Daily Archives: December 7, 2008

hamid gul speaks

Mumbai attacks : Ex-ISI chief Gul terms Post report ‘nonsense’
Press Trust of India, Islamabad, Dec 7 2008

Former ISI chief Hamid Gul today dismissed as “nonsense” reports in the Washington Post that Pakistan has agreed to arrest and hand him over to India in connection with the probe into the Mumbai terror attacks. He told a private Indian channel, NDTV, by phone from Rawalpindi:

It is nonsense, it is disinformation, because Condoleezza Rice and America want my name to be included. They don’t like this loud voice in which I condemn them, their aggression, their oppression, their invasion in Afghanistan and lies over Iraq. I expose them: their 9/11 was a fraud, it was an inside job. I want to say to the Indian public and the Indian leadership: please don’t fall into their trap, look at what they have done to us, they are deceitful, and they will use you for their own purpose.

The former ISI head claimed that the US now wanted Indian troops to be “committed” to Afghanistan “because they have run short of their own troops and NATO is pulling out.” On his links with the Pakistani spy agency, Gul said: “I left the ISI 20 years ago … I have no contact with ISI.” Asked whether he will cooperate with India’s probe into the deadly attacks, Gul said he is ready to help if his government tells him to do so. However, he said New Delhi should show “more sagacity” in dealing with Islamabad.

undercover cop aided mumbai plot

Indian police arrest 2 men in Mumbai investigation
Aijaz Hussain, AP, Dec 6 2008

SRINAGAR, India – One of the two Indian men arrested for illegally buying mobile phone cards used by the gunmen in the Mumbai attacks was a counterinsurgency police officer who may have been on an undercover mission, security officials said Saturday, demanding his release. The arrests, announced in the eastern city of Calcutta, were the first since the bloody siege ended. But what was touted as a rare success for India’s beleaguered law enforcement agencies quickly turned sour, as police in two Indian regions squared off against one another. Senior police officers in Indian Kashmir, which has been at the heart of tensions between India and Pakistan, demanded the release of the officer, Mukhtar Ahmed, saying he was one of their own and had been involved in infiltrating Kashmiri militant groups. The implications of Ahmed’s involvement — that Indian agents may have been in touch with the militants and perhaps supplied the SIM cards used in the attacks — added to the growing list of questions over India’s ill-trained security forces, which are widely blamed for not thwarting the attacks.

Earlier Saturday, Calcutta police announced the arrests of Ahmed and Tauseef Rahman, who allegedly bought SIM cards by using fake documents, including identification cards of dead people. The cards allow users switch their cellular service to phones other than their own. Rahman, of West Bengal state, later sold them to Ahmed, said Rajeev Kumar, a senior Calcutta police officer. Both men were arrested Friday and charged with fraud and criminal conspiracy, Kumar said, adding that police were still investigating how the 10 gunmen obtained the SIM cards. But the announcement had police in Srinagar, the main city in Indian-controlled Kashmir, fuming. “We have told Calcutta police that Ahmed is our man and it’s now up to them how to facilitate his release,” said one senior officer, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the information. Other police officials in Kashmir supported his account. The officer said Ahmed was a Special Police Officer, part of a semi-official counter-insurgency network whose members are usually drawn from former militants. The force is run on a special funding from the federal Ministry of Home Affairs. “Sometimes we use our men engaged in counter-insurgency ops to provide SIM cards to the (militant) outfits so that we track their plans down,” said the officer. Police said Ahmed was recruited to the force after his brother was killed five years ago, allegedly by Lashkar-e-Taiba militants for being a police informer. The Calcutta police denied the claims from Srinagar. “This is not true,” said Kumar.

human rights in israel 2008

ACRI Gauges Israel’s Realization of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 60th Anniversary of its Adoption
Association for Civil Rights in Israel

The full version of ACRI’s State of Human Rights Report 2008 in available at http://www.acri.org.il/pdf/state2008.pdf.

JERUSALEM – December 4, 2008 – To mark 60 years since the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948, ACRI has dedicated its annual “State of Human Rights Report” to evaluating Israel’s respect for the Declaration’s various tenets. Though the Declaration is not binding, it has served as the basis for many subsequent laws, treaties, and conventions relating to human rights the world over. As Israel’s leading human rights organization, ACRI has fought to preserve the rights of all for 36 years and boasts a long list of achievements in protecting and promoting the full spectrum of rights and liberties in Israel and the Occupied Territories. These accomplishments are detailed in the report.

Rights watchdog: After US, Israel is least egalitarian country in West
Tomer Zarchin, Haaretz, Dec 8 2008

The past year has seen a dramatic rise in the number of violent attacks perpetrated by Jewish settlers against Palestinians in the territories. Yet, only 8% of the police investigations of settler violence result in indictments. This finding is contained in a new report, published yesterday by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), to mark the 60th anniversary of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The report states that in most instances of innocent civilian bystanders being killed in the territories, no investigation is opened. Also, only a small number of the cases that are investigated result in an indictment. ACRI reports that in most of Israel’s mixed towns, including Ramle, Lod, Acre, Haifa and Jaffa, Arab citizens suffer from discrimination. The infrastructure in the Arab neighborhoods is neglected, public buildings and parks are lacking, there is a poor education system, and health and welfare services are insufficient. The past decade has seen an increase in the gaps in life expectancy between Jews and Arabs and also between the center and the periphery. As such, the infant mortality rate in the periphery is double that in the country’s center. Moreover, there are fewer hospital beds and doctors as well as less medical equipment per capita in the periphery, as compared to the center.

The report asserts that, after the USA, Israel is the least egalitarian country in the West. Although there has been an increase in the state’s revenues from taxes in recent years, the government’s spending on social issues has decreased. During the past 13 years the funding of the health basket has been eroded by some 44%, while at the same time there has been a 50% increase in the rate of personal spending on health, as part of the total public and private expenditure. The report also found that the economic situation of people with handicaps in Israel is the worst among the Western countries. Their average income is less than 70% of those without handicaps, and, in addition, 85% of Israeli employers do not hire people with handicaps. Also, 37% of Ethiopian immigrants are employed in low-paying jobs, as compared to veteran Israelis. In addition, the report found that the privacy of an increasing number of workers is invaded through their employers’ calls for a sweeping exemption from medical confidentiality, the monitoring of phone calls and e-mail, compulsory polygraph tests and the use of surveillance cameras. Moreover, many of the Prison Service facilities violate the basic rights of detainees and prisoners, in part by excessive use of force, severe overcrowding in the jails, and poor hygienic and sanitary conditions.

more silly music from israel

kshe li (it’s hard) by the giraffes

great moments in israel’s diplomacy

‘ElBaradei’s Iran comments irrelevant’
Herb Keinon, JPost, Dec 6 2008

Diplomatic sources in Jerusalem dismissed as “irrelevant” Saturday night comments made by Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the IAEA, who said efforts to stop Iran’s nuclear march have been a failure. “We haven’t really moved one inch toward addressing the issues,” ElBaradei told the LA Times in an interview published Friday. “I think so far the policy has been a failure.” ElBaradei’s words were flatly disregarded in Jerusalem. “His record as head of the IAEA is one of resounding failures,” one diplomatic official said. “His opinion is interesting, but it is the opinion of someone who has announced he will retire and, as he said in the interview, has bought a home in the south of France. His opinion now is no more significant than that of the man on the street.” The official said that ElBaradei would be judged by the fact that during his tenure Syria, Libya, North Korea and Iran all had nuclear programs. “The IAEA failed in all four cases,” the official said. “The problems in Libya and North Korea were solved by a process led by the Americans, and in Syria, someone else needed to do the work,” he said, alluding to the IAF attack on an alleged nuclear installation there in 2007. In light of those failures, the official said, and since ElBaradei has admitted in the past that his organization failed in Iran, “questions must be raised abut his job and the role of the IAEA.”