Hasta la Victoria Siempre!
A new Web site set up by pro-Israel Canadians seeks to defy anti-Israel boycotts by encouraging subscribers to deliberately buy Israeli products that are being boycotted.
The campaign, titled “Buycott Israel,” was organized by the Canada-Israel Committee together with the Jewish federations of Vancouver and Toronto and the Canadian Jewish Congress, Pacific Region, to counter the increasing number of boycotts in Canada over the last year.
They are gloating at what appears to them a success in their campaign, but the reality is that the exact opposite is taking place as the Boycott grows worldwide. With support from the ADL and other such Hasbara vehicles, I predict that their campaign will, in the end, only strengthen ours. A report on the Canadian ‘Buycott’ can be read HERE.
Now, what does this all have to do with palm fronds? This Friday at sundown a weeklong Jewish Festival begins. It is called Sukkot, or The Feast of The Tabernacles. The palm fronds make up part of what is known as the Four Species.
For some strange reason, Egypt has been the major supplier of these fronds over the past few years. But, orthodox Jewry is faced with a dilemma…. Egypt raised it’s prices! OY VEY!!!
What are they to do in this case? The solution they came up with was to buy the fronds from Gaza. An area under siezure, an area that Israel has rendered ‘enemy’ territory will be the supplier this year… with special permission from the Israeli Ministry of Defense.
It seems that with Israelis, money talk$ when it comes to Boycotts and Sanctions. But what more can we expect from a nation void of principles and decency?
Israel’s propagandists shoot themselves in the foot as they shoot off their mouths
If you have ever visited a blog or on-line discussion group on the Middle East you have doubtless had the misfortune to run into them.
They are known by the language they use: depraved sexual insults, bile, bigotry, threats, disinformation and character assassination. That’s right: I’m talking about “hasbarats,” Zionist trolls who infect the Internet with hasbara, pro-Israel propaganda. Of course, mainstream media hasbarats have been around for decades, as have “hasbaratchiks,” fifth-columns in foreign governments who subvert national policies to serve Israel. The Internet, though, is the latest, some might say the greatest, propaganda playground, and Israel cannot cope with factual, passionate, well-documented stories that expose its war crimes and unrepentant criminality.
If you’ve come across a hasbarat, on-line or otherwise, you have learned that no amount of reasoned argument or intellectual maturity has any effect. That’s because hasbarats don’t care if they come across as ignorant, obnoxious, nasty or inane. All that matters for them is sabotaging criticism of Israel and support for Muslims. They’re like anti-intellectual stink bombs: designed to cause maximum discomfort but have little if any real power.
This deliberate proliferation of on-line hasbarats raises two points. The first concerns why anyone would spend hours a day to prostitute themselves for Israel. Money, of course. Ilan Shturman, deputy director of the Israeli foreign ministry’s hasbara department (!), told an Israeli business newspaper in July that US$150,000 had been allocated for the first stage of a campaign to seed the Internet with hasbarats:
“Our people will not say: ‘Hello, I am from the hasbara department of the Israeli foreign ministry and I want to tell you the following.’ Nor will they necessarily identify themselves as Israelis. They will speak as net-surfers and as citizens, and will write responses that will look personal but will be based on a prepared list of messages that the foreign ministry developed.”
The second point is why Israel felt it had to resort to intellectual fraud on an international scale. The Internet has shown that Israel is a failed oppressor state that commits crimes against humanity as a matter of policy. The last straw for many was “Operation Cast Lead,” an act of such unspeakable unapologetic sadism that allusions to Nazi Germany are entirely appropriate.
Every day, it seems, the mythic foundations of Israel’s legitimacy—the holocaust, Jewish victimhood, Jewish “people,” Israeli “democracy,” “evil” Muslims—are exposed for all to see.
In January, Amir Gissin, Israel’s consul-general in Toronto, sent out a hasbara recruitment letter, which read in part: “If you are frustrated or concerned with the portrayal of Israel in Canadian News and with biased [sic] depictions, your voice can be heard. Now, think that you’re not alone 10,000 voices like yours can respond every day: praise, protest, inform, correct on leading Canadian news websites, in real time, effectively.”
The weakness with this tactic, as you probably figured out, is that hasbarats will inevitably shout and whine themselves into irrelevance. Eventually, intelligent people will tune out the Zionist boilerplate, the anti-Muslim smears, and the interminable drone about the holocaust. Already, the once-dreaded epithet “anti-Semite” has lost all significance, as if it ever had any, and the person who hurled it is more likely to be mocked than feared.
Two recent events demonstrate the growing desperation and ineptitude of Israel’s propaganda industry. Today, we look at an example of “positive hasbara.”
Toronto International Film Festival
A major tactic of hasbarats is to project the illusion that Israel is a normal Western democracy, thereby taking focus away from Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinians. Also, countries that buy into the deceit will be unwilling to criticize Israel for fear of calling into question their role in covering up Zionist war crimes.
This tactic was tried at the recent Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) as Tel Aviv was spotlighted in a City-to-City program with Toronto. The ostensible purpose was to use an apolitical, cultural event to obscure the tyranny that Tel Aviv represents, but more than 1,000 filmmakers and performers, weren’t fooled. They put their names to The Toronto Declaration: No Celebration of Occupation, an open letter to the TIFF that protested the co-optation of the festival by the Israeli propaganda machine.
The protest accomplished precisely what the hasbarats tried to prevent. “Rather than talking about Israel’s rich cinematic culture, the buzz this week in Toronto has centered on the one thing Israeli officials had sought to avoid: the conflict with the Palestinians,” reported the Jewish Telegraph Agency.
|The hasbara campaign to ‘re-brand’ Israel during the Toronto International Film Festival failed miserably. So much attention was paid to the protest that it overshadowed the political objectives of Israel’s propaganda machine.|
Another major defeat for Israel came courtesy of Chicago Sun-Times movie critic Roger Ebert. After offering a knee-jerk condemnation of the City-to-City protests, he reversed himself the next day:
“I wasn’t prepared with enough facts about the events leading up to the Festival’s decision to showcase Tel Aviv in the City-to-City section. I [initially] thought of it as an innocent goodwill gesture, but now realize it was part of a deliberate plan to ‘re-brand’ Israel in Toronto, as a pilot for a larger such program. The Festival should never have agreed to be used like this. It was naïve for the plan’s supporters to believe it would have the effect they hoped for.”
Speaking of naïve, how about Ron Huldai, mayor of Tel Aviv! Whether out of overconfidence or stupidity, he publicly admitted the underlying hasbara in an interview with the JTA: “While the City to City program was initiated by the festival, the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs was involved as part of its Brand Israel media and advertising campaign, which was launched last year.”
Quite obviously, Israel would have been better off if the hasbarats had not tried to manipulate the festival. Even the predictable pro-Israel counterprotest merely added to the protest’s notoriety and detracted from the cultural propaganda. Moreover the standard claim that the protest was an attack on Israel and artistic freedom was demonstrably false. If anything, the protest highlighted Israel’s active suppression of Palestinian culture.
According to the authors of the Toronto Declaration:
“Many Palestinian artists and filmmakers, denied freedom of movement by Israel’s Occupation and pass system, are de facto boycotted, unable to communicate with their communities or travel freely. The double standard is mind-boggling and, slowly, these are the issues we are helping to put under a spotlight.”
Finally, it is important to note that the Declaration’s authors succeeded without any media help. They had no money to place ads, and no newspaper would publish their open letter. On the other hand, hasbarats had the full support (read: “obedience”) of Canada’s national media, and lost.
If a modest, unfunded, popular protest can effectively defeat an orchestrated propaganda campaign, what does that say about Israel’s ability to pose as a legitimate, democratic state? Even though hasbarats get their disinformation out with relative ease, it is not clear that is generally accepted.
Just try to imagine the international outcry if it was a synagogue under attack….
Muslims Repulse Jewish Attempt to Storm Aqsa
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — Dozens of Palestinians were hurt, two seriously, on Sunday, September 27, when crack Israeli policemen attacked worshipers who had just repulsed an attempt by Jewish extremists to hold Talmudic rituals at al-Haram al-Sharif.
“When the zealots were repulsed rather peacefully, the police became very outraged,” Mahmoud Abu Atta, an eyewitness, told IslamOnline.net.
“As many as 70 policemen attacked us indiscriminately, young and old, with full force, using rubber-coated bullets, truncheons, tear gas and even poisonous gas.”
An elderly man, identified as 73-year-old Muhammed Joulani, was hit with a rubber-coated bullet in the eye and his condition was described as “very serious.”
A young Palestinian, 22, was badly hurt in the head.
Dozens others suffered from tear gas inhalation as well as brutal beating by police which, eyewitnesses said, employed “exaggerated force.”
Eyewitnesses said tension began when dozens of Jewish religious zealots, disguised as tourists, stealthily entered Aqsa esplanade through its western gate, known as Bab el-Majles.
The intruders soon began, under police protection, performing Talmudic rites and making slogans calling for the destruction of the Islamic holy shrine.
Muslim guards as well as ordinary worshipers chased the Jewish zealots out.
“The police chased worshipers inside Aqsa Mosque, where the soldiers fired heavily into the holy place, causing many people to suffocate as a result of gas inhalation,” said Atta.
“I saw the police gang up on young people, beating them mercilessly. The police were not out to maintain law and order. They just wanted to retaliate and punish us for repulsing the fanatical settlers.”
Atta said the worshipers sought desperately to defend themselves against police brutality, using little stones, shoes and chairs.
Efforts by Jewish zealots to storm the Aqsa Mosque esplanade coincide with Yom Kippur holiday or Day of Atonement, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar.
It coincides with then opposition leader Ariel Sharon’s provocative visit to al-Aqsa esplanade nine years ago which sparked off the al-Aqsa Intifada.
“Hence it is the responsibility of the entire Umma to protect and safeguard this holy place from Zionist plots and evil designs,” Sheikh Sabri told IOL. Muslim officials in Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem) had earlier called on Muslims throughout the city to go to al-Haram al-Sharif to protect it from Jewish fanatics trying to gain a foot-hold.
“We constantly urge Muslims here to maintain a permanent and uninterrupted presence at the Aqsa Mosque,” Dr. Sheikh Ikrma Sabri, the imam of Aqsa Mosque, told IOL.
Hundreds of Jerusalemites and other Muslims from across the Green Line (Israel) arrived at the Mosque to repulse the zealots.
Confrontations broke out near Bab el-Majles when Israeli police prevented hundreds of Muslims, including leaders of the Islamic movement, from entering the Haram compound.
Many were detained and taken away to nearby police lockups.
Police also assaulted Abdul Azim Salhab, Head of the Supreme Muslim Council, as he was trying to enter al-Haram al-Sharif through the northern Gate, known as Bab el Asbat.
They also prevented a number of prominent Muslim religious and civic figures from entering the Aqsa esplanade, including Dr. Sheikh Sabri.
Hatem Abdul Qader, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, was also barred from entering the Haram.
“The preservation of Aqsa Mosque is not the sole responsibility of Muslims in Palestine, because the holy sanctuary belongs to the entire Muslim Umma,” insisted Sheikh Sabri.
“Hence it is the responsibility of the entire Umma to protect and safeguard this holy place from Zionist plots and evil designs.”
Al-Aqsa is the Muslims’ first Qiblah [direction Muslims take during prayers] and it is the third holiest shrine after Al Ka`bah in Makkah and Prophet Muhammad’s Mosque in Madinah, Saudi Arabia.
Its significance has been reinforced by the incident of Al Isra’a and Al Mi’raj — the night journey from Makkah to Al-Quds and the ascent to the Heavens by Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be Upon Him).
The Supreme Muslim Council of Al-Quds earlier issued a call on Muslims around the world urging them to stand firm in the face of Israel’s criminal conspiracies against Aqsa Mosque.
Israeli religious leaders, including Knesset members, are making no secret of their schemes regarding Al-Aqsa.
The Temple Mount Faithful, an extremist fanatical group, is dedicated to the demolition of Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock.
The Temple Mount Institute, another extremist Jewish society, had prepared detailed plans for the rebuilding of the so-called Solomon Temple on the rubble of Al-Aqsa.
It has a large prototype of the temple, special clothes for its rabbis, special places for sacrificial offerings, incense chalice, copper vessels for meal offerings, silver vessel for wine libation and other offering implements.
Israeli officials condemned Tuesday a scathing United Nations report that accused the nation of war crimes in its military offensive into Gaza.
UN investigator Richard Goldstone in Gaza.
Palestinian officials applauded the report, which was presented at a U.N. meeting, and urged U.N. members to address the alleged crimes documented in the report.
In the report, released earlier this month, a U.N. group accused Israel of committing “actions amounting to war crimes, possibly crimes against humanity” during its military incursion into Gaza from December 27 to January 18.
Neither was this……
The U.S. representative, Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner, said some of the recommendations in the report were “deeply flawed” and called for Israel and Palestinian authorities to be allowed to finish conducting their own investigations before passing judgment.
While Goldstone conceded that “Israel has a duty to protect its citizens,” he said that this fact “in no way justifies a policy of collective punishment of a people under effective occupation, destroying their means to live a dignified life and the trauma caused by the kind of military intervention the Israeli Government called Operation Cast Lead.”
“This contributes to a situation where young people grow up in a culture of hatred and violence, with little hope for change in the future. Finally, the teaching of hate and dehumanization by each side against the other contributes to the destabilization of the whole region,” he added.
Israeli Ambassador Aharon Leshno-Yaar described the report as “shameful,” claiming it cherry-picked incidents during the conflict for political effect, ignored Israel’s right to self-defense, and provided “support and vindication for terrorist tactics.”
“We disagree sharply with many of the report’s assessments and its recommendations and believe it to be deeply flawed,” US Assistant Secretary of State Michael H. Posner said.
Washington also rejected the suggestion that the allegations be taken up by the Security Council in New York.
“If this standard were applied in every conflict situation around the world where there are alleged violations, then the role of the Human Rights Council would be dramatically different,” he said.
Bottom line is….. NOTHING WILL BE DONE…… NO CHANGE IN SIGHT!
The quotes from the press came from the following reports…
September 29, 2009 at 07:57 (Activism, Anti fascism, Current Affairs, Democracy, DesertPeace Editorial, Free Speech, Honduras, Human Rights, International Solidarity, Latin America, Palestine, Photography)
One union shall unite us forever proud and free
No tyrant shall defeat us, no nation strike us down
All men who toil shall greet us the whole wide world around.
My brothers are all others forever hand in hand
Where chimes the bell of freedom there is my native land
My brother’s fears are my fears yellow white or brown
My brother’s tears are my tears the whole wide world around.
Let every voice be thunder, let every heart beat strong
Until all tyrants perish our work shall not be done
Let not our memories fail us the lost year shall be found
Let slavery’s chains be broken the whole wide world around.
Under Pinochet’s regime, over a quarter of a million people were detained in prisons like the Chacabuco desert camp. These are the only images to have emerged from his camps and reveal the true horror of his regime. “They must stay here until they realise they are on the wrong path,” states the guard at Chacabuco Concentration camp. Nearby prisoners suspected of being Communists are forced to march and sing military songs. One of the victims filmed at the camp was Patricia Letelier. Now, she lives in exile in Scotland and recalls what happened to her at Chacabuco. “I heard shouting and screaming and knew what was waiting for me. Shortly afterwards my own torture began.”
Powerful images show men kneeling with their hands in the air, being kicked and beaten with the butts of soldiers’ guns. Others show men being marched into the stadium stripped naked with blankets over their heads.
When Yom Kippur began at around 5 p.m. local time on Sunday, TV and radio stations blinked off the air, flights in and out of Israel’s airports ceased, and nearly all businesses and institutions closed. The streets emptied of cars and cities and highways were eerily quiet.
Children riding bicycles on the empty streets of Jerusalem (Image: Tess Scheflan / Jini)
A main street in Jerusalem is seen completely empty (Image: Tess Scheflan / Jini)
Young girls using chalk to draw on the asphalt in the middle of a Tel Aviv street (Image: Motti Kimche)
People walking down an empty street in Jerusalem (Image: Reuters)
A little boy riding his bicycle in a Tel Aviv street (Image: Motti Kimche)
The tunnel under Tel Aviv’s famous Dizengoff square, usually bustling with traffic, is seen full of pedestrians and bicyclists (Image: Motti Kimche)
A small child riding a toy bicycle in a Tel Aviv street (Image: Motti Kimche)
- Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem. Fawziya Khurd has been living in this tent since November 08, date of her eviction
- Picture: Palestine Monitor – Stefania R.
Obama after Cairo
By Ayman Quader
“It is the time to change” a statement that was spontaneously delivered when I followed Obama’s speech in Cairo University the last June. It was a speech full of encouraging words especially to the Palestinian people towards regaining part of their deprived rights. I strongly argued with my friends that the upcoming future will be partly bright to solve the Palestine-Israel conflict as Obama had raised the slogan Change We Need in his campaign. When it comes closer for the Palestinians, they were cautiously watching TVs during his speech in Cairo. We had amazingly been moved with the gentle and strong speech of Obama in Cairo. The supporters of Obama in his election campaign were massively raising Change We need flash cards sending massages to the whole world that justice and freedom will finally prevail. As for me, I directly uploaded Obama’s word and the audio and started listening to his speech once, twice..
Time has changed people even President Obama. My mind gets confused as to how people would dramatically change. Nothing has been implemented from Obama’s speech. Therefore we determined that it was just a speech with no action. We were considerably manipulated with Obama’s speech in Cairo thinking that the new American administration will be completely different from the previous one and actual actions will noticeably be taken.
In Gaza, everything was targeted, homes, schools and human beings. More than a thousand Gazans were savagely killed and thousands more were seriously wounded. Young children still feel unsafe and are suffering from severe psychological problems. The scenes of death means of Israelis will never leave from our minds.
Mohammed Abbas, the present of Palestine and Palestinian Authority and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu were invested by Obama to a summit with an obscure goal. Obama distanced himself from the injustice and the change he aspires to achieve in the middle east. Palestinians are being violated daily with a world that looks on in silence. Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem has also violated by Israelis and this is really black and dangerous indications for the future of Al-Aqsa.
People of Gaza haave been obfuscated from the promised change of President Obama’s position in the recent meeting in Washington.
All we need is our freedom and justice that must and will prevail one day.
news in English only, but since you understand Spanish, I beg your
attention to this recording I made this morning, 08:27 (Brasilia),
05:27 (Tegucigalpa). It’s the very moment when soldiers invaded and
shut down Radio Globo in Honduras during live broadcasting. That’s the
way the coup leaders are treating the dissident voices in Honduras.
It’s about censorship. It’s about dictatorship.
Experiments with high-tech sound weaponry also reportedly used in Honduras, gases and other “less-lethal” crowd control became the order of the day on Sept. 25 when police surrounded and arrested youth gathered in University of Pittsburgh in the Oakland neighborhood. Arrestees reported that after the order to disperse, all exit routes were blocked and more than 100 people were arrested. Among them was a Pittsburgh-Post Gazette newspaper reporter.near the
On the scene, Dante Strobino from FIST (Fight Imperialism, Stand Together) wrote: “The police began to occupy the park and forcefully removed everyone. As students began to gather around to check it out, the riot police got more hyped up. There were no chants, no signs, no banners, no folks dressed in black and no provocation. The police threw several tear gas and smoke bombs at the crowd again and pushed them further back down commercial streets toward bars and restaurants. They also chased people into the huge dormitory towers and attacked students as they left their residences. Students were hanging out the windows, taking pictures in awe.”
“Forbes St. was blocked off by hundreds of riot cops while surrounding contingents of cops moved in on the other areas of the campus to corral people inside the area. rubber bullets, media being pepper sprayed and gassed. Protesters and students alike are being held in the dorm towers unable to leave in fear of arrest. Other students cannot cross Fifth Ave. to get to their residences without being thrown to the ground.”had been witnessed with folks being thrown to the ground and shot with
“What is most striking about being here is seeing the incredible police repression both Thursday and Oakland, near U of Pitt and , two universities with mostly white, mostly class-privileged students. As Larry Holmes commented during the BOPM Tent City, at any given normal day the police usually target and harass the Black community, but these two days not only are those under normal occupation, but the police are targeting young white folks, too.”in
Sean O’Sullivan, senior at University of Pittsburgh, who was not taking part in the protests earlier in the day, stated “It was the police who started the violence and ended up finishing the violence. It felt like a war zone…the police kept becoming more and more violent, taking over more and more of the street. I couldn’t get to my house even.”
Jillian Dowis, sophomore at Ohio University from Students for a Democratic Society who came to Pittsburgh to protest the G-20’s policies, speaking of her experience on the night of Sept. 25, said “After a reporter got maced in face and we brought him to steps of chapel. The cops swarmed around us and arrested guy that was injured, he could barely breath, trying to get him away from crowd. As kids tried to run away they picked us off one by one. My friend called her dad. Then a cop said to us, ‘Shut the f_ck up and get off the goddamn phone’. My friend was was trying to say bye and the cop grabbed her by head and slammed her head into the ground. They were being way forceful and too aggressive and intentionally put on handcuffs way too tight.”and more than 4,000 additional cops,
Largely segregated communities and separate education systems mean that there are few opportunities for young Arabs and Jews to become familiarized with each other. Even in the handful of “mixed cities,” Arab residents are usually confined to separate neighborhoods.
In addition, civil marriage is banned in Israel, meaning that in the small number of cases where Jews and Arabs want to wed, they can do so only by leaving the country for a ceremony abroad. The marriage is recognized on the couple’s return.
Jonathan Cook A local authority in Israel has announced that it is establishing a special team of youth counsellors and psychologists whose job it will be to identify young Jewish women who are dating Arab men and “rescue” them.
The move by the municipality of Petah Tikva, a city close to Tel Aviv, is the latest in a series of separate — and little discussed — initiatives from official bodies, rabbis, private organizations and groups of Israeli residents to try to prevent interracial dating and marriage.
In a related development, the Israeli media reported this month that residents of Pisgat Zeev, a large Jewish settlement in the midst of Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, had formed a vigilante-style patrol to stop Arab men from mixing with local Jewish girls.
Hostility to intimate relationships developing across Israel’s ethnic divide is shared by many Israeli Jews, who regard such behavior as a threat to the state’s Jewishness. One of the few polls on the subject, in 2007, found that more than half of Israeli Jews believed intermarriage should be equated with “national treason.”
Since the state’s founding in 1948, analysts have noted, a series of legal and administrative measures have been taken by Israel to limit the possibilities of close links developing between Jewish and Arab citizens, the latter comprising a fifth of the population.
Largely segregated communities and separate education systems mean that there are few opportunities for young Arabs and Jews to become familiarized with each other. Even in the handful of “mixed cities,” Arab residents are usually confined to separate neighborhoods.
In addition, civil marriage is banned in Israel, meaning that in the small number of cases where Jews and Arabs want to wed, they can do so only by leaving the country for a ceremony abroad. The marriage is recognized on the couple’s return.
Yuval Yonay, a sociologist at Haifa University, said the number of interracial marriages was “too small to be studied.” “Separation between Jews and Arabs is so ingrained in Israeli society, it is surprising that anyone manages to escape these central controls.”
The team in Petah Tikva, a Jewish city of 200,000 residents, was created in direct response to news that two Jewish girls, aged 17 and 19, were accompanying a group of young Arab men when they allegedly beat a Jewish man, Leonard Karp, to death last month on a Tel Aviv beach. The older girl was from Petah Tikva.
The girls’ involvement with the Arab youths has revived general concern that a once-firm taboo against interracial dating is beginning to erode among some young people.
In sentiments widely shared, Hezi Hakak, a spokesman for Petah Tikva municipality, said “Russian girls” — young Jewish women whose parents arrived in Israel over the past two decades, since the collapse of the former Soviet Union — were particularly vulnerable to the attention of Arab men.
Dr. Yonay said Russian women were less closed to the idea of relationships with Arab men because they “did not undergo the religious and Zionist education” to which more established Israeli Jews were subject.
Hakak said the municipality had created a hotline that parents and friends of the Jewish women could use to inform on them.
“We can’t tell the girls what to do but we can send a psychologist to their home to offer them and their parents advice,” he said.
Motti Zaft, the deputy mayor, told the Ynet website that the municipality was also cracking down on city homeowners who illegally subdivide apartments to rent them cheaply to single Arab men looking for work in the Tel Aviv area. He estimated that several hundred Arab men had moved into the city as a result.
Petah Tikva’s hostility to Arab men mixing with local Jewish women is shared by other communities.
In Pisgat Zeev, a settlement of 40,000 Jews, some 35 Jewish men are reported to belong to a patrol known as “Fire for Judaism” that tries to stop interracial dating.
One member, who identified himself as Moshe to The Jerusalem Post newspaper, said: “Our goal is to be in contact with these girls and try to explain to them the dangers of what they’re getting themselves into. In the last 10 years, 60 girls from Pisgat Zeev have gone into [Palestinian] villages [in the West Bank]. And most of them aren’t heard from after that.”
He denied that violence or threats were used against Arab men.
Last year, the municipality of Kiryat Gat, a town of 50,000 Jews in southern Israel, launched a program in schools to warn Jewish girls of the dangers of dating local Bedouin men. The girls were shown a video titled Sleeping with the Enemy, which describes mixed couples as an “unnatural phenomenon.”
Haim Shalom, head of the municipality’s welfare department, is filmed saying: “The girls, in their innocence, go with the exploitative Arab.” A police representative also warns that the Bedouin men’s “goal is to take advantage of the girls. There is no element of love or an innocent friendly relationship here.”
In 2004, posters sprang up all over the northern town of Safed warning Jewish women that dating Arab men would lead to “beatings, hard drugs, prostitution and crime.”
Safed’s chief rabbi, Shmuel Eliyahu, told a local newspaper that the “seducing” of Jewish girls was “another form of war” by Arab men.
Both Kiryat Gat and Safed’s campaigns were supported by a religious organization called Yad L’achim, which runs an anti-assimilation team publicly dedicated to “saving” Jewish women.
According to its website, the organization receives more than 100 calls a month about Jewish women living with Arab men, both in Israel and the West Bank. It launches “military-like rescues [of the women] from hostile Arab villages” in coordination with the police and army.
“The Jewish soul is a precious, all-too-rare resource, and we are not prepared to give up on even a single one,” says the website.
Yad L’achim’s founder, Rabbi Shlomo Dov Lifschitz, is quoted on the site saying: “People must understand that Jewish-Arab marriages are part of the larger Israeli-Arab conflict. … They [Arab men] see it as their goal to marry them [Jewish women] and ensure that their children aren’t raised as Jews. This is their revenge against the Jewish people. They feel that if they can’t defeat us in war, they can wipe us out this way.”
The degree of general opposition in Israel to interracial marriage was suggested by a government-backed television ad campaign earlier this month that urged Israeli Jews to inform on relatives abroad who were in danger of marrying a non-Jew. The ads were hastily withdrawn by surprised Israeli officials after many US Jews took offense.
In her book Birthing the Nation, Rhoda Kanaaneh, a Middle East scholar at New York University, points out that “politicians frequently attack ‘peace’ or ‘dialogue’ programs for promoting miscegenation” in fear that it will lead to Jewish assimilation.
She also notes that Israel’s adoption and surrogacy laws require that adoptive parents be of the same ethnic group as the biological mother.
Manuel Zelaya: Israelis sent to kill me
Manuel Zelaya takes refuge in Brazilian Embassy in Honduras since coming back to the country. He claims Israeli mercenaries hired by the de facto government tormenting him, planning on murdering him
Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, who returned to his country this week after three months in exile, is accusing his government of hiring Israeli mercenaries to torture him with high-frequency radiation in his safe haven in the Brazilian Embassy.
In a conversation with the Miami Herald, Zelaya said that he has begun to suffer from throat pains resulting from poisonous gases being leaked into the embassy in Tegucigalpa. He also said that he fears mercenaries will enter the building and murder him. “They are threatening to kill us,” he said.
Witnesses said that soldiers were noticed installing some kind of satellite in front of the embassy on Friday that emitted loud noises.
Israeli sources in Miami whom the newspaper contacted said that they cannot confirm the presence of Israeli mercenaries in Honduras.
Zelaya, who was deposed in a military coup in June, also said, “I prefer to walk on my own two feet than to live on my knees under a dictatorship.” He turned to the American administration with a request to take action in his favor. “I said to President Obama, to Secretary of State Clinton, to the US ambassador, and to anyone willing to listen: they know what to do, but have been very cautious until now.”
The de facto Honduran government announced Wednesday that it will initiate talks with Zelaya if he recognizes the election results that were held in the country in November.
“I am ready to meet with anyone, anywhere, including former President Manuel Zelaya,” said the interim President Roberto Micheletti. This statement represents a significant change in the president’s position, as he previously declared he did not intend to be drawn into conflict with Brazil and that Zelaya “can stay in the embassy five to 10 years if he wants.”
If you can read Spanish….. the folowing is also an interesting connection….
Rodas: lanzaron gases tóxicos israelíes, e identifica empresas
Nueva York. EFE.
La canciller del Gobierno de Manuel Zelaya, Patricia Rodas, reiteró este viernes
“Fuentes de la inteligencia militar leales” a Zelaya “nos han filtrado que los químicos y armas de asedio han sido proporcionadas por las empresas Alfacom e Intercom”, dijo este viernes Rodas durante una conferencia de prensa en Nueva York.
La ministra de Relaciones Exteriores hondureña asiste a los debates de la 64 Asamblea General de la ONU, ante la que su país aún no ha intervenido y está aún a la espera de hacerlo la próxima semana.
Esas dos empresas se ubican en Tegucigalpa, y serían propiedad del ciudadano israelí Yehuda Leitner, que “sirvió de intermediario con Israel. Ingresaron (en el país) en un vuelo privado en los últimos días”, explicó Rodas.
En Tegucigalpa, Zelaya denunció el lanzamiento de “gases tóxicos” contra la legación diplomática, donde se encuentra junto a familiares y un grupo de seguidores desde el lunes, mientras el Gobierno de facto aseguró que es “totalmente falso”.
La ministra del depuesto Gobierno hondureño indicó que el especialista en salud pública, Mauricio Castellanos “tomó resultados de ambiente desde las afueras de la embajada de Brasil en Honduras, aproximadamente a unos 300 metros del edificio debido a que los militares tiene bloqueado el acceso a la embajada”.
Según Rodas, el especialista utilizó un equipo aprobado por la Administración de Drogas y Alimentos (FDA, por su sigla en inglés) estadounidense y dijo que “los resultados muestran una concentración arriba de lo normal de amoniaco, que se usa como gas pimienta”.
Indicó que, de acuerdo con esos análisis, había una alta concentración de ácido cianhídrico, del que señaló produce “una reacción rápida al inhalarlo, y al contacto con el hierro de la sangre produce vértigo, náuseas, vómitos, cefaleas y dificultades respiratorias”.
También denunció que los ocupantes de la embajada “están siendo objeto de lanzamiento de armas químicas desde helicópteros y aviones o bien utilizadas por las tropas, aparatos sofisticados de radiaciones sónicas y electromagnéticas” que les han causado diversos trastornos.
Rodas urgió a que haya “una misión médica internacional de la ONU”, y expresó que su país se encuentra ante “una guerra irregular”.
Asimismo, denunció que las fuerzas armadas del Gobierno de facto no dejan entrar a la legación diplomática brasileña a médicos ni a personal de la Cruz Roja Internacional”.
La canciller señaló también que desde la embajada brasileña algunos de sus ocupantes le habían señalado que habían visto salir “de una casa camiones cargados de tierra. Parece que están excavando un túnel. Que sea eso y no que estén enterrando bombas como ya han hecho en el pasado”.
HONOLULU – The Army is allowing the first commissioned officer to be court-martialed for refusing to go to Iraq to resign from the service, his attorney said late Friday.
First Lt. Ehren Watada will be granted a discharge Oct. 2, “under other than honorable conditions,” attorney Kenneth Kagan said.
Watada told The Honolulu Star-Bulletin he was happy the matter has finally been closed.
Read the entire report HERE
Spain expels Israeli scientists from solar energy competition
Scientists kicked out of contest because they are based in the West Bank, Spain’s government says
Giles Tremlett in Madrid
Spain has expelled a group of Israeli scientists from a state-funded solar energy competition because they are based in occupied areas of the West Bank, it said today.
The decision to expel the team from the Ariel University Centre of Samaria from Solar Decathlon Europe, an international competition involving 20 universities, has provoked angry reactions in Israel. The team was one of 20 finalists in a competition to design solar-powered housing that is part-sponsored by the US energy department.
Spain is hosting the first European version of the event next year and claims ultimate say over who takes part.
“All the ministry has done is apply the policy of the European Union,” a housing ministry spokesman said. “The EU does not recognise the occupation of the West Bank, which is where this university is.”
The university said it “rejects with disgust the one-sided announcement”. It claimed the decision “contravenes international law and international charters on academic freedom” and harms 10,000 students at the university, including 500 Arabs.
It was only after the Israeli project joined the finalists, which include the University of Nottingham, that officials at Spain’s housing ministry became aware that the university was in the West Bank. The Israelis and the US energy department were advised of the decision a week ago.
The Israeli team had described their “Stretch house” project as being inspired by the “Tent of Abraham”. “It is adaptable according to its owner’s wishes and is able to expand and create hospitable spaces,” they said. “In its closed state, when additional space is not required, it uses only half the energy necessary to operate a regular house.”
Pro-Palestinian groups claimed allowing the Israeli team to take part was a breach of international law. They said the university was in the second biggest zone in Israel’s expanding West Bank presence.
“I wonder how the Solar Decathlon can accept a project submitted by an institution that has stolen our land and will build its project on our stolen land,” said Fayeq Kishawi, coordinator of a Palestinian campaign group against the settlements, in a letter to the Spanish housing minister, Beatriz Corredor.
Jewish groups have recently claimed anti-semitism is on the rise in Spain.
A decision by El Mundo newspaper to publish an interview with the British historian and holocaust denier David Irving angered the Israeli ambassador, Raphael Schutz, who claimed it showed a lack of moral and ethical judgement.
He said he been subjected to racial abuse in Madrid, where three men shouted “dirty Jew,” “Jew bastard” and “Jewish dog” at him.
A report this week by the New York-based Anti-Defamation League complained of what it claimed was a rise in anti-Semitism across Spain and, especially, in its mainstream media. “We are deeply concerned about the mainstreaming of anti-semitism in Spain, with more public expressions and greater public acceptance of classic stereotypes,” said the league’s director, Abraham H Foxman.
“Among the major European countries, only in Spain have we seen viciously anti-Semitic cartoons in the mainstream media, and street protests where Israel is accused of genocide and Jews are vilified and compared to Nazis.”
Khalid Amayreh Interview: “the mental landscape of every Palestinian man, woman and child is overwhelmed with the Israeli nightmare”
By Mary Rizzo
Those who seek information about Palestine often tend to be attracted to particular writers and journalists for the special insights and gifts that seem to be uniquely their own. “The Middle East Crisis” is an issue having a profound, complex and multi-faceted dimension of interpretation, that for however long there has been a crisis (and worse), and despite the great abundance of written material available, more than we can ever realistically confront, the reader is driven to seek the voices that can analyse any aspect of the situation clearly. There really are far fewer with this talent than one would expect. The characteristic of this type of writer is that there is a distinctive voice or style, and more than that, there is a strong sense that the coherent and authentic ethics of this person are part of the message. It is not just reporting facts and intelligent analysis, but creating within us a consciousness of the moral situation that underlies the events. Khalid Amayreh is one such “source”. He is a very prolific author, and he is often able to correctly analyse the event of the day and place it into its overall context. This makes his work almost a diary of Palestinian events. However, as useful as it would be if he limited himself to reporting, Khalid Amayreh is far more important as a writer. He is concerned with the human condition and knows that the reader should not be left only with a cold reportage, because that would be telling only half of the story, and the less important half at that. His voice is the one speaking to the human heart, to the reader who sees the oppression that Palestinians are living under, and is mystified at they are no nearer to the end of their suffering. Khalid does not talk about “indiscriminate masses”, his work is almost a passion play, where there are names, identities, human stories behind all of the events narrated. In this interview for Palestine Think Tank, he touches on many issues in his intimitable way.
Mary Rizzo: Could you briefly tell us about the work you do?
Khalid Amayreh: I am a journalist who since time immemorial has found himself, first as a human being, and second as a journalist, right in the middle of the fray of the enduring Palestinian plight. For example, I remember I knew all the details of Israeli commando operations and massacres when I was merely 7 years old.
When I went to the US in 1976, I wanted to study Computer Science, then Business Administration. However, as I saw Zionist circles on campus at the University of Oklahoma try somewhat successfully to change the black into white and the big lie into a virtual truth, I decided to study journalism.
Which I did. Now, I am fully-engaged in my work, writing nearly daily columns for a host of media outlets on three continents. Eventually, the internet became my ultimate domain because what I do say, and I always have much to say, is not particularly liked by the politically-correct media. Hence, I can say that in a certain sense, the internet has substantially freed us from the traditional media colonialism.
I am quite satisfied with what I have been doing. My articles are published and posted around the world in several languages, including Arabic, English, French, Spanish and other European languages. Many of my articles are posted on my website. It is www.xpis.ps.
MR: You have in the past several years faced some difficult situations. Two of these that we are aware of are your denial of a visa to leave the West Bank for conferences in Europe and the other was your arrest and brief detention. Both of these were the doing of the Palestinian Authority. Why do you believe they have put these restrictions on you?
KA: Yes, my success as a journalist, especially my ability to communicate the Palestinian narrative to Western audiences drew negative reactions from the Israeli security authorities. You know the Shin Beth, Israel’s chief domestic security agency, controls nearly every aspect of our life despite the existence of the Palestinian Authority. Hence, the Shin Beth constantly sought to persecute and harass me in the hope that I would tone down my outspoken criticism of the Israeli occupation and its often barbaric treatment of our people. In this context, they refused to grant me a press card, they refused to allow me access to Jerusalem. And finally, they imposed a harsh travel ban on me. In fact, I am still barred from leaving the West Bank. This is the behaviour of a country that claims to be a democracy.
As to the PA, it is very much slave of Israel. This is why I am also constantly harassed by the PA security apparatus. The PA doesn’t like my writings, and seeing that neither carrot nor stick would stop me, they often incarcerate me for a short period until a media outcry ensued in which case they would release me, hoping that next time I would exercise self-restraint, or more correctly self-censorship.
MR: You live in one of the areas where settlers have made any kind of co-existence in the same territory as the indigenous population impossible. In your view is the Hebron experience a typical one that would be reproduced whenever there would be closer contact between Jews and Palestinians, or is it in some way different?
KA: The settlers are mostly genocidal fanatics who would go to any extent, including cold-blooded murder, to reach their goals. And their goals can be summarized in one phrase, and that is the annihilation of the Palestinian people.
I’ve met numerous settlers, and from my conversations with them, I can say that most of these people represent the Nazis of our time. What else can one say of a people who tell you that you either agree to be enslaved by them or you will be deported and expelled from your own country? And if you said ‘NO’, then you would have to be physically exterminated. These people are really depraved and sick. They would quote strange quotations from a host of religious books to justify their genocidal ideology. The brutal ugliness of their mentality has no limits.
What is more dangerous is that they don’t stop at the theoretical and ideological levels. They often translate their venomous and virulent views into cold-blooded murder of innocent Palestinians. And in most cases, the pro-settler Israeli justice system turns a blind eye to their murderous behaviour and lets them get away with impunity.
MR: You often refer to the actions of today’s Israelis as being similar to those of the Nazis, and you present in detail many of these crimes and abuses against especially unarmed civilians that indeed are strikingly similar. Do you believe there is a danger or risk in the use of this analogy?
KA: Well, this is a very good question. First of all, we have to remember that the holocaust didn’t start with Auschwitz or Bergen Belsen and other concentration camps. It started much earlier with comparatively innocuous things like the enactment of anti-Jewish laws in the early 1930s. Earlier, there was Hitler’s infamous book, Mein Kampf. Eventually there was the Kristalnacht, and we know the rest of the story.
Today, any serious observer scrutinizing the collective psychology and behaviour of the Israeli Jewish society would most certainly find many serious similarities between the Jewish state and the Third Reich. In Germany, they had the master race mantra, here in Israel they have the chosen people mantra.
In Germany they had the expansionistic concept known as Lebensraum; and here in Israel they have the settlement scheme. In Germany, they had the racist classification of people into Übermenschen and Untermenschen, while here in Israel almost everything is defined through the prism of being either Jewish or Goy. The list goes on and on. Do you know that there are rabbis in Israel who openly teach that non-Jews are animals and whom the Almighty created in a human shape only in deference to Jews. I am not speaking about marginal or obscure figures. I am speaking about rabbis with thousands of followers who are backed by powerful political parties represented in the government and the Knesset.
Ask any average settler how he or she views Palestinians or non-Jews in general, and they will tell you that they are animals and that their lives have absolutely no sanctity.
In short, the Zionist-Nazi analogy is more than legitimate. It is an objective reality.
MR: Is it possible that there is the danger of a new Palestinian genocide comparable to that of ’48 with the discussions of “population transfer” of the Palestinians who live in Israel that are heard by several political movements that are in power in Israel, or is this population somehow protected and facing more danger are those in the Occupied Palestinian Territories?
KA: The answer is definitely yes. I am saying so because Palestinians have always relied for their very survival on the good will of the international community and world public opinion. Hence, should the world community go into a brief slumber, I have no doubt that Israel would seize the opportunity and embark on the unthinkable.
More to the point, we must view the criminal Israeli onslaught on the people of Gaza nine months ago as a precedent that could be repeated again and again.
Finally, it is crystal clear that the Israeli Jewish society is drifting menacingly toward fascism. For example, today the very survival of the Benyamin Netanyahu’s government depends to a very large extent on the support of three manifestly racist political parties representing the extreme religious right. These are “Habayt ha’Yahudi,” “Echud Leumi,” and Shas, a formerly moderate Charidi party which has been moving steadily toward religious jingoism.
I am speaking about religious parties that see nothing wrong with the mass murder of innocent people. They always can quote from ancient books to justify their morbid ideology. Also, imagine how the world will look like when these racist groups reach power in Israel and seize control of Israel’s huge nuclear arsenal.
And this is not a matter of “if” but rather a matter of “when” it will happen, because it is only a matter of time before the fanatics of Gush Emunim and other Judeo-Nazi elements reach power in Israel.
MR: Palestinians in Israel comprise twenty percent of the official population. Why is it that, after Azmi Bishara, whose fate is now in exile, and a very few others, this large sector of population is under-represented in their parliament? Would it not be helpful to have more representation?
KA: The Arab community in Israel is under-represented because of a host of factors. But the main factor is that the Israeli system is designed to keep the Arab community marginalized. Today, Israeli leaders from “right” and “left” are increasingly brazenly advocating ultimate ethnic cleansing of Israel’s Arab citizen. Tzipi Livni, the leader of Kadima, said on numerous occasions that Israeli Arabs would have to seek national fulfilment in the future Palestinian state. Her remarks are nothing short of a euphemism for expulsion and ethnic cleansing.
If this is the view of a respected “liberal,” and “centrist” politician, imagine the kind of attitudes the right with its religious and secular camps would have toward Israel’s Arab citizens.
MR: You have documented many of the acts against the Palestinian people. If you could put things in an order of those that should be resolved before the others, out of this selection, what would your suggestion be and why: the ending of the siege of Gaza, the dismantlement of the checkpoints, the dismantlement of the Wall, international recognition of Hamas as the legitimately elected representatives of the Palestinians and in the 2006 Legislative elections, release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, release of Palestinian prisoners from Palestinian jails, a freeze on settler expansion in the West Bank and Jerusalem?
KA: I think all aspects of the Palestinian plight are inextricably entwined. For example, the internal Palestinian problems stem mainly from the Israeli occupation. It was Israel after all which took draconian measures against our people following the 2006 elections when Hamas won the polls. This eventually led to the contention between Fatah and Hamas which culminated in the ousting by Hamas of Fatah militias from Gaza following a failed coup attempt against the elected government by Fatah forces backed and armed by the United States.
But, it is true, we just can’t solve and resolve all the problems facing our people in one fell swoop. The situation in Gaza remains very harsh and the survival of our people there is imputed first and foremost to their tenacity, resilience and steadfastness, not Israeli magnanimity.
The Palestinian prisoner issue is also a nagging nightmare that is constantly haunting our people. We are talking about nearly 10,000 prisoners many of whom are held without charge or trial because of their non-violent opposition to the Israeli occupation. Their continued detention is undoubtedly a repulsive reflection of the brutal ugliness of the Zionist mentality.
MR: Do you believe that the Palestinians should aim at establishing a new popular uprising, or should they wait and see if the Palestinian Authority can find a unity government or bring an end to Israeli occupation by themselves.
KA: Normally, uprisings, especially in the Palestinian context, are not planned. They just happen when the powder keg reaches the boiling point. But I tend to accept the hypothesis that another Intifada is only a matter of time, given the unmitigated occupation and repression as well as the scandalous failure of the peace process.
As to forming a new unity government, it is really difficult to accord this subject a lot of importance. After all, what is the point of forming a government that has no sovereignty and is subject to the draconian restrictions of the Israeli occupation?
MR: Do you hold out hope that the Obama Administration can bring about at least a bit of improvement for Palestinians, or is it equally subject to the Israel Lobby?
KA: No, not any longer. Until recently, I thought, probably naively, that Obama might prove himself to be a man of his word. However, his utter failure to stand up to the arrogant Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu has exposed the American president as just another functionary of the establishment.
Moreover, what many in the West doesn’t realize is that for Israel to give up the spoils of the 1967 war, the Jewish state would have to be forced, even physically, to do so.
However, in light of Obama’s obsequious discourse vis-à-vis Netanyahu, especially with regard to the settlement issue, it is increasingly obvious that the US leader is not mentally or politically capable of doing what it takes to force Israel to end the 42-year-old occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
The task of forcing Israel to end the hateful occupation would require a radical transformation, even a revolution, in American political thinking. And I just don’t see this happening in the foreseeable future.
MR: Why, in your view, have the Palestinian Islamist parties, especially Hamas, not had the strong support of the Ikhwan in other Arab nations, especially following the rejectionist stance of the so-called International Community following the democratic elections? Is it because the project of Hamas has a stronger nationalist nature to it, or might there be other reasons that you have reflected upon?
KA: I think they do as evidenced in the huge demonstrations organized by Islamic organizations throughout the Muslim world during the Israeli blitz against the Gaza Strip. However, we have to keep in mind that most Islamic parties and organizations are based in despotic and authoritarian states. Hence, the often tight restrictions imposed on Islamist activism do have a detrimental impact on the extent to which Islamists can render tangible material support to Hamas.
But the Islamists are giving extremely viable financial support to Palestinian Islamists without which Hamas would have had a much harder time facing international sanctions.
We also have to remember that Hamas is mainly an asset, not a liability, for Islamic activism around the world, which means that support for Hamas by Islamic groups in the Arab-Muslim world is not exactly altruistic in nature but is also motivated by a certain degree of expediency.
MR: The division of the Palestinian people along many lines, while an internal problem, does prevent more firm opposition to the military occupation of Palestine. Do you think there is a way to overcome the divisions, or are they destined to increase with the introduction of measures such as Dayton’s “Security” forces in the West Bank, for example?
KA: Well, in the final analysis, Palestinian divisions are a symptom of the Israeli occupation. They are not a home-grown malady but rather a foreign-induced phenomenon sustained through political and economic manipulation of certain objective Palestinian needs. After all, we are very much a prisoner population who have been relentlessly used by the Israelis as a field of experiment for over 40 years.
I believe that the ultimate raison d’être of the “Dayton forces” is to crush public opposition to any prospective “peace” deal that would be imposed on the Palestinian people. Needless to say, such a deal would be tantamount to a real liquidation of the Palestinian cause. However, I really doubt whether these forces would succeed in their mission in the long run.
The Palestinian cause is simply so deeply rooted in the collective conscience and psyche of our people, so much that it is inconceivable that these kids would succeed in morphing our people into submission. That would be anti-historical antithetical to the nature of things in Palestine.
MR: Recently, the first group of Palestinian refugees from the Al-Tanaf, Al-Waleed and Al-Hol refugee camps in Iraq have been “settled” in the USA. What do you think of this kind of programme?
KA: Naturally, we are very suspicious about any resettlement of Palestinian refugees anywhere in the world. But I am certain about one thing, namely that the refugee plight and the right of return will continue to define the Palestinian question.
I am saying so because the refugee problem is the Palestinian problem.
MR: What kind of personal experiences does the average Palestinian living in the West Bank have with the Israelis?
KA: Well, it is safe to say that the mental landscape of every Palestinian man, woman and child is overwhelmed with the Israeli nightmare. Ours is a landscape shaped by home demolitions, land seizure, evil roadblocks and checkpoints manned by trigger-happy soldiers, humiliating inhuman treatment, cruelty, terror and unrelenting criminality. Ours is a real holocaust minus the gas chambers. We are after all the longest suffering people on earth, and we continue to suffer on a daily basis.
Today in every junior high school in America, students read Anne Frank, while in every high school Elie Wiesel’s ‘Night’ is requisite reading. This is the man who says rather brazenly that he readily identifies with Israeli crimes and that he couldn’t bring himself to say bad things about Israel.
The victims of the first Kristalnacht enjoy the world’s approbation and sympathy, while at the same time having succeeded in demonizing an entire people for whom Kristalnacht still remains a night without end.
MR: It seems that access to information about the reality of Palestine, especially of the hardships brought on by the war, the checkpoints and the blockade of Gaza, should enlighten the public that there is a humanitarian emergency. What, in your view, is preventing the international community and the Arab nations from expressing moral outrage and demanding their leaders to hold Israel accountable for these situations?
KA: I think the Arab masses would want to help the Palestinians, and they are actually helping. However, for most Arabs helping the Palestinians, especially Hamas, involves a certain risk as most regimes view identification with Hamas as connoting opposition to the regimes itself. This is true in American-allied states such as Egypt and Jordan.
As to people around the world, I think the overall outlook is positive. I think a growing number of people are now willing to take to the streets to voice their solidarity with our people. But what we need to do is to keep up the good work and try as hard as possible to isolate the evil entity.
MR: Do you believe that there is a great deal of fear in the Palestinian people which prevents them from voicing denouncements of the corruptions of the PA and the PLO before it? Or could some of this be because the allocation of funds is filtered through these organs and people need to make a living?
KA: Of course there is. The Palestinian Authority is effectively a police state without a state, and the corrupt people and their supporters, friends and cronies occupy powerful positions in the PA hierarchy. Take for example the millions of dollars arrogated by Yasser Arafat’s widow, Suha. It is widely believed that the former “First Lady”! received millions of dollars from the PLO as part of a financial settlement which very few Palestinians know about. As to the justice system, it is very much subservient to the political level and the security apparatus. This is how the donor countries, e.g. the US, are shaping Palestinian “democracy.”
MR: What can the exiled or Diaspora Palestinian community do for their brothers and sisters in Palestine?
KA: Palestinians in the Diaspora have a grave responsibility to carry out. They should constantly communicate our plight to the world, they should always be eloquent spokespersons for their people and their cause. But in order to be successful and effective they have to organize themselves and try to enlist local support for Palestinian grievances in their respective places of residence. My ultimate advice to Palestinian expatriates is: make as many friends as possible for our just cause. And don’t allow yourselves to be diverted from the central goal, and that is to create and effect pressure on the Zionist regime.
And don’t get yourselves involved in any activities that might be misconstrued as “anti-Semitic.” Judaism is not our enemy.
MR: What can “internationals” do to help?
KA: “Internationals” and other solidarity activists have a hugely important job to do. They are witnesses to what Satanic Zionism has been doing to the Palestinians. Israel would want to gang up on us while the eyes of the world are shut. It is very much like the way a murderer or a thief behaves. They don’t want to be seen committing their crimes.
In fact, I can safely claim that had it not been for these courageous men and women, the level of Israeli terror against the Palestinians could have been much worse.
Therefore, I would like to salute each and every one of these heroes who have been sacrificing their time, energy and careers in protecting an unprotected people. You are the good Samaritans of our time. So come here, bring your friends, and don’t forget your cameras. May God bless you all.
MR: You are often considered to be especially sensitive to and close to the positions of the Islamist parties, and very often, there are more than a few false representations of them, including for example that Hamas had help from Israel in its foundation, with some even saying Mossad was involved, that they won the elections only because they represented a “protest” vote, and more crucially, that their operations are not resistance, but are rather terrorist acts. Evidence points away from all of these positions, yet they are part of an interpretation trend as much in “the left” as for “moderates” and “neo-cons”. Why do you think that despite evidence, for instance, Hamas always maintained their unilateral truces, while Israel engaged in targeted assassinations of high-ranking leaders of Hamas, people across the board are so quick to accept these false representations as legitimate?
KA: I am not affiliated with any political group. This is because I had long realized that affiliation with an ideological or political party would interfere with and be detrimental to my work as a journalist. Besides, the little philosopher inside me always tells me to be constantly free-minded.
I remember that poet who described fanatical adherence to a political party. He said: I always voted at my party’s call, and never thought for myself at all.
Having said that, I also realize that it is imperative that people must support just causes and speak up the truth even in the presence of power. This is why it is paramount for my mental and psychological health that I must stand against such vices as oppression, arrogance, immorality, mendacity, selfishness, hypocrisy, rapacity and racism. I know it is not easy to swim against the current. However, it is also true that silence or indifference or inaction in the face of evil is morally disastrous in the long run. We mortals live a few decades in this life. It is essential therefore that we lead a dignified life shaped by our concerns for freedom and justice and sublime human spirit.
As to Hamas being helped by Israel, I think this is a form of disinformation by the anti-Islamist camp aimed first and foremost at besmirching Hamas.
The way Hamas has been behaving and acting since its foundation more than 20 years ago should be a clarion refutation of all these lies and insinuations.
This is not to say though that Israel has not tried and is not trying to pit Palestinians against each other. But this is not the same as saying that Hamas was created by Israel or that its growth was facilitated by the Israelis.
After all, Islamic fundamentalist groups are a global phenomenon and by no means confined to occupied Palestine.
MR: What do you think the final status might be in terms of statehood and what do you foresee as a timetable for this?
KA: It is very difficult to figure out how and when this conflict will end. What is clear though is that it won’t come to an end in the foreseeable future. I am convinced that the increasingly-religious conflict will continue for several more decades. However, in order for the conflict to reach an exhaustive conclusion, Zionism would have to disappear.
A final point, I strongly believe that time is not working in Israel’s favour as Israel is going to find it increasingly difficult to live normally in a hostile environment. Fifty years from now, Israel will be surrounded by more than 700 million Arabs and Muslims. And Jews themselves would be a small and dwindling minority in mandatory Palestine.
And like Albert Camus said “in world where everything can be denied, there are forces undeniable, and on earth where nothing is sure, we have our certainty.” And I think the dismantlement of Zionism is a historical certainty.