Dozens to be deported from TLV airport, 5 Israeli activists arrested

Posted by Joseph Dana

Some 50 ‘Welcome to Palestine’ activists reportedly barred from entering Israel while hundreds others banned from boarding flights; bystanders jeer, assault Israeli activists as police look on.

Israeli activist Matan Cohen being detained by police at Ben Gurion airport (photo: Oren Ziv /

Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv – On one of the busiest travel days of the week, Ben Gurion International Airport just outside of Tel Aviv was in a state of near chaos this afternoon. Hordes of tourists mixed with hundreds of police officers and journalists in the grand arrival terminal as Israel prepared for the landing of hundreds of pro-Palestinian tourists attempting to travel to the West Bank. Last night, two pro-Palestinian American activists, who were also passengers on the US boat to Gaza, were detained by immigration authorities as they attempted to enter Israel.  They were the first of reportedly 50 activists who have been banned from entering the state of Israel in the last 24 hours. Hundreds of other tourists were not allowed to board their flights to Tel Aviv after Israeli security authorities sent their names to all airlines flying to Israel.

Over the past week, Israeli media has been frantically reporting that hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists planned to arrive at Ben Gurion airport with clear intentions to visit the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Part of a Europe-based campaign, “Welcome to Palestine,” their political protest has been labelled the “air flotilla” or “flytilla” by the international press, despite organizers rejecting connections to the flotilla, which was recently stopped by the Greek coast guard from sailing to the Gaza Strip. The Israeli media, at the time of writing, is referring to the event as a “Gaza fly-in” despite no proof or comment that passengers intend to travel to Gaza. In fact, the organizers have been clear in their desire to travel freely and openly to the West Bank and not Gaza.

Welcome to Palestine was meant to demonstrate the effective control of Israel over the Palestinian Territories. Visitors to the West Bank usually hide their destination for fear of being deported from Israel, but participants of Welcome to Palestine decided to openly declare their wish to visit Palestinian towns and villages.

Israeli Policemen at Ben Gurion Aiport, June 8 2011 (photo: Oren Ziv /

This morning, hundreds of plain clothes and uniformed police scoured the Ben Gurion arrival hall in order to “establish calm” ahead of the arrival of the activists. By 13:00, Israeli and foreign journalists had taken over the arrival terminal as the first flights landed. At approximately 13:30, several Israeli activists belonging to the leftist group Anarchists against the Wall held up small signs reading “Welcome to Palestine.” Some protesters held up Palestinian flags before undercover and regular cops pounced on them and dragged them outside the terminal.

Several dozen people, who had been waiting in the terminal to pick up loved ones, began chanting, “Pieces of shit” and “Go to Syria” as the protesters were taken to waiting police vans. Some of the onlookers spit, kicked and punched the protesters while they were in police custody. Police officers did nothing to prevent these attacks.

At one point, Jerusalem Post columnist Larry Derfner was detained as he pleaded with the angry mob of onlookers to stop attacking the detained activists.

“You can’t enter the West Bank without military permission even as a tourist,” Prime Minister’s Office Arabic spokesman Ofir Gendelman remarked after the Israeli activists were arrested. His statement confirms Israel’s absolute military control over the West Bank.  “These pro-Palestinian activists do not recognize the State of Israel and this is a clear provocation against us,” he continued in the buzzing terminal. When asked if passengers will be deported for stating intentions to travel to the West Bank as tourists, his response was dismissive: “We know that some of these passengers have connections with Hamas and this is unacceptable.”

Earlier this week, a media release by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office labeled the Welcome to Palestine campaign as “part of an ongoing attempt to undermine Israel’s right to exist.”

After the detained activists were driven away from the airport, police officers began inspecting the press credentials of all the journalists present. Two journalists, carrying valid Israeli government issued press cards, were asked to leave the airport and were escorted to the exit by armed soldiers. The journalists, both well-known leftists, believe that they were asked to leave the airport because of their political affiliations with prominent left-wing groups in Israel. No other journalists were barred from covering the event.

Israeli journalist Hagai Mattar expelled from Ben Gurion airport by police, June 8 2011 (photo: Oren Ziv / activestills)

Israeli media is reporting that roughly 30-50 passengers have been detained and will be deported from Israel in the coming hours. Some passengers have made it through the passport controls and are currently on their way to Bethlehem where there will be a large celebration marking their arrival this evening.  Israeli lawyers are at the airport working with the detained passengers. Flights carrying activists are planned for the rest of the afternoon.


Posted at Uruknet
Also see the following report by Noam Sheizaf


Justice Ministry document reveals that between 1967 and 1994 many Palestinians traveling abroad were stripped of residency status, allegedly without warning.

Israel admits it covertly canceled residency status of 140,000 Palestinians

Document obtained by Haaretz reveals that between 1967 and 1994 many Palestinians traveling abroad were stripped of residency status, allegedly without warning.

By Akiva Eldar

Israel has used a covert procedure to cancel the residency status of 140,000 West Bank Palestinians between 1967 and 1994, the legal advisor for the Judea and Samaria Justice Ministry’s office admits, in a new document obtained by Haaretz. The document was written after the Center for the Defense of the Individual filed a request under the Freedom of Information Law.

The document states that the procedure was used on Palestinian residents of the West Bank who traveled abroad between 1967 and 1994. From the occupation of the West Bank until the signing of the Oslo Accords, Palestinians who wished to travel abroad via Jordan were ordered to leave their ID cards at the Allenby Bridge border crossing.

They exchanged their ID cards for a card allowing them to cross. The card was valid for three years and could be renewed three times, each time adding another year.

If a Palestinian did not return within six months of the card’s expiration, thier documents would be sent to the regional census supervisor. Residents who failed to return on time were registered as NLRs – no longer residents. The document makes no mention of any warning or information that the Palestinians received about the process.

Palestinians could still return in the first six months after their cards expired, or appeal to an exemptions committee.

The Center for the Defense of the Individual said yesterday it knew that a clear procedure was in place, but the details and the number of Palestinians denied their right to return remained classified. A former head of the Civil Administration in the 1990s was surprised to hear of the procedure when contacted by Haaretz.

Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. (res. ) Danny Rothschild, who served as coordinator of government activities in the territories from 1991 to 1995, said he was completely unaware of the procedure, even though it was in use during his term. “If even I wasn’t told of the procedure, one may infer that neither were residents of the occupied territories,” he said.

The Central Bureau of Statistics says the West Bank’s Palestinian population amounted to 1.05 million in 1994, which means the population would have been greater by about 14 percent if it weren’t for the procedure.

By contrast, Palestinians who immigrated from the West Bank after the Palestinian Authority was set up retained residency rights even if they did not return for years.

Today, a similar procedure is still in place for residents of East Jerusalem who hold Israeli ID cards; they lose their right to return if they have been abroad for seven years.

Palestinians who found themselves “no longer residents” include students who graduated from foreign universities, businessmen and laborers who left for work in the Gulf. Over the years, many of them have started families, so the number of these Palestinians and their descendants is probably in the hundreds of thousands, even if some have died.

Also, several thousands Palestinians with close links to the Palestinian Authority were allowed to return over the years, as did a number of Palestinians whose cases were upheld by the joint committee for restoration of Palestinian ID cards. As of today, 130,000 Palestinians are listed as “no longer residents.”

Among them is the brother of the Palestinians’ former chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat. Erekat’s brother left for studies in the United States and was not allowed to come back; he still lives in California.

Erekat told Haaretz he had learned from his brother’s experience, and when he himself left for studies abroad, he made sure to visit home from time to time so as not to lose his right to return.

The regulation’s existence was discovered by the Center for the Defense of the Individual by pure chance, while it was looking into the case of a West Bank resident imprisoned in Israel.

The Civil Administration told the prisoner’s family his ID card was “inactive.” After a request for a clarification, Israel’s legal adviser for Judea and Samaria said this was a misapplication of a certain policy by the census supervisor in the occupied territories.

The adviser added that three residents were mistakenly defined as no longer residents while in prison or in detention, and that their residency had now been restored. He wrote that their status had been changed not because of a policy but because of a technical error, without any connection to their imprisonment.

The Center for the Defense of the Individual said that “mass withdrawal of residency rights from tens of thousands of West Bank residents, tantamount to permanent exile from their homeland, remains an illegitimate demographic policy and a grave violation of international law.”

It noted that an unknown number of Gaza residents had lost residency rights in a similar manner, but that the exact number was still a secret the center vowed to uncover. “The State of Israel should fix the ongoing wrong at once, restore residency rights to all affected Palestinians and allow them and their families to return to their homeland,” the center said.



“Munther Fahmy’s deportation is not only an infringement of the human right to settlement, but to freedom of speech. Israel presents itself in the international media as a democratic nation, using its cultural and intellectual cachet to drive tourism to the country. This deportation tarnishes and undermines that image.”

A Fixture of Jerusalem Literary Life, Threatened with Deportation

Posted by Mary Hawthorne


The other day, I received an unusual petition, addressed to the interior minister of Israel (Eli Yishai, who is also the head of Israel’s ultra-Orthodox Shas Party), in behalf of a man named Munther Fahmi, who is threatened with deportation. The thing that made it unusual was that (a) the deportee in question was not a political prisoner or militant or agitator but instead the founder and manager of a civilized Jerusalem bookstore, and (b) there was no stated reason for the deportation.

Fahmi runs the Bookshop at the American Colony Hotel, in Jerusalem; he is a fixture of Jerusalem literary life, and the Bookshop is considered one of the region’s best. It naturally caters to an élite foreign intelligentsia —in its hundred-and-twenty-year-old history, the hotel been host to numerous celebrity guests, from Winston Churchill and Laurence of Arabia to Graham Greene and Joan Baez—as an article on Fahmi’s plight, which appeared the other day in Haaretz, suggests. But the shop is also beloved by the local population. Fahmi is a friend and partner of the recently formed Palestine Festival of Literature, which brings local, regional, and international writers and artists to Palestinian audiences, and whose participants have included Suad Amiry, Claire Messud, Najwan Darwish, and Esther Freud, among many others. He also stocks one of the largest collections of books on Middle East history and politics. It is not a stretch to say that Fahmi’s Bookshop is a mainstay of Jerusalem cultural outreach.


On the face of it, Fahmi’s predicament appears to be a bureaucratic one, of the tedious, maddening, Michael Kohlhaas variety. Fahmi, who is Palestinian, was born in Jerusalem in 1954, and lived there until he was twenty-one, when he moved to the United States. After twenty years in the U.S., during which time he married an American and acquired a U.S. passport, he returned to Israel, following the signing of the Oslo Accords. But on his arrival at the airport in Tel Aviv, Fahmi claims he was told that his permanent-resident I.D.—after the 1967 war, all Arabs living in East Jerusalem who did not apply for citizenship were given permanent-resident I.D. cards—was no longer valid, and that he could return to his native city only on a tourist visa, using his American passport, which is what he has been doing for more than fifteen years. (Residency rights are revoked by the Israeli government in the event of a prolonged absence, or when a resident acquires a foreign passport; Israeli citizens, by contrast, may leave the country for any period without relinquishing citizenship or any of their rights.) Two years ago, Fahmi says, authorities began making his visa applications more difficult, and last month the interior ministry informed him that his visa, which expires on April 3rd, would no longer be renewed. Fahmi has gone through legal and other channels to reinstate his residency rights, but these efforts have so far been to no avail. As for signatures in support of his petition, he has already received hundreds, many of them attached to comments expressing outrage at the prospect of the shop’s closing and at the injustice of Fahmi’s prospective deportation:

“Munther Fahmy’s deportation is not only an infringement of the human right to settlement, but to freedom of speech. Israel presents itself in the international media as a democratic nation, using its cultural and intellectual cachet to drive tourism to the country. This deportation tarnishes and undermines that image.”

“Munther Fahmi is a central part of East Jerusalem’s cultural life. The idea that he could be deported from the city is both preposterous and evil. I personally and Zed Books will do all in our power to help and support him and this campaign.”

“this is part and parcel of israel’s colonization of east jerusalem as well as the project of erasing palestinian history. i fervently hope munther fahmy and this vital bookstore remain in their rightful place: jerusalem.”

But it remains unclear what effect, if any, this support will have on Fahmi’s fate in the face of Israel’s juggernaut shift to the right and its expansion into East Jerusalem. David Remnick recently asked Amos Schocken how he would feel if the embattled Haaretz folded or if he had to sell it to an owner with different principles. Schocken replied, “If we weren’t around, it would be . . . sad.”

(Bottom image via Albabblog.) 



 Could this be a ‘de-facto’ recognition of a Palestinian State? Despite the occuption, Palestine is considered to be a foreign country…
Israel’s Interior Ministry has revoked the permit for the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, The Rt Revd Suheil Dawani, to live in Jerusalem, and has refused requests to reinstate it, in spite of protests by Anglican authorities in the West specifically the United States.
Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem’s visa revoked
Sheil Dawani is considered a foreigner, having been born in Nablus, while the Anglican cathedral and offices are in East Jerusalem. Without a visa, in theory he can be arrested and deported at any time. Appeal already submitted to an administrative tribunal could have the negative effect of giving reason to the government.

 Jerusalem – Israel’s Interior Ministry has revoked the permit for the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, The Rt Revd Suheil Dawani, to live in Jerusalem, and has refused requests to reinstate it, in spite of protests by Anglican authorities in the West specifically the United States.The Bishop is a native of the Holy Land and has spent most of his life and ministry here, but cannot obtain either citizenship or legal residence in Israel, since he was born in Nablus, i.e. in the West Bank, which has been under Israeli occupation since 1967, but has not been annexed to Israel. East Jerusalem, on the other hand, where the Anglican Cathedral and Diocesan offices are situated, was also occupied at the same time, but Israel annexed it and considers it part of its national territory (although no other  country in the world recognizes this annexation). Therefore, Bishop Dawani is considered by Israel to be a foreigner who can only visit – let alone live in – East Jerusalem with a special permit, which the Israeli authorities can either grant or deny at their sole discretion. In fact, even the original Palestinian inhabitants of East Jerusalem, and their descendants, are considered by Israel to be foreigners who are no more than  possessors of a residence permit, which Israel can revoke.

Since the Bishop has of course remained at his post, in Jerusalem, without the permit, he could be arrested at any moment, be put on trial for being in Israel illegally, be sentenced to a prison term – or simply be forcibly removed from Jerusalem.

This situation is causing deep worry to all the Churches in the Holy Land. Because of the representative function of the Churches in the Holy Land, on behalf of the world-wide Christian communities, and because of various personnel needs, a large portion of the bishops, clergy and religious serving in Jerusalem and elsewhere, come from other countries. Israel does not allow them to acquire citizenship or even legal residence, and they can only remain in Israeli territory in virtue of visas that need to be renewed every year or two years – at the Government’s sole discretion. Indeed, as has been made public by news reports over the years, the issue of entry visas and residence for Catholic clergy and religious is a priority item on the agenda of the negotiations between the Holy See and the State of Israel, right from their beginning in 1992 – with no agreement yet. So the predicament of the Anglican Bishop is being watched closely by all the Churches here.

The Bishop has now applied for an Israeli administrative court to intervene, but the prospects for his lawsuit are far from certain. As a matter of general principle, the Government is free to issue or to withhold the kind of permit he needs, without giving detailed reasons, except essentially raisons d’état. There is an opinion, too, that turning to the court is a mistake, since an unfavourable decision by the court (the likelier outcome perhaps) would give the Government the cover of law. It might have been better for him, some say, to rely instead on rousing Western public opinion, in the name of religious freedom and natural justice. Time will tell.

Written FOR by Arieh Cohen


Back to Gaza

by Jared Malsin


I arrived in Gaza on Thursday. This the first time I’ve been back to any corner of Palestine since I was deported by Israel in January.

It took a week of paperwork and waiting in Cairo to get approval from Egypt to enter Gaza. After obtaining the permit, I met up with Kristen Chick, the Cairo correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, and together we hired a driver in Cairo to take us to Rafah at one in the morning on Thursday. We raced across the Sinai in a taxi that appeared to be held together with scotch tape.

Arriving at the crossing around 6:30 AM, we were among the first to enter the terminal when it opened at 9, alongside a hundred or so Palestinians, many of them carting huge piles of luggage. One woman brought a refrigerator in a box. Another, brass-colored curtain rods.

At the border I was smiling to hear Palestinian Arabic, which I can understand better than the Egyptian dialect. I remarked to Kristen about the impressive cultural unity of the Palestinian people. Despite the separation imposed by Israel between the populations of the West Bank, Gaza, Palestinians inside Israel, and the vast refugee/diaspora populations elsewhere, roughly the same Arabic is spoken by all of them, and, I think, the same national consciousness. Palestinians waiting at the border ask me, “So, you’re going to Palestine?,” instead of reducing it to the particularity of “So you’re going to Gaza?”

Adel, friendly employee of the Egyptian Ministry of Information, guided us through the process of crossing the border, liaising with the mukhabarat who control the border. (Overall, crossing was much easier than my first visit to Gaza one year ago, when I joined the Rachel Corrie Foundation’s delegation. Last year we waited for two days at the border before being allowed in.)

By noon on Thursday we were standing in the parking lot on the Palestinian side of the crossing. I had forgotten that one of the first sights you see when you enter Gaza is an abandoned white building that is so riddled with bullet holes that it has altered the shape of the building – it’s no longer square, the edges are rounded off.

We shared a taxi to Gaza City with the curtain rods lady, who is apparently from one of the wealthier Gaza families. She asked me if it was my first time in Gaza and then remarked, “The foreigners always arrive when there’s war.” My guess was this was a reference to the International Solidarity Movement activists, like Rachel Corrie, who have been trying for years to use their bodies to protect Palestinian life and property.

On the taxi ride to Gaza city the realization began to take hold that I was back in Palestine, the country where I lived and worked for much of the last three years before my deportation. With this realization, the adrenaline began to flow, overcoming my exhaustion.

My euphoria was in contrast to the downbeat feeling at the Ma’an office in Gaza. While my colleagues there welcomed me warmly, they seemed tired, more depressed than last year.  I suspect this was the inevitable effect of life under siege, but the staff were also discouraged by recent cutbacks imposed by the Ma’an management in Bethlehem. When I visited last year the phones were ringing, the police scanner crackling. This time the office seemed empty.

Emad, the director of the Ma’an office, took me to lunch where we talked politics. He apologized, as usual, for his English, which, of course, is very good. “You know I was 15 when the [first] Intifada began,” he explains by way of explanation, “None of us when to school in those days. Then I was in [Israeli] prison for four years, and after that I finished a bachelor’s and a master’s in American Studies.”

After eating, Emad and I went to a phone store to investigate why my Palestinian Jawwal phone was not working. After five minutes we experience one of Gaza’s notorious power cuts, which incurs moaning and eye-rolling from the guys in the shop. A few minutes later they drag a generator out onto the sidewalk and the electricity blinks back on. As we leave the street was filled with the roaring of the generators.

Emad told me that the situation in Gaza is “quiet,” this despite that the day I arrived, Israel launched multiple airstrikes in Gaza, injuring as many as a dozen people. One strike was overnight – one of Israel’s routine attacks in response to the homemade rockets lobbed over the border by Palestinian fighters. The second was an apparent attempted assassination on a group of guerillas from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The strike wounded three people. More on that later.


Jared Malsin blogs here. A report on his deportation is here.

Originally appeared AT


‘Colour me a holocaust victim’

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

click on image to enlarge

“Discrimination against Roma communities in Europe has a long and bitter history. The repression came to a climax in the 1930-40s when they were targeted by fascist regimes in both Romania and Italy. In areas controlled by the German Nazis several hundred thousand Roma were rounded up and brought to concentration camps or executed directly. This genocide was not even an issue at the Nuremberg trial and the little compensation to the survivors or to the victims’ family members came late, if at all,” he said in a statement last week.

Taken FROM


Deportation of Gypsies: Sarkozy’s Holocaust

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

click on image to enlarge


The persecution of Roma—under the Nazis and today

Peter Schwarz

The attempt of European Union commissioner Viviane Reding to make the French government accountable for its mass deportation of Roma came to a grinding halt after a few hours.

After the head of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso and a number of European heads of government had criticised her choice of words, Reding apologised for drawing parallels with the deportations carried out by the Nazis. French President Nicolas Sarkozy indignantly rejected the charges made by Reding and insisted that his government would not budge in its deportation policy. Sarkozy’s stance immediately won the support of the Italian head of government, Silvio Berlusconi.

At the EU summit on Thursday, Sarkozy then lashed out at Barroso in what most observers regarded as a further undermining of the status of the Commission by the most powerful member states. Now the 27 European heads of state and government have agreed to address “a long-term strategy for the solution of the problem” at their next meeting.

This gives rise to the fear that the dispute over the Roma is merely the starting point for the removal of one of the few freedoms granted by the European Union to workers up to now—free movement, the right to live and work in any EU member country. Even prior to the outbreak of the current conflict, EU Commission President Barroso had told the Spanish newspaper El Pais on 9 September, “It is a mistake to say that freedom of movement is absolute”.

It would appear that nationalism—and the xenophobia and racism bound up with it—is advancing irresistibly across Europe, irrespective of the reservations made by individual representatives of the ruling elite such as Reding. In the process, human rights and citizen’s rights are being swept aside. Why?

Sarkozy’s attacks against the Roma are not popular. His poll ratings are at an all time low, as are those of his Italian colleague Berlusconi. Sarkozy’s campaign against a tiny minority of Roma—of the 65 million inhabitants of France just 15,000 are Roma with foreign passports—together with his discrimination against Muslims, represent a despicable attempt to divert increasing social tensions into racist channels.

So far, Sarkozy has been unsuccessful. Tens of thousands have taken to the streets to protest against the Roma deportations. And just a few days ago, three million protested against his pension reform.

Nevertheless, the efforts to stir up racist and anti-Muslim sentiments are multiplying—and not only in France. In Holland, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Hungary and other countries, racist parties, thanks to support from well-heeled financial backers, are able to exert considerable influence. In Germany, the recent publication of a book by Thilo Sarrazin, promoted by much of the media, was used to whip up racist prejudices against Muslims.

Ultimately, this wave of nationalism and racial filth cannot be reduced to the personal inclination of this or that reactionary politician. The trend is far too widespread. It is the result of the decline and rottenness of capitalist society, from which the vices of the past are growing like maggots.

The increase in social inequality—the accumulation of privileges and wealth by a tiny minority and a huge increase of unemployment and poverty for broad masses—is incompatible with democracy and human rights. The ruling class is embracing xenophobia and racism like an alcoholic reaches for the bottle—even if he recognizes in sober moments that this leads to disaster.

At the start of the Second World War, Leon Trotsky cogently drew out the connection between the decay of capitalism and increasing anti-Semitism whose murderous consequences he anticipated:

“The world of decaying capitalism is overcrowded…. The period of the wasting away of foreign trade and the decline of domestic trade is at the same time the period of the monstrous intensification of chauvinism and especially of anti-Semitism. In the epoch of its rise, capitalism took the Jewish people out of the ghetto and utilised them as an instrument in its commercial expansion. Today decaying capitalist society is striving to squeeze the Jewish people from all its pores; seventeen million individuals out of the two billion populating the globe, that is, less than 1 percent, can no longer find a place on our planet! Amid the vast expanses of land and the marvels of technology, which has also conquered the skies for man as well as the earth, the bourgeoisie has managed to convert our planet into a foul prison”.

Today the witch-hunting of Muslims has taken the place of anti-Semitism (although in some countries such as Hungary, anti-Semitism is also on the agenda). Muslim workers from Turkey and the Maghreb were brought to Europe as manpower during the economic boom. Today they are the first to lose their jobs and be subjected to social exclusion and eventual deportation.

The persecution of the Roma, however, has remained consistent. After the Jews, they were the most important group to be targeted for the Nazi genocide. The Nazis classified them as racially inferior, subjected them to forced sterilisation, locked them up in “gypsy camps”, employed them as forced labourers and systematically murdered them in the concentration camps.

Around one million Sinti and Roma lived in Europe prior to Second World War. It has never been exactly established how many of them were murdered. Modest estimates declare that a quarter of them were killed by the Nazis and their allies. Other estimates put the number of victims at 500,000.

The fact that Sarkozy and his government have once again made the Roma the target of their racist campaign proves how little has changed since. Even the most terrible crime of the Twentieth Century is insufficient to deter them from spreading their racial poison.

European Union commissioner Reding called the French policy a “disgrace”. This is a polite understatement of what is really taking place. Even so she was forced to apologise under the pressure of European governments. This demonstrates that the European elite have learnt nothing. There is no appreciable support within its ranks for basic civil and human rights, which were once the hallmarks of revolutionary France.

Europe is once again being transformed into “the foul prison” described by Trotsky, with all the associated horrors. Only an offensive by the working class for a socialist Europe can put an end to this fatal development.


The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.


Expulsions de Roms: L ‘holocauste de Sarkozy

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

click on image to enlarge

French President Nicholas Sarkozy on Thursday defended the ongoing dismantling of illegal Roma camps in France and the deportations of occupants to their home countries. He pledged to continue with the expulsions despite criticisms from the European Commission and the bloc’s Parliament.

“We will continue to dismantle the illegal camps, whoever is there,” Sarkozy said. “Europe cannot close its eyes to illegal camps.”

Read the rest HERE


“We all feel and understand the hearts of children,” said the prime minister and leader of Likud, Benjamin Netanyahu, at the start of the cabinet meeting on Sunday. “But on the other hand, there are Zionist considerations and ensuring the Jewish character of the state of Israel. The problem is that these two components clash.”

Israelis Divided on Deporting Children

JERUSALEM — Deep divisions emerged here on Monday over the fate of about 400 children of foreign workers who have no legal status in the country and are slated for deportation. The issue has touched on sensitive nerves in Israel, which sees itself as a nation of Jewish refugees and defines itself as a Jewish and democratic state.

Rina Castelnuovo for The New York Times

Israeli-born children of foreign workers took part in a demonstration in Jerusalem on July 25. Under new guidelines, about 400 children face deportation.

The public debate followed a decision by the cabinet on Sunday to approve a plan for granting status to the children of people who entered Israel with a valid visa or permit but have stayed on illegally.

Under the new guidelines, based on the length of time the children have been here and their integration in the education system, about 800 of the 1,200 in question are qualified to stay. Their parents and siblings will be entitled to temporary residence permits. The 400 who do not meet the criteria will have to leave, perhaps as soon as within 30 days.

The government decision was widely seen here as reasonable, though many said it would be more humanitarian to let the 400 remain. Others saw the decision as a bad precedent that could encourage more foreign workers to put down roots in Israel and threaten the Jewish character of the state.

“It is a no-win situation,” said Tom Segev, an Israeli author and historian. “Any way you do it is wrong.”

Nevertheless, while praising the government for taking a “humanistic decision,” he said, “We are a nation of refugees. Now we have to fight for the 400.”

The fate of children born in Israel to foreign workers has long stirred strong emotions here. It took two votes on Sunday for the cabinet to approve the new guidelines, which passed the second time by a vote of 13-10 with four abstentions.

Ministers who voted against the plan did so from contrary positions. Some, including the ministers of the ultra-Orthodox Shas Party, which controls the Interior Ministry and which critics brand as racist, opposed the plan because it was too liberal. Others, including some ministers from the conservative Likud Party, opposed it because it was not liberal enough.

The discussion around the cabinet table was “fiery,” according to an Israeli official who was in the room.

“We all feel and understand the hearts of children,” said the prime minister and leader of Likud, Benjamin Netanyahu, at the start of the cabinet meeting on Sunday. “But on the other hand, there are Zionist considerations and ensuring the Jewish character of the state of Israel. The problem is that these two components clash.”

There are 250,000 to 300,000 foreign laborers in Israel, about half them without valid documents. Israel has a population of 7.5 million, including more than 5.6 million Jews and 1.5 million Arab citizens. Out of security concerns, it began inviting foreign workers for limited periods to replace Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza to work in construction, agriculture and domestic work. Many have outstayed their visas, and their numbers have been swelled by African refugees and economic migrants who have come across the porous border with Egypt.

Mr. Netanyahu said there were reports of “close to 500,000 migrants, and perhaps close to one million, in the past decade.”

“This is a tangible threat to the Jewish and democratic character of the State of Israel,” he said. “Therefore we will make a decision that is balanced between the desire to take these children into our hearts and the desire not to create an incentive for continued illegal migration that could flood the foundation of the Zionist state.”

The mainstream news media in Israel have largely sided with the children and their advocates. The front page of the popular Yediot Aharonot newspaper on Monday featured a large picture of a boy, Eilon, age 6, and his 2-year-old sister, who are now eligible for deportation along with their mother, Rachel, 37, who came to Israel from the Philippines in 2002.

“Someone there has lost his bearings,” wrote Eitan Haber, a Yediot Aharonot columnist and a close aide to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in the 1990s, in a op-ed published on Monday. “The State of Israel bombed nuclear reactors, reached Entebbe, wasted billions on light and heavy rail systems that don’t move and paid hundreds of millions of shekels for years to people who did not contribute a single drop of sweat to the state. And now, 400 children, that is what will kill the state? Have you gone mad?”

But there were other voices, too.

“According to the report submitted to the government, there are 148,000 illegal residents in Israel,” wrote Ben-Dror Yemini, a columnist at a rival newspaper, Maariv. “According to the logic that is taking over us,” he continued, “they should have children, and this will be their insurance policy.



One question…. Are the ‘Rights’ claimed by the zionists justified, or are they Wrongs?

According to the zionist press, one psycho journalist in particular (Caroline Glick) they are justified…

She claimed over the weekend that “Zionism after all is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people. To say that Jews – uniquely among all the nations – have no right to freedom and self-determination is obviously anti-Semitic”.

One commenter to my POST hit the nail right on the head when he wrote…

re: Ms Glick’s stating: ‘Zionism after all is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people. To say that Jews – uniquely among all the nations – have no right to freedom and self-determination is obviously anti-Semitic.’

First off, this infers that Jews cannot be ‘free’, nor enjoy ‘self determination’ in countries other than Israel, which judging by their great success and pre-eminence in the US and in many other countries wherein they reside, is near to nonsense.

Unique to Zionism’s notion of the Jewish State is the claim that Israel belongs, and is home to, ALL Jews worldwide, no matter where they reside and regardless their citizen status elsewhere.

No other modern nation state is comprised on grounds of such specific ethnocentrism.

France does not ‘belong’ to just those who are ethnically French; Norway doesn’t claim to be home to, nor automatically grant citizen status to ALL Norwegians.

It is a neat trick however, as it automatically consigns dual nationality to Jews everywhere, simultaneously enabling and obligating them to support and defend the Jewish State, even to those Jews who have disagreement with Israeli policy and have no desire to live there.

This conference of a unique status by Zionism to diaspora Jews, and particularly to American Jews who lobby for American military and financial support of Israel regardless of its policies or its conduct towards its non Jewish citizens is that which conflates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism.

Zionism {and Ms Glick} want it both ways, burdening all Jews with a moral obligation to defend, identify with, advocate for, and offer material support to the Jewish State; while simultaneously abrogating any responsibility to Jews for Israeli excess.

My advice is that Ms Glick should be quite cautious in making categorical statements equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism … because we are very near to the point where she will become correct … wherein the moral obligation to oppose Zionism will justify a rational suspicion of and a general antipathy toward Jews everywhere.

Thank God that many Jews are now beginning to wake to the realization that what Zionism now comprises is inherently wrong and does not represent them, and that what Israel does is not done in their names.

Question is, in the {ever more likely} event of a world calamity provoked by an Israeli action, will the world be any more discriminating than Ms Glick, when assigning the blame?

It was attitudes like Glick’s that allowed the zionists to establish their ‘Jewish Homeland’ after WW2. They established it on a land which they stole from the Palestinian people. They claimed this was their ‘right’… it was their first WRONG.

The world allowed this to happen for the simple reason that no one wanted to take in the refugees that remained after the holocaust. Anti-Semitism was rampant in the States at the time, equating ‘Jewishness’ with Communism. Canada at least was honest enough to make their position public…  In early 1945, an unidentified immigration agent was asked how many Jews would be allowed in Canada after the war. He replied “None is too many”. This is dealt with in a book with that very title. So, the reality is that it was anti-Semitism itself that created the state of Israel, not sympathy for the ‘Jewish National Liberation Movement’.

It was the hope of the early zionists that Jews would come flocking to the new ‘paradise’… a hope that was never fulfilled because the diaspora Jew for the most part was living a damned good life. Why would he give that up to toil the land in a barren desert? The least he could do would be to contribute tax deductible funds to help ‘make the desert bloom’.

Israel was faced with one major problem from the start…. how to deal with the actual people living in ‘a land without a people for a people without a land’. EXPULSION was the answer. Millions of Palestinians were forcibly removed from their ancestral homeland…. under the watchful eyes of the West that created this monster. Those that remained were literally rounded up like cattle and kept separate from the new Jewish immigrants.

Ever wonder why ‘the only Democracy in the Middle East’ never created a Constitution or a Bill of Rights for themselves? How could they? Those Palestinians that live in Israel with full citizenship would be covered by that very Constitution…. It would serve no useful purpose for the zionists to guarantee Rights to its citizens…. that is another WRONG.

However, the government of Israel created a Law of Return to encourage more diaspora Jews to move there…. still to no avail. In a move of desperation they launched a movement  to get the Soviet Union to ‘Save Soviet Jewry’… a movement led, for the most part, by extremists connected with Kahane. This too was a failed plan as most of the Jews that were eventually allowed to leave the Soviet Union moved to Germany or the United States. Others, mostly non Jews claiming otherwise, did move to Israel. These elements are, for a large part, responsible for the extreme right positions taken by the present Israeli government, led by one of their very own, Lieberman.

The Palestinians that were expelled or forced to flee do not have the Right of Return…. this is another WRONG.

Not only do LIVING Palestinians not have that Right of Return, DEAD Jews from the diaspora have the Right to be brought here for burial in the Mt. of Olives Cemetery while Palestinians are not even permitted to remain in their graves because their cemetery stands in the way of a new zionist museum…. this is also a WRONG.

Palestinians do not even have the Right to present their case to the world. The Western press is for the most part, controlled by zionists or their supporters. The Western governments have their hands tied by a powerful zionist lobby. Palestinian journalists are constantly harassed or murdered to keep the truth from getting out… these too are all WRONGS.

BUT…. be assured that the truth WILL get out one day and it WILL SET PALESTINE FREE.

Also read my PREVIOUS POST to see some more of the ongoing WRONGS in the name of Rights.

So keep whining Glick…. every time you open your stupid mouth our side scores BIG!


Barred from Jerusalem for crime of being Palestinian

Engineer’s battle to overturn loss of residency highlights plight of thousands

By Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem

Samir Abu-Khalaf holds a photograph of his son Murad

Samir Abu-Khalaf holds a photograph of his son Murad, whose East Jerusalem residency was revoked by Israeli authorities

To say that Palestinian Murad Abu-Khalaf’s roots are in Jerusalem is a serious understatement. His family lived in the Baka district of West Jerusalem until they were forced to leave in the war of 1948. They have since lived – and live – in the inner East Jerusalem district of Ras al-Amud. His family doctor father’s clinic in East Jerusalem’s main street of Salahadin is opposite three shops owned by each of his uncles. One of his brothers, also a doctor, works at one of Jerusalem’s two main (Israeli) hospitals, the Shaare Zedek Medical Centre. The city is, in short, his home.

But when the next hearing of a case of fundamental importance to the future of this super-qualified young man takes place in the Jerusalem District Court today, he won’t be there. At the age of 33, he has suddenly become, to use his own word, “stateless”. His only “crime” has been to spend several years in the US doing an electrical engineering PhD, completing post-doctoral research funded by a division of the US Army, acquiring high-tech work experience with the sole purpose of bettering his future career prospects in the Holy Land, and being a little homesick.

Yet in 2008 the young Dr Abu-Khalaf became a statistic, one of a record 4,577 Palestinian residents to have their Israeli-conferred status as a resident of East Jerusalem revoked in that year and with it the right to live permanently or work in either Israel or the occupied Palestinian territories. It is this revocation which is being challenged in court on his behalf by the Israeli human rights lawyer Leah Tsemel today, and about which he says: “Losing my residency in my country is a source of pain to me… I feel I am being asked to choose between building my career and my homeland.”

For Dr Abu-Khalaf has been told his only chance of having the revocation “reconsidered” – and it’s far from certain this would succeed – is if he gives up his high-flying job as a software developer, leaves the US and stays here for at least two years – maybe “working in a café”, as he puts it. So far Dr Abu- Khalaf has been told he will no longer qualify for an Israeli travel document. He would still be able to visit the country as a tourist, though not work or live in it, and then only if he obtains a US travel document.

If Dr Abu-Khalaf was an Israeli citizen he would be able to take up temporary residency for as long as he liked without losing his rights. But his case exemplifies the fragile status of more than 200,000 East Jerusalem Palestinians, who have Israeli conferred ID, and the right – denied to most West Bank Palestinians – to travel in Israel and access to certain benefits like Israeli health insurance, but not the security of full citizenship. According to Ir Amim, an Israeli NGO campaigning for an “equitable and stable” shared Jerusalem, the sharp increase in residency revocations are part of “an ongoing Israeli policy to reduce the Palestinian presence in East Jerusalem”.

When Israel unilaterally annexed Arab East Jerusalem after the Six-Day War – an annexation whose legality has never been accepted by most of the international community, including Britain – it offered Palestinian residents citizenship. But the large majority refused, believing that to accept would reinforce Israel’s claim on occupied East Jerusalem.

Part of Dr Abu-Khalaf’s problem was that he applied successfully for a “green card” purely to maximise his job opportunities, but unwittingly reinforcing Israel’s determination to cut off his Jerusalem residency. Dr Abu-Khalaf said when he was job-searching “many potential employers replied to me asking if I held a green card.” They told him that “otherwise they could not employ me… I never knew it would cause all this fiasco.”

His father, Samir Abu-Khalaf, wanted Murad to return and marry when he had laid the firm basis of a career. “It’s injustice to deal with us in this way,” he said. “It seems they want Palestinians only to be workers, cleaners.” To his son it is illogical that in an age when academic and corporate life is increasingly multinational, he should be penalised for participating in it. The loss of residency “in my home country”, he said, is “at best inconsiderate… extremely backward looking, and short-sighted.”

An Interior Ministry spokeswoman said the law prescribed that East Jerusalem residents were treated like any other people with resident status, losing it if they are away for more seven years or take up residency elsewhere. Asked whether the position of native East Jerusalemites was not different from – say – those from France temporarily living and working in Israel she added: “If you want someone to justify the policy you are asking the wrong person. But it’s the law.”

Source via Uruknet


Israel has been in an uproar about the comments made by Helen Thomas. The reality is Israel has been doing exactly what was inferred in those comments…. sending Jews back to where they came from. The following is written by one of those Jews, Jared Malsin. He was the English editor for the Ma’an News Agency, deported to the USA for telling the truth! A crime unforgivable in the Holy Land.

Jared ‘dug up’ the video presented to demonstrate the hypocrisy displayed by Israel. They would much rather such truths remain buried….


By Jared Malsin

The furor over Helen Thomas’ remarks reminded me of this lecture Amira Hass gave in New York two years ago.

I wasn’t personally at the lecture, but I had a long talk with Hass in my office in Bethlehem that spring, a few weeks before she left on her speaking tour, and she expressed to me some of the main ideas contained in it.

In the talk Hass recalls an anecdote about a foreign solidarity activist who makes an ill-considered comment about Israeli Jews going back to Europe.

What she eloquently manages to do is capture the intersection between Israel’s Law of Return and the Palestinian right of return. She talks about the tension between the desire for Jewish concrete return after the Holocaust (returning to communities in European communities in Europe that no longer existed) and the abstract Zionist “return” to a place most Jews had never been, Palestine.

What Hass recognizes and I also believe is that this history and this politics is intimately bound up with the history (past and present) of Palestinian dispossession. And it is this latter, ongoing expulsion that is still unresolved.



Unending Nakbas

Eva Barlett


This is the month for Palestinians to remember their Nakba, or “catastrophe”, in which more than 700,000 women, men and children were pushed off their land and rendered homeless refugees by the Zionist attacks before, during and after the founding of Israel in 1948.

Isdud, a farming community to the north of Gaza’s current border, was ethnically cleansed, in the months after the expulsions began in May 1948. It was one of over 530 villages razed and destroyed after the residents were forced out by Zionist attacks.

After three nights of Israeli air bombardment, more than 5,000 Palestinian residents here were forcibly expelled from their houses and land. Most resettled in what are now overcrowded refugee camps in Gaza.

“Most of the houses have been destroyed; the rubble is covered with grasses and thorns,” wrote Palestinian historian Walid Khalidi.

At a Gaza City Nakba commemoration displaying the clothes, agricultural equipment and tools of Palestinian daily life, Mohammed Tooman, 83, wearing the traditional robes of Isdud, spoke of village life and their forced expulsion.

*Photos from Isdud villagers

“We were farmers and grew grains, fruits and had orange and palm orchards. Isdud had a large market every week and people from neighbouring towns came to buy from us.

“With every sunrise, I expect to return to my home in Isdud. And as the sun sets, I tell my grandchildren about our home and village, to which they will return.”

Hammad Awadallah, 70, also from Isdud, keeps this call for justice alive. “My right is passed down to my sons and daughters and their children. We will not forget our villages and our history. They are instilled in our memories.”

Since 1948 the United Nations (UN) has reiterated over 130 times its Resolution 194 calling for Palestinian refugees to return to their homes. The 1974 UN Resolution 3236 specified “the inalienable right of Palestinians to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted, and calls for their return.”

Roughly another four kilometres east of Isdud, East Sawafir (al Sawafir al Sharqiyya) was ethnically cleansed of its thousand residents on May 18, 1948. The village had a mosque and shared a school with two other villages.

“No village houses remain on the site,” wrote Khalidi. “But some traces of the former village are still present on the surrounding lands.”

Abu Fouad was born in 1930, before East Sawafir was intentionally disappeared. After the forced expulsion from his village, he ended up in the tents which eventually became the tiny, poorly-built, maze-like concrete houses of a Palestinian refugee camp.

“My father was a farmer and had 35 dunums (a dunam is 1,000 square metres) of land, on which he grew wheat and vegetables. We had 50 sheep which I used to herd.”

East Sawafir shared a primary school with two neighbouring villages. “We didn’t go to school after 4th grade because there were no secondary schools in our area,” says Abu Fouad. “We only learned to write our name and studied religion a little, but nothing much more.”

Life was simple as were the houses. “Ours had two rooms,” Abu Fouad says, “but no bathroom: we would bathe outside. Even though we didn’t have money or the conveniences of today, we lived well, people were happy.”

Like most Palestinians, Abu Fouad has relatives spilled around the world from whom he is cut off.

“We have family in Jerusalem, Libya and Hebron. We don’t know them. And I haven’t seen or spoken with one of my brothers since he left for Libya decades ago.”

His wife Umm Fouad comes from the same East Sawafir community. Born in 1948, she was just four months old when her family fled.

“My father was a tailor and grandfather a farmer. He grew cucumbers, squash, tomatoes and other vegetables. We hand-washed our clothes and cooked food over a fire or a kerosene stove (baboor) and baked bread in the wood oven (taboon).”

Although just an infant at the time of expulsion, Umm Fouad has been told the history of her family’s land and home so much that she has internalised it as her own memory.

“We fled because the Israelis were firing on us. My grandmother couldn’t walk properly, so in the panic we had to leave her there. She must have died in the house. We left walking, carrying only a few possessions as we didn’t have cart or horse. It was days of walking until we reached Gaza.”

And dispossessions continue. Since 1967, Israel has demolished more than 24,000 Palestinian homes in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, says the Israeli Committee Against Housing Demolitions (ICAHD).

“I still come back to the house to work a small piece of my land that is 700 metres from the border. But even then I get shot at by the Israelis,” says Jaber Abu Rjila. His home and poultry farm east of Khan Younis lie just under 500 metres from the border. They were destroyed in a May 2008 Israeli invasion into the farming community. Soon after, the family fled, renting a house to escape the regular Israeli attacks.

On May 18, Israeli soldiers set land near Rjila’s fields on fire, burning the wheat crops of the Abu Tabbash family. The Nakba is not just about memory.


On 21 May 2010, Israeli bulldozers destroyed Jaber Abu Rjila’s remaining chicken farm, killing 150 chickens, 200 pigeons, 60 rabbits, and 5 sheep, and destroying 3 tons of wheat and rye as well as an estimated 10,000 shekels worth of onions, said Rjila. The land in question is over 600 metres from the border fence.

The Israeli bulldozers also destroyed a home roughly 1 km from the border. 14 people lived in the house, including a man who was ready to marry and bring his bride to the home.

photos from the Gaza City Nakba commemoration of Isdud village:

*pointing to his father, from Isdud.

*the rebab, a simple, traditional musical instrument

*bread basket and carrier

interesting facts and quotes:

Founder of political Zionism, Theodor Herzl, in 1895, called for Palestinians to be expelled from their land by land purchase and economic deprivation: “We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border.” Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, called for Palestinian expulsion by any means: “We must expel Arabs and take their places…and, if we have to use force-not to dispossess the Arabs of the Negev and Transjordan, but to guarantee our own right to settle in those places-then we have force at our disposal.”

“Moshe Dayan Israeli Minister of Defense during the 1967 war said, “Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. …There is not one single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab Population.” (from Ha’aretz, April 4, 1969)” [SOURCE: IMEU]

“Joseph Massad, associate professor of modern Arab politics and intellectual history at Columbia University in New York, points out that ‘it is crucial to remember that Zionist forces expelled 400,000 Palestinians from their lands before 1948. Many hundreds of thousands more would be expelled in the months and years following, throughout the 1950s, and again since 1967.’” [SOURCE: ELECTRONIC INTIFADA]

“As a result of home demolitions, revocation of residency rights and construction of illegal settlements on stolen Palestinian owned-land, at least 57,000 Palestinians have become displaced in the occupied West Bank.” [SOURCE: AL AWDA]

“Internal displacement continues unabated in the OPT today. Thousands have been forcibly displaced in the Jordan Valley as a result of closure, home demolition and eviction orders, and the threat of displacement hangs over those who remain. Similar patterns of forced displacement are found in Israel, where urban development plans for the exclusive benefit of Jewish communities are displacing indigenous Palestinian communities in the Naqab (Negev) and Galilee.” [SOURCE: BADIL]

“Following the Israeli 2008-2009 war on Gaza which destroyed or badly damaged at least 20,000 homes, construction materials continue to be banned entry into Gaza by the Israeli authorities, and those 20,000 families remain homeless.” [SOURCE: FRIENDS OF UNRWA]

“In 1950, Israel enacted the Law of Return, granting any Jew anywhere the right to citizenship as a Jewish national in Israel and (since 1967) also in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT) while the 1952 Citizenship Law denationalised the Palestinian refugees.” [SOURCE: BADIL]

“some 30 laws that explicitly discriminate between Jews and non-Jews — another way of referring to the fifth of the Israeli population who are Palestinian and supposedly enjoy full citizenship. There are also many other Israeli laws and administrative practices that lead to an outcome of ethnic-based segregation even if they do not make such discrimination explicit.” [SOURCE: DISSIDENT VOICE]

“Palestinians with Israeli citizenship continue to face tens of racist, discriminatory Israeli laws and live as lesser citizens vulnerable to harassment, arrest and injustices.” [SOURCE: CRAIG MURRAY]


Source via Uruknet


‘Walking in the path of fascism’

Israel’s denial of entry to Noam Chomsky is but the latest in a long list of attempts to silence critics of Zionist oppression and violence, writes Khalid Amayreh

Noam Chomsky

Fearing that he would further expose Israel’s anti-peace stance and its oppression of the Palestinian people, the Israeli government this week barred Noam Chomsky from entering Israel-Palestine.

Chomsky, a world-renowned intellectual and linguist, was detained briefly at the Palestinian side of the Allenby Bridge on Sunday 16 May. There he was told by Israeli authorities that the Israeli government didn’t like his writings and that he was viewed as persona non grata.

Chomsky, 81, had been scheduled to lecture at the Birzeit University in the West Bank. Following his deportation, the non-conformist American Jewish intellectual told reporters that he concluded from the questions of the Israeli official at the border terminal that the fact that he came to lecture at a Palestinian and not an Israeli university led to the decision to deny him entry.

“I find it hard to think of a similar case in which entry to a person is denied because he is not lecturing in Tel Aviv. Perhaps only in the Stalinist regime.”

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor of linguistics and philosophy is a well-known critic of the Israeli occupation of Arab lands. On many occasions, Chomsky compared Israeli policies and practices in the West Bank with those of the defunct white minority apartheid regime in South Africa.

Chomsky also castigated the genocidal Israeli onslaught on Gaza last year along with the ongoing blockade of the coastal enclave’s 1.7 million people initiated by Israel more than three years ago for the purpose of pushing Gazans to rise up against Hamas. Hamas won a landslide victory in the 2006 general elections, which infuriated Israel and its guardian-ally, the United States, prompting them to impose draconian sanctions on Gaza.

“The young man [the Israeli border official] asked me whether I had ever been denied entry into other countries. I told him once, to Czechoslovakia, after the Soviet invasion in 1968,” Chomsky said, adding that he had gone to visit ousted Czechoslovak leader Alexander Dubcek, whose reforms the Soviets crushed.

According to Haaretz newspaper, Chomsky, who was accompanied by his daughter and several other friends, was questioned on the nature of his lectures, whether he was going to criticise Israeli policies and whether he had spoken with Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah. He was further asked why he didn’t have an Israeli passport since he was Jewish. He reportedly answered, “I am an American citizen”.

Chomsky supports the two-state solution but he rejects the Israeli concept of the two-state solution strategy: namely, ceding the Palestinians some isolated cantons cut off from each other and that could never be a “viable and territorially contiguous state”.

In recent years, especially with the rise to power in Israel of religious and rightwing anti- democratic parties, the Israeli political establishment became more sensitive to criticisms of Israeli policies abroad, especially from such Jewish intellectuals such as Chomsky.

In 2008, Israel refused entry to Richard Falk, an American Jewish academic, for comparing the Israeli occupation with Nazi crimes against Jews. In 2007, Falk, a Princeton University professor of international law, was quoted as saying that Israel’s blockade on the Gaza Strip was “a Holocaust in the making”. Falk was later appointed UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Israel defended its decision to deport Falk, arguing that he indulged in “shameful comparisons to the Holocaust”.

Similarly, nearly, two years ago, Israeli security services deported Norman Finkelstein, another American Jewish intellectual and critic of the Israeli occupation. The Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic security agency, said that Finkelstein was not permitted to enter Israel because of suspicious involvement with hostile elements in Lebanon, and because “he didn’t give a full account to interrogators with regards to these suspicions”.

Finkelstein remarked on that episode, saying: “I am confident that I have nothing to hide. Apart from my political views, and the supporting scholarship, there isn’t much more to say for myself — no suicide missions or secret rendezvous with terrorist organisations.”

Finkelstein, 57, had accused Israel of exploiting the holocaust for political ends and in order to justify its crimes against the Palestinian people. In 2000, Finkelstein wrote The Holocaust Industry on the exploitation of Jewish suffering.

Mounting international criticism of the repressive Israeli treatment of Palestinians, as well as the extensive havoc and destruction wreaked on civilians in the Gaza Strip and southern Lebanon, generated strong reactions by intellectuals and human rights activists around the world. Such criticisms seemed to push the political class in Israel towards stonewalling with the Israeli government resorting to deportation as a method to silence vocal critics of Israeli practices.

In 2008, Israel refused Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu entry while on a UN fact-finding mission in the Gaza Strip. Israel apparently feared that Tutu would file a damning report, indicting Israel for committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, as did Judge Richard Goldstone a year and a half later, following the Israeli blitzkrieg against Gaza that killed and maimed thousands of Palestinian civilians and inflicted widespread destruction.

Subsequently, Israel and its supporters repeatedly accused Goldstone of being biased against, and hostile to, Israel. Some “Israel-Firsters”, especially in North America, have gone as far as calling Goldstone an “anti- Semite” and “self-hating Jew”.

The abovementioned intellectuals are mere examples of how Israel, which claims to be the only democracy in the Middle East, is drifting towards Jewish fascism. On 18 May, one Israeli journalist wrote, commenting on the deportation of Chomsky: “Denying Noam Chomsky entry to Israel puts an end to the myth that Israel is a democracy. It is a state where the police arrest demonstrators protesting the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes and expel a pregnant non-Jewish woman so that she won’t give birth to her child in Israel. I will not argue whether Israel is fascist or not. But in reality, Israel is walking in the path of fascism.”



Israel deports man from E Jerusalem after prison release

Jerusalem –  Israeli authorities issued recently-released Hamas lawmaker Mohammad Abu Teir with a deportation notice on Thursday, giving him until 19 June to leave Jerusalem.

Ma’an’s correspondent said the deportation order was issued on the basis that Abu Teir had lost his residency rights after participating in the Palestinian general elections in January 2006.


The decision could further affect other Hamas lawmakers with Jerusalem residency rights, including Mohammad Toteh, Ahmad A’ttun and former Jerusalem Minister Khaled Abu Arab.

Shortly after his release from Israeli custody, Abu Teir was summoned for interrogation at the Russian Compound in West Jerusalem by Israeli police from his home in Um Tuba, southern Jerusalem.

A spokesman for the Israeli police did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

Abu Teir, one of 65 Hamas officials detained shortly after Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit’s capture in cross-border raid in Gaza in 2006, urged Israel’s leaders to reach an agreement with the movement on securing a prisoner swap deal, Israeli media reported.

Abu Teir reportedly said that if it were “in his hands” he would expedite the prisoner swap deal, which could see the release of thousands of Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails, the Israeli daily Haaretz wrote.

“All Israeli leaders are against the deal to release Gilad Shalit,” Abu Teir told reporters following his release. “They reached a deal a number of times, but never followed through. Just like I have a family, a father, mother and children, Gilad Shalit also has a mother and father who want him.”

“If only there was a deal, but it’s not in my hands, it is in the hands of the leaders,” said Abu Teir, the daily wrote. “Israel’s leaders must think about this. I don’t like that Shalit is being held hostage, just as I didn’t like being held hostage.”

When asked how he felt having been released from prison, Abu Teir said: “I feel good, thank God. I paid a heavy price.”

Of the 65 detained Hamas ministers, Israel has so far released nine.

Palestinians living in East Jerusalem do not possess Israeli citizenship, but rather residency rights, which requires the renewal of a multiple-entry visa every six years at Israel’s Interior Ministry. Jerusalem residents are often required to prove that the city is their “centre of life” or face the revocation of their ID card and residency rights.



The untold stories


Darwish Addassi wishes his fellow Americans could spend a day in his shoes. Maybe then they would know what it feels like to be a refugee. The 74-year-old retired chemist still remembers the day he was expelled from his home 60 years ago and became a refugee. Addassi has not been back to Lydda, Palestine since. On July 11, 1948, when Addasi was just 14 and in the eighth grade, an “informal” Israeli military unit entered Lydda after days of encircling the city. “My brother came into the house and he said ‘Lydda fell,'” Addassi said. “The Israelis came and announced that we have kicked you all out.” His family’s farm of oranges, grapefruits and lemons, more than 4,000 years old, was gone. Making matters worse, Addassi, along with the other men of his family, were rounded up and detained by the newly formed Israeli government.

Read his entire story.


When Said Arouri thinks of his home village of Burham, Palestine, intermingled with his family’s olive and fig trees are the faces of those who fled their homes in fear of Zionist militias 60 years ago. “I remember the massacre of Deir Yassin, when more than 100 men, women and children were murdered in cold blood,” he said. “I remember as if it were yesterday the people streaming into our village. They left their homes in terror, on foot. They were hungry and thirsty. Some of them lived in my parents’ house. They lived in the mosque or under the trees. The whole village shared food with them. We thought we would do everything we could to help them until they could return to their homes. Of course, that was 60 years ago and they are still waiting to go home.”

Read his entire story.


In May of 1948, 14-year-old Wilhelmine Baramki and her family packed a few of their bags and fled their west Jerusalem home. For several months prior, Zionist gunmen had been shooting at the bus that carried her father to and from work and the occasional bullet came through the windows of their home. It became too dangerous for her father to go to work. In the face of increasing violence, the family moved in with their aunt in a convent in Jerusalem’s Old City. “Our home is still there but we can’t go back to it,” said Baramki. “We thought we were going temporarily. We locked all the doors, and marked which key went to which door. We just took the necessary things because we thought we were just leaving for two or three weeks and then we’d come back.”

Read her entire story.


On the window sill of her Central Park West apartment, Inea Bushnaq keeps a miniature orange tree and an olive sapling. They remind her of her first home, a house on the western edge of Jerusalem overlooking an olive grove. In 1948, fighting between Zionists and Palestinians sent bullets through the windows of the house. Bushnaq was nine years old at the time. “I could sense that my parents were frightened,” she recalls, “And to a child that was more alarming than the bullets.” The next day the family packed two suitcases and moved to Nablus, to the house of an uncle which had become a refuge for other family members fleeing Haifa and Tulkarem.

Read her entire story.


Mohammed Buttu remembers the seven mile journey that changed his life like it was yesterday. In 1948 Buttu, then nine-years-old, remembers his father rushing home from a town meeting to announce that the family had to quickly leave their home. An argument ensued between his parents over why the family had to leave. But, his father explained that there was no time because the Zionists were coming and their lives were in danger. “The long walk then began,” he said. “My mother, careful not to frighten me, told me that we were going camping in Nazareth. She tried to keep the truth from me, but she did not realize that I overheard her conversation with my father.”

Read his entire story.


For four months in 1948, 11-year-old Nina Bazouzi Cullers huddled in her grandmother’s basement in the Old City of Jerusalem, hoping to return to her nearby home which she had fled, fearing for her life. Cullers was one of three children of Greek Orthodox parents living in the affluent Katamon suburb in west Jerusalem. “My parents were both from the Old City in Jerusalem,” Cullers says. “After they got married in 1935, they had hopes of living comfortably in a nice residential area. Their main hope was to give their children the best education, no matter the cost. When the disaster that was the Zionist’s aggression unexpectedly came, it shattered all their hopes and dreams.”

Read her entire story.


Mahira Dajani knows what it is like to lose everything. Born into a large, wealthy family in what is now West Jerusalem, Dajani fled her home in 1948 during the Palestinian “Nakba,” or catastrophe. In April 1948, 16-year-old Dajani returned home one afternoon after completing her high school exams to find her mother and younger siblings gone. Her father told her that they had fled to Hebron and that she should go, too. Word had reached the family of the massacre in Deir Yassin, where more than 100 Palestinian men, women, and children were killed by Zionist militias, and they were worried about what may happen in Jerusalem. “I thought I’d be there two or three days and then return home,” Dajani recalled, “I didn’t take anything except for what I was wearing. I left for Hebron and never returned.” Her two older brothers stayed behind to guard the house while the rest of the family reunited at her aunt’s house in Hebron.

Read her entire story.


Soon after Khaled Diab became a refugee in 1948, his life seemed so bleak that he thought it might not be worth living. Still, he considers himself one of the lucky ones. Diab was 21-years-old when he was driven from his home in the Palestinian village of Majd al-Krum by Zionist forces seeking to transform Palestine into a Jewish state. “I made it to the U.S. and went to school; I was able to make a life for myself. The people still in Gaza, the West Bank, in the refugee camps, they are the ones suffering the continuous Nakba, with Israeli military attacks and ongoing theft of their land for Jewish-only settlements.”

Read his entire story.


Ibrahim Fawal was 15-years-old when he woke up in May of 1948 to tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees streaming into his small West Bank town of Ramallah. It is an image he still cannot forget. “They were pitching tents anywhere they could: churches, schoolyards, open fields and cemeteries,” he said. Many had been forced out at gunpoint from their homes in what subsequently became the state of Israel. “Think of the people of New Orleans. They woke up one morning to complete devastation and had to flee,” said Fawal, the author of On the Hills of God. “Most of them have returned to their himes but we Palestinians are still waiting. Sixty years later, and hundreds of thousands of us are still refugees. The Nakba was our Hurricane Katrina – and for us there is no end in sight.”

Read his entire story.


Saadat Hassouneh is the proud father of three: one daughter is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and another is pursuing her Ph.D. at Duke University, his son is an engineer who works for Microsoft. He remembers a time when this would have seemed impossible. Hassouneh was 10 years old in 1948 when his family was driven from their home in Lydda, Palestine during the Zionist takeover. Having lost everything and living in a West Bank refugee camp, his father couldn’t afford to send him to school. He wanted to go so badly that he would run away from home, insisting that he be allowed to attend. “It was the first time in my life that I felt insecure. I didn’t realize what was happening to us. In Lydda, I never felt that way. I knew this was our land; that we were a people and we were there. Now I had to stand in line for a flour ration.”

Read his entire story.


Before becoming a refugee himself, Ahmad Hassan Joudah remembers going door to door in his village, recording the names of newly-arrived Palestinians fleeing Zionist attacks in April 1948. “Many from the big cities, such as Yaffa, fled to our village,” he explains. “I participated in tracking how many new refugees arrived. It almost doubled the population. Each family accommodated another family.” Born in 1934 in the village of Isdoud, located on the Mediterranean between Gaza and Yaffa, Joudah was the son of a farmer. When he wasn’t excelling in school, he was tending to the family’s cows, harvesting wheat, or picking oranges, tomatoes and cucumbers.

Read his entire story.


Dr. Hatim Kanaaneh remembers the day in 1948 that his native village of Arrabeh in the northern Galilee fell to Zionist forces intent on turning Palestine into a Jewish state. “Everyone had a white sheet hanging on a stick on their roof,” he recalls sixty years later from his home in Arrabeh. “The village elders in the neighboring villages of Arrabeh, Sakhnin and Dier Hanna had met and decided that no one would leave. My father was among them.” During the previous months, the eleven year-old Kanaaneh had seen streams of refugees from Palestinian villages further south flowing through Arrabeh, intent on reaching the safety of the Lebanese border in the north.

Read his entire story.


Nina Saah and her husband were next door neighbors as children growing up in Jerusalem in the 1930’s and 40’s. When Nina was a student at the Schmidt’s Girls College, a Catholic School run by nuns, Issa tutored her in math and poetry. After she graduated, he asked for her hand in marriage. But soon after proposing, he decided they should wait. He didn’t want to make Nina a bride and a widow in the same week. It was 1948 and Zionist militias were attacking Palestinian neighborhoods in Jerusalem in anticipation of the end of the British Mandate in Palestine. Little did the couple know they would end up waiting 15 years to finally marry.

Read her entire story.



The new Military Order of the IDF deals only with the deportation of Palestinians from the West Bank. Just how is Israel to ‘deal’ with those Palestinians living ‘on the other side’ of the wall?

In the case of Amir Makhoul, chairman of the Popular Committee for the Defense of Political Freedoms, it started with harassment, then imprisonment, and finally a trumped up charge of alleged spying. This is not the first case of fabricated spy charges. In his own words, Azmi Bishara speaks of his own case.

All part of a ‘final solution’…..

Ameer Makhoul (photo: Adri Nieuwhof)

Israel detains Haifa man for alleged spying

Bethlehem –  A Palestinian citizen of Israel was detained by Israeli forces on Thursday, two weeks after authorities handed down a travel ban imposed by Israel’s Interior Ministry.

Amir Makhoul, director of Ittijah and chairman of the Popular Committee for the Defense of the Political Freedoms, was arrested by Israeli forces on 6 May during a raid of his home, noting that police raided the offices of the organization, confiscating equipment and documents.

The move sparked protests among Palestinians living in Israel, set to rally in Haifa on Monday condemning Makhoul’s arrest and that of Omar Said, a member of the Balad movement, on 24 April. The demonstration will further highlight political repression of the Palestinian minority, the Free Ameer Makhoul blog said.

Israeli media said a gag order preventing news outlets in the country from reporting the detention was lifted late Sunday evening. Information was then released that both men were arrested on charges of spying and contact with a foreign agent from Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

A statement from the Arab Association for Human Rights, whose board member Hussein Abu Hussein is representing Makhoul, said on 6 May at 6am the Israeli General Security Service (GSS or the Shabak) accompanied by Israeli police raided the Makhoul’s home in Haifa with a warrant for his arrest.

The police conducted an extensive search of the house and confiscated items including cell phones and computers, the statement said, adding that according to his wife, Janan, security forces refused to identify themselves and only following her insistence showed her the arrest warrant, which stated that the arrest was for “security reasons.”

A hearing took place the same day at the Petah Tikva Court, where Makhoul’s detention was extended for six days. The statement said Makhoul is being prevented from meeting with his lawyer, even in court. “By not having access to his lawyer, Mr Makhoul is being prevented from fair legal procedures.”

Makhoul’s brother Assam, a former MK for Hadash, said the family had no details of the investigation but they suspected authorities had singled out the activist because of his campaigns against the government’s “racist and discriminatory polices” against the Palestinian minority in Israel, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

On 22 April Makhoul was handed down an administrative order issued by the Israeli Interior Minister, prohibiting him from leaving the country for a period of two months.

In an article published by the online news site Electronic Intifada, Makhoul said “the travel ban imposed on me is part of an increased campaign to intimidate and to spread fear among Palestinian civil society. The repression is meant to divide us, but it has had the opposite effect. We Palestinians in Israel, the West Bank, Gaza and the diaspora are only more determined and united to claim our rights and to build a nation where we can live in freedom and have equal rights.”

“Leaders of the Palestinian civil society, like myself, are under attack. Sheikh Raed Salah, the leader of the Islamic movement, is being persecuted for his involvement in the protection of Jerusalem from ongoing Israeli colonization and extremist settlers.”

The detentions have been widely condemned by international organizations, with the HRA describing Makhoul’s arrest as “a flagrant violation of fundamental freedoms … the arrest warrant and prohibition order, which are based on emergency regulations, are arbitrary political decisions issued by the Interior Minister and are not legal decisions issued by the courts. These decisions lack the most basic human rights standards and due process of law, particularly as they are based on ‘secret’ evidence and the defense is prevented from viewing this evidence.”


West Bankers Made Refugees in Their Own Country
By Mel Frykberg

RAMALLAH,  Several Palestinians have set up a protest tent in no-man’s land in the northern Gaza Strip, near the Erez border crossing into Israel, as they protest their deportation from the Israeli occupied West Bank into Gaza where Hamas authorities have refused them entry.

Tens of thousands of other Palestinians face a possibly similar predicament in the near future. This follows a sweeping new Israeli military order which allows for the expulsion of Palestinians or foreigners whom Israel considers to be in the West Bank illegally as “infiltrators”.

Fadi Azameh, 19, from Hebron in the southern West Bank, was arrested at his place of employment by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) last week, held briefly at a military base before he was expelled to Gaza.

Azameh was born in Gaza but his family left the coastal territory and settled in the West Bank 12 years ago. He had not been back since.

Ahmed Sabah, a 40-year-old prisoner from the northern West Bank town of Tulkarem was also deported to Gaza after serving a lengthy prison sentence in an Israeli jail.

His wife and son, whom he had not seen since the boy was a baby, were informed that Sabah would not be attending a joyful reunion they had planned after he had already been released in Gaza.

The two Palestinians are refusing to leave the tent and have pleaded for international intervention in their case.

The Hamas authorities for their part have stated that they would not allow them into Gaza as this will encourage Israel to proceed with its policy.

The “infiltrator” order could affect thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank who were born in Gaza – or those who had their ID documents issued in Gaza – but moved years ago to live in the West Bank where they now have families and where their employment and educational facilities are based.

Palestinian identification papers in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are formally issued by the Palestinian Authority (PA), but Israel controls the population registry and must approve most changes, including relocation from Gaza to the West Bank.

Thousands of other Palestinians from Jordan and abroad who have reunited with family members in the Israeli controlled territory could also be effected.

Many of those originating in Jordan married West Bank spouses and moved to the Palestinian territory where they subsequently started families.

Other Palestinians with foreign passports who have opened up businesses, creating work opportunities in an area where unemployment remains high, also risk deportation.

Foreign nationals not of Palestinian descent and without Israeli visas could also be targeted.

Israel has been trying to crack down on pro-Palestinian foreign activists and those working with NGOS. Several were deported earlier in the year when heavily armed Israeli troops raided their apartments at night.

Foreign NGO workers based in the Palestinian territories have complained of difficulties in getting their work permits and residence visas renewed by the Israeli authorities.

Israel’s new military order applies even to Area C of the West Bank which under the 1993 Oslo Accords falls under the full civil and military control of the PA.

Critics have argued that Israel is trying to solidify the geographical and political divide between the PA controlled West Bank and the Hamas controlled Gaza Strip. Others say this could be a precedent for ethnic cleansing of the West Bank.

Israeli extremists and right-wingers have long supported the expulsion of Palestinians from the West Bank to Jordan which they argue is the “real Palestinian State”.

A number of Israeli and Palestinian human rights organisatons have written to the Israeli defence minister, Ehud Barak, demanding the postponement of the order’s implementation pending “a serious and comprehensive discussion on the matter”.

The Israeli rights group HaMoked states that the new order is intended to serve as a “High Court bypass” mechanism, facilitating deportation in similar cases in the future.

“The army must bring candidates for deportation before the committee within eight days, while they can be deported without judicial review within 72 hours. At the same time, the candidates for deportation are not allowed to appeal to the committee, or to any court, during these eight days,” says the organisation.

The Fourth Geneva Convention imposes an absolute prohibition on the forced removal of civilians from their homes, the violation of which is deemed an especially grave breach of the Convention.

Meanwhile, in a continuing development Gazans challenging Israel’s “no-go security zones” along Gaza’s borders with Israel continue to be wounded and killed as they try to access their agricultural land, much of it situated in the fertile areas along the border.

Last week Ahmed Deeb, 21, from Gaza bled to death after Israeli soldiers shot him in the leg, rupturing his femoral artery, with a “dum dum” bullet which fragments inside the targeted area upon impact.

The week before, Maltese national Bianca Zammit, 28, was also shot in the leg as she filmed one of the growingly frequent non-violent protests against Israel’s self-declared buffer zones.

In another incident of Gazans dying to live, four tunnel workers were killed, and several hospitalised in a serious condition, in southern Gaza after Egyptian security forces threw explosives into several smuggling tunnels linking Gaza with the Sinai Peninsula.

Due to Israel’s crippling economic blockade of the coastal territory – in conjunction with the Egyptians – the tunnels represent a vital supply line for desperately needed daily goods for the impoverished territory.

Working in the tunnels also provides Gaza’s poor with a means of income in an area where unemployment is rife.



So, just where are they?

Also see THIS post that was written yesterday.




The Hamas government in Gaza announced Thursday is will receive West Bank deportees in a tent erected at the Erez crossing, but they will not allow the expelled Palestinians into Gaza, Ma’an News Agency reports.

While being housed in the tent, international rights group say the deported Palestinians will be able to move in the West Bank, which would be nearly impossible if they physically cross into the Gaza Strip.

Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh said of the matter, “The regulation simply will not be allowed to stand.”

Haniyeh insists they will be able to force a reversal of the Israeli ID law by making it impossible to completely expel Palestinians to Gaza.  Haniyeh also says this move is not an attempt to keep anyone out of a part of the Palestinian territories but rather a protest of a law that would dictate where Palestinians are allowed to live in the OPT.

The ID law in question gives Israeli officers and officials the authority to deport any Palestinians without a West Bank ID or without an ID at all.  Two Palestinians have come in contact with the ID law already: Ahmed Sabah was deported to Gaza upon release from prison this week.  He is currently residing in the Hamas tent at Erez crossing.  The second man, Saber Albayari, was deported after seeking medical treatment in Israel near his home in Yaffa.  Ma’an says the Albayari deportation decision was later reversed for unknown reasons.

Photos: Palestinian ID (Dlisbona); Haniyeh (Freegazaorg) – Flickr



We constantly hear of the Nakba and what it means to the people of Palestine. The following will bring it closer to home as we describe the impact it has had on just one family…. the Sabbah family.

Haitham Sabbah is a fellow blogger, one that I proudly refer to as my brother. He is a Palestinian but is not allowed to live here….. he’s not even allowed to visit. I have to chuckle to myself every time I think of Haitham, in Hebrew his family name means Grandfather. Although he is 25 years younger than myself I think of him as the Grandfather of the Palestinian Blogesphere as he is the one with the most wisdom and personal experiences in the struggle. He is always there to offer his advice and guidance, without which our message would never reach the number of people it does on a daily basis. We are all eternally grateful to him for his dedication to the cause.

The following, from his own Blog is a bit about himself….

Haitham Sabbah is a Palestinian activist and blogger. He was born in exile in Kuwait on 2nd April 1969. The last time he was allowed to visit his homeland, Occupied Palestine was in 1986. He has never been allowed entry to his homeland since then. He has lived in many countries throughout the Arab world including Jordan, UAE and currently resides in Bahrain. He graduated in 1990 from Birla Institute of Technology – India with a degree in Engineering, Electronics and Communication.

He is now employed in the capacity of senior manager at Zain Bahrain – part of a leading global telecommunication company – and is a professional blogger during his personal time.

Haitham is one of the founders of the blogosphere in the Middle East and he continues to be one of the most famous bloggers there, as well as having a very large global readership. He is a well known online activist and his writing focuses on Israel’s occupation of Palestine, War, Human Rights, Culture and Religious issues in the Middle East. He integrates into the sites and blogs he manages the innovations the medium allows as well as maintaining its essential character as a space of exchange of information and community.

He has participated in several conferences and workshops related to blogging and activism in the Middle East and his blog has received several awards over its years of existence (2000 – present). He has also participated in many blogging and Web 2.0 projects, some of which are well known references today, such as Palestine Blogs Aggregator,  and Global Voices Online.  He is also a co-founder of Palestine Think Tank, which, like all of his sites, is primarily in English, but also includes material in Arabic.

Why do I blog?

The main reason behind my blogging is to unleash the truth hidden by the main stream media about the Middle East and how it is presented to the world online, TV and newspaper. I find the international media in general to be biased and censored and does not reflect the truth about Arab nation culture, religion and politics. Another reason (which is related to the first) is the weak media of the Arab world, direct towards non-Arab and non-Muslims.

I blog because I want to correct the wrong perception about my nation and to present the facts which are hidden (by design) from being presented to West, specially when it comes to Israeli occupation of Palestine and the truth about what is terrorism and what is resistance.

‘Born in exile’….. can you even imagine what that means? ‘Not being allowed to visit your Homeland’ ….. can you imagine what that means? And WHY? Did he commit a crime?? Did his parents??? NO! His (their) ‘crime’ is the fact that they are Palestinian. They were among the first victims of the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the state of Israel.

BUT…. it doesn’t end with Haitham. Last week a close relative of his was the first Palestinian that was deported from the West Bank to Gaza under the new military order. A young man from the same town, guilty of the same crime, HE IS A PALESTINIAN. You can read about this by clicking HERE.

AND …. it won’t end with Ahmed unless YOU do something about it. Of all the ‘laws’ that have been passed by the zionist entity since 1948, this new military order is one of the most unjust. It not only legalises ethnic cleansing, it officially puts Israel on the road to fascism. This MUST NOT be tolerated by the rest of the world. We are talking about the lives of innocent people, NOT TERRORISTS. We are talking about people with families, with children, with livelihoods. We are talking about ordinary people living in daily terror. THIS MUST END NOW … and only YOU can end it…. Israel won’t do it on its own.

Don’t wait until they come for you….. PROTEST NOW… write to every Israeli Embassy throughout the world DEMANDING Freedom for the Palestinian people and an end to the unjust military order. Details of the order can be read HERE.

Contact information for Israeli Missions abroad can be found HERE.


Letters demanding the revocation of the amended order should be sent to:

Ehud Barak, Minister of Defence, Ministry of Defence
37 Kaplan Street, Hakirya, Tel Aviv 61909, Israel
Fax: +972 3 691 6940
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Salutation: Dear Minister

Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs: +972-2-530-3111

The Israeli Ambassador in your own country

Your own national embassy in Israel

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