Archive for March, 2011

Dershowitz

While some friends of the Jewish state are preoccupied with the possibility of a sushi shortage in Israel thanks to the disaster in Japan, Harvard’s crazed law professor Alan M. Dershowitz has more important things on his mind.

His most recent dispatch, entitled “Israel Now Has The Right To Attack Iran’s Nuclear Reactors,” begins with the assertion that “Iran’s recent attempt to ship arms to Hamas in Gaza is an act of war committed by the Iranian government against the Israeli government.”

As we well know, it is not necessary for Harvard law professors to specify that Israel has merely alleged that Iran attempted to ship arms to Hamas, or that the credibility of Israeli arms allegations has been called into question by the fact that the photographs published by the Israeli Foreign Ministry of the “weapons cache” found on board the Mavi Marmara last year ended up consisting of items like a metal pail and marbles.

It is meanwhile unclear why Dershowitz has chosen to include the word “Now” in his title, given that he immediately announces: “Nor is this the first act of war that would justify a military response by Israel under international law.” Other acts are said to include the bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires in 1992: “That bombing, which was carried out by Iranian agents, constituted a direct armed attack on the state of Israel, since its embassy is part of its sovereign territory.”

Persons required to adhere to truth and logic, such as investigative historian and journalist Gareth Porter, have noted that in 1992 the Iranians clearly viewed with optimism the prospect of the resumption of transfer of nuclear technology from Argentina to Iran—thus removing the presumed motive for the attack. This suggests that the bombing may have instead been orchestrated by groups opposed to the Iranian acquisition of such technology.

Absolved of reason, Dershowitz spews on:

Two other recent events enhance Israel’s right use military means to prevent Iran from continuing to arm Israel’s enemies. The recent disaster in Japan has shown the world the extraordinary dangers posed by nuclear radiation. If anybody ever doubted the power of a dirty bomb to devastate a nation, both physically and psychologically, those doubts have been eliminated by what is now going on in Japan. If Iran were to develop nuclear weapons, the next ship destined to Gaza might contain a nuclear dirty bomb and Israel might not intercept that one. A dirty bomb detonated in tiny Israel would cause incalculable damage to civilian life.

Moreover, the recent killings in Itamar of a family including three children, demonstrate how weapons are used by Israel’s enemies against civilians in violation of the laws of war. Even babies are targeted by those armed by Iran.”

First of all, if anybody ever doubted the power of a dirty bomb to devastate a nation, both physically and psychologically, their doubts would most probably have been dispelled by events in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 rather than current radiation leaks from nuclear power plants. Second of all, it would seem that civilian life currently suffers a greater threat of incalculable damage not from a hypothetical Iranian dirty bomb but rather from Israel’s sizable nuclear arsenal—not mentioned by Dershowitz—which exists in violation of the very same Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty that is invoked as an excuse for attacking Iran. Lastly, the fact that Israel slaughtered 300 children in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead in 2008-09 indicates that those armed by the U.S. rather than by Iran are exceedingly capable of targeting babies.

After stressing the right of Israel to prevent its citizens from being murdered, our law guru concludes the following:

This is not to say that Israel should attack Iran’s nuclear reactors now. That it has the right to do so does not mean that it should not wait for a more opportune time. The law of war does not require an immediate military response to an armed attack. The nation attacked can postpone its counterattack without waiving its right.”

That the Palestinians do not enjoy the same right of response to military attack is obvious. A note to the Chinese, however: Remember that time NATO accidentally bombed your embassy in Belgrade? You can still retaliate!

And as for the United Nations, if you ever feel like attacking Israel, just invoke the 1996 bombing of your compound in Qana, or the 2006 bombing of your outpost in Khiam.

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Blasting. Shouts. Screams. Sirens. 

Someone told me to run, I should.

I try to keep my eyes open; I would, if I could.

Wait,

Nobody told me it would feel this good.

I look at the sky and breathe in one last time,

That’s it; I think it has reached my time.

I close my eyes and as I let go, I smile,

I haven’t felt this happy in a very long while.

Don’t get carried away with me,

Going, Going, I’m gone away…

To my mother, father, son, daughter and anyone that has cried;

It would be an insult to say I have died,

Instead be blissful and speak my name in pride,

Or release those tears of joy you are trying to hide,

For I am waiting for you on the better side.

Sorry about the call you received at 4 o’clock in the morning,

I don’t want you upset and I don’t want you mourning.

I am sorry to anyone I have left behind,

I hope one day peace and tranquillity you will find.

Don’t worry about me I am wide awake,

For I have lost my earthly life for the almighty’s sake.

If you have lost me or any family member,

Stay with the thought that we will meet again in Jannah.

They say what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger,

So try and hold on a little while longer.

With you I will always remain, in your heart and your soul;

As you try to find freedom and accomplish this goal.

Be strong, and remain standing tall,

Don’t give up hope or lose patience as you fight for evil’s downfall,

Everything helps no matter how small,

Each one of us can build freedom like each brick builds a wall.

Pray, Pray, Pray and Pray.

Try not to lose patience and carry on day after day,

As you fight for freedom in every way.

My death wasn’t my end, it’s not over,

The sadness of my loss you will Inshallah get over,

Remember that paradise is what I fly over,

The Dunya’s hurt that I suffered I don’t think over,

Agony and Pain I will never again fret over,

Just carry on praying for the day that this is all over.

Israel meanwhile suffers fallout from Japanese disaster

Making rounds over the past few days is an item from the Business section of Israel’s Ynet news site, entitled “Israel fears sushi shortage after quake”. The article begins by noting that, while Japan “has yet to recover from one of the greatest disasters in its history, Israelis fear a shortage in the ingredients of one of their favorite dishes: Sushi”.

In case readers are still unclear as to the identity of the real victims of the Japanese earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear radiation crisis, the second paragraph of the article underscores the frightening dilemma presently facing humanity:

Many of sushi’s basic components come from Japan or are imported through the battered countries. Will Israelis soon suffer from a shortage of the beloved rolls’ necessary ingredients?”

That all is not lost is confirmed by the article’s subheading, however: “Rice shortage not expected”.

Sane observers appear to be confused as to whether the piece was intended for publication in The Onion, where it would certainly thrive thanks in large part to the article’s protagonist Dudi Afriat, sales manager of the Rakuto Kasei company that imports Kikkoman soy sauce and other sushi paraphernalia to Israel.

Among Afriat’s contributions are pronouncements about the role of Kikkoman in Israeli society:

Israeli chefs feel very connected to this product. After the tsunami I received phone calls from hysterical people fearing a shortage of Kikkoman.”

One thing The Onion editors might have done differently is to make Afriat less of a passive observer. His remark that damage to a Kikkoman factory in Japan has caused “delays in the supply” and fueled shortage fears, for example, might have been jazzed up with a suggestion that the Japanese technicians currently working round-the-clock and risking death to defuse the radiation crisis instead divide their time and energy between the Fukushima nuclear power plant and the Kikkoman factory.

Israel’s tendency to cast itself as uniquely entitled to victimhood is nothing new, of course, although it usually occurs at the expense of Arab and Muslim populations rather than Japanese. Given that the Israeli definition of victim extends even to IDF commandos who kill humanitarian activists in international waters, it is safe to assume that—if something even remotely as devastating as what has befallen Japan were to occur in Israel proper—the Israelis would not take kindly to articles in widely-read media outlets about fears of a decrease in production of Bamba snacks or the award-winning kosher pigs-in-a-blanket.

http://pulsemedia.org/2011/03/18/world-fears-shortage-of-kosher-hotdogs-in-event-of-nuclear-strike-on-israel/

freedom fighters in BenghaziThe author of the article I post below, Robert Grenier, rightly asked: “Where are the Arabs?” but in our opinion, we Arab Nationalists, also believe that he had also rightly volunteered to reply to his own question which is in his own words:

“…the primary motivating principles of the rebels have been clear: A desire for personal liberty, dignity and collective social empowerment.” 

Once an Egyptian Arab intellectual lady, Huda Hanum Shaarawi, replied after the 1948 Palestinian Arab Nakbah to the question: “How is it possible that seven Arab states and their armies were defeated by one state “Israel”? Her reply was simple and clear: “Because they were seven states with seven armies and seven ‘leaderships’ each quarrelling with the rest, while the enemy was one with one leadership, one army for one state.”, which the author has described below:

Robert Grenier was the CIA’s chief of station in Islamabad, Pakistan, from 1999 to 2002. He was also the director of the CIA’s counter-terrorism centre.” As a high CIA officer he should have known why did the British  Mr. Sykes and the French M. Picot come together to plan to divide the east Mediterranean Arab territories even before the defeat and  expulsion of the Ottoman Turks from it. They met and agreed to conclude on what is known as “The Sykes Picot Agreement”, that is, to  apply the principle of “divide and rule”, of course to create small weak Arab states that cannot defend themselves in the face of the colonialist powers and their colonialist ambitions, who were at the time in the first place Great Britain and France.

And lately why the old Zionist fox Shimon Peres to be joined at a later time by Condoleezza Rice, U.S Secretary of State under George W. Bush, further try to divide the present Arab states into a smaller states based on religious and ethnic minorities, which Zionists and other colonialist powers shall try to create between them feuds and enmities so as to resort to these colonialist powers for protection against their other Arab brothers… then Zionists and other colonialists shall be able to control them all, but fortunately enough what is known as the New Middle East colonialist conspiracy did not see the light, and with the domino theory of Arab revolutions presently taking place shall never be realized, and hopefully an Arab unity shall instead be realized to counteract these Zionist and western colonialist conspiracies.

Now the aim of young Arab revolutionaries is to get rid of these rulers who want to keep their control on what they consider as their subjects in collaboration with their colonialist protectors, but the young Arab citizens who want to be no more subjects of their corrupt ruers, but real citizens and be able to decide their own fate are struggling to overthrow all these rotten, corrupt and isolationist rulers. That is why those particular rulers shall not volunteer to come to give assistance to Libyan Arabs or any revolutionary Arabs citizens revolting against their rotten rulers… because as we said and saw that by the domino theory, revolutions shall pass from one Arab state to another. They, Arab rulers, want to keep their chairs under the seat of their pants and keep on riding on the backs of what they consider their obedient subjects. The young revolutionaries want their freedom and liberty from their internal and external rulers.

In a big and rich Arab state, an official and a member of the ruling family commented on the simple and rightful demands of their young citizens whom they consider “subjects” who gathered peacefully. As is the case with all Arab rulers, the official said after denying that there were gatherings and demands: “The cooperation of citizens with security men to confront those who call for anarchy was a good proof and spontaneous response against those calling for evil in a peaceful country.” He added that, “driving people to overstep matters to what doesn’t achieve demands or reform, calls for dialogue,and that is exactly what those in command in the state call for”!!!!

Another highly posted official said: “Some of those calling for evil gathered in front of the ministry of internal affairs,” he claimed that, “they want to make of the state a place of chaos, they are organizing purposeless demonstrations that have no high aims, but they proved that they don’t know the people of their state”!!!

From Libya, correspondent Ogharit Dandaash wrote the story of the engineer Almahdi Zeo:

“Before February 14th there was not a single exceptional matter or incident that makes it to informational mass media, nor was there a political stance, be it pro or con, regarding the regime that was in the activities of this Benghazi engineer who was in his forties. Engineer Almahdi Zeo was living a quiet life in Benghazi, his financial status was as described by those who knew him well as “better than good (kwaiseh)”. Zeo was the head of a family, and the father of two daughters studying at university, who never heard or noticed him fidgeting when Gaddafi and his men ruling from their stronghold of terror in Benghazi were mentioned.

On February 15th 2011 the young people of Benghazi didn’t expect the official birth for the February 17th revolution, to mount the winds of change that blew from their neighborhood. They demonstrated and were confronted from the Benghazi battalion of terror with fire in front of the court house… many of the revolutionary fell down martyrs…

While the young revolutionaries were marching in the funeral of their martyred comrades, Zeo was passing an ordinary day during his monotonous life. He passed in front of the headquarters of the battalion on his way to practice his ordinary daily routine work, it was inevitable that some incident should happen to attract his attention. Young people returning from the funeral of their beloved comrades, were, without notice, confronted with live fire, the source of which was from the battalion of Al-Fadel Omar, the headquarters of the soldiers of the regime, where any activists with political opposition to the regime, or with any ideas that contradict those of the Gaddafi Green holy Book. Zeo stopped to see the young people confronting the heavily armed soldiers with their naked chests, He returned home to tell his two daughters about 18 years olds fighting without help.

The following morning he returned to practice his ordinary work, believing that the zeal of the young couldn’t but be aborted with the regime’s brutality, but just in front of the same battalion tens of young people returned for another sit down with other supporters… Zeo realized after a long life of submission and looking aside shall not end with the feeling at ease required by other human beings, those youngsters realized, before it was too late, that there is a difference between living as ordinary human beings and a life full with a humanitarian meaning.

That night he hugged his beloved ones like he had never done before, he talked to them about small heroic incidents that history books didn’t mention, and about which no poems were written, but they leave their effect in people’s souls that had submitted to accepting life at ease, and as an ordinary matter… and left his house.

The place is the headquarters of the Benghazi battalion, date before the new Libyan history, attendants, the young persons seated on the ground, the occasion: drawing a new road map for the revolution.

The engineer said: “Success depends on the element of surprise: Clearly, we need to act quickly.

One of youth there understood: the moment the road opens, we attack.

Another youth pointed out to another group of young people, the brothers coming here are from Baida, they came to help us.

The engineer said, “I am going ahead”.

The engineer mounts his car that was loaded with gas containers for home use, and drives towards the wall of the two storey building housing the battalion’s headquarters, which is impossible to enter to or to break into. He steps on the accelerator to maximum speed, hits the wall, the car explodes, the wall crumbles creating an opening, the youngsters rush into the headquarters.

The element of surprise dispersed the soldiers who ran away, the revolutionaries took control and they obtained their first quantity of arms, they took control of the helm of the battle and thus the battle turned in their favor. After some confrontations, the Abu Al-Fadel Omar battalion fell and its leader fled to Tripoli along with Assaadi Al-Gaddafi (One of Muamar Gaddafi’s sons) who took refuge at the battalion’s headquarters after the outbreak of revolution. Then the weapons and ammunitions stores are now in the service of the revolution born on February 17th.

The fall of the battalion contributed to the liberation of Benghazi, and the revolutionaries gave credit in that to Engineer Almahdi Zeo for the morale and military help he gave to them, and encouraging many officers and soldiers to defect from Gaddafi’s forces and join the revolutionaries, and opening the door wide open for victories, which made the east of Libya fall from the hands of Gaddafi into the hands of the revolution within four days.

Martyr Al-Mahdi Zeo did not live to reap the fruits of the trees he planted, but those Libyan young men and women who had never heard of Engineer Zeo know now that the engineer of the realized revolution shall be the name who they shall tell to their children and grandchildren when their hair shall turn grey about a revolution executed by dreamers who didn’t wait enjoy its fruits.

So we should not expect from these decaying, rotten and dictatorial regimes to step in to help other revolutions against their equally decaying, rotten and dictatorial Arab regimes… they are equally bad and should be overthrown by young Arab revolutionaries.

“Where are the Arabs?” The other Arabs, are the young revolutionary Arabs, who are each cleaning the dirt the old Arab dictatorial and rotten Arab regimes left over by colonialism behind. Good things are coming with Arab liberty and unity. 

So we cannot but agree with Robert Grenier saying: A new day is dawning in the Arab world. The revolutions underway have only just begun, and there is much to be sorted out in the countries where the democratic wave has taken hold. The response of other regional regimes, under less acute and immediate pressure, but still grappling with the challenge of socio-political changes now set perhaps inexorably in motion, remains very much to be seen. For all that its common outlook is rapidly evolving, the Arab world has a long way to go in coming to a firm consensus about what forms of rule will meet its minimum standards of acceptability.”

 ORIGINAL PIECE

Opinion
‘Where are the Arabs?’ By: Robert Grenier 

If Arab states are serious about ending Gaddafi’s menace to his people, they must take the lead in helping the rebels.

Robert Grenier Last Modified: 13 Mar 2011 08:35 GMT
If Arab states do not act now, when the last Libyan rebel lies bleeding in the desert, his final words
may well be: ‘Where are the Arabs?’

It was August of 1982. For seven weeks, Beirut had been sealed off, under attack by Israel from land, sea and air. Water and electricity supplies were cut. The Israelis had secured the airport and much of the southern suburbs. The Syrians had been defeated, their air force wiped from the Lebanese skies. Chairman Arafat and the PLO were seemingly at the mercy of their enemies, utterly dependent upon the international community to arrange an evacuation of their fighters which would bring an end to the carnage. Isolated and alone, all the leader of the Palestinian movement could do was look into the cameras and plead: “Where are the Arabs?”

In January of 1991, a nominally extensive international coalition of armed forces, led by the US but including many of the Arab countries, stood poised in northern Saudi Arabia to drive Saddam Hussein from Kuwait. It might have seemed that much of the Arab world was unified, and had engaged the United States and the international community in their cause to liberate a brutally occupied Arab country.

But in many of the Arab capitals, and to a seeming majority in the Arab street, the armies massed in the Saudi desert were anything but a sign of Arab strength and unity. For in point of fact, the Arab countries had had comparatively little to do with organizing this un-authorized, largely Western coalition. Many Arab nationalists from across the region asserted strenuously that the Arabs should not rely upon the Americans to sort out their difficulties, arguing in favor of an “Arab solution” to the crisis. In fact, however, this was mere posturing: An Arab solution to the crisis would have amounted to meek acquiescence in Saddam Hussein’s intra-Arab aggression. Those Arab countries most threatened by Saddam were not about to entrust their fate to regional Arab councils. They did not wish one day to be left, alone, to make the entreaty: “Where are the Arabs?”

Today, in the deserts along the coast of Libya, patriots are fighting to liberate themselves and their country from over 40 years of brutal, arbitrary misrule. Although tribal and other social divisions are no doubt playing a role in determining the fault lines of the civil war progressively settling over Libya, the primary motivating principles of the rebels have been clear: A desire for personal liberty, dignity and collective social empowerment. In this they have been transparently inspired by the courage of their brothers and sisters in Tunisia, in Egypt, and in many other parts of the Arab world. But as they attempt to withstand the onslaught of Muammar Gaddafi’s better-armed loyalists, and as those rebels most hard-pressed repeatedly plead for at least limited outside assistance, well they might ask: “Where are the Arabs?”

Passivity and diffidence

A new day is dawning in the Arab world. The revolutions underway have only just begun, and there is much to be sorted out in the countries where the democratic wave has taken hold. The response of other regional regimes, under less acute and immediate pressure, but still grappling with the challenge of socio-political changes now set perhaps inexorably in motion, remains very much to be seen. For all that its common outlook is rapidly evolving, the Arab world has a long way to go in coming to a firm consensus about what forms of rule will meet its minimum standards of acceptability.

Nonetheless, the latest indications of Arab intent in the context of Libya are positive, if as yet insufficient. A clear message has been sent by both the GCC and the Arab League that Gaddafi’s brutality toward his people is not acceptable, and has effectively delegitimised his government. The Arab nations have taken a clear stand in favour of a UN Security Council-imposed no-fly zone, and for urgent outreach to the National Transitional Council in Benghazi.

So far, perhaps, so good. Still, troubling signs of traditional passivity and diffidence remain. The Arabs are deferring action to the international community without suggestions as to how that action should be implemented, and with no firm commitment for their own direct involvement. The Arab League ministers aver that a no-fly zone should only be for the purpose of protecting Libyan civilians, and should end as quickly as possible. They continue to express concern over foreign intervention, while requesting precisely that. Their ambivalence is palpable.

At the same time, evidence is mounting that the international fixation on a no-fly zone may be a distraction from more urgently-needed action, and may in fact be counter-productive. First of all, it is not at all clear how great a threat is posed by Gaddafi’s air strikes, per se. While the military situation remains confused, it seems more likely that Gaddafi’s armour and artillery pose the more lethal danger to both rebel and civilian targets.

Moreover, imposition of a no-fly zone would be no simple task. Security Council agreement is far from assured: The Council is divided, and the Chinese, in particular, will do what they can to avoid approving international interference in internal Libyan affairs, out of fear of the negative precedent it might set for themselves. While others might well participate, the US, clearly, would have to take the lead. (As far we Arabs are concerned, we have no trust with the United States and other western powers, their policies are equally colonialist, and we suffered enough on their hands and their rogue adopted and nursed our Zionist entity- A.S.K.)

Following its doctrine, the US would need to attack Libyan air defences first; the potential for significant collateral damage is considerable. The Americans would also require a helicopter-borne “combat search and rescue (CSAR)” capability to be in place for downed pilots before they would willingly act. And there are not nearly enough aircraft in theatre, yet, for an effective no-fly effort. Finally, it may simply be too much to suppose that the Americans, already engaged militarily in two Muslim countries, should now intervene in a third, when the risk to their already weak regional standing from those who may advocate international action now, but will no doubt quickly criticise any missteps, is so great.

Taking the lead
If the Arab League is serious about ending Gaddafi’s menace to his people, they should focus on providing the National Transitional Council with the means to defeat him and his loyalist forces. The US, the EU and NATO have all made clear that they will only act with a clear legal mandate and with regional support. Therefore, it is up to the Arab nations to take the initiative.

It is very likely that the softness in the Arab League stance is a reflection of the divisions between those members on either side of the “democratic revolutionary” divide. Hobbled by the need for consensus, the League as a whole has gone about as far as it is capable; it is unlikely to take the tough decisions and hard actions necessary to counter Gaddafi’s resurgence. Those whose commitment to support of the rebellion is notably strong – Egypt and the GCC countries in particular – must be prepared to take the lead from here.

First, they should move quickly to recognise the Council in Benghazi as the legitimate government of Libya, and immediately request modification of the current UN arms embargo to exclude its forces. Meanwhile, a rapid assessment of the rebels’ military requirements is needed; these would likely include ammunition, anti-armour weapons, and perhaps rockets or artillery. It is clearly within the capabilities of at least some of the Arab countries to provide these rapidly by air, most likely with logistical assistance from the US or NATO. In this context, it would become far easier, and more palatable, for the US and NATO to provide overhead intelligence, perhaps off-shore jamming of Libyan military communications, and other forms of assistance to the transitional government.

We can begin to imagine that such an Arab-led initiative on behalf of the Libyans could help to build a new, cooperative relationship with America and the West – one which flows from Arab empowerment and collective resolve, and not, as in the past, from Arab weakness.

The time has come, in short, for the Arab regimes to demonstrate regionally and internationally the will and courage to act demonstrated by many of their own citizens domestically. Otherwise, they run the risk, in what is supposed to be a transforming Middle East, that when the last Libyan rebel lies bleeding in the desert, the boot of a pro-Gaddafi thug upon his neck, his last gasp will be: “Where are the Arabs?”

Robert Grenier was the CIA’s chief of station in Islamabad, Pakistan, from 1999 to 2002. He was also the director of the CIA’s counter-terrorism centre.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.Source:

Al Jazeera

The arms of the Resistance, it has been suggested, should be abandoned as a matter of principle.  ‘From now on’, explains Caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri, ‘the possession of weapons, decision of war and peace, and defending the country should only be under the state’s control’.  Political principles, it would seem, can be slippery.  ‘From now on’?  Perhaps this disclaimer is meant to ease the turnabout from the Hariri-Ministerial Cabinet Statement issued just over a year ago:

‘Based on the Cabinet’s responsibility to preserve Leba­non’s sovereignty, its independence, unity and the safety of its land, the government underscores Lebanon’s right through its people, army and resistance to liberate or regain authority of Shebaa Farms, Kfarshouba hills and the occupied part of Ghajar village and defend the country against any aggression’.

For the sake of argument, however, let us set aside the dictates of political expediency.  Let us look at the reality of what this stance entails. 

The crux of the grievance being voiced these days is that the Lebanese Army should have exclusive domain over national defence.  The grievance asserts that the Islamic Resistance of Hezbollah has usurped this privilege for its own advancement.  The puzzling bit of this accusation, however, is that it is being raised not by the Army—but by various politicians.

In contrast to the opinions of the 14th of March personalities, the Lebanese Army has for over twenty-five years maintained an efficient working relationship with the Resistance.  The developments in Lebanon over the past six years have left this harmony stronger than ever.  Building on the firm, longstanding commitment exhibited by Generals Michel Aoun and Emile Lahoud, the Lebanese Army remains a proud partner of the Resistance. 

When Lebanese Army General Michel Sleiman took on the role of President in 2008, he carried with him the experience to judge the elements required for an adequate national defence.  He stated that the success of the Resistance in defeating the occupier was ‘achieved by virtue of the support granted by the Lebanese people, the State, and the Lebanese Army’.  Such success notwithstanding, he continued,

‘the enemy’s persistence in threatening to violate our sovereignty imposes upon us to elaborate a defensive strategy that will safeguard the country concomitantly with a calm dialogue to benefit from the capacities of the Resistance in order to better serve this strategy.  Accordingly, we will manage to avoid depreciating the achievements of the Resistance in internal conflicts and subsequently we will safeguard its values and national position’.

President Sleiman reiterated his conviction just weeks ago in response to Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak’s warning that Israeli military may invade Lebanon yet again.  Barak ‘knows full well’, said Sleiman, ‘ that entering Lebanon is no longer a walk in the park.  The defence minister’s threat to send his forces into Lebanon again shows premeditated intentions of aggression.  The Lebanese people, army and resistance are ready to respond to any such aggression.’

President Sleiman’s confidence in the existing defence framework is shared by the head of the Lebanese Army, General Jean Kahwagi.  Addressing his troops last year, he advised them to ‘cling to the will of steadfastness and confrontation and to benefit from all the Lebanese capabilities residing in the capacities of the Army, the people and the Resistance as well as from the presence of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon and its support’. 

Whereas the stance currently adopted by the 14th of March campaigners clearly resents the ability of the Resistance, General Kahwagi  openly describes all contributions toward the national defence as honourable:

‘Let us look with veneration and respect at the souls of our pious martyrs, whether soldiers, citizens or resistance fighters, who fell while defending their country. . . and drew with their innocent blood the path of dignity and liberation for a country that we can be proud of in front of the whole world since we are its true and loyal protectors’.

As the Israeli media grins at the banners being  waved in Beirut that read ‘We want only the arms of the Lebanese army’, again it becomes imperative to look at the reality of what this stance entails.  

The Lebanese Army remains committed to a cooperative national defence, to a formula of the Army, the people and the Resistance.  Just days ago, General Kahwagi reiterated:

‘The Lebanese Army abides by this formula since it is part of the decisions and guidance of the political authority represented by the Cabinet and it is totally convinced by this formula since experience has proved its primary role in liberating the greater part of south Lebanon and western Bekaa from Israeli enemy occupation in addition to its role in defeating this enemy in the war of July 2006 and in safeguarding Lebanon in these days’.

A system of mutual support has evolved.  To disallow the arms of the Resistance would be to arbitrarily disregard the consistent evaluation of the Army’s top leaders.  This is nonsensical.  Such a suggestion would leave Lebanon vulnerable; of this there is no doubt.  The only conclusion, then, is that such a suggestion is either gross negligence or wilfull acceptance of Lebanon’s being engulfed.   We have to wonder whether the current swirl of rhetoric over who gets to be commander-of-the-day has more to do with protection or politics.  If both the acting Army General and the President, a former Army General, embrace the contributions of the Resistance, then the state of Lebanon is already well in control of its defence. 

 By Brenda Heard For www.english.moqawama.org

Originally posted at http://www.english.moqawama.org/essaydetails.php?eid=13640&cid=269 

Don Quixote and Sancho PanzaHero or madman? Four hundred years ago Don Quixote, Cervantes’s cavalier clod, set out from La Mancha on a decrepit horse, Sancho Panza by his side, to win the heart of Dulcinea. Quixote was a dreamer with good intentions and his legend has endured, but for all the wrong reasons. We remember him for his misadventures, albeit chivalrous, but at the end of the day Quixote saved no one and made no difference except perhaps in the hearts of those he encountered. In truth, his righteous intentions and noble acts often led to grave consequences.

In a strange sort of way, it feels like we’re seeing these misadventures played out before our eyes, and as in Cervantes’s brilliant parody, with equally tragic results.

The quixotic endeavour known as the Freedom Flotilla is about to embark on its second act at the end of May 2011. The first flotilla, which reached its dramatic end on 31 May 2010, saw a tiny fleet of boats carrying peace activists – and according to Israel, a group of Turkish militants – face off against one of the most powerful armed forces in the world. Well, at least no one can accuse them of battling windmills but one must question the sanity and cynicism of organizers who deliberately sought acclaim through known adversity. Perhaps like Quixote, they truly believed they were “born to be an example of misfortune, and a target at which the arrows of adversary are aimed.”

So they got their headlines, but at such a cost. The incident, planned as a publicity-raising exercise more than anything else, set off a series of protests and diplomatic wrist-slaps around the world. Europeans very much want to see a negotiated end to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. But significantly, the flotilla disaster has failed to hurt Israel’s international standing. Indeed, within a few weeks of the raid, Israel’s proponents were lining up to affirm their support. “Israel’s basic right to self-defense should not be questioned,” wrote one group that included Jose Maria Aznar, a former prime minister of Spain, David Trimble, a former first minister of Northern Ireland, Alejandro Toledo, a former president of Peru, and Marcello Pera, a former president of the Italian Senate.

Since the demise of Israel’s relations with Turkey (which, admittedly, began before the flotilla incident), Israel’s Mediterranean neighbours have been practically tripping over themselves to improve ties to Israel. Last November Italy’s air force conducted a joint training exercise with the IAF. In February, Israeli President Shimon Peres visited Spain where he met with Spanish PM Jose Luis Zapatero and the King of Spain, Juan Carlos I who hosted Peres at a royal reception. Last week, Cyprus President Dimitris Christofias arrived in Israel for the first visit by a Cypriot head of state in over 10 years. While in Jerusalem Christofias, Cyprus’ first Communist president, became the first European leader to publicly denounce the flotilla project. “Terror activities in Gaza are unacceptable,” stated Christofias, “and therefore we have prevented the flotillas from leaving.” http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/142898

No state is benefiting from Israel’s estrangement from Turkey more than Greece. Israel’s ties to Greece have been strengthening on an almost daily basis. It should be remembered that Greece initially withdrew from joint military exercises with Israel in protest at the raid. But within a few months, Greece was hosting senior members of the IDF, including navy head Eli Marom (who ordered the Mavi Marmara attack), and Israel’s PM and his wife.
http://multimedia.jta.org/images/multimedia/bibius_0/F100817GPO05_m.jpg

“We see the (European) market expanding to the Mediterranean and certainly we would like to integrate Israel into this European market,” said Prime Minister George Papandreou. “I think this is vital for Israel’s economy but also for its strategic security. “Last month, Greek’s PM promised visiting Jewish American leaders that Athens would help Israel forge even CLOSER ties with the European Union, particularly through gaining access to European markets. Not a word about Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians or even the detention of 30 Greek activists on board Mavi Marmara. A non-issue!

Other European states have been equally nonchalant toward the tiny protest movement. Just a few weeks before the raid, on 10 May 2010, Israel had been invited by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries to become a member. One might have expected the deadly assault to affect the discussions. One would be wrong. The formal agreement was signed in Paris on 28 June 2010.

The love-fest has continued throughout the EU. Last month, the Dutch parliament passed a pro-Israel bill affirming Israel’s existence as a Jewish, democratic state and urging the EU not to recognize a unilaterally declared Palestinian state. The bill declared that the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state would not bring closer a lasting peace, and therefore the Dutch government will advance a European (EU) policy that rejects the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state and means a European call to the Palestinian leaders to resume direct negotiations with Israel. In other words, a complete dismissal of Palestinian rejection of Jewish self-determination and agreement with Israel’s position that it has been the PA and its refusal to negotiate that is the stumbling block, not Israeli actions. It’s also impossible not to notice tightening relations between Israel and Poland which includes several recent military deals. In Jerusalem last month for the first ever Polish-Israeli governmental forum, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk declared, “You have a real friend in Europe and it is important that both countries will strengthen each other’s image.” (And again, not a mention of Israel’s treatment of Gaza’s population.) http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11858.shtml

If that doesn’t seem significant consider this: in July 2011, Poland will assume the rotating presidency of the EU.

There’s more. Last month, a computer scientist at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University was appointed by the European Commission to its Scientific Council, the governing body of the European Research Council (ERC). A few days later, Israel was selected to host the 2011/13 Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) European Under-21 final tournament. Yes, international organizations are still planning events in Israel, business is up (4.1% in 2010) and tourists are flocking to the country in droves.

Other than some public admonishment from known critics of Israel, such as Catherine Ashton, the British government has all but forgotten last year’s raid. Prime Minister David Cameron, who last year condemned the attack, has now reversed his position saying that Israel was “within its rights to search vessels bringing cargo into Gaza.” And last week, George Galloway’s Viva Palestina announced that it can no longer fund-raise in behalf of any future flotilla as a result of suspected ties to Hamas. Although no links have been proven, Viva Palestina obviously believes the investigation is ongoing. Was this inquiry ordered from above? The timing is certainly suspicious.

The incident definitely didn’t affect Israel’s relationship with the US. In August 2010, the two countries signed a formal co-operation pact between NASA and the Israel Space Agency (ISA). The US has continued to shield Israel from legal action and has endorsed Israel’s Turkel Report, an examination of the details of the raid, as a “credible and impartial and transparent investigation.”

The issue at hand is not the cause, which is worthwhile and laudable, but the methods and motivation of some so-called peace-activists who, like Quixote, are “spurred on by the conviction that the world [needs their] immediate presence.”

If, then, the Freedom Flotilla’s hope was to embarrass Israel into lifting its blockade of the Gaza strip, it was a dismal failure. A second flotilla planned for May 2011, will also likely end in disaster, the boats stopped by force, activists detained and possibly killed. The movement will succeed at getting more headlines for a cause that’s barely been out of the news for 40 years. Will international condemnation follow? Probably. Will it make a difference? It hasn’t yet.

That’s not to say the plan is meaningless: it empowers and validates human rights activists trying to make a difference; more importantly, the global movement gives hope to Gaza’s entrapped population. That sort of gesture shouldn’t be dismissed. But there is a troubling flip-side that must be addressed, and that is the powerful influence of a small group of narcissistic, self-righteous Don Quixotes (and I put Turkey’s PM Erdogan, who is seeing re-election just weeks after the scheduled flotilla, in this group) who may be championing a failed strategy at the expense of putting the time and effort into developing realistic strategies for real peace. Before another flotilla sails, I think it’s time this prospect is considered.

Cameron likes private Israeli security orgs

‘With me you have a prime minister whose belief in Israel is indestructible’, David Cameron assured over a thousand supporters of a private security organisation that polices the English Jewish communities.  While his commitment has long been common knowledge, his word choice underscores the need for concern.

When we say we ‘believe in’ something, we are making a personal value judgement.  Whether we ‘believe in’ God, or we ‘believe in’ drinking five litres of water a day, the phrase means that we think the concept is valid.  The British Prime Minister’s word choice points to a political phenomenon: Israel has never been a traditional state as much as it has been an ethos.  From the beginning, the Israeli project has been an ideology imposed at the expense of those whose only fault was to have been caught unawares on a coveted land. 

Indeed the whole of Cameron’s speech, which can be read here http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/46044/david-camerons-speech-cst, exudes a passion for a conceptual people under siege.  Cameron thus describes his belief in the Israeli project as ‘indestructible’—defensively and defiantly ‘indestructible’. 

The need for concern lies with his personal adulation dictating the terms of his political management.  Certainly, to guarantee equal rights for English people of all religious faiths is admirable.  But throughout his speech Cameron equates ‘Jewish’ with ‘Israeli’—as if all London Jews were pro-Israeli (they are not) and as if all Israelis were Jewish (they are not).   Such a stance discredits both demographics.  Likewise, his promise that he ‘will always be an advocate for the State of Israel’ denies the possibility of a conflict of interest with his sworn duty as Prime Minister to be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth: to be an advocate for the United Kingdom.

Equally as worrisome, though, is the Prime Minister’s characterisation of the recent upheavals in the Arab world.  Cameron notes that ‘this instability may seem a cause for concern for Israel’, but he then shrewdly reassures his audience.  This is a ‘precious moment of opportunity’, he says.  ‘We want to see Israel driving the process, which means seizing the initiative.  Doing so is absolutely vital’.

Vital to whom?  Is it vital to the Libyan people against whom Muammar and Saif al-Islam Gaddafi are using mercenary weapons outsourced from similar Israeli ‘security firms’?  No, not vital, but lethal to those seeking redress.

Cameron devotes a significant portion of his speech to discussing the Arab uprisings as an ‘opportunity’ for Israel and its Western patrons to remake the region to better suit themselves.  This myopic exploitation typifies the pattern of defining all matters and all peoples of the Greater Middle East in terms of the Western-Israeli Alliance. 

A spirit of entitlement and superiority has for many long and bloody years pervaded Western foreign policies.  Many of those who have been suffocated by such attitudes have at last realised that they deserve to decide for themselves their own business.

A state is a dynamic entity.  No state comprises people of identical values.  Its success lies in achieving a balance in the cultural expression of those values.   But this balance cannot be imposed.  It can be determined only by the people themselves. 

The Arab peoples have had enough of the condescending advisories from those who have their strategic eye on Aladdin’s cave.  The Arab peoples do not need the dubious money-maker George Soros to sort out on the BBC the Arabs’ handling of their own natural resources.  Nor do they need David Cameron’s vision of ‘stability and security for all.’  Because his vision is simply not for all.  He said it himself: he will always be an advocate for the State of Israel. 

The seemingly contagious quests for Arab autonomy throughout the region have been propelled by people who want and need and demand a voice.  Their own voice.  The uprisings are neither pro-Westernism, nor anti-Westernism.  Rather, the uprisings are about self-respect.  The uprisings are resistance to imposed ideologies.  Let us be clear: the region is not for sale.

www.english.moqawama.org

Originally posted at http://english.moqawama.org/essaydetails.php?eid=13593&cid=269  

Photo from http://thecst.org.uk/blog/?p=2359   

"peace" talks

When allowed to turn freely, the metaphoric Palestinian compass points in one direction — that of Palestinian struggle. But most of the time, someone is interfering with this compass, rigging it to other directions, as in the case of the continually failing peace process.

Now, with much of the Arab world up in arms against its autocratic rulers, the Palestinian compass is given another nudge, also in the wrong direction. The Palestinian public is seething, and yet Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) officials are telling us that the only way forward is through more negotiations. The “peace process,” we’re told, is the only thing worth saving from the current sea of Arab discontent.

It’s all topsy-turvy in the land of discontent. A Day of Dignity has been called to presumably restore unity in Palestinian ranks. Most likely it will lead to further disunity. Allow me to elaborate.

The Day of Dignity, held on 11 February, was not meant to end occupation but to terminate Gaza’s spirit of civil defiance. “Say no to division and occupation and yes to national unity,” is the slogan another group of organisers chose for planned protests on 15 March. On that day, the PLO plans to call for new presidential, legislative, and local elections in the hope of regaining enough credibility to pursue its favourite goal, that of negotiating for peace. The organisers tell us that they want a Palestinian state by next September. How many times have we heard this before?

WAFA, the PLO-run news agency, is trying to give the impression that this is the only path available to the nation. We’re either going to negotiate for peace, or we’ll protest and then negotiate for peace. If there is a point to this argument, I don’t see it.

Does anyone remember why the current split in Palestinian ranks happened? It all started when PLO officials, the endemic believers in peace, refused to honour the outcome of democratic elections held in 2006. So much of current dilemma is due to the simple inability of the PLO to reconcile peace with democracy.

So far, we’ve had a peace process that wasn’t so much about ending the conflict as it was about managing it.

The kind of negotiations we’ve been having, as Rashid Khalidi, the prominent Columbia University professor said, were never about self-determination or about ending the occupation, but about allowing Israel to impose its point of view, with US blessing every step of the way. This has been the case since the Madrid Conference of 1991. The only practical use of the peace process was to allow Israel time to build more settlements, with US approval. A US veto only a few days ago, on 18 February, should put to rest any lingering doubts in this regard.

But American officials are still conducting “quiet” talks with both sides, as Dennis Ross told the 2011 J Street Conference. Abbas thinks this is the only way forward, but some Israelis are not so sure.

Uri Avnery, long-time peace activist and founder of the peace movement Gush Shalom (the Peace Bloc), says that the Palestinians have other options. “What would happen if hundreds of thousands of Palestinians started walking to the Separation Wall and pulled it down? What would happen if a quarter of a million Palestinian refugees in Lebanon gather on our northern borders? What would happen if protesters gathered in numbers at Al-Manara Square in Ramallah and Al-Baladiya Square in Nablus to challenge the occupation?” he asked.

The Israeli peace activist is not saying that this may happen today or tomorrow. But, judging by the way things are going, it cannot be ruled out. This is perhaps why Obama’s chief Middle East advisor Dennis Ross admitted that the current situation was “untenable”.

And yet PLO negotiators are helping the Israelis prolong the situation, by giving the false impression that something will happen when everyone else knows that things are going to stay the same. The PLO seems to be holding out for the day when the US, or the EU, put their foot down and broker a fair peace. It’s not going to happen.

Meanwhile, the PLO continues to suppress the only two forces capable of turning things around: national resistance and a citizen-led Intifada. The PLO is blocking any chance of forward movement while giving everyone the impression that it is doing something for the people. All it is doing is to help the Israelis perpetuate a basically untenable situation.

On 2 March, the newspaper Haaretz reported that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was working on a plan for establishing a Palestinian state with temporary borders as part of interim peace arrangements. We’ve heard it all before.

The Netanyahu plan is nothing new. It is a reproduction of earlier plans, all aiming to give the Palestinians a reduced version of the West Bank. Former defence minister, Shaul Mofaz, who is now chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee, came up with a similar idea that would have given the Palestinians back about half of the West Bank.

An earlier version of the Netanyahu strategy was tried by Labour when Ehud Barak was prime minister. Barak, unable to complete a promised three-phase withdrawal from the West Bank, dragged PLO negotiators to a summit in Camp David in 2000 and then made sure that the summit would lead to nothing.

Kadima tried the same thing when Ariel Sharon was prime minister. Arafat snubbed him and was subjected to a cruel siege that ended in his death. Were Abbas to snub Netanyahu, he may face a similar fate. But Abbas doesn’t seem too eager to take a stand.

Arafat stood firm, even when he ran out of options. He told his people the truth. He told them that he cannot give up their rights, froze the PLO’s participation in the talks, and told the Palestinians that they would have to live and die for their rights. “Millions of martyrs will go to Jerusalem,” were his famous last words.

You cannot have a national unity government without having credibility. The most Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad have so far proposed is a government of technocrats. How can technocrats resolve an issue that is so political at heart? Reconciliation is a political quest, and the concessions it requires are not “technocratic” in nature.

The PLO cannot partner with Hamas before reconciliation is achieved, Fatah Central Committee member Jamal Moheisen told Gulf News on 28 February. This makes a lot of sense, but reconciliation comes at a price. And so far I don’t believe that the PLO is willing to pay that price. The way I see it, the PLO cares more for peace talks than it does for national unity.

You cannot have negotiations without resistance, just as you cannot have democracy without fighting for it. We’ve always known that, and we have the Intifada to prove it. We cannot be united until we’re willing to struggle against occupation together. And we cannot be democratic until we’ve learned how to share. So far, the PLO is neither sharing nor struggling, and its quest for peace is therefore doomed.

The writer is a veteran Arab journalist based in Birzeit in the West Bank of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian Territories. This article was translated from Arabic and published by Al-Ahram Weekly on 10-16 March 2011.

http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=9701&Itemid=58


Gaza – PNN – Crowds packed Gaza City’s streets today, chanting “The people want an end to division.” The demonstrators are demanding both Palestinian governments in Gaza and the West Bank end the four year old division and restore national unity.

Although Hamas security forces in Gaza didn’t attempt to break up the protests for most of the day, after night fell they surrounded demonstrators and used force to disperse them, beating some with batons, as many as five were reported injured.

Mahmoud Srour is a university student. He left class today demanding national unity.

“Yes for the unity of the Palestinian people in order to encounter an aggressive occupation that grabs our lands day by day, while each of the dividing parties are just taking care to their own political interests and ignore Palestine’s”

As part of the call for unity, some Palestinians have been on hunger strike and many demonstrators say say they are committed to continue demonstrating until they see results. Rewan Abu Shahla is one of the March 15 organizers in Gaza.

“We are staying here, whatever happens, we are staying because what we are calling for is noble and higher than anything. We are calling for unity for the sake of Palestine and we are raising this flag, the Palestinian flag, so we will never give this up”.

Despite mediation from Arab countries including Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, both Fatah and Hamas have been unable to agree on a path toward reconciliation.

Rami Al Meghari from Gaza contributed to this article. http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=9713

UNITE!

Posted: 03/14/2011 by editormary in Palestine, People's Movements / Struggles
Tags: , , ,

Unite! by Carlos Latuff

STATEMENT from Falasteenlana

The mass protests planned by Palestinian youth groups for March 15th are gaining momentum and extended media coverage. We, the youth groups organizing and mobilizing for this movement, find it necessary to clarify the following points:

– These protests are being organized under the banner of national unity and reconciliation. However, we emphasize that resolving the predicament of Palestinian disunity must be based on principles and values agreed upon by the Palestinian people regardless of their political affiliation. The first of these principles is the illegitimacy of imprisoning people based on their political beliefs. Consequently, we demand the release of all political prisoners held by the government in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

Our demands for change go beyond ending Palestinian disunity and partial tweaks to the status quo. We insist on full democratic representation for Palestinians all over the world. Consequently our movement stipulates:

– Democratic Palestinian National Council (PNC) elections based on a one-person one-vote electoral system that guarantees equal representation for all Palestinians around the world (Gaza Strip, West Bank, 48 territories, refugee camps, and in the Diaspora). This necessitates a complete overhaul of the PNC’s structures and the establishment of new electoral procedures.

Attempts to Co-opt March 15th Mass protests
Palestinian political parties, Hamas’ government in Gaza, Fayyad’s government in the West Bank, and a plethora of nongovernmental organizations are seeking to co-opt this movement to serve their narrow interests. Moreover, they are attempting to legitimize themselves by falsely stating that they are the main organizers behind this event. We open-heartedly welcome the participation of party members and NGO employees, who are an essential and inseparable part of our societal fabric. We do not welcome attempts by their leaders to redirect our efforts.

– We affirm that the March 15th movement is by the people for the people, and is independent of any political party or institutional backing. It is being organized by non-partisan youth groups who dream of a better future for their people.

We invite all Palestinians, and particularly Palestinian youth, to come down to the street on March 15th. We will only carry Palestinian flags, and chant and sing for freedom, unity, and justice. March 15th shall be the day we stand in unity to demand democratic representation for all Palestinians as an affirmative step in our struggle for Freedom from Israeli Apartheid.

May Palestine one day be Free, like the Spirit of her Children


بيان توضيحي عن فعالية الخامس عشر (15) من آذار

بعد أن كثر الحديث في الآونة الأخيرة عن تاريخ الخامس عشر من آذار نوضح نحن المجموعات الشبابية المشاركة في تنظيم وإعداد فعالية الخامس عشر من آذار بعض النقاط:

في حين أن العنوان الأساسي للفعالية يتحدث عن إنهاء الإنقسام، ننوه إلى أن إنهاء الإنقسام يجب أن يستند إلى شروط يحددها الشعب الفلسطيني ونؤكد على ضرورة الإفراج الفوري عن كل المعتقلين السياسيين لدى السلطتين كخطوة اولى. إلا أننا نحن الشباب نطالب بحل جذري لا جزئي للوضع الراهن، يبدأ بمطالبة واضحة بإجراء انتخابات مجلس وطني جديد لمنظمة التحرير الفلسطينية تستند إلى آليات انتخاب جديدة تضمن مشاركة كافة أجزاء الشعب الفلسطيني حول العالم (الضفة الغربية وقطاع غزة، فلسطينيو الداخل، اللاجئين، وفلسطينيو الشتات). تأتي المطالبة بجسم ممثل للشعب الفلسطيني في كافة أماكن تواجده، للتعبير عن طموحات الشعب الفلسطيني، وخاصة أهمية الخروج من المرحلة الإنهزامية الحالية إلى حركة تحرر وطنية توظف كافة السبل لمقاومة الكيان الصهيوني حتى الوصول إلى الحقوق الفلسطينية غير القابلة للتصرف وعلى رأسها حق الشعب الفلسطيني في تقرير المصير، وانهاء الإحتلال والإستعمار، والتمييز
العنصري ضد شعبنا في الداخل الفلسطيني، وحق العودة للديار كما تنص عليه قرارات الشرعية الدولية.

نحذر من محاولات بعض الجهات لتجيير فعاليات الخامس عشر من آذار لمصلحة أهدافها السياسية الفئوية، وخاصة بعض المؤسسات الشبابية و الأحزاب السياسية والحكومات التي تحاول احتواء نشاط الشباب و”شرعنة” نفسها من خلال محاولة اظهار النشاط وكأنه من تنظيمها. نأكد على أن تحرك الخامس عشر من آذار تحرك شعبي غير تابع لأي فصيل أو مؤسسة، وهو ملك الشباب والشابات المتظاهرين.

أخيرا،

ندعو جميع فئات الشعب الفلسطيني وخاصة الشباب إلى النزول للشارع يوم الخامس عشر من آذار لرفع العلم الفلسطيني فقط، دون شعارات أو أعلام أو ألوان حزبية للتأكيد على رفض تجيير الفعالية لأهداف أو مطالب حزبية أوغيرها. هذا يومنا للمطالبة وبوضوح بانتخابات مجلس وطني فلسطيني جديد كبداية ترتيب صفناالداخلي وإعادة بناء مشروعنا الوطني الهادف لمقاومة الأضطهاد الإسرائيلي بكافة أشكاله.

عاشت فلسطين حرة كأبنائها


Saeed Amireh, unlike me, does not live in freedom. Saeed, 18, lives in Palestine, in a village named Ni’lin. His home is under Occupation by Israel. I have chosen to write my third piece on Palestine about Saeed and his family. Their treatment by the Israeli army has been shockingly brutal.

The erection of the illegal apartheid wall has stolen one third of Ni’lin’s land. In 2004 the Israel Supreme court and the international court of justice sided with the villagers of Ni’lin and ruled the wall illegal. However, this did not deter the Israeli government and in 2008 the construction of the wall continued again. It is a disgrace that this wall steals much of Ni’lin’s land. Saeed and his family are an inspiration.

They continually protest against the annexation wall. Saeed’s father is Ibrahim Amireh, one of the leaders of “The Ni’lin Popular Committee against the Wall.’ The Popular Committee non-violently resists the construction. On the 12th January 2010, Ibrahim was arrested by the Israeli army and sentenced to 11 months and 15 days in prison and fined 9,000 shekels ($2,330) with a prohibition from joining future protests. His family were given two months to pay the fine but they had no means to pay it. Two other members of the Popular Committee, Hassan Mousa and Zaydoon Srour, each received the same sentence. Ibrahim’s treatment during his arrest and incarceration was inhumane.

Photo: Saeed Arpatheid
wallcredit to Saeed Amireh.

I sit and watch the news and listen to the radio and hear the commentators speak of the conflict in the Middle East. This is not a conflict; it is an occupation, pure and simple. It saddens me that so many seem to close their eyes to the horror of the situation. In highlighting Saeed’s story and that of his family I am sharing only one of many such accounts that tell of Israel’s brutal military and their unfair and unjust treatment of Palestinians.

Writing about Palestine evokes many emotions no matter how detached one tries to be. The previous articles I wrote in this series on life in the West Bank gave a feel for what life is like in Palestine as an activist, fighting for a cause while often feeling nobody is hearing you. I followed this with an opposite view point of a Jewish settler living in the west bank and what it feels like to live with the constant threat of terrorism. But who really is the terrorist? Can a home that has been built on occupied territory really be named a settlement when it has no right to be there? I would argue as Saeed does, that these are colonies, not settlements. Is the media portrayal of the Palestinian terrorist just another propagation of the Israeli government? Palestinians live under a constant state of occupation. Their dignity has been stolen as well as their land. They fight every day for freedom. Is Israel not terrorising the Palestinians, who now no longer have a country? Without a country they do not have an army, so how can this be defined a conflict?

During my interviews and correspondence with many people living in Palestine and the occupied areas, I found it very difficult not to sympathise with the Palestinians. At all times I found them to be very obliging, sincere and not at all bitter, although their sadness and feelings of loss is evident in their every word. It has become quite apparent to me that the media coverage of the Israel-Palestine situation is unbalanced. The American activist Alison Weir who is neither Jewish or a Muslim uncovered this for herself and continually addresses the balance on her web page ‘If Americans knew’ . Since September 29th 2000, 124 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians and 1,452 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis. I think it is reasonable to state that this is by far an occupation and not a conflict. This article focuses on the village Ni’lin and of an occupation but most of all an inspiring family.

Ni’lin, in the words of Saeed

Ni’lin, a village located to the west of Ramallah City in the West Bank, and just a few kilometres east of the Green line has been particularly affected by the construction of the Separation Barrier, the expansion of illegal settlements, the construction of a settler-only road and a tunnel that will inherently run through the village. In the near future, the village will be closed off from all sides, controlling the movement of Ni’lin’s citizens through one tunnel. We are suffering in the village since 1948. Once we had 57,000 dunam (A unit of land measurement) of fertile land. Israel has left us 7,000 dunam, they have stolen 50,000 dunam in order to build settlements and road number 446, which is an apartheid road since it can be used only by settlers, we are prohibited to enter it. Five illegal settlements have been built on our land; they surround our village from all sides. Additionally, Israel started building the separation wall on our remaining olive orchards in May 2008, annexing additional dunams of our land. With the support of surrounding villages, as well as international and Israeli peace activists, we have been protesting against the confiscation of the land and the construction of the apartheid wall. The army regularly invades our village and beats and arrests men and children, often in the middle of the night. We have been on curfew for four consecutive days. The authorities continue to deny us access to our land as well as working permits. There is no doubt that Israel wants us to disappear and annex all that remains. How are we to survive these measures?”

Ni’lin, (Photo of Saeeds mother at one of the first all women protests and where she was shot)
credit Activestills.

Demonstrations

In May 2008 nonviolent demonstrations began taking place in an effort to block the construction of the wall. By July the Israeli army had imposed a total curfew on Ni’lin. Did they have the right? After three days, villagers from the surrounding areas join the residents of Ni’lin in a demonstration to break the curfew. The Israeli military shoot two demonstrators who survive. A month later, on July 29, 2008, Ahmed Mousa, is shot and killed during a nonviolent demonstration. Ahmed was ten years old. Was he really a serious threat to Israel’s security? Yousef Amira (17) is shot and killed during a nonviolent demonstration two days later. In December Saeed is arrested during a night raid. Later, that same month Arafat Rateb Khawaje (22) and Mohammed Khawaje (20) are shot and killed during a demonstration. By 2009 Israel had established checkpoints around Ni’lin in an effort to prevent Israeli and international activists from participating in the non-violent demonstrations. Of course it must be remembered that Israel does not own this land but are occupying it illegally, one cannot say this enough. Saeed’s was in his final year at school when he was arrested. It was December 2008. Saeed was not released until the following April. Since then he has not studied. Israel tried to destroy his future but they cannot destroy his spirit. He was top in his grades but since his release he has worked tirelessly for the cause of Palestine. He cannot now afford to go to university.

The Amireh family

On the 12th January 2010, Ibrahim Amireh was arrested by the Israeli army and sentenced to 11 months and 15 days in prison. During his time in Prison there were 15 court hearings. The offences he was charged with were: Being present in a declared military zone: The “military zone” is actually his olive groves, which Israel declared a military zone, once they began building the wall. Organizing illegal and violent demonstrations: Ibrahim has always been a strong opponent to violence and has discouraged others from reacting violently whenever they have been attacked by the Israeli military. Saeed decided to fight for his father’s release and set up a web page. Using borrowed computers he began to raise awareness, as well as funds, to get his father and other members of ‘The Popular Committee against the Wall,’ out of prison. Saeed has seen things that an 18-year-old should never have to see.

Perseverance, strength, and determination

“Sometimes the Israeli soldiers just come to harass, mock and threaten us. Other times they come with dogs, unleash them inside the house, rummage through the house and cause a great deal of damage.

Due to the repeated abuse we have endured, both of my five-year-old twin brothers are terrified and suffer from nightmares. My 12- year-old sister Sammer, has been shot in her hand with live ammunition simply for participating in the protests. My 10-year-old sister Rajaa, was hit in her leg by a sound bomb when she tried to prevent snipers from climbing on our rooftop to shoot at other villagers.

Since the building of the apartheid wall on our lands, which started on the 27th May 2008, Israel has prevented us from reaching our lands. A few months ago Israel issued 50 permits for the first time for people to go on the other side of the wall to harvest the olive trees. More than 2000 people who are in need of permits in order to harvest their land were denied access to their land. My family and I are among those 2000 people.

When the people went to harvest their olive trees on the other side of the wall they had to wait for the soldiers for two hours until they came and opened the gate and the farmers were allowed in. It is an insult to our lives because before the wall was built we easily reached our land any time we wanted to.

Since the Israeli occupation constructed this wall we need to apply for permits which are very difficult to get. Those few who did get them received them only for a limited time of five days. After the farmers reached their lands, which are full of weeds and waste, they were surprised to see that the settlers and the soldiers had put Israeli flags on the olive trees and also burned many others.” –  Saeed Amireh

Saeed worked hard to try and get his father released by appealing through his web page, and facebook account, using limited internet access. Mostly he would use internet cafes. I have corresponded a great deal with him and was in awe of his dedicated perseverance.

His continuing determination eventually did get his father released. Early in December Ibrahim was freed after his plight was highlighted in newspapers and on websites. Many people emailed kind words of support and staged fundraising events. The Facebook page now has more than 1,134 members, many who contributed to help release Ibrahim Amirah.

I spoke to Ibrahim and his wife following his release.

Tell us about the day you were arrested?

Ibrahim: “It was the 12th January 2010, around 1.30 in the morning. We heard loud knocking on the door. I woke up and went to answer it. I was surprised to see 10 Israeli soldier’s pointing their M16 guns at me and shouting, ‘Are you Ibrahim Amerih?” I told them yes, and then one of them started screaming in my face and telling me to go out of the house. I told him I needed to get my shoes and my jacket but they didn’t allow me to.

Violently, they took me out of the house where it was very cold. They then raided the house and started to destroy the furniture and scream at my sons, trying to make them scared. I looked around me and saw that more than fifty soldiers were surrounding my house. Why so many I thought? They handcuffed and blindfolded me and took me to the military jeep. Once at the gate of the military Jail I met with my friends Hassan Mousa and Zaydoon Srour.

We waited from 1.00 am to 7.00am. It was very cold and I was without any shoes or warm clothes. I was freezing at that time and I also sick in my heart. Just after 7.00 am they took us to be interrogated. I stayed there until 11 pm in the evening without water or food or being allowed to use the bathroom. It was very hard for me.

For more than three hours they interrogated me and then started to threaten me to force me to admit things that I hadn’t done. I refused to say things, which were not true. I know that we are under occupation, and the real face of this occupation is so bad and unjust.

They treat us as if we are animals and they look at us like we are less than the animals. In these closed places where there is no media you see their reality. They do horrible things but when in front of the media they show themselves as a democratic people. The reality is that they are very brutal criminals.

I fight the occupation with values and ethics and with all the peaceful ways I know. I fight to get justice and have it in our lives. I fight for the justice and freedom of my people and to be independent and to get back our stolen land.”

Photo: Saeed with his parents, credit to Saeed Amireh

What was it like when you were released?

“I cannot describe my happiness. I was so happy. You cannot imagine how it feels to be away from your wife, children and responsibilities and not know how they are or how they are coping while you are not with them.

I was worried about my family so when I was released I was so pleased to be back in my home and land and with my people, who welcomed me back with a very big party.

Freedom is a very nice and beautiful thing. I wish to taste the flavour of freedom and peace for Palestine one day.”

Do you think there can ever be peace?

“Yes, and I am confident about that. We hope to have the right to live on our land in freedom and peace like all other people in the world.

Our peaceful and non-violent struggle we hope will prove to the whole world that we are a peaceful people. If we can show the whole world our true cause then they will know the truth about Palestine.

If we have international support we can break the borders and make a very big popular peace army to put pressure on America to stop Israel from committing such crimes against us and end the Occupation. We can then talk about peace.”

Living with a husband in Jail

For Bassma Amireh, life was very hard after her husband’s arrest. It was difficult to cope without him and even visiting him was quite arduous. Bassma would rise at four in the morning to visit her husband, as she knew there would be long waits at checkpoints before she would arrive at Negev Jail. The trip would take her many hours and when she finally arrived she could only spend forty-five minutes with him. Most of her time was spent travelling, waiting for buses, waiting at checkpoints and then waiting at the jail. It would be 11 at night before she returned home, exhausted and hungry. I asked how she had coped.

“It is really so hard to describe how we all were while my husband was in the jail and how we coped. I realized that this was a big thing imposed on us and we must accept it and continue our life and face all its difficulties. Even so, it is very hard because our situation is bad and our house was raided more than twenty-five times.

We became closer as a family and stronger in order to face all the difficulties. I became the only responsible parent to my children because now I have to cover the place of the father too. My oldest son Sadat who is twenty-one started looking for work and my other son Saeed did also. There are eight in the family so we needed to survive.  Every member of the family started taking responsibility for something. We were a united family. But before I visited him we were so worried as we didn’t know what had happened to him because they took him in a very brutal way.  After two months we were allowed to see him, just my two little twins Mahmood and Mostafa aged five and me and even then only for forty-five minutes.

It was a so hard, those days that I don’t want to remember it anymore.”

You must be very proud of your son Saeed and all he has done to raise awareness?

“Yes I am. Always he fights and never accepts that we lose. Saeed will not be broken and he has much dignity. One day, we were very disappointed and started to lose hope because the fine that was set to free my husband was so high.

Saeed came to me and told me that there is a friend ((an international friend)) who wants to help us with our situation and continue our struggle. I didn’t believe him in the beginning but later I saw everything that they did to raise money. I am so proud of my son and also grateful to all the people that helped raise the money for us.

I realized that we are not alone anymore and that the whole world is starting to know about what really goes on here now.

I don’t know how Saeed organised all this or how it all started but I saw Saeed was always busy, day and night. I know he worked so hard to achieve this great success. This is my son, as I know him and his spirit cannot be broken.”

Can you tell us a little about your everyday life and what it is like living under an occupied territory?

“It is a hard life and an unbearable life, but we have to deal with it and try to be normal. Here there is no security and most of the time I am so worried about my children because of the occupation forces. It is frightening when they come and go to the village often in the day.

At night there are the night raids. Our house was raided more than 25 times and when they don’t come to the house they annoy the whole village by throwing sound bombs and tear gas and live bullets at our homes. We need to feel more secure and also to feel we have some rights.

I joined the protest against the building of the annexation wall and I got shot several times. There is no way else than to accept to live under this situation, but we still do have hope for a better future full of peace and love and security and freedom one day. My daily life is-full of stress, we try to smile but it’s so hard when we have pain in our hearts hurting us. But we will never go down and we will be free one day.

It seems the Israeli army have total unchecked freedom to threaten, detain, imprison, torture and arrest Palestinians often without any charge. They openly practice violation of human rights.

These acts are carried out in the name of Jews everywhere. As a Jew this makes me responsible. I cannot condone their acts.”

* Palestinian, loss of land:
http://lawrenceofcyberia.blogs.com/photos/maps/landloss.html
* To read more about Ni’lin and to show your support, please go to
http://www.nilin-village.org/

AUTHOR: Lynda Renham-Cook
URL: http://www.lyndarenham.org.uk
E-MAIL: lynda@renham.co.uk

http://www.nl-aid.org/continent/middle-east/palestine-the-theft-of-ni’lin/

Mohammed BakriTo: Israeli court system
Stop The Political Persecution Of The Director And Actor Mohammed Bakri

There is mounting racism in Israel against the Arabs who form more than 20% of the state’s citizens. Indeed, the state itself is contributing to this climate of racism. Government agencies are trying to intimidate the political representatives of the Arab citizens. A series of increasingly racist bills are being introduced to the Knesset by members of parties in the governing coalition. The government does nothing to counter the widely-distributed racist proclamation which was issued by dozens of prominent rabbis who are actually paid by the government itself – a racist call for expelling Arab citizens from neighbourhoods in the cities of Safed, Tel Aviv, Bat Yam and elsewhere.

In line with all this, the courts are being used for a concerted attack on the director and actor, Muhammad Bakri. He is being persecuted for using his art to document the crimes of the Israeli state and its army.

Bakri was right when he commented on this persecution as follows: “Nobody sued me when, in addition to movies about the victims of the Jewish Holocaust, I attended movies on the Armenian Genocide and the crimes against the Kurds. Why, then, am I being pursued because I made the film “Jenin, Jenin”, about the attack of the Israeli army on the refugee camp in that city in Spring 2002?”

We know what stands behind the Israeli soldiers who are suing Bakri. The individual soldiers who are suing him were neither shown, nor mentioned, in the film. It is clear that the suit against Bakri is simply an attempt to silence a prominent voice that has dared to reveal the truth about the Israeli occupation. Bakri has dared to challenge the monopoly of the occupiers’ narrative. He is being persecuted in order to send a message to all others who might be tempted to reveal truths that are embarrassing to the racist hegemony in Israel.

The suit against Bakri is simply one ploy in a campaign of intimidation, a campaign which aims to silence all those who dare tell the truth about the injustices which the Israeli state, its settlers and its army are inflicting on the Palestinians.
All artists and progressive intellectuals around the world should lend their support to those in Israel who are trying to resist this vile campaign of intimidation. By doing so, they will help save whatever still remains in that country of the right to freedom of thought, to freedom of expression, to freedom of artistic creativity.
We, the undersigned, warn all Israelis: today they are abusing the courts to intimidate Mohammed Bakri; one day it will be you.

To the Israeli court system, we say: throw out this frivolous suit against Mohammed Bakri. Otherwise, you will drag the State of Israel and its institutions further into disrepute.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

please sign it here: http://www.petitiononline.com/bakri11/petition.html

also send your letters of solidarity to jenin.jenin48@gmail.com

During Demonstrations Demanding the Opening of Shuhada Street and Commemorating the Ibrihimi Mosque Massacre, a Number of Participants are Injured or Arrested
Hebron–Dozens of were injured Friday 2/25 when Israeli forces threw sound bombs and assaulted demonstrators at a large peaceful protest commemorating the Ibrihimi Mosque massacre, calling for the opening of Shuhada Street, and criticizing the American veto of the Palestinian call for UN Security Council condemnation of and a halt to settlement activity.

The protest was organized by Youth Against Settlements. Thousands of Palestinians and dozens of Israeli and foreign activists along with a number of Palestinian leaders (among them the Governor of Hebron Governorate Kamel Hamid, member of the Fatah Central Leadership Committee Jamal Mahsin, Head of the Palestinian initiative Mustafa Barghouthi,) participated in the demonstration after Friday prayers. The demonstration proceeded from the area of Sheikh Ali Al-Baka Mosque in the city toward the direction of Shuhada Street in the center of Hebron.

Occupation forces tried to prevent the demonstrators from reaching the eastern entrance to Shuhada Street, near the old municipality, by creating a large human chain of individuals from Special Forces. However, a large number of demonstrators managed to cross into Shuhada Street, where a number of demonstrators sat on the ground and in front of the tires of military jeeps. Soldiers attacked them, began to hit them with their hands and with the butts of their guns, pulled them away, and arrested a number of them, according to Youth Against Settlements Coordinator Issa Amro
.
The protesters split up to try to enter Shuhada Street through alleyways and smaller streets. They confronted occupation forces who used excessive force against them.

Occupation forces fired gas and sound bombs and rubber bullets at demonstrators, leading to injuries. About 20 demonstrators were taken to Hebron Governmental Hospital.

According to Amro, the demonstrators chanted slogans and carried signs in Arabic, English, and Hebrew demanding from the occupying authorities the opening of Shuhada Street, which has been closed for many years. Demonstrators’ slogans praised the popular revolutions in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya, and criticized the American veto of the UN Security Council condemnation of settlement activities.

Hebron Governor Kamel Hamid spoke to those in attendance, confirming the Arab nature of the city of Hebron and the opposition to the policy of settlement and discrimination practiced by the occupation in the city. He called for supporting and strengthening popular resistance to the occupation. He condemned the US veto in the Security Council. Jamal Mahsin spoke also, praising the steadfastness of the residents of Hebron, and emphasizing the necessity of national unity and the end of internal divisions.

The Israeli occupation forces closed Shuhada Street to Palestinian vehicles in 1994, after the Ibrihimi Mosque massacre, then forbade Palestinian residents to walk there in 2000, in order to provide security for the 600 Israeli settlers occupying the center of Hebron.

More than 500 stores were closed by military order in the center of Hebron, and more than a thousand store owners were forced to close their shops due to checkpoints and closures. At the same time, illegal settlers enjoy freedom of movement in the closed streets and are protected by occupation forces.

The activities of the occupation and its settlers in the city of Hebron have turned the lives of 200,000 Palestinians in Hebron into a living hell and expelled thousands from their homes.

Unity between Palestinians is more urgent than any other need

 please sign the petion Ahewar
We have yet to be free as a people but have diverged from the path to liberty. This social contract is the basis of a new popular movement towards our liberation.

The Palestinian people and their struggle are now confronted by a disastrous situation. We are divided. Our priorities are confused, and our agenda for liberation is unclear. We have consequently fallen short of achieving our freedom. We lack justice and have yet to practice our inalienable right of self-determination.

Today, we derive our strength and legitimacy from our urge to end the suffering and aspirations of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Galilee, in the compulsory diaspora in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and around the world. We stand infused with the energy emanating from the Arab people’s glorious revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, and the revolutions in Arab countries from the Atlantic Ocean to the Arabian Gulf. We say, in the name of our innocent martyrs, the wounded, prisoners, refugees, men, women and children, youth and elderly that our compass now points in one direction, and it points towards freedom. To get there we must and shall achieve the following:

Freedom, Justice, and Self-determination

The Palestinian people shall begin to build a realistic vision for their future based on a new Palestinian Social Contract. Our social contract shall be based on the inalienable rights to liberty, justice, self-determination, and the pursuit of happiness. This contract shall ensure freedom, human dignity and justice. Equality, clarity, transparency, democracy and full societal participation in the struggle shall be the guiding principles for this contract. The Palestinian citizens’ cause, concerns and aspirations cannot be reduced, in anyway, to one third of the Palestinians who are in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Therefore, the required Social Contract represents all the Palestinians. It addresses their rights within a formula that observes what is common among all Palestinians and recognizes the differences among the diverse components of our society.

This statement balances between the daily concerns of the Palestinian people and their aspirations. It also suggests realistic alternatives to the current status quo that results in a state of division, weakness, economic crises and the marginalization of the majority of the Palestinian people. We pose three necessary changes to the status quo that express our vision for the Palestinian people.

First: The Establishment of a New Palestinian Social Contract

The Social Contract is based on the need to establish unity amongst the Palestinian people (in Palestine within its historical borders and in the diaspora). We all have the same aspirations: Freedom, justice, return, the unhindered pursuit of happiness, and the dream that we will practice our right to self-determination. To achieve these aspirations all sectors of the Palestinian people, civil society, different political factions, the youth and trade unions are invited to:

– Rebuild the PLO as the sole representative of the Palestinian people and maintain its independence. This requires re-structuring its institutions and ensuring that it is away from the Israeli occupation control.
– Reformulate the Palestinian National Charter in accordance with the new Social Contract, in a manner that ensures the supremacy of freedom, justice and equality that light the path for our movement towards liberation, democracy and self-determination.
– Re-building of the PLO requires, first and foremost, election of a Palestinian National Council (PNC) representing all Palestinians (inside and outside the homeland). Preparations for the elections shall ensure full democracy.
– Pursuant to the PNC elections, the PLO Executive Committee shall be formed in a manner representing political forces, independent personalities and representative institutions with a special focus on ending the factional quota tradition.
– Full separation between the PLO institutions, tasks and persons and the institutions of the administrative bodies responsible for maintaining the day to day life of Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories (OPT).
– End the existing status quo and begin building mechanisms that ensure the broadest democratic representation of the Palestinian people.
– Ensure that the newly formulated PLO is the sole responsible party for the political track of the Palestinian cause before the Palestinian people. Consequently, the Palestinian Authority, as an institution or personalities, does not politically represent the Palestinian people and does not identify mechanisms of our struggle and resistance.
– Struggle against the occupation and its injustices using all internationally legitimate and ethical means. Any strategies for the struggle shall be decided upon through national consensus (achieved within the PLO) and strategically formulated according to the challenges the Palestinian cause is facing to ensure that the most practical tactics are being used.
– Ensure that our inalienable rights are non-negotiable.

Second: The Struggle Against the Occupation and its Apartheid policies

Main principle: The Palestinian people shall struggle against the Israeli occupation using all morally legitimate means of resistance until they are free and establish a just society with full equality.

– The Palestinian people, through the PLO, shall identify the strategies of the struggle.
– We shall increase the momentum of nonviolent popular resistance, using the media, international law, strikes, boycotts, divestment and sanctions and shall seek international support for our struggle.
– We shall support the steadfastness our people on their land, especially in Jerusalem, areas threatened with eviction such as the Jordan Valley and areas in the Negev desert, and near the Apartheid barrier.
– We shall form popular committees to confront occupation’s measures and create daily realities to protect innocent people, their private properties and land.
– We shall launch international campaigns to combat the occupation and its racist separation. We shall use international law to assist us in ascertaining our rights and coordination with international organizations that support values such as human rights, freedom, and equality.
– We shall struggle against the Israel’s racist measures against our people inside the Green Line, support them and provide political and legal protection for their demands and struggle.

Third: Administration of the daily living affairs of the Palestinian people in the OPT

Main principle: The Palestinian administration in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is the civil entity mandated by the PLO to manage the Palestinian affairs. Hence, it does not have the authority to represent all Palestinians. It is not a political entity or authority.
– The PLO forms a representative council for the Palestinians in the OPT responsible for management of their life affairs.
– The representative council is the realistic alternative of the Palestinian Legislative Council and the Presidential institution in the OPT.
– An administrator shall be elected from the representative council. He/She shall nominate the heads of the differnet administrative directorates, which shall work according to a platform set up and approved by the representative council to ensure the fulfillment of the people’s day-to-day demands in the OPT.
– The representative council shall be constituted of experts and not politicians whose tasks are confined in taking care of administrative and legislative demands pertinent to people’s day-to-day lives. This will reduce factional competition and enhance the role of the elected representative council.

Formation of security apparatuses and their tasks, and the resistance arms
– All security apparatuses will be integrated within one police service that maintains public safety and the rule of law in the OPT.
– The police apparatus shall be fully separated from and independent of the political factions.
– Weapons shall be used for legal reasons only such as maintaining the people’s safety and defending them from mortal harm.
– Political factions do not have the right to individually select their resistance strategies.
– The police apparatus will be restructured based on new laws that shall govern its duties.

Combating corruption
– Full transparency shall be restored. Corrupt institutes and individuals shall be tried and the stolen funds returned to their rightful owners and the Palestinian people.

Requirements of national and societal reconciliation
– Banning any political platform from inciting to violence.
– The youth and academic experts shall formulate a document to end Palestinian disunity in a manner that is beneficial for the Palestinian cause.
– The youth shall use wide ranging activities to pressure all conflicting sides to come together
– Any delay in ending the division after this document is presented shall be borne by the present leaderships.
– A court shall be formed from independent persons guaranteed by the PLO to decide on all the division implications at the individual and collective levels. The court’s decisions are binding to all.

Let all people who love their people and their country now say, as we say here:
– WE SHALL STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM, SIDE BY SIDE, THROUGHOUT OUR LIVES, UNTIL WE HAVE WON OUR LIBERTY.

please sign the petition on Ahewar