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1 December 2004 - MiddleEast.Org - MER is Free
News, Views, & Analysis Governments, Lobbies, & the
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BARGHOUTI IN AFTER ALL!

MIDDLEEAST.ORG - MER - Washington - 1 December: Just last Friday, after an unusual to say the least four-hour jail meeting facilitated by the Israelis with a representative of Abu Mazen, Marwan Barghouti reversed himself from the day before and said he wouldn't run. Or so said Abu Mazen's representative upon emerging from the Israeli prison, adding that in fact Barghouti was endorsing Abu Mazen.
Just what combination of threats, promises and deceptions was used last Friday, quite obviously in collusion with the Israelis who have him imprisoned, is not yet known. What is known is that the Israelis allowed no one previously, not even his wife or family members, to meet with Barghouti as was done last Friday.
Last Friday, when word was put out that Barghouti was not going to run, BBC used their rare 'News Alert' procedure to flash the news.
Now with Barghouti's entrance into the Palestinian election race and with Hamas in part threatening to 'boycot' if their own interests are not met -- and with Iraq exploding in greater hatred and violence against the Americans -- the entire U.S.-Israeli strategy for January 'elections' in both occupied Palestine and Iraq is very much in doubt.


BARGHOUTI SAYS YES

RAMALLAH, West Bank Dec 1, 2004 Jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti reversed an earlier decision and took the first steps Wednesday to run for the presidency to succeed the late Yasser Arafat, throwing Palestinian politics into disarray.

Adding to the turmoil, the Islamic militant group Hamas announced that it will boycott the Jan. 9 election, the first sign of open tensions with the interim Palestinian leadership since Arafat died in France on Nov. 11.

If Hamas' tens of thousands of supporters abide by the boycott, it could undercut the legitimacy of the vote.

<>A candidacy by Barghouti, meanwhile, will likely split the ruling Fatah movement, which has backed the candidacy of interim Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. Barghouti, a leader of the younger generation in Fatah, is more popular than the staid Abbas.

Barghouti's campaign on Wednesday paid a $3,000 deposit required from <> independent candidates, said Saed Nimr, head of a group devoted to freeing Barghouti from an Israeli prison.

Barghouti's wife, Fadwa, who visited him in prison Wednesday, was traveling to Ramallah to submit the formal papers for her husband's candidacy to the Central Election Commission, along with the required 5,000 signatures of support collected by his campaign, Nimr said. Because Abbas is Fatah's candidate, Barghouti would have to run as an independent candidate.

Barghouti, 45, is serving five consecutive life terms in an Israeli prison for his role in deadly shooting attacks that killed four Israelis and a Greek monk. Barghouti has denied involvement in violence.

Israel considers Barghouti a murderer and has said he won't be released from prison.

A Barghouti presidency would shake up the chances for resuming the peace process. Barghouti also favors a negotiated settlement, but has praised armed confrontation with the Israeli military. Abbas has been critical of the armed uprising against Israel and is eager to resume peace talks.

Barghouti has wavered repeatedly on whether to run. Several days ago, he announced he would drop out of the race for the sake of unity. When he did so, members of Fatah's young guard pledged to unite behind Abbas.

Barghouti's return to the campaign threatened to divide that united front in Fatah. Many young Fatah activists have complained that the long-entrenched Palestinian leadership has frozen them out of key positions.

Also Wednesday, Israel and Egypt reached agreement for Egypt to deploy 750 troops along its border with the Gaza Strip ahead of Israel's planned withdrawal from the territory, senior Israeli officials said.

The decision was made at a meeting in Jerusalem between Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, officials said on condition of anonymity.

Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip is to begin in July 2005, according to the government's "unilateral disengagement" plan.

Word of Barghouti's candidacy came just hours after Abbas formally launched his campaign for Palestinian Authority president.

Abbas called for a renewal of peace talks with Israel and said the two sides would meet after the election. "We must have a dialogue with the Israelis," Abbas said at his campaign headquarters. "After the elections, we will meet again" to discuss the road map.

The internationally backed peace plan calls for the establishment of an independent state next year, but has been stalled since it was signed in June 2003.

The Palestinians have failed to meet their commitment to crack down on militant groups like Hamas, while Israel hasn't kept its pledge to halt settlement construction and pull down settlement outposts.

Abbas indicated that he is ready to take action against the militants. "Every nation has opposition groups, but there are also laws and institutions," he said. "I am committed to having one authority and only one army and political pluralism."

He brushed off the Hamas boycott. Hamas sat out the first Palestinian general election in 1996 because it was a result of interim peace deals with Israel. Hamas opposes peace talks and is committed to Israel's destruction.

With the road map stalled, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has pushed forward with his plan to pull out of the Gaza Strip and four small enclaves in the West Bank.

Sharon initially envisioned the moves as a unilateral act, arguing that he has no Palestinian partner. But since Arafat's death, Sharon has expressed willingness to coordinate the withdrawal with the new Palestinian leadership.

However, Israel still wants Egyptian involvement as a mediator.

Details of the Egyptian troop deployment on the Gaza border including the placement of the soldiers and the types of weapons they will be allowed to carry will be decided at future meetings, Israeli officials said.

They said the deployment would not require a change in the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty of 1979, which forbids the presence of Egyptian troops adjacent to Gaza. Instead, there would be facilitated by an exchange of letters between the sides.

Israel has been pressing for Egyptian help because it fears a Gaza withdrawal will leave a security vacuum. Gaza has been plagued by increasing chaos in recent months. Palestinian militants have also stepped up attacks on Israelis in the area in recent months to make it appear as if Israel is fleeing.






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December 2004


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PLEASE FORWARD this about MER to friends and family.
(December 18, 2004)
Unique and Exclusive: News, Views, & Analysis Governments, Lobbies, & the Corporate Media Don't Want You To Know. MiddleEast.Org

MER Article Causes Conf Cancellation as Palestinian Speaker Abruptly Backs Out
(December 17, 2004)
The organization it seems then quickly changed the homepage of it's elaborate website, removing the main lead picture at the top which showed members of the organization posing with senior National Security Council neocon Elliot Abrams. Also removed quickly was the picture of Khalidi. Additionally all information about the phone conference which was advertised to feature Khalidi at 8pm Thursday evening simply disappeared; all mention of something that had previously been prominently promoted simply vanished without explanation or comment as if it never was to be.

Prof Rashid Khalidi helps Israeli and American Jewish Zionist groups
(December 16, 2004)
While courageous Israeli academics like Tanya Reinhart at Tel Aviv University, long time Israeli writers like Uri Avneri, and brilliant journalists like Robert Fisk are in fact speaking up loudly warning about what Sharon and Peres and their armies of propaganda agents and client organizations are up to; tragically Palestinian academics like Rashid Khalidi are cowering more than ever even to the extent of allowing themselves to be more blatantly used by the Zionist organizations than ever before.

Egypt pushed and bribed to Economic 'Intercourse' with Israel
(December 15, 2004)
Since the first Camp David Middle East summit estimates are that overall, including economic, military, CIA, and AID American monies, Egypt has received in one way or another approaching $100 billion for agreeing to the American-pushed 'peace agreement'... The once proud though poor greatest of the Arab countries, Egypt, constantly feels the stain of historic political prostitution.

ABBAS/ALA/SHAATH Regime Running Fast - Half Palestinian People Not Allowed to Vote
(December 14, 2004)
In a few weeks the U.S. and Israeli approved and financed 'election' will take place. The most credible and respected Palestinian leaders are gone. The widely supported Hamas organization is boycotting. 'Israeli Palestinians' are not allowed to vote. 'Jerusalem Palestinians' will have to vote absentee. And forgotten most of all are the majority of Palestinians -- most of them still living in refugee camps throughout the region from Jordan to Syria to Lebanon -- who will have no vote at all thanks to the policies of Israel, the United States, and the 'new Palestinian leadership'.

Latest Washington Israeli Spy Scandal Escalating
(December 13, 2004)
There are some in Washington who think that the current spy investigations, possibly now expanding further, can be used to put a little pressure on the Israelis when it comes to the political deal making that may lie ahead both in the region and with the Palestinians. But there are others who think the Israelis are far better at this game than the Americans and that their list of Washington skunks and scandals involving many senior government officials now and past is considerably more extensive than what the Americans can pin on them should it ever come to that.

MER Track Record and the Assassination/Coverup of Yasser Arafat
(December 13, 2004)
Looking ahead, the historical stakes have become much higher, the costs in bloodshed and treasure already far greater, and the new 'peace process' already considerably more convoluted with even greater ominous implications for all in the international community of nations.

AMERICA the TITANIC
(December 11, 2004)
From the heart of the Washington Republican 'National Security' establishment, Harlan Ullman warns that the U.S. has sailed into very dangerous times and appears like the TITANIC headed for disaster. The dangers Ullman warns are in many ways as much from within as from without. The TITANIC metaphor is a powerful one, and Ullman repeats it a number of times for emphasis.

Palestinian Push - Over and Under
(December 10, 2004)
The big U.S. and Israeli Palestinian push is on. Put in place a new 'moderate' under control Palestinian regime, pump in some money for bribes and payoffs, train more regime 'security police', declare an end to the uprising against occupation (the Intifada), hard repress any and all opposition, kill and arrest those who continue to fight, and presto maybe you have a new police-state client-regime dutifully labled 'moderate' and 'democracy' however quisling in reality.

CHENEY Did It! Smoking Gun Court Case About WMD Scandal
(December 9, 2004)
In this eye-opening story today about a very unusual court case brought by a former senior CIA analysis which could serve as the smoking gun that the Bush/Cheney administration purposefully cooked the WMD books there's not a single mention of the unprecedented 9 or more once secret visits to the CIA of VP Cheney or the real potential significance of this legal political bombshell.

Ghosts of Vietnam and the 'Evil Empire'
(December 8, 2004)
More and more even in Washington circles these days one hears...but in spoken whispers certainly not in the corporate print or TV media..."police state", "fascism", "Good Germans". As for Capitol Hill, it looks more like a "no-go-zone" these days -- beyond being 'Occupied Israeli territory' -- than the Congress of a free and brave democracy.

Iraq and Palestine - Gloomy Predictions
(December 7, 2004)
Whether the further explosions and greater yet bloodshed and civil war will erupt in weeks, or months, or years, the course is now far more clear than the corporate media usually deals with. But today the New York Times is used for major leaks from the under-purge under-blame CIA about what to really expect in occupied Iraq, and recently the brilliant British journalist Robert Fisk wrote in The Independent about what to really expect in occupied Palestine.

America's Mubarak Regime
(December 6, 2004)
Moreover Mubarak is cooperating with the Israeli-American plan to now bring in Egyptian military forces to guard Gaza's southern border and help police the Palestinians into submission. If allowed to proceed by the Palestinians they can expect European and/or U.N. forces to be forced on them in the future in the deceptive guise of an expanded 'roadmap peace plan' to control the West Bank if the new Palestinian regime isn't up to the job.

Anti-Semitism? Rubbish!
(December 4, 2004)
Now what's going on with the Presbyterians is not at all "anti-semitism" as that term has been known over the years. It is anti-Israel, and many of the American Jewish Zionist organizations will insist it is anti-Jewish -- which in a sense is true if the positions these Jewish organizations take are fair game for protest, which indeed they are.

Ziad Asali - Latest Washington Palestinian Quisling
(December 3, 2004)
One of the many reasons the Palestinian people are in the terrible predicament they find themselves has been the extraordinarily co-opted quisling persons that so tragically have been allowed to represent them in Washington and to the American media for so many years. For those wondering about this choice of words, the definition of 'quisling', admittedly very pointed and harsh, does not give the full explanation of what has happened in Washington but it will have to do for now. During the German ooccupation of Norway in World War II the head of the Nazi-installed regime was Vidkun Quisling. His very name has since come to mean: A traitor who serves as the puppet of the enemy occupying his or her country.

9/11 was foreseeable one way or another
(December 3, 2004)
What has happened in recent years, indeed what happened on 9/11 and then it's aftermath, were in general quite foreseeable, no matter how much official Washington keeps pretending otherwise. The aggressive, imperialistic, self-righteous, deceptive, and oh-so-arrogant policies of the United States and Israel were at work for decades provoking and creating a kind of historical blowback that the whole world is now forced to live with. The following MER Editorial was published on Thanksgiving day in November 1997.

To Book Publishers and Literary Agents
(December 3, 2004)
MER is now looking for a literary agent and a publishing house. With events in the Middle East now gripping the headlines, with another round in the Israeli-Palestinian 'Peace Process' now at hand, and with the crusading 'neocons' firmly empowered in Washington, serious book publication on these subjects is more timely and more needed than ever. We have a unique compendium of exclusive MER articles, plus program and speech transcriptions, in addition to a number of highly qualified individual expert authors, which we are now interested in publishing.

FBI and Israeli-Jewish Lobby Square Off
(December 2, 2004)
You'd think that when the Capitol Hill offices of the most important foreign policy/Middle East 'lobby' are invaded by the FBI, computers and files seized and subpoenas served against top officials, this would be important news in Washington.

War Crimes Escalating - From Guernica to Fallujah
(December 2, 2004)
The new American-Israeli crusade, masquerading as the bringing of 'democracy and freedom' to the Muslim and Arab peoples, is marching on with new targets now in sight: Iran, Hezbollah, Syria, Hamas, N. Korea, Pakistan (if, or is it when, Musharraf falls)...and who knows who else as all are being coerced or forced to march into the bleak unknown. Fallujah is not meant to be an end for the coalition of fundamentalist and Zionist Neocons who now have Washington firmly in their grip; it is rather another new escalating beginning.

NewsFlash - Barghouti IN! After All
(December 1, 2004)
Now with Barghouti's entrance into the Palestinian election race and with Hamas in part threatening to 'boycot' if their own interests are not met -- and with Iraq exploding in greater hatred and violence against the Americans -- the entire U.S.-Israeli strategy for January 'elections' in both occupied Palestine and Iraq is very much in doubt.

Sharon - Past and Future - MER FLASHBACK
(December 1, 2004)
"Sharon was a killer obsessed with hatred of Palestinians. I had promised Arafat that his people would not get any harm. Sharon, however, ignored this commitment entirely. Sharon's word is worth nil." -Ambassador Philip Habib, Ronald Reagan's Special Middle East Envoy*

America's 'GUERNICA'
(December 1, 2004)
Pablo Picasso's haunting painting, 'Guernica', has immortalized that Spanish city whose brutal destruction was a precursor to all the horrendous death and suffering of World War II, now a finally fading generation ago. It was on Thanksgiving Day that we published detailed foreign reports about what has been done this month by what many in the world now consider to be the imperial crusading forces of the United States and Great Britain, 'on our watch', to the Iraqi city of 'Falluja' -- Falluja in Memoriam on Thanksgiving. Now this haunting essay, "Fallujah: America's Guernica", suggests a historical twist in time and fate we all should be pondering.




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