Bookmarks 09/03/2011

  • If there were no revolutions in the Arab world, I’m sure this story would have made the headlines–the story of a once great project, completely fucked up by a bunch of amateurs.

    tags: publishtoblog wikileaks cablegate spiegel online leak

    • In the end, all the efforts at confidentiality came to naught. Everyone who knows a bit about computers can now have a look into the 250,000 US diplomatic dispatches that WikiLeaks made available to select news outlets late last year. All of them. What’s more, they are the unedited, unredacted versions complete with the names of US diplomats’ informants — sensitive names from Iran, China, Afghanistan, the Arab world and elsewhere.
    • the story has blown up. And is one that comes as a result of a series of mistakes made by several different people. Together, they add up to a catastrophe. And the series of events reads like the script for a B movie.
  • Israel’s official response to UN: Report endorsed with reservation; no apology; ambassador’s mandate expired anyway.

    tags: publishtoblog guardian the guardian free comment people palestine state israel response flotilla incident report UN Palmer

    • The State of Israel has adopted the Palmer Report
    • a professional, serious and comprehensive document.
    • Israel’s right to enforce the blockade, including in international waters.
    • In the case of the Mavi Marmara flotilla, Israeli soldiers boarded the vessels with non-lethal means and with no intention of causing any harm.
    • When they were brutally attacked by dozens of violent IHH activists armed with clubs, knives and steel pipes, the Israeli soldiers were forced to defend themselves.
    • Israel once again expresses its regret over the loss of life, but will not apologize for its soldiers taking action to defend their lives.
    • Israel cherishes the significant ties, past and present, between the Turkish and Jewish peoples.  For that reason, the State of Israel has made numerous attempts in the last few months to settle the dispute between the two countries, but regrettably, these attempts have not been successful.

      The State of Israel hopes that a way will be found to move beyond this discord and will continue its endeavors to that end.

  • I agree with this opinion. I lost my illusions about the likelihood and fairness of a two-state solution a long time ago and for the very reasons this article outlines.

    tags: state palestine people comment free the guardian guardian publishtoblog

    • a hard-hitting, seven-page legal opinion on the consequences of Palestinian statehood, published recently by Guy Goodwin-Gill, a professor of international law at Oxford University, concluded that “the interests of the Palestinian people are at risk of prejudice and fragmentation” and the refugees in the diaspora risk losing “their entitlement to equal representation”
    • a hard-hitting, seven-page legal opinion on the consequences of Palestinian statehood, published recently by Guy Goodwin-Gill, a professor of international law at Oxford University, concluded that “the interests of the Palestinian people are at risk of prejudice and fragmentation” and the refugees in the diaspora risk losing “their entitlement to equal representation” and “their ability to vocalise their views, to participate in matters of national governance, including the formation and political identity of the state, and to exercise the right of return”.
    • To have a PA-led fantasy state representing only West Bank and Gaza residents replace the PLO – representing all Palestinians – as Israel’s chief interlocutor would be a disaster.
    • Karma Nabulsi, the Oxford academic and former PLO official, says that by “losing the PLO as the sole legitimate representative at the UN, our people immediately lose our claim as refugees to be part of our official representation”.
    • The Palestinian American journalist and blogger Ali Abunimah has dismissed the UN bid as a “charade”.
  • A hilarious video put together by some Islamist (linked to by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Twitter feed according to the Arabist) scaremongering about the supposed perils of secularism in Egypt.

    tags: egypt blog islamists secularists arabist publishtoblog

    • I don’t know what’s funnier about this video: the hysterically ominous music; the fact that women’s rights groups are represented by a grinning blonde drinking a beer; or the way it ends up describing Bizarro Egypt, where up is down, left is right and Islam doesn’t dominate every aspect of public life
  • Hear, hear! Al Jazeera finds secret document in Gaddafi’s intelligence HQs allegedly suggesting some leaders (whose names Al Jazeera says it has “redacted”) within the rebel highest ranks may have worked as spies for Gaddafi, “at least until the fall of Tripoli.” Why am I not surprised?

    tags: secret files gaddafi rebel camp publishtoblog

    • Libyan rebel fighters were using refugee camps on the Libyan border set up by Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait to smuggle in weapons and pick up trucks.

       

      Gaddafi’s spies (whose names Al Jazeera has redacted) suggested that the rebels had the permission of the Tunisian prime minister and his army chief to use the camps as a base.

    • Gaddafi’s spies (whose names Al Jazeera has redacted) suggested that the rebels had the permission of the Tunisian prime minister and his army chief to use the camps as a base.
    • thousands of secret documents are in the hands of rebels — and some of them could incriminate the rebel leaders themselves.

       

      What will become of those leaders – and whether information contained within them will trigger reprisals throughout the troubled country – remains to be seen.

  • Turkey has got balls. Way to go!

    tags: turkey israeli ambassador europe world independent the independent publishtoblog

    • Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the government was downgrading   diplomatic ties with Israel to the level of second secretary and that the   ambassador and other high-level diplomats would leave the capital Ankara by   Wednesday.
    • He said all military agreements signed between the former allies were also   being suspended. Other sanctions against its former ally would include   possible naval restrictions in the eastern Mediterranean as well as Turkish   state backing for flotilla victims families’ court actions against Israel,   Davutoglu said.
    • Asked to comment on the fact that the UN report does not recommend an Israeli   apology, Turkish President Abdullah Gul said: “To be frank, the report is   null and void for us.”
    • The collapse of Israel’s relationship with Turkey comes as it faces turmoil in   ties with another longtime regional ally, Egypt, where longtime leader Hosni   Mubarak was deposed earlier this year and where there have been growing   calls to revoke the three-decade-old Egypt-Israel peace agreement.
  • An online surveillance market is fueled by the demands of repressive governments who are digesting the lessons of the Arab Spring. It is undermining internet freedom says Evgeny Morozov.

    tags: NYTimes.com repression censorship privacy politics freedom activism Web evgeny morozov publishtoblog

    • In addition to the rosy narrative celebrating how Facebook and Twitter have enabled freedom movements around the world, we need to confront a more sinister tale: how greedy companies, fostered by Western governments for domestic surveillance needs, have helped suppress them.
    • The obvious response is to ban the export of such technologies to repressive governments. But as long as Western states continue using monitoring technologies themselves, sanctions won’t completely eliminate the problem — the supply will always find a way to meet the demand.
    • What we need is a recognition that our reliance on surveillance technology domestically — even if it is checked by the legal system — is inadvertently undermining freedom in places where the legal system provides little if any protection.
    • As countries like Belarus, Iran and Myanmar digest the lessons of the Arab Spring, their demand for monitoring technology will grow. Left uncontrolled, Western surveillance tools could undermine the “Internet freedom” agenda in the same way arms exports undermine Western-led peace initiatives. How many activists, finding themselves confronted with information collected using Western technology, would trust the pronouncements of Western governments again?
  • “”We want to send a message that chaos on the internet is unacceptable,” said Steven Chabinsky, deputy assistant FBI director.” Am I the only one to feel enraged by these kind of statements? Since when governments had a mandate to police the internet? They certainly believe–or want us to believe–they are entitled to do so.

    Read this interesting take on the morals of “digital direct action.” The term refers to DDoS attacks and hacking actions conducted by activists over the internet. It also reflects on the consequences of mounting government repression on political culture on the internet.

    tags: ddos publishtoblog al jazeera jazeera opinion

    • FBI officials offered a rare glimpse into its justification for the crackdown, citing a need to nip “chaos” in the bud: “We want to send a message that chaos on the internet is unacceptable,” said Steven Chabinsky, deputy assistant FBI director.
    • one way we might think of it is as digital direct action. Emerging organically, this movement did not wait for a judge, politician, nor a journalist to declare a legal or moral judgment. Citizens took matters into their own hands. In less than 24 hours, a large assembly of citizens took not to the streets where protest activity traditionally unfolds, but to the digital agora to act on their own accord, to loudly assert their opinion on a matter, and to act directly against those actors they felt were acting unjustly. If they happened to break laws, these laws were viewed, with good reason, to be unjust.
    • This is damaging to the overall political culture of the internet, which must allow for a diversity of tactics, including mass action, direct action, and peaceful of protests, if it is going to be a medium for democratic action and life.

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