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Tuesday, May 31, 2005


Zionist Dream Excludes Other

Khalidi, Walid. Before Their Diaspora: A Photographic History of the Palestinians 1876-1948. Washington DC: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1991.

"From the beginning of their colonization of Palestine, the architects of the Zionist "dream" excluded from consideration its potential consequences for the Palestinians. The reality of Zionism as translated on the ground was rarely perceived as diverging from the dream, which was (and still is) regarded as pristine; and divergence between the reality and the dream was only a momentary aberration from the dream. Thus the ineluctable link between Zionist action and Palestinian reaction was banished from Zionist consciousness. Since 1948, with the exception of a small Israeli peace movement, the Israelis have succumbed to an emotional and intellectual condition (to which an oppressor is prone) that complements the Palestinians' obsession with the past. This condition is characterized by an acute aversion to scrutiny, with all its moral implication, of Zionism's historical record in Palestine since the 1880's. So great has their aversion been (and so compelling the apparent psychological need for it)that, with the help of historical revisionism and rationalization, the Israelis have convinced themselves and their supporters either that the Palestinians did not exist at all before 1948, or--if they did--that the Palestinians were the initiators of the conflict and the tormentors of Zion. The Israelis' final refinement of this line of reasoning has been to categorize their Palestinian victims under such rubrics as "fanatics" and "terrorists," the sources of whose behavior must be sought in specious, atavistic fountainheads. Thus have the motives behind Palestinian resistance to Zionism and Israel been traced comfortably away from the context of the conflict itself, and equally from those of Israeli introspection and moral responsibility (14)."


Ramallah History

All citations are from the following:

Shaeheen, Azeez. Ramallah: Its History and Its Genealogies. Birzeit, Israeli Occupied West Bank of Jordan: Birzeit, 1982.

Shaheen, Naseeb. A Pictorial History of Ramallah. Beirut: Arab Institute for Research and Publishing, 1992.

Excerpts from the historical note written by Mr. Adnan El Haddadeen which is on file in Ramallah's City Hall, dated August 8, 1953 (16).

"When the Mareb Dam in Yemen, which may have been built as early as the 7th century B.C., collapsed in the 5th century A.D., the Yemenite city of Najaran was the capital of all Christian Arabs. The collapse of the dam caused many of the Christian Arabs to migrate. The majority of their descendants later founded the Ghassanite kingdom, and made the city of Basra Aski Sham in Syria their capital. Some of them, however, including the ancestors of the Hadadeen, settled near the strong spring in Edreh, twenty miles west of Ma'an. They built a church there in A. D. 536, the ruins of which were discovered in 1937( Azeez Shaheen 16).

"The Hadadeen, who originated among the Christian Arabs of Yemen, were among the Arabs who moved north and settled in the land called El Shorat, around the spring of Edreh (Azeez Shaheen 16).

" . . . the Haddadeen later moved from Edreh to Shoubek and El Karak ( Azeez Shaheen 16)."

"Ramallah's ancestor was Rashed Haddad. He and his brothers lived in the vicinity of Karak and Shoudbek, east of the Jordan River, surrounded by the powerful Arab tribe headed by Emir Ibn Kaysoom. By chance, Ibn Kaysoom was the guest of Sabra Haddad, Rashed's brother when news came that a baby girl was born to Sabra. Emir Ibn Kaysoom requested the girl as a wife for his son, ins spite of the religious differences of the two tribes. So as not to offend his guest, Sabra politely answered, 'She is at your disposal, O Emir.' But Sabra did not consider this to be a formal request since Muslims and Christians did not intermarry (Naseeb Shaheen 11).

A feud broke out between the two tribes because Ibn Kaysoom requested that Sabra give his daughter as a wife. Ibn Kaysoom killed two of Sabra's sons and threatened to take the girl by force and kill the entire family (11).

Sabra set a wedding date and said that he'd give up his daughter to Ibn Kaysoom's son. However, at the wedding feast Sabra and his men killed the male guests and the son of Ibn Kaysoom. Then he and his brothers, including Rashed, went aross the Dead Sea to Palestine (Naseeb Shaheen 11). They founded the village of Ramallah in the middle of the sixteenth century."

According to the Turkish Census "Population of Ramallah in the Sixteenth Century"

There were four Muslim families in Ramallah from 1538-39 and no Christian families.

There were six Muslim families from 1553-54 and no Christian families.

There were sixty-three Christian families plus eight bachelors in 1562-63.
There were ten Muslim families.

There were seventy-one Christian families in 1596-97.
There were nine Muslim families. (Naseeb Shaheen 12).

Monday, May 30, 2005


Palestinian and Israeli Children's Deaths

These statistics are taken from rememberthesechildren. They include children ages seventeen and under.

September 2000-December 2000 Palestinians 82 Israelis 0

2001 112 Palestinians 37 Israelis

2002 184 Palestinians 47 Israelis

2003 122 Palestinians 22 Israelis

2004 146 Palestinians 11 Israelis

January 2005-May 2005 34 Palestinians 1 Israeli


Palestine History from B.C. 600,000-63 B.C.

Khalidi, Wahlid ed. All that Remains; the Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948. Appendix II. "Chronology of Palestinian History from Earliest Times until 1949," Washington DC: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1992.

B.C. 600,000-10,000 Paleolithic and Mesolithic period Earliest human remains in the area, found south of Lake Tiberius, date to ca. 600,000 B.C.

10,000-5,000 Neolithic period. Establishment of settled agricultural communities.

5,000-3,000 Chalcolithic period. Copper and stone tools and artifacts. Remains from this period found near Jericho, Beersheeba, and the Dead Sea.

3,000-2,000 Early Bronze Age. Arrival and settlement of Canaanites (3,000-2500 B.C.)

ca 1250 Israelite conquest of Canaan

965-928 King Solomon. Construction of the temple in Jerusalem

928 division of Israelite state into kingdoms of Israel and Judeh

721 Assyrian conquest of the kingdom of Israel

588 Judeh defeated by Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar Deportation of its population to Babylon. Destruction of the temple

539 Persians conquer Babylonia. Some Jews allowed to return. Construction of a new temple.

333 Conquest of Persia by Alexander the Great brings Palestine under Greek rule.

323 Death of Alexander leads to alternate rule by Ptolemies of Egypt and Seleucids of Syria.

165 Maccabees revolt against the Seleucid ruler Antiochus Epiphanis and go on to establish independent Jewish state.

63 Incorporation of Palestine into Roman Empire


She has been known to make hummus for "gunmen." The word "Gunmen" appeared in a cutline about a Fatah rally in Hebron. Posted by Hello


This cutline does not identify Mahmud Abbas as a "militant," although it does say the US wants to know what he's gonna do about "militant violence." The Neuteri Karta Jews who met with Abbas are not identified as being anti-Zionist Jews. What is a reader to think? Frat brothers having a reunion in DC? Posted by Hello


Omar Houshieh's name with the apellation "miltant" was provided in this Reuters photo. Posted by Hello


"Gunman, Gunman." No name was provided for this young Palestinian man. Unless his name is "Gunman." Posted by Hello


AP - Fri May 27,10:40 AM ET
Palestinian and Israeli protesters dressed in white sheets simulate a mass hanging as they stand in front of Israeli border police, not seen, during a demonstration against Israel's controversial separation barrier on the outskirts of the West Bank village of Bil'in, Friday May 27, 2005. The demonstration passed without incident. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
 Posted by Hello


Another Reuters story in which a Palestinian young man, Omar Houshieh, is referred to as "militant." "It seems unlikely that Zionism will admit to its share of responsibility for the injustices visited upon the Jews of Europe in WWII and even less likely that it will admit to its responsibility for the plight of the Palestinians. The Zionist establishment is still performing the function for which it was created: producing human catastrophes, not preventing them." Nayef Hawatmeh

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In Araba, relatives of (naturally) a "gunman" mourn. "It seems unlikely that Zionism will admit to its share of responsibility for the injustices visited upon the Jews of Europe in WWII and even less likely that it will admit to its responsibility for the plight of the Palestinians. The Zionist establishment is still performing the function for which it was created: producing human catastrophes, not preventing them." Nayef Hawatmeh

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The apartheid wall at Kalandia checkpoint. "Suicide bombers" and "militants" are invariably mentioned in pictures or stories about the apartheid wall as if there were two sides to apartheid and as if the cause of Israel's discrimination were suicide bombing (Starting in September 2000, ninety-five Palestinian kids were shot through the head, through the heart and all parts of the body before any Israel kids were killed). The cause of the suicide bombing is the violence of occupation. Suicide bombings did not occur until Dr. Baruch Goldstein, a land thieving murderous colonist in Hebron, took it upon himself in 1994 to kill thirty people praying in a mosque. Posted by Hello


The "Good War" co-opted by Israel. Sixtieth anniversary commemoration finds joint militaries parchuting in southern Israel.  Posted by Hello


Fatah rally in Yatta; one of the few photos from Reuters posted on Yahoo's Mideast slideshow for 30/5 which did not have the words "gunman" or "militant" associated with Palestinian male or Palestinian males grieving relatives. Posted by Hello


Do NOT sign this petition of Asali and Albright

Can anything good emerge from a woman who is on record as saying half a million Iraqi children's deaths are "worth it."? Can anything good emerge from a man who thinks that he can do away with an an inalienable right, the right to return to one's homes and lands, in order to ensure that Jews maintain a majority?

2005 Campaign for American Leadership in the Middle East

After too many years of devastating violence, recent developments in the Middle East have created an unprecedented opportunity to help Israelis and Palestinians achieve a negotiated two state settlement. United States’ national security interests are best served by stable, secure, and democratic states of Israel and Palestine. The Campaign for American Leadership in the Middle East (CALME) seeks to demonstrate the American public’s strong support for this end, and for the leadership of President Bush in helping the parties reach it.

The initial signatories of the Campaign’s letter to President Bush ask all similarly minded Americans to join them, to show the President and the Congress the breadth and depth of the support for U.S. efforts to resolve the conflict. The Campaign’s leaders include former diplomats, politicians and military officers, business executives, religious leaders, and others.

CALME Initial Signatories
Mr. S. Daniel Abraham, Chairman, Center for Middle East Peace and Economic Cooperation
Mr. James B. Adler, Managing Partner, Adler Associates; and Board of Governors, American Jewish Committee
Ms. Karen R. Adler, Chief Executive Officer, Bromor Management LLC, the family office for the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies
The Honorable Madeleine K. Albright, former Secretary of State
The Honorable Dennis W. Archer, Chairman, Dickinson Wright; and former Mayor of Detroit
Dr. Ziad Asali, MD, President of The American Task Force on Palestine
Mr. Dawud A. Assad, former President, Council of Mosques, USA
Dr. Diane Balser, Professor, Boston University; and incoming Chief Executive Officer, Brit Tzedek v' Shalom
Dr. Craig R. Barrett, Chief Executive Officer, Intel Corporation
Mr. Lawrence Bender, Movie Producer, Founder, A Band Apart Productions
Mr. Jack Bendheim, President, Phibro Animal Health Corp.; and former Vice President, AIPAC
Mr. Nasser Beydoun, President, Project Control Systems, Inc. (PSCI); and former head of the Arab American Chamber of Commerce
The Honorable James Blanchard, former Governor of Michigan; and former Ambassador to Canada
The United States is an indispensable player in helping to move both parties toward resolution. This Campaign is intended to bolster the President’s initiatives in the region and his clearly illustrated commitment to making it a priority on the U.S. foreign policy agenda.

How you can help

As a proponent of a stable and secure Middle East, there are several ways you can support CALME ’s efforts today:
Join with thousands of Americans by signing the petition to show your support for U.S. involvement in resolving the conflict.
Encourage friends, relatives, and colleagues, and members of the organizations with which you are affiliated to sign the petition.
Help get the word out about CALME by speaking with your congressional representatives, local editorial board, or by discussing this drive before relevant organizations, such as your religious community group.
CALME has been incorporated as of February 22, 2005 and is currently seeking tax exempt status from the IRS. If granted, this status will be retroactive to CALME's date of incorporation.
For assistance on conducting outreach or for any other questions, please send an email to info@mideastcalm.org.
As the Bush administration begins its second term and as renewed prospects for peace emerge in the region, now is the time to show your support for this important initiative. It is essential that we encourage President’s efforts to resolve this conflict. Your support is vital in this effort.


Mourning Taseen Kahlkh, 24, Khan Yunis Posted by Hello


Mourning Omar Radhi Houshieh from Yatta.  Posted by Hello


The Zionist establishment is still performing the function for which it was created, producing human catastrophes, not preventing them. Nayef Hawatmeh Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 29, 2005


Mohammed Al Haj Ahmed, 19, Valiant Resistance Fighter, May His Memory Be Eternal

AP Cutline with my comments in brackets: Palestinian Saedah Al Hajj Ahmed, center, the mother of Mohammed Al Hajj Ahmed, 19, bottom center, is comforted as she weeps over his body during his funeral in the village of Arabeh, near the West Bank town of Jenin, Sunday, May 29, 2005. Israeli soldiers killed the Palestinian gunman [resistance fighter against thirty-seven years of the violence of land theft prohibited by the Fourth Geneva Convention] and wounded two others when Palestinians[resisting the theft of the lands to which they're indigenous; something that the PA won't do] opened fire on an Israeli base [imagine that the US set up colonies in Japan and Germany after WWII on land confiscated from Germans and Japanese and that these soldiers were defending these illegal colonies thirty-seven years after they'd confiscated them from the indigenous inhabitants] guarding a settlement [colony in violation of international law] near the West Bank town of Jenin. Soldiers returned fire and hit all three gunmen ['gunmen' is dehumanizing; look at the boy's face; he was a courageous young man resisting the violence of colonisation and defending the property to which he and his fellow Palestinians are indigenous], killing Al Hajj Ahmed [A real hero, who died too young defending his homeland; may his memory be eternal and may his soul rest in peace, and may his death not be in vain] (AP Photo/Mohammed Ballas)
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Nancy Pelosi Gives A Pep Talk to Congress

More on House Minority Leader's speech to AIPAC from Tom Gaffney.

An excerpt:

But her most revealing statements concern nuclear proliferation, and they show why the Democrats (who don’t get it) are no improvement over the Republicans (who always get it wrong). In fact, the Democrats may be even more dangerous, precisely because there is still the perception in the land, however mistaken, that the Democrats are the party of enlightened ideas. I would be willing to bet that most registered democrats are not aware of how extreme their elected Democratic representatives are on these key issues. Nor can most thus have a true sense of how dire the situation is.

According to Pelosi, the biggest danger to Israel today comes from Iran, whose nuclear ambitions, though still unproved, also threaten the US. Her perspective contains the seed of ominous things to come, because, after all, something will have to be done about Iran, right? Yes, and soon.

Meanwhile, Pelosi manages to overlook Israel’s brutal treatment of the Palestinians, which undoubtedly is the greatest danger to Israel, by far, and comes from within. Nor does she mention Israel’s massive nuclear, chemical and biological weapons arsenal. But her statements additionally contain the tacit and troublesome assumption that the only people in the region who matter are Israelis and Americans. Everyone else, virtually the entire population of numerous countries, though no less imperiled by nuclear weapons (arguably even more so), simply don’t count in this calculus. In fact, Pelosi’s remarks are implicitly racist for this reason.

The shocker, though, also near the end, is where Pelosi takes the US and Israeli nuclear monopoly in the region for granted, as if this were a good and necessary thing. The purpose of the NPT in her view is to shut down the rogue proliferators, who by definition are always those other guys, never us. It’s the stuff of which nuclear nightmares are made. I would also bet that the vast majority of people who live in the Mideast take sharp issue with Pelosi’s thinking, and probably have a bone to pick with her about where the actual threat lies.

Friday, May 27, 2005


Children in Egypt are spared fairy tales about the manufactured state in their midst. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


A Hierarchy of Persecution

The fictions embodied in the Zionist narrative continue to lay waste to history, writes Nayef Hawatmeh.

The conclusion from a brilliant analysis of the Zionist narrative by DFLP's Secretary-General. Entire article is well worth reading.

The hierarchical system of Israeli persecution is perpetuated by the nature of Israeli society, shaped by its continued determination to establish itself as an ethnically defined colonialist national entity that sustains its impetus by continually reproducing the type of nationalist chauvinist ideologies with which the Nazis justified their crimes against humanity and which form the driving force behind the crimes against humanity that Israel is perpetuating against the Palestinians today. It is precisely the closed, self-feeding nature of this system that precludes the possibility of a much needed revision of the Zionist historical narrative and its fictional rhetoric. It seems unlikely that Zionism will admit to its share of responsibility for the injustices visited upon the Jews of Europe in WWII and even less likely that it will admit to its responsibility for the plight of the Palestinians. The Zionist establishment is still performing the function for which it was created: producing human catastrophes, not preventing them.


Nancy Pelosi's "unconscionable" Disdain For Palestinian Lives

I read House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's speech to AIPAC posted on Al-Awda Media this morning.

The congresswoman from San Francisco waxes eloquently about the old and disabled on her website: "The President already wants to take up to $675 a month from the average Californian's guaranteed retirement benefits to pay for privatization. Now the Administration wants to risk the financial security of hundreds of thousands of Californians who depend upon Social Security in the wake of a loved one's death or the onset of a disability. That is unconscionable."

What's unconscionable, Congresswoman is your utter disdain for Palestinian lives as you unconscionably prostitute yourself for AIPAC money: "There are those who contend that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is all about Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. This is absolute nonsense. In truth, the history of the conflict is not over occupation, and never has been: it is over the fundamental right of Israel to exist."

Pelosi would have us believe that the current conflict isn't about demolishing houses, assassinating leaders, shooting kids through the head in their own neighborhoods, giving birth and miscarrying at checkpoints, uprooting thousand year old olive trees, demolishing thousand year old edifices, stripping men in public, torturing over eight thousand political prisoners, preventing people from going to the hospital, going to school, getting medical attention; the conflict isn't about destroying educational and cultural documents; it isn't about justice, according to politician Pelosi.

And now the Zionists and their obsequious minions harp on Israel's "fundamental right to exist," as if this is some sort of sacrosanct mantra to anyone except for Zionists and their anything but "Christian" Zionist cohorts. Not one western politician has ever explained, other than through years of pernicious lies, obfuscations, and disinformation, just why Eastern European Jews had a right to ethnically cleanse 750,000 indigenous inhabitants in 1948, assume ownership of their possessions, lock, stock, and barrel, and destroy over four hundred of their villages. Not one of them has ever explained how the thuggish colonists in Hebron and other places in the West Bank get away with beating kids on their way to school, breaking windows, poisoning sheep and wells, and a whole hellish host of other criminal offenses.

Give me one Alison Weir for ninety-nine percent of the five hundred and thirty-five member Congress. Alison, who has so brilliantly and painstakingly exposed a corrupted western media, and has faced death threats for her principled stand on behalf of the rights of the Palestinians. Growing up I choked on the speeches of US politicians because I knew that their pious talk about human rights never extended to the Palestinians.

Pelosi concluded her speech with the following: "In the words of Isaiah, we will make ourselves to Israel 'as hiding places from the winds and shelters from the tempests; as rivers of water in dry places; as shadows of a great rock in a weary land.' The United States will stand with Israel now and forever. Now and forever."

Phony, prostituted, pseudo-pious politicians stand with Israel "now and forever." Concerned, conscientious, and incorruptible Americans, i.e, of the caliber of Alison Weir, who as far as I know is a citizen of the United States, pursue justice for all inhabitants of this world, to include Palestinians, non-entities for most of our elected officials.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Fear of death is a delusion
Harbored in the breasts of sages
He who lives a single springtime
Is like one who lives for ages.

Give to me the reed and sing thou
For song is immortality
And the plaint of reed remaineth
After the joy and misery.

Khalil Gibran


Salt of the Earth

Stunning website from the Sanders, a couple who lived for three years among Palestinians in the Northern West Bank and includes clips from the film, Salt of the Earth, a documentary about Palestinian Christians in the area.

Monday, May 23, 2005


Palestinian Union Wants Academic Fired

Excerpts from the story by Khaled Amayreh:
A statement by the Palestinian Union of University Teachers and Employees (PUUTE), published on the front page of the Ram Allah-based daily Al-Ayyam, on Monday accused Nusseibah of "normalising relations with the Sharon government" despite the Israeli prime minister's policy of "bullying the Palestinians and stealing their land."

Awni Khatib, professor of chemistry at Hebron University, said: "He (Nusseibah) criticised the British union boycott of two Israeli universities, but he didn't utter a word against the routine Israeli policy of closing Palestinian colleges and universities and of erecting roadblocks that prevent professors, employees and students from reaching Palestinian campuses."


First Lady Visits Haram Al Sharif Despite PA's Discomfort


On the other hand, Palestinian officials were upset as Bush's visit to the Haram Al-Sharif symbolizes U.S. recognition of the Israel sovereignty over this site, which is still a matter of dispute between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

Palestinians were also angered by the fact the Bush's visit to Jericho was scheduled as part of her tour in Israel, not Palestine.

Palestinian legislative Council member Hanan Ashwari called a special meeting to prepare a response to the outrage


Sincerely yours, Dianne Feinstein; US Senator

Dear Um Kahlil,
I am encouraged by recent developments in the Middle East peace process. The election of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the cease-fire between Israeli and Palestinian forces, recently announced by President Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, present a new opportunity for peace in the Middle East. I believe it is critical that both sides make every effort to end the current cycle of provocation and reaction, with a special responsibility that is incumbent upon the Palestinian Authority to seek an end to terror.

Pictured below is a young soldier of the Israel "Defense" Forces firing rubber bullets at the "terrorists" protesting the theft of their land in Bil'in.

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"Now we are seeing a springtime of hope across the Middle East." Laura Bush
 Posted by Hello


Coming to your soon-to-be "disputed" area soon.  Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 22, 2005


Senator Gordon Smith 'Prostitutes' Himself for Israel; 'Secure' Israel, Justice 'If Possible' For the Palestinians

Meet the Smiths. Senator Gordon Smith from Oregon with wife Sharon and children, Morgan, Brittany, and Garrett. Senator Smith on the "peace process":

"Until we have someone on the other side who is willing to say 'Yes,' we're not going to continue to prostitute the American presidency to people who aren't serious," said Smith, one of six U.S. congressmen who attended the forum. Who is prostituing whom here, Senator Smith; you sound like a whore for Israel below.

"It's a mystery to me why Arab countries can't work on their own countries before Palestine is fixed," he added.

"Obviously one of the greatest commitments that we have is to the Jewish people and the state of Israel
, to try and manage the difficult process of the peace there and securing that nation, and doing so in a way that, if possible, is just to the Palestinians."
 Posted by Hello

Friday, May 20, 2005


Palestinian Call for Academic Boycott Receives South African Endorsement

The Call for Boycott issued by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) received today the critical endorsement of the South African Council of Churches (SACC) -- representing millions -- and of more than a hundred South African academics, including Dennis Brutus, John Pampallis, Steven Friedman, Adam Habib and Judy Favish.

PACBI has called for a comprehensive boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions due to their complicity in Israel’s racist and colonial policies. The Association of University Teachers (AUT) in Britain heeded that call in its Council meeting on 22 April 2005, when it voted to boycott Bar-Ilan and Haifa Universities as well as to consider boycotting the Hebrew University.

In October 2004, a similar call for comprehensive boycott of Israel was endorsed by major South African organizations and unions, including the Congress Of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), Landless People’s Movement, South African NGO Coalition, Anti-War Coalition and Physicians for Human Rights. That initiative, led by the Palestine Solidarity Committee in South Africa, was modelled after the anti-apartheid boycott and sanctions regime that eventually brought about democratic rule in South Africa.

This momentous support for boycotting Israel comes in the context of the rapidly growing South African awareness and recognition of the significant parallels between Israel’s distinct form of apartheid and its South African predecessor. It also expresses a laudable moral stand by South Africans in solidarity with the people of Palestine.

Whatever the outcome of the frantic, well-oiled efforts by Israel and its supporters to overturn the AUT boycott decisions, using misinformation, intimidation and vilification of the boycott activists, the most significant achievement that will persist is the fact that boycotting Israel has been solidly placed on the international agenda as a morally and politically sound form of civil resistance to Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians.

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)
P.O. Box 1701, Ramallah, Palestine

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Rafah Refugee Camp. May 18, 2005.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Boys will be boys. Militant Israeli gunmen have young Palestinian daughters with hobbies, hopes, and dreams on the run.

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Ayoub Abu Leal. Balata Refugee Camp. For fifty-seven years he has not been able to return to his birthplace in Palestine; however any Jew in the world may become an Israel citizen upon arrival in the country. Ten million US taxpayer dollars a day (If Americans Knew) allow militant Israel with its many gunmen to spit on international law.

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Hell no; we won't go (but the Palestinians are welcome to transfer to Jordan); God, our real estate agent, promised this land to Eastern European and American Jews.

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Militant Israeli soldiers on behalf of a government that denies Palestinians human and civil rights; rights that the occupier is supposed to ensure according to international law, injured this young Palestinian boy in his own neighborhood, Dura, on May 17.

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Israelis routinely kill, detain, brutalize kids while professors debate morality of academic boycott. Fadi Sharha, 16, Dura, May 17

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Open Letter from Palestinian Civil Society in Support of AUT Academic Boycott

May 16, 2005

Palestinian Popular Movements and Civil Society Re-Assert Call for Comprehensive Academic Boycott of Apartheid Israel

By Monday 16th May, 2005 over 100 Palestinian social movements, NGOs and civil society groups had endorsed the statement released by the Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, re-asserting the call for a comprehensive academic boycott of Apartheid Israel. The statement backs the initiative taken by the Association of University Teachers (AUT) to boycott two Israeli Universities and to consider calls for a complete academic boycott of Israel. We see this as a means of providing concrete and effective support for the Palestinian liberation struggle. The AUT motion comes at a crucial time for Palestinians as the Occupation continues to steal our land, ghettoize us behind Apartheid Walls and expand its settlements.

Open letter from Palestinian Civil Society in Support of AUT Academic Boycott

Greetings from Palestine.

We wish to express our full support of the decision made by delegates of your organization on the 22nd of April to launch immediate boycotts of Haifa and Bar-Ilan Universities, and to disseminate to all Union branches for further consideration the "Call for Boycott of Israeli academic institutions".

The motion passed by your organization marks an historic moment in the global movement to isolate Apartheid Israel as a means of forging effective solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for freedom, self-determination and sovereignty. We appreciate the efforts of the Union in following the groundswell of popular sentiment throughout civil society in Palestine advocating comprehensive boycotts, sanctions and divestment of Israel.

As you are aware Israel continues to flout international law and imposes the most brutal military occupation on the Palestinian people. On a daily basis this occupation steals our land and ghettoizes us behind Walls in a project aimed at the expulsion of Palestinians from their land.

We thus welcome your initiative as an important move of solidarity with us in our struggle, and we urge you to broaden the boycott until it is comprehensive of all Israeli academic institutions. Do not be deterred in your efforts by those whose opposition to your decision only legitimates and enhances the injustice and brutality of the occupation. Please continue to gain inspiration from the Palestinian people struggling for their land and liberation at this challenging juncture.


Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign – www.stopthewall.org; which includes support from the following committees and organizations:

54 popular committees represented by the 8 district committees:
Popular Committee to Resist the Apartheid Wall of Jenin
Popular Committee to Resist the Apartheid Wall of Tulkarem
Popular Committee to Resist the Apartheid Wall of Qalqiliya
Popular Committee to Resist the Apartheid Wall of Ramallah
Popular Committee to Resist the Apartheid Wall of North-West Jerusalem
Popular Committee to Resist the Apartheid Wall of East Jerusalem
Popular Committee to Resist the Apartheid Wall of Bethlehem
Popular Committee to Resist the Apartheid Wall of the Jordan Valley
Pengon (Palestinian Environmental NGOs Network), representing,
Al-Ard Society for Environmental Awareness and Protection
Applied Research Institute-Jerusalem (ARIJ)
The Center for Agricultural Services (TCAS)
The Center for Development in Primary Health Care (CDPHC)- Al Quds University
Institute of Water Studies, Birzeit University
Development and Environment Association—Baladna Cultural Center
Land Research Center (LRC)
LAW-The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment
The Local Committee for the Protection of the Environment
MA'AN Development Center
Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees
The Palestinian Association for Cultural Exchange (PACE)
Palestinian Hydrology Group (PHG)
Roads and Environmental Safety Center (RESC)
The Society for Environmental Protection
Union of Agricultural Work Committees(UAWC)
Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees (UPMRC)
Water and Environment Department-Ramallah Municipality
Water and Soil Environmental Research Unit (WSERU), Bethlehem University
Water and Environmental Studies Center (WESC)
Wildlife Palestine Society (WLPS)
Further participating civil society organizations:
Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC)
Farmers Union,
Jerusalem Center for Legal Aid
PACBI- Palestinian Academic and Cultural Boycott Initiative which includes support from:

Federation of Unions of Palestinian Universities' Professors and Employees
Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO) which includes support from the following organizations:

Ad-Dameer Prisoners' Support and Human Rights Association (Ramallah)
Ad-Dameer Association for Human Rights (Gaza)
A-Hanan Benevolent Association for Mother & Child
Al-Haq Institute
Al-Huda Development Society
Al-Karmel Cultural Center
Al-Maghazi Cultural Center
Al-Majd Women's Association
Al-Manhal Woman and Child Cultural Center
Al-Mawrid Teacher Development Center
Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights
Al-Najda Social Association
Al-Taghreed Society for Culture and Art
Al-Wafa Elderly Nursing Home
Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ)
Arab Center for Agricultural Development (ACAD)
Arab Thought Forum (ATF)
Ashtar for Theatre Production and Training
Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children
Atta' Services to the Aged
Bisan Center for Research & Development
Care for Children with Special Needs
Central Blood Bank Society
Child Care & Maternal Guidance Society
Culture and Free Thought Association (CFTA)
Dar As-Salam Hospital
Defence for Children International (DCI)
Early Childhood Resource Center- Children's Rights (ECRC)
Educational Development Center
Educational Network Center
First Ramallah Group (FRG)
Guidance and Training Center for the Child and Family
Halhul Cultural Forum
Health, Development, Information & Policy Institute (HDIP)
Health Work Committees (HWC)
Human Developmental Association
Jabalia Rehabilitation Society for the Handicapped
Jerusalem Legal Aid & Human Rights Center (JLAC)
Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center
Khuza'a Center for Sustainable Agriculture
Land Defense General Committee-Palestine
Land Research Center (LRC)
Ma'an Development Center
Maqassed Charitable Islamic Society
Muwatin: The Palestinian Institute for the Study of Democracy
Palestinian Agricultural Development Association (PARC)
Palestinian Agricultural Society
Palestinian Association for Credit & Development (FATEN)
Palestinian Association for Development and Reconstruction (PADR)
Palestinian Business Women's Association (ASALA)
Palestinian Center for Peace and Democracy (PCPD)
Palestinian Diaspora & Refugee Center (Shaml)
Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association
Palestinian Society for Consumer Protection
Palestinian Women's Union
PANORAMA – Palestinian Center for the Dissemination of Democracy and Community Development
Popular Art Center
Project Loving Care Society
Public Service Society
Rawdat Az-Zuhur Society
Red Crescent Society (Gaza)
Remedial Education Center
Sabreen Association for Artistic Development
Science & Cultural Center
Tamer Institute for Community Education
Teacher Creativity Center (TCC)
Thalassemia Patients' Friendship Society
The Arab Society for Orphans
The Democracy and Workers' Rights Center
The Gaza Community Mental Health Programme
The Jerusalem Media and Communication Center (JMCC)
The National Society for Rehabilitation
The Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA)
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)
The Palestinian Center for Microprojects & Development (PCMD)
The Palestinian Counseling Center (PCC)
The Palestinian Hydrology Group (PHG)
The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue & Democracy (Miftah)
The Palestinian Working Women Society for Development (PWWSD)
The Women and Family Affairs Center
The Women's Center for Legal Aid and Counseling (WCLAC)
Treatment & Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture (TRC)
Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC)
Union of Health Care Committees (UHCC)
Union of Health Work Committees Gaza (UHWC)
Union of Palestinian Farmers
Union of Palestinian Handicapped
Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees (UPMRC)
Women's Affairs Center
Women's Studies Center
Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA)
OPGAI - Occupied Palestine and Syrian Golan Heights Advocacy Initiative, which includes support from the following organizations:

YMCA East-Jerusalem
Palestinian Grassroots Anti Apartheid Wall Campaign
YWCA -Palestine
Alternative Tourism Group
Golan for Development
Badil Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights
Jerusalem Centre for Women
Environmental Education Centre
Further civil society organizations and individuals:

Saraya Centre for Community Service
Palestinian Union of Social Workers and Psychologists
ZEINA- the center for families and friends of children with cance
Arab Educational Institute - Open Windows Bethlehem/Palestine (Affiliated to Pax Christi International)
Dr. Bishara Elias Awad, President, Bethlehem Bible College
The Holyland Trust
Palestinian Vision
*** www.stopthewall.org ***

Monday, May 16, 2005


Route 181: A Message of Truth and Reconciliation

Michel Khleifi and Eyal Sivan’s Route 181 is reminiscent of Marcel Ophuls' 1972 documentary, The Sorrow and the Pity in two ways: both are four and one-half hours in length, and both deal with the occupier and the occupied; Ophuls’ documentary dealt with oral histories of collaborators, resistance fighters, and of the apathetic of Vichy France, while Route 181 deals with the people on both sides of the Palestine-Israeli conflict. The stories that emerge from both documentaries are both personal and universal.

Route 181 refers to the UN Resolution from November 29, 1947, that partitioned Palestine, giving more land to the largely colonial Jewish minority than to the indigenous Arabs that comprised the majority. For two months in the summer of 2002 Khleifi and Sivan traversed this route, speaking to Israeli and Palestinian inhabitants along the way. They started in the Negev in the south, proceeded through the center, stopping at the border with Lebanon. The people whom they encounter speak of the past, the present, and the future.

The directors encounter an old woman and her son in the village of Masmyieh in the south. They are the only Palestinians left in a town that prior to 1949 was a Palestinian town. She is adamant that she will not leave despite plans by the government to demolish her house to expand a highway. Her handsome longhaired son speaks with an intensity that is sweetly compelling when he says that Jews say “Death to the Arabs,” all the time but if an Arab were to utter “Death to the Jews,” it would be considered an outrage. Frequent road signs that advocate that for Israel’s security Palestinians must transfer to Jordan document his sentiments. “Nothing,” the old woman says, “will force us to move.”

One Israeli interviewed says, “A good Arab is a dead Arab.” Kheleifi and Sivan often encounter hatred and denial from Israelis that they interview. An old Zionist whom they meet in the North reminisces about “Operation Broom,” in which the Arabs were swept out. He justifies this by saying that the Palestinians did not accept the partition plan, which allocated the majority of the land for a minority of colonists. The directors question, probe, trap. Do you know the story of the baby that two mothers claimed? How did Solomon determine who was the true mother? "Yes, yes," more than one Israeli professed. “I know.” The false mother demanded that the sword cut the baby but the true mother said for Solomon to give the baby to the false mother in order to save the baby.

This is the central metaphor of the documentary. It is evidently a dangerous message that the Holy Land should be united since Route 181 was deemed detrimental to “public order” in France. The Ministry of Culture gave in to pressure groups in 2004. It was scheduled to be shown twice at the largest documentary festival in Paris. It was cut to one screening. Truth is uncomfortable because it breaks down the myths that the so-called Israeli "pioneers" have packaged and conveyed to a naive and guilty West for fifty-seven years.

Truth that is unbearable for Palestinians and denied by many Israelis is told by a barber. The men in the barbershop in al- Lydd talk about the men who were taken to the mosque and massacred. This is how Palestine Remembered recounts the massacre:

“Soon after the city's occupation, the "Jewish Army" committed its biggest massacre in Palestine, which resulted in the murder of 426 men, women, and children. At least, 176 of these people were slaughtered in Dahmash mosque, which functioned as the city's main mosque.”

The barber recalls going to the mosque a couple weeks after the massacre and retrieving the bodies. Reminiscent of the current horrors of Fallujah, we learn that body parts fell off because bodies had decomposed from the heat.

We are presented with the surreal scene of Kansas Christian Zionists planting olive saplings under the tutelage of an American rabbi and her husband. With no sense of irony these Christian Zionists with southern accents pledge their fealty to Israel, seemingly oblivious to the fact that Israelis are represented by a government that has uprooted two thousand year old olive trees planted by the indigenous population and virtually made conditions so impossible for Palestinian Christians, the original stones, i.e., Semites who embraced the Christianity of the apostles, that they have emigrated in droves.

The directors probe; their questions unsettling in a world grown accustomed to Zionist propaganda, which has turned the Palestine-Israeli situation on its head. What village was there? What happened to its people? These questions are a refrain. “Do you know the term ‘banality of evil’ they ask a soldier. "Why do you talk to me as if I’m not human? Be polite," they admonish the barely grown soldiers.

Snippets of conversation: “I didn’t pay for this property; I received it,” says a Jewish engineer, who used to employ Gaza workers on his "received" property. “They shot us like rabbits,” says a woman who lives just four kilometers from her native village. She tells the tale to her children and grandchildren so that they won’t forget. She gives lie to the Israeli hope expressed in the adage, “The old will die, and the young will forget.”

Yet, in a northern Israeli town, Palestinian school children seem to have forgotten the past, debating whether they are Israeli or Palestinian while a woman from Tunisa, who lost her son in the Lebanese war longs to return to Tunisa. “We lived side by side in peace with the Arabs in Tunisa,” she says.

A regretful woman from Morocco says she was young when she bought into coming into Israel to live in a Jewish state when she participated in the illegal immigration of Jews to Israel. “Take a picture of the tree,” she says despairingly. “Not me.”

Two people claim the same land. But whose is the legitimate claim? The indigenous inhabitants? Or the bewildered Ethiopean Jews, who are welcomed in the immigration center by European Jews and serenaded by Russian musicians? They have a revived new language they must master before they can understand the bossy European woman who tells them in the strange tongue to dip their apples in honey and to drink their wine. Does the Iraqi Jew who owns a candy shop who remembers when there were Palestinian villages around have a right to this land? He reflects that there are some people who do not want peace. Do the gun-toting abrasive American teenagers have a right to this land? Does the Yemeni woman who owns a gas station who says that she hates Arabs have a right to this land? Jews have claimed their right to the land so often that westerners accept this claim, no questions asked. Over four hundred villages were decimated in order to cleanse the land of Arabs so that Jews from all over the world could come to Palestine, change their name, learn a language, and live on the smoldering ruins of someone else's property. This is the message that is so damning for the Zionist enterprise that pressure groups' claims of anti-Semitism cowed the Ministry of Culture in France to limit screenings of the film.

Eyal Sivan and Michel Khleifi through their probing questions and conversations with Palestinians and Israelis have undertaken the first step to what they maintain is “truth and reconciliation” for Palestine. The movie succeeds. It is undistributed but has played in over thirty film festivals. The DVD is available for just thirty Euros.

Khleifi and Sivan say that theirs was a labor of love, and it is evident throughout the film. Surely, this film, albeit undistributed, ranks as a great documentary. The universal message, which is shown graphically in the beginning when the map of Palestine is ripped apart along the demarcation line of 1947, and is re-emphasized by the Solomon metaphor, is that the only hope for Palestine is through truth, reconciliation, and unification.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Ahmed Elaian, 86, shows the keys of his home in Israel on the 57th anniversary of Al Naqba, or day of catastrophe in the Kalandia refugee camp near the West Bank town of Ramallah.

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Saturday, May 14, 2005


Paradise Now Premieres in Frankfurt

On May 13 there was standing room only at the Frankfurt Film Museum’s showing of Hany Abu Assad’s Paradise Now, winner of the 2005 Berlinale Blau Engel Prize for Best European Film and also the Amnesty and Audience Prizes. There is quite a thoughtful review in English of the film by Variety’s senior overseas critic, Derek Elley. After the Frankfurt premiere, Abu Assad answered questions, exhibiting inordinate grace when confronted with some questions that had nothing to do with the film and which were asked with the sole purpose of scoring political points.

Abu Assad has assembled a talented group of actors including Kais Nashef as Said and Ali Suliman as his friend, Khaled. Said and Khaled are recruited to carry out a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv. The film recounts twenty-seven hours in their lives.

Other cast members include Lubna Azabel as Suha, a young woman returned from exile for whom Said has affection, Ashraf Barham as Abu Karem, the leader of the suicide operation, Haim Abbas as Said’s mother, and Amer Hlehel as Jamal, the recruiter.

Abu Assad says that he filmed for forty days, mainly in Nablus, while it was under siege, and when rockets started falling, cast and crew moved to Nazareth, the birthplace of the director. We are presented with mainly the seamy side of Nablus. Abu Assad said that Nablus people told him that the building in which Said and Khaled are trained was actually used for training recruits for suicide missions. Said, the son of a collaborator, who was killed when Said was ten, and Khaled are both auto mechanics that work in a small garage. In the beginning of the film, Said and Khaled are shown smoking a nargilah and drinking tea, high above Nablus. We also see Suha and Khaled exchange first pleasantries when Suha brings her car to the garage. Said tells her that she should be driving an Alfa Romeo.

Suha, who was born in France, and raised in Morocco, has returned from exile. The daughter of a revered martyr, she embodies the voices in Palestinian society who don’t see suicide bombing as a viable option. In one of the most dramatic scenes of the film, she and Khaled are pursuing Said, who has gone missing after an aborted suicide mission. A heated exchange ensues between the two regarding the merits of suicide bombing.

In his remarks Abu Assad said that most women in Palestinian society are opposed to suicide bombing. When asked by an audience member why the one opposed to suicide bombing came from the outside, Abu Assad said that Suha as an exile was a member of Palestinian society, and that her voice represented voices within Palestinian society opposed to suicide bombing. In fielding questions, Abu Assad refused to allow stereotypical views of Palestinians to stand. “Suha is based upon a real personality with whom I discussed suicide bombing the entire time. Suha represents the voice of people against suicide bombing in our society.”

According to Abu Assad, he has critics from both the left and the right who accuse him of making a propaganda film. He answers that most Palestinians view his film as an honest movie. He takes a “human approach to a phenomenon that some want to see as either an evil deed or as a holy deed.” Confronted by one audience member that he is justifying suicide bombing Abu Assad replied, “There is no need to justify anything, because it is there.” He makes an analogy between himself and a doctor who looks through a microscope and reports the findings. "Suicide bombing is a consequence of injustice and occupation," Assad has maintained in interviews. In response to a statement that the film justifies killing Jews because they are Jews, he said that over one hundred intellectual Israelis viewed his film and not one came to the conclusion that the film was made to justify killing Jews because they’re Jews. “Some people are so desperate that they become a bomb,” he says.

Abu Assad doesn’t have many scenes depicting the physical aspects of occupation although there is one compelling scene when Khaled is hotly pursuing Said and sees a checkpoint ahead. “Pigs,” he snarls as he comes to a screeching halt and must find an alternate route. From this image the audience is startled into awareness of the complete physical control that the occupiers maintain over the occupied. Abu Assad believes to show “directly the consequences of the occupation is cheap because we all know [about] that.” Abu Assad is overestimating his future U.S. audience (Warner Independent Films will distribute in the US), if he believes this; however he acknowledges that his interest is the “invisible” occupation, especially the psychological experiences that spring from physical occupation or the “nightmares” that occupation engenders.

When the initial plans go awry, Said goes missing and Khaled and Suha pursue him. Khaled and Said set out again for Tel Aviv, but upon arrival Khaled has second thoughts. He calls the Israeli collaborators (evidently there is one documented instance of an Israeli who was in debt who assisted in a suicide bombing), to come back and get them, but Said tricks him and does not get in the car. Said goes on to blow up a bus (this is represented by the screen going white) that contains mainly Israeli soldiers; earlier he did not get on a bus because he was deterred by seeing a child on the bus.

Abu Assad effectively humanizes the two friends who are recruited for the mission and even the recruiter and the leader of the mission are not demonized. In the scene in which they make their farewell videos Khaled remembers to remind his mother to take care of a household matter. We also see him playing with a younger sibling the night before the intended mission. On what he thinks is his last night, Said visits Suha in the middle of the night. He doesn’t let on about his intended mission; he drinks tea and asks for four teaspoons of sugar; Suha remarks that Nablus people have their sugar with tea.

When Abu Assad was asked why he showed only the Palestinian side and not the Israeli side, he replied that it was the “duty” of the Israelis to show the other side. Until Paradise Now there has not been a film that has shown what happens prior to the aftermath of a suicide bomb. His intent was neither “to glorify” nor to “demonize” those who undertake suicide missions.

When asked if his film was “anti-Semitic” he didn’t brush off the question, rather said that this was a “serious” question, a “very, very serious” question. He said “to use this term to anything against Israel will harm anti-Semitism. I think Jews have to be treated equal as any other nation and deserve to be criticized; [we can not] treat them as an exception. Anti-Semitism is “generalizing that all Jews are bad.” He advised those in the audience who charged him with anti-Semitism to be careful. “If you use it for anything, you will harm its meaning.” He mentioned earlier that every society has its “good, bad, and ugly.” When asked about “anti-homosexuality” and “child abuse” in Palestinian society he humorously replied, “My next film will be about it.” On a more serious note, like most Palestinian public speakers, he had to emphasize what should be obvious, “Our society doesn’t deserve less freedom because we have anti-homosexuals, as you also have in Germany.” No one would ever make a conclusion that “Germans are abnormal.”

As for Paradise, Abu Assad doesn’t know if there is a God, let alone Paradise. He acknowledges that in Arabic countries in which life is unbearable, heaven plays a big part. “I would like to have my Paradise. I don’t think there is a Paradise as others think, but I cannot really say. If there is God, [and He wants to know] what I did wrong and right, I assure you that I’m on the right side. I believe that we are all human and humans should enjoy the same civil rights all over the world. In my conscience I never harmed anyone; for this reason, I deserve Paradise.”

Friday, May 13, 2005


Interview with Dr. Mustapha Barghouti


Latest Israeli Violation: Hummus Appropriated

Excerpts from a lengthy story in Ha'aretz on Israelis penchant for hummus:

The Jewish longing for hummus is like the desire to create the Israeli sabra, says the Haifa-based writer and filmmaker Ala Halihal, who made a short film about the travels of an Israeli family in Arab villages in search of authentic hummus (which is finally served - glatt kosher - out of a container). "Israeli society is patronizing toward the Muslims and its goal is to appropriate hummus for Israeliness, even as it ignores its cultural roots, and also it tries constantly to adapt it to the Jewish palate. When an Israeli who belongs to the hummus cult - and usually feels repulsed by Arab communities - goes to look for that food in a Galilee village or in the Old City of Acre, he sees the immediate contact with the food as a symbol of authenticity and exoticism, which to me is bizarre. He views Ahmed, who serves him the hummus, as his good buddy, but is not really interested in what he thinks, how many children he has, what kind of music he likes or which films he sees. The only thing that interests the Israeli diner is the shout announcing that the hummus is ready."

Hummus, Halihal adds, creates an equation of false coexistence here, for which the Arabs, too, are partly to blame. The Jews looks for authenticity and the Arab exploits this well. The result is that everyone exists in a kind of gigantic Disneyland in which everyone knows his role.

Halihal remembers that during the demonstrations of October 2000, a demonstration was held at the entrance to Wadi Nisnas, the Arab section of Haifa. Ten Arab criminals then showed up and started to hit him and other demonstrators, because there were grocery stores and hummus places there and they didn't want their business to be hurt. "This hummus is killing us in every sense," Halihal sums up. "I call for a hummus revolt. It could be the biggest revolt ever here. Finally everyone will really eat shit, and that is what will give the push for true peace and coexistence."


Joschka Fischer: Israel's Best German Freund

BERLIN (inn) - Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs Joschka Fischer emphasized the necessity for the military superiority of Israel. Many people are not aware that Israel is dependent on this superiority because of the constant threat to its existence. "As one, who really considers himself a friend of Israel, I have the impression that many people in Europe, not only in Germany, do not sufficiently grasp, why Israel needs a position of military superiority, not for any military considerations. Since the existence of the state of Israel, it was never really recognized by its neighbors, wherefore Israel, stamped through the Schoah, had to always fight for its existence. This requires military superiority, said Fischer in an interview with the weekly newspaper, Die Zeit.

The Minister regards the anniversary of the forty year existence of the diplomatic relationship between Israel and Germany as a chance, "to mediate the access of the new generation into the existence problems of Israel."

The Basis of this relationship remains defined by the Schoah, the mass murder committed by the Germans of the Jews, according to Fischer. "One is not allowed to forget that. That will remain for a long time." The special aspect of the relationship in the meantime should be stamped less by guilt feelings, than through the historical moral responsiblity that Germany has.

It is moreover not more exclusively about the past, said Fischer. "It is self-evident that we must look ahead. On many levels Germany always still appears to be Israel's lawyer. There is a wide spectrum of technical, scientific, and cultural cooperation. He advocates German-Israeli work with youth. "That could in view of the generation change be very, very helpful."

Next to the USA Germany is one of Israel's most reliable friends, explained Fishcher. Israel's trust is nevertheless stronger in the USA than in Europe. Because in Israel one asks: "Would they really come to our aid, if it was needed. One is confident that the USA would, but I betray no secret that with the Europeans there are some questions."

Israel looks increasingly toward Europe, ascertained the Minister. "And Europe is through this expansion drawing always closer. "Consequently, Europe will become for Israel especially important," as it already is in exchange in the areas of commerce and science.


Spielberg to make movie about 1972 Olympics

So Spielberg is making a movie about the 1972 Olympics. For what purpose? To ensure that Americans will keep paying for Israel's racism? My tenth grade students perceived very quickly after reading Dan McGowan's letter about Elie Wiesel's hypocrisy that the U.S. supports racism. We had a socratic seminar on his letter after they read Night in their social studies class. I am quite sure that they would blindly support Israel because of the effect of Night if I hadn't pointed out to them the extent of Wiesel's humanitarianism. It is very simple, but most U.S. school kids don't have the benefit of a Palestinian-American English teacher. Is a movie about Leon Klinghoffer forthcoming as well? Will we ever see a movie about the countless aged Palestinians who have met their deaths by the Israelis? Is Alison Weir's study that Israeli children's deaths are reported thirteen times more than Palestinian children's deaths starting to scare the Zionist apologists so that we will now be presented with a blockbusteer about the Munich Olympics? Something that occurred thirty-two years ago. Why, why, why? To demonize, demonize, demonize. To make sure that the Israelis may continue to confiscate land, uproot olive trees, hold up pregnant women and sick people at checkpoints, imprison Palestinians in bantustans, keep eight thousand political prisoners, extort money from ignorant Americans? And shame on any Arab actors who prostitute themselves to appear in this movie.

Girls waving Palestinian flags during a Nakba Day rally Thursday in northern Israel. (Encho Gosh)

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Kamal Nawash's Very, Very Strange Bedfellows

Great story from Muslim Wake-up on Kamal Nawash's (he is allied with David Horowitz and Daniel Pipes)odd collection of "supporters," by the as ever articulate Hussein Ibish.


Palestinians Living in Israel Mark Nakba Day

Palestinians living in Israel commemorated Thursday Nakba ("Catastrophe") Day by mass pilgrimages to destroyed Palestinian villages.

In the morning, families of internally displaced Palestinians visited the sites of the villages that they were expelled in 1948. In the afternoon, around 5,000 people held a rally at the site of Khirbet Husha and Khirbet Ksair in the Galilee.

Residents of Both Husha and Ksair were forced to abandon their villages after being attacked by Jewish forces in April 1948.

The rally was organized by the Committee for the Defense of the Rights of the Internally Displaced.

More than 250,000 internally displaced people live in Israel, many only a few minutes drive from the villages from which their families were forcefully displaced.

"The internally displaced in Israel thought someone would act on their behalf, but were disappointed. Young people who began to develop political consciousness took the initiative, and local committees sprouted up in different villages," Daud Bader, secretary of the Committee for the Rights of the Internally Displaced, said.

Some of the participants at the rally arrived from the center of Israel on a bus bearing the symbolic number 194, the number of the UN resolution dealing with the Palestinians' "right of return."


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Khaled and Said from Paradise Now.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

From If Americans Knew Website

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Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Their Independence, Our Nakba

Their Independence, Our Nakba [headline courtesy of IMEC]. Israel Celebrates 57 years. [Thanks to Inge who provides almost all of the stories from the German press and websites]. This picture accompanied an announcement regarding a celebration in Munich tonight at 6:00 P.M. to commemorate Israel's fifty-seventh birthday. Israel was created on the ruins of Palestine. When my aunt picked me up in Lod years ago, on the way home to Ramallah, she pointed out to me the "trees" (no doubt financed by dimes provided by little American Zionists) that were planted where once there were villages.

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Their Independence, Our Nakba

By IMEMC&Agencies Wednesday, 11 May 2005

In memoriam of the 57th anniversary of the Nakbe ‘cataclysm’ the Society for Defending the rights of refugees is holding a procession of ‘return to Housha and Al-Kasayer’ villages, in Shfa-Amr, Thursday May 12, 2005.

The procession which became an annual event over the last eight years is conducted in participation with the residents of the two villages, Israeli peace groups, and thousands of residents from several areas.

The planned procession will carry the names of hundreds of Palestinian destroyed and evacuated villages, and confirming the Right of Return guaranteed by Security Council resolution Nr. 194.

Over the last eight years, the society held procession on the same day of the “Israeli Independence’, confirming the direct link between the Israeli independence and the Palestinian cataclysm and Diaspora, after thousands of residents were forced out of their villages, and the thousands who were killed and expelled from their own lands.

“We the residents, the refugees, look with great bitterness and sadness at out mosques and churches which were destroyed and silenced after we were expelled, the graves of our ancestors are calling upon us, and upon the human conscious over the last 57 years”, the statement said.

Also, the statement added, “We hereby renew our vows to reject alternate solutions and compensations, and call upon our people, to participate in the activities of the memoriam and defend our rights”

The statement presented the following program;

1. Local and popular institutions will hold visitations to the villages on Thursday 12/5/2005, during morning hours.
2. Thursday 12/5/2005, we will hold our procession in the villages of Housha, and Al-Kasayer.

The eights procession will be held on Thursday, at 15:30, after it was arranged with residents of the two villages, political and social movements, in addition to Arab and Israeli organizations and institutions, confirming out steadfastness and our right of return.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


Dance to Pass

If you want to pass through the checkpoint, you will have to dance for us”, an Israeli soldier told a Palestinian child who was trying to cross a gate of the Separation Wall in his way back home in Jaba’, near Jenin.

Mohammad Hasan, 14 years old, looked at the soldier, who had his gun pointed at him, when he soldier repeated his request and told him ‘If you want to go back home, you will have to dance for us”.

‘The soldiers surrounded me, and one of them asked me about my name, they he shouted at me saying “Dance, now!”, so I had no other solution and danced for five minutes”, Mohammad said. (con)


Soldiers Cause Palestinian Woman to Abort


Israeli Grapeleaves and Tahini in Vienna

My late father told me that the Jews liked our food very much, so much, evidently that it is now "Israeli" food.

Ganz Wien ist maschu maschu!

All of Vienna is super, super!

Lust auf einen kulinarischen Ausflug in den Nahen Osten?

In the mood for a culinary flight to the Near East?

Es ist gar nicht weit: Im 1. und im 7. Wiener Gemeindebezirk werden die besten Falafel der Stadt serviert. In einer Atmosphäre, bestimmt durch farbenfrohes Interieur, warmes Licht und freundliche Menschen.

It is not far. In the first and seventh municipalities of Vienna the best falafel in the city is served. In an atmosphere that includes colorful interiors, warm lighting and friendly people.

Gekocht wird israelisch, aber nicht kosher. Neben den best Falafel in town steht vorwiegend vegatearisches und fleischloses auf der Karte: Schuarma, Kebab, Tahina (Sesampaste), gefüllte Blätterteigtaschen – health food, wie man es in Isreal an jeder Ecke findet.

The cooking is Israeli, but not kosher. Next to the best falafel in town one finds on the menu predominantly meatless and vegetarian items: Schuarma, Kebab, Tahina and grapeleaves--health food, like one finds on every corner in Israel.

"Maschu-maschu" ist hebräisch und bedeutet soviel wie "super!, leiwand!"

"Maschu-maschu," is hebrew and means the same as "super!, or leiwand!"

And for the socially unconscious, check out the Golan Heights wine Maschu, Maschu sells.


Paradise Now Condemned as anti-Semitic for not portraying Arabs as anti-Semitic

The German Zionists are really over-the-top. I hear that the particular group that has targeted the Frankfurt Filmmusem demonstrates with signs that say "Death to the Krauts."

The previous post was an excerpt from an open letter from a German " Anti-Anti-Semitic" group regarding Paradise Now, the winner for best European film at the Berlin Film Festival. According to Palestine Report

"Paradise Now is quiet and introspective, and its complicated characters can’t be written off as simply as glorified freedom fighters or terrorists. The film’s most dynamic character is a young man from Nablus named Said, the son of a collaborator, who despite his love interest Suha’s pleas to reconsider, goes to Tel Aviv on a bombing mission.

"Said gains the audience’s empathy because he is emotionally vulnerable and fed romantic lines by his recruiter, such as “death is better than inferiority,” and because he is shown stagnating from the lack of opportunities in a besieged Nablus. But the audience also sympathizes with Suha, the daughter of an assassinated Palestinian hero, whose perspective is shaped by the fact that she was raised abroad, and begs Said to reassess suicide bombings as a morally sound and effective means of fighting the Israeli occupation. She tells Said, “If you kill, there is no difference between victim and occupier.”

Said and Khaled aren't demonized sufficiently for the German anti-anti Semitic association. Here's some more from the Open Letter:

The preparation of the two for their mission was consciously aestheticised for the European public: the scene, in which the two shoot their farewell video is awkwardly gay, it consists of words to the family and Israel is sweepingly condemned as an angry military power. The European public is spared all of the loathesomeness of such videos, however, i.e., the anti-Semitic tirades spurred by religous and nationalistic delusions, the extermination phantasies, and the Macho posturing. The propaganda film is able to pass itself off as documentary realism because of its beautifully colored lies. In this way it is possible for the viewers to empathize with the main character, the murderer, Said. The open, brutal anti-Semitism of Islamic videos and Palestinian T.V. is translated for Europeans in discrete and appetizing codes because the filmmaker can be sure that the public will better understand the anti-Semitic extermination message and will be ready to accept it.

O.K. I'm ready for good ol' All-American Zionism after plowing through this. I'll have to take a break before I translate the paragraph about Suha, the girlfriend.

Paradise Now will be playing at the Frankfurt Filmmusem Friday at 8:00 P.M.

Monday, May 09, 2005


Publicly funded Film Museum Frankfurt am Main Shows the anti-Semitic Propaganda Film Paradise Now Open Letter

Is it possible that the Zionists in Germany are more hysterical than the American ones? Probably not, but they do give them a run for their money. This is the last paragraph that I've translated from a lengthy; i.e., if one is translating from German to English, letter from the Association Against Anti-Semitism, entitled " Open Letter to the Publicly Funded Filmmuseum Frankfurt am Main which Shows the Anti-Semitic Paradise Now:

We demand that this scandalous programming of a municipal cinema end promptly, and that the named films [Paradise Now and Route 181]be taken off the program and the responsible program leader, above all Ulrike Stiefelmayer, pay personal consequences. Because who calls the film Paradise Now good, confesses to anti-Semitic propaganda, and desires and celebrates the murder of Jewish Israelis.

More to follow . . .

Sunday, May 08, 2005


Neo-Cons Lay Siege to the Ivory Towers

An editorial written by Saree Makdisi, professor of English at UCLA, and Edward Said's cousin, discusses the chilling effects of a bill to limit academic freedom. The bill, which is currently being considered by the California State Senate's Committee on Education has as its counterpart at the Federal level, HR3077, which made it through the House of Representatives in 2003, didn't get through a Senate Committee, but Makdisi states that there are efforts to revive it. Supporters of the Federal Bill include American Jewish Congress, American Israel Political Action Campaign, Daniel Pipes, and Martin Kramer, pro-Israel forces who have aligned themeselves with religious fundamentalists. Language of the bill at the state level is reminiscent of texts by David Horowitz. Excerpts from Makdisi:

"Peddled under the benign name "An Academic Bill of Rights," SB 5 is in fact part of a wide assault on universities, professors and teaching across the country. Similar bills are pending in more than a dozen state legislatures and at the federal level, all calling for government intrusion into pedagogical matters, such as text assignments and course syllabuses, that neither legislators nor bureaucrats are competent to address.

"The real purpose of the bill, then, is not to provide students with "rights" but to institute state monitoring of universities, to impose specific points of view on instructors — in many cases, points of view that have been intellectually discredited — and ultimately to silence dissenting voices by punishing universities that protect them.

"Why should we, as fairly moderate to conservative legislators, continue to support universities that turn out students who rail against the very policies their parents voted us in for?" asks the Republican sponsor of the Ohio version of the bill.

"Backers of the Florida bill would like to empower students to sue professors with whom they disagree on the theory of evolution."

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Dheisha Refugee Camp, Bethlehem, 1949

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