How Human Rights Watch lost its way in Lebanon (via information clearing house) By Jonathan Cook : The measure of a human rights organisation is to be found not just in the strides it takes to seek justice for the oppressed and victimised but also in the compromises it makes to keep itself out of trouble. Because of the business that human rights defenders are in, they must be held to a standard higher than we demand of others. Unfortunately, one of the best -- Human Rights Watch -- has failed that test during the war in Lebanon this summer. To its credit, HRW has risked much opprobrium for taking Israel to task for systematically breaking international law during its assault on Lebanon. That has culminated in a predictable campaign of harassment by pro-Israel organisations in the US -- as well as by the usual suspects like Alan Dershowitz -- that have accused its researchers of libelling Israel and being anti-Semitic. Such attacks reached an obscene pitch after HRW’s executive director, Kenneth Roth, observed in publicity material accompanying a recent report that Israel appeared to have treated south Lebanon as a “free-fire zone” and that its strikes had failed to distinguish between civilians and Hizbullah fighters.
Government suspends Al-Arabiya TV over sectarian violence claim : The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the decision of the Iraqi government today to close the Baghdad bureau of the Dubai-based satellite channel Al-Arabiya for one month. The station reported that police entered its Baghdad offices to halt operations after the cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered the suspension. Al-Arabiya Executive Editor Nabil Khatib told CPJ the channel received a government statement that said its coverage was fomenting “sectarian violence and war in Iraq,” without providing evidence. “We have never been notified by the government, officially or verbally, that we are violating any clause or any law in Iraq,” Khatib said. The U.S.-backed government in Iraq has a history of banning news outlets, threatening and harassing journalists and bringing criminal prosecutions against the media.
Army Faces Rising Number of Roadside Bombs in Iraq (via media watch) Roadside bombs in Iraq rose to record numbers this summer -- to about four times as many as in January 2004 -- as tips from Iraqi citizens warning of the bombs and attacks have dropped sharply amid a flaring of sectarian violence, according to a senior U.S. defense official.
Palestinians forced to scavenge for food on rubbish dumps (independent) The Israeli military and economic siege of Gaza has led to a collapse in Palestinian living conditions and many people only survive by looking for scraps of food in rubbish dumps, say international aid agencies. "The pressure and tactics have not resulted in a desire for compromise," Karen Abuzayd, the head of the UN Relief and Works Agency is said to have warned. "But rather they have created mass despair, anger and a sense of hopelessness and abandonment."
Classical Connection : Your home for out-of-print classical music.
MediaWatchWatch : was set up in January 2005 in reaction to the religious campaign against the BBC's broadcasting of Jerry Springer: the Opera. We keep an eye on those groups and individuals who, in order to protect their beliefs from offence, seek to limit freedom of expression.
this is doin it for me today : Henry & Louis Meet Blue and Red Time Will Tell (116 mb RS 320 kbps no PW) this is the real dubstep business
2 x short 'Time Trumpet' Compilations
The BBC has been accused of lacking ‘backbone’ after pulling a controversial episode of Time Trumpet. The corporation had previously defended Armando Iannucci’s satire when it was attacked over its ‘sick’ and ‘disgraceful’ content, including mock footage of a plane crashing into the Houses of Parliament, below, and a photograph of an assassinated Tony Blair. When the Daily Mail and MPs raised the protest earlier this month, the BBC said: ‘The scenarios are so ludicrous that viewers will immediately recognise them as satire’. However, the corporation dropped Thursday’s edition focussing on terrorism, and containing some of the controversial sketches, from the BBC Two schedules. They said ‘Our concern, at this state of heightened alert, is for viewers who do not know what to expect and misunderstand the show.’ But the Independent On Sunday’s media diary column today asked: ‘Is the BBC backing down in the face of terrorism? What backbone.’ And Iannucci used his Observer column to complain about media hysteria and hypersensitivity about terrorism.
For Gaza's students, classes by 'remote control' (Haaretz) Tomorrow, more than 250 academics and lecturers from universities throughout Israel will submit a petition to the prime minister and the defense minister demanding that students from the Gaza Strip be permitted to attend institutions of higher learning in the West Bank, based on the outcome of individual security examinations.
Israel begins new settlement push : (bbc) The Israeli government says it plans to build 700 new homes in two settlement blocs in the occupied West Bank.
"The Palestinians don't fight the Israelis because they are antisemitic, anti-white, anti-western, or any other such thing. The Israeli historian Benny Morris summed up the conflict in terms of the dispossession and displacement of the Palestinians from their lands. When one strips away from the conflict all the propaganda and the myths that surround it, that is what remains"... - Norman Finkelstein, Professor of Political Theory at DePaul University, Chicago. Cited by information:montreal-palestine
Letter to the Organizers of the 10th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale : We the undersigned groups and organizations request that the Venice Biennale cancel the country exhibition of Israel entitled “LIFE SAVER - Typology of Commemoration in Israel - Architecture and Society” for the following reasons..."
List of collective massacres perpetrated by Israeli Army in its attack against Lebanon in summer 2006
Adams to 'share experience' (Guardian) Gerry Adams, the leader of Sinn Féin, is due to fly to the Middle East today to meet Hamas representatives and lend his support to the search for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. The MP for West Belfast was invited by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas. Hamas, which emerged as the strongest party in the Palestinian elections in January, is banned in the EU and the US, where it is deemed to be a terrorist organisation.
Jazz on Bones: X-Ray Sound Recordings : In the USSR and Eastern Europe in the 1950s underground night spots would play music pirated from the west. The only media they had were recorders etched into discarded X-ray film...
Strike shows political divisions in Gaza : Thousands of unpaid teachers began the Palestinian school year with a strike that shut down schools across the West Bank and Gaza, as Hamas deployed armed men around schools to try to persuade teachers and students to attend.
'Last permit' stamped in three languages : by Amira Hass - Last Tuesday, August 29, the American-Palestinian business community got a clear message that hope for their "immunity" from the new Israeli policy was false. Sam Bahour, a founder of the first shopping mall in Ramallah and an economic consultant to international development organizations, went to the Civil Administration in Beit El to get his visa extended. For 14 years he has lived on a tourist visa in Ramallah where his family has resided for generations. In fact, the visa in his American passport was renewed this time too, but only for a month instead of three. Moreover, the official wrote on the stamp in long hand in three languages "last permit." In one month, he would have to leave his home, his family and his friends in Ramallah. Bahour wrote a letter that was circulated on the Internet. "If I only had the e-mail of the multilingual occupation soldier that wrote 'last permit' on my visa, I would send him the attached pictures of my two girls, Areen, 12, and Nadine, 6. I wonder if his/her children look any different on the first day of school," Bahour wrote. He ended the letter with thanks to those who had assisted him and the Israeli friends "who understand that those being denied entry are those that have come to build bridges, not walls. We have come to invest and create a new reality - a reality that ends this racist occupation and brings a brighter future, a joint future, to both Palestinian and Israeli children."
The computer spy that steals your passwords and credit details (sunday times) interesting piece about Russian websites offering stolen cyber profiles for sale for as little as £1
Kidnap claim ‘shows media bias’ : (sunday herald) The Scottish media is as “institutionally racist” today as the Metropolitan Police was at the time of the murder of the black teenager Stephen Lawrence. That is the scathing opinion of the friends and family of Misbah Rana, the 12-year-old girl from Stornoway wrongly identified to the world last week as Molly Campbell and wrongly reported to have been abducted by her father in order to be forced into a marriage with a man twice her age.
Arab Americans and the Conflict in Lebanon (Npr Radio) The recent violence in the Middle East, pitting Israeli forces against Hezbollah militants in Lebanon, has prompted many American Jews and Arab Americans to relect on their allegiances. In the second of a series, Arab Americans speak to the issues. Guests: Osama Siblani, publisher of the Arab American News in Detroit | Bassam Haddad, St. Joseph's University, Political Science Department
Jan Egeland, the UN's humanitarian co-ordinator, said that the people of Gaza were "living in a cage".
Anti-Arab Racism, Islam, and the Left : (MR ZINE) Rami El-Amine - Racism against Arabs and Muslims long preceded the 9-11 terrorist attacks and has much of its roots in Western imperialism in the Middle East, especially Israel's colonization of Palestine. Yet, the escalation that we witness today can be traced to the war on terror launched after 9-11 by Bush and his neoconservative ideologues with the backing of the Democrats. Anti-Arab/anti-Muslim racism has helped sell the detentions, wars, gulags, and occupations of US imperialism's latest and boldest venture into the Middle East and South Asia. In turn, this imperial venture has further inflamed racist views of Arabs and Muslims.
TORTOISE - A LAZARUS TAXON (2006) (RS downloads) New compilation of Rare Tracks from Tortoise
New Ubuntu released : Ubuntu is a complete Linux-based operating system, freely available with both community and professional support. It is developed by a large community and we invite you to participate too!