Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Palestinians Call For Release of Christian Peacemaker Activists
"These aid workers have stood beside (the) Palestinian people and it's our duty now to stand beside them," he said.
The National and Islamic Forces in Hebron have also called for their release (thanks, David).
"The National and Islamic Forces in Hebron who has along experience in
dealing with crimes and Israeli violations with the CPT from 1995
,would like to confirm that the CPTers have a very strong role in
facing the Israeli crimes and violations and in protecting the life
and the belongings of the Palestinians. They put themselves in many
situations in front of the Israeli tanks."
And (thanks again, David) for more information about the hostages' courageous efforts on behalf of Palestinians read here.
May God give them strength and keep them safe. Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall attain the kingdom of God.
Who Will Deal With the Tree Destroyers?
I've Grown Accustomed To Your Face
My Funny Valentine
Pray for Christian Peacemaker Team Members' Safety
Monday, November 28, 2005
Woman Embracing an Uprooted Olive Tree
“Cry my beloved country” *
Cry for my non-existent childhood
Cry for my stolen youth
Cry for my uprooted olive trees
Cry for my village which lost its name
Cry for the maimed children
Cry for the widowed mothers
And cry for the raped land.
A land I tended with my tears
Yes, cry, as I am crying
For non-caring kin
Yes, cry as I am crying
For non-caring humanity
Cry because I stopped crying
I have no more tears to spare
I need them for my children’s graves
My children have gone to war
They will not come back alive
They think their blood will bring back the olive trees
They think that their blood will wipe out the infamy
Of kin who did not raise a finger
Of humanity which did not utter a word
To protect my olive trees
By Raja Mattar
* Theme inspired by the title of the South African writer Alan Paton’s book “Cry the Beloved Country”
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Illegal Colonists Take a Chain Saw to Two Hundred Olive Trees
Mahfouza Odeh, seventy-five and resident of Salim, reacts to the thuggery of Jewish illegal colonists, who took a chain saw to two hundred olive trees today. Hillary Clinton, would probably agree with the part of the AP caption which blames and dehumanises the victims of this criminal act: "The settlers say they cut down the trees to prevent Palestinians from attacking them under cover of the olive groves."
Light Unto the Nations Chorus Line
Light Unto the Nations Takes on Dangerous Terrorists
A letter to Senator Rodham Clinton from Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb
Below is a letter from Reverend Mitri Raheb to Hillary Clinton (thanks Enrique). Please read the letter and then let Senator Clinton's staff know how you feel about her comments regarding Palestinians and the Apartheid Wall. Open Bethlehem "is a civil society initiative established to respond to the state of emergency in Bethlehem as the wall is going up turning a city that resonates with millions of people around the world into a 21st century prison."
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
Leo W. O'Brien Federal Office Building
1 Clinton Square
Albany, NY 12207
Phone: (518) 431-0120
Fax: (518) 431-0128
Greetings to you from Bethlehem, the birthplace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, the center of the world for billions of Christians in the 2000 years since the Word became flesh, and the home of a dwindling population of Palestinian Christians who, despite the continued pressures of living under Israeli policies of occupation and segregation, still hold onto their lands and dignity.
I was encouraged when I met your husband here in Bethlehem in 1999, during the preparations for the Bethlehem 2000 millennium celebrations. I was also encouraged when in 1998 you said that “it will be in the long-term interests of the Middle East for Palestine to be a state,” a conviction which is shared today by the entire international community, including many Israelis.
I was surprised last week when I saw your picture in Ha’aretz (November 15, 2005), which was taken near the Wall, just outside of our town. I know that many Palestinians would have loved to welcome you in their homes in Bethlehem, but you did not come to visit us. Perhaps you simply did not have time to stop by and greet us, the people who would be the other half of any agreement which would allow Israel to live in security and peace. Or perhaps while you had Bethlehem in the background of the publicity photos, you had certain of your constituents in New York in the forefront of your mind. In one month’s time you will be singing “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” I wonder how you will sing it this year, having declared your support for transforming our “little town” into a big, open-air prison, leaving no green space for our children to play or our olive trees to grow?
Your comment that the Wall “is not against the Palestinian people… [it] is against terrorists” is deeply offensive in its ignorance and glossy portrayal of the effects of Israeli policy in the West Bank. We would like you to know that the Wall is affecting the daily life of every Palestinian person, not only in our town but throughout the West Bank. The Wall is less about security than it is about colonizing land and controlling its indigenous population. It is designed to allow maximum expansion for Israeli settlements (which are unequivocally illegal under international law) and minimal space for Palestinian towns and villages to grow or even draw their livelihood. The Wall is limiting Bethlehem to an area of about 6 square miles, while the settlements which surround us continue to expand on stolen Palestinian land. After taking such a courageous standpoint in 1998, why are you suddenly abandoning international law, the consensus of the international community, Christian notions of justice and reconciliation, and the American values of freedom and dignity which you have sworn to uphold? Please do not try to gain political support at the expense of the Palestinian people.
We thank God for all of our American friends who visit us, work with us, support us, and help us build bridges, not walls. You will be hearing from some of them, those who are your constituents in New York, and we hope you will listen to what they have to say. We are not asking for your pity, but we do ask you to reconsider your position in support of the Wall, which is illegal and violates our rights to land, jobs, family, free movement, dignity, and self-determination. These are American values, and we merely implore you to ensure that they are upheld here.
Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb
Pastor, Christmas Lutheran Church
General Director, The International Center of Bethlehem & Dar al-Kalima Academy
Saturday, November 26, 2005
All in a Week's Work For A Brutal Coloniser
Everyone should read the entire weekly report from Palestine Center For Human Rights in order to understand what it is like to live through a brutal occupation. The following is a brief summary of just two of many incidents reported:
On November 18, the Israeli Occupation Forces killed Omar Abdul Qader Abu Eisha, 24. He was walking home in Hebron. He was fired upon without warning at a distance of less than 40 meters. Ambulances were not allowed to reach the area. PCHR investigation show that he was not in any activities near a settlement as the Israeli Occupation Forces claim and that he was far from the settlement when he was shot through the heart, the back, and the abdomen.
The brutal killing was not enough for the occupiers; on November 20, in the wee hours of the morning, they arrested his grieving father and brother.
Read the full report of just one week of Israel's arrests, killings, house demolitions, land confiscation. Read about its fanatical settlers atrocities as well right here.
The Effects of Zionism on Zionists
Back At Ya Some Aboud residents, a bit miffed at the theft of their land and water by the "nightlight unto the nations," (thanks Angry Arab) hurled a tear gas cannister thrown their way right back at the soldiers abetting the Israeli government's illegal actions in Aboud.
The Effects of Zionism on Education in Hebron
Friday, November 25, 2005
The Effects of Zionism
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Hebron: On Hatred
23 November 2005
I'd not met him before. He's perhaps slightly older than I and he was
wearing a green cap, not unlike my red CPT one. By his accent he was
clearly originally from London, though he now lives in a settlement. I said
hello. 'Fuck you. Screw you,' he said.
We were standing across the street from an entrance to the Israeli
settlement of Beit Hadassah in Hebron. I was there with Anne and John (both
in their late seventies) and some other internationals on school patrol at
the foot of steps leading up to Qurtuba School, a school for Palestinian
girls. We were waiting for the girls to come down on their way home. He
was there with a group from Women in Green, an organization committed to
support for Israeli settlements. They were also there waiting for the
The girls and women teachers started to make their way nervously down the
crumbled steps. The Israeli visitors pushed forward taking photos. We got
in between them as best we could. I didn't document at all. I took no
photos. I have no idea of what went on around me. All I could see was the
fear on the faces of the women and girls. All I could feel was the tremor
in their hands as I helped them down. All I could hear was my faltering
Arabic as I tried to find something reassuring to say.
And then it was over. The girls and the teachers were all on their way
home. But the Israeli ex-Londoner was not finished. 'Have you got cancer
yet? I hope so,' he said to me. 'Please don't say that. My husband died
of cancer six years ago,' I replied. 'I am happy about that,' he said.
What has this man's life been like that he has such hatred? How is he
feeling now? Is he thinking of me, as I am thinking of him? Is he weeping
now, as I am? And am I weeping for myself, or for him?
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Purity of Arms from Light Unto the Nations
This Week in Palestine Blogs
Sunday, November 20, 2005
There Will Always Be A Palestine
Many nations have been sovereign over Palestine, but the Palestinians have remained and will prevail as does this elder from Sawachra village protesting the theft of the land to which he is indigenous. Human and civil rights will prevail; colonisers come and go, destined for failure.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
The victim is required to guarantee the security of his oppressor
My name is Mike Odetalla. I am a Palestinian/American and a father of three, who was born in 1960 in my ancestral village of Beit Hanina, which is a suburb of Jerusalem, and according to internationally recognized laws, conventions, and resolutions, is considered part of the occupied Palestinian Territories that were invaded and captured by Israel in the 1967 war. I was a child of war, having lived through the 1967 war, whereby my mother, my siblings, and I were forced to flee our home and seek refuge in the scorpion infested caves that populate the hills that surrounded our village.
Dear Aboud Residents, From Hillary
Dear Abud residents“This [wall] is not against the Palestinian people [Only 5330 dunums of your lands will be confiscated affecting thirty percent of your families]. This is against terrorists [In order to prevent terrorists from quenching their thirst we will also have direct control of all of the water supplies of Aboud]. The Palestinian people have to help prevent terror. They have to change their attitudes about terrorism, starting with the Palestinian Authority and going through Palestinian society [And in order to facilitate this Israeli soldiers fired gas cannisters at protestors Friday, opened fire, and suffocated some of you].”
Friday, November 18, 2005
Riverbend: 'All Iraqis Will Be Tortured Equally'
And it's not only 'suspected insurgents' who disappear- Iraqi security forces have been known to raid complete areas and detain any males from the ages of 12 to 60- especially in Sunni areas. Those 'suspected terrorists' that are rounded up and taken away- you know where they disappear to now.
Interior Minister Bayan Jabr (SCIRI Thug-Made-Government-Official-In-Italian-Suits) is mollifying Iraqis with this little gem,
...the group included Shiites as well as Sunnis...
I'm sure we can all sleep better at night with the knowledge that SCIRI/Da'awa torturers don't discriminate according to religious sect- under the new constitution, American military guidance, and the blessings of the Pentagon- all Iraqis will be tortured equally.
And here on white phosphorous:
I imagine what it must have been like for some of them. They were probably huddled in their houses- some of them- tens of thousands of them- couldn’t leave the city. They didn’t have transport or they simply didn’t have a place to go. They sat in their homes, hoping that what people said about Americans was actually true- that in spite of their huge machines and endless weapons, they were human too.
Of transplants and transcendence: Questioning social and symbolic categories in Israel
An excerpt from a truly inspired piece written by Laurie King-Irani on the transcendent significance of the action of Ahmed Khatieb's parents:
They also wanted Ahmed, or part of Ahmed, to live on, inside of others, no matter what their culturally constructed identities might be. Instead of turning others inside out in understandable rage at their loss, they took something precious of their own and put it inside others as an act of humanity, compassion, and magnanimity that exposed the barriers placed by policies, prejudices and practices between Palestinians and Israelis as both arbitrary and permeable.
If it weren't for the textbooks...Citizen McCain
If you send a letter to Senator John McCain protesting an Israeli outrage, he'll reply that Palestinians need to stop teaching hatred in their textbooks. Do you think that Senator McCain has a Palestinian textbook on his nighttime reading table?
"Light Unto Nations' Illumines Citizen McCain
McCain consulted with Israeli government officials before coming up with the following inanity on the Today Show: “The people in this world that suffer more threats from terrorist attacks and get them every day are the Israelis. The Israeli Supreme Court outlawed torture, outlawed cruel and inhumane treatment. And I have talked to Israeli officials, and they say they do very fine without it."
Well, on the one hand the need for torture diminishes with the number of extrajudicial assasinations a nation's death squads carry out. However, in spite of its penchant for murdering Palestinians at close range, Israel continues to torture the ones it lets live. Not that McCain would know. His standard reply to letters from constituents regarding one of Israel's latest barbarities results in the pat "Palestinians need to stop teaching hatred in their textbooks," and the grand daddy of them all, "Israel has the right to defend itself." Well, for Senator McCain's edification, since I doubt sincerely that he's ever read a textbook, Palestinian or otherwise, that wouldn't further his political ambitions, let's look at a little sampling of the "light unto the nations" torture practices since its "anti-torture" law of 1999.
First the law itself. According to Palestine Monitor, "An Israeli High Court ruling on 6 September 1999 prohibited a number of torture techniques. However, these methods were not completely outlawed. Instead the Court’s ruling still allows the Knesset to enact laws that would give intelligence officers the authority to use such methods. The Court deemed the security difficulties faced by Israel to be grave enough to merit granting intelligence services the power to torture.
"This “ticking bomb” excuse now gives the Israeli security forces carte blanche to abuse any prisoners in their care, including children. Human rights groups maintain that the use of torture in Israeli prisons has increased and become more systematic since March 2002. Violations of the Convention Against Torture are now commonplace as the military grip on the Occupied Territories has been tightened."
In addition, "The Israeli army and police also receive the unconditional backing of the country’s legal system, perpetuating the culture of impunity in Israeli prisons. The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel [PCATI] has found that the Israeli Attorney General has approved every case of torture as a necessary security measure. The High Court has rejected every single one of 124 petitions submitted by PCATI, against prisoners being denied access to legal support."
About the children. Perhaps, this information escaped our perennial presidental candidate: "The issue of torture or other ill treatment of children in Gush Etzion police station was raised in a report by B’tselem, the Israeli human rights organization.
"The report reviewed the cases of ten children held in Gush Etzion between October 2000 and January 2001, and noted that interrogation methods commonly included severe beatings, dousing in cold water, putting the detainee’s head in a toilet bowl, threats and curses."
Seven thousand Palestinian political prisoners are currently in Israeli jails. According to Palestine Monitor, 650,000 Palestinians have spent time in Israeli custody since 1967, that would be every second Palestinian male.
Since the passage of the law that McCain touts so highly, according to Israeli human rights organization B’tselem, "more than 85% of Palestinian detainees are still being subjected to torture or ill-treatment during interrogations."
Methods of torture still being used include tying to a chair in painful positions, beating, slapping, kicking, threats, verbal abuse and humiliation; bending of the body in extremely painful positions, intentional tightening of the handcuffs, stepping on manacles, application of pressure to different parts of the body, forcing the detainee to squat in a painful position (known as “kambaz”), choking, pulling out of hair and other forms of violence and humiliation (spitting etc.); sleep deprivation, solitary confinement, exposure to extreme heat and cold, continuous exposure to artificial light, confinement in inhumane conditions.
Murad Awaisa, seventeen, was tortured to death in his own apartment subsequent to Israel's 1999 "torture" law.
Maybe Citizen McCain was too busy reading Palestinian textbooks and missed this. Or too busy spewing the latest disinformation from his Israeli handlers.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
IOF Murders Two More Palestinian Youths
On Thursday, 17 November 2005, IOF extra-judicially executed two activists of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of the Fatah movement, in Jenin. This is the third extra-judicial execution committed by IOF in the northern West Bank in 5 days. IOF claimed that they ordered the victims to stop, and then fired at the two men when they did not obey the order. However, PCHR’s preliminary investigations refute this claim and confirm that IOF could have arrested the two men or used non-lethal force.
According to preliminary investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 12:15, on Thursday, 17 November 2005, an undercover IOF unit of IOF moved into Jenin using a medium-sized truck (Mercedes 410) with a Palestinian license plate. When the undercover unit reached the water reservoir in Haifa Street, they passed another civilian car heading from al-Yamoun village to Jenin. The unit members opened fire at the other car without warning and hit the two people in the car. Both were killed instantly. Their bodies were taken to Dr. Khalil Suleiman Hospital in Jenin. According to medical sources, the dead men were hit by gunshots to the head. They were identified as Ahmad Saber Mohammad Mahmoud 'Abahra, 20; and Mahmoud Jamal Mohammad Zayed, 20, from al-Yamoun village, southwest of Jenin
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
IOF Choreographs At Checkpoints
Israel Court OKs Killing of Palestinian Children
I can forgive the Palestinians for killing our children, but I can not forgive them for forcing us to kill theirs Golda Mabowitz aka Golda Meir
It would appear as if earlier references to Hillary Clinton as Lady Macbeth just might be true. Her self-serving ambition is obvious to anyone who is not ignorant of the Palestinian situation. Perhaps, in some distant future, Hillary might find herself incessantly washing the blood off her hands as did the Mistress of Glamis. But, until such time, let Clinton find words to explain the following examples of Israeli brutality to match the glowing words in which she spoke of the Apartheid Wall.
Let's start with Iman Al-Hams. Pretty thirteen year old Palestinian girl on her way to school on October 4, 2004. According to PCHR, "On 23 November 2004, the Israeli media showed a video tape in which the officer was seen moving towards the child, who was lying on the ground, and shooting at her multiple times."
It is incredulous that a country whose courts have acquitted the officer of all charges still garners obescience from none other than Hillary Clinton's husband: “I’m not in power anymore,” Clinton said to an AIPAC West Coast Confab, “but I don’t love Israel any less.”
What is it exactly about Israel that Bill Clinton loves? A country that exonerates its citizens who riddle a scared little girl with seventeen bullets? "An Israeli army officer who fired the entire magazine of his automatic rifle into a 13-year-old Palestinian girl and then said he would have done the same even if she had been three years old was acquitted on all charges by a military court yesterday."
What spin will the immoral hypocrital couple come up with to counter Iman's father's words upon hearing of the verdict: "They did not charge him with Iman's murder, only with small offences, and now they say he is innocent of those even though he shot my daughter so many times," he said. "This was the cold-blooded murder of a girl. The soldier murdered her once and the court has murdered her again. What is the message? They are telling their soldiers to kill Palestinian children."
Undoubtably, they will find the words as do just about ninety-nine percent of the craven US politicians and smarmy racist apologists for Israel. When else fails the standard cliche is that "Israel has the right to defend itself." Even against scared little girls. Even against little girls lying on the ground near death.
The following is a recording of a three-way conversation that took place between a soldier in a watchtower, an army operations room and Capt R, who shot the girl
From the watchtower "It's a little girl. She's running defensively eastward." "Are we talking about a girl under the age of 10?" "A girl about 10, she's behind the embankment, scared to death." "I think that one of the positions took her out." "I and another soldier ... are going in a little nearer, forward, to confirm the kill ... Receive a situation report. We fired and killed her ... I also confirmed the kill. Over."
From the operations room "Are we talking about a girl under the age of 10?"
Watchtower "A girl about 10, she's behind the embankment, scared to death."
A few minutes later, Iman is shot from one of the army posts
Watchtower "I think that one of the positions took her out."
Captain R "I and another soldier ... are going in a little nearer, forward, to confirm the kill ... Receive a situation report. We fired and killed her ... I also confirmed the kill. Over."
Capt R then "clarifies" why he killed Iman
"This is commander. Anything that's mobile, that moves in the zone, even if it's a three-year-old, needs to be killed. Over."
They will find the words. After all, the late Goldie Mabowitz found the words to excuse Zionist barbarism: "When they will love their children more than they hate us, then there will be peace." The US pols will be close on her heels stretching credulity to its limit mouthing similar racist drivel. John McCain has advised the US to look to Israel as a nation that does not employ torture. Hillary Clinton has assured the Palestinians that the Apartheid Wall is not against them. “This [wall] is not against the Palestinian people. This is against terrorists. The Palestinian people have to help prevent terror. They have to change their attitudes about terrorism, starting with the Palestinian Authority and going through Palestinian society.”
Their words will ensure that there will be no peace in our time. Referring to the bias expressed by Hillary Clinton and Condoleeza Rice during their simultaneous visit to Palestine Al-Watan notes: “The struggle will continue in the region as long as justice is out of balance and as long as the double-standard policy followed by the US will continue in this bitter struggle. All efforts for achieving peace will fail if the political offers made to Palestine are a lot less than their ambitions for gaining their legitimate rights in establishing their totally independent sovereign state, and not only two towns in Gaza and the West Bank.”
There will continue to be Palestinian blood shed because US politicians signify with their approval of Israel's crimes against humanity that they are no better than the fiendish couple from Shakespeare. They don't even, as did Lady Macbeth in her madness, or as Macbeth in his thoughts, recoil at their own bloody deeds.
It Takes an Empire to Bomb a Village, Hillary
It Takes an Empire to Bomb a Village, Hillary
By Genevieve Cora Fraser
It Takes an Empire
To Bomb a Village
Is that the title
Of your next book
In awe the racist
Which Israel built
Those they damn
And burning bras
Brought fame in youth
And Awe bloody war
Is now your show of strength
While others humbly
Correct the error
Of their ways
By breaking ties
And seeking to divest
Whence you go
Gallivanting on parade
Hillary a gushing gadabout
To illegal settlements
That steal and kill
The rightful owners are Palestinians
But settle back
As you chew
The fat with Sharon
Watch the righteous settlers
At Arab children
From ancient villages
You once espoused
Topple homes and farms
As fighter jets
Strafe the powerless
Be sure to brag
How Occupations’ bill
Is paid by
In part because of you
Nor fruit provide
By Zionist friends
It takes a village
But you need the cash
So your eye is blind
To the horror
Power lures presidential hopes
Hillary and Israel
If you keep it up
Will pave the way
Monday, November 14, 2005
Just Call on Me Brother:Javier Solana and Shimon Peres
Clinton Preaches to Pals About Terrorism As IOF Kills More Kids
Rafah Pundits, which is an excellent source of news from Rafah, Gaza, and the West Bank reports the following: "In the Gaza Strip, at least one Palestinian was killed and one other was wounded when the Israeli troops positioned along the green line opened random fire towards Khoza’ah village in the east of the city of Khanyouness. At the Nassir Hospital, one of the victims was identified as Belal Al-Shaer; aged 17, a resident of Khanyouness who died instantly after being shot twice in the head. And the other one was identified as his cousin Mohamed Al-Shaer; aged 15 who was critically wounded in the abdomen."
Hillary Clinton: 'This [Wall] is Not Against Palestinians'
or To Arik With Love,
Hillary and Condi
Hillary Clinton and Condoleeza Rice didn't meet each other in Palestine although they were in the vicinity at the same time; rather, the two American pols had a "meeting of the minds" when it came to Ariel Sharon's brutal policies. I am sure that the Palestinians are reassured by Ms. Clinton's gibberish that the wall is not against them. And I am sure that they are duly edified that they must 'change their attitudes about terrorism.' I'd like to know what other ethnic group Clinton could stereotype so callously and get away with it. What craven, self serving claptrap:
“This [wall] is not against the Palestinian people. This is against terrorists. The Palestinian people have to help prevent terror. They have to change their attitudes about terrorism, starting with the Palestinian Authority and going through Palestinian society.”
Not to be outdone, we get the reiteration of her boss's incredulous 'Sharon is a man of peace' from Condoleeza Rice.
Addressing Sharon at a U.S.-Israeli symposium Sunday, Rice struck an unusually personal tone, saying: "President Bush and I admire your personal courage, your leadership and the crucial contribution to peace that you are making."
Both of these women should be vilified by every human rights organziation in the world for their blatantly immoral comments regarding the human rights of Palestinians. And it is time the US taxpayers see them for what they are: self-serving politicians with little regard for the human and civil rights of their fellow men and women.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
I am moving and probably won't post for a few days. And my fondest wish is that my great cyberfriends will join me for a long weekend in my new house in Germany in the near future. I hope that you will feel free to post comments to this post, links...insights, sort of keep the blog going for few days.
Love and Peace,
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Israel Used White Phosphorous Lest We Forget
"Likewise, Human Rights Watch is disturbed by eyewitness testimony suggesting that Israel may have used white phosphorus, or a similar incendiary ordinarily used for marking purposes, in an antipersonnel mode in populated areas in southern Lebanon. White phosphorus ammunition, according to experts, can cause severe burns and permanent scars. During the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, the Israeli shelling of villages in southern Lebanon in July 1993, and subsequent shelling attacks, there have been numerous allegations of Israeli forces using phosphorus against civilians. The available circumstantial evidence of the illegal use of phosphorus, and/or other incendiaries, by Israel against Lebanese civilians during the 1993 events and afterwards is so compelling as to warrant serious investigation and a public response by the Israeli government. Among other evidence, Human Rights Watch saw several civilians, including children, in southern Lebanon with burns that are likely to have been caused by phosphorus." http://hrw.org/reports/1996/Israel.htm
To many people, in fact, the siege of Beirut seemed gratuitous brutality ... The arsenal of weapons, unleashed in a way that has not been seen since the Vietnam War, clearly horrified those who saw the results first hand and through film and news reports from a distance. The use of cluster bombs and white phosphorus shells, a vicious weapon, was widespread. 14. Charles Powers, reporting in the Los Angeles Times, 29 August 1982. http://www.doublestandards.org/rose1.html
[8:20] But more frightening are the number of new weapons they tested in Lebanon - that time it was the first time Israel exploded phosphorous bombs. So that when phosphorus hits someone it just burns for days and days and then if you wash it - it will burn even more, and the victims just died of phosphorus burns. But this is a different kind - this is called a vacuum bomb. What would happen is that the bomb would go in to a centre, build up very high TNT value, and suck the whole building down - this is an 11 floor building that was sucked in to a heap of rubble, buried within it are 200 people. When I arrived and saw this for myself I know that a doctor can't do much - it is a very humbling experience... I could do nothing to help those people who were buried and killed in this one single bomb attack. Dr.Ang Swee Chai http://www.inminds.co.uk/from-beirut-to-jerusalem.html
A Reuters photo on the Ha'aretz web site on Dec. 15 carried the caption: "A Palestinian runs for cover as tanks fire phosphorous during clashes in Nablus on Sunday." The picture shows the Palestinian man running while a hail of white phosphorus scatters around him, burning bright white and leaving thick smoke . Phosphorus is used in tracer fire, which illuminates a battle scene. However, the photo was taken in daylight. The Israeli army has been blamed in the past for use of phosphorus as a weapon in Lebanon. Gideon Levy wrote in Ha'aretz on Jan. 9, 2000: "The laws of war also prohibit the use of phosphorus against civilians. But according to the report, at least two children and a number of adults have been killed or injured by phosphorus bombs sent by Israel." (Reuters, Dec. 15; Ha'aretz, Jan. 9, 2000) (David Bloom) http://www.ww4report.com/64.html
IOF Shoots Another Child, Son, Brother, Friend
If you haven't read Chris Hedges' story in Harpers Magazine about the IOF's penchant for killing little boys read here.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
The Little Boy Is Really Dead Now
They kill us for their sport.
The little boy who was playing with the toy gun that he got for Eid is really dead now. The Israeli Occupation Forces shot him through his head and his heart. The first news stories said that he was dead but later stories reported that he was clinically dead. I have a little boy named Kahlil. The little boy who was shot was named Ahmad Ismail, younger than Kahlil, just twelve. Kahlil, my son, is fifteen, and he likes to go out with his friend on Saturdays for the BB gun wars, he calls them. Lucky for Kahlil, that he doesn't have to cross paths with Israeli occupation forces. We're relatively safe here in Germany, but I see pictures of the Palestinian kids who are snuffed out by the Israeli occupation forces, and they all look like Kahlil, my only son, dark and handsome, who is lazier than I'd like him to be, who doesn't study as hard as I'd like him to study, and who unfortunately is really into guns.
I don't know a lot about Eid because I'm a Christian Arab and I did not grow up in an Arab country. Children receive presents for Eid. Maybe Ismail got his toy gun for Eid and he was celebrating the holiday like Christians celebrate Christmas. Kids usually take their toys outside and play. They don't expect to get shot by an occupation army in their own neighborhood or when they go to visit relatives for the holiday.
I read that Ismail was with his parents when he was shot so he probably wasn't baiting the occupation soldiers. And even if he was, it wouldn't merit a gunshot. After all, Jewish illegal colonisers threw acid on Israel soldiers and weren't shot at. Teenagers have been rioting outside of Paris for nine days now, and they don't get shot at.
Here in Germany, I teach dependents of the US Military, many of whom are deployed in Iraq. If I so much as touch a cheeky kid on the shoulder and say follow me you're going to see an administrator, I am liable to be hauled off to a social worker, to be suspended from my job indefinitely and to face criminal charges.
In Israel, they shoot kids with impunity. Upwards of seven hundred Palestinian kids have been murdered by the "purity of arms" Israeli occupation forces since end of September 2000. Al-Jazeera reports that according to Palestine Red Crescent Society figures, 682 Palestinian children under the age of 18 have died during the second intifada (uprising) between 29 September 2000 and 29 September 2005. Of those, 158 were under 12-years old.
That's two to three a week. How in the hell would Americans react if their kids were gunned down in their own neighborhoods by a foreign occupation army?
Meanwhile, in this cesspool of a world in which we live, the ignorant citizens of Rome rally on behalf of a brutal, apartheid state and Hilary Clinton, the doyenne of the liberals, prepares to visit Ariel Sharon, the foremost Arab killer of our times.
Eid Mubarak, Ahmad. May Your Memory Be Eternal. For your sake, I pray that the world wakes up from its ignorant indifference to injustice. That will be the day when people rally in support of kids like you, rather than in support of an apartheid repressive country with a big military machine to whom kids are no more than Shakespeare's flies that are killed for sport.
Friday, November 04, 2005
Romans Rally Amidst Palestinian Ruins
Perhaps they're celebrating the clinical death of thirteen year old Ismail Khatieb, shot through the head and heart by one of Israel's Occupation Forces?
Your Candle Burned Out Long Ago...
Israel: A light unto the nations
Thursday, November 03, 2005
An Appeal to individuals and professional organizations
November 3, 2005
We appeal to you to join us in protest against the Israeli Air Force policy to fly over the occupied Gaza strip, and intentionally break the sound barrier to create supersonic booms over Gaza.
The current operation started on October 27, 2005.
The latest 'non-lethal' Israeli attack, is directed at the entire civilian population. It is criminal in its very nature, and therefore totally unacceptable. It is another measure in a long row of systematic atrocities, persecution, and destruction that the Israeli army has inflicted on Gaza Palestinians during the last years. In the context of the wide spread horrors which Israel perpetuated against Gaza civilians earlier, such as massive home destructions, inflicting numerous death on children and their parents, and the increasing malnutrition which Gaza children suffer because of continuing unemployment, closures and sieges
As mental health professionals, we know that this campaign of supersonic booms is a severe risk for the mental health of children who are trying to recover from the severe traumas caused by the military occupation.
Research done in GCMHP shows that in areas where heavy home destruction was practiced the level of PTSD was as high as 54% among children, and that adds an overwhelming strain on the development of mother-child relations develop
We demand an urgent stop of these and similar criminal acts against helpless civilians, most of which have becoming refugees as a result of Israeli expulsion, in 1948. These people have suffered more than enough.
As you will see from attached news reports in the Israeli press, this evil operation, which is directed indiscriminately against the entire Palestinian population of Gaza, is something the Israeli regime takes pride in.
Gaza Community Mental Health Program -GCMHP jointly with the Israeli Physician for Human Rights – PHR-Israel, filed yesterday a petition against the Israeli Ministry of Defense and asked the country’s High Court to ban this flights.
But as the Israeli court is accustomed to approve most measures of Israel’s military, we urge you to act to bring pressure on the Israeli government.
Please send your protests to the addresses mention here, and disseminate this information further. Please contact your governments and ask them to make their voices heard, and join this protest.
Translation of fragments of reports, which appeared in the Hebrew Media lately.
On 27 October 2005 Haaretz Defense Commentator Zeev Schiff wrote, “Some of the direct military pressure (of the Israeli military) will be directed (at the terrorists) through the Palestinian population. It is anticipated that the Israeli Air Force will cause supersonic booms over certain areas in the (Gaza) strip. These booms will primarily affect the civilian inhabitants. (Note: That portion only appeared in the Hebrew Edition). Link: http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasite/pages/ShArtPE.jhtml?itemNo=638423&contrassID=2&subContrassID=1&sbSubContrassID=0
These sound booms’ operation had hardly started when the protests of Israeli civilians started pouring in. The Israeli press described the booms as “mysterious” and the Israeli military spokesman denied any knowledge of the operation. (Israeli citizens living in places as distant from Gaza as 50 kilometers and more were alarmed by the booms, which they described as “horrific”, “disturbing” and “very frightening”).
The (Israeli) Air Force in Gaza
by Hanan Griberg, YNET. 2 November 2005 In Hebrew.
"(Israel) must produce a real deterrence in Gaza"
In an interview with YNET, the AF commander Major General Eliezer Shkeidi told about the new role of the Israeli Air Force in the war in the (Gaza) Strip:
Following the IDF evacuation of the Gaza strip, the Air Force is next to being the only operating force in the sector. "Now we operate in all the configurations; the fighting system, which was not highly deployed in the past, flies a hell of a lot. It performs supersonic booms, it attacks infrastructure, roads axis and approaches roads from which Qassam rockets are fired. The fighter jets, helicopters and drones are continuously active”.
Maj. Gen. Shkeidi (quoted in the article as “a very senior AF officer”) describes the supersonic booms, which the IDF fighter jets sound over the (Gaza) strip as "non lethal weapons". He says, "the volume level (which is currently used) is not at its top level now”, adding: “Believe me, when it is at maximal level you could not live”...
Shkeidi describes this is an “effective non-lethal tool, when coupled together with ‘targeted killings’ (i.e. summary executions) and other activities which comprise the deterrence". Shkeidi confirmed that the (Israeli) Air Force executes “complicated and dangerous tasks, such as low altitude night flights to cause supersonic booms”.
Qouta, S., Punamaki, R. L. & El Sarraj, E. (2003). Prevalence and determinants of PTSD among Palestinian children exposed to military violence. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry,12,265-272
Qouta, S., Punamäki, R. L., & El Sarraj, E. (2005). Mother-Child _Expression of Psychological Distress in War Trauma. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry,10,135-156
Israel Celebrates Eid by Rendering Child Clinically Dead
Maan News reports that thirteen year old Ismail Al-Khatieb was shot dead by Israeli Occupation Forces who entered the boy's neighborhood in Jenin Refugee Camp to arrest his neighbors. Although maan news reports Ismail was throwing stones, IMEMC reports that he was walking with his parents.
"The Palestinian News Agency, WAFA, reported that soldiers fired at Ahmad Al Khateeb, 11, while he was walking with his parents near the Jenin Secondary School for Girls, and abducted his body."
Notice the double standards of the racist state: Settler youth, who were picked up on October 24 for stoning a Palestinian child who was selling vegetables were released today. According to IMEMC
"The settlers struck the child, threw the vegetables on the street, and stole two mobile phones which belong to his brothers in order to bar him from calling the police.
After attacking the child, the settlers ambushed Palestinian vehicles and hurled stones at them in the same area."
IMEMC also reports: "The agency stated that dozens of military vehicles and armored jeeps are still surrounding Jenin, and added that soldiers fired rounds of live ammunition at residents and homes in the area.
"Also, soldiers surrounded Al Amal Hospital, which belongs to Patients’ Friends Society, and broke into it. Soldiers also broke into dozens of homes west of Jenin."
Palestinians hit by sonic boom air raids
· UN condemns night noise attacks as indiscriminate
· Agencies say they cause trauma and miscarriages
Chris McGreal in Gaza
Thursday November 3, 2005
Israel is deploying a terrifying new tactic against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip by letting loose deafening "sound bombs" that cause widespread fear, induce miscarriages and traumatise children.
The removal of Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip opened the way for the military to use air force jets to create dozens of sonic booms by breaking the sound barrier at low altitude, sending shockwaves across the territory, often at night. Palestinians liken the sound to an earthquake or huge bomb. They describe the effect as being hit by a wall of air that is painful on the ears, sometimes causing nosebleeds and "leaving you shaking inside".
The Palestinian health ministry says the sonic booms have led to miscarriages and heart problems. The United Nations has demanded an end to the tactic, saying it causes panic attacks in children. The shockwaves have also damaged buildings by cracking walls and smashing thousands of windows.
"I have never heard such a loud explosion. I thought it was right over the top of my building," said the owner, Tareq Dayyeh. "Sometimes you hear the rockets the Israelis fire but this was different. I felt like I was in the middle of a bomb. When I ran out the door I thought I might find the rest of the street was gone."
Over the past week, Israeli jets created 28 sonic booms by flying at high speed and low altitude over the Gaza Strip, sometimes as little as an hour apart through the night. During five days in late September, the air force caused 29 sonic booms.
A senior Israeli army intelligence source, who the military would not permit to be named, said the tactic is intended to break civilian support for armed Palestinian groups. "We are trying to send a message in a way that doesn't harm people. We want to encourage the Palestinian public to do something about the terror situation," he said. "What are the alternatives? We are not like the terrorists who shoot civilians. We are cautious. We make sure nobody is really hurt."
Yesterday, two medical human rights groups asked the Tel Aviv high court to outlaw the use of sound bombs on the grounds it amounts to illegal collective punishment and is detrimental to health.
"The stress is phenomenal," said Eyad El Sarraj, a psychologist and director of Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, one of the groups filing the petition. "The Israelis do it after midnight and then every one or two hours. You try to go to sleep and then there's another one. When it happens night after night you become exhausted. You get a heightened sense of alert, waiting continuously for it to happen. People suffer hypertension, fatigue, sleeplessness.
"For children, the loud noise means danger. Adults may know it's only a sound but small children feel threatened. They are crying and clinging to their parents. Afterwards they are dazed and fearful, waiting for something to happen."
The UN Palestinian refugee agency said a majority of the patients seen at its clinics as a result of the sonic booms were under 16 and suffering from symptoms such as anxiety attacks, bedwetting, muscle spasms, temporary loss of hearing and breathing difficulties.
Although the Israelis say the shockwaves do not cause casualties, doctors at Gaza's Shifa hospital said the overflights had forced women to miscarry. The number of miscarriages had increased by 40%, according to Jumaa Saqqa, a surgeon and hospital spokesman. "There were no other symptoms and the rise happened after the sonic booms. We can see no other explanation. The number of patients admitted to the cardiac care unit doubled. Some of them proved to have suffered serious harm."
Dr Saqqa said one overflight occurred while he was operating. The Palestinian health ministry estimates the sonic booms have caused at least 20 miscarriages.
The UN's Middle East envoy, Alvaro de Soto, wrote to the Israeli high command this week saying he was "deeply concerned at the impact on children, particularly infants, of the use of sonic booms".
Mr de Soto said he did not accept that the tactic was a legitimate response to Islamic Jihad and Hamas firing rockets into Israeli towns. "Sonic booms are an indiscriminate instrument, the use of which punishes the population collectively. We ask therefore that their use be stopped without delay," the letter said.
The military was forced to apologise after one sonic boom was unintentionally heard hundreds of kilometres inside Israel last week. Maariv newspaper described it as sounding "like a heavy bombardment. The noise that shook the Israeli skies was frightening. Thousands of citizens leapt in panic from their beds, and many of them placed worried calls to the police and the fire department. The Tel Aviv and central district police switchboards crashed."
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
GCMHP and PHR Present Law Suit to Stop Gaza Air Raids
GCMHP and PHR Present a Law-Suit to the Israeli High Court Demanding to Stop Air Raids on Gaza
Gaza Community Mental health Programme (GCMHP) and Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) in Israel have finalized the preparations to present a law-suit case to the Israeli High Court of Justice. The case aims to issue a sentence forcing the Israeli Government to stop the mock air raids on Gaza, which was resumed 5 days ago.
This case comes as part of a campaign that GCMHP has been working on to stop the Israeli air raids on Gaza. The campaign included raising awareness about these raids and the negative psychological consequences it has on the massive Palestinian population, especially children. It also included organizing press conferences, issuing press releases and petitions demanding the immediate halt of these raids and explaining how they affect not only the psychosocial well-being of the Palestinian people, but also, the opportunities of peace and stability in the region.
In this regard, Gaza Community Mental Health Programme has prepared a medical report explaining the negative psychosocial effects of the air raids. This report was based on scientific knowledge and clinical observation of cases that were seen after the air raids took place few weeks ago, and the ones resumed recently. This report will be part of the file presented to the court.
APPEAL: Ongoing Crisis in Gaza Demands World Attention
APPEAL: Ongoing Crisis in Gaza Demands World Attention
Israel’s Wanton Attacks Must Stop
October 30, 2005
Since the Israeli settlers withdrew and the army redeployed from the Gaza Strip, the Strip has been subjected to constant attacks and unbearable collective punishments imposed by the Israeli army and aimed primarily at innocent civilians.
The attacks are carried out in three main forms, the first of which is bombings by F-16 fighter jets, Apache gunship helicopters, and tanks. These attacks target civilian areas and infrastructure, including a school and a charitable organization, both of which were destroyed, as well as homes, businesses, and roads.
Eight people were recently killed by an Israeli bombing in the crowded Jabaliya Refugee Camp in the northern Gaza Strip. Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi attended the funeral of the eight victims, including two children and a 50-year-old school principle, all of whom happened to be in the area when Israel carried out its illegal assassination attack that killed one wanted man.
Dr. Barghouthi said, “It was unbelievably sad to see the eight bodies laid out, including the two small ones, at the funeral. These horrible attacks against innocent people must stop.”
Sonic Boom Attacks
The second form of attack is sonic booms by low-flying jets that break the sound barrier. This causes unbearably loud noises and effects similar to an earthquake; broken glasses and dishes, damage to homes such as cracks in walls and ceilings, broken windows, etc.
Worse, the sounds are indistinguishable from actual bombings, which are also ongoing. This terrorizes people and can cause permanent psychological damage, especially in children, who often become hysterical when they hear the shattering sounds. Immediate health effects include headaches, hearing loss, dizziness, and nausea. Heart patients are vulnerable, because the shock of fear causes a sudden spike in adrenaline in their blood, which can be deadly. The shock can also cause pregnant women to miscarry.
Sonic booms are some of the most violent and terrifying forms of collective punishment against civilians, and on a recent night, sonic attacks occurred at 11:00 p.m., midnight, 1:00 a.m., 2:00 a.m., 2:30 a.m., 3:00 a.m., etc, depriving 1.4 million people of the basic necessity of sleep. The next day the attacks started again at random hours. The psychological effects of this terror cannot be overstated.
This is the first time Israel has employed sonic boom attacks against Palestinians, presumably because now there is no chance that the collective punishment will affect settlers.
Palestinians have called on the UN and other international organizations to investigate the extent of these attacks and the damage they cause as well as to condemn Israel and demand that the illegal attacks stop immediately.
One Giant Prison
The third form of collective punishment is that Gaza has indeed become a giant prison, with border restrictions much more severe than they were before the redeployment. Movement is blocked from every direction, including Rafah (to Egypt) and Erez (to Israel), which have been closed almost continuously since the redeployment. The situation is so bad that many have gone on hunger strike at the Rafah border to demand their freedom of movement and demand an end to the terrible and illegal collective imprisonment.
Medicins du Monde (MDM) of France reported in a recent press release that restricted access through Erez and Rafah has denied a large number of Palestinian patients access to specialized medical care in Israel and Egypt.
Since the redeployment, Rafah has only been randomly opened five times, while movement through Erez has slowed to a trickle; the terminal is currently completely closed.
Patients who require heart operations, catheterization, dialysis, chemotherapy, etc. are particularly affected. This restricted access deprives the civilian population and hundreds of patients of their basic right to health, which is protected by international humanitarian law (IHL).
IHL strictly condemns the use of collective punishment against civilian populations for political reasons.
MDM demands that Israel guarantee access of the Palestinian population to medical services and to refrain from imposing collective penalties on the civilian population in clear violation of IHL principals.
The West Bank, too, has been subjected to collective punishments, including blockages of movement that have dire social, economic, and health consequences. A massive new Israeli checkpoint is currently being built south of Nablus, which aims to completely sever the northern West Bank from the rest of the West Bank, another step in Israel’s ongoing cantonization and imprisonment of Palestinian territory.
Call for Immediate Action
Unfortunately, the world at large has very little idea of the scope of Israel’s attacks, and the international community has not reacted in any way to stem the tide of illegal and indiscriminate attacks against innocent civilians by the Israeli government.
In accordance with IHL, Israel remains the “occupying power” in Gaza since it continues to maintain “effective control” over land, air, and sea around the Gaza Strip. Its occupation of Gaza has not ended, and in many ways has intensified. The world must understand what is happening to the people of Gaza and must act quickly.
The modern world cannot justify illegal attacks against civilians that occur without any violations by innocent civilian residents of the Gaza Strip in clear violation of international law.
We call on international citizens to place every possible pressure on their government, and international actors to place every possible pressure on the Israeli government to put an end to its aggression against civilians in the Gaza Strip and to refrain from using terrible collective punishments as instruments of political control.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Resistance Vows Fierce Response
After the Israeli military apaches fired, on Tuesday afternoon, at least one missile at a Palestinian vehicle in Jabalia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, killing two fighters and injuring ten residents, Al Aqsa brigades, the military wing of Fateh, and Al Qassam brigades, the military wing of Hamas vowed “fierce retaliation”.
A Palestinian medical source in Kamal Adwan Hospital in the northern part of the Gaza strip, reported that the bodies of Hasan Al Madhoun and Fawzi Al Qudra were severely mutilated as a result of the blast; ten bystanders were injured.
The two brigades said that they will strike back in retaliation to the assassination of the two fighters, “Our retaliation will be faster than they [Israel] expect”, a joint statement reads.
Earlier on Tuesday, Israeli soldiers arrested eighteen Palestinians in the northern West Bank city of Jenin; army claims that they are members of the Islamic Jihad and that planned a suicide bombing in Israel.
Eleven other residents were arrested overnight on Jenin and Qabatia, north of the West Bank.
Also, soldiers arrested eight residents in Surif town, near Hebron. The eight residents are said to be members of Hamas.
Three other residents were arrested in Ramallah and Nablus.
Free Speech On Campus: The Strange Case of SOAS
Axiomatically, leading academic institutions involve intense and varied debate over a variety of topics, and some of that debate ranges over territory that mainstream conversation often misses. SOAS, a prestigious higher learning institution in the centre of London, would appear to have a defender of free and open discussion in head Colin Bundy. In the last month, the Director & Principal has openly defended the right of an apologist for the Uzbekistan regime, Shirin Akiner, to speak at SOAS, rejecting calls for reconsideration by former British ambassador the dictatorship, Craig Murray. He previously overturned a ban imposed by the Student Union on the attendance of Israeli embassy counsellor Roey Gilad: the students have an anti-racist policy, and consider Zionism to be in practise a form of racism. Bundy has expounded an heroic Voltairean dedication to free speech in defence of these actions.
Yet, one glaring exception renders the rule absurd: the treatment of a student named Nasser Amin. Amin had written an article for a student magazine arguing that Palestinians had the right to use force against Israel's occupation. Instantly, this issue was used alongside a clutch of others by some right-wingers and pro-Zionist students who insisted that SOAS was guilty of anti-Semitism. The broadsheets in the UK were joined in coverage of this claim by American far right website FrontPage magazine and Campus Watch, the former run by David Horowitz and the latter by Daniel Pipes, an anti-Muslim bigot. Gavin Gross, the SOAS student who had been most involved in pressing these claims, was given a glowing interview by FrontPage in which he dragged Amin's name through the mud. David Winnick MP raised the possibility in parliament that Amin should be charged with incitement to racial hatred. Finally, Bundy succumbed to the pressure and issued Amin with a formal reprimand, without even informing him of it or why he was being reprimanded. Read more
Israel Extends Hunting Season For Palestinian Prey
Today, AP that another Palestinian resistance fighter was killed in Jabaliya, Hassan Madhoun, along with another unnamed Palestinian.
Saed Bannoura of IMEMC identifies the second victim as Fawzi Al Qudra.
Palestine Information Center reports "Two Islamic Jihad field commanders, Jihad Zakarneh, and Arsheed Kmail, were killed when Israeli occupation forces raided the town of Qabatya and encircled a building where both activists were reportedly sheltering and riddled them with heavy machinegun bullets.
The number of Islamic Jihad activists liquidated by Israel rose to 25 since the truce began last February, which was never respected by Israel." These two resistance fighters were killed on Sunday.
Comments from Mushir Al-Masri, Hamas' media spokesman in the Gaza Strip here.