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Gilad Atzmon – Swindler’s List

heston3.gif It is a common trend amongst rabid Zionists and notorious Islamophobes to quote some isolated and mistranslated verses from the Qur’an for the purpose of collectively libeling Muslims and presenting Islam as a regressive and violent belief system.

Needless to say, so far, such repetitive attempts have been found futile if not actually counter-effective. Not a single Western politician, Zionist campaigner or Neocon think tank has managed to establish a comprehensive case against Islam. The reason is rather simple, in spite of the clear fact that some devastating atrocities have been committed in the name of Islam and in the name of Jihad, these acts were performed by sporadic radicalized and isolated cells. As at it seems, in the eyes of the Western masses, it takes more than just a few random acts of a very few to undermine a humanist universal belief system and implicate its one billion followers.

In order to incriminate Islam and to discredit its believers, a broad argument is needed, a conclusive undeniable proof that would establish a continuum between a given immoral religious text, a religious infrastructure and mass following movement of worshipers who behave immorally and accordingly. For the matter, a CIA-created mysterious character who allegedly hides in a cave for 7 years is not nearly enough. What we really want to see is a continuation between a so-called ‘Islamic satanic Verses’ and an Organic active collective set of worshipers who are tempted to follow the very verses and perform horrifically. Somehow, such a conclusive and comprehensive link is always missing in the Zionists’ and Islamophobes’ call for action. A radical Imam in London is not enough, a deliberate mistranslation of Ahmadinejad speeches won’t do either. Even repetitive images of the twin towers being chewed by airliners would not provide the goods. Seemingly, time after time the ZioCon’s defamation campaigns backlash. Instead of incriminating Islam and Muslims, ZioCons manage to marginalise themselves revealing their genuine faces. Time after time Zionists and Neocons are exposed marching along, side-by-side, with the most radical xenophobe bigots who happen to dwell amongst us in the West. 

Since the collective incrimination of Muslims stands at the premise of the Neocon philosophy as well as global Zionism, and since both Zionists and their Neocon twins are doing poorly on that front, I have decided to dedicate this paper to a pedagogic cause and try to help them out. I will give here a crash course in rhetoric. I will try to enlighten our foes and show them, step by step, how to establish a case based on continuum between the Holy Scripture and merciless collective barbarism.

Assuming that Zionists (both Jews and Christians) as well as Neocons are rather familiar with the Old Testament (as much as they are unfamiliar with the Qur’an), I will point at a relatively very short extract from the Torah. For that purpose I picked up a small biblical extract that will help us to explore the current ZioCon plundering culture in the light of the Judaic teaching and God’s promise. The following verses are a part of an oratory made by Moses to his people while on their way to their ‘promised land’:

Listen, Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You must love the Lord your God with your whole mind, your whole being, and all your strength.” Deuteronomy chapter six: 4-5  http://www.bible.org/netbible/index.htm?deu6.htm

Considering the vast amount of beings around who are engaged in some relentless love seeking, I wouldn’t dare criticise the Judaic God for doing the same. The Judaic God is entitled to demand the love of his chosen people.  However, the Israelites’ God is at least kind enough to give something in return:

“Then when the Lord your God brings you to the land he promised your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to give you – a land with large, fine cities you did not build, houses filled with choice things you did not accumulate, hewn out cisterns you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant – and you eat your fill.” (Deuteronomy:  Six 10 -11).

On the face of it, the Old Testament verses above could stand as the most simplistic yet valid and solid proof for the existence of God.  As we know, at least according to the Bible, God indeed managed to live up to his promise. He clearly brought his chosen people to the land of milk and honey and made them live in cities they didn’t build and drink their water from wells they didn’t dig.  Clearly, the Lord did not abandon his people.  A few millenniums later, the Judaic God capitalised on his might and brought the nations on their knees so they saw the light and willingly voted for the 1947 UN partition resolution. A fatal error that made it legal (rather than moral) for the new Israelite to live in cities he didn’t build and drink from wells he didn’t dig.  Indeed, if there is a question regarding the existence of the Judaic God, the above should be enough to prove his existence. 

However, it is rather obvious and very embarrassing to admit that the Judaic God, as portrayed by Moses in Deuteronomy 6:10 is an immoral evil God. It is a God who leads his people to plunder, robbery and theft.  Yet, there are many ways to deal with this negative image of the almighty.  On the literary level one can suggest that the given verses are not more than just two isolated lines in a gigantic text that is well meaning and offers some fundamental universal thoughts. On the contextual level, one may suggest that it wasn’t actually God himself who was talking to his chosen people but rather Moses who failed to deliver the true message of God. In other words, Moses may have ‘gotten it wrong’ or even ‘made it up’.  In fact, there are many other ways to save the Judaic God from being the logos behind contemporary Israeli plundering, yet, it is not that easy to save the Israelites from being presented as robbers and plunders, especially in the light of their spiritual, cultural and religious heritage. In short, it is actually impossible not to see the continuum between Deuteronomy 6:10 and the crime against the Palestinian people that is committed by the Jewish State in the name of the Jewish people.

Seemingly, Moses, his contemporaries and their current Zionist followers were and are rather excited about the possibilities laid ahead for them in the Land of Milk and Honey. Israel, the Jewish State, had been following Moses’ call to the elements. The ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people in 1948 makes Deuteronomy 6:10 look like a prophecy has come true. On a daily basis the Israelis rob the indigenous Palestinians of their land, cities, villages, fields, orchards and wells. In fact this robbery has never stopped for over a century.   

For the last sixty years, Moses’ call for theft is put into a legal praxis.  The Israeli looting of Palestinian cities, homes, fields and wells found its way into the Israeli legal system. Already in 1950-51 Israel legislators approved the ‘Absentee Property Law’, a racially orientated law that is there to prevent Palestinians from returning to their lands, cities and villages. A law that is there to allow the new Israelites to live in houses and cities they didn’t build.  

The never-ending robbery of Palestine by Israel in the name of the Jewish people establishes a devastating spiritual, ideological, cultural and obviously, practical continuum between the Judaic bible and the Zionist project. The crux of the matter is simple yet disturbing: Israel and Zionism are both successful political systems that put into devastating practice the plunder promised by the Judaic God in the Judaic holy scriptures. 

It seems obvious: Zionist and Neocon repetitive failure tendency to defame Islam and Muslims is actually nothing more than a banal projection.  Zionists and Neocons are well familiar with the different immoral teaching within the Judaic spiritual and religious heritage that matured into a Zionist looting. Foolishly, they try to project it on Islam and Muslims. After reading Moses’ oratory we may have to confess, the Jewish nationalist project that is supported by the vast majority of Jewish institutions around the world is an attempt aiming at robbery of the indigenous Palestinians following a cultural and religious heritage that is overwhelmingly documented in the Judaic Bible. 

Yet we must never forget that not all Jews follow the Bible. Some are not even aware of the biblical text or its content. Some may even suggest to us that we must never forget the Bund and its progressive, secular and cosmopolitan heritage that is currently maintained by a half a dozen enthusiast Jewish Marxists around the world. Indeed, we have to admit that out of the very few Bundists who didn’t immigrate to Israel after the war, half a dozen do not agree with Israel, Zionism and the robbery of Palestine. This is certainly a reason to be cheerful. However, Bundists believe that instead of robbing Palestinians we should all get together and rob who is considered to be the rich, the wealthy and the strong in the name of working class revolution. Here is the Bund’s call for action taken from ‘The Vow’ the Bund’s anthem  (http://www.anu.edu.au/polsci/marx/int/shvue/shvue.htm):  

We swear our stalwart hate persists,
Of those who rob and kill the poor:
The Tsar, the masters, capitalists.
Our vengeance will be swift and sure.
So swear together to live or die! 

On the face of it, robbing the rich, confiscating their homes and grabbing their wealth is seen as an ethical act within the progressive discourse. As a young revolutionary I myself took part in some righteous parades.  I was ready to grab my sword and to join the hunt for a Tsar, a capitalist or any other enemy who may cross my way. But then, the inevitable happened, I grew up. I realised that such a vengeance towards an entire class of wealthy goyim is not more than an extension of Moses’ oratory of Deuteronomy Six.  

Robbery cannot be the way forwards. Whether it is Palestinians, Iraqis, world banking or even the Tsar himself. Robbing involves a categorical dismissal of the other. Hence, it must be premised on some inherent self-righteousness. Robbery and plunder doesn’t live in peace with a deep understanding of the notion of human equality.  Sadly we have to admit that hate-ridden plunder of other people’s possessions made it into the Jewish political discourse both on the left and right. The Jewish nationalist would rob Palestine in the name of the right of self-determination, the Jewish progressive is there to rob the ruling class and even international capital in the name of world working class revolution. I better stay out of it.

Conclusion: It must be stated that if Neocons and Zionists are really interested in defaming Islam and Muslims, all they have to do is to provide us with a similar analogous extensive reading of Islam in which an alleged satanic verse is translated into an unethical praxis performed by a substantial organised collective.

However, bearing in mind the increasing influence of the Old Testament within the American political discourse due to the rise of popularity of Christian fundamentalism in America, the notion of the plundering God may help us to understand the American current conduct in Iraq and in Afghanistan. In other words, the growing popularity of Old Testament teachings may help us to grasp the
predatory philosophy encouraged by the perpetrators of the notorious ‘New American Century’ (http://www.newamericancentury.org).

Most importantly, within such a problematic reading of the Judaic God as presented in Deuteronomy 6:10 and its total dismissal of the Other, Jesus’ call to love one’s neighbour comes into life. This is the exact ingredient some of us miss in Moses’ oratory as reflected in Jewish political discourse and praxis. It is love to one’s neighbour that we lack in contemporary Anglo-American affairs.  Human brotherhood is what we miss in Jewish nationalism both right and left. Would the Zionists be open to the notion of brotherhood, they would be empathic to the Palestinian right of return. Would the Jewish Marxists and cosmopolitans be open to the notion of Brotherhood, they would give up on their unique exclusive banners and become ordinary human beings like the rest of us.

Protest against the complicity of the EU in the genocide

gaza-3.jpgOn March 31, 2008, an international delegation with some 30 participants from the Basque country, Austria, Scotland, Norway, Iceland, Italy, Netherlands, France, Spain, Greece, USA, Turkey, Palestine, Jordan and India was determined to reach Rafah, in order to bring relief to the besieged Palestinian people in Gaza and to extend our solidarity with their courageous resistance.

But the Egyptian security forces halted the delegation at Baladua, 190 km from the border. After staging a protest at the check point we began to walk towards Rafah, since our bus was blocked from moving ahead. Finally, after the police was blocking the road, taking away our passports and threatening us with arrest, we decided to take our protest back into Cairo itself. A rally was staged outside of the delegation of the European Union.
We received encouraging support from the Egyptian people and from the media. It is our fervent appeal to the governments and the peoples of the world to pressurize the Israeli Apartheid State, the US, the EU as well as the Egyptian government to end the genocidal siege of Gaza.
This year we commemorate that 60 years have passed since the Nakba, the catastrophe, expulsion and ethnic cleansing that followed in the wake of the establishment of the Zionist state of Israel. As the Israeli government threatens with a new holocaust on the Palestinian population in Gaza, we cannot remain silent. While the governments of Europe do not say a word to stop the Israeli war crimes, we represent the consciousness of all those in Europe who understand that the people of Gaza should not be punished for their democratic choice of electing Hamas as their government.
We proved our point; the complicity of the European governments on the inhuman and disastrous US-Israeli embargo imposed on Gaza. This was a further step of a series of actions we intend to take from now, in order to raise the issue of the siege on Gaza and to lift it on the ground. We call every descent human being to work with us in this direction.
European campaign against the siege on Gaza
April 1, 2008, Cairo
************************************
Anti-imperialist Camp
camp@antiimperialista.org

Anti-Zionist = Zionist (if you are Tony Greenstein!)

To anyone confused about the meaning of Anti-Zionism in the strange world of Tony Greenstein, here is a post of his to the Israeli Alef list. Worthy of Golda Meir!

Message: 2
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2008 16:49:24 -0700 (PDT)
From: tony greenstein
tonygreenstein@yahoo.com

To: alef@list.haifa.ac.il

After the long celebration of “The Invention of the Jewish People” (in which I take side with Prof. Sand), perhaps now is the time to investigate “the Invention of the Palestinian Peoplehood”. I believe that a very short research will discover that it was invented by the British occupation authorities right after WWI. Since the Philistines were absorbed by the Judeans during the kingdom of David (according to the Biblical myth, of course), there was nothing like “a Palestinian People”, until the 20th century.

Yedidya

ironically Yedidya is quite right. But for the Zionists there would have been no Palestinian people. It was the British Mandate and the Zionist settlement project which created this people who would otherwise be living in Southern Syria, Arabia or whatever.

Tony

And folks, he adds this, because I complained that what he said was Zionist information:

Maybe Mary would like to explain why it is ‘Zionist propaganda’. Or does she merely want to echo Jacob that the Palestinians as a nation have existed for 3,000 years? Nations are political and historical formations and the Palestinian nation or people came into existence as a result of Zionist colonisation of Palestine. There was no specific territorial entity called Palestine within the Ottoman Empire and the people within what is now known as Palestine/Israel saw themselves as part of the Arab nation and even Syrians rather than as Palestinians. Being Palestinian is a specific historical category, it isn’t something fixed for all time and the temptation to write back into history from what has transpired should be resisted.

Tony

Mary responds: Tony, you used the word People. Or have you forgotten so quickly by trying to move the mirrors around? The Palestinians were a people since the time they inhabited that land, that is, as long as humanly possible, and if you don’t seem to get it, read the comment by Ismail that I left on your blog. No, I’ll reprint it here so that everyone can understand how mad you are and how clearly absorbed into the Zionist narrative you are that you don’t even notice that you dismiss millions of humans and their belonging.

Dear Mary:

I find this unbelievable.
Where is the Palestinian state, that the zionists kindly provided to us? And who was living in Palestine [the land of Canaan] since history began, and long before the Hebrew tribes came to the Land of Canaan as invaders, and were driven out by other invaders, the Romans? Palestine has been invaded by scores of foreign invaders including the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Hebrew tribes, the Romans, the Turks and the British. Invaders come and go and have no right to conquered land anymore than the Romans to England which they conquered for hundreds of years.

There are many honourable Israelis and Jews who knew the historic facts and had the integrity to speak out. I met and knew the late Israel Shahak in 1970, when we were both invited speakers at St. Andrews University in Scotland, on the subject of Palestine and zionism. When I asked him how did he get involved in this conflict, he told me hoerrifying experiences he witnessed the Israeli forces subjecting Palestinian university students to, in Ramallah, which are horrible to relate here. He described their activites to what the Nazis did to Jews in Belsen, where he was held. He said after what he saw in Ramallah, he vowed ro fight Zionism to his dying days, and he did that. He was a man of unique honour who deserve to be acclaimed by all those who care about humanity and justice.

As to this outrageous statement you quoted, I’ll let the late Jewish Professor Maxime Rodinson, who was Professor of History at The Sorbonne University in Paris, who stated in his book Israel and the Arabs, 1968: ” The Arab population of Palestine was native in all the senses of the word and their roots in Palestine can be traced back at least forty centuries.”

If that statement, you quoted, truly expresses the sentiments of Tony Greenstein, then I know where I stand in relation to this controversy, that I got involved in unknowingly.
I trust you do not think that, I hope…

Interestingly, I see the name of Zalman Amit included below. What is his role in this?
He lives in our neighbourhood in Nova Scotia and he is a good man and a friend of ours.

Thank you, Mary. I am simply bewildered, and I will leave it that. May be, I should ask Tony Greenstein if this statement represents his views.

Ismail Zayid

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Weapons used by Israel against Lebanon

A continuation of the reports from the Bruxelles Tribunal on the Israeli War Against Lebanon. By Mary Rizzo
Three expert witnesses gave scientific testimony about the weapons that were used by Israel against Lebanon in the war that lasted 33 days, as well as the effects these armaments had on people and objects. Lebanese nuclear physicist and expert in nuclear radiation measurements, Mohammed Ali Kobeissi, Italian Geneticist Paola Manduca and British Work Psychologist and independent weapons researcher Dai Williams each presented the results of their research, complete with corroborating data.

Dr. Kobeissi premised his testimony with these words, “I am a scientist that was part of the scientific committee to investigate the state of things after the war. I don’t play politics and I keep the committee out of the declarations, but I know what I witnessed and the results of the research and I am here, speaking in my own name and assume full responsibility for what I say. I am not under the influence of any organization to declare anything but the facts.”

The scientist was called to measure data in various places, but one in particular, the Khaim crater, showed measurements of uranium in the bottom of the crater fourteen times higher than the measurements on the edges. One of the first things he made clear that his independent testing needed to be verified in another laboratory so that his results could be confirmed. It was the necessary to send samples out of Lebanon for testing, since no other laboratory in Lebanon had the equipment necessary to measure the data. “We had to bring samples out, using soil samples and urine samples.

“In its turn, and upon the request of the Lebanese Government, UNEP used something that is called a “smear”, which is a collection of dust samples. These smear samples were brought by UNEP to the research laboratories of the Swiss Army and they are connected to those of the NATO. To take samples, you have to be clever, because dust can be anything. What is relevant as far as weapons go is a specific type of dust which might be uranium dust or not.

“Because uranium is the most dense metal of them all, at certain temperatures it is able to melt everything that it is in contact with and it actually serves as a guide, transforming everything around it to dust.” Kobeissi collected two kilograms of soil material from a crater at Jallahieh, which was likely to have been hit by a bomb with a Uranium head, given the damage. “Our soil samples and urine samples were sent to Harwell Laboratory in the UK for uranium measurements.”

Kobeissi had made some of his own measurements, including testing the water that collected in one of the craters, and he had gathered enough information to be quite sure that this crater was indeed caused by the use of unconventional weapons, precisely those missiles with depleted uranium heads.

When the report by UNEP came back from Switzerland and was published, he was very shocked at the results. “I read the report and what I was reading was poetry, not science! It was very descriptive regarding the case of uranium. The numbers obtained from the smear dust were far too small, compared to the analysis and measurements I made on the soil samples.” At this moment in the testimony, the scientist shook his head and perhaps recalled the thoughts he had at the time, looking at the devastation caused by the missile, “I pity the founding fathers of America that today this country is lead by Bush. To make weapons like this and use them against civilians and their homes is something I cannot come to terms with.” Later, Dr Williams would explain with more precision what these weapons were intended to do, but for the time being, we listened to a scientific presentation that was almost like the telling of a moral fable.

“(Bernard) Kuchner came to Lebanon after the war and it happen he was visiting the town of Khiam. To convince himself he went down with me to this crater, because in a war that is conducted in inhabited zones where people are going to hopefully return to live, dirty bombs can’t be used. There are reasons for it, it will bring damage to the land and people for who knows how long. When I told Kuchner that dirty bombs were used, he said, ‘Impossible!’ but as soon as he saw the crater with radiation and he was witnessing that, what did he say? ‘Well, C’est la guerre’.”

This kind of disregard for the impact of the bombs being used in southern Lebanon, and the possibility that they contained radiation, was indicative of much of the attitude of the international community when it was mentioned that these weapons were utilised. The physicist explained that a bit of uranium is present in nature anyway, but beyond a certain level, it is extremely dangerous. Uranium is used to increase the power of thermonuclear missiles. Few nations have the capacity to produce these weapons, and as a matter of fact, the largest weapons used in the war were American made. In order to extract the uranium for these weapons, a process is carried out which results in the creation of another toxic substance that is known as Depleted Uranium. “This is the dirty bomb. It is the result of the trash that comes out of making other bombs or for nuclear use and it is disposed of generally by being used in other weapons. America gives or sells this trash to others, and the others use it against their enemies.”

The next expert witness explained the effects of the unconventional weapons. Dr Paola Manduca is a Geneticist specialised in the effects on the human body of these new weapons, and in the past had also investigated the wounds from other victims of Israeli weapons, the people of Gaza. “Weapons of this sort do not distinguish between their victims. They are aimed at an area and those who are in that area are subject to the effects, whether they are military, civilian, adults or children. In this way, since these new weapons strike indiscriminately, we can also think that they have an ideological use. They leave wounds that are different than any kind we are used to. When the body is subject to the old kind of traditional weapons, the material that harms the body has an entry place, a bullet wound, cuts and abrasions that come from objects that are in disintegration, or foreign bodies that one can identify and possibly extract. In the case of these weapons, there are simply entrance holes in the body, internal damage, but no exit wound and no presence of shrapnel either. The wounds we have here are invisible wounds that give no clear answers to what they are. They cause dramatic effects on the body, spots, burns, incapacity for muscles to react, pain and so forth, but they do not have a clear cause, there is no specific ‘entry point’ at times and the variation of types of wounds on a single individual is also great. These wounds do not indicate how they can be treated. Psychologically, this is another effective weapon against whoever might be in an area where weapons like this are used.”

She showed us many photos of the kinds of effects by these ‘new’ weapons, which she nominated as ‘experimental’ ones. “They represent a new development in the strategy of war.” Some of them are thermobaric, which means that they explode and reach high temperatures. DIME, Dense Inert Metal weapons cause extreme and intense heat which can be localised even to certain parts of the body. She showed pictures where one side of the torso was scorched and charred, and the other was unharmed. The damage from these bombs includes alteration of the DNA and reproductive damage, in addition to the severe tissue damage and deformation as from burning. “Then there are the bombs using Depleted Uranium but not only. There are bombs with Enriched Uranium. These weapons are deadly even though the period it takes to bring about their full effects is not yet known. They are still ‘experimental’ weapons, and therefore, not permitted to be used by international rules of war.” She showed examples of the effects of cluster bombs, white phosphorus, the use of microwaves and the bombs that were responsible for the damage of the crater that Dr Kobeissi had focused much of his specific presentation on, the Bunker Buster.

“There has been lack of institutional response to the wounds that the victims had. As if they were simply caught in the crossfire of a standard battle. But this is not what happened to them. From within their homes and in shelters they were exposed to these weapons and their wounds are inexplicable, if not by deducing that Israel had used unconventional weapons that penetrated in ways that normal weapons are incapable of doing. I saw bodies covered with black powder, a kind of dust that darkens the bodies and when tested, the skin is tested as positive for the presence of iron. While some people were being evacuated from Bint Jbeil and Tyre, they were wounded, and I examined them. It is clear that they were exposed to unconventional weapons and it was a mystery as to the precise nature of these weapons. Three of the more seriously wounded people in this attack were brought to Israeli hospitals for treatment. They spent one month in the hospital.” When asked what the clinical reports were following the admission and treatment, Dr Manduca told us that they came back with no clinical reports whatsoever. “Whether or not any serious clinical investigation took place is unknown to me or to those in Lebanon. The fact is, that one may not obtain information from Israel. Whatever secret weapon was used against these people, we will never get information from anyone in the country that used it. Doctor or not.”

The third expert witness, Dr Dai Williams, stated that he was only going to make statements that could be backed by evidence, and he wished to qualify any interpretation he might make as being supported by scientific and photographic evidence. All of it, however, pointed to his conclusion that Israel had indeed made use of illegal weapons in the war.

“One has to understand what a weapon is used for. There are certain weapons used for specific purposes. In fact, weapons are developed according to the aim that is defined by the military strategy of the conflict. Arms control legislation is ten years behind technology. I have been researching uranium weapons since 1999, focusing on the aspects of health and safety, and all of these weapons, since they are not allowed by any country as legal and acceptable weapons, are all classified as ‘secret weapons’. Not only are there uranium weapons, which are guided bombs having a warhead that is considered to be a ‘magic metal’ for its destructive capacities, but there are many other kinds of secret weapons; pressure waves, vacuum bombs and a combination of the two, weapons using depleted uranium, including a one ton bomb with a US patent dating from 1947, and high temperature bombs.”

Dr Williams described in great detail the Bunker Buster, which is a bomb that has a specific explosion pattern and devastating results. Both of these were documented by a series of photographs and by testing the soil and water in the craters which occupied the space where buildings previously stood. “There is a military reason to use a Bunker Buster. It is because the military aim is to penetrate deeply into that space. In the case of southern Lebanon, they were certain that Hezbollah was located under the buildings and that there were stocks of WMDs or missiles, or else, they wanted to kill the people who were down that low, in the most sheltered part of the buildings, which the Israeli strategists claimed were Hezbollah militants. These bombs are not ordinary bombs. In fact, they are so large that only several places have the capacity to produce them, including the US. These are guided bombs produced in the US, which travelled via the UK and arrived in Israel to be used.”

The Bunker Buster has a particular explosion pattern which Dr Williams called a ‘blast profile’. First there is an intense explosion and fire, followed by a subsequent explosion generally creating a great amount of dust. He showed photographs where it was clear that two distinct explosions with visibly different characteristics were used on some targets. “Then there are thermobaric weapons that use heat and cause physical wounds that actually show exposure to different kinds of temperatures that are registered on a single body. There are ‘flash burns’ where one side of the body is burnt, as Dr Manduca had already said. An unknown number of different kinds of weapons were used in these 33 days of war, and the estimates range from 50 to 100 varieties of weapons. On the 11th of August I went to the Human Rights Council, because the wounds that I had seen caused me to wonder about the nature of the weapons and I asked them to investigate not only the illegal weapons, but also to investigate the use of uranium weapons such as the Spike or Hellfire Missiles. What is important in these cases is to investigate the targets and I have to say that the International forces worked very quickly to clean most of the sites. In fact, what this did was remove much of the evidence that is needed to do a proper investigation of the sites. I asked for tests to be carried out not only on depleted uranium, but also uranium. The UN Environmental commission did not take the reports into account that I had carried out on the terrain, where I had evidence of uranium far above normal levels. As a matter of fact, and this is what is so sad, the tests that were carried out used unsound methods and only one site was tested. The site was declared ‘clean’ and therefore, the case was closed as far as they were concerned.”

Dr Williams stressed the fact that there was no doubt that Israel had used weapons containing uranium. One of the ways of measuring the material that remains after a bombardment is to measure the chemical composition of the dust. A colleague of Dr Williams, Dr Chris Busby, had suggested that the best automatic dust collecting device is an automotive filter, so a filter that was in immediate proximity of a bombardment was sent for analysis. It was from a semi-destroyed ambulance that was bombed at Khaim. “There was a small amount of low enriched uranium in it. It is unusual to have uranium in dust, and this was definitely the consequence of a bombardment with bombs containing uranium. The quantity was enough to be an absolute fingerprint, small but legally sufficient. It was present in two of the locations that I tested, in Beirut and Khaim.” 200 samples underwent Gamma testing in Geneva. “It is logical that they came up with the wrong analysis, because they used the wrong test. This is not the appropriate test to analyse the presence of depleted uranium. Mass Spectroscopy should have been used.” He also showed the results of tests analysing samples of human urine of the people who were in the vicinity of the bombing there and the concentrations of uranium were high.

Robert Fisk published the report made by Dr Williams, and it received a very negative reaction from the UN and Israel. “There was some collaboration with the UNEP (United Nations Environmental Program) scientists and Achem Steiner, but so much misinformation started to circulate that the inquiry was actually forced to be stopped.” The conclusions drawn from that by Dr Williams are unequivocal: “There are still the effects of the dirty bombs that were used on Lebanese soil and there are consequences of this that unfortunately we will not know as long as we do not continue investigation. One thing is certain, new arms control discussions are needed. Weapons are being used against people without any kind of control or adequate safety measures. We don’t know all the harmful side effects that can still be triggered, and this also reflects upon a negligence of the Lebanese government in not doing anything to investigate.”

>When asked for more details by the Lebanese barristers present, he mentioned that these weapons produce a fine dust that has the consistency of pepper. Since the heat is so great, most of it goes straight up, but then it gets blown by the wind very far away and it can spread. In some areas it is concentrated. “Most of the bombs used in the war were conventional ones, and the amount of unconventional weapons used in Lebanon is very small when compared to those used in Iraq or Afghanistan. But, the problem is that radiation is forever, even if in very small amounts. There was not adequate human or environmental testing done, and the damage was indiscriminate and permanent in some cases.” He suggested that there was the possibility of a variety of bombs being used, containing both enriched uranium and depleted uranium, and that perhaps the sites had themselves been cleaned or altered between various moments of testing. He also pointed to the variation in the results (between the determination that the bombs used depleted uranium or enriched uranium) as being explained in the hypothesis that at least two bombs were dropped on each site. He indicated that once enriched uranium is burnt, it becomes indistinguishable from uranium present in nature – but of extreme rarity – and test results can be politically charged by stating that these things are not the result of bombs, or even that the machines used to test were not properly cleaned, something quite absurd to state about a laboratory with the reputation of Harwell.

After his talk, I had the opportunity to speak with Dr Williams. Being a psychologist, he is very concerned with the emotional or psychological impact of communication, and we spoke at length about the importance of the ‘human filter’ when listening to this kind of information. Actually, to the profane in material, the difference between a conventional and unconventional weapon is marginal, if the result is destruction. Yet, Dr Williams mentioned that there is an element that makes informing about these weapons complicated, and that is the will to inform tempered by the desire to not cause undue stress and worry. “These bombs can cause damage in the future, since they operate at a genetic level. This means we don’t know what effects there are going to be, and this can cause a level of alarm that, in the end, is psychologically just as critical. Where does one draw the line about saying the possible effects and assuring people that perhaps things are not as bad as we fear? How do we inform without creating panic? Not getting any information about the weapons leaves us in that condition. As scientists and investigators, we are not even allowed to make any genuine conclusions because we are denied the possibility of having a scientific response.”

If this is indeed the case, the Israeli war against Lebanon had as its most damaging and pervasive weapon the psychological one of fear, fear that would remain intact for generations.

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Khalid Amayreh – The Vatican must show goodwill toward Muslims

The highly-publicized conversion to Catholicism of a naturalized Italian citizen of Egyptian origin this week once again illustrates the uneasy relations between Islam and western Christianity.

The problem, of course, doesn’t lie in the conversion itself. People after all should be free to choose their faith and way of life without coercion. The Quran itself declares that “let there be no compulsion in religion.” The way Muslims ought to relate to disbelievers is engraved in Sura (or chapter) 9 of Islam’s holy scriptures, which reads:

Say : O ye that reject Faith!
I worship not that which ye worship,
Nor will ye worship that which I worship.
And I will not worship that which ye have been wont to worship,
Nor will ye worship that which I worship.
To you be your Way, and to me mine.

But the problem lies in the vindictive atmosphere surrounding the conversion ceremony, including the anti-Islamic allusions and insinuations.

Magdi Allam, who an Israel newspaper once called a “Muslim Zionist” admitted that he had always been a nominal Muslim, that he had never really practiced Islam and never prayed in his life. Yet, we have been told ad nauseam by a wantonly ignorant or dishonest Western media that Allam was “a prominent Muslim.”

Well, the truth is that he was neither Muslim nor prominent. How could a person who praises and glorifies Israel’s genocidal crimes against his fellow human beings (Christian and Muslims alike) be a man of faith? Morality, honesty and candor are the ultimate signs of faith, characters that Allam conspicuously lacks.

So, it is highly doubtful that a man who believes Zionism represents true righteousness and genuine civility will be a righteous individual, let alone a good Catholic.

In the context of his baptism at the hands of the Pope of the Vatican, Allam made a series of provocative lies against Islam.

The man who had written a book titled “Long Live Israel” was quoted as saying that “the root of evil is innate in an Islam that is physiologically violent and historically conflictual.”

This is a cardinal mendacity, because all religions, ideologies, and isms are by definition “conflictual.” Indeed, in order for an idea, any idea, to be un-conflictual, it has to be completely “morally neutral” between good and evil. Christianity itself was conflictual from day one.

In Matthew 10-34-39, Jesus is quoted as saying that:
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.”

In the Gospel of Thomas 16, (SV), Jesus said:
“Perhaps people think that I have come to cast peace upon the world. They do not know that I have come to cast conflicts upon the earth: fire, sword, war. For there will be five in a house: there’ll be three against two and two against three, father against son and son against father, and they will stand alone.”

The above shows beyond doubt that Allam doesn’t know what he is talking about when he faults Islam for being “historically conflictual.”

As to the issue of violence, Allam is being equally ignorant of historical facts, because if a religion is to be judged solely by the behavior of its followers, then Christianity stands out as the main candidate for being the most violent religion under the sun.

Let us consider some of the following historical facts pertaining to the relationship between Christianity and violence. In the past century alone, Western “Christians” killed more than a hundred million people, mostly other Christians. In just two essentially ‘Christian’ World Wars, as many as 70 million people were killed. Indeed, the numerous crusades, holocausts, pogroms, inquisitions, gulags and ethnic cleansings that the White man committed in the name of Jesus make Muslim violence and wars look utterly negligible in comparison.

In the Middle Ages, Catholics spread death, terror and havoc through Europe, Asia Minor and the Levant. The Franks not only slaughtered Muslims and Jews en masse, but targeted their Orthodox coreligionists, destroying and desecrating their churches, murdering their priests and raping their women.

In North America, South America and Australia the White man murdered millions in the name of Christ and Manifest Destiny.

To be sure, Muslims, too, indulged in violence, including unjustified violence. However, stigmatizing Islam with this calumny, as if the hands of Catholics and other western Christians were clean, constitutes a pornographic deviation from historical truth and honesty.

Samuel P. Huntington is one of the West’s most prominent contemporary intellectuals. He argued that “the west won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion, but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence.”

“Westerners,” he said, “often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do.”

One Vatican official, Cardinal Giovanni, told an Italian newspaper following the conversion ceremony that “conversion is a private matter, a personal thing and we hope that the baptism will not be interpreted negatively by Muslims.”

Well, one might give Giovanni the benefit of the doubt were it not for the purposefully high profile the Vatican gave this conversion. In the final analysis, the Vatican can’t hope for good relations with Muslims and at the same time continue to incite hatred and racism against a religion that has as many as 15 hundred million followers, including millions of Europeans and hundreds of thousands of Italians.

Millions of erstwhile Christians converted to Islam in Europe and North America in recent years. However, unlike the Vatican, the Muslim religious authorities have chosen not to turn every conversion into a trial of Christianity.

Finally, it is imperative to remember that Muslims and Christians are neighbors and compatriots all over the world. This fact alone, which is not going to disappear, necessitates that each community be sensitive to the sensibilities and feelings of the other.

Mutual respect, we are told, is the essence of religious faith.

I add a comment below:

To read excellent opinion pieces in Italian on Allam, see Sherif’s blog. To add my own commentary, I want to mention that 4 and a half years ago, Allam came to my town to promote his book on Saddam Hussein (which had as bibilographical references nothing more than Allam’s own articles and pages were dedicated to the style of moustache and hair colouring of Saddam…) and one of the conclusions he came to was that the War never would really have happened if people had not protested for “peace”. He said that this gave Saddam the false confidence that he could win, and that the war then became inevitable. In essence, protesters were blamed for fanning the flames of war. Also at that presentation, two Palestinians who tried to speak had the microphone taken from them before they could even finish their question. As soon as they said negative comments about Israel, the “security” force ran to them and shut them up. There were about 20 people who protested this, and we were asked to leave. The host of the event, who is a bookseller and who knows me later apologised to me for it but said that there were strict rules set by Allam and his own bodyguards that they did not want any agitators. The list of topics that would not be addressed were Palestine and Israel and when these words came out, the security staff were ordered to remove the microphones. The fact that calling most of us sitting there agitators because we protested the war is evidence of the kind of person Allam is.

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Families of Victims of the Lebanon War Testify

At the left, Mr Shokr holds a piece of the US-made rocket that destroyed his house.

At the Bruxelles Tribunal, several people represented the victims of the war. It was very interesting to note how different these people were from one another, judging by the type of presentation they wanted to share with us. Yet, at the moment of questioning by the lawyers and judges, they all came to the same conclusions about their experiences.

The first witness was a gentleman named Mohammed Shokr. The story of his family was an incredible odyssey of seeking refuge in a moment when the family was being reunited after much time spent far from one another. His family lives in Belgium and what should have been a simple family holiday when the grandparents and aunts and uncles could spend time with the children living in Europe became a nightmare of death and total devastation. They were in the village of El Nabi Chit, near Baalbeck in the Northern area, and when the bombing started to be frequent, thought that it would be a good idea to leave and go to their house near the Beirut Airport. Belgium had already asked her citizens to leave Lebanon entirely, but this possibility, as the days passed, was growing ever more remote. When they arrived in Beirut, they were once again victims of shelling, and the decision was made to go to a Christian village where a family member lived. “We thought this would be the safest place after our other homes had been shelled.”

Mr Shokr is a man who demonstrates a very direct kind of character. He knew that he assumed the responsibility for the safety of his extended family, and what was very sad was seeing that he realised that even the most reasonable and wise choices were turning out to be foiled by what Israel had decided to dish out. This man represented not only a pater familias, but by listening to his testimony, I could feel that his situation was a macroscopic example of the impossible search for refuge in a country that was targeted as a whole, with every inch of Lebanon being a potential front.

“We were looking for shelter, but on the road we could see that there were no military targets anywhere, just things that served people were bombed. Things such as petrol stations, bridges, roads. It was like being in a trap.” And, the worst trap of them all turned out to be the home in the Christian village in the south. “All of a sudden, the sky was raining nails and rockets.” The family sought protection in the deepest part of the house, underneath the staircase, yet that too was disastrous. “We didn’t know that American bombs can go everywhere.” As a matter of fact, Mr Shokr brought fragments that he took from within the house. They were large bits of rockets and fragments of shrapnel. “This bomb was an American present signed by Israeli children and sent to our children in Lebanon.”

It is apparent that bombs that penetrate and do not simply explode (as later in the day and the following morning we were able to witness three presentations on the weapons potential) and break apart what they are hitting. These bombs dig deeply and then erupt in their full force, and they are considered to be unconventional weapons. The meaning of this, I will explore in the articles that explain more fully the weapons used in the Israeli war against Lebanon, yet generally, they are weapons that are differentiated from those that are “recognised”. They may differ in the materials used and in the effects that are different from traditional weapons. Often their impact is unpredictable and very often they violate standard rules of war by their force that is not proportional to the type of target they are used against. When Mr Shokr was asked if they were unconventional weapons he answered with clarity and wisdom, “We are civilians. We don’t know the difference between what is conventional and what is not. If a bomb comes inside your home, you know that this is wrong. Morally, we also know that if one is capable of killing one person can kill a group of people or kill everyone.”

He wrote a book on the destruction of Baalbek and El Nabi Chit which told of the tragedies of his hometown. He summed up the situation of his own family in this way, “We had to decide to run, and then to start running. We took the car at night, without any lights because we understood that we would be moving targets. Then we had to keep running, seeking shelter. When there is fear, you run, but you may never find the shelter, no matter where run.”

A second witness was Hassan Al-Akhrass, a citizen of Canada whose flight was to leave for Lebanon allowing him to join his family the day before all flights had been cancelled. This spared him his own life, but tragically, it did nothing to save the others precious to him as they were crushed under the rubble of their own home in Aytaroun, destroyed by Israeli bombs. He lost 12 family members in the war, including his father, his uncle, his cousin and his wife and four small children and their grandmother. Other family members were wounded. He decided to bring photos of his loved ones in happier moments, days before their lives were taken. There were pictures of them by the sea, babies in the arms of their mother, children being cuddled by their grandparents, beautiful smiling faces that no longer exist if not in the memories of this man, and whose story he put on a DVD called “In the Line of Fire”. In the composition here, we see some of the victims. To spare older family members the grief of learning the fate of their loved ones, it was decided to not reveal the news of the deaths to those who might not be able to handle such pain. Frequent questions about the family’s whereabouts could not be kept unanswered forever, and that compounded the sense of helplessness. “My real hope is that there will be justice for them.” Looking at the innocent faces of these people, and considering the tragedy of the loss of their lives, it is the least that we should expect, and all of us owe them this much.

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Shraga, My Karma ran over your Dogma: spoiling your smear campaign with honesty

VERY INTERESTING DEVELOPMENTS! read through to the end for the whole story. More actually follow in comments, as it is a “developing story”

The smear campaigners have been at it non-stop. Several hundred people thought that by asking Tony Greenstein to get to work on doing something constructive and leaving others to do the same, he might actually do so. No. In the meantime, he’s decided to take Gilad to court. He tried to close this blog, he’s opened his own blog just to smear Gilad and me, he spams posts from there all over Socialist Unity and the Alef discussion list. It seems as if he has no control over this obsession. But, he isn’t the only one.
Shraga Elam, a little known (but to himself, he is father of great intellectual ideas that bear the name of greater men such as Norman Finkelstein, Yeshayahu Liebowitz and even the olive growers of Palestine) activist in Zurich, has been Tony’s sidekick in all of this, and he’s really been working overtime to get the job done.
In the past, readers who are familiar with this blog will know about the Public Lapidation (round one) where Shraga uses Holocaust Revisionist sites to try to smear Gilad, and which were exposed as false. But this week, he’s decided to help Tony to dismantle the petition perhaps afraid about when the comments that were not at all generous with Tony and with any kind of censorship and gatekeeping would appear and wanting to get it pulled before the ugly truth came out. Many valid individuals signed the petition, including scholars such as Oren Ben-Dor, bloggers and activists such as Haitham Sabbah, Uruknet, Dissident Voice, and many others. Many groups for Palestinian and Human rights signed as well. Many Palestinians signed as well as writers and journalists. Take a look at the list to get an idea. Well, of course, Tony decided to pick out the names he didn’t want, (for the sake of Palestinians of course) and decided that there were two or three that were anathema. After a lot of pressure, I took one name off, to spare the other people the stress. But, that still leaves 278 names more or less.
how to whittle that down….
how to whittle that to nothing….

So, he went to his Buddy Shraga to do the work. “There’s Gilad’s and Uri Avnery’s translator there, a Gush Shalom member… Oh! There’s Hajo Meyer, the writer who also was a survivor of Auschwitz. THEY MUST BE REMOVED!”

So, Shraga decided to go to work. For days he circulated misleading emails suggesting I was a Judeophobe affiliated with Nazi sites! (Remember, he actually circulates from them, but for some reason he can’t see that his pulpit is quite a few metres too low). Scaring his first two victims sufficiently, they were sure that they had not signed any Neo-Nazi or Anti-Semitic petition! In fact, they had not, they signed the petition that was in support of Gilad Atzmon and Mary Rizzo.

At that point, Shraga announces on Alef and to a list of people, some of whom I don’t even know, “Two faked signatures on the pro Atzmon & Rizzo petition”
(Shraga Elam)
Of course, this is untrue, and I know it. I have been sent all the emails by the person collecting them for adding their name to the list. There is not a name on there that was not indicated by written request, and there are even some names who are NOT there because they told me or the two other guys who had something to do with it, “please add me to the list!” on a messenger, on the phone, in an SMS or in person and we have told them they have to do an email to the address indicated. Each name has an email evidence that it is authentic. And this is why I know that the names were not forged. When I said so, that there was no way that the signatures were forged and that he had to publicly announce this, Shraga spent all yesterday between pressuring people, insinutating that I was stubborn for not believing that he was right and that obviously someone had “taken over Hajo’s email”. He sent me a faked letter from Hajo’s address to show stupid me how it could be done, and he knows just who did it too! That nasty band of Germans, the Broder Gang, who are looking for an excuse to ruin good activists, and with this, they had found it!!!

I insisted again that I knew that Hajo had signed it and not only that, he had stated on phone to another person that he had signed it and stood by that. I mentioned this, so Shraga started sending a series of ever more aggressive emails to an ever-growing list of persons, as if the gang bullying could somehow make lies turn into truth.
But lies remain lies if that is what they are.
Not only did the two people sign, but there were some interesting events arising from all of this. The woman from Gush Shalom signed (and I will now omit using her name) but asked to be removed with this letter:
Excuse me, I see that I’ve signed this petition, I received by a friend ,Guenter Schenk, whom I trusted.
But I have forgotten totally. I’m 80 – so it is normal that the memory in this age is not the best for things 5 weeks ago ….
But I see that there are persons, blocks, internetsides I don’t know. Please delete my name from this petition, from all the blocks or internetsides – I don’t want any trouble.
This is my last word in this issue – please no more emails. There will be no more an answer to it. I have to do more important things than this unpleasant disbute.
name
So, without any problem or delay, her name was promptly removed. I cannot vouch for it on the 20 or so sites it is on, but the two “official ones” this site and Tlaxcala, where I have some control over content, have accommodated the request with no questions asked. I can understand her stress and nervousness. I have to go through this with Tony and Shraga on a nearly daily basis, and it is enough to test even nerves of steel. I thanked her for her hard work and wished her well.
But, it didn’t end there. Both Gilad and I received letters of support from this person. And, to make things more strange, Shraga (rather than apologise for the whole mess) simply blames this woman for “misleading him”, as if SHE is starting the mess and is the journalist! He could not tolerate her deceiving him and he actually pretends an apology from her! He also continued to spam her email box with stuff on this. Not only that, when informed of the supportive letters, he demanded we publish them. Amazing what Chutzpah. But he also writes a long and strange letterto Alef. continuing to accuse me Alef has a lot of readers, so the information got out. And this is what started to circulate on German activist lists (I am only reprinting the English section):
Shraga Elam recruits the notorious Neocon and Islamophobic Henryk M. Broder to pressure an 80 year old activist….
If we want to know what pressure is really about and how the gatekeepers use the worst sort of scare tactics just read the following:
Once Shraga Elam found names of two people he knows and believes he can influence on a petition **in support of Gilad Atzmon and Mary Rizzo, he sent them a smear letter with the lovely title that Mary Rizzo is a Judeophobe, connecting her to sites she does not write for, circulate or have anything to do with and suggesting the petition they signed was in support of anti-Semitic sites. Then in order to achieve the necessary results, Elam pulls in Henryk M. Broder, the notorious ultra-Zionist neocon so NAME, an 80 year old activist translator who lives in Germany, surrenders to his demands. Here are Shraga Elam’s words; “I told her (NAME) that such things might be very harmful if discovered by Broder and his fans, who are looking with a microscope for a pretext to attack peace activists. I mentioned the mean campaign led at the moment against the German journalist Ludwig Watzal by Broder and his gang, accusing him of being allegedly “Anti-Semite”. She asked what she could do and I said that she can withdraw her signature.”
For those who do not realise it yet, Elam the crypto-Zionist is acting as an ethnic campaigner and using tactics that are no different than those he is using, insinuation, misleading information and pressure to fear affiliation and claims that there will be something horrible to expect if she does not do as he thinks best (no pressure, he claims…) and actually does mount pressure on an elderly Palestinian solidarity activist. Elam is disgrace.

And… It doesn’t end there. There is indeed a conclusion to this second round of Public Lapidation. The other signatory that he has so far targeted….

This is the letter Hajo Meyer wrote:
To all of you who are spectators in this circus of insanity,

the text below starting with ‘dear friends’ is fully mine. I wrote it and I send it to Adib S. Kawar of Palestinesomoud. I signed the petition which you find attached. It was sent to me by my friend Guenter Schenk. There is not one word in it which I regret. When you find my name under any other text, that can only be stolen or faked.
Hajo G. Meyer

Dear friends,
For me, as a survivor of 10 month of Auschwitz, one thing is clear, there is a fundamental flaw in Zionism. At least in the form in which it expresses itself in political reality. It has not accepted one of the fundamental truths of the Enlightenment: the essential and fundamental equivalence of all human beings.
Therefore, due to this fundamental flaw, political Zionism in its present form will eventually perish. Unfortunately, you the Palestinians will have to mobilise a lot of somoud. So far, you have been able to show that you can do it. Don’t despair, the enlightened world is with you.

Dr Hajo G. Meyer, Heiloo, the Netherlands

Will Tony or Shraga admit they spent two days engaged in defamation and spreading lies and false information? That their witch hunting and gatekeeping and pressure campaigns is striking out against them rather than making them any more popular or helping the cause they pretend they support?

Don’t hold your breath!

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