NEWSLETTER Resumen Latinoamericano english number 28

Government to intervene companies that hoard food

Caracas, 20 Sep. AVN.- All companies and stores that hoard foodstuffs will be intervened and face a process of compulsory purchase by the Executive, said Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro.

The measure is going to be taken in the face of an economic war endured in the country, said the President.

Inspections of the Superior Organ on Economy have found that some distributors and wholesalers are hoarding staple goods in several states, such as Lara and the Capital District.

«It’s enough. We will not allow that. Communal companies shall be created. I’m sure that community with capacity to distribute and trade is going to respect people,» Maduro said during an inspection to a coffee factory in Caracas.

In this connection, he called on communes, communal councils and people in general to struggle for economic stability and guarantee peace in Venezuela.

The name of a company linked to delays in the import of staple goods for Venezuela will be disclosed in the coming days, he said.

«They receive foreign currency but they do not pay deposits in bolivares. They do it to delay all processes,» denounced Maduro and informed that such company is going to be intervened.

In addition, he requested general Hebert Garcia Plaza, in charge of the organ on economy, to declare an administrative emergency to reduce procedures that hold up food distribution.

Likewise, Maduro said local conservative groups are on a plan to sabotage the country economically. It has been carried out in phases since the health of leader of the Bolivarian Revolution, Hugo Chavez, started to complicate in late 2012.

Despite the economic war, the President said, Venezuela has resources in bolivares and foreign currency to invest in its own economic development. Thus, he called on his Cabinet and citizens to analyze possible productive investments to boost the country’s economy.

«Adjust plans. By the end of September, I’m going to the National Assembly, as the Constitution rules, the Plan of the Homeland. So, during these last days for planning, adjust the target of economic production growth, particularly in sensitive sectors of the economy,» remarked Maduro, recalling that the Government aims at reducing poverty to zero in 2019.

Improving import, customs, currency

A new system of ports, airports and customs is going to be created to make easier import procedures and prevent corruption, informed Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro.

Also, the Executive is going to give a new boost to the import system and strengthen processes at customs, so as to make them more simple and modern.

Increasing production

A couple ministers communicated via remote lives with President Maduro on Thursday to report about production of some items.

Agriculture and Lands minister Yvan Gil estimated that white corn production would increase by 30 percent by the end of this year, compared to 2012.

«This year, in the case of white corn, growth is going to be about 30 percent. We have been also monitoring areas for sowing, which grew by 22 percent,» Gil said.

In the case of yellow corn, growth would be about 15 and 20 percent, he added. «We are talking about over 2 million tons of production between yellow and white corn for the year 2013.»

In the Andean region in turn, there are being harvested over 221,000 tons of potato. «In 2013, we did not imported not even a kilogram of potato for consumption.»

Concerning coffee production, he said nationalized company Fama de America has increased its production by 23 percent.

«The State manufactures 75 percent of the domestic market» with three basic coffee factories that are Fama de America, Cafe Madrid and Cafe Venezuela.

In turn, Commerce minister Alejandro Fleming headed Thursday the opening of a market PDVAL, in Lara state, which would attend over 100,000 people.


Commerce minister Alejandro Fleming informed that the National Government seized tons of staple goods at a market in Lara state.

Businesspeople had hoarded 150,000 rolls of toilet tissues; 10,300 kilograms of corn flour; 39,000 kilograms of sugar; 25,000 kilograms of black beans; 15,000 kilograms of rice; and 2,600 kilograms of margarine.

AVN 20/09/2013

Venezuelan president denied path over US airspace

Caracas, 20 Sep. AVN.- Venezuelan foreign minister Elias Jaua denounced on Thursday that the United States denied President Nicolas Maduro permission to fly over Puerto Rico’s airspace in his route to China.

Minister Jaua said the information after a meeting with South African foreign minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, in the seat of the Venezuelan foreign ministry, in Caracas.

«We denounce this as yet another aggression on the part of North American imperialism against the government of the Bolivarian Republic. No one can deny airspace to a plane carrying a president on an international state visit. There is no valid argument,» emphasized Jaua after explaining that he received information from US officials.

President Maduro is traveling to China with a view to enhance relations and fostering agroindustrial development in Venezuela.

Though foreign minister Jaua said that «we have been denied to path over North American airspace in the Atlantic,» he remarked that it would not prevent President Maduro and his delegation from traveling to the People’s Republic of China.

Jaua said the Venezuelan Government would not reveal so far measures that would be taken «if the United States Administration and its aviation authorities do not rectify about this new aggression against Venezuela’s sovereignty.»

The charge d’affaires of Venezuela in Washington Calixto Ortega had not been able to get in touch with authorities of the US Department of State, Jaua said last Thursday evening.

Foreign minister Elias Jaua detailed that problems had not arisen with permissions to fly over airspaces of Europe and Asia.

AVN 20/09/2013

US airspace denial for Maduro shows imperial haughtiness, VP says

Caracas, 20 Sep. AVN.- Venezuelan Executive Vice-president Jorge Arreaza commented in the social network Twitter that denying South American presidents permission to fly over some areas are «unequivocal signs of haughtiness and ignorance.»

Two months after a similar aggression to Bolivian President Evo Morales in Europe, in his return from Russia, Venezuela’s Maduro was also denied permission but this time in the airspace of the United States.

«Banning president Nicolas Maduro’s aircraft the path over US airspace, joined to disrespect against Evo in Europe, are unequivocal signs of imperial arrogance and ignorance and also of the impact and weight of ALBA People and governments worldwide,» Vice-president Arreaza posted to @jaarreaza.

President Maduro was still in Venezuela when foreign ministry Elias Jaua informed the decision of the United States. He condemned the action and said that it would not halt his visit to China, where he is expected to meet president Xi Jinping to enhance bilateral relations.

AVN 20/09/2013

Ecuador Criticizes USA for Denying Flight Path to Maduro»s Plane      

Quito, Sep 20 (Prensa Latina) Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño rejected the U.S. refusal to allow the Venezuelan presidential plane to fly over U.S. territory, and wondered if Washington was trying to jeopardize peace in the world.

«We reject the denial of permission for Nicaolas Maduro’s plane to fly over Puerto Rico. Our solidarity is entirely with the friendly president,» said Patiño last night at the Twitter social network.

The head of the Ecuadorian diplomacy also recalled a similar incident in July with Bolivian President Evo Morales, to whom several European Governments refused authorization to fly over their territory when he was returning from Russia.

«What are they trying to do? Putting in danger friendship among people and peace in the world?» The foreign minister wondered.

Faced with the U.S. refusal to grant permission for Maduro’s plane to fly over Puerto Rican territory, a Caribbean island under U.S. domination, President Maduro began his trip to China on Friday using a longer route, according to media reports received here.

Cuba Expects Recognition at Human Rights Council

Geneva, Sep 20 (Prensa Latina) Cuba expects that the accomplishments of its people and their Revolution will be recognized today at the U.N. Human Rights Council through the report issued as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), says Anayansi Rodriguez, Cuba»s Ambassador in Geneva.

«We are convinced that once again we will be recognized for our achievements in this area and also for the international cooperation provided by our country so that those human rights can be realized in other nations throughout the world,» Rodriguez told Prensa Latina.

Cuba presented its report on May 1 as part of the UPR, a mechanism established to evaluate all U.N. members every four years.

The Cuban ambassador to international organizations based in Geneva recalled that at that time, some 132 delegations participated in the debate.

«This shows the overwhelming support for the achievements of the country, not only in the economic, cultural, and social area, but also in civil and political rights,» she said.

Many speakers also emphasized the resistance of the Cuban people against the blockade imposed by the United States for more than 50 years, something described as a serious violation of the human rights of all Cubans.

Today, at the second and last session of the UPR process, the Caribbean nation will respond to the recommendations made May 1, after an extensive discussion with the participation of national institutions, along with a group of civil society representatives.

Cuba accepted the overwhelming majority of these recommendations, many of which have already been completed while others are in the process of being implemented, said Rodriguez.

«The only recommendations that were rejected were those which sourced from a minority group, reflecting an obvious political bias against Cuba and constructed on the basis of false premises. With hegemonic ambitions, their aim is to try to discredit the country and refuse to accept diversity and the people’s right to self determination,» she said.

Fatah Movement, Jund al-Sham Clash in Ain El-Helweh, Two Injured

The national News Agency (NNA) said two persons were injured in armed clashes between «Jund al-Sham» supporters and that of «Fatah Movement» in Tahtani Street of Tameer’s Ain Helweh refugee camp.

One of the wounded belongs to «Jund al-Sham» Group, while the other belongs to «Fatah Movement.»

Efforts are being exerted by the Palestinian Follow-up Committee to terminate the clashes.

Ain el-Helweh is the largest Palestinian camp in Lebanon, and is considered home to about 50,000 Palestinian refugees.

Hezbollah: Bahrain Regime Practices Exceeded All Limits

Hezbollah condemned the practices of the Bahraini regime, stressing that what it committed during the two and a half years had exceeded all limits.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Hezbollah media relations said the actions of the Bahraini authorities “do not take into account the most basic human and civil rights,” calling on the authorities to listen to the legitimate demands of the opposition, and stop the “prolonged injustice.”

“What is happening in Bahrain has exceeded all limits. Since two years and a half, the Bahraini authorities have been assaulting a wide range of people because of their objection to the state’s policies and human rights violations. It have been destroying mosques, insulting sanctities, arresting because of one’s stance from children to women to the elderly and sick people, and now beginning to withdraw the citizenship of some of the country’s citizens, and closing the Scholarly (Ulema) Council, in addition to killing protesters while curbing demonstrations,” the statement said.

Hezbollah believed that the only guilt of this large segment of Bahraini society was that they wanted equitable political participation  through free and popular elections and demanded fairness in granting people their legitimate rights.

The party denounced the silence of the international community “which claims commitment to international justice,” adding that “what the Bahrain authorities had committed against people exceeds beyond a regular condemnation and rather urges a political pressure in order for it to respect the dignity and rights of people in Bahrain.”

Source: Hezbollah Media Relations


FSA, Qaeda Reach Ceasefire in Aazaz, Battles Continue with Kurds

As the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant controlled two days ago Aazaz town, which borders Turkey, it signed a ceasefire agreement with Northern Storm Brigade which belongs to the Free Syrian Army, according to the Syrian opposition.

The Syrian opposition Observatory said the agreement was sponsored by al-Tawheed Brigade which will separate the disputing parties till the «end of Aazaz problem.»

Fierce  clashes, however, continued between the Kurds fighters and the opposition militants in the provinces of Aleppo and Hasakah.

Source: Agencies


Hundreds of Russians Fighting as Mercenaries in Syria – FSB

Opposition fighters in Syria

YAROSLAVL, September 20 (RIA Novosti) – Some 300 to 400 Russians are fighting in the Syrian civil war as soldiers of fortune, a senior official in Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) told reporters on Friday.

However, as those soldiers return home, it will pose a “great danger” to Russian security, FSB first deputy director Sergei Smirnov said after a board meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s anti-terrorism department.

Recruiting mercenaries is a real practice, Smirnov said, and preventing this kind of activity isn’t mentioned in Russian law. “We still need to work on that,” he added.

Smirnov’s estimate was significantly higher than one made in May by FSB head Alexander Bortnikov, who claimed that a total of about 200 mercenaries from Russia, Europe and Central Asia were fighting in the civil war.

Smirnov said Friday that the SCO board meeting did not directly discuss the mercenary issue, but that Russian officials had privately talked about it with other member state representatives and found that they were also concerned.

The SCO, a Eurasian political, economic and military cooperative founded in Shanghai in 2001, includes China, Russia and the Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Last year, the Syrian government presented the United Nations Security Council with lists of hundreds of foreign nationals who had been killed fighting against government forces in Syria. The lists included mercenaries from Arab countries, Europe, and Russia’s North Caucasus region, including Chechnya.



Vedrine: Threat of Force Key
To US-Russia Initiative on Syria

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad talks with then-French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine in Damascus, April 28, 2001. (photo by REUTERS)

By: Denis Simonneau for Al-Monitor
September 19.
French President Francois Hollande, an early and vocal advocate of military intervention in Syria, has had a difficult few weeks.

About This Article

His ally, US President Barack Obama, left him out on a limb not once, but twice by deferring the use of force in Syria first to a congressional vote and then in the context of a potentially groundbreaking US-Russia agreement to gain Syrian compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Like Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron, Hollande faces a public uninterested in military intervention in Syria. Of those polled, 68% of French citizens oppose a military strike.

In the current discussions over a UN Security Council resolution, France supports a reference to Article 7 of the UN Charter, which regulates the use of force if Syria does not comply. This plan is opposed by Russia and China.

Hubert Vedrine is one of France’s most distinguished statesmen. He served as diplomatic adviser to former French President Francois Mitterrand, secretary-general of the presidency (1991-1995) and minister for foreign affairs (1997-2002).

Vedrine was a critic of the US decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003, but supports Hollande’s hard line on Syria.

In an exclusive written interview with Al-Monitor, he explains why the French are so upset by the behavior of the Syrian authorities and why military intervention without the backing of the UN Security Council was envisaged (a clear shift from its position on the war against Iraq in 2003) and reacts to the Russian proposal.

In Vedrine’s opinion, the Syrian issue is at the forefront of French diplomacy for many reasons, including human rights and the right to intervene when such rights are threatened. He explained that humanitarianism and universalism are deeply entrenched in the media and among French intellectuals, as well as among the vast majority of the French public. He added, “This is not to mention the horrors of the use of chemical weapons, which have been banned since 1925 and are increasing frustration at the powerlessness of the international community, which is intolerable given that 100,000 Syrians have already died. Moreover, the idea that France can still play a useful role in the Middle East continues to prevail in Paris. There is conviction that the Iranian regime has been observing the international reaction, or the lack of it (impunity), with regard to the use of chemical weapons. Our bet is that public opinion will follow suit. All in all, the prevailing idea that ‘we cannot sit back and watch’ set forth by Alain Juppe, then Francois Hollande and Laurent Fabius since May 2012, and that we cannot allow the use of chemical weapons, has turned into determination to intervene.”

When asked whether it was likely that a military intervention would be carried out without the support of the United Nations, Vedrine replied that this was possible, as it is what happened in Iraq in 2003, upon the initiative of then-US President George W. Bush.

“Such intervention,” he explained, “might have been possible in the last few days, as Washington, London and Paris were all prepared for it, and several neighboring countries (including KSA, Qatar, Turkey and Israel, more or less) supported it, although this was problematic, being in direct conflict with President Obama’s will to disengage from the Middle East. For France, this would have breached its policy to constantly refer to international law and to the Security Council, even though the issue is now going back to the Security Council.”

He added that this meant that the French leaders had believed that their legitimate right to act could in fact spare them, in such particularly atrocious cases, from abiding by the legal framework imposed by the authority of the Security Council, since the latter has been systematically and permanently paralyzed by the Russians.

With regard to the Russian proposal, Vedrine said that these would never have been made without credible threats of a strike, explaining, “We still need to determine the weight of these proposals on the ground. Perhaps [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is ready to turn his power of ‘perpetual peripheral nuisance’ into something more concrete?”

Vedrine feels that Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have therefore made the right move: “not to reject the Russian proposals a priori (which is understandable if they were inspired by the American administration in the first place), to get them with their backs to the wall without forcing them to break away (so that Moscow could do nothing but discard the French draft resolution to refer to the ICC [International Criminal Court], and to impose a sort of automatic sanctioning), to push them into going as far as possible on the ground and as quickly as possible in the process of chemical disarmament. It seems to me that France should support and promote this policy, even if it means it reiterating that all options must remain open. Maybe it would then be possible to play this card (control, cease-fire) to get back once again onto the path toward a political solution in Syria.”


Chemical Weapons in Syria at the Center of CPCW Debates

The Hague, Sep 20 (Prensa Latina) The destruction of chemical weapons in Syria, motive of conflicts and war threats, is at the center of discussions on the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (CPCW) that are being held today.

According to a CPCW communique, the meeting will allow the 41 member nations of its executive council to discuss the joining of that Arab country to the Convention on chemical weapons and the beginning of the program for dismantling that arsenal.

Both points are part of the preliminary agreement discussed by Russia and the United States last week in order to seek a political solution to the conflict triggered after denunciations on the use of sarin gas by the Bashar al Assad Government.

Last week, the Syrian president expressed his willingness to join the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and sent a document to the U.N. with the intention of putting that arsenal under international control, but put as a condition that the United States stop supplying armaments to rebels and cease its threats of war.

A study recently carried out by a team of investigators led by the U.N., which includes nine CPCW experts, found «flagrant and convincing evidence» of the use of sarin gas in attack staged near Damascus last August 2, though it refrained from naming those responsible for that attack. In virtue of the Russia-US proposal, Syria must present a report before Saturday with all of the details of its chemical arsenal regarding facilities and armaments, a commitment reiterated by the Syrian president after meeting with Russian deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.


Israel’s BDS Harassflies

Sep 20 2013 /

In someway, Israel is the greatest supporter and advocate of BDS.
By Vacy Vlazna

Israel, a leading innovative armament designer, producer and exporter has released worldwide, against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS), a new weapon – a mutation of the pesky and potentially lethal horsefly – the harassfly hatched in the Department of Hasbara in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Whenever there is a BDS action or an event promoting cultural and/or political awareness of Palestine within seconds you’ll hear their drivelling droning of ‘zzz-hasbara-antisemitism-hasbara-zzzz-incitement-to-hate–zz-racism-zzz-hasbara-zzzz-delegitimisation-zzzz-victimisation-zzz”

The buzzing comes from a variety of species; Shurat HaDin (Israel), Israel Lobby (USA), CRIF, LDJ, (France) JBD (Australia), the London Declaration on Combating Antisemitism (LD) plus the swarms of students from the seven Israeli universities recruited and paid to write pro-Israel tweets and Facebook messages to normalize and whitewash Israel’s apartheid policies and its aggressive illegal military occupation of Palestine.

The Israel Law Center or Shurat HaDin (SHD) is particularly nasty attacking with the sharp bite of anti-semitism/ racism, persons or groups who dare to support Palestinian political and human rights.

Supposedly inspired by Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center that confronted the Klu Klux Klan, it follows it should be challenging Israel considering the damning statement by author Alice Walker (who knows firsthand) that Israel’s apartheid occupation is “so much like the South of, you know, I don’t know, 50 years ago, really, and actually  more brutal, because in Palestine so many more people are wounded, shot, killed, imprisoned.”

Boasting to be a ‘world leader in combating the terrorist organizations,” SHD is a noisy, annoying pest to free speech. It has, unsuccessfully, tried to suck blood-money ($5million) out of ex-US president and Nobel prize-winner, Jimmy Carter for consumer fraud for publishing his book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.

Apparently, to call Israel an apartheid state is a misrepresentation even though UN Special Rapporteurs, Dugard and Falk have denounced Israel’s apartheid practices as illegal under international law. And Archbishop Desmond Tutu denounced Israel’s apartheid under a universal moral law.

Shurat HaDin also attempted to sting World Vision for allegedly providing “financial aid to a Gaza-based terrorist group”, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, which is simply a humanitarian non-profit company. The charge was investigated by AusAID and the Australian Federal Police which concluded there was no evidence to support Shurat HaDin’s absurd claims.

Now BDS, a non-violent movement, is its target. SHD, lodged with the Australian Human Rights Commission a complaint of racism and anti-semitism against Professors Jake Lynch and Stuart Rees of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney, after Professor Lynch “had publicly announced his refusal to work with Prof. Dan Avnon, an Israeli professor from …Hebrew University in Jerusalem, … and also called for a boycott of Technion University in Haifa.” as well as their public support of BDS at Sydney University.

This ongoing matter goes way beyond the shocking interference by a foreign agent into the Australian right to freedom of speech, it is yet another unconscionable machination to safeguard Israel’s impunity to mercilessly persecute Palestinian families, steal their lands and livelihoods, contain the concentration camp of Gaza for armament testing and war crimes.

Both of the BDS foci, Technion and Hebrew universities, are accomplices to the war crimes in Operation Cast Lead and the recent Operation Pillar of Cloud through their military and R&D programs linked to Israel’s major arms companies, Rafael, Elbit, IMI, IAI.

BDS challenges Israel’s impunity particularly with the academic boycott of Israeli universities which have an unethical symbiosis with Israel’s armament industry and military- and so Shurat HaDin was let loose.

In 2007, an Australian local council, Leichhardt Council, voted to twin with the city of Hebron raising a cacophony of buzzing by Inner West Chavurah (IWC) and the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (JBD) Then in 2008 the NSW Police anti-terrorist squad backed by the JBD and IWC coerced Leichhardt Library to close a photographic exhibition showing the dismal conditions of Palestinians living in settler-dominated Al Khalil (Hebron).

In December 2011, after Marrickville Council voted to support BDS, the Zionists were all a-buzz and by March 2011 the Council majority gutlessly retracted their BDS vote.

Australia has stringent quarantine requirements that should include harassflies that can devastate the right of all Australians to freely defend the human rights of any suffering members of the human family.

French solidarity with Palestine is persistently bitten by the vicious LDJ and CRIF. France extends impunity and legality to the militant, racist Jewish group, Ligue de défense Juive (LDJ), banned in Israel and USA as a terrorist group, which conducts military training in officially known places, and recruits only members with military backgrounds. In 2011, the LDJ sent militants to ‘defend’ Israel’s illegal colonies.

When arrested for attacks on ‘anti-Israel’ bookstores, theatres, exhibitions, performances, the French court grants suspended sentences not imprisonment and the union of Jewish businessmen collects monies to pay their fines. On 28th June 2012, LDJ filmed their thuggish street attack with red oil paint on Olivia Zemor, president of CAPJPO, and displayed it on their website. On 6 July 2012 the writer Jacob Cohen was similarly attacked.

In June 2013, the violent LDJ closed the doors with bomb threats and threats to the lives of the staff of the famous Paris museum “Jeu de Paume” in the Tuilleries Garden to prohibit the  beautiful exhibition by Palestinian photographer Alham Shibli. After an international campaign to the Minister of Culture, Aurelie Philipetti, the doors were opened again.
The Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF) is a hysterical biter that engorges on multiple court actions against BDS activists. To date, French courts have ruled on the right of citizens to call for a boycott of Israel and its products. There was a favorable BDS trial result on September 12 and another trial is to be held on October 30, 2013.

It would take a book to chronicle the interference and power of the Zionist lobby in the USA. In fact Mearsheimer and Walt have done exactly that with, “The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy. Jewish American Dick Platkin and Jeff Warner have revealed, in their Mondoweiss article, ‘The new anti-Semitism, and the campaign to silence American critics of  Israel’ the Israel Lobby’s ‘slanderous campaign to discredit or silence American critics of the Israeli government’ that targets university campuses in California and elsewhere.

The London Declaration on Combating Semitism (LD) was purposely designed to sting by limiting its definition of ‘antisemitism’ to hate crimes against Jews and criticism of Israel because a broader definition of ‘semite’ must include Arabs. Paradoxically, the European Ashkenazi Jews, who are the majority and the elite in Israel, are mainly responsible for the antisemitic oppression of the semitic indigenous people of Palestine.

According to Gilad Atzmon the LD is a panic measure by Israel “to interfere with freedom of expression that is still regarded by some as a precious human value” and Stuart Littlewood exposes its purpose to criminalize criticism of Israel and exposes the absurdity of …

“Commandment no.1 states that ‘Parliamentarians shall expose, challenge, and isolate political actors who engage in hate against Jews and target the state of Israel as a Jewish collectivity’.”

Oh dear, how confusing. Here I was foolishly thinking the state of Israel was indeed some sort of Jewish collective since its founding document says:

“We, members of the People’s Council, representatives of the Jewish community of Eretz Israel and of the Zionist movement hereby declare the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel. The State of Israel will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles… We appeal to the Jewish people throughout the diaspora to rally round the Jews of Eretz-Israel in the tasks of immigration and upbuilding…”

Politicians from the US, UK and Canada have shamefully sealed the fate of Palestinians under illegal Israeli occupation by signing the London Declaration.

The majority of Australian politicians scrambled to sign the LD with the exception of Greens John Kaye and David Shoebridge who stated,

“It is a tragedy that the London Declaration is a flawed document. The fundamental intent – to combat and end irrational hatred against a people – is too important to be subverted by the political objectives of Zionism.”

Israel’s image as ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’ has been undermined by its own apartheid policies that subjugate the Palestinians; its image  of being the ‘most moral army in the world’ is blown to pieces by its own horrendous war crimes during Operation Cast Lead; its image as the universal victim was shot to pieces by its own commandoes who  murdered 9 humanitarians on the Mavi Marmara, and Israel’s  image as a defender of democratic free speech has been revealed as a sham by its fanatical buzzing to smother the BDS movement.

Yet, ironically, every demented buzz in the pro-Zionist media or by Zionist lobbies, kindly, provides invaluable awareness-raising of Israeli hypocrisies and breaches of international law and, as a generous bonus, creates thousands more supporters for BDS. In effect, Israel is the greatest supporter and advocate of BDS.

– Dr. Vacy Vlazna is Coordinator of Justice for Palestine Matters.


Hundreds of PFLP Supporters Protest against Peace Talks

Sep 7 2013 /

Hundreds of people marched in Ramallah on Saturday to protest against peace negotiations with Israel.

The march was organized by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine to protest a return to peace talks and to commemorate the 12th anniversary of Abu Ali Mustafa’s death.

At least 1,000 people marched towards the presidential headquarters in the Muqata chanting slogans against negotiations.

“We are against the negotiations because they don’t serve the interests of the Palestinian people,” PFLP leader Abdulrahim Malouh told Ma’an.

“We remain with our people’s right to return, independence, and self-determination,” he added, calling for national unity.

Senior PFLP official Khalida Jarrar said the demonstration aimed to send a message that the PLO must stop negotiations.

“We came to deliver a political voice dismissive of the negotiations,” she said.

PFLP official Omar Shehadeh criticized a heavy PA police presence at the demonstration, saying it created division between the PA and the people.

All major Palestinian political factions, with the exception of Fatah, have rallied against a return to negotiations.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators formally resumed direct peace talks earlier last month after a hiatus of nearly three years, thanks to an intense bout of shuttle diplomacy by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

They are expected to last about nine months.

(Ma’an –


It’s now clear: the Oslo peace accords were wrecked by Netanyahu’s bad faith

I thought the peace accords 20 years ago could work, but Israel used them as cover for its colonial project in Palestin

The Guardian, Thursday 12 September 2013

Shimon Peres, the Israeli foreign minister, signs the Oslo accords at the White House on 13 September 1993. Onlookers include Israel’s PM, Yitzhak Rabin; Bill Clinton; and the PLO’s Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas. Photograph: J David AKE/AFP
Exactly 20 years have passed since the Oslo accords were signed on the White House lawn. For all their shortcomings and ambiguities, the accords constituted a historic breakthrough in the century-old conflict between Jews and Arabs in Palestine. It was the first peace agreement between the two principal parties to the conflict: Israelis and Palestinians.

The accords represented real progress on three fronts: the Palestine Liberation Organisation recognised the state of Israel; Israel recognised the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people; and both sides agreed to resolve their outstanding differences by peaceful means. Mutual recognition replaced mutual rejection. In short, this promised at least the beginning of a reconciliation between two bitterly antagonistic national movements. And the hesitant handshake between Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat clinched the historic compromise.

Critical to the architecture of Oslo was the notion of gradualism. The text did not address any of the key issues in this dispute: Jerusalem; the right of return of 1948 refugees; the status of Jewish settlements built on occupied Palestinian land; or the borders of the Palestinian entity. All these «permanent status» issues were deferred for negotiations towards the end of the five-year transition period. Basically, this was a modest experiment in Palestinian self-government, starting with the Gaza Strip and the West Bank town of Jericho.

The text did not promise or even mention an independent Palestinian state at the end of the transition period. The Palestinians believed that in return for giving up their claim to 78% of historic Palestine, they would gain an independent state in the remaining 22%, with a capital city in Jerusalem. They were to be bitterly disappointed.

Controversy surrounded Oslo from the moment it saw the light of day. The 21 October 1993 issue of the London Review of Books ran two articles; Edward Said put the case against in the first. He called the agreement «an instrument of Palestinian surrender, a Palestinian Versailles», arguing that it set aside international legality and compromised the  fundamental national rights of the Palestinian people. It could not advance genuine Palestinian self-determination because that meant freedom, sovereignty, and equality, rather than perpetual subservience to Israel.

In my own article I put the case for Oslo. I believed that it would set in motion a gradual but irreversible process of Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories and that it would pave the way to Palestinian statehood. From today’s perspective, 20 years on, it is clear that Said was right in his analysis and I was wrong.

In 2000 the Oslo peace process broke down following the failure of the Camp David summit and the outbreak of the second intifada. Why? Israelis claim that the Palestinians made a strategic choice to return to violence and consequently there was no Palestinian partner for peace. As I see it, Palestinian violence was a contributory factor, but not the main cause. The fundamental reason was that Israel reneged on its side of the deal.

Sadly, the Jewish fanatic who assassinated Rabin in 1995 achieved his broader aim of derailing the peace train. In 1996 the rightwing Likud returned to power under the leadership of Binyamin Netanyahu. He made no effort to conceal his deep antagonism to Oslo, denouncing it as incompatible with Israel’s right to security and with the historic right of the Jewish people to the whole land of Israel. And he spent his first three years as PM in a largely successful attempt to arrest, undermine, and subvert the accords concluded by his Labour predecessors.

Particularly destructive of the peace project was the policy of expanding Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territory. These settlements are illegal under international law and constitute a huge obstacle to peace. Building civilian settlements beyond the Green Line does not violate the letter of the Oslo accords but it most decidedly violates its spirit. As a result of settlement expansion the area available for a Palestinian state has been steadily shrinking to the point where a two-state solution is barely conceivable.

The so-called security barrier that Israel has been building on the West Bank since 2002 further encroaches on Palestinian land. Land-grabbing and peace-making do not go together: it is one or the other. Oslo is essentially a land-for-peace deal. By expanding settlements all Israeli governments, Labour as well as Likud, contributed massively to its breakdown.

The rate of settlement growth in the West Bank and Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem is staggering. At the end of 1993 there were 115,700 Israeli settlers in the occupied territories. Their number doubled during the following decade.

Today the number of Israeli settlers on the West Bank exceeds 350,000. There are an additional 300,000 Jews living in settlements across the pre-1967 border in East Jerusalem. Thousands more settlement homes are planned or under construction. Despite his best efforts, John Kerry, the US secretary of state, failed to get the Netanyahu government to accept a settlement freeze as a precondition for renewing the peace talks suspended in 2010. As long as Netanyahu remains in power, it is a safe bet that no breakthrough will be achieved in the new round of talks. He is the procrastinator par excellence, the double-faced prime minister who pretends to negotiate the partition of the pizza while continuing to gobble it up.

The Oslo accords had many faults, chief of which was the failure to proscribe settlement expansion while peace talks were in progress. But the agreement was not doomed to failure from the start, as its critics allege. Oslo faltered and eventually broke down because Likud-led governments negotiated in bad faith. This turned the much-vaunted peace process into a charade. In fact, it was worse than a charade: it provided Israel with just the cover it was looking for to continue to pursue with impunity its illegal and aggressive colonial project on the West Bank.

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CUNY Students Arrested While Protesting Petraeus Face Multiple Charges Including Disorderly Conduct

By: Kevin Gosztola September 19, 2013

Former CIA director and ex-general, David Petraeus (Creative Commons-licensed photo by Talk Radio News Service)

Six students from the City University of New York were charged with multiple offenses on Wednesday night after being arrested while protesting the university’s hiring of former CIA director and ex-general, David Petraeus, who had a key role in secret detention and torture centers setup by Iraqi security forces.

The criminal complaint filed against the students indicates they were charged with disorderly conduct, riot, resisting arrest and obstruction of governmental administration.

The students arrested are Augustin Castro, Jose Disla, Denise Ford, Luis Henriquez, Angelica Hernandez and Rafael Pena. They were arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court and appeared with Lamis Deek, a lawyer from the National Lawyers Guild who is representing them.

According to New York law, “A person is guilty of disorderly conduct when, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly causing risk” that person “engages in fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior” or “makes unreasonable noise.” A person can also face this charge if he or she “uses abusive or obscene language or makes an obscene gesture” or, “without lawful authority,” disturbs “any lawful assembly or meeting of persons.”

One can face charges of “riot” if they engage in “tumultuous” behavior intended to “create public alarm.”

Obstruction of governmental administration charges are committed under the state’s law when someone “intentionally obstructs, impairs or perverts the administration of law or other governmental function or prevents or attempts to prevent a public servant from performing an official function by means of intimidation, physical force or interference.”

The students were arrested while Petraeus was attending a CUNY Macaulay Honors College fundraiser. They were outside picketing on a public sidewalk, and, due to the size of the protest, the street. They were in jail for over twenty hours before finally being arraigned.

Faculty and staff from CUNY and other universities in the US signed on to a statement expressing “outrage at the violent and unprovoked actions by the NYPD against CUNY students peacefully protesting at the appointment of war criminal David Petraeus as a lecturer at the Macaulay Honors College.”

“We deplore the use of violence and brutal tactics against CUNY students and faculty who were protesting outside the college. It is unacceptable for the university to allow the police to violently arrest students,” the statement declared.

The statement further explained, “We emphatically support the efforts of these CUNY students to resist the attempts by the U.S. government and the CUNY administration to turn the university into an infamous “war college” with the appointment of Petraeus. Petraeus is responsible for countless deaths and innumerable destruction in Iraq and Afghanistan as a war commander and chief of the CIA.”

The union condemned his support for a strike on Syria and said his current role as “adjunct” lecturer at CUNY and professor at University of Southern California indicates “increasing US military and state security involvement within higher education.”

“We call on CUNY to terminate Petraeus’ appointment and to ask for the charges against these students to be dropped immediately,” the statement of support concluded.

The statement was posted to the UC Student-Workers Union Local 2865 website. The union represents over 12,000 academic student employees on the nine teaching campuses of University of California.

Petraeus was appointed to be a “Judge Widney Professor,” in May. The title, according to the university, is a “title reserved for eminent individuals from the arts, sciences, professions, business and community and national leadership.” He was hired to participate in seminars and panels, working sessions with students and faculty and to mentor student veterans and Reserve Officers’ Training Corps members.
Steve Horn contributed to some of the reporting in this post. He will have an additional report later today on the arrests and charges against the CUNY students.

Six Students Violently Arrested Protesting Petraeus Await Charges

By: Steve Horn Wednesday September 18, 2013 9:06 am

Students protesting Petraeus on his way to class just over a week ago

Six student activists were violently arrested yesterday outside of a City University of New York (CUNY) Macaulay Honors College fundraiser featuring former CIA Director and Honors College adjunct professor David Petraeus.

The activists have yet to receive charges, currently detained at the New York Police Department’s 20th Precinct.

They await an arraignment hearing scheduled for “between 9:00 a.m. and the afternoon at the Arraignment Court in the Manhattan Criminal Court,” according to a press release issued by the Ad Hoc Committee Against the Militarization of CUNY.

“Students were punched, slammed against vehicles and against the pavement by police captains and officers, after the NYPD forced them off the pavement and into the street,” the press release further explains.

One student quoted in the Ad Hoc Committee’s press release explains the violent nature of the arrests juxtaposed with what they say was peaceful, non-violent protest.”As students were chanting ‘War Criminal Petraeus Out of CUNY Now,’ I was shocked to see several police officers grab and brutalize one of the demonstrators,” one male student details in the release. “This was completely unprovoked, as demonstrators made clear that they were there to defend our university in a peaceful protest.”

“Protesters were marching in a circle on the sidewalk and chanting, but the police forced them into the street and then charged. One of the most brutal things I saw was that five police officers slammed a Queens College student face down to the pavement across the street from Macaulay, put their knees on his back, and he was then repeatedly kneed in the back,” another male student explained.
Turkish Police Suppress Student Protests in Ankara Again      

Ankara, Sep 20 (Prensa Latina) Turkish police once again suppressed student protests against the construction of two roads in a wooded area at the Middle East Technical University (METU), the local press highlighted today.

Nearly 400 protesters gathered on Thursday night at the university A-4 entrance to continue the demonstrations that began on September 6, protesting the governmentâ�Ös plans to cut down 3,000 trees to construct roads, Hurriyet newspaper notes.

Riot forces suppressed students with teargas and water cannons, and were also backed by helicopters shining spotlights on the area.

The newspaper noted that protesters threw stones and Molotov cocktails at officers during an action that recalled the demonstrations in May and June which caused the death of six people and injured nearly 8,000.

The plans by the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who sent students to live in the woods last week, include a small road and a tunnel, which, according to Hurriyet, is aimed at minimizing environmental damage.


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