Sunday, September 28, 2008

Well I didn't make it

Between three boxes of kleenex and a little too much fennel tea, I passed out and didn't make it to the lecture. (Not fair to infect others with my dreadful cold!)

I will look and see if CPJME will have a transcript or some such on the presentatiom from last night.

Again, I am sad I didn't make it - but blowing my nose every two minutes, I am sure, wouldn't have been appreciated by the others who did attend.

I'll keep my eyes open for any updates wrt the suit.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Leslie Hughes: Raving Anti-Semite?

The Dion Liberals have asked Leslie Hughes to step out of the race, apparantly, she is an anti-semite! This fiasco certainly illustrates the changes within the various Jewish advocacy groups in Canada, especially after the takeover last year by CIJA and her moneybag sponsers.

Liberals ask candidate to step down over 9/11 comments
'No room' for 'odious' anti-Semitic conspiracy theories: Jewish group CEO

(Dion said)"I have reviewed the past comments of Lesley Hughes and it is clear they do not meet [our] standard," Dion said in a Friday release. "While I appreciate her apology, I cannot condone those sentiments in any way. I have therefore asked Ms. Hughes to step down as the Liberal party candidate in Kildonan-St. Paul."

Hughes, who learned of Dion's request from CBC News in Winnipeg, said she was stunned.

"It's a major shock to my faith in the party and the whole system," said Hughes, who defended her track record by citing her biography about a leading figure of the Jewish community and the Holocaust education that she taught in classes at the University of Winnipeg for more than a decade.

"It's the theatre of the absurd," said Hughes.

Well Ms. Hughes, welcome to the current state of affairs in Canadian politics. You cannot criticise Israel in any way whatsoever and certainly not the official conspiracy of Arabs version of the 911 attacks. This is clearly and transparantly pure anti-semitism on your part. Repent now.

The trend in the last decade to equate the actions of Israel with the desires of all Jews, whether Israelis or living in the Diaspora, is polarising the view and understanding of us all. There are many Jews who don't agree with the actions of the State of Israel and do not abide by her decisions. Yet, what we have now in Canada is a silencing of their voices.

How did this happen? Where is the plurality of opinion gone in the CJC? Was it ever even allowed? I digress.

If anyone is interested in reading the article which has resulted in this woman's turfing here it is.

The only bit which even mentions Israel (not Jews) is excerpted below:

Many official sources are claiming to have warned the American intelligence community, which spends $30 billion a year gathering information, about the attacks on the twin towers on that heartbreaking day.

German Intelligence (BND) claims to have warned the U.S. last June, the Israeli Mossad and Russian Intelligence in August. Israeli businesses, which had offices in the Towers, vacated the premises a week before the attacks, breaking their lease to do it. About 3000 Americans working there were not so lucky.

Yes, that is it. That is why Leslie has now been tarred with the 'anti-semite' label.

Question: Can Dion read? Did he read this piece? If so, can he explain what exactly is the problem here?

Leviev and the British Embassy in Tel Aviv

Yes, I know I am kind of late on reporting this. As my few readers know - I have been very busy as of late, but round one is done and now I find I have a little more time!

I got a call yesterday from the Canadians for Peace and Justice in the Mideast, they were following up with regards to the lecture this evening by Mark Arnold, the lawyer for the city of Bil'n who is suing, in Quebec provincial courts, a Leviev company, Danya Cebus, for building in the Occupied Territories against International and Canadian Law. I wrote about this here.

Now it seems that the British Embassy in Tel Aviv (Israel's capital city) has been negotiating a rental agreement to lease three floors in the Kirya Tower from Africa Israel Investments, a company controlled by Lev Leviev, a London-based property and diamonds billionaire with substantial business interests in Israel.

Palestinian rights groups across Britian have voiced their disapproval, stating that such a move would contradict the Government's own position on the building of illegal settlements within the Occupied Territories:

The Government has made its position on settlements very clear; we believe that settlements contravene international law and are a significant impediment to progress on the peace process. Should we decide to relocate the embassy, we will make clear the intended location once a decision has been reached."

Hmmm... that doesn't really say much does it? If the British government really means what it says with regards to the illegal settlements, then why are they even in negotiations with Danya Cebus, the Leviev subsidiary involved in their construction? Why not simply stop the talks and announce that they will either stay where they are or find somewhere else?

Keep in mind that UNICEF has refused any donations by Leviev due to his companies involvement in the construction of illegal settlements in Modiin Illit, which is close to the village of Bil'in.

So, again we see the double standards at work. Lots of lip service about how terrible the settlement building is, how it is illegal and is major roadblock to any kind of peace accord with the Palestinian people, yet no real action to back those loose words up.

I hope to be able to attend the lecture this evening, and if I make it I will include a synopsis on the blog in the coming days.

Until voices are heard and heeded there will be nothing but instability in this region of decades to come. The actions of foriegn governments in response to Israel's continual snubbing of international laws and the Geneva conventions must become louder. It's can no longer remain a comment only issue. It's easy to say how they disagree with Israel's actions, but only real consequences can force a change in policy. If this means disinvestment and boycotts - then so be it. It worked for Apartheid South Africa, it can work here to. The only thing stopping the movers and shakers seems to be the fear of being labelled an 'anti-semite' for even bringing the subject of Israel's illegal actions up.

Time to lose the fear, officials! Put your money where your mouths are - divest, talk sanctions and stick to one set of rules for all involved.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Palin: No second guessing on Israel

I really don't know what to say here. She quotes the misquote, she towes the line. I see that her meetings with AIPAC have been a success.

Woe to the Americans if this woman ever becomes VP. Woe to the world.

Oh good grief, I simply must edit this post to include:


President Peres of Israel yesterday met for the first time with Governor Palin and with Senator McCain, who called the veteran Israeli statesman "my old friend." The warm handshake and exchange of broad smiles occurred during an international gathering known as the Clinton Global Initiative, hosted by President Clinton. "I wanted to meet you for many years," Ms. Palin told Mr. Peres, according to an aide to the president. "The only flag at my office is an Israeli flag," she was quoted as saying, "and I want you to know and I want Israelis to know that I am a friend."

I think I need a virtual sicky bag...

What Sarah? No American flag? No Alaska flag? No Canadian flag?

This woman is an unmitigated disaster on heels... yikes o rama!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Elections Anyone?

Okay, so we are in an election. I have recieved calls so far from the Libs and Cons, both seeking my support.

Clearly I told them not to count on me.

I simply can't bring myself to vote for either of the status quo pinhead parties. It's almost as if the Liberals, by electing Dion as leader, are there to assist the Cons to get a majority. Certainly makes me wonder about 'backroom deals'.

Con rep: We need a majority, if you guys put Dion in charge we could probably get it.

Lib rep: What's in it for us?

Con rep: Well, we'll revisit the Carbon tax issue and use your ideas to soak Canadians for even more $$

Lib rep: Hmmm, okay. Dion it is, after all our mole Bob Rae pretty much destroyed any chance for the NDP to ever win any election on a federal level after his stunning performance in Ontario years ago. Worked like a charm!!

Con rep: Glad you see it that way. Keep Dion there and keep touting this extra Tax, that we both know will have zero influence on Climate Change - since most realize it has nothing to do with human activity. What a great scam this 'global warming' has become!

Lib rep: Oh yes!! It's allowed both our parties to completely ignore all the pollutants that really do damage! Notice no one talks about dioxins anymore! It's great! Hardly anyone even questions the role of GM plants either! What a dream come true!

Con rep: smiles

Lib rep: smiles back, shakes hands.

And that folks, sums it up. The libs and cons are simply different sides of the same old coin. Both care more for big money and corporate gains. Neither of them care for Canadians. They both look at the populace with contempt.

Yes, I'm cynical... many are. They count on it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Israelis training NA cops in counter terrorism ops

Coinciding with 9/11, U.S. Law Enforcement Officers Learn Counterterrorism Strategies From Israeli Counterparts

"There is a lot to learn from Israel's approach to counteringcreating terrorism, and we believe that it is a wonderful opportunity for police chiefs from the United States to understand how Israel stands up to the threat(she creates) everyday," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.

My corrections to Abe's statement is in red.

Read this and weep!

I wonder then the Skunk machine will show up...?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Link to a Link to a Link!

Penny over at Penny for your thoughts has posted a great documentary on the power of the Israel Lobby wrt foriegn policy of the US.

I'm surprised I hadn't seen this one before.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Has Harper bit the hands which fed him?

Well, I imagine most Canadians now know - we're having an election. Whhhoooopeeee!! Like we actually have anyone worthwhile to choose from.. but I digress and that is another post.

What I find interesting is that the date for this 'selection' is October 14.

Hmmm... wasn't that the date which Harper was warned about?

The Canadian Jewish Congress sent a letter to Harper last week asking him to avoid setting an election on Oct. 14, 15, 21 or 22. Those dates are all key parts of the Jewish religious festival, Sukkot. Observant Jews would not be able to work for candidates on election day if the vote were set for Oct. 14.

"We did make the case pretty strongly . . . that these dates should be avoided," said Bernie Farber, executive director of the Canadian Jewish Congress.

Well, now I'm going to do something that I thought I would never do: Thanks Steven, for not bowing to the pressure of the Lobby. I am sure however, there will be blowback for this. Perhaps some nice attacks in the press?

Time will tell.

Important Message

For those of you in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa:

Israeli Occupation on Trial

Panel with Mr. Mark Arnold,

Canadian Lawyer for the

Palestinian Village of Bil'in

Please join us September 25, 26, and 27 to explore this important case.
In July, 2008, the Palestinian Village of Bil'in launched a lawsuit in Quebec Superior Court against two Montreal companies: Green Mount International Inc. and Green Park International Inc. The two companies are accused of building condominiums on Palestinian land under Israeli military occupation: actions that are strictly illegal under international, Canadian and Quebec law.

Toronto, Thursday, September 25, 7:30 p.m., at the Steelworkers Hall, 25 Cecil Street, Toronto

Montreal, Friday, September 26, 7:30 p.m., McGill University, New Chancellor Day Hall, 3644 Peel Street, Room: 100 (The "Moot Court"), enter through the Law Library entrance at 3660 Peel St.

Ottawa, Saturday, September 27, 7:30 p.m., Sandy Hill Community Centre, 250 Somerset St. E., off of King Edward St, between Nelson and Sweetland, Ottawa

Please distribute this email widely to your friends and acquaintances across Quebec and Ontario.

Join us for a dynamic panel discussion with the Canadian lawyer for Bil'in Village, Mr. Mark Arnold, and other distinguished panellists as we explore the case and its implications for Canada, Israel and the Palestinians. Attendees at each event will be given the opportunity to donate to the legal fund of Bil'in Village, should they so choose.

An admission of $5 will be charged to cover the costs of hosting the event series.

For a list of our other panellists, and for more info on these exciting events, please see Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Mid-East.


I wrote about this here for those interested in a little more background.

I am going to do my darnedest (is that even word?!) to make sure I attend! I'll probable donate a little $$ to, what ever I can afford.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

What is that Smell?

Enter 'The Skunk'.

What's that you ask? Well, it's a wonderful newly developed (and now deployed) less lethal crowd dispersal weapon! Great you say? Well... I'm not so sure about that.

We have heard often by various pro-Israeli-Firsters that 'if only the Palestinians would hold non-violent protests and demonstrations they might be taken seriously'. Well, they do - often - not that it's reported on of course! What to do, what to do - the poor IDF and police forces must stop all non-violent resistance as well, lest the world catch note of it. Shooting the demonstrators with rubber bullets, water cannons, pepper sprays and tear gas just doesn't go over well in the PR department - they needed something else!

"The Border Police introduced the Skunk - a new tool in the service of the police, which will cause every demonstrator to flee for his life because of the terrible stench," the Israel Police Web site proudly declared on August 17, about a week after it was first tried out.

How nice. How comical - if it weren't really just a tool of oppression of a human's right to resist - peacefully - that which interferes with one's right to live in dignity.

Now the Skunk has become the new hope of the Border Policemen stationed along the route of the fence. "We consider it a new and effective deterrent force," says Azulai. "Until now, for demonstrations on the seam line the police used mainly pepper gas, water cannons and mounted police, but we were looking for less lethal means. The Skunk was born out of a need for a means that would avoid harming the demonstrators insofar as possible, which would limit the damage and the contact between demonstrators and policemen. We have no intention of harming anyone, the police respect the right to demonstrate, but we are in charge of maintaining public order. We intervene in demonstrations that get out of control, as in the case of Na'alin and Bil'in, where demonstrators are systematically attempting to damage the fence or mechanical equipment on the site."

The police respect the 'right' to demonstrate? Well - at least the (sort of) recognise it is a right! But for them any demonstration is always, yes always, out of control. It's important, I think, at this juncture to remind everyone that in the towns of Bil'in and Na'alin the route of the Apartheid Wall cuts deeply into Palestinian lands. As most do know, this Wall has been deemed illegal by the internationl courts - if Israel had built this wall on only Israeli territory I doubt that any of these demonstrations would be happening - but the Wall is not on Israeli lands - it is on stolen Palestinians lands - many of which hold important fertile farmlands and water resources. This is why the brave folks of Na'alin and Bil'in are demonstrating - peacefully - to begin with!!

"It may be legal, but it stinks," adds Sarit Michaeli, the head of public relations at the B'Tselem human rights organization. "The fact that they spray people with such a liquid on a Friday raises questions: Would they do the same thing to settlers on a Friday? I find that hard to believe. I don't think it should be done to anyone, but the limited use of the Skunk against Palestinians and left-wing activists is something that should be recorded. In my opinion, there is a strong and disturbing symbolic dimension to this. Mainly because until today the Skunk has been used primarily against nonviolent groups of people, who did not clash with anyone and were very far away from the fence. So why was it necessary to spray them - in order to dirty them? To punish them? I think that the use of the Skunk contains a very humiliating element - they are marking you. The spray creates a new dimension of humiliation that did not exist before at demonstrations."

A laboratory of experimentation - that is how Snitz describes the villages of Bil'in and Na'alin.

"On the one hand the Skunk really did surprise us to a great degree, but on the other hand I was not surprised when a new weapon was directed against us at demonstrations," he says. "Bil'in and Na'alin have turned into a place for experimentation for the Israeli security forces. The demonstrators have become guinea pigs for various weapons. During the past six months they tried sponge bullets that are fired from short range, salt bullets that are very painful when they come into contact with blood, pepper gas, and even a new device called Tza'aka (Scream). This is actually a large loudspeaker that sits on a truck and emits a dissonant and deafening sound. It penetrates your brain."

But the police were not satisfied with the Scream and it did not return to the hilltops of the West Bank. "And that's part of the issue," adds Snitz. "All these attempts remain attempts, but there is no substitute for the 'daily bread' of the Border Police: gas and rubber bullets."

Well it sure does seem that this IS the testing ground for 'crowd' control. These poor folks are treated this way, and the world does nothing - nothing because it is Israel doing this - nothing because so many leaders are terrified of being labelled by the Lobby (and every country has one!).

Just keep in mind: Israel exports her expertise in these matters to other lands. Canadian and American police forces go there on junkits for training.

So, the question arises: When will this method show up at a demonstration near you? If the recent events in Minneapolis and the extent of police interference and brutality is any indication - the answer is: SOON.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Greens, Anti-semitism, Free Speech and Canada

Wow... I haven't had time to blog much - but I just had to put something up about this:

Green Candidate accused of 'Israel-Bashing' gets May's support

Before posting excerpts from the article, let me just say that it's badly written, though of course not surprising, as any criticism of Israeli policy with regards to the Palestinian Peoples is wrongly labelled 'anti-semitism' by the mainstream (shilling) media, and of course by the gatekeepers themselves - the CIC. Please note this is NOT about the recent ousting of Shavluk in BC - who was also accused of making 'anti-semetic' comments on an online forum (which I personally remember and the worst about him wasn't those comments btw).

No this time it's a renowned neurologist, Dr.Qais Ghanem. What did he dare to do? Gosh, it seems that he dared to suggest that the party adopt the view that Israel should withdraw to her 67 borders, as suggested by the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative. What you never heard of it? No wonder - as it is supported by all Arab Lands and would actually lead to peace for Israel and a future for the displaced and stateless people of Palestine. It is not radical, and it allows for 'normalised' relations by all Arab League countries wrt Israel (I know, I know - how could Israel continue playing the victim card is she actually started to get on with her neighbours?) But I digress...

Sara Saber-Freedman, executive vice-president of the Canada Israel Committee, said the Greens would be adopting an extreme position should the resolution be endorsed by party members at their next convention.

“We think it would be extraordinarily unfortunate if it were to be adopted,” she said. “It would place the Green Party very far outside the Canadian mainstream.”

Oh really Sara? So, anyone who doesn't support the ongoing occupation, collective punishment and theft of land by Israel is out of the mainstream? Really? To me, Israel's security depends on learning how to get on with others, learning to play nice and not be the spoiled brat in the sandbox. It would go a long way to changing the Arab world's opinion of her, but alas if there was peace how could the extortion of Billions of dollars in the name of security continue?

Back to the story. Dr. Ghanem is certainly not an anti-semite. The greens aren't either. Yet these days it seems anyone calling Israel out on her behaviour is deemed one. This is ridiculous. If we criticise the Canadian government's policies does that mean I am anti-canadian? If I am bitching about US foreign policy am I then anti-american? What if I don't agree with the Pope? Am I then anti-Catholic? What nonsense. The overuse of the term anti-semite detracts from those who ARE real jew-haters - who hate Jews simply due to the fact they are Jews. Lumping all Jews together with the actions of the state of Israel is a slippery slope. It endangers Jews not only those in Israel, but those in the diaspora as well.

The CIC would do better to stop using the term, or at least use a better one: Anti-Likud, might do.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Israel fires on Fishermen, Humanitarians

Two injured in Israeli attacks on Palestinian fishermen in Gaza

Two Gazan fishermen were injured when Israeli naval vessels fired on Palestinian fishing boats on Monday.

Palestinian medical sources told Maan that 32-year-old Husam Sultan was hit in the head with shrapnel. His wounds were described as serious. Nineteen-year-old Muhammad Sultan was lacerated by shrapnel in various places on his body.

The Israeli navy opened fire at the fishermen off the Gaza shore near the former site of the Israeli settlement Dugeit, west of the Palestinian town of Beit Lahiya, in the northern Gaza Strip.

This Israeli attack is an apparent violation of the ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip which went into effect on 19 June. The violation came on the first day of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan.

Another Israeli naval assault was reported earlier in the day in the day by international human rights activists accompanying Palestinian fishermen.
The Free Gaza movement reported live bullets fired near Gaza City, where five internationals were accompanying fishing boats during daily work in Gaza territorial waters. The group said the boats were "several miles offshore" when Israeli ships opened fire.

Well, I guess it's par for the course with Israel. They managed to keep all news of the siege break out of NA press - and now things are back to business as usual - the Israelis confident in the knowledge that nothing will stop them.

Sad news, sorry to have to report it.

But someone must...