Earlier today I was again thinking about a post I want to finish which is about the hysteria of the wars on …well everything and within this authoritarian fugue how what would normally be considered rape is sanctioned by the state as ‘cavity searches’ or ‘strip searches’. Then this was reported at The Fanonite–
GAZA CITY, Jun 28 (IPS) – Mohammed Omer, the Gaza correspondent of IPS, and joint winner of the 2008 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism, was strip-searched at gunpoint, assaulted and abused by Israeli security officials at the Allenby border crossing between Jordan and the West Bank on Thursday as he tried to return home to Gaza. Omer, a resident of Rafah in the south of Gaza, and previous recipient of the New America Media’s Best Youth Voice award several years ago, was returning from London where he had just collected his Gellhorn Prize, and from several European capitals where he had speaking engagements, including a meeting with Greek parliamentarians.
Omer’s trip was sponsored by The Washington Report, and the Dutch embassy in Tel Aviv was responsible for coordinating Omer’s travel plans and his security permit to leave Gaza with Israeli officials. Israel controls the borders of Gaza and severely restricts the entrance and exit of Gazans allegedly on grounds of security. Human rights organisations accuse the Israelis of using security as a pretext to apply collective punishment indiscriminately. While waiting in Amman on his way back, Omer eventually received the requisite coordination and security clearance from the Israelis to return to Gaza after this had initially been delayed by several days, he told IPS.
Accompanied by Dutch diplomats, Omer passed through the Jordanian side of the border without incident. However, after arrival on the Israeli side, trouble began. He informed a female soldier that he was returning home to Gaza. He was repeatedly asked where Gaza was, and told that he had neither a permit nor any coordination to cross. Omer explained that he did indeed have permission and coordination but was nevertheless taken to a room by Israel’s domestic intelligence agency the Shin Bet, where he was isolated for an hour and a half without explanation.
“Eventually I was asked whether I had a knife or gun on me even though I had already passed through the x-ray machine, had my luggage searched, and was in the company of Dutch diplomats,” Omer said.
His luggage was again searched, and security then proceeded to go through every document and paper he had on him, taking down the names and numbers of the European parliamentary officials he had met. The Shin Bet officials then started to make fun of the European parliamentarians, and mocked Omer for being “the prize-winning journalist”. The Gazan journalist was repeatedly asked why he was returning to “the hell of Gaza after we allowed you to leave.” To this he responded that he wanted to be a voice for the voiceless. He was told he was a “trouble-maker”.
The security men also demanded he show all the money he had on him, and particular attention was paid to the British pounds he was carrying. His Gellhorn prize money had been awarded in British pounds but he was not carrying the entire sum on him bodily, something the investigators refused to believe.
After being unable to produce the prize money, he was ordered to strip naked.
“At first I refused but then I had an M16 (gun) pointed in my face and my clothes were forcibly removed, even my underwear,” Omer said.
At this point Omer broke down and pleaded for an end to such treatment. He said he was told, “you haven’t seen anything yet.” Every cavity of his body was searched as one of the investigators pinned him down on the floor, placing his boot on Omer’s neck. Omer began vomiting, and fainted. When he came round his eyelids were being forcibly opened and his eardrums probed by an Israeli military doctor, who was also armed. He was then dragged along the floor by his feet by the Shin Bet officials, with his head repeatedly banging on the floor, to a Palestinian ambulance which had been called.
“I eventually woke up in a Palestinian hospital with the doctors trying to reassure me,” Omer told IPS. The Dutch Foreign Ministry at the Hague told IPS that Foreign Minister Maxime Zerhagen spoke to the Israeli ambassador to The Netherlands and demanded an explanation. The Dutch embassy in Tel Aviv has also raised the issue with the Israeli Foreign Ministry, which in turn has promised to investigate the incident and get back to the Dutch officials.
Ahmed Dadou, spokesman from the Dutch Foreign Ministry at the Hague told IPS, “We are taking this whole incident very seriously as we don’t believe the behaviour of the Israeli officials is in accordance with a modern democracy. “We are further concerned about the mistreatment of an internationally renowned journalist trying to go about his daily business,” added Dadou.
A spokeswoman at the Israeli Foreign Press Association said she was unaware of the incident. Lisa Dvir from the Israeli Airport Authority (IAA), the body responsible for controlling Israel’s borders, told IPS that the IAA was neither aware of Omer’s journalist credentials nor of his coordination.
“We would like to know who Omer spoke to in regard to receiving coordination to pass through Allenby. We offer journalists a special service when passing through our border crossings, and had we known about his arrival this would not have happened. I’m not aware of the events that followed his detention, and we are not responsible for the behaviour of the Shin Bet.”
In the meantime, Omer is still traumatised and in pain. “I’m struggling to breathe and have pain in my head and stomach and will be going back to hospital for further medical examinations,” he said.
He was assaulted then raped, the agents doing it knew he was a journalist, it may well be why they were doing it, the excuses of the spokeswoman are pathetic. How many men and women are administratively raped in IAA facilities? Others talking about this also mention how it is reminiscent of the treatment meted out to Hedy Epstein, a holocaust survivor (her parents died in camps, she escaped on a children’s transport in 1939) who in 2004 at 80 years of age was humiliatingly strip searched as she tried to travel into Palestine. This administrative rape and sexual assault, this sexual torture is a powerful weapon for the oppressor (cf. Abu Ghraib) however such ‘searches’ remain delineated into ‘security’ a false taxonomy even more important for the perpetrators to insist on after the UN recognised rape as a war tactic.
Seymour Hersh’s latest [here] details an expanded program of covert US activities against Iran, what is also important to note is-
Under federal law, a Presidential Finding, which is highly classified, must be issued when a covert intelligence operation gets under way and, at a minimum, must be made known to Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and the Senate and to the ranking members of their respective intelligence committees—the so-called Gang of Eight. Money for the operation can then be reprogrammed from previous appropriations, as needed, by the relevant congressional committees, which also can be briefed. “The Finding was focussed on undermining Iran’s nuclear ambitions and trying to undermine the government through regime change,” a person familiar with its contents said, and involved “working with opposition groups and passing money.” The Finding provided for a whole new range of activities in southern Iran and in the areas, in the east, where Baluchi political opposition is strong, he said.
Although some legislators were troubled by aspects of the Finding, and “there was a significant amount of high-level discussion” about it, according to the source familiar with it, the funding for the escalation was approved. In other words, some members of the Democratic leadership—Congress has been under Democratic control since the 2006 elections—were willing, in secret, to go along with the Administration in expanding covert activities directed at Iran, while the Party’s presumptive candidate for President, Barack Obama, has said that he favors direct talks and diplomacy. (ht2 People’s Geography)
And both are keeping tight lipped-
Reuters- Many of these activities are not specified in the new finding, and some congressional leaders have had serious questions about their nature, it said. Among groups inside Iran benefiting from U.S. support is the Jundallah, also known as the Iranian People’s Resistance Movement, according to former CIA officer Robert Baer. Council on Foreign Relations analyst Vali Nasr described it to Hersh as a vicious organization suspected of links to al Qaeda.
The article said U.S. support for the dissident groups could prompt a violent crackdown by Iran, which could give the Bush administration a reason to intervene. None of the Democratic leaders in Congress would comment on the finding, the article said. The White House, which has repeatedly denied preparing for military action against Iran, and the CIA also declined comment.
Maybe, maybe the Democratic leadership have a faulty dictionary with incorrect definitions of- opposition, democracy, honesty and spine. Or it further confirms the leadership cynically co-opted anti-war feelings to get votes with no intention of actually fulfilling that role. Which leaves the election seeming an even weaker version of the least-worse-choice every day. You can vote empire, or you can vote empire, your choice! The real issue as Cyrus Safdari @ Iran Affairs says-
The “Iranian nuclear threat” talk is a pretext, a distraction and a smokescreeen. “Wmds in Iraq” was the pretext to invade Iraq, and “Communism” was the same pretextual justification for the CIA’s 1953 coup in Iran to secure oil. Bloggers should not allow themselves to be distracted into that debate, and should keep the focus on the real issue.
THAT is really what is behind this nonsense about “nuclear weapons” — a battle by developing nations with the rich to control their access to energy by monopolizing nuclear enrichment technology under the guise of non-proliferation. In the particular case of Iran, the Bush administration is also seeking to keep Iran economically deprived and backward, to suit Israel and thereby help secure Israel’s dominant position in the Mideast while also creating a pretext for implementing a policy of regime change.
The United States has withdrawn nuclear weapons from the RAF Lakenheath air base 70 miles northeast of London, marking the end to more than 50 years of U.S. nuclear weapons deployment to the United Kingdom…Why NATO and the United States have decided to keep these major withdrawals secret is a big puzzle. The explanation might simply be that “nuclear” always means secret, that it was done to prevent a public debate about the future of the rest of the weapons, or that the Bush administration just doesn’t like arms control. Whatever the reason, it is troubling because the reductions have occurred around the same time that Russian officials repeatedly have pointed to the U.S. weapons in Europe as a justification to reject limitations on Russia’s own tactical nuclear weapons.
It’s not often you go out and actively inflict a meme upon yourself but I found this so enjoyable, well I did it twice! Ok so here’s the lowdown from GLH Playground–
1. type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
2. using only the first page of results, pick one image.
3. copy and paste each of the url’s for the images into big huge lab’s mosaic maker to create a mosaic of the picture answers.
1. what is your first name?
2. what is your favorite food? right now?
3. what high school did you go to?
4. what is your favorite color?
5. who is your celebrity crush?
6. what is your favorite drink?
7. what is your dream vacation?
8. what is your favorite dessert?
9. what do you want to be when you grow up?
10. what do you love most in life?
11. what is one word that describes you?
12. what is your flickr name?
some blogs are posting their answers to each other questions – i’d rather remain an enigma. i think the mosaic stands on it’s own.
And I agree, I also think with different questions it could become even more intriguing and the resultant mosaic is worthy of some pondering beyond simply the answers and the pics, the free creativity of all the flickr users, how people tag their images, how you choose, why you choose. The result does construct meaning emanating from many decisions and some shared perceptions mediated through the technology. A hi-tech ink blot, some collective unconscious, a colourful gestalt.
Also maybe a weekly one made of 9 search terms (for a 3×3 grid) from the weeks stuff and slightly changed rules could be good, hmmm. Anyway I enjoyed doing it (it is great, you see lots of piccies and the mosaic maker is really easy and effective), feel free to give a whirl and here are my two mosaics-
D’oh! [see below]
Update: After this got picked up by Juan Cole a blogger with experience of Eisenstadt is saying it is a hoax, (or at least the guy is a wannabe more than anything) I’m trying to get to the bottom of this but as satire it does hit its targets I suppose.
Update 2: Well the jury is in and it is not what it appears to be, the guy changed his name to Martin to escape detection (now foiled as the last bout of activity now puts hoax as top result for his name!). If he means to help the antiwar cause he has not, my guess is he is after a media career does hold right wing views and thinks this is a funny satire of what the left thinks of the occupation. I will leave the rest of the post as a lesson in fallibility! I’m sorry to those who like me were taken in by this. Martin Eisenstadt or whoever he really is is invited to come here and explain his work and what his motivations are.
Old post below the fold-
And this time by …their own Assistant Commissioner-
The UK’s most senior Muslim police officer is in the final stages of preparing a racial discrimination case against Scotland Yard. Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur has had legal documents drawn up accusing colleagues of a catalogue of victimisation, bullying and harassment.
Some of the allegations refer directly to the actions of Commissioner Sir Ian Blair and Police Authority chair Len Duvall, sources said. One senior colleague said relations between Mr Ghaffur and Sir Ian were so bad that the two men will not speak to each other.
Mr Ghaffur, who is responsible for security at the 2012 Olympics, has employed a senior barrister to draw up legal papers. He is now in the final stages of considering whether to formally submit them to the force and commence an employment tribunal. Mr Ghaffur also claimed he was discriminated against when his contract was extended for only one year, unlike senior colleagues.
Ali Dizaei, president of the National Black Police Association, said he was aware of Mr Ghaffur’s concerns. He said: “It will be a sad day for the police service if one of the UK’s most respected senior ethnic minority police officers is forced to challenge his treatment in court. The negative effect of such an action on recruitment and on trust and confidence in policing, in particular with minority ethnic communities, will be significant and cannot be under-estimated.”
Mr Ghaffur, who was speaking at the Association of Chief Police Officers annual conference in Liverpool today, refused to comment. “I’m not able to say a word. I can’t comment,” he said.
The news came as Sir Ian was accused of excluding black and Asian detectives in favour of a “golden circle” of white officers. Commander Shabir Hussain, 45, claimed he was passed over for promotion by Sir Ian, who used his influence to earmark others.
Speaking at a London employment tribunal yesterday, he said: “My face did not fit and did not fit because I am not white.” The senior officer claimed he was rejected an “unprecedented” four times for promotion to Deputy Assistant Commissioner while others succeeded.
Earlier this month, Sergeant Gurpal Virdi, a Sikh detective, was awarded £70,400 in damages. A tribunal ruled that he had been passed over for promotion because he had brought race discrimination claims against the force.
The claims are the latest controversy to hit Sir Ian, following the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, the Forest Gate raid and a number of ill-judged comments. They threaten to engulf the Metropolitan Police in its biggest race row since the Stephen Lawrence murder.
Stephen, 18, was stabbed to death near his home in Eltham, south east London, by a gang of racist thugs in 1993. No-one has ever been convicted of his murder. The McPherson inquiry into the investigation of the death labelled the force “institutionally racist” in 1999.
The BBC report has this nugget from Ghaffur’s early life-
…aged 16, he began his police career as a Pc with Greater Manchester Police (GMP) in Salford. At the time Mr Ghaffur was one of only two officers from an ethnic minority in a force of more than 6,000. He has recalled that on his first day the desk sergeant refused to believe he was a police officer and initially would not let him enter the station.
He’s been putting up with it his whole life, now he’s had enough apparently, maybe Blair’s ‘Golden (shower) Circle’ of Aryan Purity was the final straw, that and his force keeps shooting brown people. I’m sure the Met PR lot don’t relish this, but do they really think the public doesn’t know how they are treated by the police day in and day out, this is not a disaster, just an affirmation of minorities experience, this time from a senior insider. If they want better relations with people, stop dressing and acting like an occupying paramilitary force eager to misuse every dumb ‘terror’ law the government dreams up.
A mayonnaise advert showing two men kissing has been withdrawn after it led to more than 200 complaints. Heinz confirmed last night that it had withdrawn the television commercial for its Deli Mayo following ‘consumer feedback’. Viewers said it was ‘offensive’, ‘inappropriate’ and ‘unsuitable to be seen by children’, while some parents were angry that they had been forced to explain same-sex relationships to their youngsters who asked them about the ad. (ht2 D-Notice)
Ok second link in as many days to The Mail (shudder) but it’s the- won’t someone think of the children? and ‘forced to explain same-sex relationships to their youngsters‘ (forced?) that I find…well hilarious. As well as in the context of the ad [youtube] they are not even gay, the ‘gag’ of the ad is the wife in this nuclear middle class family is played by a New York deli chef character (who sexistly the makers deemed male as they came up with the ‘gag’). Now clearly these people are idiots, retarded bigots raising children who I hope escape their parents diseased mindset. However I am a charitable soul and so in the spirit of cut out and keep guides I offer this helpful attempt to reach those parents and give them a simple way to explain to their children after they are traumatised by condiment adverts.
Of course I am speaking here to these self same simpletons who despite their low wit and intelligence have found another person (or the milkman) and managed to figure out basic fucking procedures (although not contraception) and produced offspring. So first thing to remember retards when I say cut out and keep this is not to be taken literally. Do not attack the computer screen with a knife and scissors attempting to carve out the glass and display surface below upon which the words appear. No, it is more a figure of speech, although if you print the guide (onto paper, ok, paper, got that?) you could then cut around the edges to produce a handy wallet sized mnemonic (sorry- thing to help you remember stuff, ok? Don’t panic I’ll keep the words simpler from now on). So don’t try and cut open your screen, although congratulations on being able to use the internet, maybe your kid showed you how, y’know the one you are terrified of explaining same sex relationships to. (Although let’s face it even if you are using the internet you probably think for example MSN Messenger is a mandatory element of the web, have no idea what instant messaging is or that other software exists, or browsers like Firefox or other pc’s (Apple, they make ipods don’t they?) oh yeah I’ve met you people!) Ahem, so here it is how to simply and quickly explain to your tiny little precious doe-eyed trusting child about the vast ranges of sexualities-
You can like men or women or both.
Ok now you’re confused, I can see it in your big moon idiot face. You are wondering if this is for a boy or a girl, well the beauty of this handy guide is- it applies to both equally, simple really. Now how hard is that really? Because niece number two once asked me having seen ..yes can you believe it, two women kissing on TV!!!! (won’t someone think of the children!) now you (you, you Daily Mail reading complaint letter writing numpty) may expect that after this earth shattering event (not to mention a divorce, oh the iniquitous immorality of it all!) that this poor child is now a confused drug addict, pervert and recidivist criminal (who nevertheless to your way of thinking deserves no sympathy and must be jailed and quite possibly hung, drawn, quartered… and birched) which would be news to all of us as she is head girl and a champion athlete. Which is to say, oh pasty gimps of idiocy, saying those eight words is not at all hard and it will not harm your child. In fact I have to be truthful here, this also operates as a rudimentary bigot spotting device, if you have a problem with saying those eight words that indicates you have bigotry coursing through your tiny brains. But…the good news is, if you can still fight that, let your child grow free of the prejudices that were put into you, say those words, not be afraid of adverts for Mayonnaise, then you are growing and becoming a far better person, which makes for a far better parent. Heinz though, they be naughty, bad Heinz.
Update: Thanks to Josh in comments details of complaints and a petition (now over 8,000 names, so that far outnumbers the 200 bigots so that ad better be back on Heinz!)
i’ve sent this:
subject: Censoring of Heinz Deli Mayo TV ad
dear mr. or mrs. i’m really disappointed, why did you remove the Heinz Deli Mayo TV ad made by BBDO only because a bunch of sick homophobes pressured you to do that? you are endorsing a homophobe agenda and i won’t buy any of your products again until you repair the damage you have done. you have lost one customer, and i’m pretty sure i won’t be the only one. have a nice day xxxxxx
and sign the petition too: http://www.petitiononline.com/heinz/petition.html
we are a lot more than 200 sick homophobes, and they have lost us as customers!
Well the trial of Nazi terrorist Martyn Gilleard got a higher press profile today as the jury convicted him because it now includes that magic press friendly ingredient- paedophilia! So how’s that master race shaping up for y’all?
Neo-Nazi Martyn Gilleard has been found guilty of making bombs for a far-right terrorist campaign, after having previously admitted downloading thousands of images of child sexual abuse. Police initially searched Gilleard’s flat in Goole, East Yorkshire, in connection with child pornography offences. But once inside the 31-year-old’s home, they discovered not just evidence of a paedophile, but the equipment of a potential terrorist as well. Officers found machetes, swords, bullets, gunpowder and racist literature. Most sinister of all were four home-made nail bombs stashed under his bed.
He wrote of starting a “racial war” and murdering Muslims, but Martyn Gilleard boasted that he was no “barstool nationalist”. And a jury has decided he truly did want to put his white supremacist views into action. At the opening of his trial at Leeds Crown Court, Gilleard admitted 10 counts of child pornography offences. Officers had discovered more than 39,000 indecent images of children on his computer. Jurors considering the terror charges did not learn of this until they delivered their verdict.
So in fact he was caught not because of his Nazism but because of his sexual predilections, clearly he avoided detection by not writing poetry, although his notes-
In a notebook recovered by police, Gilleard wrote that the “time has come to stop the talk and start to act”.
“Unless we the British right stop talking of racial war and take steps to make it happen, we will never get back that which has been stolen from us,” he added.
“I am so sick and tired of hearing nationalists talk of killing Muslims, of blowing up mosques, of fighting back, only to see these acts of resistance fail to appear.” In another note, he wrote that he wanted to see “reds” – left-wing activists – attacked with “lightning strikes” and “home-made grenades”.
His comments were a chilling echo of far-right nail bomber David Copeland, jailed for life for murder after attacks targeting London’s gay community and ethnic minorities in 1999.
He is a sad man, whose inadequacies led him into the arms of the weak minded Nazis (perpetually acting as a cult for angry white deeply dysfunctional and propagandised misfits), but he got pretty far along before he was accidentally detected, which again makes you wonder at how tolerated these views are in a generalised sense by a white male dominated British establishment. You can be sure the tabloids would be raving if he could have been fitted into the islamofascisterrorzombie!!!!! frame.
Wall Street Journal bureau chief Blackmon gives a groundbreaking and disturbing account of a sordid chapter in American history [Slavery By Another Name]—the lease (essentially the sale) of convicts to commercial interests between the end of the 19th century and well into the 20th. Usually, the criminal offense was loosely defined vagrancy or even changing employers without permission. The initial sentence was brutal enough; the actual penalty, reserved almost exclusively for black men, was a form of slavery in one of hundreds of forced labor camps operated by state and county governments, large corporations, small time entrepreneurs and provincial farmers. Into this history, Blackmon weaves the story of Green Cottenham, who was charged with riding a freight train without a ticket, in 1908 and was sentenced to three months of hard labor for Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad, a subsidiary of U.S. Steel. Cottenham’s sentence was extended an additional three months and six days because he was unable to pay fines then leveraged on criminals. Blackmon’s book reveals in devastating detail the legal and commercial forces that created this neoslavery along with deeply moving and totally appalling personal testimonies of survivors. Every incident in this book is true, he writes; one wishes it were not so. (ht2 C&L)
It’s important the dynamic this exposes is not consigned as an aspect of specific history, that the motviations and desires of capital continue today and this slavery is reproduced but with ‘illegal’ immigrants supplying the rights deprived labour and the customers for the prison industrial complex.