Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

JOSEPH founder Joseph Ettedgui dies

March 19, 2010

Sad news in the fashion world. Joseph Ettedgui, the charismatic, Moroccan-born owner of the Joseph boutiques passed away yesterday at the age of 74, after a battle with cancer.

Originally training as a hairdresser in the 1950s, he left his native Casablanca to work in London. In the Sixties, he travelled to Paris for the Shows and met the Japanese designer Kenzo, and Ettedgui started to sell the designer’s jumpers in the basement of his hair salon on the Kings Road.

With a sharp eye for young modern designers, Ettedgui established his first clothing store in Chelsea in 1972, selling Kenzo, Emanuelle Khanh and Jean-Charles de Castelbajac.

He launched his own line in 1983, starting with Joseph Tricot, a collection of chic knitwear – his ‘sloppy joe’ jumpers quickly became a must-have. The following year, tailoring was added, and Joseph’s incredibly flattering boot-cut stretch trousers became legendary, topping every stylish woman’s wishlist, (alongside a silk shirt by Equipment – the cult French label that Joseph brought to the UK, which is about to be revived by the line’s original creator – Christian Restoin, husband of French Vogue Editor Carine Roitfeld).

Joseph was always quick to spot the next big thing – from Azzedine Alaia, to Miuccia Prada, Katherine Hamnett, and John Galliano – Joseph stocked them all. And as the chain expanded in the 1980s, to Paris, New York and Tokyo, Ettedgui championed an urban minimalism aesthetic with his stark white concrete and steel stores, and grainy black and white adverts. His restaurant Joe’s Café, on the Kings Road was the coolest hangout on Kings Road, with lycra clad Sade-lookalikes perched at the steel tables.

He referred to his classic pieces as a supplement to the designers he stocked, saying ‘an entire wardrobe can’t be made up of only designer clothes. People need good trousers and good shirts that they wear all the time.’

Ettedgui finally sold the Joseph stores in 2005.

A much-loved figure in the fashion world, Joseph’s impeccable taste will be sadly missed.

Moroccan woman jailed 3 years

October 15, 2009

A Moroccan woman has been jailed for three years for violently abusing an 11-year-old maid. Outraged rights groups said they would appeal the sentence on grounds that it was too lenient.

The woman was also fined US $3,000 for her brutality against the little maid, Zineb Chetitezineboujda1, whose case attracted widespread attention in Morocco.

But several Moroccan rights groups say they would appeal on behalf of the country’s estimated 60 thousand to 80 thousand child labourers.

The chair of the Association, “Don’t Touch My Children”, Najia Adib, says the sentence does not regret the scale of the atrocities committed, because the little girl was locked up in a cellar.

yanni live at the taj mahal india – love is all

August 13, 2009

War and Natural Gas: The Israeli Invasion and Gaza’s Offshore Gas Fields

January 16, 2009

gazagasmap2

Who Owns the Gas Fields

The issue of sovereignty over Gaza’s gas fields is crucial. From a legal standpoint, the gas reserves belong to Palestine. 

The death of Yasser Arafat, the election of the Hamas government and the ruin of the Palestinian Authority have enabled Israel to establish de facto control over Gaza’s offshore gas reserves. 

British Gas (BG Group) has been dealing with the Tel Aviv government. In turn, the Hamas government has been bypassed in regards to exploration and development rights over the gas fields. 

The election of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2001 was a major turning point. Palestine’s sovereignty over the offshore gas fields was challenged in the Israeli Supreme Court. Sharon stated unequivocally that “Israel would never buy gas from Palestine” intimating that Gaza’s offshore gas reserves belong to Israel. 

In 2003, Ariel Sharon, vetoed an initial deal, which would allow British Gas to supply Israel with natural gas from Gaza’s offshore wells. (The Independent, August 19, 2003) 

The election victory of Hamas in 2006 was conducive to the demise of the Palestinian Authority, which became confined to the West Bank, under the proxy regime of Mahmoud Abbas.  

In 2006, British Gas “was close to signing a deal to pump the gas to Egypt.” (Times, May, 23, 2007). According to reports, British Prime Minister Tony Blair intervened on behalf of Israel with a view to shunting the agreement with Egypt. 

The following year, in May 2007, the Israeli Cabinet approved a proposal by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert  “to buy gas from the Palestinian Authority.” The proposed contract was for $4 billion, with profits of the order of $2 billion of which one billion was to go the Palestinians. 

Tel Aviv, however, had no intention on sharing the revenues with Palestine. An Israeli team of negotiators was set up by the Israeli Cabinet to thrash out a deal with the BG Group, bypassing both the Hamas government and the Palestinian Authority:   

Israeli defence authorities want the Palestinians to be paid in goods and services and insist that no money go to the Hamas-controlled Government.” (Ibid, emphasis added)

The objective was essentially to nullify the contract signed in 1999 between the BG Group and the Palestinian Authority under Yasser Arafat. 

Under the proposed 2007 agreement with BG, Palestinian gas from Gaza’s offshore wells was to be channeled by an undersea pipeline to the Israeli seaport of Ashkelon, thereby transferring control over the sale of the natural gas to Israel. 

The deal fell through. The negotiations were suspended:

 “Mossad Chief Meir Dagan opposed the transaction on security grounds, that the proceeds would fund terror”. (Member of Knesset Gilad Erdan, Address to the Knesset on “The Intention of Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to Purchase Gas from the Palestinians When Payment Will Serve Hamas,” March 1, 2006, quoted in Lt. Gen. (ret.) Moshe Yaalon, Does the Prospective Purchase of British Gas from Gaza’s Coastal Waters Threaten Israel’s National Security?  Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, October 2007)

Israel’s intent was to foreclose the possibility that royalties be paid to the Palestinians. In December 2007, The BG Group withdrew from the negotiations with Israel and in January 2008 they closed their office in Israel.(BG website). 

Invasion Plan on The Drawing Board

The invasion plan of the Gaza Strip under “Operation Cast Lead” was set in motion in June 2008, according to Israeli military sources: 

“Sources in the defense establishment said Defense Minister Ehud Barak instructed the Israel Defense Forces to prepare for the operation over six months ago [June or before June] , even as Israel was beginning to negotiate a ceasefire agreement with Hamas.”(Barak Ravid, Operation “Cast Lead”: Israeli Air Force strike followed months of planning, Haaretz, December 27, 2008)

That very same month, the Israeli authorities contacted British Gas, with a view to resuming crucial negotiations pertaining to the purchase of Gaza’s natural gas:  

“Both Ministry of Finance director general Yarom Ariav and Ministry of National Infrastructures director general Hezi Kugler agreed to inform BG of Israel’s wish to renew the talks.

The sources added that BG has not yet officially responded to Israel’s request, but that company executives would probably come to Israel in a few weeks to hold talks with government officials.” (Globes online- Israel’s Business Arena, June 23, 2008)

The decision to speed up negotiations with British Gas (BG Group) coincided, chronologically, with the planning of the invasion of Gaza initiated in June. It would appear that Israel was anxious to reach an agreement with the BG Group prior to the invasion, which was already in an advanced planning stage.  

Moreover, these negotiations with British Gas were conducted by the Ehud Olmert government with the knowledge that a military invasion was on the drawing board. In all likelihood, a new “post war” political-territorial arrangement for the Gaza strip was also being contemplated by the Israeli government.     

In fact, negotiations between British Gas and Israeli officials were ongoing in October 2008, 2-3 months prior to the commencement of the bombings on December 27th.  

In November 2008, the Israeli Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of National Infrastructures instructed Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) to enter into negotiations with British Gas, on the purchase of natural gas from the BG’s offshore concession in Gaza. (Globes, November 13, 2008) 

“Ministry of Finance director general Yarom Ariav and Ministry of National Infrastructures director general Hezi Kugler wrote to IEC CEO Amos Lasker recently, informing him of the government’s decision to allow negotiations to go forward, in line with the framework proposal it approved earlier this year.

The IEC board, headed by chairman Moti Friedman, approved the principles of the framework proposal a few weeks ago. The talks with BG Group will begin once the board approves the exemption from a tender.” (Globes Nov. 13, 2008) 

Gaza and Energy Geopolitics 

The military occupation of Gaza is intent upon transferring the sovereignty of the gas fields to Israel in violation of international law.

What can we expect in the wake of the invasion?

What is the intent of Israel with regard to Palestine’s Natural Gas reserves? 

A new territorial arrangement, with the stationing of Israeli and/or “peacekeeping” troops?  

The militarization of the entire Gaza coastline, which is strategic for Israel? 

The outright confiscation of Palestinian gas fields and the unilateral declaration of Israeli sovereignty over Gaza’s maritime areas?  

If this were to occur, the Gaza gas fields would be integrated into Israel’s offshore installations, which are contiguous to those of the Gaza Strip. (See Map 1 above). 

These various offshore installations are also linked up to Israel’s energy transport corridor, extending from the port of Eilat, which is an oil pipeline terminal, on the Red Sea to the seaport – pipeline terminal at Ashkelon, and northwards to Haifa, and eventually linking up through a proposed Israeli-Turkish pipeline with the Turkish port of Ceyhan. 

Ceyhan is the terminal of the Baku, Tblisi Ceyhan Trans Caspian pipeline. “What is envisaged is to link the BTC pipeline to the Trans-Israel Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline, also known as Israel’s Tipline.” (See Michel Chossudovsky, The War on Lebanon and the Battle for Oil, Global Research, July 23, 2006)

levantineenergycorridor

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11680

January 16, 2009

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Child victims of Gaza

January 16, 2009

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At least 300 children are among the more than 1,000 Palestinians who have died since Israel began to bombard the Gaza Strip on December 27.

Al Jazeera has obtained the names of 210 of the young victims, 44 of which were under five years old. 

Date Name Gender Age
27/12/2008 Ibtihal Kechko Girl 10
  Ahmed Riad Mohammed Al-Sinwar Boy 3
    Ahmed Al-Homs Boy 18
    Ahmed Rasmi Abu Jazar Boy 16
  Ahmed Sameeh Al-Halabi Boy 18
  Tamer Hassan Al-Akhrass Boy 5
  Hassan Ali Al-Akhrass Boy 3
  Haneen Wael Mohammed Daban Girl 15
  Khaled Sami Al-Astal Boy 15
  alaat Mokhless Bassal Boy 18
  Aaed Imad Kheera Boy 14
  Abdullah Al-Rayess Boy 17
  Odai Hakeem Al-Mansi Boy 4
  Allam Nehrou Idriss Boy 18
  Ali Marwan Abu Rabih Boy 18
  Anan Saber Atiyah Boy 13
  Camelia Al-Bardini Girl 10
  Lama Talal Hamdan Girl 10
  Mohammed Jaber Howeij Boy 17
  Nimr Mustafa Amoom Boy 10
29/12/2008 Ismail Talal Hamdan Boy 10
  Ahmed Ziad Al-Absi Boy 14
  Ahmed Youssef Khello Boy 18
  Ikram Anwar Baaloosha Girl 14
  Tahrier Anwar Baaloosha Girl 17
  Jihad Saleh Ghobn Boy 10
  Jawaher Anwar Baaloosha Girl 8
  Dina Anwar Baaloosha Girl 7
  Samar Anwar Baaloosha Girl 6
  Shady Youssef Ghobn Boy 12
  Sudqi Ziad Al-Absi Boy 3
  Imad Nabeel Abou Khater Boy 16
  Lina Anwar Baaloosha Girl 7
  Mohammed Basseel Madi Boy 17
  Mohammed Jalal Abou Tair Boy 18
  Mohammed Ziad Al-Absi Boy 14
  Mahmoud Nabeel Ghabayen Boy 15
  Moaz Yasser Abou Tair Boy 6
  Wissam Akram Eid Girl 14
30/12/2008 Haya Talal Hamdan Girl 8
31/12/2008 Ahmed Kanouh Boy 10
  Ameen Al-Zarbatlee Boy 10
  Mohammed Nafez Mohaissen Boy 10
  Mustafa Abou Ghanimah Boy 16
  Yehya Awnee Mohaissen Boy 10
   Ossman Bin Zaid Nizar Rayyan Boy 3
  Assaad Nizar Rayyan Boy 2
  Moaz-Uldeen Allah Al-Nasla Boy 5
  Aya Nizar Rayyan Girl 12
  Halima Nizar Rayyan Girl 5
  Reem Nizar Rayyan Boy 4
  Aicha Nizar Rayyan Girl 3
  Abdul Rahman Nizar Rayyan Boy 6
  Abdul Qader Nizar Rayyan Boy 12
   Oyoon Jihad Al-Nasla Girl 16
  Mahmoud Mustafa Ashour Boy 13
   Maryam Nizar Rayyan Girl 5
01/01/2009 Hamada Ibrahim Mousabbah Boy 10
   Zeinab Nizar Rayyan Girl 12
   Sujud Mahmoud Al-Derdesawi Girl 10
   Abdul Sattar Waleed Al-Astal Boy 12
   Abed Rabbo Iyyad Abed Rabbo Al-Astal Boy 10
   Ghassan Nizar Rayyan Boy 15
   Christine Wadih El-Turk Boy 6
   Mohammed Mousabbah Boy 14
   Mohammed Iyad Abed Rabbo Al-Astal Boy 13
   Mahmoud Samsoom Boy 16
   Ahmed Tobail Boy 16
   Ahmed Sameeh Al-Kafarneh Boy 17
   Hassan Hejjo Boy 14
   Rajeh Ziadeh Boy 18
   Shareef Abdul Mota Armeelat Boy 15
   Mohammed Moussa Al-Silawi Boy 10
   Mahmoud Majed Mahmoud Abou Nahel Boy 16
   Mohannad Al-Tatnaneeh Boy 18
   Hani Mohammed Al-Silawi Boy 10
01/01/2009 Ahmed Al-Meshharawi  Boy 16
   Ahmed Khodair Sobaih Boy 17
   Ahmed Sameeh Al-Kafarneh Boy 18
   Asraa Kossai Al-Habash Girl 10
   Assad Khaled Al-Meshharawi Boy 17
   Asmaa Ibrahim Afana Girl 12
   Ismail Abdullah Abou Sneima Boy 4
   Akram Ziad Al-Nemr Boy 18
   Aya Ziad Al-Nemr Girl 8
   Ahmed Mohammed Al-Adham Boy 1
   Akram Ziad Al-Nemr Boy 13
   Hamza Zuhair Tantish Boy 12
   Khalil Mohammed Mokdad Boy 18
   Ruba Mohammed Fadl Abou-Rass Girl 13
   Ziad Mohammed Salma Abou Sneima Boy 9
   Shaza Al-Abed Al-Habash Girl 16
   Abed Ziad Al-Nemr Boy 12
   Attia Rushdi Al-Khawli Boy 16
   Luay Yahya Abou Haleema Boy 17
   Mohammed Akram Abou Harbeed Boy 18
   Mohammed Abed Berbekh Boy 18
   Mohammed Faraj Hassouna Boy 16
   Mahmoud Khalil Al-Mashharawi Boy 12
   Mahmoud Zahir Tantish Boy 17
   Mahmoud Sami Assliya Boy 3
   Moussa Youssef Berbekh Boy 16
   Wi’am Jamal Al-Kafarneh Girl 2
   Wadih Ayman Omar Boy 4
   Youssef Abed Berbekh Boy 10
05/01/2009 Ibrahim Rouhee Akl Boy 17
   Ibrahim Abdullah Merjan Boy 13
   Ahmed Attiyah Al-Semouni Boy 4
   Aya Youssef Al-Defdah Girl 13
   Aya Al-Sersawi Girl 5
   Ahmed Amer Abou Eisha Boy 5
   Ameen Attiyah Al-Semouni Boy 4
   Hazem Alewa Boy 8
   Khalil Mohammed Helless  Boy 12
   Diana Mosbah Saad Girl 17
   Raya Al-Sersawi Girl 5
   Rahma Mohammed Al-Semouni Girl 18
   Ramadan Ali Felfel Boy 14
   Rahaf Ahmed Saeed Al-Azaar  Girl 4
   Shahad Mohammed Hijjih Girl 3
   Arafat Mohammed Abdul Dayem Boy 10
   Omar Mahmoud Al-Baradei Boy 12
   Ghaydaa Amer Abou Eisha Girl 6
   Fathiyya Ayman Al-Dabari Girl 4
   Faraj Ammar Al-Helou Boy 2
   Moumen Alewah Boy 9
   Moumen Mahmoud Talal Alaw Boy 10
   Mohammed Amer Abu Eisha Boy 8
   Mahmoud Mohammed Abu Kamar Boy 15
   Marwan Hein Kodeih Girl 6
   Montasser Alewah Boy 12
   Naji Nidal Al-Hamlawi Boy 16
   Nada Redwan Mardi Girl 5
   Hanadi Bassem Khaleefa Girl 13
06/01/2009 Ibrahim Ahmed Maarouf Boy 14
   Ahmed Shaher Khodeir Boy 14
   Ismail Adnan Hweilah Boy 15
   Aseel Moeen Deeb Boy 17
   Adam Mamoun Al-Kurdee Boy 3
   Alaa Iyad Al-Daya Girl 8
   Areej Mohammed Al-Daya Girl 3 months
   Amani Mohammed Al-Daya Girl 4
   Baraa Ramez Al-Daya Girl 2
   Bilal Hamza Obaid Boy 15
   Thaer Shaker Karmout Boy 17
   Hozaifa Jihad Al-Kahloot Boy 17
   Khitam Iyad Al-Daya Girl 9
   Rafik Abdul Basset Al-Khodari  Boy 15
   Raneen Abdullah saleh Girl 12
   Zakariya Yahya Al-Taweel Boy 5
   Sahar Hatem Dawood Girl 10
   Salsabeel Ramez Al-Daya Girl 6 months
   Sharafuldeen Iyad Al-Daya Boy 7
   Doha Mohammed Al-Daya Girl 5
   Ahed Iyad Kodas Boy 15
   Abdullah Mohammed Abdullah Boy 10
   Issam Sameer Deeb Boy 12
   Alaa Ismail Ismail Boy 18
   Ali Iyad Al-Daya Boy 10
   Imad Abu Askar Boy 18
   Filasteen Al-Daya Girl 5
   Kamar Mohammed Al-Daya Boy 3
   Lina Abdul Menem Hassan Girl 10
   Unidentified Boy 9
   Unidentified  Boy 15
   Mohammed Iyad Al-Daya Boy 6
   Mohammed Bassem Shakoura Boy 10
   Mohammed Bassem Eid Boy 18
   Mohammed Deeb Boy 17
   Mohammed Eid Boy 18
   Mustafa Moeen Deeb Boy 12
   Noor Moeen Deeb Boy 2
   Youssef Saad Al-Kahloot Boy 17
   Youssef Mohammed Al-Daya Boy 1
07/01/2009 Ibrahim Kamal Awaja Boy 9
   Ahmed Jaber Howeij Boy 7
   Ahmed Fawzi Labad Boy 18
   Ayman Al-Bayed Boy 16
   Amal Khaled Abed Rabbo Girl 3
   Toufic Khaled Al-Khahloot Boy 10
   Habeeb Khaled Al-Khahloot Boy 12
   Houssam Raed Sobeh Boy 12
   Hassan Rateb Semaan Boy 18
   Hassan Ata Hassan Azzam Boy 2
   Redwan Mohammed Ashoor Boy 10
   Suad Khaled Abed Rabbo Girl 6
   Samar Khaled Abed Rabbo Girl 2
   Abdul Rahman Mohammmed Ashoor  Boy 12
   Fareed Ata Hassan Azzam Boy 13
   Mohammed Khaled Al-Kahloot Boy 15
   Mohammed Samir Hijji Boy 16
   Mohammed Fareed Al-Maasawabi Boy 16
   Mohammed Moeen Deeb Boy 17
   Mohammed Nasseem Salama Saba Boy 16
   Mahmoud Hameed Boy 17
   Hamam Issa Boy 1
08/01/2009 Anas Arif Abou Baraka Boy 7
   Ibrahim Akram Abou Dakkka Boy 12
   Ibrahim Moeen Jiha Boy 15
   Baraa Iyad Shalha Girl 6
   Basma Yasser Al-Jeblawi Girl 5
   Shahd Saad Abou Haleema Girl 15
   Azmi Diab Boy 16
   Mohammed Akram Abou Dakka Boy 14
   Mohammed Hikmat Abou Haleema Boy 17
  Ibrahim Moeen Jiha Boy 15
   Matar Saad Abou Haleema Boy 17
09/01/2009 Ahmed Ibrahim Abou Kleik Boy 17
   Ismail Ayman Yasseen Boy 18
   Alaa Ahmed Jaber Girl 11
   Baha-Uldeen Fayez Salha Girl 5
   Rana Fayez Salha Girl 12
   Rola Fayez Salha Girl 13
   Diyaa-Uldeen Fayez Salah Boy 14
   Ghanima Sultan Halawa Girl 11
   Fatima Raed Jadullah Girl 10
   Mohammed Atef Abou Al-Hussna Boy 15

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/01/200911591418168902.html

The Third Rail

January 16, 2009

John Morton

It is now two weeks into the Israeli war on the people of Gaza. 1000 Palestinian men, women and children, and no doubt some leaders of the militant group Hamas are dead, as compared with a handful of Israelis, some broken fences and flower pots in Israel.

While I do not normally like to comment or be drawn into the debate about the “Palestinian issue,” the brazen, wanton, criminal atrocities that are being committed in this sick business are simply too heinous to be ignored.

Firstly, we have reports of White Phosphorous being used in civilian areas to “flush out terrorists”, which following the fine example set by their leading supporter and amazingly gracious champion, George “retard” Bush Jnr, is officially a war crime. But what does the UN do about it, a big fat, US/Israel sponsored nothing!

We have all heard, ad infinitum, ad nauseum, about the terrible suffering of the Jews in WW2, and there is no question but that a people thus oppressed will return to fight fire with fire, but I simply cannot understand how murdering innocent women and children for the “crime” of voting for Hamas is somehow justified in the twisted logic of perpetual Jewish self pity. How is it that these myopic people simply do not understand that they are laying the seeds of their own self destruction by such acts of unrepentant aggression against their defenseless neighbours?

And, on a deeper level, what is it about the Israeli national character, the “siege mentality,” that violence and murder against civilian populations can be pursued with such inhumane and calculated precision? How can a culture that produced Jesus Christ be so immune to the cries of the dead, maimed and dying, in the prison camp they have created of what remains of the country they annexed from the Palestinians so long ago?

Well, one possible answer is to be found in the secret Jewish law/doctrine of the Talmud, which itself is every bit as racist and anti-human as anything written by their most recent nemesis and persecutor, Adolph Hitler. Quite clearly, not all Jews, both within the global extended diaspora, and within Israel itself, subscribe to such ideas, or indeed support this current, self destructive madness. But what does it say of us, the formerly “free west” that we have permitted the penetration, infiltration and virtual takeover of our formerly “Christian” national political systems by adherents of such racist and supremacist ideologies. Have we become so blind that we cannot see the enemy in our midst?

But leaving aside such complex cultural, religious and historical factors for now to focus on the strategic picture, it is clear that on this occasion, the inherent instinct for self preservation against all opposition or rationality has forced the Israeli leadership into a disastrous course of action that will lead to incalculable consequences if peace is not restored in very short order.

Even now, there are reports of Israeli troops massing on the border with Lebanon. Any such expansion of the conflict beyond Gaza can only be interpreted as a deliberate attempt to draw other regional powers into a growing and unstoppable conflagration. As such, the timing of these operations can no longer be considered to be accidental. With the change in government underway in the United States, forces are now in motion that are determined to force the hand of the incoming President Obama to guarantee that no alternative to a 100 years war between the “Western” powers and those of the “East”, vectored on a vicious and perpetual religious and sectarian conflict in the world’s major oil patch, were ensured. If there were any serious doubt or skepticism as to the truth of this statement, I refer you to the following blatant statement on the subject by the London Economist, the leading mouthpiece for the City of London financial oligarchy.

I will leave our readers to ponder these issues by way of a reminder from history, the following article by none other than Winston S Churchill, a perspective which we neglect at our direst peril.

Has it not always been the policy of the British Empire to (divide and) rule the world by such nefarious means?

Is not the existential threat to that Empire implied by the ongoing collapse of the extant global financial and monetary system the hair trigger upon which mortal conflict is assured?

Are we, but more importantly, the Israelis themselves, so foolish as to forget the lessons of two world wars, as the flames leap higher?

http://www.ukcolumn.org/2009/01/15/the-third-rail/

Kissinger calls on Obama to create a New World Order

January 16, 2009

US masses naval-air-marine might in Arabian Sea opposite India, Pakistan, Iran

December 3, 2008

Three US aircraft carriers with strike groups, task forces and nuclear submarines have piled up in the waters of the Arabian Sea opposite the shores of India, Pakistan and Iran, and in the Persian Gulf.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the US began massing this formidable array of floating firepower at the outset of the Islamist terrorist attack on the Indian city of Mumbai last Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Tehran responded typically with a threat of retaliation should the Americans decide to use the Mumbai terrorist attack to hit Iran.

It is more likely, according to our military sources, that the Americans are on the ready in case the rising tensions between India and Pakistan over the New Delhi’s charge of Pakistani involvement in the Mumbai atrocity explodes into an armed clash on their border.

This is indicated by the units now deployed:

1. the USS John C. Stennis, which carries 80 fighter-bombers and 3,200 sailors and airmen and leads a strike group..

This carrier joins two already there, the USS Theodore Roosevelt, which patrols the northern Arabian Sea, part of whose strike group cruises opposite Iran’s southern coast; and the USS Iwo Jima, which carries a large marine contingent on board.

2. New to these waters, according to DEBKAfile’s military sources, is the Destroyer Squadron 50/CTF 55, which has two task forces: Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA) for strikes against warships and the rapid deployment of marines to flashpoint arenas; and Mine Countermeasures Division 31, which stands ready to prevent New Delhi or Islamabad from mining the Arabian Sea routes connecting their ports. Those routes are vital waterways for US marine traffic supporting the war in Afghanistan.

3. To manage this armada, the command and control vessel, USS Mount Whitney, has been brought over from the Mediterranean.

4. Four nuclear submarines.

The arrival of the southwest Asian marine patrol carrier Stennis and the Mount Whitney to the Arabian Sea opposite Iran’s shores set alarm bells ringing in Tehran. Our Iranian sources note that the Islamic republic’s rulers remember that after al Qaeda’s attack on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, the Americans did not only invade Afghanistan, but also Iraq and they fear a similar sideswipe.

The Iranian chief of staff, Maj. Gen. Ataoallah Salehi sounded a warning when he stated Sunday, Nov. 30: The “heavy weight” of enemy warships provides the Iranian side with an ideal opportunity for launching successful counter-attacks.

Morocco issues biometric ID cards

December 3, 2008

e-id

World’s Scariest Ghosts Caught On Tape

July 5, 2008

Protest against Judge’s decision to disallow Amazigh name for baby girl.

February 7, 2008

tifinagh_4.jpgThe refusal of a judge to allow the use of  Moroccan Berber name that parents wanted to give to their adopted daughter has aroused discontent among Moroccan organizations of human rights.
on January 28th, The court in Larache, refused to allow a Moroccan girl to have the amazigh name “Illy”, a name chosen by her adoptive parents

“The judge’s decision of Larache recalls the times that we thought had left, when the government decided what names the citizens of this country could give to their own children.  In the 90’s, the government had drawn up a list of names that were allowed to be used and a list of names, mostly amazigh, that were forbidden.

Thus, the appellations of “Moulay” or “Lalla” that are traditionally given to the descendants of the Prophet Muhammad are now reserved for the royal family” Said Lawyer Aberrahim Jamai.
 

For the lawyer, the judge’s decision revived old demons and committed a miscarriage of justice by violating the fundamental right of parents to freely choose the name of their child.


“This sentence handed down by this court violates human rights and to the plural identity of Morocco , which has Amazigh roots” he said.


The parents have appealed this decision that they consider “discriminatory”.
According to them, the judge justified his decision on the fact that “Illy” in amazigh means “my beloved daughter,” Whereas the girl is adopted.

Several organizations of human rights and child welfare, as well as Amazigh organizations expressed their support for the family.

Morocco building collapse kills 14

January 17, 2008

176163754.jpg154767597.jpg0efb9f7d801.jpg106125659.jpgFourteen people were killed when a two-storey residential building under construction collapsed in Morocco’s northwestern city of Khenitra, government officials said on Thursday.Twenty six people were injured in Wednesday’s collapse and it was not known how many people might still be trapped beneath the rubble.

The number of people on site at the time of the collapse was unclear.

Authorities were investigating the cause of the accident in Khenitra which lies 40 km (25 miles) north of Rabat.

Interior Minister Chakib Benmoussa, who visited the scene along with other senior officials, vowed to identify and punish officials who might be responsible for the collapse.

Road accident claims 9 in Morocco

January 12, 2008

Rabat, Morocco – Nine people were killed here Friday and 10 others wounde d, five of them seriously, in a road accident in the Khémisset region, some 70 k i lometres away, an official source told PANA Thursday.The accident took place when a lorry collided head-on with a public transport ve hicle while negotiating a corner, the source said.

Nine people were earlier killed on new year’s day in two separate road accidents while 13 died in an accident between the cities of Tétouan and Chefchaouen on 1 9 December.

According to the Ministry of Equipment and Transport, road accidents accounted f or the death of 3,622 Moroccans in 2006, and this is 4.17 per cent higher than t h e figure for 2005.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

January 1, 2008

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Ex-French President Chirac, wife celebrate Christmas in Morocco

December 24, 2007

7199a-jacques_chirac_en_vacances_a_taroudant.jpgFormer French President, Jacques Chirac, and his wife Bernadette, who arrived in Southern Morocco since Sunday, will be spending Christmas there, reliable sources told PANA here Monday.

Chirac and his wife are currently in Taroudant (700 km south of Rabat) where the French couple has a private residence.

Over the past few years, the couple had regularly spent their Christmas in Morocco.

As a regular visitor to Morocco, Mr Chirac has always had a penchant for the two-ochre cities of the Kingdom:Taroudant and Marrakech.

US may sell 24 Lockheed fighters to Morocco

December 23, 2007

WASHINGTON, Dec 19 (Reuters) – The Bush administration has told Congress of plans to sell Morocco 24 Lockheed Martin Corp F-16C/D fighter aircraft, advanced weapons and related gear valued at up to $2.4 billion.

The sale would boost Morocco’s ability to help in the U.S.-declared global war on terrorism and enhance Morocco’s ability to defend itself, the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a notice to lawmakers dated Tuesday.

Spain’s top court recognizes Saharawis as stateless people

December 19, 2007

Madrid – Spain’s Supreme Court has recognized a Western Saharawi woman as stateless because the Moroccan nationality cannot be “imposed” on her, court sources said Wednesday. The ruling opens the door for other Saharawis to seek a similar recognition in Spain. Some 200,000 Saharawis are living in camps in Algerian Tindouf, which received an influx of refugees after Morocco annexed the territory following the withdrawal of the colonial power Spain in 1975. Khadijatou Bourkari Dafa, 39, came to Spain seven years ago for medical treatment on a temporary Algerian passport. Algeria refused to renew the passport, because Dafa was not an Algerian citizen. She is also not a Spanish citizen, and the Moroccan nationality cannot be “imposed” on her, the Supreme Court said. Dafa is therefore stateless, and will be entitled to the right to live and work in Spain, the court concluded. The law will open the way for other Saharawis to seek the condition of stateless people, undoubtedly to the dislike of Morocco, which regards Western Sahara as its own, commentators said. After Morocco took over the territory, the independence movement Polisario Front waged a guerrilla war against the kingdom until the United Nations brokered a ceasefire in 1991. A referendum on independence foreseen for 1992 has still not taken place, and Polisario is threatening with a new war unless Morocco finally allows the vote.

Abdelaziz Ahnafouf criticcaly injures

December 18, 2007

ahna2.jpgahna.jpgahanfouf.jpgArminia Bielefeld striker Abdelaziz Ahanfouf, 29, was critically injured in a car crash on a motorway on Monday evening, the club said on its website. The club quoted a police report saying his car crashed into a truck from the Netherlands and that the fire brigade was needed to extract him from the car after it was wedged underneath the truck. The website of Kicker.de said Ahanfouf, who has six caps for Morocco, suffered severe head and face injuries in the crash. He has scored 12 Bundesliga goals in 60 matches. 

We wish speedy recovery for Abdelaziz.

quotation of the day

December 18, 2007
“The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm but because of those who look at it without doing anything.” 
–Albert Einstein

Lebanon bomb kills senior general

December 12, 2007

James Sturcke and agencies
Wednesday December 12, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

The man tipped to be the next head of Lebanon’s army, Brig Gen Francois Hajj, was killed today by a car bomb in a Beirut suburb.

Three others died with Hajj as they drove through a Christian suburb of the Lebanese capital in the early morning, authorities said.

Hajj, 55, a Maronite Catholic, was a potential candidate to succeed the army commander Michel Suleiman, who could be appointed president.

The blast is the first attack of its kind against the Lebanese army, which is seen as the one force that can hold the country together. Increasingly acrimonious relations between parliament’s rival factions in recent months have paralysed the government.

The Syrian-backed opposition party Hizbullah condemned the attack, saying Hajj was a “friend” of the Lebanese people, al-Jazeera television reported.

However, the telecommunications minister, Marwan Hamadeh, accused the “Syrian-Iranian axis” of hitting the military – “the only body in Lebanon who can balance the power of Hezbollah and other militias in the country.”

Syria, in turn, blamed Israel, accusing it of targeting the Lebanese military for its “anti-Israel doctrine”. A Syrian official, quoted by the state news agency Sana, said Hajj “nurtures the resistance [Hizbullah] and has worked for a united Lebanon and rejected division”.

Suspicion also fell on Fatah militants defeated by the army following three months of fighting earlier this year. Hajj had led the operation at the Nahr el-Bared Palestinian refugee camp during which 168 soldiers and about 230 Fatah al-Islam fighters were killed.

The explosion happened at 7.10am Lebanon time (5.10am GMT) on a busy street near Baabda municipality as school buses and workers were setting off.

“This morning, the criminal hand targeted head of army operations Brig Gen Francois Hajj with a bomb as he drove in his car opposite Baabda municipality, which led to his death along with a number of soldiers, and wounded others,” the military said in a statement.

“The army sealed off the area and has started investigating.”

Security officials said Hajj, who lived in the area, had left his home a few minutes earlier and was probably heading to the nearby defence ministry when a car bomb went off near his vehicle.

The blast wrecked cars and caused heavy damage in the area, which houses foreign embassies.

Lebanon is embroiled in its worst political crisis since the end of the 1975-90 civil war, with tensions running high between pro-government and opposition groups. The country has been without a president since November 23 when Emile Lahoud left office and a deadlocked parliament failed to elect a successor.

Hajj headed ground operations during a three-month summer offensive against militants at the northern Lebanon Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr el-Bared. Hundreds were killed in the fighting, which ended in September with the army defeating Fatah militants.

The government and its supporters are locked in dispute with opposition groups over how to elect the army commander, Gen Michel Suleiman, as a compromise candidate for the presidency.

Wooded, hilly Baabda is the historic capital of Mount Lebanon province and the presidential palace is on a nearby hill. The defence ministry and the command are in the adjacent town of Yarze.

On September 19 a bomb killed the anti-Syrian politician Antoine Ghanem on a Beirut street, an attack blamed on Syria by his supporters in the governing coalition. Syria has denied involvement.

A truck bomb killed the former premier Rafik Hariri in 2005 in central Beirut.


A kosher hotel takes root in Marrakech

December 9, 2007

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                                the ogre city

By Romina Ruiz-Goiriena

MARRAKECH, MOROCCO

When Moroccan-born Israeli chef Mordechai Perez decided to visit Marrakech to search for his roots, he had no idea that he would also be making a career move. In short order, he would find himself the chief chef of Marrakech’s first-ever kosher hotel and restaurant, slated to open its doors this month.

“After my mother died, I left Israel,” relates the 44-year-old Perez. “A month ago, I came to Marrakech searching for my roots. I came and I stumbled onto this kosher hotel project.” “When I got the job as head chef, I decided to stay.”

He came to Marrakech, in part, to learn about his father’s legacy. “My father was the head of a village 75 km from here. He would come here every day because he was dedicated to the promulgation of Marrakech Jewish life.” Seated in the place his late father used to pray 60 years ago, Perez shares stories of the Jews who inhabited the Mellah in the beginning of the twentieth century. He is especially moved to be serving the same community which his father, Yaacov, served as rabbi.

To the casual observer, the quarter where the hotel is situated reflects the Muslim character of Morocco, its narrow alleys flooded with children playing and elders fasting for Islam’s holy month of Ramadan. But on closer inspection, the true nature of the Mellah, the Jewish quarter – in essence, the Moroccan version of the ghettos of European cities – becomes clear. Many of the homes are still decorated with mezuzot and a wealth of other sacred Jewish symbols. “The sign of a Jewish home,” Perez sighs with nostalgia, referring to a mezuzah in a Muslim-owned house.

Today, Marrakech is home to 300 Jews out of the 2,000 in the whole of Morocco. Marrakech’s Mellah, once a vibrant shelter to those expelled from Spain after 1492, recalls an era in which both Jew and Muslim were involved in the salt and spice commerce, and both lived and prayed within the medina’s thick paprika-red walls.

A veteran of hotel kitchens in Israel and in Belgium, Perez will be responsible for implementing all of the kashrut dietary regulations in the new facility. “I am one of the only ones in Marrakech trained to ‘kosherize’ and be a proper shomer (Kashrut Supervisor),” he says.

Jews in Marrakech

For co-owner Prosper Kadoch, 43, the new hotel and restaurant, located 15 minutes from the Mellah, is about creating a place for the Moroccan Jewish community, as well as “providing a home in Marrakech for Jews worldwide.” In recent years, adds co-owner Simon Acoca, 45, “Marrakech has undergone an incredible transition, and it is definitely a tourist hot-spot. We are just trying to open the market for Jews as well.”

In one of the most important cities in Africa, there is without doubt a need for real kosher cuisine, Kadoch says. Mindful of observant guests, the hotel and restaurant are to maintain strict standards of kashrut. The hotel will also have an in-house synagogue, and will anticipate the needs of those keeping Shabbat. The hotel and restaurant will be run in such a way that “the one who can observe the most can observe the least,” says Kadoch.

Although their primary target is Jewish community, the hotel will be open to visitors of all kinds. “What is important is that they understand that they will be complying with a kosher environment,” Acoca says. In addition, the hotel is to organize sightseeing tours to historic Jewish landmarks and areas in Marrakech. The owners aim to “contribute to a Jewish experience in the middle of Marrakech while still indulging in everything the Maghreb has to offer.”

The question of terror

For some potential visitors to Morocco, the specter of terrorism has been a factor in delaying a trip. Limor Azulay, 36, of Jerusalem, concedes that what has held her back from touring Morocco is fear. “My mother is Moroccan, and although I?ve always been interested, I’ve always been too afraid to go.” The fear has been underscored by multiple suicide bombings in Casablanca in 2003, whose targets included a Jewish-owned restaurant, and by the Moroccans involved in the Madrid train bombings the next year.

Mindful of the damage to tourism, the government has since made security – and a sense of safety for tourists – a high priority. “When it comes to tourism, there is a certain air of tranquility to be found in Morocco, and no one is willing to sacrifice that,” Acoca says. Perez agrees. “Word on the street is that there are little spurts of terrorism, but we know that the king takes care of them silently,” he says.”I have only been here for a month, I go outside of the mellah and everyone tells me “shalom, shalom” Perez says. “I speak back to them in my mother tongue, Moroccan Arabic, and they know that I am a Moroccan Jew. I know that there is nothing to be worried about.”

Naqniq, R. I. P.

December 9, 2007

xymphora published these bad news…good news…..bad news because a human being was prevented from expressing himself/herself freely…..bad news because we all know why this blog was suspended and who was behind this evil act….next time don’t bring the old same story about democracy and Human Rights  and human lefts……..this blog was not suspended in iran, saudi arabia or zambia……

Naqniq, R. I. P.

Naqniq has been suspended by WordPress for the mysterious “violation of our Terms of Service”.  Since all it did was accumulate material from other sources, almost entirely ‘mainstream’, and allow the cumulative effect of the facts to damn Zionism and its apologists, the only conceivable problem, besides some inflammatory titles, is that it was becoming too successful in its mission.  It would be nice if some WordPress bloggers decided to ‘suspend’ WordPress for this egregious breach of the basic ethos of the internet. 

naqniq, you have all our support,sympathy and respect ( though we disagree about some of the contents of your blog

3,5 tons of hashish seized in Morocco

December 9, 2007

get_img.jpgOne person suspected of smuggling drugs was killed, and 3,5 tons of hashish were seized by the Moroccan army fleet near Al-Hoseima in the north-eastern part of the country, it was officially announced.

The suspect, whose identity was not revealed, was killed in a boat in which he transported 120 packages of hashish, the royal fleet reported.

This is the largest shipment of hashish confiscated in Morocco since 24 July this year.

Morocco counts over 2,300 HIV/AIDS cases

November 30, 2007

AIDS prevalence in Morocco up to June 30 is estimated at 2,306 cases, 39% of which are women, revealed, here on Wednesday, a study presented at a planning workshop on AIDS. The study showed that people under 40 are the most concerned by AIDS with 42% of cases documented among people aged between 30 and 39 and 23% among those between 15 and 29.

Participants to this three-day meeting stressed the need to expand partnerships at the local and the regional level to facilitate the implementation of Morocco’s 2007-2011 national strategy to fight AIDS. They, however, noted that such a task requires to acquire a thorough knowledge of the social, economic and cultural contexts and on the current epidemiological situation so as to adapt the national strategy to fight AIDS to regional and local realities.

This meeting aims, among other things, at developing a thorough regional intersectoral plan to fight AIDS, define results in terms of providing health care to the people infected and examine the positive sides and the weaknesses in terms of fighting AIDS.

Since the first case of AIDS appeared in 1986, Morocco has progressively introduced a series of measures and countless provisions to cope with the spread of the epidemic. It has recently implemented a USD 47Mn national strategy to raise the awareness of over a million persons, mainly high-risk populations, create 150,000 screening centers and provide medical assistance to 4,000 people by 2011.
http://www.map.ma/eng/sections/social/morocco_counts_over_1/view

PIC OF THE DAY

November 30, 2007

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A MOROCCAN JAIL

November 25, 2007

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EXODUS….EXODUS…EXODUS

November 25, 2007

exodusexodusexodus

the jews want to milk arabs dry and they do not hide it…What do Andre Azoulay, king Mohamed VI’s advisor, Robert Assaraf, Serge Berduggo and Serfaty think ?As for me, i have no comment to make…

Forgotten refugeesEffort under way to focus on Jews of Arab lands
by Eric Fingerhut Staff Writer

Most everyone knows that Israel’s creation in 1948 led many Palestinian Arabs to flee to refugee camps.

Much less is known about another refugee group: Jews who fled Arab lands. An effort is under way to heighten their visibility.

On Wednesday of last week, one of those Jewish refugees told her story to a group of about two dozen local synagogue and Jewish agency represenatives brought together by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington. And leaders of a group representing such refugees said that they want the Jewish refugee issue to be part of the agenda in future Middle East peace talks.

Those attending were urged to return to their synagogue and plan a program on the issue sometime in the next couple of months. They received a packet of materials to facilitate planning such an activity.

“The broader Jewish community has no idea” about this issue, said JCRC executive director Ron Halber. “As we educate ourselves about it,” he said, “then we can go” to the wider community.

In 1948, some 856,000 Jews lived in Arab countries, according to Justice for Jews in Middle East Countries executive director Stanley Urman. Twenty years later, that number was just 72,600, and by 2001 only 7,800 (with 5,700 of that number in one country, Morocco.)

Regina Waldman was among those ultimately forced to leave her home in Libya.

Addressing the gathering at Magen David Sephardic Congregation in Rockville, she said that while she was growing up, Jews, who weren’t allowed to leave the country were “tolerated, but didn’t have human rights.”

To illustrate, she recalled a school lesson when she was 6 years old. A teacher asked the students, “If you have 10 Jews and you kill five of them, how many are left?”

At the time of the Six Day War, rioting broke out in the streets of Libya. The then-19-year-old was taken into hiding by a British Christian, she recalled. A few weeks later, Libya expelled all its Jews, taking their property. She said that she and her family barely made it out alive ‹ they had boarded a bus and soon realized the driver was going to set the vehicle on fire, but the same Brit who had hidden Waldman rescued the family.

Following the Sept. 11 attacks in this country, Waldman decided that “maybe I should tell my story” and founded the organization Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa, or JIMENA, to educate the public.

She pointed out that she has spoken on college campuses with hostile environments toward Israel and is effective, because “it is hard to look at an eyewitness and deny the story.”

Waldman was in town last Thursday to testify, along with other advocates, before the Congressional Human Rights Caucus on the issue.

At that hearing, JTA reported, Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), who has traveled extensively in the Middle East, including to Israel, pointed out that the U.N. General Assembly since 1947 “has adopted 681 resolutions on the Middle East conflict, including 101 resolutions on Palestinian refugees. During that same time period, there were no U.N. resolutions, nor any recognition or assistance from the international community for Jewish and other refugees from Arab countries.”

Urman, meanwhile, told the JCRC gathering that his organization had “one simple mission”: Every time Palestinian refugees are mentioned, there should be a corresponding acknowledgement of Jewish refugees.

“It breaks the exclusivity” and “levels the playing field,” he said, adding that “we cannot allow a second injustice” by recognizing “the rights of one population and not another.”

The issue “is not about money,” he said, and Jewish refugees, unlike the Palestinians, are not interested in returning to their old homes in Arab countries.

Yet, he didn’t say that money would be refused, nor was he specific about what Jewish refugees from Arab countries want ‹ other than for their story to be told.

“It is not up to us to decide, it is up to Israel” and its interlocutors to determine “whatever rights will be available,” he said. “We don’t demand specific rights, we just demand recognition.”

Embassy of Israel spokesperson David Siegel said that “Israel attaches great importance” to the issue, noting that laws passed in 2002 and 2003 called for Israelis from Arab lands to register their property claims with the government for the purpose of future restitution.

“Justice and equity for those forced to flee from Arab states who subsequently made their homes in Israel” is a subject that “should be on the [diplomatic] agenda,” said Siegel.

Urman’s organization is also seeking to “register” as many Jews from Arab lands as possible, so that the group has a database of names with which to back up its awareness efforts. Registration forms are available on the group’s Web site, http://www.justiceforjews.com.

Bethesda’s Leo Rennert, attending the meeting as a representative of Ohr Kodesh Congregation in Chevy Chase, said his synagogue would definitely be following up ‹ preparing a fact sheet about the issues for congregants, as well as programs for the congregation and possibly for religious school students as well.

Rennert said he felt the Jewish refugee issue would resonate among the wider Jewish community because “it goes to the very essence of the history of Israel and how it’s misrepresented” by others.

“These people’s histories have been swept under the rug,” he noted, and yet there were more Jewish refugees from Arab lands than Palestinian refugees from Israel ‹ according to figures provided by Justice for Jews in Arab countries, there were 130,000 more.

But Beth Allen of the District, who was representing Washington Hebrew Congregation, said that while she believes the issue is a valid one, she hoped that the Jewish refugees would develop a sharper message.

“I feel like they need a statement of purpose,” she said. “They don’t have a clear mission statement,” noting that it seemed like the group was hesitant to state exactly what its goals were.

Interviewed Monday, Allen, 27, said she had passed information along to her synagogue’s rabbis, but she was unsure if the matter would engage the younger sector of the Jewish community.

Younger Jews have forged a connection with the Holocaust because of the many living survivors and other artifacts from the era, she said, but was uncertain that they would be able to develop the same sort of empathy for such an unfamiliar group.

http://www.washingtonjewishweek.com/main.asp?SectionID=4&subsectionID=4&articleID=7469

Group Spotlights Jews Who Left Arab Lands

Published: November 5, 2007

UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 2 — With assertions of the rights of Palestinians to reclaim land in Israel expected to arise at an planned Middle East peace conference in Annapolis, Md., a Jewish advocacy group has scheduled a meeting in New York on Monday to call attention to people it terms “forgotten refugees.”

The organizing group, Justice for Jews from Arab Countries, says it is referring to the more than 850,000 Jews who left their homes in Arab lands after the declaration of the state of Israel in 1948.

“This did not occur by happenstance, as is sometimes said,” said Stanley A. Urman, executive director of the group, a five-year-old New-York-based organization. “In fact, we have found evidence that there was collusion among the Arab nations to persecute and exploit their Jewish populations.”

To back the claim, the group has reproduced copies of a draft law composed by the Arab League in 1947 that called for measures to be taken against Jews living in Arab countries. The proposals range from imprisonment, confiscation of assets and forced induction into Arab armies to beatings, officially incited acts of violence and pogroms.

Subsequent legislation and discriminatory decrees enacted by Arab governments against Jews were “strikingly similar” to the actions laid out in the draft law, Mr. Urman said.

In January 1948, the World Jewish Congress submitted a memo with the text of the draft to the United Nations Economic and Social Council. It accompanied the submission with a warning that “all Jews residing in the Near and Middle East face extreme and imminent danger.”

At a meeting two months later, however, Charles Malik, the Lebanese ambassador and president of the council, succeeded in a parliamentary maneuver that ended consideration of the memo. Though the event drew news coverage at the time, it has apparently gone unnoticed since.

The Arab League draft law had been drawn up in response to the Nov. 29, 1947, vote in the General Assembly to partition Palestine into two states, one Arab and one Jewish.

With the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, the status of Jews in Arab countries changed dramatically, because most of those countries either declared war on Israel or supported the war to destroy the new state.

The group cites United Nations figures showing that 856,000 Jewish residents left Arab countries in 1948.

“This was not just a forced exodus, it was a forgotten exodus,” said Irwin Cotler, a former Canadian minister of justice who is scheduled to be the main speaker at Monday’s program to open the campaign on behalf of the Jewish refugees.

For that reason, he said, the main goal of the campaign was to raise public awareness rather than to seek compensation. “It’s not about the money, it’s about the other components of redress, recognition, remembrance and acknowledgment of the wrongs committed,” he said.

He said that a particular focus of the campaign would be the United Nations, where Palestinian concerns got regular attention and Israel was frequently the object of condemning resolutions. “The U.N. has participated in expunging this experience from the Mideast narrative and from the U.N. narrative,” Mr. Cotler said.

The campaign is aimed at assuring that mention of Jewish refugees is included in future General Assembly and Human Rights Council resolutions and commemorations.

The next opportunity would be Nov. 29, the 60th anniversary of the partition vote, which is officially recognized by the United Nations as the International Day of Solidarity With the Palestinian People.

The United Nations says that 711,000 Palestinians left Israel-controlled territory in 1948 and 1949 and that today, along with their descendants, the number of Palestinian refugees is at least four million.

“There is mention, as there should be, of Palestinian refugees, but no mention of Jewish refugees,” Mr. Cotler said of the annual commemoration.

Another objective is to push for early passage of resolutions introduced in the United States Senate and House that say that any explicit reference to Palestinian refugees in any official document must be matched by a similar explicit reference to Jewish and other refugees.

The American-sponsored peace conference in Annapolis is planned to take place before the end of the year to address core issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict like borders, the status of Jerusalem and the Palestinian refugees.

“We want to have this meeting now, in advance of the Annapolis conference, to ensure that this issue is front and center in the international awareness as it should be,” Mr. Urman said.

Daniel Carmon, an ambassador at the Israeli mission, said that while there ought to be a change in attitude at the United Nations, no one expected it to occur soon.

“This has not been forgotten because it does not exist,” he said. “It is a reflection of the dynamic at the U.N.”

Mr. Cotler said a change in perception would help bring the region’s antagonists together.

“I know this may sound Pollyannaish, but I believe that if we allow people to understand the truth of what occurred, then they will be able to recognize the other,” he said. “Right now the other is being demonized.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/05/world/middleeast/05nations.html?ex=1352005200&en=93fd256f53c21587&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink