Posts Tagged ‘Somoud: Arab Voices of Resistance’

On behalf of the Palestinian Arab people, on the blood of the martyrs, widows and bereaved, orphans and thousands of prisoners in Israeli jails and all our people in the Palestinian diaspora, we call on all the Palestinian factions to unite under the banner of Palestine, in order to reform the political system in Palestine, based on the interests and aspirations of the Palestinian people in the homeland and the diaspora.

The seriousness of the current phase of Israeli settler incursions and looting of land in our Sacred Jerusalem and the violence of the siege against the Palestinian people in Gaza require us all to stand as one against this brutal occupation.

We have heard that the Palestinian people call for legislative and presidential elections to end the state of division. Yes, we all want to end the division, but we also want a complete re-building of the Palestine Liberation Organization, to include within it all the colors of the Palestinian political spectrum, including Hamas, and to reform it in order to fight again for Palestine’s liberation, as it was initially intended.

We, Palestinian people in the homeland and abroad, have always heard that peaceful actions would achieve victory and restore the land, but 20 years of negotiations have not achieved the leatest demands. Our people remains under a brutal and oppressive occupation that steals land, violate the Holy sites and kills our children, and all of this while the world that claims democracy and human rights is watching and hearing! On the other hand, the resistance is stalling, leaving more than a million and a half Palestinians under Israeli blockade, choking them to the point that our patients, including the sons of the leaders of the resistance, are sent to be treated abroad.

We must agree; it is necessary that we unite for all Palestinians here and there and everywhere, still dreaming of six million Palestinian refugees to return to their homes stolen by the Occupation that only understands the language of force! Let us be strong, let unity be our strength and unanimously agree on a unified leadership that can lead us to freedom with all pride and dignity!

From here we call on the governments of the West Bank and Gaza to respond to the legitimate demands of the people:
1 – the release all political detainees in the prisons of the PA and Hamas
2 – the end of all forms of media campaigns against each other
3 – the resignation of the governments of Haniyeh and Fayyad to re-build a government of national unity agreed by all Palestinian factions representing the Palestinian people
4 – the restructuring of the Palestine Liberation Organization to contain all the Palestinian factions and get back to its initial aim: Palestine’s freedom
5 – the announcement of the freeze of negotiations until the full compatibility between the various Palestinian factions on a political program
6 – the end of all forms of security coordination with the Zionist enemy
7 – the organization of presidential and parliamentary elections simultaneously in the time chosen by all the factions

Events will start on Tueseday, 03/15/2011 at 11:30 pm and will continue until the achievement of all goals. We will be gathering in the following places (modifications possible):
Gaza: the Unknown Soldier Square
Ramallah: Manara Square
Tulkarm: Roundabout Gamal Abdel Nasser
Jenin: complex of garages near the old Cinema Jenin
Hebron: in front of the governor’s office
Bethlehem: Church of the Nativity Square
Nablus: Martyrs Square
Jordan and Lebanon: no location yet
All over the world: in front of the Palestinian embassies, in coordination with the Palestinian communities abroad. TO BE ANNOUNCED!!!

Please join our page.

http://www.facebook.com/Palestinians.United?sk=info

Gaza Youth Breaks Out

On the occasion of the June 2009 European elections, we are launching an urgent appeal to all candidates for the 736 seats in the European parliament.
We ask that they actively pursue the immediate and unconditional removal of Hamas and all other Palestinian liberation organizations from the European list of proscribed terrorist organizations. We further ask that they acknowledge the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and, by so doing, recognise, Hamas as a legitimate voice for the Palestinian people’s aspirations for national liberation.
http://www.recogniseresistance.net/

http://www.recogniseresistance.net/index.php

Initial Signatories:

275 personalities on March 30th 2009

ABICHT Ludo Belgique-ABOUDAN F, Dr. Stellvertret Vorsitzender des Deutsch Syrischen e.V. Allemagne-ABOU JAHJAH Dyab, activiste, Belgique-Liban Belgique-ABUALROB Mohammad, coordinator of the Palestinian People society Afrique du Sud-AHIDAR Fouad, parlementaire bruxellois Belgique-ALEGRE Greta, cinéaste, Artistes contre le Mur Belgique – ALI Tariq, writer, film-maker and editor of New Left Review Royaume-Uni-ALLEG Henri France-ALLEG-SALEM Gilberte France-AL-ZOEBI Mohammed, prof. Dr., ex-Minister in Syria Allemagne-AMADOR Irene, anthropologue Espagne-AMARA Jean-Claude, porte-parole de Droits devant !!, France-ANDREEVA Nina, Secretary general of Central Comity A-UCPB Russie-ANWAR Aamer, Human Rights Lawyer, Ecosse Royaume-Uni-AOURAGH Miriyam, co-organizer Dutch antiwar and antiracism campaign, Pays-Bas-ARSALAN Fathallah, porte-parole du mouvement Justice et Spiritualité Maroc-ARTLIEB Marion, Dpl.Ing. computer scientist Autriche-ATZMON Gilad, artiste de jazz et écrivain Royaume-Uni-AYALA SOSA Rosa (Dr.ssa), CIEP  Italie-BADER Wilfried, local counsellor Angerberg, Tirol Autriche-BARBEAU-LAVALETTE Anaïs, Réalisatrice Québec Canada-BARGHOUTHY Hani, Writer, editor-in-chief of arabianawareness.com Canada-Baroud Ramzy, Author, Journalist USA-BARRETT Mark, civil liberties campaigner, London Royaume Uni-BARTOLIK Pawel Michal, Journalist of Trybuna Robotnicza (Workers Tribune) Pologne-BEAUGIER Catherine, Poète – Ecrivain Belgique-BELAHRACHE Radouane, Nîmes France-BELAL Aabdelhai, PHD student Chypre-BENGHABRIT Hassan, écrivain/poète France-BENMERAD Djamal, Ecrivain Bruxelles Belgique-BENZAKOUR Mohammed, écrivain et journaliste Pays-Bas-BERLIN Greta, co-fondatrice Free Gaza Movment USA-BIBEAU Robert, expert en éducation au Ministère de l’Éducation du Québec Canada-BLEITRACH Danielle, sociologue et écrivain France-BOAL Augusto, homme de théâtre Brésil-BONALI Giulio Italie-BONAZZI Giuseppe, Professore emerito Fac. Scienze Politiche Università di Torino Italie-BORREMAN Hadassah, publiciste Belgique-BORREMAN Shmiel Mordche, Yechouroun Judaïsme contre Sionisme Belgique-BOUAMAMA Saïd, sociologue France-BOUKMAN Daniel, écrivain Martinique-BOUMEDIENE-THIERY Alima, sénatrice France-BOUSSOUMAH Youssef, Mouvement des Indigènes de la République France-BOUTELDJA Houria, Mouvement des Indigènes de la République France-BOUTELDJA Naima, Journalist, Royaume-Uni-BOUZERDA Abdou, président Arab European League Pays-Bas-BRACKE Maud, lecturer, University of Glasgow Royaume-Uni-BRACKE Sarah, féministe & professor KULeuven Belgique-BRICMONT Jean, physicien Belgique-BROWN Brenda, Chair, Brighton & Hove Palestine Solidarity Campaign  Royaume-Uni-BRUGUIER Alain, vice-président de l’AFPS de Nîmes (Gard) France-BUSTANI Hisham, Writer and Secretary of the Socialist Thought Forum Jordanie-CAPORALE Alessandra, social anthropologist, university lecturer, Barcelona Espagne-CATALINOTTO John, managing editor, Workers World Newspaper USA-CAVALLI Franco, Immediate Past President of UICC, Direktor IOSI in Bellinzona, Initiator Medicuba, Nationalrat der SP Schweiz von 1995 – 2007 Suisse-CERRI Giovanni, Professore di Letteratura greca antica Università di Roma Tre Italie-CHAAMBI Abdelaziz, militant associatif France-CHANDAN Sukant, Chair, English branch of the IUPFP Royaume-Uni-CHASSEUR Tony, musicien Martinique-CHIAROTTO Francesca, dottoranda in Studi Politici, Torino Italie-CHICHAH Souhail, chercheur ULB Belgique-CHIESA Giulietto, parlamentare europeo e giornalista Italie-CHRISTISON Bill, writer, Palestinian rights activist USA-CHRISTISON Kathleen, writer, Palestinian rights activist USA-COLLON Michel, écrivain et journaliste Belgique-COLONNA Eric, citoyen engagé, Lyon France-CONFIANT Raphaël, écrivain Martinique-CONSTANTINOU Petros, Campain Genoa 2001 Grèce-COOPER Alan, Senior Lecturer, European College of Business and Management, Royaume-Uni-COSSELLU Mario Gabrielli, Segretario Circolo PRC/SE “Enrico Berlinguer” Bruxelles Belgique-CRETAUX Sophie, ex-chercheur au CNRS, agrégée d’histoire France-CROOKE Alistair, Conflicts Forum Director and Founder Royaume-Uni-DALTON Des, Vize-Präsident von Republican Sinn Féin, Betriebsrat der Gewerkschaft SIPTU Irlande-DAWOOD Fakeer, Dr., Prof. Telecommunication, Montreal, Qc Canada-DE BRABANDER Ludo, Stafmedewerker vzw Vrede Belgique-DE HERT Robbe, cinéaste Belgique-DE LEY Herman, emeritus professor.Universiteit Gent Belgique-DE SANTI Massimo (Prof.), Presidente Comitato Internazionale di Educazione per la Pace Italie-DE WITTE Ludo, auteur Belgique-DE WITTE Paul, Woordvoerder Basisbewehging voor democratie in samenlevving en kerken, Belgique-DEDAJ Viktor, cyberjournaliaste France-DEKKERS Daniel, Ingénieur retraité Belgique-DELMOTTE Paul, professeur IHECS Belgique-DELORCA Frédéric, Sociologue, coordinateur du blog de l’Atlas alternatif, France-DELPHY Christine, Fondatrice et directrice de la revue NQF, France-DEQUEECKER Ida, féministe Belgique-DERMAGNE Jean-Marie, Avocat, Enseignant à l’Université Belgique-DERONNE Thierry, vice-président télévision publique Vive TV République bolivarienne du Venezuela Venezuela-DERRICHE Ouardia, membre de l’Association Belgique-Palestine Belgique-DIAGNE Roland, enseignant en France, militant communiste marxiste-léniniste France-D’ORSI Angelo (Prof.),  Cattedra di Storia del Pensiero politico Dipartimento di Studi Politici, Università di -Torino Italie-DOUGLAS Emory, Former Minister of Culture of The Black Panther Party USA-DRURY Ivan, member of Vancouver Socialist Forum, contributing editor of Socialist Voice Canada-DUISENBERG Gretta, Chair Foundation Stop the Occupation Pays-Bas-DUMAS F. LAFONTANT Doumafis, Organizer, African Liberation Day USA-DURAND Benjamin, professeur de cinéma et télévision, Caracas Venezuela-DUTHU Françoise, ancienne députée au Parlement Européen (Les Verts) France-DWORCZAK Hermann, social scientist, trade unionist Autriche-EDDE Dominique, écrivain franco-libanaise France-EL KADI Mohamed, Président de l’Agence Méditerranée pour la Coopération Internationale, Journaliste /Directeur du Journal “La Méditerranée”, Fès Maroc-EL-ABED Chairman Fathi, Danish Palestinian Friendship Association and Candidate to the EU-Parliament (The -Socialist People Party) Danemark-EL-SALAHI Zaki, Masters student, Edinburgh, Scotland Royaume-Uni-ELSÄSSER Jürgen, journalist, Berlin Allemagne-FADIL Nadia, sociologue Belgique-FANON-MENDES-FRANCE Mireille France-FELLER Jonas, Anti-imperialist activist and high school student, Rostock Allemagne-FIGUEIREDO Jorge, Webmaster resistir.info Portugal-FINKELSTEIN Norman G., enseignant, auteur USA-FISCHER Franz, Sekretariat Partei der Arbeit der Schweiz – Sektion Basel, Trade Union UNIA Suisse-FLINKER Jean,  enseignant, membre d’Attac-Bruxelles, Belgique-FLOUNDERS Sara, co-director, International Action Center USA-FRABETTI Carlo, écrivain Espagne-GABRIEL Leo, journalist and social anthropologist, member of the council of the World Social Forum Autriche-GARREAU Micheline, militante ISM  France-GEYS Herman, Kunstenaar Belgique-GHARBI Anouar, Président de « Droit pout tous » et porte parole de la « Campagne Européenne pour mettre -fin au siège de Gaza » Suisse-GHARBI Anouar, Président de « Droit pout tous » et porte parole de la « Campagne Européenne pour mettre fin au siège de Gaza », Suisse-GIRARD Youssef, étudiant France-GOEMAN Eric, woordvoerder Attac Vlaanderen Belgique-GOOSSENS Pol, journaliste Belgique-GRAZIANI Tiberio, directeur Eurasia. Rivista di studi geopolitici Roma Italie-HABERKORN Amir Belgique-HACK Margherita, Astrofisica Italie-HADDAD Georges, Writer, Bulgaria/Liban-HAIDER Ahmad, Dr. med. Urologe und Androloge Allemagne-HALPIN David, FRCS Standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people Royaume-Uni-HAMAD Nidal, Writer and Joournalist, Palestine/Norway Norvège-HAMIDI Malika, doctorante EHESS à Paris Belgique-HARTMANN Klaus, Offenbach am Main, Bundesvorsitzender des Deutschen Freidenker-Verbandes Allemagne-HASSOUN Karim, Voorzitter AEL Belgique-HAYDEN Josephine, ehem. politische Gefangene in Irland, Sekretärin von Republican Sinn Féin Irlande-HAYEEM A
be, Chair, Architects & Planners for Justice in Palestine Royaume-Uni-HAZAN Eric, éditeur France-HEARD Brenda, Founder Friends of Lebanon London Royaume-Uni-HECHT-GALINSKI Evelyn, Publizistin Allemagne-HELMUT Franz, Oberstleutnant der Deutschen Bundeswehr i. R. Allemagne-HOFBAUER Hannes, publisher and publicist  Autriche-HÖRSTEL Christoph, Regierungs-/Unternehmensberater, Buchautor, Vors. Friedenskreis Deutschland e.V. i.G., Nehls, Gertrud, AK Asyl Allemagne-HOUSE James, maitre de conférences à l’Université de Leeds Royaume-Uni-HOUTART François, professeur émérite de l’Université catholique de Louvain Belgique-HUI Matthias, Fachstelle OeME, Ref. Kirchen Bern-Jura-Solothurn, Suisse-HUTNYK John, Professor of Cultural Studies, Academic Director of CCS Goldsmiths University of London -Royaume-Uni-ITANI Zouhair, Prof.Dr.med. Dermatologist, Düsseldorf Allemagne-JENART Nathalie, psychologue, directrice d’un centre PMS, Bruxelles Belgique-JENNAR Raoul Marc, consultant en relations internationales France-KAREL Arnaut, antropoloog, UGent  Belgique-KARSLI Jamal, FAKT-Party Allemagne-KASRILS Ronnie, former South African government minister, writer Afrique du Sud-KEHOE Jon, artist, London Royaume-Uni-KHIARI Sadri, Mouvement des indigènes de la république France-KHRESHE Hassan Dr., Vice President Palestinian legislative council Palestine-KOUCHAKJI George A., Palestine Solidarity Basel Suisse-KOWALEWSKI Zbigniew Marcin, researcher and editor Pologne-KREBS Djamila, membre d’Europalestine Allemagne-KRZYŻANIAK Piotr, trade-unionist of All-Polish Trade Union “Workers’ Initiative” (Ogólnopolski Związek —Zawodowy “Inicjatywa Pracownicza”) Pologne-LACROIX-RIZ Annie, professeur d’histoire contemporaine, université Paris 7 France-LAHAYE Laure, Chargée de collections en arabe à la Bibliothèque nationale de France, Conseillère de quartier, -Paris, France-LAMB Franklin P. , PhD, Director Americans Concerned for Middle East Peace, Washington DC – Beirut Acting –Chair, the Sabra-Shatila Memorial Scholarship Program Laptop Initiative, Shatila Palestinian Refugee Camp-LAMP Paul, board member of Stop the Occupation Pays-Bas-LAMRABET Asma, Médecin et Essayiste Maroc-LANGTHALER Wilhelm, Anti-imperialist Camp Autriche-LANOYE Tom, auteur Belgique-LAROSIERE Jean-François, responsable syndical et associatif France-LAWLOR Zoe, Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign Membership Officer Irlande-LEGRAND Michel, Président du Comité pour une Paix Juste au Proche-Orient Luxembourg-LEUENBERGER Peter, Historiker, Vorstandsmitglied Gesellschaft Schweiz- Palästina, Suisse-LEVY Laurent, essayiste France-LOPE (de) Monique, professeur émérite à l’Université de Provence France-LOS René, bestuurder Belgique-LOSURDO Domenico, Direttore Istituto Scienze filosofiche, università di Urbino Italie-LOUCKX Fred, Sociologue,  Vrije Universiteit Brussel Belgique-LOUIS Tim, Former Vancouver City Councillor Canada-MAC MANUS Patrick, author Danemark-MAESTRO MARTIN Ángeles, mèdica especialista en salud pública Espagne-MAGUIRE Mairead, prix Nobel de la Paix Irlande-MAHI Yacob, Enseignant, Théologien, Dr. en Histoire et Sciences des Religions, Belgique-MAIRA Antonio, Politólogo, redactor Diario digital inSurGente Espagne-MANAMELA Buti, National Secretary Young Communist League of South Africa-MANDUCA Paola, geneticist Italie-MANISCO Lucio, giornalista ed ex parlamentare europeo Italie-MARTINEZ Miguel, website kelebekler.com Italie-MASSARRAT Mohssen, Professor Dr. Osnabrück Allemagne-MAUERSBERGER Günter, Botschafter a.D., Vize- Vorsitzender des Nahostforum e.V. Allemagne-MELVYN Peter, Jewish voices for a just peace in the Middle East Autriche-MEYER HAJO G., Bestuurslid “Een Ander Joods Geluid” Pays-Bas-MOFFA Claudio, Professor University of Teramo Italie-MOMMAERTS Omer, militant vakbond ACV-CSC Belgique-MORRISON Danny, writer Irlande-MORTIER Erwin, schrijver Belgique-MOUEDDEN Mohsin, éducateur Belgique-MOUSSET Renée, Association Belgique-Palestine, Liège Belgique-MUKUNA Olivier, journaliste Belgique-MYRDAL Jan, écrivain Suède-NOUR DACHAN Mohamed (Dr.), Unione delle Comunità ed organizzazioni Islamiche in Italia Italie-Ó BRÁDAIGH Ruairí, President Sinn Féin Poblachtach since 1969, IRA Chief of Staff 1956-62 Irlande-OBERKOFLER Gerhard, University professor, Vice president of the Association Alfred Klahr, Innsbruck Autriche-OBID Milan, chairman of the Slovene Students Club Vienna Autriche-OLFF-RASTEGAR Perrine, Porte-parole du Collectif Judéo Arabe et Citoyen pour la Paix – Strasbourg France-PAGANI Giovanna (Prof.ssa), Presidente On. Wilpf Italia -Lega Internazionale delle Donne per la Pace e la Libertà Italie-PEIRCE Gareth, solicitor, Londres Royaume-Uni-PELLEGRIN-RESCIA Marie L., Présidente, Séminaire d’anthropologie et psychologie sociale J S, Paris V—Sorbonne France-PEREZ BERROCAL Gloria, programmatrice de télévision Espagne-PETRAS James, Bartle professor emeritus Binghamton University USA-PIERART Pierre, Professeur Honoraire Université Mons Hainaut Belgique-PINO Julio (Dr.), professor of history USA-PIRKER Werner, journalist Autriche-PLOUVIER Liliane, Professeur de droit international Bruxelles Belgique-POLGAR Alexandru, philosophe, éditeur de la revue Idea Roumanie-POSMAN André, eredocent actualiteit Sint Lucasinstituut Gent, lic. Geschiedenis. Dir Concertreeksen DE Rode -Pomp Gent Belgique-RAHWANJI Maha, Member of the Executive Committee, Palestine Solidarity Campaign Royaume-Uni-RAMADAN Tariq, professor, Oxford/Erasmus Universities Royaume-Uni-RAMIREZ Ronnie, cinéaste Belgique-RAVENTÓS BARANGÉ Anna, PhD Senior Lecturer Faculty of Arts and Letters University of Seville Espagne-REVELLI  Philippe, journaliste France-RICHA Raymond, Ingénieur France-RICHET Mathis, Musician Royaume-Uni-RIDLEY Yvonne, journaliste Royaume-Uni-RIZZO Mary, co-Editor of Palestine Think Tank and co-founders of Tlaxcala, Dr. Art Historian and Art Restorer Italie-ROELS Frank, MD, emeritus professor Ugent Belgique-ROMANO Vicente, professeur d’université Espagne-ROSA-ROSSO Nadine, enseignante et auteur Belgique-ROSSEEL Eric, gepensioneerd docent psychologie VUB Belgique-RUMEAU Mireille, militante ISM France-SAÏDI Nordine, Mouvement Citoyen Palestine Belgique-SALEM Jean, philosophe, professeur à la Sorbonne, Paris France-SANDBAEK Ulla, Former Member of the European Parliament Danemark-SARAMAGO Jose, écrivain, Portugal-SCHAUER Waltraud, former human shield in Iraq Autriche-SCHLERETH Einar, Journalist Suède-SCHMID Estella, Kurdistan Solidarity Committee & CAMPACC Royaume-Uni-SCHÖGLER Johann, Styrian Peace Platform Autriche-SCHOMBLOND Christiane, chargée de cours honoraire de l’ULB Belgique-SCHYDLO Krystyna, Deutsch-Palästinensische Gesellschaft, Ruhrgebiet Allemagne-SEBOGO BERNARD NKUMAH, Chairperson of Boston Branch, All African People’s Revolutionary Party USA-SEIFERT Arne C. (Dr.), Botschafter a.D., Sprecher der Initiativer “Diplomaten für Frieden mit der Islamischen Welt” Allemagne-SENOUCI Brahim, maître de conférences France-SHEIKH KHALIL Nabil, Association to Support Palestinians in Need Suisse-SIFAKAKIS Yiannis, Stop the war Coalition Grèce-SOETERIK Robert, antropoloog, Middle East Research Associates Pays-Bas-STASZEWSKI Michel, enseignant, Bruxelles Belgique-STERN Catherine, enseignante d’Histoire à la retraite, ancienne chargée de cours à Paris France-STUDEN-KIRCHNER Aleks, author and interpreter Autriche-SWYNGEDOUW Erik, Professor of Geography School of Environment and Development Manchester University Royaume-Uni-TALENS Manuel, écrivain Espagne-TAWFIK AL-MANSOURI Mohamed, Ph.D., Writer and Researcher, Afnan Magazine Canada-TENA Carlos, periodista Espagne-THARANI Marishka, Actress Royaume-Uni-TIBON-CORNILLOT Michel, Universitaire, écrivain France-TILLEY Virginia, political scientist Afrique du Sud-TURINE Jean-Marc, écrivain Belgique-URBANO Miguel, écrivain Portugal-VAN DEN BERGHE Gie, professor Universiteit Gent, ethicus en historicus Belgique-VAN HOORNE Michel, coordinateur du mouvement ‘Links Ecologisch Forum (LEF)’Belgique-VANDEN BAVIERE Paul, journaliste et historien Belgique-VANDEPERRE Elke, coördinator v
zw Motief Belgique-VANHOVE Daniel, Observateur civil, auteur, membre de l’ABP et du MCP Belgique-VARNAVA-SKOURA Gella, professeur en sciences de l’éducation à l’Université d’Athènes Grèce-VATTIMO Gianni, Filosofo ed ex parlamentare europeo Italie-VERCHEVAL Véronique, Photographe Belgique-VERCRUYSSEN Frank, acteur Belgique-VERGAELEN Eva, writer Belgique-VERLICCHI Elsa, Anthropologist, Rome Italie-VERVAET Luk, président section belge IUPFP Belgique-VERWIMP Remi, coördinator Werkplaats voor Theologie en Maatschappiij Belgique-VIRGIN Robin, Pluto Press, England Royaume-Uni-VISCHER Daniel, MP of the Green Party Suisse-VON RAUSSENDORFF Klaus, Referent für internationale Fragen beim Bundesvorstand des Deutschen Freidenker-Verbands  Allemagne-WALSH Richard, Pressesprecher von Republican Sinn Féin und Vorsitzender der Republican Prisoners Action Group Irlande-WILHELMSON Lasse, teacher Suède-WINTER Heinz-Dieter (Dr.), Botschafter a.D. Allemagne-YAFOUT Merieme, Responsable de la section féminine du mouvement Justice et Spiritualité Maroc-ZAAF Mohamed, chirurgien et conseiller municipal France-ZAAIMAN Andre, Researcher Afrique du Sud-ZEMOR Olivia, présidente de CAPJPO-EuroPalestine et responsable europalestine.com France-ZOLO Danilo, Docente di Filosofia del Diritto internazionale, università di Firenze Italie

In 1929 Ben-Gurion said: “Jerusalem is not the same thing to the Arabs as it is to the Jews”. While he meant to say that Palestinians were not part of Jerusalem and are not attached to it as the Jews are, I would say, he almost got it right: Jerusalem is not the same thing to the Palestinians as it is to the Zionists. To us, Jerusalem is a home and an integral part of each of us, to the Zionists it is but another construction site, for he who loves a city would not destroy it as the Zionists are doing right now with Jerusalem.

 

The distance between Sawahreh and Jerusalem is a relatively short one. Using a car, one would need 15 to 20 minutes, checkpoint stops excluded. Riding Sawahreh buses, which were old and rusty, it usually took us some 30 minutes, sometimes a bit more depending on the number of stops the bus made. We used to take the bus five days a week to go to school and come back home. On rainy days, the iron seats would be wet and cold, in summer they would be boiling hot. Nevertheless, my sister and I would race to find an empty seat near the window. We enjoyed the trip to Jerusalem, especially when the bus went up and down the Gethsemane Church road. To the left, facing the walls of the Old City, one would see the golden Dome of the Rock. It would get bigger or smaller as you go up and down the road. I preferred the trip up the road towards Ras Al-Amud. I would watch closely awaiting the point when the Dome would start appearing, seemingly out of nowhere. To one seeing this for the first time, it would be a nice surprise. And as the bus travels up the road, it gets bigger and bigger, till at the top of the road you have somewhat a full view of the Dome of the Rock. When I was at school, I enjoyed watching friends and relatives from Dheisheh and Bethlehem witness this miracle. A number of times, my sister and I were forced to walk all the way from Jerusalem to Sawahreh. On Saturdays there were usually fewer buses moving on the various lines, so a couple of times we had to walk back home after finishing classes. These “forced walks” were seldom, and although on foot it took us much longer to get to Sawahreh, and we would reach home completely tired and with burning feet, we enjoyed the walks. We would pass the walls of the Old City and the ancient tree which looked like something out of a horror movie. It is said that the tree is very old, and it does look it, but somehow it didn’t impress me. It looked more dead than alive, not like the green olive trees or the bloomy almond trees you find in Palestinian fields and on hilltops. From the point where the tree stood, one had a marvelous view of Mount of Olives and the Palestinian neighborhoods in the area.

 

Josef Weitz, the polish director of the Jewish National Fund’s Land Settlement Department in charge of illegal Zionist colonization in Palestine and the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinians, wrote in 1940: “among ourselves it must be clear that there is no room for both people in this country. After the Arabs are transferred, the country will be wide open for us, with the Arabs staying the country will remain narrow and restricted …. There is no room for compromise on this point … land purchasing … will not bring about the state … the only way is to transfer the Arabs from here to neighboring countries, all of them, except perhaps Bethlehem, Nazareth, and Old Jerusalem. Not a single village or a single tribe must be left. And the transfer must be done through their absorption in Iraq and Syria and even in Transjordan. For that goal, money will be found – even a lot of money. And only then will the country be able to absorb millions of Jews …. There is no other solution.” In addition to calling for the transfer of Palestinians, Weitz claimed Old Jerusalem is to be “spared” the ethnic cleansing, but facts on the ground tell a completely different story. Since its establishment, the Zionist state has been implementing a systematic policy of Judaizing Jerusalem and ethnically cleansing its original Palestinian residents. Even when spreading propaganda about an empty land waiting for its long lost sons to come back, Zionist leaders admitted among themselves that the land was populated and was prosperous. English Zionist Israel Zangwill, famous for his quote: “Palestine is a country without a people; the Jews are a people without a country”, which later became the infamous Zionist slogan: A land without a people for a people without a land, said in a speech to a Zionist group in the UK in 1905: “Palestine proper has already its inhabitants. The pashalik (province) of Jerusalem is already twice as thickly populated as the United States, having 52 souls to the square mile and not 25% of them Jews”. In 1948 Israel occupied 85% of Jerusalem and forcibly expelled up to 80,000 Palestinians from their homes in West Jerusalem and 40 other surrounding villages. The villages were then destroyed to prevent their inhabitants from returning back to them, and their property was transferred to the Israeli state under the “Absentee Law” of 1950. In 1967 Israel occupied the rest of Jerusalem, and established the first illegal Jewish settlement inside the Old City. More than 700 Palestinian homes and buildings were either destroyed or expropriated. Alone in the Mughrabi Quarter of the Old City, over 6,000 Palestinians were evicted and 125 houses were destroyed in order to create a plaza in front of the Western Wall. Israel doubled the size of the Israeli municipal boundaries of the city by annexing 70 km² of lands belonging to 28 villages in the West Bank. In 1980 Israel annexed East Jerusalem officially, and in subsequent years Palestinian properties in Silwan and the Muslim Quarter of the Old City were turned over to Jewish settler organizations. Despite UN General Assembly Resolution 2253 ordering Israel “to desist forthwith from taking any action which would alter the status of Jerusalem”, the Israeli government confiscated over 60 km² of Palestinian land in East Jerusalem (i.e. 86.5% of its total land area) over the years for Jewish use.

 

We often used go to the Old City, either for shopping or just to enjoy the beauty of the narrow streets and alleys. Beautiful old facades would meet one all the way, with beautiful architecture that is the trademark of the Old City and a reminder of its Arabic heritage. This Old City is nothing like the Old Town Centres one would see all over Europe, from which illegal Jewish settlers come, and into which they are trying to turn Jerusalem. Two of my childhood friends, who are also sisters, live in the old city. They are originally from Sawahreh who each married a Jerusalemite and moved to Jerusalem. The first time I went to visit them I was shocked at the state of their dwelling. They had a relatively big house in Sawahreh, and although they grew up in a large family, there was enough space inside and around the house for everyone, so one didn’t feel imprisoned. Now, they both had families and each was living in a room with her family, sharing the rest of the house with other family members. There was no place for privacy there and the over-crowdedness was unbearable. One of them lived in a room built on the roof of the family house. We had to climb a ladder to enter the room, which was divided into smaller rooms in an effort to give it the shape of an apartment and provide some privacy. We went for a walk inside the Old City and every now and then my friends would point out some neighbors gathering in the narrow streets in front of their houses or children playing in the streets, and talk about how people here have little space and the children have no gardens or playgrounds. Many houses are in such a miserable state and need renovation but often the municipality doesn’t allow it, using this as yet another method to force people out of their homes. Although Palestinian Jerusalemites have to pay taxes, they receive very little municipal services in return. According to B’Tselem: “since the annexation of Jerusalem, the municipality has built almost no new school, public building, or medical clinic for Palestinians.” …. “Entire Palestinian neighborhoods are not connected to a sewage system and do not have paved roads or sidewalks”. During my last visit to Palestine, and despite their continuous invitations, I was not able to visit my friends in Jerusalem and had to be content with seeing them in Sawahreh. When their brother was preparing to leave to Mecca for the Hajj season, the whole family came to say goodbye, except one of the sisters. Although she had been married to a Jerusalemite resident and living in the Old City for more than 10 years, she only possesses a temporary permit allowing her to reside in the city. This permit has to be renewed again and again, and it happened that her permit had expired and as she was waiting for a renewal, she couldn’t come and say goodbye to her brother. She didn’t want to risk being caught at one of the checkpoints and arrested for not having the needed papers and maybe lose her right to live in the city forever and thus be disconnected from her family. According to Israeli law, Palestinian Jerusalemites, although born in Jerusalem like their ancestors before them, hold the status of “permanent resident”, giving them the same status as foreigners wishing to live in the country, while illegal settlers are given the status of citizens.

 

There is also a distinct policy of discrimination in planning and building regulations applying in Jerusalem. Outline plans for Palestinian neighborhoods prepared by the Israeli Jerusalem municipality have a common feature, i.e., about 40% of the area is designated as “open landscape area” where building is not allowed. For Palestinian building purposes, only some 11% of the lands of East Jerusalem are allocated for Palestinian use, and these are already over-crowded building areas, similar to the demarcation plans of the IOF for Zone C in the West Bank. In addition to the rarity of obtaining building licenses, Palestinians are forced to build “illegally” on their lands. While illegal constructions built by settlers are adjusted into building plans to make them retrospectively legal, Palestinians are not given permits to build on their own lands. As illegal settlements expand, Palestinian communities in Jerusalem and around it are prevented from building and expanding, thus limiting their natural expansion and strangling them. According to a report of the Society of Arab Studies published in early 2008: Israel had had demolished 8,500 Palestinian houses in East Jerusalem since 1967, and alone between January 2000 and September 2007 some 786 Palestinian houses had been demolished, leaving thousands homeless. Another 20,000 houses are threatened to be demolished under the pretext of illegal construction. B’Tselem statistics on building starts in Jerusalem for the period 2000 to 2006 show that of the 14,472 registered building starts, 11,114 were in Jewish neighborhoods, while only 3,358 were in Palestinian neighborhoods. In addition, housing density in Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem was 23.8 m²/person in 2002 in comparison to a housing density of 11.9 m²/person in Palestinian neighborhoods.

 

Over-crowdedness is not a feature restricted to Palestinian houses of the Old City, but applies to most Arab dwellings in Jerusalem. As far as I can remember, all of my classmates whose houses in Jerusalem I visited lived in small apartments either in old houses or in multi-apartment buildings. One friend lived in the second floor of a two-story typical Jerusalemite house, close to where religious Jews lived. Often when visiting her, we would encounter groups of these religious Jews with their typical long black clothes, back hats and long beards. The women wore head scarves, long skirts and wool stockings even in summer. The part of the house she lived in was even too crowded for the small family, but I found it brave of them to continue living there, despite their closeness to these settlers. Other friends lived in other parts of the City, all in small apartments. I always wondered why they lived in such apartments when they were attending private schools that cost much money, when their parents brought them to school in fancy cars and when they always wore beautiful expensive clothes. If they had the money to buy cars and nice clothes, they could afford bigger apartments. I had no idea about the building restrictions and all the taxes Palestinians were subjected to in Jerusalem. I think in their shoes, I would rather choke in an overcrowded room rather than leave Jerusalem of my own free will.

 

The Israeli Jerusalem Master Plan of 2000, serving till 2020, aims at imposing Jewish character on the city and diminishing the Palestinian population to 12%. According to the plan, the total city area is 142 km² and the boundary of the western part of the city is extended by 40%. 24.4% of East Jerusalem is zoned as “green natural” area where no building is allowed. Currently, Israel is undertaking a massive eviction and demolition process in East Jerusalem neighborhoods. In 2007 the Israelis started the construction of a Jewish settlement inside the Old City’s Muslim Quarter with more than 20 housing units and a domed synagogue. Nearby in the so-called “Holy Basin” area, Palestinians are systematically being thrown out of the area, extending from the Kidron Valley, the Mount of Olives to nearby Palestinian neighborhoods, and replaced by Jews. This March, two more houses were evicted in Sheikh Jarrah, and 88 houses in Al Bustan neighborhood in Silwan are to be evicted and demolished. Thus, over 1,500 Jerusalemites will be made homeless to make place for a national garden. Similar destiny awaits 60% of the houses in the Wad Hilwa neighborhood in Silwan.

 

Leaving the Old City, and going up the Gethsemane road, one would reach Ras Al-Amod and Silwan. To separate Jerusalem from the surrounding Palestinian environment, a ring of Jewish settlements has been created in and around the Old City, expanding from the Jewish Quarter to the illegal settlements in Ras Al-Amud and Silwan and the Jewish Cemetery on the Mount of Olives. In Ras Al-Amud Palestinian houses next to the Jewish Cemetery are separated only by a low wall. Here, dead Israelis have more rights and more place than living Palestinians. I remember the Israeli police station opposite the Jewish Cemetery. As I grew up, I watched that police station change into a “prison”. It was a simple building at the beginning, later to be surrounded with barbed wire. Then there was a checkpoint installed opposite it. No wonder these policemen don’t feel safe here, I always thought upon passing the police station, this land doesn’t belong to them and deep inside they know it. This police station was planted in the heart of Palestinian neighborhoods, with only dead Israelis in the nearby cemetery as company. They would stop Palestinian buses and cars and delay people going to work, school and hospital. After 1967, lands belonging to the Al-Ghoul family were confiscated and sold in 1990 to US Jewish millionaire Irving Moskovitz who developed a plan for the construction of an illegal settlement with 132 housing units on 14,7 Dunums of the stolen Palestinian land. The plan was frozen for some time because of its sensitive nature, only to be approved in 1999 by none other than Ehud Barak. As shameless as they are, the illegal Jewish settlers named their illegal settlement Maale Zaytim, or Olive Heights, maybe in celebration of the thousands of olive trees they uprooted from Palestinian fields to build their illegal settlements. This settlement aimed at forming continuity with the Jewish cemetery opposite it and other illegal structures on the Mount of Olives, thus contributing to the ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem. The first illegal settlers moved into the settlement in 2003. In 2005, while the Palestinians were busy “negotiating” peace with Israel, the settlers and the IOF were busy dividing Palestinian land among them. The police station in Silwan was turned over to settler committees and incorporated in Maale Zayton, in exchange for a new one that was built in the E-1 area. According to ARIJ, Palestinians in Ras Al-Amud are only allowed to build on 55-65% of the total land area whereas the settlers are allowed to build on 115% of the total area. Also, the Palestinians are allowed a maximum of two floors per housing unit, while the settlers are allowed a maximum of seven floors per housing unit.

 

Many Palestinians were twice ethnically cleansed from Jerusalem; first from West Jerusalem and later from East Jerusalem. Many of those who were forced out of West Jerusalem and settled in East Jerusalem are today threatened with eviction on the invented ground that the land doesn’t belong to them. At the same time, illegal Jewish settlers, coming from the United States, Europe or anywhere else in the world have a right to a city in which neither they nor their ancestors own a handful of earth. Today, Palestinians make 34% of the total population of Jerusalem, while 55% of the Jewish population of the city lives in 34 illegal settlements in and around Jerusalem. Of the total population of the Old City, only 9% are Jews. Travelling to Bethlehem through West Jerusalem, one would leave the typical Palestinian Arab landscape of East Jerusalem and enter an artificial one. Travelling this road, I used to think that this must be what Europe looks like. It was nothing like East Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Ramallah or any part of Palestine that I knew. It had nothing of the magic of East Jerusalem that attracts one and leaves everlasting memories. Although we used to travel this road frequently some 20 years ago, the only recollections I have of it are some scattered images of similar tall grey buildings that showed neither beauty nor good taste. Now, after seeing Europe, I know that the Zionists were not even able to imitate European cities. After destroying Palestinian Jerusalem, all they were able to create in its place was a shapeless town planted with building after building, their boring rhythm interrupted by more colorless side-roads and stores. The only houses worth watching were the few Palestinian houses confiscated but left undamaged. They were old, beautiful, built by Palestinian hands and now illegally occupied, and most probably shown to tourists as examples of Jewish architecture or Jewish existence in the city. They were the originals that stood like islands surrounded by seas of artificial architecture. The beauty of these houses lay in the fact that they were so in place, while their surroundings were strangers to the land.

 

To further its policies of Judaizing Jerusalem, measures and plans have been instrumented to cut East Jerusalem from the rest of the Palestinian Territories and prevent the establishment of a contiguous Palestinian state, including land confiscation, illegal settlement activity, the Apartheid Wall, house demolition and revoking residency rights. After 1967, Israel activated the “Land Ordinance” of the British Mandate to confiscate 85% of the lands within the illegally expanded Jerusalem area. The original area of West Jerusalem tripled and the municipal boundaries of East Jerusalem were expanded from 6.5 km² to 71 km², to include large territories with minimum Palestinians. So, while densely populated Palestinian communities were excluded, the lands of these communities were included within the new illegal boundaries. At the same time, settler organizations were allowed to build settlement cores inside Palestinian communities such as Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah. This January the IOF issued orders to annex 24 Dunums from lands belonging to Husan and Nahhalin villages in Bethlehem in order to expand the illegal Jewish settlement Gush Azion. This comes as part of the “Greater Jerusalem” scheme, which aims at annexing more Palestinian land to Jerusalem and expanding settlements. So far, this plan has annexed 72,000 Dunums of Palestinian land. Further Palestinian land was confiscated for the construction of an illegal tramway that will connect illegal settlements in the West Bank with Jerusalem. This will be a Jewish-only tramway system.

 

An additional 19.2% of land owned by Palestinians in Jerusalem and 5.3% of Palestinian owned West Bank land were illegally confiscated by Israel for the construction of the Apartheid Wall. This Wall runs along the illegal Jerusalem municipal boundaries set by the Israel, including East Jerusalem and the annexed parts of the West Bank. By September 2007 11,100 Dunums were confiscated for the construction of the Wall and 40,985 Dunums will be disconnected from their owners. Upon completion, the Apartheid Wall around Jerusalem will be 181 km long. This wall affects the daily life of 27 Palestinian Jerusalemite communities. Dozens of Palestinian houses have been demolished because of the Wall and many more have received demolition orders.15,000 Palestinians with Jerusalem IDs living outside the Wall will be denied access to Jerusalem and 1835 families have been forced to move home. According to a report of the Civil Committee of the Rights of Palestinians in Jerusalem published in September 2007: 21.4% of the Palestinian families have been separated from relatives by the Apartheid Wall (15.5% inside and 32.6% outside the wall). 18% of the families live apart from the father and 27% of them apart from the mother. And 25% of the Palestinian-owned shops have been closed down due to the restrictions on Palestinian movement and the high taxes Palestinians living in Jerusalem have to pay.

 

More than 100,000 Palestinians live in towns and villages around Jerusalem. These areas have always been an integral part of Jerusalem, and depended on the city for their livelihood. Through the construction of the Wall they lost access to their businesses, schools and hospitals. Also, many residents of East Jerusalem own lands in the surrounding villages. Because of the housing shortage and the over-crowdedness in East Jerusalem, they were forced to build houses around Jerusalem, which now lie behind the Wall. Sawahreh is one of the Palestinian communities affected by the Apartheid Wall. Many families have been separated because of Wall, and others have been forced to leave their own houses and share dwelling with other family members in Jerusalem, so as not to lose their Jerusalem IDs. In my neighborhood alone, several houses stand empty, among which are 3 houses belonging to one family. The family from West Sawahreh has lands in East Sawahreh, like many others families here, both parts of Sawahreh having been one body before Israel decided to divide it and divide the community. With the family growing, and the sons getting married and establishing families of their own, the family house in West Sawahreh was getting too crowded. West Sawahreh lies within the Israeli municipal boundaries of Jerusalem, and thus building permits for Palestinians are rarely given. Each brother built a separate house for his family in East Sawahreh, and the remaining piece of land around the houses was planted with trees. Nearby stands the house of another neighbor, the eldest son of an East Sawahreh family who married a relative from West Sawahreh some twenty years ago. All these houses stand empty now. Their owners, who carry Jerusalem IDs, are forced in live in overcrowded rooms in West Sawahreh because the Jerusalem municipality gave them the choice of living on their lands behind the Wall or losing their Jerusalem IDs. The inhabitants of Sawahreh, whether East or West, have always considered themselves part of Jerusalem, and for those among them carrying a Jerusalem ID, the loss of this ID would mean losing their natural right to the city. But this is not all. Inspectors from the Israeli Jerusalem municipality often come announced and check the dwellings of these families, if they actually live there, and interrogate them about their daily life. One friend told me that she came back home one day after an appointment at a health centre to find the municipality employees waiting for her. They insisted on knowing where she was and what she was doing and this was not their only “visit”. Many Israelis have double citizenship, and spend most of the year in the United States or in Europe, where they have homes and businesses, but they are never subjected to questioning by municipality inspectors or get their residency revoked. Between 1967 and 2007 Israel revoked the residency right of 8,269 Palestinians. This “silent transfer” is one way of ethnically cleansing Palestinian Jerusalemites.

 

One time, travelling along the main road in Ubediyyeh with one of my uncles and a friend of his, he shouted at his friend to stop the car at a certain point. To the left side of the road we could see Jerusalem extending on the hills opposite us. My uncle said that this is the best point to see the Dome of the Rock on a clear day and both discussed what time was the best time and from which point exactly. What drew my attention wasn’t the fact that one could see the Dome of the Rock from here, because I could see the Dome from the roof of my house. It was the excitement I could hear in my uncle’s voice and that of his friend. Men, who had been often imprisoned, tortured and injured, sometimes seriously, by the IOF, filled with excitement at the prospect of seeing the Dome of the Rock “on a clear day”. This uncle had been shot in the chest by the IOF with a live bullet, in the head with a rubber bullet and his kneecap was completely crushed during the first Intifada, to mention a few of his injuries. He has a 70% handicap in his leg and is in pain most of the time, which he often tries to hide so as not to worry his wife and children. Is this what they had been imprisoned, tortured and injured for? No, it wasn’t, because I know that to them independence without the Right to Return and without Jerusalem is no independence, but a farce.

 

Sources:

http://www.arij.org

http://www.peacenow.org

http://www.poica.org

http://www.btselem.org

http://www.imemc.org

Zionist massacres then and now. I have been under fire of late from two diametrically opposite quarters. First, the fanatical, self-worshipping Zionists who think that non-Jewish suffering should never ever be compared with Jewish suffering.

 

Needless to say, this psychotic attitude stems from deep-seated convictions that a Jew is a special creature whose life is worth more than the rest of humanity. Haven’t we noticed, for example, how Israel has made “Gilad Shalit”, the Israeli soldier imprisoned by Hamas, a household name all over the world, while next to nothing is mentioned about the estimated 10,000 Palestinian political and resistance prisoners languishing in Israeli dungeons and concentration camps?

 

And, second, some pro-Palestinian activists who believe that I should avoid invoking the holocaust in my writings lest this help legitimize the Zionist narrative and inadvertently justify Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people.

 

To our pro-Palestinian activists, I, with all due respect, would like to say the following. I sincerely believe that we would be walking in the path of immorality if we denied or belittled other people’s suffering.  Indeed, it is imperative that we retain our humanity and moral fabric in the course of this legitimate struggle against the evil state. We must never imitate or emulate their ways and tactics. This would be self-defeating, self-destructive and immensely demoralizing. 

 

Moreover, we must refrain from saying or doing things that would make others portray us as inherent enemies of Jews, because we are not.

 

We also need to be constantly vigilant and cautious about what we say and how we say it, lest we inadvertently besmirch the legitimacy of our just cause.

 

Israel is so manifestly criminal and ugly that we don’t need to deny anyone’s suffering to prove this plain fact.

 

In short, we don’t have to shoot ourselves in the foot. It is wrong and it hurts us a lot.

 

Obviously, the Zionists’ “arguments” are motivated, as always, by ill-will and a malicious desire to silence critics of Israeli criminality whose phantasmagoric expressions we all witnessed recently in the Gaza Strip.

 

The subject of contention this time has been an article I published a few days ago, entitled “Shame on us,” in which I strongly criticized efforts by some dubious “peace activists” to bamboozle some innocent Palestinian children from some impoverished localities into playing music before “holocaust survivors.”

 

This is what happened last week when a dozen young musicians from the Jenin Refugee Camp, in the northern West Bank,  were taken surreptitiously to Tel Aviv where they were made to play a serenade before some elderly Zionists, some of whom veterans from the many criminal wars Israel had waged on our people. And as I said in the article, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine was not carried out by UFOs but by the very people our children are now being asked to cheer up.

 

Understandably, the not-so-innocent event left many Palestinians infuriated by the cheap exploitation of these kids for Israeli hasbara purposes. As one who lost three uncles in one day to Zionist murderers in 1954, I felt deeply wounded and humiliated by that event.

 

I am actually not against reconciliation between Palestinians and Jews. I don’t and never will view Jews as our inherent enemies. Some Jews are actually among the most effective supporters of our national cause. Those we salute for their honesty and morality.

 

However, it is obvious that true reconciliation in this part of the world requires that the slate be made thoroughly clean. Usurped rights must be returned to rightful owners, and wrongs must be rectified. This I say to honest and conscientious Jews who are genuinely interested in justice and peace.

 

But to the Zionists I would like to say that the following: the latest point of contention is not about music or even peace. This is first and foremost about human dignity of which the children of the holocaust and their children and grand children and great grandchildren have been trying to rob us.

 

And whether you like it or not, for us, at least, you represent the real Wehrmacht, the real SS and real Gestapo. You are the Nazis of our time. This is what we see from our vantage point. This is what much of the world sees. This is what many honest and conscientious Jews see.

 

You stole our country, you murdered our people, you destroyed our homes, and you expelled and dispersed the bulk of our people to the four corners of the world. And after all of this, you have audacity to dupe our children to sing and play music to you? This is simply beyond, far beyond, Chutzpah.

 

Some of you habitually babble the word “hatred” whenever a Palestinian asserts his people’s humanity and dignity.

 

Well, you are really sick to the bone if you think Palestinians must sacrifice their dignity in order to become a hate-free people according to the Zionist lexicon. We will not pay tribute to the killers of our children, we will not show respect to those who murder us.

 

Besides, who do you think you are anyway to lecture us on hatred? After all, you represent and embody hatred in its ugliest form. The extirpation of a people from its ancestral homeland from time immemorial is a satanic act par excellence. The destruction and obliteration of hundreds of Palestinian towns and villages to fulfill Jewish nationalism is diabolical act of the highest order.

 

Your recent blitzkrieg in Gaza during which your Nazi-like army ganged up on a helpless, unprotected civilian population, exterminating them with bombs and missiles and incinerating their children with White Phosphorus proved once again that you are no better than the hateful Nazis you curse day and night for what they did to you sixty years ago.

 

Well, try to get yourselves out of this cocoon of self-denial. The Palestinian people don’t hate music nor do they teach their kids to hate Jews or non-Jews, it is your evil and murderous actions that generate hatred against you not only among Palestinians and Muslims but among many other people around the world.

 

Just look at your ugly faces in the mirror.

There is no doubt that the new Israeli government, led by Benyamin Netanyahu, honestly reflects the collective mindset of the Israeli Jewish Zionist society.  True, there are Israelis who are averse to racism and fascism, but these are unfortunately very few in numbers and their influence is almost negligible.

 

Indeed, a fleeting glance at the composition of the new Israeli cabinet reveals an extremist coalition of war criminals, pathological liars, racist thugs (both of the Hitlerian and Stalinist styles), and hateful religious maniacs who inhale and exhale hatred 24 hours per day.

 

For those who don’t know him, Benyamin Netanyahu is a pathological liar par excellence.  His modus operandi is based on dishonesty, mendacity, prevarication, and deception.

 

Despite his public relations babbling about “peace with our neighbors,” the man is firmly anti-peace, against the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and against equal rights for Jews and non-Jews.

 

He is actually an enthusiastic advocate for Judaizing East Jerusalem by checking Arab demographic growth, demolishing Arab homes and denying Jerusalemites their natural rights to build homes to meet natural growth.

 

This brazenly racist policy is known as “narrowing Arab horizons” and its ultimate goal is to force the Arab inhabitants of Al-Qods, or as many of them as possible, to leave the city and emigrate for good.

 

Netanyahu’s venomous racism is not confined to the Palestinians of the “occupied territories” or the “Shtachem” as the West Bank and Gaza Strip are often referred to in Hebrew.

 

He was quoted on several occasions as demanding that “measures” be taken to prevent Israel’s Palestinian citizens from reaching the 30% threshold.

 

Furthermore, Netanyahu who often invokes the concepts of civility, democracy and western culture, especially when addressing naïve western audiences, actually believes that Israel should embark on a massive campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians if and when the international community, particularly the US, would tolerate such a scenario.

 

In 1989 Netanyahu told students at Bar-Ilan University that “Israel should have exploited the repression of the demonstrations in China, when world attention focused on that country, to carry out mass expulsions among the Arabs of the territories.”

 

Well, for those who take the word “transfer” lightly, they should know that “transfer” is only a euphemism for genocide.

 

If such is the character of the premier, one can have a clear idea about his lieutenants and ministers from Avigdor Lieberman, to the gurus of Gush Emunim (the settler movement), who are shamelessly demanding that non-Jews in Israel-Palestine be either exterminated, deported or enslaved as water carriers and wood hewers in the service of the master race!

 

And then there is the irredeemably opportunistic war criminal Ehud Barak who insists rather arrogantly that the army that exterminated hundreds of Gaza children with White Phosphorus just two months ago is the most moral army in the world.

 

Netanyahu is not stupid. He realizes that his ideological convictions are too ugly and too fascist to be accepted by the international community, including the US, Israel’s guardian-ally.

 

This is why he is going to mislead the world by blurring and hiding, as much as possible, his government’s fascist nature.

 

He will heavily resort to employing “diversionary tactics” such as “terror,” “Iran,” “anti-Semitism,” and “Hamas” to distract attention away from the fascist and criminal platform of his government.

 

He will shout “Auschwitz, Treblinka, Mauthauzen, Bergen Belsen” whenever Israeli crimes are exposed and criticized.

 

He will claim that Israel will not allow itself to be pushed to the brink Auschwitz whenever Israel is demanded to end its Nazi-like occupation of the Palestinian homeland and allow the Palestinian people the right to independence and self determination.

 

In short, we are talking about a man who lies as often as he breathes a dishonest politician who thinks  and smart public relations can be a more effective substitution for an honest peace process based on human rights and international law.

 

This is why, the capitals of the world must not allow themselves to be duped, deceived and cheated by this notorious, cardinal liar.

 

I am, of course, in no way suggesting that the previous Israeli government was less nefarious than the new one.  The previous government of the evil trio Olmert, Livni and Barak had all the hallmarks of a Zionist Third Reich.

 

What else can be said of a government that ordered its army to exterminate and incinerate thousands of civilians with White Phosphorus, and then shamelessly claimed that it didn’t really mean to do it?

 

However, that government was considered by many states around the world, such as the gullible Europeans, a “government of peace,” a “liberal,” even “leftist government,” which really gave a new meaning to the term “verbal fornication.”

 

For us Palestinians, and despite the legitimate and understandable anxiety stemming from the rise of fascism in Israel, it is still better to have in Israel a manifestly fascist government pursuing fascist policies than a deceptively “liberal” or  “leftist” government pursuing the same criminal policies.

 

Let the world see Israel as it really is.  

In the final analysis, an honest criminal is better than a lying saint. At least the former is predictable and consistent.

http://xpis.ps/xpisps/Uploadarticles/866articles%20Let%20the%20world%20see%20Israel%e2%80%99s%20true,%20ugly%20face.doc

Commemorating 60+ Years of the Systematic Murder of Palestinian Land. The first part of a three part series for Land Day

As I stood on the roof and watched Jerusalem stretch in front of me, with the sun reflecting on the golden Dome, I felt angry and felt how unfair the world is. I was born in Jerusalem, went to school there and practically grew up there knowing almost every corner, every street and every alley in it. I have more memories in Jerusalem than any other place in the world, all cherished ones. But now, I am not allowed into the city anymore because I am Palestinian. As I stood there, with tears in my eyes, I envied every Palestinian with an American or European passport, because they can come and visit Jerusalem. I envied every foreigner who can visit the city whenever they choose. I even envied the birds singing on the cypresses before me, because they could fly over Jerusalem and fill their eyes with its beauty and their lungs with its air. In my childhood, Jerusalem was the only major Palestinian city I knew well and loved. In the eyes and mind of a child, to me Ramallah was a cold city, Bethlehem was the “village” nearby, Nablus and Hebron were the places “to visit my uncles in Israeli prisons” and Jericho was too hot. Only Jerusalem was perfect: with its bustling Old City, the old bus station, Salah Al-Deen Street, Al Musrarah, the walk to the Notre Dame, the walk down Wadi Al-Joz and up to Al-Tur and the walk up to Ras El Amoud. I walked on the roof and saw the mountains on the Jordanian side, clearly visible during mild weather. Late afternoons, coming back home from school, one would witness a breathtaking sight going down the steep street in Sawahreh: a marvellous mixture of simple houses, some with old traditional domed roofs, barley fields or olive groves spreading against a curtain of mountains. Between the mountains and the last of the houses a strip of blue was visible. We always thought it to be the Dead Sea. Well, I personally still like to think of it as the Dead Sea. It was a combination of colours that rarely showed itself, but when it did, it was truly breathtaking.

 

To the south I could see Mount Herod in the distance. I have watched this artificial mountain since my childhood and always wondered at its shape. It always looked far away to be reached, but at the same time so close, an integral part of the view surrounding my home. I used to think about the impossibility of climbing that mountain, because it had steep sides, one would keep slipping and would never reach the top. I did “climb” that mountain years later, during the work on a TV documentary on Bethlehem. During the 2002 IOF invasion of the West Bank, my parents told me that Israeli fighter jets used to pass over Sawahreh on their way to Bethlehem. After a few minutes, the sound of explosions would rock the sky, as the IOF bombarded Bethlehem and the surrounding towns, villages and refugee camps. Since hearing this, every time I see Mount Herod I can’t help thinking of Israeli jets on their way to destroying yet another part of Palestine and kill innocent unarmed civilians. In Sawahreh, Israeli jets roaring in the sky were always a common thing. Some of Sawahreh’s vast lands had been confiscated for so-called “security reasons” and were used as a training area for the IOF. We would often hear sounds of explosions and the house would shake, or hear Israeli jets coming and going. One time, my sister, my brother and I thought that they were preparing for war, and since we had no army of our own, had no jets or tanks or bombs to protect ourselves, we held a meeting to decide on the best way to protect the family. The only solution we could think of was to build an underground shelter. I don’t know where we got the idea of a shelter from, since Palestinians have no shelters, but most probably from one of those WWII films the Israeli TV kept showing. We did start digging, using our hands and small pointy stones, but realized after a while what a lengthy and hard process that was, and instead decided that in case a war does break out we would use the water well as a shelter, i.e., after removing all the water.

 

One would think what a beautiful view, Jerusalem on one side, Bethlehem on the other with mountains and an imaginary sea in the background. Unfortunately, this scenery is interrupted by the Jewish illegal settlements Maale Adumim and Kidar, spreading themselves on Palestinian hills. Many Palestinian villages and town are surrounded by illegal Jewish settlements. Some are surrounded by settlements from one, two or three sides. Others are surrounded by illegal settlements and the Apartheid Wall. Sawahreh is surrounded by the illegal settlements of Maale Adumim from the northeast and Kidar from the east and by the Apartheid Wall from the west. Kidar settlement is the closest to us. Before the first intifada, Kidar settlers used to come and walk through our main street, among Palestinian houses. So sure they were of themselves, acting as if the land belonged to them. I remember once we were playing in the land, when a group of settlers walked up the street. We stopped playing and just watched them. I didn’t understand settlers and settlements much at the time, but I remember knowing that these people had no right to walk on our streets. We used to spend our holidays in Dheisheh refugee camp, where the IOF would shoot to kill little children, and then we would come back to Sawahreh, where settlers were walking our street. Those close to Kidar used to sell home-made white cheese and yoghurt to the settlers, who thought us too quiet and peaceful, so they called us “Kiryat Shalom” or the village of peace. It was something I always felt ashamed of, knowing that the settlers thought us too peaceful to bother with, while their army and their fellow fanatic settlers were attacking Dheisheh and killing people there. If the illegal settlers of Kidar were so very interested in peace with us, why did they steal our lands to expand their settlement, knowing that our livelihood depended on these lands? You can’t have peace with your occupier, because the only peace they will offer you is a masquerade, not a real and just peace. In Palestine, power cuts are a regular thing, and whenever we had no electricity and had to study using candle light, which often hurt our eyes, I used to look through the window and watch Sawahreh, Abu Dees and Ezariyyeh drown in complete darkness, while Kidar and Maale Adumim would be lighted like a Christmas tree. Even as a child this made me think of how unfair the situation was and that these settlers and these settlements don’t belong here.

 

I remember as a child how “far away” Maale Adumim seemed. But as I grew up, so did the illegal settlement. The danger of this expansion never really registered in my mind until one night I dreamt that I opened the window of my bedroom to find myself looking into the courtyard of a Jewish house. The settlement had eaten the land all the way from where it stood till our house, and our house and the land surrounding it was next. I woke up sweating and my heart beating fast. So real was the threat, I realized at the time, that I knew it was not a mere nightmare. The next day I went at the back of the house to the spot where one could get a direct view of Maale Adumim and tried to calculate how much time we had before my nightmare became reality. I thought we still had time to act, but I was mistaken. Since the 1990’s the settlements have been expanding and are eating more Palestinian land at an unprecedented pace. In this area there are several illegal Jewish settlements such as Maale Adumim, Alon, Almon, Kidar, Kefar Adumim and Mishor Adumim, with a combined population of some 40,000 settlers. The largest, Maale Adumim was established in 1975 on confiscated Palestinian land and lies 14 km to the east of Jerusalem. It has a population of 35,000 illegal Jewish settlers and a jurisdictional area of 50 km². Road networks have been also established to connect Maale Adumim and neighboring settlements with Jerusalem and with the Jordan Valley. Palestinian land would be confiscated, declared a “closed military zone” and later used for illegal settlement expansions.

 

On the day of my arrival to Palestine for a short visit, I watched in shock as I passed Maale Adumim at how huge it has become. Within the space of two years, since my last visit, it had doubled in size, to say the least. Standing there on the mountain top, with a wall surrounding parts of it, it reminded me of a fortress from the middle ages. Although I am a fan of fortresses, this one brought only anger and disgust. The lands opposite it, which I distinctly remember were planted with olive trees, had become bare land, the trees uprooted and the land destroyed to make way for more illegal settler houses and roads. At the entrance to Maale Adumim stood a single olive tree, as huge as life and older than any illegal settler on this land. It was clear that this tree had been uprooted from some Palestinian field, maybe even from our confiscated land, and replanted here. Macabre, I thought and could only shake my head at the sad view of that lonely olive tree. Olive trees are like Palestinians, they grow in groups, surrounded by family and friends. That tree stood there alone, a reminder to every Palestinian that this is what the so-called peace process had done to us, and that if this process is allowed to go on, every single Palestinian will end up like that tree, alone and uprooted.

 

The plan to expand Maale Adumim, known as the “E-1” Plan, which was initiated by Rabin in 1994 and approved in 1999, led to the confiscation of yet more Palestinian land. This Plan is an important part of the “Greater Jerusalem” scheme, which includes Maale Adumim, Beitar, H´Givat Ze’ev, Gush Etzion, the Ariel bloc, the Hashmonain bloc and the Jordan Rift, and aims at annexing large areas of the West Bank to Jerusalem. This plan expands the jurisdictional boundaries of Maale Adumim and its satellite settlements to the Israeli Jerusalem municipal boundaries, linking Jerusalem with surrounding settlement blocs and linking the Maale Adumim bloc with with other settlement blocs such as Pisgat Ze’ev, Pisgat Omer, Neve Ya’acov and the French Hill. Also, a wall is being built around Maale Adumim and its satellite settlements, which will completely encircle East Jerusalem and 61 km² of Palestinian land. The “E-1” Plan aims to completely cut off Jerusalem from the rest of the Palestinian Territories, disconnecting the geographic contiguity of Palestinian Territories by dividing the West Bank into two parts, thus ensuring that no viable Palestinian state would ever come to existence. Last year, roads were paved and a bridge, main junctions, public squares, police stations, checkpoints and side walls were built in the “E-1” area. This area will cover some 13,000 dunums confiscated from Palestinian villages around Jerusalem and is to house an additional 15,000 illegal settlers. Two Israeli-only roads will connect settler roads southeast of Bethlehem with roads to the northeast, including connecting Maale Adumim and other Jerusalem settlements with the Ramot Ashkol settlement. For the construction of these roads, tens of houses in Sawahreh, Abu Dees and Al Tour are to be demolished. To prevent Palestinians from entering Jerusalem or using Road Nr. 1 that passes through the E-1 and Road Nr. 60 that passes through East Jerusalem, an “alternative” road is being constructed for Palestinian use and is to connect the Southern West Bank with its Northern part. For the construction of this road, the IOF issued a military order in 2007 confiscating 1,128 dunums of Palestinian land from villages between Jerusalem and Maale Adumim, i.e. Sawahreh, Abu Dees, Nebi Musa and Al Khan Al Ahmar.

 

Blocking the southern entrance of Sawahreh is the “Container” checkpoint, which is now being expanded to become a permanent border-like crossing. Passing the checkpoint, one would not imagine what beautiful landscape lies behind the Israeli stone blocks and control tower. Locally, we call it “Barriyeh”, the wilderness or the prairies. Green meadows decorated with red poppies wherever one looks. My favourite spot there is a low area, surrounded by hills and naturally-formed stone structures. Here, running was not possible because of the tall vegetation that covered the place. We would imagine ourselves swimming and race each other or play hide and seek. Then, when we would feel hungry, we would have something to eat under the olive trees. Relics of family history decorate caves in that area and cherished memories of childhood lie behind the checkpoint, making them off-limit to us. The last time I went there was just before leaving for Germany and I had not set foot again. Our lands there, including the olive fields, which were a source of income for my family, were confiscated in 2003. Today, only those few who originally had their houses behind the checkpoint are allowed in, but no one knows how long before their houses will be demolished for some reason or other so as to close the area completely.

 

The “Container” checkpoint is a passage between the north and the south of the West Bank. It is one of more than 630 Israeli checkpoints and road barriers all over the West Bank, aiming to restrict Palestinian movement on Palestinian land. Travelling to the south, one would have to take the “Wadi Al-Nar” road. Wadi Al-Nar, the Valley of Fire, is most probably called so because of its steepness and the danger of driving there. It was a dirt road connecting Sawahreh with Ubediyyeh, rarely used except maybe by villagers travelling on donkeys. With the signing of the so-called peace process, Jerusalem was closed to most Palestinians and this road was used instead as a link left between the south and the north. If one is stuck behind a truck on that road, the meaning of “Valley of Fire” becomes clear, for when driving up the road, one has the continuous feeling that the truck will turn over any minute and everything behind that truck would be squeezed underneath it. As children we would follow the shepherds with their herds whenever we could. We would eat figs, search for snake nests in caves and play at the old ottoman stone circles. Every time we were there on the hills, we would go exploring a bit further. It was mostly steep hills, where we learned to slide slowly down a hill, using our left foot as a break. Here, there were no illegal settlements and no IOF soldiers, or at least they were not visible. When it was time to go home, instead of taking the direct way, we would go all around the hills, passing the “sacred river” to the old Sawahreh houses and further back home. The “sacred river” as we called it, was a small “river” running through the Wadi Al-Nar. Greenery was along both sides of this river, giving it a genuine river look, like those we used to see in cartoons. The vegetables growing around the riverbanks were double the size of the ordinary vegetables we would buy from the supermarket. Later, and to our great disappoint, we found out that the reason for the extraordinary growth of these vegetables was the waste water. This “sacred river” was actually the flow of waste water from Maale Adumim and other settlements in the area. Not only was their waste water contaminating our lands, their solid waste was being dumped and burned on our lands as well. Several studies have shown that illegal Settlements comprise a major environmental threat. Waste water and industrial waste from settlements is dumped on Palestinian lands, contaminating the soil and the water supply. Palestinian plans to treat waste water are usually rejected by Israel, and in one incident Israel insisted that a treatment facility for Tulkarem be built on the other side of the Green line, for no other reason than to use the treated water for its own interest.

 

During my last visit to Palestine, I wanted to see these hills again and enjoy the beauty of a Palestine that was free of illegal settlements and IOF checkpoints. It was late afternoon and as I looked around me I saw Mount Herod in the distance, with Palestinian villages decorating the hills all the way from there to Jerusalem. And opposite them, Palestinian hills extended all the way to meet the Jordanian mountains in the horizon. There was no Apartheid Wall, no IOF checkpoints and no settlements. Although I knew they were there, breaking the natural bond between Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank, they were not visible from where I stood. I saw the old stone houses with the traditional domed roof, a herd of sheep with a shepherd who was playing the flute, the sunset adding a magical touch to the whole landscape, and there, at that moment I felt what it would feel to live in a truly free Palestine. I started taking photos and wondering how long before the Israelis would wipe out this landscape and all traces of Palestinian existence here. I went home, thinking that the Palestine I grew up in is not the Palestine of today. The Palestine of today is the rest of the so-called peace process with its illegal settlements, the Apartheid Wall, the IOF checkpoints and “Herrenstraßen” that are eating Palestine from inside, like a cancer, destroying the land piece by piece. I remembered that lonely olive tree in front of Maale Adumim and hoped that those still disillusioned by the “peace process” would wake up and act before it was too late.

 

Sources:

http://www.arij.org

http://www.peacenow.org

http://www.poica.org

http://www.btselem.org

http://www.imemc.org

 

When the women came and told her to leave what she was doing and come and sit in front of the house with them, my grandmother knew what was to come. They sat outside and didn’t talk much. My uncle had been shot in the chest by the IOF that afternoon, and was at that moment being operated. He was in a critical condition, the doctors had told the men who had brought him to the hospital. Some were sent back home to prepare the family for the news and to prepare the refugee camp to welcome the hero, in case the worst happened. Although hope dies last, it was a necessity to prepare everything for a quick funeral and a quick burial. The Israeli army had been known to take bodies of Palestinian martyrs and steal their organs without the Palestinian family’s consent. The organs would then be given to Israelis who needed them. So a Palestinian killed by the IOF, mostly for no reason at all or for defending his country, would be labelled as terrorist by Israel and the biased media, while his organs would be used to save Israeli lives. In other countries, stealing the organs of dead people is considered a crime, but as usual, it doesn’t apply to Israel.

 

My grandmother sat quiet the whole time, no tears and no words. It was her youngest son, they said. His elder brothers had one time after another been imprisoned for everything that Israel considered “terror”, that she decided at least to spare the youngest the inside of an Israeli prison. Every day she would tell him to go to school and come back directly. “don’t go here or there”. I heard my mother say one time “she thought this way she was keeping him safe from the Israelis; everyday coming back from school after classes were over, and keeping him at her side most of the time.” Till one day, the boys came and told my grandmother that her son had been arrested. ”Arrested for what?” “he was throwing stones.” He hadn’t even bothered to go to school that day.” One of my other uncles said laughingly when the story was brought up once: but we had prepared him for this. And everyone laughed. I laughed too, because I have been though this process as well. Actually, to us kids, it was just another game. One of those bizarre refugee camp games, like the “UNRWA restaurant” game, where we would play little refugee kids standing in line and waiting for our daily portion of a slice of bread and small slice of tomato with salt, and being shouted at by the “UNRWA employee”. The other game, which was to prepare us for future imprisonment by the IOF was the “confession game”. Each one of us would be “tortured” to strengthen our resistance and prevent us from confessing anything in case we are interrogated by the IOF. There was really no “torture” in this game, because there was no real beating. We would be shouted at in a funny way, and the one among us to act the “IOF soldier” would be mimicking Israeli soldiers trying to be brave, but who are in fact afraid of us, little children. We would laugh while being “tortured”, for it was mostly fun for us. Although the game would not really prepare anyone for the barbaric Israeli interrogation and torture, in some way, the game was educational. It gave us the feeling that we are stronger than the IOF and that despite all their weapons, they feared us. So, we would just play being beaten by the IOF, and the one playing the IOF soldier would ask us continuously to confess and we would refuse. He would slash us, though not harshly, on the soles, and demand we confess. We would refuse, laughingly, because for us it was a game, a game that would prove useful one day.

 

That day, no funeral took place, for my uncle had made it. He had a strong will to live. But every time I think of that moment, I think about my grandmother. The 60 year old woman, who used to divide her week according to visiting days in Israeli prisons. Before one of them was released, another would be arrested, so that they rarely gathered at a dinner table. We were all used to it, not seeing all my uncles at the same time. I rarely heard my grandmother complain, but it was clear to everyone how much she loved her family and how sad she was that they weren’t all around her. She didn’t have to tell her children to go and demonstrate. It was a natural reaction to what these children themselves saw and went through, and it was the love of the land planted in their heart by my grandmother. She would often talk about Jrash, the village from which she and her family and all the residents were ethnically cleansed by the Zionist terror organizations. They were forced to move from one place to another, until they finally reached what is now Dheisheh refugee camp. There she tried to reconstruct her original home by planting some trees in the small piece of land near the UNRWA rooms they were to live in.

 

The life of my grandmother is typical of the lives of many Palestinian mothers. She was born in a small picturesque village in Palestine, where she grew up, got married and started a family. She would take care of her home, and help the family with the fields. She would care for her small garden and the apple trees which she loved most and would make marmalade for the winter. When the Zionist terror organizations started implementing their plan of ethnically cleansing the Palestinian population, Palestinian villages were attacked one after the other, and horrific massacres took place. The residents of Jrash were finally forced to leave, but not before they fought heroically. My grandparents often talked about these days. During my last visit to Palestine a couple of months ago, I listened to my grandfather as he talked about the fight with the Zionist groups. With sharp memory, he mentioned such details, that for a few seconds I could feel myself there, with them, 60 years ago.

 

A number of times my grandmother was beaten by the IOF soldiers, some of whom were younger than her own sons and who didn’t care that she was an elderly woman. When IOF soldiers would attempt to arrest someone in the refugee camp, she would hurry with the other women and try and stop them. When Zionist settlers would attack the refugee camp, she would carry the tree stem she hides behind the couch and go protect the camp alongside the men and women. And in the early mornings of the day, when everyone is still fast asleep, after finishing the morning prayer I would hear her asking God to protect her family, her relatives, her neighbours, the refugee camp, the Palestinians and the whole world. I heard her day after day asking forgiveness for the whole world.

 

In Palestine mothers are sacred. Every one of us has several mothers: the mother that gave birth to us, the olive tree, the land and the mother of all: Palestine. And a Palestinian mother isn’t just a mother to the children she gives birth to, she is mother to all Palestinians. When a Palestinian is being arrested by the IOF, women of all ages will be surrounding the soldiers within seconds, trying to free the prisoner. And for that, sometimes they pay a heavy price, like the 60 year old Mariam Ayyad from Abu Dees. On the night of 20th of September 2008, IOF soldiers broke into her house. After arguing with her, the old woman was repeatedly hit and thrown on the ground by the soldiers until she died in front of her children and grandchildren. During curfews, it is mostly women who would move carefully from one house corner to another and from one street to the other and distribute wheat and milk. When young masked men wanted to go from one place to another, they would be assisted by these mothers, who would check that the roads were clear of IOF soldiers. And when one of their millions of children gets killed by the IOF, they all gather and mourn as one single mother, that it becomes difficult to figure out which one of these mothers is the martyr’s mother. They are the protectors, the helpers and the witnesses of Israeli brutality, for many of them not only carry the pain of losing their children, they carry the scars of more than 60 years of Zionist terror and destruction.

 

During the Nakba of 1948, Zionist terrorists massacred Palestinians indiscriminately. Even women and children, who are protected during wars under all human laws, were killed in a brutal way. Accounts of the Deir Yassin massacre mention that among the 254 Palestinians victims were 25 pregnant women who were bayoneted in the abdomen while still alive. Another 52 children were maimed in front of their mothers before having their heads cut off by the Zionist terrorists. After the village of Beit Darras had been surrounded by Zionist terror groups and further Zionist mobilization was on the way to occupy the village, the Zionist terror groups called on the Palestinian residents to leave the village safely from the south side. The villagers decided that it was safer for the women and children to leave, since it was the village the Zionists wanted. Upon leaving the village, all the women and children were massacred by the Zionist terrorists. Kafr Qasim, Qibya and many other massacres carry the same pattern of killing unarmed mothers and their children. Other mothers lost their children, and many their lives, after being forced out of their homes to wander the hills of Palestine in search of a safe spot.

 

The suffering and pain of Palestinian mothers continues till today. Palestinian mothers, including the elderly and the sick among them, are often humiliated at checkpoints in front of their children, and pregnant women are delayed, causing many to give birth at these checkpoint. Women are not only delayed at checkpoints, they are often prevented from reaching hospitals, causing miscarriages and even the death of some of women and infants. Many unnamed children are stillborn at Israeli checkpoints after unnecessary delays or after their mothers were forced to deliver on the dirt road or inside cars at the checkpoint. A report of the Palestinian Ministry of Health published in October 2006 states that since the beginning of the second Intifada in September 2000 some 68 pregnant women gave birth at Israeli checkpoints, leading to 34 miscarriages and the death of four women. In 2002, in two consecutive days two pregnant women on their way to hospital were shot and injured by the IOF soldiers at a checkpoint in the Nablus area. One of the women lost her husband who was shot on the neck and the chest. Others are forced to give birth at home, despite fear of complications because they fear they will be stopped at checkpoints and won’t make it in time to the hospital. In Azzun Atma near Qalqilya pregnant women are even forced to take up residence outside the village until they deliver out of fear that they might not be able to get the necessary medical treatment. The village, encircled by the apartheid wall, is separated by a gate from the rest of the West Bank. This gate is not manned at night, making the village a prison to its residents. According to a B’Tselem report, alone during 2006 some 20 out of 30 pregnant women from Azzun Atma were forced to relocate outside of the village because of their pregnancy.

 

IOF soldiers don’t hesitate in arresting Palestinian mothers to be used as hostages to pressure wanted Palestinians to give themselves up. In its report “Behind the Bars: Palestinian Women in Israeli Prisons” published in June 2008, Addammeer, Mandela Institute and the Palestinian Counselling Centre state that “As of May 2008, over 9.080 Palestinian political prisoners remain in Israeli prisons, detention facilities and camps; of those 73 Palestinian women (including 2 girls aged 16 and 17 of a total of 327 minors, and 24 mothers with a total number of 68 children.” Many of the prisoners are held without any charges, and are subjected to torture, humiliation and intimidation. There were four cases of women giving birth inside Israeli prisons under difficult conditions. These women had their hands and feet shackled to their beds. They remain so until they enter the delivery room and are chained again after they deliver.

 

Palestinian mothers are not only to suffer the loss of their children, husbands and other family members, they themselves are also targeted by the IOF. According to Miftah 7141 Palestinians had been killed by the IOF during the period from 28th September 2000 till 28th February 2009, 1138 of whom were children and 581 were women. A recent report of the Palestine Centre for Human Rights on Israel’s war on Gaza confirms that “Over the course of the 22 day Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip, a total of 1,434 Palestinians were killed. Of these, 235 were combatants. The vast majority of the dead, however, were civilians and non-combatants: protected persons according to the principles of IHL. PCHR investigations confirm that, in total, 960 civilians lost their lives, including 288 children and 121 women. 239 police officers were also killed; the majority (235) in air strikes carried out on the first day of the attacks. The Ministry of Health has also confirmed that a total of 5,303 Palestinians were injured in the assault, including 1,606 children and 828 women.” Every single child killed had a mother. Human rights organization talked in their reports about mothers being killed together with their children, others witnessing the killing of their children and not able to prevent it, while others died in front of their children. Some of these mothers lost not only one child, but several. Of the many war crimes committed by Israel in Gaza, one horrific story tells the fate of a Palestinian mother of 10. While sitting with her children, the IOF soldiers entered her house and demanded she choose five of her children to “give as a gift to Israel”. After the woman screamed in horror, the IOF soldiers told her they would choose themselves and then killed five of her children in front of her.

 

Palestinian mothers have been actively participating in resisting the occupation. They are the first to organize sit-ins in front of international organizations and hold marches demanding the release of their children from Israeli prisons or protesting the brutality of the Israeli military occupation. They visit their sons in hospitals and in jails, despite the long wait and the humiliation they endure on the hands of the Israelis jailers. Also, many of these mothers are the supporters of their families. When the father or son is arrested or killed by the IOF, it is the mothers who take on the burden of providing for their families. Those among them who have a piece of land would plant it with vegetables and herbs, to be later sold to neighbours or at the local market. Others use their embroidery skills to stitch Palestinian tradition dresses “thob”, scarves, shawls and pillow covers. They hold their families together, particularly in difficult times.

 

Biased media, serving only Zionist propaganda, ignores the suffering of Palestinian  mothers under Israeli occupation and instead often portrays them as heartless women, who send these children to the streets and encourage them to throw stones so be killed and then celebrate their death. Palestinian parents encourage their children to study and get a good education and build a better future for themselves. Some parents even lock their children inside the house to prevent them from participating in demonstration or any other kind of activity against the IOF because they know the brutality of the IOF and out of fear they might be killed by Israeli soldiers or settlers. Parents work hard to spare their children the suffering they themselves endured under the Israeli occupation. But as long as the Zionists occupy Palestine, Palestinian suffering will continue, and generation after generation will seek to get themselves rid of this brutal occupation, no matter how hard the parents try to keep their children away from it. Living in Palestine, and being confronted with Zionist terror every day, one is not in need of parents or teachers to form an idea about this Zionist state and decide to demonstrate for a better future. That is why many join demonstrations or get politically active without telling their parents. In many cases it is when the children get arrested or are killed that the parents first know of their children’s involvement in resisting the occupation. Palestinian mothers who lose their children often appear composed on TV and in the news, and if asked, most of them talk about their martyred children in pride and calm and without shedding a tear. It is behind the camera that they show their sorrow and anger at the loss of their beloved ones. Palestinians know that these mothers want to send a message to Israel: despite the suffering and the pain, you won’t break us, ever. Few journalists bother to visit these mothers days after their children have been killed. Many of them visit the grave of their killed child daily, and others keep their room as it was when they still lived there. Few reporters bother asking these mothers what memoires they have kept of their children. If they did, they would be shown clothes, hair brushes, notebooks and pictures, all soaked in tears. These mothers would have freely sacrificed their lives to save their children from death on the hands of the IOF and give them a future empty of Zionist occupation.

 

Mothers are sacred in Palestine because they are the personification of Palestine: the homeland and the mother of all Palestinians. It is the love of this land that is handed over from one generation to the next. Whenever in Dheisheh, we often sat with grandmother as children, listening to her talking about Palestine, the Nakba, the Naksa and the life in a refugee camp. She would talk about her mother and her grandmother, about her brothers and sisters, about my grandfather, and about her children. She was strong and was always there for her family, even at times when she herself was very weak. She was the safe island everyone seeks and the cave that sheltered us from the storm. Even long after her death, I still often think of her and ask for her guidance. She passed down her strength, steadfastness and kindness to her children. My mother continued the tradition of connecting us to the Palestinian landscape. As children, she and my father used to sit with us and tell us stories about Palestine, the history that one would not find in book, the history of the real people who lived on this land and appreciated it. For me, the personal experiences of my grandmother and mother are priceless. I am thankful to my grandmother and my mother for introducing me to a Palestine that was unknown to me, to parts of our history that others work hard to delete, to a heritage that is mine forever. Through our mothers Palestine is celebrated every single day.

 

In his poem “My Mother”, late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish said:

I must be worth my life

At the hour of my death

Worth the tears of my mother

 

Sources:

www.pchrgaza.org/h

www.miftah.org

www.imemc.org

http://mecaforpeace.blogspot.com/2009/01/in-gaza.html

On the 21st of March the Arab world celebrates Mother’s Day. On this day also the length of the day becomes equal to the length of the night. Nature is sending us a hint of optimism that everything is possible and as much as we feel despair, there is an equal chance of hope.

I thought of researching some photos from Google to celebrate women and their children. I started with the terms “Mother and child” in a research in Arabic and I found all kinds of mother and child pictures available from every country and animals as well, including chimps and monkeys, but not one of an Arab woman or a Palestinian woman with a child.

I thought of shifting to the English search in Google engine, again the Arab woman was not there at all. Is it possible that thousands of screaming mothers in Gaza next to their children’s corpses have been dropped from the memory of Google? Was this an intentional attempt not to include us as mothers from a general search? Mothers and children of remote areas I have never heard of were there in hundreds of pictures, but not one Arab woman with her child… not even one mother from Lebanon crying over her children during the attacks on South Lebanon, not one woman crying over her killed children in Iraq, not one photo of any Arab woman with a child in Darfur or Iraq.

Have we been condemned sterile? Are we denied the honour of being mothers by Google?

I would like to remind Google on Mother’s Day that Mary the Mother of Christ, who happens to be the most important icon of motherhood in history, is a Palestinian Mother. How come none of almost 2000 pictures of Palestinian Mothers and their killed children on the Net could not manage to find their way to Google’s engine?

Talking about conspiracy, I guess this one example shows how common it must be to manipulate the media. Imagine if every researcher of women and their children stumbled upon photos of thousands of Palestinian Mothers hugging their killed children – what that would that lead to? Yes, it will offer people an extra eye and a great chance to know that there are people oppressed and crying for help, this will move the hearts of people who have a clean conscious that they might spend some time to know why all Palestinian Mothers are stained with blood, and investigate why their children are laying there wounded or killed. People will start to wonder why there is no picture of children playing, drawing, flying a kite, enjoying a meal, smiling or studying. People might wonder why women’s pictures show mothers without homes, mothers cooking on open fires in the wild, mothers inside prisons, mothers who do harvest flowers in black so that another mother from the FIRST world can enjoy mother’s Day and get a beautiful bouquet of flowers gathered by another Mother in Palestine who could not afford to take a day off on Mother’s Day, because she is the sole supporter and provider of her family because men are either dead or in prisoners by Israeli authorities.

Happy Mother’s Day to all Mothers around the world, and a special Happy Mother’s Day for my heroines, the Palestinian and Arab Mothers.

Zionist influx into Palestine started in 1882.  There were 6 waves of Jewish immigration between 1882 and 1948.  As a result of these waves, the number of Jews living in Palestine increased to about 650,000.

 

During the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, the Zionists asked for the creation of a state in the territory that includes all of Mandate Palestine, Southern Lebanon up to the Litani River, the Golan Heights and part of Western Jordan along a line parallel to the Hijaz railway and ends in Aqaba.  From there, the line goes northwest to Al Arish in Egypt.  (David McDowall, Palestine and Israel: The uprising and Beyond, Berkeley, Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1989, p. 20.  See also: Simha Flappan, The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities, New York: 1987, p. 17) 

 

In 1948, Ben-Gurion considered acceptance of a Jewish state in part of Palestine as a bridgehead for future expansion whenever the time was right.  His vision was spelled out in a letter to his son, Amos, stating that “A partial Jewish State is not the end, but only the beginning… We shall bring into the state all the Jews it is possible to bring… We shall organize a modern defense force, a select army…and then I am certain that we will not be prevented from settling in the other parts of the country, either by mutual agreement with our Arab neighbors or by some other means.  Our ability to penetrate the country will increase if there is a state…”  (Michael Bar-Zohar, Ben-Gurion: A Biography.  New York: Delacorte Press, 1977, pp. 91 – 92)

 

In a round table meeting with the French at the Sévres Conference, Ben-Gurion proposed a plan for settling all the issues in the Middle East.  The plan included eliminating Nasser in Egypt and partition of Jordan, with the West Bank going to Israel and the East Bank to Iraq.  In exchange, Iraq would sign a peace treaty with Israel and undertake to absorb the Palestinian refugees.  Moreover, Ben-Gurion requested that Israel would annex southern Lebanon up to the Litani , with a Christian state established in the rest of the country.  Ben-Gurion added that the Suez Canal would enjoy international status, that the Straits of Tiran would be under Israeli control, and that Syria should be placed under a pro-Western ruler in order to stabilize the Syrian regime.  Official confirmation of the Sévres protocol was received by Ben-Gurion on 26 October and was warmly congratulated by Menachem Begin.  (Ibid, pp. 236-244)

 

Golda Meir even denied the mere existence of the Palestinians by stating that there is no such thing as the Palestinians.

 

Within 5 decades, the Zionist dream began to evaporate.

 

In spite of all the Zionist atrocities aimed at Ethnic Cleansing, Palestinian Arabs living within the borders of Mandate Palestine are approximately 4.5 million.  Within ten to fifteen years, Arabs living in Palestine would become the majority even if the Palestinian Refugees living outside Palestine were not allowed to return to the homes and lands that were usurped from them. 

 

In spite of having a large army equipped with all the high-tech weaponry provided by the U.S., Israel failed to deter or stop Arab resistance.

 

In March, 1968, Israel attacked the village of Karama on the East Bank of the Jordan and faced a bloody and heroic stand by the Palestinians.  This battle gave the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) a psychological boost and increased its influence.

 

On 24 May 2000, Israel was obliged to withdraw from Southern Lebanon, which was occupied since 1978.

 

On 12 July 2006, Israel started an ‘open war’ against Lebanon.  The war stopped on 14 August 2006.  During this war, another massacre was committed in Kana, about 54 innocent civilians, including about 37 children, were killed in an air raid, and there was a lot of damage and destruction.  However, Israel failed in achieving its goal of ending Hizbullah.   

 

On 27 December 2008, Israel launched ‘Operation Cast Lead’ against the Gaza Strip and committed a massacre killing more than 1300 men, women and children and injuring more that 5500.  The war was ended on 18 January 2009 without achieving Israel’s goal of ending Hamas.

The game is over.  The Zionist lie of a ‘land without a people for a people without a land’ did not fool any one.  What we are witnessing these days is the end of the beginning and the beginning of the end, which will not take long: 5 – 20 years…

Poster courtesy Badil.

Lebanon: the “reconstruction” of the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp, destroyed a year and a half ago by the Lebanese army

 

The stone base that initiates the process of rebuilding the camp of Nahr al-Bared was laid on Monday, March 9 at a ceremony organized by the Lebanese Government and the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees, UNRWA, 18 months after that the camp was completely destroyed by the Lebanese army during fighting against militants of the group Fatah al Islam.

 

Invited to the event were persons in charge of the agencies involved in the process of reconstruction, journalists, diplomats, as well as a selected and limited Palestinian representation.

 

In a improvised tent, and under the direct supervision of the army and the intelligence service of the government of Lebanon, Tarek Mitri, Lebanese Minister of Information, Abbas Zaki, the Palestinian Authority Ambassador in Lebanon, Khalid Makkawi, chairman of the Committee for Dialogue Palestinian-Lebanese and Karen Abu Zayed, General Commissioner of UNRWA in Lebanon, expressed their thanks to all those involved in the process of rebuilding the camp and the efforts that they have been making to assist more than 40 thousand refugees whose homes were razed after they were forced to flee from them, ultimately taking refuge in the neighboring Beddawi camp. Only 17,000 of them were able to return and resettle in fragile emergency shelters built by UNRWA.

 

The exponents, in turn, agreed that the start of reconstruction of the camp is a clear indication that terrorism had failed and that joining efforts should be taken to prevent that acts of vandalism, like the ones that occurred in 2007, would not repeat again in any other Palestinian camp on Lebanese soil.

 

It is expected, therefore, that after the reconstruction of Nahr el Bared this becomes the only Palestinian refugee camp which is under direct control of the Lebanese state, which is thought to be a model for the other 11 Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.

 

What was not mentioned in any of the speeches was the absence of the refugees themselves, the ones who were constantly mentioned, the same that Zaki and Makkawi thank for their patience and dignity faced during the huge military offensive that lasted 3 months, in which they lost all their belongings, including their homes – those which were built with sweat and effort 60 years ago after being expelled from their homeland by the Zionist terrorist gangs that occupied Palestine in 1948 – and the shortage of humanitarian aid that they have had to live with during these past 18 months.

 

It was not mentioned either that many refugees still are not allowed to return to what has been called the “new camp” since access to the camp requires permission from the army and the Lebanese security services. Many have been unable to obtain the necessary permits that would allow them to pass through the many checkpoints where the Lebanese forces control movement, both within and outside the camp.

 

The camp has been completely leveled, leaving no trace of any houses, an important and necessary step for the Lebanese government to begin the reconstruction process. But no vestige either was left of any atrocities committed by the Lebanese army there, who, like birds of prey, raided the homes, destroying everything in their paths, and that not being enough, spraying the walls with flammable liquids, but not before recording their presence with offensive graffiti against the Palestinians. Nothing of that is there anymore, it has been erased, as well as part of the collective memory of a people, the memory of a people who created in this narrow square kilometer a home for 60 years while struggling to return to their own.

 

A few meters from where the event was taking place, hundreds of Palestinian residents of Nahr el Bared, were crowded into areas cleared for them by the Lebanese army, surrounded by barbed wire and under strict control of soldiers with guns in hand. Not only they were denied access, but they were required to be in rows, on each side of the street, watching the passing of foreign delegations, authorities and curious, who, since they were not Palestinians, were allowed to enter. They looked like they were on a nice weekend tour in the countryside, while the refugees were prevented from seeing its ruins, sitting on them and crying. These refugees whose dignity and courage was praised within the tent by representatives of various government authorities were being beaten after trying repeatedly and unsuccessfully to enter the square kilometer that had been their home for 60 years. 

 

Without journalists with lenses that could capture what was happening, the soldiers took the opportunity to once again abuse a civilian population that does not require anything other than their right to be treated as human beings, does not demand more that their right to see with their own eyes what happened, to save something if there was still something to save, to be able to return there, return to their second homes.

 

Women and children, old and young, all crowded on the other side of the fence, and separated from the special guests by a barrier of soldiers, shouting slogans against the president of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas and inviting him to come and witness with his own eyes what his people is passing through, the same people that he repeatedly mentioned in his speeches, but according to many Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, he has completely forgotten.

 

“My parents came here in 1948 after they were expelled from Palestine by the Zionists. I was born, a few months later, in a tent provided by UNRWA, I have lived here all my life, but always dream of returning to my homeland Palestine. I’ve seen Lebanese forces massacre my brothers and sisters in Tel Zaatar Refugee Camp, then they did it in Sabra and Shatila, as they did it again with all our houses razed here in Nahr el-Bared, but here I am, standing in front of them, shouting at his face without fear, that they may take away our lives, they may bulldoze our homes, but they will never break our spirit of resistance,” said Um Mohammad, who along with her 3 daughters and 2 grandchildren joined the crowd in protest.

 

The Lebanese and Arab media have broadcast the ceremony, ignoring what was happening on the edge of the enclosed space, as if the Palestinians did not exist, as if what happened to them was not what really matters. Not even those media related to the resistance, the ones that every day and every second launch their attacks against the Zionists and become part by their words, in public and abroad, of the Palestinian cause, fighting side by side with the Palestinians against the Zionist occupation, but when things happen at home, when an opinion is expressed that may cause them loss of votes in an election, or even worse, when they cause political trouble that makes them lose some seats in positions of power, they prefer to remain silent and look the other way.

 

What is clear after this opening ceremony is the patent intention of the Lebanese government of trying to cover with a media blanket rumors about the future of the camp, the possible construction of a military base in the area, the deployment of permanent military forces inside the refugee camps in Lebanon, and therefore the future of over 450 thousand Palestinian refugees who have once again been silenced at gunpoint.

 

Editor’s note: prior to publishing it, the author and I had a brief email exchange on it, and I would like to share with you her views.

 

“I have to say that after reading the article one more time, I found it not fair enough for what happened and I witnessed yesterday, not fair enough with the Palestinian refugees who were standing just at the edge of their enclosed camp looking at foreigners and VIP people passing through a military checkpoint that forbid them to cross. They were not able to put a foot over their destroyed houses and cry over them, but at the same time, people like me and 200 hundred more were there looking at them as if we were tourists with nothing better to do for the weekend.
My article was not fair enough with the thousands on Palestinians standing at the other side of the barbed wire with the guns of the soldiers pointing at their heads just in case they dare to move an inch, not allowed to be present in a ceremony where Lebanese and Palestinian authorities were celebrating the beginning of the process of the reconstruction of the camp, a process that everyone here knows will never ever come to reality, but they were there. The Palestinians were shouting at them and making it clear clear that they will never forget what happened there, even if the entire whole doesn’t give a shit.
The guns and tanks of the Lebanese army were not powerful enough to shout down these people, it will never be enough.
I have to say that I saw many “direct actions” from the army (Zionist one) against the Palestinians before, but nothing compared with what I saw yesterday.
I wish I could be a better writer, believe me I wish, for once to be fair with those people who yesterday grabbed my arms, shouting at me to do something, to take pictures, to let people know what is happening to them. I was the only one there, no journalists, no media, no curious people, all of them were busy listening the empty speeches of the authorities.
It was a painful experience, but also a real privilege for me to be there yesterday, sharing with them an angry moment, that no matter how ignorant the world it is regarding their daily suffering, they still shout, without fear, no matter how many tanks point at them, they still resist. Yesterday it was a pure act of resistance.

The surge in the “Pro-Palestinian” activities in the United States after the Zionist massacre in the Gaza Strip is at least suspicious if not alarming. I am not saying this because I do not want the support for our people to be the norm in this country, but because I see who is riding this wave, and understand that those elements and what they represent are still dangerous and their agenda will not die unless we reach liberation and return.

The fundamentals of the Palestinian struggle are clear and not complicated:
– Palestine is not that section that was occupied in 1967, or Gaza or Jericho. Palestine is from the River to the Sea and from the Lebanese border to Egypt.
– Palestine is Arab, it’s the heart of the Arab World, and thus are the Palestinian people.
– The Palestinian struggle is not about religion. We have nothing against the Jewish faith or the Jews.
– No just and acceptable solution to our cause will have in it anything less than a complete liberation of Palestine and the return of the Palestinian people to their homes and villages and towns that they or their parents or grandparents were forced to leave in the early part of the last century.

Any activity that will not consider these fundamentals, safeguard them and uphold them will not help our cause. People who are putting on activities that take away any of these fundamentals are not helping our cause. We cannot and we do not have the legal or ethical right to trade any of the Palestinian rights, so the “American people” can stand with us or even understand our cause. Anyone or group that attempts to do this should and will be discredit and exposed, and all of us should be vigilant and calling them on it when they do this.

Many, who were for years, trying to work against our rights, and were defeated in every step they took, even though they had the financing and support from the establishment, are resurfacing again after the massacre. Many were given the opportunity to go to Gaza and actually get into the Strip, when thousands of doctors and many other needed professionals were not allowed in. They were allowed in the Strip so they can get some sort of new blood desperately needed so they can continue their work against the rights of the Palestinian people. They are now out and about putting on teachings and resurfacing old “Foundations”, and trying again, to make murky the picture, after it became clear (after the massacre) that the divide between the resistance and the collaborators is wide open, and the same between the supporters of the struggle and those who claim to support, but work on making sure that Palestine is only the West Bank and Gaza or what’s left of it, and the Palestinian people are those who live under the Zionist occupation, and the majority of our people, the Refugees, have to fend for themselves and just accept their fate.

Others, who claim they are anti-Zionist Jews, are also getting very active. They are putting on activities, in most cases while completely ignoring the Palestinian movement here, so they can get to shape our struggle and narrative. These are the same that we had to fight for years so we can put Palestine in the center stage of the so-called anti-War and Peace and Justice movement. We defeated them and put Palestine up there and now they’re coming back to with new hope that they can go back to their old politics.

We do not view people according to their religious affiliations, and our struggle is not a religious one. They keep calling themselves Jews, and for some reason that they feel they have to put this out and that we have to accommodate it. If they feel, just because they are Jews, that they are part of the struggle, as if they are “Israelis”, then holding a teaching is not good enough. If they are true anti-Zionists and feel they are on the side of the struggle because of their religion then they should go to Palestine and join the Palestinian resistance and take up arms against the Zionist invaders.

I have known Rhoda Shapiro for many years, and just a few days ago I learned that she is of the Jewish faith. When I met this comrade, she was in the forefront of the movement defending Palestinians and their struggle for liberation and return, never once she proclaimed her Jewish(ness), like I never proclaimed my Christianity and others their Islam. Last week, Rhoda had a stroke while in a public forum in Canada doing what she spent her live doing, defending and supporting Palestinians and attacking the Zionist invaders for all they have done to the Palestinians from before 1948 until now.

This is what a true anti-War, Peace and Justice Community member should do whether they are Arabs or not, Jews or not.

SEE ALSO http://wewritewhatwelike.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/map-feat1.jpg2009/03/07/a-commitment-for-activists-palestinians-are-the-priority/

The Gaza donor conference concluded a couple of days ago in the Egyptian city of Sharm-El-Sheik and was attended by more than 70 countries, pledging more than $5 Billion, exceeding any and all expectations. Of course this sum of money and the US pledge of $300 million is dwarfed by the $30 Billion George Bush pledged to Israel in arms and weapons.

Nevertheless, I think the attendance and the generous amounts contributed shows finally how much the world cares about the people of Gaza and is an indirect indictment of the crimes committed by Israel during its 22 days of 24/7 assault on the Gaza Strip. Of course very few heads of states or government officials dare to criticize Israel as it went ahead with its war crimes on Gaza, but the world rallied around to bandage the wounds of the more than 1.5 million Palestinians who had to endure the most criminal war assault since the closing days of WWII perhaps with the exception of Israel’s summer war on Lebanon a couple of years ago when some 1.5 million cluster bombs, gift from George Bush to the Lebanese people, were dropped in the last 10 days of the war.

The Gaza Reconstruction Conference in its closing statement called on Israel to open with immediate effect all crossings for all humanitarian aids and for conareuction materials needed for the massive work ahead. Somehow everyone forgot the geography of Gaza and that Gaza has some 50 km of shoreline and has a sea port.

However Israel, given the angry unhappy nation it is, full of hate and contempt for the world and human values, is a country that will not even consider world opinion because it does not give a damn about the world public opinion to begin with, and is unlikely to open the border crossing with Gaza for pasta, let alone a front loader.

The newspapers carried accounts of the secret list of forbidden or restricted items Israel concluded as threats to its own security including “pasta, pasta sauce, lentil and hearing aids”. Senator John Kerry, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relation Committee had to inquire with Ehud Barak, Israel’s Defense Minister why “pasta” is a restricted item? This should tell you and the world how pitiful this nation is, “the only killing democracy in the Middle East” and I will not be surprised if Israel added Humus, fool, falafel and kinafeh to the list of forbidden items. One has to imagine if the Palestinians want to import heavy construction material or cement. Perhaps Israel has new building technology made up of bagels, motzaballs or corn beef as construction material. Israel needs serious mental help.

What I am most surprised about is the call by almost everyone, from Mahmoud Abbas, to Hillary Clinton, to Nicolas Sarkozy, to Husni Mubarak and their calls, almost begging calls for Israel to open the border crossing, I say, the hell with Israel and its border crossing with Gaza. Let Israel build a 1000 meter high Apartheid Wall between it and Gaza. Who needs Israel and who needs its products and services? Israel is giving the impression to the world it is doing the Palestinians a big favor when it allows fuels and food supplies to come into Gaza, For Gods sake Israel and Jewish suppliers get paid for everything that comes through to Gaza, at much higher prices, nothing is for free, so why bother with Israel when Gaza has access to the sea and has a port much older than any ports in Israel?

Let Israel go to hell, and let Israel keep its border crossings closed and let the people of Gaza open their port and import everything they need and want through the Port of Gaza. No need to reward Israeli suppliers with billions of supply contracts. I know the world is concerned about Hamas smuggling weapons, and all I can say is that Hamas is simply too stupid to smuggle anything of significant threat to Israel such at RPJs and other serious weapons of significant risk to Israel. In more than 2 years under siege Hamas has managed to smuggle enough material to produce useless, and militarily insignificant Qassam rockets that some 15,000 of these failed to even totally destroy one single house. Though I believe the issue of weapon smuggling is more political and a powerful propaganda tool than a strategic issue for Israel, nevertheless I concede that something has to be done to make sure that Hamas or anyone else does not use the opening of the Port of Gaza for weapons smuggling. Besides, I am not convinced that armed struggle Hamas style is the answer to liberation.

I am sure the Americans and the Europeans will be very pleased if Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas announced to the world their willingness to entrust the management and operation including security operation of the Port of Gaza to the Americans and perhaps some European partners. Let America manage and operate the port making sure only constructions materials, food suppliers and consumers goods comes through the port. Let Americans and the Europeans break the siege of Gaza and end once and for all the Israeli Occupation of Gaza that has lasted some 42 years. Let America and Europe operate all of the security measures, not to Israel’s satisfaction but to the American and European satisfaction that all materials coming through are for civil purposes and nothing to make atomic weapons out of. And yes, let Egypt close the Rafah Crossing for all goods but allow it for people to cross if they choose to travel through Egypt. Let the US and Europe open and operate both the Sea Port and Airport of Gaza. Let the world this time end the siege of Gaza. Hamas must not hold the people hostage to its own agenda. And yes, let the US Navy and US Coast Guard patrol the coast lines off Gaza for good measure.

http://www.jeffersoncorner.com/the-hell-with-israel-open-the-sea-port-of-gaza/

 

No condolences to apartheid Israel….yes, it has killed 1,300 Palestinians in Gaza because its fears are of a demographic nature, its army never cared what age or gender it killed, Israel’s machine was harvesting Palestinians of all ages and sizes…young and old, disabled and healthy, pregnant women and young girls, the ones resisting the occupation and the ones who are still too young to understand such expressions….. Israel’s nightmare is of a demographic scale, it is frightened to be outnumbered…so the answer was to starve people to death, stop them from receiving medication so that they would die of ‘natural causes’ then bar the media from investigating that and then knit a freshly made lie to suit its new tailored fib. Israel’s actions mean there was a terrorist in every cradle, there were tunnels turning bread to arms. 

During the time Israel was feeling victorious and happy counting 1,300 massacred Palestinians in cold blood, Palestinian women retaliated by giving birth to 3,570 babies. The Palestinian woman is considered a demographic bomb, a highly fertile creature as fertile as the soil of Palestine. The more Israel sends Palestinian on a one way trip to the womb of the land, the more Palestinian women’s wombs show generosity, giving birth to more heroes.  

At a time the average fertility in Israel is 2.6 babies per woman, Gaza is considered one of the most fertile in the whole wide world with an average of 6 babies per woman. Israel suffers a high percentage of senior citizens while Gaza has an abundance of youngsters and according to UNICEF’s report on the 3rd of March 2009 the total number of children in Gaza is approximately 793,520, or 56 per cent of the population (PCBS). This was one of the main reasons that forced Israel to stop its military incursions, for there are 4,170 humans per every square Kilometre in Gaza, to imagine how densely populated Gaza is, one should know that Lebanon is 29 times the area of Gaza. 

This brings us back to Israel’s devious methods of trying to kill women who are considered as factories of men, without being blamed directly for that by its policies of blockades, and checkpoints where sick women or women about to give birth suffer for not being able to reach hospitals, by denying them the right to travel or import foods and medicines, by bombing their infrastructure leaving them with no water to drink or use for hygiene, by depriving them of fuel leading to total arrest of the sewage system refineries, by spraying them with chemicals from above and burning them with white phosphorus, and by killing them indirectly out of sorrow and deep grief after losing their family members especially their young ones, but as Yasser Arafat once said we Palestinians are an undefeatable nation we are ‘Shaab Aljabbareen’.

http://www.rebelion.org/noticia.php?id=81824&titular=las-mujeres-palestinas-son-la-pesadilla-demográfica-de-israel- IN SPANISH

A donor conference is underway in Sharm Alshaikh in Egypt is “to raise funding” for Gaza but is turning out to be similar to all previous conferences: lots of huff, puff and posturing. For the US administration, it is a way to prop the government of Mahmoud Abbas (whose term ended January 9).  The US “pledged” $900 million but $200 million of those will go to cover deficits of the administration of Mahmous Abbas, $400 million to West Bank projects (many profiting Israel), and the remaining $300 million will be slated for Gaza but may never get there because the US refuses to deal or help anything associated with Hamas and Hamas is the de facto government (and most of the people) of Gaza.  The European Union is trying to buy its way out of the nagging conscience of having supported a failing US/Israeli policy (a policy that tries to bypass democracy and find compliant leaders or pressure them into compliance). This money is also getting entangled in the “no discussion with Hamas” mantra  (which only strengthens Hamas and their fundamentalist ideology). Hamas said it will not allow aid to achieve what the Israeli military failed to achieve by force (subjugation of the Palestinian people).  Other money pledged is also ending up with so many strings attached that hardly any of it is likely to enter Gaza.  But even if all these issues are solved, Israel simply continues to blockade Gaza and prevent reconstruction supplies from entering (a blockade that is not only an act of war but a crime against humanity).  Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, said border crossings into Gaza must be reopened to allow aid into the devastated territory. “The situation at the border crossings is intolerable. Aid workers do not have access. Essential commodities cannot get in,” But neither he nor anyone else at this conference has even hinted at any pressure to be brought on Israel to achieve this opening.  Gaza remains a concentration camp with its residents who like all prisoners prefer the tough prisoner as their representatives.  Meanwhile, Israel plans to build 73,000 more housing units in the occupied West Bank areas outside Jerusalem and thousands more inside occupied Jerusalem (in tandem with demolishing Palestinian homes and continuing the ethnic cleansing)*. 

The posturing, speeches, and “pledges” thus distracts from what is really needed to achieve peace: pressure on the occupiers/colonizers not on the occupied/colonized.  Israel must be told by the outside world to a) not only freeze all settlement construction but actually reverse it by returning the lands to their owners and removing the settlers from all areas occupied in 1967, and b) Israel must pay for the damage it inflicted on Gaza and comply with International law on the damages of the apartheid wall it is building, c) Israel must allow Palestinians including all refugees the choice of return to their homes and lands or to be compensated if they chose not to return (and compensate them for their suffering), and d) Israel must allow the right of self determination for all the Palestinian people (a referendum on what we want would be a good beginning) and for full equality for all residents regardless of their religion. 

Initiatives are in the works along those lines.

*”Peace Now” reported that Israel is planning “73,300 new homes in West Bank”.  “Peace now” does not recognize Jerusalem as part of the occupied West Bank while all other countries do so, as does International law.  So the numbers of new colonial settlement buildings on Palestinian lands will increase by a much higher number http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1068033.html

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

A Bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at home

http://qumsiyeh.org

Homicide, a Zionist holy war: The 22-day sadistic Israeli Assault on Gaza which ended up with flowing rivers of innocent blood of 108 women and 437 children isn’t a deviation of the Zio-Nazi mainstream terrorism in the region, The Israel of Operation “Cast Lead” is still the Israel of 1948 Plan Dalet, under which 840,000 Arabs were expelled from more than 530 Palestinian Villages and towns. 15,000 of them were ethnically cleansed adding 20,500 square Km to the Zionist occupied land. Like a jigsaw collecting piece after piece to complete the ugly picture of a so-called Promised Land for the Jews, hiding behind their holy scriptures interpreted by ill minds and worldly whims.

Israel of Operation “Cast Lead” is still the 1948 Israel of massacres; of Deir Yassin where in all over 100 men, women, and children were systematically murdered. Fifty-three orphaned children were literally dumped along the wall of the Old City; of Sabra and Shatila where 1,500 Palestinians were massacred under the watchful Eye of Ariel Sharon, the Defense Minster back then. Who entered with his cursed Zionist feet into Al-Aqsa Mosque and provoked the Intifada (up-rising) of Al-Aqsa in 2000; Still Israel of more than 50 documented bloody massacres committed over 60 years of occupation.

Israel remains Israel of defilement, Terror, Massacres and malignant merciless policies towards the Palestinians, but what really grasped my attention in the latest Israeli assault wasn’t the Gaza war crimes but the dramatic changes and major turns from friends rather than foes. From family rather than enemy.

Parricide, an Arabic Backstab: In 1948 as soon as Tel-Aviv announced the establishment of an official Jewish state in Palestine. Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria gathered forces and tried to face such budding Zionist threat with military might before it spreads likes cancer in the region despite it ended with a ceasefire the year after, it certainly proved that the word “dignity” used to exist in the Arabic dictionary back then.

Unfortunately, regarding Arab Patriotic, heroic moves history doesn’t repeat itself. For more than thirty-five years now, with every Israeli demoniac move in the region we find the very same scenario happens. Israel acts, Arabic Street watches, Arab leaders talk and the western world enjoys the show. Every Player performs his normal routine.

Along the years of this Conflict, We didn’t need fortune tellers to prophesize the reactions of the Arab/Islamic leaders towards Israel’s inhumane actions. Starting with some preliminary Denials and Disagreements launched from Arab Capitals being broadcasted in news channels, followed by telling off the Israeli Ambassadors; “How bad you naughty guys are!” then ending up with an action reveals an everlasting wisdom from the Arab world; calling for a quick unscheduled Arab summit, where every Arab leader takes his private plan and joins the big boys club. Then in the end of the day, after some good quarrels and talk fights between them, accusing one another with treason and  idiocy comes out some more announcements carrying more denials, disagreements and  a Decalogue of what Israel should/shouldn’t due as if they are the Ten commandments Israel ought to follow!  Not to mention that such meek announcements from the so-called summit is fortified with some “change” from the fat wallets of some leaders. Thinking that such funding removes the sense of Guilt from their consciences, anesthetizing their super-egos with “that’s the best we can do for now.”

In the Arabic world of today, such humble and meek actions don’t even exist.

This time, reactions were different, in fact frightening, from the Arabic/Islamic world. A day before Gaza Genocide Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni held talks with Egypt’s Mubarak regarding the situation in Gaza and Hamas. After the talk has ended she said the following:
“Enough is enough. The situation is going to change,” and that Israel will “change the reality” of the situation in the Gaza Strip.

Hearing this kind of statement given out from an Israeli official in an Arabic capital without even hearing a direct counter-reply from the Egyptian side only meant one thing  that the sequel of events and responses from the Arab side will be much more different this time and things going to get much worse. 

Absolutely, Leaders of the Middle East understands that the only winning card to polish their pictures in front of the Arabic street is Palestinian. Hizbullah has used this card pretty well with some furious speeches to achieve Iran’s hidden agenda to gain the loyalty of the Arab street. Qatar drove a hard bargain as well to save face after the long shameful co-operation with the United States against Iraq. Trying to show the world it’s hard thriving to make all Arab leaders sit together around a single table, acting innocent. Egypt decided to blow this humble summit not only by declining the invitation but also preventing Mahmud Abbas (The Palestinian President) from attending. Since Egypt realized that it’s so-called leading role and its political throne in the region is in jeopardy since other leaders began to start other peace initiatives stepping Egypt aside.  Kuwait decided to sell stocks of Palestinian blood in the Arab economic summit after more than 20 days of the assault.

Saudi Arabia along with Egypt claimed that a summit is useless and it’s time to act, but eventually their actions were much more worse than attending a Summit.

What I find ironic is to see frontline articles in Egyptian national newspapers that without the help and wise actions from the Egyptian side, things would have gotten much worse in Gaza and it was Egypt, and Egypt alone, who ended the Israeli Assault with it’s wells of wisdom, patient and skillful diplomacy.

The Cease-fire didn’t end with the Egyptian initiative but with the U.S.-Israel agreement to condemn any pockets of resistance in Palestine.

On the other side of the Red Sea, We see Qatar greeting its King as a Conqueror who came from a Victorious Battle, only because he called for an urgent Summit, talking to the press of how stubborn Arab leaders are, as soon as a leader agrees to attend the summit another declines. With all this Propaganda giving me the feeling that all praise shall be given to Qatar for ending the Arab/Israeli Conflict that existed for decades! Neither the Conflict ended, nor Qatar did add anything to this Issue.

In the end of the day, we are witnessing a Parricide committed towards Palestine by the hands of its siblings. 

Sanctimonious, Uncle Sam: Definitely, Israel failed this time to imitate her elder brother Uncle Sam, the United States kept on throwing the same winning card (war on terrorism) on the “international community” table for over 6 years. Still winning with it the blessings of the Western world to bully around the world, doing whatever it likes whenever it likes. Israel thought it can use the very same card, to justify the Gaza offence as they are fighting terrorism exactly like America, thinking that this will pass quietly and smoothly with the help of the World’s bully to shut ever mouth with a “Veto” tape in the Security Council.

So, it was not surprising to see the IDF spokesman calmly answers the question of weather Israel is using illegal Weapons like D.I.M.E (Dense Inert metal Explosives) and WP (White phosphorus) in Gaza with such words “IDF is not using any weapon that has not been used before by the United States on its war on terrorism”. Still the United States sets a perfect example of the Sanctimonious showing the world how great values it conveys to the third world, and how it is an excellent example of the free world. Still remains ugly from the inside.

The winning American “war on terrorism” card didn’t quite fit well in Gaza war, this time War Crimes, Genocide and ethnic cleansing were broadcasted on many non pro-Zionist media witnessed by the whole world in such a way neither Israel nor the US could control. 

In the end of this tragedy “parricide, homicide, and the Sanctimonious” which was preformed at Gaza theater this time. And after the curtains fell, we shall say to the international legality “Rest in Peace” and to inform the three actors of this play that “Tiochfaidh ar la” which means in Irish, “our day will come”.

Sameh is a 23 years old training surgeon in Orthopedics. He just started Article writing as soon as he graduated from medical school this year. Sameh’s main interests lie in political and “Sarcastic Comedy” articles, currently writing comedic articles called “Living in the Republic Series” discussing daily problems facing Arabs in the middle east. He is now living in Cairo, Egypt.

Having left Gaza now, I am trying to come to terms with what I saw, what I heard and honestly, what I don’t think I will ever understand  is the justification.  While Israel’s recent offensive has been the most egregious of any historical attack upon the Palestinians in Gaza, it is just that, one of many.  Gaza has been under Israeli bombardment and sanctions for many years.  Prior to the Israeli pullout in 2005, Gaza was under the complete control and occupation of Israel.  Nearly 8000 Israeli settlers occupied 40% of Gaza while the 1.5 million Palestinians occupied the remaining 60%.  Settlements were located on the most fertile lands and along Gaza’s beautiful coastal regions and checkpoints prevented Palestinian mobility.  Despite being one-fifth the size of Rhode Island, 25 miles long by 4-7.5 miles wide, Gaza was divided into three sections and Palestinians had to pass through multiple checkpoints to get from one section to the next.  Often Israeli forces would close these checkpoints and not allow the Palestinians access to the other regions in Gaza as a form of collective punishment.
 
Yet with Israel’s pullout in 2005, the Palestinian experience has not improved.  Rather, it has become even more unpredictable and isolated.  Palestinians who celebrated the exodus of the Israeli settlers and the return of their land could not have imagined what would follow and how Israel would subsequently unleash its brutal force against them.  As the saying goes, nothing in life is free and the Palestinians have paid, and continue to pay, a dear and unforgivable price for Israel’s withdrawal from their legally rightful land.
 
From the first moments of Israel’s military campaign on December 27, Israel’s indifference to civilian casualties was clear.  Its first attacks started at around 11:30 AM, at a time when children leave the morning session of school and the afternoon students arrive.  The streets were packed with civilians,­ children no less.  Within moments, hundreds of Palestinians were killed and even more Palestinians were injured (at least 280 Palestinians were killed on the first day, and 700 wounded, including more than a dozen policemen attending a graduation ceremony at the Gaza City police station).  One of the little girls in Jabalia told me that she was in school when the attacks started.  She fainted from the overwhelming fear and was not able to go home and see her family for days.  When she did go home, she remembers seeing dead and injured bodies stranded all over street and hearing the thundering sound of missiles falling.
 
In its offensive, Israel attacked UNRWA warehouses, schools, mosques, civilian neighborhoods, businesses, factories, hospitals, universities and the media center.  Its attacks took place during the day, night, during temporary ceasefires, and often without any notice or warning.  I would ask the Palestinians I met who had lost loved ones in the recent incursion whether they were warned about an oncoming attack by some flyer or radio announcement.  The majority would laugh at my question.  “Why would I stay in my home if I knew that it was going to be attacked?  Do you think I want to die?  Do you think I would want to put my family and children in danger?”  Most of the Palestinians had no notice that they were going to be attacked and bombarded until it was too late, and at that point, all they could do was stay in their homes, far from any window or door, and pray that their house would not be next.
 
Those, like Majid Fathi Abd al-Aziz al-Najjar, who were warned, tended to flee to “safer” areas.  Majid and his wife and children resided in a border town in Khan Younis.  Shortly after the start of its incursion, the Israeli military dropped flyers on his town, a copy of which he showed me.  It said in Arabic that militants had entered your area and as a result we are forced to react and attack this area.  Yet these flyers were only dropped in the center of town and Majid did not even realize that they were dropped until after the attacks on his way to see the rubble that used to be his home.  Realizing that Israeli tanks were planning on entering Gaza and would destroy anything that would block their entry, Majid packed his family and fled to his relative’s home far from the border, in an area deemed safe.  Yet at 10 PM on January 3, 2009, a white phosphorus missile strayed off course and rammed right into the home that Majid and his family had taken refuge in, along with 15-20 other Palestinians.  The missile came through the roof and broke through the wall and hit Majid’s wife, Hanan Abd al-Ghani al-Najjar, dead center in her chest.  She died immediately upon impact.  Six or seven others, including Hanan’s elderly mother and Hanan and Majid’s daughter were severely injured by shrapnel and rushed to the hospital.  Whereas Majid thought he had fled from certain death in his home on the border, death followed him to his place of refuge.  Yet the sad reality is that no matter where Majid fled, no place in Gaza was safe.  Hanan’s death was not the unpredictable result of a misguided missile, but rather the predictable consequence of a one-sided war waged by the fifth largest army against a population that is trapped within a prison and weakened by decades of occupation and years of blockade.  
 
While Israel has perfected its many excuses in justifying innocent Palestinian death and destruction (“there were militants present…well we thought there were militants present” ,”we warned them but they did not to leave”, “missiles were being fired from that [insert location here]“, “we are investigating this attack”, “it was an accident”), Israel has fallen short of providing actual evidence to substantiate killing people like Hanan Al-Najjar, Kassab Shurrab, Mahmoud Masharrawi, Sabha’s husband and the majority of others killed.  After attacking the UN-operated al-Fakhura School in Jabalia on January 6, where many families had taken refuge and killing at least 40 innocent women and children and injuring dozens more, Israel made a rare attempt to actually justify its attacks.  Not only did Israel use one of its staple excuses (“militants were firing from inside the school”), but it actually showed a video of militants firing mortars from the school.  Within a matter of days, though, the video was dated to 2007 and till now, Israel has not provided us with another staple excuse of why, two years later, the al-Fakhura School was attacked and the hundreds of Palestinian civilians were killed and injured. 
 
How does Israel explain the executions, the shooting of Palestinians point blank in cold blood?  How does it justify Israeli soldiers shooting Kassab Shurrab with five bullets across the chest as he came out of his car with his hands to his side, especially as one of the Palestinian hostages sitting blindfolded by the soldiers heard the commander tell the soldier in Hebrew to shoot the civilians that were driving down the road.  What about the two daughters of Khaled Abed Rabbo, Amal, age 2, and Suaad, age 7, murdered by an Israeli soldier using a semi-automatic rifle before their father’s eyes as the other Israeli soldiers ate chips and chocolate?  Let us not forget about Sameer Rashid Mohammad Mohammad, a 43 year old UNRWA worker, who was separated from his family by Israeli soldiers and taken to a separate room and shot in the chest?  For four days after killing Sameer, Israeli soldiers held his family hostage and would make the family prepare the murdered Sameer food.  Only when the Israeli soldiers left their home, did Sameer’s children see that their father was executed and by their father’s dead and bleeding body were piles of food.  How about Farah al-Halo, 1.5 years of age, who was shot in the stomach when her family was forced to evacuate from their home at 6:30 PM by Israeli soldiers who assured them of their safety?  Only 50 meters down the road they were shot at by other Israeli soldiers.  Farah, with her intestines spilling from her stomach, died on the side of the road a few hours later as the same soldiers that had assured their safety watched.
 
Further, how can Israel explain its use of the Palestinians as human shields?  Upon entering a village, Israeli soldiers would separate the men from the women.  Sami Rashid Mohammad Mohammad, Sameer’s brother, was taken as a hostage and forced to accompany the Israeli soldiers for four days.  He was handcuffed and blindfolded and made to walk in front of the Israeli tanks and soldiers as bullets would whiz by.  At other times, he was made to sit on his knees in an open field for hours while Israeli soldiers would shoot from behind him and often at his feet.  These Palestinians were nothing more than entertainment for the soldiers, a child’s play toy.  When I asked Sami whether he saw any Palestinian militants during his time as a human shield, he laughed and said that he only saw Israeli soldiers with their blackened faces and camouflage outfits.  “It was only Israeli soldiers shooting at each other,” he remarked.  It is thus no wonder that between four to six Israeli soldiers were killed and 24 others injured in “friendly fire.”
 
Additionally, how can Israel explain the humiliation tactics it used against the Palestinians such as forcing Palestinian ambulance drivers to abandon their ambulance cars and drive donkey carts to pick up the dead and wounded as if to equate Palestinians with donkeys?  The soldiers would grant the ambulance drivers half an hour to clear the area using donkey carts and threatened to shoot after half an hour.  And what about the racist remarks painted on the walls of the Palestinian homes?  One of my co-delegates took pictures of the Hebrew writings graffitied on the walls of some of the Palestinian homes we visited in Zeitoun and had a friend translate them.  Among the things written were: “Death to Arabs”, “War now between Arabs and Jews”, “An Arab brave is an Arab in a grave” “Bad to the Arab=good for me”, “He who dreams Givati [Israeli infantry brigade] does not expel Jews. He who dreams Givati kills Arabs!!!”
 
The reality is that Israel cannot explain or justify any of these things, nor does it even care to do so.  When Israel’s staple excuses are not readily consumed or when it is examined under a critical lens, Israel applies another tactic­ threat and demonization.  Israel has created one of the strongest lobby organizations in the U.S., AIPAC, which actively demonizes any opponent or criticizer of the State of Israel.  Due to John Ging’s, the Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), open opposition to Israel’s attacks in Gaza and his call for the investigation of Israeli attacks, he has been demonized and AIPAC recently introduced House Resolution 29 attacking UNRWA and alleging that it supports terrorists.  Even I have received a few threatening emails upon the issuance of NLG’s Press Report which documented some of our findings.  One of the emails indicated that I, along with the other attorneys, will have our careers followed.  As the email stated, “Israel is smart not stupid, and will continue to do what they must as will America to survive even over the bodies of their leaders if necessary.” 

Almost every Palestinian I met in Gaza believes that Israel’s recent attack will only be followed by another bloodier and more deadly attack on Gaza that will exterminate the Palestinians once and for all.  Considering the history of attacks on Gaza, the level of atrocities recently committed in Gaza and the lack of international redress, I do not think that these statements are mere paranoia.  Israel must be held accountable for its crimes in Gaza lest it commit larger and more egregious crimes in the future.  As one who has been trained in the legal profession, I demand that Israel engage the legal arena and provide the international community with real evidence, and not just staple excuses and dated videos, that can justify every single civilian murder and the widespread d estruction of Palestinian civil society.  Until Israel is able to do so, the evidence in Gaza leads anyone willing to visit to the inevitable conclusion that Israel has committed war crimes.

 

Sure it was red all over Gaza this year, and earlier than any other country in the world, blood red, not rose red.

 

The Independent published an article today entitled Israel allows Valentine carnations out of Gaza. The Independent reporter described Israel’s allowing 25,000 carnations to cross the border in the first exports permitted from blockaded Gaza in a year as a gesture. Is this funny or what? Usually the expression gesture holds meanings of good will and kind intentions or so I thought, since gestures usually do not come after killing the people and bulldozing their homes to the ground as well as creating orphans and widows.

Good old Israel allowed 25,000 carnations from Gaza to cross the border so that the lovers in Israel and Europe will have a day to remember, but kept the medicine and children’s food under siege for 19 months. What a gesture… Oh I have forgotten that Palestinian children are not worthy of mercy or consideration, unlike the sensitive Europeans who should celebrate Valentine’s Day in style. I bet those carnations are the most expensive in the whole wide world since they grew in Palestine and were irrigated with blood. But thank God the Independent reporter assured us that Major Peter Lerner, of the military’s civil co-ordination office, said Israel had agreed to relax the blockade for the carnations at the request of the Dutch government. I wonder how come no government in the west succeeded in its requests of Israel to relax the blockade for children’s food and medicine and how come only Valentine’s Day flowers had this privilege.

One more question comes in mind, how come the children of Gaza were harvested by white phosphorus bombs while the carnations of St Valentine remained untouched…the irony that the people who are mourning their loved ones, are the ones who are growing the roses and carnations that will be enjoyed by the civilized part of the world, civilized to the point of creating weapons and watching the children of those who plant those flowers die of starvation and be burned by the bombs.

To all the Palestinian women who have lost their loved ones, may you rise up like olive trees and keep your roots in the soil… you deserve all the roses in the world. 

The photo:
Photo: Reuters

The Zionist Electorate Warmongers
The last parliamentary elections of the Zionist entity proved beyond doubt that there is no right or left as well as there are no extremist Zionists and no moderate Zionists, they are equally extremist in their hatred of Arabs, and their aim to fulfill their final goal that is to complete their ethnic cleansing of every single Palestinian Arab still sticking to their land from their historical homeland, Arab Palestine. Zionists consider the indigenous Arab population as an enemy within the entity; so being as such it is either our death or uprooting.

The Zionist elections: A society competing with itself…

The result is the same… It is either me or you!!!

An-Nahar – Beirut

For the first time in twenty years the veil dropped off the face of the Zionist candidates and their parties’ programs by dropping the deceiving and unwanted peace from their electoral programs, of course with the Arabs. In the past they always claimed that Palestinian Arabs are the obstacle to peace, and they are, Zionists, who call for it.   

Jonathan Cook, wrote on February 09, 2009 in the “The Nation
quoting Elias Khoury, a 33-year-old architect from the village of Ibilin in Galilee, who had been a lifelong supporter of the Communist Democratic Front, the only joint Arab-Jewish party represented in the Israeli parliament. No longer. Tomorrow, when Israelis head to the polls to elect their next government, Mr. Khoury – one of the country’s 1.2 million Arab citizens – will be staying home rather than casting a vote.

Zionist elections

An-Nahar – Beirut


Khoury said, “I’ve given up on the talk of coexistence,” and added. “Now it’s clear it is just empty rhetoric. After the attack on Gaza, I am sure there will never be two states here. It’s going to be either a Jewish state with no Arabs, or an Arab state with no Jews. Voting any Arab party into the parliament is a waste of time.” Of course this is a reflection of the over 90% or actually more of the Zionist electorate that endorsed the Zionist war waged last December/January, as well as being anti coexistence with Palestinian Arabs as well as in other occupied Arab territories.

Cook added, “His ominous vision of the future reflects disillusionment with the Israeli political system, he said, rather than extremism. ‘We are living in an extreme situation imposed on us by Israel.’”        

The Zionist imported society on all levels, of interests and professions had been cooking for their hatemongering and as thus warmongering against Arabs at large and Palestinians in particular, the vast majority of their university professors, historians and “philosophers” such as Benny Morris of Ben Gurion University in the Negev and Martin van Creveld, a former professor of military history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a world-leading writer on military matters, who both, like all their other colleagues, claim to be speaking on behalf of the civilized white European world, which has the right to annihilate third world peoples to establish their new civilized democracies on their lands,  of course with no exception Zionist military personnel are the teachers for and revivalists of Zionist hatred and warmongering.

Martin van Creveld said in a September 2003 interview in Elsevier (the Dutch weekly) to directly or indirectly threaten all Arab with atomic warheads, which Zionist leaders try to deny also directly or indirectly: “We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets for our air force…. We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under.”

Van Creveld like his fellow professor Morris who blamed Ben Gurion for not completing the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1948, Creveld talked about ‘collective deportation’ as Israel’s only meaningful plan for the Palestinian people. “The Palestinians should all be deported. The people who strive for this [the Israeli government] are waiting only for the right man and the right time…”

The same person who wants to deport Palestinian Arabs from their own land, which we are sure as a historian knows better than to falsely claim that this land isn’t theirs said, “They are after our civilization. We must summon the forces of civilization and the force and the power to act against them now, when we have the power and when we still have the time to do so.”

In reviewing the elections campaign programs, you don’t have to read in between the lines, the above quote is in block letters, and was and shall still be ruminated by each and every one of the winning and losing candidates for which they receive high cheers and applause shall keep echoing as long as the Zionist entity is still in existence, which shall certainly shorten its life span…

European Union, Canada and the United States, numerous organizations – including many national liberation movements and organizations – are listed as “designated terrorist organizations.” This status is used in an attempt to criminalize popular resistance and national liberation movements, equate those movements with “terrorism,” frighten and silence communities’ support of their national movements, and potentially penalize supporters of the Palestinian cause, as well as other national liberation movements.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine is, alongside a number of other Palestinian political organizations, listed and designated as a “terrorist organization.” This designation, while doing nothing to change the fundamental character of our movement, is an attempt to isolate the resistance, strike fear in the hearts of our people, and enact U.S. foreign policy of massive support for Israel through the false use of a “terrorist” designation.

This designation is illegitimate, and an attempt to use the legal system to criminalize and demonize the Palestinian cause. It is an attempt to silence our people in exile through the use of fear and intimidation. Furthermore, it goes hand in hand with the funding, arming and support of Israel by the United States; the so-called “terrorist” designations are merely another weapon placed in the hands of the occupiers of Palestine.

Furthermore, this designation is a dangerous threat to freedom of speech and association, threatening all – especially immigrants and refugees – with unjust persecution merely for working to bring justice for Palestine.

These unjust designations can and must be undone. But a de-listing cannot and will not happen without loud voices speaking clearly to the use and abuse of “terrorist” designations to criminalize a people. Our movement is a just movement for national liberation, a cause supported by vast reams of international law and fundamental human rights principles, and our resistance is a just resistance against a brutal occupier on our land. This designation harms popular movements for freedom and justice in Palestine, and it is a mechanism of unconditional support for the occupation of our land and the dispossession and oppression of our people.

Please join us today to demand an end to the listing of the PFLP as a so-called “terrorist organization.” We are collecting statements, petitions and letters in support of a call to end this designation. Contact us and select “Support the campaign to remove ‘terrorist’ designation” and send us your letter of support today!

http://www.pflp.ps/english/?q=campaign-remove-terrorist-designations

In the US and the West, we are able and free to debate God and HIS/HER existence, debate Jesus, Moses, Mohamed, debate America, its failures and its successes, debate our constitution and its interpretations. We are free to debate George Bush and his stupidity, his crimes against America and the world, and his many failures. We are free to debate anything and everything except Zionism, Israel and Judaism. In Palestine and the Arab world, we are allowed to discuss few things but one thing no one dares to discuss is the PLO, its illegitimacy and its failures.

Israel committed war crimes for over 20 days in Gaza, killing and murdering in cold blood women and children, destroying homes, schools, social centers, UN facilities, mosques and hospitals yet, no one in the US and the West dare to say anything let alone criticize Israel, its racist and criminal practices, as we have seen in the BBC’s refusal to air calls for aid to Gaza and in the attack on Paul Simon and CBC for its airing of the recent special of why a two state solution is not possible any more.

Mahmoud Abbas, whose presidential term finished and expired a couple of weeks ago and who lost any and all legitimacy as president of Palestine and the Palestinian Authority stood up yesterday in Cairo and declared that under no circumstances will there be any dialogue with those who (Hamas) questions the legitimacy of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

I am sure all Palestinians and the Arab world, with the exception of the very few Palestinians who are on the payroll of the PLO know well that the PLO lost any and all of whatever legitimacy it had to begin with 20 years ago. What remains now of the PLO is nothing more than perhaps a couple of dozen “parasites” around Mahmoud Abbas, direct beneficiaries of his financial generosity. I am sure if the payroll stops they will drop the PLO as hot potatoes.

To begin with, the PLO was never elected, voted or chosen by the Palestinian people, rather the PLO was chosen by the Arab League, which itself is of questionable legitimacy with many Arab leaders coming to power by tanks but not by the ballots and have no legitimacy whatsoever. As at no time did the Palestinian people in an open debate, forums, votes or ballots ever vote for and selected the PLO as “the sole and only representative of the Palestinian people”. An organization like the Arab League with questionable legitimacy cannot vote on or select an organization for and on behalf of the Palestinians people. The Arab League never had a mandate to represent the people of Palestine let alone select its representative, never.

Even in its heyday, the PLO was never legitimate since its officers and members were not elected by the people, but through a process similar in so many ways to the old Communist Party of the old Soviet Union, where the party on its own, without ever going back to the people, chose its general members and this general membership elected a slate of candidates that the leadership put forward. The same is true of the PLO. Arafat as a party leader funded and organized unions such as teachers, artists, social scientists, engineers, students, etc to be part of the “party” and put forward the slate of leadership to head and represent these “unions” and in turn these selected leaders voted the same (Arafat) leadership that voted them in. Thus the Palestine National Council, which is the “elected” people’s congress, was never elected through open election: rather its members where selected by Arafat and his gangs and where voted in. Faulty process to the core.

Thus the Palestine National Congress never truly represented the people and Arafat and his gangs were never voted in by the Palestinian people inside or outside Palestine. That is why there was never ever an open and serious debate on issues of concern to the people such as the occupation, liberation, building institutions, representing the people of the Diaspora, let alone the many fatal and criminal decisions taken by Arafat and the PLO leadership. There was never a debate on what happened in Jordan in 1970, never a debate on what happened in Lebanon, never a debate on what happened in Tel-Zaater and Sabra and Shatila, never a debate on what happened to cause of the forced exiles of 350,000 from Kuwait, never a debate let alone filing criminal and civil charges against all those who committed war crimes against the Palestinian people. Equally troublesome is the lack of debate or call for accountability of the tens of billions of the people’s money that simply disappeared during the tenures of Arafat, Qurai and Abbas. Tens of billions of the people’s money stolen by the very same leadership that is supposed to be the people’s trustees of their money and future. As such the Palestine National Council was nothing more than a ‘yes’ congress for the leadership so similar to the party congress of the Soviet Union, a bunch of ‘yes’ people who serve the wills of their masters, the leadership.

It was the late Arafat and his partners Abbas and Qurai who, once they signed the Oslo agreement recognizing Israel and its occupations, and becoming its agents and administrators, simply discarded the PLO as no entity. The Palestinian Trio of Arafat, Abbas and Qurai, turned the PLO into a “shell” organization putting a number of loyal cadres on the payroll just to keep the PLO under “oxygen”. The Palestinian Authority became the legal and financial partner of the Jewish Occupation. Arafat and Abbas simply put the PLO in a cold freezer, to use only when needed and to serve the purpose of the Jewish Occupation.

Under Oslo, Israel recognized the PLO as “the representative of the Palestinian people” and the only one authorized to sign and execute a “peace agreement” with Israel. Thus Mahmoud Abbas’s insistence on the PLO and its role in the “peace process”. Without Abbas’s PLO, Israel could not consolidate its occupation, could not settle the issue of the refugees, could not keep the Jewish settlements and could not have a financial and security partner. Abbas’s insistence on the legitimacy of the PLO has nothing to do with ending the Jewish Occupation, has nothing to do with the Apartheid Wall, has nothing to do with ending the Jewish settlements, has nothing to do with return of refugees, has nothing to do with Jerusalem, has nothing to do with Jewish war crimes, has nothing to do with the 11,000 hostages held by Israel, certainly it has nothing to do with the siege of Gaza, with the war on Gaza and the Jewish war crimes committed in Gaza. It has everything to do with his the PLO legal obligations under Oslo to deliver Palestine and the Palestinian people under occupation and in the Diaspora to Israel. Without the PLO Israel could not reach a “peace agreement” that makes Israel a controlling partner of all Occupied Palestine of ‘67 including Jerusalem.

As for Israel and the lack of debate, we all know what happened to anyone and everyone who dares to say or speak out. They end up on the side streets of Washington, Berlin, Paris and London, politically finished and ruined. A deadly bullet waits all those who dare to speak out. The same is true in Palestine and the Arab world.

http://www.jeffersoncorner.com/the-forbidden-debate/