Monday, February 23, 2009

MID EAST NOTES

Guardian, UK - Detailed evidence has emerged of Israel's extensive use of US-made weaponry during its war in Gaza last month, including white phosphorus artillery shells, 500 lb bombs and Hellfire missiles. In a report, Amnesty International detailed the weapons used and called for an immediate arms embargo on Israel and all Palestinian armed groups. It called on the Obama administration to suspend military aid to Israel. The US has long been the largest arms supplier to Israel; under a current 10-year agreement negotiated by the Bush administration the US will provide $30 bn in military aid to Israel.

Tikun Okam - the Israel lobby is up in arms over this one! Former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Chas W. Freeman, will be appointed to head the National Intelligence Council. . . JTA provides the "damning" evidence of Freeman's heresy: "In 2005 remarks to the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, Freeman said that 'as long as the United States continues unconditionally to provide the subsidies and political protection that make the Israeli occupation and the high-handed and self-defeating policies it engenders possible, there is little, if any, reason to hope that anything resembling the former peace process can be resurrected. Israeli occupation and settlement of Arab lands is inherently violent. And as long as such Israeli violence against Palestinians continues, it is utterly unrealistic to expect that Palestinians will stand down from violent resistance and retaliation against Israelis.'. . . In 2008, in a speech to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Security Studies Program, he said, 'We have reflexively supported the efforts of a series of right-wing Israeli governments to undo the Oslo accords and to pacify the Palestinians rather than make peace with them."