Category Archives: documents

Fact Checking on Greenstein, Mission: Impossible

My article published on AMIN (Arabic Media Internet Network) http://www.amin.org/look/amin/en.tpl?IdLanguage=1&IdPublication=7&NrArticle=44670&NrIssue=1&NrSection=3 By the way, there are many comments that have been sent, and they will be posted in a few days! Busy over here!! BUT, thanks to everyone who signed. It is greatly appreciated!!!

Fact checking on Greenstein, Mission: impossible

By: Mary Rizzo

One would think that if there were an article with my name in it, I would be more than a little interested in reading it. But, to be honest, it’s been happening on a daily basis, and by one author alone, one Mr Tony Greenstein, that I can’t bring myself to do anything more than give it a gliss reading, my “vanity” hasn’t gotten to extreme levels yet, and I have better things to be doing. But, considering the author, even by virtue of a skim, it is impossible not to constantly bang into a thick wall of lies so big that they quite simply jump straight out.

Not wanting to belabour anyone much longer, because 200 names, including some who have activist history spanning decades, academics, writers, bloggers, philosophers, editors, people from every continent and many religious, political, ethnic and economic backgrounds and yes… even a survivor of Holocaust, have signed their names to an open letter, http://peacepalestine.blogspot.com/2008/02/petition-for-two-activists-that-you.html calling for Tony Greenstein to stop abusing his “air time” by engaging in character assassination of two activists for Palestine, especially by use of distortion and fabrication. Rather than accept their plea, or listen to them, he has decided to increase his daily output and actually double it. So far, his echo chamber has been an obscure blog in the UK with maybe 50 readers, and one that’s been created ad hoc for it, judging by the comments, maybe it has two. It seems that it’s important for him to focus on three names he doesn’t like, but quite ignores that all the top bloggers are there. I wonder why this is? But now, Amin has published his reply to the article in question. Amin has quite a few more readers, so I believe it is essential to at least address some of the content within, given that I am called in cause. I do apologise, but I simply cannot bear to read the entire article, so I am not focusing on deconstructing the entire sandcastle that it obviously is. I will only focus on several key points that I am especially qualified to respond to.

Number 1) Greenstein writes:
“Rooij uses the adjective vile no less than four times. Ive written a vile article about him and made vile accusations of anti-Semitism against Atzmon and Rizzo [AR].”

Answer: What is so glaring here is that De Rooij does not once mention my name in the piece! How can we believe the rest of this paper the author simply is incapable of identifying who is involved? Yet, I already failed to mention that he gets the name of the author wrong as well. Last week, he said he had never heard of the chap. Strange… for a man who claims to be very active (and I have no doubt that he is, for all the time he spends on line) to never have encountered even one of the writings of Paul De Rooij. I remember widely circulating his Dictionary of the Occupation, almost every activist I know has read and greatly appreciated it. It was on Counterpunch, not some obscure UK socialist blog that mostly Zionists contribute to. Greenstein is simply doing a knee-jerk act of smear campaigning.

Number 2) Greenstein writes:
“But again, what has this to do with the Palestinians? Atzmon distributes Eisens pamphlets and now signs up to all the above nonsense. Read Gilad Atzmon Now an Open Holocaust Denier.”

Answer: Calling other people’s writing pamphlets can be overlooked, but then again, are they pamphlets because of their political orientation? If that is true, the very article Greenstein cites, another of his Socialist Unity smearfests, takes its information from two sources that are far from objective news sources, The Adelaide Institute, (a Holocaust Revisionist site), and Press TV, an Iranian site that seems to quite frequently print news that is inaccurate or outright disinformation, according to journalists who fact check their material. Once it had been established that Tony’s sources (which make HIM a distributor of material from a Revisionist site) had actually used misquotes and disinformation, taken information from one trial and shifted it to another that had nothing to do with it, this did not cause him to wonder if his haste was not to be in some way suspect, and his opinion amended. No, he does not take any of this into account, and is still, on this date, distributing false material as if it were accurate! Another reason vile is an appropriate word to describe the attacks. And why is it vile? To quote Tony Greenstein: What has this to do with the Palestinians?

Number 3) Greenstein writes:
“Rooij describes me on the Cork PSC article as close to the anti-boycott Engage. But that is ironic since I have campaigned ceaselessly to support boycott. Unison, the second largest union in Britain voted to support boycott last summer. I spoke in favour of that position, as a Jewish member of the union, and it was passed by at least 80%. For that I am some form of racial segregationist?!! Get real Rooij.”

Answer: The fact that Greenstein still circulates the lie that I am against the boycott, when he himself encouraged me to break it, is quite rich. But, let me mention another item that sticks out at me, UNISON. As a matter of fact, given that Redress, a UK site dedicated to the Palestinian cause, managed by Palestinians, had published the open letter, was cause for Tony to write this:

“Yes an excellent idea this petition. I’m so glad you included the following paragraph: We also take the opportunity to condemn the strangling siege that is being imposed over the Gaza Strip in particular and the West Bank and the rest of the Palestinian Arab people in general to complete their ethnic cleansing from their historic homeland.

It’s quite important you know, pity that it was an afterthought to the ‘defend Mary Rizzo and Gilad Atzmon’ campaign because of course they are the people who matter most.

http://redressnewsblog.blogspot.com/2008/02/petition-in-support-of-pro-palestinian.html

Since it is published on redress I am asking my own union UNISON to remove all references to Redress from its sites and I will contact the TUC and SERTUC, of which I am a trades council delegate, to ask that they contact all unions and ask them to have nothing to do with Redress on their websites or any similar anti-semitic web site since it is clear that they are part of this.

Perhaps you could ask Atzmon what he means by this statement?

‘I do not wish to enter the debate regarding the truth of the Holocaust’. Does he believe there is a debate about the ‘truth’ of the holocaust? And about whether the earth is flat?

http://www.redress.btinternet.co.uk/gatzmon29.htm

It seems Atzmon’s lies are catching him out now that we all know that he has signed up as a holocaust denier.

It would appear that those whom the gods seek to destroy they first drive mad.

Tony Greenstein”

He proudly announces that they have done so. This is lobbying ad personam. The unions do his personal bidding, and he expects them to.

Number 4) Greenstein writes:
“Ironically, at the same time, Atzmon was denouncing the academic boycott as book burning (and here).”

Answer: This famous misrepresentation and distortion of the opinion of someone is PURE MacCarthyism. What did Gilad Atzmon say to me in the interview? Let’s look (and to avoid any accusations of manipulative editing, I am quoting the response in full):

“Gilad: Boycott is a real complicated issue. For years we’ve been arguing in favour of divestment and boycott. At the time I supported any form of boycott in Israel, its products and its culture.

There are some elements in the boycott that are obviously very welcome. For instance, the fact that UK unions are standing up against Zionist evil is a major shift in the very right direction. The Boycott is certainly bad news for Israel and this is wonderful news in itself. Yesterday, I went to a reading of a play, it was actually a theatrical adaptation my latest book. The producer is Jewish, and at a certain stage when we were discussing the meaning of the play he stood up and said. You see, we had a Jewish State, it is now sixty years later, and it is a very horrible place, it is so horrible that it has now been boycotted. And this is there to make us think, where did it go wrong? This is the most positive impact of the boycott. It makes people reflect.

Yet, I have some serious reservations, which I am inclined to mention. One, I see a tremendous difference between banning an avocado and a book. I would welcome any form of financial restrictions on Israel and its supportive bodies yet, I truly believe in freedom of speech and oppose any form of Maccarthyism or intellectual censorship of any sort. Thus, interfering with academic freedom isnt exactly something I can blindly advocate. Unlike some of my best enlightened friends, I am against any form of gatekeeping or book burning. But it goes further, I actually want to hear what Israelis and Zionists have to say. I want to read their books. I want to confront their academics. If justice is on our side we should be able to confront them.

Mary: Of course, they wont stop writing or proposing their ideas, and actually, they might become more reactionary in the process.

Gilad: Actually, I do not think that they can become any more reactionary. The second point is, to impose a boycott is to employ a boycotter. When it comes to an academic boycott I would expect the inquisitor in charge to be a scholar of great esteem. This isn’t the case obviously. The reason is simple. As it naturally happens, major intellectuals are engaged in scholarship rather than in union politics, working class and proletarian activity. Seemingly, it isn’t the leading minds in British academic life and ethical thinking who are leading the Boycott. In fact it is the other way around, the boycott is led by some minor academics with very little to say about ethics and even less to say about the specific conflict. This fact is actually repeatedly exposed in televised debates. The anti-Zionist movement in Britain has yet to find the appropriate eloquent answer to the Dershowitzes of this world.

Three, when it comes to the Palestinian solidarity discourse I can identify two modes of discussion: the ethical and political. The ethical mode is obviously evoked by a natural humanist reaction to the endless flood of images of Israeli criminal activity. The political discourse, on the other hand, is pretty much autonomous and detached from the conflict. It has a lot to do with maintenance of some particular decaying old-school socialists within the fading progressive Western discourse. It has very little to do with Palestine and the transitions within the Palestinian struggle. When it comes to the current boycott we are unfortunately operating within a political mode rather than an ethical one. I say unfortunately, because Palestinian reality is neither an isolated event in history nor it is isolated in the region. Had the academics been ethically orientated, they would have to ask themselves what they, their unions and Universities have been doing to stop the ongoing slaughter in Iraq. What do they do to oppose the British Government that is engaged in crimes not different from Israel’s? What are the British academics doing now to stop the British value system from a total collapse? I am very sad and ashamed to say that as far as State terrorism is concerned Blair and Olmert are pretty much an equal match. If this isn’t enough, Brown Launch is not very promising either. Yet, British academics expect the Israelis to do something they fail to do.

However, as I said before, I am in favour of any form of restrictions on Israel, on its financial sectors, yet, by behaving politically while avoiding an ethical debate we are actually losing to the Israelis and to their lobbies.

Most importantly, if we decide to go for an academic Boycott, if we decide to burn books or to silence other peoples thoughts, then I really want to know why do we stop with Israeli academics or institutes? Shouldn’t we really ban any possible contact with any Zionists, people and institutes who openly support the idea of a racist State? As you certainly realise, unlike South Africa, Zionism, the ideological core behind Israel, is a global movement. Shouldn’t we ban as well any form of racially orientated activity? Shouldn’t we stop academic as well as smear campaigner David Hirsh and his racially orientated cohorts and then later continue with Jewish Socialists (being a racially oriented progressive group)? Where do we draw the line? I do not know the answers, instead I believe that the best way around it is to support freedom of speech categorically, whether it is David Irving, David Hirsh or even Tony Greenstein.

Mary: OK, so you fully support any kind of instrument that puts pressure and pulls the economic rug out from under Israel, but you have some reservations about the academic boycott against Israeli universities, because of the nature of the boycott being restricting academic freedom.

Gilad: I would even just call it intellectual freedom. I do love diversity. To impose a single narrative is in itself a Talmudic approach and I have to resist it. Being trained as a continental philosopher, I know very well that the proponents of the most enlightening ideas in the late 19th century and pre WWII 20th century were not exactly progressive. How to say it, Heidegger was a Nazi at least for a while and as it seems, both Levinas and Leo Strauss were courageous enough to admit that the man may be the greatest thinker of our millennium.”

I myself would add that if Tony Greenstein actually articulated an argument, rather than smear and engage strictly in character assassination, I would not have to waste so much time exposing some of his lies, and mind, I am ignoring the bulk of the others due to time constrictions. But it seems he does not produce anything but texts using character assassination, not against Zionists, but against people who denounce Zionism on a constant and daily basis, and therefore, I believe that the letter Palestinians and activists wrote is a step in the right direction. If he wants to participate in the discourse, he should, and as a matter of fact, while he is calling for us to be excluded and silenced, based on a series of smears and distortions, we are calling on him to focus on Palestinians rather than on two European Palestinian activists who are quite well-circulated. But rather than address the content in any meaningful way of the material others write and distribute, he comes out with a lie and distortion to smear the author. It is just what Dershowitz does.

Number 5) Greenstein writes:
“The one semi-sensible question Rooij asks is what in American society produces support for Zionism. But the only answer his friends provide is the Jews. Apart from ignoring the much more numerous Christians for Zionism they totally fail to even begin to answer it. Yet it is not difficult to understand why the USA projects its power in the way it does economic, military, imperial reasons oil for example. But this means having an analysis of class society and imperialism, something Atzmon and friends explicitly reject.”

Answer: Now, this in itself is quite interesting. On my blog, I have dozens of articles denouncing Christian Zionists. I have never seen a single thing written or circulated on the argument by Greenstein, ever. I have, on the other hand, seen him say he is “thrilled” that Zunes “demolished Walt and Mearsheimer”. You see, differently from almost all the major scholars and researchers, not to mention activists, Tony doesn’t think there’s a lobby. And, where does he get the idea Atzmon and his friends reject the discussion of class society and imperialism!? Again, Atzmon rejects imperialism quite often in his writing. He may not be quoting Gramsci, but his thesis is about hegemony and consensus by the super powers in order to restrict the narrative and allow the powers to maintain dominance. I myself have so many articles against imperialism on the blog alone, I can’t begin to see where he finds a rejection of this concept.

Number 6) Greenstein writes:
“There are a number of errors in Rooijs article, eg. That I sent defamatory letters to the venue where Atzmon was due to speak. Not true. I sent no letters. It was an article in the local press that alerted them to the meeting. Nor was it a church hall. But it is this attention to detail that marks out Rooij as the quality journalist that he is.”

Answer: No, he may not have sent defamatory letters. He merely plastered the walls with flyers. Indeed, the venue was a church. This is a letter the organiser wrote to Tony, which was published on my blog:

“The immediate reason that I withdrew from the Brighthelm, Tony, was that you had, without permission, started pasting notices on the premises opposing the meeting and this notice included a copy of the Calder article. These notices were bound to be a major embarrassment to the church. Moreover by the manner in which you acted, the manager was bound to deduce that further such behaviour was likely. Indeed you were announcing your picket. To say, therefore, that you did not put pressure on the Brighthelm is disingenuous. It is ironic that you take me to task for damaging the Palestine solidarity movement in holding this meeting when your actions do precisely that – and I, of course do not accept that the Gilad Meeting does anyway. I do not believe for a moment that you thought it unfortunate that the manager of the Centre caught you in the act of putting up these posters. Certainly he was affected by the grossly distorted view of Gilad Atzmon given in the article – that was precisely your intention. He hadn’t got the time to investigate what, at your instigation I’m sure, Jean Calder had written. When he called me to discuss the matter I relieved him of any further embarrassment by withdrawing.”

Cheers,
Francis

Number 7) Greenstein writes:
“Yes Sue Blackwell, who led the academic boycott is my comrade. But surprising as it may seem, I am not responsible for her web site! This is what is usually called guilt by association. McCarthyism in other words.”

Answer: It is strange he says this! I am held responsible for things that I have not written, and for websites I have nothing to do with. As a matter of fact, by way of his accusations, Greenstein habitually quotes commenters from my blog posts. Not my own comments, and he attributes them to me. He also is now going through the names with a nit comb (as if my friend who has compiled and thought of the list is supposed to filter people who sign, we are in a free society, still, aren’t we? And, I wonder, has petitions he has signed had only names he knows and swears bonafides on?) This is usually called guilt by association. MacCarthyism, in other words.” If the mirror fits….. Oh, not to mention, I keep getting harassed now to chop this name or that name off the list. Well, that will still leave a few hundred people who said “enough”. There are many other inaccuracies and insinuations from Tony that are not verified, as well as his opinion bandied as fact and truth. I don’t care to address them now. I am sure that just this small sampling is sufficient to give an idea of who we are dealing with. And, to close, I would like to mention that the top Palestinian bloggers, well-known and respected activists and writers have signed the open letter, many with comments stating their total solidarity with Gilad and I, and stating that his campaigns were obscene and must end. In five days, 200 people have signed. In five days, I have not seen a single Palestinian, or anyone else, for that matter, come out in solidarity or defence of Tony Greenstein. He himself has to write his own harangue and defence, while spamming sites and even my own inbox with more bald-faced lies that he is unable to substantiate. These are the people and groups that have asked for him to stop it.

Adib S. Kawar, Nazareth, Palestine – Beirut, Lebanon, Activist, writer and translator
Walid Halabi, France-Italy
Arab Abdel-Hadi PMWATCH, Ansar Al-Quds. LEBANONVIEW, Free Palestine and others
Malak Abdel-Hadi, Palestinian living in Dubai
Shahira Mehrez, Egyptian living in Cairo, Egypt
Paola Pisi, Italy, http://uruknet.info/
Ismail Zayid, Canada, http://izayid.tripod.com/
Nizar Issa, London, UK , Musician
Nadia Hasan, Chile, http://palestinaresiste2.blogspot.com/
Dr Sadek Pharaon MD, Syria
Oren Ben Dor, UK
Manuel Talens, Spain, http://www.manueltalens.com/
Dima Hamdan, London, UK, Journalist
Iqbal Tamimi, Exiled Journalist Network UK, A Palestinian journalist and poet, http://palestinian.ning.com/
Samir Daoud – Akka Palestine – residence: Beirut Lebanon
Nadia Daoud – Akka Palestine – Residence: Beirut Lebanon
Hala Kawar Nazareth, Palestine – Residence – Beirut Lebanon
Wajih Freij Jerusalem, Palestine – Residence: Beirut Lebanon
Lamia Kawar Nazareth, Palestine – Residence – Beirut – Lebanon
Ibrahim Kawar Nazareth, Palestine – Residence – Beirut – Lebanon
Fausto Giudice, Zapatist Alliance for Social Liberation, France, http://azls.blogspot.com/
Ginette Hess Skandrani, Zapatist Alliance for Social Liberation, France, http://azls.blogspot.com/
Wael Al Saad, Dusseldorf-Germany. PYN Coordinator-Germany Palestinian Community Dusseldorf Board, http://www.anis-online.de/1/rooms/wael/
Dr Hajo G. Meyer, Heiloo, the Netherlands, survivor of Auschwitz, writer, physicist, lute maker
Mauro Manno, Italy , professor, writer, translator
Manuela Vittorelli, Italy, http://mirumir.blogspot.com/
Diego Traversa, Italy, writer, translator
Vicente Romano, Spain, writer
Carlos Sanchis, Spain
Nancy Harb Almendras, United States, Germany http://www.umkahlil.blogspot.com/
Zuhair Nafa, Palestine
Raja Chemayel, The Hague, Netherlands, http://frustratedarabdiary.blogspot.com/
Theodore D. Turner, Brooklyn, New York
Kristoffer Larsson, Sweden, http://altahrir.blogspot.com/
Ellen Rohlfs, Germany, German-Palestinian Society and Gush Shalom
Hergen Matussik, Germany
Benedetta Scardovi-Mounier, USA/Italy
Cristina Santos, London, UK
Rocio Anguiano, Spain
Sigge Andersson, pre-med student, Sweden
Guenter Schenk, France/Germany, Aktionsbndnis fr einen gerechten Frieden in Palstina
LanceThruster, LA, CA, USA
Mary Sparrowdancer, Tallahassee, FL, USA, http://www.sparrowdancer.com/
Birgit Jdahl, Sweden
Miguel Martinz, Florence, Italy, http://kelebek.splinder.com/
Susanne Scheidt, Al-Awda Italia
Jean-Marie Flemal, writer and translator, WPB (Workers’ Party of Belgium), Charleroi, Belgium
Edna Spennato, South Africa-Brazil, Earth Heal Geoharmonic Research Project
Abdullah Husain, Palestine by birth, KSA, India by life accident
Wendy Campbell, California, USA, MarWen Media, http://www.marwenmedia.com/
Peter Brooke, UK, www.peterbrooke.org.uk
Daniel McGowan, Geneva, NY, Exec. Director, Deir Yassin Remembered, http://www.deiryassin.org/
Debbie Brown, Hacienda Heights, California USA
Kenneth Rasmusson, Sweden
Redress Information & Analysis, London, UK
Schuyler Ebbets, USA, http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/
Ragnar B. Johannessen, Norway, http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/
Annie Selden Annab, USA, http://annies-letters.blogspot.com/
Jim Leven, UK, PSC member
Javier Fernndez Retenaga, Spain
Shaukat Khawja, Toronto, Canada Profession: Engineer
Volker M., Canada
Lina Abu Baker, London, UK, Poet
Brenda Heard, UK, Friends of Lebanon, http://www.friendsoflebanon.org/
Letizia Tessicini, Orte, Italy
Simon R-Levin, Manchester, UK
Paloma Valverde, Spain, member of CEOSI
Sarah Stevens, UK
Ralph Pinner, UK
Inge Soder, Germany
Sarah Gillespie, London, UK, musician
Raja Ibrahim, Pistoia, Italy, ASSOCIAZIONE AMICIZIA ITALO – PALESTINESE, www.amiciziaitalo-palestinese.org/
Adriano Mencarelli, Roma – Italy
Diego Ianiro – Caserta, Italy, of Khalas Napoli – khalasnews.splinder.com
Francesca Longhi- Bergamo, Italia
Antonio Corraine – Aosta, Italy
Stuart Cary Welch – USA
Haitham Sabbah, Tulkarm, Palestine/Bahrain, blogger, http://sabbah.biz/
Latuff, Rio De Janiero, Brazil, Cartoonist, http://latuff.blogspot.com/
Nureddin Sabir, London, UK, Editor of Redress Information & Analysis
Steve Amsel, Jerusalem-Al Quds, blogger, http://desertpeace.wordpress.com/
Lasse Wilhelmson, Sweden
Richard Jones, Swansea, Wales, http://a-fistful-of-poetry.blogspot.com/
Einar Schlereth, Sweden, Journalist
Karaiskos Kostas, Komotini, Greece, ANTIFONITIS director, http://www26.brinkster.com/karaiskos/
Adeline Rec, N/A
Alex Tarradellas, Catalonia
Nuria lvarez, Spain
Guillermo F. Parodi, Paraguay, Universitary Professor
Dennis Zackrisson, Uppsala, Sweden
Mark Roland, Eugene Oregon, USA
Robert Wagner, Italy
Graham Derrick, West Yorkshire, UK
Gabriele Repaci, Milano, university student
Emmanuel St John, London, UK
Sami Joseph, UK
Ernesto Paramo, Mexico/UK
Muhammad Idrees Ahmad, Glasgow, Scotland, blogger, http://fanonite.org/
Jeffrey Blankfort, California, USA
David Baldinger, USA, Cartoonist, http://www.dbaldinger.com/
Olivia Zémor, Paris, France, cofounder CAPJPO (Coordination des Appels pour une Paix Juste au Proche-Orient)
Ana Cleja, France
John W. Blalock, N/A
Maryam Husain and Children, Displaced Palestinian/KSA/Italy/India currently
Emanuela Borrelli, Italy
Rachel Bridgeland, UK
Maria Ingrosso, Lecce, Italy
Riccardo Di Vito, Roma, Italia – Campo Antimperialista, http://www.antiimperialista.org/
Wilhelm Langthaler, Vienna, Austria, Anti-imperalist Camp, http://www.antiimperialista.org
Camilla Rahm, Gothenburg, Sweden
Nahida Izzat,Palestine/ Jerusalem Poetry for Palestine, http://poetryforpalestine.spaces.live.com/
Maurizio Neri, Rome, Italy, Editor Magazine of Politics and Philosophy, “Comunismo e Comunit”
Nicolas A. Sayegh – Laval, Quebec, Canada, Columnist
Asad Khan, Manchester, UK: doctor and blogger, http://chestdocinpalestine.blogspot.com/
Ali Mallah, Canadian Peace Alliance, Canadian Arab Federation, http://www.caf.ca/HomePage.aspx
Khaled Mouammar, Toronto, Canada, National President, Canadian Arab Federation, http://www.caf.ca/HomePage.aspx
Gonzalo Barona, Caceres, Espana
Nicole Hille-Priebe, Germany
Randa Farah, Canada
Felisa Sastre, Espana
Caty R., Spain
Christine Mihil Sharp – London, UK; www.Red-DesertProductions.com
Emanuela Di Piramo, Italia
Dr Raymond Deane, Dublin, Ireland
Katherine Eilbeck, Glais, Swansea, Wales
Katie Murphy, UK
Samira Rantisi, Italy
Sergio I. Moya Mena, Costa Rica, http://wiphala.org/
Paul Eisen – Director (UK) Deir Yassin Remembered
Akram Awad, Palestinian blogger in the UK, www.akramawad.com/
Daniel Alba, writer/musician, USA http://detainthis.wordpress.com
Gunvant Govindjee, South Africa
Agustin Velloso, Madrid – Spain
William Buttrey, Southern California, USA
Gilberto Jordan, Professsor de Histria, Brazil
Mireille RUMEAU, from ISM-France
Colin Pritchard, UK
kim petersen, korea, co-editor, http://www.dissidentvoice.org
Juan-Antonio Julin, Bruselas
Mahmud Said Hamad – Italy
Arlene L. Johnson, Publisher/Author http://www.truedemocracy.net
Jeff Spencer, Bristol, UK, Musician
Agostino Sanfratello, Beyrouth, Lebanon
Karin Maria Friedemann, Boston, Massachusetts,Editor, World View News Service, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wvns/
Gianfranco La Grassa, Conegliano, Italy, Economist
Mondher Sfar, Collectif de la Communaut Tunisienne en Europe, Paris, France
Mireille Delamarre http://www.planetenonviolence.org/
Ann El Khoury; Sydney, Australia, http://peoplesgeography.com/
Razan Ghazzawi, Damascus, Syria, blogger of Decentering Damascus, http://www.ya-ashrafe-nnas.blogspot.com/ member of Free Tariq Campaign
Maher Osseiran, Arab-American investigative reporter, http://www.mydemocracy.net/
Marion SOLITAIRE, Firminy, France
Hala Abou-Zaki, Paris, France
Khadidja ATTOU, Montpellier-France
Joe Fallisi, Baranzate (Milano), Italy, Tenor, http://www.nelvento.net/
Antonia Cilla Ortega, Spain
Djamal BENMERAD, Bruxelles, Journaliste, écrivain (Journalist, writer)
Abdelfattah Abu-Srour, PhD. Director of Alrowwad Cultural and Theatre Training Center, Bethlehem – Palestine, http://alrowwad.virtualactivism.net/
Aymen JEMNI, Engineer and PhD Student – Barcelona – Spain
Chafik HBILA, doctorant en sociologie, France
Atenea Acevedo, Interpreter, translator, activist, Active member of Babels, Tlaxcala and Rebelin, Mexico City, Mexico http://mujerypalabra.com/ http://my.opera.com/mujerypalabra/blog
Sandrine Corten, Bruxelles, Bloggeuse : http://acteursdeterrain.canalblog.com/
Charles Beillard, France, http://www.enfantsdepalestine.org/
Alan ‘Masher1’ Reid, USA, Wake up from your Slumbers Blog, Melted238
Nadjiam Saoudi, France
Ada KRONFLI, Adhrente ; 1. Association France Palestine Solidarit, ( France), 2. Association des Palestiniens en France (France), 3. CAPJPO- EURO PALESTINE ( France)Catherine de Crombrugghe, Charleroi, Belgium Djanet Mokrani, France
Anika Persiani, Firenze, biologa, “Sumud”
Frédric Herr, Strasbourg, France, etudiant
Dr Francis Clark-Lowes, founder and organiser of Invitation to Learn, member and ex-chair of Palestine Solidarity Campaign and member United National Association (UK)
Sami Sabaana, Switzerland
Safia FARHAT, TUNISIE
Boualem SNAOUI, Paris France
Paul de Rooij, writer/economist, London
Sarah Marshall, N/A
Thomas Bischoff, Strasbourg, France www.thomasbischoff.fr
Saidi Nordine, Mouvement Citoyen Palestine, Bruxelles – Belgique, http://mcpalestine.canalblog.com/
William Ross, Canada
Snorre Lindquist, Architect, Sweden
Ben Heine http://www.benjaminheine.blogspot.com/
Franck Hirsbein, France http://groups.google.com/group/lesamisdelaroutedelissa
Sabina Paolini, Abruzzo, Italy
Moura Nouara, Caen (FRANCE), association Kultures
Elisa Davinca – Vienna/Austria – http://anotherworldispossiblenow.blogspot.com/http://refusetokill.blogspot.com/
Leonardo Mazzei, Italy, Gaza Vivrà www.gazavive.com
veronique roudil, marseille, france
Nadim Mahjoub, London, http://middleeastpanorama.blogspot.com/
Rubén Kotler – Historiador, San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina, De Igual A Igual http://www.deigualaigual.net/
Simone Maggiolo, Italy
Julieta Obedman, Argentina
Palestinian Refugee Portal http://palref.net/
Dr Yassar NAFA, Doctor, UK
Lydia Lauks, political communication officer, UK
Keny Arkana, Marseille – France, Collectif AASV
Omar Khamoun, New Zealand
Raymond Richa, France
Toni Solo, Nicaragua
Reham Alhelsi, Jerusalem, Palestine
David Nir, Israel
Maria Grazia Da Costa Lucca, Italy, Campo Antimperialista

this Petition is also on:Rebelion Redress, Uruknet here and here, Arab News, Friends of Lebanon
Tlaxcala, Kelebek, The People’s Voice Sabbah’s Blog Desert Peace Umma, Asherah’s Journal, Palestine Blogs “The Gazette”, Window into Palestine , Detain ThisAlterinfo (in French)Basta!

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Miguel Martinez – Looking for the King of Copy and Paste

Translated by Ernesto Páramo. Revised by author

Two days after the FARC guerrillas delivered two kidnapped parliamentarians to president Chávez of Venezuela, the Spanish newspaper El Pais followed by many other mass media outlets everywhere, was determined to confuse its readership and nip in the bud all reports of a significant news item which could have given us hope for the future. This event was, however, against their political editorial line, so they replaced it with a pseudo-report entitled ” Are Hugo Chávez and Naomi Campbell engaged?”

In Italy, the press behaved in a similar fashion. Israel managed to snatch the role of guest of honour at the Turin Book Fair away from Egypt, to whom the event had been solemnly promised: thus, in the sixtieth anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, two of the three great publishing events (Turin and Paris) are both dedicated to Israel this year (Frankfurt was dedicated to Israel in 2005). Repubblica, the leading Italian daily close to the centre-left, replied by devoting its front page and two full pages inside to a weird and unknown blog which had copied a list of signatories to a pro-Israel petition that had been in the public domain for months: La Repubblica pretended that the appearance of this list on the blog was a clear sign of a dangerous anti-Semitic revival.

Note from the Spanish translator Juan Vivanco

In Italy there are probably at least half a million, perhaps a million blogs.

Because of inevitable statistical constraints, we have to assume that a small proportion of these blogs – which still could amount to something like 10.000 – are written by mad people.

Now, “Mad“ is a strictly scientific term, which does not refer to the contents, but to a series of unequivocal psychoelectronic indicators. For example, the random use of capital letters (known as CapsLock syndrome).

Among these mad characters, there is one that likes to be known as KING SHAULOS II, and up to yesterday, His Majesty had a blog covered with banners reading “ NO TO TURKEY IN EUROPE ”. Actually he does not use random capital letters: he uses nothing but capital letters.

And he proclaims to be the only sovereign of THE CHRISTIAN WEST, clearly under “JESUS VINCIT-REGNAT-IMPERAT IN LISBON AND IN SAINT PETERSBURG, THERE IS ONLY ONE KING – THE KING OF KINGS”.

On the pages of his blog we can also see the image of the Three Kings, and more significantly, a True Portrait of His Majesty SHAULOS in person:
The blog is also full of useful advice:
“THE INSTANT THAT SYNCHRONIZES THE PRESENT IS THE WILL OF GOD, KING SHAULOS II”

His political program is very clear:

ELECTIONS:
“LET’S ADOPT ISRAELI ELECTORAL LAW –
LET’S PRESERVE THE ITALIAN CHARACTER OF DEMOCRACY,
LET’S PREVENT THE CONTAMINATION OF ITALIAN IDENTITY BY ISLAM AND JUDAISM”

In short, he is as twisted as the late Oriana Fallaci, with the difference that he adds Judaism to his pet hates (…).

I have seen the King’s blog a couple of times, and it has given me some cheerful laughs (I know, we should not laugh at mad people, but I have never claimed to be politically correct).

However, this morning I saw him again.

On the front page of Repubblica. Plus, they dedicated the whole of pages 10 and 11 to him.
Just a question… how much would it cost a run of the mill blogger to buy all that newspaper space?

The headlines are simply fantastic:
Black list of Jews “return to fascism”
On the Net, the black list of Jewish teachers
Amato [ Interior Minister]: An offense against the law and against civilization
The blog closed, the hunt is on for the author. “We will get him”
Public derision, just as during fascism
Memory must be studied at University to put a stop to hate
Too dangerous a climate, according to the University’s point of view.
Code name H5N1, a year of poison sown in the internet
The alarm of the Department of the Interior …Anti-Semitism is reborn in Italy in this way

As you get your breath back, let’s try to understand exactly what His Majesty did. First, what is all that about a “Jews black list”?

Very simple. It is the list of signatories of an appeal “against anti-Semitism ” that has been in the public domain for a long time.
If you read the petition, you will see that it has nothing to do with anti-Semitism, and everything to do with the State of Israel (yes, the usual, “those who fight on behalf of the native Palestinians population are anti-Semitic”).

So public was the petition that the promoters bought space in the newspaper Corriere della Sera to publish it, on 14th May 2005.
The space was not bought by the Neonazi International but by “Luzzato Amos, President of the Union of Jewish Italian Communities”. This means, that those on the list paid to publish their full names in a newspaper that sells a million copies a day, if my memory serves me right.

Three months ago (15.11.2007) [1] His Majesty King Shaulos II, with a simple copy and paste job, took the list from a Jewish web-page and put it on his blog (ten readers a day?) with this presentation:

“THIS IS A LIST OF THE JEWISH UNIVERSITY PROFESORS WHO DECLARE OPENLY THEIR SUPPORT FOR ISRAEL”

A piece of nonsense, since the majority of the professors on the list are right wing extremists, racial segregation fanatics and genocide apologists, they are anything, but Jewish.

On the other hand, no one has said that Shaulos II was a wise king.

As it happens, he did not compile the “black list” himself.

The supposedly black-listed put it together themselves (…).

However, now His Majesty King Shaulos II will have to face the Jewish community who call him “ a cancer that can propagate and affect anyone ”, the Chancellor of Rome’s University says “ it is an unacceptable act of intolerance ”, the Chancellor of the other Roman university of Tor Vergata, Alessandro Agro, calls for the King to be jailed (being a King, I suppose to be guillottined). ” And also, he will have to face the whole Italian people, as Walter Veltroni, leader of the centre-left (and the enemy and scourge of gypsies) assures us.
Ready for the fight, the Minister of the University said his whole ministry would “pursue charges in court against the the authors of the list”.

The authors of the list, let us not forget, are Amos Luzzato and the Corriere della Sera.

Soon, Shaulos II will have to face scores of accusations from all the interested parties. The newspaper La Repubblica assures us that the professors are going to take him to court for libel.

Let’s see. The blogger has said (erroneously) that all those on the list are Jewish and (correctly) that they are all apologists of Israel.

Wonder which of the two statements they will sue him for.

Note:
[1] In other words, both I and those “included on the black list ” have had time to find that the list existed. After all, something called Google exists.
This means these people kept silent until the scandal of how Israel stole from Egypt the place of honor at the Turin Book Fair blew up in their faces. (see the document in Italian).

Source: http://kelebek.splinder.com/post/15873818/ Original article published on 9th February, 2008
About the author Miguel Martínez and Ernesto Páramo are members of Tlaxcala, the network of translators for linguistic diversity. This translation may be reprinted as long as the content remains unaltered, and the source, author, translator and reviser are cited.
URL of this article on Tlaxcala:
http://www.tlaxcala.es/pp.asp?reference=4646&lg=en
French Spanish Italian

Gilad Atzmon – "Public Lapidation" round one

Once again, rabid Zionists have united with the so-called ‘Jewish anti-Zionists protagonists’. This time, they insist upon believing that I am a Holocaust Denier.

It all started when a site that specialises in texts known as “Holocaust Denial” linked to an Iranian paper that reported that the German Lawyer Sylvia Stolz, who acted as attorney for Ernst Zundel and has been sentenced to serve three and a half years in prison for doing so, quoted me in her defence.

According to the Iranian paper “Stolz has reportedly read a newspaper article to the court about the appearance of world renowned Israeli artist, Gilad Atzmon in Bochum.” http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=38848&sectionid=351020604

In order to set things straight, I have to mention that the newspaper item read by Mrs Stolz was highly misleading. It was not at all representative of what I had said. At the time, this was immediately pointed out by the Festival organiser who invited me and moderated the meeting. Indeed, the organiser felt that the paper misrepresented almost everything possible.

This is the text of the letter he had written to the newspaper.

“Dear editorial staff of Ruhr Nachrichten,
I usually do not write letters to the editors and as an organizer I can live with bad critics. However, as the subject is rather delicate, I felt I had to comment the article containing big mistakes as regards content and strongly falsifying Gilad Atzmon’s political tendency.

Firstly, concerning the big mistakes:

“According to him the true enemy was not Hitler but Stalin”. You have left out an important piece of information, notably whose enemy Stalin had been. Atzmon argued that America’s true enemy had not been Hitler but Stalin. As long as Hitler had communism under control, America did not believe it to be necessary to get involved in the war. Atzmon uses the same argument for all wars led by the USA until the present time. Atzmon also refers to Hitler as a criminal. Atzmon neither denies nor plays down the Holocaust.

The following statement is wrong, too: “[…] the Germans [should] stop feeling guilty and responsible”. In fact, Atzmon encourages the present generation of Germans not to feel guilty any longer but he does not deny the Germans’ responsibility in general. On the contrary, he believes the Germans to be extremely vigilant today concerning any kind of potential racist or fascist tendencies.

Regarding the discussion about the number of murdered Jews during the Holocaust, it is very difficult to resume the contents of this debate with only a few sentences. Atzmon criticises that publicly doubting the number of 6 million is being penalized, while even the Holocaust museum Yad Vashem itself mentions various studies that state numbers of 5.1 million or even 5.29 or 5.5 million. Atzmon emphasises that this abstract number has become a kind of fetish, as if the Holocaust were more harmless if there had been only half of the number of murdered Jews. Atzmon does not accuse Bush, Blair and Sharon of being criminals of war in order to minimise Hitler’s own crimes of war.

Surely, the language barrier posed a problem during the discussion last Sunday. Suddenly, an audience that mainly expected to attend a concert preceded by a reading, was confronted by a political discussion. Had we known this beforehand, we would have organised a professional bilingual interpreter’s service for the evening.

We were aware of the fact that Gilad Atzmon’s novels are provoking and up to a certain extent such a provocation was intended. He criticised harshly Israel’s politics and shows that due to this historical victimhood, the United Nations mostly tolerate Israel’s racist and nationalist action towards the Palestinians and that criticism is nipped in the bud with the allegation of anti-Semitism.

It is true, that the ambiance after the discussion was not very favourable to the concert. We ourselves had several discussions in the lobby of the concert hall with members of the public who wanted to leave the event. Two of the women who had left returned however later and continued to speak with Gilad after the concert in a small group. This discussion was far less controversial than the momentarily heated one before the concert. They all said goodbye heartily and shook hands.

Maybe it would have made sense if Thorsten Hoops had seized the occasion to verify the ideas he got during the discussion. Such delicate subjects demand greater care from journalists than writing about a concert, which one can certainly resume in a competent way even if one does not stay until the very end.”

In the Bochum event I shared with my audience my usual critique of the common WW2 narrative as well as my different reading of the Holocaust as a meaningful event rather than a mere legal account.

My detailed take on the issues can be found in the following links:

Rearranging the 20th Century: Allegro Non Troppo

Rearranging the 20th Century: Deceptive Cadence

Interview: It Ain’t Necessarily So

What I find very interesting is to discover how this news made the rounds. It seems that on a few leftist lists and on a rabid settler’s site, this news item based on falsity, bad translation and distortion of facts is the “hot” topic of the day. It seems that a few anti-Zionist Jews and some radicals who steal land from Palestinians are sharing their tactic today. They are circulating the news from a site that specialises in what they call Holocaust Denial. It’s a site I don’t read, and won’t even link to, but they obviously do and have. Yes, the rabid Zionists such as Arutzsheva, Seven Plaut and the Jewish anti-Zionists Tony Greenstein and Shraga Elam count on a denial site when it comes to me. I wonder if they suddenly trust Neo Nazis and Holocaust deniers as serious, trustworthy truth-tellers and legitimate sources of information. I wonder how they feel just having demonstrated what kind of navigation they engage in. Since they take the report in the Holocaust Denial site as correct, truthful and precise, how do they know that this site’s account on other things is categorically false? Where do they draw the line, if they draw one? It is probably just too much to expect Zionists (whether they know themselves to be or not) to be consistent. Once again we happen to learn that intellectual integrity is not a common trait amongst Jewish ethnic activists whether they are settlers or leftist cyber stalkers.

Interview with Leila Farsakh – The Two State Solution is Dead

Leila Farsakh, Professor of Political Science at Massachusetts University “The Two State Settlement is dead, make way for the One State Solution”.

A single State for Jews and Palestinians: A new Palestinian Heresy is born in Madrid
by Michelangelo Cocco
il Manifesto 7 July, 2007

The seminar “Palestine-Israel, one country, one state” ended yesterday in Madrid with the approval of a document in which the promoters, ­amongst which are the Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, as well as American, South African, Israeli and Palestinian scholars and activists, ­will commit to giving voice to the single democratic State solution as sole, pressing way out from the negotiation deadlock the Palestinian question has been undergoing for years. We talked about it with one of the lecturers, Leila Farsakh, professor of Political Science at Massachusetts University (Boston) and author of “Independence, Cantons or Bantustans. Wither the Palestinian State?” and of a series of publications about the Palestinian-Israeli economy.

You asserted that Palestinian nationalism is dead.

I didn’t say that. I just say that the struggle of our people for achieving an independent state is over. We must start again by resisting the occupation and colonialism, while formulating a new strategy relying upon the concept of citizenship not being fastened any longer to the idea of historical Palestine’s partition. Do forty years of struggle ­since the occupation of the Territories in 1967 ­deserve perhaps a State which would be nothing but a set of Bantustans in Israeli territory without any territorial continuity?

What is the difference between bi-national State and single State?

In the bi-national one, the groups, in our case, Israelis and Arabs, ­keep a set of institutions separated, e.g. the educational system. Separate and guaranteed by the constitution. The single State, instead, means a secular and democratic one where, by law, no particular identity is favoured or protected. That means recognizing that the State isn’t homogeneous, yet it revolves around the citizen rather than any ethnic identities. Amongst those who, like us, find Palestine’s partition by now impossible, there are differences of opinion about which of these two patterns, or even their variations, would be convenient to adopt.

Do you not think that the single State proposition is too far away?

The territorial, demographic and economic reality on the ground proves that we have never been as close to this solution as we are now. The West Bank’s territory has never been as fragmented as it is today, there are already de facto Bantustans; the Palestinians, in order to get from one place to another, depend totally on Israel and have no sovereignty on their land. The West Bank’s workforce relies on the occupying State. In a demographic point of view, the Palestinians number almost as many as the Israelis. Within five years the Palestinians will be the majority. The two State solution is dead, it will probably take at least one generation to implement the one State but there remains no other alternative.

What if what you call Bantustans should work?

Israel didn’t mean to give rise to the apartheid policy we see today, it aimed at the transfer (expulsion) of Palestinians. It carried it out to some extent in 1948, but it took over the Palestinian land in 1967 and exploited its workforce without, meanwhile, annexing the land. The Bantustans we see today can’t last: what is unbearable is both the policy of granting the Palestinians permits to work in Israel and the financial aid, from the EU, of hundreds of millions of Euros every year to cater for PA wages which the Jewish state, as occupying force, is supposed to pay it in compliance with international law.

Right, but these are the objective elements. What do the subjective ones, starting with Israel’s view, where the vast majority of the parties are Zionist?

They are still anchored to the two state vision in Israel. The Palestinian leadership, ­both for the necessity to last and since it’s loyal to the strategy of the last 40 years, ­is still in favour of the two States. What I’m more concerned about is the international dimension: starting with UN’s 181 resolution, the prevailing vision has been that of historical Palestine’s partition. And, for the first time, from the White House Rose Garden speech, President Bush, in 2003, spoke of the necessity of a Palestinian State – to be set up­ with temporary borders – thus trying in this way to justify the Bantustans.

Is it possible to do without this international context?

This conference embodies the first step towards elaborating academic and political strategies. It’s about explaining to the world that the two State idea is dead. The next step will be a much more important meeting – ­which we’re working on – ­that will be held in some European capital within a few months. It will be the worsening of the reality on the ground that will help us. The West, along with the so-called Egyptian-Jordan “moderate front”, is pushing for the proclamation of a Palestinian puppet state, whose temporary borders it expects to establish in a few months. But it will be something, when looking at the reality on the ground, that neither Mahmud Abbas nor any Palestinian can ever accept. At that point, the cards will be on the table and “our” proposal will come on the scene.

Translated from Italian by Diego Traversa and revised by Mary Rizzo, members of Tlaxcala, network of translators for linguistic diversity. This translation is on Copyleft and may be reprinted, as long as the content is unaltered and the source, translator and reviser are cited. Italian: http://www.osservatorioiraq.it/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=4699

IDF invades Rafah ..meanwhile.. PLO approves truce with Israel

Khan Younis – Ma’an – On Monday morning Israeli military tanks penetrated the Sufa Crossing, into Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip. The tanks eroded agricultural land and destroyed crops. The forces also fired heavily in the area from machine guns.

Palestinian security sources stated that the Israeli vehicles infiltrated one kilometer into Palestinian territories and occupied two homes, belonging to Shafiq Abu Thabit and Abd al Latif Jarkhoon.

The troops ransacked the homes before stationing themselves on the rooftops. Eyewitnesses reported that the Israeli infantry raided several homes and abused Palestinian property, before interrogating the residents. A number of residents were arrested.The Israeli military, speaking through a loudspeaker, ordered all male residents of Rafah between the ages of 16 and 45 to evacuate their homes and gather in a central square.

Head of the Palestinian joint operation room, Atif Hussein, reported that more than fifteen tanks and four bulldozers entered Rafah at dawn and the troops occupied the tower buildings and stationed themselves on the rooftops.

Gaza – Ramallah – Ma’an – In their separate sessions on Monday, the Palestinian government and the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s Executive Committee (PLO-EC) both endorsed President Abbas’ plan in which he calls for a mutual truce with Israel.

Information Minister Mustafa Barghouthi said that the government confirmed its position which called for a truce and the adoption of Abbas’ ten-point plan. The plan includes the following points:
1. The factions will stop the projectile launching.
2. Israel will stop its ground, sea and air operations.
3. The truce will include the West Bank.
4. The truce will be immediately implemented once the parties reach an agreement.
5. Israel will stop all assassinations, pursuits and arrests in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
6. The issue of the deportees and the “wanted” men will be solved in a separate agreement.
7. The Palestinian government ministers, the Palestinian Legislative Council members and the municipality mayors and local council members will be released.
8. Israel will withdraw from the lands reoccupied on 28 September 2000.
9. All barriers in the West Bank will be removed and border movement will be eased.
10. As soon as the first two items are implemented, the Palestinian Authority will start gradually deploying security forces along the north-eastern borders of the Gaza Strip.

The PLO’s executive committee also stressed the importance of ensuring the forthcoming meeting between President Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Olmert is a success.

Abbas updated the committee about his efforts on both the political and security levels, especially regarding the mutual truce with Israel, which should include the West Bank.

The committee condemned the Israeli occupation’s policy of assassination and destruction and rejected all Israeli justifications in this regard. The committee also warned of the dangers of the Israeli settlement plans which target Jerusalem and its environs. They called on the international Quartet of Middle East negotiators – the UN, EU, USA and Russia – to take a strong stand in the face of the Israeli plans which obstruct the two-state solution.

Discussing the crisis in Lebanon, the committee confirmed that financial aid should be sent to the Palestinian refugees there in order to ease their suffering. The committee urged all factions to redouble their efforts to protect the Palestinian refugees and to confront all the terrorist factions which are attempting to use the camps as a cover for their acts. The committee also called on the various factions to coordinate with the Lebanese government in order to end the crisis.

Regarding the ongoing inter-factional dialogue in Cairo, the PLO executive committee urged the committee in charge of the dialogue to do its best to ensure a successful dialogue while also urging the factions to act responsibly in order to ease the dialogue and end the obstacles.

The committee also urged Palestinians to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the 1967 war and the occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Don’t Miss Enduring Occupation, the Amnesty International Report.

The Jews of Teheran

Flaviano Masella

A voyage in the biggest jewish community in the Middle East. Rainews24 cameras have been exceptionally allowed in the schools, hospitals and synagogues of the Jewish people in Tehran. Nowadays, from 25 thousand to 35 thousand Jews live in the islamic Republic of Iran, the largest Jewish community outside Israel, according to the data provided by the community itself.
The majority of the Iranian Jews live in the capital: about 7 thousand people in Shiraz and some thousands people in Isfahan and the Jewish people consider themselves as the founders of these communities.
In fact, they settled there more than 25 centuries ago, when Cyrus the Great, king of the Persians, liberated them from the Babylonian slavery. But how is it possible to reconcile all this with the declarations made by the president Ahmadinejad who in hosted an international conference on the Holocaust in December 2006, adding that the Israeli stating that it is just a legend, questioning the truth on the Shoah and adding that the State of Israel should be wiped out from the maps? Is it just a provocation or a winking to the Palestinians? Is it another spark between the Muslim Shiite Iranians and the Sunni Palestinians? Of course Hamas said that the ideas of Ahmadinejad on the jewish people and on Israel were excellent, and their relationships improved after a considerable iranian grant to Hamas. The Jewish community in Tehran refuses any comment.
So far they have lived in peace with their muslim fellow countrymen and since the islamic revolution of Khomeini in 1979 they have benn enjoying the freedom of religion such as the Armenians, the Christians and the Zorohastrians. Moreover one of the 290 seats in the iranian parliament is reserved, by law, to a Jew. So while from the outside many people, including many Jewish people of iranian origin, compare the present situation of the Jews in Iran with that of the European Jews during the first times of the Nazi regime, the Jewish leaders in Iran reject this kind of comparison, outlining the fact that if on the one hand Ahmadinejad denies the Holocaust, on the other hand, the leaders of the Jewish community feel that they are protected enough and they say that they are not under pressure.

Pain Ray – "With Pain You Shall Protest"

The paradox of the harmless weapon that can change democracy.
by Mario Sanna, Angelo Saso, Maurizio Torrealta of RaiNews24

This report analyzes the risks connected with the non-lethal weapon “Active Denial System” also known as the “pain ray”, a ray made of microwaves that launches an impulse of a few nanoseconds 1000 meters away. The ray excites the pain receptors of the human body, causing an unbearable feeling of pain, without leaving any evident mark. This system of non-lethal weapon has been presented by the Interforces Directorate for non-lethal weapons of the Pentagon last January 24. British researchers interviewed by Rainews24 warn: this weapon could modify the liberty to freely express one’s disagreement. The invisibility and the absence of visible marks on the people hit would make impossible any legal responsability in the case of improper use of this arm.

The researchers that have been interviewed have doubt about the non-leathal feature of the “pain ray”, there are not sufficient biological data on the medium and long term and on the consequences it can have on the central nervous system, on eyes and other body parts.

The people we talked to always mention another non-lethal weapon: “Taser”, a device that anyone can buy on the internet and that can be considered a smaller relative of the “pain ray”. It can give an electrical shock of 50 thousand volts for 5 seconds at a distance of a few meters.

This report contains one of the many shocking videos, that can be found on the web, that shows the images of a young boy hit by an electroshock caused by Taser only because he refused to show his student card. The possible scenario shows a change in the form of power that might have an impact on democratic rules if this system is not regulated to protect human rights in the best way possible. One of the people interviewed suspects that the testing of this weapon has been given out by contract to those countries where the protection of civil rights has lower standards than the European countries and the United States.

The possibility that these weapons, that are very expensive at the moment, in the future could be available on the free market, worries very much those people who want to keep high the level of freedom and democratic expression in their own countries.

A most incredible statement was made that the films shown by the Defense Department at the Pentagon were identical to those of the Russians. This brings to mind some very disturbing reflections as to the actual long-term effects of the weapons and the conviction that to test them, human rights provisions and health protection laws would need to be violated. Legal ramifications are also explored in this document. It is a must see!!
and read the very interesting link from Defense Tech.org
also, see the other extremely important and interesting investigative films from RaiNews24, absolutely the best investigative reporters around today in any country. Many of their documents are groundbreaking and quite worth viewing. (Today one on Palestinian Refugees caught between Iraq and Syria was supposed to be aired, but it was not. So, keep your eyes on that site! See the sidebar on the right for the listing of films in English.)