Posts Tagged ‘election’

AntiWar Radio host Scott Horton really grills the son of Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), Dr. Rand Paul, who announced last week that he’s opened an exploratory committee for a U.S. Sentate run in 2010, representing Kentucky. (more…)

The second half of Prof. Chomsky’s interview by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! (DN!). Part One is found here. (more…)

The Riz Khan Show discusses the referendum allowing Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez to remain in power. (more…)

Noam Chomsky gives a preliminary assessment of the US-Israel war on Gaza and its consequences in an interview conducted by Assaf Kfoury on January 31, 2009. The Arabic translation of the interview will appear in the Beirut daily as-Safir. (more…)

Russia Today interviews libertarian socialist Palestine-Israel scholar Prof. Norman Finkelstein, author of The Holocaust Industry, on Obama and Israel being a ‘Satanic client state’ of the US. (more…)

al Jazeera‘s “Inside Story” takes a look at where the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas is now, where it can go, and the Feb. 10th elections in Israel. (more…)

Prof. Chomsky speaks at MIT on Gaza, Israel, Hamas, Lebanon, Hizbollah, State Terror, the West’s tacit consent and overt support of Israel, and more. (more…)

al Jazeera special on Israel’s occupation of Gaza after official withdrawal in 2005 and Hamas retaliation leading up to the Gaza Massacre in 2008 and current war and panel analysis of the war through its third week. (more…)


Israeli diplomats have been instructed to highlight the plight of Israelis under rocket fire from Gaza, officials said Monday, with the apparent aim of preparing world opinion for possible stepped-up action by Israel’s military.

There was a lull in militant fire Monday. Hamas spokesman Ayman Taha said his group was holding its fire for 24 hours in the hope that Israel would allow in humanitarian aid….

Ministry officials said the diplomatic moves were in part a pre-emptive step to block any U.N. Security Council resolution that could interfere with an Israeli operation. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the specifics of the Israeli moves were not officially made public.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak met last week and decided to green-light a Gaza operation, but left the timing vague.

Israeli leaders have made similar decisions repeatedly in the past. Some experts say Israel’s government isn’t really interested in a military offensive, and the flurry of recent activity is only the government scrambling to show the public that it is taking some form of action.

Hamas has transformed itself from a ragtag militia to a highly organized and well-armed force, and Israel’s military is wary about potentially high losses in its ranks in an operation that would have uncertain results.“There is real concern in the military and the defense ministry about the price, and they are trying everything not to go into Gaza,” said Reuven Pedatzur, a military analyst at Tel Aviv University.

But if rockets kill a large number of Israelis, he said, “they won’t have a choice.”

In the past, Israel’s military incursions into Gaza have ended with high Palestinian casualties and no long-term reduction in rocket fire.

Israel pulled all of its troops and settlers out of Gaza in 2005, a withdrawal that was followed by more rocket fire by militants and a violent takeover by Hamas.

A six-month truce between Israel and Hamas officially expired Friday after unraveling over a period of weeks. Israel has largely sealed Gaza’s border crossings since early November in response, causing shortages of fuel and basic supplies. On Monday, Gazans lined up at bakeries as flour supplies threatened to run out, and the territory continued to be plagued by power shortages.

Though, Mr. Barak has ‘green-lighted’ an attack on Gaza, he’s critical of a potential Gaza operation:

“I’m hearing repeated populist statements from those who have never experienced or seen a war, people who are now becoming promoters of ‘different politics.’ This babbling is costing us lives and may damage the effectiveness of a Gaza operation,” Defense Minister and Labor chairman Ehud Barak said at a faction meeting on Monday morning, according to an Army Radio report.“When these promoters of ‘different politics’ dealt with war while serving in the government, they demonstrated light-headedness and abandonment even in regards to national considerations, at times due to personal motives. The public will eventually need to judge their actions,” said Barak.

The Jerusalem Post interprets this mainly directed to Israeli Foreign Minister and ’09 prime minister candidate, Tzipi Livni’s recent comments that most recently include, “We will not allow the prolonged existence of a Hamastan state in Gaza.” Hamas is open to a new cease-fire arrangement as more organizations call Israeli settlements illegitimate, but has threatened serious retaliation to an attack from Israel, not excluding anything, including suicide bombings:

‘The Palestinian resistance has the right to use every available means to defend the people in the face of the Israeli aggression, including martyrdom operations,’ Hamas Gaza spokesman Ayman Taha said.

Taha warned Israel that if it did launch such an operation, ‘the Palestinian people and their resistance powers will know how to respond to the aggression and foil its aims.’

After days of violence on the Gaza border, the already plagued Palestinian territory, the World Bank has calls for less West Bank trade — adding potential economic devastation to the existing hurdles Palestinans have to jump to participate in the global market and survive on top of the high amount of casualties anticipated by Israel and the global community.

Escalated violence between Israel and Hamas will put the US and the UN in a corner were Hamas soldiers to receive support from Syria, Lebanon, and Iran to counter Israel’s support by the West. This anticipated support has brought on Russia’s support for the Palestinians after diplomatic efforts by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Were Israel to strike Gaza, the UN Security Council would become an even faster growing house of conflicting interests.

The three blind mice on the ballot to become Israel’s next prime minister — Binyamin Netanyahu (top left), Tzipi Livni (top right), and Ehud Barak (bottom left) — are fueling the fire with Iran, Syria, and the Palestinians by not offering real solutions.

Ms. Livni, whose dubbed as a ‘dove,’ is Israel’s current Foreign Minister and “has taken a tough stance against the Palestinians since becoming defense minister more than a year ago” that includes telling Palestinians that their “national solution lies elsewhere.”

Commentary by Uri Avnery:

A MAN was asked about his sons. “I have three,” he said, “but one of them is a complete idiot.”

“Which one?” they asked.

“Take your pick,” he replied.

In a 50 days, we shall vote for a new Knesset and a new government.

Three big parties are competing for the prize: Kadima, Likud and Labor.

From there on, see the joke…

Binyamin Netanyahu says that this is not the time for peace with the Palestinians. We have to wait until conditions are ripe. Not on our side, of course, but on the Palestinian side. And who is going to decide whether the conditions are ripe on the Palestinian side? Binyamin Netanyahu, of course. He or his successors, or the successors of his successors.

Tzipi Livni says – or so it seems – the very opposite. We have to talk with the Palestinians. What about? Not about Jerusalem, God forbid. And not about the refugees. So about what? About the weather, perhaps? Tzipi’s plan, one has to conclude, is to go on talking and talking and talking, and never to reach any practical agreement.

Ehud Barak has not withdrawn his fateful pronouncement of eight years ago, when he came back from the failed (thanks to him) Camp David conference: “We have no partner for peace.”

Not one of the three has stood up and told the public in simple words: I am going to make peace with the Palestinians in the course of 2009. This peace will include the establishment of a Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 borders, with agreed minor border changes on the basis of 1:1, turning Jerusalem into the capital of the two states and agreeing on a reasonable solution of the refugee problem, a solution Israel can live with.

Not one of the three has offered any peace plan at all. Only hollow words. Only spin.Like the alternative offered by Netanyahu: to ameliorate the living conditions of the Palestinians. Living conditions under occupation? When 600 roadblocks in the West Bank prevent free movement? When every violent act of resistance leads to collective punishment? When death-squads go out in the night to liquidate “wanted men”? Only a madman would invest money in such a territory.ALL THE THREE are united in their view that Hamas must be eliminated. True, not one of them declares publicly that the Gaza Strip should be reoccupied – something that is wildly unpopular both with the public and the army chiefs. But all three support the tight blockade on the Gaza Strip, believing that if the population has no bread and the hospitals no medicaments or fuel, the Gaza public will rise up and overthrow the Hamas regime. For now, the opposite is happening. This week a quarter of a million people – almost half the adult population of the Strip! – took part in a rally to celebrate the birthday of Hamas.Not one of the three has stood up and said: I shall talk with Hamas and bring them into the peace process….

Perhaps all three of them secretly think so. But each of them tells himself/herself: “What, am I crazy? To take on the Golan settlers and their supporters in Israel?” Someone who is not prepared to remove even one miserable outpost in the West Bank, for fear of a clash with the fanatical settlers there, will not take any such risk on the Golan Heights either….

Since the beginnings of Zionism, it has been looking for ways to escape from the “Palestinian problem”. Why? Because if the Zionist movement had admitted that there even exists a Palestinian people, it would have had to find a solution to the actual situation and to the moral problem. Therefore, a hundred different pretexts have been found, each in its time, to ignore the dilemma….Logic, of course, says the opposite. If we sign a peace agreement with the entire Palestinian people and put an end to the occupation, the Persian rug will be swept from under the feet of Ahmadinejad and the likes of him. When the Palestinians recognize Israel and make peace, the anti-Israeli Crusade (or, rather, Crescentade) will lose its steam.

I’ve been and continue to be highly skeptical of Pres.-Elect Obama in relation to Israel because his cabinet picks reek of the Zionist Corporate War Party. The change people believed in is slowly turning into change you can only hope for. (Sec. Condoleezza Rice and VP Dick Cheney wouldn’t disagree.)

If Mr. Obama wants to prevent war with Iran, supporting real solutions for the Palestinians must become a condition to support the US’s current unconditional support for Israel.