Saturday, April 26, 2008

Story of my banishment

I had written all the details of my ban on my French speaking blog but Rime Allaf suggested I write the story in English. She wrote an introduction which you will find here

Here is my report :

"Six months ago, on October 27, 2007, in the bleak hours of the morning I was about to board a flight to Brussels at the Damascus international airport. I was leaving for a holiday, or so I thought.

I had cleared the emigration service and was about to proceed to the boarding area, when a policeman caught up with me, asked me the name of my father, and shortly thereafter came back and announced in a very neutral voice : you may leave but you’ll NEVER come back. “ABADAN ? What did I do? I’ll die !”

I phoned a friend thinking that my poor Arabic was responsible for misunderstanding this horrible news and the friend confirmed the sentence.

Upon arrival in Brussels, I went straight to the Syrian embassy and they told me they had no file about me, that my visa was valid and that it had not even been cancelled in Damascus. So, as far as they were concerned, I could go back. I wrote them a report about what happened and it was translated and sent to Damascus.

Back I went on January 9 after a friend with “wasta” had assured me that there was no obstacle to my return. I spent 20 hours in Damascus in the transit area of the airport before being shipped out. I was not allowed to see my friends or to leave them the presents I had brought with me.

A new Syrian consul arrived in Brussels and I went to see him. He asked me to write a letter. I wrote it in Arabic and he forwarded it to Damascus. He never got an answer. So, I applied for a new visa and I obtained it; nevertheless, according to other sources in Damascus, I am still blacklisted and not because I was part of an expelled shipment of University students who were mere listeners as I had thought so far. Where is the hitch?

Usually, when people are expelled, they are given time to pack. Not in my case. Fortunately, I had just paid 8 months of rent and my possessions were safe. My wonderful Syrian friends did all the sorting, disposing, packing and shipping of what I had accumulated during five years in books, records, clothes.

So, now I am in exile, pining for Damascus trying to rebuild a life elsewhere, but where? I cannot complain: I have a country and a house, things which most refugees are without.

The Israeli Project Has Failed in Lebanon

This will be my last post for a while
From CounterPunch

April 25, 2008

Why the Bush Administration Wants to Negotiate Now with Hezbollah


Note: This is the second installment in Franklin Lamb’s extraordinary three-part series, which we are publishing across Thursday, Friday and the weekend. Editors.

"These fools do not learn from their past mistakes. When they withdrew from Lebanon, they continued to occupy the Shebaa Farms and kept our brothers in custody. Had they released them when they left Lebanon, there would not now be a 'prisoner issue' between Lebanon and the enemy. They opened the door for us."

Hassan Nasrallah, January 2004,during a welcome home ceremony for Lebanese and Arab detainees as a result of a Hezbollah-Israel swap.


Syria nuke charge backlash

A very interesting video

Former U.N. weapons expert David Kay talks about allegations Syria built a nuclear reactor.

Source: CNN
Added On April 26, 2008

Syria scoffs at U.S. nuclear claims, says CIA fabricated photos

DAMASCUS, Syria — Syria is scoffing at U.S. claims it was building a nuclear reactor at a site attacked by Israel warplanes seven months ago.

Syria's ambassador to the United States said Friday the CIA fabricated pictures allegedly taken inside the secret reactor.

Ambassador Imad Mostapha also predicted that in the coming weeks the U.S. story about the site will "implode from within."

He said the photos the U.S. government made public are "ludicrous, laughable."

Note : Fox news provides photos of the site HERE

I love the caption of the second picture that to me looks like a barn but the caption of which reads: "This image shows an overhead view of a Syrian nuclear reactor that White House says bear a strong resemblance to one near Yongbyon in North Korea."

Friday, April 25, 2008


I don't think any of the candidates is very desirable but he is probably the lesser evil.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Occupied minds

The above is only the blurb.

"Occupied Minds is the story of two journalists, Jamal Dajani, a Palestinian-American, and David Michaelis, an Israeli citizen, who journey to Jerusalem, their mutual birthplace, to explore new solutions and offer unique insights into the divisive Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The film takes viewers on an emotional and intensely personal odyssey through the streets of one of the world’s most volatile regions."

For the full version see here only on April 24 and 26
Many parts I found enraging to watch as always when witnessing the Israeli abuses but these two journalists are honnest people and I agree with Dajani when he speaks of the one state solution with equality for all.

Monday, April 21, 2008

If Americans Knew What Israel Is Doing! VIDEO WAS CENSORED!

"It is the goal of If Americans Knew to provide full and accurate information on this critical issue, and on our power -- and duty -- to bring a resolution." -

The Israeli government's Foreign Ministry is involved in efforts to influence public opinion on the Internet. Israel's Foreign Ministry orders Internet propagandists, so called "trainee diplomats," to skew online polls and public forums to conform with the Israeli line.[sorry, broken link]

A pro-Israel group's plan to rewrite history on Wikipedia

EI exclusive: a pro-Israel group's plan to rewrite history on Wikipedia
Report, The Electronic Intifada, 21 April 2008

A pro-Israel pressure group is orchestrating a secret, long-term campaign to infiltrate the popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia to rewrite Palestinian history, pass off crude propaganda as fact, and take over Wikipedia administrative structures to ensure these changes go either undetected or unchallenged.


Not so cool facts about Israel

"NOT So Cool Facts About Israel
This is in response to a propaganda video I have seen called "Cool Facts About Israel", which is nothing but a bunch of B.S. Here are the real facts about the Zionist terror state. The truth they don't want you to see. (NOTE: This video has been changed slightly from the original version.)
A person filed a copyright violation against all people showing the original video on YouTube, claiming that ONE picture in the video was his. Let's suffice to say that had this been a pro zionist video condoning terrorism against the Palestinian people he would have had no problem with the use of "his" photo. In this version of the video that photo has been removed.
"Those who try to silence the truth only succeed in spreading it."

Youtube here

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Jimmy in Damascus

This video was referred by Josh Landis at syriacomment


Jewish settlers flood Palestinian neighbours with sewage

Beitar Illit settlers release sewage on Palestinian Wadi Fuqeen village farmlands
By Redress Information & Analysis

19 April 2008

The authorities in the illegal Jewish settlement of Beitar Illit, which is built on stolen Palestinian land, regularly open their sewage tanks on to the farmlands of the Palestinian village of Wadi Fuqeen, ruining crops, contaminating the water table and posing a serious health threat to villagers.


Iran training media for Israel-Syria war

Written by The Media Line News Agency Staff
Published Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting Corporation (IRIB) has begun a training course for war journalists, who will be sent to Syria and Lebanon in case these countries engage in war with Israel, the Iranian news agency 'A'sr Iran reported.

The course, titled "Training Reporters in Crisis," will be taken by 20 radio and TV reporters.

After graduating the course, the journalists will be placed on call and would be sent to Syria and Lebanon if war breaks out there.

Syrian President Bashar Al-Asad gave a speech on Wednesday, where he emphasized that while his country was preparing for war with Israel, he felt the odds for war were not high.

"We know that there are those in the American administration who want this war and so we are preparing for the worst," Al-Asad nevertheless added.

The Syrian president said further that the U.S. wanted a civil war in Lebanon and for there to be war between the Arabs and Iran.

For his part, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has recently told the Israeli daily Yedioth Aharonot that Israeli and Syria were exchanging messages.

"I can assure you that with regard to the standing issues between us and the Syrians, they know what I want of them, and I know well what they want from us."

Copyright © 2008 The Media Line. All Rights Reserved.
You can read the article here

Friday, April 18, 2008

Mr Carter shunned by Israel, Hamas'hero

Watch video
Former President Carter meets with Hamas and outrages Israeli officials.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Chilling footage

Settler curses Fida' Abu 'Ayesha in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron. Filmed by Fida' Abu 'Ayesha, 14, Shooting Back project, 4 July 2006.

From B'Tselem (Israeli information center for human rights in the occupied territories)

"Shooting Back"

A year ago, B'Tselem launched "Shooting Back", a grassroots video advocacy project. "We provide video cameras to Palestinians who live in high-conflict areas, so that they can document violations of their human rights and seek redress. Sample footage is now available online".

Here is one example. Listen to the child's voice

For more, here

From Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera's Jacky Rowland reports from Gaza where a Reuters cameraman, Fadl Shanaa, was killed by Israeli troops.

Shanaa was covering the most recent of clashes that resulted in 17 other Palestinian deaths. Ehud Olmert, Israel's prime minister, said that Hamas was "responsible" for the violence.

Did the soldier aim at him deliberately ? You bet he did !

Gaza: The Holocaust Continues

By One "Democratic" State Group

17 April, 2008

The latest Israeli war crimes in the besieged Gaza Strip have resulted in the brutal killings of 21 Palestinians, including 6 children, within the last 12 hours. More than 40 have been injured.

Fadel Shanaa, a Reuters cameraman, was amongst the dead. His visibly marked car was targeted by an Israeli missile in an attempt to cover up crimes committed in day light.

The areas targeted are Shijaeyah, Beit lahia, and Bureij refugee camp. Al-Salam Mosque in Shejeyah was demolished; Al-Wafa hospital was rampaged; and houses were set on fire. In Juhr El Dik, eastern of Bureij, a group of civilians, including children, was targeted by an Apache helicopter. 14 of them died on the spot.

This comes as the number of terminally ill patients who have died as a result of the imposed heinous siege has reached 135. The latest victims today were two toddlers from the Nusairat camp. The Israeli authorities denied both of them permits to be treated in the West Bank and Jordan.

As 85 per cent of all transport in Gaza has come to a stand still due to shortages in fuel, and as universities and schools have shut down, the people of Gaza are bracing themselves for worse days to come.

Israel seems to get the wrong message, not only from the international community, but also from the Arab world as well. Its Foreign Minister is being welcomed as a hero in Doha, while Jimmy Carter is denied entry into the besieged Gaza Strip.

With this international conspiracy of silence and the complicity of the UN and EU, the people of Gaza are left alone to face the ongoing Holocaust.

All warnings and photos of dead bodies of children and women seem to have failed so far in making the Arab and Islamic worlds translate their words of support into action.

We ask: what is needed more than the photage of Mohammed Burai and the toddlers of Nusairat to convince the Arab world to break this unprecedented, medieval siege? Has the existence of Palestinians become a burden, not only on Israel, but also on the Arab World? Are Palestinians, especially Gazans, left with the option of surrendering, or dying like cockroaches?

This slow-motion genocide must come to an end now before Gaza explodes.

From Countercurrents

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Carter: Arafat fought for a just cause

Carter, my man.
Compare this with Blair who hardly
bowed his head

Wed, 16 Apr 2008 05:15:41
Carter lays a wreath at Arafat's grave
Former US president Jimmy Carter says Yasser Arafat fought for the advancement of the Palestinians and other just causes in the world.

Carter made the statement after laying a wreath on the grave of the deceased Palestinian Authority chairman in Ramallah Tuesday.

He then added Israel was dodging the implementation of the agreements reached during last year's Annapolis peace conference and criticized the regime for not taking the negotiations seriously enough.

Carter, a Nobel Peace laureate, is on a private peace mission to the Middle East that includes stops in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Syria. He returns to Israel on Monday.

The former US president also angered Israel's government by embracing Nasserr al-Shaa'er, Hamas' deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister in Ismail Haniya's government, during a visit to the West Bank.

Prior to his meeting with West Bank-based Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, Carter told reporters Israel refused to grant him permission to travel to the 'besieged' Gaza Strip.

But he said he was determined to meet with exiled Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in Damascus despite Israeli and American objections.


Even Reagan ...

Beneath the photo from the REAGAN DIARIES is an actual quote that Reagan wrote about George "W" in his diaries, recently edited by author Doug Brinkley and published by Harper Collins:

"A moment I've been dreading. George brought his n'er-do-well son around this morning and asked me to find the kid a job. Not the political one who lives in Florida; the one who hangs around here all the time looking shiftless. This so-called kid is already almost 40 and has never had a real job. Maybe I'll call Kinsley over at The New Republic and see if they'll hire him as a contributing editor or something. That looks like easy work."

From the REAGAN DIARIES------entry dated May 17, 1986.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The London Palestine Film Festival 2008

18th April - 1st May

Week one at the Barbican and week two at SOAS

The Palestine Film Foundation (PFF) programmes and runs the annual London Palestine Film Festival. This two-week Festival is the largest event of its kind in the world, showcasing over 35 films dealing with the subject of Palestine each year. Art, fiction, documentary, and experimental work by artists from across the world are screened alongside panel discussions, question and answer sessions, and book talks.

Full details here

History brings tourists to Syria

A wall painting, believed to date from 11th Century, found in Syria last year
Syria's archaeological riches are one of its main attractions

Syria is enjoying a boom in foreign tourism, its government has said, with visitors attracted by its stability as well as the richness of its history.

Visitor numbers rose 23% in the first quarter of the year, the state-owned news agency Sana reported, citing figures from the Ministry of Tourism.

Syria has prioritised tourism development since 2002, offering foreign firms tax incentives to invest.

A British travel firm said Syria was increasingly appealing to Europeans.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

SYRIA: New draft law targets sex traffickers

Photo: Haretha Yousuf/IRIN
Clients throw paper money at an Iraqi prostitute in a bar outside Damascus. Syria is working on a new law to target trafficking, which agencies say includes bringing girls from Iraq to Syria
DAMASCUS, 17 March 2008 (IRIN) - In 2003 Hiba (not her real name), then aged 11, was forced to marry her cousin. The following day she was driven from Baghdad to the border with Syria and sold to traffickers. In Damascus she was forced to dance in night clubs or private homes. Four years later, pregnant and abandoned by her handlers, she was imprisoned by the Syrian authorities on charges of prostitution.

[Read this report in Arabic]

When the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) found her, Hiba was on the point of being deported to Iraq. Instead, the UNHCR - to whom Hiba told her story - arranged for the teenager to be resettled in Canada earlier this month, where she recently gave birth to a baby boy named Zaman (Arabic: time).

“He’s named after the time I never had,” she said.


The Al-Arian case

I watched the movie advertised in the previous post.

"Documentary USA vs. Al-Arian"

The Sami Al-Arian case is really an attempt at intimidation. Making people scared of speaking up for Palestine in the US.

Bless the jury and damn the judge who perverted the justice system.

You can help by signing the petition and writing to the judge.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

USA's war on "terror" : Free Sami al-Arian

"Documentary USA vs. Al-Arian"

This revealing documentary presents a close portrait of an Arab-American family facing terrorism charges leveled by the U.S. government.

In February 2003, the FBI arrested university professor and political activist Sami Al-Arian in Tampa, Florida. Charged with supporting terrorism, he was placed in solitary confinement for 2 1/2 years before he received a trial.

The film follows Sami, his wife Nahla and their five children through the 6 month long trial and the difficult period after the verdict. It is a personal story of a family, who like many Muslims in the USA today, are fighting against increasing stigmatization and discrimination in a post 911-climate.

The film deals with themes of freedom of speech, and the right to a fair trial. It also shows how the media influence public opinion and how the USA`s fear of and fight against terrorism can threaten civil liberties.

40 Days of Hunger Strike, Dr. Sami Lost Over 30 Pounds


ACTION: Write to Judge Gerald Lee asking for better medical care for Dr. Al-Arian and an end to the government's abuse of the grand jury process to continue to detain him. more

MIR: Egypt - The War of Bread


Friday, April 11, 2008

Obama asked for orange juice when offered coffee ! Gasp !

"Most people understand that in a time of war, with the nation teetering on the edge of recession (if one hasn't already started), and the housing market collapsing, and an administration that views the Geneva Conventions as "quaint" and the Bill of Rights as optional, assessing candidates based on who would be the most fun to have a beer with is not the way out of this mess; it's the way we got into it in the first place. Most people -- but not political journalists."

From Media Matters the full article

Veterans demand that Cheney and Bush are charged with war crimes

Is there hope after all ?

Source, and do NOT miss the comments They are incredible ! Some Americans are waking up !

"Excellent start! May many more citizen rebellions erupt in public places across the USA, especially those calling for the arrest and prosecution of the war criminals in power in Washington.

blizzard | 04.10.08 - 1:20 pm | #"

"Wonderful. This is much-needed civil disobedience, which I fervently hope will be one of the precursors to civil war. If the people of America, the owners of America, want to take back America from those who have stolen America, then you owners of America must face the bleak truth that you have to overthrow this current, corrupt, and depraved ruling class. Just like the men and women of honor did in 1775. Truly, this current crisis is even worse than that nightmare.


Al Ahram : Witness accounts of the disposession

Special pages commemorating
50 years of Arab dispossession
since the creation of the
State of Israel

Sixty years after Deir Yassin

The 12 March cartoon by South African cartoonist Zapiro that was later attacked by David Saks of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies and which sparked debate in the country.

Read article here

More about Deir Yassin

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Deir Yassin : April 9 1948

Sixty years ago today, early in the morning of April 9th 1948, commandos of
the Irgun (headed by Menachem Begin) and the Stern Gang attacked Deir
Yassin, a beautiful Arab village with cut stone houses located on the west
side of Jerusalem.

It was several weeks before the end of the British Mandate and the declaration of the State of Israel. The village lay outside the area to be assigned by the United Nations to the Jewish state; it had a peaceful reputation; it was even said by a Jewish newspaper to have driven out some Arab militants.

But it was located on high ground in the corridor between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and with the knowledge of the mainstream Jewish defence force, the Haganah, it was to be conquered and held.

In spite of being better armed, the two Jewish gangs were at first unable to
conquer the village. But after they elicited the help of a small band of
Palmach troops (the elite fighters of the Haganah), Deir Yassin soon fell.
The Palmach soldiers left; it was then that the massacre began.

That evening, over tea and cookies in the neighbouring Jewish settlement of Givat
Shaul, gang members told foreign correspondents that over 200 Arabs were
killed and forty taken prisoner.

This was reported in the New York Times the very next day (4/10/48, p.6). The terrorists claimed to have lost four of their own forces. They boasted of the “battle” but made no mention of the male Palestinians whom they had loaded onto trucks, paraded through some Jewish sections of Jerusalem, and then taken back to a stone quarry between Givat Shaul and Deir Yassin and shot to death.

On April 13th the New York Times reported that 254 Arab men, women, and children had been killed at Deir Yassin; there was no mention of prisoners.

The official Zionist leaders of the Haganah denounced the dissidents of the
Irgun and the Stern Gang accusing them of massacre, robbery, looting and
barbarism. Ben Gurion even sent an apology to King Abdullah.

But this horrific act served the future state of Israel well. As Begin said, “Arabs
throughout the country, induced to believe wild tales of ‘Irgun butchery’
were seized with limitless panic and started to flee for their lives. This
mass flight soon developed into a maddened, uncontrollable stampede.

The political and economic significance of this development can hardly be
over estimated.” (The Revolt, p.164) While modern historians argue that
Begin’s claims were exaggerated and that the actual number of Arabs killed
was closer to 100, they all agree that the massacre at Deir Yassin marked
the beginning of the depopulation of over 400 Arab villages and the exile of
over 700,000 Palestinians.

In spite of protests by Martin Buber and other noted scholars, within a year
the village was repopulated with orthodox Jewish immigrants from Poland,
Rumania and Slovakia. Its cemetery was bulldozed and its name was wiped off
the map.


Monday, April 07, 2008

IRAQ-SYRIA: Some 40 stranded Palestinian refugees resettled in Chile

Almost half the refugees at al-Tanf are under 18 years of age, many of whom have developed asthma as a result of the desert conditions and suffer from high fever, diarrhoea and vomiting

DAMASCUS, 7 April 2008 (IRIN) - Thirty nine Palestinian refugees from Iraq - stuck at al-Tanf refugee camp in no-man’s land on the Iraq-Syria border - have been resettled in Chile.

“Until last year it felt like the doors were closed for moving the Palestinian refugees. The desert conditions at al-Tanf are extremely inappropriate for the refugees to live in. Finally a window of opportunity opened with Chile,” said Laurens Jolles, head of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Syria.


Friday, March 28, 2008

Arab summit boycott of Syria threatens regional conflict

BEIRUT, 28 March 2008 (IRIN) - A boycott by Lebanon and major Arab powers of the Arab summit in Damascus (29-30 March) has dashed hopes for a last-ditch settlement of the Lebanese presidential crisis, raising fears of a descent into violence after it passes.

Political turmoil in Lebanon has often been the precursor to regional conflict and serious humanitarian problems in the past.


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Interview of Mohamed Omer reporting from Gaza

Live from Gaza. Mohammed Omer describes the awful scenes in the streets of Gaza where human bodies and limps scattered in the streets after ... all » the Israeli bombing of Civilian homes. Babies and infants as young as two weeks old with fatal bullet wounds in the mouth and scull. Watch this interview and pass it on to all on your lists. «

Mohammed Omer's web site :

Monday, March 17, 2008

Si non e vero ...

It is a hoax but a beautiful one.

THE HOAX GOES "This incredible machine was built as a collaborative effort between the
Robert M. Trammell Music Conservatory and the Sharon Wick School of
Engineering at the University of Iowa. Amazingly, 97% of the machines
components came from John Deere Industries and Irrigation Equipment of
Bancroft Iowa; yes farm equipment!

It took the team a combined 13,029 hours of set-up, alignment, calibration,
and tuning before filming this video but as you can see it was WELL worth
the effort.

It is now on display in the Matthew Gerhard Alumni Hall at the University
and is already slated to be donated to the Smithsonian"


5 years into the Iraqi catastrophy : 28 km march for Peace

If we don’t stop extending our troops all around the world in nation-building missions, we’re going to have a serious problem coming down the road.
– George W. Bush

the role of the military is to fight and win war and, therefore, prevent war from happening in the first place.
– George W. Bush

"I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace."
-Bush, June 18, 2002
(as in, “I know I’m doing the right thing – and God agrees when I talk to him – so therefore I am, any and all evidence to the contrary.”

Friday, March 14, 2008

Winter soldier

From March 14th to 16th, Pacifica Radio will suspend regular programming to broadcast the historic Winter Soldier gathering in Washington, DC. Hosted by KPFA's Aimee Allison and Aaron Glantz.

My problem with this counter is that it does not mention Iraqi deaths

OK, got it at Sophia's
Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator

Monday, March 10, 2008

Put your writing on the wall

Yes, on the infamous wall of apartheid.

Found at Sophia's

For 30 Euros, someone will put up your message .

Apparently, it does not have to be a political slogan.

I offered myself an 80 spaces message for my birthday.

Look here for how to do it.

The USS Liberty

The USS Liberty Veterans Association (LVA) has tried for over 39 years to expose the truth behind Israel’s deliberate attack on the USS Liberty. Congress has never investigated the June 8, 1967 attack. There has been a colossal cover-up surrounding this tragedy, such as why two flights of Naval aircraft dispatched from Sixth Fleet carriers were recalled.

What is clear is that Israel Defense Forces murdered 34 Americans and wounded 172 on board the USS Liberty in international waters, and that there are few in Congress willing to risk confronting Israel-first lobbyists to wage a long overdue investigation.

An injured Captain William McGonagle was still on the bridge the morning after Israel’s attack on the USS Liberty. (Courtesy


On 08 June 2007, the National Security Agency (NSA) finalized the review of all material relative to the 08 June 1967 attack on the USS Liberty. This additional release adds to the collection of documents and audio recordings and transcripts previously posted to the site on 02 July 2003.
See here
Googling the topic you will come up with incredible material like this one

This is more and more like a Pandora box
(dont mind the Poker cover)

Sands of Sorrow (1950)

Why was a political solution not enforced ? Immediately ? This is two years after they left and after the right to return had been adopted by the UN.

Sands of Sorrow (1950); On the plight of Arab refugees from the Arab-Israeli war. Dorothy Thompson speaks on the refugee problem. Refugees live in tents in the Gaza Strip, are given blankets and food by Egyptian soldiers, and receive flour from UNICEF. A Lebanese priest conducts services. Refugees work as plumbers, carpenters, tailors, and shoemakers in the city of Jerusalem. Doctors vaccinate refugees against disease. Shows the squalid living conditions in refugee camps, starving children, and emphasizes the hopeless condition of the refugees. Producer: Council for the Relief of Palestine Arab Refugees; Creative Commons license: Public Domain


Sunday, March 09, 2008

Egypt leaks information about an American military action against Syria

Jordanian newspaper Al-Arab Al-Youm reported today, through sources that an American message leaked by Egypt to Syria shows that the United States is ready to launch a broad military operation against Syria if it insists on its position on the Lebanese crisis and this is the real reason behind the deployment of “USS Cole” in front of the Syrian - Lebanese waters

The source said that the official announced reason of Condoleezza Rice’s visit to Egypt is to push the Palestinian - Israeli peace process forward but the real reason is to explain the American military actions and the presence of the American ships to the Egyptian leadership.


This is reported today “US waived congressional restriction on Egypt aid” … which says it all.

For a Free Palestine...! new... 60 years...

Ayub Ogada- "Kothbiro"

From here

Paris Bus Tour for Palestine !

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Sonic mosquito 'demonises teens'

Tamasin Ford
Radio 1 Newsbeat, in Burnley

The Mosquito is a device which emits a high-pitched sound to disperse groups of teenagers. Shopkeepers love the Mosquito but campaigners say they demonise young people.

Mosquito device
Only those under the age of 25 can pick up the high-pitched sound

Two weeks ago, it wasn't unusual to find 80 or 90 teenagers hanging outside the Stables restaurant in Towneley Park, Burnley.

But with the help of Lancashire police, the manager installed a Mosquito and he's had no trouble since.

It's thought around 3,500 of the devices are used in England, particularly in shopping centres. They give off a high-pitched sound that only children and young people can hear.

If you're over 25, it doesn't bother you, but 20-year-old Shamila can certainly hear it.


The Jerusalem attack

UK Guardian

The descent into violence in the Middle East accelerated tonight as at least seven people were killed and dozens injured when gunmen opened fire into a crowd of students at one of Jerusalem's largest religious seminaries, the worst attack in the city for at least three years.

Comment from The above article states:

"The attack represents a dramatic escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

You see, this is the type of biased news coverage and commentary that we have been attempting to highlight for several years. Over the past week Israeli forces murdered 120 Palestinians, half of whom were civilians and 20% children. Despite this, the mainstream media informs the world that only now, with a gunman killing 8 Israelis, has the conflict been "escalated".

We could hardly be more disgusted with what passes for objective news reporting in the world today.

Anti-Syria sanctions

Agence France-Presse
2008-03-07 07:08:00

WASHINGTON - The United States has put ships making port calls in Syria on a watchlist, an official said Thursday, as Washington ratcheted up the pressure on Damascus over its alleged links with terrorism.

The decision, which could put pressure on businesses trading or shipping through Syria, was a further blow to long strained ties that had held out brief hopes of improvement last November when the United States courted Syria for the launch of new Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.

Comment from : Justice for the killers of Hariri is a long way off as they most likely are busy with other activities for Mossad. Regarding the killing of Hariri, see:

Mossad Murders Former Lebanese PM in Carbon Copy of 1979 Assassination

Another Finkelstein interview

I was right to be on guard in relation to MEMRI : SEE HERE

This is another interview, about the holocaust industry this time

Friday, March 07, 2008

Norman Finklestein - Israel has to suffer a defeat

I know : this is from MEMRI so it may have been doctored but NF says important things about resisting the invader.

Transcript here

Monday, March 03, 2008

No more Mr. nice guy

From here


By Omar Barghouti, The Electronic Intifada, 2 March 2008

On Friday, 29 February 2008, Israel's deputy defense
minister Matan Vilnai threatened Palestinians in Gaza with
a "holocaust." This date will go down in history as the
beginning of a new phase in the colonial conflict between
Israel and the Palestinians, whereby a senior Israeli
leader, a "leftist" for that matter, has publicly revealed
the genocidal plans Israel is considering to implement
against Palestinians under its military occupation, if
they do not cease to resist its dictates. Omar Barghouti
comments for EI.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

USS Cole

US warships move into E. Mediterranean in case Gaza escalation spills over into Lebanon

February 29, 2008, 9:35 AM (GMT+02:00)

Egyptian Gen. Suleiman cancels Israel visit

Egyptian Gen. Suleiman cancels Israel visit

Friday, Feb. 29, Egypt’s intelligence minister Omar Suleiman canceled his visit to Israel because of estimates in Cairo that hectic preparations current in Israel and the Gaza Strip augur a steep escalation of cross-border violence.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report: Officials in Cairo expect Israel redouble its air bombardment and armored raids against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, and Hamas to intensify and broaden the scope of its missile and rocket attacks on Israeli towns and villages.

Both sides are convinced that a further ratcheting-up of the war will generate indirect truce talks through a third party.

The US has meanwhile posted naval and marine vessels opposite the shores of Israel and Lebanon in case the fighting spreads to a second front. DEBKAfile’s Washington sources quote US and Israeli military sources as skeptical of the chances that prime minister Ehud Olmert and defense minister Ehud Barak will secure a ceasefire. The Gaza conflagration is more likely, they believe, to stir Hizballah to ignite a fresh assault from South Lebanon.

Read on

Israeli minister calls for death to all Gazans

Intensified Israeli attacks on Gaza kill child footballers; Israeli minister calls for death to all Gazans

Four Palestinian children were killed while playing football yesterday as Israel hit back at the Gaza Strip with more than 10 air strikes, after Hamas militants escalated their rocket fire into southern Israel. The deaths follow that of a six-month-old Palestinian baby, who was killed the previous evening when Israel intensified its attack on Gaza after a 47-year-old Israeli man was killed by a Hamas-fired rocket.


Sarkozy : the honeymoon is over

The French are increasingly critical of Sarkozy.

Difficult to please at the best of times, the French are getting tired of their new president Nicolas Sarkozy in a remarkably short time. He came to office like a hurricane with a flurry of promises and a hyperactive style of governance.

He said he would reform French economy and the traditional way of doing things. What he has given his people instead is soap opera and perpetual motion, which has not led to much change thus far.

Nobody blamed Sarkozy for his divorce from his second wife Cecilia while in office. It was an already troubled on-off relationship and people respected her stated desire not to be the subject of public attention as the First Lady.


Friday, February 29, 2008

The story is not true

... and this is not a negationist post

The facts are : this little girl was not Jewish : true, her parents were deported as resistants and were killed in a concentration camp. But she did not set out to look for them by foot and did not live with wolves. But the book is a best seller and was made into a very successful film

She said 'I lived with wolves to escape the Nazis'

After her Jewish parents were rounded up by the Nazis, Misha Defonseca set off on an epic journey to the East to find them. In a remarkable autobiography, she tells how wolves helped her survive. Sarah Foster heard her story.


READ ALSO HERE Misha: A Memoire of the Holocaust Years

For rebuttals of her story (so far only in the French) READ Here
and HERE

p.s. and in English now HERE

Friday, February 22, 2008

Evidence of Israeli "Cowardly Blending" Comes to Light

War Crimes Airbrushed from History


It apparently never occurred to anyone in our leading human rights organisations or the Western media that the same moral and legal standards ought be applied to the behaviour of Israel and Hizbullah during the war on Lebanon 18 months ago. Belatedly, an important effort has been made to set that right.

A new report, written by a respected Israeli human rights organisation, one representing the country's Arab minority not its Jewish majority, has unearthed evidence showing that during the fighting Israel committed war crimes not only against Lebanese civilians -- as was already known -- but also against its own Arab citizens. This is an aspect of the war that has been almost entirely neglected until now.


The colors of Damascus

A new album of pictures taken at the vegetable souk.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Under 18

February 22, 2008 ·

I have been tagged by Sophia to list Six Things One Should Do Before 18. Here are the rules of the game:

1. Post these rules before presenting your list.
2. List 6 actions or achievements you think every person should accomplish before turning 18.
3. There are no conditions on what can be included on the list.
4. At the end of your blog, choose 6, or less, people to get tagged and list their names.
5. People who are tagged write their own blog entry with their 6 suggestions.
6. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged.

Here goes

1. I have never accepted the kind of injunction which says : what you SHOULD do. I remember an uncle who had landmarks for higher education. He never stopped criticising me because I had taken a sabbatical after my baccalauréat because I wanted to reflect on what I wanted to do in life. I am glad I took the break, because it helped me find that I really wanted to become a simultaneous translator.

2. Actions or achievements ? Achievements at 18 ? Getting your baccalauréat or any other diploma or skill which will allow you to become independent from your parents financial backing. But then, you don’t have to get that before you are 18 either. If it takes you longer, that’s ok.

3. Be natural and spontaneous. Be you. But if you are not spontaneous by nature, that is all right too. May be someone will help you unwind. Accept the person you are and love her.

4. Stay away from people who make you feel bad about yourelf; at 18 most of us lack self assurance.

5. Live within your means. Learn to handle a budget: i.e. you have a certain sum for the month; you divide it by the number of days. The result is your daily budget. When you overspend, take what is left over from your allowance and divide by the number of remaining days etc. Reaching the end of the month in the black is something which will help you the rest of your life.

6. Practice a sport and if you have no physical energy, practice meditation.

Six is too little but I shall abide by the rules.

I tagged Yazan, Abou Fares, Rime Allaf, Ihsan Attar

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Syria in pictures : four added albums

Inside a hammam on women's day in Damascus

Hosn Souleiman

The Shalalat in the Yarmouk Valley

Qardaha, the Assad Mausoleum

Saboteurs may have cut Mideast telecom cables

Damage to several undersea telecom cables that caused outages across the Middle East and Asia could have been an act of sabotage, the International Telecommunication Union said on Monday.

"We do not want to preempt the results of ongoing investigations, but we do not rule out that a deliberate act of sabotage caused the damage to the undersea cables over two weeks ago," the UN agency's head of development, Sami al-Murshed, told AFP.


Monday, February 18, 2008

Doomsday' seed bank to be built

Rice is one of the world's most important crops
Norway is planning to build a "doomsday vault" inside a mountain on an Arctic island to hold a seed bank of all known varieties of the world's crops.

The Norwegian government will hollow out a cave on the ice-bound island of Spitsbergen to hold the seed bank.

It will be designed to withstand global catastrophes like nuclear war or natural disasters that would destroy the planet's sources of food.

Seed collection is being organised by the Global Crop Diversity Trust.

Bill Gates is among those who finance the project.


A message from the Iraqi resistance

The video is not recent but it is still very beautiful. You will find more here

Saturday, February 16, 2008

SARKO blows a fuse

The French President has suggested that school children aged 10, "adopt" a Jewish child who died during the Shoah.
See article in Haaretz and read the comments
Interesting suggestion which opens endless possibilites : the kids could also adopt a child from the Nekba, an Algerian child who died during the revolution, Pol Pot's victims etc.
The President's suggestion was coldly received in general.

Friday, February 15, 2008

An earthquake in Damascus ?

I was on the phone with friends in Damascus and suddenly they told me that everything was shaking and moving. It lasted for some long seconds and then stopped. No dammage apparently.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Israeli army abducts 85 Palestinians in the West Bank in one day

Wednesday February 13, 2008 18:32
Jessica Frederick & Ghassan Bannoura -
IMEMC Newsauthor email ghassanb at imemc dot org

The Israeli army on Wednesday invaded both the city of Nablus, in the northern West Bank, and the village of Beit Ummer, located near the city of Hebron in the southern West Bank. In total, at least 85 Palestinian civilians were abducted by the invading military


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tear down the walls

Interview: Tear down the walls
By Saeed Taji Al-Farouky

Jewish academic says Palestinians must
tear down separation wall

Norman Finkelstein is one of Israel's fiercest academic critics and a vocal supporter of the Palestinians.

He is urging the Palestinians to break down the "segregation" wall built across the Israeli-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The son of Holocaust survivors, Finkelstein was an assistant professor of Political Science at Chicago's De Paul University for six years until he was denied tenure there in June 2007.

Known for his critical investigations of other scholarly works on Israel - notably his ongoing feud with Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor and Israel supporter - he has published six books on the occupation and the issue of Palestine.


Israel and Iran

Israel & Iran

February 13, 2008

I don’t understand Israel. First, they have nuclear weapons. And I would say that they are a pretty unstable country, and that their nuclear capability should scare everyone. If the United States broke it’s alliance with Israel, for whatever reason, why wouldn’t Israel use nuclear weapons against Americans?

But this thing now. Israel’s Prime Minister accusing Iran of having nuclear weapons. What is he trying to do? Provoke Iran into attacking Israel? Starting even more war and conflict in the Middle East? And the only evidence that Israel has is that there is no evidence showing that Iran doesn’t have nuclear weapons. That logic doesn’t make much sense to me. Especially since the release of the intelligence report stating that Iran has not had nuclear weapons programs for years.

Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, says he is certain Iran is engaged in a secret operation to build nuclear weapons.

“We are of the view that the Iranians are continuing to pursue their plans to create a capacity for non-conventional weapons,” he said in Berlin on Tuesday at a news conference with Angela Merkel, the German chancellor.

“Nothing we’ve seen so far has changed our view on that,” Olmert said, speaking through an interpreter.

Olmert also said he was sharing information with other countries about Iran’s nuclear programme and that no options should be forgotten in trying to prevent Iran from developing atomic weapons.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Haifa Wehbe

She is charming, beautiful, has the breasts but also a heart.

By ListenArabic.Com - اغاني MP3

Bruges : Jew kicked out for wearing kippah

Antwerp - As VIN News reported earlier today a story�regarding a restaurant in the Belgium city of Bruges which threw out U.S. Professer Mr Kalmann, because he was a Jew. A reader of Vos Iz Neias wrote an email to the restaurant to voice his outrage, and this is the response received from the restaurant.

Dear Sir: Normally we decided not to respond to all the hate-mail we get becouse 90% of them are anonymous. As your mail is undersigned I will answer.

It is true Mr Kalmann visited our restaurant, and it is also true there has been an incident between mr Kalmann and one of the waiters. This incident was based on a discussion about the price of his coffee.
This can be checked in the police-files. It was not at all a racist incident.

In our restaurants we employ over one hundred people. 40% of them are not Belgian, are not catholic, do not have the same color of skin as we do, some of them do not even speak or understand our language (Flemish) and we have no problem with this.

The biggest part of our clients are tourists which means they have a different nationality, different religions, different colors of skins, speak different languages, and we have no problem with this.

We always tell our staff to respect all our clients, rich or poor, white or black, catholic or muslim or jew or … and we never had any problems of this kind. We also expect our clients to show some respect for our staff who works very hard. Unfortunately we sometimes have clients with a different opinion in this matter, but we always try to remain calm and if there sometimes is a discussion we try to solve the problem by speaking to the persons.

Very often we find out there is no real problem but only some misunderstanding because of the peoples different habbits and problem is solved. We never got the occasion to speak to Mr. Kalmann to try to defend ourselves or to solve the problem because he went directly to the police.

I can assure you we regret this. I have read on the site of 'joods actueel' that the waiter said that if Mr. Kalmann want he would like to apologize to him. Why doesn't he get the occasion to do this? It looks to us somebody needed a reason to create a problem and so they did. Really grown up people should try to solve a problem (if there is one) by having a good conversation.
I hope this misunderstanding is solved quick and in a correct way.
All the staff and direction of restaurant 'Le Panier d'Or'

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Jonathan Cook's "Israel and the Clash of Civilisations"

Stephen Lendman Blog
Thu, 07 Feb 2008 06:14 EST

Cook's newest book, just published, is called "Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East." It's the subject of this review in the wake of advance praise. Noted author John Pilger calls it "One of the most cogent understandings of the modern Middle East I have read. It is superb, because the author himself is a unique witness" to events and powerfully documents them. This review covers them in-depth along with some of this writer's reflections on the region from America.


Jonathan Cook is a British-born independent journalist based (since September 2001) in the predominantly Arab city of Nazareth, Israel and is the "first foreign correspondent (living) in the Israeli Arab city...." He's a former reporter and editor of regional newspapers, a freelance sub-editor with national newspapers, and a staff journalist for the London-based Guardian and Observer newspapers. He's also written for The Times, Le Monde diplomatique, the International Herald Tribune, Al-Ahram Weekly and In February 2004, he founded the Nazareth Press Agency.


4th International cartoon contest (SYRIA 2008)

For information click here

See also the Gaza cartoon contest

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Mardi Gras at Binche (Belgium)

The "Gilles" of Binche

Pictures from Le Soir

Since the 14th century, the town of Binche has celebrated the arrival of spring each year through its carnival. It is the only opportunity for the people to see a procession by the “real” Gilles, who are famous for their costume and for throwing oranges.

The town of Binche, in the centre of Hainaut province, has remained unwaveringly faithful to the centuries old tradition of its carnival. This popular gathering celebrates, symbolically, the return of spring. The “Gille” is the central character in these festivities. He embodies the soul of the people of Binche.

There are many legends which attempt to explain the birth of the “Gilles” of Binche. The most famous mentions a carnival-like ceremony organized in 1549 by Maria of Hungary in honour of her brother Charles V and his son Philip II of Spain. To celebrate the recent achievements of the Spanish conquistadores, courtiers travelled in procession disguised as Incas. A variant of this legend claims that real Incas were present. The population of Binche, fascinated by the costumes, then adopted the habit of holding a procession each year with the same type of costume.
read on

Tariq Ali and the Turin Book Fair

Why I Will Not Participate in the Turin Book Fair


When I agreed to participate in the Turin Book Fair, which I have done before, I had no idea that the 'guest of honour' was Israel and its 60th birthday. But this is also the 60th anniversary of what the Palestinian call the 'nakba'the disaster that befell them that year, when they were expelled from their villages, some killed, women raped by the settlers. These facts are no longer disputed. So why did the Turin Book Fair not invite Palestinians in equal numbers? 30 Israeli writers and 30 Palestinian writers (and I promise you they exist and are very fine poets and novelists) might have been seen as a positive and peaceful gesture and a positive debate might have taken place.

A literary version of Daniel Barenboim's Diwan Orchestra, half-Israeli, half-Palestinian. Such a move would have brought people together, but no. The cultural commissars know best. I have argued vigorously with some of the Israeli writers visiting the fair on other occasions and would have happily done the same again if conditions had been different. What they decided to do is an ugly provocation.


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Syrian Bloggers : release the blogger Tariq Biasi

It is stated in the introduction of the Syrian Constitution: “The freedom of the country is only protected by free citizens”

Also the Article 28 in the constitution dictates that: “Every accused person is innocent until he is convicted by a final court judgement”

In the morning of the seventh day of July in 2007, the security authorities asked Tariq Biasi (23 years old) to go to the security branch of Tartus for some investigations concerning a comment he posted in an Arab discussion forum in the Internet. And up to this moment Tariq still behind bars without any trial.

Tariq, who is suffering from liver diseases, still detained in the Palestine Branch in Damascus and it is not permitted to his family to visit him or even know anything about him, despite their multiple attempts with the security authorities.

More than six months passed since the arrest of the Syrian blogger Tariq Biasi by the military security in Damascus without being referred to the relevant trial court to study the charges against him, if there were any in the first place. This may be considered a violation of the provisions of the Constitution and its rules. On the other hand, the suppression of the citizens’ freedom is also against the law.

Tariq’s act does not constitute a contravention of the law, he actually acted on the basis of freedom given to him by the Constitution since the Article 38 states that: "Every citizen has the right to express his opinion freely and openly, orally and written and in all other means of expression. He also has the right to contribute in the control process and in the constructive criticism to ensure the safety of national reconstruction".

Tariq was arrested because of a comment he posted in a web site, and regardless of the content of this comment, it may not be a cause for this long arrest and without a public trial.

Tariq expressed his opinion which would not shake the security nor destabilize the country nor become a sedition against the established order. As a matter of fact the security in Syria is stronger than being shaked by an opinion or a comment posted in the Internet.
Tariq is still young. He loves his country Syria and its people, and he is working for them. The one who loves Syria does not deserve to be thrown in the darkness of prisons for just a spoken word, or merely for an expressed point of view.

Whatever the charge that Tariq was arrested for, he has the right to be tried before the relevant court to consider the evidences that prove this charge and to be given the opportunity to prove his innocence.

Therefore, we call upon the application of the Constitution and law by the transmission of Tariq to the relevant court to study the charges attributed to him. And once the court admits the absence of evidence of any charge we demand that they release him immediately.

It is unfair to let Tariq stay more than that in prison without a fair trial!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Can I Have My Change Back: Arab-Americans and Obama’s False Hope

Remi Kanazi is a Palestinian-American poet and writer based in New York City. He is the co-founder of and the editor of the forthcoming anthology of poetry, Poets for Palestine.

At what point does an individual stop supporting the lesser of two evils? The question became particularly important this primary race, as one man ascended to political stardom ostensibly breaking free from the evils of mainstream politics and creating a platform based on hope and change. This transcendent figure is presidential hopeful Barack Obama.

Searching for substantive policy, I began to chip away at Obama’s political posturing, and came to a daunting conclusion: there are a multitude of reasons one shouldn’t vote for Barack Obama, especially those within the Arab-American community.

Read on here

Sunday, February 03, 2008

It takes 43 muscles to frown and 17 to smile, but it doesn't take any to just sit there with a dumb look on your face (from:

Israel gearing up for Another War

Another piece of gloom and doom; I'll try to do better next time.
Global Research, February 3, 2008
Press TV (Iran) - 2008-02-02

Israel calls for shelter rooms to be set up in a bid to prepare the public for yet another war, this time, one of raining missiles.

"The next war will see a massive use of ballistic weapons against the whole of Israeli territory," claimed retired general Udi Shani.

Shani did not specify whether by 'the next war' he meant a battle against the residents of the Gaza Strip, the Lebanese or the war many speculate Israel will wage on Iran allegedly over its nuclear program, which the recent US National Intelligence Estimate conceded to be void of nuclear arms development intentions.

Speaking on the radio as part of a military propaganda offensive, Colonel Yehiel Kuperstein said the safety of civilians must be assured and put forth a plan to equip apartments with a reinforced room serving as a shelter.

"Today in Israel only one third of apartments have such a room able to provide shelter. They have neither an air filter nor ventilation system enabling anyone to stay there for a long time," said Kuperstein.

Israeli officials, who have been preparing the public for a major war, have started the distribution of brochures in six languages instructing people on how to react during a future war, particularly in the event of missile attacks.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

UN research indicates high levels of trauma among Iraqi refugees

DAMASCUS, 22 January 2008 (IRIN) - Iraqi refugees in Syria are suffering from extreme levels of trauma, far higher than among refugees elsewhere from other recent conflicts, according to new figures released on 22 January by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

read more

The figures, based on interviews with 754 refugees and analysed by the US Center for Disease Control using the Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSC) and the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire (HTQ), reveal that 89.5 percent are suffering from depression, 81.6 percent from anxiety and 67.6 percent from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Photo: Julien Lennert/IRIN

Friday, February 01, 2008

Female bombers kill 72 at Baghdad pet markets

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Female suicide bombers, detonated by remote control, killed 72 people in attacks blamed on al Qaeda at two popular Baghdad pet markets on Friday, the Iraqi capital's worst bombings in six months.

Full article here

Do they really think they died as martyrs ? And what is worse , they were reportedly mentally retarded and exploded by remote control .
Some say that the occupation power engineers some of these attacks.
see here

Thursday, January 31, 2008

A voice from the other side : Seth Freedman

click on the picture

OK, he is an enemy, but he is honest and makes for interesting reading. The comments on his articles are also one notch above the ones you can read at As'ads blog of whom I am a daily fan

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