palestinian territories since 1967.

The Unified Palestinian Corporation to Defend Land and Challenge Settlement said in a press statement published on Friday that Israel had already annexed 10 percent of the most fertilized and water-rich Palestinian lands of the West Bank after most of the wall was constructed.

The statement also said that 15 percent of the wall has been build on the separation line, better known as the Green Line between the West Bank and Israel, while the entire parts of the wall were built into the West Bank territories.

Jamal al-Imla, director of the Palestinian Lands Statistic Center, told Xinhua that the wall doesn’t only aim at confiscating large areas of Palestinian-owned lands, but also dividing the West Bank into scattered and isolated cantons and restricts the free movement of the Palestinian population.

“The Israeli Isolation Wall isolates around 30,000 Palestinians all over the West Bank,” al-Imla said, adding “The wall also causes a series of Palestinian crisis and difficulties on the social, economical and even on the psychological levels.”

He added that “the wall is also danger on the eastern part of the city of Jerusalem,” in which the Palestinians consider as the capital of their future independent state. He referred to the fact that the wall completely isolates Jerusalem from the West Bank.

Israel says that it decided to build up the separation wall to prevent the Palestinians from entering into Israel or in the Jewish settlements closed to the Green Line.  Israel said the basic reason for building the wall was to prevent militants from carrying out deadly attacks against the Israelis.

The wall is build out of cements with a height of 4.5 and 9 meters in the Palestinian populated areas, and electronic fence in the areas that are not populated. Israel made the decision to build up the wall in 2002.

The wall goes into a winding course and surrounds most of the West Bank territory.  The project of constructing the wall is still so far under execution and the plans are still under ongoing modification.  The project was stopped in several stages following decisions of Israeli High Court of Justice.

Palestinian farmers, owners of lands and members of Palestinian and Israeli associations to defend human rights and lands, had repeatedly appealed to the Israeli court to stop building the wall, which had disturbed the population’s life and deprived them from farming their lands.

Hana Amira, a Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) official told Xinhua that the international community “is to be blamed because it didn’t pressure to activate the decision of the International Court of Justice in Hague and also the UN General Assembly’s decision to remove the wall.”

“Unfortunately, the court’s decision hasn’t been activated over the past six years, and there has been an international negligence to the decision, mainly implementing it and taking the proper decisions and not to yield to the Israeli goals,” said Amira.

He revealed that a Palestinian-international committee to count the damages and losses caused by the wall was formed.  He also said that the Palestinian leadership sticks to establishing the independent Palestinian state on the territories occupied by Israel in 1967.

Although Hague Court decision and the UN resolution to stop constructing the wall and removing it are not binding, the Palestinians believe that the two decisions can help them and the international community for more political pressure on Israel to stop the construction of the wall.

Mustafa Barghouti, secretary general of the Palestinian National Initiative and a lawmaker, told Xinhua that the decision of the court in Hague “has political and legal importance which proves that Jewish settlement is illegal,” adding “the Israeli excuse that wall was built for security reasons is just an excuse to swallow more Palestinian properties of lands.”

Source: Xinhua

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