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BDS update: Erdogan ‘Why no UN sanctions for Israel?’

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BDS update: Erdogan ‘Why no UN sanctions for Israel?’

With the new campaign by Palestine to gain the world’s official recognition 63 years after the fact, BDS activities in Europe and North America -- the main holdouts -- have gained new momentum, reports Eric Walberg

The Boycott, Divests and Sanctions (BDS) movement is growing relentless. On the boycott front, Natacha Atlas,

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Al-Awlaki: ‘Mowing the grass’ in Yemen

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Radical Muslim cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki, the victim of assassination by US forces 30 September, was born in New Mexico in 1971, educated at Colorado State University in engineering, and radicalised while preaching in US mosques and visiting Afghanistan in the 1990s. His sermons attracted a large following, first in Denver and then San Diego, where he completed a Masters in education.

Though in the FBI’s sites from 1999, he became a media star after 9/11, interviewed by National Geographic and the New York Times as a moderate, articulate American Muslim. He condemned the attacks, stating ”There is no way that the people who did this could be Muslim, and if they claim to be Muslim, then they have perverted their religion.” On IslamOnline.net six days after the 9/11 attacks, he suggested that Israeli intelligence agents might have been responsible, and that the FBI “went into the roster of the airplanes, and whoever has a Muslim or Arab name became the hijacker by default”.

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Turkey redraws Sykes-Picot

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A new Bermuda Triangle has been spotted, but this one is in the eastern Mediterranean -- between Turkey, Cyprus and Israel, observes Eric Walberg

Turkey’s foreign policy shift is now in full gear. Having kicked out the Israeli ambassador and rejected the UN Palmer Report, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says that Turkey plans to take its case against Israel’s blockade of Gaza to the International Court of Justice, not alone, but with the support of the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the African Union. “The process will probably reach a certain point in October and we will make our application.”

Israel’s refusal to say “I apologise” has already proved to be very expensive, and will continue to reverberate, not just in the hollow halls of the ICC, but off the shores of Israel itself, as Turkish warships accompany flotillas breaking the siege, and when Turkey begins drilling for gas in waters that Greek Cyprus and Israel have their eyes on. It will echo when Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who US International Trade Undersecretary Francisco Sanchez said was “like a rock star”, crosses the Rafah border to visit Gaza. No one can mistake Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias for Elton John.

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BDS update: Buttressing an independent Palestine

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Palestine’s move to become an independent state has benefitted from the growing BDS movement, as the world wakes up the enormous and unjust suffering of the Palestinian people, writes Eric Walberg

A new Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) campaign was launched this summer by the United Church of Canada, which will try to persuade six companies operating in Canada — Caterpillar, Motorola, Ahava, Veolia, Elbit Systems and Chapters/Indigo — to stop supporting the Israeli occupation. “The Campaign follows similar campaigns launched some time ago by the US Presbyterian Church and the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church. We have launched ‘Occupied with Peace’ after almost two years of discernment and information gathering,” says spokesperson Jean Lee.

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Pakistan vs the US: Moving on

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The latest Mumbai bombings were not obviously the work of Pakistani extremists, but reflect the unrest thanks to America’s continued reckless policies of escalation in the region, notes Eric Walberg

India has shown admirable restraint, refusing to accuse its Western neighbour following the triple bombing in India’s financial capital Mumbai last week which killed 19 people and injured 129. The area targetted, with its gem and precious-metal traders, witnessed bombings in 1993, 2004 and 2006, culminating in the November 2008 siege of Mumbai, in which 166 people died.

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Canadian Eric Walberg is known worldwide as a journalist specializing in the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia. A graduate of University of Toronto and Cambridge in economics, he has been writing on East-West relations since the 1980s.

He has lived in both the Soviet Union and Russia, and then Uzbekistan, as a UN adviser, writer, translator and lecturer. Presently a writer for the foremost Cairo newspaper, Al Ahram, he is also a regular contributor to Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Global Research, Al-Jazeerah and Turkish Weekly, and is a commentator on Voice of the Cape radio.

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Eric's latest book The Canada Israel Nexus is available here http://www.claritypress.com/WalbergIV.html