RACISM & NATIONAL CONSCIOUSNESS | NEWS/COMMENTARY


Report finds Israel still torturing Palestinians | Mel Frykberg

26 June 2009

Source: Electronic Intifada

RAMALLAH, occupied West Bank (IPS) – The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel has accused the Israeli security forces of deliberately shackling Palestinian prisoners in a painful and dangerous manner, amounting to a form of torture.

The report, “Shackling as a Form of Torture and Abuse,” based on the evidence of over 500 prisoners, was released in advance of the UN International Day in Support of Torture Victims Friday, 26 June.

It follows a report published in May by the UN Committee Against Torture that had criticized the continued mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners by Israel.

The UN report also condemned Israel’s refusal to allow access to a secret detention centre known only as Facility 1391.

The report by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) states that Israel’s various security agencies, chiefly the Continue reading

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Sri Lankan president seeks extended term without elections | Panini Wijesiriwardena

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23 June 2009

Source: World Socialist Website

In an extraordinary, anti-democratic move, the ruling coalition in Sri Lanka—the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA)—has begun to sound out amending the constitution to allow President Mahinda Rajapakse to remain in office beyond his six-year term without facing a new election.

For weeks, the government has been whipping up a climate of communal triumphalism following the army’s victory over the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).  Now it is seeking to exploit the atmosphere to entrench Rajapakse in the powerful post of executive president.

Under the present constitution, presidents can serve Continue reading

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The Song of War and Pain: Gaza Will Survive – Subcomandante MARCOS

30 January 2009

Source: Counterpunch

Two days ago, the same day we discussed  violence, the ineffable Condoleezza Rice, a US  official, declared that what was happening in  Gaza was the Palestinians’ fault, due to their violent nature.

The underground rivers that crisscross the world  can change their geography, but they sing the same song.

And the one we hear now is one of war and pain.

Not far from here, in a place called Gaza, in  Palestine, in the Middle East, right here next  to us, the Israeli government’s heavily trained  and armed military continues its march of death and destruction.

The steps it has taken are those of Continue reading

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Obama endorses missile attacks – Anwar Iqbal

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Source: DAWN

WASHINGTON, Jan 24: Hours after US missiles killed 22 people in Fata, President Barack Obama convened a meeting of his top national security advisers and endorsed the decision to continue drone strikes into Pakistan.

The US media, quoting unidentified official sources, reported that the first meeting of Mr Obama’s National Security Council focused on Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The New York Times reported on Saturday that the decision to attack alleged terrorist targets in Fata on Friday “dispelled for the moment any notion that Mr Obama would rein in the Predator attacks.”

The Washington Post noted that the strikes Continue reading

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“Exterminate all the Brutes”: Gaza 2009 – Noam Chomsky

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20 January 2009

Source: ZNet

On Saturday December 27, the latest U.S.-Israeli attack on helpless Palestinians was launched. The attack had been meticulously planned, for over 6 months according to the Israeli press. The planning had two components: military and propaganda. It was based on the lessons of Israel’s 2006 invasion of Lebanon, which was considered to be poorly planned and badly advertised. We may, therefore, be fairly confident that most of what has been done and said was pre-planned and intended.

That surely includes the timing of the assault: shortly before noon, when children were Continue reading

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Israel’s right to defend itself – Joseph Massad

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20 January 2009

Source: Electronic Intifada

Common Western political wisdom has it that when Western countries support Israeli military action against Arab countries or the Palestinian people, they do so because they support Israel’s right to defend itself against its enemies.

This has always been established wisdom in Israel itself, even before the colonial settlement was established, wherein its predatory army is ironically named the Israel Defense Forces, not unlike the South African apartheid army, which was also known as the South African Defense Forces. This defensive nomenclature is hardly exclusive to Israel and South Africa, as many countries rushed after World War II to rename their Ministries of “War” as Ministries of “Defense.” Still, Israel’s allegedly defensive actions define every single war the colonial settlement has ever engaged in, even and especially when it starts these wars, which it has done in all cases except in 1973.

Thus the war of 1948 which Zionist militias started against the Palestinian people on 30 November 1947, a day after a Western-controlled United Nations General Assembly issued the Partition Plan, is presented as “defensive,” as was its Continue reading

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Gaza massacre: security measure or capitalist venture? – Omar Kalinge Nnyago

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16 January 2009

Source: Sunday Monitor

Israel’s invasion on Gaza could be the most significant event yet on the global political calendar. It overshadowed the Christmas festivities of the past year, blurred the New Year celebrations and threatens to diminish the most anticipated Obama inauguration on January 20. Indeed, the only item to look for in Obama’s inaugural speech is likely to be his views on the massacre of Palestinians.

His legendary oratory notwithstanding, Obama will have a tough time telling the world and the American people that the change he promised was around the corner. The world looks much gloomier than that night when he accepted his election.

By 2p.m. on Wednesday this week, 879 Palestinians, largely women and children had been confirmed dead by official sources. Another 4,698 had been injured in the continuing Israeli bombardment that started on December 19, 2008.

The Diplomatic footwork that was initiated by Continue reading

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