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4 July 2006

News, Views, & Analysis Governments, Lobbies, & the
Corporate Media Don't Want You To Know


US Policies in Iraq, in Palestine, and throughout much
of the world in fact, betray the professed message and the
core principles of
the 4th of July, American Independence Day.

The Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert,
"wants the Palestinians to understand that the landlord has gone crazy."

MER - MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 4 July: The unspoken truth is the Israelis don't really want a way out of the current crisis, regardless of all their screaming and bombing/killing. It is in fact a crisis of their making and one they are now exploiting to pursue their real policies, which are never the ones they actually talk about and hardly ever the ones the corporate international media in the US so complicitly reports.

The Israelis have in fact for some time now done everything they could to enrage and provoke the Palestinians -- everything just short of enraging and provoking the world community to do something about their increasingly apartheid-like military occupation of some three million Palestinians. The too-late too-little proclamation by the Swiss yesterday that the Israelis are 'violating international law' is of course true; but it will have no real impact or resonnance for neither the Swiss nor the Europeans, nor the shamefully cowering U.N. for that matter, are going to do anything about it.

There is no situation in the world like the one in occupied Palestine; and Gaza is in effect the world's largest open-air quasi-self-administered prison.

What the Israelis are really manuevering for is the excuse to take down the now Hamas-led 'Palestinian Authority' they created and in the process to kill-off/imprison/demoralize this generation of Palestinian leadership as they have done to the past.

Even more the Israelis was to further inflame the region and provoke some kind of response so they can then ignite a larger regional conflagration in which they can try to take down the regimes in Iran and Syria, as well as Hezbollah (Lebanon) and Hamas (Palestine). They are determined, along with the American neocons/evangelicals, to pursue their Machiavellian schemes to control the region in tandem to varying degrees with the US/UK/EU. It is the long-ago proclaimed crusading 'New World Order'...just no longer with that particular term out front.

As for the Israelis having "gone crazy", actually these are not our words, they are those of the beleaguered Israeli Prime Minister, successor to long-time war criminal still-in-coma Ariel Sharon -- see the stories that follow for the requisite insights.

And as for the realities of the situation with the Palestinians... It is in fact the Israelis who hold thousands of Palestinian prisoners in their jails and dungeons; and they who torture and kill quite literally daily. The Palestinians on the other hand hold one Israeli soldier who had been tasked to patrol/control the Gaza Ghetto/Prison.

Furthermore, the Israelis have for so long lashed out at how the Palestinians target 'innocent civilians' -- of course aware that the vast power differences and the military occupation itself often give the Palestinians little choice other than submission. In this case, however, when the Palestinians quite daringly and courageously target the Israeli military occupying them the Israelis go even more berserk.

And so...when it comes to the crisis in Israel/Palestine on this 4th of July...certainly don't look to American politicians or to the US media. The ranks of both are so tragically filled with cowering, ignorant, and oh-so self-righteous 'patriotic' rantings.

Indeed, the Israeli media in which all three of the stories that follow were published in the past two days is far more aware and far more honest than the Americans.

Remember as well though that it is American guns and money, the American Pentagon and CIA, that make all the Israelis do now and in the past possible.

And thus realize on this 4th of July 'Independence Day' that the US and its fireworks-cheering citizens are undeniably complicitous in the craziness and the madness, in the vast number of deaths, and in the ongoing series of war crimes (see the third article below) that are being perpetrated throughout the Middle East on this day. And on every day.

MER - MiddleEast.Org

The landlord's craziness
By Akiva Eldar

Ha'aretz, 3 July: Even during the crazy days of the World Cup, the world does not sit in the bleachers when a country cuts off the electricity to hundreds of thousands of civilians, sends its planes to threaten the leaders of a foreign country, arrests ministers and bombs the office of the prime minister of a neighboring country. How is it that when the Israeli government behaves like a country that has lost all control, the United States makes do with a routine recommendation for the two sides "to exercise restraint"? Why is the European Union silent when the prime minister says he is conducting an insane policy? Shimon Schiffer wrote on Friday in the daily Yedioth Ahronoth that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in an internal discussion that he "wants the Palestinians to understand that the landlord has gone crazy."

To make it easier to answer these questions, another two should be added. The first: Would Olmert let himself "go crazy" if Shaul Mofaz had remained in the Defense Ministry, Limor Livnat in the Education Ministry and Benny Alon in the Ministry of Science and Technology? The second: How long would it have taken for Amir Peretz as opposition leader to submit a motion of no-confidence in a government that is punishing all of the Gaza Strip because Gilad Shalit was taken captive? (Does anyone remember the names of the two soldiers who were killed? Was anyone called to account for the failure?) Who would have been the first speaker in the protest demonstration in Rabin Square? Yuli Tamir, one of the founders of Peace Now, or Ophir Pines, one of the supporters of the Geneva initiative?

Peretz and his colleagues claim that were they not sitting in the government, the situation would be far worse. Operation Defensive Shield taught us that the opposite is the case. The Labor Party served as a defensive shield for deeds that a purely right-wing government did not permit itself to do, for fear of the reaction of the international community. Then defense minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer did the dirty work of eliminating the Fatah government, and foreign minister Shimon Peres marketed the "there is no partner" policy in the world's capitals. When the main "left-wing party" carries out the destructive policies of the landlord, it is difficult to criticize and to restrain the government.

When it comes to relations with the Palestinians as well, the damage caused by Labor in the government is far greater than its usefulness. A year ago Labor granted its favors free of charge to prime minister Ariel Sharon, and allowed him to throw the key of the Gaza Strip into the hands of Hamas. Now the neighbors are learning that among the Israelis there is no difference between right and left, between Peretz and Mofaz. Everyone understands only the language of force. And at home - what moral validity will there be from now on to a protest of the Labor Party against a government that cuts off the electricity off hundreds of thousands of people? What political value will there be to its criticism of the policy of "verifying the killing" of the Palestinian partner?

Sharon sent his critics back to the declarations of his predecessor, Labor prime minister Ehud Barak, who stated that there is no Palestinian partner. The next prime minister from the right will send them to search in the archives for the story of Peretz's adventures in the summer of 2006. Here, he will say, your man of peace himself discovered that what one sees from here - from the war desk - one doesn't see from there - from the opposition benches. According to the last survey by Dr. Mina Tzemah, Peretz's functioning during the most recent crisis is shortening his path back to those benches. Most of the public - 62 percent - gave him a failing grade. The extent of support for the Labor Party is no higher than 15 Knesset seats.

Twenty years have passed since Labor representatives in a national unity government last presented an alternative to the policies of the right. That was in the mid-1980s, when the leader of the party, Shimon Peres, led the way to the London agreement and dismantled the partnership with the Likud after Yitzhak Shamir caused the initiative to fail. Peres' move began a process that ended in October 1991 at the Madrid conference. From there Yitzhak Rabin arrived at the Oslo Accords, which were supposed to release Israel from the occupation and gradually transfer power to a Palestinian government.

Thirteen years later, Rabin's heirs are participating in the perpetuation of the occupation and the destruction of a Palestinian government. Everything, let us not forget, for the sake of the "convergence plan." Is there any need to add - may it rest in peace?

Bordering on chaos

By Haaretz Editorial

Efforts to secure the release of captured soldier Gilad Shalit and to keep the Qassam rockets away from northern Negev communities have evolved over the past few days into an all-out campaign against the government of the Palestinian Authority.

To begin with, the political echelon ordered the arrest of a group of ministers and parliamentarians from among the Hamas leadership. Yesterday, the Israel Air Force carried out a strike on the office of Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. And senior government spokespersons threatened that if Corporal Shalit is not released soon, additional steps can and will be taken against the Hamas leaders, who are deemed responsible for the incident at Kerem Shalom and its consequences.

Justice and Foreign Ministry officials have said that the members of Hamas' political wing were not nabbed in order to serve as bargaining chips in talks with Shalit's captors, but were arrested under suspicion of committing offenses under the Prevention of Terrorism Law. Nevertheless, the decision to arrest politicians who were elected in a vote that took place as a result of U.S. pressure and with Israel's full consent is not purely a legal matter, but rather a highly significant, strategic move.

Hamas' victory in the elections of the Palestinian Legislative Council boded ill for the future of relations between Israel and the Palestinians and for the security of civilians on both sides. However, getting rid of a central government in the territories brings with it a disaster that is sevenfold greater. In the eyes of the Palestinian public, an Israeli arrest warrant is viewed as a badge of honor for a politician. No Palestinian political leader with any sense would dare to rise to power on the turrets of Israeli tanks. Even if the Fatah bureaucrats, under the leadership of Mahmoud Abbas, decide to consider the option and are tempted to fill the vacuum - they are unlikely to remain in power for too long.

The official eradication of the Palestinian government will leave the government of Israel morally and legally responsible for the well-being of the civilians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, too. If the government of Israel fails to understand on its own that chaos will lead to Somalization on the other side of the street, the international community will be forced to stop the rot. No wonder the neighboring states, Egypt and Jordan, are monitoring the crisis with increasing worry.

The political echelon, which is making every possible effort to secure the release of the soldier, does not have the right to be dragged into populist moves. The government must keep the State of Israel's overall political-security interests at the forefront of its concerns. Regardless of the current crisis, these interests do not in any way fall in line with quashing a neighboring government and leaving millions of civilians to the mercy of armed militias.

Media reports indicate that despite the far-reaching implications of the siege on the Hamas government, the decision to take action against the Hamas leaders was taken without a discussion in the government, and not even with the approval of the political-security cabinet. The ministers, and particularly those from the Labor Party, must demand from the prime minister and defense minister an immediate end to the attack on Hamas' political leaders, against whom there is no evidence to indicate that they are involved in planning or carrying out acts of terror.

Switzerland says Israel violating

international law in Gaza Strip

4 July - Associated Press: Switzerland said Monday that Israel has been violating international law in its Gaza offensive by heavy destruction and endangering civilians in acts of collective punishment banned under the Geneva conventions on the conduct of warfare.

"A number of actions by the Israel Defense Forces in their offensive against the Gaza Strip have violated the principle of proportionality and are to be seen as forms of collective punishment, which is forbidden," the Swiss Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"There is no doubt that Israel has not taken the precautions required of it in international law to protect the civilian population and infrastructure," it said. The statement did not name the Geneva Conventions, but it referred to provisions of the 1949 treaty, which is regarded as the cornerstone of international law on the obligations of warring and occupying powers.

Switzerland, as the depository of the conventions, has a responsibility to call meetings if it finds general problems with the implementation of the treaty, but it does not have any special powers to interpret the document.

Both the principle of proportionality and the ban on collective punishment are found in the Fourth Geneva Convention, which spells out the obligations of occupying powers toward the civilian population under their control.

Israel has used tanks, troops, gunboats and aircraft to attack the Gaza area over the past week to press militants to free captured IDF Corporal Gilad Shalit.

When it launched its first large-scale military action in Gaza since the disengagement from the coastal strip last summer, Israel's declared purpose was to press militants to release Shalit. In statements since, government officials have said they also mean to disable the Hamas government and stop gunmen from launching Qassam rockets at southern Israel.

"They have criticized us even though we are showing restraint," Aviv Shir-On, Israel's ambassador in Bern, told The Associated Press. "We are disappointed that the Swiss government did not issue such statements when Israel's civilian population was constantly under attack from the Gaza Strip."

Shir-On said the criticism was unfair when Israel was supplying people in Gaza with electricity, water, fresh food and necessary medicine even though Hamas was sworn to the Israel's destruction.

Switzerland also called for the "rapid release" of Shalit, but said Israel had an obligation "to respect international humanitarian law in the measures it undertakes to liberate the captured soldier."

It said Israel's destruction last week of the main Gaza electricity power station and its attack on the office of the Palestinian prime minister was unjustified. It also urged Israel to free Hamas legislators, including eight ministers who have been seized.

"The arbitrary arrests of a large number of democratically elected representatives of the people and ministers ... cannot be justified," the statement said.

Switzerland said it had earmarked an additional 1 million francs ($820,000) to provide medical supplies to civilians in Gaza.

MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org
Phone: (202) 362-5266 Fax: (815) 366-0800
Email: MER@MiddleEast.Org
Copyright 2006 MiddleEast.Org Mid-East Realities, All Rights Rreserved


The most honest, most comprehensive, and most mobilizing news and
analysis on the Middle East always comes from MER. It is indispensable!"
Robert Silverman - Salamanca, Spain

July 2006


QANA Massacres - 1996 and 2006
(July 30, 2006)
It was ten years ago; but until today it has been mostly forgotten -- the terrible Qana Massacre in southern Lebanon, and the atrocious cover-up by Israel, the U.S. and the U.N. that followed.

IRAN War Coming
(July 28, 2006)
The Zionist Neocons who dominate Washington affairs in coordination with The Israel Lobby are working feverishly to create the conditions for the expansion of the war to Syria and Iran. The huge AIPAC conference in March at the Washington Convention Center has one giant theme - GET IRAN!

Why Are Things So Bad In Washington? MER FlashBack
(July 28, 2006)
Why are things so bad in Washington? Why is the Israel Lobby so strong and those who are supposed to represent the Arab countries and peoples so pathetic weak and incompetent? Some of the answers can be found in this MER Flashback first published nearly two years ago in September 2004:

The US - Israel WAR of 2006
(July 28, 2006)
British PM Tony Blair's rush to Washington to see George Bush today may be an attempt to thwart the war's quick expansion to Syria and Iran -- which is what this is really all about for the Zionist Neocons and Israel. The Israelis claim otherwise, as they so often do, yet they are mobilizing tens of thousands more of their reserve army hoping and planning they will have the excuse, and the American green light, to push forward and truly remake the entire region for themselves and the neocons.

(July 25, 2006)
It was just two days ago on Sunday that the Saudis all but demanded an emergency meeting with the American President. They came to the White House in force -- the Foreign Minister, the Ambassador to the U.S. (formerly in charge of National Security in The Kingdom), and the old American Ambassador, Prince Bandar bin Sultan (now in charge of National Security in The Kingdom). They left unhappy. They are even more unhappy after Condolezza Rice's failed visit to Beirut and stealth visit to Ramallah as Palestinian protestors demanded a 'Day of Rage' against the Americans and boycotting of Rice. The following extraordinarily unusual statement and warning has just come from Riyadh in the name of the Saudi 'Royal Court', the highest authority in The Kingdom:

LEBANON Destroyed - July 2006 - Look Carefully If You Dare
(July 23, 2006)
Call it Lebanon's 9/11; call it Israel's (and America's) War on the Arabs and Muslims of 2006; call it the opening phases of a kind of new World War which may soon escalate to Syria and Iran (as the US and Israel appear to want) and maybe beyond (as they probably do not want). But whatever you call it, look carefully and closely at the pictures. Whatever you call it now remember the pictures for in the future those now so miserably bleeding and suffering will understandably try to do horrible things tomorrow to those who are responsible for doing these things today.

The Extraordinary Ways of the Jewish/Israeli Lobby - Tom Hayden Speaks His Mind
(July 23, 2006)
This quite personal exposee by Tom Hayden of American politics when dealing with all things Middle East, and of the extraordinary role of the Jewish-Israeli Lobby in American life, should be of considerable interest to all who are today trying to understand just why the U.S. does what it does, and does not do what it should.

Daniel Ellsberg - Past, Present, Future
(July 21, 2006)
Pentagon Papers Author Daniel Ellsberg Says: * Government May Have Carried Out 9/11 * Bush Regime Might Stage Terrorist Attack to Provide Pretext for * Coming Iran and Syria Invasion * And to Justify Internment Camps for Dissident Americans

Have You Heard of the 'Israeli/Jewish Lobby'? Lou Dobbs on America and the Middle East
(July 20, 2006)
Now of course Lou Dobbs of CNN has heard of 'The Jewish/Israeli Lobby'. He's probably even read The London Review of Books cover article by Professors Mearsheimer and Walt that has brought the subject out of the closet in recent months. But then Dobbs works for CNN; and even a flag-waving America-firster star like him has to be looking over his shoulder lest he go too far for those who hold the real power. So no mention of the Israel Lobby nor of American Jews in what Mr. Dobbs had to say yesterday on air (just imagine what he must really think and say when the cameras aren't rolling). But for every question mark Dobbs so rightly uses the power and influence and fear-factor of The Israeli/Jewish Lobby is a significant part of every answer.

(July 19, 2006)
The pretense is otherwise of course -- America the 'honest peace broker' -- but the realities are quite something else. Just as the Reagan Administration gave Israel the 'Green Light' for the Invasion of Lebanon in 1982, so the American's have given Israel the 'Green Light' for the destruction of the Palestinians and the Lebanese in 2006.

ISRAELIS ON THE RAMPAGE - 'The Army Is Hungry for War'
(July 18, 2006)
They are now doing to the Palestinians and the Lebanese what hasbeen planned, in tandem with the Americans, for some time.

(July 17, 2006)
Before the invasion of Iraq, no less a newman than Walter Cronkite was warning of World War III but prescribing a far different course. Even with Cronkite's unique stature however he was hardly heard. The corporate media wasn't even willing to report Cronkite's warning for he insisted that it was the policies of the United States and the Bush/Cheney Administration that were primarily responsible. He urged Americans to wake up and he urged when it mattered that the Iraq invasion/occupation not take place. MER almost alone reported the significance of Cronkite's speech back then -- October 2002.

ISRAEL and the US Rain Death and Destruction on Arabs and Muslims
(July 16, 2006)
"The Israelis were yesterday trumpeting the fact that the missile was made in Iran as proof of Iran's involvement in the Lebanon war. This was odd reasoning. Since almost all the missiles used to kill the civilians of Lebanon were made in Seattle, Duluth and Miami in the United States, their use already suggests to millions of Lebanese that America is behind the bombardment of their country." - Robert Fisk

The new exclusive MER Program - Get It Today!
(July 16, 2006)
Please tell your friends and family. Forward this to them today.

Predicted MEGA-CRISIS Now Exploding
(July 14, 2006)
It was on 1 and 2 June that MER published the articles below predicting the 'Mega-Crisis' that has now come to pass. Blame not Israel as much as the superpower US. Near-total U.S. isolation in the world resulted in another US veto in the Security Council yesterday on behalf of Israel. More U.S./Israeli aggression and denial could yet plundge the world into another more major world war as events now threaten to spiral out of control.

Boycott and Ostracize Israel - A Call From South Africa
(July 13, 2006)
If there are any people in our world who intimately understand racism and apartheid it is the South Africans. And the people of South Africa are now calling out not just to their own government but to the world. The call to boycott and ostracize Israel, a la the tactic that was applied to the apartheid South Africa of old, is right on the money. But rather than heeding the call to justice and law the Americans have once again today violated all of their own principles by vetoing once again a Security Council resolution trying to restrain the Israelis. Shame on the Americans. Cheers for South Africa.

(July 13, 2006)
While 'Rome Burns' They Party, Buy Prostitutes of all types, and Squander Their History as well as their National Wealth -- This amazingly twisted and corrupted world of Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz and his despicable class of super-rich super-spoiled Arabs is also the world from which the Osama Bin Ladens and Aimen Zawahiris have arisen. It is the world from which Hezbollah and Hamas and the suicide bombers have come forth. And it is the world in which this despicable class has left its civilization and heritage practically defenseless against the Neocon/Evangelical and U.S./Israeli/European onslaught now at the ramparts.

SECRET WAR - Black Ops Underway Against Iran and N Korea
(July 11, 2006)
The American media, cowered by the Washington politicians and on the take from the corporate money-men doesn't focus on these kinds of very important and insightful stories. But it was features in the UK in the Sunday Times last weekend:

Israeli Torture and U.S. Complicity - Then and Now - MER FlashBack
(July 11, 2006)
The U.S. and Israel are connected in oh so many ways...and torture techniques are among them. The unusually unspoken reality is that the U.S. and Israel have been torture interconnected in the Middle East for quite a long time. Those now infamous hoods -- because of the dramatic pictures from the US prison in Iraq -- have long been used by the Israelis in prisons where Palestinians are treated far worse but the world has looked the other way for decades now. Indeed Israeli 'training' of Americans to 'deal with the Arabs' may well be the secret so-far untold aspect of the torture and abuse scandals of recent years.

GET IRAN! Battle Stations Washington
(July 9, 2006)
The war to 'regime change' IRAN and/or to devastate IRAN is already underway. It has been fomented in Washington primarily by the Israeli/Jewish lobby working in tandem with the worst of the Evangelical Zealots. AIPAC's convention in March was in fact quite openly devoted to Get Iran!

Killing and Pillaging in Iraq and Palestine in pursuit of the New World Order
(July 8, 2006)
The Americans are busy covering up and excusing the realities of their miserable occupation of Iraq, in which the Israelis are so very much co-complicitous. And the Israelis are busy covering up and excusing the realities of their miserable occupation of the Palestinians, in which the Americans are so very much co-complicitous. Meanwhile here in Washington that grand coalition of crusading Christian evangelicals, of which the President himself is a part, and the Neocon Jewish gang that works ever-so-closely with the Israelis, of which many key Administration officials are a part, continues to dominate as never before. Now in the target sights are Syria, Iran, Hezbollah and all others who dare stand in the way of the neo-imperial U.S.-Israeli 'New World Order' for the greater Middle East region. This letter from occupied Iraq helps put things in perspective.


Israel Gone Crazy - or is it...Israelis Gone Wild
(July 4, 2006)
US Policies in Iraq, in Palestine, and throughout much of the world in fact, betray the professed message and the core principles of the 4th of July, American Independence Day.

© 2004 Mid-East Realities, All rights reserved