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Sunday, April 30, 2006


Where the Dialogue Ends...

Below is a dialogue that won't occur when the occupier sets the parameters for discourse, which usually precludes any mention of Right of Return for Palestinian refugees.

Why can this person from Britain, and this person from Hungary,
and this person from Brazil,and this Southern Girl,and this man from Los Angeles,this woman from New Jersey,this person from Detroit, this woman from New Jersey,this man from the Netherlands, this young woman from Montreal, "live the dream," as Nefesh B'Nefesh puts it. Nefesh B' Nefesh is an organization which cooperates with the Jewish Agency and whose aim is "to educate and inspire the Jews of the Diaspora as to the centrality of the Jewish State to the Jewish people and its desirability as a Jewish home," in order to to "strengthen the State of Israel and thereby increase the likelihood of an ever expanding North American Aliyah reality."

But why after fifty-eight years hasn't UN Resolution 194 and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 13 "which reaffirms the right of every individual to leave and return to his country," been implemented for this artist, born in Jerusalem, with family originally from Jaffa, or this artist from Lydda, or this man from Abu Fakhrie, or this priest from Lydda, or this professor from Ein Karem, or this woman from Jerusalem, or this woman from Sidna Alli, or these refugees in Jenin, originally from Haifa, or the people of Dheisheh Refugee Camp, who originally came from 45 villages west of Jerusalem and Hebron,or this man,from Beersheba , or this famous writer from Acre, or George Bisharat from Talbiyyah Quarter, Jerusalem.

Or 5.5 million others.

Dr. Salman Abu Sitta presciently notes that Israelis assume "that Palestinians do not belong to the land of Palestine, hence they have no 'right of return' to it.

"So the message to the five million refugees who were expelled from 530 localities and whose land constitutes 92 per cent of the present state of Israel is, 'sorry for everything that happened in 1948 -- that's all.' The weight of human rights, UN resolutions and, above all, the dogged determination of the Palestinians, squeezes out nothing more than a hollow half-hearted apology."

Dr. Abu Sitta suggests that Israelis "should look outside their own cloistered world and recognise -- indeed address -- the injustice they inflicted upon the Palestinians."


Found Poem: Bright Week

A 'Found' Poem is a poem for which the author finds words, phrases, and sentences written by others centered around a certain theme and fashions them into a poem. Bright Week in the Orthodox tradition is the week following Easter Sunday. This poem was found on Easter Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday of Bright Week.

a cowboy from Texas,
a rocket scientist from the Ukraine
or a new Jewish immigrant from Ethiopia can all enter Jerusalem unfettered


...some just kilometers from Jerusalem
will most likely never reach
the Dome of the Rock
to perform Friday prayers
or the Church of the Holy Sepulcher
for the Easter Mass.

"Imagine if a 21-year-old Jewish student
had her eye smashed
how her story would be carried
by all American media and European media
to underscore Arab brutality."

“You see we are simple people.
We don’t know what to do.
We only raise our hands heavenward
so that God will get us justice
from these savages (the Israelis).”

"I still can’t believe
that my two older brothers
Aboudie (9) and Hadi(7) are gone
my brothers lives weren’t taken away
by accident or by
forces of nature
it was the Israeli Army
that killed
and till this day the army
has not apologized to my parents
My mom says if she had one wish
that it would be to have
all of her children together
My dad--til this day
He is in shock"

The 53 year old man,
Suleiman Mohammad Draega, died due
to medical neglect in
Israeli Hasharon Prison

the murderer cannot rest
until the body of his victim
has been disposed of,
that body testifying by its continuing existence
to his crime.
As long as the victim -- whether killed,
wounded or in chains --
is still visible, the crime risks being found out,
crying for justice
such that the murderer
cannot sleep.

Israelis, it seems,
are still the victims
of the myths they have created
and which they expect the Palestinians
to believe.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Bullet in the right eye

  Posted by Picasa

The original of a "somewhat milder" version in Al-Jazeera.

By Khalid Amayreh in the West Bank

24 April, 2006

When Ruba Mahmoud Awayes left her home in the small village of Nus Jbeil, outside Nablus, for college recently, she never thought she would return home a few days later with only one eye.

Yet, this is exactly what happened to the 21-year-old college student, who painstaking recounted her nightmare to PT.

“My friend and I were leaving campus on Sunday, 9 April, and walking toward the taxi cabs that would take us to the village. Suddenly, I felt a strong object smacking my right eye. I felt my entire head exploding. I didn’t know what was happening to me, I collapsed and found myself in the Rafidia hospital,” says the 3red year IT student.

“There were no soldiers, no military vehicles, nothing, no helicopters hovering above. It was as if the bullet came from nowhere. If I had known there was shooting , I would have docked it or moved to a safer place or returned to campus.”

Ruba said she didn’t know if the soldier who shot her did it deliberately.

“This is irrelevant. They knew damn well their bullets would hit somebody, and that was ok for them as long as the victim was a Palestinian. It doesn’t matter if he or she is innocent or not. The important thing for them is to kill or maim or cripple a Palestinian.”

At the Rafidia hospital, doctors soon found out that the 21-year-old student had just lost her eye as a result of a rubber-coated bullet. They called her father in the village, telling him that his daughter was seriously wounded in the eye and that she ought to be transferred immediately to the Saint Johne's eye hospital in East Jerusalem for an operation called “evisceration.”

Devastated by the bad news, the distraught father, Mahmoud Awayes, didn’t know what to do as he possessed no permit from the Israeli army to enter Jerusalem. Still worse, an Israeli army roadblock was erected at the entrance to the village where soldiers were preventing any body from leaving. Eventually, the family contacted a relative who is living in Nablus and got him to accompany Ruba to Jerusalem.

Arriving at the Saint Jones eye hospital, doctors decided to operate on her immediately.

“We found that her entire eye was smashed by the impact of the bullet, everything was smashed, the cornea, the retina, the internal blood vessels, the entire eyeball was smashed,” said Humam Shomali, the treating ophthalmologist.

“We had no choice but to eviscerate her entire eye, which we did. We also placed a polystyrene ball in place of the eyeball.”


Ruba’s father, Mahmoud Awayes, complained that, with the Israelis being judge and enemy at the same time, there was virtually no hope for justice, even a semblance of justice, for his daughter.

“These soldiers were behaving like the Gestapo. They were shooting randomly in all directions. In the past, the occupation army would impose a curfew before starting shooting at everything moving. Now, they just shoot and kill and maim, just like this.”

Awayes said he didn’t receive even an apology or acknowledgement of responsibility from the Israeli army for “shooting my daughter and smashing her eye.”

“You see we are simple people. We don’t know what to do. We only raise our hands heavenward so that God will get us justice from these savages (the Israelis).”

Awayes is particularly frustrated because the incident was ignored by the bulk of western and even the Arab media.

“Imagine if a 21-year-old Jewish student had her eye smashed how her story would be carried by all American media and European media to underscore Arab brutality. You see the hypocrisy and double-standards. Do they think that we are lesser human beings, insignificant, expendable? Is this the civilization they are bragging about?"

This week, at the initiative of some friends and family members, Awayes contacted a number of human rights groups operating in the West Bank, including the Israeli human right organization, B’tselem and Physicians without Borders.

He said he would try to seek justice, “not so much because I want to get compensation from the Israelis, but in order to show them that we are not children of a lesser God.”

However, when talking to aljazeera.net, Awayes appeared despondent and utterly despairing of the prospects of getting real redress from the Israeli justice system.

“It is very hard to receive justice from a state that murders children and lies about the murder. What can you do when the judge is your enemy?”

It is really difficult to prove the man wrong. PT contacted the Israeli army to inquire about the incident only to be told that the army was not aware of “the incident.”

The indifferent tone of the army spokesman probably underscores the ease with which Israeli soldiers shoot Palestinians, a fact that has been consistently reported by human rights organizations and even by the Israeli media.

On Monday, 17 April, just 8 days after Ruba lost here eye, Israeli soldiers, who had earlier taken over a Palestinian home in downtown Nablus, opened fire rather indiscriminately on school children, killing one boy, Mamdoh Obeid, and wounding 16 others, including one who was hit with a bullet in his neck.

An Chilean member of an international peace volunteering group, named Maria, testified that the kids were just watching the soldiers.


Meanwhile, Ruba says she will try to be strong and face the “new reality” with serenity and courage.

“I am, of course, angry, to say the least, but I want allow this to ruin and cripple my life. I will return to college in a few weeks. Life must go on and I will not sit down at home lamenting my bad luck. I will not look for mercy from anybody. I will keep going as if noting had happened to me.”

Asked what she would tell the soldier who had shot her if she were to meet him, Ruba said “I wouldn’t want to meet or see him. He must be too inhuman to talk to.”

Artificial eye

Shomali said Ruba would undergo another operation within a few months to install an artificial eye for her.

Asked how many people he though lost their eyes this way, Shomali said many.

“Now it is not very many. But in the heydays of the intifada, we used to received at least two or three people per week."


Israel's Silent Holocaust Against the Palestinians

AP Photo/Magnus Johansson-MaanImages

by Khalid Amayreh

Occupied Jerusalem: 25 April

While Israel commemorated the “holocaust” on 25 April, the Israeli state, through its army, paramilitary police forces and armed settlers were carrying out a silent genocide against the helpless Palestinian people, aimed primarily at killing, maiming and tormenting as many Palestinians as the “current international atmosphere” would allow.

This genocidal onslaught, while slow in motion and lacks the melodrama of a news-breaking huge slaughter, is non the less pushing millions of innocent men, women and children to the brink of disaster.

Indeed, the Israeli occupation army, a Jewish Wehrmacht by every conceivable standard, continues to kill and maim an average of ten Palestinians per day. Thus, since the beginning of April, the Judeo-Nazi army murdered as many as 35 Palestinians and badly wounded over sixty others.

In addition to the dead, there are numerous other Palestinians who lose their eyes, or vital organs of their bodies and become physically disabled for the rest of their lives, thanks to Israel’s random and indifferent bullets.

In fact, the all-out Israeli onslaught against the Palestinian society endangers the personal safety of every Palestinians from the nursery children to college students to teachers and hospital workers and the ordinary people in the streets. It is an open asymmetrical war on a civilian population for no reason other than them being non-Jews.

In other words, the Palestinians are being targeted and killed and savaged and brutalized, not for what they do, but for who they are.

The killing and maiming, non the less, are but a small part of what Israel is doing to the Palestinians amid a deafening silence by western countries, including Europe and the US, and nearly total impotence from Arab countries.

Some people, especially in the West, might instinctively dismiss the Nazi epithets describing Israel’s criminal practices against the Palestinians.

However, an honest appreciation of what is happening in the West Bank and Gaza these days leave no doubt as to the genocidal nature of Israel’s systematic reign of terror against the Palestinians.

To begin with, the Israeli army is besieging nearly all Palestinian population centers, including villages and refugee camps, preventing Palestinians from accessing work and food, not only in Israel proper, but also in neighboring Palestinian areas.

For example, Palestinians living in the northern West Bank, like Jenin for example, are barred from traveling southward to Ramallah.

This means that Palestinian farmers in the northern region of the West Bank can’t market their agricultural produces in the rest of the West Bank. In other words, these poor farmers will lose the source of their livelihood and ultimately join the swelling ranks of the poor..

Similarly, Palestinians living in the northern Jordan Valley are not allowed to travel outside their immediate places of residence and those succeeding in leaving won’t be allowed to return homes.

This dire situation made a Palestinian health official warn of an imminent health disaster in the area because Israel bars Palestinian health agencies and personnel from accessing the region.

Last month, the Israeli occupation army turn the so-called Qalandia Checkpoint into an “international border-crossing.” The same has been done with the Z’atra checkpoint outside Nablus, and more of the same is in the offing.

These are not security measures as Israel would want to believe. This is a well-thought plan intended to turn Palestinian population centers into miserable and hapless detention camps that bear a striking similarity to Nazi detention camps with the only difference being the absence of ovens and gas chambers.

However, people are made to suffer and are killed without ovens and gas chambers.

Palestinian homes and neighborhoods are raided in the quiet hours before dawn on a daily basis by Gestapo-like Israeli soldiers, many of them come from Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

And during a given raid, the Jewish savages terrorize children, beat husbands before their wives and children and deliberately vandalize property, including TV appliances, and provocatively mix food stuff , like sugar and salt, in order to make it unusable.

Moreover, the mass arrest of Palestinian youths is no longer security-related as Israel was claiming until recently. Now, young men, between the age of 15 and 45, are detained for many months and years for the sole purpose of impoverishing their families and weakening societal productivity and economic viability.

Needless to say, the arrest and indefinite incarceration of Palestinian breadwinners, without charge or trial, will have harsh consequences on their families who would be forced to seek food from the already bankrupt charities, exhausted by sweeping American and European sanctions.

This sinister coercion and savaging of an entire society can only push people to the edge and convince them that the way of suicide bombing is the right path. How else people facing such circumstances would think?

This is not all. The Israeli state has decided of late to withhold all Palestinian tax money (I am talking about hundreds of millions of dollars), which makes it impossible for the Palestinian government to pay salaries for over 150,000 Palestinian public employees and civil servants. Needless to say, up to one third of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza depend for their income and livelihood on these meager salaries which average no more than $500 per month.

This sweeping, collective punishment of the Palestinian people for exercising their democratic right and electing the Hamas movement should be viewed as no less than a crime against humanity.

This is exactly what Third Reich and Nazism did to their victims. They starved them to death. And Israel is doing the same thing, although not as brazenly.

Europeans and Americans! Don’t raise your eyebrows too much. Israel is behaving like the Nazis. Israel is closing our towns, preventing us from traveling within our own country and moving from one city to the other, preventing us from accessing work, preventing us from importing and exporting vital commodities, and hunting us down with helicopter gunship and Abram tanks as is the case in northern Gaza. Don’t your envoys and ambassadors and other observers communicate to you what is happening here?

Well, if they don’t, it is a calamity, and if they do, and you ignore their reports, it is even a greater calamity.

Or should the Arabs and Muslims in our part of the world put their trust only Osama Ben Laden and Abu Mus’ab Zarqawi?

We are blaming you because it was you who created Israel in the first place, by superimposing it upon us, as if we were children of a lesser God.

It is therefore your responsibility to see to it that your brat doesn’t metamorphose into a fully-fledged Nazi monster.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Found Poem: Bright Week

A 'Found' Poem is a poem for which the author finds words, phrases, and sentences written by others centered around a certain theme and fashions them into a poem. Bright Week in the Orthodox tradition is the week following Easter Sunday. This poem was found on Easter Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday of Bright Week.

a cowboy from Texas,
a rocket scientist from the Ukraine
or a new Jewish immigrant from Ethiopia can all enter Jerusalem unfettered


Palestinians...some just kilometers from Jerusalem
will most likely never reach
the Dome of the Rock
to perform Friday prayers
or the Church of the Holy Sepulcher
for the Easter Mass.

"Imagine if a 21-year-old Jewish student
had her eye smashed
how her story would be carried
by all American media and European media
to underscore Arab brutality."

“You see we are simple people.
We don’t know what to do.
We only raise our hands heavenward
so that God will get us justice
from these savages (the Israelis).”

"I still can’t believe

that my two older brothers
Aboudie (9) and Hadi(7) are gone
my brothers lives weren’t taken away
by accident or by
forces of nature
it was the Israeli Army
that killed
and till this day the army
has not apologized to my parents
My mom says if she had one wish
that it would be to have
all of her children together
My dad--til this day
He is in shock"

The 53 year old man,
Suleiman Mohammad Draega, died due
to medical neglect in
Israeli Hasharon Prison

the murderer cannot rest
until the body of his victim has been disposed of,
that body testifying by its continuing existence to his crime.
As long as the victim -- whether killed, wounded or in chains --
is still visible, the crime risks being found out,
crying for justice
such that the murderer
cannot sleep.

Israelis, it seems, are still the victims
of the myths they have created
and which they expect the Palestinians to believe.

Monday, April 24, 2006


Remembrance and Arabs

The story below appeared in the Montreal Muslim News on January 31, 2005. I reprint it here for the second time...Yasmin Fahim's "Remembrance and Arabs," is a fitting story for Holocaust Remembrance Day, which will be commemorated today at Yad Vashem, which overlooks the village of Deir Yassin, site of the notorious Zionist terrorist massacre to which, among others, Elie Wiesel, Oprah's darling, and the man held up to tenth grade English students as a paragon of virtue, was privvy.

I have written and deleted, rewritten and re-deleted, many times over my own responses to mails which expressed either disappointment at the Arab communities for refusing to attend the Holocaust remembrance, or outright obfuscation at the boycott. I have not been able until today to put down my thoughts without sounding, in Western terms, "racist, prejudiced, or anti-Semitic." But today, I no longer can refrain from writing down my honest thoughts: in no way can we, Arabs, in all honesty and sense of integrity, take part in the remembrance of a shameful historical event which has given Israel, and its supporters, too many excuses to treat Palestinians, and Arabs as well, in just as horrifying ways.

We are saturated with movies and books and conferences and speeches and debates which keep portraying all Jewish communities as innocent lambs who continue to suffer prejudice while the plight of Palestinians, at the hands of Israelis who are Jewish, remains neglected. Not only this, the Western communities in general insist on accusing the Palestinian of behaving in such ways as to merit this kind of treatment. After all, how dare they hold on to their lands, their identities, their homes, their dignities? How dare they resist?

Moreover, are the Jewish people the only ones to have suffered massive massacres? How about the Russians whom Stalin massacred? How about the Arabs across the Middle East who fell victims to the invasions and occupations of Western countries? How about Sabra and Shatilah? How about the horrors and infuriating abuse of innocent Iraqis? How about the French who ended up in concentration camps along with the Jewish prisoners? How about Hiroshima and Vietnam? How about the people of Argentina? And Africa?

So it goes that Arabs are mostly juvenile, or despicable, or barbarians who hate Israel and want to throw Jews into the sea. But we never really hear the truth about Israel and the blindness of those who support its tactics and criminal acts against Palestinians, as well as its arrogance regarding its neighbouring countries.

Because of the Holocaust, we must forgive Israel and love it blindly and allow it to continue its illegal activities. Because of the Holocaust, we must forgive all the slander, the injustice, the humiliation, the transgressions, the bias, the double-standard, the insults, the accusations, the arrogance, the crimes, the abuse, the tortures, the disdain, the lies, the charade and then take part in the hypocrisy. Because of the Holocaust, we Arabs, and Muslims in particular, must pay the price for the racism perpetrated on Jews by Europe. Because of it, we must endure it all and pretend that Israel truly wants peace with us, that it has no intention of pushing its borders farther into our lands.

To those who haven't gotten the point, to those who persist in finding faults with us, I would like to say this: "Live among us. Live our history. Live our frustrations and helplessness. Experience our fears, our memories, our heritage, our refugee camps, our disasters, our vulnerabilities in the face of two great imperialistic nations: USA and Israel. Experience the horrors of those whom the occupations have victimized and discarded as non-important obstacles. Then judge.


Sunday, April 23, 2006


Embittered Easter: Christians Denied Permits to Prayer in Sepulcher Church


RAMMALLAH, Palestine, April 23,2006 (IPC+ Agencies) - -Thousands of the Christians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are no longer able to celebrate the Easter Holiday in East Jerusalem, as the Via Dolorosa, the street of sorrow in the old town on which Jesus walked on his way to crucification before 2000 years, blocked with the Isareli militry checkpoints and the faded merry of Easter by the pan-denial of Permits for the pilgrims wiling to mark the Good Friday procession in the sepulchre church on 22 April.
The Easter Days would not be a special day for the Israeli occupation forces, as many as pilgrim's prayers and candles kept unlighted and away of the most sacred site for the Christians allover the world, behind the Israeli checkpoints.

The father Militusse Basal, the chief of Tajali Al Rab monastery in Rammallah said "with advent of the Easter celebration every year we find difficulties to issue permits from the Israeli liaison office in Beit Eail. This year the taken measures get harder but the results already known, denial the application of permits by the residents to enter Jerusalem."

The Israeli military liaison office prerequisites, an unprecedented measure that application for entry permit to East Jerusalem be signed and stamped by the church the resident belongs to, afforded additional hardships on the residents and the clergy of the church because of behind schedule for the Holidays day.

"Above 700 applications of Deir Tahali monastery were requested to Israeli occupation individually but those allowed access to Jerusalem do not exceed hand fingers," Bassal said.

The clergy look at the Israeli occupation arbitrary denial to issue permits for the Christian pilgrims as a apart of the collective punishment against the Palestinian people

The Christians population makes up 5% of the Palestinian people but the number is going to shrink in the last few years to range 2-3 % of the population as many emigrated abroad for work.

The father Abraham Hejazeen, the spiritual leader of Latin community in Rammallah said "the community has applied for a roll of 600 residents willing to take part in Easter celebrations but all permits were denied."

Even though the father Hejazeen religious status enables him to obtain a permit, he preferred to stay in Rammallah to celebrate the Easter with his family "neither my folk is able to reach Jerusalem for prayers, nor do I go there alone."

Getting the entry permit to Jerusalem is not a guarantee, the experiences of the residents turn out that usually the permit holders were disallowed under the pretexts of closures due to the Jewish Holidays.

Meret Khouri, a resident from Rammallah, said "last year I obtained the permit but the Israeli military barred me access on the claim that east Jerusalem is closed because of Jewish Holidays."

The hermetical seal of east Jerusalem and Israeli bullying coincides with worse economic recession due to the salaries overdue and the consequent setback of purchase power by the majority of the Palestinians.

The vendor Sami Habash described this year Holiday" the more terrific and the worst economically" as the gifts and souvenirs he brought for the Holiday is still stockpiled.

"The sales of chocolates, wines and sculptures went down to 70% compared to the past year," the vendor said.

He further elaborated "the residents do not have money to buy the Holiday's outfitting and those afforded, just buy little quantities."

SOURCE : IPC + Agencies

Saturday, April 22, 2006


Al Maseeh Kam! Christ Is Risen! Christos Anesti!

Church of the Holy Sepulchre, April 22, Jerusalem

The headline includes greetings Orthodox Christians repeat over and over during Easter, which will be in less than two hours in Germany. Unfortunately, we won't have the candle lit midnight liturgy because the itinerant priest we share with other German towns can't get to us until Sunday morning at 11:00. And I hope that US Christians understand that Palestine's Christians are the first Christians, or the original "stones," as they are sometimes referred.

In Arabic the greeting is "Al Maseeh Kam," and the response is "Hakkan Kam!"

In English the greeting is "Christ is Risen," and the response is "Truly He is Risen."

In Greek: "Christos Anesti," and the response "Alithos Anesti."

In Russian: "Khristos voskrese!" and "Voistinu voskrese."

Each Easter the greetings, often in many languages, for churches which haved mixed ethnicities, are exchanged with a spirit of joy and elation; this special feeling, which approaches exhilaration, doesn't occur at any other time of year. For Orthodox Christians, Easter is more important than Christmas.

For the greeting in other languages:


I'd like to thank my friends and acquaintances, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and those who adhere to other beliefs for their prayers during this time. The prayers worked. On Monday of Catholic Holy Week, my third daughter, who is twelve, had a very bad accident from which she suffered internal injuries. She has recovered beautifully, and I know that it was because of everyone's prayers and I am eternally thankful for all of you who prayed on behalf of my daughter. This is an Easter which I will cherish forever.

Al Masseh Kam!
Hakkan Kam!

But very sorry to read this about IOF's Holy Saturday assault on worshippers.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Zionists And the Land

From Michael Ionides, Divide and Lose: The Arab Revolt of 1955-1958: London, Geoffrey Bles, 1960 in Khalidi, Walid, From Haven to Conquest: Readings in Zionism and the Palestine Problem Until 1948, Beirut: Institute for Palestinian Studies, 1971.

From a chapter dealing with the basic aims of political Zionism. This excerpt expounds upon Zionist propaganda techniques from Ionides, a British civil engineer; Director of Development in Trans-Jordan, 1937-39:

Zionist propaganda was brilliantly and selectively adjusted to all sections of opinion in England. The public was divided in its sentiments, in favour of the Zionists or in favour of the Arabs, in several cleraly identifiable groups...

Upon this diverse body of opinion, Zionist propaganda played with a repertoire adroitly selected and blended to make the best appeal to each segment of the audience. In every argument there was always an element at least of objective truth, from which an illusion of wholeness could be constructed. Both the imperialists and the socialists were open to the argument that the ordinary simple Arab folk ought to welcome Jewish immigration, must welcome it, were wrong to oppose it. To the socialists, it was because the Arab benefited from the knowledge, skill and dynamism which the Jews brought in to the economy. For the imperialists it was because the Arab thinks of his pocket first and likes firm, efficient rule under which he can profit. To those who believed on the one hand that the Arab population at large bitterly resented Jewish immigration, the Zionist argument was that this proved that it would be wrong to leave a minority of Jews in Palestine at the mercy of a hostile Arab majority; or alternatively, the exact opposite, that the Arabs did not really object but rather welcomed the Jews; the conclusion being the same either way, that there should be more immigration. To those who argued on the other hand that opposition from the Arabs was only the work of a few evil-intentioned agitators, in the pay of our adversaries, the Zionist line was that this proved the exact identity of interests between the British people and the Zionists to opposed this fanatical, unrepresentative minority. If Arabs sold their land to Jews, that proved that the Arabs were corrupt, that they only thought of monetary gain, and that Arab opposition must therefore be inspired by unworthy, morally contemptible motives and that it ought to be brushed aside. If on the contrary Arabs refused to sell their land to the Jews, that showed that they were not co-operating with British policy and that it was the duty of the British Government to oblige them to do so. If the Arab population was tranquil, that proved that all was well and that they had no serious objections to Zionist immigration. If they agitated, demonstrated or revolted, then they were endangering the security of the realm, seeking to frustrate the legal purpose and obligation of the Mandate, and threatening imperial communication. When agitation or revolts subsided, that proved that feeling could not be very deep, for otherwise the agitation would surely have continued. While agitation or revolt was in progress it would be wrong to yield, for that would be appeasement; when agitation had ceased or subsided it could be said that the disorders had been put down with that firmness which all Arabs respect, and that it would now be wrong and unnecessary to make any concessions lest that should encourage further demands. If the Arabs were violent, that showed their savage nature and they deserved all they got; if they just talked but did nothing, that showed they had no guts and deserved all they got.


Roger Waters Refuses to be Another Brick in Israel's Wall

For immediate release

18 April 2006

Ramallah -- Reiterating his opposition to the Israeli occupation and expressing his support for the Palestinian people in “their struggle to be free,” the internationally renowned rock star Roger Waters has announced that he is relocating his Israel performance in recognition of the problematic nature of the previously planned Tel Aviv venue, particularly at a time when Israel is escalating its repression and apartheid designs to further dispossess, ghettoize and ultimately ethnically cleanse Palestinians from their homeland.

The former member of Pink Floyd and the writer of its timeless song “Another Brick in the Wall” called off his Tel Aviv gig, heeding an appeal by many Palestinian artists and cultural organizations and their supporters around the world who feared such a performance, particularly by a respected and progressive artist like Waters, would have given legitimacy to Israel’s colonial Wall, condemned as illegal by the International Court of Justice at The Hague in July 2004.

Supporting the Palestinian letter to Waters, a group of Israeli refuseniks(conscientious objectors to service in the occupation army) also appealed to Waters to either cancel the Tel Aviv show or dedicate it explicitly to the struggle against Israel’s military occupation.

Waters has been unswerving in his condemnation of Israel’s Wall, which he blames for inflicting poverty and devastation upon the Palestinians in the Occupied Territory. In his press statement announcing this telling change of venue, Waters writes: “The suffering endured by the Palestinian people during the Israeli occupation of the last 40 years is unimaginable to us living in the west and I support them in their struggle to be free. I have moved the concert to Neve Shalom/Wahat al Salam as a gesture of solidarity with those voices of reason, both Palestinian and Israeli, that seek a non-violent route to a just peace.”

By calling off the Tel Aviv gig, Roger Waters has reconfirmed his commitment to freedom, equality and peace based on justice. Indeed, Waters’s moral compass has proven to be not only live but pointing in the right direction as well.

Reacting to the news, Palestinian civil society has warmly saluted Roger Waters for his courage and for his valuable contribution to bringing down all walls of oppression and subjugation, Israel’s Wall of shame included.

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)

www.PACBI.org * Email: info@boycottisrael.ps

Monday, April 17, 2006


A Not So Incidental Post

The following message from Alison Weir indicates the abject circumstances to which suicide bombers are subject:

Please phone or email the following information to your local news organizations: newspapers, radio stations, etc:

Bulletin on Suicide Bombing

Contact: If Americans Knew: 310.441.8580 / cell 415.847.1782

In the last two and a half weeks (since the previous suicide bombing) Israeli forces have killed at least 26 Palestinians -- at least 5 of them children -- and injured 161 Palestinian men, women and children. A college student lost her right eye today after being shot by an Israeli sniper last week.

There have been 369 raids by Israeli forces, mostly into the West Bank. Gaza has undergone sustained shelling by Israeli forces and continued closures, resulting in increasing lack of food and medical supplies. According to UN reports, between March 30 and April 12th, Israeli forces launched 2300 artillery and tank shells and 34 missiles into Gaza.

Since the current Palestinian uprising against Israeli military occupation and confiscation of Palestinian land began in fall 2000, approximately 3,863 Palestinians and 1,084 Israelis and have been killed. Among these have been approximately 720 Palestinian children and 124 Israeli children.

Today, in separate actions, several Palestinian youths were shot, one in the neck. Israeli forces are continuing their ongoing invasions of Nablus and other West Bank cities.

Today is Palestinian Prisoners Day. 9,400 Palestinian men, women, and children are in prison. According to numerous human rights reports, Palestinian prisoners are frequently tortured. Defense for Children International reports that 4,000 Palestinian children have been arrested in the past five years, 400 of them currently in prison. They report that the arrests are increasing.

Additional Information from Defense for Children International:

According to DCI: "The process of arrest and detention of Palestinian children is a process of systematic abuse and mistreatment which flouts international legal standards and denies the basic human rights of detainees first as children and secondly as prisoners...[children are] handcuffed and blindfolded, humiliated and threatened and often beaten and kicked from the moment they are arrested up to and often throughout their interrogation and detention. They are deprived of sleep, food and access to the bathroom until so-called confessions are coerced out of them..."

At 5.30pm on Monday 10 April 2006, at least six artillery shells fired by the Israeli military fell on the family house of Mohammed Rabe'eya Ghaban in Beit Lahiya, in the north of the Gaza Strip. Shrapnel from the shells pierced the skull of Mohammed's eight-year old daughter Hadeel, killing her instantly. The shelling also resulted in the injury of eight other family members, including Hadeel's brothers and sisters:

Rawan Ghaban 1 and a half years old
Rana Ghaban 3 years old
Munir Ghaban 4 years old
Amneh Ghaban 9 years old
Ghassan Ghaban 11 years old
Bassam Ghaban 15 years old
Tahrir Ghaban 17 years old

The children's mother, 35-year old Sofia, was the eighth family member wounded in the attack.

Several neighbours were also injured including:

Jaqueline Mo'ein Maarouf 11 years old
Mariam Maher Al-'Assi 15 years old

For more information:






Friday, April 14, 2006


Searching Jenin: Eyewitness Accounts of the Israeli Invasion 2002

Here are some excerpts from Searching Jenin:Eyewitness Accounts of the Israeli Invasion 2002, edited by Ramzey Baroud. You may order it here. It includes excellent portraits of the eyewitnesses by Mustapha Abu Turk.

Um Jamal writing about her son, Jamal:

"If you feed him, he will eat. If you don't, he doesn't. He is helpless like a little child. He is thirty-eight years old now. Since the first day, I have taken care of him, from feeding him to putting him to sleep...

"At that time, a bulldozer was demolishing the neighbors' homes. We arrived to the house and we found that the cupboard had fallen. Part of the wall had fallen on my son. He was alive but he was screaming in pain. My son has never spoken a word in his life. My daughter looked at him and said, 'Brother, we will try to move the debris.' For the first time in his life he spoke, and he cried out, 'Oh Allah, Oh Allah!'

"The bulldozer started pushing the house down while we were inside. 'Stop! Stop!' we screamed. But the driver wouldn't listen. We finally had to run out, leaving Jamal under the rubble. I was screaming, 'My son, my son is inside!' The Israeli soldiers shouted back at me and the women--they called us whores.

"Jamal will never disappear from my mind. For three days he remained alive under the rubble. He was buried with the house."

Ihab Ayadi who works for the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in the reief and rescue department as a paramedic and in ambulance dispatch:

"For two days, the soldiers held us in the hospital. People would call us, reporting wounded all across the camp, but we could not move. If we dared to leave, soldiers would immediately open fire, and we had to go back to the hospital for cover. Then they started shelling the hospital. They bombed the oxygen room. They bombed the day care. We begane running out of food and medicine. This was very difficult on us and on the people of Jenin. On one occasion, we were told that a house caught on fire after it was attacked by an Apache helicopter. A whole family burned inside, and we couldn't get to them.

"I love my job. It is so rewarding when you feel that you can save lives. But answereing telephone calls from people screaming that their loved ones are bleeding to death, while you cannot go to help, left me in a state of shock. I was one of many who wept those days because of the helplessness I felt."

Hala Irmilat:

"On Friday our house came under fire. Shattering glass and explosions were everywhere. My husband was very distressed, he wanted to know what happened to the house. . . he came crawling into the living room and found it full of glass shards. He came back to put some shoes on and returned to the living room. Barely one minute later, I heard one bullet. . . I gazed at him and then looked to my frightened children...

"I would like to add that my husband's body stayed in the house for seven days. He was martyred on Friday, April 5, and his body was not allowed out of the house until late the following Thursday. I begged the Israel soldiers to allow him to be buried but they refused. The children and I were trapped with him in the same room for the entire time. The children were too young to understand what happened to their father. I had to tell them that their father was still alive. Whe the kids would quarrel, they would try to wake him up to complain. Just five minutes before Attieh wa killed he was playing with Rami, telling him 'Don't make noise. The army will hear you.'

"'If I'm quiet,' Rami said, 'will you bring me a bottle?' After his father was martyred, Rami kept trying to wake him up to geth him his bottle. 'Wake up, Daddy. Why did you lie to me? I need my bottle,' he kept telling his father. Of course Rami is only four, and he was under the impression tht his father was just sleeping."

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


About Suffering

If you haven't yet seen Laila's powerful witness to the tragedy of the Ghabin family:

About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters; how well, they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.
In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.
WH Auden

Monday, April 10, 2006


Hadil Ghabin, Memory Eternal

A house was shelled in Beit Lahiya, killing eight year old Hadil Ghabin, and wounding seventeen members of her family. See Laila El-Haddad's poignant post:

The Earth Is Closing In On Us


Write to Presbyterian Church

Please go to this link to send letters to Reverend Doctor Kirkpatrick. According to the story referenced below the Church is receiving many overtures to reconsider its divestment plans.

Dear Reverend Doctor Kirkpatrick:

I would like to encourage the Church at its General Assembly in June to continue its important work regarding engagement with the five companies "due to their strategic involvement in Israel and Palestine, in hopes of enlisting the companies in the promotion of peace and justice in the region," to include recommendation for divestment if the companies fail to respond to dialogue. I have noted that one of the companies, Citigroup, "was selected for engagement due to the transfer of funds to Arab Bank from U.S. charities later seen to be fronts funneling money to terrorist organizations."

Although the The Presbytery of Eastern Virginia "overtures the 217th General Assembly (2006) to propose that the resolution from the 216th General Assembly (2004) regarding phased, selective divestment of stocks be suspended" citing that it directs "negative actions at only one of the involved parties," and prays that Presbyterians will seek "balanced, postive overtures for peace," I would offer that anything but balance exists when it comes to Israel and the occupied Palestinians. According to the Palestine Information Center 801 Palestinian children have been killed in the period between September 29, 2000 and February 28, 2006. In the same time period, 140 people died due to hurdles and checkpoints, there are 9200 prisoners, and houses totally or partially destroyed has reached 71,470.

Please read the full report for the concrete details of the occupation's devastating effect on Palestinian lives and property.


I am grateful to the Presbyterian Church for serving as Christian witnesses and am hopeful that the Church will not be deterred in its efforts for seeking peace with justice in Israel/Palestine.

Sincerely yours,
Nancy Harb Almendras
Wiesbaden, Germany





Sunday, April 09, 2006


April 9, 1948-April 9, 2006: 'The Still, Sad Music of Humanity'

Deir Yassin Cemetery

Spring in Palestine

Mourning:Palm Sunday Funeral

From William Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey":For I have learned
To look on nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
The still, Sad Music Of humanity,
Nor harsh nor grating, though Of ample power
To chasten and subdue. And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light Of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind Of man;
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects Of all thought,
And rolls through all things.

From Gideon Levy:But even if they have bags Of flour and rice, the living conditions Of the Palestinians are chilling. They live in prison. Their daily routine includes humiliation that is no less terrible than malnutrition. Anyone who has to beg for permission to leave his village, to spend hours crowded in line at a checkpoint just to reach his destination, anyone whose bedroom is brutally invaded in the middle Of the night by the occupation army, whose time and life is considered valueless, and whose basic human dignity has been trampled into dust, cannot find any consolation in the fact that flour and rice is available.

From Anne Seldon Annab:

Dear Editor,

April 9th, as hopeful spring growth opens blossoms every where and winter's chill dissipates into beautiful days, you report "Israel Steps Up Military Action in Gaza Strip", accidentally marking the anniversary Of the Deir Yassin Massacre that helped shaped the Israel we know today. A nation shaped by political Zionism aggressively terrorizing and killing the native non-Jewish population Of the Holy Land.

In 1948 "Members Of the underground Jewish terrorist group, the Irgun, led by Menachem Begin, who was to become the Israeli prime minister in 1977, entered the peaceful Arab village of Deir Yassin, massacred 250 men, women, children and the elderly, and stuffed many of the bodies down wells. There were also reports of rapes and mutilations. The Irgun was joined by the Jewish terrorist group, the Stern Gang, led by Yitzhak Shamir, who subsequently succeeded Begin as prime minister of Israel in the early '80s, and also by the Haganah, the militia under the control of David Ben Gurion. The Irgun, the Stern Gang and the Haganah later joined to form the Israeli Defense Forces. Their tactics have not changed." (by William Martin) http://www.palestinecalendar.org/april.htm

Palestinians, the indigenous population of that place so many call the Holy Land, have been planting, tending and nurturing gardens and orchards for hundreds and hundreds of years. But the beauty they build keeps getting pulverized by Zionist terror. When do we say ENOUGH ! Israel stop uprooting and destroying all that is right and good !

Let this be the last spring where innocents are traumatized and killed by political Zionism. Let this be the last spring where racist Israel makes the desert bloom with bullets and bombs and the blood of the real children of the land : Let Palestine & peace return.

Suad Amiry:As you know, the olive tree is the life-line of Palestinian agriculture. Around the cultivation of the olive orchards an entire way of life evolved through centuries. The wholesale destruction of our olive and fruit orchards is destroying the very face of Palestine and is aimed at destroying our capacity to resist as Palestinians as sons and daughters of this land.

Tom Hurndall: 9 April 2003
Written two days before he was shot

My second night and things seem 'easier'. Indoors now, but no further from danger. To begin with, there is an Israeli tank less than 20 metres from my bed, that was parked there two weeks ago and has only left to be replaced each morning. The room next to mine has several large caliber [sic] bullet-holes in each wall, many of them having travelled through the brick.

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights Press Release Ref: 34/2006 Date: 09 April 2006 Time: 12:00 GMT

9 Palestinians Killed by IOF in the Gaza Strip in Less Than 24 Hours

PCHR is gravely concerned over the latest escalation in attacks on the Gaza Strip by IOF. Over a 36-hour period this weekend, the Gaza Strip witnessed the highest rate of fatalities than any other time since the implementation of the Israeli Disengagement Plan in September 2005.

Percy Bysshe Shelly: If winter comes, can spring be far behind?


Relatives Mourn Gaza Deaths

Ameera, daughter, and father of Iyad Abu el-Einein, a resistance fighter extrajudicially assasinated by Israel's Occupation Forces. El-Einein's five year old son was also murdered. In all fourteen Palestinians have been murdered in twenty-four hours by the nation that touts itself the "only democracy in the Middle East."

Saturday, April 08, 2006


Write Congress Now Re Ethnic Cleansing in Al-Walaja

Please go to http://www.congress.org and send the message below or your own message to your representatives regarding Israel's house demolitions in Al-Walaja.

And, for heart-rending background information about Israel's ethnic cleansing in Al-Walaja go here:


and here:


Dear (your representative's name here),

I am deeply concerned after reading a letter from the Popular Committee Against House Demolitions in Ein-Jweisa, Al-Walaja, in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The letter highlighted that the Israeli government is violating international law in the village of Al-Walaja.

In addition to the numerous house demolitions which have taken place over the past two decades in the Occupied Palestinian Territories at the hands of the Israeli government, five homes have already been destroyed in Al-Walaja this year, making 35 people homeless (to 07/04/2006).
24 more homes are slated for destruction after 12th June, making a further 190 people homeless. The residents of Al-Walaja, after their expulsion from their village in the 1948 war, will now become refugees for the second time.

According to Article 53 of the fourth Geneva Convention, regarding laws during military occupation, the destruction of civilian homes if forbidden under military occupation.
The demolitions are being justified under the pretext that Israel annexed the Ein-Jweisa neighborhood of Al-Walaja into Israel in 1967, and thus claims the homes are illegal structures within Israel. The acquisition of territory by force, however, such as the Ein-Jweisa neighborhood of Al-Walaja, is illegal, as per the Geneva Convention of 1949. More specifically, United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, passed on November 22nd 1967, calls for the "withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict"

The call of the villagers is for the international community to pressure the Israeli government to comply with international law, and respect the rights of the residents of Al-Walaja.

As my elected representative, I urge you to utilize your power and call for the halt of the home demolitions. This issue demands immediate action, as the 24 homes can be demolished anytime after June 12th.

I anticipate your response on this urgent matter.

Yours sincerely,

(Your Name)

Friday, April 07, 2006


If You're Palestinian... And You Want to Stay Alive(Part I)

Don’t serve at the altar like Johnny Thaljieh

According to the Pope on the day of the funeral, in the 2,000 or so years since Christ was supposedly born in a grotto under the site of the Church of the Nativity, no one has ever died violently on the sacred ground of Manger Square.

Don’t write poetry like Kamal Nasser

Don’t write short stories like Ghassan Kanafani

Don’t catch birds

Don’t Go For A Walk like Nahla Aqel
Don’t Stay in Your House like Said Hajien,
Don’t Embroider like Shaden Hijleh
Don’t Play Outside Your House like Mausa Abu Zanon,
Don’t Drive A Car
And Don’t Be A Passenger Like Christine Saada

Don’t walk home from school like Moayad Jawareesh

Don’t ride a bike like the four quarrymen

Don’t herd your sheep like Othman Abdullah Issa, aged 30, and his son Fathi Othman Abdullah Issa, aged twelve.

Don’t ring church bells like Samir Ibrahim Salman

Don’t play drums at Ramadan like Jihad Natour

Don’t walk to the mosque with your brothers like Mohammed Isma’il ‘Olayan al-Hamaida, 11

Don’t sit in your desk at school

Don’t go fishing like Zeyad al-Bardaweel

Don’t teach computer science like Professor Khaled Salah

Don’t practice medicine like Dr. Khalil Sulieman

Don’t be a nurse in a geriatric hospital like Abed al-Karim Anwar Lubbad, 22, and Omar Saad al-din Hussan, 21.

Don’t bake bread
Don’t leave your house to help a sick neighbor

to be continued...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Statement by the Palestinian Network for Children's Rights on Palestinian Child Day

April 4, Beit Lahiya after Israeli bombing

For the past few years, this day – Palestinian Child Day – has become synonymous with grief and pain. On the 5 April each year, Palestinian children have searched for their childhood and sought to renew their broken dreams. The event revives memories of their suffering and the suffering of their friends at the hands of the Israeli occupation. Since April 2002, when Israeli troops launched the largest military campaign against Palestinian civilians across the West Bank, the level of suffering increased. The campaign resulted in the killing, arrest, injury and bereavement of scores of children; and in the months and years that have followed, these violations have been repeated time and again across the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).

This year, the circumstances surrounding Palestinian Child Day are no different – our children continue to feel the pain of occupation. Israeli forces continue to deprive children of their right to life – since the start of this year alone, 12 children have been killed, bringing to 740 the total number of children fatalities since the start of the intifada. In the same period, around 4,000 minors have been arrested, of whom some 400 are still in prison.

This Palestinian Child Day, we highlight the particular concern of ongoing Israeli practices and pressure against our children in the Gaza Strip. Despite the physical withdrawal of the Israeli military from Gaza last August – much hailed by the international media and politicians – the area remains a giant open-air prison with Israeli forces controlling all exit and entry points. The Israeli authorities have kept sealed for most of this year the only cargo crossing point into Gaza, and at the risk of triggering a humanitarian catastrophe, have prevented food and medical supplies from entering the strip. It is unacceptable that the Israeli authorities use the lives and rights of Palestinian children as a political bargaining tool and we call on the UN and international community to exert pressure on the Israeli government to stop these illegal and unethical practices.

In the West Bank, Israeli actions consistently and systematically violate the special rights protections provided for children under both international human rights and humanitarian law. Specifically, the repeated military incursions into areas in the West Bank and the continued construction of the separation wall undermine the rights of children to education, adequate standard of living, healthcare and the right to life.

As such, the Palestinian Network for Children's Rights urges the international community and the States Parties to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) to abide by their obligations to protect children's rights without discrimination. We also ask the international community to pressure the Israeli government to abide by its obligations under international law through ceasing at once all violations against Palestinian children and implementing immediately the concluding observations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child regarding the applicability of the CRC on the OPT.

On the internal level, as members of the Palestinian community, we too must act to protect, respect and implement Palestinian children's rights. One year ago, the Palestinian Child Law entered into force. We must now join together to push for the law to be implemented, and for bylaws to be issued specifying the scope and responsibility of each ministry in fulfilling its part in relation to this law.

Moreover, we call on the Palestinian Legislative Council to accelerate the enactment of the Juvenile Justice Law. This must be a priority, for without this children in conflict with the law will continue to suffer due to an of absence legislation guaranteeing their protection and their best interests.

Childhood should not be regarded as a preparatory stage for adulthood. It is an independent developmental stage which all children should experience. Today, we, as members of the Palestinian community, should work to transform this Palestinian Child Day into an occasion of fun and hope through encouraging respect for our children and their rights.

The Palestinian Network for Children's Rights is a coalition of 55 organisations working with children. It is led by Defence for Children International/Palestine Section.

Please call, email and write Israel's Ambassador to the United States and demand that Israel adhere to the UN Conventions on the Right of the Child.

Daniel Ayalon, Israel's Ambassador to the United States
3514 International Dr. N.W.
Washington DC 20008
Tel: 202-364-5500

Defense for Children International/Palestine Section

Emergency Aid to Gaza
The Middle East Children's Alliance is still collecting donations to buy and distribute food packets to families in Gaza. So far we have raised $33,000 from 270 individuals and organizations. Please help us raise funds to continue sending this much needed aid to Gaza.
Click here to make a donation!

Middle East Children's Alliance

email: meca@mecaforpeace.org
phone: 510-548-0542
web: http://www.mecaforpeace.org

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


The Ballad of Mohammed Zayed

Mohammed Zayed, 15, and Mohammed's friend watches his funeral which was today, April 4.

The Ballad of Mohammed Zayed

Mohammed rose this early spring
Not knowing it his last
The light unto the nation boys
Right through his chest did blast.

Mohammed walked up to the wall
And vandalized they say
Defaced the ugly edifice
And with his young, sweet life did pay.

Oh, mothers, tell your children, not
to follow young Zayed's course
For the occupation soldiers
Killing young Mohammeds is sport.

The boy lived in Qalandia
Fifteen, a refugee
If he was a New York colonist
You'd see him on TV.

If he was a Pole in Tel Aviv
A transplant from LA
He'd wax about elections
Or tout his latest play.

But he's the soul the world's forgot
And today he breathed his last
The light unto the nation boys
Right through his chest did blast.

Monday, April 03, 2006


'It is shaming beyond all brief descriptions...

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The Arabs of Palestine now enter their fourteenth year of exile. If you go among them in the hills of Judea, they will take you by the arm to a crest of land and point downwards, across the rusty skeins of barbed wire. 'Can you see it--over there beside those trees? That is my home.'
It is shaming beyond all brief descriptions to move among these million people, as a Westerner. It is shaming for many Jews, and some speak out as Nathan Chofshi has bravely done:

We came and turned the native Arabs into tragic refugees. And still we dare to slander and malign them, to besmirch their name. Instead of being deeply ashamed of what we did and tryign to undo some of the evil we committted...we justify o ur terrible acts and even attempt to glorify them.

Chlders, Erskine B. The Spectator, May 12, 1961, pp.672-75 reprinted in Khalidi, Walid, ed. From Haven to Conquest: Readings in Zionism and the Palestine Problem Until 1948.Washington: The Institute for Palestine Studies, 1987.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


'The Old Will Die And the Young Will Forget' hehehe

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http://al-awdasandiego.org/m18/pages/m18-14.html thanks Annie

The picture of the young Americans in San Diego teaching US citizens about the simple justice of right of return is much clearer at the link (and many more great photos of Americans young and old advocating for a free Palestine).

Saturday, April 01, 2006


Some 'Comforting' Voices Amid the 'Desolation'

Men and Women who Stood Up for Justice This Week And Were Disseminated in the Mainstream Press:

Professor Saree Makdisi in the San Francisco Chronicle:

"Lieberman wants to distance [Palestinians] from our borders," writes Levy; "Olmert and his ilk want to distance them from our consciousness." Racism, Levy concludes, is the real winner of the 2006 elections.

The question is whether this represents some new development, or merely a sign that Israeli politics are becoming truer to the nature of Israel itself -- a reminder that the quest for ethnic purity, no matter how it's dressed up, is inherently ugly.

Prime Minister Isamil Haniyeh in the Guardian

Olmert's unilateralism is a recipe for conflict. It is a plan to impose a permanent situation in which the Palestinians end up with a homeland cut into pieces made inaccessible because of massive Jewish settlements built in contravention of international law on land seized illegally from the Palestinians. No plan will ever work without a guarantee, in exchange for an end to hostilities by both sides, of a total Israeli withdrawal from all the land occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem; the release of all our prisoners; the removal of all settlers from all settlements; and recognition of the right of all refugees to return.

Professor Karma Nabulsi in The Guardian:

For Palestinians, this week - like the week before it and the year before that - has been an act of war. The Israeli electorate are united in one thing only, and that is certainly not reconciliation with the Palestinians.

On the March 30 1976 Israeli security forces shot and killed six Palestinian citizens of Israel who were protesting against the expropriation of their land. Land Day, now in its 30th year, is a day of resistance and remembrance. Thousands of olive trees will be planted in demonstrations all over occupied Palestine today, a timely reminder to the Israeli electorate, as well as to the media, of how to resolve this conflict.

Journalist Laila El-Haddad in the Guardian

When pressed, the spokesperson was unable to provide examples of how soldiers convicted of other crimes were punished. Instead, he told me:

The fact that the IDF conducts criminal investigations during intensive conflict is testimony to the high level of professionalism and morality embodied by the IDF. [We] have an entire unit in the army that is devoted to teaching and instilling an ethical code within its soldiers and commanders.


Let us hope the investigation into Nayfa's death does not end again rewarding the perpetrator ala the Iman al-Hams, nor perpetuate the impunity within the Israeli army and become another statistic on the ever-increasing left-hand column.

Leigh Brady in Electronic Intifada (not mainstream)

After hundreds of deaths of Palestinian children, and hundreds of urgent appeals to the international community falling on deaf ears, it is easy to acquire that dangerous “what’s the point in trying?” attitude. As mentioned above, Israel feeds on this. The Occupation thrives on the millions of people, inside the OPT, inside Israel, in Europe, in America, in the rest of the world, saying to themselves or others, “Yes, this is clearly wrong and unjust but what’s the point in trying to do anything to stop it if mass efforts so far have not been able to put an end to it?” While this may be a normal reaction, it is also normal, and necessary, for human beings to find fresh motivation to keep on trying. I appeal to politicians to review the motives behind their inaction and bystanders all over the world to fight against the numbness and banality of seeing or hearing about child after child being killed. We must keep trying to achieve justice for Palestinians. As U.S. human rights activist Rachel Corrie wrote in one of her diary entries, just months before she was crushed to death by an Israeli army bulldozer in March 2003, “This has to stop. I think it is a good idea for us all to drop everything and devote our lives to making this stop.“

Anne Seldon Annab in the New York Post

The real fifth column in America is not composed of Palestinian professors who dare question the right of Israel to exist as an exclusively Jewish state.

The real fifth column is not even defined by religion, although it works to create a religious war between Islam and the West.

Israel wants to build walls of hate; it wants to divide and conquer.

The real fifth column is political Zionism.

It is a secular and religious ideology embraced by Christians, Jews and idiotic fools who believe that Israel is more important than America.

And that institutionalized bigotry may be our future.


Palestinians Continue to Suffer and Die in the Dark

If it weren't for Laila's blog entry (see post below) at 1:00 AM this morning, no one would be the wiser about the pounding that Gaza City is taking. Because it's 2:10AM here in Germany, two hours after Laila's post, and there is no news. I've searched yahoonews, googlenews, cnn news, haaretz, al-jazeera, and there is nothing.

And so it goes.

Palestinians continue to suffer and die in the dark.

But I am sure that everyone who takes even a cursory look at the papers knows about the illegal colonists who were killed today. I can even tell you the sixty year old couple's names...Levy, and there was a sixteen year old also from the colony and a twenty year old from the middle of the country. All these concrete details provided for dishonorable people who cruise on what's left of Palestine on Jews-only roads, people engaged in criminal activity...stealing water, responsible for penning in Palestinians so that they may enjoy their swimming pools and cheap mortgages on usurped land.

Bet no one recalls these children's names from the IOF's March madness. Because if they are mentioned at all, it's in paragraph 31 of a 32 paragraph story.

Amer Basouny, killed in early March, 15

Raed and Mahmoud, brothers, 8 and 16, killed March 6

Akabar Zaed, 8

Hamad Hamdan, 16

Recall any of the other names of the "accidental" child deaths, 801 in all from September 2000 through February 2006 according to Palestine National Information Center?


Gaza City Under Attack: Write Your Congressman, Now!

Write your congressman, now. This is the address and my sample letter follows:


Dear Congressman Thomas,

This is what the citizens of Gaza City are enduring as I write. These are the words of Laila El-Haddad, a journalist, and graduate of Harvard. She lives with her parents, who are physicians, and her two year old son. Her husband is currently in the states studying medicine.

Laila wrote this on her blog early this morning:

Its 1am. Gaza city is under heavy aerial and sea bombardment, unlike anything the city has seen in recent years. As I write this, F-16 warplanes-not Apaches or tanks-are bombarding Gaza City, where I live, just a few roads away from my house. The entire house is shaking and the windows have cracked. The explosions are so powerful my ears are ringing...they are like sonic booms, but they are real, and they are terrorizing and causing panic. There are several casualities reported by local radio, but other than that we know little else....I'm going to take cover now.

I do not want my tax dollars to pay for the collective punishment of the people of Gaza. Please use your influence to stop the Israeli government.


Nancy Harb Almendras
Bakersfield, California

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