Tag Archives: freedom

Occupy Houston – Official Site

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Occupy Houston activists demand FBI release assassination plot details We want to take a moment to thank everyone for your concerns regarding information released about the FBIs knowledge of assassination plans that targeted key participants in our movement.

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Occupy Houston – Official Site

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The dilemma of stable West Bank

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin is a member of Benjamin Netanyahus Likud party and his predominantly rightwing Cabinet. In a recent interview with The Economist, Elkin used the familiar tone of being conceited and oblivious to such notions as international or human rights and reaffirmed his rejection of a Palestinian state. Instead, Elkin wants Israel to annex a chunk of the West Bank. There is nothing new here; as such language is now official Israeli discourse. But one statement stood out, one that many Palestinians would find bewildering and exasperating. These days, said Elkin with a chuckle, the West Bank is the most stable part of the Middle East. The bewilderment would stem from the fact that the West Bank is an occupied Palestinian territory. Its population is held at gunpoint; they have no freedom and enjoy no rights. Their land is seized by force to make room for more settlements and illegal Jewish settlers, now numbering well passed the half million mark. Needless to say, the West Bank should not be stable. Instead, Palestinians should be leading their own revolution until they achieve their full rights and freedom. This is not a call for violence, but a natural human course. However, Palestinians are not rebelling. Many factors are holding them back, one of which is the very Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. Its troops are in constant security coordination with Israel. The PAs mission apparently is not to liberate Palestine, but to ensure the subservience of the Palestinians while Israel carries on with a colonial project that has extended for decades. Elkin knows this. Netanyahu himself, along with every Israeli official, understands that the PA, despite Mahmoud Abbas occasional attempts at appearing defiant and rebellious, is no threat to Israel, nor will it ever be. This will be so even if the US-imposed April 29 deadline for a framework agreement between the Israeli government and the PA passes and even if Abbas took the seemingly daring step of signing the applications to join 15 international organizations. Abbas and his men understand that there are red lines, which they cannot cross under any circumstances. Abbas may be weak, but he is clever. He knew that Kerrys peacemaking efforts would not go anywhere and that Netanyahu would find a way to thwart the process. If Abbas were lucky, Kerry could even blame Israel for derailing the peace process, as he already has. Then, Abbas would do what many would find reasonable; seek further international recognition for the state of Palestine. This might frustrate the Americans a little, anger the Israelis a lot, but it would give his supporters reason to promote the 79-year-old leader as another Yasser Arafat, heroic and defiant to the very end. The Israelis still need Abbas. He is important in maintaining stability in the West Bank. This means the continuing of the security coordination that ensures the safety of the armed settlers, providing an extra layer of protection to Israeli soldiers as they kill at will, seize more land, demolish homes and trees, erect walls, dig trenches and level mountains. So what if some imaginary state existed on papers in the files of some international body in Geneva or Brussels. For Israel, the law is that of its military, and reality is what is taking place in Area C, not in some European capital. This is why Elkin is chuckling. He is at ease, in the same way the Israeli political establishment is. Since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, a deal was struck between Israel and what became a pervasive, controlling and corrupt Palestinian political class. Israel maintained its military occupation, carried on with its colonial project and continued to disfigure the occupied territories in any way that it found consistent with its security needs. Palestinian elites were granted economic privileges and access that is denied to the vast majority of the Palestinians. The PAs constant challenge is to maintain a level of legitimacy. True, it uses its monopoly on force, which is readily sanctioned by Israel, in order to arrest, torture and kill resisting Palestinians when necessary. It uses the logic of trickledown economics to hold the bulk of Palestinians hostage to winning their daily bread. But that is not enough. It needs a brand to market itself as the exclusive harbinger of freedom for Palestinians. It uses slogans, flags and kuffiyas to promote that brand through its control of the media. Many PA supporters dance to that tune and playact that Abbas and only Abbas is capable of exacting the coveting liberation of Palestine from the obstinate hands of the Israeli prime minister. Palestinian officials are proficiently inflating Abbas image to ensure that Palestinians dont question the wisdom of their aging leader, after the latest and predictable failure of the peace process, which was never truly meant to succeed anyway. A Palestinian official spoke of Abbas refusal to heed a call by US Secretary of State John Kerry to halt applications to join international treaties. He claimed that Kerry warned Abbas of a strong (Israeli) response to Palestinian action. Abbas replied: Israels threats scare no one. They can do what they like. The words were repeated in Palestinian media. The Abbas image is being overstated once more. There is no space for those who question the mans credibility, legitimacy or failed methods. More posters of the old man are now erected in the occupied Palestinian towns. His latest antics will help perpetuate the myth that the PA is a platform for resistance, not capitulation. As long as the West Bank is stable, and as long as Abbas, and those that follow him continue to sell Palestinians old illusions of revolutions that never took place, and heroes that only exist on colored posters hung around the streets of Ramallah, Elkin will continue to chuckle. And as long as the West Bank is stable, Palestinians will never achieve their freedom, for submission achieves no rights; only resistance does.

– Ramzy Baroud (www.ramzybaroud.net) is an internationally-syndicated columnist. Email: [emailprotected]

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The dilemma of stable West Bank

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Ukrainians in Chicago threatened at public discussion – Video



Ukrainians in Chicago threatened at public discussion
On Saturday April 12, 2014 the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) organized an event “Stop U.S./NATO's New Cold War Over Ukraine” at UE Hall, Univers…

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Ukrainians in Chicago threatened at public discussion – Video

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Clinton plants seeds of doubt

Hillary plants a seed of doubt Speaking on the West Coast on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton once again was asked about whether shell run in 2016, but this time her answer contained a tiny seed of doubt. I am obviously flattered and deeply honored to have people ask me and people encourage me. And I am thinking about it, Clinton said in San Francisco, per NBCs Andrew Rafferty

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Clinton plants seeds of doubt

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I want to love Israel, but

I wear a Star of David around my neck, the same one that Israel uses to embellish its flag. I am proud to be Jewish, proud of Judaisms centuries-old tradition of resisting oppression a pride that Israel invariably insists it shares. I believe in equality, humanity, democracy and progress, the very same values Israel claims to uphold. It is due to my deeply held convictions that, while appreciating the ideal of Israel, I cannot but detest the reality of the settler-colonialist, ethnocentric, militarist state that occupies the land between the Jordan and the sea.

The invitation by Brown/RISD Hillel of Sgt. Benjamin Anthony, an Israel Defense Forces veteran and apologist for the occupation of Palestine, sparked a large protest that I was proud to participate in and help organize. Anthony is the embodiment of much of what is so terribly wrong with Israel today. His philosophy mirrors that of so many on the increasingly dominant Israeli right, which justifies unconditionally all of Israels actions based on an intellectually vacuous rhetoric of nationalism and duty to ones country. If history has taught us anything, it is that this type of discourse is exactly the perfect catalyst for atrocities.

Israel was founded in 1948 largely due to the horrendous crimes of the Holocaust. However, what followed was the brutal military dispossession of almost a million indigenous Palestinians of their land and the subsequent denial of their right to return, for which they and their descendants still fight today. This catastrophe is called the Nakba, and looms as large in Palestinian cultural memory as the events three years preceding it loom in Jewish collective memory. This campaign of incidental and purposeful cleansing of the land was the first step in ensuring an ethnically dominant Jewish population in Israel, a campaign that continues to the present day.

Israel was created as a state to allow Jews to escape persecution and anti-Semitism, and to live freely and proudly among equals. It is a tragic irony that the actions of this state have appropriated the identity of Jewishness while perpetrating atrocities in the name of the Jewish state. Many Jews in Israel and around the world are certainly not proud to be associated with military occupation and war crimes by virtue of the state that claims a monopoly on their religion, yet they do not believe they have had the freedom to express this fundamental dissent.

Moreover, Israels own policies and the prejudices of the dominant white Ashkenazi population do not allow all Jews to live in peace and equality, as darker-skinned Sephardi Jews are lucky if they pass, and the horrible reports of forced sterilization of black Ethiopian Jews immigrating to Israel are becoming far too frequent. By placing the star I wear around my neck on its flag, Israel attempts to speak in my name, and in the names of all Jewish people worldwide, while acting in ways that many of us not only vehemently oppose, but consider literally anti-Jewish.

Of course, Israels most egregious crimes are the occupation of the West Bank and the siege of Gaza. While the common stereotype propagated by Western media is that Palestinian resistance is violent, those committing violence on the Palestinian side make up a minuscule minority. Overwhelmingly, Palestinian resistance is nonviolent peaceful protest, resembling Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi far more than al-Qaeda.

However, these peaceful protests are brutally repressed by the IDFs rubber bullets, live bullets and tear gas canisters used as direct projectiles, with lethal consequences for those struggling for freedom and autonomy. Men, women and children are killed or arrested in the night and held without trial for months or years. Freedom of movement is restricted by countless checkpoints, where Palestinians are stopped for hours and humiliated on a daily basis. Many roads are only for Jewish settlers, who are able to harass and attack Palestinians with impunity. All these crimes against the very humanity of a people occur against the backdrop of a separation read: apartheid wall that not only steals Palestinian land, but looms as the most concrete representation of their status as unwelcome outsiders, dehumanized others.

My parents, fierce Zionists and Israeli nationalists, lived under the heavy mental, emotional and at times physical abuse of anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union. I was lucky enough to not have to experience any anti-Semitism in my life, as I grew up in the United States. Jews do not make up a majority of the United States, nor is ours a Jewish nation. Still, I and countless other American Jews are able to live as equals among equals, unafraid of discrimination and proud of our Judaism. This should serve as a lesson to Israel: It has no need to fear the demographic threat of the Palestinians, no need to brutally repress others so that Israeli Jews can enjoy freedom. Israels fear of Palestinian freedom will prove as baseless as the fears of white Southerners and South Africans for the survival of their populations once they were forced to stop their oppression of blacks.

While much reconciliatory work would need to be done to build a nation in which all people can live equally and with dignity, an end to the occupation and full equal rights for everyone will not doom Israel or preclude it from being a state safe and welcome for Jews. Rather, it will give a rebirth to Israels Judaism and create a Judaism that loves rather than hates, that accepts rather than discriminates. Israelis can confidently look to the sea and be assured that the Palestinians will not drive them into it. They will never return the favor.

I want to love Israel, as my parents do. I want to feel a connection to my peoples historic land. However, my peoples history is one of fiercely resisting oppression, not perpetrating it, of fighting for all that is right, not defending all that is wrong. I want to love Israel, but first Israel has to learn to love itself enough to accept all people as equals between the Jordan and the sea.

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I want to love Israel, but

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Foreign Ministry says no plans to alter NATO cooperation format

April 2, 2014 – 14:32 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net – Armenia has no intention to change current cooperation format with NATO, Foreign Ministry spokesman said, commenting on reported plans to boost ties with the Alliance.

Armenia has certain formats of the NATO cooperation, and were not going to expand or alter those, ITAR-TASS quoted Tigran Balayan as saying.

Spiegel Online obtained a NATO document on practical steps to develop cooperation with Moldova, Armenia and Azerbaijan, Russia Today reported. The paper details the Alliances plans for the partners support in the region. NATOs short-term goal stipulates for promotion of stability in the Eastern Europe in the context of current developments. Besides, to be considered are possibilities to increase compatibility between the armies of NATO member states and those of countries listed, which probably means holding joint drills and military training, Spiegel notes.

Individual programs are envisaged for each of the 3 countries. A liaison officer will be dispatched to Kishinev; energy and cybersecurity cooperation will be boosted with Azerbaijan, with increase of qualification of the armed forces personnel as a priority in Armenia.

As NATO Liaison Officer for the Caucasus stated at the Yerevan-hosted international conference titled NATOs Partnerships and the South Caucasus: A Strategic Approach to Regional Security in March, any country of the Caucasus region can become a NATO member.

According to William Lahue, NATO builds cooperation based on the rule of law and democracy, while valuing the freedom of every country in the Alliance.

Lahue criticized Russias actions on Ukraine as a threat to the stability in the Caucasus as well as North Atlantic regions.

He further welcomed Armenia as an important NATO partner, hailing the countrys adherence to obligations to the Alliance. Armenia is the only CSTO country participating in the NATO operations. Its an impotent factor allowing to combine different approaches, especially in the light of disagreements between the CSTO and NATO member states, Lahue said.

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Foreign Ministry says no plans to alter NATO cooperation format

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Do unto us, what we did unto Japan

What is abundantly clear is that there is NO IMPARTIALITY, NO TRANSPARENCY, NO FAIR PLAY and NO FAIR HEARING inside the halls of the UNHRC and a UNHRC head that does not say a word against US, UK and NATO crimes or even call for international investigations against them but goes after Sri Lanka showing her bias and vindictive agenda.

What countries like Japan may like to remember is how Sri Lanka defended Japan in 1951 so much to say that Sri Lanka announced that we would NOT REQUEST WAR REPARATIONS after World War because Sri Lanka wanted to allow Japan to rebuild itself.

This was a magnanimous gesture from Sri Lanka to Japan. Japan voted against Sri Lanka in 2012 and abstained in 2013.

In this hour of need it would be nice for countries to view the allegations and seek clarifications against the lies and hyped up media attention.

Tamil militant groups

To Japan that has been involved through the terror period, it is nice that Japan shows leadership.

Sri Lanka defended Japan at the Peace Treaty of San Francisco its Japans turn to reciprocate

On September 8, 1951, 51 nations gathered at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco to officially end World War 2 and to formally end Japans position as an imperial power, and to allocate compensation to Allied civilians and former prisoners of war who had suffered Japanese war crimes. Powerful nations objected to Japan being set up as a US military base and coercing Japans to align to the West. Japan, would recall that it was little Sri Lanka that defended Japan before all the nations present and went a step forward by declaring that Sri Lanka would not accept any reparations from Japan as that would affect Japans economy. In Japans darkest hour and when Japan needed a friend, Sri Lanka came forward in 1951 without strings attached. Japan, with its history, ancient culture and Buddhist identity must realize the predicament Sri Lanka is in to come to Sri Lankas defence as Sri Lanka did when Japan needed support.

Sri Lanka was represented by J R Jayewardene as Finance Minister. His speech received resounding applause and was extensively quoted and appreciated. Excerpts from that speech are given below:

It was at the Colombo Conference of Commonwealth Foreign Ministers held in January, 1950, that for the first time the case for a completely independent Japan was proposed and considered. The Colombo Conference considered Japan not as an isolated case, but as part of the region known as South and Southeast Asia, containing a large proportion of the worlds wealth and population, and consisting of countries which have only recently regained their freedom, whose people were still suffering as a result of centuries of neglect. Two ideas emerged from that Conference – one, that of an independent Japan, and the other, the necessity for the economic and social development of the peoples of South and South-east Asia, to ensure which, what is now known as the Colombo Plan was launched. The treaty now before us is the result of those consultations and negotiations. It represents some of the views that my Government had The main idea that animated the Asian countries, Ceylon, India and Pakistan, in their attitude to Japan was that Japan should be free. Should reparations be exacted from Japan? If so, the amount. How is Japan to defend herself until she organizes her own defence?………… We feel that the allied matters I mentioned earlier are not insoluble if Japan is free, that they are insoluble if Japan is not free

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Do unto us, what we did unto Japan

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Air Force One travel breaks the bank – Video



Air Force One travel breaks the bank
Each hour of presidential travel on Air Force One costs taxpayers $228000, according to the National Taxpayer Union Federation. The group filed a Freedom of….

By: worldnewsstoday

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Air Force One travel breaks the bank – Video

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Defendants: Gay-marriage ruling could allow other unions

By Bill Sizemore The Virginian-Pilot March 29, 2014

Defendants in a trailblazing gay marriage case filed papers Friday with a federal appeals court asserting that overturning Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban could open the door to other types of marital unions – between two brothers, for example.

The filings were the first in a series of pleadings before the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the wake of U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen’s decision last month striking down the state’s constitutional amendment that limits marriage to unions between a man and a woman.

Wright Allen delayed implementation of her decision pending the outcome of the appeal.

Attorneys for Norfolk Circuit Court Clerk George Schaefer, one of the defendants in the case, argued Friday that Wright Allen’s decision could have unintended consequences.

“Same-sex marriage proponents want to open the door of marriage for their benefit and then slam it shut behind them. But, it will not be long before other groups come knocking,” Schaefer’s attorneys, David Oakley and Jeffrey Brooke of Chesapeake, wrote.

“For example, if the definition of marriage is no longer based on procreation or the ability to procreate naturally, then what is the purpose in prohibiting marriage between persons of close kinship? Would it then be unconstitutional for two brothers who are confirmed bachelors and live together to marry so that they could reown property as tenants by the entireties, file joint tax returns, qualify for health benefits, and obtain better insurance rates?”

Tim Bostic and Tony London, a Norfolk couple, sued Schaefer when his office refused to issue them a marriage license last year. Two additional plaintiffs, Carol Schall and Mary Townley of Chesterfield County, joined the case later, seeking to have their 2008 marriage in California recognized by Virginia.

Prince William County Circuit Court Clerk Michele McQuigg joined the case on the defendants’ side, seeking to have the state’s gay marriage ban upheld. She is represented by attorneys from the Alliance Defending Freedom, a national Christian legal ministry.

Redefining marriage in Virginia conveys the message that “the Commonwealth is indifferent to whether children are raised by both their mother and father,” McQuigg’s attorneys wrote.

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Defendants: Gay-marriage ruling could allow other unions

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Obama says NATO needs to boost presence in eastern Europe

BRUSSELS: NATO needs to boost its presence in eastern European countriesthat feel vulnerable toRussiaafter its annexation of Crimea, US PresidentBarack Obamasaid on Wednesday.

Some defense experts have said the Crimea crisis could put NATO membership forUkraineand Georgia back on the agenda, but Obama said neither country was on a path to NATO membership and there were no immediate plans to expand the 28-member alliance.

Russias annexation of Ukraines Crimea region has made newer NATO members ineastern Europe, particularly in the Baltics, nervous about a newly assertive Moscow.

On atrip to Europethis week, Obama has been at pains to reassure these countries that the United States and the rest of NATO would defend them if they were ever attacked.

Speaking after a summit with EU leaders in Brussels, Obama said NATO foreign ministers meeting next week should make sure the alliance had up-to-date contingency plans to defend all allies, including those in central and eastern Europe.

NATO should also do more to ensure it puts in place a regular NATO presence among states that feel vulnerable to Russian pressure, Obama said.

He gave no details, but said: I think there are ways that we can do that that can be accommodated by our existing assets.

U.S. officials have said the Pentagon will more than double the number of US fighter jets on a NATO air patrol mission in the Baltic and do more training with Polands air force as it strives to reassure allies alarmed by the crisis inUkraine.

NATO Secretary-GeneralAnders FoghRasmussen, criticizing Russias reckless and illegal military actions in Ukraine, said he agreed with Obamas call for additional measures to enhance our collective defense, including updated and further developed defense plans, enhanced exercises, and appropriate deployments.

Freedom isnt tree

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Obama says NATO needs to boost presence in eastern Europe

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