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Magda Hassan
03-09-2010, 07:00 AM
Israel 'to unveil plans to build nuclear power plant'


http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/45842000/gif/_45842222_israel226.gif
Israel is expected to unveil plans this week to build a nuclear power plant, reports say.
They say an announcement will be made by Israeli Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau at an energy forum in Paris.
Israel is facing a crisis over electricity supplies, but environmental objections have blocked efforts to build a new coal-fired plant.
Israel has two nuclear reactors, including the Dimona facility which is said to have produced nuclear weapons.
The secret reactor is located in the south of the country. Israel neither confirms nor denies having nuclear weapons under its policy of "ambiguity".
The other facility is a research reactor near Tel Aviv, which is open to international inspections.
Israel is not a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which is designed to curb the spread of nuclear technologies with bomb-making potential.
'Joint project'
Mr Landau is expected to tell the conference in Paris that Israel is considering building a nuclear power plant, reports say.
He has reportedly discussed the possibility of co-operating in the project with French Energy Minister Jean-Louis Borloo, together with neighbouring Jordan.
France is one of the world leaders in electricity production from nuclear power.
In the 1950s, Paris helped Israel to build the Dimona facility.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8556266.stm

Ed Jewett
03-09-2010, 07:43 AM
How can Israel maintain "ambiguity" about Dimona when Vanunu is out of prison and speaking, refusing the nomination for the Nobel prize, books have been written about the place and its function (Mark Gaffney and Seymour Hersh come to mind), and Israeli military strategists (several) have indicated the Samson option is their tactic?

Magda Hassan
03-09-2010, 07:51 AM
The same way they maintain ambiguity about their assassinations. Neither confirm nor deny though every one knows.

David Guyatt
03-09-2010, 12:05 PM
Israel is not a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which is designed to curb the spread of nuclear technologies with bomb-making potential.

Whereas Iran is a signatory...

Double standards anyone?

David Guyatt
03-09-2010, 01:37 PM
The hypocrisy is so bare-faced it's quite unbelievable...

http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=170564


Biden: US 'determined' to prevent a nuclear Iran
By HERB KEINON
09/03/2010 13:44

US VP meets with Netanyahu, says he is certain Israel would take bold steps for peace: "You have done it before, and I am confident for world peace you will do it again."

http://www.jpost.com/HttpHandlers/ShowImage.ashx?ID=139447

US Vice President Joe Biden expressed America's "absolute, total, unvarnished commitment to Israel' security" at a press conference in Jerusalem following a meeting with Prime Minster Binyamin Netanyahu Monday morning.

As such, Biden said, Washington was "determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and we are working with many countries around the world to convince Iran to meet its international obligations to cease and desist."

The cornerstone of the US-Israel relationship, Biden said, was America's unwavering commitment to Israel's security. "Bibi you heard me say before, progress occurs in the Middle East when everyone knows there is simply no space between the US and Israel. There is no space between the US and Israel when it comes to Israel's security."

Biden, who said that he had "productive" talks with Netanyahu about a wide range of issues, also took pains to praise Netanyahu for steps he has taken to make a more conducive atmosphere for talks with the Palestinians.

"A peace agreement will require both parties to make some historically bold commitments," Biden said. "You have done it before, and I am confident for world peace you will do it again."

Biden, who has known Netanyahu for some 30 years, said he has taken some significant steps, including "the moratorium that has limited new settlement construction activity," and measures that have increased Palestinian movement in the Wet Bank.

Palestinian leaders, he said, are also "beginning to make progress" on efforts to reform their institutions of government and make their security forces more reliable.

"It is easy to point fingers, particularly in this part of world as to what each side has not done, but it is also important to give credit where things have been done, in order to be able to move foreword," Biden said.

Biden said the US "will always stand with those who take risks for peace," and added that Netanyahu was willing to do that, and he hoped and expected that the Palestinians would be prepared to do so as well.


Netanyahu, who thanked the US Administration for its support on a wide range of issues – from preserving Israel's qualitative military edge to support on the Goldstone Commission report - also called for tough sanctions against Iran.

The Prime Minister also said he appreciated the Administration's efforts to advance the peace process, and was "pleased that these efforts are beginning to bear fruit."

At the end of the joint statements – no questions were taken from the press – Netanyahu gave Biden a certificate saying that a ring of tress was planted in memory of his mother, Catherine Eugenia Jean Finnegan Biden, who passed away in January at the age of 92.

"My love for your country was watered by this Irish lady, who was proudest of me when I was working with and for the security of Israel," Biden replied

Keith Millea
03-09-2010, 07:35 PM
The cornerstone of the US-Israel relationship, Biden said, was America's unwavering commitment to Israel's security. "Bibi you heard me say before, progress occurs in the Middle East when everyone knows there is simply no space between the US and Israel. There is no space between the US and Israel when it comes to Israel's security."


Does that mean we approve of this kind of relationship?

http://www.counterpunch.org/hallinan03092010.html
The Crackdown on Israeli Dissidents

By CONN HALLINAN
A heavy-handed crack down on Israeli dissidents is drawing sharp criticism by human rights organizations and at least a mild judicial slap on the wrist for the government of Benjamin Netanyahu. The authorities are targeting such groups as B’Tselem, New Israel Fund (NIF), the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), as well as foreign activists in the occupied West Bank.

“There is an attempt to silence and crack down on dissent,” B’Tselem spokeswoman Sarit Michaeli told the Tobias Buck of the Financial Times. “Since [the Gaza war], the political climate in Israel has become extremely polarized. And this polarization has reached a level where anyone who is critical is presented as a traitor.”

The Netanyanu government has endorsed a bill that, if passed, will apply onerous registration conditions on NGOs and subject violators to up to a year in prison.
“These are classic McCarthy techniques, portraying our organizations as enemies of the state and suggesting we are aiding Hamas and terror groups,” ACRI head Hagai Elad told the Nazareth-based journalist Jonathan Cook.

On Jan. 15, police broke up a peaceful ARCI demonstration in East Jerusalem, arresting 16 people. The rally was protesting the eviction of Palestinians from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and their replacement with settlers. Demonstrators were held for 36 hours until a judge from the Jerusalem Magistrates Court released them without charge. The judge also refused a police request to ban the demonstrators from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

Armored personnel carriers and a squad of heavily armed soldiers surrounded the West Bank Ramallah apartment of Czech national Eva Novakova, forced her to dress at gunpoint, and deported her to Prague for overstaying her visa. Soldiers also seized an Australian and a Spanish member of the International Solidarity Movement in Ramallah, but the Israeli Supreme Court ordered their release.

Jared Malsin, a Jewish-American English language editor at the Palestinian news agency was arrested at Ben Gurion airport and detained by Israeli authorities for deportation. The arrest and deportation order were blasted by the International Federation of Journalists as an “intolerable violation of press freedom.”

Israeli human rights lawyer Omar Schatz says the arrests are, “all about fixing the mirror, not fixing the reflection Israelis see in the mirror.”
The crackdown has even fallen on a group of women fighting ultra-orthodox Jews for the right to pray at the Jerusalem’s Western Wall. In November, Nofrat Frenkel of Women of the Wall (WW) was arrested for carrying a Torah and wearing a tallit at the site.

A week before the Sheikh Jarrah arrests, Anat Hoffman, director of the Israel Religious Action Center, was detained, fingerprinted, and questioned about the organization’s support for WW protests.

Naomi Chazan, the Israeli president of the U.S.-based organization NIF, has been subjected to a campaign of vilification, including posters depicting her with horns. A government press agency distributed an article to the foreign press accusing her of “Serving the agenda of Iran and Hamas.” She also lost her job as a columnist at the Jerusalem Post.
The attempt to smother any challenge to the Netanyahu government is a reaction to the worldwide criticism Israel is harvesting in the aftermath of the Gaza War. Tel Aviv’s continued refusal to allow any reconstruction of the more than 3500 homes destroyed in the Israeli invasion drew a letter signed by 53 U.S. Congress members calling for an end to the “de facto collective punishment of the Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip.”
U.S. Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wa) suggested taking forceful action to end the Gaza blockade. “We ought to bring roll-on, roll-off ships and roll them right to the beach and bring the relief supplies in, in our version of the Berlin airlift.”

But there are internal tensions behind the crackdown as well. The long occupation of the West Bank has begun to fray the Israeli military. According to the head of the Israeli military’s Personnel Directorate, Maj. Gen. Avi Zamir, increasing numbers of Israelis are refusing to serve in the Occupied Territories. Three years of military service is compulsory for men, 21 months for women.

“Taking into consideration Israeli Arab youth, we’re facing a situation in which 70 percent of youths will not enlist in the military,” the general told UPI.
The “Courage to Refuse” movement has long supported soldiers who won’t serve in the Occupied Territories, and now there is an organization—Shministim— that advises young people on how to become a conscientious objector and supports “refuseniks” as well. Police have also detained several activists for New Profile, a group dedicated to demilitarizing Israeli society.

A new law makes it a crime for Palestinians to observe “Nakba,” or “Catastrophe,” Day commemorating the loss of their land when Israel was created in 1948.

According to human rights groups, the polarization is a serious threat to freedom of speech. A recent poll found that 57 percent of Israelis think “national security” is more important than human rights. The country, says Tel Aviv University politics professor and author Amal Jamal, is headed toward what he calls a “totalitarian democracy.”

Conn Hallinan can be reached at: ringoanne@sbcglobal.net (ringoanne@sbcglobal.net)

Keith Millea
03-09-2010, 08:12 PM
Does VP Biden enjoy THIS type of relationship????

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/03/09-7

Published on Tuesday, March 9, 2010 by Electronic Intifada

Amir, Ten Years Old, Abducted by Israeli Soldiers from His Bed

by Nora Barrows-Friedman

Amir al-Mohtaseb smiled tenderly when I asked him to tell me his favorite color. Sitting in his family's living room last Thursday afternoon, 4 March, in the Old City of Hebron, the ten-year-old boy with freckles and long eyelashes softly replied, "green." He then went on to describe in painful detail his arrest and detention -- and the jailing of his 12-year-old brother Hasan by Israeli occupation soldiers on Sunday, 28 February. http://www.commondreams.org/files/images/amir_small.jpg
Hours after our interview, at 2am, Israeli soldiers would break into the house, snatch Amir from his bed, threaten his parents with death by gunfire if they tried to protect him, and take him downstairs under the stairwell. They would beat him so badly that he would bleed internally into his abdomen, necessitating overnight hospitalization. In complete shock and distress, Amir would not open his mouth to speak for another day and a half.

In our interview that afternoon before the brutal assault, Amir said that on the 28th, he was playing in the street near the Ibrahimi Mosque, on his way with Hasan to see their aunt.
"Two of the soldiers stopped us and handcuffed us," Amir said. "They brought us to two separate jeeps. They took me to the settlement and put me in a corner. I still had handcuffs on. They put a dog next to me. I said that I wanted to go home. They said no, and told me I would stay here forever. They refused to let me use the bathroom. They wouldn't let me call my mother. They blindfolded me and I stayed there like that until my father was able to come and get me late at night."

Amir's detention inside the settlement lasted nearly ten hours. "The only thing that I thought about was how afraid I was, especially with the dog beside me. I wanted to run away and go back to my house," he said.
Amir and Hasan's mother, Mukarrem, told me that Amir immediately displayed signs of trauma when he returned home. "He was trying to tell me a joke, and trying to laugh. But it was not normal laughter. He was happy and terrified at the same time," she said. "He wet himself at some point during the detention. He was extremely afraid."

Amir revealed that he hadn't been able to sleep in the nights following his detention, worried sick about his brother in jail and extremely afraid that the soldiers would come back (which, eventually, they did). Today, approximately 350 children are languishing inside Israeli prisons and detention camps, enduring interrogation, torture and indefinite sentences, sometimes without charge. The number fluctuates constantly, but thousands of Palestinian children between the ages of 12 and 16 have moved through the Israeli military judicial system over the past decade since the outbreak of the second Palestinian intifada. Israel designates 18 as the age of adulthood for its own citizens, but through a military order, and against international law, Israel mandates 16 as the age of adulthood for Palestinians. Additionally, Israel has special military orders (#1644 and #132) to be able to arrest and judge Palestinian children -- termed "juvenile delinquents" -- as young as 12 years old.

"This way, they have a 'legal' cover for what they are doing, even though this is against international laws," said Abed Jamal, a researcher at Defence for Children International-Palestine Section's (DCI-PS) Hebron office. "However, in Amir's case, they broke even their own laws by arresting and detaining him as a ten-year-old boy. These laws are obviously changeable according to Israel's whim. We have yet to see a prosecution for crimes such as these."

I asked Amir and Hasan's father, Fadel, to describe how one is able to parent effectively under this kind of constant siege.
"It's not safe for the children to go outside because we've faced constant attacks by the settlers and the soldiers," he explained. "This by itself is unimaginable for us. And now, we have one son in jail and another traumatized ... they're so young."

On Sunday, 7 March, exactly a week after Hasan's arrest and Amir's detention, the family and members of the local media made an early-morning journey to Ofer prison where Hasan had been held since his initial arrest. After a lengthy process in which the Israeli military judge admitted that the boy was too young to stay in prison, Hasan was released on the condition that he would come back to the court to finish the trial at a later date. This trial followed the initial hearing last Wednesday at Ofer, where Maan News Agency reported that the judge insisted that Fadel pay the court 2,000 shekels ($530) for Hasan's bail. According to Maan, Fadel then publicly asked the court, "What law allows a child to be tried in court and then asks his father to pay a fine? I will not pay the fine, and you have to release my child ... This is the law of Israel's occupation."

Consumed by their sons' situations, Mukarrem and Fadel say they are trying to do the best for their family under attack. "What can we do?" asked Fadel. "We lock the doors. We lock the windows. We have nothing with which to protect our family and our neighbors from the soldiers or the settlers. If a Palestinian kidnapped and beat and jailed an Israeli child, the whole world would be up in arms about it. It would be all over the media. But the Israelis, they come into our communities with jeeps and tanks and bulldozers, they take our children and throw them into prison, and no one cares."

DCI-PS's Jamal reiterates the point that international laws made to protect children under military occupation have been ignored by Israel since the occupation began in 1967. "Most of the time, we try to do our best to use the law, the Geneva Conventions, the UN Convention for the Rights of the Child as weapons against this brutality," said Jamal. "All of these laws exist, but Israel uses their own military laws as excuses to defy international law. As Palestinians, we have to work together to create solidarity against this brutality. Through our work, we try to tell the international community what's going on with Palestinian children to create a wide berth of support against this situation. We believe that the only way this will stop is through the support of the international community."

Amir slowly began speaking again 36 hours after the beating by Israeli soldiers. Zahira Meshaal, a Bethlehem-based social worker specializing in the effects of trauma in children, said that Amir's "elective mutism," a symptom of extreme psychological shock caused by his beating and detention, is a common response, but that it is a good sign that he began talking again. "This is a reaction of fear on many levels. Amir's house and his family are his only source of security," said Meshaal. "This was taken away from him the moment the soldiers invaded his home. It's easy to attend to the immediate trauma, but the long-term effects will undoubtedly be difficult to address. He'll need a lot of mental health services from now on."

Meshaal comments on the nature of this attack in the context of the unraveling situation inside Hebron. "We are talking about a place that is on the front lines of trauma," she said. "This is an ongoing and growing injury to the entire community. Parents have to be a center of security for their children, but that's being taken away from them. Especially in Hebron, the Israeli settlers and soldiers know this, and use this tactic to force people to leave the area. It's a war of psychology. This is a deliberate act to make the children afraid and force people to leave so that their children can feel safer."

At the end of our interview last Thursday, Amir sent a message to American children. "We are kids, just like you. We have the right to play, to move freely. I want to tell the world that there are so many kids inside the Israeli jails. We just want to have freedom of movement, the freedom to play." Amir said that he wants to be a heart surgeon when he grows up. His mother and father told me that they hope Amir's own heart -- and theirs -- heals from last week's repetitive and cumulative trauma at the hands of the interminable Israeli occupation.

© 2010 Electronic Intifada
Nora Barrows-Friedman is the co-host and Senior Producer of Flashpoints, a daily investigative newsmagazine on Pacifica Radio. She is also a correspondent for Inter Press Service. She regularly reports from Palestine, where she also runs media workshops for youth in the Dheisheh refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.

Peter Lemkin
03-09-2010, 08:39 PM
One of my future books should be about 'level playing fields'....as far as the Western Oligarchy's are concerned a slope of 90 degrees [or greater] constitutes a 'level playing field' for the purposes of MSM and other propaganda orgs. :dontknow: