Archive | January 3rd, 2011

THE CHIEF PA BUFFOON

NOVANEWS 

 

Dec 30, 2010

#BDS: Erekat: Boycott Settlements, Not Israel

by Farah Rowaysati

Chief PLO negotiator addresses World Union of Ziopnist Sudents in Jerusalem, says’ the history of the Jewish-Arab relations can change.’

Chief PLO negotiator PA Buffoon Saeb Erekat on Thursday told a delegation of international Zionist students that the world should boycott products of the settlements, and not Israel.

Speaking at the annual congress of the World Union of Zionist Students in Jerusalem, Erekat delivered a positive message of peace to an audience of Zionist student leaders from around the world.

“I am not here to make propaganda, I do peace because I believe it is do-able,” said  Buffoon Erekat, explaining that the conflict between the Zionist and Palestinians is not a religious one. “My world is divided between those who are pro-peace and those who are not,” he said “I don’t think G-d is anti-peace.”

Erekat emphasized that the only chance for peace is the two state solution. “We’ve come a long way in the negotiations,” he said, “75% of Palestinians support a two state solution and we want to make peace with all of Israel. It is not just about putting everyone to their sides, we are destined to live together.

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WILL THE NEW CONGRESS BE DIFFERENT?

NOVANEWS

1/2/2011

Will the New Congress Be Different?

by Jeff Davis

 

The Republican Congress is coming into office in a few days. One significant change is the Tea Party. There are a number of House Representatives and Senators who are effectively wild cards, who may actually do things and ask questions, which polite mainstream Republicans would never dare.

USA Today reports: “An incoming House committee chairman said today that the new Republican majority will probably move this month to repeal President Obama’s health care bill, setting up a major political battle over the president’s major domestic initiative. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., incoming chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, agreed that the Senate is unlikely to follow suit, and Obama would doubtless veto any repeal effort. But he said Republicans would then seek to block various aspects of the law, including the requirement that all Americans buy health insurance.”

Obama can veto any attempt to repeal his health care bill so this seems like a waste of time except as a political stunt. This is going to be the story of the next two years; gridlock, which is fine, so long as it prevents Obama from destroying any more of what remains of America. But will it? A president with nothing to lose can still do some damage.

The article notes “‘We’re going to go after this bill piece by piece,’ Upton said on Fox News Sunday, later adding: ‘We will look at these individual pieces to see if we can’t have the thing crumble.’ Upton said a general repeal vote by the House will probably take place before the president’s State of the Union address, which is expected to be in late January. The health care law is also under challenge in federal court.”

Well, if the Republicans do have the moral courage to go after Obamacare, more power to them. I’ll believe it when I see it. The Republicans even more so than the Democrats have a tendency to have memories six minutes long when it comes to campaign promises. Politicians think promises are for the “rubes” on election day, not something one keeps.

What you have to remember is that through some kind of weird unwritten code or something, Congress and the federal government never repeal any of this liberal crap once it’s passed. Social security, medicare, the Civil Rights Act, Roe vs. Wade, now openly Gay soldiers in the military, all of these things are now effectively engraved in stone. No conservative opposition ever has or most likely ever will succeed in repealing any of this –at least not with the two-party system in its current configuration.

Will the Republican class of 2011 be any different with all those Tea Party types in there? It’s true they don’t have the numbers yet, but they do seem to have the will of the White majority behind them. Anyone who gets in front of the Tea Party steamroller is likely to get flattened in his next election just ask Senator Bob Bennet or Senator Arlen Specter.

Of course, the usual corrupting influences will try to seduce the Tea Party politicians into becoming venal sleazebags just like John McCain. Let’s hope the Tea Party folks aren’t so quick to sell their souls.

 

 

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ZAHAR URGES FATAH TO ABANDON FUTILE PEACE PROCESS

NOVANEWS
03/01/2011
 
 
 
 

  Prominent Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar has urged Palestinian factions, including Fatah, to abandon the “futile peace process” with Israel and revert to the “way of resistance.”

 “Sustained armed resistance is the only way to liberate Palestine,” said the veteran Islamic leader during a ceremony marking the 23rd anniversary of Hamas’s founding.

 Hamas was founded in 1987 in the Gaza Strip as a reaction to mounting Israeli terrorism and savagery aimed mostly at pushing Palestinians to emigrate and cede their ancestral homeland to Zionist Jews.

 Zahar, who co-founded Hamas along with several other Islamist leaders, including the late Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Abdul Aziz al-Rantisi, burned the Israeli flag as supporters chanted “death to the Israeli occupation” and “death to Zionism.”

 Both Yassin and Rantisi, as well as a large number of Hamas’s founding leaders, were martyred by the Zionist occupation forces.

 A physician by profession, Zahar said Israel had no future in Palestine and its existence will come to an end sooner or later.

 “The Israeli occupation will come to an end; it has no future,” he said. “Our principles and constants are not subject to human reasoning; our land is sacred and holy and our rights are not subject to referenda or elections or bargaining or compromise or sale.”

 Zahar was seemingly responding to recent rumours that Hamas might be prompted to recognize Israel in exchange for the creation of an independent Palestinian State in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.

 Zahar said Hamas’s hands were being extended to other Palestinian groups for national unity.

 “Our hands are extended to you; don’t let us down. We also call on the Arabs to utilize their armies for the liberation of Palestine or at least stop guarding Israel’s borders.”

 “We are not your enemies; your real enemies are those who would want to see your soldiers killed needlessly in futile and pointless wars in Lebanon, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Sudan.”

 He also urged the Palestinian Authority security apparatus to free detained resistance fighters from PA lockups.

 

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ZIONIST COMPANIES PUNSHED FOR ”IGNORING THEIR ZIONISM”

NOVANEWS

Zio=Nazi MKs have signed a petition calling for a boycott of the Zionist companies that volunteered to participate in the building of the Palestinian city of Rawabi

3 Jan 2011

 

Around 48 Zio=Nazi MKs have signed a petition calling for a total boycott of Zionist companies that volunteered to participate in the building of the Palestinian Rawabi city north of Ramallah.

The Zionist companies made a statement by announcing that they would not use illegal settlement-made products throughout the construction process. Zionist public radio announced in its Jewish service on Monday that a group named “Israel Land” took the initiative and were the first to sign the petition.

The group included MKs from right-wing parties in addition to MKs from center right Kadima.

“These companies imposed a ban on settlement-made commodities and this necessitates an appropriate government response,” the petition highlighted. In fact the wording of the petition was so outrageous that it bluntly accused the Zionist companies of “ignoring their Zionist origins and national solidarity in return for a bunch of dollars.”

A radio broadcast by the Israeli army had actually announced the signing of a contract between the Palestinian authority and the Zionist companies to construct the Palestinian city. Ab-A$$ P A stated a ban on any settlement-made commodities to be used by Zionist companies throughout the process.

A number of Zionist companies have actually moved their offices from settlements areas to inside Tel Aviv after pressure by the European Union mounted.

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MONDOWEISS ONLINE NEWSLETTER

NOVANEWS

 
 
 01/03/2011

 

 

Gaza Two Years Later: From beneath

Jan 03, 2011

Rawan Yaghi

 

I didn’t even know if my eyes were open.

After a big mess everything seemed so calm I could sense the dust covering my face,

the only part I could feel. I could feel my breath hitting one of the bricks of my room’s

floor. Air found its way through everything surrounding my body. Silence was all I cou-

ld hear.

My arms trapped somewhere under the wooden edges of my bed, my toes, my legs, my

hair, they all were jailed and penalized not to move. I was afraid. I waited and waited tr-

ying to recall all the joyful events in my life, as my mother once advised me to do so

when I’m afraid, though they were few: My elder brother’s big wedding, my grandm-

other coming from Hajj and bringing me a doll singing, the last Eid when I got my

biggest Edeyya ever, my mother bringing us home a new baby after me. I wonder if

that was a happy event for me, but I could certainly see the joy my parents had looking

at that little thing.

My breath firmly came back to my face touching it as to comfort me and tell me that ever-

ything will be ok. A minute later I started crying, though. And only then I realized that my

eyes were closed, for I could feel my wet eyelashes. It did not matter; opening them and

closing them were thoroughly the same. I cried so much that my tears mixed with the dust

on my face felt like mud at the edges of my face. I must have been bleeding, since a killing

pain started growing in my chest with the growing of my weeping. I tried to move in order

to stop the pain. Only one muscle, I found out that something very sharp, extremely strong,

calmly was standing through my skin. I stopped crying. I waited. I bled.Rawan Yaghi, 17, is

 a secondary school student in Gaza. She blogs at:http://rawan-hp.blogspot.com

Gaza Two Years Later is a series of posts by Gazan bloggers and writers reflecting on the two-

year anniversary of the Israeli attack on Gaza in the winter of 2008/09. You can read the entire

 series here.

Lo, Uri Avnery said to carry ‘Murders in Uniform’ poster

Jan 02, 2011

Philip Weiss

 

avnery

From Ofer in Israel. I’m trusting the translation… And I believe this was at the

demonstration against the killing of Jawaher Abu Rahma.

Is it anti-Semitic to warn women about the perils of meeting Israeli men?

Jan 02, 2011

Seham

 

From Ynet today:

Ashkelon rally targets Arabs who ‘seduce girls’  … 

Fliers handed out in anticipation of the rally say, “Father, wake up before Yusuf is sitting

 in your living room”.      …..”Recently we have been witnessing a serious threat.

Dozens of Arabs living near the beach in Ashkelon are harming young girls from good

homes and seducing them,” Glam’s letter to the mayor said. “In one case I know of, they

forced a girl to work as a prostitute in another city.”

From UN Trafficking in Persons Report 2010:

Israel is a destination country for men and women subjected to trafficking in persons,

specifically forced labor and forced prostitution.

Let the world see….’A Child’s View from Gaza’

Jan 02, 2011

Susan Johnson

 

We posted this video of children’s drawings a week ago, but it deserves a repeat

performance:

The new year has arrived, 2011. Please let it be better than 2008-2009-2020; let it be

better for Gaza. For Gaza I wish a year without war; without the shower of white pho-

sphorous, bombs, missiles. Keep Gaza safe from invasion, tanks, bulldozers and guns.

In May 2009 I saw the impact of Operation Cast Lead on Gaza. The rubble and destru-

ction were visible everywhere I went ….beyond my wildest dreams. The Gazans were

managing to live/survive….their strength and determination were amazing.

They were living in tents, bombed out shells of houses, crowded in residences built for

 six people now sheltering twenty. And the children–Children….were everywhere…

playing in the rubble; peeking out from behind their parents or grandparents; giving

peace signs, asking, “you American?” Many were lively and friendly…..others were with-

drawn….their faces lacked expression….no, it was a blank expression….one that comes

from extreme trauma…eyes dark and empty…they had no desire, maybe no ability to

interact.

All Gaza’s children suffered in one way or another from the horrors of Israel’s crimes.

Most were masking the sights they’d seen, the losses, the shock, the fear…memories.

The Qattan Center for the Child was filled with lively children…playing, laughing, dancing;

thoroughly engaged….enjoying childhood activities. Qattan’s director explained the center’s

art therapy program which encourages children to express their fears, emotions and trauma

through art. Most of the pictures were drawn using bright colors…..indicating happiness?

Wrong!! Airplanes were dropping bombs; children were running, hiding; crying; people were

bleeding bright red blood and laying on the ground…dead. There were houses on fire;

buildings reduced to rubble; ambulances; helicopters shooting missiles; white phosphorous

 raining from the sky.

The drawings were shocking….war revealed through the eyes of a child. Some how their

drawings expressed the horrors of Operation Cast Lead as clearly as videos and photographs

of events  Fear, honesty, accuracy, horror and emotion covered sheet after sheet of paper…..

Art, expressing what the children had witnessed;  children who, through no fault of their own,

were put through

It was clear to me…. people. the average American, needs to see these pictures. Not people

familiar with the I/P situation, anti-war people…they are already “on-board.” We need appeal

to an audience who is not committed, people who are questioning, people who continue to

wonder about Operation Cast Lead and it’s impact on Gaza. Because the drawings are by

children the viewer most likely expect a cute, simple selection of children’s drawings…

certainly not dramatic, gut-wrenching accounts of war…the view seen by the children of

Gaza sharing openly what they experienced….the Impact of Operation Cast Lead!

A traveling art exhibit “A Child’s View from Gaza” is a collection of 25-30 drawings created

by children from six children’s centers in Gaza……the drawings show what they saw and

experienced and are as beautiful as they are disturbing. 

Rajie Cook and Thomas Francisco have created a powerful video featuring drawings from

“A Child’s View of Gaza” Please, watch it here on Mondoweiss! It is also available on youtube.

As the new year begins there are talks of Israel, once again, invading Gaza.

The Peace Talks are failing to produces peace in the Middle East. We need to be creative,

do everything possible to bring a halt to Israel’s actions against Gaza. We need to awaken

the average American to the truth…..perhaps the children of Gaza and their powerful art

can help.

“A Child’s View of Gaza”; for information and exhibit arrangements email Susan:

achildsview1@gmail.com 

Groundbreaking report terms Israel’s isolation cells ‘dungeons’

Jan 02, 2011

annie

 

With a headshot of Marwan Barghouti, Haaretz brings us this chilling report from

the Israel Bar Association describing Israel’s isolation wings at the Ayalon and

Shikma prisons as “not fit for human habitation” and “look more like a dungeon.” 

“crammed, rancid with smells of sewer and mold, and infested with insects.”

The report noted that prolonged stay isolated from the general prison population

has profound psychological impacts. “Many isolated inmates testified to have

developed paranoia, a tendency for uncontrollable fits of rage, and eyesight problems

because of the lack of natural light through most hours of the day,” the lawyers wrote.

… Prison Servic spokesman Yaron Zamir said in response that isolation was being

carried out “under court monitoring and according to sheer necessity, while providing

the appropriate conditions, rights and treatment.” He also said that a multi-year plan

by the Prison Service included a large investment in renovating the prisons, including

the isolation wings, with work already having begun in a number of them.

Reider: ‘A non-violent movement of exactly the kind prayed for by liberals wishing for a

Palestinian Gandhi’

Jan 02, 2011

Kate

 

and other news from Today in Palestine:

Land, property, resource theft and destruction / Ethnic cleansing / SettlersSettlers attack Hebron popular committee official
HEBRON (Ma’an) — Settlers in Hebron attacked a Popular Committee official on Sunday, leaving him unconscious, witnesses said. Azmi Ash-Shuyukhi was transferred by ambulance to Hebron’s government hospital after he was beaten while leading a solidarity tour near Yatta, south of the West Bank city. After regaining consciousness, Ash-Shuyukhi said 10 settlers punched and kicked him, leaving cuts and bruises all over his body. Israeli soldiers were present and witnessed the attack but did not intervene, he added.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=347527Armed settlers surround Palestinian home
Dozens of armed settlers on Sunday surrounded a Palestinian home in Burin south of Nablus, a Palestinian Authority official said. Ghassan Doughlas, a settlement affairs officer who monitors the northern West Bank, said settlers attempted to enter the home of Um Ayman Suwan, but were stopped by dozens of residents … The village suffers frequent violent attacks by residents of illegal outposts and the Bracha and Yitzhar settlements
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=347506This article manages to avoid saying anything at all about planting trees to cover ethnically cleansed Palestinian villages
Fire forces Israel to reassess tradition of tree planting
…The devastation has raised questions about the place and management of forests in a drought-plagued Middle Eastern country in an age of global warming. And it has forced a reassessment of traditional tree-planting efforts long seen by Israelis and Jewish contributors abroad as part of a national mission to “make the wasteland bloom.’’
http://www.boston.com/news/world/middleeast/articles/2011/01/02/fire_forces_israel_to_reassess_tradition_of_tree_planting/

Bil`in and the murder of Jawaher Abu Rahmah

Bil`in protester’s mother ‘not seeking revenge’
In the mourners’ tent set up in her backyard, the grieving mother told Ynet that in spite of the double tragedy which struck her family, her strong belief in peace as the only solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remained unchanged.  “I brought my children to the world with love and I educated them to believe in peace and not to act violently,” she said. “Out of six children, I have four left,” she added. “I’m not complaining because it’s not in our hands. God decides what will happen. I ask the people of Israel to take a firm stand against the occupation…”
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4007543,00.html

Scenes from Jawaher Abu Rahmah’s funeral
includes video, photos 
http://mondoweiss.net/2011/01/scenes-from-jawaher-abu-rahmahs-funeral.html

Images; funeral of Bil`in protester Jawaher abu Rahmah
http://972mag.com/images-funeral-of-bilins-unarmed-protester-jawaher-abu-rahmah/

Army investigating death of Bil`in protester
[that is, they’re thinking up ways to blame her death on the Palestinians] …An Israeli military statement issued Saturday evening said Palestinians initially reported that Abu Rahmah was released from hospital Friday and died at home. “Subsequently the Palestinians changed their version of events, claiming that she died in the hospital,” the statement continued. A military spokesman did not immediately know who the Palestinians quoted in the statement were, but said he would look into it. Bil’in popular committee spokesman Jonathan Pollak said the statement was a “shameless lie aimed at distorting reality.” 
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=347236

Lawyer slams army cover-up of tear gas death
JERUSALEM (AFP) — The lawyer of the family of a Palestinian woman who died after being tear-gassed by Israeli troops at a West Bank protest accused the military on Sunday of a cover-up. “Once again the army is covering up the actions of its men, instead of apologizing and conducting a serious inquiry,” Michael Sfard told Israel’s army radio after the military announced an investigation into the death of Jawaher Abu Rahmah.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=347419

Y-NET reporter slurs non-violent movement
There’s lies, damn lies, and then there’s the following kind of journalism. As Joseph reports, Jawaher Abu Rahma, who lost her brother Bassam Abu Rahmah to tear gas just 18 months ago, died this morning from tear gas poisoning. The single most important thing about movement both siblings belonged to, and paid with their lives to sustain, is that it is a non-violent movement, of exactly the kind prayed for by liberals wishing for a Palestinian Ghandi or Mandela.
http://972mag.com/y-net-reporter-slurs-non-violent-movement/

Demonstrators ‘return’ tear gas canisters to US ambassador’s home / Joseph Dana
(with photos) 1 Jan –  Israeli activists protesting the killing of Bil’in’s Jawaher Abu Rahmah ‘returned’ spent tear gas canisters to the residence of the American ambassador to Israel late Saturday evening. Jawaher Abu Rahmah, 36, was evacuated to the Ramallah hospital yesterday after inhaling massive amounts of tear-gas during the weekly protest in Bil’in, and died of poisoning this morning. The tear gas used by the Israeli forces in Bil’in is manufactured by Combined Systems Inc.; a United States company based in Jamestown, Pennsylvania. This is the first protest where empty tear gas canisters have been returned to an ambassador’s home.
UPDATE 11:40: The police now claim that some of the tear gas canisters were still ‘live’ and thus, the activists are being charged with attacking the US Ambassador’s home. Among the demonstrators arrested are those who were simply in the area and not involved in any protest. There is an appeal being filed right now. 
http://mondoweiss.net/2011/01/demonstrators-%E2%80%98return%E2%80%99-tear-gas-canisters-to-us-ambassador%E2%80%99s-home.html

Incroyable: Israeli protesters who ‘returned’ empty US tear gas canisters used at Bil`in to US ambassador  — are being held on illegal possession of weapons / Jerry Haber
UPDATE: Nine activists were arrested in total last night. They are being brought before a judge right now on suspicion of possession of firearms (related to used means of crowd disperse found at the scene). The police have told the activists that they intend to extent their arrest. More updates to follow. 
http://www.jeremiahhaber.com/2011/01/incroyable-israeli-protesters-who.html

Hundreds rally in Tel Aviv to protest Bil`in woman’s death
…according to several eyewitness accounts … the soldiers began firing tear gas as soon as they saw the demonstrators. This was well before they reached the fence and certainly before any stones were thrown. Many other witnesses, including this writer, saw that the army blanketed the village in enormous quantities of gas, causing children as young as 8, who were standing at least 150 meters from the fence, to gag and spit up mucus … According to the website MySay [only in Hebrew, unfortunately], the army uses a type of tear gas that is the most toxic and dangerous type available. The gas, known by the acronym CS, was outlawed in the UK as far back as 1964 due to concerns over its many side effects  – one of which is the potentially deadly accumulation of fluids in the lungs several hours after exposure to the gas.
http://972mag.com/hundreds-rally-in-tel-aviv-to-protest-bilin-protesters-death/

Video: Protesting the revolting death of Jawahar Abu Rahmah / Ami Kaufman
… And then I saw the police brutality saved for left wingers. I’ve been to my share of demos. When I was a teenager demonstrating against religious coercion, I never saw such force. When I was a student on strike at Tel Aviv University, I never saw such force. When I witnessed the disengagement from Gaza in Gush Katif, I never saw such force. What I did see was the disrespect, maybe even the hate, in the eyes of the policemen. Below is an unedited video of the footage I took with my pocket camera last night. After 30 seconds, the blocking of the road begins, and some of the arrests start at 5:00. At 9:57 a violent arrest takes place.
ttp://972mag.com/protesting-the-revolting-death-of-jawahar-abu-rahmah/

Video: Protesters breached the wall in Bil`in 31-12-10
Note the music at about 3:25 and especially the copious amounts of tear gas
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FErDPdMzWjY

Video: The shooting of Jawaher’s brother Bassem Abu Rahma in April 2009
He was hit in the chest with a high velocity tear-gas projectile shot directly at him, and died of his wounds minutes after. Sulhia’s other son, Ashraf, was injured about two years ago when he was shot by an IDF soldier while being bound.
Lest we forget. 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yM9U2y-op4

Other Violence / Aggression

Soldiers shoot dead Palestinian at checkpoint
NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Sunday shot dead a Palestinian man at Hamra checkpoint east of Nablus in the northern West Bank. Sources in the Palestinian Red Crescent identified the man as Tubas-resident Mahmoud Muhammad Dharaghma, 21, and said his body was riddled with bullets. Eyewitness Dr Hatim Froukh said Dharaghma was shot at close range by three soldiers … Other witnesses said they saw Dharaghma trying to approach the checkpoint with a Coca-Cola can in his hand. As he came close to a female soldier, witnesses said, she started shouting at him, and immediately two other soldiers showered him with gunshots. 
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=347306

IDF to investigate Bekaot checkpoint incident
IDF is set to investigate the incident surrounding the shooting of a Palestinian Sunday morning at the Bekaot checkpoint. The Palestinian was shot over fears that he was attempting a stabbing attack on one of the soldiers. The suspect, Muhammad Drajama (21), was armed with a glass bottle. [End]
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4007613,00.html

PA: Israeli shooting ‘dangerous escalation’
Ramallah (AFP) …Nabil Abu Rudeina, spokesman for President Mahmoud Abbas, condemned the death of Mohammed Daraghme, which came less than 48 hours after the death of a Palestinian protester who inhaled massive amounts of tear gas at a demonstration. “The Israeli escalation in the last two days is aimed at demolishing any hope of a peace process, and we ask the US administration and the international community to take necessary steps to stop the dangerous escalation against the area,” he told AFP.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=347431

Israeli airstrikes injure 2 in Gaza
Israeli warplanes launched attacks early Sunday morning on two sites in the Gaza Strip leaving two Palestinians injured, medics said. Locals said the first airstrike targeted a training field for Hamas’ military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, in Jabalia in northern Gaza. Medics said one Palestinian was injured and the strike caused serious damage to the field and neighboring homes. Meanwhile, Israeli fighter jets fired missiles at an open area west of the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. One civilian was injured and transferred to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir Al-Balah, medics said.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=347281

Case against IDF officer closed
Testimonies counter claim that former Kfir Brigade commander condoned violence against Palestinians. Attorney: Itai Virob moral officer who emphasized humane, moral behavior
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4007498,00.html

Army: Soldier injured at anti-wall rally
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Israeli military said Saturday that a soldier was lightly injured at an anti-wall rally Friday in Nil’in west of Ramallah in the central West Bank. Israeli soldiers used force to shut down the protest, firing tear-gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets at demonstrators. The army said a soldier was hit in the face by a rock thrown by a protester. 
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=347283

Activism / Solidarity 

Egypt allows Indonesian aid into Gaza
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — Egyptian officials at the Rafah crossing allowed an Indonesian aid convoy to enter Gaza on Sunday. The group brought 2 tons of medicine and medical equipment estimated to be worth $60,000, organizers said. The Indonesian ambassador to Egypt delivered the aid to the Egyptian Red Crescent. Meanwhile, Egyptian officials said preparations were complete to receive the Asia One aid ship at El-Arish port.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=347573

Asian ship sets sail from Syria with Gaza aid
DAMASCUS (AFP) – An aid ship carrying goods for the blockaded Gaza Strip and backed by Asian activists has set sail from the Syrian port of Latakia for Egypt, a Palestinian official said in Damascus on Sunday. Khaled Abdel-Majid, a spokesman for Palestinian groups based in Syria, told AFP that the boat had left Latakia on Saturday, and was en route to the the Egyptian port of El-Arish, where the aid would be off-loaded for transportation overland to Gaza. He said that 112 activists had arrived in Egypt on Sunday to link up with the aid convoy. Several Asian charity organizations, mainly from India, were behind the initiative, Abdel-Majid had said earlier. A dozen activists would be on board the “Salam” (Peace in Arabic), from Asian countries that included Iran, Japan, Pakistan and Afghanistan, he had said. “The ship has been the target of Israeli provocations” since sailing into international waters, Abdel-Majid said on Sunday.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=347601

Report: Israeli navy detains Gaza-bound ship
Iranian Fars news agency reported Sunday that two Israeli Navy ships detained a ship named ‘Salam’ which was sailing to Gaza with intentions of getting humanitarian aid into the strip. The passengers on the ship claimed that they were detained in international waters. A ship with eight Asian activists left Syria on Saturday. The activists are hoping to pass equipment on to Gaza strip residents through the Rafah border crossing in Egypt. 
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4007668,00.html

Santa appears in Tulkarem
…Accompanied by a young man wearing traditional Palestinian dress, Santa was trailed by dozens of children chanting “boycott Israel.” He distributed Palestinian-produced snacks with stickers encouraging residents to boycott settlement goods. The event was organized by the local anti-wall campaign committee. Campaign coordinator Fayez Itneib said Santa’s visit aimed to wish Palestinians a happy new year and to remind them of the urgency of the boycott campaign. By twinning Santa with a man in traditional dress, organizers hoped to affirm the unity between Christians and Muslims as they faced Israel’s occupation together, Itneib said.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=347221

Racism / Discrimination

Ashkelon rally targets Arabs who ‘seduce girls’
Residents of Ashkelon are planning to protest Tuesday against “Arabs who associate with girls”. Leading the rally is City Councilman Tomer Glam, who says the protest does not stem from racism. “Associating with minors is a serious criminal offence,” he explained. Fliers handed out in anticipation of the rally say, “Father, wake up before Yusuf is sitting in your living room”.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4008005,00.html

Waiting period for Palestinians seeking status extended
Additional six-month wait imposed on Israeli-Palestinian couples. MK Zahalka: “Calling this racism would be a huge compliment. It is a merciless, retroactive law. Even couples who met and married before the law was legislated must abide by it. Above everything else it is an inhumane law.” 
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4007983,00.html

Intellectuals: Firing racist rabbis not enough
Dozens call on State to prosecute municipal rabbis who called not to rent, sell apartments to Arabs; say other option is ‘dictatorship that will destroy Israel’
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4007502,00.html

Artists protest against rabbis’ letter
Writer organizing protest says ‘racial dictatorship’ overtaking Israel will annul its right to exist — Artists on Sunday protested a racist letter published by rabbis, calling on Jews not to rent homes to Arabs. The protest followed a formal request for the dismissal of the rabbis, including the chief rabbi of Safed, issued on Saturday. 
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4007975,00.html

Detention

Israeli forces arrest 2 children in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Sunday detained two Palestinian children in Jerusalem’s Old City, witnesses said. Khaled Dweik, 6, and his 7-year-old cousin Mohammad Suheil were playing hopscotch in the Bab Al-A’mud area. They were throwing stones as part of the game and accidentally hit an Israeli soldier who then arrested them, locals said.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=347537

Hamas: PA detained 3,000 members in 2010
…At a press conference in Gaza City, [Hamas spokesman Fawzi] Barhoum said 1,404 of those detained by PA forces had served time in Israeli jails, 49 were prominent Hamas leaders, 49 Imams of mosques, 405 university students and 24 professors. Those imprisoned also included 36 journalists, 12 businessmen, five pharmacists, seven women and 12 school children, he added.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=347519

Commission: Reports of Hamas detainee’s death are false
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Commission for Human Rights on Sunday said media reports that a Hamas member died in Palestinian Authority custody were false. Representatives of the commission said they visited Muhannad Neiroukh in a PA prison in Bethlehem, and that he was on hunger strike but in good health. [End]
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=347492

Hizb ut-Tahrir: PA detained members
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Hizb Ut-Tahrir accused Palestinian Authority security forces of detaining at least 100 members during home raids across the West Bank on Saturday. In a statement issued a day earlier, the movement said the PA and the PLO had abandoned the Palestinian cause. Hizb Ut-Tahrir is an international pan-Islamist party seeking the re-establishment of an Islamic Caliphate.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=347231

IOF soldiers arrest Jordanian citizen on his way back home
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested a Jordanian national a couple of days ago while on his way back to his country, Jordanian press sources said in Amman on Saturday. They said that the IOF soldiers at King Hussein bridge between Jordan and the occupied West Bank on Thursday detained Amjad Sidir, 46, and questioned him before deciding to take him into custody. Relatives of Sidir, a merchant, said that he visited occupied Jerusalem after obtaining a visa from the Israeli embassy in Amman and abided by the visit instructions during his 15-day stay, which made news of his arrest “surprising”.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd87MDI46m9rUxJEpMO%2bi1s7JEgKXs6PfqJePraAZ%2bccX%2bNUM%2fLhU3i6P5rD0%2frcYfOSLCUN5iaGADfmvzJBeoGuVqxK36hS7dnAvYfgIU1UHKKNtDQeXAbPMN3lhM27m3Q%3d

2 East Jerusalem teens arrested on suspicion of stoning bus
Two east Jerusalem teenage boys have been arrested on suspicion of hurling stones at a bus near the Old City’s Nablus Gate. There were no reports of injuries in the incident. [End]
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4007824,00.html

Hamas plan: missile at soccer match
Cleared for publication: Two Hamas members from east Jerusalem were indicted Sunday on suspicion of planning to fire a missile at Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium during an Israeli premier league soccer match. Their remand was extended by two weeks.According to a Shin Bet investigation, the two men – Moussa Hamada of Sur Baher and Bassam Omri of Beit Safafa — began planning the terrorist activity after the Israeli operation in Gaza.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4007707,00.html

Siege

Gaza: One border crossing to operate
Israeli authorities informed Palestinian crossings officials that one Gaza crossing would be partially opened on Sunday for the limited transfer of goods into the coastal enclave, liaison officer Raed Fattouh told Ma’an … With regards to the export of Gazan flowers and strawberries to European markets under a Dutch government program supporting cash crops, Fattouh said 10 truckloads would leave via Kerem Shalom crossing. The bulk goods Karni crossing will remain closed, Fattouh said. 
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=347285

Retaliation

Hamas wing claims killings in 2010
Hamas’ armed wing on Saturday claimed responsibility for killing seven Israelis during operations in 2010. Further, the Al-Qassam Brigades said seven Israelis were injured by attacks launched by the group. In a statement, the brigades said a total of nine Israelis had been killed by militants during the year. Meanwhile, Israeli forces killed eight Al-Qassam Brigade leaders in 2010, five in the West Bank, two in Gaza and one abroad, the group said. [according to B’tselem, up to 30 Nov: 4 Israeli civilians were killed in a Hamas attack on their car near Hebron on 31 August. One policeman was killed in a Hamas attack on a police transport near Hebron on 14 June. One soldier was stabbed in his jeep near Nablus on 10 February.]
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=347240

Brigades: 2 Israeli soldiers killed in 2010
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Islamic Jihad’s armed wing said its fighters fired dozens of shells at Israeli targets and killed two Israeli soldiers in 2010. The Al-Quds Brigades said Israeli forces killed 12 of the group’s fighters during the year, in a statement issued Saturday. [B’tselem: Two soldiers were killed in a gun battle with Islamic Jihad in the Khan Younis area, Gaza, on 26 March.]
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=347254

Political/Diplomatic news

UN office concerned by West Bank deaths
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — The office of UN Middle East envoy Robert Serry on Sunday expressed concern over the deaths of two Palestinians in incidents involving the Israeli army in 48 hours. “We are very worried that two Palestinians have lost their lives in recent days in incidents involving Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank, including an unarmed woman engaged in protests against the barrier at whom tear gas was fired and a man shot and killed at a checkpoint,” said a spokesman for Serry, Richard Miron.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=347588

Deadlock in peace efforts testing Israeli coalition
JERUSALEM (AFP) — The deadlock in Middle East peace efforts is placing strain on the ruling coalition of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with ministers of the dovish Labor party threatening to jump ship.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=347582

Gazan youth manifesto to vent their anger with all sides in the conflict
An anonymous group of students has created a document to express their frustration born of Hamas’s violent crackdowns on ‘western decadence’, the destruction wreaked by Israel’s attacks and the political games played by Fatah and the UN … Gaza Youth’s Manifesto for Change is an extraordinary, impassioned cyber-scream in which young men and women from Gaza – where more than half the 1.5 million population is under 18 – make it clear that they’ve had enough. “F— Hamas…” begins the text. “F— Israel. F— Fatah. F— UN. F— UNWRA. F— USA!
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/02/free-gaza-youth-manifesto-palestinian

Abbas: Israeli-Palestinian peace could be reached in two months
Palestinian leader urges Netanyahu to take new approach to peace process; Netanyahu: I’ll sit for direct talks until agreement achieved.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/abbas-israeli-palestinian-peace-could-be-reached-in-two-months-1.334790

US officials: Barak deceived us about his role in peace process
The U.S. administration is furious with Defense Minister Ehud Barak over the stalled peace talks, sources have told Haaretz. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama’s senior advisers say that for more than a year and a half Barak misled them about his persuasive powers with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding the peace process.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/u-s-officials-barak-deceived-us-about-his-role-in-peace-process-1.334697

Syrian source denies reports of breakthrough in negotiations with Israel
A senior source in Damascus denied reports in the Kuwaiti al-Rai Newspaper, which claim that over the past few weeks there has been “an unprecedented Syrian response” to resuming peace talks with Israel. “The report is baseless” claimed the senior source who denied publications alleging that Special Middle East Envoy Dennis Ross promoted the negotiations while holding talks in Syria. [End]
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4007626,00.html

Other news

Egypt kills African migrant trying to sneak into Israel
Officers on patrol opened fire on the infiltrator after he refused orders to stop, hitting him twice in the stomach.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/egypt-kills-african-migrant-trying-to-sneak-into-israel-1.334782

Worker injured during pursuit by Israeli forces
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian worker on Sunday sustained fractures and bruises while being chased by Israeli forces near Jerusalem, the Palestinian Solidarity Project said. PSP spokesman Mohammad Ayyad Awad said Ahmad Al-A’lami, 22, fell from a 3-story building when Israeli forces raided his workplace. He was transferred to the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem for treatment, Awad said.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=347577

Israel to isolate settlements around Gaza with trees
GAZA, (PIC)– Israel has sights set on cordoning off settlements with dense trees to isolate communities there from their Palestinian neighbors in the Gaza Strip. Israeli Jews will mark their January 20th tree celebration this year by planting hundreds of towering eucalyptus trees around the settlements established 17 km outside of Gaza intended to block the view of resistance fighters and thus deter possible rocket fire, the Israeli daily Ynet reported Sunday.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd87MDI46m9rUxJEpMO%2bi1s7iVoEyI5qDFM29yVnTuh9%2bc0EluMuzxWFyb6YtgX8rl58GodBWr98Jub5LD8ekxUcmkYearwakrtaTcOGMODjkSkagvhdYOk3UnKuv23S%2bk4%3d

Analysis / Opinion

In saying ‘I didn’t know’, Israelis enable army’s killing of protesters / Yossi Gurvitz
The killing of Jawahar Abu Rahmah would have been harder to carry out, without the silent cooperation of most Israelis … As is to be expected in such cases, the PIJs (Proud, Inarticulate Jews) crawled from under rocks, wailing that people who break the law should know they take a risk, that the demonstration was illegal, that the army has declared the place to a “closed area”, and the rest of the bullshit Israel feeds itself. The people who are committing an illegal act in Bil’in are the gunmen; the Supreme Court of Justice has declared, more than three years ago, that the path of the fence there, intended to defend the settlement Matityahu Mizrah, is illegal, and ordered the IDF to change it.
http://972mag.com/israeli-denial-essential-to-killers/

NY Times Isabel Kershner wasn’t at Bil`in demo but still wrongly reports on it / Alex Kane
The New York Times has a report up by Isabel Kershner on yesterday’s demonstration in the West Bank village of Bil’in against the illegal separation barrier, where the Israel Defense Forces’ use of tear-gas canisters led to the death of Jawaher Abu Rahmah, a demonstrator. The Times report is disingenuous at best–and that probably results from the fact that Kershner or any other Times reporter wasn’t at the demonstration, according to Lisa Goldman, a Canadian-Israeli blogger who was there.
http://alexbkane.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/ny-times-isabel-kershner-wasnt-at-bilin-demo-but-still-wrongly-reports-on-it/

+972 Magazine’s Person of the Year: Abdullah Abu Rahmah
Why did we choose Abdullah Abu Rahmah? Because he has become the face of the grassroots, unarmed resistance movement to Israel’s security barrier; because he is the person who has raised international awareness not only of the devastation caused by the barrier, but also the existence of a well-organized, non-violent grassroots opposition movement  – one that brings together Palestinians, Israelis and international supporters in a joint struggle. Because he is the answer to the question, “Where is the Palestinian Gandhi?” (answer: there are many; and they are languishing in Israel’s jails). Because he has never wavered in his commitment to non-violence – not even after his cousin Bassam Abu Rahmah was killed by a high-velocity tear gas canister shot by Israeli soldiers directly at his chest; nor after his cousin Adeeb Abu Rahmah was arrested and imprisoned for participating in weekly demonstrations against the barrier that separates the people of Bil’in from their own farmland.
http://972mag.com/972-magazine%E2%80%99s-person-of-the-year-abdullah-abu-rahmah/

Israel’s ‘new’ peace wave protests IOF violence in Bil`in / Helena Cobban
Israel’s peace and justice movement has been reborn. Ten years after the body blow that (current War Minister) Ehud Barak delivered to it when he said the Palestinians had “turned down a generous offer” (which wasn’t generous at all), and that there was “no-one to talk to” among the Palestinians, a new generation of Israeli activists has taken to the streets. Literally. This evening, several hundred Israeli peaceniks blocked the street in front of the War Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv for over an hour as they protested yesterday’s killing-by-poison-gas of Bil’in villager Jawaher Abu Rahmeh. Eight demonstrators including former Meretz MK Mossi Raz were arrested there. 
http://justworldnews.org/archives/004119.html

Two doctoral students’ journey to revive the Israeli left / Akiva Eldar
Assaf Sharon and Avner Inbar have discovered that the struggle over Sheikh Jarrah has become the way to build a bridge connecting Jews and Arabs … They take people to tour sites where the injustice is taking place and offer them lots of information and a bit of preaching. They seek to build a grassroots movement. They were particularly surprised at the tremendous response to Jewish-Arab activity in the Arab communities. 
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/two-doctoral-students-journey-to-revive-the-israeli-left-1.334720

The year of truth / Gideon Levy
This was (also ) a good year – the year of truth. The year that concludes tonight with a kiss was the year the Israeli masquerade party ended, the year the costumes were torn off and the truth came out. The true face was revealed. This was the year we finally came out of the closet – no more saccharine phrases and hollow talk about justice and equality, no more flowery and superficial words about peace and two states. This year the truth was heard in public, echoing loud and clear from one end of the country to the other, worrisome and depressing. 
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/the-year-of-truth-1.334416

Israel is more a third-world state than a democracy / Zvi Bar’el
The Katsav conviction does not excuse Israeli democracy from its flaws … The greater the satisfaction from the conviction, the more it reflects the public’s incredulity about the possibility that an Israeli court would even dare to convict a head of state. The courts are still seen as belonging to the elite, which closely protects its friends, and when it convicts a president the shock is great. That view does not characterize a true democracy, but rather a Third-World state. It recalls the amazement and admiration that follows when a Bolivian court convicts a drug lord.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/israel-is-more-a-third-world-state-than-democracy-1.334723

Interim forever / Uri Avnery
THE CONCLUSION, according to Lieberman: peace is not possible, not now, not for the coming decades. But, fortunately, he has an alternative that is much better than a final peace agreement. It is called “Long-Term Interim Agreement” … the occupation will continue until one of the following happens: either the Palestinian standard of living will reach that of Israel or the Messiah will come – whichever happens first. In any case, there is no clear indication that either will happen within the next few decades. Is this the plan of Lieberman only, or of Netanyahu, too?
http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1293896699/

Iraq

Saturday: 4 Iraqis killed, 1 wounded
At least four Iraqis were killed and one more was wounded in light violence. Meanwhile, the Iraqi government and other organizations released year-end casualty tallies. According to official reports from several Iraqi ministries, the number of civilians and security personnel killed in Iraq during 2010 was 3,605 or about 124 more than last year. Iraq Body Count also released a figure, and it was a higher 4,008 deaths. The Iraqi Observatory of Rights & Constitutional Freedoms offered an even higher figure of 4,560 deaths.
http://original.antiwar.com/updates/2011/01/01/saturday-4-iraqis-killed-1-wounded/

Sunday: 6 Iraqis killed, 21 wounded
At least six Iraqis were killed and 21 more were wounded in attacks spread out across the country. In the United States, meanwhile, recent Iraqi refugees find creating a new life difficult, but it is still an improvement over remaining in Iraq or as a temporary refugee in a third country. A blast at the Balad judge’s home left his nephew dead and nine others wounded, including the judge….
http://original.antiwar.com/updates/2011/01/02/sunday-6-iraqis-killed-21-wounded-3/

Iraq commander assassinated
Assailants have killed Iraq’s highest-ranking soldier in an attack in the country’s capital. An armed group pulled up next to the car of Ihsan Sadek, a lieutenant-colonel, in eastern  Baghdad on Saturday and shot him using weapons equipped with silencers. Sadek later died in hospital due to his injuries. He had been the director of the Baghdad Operations Centre, which oversees the city’s checkpoints.
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/01/201111183247540246.html

Other Mideast

Egypt arrests church blast suspects
Aljazeera – Egyptian police have arrested 17 people suspected of involvement in the bombing of a Coptic Christian church that killed at least 21 people, security sources say. Reuters news agency, citing security sources, reports that 10 of those held have now been released, with the remaining seven being detained for questioning regarding the attack.
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/01/201112101933637362.html

Egypt church bombing: Why some point to Al Qaeda-linked group
Cairo – An Egypt church bombing today has raised fears that global terrorist organizations are exploiting the country’s rising sectarian tension as justification for attacking Christians.
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2011/0101/Egypt-church-bombing-Why-some-point-to-Al-Qaeda-linked-group

Egyptian media warn of civil war after bombing
CAIRO (AFP) — Egyptian newspapers warned Sunday that “civil war” could break out unless Christians and Muslims close ranks after a deadly attack on a Coptic church that triggered angry protests.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=347400

Pushing the Saudi education envelope / Zvi Bar’el
From live broadcasts of classes on the Web to attempts to get girls active in sports, the Saudis are trying to broaden their school system
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/neighbors-pushing-the-saudi-education-envelope-1.333947

WikiLeaks

Cable: Israel planned ‘large-scale war’ in 2009 (AFP)
Leaked US diplomatic cables quote IDF chief as saying army must stop Hamas from firing on Tel Aviv — Israel’s army chief told a US Congress delegation in late 2009 he was preparing for a large war in the Middle East, probably against Hamas or Hezbollah, leaked US diplomatic cables showed on Sunday. 
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4007951,00.html

WikiLeaks shows Israel lied about settlement incentives / Alex Kane
A State Department cable from a June 2009 meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu implies that the State of Israel no longer provides incentives for illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.  But the recently passed budget for 2011-2012 shows that the Israeli government’s funding for their illegal settlement enterprise is humming along.
http://alexbkane.wordpress.com/2010/12/31/wikileaks-shows-israel-lied-about-settlement-incentives/

U.S. 

US homeland security secretary to get tips from Israel on airport security
…Napolitano, whose tenure has been dogged by two attempted Al-Qaida attacks on U.S.-bound planes as well as traveler protests at intrusive airport pat-downs and screenings, was due to arrive in Israel by Monday for several low-key professional meetings. 
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/u-s-homeland-security-secretary-to-get-tips-from-israel-on-airport-security-1.334771

Muslim women find empowerment in United States
…[Ms. Khalifa] is one of a type now found in most sizable U.S. cities: vocal Muslim women wary of the predominantly male leadership of their community and increasingly weary of suspicions of non-Muslims about Islam. These women have achieved a level of success and visibility unmatched elsewhere. They say they are molded by the freedoms of the United States — indeed, many unabashedly sing its praises — and by the intellectual ferment stirred when American-born and immigrant Muslims mix.
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2011/01/02/muslim_women_find_empowerment_in_united_states/

Video: Katie Couric speaks against anti-Muslim bigotry, suggests Muslim ‘Cosby show’
Katie Couric spoke out against anti-Muslim bigotry and said America may need a Muslim version of “The Cosby Show” to counteract it. Speaking on her web show, Couric said that the controversy surrounding the Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero had exposed a “seething hatred” for Muslims in America:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/01/katie-couric-muslim-bigotry-cosby-show_n_803208.html

‘Why are you on the Palestinian side, working against your homeland?’

Jan 02, 2011

Alex Kane

 

Ramallah, West Bank–It’s a far cry from the daily checkpoints, beatings, tear-gassing and harassment that Palestinians have to go through, but today I can say that a tiny slice of the Palestinian experience became alive to me.

My arrival at Ben-Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, Israel early today was the start of a long trip down Israeli security harassment lane.  After I showed my passport to an Israeli immigration agent, I was taken to a holding room, where I joined Palestinians trying to visit family and other–mostly non-white–people.  Three hours later, I was taken to a separate room, where I was questioned by a bald Israeli who said he was from the Ministry of Defense.

They immediately knew that my back story of why I came to Israel was false, and I had to admit I planned on visiting the West Bank. 

After that came questions about my trip last year to Gaza, who I met with there, what I wanted to do in the West Bank and what the delegation I joined today was all about.  Absurdly, the defense official hinted that I was suspected of “terrorism”–the term used by Israel and the U.S. to smear anyone who dissents against their inhumane policies of occupation and war.  The agent also was curious to find out why I–as a Jew–was on the “Palestinian side,” working “against my homeland and my father’s,” to which I responded that Israel is not my homeland, and that I was for the human rights of all people, including Palestinians.  While these questions were fired at me, pictures of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres stared down at me, as if to mock me.

I was sent back to the holding room without my passport, where I spent the rest of my time sleeping, watching Curb Your Enthusiasm (a perfect mood-lifter) and messagingIsraeli blogger Didi Remez over Twitter with updates on what was going on.

Five hours later, after I thought I was to be deported or detained, I was let out of the grasp of Israeli security on the condition that I not enter the Palestinian territories.  As I drove to Ramallah, I passed by countless West Bank settlements–with their gleaming lights–and Palestinian villages surrounded by the illegal colonies.  There was no discernible difference between Israel proper and settlement areas over the Green Line, something that I marveled at even though I knew that was the case.

And now I’m here, back in Palestine after one year.  One can only be amazed that the Palestinian people remain so strong and steadfast after enduring 62 years of Israeli security harassment far worse than what I went through today.

Alex Kane is a blogger and journalist based in New York City.  He blogs on Israel/Palestine and Islamophobia in the U.S. at alexbkane.wordpress.com.  Follow him on Twitter here.

Outside Akko, I run into Christian Zionists from Arkansas

Jan 02, 2011

Alice Rothchild

 

I am always jolted by the contradictions of Ben Gurion airport, a bastion of modernity and normalcy, evocative art and posters celebrating the Israeli national mythos. I know my Palestinian friends cannot walk these corridors, my heart lurches when the 20 year old Israeli soldier asks me: “So what are you doing in Israel?” My travel plans and contacts have all been emailed to friends in country because I do not want to expose my true identity: detective, critical observer, activist. Indeed I have been called “a danger to the Jewish people” merely because I report on what I see and I refuse to be silent. Come see what I see.

The train from the airport to Akko is sleek and double decker, reminding me of Europe, except for the number of soldiers chatting and dozing and the increase in Arab looking faces as we head north. We are met by Basel in his new BMW, a 30 year old Druze Palestinian from the tiny village of Al Maghar in the western Galilee. He stayed with us in Boston last summer, teaching in a tennis program for inner city youth. So this is the next contradiction in the contradictory “democracy” that is Israel. There are Jewish towns and Arab towns, Jewish schools and Arab schools, Jewish funding and Arab funding. An Arab town is “mixed” in northern Israel when the inhabitants are Christian, Muslim, and Druze.

Walking down a steep driveway to a cluster of homes built on a hill, his family comprises 10% of the 2000 inhabitants of the village, most living in this extended family enclave. We immediately enter another world: heavily ornamental brocaded couches, white gauzy curtains decorated with gold patterns, and a long table piled extravagantly with taboule, chopped parsley seasoned with lemon, stuffed grape leaves and squash, fresh salad, 4 different breads flavored with chicken, meat, zetar, and tomatoes, and four over-the-top desserts. While much of the family eats separately in the kitchen, we gradually meet the many handsome sons and their wives and the one daughter who is the main cook and also a graphic artist. I sense that the wives have formed a warm sisterhood, supporting each other with cooking and childcare. Clearly the proudest family moment comes with the arrival of 3 volumes of the most recent wedding photos, airbrushed movie star poses, happy relatives pinning money on the groom, parades of aunts and uncles and cousins. This family of barbers, car mechanics, career army cooks, teachers and young people still looking for work, knows how to celebrate like the rich and famous; they have these mythical pictures to prove it.

Basel finds this all encompassing warmth and closeness both grounding and stifling and keeps a bachelor apartment in a nearby town where he teaches physical education and develops tennis programs. He is both a village boy and an adventurer, thinking of buying land in Al Maghar, yet wanting to travel, study guitar, avoiding “the prison” of marriage and children. Fluent in Arabic and Hebrew, he Is at once very identified as an Israeli, could easily “pass,” served in the IDF for a year, but went to prison after refusing to serve in the Occupied Territories. The following day he reverently takes us to the tomb of the Druze prophet Shueib, a mosque with rows of graceful arches and an elegant garden where sweet water pours from the mountains. At the same time he mentions, “Jewish villages look better, more money more services.” He talks about recent news that orthodox rabbis have announced that Jews should not sell to Arabs, or even speak to Arabs. He mentions that the separation of towns “is not comfortable,” that sometimes the Israeli government does not allow Arabs to build on their own lands because they build horizontally rather than vertically and thus use too much space.

The following day we drive to a Carmelite Monastery for the stunning views of the valley below and the Dr Seuss-like cactus gardens. On the roof we thread our way through a tour of Arkansas Christian Zionists, singing with a guitar and praying earnestly. There is talk from the Book of Revelations of the end of times, the valley below is where “people from Africa, China, and all over will come because it can support everyone; the top soil is 10 feet deep.” The Southern accents, the absolute beliefs, and the palpable delusional religious passion make me giddy. I keep thinking…. “Two agnostic Jews, a recovering Catholic, and a Druze walk into a monastery….” I can’t figure out the punch line, but one man with a cowboy hat and friendly drawl walks up to me and says, “I’d like to hear the end of that one.”

Basel wants to show us the area of the recent terrible brush fires that resulted in tens of deaths, including a bus filled with prison guards trapped by the flames, and the destruction of acres of forest and houses. The hills of blackened skeletal trees, grey soil washed by the rain, swaths of fiery destruction slashed across the landscape are humbling. If I believed in a wrathful God, I might wonder why the Jewish National Fund forests were burning? What is the price of destroying Palestinian villages and planting hundreds of thousands of non-indigenous pine trees which grow quickly and make excellent tinder in this dry Mediterranean climate? Or perhaps this is the cost of building a massive military infrastructure and ignoring firefighting equipment and personnel. Basel reassures us that the trees will be replanted. I do not think he understands the destructive role of the JNF; after all, he was educated in Israel and that history is not in the textbooks. 

Gaza youth breaks out with a ‘manifesto for change’

Jan 02, 2011

Gaza Youth Breaks Out

 

The following statement has gone viral over Facebook and has been sent to us by several people. It was issued by a group called “Gaza Youth Breaks Out.” When we contacted them for more information they sent this response, “We are a group of young people living in Gaza facing different kinds of violence everyday. We are looking for change in our country and trying to taste peace. we can’t give you names bcz we are working undercover and we can’t have meetings as well for our safety.” The also sent ways you can support their work which we pasted after the statement.

GAZAN YOUTH’S MANIFESTO FOR CHANGE

Fuck Hamas. Fuck Israel. Fuck Fatah. Fuck UN. Fuck UNWRA. Fuck USA! We, the youth in Gaza, are so fed up with Israel, Hamas, the occupation, the violations of human rights and the indifference of the international community! We want to scream and break this wall of silence, injustice and indifference like the Israeli F16’s breaking the wall of sound; scream with all the power in our souls in order to release this immense frustration that consumes us because of this fucking situation we live in; we are like lice between two nails living a nightmare inside a nightmare, no room for hope, no space for freedom. We are sick of being caught in this political struggle; sick of coal dark nights with airplanes circling above our homes; sick of innocent farmers getting shot in the buffer zone because they are taking care of their lands; sick of bearded guys walking around with their guns abusing their power, beating up or incarcerating young people demonstrating for what they believe in; sick of the wall of shame that separates us from the rest of our country and keeps us imprisoned in a stamp-sized piece of land; sick of being portrayed as terrorists, homemade fanatics with explosives in our pockets and evil in our eyes; sick of the indifference we meet from the international community, the so-called experts in expressing concerns and drafting resolutions but cowards in enforcing anything they agree on; we are sick and tired of living a shitty life, being kept in jail by Israel, beaten up by Hamas and completely ignored by the rest of the world.

There is a revolution growing inside of us, an immense dissatisfaction and frustration that will destroy us unless we find a way of canalizing this energy into something that can challenge the status quo and give us some kind of hope. The final drop that made our hearts tremble with frustration and hopelessness happened 30rd November, when Hamas’ officers came to Sharek Youth Forum, a leading youth organization (www.sharek.ps) with their guns, lies and aggressiveness, throwing everybody outside, incarcerating some and prohibiting Sharek from working. A few days later, demonstrators in front of Sharek were beaten and some incarcerated. We are really living a nightmare inside a nightmare. It is difficult to find words for the pressure we are under. We barely survived the Operation Cast Lead, where Israel very effectively bombed the shit out of us, destroying thousands of homes and even more lives and dreams. They did not get rid of Hamas, as they intended, but they sure scared us forever and distributed post traumatic stress syndrome to everybody, as there was nowhere to run.

We are youth with heavy hearts. We carry in ourselves a heaviness so immense that it makes it difficult to us to enjoy the sunset. How to enjoy it when dark clouds paint the horizon and bleak memories run past our eyes every time we close them? We smile in order to hide the pain. We laugh in order to forget the war. We hope in order not to commit suicide here and now. During the war we got the unmistakable feeling that Israel wanted to erase us from the face of the earth. During the last years Hamas has been doing all they can to control our thoughts, behaviour and aspirations. We are a generation of young people used to face missiles, carrying what seems to be a impossible mission of living a normal and healthy life, and only barely tolerated by a massive organization that has spread in our society as a malicious cancer disease, causing mayhem and effectively killing all living cells, thoughts and dreams on its way as well as paralyzing people with its terror regime. Not to mention the prison we live in, a prison sustained by a so-called democratic country.

History is repeating itself in its most cruel way and nobody seems to care. We are scared. Here in Gaza we are scared of being incarcerated, interrogated, hit, tortured, bombed, killed. We are afraid of living, because every single step we take has to be considered and well-thought, there are limitations everywhere, we cannot move as we want, say what we want, do what we want, sometimes we even cant think what we want because the occupation has occupied our brains and hearts so terrible that it hurts and it makes us want to shed endless tears of frustration and rage!

We do not want to hate, we do not want to feel all of this feelings, we do not want to be victims anymore. ENOUGH! Enough pain, enough tears, enough suffering, enough control, limitations, unjust justifications, terror, torture, excuses, bombings, sleepless nights, dead civilians, black memories, bleak future, heart aching present, disturbed politics, fanatic politicians, religious bullshit, enough incarceration! WE SAY STOP! This is not the future we want!

We want three things. We want to be free. We want to be able to live a normal life. We want peace. Is that too much to ask? We are a peace movement consistent of young people in Gaza and supporters elsewhere that will not rest until the truth about Gaza is known by everybody in this whole world and in such a degree that no more silent consent or loud indifference will be accepted.

This is the Gazan youth’s manifesto for change!

We will start by destroying the occupation that surrounds ourselves, we will break free from this mental incarceration and regain our dignity and self respect. We will carry our heads high even though we will face resistance. We will work day and night in order to change these miserable conditions we are living under. We will build dreams where we meet walls.

We only hope that you – yes, you reading this statement right now! – can support us. In order to find out how, please write on our wall or contact us directly: freegazayouth@hotmail.com

We want to be free, we want to live, we want peace.

FREE GAZA YOUTH!

Pls consider supporting us by taking one or more of the following actions:

1) Promoting our manifesto by sharing it on your profile on Facebook
2) Sending an email to your friends asking them to like our page FB
3) Translating the manifesto to your language and sending it to us (we have it in English, Arabic, Hebrew, French, Portuguese, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Danish)
4) Sending the manifesto to journalists in your country
5) Making organizations in your countries that are concerned with the Palestinian issue and/or youth rights know about our existence
6) Posting links about violation of youth’s rights in Gaza on our wall
7) Planning an event in your country about this issue and/or organizing for a skype conference, where we are able to talk with a group of youth, politicians or others outside Gaza
8) Suggesting us ideas for reaching out to a greater number of people
 

 


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American-made teargas was also fired in occupied East Jerusalem
Jan 02, 2011 10:21 am | Philip Weiss

 

goldman

Lisa Goldman made this photo of a teargas canister fired in Silwan, in East Jerusalem, last September. Also made in the U.S. In Silwan, a Jewish colony is grabbing Palestinian land just below the Zion gate of the Old City.

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on MONDOWEISS ONLINE NEWSLETTER

MAARIV: ZIO=NAZI NETANYAHU SAY NO TO DIRECT NEGOTIATION PUPPET AB-A$$

NOVANEWS

“Rejectionist front”: Maariv details Netanyahu’s refusal to directly negotiate with PA

 
January 3, 2011

 

 Netanyahu

 

As Israel’s diplomatic position erodes and the Palestinian Authority’s campaign for the unilateral recognition of a state in the 1967 borders gains ground, the demand for “direct negotiations” has become a central talking point of  Israeli government spokespeople. Here’s the latest example, from a January 2 Associated Pressreport:

He [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] said he was ready to sit with Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, for “continuous direct one-on-one negotiations until white smoke is wafting,” an allusion to the Vatican’s custom for announcing a new pope.

“If Abu Mazen agrees to my proposal of directly discussing all the core issues, we will know very quickly if we can reach an agreement,” he said.

This morning’s [January 3] Maariv questions the sincerity of this proposal [full translation at the bottom of this post]:

In the past weeks, Israeli representatives, including Netanyahu, have repeatedly rejected official documents that their Palestinian counterparts have tried to submit to them, with details of the Palestinian positions on all the core issues.  The Israeli representatives are completely unwilling to discuss, read or touch these documents, not to speak of submitting an equivalent Israeli document with the Israeli positions…This completely contradicts the Israeli position, according to which everything is open for negotiation, and Netanyahu is willing to talk about all the core issues and go into a room with Abu Mazen in order to come out of it with an arrangement.  If this is the case, there is no reason for the Israelis not to willingly accept a review of the Palestinian positions in order to present counter-papers that will make it possible to start bridging the gaps.

Of the examples cited by diplomatic affairs analyst Ben Caspit, one is unambiguously “direct”:

in a meeting that was held between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Abu Mazen, in the prime minister’s official residence in Jerusalem.  It has now become apparent that in this meeting, Abu Mazen brought an official Palestinian document for Netanyahu, consisting of two printed pages, with the proposed Palestinian solution on the two issues that the sides were supposed to discuss at the first stage: Security arrangements and borders.  Netanyahu refused to read or discuss the document.  Abu Mazen is said to have left the document at the Prime Minister’s Residence (so that Netanyahu could read it later).

Another, more recent, incident reveals something of the motivation for the Israeli rejections [emphasis mine]:

in the latest meeting that was held between the two negotiators, Dr. Saeb Erekat from the Palestinian side and Attorney Yitzhak Molcho from the Israeli side.  The meeting was held in Washington a few weeks ago, in the presence of the American mediators.  During the meeting, Erekat surprised Molcho, took an official booklet out of his briefcase bearing the logo of the Palestinian Authority and tried to hand it to Molcho.  When the Israeli inquired as to the content of the booklet, Erekat said that this was, in effect, the detailed and updated Palestinian peace plan, with the detailed Palestinian positions on all the core issues.  Molcho refused to take the booklet or examine it.  According to sources who are informed about what took place there, he said to Erekat, and to the Americans, that he could not touch the Palestinian booklet, read it or take it, because as soon as he would do so, “the government will fall.”

—-

Rejectionist front

Ben Caspit, Maariv, January 3 2010 [front-page; Hebrew original here]

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced yesterday that he was willing to discuss all the core issues with Abu Mazen in closed meetings, and said that if he were to go into the room with the Palestinian leader he would sit down and discuss all the issues with him “until white smoke rises.”  Ma’ariv has found that in reality, the situation is the complete opposite: In the past weeks, Israeli representatives, including Netanyahu, have repeatedly rejected official documents that their Palestinian counterparts have tried to submit to them, with details of the Palestinian positions on all the core issues.  The Israeli representatives are completely unwilling to discuss, read or touch these documents, not to speak of submitting an equivalent Israeli document with the Israeli positions.

Posted in PoliticsComments Off on MAARIV: ZIO=NAZI NETANYAHU SAY NO TO DIRECT NEGOTIATION PUPPET AB-A$$

ZIONIST BBC LYING ABOUT PALESTINE AGAIN

NOVANEWS

Mon 27 Dec 2010
MPACUK Action Alert!

The BBC’s Jeremy Clarkson has lied about about the occupation of Palestine on the Christmas edition of Top Gear. The show set a challenge to the three presenters to travel from Iraq to Bethlehem. During the show, Jeremy Clarkson refers to The West Bank as “disputed”. A blatant lie. The West Bank is illegally occupied by Israel, a fact even recognised by the craven United Nations and the subject of UN resolutions.

This isn’t the first time of course that the BBC has lied about Palestine. MPACUK took on the BBC when a sports journalist referred to Jerusalem as the “capital of Israel” which of course it isn’t because under international law Jerusalem has the status of ‘Corpus Seperatum’ and Israel has no right to make such arbitrary declarations.

Only by stopping such lies can the Palestinians hope to get any justice.

Call the BBC on 03700-100-222 option ‘2’ and then ‘3’

    * Tell them that the BBC has made an incorrect factual claim and that you want a public correction.
    * Ask for a phone call back instead of a standard letter or e-mail

Read more: http://www.mpacuk.org/story/271210/action-alert-bbc-lying-about-palestine-again.html#ixzz19wAlpiJJ

Posted in UKComments Off on ZIONIST BBC LYING ABOUT PALESTINE AGAIN

GAZA YOUTH DEMAND FREEDON

NOVANEWS

 

2 January 2011

This is an important document and expression of the frustration of secular youth in Gaza. Israeli’s disgusting propagandists portray their siege and war as being against Hamas when it is, of course, directed against the civilian population of Gaza. It is a cry of despair and frustration. It says it is against all politics but what it really means are the corrupt and disgusting politics of those who claim to be the Palestinians’ protectors but who are interested in advancing their own class and religious agendas.

There are many criticisms that can be made of the naivette of the document but what comes across clearly is the outrage and despair of those forced to live their lives in a hot house.

Abbas and his fellow quislings encourage Israel to attack the people of Gaza in order that they can spread their corruption and brutality there too. This they and their American/British sponsors do in the name of ‘democracy’. Hamas has its own agenda, which includes substituting an Israeli prison regime for their very own, Islamic prison. No doubt the blows from Hamas guards have a holy flavour compared to those from Israeli guards. When we support Hamas against Israel’s military attacks, that in no way implies support for the internally oppressive regime in Gaza.

Tony Greenstein

Gazan youth issue manifesto to vent their anger with all sides in the conflict

Ana Carbajosa,

The Observer,

2 January 2011

An anonymous group of students has created a document to express their frustration born of Hamas’s violent crackdowns on ‘western decadence’, the destruction wreaked by Israel’s attacks and the political games played by Fatah and the UN

A Gazan group of young people have issued a manifesto to vent their anger about the situation in Palestine.

The meeting takes place in a bare room in a block of flats in the centre of Gaza City. No photographs, no real names – those are the conditions.

This is the first time that a group of young Palestinian cyber-activists has agreed to meet a journalist since launching what it calls Gaza Youth’s Manifesto for Change. It is an incendiary document – written with courage and furious energy – that has captivated thousands of people who have come across it online, and the young university students are visibly excited, but also scared. “Not only are our lives in danger; we are also putting our families at risk,” says one of them, who calls himself Abu George.

Gaza Youth’s Manifesto for Change is an extraordinary, impassioned cyber-scream in which young men and women from Gaza – where more than half the 1.5 million population is under 18 – make it clear that they’ve had enough. “Fuck Hamas…” begins the text. “Fuck Israel. Fuck Fatah. Fuck UN. Fuck UNWRA. Fuck USA! We, the youth in Gaza, are so fed up with Israel, Hamas, the occupation, the violations of human rights and the indifference of the international community!”

It goes on to detail the daily humiliations and frustrations that constitute everyday life in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian slice of land that Israel and Egypt have virtually sealed off from the world since Hamas was elected to power in 2006.

“Here in Gaza we are scared of being incarcerated, interrogated, hit, tortured, bombed, killed,” reads the extraordinary document.

“We are afraid of living, because every single step we take has to be considered and well-thought, there are limitations everywhere, we cannot move as we want, say what we want, do what we want, sometimes we even can’t think what we want because the occupation has occupied our brains and hearts so terrible that it hurts and it makes us want to shed endless tears of frustration and rage!”

The text ends with a triple demand: “We want three things. We want to be free. We want to be able to live a normal life. We want peace. Is that too much to ask?”

On Facebook, the group calls itself Gaza Youth Breaks Out. When the cyber-activists wrote the manifesto three weeks ago, they gave themselves a year to gather enough support before thinking about further steps. But their text has travelled around the world at an unexpected speed and has harvested thousands of supporters, many of them human rights activists, who say they are ready to help.

Now, the authors are dealing with the impact of a document that could be a turning point in the life of the Strip. “We did not expect this to be so big,” one of them admits. Eight people – three women and five men – wrote the text. They are normal students, from the more secular elements of Gazan society. All declare themselves to be non-political and disgusted with the tensions and rivalries that divide Palestinians between Hamas, the rulers of Gaza, and Fatah, the more secular party which governs the Palestinian Authority, based in the West Bank.

“Politics is bollocks, it is screwing our lives up,” said one member of the group. “Politicians only care about money and about their supporters. The Israelis are the only ones benefiting from the division.”

Two of the group have been detained by the Gazan authorities several times, accused among other crimes of “immoral” behaviour. They say that they have been abused in jail and claim that physical and psychological punishment is commonplace in Gaza’s detention centres.

Another one obtained a scholarship to attend a workshop at an American university, but he says Israel did not issue a permit that would allow him to leave the Strip.

“We are supposed to be the engine of change in this society, but our voices are muted. In the press, at university, there is no room in our society to talk freely, out of the frame, without putting yourself and your family at risk,” says one, who wants to be called Abu Yazan. He adds:

“In Gaza, you feel watched at school, in the streets, everywhere. You can be thrown into jail at any time. [Hamas] will threaten you with ruining your family reputation and that would be it.”

These youngsters do not represent anybody except themselves, but their call for change has resonated strongly, not only abroad but also inside Gaza. Their Facebook page already has thousands of friends – including, they say, many from the Strip.

The causes of frustration are legion. The Israeli blockade forbids Gazans to travel in and out of the Strip without a permit, which is difficult to obtain. For Gazan students who wish to study abroad, the most difficult part is not being accepted at a foreign university or getting a scholarship, but simply being able to travel.

Inside the Strip, things do not get much better. Israeli shelling which follows the launching of rockets into Israel by Palestinian militants is part of their everyday life. Power cuts and ruinous sanitary conditions are among the side-effects of the embargo suffered by Gaza’s inhabitants.
With high unemployment in the Strip and little access to other job markets after graduation, many feel that they have reached a dead end. Some keep studying and accumulating degrees and foreign languages, which they learn via the internet, hoping for better days to come. Others kill their time smoking hookahs with their friends day after day. There is an increasing number who rely on drugs to cope with their conflict traumas and frustrations.

Going out, meeting friends in cafés – let alone clubs or discotheques – or attending cultural events has become an increasingly complicated task as Hamas cracks down on western “decadence”.

In Gaza there are no theatres and few concerts aside from the Islamic musical performances organised by the Hamas authorities. In the places where young men and women are allowed to meet, considered an “oasis” by the less conservative youth, the police are quick to interrogate mixed couples suspected of not being married or engaged.

The “last straw” for the writers of the Gaza manifesto came a month ago, when Hamas closed Sharek, an internationally financed organisation offering training and summer activities for thousands of adolescents and young people. Sharek had also became a hang-out place for the more liberal-minded in Gaza. Human Rights Watch recently issued a statement condemning its closure.

“Hamas authorities in Gaza should allow an organisation that helps children and youth to reopen, and penalise officials who have harassed its workers,”

According to Ihab Al Ghusain, a spokesman for the Hamas Ministry of the Interior, the problems highlighted by Gaza’s disaffected youth are sometimes the result of over-zealous officials.
“There are no laws prohibiting men and women sitting together in public places in Gaza,” he said. “But some policemen at their own initiative interrogate the couples. Those policemen should be punished.”

He says that proof of the government’s commitment to Gaza’s young generation is that it has declared 2011 the Year for the Youth. But the authors of the youth manifesto are unlikely to be persuaded by such symbolic initiatives. The group is currently investing most of its time and energy in debating new strategies to pursue a web-based platform for change. The new year may yet become one for the youth of the Strip, but perhaps not in the way Hamas intended.

The Manifesto

“Fuck Hamas. Fuck Israel. Fuck Fatah. Fuck UN. Fuck UNWRA. Fuck USA! We, the youth in Gaza, are so fed up with Israel, Hamas, the occupation, the violations of human rights and the indifference of the international community! “We want to scream and break this wall of silence, injustice and indifference like the Israeli F16s breaking the wall of sound; scream with all the power in our souls in order to release this immense frustration that consumes us because of this fucking situation we live in…

“We are sick of being caught in this political struggle; sick of coal-dark nights with airplanes circling above our homes; sick of innocent farmers getting shot in the buffer zone because they are taking care of their lands; sick of bearded guys walking around with their guns abusing their power, beating up or incarcerating young people demonstrating for what they believe in; sick of the wall of shame that separates us from the rest of our country and keeps us imprisoned in a stamp-sized piece of land; sick of being portrayed as terrorists, home-made fanatics with explosives in our pockets and evil in our eyes; sick of the indifference we meet from the international community, the so-called experts in expressing concerns and drafting resolutions but cowards in enforcing anything they agree on; we are sick and tired of living a shitty life, being kept in jail by Israel, beaten up by Hamas and completely ignored by the rest of the world.

“There is a revolution growing inside of us, an immense dissatisfaction and frustration that will destroy us unless we find a way of canalising this energy into something that can challenge the status quo and give us some kind of hope.

“We barely survived the Operation Cast Lead, where Israel very effectively bombed the shit out of us, destroying thousands of homes and even more lives and dreams. During the war we got the unmistakable feeling that Israel wanted to erase us from the face of the Earth. During the last years, Hamas has been doing all they can to control our thoughts, behaviour and aspirations. Here in Gaza we are scared of being incarcerated, interrogated, hit, tortured, bombed, killed. We cannot move as we want, say what we want, do what we want.

“ENOUGH! Enough pain, enough tears, enough suffering, enough control, limitations, unjust justifications, terror, torture, excuses, bombings, sleepless nights, dead civilians, black memories, bleak future, heart-aching present, disturbed politics, fanatic politicians, religious bullshit, enough incarceration! WE SAY STOP! This is not the future we want! We want to be free. We want to be able to live a normal life. We want peace. Is that too much to ask?”

Posted by Tony Greenstein

Posted in GazaComments Off on GAZA YOUTH DEMAND FREEDON

A.LOEWENSTEIN ONLINE NEWSLETTER

NOVANEWS

 

The global media’s sad obsession with the US

Posted: 02 Jan 2011 05:58 AM PST

What were the biggest news stories of 2010 across 160 countries and one billion items?

 

The Israeli left revives itself, barely

Posted: 02 Jan 2011 05:08 AM PST

Example one.

Example two.

But it may be far too late to save the Zionist state from an addiction to occupation and humiliation of Arabs.

 

Somebody in Spain understands why Wikileaks is so damn important

Posted: 02 Jan 2011 05:04 AM PST

Here’s an inspiring reason why the mainstream media can, if it wants to, matter.

Spain’s El Pais editor, Javier Moreno, on why his paper participated in Wikileaks cablegate:

Cynics will argue that none of what we have learned from WikiLeaks differs from the usual way in which high-level international politics is conducted, and that without diplomatic secrets, the world would be even less manageable and more dangerous for everyone. Political classes on both sides of the Atlantic convey a simple message that is tailored to their advantage: trust us, don’t try to reveal our secrets; in exchange, we offer you security.

But just how much security do they really offer in exchange for this moral blackmail? Little or none, since we face the sad paradox that this is the same political elite that was incapable of properly supervising the international financial system, whose implosion triggered the biggest crisis since 1929, ruining entire countries and condemning millions of workers to unemployment and poverty. These are the same people responsible for the deteriorating quality of life of their populations, the uncertain future of the euro, the lack of a viable European project and the global governance crisis that has gripped the world in recent years, and which elites in Washington and Brussels are not oblivious to. I doubt that keeping embassy secrets under wraps is any kind of guarantee of better diplomacy or that such an approach offers us better answers to the problems we face.

The incompetence of Western governments, and their inability to deal with the economic crisis, climate change, corruption, or the illegal war in Iraq and other countries has been eloquently exposed in recent years. Now, thanks to WikiLeaks, we also know that our leaders are all too aware of their shameful fallibility, and that it is only thanks to the inertia of the machinery of power that they have been able to fulfill their democratic responsibility and answer to the electorate.

The powerful machinery of state is designed to suppress the flow of truth and to keep secrets secret. We have seen in recent weeks how that machine has been put into action to try to limit the damage caused by the WikiLeaks revelations.

Given the damage they have suffered at the hands of WikiLeaks, it is not hard to see why the United States and other Western governments have been unable to resist the temptation of focusing attention on Julian Assange. He seems an easy enough target, and so they have sought to question his motivation and the way that WikiLeaks works. They have also sought to question why five major news organizations with prestigious international reputations agreed to collaborate with Assange and his organization. These are reasonable questions, and they have all been answered satisfactorily over the last four weeks, despite the pressure put on us by government, and worse still, by many of our colleagues in the media.

 

If You Love This Planet (with Dr Helen Caldicott) on Wikileaks

Posted: 01 Jan 2011 11:25 PM PST

The myriad of issues surroundings Wikileaks continues. I was interviewed in late December by Dr Helen Caldicott on her globally syndicated radio program If You Love This Planet to discuss the long-term ramifications of this new form of journalism. My previous appearance on the program from 2009 is here.

 

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

What do we want in 2011?

Posted: 01 Jan 2011 04:20 PM PST

Jewish American blogger and writer Max Ajl is currently in Gaza and wrote this moving post about his wish list for 2011:

A friend of mine here said that what we need are not “new year’s resolutions but new year’s revolutions.” So what do I hope for in this New Year? I hope for revolutions. I hope the labor movements in Egypt overthrow their thug government, that the Palestinians in the Bantustan archipelago rid themselves of their mukhabarat, that the Arab monarchies collapse, that the Mizrahi Jews of Israel under the pressure of a burgeoning BDS campaign find themselves a leadership able to express their discontent in a way other than racism at those a little lower on the ladder than they are, that the Tunisian revolt explodes the Ben Ali regime, that the British student movement lights a radical fire under the feet of its neoliberal governments, that Russ Feingold runs for president and begins to rip apart the imperial arch in the Middle East, along with its keystone, Israel, that Palestine erupts in another Intifada, more like the first than the second; I hope that the third world unites in another Bandung around the issue of climate debt, that the Via Campesina destabilizes a few neoliberal governments in the global South, that there’s a global wave of land grabbing by peasants, and that the atomized US working class engages in a strike wave. And I hope that these aren’t just hopes, and that we turn them into the future.

To that end, I hope that the left and the Palestine solidarity movement move closer and closer, as they did at the United States Social Forum, at Detroit, and earlier this year in Albany, New York. So that’s my resolution: to do that little infinitesimal bit to make that revolution, to keep hitting the flint against the steel and to hope it hits dry tinder and to see that tinder erupt in flame. So finally I hope too today that Jawaher Abu Rahma has not died in vain, and that the children being born today under Gaza’s grey sky can breathe free air before they have children, that my friends my age don’t live the rest of their youth amidst the psychic suffocation of siege, that my older friends, the revolutionary generations, Saber, Haidar, Mona, and the rest, can grow old to the joyous sound of shattering shackles and not to the soul-crushing clatter of them being forged.

The New Year is not so happy here in Gaza’s gloom, but like every day, it is full of hope—we can fill it with hope. Mahmoud Darwish, in an interview several years before he died, said that the Palestinian “national will is stronger in reaction to the challenge. They do not have another option but to continue to carry the hope that they are going to have a normal life. The Palestinian people feel that they are living the hours before dawn.” So I hope we can hasten dawn.

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on A.LOEWENSTEIN ONLINE NEWSLETTER

DOROTHY ONLINE NEWSLETTER

NOVANEWS

 

Dear Friends,

 

I’m angry, upset, and feel like shouting to Israelis: “You idiots!  Don’t you see that this is the way it happens—the media states interpretations as though they were facts, community leaders are forerunners of racist acts, while shouting that they are not racists, and the hatred grows!  No different from Ku Klux Klan antics. No different from the III Reich ones!  The question is where will these lead to here?  gas chambers and ovens?  Hangings? continued demolitions of homes and villages, with the approval of the public?  Horrid!

 

The initial item of the 3 below is a report that does not merely state facts.  No.  An unarmed young Palestinian man is killed at the check point this morning.  And what does the report say?  “Terror attack thwarted.”  It also says that he had a broken bottle in his hands.  But others who witnessed the affair said that he had a soft drink in his hand.  But as a relative of his says, “Unfortunately, killing Palestinians has become a matter of routine. We are being treated like animals . . .”  Yes. Killing a Palestinian is not seen as murder, as taking the life of another human being.  ‘He is but a Palestinian, a subhuman–not a human being like my brother or sister or mother or aunt or uncle or or or or!’ And the media helps increase racism—calling the young man a terrorist while acknowledging that he was unarmed.  And the fact that others were caught who intended to commit a crime does not change the fact that this young man on his way to work was not given a chance.  Why shoot to kill?  If a soldier has to shoot because he’s scared of his own skin, why not shoot at the feet?  Or are the IOF soldiers such lousy shots that even if they intend to shoot low, their bullets kill ?

 

The second report is a natural outcome—not a direct one of this morning’s killing, but of so many reports calling Palestinians terrorists and all sorts of other things.  The natural outcome is to (a) generalize and (b) sow fear: ‘don’t let your daughters mingle with Arabs, all of whom wish to seduce the innocent girls.’  This is the way it began against Jews in Germany in the 1930s. 

 

The final item is a cry of the heart from young people in Gaza.  I distributed their manifesto some time ago, but the article in the Observer gives additional background and talks about their feelings.  Indeed.  Israel has outdone itself in Gaza.  And does Israeli society know or care?  Not in the least.

 

Please roll up your sleeves, and (a) distribute information as the below as widely as possible, and (b) urge everyone whom you know to support bds, because it is our only hope for a way out of the morass that Israeli society has gotten itself into.

 

Dorothy

===============================================

 

Ynet,

01.02.11

 

    Palestinian shot to death at roadblock

 

Troops open fire at man approaching IDF force southeast of Nablus with broken glass bottle in his hand, say he refused to stop. Palestinian eyewitnesses: He was unarmed. Army launches investigation into incident

 

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4007573,00.html

 

Yair Altman

 

Terror attack thwarted: A Palestinian man was shot to death Sunday morning at the Bekaot roadblock, southeast of Nablus, after allegedly trying to stab soldiers with a broken glass bottle. There were no injuries among the troops. 

 

The Israel Defense Forces reported that the man approached the soldiers, who launched a suspect detention procedure. He was shot to death after refusing to stop, even after the soldiers fired in the air as a warning. 

 

Medical teams dispatched to the area proclaimed the man dead. Red Cross sources told Palestinian news agency Maan that the man had been identified as Mahmoud Muhammad Darajme, 21, of the village of Tubas. 

 

Dr. Khatem Farouoh, who witnessed the incident, told Maan: “I was standing on the eastern side of the roadblock when I suddenly heard screaming. I turned around and saw a young man in a brown shirt and jeans raising his hands. Shortly afterwards, two soldiers fired at him from three meters away and he fell down.” 

 

Other eyewitnesses said the Palestinian had crossed the roadblock with a soft drink in his hand. “He was unarmed. When he crossed the checkpoint, he passed by a woman soldier who started yelling at him. The soldiers immediately fired at him, intensively, and he died on the spot,” one of them said. 

 

The independent Sama news agency reported that the incident took place after “a heated exchange of words.” According to one of the eyewitnesses, “We heard intensive fire and the soldiers screaming, and saw a body lying on the ground after being sprayed with bullets.” 

 

According to the official Wafa news agency, Darajme was shot on his way to work. A Red Crescent medical source said the body was handed over to the organization at the checkpoint without any identifying documents, and that the man’s certificates and cellular phone were confiscated by the soldiers. 

 

“This is an inhuman act of revenge, said Said Darajme, the man’s relative. “He was not a problematic person and never planned to target soldiers at the roadblock. Unfortunately, killing Palestinians has become a matter of routine. We are being treated like animals, and I hope that whoever investigates this incident punishes the soldiers who killed Mahmoud.” 

 

Was shooting necessary?

 

An initial IDF inquiry raises questions regarding the need to open fire. Military sources noted that an investigation had been launched into the incident and that the army was examining whether it was necessary to shoot the Palestinian. 

 

This was the second stabbing attempt in less than 24 hours. On Saturday evening a Border Guard force arrested a young Palestinian in possession of a knife, on suspicion of trying to stab two female soldiers leaving an Israel Defense Forces base in Gush Etzion. 

 

On the backdrop of Sunday’s incident, military sources noted that the commanders had briefed their soldiers on firing procedures in the Jordan Valley and Judea and Samaria areas, for fear that such incidents will ignite the tensions. 

 

“In situation with a clear and immediate danger, the instruction in unequivocal – to open fire,” a military source told Ynet. “However, the soldiers and commanders must use their judgment rather than easily push the trigger when there are other alternatives, or when their life is not in danger.”

   

Palestinians have tried in the past to smuggle weapons through the same roadblock. In March, an IDF force of the Kfir Brigade’s Haruv Battalion uncovered three pipe bombs in the possession of a Palestinian who arrived at the Bekaot roadblock.

 

Two months earlier, soldiers located in the area a Palestinian trying to smuggle six explosive devices. The man was arrested and the devices were detonated in a controlled manner. 

 

Hanan Greenberg, Roee Nahmias and Hassan Shaalan contributed to this report

 

======================================

 

Ynet,

January 2, 2011

   

Not Racist?

 

    Ashkelon rally targets Arabs who ‘seduce girls’

 

City councilman leading protest says he is not racist. ‘Seducing teenage girls is a crime,’ he says

 

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4008005,00.html

 

Shmulik Hadad

 

 

Residents of Ashkelon are planning to protest Tuesday against “Arabs who associate with girls”. 

 

Leading the rally is City Councilman Tomer Glam, who says the protest does not stem from racism. “Associating with minors is a serious criminal offence,” he explained.

 

Fliers handed out in anticipation of the rally say, “Father, wake up before Yusuf is sitting in your living room”. 

 

A few weeks ago Glam asked Ashkelon Mayor Benny Vaknin to hold an urgent debate on what he called “the problem of Arabs seducing Ashkelon’s young girls”. 

 

“Recently we have been witnessing a serious threat. Dozens of Arabs living near the beach in Ashkelon are harming young girls from good homes and seducing them,” Glam’s letter to the mayor said. “In one case I know of, they forced a girl to work as a prostitute in another city.” 

 

He asked that the council discuss the police’s ability to handle the trouble as well as the establishment of school programs to teach teenage girls of the risks involved. But Glam says his warning has gone unheeded. “That’s why we decided to hold the rally,” he said.

 

A number of other Ashkelon councilmen, including Deputy Mayor Shimon Cohen, have joined in. “There are extreme and shocking cases in Ashkelon,” Cohen said. 

 

“I have been saying for years that we must teach girls to beware of Arabs from the time they begin high school and maybe even earlier. There is no doubt that such a painful issue requires a plan, whether local or national, which includes human and economic resources.” 

 

Glam claims the problem of Arabs seducing teenage girls is sweeping the nation. “I was confronted with the case of a girl from Ashkelon who was impregnated by an Arab, and after being abused she decided to flee and was rescued, but her parents wouldn’t take her back,” he recounted. 

 

“In another case a girl disappeared from home and was found a week later at a Tel Aviv hotel together with her life partner, an Arab who was forcing her to work as a prostitute at the hotel.”

 

‘Police won’t lift finger’

Glam insists he is not a racist. “If a 20-year old woman wants to go around with an Arab that’s her decision, but we cannot allow girls aged 12-16 to be seduced by Arabs without expressing outrage,” he said. 

 

“There are construction workers who rent apartments in Ashkelon and bring girls from the age of 12 to ‘have fun’ with them at parties which include the handing out of alcohol to these girls. Residents who live in these buildings have gone to the police, but they say their hands are tied despite the fact that the girls are minors.”

 

Extreme right-wing activist Itamar Ben-Gvir says he receives daily phone calls about girls being harassed by Arabs, which come mainly from mixed-race cities such as Ashkelon, Akko, Safed, and Bat Yam.

 

“Unfortunately Israel Police is losing control and is not lifting a finger, so we must assist all of the dear residents who feel endangered and whom no one will help,” he explained.

 

In holding the rally, Ashkelon will join Bat Yam and Hatikva neighborhood in Tel Aviv, both of which have held such protests recently.

 

Yair Altman contributed to this report

=========================

The Observer, 

2 January 2011 

 

Gazan youth issue manifesto to vent their anger with all sides in the conflictAn anonymous group of students has created a document to express their frustration born of Hamas’s violent crackdowns on ‘western decadence’, the destruction wreaked by Israel’s attacks and the political games played by Fatah and the UN

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/02/free-gaza-youth-manifesto-palestinian

 

   Ana Carbajosa

 

A Gazan group of young people have issued a manifesto to vent their anger about the situation in Palestine. Photograph: Mohammed Salem/Reuters The meeting takes place in a bare room in a block of flats in the centre of Gaza City. No photographs, no real names – those are the conditions.

 

This is the first time that a group of young Palestinian cyber-activists has agreed to meet a journalist since launching what it calls Gaza Youth’s Manifesto for Change. It is an incendiary document – written with courage and furious energy – that has captivated thousands of people who have come across it online, and the young university students are visibly excited, but also scared. “Not only are our lives in danger; we are also putting our families at risk,” says one of them, who calls himself Abu George.

 

Gaza Youth’s Manifesto for Change is an extraordinary, impassioned cyber-scream in which young men and women from Gaza – where more than half the 1.5 million population is under 18 – make it clear that they’ve had enough. “Fuck Hamas…” begins the text. “Fuck Israel. Fuck Fatah. Fuck UN. Fuck UNWRA. Fuck USA! We, the youth in Gaza, are so fed up with Israel, Hamas, the occupation, the violations of human rights and the indifference of the international community!”

 

It goes on to detail the daily humiliations and frustrations that constitute everyday life in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian slice of land that Israel and Egypt have virtually sealed off from the world since Hamas was elected to power in 2006.

 

“Here in Gaza we are scared of being incarcerated, interrogated, hit, tortured, bombed, killed,” reads the extraordinary document. “We are afraid of living, because every single step we take has to be considered and well-thought, there are limitations everywhere, we cannot move as we want, say what we want, do what we want, sometimes we even can’t think what we want because the occupation has occupied our brains and hearts so terrible that it hurts and it makes us want to shed endless tears of frustration and rage!”

 

The text ends with a triple demand: “We want three things. We want to be free. We want to be able to live a normal life. We want peace. Is that too much to ask?”

 

On Facebook, the group calls itself Gaza Youth Breaks Out. When the cyber-activists wrote the manifesto three weeks ago, they gave themselves a year to gather enough support before thinking about further steps. But their text has travelled around the world at an unexpected speed and has harvested thousands of supporters, many of them human rights activists, who say they are ready to help.

 

Now, the authors are dealing with the impact of a document that could be a turning point in the life of the Strip. “We did not expect this to be so big,” one of them admits. Eight people – three women and five men – wrote the text. They are normal students, from the more secular elements of Gazan society. All declare themselves to be non-political and disgusted with the tensions and rivalries that divide Palestinians between Hamas, the rulers of Gaza, and Fatah, the more secular party which governs the Palestinian Authority, based in the West Bank. “Politics is bollocks, it is screwing our lives up,” said one member of the group. “Politicians only care about money and about their supporters. The Israelis are the only ones benefiting from the division.”

 

Two of the group have been detained by the Gazan authorities several times, accused among other crimes of “immoral” behaviour. They say that they have been abused in jail and claim that physical and psychological punishment is commonplace in Gaza’s detention centres.

 

Another one obtained a scholarship to attend a workshop at an American university, but he says Israel did not issue a permit that would allow him to leave the Strip.

 

“We are supposed to be the engine of change in this society, but our voices are muted. In the press, at university, there is no room in our society to talk freely, out of the frame, without putting yourself and your family at risk,” says one, who wants to be called Abu Yazan. He adds: “In Gaza, you feel watched at school, in the streets, everywhere. You can be thrown into jail at any time. [Hamas] will threaten you with ruining your family reputation and that would be it.”

 

These youngsters do not represent anybody except themselves, but their call for change has resonated strongly, not only abroad but also inside Gaza. Their Facebook page already has thousands of friends – including, they say, many from the Strip.

 

The causes of frustration are legion. The Israeli blockade forbids Gazans to travel in and out of the Strip without a permit, which is difficult to obtain. For Gazan students who wish to study abroad, the most difficult part is not being accepted at a foreign university or getting a scholarship, but simply being able to travel.

 

Inside the Strip, things do not get much better. Israeli shelling which follows the launching of rockets into Israel by Palestinian militants is part of their everyday life. Power cuts and ruinous sanitary conditions are among the side-effects of the embargo suffered by Gaza’s inhabitants.

 

With high unemployment in the Strip and little access to other job markets after graduation, many feel that they have reached a dead end. Some keep studying and accumulating degrees and foreign languages, which they learn via the internet, hoping for better days to come. Others kill their time smoking hookahs with their friends day after day. There is an increasing number who rely on drugs to cope with their conflict traumas and frustrations.

 

Going out, meeting friends in cafés – let alone clubs or discotheques – or attending cultural events has become an increasingly complicated task as Hamas cracks down on western “decadence”.

 

In Gaza there are no theatres and few concerts aside from the Islamic musical performances organised by the Hamas authorities. In the places where young men and women are allowed to meet, considered an “oasis” by the less conservative youth, the police are quick to interrogate mixed couples suspected of not being married or engaged.

 

The “last straw” for the writers of the Gaza manifesto came a month ago, when Hamas closed Sharek, an internationally financed organisation offering training and summer activities for thousands of adolescents and young people. Sharek had also became a hang-out place for the more liberal-minded in Gaza. Human Rights Watch recently issued a statement condemning its closure. “Hamas authorities in Gaza should allow an organisation that helps children and youth to reopen, and penalise officials who have harassed its workers,” it said.

 

According to Ihab Al Ghusain, a spokesman for the Hamas Ministry of the Interior, the problems highlighted by Gaza’s disaffected youth are sometimes the result of over-zealous officials. “There are no laws prohibiting men and women sitting together in public places in Gaza,” he said. “But some policemen at their own initiative interrogate the couples. Those policemen should be punished.”

 

He says that proof of the government’s commitment to Gaza’s young generation is that it has declared 2011 the Year for the Youth. But the authors of the youth manifesto are unlikely to be persuaded by such symbolic initiatives. The group is currently investing most of its time and energy in debating new strategies to pursue a web-based platform for change. The new year may yet become one for the youth of the Strip, but perhaps not in the way Hamas intended.

 

The Manifesto

“Fuck Hamas. Fuck Israel. Fuck Fatah. Fuck UN. Fuck UNWRA. Fuck USA! We, the youth in Gaza, are so fed up with Israel, Hamas, the occupation, the violations of human rights and the indifference of the international community!

 

“We want to scream and break this wall of silence, injustice and indifference like the Israeli F16s breaking the wall of sound; scream with all the power in our souls in order to release this immense frustration that consumes us because of this fucking situation we live in…

 

“We are sick of being caught in this political struggle; sick of coal-dark nights with airplanes circling above our homes; sick of innocent farmers getting shot in the buffer zone because they are taking care of their lands; sick of bearded guys walking around with their guns abusing their power, beating up or incarcerating young people demonstrating for what they believe in; sick of the wall of shame that separates us from the rest of our country and keeps us imprisoned in a stamp-sized piece of land; sick of being portrayed as terrorists, home-made fanatics with explosives in our pockets and evil in our eyes; sick of the indifference we meet from the international community, the so-called experts in expressing concerns and drafting resolutions but cowards in enforcing anything they agree on; we are sick and tired of living a shitty life, being kept in jail by Israel, beaten up by Hamas and completely ignored by the rest of the world.

 

“There is a revolution growing inside of us, an immense dissatisfaction and frustration that will destroy us unless we find a way of canalising this energy into something that can challenge the status quo and give us some kind of hope.

 

“We barely survived the Operation Cast Lead, where Israel very effectively bombed the shit out of us, destroying thousands of homes and even more lives and dreams. During the war we got the unmistakable feeling that Israel wanted to erase us from the face of the Earth. During the last years, Hamas has been doing all they can to control our thoughts, behaviour and aspirations. Here in Gaza we are scared of being incarcerated, interrogated, hit, tortured, bombed, killed. We cannot move as we want, say what we want, do what we want.

 

“ENOUGH! Enough pain, enough tears, enough suffering, enough control, limitations, unjust justifications, terror, torture, excuses, bombings, sleepless nights, dead civilians, black memories, bleak future, heart-aching present, disturbed politics, fanatic politicians, religious bullshit, enough incarceration! WE SAY STOP! This is not the future we want! We want to be free. We want to be able to live a normal life. We want peace. Is that too much to ask?”

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