Wednesday, November 29, 2006
'Shalom! Salam! Peace! Thank You! Thank You!'
By Khalid Amayreh
Nov 29, 2006, 19:33
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert last week spelled out several proposals for peace with the Palestinians, saying that the Zionist state was extending a hand of peace to the Palestinian people.
“I am extending my hand in peace to our Palestinian neighbors in the hope that it will not be returned empty,” said Olmert, who was speaking at the grave of David Ben Gurion, Israel ’s first prime minister, in Sde Boker in southern Israel , last week.
Olmert, who is known more for his spin theatrics and futile political maneuvering and less for his leadership and statesmanship, added that Israel would be willing to withdraw from “large amounts of territory,” release Palestinian prisoners and reduce the number of humiliation stations in the West Bank, otherwise known as checkpoints and roadblocks.
And in return for this “ great Zionist charity,” Olmert said he expected the Palestinian people to give up the paramount right of millions of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and villages from which they were expelled at gunpoint by Jewish gangs when Israel was created nearly sixty years ago.
Moreover, Olmert called on Palestinians to abandon armed resistance to the Israeli occupation army and reject the “uncompromising extremism of your terrorist organizations.”
Indeed, while Olmert’s speech can be looked at as constituting a certain departure from his characteristically bellicose tone, it is amply clear that it contained absolutely nothing new in actual substance. In fact, the speech seems to be nothing more than a mere reproduction and reassertion of Israel’s intransigent rejection of a true and just peace with the Palestinian people and its chronic insistence on maintaining the Jewish stranglehold over the occupied Palestinian land.
For observers with even a rudimentary knowledge of Israeli phraseology, the speech should be viewed as just another theatrical act of public relations aimed at misleading the international public opinion as well as rehabilitating Israel ’s tarnished image, especially after the recent atrocities in Lebanon and Gaza.
Actually, Olmert is not even placing old wine in new bottles, as his “offers” are far more parsimonious and far more limited than the promises of the Oslo Accords.
More to the point, it is well known that all Israeli governments voiced a certain willingness to withdraw from “some” (not all) the occupied territories, provided that the Palestinians give up large portions of their homeland, including al-Quds al Sharif ( East Jerusalem.)
Even manifestly racist Israeli prime ministers such as Golda Meir, Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Shamir and Ariel Sharon had voiced such a willingness.
So, Olmert is merely reiterating the same old “willingness” which everyone knows is defined and motivated, not by a true desire for peace with the Palestinians, but rather by Israel’s gluttonous and covetous desire to arrogate as much Arab land as possible.
Indeed, a country that builds hundreds of racist colonies on occupied territory and transfers hundreds of thousands of its citizens to live on land that belongs to another people doesn’t harbor a genuine desire for peace with her neighbors.
In truth, Olmert, like all duplicitous and dishonest politicians, doesn’t say what he truly means. That is why, a more authentic version of his speech would probably sound like the following..
“Dear Palestinian neighbors: The State of Israel will never withdraw from large parts of the West Bank. And we, under all circumstances, will retain control of the large Jewish-only settlements and, of course, Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel.
"And we will not allow you, our dear Palestinian neighbors, to have a truly viable state in the West Ban , which means that you will have to make do with a number of scattered and geographically disconnected quasi- autonomous enclaves or Bantustans or townships. That is my understanding of President Bush’s vision of two states living side by side in peace, Israel and Palestine.
"And don’t forget, We will have to remain in control of the borders and all border- crossings connecting any prospective Palestinian entity with the outside world, because unfettered access and free movement from and to your areas pose a great danger to the security of Israel.!!
"Besides, we will not accept any peace settlement based on the anachronistic UN resolutions 242 and 338, which are no longer relevant. Yes, our dear neighbors, let the past rest in peace, so let us turn a new page in our common history so that your children and ours will live in peace and prosperity.!!!
"And as to the right of return, just forget it, don’t evoke it any more, because we will never allow these hapless refugees to return home under any circumstances, because maintaining Israel as a purely Jewish state is more important than adhering to the rule of international law and according human rights to the goyem!
"Our dear neighbors, you will have to accept Israel ’s conditions and demands for peace, and if you don’t, you will have neither peace nor freedom, and we will continue to steal your land day and night before your eyes and will continue to torment and savage you and make your life an unending nightmare as we already have been doing. And I guess you understand this too well. Just remember Beit Hanun!
"In brief, we in Israel are truly sincere about peace with you, our dear cousins. We long for peace with you just as much as we desire another piece of your/our ancient land. Therefore I call upon you to change your mindset and turn your swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks. Shalom, Salam, Peace. Thank you, thank you.”
Well, as a Palestinian, all I can say is that I hope and pray that Palestinian political leaders, especially President Mahmoud Abbas will not be duped and bamboozled by these theatrics. We have been deceived too much by Israel, and enough is enough.
Besides, we should always pay more attention to what Israel does rather than to what Israel says. After all, Israeli leaders lie as much as they breathe and they should never be trusted.
© Copyright palestine-info.co.uk
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
IOF Leave Woman to Bleed To Death As Olmert "Reaches Out"
Fatima Mahmoud Ahmed Shriem bled to death in front of her home after being shot by Israeli occupation soldiers after she'd gone to pull to safety Mahmoud Abdel Razek Bakar Nasser.
“Where is the 'calm,' the 'cease-fire,' when they continue to kill in cold blood, leaving bodies to slowly bleed to death,” said her grieving husband Mahmud Hafez.
Read full story
Read also this first person account of a house demolition
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Elie Wiesel, Again
I suppose it is inevitable that Elie Wiesel turns up in the New York Daily News reminding everyone of the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's "murderous regime."
Wiesel, the icon of what Norman Finkelstein calls the "Holocaust Industry," starts off in his typically "holier-than-thou" fashion in his lead sentence:
"Those among us who thought that the victory of allied democracies in 1945 would mark the end of hate and state-sponsored racism were naive."
Wiesel is anything but naive. Daniel McGowan of Dayr Yassin Remembered in a letter to Pastor James Gerling wrote the following about Wiesel:
"He knows from personal experience that on April 9, 1948 Arab civilians, including women and children, were murdered in cold blood in the village of Deir Yassin on the west side of Jerusalem by Jewish terrorists known as the Irgun and the Stern Gang. Wiesel worked for the Irgun, not as a fighter, but as a journalist and knows the details of this infamous (but not the only nor the largest) massacre of Arabs by Jews. And while he piously demands public apologies for atrocities committed against Jews (for example in 1946 at Kielce, Poland), he has never been able to apologize for the atrocities committed by his own employer."
Wiesel, or "one of the world's leading moral voices," according to the Daily News ( a solid education in English literature with thorough grounding on the theme of "appearance versus reality" has served as a buffer to withstand the pretentions of Wiesel and other apologists for a certified "racist" and "murderous" regime) attributes a lot of words to Ahmadinejad, but none of them are in quotes, and even if they were, since he doesn't read Farsi, his pronouncements are of little merit other than as base propaganda to further the "clash of civilizations" myth in order to serve a proven "racist" and "murderous" regime.
In fact, Jonathan Steele and Juan Cole have made a good case that Ahmadinejad doesn't call for the destruction of Israel, which actually would seemingly make him less offensive to naive Mr. Wiesel than say a whole host of anti-Zionist Jews and many, myself included, whose goal is the destruction of Israel as a Jews preferred and privileged state; i.e, a state for all its citizens, and a state that respects international law and the inalienable rights of the ethnically cleansed Palestinians to return to their homes. Nothing murderous or hateful about that, but Wiesel's denial of this inalienable right is facilitating ethnic cleansing, which he, of all people, should know is a war crime.
Wiesel is counting on "naive" Americans to equate the destruction of Israel as a Jews preferred and privileged state with some sort of obscenity. Hardly. What is the obscenity is the real destruction wrought by Zionism on the true heirs of the land for over one hundred years now, culminating in the ethnic cleansing in 1948 of seventy-five percent of Palestinians on what is today Israel. And the real horrors of Zionism continue unabated and facilitated by shills like Wiesel to whom the New York Daily News provide space for their odious black propaganda.
How many kids did Ahmadinejad injure while they were sitting in their classroom this month, Mr. Wiesel? How many kindergarten teachers did Ahmadinejad kill while they were holding their toddlers on their lap? How many kids did Ahmadinejad kill in this week? How many cabinet ministers did Ahmadinejad bring into a courtroom in chains inside a wooden cage? How much land did Ahmadinejad steal this week, Mr. Wiesel? How many extended families did Ahmadinejad wipe out this summer, Mr. Moral Compass? How many ten-year old kids did Ahmadinejad kill this weekend? How many poor people in refugee camps is Ahmadinejad bombing? For how many amputees is Ahmadinejad responsible? How many villages did Ahmadinejad wipe out? How many refugees did Ahmadinejad create? How many houses did Ahmadinejad demolish? How many olive trees did Ahmadinejad uproot and then sell? How much gold did Ahmadinejad's soldiers rip off from houses they broke into? How many wells has Ahmadinejad poisoned? How many cluster bombs and landmines has Ahmadinejad set down? What chemical weapons has Ahmadinejad used on civilians? How many people does Ahmadinejad refuse the right to return to their homes to be buried? Does Ahmadinejad prevent people who fall in love from living together if they're not the right religion? Does Ahmadinejad deny native born Iranians the right to live with their spouse and children in Iran? Did Ahmadinejad's lobby lead America into a war which has destroyed Iraq, destroyed American lives, and destroyed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives?
Israel has more than proven itself "racist" and "murderous" from the beginning of Zionism's little social engineering project in Palestine. Wiesel defends it while writing Ahmadinejad should be "persona-non-grata" and "turned away everywhere." I say Wiesel the hypocrite needs a strong dose of his own medicine.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Miri from Mirin, Mouthpiece for Murder
There on the left is Miri Eisen. In 1970 her parents, active in the Marin County Jewish community, moved to Israel, evidently unconcerned about the ethnic cleansing, demolition of villages, and dispossession of Palestine's indigenous people that the creation of a Jewish state entailed. Eisen serves her fascist Jewish supremacist State well.
Back in 2002 according to the hideous hasbara outfit, The Israel Project,"Miri was the spokeswoman who helped expose a staged Palestinian funeral."
However, what the footage actually showed, according to The Palestinian Society for Protection of Human Rights and the Environment (LAW) was "a group of children "playing 'funeral' near the cemetary in Jenin."
Eisen, the racist spinmeister said, "they [Palestinians] tried to fabricate evidence of funerals to inflate the number of their dead."
It is the business of this bigoted racist "murdering minister" from Marin County to propagate hideous lies on behalf of the Jews preferred and privileged state.
"I am proud both as an Israeli, an officer and an American whose parents made aliya (moved to Israel) of what Israel does," says Eisen on her Israel Project biography.
Also pictured above is Abed Salman, 10, another notch in the belt for Eisen's Jewish supremacist warlords. Abed was buried yesterday in Gaza. According to Yasser Bardasawi, of The Center for Cultural Affairs and the Right of Return for Refugees in Nablus, Israel, among other provocations, deliberately targets Palestinian youth. He was referring to a "programmed policy" against Balata and Al Ein refugee camps in the West Bank.
From 16 November - 23 November, Israel's Occupation Forces killed five children, three women, and an old man, injuring forty-one children and one woman.
Fatma An-Najar (in the photo above, a relative holds her picture), by now the famous grandmother suicide bomber, was a victim of the bigoted Jewish Supremacists from places like upscale Marin County. According to Fatma's daughter: "They [Israelis] destroyed her house, they killed her grandson-- (my son). Another grandson is in a wheelchair with an amputated leg."
Another recent victim of Eisen's Jewish Supremacist state is Najwa Khalif, a young kindergarten teacher, killed in a blue mini schoolbus while she was "sitting in the middle seat with her young son Wasim, 3, on her knees and her daughter Manar, 5, beside her."
Imagine three year olds with their legs sliced off (it happened in Beit Hanoun), kindergarden teachers killed in front of their students, a finance minister forced to appear in court in chains in a wooden cage. Imagine how Fatma felt when her house was demolished by well off people from places like Marin County who decided to come to the place in which you and your family have lived for generations and kick you out so that they can find themselves and their Jewish identity.
I can not comprehend what it must be like to be Miri from Marin, Israel's mouthpiece for murder, but I do know that this Jewish Joachim von Ribbentrop (Hitler's minister of propaganda) faces new challenges putting a spin on ethnic cleansing, child murder, and bombing poor people in refugee camps, which don't have one tree, let alone the lovely forests of Marin County, where Miri lived once upon a time.
And there is hope, for it seems that despite Israel's "look like the flower, but serpent underneath's" best efforts, Miri's Jewish supremacist state's image isn't doing too well. In fact, as far as Israel's "image" goes, it ranks dead last among the world's countries.
Could be that decent, fair-minded and peace-loving people don't take too well to Eisen's flip response, "ludicrous," to a proposal by Palestinian factions to stop rocket fire in return for a stop to Israel's offensive operations in the West Bank and Gaza.
Evidently, four hundred Palestinian deaths since June in Gaza is a mere trifle for Marin County's mouthpiece for murder. Palestinians will continue to be maimed, killed, humiliated, and harassed in their real homeland while racist Jewish supremacists from Marin County, Peru, and India usurp their lives and property.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Right of Return is the heart and soul of the Palestinian Problem
by Khalid Amayreh
November 23, 2006
As Israeli and Jewish emissaries are scouring earth, searching for “missing Jews” in order to bring them into Palestine to live on land that belongs to another people, Israeli officials continue to reiterate their rejection of the Palestinian refugees’ right of return to their hometowns and villages in what is now Israel.
This week, the Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni denied , with characteristic audacity, the legitimacy and legality, not to mention the morality, of the right of return, which is actually the heart and soul of the Palestinian problem.
Speaking during a lecture in London Tuesday (21 November), Livni pointed out that the American-backed “roadmap” didn’t mention the “right of return,” as if that hapless initiative was a heavenly-revealed scripture.
In fact, since Israel, which can be accurately described as a scheme of dispossession (since without stealing and arrogating Palestinian land Israel could never have been created legally), Zionist leaders have been repeating rather ad nauseam a plethora of lies to justify one of the most horrendous crimes in the history of mankind, namely the expulsion of the bulk of the Palestinian people from their ancestral homeland from time immemorial.
Some of the Zionist lies in this regard were so obscene that even the Zionists themselves began questioning their authenticity.
For example, Israeli leaders, officials and spokespersons claimed for decades that the refugees fled their country voluntarily and that Israel played virtually no role in getting them to flee.
Eventually, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Zionist historians, like Benny Morris, who meticulously examined and analyzed Israeli army archives, reached the conclusion that the vast bulk of Palestinian refugees were actually terrorized into leaving their homes and villages and that “forcing the Arabs to leave” was an established Zionist policy.
Now, the paragons of mendacity and racism are abandoning the old, stale lies and coming up with another set of arguments, like saying that the repatriation of Palestinian refugees would undermine the ethnic and religious purity of Israel as a Jewish state.
Well, it is extremely imperative that the Jews, Israel , and the international community understand that there can be no lasting peace in the Middle East and the world at large unless these tormented refugees are allowed to return to their homes.
Sixty years of homelessness, pain and dispersion should be enough for these miserable people who had inherited misery and suffering generation after generation after generation.
Ending this most obscene and sinister scandal would not be an act of charity to the Palestinians. It would be a belated application of UN resolution 194 which calls for the repatriation and indemnification for these refugees.
The extirpation of these victims of Zio-Nazism, now numbering about five million human beings, was a collective act of rape with very few parallels in the history of humanity. It remains an enduring act of rape as the wrongs done to them are not rectified and corrected.
Hence, the right of return shouldn’t be a subject of dispute and controversy just as the rightful owner’s right to recover his stolen property from a thief is not a subject of dispute and controversy.
It is abundantly clear that the term “Jewish character of Israel ” is nothing but a euphemism for the continuation of Israel ’s racist and discriminatory policies against non-Jews.
Besides, the conscience of humanity is under no more legal or moral obligation to maintain Zionism in Israel than it was to maintain apartheid in South Africa.
Moreover, one is always prompted to ask the following question with regard to this issue. Does Israel ’s “right” to religious and ethnic! Purity override the Palestinian refugees right to return to their homes and country?
It is really difficult to understand why persons whose ancestors allegedly left Palestine thousands of years ago have a right to return “home” while yesterday’s refugees who still hold in their hands the keys to their former homes, many of which are occupied by Jewish immigrants, are denied the right to go back home.
What kind of logic is this? Are we living in a jungle where truth and ethics are determined by brute force? If so, then all the abominations that took place against Jews in the course of their long history, including the holocaust, were “right” since their occurrence was more or less compatible with the moral, ethical, and intellectual maxims now espoused by Zionism.
Finally, it is clear that denying the Palestinian refugees their inalienable right to return to Palestine/Israel constitutes a brazen defiance to international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN in 1948, states in its Article #13 that “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.”
To reiterate, the right of the return is the crux of the matter, it is the heart of the Palestinian problem, it is far more paramount than the issue of Palestinian statehood and even of Jerusalem.
Hence, it is vital that the international community, if it is truly interested in resolving the enduring question of the Zionist occupation of Palestine, ought to accentuate the Right of Return because no prospective peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians would work and last long without the repatriation of these refugees to their homes and country.
We are not merely talking about nationalistic rights, we are talking about personal and individual rights that no entity or state or organization can cede if the person concerned says “No.”
Besides, ethnic cleansing must never be allowed to win.
© Copyright 2003 by palestine-info.co.uk email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Give Thanks, Pelosi, That You Don't Represent Palestine
Because today, November 22, "A bulldozer chipped away at the walls of the two-story structure" of her house, and locked " about 15 members of Shanti's family, including five children, into a single room and threw furniture and clothes out of windows."
Because Palestine's finance minister, Omar Abdel Razeq who was kidnapped by the fascist Jewish supremacist state, was forced to appear in court sitting in a wooden cage and in chains.
Monday, November 20, 2006
You'd be terrified when the missiles strike and the walls begin to crack
Watch this video on Gaza.
"Everything they have was difficult to get and everything that is tough and cruel is surrounding them. They struggle for their lives and die young in graves without coffins, they are always on the defensive in order to continue living. I am with them in the dungeons observing and feeling the pulse of their hearts, the flow of blood in their veins and I look helpless with no power to stop their bleeding or to carry some of their burdens."
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Equality and Love For All, Not Just A Chosen Few
But it's all good, as the kids say. Real good if you happen to be some poor Joe from a remote village in India. They will learn Judaism at government expense (remember the US taxpayers provide Israel with 15 million daily) for one year and will be settled in Nazareth and near Gaza.
I wish a government would subsidize me to visit dear ol' dad's hometown, Ramallah, and throw in a few free Arabic courses. I could probably brush up on the tenets of my Greek Orthodox faith, also, if the government would be so inclined. And I never did learn how to make knafi, my favorite desert; maybe I could get some free cooking classes at the government's expense to boot.
But chances are I may not even get in for a visit anymore, what with racist Israel's policy of turning away those of Palestinian ethnicity, even US passport holders, to the land of our ancestors, for which we can actually point to a five hundred years old Turkish census' to prove.
Israel's law says that every Jew in the world has a right to immigrate and become an instant citizen. This social engineering project has been going on for decades. That's how Avigdor Lieberman, the ex bouncer from Moldavia, got his racist self to Israel.
It is a hopeful development that stories are now appearing in the western press pointing out that there is very little difference between the "kill 'em and weep" variety of Zionist; i.e., David Grossman and Avigdor Lieberman, who, as Saree Makdisi, has noted in Avigdor Lieberman and the Substance of Israeli Politics, gives voice to how all Zionists think. Zionism, in any way, shape or form, is toxic, or as Ahdaf Soueif comments in the Guardian, "A Project of Dispossession Can Never Be A Noble Cause."
Zionism is rotten at its core. Any decent person should scorn the fact that a well off Jew, i.e., Ben Kurtzer, the brother of former US ambassador to Israel, Dan Kurtzer, recently made "Aliyah," to occupied territory, while Palestinian children are traumatized and maimed in order to maintain a society in which Jews are privileged. Any decent person understands and seeks to rectify a situation in which Palestinians may not be buried in the land of their birth, but any one with even a bogus claim to Judaism may become an instant citizen.
The Latin Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Michel Sabbah, recently said to a visiting delegation representing Historic Black Churches:
"The conflict is not just the business of Palestinians and Israelis. It is the business of every Christian whose obligation is to witness justice, equality and love for all, not just for a chosen few."
Members of the delegation were moved and found parallels between the situation of the Paelstinians and that of African-Americans in an earlier era in the US, and vowed to work for change in the US, the provider of so much of the money that perpetuates the injustice.
"This crisis is different to me than any other one. I always thought that yes, there is a difference between the Palestinians and the Jews; yes, there is animosity. But now I realize that it is worse than racism and worse than apartheid. I don't really have a word for it," said Church World Service Board Representative Dr. Belletech Deressa of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
A Tale of Two Sisters: Witnessing an Undercover Israeli Operation in Ramallah
A small nothing in the larger context of what happens on a daily basis here.
I am sure it won't be on any news. Emily Jacir
A man disappeared this afternoon.
Two men were killed. It won't even make the news. Annemarie Jacir
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Putting Najd (Sderot) Retaliatory Killing in Context
Sderot was settled by Jews in 1951. According to Walid Khalidi in All That Remains, it along with the settlement of Or ha-Ner, founded in 1957, were established on the village lands of Najd, which means "elevated plain" in Arabic.
Najd's Palestinian villagers, approximately 620 in 1945, were expelled on 13 May 1948, before Israel was declared a state and before any Arab armies entered Palestine.
According to UN Resolution 194 and also the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 13, Section 2, the villagers of Najd have a right to return home to their personal property and to their native village.
Today, according to Khalidi, "some old trees grow" on the site of the village. It is "overgrown with cactuses and Christ's thorn and sycamore trees and contains the crumbled walls of unidentified buildings...."
There were 82 houses in Najd. Children went to school in Simsim, two kilometers away.
According to Palestine Remembered the village has been completely "defaced."
In 1596 Najd's population was 215.
In 1838, Edward Robinson, an American biblical scholar "observed the villagers winnowing barley by throwing it into the air against the wind with wooden forks" [Robinson (1841) III: 260 as quoted in Khalidi 128].
Najd's villagers were mainly farmers and engaged in animal husbandry. "Fields of grain and fruit trees surrounded Najd on all sides."
Najd is fourteen kilometers from Gaza.
Palestinian Arabs own 12,669 dunums in Najd although Israel refuses to honor their rights to their personal property, and refuses them their inalienable right to return home.
In 1945 Jews owned 495 dunums of land in Najd and public lands consisted of 412 dunums.
Najd is one of 418 ethnically cleansed villages by Zionist Jews that Dr. Khalidi includes in his seminal work.
Khalidi dedicates his book:
To all those for whom these villages were home and to their descendants.
Khalidi, Walid, ed. All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated By Israel in 1948. Institute for Palestine Studies: Washington, D.C., 1992.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Abu Ammar: Palestinian Nationalist
See also Khalid Amayreh's In Memory of Yasser Arafat.
Monday, November 13, 2006
In Memory of Yaser Arafat
Schoolboys in Jenin commemorate the two year anniversary of Yaser Arafat's death.
Just who is the terrorist
by Khalid Amayreh
This piece was published in the Californian newspaper, the Sacramento Union on 18 November, 2004, a week after Yasser Arafat’s death on 11 November, 2004. The article was a response to an exceptionally hateful screed by a pro-Israeli radio talk-show host, named Mark Williams, who used every odious epithet in the dictionary to vilify the late Palestinian leader.
Among the other things Williams called Arafat “blood-soaked, sub-human, vile, reprehensible, murderous animal” and “this socio-pathetic reptile’s terrorist history, big dog on the Middle Eastern block…head of a conglomeration of Islamic terrorist organization.”
Williams also called Arafat “the bin Laden of his days and now he is dead. God, I am glad, I hope it was painful. The appropriate headstone over the stiff would be a working urinal.”
The following was my response:
I normally refrain from responding to opinion articles spewing malice and vindictiveness. In most cases, these reflect moral bankruptcy and intellectual shallowness, and don't merit a serious engagement.
However, Mark Williams' manifestly hateful screed "Finishing What Hitler Started" in the Sacramento Union (Nov. 12) exceeded all boundaries of decency and civility. Which merits an appropriate response, not so much because I believe hate and racism (such as Islamophobia and anti-Semitism) are a legitimate viewpoint, but rather because I think the readers of the Sacramento Union deserve to know the truth about Yasser Arafat, not from a rabid, though famous, Zionist extremist, but rather from a Palestinian critic (and occasional victim) of Yasser Arafat's rule.
True, Yasser Arafat was not an icon of moral excellence. His political exploits, despotism, and nepotistic way of governance largely characterized his long reign. As President of the Palestinian Authority, a police state without a state, he held all the reins, took all the decisions, and controlled all the money. He went too far in trying to appease Israel and the United States, so much so that he often valued the legitimacy that came from foreign acceptance more than that which came from his own people's acceptance.
Non the less, Arafat was a bona fide Palestinian nationalist and true seeker of peace with Israel. He recognized Israel within the 1967 boundaries, revoked the Palestinian National Charter and agreed to share Jerusalem with the Jewish state.
During the so-called Oslo period (1995-2000) he violently repressed and imprisoned opponents of peace with Israel to the point of violating the civil and even human rights of his own people.
Moreover, Arafat always condemned attacks against civilians, Israelis and Palestinians alike.
This obviously was not sufficient for Israeli leaders, especially Ariel Sharon and his cohorts, who demanded that Arafat act and behave like a quisling.
People may thoughtfully and sincerely differ over Arafat. Ultimately, God will judge him as He will all of us.
But to compare Yasser Arafat with Adolph Hitler is, in my opinion, nothing short of a linguistic adultery.
How could any serious person, with any modicum of intellectual honesty, call a helpless and desperate man, who in the last 1000 days of his life was a prisoner in his own living room, an Adolph Hitler?
How could any honest person accuse a nearly decimated people who spend half of their time languishing under sinister military curfews and the other half lining in long queues at ubiquitous Israeli army roadblocks (manned by trigger-happy soldiers) of seeking to finish what Hitler started?
Even before the inception of the current intifada, Arafat couldn't leave Gaza or the West Bank without an Israeli permit. Indeed, Arafat's every move and action were coordinated with Israel, often in humiliating manner.
In light, how could a man as such be compared to Hitler, the Nazi beast who occupied and destroyed the bulk of Europe and caused the death of tens of millions of people?
To be sure, Arafat was not a Mahatma Ghandi. But, most certainly, he was no more of a terrorist than David Ben Gurion, Golda Meir, Moshe Dayan, Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Rabin, Yitzhak Sharmi, Shimon Peres, and, not the least, Ariel Sharon? (Now, after recent massacres in Gaza and Lebanon, we may very well add Moshe Yaalon, Dan Hallutz, Amir Peretz, and, of course Ehud Olmert)
These Israeli leaders lived all their lives as terrorists.
Wasn't Yitzhak Rabin arrested by the British and imprisoned in the Rafah camp in the early 1940s?
Wasn't Yitzhak Shamir arrested as a terrorist and exiled by the British to a prison camp in Eritrea?
Was not Menahem Begin branded as a terrorist, with a prize on his head, after blowing up the King David hotel in Jerusalem with a hundred civilians killed, in 1947?
And as we all know, the four became Prime Ministers of Israel.
And Sharon, the "hero" of the Sabra and Shatilla massacres of 1982? Well, it is a great shame that this wild beast remains at large. It is also lamentable that in this age of the internet and satellite television there are people who still are not aware of the man's real nature…and others who would even give him the benefit of the doubt.
Doesn't this amount to an indictment of our time?
Two years ago, Gerald Kaufman, a conscientious Jewish member of the British Parliament wrote that "Ariel Sharon has made the Star of David look like the Swastika of Hitler."
Last year, the former Israeli Minister of Education Shulamit Aloni wrote in the Israeli newspaper Yedeot Ahranot that "We, Israelis, have become a barbarian people."
And in 2002, two Israeli Jewish journalists wrote a book titled "the Israeli holocaust against the Palestinians."
It is true, there are no gas chambers in the streets of the West Bank and Gaza.
But thousands of Palestinian civilians are being killed and maimed, using other means, all under the deceptive rubric of fighting "suicide bombings" and "terror."
Under this mendacious rubric, every conceivable crime has been committed against innocent civilians, from demolishing civilian homes right on top of occupants to "hunting" Palestinian school children with M-16 bullets while sitting in their class rooms or on their way to school or from school.
Yes, many Palestinians have been guilty of suicide bombings, which often targeted innocent Israeli civilians. I unhesitatingly condemn these outrageous crimes.
However, it is equally grossly unfair to de-contextualize these horrible incidents by utterly ignoring ore overlooking the even more pornographic Israeli crimes which make the bombings inevitable.
In the final analysis, Israel (and the United States) can't push the Palestinian people, already tormented by 37 years of a dehumanizing Nazi-like military occupation, to the brink of physical annihilation, and then nonchalantly shout "suicide bombings! Terror! Hamas.!!
Some Israeli supporters might argue that Israeli terror is only a reaction to Palestinian violence.
This simply is not true. Israel had more than nearly four decades to reach a settlement with the Palestinians, to give them hope and at least a semblance of justice.
However, instead of investing in peace, successive Israeli governments, with active American support, spent all these years building Jews-only colonialist outposts, inhabited by racist Talmud-believing Jews who believe that non-Jews are less than full human beings, vermin and dirty animals that ought to be exterminated. I know these facts too well since I live among them and suffer the full effects of their racist ideology.
Like many people around the world, I hope and pray that the death of Arafat will herald a new era of peace and reconciliation between Israelis and the Palestinians.
However, I am afraid that Israel, a country that prefers land over peace, has already killed President's Bush's vision of two states, Israel and Palestine, living peacefully side by side.
The intensive proliferation of Jewish settlements in the West Bank simply has left very little room for the creation of a viable Palestinian state worthy of the name.
Hence, I believe the only remaining solution is a unitary democratic and civil state in all of mandatory Palestine (Israel and the occupied territories) in which Jews, Christians and Muslims, can live together as equal citizens.
Will the US government be bold enough to push for this most human and moral solution? In any case, the only remaining alternative would be more hatred, violence, terror and war. And all of us, Americans, Arabs, and Jews would continue to suffer.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
All That Remains; Israel Demolishes 800 Year Old Mosque
The Taliban Have Nothing on Us. Al-Nasser Mosque's Minaret Still Stands. Israel's Occupation Forces demolished the eight hundred year old mosque.
From the United Nations Relief and Works Agency's Site:
Since the year 2000, Israeli military operations have caused extensive destruction throughout the Beit Hanoun area. Preliminary assessments indicate that during the recent siege, dozens of houses were destroyed and hundreds more damaged, in addition to serious damage to the 850 year old Um al-Nasser Mosque in the centre of Beit Hanoun.
Israel Pimps For Bin Laden
Jonathan Cook in "How Israel is Engineering the Clash of Civilizations" quotes Benyamin Netanyahu: “International terrorism is a mistaken term,” Netanyahu added, “not because it doesn’t exist, but because the problem is international militant Islam. That is the movement that operates terror on the international level, and that is the movement that is preparing the ultimate terror, nuclear terrorism.”
It would appear that Palestinians who choose the route of extremism are proxies for Israel just as much as is President Abbas. If Palestinians go this route, Israel will have no trouble presenting itself, quoting Cook again, as the "civilised world's salvation."
Today I woke up to stories about Palestinians fighting Palestinians and Palestinians wanting to fight America. The only people smiling about this sorry state of affairs are the Zionists. One hopeful sign amid all the Palestinian perfidy was a story by Ali Abunimeh, South Africa Seen As A Model For Palestine, calling for one-state, which appeared in the Chicago Tribune, normally a receptacle for Zionist garbage.
I remain hopeful that true US patriots and true Palestinian patriots recognize that we have but one enemy, albeit an enemy which has the US Congress and media infiltrated, hoodwinked, enthralled. And the battle is not only for Palestine, but for America. Zionism is the enemy threatening life and limb in Palestine and our freedoms in America.
It will be only through our persistent efforts both in Europe, the US and in Palestine to wage war daily in our blogs, in our letters to our MPs and Congress and to the media, through our poetry, through our commentaries, and with all the talents that we can muster, that we will prevail.
by Khalid Amayreh
Nov 12, 2006, 17:08
Occupied Jerusalem - Only the gullible amongst us Palestinians would have expected the Bush administration not to veto the latest draft resolution at the UN Security Council, which would have provided a modicum of protection to Palestinian civilians in Gaza from recurrent Israeli massacres.
John Bolton, the fascist-minded American ambassador to the UN who actually hates the UN and strongly advocates American unilateralism, was in no way about to transform himself and the policies he is instructed to represent into altruism and self-abnegation.
After all, such ideals and universal human values nearly always constitute ‘the’ exact antithesis of American foreign policy which is based on greed and rapacity and hostility to peoples’ aspirations for freedom, independence and deliverance from the stranglehold of American imperialism.
There is no doubt that the scuttling by the US of the latest draft resolution, which was extremely mild in tone, is another example of the contempt with which the US views the international community, international legality and the UN itself.
Of course, this is not news for us in this part of the world. We have been too accustomed to watching, rather helplessly, the Zio-Nazis in Israel commit one massacre after another against innocent people in the Middle East.
In fact, one would exaggerate very little by saying that Israel’s history is an uninterrupted serial of massacres and atrocities from Dir Yassin to Beit Hanun.
The horrible frequency of these massacres is only matched by the equally affronting frequency of American complicity with Israel at the UN where every Israeli massacre is met with an American veto to shield the Nazis of our time from international condemnation and to prevent justice for its victims.
It is as if the veto-prerogative had been devised solely to protect Israel and enable it to behave and act like a lawless state with impunity.
As to Arab reactions, it is abundantly clear that we have seen the same futile rituals repeat and reproduce themselves ad nauseam. Israel commits a massacre, the Arab League or a given Arab country asks for an urgent session of the UN Security Council, behind-the-curtain bargaining takes place, and then the US scuttles the resolution, with its veto power.
And then everyone goes back to the previous mode, awaiting the next massacre, to be followed by the next American veto. And so the travesty goes, a massacre followed by a veto followed by another massacre followed by another veto. This happens while Arab states and their feeble supporters keep ranting and raving about international law and international legitimacy and Israeli violations.
There is no doubt whatsoever that the massacres, whether in Palestine or Lebanon, will continue unabated so long as the occupation continues and as long as the Arabs continue their self-inflicted weakness and shameful subservience to their oppressors across the Atlantic.
However, this doesn’t mean that things will remain static and America and Israel will have their way in this part of the world. America, thanks to her misguided policy in our region, is forcing tens of millions of Arab youngsters to choose between joining the ranks of the slaves or joining the ranks of Bin Laden.
And, yes, the vast majority might eventually join the ranks of Bin Laden, not so much because they are infatuated with his style and way of thinking, but rather because every other choice they are being offered is uglier than ugliness and void of liberty, dignity and human rights.
© Copyright 2003 by palestine-info.co.uk email: email@example.com
Western Media Parrots Israeli Narrative on Beit Hanoun Massacre
12 November, 2006 - Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem
On Wednesday, 8 November, the Israeli army committed another grisly massacre in the Gaza Strip, killing and maiming scores of innocent civilians, mostly sleeping women and children.
The new massacre is added to a long list of Israeli crimes against innocent Palestinians whose only “crime” is their enduring determination to rid themselves of decades of a demonic and dehumanizing Nazi-like military occupation that seeks to annihilate and expel them from their ancestral motherland.
Following the carnage, and as they usually behave in such circumstances, Israeli leaders from the prime minister downward switched into the damage-control mode, telling western news agencies and TV networks that they “regretted” and were “saddened” by the death of innocent civilians.
Ehud Olmert, who just a few months ago was quoted as saying rather brazenly that “Jewish lives are more important” was quoted ad nauseam, nearly by every major western media outlet, that the killing was the result of a “technical error” and that some ‘errant artillery shells” caused the bloodbath in Beit Hanoun.
Interestingly, nearly none of these news media, “the voices of the free world, ” bothered to ask or even wonder why “mistakes” and “technical errors” and “errant artillery shells” are invoked whenever Palestinian (and Lebanese) children and women are killed in the streets of their neighborhoods, while on vacation along the Gaza beach, while fleeing bombardments, as in Mirwaheen in southern Lebanon, or, indeed, while sleeping in their beds as were the latest victims of Israeli savagery.
Unfortunately, most western reactions to the massacre didn’t go beyond the usual platitudes and routine statements such as calling on both sides to show restraint.
Here are some examples, which show the extreme flaccidity with which the West treats Israeli criminality.
A statement issued by the White House on 9 November “regretted the deaths and urged both sides to show restraint.” Another wantonly depraved statement came from the outgoing US ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, who had the chutzpa to blame the killings in Beit Hanoun on Hamas’s refusal to recognize Israel. You see the moral depravity of these people, the brutal ugliness of their mentality!
Bolton on Saturday, 11 November, vetoed a draft UNSC resolution that would have created a UN mechanism to provide protection of Palestinian civilians from repeated Israeli attacks.
Even the conceivably more civilized European Union, while denouncing the massacre as a “profoundly shocking event,” had to dutifully remind us that “Israel had the right to defend itself,” thus giving the pornographically mendacious impression that nuclear Israel, not the nearly decimated Palestinians, was under attack. Well, when will EU ever say that the Palestinians, too, are human and have the right to defend themselves? Probably when kosher pigs fly?
Similarly generally weak statements were issued by European officials, such as British Foreign Office Secretary Margaret Beckett who was quoted as saying that “it is hard to see what this action was meant to achieve and how it can be justified. Israel must respect its obligations to avoid harming civilians.”
Well, Bekett and her clearly duplicitous boss, Tony Blair, must be truly certain that Ehud Olmert, Amir Peretz, Dan Halutz and now this Avigdor Lieberman will take her words to the heart and immediately stop harming Palestinian civilians once and for all.
Parroting the Israeli story
While western reactions to the massacre remained within the “normal routine,” much of the western media outlets sheepishly and unsuspectingly parroted the Israeli narrative that the bloodbath was unintentional and caused by some errant artillery shells.
For example, CBS News reported on 9 November that “Tens of thousands of grieving Gazans, weeping in anguish and screaming for revenge, crammed into a cemetery on Thursday to bury 18 civilians killed by an errant Israeli artillery barrage.”
Similarly, Richard Boudreaux, writing in the Los Angles Times, Nov. 10, 2006, parroted the same mendacity:
“It took 15 minutes of errant Israeli artillery fire into a row of apartment buildings to kill 16 members of the clan and push surviving relatives, once aloof toward armed struggle, into vengeful fury.”….yes, “errant fire” from Israel and “vengeful fury” on the Palestinian side!
The same pattern of reporting, where the Israeli account of the massacre is taken at face value, was adopted by the bulk of the American press, except for the Christian Science Monitor, which attributed the statement to Israeli military and political officials but without endorsing it itself.
Well, how could the writers of such reports, including the Associated Press whose Jerusalem Bureau is staffed with fanatical American-Israeli Zionists, who always seek in their reports and dispatches from Palestine to portray Israel in good light as much as possible and portray the Palestinians in bad light as much as possible, find out that the artillery shells were “errant”?
Did they carry out an independent investigation to establish the truth of their claims? Did they consult third-party experts to corroborate these claims? Is taking Israeli army claims for granted in such circumstances compatible with professional journalistic ethics?
In truth, this is a highly-biased reporting since the writers of such reports and especially their editors back in New York and California readily volunteer to exonerate the killers of any malicious intent.
Yes, news writers have every right to voice their views whenever they like, but they have no right as journalists to print Israeli propaganda and mendacity as “hard news” and “indisputable facts.”
Unfortunately, it is such tendentious, irresponsible and unethical reporting by most of the American and some of the European media of Israeli atrocities and Nazi-like treatment of Palestinians that keeps the bulk of the American and much of the European peoples in the dark about the scandal of the Palestinian plight.
Even the BBC, which often seeks to portray itself as the paragon of objectivity and truth, always makes sure that the Israeli “view point” is prominently featured even at the risk of creating an intended or unintended impression of symmetry between the murdered and their murderers.
Indeed, in its report on the burial of the massacre’s victims in Beit Hanoun on 9 November, BBC News devoted hundreds of sound-bites (six paragraphs in the report’s printed form), see www.news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6131860.stm, to Israeli claims that the bombardment was carried out by mistake.
The report, among other things, quoted Olmert as claiming that the killings were the result of “technical failure,” that he was “uncomfortable with the event” and “very distressed,” that he “checked and verified it” and that “it was not the policy.”
Well, where is the balance in this kind of reporting? Where is the “other view,” namely that the shelling was likely to have been carried out deliberately since the Israeli army knew quite well that it was bombarding a densely-populated area? Besides, doesn’t this view, that the killing was deliberate, merit reporting by the BBC especially in light of the hundreds of Palestinian civilians, including dozens of children, the Israeli occupation army has killed since its so-called “withdrawal” from Gaza in August, 2005.
Or, does the BBC believe that the Israeli army is not capable of committing atrocities and massacres knowingly and deliberately and that Israeli leaders and officials are not capable of lying to cover up or extenuate the savagery of their crimes?
November 12, 2006 © Copyright November 12, 2006 by Khalid Amayreh - firstname.lastname@example.org This article originates on http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org - Permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog, or web media if this credit, © By Khalid Amayreh, for thepeoplesvoice.org, is attached and the title and text remain unchanged. 'Western media parrots Israeli narrative on Beit Hanoun Massacre', posted here: http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/cgi-bin/blogs/voices.php/2006/11/12/western_media_parrots_israeli_narrative
Saturday, November 11, 2006
There Was No Warning
See also Khalid Amayreh's "National Unity Government is victory for Hamas" at The Palestine Information Center
Yesterday, Ismail Haniyah announced the suspension of talks on a unity government in Palestine. Khalid Amayreh, in the West Bank, reports on earlier talks between Fatah and Hamas.
Before the Beit Hanoun massacre Hamas and Fatah appeared close to reaching an agreement on the formation of a government of national unity. The unity government was expected to include many "technocrats" who are unaffiliated with either Hamas or Fatah.
According to the draft agreement, the central aim of this new government will be the lifting of the draconian Western sanctions imposed by the United States, EU and Israel on the Palestinian Authority (PA) enclaves following Hamas's election victory early this year.
The sanctions have effectively crippled the Palestinian economy, impoverished Palestinians as never before and pushed tens of thousands of Palestinian families to the brink of starvation.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyah met for two hours Monday night (6 November) in an effort to put the final touches on the draft agreement. However, the meeting ended indecisively after Abbas rejected Hamas's choice for prime minister.
Hamas proposed current Health Minister Basem Naim, a medical doctor, who is associated but not affiliated with Hamas, as the next prime minister. Rejecting this choice, Abbas insisted that the next prime minister ought to be truly independent.
However, according to lawmaker Mustafa Barghouti, who attended the meeting, the two sides seemed confident that an agreement in this regard would be reached soon.
Fatah had earlier demanded that the next premier would have to come from the West Bank, but Hamas, it is said, was able to convince Fatah that at this juncture of the struggle for statehood, there was no point in having a prime minister from the West Bank who could be arrested or abducted by the Israeli occupation army on the first day he sits in his office, if only to humiliate the Palestinians and show them that Israel was still the enslaver and boss.
There are two more issues seemingly impeding the conclusion of an agreement between the two sides. The first being Hamas's insistence that Abbas obtain from the US and EU a commitment to lift the sanctions once the new government is formed.
But, for many obvious reasons, Abbas cannot force Western powers to undertake such a commitment, at least for the time being. However, it is possible that he can eventually get a pledge of some sort from the Americans and Europeans to put pressure on Israel to release hundreds of millions of dollars of Palestinian customs revenue levied by Israel but withheld as a punishment measure against the Palestinians for electing the Hamas movement. Abbas might also be able to get the US to send a signal to some Arab states that they can resume financial aid to the cash-strapped PA.
The second obstacle to concluding a deal between Fatah and Hamas is the latter's demand that a prisoner exchange between Israel and the Palestinians take place before the formation of the unity government. Abbas, however, argued convincingly that he had no authority over the Israelis and that in any case Palestinian national interests shouldn't be held hostage to Israeli whims.
According to insiders in both Fatah and Hamas, these two issues are likely to be settled soon, something that boosts hopes that a final breakthrough is within reach. The turnabout in Abbas's approach to Hamas has left observers wondering what made him abandon his former threats to dissolve the Hamas-led government and parliament, declare a government of emergency and call for early general elections.
Some observers here cite the latest Israeli rampage of murder and terror in northern Gaza, which resulted in the death of over 60 Palestinians -- the vast bulk of them innocent civilians -- and the maiming and wounding of dozens others, as a central factor that strongly militated against any contemplated steps by Abbas against Hamas.
Indeed, a coup by Abbas and Fatah against Hamas under such circumstances would have portrayed Abbas and his Fatah Party as collaborators with Israel, not only against Hamas, but against the Palestinian people and its just cause. And this would have proven a political suicide for the former ruling party of the PA.
Another factor in Abbas's turn around may be due to rumours that he had received a message from the Bush administration informing him that the US wouldn't actively oppose the formation of a government of technocrats as long as such a government agreed to renounce armed struggle, recognise Israel and accept outstanding international agreements pertaining to the Israeli- Palestinian struggle. Interestingly, the draft agreement between Hamas and Fatah doesn't explicitly stipulate the recognition of Israel but supports the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, which could be construed as a tacit recognition of Israel.
On Monday, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was quoted as saying that the US would rather see Hamas "inside" than "outside" the government. British Prime Minister Tony Blair made similar statements, saying that Britain would talk to Hamas if it accepted the conditions set up by the international community.
Thus, it is possible to assume that the US may have changed its own position vis-à-vis Hamas. Its erstwhile policy has been vindictive at best, aimed at isolating the movement and inducing popular revolt against its government in Gaza. Now perhaps, the US may be reconsidering its policy, having realised that all the economic, financial and street pressure failed to unseat Hamas or undermine its popularity.
There is a final important factor which may have prompted Abbas and Fatah to seek a compromise with Hamas. This lies in the presumption that in any new elections in the occupied Palestinian territories, Fatah has no guarantee that it won't lose again to Hamas, despite the growing poverty and the social-economic crisis facing the Palestinians. This view is corroborated by several opinion polls published in the Occupied Territories recently, showing that Hamas has, by and large, been able to retain its previous popularity.
On Tuesday an opinion poll released by the Palestinian Centre for Public Opinion in Beit Sahur and supervised by Dr Nabil Kukali, showed that over 75 per cent of Palestinians blamed the US, Israel, EU and Fatah for the financial-economic crisis in the Occupied Territories. Replying to the question "Who do you think is responsible for the deterioration in living conditions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip?", 30.6 per cent of respondents said the US, 28.4 per cent said Israel, 12 per cent said Fatah, three per cent said EU and one per cent answered "I don't know". Only 24.6 per cent said Hamas was to be blamed.
Israel will no doubt be angered by any genuine reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah. Israel's policy has always sought to foment civil strife and intra-Palestinian fighting in the hope that a civil war in the Occupied Territories would eventually cause many Palestinians to emigrate. The Beit Hanoun massacre, yesterday, is yet another criminal attempt by Israel to kill two birds with one stone: terrorise the Palestinian people and sabotage any true reconciliation.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
We Overcame Our Fear
Jameela al-Shanti in Beit Hanoun
Thursday November 9, 2006
Yesterday at dawn, the Israeli air force bombed and destroyed my home. I was the target, but instead the attack killed my sister-in-law, Nahla, a widow with eight children in her care. In the same raid Israel's artillery shelled a residential district in the town of Beit Hanoun in the Gaza Strip, leaving 19 dead and 40 injured, many killed in their beds. One family, the Athamnas, lost 16 members in the massacre: the oldest who died, Fatima, was 70; the youngest, Dima, was one; seven were children. The death toll in Beit Hanoun has passed 90 in one week.
This is Israel's tenth incursion into Beit Hanoun since it announced its withdrawal from Gaza. It has turned the town into a closed military zone, collectively punishing its 28,000 residents. For days, the town has been encircled by Israeli tanks and troops and shelled. All water and electricity supplies were cut off and, as the death toll continued to mount, no ambulances were allowed in. Israeli soldiers raided houses, shut up the families and positioned their snipers on roofs, shooting at everything that moved. We still do not know what has become of our sons, husbands and brothers since all males over 15 years old were taken away last Thursday. They were ordered to strip to their underwear, handcuffed and led away.
It is not easy as a mother, sister or wife to watch those you love disappear before your eyes. Perhaps that was what helped me, and 1,500 other women, to overcome our fear and defy the Israeli curfew last Friday - and set about freeing some of our young men who were besieged in a mosque while defending us and our city against the Israeli military machine.
We faced the most powerful army in our region unarmed. The soldiers were loaded up with the latest weaponry, and we had nothing, except each other and our yearning for freedom. As we broke through the first barrier, we grew more confident, more determined to break the suffocating siege. The soldiers of Israel's so-called defence force did not hesitate to open fire on unarmed women. The sight of my close friends Ibtissam Yusuf abu Nada and Rajaa Ouda taking their last breaths, bathed in blood, will live with me for ever.
Later an Israeli plane shelled a bus taking children to a kindergarten. Two children were killed, along with their teacher. In the last week 30 children have died. As I go round the crowded hospital, it is deeply poignant to see the large number of small bodies with their scars and amputated limbs. We clutch our children tightly when we go to sleep, vainly hoping that we can shield them from Israel's tanks and warplanes.
But as though this occupation and collective punishment were not enough, we Palestinians find ourselves the targets of a systematic siege imposed by the so-called free world. We are being starved and suffocated as a punishment for daring to exercise our democratic right to choose who rules and represents us. Nothing undermines the west's claims to defend freedom and democracy more than what is happening in Palestine. Shortly after announcing his project to democratise the Middle East, President Bush did all he could to strangle our nascent democracy, arresting our ministers and MPs. I have yet to hear western condemnation that I, an elected MP, have had my home demolished and relatives killed by Israel's bombs. When the bodies of my friends and colleagues were torn apart there was not one word from those who claim to be defenders of women's rights on Capitol Hill and in 10 Downing Street.
Why should we Palestinians have to accept the theft of our land, the ethnic cleansing of our people, incarcerated in forsaken refugee camps, and the denial of our most basic human rights, without protesting and resisting?
The lesson the world should learn from Beit Hanoun last week is that Palestinians will never relinquish our land, towns and villages. We will not surrender our legitimate rights for a piece of bread or handful of rice. The women of Palestine will resist this monstrous occupation imposed on us at gunpoint, siege and starvation. Our rights and those of future generations are not open for negotiation.
Whoever wants peace in Palestine and the region must direct their words and sanctions to the occupier, not the occupied, the aggressor not the victim. The truth is that the solution lies with Israel, its army and allies - not with Palestine's women and children.
· Jameela al-Shanti is an elected member of the Palestinian Legislative Council for Hamas. She led a women's protest against the siege of Beit Hanoun last Friday
'The Fog and Filthy Air'
Beit Hanoun. November 8, 2006. There were also four resistance fighters and one civilian killed in Jenin this day.
"Americans clearly understand that Israel is a democracy struggling to defend herself against ongoing rocket attacks, kidnappings and war," said Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, founder and president of The Israel Project. "They also know that Iran is a terrorist regime that must be stopped from getting nuclear weapons."
Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, founder and president of The Israel Project, from a press release, November 8, 2006
"Fair is foul, and foul is fair:
Hover through the fog and filthy air"
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
IOF Commits Huge Massacre in Gaza
By Khalid Amayreh
The Israeli occupation army on Wednesday killed at least 25 Palestinian, mostly women and children in northern Gaza and the West Bank , apparently taking advantage of international media preoccupation with the mid-term American elections.
Medical sources in Gaza said Israeli tanks fired artillery shells on densely populated residential neighborhoods in northern Gaza, killing and maiming “dozens” of innocent men, women and children.
Medics and rescue crews said they were still counting the number of the victims some of whose bodies were badly mutilated.
Many of the badly injured were in critical conditions and the death toll was likely to rise, witnesses said.
An eyewitness who identified himself as Abu Yousuf said he saw a decapitated child’s head.
“It was a real massacre. We are talking about heavy artillery shells weighing hundreds of pounds hitting homes packed with women and children. Even the Nazis didn’t do that.
“It was like a slaughter house, only here we have humans instead of animals.”
Another witness, Ra’ed Hasanin, accused the Israeli army of “indiscriminately, knowingly and deliberately slaughtering our children very much like the Nazis killed Jewish children at concentration camps.
“The Nazis may have used gas chambers to kill their enemies. But the Nazis of our time, the Jews, are exterminating Palestinian children, using artillery and warplanes. The result is the same, the mentality is the same.
“This is a cowardly army, when they face well-armed fighters, they cry like cowards. Here, they are targeting and killing unarmed and totally unprotected children and women and they are calling this armed clashes and war.”
Most of the deaths occurred when Israeli artillery shells fired by Israeli tanks outside the Beit Hanun neighborhood hit homes were families were asleep.
Following the massacre, the Palestinian cabinet went into session to discuss the latest killings in Beit Hanun.
No statement was issued, but one official speaking off the record intimated that that the situation in Gaza was “catastrophic.”
The cabinet was expected though to ask for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council to stop the ongoing killings in northern Gaza.
The United States, far from denouncing the killings or criticizing Israel, this week blamed the Palestinians for “the latest escalation.”
It is widely believed that Jewish lobbies such as AIPAC control, nearly completely, American politics and policies with regard to the Middle East , which explains America’s reluctance to criticize Israeli policies and practices which are often starkly incompatible with international law.
A Palestinian spokesperson described the latest killings as “a real genocide.”
“They are killing and maiming dozens of civilians per day, today they killed 25, yesterday they killed 11, and tomorrow they will murder 15 or 20. You see, our children have become mere numbers, not human beings. This is a real genocide and Israel is likely to go on and on and on with the slaughter taking advantage of the Arab world’s total impotence, America’s acquiescence to the killing and Europe’s indifference,” said Nizar Agha, a government spokesman.
He said the blood of innocent Palestinian children shed by the “Israeli Nazis” will be on President Bush’s hands and (British Prime Minister’s Tony) Blair’s hands as well as on the hands of Arab and Muslim leaders who watch the killings from their palaces and do nothing.
The Israeli army, unconcerned about criticisms of the wanton killings in Gaza, said it was checking reports in this regard.
An Israeli army spokesman said rather laconically that “we don’t’ target innocent civilians,” but added that “in war mistakes happen.”
On Tuesday, the Israeli army killed 12 Palestinians, most of them innocent civilians in Biet Hanun in northern Gaza. At least four people were killed when Israeli tanks fired a shell at the home of a Palestinian lawmaker, Jamila al Shanti, who had organized a non-violent protest outside a Gaza mosque on Friday, 3 November.
All in all, the occupation army killed over 95 Palestinians, most of them women and children, since the latest “pacification foray” into northern Gaza started on 1 November.
The Israeli army said the wholesale killing of Palestinians was aimed at stopping the firing onto Israeli settlements of the innocuous homemade projectiles known as Qassam missiles.
However, human rights organizations assert that the real Israeli aim is to kill as many Palestinians (civilians and activists) as possible in order to subjugate the Palestinian people.
Israel nominally withdrew from the Gaza Strip in August last year, ending 39 years of direct military occupation.
However, since then the Israeli army killed in nearly daily artillery and aerial bombardment of Palestinian population centers over 800 Palestinians, mostly innocent civilians.
According to medical sources and Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza, 200 hundred children and minors were among the victims.
Israel has also been clamping a hermetic siege on Gaza’s 1.4 million Palestinians, barring them from accessing food and work.
They died standing, blazing on the road
Shining like stars, their lips pressed to the lips of life
They stood up in the face of death
Then disappeared like the sun.
Israel Does Murder Sleep
"Macbeth does murder sleep, the innocent sleep,
Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleeve of care,
The death of each day's life, sore labor's bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,
Chief nourisher in life's feast"
When the hurricane swirled and spread its deluge of dark evil
onto the good green land
'they' gloated. Fadwa Tuqan
This is it.
Unrepentant, forever branded,
His nameless victim eternally engraved
Within what makes him what he is,
What he will always be.
Although your eyes had never met, he wears
The stench of death, and you—the
Scent of youth.
Indivisible. Hanan Ashrawi
When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.
" . . .the state of silence on the part of the international community, when such crimes have occurred in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) in the past, has only encouraged the IOF to show even more disregard to its obligations as enshrined in IHL and civilian life, as manifested in this crime."
BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency & Refugee Rights
Jerusalem Legal Aid Center (JLAC)
Women's Center for Legal Aid and Counseling
Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies
Defense Children International-Palestine
Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizens Rights
Al Haq: Law in the Service of Man
Al Dameer Association for Human Rights
Palestinian Center for Human RightsAl Mezan Center for Human Rights
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
IOF Kills Bethlehem Football Player
This is Thayer Hassan, who was murdered by Israel's Occupation Forces on November 3, 2006, "when they," according to Palestinian Psychedelia "demolished his father's house with him inside." Palestinian Psychedelia translates Maan Arabic News: "Moreover, Hassan was also an active member of a local football team in Bethlehem, called Islamy Bethlehem. His father is a member of the Central Committee of Referees in Bethlehem. A congregation of more than 200 athletes and referees from Bethlehem pay a visit to Hassan's father to pay their condolences for the loss of their colleague and peer." May his memory be eternal.
Monday, November 06, 2006
Mort Zuckerman: Hatemonger for Racist Israel
"Hamas ensures further bloodshed by indoctrinating Palestinian children. They are not born hating, but from the age of 3 their radical leadership incites them to murder. The hate pervades the educational system, TV broadcasting, summer camps, children's trading cards, movies, music, even games that make martyrdom a major theme."
Mort Zuckerman, Chairman and Publisher, New York Daily News, November 6, 2006
Over the 6 days of this recent aggression, 45 Palestinians have been killed, including 27 unarmed civilians. Ten of these victims are children, and two are women. In addition, 184 Palestinians have been injured, including 50 children and 46 women. Palestine Center For Human Rights, Gaza
Rawda Ibrahim Jaber (48) from Jabalia Refugee Camp and Ibtisam Yousef Mas'oud (44) from Jabalia Refugee Camp are the names of the two unarmed women killed.
As an enlightened Palestinian-American, I heed the words of Morton Zuckerman and will indoctrinate my children that all they need is love . . . maybe the folks in the old country will catch on.
I love racism. I love apartheid, especially big, ugly walls. I love dehumanisation, I love that there is no such thing as a Palestinian almost as much as I love Israeli hummus and falafel. I love bigoted Russian, American, and European immigrants who live on stolen land. I love American Zionists who go to Israel to kill Palestinian kids, young men, and old people. I love rich newspaper owners who spin genocide. I love the ignorance, indifference, and apathy among Americans that provides an audience for Mr. Zuckerman while Palestinian men, women, and children are being maimed and killed by new weapons with which doctors have no experience, the weapons which cleanly trim the limbs from the body, like a razor. I love toxic Zionists who spew words inciting idiots to cheer the genocide of Palestine's true heirs. Most of all, I really love waking up in the morning to read Morton Zuckerman's inspirational and loving words. Would that we could all be as big hearted as he.
Complicit Media Enables Bigoted Israel
RE: Israel Presses Attacks in Gaza, Killing a Rocket Makerhttp://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/05/world/middleeast/05mideast.html?ref=middleeast
Reading your deceptive report covering up and excusing racist Israel's anti-Palestinian maneuvers and aggressive attacks on relatively unarmed vulnerable stateless civilians, I can not help but wonder if the propagandists and newspapers that helped Hitler build his horrible Holocaust had been held accountable things would be very different today- with a just and lasting peace shaping reasonable choices and actions in the Holy Land.
Instead what we have are stories so warped by Zionist spin that up becomes down and the victims of political Zionism's blatantly racist war on the native non-Jewish population of the Holy Land are depicted as villains.
Your headline should have been "On Saturday, a 12-year-old girl was shot in the head and killed by an Israeli sniper in Gaza." Or "Unarmed Palestinian women valiantly rise up to stop Israel's war machine . . . ."
As a recent Jordan Times editorial wisely concludes " We salute the bravery of the women of Gaza, not only for this latest action but for all their work out of the spotlight without which the Palestinian society would have collapsed."
Shame on you NYTimes for being so complacent and complicit in misinforming America as to the true nature of Israel's many crimes against humanity.
Anne Selden Annab
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Kafr Qasem, 1956; Beit Hanoun, 2006
"Predictably, the soldiers do kill Masarwa as he approaches the fence. Witnesses said that they saw his blood on the fence on Wednesday afternoon when everyone went out in mass to look. " Samia Halaby, MEMORIAL on the 50th Anniversary of the Kafr Qasem Massacre
The brave women of Beit Hanoun, who went to the mosque to protect their men, seeking sanctuary there from Israel's occupation army. Two of these women, as yet unidentified in the western press, were murdered, although they were unarmed. It must have been their indomitable will that provoked Israel's occupying army to fire tank shells at them.
Old, too, are Victims of Genocidal Bigots
Jameela Mourns Son, Ibrahim, 15
Asel Nasar, 12
Saturday, November 04, 2006
'People with empty hands defeat large army'
3 November 2006
"Bein Hanoun, with 30,000 inhabitants, has been the target of daily aggressions and air strikes since June 25. It is now besieged by Israeli troops. We have seen the tanks advance and take up their positions. We are now encircled by about 70 tanks and at least 450 soldiers who announce that the city is a "closed military zone". That means that no one can leave. No one can flee. It is an offensive based on those carried out in the West Bank in 2002.
We have no water, no electricity. We hide in the remote corners of our houses. Ambulances are not authorized to enter into this occupied and closed zone. The soldiers have circled the houses they want to invade. They occupied the houses and they shut up the families in one room. Now they are using then as forts. They use explosives to pierce holes in the walls, they blow off doors, and the people are terrified. They shoot anyone that moves.
Yesterday they fired on people that were seeking shelter, who were not armed, who were not in fighting positions. They shot them in the back, and when one was wounded and wanted to flee, they killed him. Those who wanted to collect his body were targets as well. In numerous cases, ambulances couldn't go to the aid of the wounded. Children who slip out from their parent's watch or that look out the windows are killed by Israeli soldiers positioned on the roofs and balconies of the houses they occupy.
They have the green light from Bush to kill us, and those politicians that affirm that Israel "has the right to defend itself". They use arms that transform the dead and wounded into something monstrous. The wounds provoked by the missiles launched from the drones are very impressive. They are like razor cuts; the legs, the feet, the hands all cleanly cut. They are as horrifying as wounds from an M-16. The soldiers have orders to shoot at the upper body. They aim at the chest, near the heart, the head.
The victims are mostly civilians, killed or wounded in the throat, the neck, the chest, the head, even though they were in their houses. They shoot at people running in fear, who are trying to save themselves. We have lost any notion of time; we have no idea how long we have been caught in this war. We feel lost. There are planes that bomb us, drones ready to fire their missiles over our heads. They control the entire zone. With the droning of the drones, we always have the feeling of having a bee buzzing in our ears. It is really disturbing.
There is no one to defend us. We don't have an army. We have only our parents to defend us, knowing that they are going to their deaths and that they cannot defend us. This new aggression is horrible especially for the children who are very numerous here. They are forced to stay couped up inside, they are terrorized, and they cry when there are bombings. At any moment we can learn there are people killed, there are people wounded who are bathed in their own blood, that people don't know how to stop the hemorrhaging, and that the ambulances can't give them any aid without being hampered.
The Israelis say that are waging this offensive to prevent the entry of arms from Egypt. That is false. Nothing can enter. In Gaza, there are only rifles that can do nothing against the Apache helicopters and the Merkawa tanks of the Israeli army. The only arms of war in Gaza are those delivered by Israel and the United States to Dahlan, who is Abu Mazen's man, the most feared man in Gaza. He is at the head of the forces that have, for months now, created the troubles to topple the Hamas government.
Yesterday, through their loud speakers the soldiers summoned all the young men fifteen years and older leave their houses. Then, sector by sector, they searched the houses and brought them out, handcuffed, and took them to a place where they certainly forced them to strip, as they did in Betlaya in June. They leave the men in their underwear. For an Oriential, it is the worst of humiliations. They might as well kill us.
We think that after Beit Hanoun they will attack Betlaya, and then Jabaliya and do what they have done here: search house by house. Beit Hanoun, like Rafah, are very vulnerable zones because they are geographically separated from other inhabited areas. They are therefore easy to isolate from the rest of Gaza.
This morning, the women went out to come to the aid of their sons or husbands threatened by the armored cars that encircled the Mosque. The women defied the Apaches and the armored vehicles. For us, it was a tremendous moment. We felt like we were wrapped up in a veil of humanity. It was very moving to see these women ready to die to save their sons and husbands. They continued on without hesitation, and the soldiers, who hadn't expected this, were disoriented. Because of this effect of surprise, they succeeded, saving the lives of these fighters. They demonstrated that people with empty hands could defeat the largest army in the world. We took it as a message to the men of the Arab countries who remain silent. These women said, by their gesture, "There, in the face of your cowardice, Palestinian women by themselves are in the process of fighting for the release of their men who are besieged by the enemies of the Arabs, Israel." "[End of report.]
They are making war on civilians and the world doesn't know
This young Palestinian who recounted the above in a low voice breaks our heart. He could render no greater homage to these heroic women. I think that everyone who saw the images of these women was shaken. The women threw themselves down the long avenue, uncovered, empty handed, defying the helicopters and the armored vehicles, in order to protect their men. The soldiers fired on them, but the women continued and arrived at their goal. The soldiers who were firing from the armored vehicles on these harmless women are monsters.
"Israel has the right to defend itself" responded the former ambassador Elie Barnavi to a journalist from France Culture this morning when asked about the meaning of the Israeli offensive in the north of Gaza. The right to defend themselves against what? There is no Palestinian army facing them. There is only a people being massacred day after day by the best equipped army in the world. And the Palestinians don't have the right to defend themselves.
It is to the Palestinian people, the victims of the massacres, that we should be asking what it means to live under the Israeli military offensive, and not to ambassadors of the Jewish State of Israel, ambassadors who will never tell you, when it comes to Arab lives, of the suffering and anxiety of children thrown into the dreadful chaos, of the women who have no idea how to protect them, of the elderly who impotently submit, of babies wailing, of pregnant women who fear for their unborn children, of the wounded, the dead, the mothers who cry for their men, who feel humiliated that they cannot defend their children, the doctors who can no longer support the rivers of blood and the wounded added to the wounded in their poorly equipped hospitals.
These "terrorists", these "activists" that Israel is fighting, these are Palestinians, the authentic residents of the nation that Israel wiped off the map. These are women of all ages who brave the tanks to protect their sons. These are children who die in their beds or playing by the front door. These are fathers, brothers, cousins, and spouses summarily executed because Israel has put them on their "wanted" lists. These are desperate young people who, to defend their dignity, have only rifles and rudimentary rockets, and who know full well that they are going to their deaths when they put their nose outside. Like the child Bara' Riyad Fayyad, 4 years old, killed on Thursday in front of the door of her house. These are normal people who voted democratically against the corrupt authorities of Fatah.
"Where are our Arab brothers?" cries a Palestinian in front of a camera.
Yes, where is the world? The "international community" says nothing say shocked people who watch all of this with horror and don't understand the silence. But the "international community," so often invoked, is only an empty word. The UN, ever since the fall of the USSR, is nothing but an instrument in the hands of the US superpower.
In fact, the "international community" is us, all of us. It is the associations that are unfortunately more attached to protecting the Jewish State of Israel than defending the right of existence of the Palestinians and their right to return to their rightful home. It is the political parties of every tendency, too preoccupied by their electoral success. It is our elected officials who don't dare criticize Israel out of fear of being accused of anti-Semitism. It is the journalists who misinform public opinion and cover up the crimes of state.
Silvia Cattori [A Swiss NGO worker]
3 November 2006