SOME LITTLE KNOWN FACTS ABOUT CONDOLEEZZA RICE

Palestinian journalist Mohammed Omer lies in his hospital bed in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip June 30, 2008. (Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters)

Two years ago when Mohammed Omer was trying to get to the United States for a speaking tour arranged by the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, he wrote to Ms. Rice asking for her assistance. His letter appears below….

She DID intervene and he was allowed to leave Gaza…

I urge all of my readers to write to her asking her to put pressure on the Israeli government to conduct a proper and thorough investigation regarding the brutal treatment he received at the hands of Israeli soldiers.

Here is her contact info….. PLEASE CONTACT HER.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
US State Dept
2201 C St., NW
Washington, DC 20520
202-647-5291; Fax: 202-647-6434
E-mail:
secretary@state.gov

Dear Secretary of State Rice:

I am the youngest journalist living in Gaza and reporting on the realities of life there. My articles are published and read around the world, including in the United States, and give a voice to millions. As a result, I’ve been asked to come to the United States on a speaking tour with dual purposes. The first is to help Americans understand the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, an acknowledged root cause of instability in the Middle East. Secondly, my trip will serve to assist Palestinians in understanding the U.S. Too often the only impression the Palestinian people have of America arrives at the end of a gun barrel or bulldozer. I know you agree that understanding each other, seeing each other as human beings, is the first step to peace, and requires a dialogue between people. This trip will allow me to act as a conduit for bridging misconceptions and healing misunderstandings.

In order to embark upon this trip, however, I need your help.

The American Consulate has agreed to grant me a visa interview in Jerusalem. Last January, however, Israel passed a new law forbidding Christian and Muslim Arab men between the ages of 16 and 35 from traveling between Gaza and the West Bank, or into Israel, if they are unmarried, or have fewer than two children. Ridiculous? Yes. Petty? Definitely. But real. Such discrimination based on a person’s faith and race does Jim Crow proud.

Being 22 and having just graduated college, I’m really not ready to get married, Madame Secretary. From what I understand, this is not an uncommon situation for 22-year-old American men, either. Yet this is Israel’s excuse. Although the United States has agreed to allow me to travel to your country, Israel is preventing me from going to your consulate for the interview because I am an undefined, ambiguous “security risk” to them—but not to the U.S.

My only weapon is words; my conduct throughout my life proves this. How is it that a small country, a nation which every year receives 40 percent of America’s foreign aid budget, can continue to violate international law and consistently ignore the requests of the most powerful nation on this planet? Madame Secretary, with all due respect, why is the United States allowing a tiny country to dictate who can and cannot visit your country? Shouldn’t America decide?

My touring the United States is in the best interests of the American government, as it would help win the hearts and minds of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims, not to mention the nearly 2 billion non-dispensationalist Christians also affected by Israel’s policies against the Palestinians and Christian customs and holy sites.

I’ve read your speeches, Dr. Rice. Like me, you look for diplomatic solutions, a thinking person’s remedy to conflict. Like me, your actions show you seek justice, and justice resides within understanding. Does truth undermine security or strengthen it? By exposing injustices, truth forces people to act with justice, thereby benefitting all—with one exception: those profiting from fear, ignorance and misinformation. Could it be that Israel considers me a “security threat” because I tell the truth?

Madame Secretary, my next door neighbor, a middle-aged man who was not part of the resistance, was killed in late September during another Israeli attack. My friend is dead because he was not Jewish.Walking through the wreckage of his home, I saw shells and weapons fragments with U.S. markings littering the ground.Gaza today is a graveyard of wasted minds and marginalized lives. How many more wasted minds must perish?

Any man may wield a sword. It takes an exceptional person to reason, persuade, change hearts and minds and convince others to set aside hate in favor of the more difficult task of negotiation. Perhaps this is why when God sent Jesus, a man who, solely on the strength of words and ideas, conquered the most powerful empire in the world.

American values are based on the conviction that a person’s worth or participation in society is not determined by skin color, faith, national origin or gender. Living under Israeli occupation, we Palestinians have never experienced these values. We would like to. In order for this to happen, however, people need to see us for what we are—human. This is what my trip is about.

Given the principles governing your country, the values canonized within your Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights, it seems unconscionable that the United States would allow another nation to prevent a reporter from speaking to the American people about what it is like to grow up and live under apartheid—for we Muslims and Christians live in a segregated society of privilege for one group and oppression for another. The criteria for deciding who is privileged and who is not in Israel is faith first, race second—and no third. Being non-Jewish and Arab, we simply do not count.

I fervently hope you will give me a chance to share Palestine with the American people and the American people with Palestine. Understanding is how bridges are built, and dialogue instigates peace. Madame Secretary, please ask Israel to grant me the freedom to travel to Jerusalem for my visa interview so I may come to know your nation, and it us.

Respectfully,
Mohammed Omer, Journalist
Rafah, Gaza Strip, Occupied Palestine

Also see Robin’s Post

HUMILIATION TREATED LIKE RAPE

Demonising Islam, ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

I have spoken to a number of Palestinians over the past few days about the humiliation and torture suffered by my dear friend and Brother Mohammed Omer. He had his clothing forcibly removed by Israeli soldiers upon returning to Israel on his way home to Gaza. They proceeded to torture him which resulted in unconsciousness and hospitalisation. He was treated like a captured criminal rather than the esteemed journalist that he is. His crime? He is a Palestinian.

Many reactions that I got were “the same was done to me when I returned from abroad.” (not including the torture) Exposure of a naked body is strictly forbidden in Islam, so when the situation is forced it goes unspoken, much like the case of many rape victims. Has the demonisation of Islam become accepted by the world, including the silent Muslims themselves?
To someone like myself, having lived in the West, any violation of one’s personal dignity is a crime that must not be hidden from the public eye. The rapist will seek out another victim if he knows silence follows his actions. The same with the Israeli soldier, their dehumanisation tactics used against innocent Palestinian civilians continues because of that same silence.

Why is it that the victim is the one that feels the shame? There appears to be an obsessive feeling that when certain things happen to a person it is their own fault.
Abed was strip searched at Ben Gurion Airport because he is a Palestinian.
Mahmoud was delayed at security at Ben Gurion resulting in him missing his flight, because he is a Palestinian. And I might add was not compensated for lost monies that resulted in changing tickets.
Mona was denied entry to Israel where she planned to study for the summer, because she is of Palestinian decent…. traveling with a United States Passport. Deported upon arrival, also without financial compensation…. and with not a word of protest from the U.S. State Department.
A family was not allowed to leave Israel last summer because of a bureaucratic hassle at the airport, forcing half of the family to remain in the occupied West Bank for the summer while the other half was allowed to return home to the US.

All of the above are actual cases of the humiliation I spoke of. The only one that was publicised was the last one. Is there a shame associated with being Palestinian? Why were the other cases not publicised? Has it become an accepted fact that if a Palestinian or other Muslim suffers an indignity it is alright? Have the events of 9/11 destroyed the minds of every person on this planet? Events, which I must add, were not orchestrated by Palestinians or Muslims.

Taking all of what I wrote above into account, is this the reason the incidents involving Mohammed Omer are not publicised in any major newspaper, including ones that he has written for in the past? The crimes were committed in Israel. There has not been one word printed in the Israeli press, including HaAretz, which claims to be at the left of the other newspapers. (Letter to the BBC)
Is it just to be accepted that Mohammed was tortured and beaten simply because he is a Palestinian, which makes it all OK?

What has become of the human race? Where is the outrage?
Have we all truly become a race of Sheeple?

ANTI APARTHEID DEMO IN LONDON ANGERS ZIONISTS

The message of anti apartheid hit the streets of London yesterday. Groups banded together to show their opposition to the first Israel parade that was taking place at the same time.

The zionists were not too pleased with the fact that permission was granted to hold a vigil outside of South Africa House, the very scene of former anti apartheid demonstrations…. in South Africa. They were celebrating 60 years of occupation and apartheid, quite a different message than the one displayed opposite them. They seemed distressed that the message against apartheid literally ‘rained on their parade’.
Chants of “Free, Free Palestine” were heard just meters away from the zionist demo in Trafalgar Square.

City buses were chartered to display banners against Israeli apartheid and against the occupation of Palestine… photos can be seen below.

Entertainment was provided by children of the Lagee Refugee Camp, and the event ended with a picnic which was held nearby.


Thanks to David Nash of the British Palestine Twinning Network for providing the above information and photos.



WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT ISRAELI TERROR AGAINST JOURNALISTS

Word IS getting out despite what seems to be an official blackout of the issue. The Blogesphere is showing its strength and worth once again. As Michael Rivero wrote, in his post, ‘I am a blogger, Hear me Roar!’, the corpprate media ‘shares’ with us what they feel is important… nothing more.. this issue proves that.

The discussions taking place on the Blogesphere regarding this particular issue are shown in the following….
(Mostly) Brilliant comments to THIS article about Mohammed Omer….

62 Comments so far

  1. baruch June 28th, 2008 3:23 pm

    So wrong.

  2. USAn June 28th, 2008 3:32 pm

    But when a human-rights outrage is committed, and no one hears of it on the TV or newspaper, did it happen at all?

  3. jclientelle June 28th, 2008 3:36 pm

    Our best friends and the only true democracy in the Middle East blah blah blah

  4. chet June 28th, 2008 3:37 pm

    How much of this story will we hear or see in the North American MSM?

  5. AndyUK June 28th, 2008 3:46 pm

    Nothing on the BBC or other mainstream media here in the UK – what a surprise – we obviously don’t want to be “off message” to Israel.
    Nelson Mandela has just celebrated his 90th birthday, he is a true statesman of our times, but if he had been a Palestinian, he would not have lived beyond 30, and the World would not have been any wiser.
    When is this unconditional support of the Zionist state going to end?

  6. citizenblog June 28th, 2008 4:05 pm

    USAn June 28th, 2008 3:32 pm,

    I would hate to think what happens if nobody knows you at all and these officials take you into their custody. Not to belittle the gravity and horror of Omer’s experience. What we don’t know about, but are still able to read between the lines happens and that doesn’t get reported at all, must be even worse and shocking.

    I’ve never heard of the word coordination used in a context like this before. What does it mean?

  7. lisa3210peace June 28th, 2008 4:11 pm

    The Jack-Booted Nazi arrogance of Israel’s soldier seems to reflect the national conciousness quite accurately.

    Sadistic and Cruel
    Nazi-Like
    Invasive

    Too AIPAC. They supported an occupation, Thanks Walt/Mearshiemer.

    Who waged a “full court press” in our senate recently for some more war.

  8. anne faith June 28th, 2008 4:17 pm

    This assault on Omer was not only barbaric and brutal, it was stupid. You’d think his abusers would have enough sense not to treat a well-known journalist this way. But I guess they don’t give a shit.

  9. Earthian June 28th, 2008 4:31 pm

    US guns. US bullets. US aid. The US government is also responsible for these crimes.

  10. TruOrange June 28th, 2008 4:32 pm

    Lisa Dvir from the Israeli Airport Authority (IAA), the body responsible for controlling Israel’s borders, told IPS that the IAA was neither aware of Omer’s journalist credentials nor of his coordination [also] “I’m not aware of the events that followed his detention, and we are not responsible for the behaviour of the Shin Bet [Israel’s domestic intelligence agency].”

    Passing the buck. Oldest trick in the book. No accountability, same as in the U.S. Surprise, surprise, surprise.

    I am sorry, Mr. Omar. For all of the ways that I contributed to your horror – by my actions and lack of actions; my words and lack of words – please forgive me.

  11. Cedar June 28th, 2008 4:34 pm

    Is this why Secretary of War Rumsfeld used Israel to teach ‘manners’ to his jackbooted thugs? It shows.

  12. citizen1 June 28th, 2008 4:48 pm

    I tell you Israel is the root of all evil. It is a colonial, racist and genocidal state.

    Just like Ahmedijan “I wish Israel would just vanish from the face of the earth”. (BTW something like this was what he had said, rather than that he would like destroy Israel. There is a big difference between the two – but of course Americans are too dumb to realize the difference).

    And oh Obama-lovers, your candidate is a “friend” of this scum of a state called Israel.

  13. lisa3210peace June 28th, 2008 5:00 pm

    citizen1

    He said he’d like the “CURRENT REGIME to vanish from the pages of time”

    So says Juan Cole anyway, who can be trusted w/ an accurate translation.

    -Juan Cole, Informed Comment-

  14. PissantNobody June 28th, 2008 5:15 pm

    Jclientelle quotes (with irony) the Republicrat line: “Our best friends and the only true democracy in the Middle East blah blah blah”. Of course, “Our” does not mean yours and mine, but theirs. Think ‘economic class’…

    Isreal exists at the pleasure of the imperialist leaders, primarily in the USA. The endless excesses of jack-booted Zionist ’security’ forces could be stopped in a moment by a few words from Washington, but that won’t happen under the present mafioso regime. The enemy is at home! A successful socialist revolution in America will also be the end of Zionist oppression.

  15. citizenblog June 28th, 2008 5:31 pm

    “…voice for the voiceless..”

    Trouble maker? Something we should all aspire to me thinks.

  16. dbesco June 28th, 2008 6:46 pm

    It’s written in the bible. Dut. Ch.20 V.17-18. Of the lands which the lord thy god doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shall leave alive nothing that breath, but thou shall utterly destroy them. These people are following their gods orders.

  17. citizenblog June 28th, 2008 6:56 pm

    I rarely link to videos as I know what it is like being in the slow lane in America but I’m unashamedly linking to this here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WS4E2a_p5To

  18. concord56 June 28th, 2008 7:10 pm

    …and more settlements, and more occupation, and more lies, and more bigotry — It’s a shame that Palestinian’s weren’t born Blue, because it would be obvious what is going-on in the “promise-land.”

    Remember Civil Rights? It applies to all cultures and Bigots, Arabs included. The good people of the region are not the problem it’s the bigots among them that need to be stopped.

    We Americas had a civil war and race riots to keep our bigots in check.

  19. Araquin June 28th, 2008 7:27 pm

    That sounds believable. That’s exactly their attitude – which is why some small Israeli human rights groups are trying to be present at border crossings to observe and record and help.

    Apartheid.

  20. Galen June 28th, 2008 7:41 pm

    Voice of a typical Israeli government PR flack: ‘Oh, but we poor Jews were so put upon and mistreated by the Nazis! You MUST understand that we have not been able to move past that horror, even though many of us alive in Israel today never suffered it.’

    ‘The Palestinians are the very soul of our past Nazi oppressors, and any actions we take in response to them reacting to our provocations and occupations are TOTALLY justified!’

    ‘If it were not for the actions of Zionist Christians in 1920’s Britain supporting our freedom fighting forefathers in their brave struggle against the native farmers and people of Palestine, Israel would not exist!’

    ‘And it’s not as if we have a record of trying to provoke world super-powers like the United States to attack our sworn enemies in Egypt. All those so-called ’survivors’ of the USS Liberty are liars. We would never mount a sneak attack on a ship of the line belonging to our single greatest weapons supplier, who so graciously ‘lost’ a nuclear weapon we then fortuitously retrieved and copied 200 hundred times in secret, in violation of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty!’

    ‘And it’s not like we ran over one of your citizens deliberately with an armored bulldozer while she was defending a Palestinian family from having their house destroyed. She refused to get out of the way. What choice did we have?’

    ‘And we certainly DID NOT use cluster bombs we were given by America indiscriminately on southern Lebanon, deliberately dropping them on civilian areas just hours before the cease fire was t take effect.’

    ‘And we did not have Mossad agents in place throughout America prior to 9/11 posing as art students, aiding and abetting CIA trained ‘terrorists’ who would later be accused of the actions of that infamous day. And we certainly have not had spies and those with dual citizenship steal secrets for advanced nuclear weapons from the US.’

    ‘So how DARE some Palestinian upstart pen jockey accuse us of mistreating him?! We treated him in exactly the same way we treat all *untermenschen*. Now, if you will excuse me, I have to talk to a man about some leather lampshades.’

  21. citizenblog June 28th, 2008 7:55 pm

    “…leather lampshades”

    Are these all the rage in Jerusalem now Galen?

  22. Galen June 28th, 2008 7:58 pm

    Citizenblog- Allow me my alliterations. )

  23. njh June 28th, 2008 8:08 pm

    perhaps it is time to subject israeli citizens to the same treatment as they pass international borders. perhaps then their arrogance will diminish a touch.

  24. Galen June 28th, 2008 8:33 pm

    NJH- What? And be called an anti-semite?

  25. evanj June 28th, 2008 8:35 pm

    Israeli sadism has poisoned the Jewish soul and utterly vanquished the moral capital built up by Jewry over several millenia and culminating in the great calamity.
    Global Jewry, save for a handful of outspoken and committed dissenters, now either actively supports or lies silent before this barbarism.

  26. lisa3210peace June 28th, 2008 9:06 pm

    If one Israeli journalist were brutalized like this one time the cry would be heard around the world for a year.

    It would set tv’s on fire and Israelis would kill extra Palestianians and World leaders would bemoan anti-semitism and vow to fight it to the ends of the universe.

  27. bamabanjo June 28th, 2008 9:55 pm

    evanj-
    who the f__ are you to talk about “the Jewish soul” and “Global Jewry?”
    Go back to your Baby mama David Duke you Jack Boot MF!
    Speak about your own religion/nation’s ills, before you try to pull some backward looking -sins are on our children- bs.

    Galen and citizenblog can equally take their Nazi references back to their white supremacist X-tian Identity meeting.

  28. Deran June 28th, 2008 10:03 pm

    So, who still says the Israeli government isn’t a racist, anti-democratic, apartheid state? i guess I don’t understand how someone can say that sort of thing sober, or with a straight face.

  29. Galen June 28th, 2008 10:11 pm

    Bamabanjo- I was using sarcasm and actual DOCUMENTED historic incidents to counterpoint the activities committed by the Israeli GOVERNMENT, which as far as I understand it IS NOT a religion. Yet.

    And the Israeli government are not Nazis. Just Fascists.

    And they learned their trade at the jackbooted feet of the Nazis.

    One becomes what one hates.

    In their efforts to avoid becoming victims again, the Israelis have become the mirror image of those who once oppressed them… the abused is now the abuser. It’s simple and classic psychology.

  30. citizenblog June 28th, 2008 10:31 pm

    bamabanjo,

    I never said anything like you accuse me of. Nice try but you don’t know my religious beliefs and they are none of your business anyway.

  31. sl63 June 28th, 2008 11:01 pm

    To get an idea of the level of depravity Israeli checkpoint guards have sunk to, listen to this (MP3) interview of Anna Baltzer, a 28 year old American Jewish peace activist, in which she desribes the ordeal she underwent at one such crossing.

  32. veracity June 29th, 2008 12:23 am

    G A L E N

    It pissed me off a lot too, but from your inspired posting, can I properly assume that you have some special connection this issue ?

    L I S A 3 2 1 0 P E A C E

    I think “random” searches of Israeli tourist’s ( w/o proper transits papers ) cavities would likely lead directly to WW III – as these people have some serious connections too.

    Namaste

  33. Galen June 29th, 2008 12:46 am

    Veracity- I am just sick and tired of Israeli goons doing this and getting away with it.

    Israel should be held to account to obey the UN Declaration of Universal Human Rights and the Geneva Conventions with regard to Crimes Against Humanity.

    It is time to stop kowtowing to the Israelis because of Christian myth and dogma (mostly as promoted by American radical evangelicals) that the so-called ‘Holy Land’ must remain in this disgusting state of affairs until conditions are ‘right’ to bring about the Christian’s much anticipated ‘Second Coming’ of a mythical figure based on the syncretic assemblage of pre-Christian Pagan beliefs.

    I would feel the same level of sarcastic disgust if someone were to beat an animal in front of me. In point of fact, I have physically intervened in that actually happening.

    I try to be a peaceful man, but if I were to witness such gross abuse of another person by agents of my own government, I could certainly understand those who would take up arms to oppose such treatment.

  34. Therzal June 29th, 2008 1:16 am

    veracity..
    Random searches of all Israeli citizens travelling to anywhere else can be justified on grounds of the “war of terror”.. After all, who knows waht they have hidden??
    The Israelis should understand this as they make a huge amount of money from the machinery (literally) of oppression..
    Have you ever seen, or been through, one of their disgusting turnstiles??

    This treatment of Mr Omer is in no way justified on “security grounds”. Security grounds??? The third most powerful army in the world is so scared of the power of the written word it has to stick its finger up some poor blokes arse..??
    Pitiful, pathetic and therefore ultimately vulnerable.
    The only reason the bastards do it is because they can. The Zionists are the new barbarians. no doubt about it. Fortunately history teaches us that the days of any tyranny are always numbered. So these knuts are living as the unavoidable clock of history is ticking.

  35. bamabanjo June 29th, 2008 2:05 am

    In response to an earlier post by citizenblog: coordination is extensive between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Starting right after Oslo, the Palestinian Authority brought in trained soldiers from Tunis, among other PLO locations they were brought from. Israelis and PA soldiers had joint patrols of their shared, newly created borders. While initially welcomed by resident Palestinians as a symbol of their newfound independence, the corruption and degeneration into autocracy of the “Tunisians” was eventually resented by Palestinian residents.

    Coordination today occurs through Ministries within the Palestinian Authority established for this purpose, and covers everything from security and military affairs, to electricity, water and food. In other words, Palestinians have achieved some measure of local government through cooperation with Israel. To the extent that it is limited is often because of their own internal issues.

  36. bamabanjo June 29th, 2008 2:05 am

    Dbesco-
    The Deuteronomy reference is somewhat dated- the fact that there are over 3X as many Palestinians in the territories now as when Israel took them in 1967, disproves this accusation and attempted linkage to Bible stories. Approximately as many Palestinians were killed by Jordan in eleven days of the Black September uprising than six years of the second intefada.

  37. bamabanjo June 29th, 2008 2:06 am

    Therzal-
    What- you don’t think anyone is subject to cavity search upon entering the US, or the EU? Zionists, barbarians? I’d accuse the countries demanding beards, outlawing music, cutting hands off for stealing, attacking Christians and churches, of being barbaric; not a country producing medicine, high tech, literature, poly-ethnic in every sense…

    The fascists in this case are Hamas etc. that preach a universal caliphate that will be established through submission or the sword. It’s the mufti of Jerusalem- al-Husseini, that studied at their jackboots. Have you seen video from a Hezbollah rally? Looks like Berlin 1933 to me.

    Regarding Israelis’ efforts both for Arab citizens and Palestinians in the West Bank- there are in fact many folks that work in this area. In contrast, where was the German B’tselem? Where are the Muslim groups working to protect minority or immigrant rights in Saudi Arabia for example, or standing up against Arab and Muslim racism say in Darfur (name one?)

    The fact is Jews have historically stood up against the range of oppressive regimes- from the struggle against fascism to that for civil rights- and were often killed for their efforts.

    Rachel Corrie’s death was tragic. But this example is notable because it is an isolated case. Palestinians in contrast have killed many more American citizens, starting loosely with Bobby Kennedy (http://avpv.tripod.com/AmericanVictims.html ) and continuing on through a long list to Marla Bennett at Hebrew U., where a bomber intentionally attacked University students-and on and on.

    Regarding the Liberty- how many more people died at the hands of Iranian Hezbollah in the bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon? And again, an isolated case (if true) in contrast with the long pattern of Arab and Islamic terrorism against Americans, Russians, their own people…

    Another correction is that America hasn’t always been Israel’s largest supporter (“single greatest weapons supplier”) and wasn’t in this position during the Six Day War.
    Only since around 1967 has this become the situation, for a variety of reasons (see
    http://meria.idc.ac.il/journal/1998/issue3/jv2n3a2.html#author, which also shows that America’s support hasn’t been unconditional).

    Galen-
    One more thing- why can’t you just accept that Arab terrorists hijack planes; 911 certainly wasn’t the first time (see
    http://www.emergency-management.net/airterror_hijack.htm and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_notable_aircraft_hijackings )

    As far as checkpoints, they didn’t exist before the establishment of the PA, and in particular the second intefada and suicide bombing. A Nabulsian (someone from Nablus) could go the club in Tel Aviv, and drive home again, with nothing in the way. Just like an Israeli could visit the Market in Hebron, and go back home to Beersheva. Maybe those were the days, before the creation of the PA divided the area between the Jordan and the Mediterranean into a potentially unmanageable mélange of territories, overlapping authorities, and often weak security and disconnected economies. I know there are certainly many Palestinians and Israelis who remember this period before fences, walls and barriers fondly (as do I), although as a supporter (at the time) of the Oslo process, getting rid of the PA and going back to the former situation is certainly a hard position to accept, just as returning to the period of daily, often multiple, suicide bombings in Jerusalem is just as unacceptable.

  38. cactuspie June 29th, 2008 3:58 am

    There’s enough dirty deeds to go around both sides of the issue. But notwithstanding its people or religion, Israel is a terrorist nation, like the U.S. Period.

    Hey bamabanjo, take pill. You’re gonna hurt yourself. Such a mouth! Do you eat with that mouth? Kiss your mother with that mouth? What does Iranian Hezbollah have to do with the Liberty? If true? Do your homework. What, is it a body count contest? Why were none of the Arab 911 hijackers’ names on the airline manifest? Yeah, we can all find links to suit our purpose. How about:

    http://www.sweetliberty.org/issues/israel/blackops.html

    Or since you think Wikipedia is a reputable source:

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

  39. bamabanjo June 29th, 2008 4:29 am

    Language, and you have no problem with somebody using the word scum to describe a nation of people- see that tells me that you’re not criticizing Israel; you have some sort of irrational hatred for the people in Israel. Reflect on your feeling for Germany after WW II? Do you call them a scum nation? And they did the Holocaust!

    And if you are going to sling some 911 nonsense, you better show something- in this case show me this manifest. Links to sites that also hawk the Elders don’t count.

  40. Jack37 June 29th, 2008 4:57 am

    Sounds exactly like an anecdote about Jews inside The Third Reich. Vy did you come back to ze Hell we have created for your people to die in?

  41. UN-common-dreams June 29th, 2008 4:57 am

    Are the Israelis a “law unto themselves” ?

    If so, that would rather seem to preclude them following any ‘Higher’ laws, –such as those strongly recommended by their Maker.
    To constantly rebel against common human decency is one thing, but to repeatedly spit in the eye of God is quite another.

    *None of us* have entirely clean hands, but the rightwing Israelis (-not the many *good guys* over there) are really pushing their luck by so very often acting in such a vile (and violent) way.
    They seem so very determined to sow the seeds of their own misery and undoing.

    And so the wailing at ‘The Wailing Wall’ will inevitably be increased one-thousand-fold when all the malignant seeds now being sown by that nation are reaped in one *very* bitter harvest…
    (This also of course, applies just as much to our own nations).

    A ‘Chosen people’ ? …
    ~ Those who have chosen to repeatedly disobey their Maker are not / cannot be ‘chosen’ for anything other than their supposed Maker’s strong disapproval.

    = Not a wise choice.

    [But that’s one way to learn.]

    ______________________

    The emblematic figure of Rachel Corrie (to name just one of their many thousands of relatively recent innocent victims) is a spectre hanging over that nation like a mighty funeral shroud. When this nation is eventually hoist high upon it’s own terrible petard, who will they cry out to?

    Maybe their God won’t be able to see who is crying out for mercy,

    – due to all that spit in his eye?

    xx

  42. veracity June 29th, 2008 5:40 am

    B O O M A R A N G __ B A M B O O Z L E R

    __________ B A M A B A N J O __________

    Perhaps shoving a banjo up his a$$, and sending him to the hospital for several days, might just QUALIFY as torture, for anyone with an iota of compassion ?

    ¿ Perhaps not, for psychopathic thugs and wicked sadists ?

    .
    Namaste « Presence »

    « We must be the change we wish to see in the world » — Gandhi
    « There is a sufficiency in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed » — Gandhi
    « We adopt the means of nonviolence because our end is a community at peace with itself » — ML King

  43. veracity June 29th, 2008 5:50 am

    __________ B A M A B A N J O __________

    Please don’t make me ANGRY about that certain Kennedy’s death per CIA Mk-Ultra brain festooning …

    __ You really wouldn’t like me __

    _____ when I get _A N G R Y _____

  44. worried1 June 29th, 2008 6:52 am

    Bamabanjo,
    You are a disgrace to humankind.

  45. lisa3210peace June 29th, 2008 8:15 am

    Good Morning Namaste.

    I’m gonna burn one for you.

    Then ‘I’ll be back’

    12:23 post: Yes, this would lead to Armagedon. Kill Arabs, Cool! Disrespect a Jew=world headlines, riots, WW3.

    I’m laughing, the double standard is so incredibly disgusting…
    my Jewish life is worth the world, but your gentile blood has no value.

    And I know I’m included in that no value category too. Nice. Namaste, they take over, we’re dead. Or in a concentration camp like Gaza.

    To Zee New Nazi’s!

  46. Peter Montana June 29th, 2008 9:28 am

    As long as the likudniks hold the US economy and Congress by the balls, nothing will change. The likudnik infestation runs silent and deep in our country. Israel is nothing more than a terrorist state.

    Peter Montana

  47. Mike Corbeil June 29th, 2008 9:42 am

    ” USAn June 28th, 2008 3:32 pm

    But when a human-rights outrage is committed, and no one hears of it on the TV or newspaper, did it happen at all?”

    That’s either:

    a) A rhetorical question, like to mock the general public, the many deniers, brainwashed, and so on, but POORLY presented; or,

    b) A plain DUMB question; or

    c) A dumb question posed by a Zionist, pro-Israeli hell, crime, etcetera, “activist”, warmonger, hein monger, ….

    Which is the case with USAn? ‘C’ is not unlikely.

  48. Mike Corbeil June 29th, 2008 9:46 am

    After all, it’s very well known that Shin Bet is definitely HELLBENT, extremely criminal, etcetera. It’s just that the msm corporate “news” media is NOT likely to ever publish truth on the EVIL Israeli govt.

    And if USAn’s question had any credible value to it, then it would really be equivalent to saying that the war on Iraq is not criminal, that the U.S. Congress and Senate are innocent and have voted correctly all along on funding for this war and the war on afghanistan, that the US ‘SALVADOR OPTION’ in Iraq, as in El Salvador during the 1980s, were acts of holiness, and so on.

    That implication would be like a necessarily inherent one, for USAn would then be right about it being false that there are extreme human rights abuses when they’re not reported in the msm [corporate] “news” media; that only when these corrupt media providers report can the reports be truthful.

    Given USAn is hellishly mistaken, biased, trying to help cover up Israeli crimes of extreme kind, and so on, well, CD seems to possibly have itself yet another MOLE working here and to try to DECEIVE dumb readers among all CD readers, which, in turn, means that he thinks many enough readers here are just ‘DUMB ANIMALS’. A mole pretending to be a true patriot of the USA by calling himself, falsely, USAn.

  49. Mike Corbeil June 29th, 2008 9:59 am

    ” lisa3210peace June 28th, 2008 4:11 pm

    The Jack-Booted Nazi arrogance of Israel’s soldier seems to reflect the national conciousness quite accurately.”

    FALSE! And if it was true, then the same would really have to apply in the USA, Canada, Britain, and so on. It’d also have to apply in Arab countries, as well as others. And that’s to have a seriously BS view of reality. In most of these countries, majorities of each, all of them, are opposed to many things our govts do; and they, not [we], hold the reins of the military and law enforcement forces. So what if it’s the taxpayers who foot the bill; that does not mean that they hold the reins of their or our govts, which [we] clearly do NOT.

    There are Israelis who support their hellbent govt and its crimes, but there are many Israelis, including among the Jewish, who are opposed to their govt’s hellbent criminality, and want peace [and] justice for all Palestinians and Israelis.

    They, like US, all of us, don’t control our govts!

    Among Israelis opposed to their govt’s criminality there are also former IDF soldiers who’ve become publicly opposed to the crimes, and have given very serious, strong testimonies to inform the public about what they know of the crimes, given they have first-hand knowledge, were witnesses, and some, like with many US veterans now dissenting, also committed some of the crimes.

    So lisa3210peace is spreading more bigotry, narrow-mindedness, ignorance, hate-mongering, etcetera; and Israel has certainly more than only one ’soldier’, btw.

  50. lisa3210peace June 29th, 2008 10:00 am

    I’ve read Mike Corbeil’s post’s USAn

    And you are screwed.

    He’s way too smart for you and you are in the wrong; if you wave that Zionist-Nazi flag over mangled Palestinian bodies BECAUSE EVEN THOUGH THEY WON’T BE ON FOX NEWS THEY REALLY DID DIE AGONIZING DEATHS AT JEWISH HANDS.

    DOES THAT ANSWER YOU MEANHEARTED QUESTION?

    Signed, an Araboushkin.

  51. Mike Corbeil June 29th, 2008 10:17 am

    “lisa3210peace June 29th, 2008 10:00 am

    I’ve read Mike Corbeil’s post’s USAn

    And you are screwed.”

    SHOW ME HOW I’M ‘SCREWED’ and ‘bring it on’ lady; I can slap ya good. On the streets, telling someone they’re ’screwed’ is to threaten them, so ‘bring it on’ little sick lady, and like I said; I won’t hesitate to put you through a spin.

    It’s not that I’m ’screwed’, but that you’re a damn IDIOT and can’t intelligently communicate!

    “He’s way too smart for you”

    Coming from someone as stupid as you are, I’m not offended.

    “and you are in the wrong;”

    BS! It’s that you’re stupid!

    “if you wave that Zionist-Nazi flag over mangled Palestinian bodies”

    I certainly wasn’t waving any ‘Zionist-Nazi flag’ over anything. The problem is that you are STUPID. And you are that to such a severe degree that you may actually be another mole trying to insert a lot of BS at CD. Moles have been operating at many websites over the past several years, inserting all of their F*CKED UP claims, and what you previously posted is pure BS. Like I above-posted, you are spreading stereotyping bigotry, hypocrisy, lies, and so on, and [intelligent] people do not do that if they are also [honest].

    You’re not of such category of intellect!

    “BECAUSE EVEN THOUGH THEY WON’T BE ON FOX NEWS THEY REALLY DID DIE AGONIZING DEATHS AT JEWISH HANDS.”

    NO shit stupid, which is what I suppose ‘boushkin’ means. But heh, USAn is the one who inferred that extreme human rights abuses do not happen, except when reported in the corporate msm “news” media. If you knew how to read, had any noteworthy [intelligence] and [honesty], and read USAn’s post, then you’d have realised what I’m saying.

    NO true Palestinian blindly hates Israeli Jews or anyone else; only being opposed to the criminals and their acts against Palestinians. There are, unlike yourself, SANE Palestinians (and other Arabs) who know very well that my above post is TRUTHFUL and who would definitely [distance] themselves from you and your likes.

    “Signed, an Araboushkin.”

    Boushkin sounds like something a little infant would be called by mommy and daddy, and it seems fitting; only I wonder why such infantile minds try to communicate in circles that are or should be only for truly [adult] minds.

  52. suhail_shafi June 29th, 2008 10:27 am

    This is just despicable……I hope there is more coverage of this terrible event and the journalistic community has the chance to speak the truth about the horrors of the occupation.

  53. jclientelle June 29th, 2008 10:30 am

    USan said “But when a human-rights outrage is committed, and no one hears of it on the TV or newspaper, did it happen at all?”

    I think USan was criticizing the media for suppressing news of Israeli practices. Let’s turn down the heat and stop the personal insults.

    This is an unworthy thread of commentary. Stuff regarding Israel usually degenerates like this. It is not what we need. We need to focus on what happens there and, if possible, what are the paths to justice and peace and who is on them, Jews, Palestinians and yes people in the USA (the great enabler).

  54. Mike Corbeil June 29th, 2008 10:37 am

    Because of lisa…’s obvious stupidity, or trying to deceive CD readers, I’ll re-post what USAn said, once again.

    ” USAn June 28th, 2008 3:32 pm

    But when a human-rights outrage is committed, and no one hears of it on the TV or newspaper, did it happen at all?”

    THAT DOES INHERENTLY say that USAn’s questioning if reports of human rights abuses of outrageous, extreme, totally unacceptable kind aren’t true unless reported by also corporate msm “news” media; and sane, informed, honest, intelligent people KNOW that we can’t rely on the latter “news” sources for [important] matters, except some local stuff. Even then we know that the corporate “news” media is again often corrupt.

    Iow, USAn was questioning whether this IPS article is truthful, or not, given corporate western msm “news” media hasn’t reported on the story. So what I said, above, on his question remains unchanged.

  55. lisa3210peace June 29th, 2008 10:48 am

    You misunderstood my point, which was directed at USAn.

    That he/she was screwed if they sparred with you because I’ve read your posts I know you to be quite intelligent.

    I’m going to reread my post.

    You or I owe the other an apology. But I attempted to compliment your intellect.

    I’ve reread it. Go take a Valium.

  56. lisa3210peace June 29th, 2008 10:57 am

    By the way, Araboushkin is what Israelis call Arabs.

    It means nigger.

    I accept your insult that I am stupid.
    I do reitterate that I attempted to support what I percieved as your indignation re USAn’s rhetorical quesiton.

    It seemed to minimiize the horror of human rights abuses; this piqued my interest over coffee.

    It was my pleasure to compliment your mind.
    Feel feel to insult and threaten me further.
    It is okay.

    Signed, a “Stupid” Araboushkin.

  57. Galen June 29th, 2008 10:58 am

    Bambanjo- Yes Arab people have highjacked aircraft in the past. Many of them are later revealed to have deep CIA ties and training.

    As for your blind adherence to the US Government line that ‘19 Arab high-jackers committed 9/11′, I would seriously suggest you read ‘Crossing the Rubicon’ by Mike Ruppert. It answers a lot of questions left deliberately UNANSWERED by the official 9/11 commission.

    And please tell me, how did 19 high-jackers manage to get the entire US air defense network to stand down on that day? As well, please explain why no steel framed building before or since has collapsed solely due to fire?

    Bobby kennedy was done in by the same people who assassinated his brother JFK. All the bullets removed from Bobby were .38 caliber. The gun Sirhan Sirhan used was a .22 caliber, and they recovered all of his bullets from surrounding materials in the room. There is no way to tell me you can fire .38 caliber bullets from a .22 caliber chamber. Also, please tell me why is has been necessary for the authorities to keep Sirhan Sirhan in a state of drug induced insanity, and away from competent treatment and inquiry?

    And if the Israelis are so pure and noble, why do they keep Mordechai Vanunu under house arrest, preventing him from traveling or speaking with reporters, after serving his 20+ year prison term for revealing the truth about the secret Israeli nuclear weapons cache? Why will no-one call Israel on the blatant double standard?

  58. Mike Corbeil June 29th, 2008 10:59 am

    ” TruOrange June 28th, 2008 4:32 pm

    Lisa Dvir from the Israeli Airport Authority (IAA), the body responsible for controlling Israel’s borders, … “I’m not aware of the events that followed his detention, and we are not responsible for the behaviour of the Shin Bet [Israel’s domestic intelligence agency].”

    Passing the buck. Oldest trick in the book. No accountability, same as in the U.S. Surprise, surprise, surprise.”

    Well, Omar and the Dutch officials accompanying him got through the Jordanian border side without any problems at all, the article says. And the article says that it’s Shin Bet, not IAA agents, that committed the extreme abuse against Omar on the Israeli side, and perhaps no IAA agents were present; if Shin Bet would’ve ordered the IAA agents to absent themselves for a while, then I expect they would comply.

    Furthermore, if Omar did not fly out and then to The Netherlands, and wherever else the article says his trip took him to, from the Israeli airport, then I suppose that he would not have had anything to do with the IAA for his departure and return flights.

    So maybe Lisa Dvir is truthful, very.

    Otoh, you quoted her saying, ““I’m not aware of the events that followed his detention, …””, and that means what? It means she denies knowledge of what happened to Omar following his detention, sure; but what about before the detention? Perhaps the answer is found in, f.e., my above words, but maybe not; and if the latter is the case, then what does she know about him or Shin Bet at the border, or both, and before Omar’s detention?

    And why was Shin Bet and not the IAA manning the border point Omar went through; was this the case at all or many other border points on the Israeli side, or was this border point Omar went through the sole one Shin Bet manned? If the latter, then was it known by others what border point on the Israeli side that Omar would be passing through, and if the answer is yes, then Shin Bet could’ve also known, right?

    If yes to all of that, then Shin Bet may have arranged to replace IAA agents there and specifically for this “special” treatment of Omar.

    After all, being such a great Palestinian journalist and one who refuses to stay out of Palestine for the sake of the human rights and dignity of the Palestinians, the Gazans anyway, would surely be a serious ‘THORN’ in the Israeli leadership’s “sides”. Like Shin Bet told him about their and therefore the Israeli leadership’s views of him, he’s a [trouble-maker], a ‘thorn’, muckraker, …, and a world-renowned one! OUCH!; the Israeli leadership must feel.

    They evidently [knew] of him and lied about not knowing of him, or something close enough to that, for to say that he was a ‘trouble-maker’ meant that he must surely have a record, of sorts, a reputation with the Israeli leadership, which wants us all to believe that they are good and Palestinians bad, etcetera.

    But I don’t know what, if anything, this can prove about Lisa Dvir; although I wonder what she knew or knows of Omar prior to his detention. I’d also want her questioned on why it is that the IAA allowed its border agents to be replaced with Shin Bet. These two questions, for starters anyway.

  59. TonyR June 29th, 2008 11:00 am

    Filthy Yids think that they can rule the world.

    They will not prevail.

  60. Mike Corbeil June 29th, 2008 11:07 am

    And I HATE THIS HELLBENT ISRAELI GOVT CRIMINALITY!

  61. lisa3210peace June 29th, 2008 11:14 am

    Hey MIKE CORBEIL
    Yes Mike Corbeil, you stupid, My post is perfectly clear.

    You got the first sentence BACKWARDS and went into a defensive vituperative hateful threatening attack against me.

    So you owe me an apology I’m not interested in.

    As for my stupidity, I’ve got a BA in Middle Eastern Studies with honors, I’m a published author, and unlike you, I READ CAREFULLY.

    Now defend getting it wrong. That’s what people like you do.
    Thanks for the laughs.

  62. lucillekb June 29th, 2008 12:02 pm

    It is a painful reminder of how we in our turn manifest the evil that has been done to us. These are the new Nazis and their insignia is an Israeli uniform, or the wielding of Israeli power over the defenseless from a position of Israeli power.

THE SILENT ETHNIC CLEANSING OF PALESTINIANS FROM THEIR LAND

Mona (a Jerusalemite) tells about the silent ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their land

This is the story of all Palestinians
Message from Mona (a Jerusalemite):

Dear Friends and Family,

I am writing to share a little about what is happening in my life lately. As most of you know, I have been in Jerusalem since March 18 with Ramzi who at the time had barely turned 5 months. We left Habib and made the sacrifice to be apart for the coming 4 months for the sake of preserving my Jerusalem ID, to keep my residency status. I know this might sound strange, but as a Palestinian who has lived her whole life in Jerusalem, and despite the fact that my family has lived in Jerusalem and Palestine for centuries, according to the Israeli law, Palestinians living in Jerusalem are only residents but not necessarily permanent residents, and therefore are at risk all the time of losing their residency rights.

For the past 3 years, I have been married to Habib, a Palestinian by blood but an American by citizenship, because Habib’s Jerusalem residency was revoked in 2004- although Habib was born in Jerusalem, and has lived there until his adult life. Anyways, now it was my turn to renew my entry visa to “Israel” (yes, I needed a visa in my own country)- I met with a lawyer who asked for a substantial amount to help me renew my entry visa, which would preserve my residency until the next time I have to renew (a maximum of 3 years), but this time the Israelis refused to renew it and instead told me that since I made the decision to marry an “American”, who can’t reside in Jerusalem, I have made a decision to seek residency in a foreign country and am therefore “choosing” to abandon my residency rights in Jerusalem. (Palestinians are not allowed to have dual residency or citizenship, a law that is not applicable to Israelis who are able to hold dual or multiple citizenships.) To make a long story short, I lost my residency rights in my own country!!!! I can only go back to visit as a tourist, and have to acquire a tourist visa from the Israeli embassy!! The ironic thing is that all my family still live there!! But I can never join them, I don’t have a choice in the matter. We, the people of the land are being thrown out(!!!) Don’t e surprised, if you look into your dictionary for the synonym of Zionism that would, in one way and another, what it is!

On my way back from the lawyer’s office, I was stopped by Israeli soldiers who asked to see my papers- they spoke Russian- I thought to myself, these immigrants know nothing of this land they are serving and protecting- they don’t even know the language- They come from Russia, Europe, Africa, the US, and other places and choose to reside in my country- and they can!!!! Not only that but they can limit my movement in my country, and even kick me out of it! When I complained to my lawyer about this injustice he simply answered, “Mona, this is occupation!!!” Not at all the legal answer I was looking for at- there is no human law that can protect me, or preserve my rights. Needless to say, I have lost my right to return, to my country…..to the only country I ever belonged to, the only place I ever called home.

As an adult who has been living under occupation for the past 33 years, I was upset but I can’t say that I was surprised by what happened to me. However, what surprised me was what is happening with my 7 month old, Ramzi. Ramzi was born in the US and therefore got an American passport. Although he is the son of two full blooded Palestinians who call Jerusalem and Palestine home, he was denied residency rights in Jerusalem and was given a tourist visa. I asked the lady at the airport when we first arrived if she could give Ramzi (then 5 months old) a 4 month Visa, rather than the traditional 3 month visa, I showed her my residency card (at the time I still was considered a resident), and showed her our return plane tickets. She said no, and said that I should apply for an extension for Ramzi at the ministry of interior. To avoid conflict and to make my life easier I asked the lawyer to apply for an extension for Ramzi….. to my surprise Ramzi was denied. The Israeli government refused to grant a 7 month old baby an extension on his visa, not even with the help of our lawyer and all his connections!!! So, now I have to face the choice of leaving with Ramzi early and change our vacation plans, or stay with Ramzi here as planned until July 25th, and have my 7 month old be illegally overstaying his welcome in the land of his ancestors. The ironic thing is that this poor little baby can’t even say mama or baba, yet he is pausing a security threat to Israel that they denied him a one month extension on his visa!!

So now, my little family of three are added to the millions of Palestinians who lost their right to reside in their country and have been kicked out of their homes. We now are residents of Las Vegas, but I will always refer to Palestine as my home. Since the 1948 diaspora of our people, the Palestinians in the world have been waiting for a just solution, that would give them the right to return to their homeland, and now 60 years later the list gets longer everyday with people just like the 3 of us who were driven out of our country. I will never give up the hope that one day I would have the choice to live in Palestine, and I will make sure that Ramzi also knows that he has a right to return!

Mona

(thanks to Adib for the forward)

Source

ISRAELIS BEAT AND TORTURE RETURNING JOURNALIST, MOHAMMED OMER

UPDATE from IPS NEWS… just published.

My dear friend and brother Mohammed Omer returned to his native Gaza Strip on Thursday… literally unconscious and unable to speak after being beaten and tortured by Israeli troops. He is still unable to speak so I was not able to communicate with him, I will be posting updates on his condition in future posts.

Mohammed was in Britain, where he was the recipient of a prize for journalism. You can read about it HERE in a post I wrote earlier in the week.

Mohammed’s ordeal is written about in an Action Alert issued by the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, a journal in which he appears regularly.

Gaza Correspondent Mohammed Omer Home Again in Rafah

At a June 16 ceremony in London, Mohammed Omer, author of the regular Washington Report feature “Gaza on the Ground,” received the 2008 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism (a link to the presentation and Omer’s remarks can be found on our home page, <www.wrmea.com>). He shared the prestigious prize with independent American journalist Dahr Jamail, who was honored for his “unembedded” reports from Iraq.

Before traveling to England to receive his award, Omer spoke in Sweden, the Netherlands and Greece about the situation in Gaza. Dutch MP Hans Van Baalen, head of the parliament’s foreign relations committee, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist John Pilger spent weeks lobbying Israel to issue an exit permit to allow this young reporter to travel to Europe and London.

Not for the first time, however, getting home was even harder than leaving.

As soon as Omer arrived in Amman, the Dutch diplomats who were helping facilitate his travel arrangements informed him that the Israelis did not want to allow him to return. After further intervention by his Dutch sponsors, Omer finally got the green light, and on the morning of June 26 crossed from Jordan into the occupied territories via the Allenby Bridge. There he was interrogated, strip-searched and manhandled for several hours. After losing consciousness, he finally was taken to a hospital in Jericho, and from there escorted back to Gaza.

MP Van Baalen has demanded that Israel launch an investigation into Omer’s barbaric treatment.

THE TWO DIMEMSIONAL NORMAN FINKELSTEIN

I always thought of Norman Finkelstein as a serious ‘man of letters’ as can be seen in this recent discussion on what he considers ‘Israel’s bluff’ as far as their plans of attacking Iran… they would really prefer the Americans do it for them…
BUT…. browsing through recent entries on Dr. Finkelstein’s Website, I found the following… it’s really quite amusing. It shows a whole other side of the good doctor.

A VIEW OF THE WALLS OF PALESTINE

Click on image to enlarge
Image by Skulz Fontaine

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARABS

Photo © by Bud Korotzer

How Hollywood Portrays Arabs
by Remi Kanazi

I love Adam Sandler. From Billy Madison to Happy Gilmore to the Chanukah Song, the predecessor of the Superbad generation has effortlessly conquered the domain of slapstick comedy and inappropriate jokes. But damn you Scuba Steve! If you’re going to propagate misinformation about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, do it quietly—or at least in your non-comedic life.

You Don’t Mess With the Zohan, Sandler’s new flick, takes Hollywood chicanery and stereotypes that denigrate Arabs to an unprecedented level—surpassing hit flicks like the Kingdom, the Siege, and every Arnold Schwarzenegger and Chuck Norris movie that came before it. I group Zohan with other shamelessly racist action movies because a film should at least be minutely funny to be categorized as a comedy. For the Sandler diehards and hilarity-loving skeptics, I should clearly state: using race and prejudices to engender laughter is not the problem. Mel Brooks and the creators of South Park exploit stereotypes far beyond anything Sandler has ever done, but unlike Zohan, I don’t think insidious propaganda and underlying racism drive their comedy. After all, if this hebetudinous clunker was just comedy, Sandler and company wouldn’t have, as the New York Times reported, sought out Arab actors to give the movie “legitimacy.” Their search was successful and a few token Arabs showed their presence to innocuously inform the public that it is okay to vilify the crazy towel-headed terrorists once again.

What makes this movie even worse than many of the unfavorable movies made post-9/11 is Zohan’s disarming presentation; it is a comedic approach to understanding the inner workings of the substandard Arab people. Like the job stealing Mexicans, the liquor store robbing Blacks, and the HIV infested gays, negative stereotypes in Zohan strip down the Arab people to RPG wielding animals that senselessly thirst for Jewish blood.

From the start of the film, Sandler’s character, Zohan, is positioned as the altruistic hero—an Israeli Mossad agent who reluctantly kills Palestinian “terrorists,” while forgoing his real dream: to cut hair in the US for Paul Mitchell. Zohan is “brave,” “lovable,” and “funny,” and even his stereotypical chauvinism is eaten up by women (and men) throughout the movie—including his eventual Palestinian love interest, Dalia.

Compounded with played out, corny penis gags, the Israeli narrative is interwoven into the fabric of the film, including propagandistic reminiscences by Zohan’s father who recalls the oft-repeated myth of being surrounded “on all sides” by powerful enemies during the Six Day War—a war in which Israel preemptively struck and dominated those “enemies.” In line with Israeli and Western intelligence, Israel won the war in six days (and five hours, as Zohan’s father dutifully reminds us)—so much for existential threats and heroic narratives. Other historical revisions include a reference in a verbal battle between a Palestinian and Israeli shop owner, in which the Palestinian proclaimed, “Give it up, like you gave up the Gaza Strip!” This biting taunt, while not as blatant as the common stereotype, infers that Israel “gave up” the Gaza Strip and further insinuates that Israel had claim to it. The “humorous” jeer glosses over the glaring reality: Israel still occupies Gaza’s borders, airspace, imports and exports, and has economically strangulated and suffocated 1.4 million Palestinians in the world’s largest open-air prison.

But rewriting history (and regurgitating jokes from 1996) is hardly the movie’s worst crime. The portrayal of Palestinians as ugly, dirty, incompetent, stupid, goat loving terrorists was jammed down the viewer’s throat more times than Zohan’s lame hummus jokes. It becomes obvious to the audience why these good looking, suave, kindhearted Israelis have to kill these evil Palestinian “terrorists”—because they hate Jews more than they hate soap. The most egregious grievance by a Palestinian “terrorist” throughout the film was the stealing of a pet goat. Israel has killed more than 4,000 Palestinians since the start of the second intifada, including nearly a 1000 children, yet the main gripe of these rabid “terrorists” is a stereotypical love for hillside animals. This “inoffensive” scenario is the equivalent of a scene in a Hollywood “comedy” made by a Palestinian filmmaker stereotypically portraying Jews as pissed off about being sent to Auschwitz because they found out that Hitler was going to make them pay for the train ride.

A particular scene in Zohan went beyond comprehension: Sandler’s casting agency rounded up a handful of children to play Palestinians throwing rocks at Zohan. What does Zohan do in response to the actions of these soon-to-be terrorists? He gleefully catches the stones and turns them into the equivalent of a balloon animal. One is supposed to toss aside any arising sensitivities and overlook the many instances Israeli snipers and soldiers have shot Palestinian children in the head or taken their eyes out with rubber bullets because of these rocks Zohan takes with a smile. The posturing of the noble and affable Mossad agent is a slick attempt to humanize Israel and make the Mossad (an outfit that has engaged in countless operations of state terrorism) look like the valiant GI Joe force in the Middle East combating jihadi thugs in the name of good. But Sandler’s character is not only a hero, he’s also a humanitarian. There are multiple scenes where Zohan informs the audience that Israelis do their best to minimize the loss of innocent Palestinian life, when an examination of the conflict by Israeli human rights organizations exposes quite the opposite.

Other stereotypes saturate the movie. The Palestinian salon that Zohan gets a job at is described as a dump, Palestinians constantly cheer for the “terrorists,” a crowd of Palestinians applaud the death of “heroic” Zohan (which he faked), and the “terrorists” are so stupid and illiterate that they purchase Neosporin instead of liquid nitrogen to make their bomb to kill Zohan. There is no distinction made between Hezbollah, Hamas, jihadists, and terrorist sexcapading sheiks. Furthermore, the film conveniently illustrates how Israelis in the US, as “fellow” natives of the Middle East, suffer the same discrimination and tribulations as Arabs in a post-911 world. Oddly, Israelis are passed off as “brown” and “other” like the Arabs in the film, yet Zohan’s parents look like European Ashkenazi Jews. Moreover, while Israelis are shown as native hummus loving Middle Easterners, Zohan’s family is portrayed distinctively differently from the backwards Arabs. Zohan’s parents are sweet, comforting, reasonable and accepting from beginning to end, not rigid like their Arab counterparts. Even when Zohan finally captures Dalia’s heart, his parents show up in America and warmly embrace their relationship without question—while Dalia and others resist the notion of a courtship between the two and tells Zohan that her family would never accept him. Ah, if only all Arabs could just get to know Israelis and see how kind, generous, and amorous they all are, the sooner we could all sit in a circle singing Kumbaya over s’mores and unfunny Zohan hummus jokes.

The worst dialogue throughout this 102 minute laughless action flick is made by Dalia (played by Emmanuelle Chriqui), Zohan’s eventual Palestinian love interest. She serves at the omnipotent propagandist—blaming the troubles of the conflict on “extremists” and “hate” on both sides. She endlessly and vaguely laments about how much “hate” there is “over there,” and describes to Zohan that things are “different here.” As any knowledgeable American knows, Palestinians and Israelis love each other here in the US; they frequently have bake sales together; they form sit-ins for blind coexistence on college campuses; and have Palestinian/Israeli karaoke nights where they sing their favorite Beatles tunes like Give Peace a Chance. What Sandler, and co-writers Judd Apatow and Robert Smigel, fail to understand is that before there was Hamas, Yasser Arafat, Fatah, the PLO, or any resistance movement, there was the dispossession of the Palestinian people, whereby 780,000 indigenous Palestinians were displaced from their homeland by Jewish gangs and terror groups. Flash forward 60 years and the Palestinian people are living in squalor in demolished towns and refugee camps enduring a 40 year occupation that strangulates their economy and diminishes any semblance of normalcy or a proper life. What we are to believe by watching this film is that if everyone would just stop “hating” (which Israelis are depicted as clearly willing to do, while Palestinians resist it vehemently) Israelis and Palestinians could effortlessly live together in harmony. But “hate” has little to do with a conflict rooted in a people’s desire for basic human rights and an end to oppression.

In the end, everything ends up happy and joyful: Zohan gets the girl, he saves the block from a conniving mall developer, and the “terrorists” stop terrorizing. But the jovial ending left a sour taste in my mouth. As nearly a dozen “nameless” Palestinians were killed by innocent and heroic Israeli soldiers last week and another report of the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza went unnoticed in the US press, people were laughing all over the country at how stupid, feeble, violent and backwards Arabs are. A diehard Sandler fan proclaimed: “He’s making it for 13 year old boys. It’s Critic Proof.” That’s what scares me most of all.

Source

ZIOHACKS TARGET PRO PALESTINIAN WEBSITES

Jewish terrorists have left their guns behind and busied themselves on the Internet this morning instead . Three Websites associated with pro Palestinian causes were hacked by them. A HaAretz report of the incident follows….

If you are interested in seeing the damage done by these fascists, clink HERE

Rightist hackers place Israeli flag, Kach images on pro-Palestinian Web sites

By Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondent

Rightists on Thursday hacked into three Web sites associated with the Israeli Arab and Palestinan causes, and embedded on their pages an image of the Israeli flag, the words to the Israeli national anthem and the symbol of an outlawed ultra-rightist movement.

The perpetrators hacked into the Web site of the Israeli Arab Balad party; Arabs48.com, an Arabic-language site; and Mahsom.com, which is written in Hebrew. Both site represent the Israeli Arab and Palestinian cause.

In addition to the flag and the words of “Hatikva,” the hackers embedded the symbol of the Kach movement, an ultra-rightist organization founded by Rabbi Meir Kahane that was banned from the Knesset in 1988 and later deemed a terrorist organization by Israel. The symbol appeared with the words “Kahane was right.”

Pictures were also embedded on the sites showing Palestinian children strapped with explosives under the words “murderers from birth.”

In a statement also printed on the site, the rightists wrote, “This site was hacked into due to its blatantly anti-Zionist contents. Israel is not interested in people like you who are burdens on the process of proper decision-making in the government. If you oppose what you call the ‘Israeli occupation’ then there’s no place for you here.”

Arabs48.com, which is popular in Arab states and in Israel, prints news on Israel and the Middle East from a pro-Palestinian, pan-Arabist perspective. Mahsom.com is a self-proclaimed alternative media source meant for a primarily Jewish audience.

The manager of Arabs48.com, Az a-Din Badran, said in response that the “hacking of the site is intended to sabotage the a central media outlet, which provides a critical and different look at everything connected to the Arab-Israeli conflict. It seems that the exposure enjoyed by the site, in Israel and in the Arab world, drives the right-wing crazy.”

“The site is constantly suffering from repeated hack attempts, which have interfered in the past with the regular maintenance of the site, but not to this extent. We view with great severity the attempt to silence the site, which reflects factual and analytical loyalty to the Arab and Palestinian perspective in the ongoing conflict. The Kahane terrorists and their followers from the Israeli-Zionist right will not weaken our power, like they haven’t in the past,” the statement continued.

Also see THIS Ynet report…

Israeli hackers penetrate Hamas website

VOICES OF EVIL

Voices of Evil
By Khalid Amayreh in the West Bank

Every honest Jew who knows the history of his people cannot but feel a deep sense of gratitude to Islam, which has protected the Jews for fifty generations, while the Christian world persecuted the Jews and tried many times “by the sword” to get them to abandon their faith.

Uri Avnery, Israeli writer and journalist

Benyamin Netanyahu and Daniel Pipes are two classical examples reflecting  the brutal ugliness of  Jewish Islamophobia.

The former has been moving  stridently toward full-fledged  Zionist fascism while the latter is unabashedly calling for an all-out crusade  by the US and Europe against the Muslim world, of course  on Israel’s behalf.

Let us start with Netanyahu, a racist, pathological liar by every shred of imagination. This week, Netanyahu had the temerity to claim  that the  Nazi-like Israeli occupation of Palestine was not the real root cause  besetting  the Middle East, and that the real source of trouble  was “radical Islam.”

In characteristic Zionist ingratitude, Netanyahu  utterly ignored the fact  that it was Muslims in North Africa and the Middle East who protected  Jews  during the holocaust.

Similarly, he overlooked  the fact that Jews reached their golden age under Muslim rule in southern Spain.

Netanyahu is not an ignoramus; he is rather  an addicted  willful  liar and  hatemonger,  and his constant vilification of Islam is designed first and foremost to divert world attention from the genocidal ethnic cleansing Israel has been carrying out against the Palestinian people.

His  red-herring tactic may succeed in deceiving some people in the West, especially those  readily exposed to Zionist-controlled media.

However, with the advent of the  internet and other forms of independent media,  the Israeli “magic” is losing its effect as more and more people in North America and Europe are discovering the truth about this criminal entity.

Netanyahu often portrays Israel as representing western civilization and ideals in an area dominated by Islam.

However,  one doesn’t have to be a great expert in Israeli affairs to find out the enormity of  this lie.

Israel, after all,  is a country that is based on mass murder, mass theft and mass mendacity, characters that most Westerners wouldn’t find particularly appealing.

In fact, if Israel reminds the West of anything, it reminds it of a very ugly and sad chapter in European history, a chapter  Europe would never want to see again.

I am alluding to Third Reich which destroyed  Europe and caused the death of tens of millions of people, all  under the rubric of the Master Race.

Just  take a fleeting look at the general discourse in Israel today and you will see the striking similarity between the  German treatment of European Jewry and Israeli treatment of the helpless Palestinians. Indeed, in the name of  “the chosen people” and Jewish nationalism, Israel has brought havoc and turbulence to the peoples of the Middle East

It is true that Israel is technologically advanced in many fields and has a modern economy. But so what? Nazi Germany, too, was technologically advanced and had a vibrant economy. The former Soviet Union was also very powerful and technologically advanced.

As to Netanyahu himself,  it is clear that  the man embodies  the zenith of racism and evil which puts him  at the opposite side of western ideals, such as human rights, for example.

In 1989, this Netanyahu who is ranting and raving about  fictitious  threats facing “western civilization” told students at Bar Illan University that “Israel should have exploited the repression of the demonstrations in China (The Tiananmen Square) where world attention was focused on that country to carry out mass ethnic cleansing of the Arabs of territories.”

A few years ago,  the same Netanyahu declared in a speech before the Inter-disciplinary Center in Herzlya, north of Tel Aiv, that Israel would have to watch more closely the birth rate of Israel’s Arab citizens who he said constituted an even greater strategic threat to the Jewish identity of Israel than did the Palestinians of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.

So, how is  Netanyahu going about to create a Jewish empire or “Yeretz Yisrael Hashlema” as is known in Hebrew?

Well, the answer is very clear.  He would like to  see Christians and Muslims at each other’s throats  so that Israel could use the ensuing bloodshed  to achieve more territorial aggrandizement while pretending to defend western interests.

Netanyahu, like the rest of Zionist leaders,  is  a warmonger.  This explains why he is hell-bent on pushing  the US to attack Iran just as Zionism’s men in Washington had succeeded in  getting  the Bush administration to invade, occupy and destroy Iraq and cause the death of a million people on Israel’s behalf.

Now,  Daniel Pipes,  the Joseph Gooebbels  of our time and perpetual inciter against one fourth of humanity.
In a recent article titled “the Enemy has a Name,”  Pipes urged the US to “vanquish”  Islam-ism and prevent Muslim masses from achieving  independence, democracy and  self-determination.

“Vanquish Islamism and help Muslims develop an alternative form of Islam,”  he wrote in his screed. You see how  this Nazi-minded hoodlum is demanding that Muslims change their own religion so that it would suit his morbid whims.

Voicing his gung-ho approach toward Islam’s estimated 1.5 billion followers,  the manifestly racist  icon of the Bush era   suggests that the west employ “conventional war, counterterrorism, counterpropaganda, and many other strategies” to suppress Islam’s opposition to Zionist hegemony in the Middle East.

What  Pipes is saying effectively  is that “either Muslims bring themselves to submit to Jewish tyranny  and be  slaves for the global Jewish- Zionist elites, or they must be annihilated.”

To expedite his sick goals,  he suggests the incubation  of  “Muslim” quisling entities (presumably similar to the quisling governments  which Nazi Germany created through occupied Europe)  whose main job  is to crush any opposition to American colonialism and interventionism.

Pipes  recognizes though that the agents of western colonialism  throughout the Muslim world are weak and  unreliable because they are mostly “ fractured individuals, who have only just begun hard work of researching, communicating, organizing, funding and mobilizing.”

To overcome this obstacle, Pipes urges  solid western backing and support for agents of western imperialism,  presumably people like Fouad Seniora in Lebanon, Hamid Qarazi in Afghanistan,  and Mahmoud Abbas in the occupied Palestinian territories, and of course, Riad al Maliki, in Iraq.

Now what is the difference between this hateful and criminal mindset and the Nazi mentality?  In fact, it is the same mentality. The Germans did it in the name of the “master race” and Pipes and ilk are trying to do the same thing in the name of the “superiority of the Jewish race.”

Of course, Pipes may continue to day-dream until he dies.

Day-dreaming by definition indicates that the dreamer has reached an advanced degree of frustration and despair.

Eventually, fire will consume itself if it has nothing to consume.

UNICEF’S BOLD DECISION ANGERS ADL’s FOXMAN

The ADL is upset….again. This time with the decision by UNICEF to reject all donations from Israel’s multi billionaire Lev Leviev. In a press release issued yesterday by them they insisted that UNICEF change its policy on this matter claiming that it “smacks of selective political discrimination.” They further stated that “This decision only gives legitimacy to those who would seek to promote a boycott of the State of Israel and its supporters.”

Perhaps those who seek to promote a boycott of the State of Israel and its supporters ARE LEGITIMATE…. did Foxman ever consider that? Did Foxman ever once consider that it is both illegal and immoral to build settlements for Jewish habitation only on lands belonging to the Palestinian people? Did Foxman ever once consider the fact that discrimination and hatred are not commodities as he might like them to be? Since its founding in 1913, the ADL has raked in billions of dollars selling the concept of hatred… it is alien to their line of thinking that another organisation would not follow in their path.

When the story of UNICEF’S decision broke, I posted THIS about the situation. I am very pleased that their position has not been reversed despite the pressure from the Barons of Hate… it adds total legitimacy to their very being…. hopefully their actions will be an example to others.

HATRED IS NOT FOR SALE!

NEITHER IS PALESTINE!!

A statement issued by the International Solidarity Movement can be read HERE

KAFKA LOOKS AT GAZA’S CLOSED BORDERS AND APRTHEID

Click on Images to enlarge
Both images by Skulz Fontaine


PRESIDENT SARKOZY NEEDS NEW GLASSES

President Sarkozy started the press conference by saying that the only way that Israel can have security is by creating” viable, modern and democratic Palestinian state.”

He added that Palestinians should renounce violence, in the same time the French President slammed the Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank and said that its should be stopped, ” including east Jerusalem.”

He concluded by saying that “France see Abbas as a man of peace.”

There are a number of contradictions in the above paragraphs….

The first one is regarding the creation of a ” viable, modern and democratic Palestinian state.” How is this even possible when Israel continues to deny recognition to the leadership DEMOCRATICALLY elected by the Palestinian people?

The second point is valid and positive…. but where is the pressure that should be being put on the Bush administration for supporting the settlement expansion in question?

Finally the third point, “France see Abbas as a man of peace.” To think that is sheer ignorance. Abbas has proven to be nothing more than the Israeli representative in the occupied West Bank. He has gone through the motions of appearing to be a man of peace, but if we look at what is going on in the areas supposedly under his administration we can see otherwise.

Just in the past 24 hours…..

The Israeli army invades a village near Bethlehem and kidnaps one civilian man

The Israeli army invades Yatta village near Hebron and kidnaps one civilian

9-year-old child shot by Israeli forces in anti-wall demonstration near Tulkarem

Israeli army uproot 500-year-old olive grove in Beit Hanina near Jerusalem

The above are just a few, less than a handful, examples of Israeli brutality in the occupied areas… all sanctioned by the ‘man of peace’ referred to above.

Israel waited almost 59 years for this man to appear on the scene… a man they could manipulate from within to help destroy the nation of Palestine. Sarkozy is obviously looking at him through tinted glasses that do not allow his true colours to be seen….or he is blind to the reality of the situation completely… but those of us living here see it as do all of the people of Palestine.

The quotes at the beginning of this post are taken from THIS report…
Abbas must be seen as the enemy of Palestine that he is… far from a man of peace, but just the opposite. As the old saying goes… ‘with friends like that, the Palestinians do not need enemies’.

WHO IS TRYING TO SHATTER THE GAZA TRUCE? ~~ J’ACCUSE ISRAEL!

Image by Abonoon

Ceasefire shattered? Residents of Israel’s south were rattled to hear the ‘Color Red’ rocket alert sirens blare throughout their towns twice on Tuesday afternoon as Palestinian terror groups launched three Qassam rockets from Gaza. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement that “the prime minister has warned that the ceasefire could be short and fragile. Israel warned against a violation of the understandings, and will weigh its options following the rocket fire.”

Is it not conceivable that a nation operating a spy ring against a ‘friendly nation’ could possibly have paid infiltrators working in what they consider to be ‘enemy territory’? Personally, the way Israel has behaved over the past 60 years, I would not put anything past them. They have proven time and time again that they cannot be trusted, nor can those nations that continue to support them.

The Prime Minister of Israel has to do everything in his power at this given point of time in order to ’save face’. He presently faces an investigation involving a scandal that will most likely cost him his job and his government in a very short time. Taking that into account he will do anything in his power to justify the holocaust that has been taking place in Gaza over the past year.

From day one, as indicated in the italics, he hinted that the ceasefire could be short and fragile… he is obviously now playing the ‘I told you so game’, which comes as no surprise to anyone that follows events in this area.

I stand by my accusation above that it was Israel behind the alleged rocket attack… the Gazans have too much to lose if the ‘truce’ does not last… only Israel can benefit by giving itself the ‘green light’ to continue with their genocide and destruction.

The report of the ‘attack’ can be read HERE.

ALL QUIET ON THE GAZA FRONT … BUT

Recent actions of the occupying Israeli government in the West Bank would never give one the impression that there is a feeling of calm in the Gaza Strip.

One hoped that the truce would also be reflected by a cessation of hostilities in all of occupied Palestine. Israel seems to have had a method to their madness when they divided Palestine in two…. treating each entity separately.

While the guns remain silent in the Gaza area, they are not so in the occupied West Bank. The wall of apartheid is continuing to be built, uprooting Palestinian villages and olive groves. The ethnic cleansing continues… in reality, nothing has really changed.

The following by Uri Avnery are his opinions on what is going on in Gaza at the moment….

A CEASEFIRE is not peace (salaam), and not even an armistice or truce (hudnah). It is no more than an agreement between combatants to stop shooting for some time.

But the ceasefire can become more than that. It can lead to Palestinian unity, to Israeli re-thinking, to a practical advance towards a peaceful solution. At the very least, every day of the ceasefire saves human lives.

In Sderot, sighs of relief. Children venture out. Inhabitants who have exiled themselves to other towns return home.

And the reaction? An outburst of jubilation? Dancing in the streets? Applause for the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense, who at long last have come to their senses?

Not at all. The expression on the nation’s face is a grimace of disgust. What kind of thing is that? Where is our victorious army?

The people of Sderot are really angry. OK, so there are no Qassams, but this was supposed to happen only after the army had entered Gaza and wiped it out.

Haaretz headed its front page with the mendacious headline: “Israel pays with deeds – and gets promises”.

“It’s fragile,” Ehud Olmert soothes us, it can come to an end any minute. And the other Ehud, Barak, who pushed for the cease-fire, has an excuse: we have to go through the motions before starting the Big Operation in Gaza. For the sake of Israeli and international public opinion.

And nobody says: Thank God, the killing has stopped!

WHY? WHAT causes this almost unanimous reaction of disappointment? Why is there a general feeling of humiliation, almost of defeat?

It’s because the national ego is hurt. How wonderful it would have been to see the Israeli army in Gaza destroying Hamas, together with the entire city. But, instead of the crushing victory, we have something that smacks of a rout. And that in spite of the assertions of those now rooting for re-occupying the Gaza Strip: that at any minute, with just a little more starvation and closure, the population would have broken and rebelled against Hamas.

From the military point of view, a year of war in the Gaza Strip has ended in a draw. IDF-Hamas 1:1. But the IDF and Hamas are not two football teams of equal standing. Hamas is an armed political-religious movement, what is termed in current Western parlance “a terrorist organization”. When such an organization achieves a draw with one of the mightiest armies in the world, it can justifiably claim victory.

The aim of Olmert’s war was to topple the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip and to destroy the organization itself. This has not been attained. On the contrary, according to all reports, Hamas is stronger than ever, and its hold on the Strip is solid. Even in Israel that is not questioned.

For a year, the Israeli government has maintained a total blockade of the Strip – on land, at sea and in the air. It has enjoyed the unqualified support of Europe, which assisted in starving a population of one and a half million men and women, children and old people. The US was, of course, a full partner in this glorious enterprise. Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt, dependent on the US, collaborated, if unwillingly.

All this was not enough to beat poor and crowded Gaza, a narrow strip of land 35 km (22 miles) long and 10 km (6 miles) wide, into submission. Not only did the rockets not stop, but their range increased. Their victims in Israel were few, a child could count them, but their impact on morale was immense.

The Israeli army was helpless against this primitive weapon, which costs next to nothing. The army killed wholesale and in retail, on land and from the air, with missiles, shells and infantry weapons. To no avail.

Hamas has survived, but it, too, did not achieve its aim. It had no answer to the blockade. Only the pressure of international public opinion (as well as the Israeli peace forces) prevented total starvation, but in the Strip there was a shortage of everything. Unemployment was rampant, fuel disappeared, many inhabitants suffered from undernourishment, bordering on starvation.

That is the nature of a draw: neither of the two sides is able to force a decision and impose its will on its opponent.

A CEASEFIRE only comes about when both sides need it. (True, Carl von Clausewitz, the Prussian military philosopher, has said that in war it is impossible for a situation to be beneficial to both sides at the same time, that something that is good for one side is necessarily bad for the other. But in real war there are exceptions.)

Indeed, the Israeli army needed the ceasefire no less than Hamas. That became clear from the comments of the “military correspondents”, almost all of whom are thinly disguised army spokesmen. Of course, not one of the cabinet members would have agreed to a ceasefire if the army brass had objected.

Usually, the army bosses press for one more action, one more operation, one more war. Have they suddenly turned into doves? Not really. But they knew that they had to choose between two “bad” options: a ceasefire or the “Great Operation” – the re-conquest of the entire Gaza Strip.

The commanders did not like the first option, and that is an understatement. It means admitting failure. But the second option they liked even less – much, much less.

The Great Operation, which a large part of the public yearned for, which almost all the media demanded at the top of their voices, is very problematical. Hamas has had a lot of time to prepare for it. No army likes to fight in a built-up area, among a crowded population. Every alley is a potential trap, every man – and every woman – a potential suicide bomber. Even if the army succeeded in entering and occupying the strip with only “tolerable” casualties, that would just be the beginning of the troubles. Every day soldiers would be killed. The mutual bloodletting would be endless. See: the Iraq war.

Public opinion is fickle. Every dead soldier whose smiling picture is shown on television increases the pressure to get out. Sooner or later the army would be compelled to leave – and the situation would revert to what it was before, only worse.

The army chiefs know this. Olmert and Barak also know this. The lesson of the Second Lebanon War has not been forgotten. There is no mood for war.

THE CEASEFIRE has far-reaching political implications. It changes the Palestinian – and perhaps the regional – map.

One can protest from here to eternity, one can shout from the rooftops that “we don’t negotiate with Hamas” and that “we have no agreement with Hamas” – every child understands that we indeed do, and indeed have.

This is an agreement between the Government of Israel and the Gaza authorities. It means a de facto recognition of the Hamas government there. In Gaza, too, every child understands that the Israeli government was compelled to agree because it was unable to break Hamas by force.

In the eyes of the Palestinians, the situation is clear: Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah has not got anything from the Israelis, Hamas has.

Abbas tries by peaceful means. He is the darling of the Americans and the Israelis. But since the great performance in Annapolis, not only has he not achieved any meaningful concessions at all and not freed a single prisoner, but additional prisoners are being taken every night, the settlements are being enlarged and the Israeli government announces grandiose new building projects in East Jerusalem and the entire West Bank. And the Israeli government would not dream of agreeing to a ceasefire there.

While at the same time Hamas, besieged by the whole world, losing fighters every day, has attained a significant military and political achievement: goods will flow into the Strip, cars will again bounce along the potholed roads, the Rafah crossing, which cuts off the Strip from the world, will be opened. In the coming prisoner exchange, hundreds of Palestinian prisoners will be released in return for the captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit.

The conclusion? Everybody can ask themselves: if I were a Palestinian, what conclusion would I draw?

The ceasefire affects the balance of power within the Palestinian people. Hamas has proved that it can maintain an orderly government. Now it is proving that it can control the radical organizations, too.

The wisest thing Mahmoud Abbas can do now is to form a Unity Government, based on both Hamas and Fatah.

WILL THE ceasefire hold? The correspondents report that nobody expects it to.

When Olmert says that it is fragile, he knows what he is talking about.

There is no written agreement. No orderly mechanism for settling disputes. No arbitrator to decide, in case of need, which side is responsible for a violation.

If somebody in Israel wants to break the ceasefire, nothing will be easier: a squad leader opens fire on a group of Palestinians near the border fence, because he suspects that they are about to plant an explosive device. A spy helicopter pilot believes that he is being shot at and launches a missile. The army intelligence chief claims that large quantities of arms are being smuggled into the Strip.

It can be done in other ways, too. The army will kill half a dozen Islamic Jihad militants in the West Bank. In response, the organization will fire a salvo of Qassams at Sderot. The army will announce that this is a violation of the agreement and answer with an incursion into the Gaza Strip. It will even be right formally, since the ceasefire does not cover the West Bank.

Every agreement holds only as long as both sides believe that it serves their interests. If one of them thinks otherwise, it will break it (and assert that the other side broke it first). In this case, the first to break it will most likely be the Israeli side.

A CEASEFIRE is not peace (salaam), and not even an armistice or truce (hudnah). It is no more than an agreement between combatants to stop shooting for some time.

In the nature of things, each side will use the ceasefire to prepare for the next round of fighting – to breathe deeply, to rest, to train, to plan, to obtain more advanced weapons.

But the ceasefire can become more than that. It can lead to Palestinian unity, to Israeli re-thinking, to a practical advance towards a peaceful solution. At the very least, every day of the ceasefire saves human lives.

And in the meantime the Hebrew and the international dictionaries have acquired another Arabic word: Tahdiyeh, calm.

PHOTO OF THE OCCUPATION

Olive Trees and the Occupation

Centuries old olive trees, which were uprooted in the Bethlehem region by the construction of the separation wall. The wall has resulted in the uprooting of thousands of olive trees and the crippling of Palestine’s agricultural economic base. (IMEU)

SARKOZY SAYS NO PEACE WITHOUT RESOLUTION OF REFUGEE PLIGHT

Sarkozy says no peace without resolution of refugee plight

From Khalid Amayreh in East Jerusalem

Visiting French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s speech before the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, Monday, drew ambivalent reactions from Israeli leaders and political parties.

Israeli government officials, including Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, applauded Sarkozy for voicing commitment to the security of the Zionist state and especially for his strong words against the Iranian nuclear program.

Speaking at a special session of the Knesset in his honor, Sarkozy said a nuclear Iran would be intolerable.

“Anyone trying to destroy Israel will find France blocking the way.”

Israel is the only nuclear power in the Middle East with a stockpile of more than 200 nuclear bombs and warheads.

Predominantly Muslim nations in the Middle East and beyond view Israel’s nuclear weapons as constituting a direct strategic threat to the region. Recently, an Israeli cabinet Minister said Israel would attack Iran. Another Israeli official had vowed to wage a holocaust against the Palestinian people.

Drawing applause from an audience of government officials, military commanders and other dignitaries, Sarkozy said “Israel must know it is not alone in the battle against Iran’s nuclear ambitions.”

Predictably, the French President, who said he has a Jewish ancestry, made no reference or illusion to the Israeli nuclear arsenal.

Trying to strike a balance between his infatuation with Israel and France’s policy toward the Arab world, especially the Palestinian question, Sarkozy said Jerusalem would have to be capital of both Israel and a future Palestinian state.

“The Palestinians have the right to a viable state of their own,” he said, adding that such a state would be in Israel’s interests.

More to the point, Sarkozy said there would be no peace in the Middle East without a resolution of the Palestinian refugee problem which he called a sticking point in the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA).

However, what probably upset the Israeli government most was his call for an immediate halt to Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

He further called on the Israeli government to “encourage legislation that would encourage Jewish settlers to leave the West Bank.”

Such remarks are anathema to Jewish supremacists who believe that non-Jews, including Christians and Muslims, have no right to live as equal citizens in Palestine-Israel.

Sarkozy also linked Palestinian resistance against the Israeli occupation to Israel’s repressive measures against the Palestinian population, saying “there will be no peace if the Palestinians don not fight ‘terrorism.’ Each side has to make an effort. Peace is not possible if the Palestinians cannot move about freely.”

Judeo-Nazi leaders such as Benny Elon (National Union) said a Palestinian state ought to take place in Jordan not in Palestine.

Elon is a firm believer of Jewish fascism and advocates either expulsion, enslavement or extermination for non-Jews living under Jewish law.

Prior to Sarkozy’s speech before the Knesset, extremist Israeli leaders, such as Likud Leader Benyamin Netanyahu, sought to incite hatred against Islam.

A well-known racist and Islam-hater, Netanyahu claimed that “radical Islam was the greatest threat to the free world.” Netanyahu also compared Islam to Nazism, prompting indignation and disbelief among Arab Knesset members.

Palestinian Knesset member Ahmed Teibi interrupted Netanyahu.

“What is this stupid comparison between Islam and Nazism. Are you ashamed of yourself? Don’t you know the history of Nazism? Muslims saved Jews from Nazism in the countries of Maghrib. Besides, the Nazis were westerners, not easterners. You are a man that has no shame.”

Netanyahu is believed to have played a pivotal role in prompting the Bush administration to invade, attack and destroy Iraq and Afghanistan which eventually caused the death of over a million people, mostly innocent civilians.

The former Israeli Prime Minister, who opposes peace between Israel and the Palestinians, is now constantly instigating the US to attack Iran in order to enable Israel to retain its military supremacy in the Middle East.

Olmert, haunted by a corruption scandal that could bring his government down, lauded the “revival of Israeli-French relations” Sarkozy’s leadership.

“We thank you for your courage, for your principles and for your friendship.”

Sarkozy is slated to meet later with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and assure him of France’s support for the creation of a Palestinian state.

ISRAEL’S STRANGE CONCEPT OF PEACE

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
’60-40′…. an expression we sometimes hear when asked how things are going. Here in the Middle East it has a different meaning…. 60 years since the State of Israel was established…. ON PALESTINIAN LAND, and 40 years (now 41) years since the remaining segments of Palestine were occupied by Israeli forces.

Throughout those years Israel has claimed to be the victim of terrorism. Its Lobby in the United States has been successful in getting the US government to support every move that Israel has made… all in the name of ‘protecting Israel from it’s enemies’. If the truth is to be known, Israel has one enemy….. ITSELF!

Let’s just look back at the past year….
With the encouragement and collaboration of foreign powers in the West, the Gaza Strip and the Occupied West Bank were totally cut off from each other. It is impossible for the Palestinian people to have any contact with their own brothers and sisters.

They then declared the Gaza Strip and the Hamas leadership (legally elected by ALL of the people of Palestine) to be an ‘enemy entity’, paving the way to a full scale holocaust in that area. Again, with the collaboration and support of the West.

During this same time period, Israel ‘manufactured’ a ‘Peace Partner’ in the personage of deposed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Also with the collaboration of the West, the U.S. in particular.

In recent days we saw a possible ending of the hostilities against the people in Gaza with the signing of a Cease Fire Agreement…. a positive move that could lead to something permanent.

So, to recap, after all of the hostilities, we now see the possibility of peace between Israel and their ‘enemy entity’.

What about the ‘Peace Partner’? What about the ongoing ‘Peace Talks’ that have taken place over the past year? All with the participation of top representatives of the West…. what about the promises made at those talks?

The following report shows the reality of the progress made at those talks…. the continuation of the Nakba! Nothing more, nothing less. This is the reality of Israel’s strange concept of peace…..

Entire Palestinian village threatened with expulsion
by Saed Bannoura – IMEMC News

Israeli military forces have told the residents of the village of Arab ar-Ramadin that they will all be expelled from their homes in the coming weeks, as part of the Israeli project of expansion onto Palestinian land in the West Bank.

The Israeli Wall that blocks the village from the rest of the West Bank (archive)
The Israeli Wall that blocks the village from the
rest of the West Bank (archive)

Since the Israeli government began construction of their Annexation Wall on the village’s land in 2004, the residents of Arab ar-Ramadin have maintained an increasingly tenuous hold on their ancestral lands, which have been rendered inside ‘Israeli’ area, due to the placement of the Wall.

There has been a low-intensity siege warfare on the village since 2004, in which residents have been forced to show an ID card which has not been issued to them, harassed at checkpoints and refused entry to their homes under the force of the Israeli military.

On June 5, an Israeli military commander, accompanied by a force of 20 soldiers, arrived in the northern part of Arab ar-Ramadin. The commander informed the head of the community that the village needed to move to the other side of the Wall. Upon the villagers refusal to cooperate, Occupation forces threatened them, stating that they would be forced to leave.

If the eviction is carried out, 207 people will be expelled. 30 homes and animal pens will be destroyed and an estimated 1,500 sheep, the main source of income for the people, will be adversely affected. Since 2004 demolition orders have been issued to the village. The most recent demolition took place in March of this year, when residential structures housing 10 people were bulldozed.

Since the building of the Wall, daily life in Arab ar-Ramadin has become a constant struggle. The village, which is located in the same pocket as Ras Tireh, Wadi Rasha, and Daba, is isolated by the Wall and the Alfe Menashe settlement from the rest of the West Bank. People are consistently harassed or completely barred passage at the gates that close them off from the rest of the world. Furthermore, they are unable to bring in fodder for the sheep as the Occupation military prohibits both the crossing of vehicles and anyone without a permit.

Arab ar-Ramadin does not have schools within the village. As of 2003, 46 students were travelling daily to Habla and six high school and two university students were studying in Qalqiliya city. Habla was, prior to the Wall, a 2.5 km walk for the students, today they must walk 5 km and await the opening of one of the Wall’s gates.

At least 2,339 dunums of the village’s land have been confiscated in the southern area for the Wall. Some of these lands are used for grain (839 dunums) and the rest (1500 dunums) are pasturelands used for grazing animals.

According to the Popular Committee Against the Wall, the case of Arab ar-Ramadin is symptomatic of the Occupation’s policy of ethnic cleansing. This project is paired with the creeping expansions of the Wall, settlements, settler-only roads, checkpoints and a complex of military orders and restrictions that creates permanent pressure on the Palestinian population centres. Villages like Arab ar-Ramadin, which are surrounded completely by the Wall and settlements, live with the most serious threat.

Currently, there are 14 villages with a total population of 6,314 inhabitants that face the imminent destruction of their homes and expulsion from their land.

Also read THIS report and watch the video to see the reality of life under the occupation….

KAFKA LOOKS AT THE GAZA TRUCE

Click on image to enlarge
Image by Skulz Fontaine

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