Thought crimes in Israel – Nadim Rouhana: This suppression is symbolic of a state that fears its past

30 May, 2009

For the Palestinian citizens of Israel, life is becoming a collective Kafkaesque experience. For years, their state has been determined to buttress its Jewish identity by legal, constitutional, cultural, and political means, in spite of the fact that one in five of its residents is an Arab. This latest series of bills is just another part of that effort. In addition to the discrimination they already face in all walks of life, Palestinians will not be able to mourn the Nakba, the loss of their homeland, or express their opposition to Israel as a Jewish state.

It is not only that they have been excluded from belonging to their homeland, which has been claimed by people who immigrated there and made exclusively Jewish; it is not only that their people have been expelled, occupied or dispersed to all corners of the world; it is not only that they are legally unequal citizens and even treated as enemies in many areas of life by the very state in which they are citizens. They also have to accept this reality: express loyalty, show no opposition, and even refrain from mourning their loss in public.

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Racists for Democracy By Uri Avnery

30 May, 2009

HOW LUCKY we are to have the extreme Right standing guard over our democracy.

This week, the Knesset voted by a large majority (47 to 34) for a law that threatens imprisonment for anyone who dares to deny that Israel is a Jewish and Democratic State.

The private member’s bill, proposed by MK Zevulun Orlev of the “Jewish Home” party, which sailed through its preliminary hearing, promises one year in prison to anyone who publishes “a call that negates the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State”, if the contents of the call might cause “actions of hate, contempt or disloyalty against the state or the institutions of government or the courts”.

One can foresee the next steps. A million and a half Arab citizens cannot be expected to recognize Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State. They want it to be “a state of all its citizens” – Jews, Arabs and others. They also claim with reason that Israel discriminates against them, and therefore is not really democratic. And, in addition, there are also Jews who do not want Israel to be defined as a Jewish State in which non-Jews have the status, at best, of tolerated outsiders.

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Video: AL NAKBA: The Palestinian Catastrophe 1948 by Benny Brunner

Al Nakba: The Palestinian Catastrophe 1948 (58 min. documentary, Israel-Germany-The Netherlands, 1997). Arguably the first film that seriously tackles the historic events that lead to the creation of 750.000 Palestinian refugees at the end of the first Israeli-Arab war of 1948. Based on historian Benny Morris’ book “The birth of the Palestinian refugee problem, 1947-49”.

Produced and directed for ARTE by Benny Brunner & Alexandra Jansse. Photography: Ram Lital. Editor: Joseph Rochlitz. Original music composed & performed by: Elizabeth & Ilya Magnes.

Broadcast: Europe. Screened at the cinematheques of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in March-April 1998.

AL NAKBA: The Palestinian Catastrophe 1948 from Benny Brunner on Vimeo.

Video: The Concrete Curtain by Benny Brunner

The film chronicles the daily life of two Palestinian middle-class professionals who live in the shadow of “The Wall” in the greater Jerusalem area.

THE CONCRETE CURTAIN is a sequel to THE WALL which I made a year earlier for Dutch TV.

Photography: Eytan Harris. Editor: Simon Bunt. Director: Benny Brunner.

Produced by Xela Films.
In coproduction with LASSO Film & TV Production.

Year: 2004-5.
Duration: 76 minute.

Festivals: Palestine Film Festival, London 2005; Arab Film Festival, San Francisco 2005.
Screenings: various cinemas in Holland and Belgium 2005; Tel Aviv and Jerusalem cinematheques 2006.

The Concrete Curtain from Benny Brunner on Vimeo.

Video: Interview with Abderrahmane Sissako on "N'Dimagou — 'Dignity'"

30 May, 2009 – MRZine – Monthly Review

Interview with Abderrahmane Sissako director of “Dignity”

First of all, we would like to ask you where the story that you tell in your movie comes from.

The idea was born from the complexity of the theme proposed: dignity. I think it’s very difficult to deal with such sweeping concepts as justice and dignity in the allotted two or three minutes, so I looked for an idea that actually asked the question ‘What is dignity’ rather than answering it.

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Newly declassified documents reveal More than $97 million from USAID to separatist projects in Bolivia By Eva Golinger

22 May, 2009 – Bolivia Rising

Recently declassified documents obtained by investigators Jeremy Bigwood and Eva Golinger reveal that the US Agency for International Development (USAID) has invested more than $97 million in ‘decentralization’ and ‘regional autonomy’ projects and opposition political parties in Bolivia since 2002. The documents, requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), evidence that USAID in Bolivia was the ‘first donor to support departmental governments’ and ‘decentralization programs’ in the country, proving that the US agency has been one of the principal funders and fomenters of the separatist projects promoted by regional governments in Eastern Bolivia.

Decentralization and separatism

The documents confirm that USAID has been managing approximately $85 million annually in Bolivia during the past few years, divided amongst programs related to security, democracy, economic growth and human investment. The Democracy Program is focused on a series of priorities, the first outlined as ‘Decentralized democratic governments: departmental governments and municipalities’.

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Mohamed Khodr – The Three Branches of the AIPAC: The Executive, the Legislative and the Judicial

28 May 2009


“The actions of some of our United States Zionists will eventually prejudice everyone against what they are trying to get done. I fear very much that the Jews are like all underdogs. When they get on top they are just as intolerant and as cruel as the people were to them when they were underneath.” – President Harry Truman in a Letter to Eleanor Roosevelt (“Truman”, David McCullough, p. 598). Although Truman is the one most directly responsible for the creation of Israel, he has now joined the Pantheon of “Anti-Semites”.

“Back in the 1950s, the frustrated Secretary of State John Foster Dulles unambiguously stated: We cannot have all our policies made in Jerusalem. ” To the owner of Time Inc. Henry Luce he said: “I am aware how almost impossible it is in this country to carry out a foreign policy not approved by the Jews. [But] I am going to try to have one. This does not mean I am anti-Jewish, but I believe in what George Washington said in his farewell address, that an emotional attachment to another country should not interfere.”B. R. Gowani, “The Lobby as Juggernaut”, Counterpunch, September 1, 2008

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Housmans Radical Books, London – Newsletter June Events 2009




1. Volunteers needed to help with the Peace Diary
2. Your second-hand books are still wanted!


  1. ‘Meltdown The End of The Age of Greed’ with Paul Mason
    Wednesday 3rd June – 7pm
  2. Grey Hen presents: ‘Uncomfortable Poems by Older Women’
    Saturday 6th June – 5pm
  3. Shamanic Maps of How the Universe Works with Leo Rutherford
    Wednesday 10th June – 7pm
  4. ISBO present: ‘The Bottom Will Rise and Create a New World’
    Saturday 13th June – 5pm
  5. ‘Clear Red Water: Welsh Devolution and Socialist Politics’ with Nick Davies & Darren Williams
    Wednesday 17th June – 7pm
  6. ‘The End of Certainty: Towards a New Internationalism’ with Stephen Chan
    Saturday 20th June – 5pm
  7. Press Freedom – Jason N Parkinson + Marc Vallée
    Saturday 27th June – 5pm
  8. Forthcoming in July & August 2009 – ‘London’s Burning


‘Armed Madhouse’ by Greg Palast
‘The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power’ by Joel Bakan

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West Plots To Supplant United Nations With Global NATO by Rick Rozoff

27 May, 2009 – Stop NATO

Ten years ago it first became evident to the world that moves were afoot in major Western capitals to circumvent, subvert and ultimately supplant the United Nations, as the UN could not always be counted on to act in strict accordance with the dictates of the United States and its NATO allies.

At that time in 1999 the NATO alliance was waging what would become a 78-day bombing war against Yugoslavia in flagrant contravention of the United Nations and of international law in general.

As two of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the five permanent members being the main victorious World War II allies, with the People’s Republic of China having replaced the Republic of China (Taiwan) in 1971 and with Russia as the successor state to the Soviet Union – exactly China and Russia, not being NATO members states, opposed that war and in several other instances the use of sanctions and military force against nations targeted for both by the West.

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Colonizing Culture By Dahr Jamail

27 May 2009 – t r u t h o u t | Perspective



The geo-strategic expansion of the American empire is an accepted fact of contemporary history. I have been writing in these columns about the impact of the US occupation on the people of Iraq in the wake of the “hard” colonization via F-16s, tanks, 2,000-pound bombs, white phosphorous and cluster bombs.

Here I offer a brief glimpse into the less obvious but far more insidious phenomenon of “soft” colonization. That scholars and political thinkers have talked at length of such processes only establishes the uncomfortable reality that history is bound to repeat itself in all its ugliness, unless the human civilization makes a concerted effort to eliminate the use of brute force from human affairs.

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Aryeh Eldad: Israel’s Little Hitler By Khalid Amayreh

28 May 2009 – Palestine Think Tank

Aryeh EldadThere is always fresh evidence justifying the Israeli-Nazi analogy. In recent days and weeks, a number of Israeli officials and lawmakers proposed “draft laws” that would effectively formalize Israel’s de facto racism and seriously restrict the human and civil rights of Israel’s non-Jewish citizens.

One of the proposals being discussed would criminalize the commemoration of Nakba by Palestinians holding the Israeli citizenship. Predictably, the brazenly racist proposal has infuriated Israel’s 1.5-million-strong Palestinian community.

One Israeli Palestinian parliamentarian compared the proposed law with an imagined promulgation by Germany of a law banning all Jewish activities commemorating the holocaust.

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Armando Valladares' CIA organization linked to plot against Evo Morales By Jean-Guy Allard

26 May, 2009 – Granma International

The Bolivian district attorney’s office has identified Hugo Achá Melgar who, according to the AFP news agency, is Bolivia’s representative to the U.S. Human Rights Foundation (HRF), as providing the bulk of the funds for the terrorist gang foiled in Santa Cruz while plotting to assassinate President Evo Morales.

The HRF is a New York-based nongovernmental organization known for its activities of interference and CIA links. Its general secretary, Armando Valladares, is a terrorist of Cuban origin. District Attorney Marcelo Sosa, who is leading the investigation in this case, identified Achá, alias ‘Superman,’ along with Alejandro Melgar, ‘El Lucas,’ as being involved in and funding the plot.

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Ken Loach open letter to the Edinburgh Film Festival

Mardi 26 mai 2009 – Russell Tribunal on Palestine

Ken Loach open letter to the Edinburgh Film Festival
Following an open letter from the Israeli film maker Tali Shalom Ezer (see below as well), here is Ken Loach’s full reply.

This was sent to Sunday Times but the newspaper never published this in full.

Dear Tali Shalom Ezer

From the beginning, Israel and its supporters have attacked their critics as anti-semites or racists. It is a tactic to undermine rational debate.

To be crystal clear: as a film maker you will receive a warm welcome in Edinburgh. You are not censored or rejected. The opposition was to the Festival’s taking money from the Israeli state.

The call for a boycott of Israeli cultural institutions comes from many Palestinians: writers, artists, journalists, lawyers, academics, trades unionists, teachers. They see it as ‘a contribution to the struggle to end Israel ’s occupation, colonisation and system of apartheid.’ Who are we, that we should not heed their call? Your counter arguments were used against the South African boycott yet that proved eventually to be successful.

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Palfest closed by armed Israeli policemen BY BRENDA HEARD

26 May 2009 – Palestine Think Tank


British author Michael Palin at the Second Annual Palestine Festival of Literature

When Right Succumbs to Might

“The only democracy in the Middle East.” It has become a cliché amongst supporters of Israel, a phrase as common with parliamentarians as it is with propagandists. These supporters excuse themselves from turning a blind eye to Israeli violations of international law by claiming that they are not taking sides, but that they are defending the very principles of democracy. They are ostensibly defending one of the basic tenets of democracy—the freedom of a people to think and speak for themselves.

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Video: Shell on Trial: Landmark Trial Set to Begin Over Shell's Role in 1995 Execution of Nigerian Human Rights Activist Ken Saro-Wiwa

26 May, 2009 – Democracy Now!

A landmark trial against oil giant Royal Dutch Shell’s alleged involvement in human rights violations in the Niger Delta begins this Wednesday in a federal court in New York. Fourteen years after the widely condemned execution of the acclaimed Nigerian writer and environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, the court will hear allegations that Shell was complicit in his torture and execution.

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U.S.: “There’s No Way I’m Going to Deploy to Afghanistan” By Dahr Jamail

26 May, 2009 – Inter Press Service

MARFA, Texas, (IPS) – “It’s a matter of what I’m willing to live with,” Specialist Victor Agosto of the U.S. Army, who is refusing orders to deploy to Afghanistan, explained to IPS. “I’m not willing to participate in this occupation, knowing it is completely wrong.”

Agosto, who returned from a 13-month deployment to Iraq in November 2007, is based at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas.

While in Iraq, Agosto never left his base, located in northern Iraq.

“I never had any traumatic experiences, never fired my weapon,” Agosto told IPS in a phone interview. “I mostly worked in information technology, working on computers and keeping the network functioning well. But it was in Iraq that I turned against the occupations. Through my reading, and watching what was going on, I started to feel very guilty.”

Agosto added, “What I did there, I know I contributed to death and human suffering. It’s hard to quantify how much I caused, but I know I contributed to it.”

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