BDS, Arab Land and the Custodian of Absentee Property

Paul Larudee

Photo: The Ruweidi family outside their home in Silwan May 9, 2012. - After two decades of legal struggle, the Ruweidi family from Silwan has been granted recognition by the courts that they are indeed the rightful owners of their home. The decision rejects the Jewish National Fund’s claim that the home is the property of the State of Israel. (Moriel Rothman/+972)

The 2005 call by more than 170 Palestinian organizations, both within Palestine and without, to boycott Israeli products and services, divest from companies that support and sustain Israel and sanction the Israeli state and its agencies is one of the most important and potentially one of the most effective strategies to end the injustices perpetrated against the Palestinian people as a result of the creation of a Zionist state and by Zionist actions even before.

Nothing in this article is intended to criticize or undermine BDS as a strategy. On the contrary, BDS should be encouraged and pursued as vigorously as possible. I am among those that believe that the only way to end the injustices is to end the state itself, but the participants in BDS need not agree about this in order to undertake BDS actions.

Recently, I and others have expressed concern about an apparently unauthorized change in the wording of the 2005 BDS call, posted on the BDS National Committee (BNC) website. This is also not a criticism of the strategy or of the movement, but rather of the actions of unknown parties that appear to have committed a breach of trust with the signatories of the 2005 call, by altering the wording of that call without consulting them.

Some have argued that the change of wording is insignificant and that the meaning remains unchanged. This is absurd. Why bother to change the wording if there is no change in meaning? That change in wording is important to someone. But to whom? And why? And by what protocol (if any) was the change made? Has this action been accountable in any way?

Obamacare – The Tax Man Cometh

Robert S. Dotson, M.D.

Obamacare: Just give us a bill to hype; we don’t care what it is - In the article below, Dr. Dotson provides more information about Obamacare. The program is not what its supporters or its critics imagine. In my opinion, with Republicans blocking a single-payer national health system, the Obama White House went to the insurance lobby and said, “give us a health care bill that you can get Congress to pass.” The result is a complex system of taxes, penalties, and government subsidized private health insurance policies with a layer of profits added to the costs of new levels of bureaucracy. Nomi Prins reports that the claim is laughable that Obamacare will lower costs by creating competitive insurance premiums, because of consolidations and mergers of insurance companies in preparation for the “insurance exchanges.” Wall Street is already making money off the mergers. What Obamacare really does is to allow concentration and control of health care by large corporations that will sacrifice health care to private profits. Dr. Dotson believes that Obamacare will result in Medicare being blended into some type of corporatist insurance product bringing higher costs and fewer benefits to patients. It will be a “health system” that funnels federal revenues into insurance company profits instead of into health care. The unexpected consequences of Obamacare are likely to require endless amendments to the legislation. The complexity will result in mistakes by doctors and hospitals that will be prosecuted as crimes. Health care for patients and adequate payment to health care providers will become back burner concerns. Once Obamacare is up and running, the private and bureaucratic interests that benefit from the monstrosity will protect it regardless of its failure. It would have been so much better, so much cheaper, and so much simpler to have created a single-payer national health service like every other developed country. Instead, “superpower americans” are to be deprived of good and inexpensive health care for the sole sake of corporate profits. ~ Paul Craig Roberts

Israel launches missile strike against Syria

Niall Green

The Hafiz M-113 based mobile missile launcher carries six
Tamuz missiles, target acquisition system employed in line-
of-sight modes and a datalink maintaining non-line-of-sight
(NLOS) communications with the missiles through its flight.

Following the re-election of Barack Obama in last week’s US presidential poll, Washington and its allies have stepped up their war drive against Syria. In the most serious escalation of the 20-month conflict in the Middle East country, the Israeli armed forces fired a missile into Syrian territory Sunday.

The strike, by an advanced Tammuz guided missile, is the first acknowledged attack by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) on Syria since the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Israeli warplanes struck the site of an alleged Syrian nuclear project in 2007, but neither regime ever officially confirmed the action.

The Israeli missile reportedly struck a Syrian army base, though the government in Damascus has not released any details of the damage caused.

The IDF strike was reportedly carried out in response to a Syrian mortar that landed in the Golan Heights, the Syrian territory illegally occupied by Israel since 1967. Nobody was reported killed or injured by what appears to have been a misdirected 120mm Syrian tank shell.

A statement issued by the IDF shortly after the Tammuz missile struck Syrian territory claimed, “IDF forces fired warning shots and relayed a message to the Syrian forces via the United Nations that warns against additional fire. Additional fire will prompt a quick response.”

The IDF acknowledged that eight Syrian shells had fallen within the Israeli-controlled section of the Golan Heights over the past two months, likely the inadvertent result of fighting between Syrian government forces and “rebel” fighters, without any military response from the IDF.

While Israel appears to have turned a blind eye to errant Syrian shells in the weeks leading up to the US election, the decision by the IDF to launch a strike now indicates that Washington and its allies are entering into a new phase of their conflict with the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Kill Lists Will Continue

Philip Giraldi

The silhouette of U.S. President Barack Obama is seen as he
sits in the back of the Marine One helicopter, landing on the
South Lawn of the White House in Washington.

Outside of websites such as, there has been remarkably little commentary over the issue of the White House–managed kill lists, which played no part in the election but will nevertheless continue to be a keystone of security policy in the new administration in Washington. Details on how the lists were developed and maintained surfaced in the media on Oct. 23 in an article in the Washington Post which described how the White House has decided that targeted assassinations will continue to be necessary for the next decade. The article provoked some negative commentary in the usual places, but little in the way of genuine outrage. In a saner world, one might even have expected that extralegal targeted killing could have been used in a partisan fashion by the Republicans to highlight Obama’s dismantling of constitutional and legal protections, but Mitt Romney voiced nary a word of criticism, suggesting that he too sees death by government fiat as an essential tool against terrorism and approves of what the president is doing.

The assassination by drone and special ops teams was a program initiated by President George W. Bush but it appears that it was not actually made operational until a former community organizer who promised change named Barack Obama entered the White House. Citing the difficulty of dealing with the Guantanamo prisoners, Obama apparently determined that it would be better to kill possible terrorists than to go through the tactical complications and extra expense entailed in trying to detain them and risk a trial in a court of law.

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