Jonathan Cook: On being a journalist in the Middle East

26 November, 2010 — Jonathan Cook

Publish It Not

To read in PDF click here – To read at the AMEU website, click here – Or to read the full version (4,000 words longer), click here

Jonathan Cook
The Link – Volume 43, Issue 5
November – December 2010

In the mid-1990s, I arrived in Jerusalem for the first time–then as a tourist–with the potent Western myth at the front of my consciousness: that of Israel as “a light unto the nations,” the plucky underdog facing a menacing Arab world. A series of later professional shocks as a freelance journalist reporting on Israel would shatter those assumptions.

These disillusioning experiences came in the early stages of the second intifada, the Palestinian uprising that began in late 2000. At the time I was often writing for Britain’s Guardian newspaper, first as a staff member based in the foreign department at its head office in London, then later as a freelance journalist in Nazareth. The Guardian has earned an international reputation—including in Israel—as the Western newspaper most critical of Israel’s actions. That may be true, but I quickly found that there were still very clear, and highly unusual, limitations on what could be written about Israel.

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Information Clearing House Newsletter 25 November, 2010 : WikiLeaks Release to Feature Corruption Among World Leaders, Governments

25 November, 2010 — Information Clearing House

WikiLeaks Release to Feature Corruption Among World Leaders, Governments
By Daniel Tencer
The imminent document dump will include reports from US diplomats on corruption within foreign governments and among world leaders.

Classified Papers Prove German Warnings to Bush

By Klaus Wiegrefe
It indicates steps by the German government to prevent the war and undermines claims in George W. Bush’s memoir that Gerhard Schröder indicated he would support the president should the US go to war.

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WikiLeaks has announced release of State Department Secret Correspondence

26 November, 2010 — Global ResearchRIA Novosti

Whistleblower website WikiLeaks, which has published hundreds of U.S. war logs, has announced a pending release of the U.S. Department of State’s secret correspondence, a Russian business daily said on Friday.

Kommersant daily said that WikiLeaks was preparing to unveil messages between the U.S. State Department and U.S. embassies around the world, including in Moscow.

The documents contain the U.S. evaluation of the political situation in Russia and the unflattering characteristics of some Russian leaders, Kommersant cited a WikiLeaks source as saying.

On Wednesday, U.S. State Department’s Assistant Secretary Philip Crowley said that the possible release would ‘put national interests at risk.’

‘We are prepared if this upcoming tranche of documents includes State Department cables. We are in touch with our posts around the world. They have begun the process of notifying governments that [the] release of documents is possible in the near future,’ Kommersant quoted Crowley as saying.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her deputies started calling to world governments, Kommersant said. Moscow has not been notified from the United States yet, the daily quoted an official in the Russian Foreign Ministry as saying.

‘These revelations are harmful to the United States and our interests. They are going to create tension in our relationships between our diplomats and our friends around the world,’ Crowley said, adding that the United States was prepared for the worst outcome.

Rusian Reporter weekly is the only Russian magazine, along with U.S. and German media, which received WikiLeaks materials in advance to prepare publications and alalysis, Rusian Reporter said on its web site.

The main suspect in the leak of these documents, along with the previous logs, is jailed U.S. Private Bradley Manning, who had top-secret clearance as an intelligence analyst for the Army when he was stationed in Iraq.

Pentagon investigators believe that Manning has accessed a worldwide military classified Internet and e-mail system to download the documents.

Manning, 22, was charged in June with several violations of the U.S. Criminal Code for allegedly transferring classified data without authorization.

The WikiLeaks website does not have a central office or any paid staff and its operations are run only by a small dedicated team and some 800 volunteers.

Wikileaks’ founder, Australian activist Julian Assange, has no home address but he often pops up in Sweden and Iceland, where Internet anonymity is protected by laws. He is being hunted by Pentagon investigators and is suspected of releasing confidential U.S. State Department documents.

MOSCOW, November 26 (RIA Novosti)

What the TSA is NOT Telling You about Full Body Scans…

26 November 26 2010 — Dr. Mercola

There are about 350 full-body scanners being used in close to 70 U.S. airports, and that number is expected to increase to 1,000 scanners by the end of 2011. Dubbed “naked” scanners because they give a graphic image of your body, including genitalia and other personal effects like sanitary napkins, the devices are raising privacy and health concerns among frequent travelers and pilots groups alike.The alternative is also causing outrage. Those who opt out of being scanned must now submit to a far more intrusive form of pat-down, and a large number of horror stories have already surfaced, where people of all ages have been humiliated, or worse, during these ‘enhanced’ pat-downs. Ten of the most outrageous ones can be found here.

Are Full-Body Scanners an Invasion of Privacy?

Increasing numbers of people are expressing their outrage over being submitted to full-body scanning. Already the U.S. Travel Association has received hundreds of e-mails and phone calls from angry travelers who say they will stop flying until the scanners are no longer in force.

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Police provocation and media management By Luna 17

25 November 2010 — New Left Project

Police provocation and media management

student-demo.jpgI was emailed this letter earlier today. It has been submitted to The Guardian’s Letters page. It concisely summarises the case against the police’s conduct in central London yesterday:

‘The policing of the student demonstration in London yesterday (24.11.10) was nothing short of corrupt. The police play the ‘innocent’ game frequently, but in this case it is totally blatant as anybody with an authentically independent mind saw.

‘The placing of an empty police minibus (in Whitehall) in the path of a known militant march of student demonstrators is a ‘red rag to a bull’. It is nothing short of entrapment and because of the huge policing resources and plans the police made to kettle demonstrators, is part of a deliberate ‘newsmaking’ for the right wing dominated media.

‘It is also intimidating for protestors to be pushed around and contained, and as such is an attack on the right to demonstrate. If there are any police still interested in real policing, I hope they will disassociate themselves from the operational plans and decision making of the Metropolitan police for that protest march.


Dr Trevor Bark, Co Durham’

Also see the video of the student activists’ press conference concerning yesterday’s ‘kettling’ of protestors.

Mick Barry, “The Socialist Alternative to IMF/EU Diktats”

25 November, 2010 — MRZine

The capitalist media say that there is no alternative to the thrust of the economic policies being advanced by the government, the EU and the IMF. This is completely untrue. There is an alternative — a socialist alternative.

Shut Down Anglo Irish Bank

The bailout of Anglo Irish Bank is set to cost the taxpayer between €29.3 billion and €34.3 billion according to the Government and up to €40 billion according to some economists. The bank should be closed down immediately and the losses should be taken by bondholders, private banks who lent to Anglo and wealthy depositors. The same applies to the Irish Nationwide Building Society.

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UK: Student Actions – Only the Beginning

25 November, 2010 — MRZine

* * *

“[T]his picture from the occupation at Royal Holloway, taken by Philip Ieuan John, illustrates the scale of yesterday’s protest.” — Jamie Stern-Weiner, New Left Project
Day X

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After Day X: 28 Nov Student Coordination

After the day of action . . . NATIONAL STUDENT COORDINATION
12noon — 5pm Sunday 28th November
Birkbeck College, Central London, WC1E 7HX
Initiated by Education Activist Network, supported by NCAFC and ULU Student Assembly.

Wednesday 24th November will go down as a day that shook the Con-Dem government.

With school and college students walking out and protesting en masse and a wave of sit-ins and occupations in universities across the country, a movement has been born that can inspire millions.

These actions have one common aim: to stop the attacks on education, from 40% university teaching budget cuts to soaring tuition fees and the abolition of EMA.  We have one common enemy: the government of David Cameron and George Osborne — and the Liberal Democrats that shamelessly prop them up.

Now we need to take the movement forward at a national level.  We invite every occupation, campaign and group of students who have walked out to send representatives this Sunday to exchange ideas, demands and experiences and to coordinate the next steps in the fight for education.

Join the event on facebook:

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30 November — Second Day of Action!

After today’s success it is important to keep it moving!

We shall not stop until we break the government’s cuts programme or we break the government.

What will you do?

30 November — Join Us!

For more information, visit <> and <>.

VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 25 November, 2010: Israel conducts ‘wave of demolitions,’ including mosque, across West Bank

25 November, 2010 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Army Demolishes Ten Structures In the West Bank
IMEMC – 25 Nov 2010 – Friday November 26, 2010 – 01:54, The Arabs48 News Website reported that Israeli soldiers demolished on Thursday ten structures in two areas in the occupied West Bank, mainly in a village in the northern area of the Jordan Valley.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
IMEMC – 25 Nov 2010 – Thursday November 25, 2010 – 14:15, On Thursday November 25, women and men worldwide celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, The day has been officially adopted by the UN in 1999 (Resolution 54/134), as part of the efforts to raise international and public awareness of the issue.

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UK: Fury builds over policing

25 November, 2010 — Morning Star

by Lizzie Cocker, Education Reporter

Police tactics used against student protesters on Wednesday were condemned as ‘outrageous and unacceptable yesterday by anti-cuts groups the Coalition of Resistance and National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC).

An estimated 130,000 school, college and university students across Britain participated in the day of action, which saw protesters in London -some as young as 13 – pressed into an area at Whitehall for almost nine hours without access to food, water or toilet facilities.

During a press conference which attracted national and international press, University of London Union president Clare Solomon said that it was ‘unbelievable that the police do not know the law themselves. Collective punishment was outlawed at the Nuremberg tribunal.’

A number of protesters were also badly injured after police beat them with batons and one was reportedly trampled by police on horseback who unexpectedly charged at a crowd of about 1,000 protesters.

Joanna Pinto of the NCAFC described how a friend was badly beaten by police after trying to alert them to potential danger. And Ms Solomon revealed that footage of one young boy being so brutally attacked by one officer that his colleagues had to drag him away is expected to be sent to the media.

Simon Hardy of NCAFC urged the Metropolitan police to ‘change their tactics for further demonstrations.’

With 16 universities still occupied today, representatives of both organisations insisted that direct action and demonstrations would ‘escalate,’ beginning with a third wave of nationwide protests next Tuesday which would gain the support of many of Wednesday’s protesters.

Further mass mobilisations are highly likely on the day that tuition fees are voted on in Parliament, which is likely to be within weeks.

Speaking about of the Coalition of Resistance founding conference on Saturday, Feyzi Ismail, a student who is involved in the latest SOAS university occupation, said: ‘If you are going to spend £20 billion on the war, if you are going to spend £75 billion on Trident, you are lowering corporation tax and not collecting tax from the rich – we are asking: Where are your priorities?

‘This is about what we value in society. You are cutting education, but this is a right not a privilege. We are shifting the debate and more people are on our side against the cuts.’

Continuing the pressure on the Lib Dems, around 45 LSE and LSB university students were blockading the offices of party deputy leader Simon Hughes today as the Star went to press.