Home country: Canada
Member since: Sat Jul 9, 2005, 11:46 PM
Number of posts: 9,267
Home country: Canada
Member since: Sat Jul 9, 2005, 11:46 PM
Number of posts: 9,267
- 2013 (304)
- 2012 (101)
- 2011 (8)
- December (8)
- Older Archives
Scapegoat Gaza: Netanyahu Shelled "Open Air Prison" / Egyptian Policy toward Israel Not Changed / U.S. Alliance Renewed with Radical Muslim Brotherhood
By Gilbert Achcar and David Goessmann
Sunday, December 23, 2012
The Israeli government has called the attack on Gaza killing 170 Palastinians and 6 Israelis "Pillar of Defense". German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that Israel has all rights to defend itself. But granting an occupier the right to retaliate against those occupied is absurd, says Gilbert Achcar. Gaza is widely seen as an "open air prison". The Netanyahu government frustrated about not getting a green light from Obama to attack Iran chose Gaza as the "scapegoat". Meanwhile the Egyptian policy toward Israel under president Morsi hasn't changed compared to Mubarak. Ceasefires do not solve the problem, says Achcar. To regain control over the region the U.S. has renewed its alliance with the fundamentalist Muslim Brothers during the 60ies.
David Goessmann: The Israeli peace activist Gershon Baskin, who was involved in the release of Gilad Shalit, told the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz that Hamas military commander Ahmed Jabari was assassinated just hours after he received the draft of a permanent truce agreement with Israel, which included mechanisms for maintaining the ceasefire. Your comment?
Gilbert Achcar: I think there is a wide consensus even within Israel itself, at least the critical opinion within Israel, on the fact that this is an electoral war. Basically. I mean, Netanjahu has called for elections, he has fixed a date for elections and people know that regularly now elections are preceded by actions of this kind, that governments in place think will bring more votes to them. And the fact is that Netanjahu has been betting on - everyone knows that also - the victory of Romney in the US elections and has been campaigning now for quite a long time for a green light for a military strike on Iran. And he was confronted by a refusal of the president of the American administration to grant this green light and actually even the previous administration of Bush. We know from an investigation done by the New York Times he had refused to the government of that time at the end of 2008 a green light also to attack Iran. So, having been frustrated with the reelection of Obama in the United States the scapegoat was for Netanjahu Gaza. This is the only rational explanation, if you want to find a rationality in this kind of aggression for what is going on. And it has been denounced as such by a lot of Israelis, those who are critical of all that or reject the kind of policies that are implemented by Netanjahu. One should emphasize that this is a far right government, this is not a centre-right government. What you have in Israel is a far right government, that is when you think far right in Germany or France or whatever. Well, the equivalent is in power today in Israel and people have to keep that in mind.
Posted by polly7 | Tue Dec 25, 2012, 07:45 AM (0 replies)
By Adam Parsons
Source: Share The World's Resources
Monday, December 24, 2012
The latest round of climate negotiations in Doha once again demonstrated the sheer lack of cooperation, goodwill and willingness - or ability - of the world's governments to share responsibility for tackling climate change. Since the epochal failure to reach a global deal at Copenhagen in 2009, less and less attention is paid by the media and the general public to these byzantine and shadowy UN climate talks. After three years of further wrangling by governments with little to show, it required serious scrutiny from ordinary citizens to determine what was actually being agreed upon at COP18. Was it merely an agreement to make an agreement in 2015? An agreement based on emissions cuts and pledges for funding that will remain inadequate and far too late to deal with the climate chaos that is already upon us? And one that won't come into effect, in any case, until 2020?
As usual there was no shortage of analysis pointing out the growing gap between evidence of global warming and action to tackle its causes and consequences. Dozens more reports were published that highlighted the dangers of sustained inaction, not least UNEP's Emissions Gap report that argued it will be impossible to cap global warming at 2 degrees Celsius if present trends continue - thus making it unfeasible to wait until 2020 to begin stringent emissions reductions. There was were even dire predictions about future climate breakdown from within the corridors of power, not least from the International Energy Agency, the CIA, a multinational business consultancy (PwC), and - with the worst prognostications of all - the World Bank.
These alarm bells from the establishment were accompanied by first-hand evidence of an already climate damaged planet, with 2012 marked by extreme weather events and climatic disasters across large parts of the world. This included the flash melting of Greenland's surface ice; historic droughts in Russia, Australia and the US; dramatic flooding in the Philippines, Bangladesh, Thailand and China; and of course the recent devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, as well as Typhoon Bopha that fatefully struck the Philippines as COP18 delegates were in mid-negotiation. Just as the climate talks got underway, the Global Climate Risk Index revealed that many of the worst natural disasters of last year were also the most severe ever experienced by those countries affected. Less developed countries remain generally more affected than industrialised nations, the Index reported, while the overwhelming majority of disaster-related deaths are in the developing world.
Posted by polly7 | Tue Dec 25, 2012, 07:37 AM (5 replies)
By Danny Schechter
Monday, December 24, 2012
Notice these violations of banking regulations are always presented as victimless crimes or crimes that only affect investors, never people who lose jobs or homes or how they impact on the economy worldwide.
Most of the coverage does not link all these financial crimes to the larger effect and impact they have had on the world.
Slowly, these concerns are working their way into the media but without much of the larger framework presented in a dire global economic report on just how deeply the world economy has been wounded.
The UN reported that it will take until 2017 before jobs come back to pre crisis levels, if they ever do. Global recession could easily deepen given the problems with the US, European and, now, the Chinese economies.
Posted by polly7 | Tue Dec 25, 2012, 07:36 AM (1 replies)
How can we feed the world—today and tomorrow?
The biggest players in the food industry—from pesticide pushers to fertilizer makers to food processors and manufacturers—spend billions of dollars every year not selling food, but selling the idea that we need their products to feed the world. But, do we really need industrial agriculture to feed the world? Can sustainably grown food deliver the quantity and quality we need—today and in the future? Our first Food MythBusters movie takes on these questions in under seven minutes. So next time you hear them, you can too.
Posted by polly7 | Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:01 AM (3 replies)
By Joshua Brollier
Source: Voices for Creative Nonviolence
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Gaza City-Yesterday in al-Faraheen, Gaza, Israeli Occupation Forces shot and wounded an unarmed 22 year old farmer, Mohammed Qdeih, from behind. Mohamed and nine others went out to their fields in the early afternoon, walking approximately 250 meters from the Israeli border. Within minutes, two heavily armed Israeli military jeeps rushed to the security fence. They issued a warning for the farmers and residents to leave the area and shortly thereafter the Palestinians, intimidated by the heavy military presence, began to head back to the village of Abasan. The soldiers were not satisfied and opened fire, piercing Mohamed’s right arm from the backside. Israeli forces continued to shoot rounds of live ammunition while Mohamed and the others frantically evacuated and waited for an ambulance. Another young Palestinian, 19, was shot yesterday near the border in Jabaliya.
Under the siege, Israeli “closed military zones” have confiscated up to 35 per cent of Gaza’s arable land, which was previously used for fruit and olive orchards, wheat and various vegetables. With nearly half of Gaza’s population designated as “food insecure” by UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the farming industry having been crippled from the inability to export products under the Israeli blockade, this land is essential for the livelihoods of thousands of farmers and residents of Gaza. Even so and given that four Palestinians have been killed and over 50 injured since the November 21st, 2012 ceasefire agreement, one might ask why anyone would risk their life and venture near the border at all.
Palestinians have had varying experiences near the fence. There have been some successes with farming and some incidents resulting in death and serious injuries. The agreement between Israel and Hamas clearly stated that Israeli forces would “refrain from targeting residents in the border areas” and to “stop all hostilities in the Gaza Strip land, sea and air including incursions and targeting of individuals.” Hamas and other factions have held up their end of the bargain with not a single rocket being fired from Gaza.
As a participant in an international solidarity team, I sat down this with Mohammed Qdeih and family members this afternoon to get their perspective on the breach of the ceasefire and why they would risk their lives in pursuit of reclaiming their land. “The ceasefire is without any sense,” said Mohammed. “They attempted to kill me.” Mohammed is single but works the land to help provide for his 15 extended family members who reside together in Abasan al-Kabir. The family has approximately ten dunams of land which fall in the vaguely defined “buffer zone.” He is one of only five who are able to work in the fields and now the family will be without his help for a month at best.
Posted by polly7 | Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:48 AM (66 replies)
By Rachael Petersen
Source: Global Voices
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Thousands of people across Canada mobilized Monday, 10 December 2012 under the banner “Idle No More” to protest the effects of current and proposed government policies on the nation’s indigenous peoples.
While it has received little mainstream media attention, Idle No More has capitalized on social media networks to spread information about the widespread rallies, protests, and roadblocks, causing the hashtag#idlenomore to trend on Twitter in Canada this week.
The rallies -which continue to take place in major cities like Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Calgary- are the broadest expressions of discontent from First Nations that Canada has seen in years. The movement has been deemed by some as “Native Winter,” in the style of the “Arab Spring” revolutionary wave that overtook the Middle East beginning in December 2010.
In one of the more high-profile actions of the Idle No More movement, Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence began a hunger strike on Tuesday which she plans to continue until President Stephen Harper and Queen Elizabeth II agree to a treaty meeting with First Nations Leaders.
Posted by polly7 | Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:48 AM (0 replies)
By Arundhati Roy
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
From a speech at the Earth at Risk conference on the misuses of democracy and the revolutionary power of exclusion.
I don’t know how far back in history to begin, so I’ll lay the milestone down in the recent past. I’ll start in the early 1990s, not long after capitalism won its war against Soviet Communism in the bleak mountains of Afghanistan. The Indian government, which was for many years one of the leaders of the nonaligned movement, suddenly became a completely aligned country and began to call itself the natural ally of the U.S. and Israel. It opened up its protected markets to global capital. Most people have been speaking about environmental battles, but in the real world it’s quite hard to separate environmental battles from everything else: the war on terror, for example; the depleted uranium; the missiles; the fact that it was the military-industrial complex that actually pulled the U.S. out of the Great Depression, and since then the economies of places like America, many countries in Europe, and certainly Israel, have had stakes in the manufacture of weapons. What good are weapons if they aren’t going to be used in wars? Weapons are absolutely essential; it’s not just for oil or natural resources, but for the military-industrial complex itself to keep going that we need weapons.
Today, as we speak, the U.S., and perhaps China and India, are involved in a battle for control of the resources of Africa. Thousands of U.S. troops, as well as death squads, are being sent into Africa. The “Yes We Can” president has expanded the war from Afghanistan into Pakistan. There are drone attacks killing children on a regular basis there.
In the 1990s, when the markets of India opened, when all of the laws that protected labor were dismantled, when natural resources were privatized, when that whole process was set into motion, the Indian government opened two locks: one was the lock of the markets; the other was the lock of an old fourteenth-century mosque, which was a disputed site between Hindus and Muslims. The Hindus believed that it was the birthplace of Ram, and the Muslims, of course, use it as a mosque. By opening that lock, India set into motion a kind of conflict between the majority community and the minority community, a way of constantly dividing people. Finding ways to divide people is the main practice of anybody that is in power.
The opening of these two locks unleashed two kinds of totalitarianism in India: one was economic totalitarianism, and the other was Hindu fundamentalism. These processes manufactured what the government calls “terrorism.” You had Islamist terrorists and you had what today the government calls “Maoists,” which means anybody who is resisting the project of civilization, of progress, of development; anybody who is resisting the takeover of their lands or the destruction of rivers and forests, is today a Maoist. Maoists are the most militant end of a bandwidth of resistance movements, with Gandhists at the other end of the spectrum. The kind of strategy people adopt to resist the onslaught of global capital is quite often not an ideological choice, but a tactical choice dependent on the landscape in which those battles are being fought.
Posted by polly7 | Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:39 AM (0 replies)
By Leonidas Oikonomakis
Sunday, December 16, 2012
So, for you to get it straight, I repeat: the disabled will “contribute to the salvation of the Greek economy” 82 million euros that they absolutely need for their decent and dignified survival, while the ship-owners, who constitute 0.7% of the Greek population while controlling 60% of the nation’s total wealth, will “contribute” a grand total of 80 million. This gives you a clear idea of who is paying the price of austerity measures imposed by the Troika and executed by the Greek government.
In Greece, we know well who is paying for the crisis. A good question to ask would be: who gains? Apart from Greece’s private creditors, could it be the multinational corporations, which are now swooping in to benefit from the country’s dramatically reduced labor rights and privatization schemes? Again, I will give you an example that I recently read in the press. Kostis Hatzidakis, the Minister of Development, announced proudly that Unilever, an Anglo-Dutch multinational consumer goods company, will from now on produce 110 of its products that it used to produce abroad, in Greece. He also mentioned that this will boost employment and that his government wants to create a business-friendly environment in Greece in order to attract “investments” for “development”.
What Hatzidakis did not mention are the conditions under which the future employees of Unilever — and whatever other multinational decides to “invest” in Greece bringing its production facilities or, maybe, buying its state owned enterprises — will have to work. Let me present them to you: Unilever’s Greek employees will be paid slave salaries (586 euros is the minimum wage today, down from 751 euros before the crisis, while for young workers under the age of 25 it stands at 510 euros: below the poverty threshold!). They will only have minimum labor rights. They will have to work 6 and maybe 7 days a week. They will only have a minimum of 11 hours rest before getting back to work (from 13 that it was so far). And they will be extremely easy to fire without compensation — as the government effectively rid itself of pesky labor rights.
All the above is a direct result of the austerity measures and structural reforms the Greek government has taken so far to create a “business-friendly environment” and bring in “investments” and “development”, as they like to say. And the question remains: for whom?
Posted by polly7 | Sun Dec 16, 2012, 12:10 PM (0 replies)
By Naomi Klein and Wen Stephenson
Source: The Phoenix Blog
Sunday, December 16, 2012
This week in the Phoenix, Wen Stephenson profiles Naomi Klein -- "black-clad and sharp-tongued mistress of the global anti-corporate left, friend to Occupiers and scourge of oil barons" -- as she turns her attention to the cause of climate justice. Below is a longer excerpt from their conversation -- about Klein's alliance with 350.org's Bill McKibben, her views on the environmental movement, and the ways in which her struggles to become a parent informed her views on climate (and vice versa). This interview took place on November 8, 2012. It has been edited for length and clarity.
But part of it is people are paying attention. In Canada, I'd say we've got a pretty strong environmental movement. I live in a city, Toronto, where every Wednesday everybody puts their green composting box outside their house. It's bigger than a garbage can. And it's amazing, the success of the composting. People don't think of it as a movement, but you know, you make it easy enough for people, and people do it. You rarely see a plastic bag in my neighborhood. In fact, my neighborhood was just totally redesigned to be less car friendly -- and people lived with two years of construction for that to happen.
So the refusal to accept the importance of economic justice is the reason we have had no climate action. It's just that simple. And it happens every time countries get together and negotiate, because the developing world is not going to move on this issue, on the right to pull themselves out of poverty. It gets cast in the US media as the right to have as dirty a model of development as they want, but that's not the case, that's not what's being demanded at the negotiating table. So you can't have a solution to climate change without really reckoning with economic justice issues in the global arena.
Posted by polly7 | Sun Dec 16, 2012, 12:06 PM (3 replies)
Israel showed no sign of changing its stance even as Australia became the latest nation to summon the Israeli ambassador to protest plans to build 3,000 new settler homes in a critical area of the West Bank near Jerusalem.
Late on Monday, Israel – which is in the middle of an election campaign – said it would also revive plans for another 1,600 homes in annexed east Jerusalem.
Should construction in E1 go ahead, connecting Jerusalem with Maaleh Adumim, it will make the creation of a contiguous Palestinian state almost impossible.
“History proves that every time we insisted on our positions and were prepared to clash, the West has always capitulated, because justice was ours,” wrote Dror Eidar in the Israel HaYom freesheet, which openly backs Mr. Netanyahu.
Posted by polly7 | Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:40 PM (1 replies)