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May 2010

Zionism’s alliance with apartheid: Secret Israel–S. Africa N-Deal Exposed

As the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference concludes in New York, there is no expectation that the world will rapidly eliminate these mass-destruction weapons. But the focus has sharply turned on West Asia because the Western powers, led by the United States, are keen that Iran freezes its nuclear activities. Yet inevitably, attention has also got riveted on Israel, the region’s sole nuclear weapons power. In the limelight too is the issue of nuclear material falling into the hands of extremist groups like al-Qaeda.

Against this backdrop comes the hugely important, sensational, but not sensationalist, disclosure that Israel offered to sell nuclear warheads to South Africa’s white-racist apartheid regime in 1975, and the two states coordinated their military programmes and strategic approaches. This disclosure, contained in a just-released book The Unspoken Alliance: Israel’s Secret Relationship with Apartheid South Africa, is based on “top secret” minutes of meetings between senior South African and Israeli officials. These were uncovered by a US-based scholar Sasha Polakow-Suransky through documents recently declassified by the South African government. The Israeli government tried hard to stop their declassification, but failed.

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Defending Livelihoods, Promoting Equity: UPA-2’s litmus test at Year One

It’s no aberration that the first anniversary of the return to power of the United Progressive Alliance should coincide with a tsunami of grassroots protests: from Orissa to Maharashtra, and from Tamil Nadu to Uttarakhand, through tribal Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. The protests represent popular resistance to UPA-2’s industrialisation and mining policies and its zealous promotion of gross domestic product (GDP) growth as an end in itself. Central here is the displacement and dispossession of vulnerable people.

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Dangerous nuclear delusion

The recent past provides a glimpse of the dangerous nature of the confrontations governments are getting into vis-à-vis the citizenry thanks to their obsessive pursuit of predatory development projects. Take Ratnagiri in Maharashtra, where the disaster called Enron was located. The government is preparing to impose another Enron on Ratnagiri—this time, a nuclear one, with potentially far worse consequences. This is a “nuclear park”, comprising six 1,600 MW reactors to be made by France-based Areva.

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When Corporations Capture The State : How lobbyists poison democracy

Several recent developments, including the release of intercepts of a telephone conversation between corporate lobbyist Niira Radia and a Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP, a Parliament uproar over the underselling of telecommunications spectrum, and media stories on the growing power of the lobbyist–politician–policymaker nexus, have highlighted a major affliction of the Indian polity which should concern all conscientious citizens. Lobbyists have come to acquire enormous clout, to the point of influencing the choice of Cabinet minister, nominating key bureaucrats, and formulating economic and industrial policies at the nuts-and-bolts level.

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