• The Uncounted - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/11/16/magazine/uncounted-civilian-casualties-iraq-airstrikes.html
    https://static01.nyt.com/images/2017/11/19/magazine/19airstrikes1/19airstrikes1-facebookJumbo.jpg

    We found that one in five of the coalition strikes we identified resulted in civilian death, a rate more than 31 times that acknowledged by the coalition. It is at such a distance from official claims that, in terms of civilian deaths, this may be the least transparent war in recent American history. Our reporting, moreover, revealed a consistent failure by the coalition to investigate claims properly or to keep records that make it possible to investigate the claims at all.

    #victimes_civiles #civils #mensonges #etats-unis

    https://seenthis.net/messages/645280 via Kassem


  • Al-Akhbar publie un document (lettre du min. des AE saoudien à son boss, MbS) qui donne plus de détails sur un accord entre Saoudiens et Israéliens (et USA) dont on sait qu’il est négocié depuis le printemps dernier. Pour faire court, l’AS cherche le soutien de ses deux partenaires contre l’Iran (et le Hezbollah) et pour cela elle offre un accord de paix en bonne et due forme avec, en prime, son engagement à "contribuer à l’installation des réfugiés palestiniens (de 48) là où ils se trouvent (fin du droit au retour par conséquent). Pour sauver la face, la concession israélienne, l’internationalisation de Jérusalem prévue en 1937 et 47 !!!

    وثيقة سرية عن مراسلة بين الجبير ومحمد بن سلمان | الأخبار
    https://al-akhbar.com/node/286434

    #palestine

    https://seenthis.net/messages/644541 via gonzo


  • Leaked Documents Expose Stunning Plan to Wage Financial War on Qatar — and Steal the World Cup
    https://theintercept.com/2017/11/09/uae-qatar-oitaba-rowland-banque-havilland-world-cup

    A plan for the United Arab Emirates to wage financial war against its Gulf rival Qatar was found in the task folder of an email account belonging to UAE Ambassador to the United States Yousef al-Otaiba and subsequently obtained by The Intercept.

    The economic warfare involved an attack on Qatar’s currency using bond and derivatives manipulation. The plan, laid out in a slide deck provided to The Intercept through the group Global Leaks, was aimed at tanking Qatar’s economy, according to documents drawn up by a bank outlining the strategy.

    The outline, prepared by Banque Havilland, a private Luxembourg-based bank owned by the family of controversial British financier David Rowland, laid out a scheme to drive down the value of Qatar’s bonds and increase the cost of insuring them, with the ultimate goal of creating a currency crisis that would drain the country’s cash reserves.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/643774 via Nidal


  • A propos de #Pierre_Loti, vu sur FB :

    Pierre Tevanian écrit :

    Il a sa rue à Brest, Bordeaux, Rennes, Mulhouse, son avenue à Paris, face à la Tour Eiffel. Pierre Loti.

    "En ce qui me concerne, je suis mal tombé peut-être, mais je puis attester qu’à de rares exceptions près, je n’ai rencontré chez eux que lâcheté morale, lâchage, vilains procédés et fourberie. Et comme je comprends que leur duplicité et leur astuce répugne aux Turcs, qui sont en affaires la droiture même ! Leurs pires ennemis sont les premiers à le reconnaître. J’oserais presque dire que les Arméniens sont en Turquie comme des vers rongeurs dans un fruit, drainant à eux tout l’or, par n’importe quel moyen, par l’usure surtout, comme naguère les Juifs en Russie » ("La mort de notre chère France en Orient", 1920)

    "Il y a des années cependant que j’hésitais à aborder de front ce sujet sinistre, retenu par une compassion profonde malgré tout pour cette malheureuse Arménie dont le châtiment a peut-être dépassé les fautes"

    "On sait à présent que, s’ils ont été massacrés, ils ne se sont jamais fait faute d’être massacreurs."

    "Si mon humble voix avait quelque chance d’être entendue, je supplierais l’Europe, qui a déjà trop tardé, je la supplierais d’intervenir, de protéger les Arméniens et de les isoler ; puisqu’il existe entre eux et les Turcs, depuis des siècles, une haine réciproque absolument irréductible, qu’on leur désigne quelque part en Asie une terre arménienne où ils seront leurs propres maîtres, où ils pourront corriger leurs tares acquises dans la servitude, et développer dans la paix les qualités qu’ils ont encore – car ils en ont, des qualités ; j’accorde qu’ils sont laborieux, persévérants, que certain côté patriarcal de leur vie de famille commande le respect. Et, enfin, bien que ce soit peut-être secondaire, ils ont la beauté physique, qui en Occident s’efface de plus en plus par l’excès de l’instruction, le surmenage intellectuel, l’usine meurtrière, et l’alcool ; je ne puis penser sans une spéciale mélancolie à ces femmes massacrées qui, pour la plupart sans doute, avaient d’admirables yeux de velours." ("Les massacres d’Arménie", 1920)

    #arménie #turquie #génocide_arménien et un #grand_homme de plus

    https://seenthis.net/messages/643017 via Reka


  • A political earthquake is rocking Saudi Arabia’s pillars of princ

    https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/Comment/2017/11/7/A-Saudi-political-earthquake-decapitates-the-system-of-princes

    Saudi Arabia’s political earthquake has shaken the foundations of the country’s power structure. 

    A system based on the division of power between the lineages of the sons of Abd al Aziz Ibn Saud has been replaced - at least temporarily - by one based on the lineage of King Salman and within it, of his young son Muhammad.

    Other Gulf monarchies, including in Qatar and Oman, have witnessed intra-family power struggles that resulted in the replacement of the sovereign by his son. But none has ever witnessed what amounts to a coup d’etat against not only the king, but against the entire monarchical system within which he exercised his powers.

    So Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s purge of his uncles and cousins is more akin to republican coups mounted in Egypt in 1952, Iraq in 1958, or Libya in 1969.
    The two key questions to be asked are (i) can the crown prince consolidate his power, and (ii) what will be the long-term consequences of the political earthquake?

    The effectiveness demonstrated thus far by King Salman and his son in grabbing all the country’s reins of power suggests real political skill. They undercut Prince Muhammad bin Nayef’s base in the Ministry of Interior, one he had inherited from his father, and then utilised that base to neutralise other princes.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/643074 via Nouvelles d’Orient

    • L’ONU et les puissances occidentales (France/GB et EU) sont complices de génocide au Yémen et radio Orient qui nous explique que c’est cette même coalition qui a sauvé en grande partie la Syrie. Insupportable mensonge !
      Et quand radio Orient cite la guerre au Yémen, elle prend bien soin de ne pas nommer l’agresseur, son pourvoyeur de fonds.


  • La « coalition arabe » INTERDIT à l’#ONU ses vols humanitaires vers le #Yémen...
    https://apnews.com/124e214ce76b45228b7434b814d9334c/The-Latest:-UN-humanitarian-flights-to-Yemen-grounded

    ... et l’ONU dénonce...
    ... l’ONU dénonce un blocus « catastrophique » - BBC Afrique
    http://www.bbc.com/afrique/monde-41902112
    https://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/1024/branded_afrique/1E0E/production/_98649670_gettyimages-868893284.jpg

    Les Nations Unies estiment que la décision de l’Arabie Saoudite de fermer toutes ses frontières avec le Yémen empêche l’acheminement de l’aide humanitaire.

    On a quand même connu des tribunaux internationaux pour beaucoup moins que ça...

    https://seenthis.net/messages/642891 via Kassem


  • Is Mohammed Bin Salman rewriting Saudi Arabia’s history? | Middle East Eye

    http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/mohammed-bin-salman-rewriting-history-saudi-arabia-633696870

    In a recent interview with the Guardian, Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman confirmed his decision to return the country to moderate Islam. The prince insisted that the conservative, extremist trend was a recent phenomenon in the Kingdom and that it went back to just 30 years ago. He added that it was born out of the climate created by the Iranian revolution.

    Bin Salman did not hesitate to note that the kingdom’s former leaders failed to address the phenomenon and that he was determined to put an end to it. He said: "What occurred during the past thirty years was not Saudi Arabia. What happened in the region was not the Middle East. In the wake of the Iranian Revolution in 1979, there emerged some people who wanted to copy that model in other countries. Saudi Arabia was one of those countries.

    READ MORE

     Salman’s ’moderate Islam’: A Disneyland for robots, not an open society
    “We did not even know how to tackle it, and the problem spread across the entire world. Now is the time to get rid of it once and for all.”

    Bin Salman added: “We are simply going back to what we used to follow, moderate Islam, the Islam that is open to the world and to other religions … We shall not waste thirty more years of our life in confronting extremists. We shall destroy them, now and immediately.”

    https://seenthis.net/messages/643068 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Paradise Papers expose offshore tax secrecy of Middle East elite | Middle East Eye

    A Saudi Prince, a Queen of Jordan and sons of the Turkish prime minister have all been mentioned in one of the largest data leaks in history

    http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/paradise-papers-expose-offshore-tax-secrecy-middle-east-elite-2878216

    Sons of the Turkish prime minister, a Jordanian dowager Queen and a Saudi prince who owns a superyacht longer than a football pitch, are just a few Middle Eastern figures whose offshore dealings have been laid bare by one of the largest ever data leaks.

    Published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), the Paradise Papers exposes the secret dealings and offshore interests of the global elite and shows how companies use offshore company structures to slash tax bills and even hide questionable business practices.

    Leaked from the Bermudan branch of offshore law firm Appleby, the release comes a year after the ICIJ published a tranche of similar material called the Panama Papers. Like them, the Paradise Papers reveal some of the undercover dealings of some of the biggest names in world politics - including Queen Elizabeth of Britain, members of Donald Trump’s entourage, and members of the Middle East’s political and business elite.

    Prince Khaled bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia 

    Prince Khaled bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia’s former deputy minister of defence and dubbed “Father of Saudi Arabia’s missile” for his work in procuring weapons for the kingdom, also had offshore dealings revealed by the leak.

    According to Appleby’s files, Prince Khaled is a beneficiary of two trusts and registered at least eight companies in Bermuda between 1989 and 2014, some of which were used to own yachts and aircraft.

    Registering yachts and aircraft in this way can save tax.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/642939 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Selon Ibrahim al-Amine du Akhbar, la « réception » de Saad Hariri à Riyad n’a pas ressemblé à l’accueil d’un Premiere ministre libanais, mais bien plutôt à l’arrestation d’un ressortitant séoudien. Retenu, téléphone confisqué, séparé de sa famille, interrogé comme « témoin » sur des histoires de corruption…

    Al-Amine évoque également des tentatives de médiation via l’Égypte et la Jordanie à la demande de Michel Aoun et Nabih Berri, et de la France et des britanniques à la demande de Joumblatt. Intransigeance de MBS avant un éventuel retour (libération ?) de Hariri.

    وقائع اعتقال الحريري : من المطار الى فيلا في مجمع « ريتز كارلتون »
    http://al-akhbar.com/node/286011

    قُطع أمس الشك حول مصير الرئيس سعد الحريري. وعلمت «الاخبار» من مصادر وثيقة الصلة برئيس الحكومة انه وُضع قيد الاقامة الجبرية، بعد ساعات من وصوله الى الرياض الجمعة الماضي. وهو لا يزال، حتى الساعة، موجوداً في مكان منفصل عن مكان إقامة عائلته، فيما يتولّى فريق امني سعودي الاشراف على أمنه، كما هي حال الامراء والوزراء السعوديين الموقوفين.

    وروت المصادر ان الحريري، بُعيد وصوله الى الرياض، طلب منه التوجه الى مجمع «ريتز كارلتون» الفندقي لعقد اجتماعات، تمهيداً لانتقاله الى قصر اليمامة للقاء الملك سلمان. ولدى وصوله الى الفندق، فوجئ باجراءات أمنية استثنائية، ليدرك، بعد دقائق، انه بات بحكم الموقوف. وتم نقله الى احدى الفيلات التابعة للمجمع، وليس الى الفندق حيث احتجز نحو 49 أميراً ووزيراً ورجل اعمال سعودياً. وكان هؤلاء، أيضاً، استُدعوا الى الرياض على وجه السرعة لعقد «لقاءات عمل» مع الملك وولي العهد، ليتم توقيفهم رهن تحقيقات تتعلق بتهم الفساد.

    وبحسب المصادر، فان الجهات الامنية السعودية صادرت الهواتف الموجودة في حوزة الحريري وفريقه الامني. وتم تخيير أعضاء الفريق الامني إن كانوا يريدون المغادرة الى بيروت، وانه في هذه الحالة لن يكون بمقدور من يغادر المجمع ان يعود اليه مجدداً. وبناء على طلب الحريري، انتقل اربعة من مرافقيه بقيادة الضابط محمد دياب الى منزله للبقاء مع زوجته وأولاده، فيما بقي مع الحريري، في الفيلا نفسها، رئيس حرسه عبد العرب وأحد مساعديه الشخصيين. وأُبلغ الجميع بقواعد الاقامة لناحية عدم التحرك داخل الفندق وعدم التواصل مع الامنيين والموظفين، وتم ربطهم بضابط أمن سعودي في مكتب قريب، حيث يمكنهم التوجه مرات عدة في اليوم لتفقد هواتفهم، على ان ينحصر استعمالها في الرد على الرسائل التي تردهم عبر تطبيقات كـ«واتساب» وخلافه، وسمح لهم باجراء اتصالات هاتفية على ألا تشمل اي نقاش حول مكان اقامتهم وظروفها، تحت طائلة الحرمان من التواصل مرة جديدة.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/642902 via Nidal


  • The chained jailers of Gaza -

    Israelis refuse to comprehend that Gaza is a huge prison, and that we are the wardens

    Amira Hass Nov 07, 2017
    read more: https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.821354

    I have seen happy Gazans. A reporter for Kan, the Israeli public broadcasting corporation, went to the Erez checkpoint a few days ago, shoved a microphone and a camera at people leaving the Gaza Strip and invited their sighs of relief. Great! The Hamas inspection point on the Gazan side has been removed and the bearded security people didn’t interrogate us.
    The impression left by the news item and by an earlier report in Haaretz is that the only stumbling block faced by those who wish to leave Gaza is Hamas, but here are some of the questions that the Gazans at the border were not asked, along with the answers that would have been forthcoming:
    Q: Now, following the removal of Hamas checkpoints, can anyone who wishes to do so leave Gaza? A: Are you kidding? Since 1991, we leave only if Israel approves.
    Q: How long is the waiting period for an Israeli exit permit? A: About 50 days. Sometimes only legal intervention by an Israeli organization such as the Gisha Legal Center for Freedom of Movement or Physicians for Human Rights can result in a permit.
    Q: What is involved in the inspection at the Israeli checkpoint? A: A revolving scanner, instructions shouted from loudspeakers, sometimes a strip search.

    Q: What are you allowed to take? A: You’re not allowed a laptop, sandwiches, a suitcase on wheels or deodorant.
    Q: Other than Islamic Jihad and Hamas, who isn’t allowed to leave? A: Most people aren’t allowed. The daughter of a neighbor of mine has been receiving medical treatment in Jerusalem for the past nine months, and he has yet to receive a permit to visit her. The same is true of three friends who have been in need of a follow-up medical exam for the past year. Young people who would like to study in the West Bank cannot do so because Israel won’t permit it. About 300 students who were accepted to study abroad are waiting for a permit, and their visa is at risk.

    Q: Were you interrogated by the Israeli Shin Bet security service? A: Not today. But sometimes we arrive at the checkpoint and they take us aside, sit us down on a chair for an entire day, and in the end ask a few questions about the neighbors, for 10 minutes, or send us home even without asking questions. That’s how we miss a hospital appointment or a work meeting.
    Israelis refuse to comprehend that Gaza is a huge prison, and that we are the wardens. That’s why they are chained by their own voluntary ignorance. Reporting on the situation is easily turned into propaganda for use by policymakers. On the other hand, the omissions and distortions in articles written by officials who carry out the policy are natural. Such as the article written by the coordinator of government activities in the territories, Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, and two of his colleagues, which appeared last week on the Institute for National Security Studies website.
    The omissions and distortions are aimed at the general public. For example the article states: “Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip by force.” On the contrary, Israel, the Middle East Quartet (the United States, Russia, the United Nations and the European Union) and Fatah worked in various aggressive ways to overturn the results of the democratic election to the Palestinian Legislative Council in 2006, which Hamas had won.
    “Hamas has become the sovereign,” Mordechai and his colleagues wrote. The sovereign? Even when Israel controls the borders, the air and maritime space and the Palestinian population registry? “Hamas’ rule is losing strength due to its responsibility for the scope of the poverty and unemployment.” Readers who reach this point in the article may have already forgotten an earlier assertion: “The situation of the citizen in Gaza has deteriorated greatly since 2007, mainly due to the restrictions imposed on the strip by Israel (in terms of movement to and from the area and in terms of economic activity).”
    The writers from the Office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories are chained by their very position. COGAT scrupulously imposes these restrictions and has even made them more restrictive. The authors’ warn in their article of the prospect of a worsening of the situation there, both economically and psychologically, but that is not followed by a courageous call to policymakers to remove the prohibitions against the movement of people, raw materials and local produce.
    The writers do issue a hint to the government that it would be preferable to allow the process of internal Palestinian reconciliation to move forward. And they courageously invite the Gentiles to finance the reconstruction of what Israel has destroyed and is destroying. After all, that’s what the Gentiles have been doing since 1993 – pouring in funds to prevent an even worse deterioration and to maintain a status quo that is convenient for Israel. The time has come for the Gentiles to use those funds as political leverage that will force Israel to restore freedom of movement to the Palestinians in Gaza.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/642865 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Désolé pour le LIbanais, mais Hariri n’est pas un gros poisson ! Le trio des prévenus de luxe (déjà condamnés par les tweets de Trump à la justice expéditive : "....Some of those they are harshly treating have been ’milking’ their country for years !) comprend(rait) les trois personnalités suivantes : Miteb bin Abdullah, al-Waleeed bin Talal et Turki bin Nasser... Ils auraient le privilège d’être à l’ombre à l’intérieur du palais de MBS à Riyadh.

    انباء عن احتجاز الأمراء الثلاثة متعب والوليد وبن ناصر في قصر الملك سلمان الرياض | رأي اليوم
    http://www.raialyoum.com/?p=774213

    Ce dernier épisode fait d’ailleurs furieusement penser à un roman saoudien, récent prix Booker, et traduit en français par F. Lagrange « Les basses oeuvres » de ’Abduh Khal (voir à ce sujet Rumor : https://rumor.hypotheses.org/3527 avec nombre de liens très utiles)

    #prison_dorée #arabie_saoudite

    https://seenthis.net/messages/642817 via gonzo


  • Birthright’s so scared of Arabs it’s banned them

    Cinq ans d’un programme de visites de jeunes Américains invités par les autorités en Israël: la majorité d’entre eux soutiennent BDS après leur séjour. Le programme a donc décidé d’interdire aux nouveaux invités de rencontrer... des Arabes

    Birthright’s ’total, complete shutdown of meet-ups with Israeli Arabs till it figures what’s going on’ at least exposes the organization’s political agenda to sunlight. But it’s left Israeli peace-builders like me furious

    Noam Shuster Eliassi Nov 02, 2017
    read more: https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/1.820666

    Birthright is reportedly ordering their trip providers to stop meetings between their participants and Arab citizens of Israel. In their own words, “there is a need for further analysis of this module.”
    I read these lines over and over again and could not trace my thoughts fast enough. My responses went from laughing out loud, to wanting to smash the nearest available wall, to being entirely unsurprised. 
    “Further analysis” on how and if to meet Arabs?
    Maybe they mean to say Birthright participants should meet only the properly vetted and defanged “good pro-Israel Arabs”, because they’re scared delicate Birthrighters might be exposed to critical thought? After all, what a disaster it would be to raise a generation of Jews who dare to think critically about Israel.
    Birthright is attempting to create a sterile, ideologically ’pure’ environment, for its participants. But what will happen when they grow up and realize there is so much more than what they have seen on Birthright? Could that dissonance mean they’ll lose faith in this place called Israel? How do Birthright organizers expect its alumni to correlate the false images they saw on a perfect, ’clean’ ten day freebie with the complexity of the real world? 
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    Let Birthright ban the meetings. It’s better. And it’s more honest of Birthright to just come out and say it: Jews from all over the world, come for a free ride to Israel and don’t worry, you won’t be ’contaminated’ by meeting 22% of Israel’s population, or any Palestinians at all.

    Sheldon and Miriam Adelson at the Taglit Birthright Israel event in Rishon Letzion, June 25, 2017.David Bachar
    Oh, but wait - who will be cleaning their rooms in the hotels? Who will be driving their buses? Who will be cooking their authentic “Israeli food”? Who will be providing the camels for the compulsory rite-of-passage Birthright pictures? Who will host them in the ’traditional Bedouin tent’?

    It’s 2017 and it’s hard to believe that I’m saying this – but Birthright thinks Arabs are only good for you when they are your service providers. But to shut up and listen to them as equals? Let’s get rid of that.
    As an alumni of Brandeis, the U.S. campus with the largest number of students attending Birthright trips, I am not surprised about this step, but I’m so angry. I was always concerned about the brainwashing that’s built in to these trips.
    But I also believe in young people’s hearts and minds; I believe that awareness and exposure can change mindsets. I insist on meeting Birthright groups, I insist on speaking to people who disagree with me.
    The hardest part about this scandal is that it would never pass muster back in the United States. In the U.S. you know damn well that being uncomfortable and critical and celebrating diversity are integral parts of a multilayered democratic conversation. But when it comes to Israel, in Israel, apparently those values don’t apply.

    An annual Birthright event in Jerusalem.Emil Salman
    As an Israeli Jew who’s not afraid of being critical about her own state I ask you, Birthright: How dare you design a program and bring people for free and deny them the right to complex points of view, to experiencing democracy? Do you think that expelling Arabs from your schedule and from your agenda will ’disappear’ them from our lives here?
    After 10 short days Birthright participants go back to the U.S. We Israelis have to live here together. The damage you’re causing affects everyone , builds higher walls and makes respectful and equitable connections within Israeli society far harder for us to make. 
    And for those of you who are Birthright participants, organizers, supporters, funders: if you actually think Israel has any future in the Middle East, you should think very hard how you’re responding to these shameful reports.
    No birthright gives us a right to be superior, oppressive or racist. Think if this is really the “Israel experience” that Jewish teens deserve, and what kind of social and political engineering and propagandizing of the Israeli state you’re now part of.
    Noam Shuster Eliassi is a peace activist, public speaker and comedian and has managed a range of peace-building initiatives. She is a Brandeis University graduate and was awarded the Davis Peace Prize for developing peacebuilding programs for HIV positive youth in Kigali, Rwanda.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/642383 via Nouvelles d’Orient



  • Lebanon Diaries of a garbage bag
    http://www.synaps.network/diaries-of-a-garbage-bag

    Our garbage may be taken out of sight, but it never disappears. Whether it is recycled, landfilled, burned or tipped into the sea, it endures in one form or another—a witness to past human activity. Even prehistoric times are known to us primarily through such traces: long before our forebears could write, they left waste behind, offering clues as to their diet, habitat and tool-making. To this day, our garbage bag is profoundly revealing, sometimes bursting at the seams with secrets and social commentary. In other words, it tells our story.
    Nowhere is garbage more expressive than in Lebanon: a tiny country with an ever-expanding and increasingly dangerous supply of trash. Lebanon’s waste tells the story of a dense, consumerist society that has failed, for decades, to set up a functioning waste management system, as authorities dither from temporary fixes to partial solutions, from emergency schemes to unimplemented masterplans.
    The present crisis has deep roots. Even before communal violence swept Lebanon from 1975 to 1990, waste management infrastructure was minimal. Municipalities outside the capital dealt with the problem haphazardly, in dumpsites regularly set ablaze. Beirut mostly resorted to crude incineration in the suburb of Amrousieh, at a plant already deemed unsatisfactory, until it established a sorting and composting center in another suburb, Karantina, in 1972. In 1974 the government passed groundbreaking legislation that prohibited tipping waste on the coastline; stockpiling trash anywhere but in dedicated areas; and releasing effluents into the water table, the rivers and the sea. But the 1975 outbreak of civil war upended efforts to establish order; the garbage bag was left to fend for itself, inaugurating a pattern of ad hoc landfills and endemic spillage that lasts to this day.
    Nowhere is garbage more expressive than in Lebanon

    https://seenthis.net/messages/640942 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Balfour’s original sin -

    British colonialism prepared the way for Israeli colonialism, even if it didn’t intend for it to continue for a 100 years and more

    Gideon Levy Oct 28, 2017 6:50 PM
    read more: https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.819539

    There was never anything like it: an empire promising a land that it had not yet conquered to a people not living there, without asking the inhabitants. There’s no other way to describe the unbelievable colonialist temerity that cries out from every letter in the Balfour Declaration, now marking its centenary.
    The prime ministers of Israel and Britain will celebrate a huge Zionist achievement this week. Now the time has come for some soul-searching as well. The celebration is over. One hundred years of colonialism, first British and then, inspired by it, Israeli, has come at the expense of another people, and that is its endless disaster.
    The Balfour Declaration could have been a just document if it had pledged equal treatment of both the people who dreamed of the land and the people dwelling there. But Britain preferred the dreamers, hardly any of whom lived in the country, over its inhabitants who had lived there for hundreds of years and were its absolute majority, and preferred to give them no national rights.
    Imagine a power promising to turn Israel into the national home of the Israeli Arabs and calling for the Jewish majority to suffice with “civil and religious rights.” That’s what happened then, but in an even more discriminatory way: The Jews were an even smaller minority (less than a tenth) than Israeli Arabs are today.
    Thus Britain sowed the seeds of the calamity whose poisonous fruits both peoples are eating to this day. This isn’t a cause for celebration; rather, on the 100th anniversary of the declaration, it’s a call for repairing the injustice that was never even recognized, not by Britain and of course not by Israel.
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    Not only was the State of Israel born as a result of the declaration, so was the policy toward “the non-Jewish communities” as stated in the letter by Lord Arthur James Balfour to Lord Lionel Walter Rothschild. The discrimination against the Arabs of Israel and the occupation of the Palestinians are the direct continuation of the letter. British colonialism prepared the way for Israeli colonialism, even if it didn’t intend for it to continue for a 100 years and more.
    Israel 2017 also pledges to grant “civil and religious rights” to the Palestinians. But they don’t have a national home. Balfour was the first to promise it.
    Sure, Britain spread these promises around in those years, the years of World War I, contradictory promises including to the Arabs, but it fulfilled them only to the Jews. As Shlomo Avineri wrote in Haaretz’s Hebrew edition on Friday regarding the context and implications of the Balfour Declaration, its main purpose was to minimize American-Jewish opposition to U.S. participation in the war.
    Whatever the motive was, following the Balfour Declaration, more Jews immigrated to this country. Immediately on their arrival they acted like overlords, and they haven’t changed their attitude toward the non-Jewish inhabitants to this day. Balfour let them do this. Not by chance did a small group of Sephardi Jews living in Palestine oppose Balfour and seek equality with the Arabs, as Ofer Aderet wrote in Haaretz on Friday. And not by chance were they silenced.
    Balfour let the Jewish minority take over the country, callously ignoring the national rights of another people that had lived in the land for generations. Exactly 50 years after the Balfour Declaration, Israel conquered the West Bank and Gaza. It invaded them with the same colonialist feet and it continues its occupation and its ignoring of the rights of the inhabitants.
    If Balfour were alive today, he would feel comfortable in the Habayit Hayehudi party. Like MK Bezalel Smotrich, Balfour also thought the Jews have rights in this country and the Palestinians don’t and never will. Like his successors on the Israeli right, Balfour never concealed this. In his speech to the British Parliament in 1922, he came right out and said it.
    On the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, the nationalist right should bow its head in thanksgiving to the person who originated Jewish superiority in this country, Lord Balfour. Palestinians and the Jews who seek justice should mourn. If he hadn’t formulated his declaration the way he did, maybe this country would be different and more just.

    Gideon Levy

    https://seenthis.net/messages/640707 via Nouvelles d’Orient



  • Corbyn snubs Balfour centennial celebration, slammed by U.K. Jewish group - Europe - Haaretz.com

    https://www.haaretz.com/world-news/europe/1.818483

    Jeremy Corbyn, head of the British Labour party, announced that he would decline an invitation celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, the Jewish Chronicle reported on Sunday.
    Hamas tweeted the article, and commented that the UK should formally apologize and compensate Palestinians for the Balfour Declaration.
    skip - Hamas tweet

    The Chair of the Jewish Leadership Council in Britain, Jonathan Goldstein, called Corbyn’s decision not to attend the event “deeply unfortunate.”
    Corbyn and his Labour party have faced allegations of anti-Semitism since his election to the party’s helm in 2015. Corbyn is a divisive figure among Jewish voters who believe there has been a rise in cases of anti-Semitic statements by party members since then.
    Last month, Corbyn declined to attend a Labour Friends of Israel reception.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/640708 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Lieutenant General Hegazy II: Egypt’s new chief-of-staff | MadaMasr
    https://www.madamasr.com/en/2017/10/28/feature/politics/the-new-hegazy-at-the-head-of-egypts-military

    Mohamed Farid Hegazy was installed as the Armed Forces chief-of-staff on Saturday night, replacing the military’s former top official Mahmoud Hegazy, who will now take up a role as a presidential advisor on strategic planning and crisis management, according to a statement issued by the Armed Forces spokesperson.

    The change in the military’s leadership coincides with a reshuffle in the Interior Ministry that saw several prominent leaders depart from office. Although the reshuffle in the Interior Ministry seems a clear response to the attack in the Western Desert near the Wahat Road, 135 km outside of Giza, the reasons behind the change in military leadership are less clear.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/640693 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • How Israel wins the media war |

    The Electronic Intifada

    https://electronicintifada.net/content/how-israel-wins-media-war/22066

    Balcony Over Jerusalem: A Middle East Memoir by John Lyons with Sylvie Le Clezio, HarperCollins (2017)

    Of all the pillars that help hold up Israel’s special type of settler-colonialism and apartheid, one of the strongest remains the role of Western media in amplifying Israeli hasbara (propaganda). That pillar, however, is beginning to crack.

    Nowhere is this more apparent than in the reflections of prominent Australian journalist John Lyons in his book Balcony Over Jerusalem, an account of his and his filmmaker wife Sylvie Le Clezio’s six-year stint in the city, from 2009 to 2015. There, Lyons was based as the Middle East correspondent of The Australian, one of the country’s leading newspapers.

    There is much that is noteworthy in this book, such as Lyons’ detailed analysis of Israel’s various attempts at “social engineering.” This includes the multilayered, bureaucratic permit regime designed to stifle Palestinian resistance to occupation and ongoing land theft, buttressed by closed military zones and other means of land confiscation that dwarf the West Bank settlements themselves.

    But what ultimately stands out in Balcony Over Jerusalem is the author’s examination of how the media portray Israel and how the government and the lobby groups that shield it from accountability attempt to intimidate reporters and distort their coverage.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/639963 via Nouvelles d’Orient



  • Situation de M. Hammouri

    déclaration du porte-parole du ministère français des affaires étrangères le 25 octobre 2017

    Nous sommes préoccupés par la situation de notre compatriote Salah Hammouri, détenu par les autorités israéliennes depuis le 23 août 2017. Il bénéficie de la protection consulaire de notre consulat général à Jérusalem, conformément à la convention de Vienne.

    La dernière audience en appel à l’encontre de la décision de mise en détention administrative s’est tenue le 22 octobre à la cour suprême de Jérusalem. Ni notre compatriote ni ses avocats n’ont pu avoir connaissance des charges retenues.

    La France rappelle que l’utilisation abusive et systématique de la détention administrative porte atteinte au droit à un procès équitable et aux droits de la défense.

    Nous demandons que l’ensemble des droits de Salah Hammouri soient bien respectés et espérons sa libération. Dans cette attente, nous demandons aussi que sa famille puisse lui rendre visite.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/639818 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Israel secretly using U.S. law firm to fight BDS activists in Europe, North America -

    Israeli government hired lawyers to counter BDS; nature of work is kept a secret, and defined as ’extremely sensitive’

    Chaim Levinson and Barak Ravid Oct 25, 2017
    read more: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.818938

    The government has been secretly using a U.S. law firm to help it fight the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement in Europe, North America and elsewhere, according to documents obtained by Haaretz.
    The government has hired the Chicago-based firm Sidley Austin to prepare legal opinions and handle court proceedings. The Justice Ministry and the Strategic Affairs Ministry have declined to reveal the nature of these activities, for which the state has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past two years. The ministries call the activities “diplomatically extremely sensitive.”
    About two years ago, the security cabinet made the Strategic Affairs Ministry responsible for coordinating the fight against “delegitimization” and earmarked major resources for these efforts. The Strategic Affairs Ministry transfers some of the money to the Foreign Ministry in various places worldwide and some money has been given to Jewish organizations overseas for public relations work on campuses and elsewhere.
    But the Strategic Affairs Ministry is also operating on these matters in ways that have not been made public. In the past, the ministry’s director general, Sima Vaknin, told the Knesset that it is involved in “gathering intelligence and attacking.”
    Over the past year, attorney Eitay Mack has asked government ministries in the name of human rights activists to receive information on all the contracts signed with bodies overseas involving anti-BDS activities. The Foreign Ministry said it had no such contractual obligations, but the Justice Ministry provided censored documents.
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    The documents show that the special-tasks department in the State Prosecutor’s Office, which is responsible for dealing with matters of national security – in cooperation with the Strategic Affairs Ministry – called for bids in early 2016 from international law firms.
    This was for “preparing documents and legal opinions, handling legal proceedings (suits or representation) to the extent needed battling the BDS phenomenon in particular concerning calls and initiatives to impose boycotts and sanctions against Israeli companies and businesses, as well as against foreign companies that have business operations in Israel.”
    The detailed description of the services was censored from the document. The Justice Ministry said the details were redacted because their publication could lead to “damage to the country’s foreign relations and damage to the ability of these bodies to provide the requested service.”
    In February 2016, the Justice Ministry contracted with a law firm, but in May the ministry asked to switch firms after the original outfit was found to have a possible conflict of interest.
    A contract with a different law firm for 290,000 euros was then approved, with the option of increasing the amount by another 200,000 euros for additional work. Another expansion of the original contract was later approved, this time for another 437,000 euros, making a total contract value of 925,000 euros, or 4 million shekels ($1.1 million).
    The tenders committee decided not to publicize the contracts in the government’s Manof information system because of the sensitivity of the matter to Israel’s foreign relations.
    The secrecy surrounding the contracts raises the suspicion that the work involves not only writing legal opinions but also preparing lawsuits against BDS supporters, as Israel does not want to be revealed as supporting such actions, to avoid the perception that it is interfering in the internal affairs of other countries.
    The money is disbursed as budgetary allocations for international contracts. The Justice Ministry’s report on such contracts shows that the government contracted with Sidley Austin in March 2016 for consulting services, without issuing a tender for competitive bidding. In the first half of 2017, the firm received $219,000 in payments. No other law firms were paid under the same budgetary section.
    Sidley Austin did not reply to questions on whether it was working for the Israeli government.
    Sidley Austin is one of the largest American law firms and employs 1,900 lawyers. It is the firm where a young lawyer, Michelle Robinson, met a summer intern named Barack Obama. The firm has four offices in Europe: in Brussels, London, Munich and Geneva.

    Chaim Levinson
    Haaretz Correspondent

    https://seenthis.net/messages/639733 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Dear Europe, take note: If you want to, Israel can be pressured - Palestinians - Haaretz.com

    A recent case involving Dutch solar panels shows how friendly states can make Israel back down when it violates international humanitarian law

    Amira Hass Oct 23, 2017
    read more: https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/palestinians/.premium-1.818549

    The High Court justices once more found an escape hatch; once again, they would not have to discuss the basic, outrageous fact that Israel is not connecting thousands of Palestinians (on both sides of the Green Line) to the national electricity and water infrastructure. This time the way out was found in the village of Jubbet ad-Dhib at the foot of Herodion, southeast of Bethlehem. It needed a hybrid (solar plus diesel) electrical system that was installed by the Comet-ME Israeli-Palestinian aid organization, because Israel had not met its international obligation to connect it to the electrical grid.
    All those who accuse the High Court of being leftist can relax. It has missed hundreds of opportunities to rule that withholding water and electricity is illegal according to international law, illegal according to Israeli law, and unacceptable according to Jewish law. Hundreds of times – to count by the number of petitions that have been submitted – the court had the opportunity to instruct the state to connect the Palestinian communities to the water and electrical infrastructure, but it avoided doing so, often citing technicalities. Back when current Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked was still a toddler, the court was already repeatedly missing opportunities to salvage the reputation of Jewish morality from downing in the sludge of nationalism and the lust to expel.
    The escape hatch in Jubbet ad-Dhib was shown to the justices by Brigadier General Ahvat Ben Hur, but it was none other than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who created that opening. The Dutch government, which had funded the hybrid electrical system, was furious over the confiscation of the solar panels, and Netanyahu promised the Dutch in writing that the panels Israel had confiscated from the village in late June would be returned. And then what does Ben Hur, the direct commander of the confiscators from the Civil Administration do? He informs the state prosecutor, which informed the High Court, that he’d decided to return the panels.
    Ben Hur did not do so to honor the state’s obligation to a protected population. Rather, he cited a technicality. The panels were confiscated eight months after they had been installed and operate, he explained. Thus, the petition written by attorneys Michal Sfard and Michal Pasovsky was rendered redundant. That’s a shame. It would have been interesting to see what contortions the justices would have got into in response to the arguments (also accepted by the Dutch government) that denying access to electricity and destroying electricity systems are offenses that violate international humanitarian law.
    Ben Hur’s statement enabled the state prosecutor and the justices to also avoid addressing the fact that the Civil Administration had made improper use of a military order. The seizure orders that were given to the Jubbet ad-Dhib residents on the day of the confiscation cited Article 60 of the order regarding security provisions. This article makes seizure contingent upon a criminal offense having been committed using the equipment slated for seizure. The confiscation order did not specify what offense was supposedly committed with the solar panels. The lawyers’ inquiries to the Civil Administration about this went unanswered. Presumably, then (also based the COGAT spokesperson’s response to journalists), the suspected offense is related to planning and building laws. But this is an administrative offense that does not come under the military order regarding security provisions. The procedures for dealing with it are different – cease work orders and demolition orders, hearings, arguments against the orders, appeals, negotiations, a petition to the High Court.
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    https://seenthis.net/messages/639381 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Israel arrests Palestinian because Facebook translated ’good morning’ to ’attack them’ - Israel News - Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.818437

    The Israel Police mistakenly arrested a Palestinian worker last week because they relied on automatic translation software to translate a post he wrote on his Facebook page. The Palestinian was arrested after writing “good morning,” which was misinterpreted; no Arabic-speaking police officer read the post before the man’s arrest.
    The Facebook post that mistranslated ’good morning’ to ’hurt them’

    Last week, the man posted on his Facebook page a picture from the construction site where he works in the West Bank settlement of Beitar Ilit near Jerusalem. In the picture he is leaning against a bulldozer alongside the caption: “Good morning” in Arabic.

    The automatic translation service offered by Facebook uses its own proprietary algorithms. It translated “good morning” as “attack them” in Hebrew and “hurt them” in English.

    Arabic speakers explained that English transliteration used by Facebook is not an actual word in Arabic but could look like the verb “to hurt” – even though any Arabic speaker could clearly see the transliteration did not match the translation.

    But because of the mistaken translation the Judea and Samaria District police were notified of the post. The police officers were suspicious because the translation accompanied a picture of the man alongside the bulldozer, a vehicle that has been used in the past in hit-and-run terrorist attacks. They suspected he was threatening to carry out such an attack and the police arrested him. After he was questioned, the police realized their mistake and released the man after a few hours.

    The Judea and Samaria District police confirmed the details and said a mistake in translation was made, which led to the mistaken arrest. The police agreed the correct translation was “good morning.”

    The Palestinian man declined to speak with Haaretz. He removed the post from his Facebook page after the arrest.

    #palestine #israel #lost_in_translation

    (via Angry Arab)

    https://seenthis.net/messages/639325 via gonzo


  • For the women under Israeli occupation, it’s time for #AnaKaman (#MeToo)

    The next global social media campaign should bring the stories of Palestinian women who live (or were killed) under the Israeli occupation

    Gideon Levy Oct 22, 2017 4:21 AM
    read more: https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.818426

    When the #MeToo global campaign against sexual harassment and assault ebbs, a different campaign, no less just and no less important, can begin.
    #MeToo was launched on social media in response to the allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and it brought testimony from Hollywood. It reached Israel due to the generosity of Yedioth Ahronoth, a newspaper that holds nothing dearer than women’s equality, body and soul. The 12 million women around the world who have joined the campaign have described their own sexual assault experiences and expressed solidarity with Beverly Hills celebrities.
    The next campaign should also address respect for women and their bodies, their fates, their rights, their life and death. It must start in Israel and spread throughout the world. A single Weinstein will not ignite this campaign. It will accuse an entire state. And the testimonies will not come only from the rich and famous. They will come from female victims who never dreamed of Hollywood, or even of the beach in Tel Aviv.
    The next campaign should be called #وأنا كمان, ana kaman, “me too” in Arabic. Let’s see how the world responds to this campaign, especially Israelis – the same Israelis who took part in #MeToo and are now tut-tutting in the streets of Ramat Hasharon and Ramat Aviv over the painful testimonies of Limor Livnat, Meital Dohan, Orna Banai and Yael Abecassis.
    #AnaKaman will bring the testimonies of Palestinian women who live (or were killed) under the Israeli occupation. We provide the first ones below. All are from this summer, a relatively quiet one in the history of the occupation.

    Nazzal Abu Kharma’s wife, Asma, and their 7-month-old son, Ilian. Alex Levac
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    “Me too,” Zeinab Salhi of the Deheisheh refugee camp will write despairingly. She is 52, a single mother who for years cleaned the homes of Jews in Jerusalem, until illness forced her to quit. She lives in the West Bank refugee camp in nearly indescribable poverty and neglect. Her live-in partner, an Israeli Jew from Jerusalem, suffers from cancer.
    One night this summer, she watched as soldiers fired seven bullets into her son Raad Salhi, 22, as he tried to flee. As he lay dying in Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem, she sought to see him one last time, but soldiers stationed outside his room chased her away.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/639035 via Nouvelles d’Orient