Friday, March 31, 2006
Yom al-Ard/Day of the Land/Tag des Bodens
Declaration issued by the Popular Front for the Liberation of
Palestine on the Thirtieth Anniversary of the Day of the Land.
To the masses in the land of Palestine and the Arab world!
Since the Sykes-Picot agreement was signed in 1916 Arab land has
been subject to partition and expropriation. Since the first
Zionist invasion, the people of the Arab Nation have struggled and
fought for their independence and unity and for the integrity of
Arab soil. In the course of this colonial invasion and with its
absolute support, the Zionist movement strove to uproot and scatter
a whole people from their land and seize their possessions under the
mendacious slogan "a land without a people for a people without a
land." Thus the issue of the land and sovereignty over it has
become the pivot of a struggle that has lasted for more than a
century between the one whole nation and a racist colonialist
project backed by the forces of renewed colonialism. After being
partitioned, Arab land became the object of many plans for parceling
it out and occupying it, and what is taking place in our beloved
Iraq today is but one example of this, though undoubtedly it will
not be the last. Thus, the Day of the Land is no longer a day for
Palestinians; it has in actuality become an Arab day, in the face of
the dangers that now threaten all the Arab land.
Masses of our people and our nation!
Our people's uprising in Galilee, the Triangle, and the Negev thirty
years ago was but the latest chapter in the struggle of our people
to protect their land that had been going on since the dispossession
the Arabs of al-Hawarith, the expulsion of the residents of the
Negev, and the construction of the first settlements on Palestinian
soil. It was an _expression of the depth of the struggle and its
roots, and it was an _expression of the tenacious adherence of the
Palestinian people to their land and their steadfastness upon it,
regardless of however disadvantageous the balance of power was for
them. It was the will of a people embedded in the earth, fertilized
with the blood of martyrs, who cannot be overcome, and cannot be
prevented from carrying on their fight against racism,
Israelization, and Judaization until they gain their total freedom
Our people, embedded in your land!
We observe the anniversary of the Day of the Land at a time when the
arrogant racist enemy opens our land to colonial settlement, to
racist division, and separation. The enemy applies its racist
hatred to the very soil of this land, to its stones, trees, and
people, without regard for international laws or the customs of
humanity. "More land, fewer Arabs" has become its favourite
slogan. To that end, the enemy is stealing the land of the Jordan
Valley, building racist roads, and demolishing houses in Jerusalem
and Lydda. It prohibits the extension of building areas in Arab
villages. It destroys the farm fields of the people in the Negev and
works to evict them. Yet in spite of all that, our people stand
steadfast, defending their land and their right to remain upon it,
deepening their ties to it, resisting all the racist calls for
eviction and deportation.
You who stand steadfast on the land of the martyrs!
An observation of the Day of the Land requires that we hail the
martyrs who fell for its sake. It requires that we salute the hands
that cultivate it, watering it with their sweat, determination,
remaining faithful to the struggle of our people by according the
land the utmost importance in patriotic work, whether in the sphere
of politics, economics, or society. Politically, it is necessary to
construct a comprehensive national plan to protect and defend the
land as a matter of national rights and sovereignty. Socially and
economically, it is necessary to follow a clear political course of
supporting Palestinian agriculture, national agricultural
production, and the farmers who constitute the guardians of the
land. Legally, it is necessary to pass a law on the land that
abrogates old regulations that facilitated confiscation and colonial
settlement building, one that guards the rights of citizens'
individual property, and relentlessly fights the policy of land
confiscation, Judaization, house demolition, and Zionist ethnic
To the masses of our people everywhere in the homeland!
On the Day of the Land we reaffirm our hold on our land as a matter
of our true sovereignty, and our clear line of upholding our
permanent legitimate right to the return of the refugees to their
land and homes, the establishment of our independent national state
on our national soil with Jerusalem as its capital. We affirm to you
that we uphold the line of resistance to the occupation, its
settlements, its racist wall, its roadblocks, and fascist
checkpoints, and we emphasize that any path other than that of
intifada, national steadfastness and resistance will lead nowhere
except a temporary state in which the enemy will expropriate more
than half the West Bank and deny us our Jerusalem as the permanent
capital of our state. We affirm to you that no occupation
government will give anything more than unilateral solutions aimed
at wiping out our cause, but that our national unity is all we need
to defeat the plans of Olmert and his masters. This unity must be
firmly laid down by a provisional national leadership on the basis
of a program built around common denominators, energizing and
constructing the Palestine Liberation Organization to represent
everyone on a democratic basis, inasmuch as it is the moral entity
that embodies the unity of our people and their struggle and is the
sole, legitimate representative of this people.
So glory to the martyrs of the land on their eternal day!
Glory to the hands that work and steadfastly guard the land!
Freedom to the prisoners!
By Resistance we will build our sovereignty on our land!
30 March 2006.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Thanks Joe90, one of the funniest commenters in the blogosphere.
Wanted: Eye Witness Testimony to Israeli War Crimes
high-ranking Israeli officers, when they travel
outside of Israel, several legal organisations are
looking to receive testimonies from internationals who
witnessed war crimes, whilst in the West Bank or Gaza.
These organisations are aware that every international
who has travelled to Palestine will have witnessed the
crimes of the occupation, however lawyers are seeking
cases which are strong enough to be submitted to
court, based on evidence provided by actual witnesses
The crimes they are looking for are:
House Demolitions – particularly where they were
extensive or carried out deliberately as a form of
If you witnessed any of these, please write a short
email to the UK lawyer Daniel Machover at
email@example.com. You will need to
1. Who was the victim
2. The date and time it happened
3. What happened preceding and after the event
4. Whether any Palestinians made a complaint at the time
and who has their testimony such as a local lawyer or
human rights organisation
5. What supporting evidence you have, such as photos or
video footage (please state whether this is unedited
Cases are being prepared in several countries around
the world, so it doesn't matter which country you are
living in, your testimony could prove useful
You do not have to make a decision now as to whether
you want to be a witness in court. This is a long-term
legal project, with the possibility that your
testimony might never be used - the lawyers at this
point are gathering information in order to build
cases. Lawyers will not use your name without your
We are also seeking information on which commanders
and which military units were operating in which areas
at which times (now and in the past.) If you can
provide any names, even if you were not a witness to a
crime, this could prove useful.
For more information about this, please read news
If English is not your first language, help will be
given with translation. Please also forward this
email to any Palestinian living abroad who witnessed
or was a victim of war crimes and would like to
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Here is a comment from Angus regarding recent posts on Rachel Corrie:
Please visit this site: Rachel's Words "I had the good fortune to attend this remarkable event," he says and continues:
It's unfortunate seeing the tunnel canard still repeated. corrie was protecting the home of a pharmacist and his family. the IDF never claimed the pharmacist harbored terrorists, and no tunnel was found under the house. (the IDF eventually demolished it.)
While the U.S. Government is on record stating that the report of the Israeli military investigation into Rachel's killing did not meet the standard of "thorough, credible, or transparent," the U.S. has taken no steps to investigate this killing of an American citizen by a foreign military.
In their October 2004 report Razing Rafah:Mass Home Demolitions in the Gaza Strip, Human Rights Watch noted:
Sixteen thousand people, more than ten percent of Rafah's population, have lost their homes, most of them refugees, many of whom were dispossessed for a second or third time.
The pattern of destruction strongly suggests that Israeli forces demolished homes wholesale, regardless of whether they posed a specific threat, in violation of international law. In most of the cases Human Rights Watch found the destruction was carried out in the absence of military necessity?
Under international law, the IDF has the right to close smuggling tunnels, to respond to attacks on its forces, and to take preventive measures to avoid further attacks. But such measures are strictly regulated by the provisions of international humanitarian law, which balance the interests of the Occupying Power against those of the civilian population. In the case of Rafah, it is difficult to reconcile the IDF's stated rationales with the widespread destruction that has taken place. On the contrary, the manner and pattern of destruction appears to be consistent with the plan to clear Palestinians from the border area, irrespective of specific threats....
The IDF has failed to explain why non-destructive means for detecting and neutralizing tunnels employed in places like the Mexico-United States border and the Korean demilitarized zone (DMZ) cannot be used along the Rafah border. Moreover, it has at times dealt with tunnels in a puzzlingly ineffective manner that is inconsistent with the supposed gravity of this longstanding threat.
From Cry, the Beloved Country And From Bethlehem, A Horror Story
And now for all the people of Africa, the beloved country. Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika, God save Africa. But he would not see that salvation. It lay afar off, because men were afraid of it. Because, to tell the truth, they were afraid of him, and his wife, and Msimangu, and the young demonstrator. And what was there evil in their desires, in their hunger? That men should walk upright in the land where they were born, and be free to use the fruits of the earth, what was there evil in it? yet men were afraid, with a fear that was deep, deep in the heart, a fear so deep that they hid their kindness, or brought it out with fierceness and anger, and hid it behind fierce and frowning eyes. They were afraid because they were so few. And such fear could not be cast out, but by love.
It was Msimangu who had said, Msimangu who had no hate for any man, I have one great fear in my heart, that one day when they turn to loving they will find we are turned to hating.
Oh, the grave and the sombre words.
Paton, Alan. Cry, The Beloved Country. A story of Comfort in Desolation. England: Penguin, 1958.
This horrifying story of man's inhumanity to man is from Stop the Wall:
Karmen Salim Khalil Nassar is 60 years old and from Bethlehem. Standing outside her restaurant, in the shadows of the Apartheid Wall, Karmen reveals the suffocation of Palestinian life in the city.
“We constructed this building back in 1984. It was in a good area of the city. We opened a restaurant on the ground floor and it was always full. People had to make reservation to find a place to sit.”
Today the building is isolated from the rest of the city, behind the Wall which encircles the neighbourhood. Located in al Kubbe, this part of Bethlehem is now slated for the expansion of the judaized “Greater Jerusalem” and Palestinians are driven with all means to leave their homes. “In the past, even during bad times we were able to save money from the restaurant. With time we started to build more floors so that we could run a hotel in the building. My sons were managing the hotel and we all had a good income.”
Projects and incentives for investment linked to the millennium, and the expected flows of tourists to the area, encouraged the family to take up loans to expand their business and build a multi-story hotel.
Reduced to Rubble
As attacks on Palestinian lives escalated during the Al-Aqsa Intifada, Occupation Forces regularly invaded Bethlehem, laying siege to the city. Karmen’s property was attacked and the top floor used as a military base.
“They destroyed the hedge around our garden and they throw their rubbish everywhere, in the garden and at the house. They transformed it into a dump and they urinated everywhere throughout our house. We felt disgusted, but still, we put all of our efforts and dedication into the property and we will not give it up.
“When the Occupation soldiers came to install their military base on the top of the house, they took my son and hit him. They put a gun to his head and dragged him into the garden and beat him up. In the meanwhile they tied me, so I couldn’t follow them. I tried to untie myself to get my son out of the hands of the soldiers but they put a gun to my throat and told me they would kill me if I moved or did as much as to utter a word. I pushed the soldier away shouting at him: ‘Kill me; this is not a life anyway! This is the only son I have left and I don’t have anyone in this life after him!’” An old woman here fainted from all the stress. When she regained consciousness, she was prevented from seeing a Palestinian doctor.
“Before this happened, we didn’t have any debts with anybody. Now we owe money to the water authority and the electricity company and we are not able to pay our property taxes. We don’t even have the money for to pay the fees for the school for my grandchildren. Sometimes the PA or other institutions give us some money so that we can pay the water bills, but we are struggling to survive now.”
Ironically, the major part of the water and electricity bills are not due to the consumption by Karmen’s family, but due to usage by the Occupation Forces stationed on the roof of the building.
“One day I was alone in the house, when I heard the soldiers banging at the entrance. They were putting nails on it to shut it down. So I went to them and asked them what are they doing. They told me to give them the key for the door stating: “You are not allowed to use the door anymore, it is not yours anymore.” I started shouting for the neighbours to come to help me. So they tied me and left me like this until my son came back.”
The Occupation took all the keys from the family and closed the entrance. Since then, the family has been forced to leave and enter their home through the balcony where they constructed a makeshift staircase. Soldiers have kept the keys, using them to enter their apartment at random, insult the family and urinate in the house.
Destruction by the Occupation has caused damage throughout the building. On one occasion the electricity cables were cut, another time the car was destroyed. All chairs, furniture and equipment in the once flourishing restaurant have been ransacked.
Cooped inside the apartment they inhabit in their building, the family are prevented from accessing the rest of the property and using their garden. The soldiers use force against them any time they see them outside the confines of their apartment. Walking has become perilous as soldiers through bricks from the roof.
The nightmare of life under Occupation
“Until this disaster happened, we were all living together, me, George, his wife and their six children. But since soldiers began to enter the house, sometimes shooting and threatening us, life has become unbearable.
“The children were too anxious to go out of their rooms. During the night they couldn’t sleep. I placed my mattress next to them so they felt safer. I swear they couldn’t sleep all night, with nightmares of the soldiers bursting into the house.
“Most nights the soldiers have parties in the restaurant and get drunk. Then they come and hit the door and insult us, calling us dogs and telling us to get out of the house. They explode small sound bombs to scare us, but I respond to them without fear: ‘We are sleeping in our house; you are the dogs that come and attack us.’ Once they came at night and made us all stand against the wall and they beat-up George badly.
“When the children travelled to school, I accompanied them and held them by their hands until the top of the road, meeting them there when they return. Once, I was alone with them in the house. They were playing in the garden as the soldiers came to the apartment. They wanted to enter, so I started to shout. The kids heard it and started to shout with me and to cry. The Occupation Forces attempted to beat me up. After this time the children insisted that they couldn’t continue living in these circumstances.”
The family finally decided that George’s wife should go and live with the children in another house, while Karmen and George continue to resist the tyranny of the Occupation and not leave the building empty.
“Everything they do is aimed at terrorizing us, but they know now that we will not be afraid of them!”
Above: Karmen house surrounded by barbed wires.
“They beat us up in our own house and the next day they come with sweet words to buy it from us”, explains Karmen of the tactics used by the Occupation to lure the family away from their house.
Not being able to continue the hotel and the restaurant in their building, George rents a small restaurant in Bethlehem attempting to procure the family an income. However, the income from this business can in no way feed and adequately support the family.
Wanting to take advantage of the family’s dire financial situation, the Occupation started to send agents to persuade them to sell their property. Once a group of French visitors came to George’s restaurant in Bethlehem. They told him: ‘You have been very successful running a famous restaurant. We want to develop this new restaurant for you’. They offered him money but he refused, then they asked to invest in the restaurant where he could work for them. At this point they wanted him to come and meet them in Jerusalem. They would ensure he would get a permit to enter the city. George became suspicious and refused anything from them.
Karmen noted, “They insisted and came back asking him to sell them his restaurant. They said: ‘We will get the soldiers out of it and together we can re-develop the restaurant’. But George would not sell the building and refused. So they asked to see his children saying: ‘Next time we prefer to see your children. We are sure your children don’t like this life you are having now. We want to talk with them.’”
George’s children are young and the whole family is worried that the many different Zionist agents attempting to deceive and pressure the family into leaving will try to use and destroy the children for their own purposes.
At other times, strangers that didn’t want to identify themselves called to talk about the house, and to see all the documentation demonstrating the ownership. Once, George has even been offered an opportunity to leave the country, take a new passport, a new job and a new wife.
The family have received little help in the daily struggle against the Occupation, their agents and soldiers. Occasional financial handouts from the Palestinian Authority have been made but as Karmen notes:
“They only think we want money. Sometimes they feed us with a bit of money to shut us up. But we don’t want money. We want political support! When George went to a Human Rights organization, they gave him beans, expired ones. Sometimes I feel everything is against us at a moment when we are being attacked from all sides. What else can I say? Everyday a similar story happens here.”
Ignored by the media, neglected by the institutions, families in Palestine are suffering but resisting the Occupation’s drive to expel them form their homes and land. Determined not to relinquish their rights, such sturdy determination leads the way in resisting Zionism.
Tell Your Representative That More Must Be Done To Protect Palestinians In Iraq
And all that you have to do is to type in your name, e-mail, and address, and your congressman and Senators will receive this pre-written letter on behalf of the Palestinians currently living under a death threat in Iraq:
Please speak out against the horrifying conditions of Palestinians in Iraq. Most recently a Shiite militia calling itself the "Judgement Day Battalion" is threatening to kill Palestinian refugees living in Iraq if they do not leave immediately, this group has dropped leaflets in Palestinian neighborhoods with the following warning, "We warn you that we will eliminate you all if you don't leave the area for good within 10 days." Many Palestinians have already been kidnapped and killed and others are trying to flee but are trapped at the Iraqi/Jordanian border after the Jordanian government closed the border to prevent them entry. They are now stuck in an extremely dangerous part of Iraq referred to as "no man's land," without water, food, or shelter. A Palestinian diplomat in Baghdad told the press that it is now routine to find several Palestinians a week in the morgue.
As an occupying power, the United States has a responsibility under the Geneva Conventions to protect Palestinian civilians from human rights abuses. I expect you to stop ignoring the plight of refugees in Iraq and occupied Palestine. There are an estimated 34,000 Palestinians in Iraq, of whom 23,000 have been registered by UNHCR in Baghdad. Emmanuel Gignac of UNHCR's Iraq Support Unit in Geneva says that,
"They (Palestinians) are feeling increasingly trapped, and for security reasons many have stopped going to work and have taken their children out of school. We know very well that life for other Iraqis is very difficult as well at the moment. The Palestinians feel,
however, especially vulnerable and targeted as they were perceived to have been treated favorably by the previous regime."
This is an urgent matter and requires your immediate attention
The Shooting of Little Akaber
March 27, 2006
The Shooting of Little Akaber
Are We Done Killing Children, Yet?
By GIDEON LEVY
A bullet in the head from a distance of a few meters, fired suddenly and without warning shots aimed at the wheels, which the Israel Defense Forces claims there were. This is the way undercover soldiers from the Border Police killed Akaber Zaid, an eight-and-a-half year-old, who was on her way to the doctor, according to her uncle, who was with her and was also wounded.
Little Akaber was going to the doctor and he did indeed see her, but there was no longer a reason for him to do so. She had been on the way to have him remove stitches from her chin, but instead arrived dead at the same doctor's office, with her head smashed and her skull gaping.
Soldiers from the Border Police's undercover unit, known by the Hebrew acronym Yamas, shot at her uncle's taxi at close range as he was parking the vehicle next to the doctor's office. All the soldiers' claims, as presented to the media by the IDF, to the effect that they had shot at the taxi's wheels in accordance with the "regulations for arresting a suspect," were nothing but lies, says the girl's uncle, who was sitting next to her.
The car was sprayed from the right and from behind with bullets, which entered through its windows. The shots were fired from just a few meters away, the uncle stresses, in the light of a street lamp.
We saw the taxi this week: All its wheels are intact. However, those who carried out the "investigations" on behalf of the IDF and the Border Police did not even bother to examine the vehicle, or to question the man who had driven it. He was also wounded and is hospitalized.
We also took testimony from him and could not find a single fact on the ground that contradicts what he reports: The undercover soldiers shot at the girl from two directions, from nearby and, the uncle says, without warning. No soldier with a gun, certainly not an expert sharpshooter from the Yamas, would aim at close range at wheels and hit someone in the head instead.
Down the road, hundreds of meters from the shooting, are the remaining signs of the destruction wreaked by the Border Police. Not one wanted man was detained, but a five-story apartment block was badly damaged and there are wrecks of cars that were completely crushed, one after the other, still standing in the street.
Why did the undercover soldiers shoot at a young girl? How could they dare claim they aimed at the wheels? Why did they have to shoot at innocent people in a taxi in the first place? Why did they wreak such havoc? Why did they crush vehicles that were the last source of income for their owners? What is the difference between this action on the soldiers' part and a terrorist attack? And why are these questions not being asked?
The father did not accompany his daughter to Dr. Samara. He said he could not bear to see the doctor removing the stitches from her little chin. Akaber was a second-grade pupil from the village of Al-Yamoun, northwest of Jenin. In her picture from kindergarten, she can be seen wearing a square black graduation cap, like those worn by university graduates and people receiving doctorates. That is the custom in the Al-Yamoun kindergarten: The children who excel are photographed with the special hat. That is how she will remain in the collective consciousness of that town, whose sons once worked in Israel.
Akaber is not the first girl they are burying. How many children were killed in Al-Yamoun in the past few years? The school principal, who came to pay his condolences to the family, begins to list them, one by one, but stops suddenly and asks: "Why should I count them? Are we finished having our children killed?"
The father enters the mourners' room in the local council building, his eyes red with crying. Abdel Rahman Zaid, 31, the father of six, drives a commercial van that travels in the West Bank, when possible. About three weeks ago, Akaber fell on the stairs in her house and hurt her chin. Last Friday it was time to remove the stitches.
When Abdel Rahman returned from work, he asked his brother Kamal--a 27-year-old taxi driver, whom he calls Hamoudi--to go with Akaber to the doctor's house on the hill, where he has his office. It was Friday night, the last night of her life. His brother took the girl and she sat beside him in the passenger seat. The father stresses that the taxi's windows were transparent; there were no curtains covering them or hiding the passengers. Any soldier could see the occupants, any soldier from the Yamas could see that there was a small girl with a braid sitting there.
The two left for the doctor's and soon reached his street. From his bed in the government hospital in Jenin, his wounded hand in a bandage, Kamal relates that after parking, he suddenly noticed some soldiers to the right of the car. It is a narrow road and they were standing barely a few meters away. He says they began firing immediately, from the right and from behind. Only after that did he hear shouting in Hebrew, which he does not speak. Little Akaber was already lying on the seat with her head smashed.
Kamal lifted her up in his arms; the soldiers instructed him to leave her on the road. Thus, they remained on the road--the dead girl and her wounded uncle.
The Yamas soldiers ordered him to stand, to lift up his shirt and then to sit back down. They continued to shoot in the air, Kamal says. A neighbor took the girl to the doctor who was expecting her. From there she was taken to the hospital in Jenin where her death was confirmed.
The uncle's arm was bandaged on the spot and he was taken by military Jeep for interrogation. He says the soldiers beat him. There was a dog in the vehicle, who sniffed him, and a soldier called Raslan who, he says, hit him in the head when he spoke Arabic. Kamal took three bullets in the arm and leg. He says seven bullets hit the girl, three of them in her head.
The yellow Renault taxi tells the story: Its wheels are intact, but its body is riddled with bullet holes. The back window is shattered, and there are bullet holes in the back head rest and in its sides. There are blood stains everywhere, the blood of the dead girl and her wounded uncle. All this time, they hid her death from her father. Abdel Rahman had heard the shots--the doctor's office is not far from their house--but he never thought of his daughter somehow, only of his brother. He went to the doctor's office and there they told him that Akaber had been wounded. The doctor injected him with a sedative, and he says he did not wake up until morning. Only when he awoke and went home, at about 5 A.M., did his other brother break the bad news. His wife already knew: She heard the news on an Arabic-language TV station.
Through his tears, the father wants to tell us something: The girl's mother, Ikram, was born in Israel. Akaber was also Israeli. She was born in a Nazareth hospital and has an Israeli birth certificate. She was buried in the Al-Yamoun cemetery on Saturday morning.
The IDF Spokesman: "On March 17, while a special forces unit of the Border Police was engaged in arresting wanted men in the village of Al-Yamoun, northwest of Jenin, the unit surrounded an area in which there was a suspicion that wanted men were hiding. During the operation, the force saw a taxi that seemed suspicious approaching the area and began the procedure of arresting a suspect. When it failed to heed the soldiers' calls, they opened fire in the direction of the taxi."
Does anyone think the uncle would not have heeded the calls to stop if indeed the soldiers had called out? The man was taking his little niece to the doctor. The army announced merely that "the IDF regrets harming the Palestinian girl and is conducting a comprehensive examination of the circumstances of the event."
The scene of the destruction: A Palestinian bulldozer removed the wreckage next to the Zaid family's house on Sunday. A five-story building, which the soldiers suspected was housing wanted men, has been partially destroyed. The family members are now covering the huge holes in it with gray bricks, and its elegant columns are in danger of collapsing. In the yard below are the other wrecked cars: a yellow Mercedes taxi, a white Subaru, and another few pieces of metal that were once cars.
Mohammed Zaid, who owns one of the apartments, emerges from the debris: "This is the Jewish army--this is the bad Jewish army," shouts his uncle who is with him. Mohammed recalls that at about seven on Friday night, he saw another group of soldiers outside his grocery shop. They demanded that he tell all the residents to leave the building.
There are five large families--families of a lawyer, a doctor, an engineer, a teacher--living in the five stories. All the tenants went out into the street and had to wait there until morning--dozens of children, women and men--until the soldiers finished their work.
Mohammed says that the women and children acted as a barrier between the area where people were shooting at the soldiers, from one house, and the area where the Border Police was returning fire. When the building had been evacuated, they sent Mohammed to turn the lights on in all the rooms to see if someone was still there.
An IDF bulldozer was ready to tear the structure down. Mohammed says he suggested the soldiers accompany him to see that no one was left inside, but they shut him up, saying, "We know what work we have to do."
Around midnight, the bulldozer started tearing things down. The house across the street was also damaged.
Mohammed says he asked an officer: "Does Israeli law permit you to do this?" The officer said, according to Mohammed: "Go and complain at the UN."
Mohammed's brother, a dentist, whose clinic was completely destroyed, tried to tell an officer that he was a doctor "for humans," and the officer replied: "Shut up."
Mohammed was taken for interrogation at the Salem facility and was released only on Saturday at noon. He says he told his interrogator: "On TV, you say you are a democracy." The interrogator replied: "Democracy is only for the TV."
Mohammed, a teacher, says: "I always tell my pupils that we like peace. What will I tell them now? That this is what peace looks like?"
We go to the top of the hill where Akaber was killed. A sign points the way to Dr. Samara's clinic. Someone has placed a row of little stones on the road where the taxi stood, to mark where the little body was. The bloodstains have not yet been wiped away.
From an old elections poster, Yasser Arafat's picture looks down on this makeshift memorial to Akaber.
Gideon Levy writes for Ha'aretz.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Hamad Hamdan, Memory Eternal
As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods; They kill us for their sport. William Shakespeare
Hamad Hamdan, 16, of Dair el-Balah,was killed by Israeli Occupation Forces on Sunday, March 26.
Good night, Sweet prince,
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.
God Bless You and Keep You, dear Hamad.
Two Thousand Gather At Riverside Church for 'Rachel's Words'
UPDATE:An excerpt from North Jersey.com: The four-hour production combined video footage of Corrie, musical performances and contributions from Maya Angelou and musician Patti Smith. Rachel's parents, Craig and Cindy Corrie; U.S. Senate candidate Jonathan Tasini; and Palestinian-American comic Maysoon Zayid were among those on hand.
Corrie's story resonated with its audience.
Kara Young, 19, of Harlem, admitted that before the performance, 'I wasn't really aware of what was going on with Rachel Corrie.' Afterward, she said, 'I literally put myself in her position and felt like I was crushed by a bulldozer.'
The Lonesome Death of Rachel Corrie song by Billy Bragg (thanks Annie and Trouvere)
Rachel Corrie's Words
March 27, 2006
Three years ago Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old American peace activist was murdered. She sat down in front of a Palestinian home in Rafah attempting to stop its destruction by an Israel bulldozer. The bulldozer’s driver crushed Rachel, brutally ending her life.
As quickly as news spread about Rachel’s death, websites began publishing selections of her writings: emails to her parents and journal entries that included observations about her life and experiences.
Especially powerful were her vivid portrayals of daily life in Gaza. Those who read Rachel’s words were moved by the suffering she depicted, the fierce determination and passion for justice she displayed, and the hope she inspired.
It was not surprising, therefore, that a British theatrical group found merit in Rachel’s life and writings. They edited her emails and journal entries into a one-woman play, “My Name is Rachel Corrie,” which has, since 2005, had two critically acclaimed runs on the London stage.
“My Name” has yet to appear in the US and given recent developments the play may never be performed on a major US stage.
The New York Theatre Workshop, a progressive group long committed to producing innovative and controversial material, bid for, and won the rights to produce Rachel’s play in the US. It was to have opened on March 22, but submitting to unnamed “pressures,” the Workshop announced an indefinite postponement.
A few investigative press accounts have made it clear that the “pressures” that caused the Workshops to back off came from “pro-Israeli” sources. The explanations offered by theatre group officials have been either unconvincing or farcical.
At one point, for example, it was suggested that given Sharon’s illness and Hamas’s victory it would have been insensitive to perform “My Name.” On other occasions, Workshop officials said that given the controversial political nature of the play that they felt a need to either rewrite(!) “My Name” to provide a more balanced context or to hold off on performing it until they could present it alongside another yet to be written piece that focused on testimonies of Israeli victims of terror.
Prominent voices in New York’s artistic community have been shocked by the Workshop’s efforts to deny freedom of artistic expression to “My Name is Rachel Corrie.” They have expressed outrage at this awkward but still heavy-handed display over censorship.
In response, an outstanding group of artists and activists convened on March 22 at New York’s Riverside Church to protest the cancellation of the play. I was proud to have been asked to co-host the event with Amy Goodman, whose popular national radio program “Democracy Now” has long championed free expression. The program, entitled “Rachel’s Words” was attended by over 2000. The evening featured a number of prominent US artists reading from Rachel’s works.
The night was inspirational. Rachel’s insights remain poignant and powerful. The suffering that tormented her and the responsibility she felt to stop the brutality of the occupation continue to present a moral challenge.
In one entry, for example, Rachel wrote about “watching a father lead his two tiny children, holding his hands, out into the sight of tanks and a sniper tower and bulldozers and Jeeps because he thought his house was going to be exploded.”
“This is the area,” she continued, “where Sunday about 150 men were rounded up and contained with gunfire over their heads and around them while tanks and bulldozers destroyed 25 greenhouses—the livelihoods for 300 people.”
Rachel’s response was to stand between the father and the tanks to offer them protection. Why would she do so? Rachel explained that “Coming here is one of the better things I’ve ever done. . . . I’m in the midst of a genocide which I [as an American] am indirectly supporting and for which my government a largely responsible.”
“It is,” she concludes, “a good for us all to drop everything and devote our lives to making this stop.”
The night was also disturbing. Rachel was murdered trying to make it all stop. And yet the suffering of Palestinians continues. Hanging heavy over the entire evening was the knowledge that Gaza is starving. The Wall continues to be built. Palestinian land continues to be raped by bulldozers planning new settlements and roads. The brutality of the occupation continues to take its toll on the lives of millions.
Political pressure silenced the few Congressional voices who asked for an investigation into Rachel’s death. And now, that same pressure has sought to silence “My Name is Rachel Corrie.”
But if our night at Riverside Church made anything clear at all, it is that Rachel’s words will continue to live and inspire and disturb. That is why some remain so afraid of the power of this young woman’s words. I urge you to read them.
For comments or information, contact James Zogby
Irascible Israelis Got the Munchies
In the last elections, my brother, a founder of the Legalize Marijuana Party, asked my father for his vote. My father found himself in a quandary. On the one hand, it's not every day that your son founds a political party. On the other, my father, who had a taste of the horrors of fascism during World War II, takes all his civic duties very seriously.
'Look,' he said to my brother, 'It's not that I don't trust you, but there are all these serious people who claim that grass is actually dangerous, and as a person who's never tried it, I can't really be sure they're wrong.'
And so, about a week before Election Day, my brother and one of the senior members of the party rolled my father a joint. 'What can I tell you, kid?' my father said to me that evening during a slightly hallucinatory phone conversation. 'It's not half as good as Chivas — but to make it illegal?' And so my father became the oldest voter for the coolest party in the history of Israel's elections. From the minute he said he would vote for it, I knew it wouldn't get into Parliament.
And here's a reply:
So Israeli Jews are free to roll joints and found political parties to legalize Marijuana... and we're encouraged to giggle listening to their antics... while countless Palestinians suffer not from the munchies- but from actual starvation brought on by an easy to apply economic stranglehold on Gaza. It was 100 years in the making you know, this desire to want to take bread, milk and peace away from hungry children. This ability to politicize, displace and imprison the innocent, to torment, traumatize, and then engage in commando attacks on "terrorism." The stupor of our Times is that somehow so many Zionist fools can look for humor while the Palestinians don't even have basic human rights- much less bread, milk or peace for their children.
Anne Selden Annab
Sunday, March 26, 2006
The Sweetest Sounds
Few in the entertainment industry dare to speak out publicly and favorably to western audiences about the Palestinian people: Vanessa Redgrave is one and most recently, Hani Abu Assad, whose film Paradise Now, won the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language film, and was nominated for an Academy Award.
And Gilad Atzmon,whose Exile Won the BBC Jazz Award for Best Jazz Album of the Year in 2003, Best Jazz Album of the Year by Time Out Magazine, number 14 by the Observer, and number 48 by Jazz Time, USA. His band, the Orient House Ensemble, was nominated for best jazz ensemble by the BBC for 2004.
On March 23, Atzmon performed in Frankfurt to a packed house at Frankfurt's Music and Performance School's Little Theater. And these were the words interspersed throughout a virtuoso performance he spoke to the three hundred plus German audience:
As you can tell, we are pretty angry
Nothing to do with you; more to do with Americans and Zionists...liberating the American people
I assume that you support the Palestinian people and that makes me very happy
Before he plays the last song of the evening, Jenin, he said,
We dedicate this tune to the Palestinians whose land it is only and who have the Right of Return and to the Iraqis who have the right not to be liberated.
After the show, I eavesdropped as Gilad was talking to an American-British half-Jewish woman who disagreed with his statement that the land was "only" Palestinians.' He noted that every person in historic Palestine should enjoy equal rights. And he put a copy of Exile in her hands and told her that it was free to her.
And in that act, so determined he was to convince the woman of the simple justice of his plea for the Palesinians, one could clearly see an inordinately gifted man as driven by justice as he is by his music; in fact, a man so principled, that he most likely has forgone what could have been a lucrative market in the US in the interests of the Palestinian people he so fervently champions.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
How You Can Support Gaza's Children
Don't wring those hands:
Click here: https://secure.groundspring.org/dn/index.php?aid=1171
Many thanks to all of you who have responded so quickly and generously to our appeal. As of today, the Middle East Children's Alliance has now raised $20,000 which will provide food parcels to 400 Palestinian families in Gaza.
Over the last few days humanitarian aid and truckloads of food supplies have been entering Gaza through the Egyptian crossing, but the Karni crossing has mostly remained closed. As a result, prices have gone up and many families cannot afford the food that is available.
I am very please to tell you that Firedoll Foundation has generously offered to match every additional contribution up to $3,000.
If you’ve already made a gift, I am deeply grateful. If you haven’t given yet, or if you are able to give again, please do so now, so that we can take advantage of this opportunity to double your gift now and raise an additional $6,000 to feed children in Gaza.
Every additional $50 feeds another family.
We are sending 100% of the money you give to Gaza for food, and to pay small stipends to the Palestinian youth who will help in the distribution.
I have already wired $10,000 to Dr. Mona Elfarra and tomorrow, with the help of staff and volunteers from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society and local youth, she will begin distributing the food parcels. They are prioritizing families with children under five and single-parent families.
Until Israel agrees to fully open the Karni crossing and allow trucks in and out, this man-made crisis will continue to escalate.
Please do three crucial things today:
1. Ask your congressional representatives to continue pressuring the Israeli government to open the Karni crossing. Call the switchboard toll-free at 1-888-355-3588 or visit www.congress.org
2. Make the most generous contribution you can possibly afford. Remember, every dollar you give will be doubled.
3. Forward this email to anyone you know who may be able to help in this emergency.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
The Nazis of our time
By Khalid Amayreh
I don’t have the slightest doubt that the Israeli military-political establishment and those backing it politically, financially and militarily, represent the Nazis of our time.
I know the word “Nazi” is a loaded term that shouldn’t be used arbitrarily to describe evil actions or evil people. I am also mindful of the fact that ascribing the “Nazi” epithet to Jews and Jewish behavior is a tightly-guarded taboo in many western countries.
However, the truth must be told regarding what Israel is doing to the Palestinians. Indeed, when Jews, or anybody else, think, behave and act like Nazis, they become Nazis.
Which begs the question: Does Israel think, behave and act in a Nazi-like manner toward the helpless and unprotected Palestinians in the streets and hills of the West Bank and Gaza Strip?
You bet, it does.
In the past few days and weeks, the Nazi nature of Israeli behavior was amply conspicuous. Last week, the Israeli army, acting like the Nazi Gestapo, forced Palestinian policemen to take off their clothes at gunpoint and then paraded them before the cameras naked, very much like the Nazis did in Europe more than sixty years ago.
The disgraceful act, which was meant to humiliate, debase, and hurt, served no logical purpose, other than satisfying sadistic tendencies, using the words of veteran Israeli writer Uri Avnery.
Why do Israeli leaders and army generals do these things to the Palestinians? Are we talking about a subconscious or probably conscious urge to emulate their former tormentors? Do Israeli leaders and generals think that humiliating their victims is the ultimate test of their virility? Do some Jews in Israel subconsciously admire the Nazis?
Moreover, why did Jewish leaders and public figures, who move quickly to condemn the slightest censure of Israeli behavior, remain silent about this abominable act? Just imagine how these hypocritical Jewish leaders would have reacted had Jews, not Palestinians, been paraded naked before the eyes of the world.
The second Nazi-like act, carried out by the Zionist child killers, took place at the village of el-Yamon near Jenin in the northern West Bank on 17 March. There, the Israeli army dispatched a death squad of undercover soldiers, who disguised themselves as Palestinians, to assassinate Palestinians the Israeli army suspects were involved in the resistance.
However, after milling around for more than an hour, and the person or persons to be murdered didn’t show up, the soldiers, worried that they would return to base “empty- handed,” decided to murder an 8-year-old child, named Akaber Zayed.
The child was sitting in the backseat of a taxi cab when a bullet pierced her tender head, killing her instantly. Having carried out their mission, the soldiers returned to base, probably receiving a citation for valor from their superiors.
The Israeli army, adding insult to injury (in this case to murder), initially claimed the soldiers acted in accordance with outstanding instructions and violated no laws. Well, the Gestapo and SS and Wehrmacht were also acting in accordance with outstanding and violated no laws.
The cold-blooded murder of Akaber Zayed is another stark reminder, if one were needed, of the phantasmagoric murder of Iman al-Hams in Rafah in southern Gaza three years ago. Then an Israeli army soldier shot the 9-year-old child while on her way to school, seriously wounding her in the upper part of her body. However, instead of trying to save her life, the beast, using the words of an Israeli newspaper, emptied his entire magazine of bullets into her body to make sure that she was dead and posed no risk to the Israeli “defense” forces in the area. In the Israeli army jargon, they call this “verification of the killing.” (This author witnessed a barbaric act as such in Hebron several years ago).
We are not talking about two or ten or even a hundred cases of deliberate murder of Palestinian children. We are talking about as many as 1400 Palestinian minors and children, murdered knowingly and deliberately by the Israeli occupation army and paramilitary Jewish terrorists, also known as settlers, in less than six years by the Nazis of our time.
The Israeli state, along with its parroting mouthpieces in the capitals of North America and Europe, claim, mendaciously, of course, that Israeli soldiers don’t deliberately target Palestinian children and that the estimated 1400 Palestinian kids were killed by mistake.
Well, mistakes happen once, twice, even ten times. But when children are killed nearly on a daily basis, it means the killing is institutionalized state policy.
And, now, we are entering the era of a new Nazi-like policy adopted by the government of Israel and designed to starve the Palestinian people through hermetic blockades and closures of Palestinian population centers in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
On 19 March, aljazeera.net correspondent in Gaza, Laila el-Haddad, reported that flour supplies had already been exhausted and that bakeries were consequently closing. This has not happened by coincidence. Two months ago, Dov Weisglass, Advisor of the now-comatose Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, told the Israeli public radio that “the idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet but not make them die of hunger.” Other Israeli officials made similar virulent statements, which, unfortunately, failed to draw any reactions from western capitals.
Mass starvation is nothing short of mass genocide, pure and simple. And Israel is only doing it gradually in order to predict and pre-gauge western reactions. Israel has done it for two months this time, and must be very pleased with the absence of any angry reactions from the capitals of Europe and North America.
Next time, the blockade will last longer, and the prospects of real hunger will grow accordingly. This is not exaggerations or hysteria. This is simply the honest impression that one, anyone, would receive after objectively examining facts on the ground.
We, Palestinians, will not appeal to the US to rein in Israeli Nazism. America has been more cruel to us than Israel itself. America, whose policies are controlled by right-wing Jewish circles such as AIPAC, is our tormentor, par excellance.
But how about Europe? Should European peoples and European governments atone for one holocaust by allowing Israel to commit another, though a silent and quiet one?
This is the urgent question that the Old Continent must face now.
Mother's Day, Palestine
Shaden Abu Hijleh
On October 11th 2002, our mother Shaden Abu-Hijleh (aged 62), a grandmother, peace activist and philanthropist, was murdered in cold blood. Israeli soldiers deliberately shot her without provocation while she was embroidering inside our family home in the West Bank City of Nablus. Over 15 hollow-point bullets, which are banned by international law, were shot directly at our family killing our mother and injuring our father and brother. The bullet holes in our walls and glass door serve as a painful reminder. read more
beauty came to rest its feet
on verdant, flowered soil
it called itself Shaden
and those she touched knew joy
she sheltered weak and strong alike
in cloaks of light and peace
and when the meek were wronged by might
she raised her voice in speech
then one fading day with a calm, gentle spirit
Shaden slipped away.
Shaden soared away.
above the heaving earth she soared
as it weeped for its beauty's passing.
but Shaden smiled from a loftier perch,
for she saw a new justice massing
November 2002 read more
Shaden, the youngest deer.
Shaden, the reason I am here.
Shaden, the music I hear.
Shaden, the death of fear.
Shaden, not far but near.
Shaden, my dearest dear.
Shaden, My Beloved Mom.
Shaden my den,
Mother of Lana & three young men.
Shaden the wife of Jamal,
Daughter of Um Nidal,
Grandmother of Zina, Nadia, and Yasmin,
Mother of the oppressed and the poor,
Your soul will remain free and pure.
Saed Abu-Hijleh (Nablus, Palestine)
November 21, 2002
In fact, I feel her smiling now
As she comforts me in light;
Her message sent so lovingly
To not give up the fight
As long as people live in fear
Of dying in their homes,
And all the world seems not to hear
The songs we sing alone.
Soha Al Jurf
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Google Runs Racist Headline:'Why Palestine Should Be Left For the Wolves'
Two Reasons Why Palestine Should Be Left For the Wolves
The author of this story is a pastor in Hawaii. His diatribe originally appeared on his personal website, Bird of Paradise. Among his personal favorite websites are Michelle Malkin, the idiot who floated the idea of internment camps for Arab-Americans, and the racist Zionist loving site, Little Green Footballs.
Any damned thing goes if one is Palestinian. It's OK to starve Palestinians; it's OK to destroy five hundred of their villages; it's OK to ethnically cleanse them; it's OK to shoot them on their balconies; in their orchards, in their homes, and then erase the tape. It's OK to run racist headlines about them on Google's News page...imagine the outcry if Google News had this headline featured on their main news page:
Two Reasons Why Israel Should Be Left For the Wolves
Do you think just maybe the Anti-Defamation League might intervene...that Blog Critics would issue an apology...
Do you think that Google will issue an apology for its part in contributing to the demonisation of a maligned, impoverished, and powerless people?
And what does the good "Christian" pastor give for his two reasons for his odious view that "Palestine Should Be Left For the Wolves"? Actually, he says "there are many reasons to do so." And he proceeds to provide us with a litany of the shortcomings of the Palestinians.
"Why should the democratic West provide financial support for a government (and its people) who have perpetuated and engaged in suicide bombings of civilians in Israel and who have publicly sworn that their first raison d'etre is to kill Jews, destroy Israel as a nation and reclaim that land for the Palestinian people," he asks.
"...a government (and its people) who have publicly sworn that their first raison d'etre is to kill Jews...." Something about that phrase "kill Jews," that is magical for the shrillest among the Zionists. Acts of resistance are defined as some irresistible penchant on the part of Palestinians to "kill Jews." Whereas every death of a Palestinian by IOF soldiers and settlers is an accident, unintended, an unfortunate byproduct in the line of 'rooting' out myriads of 'terrorists.'
But Palestinian deaths, arrests, and wounded since September 29, 2000? And a host of various and other calamities to befall them from Israel's government and settlers:
801 Kids Killed
140 died because of checkpoints
205 number of teachers and Ministry of Education employees imprisoned
This debased Zionist schill, this so-called "man of God" refers to Palestinians in bestial terms when he writes "the wolves have already taken the would-be-country over."
This hack "preacher," this morally deficient and vaccuous hoochie-coochie boy for Israel preaches to a people he knows absolutely nothing about when he admonishes:
"If people had been taught to build rather than to destroy; to live rather than to die; to work hard rather than to complain about everyone else."
If only the wolves accepted 'responsiblity' rather than 'blame' others we are assured:
"There would be industry. There would be vast areas under cultivation with sophisticated irrigation systems."
Israel destroyed completely or partially 71,470 houses, Preacher.
Israel destroyed completely or partially 645 public sector buildings, Pastor.
While over 9,000 shops were demolished, bub.
Tell me, because you seem to know it all, you twentieth-first century Tartuffe, how does one irrigate when 929984 m. of the main water pipes were also bulldozed?
And 14749 sheep and goats were killed and 12132 cows and cattle?
When 15265 bee hives were rendered useless by the world's greatest wrecking crew and 404 wells with their accessories were demolished.
Tell me, missionary man, I really wanna know. And I have nothing against preachers. I bake bread for my church, organize the Easter Egg Hunt, clean the Church for Palm Sunday; I'm a regular church-going gal who was taught to serve the priest first, and kiss his hand.
But in your pontificating self I sense a man in the grip of Satan. And remember, sometimes God can be an angry God, and you don't want to be a sinner in the hands of an angry God because the thread from which that spider hangs is a delicate thread...
So, this original stone, this Arab-American Christian, is telling you, boy,
Look to your own house before you cast stones at the Palestinians.
'They Have No Idea How Much I Love Her'
"'They (the soldiers) have no idea how much I love her,” the father said, chain-smoking and wiping away his tears. 'How can I enter the house and never see her again?'”
“'Until now, I don’t know why they did it to us, why they shot at us. It was clear that I was in the car just with a small girl,' the uncle, Kamal, said."
An AP story in Arab News reports:
UPDATE: If you don't know about Tom, who runs by himself informationclearinghouse, he is a geat supporter of Palestine. I just noticed that he ran the same picture that's on this post on his main page for March 18 at his incredible site which has a big circulation.
UPDATE: The March 19 New York Times mentions Akbar's death in the last paragraph of an eighteen paragraph story.
"Eight-year-old Akbar Zayed was on her way to have stitches removed from her chin when a barrage of Israeli Army bullets killed her on the spot, her family said yesterday."
The story reports that Akbar's father, Abdel, had asked her uncle, Kamal, to take her to the clinic to get stitches removed from her chin.
Kamal Zayed said that three men ran toward his car and that he was fired upon before he could turn off the engine.
“'I saw them behind the fence. There were more than 30 soldiers. The first bullet hit my niece. She got a bullet in the head from the very beginning,' Kamal recalled from his hospital bed, where he was being treated yesterday for gunshot wounds in his arm and leg. When the gunfire erupted, Kamal had just arrived at the clinic where his niece was to have her stitches removed.
“'I started to yell ... opened the door and started taking her out of the car to get her into the clinic. They (the soldiers) yelled at me to put her on the ground, started shooting in the air. I don’t know what they shot at.' Kamal said.
"Later, Kamal said he was pulled out of the ambulance by soldiers and interrogated for more than two hours before being allowed to receive medical treatment."
Akber's death, like many deaths of Palestinian children, has gone unnoticed in the west. A search of yahoo news shows a three sentence update in sundaymail.co.uk and a story in the news.telegraph headlined "Britain Condemns Israel Over Fatal Shooting of Child." Her death merits one sentence in the ninth paragraph in this AP story headlined "Hamas Forms Government Without Moderates." And her death is mentioned in four sentences at the end of this AP story in Desertnews.com.
Nothing Appears on the BBC Middle East News Page. There is a story about the Israeli soldier shot by his comrade.
The only western media coming up in a googlenews search is the previously mentioned telegraph story.
Read Alison Weir's excellent analyses of western under reporting of Palestinian children's deaths at ifamericansknew.
And read this: AP Erases Video of Israeli Soldier Shooting Palestinian Boy
Palestinian Child Murdered Outside Her House
Imagine that Akaber is your child. She walked out of her house yesterday and was murdered when she stepped out of her house by an IOF soldier, then the ambulance was prevented from getting her to the hospital.
A report issued by the Palestinian National Information Center (PNIC)
which belongs to the State Information Service (S.I.S), mentioned that
the number of the killed children who are underage went up to reach 801. Dates are from September 29, 2000 until February 28, 2006.
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Irshad Manji Speaks, Who's Listening?
The question is who among young educated Muslims, or any Muslims for that matter would give this schill who justifies Israeli apartheid/land theft the time of day? Manji is featured prominantly on the "Righteous Muslims and Arabs Webpage"; those featured are lauded as "righteous Muslims and Arabs who risk life and limb defending liberty, freedom, Israel, the US and Western Democracy,"
thus rendering her credibility among both literate and semi-literates in the Arab and Muslim world nil.
And what makes THE WALL the subject of this self-proclaimed Muslim refuse-nik's op-ed entitled "How I Learned to Love the Wall," a Muslim issue, anyway? It affects both Palestinian Christians and Muslims for whom Manji has no credibility. The only audience lapping up her words that put a happy face on a monstrous wall are the gullible non-Muslim and non-Arab readers of the New York Times. Manji is not stupid; she obviously knows how to make a quick buck, and certainly doesn't need to be disspelled of the illusion that anyone in the Muslim world is listening to her.
What Manji offers is nothing more than slick Zionist Hasbara befitting of a righteous Muslim 'defending Israel.' While seemingly concerned about the hardship the Wall causes, she manages to get in the word 'suicide' or some derivation of 'bomber' seven times, and gets in a plug for Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East: "Israel is open enough to tolerate lawsuits by civil society groups who despise every mile of the barrier...."
She conveniently leaves out that the International Court of Justice in the Hague has ruled that the Wall is illegal, nor does she mention that the wall cuts deep into the West Bank, annexing some forty-seven percent of the West Bank, relegating Palestinians to twelve percent of historic Palestine.
Manji, instead, focuses on "Qassam missiles [that] can kill two or three people at a time," says the wall was "birthed" by Shaheeds, lauds the IOF soldiers for letting her take pictures, puts down "Western" activists, writes that the Wall is for the Arabs' own good: "innocent Arab lives have been spared along with Jewish lives."
She fails to mention that ninety-five Palestinian children were killed by Israeli soldiers and settlers before any Israeli children were killed in suicide bombings.
In a grand finale, the savior of the all the young dudes of the Muslim and Arab world admonishes do not "walk away from these questions as my interlocutor in Abu Dis did. If we follow in his footsteps, we are only conspiring against ourselves."
You see Manji tells us at the beginning of her admonitory op-ed that an old man in Abu Dis said to her "We are all one."
Naturally, the old man wasn't spared the variant of the 'how do you feel about suicide bombing' question that is de rigeur upon any first encounter with a Palestinian.
"How do you explain that to a suicide bomber?" our righteous Muslim queried.
"The man smiled. 'No understand,' he replied. 'No English. Thank you. Goodbye.'"
One could only hope Manji had exhibited the same grace: 'No Arabic. No Palestinian. No Muslim. No story for NYT. Goodbye.'
Search for 'Identity,' Interrupted
Photo by Mohammed Ballas, AP
Abdul Rahmen Zaed carries his eight year old daughter, Akaber, who was murdered by Israel's Occupation Forces in her own neighborhood during an "operation" yesterday in Yanoun.
According to IMEMC, "A Palestinian medical source in Jenin reported that Akaber Abdul-Rahman Zedan, 8, was shot dead after the soldiers fired with live ammunition at dozens of homes in the village.
"The child who was killed by military fire was leaving her home adjacent to the surrounded home. She died of her wounds after the soldiers delayed an ambulance trying to evacuate her.
"Also, an Israeli military spokesperson claimed that soldiers fired at a taxi after its driver failed to stop when ordered, and that the child was one of the passengers.
"The family of the child, and eyewitnesses denied the military allegations and confirmed that the child was shot near her house."
It is indeed unfortunate that Palestinians insist upon living among other Palestinians. They tend to get murdered that way.
Meanwhile, read about a thirty-eight year old Canadian secular Jewish woman who has found her 'identity' in Israel. Did that include her introduction to the 'Israeli' culinary inventions of falafel and hummus? Touching.
I hear many of the campaign materials must be written in Russian to accomodate the Russian immigrants to the 'land without a people for a people without a land.'
I love this little exchange from the story cited above between a Russian immigrant and the Canadian immigrant:
"And what do you think of my decision to immigrate?" I asked.
"I see your decision in the same terms as my own. You were looking for your identity."
I am so glad that they've found themselves. Were they lost before?
And this exchange with a Palestinian is priceless:
"I asked Fayrouz how she saw me, a secular Jew who had moved to Israel."
"'I'm sorry if this hurts you, but I think it's stupid to define Judaism as a nationality. Judaism is a religion and I respect it. But I think that a Jew who lives in Canada is a Canadian. I don't understand the need to define your identity.'"
Next time we meet, I'll ask her how she, a Palestinian Israeli struggling to define her identity, could not understand my search for a place where I could be comfortable defining myself as a secular Jew.
But best of all is this comment on this statement from the Canadian woman in-search-of-an-identity: "my search for a place where I could be comfortable defining myself as a secular Jew."
I don't think the penny's dropped yet with Ms Goldman.
Her "comfort" with her self-image comes at a considerable cost, to others.
I am sure that the parents of Akaber would agree.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Rachel Corrie: Memory Eternal
Even I, it seems, have
developed a callousness to the deaths of
Palestinians, because the murder of this white
girl from Olympia, Washington has
my heart breaking and my blood faint.
Why did Rachel's death touch us so deeply? Maybe part of it was that she 'got it.' And so few people get it. She empathised with the Palestinian people who were targeted by Israel's bulldozers...she didn't judge them, and she wanted to help them, and she wanted the world to know what she found out in Gaza. And she displayed such an inordinate courage, which is not really evident much anymore. There is not one politician in Washington DC expressing any type of compassion or engaging in any positive action for the Palestinians without one eye on AIPAC.
I am always moved to tears by Rachel's words:
Just want to write to my Mom and tell her that I'm witnessing this chronic, insidious genocide and I'm really scared, and questioning my fundamental belief in the goodness of human nature. 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. I don't think it's an extremist thing to do anymore. I still really want to dance around to Pat Benatar and have boyfriends and make comics for my coworkers. But I also want this to stop. Disbelief and horror is what I feel. Disappointment. I am disappointed that this is the base reality of our world and that we, in fact, participate in it. This is not at all what I asked for when I came into this world. This is not at all what the people here asked for when they came into this world. This is not the world you and Dad wanted me to come into when you decided to have me. This is not what I meant when I looked at Capital Lake and said: "This is the wide world and I'm coming to it." I did not mean that I was coming into a world where I could live a comfortable life and possibly, with no effort at all, exist in complete unawareness of my participation in genocide.
"Coming here is one of the better things I've ever done. So when I sound crazy, or if the Israeli military should break with their racist tendency not to injure white people, please pin the reason squarely on the fact that I am in the midst of a genocide which I am also indirectly supporting, and for which my government is largely responsible."
Umkahlil Picks: Guide to Zionist Blogs
Adloyada is from the National Public Radio meets Little Green Footballs school of blogging, with an emphasis on Little Green Footballs.
She marvels over Palestinian embroidery, but doesn't seem to find anything else of merit in Palestinian society.
Putting food and shopping aside, however, one finds that anyone to the left of Khalid Abu Toameh, whom pro-Israel advocacy groups, StandWithUs and Hasbara Fellowships, recently sponsored on a North American speaking tour, meets with Adloyada's disdain. Even Sari Nusseibeh. Sari Nusseibeh? Adloyada thinks that he may have been part of a PA 'charm offensive,' and questions the veracity of his putting quotes around 'security' wall and takes him to task for mentioning it keeps kids from school.
Instead she wonders, along with a favored publication,the Jerusalem Post why the PA doesn't concentrate on disarming terrorist groups instead of campaigning against the Wall.
Adloyada seems to have a problem with any articulate, educated, and talented Palestinians. In the disdainfully and condescendingly titled 'Radical Chic' she takes England's Vogue Editor Bella Freud to task for writing a sympathetic story about Palestine, which Adloyada frames in quotes, and one of its foremost artists, Vera Tamari, and says Freud is influenced by her association with Professor Karma Nabulsi, whom Adloyada disingenuously terms 'militant.' She also doesn't care for Hanan Ashrawi, linking to a CAMERA story purportedly about Ashrawi's propaganda.
One would hope that she's sincere when she commiserates about one woman's ordeal waiting at a checkpoint in a stilfling bus, "I wish we did not have circumstances that created it. I know from what you write that you recognise the complexity of the situation, that you do not demonize or simplistically blame Israel and the Israelis..."
And not fraudulently effecting a "charm offensive."
For she goes out of her way to vilify Rachel Corrie, linking to Lee Kaplan of Front Page Magazine, even inferring that there were tunnels under the pharmacist's house Rachel was protecting. She also links to this scary site to vilify the ISM.
And gal pal, bridge builder Lisa, the subject of Umkahlil's first Zioblog Review is right there with ol' Adloyada's amen corner:
"What you write here is important. I have met and spoken with several ISM activists in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza and thought they were a very disappointing bunch: they parroted anti-Israel propoganda; they were frequently woefully ignorant of the history of this region...some wore pendants in the shape of Israel, Gaza and the West Bank with no border indicated and the word "Palestine" etched across it
"I also wonder if Rachel Corrie's death would have attracted less notice if she had not been a pretty blonde American girl."
But back to today's Zioblogger... B'Tselem's statistics for Intifadeh deaths aren't to our bridge builder's liking so she links to the Middle East Forum, a group established by Daniel Pipes because this group claims to do a better job than B'Tselem of distinguishing between civilian and combatant deaths. She also has another story on B'Tselem's 'misleading' statistics from the Institute of Counter Terrorism, whose Chair of the Board of Directors, Shabtai Shavit, is former director of the Mossad.
In another post she criticises Edward Said and Hanan Ashrawi again for their use of what she calls "narratives." She promises in a long, confusing post, "I hope to post further on the way in which 'the Palestinian narrative' concept is used to evoke and cover a range of historical obfuscations and distortions. There's no shortage of candidates for deconstruction." Right, like the Palestinian 'narrative' that they descend from from the Caananites, for which she sites a former shill of AIPAC to 'deconstruct.'
Allocation of Kuffiyahs: Due to her 'links' to Israel's Mossad and her prediliction for spooky sites; that is, FrontPage Magazine, HonestReporting, Lee Kaplan, CAMERA, MEMRI and Daniel Pipes, I have no alternative but to bestow
on this most excellent Zionist Blog.
Land Lost: Three Act Comedy
Amireh: 'Israel Didn't Win, Again'
Earth, gape! O no, it will not harbor me Christopher Marlowe
Commentary and Reporting on the Siege of the Prison in Jericho:
Ahmed Saadat:There are more than 200 people holed up. Now they are shelling some of the sides of the prison. Moreover, the prison is being surrounded, and some of its parts are being demolished by bulldozers. I say that there is UK-US collusion with Israel in the storming of the prison.
We, along with our people, will meet our fate courageously. All our people in all corners of the homeland are being targeted. We as strugglers operating within the ranks of this people will engage in confrontation using all our available resources.
From PCHR: During the operation, IOF bombarded the prison and governorate complex before and after bulldozing the buildings inside. The bombardment included tank shells and rockets fired from attack helicopters. The operation ended with the detention of the aforementioned as well as scores of political and criminal prisoners, security guards, and members of the National Security Service, who use the governorate building as their headquarters. In addition, 2 Palestinians were killed, one a prison guard and the other a prisoner detained on criminal charges. Another 50 Palestinians were injured.
From Laila El-Haddad: According to a friend who was at the scene before herself being arrested, the military destroyed one building of Jericho muqatta with tank and Apache shells. And they made sure all the prisoners were in one internal room, in the courtyard which journalists couldn’t see. They then brought a crane and tore down the wall of the room the prisoners were in while they were in it.
On her own experience: Angry protestors from the PFLP poured out onto Gaza’s streets. They attacked symbols of what they perceived as foreign collusion: the British Council (a cultural center) was partially burned, and the office of Amideast, which is in the building right next door to me, was briefly stormed, and its windows shattered. They called a general strike, as stores closed their doors.
Machine-gun fire ripped through the air just as Israeli drones whirred incessantly above, and Israeli artillery shells continued to pound Eastern and Northern Gaza, shaking my entire building. Plumes of black smoke from burnt tires and vehicles could be seen rising in Gaza’s skies.
From Lucy Widaad: You see, our system here works differently then in the rest of the world. It is illegal for us to have our own police according to Israel. If Israel decides to come into our city they warn our people that if they see anyone with a uniform they will shoot and kill him. So when things just start to feel good again, Israel decides they need to come monitor the city, which means, all police hide and all civilians are confined to their home as they drive around in their hummers, etc.
We do not have any choices. We do not have any power.
How are powerless & hopeless people to act?
From Amal Amireh: One of the saddest things I heard today was from some one called Abu Nawras, the head of the Jericho security "battalion". He was on the phone with al Jazeerah correspondent describing how the Israeli bulldozer was knocking the walls of the room he's in, getting closer and closer, saying it's only 10 meters away when suddenly he started thanking the world media for showing up to cover the event. I couldn't believe my ears! How low our expectations have fallen that now we thank the world for coming to witness our execution. "Thank you for coming to my massacre, world."
But he was dignified to the last minute. So was Ahmad Saadat. Their act of resistance was simple and as all simple acts of resistance it was immense: "come and get us; we won't come to you." They didn't kneel. Israel didn't win, again.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
The Last Victims of Hitler
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
The First Victims of Hitler
Monday, March 13, 2006
Wafa Sultan: 'Righteous Arab Defending Israel'
Wafa, along with Khaled Abu Toameh, a writer for the Jerusalem Post, appears with Nonie and several other useful fools for neo-con and Israeli interests on the website of Righteous Arabs and Muslims, which purports to be “a tribute to the righteous Muslims and Arabs who risk life and limb defending liberty, freedom, Israel, the US and Western Democracy.”
Only in the US and Israel could anyone possibly attribute credibility to Sultan’s words, which have appeared, as a result of her most recent appearance on Al-Jazeera, in many US Dailies, including the New York Times and International Herald Tribune. She also is interviewed on the Tovia Singer Show for Israeli National Radio, where you can also hear Ibrahim Abdallah, billed as the “Arab Terrorist-turned devout Zionist explains why he Chose the Bible over the Koran,” and Noni Darwish, identified as the “Daughter of Arab Terrorist Killed By IDF Speak[ing] of her Love for Israel.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, "Sultan's Al Jazeera remarks have been widely circulated by such groups as the Middle East Media Research Institute, a Washington-based translation service founded by a former Israeli colonel, and the American Jewish Congress."
The Times quotes Allyson Rowen Taylor of the American Jewish Congress, who has invited Sultan to Israel, "This woman, at great personal risk, has decided to come forward not only in English but also in Arabic to discuss what's wrong with Islam and the Muslim world.
"She blames the mullahs and clerics for distorting the teachings of the Koran for 14 centuries and speaks about the anger and despair of fellow Muslims."
Evidently, she hasn't been a practicing Muslim for twenty-seven years, doesn't keep up with the writings of reformers, and isn't known in the Musliim world.
That doesn't matter much to the Zionists whom Wafa seems to court:
"The Jews have come from the tragedy and forced the world to respect them, with their knowledge, not with their terror; with their work, not with their crying and yelling."
Not with their terror?
Read this little history from Dr. Anis Sayegh, who was deformed via a letter bomb in London: The Zionist Terrorism File
She went on, "We have not seen a single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant. We have not seen a single Jew destroy a church. We have not seen a single Jew protest by killing people."
Certainly, the woman knows better. Jews don't destroy holy places?
“In attempts to portray the Iraqis as anti-American and to terrorize the Jews, the Zionists planted bombs in the U.S. Information Service library and in synagogues,” writes Naeim Giladi, part of a 1950's Zionist operation to encourage Iraqi Jews to emigrate to Israel.
Wafa is also a big fan of Daniel Pipes. His articles proliferate on the website to which she contributes.
She's also the new darling of the Little Green Footballs crowd and some really scary Islamophobic websites.
Olive Tree Cemetary
DESERT IN BLOOM
Umkahlil's Guide to Israeli Bloggers
I have a guilty pleasure. I have an addiction to Israeli and pro-Israeli blogs. Maybe now that I’ve admitted it, it will be easier for me to kick the habit.
I first knew that I had a problem when I started to get depressed on Fridays, the Jewish Sabbath, when many of the Israeli bloggers don’t post or comment. When they start with the Shabbat Shaloms, I know I'm in for a dry spell.
This morning I tried cold-turkey to break my habit; however, I could only stay away until 1:00 PM.
I don’t know if any support groups exist for my particular addiction...if there were, I’d probably have to boycott them since they would be comprised of mainly Israelis.
Umkahlil’s Picks and Pans: Part I
Today Umkahlil visits On the Face, my favorite Zio-lite blog. For a first venture through the Zio-blogsphere, this is a good place to start because it’s not too scary. Personally, I just can not get enough of it. Lisa, the writer behind On the Face, writes infrequently, hence cultivating a ‘mona-lisa’ mysteriousness; perhaps the secret to her success in the Jblog World.
On the Face doesn’t mind hanging with or quoting Palestinians who are slightly to the left of Nonie Darwish:
I do not oppose the separation barrier, because I understand that the Jews need it in order to feel secure.
And while acknowledging Israel has demolished a house or two in its day, she justifies Israel’s violations of international law
They had been bulldozed by the IDF because they’d been used as a vantage point for Palestinian gunmen who shot at the nearby (now evacuated) Israeli settlements
And she will tolerate no comment if:
It is political and/or agenda-based
Or if it denotes mean things about Zionism; i.e., ‘Zionism=Racism’
I just think this reactionary sloganeering is so damned boring. (and stupid).
Warning: Those who speak of bridge building and refer to the 'complexity' of the situation tend to obfuscate crucial issues; i.e., Resolution 194 and Israel's ongoing violations of International Law. True advocates for justice acknowledge as does Jeff Halper that anything short of ROR is not a just solution. Dr. Salmon Abu Sitta has shown that ROR is feasible. Zionists who do not acknowledge this do lend credence to the expression "Zionism is Racism."
Overall ratings: 5 kuffiyahs/excellent 4 kuffiyahs/very good 3 kuffiyahs/good 2 kuffiyahs/poor 1 kuffiyah/quit blogging and stick to the comments
On the Face's Rating: 4 kuffiyahs