Posts Tagged ‘Palestine’

Israeli drilling plans

As a little flotilla passes overhead, the Leviathan Reservoir slumbers deep below. A vast oil and gas deposit, little has been said about it in the American press since its existence was confirmed in 2010. But Israel is ecstatic, Lebanon is vigilant and Gaza is getting screwed.

Job 3:8 “Let them curse it …who are ready to raise up a leviathan,” i.e. necromancers who rouse and control wild beasts at will… In Isaiah 27:1; “leviathan  the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked (wriggling) serpent,” (Gleaned from Bible-history.com.)

“In Israel’s deep waters, in virgin territory, a monster natural gas discovery has been made.” Noble Energy CEO Charles Davidson.

“With Israel suddenly awash in gas… the discoveries put Israel on the global energy map long dominated by oil-rich nations in the Middle East.” Houston Chronicle  Jan. 5, 2010.

According to Press TV (June 18,) Noble Energy was granted permission by Israeli officials to begin developing a natural gas field off the Gaza Strip coastline. Israel’s Ministry of National Infrastructure is claiming the shortage/disruption of natural gas from Egypt is the reason it granted approval.

That Israel has any right to Palestine’s resources is negated by UN Resolution 3005 states clearly that the natural wealth and resources of the Gaza Strip are to be controlled by the citizens of Gaza.

Kanan Pbeid, a Gaza Energy expert was quoted in the Press TV article saying: “This is nothing but theft of Palestinian’s natural resources. Palestinians are the only ones who should benefit from natural gas reserves.”

But the Gaza deposits are only part of a huge gas and oil reservoir that Israel is trying to claim as its own.

The Leviathan Reservoir lies within the Levant Basin Province (LBP), which itself lies under the continental shelf off the eastern Mediterranean coast. Estimates of the gas deposits within the LBP run to 16 trillion cubic feet and are worth an approximately $95 billion. It’s the largest natural gas discovery anywhere in the last ten years.

The Israelis already have, among others, an active drill site located 129 kilometers (80 miles) off Haifa. It dwarfs the discovery of the Tamar 1 drill site 47 kilometers (29 miles) to the southeast. That reserve is estimated to be worth US $15 billion.

These realities may also explain why Israel is attempting to keep prying eyes away from the deep-water sites. Is that one reason why the IDF boarded the Free Gaza flotilla in international waters, waters it’s trying to claim according to its interpretation of International Maritime Law? Does a closer inspection show that Israel is also disregarding International Maritime borders on top of those it’s ignoring in Palestine?

there's gas in them thar waters....

The accompanying United States Geological Survey (USGS) map shows the Levant Basin Province layout published Dec. 29, 2010. To access the full report look for “Assessment of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources of the Levant Basin Province, Eastern Mediterranean” at the USGS site. A rough triangle, LBP is divided into three groups of subterranean rock and encompasses 83,000 square kilometers or 51,573 square miles.

The USGS actually discovered the untapped field before 2008, but it was the publication of the above Assessment and the “simultaneous discovery” of productive drill sites that caused the excitement in 2010. Because the drill sites are off the Israeli coast, Israel and the funding consortium are acting on the assumption that Israel has pretty much exclusive access to the shelf’s resources. They point to Israeli-issued extraction licenses granted to the Matan and Dalit /Michal drill sites as their legal basis to develop and drill. Israel and Cyprus are also in talks about development rights.

The Leviathan consortium is a joint venture between the Houston based Noble Energy Inc. and the Israeli companies Delek Group Ltd. Isramco, Dor Oil, Avner Oil and Ratio Oil Exploration. With certain stipulations, this consortium already accounts for approximately half of Israel’s oil and gas recovery activity. Other Israeli companies, such as Zion Oil, are also players with drill sites near the Dead Sea among others.

Some of the CEOs of these companies have strong fundamentalist Christians and Hassidic views. Devoutly religious, they readily admit applying their religious views to their work, viewing the discoveries as Yahweh’s “Blessing on Israel” to allow it to be energy independent. Others are more business oriented and plan on exporting to Europe and/or Asian.

What the Leviathan reserve will eventually yield in benefits to Israeli is being furiously debated. The Tamar gas site alone could generate annual revenues of NIS 2-3 billion in the next 30 years. The Israeli government commissioned Sheshinski Committee recommended the income be used to retire Israel’s external debt.

However! Despite the jubilation in Israeli financial markets over the country’s future prosperity, there are a couple flies in the ointment.

Within a week of the announcement in 2010, Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Aki al-Shami asked U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to “exert every possible effort to prevent Israel exploiting Lebanon’s maritime hydrocarbon resources, which fall within its exclusive economic zone.”

The United Nations rejected this appeal not on lack of merit but because the UNIFIL’s mandate under resolution 1701: “does not include the demarcation of maritime borders. National conflicts and maritime conflicts are two separate things.”

That means the case passes to the appropriate commission, perhaps the International Maritime Organization, which is mandated by the UN to handle legal matters pertaining to international shipping or perhaps under a wing of the courts in The Hague. There are legal avenues.

The Levant Basin Province situated on the Eurasian-Arabian-African continental plate intersection is 51,573 square miles, hardly within the internationally recognized maritime borders of 12 miles from the shore of any country. There was an effort in the late 20th century to extent this maritime border to 400 miles but was never adopted due to problems related to contiguous national borders in Europe and the like.

According the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and using its map as a visualization tool, the Levant Basin Province starts in a sharp point under the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula close to the Israeli border and runs up the Levant Transform Zone through Israel, Lebanon and Syria as it bumps against the Jordan Rift Valley on the east. It ends inland from the Turkish coast then juts out in a triangle reaching into the Mediterranean and into Cyprus’ territorial island waters. The last leg of the triangle shoots south in a wide curve under the Mediterranean until it rejoins the Sinai point. It’s divided into three sub-strata reserves.

The Levant Margin Reservoirs western edge runs north/south a mile or so off the shores of Israel, Lebanon and Syria. Its land mass is pushed upward causing the ripples that form the hills of Jerusalem and the Lebanon Mountains until they bump into the Jordan Valley It contains mostly natural gas and some oil.

The Levant Sub-salt Reservoirs are under deep water and abuts the Levant Margin Reservoir off the Lebanese, Syrian and Turkish shores then fans west to Cyprus. It holds the best oil and much of the natural gas of the entire Levant Reservoirs.

Adjoining it and formed by the rising seabed and shallower waters, the Plio-Pleistocene Reservoir begins at the Lebanon/Israeli border, reaches west to the Eratosthemes Seamount south of Cyprus then turns southeast to travel the Nile Delta Cone to the Sinai Peninsula. In shallow waters, it contains mostly gas and some oil. The Levant Margin Reservoirs contains oil and gas fields. The Plio-Pleistocene Reservoirs includes eight gas fields, and the Levant Sub-Salt Reservoirs have two discoveries (Tamar, Datil). This accounting does not include development sites at the proposed Leviathan drill site or elsewhere.

Israel claims the Tamar and Leviathan drill sites are within Israel’s coastal territory and therefore theirs to exploit. However a look at the USGS map shows a roughly even split at the Lebanon/Israeli border of the Plio-Pleistocene and Levant Sub-Salt Reservoir vast amount of coastal territory belongs to Lebanon.

Then there’s Palestine. For years Israel has tapped into the oil/gas reserves off the northeast tip of Gaza and which were once part of the Palestinian territories. British Gas drilled two wells: the Gaza Marine-1 and Gaza Marine-2. These fields are estimated to be worth at $4 billion.

“I think,” Haidar Eid, a political analyst said in the Press TV article, “this comes in line with Israel’s consistent policy of stealing Palestinian’s land,
stealing natural resources and I think that Israel knows very well that it can get away with murder due to an international conspiracy of silence.”

The truth is, according to epalestine.com, Gaza is sitting on a major gas field contain an estimated 1.4 trillion cubic feet of gas. In addition Palestine has an oil reserve 22 miles off the Gaza Strip. There is no reason, except for Israeli greed, that Palestine couldn’t achieve self-sufficiency when it is recognized as an independent state.

www.presstv.ir/detail/184762.html

USGS/ Assessment of Undiscovered
Oil/Levant Basin Province

World Petroleum
Resources Project

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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/

Jubliant Americans

News during the last couple of weeks has rumbled in to shake an already rickety balance of world order. Perhaps one of the most disturbing images accompanying those headlines, though, was not that of more bruised and bulleted bodies. Rather, the image was of what the Associated Press termed a ‘jubilant crowd’. As though they had just won the World Cup Final, Americans waved flags as they sang and chanted their patriotic celebration.

Osama Bin Laden, they had just been told, had been shot dead. After nearly a decade-long manhunt, he had finally been pounced upon in Pakistan. The crowd cheered. And when President Obama made the official announcement, he coaxed the nation to cheer the same; he concluded by quoting the American pledge of allegiance:

‘Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all’.

‘Indivisible’. In this one word lies the notion that has fed American policy for many, many years: united we stand-divided they fall.

This is the disturbing aspect about the spectacle that accompanied a political assassination. The power that drives the ruin of lives has been reduced to a sports-style competition. The longstanding game strategy has become brazen: (1) unite ourselves to challenge a common enemy-of-the-day, (2) keep all designated enemies splintered with hostilities, and then (3) exploit the resulting instability. A 2005 report called ‘Dividing Our Enemies’, a report produced by the US Special Operations Command, admits frankly: ‘exploiting the rivalries or animosities among the insurgent bands clearly meets our goals’.

By way of example, just last month President Obama gave a speech stressing the importance of strengthening the nation by all working together. Meanwhile, American leaders were bristling at the renewed rumours of an impending reconciliation between the Fatah and Hamas parties of Palestine. They then promptly issued threats to cut off American support to the Palestinians should the Palestinians choose to work together themselves.

Within days, twenty-seven US Senators formerly demanded that President Obama ‘stand by its refusal to work with any Palestinian government that includes Hamas’. The Senators declared:

‘It is imperative for you [President Obama] to make clear to President Abbas that Palestinian Authority participation in a unity government with an unreformed Hamas will jeopardize its relationship with the United States, including its receipt of U.S. aid’.

Why had political support and financial aid been offered in the first place? Clearly not to facilitate a stable government of national unity. Repeatedly over the years, whenever the Palestinians have expressed their own unity, they have been rebuked for seeking their own terms of agreement. Only those Palestinians who were willing to abide by the terms of the Western “Israeli” Alliance were welcome.

This American pattern of provoking and prolonging internal hostilities amongst strategically targeted populations has been played out time and again in the Middle East. With protecting its “Israeli” project in the forefront, successive American governments have spared no effort to tame the Palestinians and Lebanese. Being unprocurable, Lebanon was played. From the 1950’s onward, relentless political manipulation and violent interference ensued.

Just as they had with the Palestinians, American governments offered political support and financial aid to select Lebanese-but only as a means of leverage. In the run-up to the Lebanese national election of 2009, for example, US Vice President Biden warned that his government would assess its willingness to continue aid to Lebanon ‘based on the composition of the new [Lebanese] government and the policies it advocates’. Years of open hostility toward Lebanese parties supportive of the Resistance clarified beyond any doubt what he meant.

Yet again in January 2011, the US cautioned that it ‘would have great concerns about a government within which Hizbullah plays a leading role’ and warned once again it could cut off aid, that tantalising carrot dangled in the faces of those pursued as strategic allies. A game played by house rules. But when the so-called assistance is bartered not for peace and stability, but solely for the political gain of the lender, then the role of the international community has gone terribly wrong.

Eleven years ago this month, the Lebanese thwarted the strategy of the Western “Israeli” Alliance to divide and conquer. The Lebanese Resistance rejected the presence of American-paid mercenaries and liberated its land from military occupation. The Resistance liberated its people from the dictum of imposed division. In so doing, the Resistance confirmed that the right to a durable national unity is not the prerogative of the Western world.

In similar fashion, the various calls for reform we are witnessing today in the Arab world are calls for integrity. They are resistance to a state divided from its people, resistance to a people divided from each other, and resistance to foreign states imposing their own agendas. In particular, the eagerness of the Palestinian and Lebanese peoples to achieve national unity is a key element of this developing global balance. Yet their eagerness has not been cheered; instead, it has been routinely met with stern disapproval from America-the self-proclaimed champion of united patriotism.

The concept of national unity, whether Arab or Western, should guide and grow with its people. It should be built on what is right about its own people-and not on what it perceives to be wrong about another. If we are ever to establish peaceful relations, the role of the international community is to be an honest broker in the pursuit of mutual benefit. When lives are at stake, it is simply not a game.

Brenda Heard is Founder of Friends of Lebanon, London. Details of the Lebanese Resistance & Liberation Day event in London, 25 May, ‘Reform as Resistance: emerging independence within the Arab world’ can be found here.

http://www.english.moqawama.org/essaydetails.php?eid=14083&cid=269


(Italian subtitles by Diego Traversa, French by Mirielle Rumeau)
To reply to the Gaza youth Manifesto, and with no additional words to the ones spoken with true heart on this video, we give you, The Manifesto. A simple, true, self-explanatory, expression of what we’re sick of.

As these days mark the 63rd memory of the Nakba, our people all around the world, revolt, and object to the injustice and hatred we are met with on a day to day basis, just because we’re Palestinians and just because we exist.

I urge your humanity and your conscience, to spread on this video, so the 15th of May 1948, wouldn’t ever be forgot, and so Palestinians would once more have their freedom and rights back; especially the right of return.

Salamat,
Two anonymous from Palestine.

كرد على بيان شباب غزة، وبدون أي كلمات إضافية للكلمات الصادقة من القلب التي قيلت في هذا الفيديو، نقدم نحن لكم “البيان” والذي هو تعبيرنا البسيط والصريح والغاني عن الشرح، الذي يعبر عن كل الأشياء “اللي احنا زهقنا منها”.

في هذه الأيام التي تمثل الذكرى الثالثة والستين للنكبة، شعبنا في مختلف أنحاء العالم ينتفض ويحتج على الظلم والكراهية التي نعامل بها على أساس يومي، فقط “علشان احنا فلسطينية”.

أنا أحث إنسانيتكم وضمائركم لتنشروا بياننا، لكي يبقى 15-5-1948 يوما لا ينسى في تاريخ الشعوب، ولكي يستعيد الفلسطينيون حريتهم وحقوقهم، وخاصة حقهم في العودة.

سلامات،
عشوائيان من فلسطين.

63 ans de Nakba

Par Deux anonymes de Gaza

Pour répondre au Manifeste de la Jeunesse de Gaza, et sans ajouter un mot à ceux qui sont dits du fond du cœur sur cette vidéo, nous vous donnons Le Manifeste. L’expression simple, qui se passe d’explications, de tout ce dont nous avons marre. En ces jours qui marquent le 63ème souvenir de la Nakba, notre peuple, dans le monde entier, se révolte et proteste contre l’injustice et la haine que nous rencontrons chaque jour, simplement parce que nous sommes Palestiniens et simplement parce que nous existons. (cliquer pour la suite du post et la traduction des sous-titres)
Nous en appelons à votre humanité et à votre conscience pour diffuser cette vidéo, pour que le 15 mai 1948 ne soit jamais oublié, et pour que les Palestiniens recouvrent leur liberté et leurs droits, en particulier le droit au retour.

Salamat,
Deux anonymes de Palestine

http://www.ism-france.org/temoignages/63-ans-de-Nakba-article-15565

63 ans de Nakba

J’en ai marre du mur
J’en ai marre des checkpoints entre les villes palestiniennes
J’en ai marre des colons israéliens illégaux et de leurs colonies
J’en ai marre que ma carte d’identité soit en hébreu
J’en ai marre que des gens ne connaissent rien de notre histoire mais qu’ils sachent tout de l’histoire juive
J’en ai marre que des gens ignorent le droit palestinien au retour et accepte le droit au retour des juifs
J’en ai marre de l’Accord d’Oslo que personne ici n’a d’abord voulu
J’en ai marre de l’Autorité palestinienne sans aucune autorité
J’en ai marre de voir mon père être humilié aux checkpoints par des gens de mon âge et plus jeunes
J’en ai marre que mes amis internationaux soient obligés de mentir quand ils viennent me voir, qu’ils soient interrogés, fouillés à corps et quelquefois expulsés
J’en ai marre que des gens ne comprennent pas ce qu’est “l’occupation”
J’en ai marre d’avoir tout le temps peur
J’en ai marre du syndrome de stress post-traumatique, un état normal ici en Palestine
J’en ai marre du Droit humanitaire international qui ne s’applique pas à l’État d’Israël
J’en ai marre de voir que combattre pour les droits humains de base des Palestiniens, ou critiquer la politique israélienne, est si souvent traité d'”antisémitisme”
J’en ai marre que tout le monde oublie que je suis une Sémite
J’en ai marre d’entendre les Israéliens se plaindre de discrimination quand l’État d’Israël a été fondé sur un principe de pureté ethnique
J’en ai marre de vivre à une époque où la discrimination raciale est devenue acceptable
J’en ai marre d’être constamment traité comme un suspect
J’en ai marre de la manière dont les médias nous décrivent, nous et notre situation
J’en ai marre que le monde entier se préoccupe de Gilad Shalit alors qu’il y a plus de 7000 Palestiniens dans les prisons israéliennes
J’en ai marre d’essayer de me défendre, moi-même, mes amis ou mes compatriotes et de me faire traiter de terroriste
J’en ai marre de voir, où je j’aille, le mur, une colonie ou une soldat israélien

J’en ai marre de 63 ans d’occupation israélienne

Traduction : MR pour ISM

for their “museum of tolerance”.

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.”

UPDATE: THE JOB IS NOT OVER! THE SITE WITH THE SPECIFIC INCITEMENT HAS BEEN CLOSED (WHICH WE HAVE ON ARCHIVES) BUT A SITE WITH A DIFFERENT URL IS STILL THREATENING! DON’T STOP WRITING LETTERS OF COMPLAINT TO HAVE HIM SENTENCED! https://wewritewhatwelike.com/2011/04/18/re-arrigoni-execution-write-to-italian-foreign-office-to-close-kaplan-site-scrivete-alla-farnesina/ TAKE ACTION!!

By Luca Galassi, translated by Mary Rizzo

Lee KaplanLee Kaplan, its author, is being investigated by Interpol

The site of the Jewish fundamentalist Lee Kaplan has been closed. “Stop the ISM”, a site financed by the well-known American David Horowitz, urged on for people to provide information so that the pacifist Vittorio Arrigono could be localised and then eliminated by the Israeli military. For now, awaiting that the Interpol investigations run their course, the ferocity of the words of Kaplan have brought about a rightful elimination as the price to pay. We raised the question in this article (in English here with the archived copy of the original threat to Vittorio and the other activists), highlighting the very serious echo that the words of Kaplan would have had and reconstructing the links of the self-styled “journalist and political analyst” with the Jewish Lobby of the extreme Right.
The Italian embassy at Tel Aviv and the Italian Foreign Ministry, contacted repeatedly by us on the matter have evidently alerted the competent authorities to address this case that regarded our fellow Italian citizen. And, for once, our denouncement was not ignored. 

http://it.peacereporter.net/articolo/13782/Chiuso+il+sito+che+incitava+a+uccidere+il+pacifista+Arrigoni

A wonderland was a very spellbinding village. The village was considered the relief and the cure of all life’s illness; it was the certain destination for all sick people. Its air and atmosphere were like a spiritual medicine to clear one’s mind and soul. Trees were like trees of heaven, and roses’ smell was filling the place with beauty. The secret behind this charming beauty was the dwellers of this village. They were a symbol of one united family. Their aim in life was to save their village from any storm whether it was a natural storm or a storm brought by tourists. They stood together through sorrow and joy.

The villagers used to sacrifice their souls to keep their holy land safe and free. They fought bravely against any attempt to invade their land and steal their priceless heritage. They worked hard to build a very remarkable civilization within a very small area. Great mosques were well built, great schools were constructed and even small libraries but rich with valuable books were established. Besides their many cultural contributions to the field of art, literature, music and cuisine, they were famous for many industries and trade. People around the world sought this village to learn about their magnificent culture. A very fascinating nation, that what was always said about this village.

Though their culture was great, they did not have a great army or powerful weapons. They defended their country by a very simple and traditional means. Many nations had avarices to take over the village’s wealth. They tried to control it by force but they could not. One day they had come to a very malicious idea to put their hands on the village and its people. They had decided to invade the villagers’ minds first, and then the village would be under their control.

One early morning, a tourist came to visit the village but he was not an ordinary tourist. He came with a destructive storm kept in his bags and a demon accompanying his shadow. He stayed at the village’s hotel. The hotel used to host many sessions to educate the villagers. This was a good chance for the demon to brainwash the villagers’ minds. The new demon went up to his room and unpacked his bags. He waited in his room until it was dinnertime. The villagers used to gather everyday in the hotel. He went to hotel’s small restaurant and sat there; he contemplated the villagers’ faces very carefully. It was a normal thing for a stranger to make friendship with the dwellers of the village. After a while, he tried to mingle by admiring their beautiful village. At the same time, the villagers liked to hear about other cultures, so they began to ask him about his country, his life and his culture. The stranger was so kind that he succeeded in winning the people’s hearts. This was a successful move. He paid so much attention to them in order to understand their mentality. People in the village longed for the new technologies of other cultures, and hearing him talking about how great they were, they became more interested in it. He became the advisor for all the people in the village; he gave advice of how to develop their schools, industry, and agriculture system. He was so helpful, and the villagers considered him as a member of the family.

The demon was very satisfied that his plan was going in the right direction. Now that he gained the people’s trust, he began to sprinkle evil thoughts in the villagers’ minds. He took advantage of the idea that people would like to have those new technologies in the village. He convinced them that this could not happen without having foreign companies established in the village. Once again, the villagers believed him. They agreed to host those companies in their land. It was the first step of controlling the village. Companies were established by buying great land survey. They lost a part of their land, but they still have their unity, they thought. The demon played another trick to scatter the family. He told them that they would be more organized if they had a more organized leadership system. The villagers kept thinking about the new leader and whom to choose. Everyone thought that he would be the best one to rule the village. When they gathered again to discuss this issue, they had a very serious debate for the first time. The stranger interfered and suggested a very deadly solution. He said that he could lead this village. Silence broke the room. Everyone thought that this was a good idea since no one was willing to let the other rule the village. Hatred began to be planted in the people’s heart. The demon was appointed as the leader of the village. The villagers lost their land, their unity and their control over the village.

No sooner, the villagers were only slaves in their own land serving the outsiders. Their culture was defaced, and their identity was stolen. The nature lost its beauty, because no one cared about it anymore. It was too late when they woke up from their coma. They regretted their sin but they were powerless to gain their land again. No one could remember the village’s name, because a new name was given to it. However, the new generation of this village is trying hard to gain back their land and to expiate their ancestry’s sin. To have a free country all of us must have a free mind and soul. May God bring back what once was lost and stolen.

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.

Posted: April 15, 2011 by Politirature

I have created a Candlelight Vigil event on Facebook  for Vittorio Arrigoni who got killed yesterday by a group of extremists who wanted to settle accounts with Hamas. Vittorio’s murder is a great loss, humanity lost a lot, Gaza & Palestine lost a lot and of course us, pro-Palestine activists lost a lot.

Day: Next Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Location: In front of the Italian embassy. Shara Abdel Rahman Fahmi, 15 Garden City, Cairo, Egypt.

Time: from 7:30 to 8:30 pm CLT

Why did I create this event ?

-Because Vittorio is one of us ! he was a friend of many of us.

-Because Vittorio is a brave independent man who dedicated his life for truth, Palestine and peace.

-Because Vittorio risked everything to expose Zionism and share the truth.

-Because we have to tell the world that those who killed Vittorio are NOT Muslims.

-Because it’s the least we can do for such a great pure soul.

PLEASE attend the event and share the link everywhere  (Facebook, Twitter, Blogs) even if you’re not in Egypt.

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=142924945778327&notif_t=event_wall#wall_posts

And I really hope that all of you create similar events in your cities and countries

 

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 

Carlos Latuff's homage to Vittorio Arrigoni

Written by Pasquale Navarra for Forum Palestina (translated by Mary Rizzo)

The causes and the dynamics of the kidnapping and assassination of Vittorio Arrigoni, activist and correspondent of the International Solidarity Movement with Palestine in Gaza, are at the moment being reconstructed. Some information and evaluations can nevertheless be given even now.

Vittorio was about to return to Italy so that he could collaborate with the Freedom Flotilla mission which in May was planning on breaking the siege against the Palestinians of Gaza, a siege that Vittorio had systematically denounced and for years had been documenting.

Vittorio was found already dead when the Palestinian police, helped by the local population, was able to find the place where he had been held hostage. The 30 hour ultimatum was nothing more than a pretext. The kidnappers were very young, including at least one who was a Jordanian citizen (and not Palestinian).

The group that had kidnapped and killed Vittorio belongs to that galaxy of Salafi Islamic groups, very different from the current of Political Islam that the Hamas movement, which governs the Gaza Strip, has as its point of reference. These groups are much more active against the other corrupt Islamic currents and the Arab regimes – accused of apostasy – than they are against the Israeli occupation of Palestine or the USA presence in the Middle East.

Some of these groups belong to the network of Political Islam that has as its reference, is financed and armed by Saudi Arabia. Some of these groups have already provoked clashes and very serious problems in the Palestinian refugee camps of Lebanon.

In these weeks in which the alliances of the Middle East are brusquely shuffled around by the people’s revolts and the tensions that are present in the entire region, the Saudi monarchy has established an alliance with Israel to mark the common enemy represented by Iran and its influence in the Gulf region and the Middle East. This alliance has been strengthened by a recent summit in Moscow in which present were both Netanyahu and the Saudi secret services leaders.

In these weeks the Israel authorities have initiated an intimidation campaign against the activists and the international solidarity campaigns with Palestine, in particular against the Freedom Flotilla which will leave in May, headed towards Gaza and the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel. The Israeli authorities have asked the governments of the countries which will have ships leaving from their shores or in which the BDS campaigns are strong to intervene against the activists. The Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi has already accepted the request from the Israeli government. The Israeli secret services have been activated to use any means necessary to keep the international activists far from Gaza and from Palestine.

We do not have all the evidence, but we consider that the kidnapping and assassination of Vittorio possibly fits into the dirty work carried out by the Islamic groups tied to the Saudi Arabian network that today is allied with Israel. The message to the international activists is loud, clear and disconcerting: “Stay far away from Gaza, stay far away from Palestine”, “No internationalisation on the Palestinian question will be tolerated by the authorities of Tel Aviv and its allies”.

We would like to send a loud and clear message to all those who in Israel or in the Arab world, in Europe or the United States intend upon tightening the noose of isolation and liquidation around the right of self-determination of the Palestinians. We owe it to this population that has been fighting for its freedom for over sixty years and now we also owe it to Vittorio.

Il 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

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

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

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

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

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

No state is benefiting from Israel’s estrangement from Turkey more than Greece. Israel’s ties to Greece have been strengthening on an almost daily basis. It should be remembered that Greece initially withdrew from joint military exercises with Israel in protest at the raid. But within a few months, Greece was hosting senior members of the IDF, including navy head Eli Marom (who ordered the Mavi Marmara attack), and Israel’s PM and his wife.
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“We see the (European) market expanding to the Mediterranean and certainly we would like to integrate Israel into this European market,” said Prime Minister George Papandreou. “I think this is vital for Israel’s economy but also for its strategic security. “Last month, Greek’s PM promised visiting Jewish American leaders that Athens would help Israel forge even CLOSER ties with the European Union, particularly through gaining access to European markets. Not a word about Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians or even the detention of 30 Greek activists on board Mavi Marmara. A non-issue!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UNITE!

Posted: 03/14/2011 by editormary in Palestine, People's Movements / Struggles
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Unite! by Carlos Latuff