Archive for February, 2009

When the war gets tough, Israel brings out that magic word that they seem to have a unique understanding of: “peace / Shalom”. That word which to any normal person means harmony, tolerance, end of violence and condemnation of destructive acts that cause suffering doesn’t mean the same thing to the average Israeli, who is basically a hardcore warmonger in sheep’s clothing. “Peace” to a normal person means good things, things we see our children paint, like blue skies, rainbows and people who are in harmony with man and the environment. To an Israeli, it means something entirely different. And that is why, in a moment when Israel has driven the million and a half human beings into a hell of suffering and starvation, then decided to bomb the living daylights out of them and destroy their lives and possessions, they bring out their weapons of mass persuasion, their Hasbara pros who are able to sing and talk about love and peace, while on the other side of the mouth they are spouting words of intolerance and accusations. Noa is called to the front lines each time there is a nasty bit of reality that involves her country, and this time, she’s been a busy little bee and getting busier.

Years ago, I used to be a fan of Noa. I saw her on the Festival of San Remo, and found her performance original and thought she had a special talent. I didn’t really care that she was Israeli, she seemed somewhat a-political. (Nowadays she sounds like a warbly Celine Dion, but this is the market, and she is part of it). But, times change and if someone is Israeli, given what Israel is, they have two choices, it seems: to embrace that Israeliness until the bitter end or to cast it off. Israel can’t leave anyone indifferent, given that it’s involved in occupation and war, and their performers, writers and “intellectuals” know they are showcasing the political agenda of their country. Noa never fails to come up with the goods, and I will explain some of her recent exploits, after a brief introduction.

For quite a long time, Israel has been dishing out one atrocity after another. It almost defies the imagination of where to begin in a timeline, there is simply too much that disgusts anyone with a conscience. Yet, let’s get close to home, very close to home, and go back only as far as the 2006 war against Lebanon. If there was a cruel and evil war, that was surely it. From Cluster bombs to bombing milk factories and power plants, roads, bridges and hospitals, not to leave out dropping bombs on convoys of families who were told to flee lest they be bombed within their homes, Israel left no stone unturned in their horrifying range of violence. Funnily enough, Noa appeared on TV in Italy a few times that month, once in a “fashion show” where she sang “Shalom” while images of the “poor settlers leaving Gaza in tears” were projected behind her. Yes, it was a shock, that this was the message: Israelis suffer. Then she and Gil Dor did a song on the evening TV news, she made a few more appearances just to bring the point home.

It kind of reminded me of something that happened this January. As Europeans know, 27 January is Shoah Memorial Day week month year. Yes, it starts some time on the eve of the 26th of January and then it ends on the eve of the 27th of January a year later. It is this way each year. And, when there is a bloodbath Israel is making happen, the celebrations are not only for about an hour a day, but from dawn till dawn. I must mention a memorable moment. I was on the phone with a friend in the West Bank and we were trying to get information about a mutual friend of ours, who we knew lived near the police station that was destroyed in the first bloody day of Israeli air raids. No one had been able to reach him and it won’t be hard to imagine the fear we had. Of course, any civilians suffering in a war is bad, but there is a difference when you know your loved ones are in the middle of it. It is a nightmare. In the other room, my husband was offering coffee to his colleagues who are rescue volunteers like he is. They turned on the news and during the height of the destruction in Gaza, all that could be reported was one Shoah item after another. It was pretty striking, the way reality was so different from what the mass media was proposing. I heard one of the ambulance drivers, someone who has no interest in politics at all, say, (and it really only works best in Italian…) “più porcate si fanno, più giorni della memoria ci mettono”, which roughly translates to: the more horrible things Israelis do, the more Holocaust Memorial Days they give us.” Yes, someone who doesn’t follow these things was able to understand the connection, there’s really no other excuse for the massive bombardment of Jewish victimhood and Israeli flags that we see especially in moments of horror against Arab peoples. Reality and Hasbara are two worlds that can never cross the divide.

So, where did Noa enter into all of this? She came to hasbara rescue in a major way: through internet in her “letter to the Palestinians” where she told them that the war was necessary in order to get rid of the bad guys (Hamas). Many people were utterly disgusted by this total lack of comprehension that this war was as dirty and filthy as it gets, that she can no longer pretend to be about peace when she is justifying the slaughter of innocents, which was precisely what she was doing. In fact, Juliano Mer Khamis and others initiated a petition to have her NOT sing a charity gig for Gazan children (published here https://wewritewhatwelike.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/noa-thumb21.jpg2009/01/21/ban-achinoam-nini-noa-from-participating-at-gaza-charity-event/) and she pulled out, but then, she was called to sing her peace song and talk about how wonderfully peaceful she was on the worst television talk show in Italy, that of Fabio Fazio, who is sure to have one Israeli a week during wartime, people like Grossman, (sometimes appearing twice in one war  month!) Well, right now, Noa is going to be the Israeli entry to the Eurovision song contest, Yawn. Which is of course OF COURSE having her sing a song about the theme Israelis are the world experts on, Peace. How much ya wanna bet she becomes the victim-darling-peace advocate… yes, reality and hasbara are worlds apart.

If you’d like to see Noa’s current vision of peace, check out her site this week where she talks about the Israeli elections. Sure, they didn’t go the way she (a leftist, she tells us) would have preferred but still : LEIBERMAN AIN’T HAMAS!  And how bad is Hamas? Seeing that Noa moans about Israel being condemned by “Jew-haters” and “anti-Semites”, calling people who do this spreading INCREDIBLE propaganda (she spreads Hasbara…. different stuff, you don’t question hasbara, folks, unless you want to be insulted, bombed or occupied). Reminds me of when I saw Magdi Allam, a nutbar pro-Israel journalist. He said that those responsible for the war in Iraq were the “peace movement people who gave Saddam the hope that there was a way out of the war, and thus made him confident”. Yes, that kind of thinking is what Noa engages in: the “right” won because there was just so much nasty PROPAGANDA by Jew-haters going on. IT’S OUR FAULT! (OH, I’m getting into her style of shouting out things in all caps… sorry!)

Read it to believe it: the voice of peace. This post requires no commentary. Her hatred and Islamophobia speaks for itself. Hell, it could have been written by the ADL itself or anyone in The Israel Project, the MFA or any propaganda organ for Israel at all. It has a little something for everybody! http://www.noasmusic.com/index.asp

Hello all.

A few words about the Israeli elections and where things stand now, from my point of view:

Though i voted left, as always, I am not surprised by the results of the Israeli elections.

I am proud to live in a democratic country which has given voice to the people, even when i am unhappy with the result. I am proud to say that the ONLY party that was ever deemed illegal in Israel was KACH, lead by Kahana, the fanatic Jewish right wing party. Raam and Tal , two Arab parties who support Iran and refuse to recognize Israel as a homeland for the Jews, who don’t even make their party’s declaration of principles available in Hebrew, are kept in the Knesset. They are PROTECTED by the Israeli supreme court.

The Israeli election results, however saddening, were obvious, amongst other things, in the face of the INCREDIBLE propaganda spread around the world by the ENORMOUS amount of Anti-Semites and Jew- haters who are bent on destroying Israel. When the Israeli population sees the lies spread around, the hypocrisy of the world who sees Israel as the aggressor rather than a country acting in self defence, a world whose eyes are blind to the killing and the massacres by the MUSLIM fanatics of the Palestinian people, of Fatah, of women who dare to raise their head, of ANYONE who does not agree with them, when the Israeli people who number 7 million, 1.5 million of them Arabs, see around them 1.5 BILLION Arabs, with hardly ONE voice raised in peace, compared to the ENDLESS Israeli and Jewish voices raised in peace, then it is clear that the elections will go right.

A challenge for you:

Try Googling ’peace organizations’, see the endless, endless peace organizations based in Israel, Arabs and Jews together, and Jews everywhere in the world (the only one in Lebanon is in Lebanon, MICHIGAN!).

Then Google “Jewish terror´and see what you find….

Now, Google “Arab peace organizations…”, ?????????????

and Google “Arab/Muslim terror”……!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By the way, Meretz, a very sane and liberal left wing organization who supports 2 states for 2 people, has supported both of Israel’s operations, in Lebanon and Gaza. Of course they have, because Meretz know very well that Israel was acting in self defence against fanatic, cruel, Nazi-like organizations, the Hamas and Hezbollah, who are holding innocent people captive, Arabs and Jews as one, and using them as human shields in their death-loving Jihad.

Why don’t you spend some time looking at THIS?

and THIS?

and THIS?

and for a thorough report, THIS:

and the list goes on and on.

I would like to say again:

both sides have failed to make peace, and now both sides have become more extreme, especially the Muslim side. Fortunately, Lieberman and his friends, which i care nothing for, can never compete with the death loving fanatics on the other side.

Now it is up to both sides to state their intentions for peace, recognition, co-existence and compromise.

I would like to raise my voice in support of peace, equal rights for all Arab citizens in Israel, equal rights for all Jewish people in all Arab countries, co-existence between Jews and Arabs in Israel and everywhere, Palestine alongside Israel in peace, prosperity and freedom.

Who will join?

And finally: The international community would do well to stop pointing fingers in such an unintelligent, not to say hateful, anti-Semitic and down-right stupid way, and start getting both sides to the table to start working out a deal.

All the best

Noa

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3679680,00.html
hear the songs here:: one of them “YOU and ME still ALIVE”
part of the lyrics.. sure, she can sing that, not those who she approved the slaughter of! How ironic, not to say sickening.

In “There must be another way” we hear this: And I cry I cry for both of us… (after you’ve said that there was a Cancer to Get Rid of, how DARE you, Noa, you hypocrite).
Faith in the Light is the most traditional Noa-esque song, and it offers this bit, “Where can we go from here, sister, it’s been one long night. Tell me that we’re here to stay and that we can set things right….” sick. You are here to stay Noa, but thousands, including babies too small to speak, are no longer here to stay, thanks to support from you!
“Second Chance” has these beads of wisdom: “Every second is a second chance.”
All of this restores my belief that the only good thing to ever have come out of Eurovision was Abba… At least they were sincere.

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Israeli bullets against Vittorio Arrigoni From Infopal

Written by Vittorio Arrigoni, Translated by Mary Rizzo

One heart, two hands, a beating heart and a mind that is still working. Two eyes deep enough to focus on injustice and aimed at by snipers Two hands that are still working so that they can comfort the little child who is A “dispersed son of a lesser God”, and a heart that is skipping beats and pumping blood for a mind that is not ready to show indifference before a tragedy such as this. I am alive, but this could quite easily have been the video of my execution:

 

When a bullet (even if it may have been a rubber coated one) rushes past your temple, I can assure you it is like you have received a slap in the face by a heavyweight, something so strong to knock you to the ground. This is what happened, two days ago at Khozaa, when we were accompanying Palestinian agricultural workers (they and we are visibly all unarmed civilians) so that they can work in their own fields, at a distance of approximately 600 metres from the confine, Israeli snipers tried to kill me. The bullets struck at less than 50 centrimetres from where I was standing. Several days earlier, despite the presence of internationals, the same snipers had wounded Mohammad al-Buraim, who is deaf-mute:

   

I beg you to look at these videos and to spread them on the internet. They speak clearly as to precisely what the Israeli siege is to those who do not have ears to listen to the cries of pain from these innocent people who are butchered on a daily basis by the “only democracy in the Middle East”. To who hasn’t got a nose to smell the stench of Fascism behind the masks of victims in which these killers dressed as soldiers are manoeuvred from Tel Aviv, by land:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nkcYaqhpng

and by sea: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tu8lGTPaMzk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTUYivihoTE   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87NrkNV_owM

We’ll be back soon to accompany the Palestinian farmers to their fields, aware of the fact that while dying might be for some a matter of survival, for others it’s just a pastime of target practice.
Let’s stay human
Vik

 SEE ALSO: http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m52185&hd=&size=1&l=e

WRITTEN BY William A. Cook

“Become more human, and humans will love you.”

(Text of the Gospel of Phillip, 143)

Predictably, the United States Senate and House of Representatives voted to support Israel’s carnage in Gaza thereby handing the new President yet one more war to contend with, one unhappily more dangerous to America than those in Iraq or Afghanistan. That may seem to be, on its face, a strange thing to say unless one understands that we are in Iraq fighting for Israel and, with this vote, our Congress has indebted itself to the Israeli forces that govern the United States (as Ariel Sharon said long ago), forces that will use endangerment of Israel as leverage to attack Iran and Syria, countries already in their military sites since 1992.

Our Senate’s indebtedness is unanimous; while 20 in the House abstained and five voted against the resolution, all the rest voted to support. The reasons offered: Israel has a right to defend itself even though we do not know where Israel is: that is, Israel has yet to define its borders and remove itself from occupied territories; and the rockets fired over the last 8 years must stop, even though Israel, with one shell in Gaza, killed 43 at the UN school, twice the number killed by rockets in 8 years. But logic, international law and international opinion, and fundamental moral law cannot sway our Congress; money can and does. Obama may have a Senate majority and a Democratically controlled House of Representatives, but he cannot respond to the desires of the American people for change – no more wars – nor to the United community of nations that have voted with their feet against the actions of the Israeli government in open and defiant dissent against their governments in London, Ireland, Scotland, Europe and through out the Arab world including Jordan and Egypt. Our Representatives represent Israeli wishes and policies not those of the American people; the people voted overwhelmingly for change not the continued support of Israel represented by these votes or the appointments made by Obama as advisors.

Ironically our “only democratic ally” in the mid-east, as constantly reiterated by our mainstream media and talking heads, has locked the media out of Gaza in order to isolate truth to its Public Relations campaign begun the day it invaded Gaza three weeks ago. Consequently, Americans receive their news from those that decided to break international law and their own responsibilities as an occupying force under the Geneva conventions. No truth, no morality, only raw force serves this Zionist nation beholden only to itself and those it owns, including our Congress. Yet the news gets out. The people of Gaza transmit the truth by phone cameras and a handful of Al Jazeera  journalists that report from the killing fields. These pictures inundate the Internet and even a European press on occasion.   

Contrast the reality of the coverage with that provided to Americans. In Sderot, the little town used by Israel to portray its misery, devastation, and ultimate demise at the hands of the “terrorists,” the citizens have taken to the hillside overlooking Gaza — binoculars, sunglasses and beach chairs in tow — to watch the rain of Israeli terror by air, sea and land on an imprisoned people. (Shashank Bengali, “Israelis, sipping Pepsi, watch bombardment of Gaza town,” 1/5/2009, McClatchy). Are they in danger? Perhaps, although they do have bomb shelters and warning sirens, something that the people of Gaza do not have. And as I have noted elsewhere (in Counterpunch, 1/5/2009), they have been bombarded on average with 2 rockets per day for 8 years. Twenty three have died over these 8 years, an unsupportable number killed by meaningless use of force. Nonetheless, this has become the rationale for Israel’s current killing that now approaches 1000 half of whom are children. Disproportionate? Not to our Representatives.

Now consider what we are not shown, an image that the western media finds “pornographic,” “irresponsible journalism,” “too graphic,” “too emotional” for public consumption; yet the rest of the world sees these images, hundreds and hundreds of them. This alone should give our representatives pause to reflect on how their subservience to the barbaric behavior of Zionist Israel plays out in the world that is not controlled by American corporations or complicit congressmen. You can go to www.al-ayyam.ps/znews/site/pdfs/7-1-2009/p01.pdf. There you will see the head of a little girl looking forlornly though vacant eyes, mouth still open, completely buried from the neck down in rubble from her crushed home; indeed, too graphic, too emotional to contemplate, just another unnamed casualty of war where death happens … unfortunately, and “we’re sorry.” This appeared in multimedia, a Norwegian site, where you can also hear Sven Egil Omdel, the Director, explain why he decided to publish the photo even though it is against policy: “It is (the publication) a conscious provocation and we have two reasons for it: Israel keep (sic) all western journalists away from the war in Gaza. … The most important reason for us to show this face, is that the Arab world sees pictures like these from Gaza every day. Not a single still, but hours and hours of TV images of hospital floors full of small, dead bodies. Four year olds, two year olds, seven year olds, newly borns – These pictures represent the war in Gaza for millions of muslims – and we wonder why the hatred against Israel and the west grows? (translation)” This now is Obama’s war whether he wants it or not including the 3000 tons of ordnance being shipped now to Israel by the United States to supplement what they are currently using in Gaza.

Americans must understand the timing of this “war” that is not a war but a slaughter of caged people that have no where to hide, no where to go and even then, when following IDF orders, find themselves in a building targeted for destruction, their destruction. Deceit governs; racism motivates; hatred compels and greed for others’ land is the bed rock of action.

Why now? For two years, during the election campaign for the US Presidency, Israel imposed a siege on Gaza, a calculated act of slow, insidious decimation of the people planned in 2004 (www.infoimagination.org) to ultimately compel the Palestinian people to submit to Israeli dominance, without a state, without an army, without freedom of ingress and egress, unclassified and wholly dependent on Israel. Included in that strategy was the need to complete “Securing the Realm,” the document drawn up by our faithful Neo-Con “servants” that drove the policies of Bush’s administration and called for regime change in Syria and Iran in addition to Iraq. During the political campaign, while press coverage crowded out virtually all other news, the Zionist forces destroyed the infrastructure of Gaza, began the locking down of gates and the slow but methodical destruction of Gaza’s economy. Simultaneously they sought, but failed to get in time, Bush’s approval of attacks on Iran’s nuclear sites. Now, as the days of the Bush reign of terror ends, they are desperate to force Obama into a continuation of absolute and unquestioned support of Israeli policies in the mid-east. With the Congress in hand, with the vote made public in America and its continued commitment made known to the world, they believe that hey have locked Obama in a prison not unlike that surrounding Gaza.

What now? Reflection on the past few years, since 2005 to present, especially in the United States, makes possible this observation: the people of the United States and the people of Israel no longer see eye to eye on matters of mutual concern and, indeed, have already expressed that reality in fact. What do I mean? Beginning with the Downing Street memo and the disclosures of Richard Clark and Ambassador Wilson, the ability of the main stream press to hide the truth from the American people could no longer hold. As 2005 evolved, more and more disclosures unraveled the lies protected by the “fair and balanced reporting” of the corporate owned and controlled media. Fair and balanced was neither fair to truth nor balanced. To put two items on a scale, one for, one against, does not present truth or a balanced report. It simply shows two different perspectives, one for and one against. But as facts and documents became available to the American people, items available over the prior years on various Internet publications, the American people reacted by throwing out Bush supporters in the 2006 and 2008 elections and Bush support eroded into the mid-twenties.

They wanted “change” promised from the start by Senator Obama and mimicked eventually by most of the other contenders to the throne. Change meant getting out of Iraq immediately and return to a government that had a concern for America, including less absolute and blind support for Israel. The vast majority of the American people do not accept the disproportionate and cruel invasion of Gaza by Israel. As more and more pictures and videos become available on the Internet, especially the recurring images of savagery on You Tube, the American people are traumatized by the horror, especially the uncountable number of deaths of children. Our representative government does not represent the American electorate; it represents only scared politicians who depend on AIPAC money, men and women who fear for their political seats regardless of what their constituents believe and want.

By contrast Israeli citizens are faced with an election that has all three contenders fighting to convince the electorate that he/she is the one that will inflict more force to subjugate the Palestinians to Israeli will. The focus of this campaign resonates around the war monger Benjamin Netanyahu; both Livni and Barak must demonstrate that they are better leaders to take Israel against the Palestinians, the Syrians and the Iranians. Israel’s future is one of continued war which means in turn continued American billions to sustain their ambitions against their perceived enemies. They do not talk of “talk” with neighbors, only unending war against those that oppose the Jews. One does not speak of Israel as a state or government when “victimhood” is needed to induce unyielding support for the Israeli governments need to acquire more land and control the regimes of its neighbors, one must turn to the bias against Jews that is world wide and endemic. Sympathy cannot be rung from criticism of a government’s policies.

Horribly, the invasion of Gaza can be viewed quite accurately as a campaign war where Livni and Barak have made evident to the electorate that they will use force to ensure Israel’s right to dominate the area regardless of international pressure and opinion, international law or international justice. They know they can do this because they have control of the American Congress and administration including the veto power of the United States in the Security Council. World opinion means nothing. The Israeli electorate, with modest exception, does not want change.

Ultimately, it’s AIPAC’s will against the American citizens’ expressed desires as they voted for this man of change. Who will win? Will the blatant exposure of Israeli violence and mercilessness, in pictures and videos, turn the tide? Can Israeli hacking of Internet sites like that done to The Palestine Chronicle and the attempted erasure of sites that contain the pictures and videos described above stop the flow of sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza and quell the building animosity that has arisen world-wide against the cruelty employed by Israel in its savage destruction of Gaza?

Will Obama turn to diplomacy, as he preached when a candidate and, thus doing, fulfill the truth enunciated by Phillip, “Become more human, and humans will love you”? Will he turn to negotiations with those engaged in these brutalities, to stem the violence? Will he recognize the impossible absence of the democratically elected Hamas government from deliberations with Israel over Gaza? How absurd. Will he reconsider the bribery that Bush employed to keep Egypt and Jordan in collusion with Israel despite the agony the people of Egypt and Jordan experience as they watch their people die in Gaza? Will he seek justice by returning to the resolutions of the UN that demand Israel return to the borders of 1948 or 1967, to leave the occupied lands of Palestine including East Jerusalem, to recognize the right of return of the refugees, to realize that Palestinians have a right to their state just as Israel has a right to its, something recognized by Hamas though never recognized as true by our main stream press. (Guardian, 1/12/2006 and Ynet, 1/30/2006). Will Obama seek peace that America might be free of its entanglement with a rogue state that blindly leads America into the darkness of unending conflict and death? Will he demand of Israel that its support from America depends of its recognition that it can only survive if it lives in harmony with its neighbors not out of fear but out of brotherhood? Will he suggest that the Israelis consider a diametrically opposite road to peace, one that understands “People will love you if you become more human”?

One of my dearest friends and fellow Pro-Palestine Blogger, Steve Amsel wrote a post about a “tool” I mentioned to him and other friends. Please visit his site to join in the discussion. Below his post is the post by Sinéad of http://irish4palestine.blogspot.com/ , who remarks on another group of organised pro-Israel “net warriors”. Great comments there too.

ZIO WEB ATTACKS ~~~ ARE YOU A ‘VICTIM’?

 

Do you write articles giving the truth about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict? Do you have a Blog known for its anti zionist viewpoints? Have you been getting extra ‘visitors’ to your Blog who leave negative comments or participate in polls? 
 
If yes to any of the above, there is a good reason for all of this….it’s a project called Megaphone Israel.It is a new desktop tool that alerts its subscribers to any entries that might be anti Israel or anti zionist. 
 
After notification, the ‘warriors’ jump into action and attack the source of the article. Are we to quiver in our seats because of this? Are we to stop posting because of this? I THINK NOT! 
 
As long as Israel continues its existing genocidal policies and actions against the people of Palestine, Blogs such as this one will continue to expose their crimes. Where the media fails to, we will present the facts. 
 
So Megaphone Israel should be kept busy for the next (hopefully) short while. 
 
Do any of my readers have suggestions as to how we might also be alerted….. to racist or zionist postings on the Web? We too should be posting OUR comments on their sites, just to let them know we are aware of their ‘games’. 
 
Thanks to Mary Rizzo for the alert on this situation…..

 

21/02/09 Online Censorship by Israel

What do BLOGGER, YOUTUBE, FACEBOOK, and WIKIPEDIA have in common?

Following up on yesterday’s post “Is Israel Controlling the Internet” today we will learn about Israel’s Government and the IDF attempting to censor and control the internet, face book, you tube and many other social networks, blogs, message boards and news organisations. Today I will be discussing these groups who work online for Israel and the IDF (Israeli Army).

These groups came about after the many genocidal murders committed by Israel and the IDF. Hundreds upon thousands of Lebanese, Palestinians being killed, with the majority of them being innocent civilians, women and children. Israel need helps to re-create its image worldwide. What better place than the internet?

Why the internet? Because the internet is a huge echo chamber. It also influences what news you see on your television or MSM news sites, like CNN, ABC, MSNBC and CBS for instance. It also influences what you read in your newspapers worldwide. With today’s 24 hour news cycle, the need for fresh news is quite important for retaining viewers and readers. So, many news publications and organisations turn to the internet to see what the “buzz” is and then report on that. Also, due to the internets wide range of people and access to webcams, videos and blogs, many times regular individuals get important news online before main stream media does. Given these facts, who ever controls the internet controls the news and controls the battle for the hearts and minds of the general public.

Winning public opinion is extremely important, remember Americans vote, and they could, if organized, exert pressure on their government and President to stop handing over their hard earned tax dollars to Israel. . Another important reason is “war” Israel needs Americans to be afraid of Muslims, it needs Americans to think everyone in the Middle East are either terrorists, supporting terrorists, swayed by terrorists, and that only little isolated Israel (with the 4th largest army in the world AND having nuclear weapons) is the only friend America has, and on this premise, Americans should back everything Israel does as they are our “friends” (even though they murder American military and cover it up, see below)

Their “job” is to win the battle of public opinion online. In other words, they want to influence what people think of Israel. Why is this important? Well, the obvious answer is NOT that Israel really cares what you think if it. After all, if it did perhaps it would begin adhering to some of the more than 60 UN resolutions it has against it, or perhaps stop breaking international law, or perhaps allowing international investigations when it murders people in Palestine, Lebanon and US Military men onboard the USS Liberty;

The USS Liberty off the coast of Egypt was attacked without warning. The attack lasted 40 minutes and 34 Americans were murdered, with 17o injured and the Ship destroyed.

theories as to why Israel would take such drastic action against its superpower ally is that the Liberty, a $40m state-of-the-art surveillance ship, was eavesdropping on an Israeli massacre of Egyptian prisoners of war.

The assertion of a cover-up was lent weight by a 2003 independent commission of inquiry which reported that the attack on the Liberty “remains the only serious naval incident that has never been thoroughly investigated by Congress”.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/6690425.stm
also here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bH-oZHBzOe8

So, to sway public opinion of Israel and its war crimes in Lebanon and Palestine, back in 2000 they decided to create an online group called JIDF or Jewish Internet Defence Force, to manipulate polls and message boards and blogs by spamming comments and votes. However, this has now progressed into removing sites, videos and blogs that critisize Israel or it’s genocide in Palestine, also sites that are against Zionism, which, importantly, is NOT the same as being against Jews!! And there is another group as well, called GIYUS, or “Give Israel Your United Support”

first look at GIYUS:

GIVE ISRAEL YOUR UNITED SUPPORT
Why do I need to report?

GIYUS.ORG spends a lot of effort tracking down online articles  and surveys that members should see and act upon.
After installing the Megaphone application, you will receive alerts on these articles so that you can voice your opinion on
them.

You can help even more! Report relevant articles and surveys to
GIYUS.ORG and help Israel win the public opinion front.

Now let’s look at the other group called JIDF, e.g Jewish Internet Defense Force, sounds very miltary doesn’t it now?
“One of their campaigns has already led to 106 Facebook groups being removed”See here:

The Jewish Internet Defense Force, (JIDF) is approximately 8 years old as a collective of activists and has operated under the name the “Jewish Internet Defense Force”

The JIDF is involved in mass email campaigns, we work to discuss the issues on many fronts, in various forums. We report our concerns of TOS violations to many companies. We advocate for Israel, and we work to unify our people who share our concerns. We write emails to the media, to the internet companies, to law enforcement, and to the government. We also have a major campaign involving YouTube, where we report hateful videos or videos which are promoting violence or terrorism. We work to keep things neutral on Wikipedia,

We have also been a leading pro-Israel force online, and the success often comes in the form of inspiring someone new, who eventually becomes a solid soldier in our online army.

Jewish Internet Defense Force
http://www.thejidf.org
Leading the Fight

So let’s just have a look at the groups they target listed below with excerpts from the JIDF site itself:

FACEBOOK

Through the creation of 4 proactive Facebook groups, The JIDF initiated a 35 day campaign urging 5,000 people to report all the following groups. During that time, 106 groups were deleted, Many more groups crop up daily. Jewish Leadership must coordinate with the management of Facebook to help develop plans to fight this problem.

YOUTUBE

The JIDF believes the following channels and videos most likely break YouTube’s rules against promoting hatred and/or violence. As you can see by the amount of channels which have been suspended we have a pretty good track record. (NOTE: Too many for me to list here, but take link to see the entire list of suspended accounts http://www.thejidf.org/2008/02/problematic-youtube-channels-and-videos.html  scroll down and further down the page you will see the 100’s of accounts they are currently targeting)
http://www.thejidf.org/2008/02/problematic-youtube-channels-and-videos.html

Below are links and comments pasted exactly from their VERY long list of youtube users they want suspended, or videos removed. Admittedly some are from skinheads and truly are racist, but the vast majority are just normal videos with excerpts from credible news sources or photos from news sources. Note that the comments under the links are the actual notes this group has made regarding the video in the link it wants removed.

http://www.youtube.com/user/LaydeeLiberty123
1 video, many problematic favs

(NOTE FYI Meaning she favourited other peoples videos and got her account closed!!)

(But here is the best one of all!!)

http://www.youtube.com/user/FedFarmer
1 video – (might not be against the rules)

Now, this video is a documented media video from a British reporter and an Israeli Human Rights organisation no less. And they want to close this person’s youtube account because they uploaded this video? Why? Because as usual, the video shows human rights abuses by Israelis, so we can’t have that now can we?? Even when it’s an Israeli group that uncovered it and made the documentary, so they attempt to censor their own people!!

Here’s the video (listed above form their site) they want taken down

View it yourself

Oh no, it gets even better, and here’s another one, this is a RAP music video showing news footage and photos of those killed by Israel, again, we can’t let the world see this, they might not like us!!
CENSOR CENSOR CENSOR

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acW5hxSwCsw
(This video shows dead bodies, this is against the YouTube Community Guidelines)

and yet another one here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBa-dFdrJ7Y
(This video shows dead bodies of children, and people getting hurt, attacked, or humiliated)

 

and here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2B-PqTAXTEc
(This video shows dead bodies, and dead children)
(NOTE with regard to YouTube the JIDF also work with an American right wing NeoCon group called YOU TUBE SMACKDOWN http://smackdowncorps.org/

like minds stick together)

WIKIPEDIA

In general, please alert us to any problems of POV-Pushing, bias, subtle antisemitic jabs and the standard “Jew baiting” so commonly found on Wikipedia (WP), so we may update this list and continue cite specific examples. We are also looking to get a lot more active on Wikipedia, since much has been written about the problems and many people have pointed out unfair Wikipedia policies and implementation thereof, especially with regard to Israel and the Jewish people.

Please keep us posted as to any problems you experience on Wikipedia as it will aid in our research and approach. Please enjoy the following list of heavily biased Wikipedia editors. We have listed their “contributions” from “earliest” to most recent, since many of them are trying to pretend they are not biased as of late:

They are targeting several people in Wikipedia, one is an Arab, the other is a Jew who is against Zionism, here is what they say about the Anti-Zionist Jew on Wikipedia, notice how other Jews who are not Zionist fanatics like the JIDF are also targets:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:RolandR
User Contributions

Real name, “Roland Rance” who chairs “Jews Against Zionism” meetings

Just look at this user’s userpage. Wikipedia is supposed to have rules against using it for “soapboxing” but apparently they make an exception in this case (Mary Rizzo’s note: Rance is himself a major gatekeeper and censor… he manipulates according to his own taste pages on Gilad Atzmon, who is a bigger enemy of his than any Zionist is, apparently… but I did not write this post, just leaving my observation in).

Here is one of their complaints about wikipedia: the way, in the current Wikipedia article about Hamas, the fact that it is a terrorist organization isn’t even hinted at until the 6th paragraph!)

Heaven forbid, we have to get the word “terrorist” and “HAMAS” in the first sentance, otherwise it’s unfair to poor Israel!! what a load of bollox! As if people can’t think for themselves, we all need Israel to tell us what to think!

BLOGGER

Don’t think they are serious about closing blogs, webpages, facebook, and youtube accounts and more?

They even invented software to use to make their word easier, it is called “megaphone”, and endorsed by the IDF (Israeli army) and government!

See here:


Megaphone desktop tool
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Megaphone desktop tool is a Windows “action alert” tool developed by Give Israel Your United Support (GIYUS) and distributed by World Union of Jewish Students, World Jewish Congress, The Jewish Agency for Israel, World Zionist Organization, StandWithUs, Hasbara fellowships, HonestReporting, and other pro-Israel public relations, media watchdog, or activism organizations. The tool delivers real-time alerts about key articles, videos, blogs, and surveys related to Israel or the Arab-Israeli conflict, especially those perceived by GIYUS to be highly critical of Israel, so that users can vote or add comments expressing their support of Israel. The tool was released in July during the 2006 Lebanon War.

According the Jerusalem Post, Amir Gissin, head of the Public Affairs Department of the Foreign Ministry of Israel, has expressed support for the tool’s use. “The Foreign Ministry itself is now pushing the idea, urging supporters of Israel everywhere to become cyberspace soldiers in the new battleground for Israel’s image.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megaphone_desktop_tool

 

So, if you can’t win the public hearts and minds by doing the right thing, then just CHEAT CHEAT CHEAT, CENSOR CENSOR CENSOR

Report Jew-Hating Blogs in Less Than a Minute
Click here and then click “submit”
Then come back here and do the same thing with this one.
Do this many times a day. Many days a week and share it with all your friends and email lists.
The blogs in question are some of the most hateful sites we have seen and clearly against Blogger’s own rules.

Thanks!

And a little tidbit from the Jpost on JIDF. Notice that this JIDF group infiltrated and then took over a FACEBOOK group using some type of software, because they did not like the answer they got from FACEBOOK when they complained. The group, according to FACEBOOK was a political discourse group, and as such, FACEBOOK refused to close it down. So the JIDF took action themselves. See here:
Jul 29, 2008 21:16 Updated Jul 30, 2008 9:47

Jewish Internet Defense Force ‘seizes control’ of anti-Israel Facebook group
In the JIDF’s latest efforts, the group has been working around the clock to dismantle the group on Facebook titled, “Israel is not a country! Delist it from Facebook as a country.” That group had tens of thousands of members.
Facebook’s negligence and abdication of responsibility gave us no option but to take matters in our own hands,” the JIDF added.

The JIDF would not specify what technological methods it used to gain access to the group, but said it succeeded in doing so after the old administrators left.

The JIDF received a response from Facebook, he said, which called the anti-Israel group “legitimate political discourse.” Facebook was not available for comment.

“[The JIDF] gained control of the group without compromising Facebook’s security,” Oboler said. “What they have done… is taken away the hate that was spreading through [the group’s] membership. It’s a shame that Facebook themselves did not remove it. It has taken a lot of effort from [the JIDF], while it would have taken Facebook one click.”

The JIDF said its efforts are not limited to Facebook, but extend to anti-Semitism and anti-Israel posts found throughout the Internet, including on sites such as Google, Google Earth, YouTube and Wikipedia.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1215331137728&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
So what group or site will they come for next? Beware of who you allow to join your groups and blogs, they will join and then destroy your site.

Remember this, he who controls the internet controls the news and controls the battle for the hearts and minds of the general public. If any of this makes you angry or outraged, write to your Elected Representatives and demand that Israel stop censoring the internet. Who made them “Judge, Jury and Executioner”

We are all intelligent enough to make up our own minds *if* we are allowed to see unfettered information ourselves, why is Israel so worried? Because the internet is the LAST place news is free and where news can freely be put online for all to see. Don’t’ let Israel gain control of what you see, hear and read. America must stop being Israel’s “poodle”.

More information on this subject in tomorrow’s blog, check back then or subscribe to this blog.

PEOPLE READING THIS BLOG SHOULD CHECK TO SEE IF THEIR YOUTUBE CHANNEL OR ACCOUNT IS LISTED AS A TARGET OF THE CENSORING ZIONISTS WHO WORK FOR THE ISRAEL ARMY AND GOVERNMENT

Here is the JIDF’s YOUTUBE LIST OF CHANNELS AND USERS (note the first scrolling box are all the accounts they have managed to suspend or close down, but scroll down the page more to see the active list they are currently working on now, you may be listed!)

http://www.thejidf.org/2008/02/problematic-youtube-channels-and-videos.html

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, don’t say anyhing bad about Israel, or they will come for you in the night…………………

thus concludes Sinéad’s fine report.

And this is what I found while digging into it some more:

Wage Cyberwar Against Hamas, Surrender Your PC
By Noah Shachtman EmailJanuary 08, 2009 | 1:10:27 PM

A group of Israeli students and would-be cyberwarriors have developed a program that makes it easy for just about anyone to start pounding on pro-Hamas websites. But using this “Patriot” software, to join in the online fight, means handing over control of your computer to the Israeli hacker group.

“While you’re running their program, they can do whatever they want with your computer,” Mike La Pilla, manager of malicious code operations at Verisign iDefense, the electronic security firm.

The online collective “Help Israel Win” formed in late December, as the current conflict in Gaza erupted. “We couldn’t join the real combat, so we decided to fight Hamas in the cyber arena,” “Liri,” one the group’s organizers, told Danger Room.

So they created a simple program, supposedly designed to overload Hamas-friendly sites like qudsnews.net and palestine-info.info. In recent years, such online struggles have become key components in the information warfare that accompanies traditional bomb-and-bullets conflicts. Each side tries to recruit more and more people — and more and more computers — to help in the network assaults. Help Israel Win says that more than 8,000 people have already downloaded and installed its Patriot software. It’s a small part of a larger, increasingly sophisticated propaganda fight between supporters of Israel and Hamas that’s being waged over the airwaves and online.

Help Israel Win, which has websites in Hebrew, English, Spanish, French, Russian and Portugese, doesn’t say much about how the program functions — only that it “unites the computer capabilities of many people around the world. Our goal is to use this power in order to disrupt our enemy’s efforts to destroy the state of Israel. The more support we get, the more efficient we are.”

Analysis from iDefense and the SANS Institute, however, reveals that computer users put their PCs at risk when they run the Patriot software. The program connects a computer to one of a number of Internet Relay Chat (IRC) servers. Once the machine is linked up, Help Israel Win can order it to do just about anything.

The Patriot program does something “fishy,” SANS Institute security specialist Bojan Zdrnja said, by retrieving “a remote file and sav[ing] it on the local machine as TmpUpdateFile.exe.” That could easily be a “trojan,” Zdrnja said, referring to a program that sneaks malicious code onto a computer.

“While at the moment it does not appear to do anything bad (it just connects to the IRC server and sites there — there also appeared to be around 1,000 machines running this when I tested this) the owner can probably do whatever he wants with machines running this,” Zdrnja wrote.

Liri, with Help Israel Win, conceded that “the Patriot code could be used as a trojan. However, “practically it is not used as such, and will never be.”

“The update option is used to fix bugs in the client, and not to upload any malicious code… never have and never will,” Liri said. “The project will close right after the war is over, and we have given a fully functional uninstaller to [remove] the application.”

It’s also unclear how much the Patriot program is really helping the Israeli side in the online information war.

La Pilla has been monitoring Help Israel Win’s IRC servers for days. “They didn’t make us download and install anything. Didn’t make us [attack] anybody. I was basically just sitting idle on their network.” The group claims to have shut down sarayaalquds.org and qudsvoice.net. But, as of now, the rest of the group’s pro-Hamas targets remain online. Meanwhile, Help Israel Win has had to shift from website to website, as they come under attack from unknown assailants.

“We began to focus on internet companies like Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia, MySpace, and Digg,

I saw this a few days ago, and only now had time to post it up. I have read a lot about the film, we even published an article Gilad Atzmon had written regarding it, but this review is so good, it should be read by everyone. That Waltz With Bashir is propaganda (slick, financed by Israel, used for didactic purposes with a million dollar investment in a Viewer’s Guide) was no secret… When the Director was brought here to promote it, during the heat of the Gaza War, he had not a word to say about that war. It was shocking coming from someone who claimed to be making a statement. BUT this is the state of Israel Peaceniks… they don’t really mean it, but they want you to think they do! Thanks Mr Levy for this exceptional review!

Gideon Levy / ‘Antiwar’ film Waltz with Bashir is nothing but charade
By Gideon Levy, Haaretz Correspondent 

Everyone now has his fingers crossed for Ari Folman and all the creative artists behind “Waltz with Bashir” to win the Oscar on Sunday. A first Israeli Oscar? Why not? 

However, it must also be noted that the film is infuriating, disturbing, outrageous and deceptive. It deserves an Oscar for the illustrations and animation – but a badge of shame for its message. It was not by accident that when he won the Golden Globe, Folman didn’t even mention the war in Gaza, which was raging as he accepted the prestigious award. The images coming out of Gaza that day looked remarkably like those in Folman’s film. But he was silent. So before we sing Folman’s praises, which will of course be praise for us all, we would do well to remember that this is not an antiwar film, nor even a critical work about Israel as militarist and occupier. It is an act of fraud and deceit, intended to allow us to pat ourselves on the back, to tell us and the world how lovely we are. 

Hollywood will be enraptured, Europe will cheer and the Israeli Foreign Ministry will send the movie and its makers around the world to show off the country’s good side. But the truth is that it is propaganda. Stylish, sophisticated, gifted and tasteful – but propaganda. A new ambassador of culture will now join Amos Oz and A.B. Yehoshua, and he too will be considered fabulously enlightened – so different from the bloodthirsty soldiers at the checkpoints, the pilots who bomb residential neighborhoods, the artillerymen who shell women and children, and the combat engineers who rip up streets. Here, instead, is the opposite picture. Animated, too. Of enlightened, beautiful Israel, anguished and self-righteous, dancing a waltz, with and without Bashir. Why do we need propagandists, officers, commentators and spokespersons who will convey “information”? We have this waltz. 

The waltz rests on two ideological foundations. One is the “we shot and we cried” syndrome: Oh, how we wept, yet our hands did not spill this blood. Add to this a pinch of Holocaust memories, without which there is no proper Israeli self-preoccupation. And a dash of victimization – another absolutely essential ingredient in public discourse here – and voila! You have the deceptive portrait of Israel 2008, in words and pictures. 

Folman took part in the Lebanon war of 1982, and two dozen years later remembered to make a movie about it. He is tormented. He goes back to his comrades-in-arms, gulps down shots of whiskey at a bar with one, smokes joints in Holland with another, wakes his therapist pal at first light and goes for another session to his shrink – all to free himself at long last from the nightmare that haunts him. And the nightmare is always ours, ours alone. 

It is very convenient to make a film about the first, and now remote, Lebanon war: We already sent one of those, “Beaufort,” to the Oscar competition. And it’s even more convenient to focus specifically on Sabra and Chatila, the Beirut refugee camps. 

Even way back, after the huge protest against the massacre perpetrated in those camps, there was always the declaration that, despite everything – including the green light given to our lackey, the Phalange, to execute the slaughter, and the fact that it all took place in Israeli-occupied territory – the cruel and brutal hands that shed blood are not our hands. Let us lift our voices in protest against all the savage Bashir-types we have known. And yes, a little against ourselves, too, for shutting our eyes, perhaps even showing encouragement. But no: That blood, that’s not us. It’s them, not us. 

We have not yet made a movie about the other blood, which we have spilled and continue to allow to flow, from Jenin to Rafah – certainly not a movie that will get to the Oscars. And not by chance. 

In “Waltz with Bashir” the soldiers of the world’s most moral army sing out something like: “Lebanon, good morning. May you know no more grief. Let your dreams come true, your nightmares evaporate, your whole life be a blessing.” 

Nice, right? What other army has a song like this, and in the middle of a war, yet? Afterward they go on to sing that Lebanon is the “love of my life, the short life.” And then the tank, from inside of which this lofty and enlightened singing emanates, crushes a car for starters, turning it into a smashed tin can, then pounds a residential building, threatening to topple it. That’s how we are. Singing and wrecking. Where else will you find sensitive soldiers like these? It would really be preferable for them to shout with hoarse voices: Death to the Arabs! 

I saw the “Waltz” twice. The first time was in a movie theater, and I was bowled over by the artistry. What style, what talent. The illustrations are perfect, the voices are authentic, the music adds so much. Even Ron Ben Yishai’s half-missing finger is accurate. No detail is missed, no nuance blurred. All the heroes are heroes, superbly stylish, like Folman himself: articulate, trendy, up-to-date, left-wingers – so sensitive and intelligent. 

Then I watched it again, at home, a few weeks later. This time I listened to the dialogue and grasped the message that emerges from behind the talent. I became more outraged from one minute to the next. This is an extraordinarily infuriating film precisely because it is done with so much talent. Art has been recruited here for an operation of deceit. The war has been painted with soft, caressing colors – as in comic books, you know. Even the blood is amazingly aesthetic, and suffering is not really suffering when it is drawn in lines. The soundtrack plays in the background, behind the drinks and the joints and the bars. The war’s fomenters were mobilized for active service of self-astonishment and self-torment. 

Boaz is devastated at having shot 26 stray dogs, and he remembers each of them. Now he is looking for “a therapist, a shrink, shiatsu, something.” Poor Boaz. And poor Folman, too: He is devilishly unable to remember what happened during the massacre. “Movies are also psychotherapy” – that’s the bit of free advice he gets. Sabra and Chatila? “To tell you the truth? It’s not in my system.” All in such up-to-the-minute Hebrew you could cry. After the actual encounter with Boaz in 2006, 24 years later, the “flash” arrives, the great flash that engendered the great movie. 

One fellow comes to the war on the Love Boat, another flees it by swimming away. One sprinkles patchouli on himself, another eats a Spam omelet. The filmmaker-hero of “Waltz” remembers that summer with great sadness: It was exactly then that Yaeli dumped him. Between one thing and the other, they killed and destroyed indiscriminately. The commander watches porn videos in a Beirut villa, and even Ben Yishai has a place in Ba’abda, where one evening he downs half a glass of whiskey and phones Arik Sharon at the ranch and tells him about the massacre. And no one asks who these looted and plundered apartments belong to, damn it, or where their owners are and what our forces are doing in them in the first place. That is not part of the nightmare. 

What’s left is hallucination, a sea of fears, the hero confesses on the way to his therapist, who is quick to calm him and explains that the hero’s interest in the massacre at the camps derives from a different massacre: from the camps from which his parents came. Bingo! How could we have missed it? It’s not us at all, it’s the Nazis, may their name and memory be obliterated. It’s because of them that we are the way we are. “You have been cast in the role of the Nazi against your will,” a different therapist says reassuringly, as though evoking Golda Meir’s remark that we will never forgive the Arabs for making us what we are. What we are? The therapist says that we shone the lights, but “did not perpetrate the massacre.” What a relief. Our clean hands are not part of the dirty work, no way. 

And besides that, it wasn’t us at all: How pleasant to see the cruelty of the other. The amputated limbs that the Phalange, may their name be obliterated, stuff into the formaldehyde bottles; the executions they perpetrate; the symbols they slash into the bodies of their victims. Look at them and look at us: We never do things like that. 

When Ben Yishai enters the Beirut camps, he recalls scenes of the Warsaw ghetto. Suddenly he sees through the rubble a small hand and a curly-haired head, just like that of his daughter. “Stop the shooting, everybody go home,” the commander, Amos, calls out through a megaphone in English. The massacre comes to an abrupt end. Cut. 

Then, suddenly, the illustrations give way to the real shots of the horror of the women keening amid the ruins and the bodies. For the first time in the movie, we not only see real footage, but also the real victims. Not the ones who need a shrink and a drink to get over their experience, but those who remain bereaved for all time, homeless, limbless and crippled. No drink and no shrink can help them. And that is the first (and last) moment of truth and pain in “Waltz with Bashir.”

WRITTEN BY Kourosh Ziabari 

“Journalism” is the profession of informing people; feeding them with the accurate and reliable information, making the world a better place for life and spreading the messages of peace, stability and friendship by all of the technical and professional means at one’s disposal.

 

The above sentences are not the captivating and mesmerizing slogans of hawkish leaders who accumulate nuclear weapons in their arsenals, enjoying the UNSC immunity and meanwhile chanting clumsily the call of peace and friendship. These are the obscured and muddled objectives of journalism which were once the ambitious aims of our ancestors.

 

“The duty of the journalist is to further [those] ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty.” Isn’t it inspirational and dreamlike? It isn’t a part of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but the Preamble of Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics Statement.

 

The very concept of journalism was once interlaced with trustworthiness, candor and sincerity. However, it was revolutionized gradually to some level that you cannot any longer separate it from black propaganda, fabrication and slander.

 

Last week and for the first time, I paid a memorable visit that will be recorded in the annals of my personal chronicle evermore. Although I am myself based in the northern city of Rasht and do not commute over Tehran so regularly, I made a trip to the mega-capital in order to have a meeting with the people of Tehran Times newspaper, the most prominent English language paper in Iran which is being published for 30 years ceaselessly.

 

Upon my arrival and after a couple of hours dashing to find the correct address of the headquarters, I finally landed up with the bureau which was located on the end of a calm and narrow alley, somewhere close to the Pakistan Embassy and the Kuwaiti Airlines Representative office in a northern district.

 

The newsroom was almost silent and you could not find the people scampering from this room to that corner with turmoil and noise. A monitoring agent, putting a massive earphone on his head, was responsible for taking care of the mainstreams and what they say about Iran. He was regularly switching between CNN, Al-Jazeera, BBC and CBS, sitting before an aged Pentium III desktop and pursuing the live shows and commentaries through a TV Broadcast software and his headset.

 

Each of the editors and reviewers possessed his/her own PC and I could behold near to 20 computer desks in a single room.

 

There was for the first time when I meet some people whom I can never forget; the people to whom I should pay an immense tribute and a timeless homage.

 

I first met a distinguished Pakistani journalist to whom I had just chatted online and talked via phone earlier. I met Mr. Gul Jammas Hussain, a esteemed editor at the Tehran Times and one of the most committed, dedicated journalists that I’ve ever seen.

 

His tranquil, modest demeanor was exemplary for me. His voice tone would not exceed a certain amount and his warm welcomes I can by no means forget. Seeming abundantly taciturn and reserved in speech and appearance, you should have struggled hard to elicit the flashes of his treasures of knowledge and cognition.

 

He was the first one who punished me overtly, and made me face the obscured realities which the compromising society was long withholding from me. Although I had made his acquaintance just a few weeks previous to our reunion, I can name him the only one who genuinely unveiled the price of humility and meekness for me, and helped me encounter the reality of unassumingness.

 

Aside from being a successful journalist whose articles are published in the most prestigious newspapers of Pakistan and Iran, he is now to me, an exalted mentor, educative trainer and dependable brother. It’s my duty, and will be forever, to thank him for the opportunities which he offered me.

 

The next figure, which I conferred with, was indescribable and unprecedented. Mr. Hamid Golpira, a senior editor at the Times and an internationally accomplished journalist. The symbolic scarf which he always ties around his neck in the sign of solidarity with the oppressed nation of Palestine would not be detached from him.

 

Talking to me in a charismatic and unique manner, he uttered vigorously: “Even this scarf is older than you.” And he was right; the American-Iranian Hamid was living with that historic scarf for years, shared a series of memories and anecdotes with “him”.

 

In Hamid, I’ll remain loyal and faithful perpetually. He knows whatever he says, and you can compile an encyclopedia of general information from the overflowing, excessive amount of data which he releases while working and speaking.

 

I don’t know how to describe my feelings about this respected and cherished man, who is a “human”, rather than an old-hand journalist. The image of his pale, wheaten hairs, sparse beard and matchless way of walking is incorporated in my mind and I wish I could expose myself, for endless hours, to the ocean of his knowledge and conscience.

 

I should not overlook Mr. Mohammad Ali Saki, another expert journalist and editor, to whom I owe the honor of becoming a contributor of Tehran Times. He gave a leg up to me, and helped me pull the string and climb. He prized his confidence and trust to me, and I hope I can respond his trust with merit and hard-work.

 

All of these people that I named have their own stories and anecdotes. You can figure out the most interesting and exceptional legends and tales from their lives, and the most common thing which they all share is that they are doing every kind of sacrifice to fulfill the dreams of their ancestors.

 

With their unpretentious yet brilliant and outstanding endeavors, Tehran Times is now standing on the pinnacle of independent media in Iran, and a wide range of international audiences count on it as their number-one source of undistorted, unbiased and impartial news not only about Iran, but on the whole international affairs.  

Although I’m not a regular contributor to Tehran Times, I honor to have friends in a media outlet where sincerity, authenticity and “humanity” is still enshrined and preserved.

cartoon of the day

Posted: 02/26/2009 by editormary in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Tahdiah (Pacification)

WRITTEN By Stephen Lendman
Enough is enough. After 61 years of Palestinian slaughter, displacement,
occupation, oppression, and international dismissiveness and complicity, global action is essential. Israel must be held accountable. World leaders won’t do it, so grassroots movements must lead the way.
 
In 2004, Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote:
“The end of apartheid stands as one of the crowning accomplishments of the past century, but we would not have succeeded without the help of international pressure – in particular the divestment movement of the 1980s. Over the past six months, a similar movement has taken shape, this time aiming at an end to the Israeli occupation.”
 
In July 2008, 21 South African activists, including ANC members, visited Israel and Occupied Palestine. Their conclusion was unanimous. Israel is far worse than apartheid as former Deputy Minister of Health and current MP Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge explained:
 
“What I see here is worse than what we experienced – the absolute control of people’s lives, the lack of freedom of movement, the army presence everywhere, the total separation and the extensive destruction we saw….racist ideology is also reinforced by religion, which was not the case in South Africa.”
 
Sunday Times editor, Mondli Makhanya, went further: “When you observe
From afar you know that things are bad, but you do not know how bad. Nothing can prepare you for the evil we have seen here. It is worse, worse, worse than everything we endured. The level of apartheid, the racism and the brutality are worse than the worst period of apartheid.”
 
Activist Opposition to a Fundamentally Evil Occupation

In July 2005, a coalition of 171 Palestinian Civil Society organizations created the global BDS movement – for “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel Until it Complies with International Law and Universal Principles of Human Rights” for Occupied Palestinians, Israeli Arabs, and Palestinian diaspora refugees. 

Since 1948, hundreds of UN resolutions condemned Israel’s colonialoccupation, its decades of discriminatory policies, illegal land
seizures and settlements, international law violations, and oppression of a civilian population, and called for remedial action.
 
Nothing so far has worked. Palestine remains occupied. Its people continue to suffer. Their human rights are denied. These abuses no longer can be tolerated. In solidarity, people of conscience demand justice and “call upon international civil society organizations and (supporters everywhere) to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to (apartheid) South Africa.” Pressure is needed for “embargoes and sanctions….for the sake of justice and genuine peace.”
 
Nonviolent punitive measures should continue until Israel: 
— recognizes Palestinian rights to self-determination; 
— respects international law; 
— ends its illegal occupation; 
— dismantles its Separation Wall; 
— grants Israeli Arabs equal rights as Jews; and 
— complies with UN resolution 194 affirming the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and property or be fully compensated for loss or damage if they prefer.
 
Dozens of Palestinian political parties, organizations, associations,
coalitions, campaigns, and unions endorse the project, including:  
— the Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine; 
— the Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizen’s Rights (PICCR); 
— the Consortium of Professional Associations; 
— the Lawyers Association; 
— the Network of Christian Organizations; 
— the Palestinian Council for Justice and Peace; 
— the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI); and  
— the US Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel.
 
PACBI 
In April 2004 in Ramallah, Palestinian academics and intellectuals launched it by “buil(ding) on the Palestinian call for a comprehensive economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel issued in August 2002 (followed by further calls) in October 2003.”
 
In July 2004, its statement of principles read: 
— “to comprehensively and consistently boycott all Israeli academic and cultural institutions until Israel withdraws from all lands occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem;  
— removes all its colonies in those lands;  
— agrees to United Nations resolutions relevant to the restitution of
Palestinian refugee rights; and  
— dismantles its system of apartheid.”
 
PACBI states: 
“Boycotting Israeli academic and cultural institutions is an urgently needed form of pressure against Israel that can bring about its compliance with international law and the requirements for a just peace.” Israel won’t comply. Why should it when world governments are supportive and complicit and offer Palestinians no relief. Thus, grassroots pressure is crucial. That’s why organizations like PACBI are essential.
 
So is the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (CACBI). It’s comprised of US academics, “educators of conscience….unable to stand by and watch in silence Israel’s indiscriminate assault on the Gaza Strip and its educational institutions.” They call for:
 
(1) boycotting all “academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions” not opposed to their government’s policies towards Palestinians;  
(2) “a comprehensive boycott of Israeli institutions at the national and international levels (including) all forms of funding and subsidies….;” 
(3) divestment and disinvestment from Israel;  
(4) academic, professional, and cultural groups condemnation of Israel; and 
(5) support for Palestinian academic and cultural institutions.
 
Israel flaunts the rule of law, pursues violence, not peace, and discriminates against everyone not Jewish. Terror bombing Gaza and daily West Bank incursions illustrate its arrogance and intentions. CACBI “believe(s) that non-violent external pressure (through) academic, cultural and economic boycott” are crucial. Worldwide support and unwavering pressure must  happen as well.
 
In solidarity with PACBI, CACBI, and non-academic bodies globally, Australian academics issued their own mission statement, calling on like-minded activists to join them. Others elsewhere have done the same. 
 
Inception of the Academic Boycott Idea 
On April 6, 2002, UK professors Steven and Hilary Rose first presented the idea in an open letter to the London Guardian. They wrote:  
“Despite widespread international condemnation for its policy of violent repression against the Palestinian people in the Occupied Territories, the Israel government appears impervious to moral appeals from world leaders.” For its part, America “seems reluctant to act. However, there are ways of exerting pressure from within Europe….many national and European cultural and research institutions….regard Israel (alone in the Middle East) as a European state for the purposes of awarding grants and contracts. Would it not therefore be timely” for a pan-European moratorium of all further support “unless and until Israel abides by UN resolutions and opens serious peace negotiations with the Palestinans” along the lines of proposed “peace plans.”
 
By July, 700 signatures were registered, including from 10 Israeli academics, but not without controversy and opposition. Questions of ethics and effectiveness were raised. Academic freedom, anti-Semitism, and unfairly singling out Israel as well. 
 
On April 22, 2005, the UK Council of Association of University Teachers (AUT – with support from 60 Palestinian academics) voted to boycott two Israeli universities – Haifa and Bar-Ilan. Haifa for wrongly disciplining a lecturer who supported a student’s writing about 1948 Israeli attacks on Palestinians and Bar-Ilan for conducting courses in the West Bank, complicit with the occupation. 
 
Criticism of the AUT was immediate and harsh by Jewish groups and its own members. Zvi Ravner, Israel’s deputy ambassador in London, said the “last time Jews were boycotted in universities was in 1930s Germany.” By May, pressure was intense, forcing AUT to cancel its boycott, but the idea stayed viable.
 
In May 2006, the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE) passed motion 198C, a call to boycott Israeli academics who refused to speak out against their government. As expected, criticism again was intense but those in support stayed firm. 
 
On May 30, 2007, the congress of the University and College Union (UCU – created by AUT and NATFHE’s merger) voted 158 – 99 on Motion 30 for a Palestinian trade unions boycott petition. It asked lecturers to “consider the moral implications of existing and proposed links with Israeli academic institutions.”
 
On September 28, after considerable opposition, UCU abandoned its effort in a press release stating that lawyers advised that “an academic boycott of Israel would be unlawful and cannot be implemented.” 
 
Nonetheless, despite start-and-stop efforts and enormous opposition, the BDS movement remains viable and has taken root globally. In January 2009, the Ontario branch of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) proposed banning Israeli academics from teaching, speaking at, or doing research at Ontario universities unless they condemn Israel’s war on Gaza. After CUPE national president’s opposition, local branch officials removed the proposal from its web site but replaced it with a statement calling for a boycott “aimed at academic institutions and the institutional connections that exist between universities here and those in Israel.” It will also  introduce a resolution on the ban.
 
On January 31, hundreds of Irish activists ran a full page ad in The Irish Times condemning decades of Israeli militarism, oppression, occupation, and violations of international law. They called for the Irish government to: 
— “cease its purchase of Israeli military products and services and call publicly for an arms embargo against Israel;  
— demand publicly that Israel reverse its settlement construction, illegal occupation and annexation of land in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions and to use its influence” to achieve this;  
— “demand publicly that the Euro-Med Agreement under which Israel has privileged access to the EU market be suspended until Israel complies with international law;  
— veto any proposed upgrade in EU relations with Israel; (and for)  
— The Irish people to boycott all Israeli goods and services until Israel abides by international law.” 
 
On February 1, a new alliance of American Jews for a Just Peace issued this statement against Israel’s war on Palestine:  
“Israel recent War on Gaza resulted in worldwide popular condemnation. Perhaps this marks an important turning point in the relationship between Israel and the world community. We will not stand by while Israel instigates a war, annihilates civilian infrastructure, targets civilian shelters, blocks medical teams from reaching victims, uses chemical weapons,” and commits various other atrocities and illegal acts. This isn’t how a democratic state functions, one that respects international laws and norms. “On the contrary, they are actions of a rogue state….fully supported by the US government.”
 
“American Jews for a Just Peace calls for: 
— immediate suspension of all US military aid to Israel pursuant to the Arms Export Control Act;  
— the US Congress to open an investigation into possible war crimes as violations of the Arms Export Control and Foreign Assistance Acts in the war on Gaza;  
— businesses and individuals to refuse to purchase Israeli-made products that originate in or support Jewish settlements in Occupied Palestine and the apartheid system of racial separation and oppression in Israel/Palestine; 
— the Israeli government to sign the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid that was adopted by the United Nations in 1973…; 
— the Israeli government to end the blockade and siege of Gaza and allow unhindered access to all humanitarian aid organizations as well as international journalists; and  
— efforts by all activists to promote awareness of and resistance to the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, which continues through the ongoing blockade, siege, displacement, annexation, and Israeli state-sponsored terror.” 
 
On February 3, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported that “The only Palestinian university (Al Quds) to maintain ties with Israeli colleges and oppose international calls for an (academic) boycott….suspended contacts with Israeli universities in the wake of the war in Gaza.” 
 
Al Quds has 10,000 students on three West Bank campuses – in El Bireh, Abu Dis, and East Jerusalem. By unanimous decision of its board on February 1, it froze (but didn’t end) 60 joint projects for six months, pending a policy review and possible change. Its statement cited no justification for  continued ties and that cutting them “is aimed at pressuring Israel to abide by a solution that ends the occupation, a solution that has been needed for far too long and that the international community has stopped demanding.”
 
Al Quds’ board called on local, regional, and international academics to support its position by halting their own cooperation with Israeli universities.
 
On February 5, Durban, South African dock workers refused to offload an Israeli ship docked in the city’s harbor. At the same time, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) called on “workers and activists for justice and peace to join the ever growing movement of people in solidarity with the suffering masses of Palestine.” COSATU asked workers globally to follow their lead not to offload Israeli ships or handle Israeli goods in retail stores. It also affirmed its stand to “strengthen the campaign in South Africa for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against apartheid Israel.” 
 
Despite its efforts, the Port of Durban used non-union workers to offload the Israeli ship on February 6. On the same day, COSATU and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign affirmed their boycott initiative by protesting in front of the South African Zionist Federation offices in Johannesburg.
 
On February 6, stopwar.org.uk reported a “Wave of Gaza solidarity action on UK campuses” over the past two weeks at 22 universities and colleges so far. Student demands include:  
— providing scholarships for Palestinian students;  
— sending books and computers to Occupied Palestine;  
— condemning Israeli attacks on Gaza; and  
— divesting from Israel and BAE Systems that supplies Israel with arms.  
 
On February 7, the Church of England announced that late last year it divested over 2.2 million British pounds from Caterpillar, a company whose bulldozers and equipment is used to demolish Palestinian homes. It’s a small step but an important one, given the Church’s importance. Hopefully it will inspire others to take similar steps and divest entirely from Israel and companies with which it does business. 
 
On February 9, Hampshire College in Amherst, MA became the first one in America to divest from companies involved in Israel’s occupation of Palestine. It marked a successful outcome of an intensive two-year Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) campaign that pressured the school’s Board of Trustees to act. Over 800 students, faculty and alumni were involved. Their efforts worked and shows that other campus campaigns nationwide and globally may as well. This is an important first step.
 
On February 10, the Belfast Telegraph reported that the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) “launch(ed) a boycott of Israeli goods as part of a major campaign to secure a peaceful settlement in the Middle East.” 
 
Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) dismissed the idea but Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams expressed support in saying:….”Gaza has been the target of an all-out military assault by Israeli forces. Over 1300 people were killed, many of them children.” 
 
Northern Ireland’s Social Democratic and Labour Party’s (SDLP) Carmel Hanna said that her country’s experience with the “Troubles” should inspire support for Middle East peace. “We have learned from the conflict here that violence does not work and creates bitterness.” 
 
On February 19, the Secretariat of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee called on “all (globally) to unite our different capacities and struggles in a Global Day of Action in Solidarity with the Palestinian people and for a (BDS action) against Israel on 30 March 2009” – as part of a “Global Week of Action against the Crises and War from 28 March to 4 April.” 
 
March 30 actions will focus on: 
— “Boycotts and divestment from Israeli corporations and international (ones) that sustain Israeli apartheid and occupation.  
— Legal action to end Israel’s impunity and prosecute its war criminals through national court cases and international tribunals.  
— Canceling and blocking free trade and other preferential agreements with Israel and imposing an arms embargo as the first steps towards fully fledged sanctions against Israel.” 
 
The time for these actions is now. It must be sustained until Gaza is free, the occupation of all Arab lands ends, the Separation Wall is demolished, Israeli Arabs have equal rights as Jews, and Palestinian refugees get their international law right to return to their homes and property or receive full compensation for loss or damage if they prefer. 
 
On February 23, Amnesty International (AI) issued a press release headlined: “Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories – Evidence of Misuse of US-Weapons Reinforces Need for Arms Embargo.” 
 
AI found evidence of US-supplied weapons and munitions and “called on the UN to impose a comprehensive arms embargo.” It also accused Israel of using “white phosphorous and other weapons supplied by the USA to carry out serious violations of international humanitarian law, including war crimes. Their attacks resulted in the death of hundreds of children and other civilians and massive destruction of homes and infrastructure,” according to Donatella Rovera, head of AI’s Gaza and southern Israel fact-finding  mission.
 
“As the major supplier of weapons to Israel, the USA has a particular
obligation to stop any supply that contributes to gross violations of the laws of war and of human rights. The Obama administration should immediately suspend US military aid to Israel.” 
 
During the week of March 1 – 8, the fifth annual Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) will be held – last year in over 25 cities and this year likely many more in the wake of the Gaza war and subsequent world outrage. IAW is part of the growing global BDS movement – from Abu Dis to Atlanta, Barcelona to Bethlehem, Chicago to Copenhagen, Halifax to Hebron, New York to Nablus, Washington to Waterloo, and on and on in an effort to make it unstoppable. 
 
Background Information and Member Global BDS Movement Countries 
Organizations in 20 countries participate under the banner of the International Coordinating Network on Palestine (ICNP). Formed in 2002, it calls itself “a body of civil society organizations….under the auspices of the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.”
 
Its mission “is to strengthen the role of civil society in supporting and demanding, of governments and international institutions, the full implementation” of all Palestinian rights under international law, including to self-determination, national independence, and sovereignty.   ICNP coordinates global campaigns; facilitates communication; aids local organizations; plans civil society conferences; and mobilizes global BDS support. In the spirit of internationalism, it strives for representation on every continent in many more nations than now. 
 
Participating organizations are currently in the following countries:  
— Australia;  
— Belgium; 
— Canada; 
— the autonomous Catalonian northeast Spanish community and its capital, Barcelona;  
— Denmark; 
— France; 
— Egypt; 
— Greece; 
— Iceland; 
— Italy; 
— Netherlands; 
— Norway; 
— Scotland; 
— South Africa; 
— Spain; 
— Sweden; 
— United Kingdom; and 
— United States.
 
Formal Asian and Latin American representation is noticeably absent, but BDS leaders look for change. They also promote broad international BDS initiatives:
 
— academic and cultural boycotts by “refusing to participate in cultural exchange, artists, and cultural institutions” to tell Israel that its “occupation and discrimination against Palestinians is unacceptable;” Israel promotes apartheid; non-Jewish voices are excluded; Israeli children are taught to deny a Palestinian identity; Israel monitors this closely and cracks down hard on non-compliers; 
— consumer boycotts of Israeli products and services through public awareness, bad publicity, pressuring stores to remove merchandise denoting Israeli origin, and encouraging companies to stop buying Israeli technology; overall, to create an inhospitable climate for Israeli commerce;  
— a sports boycott to highlight Israeli oppression and discrimination and to stop its self-promotion as a “fair player” by participating in bilateral and international competition; at the same time, to promote a Palestinian presence in these events to support their right to identity and self-determination; 
— divestment/disinvestment in Israel and companies globally that support its occupation and oppression; encourage and pressure individuals,  businesses, organizations, universities, pension funds, and governments to shed their Israeli investments to provide pressure for change; 
— sanctions – starting with open debate and raising awareness on applying them; followed by implementing comprehensive economic, political, and military measures to isolate the Jewish state; ending Israel’s membership in economic and political bodies like the UN, WHO, Red Cross, WTO, and OECD; 
— end cooperation agreements under which Israel gets preferential treatment on trade, joint research and development, and various other projects; Israel’s Export and International Cooperation Institute reported in 2006 that participation of its companies in international projects in 2005 grew by 150% – from $600 million in 2004 to $1.5 billion in 2005; Israel is the only non-European country participating in the EU’s Sixth Framework Programme for R & D and gets preferential treatment as a member; many international agreements have clauses that bind participating countries to human rights, international law, and democratic standards; Israel disdains them; it must be challenged and excluded as a result; 
— efforts at the local, regional, and institutional levels to build greater individual awareness and support; 
— ending military ties is also vital; Israel is a serial aggressor; militarism defines its culture and existence; despite its own technology, it’s heavily dependent on America and other nations for hardware and munitions supplies; breaking that connection can curb its crimes of war and against humanity; raising public awareness is crucial toward accomplishing this goal; 
— involve faith-based bodies and institutions in the campaign; explain religion isn’t the issue; morality and human rights are at stake; religious leaders can be enormously influential in building BDS support and enhancing its legitimacy; and  
— work cooperatively with trade unions; Palestinian ones faced Zionist attacks since the 1920s, especially from the Histradrut General Federation of Laborers in the Land of Israel; it’s replaced Arab workers with Jewish ones; in 1965, the General Union of Palestinian Workers (GUPW) was founded to organize West Bank, Gaza and diaspora labor; in 1986, the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) grew out of Occupied Palestine’s labor movement; today it’s ineffective given conditions in the Territories and Israeli discrimination against its Arab citizens, consigning them to low wage, few or no benefit jobs; Histadrut represents Jews alone. 
 
The Global BDS movement seeks worldwide support for Palestinian liberation and self-determination. Its campaign continues to grow. 
 
Calls for Prosecuting Israeli Officials for Crimes of War, Against Humanity, and Genocide
 
For over six decades, Israel has tried to eliminate a Palestinian presence throughout Greater Israel – through occupation, oppression, impoverishment, discrimination, isolation, displacement, aggression, and genocide. The time for  accountability is now. Efforts are going forward and were pursued earlier.
 
On February 3, the Australian Sun reported that International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo “was conducting a preliminary analysis of alleged (Israeli) crimes during (its) recent (Gaza) offensive….” He received communications from the Palestinian justice minister, Ali Kashan, the PA, and over 200 from others, including NGOs. 
 
He wasn’t encouraging in saying that he’ll “examine all relevant issues, including on jurisdiction,” (but) preliminary analysis….is not indicative that an investigation will be opened.” Earlier, his office stated that the ICC “had no competence over the Gaza situation.” The court can only try individuals for crimes committed by a signatory to the Rome Statute. Israel is not. The prosecutor may also investigate at the behest of the Security Council or if a non-party state accepts court jurisdiction. A guaranteed US veto rules out the former. The PA is pursuing the latter even though Palestine is not an independent state. 
 
Earlier in September 2006, Al Jazeera reported that “Three Moroccan lawyers said last month they were suing (then) Israeli defence minister, Amir Peretz, over the recent (Lebanon and Gaza) offensives. Israel Radio reported that a Danish politician also tried to have (foreign minister) Tzipi Livni detained and prosecuted during a recent visit to Copenhagen but the request for an arrest warrant was” denied. 
 
On January 24, Iran Daily reported that 30 “International attorneys have filed war crime charges against 15 Israeli political and military officials including Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak.” The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) believes the evidence is compelling, including IDF use of illegal weapons and large-scale atrocities in Gaza. 
 
Names of those accused were submitted to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague, even though Israel isn’t a member. Nonetheless, Israelis have been warned to check before traveling abroad to be sure no arrest warrants for them were issued. 
 
French lawyer Gilles Dovers is involved and called for an “open investigation into war crimes” committed by Israeli forces in Gaza. He said 500 complaints were submitted by Arab, European and Latin American officials. Venezuela and Bolivia are preparing their own cases. 
 
Iran Daily said “a group of French lawyers (intend) to file a complaint on behalf of French citizens of Palestinian origin to the French courts against Israeli officials,” and this effort “is gaining attention” in Paris and eastern France.
 
“Coordination with other lawyers in Belgium and Spain is (also) underway….in Brussels and Madrid.” 
 
On February 6, AP reported that a Turkish prosecutor “launched a probe into whether Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip counts as genocide, torture and crimes against humanity.” The prosecutor’s office proceeded after an Islamic human rights group filed an official complaint naming Shimon Peres, Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni. Turkish laws allow for trials against persons accused of genocide and crimes against humanity. 
 
Other efforts are proceeding as well. The Sabra Shatila Foundation issued a petition to hold Israel accountable for war crimes in Gaza and urged people of conscience to sign it. The International Organization for the elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD), Tlaxcala Universal Petition, and International Lawyers without Borders also advocate Israeli war criminal prosecutions. 
 
On December 31 in Global Research.ca, international law expert Francis Boyle called for “An Israeli War Crimes Tribunal (ICTI as) the Only Deterrent to a Global War.” He asked the UN General Assembly to “immediately establish an (ICTI) as a ‘subsidiary organ’ under UN Charter Article 22” similar to the Security Council’s ICTY for Yugoslavia. Its purpose “would be to investigate and prosecute Israeli war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide against the Peoples of Lebanon and Palestine.” 
 
It would provide “some degree of justice” and serve as a deterrent to future regional aggression and a potential “global catastrophe.” Boyle also accused Washington of aiding and abetting Israeli genocide against the Palestinians. Instead of “rein(ing) in the Israelis (by cutting off all funding), the United States government, the US Congress, and US taxpayers instead support the ‘Jewish’ state to the tune of about 4 billion dollars per year….” He calls it “dishumanitarian intervention (or) humanitarian extermination” by both countries “against the Palestinians and Palestine.” 
 
“In today’s world, genocide pays so long as it is done at the behest of the United States and its de jure or de facto allies such as Israel.” Boyle wants Israel’s UN General Assembly and entire UN System membership suspended. He also proposes imposing economic, diplomatic and travel sanctions and for “the Provisional Government of the State of Palestine to sue Israel in the International Court of Justice (ICJ)” for committing genocide in violation of the 1948 Geneva Convention. 
 
In his 2003 book, “Palestine, Palestinians, and International Law,” Boyle states that world governments and people of conscience should organize a comprehensive economic divestment/disinvestment campaign against Israel. It can be modeled after the successful South African anti-apartheid one. The 1973 International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid is the standard. It applies to Israel, defines apartheid as a “crime against humanity,” and calls guilty parties international criminals. 
 
In a May 20, 2002 Counterpunch article, Boyle wrote “In Defense of a Divestment Campaign Against Israel” and based it on his November 30, 2000 Illinois State University public lecture calling for a nationwide campaign. UC Berkeley Students for Justice in Palestine responded with their own. Others followed, including Palestinian students at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where Boyle teaches. Soon after, over 30 US campuses joined the effort and others later on. 
 
Faculties as well, including at the University of California where 143 professors petitioned the UC system “to use its influence – political and financial – to encourage the United States government and the government of Israel to respect human rights of the Palestinian people” and for divestment until Israel complies with international law. 
 
Last February, the London School of Economics Students Union (LSESU) voted overwhelmingly for its university and the National Union of Students (NUS) to divest from companies that have commercial and military ties to Israel.
 
On January 18 in the Electronic Intifada, Elna Sondergaard, Director of the Human Rights Program and American University (Cairo) Law Professor, said it’s “Time for Israel to be put on trial.” In the wake of the Gaza war, she cited atrocities and grievous crimes of war and against humanity that must not go unpunished.
 
“The crucial question is: To which courts of justice can Palestinian victims bring their claims?” Palestinian courts have no jurisdiction over Israeli crimes, and as stateless people can’t adjudicate before the ICC. They’re also denied “legal protection offered by classic interstate diplomacy,” and pursuing claims in Israeli courts is fruitless.
 
Sondergaard suggests doing it in other countries on the basis of universal jurisdiction, even though past efforts in Belgium, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and America were unsuccessful. She also suggests an “ad-hoc tribunal,” similar to what Boyle proposes, and said doing so “would cost the international community nothing.” Abstaining, however, would leave Gazans “without remedies and hope” and would encourage politicians and soldiers to think they’re immune and can get away with anything. “Thus,” she concludes, “we cannot allow these crimes to remain untried.” 
 
Nor can we abstain from boycotting, divesting, sanctioning, and expelling Israel from the UN System until it complies with international law, recognizes Palestinian self-determination, ends its illegal occupation, disbands its settlements, dismantles its Separation Wall, grants Israeli Arabs equal rights as Jews, and lets Palestinian refugees return home to their property or be paid just compensation if they prefer. A vibrant, committed, grassroots global BDS movement is crucial to achieving these goals.
 
Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net 
Also visit his blog site at http://sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to The Global Research News Hour on www.RepublicBroadcasting.org Monday through Friday at 10AM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with
distinguished guests on world and national issues. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.countercurrents.org/lendman250209.htm


thanks very much to one of our attentive readers, Rodney, who sent this video from Australian TV, where Shimon Peres makes one outrageous claim after another, including that the Gaza checkpoints have always been open. If you can stand someone lying through their teeth, this is the man for you.

 

WRITTEN BY M. Shahid Alam

 

As the United States prepares to escalate its eight-year war against the Taliban, it might be useful to weigh its chances of success.

 

Consider, first, the fate of three previous invasions of Afghanistan by two great European powers, Britain and Soviet Union, since the nineteenth century.

 

These invasions ended in defeat – for the Europeans.

 

The first British occupation of Kabul lasted for four years. When the British garrison retreated from Kabul in 1842, it was picked off by Ghilzai warriors as they trudged through the snow. Only one British officer, William Brydon, survived this harrowing retreat. This solitary survivor was memorialized in a haunting painting by Elizabeth Butler, titled, Remnants of an Army.

 

The British occupied Kabul a second time in 1878, withdrew a year later, leaving behind a British resident to keep an eye on the Afghans. They returned the same year, when their resident in Kabul was killed in an uprising. When the British withdrew in 1880, discretely, they did not insist on leaving behind a British resident.

 

Nearly a hundred years later, 30,000 Soviet troops, invading from the north, occupied Kabul in December 1979. In order to oppose the growing Afghan resistance, the Russians soon raised their troop strength to 100,000 but never controlled any areas beyond the limits of a few cities. With 15,000 deaths, and unable to sustain growing casualties, the Soviets retreated in February 1989.

 

Will the United States fare better than Britain or the Soviet Union?

In terms of logistics, British India and Soviet Union were better placed than the United States. Afghanistan was next-door neighbor to both. It is half a world away from the United States, which, as a result, depends on long rail and road transit through Pakistan to supply and re-supply its troops. Moreover, the supply routes – from Karachi to Kabul – are vulnerable to attacks by the Taliban and their allies in Pakistan.

 

Alternative land supply routes would have to pass through Russia or Iran. Russia might make these routes available, at a steep cost, and keep raising the cost as US troop concentration in Afghanistan rises. Dependence on the Russians may turn out to be trap. Almost certainly, the Iranians will refuse, since, to do so, would badly tarnish its image with Sunni Islam.

 

The Soviet and British invaders primarily had to deal with Afghan fighters. The Americans are fighting the Taliban on both sides of the Afghan border, who, besides the Pushtuns, also have help from several Jihadi groups based in Punjab and Pakistani Kashmir.

 

Pakistan, America’s indispensable ally in the war against the Taliban, is an unwilling partner at best; it is also unreliable. Pakistan army has been gang-pressed and bribed into fighting the Taliban, and, as a result, the war is not popular with the junior officers and soldiers. In a rising spiral, Pakistan’s war against the Taliban has provoked them to carry their war deeper into Pakistan. At some point, this could split the Pakistan army, intensify Taliban attacks on Islamabad and Lahore, or force Islamist and nationalist officers to take over and end Pakistan’s collaboration with the United States.

 

Under pressure, the Taliban could launch another attack inside India. After the attacks on Mumbai last November, India was threatening ‘surgical strikes’ against Pakistan, forcing Pakistan to divert its troops to the eastern front. Another Mumbai, followed by Indian surgical strikes against Pakistan, could produce consequences too horrendous to contemplate.

 

Are US objectives in Afghanistan so vital as to bring two nuclear powers to the brink of a war?

 

Iran was not much of a factor when British India and Soviet Union were fighting in Afghanistan. It is now. In Iraq, Iran favored the defeat of the Sunni insurgency once it had denied the United States a victory. In Afghanistan, Iran prefers to create a quagmire for the Americans, ensuring a long stalemate between them and the Taliban.

 

In light of the consequences that have flowed from the US presence in Afghanistan, who would advise an escalation? President Obama still has time to put on hold his plans to send more troops to Afghanistan. Instead, the best political minds around the world should be examining the least costly exit from a war that promises to become a quagmire, at best, and, at worst, a disaster, which no US objective in the region can justify.

 

Unless, dismantling the world’s only Islamicate country with the bomb is an objective worthy of such horrendous costs. 

M. Shahid Alam is professor of economics at Northeastern University. He is author of Challenging the New Orientalism (2007). Send comments to alqalam02760@yahoo.com. Visit the author’s website at http://aslama.org.

cartoon of the day

Posted: 02/23/2009 by editormary in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Mr Fish. Click to enlarge.

Palestinian women photojournalists: from taking photos of holy places to documenting burned babies

 

The first woman photojournalist in the Arab world was the Palestinian Karimeh Abbud (1896-1955)  

 

Palestinian women started taking photographs of families and holy places, ceremonies and weddings, but ended up taking pictures of bodies of killed young children, shelled schools ruined homes, and lots of blood

 

Research by exiled Palestinian journalist Iqbal Tamimi

 

Introduction 

The difficult circumstances in Palestine facing journalists in the occupied West Bank and Gaza forced many media establishments to choose employing local journalists who know the nature of the area, besides minimizing the amount of risks reporters and photojournalists face when covering clashes between Israelis and Palestinians in the Gaza.

 

This Essay will focus on Palestinian women photojournalists working within the Palestinian territories; thus excluding hundreds of Palestinian women journalists who are working all over the world after their families became refugees, or forced to exile.  

 

Early photography in Palestine

Photojournalism started after photography was introduced to Palestine in the late-nineteenth century by the British who undertook the first archaeological excavations in the Holy Land and tried to document their findings and the areas they investigated by pictures as Rachel Hallote reported (2007 pp 26-41). The British were followed by the Germans, and eventually by the Americans. Photography was introduced by people who came searching for evidence about biblical subjects and connections. Some elder Palestinians claimed that these excavations were part of a planned agenda to pave the way for the Jews to occupy Palestine well ahead the Nazi’s aggression on the European Jews. Americans were deeply involved in the archaeological photography in Palestine, but the British Palestine Exploration Fund dominated the photography activities in Palestine since the 1860s.

Photojournalism in Palestine is considered a male dominated profession as is the case in almost all Middle Eastern countries, but Palestine has always been the first country within the Arab world to offer women the opportunity to be in the lead to break old social moulds when it comes to pioneering work and education for women. As an example the first Arab woman to hold an academic title as a professor and to establish an institute in a western country was the Palestinian Kulthum Odeh (1892 -1965) as Tamimi (2008) reported.

During the same period another woman from the same city of Nazerath named Karimeh Abbud (1896-1955) was the first Palestinian woman to become a professional photographer. Karimeh lived and worked in Palestine in the first half of the twentieth century, research shows that she might have been the first female professional photographer not just in Palestine but in the entire East. Karima had her education in Nazareth, and at the Schmidt Girls School in Jerusalem, and the American University of Beirut in Lebanon.

 

Ahmed Mrowat (2007 p 72-78) reported that Abbud started photography in 1913 in Bethlehem after receiving a camera from her father as a gift for her 17th birthday. Her first photos were of family, friends and the landscape in Bethlehem. Her first signed picture available at present is dated October 1919. She started by setting up a home studio, earning money by taking photos of women, children, weddings and other ceremonies. She also took numerous photos of public spaces in Haifa, Nazareth, Bethlehem and Tiberias. When local Nazareth photographer Fadil Saba moved to Haifa 1930, Karimeh’s studio work was in high demand. The work she produced in that period was stamped in Arabic and English with the words: “Karimeh Abbud – Lady Photographer. She took photos of areas that have religious significance like Kafr Kanna in the Galilee associated with the Cana village where Jesus biblical stories claimed he turned water into wine. This village flourished in the 16th century, as it lay on the trade route between Egypt and Syria. Karimeh also took pictures of Mary’s Well near Nazareth or “The spring of the Virgin Mary“) which is reputed to be located at the site where the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and announced that she would bear a son. The well was positioned over an underground spring that served for centuries as a local watering hole for the Arab villagers.

In the mid-1930s, she began offering hand-painted copies of studio photographs. In a 1941 letter to her cousins, she expresses her desire to prepare a publicly printed album for her photographic work. According to Mrowat (2007) Karimeh ultimately returned to Nazareth, where she died in 1955. Original copies of her extensive portfolio have been collected together by Ahmed Mrowat, Director of the Nazareth Archives Project. In 2006, Boki Boazz, an Israeli antiquities collector, discovered over 400 original prints of Abbud’s in a home in the Qatamon quarter of Jerusalem that had been abandoned by its owners in 1948. Mrowat has expanded his collection by purchasing the photos from Boazz, many of which are signed by the artist.

 

While Palestinian male photojournalists started few years earlier than Karimeh as Nassar reported (2006 pp. 139-155) it was Yessayi Garabedian the leader of the Armenian Patriarchate in Jerusalem who started the first photographic workshop in Palestine. One of Garabedian’s pupils was the famous Garabed Krikorian as Ankori (2006 p36) reported that he established his photographic studio in the Old City of Jerusalem and worked in it from 1885 until 1948. Krikorian was entrusted to prepare the famous Sultan Abdul Hamid Albums on Palestine and later became the official photographer of Kaiser Wilhelm II during his visit to Palestine in 1899. Krikorian worked in his workshop for over forty years. His son Johannes travelled to Cologne in Germany to further his photographic training and came back after years of study and training to become the preeminent studio photographer in Jerusalem.

 

Another of Garabed’s students was Khalil Raad who opened his studio in 1890, across the street from the Krikorian studio, leading to intense competition between the two pioneering photographers. Peace was found when Raad’s niece, Najla Raad was betrothed to Johannes Krikorian and she became known as the peace bride. But unfortunately the historic photographic studio was tragically destroyed in 1948 by the Jews during their attacks on the city. 

 

Palestinian women photojournalists now 

I requested some information from The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics in the Palestinian Authorities for (2008) regarding the percentage of female Palestinian photojournalists registered officially, the Palestinian authorities statistics built its findings on ownership documents of photography studios showing that there are 201 Palestinian female photographers in the West Bank of a total of 984 photographers, 783 are males. This statistic was obtained from officially registered studios excluding the number of photographers in Gaza where it is difficult to obtain statistics by the Palestinian Authorities, besides there is a number of journalists who are not registered officially. A female photojournalist in Gaza Eman Mohammed explained to me the amount of social difficulty she faced for stepping in a male’s territory, she also expressed her determination to overcome obstacles as she said “going to take photos at invasions, airstrikes, violent demonstrations, and hot zones seemed like the only way to prove to everyone that I can handle this job, but I could never go there without getting verbally offended or harassed”.

 

Eman mentioned violent demonstrations, invasions, and airstrikes for her subjects unlike the subjects documented by Karimeh, because she had no other choices for such subjects are part of everyday life in Palestine. Should she had another choice maybe she would choose to take photos of fashion shows or festivals, art galleries or anything that is not related to death and destruction, but this is her city and this was the hard reality she had to face.

 

During the Visa pour l’image international photojournalism festival in Perpignan, France, from August 29 to September 11, 2005 Jack Crager (2005 p10, 15) reported that the exhibitions featured reflected individual photographers’ efforts to highlight major trends, during the exhibition all three participating Palestinian photographers’ images were of funerals in the Gaza Strip. Burgess (1994 p20-22) also reported that during the 1994 World Press Photo annual awards in Amsterdam, the top award went to Larry Towell’s image of Palestinian boys playing with guns for the camera. Palestinian photojournalists do not only witness and document attacks, they become sometimes part of such bigger picture. Smyth (2005 p12-14) wrote a feature article about three Palestinian photojournalists and brothers based in the Gaza strip who are employed by Reuters. Smyth reported that their work regularly takes them to scenes of chaos and destruction in which they are sometimes, inevitably, involved and face the possibilities of injury, she wrote of Jadallah one of the three Palestinian brothers photographers being injured four times through his work, and she reported on the more tragically still, funerals they have to cover that is often involve friends and relatives. Smyth argues that their intimate knowledge of Gaza that allowed the brothers to take photographs different to those of Western photographers based in the area. Sure if you are part of a place you would see things differently because you are not only doing your job, you are affected by what you are trying to capture from another angle, you are not totally independent of your emotions. 

 

Eman like almost all other Palestinian photojournalists could not get official training so she was trained as an individual by several photojournalists, and she had to convince her community that photography was only ‘just a hobby, not a lifetime career’ to escape more scrutiny. She had worked for different agencies for free just to have her pictures published.

 

Unlike Eman, Enas Mraih another Palestinian female photojournalist she was lucky to work with Alhadath newspaper published in Palestinian territories occupied 1948 called now ‘Israel’. She was invited to Denmark to participate in a workshop with 28 other journalists from 6 countries: Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Occupied Palestinian territories of 1967, Besides Israel and the country host. Enas was even chosen to be on the cover of ‘Crossing Borders’ a magazine published in Denmark and circulated in the Arab world. Enas was accompanied by another two Palestinian women photojournalists; they were Kholoud Masalhah, and Qamar Thaher. Enas was more fortunate than other female Palestinian photojournalists in being able to participate few times in conferences to discuss the Palestinian Israeli conflict, and the struggle of Palestinians fighting for the right to be treated equally like Jewish citizens living in the same state holding the same Citizenship, but still suffer racial discrimination by the Israeli government for being Israeli Arabs.

 

Laila Abu Odeh is another female photojournalist working in Rafah who was a victim of aggression by Israeli forces; she was shot in her thigh by the Israeli soldiers while filming the destruction caused by the Israeli shelling of The Rafah Camp near Salah Eddin Gate on the 20th of April 2001.

 

Palestinian women started taking pictures of families and holy places, ceremonies and weddings because this was part of every day life, but ended up taking pictures of bodies of killed young children, shelled schools and homes, and lots of blood including their own for the same reason. Having been living in an area where everything is disputed including the rights of journalists, there are no institutions those women can request assistance from for training or protection. They are women armed with cameras chasing the truth no matter what the consequences are. Some of them end up in jail like Isra’a el-Amarna the photojournalist from Dheisheh refugee camp who has been detained by the Israeli occupation authorities. Isra’a was working in photography to support her poor family when the Israeli occupation authorities arrested her on accusation of membership to Qassam Brigades, and that she had the intention to carry out a martyrdom operation. A camera is as powerful as a gun but those who use cameras are not the coward ones.

 

Bibliography

Katz, Lee M. (2000) Life, limb, & a deadline to meet Editor & Publisher 11/20/2000, Vol. 133 Issue 47, p14 

 

Hallote, R. (2007) Photography The American Contribution To Early Biblical Archaeology 1870-1920. Near Eastern Archaeology 70 no1 pp 26-41

Tamimi, I.  (2008)  The Palestinian Kulthum Odeh (1892 -1965) the first woman to hold the professor title in the Arab world, London Progressive Journal. Issue 41 October 2008

Mrowat. A (2007) Karimeh Abbud: Early Woman Photographer (1896-1955) Jerusalem Quarterly (Institute of Jerusalem Studies) Issue 31: p. 72-78

 

Mrowat, A (2007) Photography As Ethnographic History. Depiction of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict since 1948, The Institute of Jerusalem Studies.  

 

Nassar, I. (2006) Familial Snapshots: Representing Palestine in the Work of the First Local Photographers History & Memory – Volume 18, Number 2, Fall/Winter 2006, pp. 139-155 Indiana University Press.

Ankori. G. (2006) Palestinian Art Reaction Books, London P36

Mohammed, E. (2008) Proud with no pride of the “me” I choose to be Voices from the Frontline. Available online at: http://www.peacexpeace.org/content/en/yourstory/write?memoir=148&showhidden=hb8fea1a312984aae10183bef02bd1f26 accessed 20/1/2009

Crager, J. (2005) See it now American Photo v. 16 no. 5 (September/October 2005) p. 10, 12

 

Burgess, N. (1994) Going Dutch British Journal of Photography v. 141 (June 8 1994) p. 20-2

 

Smyth, D. (2005) Funeral days British Journal of Photography v. 152 (September 7 2005) p. 12-14

 

WRITTEN BY Franklin Lamb  

Ain el Helwe Palestinian Refugee Camp, Lebanon

“Whatever will happen in the future, we shall not repeat the mistakes we made in leaving Gaza.” – Shimon Peres to members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, 2/18/09. 

“You take my water. Burn my Olive Trees. Destroy my house. Take my job. Steal my Land. Imprison my Mother. Bomb my country. Starve us all. Humiliate us all. But I am to blame:  I shot a rocket back”. – Sign carried near Hyde Park Corner during a demonstration in London on 2/15/09 by a Member of the British Parliament.

  

Israeli President Shimon Peres has participated in shaping the policies of Israel for most of its existence. His Washington Post Op-Ed last week billed as ‘a peace partners prod’ to the Obama administration, evidences a major disconnect within the government of Israel concerning what is urgently required for that country’s increasingly unlikely long-term survival.

 

According to a CIA study currently being shown to selected staff members on the US Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Israel’s survival in its present form beyond the next 20 years is doubtful.

 

The Report predicts “an inexorable movement away from a Two State to a One State solution, as the most viable model based on democratic principles of full equality that sheds the looming specter of colonial Apartheid while allowing for the return of the 1947/1948 and 1967 refugees. The latter being the precondition for sustainable peace in the region.”

 

To President Peres’ chagrin, the Executive Summary states that “during the next fifteen years more than two million Israelis, including some 500,000 Israeli citizens who currently hold US green cards or passports will move to the United States. Most Israelis not in possession of these documents will receive ‘expedited waivers’. The Report claims that “Alongside a decline in Jewish births and a rise in Palestinian fertility, approximately 1.6 million Israelis are likely to return to their forefather’s lands in Russia and Eastern and Western Europe with scores of thousands electing to stay, depending on the nature of the transition.”

 

In his Washington Post Op-ed piece President Peres desperately attempts to salvage a two state solution from a one, a three or even a four ‘state’ arrangement. He appears to realize that a two state solution is seriously jeopardized unless Israel dramatically and quickly changes course. With the tacking to the right in Israel and the likely make up of the next government once Peres selects Livni or Netanyahu in the next few days, and given the swelling mood among the occupied in favor of another Intifada, Peres plaintively asserts to the Obama administration that “a two states is the only realistic solution”.

 

Peres instructed the American people and their government three times in his Op-Ed brief for a two state solution, that Israel is “the land of my forefathers’. He laments that the CIA predicted One State Solution would “Undermine Israel’s legitimacy and the internationally recognized right to exist as a sovereign Jewish state in the land of my forefathers.”

 

Peres knows that his forefathers had no connection whatsoever to Palestine as is the case with more than 95% of the Zionists who swept into the area over the past century and demolished close to 600 villages while expelling a majority of the native population. Historians have established that most arriving Jews were in fact Slavic converts to Judaism without any historical or genealogical nexus to Palestine or Hebrew tribes in the area.

 

Against the historical backdrop of the past century of nearly global rejection of colonialism, his claim of settled international acceptance of “Israel’s legitimacy” is a major stretch. “Legitimacy” is what the conflict continues to be about – whether a 19th Century colonial enterprise can violently uproot and massacre an indigenous population taking over a land declaring God promised it to them, as they terrorize and expel the local inhabitants. Contrary to Peres’ claim of Israel as a ‘legitimate State’, there is no internationally recognized right for Israel to exist on stolen land without the consent of the dispossessed. Peres assures his American benefactors that Israel’s legitimacy is based “in international law or morality”. In point of fact, both International law and morality require the right of return of those whose lands were taken and lifting the brutal occupation. Surely Peres is aware, as the CIA Report asserts, that a majority of the 192 countries which make up the membership of the United Nations would vote this evening to establish one State of Palestine if given the chance.

 

The Report concludes that what went wrong will be debated for many years. In essence the problem was the premise, that a ‘chosen people’ with no link or rights to a land could impose a state by force. Many Middle East observers believe that the Two State solution is essentially over, but for the packing, finger pointing and assuredly more violence.

 

Increasingly repelled by Israeli crimes, the international community is moving toward the majority position of Palestinians and is coming to believe that the realistic solution to the Middle East conflict is one State, secular, multicultural, democratic, and based on one person one vote.

 

Peres is loath to accept One State and claims, in promoting a two-state solution, that he has “personally witnessed the remarkable progress we have made with the Palestinian Authority in recent years”.

Does he AS in mind the increasing bantusization (what Chomsky calls “unviable fragments”) the ever snaking apartheid wall and other barriers, the illegal outposts which increased yet again last year? The blockade of and depraved slaughter in Gaza?

 

Or does President Peres have in mind this week’s announcement by outgoing Prime Minister Olmert that Israel has the right to keep building in large West Bank settlement blocs, including Efrat, by adding 423 acres so that 21,000 more residents can join the current 9,000, according to Efrat mayor Oded Revivi? Olmert claims its part of the annexation that will be considered in a future final peace deal with the Palestinians.

 

President Peres, has passed nearly a lifetime devoted to undermining prospects for a viable Palestinian state and offering a wink and nod to the building of more than 430 colonies while offering lip service to the ‘peace process’. His ‘Message to the American People’ fails to communicate what the Israeli and Palestinian public knows well about the real nature of the Two State option he has in mind and which he considers to be “the best resolution to this age-old conflict.” Both populations know that the Two State option that long time politician Peres has consistently run on, is the Yigal Allon Plan.

 

The Allon scheme to expel the Arab population from Palestine has been Peres’ electoral platform during his campaigns in 1974, 1977, 1981, 1984, and 1987 and it shaped Israel’s settlement policies from 1967-1977. Peres worked to make the Allon Plan part of the 1978 Camp David agreement and 1993 Oslo Accords.

 

As the American public begins to stir from its long slumber on the Question of Palestine and hopefully dramatically changes its Middle East policy, it should consider that the Peres favored ‘moderate’ Allon Plan continues to be Israeli policy. As formulated by its author and adhered to by successive Israel governments, it contains the following “moderate” elements:

 

– seeking “maximum land with minimum Arabs;”

– annexing approximately 40% of the West Bank and Gaza, taking the choicest parts;

– dispossessing Palestinians from land Israel wants for Jews.

 

After Israel’s attack in 1967, Allon presented to the cabinet a solution to the Arab problem. The Allon Plan called for annexing the following areas: “a strip of land ten to fifteen kilometers wide along the Jordan River; most of the Judean desert along the Dead Sea; and a substantial area around Greater Jerusalem, including the Latrun salient.” The plan was crafted to include as few Arabs as possible in the area claimed for Israel and included building permanent colonies and army bases in these areas.

 

The two state solution that Peres is trying to sell the American public and administration is a Palestinian ‘state’ in 76.6% of the West Bank, carved up into sealed enclaves, with the largest of the 430 plus settlements/colonies remaining in place under Israeli sovereignty. Israel would take another 13.3% outright and continue to occupy the remaining 10.1% for a period of up to thirty years. During this period Israel would continue building new and expanding current settlement/colonies. The above percentages do not include the subtracted East Jerusalem and the territorial waters of the Dead Sea. In point of fact the 76% offer is based not on 100% of the occupied territories, but merely those parts that Israel was willing to discuss. Consequently, the “just and moral solution” President Peres favors would amount to slightly less than 16% of historic Palestine being given to those driven from their homes and land.

 

Peres claims Israel has worked tirelessly for peace. Yet the record is clear that Israel has only worked tirelessly for expansion at the expense of the indigenous Arab population while obstructing more than two dozen ‘peace initiatives’ over six decades, while targeting the Palestinian people, culture, and economy.

 

Peres claims in his Op-Ed that Libyan leader Qadaffi agrees with Israel it deserves Palestine and that “this is salient in his fundamental and central premise that the Jewish people want and deserve their homeland.” Peres takes Qadaffis’ words out of contest and misrepresents his thesis which in fact calls for one State shared by both peoples. Qadaffi insists that the Middle East welcomes Judaism but not racist Zionism. It is the latter which underpins the founding of Israel and which has led to history’s condemnation.

 

As the President of Israel seeks yet more indulgence and largesse from the American taxpayers and the Obama administration, there is something he can do to shore up waning trust and waxing disillusionment with the two state option. He can announce immediately that he fully accepts UN Security Council Resolution 242 and advocates the removal of all settlements and the total withdrawal of the Israeli military from the West Bank and Gaza.

 

Israel’s President urges the American people and government to, “commit our most concerted effort to allow two states to flourish.” Unless he and his fellow leaders of Israel are prepared, without further delay, to commit to a complete withdrawal to the June 4, 1967 armistice line, in a serious effort at peace, Israel will continue to lose American and International support and One State is the likely future for Palestine.

Israeli President Peres can avert his eyes from reality, but the Obama administration and the American people cannot afford this fatal delusion.

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.

cartoon of the day

Posted: 02/21/2009 by editormary in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

click to enlarge. By Juan Kalvellido

Over three years ago, an idea took shape. That idea was to create a network of activists that would share their material, translating things they considered important from one language, and in exchange, they would be able to circulate things translated by others. We hoped that we could contribute to a more active, involved discourse in our own milieus that would not limited by language. We believed that a good article was like a painting or a song, if it had something to communicate, it could be appreciated in a different context, and we wanted to spread the ideas around as much as we could. We already liked some of the same authors, some of the same sources, and had a common view of the major issues, not less important, we shared a bond of friendship and trust. It was intended to be “for private use”, for our mailing lists, newsgroups, blogs and personal research. We didn’t create it with the intention of making it become a site. Yet, after four months of collaboration, that group of people decided it would be a good idea to share the material we were quickly compiling in great quantity with others. There was no other solution but to open a site, which we launched officially on this day. www.tlaxcala.es

Tlaxcala at the time was a loose assembly of about 25 translator-activists who decided to pool their resources and work in a coalition by agreeing to a common ideal. There have been translation collectives before, and many sites have staff that translates, and most of us had been translating for one site or another as volunteers for a few years, so we weren’t inventing anything new when we started, but there was indeed something “different” about Tlaxcala. The difference of Tlaxcala with other groups is still quite obvious to those of us who answered that first calling to “form a group of anti-imperialist translators”. We have maintained that focus, translating a staggering quantity of material, broadening our vision as a group, but also as individuals. We are trying to keep awareness on what the struggle against “Empire” really is. Together we have discovered how the only way to support liberation from the domination of Empire (be it military, economic, cultural, social, religious, political) is to actively participate, reclaiming the miracle and the mystery of diversity, exalting it even, while making the connection between every struggle, finding their commonalities as well as discovering their unique aspects, and discovering that there are more than a few rays of hope filtering in, and the mainstream media doesn’t seem to want to let people know.

Hegemonic thinking exists in every society, anywhere there is a need for consensus. It is not necessarily damaging to the causes of liberation, and indeed, there are corners of the world where “the people” are influencing “the power elite”, and this too is important news to share. An example among many, for three days the Italian media was hounding about the “mania of dictatorship of Chavez”. The mainstream must have been convinced it was enough to paint him as a megalomaniac and dangerous demagogue, after all, they use the same “Rogue State” menu that they are taught to use by the US. Apparently, it’s easy to call someone a dictator when there is a belief that “the people would not let this happen” and it was basically a given that the Venezuelan referendum would not pass. When it actually did pass, all of a sudden there was silence, this kind of consensus doesn’t seem to find any air time between one fluff story and another. More than that, it would have created a difficult situation to handle: either implying that Venezuelans do not know what democracy is, or that our mass media was busy using a propagandistic element with the Italian public. Either way, they took the easy way out and simply made that story disappear.

Tlaxcala is a group that exists in the realm of language, one that places the struggle for freedom, peace and justice in that sphere. Language is the basis of human existence. We came into a world that was already loaded with meaning, and we learn its codes, its mores and its limits through words. Indeed, our own existence is moulded by the language that we discover, each one of us on our own. It should not be surprising that activists are not expected only to vote or march when called to do so, they are aware of the important position that discourse always has had, of how it evolves, of the way it becomes an action itself, and for an activist-translator, action and language merge their boundaries, they unite into a single instrument.

Since the founding of Tlaxcala, we have grown in number and in dedication. We have obviously fulfilled our purpose of translating material (we now also subtitle videos and have an audio-visual section on our site, in addition to coordinating or supporting international campaigns and petitions), but more than that, we have grown into “Tlaxcala”: an international group with a distinctive character. Not only that, Tlaxcala this month, due to exponential increase in its user base, is upgrading the site, which will be easier to navigate, and will integrate more language pages and with improved features. But the site is only the aspect of Tlaxcala that others see. Tlaxcala is very much more than that.

It actually is hard for me to describe what Tlaxcala really is. Without being a party, sect, social network or NGO, it has managed to create a strong community. There is a human bond and connection of respect, admiration, collaboration and commitment that is so rare it actually does stand out when it happens. I don’t believe a day has gone by when I haven’t learned something, from improving my language skills to learning about the situation in another country to finding out information that otherwise would have been very difficult for me to obtain. I don’t think I would exaggerate to say that many members of Tlaxcala can attest to the same thing. Additionally, I have come into contact with so many outstanding people, people with brilliant minds, generous hearts, a sense of humour, compassion, talent. Every new member brings a whole new patrimony to our group, it is like discovering a new branch on a family tree. Each new member is reason for celebration. This is not to say there are not passionate disputes, that we sit around the campfire singing Kumbayah, but the bond that unites us is strong enough to ALLOW room for debate, dispute and discussion. This is the private side of Tlaxcala, and it is a source of enrichment for those who participate.

Three questions were posed to our members, so that words could convey the relationship between the aspect as an activist and as a translator. Here are replies to these questions from some of our members: I asked them to reply in a language I understood, and I hope the readers of this can also understand the material that is not in English. Check the Tlaxcala site, who knows if it won’t be translated into other languages!?

1)    Do you believe that your participation in our collective has affected your own activism?

Adib: Collective work is always creative and stirs activism and new ideas, man is a social animal, thus always learns from others.  

Atenea: Without a doubt. I believe that activism is about putting your life experience and education at the service of political causes that you strongly support and believe in. Tlaxcala has become one of the key places where I have been able to combine both my profession and principles to contribute, and it has shown me many a times that collective activism is powerful and effective.

Carlos: Naturalmente que si. Primeramente, porque aprendo cada día un oficio que no me es propio, el de traductor, de muy buenos traductores de todo el mundo. Segundo, porque a través de Tlaxcala se produce un importante intercambio de información que es de gran utilidad en otras actividades que hago en redes y organizaciones, con lo que Tlaxcala transciende más allá del  grupo en sí. Tercero porque aporta un enfoque amplio en matices pero bastante estructurado que conforma un tapiz de lo que podríamos considerar una corriente universal de izquierdas en la que es posible y grato trabajar hasta el punto de lamentar muchas veces no disponer del tiempo suficiente para hacerlo. 

Cristina: Mi activismo está ya muy activado, pero Tlaxcala me permite estar al día y acceder a información que de otra manera, a lo mejor, no tenía y propagarla por el mundo.

Diego: Beh, non mi sento un attivista o, almeno, non ritengo paragonabile quello che faccio ad una qualsivoglia forma di attivismo. Detto questo, mi fa piacere far parte di una comunità di persone umane, serie ed intelligenti che, loro sì, hanno molto da insegnare e da cui sono orgoglioso di poter apprendere. Soprattutto, Tlaxcala è un modo per evadere dalla nostra miserabile condizione italiana, soprattutto per evadere dal mare di soprusi e bugie in cui affoghiamo. Tlaxcala, senza retorica, non è solo un modo per conoscere nuova gente e mentalità diverse ma, per me, è una via per far sapere alle persone degli altri paesi che qui in Italia siamo ancora molti a non arrendersi a questo declino morale e sociale che ci sta inghiottendo. In condizioni normali, le idee o gli articoli degli autori che spesso “traduco” circolerebbero senza troppi problemi attraverso i normali canali. Ma non viviamo in condizioni normali e quindi ritengo di dover fare qualcosa per fare sapere almeno all’estero che qui in Italia abbiamo tante persone che meritano di essere ascoltate. E d’altro canto, cercare di contribuire a diffondere le notizie di avvenimenti esteri che qui da noi vengono spudoratamente filtrati, manipolati o censurati. Cmq faccio tutto questo sempre nella consapevolezza che poter scrivere e fare queste cose è un lusso che probabilmente la maggioranza della popolazione mondiale non può permettersi avendo necessità di sopravvivere. E’ uno dei tanti sensi di colpa che mi tormentano da sempre: se ragionassi come molti, dovrei godermi di più la vita proprio per rispetto di chi è meno fortunato, proprio come quando i genitori rimproverano i figli che non consumano fino in fondo il proprio pasto “per rispetto ai bimbi africani”. E’ sbagliato, è come dire che bisogna consumare di più per rispetto di chi non ha niente. In realtà, bisognerebbe rinunciare concretamente ad una parte di quel che abbiamo affinché i bisogni di qualcun altro possano essere soddisfatti. Questa è l’unica via. E, a parte la rinuncia concreta che mi impongo su molte cose, Tlaxcala è un modo come diversi altri per sentirsi più vicini a quelle persone, nella speranza che mi trasmettano un po’ della loro dignità.

 

Dima: it restored my faith in collective activism…

Esteban: Yes, I’m more attentive with the various opinions.

Kourosh: Definitely. Tlaxcala has contributed to my progression immensely. Since I was invited to join the network by Manuel Talens and Mary Rizzo, I made the acquaintance of a number of mindful, intellectual, prosperous and inspirational people who are unassumingly ready for any kind of sacrifice and commitment.

Following my admission into the network, my interviews and articles, fortunately, achieved a broad feedback and reflection internationally, thanks to the constructive contribution and involvement of worldwide translators who work under the umbrella of Tlaxcala, the network of translators for linguistic diversity.

 

As a journalist who pays a high priority to the circulation of his message and the wide distribution of his productions, I’m exceptionally satisfied that my articles, interviews and reports were translated into Arabic, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Swedish and a couple of other languages pursuant to the precious and worthwhile endeavors of Tlaxcalains. I hope this could help the world to hear our call for peace, equality, improvement, tranquility and brotherhood.

 

Manuel: Le ha dado una visión mundial y ha eliminado cualquier resto de nacionalismo que pudiera quedar en mi.

Nadia:  No sólo ha afectado mi activismo, sino que cada día le da forma, de la mayor consistencia. Tlaxcala para mi es algo más, mucho más que un grupo de activistas procedentes de distintos lugares del mundo que comparten ciertos ideales, que persiguen ciertas metas en común, es una escuela, una escuela en la que perfeccionamos nuestras habilidades linguisticas, pero además, y más importante, trabajamos para construir un mundo mejor, un mundo sin exclusiones, sin prejuicios, un mundo en el que todos podamos ver más allá de la punta de nuestras narices. 

Susanne: I am a member of the local WDM (World Development Movement) group and I have been sharing some of the articles and videos with them. The articles I read on and translate for Tlaxcala provide me with view from those that are marginalised or completely ignored in the mainstream media and that helps to inform my own activism.

2)     What feelings and thoughts come to you when you are translating and then when you see your translations published?

Adib: The world is a global village; so you have to know what your next door neighbor and friend believes in to be able to associate with him in a civil manner so as both of you benefit from each other’s work, unless that next door neighbor is an intruding enemy who plans to expand to your living and bed rooms, then kick you out and replace you in them as we Palestinians are suffering with our intruding unwanted “guests”.. Translation helps you to know both your friend, to ally with him, and your enemy, to confront him and put an end to his atrocities. Know both your enemies and friends. Unfortunately what we learned from our enemy is that he is not willing to learn from his own mistakes… We learned that our enemy is digging its grave with its own hands.

When you see your translations published you earn satisfaction as you know that your time was not wasted, on the contrary it benefits others.

 

 

Atenea: I only choose to translate those articles and essays that resonate with my political convictions and interests, so the experience is always rewarding as every time I learn and/or open new windows to further strengthen my position in specific issues. I try to stay away from well-known authors in alternative media as I find it more urgent to lend my skills and profession to convey the ideas and thoughts of those who are not so popular but equally incisive and sharp. Publication and re-publication in other sites only means that we are achieving our goal as a group: giving a voice to those who would otherwise remain unheard, offering people a view into the other side of the (hi)story, and counteracting and counterbalancing the enormous amount of mainstream so-called information that bombards the world 24/7.

Carlos: Si la conciencia colectiva de una comunidad es su idioma, el esfuerzo de traducir a otra lengua diferente de la tuya, la materna, es adentrarse en un horizonte nuevo y abrirse a una nueva mentalidad, y así es como acometo un texto, que escojo en función de varias consideraciones y no sólo de mis preferencias personales puesto que influye la actualidad, la relevancia de lo tratado, los hechos que rodean el texto, su autor, etc..

Cuando un trabajo se ve después publicado pienso en la utilidad que pueda tener y para quién puede tenerla. Busco vestigios de errores y trato de tenerlos en cuenta para la siguiente traducción y también para escoger un nuevo texto. De unos trabajos te sientes más satisfecho que de otros pero, como los temporales en la mar, el peor siempre es el último.

Cristina: Hay veces (me acaba de pasar con un tema de Venezuela) en que me apasiono e implico de tal modo que me sale una traducción con mucha vida y yo llego a emocionarme. ¡Ésas son las mejores! 
No he visto aún ninguna traducción mía publicada porque soy una novata entre vosotros.

Diego: Nell’ordine: camuffare in qualche modo la mia limitata conoscenza della lingua straniera; evitare fraintendimenti e possibili querele (che da noi sono molto di moda) sperare di non commettere troppi errori, visto che tu ed altri dovete sobbarcarvi le revisioni. Quanto alle pubblicazioni fanno piacere ma più che altro implicano la possibilità che ancor più persone possano leggerle.

Dima: I recognise the importance of what we’re doing as translators, seeing the translations on the web affirms my commitment. it’s only a shame I can’t contribute as frequently as i would like to..

Esteban: Je n’en tire aucune gratification personnelle, le seul fait de savoir que le texte d’un auteur engagé pour les mêmes idées que moi sera certainement lu par des personnes qui n’auraient jamais pu le lire et par conséquent n’auraient pas pu avoir une information parallèle ou un avis en dehors du cadre de la pensée unique m’incite à catalyser les deux parties. Tous les textes de Tlaxcala (et d’autres sites également) ne seront jamais imprimés dans la presse impérialiste, et pourtant avec Tlaxcala ils sont à la portée de tout un chacun afin qu’il s’interroge et s’aperçoivent comment les médias manipulent les consciences. Le niveau des textes étant élevé, Tlaxcala est un excellent vecteur d’information, d’apprentissage, de formation et de stimulateur à la lutte.

Kourosh: At the time of writing and translating, I just try to set focus on the job which is assigned to me; a genuine concentration. Due to the overwhelming clutter of works which usually entangle me, sometimes I can not manage to draw the projects to a close and finish up the works timely, for which I should apologize to all of the Tlaxcalains; however, that’s a source of honor and pride for me to see an abundant trust and confidence which the people bestow upon me.

Manuel: Como cualquier otro traductor implicado en un trabajo político colectivo y voluntario, escojo los textos en función de mis propias preferencias. En el proceso de traducción procuro plasmar las ideas del autor original de la manera más clara posible y con la mayor corrección estilística de la que soy capaz. El lector se merece siempre un buen texto. Cuando veo mis traducciones publicadas suelo estar ya haciendo alguna nueva, así que nunca vuelvo la vista atrás.

Nadia: Una traducción publicada es un nuevo cohete qassam lanzado en contra de la ocupación de la que somos objeto, es un acto de protesta y por ende de resistencia. Tal como los combatientes que en algún rincón del mundo elaboran rudimentarias armas para defenderse de aquellos que los oprimen, nosotros, con nuestras traducciones también reivindicamos nuestro derecho a luchar elaborando cada una de nuestras traducciones. En el proceso dejamos el alma, no hay traducción que no cuente, que no aporte, cada una de ellas representa nuestro grito de protesta, ese grito que, como decía el subcomandante marcos, se sumará al de otros en distintos rincones del mundo hasta finalmente ser escuchado por aquellos que resisten y luchan con las armas en nuestro nombre, porque todos somos combatientes, todos somos palestinos, subsaharianos, iraquíes, tibetanos, todos empuñamos la misma arma.

Susanne: Some of the articles in particular made me think about how the things are connected and how the response in the Western corporate media just doesn’t reflect the severity of some conflicts and the suffering in the world because of some powerful interests, it’s like a script being followed. I have noticed how my translations appear on a number of blogs after publication on Tlaxcala, for all those readers who want to get beyond the scripted reporting in the corporate media. It makes me happy.

3)     Have you gained in a personal way from participation in our collective, or have you lost something?

 

Adib: Definitely both in a personal and collective way. How could anybody lose in collective work. Collective efforts is like yeast that matures dough that becomes good bread when baked thus you have your fill that is consumed with pleasure.

Atenea: No original answer here: I have gained a solid network of compañeros whom I share a world and life view with, a really big thing when you actually think about it. I have lost some free time, but have become a more creative time manager!

Carlos: Aparte de algunas clases de saxofón he perdido poca cosa comparado con lo mucho que he ganado, lo más importante de todo: estar en contacto con un creciente grupo de personas extraordinarias, lo cual sería imposible de otra forma. He ganado también  aprendizaje y  posibilidades de expresión. Desde cualquier punto de vista personal la experiencia es enormemente positiva.

Cristina: He ganado el participar en un proyecto como Tlaxcala del que soy admiradora hace años.
Me enorgullece formar parte de un grupo de gente tan luchador, generoso, valiente con cuyas metas y puntos de vista coincido al cien por cien.
No pierdo nada, porque el tiempo empleado me parece un granito más de arena en la montaña que pare la injusticia.

 

Diego: Mi pare di aver risposto in parte già nella prima. Cmq, più che altro, mi pare di star “rincretinendomi”. Ma forse dipende dal fatto che è Tlaxcala stessa ad essere probabilmente qualcosa di un po’ “folle”.

 

Dima: I like being in a world-wide collective and I intend to plan some trips to countries when some Tlaxcala members have a spare bed for me to lie on (watch out everyone!)

 

Esteban: Comme j’ai dit dans la phrase en rouge ci-dessus, elle est pour moi EN PREMIER. Et donc j’ai gagné sur mon chemin personnel et j’espère encore gagner dans mon apprentissage sur les couleurs du monde, dans ma façon de penser et de réagir. Il faut dire que l’activité intense de beaucoup de militants au sein de l’association incite à aller de l’avant.

 

Je profite de ce questionnaire pour dire que : il est vrai que j’ai des préférences pour des textes et des auteurs, mais je n’ai AUCUNE retenue pour les luttes et les combats des peuples, ethnies, communautés ou individu contre l’impérialisme aliénateur. De même, il y a quelquefois des textes auxquels je n’adhère pas entièrement, alors, je m’abstiens de traduire ou de commenter ; pour autant si une majorité des membres actifs pense que ce texte peut être positif pour les luttes (même s’il n’a pas la radicalité qui me convient), alors je m’investis dans cette optique, ET JE L’ASSUME (« Je l’assume » c’est la seule raison qui me fait signer à la fin, sinon je signerais « le collectif »).

 

it’s a part of me…

Kourosh: Undisputedly, working in Tlaxcala added some new values to me. A beneficial sort of communal cooperation with a group of admirable people who are enthusiastic about their works, making new contacts with people who understand the reality of pure dedication, commitment and pledge, fueling the process of advantageous movements to help the oppressed, needy and impoverished worldwide and finally, acting upon the responsibilities which I believe are allocated to me.

Manuel: He ganado un horizonte sin fronteras y he perdido tiempo libre.

Nadia: No he perdido nada, cómo podría? He ganado mucho, he ganado un espacio de lucha y me siento privilegiada por ello, he ganado el martillo y el cincel con los que estoy contribuyendo a modelar el mundo en el que quiero vivir. 

Susanne: It’s only a short time since I have been a member, but in this time I have been very impressed and inspired by the dedication and courage of Tlaxcala’s members and friends. It is very life affirming and gives me hope that the world can be improved. 

Sick and starving animals soften Israeli hearts: There never is a limit to the absurd. In a period when Israelis approve of killing and starving human beings, they find enough compassion so that they can get animal feed into the Gaza Zoo. I found this piece in Israel 21C (the site that brags about the high tech of Israel) and was dumbstruck reading it. I will add a few comments within in Blue
Israeli animal charity sends aid to Gaza zoo
By Abigail Klein-Leichman   
Truckloads of food and medicine for lions, horses, donkeys, and other ill and hungry animals were among the relief supplies flowing into the Gaza Strip from Israel following the recent three-week war.

It was no easy feat getting help to the inhabitants of the Gaza Zoo and to other wild and domesticated creatures in an area hostile to the Jewish state.

Oh Gee, I wonder why it would be hostile to the Jewish State, especially now.

But Eti Altman, co-founder and spokeswoman of Israel’s largest animal-welfare organization, Let the Animals Live (LAL), is tenacious in her mission to alleviate suffering.

You will note the name of the organisation, which sounds so noble. I suppose the name of the organisation that represents Israel and the policy the absolute majority supports of bombing the living daylights out of Gaza as Let the People Die (LPD). I suppose alleviating suffering is important only for animals.

Since its beginnings in 1986, LAL has sheltered and found homes for 35,000 dogs and cats, neutered 50,000 strays, and provided veterinary care to thousands of abused horses, donkeys, crocodiles, dolphins, camels, and members of other species.

LAL’s lobbying efforts have resulted in Israeli legislation banning practices such as exportation of dogs and cats to the Philippines for food; “entertaining” dog fights and matches between men and crocodiles; baboon breeding for experiments; university laboratory experiments on monkeys; and the exploitation of wild animals by circus owners. It is also working to stop the importation of live animals for slaughter.

Again, it seems odd that since vegetarianism is not part of the canonical Jewish diet, it stands to reason that animals that are slaughtered first have to be alive. This might be another name for protectionism, but I was also under the impression that the strict dietary laws for observant Jews would seek to bring the animals in alive, so that the butcher could apply the correct steps to the slaughter. Oh well… this one will just remain a mystery to me.

Altman’s assistant general manager, Ilan Lusky, explains to ISRAEL21c that the organization first learned that lions in the Gaza Zoo were in distress at the end of 2007. Their food supply was limited because of blockades in the wake of attacks on Israeli border towns.

Now, how could they imagine that the king of the jungle would have its share of meat if there was nothing coming in even for humans? And, not to neglect, they have to insist in the propaganda that the blockade was caused by Palestinians… sure… sure.

Altman made phone call after phone call to Hamas government officials, determined to take the lions to a foster home in Israel. The offer was consistently refused.

Well, check that out! They were sure they could waltz right out of there with the animals in the zoo, and they expect us to believe they were calling Hamas officials to arrange it! That’s a mighty tall story!

Animals living in terrible conditions

But as the dawning of 2009 brought with it retaliatory Israeli raids on Gaza, Altman renewed her efforts to assist the zoo.

Double dose of propaganda: the war is called “retaliatory raids” and the dear activist is very worried about the occupants of the zoo, so compassionate are Israeli hearts…. Hamas would prefer, it is thus implied from the previous paragraph, to let the poor beasts die.

“We found out that the situation there was terrible,” says Lusky. “Many animals died in the bombings, and the remaining animals were living in poor conditions. We said, ‘Let’s put politics aside and take care of the animals.’ We were not giving up.”

This segment is so absurd, it really doesn’t deserve a comment. It speaks for itself.

Altman worked around refusals of direct aid by establishing contacts with government officials and Palestinian and international animal-relief groups such as Veterinary World Service. The Israeli Ministry of Defense granted permission for the entry of 30 truckloads of oats, hay, and veterinary supplies into Gaza. LAL volunteers brought in the goods over a period of weeks and transferred them to local Arabs for delivery. The last two trucks were dispatched on Tuesday.

An official “thank you” was neither forthcoming nor anticipated.

Are you laughing too?

“We’re not waiting for medals or prizes,” says Lusky. “Officially, they don’t want our help. But we did get thanked by our international partner groups, and we know from our Palestinian contacts that the donations went to the right places.”

It seems they feel bad about not getting thanked for the oats. But… the question begs, since when do lions eat oats?

LAL also launched a campaign to bring relief to pets affected on both sides of the conflict. Many pets were abandoned when their owners fled, or went hungry because they were unable to earn a living while under siege.

Again, the extent of the enormous human drama is not even hinted at… people fleeing, starving, unemployed and desperate under a seige worse than what would have been done in the middle ages. It’s the pets, folks, the pets have to be allowed to live, they don’t vote Hamas.

Pets deserted in bombed cities

During the war, Altman went to hard-hit southern Israeli cities with veterinarians and other volunteers to help local animal-welfare groups rescue homeless animals and distribute donated food. This initiative has extended beyond the ceasefire.

“There is an unbelievable situation with deserted pets in bombed cities such as Sderot and Ashkelon,” says Lusky. “These cities are trying to take of their people, and there is no money for the animals. Because of budgetary constraints, animals are at the bottom of the list.”

You read a sentence, “bombed cities”, you think of Gaza City, Khan Younis, Rafah… not to the LAL folks.

LAL’s shelter in Ramla houses 200 dogs and 70 cats, some of them war refugees. Lusky coordinates volunteers at the shelter, and welcomes help from tourists.

If LAL can raise enough money, it will set up free veterinary clinics in war-ravaged areas. In cooperation with Israeli pet supermarket Pet Point, it is offering emergency care packages for purchase through letlive.org.il.

And if donors are found to foot the bill of $170-$350 per truckload, LAL hopes to continue sending aid to the Gaza Zoo and to domestic animals in Gaza.

In fact, although offers to find new homes for Gazan animals in Israel still are being rebuffed, Altman dares to hope that a continuing relationship can ease hostilities.

And why should they give up their animals? To make a propaganda tool even bigger than the one of the lorryloads of oats? Wouldn’t access to food and supplies be the best solution for humans and animals? This is not something that the LAL people would consider, surely.

“In light of this humanitarian effort, I have no doubt we can save many of the animals in the place,” says Altman. “I am hoping that through the animals we will be able to draw the two sides closer together.”

For information on donating or volunteering, call Ilan Lusky, +972-3-624-1776, ext 5.

http://www.israel21c.org/bin/en.jsp?enDispWho=Articles%5El2462&enPage=BlankPage&enDisplay=view&enDispWhat=object&enVersion=0&enZone=Democracy&

cartoon of the day

Posted: 02/19/2009 by editormary in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

click to enlarge CARLOS LATUFF

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.

This interview was made by activist, writer, translator and academic Mauro Manno. Last Friday, following 14 months of suffering, our friend Mauro was released from his agony. All those who knew him, worked together with him and who were befriended by him will miss his intellect, generosity, determination and commitment to a cause. It is with sadness and emotion that I have translated this last interview given by my friend. I realise how much our activist movement has gained from his activity and how much it will now lose without his presence and both Palestine Think Tank and Tlaxcala express deepest gratitude to him for his efforts and, (I can only say it in Italian) stringiamo davvero forte alla sua famiglia perché se noi sentiamo la sua mancanza, i suoi cari sentirebbero un vuoto incolmabile. Ciao Mauro, ovunque sei.

Tlaxcala has set up a lovely hommage to Mauro, with his translations, writings, translations others have done of him and more. Please visit it.
http://www.tlaxcala.es/detail_artistes.asp?lg=en&reference=292

Translated from Italian by Mary Rizzo and revised by Saja for Tlaxcala

by Giovanna Canzano – 06/01/2009

Fonte: Arianna Editrice [scheda fonte]

http://www.ariannaeditrice.it/articolo.php?id_articolo=23378  
 
…“What nation would have accepted the division of its own territory imposed from above, even if it were the UN (which at the time, let’s not forget, was constituted of a quarter of the current states and was under the control of the USA and the Soviet Union).

If the UN had only seen to imposing just the application of Resolution 194 that asked Israel to allow the Palestinians who had been forcefully removed to return, well, things would have gone in a very different way. But Israel rejected that resolution…” (Mauro Manno)

CANZANO – Jews “Über alles”. Since 1948, with the birth of the state of Israel,  we can see, from reading various papers, the Jewish presence in every sector of cultural and economic life: guides and wise men and “righteous men”?

MANNO – I wouldn’t say “Jews Über alles” but rather “Zionists über Alles”. Today this distinction is fundamental. I’ve been studying the politics of Zionism for years now and can say with certainty that the confusion over this point is not only erroneous, historically and politically, but it is also unfair towards those many Jews who had been the victims of Zionism. Even today there are Jews who are victims of Zionism. A few of these new victims I know personally and it doesn’t seem to me that they are “über Alles”, but instead they are certainly under Zionist scrutiny. They are ostracised, they lose their university positions such as happened to Norman Finkelstein, the author of “The Holocaust Industry” or they get isolated and put in conditions where they leave not only their university post, but also their loved ones and friends in Israel and emigrate in the West, as happened to Ilan Pappe, the author of “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine”. These Jews suffer because they have the courage of proclaiming that they are anti-Zionists. This act of revolt against Zionism doesn’t constitute only the repudiation of that political ideology, but also the rejection of the historical consequences that its victory has had, that is, the Jewish State, Israel as a Jewish State. The anti-Zionists wish for the end of the state of Israel as it has been built by the Zionists and they fight for its substitution with a single, democratic state for all the Jews and all the Palestinians who are within the whole of Palestine, that is, within Israel and the Occupied Territories, Gaza included.

 

But that is not all; they also support the Right of Return of the refugees forced to leave in 1948, just as is sanctioned by UN Resolution 194, which was voted upon exactly 60 years ago (11 December 1948) but never applied.

However, there is an important point to make! Whoever knows the fate of these new victims of Zionism, the anti-Zionist Jews, must not forget the much more tragic fate reserved for the assimilationist Jews during the Second World War. They too were against Zionism, and they too were the victims of Zionism. This is the part of their story that the Zionists want to keep absolutely hidden. The Zionist battle against assimilationist Jews, conducted in collaboration with the Nazis and the anti-Semites.

 

Anything but “righteous men”, the Zionists are the political men who are the least righteous at all, towards other Jews and non-Jews alike.

 

CANZANO – Who are the Jewish assimilationists?
 
MANNO – Jewish assimilationists were those Jews who wanted to assimilate, become part of the population in the country they were born in. According to Rabbinic law, Halacha is the Jew who is son or daughter of a Jewish woman or someone who converts to Judaism. Jewishness is therefore transmitted by way of blood, from mother to son or daughter. For other religions, this is not the case: the Christianity of a Catholic or the Islam of a Muslim is not transmitted by way of blood. To conserve this Jewish peculiarity, it is fundamental towards the conservation of Judaism in general that the family does not have any mixed marriages, with non-Jews. If a Jew (not born in Israel) believes that the fact of being the child of a Jewish mother does not make him Jewish, if he rejects the Jewish religion, if he considers himself a free human being that can chose another religion or no religion at all, if he wants to live without the weight of the Jewish past of his family, then he is an assimilationist. He wants to leave the closed Jewish world and enter into the world that is more open and free that he finds outside the Jewish one. So, this person would have totally adopted the culture, language, lifestyle, cuisine, tradition, etc., of the country in which he lives. He would adopt its destiny as well. He wouldn’t feel obligated to marry a Jewish woman and in that way according to Halacha, his children would no longer be Jews. If he educates his children in the spirit in which he himself has lived, and his children also have mixed marriages, and their children and so on, after a few generations, his descendants will no longer be Jews, but they will be Italians, Germans, French, etc., in every way, shape and form. The Zionist Jabotinsky, who obviously abhorred assimilation said, “to read true assimilation… [the Jew] would have to produce, through a long series of mixed marriages, in a period of various decades, a grandson of a grandson of a grandson within whose veins runs only a slight trace of Jewish blood, because that grandson of a grandson of a grandson will have the spiritual conformation of a true Frenchman or a true German.” Mixed marriage is at the base of assimilation. Before the Second World War, mixed marriages were in strong progression, for example, in 1929 in Germany, they constituted 59% of the marriages, and pure marriages,with both of the spouses being Jewish was a 41% minority. That frightened the Zionists, who considered assimilationists something like traitors. When the Nazis came to power, the International Zionist organisations broke their necks to collaborate with them and they even made pacts with them to allow only the emigration of Zionists outside of Germany (recovering their belongings) and sending them to the Palestinian colonies. The assimilationist Jews did not interest them and they were left to their own fate. The Zionists did nothing so that the assimilationist Jews could emigrate to America or to other Western states, as a matter of fact, they blocked any efforts in this direction. Later, during the war, they extended this policy to the rest of Europe. There were killings and massacres of Jews and they were dealing only in order to save those who were Zionists and who would emigrate to Palestine, all the rest could simply be left to die. The example of Rezso Kasztner is illuminating. This Hungarian Zionist in 1944 bartered the salvation of his family and those belonging to various Hungarian Zionist organisations, 1,600 persons in all, in exchange for his collaboration and that of his followers in order to facilitate the deportation to Auschwitz of hundreds of thousands of assimilationist Jews.

 

This policy has facilitated the near extinction of non-Zionist Jews, those on the road towards assimilation. The Zionists share responsibility, together with the Nazis, of this crime. This is the reason for which most of the Jews of the Diaspora declare themselves to be Zionists and they generally marry only other Jews.

 

CANZANO – Are you saying there was an ethnic cleansing of Jews conducted by other Jews?
 
MANNO – I would hold that term, “ethnic cleansing” to describe what the Zionists did to the Palestinians in 1948. They had cleared Palestine of its antique inhabitants, as Ilan Pappe has carefully demonstrated in his recent book, the title of which refers to the ethnic cleansing. I would instead say that there was a will of the Zionists to rid themselves of non-Zionist Jews. I had spoken of the shared responsibility of the Zionists with the Nazis. It was the Nazis to bring them to their deaths, while the Zionists collaborated at various levels with the killers. During the Second World War, the Zionists, in some cases, had even killed directly, most of the time they had denounced other Jews, they often helped run the concentration camps, they had convinced the assimilationists to stay in their place, to not rebel, all of that in exchange for the salvation of their Zionist followers, their friends and their families. Regarding their followers, it is essential to note that the Zionist leaders didn’t even work on saving them all, but only the young ones, that is, those who could engage in armed combat (in prevision of a war against the English and the Palestinians), in other words, those who could work towards the development of the colonies, those who could bear children. The old people and small children only would have been an encumbrance. In 1937 Chaim Weizmann, future President of Israel, before the Peel Commission in London coldly declared: “I want to save… the young [for Palestine]. The old ones will pass. They will bear their fate or they will not. They were dust, economic and moral dust in a cruel world…Only the branch of the young shall survive…They have to accept it.” And, remember, this is a Zionist speaking. Ben Gurion, speaking in ’38 of children (children of Zionists and non-Zionists) said, “If I knew that it was possible to save all the children of Germany by transporting them to England and only half of them by transporting them to Palestine I would choose the second.” Ben Gurion knew that if the assimilationists and persons of good will would have wanted to choose between “saving Jews from Concentration Camps” and Zionism, “mercy” would have “had the upper hand and the whole energy of the people would be channelled into saving Jews from various countries;” then Zionism “will be struck off the agenda not only in world public opinion, in Britain and in the United States, but elsewhere in Jewish public opinion.” For the Zionists this absolutely could not be allowed to happen and they did everything possible so that it did not happen. Just think that when someone said to Yitzhak Gruenbaum, leader of the Rescue Committee (!) of the Jewish Agency in Palestine, in 1943 when the killings started said, “Don’t build new colonies (…) send money save Jews in the Diaspora,” he responded: “Zionism is above everything.” On another occasion, still in 1943, he stated, “one cow in Palestine is worth more than all the Jews in Europe.” So, it was in this way that the Zionists, allying themselves with the Nazis, saved themselves, while the non-Zionists were eliminated as a direct result of that alliance. And today the Zionists dominate over all the Jews and they greatly influence the Western governments. They determine American foreign policy (see the book by Mearsheimer and Walt). And for this, reason, Israel is untouchable and can do anything it wants to and not only to the Palestinians… but here we are touching upon the problem of the Zionist lobby.

 

CANZANO – Zionist lobby?

 

MANNO – To make it understandable, let us take the example of the Zionist lobby in America, which is the strongest Zionist lobby in the West. In the race for the American presidency, everyone had to see both Obama and his vice, Biden and the two losers McCain and Palin, run to genuflect before the organisation of the strongest of the lobbies, AIPAC. This had been foreseen by Mearsheimer and Walt and it happened without delay. The two candidates have been forced to undergo an accurate examination before the judges of the lobby concerning their proposals regarding Israel and to the command posts that would be willing to pass to Zionists (Jews or non-Jews) in their future administration. Everyone will remember how Obama was able to catch his rival off balance proclaiming that he supported the line of “a sole and indivisible Jerusalem as capital of the Jewish State.” McCain didn’t go quite so far. This line is officially condemned by the international community on the basis of a series of UN resolutions. Israel continues in its expulsion of the Palestinians (many of them Christians) of the Holy City and the West pretends nothing is happening while at the same time maintaining the official position of the UN. Now Obama, the “man of peace” has gone closer to the side of Israel than any other president has yet done. It seemed in the beginning that the determinant support of the lobby was going to go towards McCain, but then something changed. It is necessary to recall that Obama’s vice, Joe Biden, as soon as he was nominated declared himself to be “an ardent Zionist! And I would not be surprised if it was the Lobby itself that had imposed Biden on Obama. Then Obama was able to give secure guarantees, favours (and money) of the lobby all flowed his way. It was a formidable coup for the Zionists. Now the lobby will have a pro-Israel policy and a pro-Israel lobby pushed forward by a popular president and not by a shadow of Bush. The Western politicians can also make their own policies more pro-Israel and pro-USA (which is the same) without clashing very much with public opinion. The pacifist movement is completely shattered. Certainly, quite soon Obama will destroy his image of the new man, becoming like Rice or Powell, the black man that is used to serve the interests of the lobby, but this means nothing to the lobby, and why should it if they are able to get just what they want? In reality the image of Obama is already sullied. The choice of Clinton for Secretary of State, the choice of Rahm Emanuel (whose father declared that he detests Arabs and he is sure that his son will work in favour of Israel) are just the first signs. The lobby was able to obtain something else as well. After the domination that Bush had given to another wing of the lobby, to the discredited neo-cons (almost all of them Jewish), the Zionists strategists figured out how to have the same policies be carried out by non-Jews, but ones who are of proven Zionist faith. Thus, after Biden, we see the re-emergence of Clinton (with whom Obama once had clashes regarding foreign policy, and now we see him entrust that ministry to her). Hillary is another Zionist that will bring to the Secretary of State office the Jewish team her husband had: Madeleine Albright, Holbrooke, Dennis Ross, etc. The same politics of the Jewish neo-cons but officially carried out by non-Jews. The non-Jewish Zionists are fortunately very few but they are the worst traitors of their country and they send young Americans to war so that Israel can be strengthened, which is what happened in Iraq. Even we Europeans have our Zionist lobby. Let’s not harbour any illusions there.

 

CANZANO – There is a Zionist lobby in Europe?

 

MANNO – The Zionist lobby can be found anywhere in the world where there are Zionists. If they were all in Israel it would all be so simple, but there is the Diaspora and among the Jews of the Diaspora there are many Zionists. This was already in the program of the First Zionist Congress (1897) that the Zionists of the Diaspora would have to take the preparatory steps “towards obtaining the consent of governments, where necessary in order to reach the goals of Zionism.” And that is what they have been able to do. Today, after the birth of Israel, the American Zionist lobby and the various national lobbies always serve the “goals of Zionism”, that however are not the same as those when the task at hand was founding the Jewish State. 60 years since its foundation, Israel does not yet have a solid base. Its existence as a “Jewish State” is taken to task and it is maintained only with the use of force. Being an ethnic state that occupied other people’s land and oppresses the Palestinians, without any respect for international law, it is well aware that it is an illegitimate state. The lobby has the task of “making it legitimate” at least in the eyes of the West. Europe, at least on a formal level, has been involved in the Middle East in a position of equilibrium between Arabs and Israelis. We have major interests in the Arab world. In 2004 there have been the first changes. The EU Council approved the “EU-Israel Action Plan” and in spite of the horrifying record of Israel in the area of human rights, the Plan declared that “The EU and Israel share the same values of democracy, respect for human rights and sovereignty of law and the fundamental freedoms.” This is absolutely false and I am prepared to demonstrate it. However the Plan gets worse: it gives Israel the possibility of “participating in key aspects of EU policies and programmes.” We will become a Zionist colony.

 

Since 2006 the position of Europe has further changed. First there was a softening of criticism of Israel. That took place by pressure from a special “Jewish American Committee for Europe”. Within that group we find AIPAC, the ADL (Anti-Defamation League), the American Jewish Congress, which has distinguished itself from the others. Responding in a positive way on behalf of Europe as first Prodi, then Ferrero-Waldner and now Barroso. Before 2000 the EU expected Israel to pay for the damage caused within the Occupied Territories with European money and now, after Ferrero-Waldner and Barroso, the territories don’t get anything. Today in the European Parliament there is a group of approximately 200 parliament members called “European Friends of Israel” who work for Tel Aviv. This effort is sustained by Jewish businessmen everywhere in the continent as well as Jews who have been elected in the various parliaments such as, in Italy, Fiamma Nierenstein and the lawyer Alessandro Ruben. Lastly, with the French EU presidency of the Jewish Zionist (he himself declared this) Nicolas Sarkozy and the constitution of the Mediterranean Union, Zionism is now very close to obtaining the acceptance and the legitimisation of Israel in the Arab world, through Europe. Be very careful, this is not a peace policy, as the European governors keep saying. If there is the realisation of Arab legitimisation, Israel will have their hands free for a military policy, against Iran, against Hezbollah and the Palestinians, with the blessings of the Arab countries. In this framework, the Palestinian State will be a series of tiny Bantustans that are completely surrounded, just like Gaza. Only the economic crisis of the West can stop the conflict. If the economic crisis makes the corrupt Arab nations that are governing lose their power, we will see a reprisal of terrorism, revolts, revolutions and frustrated Arab peoples.

 

CANZANO – So, Israel is not a democratic State?

 

MANNO – No. No, it is not. It is an ethnocratic state. A Jews-only state. Democracy in the Jewish State is only valid for Jews. For non-Jews it is a farce. Let’s try to imagine for a moment that in a multi-ethnic country in which there is a colonial administration, a party that represents a particular ethnic group has in mind, once colonialism has ended, to constitute a democratic state over the entire country, but to kick out all the other ethnic groups. How can we say that the programme that this party has is a democratic one? For me it’s a racist programme based on ethnic cleansing.

 

Now, let’s try to imagine that once the phase of colonialism has ended, this party is allowed to make it’s own state by only on part of the territory in the country and on the condition that even on that territory there are no expulsions made on an ethnic basis. It instead happened that the state was founded immediately after the expulsion of the majority of its inhabitants on behalf of the minority, according to its initial racist programme. It’s a democratic state but democracy is supposed to involve the entire population, not just the minority that has undertaken an ethnic cleansing. Now we see that institutions that represent international law (the UN for example) are asking this ethnic state to reintegrate those who had been expelled and to give them equal democratic rights. In response, this “democratic” state (only for the ethnic group it represents) refuses to do it, instead it perseveres with its initial programme of wanting to conquer the entire territory of the country and to colonise it with people of its same ethnic group that are brought in from other countries. This new expansion and this new ethnic cleansing do not happen in a haphazard way, but rather is sanctioned within the founding documents of the “democratic” state. For example, within them we see that the entire territory of the country belongs to all of those are members of the right ethnic group wherever they are to be found (and perhaps even have been living there for thousands of years) and do not on the other hand belong to those who had been expelled just prior to the foundation of the ethnic state. Is this still a democratic state?

And that is not all. Let’s imagine that in this ethnic state there has been a small minority of the wrong ethnic group that has survived. It’s a minority with a demographic growth that constitutes nearly a quarter of the entire population. These persons are treated like second-class citizens, in economic activities, before the law, in daily life, and so on, where they have to undergo a thousand kinds of discrimination. The worst discrimination concerns the possession of land. The state has secured for itself, with another founding law by the ethnic “democracy”, that 93% of the country’s land has to stay in the hands of the right ethnic group. The sale of terrain (and that includes any property that is built upon it) is allowed only between people of this ethnic group. It is however possible to purchase new land in that 7% that was left to the minority ethnic group, in such as way so as to expand the property of the right ethnic group. Is it still a democratic state?

When confronted with these discriminations, the ethnic state concedes a limited voting right and a limited right to criticise of the discriminated minority group. Are these political rights enough when put next to the thousand discriminations to make this a democratic state?

 

I can already hear the defenders of Israel, because that is what we are talking about, object and protest against my last affirmation on the limited political rights of the Palestinian majority. Instead, that is only the way it is. Think about the fact that in Israel it is prohibited to challenge the Jewish character of the state. It is prohibited to found parties that have as a programme proposing a different kind of state, not an ethnic one, but one for all its citizens. It is prohibited to fight for the application of UN Resolution 194 that imposes the right of return of the Palestinians who had been expelled. It is prohibited to fight for the abolition of the founding law of the state that says that Palestine belongs to all the Jews of the world and in any moment any one of them may come to Palestine to occupy property that the army of the Jewish state has seen to taking away from some Palestinian of the Occupied Territories. Is this still a democratic state? Then it is established that Catholic citizens (whatever that term comes to mean now) cannot sell property to Jews, Protestants, et al., so that the land of Italy will be concentrated more and more in Catholic hands. Non-Catholics will have the right to vote, but in such a way so as to not endanger the “Catholic” character of the state. Could Italy still call itself democratic under those conditions? And I have to remind those who defend Israel that the Jews in Italy are not a quarter of the population as the Palestinians in Israel are. I remind them as well that if things continue in this direction, there is the risk not only of an ethnocratic state of Israel, but that it actually becomes a theocratic state, taking into consideration the growing importance of religious parties in Israeli politics.

 

CANZANO – In relation to what has already been said in this interview, what would your explanation be for the furious Israeli attack against Gaza?

 

MANNO – If we look at what’s happening in Gaza now within the historical framework that in some way we have traced in this interview, we must conclude that this is nothing less than a further step ahead in the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. If Israel wanted to come to a compromise with the Palestinians regarding a Palestinian state, well, there was no shortage of opportunities. The supporters of Israel insist that it was the Palestinian side that would not accept the division of Palestine in 1948. But, who would have accepted such a thing? What nation would have accepted the division of its own territory imposed from on high, even from the UN (which at the time, bear in mind, was constituted of only a quarter of the current states and it was under control of the US and USSR). If then the UN would have imposed also the application of UN Resolution 194, which asked Israel to allow the Palestinians cast off forcefully to be able to return, then things would have gone quite differently. But Israel rejected the Resolution, as it was sure of the support of the USA, which was already under the heavy influence of the American Zionist lobby. It did much more, actually. It assassinated the UN mediator Folke Bernadotte who was elaborating a new policy at the time.

 

Israel wanted an ethnically pure state and nothing else would suffice. This is Zionism. After the 1967 war, Israel would not accept Resolution 242 either, which imposed the withdrawal of Israel from the Occupied Territories. Instead, against all international law, it started to colonise these territories. Israel would accept no compromise during the Oslo Agreements and it still today forges ahead with colonisation. In 2002 the Arab states offered the recognition of Israel in exchange for the withdrawal of Israel to the confines of 1967, but Israel refused, started the construction of the wall that has claimed vast parts of the Occupied Territories from which the Palestinian population is slowly but surely being expelled from, and it still carries on with the construction of settlements and the suffocation of the Palestinians of East Jerusalem.

 

When in 2006 Hamas won the elections democratically and formed its government over all the Palestinians of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, Israel would not recognise it. Together with the complicity of the EU, it started a policy of dividing the Palestinians. This policy was supported by the corrupt Abu Mazen. To safeguard unity, Hamas accepted to reach a compromise with him and with that part of Al Fatah that backs him; together with him they formed a national unity government. Instigated by the USA and Israel, Abu Mazen, convinced that even the new government was born due to weakness of Hamas, organised a plot in Gaza to evict the military power of the rival party, but that attempt failed and it was actually the followers of Abu Mazen to be cast out of Gaza. Consequently, Abu Mazen dissolved the government, forming one with his most loyal followers and he let Israel arrest ministers, parliament members, leaders of Hamas all throughout the West Bank. He committed to an agreement for Peace with Israel (Annapolis). This obviously all came to nothing, because Israel will not give in on even the smallest detail, and it wants people like Abu Mazen who will play his part in the pretence of agreements and in the meantime keeps on building settlements and carries on with ethnic cleansing. For Israel it became therefore essential to eliminate Hamas, killing or arresting all of its leaders. This is the reason of the criminal attack against Gaza; to conquer it and give it to Abu Mazen with whom it could continue with the pretence of agreements. If Hamas resists and Israel is forced to cease the attack and to withdraw, Abu Mazen will be the first loser, but losing will also be the entire strategy of Israel and of the Americans.

     Di umili origini, Manno era nato nel Nordeuropa, dove il padre s’era dovuto trasferire per trovare lavoro. Ciò fu forse alla base del suo interesse per la germanistica, culminato con una laurea in Lingue dell’Europa Occidentale ed una lunga attività come traduttore.

 

      Coltivò, tuttavia, anche un’altra passione: quella per la storia e la geopolitica, ed in particolare studiò a fondo la questione palestinese e l’ideologia sionista, temi su cui produsse molteplici articoli, saggi e libri.

 

      Era tra i soci fondatori dell’Istituto “Enrico Mattei” di Alti Studi in Vicino e Medio Oriente.

 

      Mauro Manno seppe unire, nei propri studi e nelle proprie opere, il suo forte senso della giustizia con un’irreprensibile serietà scientifica, cosicché la prima fu temperata dalla seconda, e la seconda animata e ben indirizzata dalla prima.

 

      Tra le sue virtù, ricordiamo anche la grande modestia ed umiltà, tale da spingerlo a vergare il proprio nome sempre senza le iniziali maiuscole, ritenendo così d’esprimere quella che, a suo giudizio, era la relativa poca importanza della sua persona. In questo ci permettiamo affettuosamente di dissentire da lui.

 

      La Redazione di “Eurasia”, che s’unisce al cordoglio della famiglia, serberà a lungo il ricordo di Mauro Manno, per il contributo importante che ha dato alla conoscenza del Vicino Oriente nel nostro paese, e per la sua umanità che l’ha reso un esempio di rettitudine ed onestà intellettuale.

 

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([Al-Awda-Italia] Digest Number 3373)