Israelis demonstrate against Dutch xenophobe Wilders


This is a video about a demonstration against Geert Wilders in the Netherlands.

Press release, Dec. 4, 2010 [with hyperlinks added, like usually at this blog]

The following alert was sent out by activists of different Israeli peace and human rights groups, themselves originally from Holland.

Demo, Sunday, December 5, in Tel-Aviv — beginning 4pm

WILDERS – WE DON’T NEED YOU HERE

The Dutch politician Geert Wilders is thriving on Islamophobia and holds the present right-wing Dutch government hostage. Now he comes here at the invitation of KM Aryeh Eldad – to preach his “Jordan is Palestine” ideas. Yes, he is the one behind that internet hate film “Fitna”.

Let’s show that we don’t need him here.

TIME: Sunday, 05.12.10, 4pm (to be there for the arriving participants to see)

PLACE: In front of the Israel Jafa Center, Tel Aviv – Ganei Yehoshua Park, Sderot Rokach 80 (north of the Yarkon).

HOW TO GET THERE: less than 1 kilometer eastward from the corner of the Namir Road– Rokach Avenue

Dan buses coming close to the Center: 21, 28, 28, 48

Egged bus to the Namir Road: 74

MAP: http://www.systematics.co.il/mathworks/events/2007_Seminar/B_israel_map.htm

Slogan idea (but you will be able to make your own text at the spot):

WILDERS THE HATEMONGER – AS IF WE HADN’T ENOUGH

and also something in Dutch:

WILDERS – DAAR ZATEN WE NOU NIET OP TE WACHTEN

Inviting you: Israeli activists of Dutch origin:

Chana Arnon, Ilana Drukker, Hannah Friedman, Annelien Kisch, Beate Zilversmidt

Expected also, a group of Dutch internationals active as human rights observers etc. on the West Bank

Contact: 054-2340750

FYI: the “Hatikva Conference” invitation – in Hebrew:

http://rotter.net/cgi-bin/forum/scoops1-iphone.pl?file=17548

————
See also the statement of Dutch nationals who are to join the demonstration in Tel-Aviv – involved with Palestinian communities in occupied territory:

GEERT WILDERS IN THE SACK* Dutch citizens and their supporters working among Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Israel will participate in a demonstration against the visit of Dutch politician Geert Wilders, Sunday 5 December, to Tel Aviv. We join a group of former Dutch citizens active in Israeli peace and human rights groups.

In the company of the most right-wing political groups in Israel, which resist any form of Palestinian self-determination, Wilders calls for a kind of silent transfer of Palestinians to Jordan. His Islamophobia and uncritical attitude towards Israel add only fuel to the flames in the West Bank and East-Jerusalem where fanatic settlers resist any form of peace agreement or protection of human rights of Palestinians.

The last thing needed here is a Wilders who comes to express support to such groups. In reference to the St Nicholas feast in Holland on December 5, we will ask St Nicholas to put Wilders in the “sack.” Instead of Wilders’ interference, we call for effective Dutch pressure on Israel to end the occupation of the West Bank and the continuing siege of Gaza in accordance with international law.

The initiative is of Dutch citizens and their sympathizers who are committed to peace- and development work among Palestinians in the West Bank, East-Jerusalem and Israel.

Coordinator of (this part of) the action is Fabienne van Eck (East-Jerusalem) en spokesperson Toine van Teeffelen (Bethlehem).

*This is a reference to the Dutch St Nicholas feast, held December 5, during which it can happen, among other more fortunate events, that “naughty children” are put in “the sack.”

Contact: 0522-789156 or 054-7220926.

——————————————————-

Contact the Israeli initiators: +972-54-2340750

German clerical sexual abuse cover-ups


This video says about itself:

As the Catholic Church struggles to deal with a wave of sex abuse scandals, Simox Cox investigates the Pope’s track record in dealing with paedophile priests. When he was elected, Pope Benedict XVI promised to rid his Church of “filth”, but he now stands accused of covering up abuse and failing to protect children from paedophile priests – the first during his time as Archbishop of Munich and the second while leading the Vatican watchdog responsible for dealing with clerical abuse.

This is Part 2 of the video series on this.

And this is Part 3.

From Deutsche Welle radio in Germany:

03.12.2010

German study finds systematic cover-ups in Catholic priest abuse cases

An investigation into cases of sexual abuse in the German Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, where Pope Benedikt

sic in German; Benedict in English

XVI was once archbishop, has revealed a “systematic system of cover-up” and a lot of missing paperwork.

Germany’s Catholic Church systematically covered up cases of sexual abuse within its own ranks for several decades, according to an expert study commissioned by the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising.

The lawyer heading up the investigation, Marion Westpfahl, said at a press conference on Friday that the available records pointed to huge gaps in the documentation between 1945 and 2009. She added this hinted strongly at a “systematic system of cover-up,” in which few abuse cases were criminally prosecuted.

“Only 26 priests were convicted for sexual offences,” Westpfahl explained to reporters, saying she found 365 files containing evidence that “acts of abuse had taken place in an almost commonplace manner.”

“We have to assume that there is a large unknown number [of abuse cases],” she said. “We are dealing with the extensive destruction of files.”

The incriminating evidence Westpfahl found among 13,200 available files implicated 159 priests, 15 deacons, 96 religion teachers and six pastoral employees, with rural areas particularly affected.

The victims’ suffering often remained a mystery, she said, as the reports usually discussed abuse in coy euphemisms.

Details sketchy on papal era

Westpfahl also said that the period of 1977 to 1982, when Pope Benedict XVI – then Archbishop Josef Ratzinger – headed up the archdiocese, was particularly poorly documented.

In this timeframe, she only found one document, regarding an abuse case. Ratzinger had dealt with the case himself, ordering that an abusive priest be removed from his parish, she said.

Westpfahl praised the church for giving her free reign in her research, a task to which she was assigned by current Archbishop Reinhard Marx.

“For me, these were surely the worst months of my life,” Marx told reporters on Friday. “I felt shame, grief and dismay. As a church, we ask forgiveness for those things done by our church employees.”

The Archdiocese of Munich and Freising was one of the worst hit in Germany during the wave of abuse accusations that swept across much of Europe in 2009, and Westpfahl’s report was commissioned in response to the allegations.

United States-Japanese war games


This video from Japan says about itself:

Okinawa Anti-Base Protesters Remember WWII

24 January 2010 — Since February 2006, people from all over Okinawa come to a sit-in protest in Higashi Village in the northern part of the island. They are determined to stop helipad construction within the US Armed Forces Northern Training Area in the Yanbaru Forest. They object to the environmental damage to the forest, home to 20 endangered species, that would be caused by the construction and then the constant helicopter traffic over the village and forest. Many of the protesters are survivors of WWII.

They form a network along with protesters at Henoko Bay who sit in daily to stop construction of a proposed marine helicopter training airfield replacing Futenma air base.

Background: Futenma Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) base is currently located in the heart of a densely populated Ginowan City creating a dangerous situation. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld visiting Futenma in 2003 said that the base had to be closed because it is an “accident waiting to happen.” In 2004, a marine helicopter crashed into a university in Ginowan City located right next to Futenma base. No lives were lost because it occurred during summer vacation, but a building was heavily damaged.

All parties involved agree that Futenma needs to be closed, but the closure is contingent upon the availability of a relocation site. This is where the matter is currently stuck. It’s taken over a decade to negotiate a proper relocation site. In 2006, a plan was negotiated between Bush administration officials and the LDP, the previous government that ruled Japan for 54 years. The plan designated Henoko Bay next to Camp Schwab as the site for the new air station and called for the removal of 8,000 marines to Guam.

There has been an outcry from the Okinawans in part because Henoko Bay is one of the most beautiful parts of the island, home to coral reefs and the natural habitat of the endangered and beloved mammal, dugongs. A lawsuit was filed in San Francisco in 2003 by Japanese and US environmental NGOs that resulted in a 2008 ruling by a federal judge against the U.S. Department of Defense “requiring it to consider impacts of a new airbase on the dugong in order to avoid or mitigate any harm.”

About 70% of US military bases in Japan are located on Okinawa occupying over 20% of the island. Many Okinawans have been outraged by the impact on the quality of their lives of not only because of the safety issues that arise from the heavy helicopter and plane traffic, but also the deafening noise, falling objects from the helicopters and planes. The multiple impacts of US bases is a daily reality for the residents all over Okinawa and at times the impact is painfully tragic and unifies the entire island to protest. In fact, the current movement against US military bases was ignited in 1995 when a 12-year-old Okinawan girl was raped by a marine.

It is worth remembering that Okinawa is the site of the only land battle in Japan during WWII. About 150,000 Okinawan civilians lost their lives from the attacks by the US military and by Japanese Imperial Army that forced the residents to commit suicide rather than surrender. Many protesters of the military bases are survivors of the war.

The ongoing, organized protests at Henoko Bay and in Hidashi Village in have effectively delayed construction on those sites. Moreover, Okinawan voters made Henoko a campaign issue in the 2009 national elections in Japan that brought a new coalition government into power. …

The delay has caused great aggravation for the US government. Secretary of State Clinton and Secretary of Defense Gates have made it clear that the US expects the 2006 agreement to go forward.

TOKYO and Washington launched their biggest-ever joint war games today on military installations throughout mainland Japan, Okinawa and in waters surrounding Japan: here.

Okinawa airbase row takes new twist as US and Japan delay relocation: here.

One of the features of advances in military technology is that an increasing proportion of those killed in wars are civilians, not combatants. In the first decade of the new century, new developments in military technology have raised the possibility for powerful countries of increasingly dispensing with combatants entirely: here.

WikiLeaks to new site because of cybercrime


This video is called WikiLeaks Iraq war logs: Civilians have paid heaviest price.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

WikiLeaks switches to new domain name

Friday 03 December 2010

WIKILEAKS was forced yesterday to switch over to a Swiss domain name, wikileaks.ch, after a new round of hacker attacks on its system prompted its US domain name provider to withdraw service.

WikiLeaks’ US domain name system provider EveryDNS withdrew service to the wikileaks.org name on Thursday night, claiming it had taken the action because the new hacker attacks threatened the rest of its network.

“WikiLeaks.org has become the target of multiple distributed denial of service attacks. These attacks have, and future attacks would, threaten the stability of the EveryDNS.net infrastructure,” the firm said.

EveryDNS provides access to 500,000 websites.

It was not clear where the alleged attacks were coming from.

WikiLeaks has previously claimed that intelligence agencies from the US and elsewhere have been targeting its site, which has spilled thousands of embarrassing US diplomatic cables as well as classified US military documents.

As I tried to access http://www.wikileaks.ch/, access was denied.

Another cybercrime attack? By the CIA? by some “lone wolf” extreme Right idiot? Stay tuned.

According to Huffington Post:

However, users can still reach the site at 213.251.145.96.

WikiLeaks’ revelations on US policy towards Argentina and its paranoid fear of a ‘pink tide’ flooding leftwards presage darker revelations to come: here.

Media: WikiLeaks and Amazon.

WikiLeaks: Antidote to Government Lies: here.

US drone kills German


This video from the American Civil Liberties Union

condemns the U.S. government practice of issuing death sentences without due process as part of its targeted killing policy. “Targeted Killing” is being released to coincide with the filing today of an unprecedented lawsuit by the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) challenging the government’s asserted authority to use lethal force against U.S. citizens located far from any battlefield without judicial process, and without disclosing the standards it uses to target individuals for death.

From Der Spiegel weekly in Germany:

12/03/2010

Obama Is not God’

US Drone Attack Raises Uncomfortable Questions for Germany

A US drone attack in Pakistan in October is thought to have killed a German citizen. The government of Chancellor Angela Merkel would prefer the case to simply go away, but one parliamentarian is refusing to let it be forgotten.

When a German citizen is killed in a foreign country under mysterious circumstances, one might expect an outcry from politicians and the media. But the case of Bünyamin E., a German of Turkish descent who is believed to have died in Pakistan on Oct. 4, has caused remarkably little fuss in Germany — partly because the 20-year-old was a suspected terrorist, but also because he was apparently killed by an American drone.

The case is awkward for the German government, as it involves the country’s most powerful ally and also raises uncomfortable questions about whether Germany provided support for the targeted killing.

But one opposition politician in particular is determined not to let the government off the hook. Wolfgang Neskovic, a member of parliament for the far-left Left Party, has been pursuing the case and demanding answers from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration.

The German government “has done everything to conceal the facts of the case,” Neskovic told SPIEGEL ONLINE in an interview. “If German citizens are executed in a foreign country — and that’s the only way to describe the targeted killing by the US — the German government has to provide both the general public and the parliament with sufficient information.”

Possible Legal Consequences

One reason the case has not caused a greater outcry is due to fears of an impending terrorist attack in Germany, caused by a recent warning from Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière, meaning that sympathy for the rights of suspected terrorists is limited. But Neskovic — a member of the Bundestag’s Parliamentary Control Panel, which monitors the work of Germany’s intelligence agencies — insists that the intentions of the alleged victims of the attack are irrelevant.

“It does not matter whether the people killed were actually terrorists or not,” he said. He called for the circumstances of the fatal drone attack to be thoroughly cleared up. “The US should state whether it actually killed a German or not,” he said, adding that the German government “cannot allow or support such attacks on German citizens.”

Neskovic suggests the German government could bear partial responsibility for the attack. “The Germans would be complicit in the US’s execution operation if they, for example, continued to give information to the US about German Islamists while knowing about a planned targeted killing,” he said. “That could have legal as well as political consequences.”

Pakistani journalist sues CIA for drone strike that killed relatives: here.

December 2010 drone strikes: here.

Adam Weinstein: Military drones‘ Afghan success rate: 2%. Here.

Laura Dekker, youngest person ever to sail around the world?


This is a Dutch TV interview with Laura Dekker. Her ship just left the Cape Verde islands, intending to cross the Atlantic, and then sail all around the world, with just Laura on board. In the interview, Ms Dekker says she hopes to see dolphins in the Atlantic.

Laura Dekker is fifteen years old. If her plans succeed, then she will become the youngest sailor ever to circumnavigate the world alone.

UPDATE: Sailing Girl Laura Dekker Won’t Make Guinness Record: here.

Save Japan Dolphins: A Message From Ric O’Barry: here.

Brushfire disaster in Israel


This video is called 2nd Dec. 2010 – Storyful – Haifa Fire Mt. Carmel Israel.

Firefighters from other countries begin assisting Israel with deadly brushfire that has killed 41 people – Al Jazeera: here.

UN joins Israel firefighting effort: Ban Ki-moon offers to mobilise more support as Israel battles deadly forest fire: here.