Archive for September 6, 2008

The CIA and Acid

Posted in USA with tags , , on September 6, 2008 by indonesiaunderground

LSD was invented in Switzerland by Albert Hofmann, a researcher for Sandoz pharmaceuticals. It did not spontaneously appear among the youth of the Western world as a gift from the God of Getting’ High. The CIA was on to acid long before the flower children.

So, for that matter, were upstanding citizens like Time-Life magnate Henry Luce and his wife, Clare Boothe Luce, who openly sang the praises of their magical mystery tours during the early sixties. Henry, a staunch conservative with close connections to the CIA, once dropped acid on the golf course and then claimed he had enjoyed a little chat with God.

While the cognoscenti had the benefit of tuned-in physicians, other psychedelic pioneers took their first trips as part of CIA-controlled research studies.

At least one person committed suicide after becoming an unwitting subject of a CIA LSD test, crashing through a high-story plate-glass window in a New York hotel as his Agency guardian watched. (Or perhaps the guardian did more than watch. In June 1994 the victim’s family had his thirty-year-old corpse exhumed to check for signs that he may have been thrown out that window.) Numerous others lost their grip on reality.

MK-ULTRA was the code name the CIA used for its program directed at gaining control over human behavior through “covert use of chemical and biological materials,” as proposed by Richard Helms. The name itself was a variation on ULTRA, the U.S. intelligence program behind Nazi lines in World War II, of which the CIA’s veteran spies were justly proud.

Helms later became the CIA director and gained a measure of notoriety for his Watergate “lying to Congress” conviction and a touch of immortality in Thomas Powers’s aptly named biography, The Man Who Kept the Secrets. Helms founded the MK-ULTRA program and justified its notable unethical aspects with the rationale, “We are not Boy Scouts.”

At the time, the spook scientists suspected that LSD had the potential to reprogram the human personality. In retrospect, they were probably right – Timothy Leary spoke in similar terms, though he saw unlimited potential for self-improvement in this “reprogramming.” The CIA and the military simply couldn’t figure out how to harness the drug’s power. Thank goodness. Their idea was not to open “the doors of perception” but to convert otherwise free human beings into automatons.

“We must remember to thank the CIA and the army for LSD,” spoke no less an authority figure on matters psychedelic than John Lennon. “They invented LSD to control people and what it did was give us freedom.”

Or did it? The acid-tripping intersection between the CIA and the counterculture is one of the areas where the on-the-record facts about MK-ULTRA meld into the foggy region of conspiracy theory. It has been suggested, even by prominent participants in the counterculture, that with LSD the CIA found the ultimate weapon against the youth movement.

Officially, the MK-ULTRA program ran from 1953 to 1964, at which time it was renamed MK-SEARCH and continued until 1973. However, U.S. intelligence and military operations with that same purpose had been ongoing at least since World War II and likely chugged ahead for many years after MK-ULTRA’s publicly stated conclusion. MK-ULTRA encompassed an undetermined number of bizarre and often grotesque experiments. In one, psychiatrist Ewen Cameron received CIA funding to test a procedure he called “depatterning.” This technique, Cameron explained when he applied for his CIA grant (through a front group called the Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology), involved the “breaking down of ongoing patterns of the patient’s behavior by means of particularly intensive electroshocks,” in addition to LSD. Some of his subjects suffered brain damage and other debilitations. One sued the government and won an out-of-court settlement in 1988.

Then there was operation “Midnight Climax,” in which prostitutes lured unsuspecting johns to a CIA bordello in San Francisco. There they slipped their clients an LSD mickey while Agency researchers savored the “scientific” action from behind a two-way mirror, a pitcher of martinis at the ready.

Author John Marks, whose The Search for the Manchurian Candidate is on of the most thoroughgoing volumes yet assembled on U.S. government mind-control research, readily admits that all of his source material comprised but ten boxes of documents – but those took him a year to comprehend despite the aid of a research staff.

Marks writes that he sought access to records of a branch of the CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology, the Office of Research and Development (ORD), which took over behavioral (i.e., mind control) research after MK-ULTRA’s staff dispersed.

Marks was told that ORD’s files contained 130 boxed of documents relating to behavioral research. Even if they were all released, their sheer bulk is sufficient to fend off even the most dedicated – or obsessed – investigator. To generate such an intimidating volume of paper must have taken considerable time and effort. Yet curiously, the CIA has always claimed that its attempts to create real-life incarnations of Richard Condon’s unfortunate protagonist Raymond Shaw – the hypnotically programmed assassin of The Manchurian Candidate – were a complete bust.

If their demurrals are to be trusted, then this particular program constitutes one of the least cost-effective deployments of taxpayer dollars in the history of the U.S. government, which is rife with non-cost-effective dollar deployments.

The CIA’s most effective line of defense against exposure of their mind-control operations (or any of their operations, for that matter) has always been self-effacement. The agency portrays its agents as incompetent stooges, encouraging the public to laugh at their wacky attempts to formulate cancer potions and knock off foreign leaders.

Under this cover story, MK-ULTRA’s research team was nothing but a bunch of ineffectual eccentrics. “We are sufficiently ineffective so our findings can be published,” quipped one MK-ULTRA consultant.

Despite the findings of a Senate committee headed by Ted Kennedy that U.S. mind-control research was a big silly failure and even though Marks – whose approach is fairly conservative – acknowledges that he found no record to prove it, the project may have indeed succeeded.

“I cannot be positive that they never found a technique to control people,” Marks writes,” despite my definite bias in favor of the idea that the human spirit defeated the manipulators.”

A sunny view of human nature, that. And indeed a consoling one. But the human spirit, history sadly proves, is far from indomitable. The clandestine researchers explored every possible means of manipulating the human mind. The CIA’s experiments with LSD are the most famous MK-ULTRA undertakings, but acid was not even the most potent drug investigated by intelligence and military agencies. Nor did they limit their inquiries to drugs. Hypnosis, electronic brain implants, microwave transmissions and parapsychology also received intense scrutiny. Marks, Kennedy, and many others apparently believe that the U.S. government failed where all-too-many far less sophisticated operations – from the Moonies to Scientology to EST – have scored resounding triumphs. Brainwashing is commonplace among “cults,” but not with the multimillion-dollar resources of the United States government’s military and intelligence operations?

For that matter, the (supposed) impetus for the program was the reported success of communist countries in “brainwashing.” The word itself originally applied to several soldiers who’d fought in the Korean War who exhibited strange behavior and had large blank spots in their memories – particularly when it came to their travels through regions of Manchuria. Those incidents were the inspiration for Condon’s novel, in which a group of American soldiers are hypnotically brainwashed by the Korean and Chinese communists and one is programmed to kill a presidential candidate.

Interestingly, the belief that one’s psyche is being invaded by radio transmissions or electrical implants is considered a symptom of paranoid schizophrenia. But there is no doubt that the CIA contemplated using those methods and carried out such experiments on animals, and the way these things go it would require the willful naivete of, say, a Senate subcommittee to maintain that they stopped there. Even Marks ,who exercises the journalistic wisdom to stick only to what he can back up with hard documentation, readily acknowledges that the clandestine researchers “probably” planted electrode experiments “went far beyond giving monkeys orgasms,” one of the researchers’ early achievements.

The ultimate goal of mind control would have been to produce a Manchurian Candidate assassin, an agent who didn’t know he (or she) was an agent – brainwashed and programmed to carry out that most sensitive of missions. Whether the program’s accomplishments reached that peak will probably never be public knowledge. So we are left to guess whether certain humans have been “programmed to kill.” In 1967, Luis Castillo, a Puerto Rican arrested in the Philippines for planning to bump off Ferdinand Marcos, claimed (while in a hypnotic trance) that he had been implanted with a posthypnotic suggestion to carry out the assassination. Sirhan Sirhan, convicted as the assassin of Robert F. Kennedy, showed unmistakable symptoms of hypnosis. A psychiatrist testifying in Sirhan’s defense said that the accused assassin was in a trance when he shot Kennedy, albeit a self-induced one. Author Robert Kaiser echoed that doctor’s conclusions in his book RFK Must Die! Others, of course, have offered darker conjectures regarding the origins of Sirhan’s symptoms.

James Earl Ray, the convicted assassin of Martin Luther King, also had a known fascination with hypnosis, and, more recently, British lawyer Fenton Bressler has assembled has assembled circumstantial evidence to support a theory that Mark David Chapman, slayer of John Lennon, was subject to CIA mind control. Way back in 1967, a book titled Were We Controlled?, whose unknown author used the pseudonym Lincoln Lawrence, stated that both Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby were under mind control of some kind. The book may have had at least a trace of validity: Something in the book convinced Oswald’s mother that the author was personally acquainted with her son.

Did MK-ULTRA spin off a wave of history-altering assassinations – did it whelp a brood of hypnoprogrammed killers? The definitive answer to that question will certainly never reach the public. We are left, with John Marks, to hope on faith alone that it did not, but always with the uneasy knowledge that it could have.

Perhaps not through assassinations, and perhaps not even intentionally, MK-ULTRA definitely altered a generation. John Lennon was far from the only sixties acid-hero to make the connection between the mood of the streets and the secret CIA labs. “A surprising number of counterculture veterans endorsed the notion that the CIA disseminated street acid en masse to deflate the political potency of the youth rebellion,” write Martin Lee and Bruce Shlain in Acid Dreams, their chronicle of both the clandestine and countercultural sides of the LSD revolution.

“By magnifying the impulse toward revolutionism out of context, acid sped up the process by which the Movement became unglued,” the authors continue. “The use of LSD among young people in the U.S. reached a peak in the late 1960s, shortly after the CIA initiated a series of covert operations designed to disrupt, discredit, and neutralize the New Left. Was this merely a historical coincidence, or did the Agency actually take steps to promote the illicit acid trade?”

The tale of Ronald Stark, told by lee and Shlain, may provide the connection between the CIA and the Left. Stark was a leading distributor of LSD in the late 1960s – the same time acid use was at its heaviest – and apparently a CIA operative. The Agency has never admitted this, but an Italian judge deciding in 1979 whether to try Stark for “armed banditry” in relation to Stark’s many contacts with terrorists (among other things, Stark accurately predicted the assassination of Aldo Moro) released the drug dealer after finding “an impressive series of scrupulously enumerated proofs” that Stark had worked for the CIA “from 1960 onward.”

“It could have been,” mused Tim Scully, the chief of Stark’s major LSD-brewing outfit (a group of idealistic radicals called the Brotherhood who grew to feel exploited by Stark), “that he was employed by an American intelligence agency that wanted to see more psychedelic drugs on the street.” But Lee and Shlain leave open the possibility that Stark may have been simply one of the world’s most ingenious con artists – a possibility acknowledged by most everyone to come in contact with Stark.

The CIA’s original “acid dream” was that LSD would open the mind to suggestion, but they found the drug too potent to manage. Sometime around 1971, right before MK-ULTRA founder and, by then, CIA director Richard Helms hung up his trenchcoat and stepped down from the CIA’s top post, he ordered the majority of secret MK-ULTRA documents destroyed due to “a burgeoning paper problem.” Among the eradicated material, Lee and Shlain report, were “all existing copies of a of a classified CIA manual titled LSD: Some Un-Psychedelic Implications.”

There exists today no on-paper evidence (that anyone has yet uncovered) that MK-ULTRA was the progenitor of either a conspiracy to unleash remote-controlled lethal human robots or to emasculate an entire generation by oversaturating it with a mind-frying drug. But MK-ULTRA was very real and the danger of a secret government program to control the thoughts of its citizens, even just a few of them at a time, needs no elaboration.

Source : http://www.carpenoctem.tv

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US aid to Israel

Posted in Israel, USA with tags , , , on September 6, 2008 by indonesiaunderground

“Israel has no more loyal friend than the United States. We couldn’t have done it without her”

Yitzhak Rabin

US Aid: The Facts

- Israel and the US have a long-established special relationship. The US was the first country to recognise the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.
- Israel is considered America’s closest non-NATO ally in the Middle East, a region that is geopolitically crucial to the US.
- The close relationship between the two states is reflected in the volume of aid Israel receives from the US. Since World War II Israel has been the largest overall recipient of US aid: from 1949-2006 Israel received more than $156 billion of direct US aid.
- Until 2003, Israel received approximately one-third of the annual US foreign aid budget. In 2005, the US gave Israel more than $2.6 billion in aid, a budget exceeded only by US aid to Iraq. By comparison, Jordan received $683.6 million, Rwanda received $77 million, and the Occupied Palestinian Territories received $348.2 million.
- In the past, a majority of the direct US aid to Israel was via US Economic Support Funds (ESF). The US publicly states that ESF are given in order to support stability in areas strategic to the US. However, the recipient government completely controls how it spends these funds.
- The US also lends money to Israel, but these loans are frequently waived before any repayments are made. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs has estimated that from 1974-2003 Israel benefited from more than $45 billion in waived loans from the US.
- Direct US aid to Israel has significantly diminished since 1996 in order to reduce Israeli financial dependence on the US. Speaking to the US Congress in July 1996, Former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu declared, “We will begin the long-term process of gradually reducing the level of your generous economic assistance to Israel.

Political support

- The US has a history of giving Israel direct political support. In 1972, the US prevented the adoption of UN resolution S/10784 paragraph 74, which condemned Israeli attacks against southern Lebanon and Syria. In order to do this, the US used its veto power in the Security Council for only the second time.
- Since 1972, the US has used its veto power to prevent the adoption of 42 UN resolutions that condemned or severely criticized actions by the State of Israel. In 2006, for example, the US prevented the adoption of UN resolution S/878, which demanded a mutual ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.
- In 2002, former US Ambassador to the United Nations, John Negroponte, stated that it was US policy to denounce all UN resolutions that criticized Israel without also condemning “terrorist groups.” This statement is now known as the Negroponte-doctrine.

Military Aid

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A line of American-made Israeli F 15 fighter jets at an Israeli Air Force base

- Whilst US economic aid to Israel has diminished in the last ten years, the level of US military support to Israel has substantially increased. This includes financial military aid.
- Israel’s military superiority is largely dependent on various forms of direct US support, including financial military aid and donations, weapons deliveries and technological support.
- Between 1996 and 2006, Israel received $24 billion in financial military aid from the US.
- The major financial mechanism for military aid from the US to Israel is Foreign Military Financing (FMF). These grants are given to foreign governments in order for them to buy US-manufactured weapons systems. Approximately 50% of the current FMF budget is designated to Israel. Israel has also been granted the privilege of spending 26.3% of its allocation, an unusually high percentage, on buying weapons produced by Israeli arms manufacturers.
- Economic Support Funds (ESF – see previous reference) are not specifically designated for military use. But as governments are unaccountable as to how they spend this money, ESF can also be considered indirect military aid.
- In August 2007, a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on military aid was signed between Israel and the US. This MOU guarantees Israel $30 billion in military aid via FMF over the next decade.
- As the closest US ally in the Middle East, Israel has privileged access to US military technology. Israeli research and development of weapons systems is often co-financed by the US. Joint military projects have been set up, such as the development of the Arrow Missile System, which has been operational since 2000.
- Israel values its relationship with the US, but nonetheless has exported US military technology to China against the interests of the US. Military equipment is one of Israel’s most important export products, with a net estimated value of $4.4 billion in 2006.
- For China, Israel is a backdoor to access advanced western military technology. For example, in 1996 Israel exported the US Airborne Early Warning (AEW) system to China, and, in 2005 attempted to sell China the Harpy Killer anti-radar system.

Israel is a Nuclear Power

- Although never officially confirmed by either Israel or the US, it is widely known that Israel has developed nuclear weapons. In 1986, Mordechai Vanunu exposed Israel’s nuclear program.
(see below)
- The number of Israeli nuclear bombs produced in the Dimona nuclear research centre in the Negev Desert is estimated at 200.
- Israel has never signed the 1968 Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty.
- Both the US and Israel have an unofficial policy of silence regarding Israel’s nuclear capacity.
- Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert confirmed that Israel possesses nuclear weapons in a 12 December 2006 interview with the German TV channel Sat.1. He said that Iran aspires “to have nuclear weapons, as America, France, Israel and Russia”.

US aid to Israel violates US laws

- US aid to Israel, and the way in which this aid is used, frequently violates US law, policy and interests.
- Under US policy, financial aid to Israel should not be spent by Israel in the Occupied Territories. But Israel spends US aid with impunity.
- The US has a number of laws regulating foreign military aid and weapons’ exports. The 1961 Foreign Assistance Act (FAA) states that “No assistance [ought to be given] to countries that violate human rights”. But Israel systematically violates human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
- The 1976 US Arms Export Control Act (AECA) states that “Weapons purchased from the US should only be used for legitimate self-defense”. But since September 2000 the Israeli military has killed more than 3,354 Palestinian civilians (as of 8 August 2007).


The Vanunu case at a glance

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Front page of the British ‘Sunday Times’ on October 5, 1986: “Revealed: the secrets of Israel’s nuclear arsenal.”

In 1986, Israeli nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu leaked information and photographs about Israel’s nuclear program to the British Sunday Times newspaper. Whilst in London exposing Israel’s nuclear industry, Vanunu was invited to Rome by an undercover female Mossad agent.

When he arrived in Italy he was kidnapped by Mossad and taken back to Israel for trial. In 1988, Vanunu was sentenced to 18 years in prison. He endured more than 11 years of solitary confinement before being released in 2004.

He remains under house arrest.

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Poster for the liberation of Vanunu. An international solidarity campaign began after his abduction in 1986.

Children in Palestine

Posted in Israel, Palestine with tags , , , , , on September 6, 2008 by indonesiaunderground

“Life is becoming more violent for children in the Palestinian Territory. By the end of 2006 more than 120 children had died due to the conflict, more than double the number of child deaths in 2005. Many more have been injured, some for life.”

UNICEF, 2007

Children in Palestine: The Facts

- 60% of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories are under 19-years-old.
- One in 3 Palestinian males aged 15-19 is an unskilled worker. Unemployment is a severe problem for young Palestinian men: 20% of 15-19-year-olds cannot find paid work.
- 20% of Palestinian females marry between the ages of 15-19. More than 1 in 10 subsequently divorce.
- According to the United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF): “Conditions have rarely been worse for Palestinian children.” One in 10 Palestinian children now suffer from stunted growth due to compromised health, poor diet and nutrition and 50% of Palestinian children are anemic, and 75% of those under 5 suffer from vitamin A deficiency.
- UNICEF claims that roadblocks, barriers, checkpoints and soldiers are impeding health workers and patients, including child patients, from accessing health centers across the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Delivery of medication and equipment are also severely affected.
- On March 8th, 2007 Khaled Daud Faqih died at a checkpoint between the village of Kafr’Ain and the city of Ramallah. His parents were trying to take him to Ramallah hospital, but were detained at a checkpoint by Israeli soldiers. Khaled Daud Faqih was 6 months old.
- Rising poverty and unemployment is affecting school attendance across Palestine. In the 2005/6 school year the number of students whose families could not afford the NIS 50 ($11) school fee doubled from 29,000 to 56,000.
- Up to 67% of families are living in poverty across the West Bank. In Gaza poverty rates have spiraled to 85% this year, severely affecting every aspect of children’s lives.
- Increasing numbers of Palestinian children are now working to support their families instead of attending school. Palestinian children under the age of 14 can cross Israeli checkpoints without permits, and at least one thousand Palestinian children now cross into Israel every day, to work in garbage tips salvaging glass and metal. More than half of the Palestinian children who work in Israel, or Palestine, do not attend school at all.

Children Killed in Conflict

- Since September 2000, approximately 883 Palestinian children have been killed in the Occupied Territories. The majority of these children were shot and killed by the Israeli military. However, Israeli settlers have also shot and killed Palestinian children.
- 124 Palestinian children were killed in 2006, more than twice the number killed the previous year. From January–July 2007, 31 children were killed. The vast majority of child deaths in Palestine are caused by live ammunition shots to the head or chest, generally indicative of an Israeli “shoot to kill” policy.
- On July 4th 2007 Israeli troops shot and killed a 15-year-old Palestinian boy in Hebron. Ahmad Abed Al-Muhsin Skafi was shot 4 times in his upper torso. Israeli troops then allowed a military dog to maul the boy’s dead body, tearing his intestines from his stomach and mutilating his right hand.
- 20,000 Palestinian children have been injured since September 2000. Almost 1,500 of them sustained life-long disabilities.

Child Arrests and International Law

- International law states that child imprisonment should be used as a last resort. However the Israeli military routinely arrest and detain Palestinian children.
- Since September 2002 approximately 5,200 Palestinian children have been arrested by the Israeli military. Israel continues to prosecute all children in military courts, to use imprisonment as a first resort, to deny children prompt access to a lawyer, to elicit confessions under interrogation and torture and to attempt to recruit child detainees as collaborators with Israel’s secret security agency. These actions are all explicitly in violation of Article 40 of the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Israel has signed.
- Seven hundred Palestinian children were arrested by the Israeli military during 2006.
- There are now approximately 426 Palestinian children being held in Israeli detention. They regularly receive lengthy terms of imprisonment for minor offences such as stone throwing.
- Israeli Military Order 132 defines a Palestinian child as a person under the age of 16. Therefore Palestinians over the age of 16 are sentenced as adults and imprisoned with adults. This law discriminates against Palestinian children and is contrary to the UN Convention on the Rights of Child, which defines a child as under 18. Israelis under the age of 18 are legally defined and treated as children.

source : http://www.palestinemonitor.org

Nightly invasions in Ni’lin: Israeli army stormed a house, shooting one resident and arresting another

Posted in Israel, Palestine with tags , , , , on September 6, 2008 by indonesiaunderground
Palestine Monitor
1 September 2008

At 3 o’clock on Sunday night, the Israeli army stormed the village of Ni’lin in the North West of Ramallah.

Incidents and crimes have been happening on a weekly basis in Ni’lin for months, where the people have been carrying out non-violent struggles to defend their land against the building of a new section of the apartheid Wall.

In Ni’lin, the Israeli soldiers have been using violent methods in order to break the non-violent resistance of the villagers. High velocity and rubber bullets have been used -with soldiers shooting at close range on the demonstrators- along with poisonous teargas and sound bombs. Previous aggressions during the month of July already led to the death of one teenager and one child, and hundreds of injured.

On Sunday night, the first night of Ramadan, Israeli soldiers entered the town, targeting the Srour’s family house, intending to arrest Aqal Abu Srour, 34 year-old.

“We saw about 30 soldiers standing outside the entrance of my brothers’ house, knocking heavily and loudly at the door”, told Qassam Abu Srour, the brother who lives next door. “They entered the house in a very brutal and forceful manner”, he reported.

The soldiers blew up the doorway and stormed the house after launching teargas and sound bombs inside of the building; they ransacked the house and handcuffed Aqal Abu Srour, who was living on the second floor.

Awad, 40 years old, is Aqal’s older brother, and lives in the same house. When seeing his brother captured, laying on the ground and handcuffed by the Israeli soldiers, Awad, who has mental impairments, started “begging and shouting at them to release Aqal”, said Qassam, the third brother.

While defending his brother, Awad got shot by the soldiers, three times by rubber coated steal bullets fired from close range. Two bullets targeted his face: one entered the cheek; the second entered the right eye and stopped in the brain. The third bullet targeted his chest. The three ammunitions still remain in Awad’s body.

The man, father of four children, has been taken to Ramallah hospital where he is laying in a critical condition. According to the medical team, Awad lost his right eye and is suffering from internal bleedings. Doctors are worried for his critical health condition.

That night, the Israeli army also arrested Awad’s brother Aqal. Neighbours reported that he was heavily beaten by the soldiers, while handcuffed and taken into the army vehicle.

Salah Al-Khawajah, the media spokesman of the Ni’lin popular committee against the Wall emphasized that Ni’lin residents have been struggling for about four months to halt construction of the separation wall and the confiscation of their land. He said that resistance to Israeli atrocities will continue during Ramadan.

To Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, the Secretary General of the Palestinian Initiative, “Israeli practices aim at breaking the popular struggle in Ni’lin and seek to make an example of the efforts of the village residents.” He condemned the “brutal” and “ugly” methods chosen to put down peaceful resistance and affirmed that this will not stop the anti-wall campaigns in Ni’lin, Bil’in, Al-Ma’sara or “any other place across Palestine.”

To the Deputy, “this Israeli crime is not first of its kind”, while reminding the shooting of Ashraf Abu Rahma two months ago at close range with his hands cuffed and eyes masked.

Barghouthi called for the “prosecution of Israeli soldiers and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak who is personally responsible for such crimes in front of war crimes tribunals.”

source : http://www.palestinemonitor.org

Palestinian Village Faces Army Reign of Terror

Posted in Palestine with tags , , , , , , on September 6, 2008 by indonesiaunderground

Film of Soldiers’ Atrocity Incurs Heavy Price

Jonathan Cook
4 September 2008
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Palestinians protest the wall in the West Bank village of Nilin, 9 August 2008.
Picture: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org

The window through which Salam Amira, 16, filmed the moment when an Israeli soldier shot from close range a handcuffed and blindfolded Palestinian detainee has a large hole at its centre with cracks running in every direction.

“Since my video was shown, the soldiers shoot at our house all the time,” she said. The shattered and cracked windows at the front of the building confirm her story. “When we leave the windows open, they fire tear gas inside too.”

Her home looks out over the Israeli road block guarding the only entrance to the village of Nilin, located just inside the West Bank midway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. It was here that a bound Ashraf Abu Rahma, 27, was shot in the foot in July with a rubber bullet under orders from an Israeli regiment commander.

The treatment of the family stands in stark contrast to the leniency shown to the soldier and his commander involved in that incident.

B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights group, has accused the Israeli army of seeking “revenge” for the girl’s role in exposing the actions of its armed forces in the West Bank.

It may also be hoping to dissuade other families from airing similar evidence of army brutality, particularly since B’Tselem began distributing dozens of video cameras to Palestinians across the West Bank.

Scenes captured on film of hooded settlers attacking Palestinian farmers near Hebron came as a shock to many early this summer.

The village of Nilin has been the focus of the Israeli army’s actions since May, when its 4,700 inhabitants began a campaign of mainly non-violent demonstrations to halt the building of Israel’s separation wall across their land.

After the wall is completed, the village will be cut off from 40 per cent of its remaining farmland, effectively annexing it to half a dozen large Jewish settlements that encircle Nilin. The settlements are all illegal under international law.

Several times a week the villagers, joined by small numbers of Israeli and international supporters, congregate in olive fields where bulldozers are tearing up the land to make way for the wall.

The people of Nilin have tried various non-violent forms of protest, including praying in the path of the heavy machinery, using mirrors to reflect sunlight at the construction workers, banging pots and pans, and placing rocks in the way of the bulldozers during the night.

The army has responded with tear gas and stun grenades, as well as on occasion, with rubber-coated steel bullets and live ammunition. Last month it was reported that Israel was also experimenting with a new crowd dispersal method called “skunk”, which involves firing a foul-smelling liquid at demonstrators.

In the past few weeks, two youngsters have been shot dead by the army, including one, Ahmed Moussa, who was 10. The army claimed he was throwing stones. An autopsy showed he was hit in the head by a bullet from an M-16 rifle.

This week a soldier fired from close range three rubber bullets at Awad Surur, a mentally disabled man, as he tried to prevent his brother from being arrested. Two bullets penetrated his skull, according to B’Tselem, which denounced the army as increasingly “trigger-happy” and “reckless”.

Salam’s family, like many other villagers, bear the injuries from attendance at protests. Most of her five brothers have been hit by rubber bullets, as has her father, Jamal Amira, 53. The army has sealed the village off on several occasions and, according to villagers, beaten and terrorised inhabitants.

Mr Amira is among at least 100 farmers whose livelihoods will be devastated by the wall. He will lose all 14 hectares of his land, fields on which his ancestors have made their living by growing olives, cucumbers, aubergine and tomatoes.

But Salam’s five-minute film of the roadblock incident, taken during a four-day curfew imposed on the village, has only intensified the family’s troubles.

Three days after the video was aired, the army arrested her father during a peaceful protest. He was the only one seized after the army claimed the demonstrators had entered a closed military zone. Mr Amira was also charged with assaulting a soldier.

He was held for three and a half weeks before an Israeli military judge rejected the army’s demand that he be remanded for a further three months until his trial.

In an almost unprecedented rebuke to the prosecution, the judge questioned the army’s case, saying he could see no evidence of an assault. He also asked why Salam’s father was singled out from all of those protesting.

Mr Amira’s lawyer, Gabi Laski, said the decision confirmed “our preliminary claim that the arrest was out of vengeance and punishment for the video filmed by the girl”.

Nonetheless, Mr Amira still faces a military trial. A report last year by Yesh Din, a human rights group, found that in only 0.25 per cent of cases heard by military tribunals was the defendant found innocent. Even if acquitted, Mr Amira is expected to face legal costs amounting to nearly US$10,000 (Dh36,700), a sum the family says it cannot pay.

In contrast, the two soldiers responsible for the shooting of the detainee at the roadblock have been reprimanded with the minor charge of “unbecoming conduct”. Neither will stand criminal trial. B’Tselem has called the decision “shameful”.

According to the legal group the Association of Civil Rights in Israel, the punishment under Israeli law for aggravated abuse of a detainee is seven years imprisonment. ACRI’s lawyers have submitted a petition arguing the lenient charge “transmits to officers and other soldiers an extremely grave message of contempt for human life”.

Lt Col Omri Borberg, the commander who gave the order to shoot Abu Rahma, resigned his post but was immediately moved sideways to a senior post in a different unit. In a show of support, Gabi Ashkenazi, the head of the army, said Lt Col Borberg may be reinstated to a command position.

Meanwhile, the villagers said the army’s behaviour would not dissuade them from protesting or cause them to renounce their commitment to non-violence.

Salah Hawaja, a protest organiser, said: “When we started our demonstrations, maybe 50 soldiers showed up. Now there are hundreds stationed permanently around us. Israel is treating us like a major war zone, even though we are using non-violence.

“The people of Nilin have accepted that the best strategy to stop Israel’s plans to steal our land and leave us inside a ghetto is non-violence,” said Mr Hawaja.

“We need to show the world who is the occupier and who the occupied. Israel understands how threatening this is, which is why it is using so much force against us.”

A fund has been established to help the Amira family. Donations can be sent to: Amira Legal Defense Fund, PO Box 1335, Kfar Saba, Israel 44113, made out to “Matte Hacoalitsia”. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal: http://tinyurl.com/6fekjc

Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is http://www.jkcook.net.

This article originally appeared in The National (www.thenational.ae), published in Abu Dhabi.

Source : http://www.palestinemonitor.org

“Tumbal Mofaz”, 70 Orang Palestina Setiap Hari

Posted in Palestine with tags , , , on September 6, 2008 by indonesiaunderground

Shaul Mofaz, Menteri Transportasi Israel, ternyata menjadikan ”tumbal” 70 Palestina tiap hari di saat ia menjabat sebagai petinggi militer.

Hidayatullah.com–Koran Yahudi, Haaretz mengungkap pada hari Selasa (2/9) mengenai latar belakang kehidupan Shaul Mofaz, yang kini menduduki kursi Menteri Transportasi Israel. Terungkap bahwa dimasa ia menjadi pejabat militer, ia telah memerintahkan pasukannya untuk membunuh 70 orang Palestina per harinya. Itu dilakukan sejak Intifadhah Al-Aqsa tahun 2000, katika ia menjadi penglima militer Israel.

Berpijak dari pengakuan beberapa perwira tinggi Israel, Akiva Dar, seorang komentator di koran ini mengatakan, “Mofaz menentukan “jatah“ setiap harinya, untuk membunuh 70 warga Palestina“.

Ia juga menjelaskan bahwa Mofaz juga menularkan “hobi“ ini kepada para anak didiknya.

Maturtown salah satu perwira menyatakan bahwa ia melakukan pembunuhan terhadap beberapa petugas kemanan Palestina di Tepi Barat atas semangat yang diajarkan oleh Mofaz.

Disebutkan juga bahwa Mofaz pada tanggal 6 Mei 2001 bersama beberapa perwira yang tergabung dalam kelompok Yahuda dan Samir yang bertugas di Tepi Barat telah memerintahkan membunuh 70 warga Palestina tiap harinya di wilayah Tepi Barat. [tho/islamonline.net/www.hidayatullah.com]

Palin: Perang Iraq adalah Tugas Dari Tuhan

Posted in USA with tags , , , , , , on September 6, 2008 by indonesiaunderground

Calon wakil presiden Amerika dari Partai Repubik, Sarah Palin dalam sebuah ceramah di depan mahasiswa Amerika mengatakan, perang Iraq adalah “tugas dari Tuhan”

Hidayatullah.com–Calon Wakil Presiden Amerika dari Partai Republik, Sarah Palin, mengatakan bahwa perang di Iraq itu tugas dari Tuhan. pasangan John McCain itu berbicara kepada para siswa seminari di bekas gerejanya pada Juni silam. Ceramahnya ini terekam oleh video dan baru-baru ini beredar secara luas.

Gubernur Alaska itu juga meminta para siswa seminari berdoa agar rencana membangun pipa gas di negara bagian yang ia pimpin bisa terlaksana. Ia mengatakan bahwa pipa gas itu, “Keinginan Tuhan.”

Video rekaman pidato ini semula dipasang pada situs Assemblies of God atau Gereja Sidang-Sidang Jemaat Allah di Wasilla, Alaska, sebelum kemudian beredar ke mana-mana. Video ini sendiri, pada Rabu (3/9), tidak ada lagi dipasang di website itu dengan alasan lalu lintas pengunduh terlalu besar untuk ditangani.

Menurut video itu, Palin meminta mereka berdoa bagi tentara Amerika yang berada di Iraq. Ia juga menyinggung anaknya, Track, yang diperkirakan akan dikirim ke Iraq.

“Pemimpin nasional kita mengirim mereka ke sana karena tugas dari Tuhan,” katanya. “Itu yang kita mesti pastikan, bahwa ada rencana dan rencana itu adalah rencana Tuhan.”

Palin juga mengatakan ia bekerja di kantor gubernur untuk menerapkan keinginan Tuhan, termasuk menciptakan lapangan kerja dengan membangun pipa gas dari wilayah Alaska ke provinsi lain Amerika Serikat.

“Keinginan Tuhan untuk menyatukan rakyat dan perusahaan–agar jalur gas itu terbangun–harus terlaksana,” katanya.

Pidato ini membuat berang Rob Boston, juru bicara Persatuan Amerika untuk Pemisahan Gereja dan Negara. “Saya sudah merindukan saat-saat di mana para pastur memberi khotbah dan politisi memberi pidato politik,” katanya. “Tugas presiden adalah menyatukan rakyat-rakyat yang berbeda untuk mencapai satu tujuan, bukan bertindak seperti pastor Negara,” dikutip Associated Press.

Jemaat Assemblies of God atau Gereja Sidang-Sidang Jemaat Allah adalah salah satu Gereja Pentakosta terbesar di dunia. Pada 2004, Gereja mengklaim memiliki sekitar 15 juta orang anggota di seluruh dunia, dengan 12.100 gereja di Amerika Serikat dan 236.022 gereja dan pos penginjilan di 191 negara di seluruh dunia.

Palin adalah jemaat Gereja Penginjil sejak remaja sampai 2002. Meski tidak lagi aktif sejak 2002, ia masih rajin mengikuti sejumlah pertemuan. Pencalonan Palin sebagai wakil presiden juga disambut hangat kelompok Kristen konservatif. [cha, ap, ti dan berbagai sumber/http://www.hidayatullah.com]