Posts Tagged ‘gaza’

Funeral in Gaza City

Gaza, deux mois après l’assassinat, deux mois avec Vittorio Arrigoni

DE Michele Giorgio (à Gaza city pour ” il manifesto” 15/juin/2011)
traduit par Mariam S. (Mimi Loves Gaza)

“L’espace de jeux des enfants sera par là,  on rénové la salle de bain et la cuisine sera là”…

Saber Zanin se déplaçait rapidement d’une pièce à l’autre dans le local de l’association “Forsan Al Ghad ” pour les jeunes de Beit Hanoun.

Juste quelque temps auparavant il avait guidé une manifestation de presque trente volontaires occidentaux d’ISM (International Solidarity Movement) aux marges de la “Buffer Zone” (zone tampon),  la zone agricole la plus fertile de toute la bande de Gaza.

Ce sont ces secteurs dont Israël bloque l’accès aux palestiniens, pour des “raisons de sécurité”, même à ceux qui y possèdent des terrains.

C’est une mesure qui s’accompagne de tirs d’armes automatiques contre quiconque ose violer l’interdiction qui a affamé des centaines de familles qui vivent grâce à l’agriculture familiale.

“Vittorio a lutté avec nous, nous avons fait plusieurs marches ensemble le long de la “Buffer Zone”, c’était un frère pour moi, Saber réfléchit  en
nous montrant sur son ordinateur portable, des photos de Vittorio faites il y a à peine quelques mois.

Aujourd’hui  sera inauguré un camp d’été  appelé “Stay Human, Restiamo Umani”, à la mémoire de l’activiste italien kidnappé et tué il y a deux mois. Nous allons accueillir 60 enfants et adolescents entre six et seize ans, explique Saber. ” Et en plus de jouer et s’amuser ils vont apprendre à mieux connaître l’engagement politique et l’histoire humaine de Vittorio. Et aussi ils vont apprendre des notions de droits humains qui les prépareront à suivre les pas de notre frère décédé.”

Une dizaine d’ONG italiennes qui travaillent à Gaza sponsorisent le camp d’été,  Saber a la possibilité de voir son rêve devenir réalité, “Vittorio a toujours protégé les enfants de Gaza,  il serait heureux que cette initiative lui soit dédiée.”

Deux mois sans Vik, au contraire deux mois avec Vik continuellement, parce que à Gaza les amis et les camarades ne l’ont jamais oublié. Ses mots sont comme des pierres, son image fait partie de la mémoire collective. Daniela Riva, une volontaire du GVC  (groupe de volontaires chrétiens) de Bologne a passé les quelques dernières années a Gaza, travaillant sur des projets de développement.

Vittorio était un de ses amis proches, “quand je m’écroulais face à ceux qui en comprenaient pas mon engagement pour Gaza”, raconte Daniela, “Vik me disait que je devais répondre, qu’être engagé pour la justice et la liberté voulait dire être en vie, est ce qu’il y a autre chose qui mérite qu’on vive ou meure pour elle ? Qu’y a-t- il au monde de plus précieux ?… Quand, il y a quelques mois, un fermier que j’ai  vu seulement pendant quelques minutes a été tué par les balles israéliennes, Vittorio m’a dit de tout faire pour ne pas pleurer aux funérailles et de tenir ma tête haute,  on en pleure pas les martyrs, je l’ai fait. J’ai essayé de faire la même chose à ses funérailles aussi mais les larmes sont tombées en dépit de mes efforts.

Des souvenirs, d’intenses moments d’émotion, pour un jeune homme qui a perdu la vie à seulement 36 ans, un jeune homme qui a envoyé, via internet, quotidiennement et  durant des années avec honnêteté et constance,  des informations sur le siège israélien de Gaza. Sans omettre l’aspect économique et social, des informations qui ont été encore une fois confirmées hier.

Un rapport  de l’UNRWA précise que dans la seconde moitié de 2010, le taux de chômage dans la bande de Gaza était de 45.2%, l’un des plus élevés au monde. D’un  autre côté le niveau des salaires ne cesse de baisser. “Ceci est un signal d’alarme.” A déclaré Chris Gunness, le porte parole de l’UNRWA, “il est difficile de comprendre la logique d’une telle politique planifiée (par Israël note de l’auteur) afin d’appauvrir délibérément et qui a condamné des centaines de milliers de personnes à une vie de misère abjecte. Si le but du siège est d’affaiblir le Hamas”, continue –t-il “ces chiffres montrent qu’ils ont échoué, en même temps ils ont eu un grand succès dans la punition de quiconque puisse être considéré comme parmi les plus pauvres  des pauvres du moyen orient.

Les parents de Vittorio, sa sœur, ses amis, tous ceux qui l’ont connu personnellement ou qui ont fait sa connaissance à travers internet,  ceux qui l’ont écouté attentivement durant son tour d’Italie, ils sont tous impatients de connaître la vérité sur son assassinat. Ce moment pourrait être proche, des sources autorisées du ministère de la justice et des services de sécurité du gouvernement de Hamas, qui ont préféré rester anonymes, ont dit au manifesto que la court martiale allait rendre publique un communiqué officiel à la fin du mois de juin dans le cour des investigations et qu’au moins deux personnes, impliquées dans l’enlèvement et l’assassinat de Vittorio, allaient être jugées. L’une d’elles est Mahmoud al Salfit, le seul survivant des trois membres de la cellule Salafite autoproclamée (qui ont quitté le groupe Tawhid wal Jihad) responsable de l’enlèvement.

Les deux autres, le jordanien Abdel Rahman Breizat et Bilal Omari ont été tués dans l’assaut donné a Nuseriat mené par les forces spéciales du Hamas, quelques jours après le meurtre de l’activiste italien.

Des sources du ministère de justice ont expliqué que l’enquête, close à la mi-mai a été rouverte après l’échec de deux tentatives d’enlèvement de jeunes citoyens américains, un coopérant (résident de longue date dans la bande) et un activiste de ISM (le dernier près “de la Galerie”, le café que Vittorio fréquentait avec divers activistes locaux et internationaux).

Le cerveau derrière l’enlèvement est le jordanien Abdel Rahman Breizat, qui a préparé le plan un mois et demi auparavant, à l’aide de plusieurs habitants de la bande de Gaza dont certains proches  de Vittorio, la plupart d’entre eux ignoraient ses intentions.

Au début, ont ajouté les sources, le plan n’incluait pas le meurtre de l’activiste italien cependant lorsque les ravisseurs ont comprit qu’ils allaient être découverts dans l’espace de quelques heures, ils ont décidé de s’enfuir et d’effacer leurs traces. C’est Breizat qui a tué Vittorio parce qu’il était convaincu qu’en laissant l’homme kidnappé en vie ils seraient très vite découverts (Vik connaissait au moins deux de ses ravisseurs, en particulier Bilal Omari qui fréquentait la même salle de sport que lui).

Pour la confirmation de ces informations il ne reste qu’à attendre le début du procès. A ce moment là on pourra consulter les actes d’accusation et nous connaîtront finalement les déclarations faites par les accusés durant les interrogatoires.

En attendant, le mystère règne sur la disparition de huit objets ayant appartenus à Vittorio en particulier son ordinateur portable, disparus après l’enlèvement. Hamas avait déclaré les avoir récupérés et déposés dans les locaux de la centrale de police, maintenant ils nient cela.

en anglais: https://wewritewhatwelike.com/2011/06/15/hamas-the-report-with-the-truth-on-vik%e2%80%99s-homicide-at-the-end-of-june/

 

image from the video released by the kidnappers

Sheikh Abu Musab: “Killing him was an error”

By Michele Giorgio
in Gaza City for il manifesto 15 June 2011 www.ilmanifesto.it
translated from Italian by Mary Rizzo

The kidnappers of Vittorio Arrigoni declare to be members of al Tawhid wal Jihad, a formation following al Qaeda that less than two years ago made itself known in Gaza, forming its own cells, often in competition if not actually in opposition to Hamas (accused of not applying “true Islam”). They affirm to have carried out the kidnapping of Vittorio in order to obtain the release of the Egyptian Sheikh al-Saidani, known also as Abu Walid al-Maqdisi, arrested a month before. Tawhid wal Jihad denied being involved in the kidnapping of the Italian activist, but in Gaza there is still talk circulating about the connections between this group and the kidnappers. Sheikh Abu Musab, one of the leaders of Tawhid wal Jihad, has accepted to answer the questions from il manifesto regarding the Arrigoni kidnapping. He welcomes us in a small house in the refugee camp of Jabaliya, in northern Gaza, armed with a machine gun and with his face partially covered by a keffiyah.

You deny to have played any role in the kidnapping and assassination of Vittorio Arrigoni, yet you are still being accused of that.

Someone wants to involve us at all costs in this affair, but Tawhid wal Jihad did not in any way plan or participate in the kidnapping of the Italian. Our denial was immediate, from the very start we made it clear that the kidnappers were not part of our Jihad project. Those young men used our name because it is known and they wanted to gain some attention.

Yet, the Jordanian, Abdel Rahman Breizat, the mind behind the kidnapping, was close to your organisation.

Yes, but only up to a certain point. Many of our combatants knew him. He was a religious young man who wanted to make Palestine the starting  place of a new rebirth of Islam, for the victory of the Jihad in dar al Islam. But he never was part of the structure of Tawhid wal Jihad, he was external to us and everything he did he organised together with his friends (those of the kidnapping of Vittorio, author’s note) and without our knowledge.

But you personally knew Breizat?

Certainly, because as soon as he arrived in Gaza (at the start of 2010, author’s note) he immediately made contact with the salafiyya (the al Qaeda cell of Gaza that follows Salafist thought, author’s note). I remember that I spoke with him more than once, of the greatness of the prophet (Mohammed, author’s note) and of the duties of Muslims. He dwelled very much on the lack of respect by the Islamic peoples of the precepts of the Qur’an and of the teachings of the prophet. The indifference of many Muslims towards religion irritated him.

But what did Vittorio Arrigoni have to do with any of that? He was not a Muslim…

I think that the kidnapping of the Italian was used by Breizat and his comrades in order to affirm the existence of his cell, of his group. In exchange for his liberation he asked for the release of Sheikh al Saidani, unjustly arrested only for having spoken in the name of Islam. Breizat set up a spectacular operation to get some attention for himself.

You mention the liberation and prisoner exchange, but Vittorio was killed immediately, the killers themselves hadn’t respected their own ultimatum.

Because Breizat and his comrades organised something they were unable to manage. They felt strong pressure straight away, they felt entrapped and they killed the hostage.

But knowledge of the kidnapping that took place on the 13th of April was only made public just before sundown on the 14th and the Hamas police intervened when everything fell into darkness. According to one theory, Vittorio Arrigoni could have been killed in the early afternoon, perhaps in the video that the kidnappers sent out, he was already dead or in coma.

Pressure is not only that of the police and the investigations, but also that of lack of preparation, lack of mental and military organisation. It is complex to manage a kidnapping and only a group that has determination and is well-structured can carry out something of the sort. Breizat and his comrades perhaps were overcome by confusion.

And what do you say of the rumours of a hidden management, seemingly from the Sinai, of the kidnapping of Arrigoni?

I know nothing about that, but I can’t exclude that Breizat had someone behind him, someone who convinced him to act and strike that Italian. Perhaps behind it all is the Mossad (Israeli secret services). With certainly I can only say that Tawhid wal Jihad did not kidnap Vittorio Arrigoni.

You knew Arrigoni, were you aware of his presence and his activities in Gaza?

I once saw him in an ambulance in the north of Gaza during the Zionist aggression (the Israeli offensive “Operation Cast Lead”, December 2008-January 2009). Sometimes people talked about him. For me, he was a friend of the Palestinians and not an enemy of Islam. His assassination was a crime. We do not oppose the presence of Westerners in Gaza, if they come to help the Palestinians and Muslims, they must not be harmed. Our religion protects them.

See also: https://wewritewhatwelike.com/2011/06/15/hamas-the-report-with-the-truth-on-vik%e2%80%99s-homicide-at-the-end-of-june/

Funeral in Gaza City

GAZA, TWO MONTHS AFTER THE ASSASSINATION: Two months with Vittorio Arrigoni

By Michele Giorgio
in Gaza City (from il manifesto, 15 June 2011) www.ilmanifesto.it
translated from Italian by Mary Rizzo

“Children will be playing in these spaces, we have renovated the bathroom and the kitchen will be here,” Saber Zanin moves quickly from one  room to another in the “Forsan al Ghad for Youth Association” of Beit Hanoun.

Just a short time before, he led a demonstration of about thirty Western volunteers from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) at the margins of the “buffer zone”, the most fertile agricultural lands of Gaza.

It is in those areas where “for security reasons” the Israeli army does not allow Palestinians to gain access, not even those who own property there. It is a measure that is accompanied by the fire of automatic weapons against whoever dares to violate that prohibition that has brought starvation  to hundreds of families who live by means of family farming. “Vittorio struggled with us. We have had so many marches along the buffer zone together, he was a brother to me,” Saber muses, showing us some photos of Vittorio that had been taken in recent months on his laptop. Today in memory of the Italian activist that was kidnapped and killed two months ago in Gaza, the summer camp “Stay Human, Restiamo Umani” will have its inauguration. “We will welcome 60 children and teens between 6 and 16 years of age,” Saber explains, “and in addition to them being able to play and have fun, they will also learn about the political and human story of Vittorio. Not only that, they will learn principles of humanitarian rights, preparing them to follow in the footsteps of our fallen brother.” Sponsoring the summer camp are a dozen or so Italian NGOs that work in the Gaza Strip. Saber has the possibility of making a dream come true. “Vittorio protected Palestinian children, he would be happy that this initiative is being dedicated to him.”

Two months without Vik. On the contrary, two months always with Vik because in Gaza, friends and comrades haven’t forgotten him. His words  are like stones, his image is part of the collective memory. Daniela Riva, a volunteer in the GVC of Bologna spent the last several years in the Strip,  working on development projects. Vittorio was a close friend of hers. “When I used to break down in front of whoever could not understand my involvement with Gaza,” Daniela says, “Vik would repeat to me that I had to answer that being involved in a struggle for justice and freedom means being alive, is there anything worth living or dying for that has more value than that?… when months ago (the shootings from Israeli soldiers) a farmer was killed, one who I’d only met with a few minutes prior, Vittorio told me to try hard to cry no tears at that funeral, but to keep my head held high. One does not cry for martyrs. I did it. I tried to do the same at his funeral too, but the tears fell despite my efforts…”

Memories, intense moments of emotion for a young man whose life was taken at only 36 years of age, who with honesty and constancy, through  the Internet, had for years sent out daily information on Gaza under the Israeli siege.  Not omitting the economic or social aspects of the situation. News that yesterday had once more been confirmed. An UNRWA report records that in the second half of 2010 the unemployment rate of Gaza is at 45.2%, one of the world’s highest. On the other hand, the level of salaries keeps sinking. “This is an alarming trend,” the spokesman of the UNRWA Chris Gunness says. “It is difficult to understand the logic of a policy that was carefully planned (by Israel, author’s note) to deliberately impoverish and that has condemned hundreds of thousands of persons to a life of abject misery. If the purpose of the policy of the closure of Gaza  was to weaken Hamas,” he continues, “these numbers show that they have failed, while at the same time there has been massive success in punishing whoever can be counted among the poorest of the poor in the Middle East.”

Vittorio’s parents, his sister, his friends, everyone who knew him personally or who had met him through Internet, those who had listened  intently while he spoke in tours throughout Italy, all of them are impatiently waiting to know the truth about his assassination. That moment could be near. Authoritative sources of the Ministry of Justice and of the Security Services of the Hamas government – who have asked to remain anonymous – have told il manifesto that the Military Court will issue an official communiqué at the end of June on the course of the investigations and it will bring to trial at least two persons involved in various levels in the kidnapping and assassination of Vittorio. One of these is Mahmoud al Salfiti, the only survivor of the three members of the self-proclaimed Salafite cell (who had left the Tawhid wal Jihad group) responsible for the kidnapping. The other two, the Jordanian Abdel Rahman Breizat and Bilal Omari were killed in the armed clash at Nuseriat with a special forces team of Hamas several days after the having killed the Italian activist.

Sources of the Ministry of Justice have explained that the investigations that had closed in mid-May had been reopened following another two failed kidnap attempts of two young American citizens: a cooperation worker (long-time resident in the Strip) and an activist of the ISM (the latter near the “Gallery”, the coffeehouse that Vittorio frequented along with various local and international activists). The mind behind the kidnapping was the Jordanian Breizat, who had prepared the plan about a month and a half earlier, using the help of various inhabitants of Gaza who were close to Vittorio, most of them unaware of his intentions. At the start, the sources add, the plan didn’t include the killing of the Italian. However, when the kidnappers were aware that they would have been discovered in a matter of hours, they decided to make a run for it and cover their tracks. It was Breizat who had killed Vittorio, because he was convinced that by leaving the kidnapped man alive they would have been discovered immediately (Vik personally knew at least two of the kidnappers, in particular Bilal Omari, who went to the same gym he frequented in Gaza City).

For the confirmation of this information, there is nothing to do but await the start of the trial. In that moment the acts can be consulted and we can finally know the declarations made during the interrogations of the accused parties. In the meantime, mystery reigns over the eight objects  belonging to Vittorio that disappeared after the kidnapping, in particular, his laptop. The Hamas authorities have referred in an earlier moment that they had been recovered and were being held at the central command of the Police. Now, they deny this.

We don’t know for sure as of yet who murdered international Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni. However, whoever committed this despicable crime must be a human beast walking on two legs.
 
Vittorio Arrigoni was abducted on Thursday, 14 April, in Central Gaza. Members of a notoriously fanatical group posted a video online saying they would kill him unless the Gaza government released detained Salafists from prison.
 
Within a few hours of the warning, Arrigoni’s body was found in an empty house.
 
Arrigoni’s death has infuriated Palestinians everywhere. Ismael Haniya, the elected Prime Minister of Hamas called Arrigoni’s murder a “nefarious crime that goes against our religion, norms and traditions.” A spokesman for the Gaza government described the perpetrators as “thugs and murderers of the lowest kind.”
 
One Islamist writer, Ibrahim Hamami, called the murderers, “the lowest of the low.”
 
The accused group, the Tawhid and Jihad, has denied posting the video or any involvement in the killing of Arrigoni. They hinted that the Israeli intelligence may have been the real killers of the Italian activist.
 
And while Israel can never be ruled out as an accused party, it is widely believed that the so-called Salafi group (Salafi means a true follower of the Prophet) remains the premier suspect. They are guilty until proven innocent, given the prima facie evidence that would indict them.
 
It is true that the Salafis are not carbon copies of each other. However, the militant Salafis have been accused of abductions, killings, attacking internet cafes, and calling for the expulsion of Christians from the Gaza Strip.
 
A group of Salafis last year carried out an armed rebellion against the Hamas-led government during which several people lost their lives. In one episode, an intermediary who was carrying a message to their leaders was brutally murdered by those who called themselves Muslims. Islam is absolutely against killing messengers even in war time.
 
One would hope to give these stupid fanatics the benefit of the doubt. However, their diabolic crimes in many parts of the Muslim world leave us no doubt as to their true nature.
 
They claim they are out to fight the armies of the disbelievers who have invaded some Muslim countries.  However, the falsehood and mendacity of their claims are made clear by the fact that for every western soldier they killed, they murdered at least a hundred Muslim men, women, and children.
 
And when they are confronted with these crimes, they often seek vague, erroneous, spurious and invalid edicts to justify and rationalize what is obviously evil.
 
Islam is not a vague religion, especially when it comes to human life. However, these ignorant fanatics seem to have been blinded by their misplaced zeal and ignorance.
 
They thrive and prosper and become quite gleeful upon killing innocent people, whether Muslims or non-Muslims. And they think that by so doing they endear themselves to the Almighty when the opposite is true.
 
Have the killers asked themselves what in the world would justify killing Arrigoni, a man who came all the way from Italy to identify with the Palestinian struggle for freedom and justice? What wrong did he do? What crime did he commit? Didn’t they realize that Arrigoni may have done so much for Gaza which has now been besmirched by their cowardly crime?
 
Arrigoni didn’t come to Gaza as an aggressor or invader. He came to show solidarity with its wronged people and highlight the immense oppression meted out to be people by the Nazis of our time, the Zionist Israelis.
 
Hence, the claim that he came to the Land of Islam to spread corruption and disbelief should be treated with the utter contempt it deserves.
 
Again, there is no doubt that these ignoramuses are victims of their ignorance. They don’t represent the true followers of the Prophet (PBUH) who was quoted as saying according to authentic hadith that “whoever oppresses a Mua’hed (a non-Muslim resident or traveler in the land of Islam), or arrogated his rights, or takes something away from him against his will, or forces him to do that which is beyond his ability, I shall be his opponent on the Day of Judgment.”
 
In another hadith, the Prophet said “whoever killed a non-Muslim living in the land of Islam shall not smell the fragrance of paradise; verily its fragrance is smelled from a distance of a 40-year travel.”

Tradotto in italiano da Daniela Filippin (Questo omaggio a Vittorio di Jeff Halper è così bello, che non potevo sopportare che non venisse tradotto in italiano):

Dopo aver perso un altro amico e compagno meno di due settimane fa, Juliano Mer-Khamis, mi tocca piangere e ricordare il mio compagno di viaggio di nave Free Gaza, Vittorio (Vik) Arrigoni, brutalmente assassinato ieri notte da estremisti religiosi a Gaza. In realtà; Vik ricordava fisicamente Juliano, per la personalità esuberante e la sua insistenza nell’”esserci” quando gli oppressi avevano bisogno di lui.

Vik era davvero una persona che non potevi non notare. Era così pieno di energia, un misto di gioia, goliardia e impazienza entro i confini di barche e prigioni come Gaza, che all’improvviso ti avrebbe sollevato in aria, o si sarebbe messo a fare la lotta con te – era un ragazzo grosso, forte, bello, vivace e sorridente anche nelle situazioni più pericolose e oppressive, come a dirti: Yaala! A noi e ai pescatori palestinesi, queste navi israeliane che ci sparano, non possono prevalere sulla solidarietà, indignazione e la giustizia della nostra causa! (Vik fu ferito in uno di questi scontri). Ti arrivava da dietro dicendoti: L’occupazione cadrà esattamente così! (lottando con te fino a gettarti a terra, ridendo e giocando con te mentre lo faceva).

Vik, che come me ha ricevuto la cittadinanza palestinese e un passaporto quando abbiamo rotto l’assedio di Gaza salpando nel porto di Gaza nell’agosto 2008, era un esempio supremo di portatore di pace. Nonostante avesse una famiglia in Italia, si è dedicato ai palestinesi col cuore intero, come era solito fare. Sulla sua pagina facebook ha scritto: “Vive a Gaza”. Era conosciuto soprattutto perché accompagnava i pescatori che cercavano di fare il loro lavoro, nonostante gli spari quasi quotidiane della marina israeliana, che li confina alle acque già pescate fino all’esaurimento e sporche di fogna delle cose di Gaza. Almeno diciotto pescatori sono stati uccisi nell’ultimo decennio e circa 200 feriti, molte barche sono state distrutte e molto equipaggiamento danneggiato. Ma era intimamente coinvolto ovunque ci fosse bisogno di lui a Gaza, fra i contadini come fra i bambini traumatizzati, in tempi difficili – il suo libro, Gaza Stay Human, documenta le due esperienze fra la gente durante l’offensiva israeliana di tre settimane nel 2008-09 – e anche essendo semplicemente a contatto con la gente nelle caffetterie e nelle loro case.

Quando è stato appreso che era stato rapito sono spontaneamente sorti centinaia di appelli non solo dalla comunità pacifista internazionale, ma soprattutto dalla popolazione palestinese affranta di Gaza. Un memoriale sarà tenuto oggi a Gaza City e altre parti dei territori occupati.

Vik lavorava nella West Bank come a Gaza, ed è stato imprigionato tre volte prima di essere stato espulso da Israele. Ma il suo lavoro di pace non era solo sotto forma di attivismo. Vik era un maestro della comunicazione – fisica, verbale, scritta (il suo blog, Guerrilla Radio, era uno dei più seguiti in Italia), mischiando con naturalezza esperienze personali, reportage e analisi.

Vik era quello che chiamiamo un “testimone”, qualcuno che fisicamente si mette dalla parte degli oppressi e condivide con loro trionfi, tragedie, sofferenze e speranze. Eppure era uno che attraverso l’azione sperava di influenzare dei veri cambiamenti. Lui, come Juliano, Rachel e molti altri che si sono sacrificati per la pace e la giustizia in Palestina e in tutto il mondo, lasciano un grande vuoto nei nostri cuori, le nostre vite e nella lotta.

Mi mancherai, ragazzo mio. Ma ogni volta che mi sento stanco o scoraggiato, ti sentirò sollevarmi su in alto e sopra la tua testa e, col tuo enorme sorriso e la tua risata, minacciare di gettarmi fuori bordo se solo esito a coinvolgermi in una lotta. Tu eri e sei la forza terrena della lotta contro l’ingiustizia. Ci solleverai sempre su e ci ispirerai. Come i pescatori palestinesi che amavi tanto, noi e tutti gli altri che lottano per le fondamenta della vita in tutto il mondo ci impegneremo per realizzare la tua visione.

Ciao, amico.

Écrit par Pasquale Navarra pour Forum Palestina (traduit en français par Wassyla-Heyett). 

Les causes et la dynamique de l’enlèvement et l’assassinat de Vittorio Arrigoni, activiste et correspondant du Mouvement international de solidarité avec la Palestine dans la bande de Gaza, sont pour le moment en cours de reconstitution. Certaines informations et  évaluations peuvent néanmoins être données, même maintenant.

Vittorio était sur le point de retourner en Italie pour collaborer avec la mission de la flottille de la liberté qui avait décidé de briser en mai le blocus contre les Palestiniens de Gaza, que Vittorio avait systématiquement dénoncé en fournissant une documentation depuis des années.

Vittorio a été découvert déjà mort quand la police palestinienne, aidé par la population locale, a été en mesure de trouver l’endroit où il avait été retenu en otage. L’ultimatum 30 heures n’a été rien de plus qu’un prétexte. Les ravisseurs étaient très jeunes, y compris au moins l’un d’entre eux qui était un citoyen jordanien (et non palestinien). 

Le groupe qui a enlevé et tué Vittorio appartient à cette pléiade de groupes islamistes salafistes, très différents de l’actuel Islam politique que le mouvement Hamas, qui gouverne la bande de Gaza, a comme référence. Ces groupes sont beaucoup plus actifs contre les autres courants islamiques corrompus et les régimes arabes – accusés d’apostasie – qu’ils ne sont opposés à l’occupation israélienne de la Palestine ou de la présence des États-Unis au Moyen-Orient. 

Certains de ces groupes appartiennent au réseau de l’Islam politique qui a comme référence l’Arabie saoudite, est financé et armé par elle. Certains de ces groupes ont déjà provoqué des affrontements et des problèmes très graves dans les camps de réfugiés palestiniens au Liban. 

En ces semaines où les alliances au Moyen-Orient sont brusquement bousculées par les révoltes des peuples et les tensions qui sont présentes dans toute la région, la monarchie saoudienne a établi une alliance avec Israël pour marquer l’ennemi commun représenté par l’Iran et son influence dans la région du Golfe et du Moyen-Orient. Cette alliance a été renforcée par un récent sommet à Moscou auquel participaient à la fois Netanyahu et les dirigeants des services services saoudiens. 

Ces dernières semaines, les autorités israéliennes ont lancé une campagne d’intimidation contre les militants et les campagnes internationales de solidarité avec la Palestine, en particulier contre la flottille de la liberté qui appareillera en mai pour se diriger vers la bande de Gaza, et contre le mouvement de boycott, de désinvestissement et de sanctions contre Israël. Les autorités israéliennes ont demandé aux gouvernements des pays qui ont des navires en partance de leurs côtes ou dans lesquels les campagnes BDS sont importantes, d’intervenir contre les activistes. Le Premier ministre italien Silvio Berlusconi a déjà accepté la demande du gouvernement israélien. Les services secrets israéliens ont été activés pour utiliser tous les moyens nécessaires afin de maintenir les militants internationaux loin de Gaza et de Palestine.

Nous n’avons pas tous les éléments de preuve, mais nous considérons que l’enlèvement et l’assassinat de Vittorio correspond peut-être au sale boulot effectué par les groupes islamistes liés au réseau d’Arabie Saoudite aujourd’hui alliée avec Israël. Le message aux militants internationaux est fort, claire et déconcertant: “Tenez vous loin de Gaza, tenez vous loin de  Palestine”, “Aucune internationalisation de la question palestinienne ne sera tolérée par les autorités de Tel-Aviv et ses alliés”. 

Nous tenons à adresser un message fort et clair à tous ceux qui en Israël ou dans le monde arabe, en Europe ou aux États-Unis entendent ​​resserrer l’étau de l’isolement et de la liquidation autour du droit à l’autodétermination des Palestiniens. Nous le devons à cette population qui se bat pour sa liberté depuis plus de soixante ans et maintenant nous le devons aussi à Vittorio. 

Forum Palestina 

Goodbye, Vik

Written by Luca Galassi for PeaceReporter. Translated by Mary Rizzo

Vittorio Arrigoni was strangled by his kidnappers during a blitz by the armed faction of Hamas in the flat where he was held hostage in Gaza City.

Vittorio Arrigoni is dead. His body was found during the night at approximately 1:50 in a flat in the Gaza Strip, in the Qaram quarter, in the outskirts of Gaza City. The news was first disseminated by the Hamas sources and then confirmed to PeaceReporter by an activist of the International Solidarity Movement. Hamas, the Islamic movement that controls the territory of the Strip was unable to mediate to bring about his liberation. Or perhaps they did not even try. According to what has been reported by the movement’s spokesman, following indications of one of the members of the ultra-radical group (as in original Italian) interrogated in the early afternoon, the security forces surrounded the area in which Vittorio was being held captive, giving way to a blitz that turned into an armed clash, the result of which was the injuring of some Salafi militants, two of them arrested, while the others are still being sought.

It is unclear how and when Vittorio was assassinated, even if the Hamas spokesman, Yiab Hussein, declared in a press conference held shortly after 3 AM that Arrigoni had been killed approximately three hours prior to the blitz, without however explaining how it was possible to establish the details of the death with such exactness. An ISM volunteer arrived at the place he was found and recognised the body at 3:10. “He had his hands tied behind his back, he was lying on a mattress.” The woman told PeaceReporter that Hamas security organs also told her and the other members of the ISM who went to the flat where Vittorio is said to have been killed that he had died several hours before their arrival. The pacifist has been strangled, even if, from the account given to PeaceReporter by the volunteer, there were various kinds of injuries behind his neck. “He still had the blindfolding over his eyes, and he lost blood from behind his head. There were marks from handcuffs around his wrists.”

The evening before the kidnapping, Arrigoni went to the gym. Then he had made a call to book a table at the restaurant where he often had dinner. He said he would be there around 22:00. At 22:30, not seeing him arrive, the restaurant rang him. But Vittorio did not answer. No one was worried, because often he would turn off his mobile phone. After dinner he was expected to meet with a friend and the next morning would have gone to Rafah to visit with some Palestinian families together with his colleagues of the ISM, who had also tried to contact him after the gym, but in vain. Vittorio was kidnapped as soon as he left the gym.

His body was transferred during the night to Shifa Hospital of Gaza, where a post-mortem examination was carried out and his death certificate was drafted. The Italian pacifist was kidnapped yesterday by a Salafi Islamic group that, in a film on YouTube, threatened to kill him if within 30 hours, starting from 11:00 local time, the Hamas government did not liberate some Salafi detainees. Vittorio was killed without even half the time that the kidnappers stated as the limit having passed, much earlier than the moment they announced in their ultimatum. He was killed without even an indication that a negotiation was started for his release. Unfortunately, there are many questions which are not easy to find answers to. With his death, the world loses one of the most fervent supporters of the Palestinian cause. A war journalist. And a friend. Goodbye, Vik.

http://it.peacereporter.net/articolo/27991/Lo+hanno+ucciso.+Addio,+Vik

It had been pointed out (thanks Wassy and Eva) that there was a banner on the top of the “newspaper pro-Palestinian activists in the West love”, Ha’aretz, for a “Palestinian State”. This banner was paid for by a group of Fanatics lead by Israeli MK Aryeh Eldad and the text of it, I found on this site,  http://israelifrontline.blogspot.com/ run by a woman who lived 40 years of her life in Canada and the USA, but now has “returned to Israel”. Check out this campaign entitled:

A Democratic Jordan is Palestine  (Jordan is Palestine)

What follows is the material the signatories spread if they have a site or mailing list, with my (mary rizzo) comments in RED.

Just because the flags are similar, they propose "unification" as Palestine

Please sign this petition from Knesset Minister Dr. Aryeh Eldad, and forward it to all your friends, urging Jordanian King Abdullah to declare Jordan as the new Palestinian State and Homeland.
The New ‘Road Map’ for Peace starts Now! No. No need for the actual citizens to have a voice in it! That’s the way every “Road Map for Peace” has always worked.

Larry Kosberg
—————————–
As you well know, we are encouraging people to sign this petition so we can declare Jordan the new Palestinian State. Because wishing makes it so! Please watch the video below (complete with trashy electronic pop) to learn more about the history of this region.  Read the declaration, and if you agree, please sign the petition. And in the meantime declare Disneyland a Nuclear Free Zone and why not The Moon as the next frontier? Lacking that, declare your next door neighbour’s garage as belonging to the guy across the street. Everyone will think it’s reasonable!

Israel is being pressured to create a Palestinian State.  In response, we want to pressure the international community and the UN to pressure King Abdullah II to turn Jordan into the Palestinian State. 80% of Jordanians are so-called “Palestinians”. We propose that the rest may join them. From Pressure to pressure, the pressure on “the rest” is not going to be a petition or a kind invitation. It takes other forms, ones that include guns, bombs, arrests, and the thing we call “willing population transfer”.

Now is the time to stand in support of the state of Israel and to create peace in this region by giving the Arabs a country of their own. Arabs there had a country of their own, a land of their own, a home of their own.  They will never again be able to say that they do not have a state. They actually were robbed of their homes, and during the process of post colonial state-making, were swindled out of their state, which is a crime that has not been rectified with the imposition of unlimited mass immigration of Jews into Israel and with the expulsion of the indigenous Palestinian population also into other Arab states.

Most importantly, after you have signed, please be sure to forward this message to your list to keep this trend going and to have a significant number of signatures.
Thank you very much,

Michelle Cohen (a so-called “Israeli” who lived 40 of her years in Canada and the USA).

Please click HERE to sign this petition. Not advised to even leave a snide remark… they will use your name and that is not what you want.  

The Government of Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu are under  pressure to accept and implement “the  two states solution”  which means a creation of  a Palestinian State in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Right now, they better grab it while the going is good. But they have never been able to understand what the implications of their Jewish State were in actual fact. It means obviously claiming in fact what the unstated annexation of the territory has allowed them to avoid…. less territory than the entirety. Now that the “demand” might happen, they change the cards on the table. So, to find a way to get all the land, “get the rest of the unwanted to join others” in population transfer, which is actually a word that means deportation, a crime against humanity, they make it look like a boon for Palestinians and an asset for peace. YES!  The old hasbara trick of commit an atrocity and paint it as humanitarian goodness! 

It was the late Prime Minister Rabin who wrote :”A Palestinian State can be created only on the ruins of the State of Israel”. We are concerned that the only political plan to deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – is the plan that endangers the very existence of Israel.
 
 
 

Prof. Aryeh Eldad, M.D. (For a detailed biography on Prof. Eldad, please click here.) No, see below where I comment on his “illustrious” biography.

Jordan is Palestine (with deconstruction in red)

To His Majesty
The King of Jordan
King Abdullah the Second
&
The Government and Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Presented this Date, the 25th of May 2011
The 65th Independence Day of the Kingdom of Jordan
 
As the cries for democracy reach us from Tunis, Egypt, and all around the Arab world, we call upon the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to declare itself the democratic nation state of the Palestinian people. (And it frightens us to see the word democracy which is translated into human terms, numbers and people in flesh and blood asking to be counted. This goes against our ideals of what democracy means so let’s kill two birds with one stone: complain that Jordan is NOT a democracy because it is ruled by a King, and also present ourselves as a democratic entity because we don’t have a king. We are the Jewish state, we don’t need anything else that complicates this simple reasoning).
 
80% of the population of Jordan are disenfranchised Palestinians. (Let’s hope that no one remembers how they actually ended up there, it’s already bad enough we have to use the P word).  This declarative step (imposed by us, so you have to reject it, and then the real victory: ARABS ARE AGAIN REJECTIONIST OF A PEACEFUL SOLUTION)  would correct that injustice and provide the foundation for a just, comprehensive and lasting peace between the Jewish and Arab peoples. (Israel isn’t even stated yet in MY words, how clever am I? Now let me drop the bomb for my own people, after all, they are the only ones who will read this! Then I repeat it once we get that pesky Palestine out of the way.)
 
The late Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin wrote: “A Palestinian State can be created only on the ruins of the State of Israel”.
That needn’t be the case. That shouldn’t be the case. (How in the hell can I sell the idea of Eretz Yisrael unless I brand it in the figurehead the peaceniks love? How clever am I?!)
 
Let Jordan be democratic and free, and let the Palestinian people accept upon themselves the full mantle and responsibility of democratic statehood in Jordan – without the destruction or diminishment of the state of Israel and without the physical transfer of any population, neither Jew nor Arab. (Now, when I say without the physical transfer, I cover my bottom nicely, and I don’t even need to state that we officially take the land and make it Jewish! We keep on doing what we are doing now and if they are so masochistic they want to say, it’s their own damn doing! How clever am I? Now remember, what I said, those Arabs are the enemies within the Jewish state of Israel. Within a few years we would be able to resettle 2-3 million refugees in Jordan, this is my plan and I never hid it except now. I call it “willing population transfer”.)
 
We the undersigned, citizens of the world, representatives of hundreds of thousands around the world, (there, covered my bottom again because the signatories will not be even six million) ask the Government of Jordan and King Abdullah the Second, to proclaim the Hashemite Kingdom the democratic nation state of the Palestinians, and with this symbolic and declarative step, make a decisive contribution to Middle East and world peace. (Since he’s a KING, he can just do that! Monarchy is good for us right now, thanks G-d!)
 
We remind you of the brave words of your father: (who was a king, so WTF does this mean but deep Arabic bowing which will win his heart and make us look like we respect all of that rot).
  
“I wish democracy and peace to be my legacy to my people and the shield of generations to come.” – King Hussein I of Jordan

Aryeh Eldad

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 

 

Aryeh Eldad
Arie Eldad.jpg
Date of birth 1 May 1950 (1950-05-01) (age 60)
Place of birth Tel Aviv, Israel
Knessets 16th, 17th, 18th
Party National Union
 

Prof. Aryeh Eldad, M.D. (Hebrew: אריה אלדד‎, born 1 May 1950) is an Israeli physician and politician, and a member of the Knesset for the National Union, within which he heads the Hatikva faction.

Biography

Eldad was born in Tel Aviv in 1950. He is married with five children. His father, Israel Eldad, was a well known Israeli public thinker and formerly one of the leaders of the underground group Lehi. (Underground is a polite word for TERRORIST. Lehi assassinated Folke Bernadotte, the UN attachè in the mandate.

The other major Jewish terrorist group, Lehi, was more extremist than the Irgun, claiming all the land between the Nile and the Euphrates as belonging to the Jews. When Jabotinsky declared a cease-fire in the fight against Britain and its mandate troops in Palestine during World War II, Stern broke with him and founded Lehi. Stern sought alliance with the Nazis, both because they shared an enemy in Britain and because Lehi shared Hitler’s totalitarian ideology. During the war Sternists openly celebrated Nazi victories on the battlefield.

 He is a resident of Kfar Adumim (he’s a settler in the most simplified sense of the term) and is a Brigadier-General (reserves) in the Israel Defense Forces. Self explanatory.

Medical career

Eldad is a professor and head of the plastic surgery and burns unit at the Hadassah Medical Center hospital in Jerusalem. He studied medicine at Tel Aviv University, where he earned his doctorate. He served as the chief medical officer and was the senior commander of the Israeli Defense Forces medical corps for 25 years, and reached a rank of Tat Aluf (Brigadier General). He is renowned worldwide for his treatment of burns and won the Evans Award from the American Burns Treatment Association.

Political career

Eldad was first elected to the Knesset on the National Union list in 2003, and chaired the Ethics Committee

Some of his ethics: He considers Israel as the “canary in the mines of radical Islam,” something his fellow Israelis would rather not think about. He is bringing courageous Dutch parliamentarian, Geert Wilders to show his controversial film “Fitna” (strife or chaos in Arabic) and legislators from Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, the U.K. and America to formulate a declaration against Islamization among Western democracies. Eldad deems it to be crucially important for Israelis to become educated about the nuances of this existential threat that seeks to extinguish the Jewish state as well as other non-Muslim nations.

and how about these ethics:

Thus, the first step in the attack against Iran should be a pre-emptive strike against Hezbollah and Hamas. The timing of the war against Hezbollah should be coordinated with the plans against Iran.

Prior to the scheduled Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and the northern West Bank in August 2005, Eldad was the only member of parliament to call for non-violent civil disobedience as a tactic in the struggle against the government. Eldad even walked the few hundred kilometres between the now evacuated community of Sa-Nur (in the northern West Bank) to Neve Dekalim in order to attract attention to the opposition of the Withdrawal plan.

In the February 2006 dismantlement of the Amona outpost Eldad was injured during the confrontation between demonstrators and police, as was his ally MK Effi Eitam. The event caused a storm of criticism on both sides, as interim Prime MinisterEhud Olmert accused them of inciting the crowd to attack the police, while they accused Olmert and the police of reckless use of force. But it achieved the enormous benefit of making the settlers into “the force to reckon with”. From the horse’s mouth: But a new standard of resistance was achieved. No government in Israel will take for granted that they can evacuate a settlement and destroy it. They know very well that the next time they try it; they may have to kill some of us first. They know that no government in Israel will survive such brutality. The fact that the government avoids any attempt to forcibly evacuate settler outposts after Amona is the direct result of that very traumatic day.

After being re-elected in 2006, in August 2007 Eldad established and headed a 10-member Homesh Knesset caucus met for the first time. The caucus’ mandate is to work to promote the re-establishment of Homesh – with the aim of eventually re-establishing all the settlements dismantled in 2005.

In November 2007 he announced the formation of a new secular right-wing party named Hatikva. Ultimately the party ran as a faction of the National Union in the 2009 elections, with Eldad in third place on the alliance’s list. He retained his seat as the Union won four mandates.

In 2008 he submitted a bill to the Knesset proposing that Hebron‘s Arab residents be removed “in order to protect the Jews of Hebron”.[1] but his suggestion came to no avail.

Eldad’s 2009 proposal that Palestinian Arabs be given Jordanian citizenship drew a formal protest from the Jordanian foreign minister.[2]

Political beliefs

Eldad is a Revisionist Zionist who believes in the ideas of Zionist philosopher Zeev Jabotinsky who wrote:

“If you wish to colonize a land in which people are already living, you must provide a garrison for the land, or find a benefactor who will maintain the garrison on your behalf. … Zionism is a colonizing adventure and, therefore, it stands or falls on the question of armed forces.” (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 45).

Eldad supports the right of Jews to live in any part of the Land of Israel and opposes any surrender of Israeli sovereignty to the PLO. “We have to understand that there is a price to pay if we want to be an independent Jewish State. It is still a lower price then what we will have to pay as Dhimmis living at the mercy of the Islamic terror” and what is that price? “There is only one answer to the challenge of the Jihad from Gaza: a military one.”

Eldad opposes the creation of any Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan River and called its possibility a “disaster”. The creation of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria would lead, Eldad believes, to a Hamas-run center of terror within three days of Israeli transfer of the land. Furthermore, Eldad believes that the State of Israel will never have peace with the Arabs.

On his Zionism, Eldad stated that “I belong to this part of the Jewish people that believes the Land of Israel belongs to the People of Israel.” In a university lecture, he questioned, “how did we [the Jewish people] become so distorted as to say the Arabs have a right to our land?” On “occupation,” he posits that “the only occupation I know of is the Arab occupation of the Land of Israel in the seventh century… If I am an occupier in Hebron, I am an occupier in Tel Aviv…” The Balfour Declaration, the White Papers, the United Nations recognition of the State of Israel – all these, Eldad believes, are not the sources of the Jewish right to the Land of Israel, but “only recognition of our right.” Yes, an occupier. This is clear. If one is an occupier in Hebron, one is an occupier in Tel Aviv.

On his political goals, Eldad has stated: “When I wake up in the morning, I divide the day into two parts. In the first part of the day, I try to prevent the creation of a Palestinian state. It is not a full-time job, so in the second part of the day, I try to prevent corruption.”

In March 2010, in response to David Miliband‘s statement that the Israeli cloning of British passports is “intolerable”, he commented: “I think the British are being hypocritical, and I do not wish to insult dogs here, since some dogs show true loyalty, [but] who gave the British the right to judge us on the war on terror?” Uhm, try the same guys who gave you that Declaration that you use as the recognition of your “right”. Let’s make a deal, they withhold judgement and you forget about the Balfour Declaration. Seems logical.

During Mahmoud Ahmadinejad‘s visit to Lebanon in October 2010, Eldad stated:

“History would have been different if in 1939 some Jewish soldier would have succeeded in taking Hitler out. If Ahmadinejad will be in the crosshairs of an IDF rifle when he comes to throw rocks at us, he must not return home alive.” (spoken like a true son of Lehi).

  

Jamila Al Habash

It has been two years since the war launched on the Gaza Strip. On 27th of December 2008 at 11:30, explosions were heard everywhere; and then the nightmare of 22 days begun. The nightmare, which resulted in 1,434 martyrs and 5,303 injured most of them were children. For most of the Gazans, the war did not end yet. Its memories bring alive the moment of the war. Everyone in Gaza has his own story to tell about the war. The war came into our houses like a thief, stole our beautiful and precious things and left for us pain and agony. Every house, every family, every person, every child and even me has a story of loss, fear and horror. I have lived the moment of fear and horror that I might wake up; and I do not find my family around me. In my dreams, I have seen my mother crying beside my dead body. The suffering did not end. Mothers still remember their children dying in front of their eyes, fathers still smell the blood of children on their hands and some children are still afraid that the war might come back again. There are many tragic and appalling stories to tell. Al Samouny family’s story, Jamila Al Habash and Om Ahmed Fawaz Saleh all suffered from the brutality of the war.

Al Samouny family’s plight began with the Israeli incursion into and firing at Al Zaytoun neighborhood. The Israeli occupying forces started bombing the area leaving no way out to the people living there. As the situation deteriorated and the shelling intensified, Al Samouny family sought refuge in Tallal Al Samouny’s house, thinking that they would be safe there, 60 members of Al Samouny family gathered at Tallal’s house. They were left without water for 24 hours. Unconcerned about the people’s lives in the area, the Israeli forces continued shelling the house. Emergency services were banned from reaching the area. Dead bodies of Palestinians lay in the house, only thirteen family members were still alive. Eight of them were children, some of them injured, who had been locked in for three days with the bodies of their dead parents and family members, with no access to food or water. Overall, 26 members of the Al Samouny family were killed, including 10 children and 7 women. Back to the children who had been locked in with the dead bodies for three days. Those children will be traumatized by the sad and mournful memory of seeing their parents dying in front of their eyes. They will be imprisoned in their painful past forever. Can any child in the world endure what those children have undergone?

Om Ahmed Fawaz Saleh has a story of loss to tell. Om Ahmed lives in Jabalia; she had four children. She lost two of them in the war, Ahmed and Fawzia. During the war, Jabalia was subjected to an intensified Israeli shelling. Most of people there left their houses to seek shelter. Om Ahmed did the same thing. She wanted to take her children to a safe place, her sister’s house. She started packing her children’s clothes, but the Israeli forces were faster than she was. As her children stepped out of the room, a missile hit the house. Ahmed and Fawzia achieved martyrdom, and the other two children were injured. Om Ahmed tried her best to save her children, but she could not. She spoke about her children with tears in her throat. She remembers her sons, Ahmed’s, dreams. She said:” Ahmed wanted to go to the kindergarten; he wanted to buy me sweets with his pocket money. But his dream will never come true.” Om Ahmed has nothing left for her except memories that will always bring the harsh moment of war.

Jamila Al Habah is another evidence of the Israeli barbarity and cruelty. Jamila is a 15-year old girl who lost her legs in the war, when her house was bombed by a missile. Her sister and cousin were killed. Jamila was taken to the hospital and had several operations. When she woke up, she discovered that her legs were amputated. In spite of her ordeal, Jamila decided to be a strong girl, smile, and continue her way towards her dreams. Jamila went under physical treatment and used a wheelchair. Now she is able to walk using crutches with artificial limbs. When I met Jamila, I was impressed by her beautiful smile and her strong will. She challenged her plight. She continues going to school every day on crutches. Looking at her gave me hope. She is willing to achieve her dream and be a famous journalist. Her story is a story of faith and hope.

The Israeli war caused the Gazans so much misery; but it did not break our strong will to exist. The Israelis are to be held accountable for their crimes against humanity, and the truth will be exposed one day. Despite the war, the life in Gaza did not die. Nothing will kill the Gazans’ spirits. Finally, I would thank a friend of mine who supported and helped me in writing this article; a friend who has a story of loss; but it was so painful to talk about it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please join our page.

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

Gaza Youth Breaks Out

from PACBI -As Palestinian Students based in Gaza we are alarmed to see yet another group ‘Al Tariq’[1] presenting solutions for us Palestinians, as if two equal parties were locked in a stalemate. According to the group website “both sides” need to “learn from each other through reconciliation, forgiveness, and dialogue”. For us young people among the 1.5 million languishing in Gaza open-air prison, (800,000 children) the 4 year-long medieval blockade of land, air and sea and 2 years on from the most devastating of massacres that killed over 1400 of us and over 350 of our children, this is quite an insult.

We ask: can we forget the ongoing ethnic cleansing? How can we forget the brutal killing of 350 of our children and 1400 citizens, while more shootings of farmers and rock collectors continue along the border? How can we forget the ongoing medieval siege of the whole of the Gaza Strip which still deprives sick patients from treatment abroad and allows no concrete in for reconstruction?

The dialogue promoted is a diversion from addressing the wrongs and route to justice for a clearly racist and colonial subjugation of an entire people such as that imposed by Israel on us Palestinians languishing in besieged Gaza or in the Bantustans of the West Bank. Israeli oppression has traditionally followed the sequence of, ‘murder, steal and colonize first, then dialogue on our terms later’.

This applied to South African Apartheid, and the white Afrikaner regime and its allies and supporters steadily felt their hold was threatened only when civil resistance grew among South African blacks and the global Anti-Apartheid Movement. The right to resist illegal military occupation and racist domination is enshrined in international law, yet like us they branded the African National Congress as one of the more ‘notorious terrorist organisations’ – Nelson Mandela was on the US terror watch list until 2008.

Anti-Apartheid heroes Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Ronnie Kasrils have said that the situation here is worse than apartheid. So we ask again, would we have asked for White South African youth to discuss with Black youth under Apartheid telling them that, “the path that both parties walk only after they learn from each other through reconciliation, forgiveness, and dialogue?”

For South Africa, there was no discussion, there was no debate, the racist oppression had only one answer: BOYCOTT.

Acknowledging the one-way nature of the oppression, Al Tariq should introduce to Palestinian youth, Israeli groups that endorse the 2005 Boycott Divestment and Sanction call[2] by over 170 Palestinian civil society groups, such as Boycott! and Boycott from Within. Not as in one of al Tariq’s workshops, hearing from an Israeli youth leader who “gave the Palestinian participants the opportunity to see the Israeli liberation movement in another light and recognize the similarities between both nations in their struggle for freedom, security and peace.”

What kind of liberation movement required as a prerequisite the violent ethnic cleansing of 531 villages and 11 urban neighborhoods destroyed or emptied by force by the nascent Israeli army – all belonging to us Palestinians, the indigenous population. Over two thirds of us in Gaza are UN registered refugees, still expecting justice like any other human being would.

Dialogue groups such as Al Tariq are nothing but a cover for the status quo of Israeli domination – the illegal occupation, the forced exile of 6 million Palestinian refugees, systematic discrimination and an illegal blockade of Gaza, and the increasing number of discriminatory laws against the indigenous population of 1948. In fact, by maintaining the myth of parity between the sides, the lives of Palestinians become progressively worse due to the settler colonial nature of Israeli oppression with incremental land theft and continuous ethnic cleansing and genocide.

We say enough to equating the colonizer with the colonized, enough to the false parity between the “two sides” presented by this utterly false vision of the Middle East. We ask Al Tariq to continue the rising international isolation of Israel’s colonial enterprise instead of feeding the myth that the colonizer and colonized require dialogue, the likes of which has done nothing more than mask Israel’s increasing domination of Palestinian lives based on a racism at the core of their expansionist and apartheid policies. We call on the Palestinian participants in this project to withdraw immediately and act in accordance with Palestinian consensus by boycotting such projects of normalization.

Besieged Gaza, Palestine
Palestinian Students’ Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel
University Teachers’ Association

[1] http://altariq.wordpress.com
[2] http://bdsmovement.net/?q=node/52

 

The Rotten Orchard


(there are many important hyperlinks, the colour of which is very close to the text colour.) On March 19th, two months after the 22-day devastation of Gaza and the slaughtering of over 1,400 Palestinians, the Israeli daily newspaper Ha’aretz published harrowing testimonies by numerous Israeli soldiers who had participated in “Operation Cast Lead.” The soldiers, all recent graduates of the Yitzhak Rabin pre-military preparatory program, were speaking at an open academic forum about their recent military experiences and, as Sarah Anne Minkin of Jewish Peace News reports, “confessed that they’d knowingly shot civilians to death in Gaza, that they’d intentionally vandalized Palestinian homes, and that the rules of engagement in the war – rules handed down from above – were exceptionally permissive.”

In response to these testimonies, the Israeli military denied the claims made by their own personnel, stating that even if some of the allegations and anecdotes were true (since the troops had “no reason to lie”), they were isolated incidents and did not represent the IDF as a whole. Nonetheless, the IDF promised to conduct “intensive and comprehensive inquiries” and an investigation was launched.

Eleven days later, on March 30th – half the time it took the Israeli air force, navy, and army to murder 313 children, 116 women, 497 civilian men, and 255 non-combatant police officers, wound over 6,000 more, and leave tens of thousands homeless – the Israeli military concluded that the soldiers’ stories of gross misconduct and war crimes were baseless, that they were “based in hearsay” and “rumors,” and declared an end to the probe. Even though the pre-military program’s own founder and leader, Danny Zamir, who is himself a deputy battalion commander in the IDF, described the soldiers’ testimonies as “dismaying and depressing” and concluded that the stories reveal the truth about “an army with very low norms of value,” the IDF investigators disagreed. Luckily for the IDF, the “investigation” by the IDF found that the IDF was still, in fact, according to the IDF, “the most moral army in the world.” What a relief that must have been.

Apparently, the claims of intentionally targeting Palestinian civilians, of shooting women and children, of the wanton destruction of civilian infrastructure and personal property, even if they are true, are only, we are told, the misguided actions of a few bad apples.

In fact, we are told that, in Israel, any evidence of military or political misconduct, human rights or international law violations, or racism and oppression are mere aberrations from normality, simple – however troubling – deviations from the peace-loving, ethnically tolerant, democratically representative mainstream. We are told not to judge an entire society by the misdeeds of some bad apples. These bad apples don’t represent the whole Israeli orchard, which, we are told, thrives on justice and equality. (The fact that the Israeli orchard was planted atop a bulldozed Palestinian orchard is, we are told, irrelevant. Even broaching such a topic is anti-Semitic…we are told.)

We are told that the Jewish Rabbinate distributed books and pamphlets, indoctrinating Israeli troops headed for Gaza with claims that they are holy warriors fighting to expel the Palestinians (collectively called “murderers”) who are “interfering with our conquest of this holy land.” The rabbis preach that there is a “a biblical ban on surrendering a single millimeter” of Israel to non-Jews and the literature they hand out states that “when you show mercy to a cruel enemy, you are being cruel to pure and honest soldiers. This is terribly immoral.” We are told that these rabid rabbis are just a handful of overzealous, extremist apples.

Even though in the first nine hours of the recent Gaza assault the Israeli Air Force dropped over 100 tons of bombs on one of the most densely populated areas on Earth – an area blockaded to ensure that no one penned up inside could escape Israeli missiles, shells, and bullets, we are told that the atrocities that occurred in Gaza must have been perpetrated by a few bad apples.

In three weeks of devastating bombings and ground assaults, the Israeli military destroyed over 4,100 homes, 25 schools and hospitals, two bridges, 1500 factories and shops, and numerous government offices and buildings in Gaza. Ten water and sewage arteries, ten electricity-generating stations, and 80% of all agricultural properties, including all farms and crops, were also destroyed. Damages to Palestinian infrastructure exceed $2 billion. Who is being held responsible for this destruction? Is it the Israeli government that authorized the operation, the military brass that planned and ordered the attacks, or the pilots, sailors, and soldiers that carried them out? We are told that the bad apples of Hamas are to blame.

We are told that “for the most part, someone who belongs to Hamas’ civilian welfare organizations is treated the same way as a member of its military wing” and is a legitimate target as dictated by Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security force. We are told that many of the Israeli attacks on Gaza were carried out via remote control. An Israeli reservist is quoted as saying, “It feels like hunting season has begun…Sometimes it reminds me of a Play Station game. You hear cheers in the war room after you see on the screens that the missile hit a target, as if it were a soccer game.” Have we lost count of bad apples yet?

We are told that Parash Hill, near Sderot, with views across lush green fields to Gaza City with the Mediterranean Sea beyond, was full of Israeli sightseers during the Gaza assault. They came with their families, binoculars, cameras with zoom lenses, and picnic baskets to watch Israeli F-16s, Apache helicopters, and unmanned drones fire missiles into residential neighborhoods, destroying buildings and slaughtering their terrified inhabitants. They gather on this “Hill of Shame” to view the carnage in the distance, celebrating the death and destruction, justifying the killing of children by saying, “When they grow up they’ll also probably be terrorists.” These Israelis, for whom watching genocidal air raids is a spectator sport, must be bad apples.

The Israeli military used banned and experimental weaponry such as white phosphorous and Dense Inert Metal Explosives (DIME) in heavily-populated civilian neighborhoods of Gaza. These weapons cause severe burns, dismemberment and mutilation to their victims. Numerous other atrocities have been well documented by Israeli and international organizations, such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the National Lawyers Guild, and B’Tselem. We are told that the perpetrators of such blatant war crimes must surely be bad apples, but for some reason the International Criminal Court has yet to charge anyone for misconduct.

The Israeli army used flechettes, which are “anti-personnel weapons designed to penetrate dense vegetation…4cm long metal darts that are sharply pointed at the front, with four fins at the rear. Between 5,000 and 8,000 are packed into 120mm shells which are generally fired from tanks.” Wafa’ Nabil Abu Jarad, a 21-year-old pregnant mother of two, was killed by flechettes in Gaza. Who would fire such heavy weaponry at a civilian? Probably just another bad apple.


Testimonies from Israeli soldiers reveal that it was common practice to storm an apartment building in Gaza and open fire upon anything that moved. Women and children waving white flags were gunned down. Soldiers “break down doors of houses for no reason other than it’s cool,” take over homes, write “Death to Arabs” on the walls, spit on family pictures, urinate on piles of the residents’ clothing, smear shit on the walls, and receive orders to “clean out the whole house. We threw everything, everything, out of the windows to make room. The entire contents of the house went flying out the windows.” Palestinians who try to run away must be terrorists, just as those who stay where they are must be terrorists. The pilot who makes a minor mistake like bombing a school and killing 40 Palestinian children is forgiven while the Israeli squad commander who says, “That’s what is so nice, supposedly, about Gaza: You see a person on a road, walking along a path. He doesn’t have to be with a weapon, you don’t have to identify him with anything and you can just shoot him. With us it was an old woman, on whom I didn’t see any weapon. The order was to take the person out, that woman, the moment you see her…I simply felt it was murder in cold blood” is yet another bad apple.

The sharpshooter who shot and killed a mother and her two children because they misunderstood orders (to turn right instead of left), given to them by Israeli soldiers who had invaded and occupied their home for days, holding them captive in one room before releasing them, was just a bad apple who made a mistake. According to the sniper’s squad leader:

“I don’t think he felt too bad about it, because after all, as far as he was concerned, he did his job according to the orders he was given. And the atmosphere in general, from what I understood from most of my men who I talked to … I don’t know how to describe it…The lives of Palestinians, let’s say, is something very, very less important than the lives of our soldiers. So as far as they are concerned they can justify it that way.”

Maybe he wasn’t such a bad apple, actually. After all, he was just following orders.

The non-commissioned officer who revealed that when the Israeli army “entered a house, we were supposed to bust down the door and start shooting inside and just go up storey by storey…I call that murder. Each storey, if we identify a person, we shoot them,” must just be talking about orders given by a bad apple or two and carried out by some more bad apples.

We are told that the Israeli soldiers who have custom t-shirts designed and printed for their units at end of training or field duty that bear such images as dead Palestinian babies, mothers weeping on their children’s graves, a gun aimed at a child and bombed-out mosques are just bad apples.

The snipers who wear shirts depicting a dead Palestinian baby with a teddy bear and his weeping mother beside him, accompanied by the inscription “Better use Durex,” the soldiers wearing shirts with a drawing of a Palestinian boy and the words, “Don’t bother running because you’ll die tired,” those who wear shirts depicting an Israeli soldier raping a Palestinian girl and the inscription “No virgins, no terror attacks,” the sharpshooters from the Givati Brigade’s Shaked battalion who wear T-shirts showing a pregnant Palestinian woman with a bull’s-eye superimposed on her belly, and the slogan, “1 shot, 2 kills,” these, we are told again and again, are just some more bad apples.

We are told that troops in Gaza engaged in a military practice called the “Neighborhood Procedure,” wherein Palestinian civilians are forced, often at gunpoint, to enter homes and ask the inhabitants to come out. This practice has been rejected by Israel’s own Supreme Court due to the ruling that using civilians in military operations violates not only IDF protocol but also international law, such as the Geneva Conventions that guarantee immunity to all civilians. So what is happening to the bad apples in the IDF who are using Palestinian civilians as human shields?

We are told that the IDF commanders who ordered their troops to shoot at Palestinian and Red Cross paramedics, rescuers, and ambulances in Gaza, preventing evacuation and treatment of the wounded, resulting in the deaths of an unknown number of Palestinians, in another unequivocal breach of international law, are most likely just some bad apples.

The rules of engagement in Gaza, as defined by the Israeli military, state that a Palestinian need only be in a “problematic” location for him to be “incriminated” and thereby automatically be “sentenced to death. Often, there is no need for him to be identified as carrying a weapon. Three people in the home of a known Hamas operative, someone out on a roof at 2 A.M. about a kilometer away from an Israeli post, a person walking down the wrong street before dawn – all are legitimate targets for attack.” According to the IDF, the bad apples here are the “suspicious” Palestinians, stupidly living their lives without seeking permission from Israel, and not the soldiers shooting unarmed civilians.


In Gaza, Israeli soldiers entered the home of a woman and her ten children and told her she had to choose five of her children to “give as a gift to Israel.” After ignoring the screams and pleas for mercy and repeating their demands, the soldiers said they would choose for her and murdered five of the children before her eyes. These soldiers are apparently bad apples.

A senior Israeli reserve officer, after hearing about some of the barbarity of the Israeli troops in Gaza, said it was important to “bear in mind what sort of values inductees have when they come to us these days. Every year, the education system produces a significant number of little racists.” That sounds like a significant number of bad little apples.

Israel’s new Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, is one such bad apple. Lieberman, leader of the openly fascist Israel Beteynu party, ran for Prime Minister in Israel’s recent elections under the banner of “No loyalty, no citizenship” with the hopes of implementing oaths of allegiance to a Jewish state in order for Arab citizens of Israel and Jewish critics of Israeli policies toward Palestinians to maintain their citizenship. Lieberman even led a call to ban two Arab parties from Knesset elections – a move that was approved by the Central Elections Committee but subsequentally overturned by the Supreme Court. Undeterred, Lieberman said, “We will not give up. In the next Knesset we will pass the Citizenship Law, which will put a border on the disloyalty of some of the Israeli Arabs.” He is also a confessed and convicted child abuser, is under investigation for money-laundering and fraud, was a proud member of Meir Kahane’s Kach political party, which was outlawed due to its overt racism, and lives in an illegal Israeli settlement in the Palestinian West Bank.

As Minister of Transport in 2003, Lieberman, in response to the news that 350 Palestinian prisoners were to be given amnesty by Israel, declared that he would be happy to provide buses to take the prisoners to the Dead Sea and drown them there.

Of the thirty-three parties running for the Knesset in the recent elections, Israel Beteynu came in third. In mock elections held in 10 high schools prior to the official vote, the party came in first, followed by the hard-right Likud. The left-wing Meretz party came in dead last. Lieberman’s rabid teenage supporters wave Israeli flags and shout “Death to the Arabs” outside Israel Beteynu conferences, openly call for a fascist dictatorship in Israel, and explain their support for such beliefs by drawing connections to their mandatory military service this way:

“It gives us motivation against the Arabs. You want to enlist in the army so you can stick it to them. The preparation gives you the motivation to stick it to the Arabs and we want to elect someone who’ll do that. I like Lieberman’s thinking about the Arabs. Bibi doesn’t want to go as far.”

So, how many bad apples does it take for Israel Beteynu to finish third in parliamentary elections?

Lieberman’s predecessor, Tzipi Livni, is seen as being more of a centrist in Israeli politics. As leader of the Kadima party, founded in 2005 by war criminal Ariel Sharon, Livni supports the establishment of a Palestinian state in order to transfer Arab citizens out of Israel. Speaking at a Tel Aviv high school a week before the Gaza attacks, she said, “My solution for maintaining a Jewish and democratic State of Israel is to have two nation-states with certain concessions and with clear red lines…And among other things, I will also be able to approach the Palestinian residents of Israel, those whom we call Israeli Arabs, and tell them, ‘your national solution lies elsewhere.'” Is someone who limits national identity and the full spectrum of rights to only Jewish citizens of Israel, thereby excluding nearly one fifth of the population, a good apple or a bad apple?

Benyamin Netanyahu is Israel’s new Prime Minister and head of the Likud party. The 1999 party platform, more than a decade newer than the constantly-pointed-to Hamas Charter, confirms Likud’s unabashed support for illegal Jewish settlements in Palestine:

“The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting.”

The document also states that “Jerusalem is the eternal, united capital of the State of Israel and only of Israel. The government will flatly reject Palestinian proposals to divide Jerusalem” and wholly rejects any semblance of a sovereign Palestinian state:

“The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river. The Palestinians can run their lives freely in the framework of self-rule, but not as an independent and sovereign state. Thus, for example, in matters of foreign affairs, security, immigration and ecology, their activity shall be limited in accordance with imperatives of Israel’s existence, security and national needs.”

If we are told that Hamas leaders Khalid Meshal and Ismail Haniyeh are bad apples for consistently offering 30-year-long truces and accepting (and recognizing) Israel as a legitimate political entity within its 1967 borders, then what exactly are Bibi and his Likudniks?

We are told that the Israeli government has banned Palestinian political activity in Jerusalem. At one recent event, celebrating the Arab League’s designation of Jerusalem as the capital of Arab culture for 2009, Israeli authorities broke up a children’s march at an East Jerusalem Catholic school and when the teenage girls present at the gathering “released a few dozen balloons in the red, white, green and black colors of the Palestinian flag over the walled Old City…Israeli military police and soldiers quickly moved into the schoolyard and popped the remaining balloons.” Obviously, these balloon-poppers and party-poopers are just some local bad apples enforcing the law.

A recent poll by Israel’s Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies shows that 46% of Israel’s Jewish citizens favor the “transfer” of Palestinians out of the West Bank and Gaza, 31% favor the “transfer” of Israeli-Arabs out of the country altogether. Moreover, 55% say that the state should encourage Arab emigration, only 49% support the establishment of a Palestinian state, 61% believe Israeli-Arabs pose a threat to Israel’s security, and around 80% are opposed to Israeli-Arabs being involved in important decisions, such as delineating the country’s borders. Another poll, conducted by the Israeli Association for Civil Rights, found that 78% of Jewish Israelis are opposed to Arab parties being part of a coalition government, 56% believe that “Arabs cannot attain the Jewish level of cultural development,” 75% agree that Arabs are inclined to be violent (54% of Arab Israelis feel the same way about Jews), and 75% of Israeli Jews say they would not live in the same building as Arabs.

By contrast, the United Nations Development Program reports that nearly 70% of Palestinian young adults over the age of 17 oppose the use of violence to resolve the conflict with Israel and only 8% believe that violence is an important tool. The study also found that 42% were depressed by their current conditions and 39% were “extremely” depressed (55% in Gaza).

We are told that the barbaric destruction of Gaza had the support of 90% (if not 94%) of Israelis. Assuming this percentage excludes all Palestinian citizens of Israel, we’re only talking about 5 million or so bad apples.

When the seeds of a society are cultivated on a steady diet of historical falsehoods, bogus founding mythologies, unabated colonization and rampant militarism, some bad apples, infested with hatred, racism, and convictions of divine right, ethnic supremacy, and perpetual victimization, will surely grow.

But with so many bad apples, it is clear: the entire orchard is rotten.

Nima Shirazi is a writer and a musician. He was born and raised in Manhattan. Now living in Brooklyn, he writes the weblog Wide Asleep In America under the moniker “Lord Baltimore.” He can be reached at wideasleepinamerica (at) gmail (dot) com.

 


صلح با عدالت
Peace with justice

Lord Baltimore
Wide Asleep In America
Brooklyn, NY
http://www.wideasleepinamerica.com

cartoon of the day

Posted: 04/10/2009 by editormary in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

By Ursula http://urs1798.wordpress.com/2009/01/14/israels-kriegtourismus/

click to enlarge

More than 28,000 participants including head of states, ministers, parliamentary members, children and youths from different parts of the globe flocked to Istanbul to take part in the 5th World Water Forum.  As the title of the forum “Bridging Divides for Water” promised, the hope was to tackle current water crisis through open discussion and transparent dialogue, the exchange of ideas and experiences.  The forum was presumably designed to come up with new ideas and critical views, to ultimately reach a common understanding and consensus on water-related issues. However, from the sessions that I attended, I concluded that the forum outcomes fell far short of being a success. As the forum drew to a close, I could not avoid thinking repeatedly of the pressing question: Was the forum about “Bridging or Maintaining Divides”? In sessions that I attended, there was not much space to promote discussion and dialogue, let alone to challenge mainstream discourses. Hegemonic discourses of business and world politicians’ elites prevailed and went unchallenged. To better illustrate my impressions, I shall draw on a few sessions, which I attended.

 

In a session titled “Overcoming obstacles to serving the urban poor”, one expected the discussion to explore genuine mechanisms and approaches on how to realize universal access to water services, including the poor segments of societies.  However the session’s speakers overlooked recent experiences where privatization profoundly failed such as, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Kenya, Mexico, Tanzania, and attempted to convey messages and convince the audience on how successful the privatization programs in Manila and Morocco have been to increase coverage and universal access of water supply. Experience shows that polices of privatization have been challenged by significant opposition and public protests, hostility and violence and aggregated power inequalities and socio-economic worsening. What’s more, the session speakers, in contrast to conventional knowledge on the driving forces of multinational companies, wanted us to believe that water companies are socially responsible for the poor and concerned about the Millennium Development Goals as an end but not as a means to profitable business. If this session was genuinely designed to bridge divides, as the title promises, then a wider range of participants should be invited to foster dialogue ad discussion and to conclude on constraints, openings and key factors to improve water supply services. People from case studies, such as Bolivia, where privatization of water services spawned public protest and drastic social and political consequences, would give a counter perspective. It was no surprise to learn that the stakeholders of this session are drawn from the private sector and development agencies.

 

More evidence for my perception came from the sessions and the side event related to the Tranboundary water issues on the Jordan River. A video presentation by one of the donors’ agencies attempted to convey a misleading and absurd message of existing cooperation and coming peace. The film wanted us to turn a blind eye to Israeli’s war crimes on Gaza that deliberately targeted civilians, homes, mosques, schools, universities and children and to have our ears deaf to the pleas of 1.5 million people besieged in Gaza. The aim of the video film, in my view, was intentionally to reduce the Palestinians cause and the Israeli occupation to sound like a normal conflict that is in way to be resolved and to normalize the sense of urgency that the international community may pick up to take action.

 

The Norwegian moderator, in both of the sessions: ‘Water management During and After Disasters / conflicts” and the “The UN – Water Day” did not allow for an open discussion, and constrained participants from asking questions or contributing by relevant statements. Instead he took the lead himself to address questions and sometimes he influenced the answers. While the head of Palestinian water authority was urging the participants, especially the Israeli audience, to depoliticize water issues from the political conflict, he couldn’t himself depoliticized his answers when addressing questions on how power asymmetry of the water-conflicted parties impact a real cooperation and water conflict resolutions. A few times, when one of the speakers succeeded to convey a short and clear quick message about the water crisis situation, the Norwegian moderator jumped in to normalize the message and reduce the significance of the water crisis. If this session was designed to bridge divides, the title should describe the reality as it is: ‘Water management under occupation and siege”. 

 

Despite of the remarkable presence of Palestinian water professionals, Palestinian speakers found themselves constrained and not able to say much about the water situation crisis and the Israeli mass destruction of water infrastructure, the thievery of water and the denial of their water rights from both surface and the ground water sources. The constrains can either because their messages has to be in harmony with what the Palestinian Authority (PA) want them to say or that they must follow instructions of the session’s chair persons or possibly because they are self-constrained. For them, it is a simple fact that if they were to convey a clear message about the crime polices on water, they would not be permitted by the Israelis, later on, to leave their occupied territories and attend the next water meeting event. Such decisions on the control of people’s movement are claimed to be for security reasons, and are not questioned or challenged. Also noteworthy are the two Palestinian children from Gaza who were supposed to participate in the children forum but were not allowed to leave Gaza. No justifications for their actions were given by the Israelis.

 

(photo at the left, a picture from one of the many pool installation companies in Israel) In a side event, a presentation dedicated to a future water scenario, was presented by a British consultant, on how to augment the water supply for Palestinians in the Jordan River Basin in 50 years. What this pragmatic proposal suggested is that riparian countries have to give up their water rights from the Jordan River and to adapt the available water quantity they have, if any. Ironically, the water consumption per capita in Israel, severe scarce country, is 320 liter per day, a figure which is far more than the water per capita consumption in a water rich country like Sweden (220 liters). The future scenario, as the consultant advocates, is based on two components. The first is to construct a desalination unit for the Gaza, with possibilities, on the Egyptian land. But what does this scenario imply? Does it imply that Gaza will be a separated geographic entity from the West Bank? That is not clear. If this unit is constructed inside, the consultant stated, there is a risk that it be destroyed by the Israelis. This is a naive speculation because if Israel wishes to destroy the unit, they can do as they have done in similar aggressive acts without any respect to the sovereignty of states or international law norms and without questioning.

 

Moreover, the proposal, ambiguously assumes that with the elapsing time, Palestinians will be able to develop their water infrastructure while living on a gradual and small augmentation of water supply. By time, he said, both the Israelis and Palestinians are expected to reach a positive-sum situation by developing new water sources. This assumption again is either naive or misleading. On which basis the proposal assumes that Israel will allow the Palestinians’ a free hand to develop their own infrastructure without delaying, undermining or destroying the developing water infrastructure?  What kind of signals on the ground, away from “lip service” rhetoric, has Israel given so far to base such proposals on?  More than 170 water projects, which were agreed upon between Palestinians and Israelis, have not been implemented due to imposed bureaucratic constraints by Israel. Furthermore, on which territory should the water infrastructure be built? Is this territory based on the references of United Nations resolutions? Has Israel identified its borders so far? Shouldn’t we have first and foremost identify the Palestinian lands before proposing a future scenario on water?  Land and water are inseparable issues to be resolved.

 

Palestinians also have to be cautious about the time issue. The time dimension has been always important for the realization of the Zionist project and the never-ending expansion of Israel’s state on the historical land of Palestine. Experience shows that the Israel governments base its strategies on creating new realties on the ground that are being realized by time. Time has been also a significant factor to discursively legitimatize the Israeli polices before the international community for more than 60 years. What was accepted by the international community including the Arabs before 1947, was different from that which was accepted in 1948, before and after 1967, now and so forth. Palestinians water professionals should be aware of the proposal implications on land, water, geographic integrity of the Palestinian territories. They also should engage as many water experts as possible, not only inside the occupied territories, but also in the exile to scrutinize proposals and challenges, to avoid losses or legitimized the illegitimatized and to safeguard water rights and shares in reference to the international norms. Palestinians should not accept less than that.

 

The Forum has been expected to build a platform for future settlement of divides on water. In reality, there have not been constructive discussions between parties who really need to bridge the divides.

 

Lina Suleiman, PhD candidate

Division of Urban and Regional Studies
Department of Urban Planning and Environment
School of Architecture and the Built Environment
KTH, Royal Institute of Technology
100 44 Stockholm

It was an ordinary morning December 2008. Children were playing and having fun. They were digging between the rocks to get some space for their childhood.

This is the story of Ahmad, a little boy without sin who was killed on that morning. Ahmad was known among his friends as lively, bustling boy.

Ahmad and his family live in Al Zahra district in the middle of the Gaza Strip, exactly next to the building of the Civil Defense. On the morning of December 27th, Ahmad took his breakfast, put on his boots and went out to go playing in his nearby garden.

“We are an extended family living in a house that comprises four floors. My family and I live in the second and my father in the first floor,” says Ahmad’s father. When he noticed that Ahmad and his sister Mariam were going to play in the garden of the house, the father tried to stop him as the family was waiting for Mohamed, the older brother to take an early lunch. But his attempt was in vain.

“It was like an earthquake hitting our house and everything was shaking,” said the father. Doors and windows were broken, too. The Father tried to find out what had happened outside and searched for the source of the terrible noise he had heard. A cloud of smoke was covering the sun. “There was nothing else to do than to assure myself about the family as another explosion shook the nearby building. I tried to make sure that everyone was inside the house, and then I convinced myself to feel safe.” Suddenly Mariam cried out: “Daddy, daddy, Ahmad, Ahmad…” The little girl Mariam broke out in tears, terribly afraid about her brother. “Her shouts froze my body,” said the father.

Ahmad was found under the rubble of stones at the entrance of the house. The father immediately took Ahmad and rushed to search a car to bring him to the Hospital Shuhad’a Al Aqsaa. “While I was holding him, I realized that Ahmad was dead,” said the father. Ahmad’s head was partially smashed; part of his brain on the ground and his back was filled with shrapnel. “I stood on the doorsteps, trying to understand the situation outside, searching for a car to drive my son to the hospital. I am a doctor myself, but now I could not help him any more,” the father said. “When I left my home, I discovered that the Headquarters of the Civil Defense had been destroyed completely.”

“The sight at the hospital was tremendously dreadful when I arrived. It was full of dozens of killed and wounded young men on the floors.” Ahmad was sent to the emergency department and although he still had some signs of life, after a while he passed away. At this moment, silence came over the father; there were no more words in him. Blood was everywhere and particularly the sight of young children who always are the symbol of innocence.

“I wondered what Ahmad and the other children might have done to be killed by this Israeli aggression. They always dreamed of safety and to live like any other child in the world,” said the father.

While the father was sitting on a chair and thinking about the situation, his mind was busy at the same time with thoughts about his family living near the targeted building of the Civil Defense. Only when he arrived home later, he saw the massive destruction at the building of the Civil Defense. As he reached the house he was devastated to find out that most of his family members had been wounded in the attack. So the father decided to go back to the hospital to get news about his family. He found out that also Mohamed, the oldest brother, who was coming home at the time of the attack, had been wounded in his head as well.

The story of Ahmad in short sentences: by his father –

Ahmad was a lovely little five-year old boy. His smiles will never be forgotten. He was the youngest brother and he was so clever. Anyone who saw Ahmad immediately liked him. He was a very active boy. His favorite pastimes were playing football, using the computer and take care of the birds. He left an empty space in our house – he was the most loved boy in our family. His sister Mariam will never forget Ahmad as she was with him in the last moments before he was killed. She said that she will stay waiting for her bother… Wait… and wait … and wait… – Waiting for the world to answer!!!

What was the sin that those young kids committed to merit the way they died? What they needed was to grow up safely and in happiness.

“We are not seeking to fight, to attack, to have weapons and all those means of death,” were words always repeated by Ahmad before he was killed.

Marya before the bombing happened!

Innocent Ahmad days before he was killed!

Ahmad, an innocent killed by Israeli Army

Pictures taken my PT,http://www.paltelegraph.com/.

http://www.peaceforgaza.blogspot.com/

Ayman Quader
Gaza Strip, Palestine
I am Ayman Talal Quader. I’m a Palestinian born and raised in Gaza. I’m 22 years old. I have a bachelor degree in English Language and Education. I have worked in several different fields’ pre and post of my university studies for almost 4 years. I have worked as volunteer in civil societies where I practiced tasks to help people and educate children. I always try to bring the suffering of Palestinians to the whole world. I am grateful to my friend Sameh A. Habeeb http://gazatoday.blogspot.com/ who always helps me. I do love Gaza and its people, its land, its breezes. I believe that justice and freedom should prevail one day.

Gaza is full of stories of brave women, under the Israeli caused rubble there are many stories of women with hopes and great expectations, pioneers in every field.

Being a Palestinian journalist in exile, there was no other way to interview my people and interact with my colleagues in Palestine but through the internet. I have started a feature by interviewing the Palestinian journalist Nelly Ismail Yassin Almasry through the net because Israel’s enforced laws made it difficult for us to meet in person. Our discussions took longer than expected because electricity blackouts happened many times in Gaza where she lives and the internet connection died with it, but I was determined to write about the other side of Gaza, the side that keeps rising from under the ashes like a bird with a thousand wings because its people refuse to surrender to defeat. Nelly is the daughter of Ismail Almasry, the Football Coach of the National Football Team in Gaza and a colleague working as a sport journalist and a member of the first women’s soccer team in Gaza.

The first Palestinian all women’s football team was established in 2003. Even though they had very limited resources, the women kept practicing and playing against other Arab women’s leagues whenever they were allowed to leave Gaza. The Gaza women’s soccer team suffered many difficulties and faced many obstacles because of the limited resources, the absence of properly built stadiums, the absence of security and the continuous closures of checkpoints by the Israeli occupation forces thus hindering them from practicing or travelling to play against other teams, even though the team wanted badly to represent Palestine on an international, level they were deprived of this dream as they were of many other dreams.

The sport movement started to come back to life in 1994, supported by the Palestinian National Authority. Some attention has been directed to develop sport facilities like maintaining sport stadiums. One of such efforts was building a stadium in the city of Jericho, which has encouraged some athletes to set up a female football team for the first time in Palestinian history, but the idea did not receive adequate attention or support because it was novel. Unfortunately that lack of interest eventually lead to freezing the idea for a while.

But again the Arab and International Federation of Football requested activating the Arab women’s football teams in their countries, and encouraged it by allocating 10% of its financial support to the union to support the Palestinian women’s football teams.

The Palestinian union adopted the idea of forming a female soccer team, and assigned this task to Mrs Haniya Albish. This decision was formally adopted by the International Football Federation who sent Mrs Haniya Albish in 2003 to attend a symposium on women’s football in the framework of the World Cup for women in America, thus starting the nucleus of the team at Bethlehem under supervision of Mrs Samar Ala’araj who was in charge of coordinating sports activities at Bethlehem University.

At the same time, Mr Hussein Shakhtour was forming another team in the Directorate of Youth and Sports, the two teams were merged into one sponsored team, supervised and trained by Bethlehem University according to their best of abilities considering the general situation in Palestine.

Then Mrs Haneyeh Albish, a member of the Palestinian union team of soccer, head of women’s football union, along with Mr. Adnan Abu Zayed attended the symposium of women’s football in “West Asia” organized by the International Federation of Football “FIFA” in March 2006 to develop the game in Palestine.

Playing abroad
The Palestinian women’s football team participated for the first time ever in a tournament held in Jordan 2004 along with 10 other Arab women’s teams; the event was organized by the Jordanian Orthodox club. The Palestinian team was formed from a number of players from the teams of Ramallah, the Evangelical Friends, Gaza, and Saryeat Ramallah group. The created team participated again in another event held in April 2005 in Jordan organized by Amman Club playing along other 10 Arab women’s teams.

 

The following participation was in the West Asia Championship for Women’s Football in Jordan held from 23 of September to the 1st of October 2005, during which the Palestinian team played against Jordan, Syria, Iran and Bahrain.

Then the Gaza team participated in the Arab Championship for women’s soccer in Alexandria, Egypt from 14-28 April 2006, playing against Syria, Tunisia and Egypt. Unfortunately all forms of sports in Gaza now are totally paralyzed.

Nelly grew up in a family of sportsmen who understood her passion for sport, her father was the coach of a team, and her brothers were football players who understood that football is just one of her choices.

Before getting involved in sport journalism Nelly played volleyball at AlAhli Palestinian club in Gaza. In 1996 and while she was still a university student, she joined the first football team for women in Gaza. Some families looked with suspicion at women playing football, but Nelly had no problem with that since she was brought up in a family involved with this sport, she was encouraged by her parents, besides the fact that three of her sisters joined the team as well. Her father was always keen to follow his daughter’s progress and used to go to the club to watch them training. They practiced 3 times every week for 18 months.

Nelly’s beginning with sports media goes back to the end of 2001 when she was a trainee at the Voice of Freedom Radio in Gaza, she progressed in her job to become a broadcaster of sports programs, during the same period she joined another media establishment as a supervisor of its website, but her post did not last long for economic reasons leading to the closure of the website.

Nelly confessed, ‘I have started to write sports reports in 2002 but I started playing football earlier, during 1996. Football is considered by many in Gaza as an unusual field for women, but strangely enough, most of the members of the Gaza women’s soccer team came from conservative Palestinian families, the majority of the members lived in the refugee camps, but still they have proved that they are able to commit themselves to this sport in a way that changed the society’s perception of women football players, and accept the idea to a point that the players started to receive support from the International Federation and the Arab federation, besides the FIFA and other unions.

Nelly is not involved in kicking the ball only, but she is a keen football fan as well, she talked to me about watching most matches played around the world and her support for some Arab leagues like the Saudi Arabian team Alhilal Club. She told me that and among her favourite players is Yasser Kahtani the best Arab player during the Asia championships 2007; she is also a fan of Nawwaf Altimyat, and Mohammad Shalhoob.

Many people were enraged that one Israeli player was denied a visa to Dubai to the tennis tournament held lately, claiming sport should be independent of politics, but it seems not many understood how important it is to boycott Israel’s sport to make a point, Israel bombed the Palestinian playing courts, banned Palestinian players from travel or participation, imprisoned and detained Palestinian players, attacked many of them, and these facts can be brought up and made known should Israel be boycotted. Israel’s policies are aimed at killing any hope of Palestinians participating in any sport where they can represent their country on international level.

Nelly finished her comment by saying ‘unfortunately there has been always a negative attitude towards women’s journalistic work in general, let alone working in the sports field where the journalist has to shuttle between clubs and matches. Some Gaza communities were not in favour of women practicing this sport or working in its media field, but we never gave up. All I hope for now is some peace, and to see that our stadiums will be rebuilt again after everything has been destroyed in Gaza by Israel’s attacks…the ball now is in the International court.  

To listen to Gilad Atzmon deconstructing antisemitism click here (or link at the podcast at the bottom of this post)

 

To listen to David Aaronovitch reading Gilad Atzmon click here

 

To listen to David Aaronovitch’s tantrum click here

 

To listen to Atzmon confronted with an outraged Jewish member of the audience click here

 

To listen to a disappointed member of the audience click here

 

To listen to Aaronovitch confronted with a Jewish member of the audience click here

 

To listen to Aaronovitch’s closing remarks click here

 

To listen to Atzmon’s closing remarks click here

 

 

Last Wednesday, I participated in a panel that could have been a breakthrough debate on issues having to do with ‘Antisemitism’. The event was part of The Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival and it took place at Oxford University. The discussion was moderated by the legendary BBC reporter Martin Bell. On the panel we had Nick Cohen and David Aaronovitch.  They were there to elaborate on the case of ‘new antisemitism’. Interestingly enough, Aaronovitch and Cohen were the prominent advocates of the illegal war in Iraq through the British press. They are also notoriously famous for their  Islamophobic ranting, as if this is not enough, they were also caught supporting the latest Israeli deadly campaign in Gaza. I was there to argue that antisemitism is a spin, it is a myth, I was there to deliver a very simple message: there is no such a thing as antisemitism.

 

I was looking forward for the event. I gathered that it might not be easy confronting Britain’s loudest Ziocon lobbyists alone. In fact I was wrong. It was a piece of cake. It was almost an effortless task to expose and demolish the lame Zionist argument, mainly because there is no such argument. Zionism is not a dialogical narrative, it is rather a pragmatic ruthless practice that seeks control of land and discourse.

 

I may as well say it, unlike Aaronovitch and Cohen, I believe in dialogue and I support every form of well-argued debate. In fact, I would debate anyone, whether it is a Nazi or a Zionist, whether it is a white supremacist or a Judeocentric Islamophobe agitator.  In my world, platform is granted to anyone who endorses a well-mannered conversation. However, last Wednesday, both Aaronovitch and Cohen didn’t want to debate or to argue. They believed that finishing me off would serve their cause. Funnily enough, not only did they fail, they ended up on the defence, begging for the audience to stop applauding and running out of sympathy.

 

Sadly, the panel was not very effective in elaborating on the given topic (Anti Semitism  – Alive And Well in Europe?). David Aaronovitch, who happened to be the first to talk, insisted that rather than discussing the subject, he would score more points citing the best of my published Jewels. He was determined to convince the audience that I was the lowest of the low and I should have never been invited to such a prestigious platform. This is not a joke. Aaronovitch who is notoriously famous for lobbying for a war that that has left (so far) 1.5 million civilians dead, a person that is engaged in spreading vile anti left and Islamophobic Zionised propaganda, is convinced that he is entitled to preach to the public who should participate in the discourse.  Aaronovitch foolishly anticipated that once he read my words, a gasp of resentment towards me would spread in the marquee. The deluded man must have invested an enormous amount of energy gathering these endless quotes. He must have read each of my papers, picking what he thoughtlessly and Zionistly interpreted as ‘outrageous thoughts’. I, on my side, was rather thrilled and amused. It doesn’t happen that often that people read my materials with such enthusiasm on such a prestigious platform. Neither myself nor my most devoted readers could do a better job presenting my ideas. 

 

Sadly for Aaronovitch, his plan didn’t work out, there was not a single noticeable reaction in the room.  There was not a single gasp of resentment.  And yet, the truth must be said, Aaronovitch is a very talented melodramatic epic performer. He brilliantly over-dramaticised my ideas, he beautifully stressed the various variations of the different ‘J’ words, he would then slow down, stare at me with exaggerated contempt, he would giggle expecting the crowed to join him. But they didn’t.

 

For some reason that is far beyond me, Aaronovitch and Cohen failed to realise that Oxford University was not exactly a Yeshiva. It was not an occupied territory either.  It wasn’t down to them or the Israeli Hasbara Committee to decide who was entitled to engage in a public debate. If anything, the two warmongers should have had the minimum intellectual integrity to ban themselves from the public eye for advocating a war that led to a genocide. The two warmongers should have enough honesty to realise that if there is antisemitism, as they say, they must be the root cause for such a phenomenon.

 

Aaronovitch failed to grasp that people who attend literary events are largely curious and open minded, they are far more interested in listening to some enlightening ideas rather than being indoctrinated or patronised by a rightwing Zionist propagandist agitator. 

 

Seemingly, Aaronovitch failed to realise that people out there do read the news from time to time. They read about Charles Freeman and the Jewish Lobby, they read about swindler Madoff, Lord Cash Machine Levy, Proxy donor David Abrahams, Labour Friends of Israel, Alan Greenspan and the credit crunch. People out there do realise that more than just a single prominent Zionist Jew is caught in the eye of the current storms (Iraq, finance, Gaza). Aaronovitch, who by his own admission, has been monitoring my writing for years, should have known that NO ONE out of the Jewish ghetto is offended by my observations about Jewish excessive lobbying and Zionist power. If anything, my stand against tribal politics makes me more and more popular within far bigger circles. 

 

Needless to say, I myself have never sought this kind of fame. I am a Jazz musician, I run a very rewarding musical career. When it comes to my intervention on Jewish identity, I write what I regard to be the truth, realising that there maybe more than one truth. I publish my thoughts while knowing that my truth today may be shaken tomorrow. My task is very simple. I try to be coherent just to make sure that at least I myself manage to follow my thread of thoughts. I am aware of the fact that my writing may devastate some, more than once I myself happen to be concerned with the ideas I managed to reach.  Unlike Cohen and Aaronovitch, for me it has never been a political battle, it has never been about power or scoring a win.  It was always about ethics and intellectual integrity. Seemingly, ethics and intellectual honesty is exactly what the Ziocons à la Aaronovitch/Cohen lack. Seemingly, it is evidently the shortage of ethical commitment and intellectual integrity that pushes Cohen and Aaronovitch back to where they belong: the insular segregated kosher cyber ghetto.

 

Notably, both Aaronovitch and Cohen are famous for their incredibly deceiving call to “Liberate the Iraqi people”. The two Jewish Chronicle writers claimed to know what the Iraqi people ‘desired’. They were obviously wrong and the total Western defeat in Iraq proves it beyond doubt. It is obviously understandable and expectable that two Zionist Londoners would fail to grasp the true will of the Iraqi people. Yet, one would expect Aaronovitch and Cohen to know ‘something’ about the middle class crowd in Oxford.  At the end of the day, Aaronovitch and Cohen were raised in the UK and educated in British Universities. In spite of them promoting Zionist propaganda in the midst of the British media, they are still British, they should have known better.  I would also expect that after 200 years of ‘Jewish assimilation’, the tribal activists would learn something about their neighbours’ appetite. Apparently Aaronovitch and Cohen didn’t. The enthusiastic reception of my intervention drove Aaronovitch into a vile tantrum. “Shame on you” he shouted at the applauding Oxford crowd. Not before too long, Aaronovitch was caught on tape blaming HIS audience for being antisemitic. Clearly, on the recording, sporadic members of the audience are heard giggling at the embarrassing sight of a neurotic outburst of a decaying Neocon. 

 

I do realise that my performance in Oxford was actually very symbolic in its resemblance to the success of the Iraqi resistance: though my English is rather broken, my grammar is faulty, my resources are limited, in spite of me being sluggish and slightly messy, the truth was on my side, or shall I say: the truth is in our side.  As far as public debate is concerned, Jewish tribalism, Zionism and Neocon precepts are indefensible.   We will win in every intellectual battle against those warmongers just because we are ethical, genuine and coherent. All we have to do is to survive their endless spin and slander.

 

Once Aaronovitch ended citing my ‘pearls’. Nick Cohen took the platform. He spoke about the Elders Of Zion. Like Aaronovitch, he failed to address the subject. It is clear that Zionist lobbyists really believe that focussing on a 19th century text would divert the attention from the current powerful elders who lobby for more and more global conflicts and biblical plunder. Cohen, I guess, must be convinced that as long as the protocols are alive in our thoughts, he may be able to advocate wars without us noticing it. He must be a fool. We do see him, we see it all and we do not like what we see.

 

“I refuse to accept the premise of the debate,” I told the people in Oxford. Antisemitism is a misleading notion. It is there to give the impression that opposition to Jewish politics is racially motivated. However, Jews are not a race nor they are in any proximity of any recognised racial continuum. Since Jews are not a race (though can be very racist) their opposition, at least currently, is not racially orientated or motivated whatsoever! 

 

Antisemitism is nothing but spin, it is there to silence criticism of Israel, Jewish nationalism, Jewish politics and Jewish lobbies around the world. Rather than talking about antisemitism, we better talk about the rise of anti-Jewish feelings.

 

I am more than willing to admit that there is indeed more than one piece of evidence of growing resentment towards Jewishness and I am referring here to Jewish ideology and Jewish politics.  Yet, in a liberal society, political and ideological criticism is supposed to be a fully legitimate endeavour. As it happens, there is a growing rage towards Jewish politics and national politics in particular, but this shouldn’t take us by surprise considering the crimes that are committed locally and globally by Zionists and Neocons, whether it is Olmert’s genocidal practice in Palestine or Aaronovitch/Cohen lobbying for a war against Israel’s enemies and last pockets of resistance.

 

I was also willing to admit that some innocent ethnic Jews are caught in the midst of all this. This is indeed a serious problem and I do not have a simple answer to offer.  Yet, I would mention that my wife, my kids, and a few of my band members who happen to be of Jewish origin have never come across any form of antisemitic abuse. If we have ever noticed any abuse, it was somehow always Jewish violence against us in the form of death threats, smears, slander and spin.

 

In the light of this very simple observation, 2 questions must be asked.

1.    How is it that the campaigners against anti Semitism such as Aaronovitch and Cohen happen to be also muddled up with some ludicrous Islamophobic statements?

 

The answer is very simple. Those who preach to us about antisemitism are neither humanists nor universalists, they are just banal tribal activists that are committed to the interests of their ethnic group and that group alone. The very few sporadic gentiles who advocate this immoral discourse do it for the sake of political reasons. Within the Jewish terminology they are called the ‘Sabbath Goy’(1). They are there to work for the Jews and they are fully rewarded accordingly.

 

2.    We have good reason to believe that Aaronovitch and Cohen know very well that Jews are not descendents of people of the Semitic origin and do not form a racial continuum. Why then do they try to pretend that the negation towards Jews is racially motivated?

 

Again the answer is rather obvious. The Jewish ethnic campaigner will spin and cheat and spread lies because Jewish ideology (right, left and centre) cannot be defended or argued in rational or ethical terms. All Jewish national politic discourses are exclusivist, supremacist and racially orientated (though Jews are far from being a race, every form of Jewish politics is categorically racist to the bone. It is always about different formations of a ‘Jews only’ club).  

 

To a certain extent, I was very lucky to share a platform with Aaronovitch and Cohen for the simple reason that they are the ultimate embodiment of tribal activism and war lobbying in this country. Aaronovitch and Cohen, amongst a few other Ziocon protagonists, are the root cause of resentment towards Jewish political lobbying. It was almost entertaining to hear the Jewish Chronicle writer Aaronovitch denying being a Jew, presenting the lame pathetic argument that he had been in a synagogue just “3 times in his entire life”. Aaronovitch must have thought that he may get away with this new spin. He obviously knows that Jews do not have to believe in God, they do not have to go to synagogues, he must know also that even one visit in a synagogue is probably far more than the vast majority of humanity has ever experienced.  What makes Aaronovitch into a Jewish tribal campaigner is, for instance, the fact that he is listed on the Israel Hasbara (2) Committee as one of their authors. The Israeli propaganda (Hasbara) Committee, which lists Aaronovitch as one of its authors declares that its aim is: 

 

“To promote understanding of Judaism and Israel”

 

Do you know any goy who is affiliated with the ‘promotion’ of Judaism AND Israel? Oh yes, Aaronovitch, has one spinning line he has yet to explore. He may suggest to us that he is actually a ‘Christian Zionist’. 

 

What makes Aaronovitch into a Jew has nothing to do with his religious affiliation or belief.  It has nothing to do with the ethnicity of his parents. It has nothing to do with the shape of his nose or the tip of his knob. What makes Aaronovitch into a Jew and a Zionist one in particular is his affiliation with the most rabid, notorious, nationalist Jewish political school. What made Aaronovitch so spiteful and despised in Oxford had nothing to do with his father’s origin, it was actually his Zionist politics and Zionised tactics, it was his commitment to Israeli Propaganda, it was the fact that he lobbied for a war that made us all into war criminals, a war that led to a genocide of 1.5 million innocent Iraqi civilians. 

 

Aaronovitch and Cohen may have learned a lesson in Oxford. Aaronovitch pledged never to see me again. Listening to the audio recording of the event and especially to his tantrum he has a very good reason not to. The contemptible Ziocon was exposed. However, in the light of Aaronovitch being listed as an Israeli ‘propaganda author’, and bearing in mind his being a lobbyist for an illegal war, Mr Aaronovitch is not exactly a Western liberal humanist. Seemingly, he is more of an Israeli patriot than a British one. This is something that his readers in The Times must keep in mind once Aaronovitch attempts to drag this country into another devastating global conflict.   


[1] Sabbath Goy (urban dictionary)- Originally, a non-Jew who does work on Sabbath that a Jew cannot do. In modern times, it is a non-Jew who toadies to the every wish and whim of the Jews, especially in politics, or a non-Jew who is heavily supportive of Israel.
 
[2] Hasbara –Propaganda (Hebrew)

 

SEE ALSO: Dima Omar, So What Did We Learn About Anti-Semitism?

cartoon of the day

Posted: 04/06/2009 by editormary in Palestine
Tags:

The Holocaust in Gaza

WRITTEN BY Anis Hamadeh

 

With amazement the world public has noticed in recent weeks that war crimes had apparently been committed in Gaza. (1) Even Israeli soldiers and military staff now report about their own cruelties against the Palestinian population, cruelties that we do not even know from movies. (2) The stylish T-shirts, that promote the shooting of pregnant Palestinian women by indicating that in this way you can kill two human beings with one bullet, appeared strange to people abroad, too. (3) Moreover, the appointment of Avigdor Lieberman as Israeli foreign minister horrifies the public. (4) There would be further reasons to be disgusted, like the ongoing ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem, the plans for expanding the illegal settlements, some killings, the abduction of Gazan fishermen and so on, but these details do not enter the global discourse, because, well, because they never did. The question is: how genuine is the amazement about what happened in Gaza?

 

Did anything change in Israeli politics? Are those really completely new phenomena, suddenly coming up in the discourse, out of thin air? Or do we only witness the consequences of a continuing strategy that had begun more than sixty years ago? There are good arguments for the latter alternative, especially when you look at the facts. Let us, for example, revisit the year 1948 …


Deir Yassin and the Human Rights

 

1948 was a special year. It was marked by Plan D, the Israeli plan to ethnically cleanse Palestine. (5) Jewish troops expelled about 700,000 people from the indigenous population of the country and killed many of the men in combat age. Even in 1936, after the Palestinian revolt, the Palestinian elite had been persecuted. This was shortly after the first Palestinian party was founded which was to represent the interests of the native population in the two fronts struggle against the British occupation and the Zionist conquerers. “Punishments” like the demolition of residence houses were firstly used by the British and were adopted later by the Zionists. In 1948, several Jewish terror groups were known, like the Haganah, Irgun, the Stern Gang, Lechi and others. They killed, took the land away from the local people and later contributed several prime ministers who were accepted by the world public without any difficulty – very similar to today.

 

Don’t think that the pogroms against the population of Palestine during the execution of Plan D were secret. When the future Prime Minister Menachem Begin had the Arab village of Deir Yassin attacked on April 9 and many of its inhabitants killed (certainly including children and women) in order to terrorize and horrify the people, this was covered in the world press. Begin defended his deed with a typical Israeli bonmot: “The massacre of Deir Yassin not only had its justification – without the ‘victory’ of Deir Yassin there had never been a State of Israel.” (6) Four years later, the same Begin attempted to kill the German chancellor Adenauer (7) and in 1978 he received the Nobel Peace Prize.

 

When Deir Yassin went through the press, the horror about this deed was huge, very similar to today after Gaza. Everybody was surprised and disgusted, even perpetrators like Haganah and the Jewish Agency. A pattern came into being, the pattern of shooting and crying, i.e. killing with subsequent lament. This has worked: there have never been any consequences for Israel. The killings, the expropriations and the humiliation of the local population until today belong to the salient characteristics of Israeli politics. Nothing has changed.

 

At the end of 1948, large portions of Palestine were “Palestinian-free”, much more than the designated part of the land that the international community and the UN had granted to the Jews (with the explicit demand that the local people be treated well). We remember that the international community decided to give some land to the victims of the European genocide against the Jews and everybody was happy with the Palestine decision … except, of course, the people who lived in the region, because it was their land according to all international and logical standards. Weapons and myths (8) silenced them.

 

1948 was also the year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In December, when Israel was established on the blood of the Palestinians, the world celebrated the Human Rights and did not care about Palestinians. The world wanted human rights with exceptions, but this did not work. Now, sixty years later, we begin to understand that.

 

The Aryan state did not work, let’s try a Jewish state …

 

During its history, Israel has continued the Deir Yassin policy, and today there is less than 10 or 5 percent of the land left to the Palestinians. On global refugee days people do not talk about Palestinians, although they are the biggest group of refugees in the world with far over 5 million people. This works because Palestinians (and Arabs and Muslims in general) are needed to fill the role of the anti-Semite which is substantial to the Zionist ideology.

 

It is, as if the world said: the Aryan state did not work, let’s try a Jewish state … Is it really surprising that we witness stunning similarities between the two today? (9) The Israeli population today is exactly confronted with the “final solution” subject now, because Israel cannot make peace on the one hand (this would imply justice for Palestinians, an unthinkable idea in Israel’s decision-making) and needs to end the conflict, on the other. With extremely violent politicians like Netanyahu and Lieberman the “transfer” plan comes closer, an idea to just expel Palestinians en masse like in the old days. Of course, if this happens, it will not mean peace, but more violence and even stronger resistance. So let your imagination fly and think about what a final solution could look like.

 

It is not known how many Palestinians must die before the world recognizes that they are human beings and not anti-Semites. Right now the killing goes on, the Gaza peak did not evoke a real criticism yet. Israel is encouraged to go on to see how far it can go. Do not think that this was it, do not think that Israel will now see that it cannot go on like this. The Zionists have learned that they can do anything with impunity. On March 22, 2009, a total of 14,000 tons of new US weapons arrived in Ashdod on the German cargo ship “MS Wehr Elbe” (owner: Oskar Wehr KG, Hamburg). (10) With these weapons alone, tens of thousands of people can be killed.

 

The Jewish state will collapse, like the Aryan state has collapsed, because both have the seed of self-destruction in them. Both are clearly racist, violent and expansionist in nature. This time it hits Arabs and Muslims instead of Jews. For over sixty years the international community has been blind to this fact, although it is so obvious that ordinary people know it and talk about it – not politicians or journalists or others who need the public.

 

Countries like Germany even have a “reason of state” to secure the persecution of Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims, calling it a “historical responsibility”. There is no other possible reason to introduce a reason of state if it was not for something highly illegal that needs to be hushed up.

 

We may still save the rest

 

The repressive tolerance of Western countries like Germany and the USA makes it possible to write all this down, because it usually has no “harmful” effects towards change. A lot of people think that – unlike the Nazi state – the Zionist state cannot be overcome by violence and thus will prevail. This is an error. Racist regimes of this ilk end up in self-destruction if they are not overcome from the outside. What is important now: we can still save lives. We cannot save the about 1,500 dead in Gaza anymore. But we may still save the rest.

 

At the end of May, the Free Gaza Movement will organize a flotilla of boats, the Hope Fleet, to break the siege of Gaza. You can support them. (11) The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is present in Palestine to shield Palestinians from the Zionist killers (12). You can support them and save lives. This is a critical phase and every hand is needed, every tongue and every cent. Boycott Zionists now! Take it seriously now! Boycott non-Israeli journalists and politicians who support the killing! Argue with them! Support those Jews who are committed against violence and for peace in Palestine. For the sake of humanity and of yourself: do not take part in this murder.

 


NOTES:
1. E.g. in the German “Spiegel”, “Israelische Armee: Gaza-Veteranen schockieren mit Aussagen über wahllose Morde.” by Ulrike Putz, Beirut,
http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/0,1518,614286,00.html
2.
See e.g. ‘Shooting and crying’, von Amos Harel, http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1072475.html
3. See e.g. http://news.sky.com 20 March 2009, “Israeli Army T-Shirts Mock Gaza Killings”, by Dominic Waghorn (URL too long)
4. Guardian 25 March 2009, “Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s shame”, by Neve Gordon, http://www.redress.cc/palestine/ngordon20090327
5. Ilan Pappe, “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine”, 2006
6.
Markus A. Weingardt (2002): Deutsche Israel- und Nahostpolitik. p. 33
7. See e.g. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 12 June 2006 “‘Im Auftrag des Gewissens’. Begin war Drahtzieher des Adenauer-Attentats”, www.faz.net/s/RubFC06D389EE76479E9E76425072B196C3/Doc~E35BBCD5A37DA47809AD4F6A865C6332B~ATpl~Ecommon~Scontent.html
8. Myths like “A land without a people for a people without land”, “Arab aggressions/ David vs. Goliath”, “anti-Semitic Arabs/Muslims”, Palestinian Nazi cooperation (it was far less effective than Zionist Nazi cooperation), Arab military superiority (Jordan was the only country with a decent army then, and the Jordanian king was successfully promised a part of the prey, namely the West Bank); also see John Rose (2004), “Myths of Zionism”
9. This comparison is still forbidden in the mainstream, “for the security of Israel”, but it is as obvious as it is founded and necessary. See my essay “The Second Case”, Feb. 5, 2009, http://www.anis-online.de/1/essays/23.htm
10. Amnesty International, Press Release, April 1, 2009, United States Delivers Massive New Weapons Shipment to Israel, Confirmed by Pentagon, Says Amnesty International, http://www.amnestyusa.org/document.php?id=ENGUSA20090402002&lang=e (NB: The German government is co-guilty, cf. (in German): http://www.radio-utopie.de/2009/01/23/Bundesregierung-dementiert-Wissen-ueber-Waffentransport-nach-Israel-Chronologie-der-Wehr-Elbe-Affaere)
11. See press release and updates at www.freegaza.org
12. http://palsolidarity.org

 

SOURCE: http://www.freegaza.org/en/home/804-shooting-and-crying-nothing-new-since-1948–or-is-it

 

WRITTEN BY IQBAL TAMIMI Yesterday evening the Centre for Islamic Studies in Oxford hosted Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accompanied by his wife Amina, whom I consider as an icon of a Muslim woman that deserves all the respect and admiration for her continuous support for the Palestinian women and her courage and dedication to human rights. A number of diplomatic personalities and statesmen accompanied the PM to Oxford after the last G20 summit meeting.

Erdogan was welcomed with a very long, warm applause, he spoke to the masses after some delay by the traffic in London which he apologized for, commenting in his usual humorous way that his counterpart Gordon Brown should do something to solve the traffic problem. ‘I used to think that the traffic jams in Turkey were the worst, but I discovered that London’s traffic is even worse,’ he said.  

The Turkish Bristolian group who I have accompanied included Sakir Yildirim who drove an eight thousand mile round trip delivering an ambulance loaded with practical aid to Gaza. Business man Talip Topuz waited a long time until he got Prime Minster Erdogan’s autograph and danced happily with it for quite a while. The Bristol PSC group were lucky to secure a place, while almost a thousand people had to return back home, for the crowds were much more than the expectations of the lecture organizers, but still some preferred to wait outside the hall. 

Most amazing was the relaxed atmosphere and the very friendly local police and security personnel, amongst whom were a British Muslim policewoman wearing a Hijab as part of her uniform.

Erdogan who had just arrived from the last meeting of the G20 summit held in London, during which he proposed solutions for the global economic crisis were discussed as well as another equally important issue of the mutual understanding and respect between people of different faiths and communities. 

“It is important that the Western community understands that Turkey is a country that identifies with the European region and is part of it, but at the same time the majority of our nation are Muslims,” he said.

His call for others to understand the importance of mutual respect of faith choice was clear, ‘I respect Jesus and Moses and the message they came with, and I expect others to have similar understanding and respect for my faith,“ he said.

One of the guests requested a comment from the Prime Minister regarding the incident when he stormed out of a conference held in Davos, which was attended by Israeli President Shimon Peres after Israel’s bombing of Gaza. Erdogan said, “I had to do the same in Georgia as well, because I saw a fierce barbaric attack on women, children, the elderly and the vulnerable who do not have the means to defend themselves, they were killed while no one from the international community intervened to stop this aggression, this I could not tolerate. I saw with my own eyes young Palestinian children being killed in Gaza. The situation is still bad, for Israel is still refusing to open this big prison of Gaza to allow for humanitarian aid and food to reach families in desperate need of help, the people of Gaza are still living in tents and in need of help. I spoke with Quartet envoy Tony Blair on this subject, and told him there is an urgent need to open the borders to allow the necessary building materials enter Gaza for rebuilding the badly damaged infrastructure.”

In response to a question about the expected timing of Turkey’s joining the European Union, Turkish Prime Minister said, “Until now, there is no set time. The UK had struggled for 11 years before joining the EU, and perhaps we should expect to wait as long. There is a routine procedure of examining two files at a time, and I always asked why only two, why not three.”

Erdogan also talked about Turkey’s organic farming plans: “There is a large extended border area between Turkey and Syria full of land mines; we plan to clean up the minefields and cultivate the area organically,” he commented on a question asked about farming in Turkey.

He also spoke about the upcoming visit of U.S. President Obama, expected to take place in Turkey next week and said, “I spoke with Quartet envoy Tony Blair as well, and discussed this issue with USA President Obama and we will discuss it again when he arrives in Turkey that there is an urgent need to find a solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and such discussions should involve all Palestinian parties involved, including the Hamas.” (photo by Iqbal Tamimi)

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