Pulse Media


Seven to one


UN records 7 incidents of IDF soldiers attempting to drive Palestinian farmers away from border fence by shooting at them. Only one offence marked against Palestinians for firing on Sderot; report does not include most recent rocket fire.

Ok. Seven to two then.


Two days after first rocket attack since truce agreement, another Qassam fired from Gaza into Sderot. No injuries or damage reported; Fatah's military wing claims responsibility. Hamas spokesman says Israel's refusal to reopen crossings constitutes violation of ceasefire

Wow. So no doubt the next step is for Fatah to be placed on the evil list by Israel, US and EU.
No violation by Hamas, I note. Just this:

Hamas wants quiet in Gaza: Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh called Friday on Palestinian factions to adhere to the Gaza Strip lull agreement with Israel.

"The factions and the people accepted the lull in order to secure two interests – an end to aggression and the lifting of the siege. Therefore, we hope that everyone honors this national agreement," he said following Friday prayers.

Earliar Friday, two mortar shells were fired at Israel from the northern Gaza Strip. One landed near Kibbutz Kfar Aza in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council, and the second one hit an open area. There were no reports of injuries or damage in the latest violation of the fragile ceasefire.

So as of Friday, that comes to Seven to three. After Israel closed Gaza. Eight to three? This could go on for ever!

Colonialism then, colonialism now

In reality, Bemba was arrested for challenging and threatening French authority. For over 40 years, the French government involved itself in the CAR's political affairs; the French army has helped install dictator after dictator in that country since CAR's independence from France in 1960 (Hari, 2007). CAR has strong ties with its former coloniser, France and for many years it was reported that France had a 1 200-strong garrison based in CAR. It is that same garrison that engineered changes of government over the years or that supported the government of the day to quell dissent, given that the governments of the day kow-towed to France's agenda.

The French government never forgave Bemba for questioning and challenging their authority in the CAR. This is why Bemba is the only war-thug being sent to jail for sending his goons to kill innocent civilians in a foreign country. Bemba did exactly what the French army has been doing to the CAR since that country's independence. Uganda and Rwanda did the same thing in the DRC, when they invaded that country in 1998, triggering a civil war that killed more than 3 million people.

Democracy Now! 26/06/2008
(see also liste de partage on left for video)

For example, the statement condemning or questioning the Zimbabweans elections emerged from Swaziland, a South African nation that is one of the last absolute monarchies on this small planet. Some might well question why isn’t Swaziland’s human rights situation being interrogated and investigated? A scant year ago in Nigeria, the continent’s giant, you had shambolic elections, had hundreds killed yet that barely registered a blip on the international media. At least not in the North Atlantic. Many talk, perhaps understandably, about the fact the President Mugabe has served as President since 1980, but what about Omar Bongo of Gabon, a close ally of the U.S, an oil-rich country in West Africa, which of course, he has served as president since 1967? 13 years before Mugabe came into power. I mean, I could go on in this vain, but I think the fact that thousands were killed in Zimbabwe in the 1980’s and yet, he received a virtual knighthood from Queen Elizabeth and received an honorary degree from Massachusetts, and yet, today in 2008, he is a subject of international scorn after of course he expropriates some white farmers, really speaks of profound racism in terms of how this issue has been covered in the North Atlantic media.

More than that, if the situation in Zimbabwe is so terrible, and I agree it is, why is it that the Bush administration continues to send undocumented Zimbabwe workers back to Zimbabwe? There’s been talk about a so- called genocide unfolding in Zimbabwe, yet, you see the Gordon Brown administration in London not giving asylum to Zimbabwe workers who are exiled now in London. We talk about the Mugabe regime, but just the other day it was revealed that Anglo American, the major transnational corporation with close South African ties and headquarters in London, is about to make a $400 million investment in Zimbabwe. Barclay’s bank is in Zimbabwe. Rio Tinto-Zinc, the major mineral conglomerate is in Zimbabwe.
It is of course right to criticise Robert Mugabe and to call for an end to his regime. No doubt many people are also happy about the arrest of Jean-Pierre Bemba as well. It is, however, important for the role of the (ex-) colonial powers and the imperialist powers of today to be brought into the public discussion, especially in an age of so-called 'humanitarian' intervention. It is utterly wrong that countries such as France, Britain should be able to pass for (albeit sometimes weak) sympathetic ex-colonisers (or the benevolant world cop) who simply want to defend democracy to Africa. Not only for moral reasons, but especially in light of imperialist intervention in Afghanistan and Irak, possible intervention in Iran (perhaps through the Israeli proxy) and calls for intervention in Africa (as if they didn't already intervene in their 'ex'-colonies!).


Robert Mugabe get's off lightly

Democracy Now!
(See Liste de partage on left for video)

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe: “Raising a lot of noise for nothing, absolutely nothing. We will proceed with our elections. The verdict is our verdict. Other people can say what they want, but the elections are ours. We are a sovereign state, and that is it."

The Queen of Great Britain has stripped the despot of his knighthood.

Israeli incursion, assasination - Islamic Jihad rockets

After the IDF killed two palestinian militants in Nablus, Islamic Jihad fired rockets on Sderot. Two were lightly wounded and two others treated for shock.

Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas official, responded to the attacks by urging "all Palestinian factions to abide by the calm agreement," adding: "Hamas is keen to maintain the deal."

Israel then proceded to close the border with Gaza and to launch an attack in the strip, according to palestinian medical sources.

Islamic Jihad's threat of renewed Qassam fire cam after it accused Israeli troops of shooting a Palestinian farmer as he worked his field in the village of Khuza, near the Gaza border.

Palestinian medical officials said the man was wounded in the leg but there was no independent confirmation that he had been shot by Israeli forces. In Tel Aviv, an Israeli military spokeswoman said she had no knowledge of any such incident.

Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad denounced the Israeli raid in Nablus

Fayyad said the raid was "an example of the kind of activity that has to stop and stop immediately and promptly," adding that such actions were hindering the peace talks. "Clearly everything is related to everything else," he said.


The great Emir Kusturica brilliantly illustrates the intertwinement of religion and nationalism


"My father was an atheist and he always described himself as a Serb. OK, maybe we were Muslim for 250 years, but we were orthodox before that and deep down we were always Serbs, religion cannot change that. We only became Muslims to survive the Turks."
Oh! what marvelous schizophrenic madness...


A respected newspaper publishes ignorant drivel by well-known ignoramus Dersh O' Witz


Remember Sirhan Sirhan?

I know I know, I'm a week late with this one but I didn't read much about this last week. I did hear something on Radio 4 about the Robert Kennedy assassination but that was it. Of course there would have been more coverage in America about the killing of a US presidential hopeful than there was in the UK so let that be my excuse. I actually remember the killing of Bobby Kennedy when it happened. I doubt if I saw it live but I remember seeing it on tv back in 1968. I remember how they described the killer as a "Jordanian". Years later I assumed that they were simply keeping the word "Palestinian" out of the media's and therefore the public's vocabulary.

Anyway, I wouldn't normally be too bothered with this but for
Ben White blogging the Boston Globe seeking a scholars' opinions on what happened those 40 years ago and why. One such scholar was Alan Dershowitz (uh oh!).
"I thought of it as an act of violence motivated by hatred of Israel and of anybody who supported Israel," said Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor who had worked on Kennedy's campaign as a volunteer adviser on gun-control policy. "It was in some ways the beginning of Islamic terrorism in America. It was the first shot. A lot of us didn't recognize it at the time."
It is interesting that more wasn't made of the background and the motivation of Sirhan Sirhan and you can look at the rest of the article to see the inaction of for example the ADL over that. But look at these letters to the Globe following Dershowitz's "analysis".

I WAS dismayed that Alan Dershowitz referred to Sirhan Sirhan's assassination of Robert F. Kennedy as the "beginning of Islamic terrorism in America" ("Slaying gave US a first taste of Mideast terror," Page A1, June 5).

Sirhan, a Christian Palestinian immigrant, said he was angry at Kennedy because he supported Israel in the 1967 war over the rights of the Palestinians. This was an instance of one Christian killing another Christian for political, not religious, reasons.

Why does Dershowitz conflate Palestinian with Islamic, other than to spread fear of Muslims? I think it is for a similar reason that he equates Israel with Judaism. Therefore, any criticism of Israel's policies toward Palestinians can be denounced as anti-Semitic.


ATTEMPTS TO spin the tragic assassination of Robert Kennedy as a prelude to today's problems between the United States and the Middle East collapse under the weight of the facts.

Alan Dershowitz's suggestion that a 40-year-old crime committed by a lone gunman - a Christian Arab who moved to the United States at age 12 - could be plausibly counted as "the beginning of Islamic terrorism in America" strains credulity. This is as absurd as Ayman al-Zawahiri's claim that the modern state of Israel is a direct extension of the medieval Crusades. Such illogical readings of the past do nothing to advance the mutual understanding between peoples that is so urgently required in today's world.


What is very strange about Dershowitz's scholarly view on islamist terror by a Christian is that the article mentions that Sirhan Sirhan was a Christian. Why didn't the writer correct Dershowitz? Why did the writer run his quote at all? It's a funny old globe.

I don't fully agree with the second letter. Maybe zionism isn't a direct extension of the crusades but it is a bit of a re-run.


Alan Greenspan : an expert on human nature

Monestary in colonised territories to be 'anschlussed' by Israel

Cremisan Cellars News

Sunday, 8th June 2008

Bad year for wine-making monks as Israeli wall keeps workers from vineyard

By Kurt Bayer

FOR 120 years, generations of Christian monks have peacefully cultivated the land surrounding the Cremisan monastery in the hills above Bethlehem – hewing terraces out of the rocky slopes to create Palestine's only vineyard. The monks have combined traditional Italian methods of wine-making with organic viticulture fitting the harsh conditions of the Holy Land, to create distinctive red and white wines and provide vital income for the families of those who labour in the vineyards.

But this idyllic monastery will soon be swallowed up by Israel when the next phase of the controversial Israeli West Bank barrier is completed over the next three months.

Cremisan wine already carries the label of being a "product of Israel" because Palestine is not a recognised wine-producing country – and now, because of the new border, it will officially become a part of Israel. The monks' land on the outskirts of Bethlehem borders a road that connects Jerusalem with Jewish settlements. They have looked on helplessly as the Israelis continue to pursue construction of the 26-foot concrete wall as part of the 280- mile security barrier started in 2002 to keep out Palestinian suicide bombers.

Bulldozers have already ripped out hundreds of pine trees surrounding the vineyards and, according to a spokesman for the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem, which monitors Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, foundations have already been dug and the infrastructure is in place so that the wall can be completed within "two to three months".

Amer Kardosh, general manager of the vineyard, stressed: "We do not want to be in Israel. We are Palestinians, but we have no choice. The wall will separate us from Palestine and our people."

The Italian Catholic monastery produces around 200,000 litres a year of some 30 different labels of wine.

Now a group that coordinates the Stop the Wall campaign has said that placing the monastery in Israeli territory would deprive about 40 families from Bethlehem and the village of Al Walaja of one of the main sources of income. It would also force the monks to abandon several projects working with poor and underprivileged Christian children from Bethlehem.

A spokesman for the monks said: "We cannot oppose the wall. It is not our duty to complain or demonstrate and we wish to maintain an equidistant position. Our wine production has decreased considerably in the past few years and now will drop even further, because we will have difficulty in finding workers.

"Palestinians were working here, but with the wall, the road which leads to our monastery will be blocked and the Israeli authorities are already issuing very few working permits."

The plight of the monks and their historic vineyard, caught in the crossfire of the Arab- Israeli conflict, is symbolic of the dilemma facing all Palestinian Christians.

In 1948, Christians accounted for 20% of the West Bank population. But now, there are just 30,000 left in the West Bank, Gaza, and east Jerusalem, making up only 1.5% of the total population.

An estimated 230,000 Arab Christians have emigrated since the establishment of the state of Israel 60 years ago and the numbers are growing.

One Christian Palestinian guide said: "No one in the West knows we exist and what we go through. When I meet Americans and I tell them I am a Christian, they cannot believe it. They ask when we became Christians. They have no idea.

"We feel abandoned and shunned by the Western Christian churches who pray for Israel. The Muslims, the Jews, they both hate us. That is the reality."


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The Irish hold the fate of Europe in their hands...or so we are told


"IT MAKES me feel as though I have been spat on. It makes me feel that they have nothing but contempt for the voters. It is as if we didn't vote, our votes don't count, our opinions don't count and we are being told, ‘Just shut up and let the technocrats get on with it.'"


In Rome a summit on food where farmers are unwelcome is under way

Farmers bringing message to the Food Crisis Summit in Rome
"Stop corporate control over food!"
Rome, Italy, 3 June 2008
videos on
Farmer and civil society leaders carrying out a peaceful action today in
Rome, Italy at the FAO Summit on the Food Crisis were forcefully removed from
the premises. At around 1:30pm farmers and representatives of civil society
organisations staged an action at the press room to deliver a message that
millions of additional people are joining the ranks of the hungry as the
corporations that control the global food system are making record profits.
The issues of corporate control and speculation, which are leading causes of
recent spikes in food prices, are not being discussed by the government
delegations and the international agencies meeting in Rome to debate solutions
to the crisis.
"We are outraged that such fundamental aspects of the food
crisis were nowhere on the agenda for the Summit," says Paul Nicholson, member
of the International Coordinating Committee of Via Campesina and one of the
farmer leaders who was expelled from the Summit.
The 10 people involved in
the action carried posters contrasting the record profits of agribusiness
corporations during the lastest reporting financial quarter of 2008 with the
estimated 100 million people in the world who now, alongside 800 million or so
others, are hungry because they cannot afford to eat. Profits for Monsanto, the
world's largest seed company, were up 108 per cent, while Cargill and Archer
Daniel Midlands, the world's largest food traders, registered profit increases
of 86 and 42 per cent respectively. Profits for Mosaic, one of the world's
largest fertiliser companies, rose 1,134 per cent.
The action was necessary
to bring to the world's attention that the main causes of the world food crisis
are not being dealt with and that the world's food producers-- the farmers,
fisherfolk, agricultural workers and indigenous people-- have been shut out of
the discussion. In previous high-level FAO events, civil society was given more
space to express its views and to have a dialogue with the delegates. For this
Summit, civil society was blocked from meaningful participation in the
preparation and in the event itself.
"We are concerned that this Summit will
only reinforce corporate control of the food system and lead to a further
destruction of the way of life of indigenous peoples and their survival,"
says Saul Vicente Vasquez of the International Indian Treaty Council and
one of the supporters of the action. "It is time for indigenous people and other
food producers to take charge of food policy."
Those involved in the action
have been meeting with other civil society organisations at the Terra Preta*
civil society forum, parallel to the FAO Summit.
A video of the action and
the suppression of the action will soon be available on During
the action, the security guards seized a banner reading: "Stop corporate control
over food!".
For further information about the action, please
Isabelle Delforge: +39 349 161 0296
Henk Hobbelink: +34 639
*Information about Terra Preta and a statement from the forum can be
found at


Bush administration arrogance reaches new heights

Democracy Now!

US Shuns Rivals at Food Conference

Meanwhile, the Bush administration has announced it won’t hold any talks with representatives from Venezuela, Zimbabwe and Iran at the summit. US Agricultural Secretary Ed Schafer said the countries are welcome at the meeting but would not be recognized.

U.S. Agricultural Secretary Ed Schafer: “First of all, if their presence here overshadows the work of this esteemed body, I guess that will be up to the people in this room, including you. So, you know, that will make the difference here, what the news is. So we ask that you keep the focus on the work that’s being done by the body. Nobody from the US delegation will be meeting with the countries you mentioned, and we’re glad they’re here. We appreciate the opportunity for dialogue, but it is our position that we will not meet with them.”

Meanwhile, other 'western' leaders expressed outrage at the presence of Robert Mugabe and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Incidentally, Mugabe's presence at UN summits is an exception to the EC ban on him:

European Commission


From time to time there are meetings in Europe or elsewhere which you can’t stop somebody going to. There’s a general agreement, for example, that if there’s a discussion on human rights or democracy or if there’s an important UN conference then in these sort of circumstances you let people go. But Mr Mugabe is at present, I think, in Cuba and is proposing to fly back through Madrid, and he won’t be able to stop off and go and stay at his favourite four or five-star hotel while he’s there. These aren’t the most major things that the European Union could do, but they are things which I think will make a bit of a difference, will make people understand the extent of the world’s disapproval for what has become a particularly nasty regime.

Paradoxically, the US probably won't have a problem talking to President Lula of Brazil, a left-wing ally of Chavez in Latin America. The reason, of course, is the agreement of the US and Brazil on biofuel which is a far more important potential cause of world-wide hunger than Mugabe, however much of a thug he is with his own people. First world leaders' apparent outrage regarding the presence of localised dictators (or indeed a democratically-elected leader such as Chavez) at the FAO summit reflects their obscene hypocrisy. First world military powers and their clients murder many times more innocent people around the world than these so called evil leaders put together. It is true of invasions and bombardments but also of agricultural and trade practices.

Via Campesina at the FAO summit in Rome

Via Campesina

FAO opening: Via Campesina farmers to the heads of states: Time to change food policies!
Tuesday, 03 June 2008
Press Release

(Rome, 3 June 2008) Now that the FAO expects that hunger will affect an extra 100 million people by the end of the year, heads of states and leaders from around the world are gathering in Rome for the FAO "High-Level Conference on World Food Security: the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy".
The international peasant's movement Via Campesina welcomes this sudden high level interest in food and agriculture production, but reminds governments and international institutions that the current climate and food crises are not the result of any sudden natural disaster. They are the fruit of decades of policies of trade « liberalisation » and of the vertical integration of production, processing and distribution by corporate agriculture.
Therefore, governments today have to take full responsibility for the current crisis and take resolute actions to solve it.
Even though they produce food, most family farmers suffer from the current high food prices alongside urban workers. Many of them do not own the land they farm, they produce for export or to pay off they debt, so essentially they work as agricultural labourers.

For decades, countries have been forced to open their markets and import food. They have lost their capacity to feed themselves which has made them excessively dependent on the world market's prices. This has contributed to the recent hunger riots in various parts of the world.

Under the principle of « free trade », food is now considered a commodity like any other, subject to profiteering and financial speculation. The current price hikes are mainly due to speculation by major traders and investors because food production is now competing with agrofuels, which worsen the crisis, as does climate change.

Moreover, governments have dismantled the agrarian policies that sustained food production and instead have supported transnational companies producing seeds, pesticides, fertilisers and food to strengthen their control over the food chain. The development of industrial agriculture has destroyed the environment, overexploited soils and greatly contributed to global warming (generating from 17.4 to 32% of green house gases). Meanwhile, family farmers have been pushed from their land and driven into poverty. Based on that experience, farmers and small food producers are now rejecting the promises of the so called « New Green Revolution » and « miracle » seeds such as GMOs.

Small family farmers and food producers in the Via Campesina deplore the fact that the participation of civil society at the FAO high level conference is being denied. They are telling heads of states today that it is high time for governments to focus on small scale sustainable food production and local markets. This will allow soils to regenerate, conserve fuel and reduce global warming. It will also give jobs to millions of farmers, fisher-folks, pastoralists and all those who are feeding the people of the world.

- Notes to the media

Via Campesina farmers from the following countries are currently available in Rome for interviews: Mexico, Spain, Indonesia, Togo, Mali, USA, Brazil, France, South Korea, Paraguay, Nicaragua and Argentina.
Speakers at the Press Conference in Rome on 3 June, 2008
- Guy Kastler, Confédération Paysanne, Via Campesina
- Boly Faliri CNOP Mali, Réseau des organisations paysannes et de producteurs de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (ROPPA)
- Yoon Geum Soon, Korean Women Peasant Association, Via Campesina
Farmers and their allies are staging a symbolic ceremony at the Roman temple of Ceres, the goddess of grains and cultivation. For more information on the myth of Ceres, please see the document in annex.

More information on

Media contacts:

Manu Russo: ++ 39-3490068499
Isabelle Delforge: ++39-3491610296


As FAO and alternative summits held in Rome world leaders attempt to deflect attention from causes of hunger

Democracy Now!

Activists, Farmers Hold Parallel Food Summit in Rome

In Italy, a coalition of activists and small farmers have launched a parallel summit to a meeting of world leaders on the global food crisis. The five-day alternative is called “Rethinking the Food System.” Paul Nicholson of Via Campesina said the food crisis cannot be addressed without evaluating neoliberal policies.

Paul Nicholson: “We are stating that this model of free trade has caused hunger and has caused poverty in the rural world and now also in the cities. The food crisis, the spiraling crisis of food, is a consequence of leaving all food in the hands of the transnationalists.”

The forum will continue over the next five days.


Smith told reporters it was not right for Mugabe to be at the summit.

"Frankly, I regard that as obscene," he said. "This is the person who has presided over the starvation of his people. This is the person who has used food aid in a politically motivated way.


Rahmanian, who is on the forum's steering committee, told AFP earlier: "It's obscene that the food crisis is being used to push stronger on policies" promoting large-scale agriculture, biofuels and the use of genetically modified organisms and pesticides.
Meanwhile Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, in Rome for the FAO summit, on Sunday rejected claims that biofuels made from sugar cane are contributing to the global food crisis.

Some relevant links:

Cenesta (Iran)

Via Campesina
Jean Ziegler (on biofuel)


Resisting in Palestine


Oftentimes we get weary of the same news over and over again, for example the second story below. Indeed, one could say the media gets weary much quicker than the general population...There is of course something quite obscene in comparing victims (dead and wounded) of violence, particularly innocent vicitms. What does it matter what blood ran in their veins, what god(s) they worshipped, what 'nation' they professed to belong to, and what land they claimed as theirs? It should not matter. It does, however, matter to our 'official' commentators and leaders. I leave it up to you to make your own mind up on this question.

Dear friends,

I'm at a loss for words! How much more before it's too late, or is it already!

In the first story, you will not find the words "mob" or "lynching," these are reserved only when Palestinians are the perpetrators.

Regarding the second story, note that these checkpoints are under 100% Israeli surveillance. I ask why aren't the surveillance camera tapes being shown to the public? May the killers never sleep a full night again as they see Fahmi in their nightmares!

Occupation morally corrupts the occupier,



'I kicked the Arab, I stepped on his head'

By Uri Blau

Dozens of teenage boys from Jerusalem received the same ICQ message: "We're putting an end to all the Arabs who hang out in 'Pisga' [Pisgat Ze'ev] and the mall, whistle at the girls, curse, threaten little kids. Anyone who is Jewish and wants to put an end to all that should be at Burger Ranch at 10 P.M., and we'll finally show them they can't hang in our area anymore. Anyone who is willing to do that and has Jewish blood should add his name
to this message."



Murder at Huwara [Checkpoint]

This time we came to the checkpoint especially in order to gather testimony about the murder of 15.5-year old Fahmi Abd alJawaad alDarduk, who was shot by the soldiers at this checkpoint on Monday, May 19th 2008.

After he was shot, the army claimed that pipe bombs had been detected in his belt. That wires had been seen hanging from under his clothing. That three pipe bombs had been observed. Later it was said there were five. One of the perpetrators of this crime was cited for excellence.

A Palestinian ambulance arriving from Nablus twenty minutes later at the most was not permitted access to the bleeding boy until 11:30 PM. For two and a half hours he lay on the concrete floor of the checkpoint and no one was allowed to approach him but the Occupation forces. During this time all Palestinians in the area were violently pushed away and the blood washed away with water jets.


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