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Showing posts from July 30, 2008

Richard Silverstein: Who speaks for American Jews? | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

Richard Silverstein: Who speaks for American Jews? | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

One of the more interesting results of the J Street survey was a mixed finding. When asked whether Israel played a "big role" in their US election vote, 58% answered "yes". But when listed among a group of other issues, Israel came out in the bottom tier of issues, and only 8% noted Israel was one of their two top issues in determining their vote for president or Congress. Theoretically, Jews believe Israel is an important political issue. But when push comes to shove, there are other bread-and-butter issues like the economy and the Iraq war that are far more important. This indicates that support for the Israel lobby is actually quite shallow among the Jewish community.

It's no surprise that Jews disapprove of President Bush's job performance, though his 16% approval rating is even lower than I thought it might be. Barack Obama beat John McCain in the poll by 62% to 32%. Th…

The Peninsula On-line: Qatar's leading English Daily

The Peninsula On-line: Qatar's leading English Daily
JERUSALEM • “I was married here, I had my five children here and I want to die here,” says a defiant Fawzia Al Kurd, determined that Jewish settlers will not drive her family from their home in occupied east Jerusalem.

But sadly for the Al Kurds, whose single-storey two-room house of golden stone that has been their home for the past 52 years, Israel’s High Court has ruled differently. They are to be expelled, and the house, a wing of which has already been taken over by settlers will be lost forever.

Bush Will Issue a Mass Pardon  : Information Clearing House - ICH

Bush Will Issue a Mass Pardon  : Information Clearing House - ICH
Before leaving office George W. Bush will issue a mass pardon, the largest collection of presidential pardons in American history. Bush will pardon himself, Vice President Cheney, and a long list of officials involved in torture, eavesdropping, destruction of evidence, the CIA leak case and a range of potential crimes.

As George Bush signs the pardons and boards the helicopter to depart Washington as his presidency finally ends, even then, he and those pardoned will worry about the statute of limitations.

There is an important point to this, often not recognized in official Washington during the Bush years, where the unthinkable becomes a way of life, and acts have been done that have never been done by an American president or administration.

Torture violates international law, domestic law, statutory law, customary law, American law, European law — the list goes on.

Eavesdropping without court order violates a statute, FI…

ICC and al-Bashir: Ocampo’s Justice  : Information Clearing House - ICH

ICC and al-Bashir: Ocampo’s Justice  : Information Clearing House - ICH
The crimes committed against innocent people in Darfur represent a shameful episode in the history of Sudan and its neighbours, including Chad, which has played a dubious role in sustaining the seething conflict. Equally disgraceful is the politicising of the bloody conflict in ways that will ensure its continuation.

The decision of the International Criminal Court's (ICC) prosecutor-general, Luis Moreno- Ocampo, to file an arrest warrant for Sudan's current President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, and the international responses to his decision, demonstrate both the politicising of the crisis and the selectiveness of international law.

Consider this bizarre twist. The US Congress passed a resolution, on 22 June 2004, declaring that the violence in Darfur was state-sponsored genocide. The resolution -- named the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act -- was signed into law by President Bush in October 2006.

Between the v…

They Know What's in Your Medicine Cabinet

They Know What's in Your Medicine Cabinet: "That prescription you just picked up at the drugstore could hurt your chances of getting health insurance.
An untold number of people have been rejected for medical coverage for a reason they never could have guessed: Insurance companies are using huge, commercially available prescription databases to screen out applicants based on their drug purchases.
Privacy and consumer advocates warn that the information can easily be misinterpreted or knowingly misused. At a minimum, the practice is adding another layer of anxiety to a marketplace that many consumers already find baffling. 'It's making it harder to find insurance for people,' says Jay Horowitz, an independent insurance agent in Overland Park, Kan."

BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Boy killed in West Bank protest

BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Boy killed in West Bank protest
Israeli troops have shot dead a 12-year-old Palestinian boy during a protest against Israel's barrier in the occupied West Bank, medics say.

The Israeli military said it was investigating what had happened.

It happened at Nilin village, west of Ramallah, where peace activists say Israel is taking 25 hectares of land from villagers to build the barrier.

The Israeli army is replacing the main access road to the village with a tunnel under military control.

Activists say the plan will have the effect of turning Nilin into a prison. Israel says the barrier and other construction work is necessary for security reasons.

'Serious' inquiry

The boy was identified by local organisers of the anti-barrier protest as Hamad Musa, AFP reported.

 Plan Facts About Iran's Military : Information Clearing House - ICH

 Plan Facts About Iran's Military : Information Clearing House - ICH
First, missiles. Iran announced its Shahab-III missile is ready to retaliate against any Israeli attack on its nuclear facilities. This missile is not long-ranged, as media wrongly claims, but a medium-ranged. Iran says it can deliver a two ton warhead over 2,000 km. But Israeli and US sources say Shahab’s maximum range is around 1,200 km, which puts much of Israel out of its range.

This obsolescent missile is highly inaccurate, particularly at maximum range. It is liquid fueled, meaning it is very vulnerable to air and missile strikes while being prepared to fire. Israel has developed tactics using aircraft, missiles and drones to attack enemy missiles in pre-launch phase. Iran has an estimated 24 Shabab-III’s.

The other missiles Iran fired this week were short ranged models of no strategic value. Tehran was even caught doctoring the pictures it issued of the multiple missile launch to cover up the failure of one o…

 Acts of War : Information Clearing House - ICH

 Acts of War : Information Clearing House - ICH
It is this stubborn ability to survive and operate inside Iran, at a time when no other intelligence service can establish and maintain a meaningful agent network there, which makes the MEK such an asset to nations such as the United States and Israel. The MEK is able to provide some useful intelligence; however, its overall value as an intelligence resource is negatively impacted by the fact that it is the sole source of human intelligence in Iran. As such, the group has taken to exaggerating and fabricating reports to serve its own political agenda. In this way, there is little to differentiate the MEK from another Middle Eastern expatriate opposition group, the Iraqi National Congress, or INC, which infamously supplied inaccurate intelligence to the United States and other governments and helped influence the U.S. decision to invade Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein. Today, the MEK sees itself in a similar role, providing sole-sourced …