The End Of All Crossroads

Where the TAXI makes a stop, to ponder upon which road mayhap be true

Category: Palestine

Clashes over Internet rules to mark Dubai meeting

“More than 900 proposed regulatory changes have been proposed, but details have not been made public. Broad consensus is needed to adopt any items — the first major review of the U.N.’s telecommunications protocols since 1988, well before the Internet age.”

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By BRIAN MURPHY
— Dec. 3 8:50 AM EST

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The U.N.’s top telecommunications overseer sought Monday to quell worries about greater Internet controls emerging from global talks in Dubai, but any attempts for major Web regulations will likely face stiff opposition from groups led by a high-powered U.S. delegation.

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The 11-day conference, seeking to update codes last reviewed when the Web was virtually unknown, highlights the fundamental shift from tightly managed telecommunications networks to the borderless sweep of the Internet.

Some at the Dubai conference, including a 123-member U.S. delegation with envoys from tech giants such as Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp., worry that any new U.N. oversight could be used by nations such as China and Russia to justify further tightening of Web blocks and monitoring.

“Love the free and open Internet? Tell the world’s governments to keep it that way,” said a message on the main search page of Google.com with a link for comments directed to the Dubai conference, which opened Monday.

The agenda for the gathering of more than 1,900 participants from 193 nations covers possible new rules for a broad range of services such as the Internet, mobile roaming fees and satellite and fixed-line communications. Questions include how much sway the U.N. can exert over efforts such as battling cyber-crimes and expanding the Internet into developing nations.

The secretary-general of the U.N. International Telecommunications Union, Hamadoun Toure, said that accusations that the meeting could limit Web freedoms are “completely untrue” and predicted only “light-touch” regulations.

“Many countries will come to reaffirm their desire to see freedom of expression embedded in this conference,” he told reporters.

But the head of the American contingent, Ambassador Terry Kramer, said the U.S. would propose taking all Internet-related discussions off the table and concentrating on already regulated services such as phone networks.

“What we don’t want to do is bring in all the private networks, the Internet networks, the government networks, etc.,” he told The Associated Press. “That opens the door to censorship.”

The outcome of the Dubai gathering is far from certain.

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More than 900 proposed regulatory changes have been proposed, but details have not been made public. Broad consensus is needed to adopt any items — the first major review of the U.N.’s telecommunications protocols since 1988, well before the Internet age.

The gathering is also powerless to force nations to change their Internet policies, such as China’s notorious “Great Firewall” and widespread blackouts of political opposition sites in places including Iran and the Gulf Arab states. Last week, Syria’s Internet and telephone services disappeared for two days during some of the worst fighting in months to hit the capital, Damascus.

Kramer told reporters last week in Washington that all efforts should be made to avoid a “Balkanization” of the Internet in which each country would impose its own rules and standards that could disrupt the flow of commerce and information.

“That opens the door … to content censorship,” he said.

The International Trade Union Confederation, representing labor groups in more than 150 countries, claimed a bloc that includes China, Russia and several Middle East nations seeks to “pave the way for future restrictions on both Internet content or its users.”

“It is clear that some governments have an interest in changing the rules and regulations of the Internet,” the confederation said in statement Monday.

Another battle that will likely take place in Dubai is over European-backed suggestions to change the pay structure of the Web to force content providers — such as Google, Facebook Inc. and others — to kick in an extra fee to reach users across borders.

“Potentially, the content developers — they could be Googles, they could be universities — would end up being charged potentially to have traffic sent abroad,” said Kramer in Dubai. “Either way, you slow down Internet traffic and you actually exacerbate the digital divide, the income divide, because you have a lot of people who are accessing things for free.”

Advocates of the changes say the money raised could pay to expand broadband infrastructures in developing countries.

Toure said he hoped for a “landmark” accord on trying to bring broadband Internet to developing countries. “The Internet remains out of reach for two-thirds of world’s people,” said Toure, who is from Mali.

The U.N. telecommunications agency dates back to 1865, when the telegraph revolutionized the speed of information. Over the decades, it has expanded to include telephone, satellite and other advances in communications.

SOURCE:

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Russia urges united action against Israeli aggression

Moscow has called on the Arab League and the Middle East Quartet comprising Russia, the European Union (EU), UN, and US, to work together to end frequent Israeli aggressions against the Palestinians.

“The Quartet needs…to work together with the Arab League representatives and work out solutions together…to restart Israeli-Palestinian talks,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday.

Lavrov made the remarks after at least one Palestinian was killed and seven others were injured by Israeli fire in the southern Gaza Strip despite an Egypt-mediated ceasefire agreement between the two sides on Wednesday.

Over 160 Palestinians, including women and children, were killed and about 1,200 others were injured in the Israeli attacks on Gaza that were carried out during the eight-day period starting November 14.

In retaliation, the Palestinian resistance fighters fired rockets and missiles into Israeli cities, killing at least five Israelis.

The Russian minister had also on November 15 lashed out at the Middle East Quartet for its failure to establish peace in the region.

Israel frequently carries out airstrikes and other attacks on the Gaza Strip, saying the acts of aggression are being conducted for defensive purposes. However, in violation of international law, disproportionate force is always used and civilians are often killed and injured.

The attacks rage on while Israel keeps up its crippling blockade on Gaza, which it imposed on the enclave in 2007.

MAM/HMV/SS

SOURCE:
http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/11/23/274150/russia-urges-united-action-against-israel/

Reflexions – I

The contemporary individual is led to believe that it is endowed with the freedom of its own expressiveness while being sociable among many other beings of Nature – but is blinded by the glare of the constant, attractively shiny trails that consumerism of commercial society lays upon its natural environment: the TV; the radio; the magazine; the newspaper.

The word. Religion.

It is gradually deprived, in fact, of its own freedom to exercise and employ as much as the motor and mental skills bequeathed to it since before its birth. With this collective blindness, winged rampant silence resonates above and below the shroud of the invalid who stood behind before the end of this rat race.

The Palestinians, the ‘rebels’; soldiers. You and me. We are all innocent angels in a war in which you and I – and we all – subsist. And, worse, we finance.

Every deposit, every service, every transaction – and more: even at the time which your money, that thing made by unbacked paper used to trade for objects from the material or ‘divine’ realms, is supposedly untouched – it is charged, taxed and insured by the mercantile system: either by the bureaucracy or by the supposedly free enterprise – which, in fact, is nothing more than huge, leviathanic transoceanic plutocracy conglomerates of bellicose bureaucrats, parasitary privatizers and monarchical masons.

And who would benefit from the whole process of the mercantile profit system – and/or its total collapse? Well, the ones that for so long Fed this very system. We’re talking about generations of people unrelated to you that, in turn, not only created all possible forms of interaction inbetween the natural world and you – both now increasingly artificial – but also remould and reshape the processes of social interactions throughout the Planet all long the eons – and worse, subverting It by validating all the supposed merits and pretenses of the System using thus the Academy; the Sciences; the Philosophies so that the mercantile system processes never break definitely.

Each of us have a brief idea of at least some of what I wrote, and I have faith and hope that every day, across the globe, people actually reflect upon all that – gradually stripping off partisan, religious, political , sectarian, extremist labels and -isms.

You people need to start waking up. This is but even much more serious – and infinitely greater than what’s demonstrated here. This text is just a draft of an idea for a post, I’ll improve it alongtime.

[+ images] In Gaza, It’s the Occupation, Stupid

“The answer is simple, and increases the chances of security on all sides: End the occupation.”

Amy Goodman – Nationofchange / OP-ED

“The Palestinian people want to be free of the occupation,” award-winning Israeli journalist Gideon Levy summed up this week. It is that simple. This latest Israeli military assault on the people of Gaza is not an isolated event, but part of a 45-year occupation of the sliver of land wedged between Israel and the Mediterranean Sea, where 1.6 million people live under a brutal Israeli blockade that denies them most of the basic necessities of life. Without the unwavering bipartisan support of the United States for the Israeli military, the occupation of Palestine could not exist.

At the time of this writing, the overall Palestinian death toll of the seven-day assault, dubbed Operation Pillar of Cloud by the Israel Defense Forces, is more than 116, more than half of them civilians, including 27 children and 11 women. Hamas has fired hundreds of rockets from Gaza into Israel, which, to date, have killed three Israeli civilians.

President Barack Obama said on Sunday, “There is no country on earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders. So, we are fully supportive of Israel’s right to defend itself from missiles landing on people’s homes and workplaces and potentially killing civilians.”

“No one questions that right,” responds Richard Falk, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University and the author of more than 50 books on war, human rights and international law.

“The question is: When and how is it appropriate? Here, as before in 2008, when Israel launched a similar devastating attack on the population and people of Gaza, there were alternatives, and this kind of approach to security ends up with a new cycle of violence at higher levels of intensity. It’s time for the international community to take some responsibility for protecting the people of Gaza.”

Since 2000, according to an article from the British medical journal The Lancet, the Israeli military has killed more than 6,000 Palestinians. They are harassed at checkpoints, imprisoned arbitrarily, denied clean water and sanitation, and suffer from systemic malnutrition, all part of the illegal siege and blockade. World-renowned linguist and author Noam Chomsky recently visited Gaza, describing it as the world’s largest open-air prison.

Amidst reports of an imminent ceasefire, I spoke with Dr. Mona El-Farra in Gaza. She is the health chair of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society of the Gaza Strip, which, as part of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, is protected under the Geneva Conventions. “Airplanes are still in the sky, drones are in the sky, and we can h ear intermittent shelling. People are tense, hoping for a cease-fire, but people don’t want a cease-fire at any cost. We want guarantees from Israel that this will not happen again.”

I asked her what it is like to endure an air raid: “Every other minute, directly in my area, the airplanes are there, and they hit within 100 meters of my building. You can overhear from the other areas, because it is very noisy, F-16s bombing with large explosions. The whole building shakes, and some of my windows have been shattered.” Dr. El-Farra and her 20-year-old daughter hide under their table. She gets only a few minutes sleep at a time. “With every air raid, you can see the fire from my window, the fire and the smoke.”

She also braves the open streets to attend to her responsibilities with the Red Crescent Society. They have set up phone banks to provide psychological counseling to Gazans who are dealing with death and injury, who are living under the stress of continuous air bombardment and the threat of imminent ground invasion. “We have terrified children in Gaza, children who do not have enough water, do not have enough food, no medicine … with all that, children have no safe place. There is no place safe in Gaza. I don’t know what will happen next if this madness continues. In the last week, it has been like hell for us. It is ugly, it is horrible.”

Jody Williams, winner of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for her work with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and chair of the Nobel Women’s Initiative told me, “It is very hard to think about Israel calling what it is doing defending itself when it is occupying Palestinian territory. It’s collective punishment. We cannot support punishing an entire population because of the policies and attacks of Hamas. It’s illegal.”

The answer is simple, and increases the chances of security on all sides: End the occupation.

© 2011 Amy Goodman
Distributed by King Features Syndicate


ABOUT Amy Goodman

Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!,” a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 900 stations in North America. She is the author of “Breaking the Sound Barrier,” recently released in paperback and now a New York Times best-seller.

SOURCE: Nation Of Change
http://www.nationofchange.org/gaza-it-s-occupation-stupid-1353572725

“Flatten” Gaza like Hiroshima and “mow” the population, Israeli public figures urge

“Ben-Ari is also notorious for his incitement against Africans and for his hatred of Christians. In July he tore up a New Testament, calling it “abominable” and threw it in the trash.”

Submitted by Ali Abunimah on Sun, 11/18/2012 – 23:20

Among the latest horrifying examples of incitement to mass murder by Israeli public figures, Gilad Sharon, the son of former prime minister and notorious war criminal Ariel Sharon, has called for the Israeli army to “flatten” Gaza as the US flattened the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945 with an atomic bomb.

Palestinian doctors gather to pray around the bodies of four children from the al-Dallu family killed along with seven other persons when an Israeli missile struck a family home in Gaza City on 18 November. (Majdi Fathi / APA images)

“The residents of Gaza are not innocent, they elected Hamas. The Gazans aren’t hostages; they chose this freely, and must live with the consequences,” wrote Sharon in the extremist publication The Jerusalem Post. Sharon elaborated:

We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too.

There should be no electricity in Gaza, no gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing. Then they’d really call for a ceasefire.

Were this to happen, the images from Gaza might be unpleasant – but victory would be swift, and the lives of our soldiers and civilians spared.

Sharon added that “There is no middle path here – either the Gazans and their infrastructure are made to pay the price, or we reoccupy the entire Gaza Strip.”

As of Sunday night, the end of the fifth day of Israel’s air assault on Gaza, more than 70 Palestinians, half of them civilians, had been killed in hundreds of Israeli airstrikes.
“Don’t give a hoot about Goldstone”

Meanwhile in a message to soldiers, Knesset member Michael Ben-Ari of the National Union party exhorted soldiers to kill without thought or mercy.

“Brothers! Beloved soldiers and commanders – preserve your lives! Don’t give a hoot about Goldstone! There are no innocents in Gaza, don’t let any diplomats who want to look good in the world endanger your lives[;] at any tiniest concern for your lives – Mow them!,” Ben-Ari was quoted as saying by the website HaKol HaYehudi.

Ben-Ari was referring to the UN-commissioned Goldstone report that documented war crimes and crimes against humanity during Israel’s 2008-2009 invasion of Gaza which left more than 1,400 Palestinians, mostly civilians, dead.

“We love you alive and smiling, not, heaven forefend, ‘just’ and dead in Gaza – Sodom [-] there are no righteous men, turn it into rubble. Paint it red! We are worried about you and rely on you. We all do, all of the Nation of Israel,” Ben-Ari added.

The phrase “the Nation of Israel” refers to all members of the Jewish religion, not to citizens of the State Israel, notes Dena Shunra who translated Ben-Ari’s comments.

On 15 November, the second day of an Israeli assault, Ben-Ari addressed a hate rally in Tel Aviv, calling for more bloodshed in Gaza. New video of that rally, which this blog reported on previously, shows Ben-Ari in action.

Ben-Ari is also notorious for his incitement against Africans and for his hatred of Christians. In July he tore up a New Testament, calling it “abominable” and threw it in the trash.

Read more examples of incitement to violence by Israeli public figures, for example the prominent rabbi who says the Israeli army “must learn from the Syrians how to slaughter the enemy.”

All of these inciters will no doubt be pleased that in the bloodiest attack of Israel’s assault so far, 11 Palestinians from a single family, including four young children and an 81-year-old woman, were killed on Sunday when an Israeli bomb flattened their home.

 

SOURCE: Electronic Intifada
http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/flatten-gaza-hiroshima-and-mow-population-israeli-public-figures-urge