United for Peace of Pierce County, WA - We nonviolently oppose the reliance on unilateral military actions rather than cooperative diplomacy.

VIDEO: What was really going through Mark Regev's mind...

E-mail Print

Mark Regev, born Mark Freiberg in Australia, Hebraicized his name when he moved to Israel in the 1980s.  --  He is now the chief spokesman for the Israeli prime minister, and has been since 2007.  --  A few days ago, in an imaginative use of video, a YouTube vlogger imagined what was really going through Regev's mind during a particularly tough BBC interview.[1] ...

Last Updated on Friday, 01 August 2014 06:38 Read more...
 

NEWS: Three-day Gaza cease-fire & indirect talks in Cairo

E-mail Print

Israel, Hamas, and "all militant factions" in Gaza have agreed to a three-day cease-fire "set to begin Friday morning," a pause "considered long enough to get the parties to another country to start negotiations toward a longer truce," the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, twenty-four days after Israel began its attack, on Jul. 7.[1]  --  The negotiations are to take place in Egypt, and will be "led by the Egyptians, because the U.S. and Israel won't sit down at the table with Hamas representatives," Jay Solomon, Joshua Mitnick, and William Mauldin said.  --  "Gaza's health ministry said 1,428 Palestinians have been killed since the conflict began on July 8.  --  [Valerie Amos, the U.N. humanitarian affairs chief] said more than 80% were civilians.  --  Fifty-six Israeli soldiers have been killed, according to the military, and three civilians have been killed by rockets fired into Israel."  --  Only hours before the 8:00 a.m. local time set for the cease-fire to begin (10:00 p.m. on Jul. 31, PDT), an Israeli strike killed a Palestinian family of ten, that the number of Palestinians killed passed 1,450, Al Jazeera's Gaza Blog reported.  --  In an article posted a few hours earlier, Al Jazeera reported that "Earlier on Thursday, the U.S. said there was 'little doubt' Israeli bombs killed 19 people at a U.N. shelter in Gaza on Wednesday, in its strongest condemnation yet of Israeli attacks on civilians in the Palestinian enclave.  --  White House spokesman Josh Earnest, said on Thursday that the shelling of the school in Jabaliya was 'totally indefensible.'"[2] ...

Last Updated on Friday, 01 August 2014 05:34 Read more...
 

COMMENTARY: 'Crime (Israel) and Punishment (Russia)'

E-mail Print

On Tuesday, the Financial Times, in a prominently featured editorial comment, called Russia's view of events in Ukraine a "lie, propagated by Europe’s radical rightwing populists as well as by Moscow, that the E.U. and U.S. are responsible for the bloodshed in Ukraine."  --  For the arch-respectable London daily, doubts about what brought down MH17 are only "elaborate Russian disinformation."  --   Maybe so.  --  But Pepe Escobar, that free-wheeling enfant terrible of geopolitical commentators, thinks otherwise.  --  After all, the Russians have a point:  where is the evidence that proves it was a Russian-provided missile that shot down MH17?  --  Well, you have to take some things on faith.  --  The Americans "swore they had evidence.  --  As in 'We know.  --  Trust us.'"  --  Alas:  "The historical record for the past sixty years at least [an allusion to the Gulf of Tonkin charade, inter alia] shows they cannot be trusted."  --  Escobar's conclusion?  --   "There was never any evidence.  Just spin."  --  Consider the relation of evidence to punishment in the case of Russia, and then contrast it to that relation in the case of Israel.  --  "Not even Hollywood could come up with such a plot," Escobar marveled.  --  "Israel gets away with unlawful premeditated mass murder of civilians, while Russia gets framed for a (smaller-scale) airborne mass murder of civilians that has all the makings of being set up by the Kiev vassals of Russia's Western 'partners.'"[1]  --  As Kurt Vonnegut put it in Slaughterhouse-Five, "So it goes." ...

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 July 2014 07:32 Read more...
 

PHOTOGRAPHY: Vice News publishes photos from Gaza mainstream media won't touch

E-mail Print

Mainstream media in the West, by filtering news of what is happening in Gaza and packaging it with Israeli justifications, is contributing to the Israeli war effort.  --  If mainstream media approached this story the way Vice News is approaching it and emphasized the fact that American dollars, American weaponry, and American diplomacy make the atrocities in Gaza possible, Israel would be forced to wrap up Operation Protective Edge.  --  It would have to conclude a military campaign whose vicitims, to the tune of about 80%, are Palestinian civilians.  --  Visit the link to the story below to view appalling photographs of scenes in the morgue of al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City today, Monday, July 28, 2014.[1] ...

Read more...
 

ACTIVISM: In Tukwila, JVP protests Boeing as enabler of Israeli war crimes in Gaza

E-mail Print

For several hours on Monday morning protesters blocked the entrance to Boeing's Defense, Space and Security facility on East Marginal Way in Tukwila, near Seattle, to call attention to the role Boeing and other U.S. defense contractors are playing in the conflict in Gaza, which has killed more than 1,000 Palestinians this month, mostly civilians.  --  The protesters represented Jewish Voice for Peace.  --  The protest garnered coverage by local TV stations; the fullest written account appeared on The Stranger's SLOG website.  --  "The protesters today say Boeing must stop supplying missile systems, F15 software, Apache helicopters, and Joint Direct Attack Munitions to Israel, because those weapons are being used to commit war crimes," Jen Graves reported.[1]  --  No arrests were made, as police and Boeing officials coordinated "to prevent cars from running over the protesters."  --  NOTE:  Some members of UFPPC participated in the protest, including Sallie Shawl...

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 July 2014 06:21 Read more...
 

NEWS: US troops in Iraq up to 825

E-mail Print

On Wednesday Congress was told that the total number of U.S. military personnel in Iraq is now up to 825, the Wall Street Journal reported on Jul. 23.[1]  --  (This exceeds the number announced by the president about a month ago.)  --  Most U.S. military in Iraq (475) are said to be guarding the American embassy in Baghdad.  --  Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary Brett McGurk said that the Islamic State is now a "full-blown army," not a terrorist group, Felicia Schwartz said.  --  On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 370-40 for a largely symbolic resolution "that would bar President Barack Obama from sending U.S. troops for any 'sustained combat role' in Iraq without congressional authorization," Reuters reported.[2]  --  Washington representatives Smith, Kilmer, and Reichert voted yea; Rep. Heck did not vote, the record shows....

Read more...
 

STATEMENT: 47 'Right Livelihood' winners denounce US for supplying weapons of death in Gaza

E-mail Print

Forty-seven recipients of the Right Livelihood Award so far, out of 153 who have received the honor in the thirty-four years of its existence, are signatories of a July 25, 2014, declaration denouncing "unacceptable violations of human rights" in Gaza.[1]  --  The current 12-hour cease-fire, which has now been extended unilaterally by Israel for 24 hours, came a day after this call for "an immediate ceasefire, lifting of the blockade of Gaza and to ask for the beginning of new peace talks."  --  The statement is notable in that it insists that those supplying weapons to the two sides bear some of the responsibility for the deaths in Gaza:  "Other governments are responsible either directly or indirectly through the transfer of weapons, military advice, and silence.  Such countries and the United Nations seem not to have learned from the past."  --  The United States is not explicitly mentioned, but any informed person reading the statement will understand that it refers principally to the U.S.  --  No other country has contributed as many of the weapons used in Gaza.  --  In 2009, when David Miliband was foreign secretary of the United Kingdom, he told parliament: "Estimates suggest that Israel buys over 95% of its military requirements from the U.S."  --  BACKGROUND:  The Right Livelihood Award is sometimes called the "Alternative Nobel Prize."  --  ACTIVISM:  What can you do?  --  You can communicate your desire that the United States cease to supply Israel with weapons to these individuals at these numbers:  --  President Barack Obama (202.456.1111);  --  U.S. U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power (212.415.4062);  --  Secretary of State John Kerry (202.647.6575, select "Option B");  --  Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer (202.364.5500);  --  Senator Maria Cantwell (202.224.3441);  --  Senator Patty Murray (202.224.2621);  --  Representative Adam Smith (202.225.8901);  --  Representative Derek Kilmer (202.225.5916);  --  Representative Denny Heck (202.225.9740);  --  Representative David Reichert (202.225.7761)....

Read more...
 

BACKGROUND: Elegant French businessman gets two years in Guinea corruption case

E-mail Print

Frédéric Cilins was described in this investigative New Yorker piece as "a tanned, gregarious Frenchman, with thinning hair, who lived on the Riviera, near Cannes."[1]  --  But as Patrick Radden Keefe pointed out, he also "spent a lot of time in Africa."  --  That time earned him two years behind bars in a New York court on Friday, the Financial Times of London reported.[2]  --  Cilins is well connected and the sentence came down despite his "lawyers’ entreaties -- backed by 35 letters from the Frenchman’s family and friends -- that he be sentenced to time served," Tom Burgis said.  --  The real culprit, though, may have been Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz, for whom Cilins was working on getting his hands on one of the world's largest deposits of iron ore.  --  DEEPER BACKGROUND:  Keefe's article pointed out that Beny Steinmetz "hardly ever speaks to the press."  --  Perhaps that's why the New York Times has never once mentioned his name, a search of its database indicates.  --  So don't expect the Times to be interested in this case.  --  But if it were interested in understanding why "forty per cent of the private wealth in Africa is held outside the continent," as Keefe reports, it should.  --  Especially since "[a] recent study found that the easiest country in which to establish an untraceable shell company is not a tropical banking haven but the United States" (Keefe again)....

Last Updated on Saturday, 26 July 2014 07:45 Read more...
 

BACKGROUND: 'Just when you think you’ve seen or heard it all and things can’t get any worse -- they do'

E-mail Print

On Wednesday Richard Silverstein discussed some indications of how the war in Gaza is bringing out the misogyny and racism that have become pervasive in contemporary Israel.[1] ...

Read more...
 

INTERVIEW: After Gaza 2014, there is no alternative to BDS (Ilan Pappé)

E-mail Print

Israeli historian Ilan Pappé said in an interview on July 19:  "I am a citizen, but I am dissident, too.  --  I love the country, but I object to the ideological regime on which the state is based as it racially discriminates against anyone who is not a Jew and half of the population this state controls today are not Jewish."  --  He endorsed the nine-year-old Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement as "an effective and moral way of combating the violation of human and civil rights in Palestine."  --  "There is no alternative" to BDS, he said.  --  It is based on the valid assumption that there is no hope for change from within Israel and about the futility of an armed struggle.  --  It also has a successful historical precedent."[1] ...

Last Updated on Thursday, 24 July 2014 05:31 Read more...
 

SPECULATION: Was MH17 rebels' 'terrible mistake' or Kiev's 'desperate gambit'?

E-mail Print

As Pepe Escobar sees it, writing for Asia Times Online on Jul. 23, Ukraine has become "the definitive do-or-die battleground" in an effort by the United States to "restor[e] its hegemony in the world-system."[1]  --  The reasons are many.  --  The U.S. would like to "diversify the 'pivot to Asia' by establishing a beachhead in Ukraine to sabotage trade between Europe and Russia; expand the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to Ukraine; break the Russia-China strategic partnership; prevent by all means the trade/economic integration of Eurasia, from the Russia-Germany partnership to the New Silk Roads converging from China to the Ruhr; keep Europe under U.S. hegemony."  --  So Escobar doesn't buy the theory being spread everywhere Western state- and corporate-owned media reaches that a surface-to-air Buk missile from Russia brought down MH17, killing 298.  --  He cites evidence that the plane was downed by an air-to-air missile instead.  --  Escobar also provides a link to a Russian media presentation indicating that there was a Ukrainian military plane near the Boeing 777 "monitoring the situation," at the least -- something Ukraine has denied.   --  The Russian military officer making the presentation also asserts that "the Russian Federation did not deliver to the rebels any anti-aircraft missile systems."  --  CNN's Tim Lister reported on Jul. 20 that "an expert at Janes IHS said that 'it's unclear whether the one suspected in the shoot-down was taken by rebels when they overran a Ukrainian base, or was supplied by Russia.'" ...

Read more...
 

NEWS: Israeli use of flechette shells in Gaza widely reported in int'l press but not in US

E-mail Print

The London Guardian reported Sunday that "The Israeli military is using  flechette shells, which spray out thousands of tiny and potentially lethal metal darts, in its military operation in Gaza."[1]  --  B'Tselem, the Israeli human rights organization, says that although these weapons are not banned per se, "other rules of humanitarian law render their use in the Gaza Strip illegal.  --  One of the most fundamental principles is the obligation to distinguish between those who are involved and those who are not involved in the fighting, and to avoid to the extent possible injury to those who are not involved.  --  Deriving from this principle is the prohibition of the use of an imprecise weapon which is likely to result in civilian injuries."  --  The London Independent also wrote about Israel's use of flechettes.[2]  --  So did the Belfast Telegraph, which also posted a graphic RT video showing wounded Palestinians and interviewing Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian doctor, who called Israeli attacks "immensely disproportionate."[3]  --  A Google News search shows that discussion of their use also appeared in articles published in Israel, New Zealand, Canada, China, France, Lebanon, Iran, and Russia.  --  We have only been able to locate one article published in U.S. media about the use of flechettes, published by Newsweek, where their use is presented as merely an unproven allegation.[4] ...

Read more...
 

ANALYSIS: Explaining Putin's cautious response to Western aggression

E-mail Print

In a piece drafted before the Jul. 17 downing of MH17, radical political scientist and economist Jack Rasmus (St. Mary's College) explained why he sees the Ukraine crisis as an effort by U.S. policymakers to prevent the European Union from deepening its relations with Russia while also isolating Russia economically and diplomatically, thus shoring up the eroding geopolitical position of the United States.[1]  --  In this view, Putin is far from being cartoonish thug that Western media are trying to make him appear to be.  --  He is, rather, the leader of a great power responding cautiously to a most serious aggressive challenge from the United States.  --  NOTE: Rasmus's piece was written for the English-language site of the Latin American website TeleSUR, which débuts on Jul. 24; this draft comes from the ufpj-activist website....

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 July 2014 06:41 Read more...
 

COMMENTARY: 'Israel has never wanted peace' (Gideon Levy)

E-mail Print

Gideon Levy, the famous 60-year-old Israeli-born journalist many consider a heroic figure, wrote in the columns of Haaretz on Jul. 4 that "Israel does not want peace. . . . Not only is there no peace:  In recent years, Israel has moved away from even the aspiration to make peace.  It has despaired utterly of it."[1]  --  BACKGROUND: In the 1970s, Gideon Levy worked as a radio reporter for the Israeli Defense Forces.  --  From 1978 to 1982, he was one of Shimon Peres's aides, then began to write for Haartez.  --  He has become an important critic of what he calls the "moral blindness" behind Israel's settlement policy.  --  "My modest mission is to prevent a situation in which many Israelis will be able to say 'We didn't know,'" he has said....

Read more...
 

NEWS: Islamic State's demand for conversion driving last Christians from Mosul

E-mail Print

Christians lived in Mosul for 1,600 years, but the Islamic State is driving out the few that are still there, telling them that they have only four options, "convert, pay a tax, leave, or face imminent execution," Al Jazeera reported Monday.[1]  --  "Ban Ki-moon, the U.N. secretary-general, has condemned the persecution of Iraqi Christians by Islamic State (IS) fighters, saying it may constitute a crime against humanity."  --  "[M]essages broadcast by mosques on Friday sparked an exodus."  --  Reuters noted that "The Nineveh decree [issued on July 17 in the northern province of Nineveh] echoes one that the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, the former name for the Islamic State, issued in the Syrian city of Raqqa in February, demanding that Christians pay the jizya levy in gold and curb displays of their faith in return for protection."[2]  --  Dominic Evans and Isra' al-Rube'i added that this practice was common in medieval times but that it was "largely abolished during the Ottoman reforms of the mid-19th century."  --  "Mosul, once home to diverse faiths, had a Christian population of around 100,000 a decade ago.  --  The resident of Mosul who saw the Islamic State announcement estimated the city's Christian population before last month's militant takeover at around 5,000.  --  The vast bulk of those have since fled, leaving perhaps only 200 in the city, he said." ...

Read more...
 

TRANSLATIONS: 'Massacre in Shujaya' -- AFP

E-mail Print

The death toll of Operation Protective Edge spiked on Sunday when the Israeli army attacked the Chajaya (or Shajaiya, or Shujaya) neighborhood to the east of Gaza City, Le Figaro (Paris) reported late in the day.[1]  --  Residential housing was bombarded, and 13 Israeli soldiers of the Golani regiment were killed.  --  "The total makes this operation the most lethal for Tzahal [i.e. IDF] since the 2006 war in Lebanon," Cyrille Louis said.  --  AFP called the Israeli action in Shajaiya a "massacre," a term that seems to have been scrubbed from English-language reports; allegations of Israeli war crimes also seem to be minimized in English-language reports.[2] ...

Read more...
 

SPECULATION: 'Only Ukraine had means, motive, & window of opportunity to bring down MH17'

E-mail Print

Here's all you need to know about MH17.  --  It was a Russian missile, and Vladimir Putin is to blame.  --  At least, that's what U.S. mainstream media would like you to think.  --  Are we going to beef up our aid to those valiant if pesky Ukrainian patriots yearning for freedom, or what?  --  Never mind that "our guy" violently overthrew a legitimately elected democratic leader, or that his regime amounts to the replacement of one set of oligarchs with another, or that this is all really about the economics of energy and Russia's historic and geopolitical desire and, given its history, need, based on geography, not to have adversaries on its border.  --  But according to Pepe Escobar, writing on Friday with his usual flair for Asia Times Online, there are many reasons to suspect Ukraine, the party that, after all, has the most to gain from the catastrophe.  --  Only Ukraine, in fact, had "the means, the motive, and the window of opportunity to pull it off."[1]  --  According to Escobar, we should now brace for dueling narratives.  --  On the one hand, Russian intelligence has "been surveying/tracking everything that happens in Ukraine 24/7" and will be "poring over a lot of tracking data, using telemetry, radar and satellite tracking" to determine "which type of missile was launched, where from"; they should even be able to "produce communications from the battery that launched it."  --  And also, "they will have access to forensic evidence."  --  "Unlike Washington -- who already knows everything, with no evidence whatsoever (remember 9/11?) -- Moscow will take its time to know the basic journalistic facts of what, where, and who, and engage on proving the truth and/or disproving Washington's spin."  --  "If this was a terrible mistake by the Novorossiya rebels, Moscow will have to reluctantly admit it.  --  If Kiev did it, the revelation will be instantaneous.  --  Anyway we already know the hysterical Western response, no matter what; Russia is to blame." ...

Read more...
 

NEWS: US official says success of ISIS has 'energized recruting efforts for all militant groups'

E-mail Print

A U.S. counterterrorism official speaking "on condition of anonymity" has said that "[a]s many as 10,00 foreign fighters -- a third more than in February -- have joined the militants seeking to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad and the Islamic State fighters who have swept across northern Iraq," Sunday's Los Angeles Times reported.[1]  --  "As many as 3,000 of them hold European or other Western passports and thus can travel easily across most borders," Brian Bennett and Richard Serrano said.  --  "Several dozen, perhaps as many as 100, hold U.S. passports, and officials say that number is growing."  --  "[T]he stunning battlefield success of the Islamic State fighters, and its calls for an Islamic caliphate, have energized recruiting efforts for all the militant groups."  --  The Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS or ISIL, "is so innovative and is growing so quickly that one U.S. national security official called it the 'Silicon Valley' of militant organizations."  --  Bennett and Serrano described the cases of Americans from Florida, Texas, and Colorado becoming jihadists....

Read more...
 

NEWS: Israeli leaders shedding pretense of support for Palestinian statehood

E-mail Print

On Jul. 11, 2014, at a press conference, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that "There cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan."  --  In a piece posted on Huffington Post, Ryan Grim and Paul Blumenthal noted that "if Israel doesn't relinquish security control, Palestinians cannot establish a state."[1]  --  They also quoted Times of Israel editor David Horovitz, who said:  "That sentence, quite simply, spells the end to the notion of Netanyahu consenting to the establishment of a Palestinian state."  --  Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Economic Minister Naftali Bennett have even more extreme views....

Last Updated on Saturday, 19 July 2014 23:45 Read more...
 

TRANSLATION: In Gaza, 'this is anything but a total war'

E-mail Print

On Friday Le Figaro called the Israeli ground operation in Gaza an "incursion" rather than an "invasion."[1]  --  Renaud Giraud said that the conflict "remains a war of low- or medium-intensity, on a territory inhabited today by 1.8 million Palestinians, the grandchildren of the refugees of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.  --  In this asymmetric conflict that is anything but a total war, politics and diplomacy remain in the foreground." ...

Read more...
 

TRANSLATION: Israeli ground operation in Gaza risks heavy losses (Le Figaro)

E-mail Print

Le Figaro (Paris) reported Thursday that the decision to undertake a limited ground operation in Gaza was a partial concession by Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu to hawks in his majority and also to tens of thousands of mobilized reservists who are chafing at the bit on Gaza's borders.[1]  --  The operation's objective is the "tunnels allowing commandos to carry out attacks and take civilian or military hostages" whose "openings are very well camouflaged inside houses, which makes them practically impossible to locate.  --  Only a ground operation can make systematic digs possible."  --  "But Benyamin Netanyahu is taking a serious risk," said Marc Henry.  --  "Hamas is dug in, waiting for the Israeli army.  --  The Islamist movement warned Thursday night that the Jewish State was going to 'pay a high price' for this new escalation.  --  Military experts emphasize that an incursion into the Gaza Strip risks causing heavy losses among Israeli soldiers.  --  The back streets of the refugee camps, the roads, the 'suspect' houses, some of which are booby-trapped, constitute an ideal ground for guerrilla warfare against a regular army." ...

Read more...
 
More Articles...
  • «
  •  Start 
  •  Prev 
  •  1 
  •  2 
  •  3 
  •  4 
  •  5 
  •  6 
  •  7 
  •  8 
  •  9 
  •  10 
  •  Next 
  •  End 
  • »


Page 1 of 535

Meeting schedule

United for Peace of Pierce County meets 7:00-8:30 p.m. on the first and third Thursdays of every month at First United Methodist Church in Tacoma (621 Tacoma Avenue South).

Search