Canadian Union of Postal Workers joins the campaign against Israeli apartheid!

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    April 2008.

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    Sign on Statement and Appeal for Solidarity.

April 2008: We the undersigned organizations congratulate the Canadian Union of Postal workers (CUPW) for joining the international boycott of Israeli apartheid. We call on workers and labour unions worldwide to join CUPW in creating a strong and effective labour movement in solidarity with struggles against Israeli apartheid and violence.

At the national convention of CUPW, representing over fifty thousand workers across Canada, a strong majority of delegates voted for a resolution in support of the international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israeli apartheid.

Marking the first time a country-wide labour union in North America has voted to participate in the global campaign against apartheid in Palestine, CUPW’s resolution represents a critical juncture for the involvement of North American labour in this campaign. International support for CUPW’s resolution – which recognizes the Palestinian people’s inalienable rights, including the right of return – could prove key to shoring up this victory.

In Canada, CUPW has been at the forefront of campaigns against privatization and deregulation of postal services in Canada, while maintaining a proud history of international solidarity. During the South African apartheid years, CUPW played a lead role in labor solidarity with South African workers, engaging in concrete actions such as the refusal to handle mail from South Africa.

CUPW has now joined the international campaign against Israeli apartheid, committing itself to “support the international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions until Israel meets its obligations to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law including the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.”

Israel’s apartheid and colonial policies have resulted in the near collapse of the Palestinian economy, resulting in massive unemployment and bleak poverty. In the West Bank, over 51 % of the population is estimated to live under the poverty line; in Gaza, the figure rises to 81 %. Israel’s policies have had a particularly acute effect on Palestinian postal workers, as the apartheid regime has ensured that there is no Palestinian-controlled access to other countries.

As a result, all incoming and outgoing Palestinian mail has to pass through the Israeli postal service, which routinely delays delivery, often for several months. In the course of fulfilling their duty, Palestinian postal workers are forced to travel through Israeli checkpoints at which Israeli soldiers regularly delay their passage, detaining them for hours under the sun or rain, or denying them passage altogether. Working under a brutal military occupation, Palestinian postal workers can risk imprisonment, injury, and death in the course of a day’s work.

CUPW’s resolution comes at a time when Israel prepares to celebrate the sixtieth year since its establishment, a celebration in which many of the most powerful governments of the world will participate. For sixty years, the Palestinian people have endured and resisted ongoing displacement, land confiscation, military violence, institutionalized racism, and political repression of the minority who managed to remain in their homeland. CUPW’s resolution is a clear statement to the world that when the states of the world stand behind oppression and apartheid, it is up to the people of the world to oppose it.

Every passing week demostrates the urgent need for a strong popular movement against Israeli apartheid. Last week, Israel once more stepped up the violence of its bloody siege of Gaza, leaving dozens of Palestinian civilians dead. Israel continues to impose collective punishment on the 1.5 million Palestinians of Gaza, who live with chronic shortages of electricity, fuel, food and basic necessities as a result.

We call on all workers and labour unions to join CUPW in creating a strong and effective boycott movement to help bring an end to this injustice and violence…

actions you can take:

* Endorse this statement: send the name of your organization and city to:
tadamon[at]resist.ca.

* Send a message of solidarity through email or fax to the CUPW National office congratulating them on their stand against Israeli apartheid. Please fax your letter of support to CUPW National Office at: + 1 613 563 7861 email at: tadamon[at]resist.ca

* Ask your union, community group, association or collective to follow CUPW’s lead and adopt a position in support of the international campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israeli apartheid.

* In Montreal, join the “Boycott Apartheid” bloc in the demonstration organized by the Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine (CJPP) to mark the 60th year of the Nakba on Saturday, 10 May 2008, 1pm Dorchester Square (Peel & René-Lévesque) in Montreal. To join the boycott bloc, look for the “boycott Israeli Apartheid” banner.

endorsed by:

Tadamon! Montreal (Montreal, Quebec)
Palestinian BDS National Committee (Palestine)
Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (Toronto, Canada)
Association pour une Solidarité Syndicale Étudiante (ASSÉ) (Quebec)
Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel (Beirut, Lebanon)
People’s Movement (Beirut, Lebanon)
Civil Resistance Campaign (Beirut, Lebanon)
Committee Against Normalization of Relations with “Israel” in Jordan (Amman, Jordan)

30 Comments »

This is an important step in the struggle for a just peace in the Middle East.

Comment by Kole Kilibarda — April 29th, 2008 @ 1:23 PM

Great newss!!

We congratulate CUPW for their brave decision, and we hope other unions and organizations follow their example!

Comment by Mohammed Alshamrani — April 29th, 2008 @ 2:54 PM

Members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) thank you sooo much for your endorsement of the campaign to end Israeli apartheid in Palestine. You have all shown great courage. If I were talking to you live I’d be weeping for joy.

May Allah reward you for your stance for a just peace for the Palestinians.

ASSALAMO-ALAIKUM
(PEACE BE UPON YOU)
Warren Kundis
Hawaii

Comment by Warren Kundis — April 29th, 2008 @ 7:56 PM

I feel that your action is making valuable contribution to achieving freedom for the Palestinian nation
Alex Seredin
Palm Beach
Florida

Comment by Alex Seredin — April 30th, 2008 @ 1:22 AM

CUPW, thank you and congratulations on your stance in support of the Palestinians and endorsement of the campaign to end Israeli apartheid. Let’s hope and pray for peace based on justice in the Middle East.

Comment by Mona Seredin — April 30th, 2008 @ 1:29 AM

Sincères félicitations au Syncicat des Travailleurs Travailleuses des Postes pour leur campagne de boycottage d’Israël. Leur courage face à l’intimidation est remarquable et devrait servir de modèle pour tous les autres syndicats.
R. Cloutier, Laval, Québec

Comment by R. Cloutier — April 30th, 2008 @ 9:58 AM

The National Lawyers Guild of the United States must endorse this resolution.

Comment by John Wheat Gibson Sr. — April 30th, 2008 @ 11:31 AM

For too long the world has tolerated the violations of International Law and Human Rights by the Israeli Occupation of Palestine. It is time to join the Postal Workers in their campaign.

Comment by Ed Daniel — April 30th, 2008 @ 11:33 AM

it is time now for the world to condemn the Israel’s brutal occupation of Palestinian land and US s’ unconditional support

thank you CUPW

Ahmad nakhaei

Comment by Ahmad nakhaei — April 30th, 2008 @ 11:34 PM

Je combat et je suis a prêt a continuer de combattre!

Comment by iQi Balam — May 1st, 2008 @ 4:57 AM

Félicitations au syndicat des postiers.
Bravo à TADAMON pour ce soutien
Boycottons Israël état d’apartheid, colonisateur et occupant de la Palestine.
Israel état terroriste.

Comment by Robert — May 1st, 2008 @ 10:38 AM

Congratulations on your stance.

Comment by Mustafa — May 1st, 2008 @ 11:19 PM

Thank you to the Canadian Union of Postal workers (CUPW) for supporting justice for Palestine and Palestinians. This is heartwarming news for every Palestinian and Palestine-supporter…

Comment by Lama — May 3rd, 2008 @ 12:41 PM

Its about time someone stood up for the rights of palestinians, now hopefully the media will pick up on this and spread the word and then let tens of millions of people worldwide to follow the lead this great union has made..peace for the palestininas and the end to criminal zionism

Comment by Justice Seeker — May 3rd, 2008 @ 4:25 PM

Bravo depuis la France!
Un petit souffle d’espoir pour le peuple palestinien, et espérons-le, l’amorce d’un mouvement plus large dans le monde.
vive les colibris! On éteindra l’incendie!

Comment by JOS — May 4th, 2008 @ 5:30 AM

Palestiniens et Juifs Unis (PAJU) félicite CUPW pour son courage moral par rapport à sa résolution qui appuie le boycott de l’État d’Israël. PAJU salue aussi les efforts de Tadamon ,et nous voulons par la présente réitérer notre volonté d’oeuvrer pour que le Boycott continue sur son élan!
En solidarité,
Rezeq Faraj et Bruce Katz
pour les membres et lpour e C.A. de PAJU

Comment by Bruce Katz — May 5th, 2008 @ 1:31 PM

thx arabs
thnx makka petrol that moves the israeli and american tanks and helicopter
thnx alot arab
thnx muslims

Comment by abdallah salama — May 6th, 2008 @ 2:10 AM

I would like to really thank you for your support, i live in palestine and we appreciat what you are doing as no one cares any more for our disteny and our lives.
many thanks

Comment by Sawsan — May 7th, 2008 @ 3:24 AM

Stop Israeli Aparthied. Jews Against Zionism!

Comment by zamir — May 13th, 2008 @ 3:10 PM

The murderous Israeli policy of the occupation of Palestine must be stopped at all cost.
Solidarité avec le peuple palestinien victime de cet horrible apartheid et sociocide.
My heart bleeds for these people.

Comment by Jean-Luc Mercier — May 15th, 2008 @ 5:10 PM

Citizens of the World support the boycott of Israeli goods until such time as the conflict is resolved by creating one secular nation state consisting of both the present stolen Israeli land and those parts “lived in” by the “Arab” population.

Citizens of the World is opposed to all nation states according to our credo. Historically the nation state was created to administer emerging capitalism in the interest of the owning class

We applaud the Canadian Union of Postal Worker for taking a small first step in trying to regulate a great wrong, the theft of another group’s land.

Yours to incite World insight, Trevor Goodger-Hill
__________________________
C R É D O

Le 1er mai 1990, les Citoyens du Monde, s’est spontanément matérialisée en une entité sans but lucratif et sans adhésion, ayant pour objectif de créer, dans un proche avenir, une nouvelle société de citoyens avec une conscience écologique dédiée à remplacer l’argent par l’abondance, le travail rémunéré par la contribution civique, la compétition par la collaboration, la violence par l’amitié et le nationalisme par la fraternité entre ethnies. En tant que coöpération mondiale, iWi, invite les soeurs et frères de l’humanité à choisir une vision du monde susceptible de protéger notre planète et ses spécificités du présent capitalisme destructif et de l’amener à se transformer en une économie non basée sur l’argent mais où chacun produite suivant ce qu’il consomme. Les Citoyens du Monde croient, en principe et en pratique, que les idées sont plus fortes que la force et qu’il y a une meilleure façon de changer le monde que de s’entre-tuer. Comme citoyens responsables, nous coöpérons à créer de nouvelles idées et invitons les gens intéressés à créer une telle société.

iWi Coöpérative, Trottier Mills, Québec, Canada, Amérique du nord, Terre, G0P 1H0 ou iwi@ivic.qc.ca

C R E D O

On 1 May l990 Citizens of the World spontaneously materialized as a non-profit non-membership entity with the sole purpose of creating in the immediate future a new coöperative world society of citizens of ecological consciousness dedicated to replacing money with abundance, wage-work with civic contribution, competition with collaboration, violence with friendship and nationalism with ethnic fraternity. As a world coöperative, iWi invites the sisterhood and brotherhood of humanity to incite world insight to protect our planet and all its species by documentation of the destructiveness of present-day capitalism in order to transform it into a moneyless stateless world economy where all produce in order that all consume. All Citizens of the World believe, in principle and in practice, ideas are stronger than force and there is a kinder, gentler way to change the world than killing other human beings. As responsible citizens we coöperatively reproduce ideas – and invite others who agree to reproduce and distribute them – to create such a society.

iWi Coöpérative, Trottier Mills, Québec, Canada, North America, Planet Earth, G0P 1H0 or iwi@ivic.qc.ca

Comment by Citizens of the World — May 15th, 2008 @ 8:35 PM

Good Old Canada!

Congratulations on the CUPW stance against the conditions under which the Palestinian people are suffering.

I am British and have been a supporter of the Palestinian people for years.

Historically, we British are largely responsible for the suffering of the Palestinians, but the rest of the World continues to ignore the truth and righteousness of the Palestinian fight for freedom.

All fair minded people should see that the Palestinians are being ‘sold down the river’!

Yours sincerely

Barry M. Watson-U.K.

Comment by Barry M. Watson — May 16th, 2008 @ 6:30 AM

On behalf of the Trade Union Friends of Palestine (ICTU) can I congratulate CUPW for the courageous stance it has taken in challenging the oppression and the brutality of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. This call by CUPW for strong sanctions against the Israeli government, including boycott and divestment, places your union firmly in the forefront of the international trade union solidarity movement. We hope that together with the CUPE you can help to mobilise the entire Canadian trade union movement to support the call for boycott and sanctions. As we know from the experience of challenging apartheid in South Africa this is the most effective way to help to highlight injustices and to bring such repressive practices to an end. The conditions endured by the Palestinian people have been described as worse than apartheid – that it is apartheid under armed and violent occupation. It is incumbent therefore on all of us who defend human rights, and who strive for social justice, to join in this international campaign to isolate the state of Israel by actions such as have been taken by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, by the Congress of South African Trade Unions and by unions such as CUPW.

Eamon Mc Mahon

Comment by Eamon Mc Mahon, Secretary, Trade Union Friends of Palestine, Irish Congress of Trade Unions — June 2nd, 2008 @ 12:33 PM

I am so glad to hear of the decision of the CUPW to join the boycott against Israeli apartheid. Thank you to all involved in making this happen. The media ensures that most people remain ignorant of the appalling treatment of the Palestinians by Israel – with the complicity of the governments of the USA, UK and many others.

Comment by Sarah Marshall — June 6th, 2008 @ 9:25 AM

GOD BLESS PALESTINE! END THE APARTHEID! HELP SPREAD THE TRUTH!

From the river to the sea Palestine must be free.

Comment by Clark Wade — June 10th, 2008 @ 5:01 PM

This is a good thing! I do support this!

Comment by David Noack — January 5th, 2009 @ 4:50 PM

Unusually Large U.S. Weapons Shipment to Israel: Are the US and Israel Planning a Broader Middle East War?

By Michel Chossudovsky

URL of this article: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11743

Global Research, January 11, 2009

A very large delivery of US weaponry to Israel consisting of 3,000 tons of “ammunition” is scheduled to sail to Israel. The size and nature of the shipments are described as “unusual”:

“Shipping 3,000-odd tons of ammunition in one go is a lot,” one broker said, on condition of anonymity.

“This (kind of request) is pretty rare and we haven’t seen much of it quoted in the market over the years,” he added.

“Shipping brokers in London who have specialized in moving arms for the British and U.S. military in the past said such ship charters to Israel were rare. (Reuters, Jan 10, 2009)

The Pentagon has entrusted a Greek merchant shipping company to deliver the weapons to Israel:

“The U.S. is seeking to hire a merchant ship to deliver hundreds of tons of arms to Israel from Greece later this month, tender documents seen by Reuters show.

The U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC) said the ship was to carry 325 standard 20-foot containers of what is listed as “ammunition” on two separate journeys from the Greek port of Astakos to the Israeli port of Ashdod in mid-to-late January.

A “hazardous material” designation on the manifest mentions explosive substances and detonators, but no other details were given.(Ibid)

It is worth noting that a similar unusually large shipment of US ordinance to Israel was scheduled in early December:

“Tender documents indicate that the German ship hired by the US in early December also carried a massive cargo of weapons that weighed over 2.6 million kg [2600 tons] and filled up to 989 standard 20-foot containers to Ashdod from North Carolina.” (Press TV, 10 Jan 2009)

Are These Large Shipments of Ordinance Connected to the Invasion of Gaza?

The request by the Pentagon to transport ordinance in a commercial vessel, according to Reuters, was made on December 31, 4 days after the commencement of the aerial bombings of Gaza by F16 Fighter jets.

Analysts have hastily concluded, without evidence, that the 2 shipments of “ammunition” were intended to supply Israel’s armed forces in support of its military invasion of Gaza.

“A senior military analyst in London who declined to be named said that, because of the timing, the shipments could be “irregular” and linked to the Gaza offensive.” (Reuters, January 10, 2009)

These reports are mistaken. Delivery of ordinance always precedes the onslaught of a military operation. The ordinance required under “Operation Cast Lead” was decided upon in June 2008. Further to Tel Aviv’s request under the US military aid program to Israel, the U.S. Congress approved in September 2008 the transfer of 1,000 bunker-buster high precision GPS-guided Small Diameter Guided Bomb Units 39 (GBU-39).

The GBU 39 smart bombs produced by Boeing were delivered to Israel in November. They were used in the initial air raids on Gaza:

“…The Israel Air Force has used the new lightweight GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb acquired from the USA, in the recent attacks in Gaza. The [Jerusalem] Post mentioned the new weapons ordered last September having arrived last month [November], and already put to action with the IAF fighters. These weapons could have been deployed by the Boeing/IAF F-15Is, since sofar SDB is cleared for use only with this type of aircraft.

It is highly unlikely that the bulk of the weaponry included in these two large shipments, scheduled to arrive in Israel in late January, is intended to be used in Israel’s military operation in Gaza. The GBU-39 is lightweight (130 kg). The entire shipment of GBU 39s (1000 units) would be of the order of a modest 130 tons. In other words, the specifications of the GBU 39 do not match the description of the “unusually large” and “heavy” shipment of ordinance.

GBU-39

Escalation Scenario

The shipment ordered on December 31 is of the order of 3000 tons, an unusually large and heavy cargo of “ammunition” pointing to the transfer of heavy weaponry to Israel.

According to US military statements, the ordinance is for stockpiling, to be used “at short notice” in the eventuality of a conflict:

“This previously scheduled shipment is routine and not in support of the current situation in Gaza. …The U.S. military pre-positions stockpiles in some countries in case it needs supplies at short notice.” (Reuters, 10 Jan 2009, emphasis added)

Whatever the nature of these large weapons shipments, they are intended for use in a future military operation in the Middle East.

Since the launching of the Theater Iran Near Term Operation Operation (TIRANNT) in May 2003, an escalation scenario involving military action directed against Iran and Syria has been envisaged. TIRANNT was followed by a series of military plans pertaining to Iran. Numerous official statements and US military documents have pointed to an expanded Middle East war.

What these shipments suggest is that the “escalation scenario” not only prevails, but has reached a more active stage in the process of US-Israeli military planning.

Whether these weapons will be used or not is not known. The central question, in this regard, is whether the Gaza invasion is part of a broader military adventure directed against Lebanon, Syria and Iran, in which heavier weaponry including US made bunker buster bombs will be used.

History of US Weapons Shipments to Israel

The stockpiling of US made bunker buster bombs by Israel has been ongoing since 2005:

“The United States will sell Israel nearly 5,000 smart bombs in one of the largest weapons deals between the allies in years.

Among the bombs the [Israeli] air force will get are 500 one-ton bunker busters that can penetrate two-meter-thick cement walls; 2,500 regular one-ton bombs; 1,000 half-ton bombs; and 500 quarter-ton bombs. The bombs Israel is acquiring include airborne versions, guidance units, training bombs and detonators. They are guided by an existing Israeli satellite used by the military.

The sale will augment existing Israeli supplies of smart bombs. The Pentagon told Congress that the bombs are meant to maintain Israel’s qualitative advantage [against Iran], and advance U.S. strategic and tactical interests.” (Jewish Virtual Library: September 21-22, 2004, Haaretz / Jerusalem Post.)

The actual shipments of US made bunker buster bombs started in 2005. The US approved in April 2005, the delivery of:

some 5,000 “smart air launched weapons” including some 500 BLU 109 ‘bunker-buster bombs. The (uranium coated) munitions are said to be more than ‘adequate to address the full range of Iranian targets, with the possible exception of the buried facility at Natanz, which may require the [more powerful] BLU-113 bunker buster [a variant of the GBU 28]‘” (See Michel Chossudovsky, Planned US-Israeli Nuclear Attack on Iran, Global Research, May 1, 2005)

The BLU-109 is smaller than the GBU 28. “It is a 2,000lbs warhead that can be used in combination with a GPS guidance kit [...], and can penetrate up to 15 feet of fortified concrete.” (See F16.net)

In 2006 at the height of the Lebanon War in August 2006, a major shipment of the 2.2 ton GBU 28 bombs, according to the New York Times, was dispatched to Israel.

The GBU 28 is produced by Raytheon. It was used against Iraq in the 1991 Gulf War, has the the capability of penetrating some 20 feet of reinforced concrete. (Haaretz, 9 Nov 2008) In contrast to the GBU 39 smart bombs (130 kg) used against Gaza, each GBU-28 weighs a hefty 2.2 tons.

“The Guided Bomb Unit-28 (GBU-28) is a special weapon developed for penetrating hardened Iraqi command centers located deep underground. The GBU-28 is a 5,000-pound laser-guided conventional munition that uses a 4,400-pound penetrating warhead.” Federation of American Scientists,

(For a visual depiction see “Bob Sherman, How the GBU-28 works”, USA Today on-line.).

GBU-28

Video of GBU 28 on UTube

The recent unusually large shipments of weaponry to Israel are part of the 2004 agreement between Washington and Tel Aviv, financed by US military aid to Israel.

As mentioned above, there is a history of delivery of bunker buster bombs (including the GBU 28), going back to 2005. While the nature and composition of these recent weapons shipments to Israel are not known, one suspects that they include the heavier version of the bunker buster bombs including the GBU-28.

In this regard, it is worth noting that last Summer, Israel requested the Pentagon to deliver GBU-28 bunker buster bombs. The stated purpose was to use them in the eventuality of a military operation directed against Iran.

In September 2008, according to US and Israeli press reports quoting Pentagon officials, Tel Aviv’s request was turned down. According to the reports, Washington categorically refused to deliver the shipment of GBU 28 bunker buster bombs, to be used to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. “Instead” Washington accepted to deliver the lightweight GBU-39 for use against Gaza.

The U.S. had “rejected an Israeli request for military equipment and support that would improve Israel’s ability to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.”

The Americans viewed [Israel's] request, which was transmitted (and rejected) at the highest level, as a sign that Israel is in the advanced stages of preparations to attack Iran. They therefore warned Israel against attacking, saying such a strike would undermine American interests. They also demanded that Israel give them prior notice if it nevertheless decided to strike Iran. In early September, Haaretz reported that the request had included GBU-28 “bunker-buster” bombs.

In mid-September, the U.S. agreed instead to sell Israel 1000 GBU-39 “bunker buster” bombs which Israeli military experts said “could provide a powerful new weapon” in Gaza, AP reported.

So: when Israel requested weapons that the U.S. expected would be used for bombing Iran, the U.S. said no, and added explicitly that it did not want to see an Israeli attack on Iran. And there was no Israeli attack on Iran. (Defense Update.com, December 2008)

Media Disinformation

The official statements and press reports are bogus. Israel and the US have always acted in close coordination. Washington does not “demand that Israel give them prior notice” of a military operation:

The report in Haaretz suggests that the Bush Administration was adamant and did not want the Israelis to attack Iran. In fact, the reports suggested that the US would shoot down Israeli planes, if they tried to attack Iran:

“Air-space authorization: An attack on Iran would apparently require passage through Iraqi air space. For this to occur, an air corridor would be needed that Israeli fighter jets could cross without being targeted by American planes or anti-aircraft missiles. The Americans also turned down this request. According to one account, to avoid the issue, the Americans told the Israelis to ask Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki for permission, along the lines of “If you want, coordinate with him.” (Haaretz Nov 9, 2008)

This Israeli report is misleading. Israel is America’s ally. Military operations are closely coordinated. Israel does not act without Washington’s approval and the US does not shoot down the planes of its closest ally.

The Nature and Composition of the Recent US Weapons Shipments to Israel

These unusually large shipments of ordinance would normally require Congressional approval. To our knowledge, there is no public record of approval of the unusually large shipments of heavy “ammunition” to Israel.

The nature and composition of the shipments are not known. Was Israel’s request for the delivery of the 2.2 ton GBU 28 accepted by Washington, bypassing the US Congress? Are GBU 28 bombs, each of which weighs 2.2 tons part of the 3000 ton shipments to Israel. Are tactical bunker buster mini-nuclear bombs included in Israel’s arsenal? These are questions to be raised in the US Congress.

The two shipments of “ammunition” are slated to arrive in Israel, respectively no later than the 25th and 31st of January.

Secretary Robert Gates who remains at the helm of the Department of Defense ensures continuity in the military agenda.

Preparing for a Confrontation with Iran: Beefing Up Israel’s Missile Defense System

In early January, the Pentagon dispatched some 100 military personnel to Israel from US European Command (EUCOM) to assist Israel in setting up a new sophisticated X-band early warning radar system. This project is part of the military aid package to Israel approved by the Pentagon in September 2008:

“The Israeli government requested the system to help defend against a potential missile attack from Iran. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates signed off on the deployment order in mid-September. ….

Once fully operational, the system will be capable of tracking and identifying small objects at long distance and at very high altitude, including space, according to U.S. Missile Defense Agency officials. It also will integrate Israel’s missile defenses with the U.S. global missile detection network.

“This will enable the Israelis to track medium- and long-range ballistic missiles multiple times better than their current radar allows them to,” Morrell said. “It will more than double the range of Israel’s missile defense radars and increase its available engagement time.”

This, he said, will greatly enhance Israel’s defensive capabilities. “There is a growing ballistic missile threat in the region, particularly from Iran,” Morrell said. “And no one in the region should feel more nervous about that threat than the Israelis. And they clearly do, and they have asked for our assistance.” (Defense Talk.com, January 6, 2009, emphasis added.)

The new X-band radar system ‘permits an intercept soon after launch over enemy instead of friendly territory” (Sen. Joseph Azzolina, Protecting Israel from Iran’s missiles, Bayshore News, December 26, 2008).

The X-band radar would “integrate Israel’s missile defenses with the U.S. global missile detection network, which includes satellites, Aegis ships on the Mediterranean, Persian Gulf and Red Sea, and land-based Patriot radars and interceptors.” (Ibid)

What this means is that Washington calls the shots. The US rather than Israel would control the Air Defense system: ”This is and will remain a U.S. radar system,’ Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said. ‘So this is not something we are giving or selling to the Israelis and it is something that will likely require U.S. personnel on-site to operate.’” (Quoted in Israel National News, January 9, 2009, emphasis added).

In other words, the US military controls Israel’s Air Defense system, which is integrated into the US global missile defense system. Under these circumstances, Israel cannot launch a war against Iran without the consent of the US High Command.

The large shipments of US ordinance, slated to arrive in Israel after the inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the United States and Commander in Chief are part of the broader program of US-Israeli military cooperation in relation to Iran.

The reinforcement of Israel’s missile defenses combined with the large shipments of US weapons are part of an escalation scenario, which could lead the World under an Obama Administration into a broader Middle East war.

New Cold War?

There has been a military build on both sides. Iran has responded to the Israeli-US initiative, by beefing up it own missile defense system with the support of Russia. According to reports (December 21), Moscow and Tehran have been holding talks on the supply by Russia of “medium-range air defense systems – specifically, S-300 surface-to-air missile systems” (Asian Times, January 9, 2009)

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Comment by Ignacio — January 12th, 2009 @ 9:29 AM

israel un état terroriste

Comment by nadia — January 13th, 2009 @ 4:41 AM

Long life to CUPW!!

Comment by otman — January 18th, 2009 @ 5:50 PM

luttons contre toutes les formes de ségrégation, qui ne doivent plus exister à notre époque

Comment by hamida — February 10th, 2009 @ 11:44 AM

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