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9 December 2004 - MiddleEast.Org - MER is Free
News, Views, & Analysis Governments, Lobbies, & the
Corporate Media Don't Want You To Know

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Mustapha Barghouti in the muck
Marwan Barghouti in prison cell

"The Israeli soldiers responded by screaming and cursing at them and
physically beating people and forcing them to the ground at gunpoint...
Dr. Barghouthi was then thrown forcefully on the ground...for an hour
and fifteen minutes. If anyone attempted to move or talk to their
colleagues, they were immediately beaten. Dr. Barghouthi...was later
rushed to Ramallah’s Sheikh Zayed Hospital for X-rays."

MIDDLEEAST.ORG - MER - Washington - 9 December: 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.

After Gulf War 1 it was all tried before a decade ago with Arafat and cronies; then known as the 'Oslo Peace Process' and actually bringing Nobel Peace Prizes to both Arafat and Shimon Peres. Great fanfare and many wasted billions and years later it all erupted in far greater bloodshed than ever.

Now, even as the Iraqi occupation explodes into civil war, the Israelis and Americans are at it again. But this time the Palestinian people, though not their imposed VIP leaders, are far more brutalized as well as far more radicalized.

The road to this new resurrection of the peace process was paved through the elimination by death, imprisonment, or exile, of the most senior and popular Palestinian leadership who weren't fully on the take and completely under control; most especially Sheik Ahmed Yassin and then Yasser Arafat himself.

Now the Israeli-chosen and U.S.-blessed Palestinians -- Abu Mazen, Abu Ala, Nabil Shaath, Yasser Abed Rabbo, Saeb Erakat, Sari Nusseibah, et. al. -- are everywhere freely on the go and the recipients of every kind of financial and intelligence assistance; not so of course the opposition.

Abu Mazen and Abu Ala are making the Arab rounds, most recently in Lebanon declaring the Intifada over while at the same time rather grossly inconsistently insisting they will adhere to the policies of Yasser Arafat. Nabil Shaath is off in Oslo collecting more billions from the misguided 'foreign donors'; even though he was the overseer of the miserably corrupt squandering of so much from before.

The most popular grassroots Palestinian, Marwan Barghouti, remains in Israeli imprisonment and is being further threatened as well as bribed to withdraw from the January election.

And the other credible Barghouti candidate, Mustapha, has found himself quite literally down in the muck Israeli guns to his head -- read today's press release that follows:

Abbas says armed struggle is over
Palestinian presidential candidate insists right of return is paramount

By Mayssam Zaaroura and Nada Bakri
Daily Star staff

Daily Star, 9 December, BEIRUT: Palestine Liberation Organization chief Mahmoud Abbas said the armed struggle for the Palestinian people is over and it is now time for the "democratic route to liberation."

His comments came as he warned that the Palestinian Authority "would not able to take control of Gaza if Israel withdraws" adding "it would lead to a civil war ... we are not ready - security wise - to take over."

Speaking during his historic visit to Lebanon Wednesday Abbas also reiterated that all Palestinian refugees must have the right to return to the Occupied Palestinian Territories in line with UN Resolution 194.

Abbas' comments came during his first visit to Lebanon since the PLO's forced departure from the country in 1982.

Referring to the two-year-long intifada in the Occupied Territories, Abbas said "Ninety-nine percent of Palestinian people are in favor of calming the situation down. What we have now is not an intifada or armed struggle; we merely have the use of weapons."

He added: "The Palestinian citizen has lost all sense of security and well-being, so if we provide him with security, his life is brought back. It is an equation of providing safety in anticipation of independence. Establishing security on the Occupied Palestinian Territories and providing security and stability for the Palestinian people is the paramount issue in our cause."

Commenting on the death of Yasser Arafat, Abbas said: "The departure of Abu Ammar created an expected chaos and we will never be able to replace him."

But he added that "the chaos which arose" created the "need to unite and present a democratic establishment to the international community."

Abbas recalled the secret negotiations that were taking place between U.S. President George W. Bush, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice prior to the Israeli announcement of its intended withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

"Sharon told Bush that he would withdraw from Gaza in return for keeping the settlements in the West Bank," said Abbas.

But, Abbas added that there were two "minor" issues that Sharon insisted upon - keeping the West Bank settlements and rejecting the Palestinians' right to return.

UN 194 for the Palestinians - whether the authority, the factions or the people - is not an issue for debate and is a common goal, which since the Oslo Accord in 1993 was not even ever allowed to be put forth, according to Prime Minister Ahmed Qorei ("Abu Alaa").

The negotiations between the authority and the numerous factions proved the unity of their vision, which consists of establishing an independent state and the right to return.

"We have a common political agenda," said Abbas, but the factions disagreed on the methods taken to implement it.

"The factions' major dissent, after Arafat's death, was the swift appointment of the presidential election date," which has been set for Jan. 9, 2005 by Interim-President Rawhi Fattouh.

The Palestinian Constitution states that when the leader passes away, an interim president must be appointed immediately and the date for electing a new leader must be set within 60 days.

As to the factions' statement to boycott the elections, Qorei said they are asking for participation in the political role and for setting a clear, common political agenda.

"We consider this as their legitimate right," he said, adding that "90 percent are going to participate in the elections."

As to Palestinian grass-roots leader Marwan Barghouti, Abbas said he would be happy if he remains in the race.

"In fact, I wish there were more candidates running, because then we can show the world that we have democratic elections and I would personally wish the winner the best of luck," said Abbas, who re-iterated several times that he had been nominated by his party members.

In response to whether he would consider extending his term mandate if elected president, Abbas said "do not confuse Palestine with Lebanon. I did not present myself for election, I was nominated."

l The Palestinian Authority leaders arrived in Beirut morning is the first step to mending the tense relations between Lebanon and the authority.

The visit follows a similar fence-mending trip to Syria on Monday and Tuesday, where Abbas and Qorei held talks with Assad and opposition groups.

But from the reception awaiting Abu Mazen and Abu Alaa, no such evidence of a past marked by war marred the visit.

Qorei even stated that there had been talks with Lebanese officials for establishing an embassy and diplomatic representation in Lebanon.

He added that the talks also focused on the situation of the camps in Lebanon, stressing that the steps have been taken to begin improving the status-quo until the refugees could return home.

The delegation headed straight to the Sabra and Shatilla camps on arrival where they laid wreaths on the graves of the victims of the Sabra and Shatilla massacre.

President Emile Lahoud, in turn, said that Lebanon fully supported the Palestinian people in their struggle to recover their rights, liberate their land, secure the return of all Palestinian refugees and establish an independent Palestinian state.

Addressing the delegation, he added that a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the region could not be achieved.

He stressed that it was important to maintain coordination between the new Palestinian leadership and Arab countries, especially Lebanon and Syria, to meet all challenges in the region.

Cash-strapped PA seeks $4.5 billion in aid

Agence France Press (AFP), 9 December, OSLO: Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath urged the world community Wednesday to provide $4.5 billion in reconstruction aid to help the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority lay the foundation for an independent state.

Speaking on the sidelines of a donors' conference in Oslo, Shaath also said that the deadlocked Israeli-Palestinian peace process would resume soon but not before Palestinian presidential elections on June 9 aimed at finding a successor to the late President Yasser Arafat.

"We're talking about around $1.5 billion a year for the next three years," he said when asked how much the Palestinian Authority was asking for.

Donors are expected to present concrete pledges at another conference due to take place in January but whose specific date and location have yet to be set.

Citing World Bank estimates, Shaath said the sum requested was an "absolute minimum requirement," in addition to the end of the Israeli Army's blockade of the Palestinian territories which continues to plunge the local population into misery.

"We need to see the countries of the world and the donors here in particular say we are ready to finance this," Shaath stressed.

If emergency aid is not forthcoming the Palestinian administration will not be able to pay its employees this month, he said.

"You cannot really talk about elections and other matters if your people cannot get their salaries," he said.

The call for aid was apparently heard in several countries, including the United States which was expected to announce an emergency aid package on Wednesday.

Shaath also lamented the "double punishment" Palestinians are subjected to when the EU grumbles about financing the reconstruction of Palestinian infrastructures destroyed by the Israeli Army.

Mustafa Barghouthi PRESS CONFERENCE - 8 December 2004


Palestinian Presidential candidate Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi confirmed
today that Israel's official policy seems to be one of tampering with
elections results, possibly undermining their legitimacy, by putting
serious obstacles in the way of most Presidential candidates and making
no arrangements for East Jerusalemites to vote.

These actions have been taken despite public declarations by the Israeli
government that they would cooperate as fully as possible to make the
elections free, fair, and comprehensive.

If these problems are not solved within 36 hours, Palestinian citizens,
led by Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, will strongly protest and begin major
peaceful demonstrations. The Palestinians will not let these violations
of their democratic rights stand.


At a press conference at the Palestine Media Center in Al-Bireh, West
Bank, Presidential candidate Dr. Barghouthi stated that the upcoming
elections in Palestine are critical and historical because they can
prove to the world that Palestinians deserve their own state and can
support true multi-party democracy with viable opposition candidates. If
successful, these elections can inspire other nations in the region to
do the same.

However, only one Presidential candidate, Abu Mazen, has been given
accommodation and permission to move freely within and between the
West Bank and Gaza. Dr. Barghouthi and all other Presidential candidates
have been prevented from entering the Gaza Strip and many areas of the
West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

Dr. Barghouthi entered East Jerusalem without an Israeli permit when he
declared his presidential candidacy on 29 November in order to confirm
that decisions regarding Palestine can and must be made by the
Palestinian people, and that East Jerusalem is the capital of the
Palestinian people.

But on December 6, Israeli occupation forces prevented him from visiting
a Palestinian neighborhood in the Old Town of Hebron. They stopped him
at a checkpoint and said that he could not pass. He explained to them
that he was a Presidential candidate and asked them to contact their
superiors. The Israeli soldiers left him for one hour before they
returned with the verdict: he was just a regular Palestinian citizen, and he
could not pass.

Dr. Barghouthi took this as evidence that the restrictions on movement
of all Palestinian Presidential candidates except Abu Mazen is a policy
of Israel rather than isolated cases of miscommunication.

Dr. Barghouthi attempted to pass the checkpoint peacefully, but several
Israeli soldiers pointed guns at his chest and forced him to leave.

Israeli soldiers also delayed him at a checkpoint near Biddya village,
Salfit region, for over an hour. If acts like these continue, they will
undermine the democratic election process and possibly affect the
results of what could be a very close race. Dr. Barghouthi said that
free movement should be a protected right not only of candidates but
also of all Palestinian people, including constituents, supporters, and
campaign staff.

He said that the Palestinian people are strong and will continue the
campaign to the end and resist all Israeli restrictions and violations.

The second major problem is that there have been no guarantees that
Palestinians from East Jerusalem will be allowed to participate in the
elections. Registration centers have been closed down, their staff have
been intimidated, and no voting centers have been set up or planned.
Even if voting centers are opened in East Jerusalem, there have been no
guarantees that voters will not be harassed or intimidated if they
attempt to vote.

The Central Elections Commission, which has declared that is has not
been provided with the means to plan elections in East Jerusalem due to
Israeli activities, must be absolutely clear about its intentions for
East Jerusalem and must make concrete plans and actions to guarantee
these citizens their right to vote.

If freedom of movement and concrete plans for voters' rights in East
Jerusalem are not instated within 36 hours, Dr. Barghouthi said that
major demonstrations and protests are planned.

These issues were discussed in Dr. Barghouthi's recent meetings with
German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel
Moratinos, and UN Middle East envoy Terry Larson.

Dr. Barghouthi also said it was strange and unacceptable that some
outside parties have tried to influence the results of the election by
acting as if the elections have already taken place and the results are
already known.

Such actions are clearly not conducive to a democratic process.

He said that Palestinians have never interfered in the elections of
other countries, and Palestinians expect others not to interfere with
theirs. On the 9th of January, the Palestinian people and the
Palestinian people alone will decide who their next President will be.

Dr. Barghouthi announced that he has left all of his other obligations
and official positions to focus only on the elections. He called for all
other candidates to do the same and to avoid any conflicts of interest.

Mustafa Barghouthi PRESS CONFERENCE - 9 December 2004

Regarding Yesterday's Attacks by Israeli Occupation Forces
Against Presidential Candidate Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi

Palestinian Presidential Candidate Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi briefed the world
press about the events surrounding the physical and verbal attacks against
him and his entourage by Israeli Occupation Forces yesterday when he was
returning to his home city of Ramallah after attending meetings in Jenin.

At 9:00 p.m. yesterday Israeli soldiers stopped his group at the Sanour
checkpoint outside the northern West Bank city of Jenin. They ordered him
and his five companions out of their car. Dr. Barghouthi immediately made
it clear to the Israeli soldiers and officers and that he was Dr. Mustafa
Barghouthi, a Presidential candidate returning home to Ramallah after
meetings in Jenin.

The Israeli soldiers responded by screaming and cursing at them and
physically beating people and forcing them to the ground at gunpoint. When
Dr. Allam Jarrar, a 50-year-old man with a heart problem, was struck and
injured by Israeli soldiers, Dr. Barghouthi attempted to intervene and help
Dr. Jarrar stand up. Dr. Barghouthi was then thrown forcefully on the
ground, and everyone was made to stay in one position on the ground in the
cold for an hour and fifteen minutes. If anyone attempted to move or talk
to their colleagues, they were immediately beaten. Lu’ai Arafat was hit
with the butt of a rifle near his ear, another member of the team was struck
in the abdomen, and another was hit on the neck. Dr. Barghouthi sustained
soft tissue injuries to his thigh and back and was later rushed to Ramallah’
s Sheikh Zayed Hospital for X-rays.

Dr. Barghouthi characterized as a form of torture the forcing six people to
lie still in an uncomfortable position in the cold for one hour and fifteen
minutes and beating them if they moved or talked.

This is the third time in less than a week that Dr. Barghouthi has been
delayed, harassed, or prevented from free movement. Near Biddya village,
Salfit region, on December 4, he was detained at a checkpoint for two hours.
On December 6, he was surrounded by Israeli soldiers and forced at gunpoint
to turn away and not enter the Old Town of Hebron. Israeli soldiers claimed
they talked with their Commanding Officers for one hour before coming back
with the verdict that he was just an ordinary Palestinian citizen, and thus
had no right to pass.

These violations of freedom of movement have taken place alongside Israel’s
continuing refusal to allow presidential candidates to visit East Jerusalem
or the Gaza Strip to consult with constituents there. Only one presidential
candidate has been granted this freedom. Israeli restrictions of movement
should not be tolerated by Palestinians or by the international community.

Dr. Barghouthi said that the most important thing he had to say today was
that what happened yesterday, although a clear insult to all Palestinian
people and to the institution of democracy, was nothing compared to what
normal Palestinians endure on a daily basis at the 703 checkpoints (OCHA
figure) that divide their world into dozens of prisons whose gates are
controlled by a foreign military force. Yesterday was just an example of
the racism, humiliation, and brutality endured by hundreds of thousands of
Palestinians daily. The Israeli soldiers refused even to talk to Dr.
Barghouthi and his colleagues, he said, in English, Arabic, Russian, or
Hebrew. They did not allow them to use their phones or even talk to each

If Israeli soldiers felt they could get away with doing such things to Dr.
Barghouthi, a person sure to get publicity about it, imagine what they do to
Palestinians with no protection or attention. What his team endured, Dr.
Barghouthi said, was nothing compared to what 21-year-old Aisha Ali Hassan
Abasi suffered. She was a dialysis patient who was repeatedly prevented
from crossing the checkpoint out of her village of Qibiyyeh, Ramallah
District, to receive dialysis treatment. She died at home.

Or Lamis Qasim, one of 55 women forced to give birth at checkpoints. She
lost her twin baby girls after being delayed for hours while she was in
labor at a checkpoint near Deir Ballut, the same checkpoint where Dr.
Barghouthi was stopped on December 4.

Or Tahani Fatouh, whose newborn baby boy died of respiratory failure after
ambulances were prevented from reaching their Bethlehem home by Israeli
Occupation Forces, even though the hospital was only two kilometers away
from their house.

The time has come, said Dr. Barghouthi, to ask Israel and the world how long
this can go on. The time has come to ask, why are the checkpoints there?
For legitimate security reasons? Or to destroy the economy, humiliate the
people, and destroy the very fabric of life in occupied Palestine?

The recent shootings of at least three young schoolgirls in Gaza, including
Iman Al-Hams who was shot 20 times by an Israeli officer, and countless
other incidents show that the Israeli Army has sunk to a serious low. It is
time for Israeli society to rethink its policies in the Occupied Palestinian
Territories and to carefully consider the consequences of Israel’s young
people growing up in an atmosphere of racism and severe violations of human
rights carried out in an atmosphere of impunity.

Israel’s interventions to block the movement of Presidential candidates, and
of all Palestinian citizens, must stop immediately, in the West Bank, Gaza,
and East Jerusalem.

Dr. Barghouthi called Israel’s claim that the incident at Sanour checkpoint
would not have happened if his team had coordinated their movement with the
army ahead of time “completely silly and unacceptable.” This would mean
Presidential candidates must get a permit from Israel every time they wish
to travel between cities, villages, and neighborhoods. It is tantamount to
paralysis – it means even Presidential candidates are in prison. How can
democracy be meaningfully established, Dr. Barghouthi asked, in a nation of
citizens and candidates blocked inside prisons?

Dr. Barghouthi said that he and all Palestinian people demand and hope that
the international community will intervene to reinstate their natural human
right of free movement, and to remove all internal checkpoints within the
Occupied Palestinian Territories, not just for candidates but for all
Palestinian citizens.

Dr. Barghouthi also requested that an adequate number of international
observers be sent to make sure the elections are free, fair, and
comprehensive, to witness and understand the scope of Israeli attacks and
assaults, and to travel with candidates to observe the obstacles in their

Dr. Barghouthi reiterated that the attack against him and his supporters
would not affect their will to improve the situation of Palestinians, to
achieve freedom, to build democratic institutions, and to fight corruption
and mismanagement. True democracy equals true peace and security, and his
team and supporters will continue to struggle for it.

He said that Palestinians must and will do everything possible to reach out
to the world and to organize every possible mass popular protest against
Israeli violations of their basic human rights.

Palestinian Authority to follow in Arafat's footsteps
Qorei: We 'insist on the main principles' of our cause

By Mohammed Zaatari and Mayssam Zaaroura
Daily Star staff
Friday, December 10, 2004

Palestinian Authority to follow in Arafat's footsteps

RASHIDIEH REFUGEE CAMP, LEBANON: Palestine Liberation Organization chief Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Ahmed Qorei said Thursday that the Palestinian Authority continues to follow the main principles of the Palestinian cause and has not veered from the footsteps of its late president, Yasser Arafat.

Speaking during a visit to the Rashidieh refugee camp in Tyre, where they were welcomed by the commander of Fatah in Lebanon, Sultan Abul-Ainayn, Qorei stressed: "We cannot fill the void left behind by Abu Ammar [Arafat], but we will try to follow in his footsteps and continue the mission and fulfill the trust.

"All of Arafat's principles, including the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and the right of return, are a paramount will that must be followed by every Palestinian."

Qorei spoke to the crowd on behalf of Abbas after health reasons delayed his arrival.

In his speech, Qorei reassured those gathered about their national rights under the new Palestinian leadership.

Qorei also vowed to continue the struggle toward statehood and allowing Palestinians living in the diaspora to return to their homes in accordance with UN Resolution 194.

"We will not compromise over this right. We will cling to it and we will struggle for it," Qorei said.

He reiterated the long-standing Palestinian position that East Jerusalem should be the capital of any future Palestinian state.

"No state without Jerusalem, no independence without Jerusalem, no peace without Jerusalem - just like other national legitimate Palestinian rights," Qorei told the crowd.

Speaking on Wednesday at the Metropolitan Hotel in Beirut, Abbas had stressed that there was no compromise on the Palestinian peoples' right to return and on the need to provide a safe environment in the Occupied Territories.

But he added that there were no political talks taking place with Israel at all.

"There are talks, but they are of an agricultural, economic nature ... or of that kind, but no political talks. It is not the time yet," Abbas said.

Qorei backed Abbas' statement, adding that the "region can no longer handle the current situation," and that a "comprehensive solution" is more necessary than ever.

On Thursday, Palestinians in the camp welcomed their leaders with a marching band and honor guard.

The gathering amounted to an election rally in which Qorei outlined the process that led to Abbas' candidacy for the presidential elections to be held on Jan. 9 - as appointed by interim President Rawhi Fattouh.

The Palestinian delegation had visited Syria earlier in the week to mend relations with Damascus and to try to reach a common goal with Palestinian opposition groups there.

On Wednesday, replying to reports that the Palestinian factions would be boycotting the elections, Qorei said: "Everyone was afraid when Abu Ammar passed away because we did not have his protection any longer. But the factions and we want to agree on a common political agenda, and the factions want to participate in the political process ... which is their legitimate right."

Qorei also said talks with the Lebanese government had gone well and that the situation of the camps had been discussed.

"Steps are being taken to improve the refugees' situation in the camps until they can return home," he said.

The status of refugees in camps here is the worst in the region, and although they cannot vote, their numbers - and the fact that their cause has been at the center of the political dispute - keeps them an important constituency.

Rashidieh has an estimated 17,000 population and is controlled by Arafat's mainstream Fatah movement. The Lebanese Army maintains checkpoints at all entrances - as it does at the other 11 camps in Lebanon.

Abbas was awarded the President Arafat honorary shield by Abul-Ainayn. Qorei received a similar shield. A meeting was later held by the visiting delegation and Fatah officials.

Earlier, Qorei visited Martyrs' Square in Tyre, laying wreathes to commemorate those killed during Israel's 1982 invasion.

Fatah official Brigadier General Khaled Aref said the delegation's visit sought to reassure Palestinians that they will return to their homeland.

However, Fatah's general supervisor in Lebanon, Colonel Mounir Maqdah, expressed surprise that the Palestinian delegation did not visit the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp in Sidon.

Maqdah said he hoped all the Palestinian leadership, not just Abbas and Qorei, would visit Ain al-Hilweh, which he called the "capital of the Palestinian diaspora, as it is the biggest camp in Lebanon."

Ain al-Hilweh houses at least 70,000 Palestinians.

Maqdah said he hoped the delegation's failure to visit Ain al-Hilweh was not due to rumors about security instability in the camp, and he reiterated that the camp would welcome any visitor and provide the necessary security.

"The delegation's visit did not yield any results because refusing the settlement and clinging to the right to return were already undisputed issues," Maqdah said.

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December 2004


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.

(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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