Friday, April 10, 2009
We see this differently in Canada than it is being played in the mainstream media. It is in fact a big step to normalizing the International Human Rights Laws world wide.
We are keeping a watchful eye here in Canada, on the minority PM Harper, as he works on undoing decades of Canadian effort towards equality.
From Canada to our friends in the United States with Love
Sunday, March 29, 2009
I was taught by some fascinating people from around the world while in College. They had worked in many industries, in many countries, before they entered the educational system. Their wisdom, intelligence and keen perspective came from India, Australia, England, France, Germany and Italy to name a few.
It was a part of a Canadian experiment to bring people into the educational system that actually worked in industry. They brought with them, along with their own education. a brilliant perspective by having travelled the world. Over the 3 years I was in College none of my instructors were purely academic in the sense that they poured out their knowledge, from a textbook.
We were taught to question anyone in the government on a policy to which they adhered.We were taught to ask questions of the media on any reported news. We were taught the fundamentals of a democratic system while given all the known information about communism and socialism. Our minds were taught to remain open and seek out missing pieces on almost any topic. In my 3rd year I had a major battle with the instructor of political science. It was his way or the highway and obvious to most that he had a tarnished opinion on the capitalist and/or democratic system.
The experiment would be replaced with one of purely academic instructors in the coming years. They had written many books, without ever having experienced the working world, or traveled it.
Exception can be the Rule of the Measurement.
Since my first big love was the broadcasting industry that is the path I choose to follow. The political system plays a big part in that industry, almost to the point, where the two are indistinguishable.
During the time period up to the 1980s it was unheard of to have one person or corporation owning more than a few dozen broadcasting platforms. One corporation that I worked in owned 29 radio and television stations covering Ontario eastward. That company was the biggest one at the time.
This kind of media created a diverse look into the world for the viewers and listeners. In one case I wrote articles for three different publications in the same city. Three different publications owned by 3 separate people in the same city. (an article about music with another about entertainment and one political commentary)
We had to research our material before we wrote it down or opened up a microphone to the public. In other words it was necessary, to be as close to accurate, in order to create something that was thought provoking. It gave our audience the opportunity to share many viewpoints without creating fear of an unknown “boogie man”.
After coming this far in life I can now assure you that I am not one of the bad guys. In the short time that I still have remaining , I will do my best, to explain how the balance of supply and demand went wrong. It is this supply and demand principle that is the major pillar in our democratic system.
This series of articles opening welcomes your input.
Here is a piece of the puzzle that will be written on in this series. Having worked and traveled in an open way there are no borders from my perspective.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Within a few hours of each other, back on 9 and 10 December, the Wall Street Journal and The Australian – both serious newspapers with long-established records of honest, factual reporting – published editorials focusing partly or wholly on an international conference on racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance that is scheduled to take place in Geneva next April. The purpose of this Durban Review Conference (sometimes misleadingly referred to as 'Durban II') is to examine the implementation of the outcome document of the World Conference against Racism which took place in Durban, South Africa, in 2001.
Unfortunately both newspapers replay a number of factual distortions which have become increasingly widespread on the Internet over the past year, including numerous references to the review conference as an anti-Semitic "hate-fest."
A Google search on 10 December, using "fest" in conjunction with 'Durban' and 'hate' or 'anti-Semitic,' produced 49,900 web-page hits.* "Hate-fest" is not a common phrase, but it has been used in connection with the Durban process by people ranging from the Canadian Prime Minister to other politicians, academics, journalists, anti-Durban NGOs and a huge number of bloggers and other commentators.The 2001 World Conference was indeed marred by the grotesque behavior of some anti-Israel NGOs at the parallel NGO forum. Their inexcusable anti-Semitic actions, coupled with some difficult debates at the state level, have unfortunately cast the entire 2001 Conference and next year's review in a negative light that is, by and large, unmerited.
This year's conference will focus on the 2001 outcome document, known as the Durban Declaration and Plan of Action (DDPA), which was adopted by consensus at the end of the 2001 World Conference. The DDPA consists of 341 paragraphs, of which six refer to the Middle East, anti-Semitism and directly related issues.
The first of those says: "We recall that the Holocaust must never be forgotten." The second says "We recognize with deep concern the increase in anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in various parts of the world, as well as the emergence of racial and violent movements based on racism and discriminatory ideas against Jewish, Muslim and Arab communities."
The remaining four paragraphs include references to "the plight of the Palestinian people" and "the right to security for all States in the region, including Israel," as well as calling upon "Israel and the Palestinians to resume the peace process, and to develop and prosper in security and freedom."
The contents of the DDPA were agreed by all the states present at the end of the 2001 conference. It is a fundamental, thorough and very wide-ranging framework document on racism and related issues. It takes a vivid imagination to turn it into the manifesto of a "hate-fest."
There are other specific distortions centered on two main aspects: firstly a widely repeated allegation that control of the Review Conference's preparatory process, steered by an organizational body of 20 states, has been seized by a group of three countries, namely Libya (whose representative is the Chair), Cuba (Rapporteur /Vice Chair), and Iran (Vice-Chair). Such reports imply that these three states have an enormous amount of executive power. They do not. Chairpersons of bodies of this type fulfill an essentially functional role and are not in a position to push their own country's agenda.
Such reports also routinely – and in some cases deliberately – omit to mention that, along with Iran and Cuba, there are 17 other Vice-Chairs including Belgium, Greece, Norway, Turkey, Armenia, Croatia, Estonia, Senegal, South Africa, India, Indonesia, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile. The role of the Rapporteur /Vice-Chair is to oversee reports on proceedings produced by UN staff. If those reports were in any way distorted, the other Vice Chairs could, and would, intervene.
The second area of distortion involves some condemnatory language on Israel that is described in both the Wall Street Journal and The Australian as being included in the "draft declaration" being prepared for the Review Conference. This is also misleading. There is currently no draft declaration in existence. The contentious language was included in one of four regional inputs, which have been combined with various other texts into a basic (and not necessarily complete) background compilation.
In the negotiations ahead, delegations will try to narrow differences, find common ground and work out compromises so as to arrive at a consensus document. As in all negotiations of this type, the text that remains at the end of the process will be something that is agreeable to all states taking part.
Another clear example of distortion is an article that appeared on the Forbes website on 4 December, written by the journalist Claudia Rosett (who also writes on occasion for the Wall Street Journal). Rosett had been briefed at great length by UN human rights officials about the limited role played by the Chair, and the fact that there are 19 Vice-Chairs whose votes and views have equal weight. She was also clearly informed that all decisions of this 20-country 'Bureau' (four countries per region) have so far been reached by consensus.
Rosett's article brushed all this aside: "Among the vice-chairs of the preparatory committee," she wrote, "are emissaries of such unfree countries as Iran, Russia, Pakistan and Cameroon (which, according to New York-based Freedom House, still tolerates slavery in its northern reaches). Cuba, where wholesale repression includes the additional frill of job discrimination against Afro-Cubans, fills two seats at this Durban II table, which features both a Cuban vice-chair and Cuba as Rapporteur."
Rosett even went so far as to try and imply the review conference process is somehow complicit in "the terrorist assault in Mumbai, in which hundreds were murdered, but where the targets most deliberately hunted down were Americans, Britons and Jews."
The issues covered by this review process, racism, xenophobia, and other forms of intolerance, are extremely important and can have a devastating impact on human rights. They affect myriad groups, and millions of individuals, across the world on a daily basis. They clearly merit serious discussion in international forum. It would be a sad state of affairs if, as a result of concerted efforts to derail this review conference, such discussion, which inevitably touches on controversial and sensitive areas, is rendered taboo.
* Google searches using the same terms on different days have produced both much higher and much lower numbers of hits. The figure cited is close to the median. A simpler search on 18 December using "fest" as the exact term, and 'Durban' and 'hate' in the 'all these words' search line, produced 49,200 hits with few false matches. Another example of the misleading information surrounding the Durban process is contained in a full-page advertisement that appeared in the New York Sun on April 3 2008. The advertisement was built around the central theme – "What does the Durban Declaration declare? That ISRAEL, and only ISRAEL, is guilty of racism." It declares no such thing.
The above article was sent on 12 December to the Wall Street Journal, The Australian and Forbes.com by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Given that distorted information about an up-coming anti-racism review conference is now being repeated on a regular basis in major newspapers, which operate under journalistic codes of ethical conduct, OHCHR – which acts as secretariat for the conference process – urges journalists and editors to be alert to the distortions affecting the coverage of this event.
[A Google search done on March 11 and 12th, 2009 shows the same results as those pointed to in this article. When a search is done with other less name brand search engines the results include 1000s of articles with positive results on the importance of the Durban 2009 conference.]
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Thursday, March 12, 2009
You or going to love this illustration on what a Trillion $$ is!
In the past 9 years 22 Trillion was spent on the making of war when you add it up.
This shows 1 Trillion so imagine 22 Trillion. People wonder why they are broke?
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Thursday, February 26, 2009
(written by King Hussein’s grandfather King Abdullah)
His Majesty King Abdullah
The American Magazine November, 1947
I am especially delighted to address an American audience, for the tragic problem of Palestine will never be solved without American understanding, American sympathy, American support.
So many billions of words have been written about Palestine—perhaps more than on any other subject in history—that I hesitate to add to them. Yet I am compelled to do so, for I am reluctantly convinced that the world in general, and America in particular, knows almost nothing of the true case for the Arabs.
We Arabs follow, perhaps far more than you think, the press of America. We are frankly disturbed to find that for every word printed on the Arab side, a thousand are printed on the Zionist side.
There are many reasons for this. You have many millions of Jewish citizens interested in this question. They are highly vocal and wise in the ways of publicity. There are few Arab citizens in America, and we are as yet unskilled in the technique of modern propaganda.
The results have been alarming for us. In your press we see a horrible caricature and are told it is our true portrait. In all justice, we cannot let this pass by default.
Our case is quite simple: For nearly 2,000 years Palestine has been almost 100 per cent Arab. It is still preponderantly Arab today, in spite of enormous Jewish immigration. But if this immigration continues we shall soon be outnumbered—a minority in our home.
Palestine is a small and very poor country, about the size of your state of Vermont. Its Arab population is only about 1,200,000. Already we have had forced on us, against our will, some 600,000 Zionist Jews. We are threatened with many hundreds of thousands more.
Our position is so simple and natural that we are amazed it should even be questioned. It is exactly the same position you in America take in regard to the unhappy European Jews. You are sorry for them, but you do not want them in your country.
We do not want them in ours, either. Not because they are Jews, but because they are foreigners. We would not want hundreds of thousands of foreigners in our country, be they Englishmen or Norwegians or Brazilians or whatever.
Think for a moment: In the last 25 years we have had one third of our entire population forced upon us. In America that would be the equivalent of 45,000,000 complete strangers admitted to your country, over your violent protest, since 1921. How would you have reacted to that?
Because of our perfectly natural dislike of being overwhelmed in our own homeland, we are called blind nationalists and heartless anti-Semites. This charge would be ludicrous were it not so dangerous.
No people on earth have been less "anti-Semitic" than the Arabs. The persecution of the Jews has been confined almost entirely to the Christian nations of the West. Jews, themselves, will admit that never since the Great Dispersion did Jews develop so freely and reach such importance as in Spain when it was an Arab possession. With very minor exceptions, Jews have lived for many centuries in the Middle East, in complete peace and friendliness with their Arab neighbours.
Damascus, Baghdad, Beirut and other Arab centres have always contained large and prosperous Jewish colonies. Until the Zionist invasion of Palestine began, these Jews received the most generous treatment—far, far better than in Christian Europe.
Now, unhappily, for the first time in history, these Jews are beginning to feel the effects of Arab resistance to the Zionist assault. Most of them are as anxious as Arabs to stop it. Most of these Jews who have found happy homes among us resent, as we do, the coming of these strangers.
I was puzzled for a long time about the odd belief which apparently persists in America that Palestine has somehow "always been a Jewish land." Recently an American I talked to cleared up this mystery. He pointed out that the only things most Americans know about Palestine are what they read in the Bible. It was a Jewish land in those days, they reason, and they assume it has always remained so.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. It is absurd to reach so far back into the mists of history to argue about who should have Palestine today, and I apologize for it. Yet the Jews do this, and I must reply to their "historic claim." I wonder if the world has ever seen a stranger sight than a group of people seriously pretending to claim a land because their ancestors lived there some 2,000 years ago!
If you suggest that I am biased, I invite you to read any sound history of the period and verify the facts.
Such fragmentary records as we have indicate that the Jews were wandering nomads from Iraq who moved to southern Turkey, came south to Palestine, stayed there a short time, and then passed to Egypt, where they remained about 400 years. About 1300 BC (according to your calendar) they left Egypt and gradually conquered most—but not all—of the inhabitants of Palestine.
It is significant that the Philistines—not the Jews—gave their name to the country: "Palestine" is merely the Greek form of "Philistia."
Only once, during the empire of David and Solomon, did the Jews ever control nearly—but not all—the land which is today Palestine. This empire lasted only 70 years, ending in 926 BC.
Only 250 years later the Kingdom of Judah had shrunk to a small province around Jerusalem, barely a quarter of modern Palestine.
In 63 BC the Jews were conquered by Roman Pompey, and never again had even the vestige of independence.
The Roman Emperor Hadrian finally wiped them out about 135 AD. He utterly destroyed Jerusalem, rebuilt under another name, and for hundreds of years no Jew was permitted to enter it. A handful of Jews remained in Palestine but the vast majority were killed or scattered to other countries, in the Diaspora, or the Great Dispersion. From that time Palestine ceased to be a Jewish country, in any conceivable sense.
This was 1,815 years ago, and yet the Jews solemnly pretend they still own Palestine! If such fantasy were allowed, how the map of the world would dance about!
Italians might claim England, which the Romans held so long. England might claim France, "homeland" of the conquering Normans. And the French Normans might claim Norway, where their ancestors originated. And incidentally, we Arabs might claim Spain, which we held for 700 years.
Many Mexicans might claim Spain, "homeland" of their forefathers. They might even claim Texas, which was Mexican until 100 years ago. And suppose the American Indians claimed the "homeland" of which they were the sole, native, and ancient occupants until only some 450 years ago!
I am not being facetious. All these claims are just as valid—or just as fantastic—as the Jewish "historic connection" with Palestine. Most are more valid.
In any event, the great Moslem expansion about 650 AD finally settled things. It dominated Palestine completely. From that day on, Palestine was solidly Arabic in population, language, and religion.
When British armies entered the country during the last war, they found 500,000 Arabs and only 65,000 Jews.
If solid, uninterrupted Arab occupation for nearly 1,300 years does not make a country "Arab", what does?
The Jews say, and rightly, that Palestine is the home of their religion. It is likewise the birthplace of Christianity, but would any Christian nation claim it on that account? In passing, let me say that the Christian Arabs—and there are many hundreds of thousands of them in the Arab World—are in absolute agreement with all other Arabs in opposing the Zionist invasion of Palestine.
May I also point out that Jerusalem is, after Mecca and Medina, the holiest place in Islam. In fact, in the early days of our religion, Moslems prayed toward Jerusalem instead of Mecca.
The Jewish "religious claim" to Palestine is as absurd as the "historic claim." The Holy Places, sacred to three great religions, must be open to all, the monopoly of none. Let us not confuse religion and politics.
We are told that we are inhumane and heartless because do not accept with open arms the perhaps 200,000 Jews in Europe who suffered so frightfully under Nazi cruelty, and who even now—almost three years after war’s end—still languish in cold, depressing camps.
Let me underline several facts. The unimaginable persecution of the Jews was not done by the Arabs: it was done by a Christian nation in the West. The war which ruined Europe and made it almost impossible for these Jews to rehabilitate themselves was fought by the Christian nations of the West.
The rich and empty portions of the earth belong, not to the Arabs, but to the Christian nations of the West.
And yet, to ease their consciences, these Christian nations of the West are asking Palestine—a poor and tiny Moslem country of the East—to accept the entire burden. "We have hurt these people terribly," cries the West to the East. "Won’t you please take care of them for us?"
We find neither logic nor justice in this. Are we therefore "cruel and heartless nationalists"?
We are a generous people: we are proud that "Arab hospitality" is a phrase famous throughout the world. We are a humane people: no one was shocked more than we by the Hitlerite terror. No one pities the present plight of the desperate European Jews more than we.
But we say that Palestine has already sheltered 600,000 refugees. We believe that is enough to expect of us—even too much. We believe it is now the turn of the rest of the world to accept some of them.
I will be entirely frank with you. There is one thing the Arab world simply cannot understand. Of all the nations of the earth, America is most insistent that something be done for these suffering Jews of Europe. This feeling does credit to the humanity for which America is famous, and to that glorious inscription on your Statue of Liberty.
And yet this same America—the richest, greatest, most powerful nation the world has ever known—refuses to accept more than a token handful of these same Jews herself!
I hope you will not think I am being bitter about this. I have tried hard to understand that mysterious paradox, and I confess I cannot. Nor can any other Arab.
Perhaps you have been informed that "the Jews in Europe want to go to no other place except Palestine."
This myth is one of the greatest propaganda triumphs of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, the organization which promotes with fanatic zeal the emigration to Palestine. It is a subtle half-truth, thus doubly dangerous.
The astounding truth is that nobody on earth really knows where these unfortunate Jews really want to go!
You would think that in so grave a problem, the American, British, and other authorities responsible for the European Jews would have made a very careful survey, probably by vote, to find out where each Jew actually wants to go. Amazingly enough this has never been done! The Jewish Agency has prevented it.
Some time ago the American Military Governor in Germany was asked at a press conference how he was so certain that all Jews there wanted to go to Palestine. His answer was simple: "My Jewish advisors tell me so." He admitted no poll had ever been made. Preparations were indeed begun for one, but the Jewish Agency stepped in to stop it.
The truth is that the Jews in German camps are now subjected to a Zionist pressure campaign which learned much from the Nazi terror. It is dangerous for a Jew to say that he would rather go to some other country, not Palestine. Such dissenters have been severely beaten, and worse.
Not long ago, in Palestine, nearly 1,000 Austrian Jews informed the international refugee organization that they would like to go back to Austria, and plans were made to repatriate them.
The Jewish Agency heard of this, and exerted enough political pressure to stop it. It would be bad propaganda for Zionism if Jews began leaving Palestine. The nearly 1,000 Austrian are still there, against their will.
The fact is that most of the European Jews are Western in culture and outlook, entirely urban in experience and habits. They cannot really have their hearts set on becoming pioneers in the barren, arid, cramped land which is Palestine.
One thing, however, is undoubtedly true. As matters stand now, most refugee Jews in Europe would, indeed, vote for Palestine, simply because they know no other country will have them.
If you or I were given a choice between a near-prison camp for the rest of our lives—or Palestine—we would both choose Palestine, too.
But open up any other alternative to them—give them any other choice, and see what happens!
No poll, however, will be worth anything unless the nations of the earth are willing to open their doors—just a little—to the Jews. In other words, if in such a poll a Jew says he wants to go to Sweden, Sweden must be willing to accept him. If he votes for America, you must let him come in.
Any other kind of poll would be a farce. For the desperate Jew, this is no idle testing of opinion: this is a grave matter of life or death. Unless he is absolutely sure that his vote means something, he will always vote for Palestine, so as not to risk his bird in the hand for one in the bush.
In any event, Palestine can accept no more. The 65,000 Jews in Palestine in 1918 have jumped to 600,000 today. We Arabs have increased, too, but not by immigration. The Jews were then a mere 11 per cent of our population. Today they are one third of it.
The rate of increase has been terrifying. In a few more years—unless stopped now—it will overwhelm us, and we shall be an important minority in our own home.
Surely the rest of the wide world is rich enough and generous enough to find a place for 200,000 Jews—about one third the number that tiny, poor Palestine has already sheltered. For the rest of the world, it is hardly a drop in the bucket. For us it means national suicide.
We are sometimes told that since the Jews came to Palestine, the Arab standard of living has improved. This is a most complicated question. But let us even assume, for the argument, that it is true. We would rather be a bit poorer, and masters of our own home. Is this unnatural?
The sorry story of the so-called "Balfour Declaration," which started Zionist immigration into Palestine, is too complicated to repeat here in detail. It is grounded in broken promises to the Arabs—promises made in cold print which admit no denying.
We utterly deny its validity. We utterly deny the right of Great Britain to give away Arab land for a "national home" for an entirely foreign people.
Even the League of Nations sanction does not alter this. At the time, not a single Arab state was a member of the League. We were not allowed to say a word in our own defense.
I must point out, again in friendly frankness, that America was nearly as responsible as Britain for this Balfour Declaration. President Wilson approved it before it was issued, and the American Congress adopted it word for word in a joint resolution on 30th June, 1922.
In the 1920s, Arabs were annoyed and insulted by Zionist immigration, but not alarmed by it. It was steady, but fairly small, as even the Zionist founders thought it would remain. Indeed for some years, more Jews left Palestine than entered it—in 1927 almost twice as many.
But two new factors, entirely unforeseen by Britain or the League or America or the most fervent Zionist, arose in the early thirties to raise the immigration to undreamed heights. One was the World Depression; the second the rise of Hitler.
In 1932, the year before Hitler came to power, only 9,500 Jews came to Palestine. We did not welcome them, but we were not afraid that, at that rate, our solid Arab majority would ever be in danger.
But the next year—the year of Hitler—it jumped to 30,000! In 1934 it was 42,000! In 1935 it reached 61,000!
It was no longer the orderly arrival of idealist Zionists. Rather, all Europe was pouring its frightened Jews upon us. Then, at last, we, too, became frightened. We knew that unless this enormous influx stopped, we were, as Arabs, doomed in our Palestine homeland.
And we have not changed our minds.
I have the impression that many Americans believe the trouble in Palestine is very remote from them, that America had little to do with it, and that your only interest now is that of a humane bystander.
I believe that you do not realize how directly you are, as a nation, responsible in general for the whole Zionist move and specifically for the present terrorism. I call this to your attention because I am certain that if you realize your responsibility you will act fairly to admit it and assume it.
Quite aside from official American support for the "National Home" of the Balfour Declaration, the Zionist settlements in Palestine would have been almost impossible, on anything like the current scale, without American money. This was contributed by American Jewry in an idealistic effort to help their fellows.
The motive was worthy: the result were disastrous. The contributions were by private individuals, but they were almost entirely Americans, and, as a nation, only America can answer for it.
The present catastrophe may be laid almost entirely at your door. Your government, almost alone in the world, is insisting on the immediate admission of 100,000 more Jews into Palestine—to be followed by countless additional ones. This will have the most frightful consequences in bloody chaos beyond anything ever hinted at in Palestine before.
It is your press and political leadership, almost alone in the world, who press this demand. It is almost entirely American money which hires or buys the "refugee ships" that steam illegally toward Palestine: American money which pays their crews. The illegal immigration from Europe is arranged by the Jewish Agency, supported almost entirely by American funds.
It is American dollars which support the terrorists, which buy the bullets and pistols that kill British soldiers—your allies—and Arab citizens—your friends.
We in the Arab world were stunned to hear that you permit open advertisements in newspapers asking for money to finance these terrorists, to arm them openly and deliberately for murder. We could not believe this could really happen in the modern world. Now we must believe it: we have seen the advertisements with our own eyes.
I point out these things because nothing less than complete frankness will be of use. The crisis is too stark for mere polite vagueness which means nothing.
I have the most complete confidence in the fair-mindedness and generosity of the American public. We Arabs ask no favors. We ask only that you know the full truth, not half of it. We ask only that when you judge the Palestine question, you put yourselves in our place.
What would your answer be if some outside agency told you that you must accept in America many millions of utter strangers in your midst—enough to dominate your country—merely because they insisted on going to America, and because their forefathers had once lived there some 2,000 years ago?
Our answer is the same.
And what would be your action if, in spite of your refusal, this outside agency began forcing them on you?
Ours will be the same.
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Thursday, February 12, 2009
Yves Engler - February 12, 2009
Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper's government publicly supported Israel's brutal assault on Gaza and voted alone at the UN Human Rights Committee in defense of Israel's actions three weeks ago. Now Canada has taken over Israeli diplomacy. Literally.
In solidarity with Gaza, Venezuela expelled Israel's ambassador at the start of the bombardment and then broke off all diplomatic relations two weeks later. Israel need not worry since Ottawa plans to help out. On 29 January, The Jerusalem Post reported that "Israel's interests in Caracas will now be represented by the Canadian Embassy." This means Canada is officially Israel, at least in Venezuela.
Prior to the recent bombing in Gaza, the Harper government made it abundantly clear that it would support Israel no matter what that country did. It publicly endorsed Israel's 2006 attack on Lebanon, voted against a host of UN resolutions supporting Palestinian rights and in January 2008 refused to criticize illegal Israeli settlement construction at Har Homa near Jerusalem (even Washington publicly criticized these settlements). Canada was also the first country (after Israel) to cut off financial aid to the elected Hamas government and Ottawa has provided millions of dollars as well as personnel to create a US-trained Palestinian police force to act as a counterweight to the Hamas government and to oversee Israel's occupation.
Harper's support for Israel is extreme, but despite what many well-meaning commentators claim, it is not a break from Canada's role as an "honest broker" in the Arab-Israeli conflict. There is a long history of Canadian support for Zionism, a European settler ideology that has violently dispossessed Palestinians for more than six decades.
The idea for a Middle Eastern Jewish homeland to serve Western imperial interests has a long history in Canada. Since at least the 1870s Christian Zionists called for their biblical prophesies to be fulfilled under British auspices. By November 1915, Solicitor General (and then Prime Minister) Arthur Meighen publicly proclaimed, "I think I can speak for those of the Christian faith when I express the wish that God speed the day when the land of your [Jewish] forefathers shall be yours again. This task I hope will be performed by that champion of liberty the world over -- the British Empire." Two decades later Prime Minister RB Bennett began a national radio broadcast of the United Palestine Appeal with a speech about how the Balfour declaration and British control over Palestine was a step towards Biblical prophecies. "Scriptural prophecy is being fulfilled," he noted. "The restoration of Zion has begun."
During the 1947 UN negotiations over the British mandate of historic Palestine, Canada played an important role in creating Israel. Lester Pearson (then under-secretary of state for External Affairs) who chaired two different UN committees dealing with the mandate and Supreme Court Justice Ivan C. Rand, a member of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP), played central roles in the negotiations that led to partition. In State in the Making, David Horowitz (the first governor of the Bank of Israel and first director general of Israel's ministry of finance) writes: "It may be said that Canada more than any other country played a decisive part in all stages of the UNO [United Nations Organization] discussions of Palestine."
The UN's 1948 partition plan gave the new Jewish state the majority of Palestine despite the Jewish population owning roughly seven percent of the land and representing a third of the population. Rand's assistant on UNSCOP, Leon Mayrand, provides a window into the dominant mindset at External Affairs: "The Arabs were bound to be vocal opponents of partition but they should not be taken too seriously. The great majority were not yet committed nationalists and the Arab chiefs could be appeased through financial concessions, especially if these accompanied a clearly declared will to impose a settlement whatever the means necessary." A dissident within External Affairs, the department's only Middle East expert, Elizabeth MacCallum, claimed Ottawa supported partition, "because we didn't give two hoots for democracy."
Above all else support for partition was driven by a geostrategic worldview. An internal report circulated at External Affairs explained: "The plan of partition gives to the western powers the opportunity to establish an independent, progressive Jewish state in the Eastern Mediterranean with close economic and cultural ties with the West generally and in particular with the United States." The Ottawa mandarins largely supported Israel as a possible western outpost in the heart of the (oil-producing) Middle East.
When the first Palestinian intifada broke out in 1987, then Prime Minister Brian Mulroney told the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) that Israel's brutal suppression of rock throwing Palestinian youth was handling the situation with "restraint." When questioned by a CBC reporter about the similarity between the plight of Palestinians and Blacks in South Africa, Mulroney replied that any comparison between Israel and South Africa was "false and odious and should never be mentioned in the same breath."
A decade later, Ottawa signed a free trade agreement with Israel. It was only Canada's fourth free trade agreement. Begun January 1997, the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement includes the West Bank and Gaza Strip as part of where Israel's custom laws are applied.
The political motivation for supporting Israel has not changed significantly over the years. The government in Ottawa today receives limited electoral support from the Jewish community, but is close to a right-wing Christian Zionist movement. Most importantly, the Harper government strongly supports Western (US-led) imperialism in the Middle East. This is why Canada has taken over Israeli diplomacy in Venezuela.
Yves Engler is the author of the forthcoming Canada on the World Stage: A Force for Good or Bad Actor? and other books. He can be reached at yvesengler A T hotmail D O T com
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Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Sleaze media refuses to tell the truth of this 60 year long struggle since the Palestinians had their land stolen and homes demolished. They now live in poverty and Israel is making the move to starve them to death.
Please try to understand that 900,000 people in Gaza need food aids alone. With the supply being cut off by Israel 30,000 a day get food. Imagine standing in a line waiting all day for a small amount of food. In other words try going to your favortie eating place and waiting all day for your food. Where are the world leaders?
Boycott all products that have the label "Made in Israel".
Friday, February 6, 2009
As the BBC continues to come under fire for refusing to carry an aid appeal for Gaza, the U.S. media watch group FAIR is challenging the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for making false and biased claims after a campaign by groups that advocate for uncritical coverage of Israel.
The campaign was launched in response to CBC’s October 23, 2008 airing of the 2003 educational documentary Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land. The film cited a FAIR report on U.S. media coverage of the Israel/Palestine conflict, prompting the CBC's French-language radio ombud Julie Miville-Dechêne to question the independence of FAIR’s research, referring to the organization as a “pro-Palestinian” and “militant group.”
FAIR is an independent nonprofit group whose research is widely cited by respected media scholars in both the U.S. and Canada. Its spokespersons have appeared on several occasions on the CBC to discuss issues ranging from media coverage of the Kosovo War to radio host Rush Limbaugh.
Faulting the film for "failure to account for the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip," Miville-Dechêne also cited a 2001 FAIR study that found only 4 percent of U.S. network news reports "concerning Gaza or the West Bank mention that these are occupied territories" as an example of an "anachronism" in the documentary, because Israel had subsequently withdrawn military forces and settlements from Gaza.
Under international law, however, Gaza remains an occupied territory, because Israel continues to control its borders. FAIR's finding of a chronic failure by leading American media organizations to mention the occupation is actually even more true today: a search of the Lexis Nexis database during the most recent war (12/2/08-1/18/09) reveals that the percentage of network news programs about Gaza or the West Bank that mentioned the occupation has fallen from 4 to only 2 percent.
While the ombud said FAIR’s 2001 finding that only 4 percent of U.S. news reports mentioned the occupation was “shocking,” the coverage on CBC’s own evening newscast, The National, from the same period was roughly equivalent, with only 5 percent of reports concerning Gaza or the West Bank referring to occupation.
FAIR contributing writer Seth Ackerman, who authored the report, today issued a response to the president of the CBC.
Dear Mr. Lacroix,
I was surprised and a bit puzzled to read the remarks concerning Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (where I am now a contributing writer) in a recent report from the CBC Radio-Canada Ombudsman. The ombudsman's report, which deals with the Middle East documentary Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land, had this to say about FAIR and the use of our research by the film:
This proximity between militant groups and documentary filmmakers is disconcerting. For example, one shocking item of information featured in the documentary is that only four percent of televised news reports mention that the West Bank and Gaza are “occupied.”
A small note at the bottom of the screen attributes this statistic from 2001 to the group “Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, FAIR.” This is a pro-Palestinian media watch group, the counterpart of pro-Israeli groups likes CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in the Middle East Reporting in America) and Honest Reporting, which is involved in the bulk of complaints to my office against this documentary. It is not a case of independent research.”
I will address the "shocking" factual issue raised in this passage, but first I can't help but express my puzzlement at the characterization of FAIR as a "militant group," a "pro-Palestinian" pressure organization whose analyses don't constitute "independent research."
I distinctly recall that in 2000, as a FAIR media analyst, I was invited by CBC Radio, along with former Canadian ambassador James Bissett and others, to analyze news coverage of the Kosovo war in a post-broadcast panel discussion of Sandra Bartlett and Michael McAuliffe's prize-winning Kosovo documentary The Road to Racak. Other FAIR spokespeople have appeared on CBC to discuss everything from Rush Limbaugh to media coverage of the Afghanistan war. Evidently the CBC ought to be more careful about screening out the extremist groups it invites on the air to discuss international affairs.
It is also hard to understand why, after trying to cast a cloud of doubt over FAIR as the source of the cited statistic about TV news coverage of the West Bank and Gaza, the ombudsman apparently never attempted to discover whether the statistic was actually accurate or not. Had the ombudsman's office done so, it might have learned that this fact is easily verifiable.
As the report notes, the statistic came from a November 3, 2000 online FAIR analysis (which I wrote). The analysis stated:
The three major networks' evening news broadcasts-- ABC's World News Tonight, NBC Nightly News and the CBS Evening News--aired 99 stories mentioning the West Bank or the Gaza Strip from the outbreak of fighting on September 28 through November 2 . But only four of these stories informed viewers that Israel occupies those lands.
It would have been a simple matter to confirm that all of this is true. If you go to the Nexis news database, you can ascertain the number of stories containing the words "West Bank" or "Gaza" that aired on the three above-named newscasts within the specified dates, by entering the following search string:
[show (World News Tonight or NBC Nightly News or CBS Evening News) and date (is aft 9/27/2000 and bef 11/3/2000) and West Bank or Gaza]
When you do so, 99 stories come up. You can then find how many of these stories mentioned that the territories are occupied simply by adding the term "and occup!" to the search string.
This brings up all of the stories within these 99 that contain any variation of the word "occupied" (“occupation,” “occupy,” “occupying,” etc.) There are six such stories, two of which are false positives. (One refers to the occupation of Lebanon while the other refers narrowly to contested control of a specific holy site in Nablus.)
Thus, it is a fact that during the first month or so of the Second Intifada, only four out of the 99 stories mentioning the West Bank or Gaza on the three main U.S. evening newscasts reported that the territories are occupied – approximately 4%. I find it amusing that even the ombudsman's office thinks this omission on the part of the U.S. networks is "shocking."
If the ombudsman’s office believes this to be an issue worth pursuing further, it might consider airing a documentary on CBC investigating pro-Israel bias in the news media.
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Friday, January 16, 2009
Israel has and is breaking every International Law with Crimes Against Humanity. Snooze Media is not letting you see both sides of this horrific bloody massacre. The New York Times this morning, spent 1 paragraph about the bombing of the United Nations food supply depot, and another 10 paragraphs going on about Hamas. That is sleazy writing and would never be called journalism.
Top TV “Snooze” stories on both Canadian TV Networks were as following.
CBC – Top Story – Some geese caused a plane to crash lasted 7 minutes.
CTV – Top Story – An apartment building caught fire in Montreal where nobody was hurt. Craig Oliver then tried for several minutes to remember why the TV camera was pointing at him. Both Networks spent 1 Minute and 30 Seconds on the bloody massacre in Gaza. Both had “experts” on from Israel that went on for 5 minutes about some Israeli’s having their 3rd meal of the day being interrupted.
After checking several U.S. media outlets none of them mentioned the U.S. approved blockade over the past 2 years. One went as far as to say that the people in Gaza could always leave.
All border crossings are completely closed, there is a 20 foot wall around the Gaza strip built with U.S. taxpayer dollars and the area bordering the sea is being bombarded by U.S. paid Israeli warships. U.S. F-16s, U.S. Apache helicopters, U.S. ammunition, U.S. tank ammunition and U.S. supplied Phosphorus chemical weapons are never mentioned.
All photos from Sameh A. Habeeb a journalist in Gaza with permission.
Canada is also culpable as it voted against the Human Rights Resolution on Gaza at the U.N. Any nation that voted for the resolution is not off the hook if they do nothing to stop this massacre effecting 800,000 children.
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Thursday, January 15, 2009
People around the world are angry at America for our support for Israel and its mass murder in Gaza. We don’t see it on American TV, but in the past week there have been massive demonstrations all over the world: in London, Tel Aviv and Washington, DC. In Indonesia, Latin America and Turkey.
This saddens me. I am a natural born American. My father and grandfathers fought in both World Wars. My ancestor, George Wythe, signed the Declaration of Independence.
I cannot stomach what my country is doing.
We are giving BILLIONS of dollars of our tax money every year to a state that practices apartheid and genocide.
Israelis complain that Sderot is the target of Hamas’ homemade rockets. Sderot is built on the old Arab village of Najd, which was ethnically cleansed on May 13, 1948. Over 700 Palestinians were massacred there by Israeli forces.
During the 1948 war, dozens of Palestinians in Jaffa were DRIVEN INTO THE SEA by advancing Jewish fighters. THIS is why in the past Hamas has advocated reciprocating these massacres. Would we do any differently? We consistently use the deaths of Americans on 9/11 as the reason for advocating war. WE OURSELVES do not practice “turning the other cheek” as Jesus taught!
Today, Israel is using Gaza to test weapons: uranium weapons, DIME weapons, microwave weapons and others. The bright flashes you see in pictures of Israeli bombing of Gaza are white phosphorus, which is internationally outlawed for use against civilians. Israeli jets overfly Gaza (which has NO air defense), deliberately creating sonic booms. The UN estimates over 46% of the children in Gaza suffer hearing loss and severe psychological trauma as a result.
Now, Israel is bombing Gaza after months of starvation and denial of water, electricity and medical attention to its people. Palestinians are being killed, mostly civilian: the number is now over 1000, but how can anyone know how many more bodies lie in the rubble? The American mass media tell us NOTHING of what is going on but you can see the true extent of the slaughter on the Internet. Again, the denial of necessities of life to civilians is against international law.
What would Jesus say? Palestinian CHRISTIANS are targets of Israeli ethnic cleansing, too, yet Christians in this country say nothing even about that.
Israel has been condemned around the world for its war crimes and genocide. The victims of the Nazi Holocaust have now become the victimizers.
I am ashamed that my country is an accomplice to these crimes.
Sent by Hajja Romi
"The lesson of the Holocaust is that when you have the capacity to halt genocide, and you do not, no matter who carries out that genocide or who it is directed against, you are culpable... Jewish Holocaust Survivor”
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Do not forget the mass murders and massacres still going on in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bush started the murders and the media are letting him get away with it. Some will still justify the murder of over 1,000,000 people of Iraq after the mainstream media and Bush lied. You are as pathetic and guilty as your war criminal Bush and your very few friends around the world. Bush will walk away with his fat pension and books while you pay the price with job cuts and an economic disaster.
Obama will make absolutely no difference as he will continue the massacres and mass murders sponsored by the United States and Israel. A chameleon can change its color but it is still a chameleon.
The people of Germany said "we did not know...". Is that your excuse?
Monday, January 5, 2009
Democracy Now journalist Amy Goodman speaks with Neve Gordon, an Israeli author .
AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to go to Beersheba right now in Israel to Neve Gordon, chair of the Department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. He’s author of the book Israel’s Occupation.
We just heard a description of the rockets going as far as the Negev. Can you talk about the effects of what is happening right now in Israel proper and what your thoughts are on this movement that Phyllis Bennis is describing around boycott, around divestment?
NEVE GORDON: Well, we just had a rocket about an hour ago not far from our house. My two children have been sleeping in a bomb shelter for the past week. And yet, I think what Israel is doing is outrageous, as opposed to what Meagan said before. We have here a situation where actually Israel did leave the Gaza Strip three years ago, but it maintains sovereignty in any political science sense of the term. We’ve controlled all the borders. We’ve basically had an economic boycott on the Gaza Strip. And the people there have been living in what one should probably call as a prison. And they’ve been reacting with rockets, because probably that’s the only way that they can react.
And I think what Israel has been doing now has little to do with stopping the rockets, but actually it’s an election move inside Israel. It’s a move to build the reputation of the Israeli military after its humiliation in 2006. And what they’re actually doing is bombing from the air and massacring people, and we have to say no to this from here.
I’m not sure an international boycott on Israel is currently the way to go, because I think what we need is pressure from below, pressure from within Israel. As an Israeli citizen, I still believe in the importance of democracy and in the importance of the Israeli people also making a decision. This should be done through pressure. I agree with Phyllis on that. I think international pressure has to come. I think a divestment of the Occupied Territories and everything made in the Occupied Territories should be the first stage.
I think that Obama has a major role to play. He has been silent. And I think he can pressure the Israeli government into reaching agreement with the Palestinian people. I think today and for the past years, Israel has been the obstacle to peace in the Middle East, because it’s not willing to compromise on the three major issues, which is a return to the 1967 borders, it’s the division of Jerusalem, and it’s a recognition of the right of return of the Palestinians with a stipulation that only a small amount can return back to Israel.
AMY GOODMAN: And do you see the Obama administration, as he’s now constituted it, going in this direction? Do you see any signs of this, Professor Gordon?
NEVE GORDON: I see—I hear silence. Now, I think I’ve written that Obama has an opportunity, because what it needs to bring peace in the Middle East is—or between Israel and the Palestinians is now known. We’ve had the Geneva Accords. We’ve had the Sari Nuseibeh and Ayalon. We’ve had the Arab Initiative. What needs to be done is clear. What is also clear is that regardless of the elections in Israel, the government that will be chosen will not go in the direction of peace.
Now, the third facet is that a majority of Israelis will probably vote for a two-state solution. My suggestion to Obama is to take—to write up an Obama plan, which I say I think is clear what needs to be done, and to go over the Israeli government and to bring it to a referendum to the Israeli people, and ask them, “Do you want a two-state solution?” We have a constellation, a configuration in the Israeli government, that a large minority will control any government and not allow it to make peace, regardless of what happens in the elections. And so, what we need is some kind of intervention from outside to go directly to the people. I think the people of Israel, if the American president will come and say, “Listen, you take it, and if not, you’ll be penalized, too. You take the two-state solution, and if not, you’ll be penalized.” And I think that is probably the way to go for Obama. I don’t know whether he’ll do it or not.
AMY GOODMAN: Neve Gordon, as you said, your kids are in a bomb shelter now. You’re in the Negev. We have seen many images of the rockets, the effect of the rockets hitting Sderot. But we’ve heard little voice from Israelis like you. And I’m wondering, is that an effect of the US media or the Israeli media? Or are those voices not that loud? In Sderot, for example, there is an alternative group that is called Alternative Voices, who actually, despite the rockets there, are calling for an end to the blockade and are calling for a ceasefire, calling for an end to the attack on Gaza. And this is over 1,800 people of Sderot.
NEVE GORDON: There is an alternative movement. This past Saturday—you mentioned protests around the world—I participated in a protest with my children in Tel Aviv. There were about between 5,000 and 10,000 people, which, proportional to the population, is not a small protest. The vast majority—let us not delude ourselves, because the vast majority of the people in Israel do support. There are plenty of voices against. If you read Ha’aretz, the Israeli newspaper, people like Gideon Levy and Amira Hass, you’ll see that there are voices that are against.
The problem is that most Israelis say what Meagan said before. They say, “Israel left the Gaza Strip three years ago, and Hamas is still shooting rockets at us.” They forget the details. The details is that Israel maintains sovereignty. The details is that the Palestinians live in a cage. The details is that they don’t get basic foodstuff, that they don’t get electricity, that they don’t get water, and so forth. And when you forget those kinds of details, and all you say is, “Here, we left them. Why are they still shooting at us?” and that’s what the media here has been pumping them with, then you think this war is rational. If you look at what’s been going on in the Gaza Strip in the past three years and you see what Israel has been doing to the Palestinians, you would think that the Palestinian resistance is rational. And that’s what’s missing in the mainstream media here. And so, although there are voices of resistance in Israel and although there was a quite big protest on—actually, two big protests on Saturday, one in Sakhnin and one in Tel Aviv, it is still a really small minority.
AMY GOODMAN: Neve Gordon, I want to thank you for being with us, chair of the Department of Politics and Government, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, speaking to us from Beersheba. His book is called Israel’s Occupation. Phyllis Bennis, thank you for being with us, fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. When we come back, we go back to Gaza.
( Watch or listen to the entire broadcast at Democracy Now )
Thursday, January 1, 2009
1.Over One Million Iraqi deaths Caused by United States
2.900,000,000 people now Starving world wide
2 Democracy in Canada collapses
3 Google's heavy handed Censorship of the Internet
4 Seizing War Protesters’ Assets World Wide
5 Fraud, Torture and Human Trafficking
6 Mainstreaming of Nuclear Power as Green Energy
7 Cirrus Radio TV ADs turn to Kiddy Porn
8 ISP Providers Censor the Internet
10 The sell out of YouTube
11 UN’s Empty Declaration of Indigenous Rights
12 Working Class Slavery
13 Small Farms on Extinction list
14 Microsoft Live free public Communication
15 Guilty without trial laws in Canada
16 The Economy of Russia
17 Religious Fraud based Intolerance
18 Pharmaceutical Companies and Health Care
19 The failure of Free Trade Agreements
20 Media control
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