January 28th, 2008

Chris Keeley

Kathleen Christison: "The Myth of International Consensus" (COUNTERPUNCH

 Distinguished Recipients
FM: John Whitbeck
Transmitted below is a typically perceptive and forthright article by former CIA analyst Kathy Christison on the hypocrisy behind and surrounding the so-called "international consensus" in support of a two-state solution for Israel/Palestine.
The increasingly strident insistence of the powers-that-be upon this "international consensus" for a two-state solution appears to reflect a near-panicky fear that the Palestinians might, out of wisdom or despair or some combination of the two, bring down the curtain on this long-running act of deception by demanding democracy instead.
If they did so, the greatest injustice inflicted by one people on another since the Second World War would no longer be sustainable.


January 24, 2008


One and Two State Solutions

The Myth of International Consensus



Among the panoply of reasons put forth against advocates of a one-state solution for Palestine-Israel, perhaps the most disingenuous is the injunction, repeated by well meaning commentators who believe they speak in the Palestinians' best interests, that Palestinians would simply be irritating the international community by pressing for such a solution, because the so-called international consensus supports, and indeed is based upon, a two-state solution. At a time when the "international consensus" could not be less interested in securing any Palestinian rights, particularly in forcing Israel to withdraw from enough territory to provide for real Palestinian statehood and genuine freedom from Israeli domination, this call for compliance with the wishes of an uncaring international community is at best an empty argument, at worst a hypocritical dodge that undermines the Palestinians' right to struggle for equality and self-determination. By telling the Palestinians that they cannot even speak out for one state without antagonizing some mythical consensus around the world, this line of argument undermines their right simply to think about an alternative solution.


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Chris Keeley

Rami Khouri on "Creativity" re Gaza--1/28/08

by Rami G. KhouriReleased: 28 Jan 2008

BEIRUT -- It was not exactly the Red Sea parting to allow a persecuted, enslaved people to flee to safety, but it was pretty close as far as political symbolism goes: Palestinians this week blew holes through the wall on the Egyptian-Palestinian border that Israel built to pen in the Palestinians in Gaza, and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians poured over the border into Egypt. They went mainly to purchase the simple everyday needs that had been denied them recently due to Israel's policy of total isolation and strangulation of Gaza and its people.

The scale and symbolism of events in Gaza clarify some simple truths about the Palestinian issue in its wider historical, political, and geographic context -- and perhaps also its moral context, thanks to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's insensitive and obtuse call to "think creatively" about how to deal with the Gaza situation.

It is ironic but not unexpected that 3500 years after the Hebrews fled their dismal life in Egypt and escaped eastwards to freedom across the miraculously stilled Red Sea, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians should be fleeing from the modern day descendants of the Hebrews -- the state of Israel -- who now play the role of the oppressive Pharaoh to the subjugated and dehumanized Palestinians in Gaza. The reversed political geography is politically stunning, and tragic for both sides.

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Chris Keeley

Montreal-born photographer Jill Greenberg is known for her celebrity portraits -- work that's rarely

Montreal-born photographer Jill Greenberg is known for her celebrity portraits -- work that's rarely controversial. Her "End Times" series, on the other hand, drummed up quite the media frenzy. In order to get babies to cry for the camera, Greenberg had their parents or an assistant give the children lollipops -- then take them away


Chris Keeley

Gabriel Byrne as a middle-aged psychotherapist with problems of his own

HBO, on the couch again.

by Nancy Franklin 

Gabriel Byrne as a middle-aged psychotherapist with problems of his own.

To say that the new HBO drama “In Treatment” is boring doesn’t really get at what’s wrong with the show; the problem, to a great extent, is that the show isn’t boring enough. It’s a half-hour drama centered on the therapy sessions of a psychotherapist named Paul (Gabriel Byrne)—sessions with five of his patients, and his own sessions with a former supervisor, Gina (Dianne Wiest). I learned many years ago, when learning such things cost only fifty dollars for forty-five minutes, that boredom isn’t the same thing as stasis. Being bored doesn’t mean that “there’s nothing to do,” as children imprecisely complain to their parents on a rainy day, dragging their feet on the rug and kicking the sofa. It means that something big—whether it’s rain, other people, or our own hot-to-the-touch fears—is keeping us from doing what we want to do, from playing outside, from expressing ourselves, from moving forward.

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Chris Keeley

Dr. Dippy, Meet Dr. Evil

Dr. Dippy, Meet Dr. Evil 

HANDS steepled, eyes hooded in thought, handsome face transmitting engaged (but neutral) attention, Gabriel Byrne is the rumpled therapeutic lap rug at the center of “In Treatment,” a new HBO series seeking to provide a glimpse of what truly goes on in those 50-minute hours. Starting Jan. 29, it will do so five sessions a week for nine uninterrupted weeks. 

Peter Sellers, left, analyzes Peter O’Toole on film, 1965

Adapted from an Israeli television series that turned into a national obsession, “In Treatment” is a surprisingly compelling show, given that most of the action occurs in a single room, and is built around Dr. Paul Weston’s ongoing interactions with a pouty anesthesiologist with attachment issues, a Navy pilot suffering from post-Iraq war stress, an aspiring Olympic gymnast given to troublingly incestuous urges and a married couple who enjoy each other sexually, yet turn into the Bickersons the second they’re out of bed.

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Chris Keeley

Bush’s Plan For Compact With Iraq May Be Unconstitutional

Bush’s Plan For Compact With Iraq May Be Unconstitutional

The Boston Globe is reporting President Bush’s plan to forge a long-term agreement with the Iraqi government that could commit the US military to defending Iraq"s security for years to come may be unconstitutional. Legal specialists and lawmakers of both parties said this marks the first time such a sweeping mutual defense compact has been enacted without congressional approval.

U.S. Intel Chiefs Secretly Meet With Pervez Musharraf

The New York Times has revealed the nation"s top two U.S. intelligence officials traveled secretly to Pakistan early this month to press President Pervez Musharraf to allow the Central Intelligence Agency greater latitude to operate in the tribal territories of Pakistan. According to the Times, Musharraf rebuffed the proposals of CIA Director Michael Hayden and Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence. Instead, Pakistan and the United States are discussing a series of other joint efforts, including increasing the number and scope of missions by armed Predator surveillance aircraft over the tribal areas.

Chris Keeley

Article on Gaza by Eyad al-Sarraj and Sara Roy--Boston Globe 1/26/08

Article on Gaza by Eyad al-Sarraj and Sara Roy--Boston Globe 1/26/08

Ending the stranglehold on Gaza


By Eyad al-Sarraj and Sara Roy | January 26, 2008

AN ISRAELI convoy of goods and peace activists will go today to Erez,
Israel's border with Gaza, and many Palestinians will be on the other
side waiting. They will not see one another, but Palestinians will
know there are Jews who condemn the siege inflicted on the tiny
territory by Israel's military establishment and want to see an end to
the 40-year-old occupation.

Israel's minister of justice, Haim Ramon, had pushed for cutting off
Gaza's "infrastructural oxygen" - water, electricity, and fuel - as a
response to the firing of Qassam rockets into Israel. Last Sunday,
Ramon's wish came true: Israel's blockade forced Gaza's only power
plant to shut down, plunging 800,000 people into darkness. Food and
humanitarian aid were also denied entry. Although international
pressure forced Israel to let in some supplies two days later, and the
situation further eased when Palestinians breached the border wall
with Egypt, the worst may be yet to come.

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