Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Educ Legislation, Anti-Zionism, Iraq Abuses, New Blog, Real-ID Act

1) Florida Legislation targets "Leftist" Professors:

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/032405G.shtml


2) Poisoning the Well: The False Equation of
Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism:

http://hnn.us/articles/10866.html

By Irfan Khawaja

Mr. Khawaja is adjunct professor of philosophy at The
College of New Jersey and Rutgers-Camden, and
Executive Director of the Institute for the
Secularisation of Islamic Society. The views he
expresses here are his own.


In a recent review of Dennis Ross’s book The Missing
Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East
Peace, the military historian Victor Davis Hanson
writes:

The world is obsessed with the so-called occupied
territories in Palestine, but not from any abstract
principle of postbellum equity or worry over civilian
deaths. Otherwise UN resolutions, European subsidies,
and American envoys would have been focused on
occupied Tibet or Lebanon, or the killing of tens of
thousands of innocents in Rwanda and Darfur. So
Palestine is not so much a moral issue as a political
lightning rod that involves Arab oil, Arab global
terrorism, Arab fundamentalist violence in and beyond
the Middle East, and Arab anti-Semitism that finds
resonance in Europe.

Hanson is one of the most prominent academics
identified with the non-isolationist Right, and Policy
Review is one of the premier journals of conservative
thought in the United States. If a passage like
Hanson’s finds its way into Policy Review, we can
safely take it as representing more than an
idiosyncratic twitch of a single author’s pen. What
then is the significance of this particular twitch?

Taken at face value, the passage asserts the following
remarkable propositions:

1. The West Bank and Gaza Strip are not occupied.

2. Those concerned with the rights of Palestinians do
so from ulterior motives but lyingly assert that they
do so from moral motives. Principal among these
ulterior motives are greed and bigotry.

3. To prove their veracity, “the world” should focus
(or should have focused) more attention than it has on
Tibet, Lebanon, Rwanda and Darfur.

These claims are a textbook example of the fallacy of
poisoning the well—the fallacy, in logic, of rebutting
someone’s argument by adducing the ulterior motives he
might have had for making it....



3) Man Sells Device That Blocks Fox News:

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050326/ap_on_en_tv/tv_fox_blocker



4) Fresh details emerge of Iraqis' abuse by American
soldiers [I think the source is the Independent, but
I'm not sure]:

By David Randall in London and Andrew Buncombe in
Washington
27 March 2005

Damning evidence of American soldiers abusing
detainees at another prison in Iraq was made public
yesterday. It details how prisoners were
"systematically and intentionally mistreated" at a
military base in Mosul, culminating in the death of
one. Nobody was court-martialled over the abuse.

An investigation by a US officer after a prisoner's
jaw was broken found that inmates were hit with water
bottles, made to do exhausting physical exercises
until they collapsed, deprived of sleep, subjected to
deafening heavy metal music and had cigarette smoke
blown into sandbags they were forced to wear as hoods.
One soldier said troops "always harassed the hell out
of detainees"; another said that at times "the
detainees would get so scared they would piss
themselves".

In December 2003 a prisoner died after four days of
continuous punishment. According to the documents,
which were obtained by the American Civil Liberties
Union, mistreatmentwas not confined to Abu Ghraib
jail, where abuse and sexual humiliation of inmates
caused worldwide outrage last year.

The facility at Mosul was run by the 311th Military
Intelligence Battalion of the 101st Airborne Division.
In a memo, the investigating officer said: "There is
evidence that suggests the 311th MI personnel...
engaged in physical torture." His report in January
2004 said prisoners' rights under the Geneva
Conventions had been violated.

The investigation was triggered by the case of Salah
Salih Jassim, 20, who had his jaw broken in detention.
He was not a suspect but had been arrested along with
his father, an officer in Saddam Hussein's Fedayeen
militia. Mr Jassim was held in a room with 70 other
prisoners. Deafening heavy metal music was played and
guards sounded bullhorns beside their heads. Mr Jassim
said: "All night they were throwing water on us and
making us stand and squat. From the night to the next
day ... they were beating us."

The report said: "The detainees had sandbags over
their heads that were marked with different crimes,
leading the guards to believe that the particular
detainee committed that particular crime." The bag on
Jassim's head was marked "IED" - the acronym for the
roadside bombs that have killed and maimed hundreds of
troops. Soldiers in the room when Mr Jassim's jaw was
broken all said they did not see the incident and the
investigation was unable to determine which guards
were atfault. None was punished.

The newly released records also had details of other
abuse investigations.And last week, the US reopened an
inquiry into how an Iraqi government scientist died
while in detention. Mohammad Munim al-Izmerly, 65 when
he died on 31 January 2004, is the only known weapons
scientist to have died in US custody.The family
commissioned an Iraqi post mortem, which found he died
of a blow to the head.



5) Iraqi Human Rights accusations re: Falluja:

> The current situation in the city of
>
> Fallujah
>
> Presented to the 61st session of the United Nations
> Commission on Human Rights
>
> For the period of 1ST January to 25th March 2005
>
> The city of Fallujah was subjected to a genocide war
> by the American forces. The military machinery
> destroyed almost 70 per cent of the city, from
> civilian houses to medical center and general
> services facilities especially water, electricity.
> This war resulted in killing thousands of innocent
> civilians and sending almost a half million refugee.
>
>
> It is well known that the American forces and their
> puppet government prevented any medical or
> humanitarian relief agency to enter the city
> throughout its siege to the city.
>
> Since the beginning of this year, the citizens are
> increasingly returning to the city, driven by the
> very bad living conditions in the places where they
> took refuge and the will to try the reconstruction
> of their houses and shops. Except for the few who
> found their houses still standing, the majority
> lived on the ruins whether by using tents or other
> means. In this bad living condition, the American
> occupation forces continue to commit grave
> violations to the basics principles of human rights
> and international law.
>
> In order to give the international community a clear
> image of what is happening, we present this short
> report:
>
>
> 1 - Following the two reports that our center issued
> in mid January 2005 and the other facts that came to
> the knowledge of the UN, the human rights office of
> UNAMI and the Iraq office of WHO have – in two
> occasion- officially requested to enter the city of
> Fallujah in order to examine the situation there but
> the American occupation authority did not respond to
> these requests until now on the pretext of the
> dangerous security situation. Here we must ask, if
> the security situation is still dangerous, then how
> are families and children allowed to return to the
> city? Are the lives of the UN officials more
> precious than those of the Fallujah citizens? Or is
> it that there are crimes that the international
> bodies are not allowed to examine.
>
> 2 - The citizens of Fallujah are suffering of many
> sorts of humiliations when entering or leaving the
> city. In their daily life, they go through many
> sorts of harassments and threats by the American
> occupation forces which consider them as terrorists
> simply because they refuse the occupation. Not to
> mention the continuous random killing in all part of
> the city that does not exclude children or elder
> people, men or women. In a dangerous step of racism
> and freedoms limiting, the American occupation
> authority issued special ID cards for the citizens
> of Fallujah, preventing visitors from other cities
> to enter it. This step isolates the city Fallujah
> from its surroundings and the rest of the country
> and so turning it into a huge prison.
>
> 3 - Until the issuing of this report the effort to
> find the corpses of the victims of November 2004
> comprehensive attack on the city still going on. The
> specialized burier teams have found about 700
> corpses and we definitely think that the number of
> martyrs is greater than that. The American
> occupation forces itself announced that they have
> killed about 1300 individuals but no one knows where
> those bodies were buried. This assures that there
> are mass graves in the city, the American continual
> refusing to allow the UN representatives to enter
> the city, confirm this assessment. Furthermore, the
> medical authorities and the citizens could not find
> the burial ground of 450 bodies of the citizens of
> Fallujah that the American occupation forces have
> photographed and buried in a place that is still
> unknown.
>
> 4 - There are hundreds of missing personnel from
> Fallujah, but afraid of arrest and intimidation by
> the American forces, the families still hesitate to
> register the names of their missing with the
> official committee for registering the missing. That
> is why the registered number is less than the actual
> one.
>
> 5- The detainees from the Fallujah citizens are
> suffering of inhuman and bad treatment in both Abu
> Graib and Basra prisons. There is no reason behind
> keeping those detainees in the prisons.
> Unfortunately, there is no legal or official Iraqi
> authority that handles the issue of those detainees,
> it left to two mosque in the city.
>
> 6- As a measure of collective punishment, the
> American occupation forces and the National guards
> continue to use some schools inside the city as
> compounds, depriving students from pursuing their
> education without offering substitutes.
>
> 7 - There are deliberate delay by the interim
> government and the American occupation authority in
> reconstructing the city of Fallujah even in
> restoring the basic services. What are being
> announced about the reconstruction are mere lies
> uncovered by the fact that the people who are
> working in Fallujah are only those governmental
> employees in the city, indeed their number does not
> match the size of destruction that the city
> suffered. The American themselves admitted that more
> than 90000 houses have been demolished. We wonder
> about the difference between the destruction that
> Fallujah has suffered and the destruction of the
> areas which devastated by Tsunami. Both are
> devastated areas but the difference is that Fallujah
> is not announced officially as a devastated place in
> order to cover the crimes perpetrated on its soil.
>
> 7 - Despite that there is an Iraqi official
> committee for reconstruction, the occupation forces
> give out contracts without knowledge or coordination
> with that committee. For example one contract to
> build a school cost One million US dollar for each
> school, while the official committee estimates the
> cost between 200 000 and 300 000 US dollars. No
> local or official committee is supervising these
> money transactions.
>
> 8 – It was not allowed until now for any body to
> examine the environmental pollution that affected
> Fallujah due to the usage of prohibited and
> dangerous weapons, except for analyzing the recently
> established processed water. Some cases are
> appearing now of feats deformation for some of the
> newborns that is taking place in the city. As an
> example the case of the child Mina Jabbar Mahmood
> Aljumaili that was recently born and is 3 months now
> in addition to another child in the same
> neighborhood that was born in a short period after
> in Al'andulus neighborhood
>
> 9 - The civilians who stayed in the city during the
> American offensive have gone through numerous tragic
> stories and inhuman treatment by the occupation
> forces and the Iraq so-called National Guards. The
> deliberate killing of the civilians was the daily
> practice of the American forces. Many children had
> to watch their parents being shot to death in front
> of them, or men who had to watch their children and
> their wives being killed. Almost every family who
> stayed in Fallujah has to bury a victim in their
> garden. As example, Hamid Abdulrazzak Sultan, a
> citizen from Fallujah, witnessed the killing of his
> pregnant wife along with his 4 sons during an
> American attack on 9 Nov 2004. Four members of Fawzi
> Hussein Salman al-Aisawi family where deliberately
> killed in their house by the American forces in
> front of their daughter on the morning of 9 November
> 2005.
>
> 10 – Until now, the citizens and the sick people are
> not allowed to cross the bridge which connects the
> city to the main hospital a matter that causes a
> great suffering. The city has no mean of
> communication to be used to report the urgent health
> cases during the curfew hours which force the sick
> to stay at home until dawn to be able to go to
> hospital. Many cases happened of appendicitis,
> labour, death due to clots which need immediate
> health care. Not to mention to war phobia in
> thousands of women and children which warns of a
> permanent psychological disaster that will be
> difficult to cure since it is becoming a chronic
> case.
>
> 11 - Not allowing issuing death certificates that
> explain the real causes of death and their numbers
> that occur due the crimes of the occupation forces
> because there are no clear instructions until now.
> The crime of bombing cities with so much brutality
> and destruction is the biggest evidence of
> disrespect for the lives of the unarmed civilians
> that were in the first year of occupation more that
> 100 000 citizens.
>
> 12- The puppet government is deliberately ignoring
> the crimes and the grave violation of the human
> rights happening every day in Iraq by the American
> forces and continued to talk about an old allegation
> of violations that allegedly happened years ago.
> These allegations were tackled by the commission in
> details, whether by reports of special rapporteur or
> by the several decisions it had adopted and
> accordingly some measures which were implemented
> aggressively against Iraq in unprecedented way.
>
> What more tragedies that international bodies are
> waiting for in order to raise their voices demanding
> to stop the massacres and mass killings of the
> civilians. Is what happened to Fallujah and its
> citizens is just an accident while the entire world
> is on alert if a western citizen is killed in Iraq
> forgetting that all that is because of the hated
> occupation.
>
> We call upon all countries and organizations both
> governmental and non governmental which taking part
> in the meetings of the 61st session of the UN Human
> Rights Commission to raise their voices and denounce
> those violations and exercise pressures to dispatch
> an investigation team to visit the city of Fallujah
> to examine the facts and the tragic situation that
> its citizens are going through. We demand the
> commission to nominate a special rapporteur to the
> human rights situation in Iraq during the
> occupation. We hope that this report will be
> distributed as among the documents of the session.
>
> Studies Center of Human Rights and Democracy.
>
> 26 - 3 - 2005 , Baghdad - Iraq
>


6) New Student Blog:

http://occident.blogspot.com


7) REAL ID Act in Congress Now:

ADC Update:
It's Back! REAL ID Now in the Senate, Anti-PLO
Language Returns With It

Washington,DC, March 28--Not satisfied with pushing
his anti-immigration bill through the House without
hearings or mark-ups, Congressman James Sensenbrenner
(R-WI) has found a new vehicle to push his agenda in
the name of national security. That vehicle is the
Emergency Supplemental (HR 1268), which is known,
politically, as a must-pass bill. HR 1268 will send
much needed money to American troops on the front
line, as well as keep our promise to aid the millions
of victims of the Asian tsunami.

WHAT IS AHEAD?

The Senate has two options. They can take up the House
Supplemental with the REAL ID attached to it or they
could write their own version of the supplemental.
Should the Senate pass it's own version they will
still face the REAL ID once they go to conference with
the House.

Right now the Senate needs to hear from you that you
oppose the REAL ID in, any form. We ask you to contact
not only your two Senators but also the leadership of
the Senate Appropriations Committee, charged with
making this crucial decision. Although Congress is in
recess, this issue will be taken up as soon as April
6, 2005.

Contacting the Senate about your opposition to the
REAL ID Act is crucial. Senate offices are already
hearing daily from anti-immigrant groups. Its time
they hear from the rest of America. Click the link
below to take action:
http://capwiz.com/adc/mail/oneclick_compose/?alertid=7305771

WHAT ABOUT THE ANTI-PLO LANGUAGE?

Attempts were made to remove, from the House REAL ID
Act, language prohibiting PLO spokespersons from
entering the United States. Now, REAL ID, as attached
to the House version of the Emergency Supplemental,
includes a reference to old Immigration and
Naturalization Act (INA) language barring PLO members
from gaining entry to the United States. The INA
always included a waiver for the White House and State
Department to use for diplomatic and national security
reasons.

As REAL ID is currently written it does not include
any reference to the waiver language in the INA, just
the prohibition language. Once again, Congress is
passing legislation obstructive to the Middle East
peace process. What message does America send when
President Bush invites Palestinian President Mahmoud
Abbas to the White House to discuss Palestinian
statehood and Congress turns around and bans his
entry?

TAKE ACTION TODAY!

Because this issue is moving quickly through the
Senate, ADC urges you to
phone your two senators as well as the Republican and
Democratic leadership
of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

1) Who are my Senators? Click here
http://capwiz.com/adc/dbq/officials/
and enter your zip code or select your state from the
list.

2) Main Senate Switchboard (202) 224-3121

2) Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS), Republican Chairman of
the Senate Appropriations Committee (202) 224-7363

3) Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV), Ranking Democrat on the
Senate Appropriations Committee (202) 224-7292

To send a letter to the Senate on this important issue
go to:
http://capwiz.com/adc/mail/oneclick_compose/?alertid=7305771

WHAT DOES THE REAL ID ACT MEAN FOR ME?

- Ever frustrated with your local DMV? Imagine
yourself standing in line behind someone trying to
prove, with various documentation, his or her
immigration status and eligibility for a driver's
license. And it's not just the person in front of you
with an accent. Everyone will have to prove their
eligibility to obtain a drivers license.

- Millions of people currently able to obtain a
drivers license, who may be out of status with
immigration documents, will continue to drive to work
and to take their children to school, but will now do
so being neither licensed nor insured.

- Hackers could find their way into the new national
database containing social security numbers,
fingerprints and biometric information on all drivers
licensed in America.

- A woman and her children fleeing political or
religious persecution is sent back to her country by
the United States because of her "failure" to obtain
the proper paper work documenting her oppression as
she was fleeing her country and is presumed a
terrorist and somehow taking advantage of America.

- Bounty hunters knock on doors searching for out-of
status immigrants to turn over to the authorities.

All of these scenarios will become reality if REAL ID
is passed by Congress and signed by President Bush.

We're not looking for the Senate to change one or two
sentences in this bill. The REAL ID Act is a bad bill
and a bad idea. In its entirety it needs to be
stripped from the Emergency Supplemental. We don't
need an anti-immigration agenda delivered on the backs
of providing for America's soldiers and aiding victims
of the Tsunami in Asia.

As much as Sensenbrenner and anti-immigration groups
attempt to weave their agenda into national security
priorities, the bottom line is that nothing in
Sensenbrenner's bill would have prevented the 9/11
terrorists from obtaining drivers licenses or from
boarding those planes.

Sensenbrenner knows Congress must pass this funding
bill. To avoid hearings and congressional scrutiny of
REAL ID's provisions, the Congressman has attached his
bill to the emergency supplemental. This brass
decision goes directly against the wishes of President
Bush. In a letter to congressional leaders, Mr. Bush
wrote, "I urge the Congress not to attach to this
proposal items that are not directly related to these
emergencies abroad."

This measure is costly and intrusive, further
burdening state budgets by requiring they adapt new
federal standards for licenses and record keeping.

Congress needs to reform America's broken immigration
system. The REAL ID Act does not adequately address
our nation's growing immigration problems and falls
short of effectively and realistically keeping our
country safe. Comprehensive immigration reform is long
overdue.

TALKING POINTS ON THE REAL ID ACT
#2-7 Provided by the National Immigration Forum
www.immigrationforum.org

1. PLO Language: Language in the REAL ID Act has grave
implications for achieving a just and lasting peace to
the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As its come out of
the House and attached to the House version of the
Emergency Supplemental, REAL ID includes a reference
to old Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA)
language barring PLO members from gaining entry to the
United States. The INA always included a waiver for
the White House and State Department to use for
diplomatic and national security reasons. As REAL ID
is written now it does not include any reference to
the waiver language in the INA-just the prohibition
language.

At a minimum, if language regarding the PLO remains in
the bill it must contain or reference the INA waiver.

2. Asylum: Raises the burden of proof for asylum and
withholding of removal cases to make it very difficult
for someone fleeing religious or political persecution
to gain refuge in the U.S. Asylum seekers would have
to show that persecution on the basis of race,
religion, membership in social group, political
opinion, or national origin was the central motive for
their persecutor. It would require corroborating
evidence, though obtaining such evidence would put
family members or friends in danger. It would
establish a standard of credibility that no member of
Congress would be able to meet-any inconsistency
between statements given to different persons would be
a reason to deny asylum.

3. Guilt by association: It broadens the circumstances
for which a person (and his family members) might be
deported for providing support to a group which may
have a connection to a terrorist group.

4.Due process: The REAL ID act would limit a person's
access to the federal courts to appeal an immigration
judge's decision. I would also limit a person's
ability to challenge in court the government's
decision to keep the person detained. It would
eliminate stays of removal, so that a person may be
deported even as his or her case continues to be heard
on appeal.

5.Bounty hunters: The bill would allow bondsmen to
decide when an immigrant is a "flight risk," and to
send bounty hunters after them (even if immigrant is
not in violation of bond agreement). It would give
bondsmen unprecedented access to an immigrant's
personal information. It would dramatically escalate
the minimum bond for immigrants in removal proceedings
to $10,000.

6.Drivers' licenses: The Act would impose a
complicated new driver's license and ID bureaucracy on
states, including a two-tiered license system for
foreigners and U.S. citizens, and bans states from
issuing regular driver's licenses to undocumented
immigrants.

7.Border barriers: It provides a waiver from all laws
(labor, environmental,etc) in order to expedite the
construction of a wall on a portion of the
U.S.-Mexican border.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE SEE:

The Rights Working Group Website:
http://www.rightsworkinggroup.org/?id=52

The National Immigration Forum
http://www.immigrationforum.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=701

Human Rights First
http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/index.html

===========================================
Save the Date: Spend Memorial Day Weekend in
Washington, DC
ADC's Silver Anniversary Convention
May 27-May 29, 2005
http://www.adc.org/indexa.html

============================================
Celebrate ADC's 25 Years of Dedicated Service to Civil
and Human Rights by:

CONTRIBUTING TO AND/OR JOINING ADC
https://www.adc.org/membership/

For more information, contact Christine Gleichert at:

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
4201 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20008
Tel: (202) 244-2990, Fax: (202) 244-3196, E-mail:
adc@adc.org
www.adc.org



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