Bulletin N° 284


9 January 2007
Grenoble, France

Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
You've probably all heard the joke that begins: Where does a 500-pound gorilla sit? The answer is: Anywhere it damn well pleases. This analogy I offer as an approximate description of our contemporary social context, which is the ultimate origin of all constraints today.

The U. S. military, in alliance with such states as Great Britain, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, is being deployed to secure limited reserves of natural resources on our planet. It is presently focusing on fossil fuel resources in the Middle East. To mobilize populations to fight and to die for U.S. control of the world's natural resources, a political ploy is required. The time-tested politics of fear is once again useful and is being orchestrated by Washington D.C. to manufacture another "Catch 22": a paradox threatening to trap another generation of Americans in the madness of choosing between risking their lives and well-being in battle or trying to prove their insanity by refusing to risk their lives, a rational act which disqualifies them from exiting the mindless violence of imperial conquest.

In this context the massive mobilization now underway of resistance to the fossil-fuel wars is a metacommunication, providing negative commentary on the affirmation of perceived dangers --real, imaginary and symbolic-- which have been used to justify the real killings and mutilations of tens of thousands of people, who were seeking protection at all costs. Protest movements --in defense of Palestinians, and against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in anticipation of the expansion of the fossil-fuel wars into Iran and perhaps eventually into Venezuela-- have emerged throughout the United States and across Europe. A counter-culture seems to be in the making.

Meanwhile the 500-pound gorilla is at our window, at the foot of our bed, between our sheets, and now inside our head. Normal animal behavior simply would be to avoid him, and if you cannot avoid him entirely, to try not to attract his attention, but if he is on the hunt with an army of chimpanzees, and if it is you that they are hunting, then a confrontation is in the making, and you need help. . . .

Many of the victims of these fossil-fuel wars have no analysis of what is happening to them. Their minds have been colonized, and like their masters they have been "dumbed down" by the numbing effect of relentless disinformation campaigns in the mass media. "Know your enemy." was a first principle of Sun Tzu, 2500 years ago. Without this understanding, you will be divided and you will be defeated. For example, the historic Differences between the Semitic peoples of North Africa and the Middle East (the Sunni, the Shia Muslims ; the Ashkenazim, the Sephardic Jews) have evolved into important Distinctions (defined in communication theory as "a difference which makes a difference") and these distinctions, in turn, have been forced into imaginary Oppositions (implying conflict), which in reality they are not.

For example, the statement "All children go to school" describes an (analog) difference (not implying conflict). And the statement "Some children walk to school, and some do not walk to school," describes a (digital) distinction (which does not imply conflict). In common ideology, distinctions are often collapsed into imaginary oppositions, of a nature similar to that which is captured in the question: "Does your child walk to school, or does she take her lunch?" According to Anthony Wilden in his book, Man and Woman, War and Peace: The Strategist's Companion (New York: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1987), real oppositions are necessarily of the same logical type, interacting through the presence of a neutral border, such as exists between the positive and negative hemispheres of a magnet, or like the middle point between the two extremes of a child's see-saw, where is located the possibility of a reciprocal neutralization of all actions. (Wilden, 26) By collapsing the difference between distinction and opposition, conflict seems to be inevitable. "Two things can only be differentiated from each other," wrote the linguist N. Troubetzkoy, who was influenced by the philosophy of Hegel and who in turn greatly influenced Claude Lévi-Strauss,

in so far as they are opposed to each other, i.e. in so far as there exists a relation of opposition between them.

In complete contrast to Hegel, Troubetzkoy, and Lévi-Strauss, the linguist and philosopher C.K. Ogden wrote that, 

The sole source of all opposition is the possibility of a reciprocal neutralization of like actions.

Opposites, according to this view, are equivalent, symmetrical, and must have a common measure. They represent a balance, whereas Contradiction involves two or more levels of a hierarchy. Social contradictions involve levels of relation, and logical contradictions involve levels of communication. At one level exists the situation, at another level is the affirmative statement about this situation, and at still another level is the verbal metacommunication negating the affirmative statement. The affirmation and its negation (or contradiction) are not of the same logical type, the former (the affirmation, at level two) refers to the situation (at level one) and the latter (the contradiction, at level 3) is a statement about the affirmation at level two, and not about the situation at level one. (Wilden, 24-25)

Contradictions occur in both natural and historical hierarchies. For example, in the natural hierarchy of :

Inorganic Nature
Organic Nature

we can identify the relations of dependency, by employing "the extinction rule" ( i.e. by trying to imagine the existence of one level without another). Historical hierarchies are governed by people (using strategies and tactics) and not simply by the forces of evolution, as are the natural hierarchies. The relations in historical hierarchies can be more easily falsified, resulting in what Professor Wilden has termed "illegitimate hierarchies", which are real power relations, but inherently unstable, such as: capital over labor power, or men over women. These real but illegitimate hierarchies are maintained by an imaginary operation which serves to "neutralize" real hierarchical relations by reducing all relations to a single level in the imaginary and creating a "symmetrization" like :

capital (on the one side) ::::::: labor power (on the other side)

male (on the one side) :::::::: female (on the other side)

and often are manipulated into a mental construction by inverting the real hierarchy into an imaginary hierarchy like :

labor power



Historical hierarchies are no more symmetrical than natural hierarchies and, like inorganic nature over organic nature over society over culture (in which the latter categories cannot exist without the categories above them, which are their environment), historical hierarchies represent a series dependent relationships between contexts and their elements at different levels.

By creating a false sense of opposition with the illusion of symmetry, the political forces occupying a higher level of power (such as state or corporate interests) can successfully divide and rule groups at the lower levels of historical hierarchies, often by sending them into (from the point of view of their own collective interests) senseless conflicts against one another. Corporate and state interests secure their influence by exploiting social contradictions, such as can be seen when the masses are beseeching those who exploit them to also protect them from one another.

A Paradox appears when we recognize that the more we need to be "protected" by our exploiters, the more we are exploited by our "protectors". This spiral of violence requires that we must constrain and be constrained by the very people who would be our only source of salvation, i.e. our fictive enemies, who are in reality like us, exploited by our "protectors".

The 6 items below are articles which were recently received by CEIMSA and which speak to epistemological errors that are necessarily reproduced in order to mobilize reliable murderers to act on a massive scale, such as is occurring daily in the Middle East.

Item A. is a testimony by Palestinian father and entrepreneur, Sam Bahour, born in the U.S.A. He describes the Kafkaesque experience of being in an area of Ramallah when it was targeted by Israeli Defense Forces, who killed 4 Palestinians that evening before they left the area.
Item B., from Edward Herman, is an article by Shulamit Aloni, an Israel Prize Laureate and former Minister for Education under Yitzhak Rabin, in which she describes Israeli-style Apartheid.
Item C. is an article by Anatole Kaletsky, on the "unthinkable alliance between America, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Britain" in preparation for their attack on Iran and the Shia Muslims in the region.
Item D. is the description of a most virulent form of anti-Semitism, Anti-Arab racism in Israel, according to Jerusalem Post reporter Larry Derfner, in "Rattling the Cage: A bigot called Bibi".
Item E. is an interview with peace activist, Tali Fahima who was put in jail for 30 days for being Jewish and associating with Palestinians for peace.
Item F., from Academics for Justice, is the description and an analysis of a spontaneous Free Speech Movement which took place recently at a high school in Andover, Massachusetts, near Boston.

And finally, we recommend that readers visit Democracy Now ! at the link below, and connect with the historic debate between Norman Finkelstein and Gil Troy on Jimmy Carter's controversial book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid :


Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies
Director of Research
Université Stendhal Grenoble 3

From Sam Bahour :
Subject: Nadine eats Pizza in Ramallah
Date: Sat, 6 Jan 2007

Nadine eats Pizza in Ramallah,
By Sam Bahour

[Sam Bahour is one of the biggest Palestinians I’ve ever met. American-raised, almost two metre tall, built to last, the owner and manager of the first ever mall in Ramallah, and a very pleasant man. Here he writes about yesterday’s Israeli raid in Ramallah as seen through the eyes of his 6 years old daughter – not a tear-squeezer but a human interest charming piece of battlefield reporting. Shamir]

I wanted to write this last night but was exhausted from playing umpteen hands of the card game UNO with my 6 year old daughter, Nadine (pic attached).Why this card frenzy, especially given I hate playing cards? Well, we were in the center of Ramallah yesterday afternoon, at 3:40pm when the almighty Israeli military decided, again, that it was time to wreak havoc on our city. I should not really complain since what happened in Ramallah yesterday happens across the West Bank and Gaza regularly. Nevertheless, I will make an issue about it and urge every Palestinian, in every city, to make an issue about every Israeli infraction on our lives.

Yesterday I was extremely busy all day and had a dinner appointment with a serious venture capitalist in Jerusalem in the evening, so I agreed with my wife and girls that since I would not be home all day and night, that I'd pick them up at 3:30 sharp and we would go for a late lunch. We haven't been out much given all of the infighting lately so my girls were thrilled. I rushed home at 3:30 to pick them up and found my daughters dressed to kill. To them, this was a serious outing after a long holiday break which was spent mostly at home. The restaurant they had as first choice was closed due to the holidays, so they reverted to their favorite popular place, Angelo's Pizzeria, for those that know it.

Angelo's Pizzeria is on the main street in Ramallah, a few hundred meters from Lion's Circle, the smack middle of town where you saw on the news Israeli bulldozers destroying cars last night. I parked on the Friends Girls School road which is behind the restaurant. As soon as I exited the car I felt something was wrong. As we walked into the restaurant I looked up and could see an Israeli gunship helicopter hovering overhead firing at some unknown target. We thought it would be safer to enter the restaurant rather than return home.

The restaurant was full with most tables nervous at the sound of gunfire from overhead. The waiters, who have been through this dozens of times, visited the tables and played and joked with the kids. They knew that things were not right and went out of their way to make life normal, at least while we were their customers. The restaurant manager, a friend, came to our table and asked me for my car keys. He wanted to move my car because word came that the Israeli jeeps and armored vehicles that were operating in town were crushing cars parked on the side of the road. He found my car already in a safe spot and reassured us that this will pass soon. He knows, he has lived this reality every day for 40 years now!

We ordered a pizza and salad and Nadine insisted that Angelo's Pizzeria has the best hamburgers in town and wanted one as well so she ordered one herself. As we sat, things outside were clearly deteriorating. I got a call on my cellular hone from my dad back in
Youngstown, Ohio. He asked where we are because no one answered at home. He briefed me on the live reports he was watching about what was happening outside the restaurant door. After talking with my father, I made frequent visits to the restaurant door to view people rushing away from the city center. While I was standing at the door, a friend of mine had finished eating with his wife and 4 kids and stood at the door contemplating to leave to cross the street to his car. I kept a lookout and gave him the all clear as he rushed his family across the street to his car and he was off. At this stage, I knew it was not only military activity overhead but something very close by.

The salad showed up in no time and we enjoyed it. Then the famous hamburger followed and then our pizza. All the time my wife was trying to make phone contact with her sister who we invited to join us but never showed up. She wanted to make sure she was ok given all the shooting and commotion outside. My older daughter, Areen, was a bit nervous, wondering how we were going to get back home. We reassured her that all would be fine. In reality, we had no idea.

Forty minutes later, my wife, Abeer, Areen and I had finished eating and were ready to go. Nadine, was happily, and very slowly, enjoying her world-class hamburger and fries while every so often reassuring us. " They come, shoot, arrest, and leave...so what's the problem? When they leave, we will go home, right dad?"

"So what's the problem?"! The problem is how can a 6 year old calmly sit through a mini-war happening outside the restaurant while enthusiastically devouring a hamburger without the slightest hint of being disturbed?

Nadine finally finished and we headed home. Luckily we were parked in the opposite direction of the shooting, so we drove the wrong way down a one way street and headed home. On the way, taxis were rushing about, driving worse than usual, shuttling people away from the center of Ramallah. When we got near our home we had to cross the Jerusalem-Ramallah road. Looking left about 200 meters away my girls yelled out that the IDF was blocking the street. I glanced and it was a mess. Jeeps all over, rocks filled the street, behind the jeeps I could see the open market was full of soldiers.

We finally got home. Turned on CNN, nothing! Switched to Jazeerah and they had live pictures of what was happening and the extent of it - another Israeli invasion into Ramallah. An undercover Israeli hit team tried to arrest someone and were exposed and came under Palestinian fire. They called in re-enforcements and all the lone rangers came running (and shooting and plowing).

I was contemplating with my wife if I should risk heading to
Jerusalem later in the evening. We agreed to wait and see how it develops given the news reports started to say the IDF was completing their operations and leaving the city center (only to move back to their permanent position of surrounding our city).

I went to check my email and cancel a radio interview appointment with CBC that I missed because of this mess. This is when Nadine came and asked if I could accompany her to the bathroom. She never asks to be accompanied. The bathroom in our small flat is literally 1 meter from my computer and 3 meters from the living room where Abeer was watching the news and Areen was letting Grandma Sarah in Youngstown know we were all home and ok.

I immediately understood and gladly accompanied Nadine and even made it a fun trip. Then I cancelled all my appointments that evening and spent the rest of the night doing exactly what Nadine asked for - to play UNO. We played alone, with Areen, as a family, and then alone again, multiple times. When bedtime came she kissed me good night and headed to her room along with her sister as usual - no escort. I felt that UNO therapy had worked. I may even claim for a new deck of UNO on my health insurance policy.

My friends, I write this not to bore you with one family's experience during 2 hours of occupation, but rather to scream to the world that we need your help!

4 Palestinian civilians were killed last night in this attack, 20 were injured, 5 of them seriously. I have no statistics on the number of children, like Nadine, whose skin become thicker during this latest Israeli adventure.

has lost her way and the US is Palestinian-blind. Israel is creating yet another generation of Palestinians that are more numb to their military occupation than any other. Likewise, it is creating a generation of Israeli occupiers that see my city as the wild, wild, west. It is stripping children, Palestinian and Israeli, of their childhood. It must stop and NOW. We need your active support:

Organize locally, at your church, community center, union, etc. Support Jimmy Carter's stance against Israeli Apartheid. Read his book. Write letters. Visit and engage your representatives. Demand public statements. Sponsor a Palestinian student. Invest in Palestine. Request Angelo's Pizzeria start exporting hamburgers by express mail. and most importantly, play UNO with your kids.

Braced for the 4 funerals that will start in 3 hours, Sam sbahour@palnet.com

[The funniest thing about yesterday’s raid was the response of Mahmoud Abbas who said that Israeli government proved it is not interested in peace. Thank you for these tidings, Mr Abbas!]
From: Ed Herman :
Sent: Thursday, January 04, 2007
Subject: Aloni on apartheid in Israel

For those unfamiliar with Ms. Shulamit Aloni she is an Israel Prize Laureate who served as Minister for Education under Yitzhak Rabin.
Indeed there is Apartheid in Israel
Shulamit Aloni 

[A new order issued by the GOC Central command bans the conveyance of Palestinians in Israeli vehicles. Such a blatant violation of the right to travel joins the long list of humans rights violations carried out by Israel in the [Occupied] Territories.]
 Jewish 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".

[Translated by Sol Salbe]

From: Jamshed Ghandhi :
Sent: Thursday, January 04, 2007
Subject: An unholy alliance threatening catastrophe

An unholy alliance threatening catastrophe
Anatole Kaletsky
Most people think that the bungled invasion of Iraq, climaxing last week with the bungled execution-assassination of Saddam Hussein, will go down in history as the ultimate symbol of the Bush Administration’s hubris and incompetence. They should think again. With the dawning of a new year, the Bush-Blair partnership is working on an even more horrendous foreign policy disaster.

What now seems to be in preparation at the White House, with the usual unquestioning support from Downing Street, is a Middle Eastern equivalent of the Second World War. The trigger for this all-embracing war would be the formation of a previously unthinkable alliance between America, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Britain, to confront Iran and the rise of the power of Shia Islam.

The logical outcome of this “pinning back” process would be an air strike by Israel against Iran’s nuclear facilities, combined with a renewed Israeli military campaign against Hezbollah in Lebanon, aggressive action by American and British soldiers to crush Iraq’s Shia militias, while Saudi-backed Sunni terrorists undermined the increasingly precarious pro-Iranian Government in Baghdad.

Consider the ominous events that occurred in the Middle East and Washington over the holiday season, while most people were paying more attention to their turkeys and Christmas stockings. The first in this sequence of events was Tony Blair’s abrupt announcement that members of the Saudi Royal Family accused of taking bribes from British defence contractors would be exempted from the application of British law. To risk a confrontation with the Saudi Royal Family, Mr Blair asserted, would have jeopardised Britain’s security interests in Iraq and in the war against terrorism, as well as dashing hopes of progress towards peace between Israel and the Palestinians. This embarrassing announcement by Mr Blair was quickly followed by his Dubai speech, in which he called for an “arc of moderation” to “pin back” Iran’s advances in the Middle East.

The second event, almost simultaneous with Mr Blair’s bribery announcement, was the equally unexpected resignation of Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Washington, Prince Turki al-Faisal, on December 15. Prince Turki has long been a key figure in the Saudi security establishment, whose last abrupt career move occurred in the autumn of 2001, when he suddenly resigned as liaison between the Saudi Royal Family and the Taleban terrorists that they had been financing until just before September 11. Turki was a leading member of a faction in the Saudi Royal Family that has for months been advocating a more conciliatory response towards the Shia hegemony in Iraq, including an effort to open direct negotiations between America and Iran, as recommended by James Baker’s Iraq Study Group. The Turki group’s main rivals in the Saudi establishment have by contrast argued for much tougher military action against what they called the “Christian-Shia conspiracy” created by the US toleration of Iranian influence over Iraq.

The Saudi power struggle came into the open through an article published in The Washington Post in mid-December, by Nawaf Obeid, a Saudi security consultant ostensibly working for Turki, but actually closer to the hardliners. Obeid cautioned that if American troops were withdrawn from Iraq prematurely, in line with the Baker report’s recommendations, Saudi Arabia would have no choice but to intervene forcibly “to stop Iranian-backed Shi a militias from butchering Iraq’s Sunnis”. Turki immediately fired Obeid, but shortly afterwards was himself replaced by a hardliner.

Within Saudi Arabia itself, meanwhile, the anti-Iranian rhetoric is gathering strength. Take this example from al-Salafi magazine, quoted in The New York Times: “Iran has become more dangerous than Israel itself. The Iranian revolution has come to renew the Persian presence in our region. This is the real clash of civilisations.”

The link between Israel and Iran in Saudi thinking brings us to the third event in this chillingly unfestive sequence: the confrontation over nuclear proliferation between the UN Security Council and Iran. If Iran is now really hell-bent on developing nuclear weapons, Israel has made it abundantly clear that it is equally hell-bent on stopping it ­ whether by diplomatic or military means. Whether Israeli bombing would in practice do serious damage to the Iranian nuclear programme is far from clear, but there are certainly hotheads in the Israeli Government and military establishment who are itching to try.

There is, however, one binding constraint on Israel’s freedom of action against Iran. This is the US. It is unlikely that Israel would bomb Iran without explicit American approval and it is certain that a US president would stop Israel if he believed America’s national interest demanded it.

That has been the situation until recently, since America has depended on Iranian-backed Shia politicians to prevent a total collapse of order and a humiliating Saigon-style expulsion of American soldiers in Iraq.

Although Israel has never signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, many Israeli politicians believe that they are entitled to punish Iran for its non-compliance with the treaty. For these trigger-happy Israelis, Iran’s backdoor influence over Washington via the Iraqi Shia has become a nightmare. The same is true of the Saudi princes. The Saudi Royal Family rules a largely Shia country on the basis of a fanatically enforced state religion whose senior spokesmen denounce the Shia as heretic scum. These feelings are entirely mutual ­ Iran’s mad mullahs hate the Wahhabis every bit as much.

Thus, if there is one country in the world more worried than Israel about an Iranian A-bomb, it is Saudi Arabia. And if there are two countries in the world with real influence on the Bush White House, they are Saudi Arabia and Israel. Now both these countries are telling President Bush that he must pull the plug on Iraq’s Shia Government, tear up the Baker report, whose most important advice was to open diplomatic channels to Tehran, and prepare to attack Iran, either directly or using the Israelis as a proxy. This is the basis of the unholy alliance between Israel, Saudi Arabia and America, with Mr Blair contributing a few choice soundbites.

The anti-Iranian “arc of moderation” may seem like another meaningless Blairism, not nearly as threatening as Mr Bush’s “axis of evil”. But this soundbite could unleash a disaster on the Middle East, beside which the war in Iraq would be a mere sideshow.

What's your view? Post your comments below

From: Jeffrey Blankfort :
Sent: Thursday, January 04, 2007
Subject: Jerusalem Post on "Rattling the Cage: A bigot called Bibi"

This is an extraordinary article that would never see the light of day in any American newspaper where Derfner's by-line frequently appears. This should be sent to "your" member of Congress and your local newspaper columnists.-JB

Rattling the Cage: A bigot called Bibi
Larry Derfner

["Anti-Arab racism in Israel is either supported or strategically ignored by the mainstream of the Jewish world, and pretty much taken for granted by the gentile world."]

By rights, Binyamin Netanyahu, who every poll says is by far the most popular politician in Israel, should be ranked with Jean Le Pen, Jorge Haider and the rest of the Western world's racist demagogues.

But he won't be, because anti-Arab racism in Israel is either supported or strategically ignored by the mainstream of the Jewish world, and pretty much taken for granted by the gentile world.

What Netanyahu said Tuesday night was not new for him; he was reported to have made the same appeal to the same sort of audience - haredi political leaders - a couple of years ago as finance minister.

Then, as now, he was apologizing for the way his child welfare cuts had hurt large haredi families, while at the same time asking the haredim to look at the bright sides of that policy.

"Two positive things happened," he told a conference of haredi government officials in Nir Etzion this week. "Members of the haredi public seriously joined the workforce. And on the national level, the unexpected result was the demographic effect on the non-Jewish public, where there was a dramatic drop in the birth rate." (Quoted in Ynet, Yediot Aharonot's Web site. The speech was also reported in Haaretz.)

The once-and-possibly-future prime minister of Israel says publicly that he's sorry his welfare cuts made life harder for Jewish families who are "blessed," as he put it, with many children, but isn't it "positive" that these cuts resulted in fewer Arab children being born? Then Netanyahu went on to suggest a national remedy for the victims of his economic policies - but for Jewish victims only, not Arab victims.

"I don't think that the Jewish Agency should refrain from helping part of the Jewish public in the state," he said, "and it is possible that additional non-governmental bodies could have done so."

IMAGINE IF any gentile government official in the world cited the lowering of the Jewish birthrate in his country as an accomplishment, then recommended that his country's founding institution raise money to help poor gentile families, but not poor Jewish families. How would the Jewish world, starting with Israel, characterize such an individual? What sort of pressure would the Jewish world apply to get him or her fired, blackballed and, if possible, indicted?

Yet everyone knows the speech in Nir Etzion will not hurt Netanyahu at all - even though, again, this is not the first time he's said this, and even though the statements are perfectly in line with his standing as Israel's number one fear-monger on the Israeli Arab "demographic threat." (On second thought, Netanyahu is probably only number two - Avigdor Lieberman, his former right-hand man and alter ego, is number one. When it comes to the subject of Israeli Arabs, it's hard to tell where Netanyahu ends and Lieberman begins.)

The worst that will happen to Netanyahu from this is that maybe another liberal commentator or two will denounce him, and there will be a press release from some civil rights organization. Maybe not even that. If, on the other hand, we're really, really lucky, the attorney-general might have a word to say. (FYI, even if there was a chance of it happening, I wouldn't want to see Netanyahu indicted. If every Israeli who made racist remarks in public had to stand trial, the courts would collapse under the load.)

The only political parties that might censure Netanyahu are the left-wing parties, and nobody cares about them; in fact, a bad word from Meretz can only help the Likud leader in the polls.

The Anti-Defamation League won't say anything, and neither will the other Diaspora Jewish organizations. Bibi is just too big, too popular, too important, too much a symbol of Israel for the Diaspora Jewish establishment to say a word against him, let alone accuse him of being a shameless bigot.

Two positive things happened: Members of the haredi public seriously joined the workforce. And on the national level, the unexpected result was the demographic effect on the non-Jewish public, where there was a dramatic drop in the birth rate.

That's the Israeli people's overwhelming choice for prime minister talking. I hope The New York Times, CNN and every other major news medium in the world picks up this story and doesn't let it go until Israel and Diaspora Jewry are shamed into dumping this guy once and for all.

On second thought, exposure as an anti-Arab racist by the international media could cause Netanyahu some problems overseas, but at home, it would only increase his appeal

This article can also be read at http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1167467656176&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Copyright 1995-2007 The Jerusalem Post - http://www.jpost.com/

From: Sid Shniad :
Sent: Friday, January 05, 2007
Subject: Be a "good Jew"
The Guardian

Maybe more Europeans and Americans should follow in Fahima's footsteps and actually go visit the Palestinians to see what they were making war.

'My crime was to protest at Israeli assassinations'
Activist says she refused to work for secret service
by Conal Urquhart in Tel Aviv

[In her first interview, Tali Fahima talks of life in jail]

They said they wanted to teach her to be a "good Jew" as she sat with her arms handcuffed to the legs of her chair for 16 hours a day.
But if Tali Fahima was not prepared to be a good Jew then Shin Bet, the Israeli secret service, was determined to put her in jail for as long as possible regardless of what she did.

Ms Fahima, 30, was released from jail on Wednesday after serving almost 30 months in jail for travelling to the West Bank, meeting an enemy agent and translating a simple army document.

"My first crime was that I refused to work with Shin Bet, the second was that I insisted on going to see the Palestinians and the third was that I protested against the Israeli policy of assassination," Ms Fahima told the Guardian in her first interview since her release.

For nine months of her incarceration she was kept in isolation, without access to any distractions such as books or television. "I used to lie on my bed and think about Jenin, the people I met and wonder how things were going there. I never get bored on my own," she said.

Eventually, Ms Fahima was persuaded by her lawyer to agree to a plea bargain which would mean her serving only 10 months more than the 19 she had already served. It could take as long as a year to be found innocent, she was advised.

She is unbowed by her experience. "I learnt about the nature of Shin Bet, how they terrorise us, both the Israelis and Palestinians. I learnt about the nature of the government, how they do not want us to see what is going on in our name," she said.

Ms Fahima had been an apathetic legal secretary who voted for the rightwing Likud party and carried Israeli prejudices about Palestinians until in 2003 she decided she wanted to understand why the Palestinians were attacking Israel.

She began making regular visits to Jenin, which had been devastated in an Israeli raid earlier that year. She talked to hundreds of people including Palestinian militants and for the first time heard the Palestinian view of the intifada and the difficulty of life under Israeli occupation.

Her meetings with one militant, Zakaria Zubeidi, stood out. Zubeidi was the leader of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade in Jenin whose mother and brother had been killed by the Israelis that year. In countless interviews with journalists, including Israelis, he described how he and his mother had been involved in an Israeli-Palestinian theatre project which was the basis of an internationally-acclaimed Israeli documentary, Arna's Children.

A week before Ms Fahima was arrested in August 2004 she received a phone call from a Shin Bet agent who inquired how she was finding life without work before inviting her to a meeting at her local police station in Kiryat Gat in the south of Israel. She decided not to go. In the month-long interrogation that followed her arrest she was questioned about the people she had met and asked for information which Ms Fahima said she did not have. During this period Shin Bet agents briefed Israeli journalists she had been having an affair with Zubeidi, who was well known to Israelis from newspaper interviews.

"It was a Shin Bet tactic to make me and him seem bad and to delegitimise us oth," she said, adding that while it was obvious to some that it was alicious, many, including friends, believed it.

When she was finally charged she was accused of translating an army document which apparently detailed an arrest operation that was due to take place.

"In the wake of the explanations of the accused," read the charge sheet, "Zubeidi later ordered the wanted persons to hide until the conclusion of the military operation and the wanted persons, who carried out Zubeidi's directive and hid, were not detained."

The document contains three aerial maps of Jenin, and four photographs of wanted men, including Zubeidi, with a short description of each. Zubeidi speaks and reads Hebrew after years of work and imprisonment in Israel.


August 8 2004 Tali Fahima arrested

September 2004 Placed under administrative detention

December 2004 Charged with "assistance to the enemy at time of war"

January 2005 Tel Aviv district rules Ms Fahima should be placed under house arrest during the trial

January 2005 Jerusalem's high court overrules district court saying she "identifies with an ideological goal"

December 2005 Ms Fahima pleads guilty to meeting and aiding an enemy agent and entering Palestinian territory

January 2006 Ms Fahima released

from Edward Herman :
Subject: FW: [AcademicsforJustice] Spokes and more thrown at Wheels of Justice in Andover
Date: Sun, 7 Jan 2007
An interesting case study of the problem of free speech on Middle East issues in this country.

My thoughts on Andover Controversay and links to Zionist media barrage follows Joe's excellent summary (I will also update as time goes by on this page:

Zionists Vs Truth -The Wheels of Justice Battle for Andover
By Joe Carr, 6 January, 2007
Last night was one of the most contentions events I’ve ever done. Whoever thought that a simple talk in the library of Andover High School in a small suburb of Massachusetts would make so many headlines.
It all started last October, when six social studies teachers invited the Wheels of Justice Bus Tour to talk to a couple classes. The Wheels of Justice Tour ( http://www.justicewheels.org/) brings eyewitness accounts of war and occupation in Iraq and Palestine to communities across the US, including hundreds of high schools. I was on it for several weeks at the end of October.
Despite the tour’s well-regarded reputation for supporting nonviolence and human rights, a group of parents and influential community members pressured the school’s principal, Peter Anderson, to cancel our visit, claiming that we are “anti-Israel” and “support terrorists”, even going so far as to call us a “hate group”. Late the night before we were supposed to speak, Principal Anderson called one of the teachers and told him the talks were off.
We drove the bus to the school the next morning anyway, hoping that the principal could be convinced that this was an unfair violation of the teachers’ rights. But we were unsuccessful, and Principal Anderson, backed up by an Andover Police Officer, asked us to leave.
The teachers’ immediately began organizing, starting with a protest in front of the school that day. The students followed suit with a petition demanding we be allowed to speak. They had 200 signatures by lunch time. Local Zionist groups issued press releases taking credit for blocking us, though Principal Anderson insists that it was his decision.
The teachers union joined with the ACLU and threatened to file a lawsuit against the school district if they didn’t allow us to come back. The school’s lawyers admitted that our case was strong and it could end up costing the district a lot of money if he didn’t bring us back. Anderson caved and bought me a plane ticket.
Zionist forces continued to try and apply pressure behind the scenes. They attempted a court injunction, tried to insist students have permission slips in order to attend, and threatened to hold a picket outside the school. All of these failed, and we had an excellent day of classes.
Because of all the publicity, many more teachers were interested in hearing us speak, so several talks took place in the library with combined classes. All in all, we spoke to over 200 kids in four sessions. The students were very respectful, and asked thoughtful and challenging questions. They seemed to especially like my hip-hop song about Rachel Corrie. Though one student did tape a sign made from notebook paper to an upper-level window that read “YOU SUPPORT TERRISM”.
Because some parents demanded to know what we had said to their kids, the principal agreed to host an evening event that would be open to the public. He clearly had no idea what he was getting into.
By 7pm, Over 300 people were crammed into the library, standing room only, shoulder to shoulder. I counted about 100 Wheels of Justice supporters, 120 Zionists, 80 high school students, nearly all of the administration, three armed Andover police, two TV news cameras, and several photojournalists. You could cut the tension with a knife.
Principal Anderson opened with a call for respect and civility, threatening to cancel the event if there was any disruption. Mazin Qumsiyeh, a prominent Palestinian-American activist, began his talk on Palestinian history. Within 5 minutes, Zionists began screaming at him and calling him a liar. Others yelled at them to be quiet and let Mazin speak. Anderson got up and again threatened to cancel the event, but one of the Zionist leaders took the mic and encouraged her supporters to behave, or otherwise they’d never know what we told their kids.
The event continued with frequent disruption, including threats of violence and other missives. Anderson never removed anyone, even though there were clearly individual provocateurs. Dr Hassan Fouda, an Egyptian-American activist spoke next about his experiences with nonviolent resistance in Palestine. Then I talked about my trip to Iraq, and ended with my song about Rachel Corrie.
The opposition was a little less disruptive during my talk, perhaps because it was on Iraq, perhaps because I’m not Arab-American. Though several people in the back tried to distract me during my song about Rachel by making faces and waving their arms. “These are adults?” I thought.

We then set into the much-anticipated question and answer session, moderated by Principal Anderson, and all hell broke lose. We got through about four questions, if you can call them questions, more like sermons and diatribes. Though the Zionists would not let us answer the questions, and some of our supporters attempted to match their level of disruption in our defense. Eventually, Anderson called it off and abruptly ended the discussion.
However, many people stayed afterwards to talk with us and with each other. The high school newspaper and television station went around interviewing people, and Zionists argued with Mazin and I. Over a dozen students and parents, including Zionists, came up and apologized to me for the way their community behaved. A group of Andover HS students had a small caucus to discuss the event. Student Zionists, supporters, and those on the fence all agreed that this dialogue is important and that they were embarrassed by their parents’ behavior. We weren’t out of there until 10:30pm.
All this was nothing new for me, indeed I’m used to these Zionist whackos having M16s and rocks. Though this was particularly extreme for the US.  It reminded me of a talk I did at Washington University in St Louis, where at least half of the 30-student crowed were there to oppose me, including folks wearing Israeli Defense Force hats and T-Shirts. Their onslaught was so intense it caused me to lose my cool and yell, calling the racists. The look in their eyes reminded me of the soldiers and settlers whose violence has so traumatized me. A similar situation could have resulted at MSU in Lansing, MI, where the campus Democrats and Republicans teamed up with a Jewish group to try and pull the funding for my event. They prepared a packet of print-outs from my website and lyrics from my songs attempting to demonstrate that I supported terrorism. When they failed, they vowed to disrupt the event, and campus officials wanted to bring on armed cops. The organizers insisted they could maintain control without police, and they set up an independent student security force stationed at the doors and isles. My fellow speaker and I even got personal body guards! Over 150 students showed up to that event, with about 30 of the opposition who remained calm and quiet. Several more protested outside with signs like “smash hippy leftist scum” and enlarged pictures of me with a hammer and sickle on my forehead.
It never ceases to amaze me how far some people will go to hide the truth. Though it shouldn’t be surprising, considering that lies and propaganda is all the Zionist movement has to stand on. Once enough Americans learn the truth about what our government is supporting in the Middle East, Zionist imperialism is done for.
In the meantime, we’ll keep speaking out, and educating our youth to think for themselves. All this does make me think that I could actually be a high school teacher someday. I am so inspired by the passion of these teachers and students who continue demanding the truth.


Mazin Qumsiyeh on Andover issue
 I just wanted to expand on a few issues beyond what Joe covered.  We normally have four people: a bus manager, a bus driver, and two speakers. The physical bus could not come back to the school (it was in the Boston/Andover area giving talks in November) and now it is in Arizona.  We had thus three speakers at this high school:
We gave introduction to the bus and where we have been.  The bus speakers are all volunteers and we spoke at hundreds of middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities around the country.  The bus supports the universal declaration of human rights and supports non-violence.  We believe that to address violence (that kills far more native people than occupiers and colonizers) we must address the root causes of injustice, discrimination and racism.  I then spoke of the Israel/Palestine situation by highlighting my own experiences, the destruction and ethnic cleansing of 530 Palestinian villages and towns between 1947-1949) and the subsequent nearly six decades of occupation, ethnic cleansing, and theft of land.  The shrinking areas allocated to Palestinians now constitute less than 12% of historic Palestine.  Zionists flinched when I showed President Carter's book cover on Israeli apartheid.
Dr. Hassan Fouda then spoke about non-violent resistance and showed many examples of people of various faiths and backgrounds working together for peace (Internationals, Israelis, Palestinians, Jews, Christians, Muslims, etc).  Here are just two examples of groups mentioned by Hassan:

Breaking the silence: Israeli soldiers explaining the orders they are given and giving testimonies of the acts they or their comrades committed in the occupied areas ( http://breakingthesilence.org.il/index_e.asp)

Bereaved Parents Circles: Israelis and Palestinians who lost relatives and who chose to grieve and work together for peace rather than for vengeance ( http://www.theparentscircle.com/)

Israel Committee against Home Demolitions ( http://www.icahd.org/eng/)
Hassan explained the long history of home demolitions and that Israelis do this to expand settlement areas on the richest Palestinian lands.  He also showed a moving clip of an Israeli Jew (Jeff Halper) pleading with soldiers trying to demolish a Palestinian home by telling them that the Israeli laws they are implementing are unjust and should not be obeyed (parallels to the Nuremberg laws in Nazi Germany).
Joe Carr spoke of the atrocities committed in Iraq since the American occupation of 2003 (and before, US led sanctions killed over ½ million Iraqi Children). An excess Iraqi death toll of 655,000 Iraqis in 3.5 years constitutes genocide.  He also spoke of the loss of three of his friends:

Tom Fox (a member of Christian Peacemaker team who was killed in Iraq), Rachel Corrie (killed by an Israeli soldier driving a US made and paid-for Caterpillar bulldozer) and Tom Hurndall (shot by an Israeli sniper using a US made/paid for gun while Tom and Joe and others were helping Palestinian children in an area where snipers specifically targeted them).
The students and teachers were extremely interested and asked pertinent and good questions in the four presentations we made.  In the evening, we were asked to do a public presentation.  The Zionist movement was recruited from even nearby towns and cities (one of them in asking the question did not even know where he was).  But there was even more people who are supportive of peace and justice.  The Zionists tried to shout the presentation down.  One person stood and told them it would be good for their cause to “hear what we told the students”.    This did not make a big difference and halfway into the Q&A session, the principal called the meeting off.  People
continued to mill around and engage in conversations.  Some of the books we had on the wheels of justice table were stolen while people were busy talking to each other.
They tried various (and expected) strategies to intimidate, silence, discredit, shoot the messenger etc.  They had the usual few bad cops and a couple of “good cops” to effect the desired change. All has parallels in Zionist history (1.5 million cluster bombs in Lebanese civilian areas this summer to leave a message while Peres talks as the "good cop"). They were getting frustrated and angry that most of their tricks did not work (and if anything backfired), as people do not like to pushed around/bulldozed. 
Similarly in Iraq, Lebanon and in Palestine, things are not quite working well for the agenda of apartheid and racism.   The more aggressive and violent they are, the poorer they perform to achieve their own objectives of control whether in Iraq, Palestine, or Andover.  I personally believe this is because of their biggest Achilles’ heel: that they think in racist/tribalistic fashion (us here them there as Rabin put it) and are trying to push other Americans to do the same.  To them “the other” cannot be human or humanized (let alone have self-determination) or even engaged with in a civil way.  Early Zionist founders said it very clearly in the late 19th century and early 20th century "We want to be feared not loved".
Despite repeated efforts to explain that we are three people with different backgrounds and different political outlooks, they still kept insisting that this is somehow a tribal conflict (we and the teachers who invited us were labeled as “pro-Palestinians” “anti-Israeli”, and even “anti-Semitic”).  Despite our talk clearly showing the diversity of groups and people in that part of the world, they ignored all of that and pushed ahead as if the struggle is between Israelis and Palestinians (if it is binary, it is actually between those who support human rights and international law and those who don’t).
Of course I continue to challenge Zionists to public debates (most of them refuse).  I am willing to travel for such debates with any leading Zionists (already covered Morton Kline of ZOA, David Harris of AJC, and a few others).  Truth after all should be visible and the more light one sheds on things, the more the lies will get exposed. (the religions and non-violent philosophies WE follow teach us to hate the bad deeds but not the misled humans who do the bad deeds). We will continue to speak truth to power without hate or malice to anyone. Stay tuned.
PS: not one of the students opted-out of our talks (even the children of the the tiny minority of parents who demanded that option).
Here are some of the stories about our appearance.  I put these in approximate order of unfairness (first unfair progressing totally outrageous/hogwash):

Isn't it amazing that the Eagle Tribune wrote three or four articles on this "controversy" without ever interviewing one of the people from the Wheels of Justice bus tour??!!

Protests, injunction threatened against pro-Palestinian speakers.
And here are Zionist ratings (unrated :-) "opinion" is too strong a word since most of these folks parrot others in the Zionist/racist camp and cannot come up with their own opinions):
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