ANOTHER VIEW OF ANNAPOLIS ~~ THIS TIME FROM GAZA

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

“We have become a people constantly preparing for dawn, in the darkness of cellars lit by our enemies.”
“The siege will last in order to convince us we must choose an enslavement that does no harm, in fullest liberty!”

Both of the above quotes are taken from the works of Palestine’s national poet, Mahmoud Darwish. Both reveal the hopelessness felt by the people living in Gaza… a people that have been abandoned by humanity, a people that have literally been languishing in a swimming pool filled with blood.

Gaza has been isolated from the rest of Palestine, stepped on, spat on by both Israel, it’s collaborators in the PA, as well as by other sections in the Arab world. Now, as they sit in darkness they ponder what will take place at Annapolis…. will it offer hope, will they soon be free?

The following essay written by a sister Blogger, a resident of Gaza, speaks volumes…. it’s a must read.

Annapolis, as seen from Gaza
By Laila El-Haddad

If history has taught the people of Gaza anything, it’s that they never have much of a say in their destiny

Even in the worst of times, there’s one thing we’re never short of in our troubled part of the world: another conference, meeting, declaration, summit, agreement. Something to save the day, to “steer” us back to whatever predetermined path it is we are or were meant to be on. And to help us navigate that path.

Never mind the arguable shortcomings of this path, or the discontent it may have generated, for we all know what happens to people who question that; the important thing is to move forward, full steam ahead.

Enter Annapolis. I’ve been there a couple of times. Beautiful port city, great crabs, quaint antique shops. And of course, the US Navy.

So what exactly is different this time around? Well, if you believe some of the newspaper headlines, lots. Like the fact that Ehud Olmert has promised not to build new settlements or expropriate land.

And yet, as recently as September, Israel expropriated 1,100 dunams (272 acres) of Palestinian land in the West Bank to facilitate the development of E-1, a five-square-mile area in the West Bank, east of Jerusalem where Israel plans to build 3,500 houses, a hotel and an industrial park, completing the encirclement of Jerusalem with Jewish colonies, and cutting it off from the rest of the West Bank.

The conference simply generates new and ever-more superfluous and intricate promises which Israeli leaders can commit to and yet somehow evade. An exercise in legal obfuscation at its best: we won’t build new settlements, we’ll just expropriate more land and expand to account for their “natural growth”, until they resemble towns, not colonies, and have them legitimised by a US administration looking for some way to save face. And then we’ll promise to raze outposts.

Each step in the evolution of Israel’s occupation – together with the efforts to sustain it and the language to describe it – has become ever more sophisticated, strategic and euphemistic.

Israel has also promised the release of 450 Palestinian prisoners (who have, by Israel’s own admission, nearly completed their sentences) on Sunday ahead of the conference, while dozens of others are detained and thousands of others remain in custody without charges or trial – making theirs the highest rate of incarceration in the world.

Still, Annapolis is being hailed as the most serious attempt in eight years at getting “back on track”. According to the US State Department’s spokesperson, the conference “will signal broad international support for the Israeli and Palestinian leaders’ courageous efforts, and will be a launching point for negotiations leading to the establishment of a Palestinian state and the realisation of Israeli-Palestinian peace.”

Support, I gather, that will also entail arms and money to help Abbas rid Gaza of Hamas once and for all.

So then what are people’s expectations in Gaza from all of this?

In short, not much. But then, if history has taught them anything, it’s that they never have much of a say in anything that involves their destiny, be it Madrid or Oslo or the Road Map. And the moment they do attempt to take control, the repercussions are to “teach” them never to attempt to do so again.

To quote Palestinian national poet Mahmoud Darwish, “The siege will last in order to convince us we must choose an enslavement that does no harm, in fullest liberty!”

The stage has been set, the roles are the same, but the actors have been switched. That is the feeling of many in Gaza.

“The Annapolis meeting will not bring anything new for the Palestinians; it is a repetition of many other conferences which sought to reinforce the principle of making concession on the Palestinian national rights,” says Yousef Diab, a 35-year-old government employee.

For Fares Akram, a young Gaza-based journalist, the conference will result in little more than token concessions aimed at further isolating Hamas-run Gaza, and bolstering support for Abbas: “The Israeli government is weak in this time. President Abbas may get some support in the conference but the support will be for his struggle against Hamas. Gaza will remain forgotten and the improvements that may come out from the meeting will only apply to the West Bank while nothing will be done here in Gaza.”

Fida Qishta, a videographer and community activist in Gaza’s troubled town of Rafah, can’t even be bothered with thinking of things as abstract and distant and – ultimately – irrelevant as Annpolis when life in Gaza as she sees it has all but come to a standstill.

“I wish you were here to see how life is, it is really like a body that died. I still can’t imagine we are living through this and I try not to think about it a lot.”

Aliya Moor, a mother of eight, adds: “We’re already dead, the only thing we need is to be buried, to be pushed into the grave and buried. It’s already been dug up for us.”

We are prisoners, others have told me, constantly waiting and helplessly hoping for decisions to be made that determine whether they live or die – both figuratively and literally.

Except prisoners are guaranteed certain things, like food and water and access to medical care. Gazans are guaranteed none of these things. Instead, they are setting the bar as the first occupied people in history to be embargoed and declared hostile.

“People just want out,” explained another friend. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Fatah or Hamas any more. It just doesn’t matter.”

We have become a people, to quote Darwish, constantly preparing for dawn, in the darkness of cellars lit by our enemies.

Source

Still another view from Gaza can be read HERE.

PICKS OF THE DAY ~~ NOVEMBER 22nd

A PALESTINIAN’S TAKE ON THE ANNAPOLIS FARCE

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff (click to enlarge)

The following was sent to a select group of friends, a must read to see a Palestinian’s views on the upcoming Annapolis farce….

The Annapolis illusion

By Khalid Amayreh in Occupied East Jerusalem

21 November, 2007

The mountain went into labor, then it gave birth to a rat ,” so says the famous Arab proverb. This adage is likely to caricature the outcome of the upcoming American-sponsored “peace conference,” slated to take place on 27 November, in Annapolis, Maryland.

Forecasting the failure of the Annapolis meeting is more than speculation. It is a realistic assessment of an event that is not intended to be successful, even if the declared desire suggests otherwise.

Indeed, apart from the pleasantries which are meant to create positive atmospherics, Israel and the PA have failed to reach any modicum of agreement on the core issues that define the Palestinian problem.

A few weeks ago, PA officials were almost euphoric about the conference. PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas vowed to boycott the Annapolis meeting unless Israel agreed in principle at least to end its occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, as well as accept a just settlement of the refugee problem pursuant UN resolution 194. But Israel, of course, agreed to non of that.

Now, the PA will go to Annapolis without any assurance policy, relying mainly on George Bush’s “good will,” (whatever that means in real terms).

I asked one high-ranking PA official in Ramallah this week how come the PA leadership was going to Annapolis, despite the clarion fiasco of the protracted meetings between Israeli and Palestinian officials..

Embarrassed by the question, the official said “we are going to Annapolis to demonstrate to the world the justice of our cause and the need for a just and durable peace in this volatile region.”

I reminded him that “we have been doing this for ages but to no avail.” Disquieted by the rejoinder, the official looked rather attentively at me, saying “what else can we do, if you have some ideas, convey them to Abu Mazen?”

There will be several categories of participants and attendees at the Annapolis conference: First, the master of disaster, George W. Bush, the Fuhrer of the White House who has invaded, occupied and destroyed two Muslim countries and killed or caused the death of over a million innocent human beings under the pretext of ridding the world of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction that turned out to be nonexistent.

The man , who claimed that God had told him to do what he did, has never had the moral courage to say “I made a mistake, Mea Kulpa.” Instead, he concocted all sorts of pretexts, canards and lies to justify his criminality and evil designs. After all, criminals show no concern about their crimes.

Which really begs the following question: can the peoples of the Middle East in particular and humanity in general count on one of the world’s most premier murderers and liars to force Israel to make peace? Let us not forget that this is the man who had described Ariel Sharon, the certified Israeli war criminal, as a man of peace.

Then there is the perpetual murderer, liar land thief, namely Israel, a state that murders school children and calls the murder self-defense and then lies about its crimes and calls the lying hasbara and public relations, a state that claims to have ended its occupation of Gaza while continuing to tightly control Gaza’s borders, border crossings, territorial water, skies and the region’s very lifeline.

The leader of this nefarious state, Ehud Olmert, is going to the Annapolis conference, not to make peace and show good will towards Israel’s victims, but rather in order to make sure that no substantive progress will come out of it.

Olmert, a man notorious for his criminality, mendacity and deceitfulness, will heavily indulge in prevarication, verbal juggling and red herrings, but will shun the real issues, namely ending the hateful occupation of the Palestinian homeland and brutality against the Palestinian people.

Olmert will not even allude to millions of miserable Palestinian refugees languishing in squalid refugee camps all over the Middle East because a state calling itself a light upon the nations wouldn’t allow them to return to their homes and villages from which they were uprooted when that state was born sixty years ago.

He will not mention East Jerusalem whose Arab Christian-Muslim identity successive Israeli governments have sought to decapitate, humanly spiritually, demographically and economically.

And, of course, he will completely ignore the sinister Israeli blockade of 1.4 million Gazans who are being tormented and starved to death because Zionism can’t forgive Palestinians for electing a political party that Israel doesn’t like.

Instead of dealing honestly and seriously with the real issues , Olmert, will launch a charade about strengthening PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and encouraging “the forces of moderation and peace” as if the real problem in Palestine was the absence of moderation and peace among Palestinians, not the Nazi-like Israeli occupation and oppression of Palestinians.

And then there is Abbas, the American-backed PA leader who apparently thinks that now is the best time for making peace because America’s conscience has suddenly awaked up from its slumber and George W. Bush has undergone a graceful metamorphosis, from an evil man to a saint.

Abbas looks really very pathetic. He had already placed all his eggs into the American basket which means that he won’t be able to say “No” to the Americans even when he must.

This is why all he can do to save his Palestinian Authority, which is actually devoid of any real authority, is to day-dream and implore the werewolf of the White House to press Israel to demonstrate true desire for peace. Day-dreaming, psychologists say, represents the highest degree of frustration.

But, as the famous Arab poet Zuheir said more than 1400 years ago, he that doesn’t respect himself shall not be respected by others. Abbass should have himself to blame. He trusted Bush and Olmert too much to the extent that he has become a vanquished supplicant at their doorsteps. He maltreated his people and did many things that should not have been done, all to please and appease Olmert and Bush, but to no avail.

In a nutshell, beggars can’t be choosers.

And then there will be the usual horde of Arab despots who are at America’s beck and call and who always value the legitimacy that comes form America’s acceptance more than which comes from their own masses’ acceptance.

Most of these kings and presidents-for-life are quite tired of the enduring Palestinian cause and are very much eager to sell out whatever has remained of Arab honor and Arab rights, probably including the al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest shrine. This inertia, this exhaustion, can be detected in the tone of their voices.

However, these tyrants would like to see the Palestinians themselves do it first so that they would be able to tell their respective peoples “look! we can’t be more Palestinian than the Palestinians.”

These are the same so-called leaders who are now quietly colluding with Israel to decimate and starve to death the people of Gaza in order to appease America and obtain from it a certificate of good conduct.

Then there is the European Union (EU), whose leaders continue to curry favor with Israel, despite its wicked treatment of Palestinians. This is the same EU that has proven ad nauseam that it won’t miss an opportunity to succumb to Israeli and Zionist pressure, even at the price of seeing innocent civilians starved and killed.

A few days ago, France’s Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner assured Israel that France would always seek to ensure Israel’s security. You see the moral whoredom! The security of Israel, a country that possesses 300 nuclear weapons, 700 state-of-the-art fighter bombers, and 4000 battle tanks and several nuclear-fit submarines, must be protected and preserved, while the Palestinians who can hardly put food on the table for their starving children, must be blockaded and punished.

We shouldn’t forget Tony Blair, the deceitful and duplicitous former British Prime Minister, who has tons of Iraqi blood on his dirty hands. This war criminal is now trying to bribe the Palestinians with “economic projects,” in the hope that this would make them forget some of their inalienable rights, including the right of return for the refugees and Jerusalem.

Finally, Annapolis will be honored to have the comical Ban Ki-moon attending the conference. For those who don’t know, this Ki-moon must always watch his tongue very carefully lest he inadvertently says something Bush and Condoleezza Rice don’t like.

Well, with such a great company, the Palestinians need not worry!! Their cause is in honest hands.!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Similar views from an Israeli can be read HERE.

WHO CARES WHY A TURKEY IS CALLED A TURKEY ~~ JUST ENJOY IT!

Image by Norman Rockwell
Why is the turkey named after a country? Did anyone ever wonder about that? In English it’s a turkey, here in Israel it’s called ‘hodu’, which means India… and in Greece it’s named after France….

Perhaps that’s where the expression ‘strange bird’ from… it IS strange.

But, so what! Don’t dwell on that, dwell on everything you have to be thankful about on this glorious day…. but do say a prayer and keep those less fortunate in your hearts and minds as you share your bounty with loved ones…

I thought I would share a special Thanksgiving song with you all… you can play it while eating… or watch it afterwards… I guarantee that you will enjoy it.
The words are presented at the bottom of the video…
And…. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Click HERE to watch the video….
Written and sung by Arlo Guthrie.

Here are the lyrics to the song…

This song is called Alice’s Restaurant, and it’s about Alice, and the
restaurant, but Alice’s Restaurant is not the name of the restaurant,
that’s just the name of the song, and that’s why I called the song Alice’s
Restaurant.

You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant
You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant
Walk right in it’s around the back
Just a half a mile from the railroad track
You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant

Now it all started two Thanksgivings ago, was on – two years ago on
Thanksgiving, when my friend and I went up to visit Alice at the
restaurant, but Alice doesn’t live in the restaurant, she lives in the
church nearby the restaurant, in the bell-tower, with her husband Ray and
Fasha the dog. And livin’ in the bell tower like that, they got a lot of
room downstairs where the pews used to be in. Havin’ all that room,
seein’ as how they took out all the pews, they decided that they didn’t
have to take out their garbage for a long time.

We got up there, we found all the garbage in there, and we decided it’d be
a friendly gesture for us to take the garbage down to the city dump. So
we took the half a ton of garbage, put it in the back of a red VW
microbus, took shovels and rakes and implements of destruction and headed
on toward the city dump.

Well we got there and there was a big sign and a chain across across the
dump saying, “Closed on Thanksgiving.” And we had never heard of a dump
closed on Thanksgiving before, and with tears in our eyes we drove off
into the sunset looking for another place to put the garbage.

We didn’t find one. Until we came to a side road, and off the side of the
side road there was another fifteen foot cliff and at the bottom of the
cliff there was another pile of garbage. And we decided that one big pile
is better than two little piles, and rather than bring that one up we
decided to throw our’s down.

That’s what we did, and drove back to the church, had a thanksgiving
dinner that couldn’t be beat, went to sleep and didn’t get up until the
next morning, when we got a phone call from officer Obie. He said, “Kid,
we found your name on an envelope at the bottom of a half a ton of
garbage, and just wanted to know if you had any information about it.” And
I said, “Yes, sir, Officer Obie, I cannot tell a lie, I put that envelope
under that garbage.”

After speaking to Obie for about fourty-five minutes on the telephone we
finally arrived at the truth of the matter and said that we had to go down
and pick up the garbage, and also had to go down and speak to him at the
police officer’s station. So we got in the red VW microbus with the
shovels and rakes and implements of destruction and headed on toward the
police officer’s station.

Now friends, there was only one or two things that Obie coulda done at
the police station, and the first was he could have given us a medal for
being so brave and honest on the telephone, which wasn’t very likely, and
we didn’t expect it, and the other thing was he could have bawled us out
and told us never to be see driving garbage around the vicinity again,
which is what we expected, but when we got to the police officer’s station
there was a third possibility that we hadn’t even counted upon, and we was
both immediately arrested. Handcuffed. And I said “Obie, I don’t think I
can pick up the garbage with these handcuffs on.” He said, “Shut up, kid.
Get in the back of the patrol car.”

And that’s what we did, sat in the back of the patrol car and drove to the
quote Scene of the Crime unquote. I want tell you about the town of
Stockbridge, Massachusets, where this happened here, they got three stop
signs, two police officers, and one police car, but when we got to the
Scene of the Crime there was five police officers and three police cars,
being the biggest crime of the last fifty years, and everybody wanted to
get in the newspaper story about it. And they was using up all kinds of
cop equipment that they had hanging around the police officer’s station.
They was taking plaster tire tracks, foot prints, dog smelling prints, and
they took twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy photographs with circles
and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each
one was to be used as evidence against us. Took pictures of the approach,
the getaway, the northwest corner the southwest corner and that’s not to
mention the aerial photography.

After the ordeal, we went back to the jail. Obie said he was going to put
us in the cell. Said, “Kid, I’m going to put you in the cell, I want your
wallet and your belt.” And I said, “Obie, I can understand you wanting my
wallet so I don’t have any money to spend in the cell, but what do you
want my belt for?” And he said, “Kid, we don’t want any hangings.”
I said, “Obie, did you think I was going to hang myself for littering?”
Obie said he was making sure, and friends Obie was, cause he took out the
toilet seat so I couldn’t hit myself over the head and drown, and he took
out the toilet paper so I couldn’t bend the bars roll out the – roll the
toilet paper out the window, slide down the roll and have an escape. Obie
was making sure, and it was about four or five hours later that Alice
(remember Alice? It’s a song about Alice), Alice came by and with a few
nasty words to Obie on the side, bailed us out of jail, and we went back
to the church, had a another thanksgiving dinner that couldn’t be beat,
and didn’t get up until the next morning, when we all had to go to court.

We walked in, sat down, Obie came in with the twenty seven eight-by-ten
colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back
of each one, sat down. Man came in said, “All rise.” We all stood up,
and Obie stood up with the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy
pictures, and the judge walked in sat down with a seeing eye dog, and he
sat down, we sat down. Obie looked at the seeing eye dog, and then at the
twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows
and a paragraph on the back of each one, and looked at the seeing eye dog.
And then at twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles
and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one and began to cry,
’cause Obie came to the realization that it was a typical case of American
blind justice, and there wasn’t nothing he could do about it, and the
judge wasn’t going to look at the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy
pictures with the circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each
one explaining what each one was to be used as evidence against us. And
we was fined $50 and had to pick up the garbage in the snow, but thats not
what I came to tell you about.

Came to talk about the draft.

They got a building down New York City, it’s called Whitehall Street,
where you walk in, you get injected, inspected, detected, infected,
neglected and selected. I went down to get my physical examination one
day, and I walked in, I sat down, got good and drunk the night before, so
I looked and felt my best when I went in that morning. `Cause I wanted to
look like the all-American kid from New York City, man I wanted, I wanted
to feel like the all-, I wanted to be the all American kid from New York,
and I walked in, sat down, I was hung down, brung down, hung up, and all
kinds o’ mean nasty ugly things. And I waked in and sat down and they gave
me a piece of paper, said, “Kid, see the phsychiatrist, room 604.”

And I went up there, I said, “Shrink, I want to kill. I mean, I wanna, I
wanna kill. Kill. I wanna, I wanna see, I wanna see blood and gore and
guts and veins in my teeth. Eat dead burnt bodies. I mean kill, Kill,
KILL, KILL.” And I started jumpin up and down yelling, “KILL, KILL,” and
he started jumpin up and down with me and we was both jumping up and down
yelling, “KILL, KILL.” And the sargent came over, pinned a medal on me,
sent me down the hall, said, “You’re our boy.”

Didn’t feel too good about it.

Proceeded on down the hall gettin more injections, inspections,
detections, neglections and all kinds of stuff that they was doin’ to me
at the thing there, and I was there for two hours, three hours, four
hours, I was there for a long time going through all kinds of mean nasty
ugly things and I was just having a tough time there, and they was
inspecting, injecting every single part of me, and they was leaving no
part untouched. Proceeded through, and when I finally came to the see the
last man, I walked in, walked in sat down after a whole big thing there,
and I walked up and said, “What do you want?” He said, “Kid, we only got
one question. Have you ever been arrested?”

And I proceeded to tell him the story of the Alice’s Restaurant Massacre,
with full orchestration and five part harmony and stuff like that and all
the phenome… – and he stopped me right there and said, “Kid, did you ever
go to court?”

And I proceeded to tell him the story of the twenty seven eight-by-ten
colour glossy pictures with the circles and arrows and the paragraph on
the back of each one, and he stopped me right there and said, “Kid, I want
you to go and sit down on that bench that says Group W …. NOW kid!!”

And I, I walked over to the, to the bench there, and there is, Group W’s
where they put you if you may not be moral enough to join the army after
committing your special crime, and there was all kinds of mean nasty ugly
looking people on the bench there. Mother rapers. Father stabbers. Father
rapers! Father rapers sitting right there on the bench next to me! And
they was mean and nasty and ugly and horrible crime-type guys sitting on the
bench next to me. And the meanest, ugliest, nastiest one, the meanest
father raper of them all, was coming over to me and he was mean ‘n’ ugly
‘n’ nasty ‘n’ horrible and all kind of things and he sat down next to me
and said, “Kid, whad’ya get?” I said, “I didn’t get nothing, I had to pay
$50 and pick up the garbage.” He said, “What were you arrested for, kid?”
And I said, “Littering.” And they all moved away from me on the bench
there, and the hairy eyeball and all kinds of mean nasty things, till I
said, “And creating a nuisance.” And they all came back, shook my hand,
and we had a great time on the bench, talkin about crime, mother stabbing,
father raping, all kinds of groovy things that we was talking about on the
bench. And everything was fine, we was smoking cigarettes and all kinds of
things, until the Sargeant came over, had some paper in his hand, held it
up and said.

“Kids, this-piece-of-paper’s-got-47-words-37-sentences-58-words-we-wanna-
know-details-of-the-crime-time-of-the-crime-and-any-other-kind-of-thing-
you-gotta-say-pertaining-to-and-about-the-crime-I-want-to-know-arresting-
officer’s-name-and-any-other-kind-of-thing-you-gotta-say”, and talked for
forty-five minutes and nobody understood a word that he said, but we had
fun filling out the forms and playing with the pencils on the bench there,
and I filled out the massacre with the four part harmony, and wrote it
down there, just like it was, and everything was fine and I put down the
pencil, and I turned over the piece of paper, and there, there on the
other side, in the middle of the other side, away from everything else on
the other side, in parentheses, capital letters, quotated, read the
following words:

(“KID, HAVE YOU REHABILITATED YOURSELF?”)

I went over to the sargent, said, “Sargeant, you got a lot a damn gall to
ask me if I’ve rehabilitated myself, I mean, I mean, I mean that just, I’m
sittin’ here on the bench, I mean I’m sittin here on the Group W bench
’cause you want to know if I’m moral enough join the army, burn women,
kids, houses and villages after bein’ a litterbug.” He looked at me and
said, “Kid, we don’t like your kind, and we’re gonna send you fingerprints
off to Washington.”

And friends, somewhere in Washington enshrined in some little folder, is a
study in black and white of my fingerprints. And the only reason I’m
singing you this song now is cause you may know somebody in a similar
situation, or you may be in a similar situation, and if your in a
situation like that there’s only one thing you can do and that’s walk into
the shrink wherever you are ,just walk in say “Shrink, You can get
anything you want, at Alice’s restaurant.”. And walk out. You know, if
one person, just one person does it they may think he’s really sick and
they won’t take him. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony,
they may think they’re both faggots and they won’t take either of them.
And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in
singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out. They may think it’s an
organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day,I said
fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and
walking out. And friends they may thinks it’s a movement.

And that’s what it is, the Alice’s Restaurant Anti-Massacre Movement, and
all you got to do to join is sing it the next time it come’s around on the guitar.

With feeling. So we’ll wait for it to come around on the guitar, here and
sing it when it does. Here it comes.

You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant
You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant
Walk right in it’s around the back
Just a half a mile from the railroad track
You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant

That was horrible. If you want to end war and stuff you got to sing loud.
I’ve been singing this song now for twenty five minutes. I could sing it
for another twenty five minutes. I’m not proud… or tired.

So we’ll wait till it comes around again, and this time with four part
harmony and feeling.

We’re just waitin’ for it to come around is what we’re doing.

All right now.

You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant
Excepting Alice
You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant
Walk right in it’s around the back
Just a half a mile from the railroad track
You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant

Da da da da da da da dum
At Alice’s Restaurant

PICKS OF THE DAY ~~ NOVEMBER 21st

PICKS OF THE DAY ~~ NOVEMBER 20th

ANN COULTER IS CERTIFIABLY INSANE

The rantings of this madwoman are still making headlines in the press and on the blogesphere, especially those rantings involving Jews. There still seems to be no end in sight to the backlash created by her anti-Semitic remarks made on national TV.

She has definitely gone too far and can definitely be classified ‘Certifiably Insane.’

The most recent essay I have found regarding her madness can be read here…. it’s worth the time…. and click on the links as well…

*Ann Coulter’s Jewish Problem
Written by Kevin MacDonald

Ann Coulter probably wishes she had never said “We just want Jews to be perfected” on the Donny Deutsch show. The ADL was first in line to trace such ideas to a theological tradition that is anathema to Jews—the idea that the New Testament supercedes the Old.

But the best defense is a good offense, so Coulter apparently decided that she understands Jewish interests better than even the ADL. Maybe she’s right, but I don’t think she really understands how Jewish organizations like the ADL think about America.

Ann Coulter asks “How Long Before the A.D.L. Kicks Out All its Jews?” Her point is that the ADL is a leftist activist organization that is dangerous for Jews—dangerous because the left is “increasingly dominated by people conniving in the destruction of Israel.” The ADL also opposes public manifestations of Christianity but is in favor of appeasing Muslims in the U.S. by using the Koran to swear in public officials. It also promotes other leftist causes that she imagines are bad for Jews: gun control, gay marriage, illegal immigration — “You know, all the issues that have historically kept the Jews safe.”

Oddly, while she goes after the ADL for condemning critics of Muslim immigration, she can’t bring herself to oppose legal immigration in general. I suppose that even a “conservative” like Ann Coulter would not want to intimate that our present legal immigration policy is bad for anyone, much less Jews. Opposing legal immigration is so far beyond the mainstream that even Coulter can’t bring herself to condemn the ADL for being a major player on the pro-open borders lobby. Coulter seems to think that masses of illegals, mainly Mexicans, are bad for Jews, but there’s no problem importing masses of Africans and Asians as long as they aren’t Muslim.

But if all these peoples are to be allowed to immigrate (legally, of course) en masse to the United States, how does Coulter think that the Christian culture that she seems to think is so desirable can be maintained? Why just go after Muslims? The common sense of it is that our open borders immigration policy puts the entire culture in play. If Christianity is to have any special place at all, it will have to fight for it, and, given the demographic trends, its long term prospects aren’t good.

The fact is that Coulter has found a safe neocon niche that manages to condemn the Muslims without raising any really basic questions on the direction of our culture. She was a prime participant in David Horowitz’s pro-Israel inspired Islamo-fascism Awareness Week. While devoting his life to ethnic activism on behalf of Israel, Horowitz clearly draws the line at European-Americans having any sense of their own ethnic identity and interests. Obviously, that’s a line that Coulter is quite unwilling to cross as well.

But the deeper issue is whether Coulter is right that a rational understanding of Jewish interests would make them foursquare Republicans: “The survival of Israel is inextricably linked to the survival of the Republican Party and its evangelical base.” But the Israel Lobby is entirely bipartisan, and even if they wanted to, presidents since Eisenhower who have tried to influence Israel policy against the wishes of the lobby have been uniformly unsuccessful.

If the first Clinton Administration is any indication, the survival of Israel certainly does not depend on a Republican president. Bill Clinton’s Middle East policy positions were staffed by a long list of activists closely linked to the Israel Lobby, including Dennis Ross of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and former AIPAC official Martin Indyk. Indeed, during the Netanyahu years of Likud rule (1996-1999), “the American government seemed sometimes to be working for the Israeli Prime Minister as it tried to convince (and pressure) the Palestinian side to accept Israeli offers.”

Hillary Clinton, the Democrat frontrunner, is a close second among all presidential candidates in support for Israel—trailing only Rudy Giuliani who has recruited a “who’s-who” list of neocon pro-Israel, anti-Iran hawks, including Norman Podhoretz, author of World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism.

Are the evangelicals really all that important? It’s remarkable how little influence evangelical Christians have in any other area of public life. They can’t seem to stem the de-Christianization that Coulter bewails; but then why should anyone believe that they are essential to U.S. support for Israel? As Mearsheimer and Walt show, the evangelicals, although certainly useful to the lobby, have far less impact than other parts of the lobby.

Coulter notes that “the ADL is more concerned with what it calls the ‘neo-Nazis’ and ‘anti-Semites’ in the Minutemen organization than with people who behead Jews whenever they get half a chance. It’s only a matter of time before the ADL gets around to global warming.” What’s odd about this is that Coulter seems to think that the ADL’s concern about opposition to open borders is just another mindless irrational liberal exercise and as much a Jewish issue as global warming. But the reality is that Jews have always seen an ethnically and culturally homogeneous America as threatening to Jews. This is the subtext of the The Culture of Critique. As her neocon compatriot Elliott Abrams acknowledges, the mainstream Jewish community “clings to what is at bottom a dark vision of America, as a land permeated with anti-Semitism and always on the verge of anti-Semitic outbursts.” Abrams notes that Jews have taken the lead in secularizing America because of this fear. (My own interpretation is that it has more to do with aggressiveness; see also here). Jewish organizations were also the main force on behalf of the 1965 immigration law that put an end to the idea that America had any ethnic basis.

Nevertheless, besides Coulter and Horowtiz, it is certainly true that a growing chorus of Jewish voices have begun to argue that Muslim immigration is bad for Jews. Stephen Steinlight certainly stands out in this regard, stating, for example, “Privately [American Jewish leaders] express grave concern that unregulated immigration will prove ruinous to American Jewry, as it has for French Jewry, and will for Jews throughout Western Europe. There’s particular fear about the impact on Jewish security, as well as American support for Israel, of the rapid growth of the Muslim population. At the conclusion of meetings with national leaders, several told me, ‘You’re 1000 percent right, but I can’t go out and say it yet.’”

In fact, Steinlight even argues that massive immigration in general is bad for Jews: “Massive immigration will obliterate Jewish power by shrinking our percentage of the population — to a fraction of 1% in 20 years.”

Similar warnings by Jews have also surfaced in Europe where, arguably, the situation is much worse for Jews because of the existence of relatively alienated, unassimilated Muslim populations. Jonathan Sacks, Britain’s chief rabbi, warns that multiculturalism “promotes segregation, stifles free speech and threatens liberal democracy.” Britain’s politics has been “poisoned by the rise of identity politics, as minorities and aggrieved groups jockeyed first for rights, then for special treatment. The process … began with Jews, before being taken up by blacks, women and gays. … [The effect has been] ‘inexorably divisive.’ ‘A culture of victimhood sets group against group, each claiming that its pain, injury, oppression, humiliation is greater than that of others.’”

But thus far, such warnings have fallen on deaf ears. I suspect that the ADL calculates that Muslim immigration has not impaired the power of the Israel Lobby and there is little reason to think that it will in the foreseeable future. In any case, Jewish attachment to a post-European America is a gut emotion that seems to go beyond rational calculation. As Steinlight notes:

The prospect of breaking with the old [pro-immigration] consensus is so wrenching many are effectively paralyzed by it, but it must concentrate their minds wonderfully to know that upholding it endangers the viability of the community whose protection is their raison d’être. They recognize they risk a harsh rebuke by history as those responsible for “losing America” — just as their predecessors have been pilloried for their failure to do more to save European Jewry in the years leading up to and during the Holocaust. American-Jewish leadership is experiencing profound vertigo as it seeks to chart a course through circumstances that appear logical only to a schizophrenic.

Source

* The above essay does not necessarily reflect the thoughts of Deserteace.

LIVING A LIFE IN ‘LEFT FIELD’

There are lawyer jokes, and there are lawyers. A profession hard to love when you are the one paying for it..

They seem to be the most overpriced, unscrupulous beings on this planet… and worse yet, they eventually wind up in government if they screw enough people.

But, there is always the exception to the rule. I assume that any lawyer that regularly visits these pages falls under that category. In fact, ‘some of my best friends are lawyers’……

But seriously, there was one lawyer in particular that actually dedicated his life to justice and had a ‘track record’ to prove it… a lawyer that spent almost 75 years working in ‘left field’. He died last week… but he was a man that should not go unforgotten.

His obituary that appeared in the New York Times appears here…
Thank you Victor Rabinowitz! America needs more like yourself!!

Victor Rabinowitz, 96, Leftist Lawyer, Dies

Victor Rabinowitz, a leftist lawyer whose causes and clients over nearly three-quarters of a century ranged from labor unions to Black Panthers to Cuba to Dashiell Hammett to Dr. Benjamin Spock to his own daughter, died on Friday at his home in Manhattan. He was 96.

His son Peter announced the death.

For much of his career, Mr. Rabinowitz teamed up with the lawyer Leonard B. Boudin, who died in 1989, to defend clients like Julian Bond, Daniel Ellsberg, Paul Robeson, the Rev. Philip Berrigan, Rockwell Kent and Alger Hiss. The pair did not take the espionage case of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, only because they were already defending someone else accused of being a spy.

The two lawyers won the new revolutionary government of Cuba as a client over a poolside chess game with Che Guevara at Havana’s Hotel Riviera in 1960, their law partner, Michael Krinsky, said in an interview yesterday. Guevara won, then gave them Cuba’s business.

It quickly provided considerable work. The United States banned Cuban sugar imports, and Cuba retaliated by nationalizing American corporate holdings. This led Mr. Rabinowitz to defend Cuba’s position in the case of Banco Nacional de Cuba v. Sabbatino before the United States Supreme Court in 1963.

Mr. Rabinowitz contended, among other things, that the Act of State doctrine applied, meaning that decisions of other countries about their internal affairs would not be questioned by American courts. In 1964, the court accepted his arguments.

In 1971, Mr. Rabinowitz defended Chile after the socialist government of Salvador Allende nationalized American copper companies. The litigation was pending when a military coup toppled Mr. Allende in 1973. Mr. Rabinowitz quit the case.

Victor Rabinowitz was born on July 2, 1911, in Brooklyn, where he grew up. His father was a committed socialist who became wealthy by inventing a machine to make hooks for bra straps. Victor graduated from the University of Michigan and its law school.

He began his legal career in 1938 at the New York law firm founded by Louis B. Boudin, a labor lawyer who was deeply involved in radical politics. In 1944, Mr. Rabinowitz started his own labor practice. Leonard Boudin, Louis’s nephew, joined him three years later.

Mr. Rabinowitz represented unions on the left wing of the labor movement like the American Communications Association, which represented employees in the telephone, telegraph and broadcast industries. One of his tactics — rare then, but common now — was to buy a few shares of Western Telegraph, against which the union had recently staged a strike, so that he could hector top management at the company’s 1946 annual meeting.

When a provision of the Taft-Hartley Act forced union leaders to swear under oath that they were not Communists, Mr. Rabinowitz sued, arguing that the oath was unconstitutional. But the Supreme Court ruled in 1950 that this abridgement of free speech was intended by Congress.

Soon, the firm’s labor clients were being subpoenaed to testify before legislative committees in Washington and in the states about being suspected Communists. The firm eventually represented 225 labor leaders, teachers, librarians, professors and others accused of being Communists, including Mr. Hammett, author of “The Thin Man.”

Mr. Rabinowitz was a member of the Communist Party from 1942 until the early 1960s, he wrote in his memoir, “Unrepentant Leftist” (1996). He said the party seemed the best vehicle to fight for social justice. Mr. Krinsky pointed out that Mr. Rabinowitz did not join the party until after the Soviet Union and the United States became World War II allies.

Early in his career, Mr. Rabinowitz was active in the American Labor Party, running for Congress on that party’s ticket in 1947. He was a founding member of the National Lawyers Guild, which was formed in 1937 as an alternative to the conservative, racially segregated American Bar Association. After the guild began to fade, he became its president in 1967 and helped revive it by welcoming a new generation of leftists.

When Leonard Boudin’s daughter, Kathy Boudin, a member of the Weather Underground radical political group, pleaded guilty in 1984 to murder for her involvement in the robbery of an armored truck, Mr. Krinsky said that Mr. Rabinowitz played “an important role in anchoring the defense.”

Mr. Rabinowitz’s own daughter, Joni, was convicted of perjury in federal court for her work with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1963, after she denied being on a picket line in Albany, Ga. He won her release by persuading the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to strike down the federal system for selecting grand jurors throughout the South because it under-represented the black population.

Mr. Rabinowitz was divorced from the former Marcia Goldberg in 1967, and his second wife, the former Joanne Grant, died in 2005. He is survived by two children from his first marriage, Peter Rabinowitz of Clinton, N.Y., and Joni Rabinowitz of Pittsburgh; two children from his second marriage, Mark Rabinowitz of Manhattan and Abby Rabinowitz of Hamburg, N.J.; his sister, Lucille Perlman of Manhattan; and two grandchildren.

For Mr. Rabinowitz, few issues escaped legal scrutiny. In 1989, the authorities in East Hampton, N.Y., where he long kept a summer house, cracked down on the display of a poster of an enormously fat naked woman. Mr. Rabinowitz decried the action as an infringement of constitutional rights.

“It is hard for me to see that poster as obscene,” he told The New York Times. “On its face, it arguably has some scientific value, to encourage people not to eat so much. I see nothing in it to bring sex to mind.”

TERMINAL ZIONISM IS KILLING OUR BROTHERS

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
Zionism is a cancer that spreads slowly, killing its victims without mercy. It is one of the worst forms of cancer, even if detected in early stages it’s results are devastating.

The latest victim was a twenty year old resident of Gaza, dead because the zionists refused his entrance into an Israeli hospital. The incident can be read in the following report….

Gazan dies of cancer after being refused entrance into Israel

By Yuval Azoulay, Haaretz Correspondent

Nail al-Kurdi, a 20-year-old Gaza resident, died over the weekend from cancer while awaiting approval to enter Israel for medical treatment.

Despite numerous requests by Physicians for Human Rights, the Shin Bet security service denied his entrance due to security reasons.

The rights group said Sunday that they have been submitting requests to allow his entrance into Israel since July, but each appeal was rejected. In light of the state’s refusal, the group petitioned the High Court of Justice for the right to bring al-Kurdi in for treatment.

Yohanna Lerman, the attorney representing Physicians for Human Rights, said that the petition, which was filed in the name of al-Kurdi and seven other Palestinians in need of treatment, is still awaiting a decision after the Hight Court gave state prosecutors an extension in order to look into the matter further.

“The court decided to give the state time to examine its policy on the matter, despite the numerous medical opinions presented to them which warned that if al-Kurdi would not receive medical treatment immediately, he would die,” a statement by the organization said.

“We will continue to pursue the issue in order to help the seven other patients. Unfortunately, we wont be able to help al-Kurdi anymore,” Lerman said.

The defense establishment refused to comment on the matter since it is still pending the court’s decision.

PICKS OF THE DAY ~~ NOVEMBER 18th

PICKS OF THE DAY ~~ NOVEMBER 17th

UPDATE ON THE WATADA ‘VICTORY’

Victory for Iraq war refuser

Supporters of First Lt. Ehren Watada rejoiced over a federal judge’s injunction last week barring a new court-martial for the officer who refused to serve in Iraq. But they also urged stepped-up pressure to drop all charges and release Watada from the Army with an honorable discharge.

Watada is the first U.S. commissioned officer to publicly refuse to go to Iraq. Last year, after criticizing the Iraq war as an illegal occupation, he refused to deploy there with his Stryker Brigade. The Army rejected his offer to serve instead in Afghanistan.

Because he spoke out publicly against the Iraq war, the Army added the charge of conduct unbecoming an officer.

U.S. District Court Judge Benjamin Settle issued a temporary injunction barring a second court-martial. The judge said Watada would probably be successful in asserting that his Fifth Amendment rights would be violated by being tried twice for the same crime, otherwise known as double jeopardy.

Settle wrote in the decision, “The same Fifth Amendment protections are in place for military service members as are afforded to civilians.”

The Army quickly announced it would file additional briefs before the judge issues a final ruling.

Watada attorney Kenneth Kagan called the injunction “an enormous victory,” but warned that the case is not yet closed.

Michael McPhearson, executive director of Veterans for Peace, told the World, “We think Lt. Watada shouldn’t have been tried in the first place, and we don’t want him to be tried again.”

“We’re very happy with the decision,” said Peter Yamamoto, a San Francisco-based member of the Watada Support Committee. “However,” he added, “it’s not over. It’s very important to keep up the pressure.”

Yamamoto said the support committee is organizing vigils on the first and third Saturdays of the month. Details are at http://www.thankyoult.org.

Watada’s first court-martial, earlier this year, ended in a mistrial when the military judge ruled that a stipulation both sides had earlier accepted, stating the officer had missed his deployment, constituted a guilty plea. Watada and his attorneys sought to continue the first trial but the military judge refused. They then argued a second trial would violate the lieutenant’s constitutional rights.

As a second court-martial approached, Watada’s appeal to the military’s highest court went unanswered. His attorneys then appealed to the federal court for a stay. Judge Settle’s response marked a rare civilian intervention into military court proceedings.

Settle, who served as a military lawyer in the 1970s, was recently appointed to the federal bench by President Bush.

Though Watada’s term of military service officially ended last December, the Army has not released him. He is now performing administrative duties at Fort Lewis, Wash.

Source

PICKS OF THE DAY ~~ NOVEMBER 16th

From ~~~

Umkahlil

Chet

Gush Shalom
(ad in HaAretz)

ICAHD

THE ELDERLY CRINGE WITH FEAR IN PALESTINE

Image by Ismael Shammout
On that day of horror, that day we now call 9/11, I watched the events of the morning in New York City on TV.

What astonished me more than the horror itself was seeing people run… people filled with fear. I never saw that in America. I lived there for 20 some odd years and never saw Americans run in fear for their lives.


Just imagine living with that fear every day of your life…. that’s how it is in Palestine today.

The elderly and infirm are the most likely to feel and demonstrate that fear more than any other section of society… fear based on a reality just outside their door, fear of the occupation.

Only in Palestine and the Twilight Zone…..


The Twilight Zone/’We saw death a thousand times’

By Gideon Levy


Think of your elderly parents. Imagine them sitting on the sofa, cringing with fear, for a whole night, in their tiny apartment, unprotected. Outside a fierce firefight is raging. The night is a cacophony of gunfire and explosions. Dozens of soldiers are moving through the adjacent alley. Then an order is given to come out. Think of your father opening the door, frightened and helpless, in his pajamas, then calling to his wife to go back inside and bring their ID cards. One glance into the courtyard – and he is hit instantly. Five bullets in the stomach and legs, fired by three soldiers sitting on the steps of the house across the way. He falls, writhing in his blood, as his wife looks on, horrified.

Think of your aged mother, trying with all her strength to pull her husband inside and the soldiers prohibiting his evacuation for long, fateful minutes, until the ambulance arrives. Imagine her pangs of terror, impotence, rage and frustration. “Now I am sorry that I did not pick up a big stone and throw it at the soldiers,” says the widow, Subhiya al-Wazir, whose husband, Abed al-Wazir was killed at the threshold of their home in the Ras al-Ayyin neighborhood in the western part of Nablus.

Al-Wazir was a retired accountant who had worked for the Nablus Municipality. He was also the cousin of Khalil al-Wazir, a.k.a. Abu Jihad, the legendary deputy of Yasser Arafat, who was assassinated by Israel on April 16, 1988, in his seaside home in Tunis. A few days ago, his widow, Umm Jihad, a former Palestinian welfare minister, paid a condolence visit in the small home in Nablus. The manner of Abed’s death made him one of the oldest of the shaheeds (martyrs for the cause), but his widow’s nights of horror have not ended. The Israel Defense Forces continues to enter the neighborhood almost every night, plunging fear into the hearts of Subhiya and her neighbors.
The Wazirs’ small house is perched on the steep slope of Mount Grizim.

Abu Jihad and Abed and Subhiya al-Wazir are all from the same family – all cousins, from Ramle (Abu Jihad), Jaffa (Subhiya) and Haifa (Abed).

The couple has six children and 20 grandchildren.

On the night of October 16, the two went to bed early, as always. Shortly before 1 A.M., Abed al-Wazir was awakened by noises from the alley. In a low voice, Subhiya says, he roused her. “There are a lot of soldiers outside. We have to be careful,” he whispered.

They hurried to the sofa. Through the window they saw the shadows of soldiers moving quickly. The noise outside intensified. The bursts of gunfire became more frequent and were punctuated by explosions of stun grenades. War was raging outside. Occasionally they heard the noise of glass shattering in their neighbors’ homes. It is not hard to imagine how frightened they must have been, sitting pressed up against each other, mute with dread.

At about 2:15 A.M. their eldest son, Shaqer, called. He lives in a neighborhood on the side of Mount Ebal, across the way. Shaqer asked his parents how they were doing and if they were aware of what was going on in their neighborhood.

Occasionally the couple heard unclear orders issued through a megaphone by the soldiers who were on the street above the house. It was hard to understand what was being said. At a quarter to five, their son called again. He said he saw soldiers entering the home of attorney Hakem Sabiah, a neighbor up the road, and searching it. Shortly afterward the Wazirs heard Sabiah’s voice through the megaphone, transmitting the soldiers’ orders. The soldiers had appointed him to evacuate the neighborhood, as he knew all the residents well. First light rose on the Ras al-Ayyin neighborhood, the dawn of a new day.

They weren’t sure they had heard their names via the megaphone, but their son told them he had heard it. This was after the four nightmarish hours of waiting on the sofa. “In those four hours we saw death a thousand times,” the widow says.

The muezzin had already summoned the faithful to dawn prayers, but the couple did not budge. However, when their son called and said he had heard their names on the list of those being ordered to come out, they complied. It was a little after 5 A.M. Immediately afterward they heard Sabiah: “My uncle, Abu Shaqer, you are called on to come out with your wife, because the house is going to be blown up in five minutes. That is what the soldiers say.”

It was clear to them that they had to leave the house immediately. First they opened the front door. Abed al-Wazir walked through the small courtyard, Subhiya following. He advanced slowly to the iron gate and opened it. He then turned around to his wife and asked if she had taken their ID cards, the lifeblood of the residents of the territories. Subhiya turned around quickly, in order to get the documents. With her back to her husband, she heard him say suddenly, “Haja, I’ve been shot.” Subhiya says she heard no gunshots and saw no blood.

She rushed to her husband. “Who shot you? Where?” she asked, embracing him. But Wazir fell to the floor at the entrance to the house. Only then did Subhiya see a pool of blood welling up from under her husband. The soldiers who were sitting on the staircase opposite, just a few meters from the Wazirs’ front door, those who fired five bullets when Abed al-Wazir just glanced into the street, were now standing.

Subhiya screamed and a few neighbors came out. They wanted to carry her dying husband into the street, but the soldiers threatened to shoot them, she recalls. Her husband’s mouth began foaming. The soldiers stood opposite her and she shouted at them, “Shoot me the way you shot my husband.” At least 10 minutes went by, she says, maybe even a quarter of an hour, during which her husband lay bleeding on the ground, before the soldiers allowed him to be moved to the lower street.

Shaqer, the son, recently began working for a construction company in Kiryat Ono, near Tel Aviv. He was just getting ready to leave for work, not knowing that his father was hovering between life and death.

Three neighbors carried Wazir down to the street, followed closely by the distraught Subhiya. On the street was an IDF vehicle. The soldiers quickly bound the hands of the neighbors who had carried al-Wazir and ordered them to lie on the road. “Why don’t you call an ambulance?” Subhiya shouted at the soldiers. Another quarter of an hour passed before a Palestinian ambulance was allowed to approach. “Why did you shoot him? He was an old man,” Sabiah, the attorney, called to the soldiers. Subhiya says that the soldiers replied, “We are sorry, we had to.”

In the ambulance, Wazir asked, “Where am I?” and then lost consciousness. In the hospital, Subhiya saw that her husband had been shot not only in the legs, but in the stomach as well. He died shortly afterward. In the evening, when Subhiya returned home, she discovered that the soldiers had entered the house, searched it and destroyed the bathroom. Her savings, she says, amounting to 2,000 Jordanian dinars (about NIS 12,000), were gone.

Following a report drawn up by Salah Haj Yihyeh, the mobile clinic director of Physicians for Human Rights – the organization’s projects co-director, Miri Weingarten, sent a letter to the military advocate general, Brigadier General Avihai Mandelblit, requesting that he instruct the Military Police to investigate “the killing of an unarmed person in his home, failure to treat him, delay of lifesaving evacuation of the wounded man, and looting of the deceased’s home.”

The IDF Spokesman stated in response: “The IDF Spokesman regrets the injury done to the uninvolved Palestinian, who was killed in the course of IDF activity to arrest wanted terrorists in Nablus on October 16. The 70-year-old civilian, who was in an adjacent house, was killed during an exchange of fire between the IDF and terrorists. The IDF units that were operating at the scene summoned a Red Crescent medical team, who evacuated him to receive medical treatment. Later, the coordination and liaison office received a report that the man had died.

“The GOC Central Command, Major General Gadi Shamni, investigated the incident, and the investigation indicates that no hitches were found in the activity of the force. The IDF reiterates that the terrorist organizations are turning the population into a human shield and thereby endangering their lives.

“As for the money, no complaint has yet been received from the relatives of the Palestinian on this matter. Should such a complaint be received, the subject will be investigated and examined under army ordinances.”

The members of the bereaved family are convinced that the soldiers had the wrong address. The soldiers were looking for two wanted brothers, Abdullah and Bahar Hawash, who were hiding in the house next to the Wazirs’. They were eventually arrested in a hiding place there, following a search that lasted all the next day. Shaqer is certain that the helicopter marked the wrong house for the soldiers, who then shot his father the moment he opened the gate. The work permit Shaqer was issued just a month ago was revoked, as is always done in the case of relatives of people killed by the IDF, for fear they will enter Israel to work and then take revenge.

Despite the grief, the killing, the suspicion of looting and the loss of a source of livelihood, the women of the family prepared lunch for their Israeli guests: mutton, chicken in lemon, maluhiya (cooked leaves in chicken broth), ful (Egyptian beans) and pickled condiments, which were heaped on our plates again and again.

WHO IS ISRAEL’S REAL ENEMY?

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

WHO IS ISRAEL’S REAL ENEMY?

A DesertPeace Editorial

Since the occupation of the Palestinian Territories started forty years ago, Israel and its foreign allies have been saying that the biggest threat to their security is the FACT that one day Palestine will liberate itself from their prison and establish an independent state.

For those forty years Israel has made it increasingly difficult for the above to become a reality by building settlements on this stolen territory and slowly but surely pushing the Palestinians into oblivion….. while at the same time claiming that the Palestinians ‘want to drive Israelis to the sea’…..

Israel’s voice has been loud and clear, constantly being amplified by those that have been benefiting the most from the occupation, the zionists. Their strength lies in their ability to literally buy the support of the American government. AIPAC has spent millions of dollars over the years buying votes and insuring that the status quo of the occupation remains the same. ‘Spent’ might be the wrong word in this case, it’s actually an investment as this money eventually finds its way back to the coffers of AIPAC twofold.

Palestine never had this ‘support system’, even the Arab world has abandoned them at most times for fear of losing out on contracts between the West and their oil companies. The old adage of ‘money talks’ is very fitting in this case, the unfortunate thing being that the voice of Palestine has been drowned out by the voice of money.

At the Annapolis Conference Israel intends to come up with the ‘Final Solution’ to Palestine as is demonstrated in the following image, borrowed from the Palestinian Pundit’s Blog.

The Annapolis Meeting….
The Final Liquidation of Palestine?

With attitudes and intents such as this, one can only ask, who, after all these years, is Israel’s real enemy. The answer is right there for everyone to see…. Israel’s real enemy is ISRAEL. They have ‘made their bed, now they must lie in it’, OR…. they can change the bedding! IT’S NOT TOO LATE!!

The following linked editorial from HarAretz touches on this situation, it can be read HERE

Who wants a Jewish state

By Haaretz Editorial

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has been speaking enthusiastically about “two states, two nations” ever since her conversion from the Greater Israel ideology. She can easily convince people why Israel must have a right of return only for Jews, while an independent Palestine would grant the same right only to Palestinians.

Like Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Livni has realized belatedly that this is the only way two democratic nation states could survive. This simple, rational idea could have been implemented easily had not Israel’s leaders rejected it for generations – for 40 years the border line has been obstructed by settlement building.

Now on the eve of the Annapolis conference, Israel has suddenly come up with the absurd demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state – after Israel’s own leaders have done everything in their power to sabotage it.

It is easy to speak about a Jewish state, but difficult to find the political courage required to do what it takes: Settlements scattered in the heart of the Palestinian population make it impossible to separate between Israel and Palestine along a plausible and viable border. With each passing day and each passing year, every settlement expansion, every outpost and every road built to reach it disrupt the chance to separate the two nations.

Therefore suspending construction in the settlements is not a prize for the Palestinians ahead of one agreement or another, but a life-saving medicine for Israel. It is already difficult to delineate a border between the Etzion, Ariel and Ma’aleh Adumim settlement blocs as the building boundaries within them keep expanding, with a wink at Washington.

Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are demanding that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state, but they should direct this demand at the Israelis. Another conference and another negotiation, another trip and another draft agreement, another escape from addressing the core issues, as though there is anything else to talk about. The Israelis, not Palestinians, are making the vision of the Jewish state impossible. A law tying the government’s hands vis-a-vis concessions in Jerusalem passed the Knesset in a preliminary reading, as though Israel’s interest is to annex East Jerusalem with its hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.

For religious fanatics on both sides, the existing solution is charmingly simple. Islamists want a Muslim state on all the area they consider sacred. Right-wing religious Israelis want a halakhic Jewish state on all the area they regard as sacred. The only problem is, both mean the same “holy ground.” So the longer partition is postponed, the nearer draws the possibility of bloody messianic chaos.

Avoiding a debate on the core issues in Annapolis is not an Israeli achievement. It is an escape from the main issues, stemming from political cowardice. Every additional round of futile talks is pushing Israel farther away from determining its borders and fate.

AT ISRAELI UNIVERSITIES JEWS CAN…. BUT ARABS CAN’T

Israel… the ‘only Democracy in the Middle East’ seems to have found another contradiction to that phrase…. it’s obviously only a Democracy for its Jewish citizens. The Palestinians that live here and have Israeli citizenship might as well have Identity Cards proclaiming that they are SECOND CLASS CITIZENS!

The following report from Ynet tells of the latest incident, this time at two major Israeli universities….

Students clash on ‘Kaffiyah Day’

Arab and Jewish students demonstrate at Haifa, Hebrew Universities on self-proclaimed ‘Kaffiyah Day.’ Chairman of Hadash students’ board in Haifa: ‘No reason to prohibit an Arab student from wearing his traditional garb on campus’

By Ahiya Raved

 

Some 100 Arab and Jewish students held opposing demonstrations on Wednesday at Haifa University as Arab students gathered to mark the newly christened “Kaffiyah Day.” A scuffle between the two groups was avoided only after campus security guards intervened. A similar protest was also held at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

“Kaffiyah Day” was declared by national Arab student organizations following an incident earlier in November in which an Arab student wearing a kaffiyah at the Hebrew University was assaulted by a group of Jewish students.

The Arab protestors in Haifa arrived at demonstration wearing the traditional headscarves. They chanted slogans and waved the Palestinian flag. The opposing demonstration held Israeli flags and sang the national anthem. Campus security was eventually forced to separated the groups or risk an escalation in the tensions.

Chairman of the University’s Hadash students club, Rabiyah Shaa’ir, said “there is no reason an Arab student should be attacked for wearing this traditional garb on campus. We reject the racist behavior of the Jewish students who tried to make him take off the kaffiyah.”

Freshman student Eva Biton told Ynet she was shocked to see Palestinian flags on a Jewish-Israeli campus: “I come from France where I witnessed many similar demonstrations. I didn’t believe that I will see these flags in Israel.”

Tension at the Hebrew University

Arab and Jewish students faced off in Jerusalem as well as tensions continue to rise on the Hebrew University campus. Earlier in the week a large-scale fight broke out between the two groups.

“These students are the future of the Israeli-Arab sector,” said Ali Baher, chairman of the Arab students’ board in Jerusalem.

“We need a generation of people who stand up for their rights and fight for their beliefs. We have a right to express our opinion, study here and confront those who don’t want us.”

The counter-protest was organized by Haifa University’s Student’s Union. Shai Panini, Chairman of the Union, said: “I cannot grasp the holding of a rally for the memory of a man (Yasser Arafat, who singlehandedly turned the kaffiyah into an enduring Palestinian icon) whose name brings revulsion to every Israeli citizen. I call on Haifa University not to allow rallies like these from now on for the sake of the fragile coexistence at Haifa University.”

Sa’ar Ziv,Spokesperson of the Union, added that “while no violation of freedom of speech took place, rallies of hatred and slander must not take place under the protection of free speech. We are shocked by the presence of such protests, which take place every year. Despite the Student’s Right Law, we don’t understand how the University allows such a thing. This is not what the law was designed to allow.”

BROADWAY STRIKERS DARKEN THE ‘LIGHTS OF BROADWAY’

Broadway strike may darken holiday

If you have plans to see a Broadway production this holiday season, then you might what to come up with a plan B.

The stage hand strike has darked the lights on Broadway in New York, and there doesn’t seem to be an end to the strike in sight.

Now, it looks like there is a chance you might not even be able to get tickets through the holiday season. Even if the strike ends soon, the demand for tickets will likely be higher since so many people were denied tickets during the strike.

Local businesses are also starting to suffer. The NY Daily News says the city is losing about $17 Million per day.

THE AMERICAN ELECTORAL SYSTEM

The Double Outhouse…. words fail me but this is worth a thousand of them…..

That pretty much says it all!

‘POISONING THE WEB–HATE ON THE INTERNET’

The above title is the name given by the ADL to a conference held in Israel this week. One of their prime targets of Web Hate is Google, as was written about yesterday on this Blog.

Google’s defense at the conference was “Google mirrors the real world, including some of its uglier images, like racism. I’m an Israeli Jew and my family survived the Holocaust. This isn’t an easy topic for me, but removing results form our web page will not solve the problem.”

I still find it ironic that it is the ADL that sponsored the conference and initiated the attack against Google. The ADL as well as most of its Lobby associates have done nothing but spread hate both on and off the Web. Their attacks against anyone that dares criticise apartheid or genocide in Israel are labeled anti Semites, many times resulting in the loss of a job as has become common practice in the field of education in the United States.

At one point in our history an anti-Semite was a person that hated Jews, today it is a person that is hated by the ADL. THEY are truly a hate organisation.

The following from Ynet is an update on the situation….

Google says will not censor racist, anti-Semitic content

ADL holds panel on web-based racism, warns world is turning blind eye at online anti-Semitism. ‘Google cannot, will not censor information,’ says CEO of Google Israel

By Adar Shalev

“Google cannot and will not censor the information which appears on its search engines. What is and isn’t proper internet content is for governments and courts to decide, not for us,” said Meir Brand, CEO of Google Israel Monday.

Brand spoke at a coference held by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in Herzliya, titled “Poisoning the Web – Hate on the Internet,” which included a special panel on Google’s refusal to censor anti-Semitic results that pop-up on its search engines.

“I’m a firm believer in the ADL’s values, but we believe radicalism and racism can be curbed through open discussion, not censorship,” added Brand.

“The world’s governments are more preoccupied with pornography being available online than they are with racism and anti-Semitism,” said ADL director of internet operations, attorney Christopher Wolf, who took part in the panel.

Wolf brought as an example a website called Jew Watch, which presented itself as an online library for Jewish history, but in fact held anti-Semitic content. The site was able to obtain the coveted first-on-the-list spot in Google’s search engine, spiking its readership accordingly.

Once Jew Watch’s true nature was exposed, tens of thousands of Google users signed a petition demanding the removal of the site from the search results. Google chose instead to add an annex to the site’s link, explaining its nature.

The world, said the ADL is turning a blind eye to online racism, when alongside websites like Jew Watch, the world wide web is filled with so-called charity sites belonging to white-supremacy groups, Nazi memorabilia websites and online computer games which allow their users to kill the Jewish leader of their choice.

The internet, stressed Brand, can not be blamed for the existence of racism: “Google mirrors the real world, including some of its uglier images, like racism. I’m an Israeli Jew and my family survived the Holocaust. This isn’t an easy topic for me, but removing results form our webpage will not solve the problem.”

PICKS OF THE DAY ~~ NOVEMBER 13th

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