Archive | May 26th, 2011

A WARNING FROM THE PAST

NOVANEWS
GILAD ATZMON

Netanyahu’s successful speech before the American joint houses was an extravaganza of Jewish power: there can be little doubt that as far as American elected politicians are concerned, Benjamin Netanyahu actually appears to be far more popular than even the American president himself.

Yet, you may want to ask yourself — are Netanyahu and the Jewish State really popular amongst the American people? Do the American people approve of their elected politicians being AIPAC’s puppets? Are the American congressmen and senators serving American interests by aligning themselves so subserviently to AIPAC’s goals — or are they increasingly  being subjected to pressure from a foreign state’s lobby?

It is all becoming pretty much like watching the way power operates in a totalitarian regime: American politicians are submissively obeying ‘the call of Zion’ as they stand up and applaud Netanyahu at all the ‘right moments.’ And they clearly realise, all too well, that failing to do so would mean immediate political annihilation.

The Israeli and Jewish press were very impressed with Netanyahu’s success in Washington. But,  what we saw in Washington may well  turn out to be bad news for Israel and American Jewry: the endless trail of Jewish collective tragedies is there to teach us that Jews always pay eventually ( and heavily ) for Jewish power exercises. Yet, surprisingly ( and tragically ) enough, Jews somehow consistently fail to internalise and learn from that very lesson.

Sadly enough,  every form of Jewish political gathering is, unfortunately, an exercise in Jewish power — whether in the American Senate, or even within the Palestinian Solidarity movement.

There is a devastating pattern that can be observed here, that some Jews seem to follow — they push relentlessly towards an aim or goal that they interpret as a ‘collective Jewish interest’ — and again and again, for some unknown reason, they repeatedly fail to notice potential ‘hazard lights’, consistently misinterpreting tolerance as the ‘Goyim’s stupidity’.

And as we have seen in history, repeatedly, Jewish collective tragedies always follow a pattern that begins with such rich tales of  golden ages of assimilation within the corridors of power . One need only look at Spain, Eastern Europe and Germany, and these are just a few examples of such repeated patterns.

The grave failure of America’s leading political institutions to confront AIPAC could very easily turn into a gigantic tidal wave of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish feelings. If the Jewish Lobby in America were at all responsible, it would be aware of the possibility of such an adverse reaction — but it is obsessed with its own success. The United States seems to lack the political will and know-how to restrain  AIPAC, and the meaning , implications and results of it all may very well turn out to be devastating.

I guess that the answer to AIPAC is not yet another J-Street lobby, attempting to buy the very few remaining  unaffiliated American politicians.

I’d like to urgently suggest here, that ‘hands off international politics’ should be the immediate Jewish call to their relentless lobbies.

But I know very well that is not going to happen.

 

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Blood money: Help us stop the privatisation of war

NOVANEWS

 

Children in a Kabul refugee camp

 

The shocking truth is that war means profit. Multinational corporations are complicit in many conflicts across the world, putting profit before people and fanning the flames of war.

But for the ordinary people caught in the crossfire conflict means pain, suffering and poverty. Families are killed, whole communities displaced, and factories, farms, hospitals and schools destroyed.

Please make a donation of £40 today to help War on Want support communities in conflict zones and expose the British companies that violate human rights and profit from war. We need your urgent and generous support to help us fight for justice for people living in conflict zones around the world, including Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq.

War on Want is currently conducting a secret investigation into a British company we believe to be complicit in human rights abuses. We need your support today to help fund the research required to launch a hard hitting campaign against this company later this year. We want to set an example to all corporations that the British public will not tolerate companies profiting from war.

Pressure from War on Want led the Church of England to withdraw its £2.2 million investment from Caterpillar for supplying the Israeli army with bulldozers used to demolish Palestinian homes.

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Palestinians plan fresh protests to mark war anniversary

NOVANEWS

 

Committee behind last weekend’s protests says they were ‘just the beginning’, and calls for further marches on 5 June

 

Palestinian protesters cross the Israel-Syria border

Palestinian protesters cross the Israel-Syria border. Photograph: Getty Images

Palestinian refugees are planning a fresh round of marches on Israelnext month, amid signs that grassroots protests could gain momentum from deep disillusion over the prospects for peace talks and the impact of the Arab Spring.

A committee behind demonstrations last weekend, in which 14 people were killed on the Lebanese and Syrian borders, have called for further protests on 5 June to mark the anniversary of the 1967 Six Day War, during which Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

The rallying call is likely to be given added impetus by Israel’s rejection on Friday of Barack Obama’s explicit backing for a Palestinian state based on pre-1967 borders.

The committee, which said last weekend’s protests were “just the beginning”, said thousands would march to the pre-1967 “green line” between Israel and the West Bank, the border with Gaza, the fence between the occupied Golan Heights and Syria, and Israel’s international border with Lebanon.

“The Israeli occupation should remain on alert because rallies will not stop until Palestinian refugees return to … all occupied Palestinian towns,” said the statement, issued to the Palestinian news agency Ma’an.

The largely peaceful protests last weekend were met with live and rubber-coated bullets, teargas and stun grenades fired by Israeli troops. Israel said it was a legitimate response to a threat to its sovereignty.

As the prospects for peace talks recede further, some observers predict support for protests will swell as Palestinians take inspiration from the uprisings that have swept the region since the start of the year.

Some forecast a “third intifada” as frustration mounts. Rising expectations of international backing for the establishment of a Palestinian state in September could contribute to a mood of revolt if such support either fails to materialise or has little impact on the ground.

The Israeli defence establishment is taking seriously the possibility of widespread protest along its borders and within the Palestinian territories. It is reviewing its response to unarmed demonstrators, conscious that international public opinion has not favoured the violent suppression of protests in the region over recent months.

A second challenge to the Israeli military will follow towards the end of next month when a pro-Palestinian flotilla of up to 15 ships is expected to attempt to breach Israel’s sea blockade of Gaza. The flotilla is due to set sail in the last week of June, just over a year after Israeli troops killed nine pro-Palestinian Turkish activists on board the Mavi Marmara.

The Turkish foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, warned Israel on Saturday “not to repeat the human tragedy it caused last year”. He added: “It should be known that Turkey will give the necessary response to any repeated act of provocation by Israel on the high seas.”

Relations between Israel and Turkey were severely strained after last year’s bloody assault to stop the flotilla. Last week Davutoglu rebuffed an Israeli appeal to Turkey to prevent activists taking part in this year’s flotilla.

Posted in Palestine AffairsComments Off on Palestinians plan fresh protests to mark war anniversary

Zionist Congress Gave Standing Ovations to Nazi-Yahu

NOVANEWS

Dear All, 

I was stunned to see that our entire U.S. Congress gave Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu 29 standing ovations on Tuesday.  Twenty-nine. Unbelievable, given what his speech contained.

The speech that Netanyahu gave that day will go down in history as an extraordinary embarrassment to Americans and Israelis alike. Read on to find out what he said and why we cannot let it go unanswered.

To put it simply, Netanyahu proved yet again that he prefers settlement expansion and Jewish domination of Palestinians to any kind of true peace agreement that would benefit both peoples. He claimed that Israel isn’t occupying anyone—ignoring nearly 44 years of increasingly brutal Israeli control over the lives of millions of Palestinians.

He stated that Israel had no need for American military assistance—ignoring the $3 billion in military equipment and aid the U.S. provides Israel each year. He said Israel supports the desire of Arab peoples to live free—saying nothing about the ongoing Israeli shootings and arrests of Palestinians who nonviolently protest for their right to be free. (1)

What makes this so outrageous is that Netanyahu’s speech found a shockingly sympathetic audience in the U.S. Congress while people like you and me could only watch in disbelief.

I’ve had it. I cannot stand by and watch my member of Congress applaud this man and his litany of distortions, myths and outright fabrications. Please, I urge you to join me in writing your US Representative to say, “How could you? Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has shown repeatedly that he is not interested in a viable future for either Palestinians or Israelis and you rewarded him with 29 standing ovations as the world watched.

Here’s a taste of what Netanyahu said, and Jewish Voice for Peace’s debunking of it:

“You don’t need to send American troops to Israel, we defend ourselves.“

Not true. Israel does not defend itself. Israel is historically the number one recipient of US foreign aid. The US gives Israel a whopping $3 billion a year in aid and military equipment, most of which is used to defend Israel’s illegal occupation.

“In Judea and Samaria, the Jewish people are not occupiers.” (Raucous standing ovation.)

Not True. Israel’s nearly 44-year long occupation of Palestinian territories is illegal according to international law. The more than 500,000 Jewish Israelis who have been moved into the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 1967 are settlers who occupy Palestinian land – much of it privately owned by Palestinians and stolen by Jews the rest of it expropriated by the Israeli state – all taken for exclusive Jewish use. (2) This is occupation.

Moreover, “Judea and Samaria” are the biblical terms for that piece of land. Is Bibi suggesting a state based not on secular law but on the Bible? A Jewish theocracy? Is this the Israel that our Congress promotes?

“You don’t need to export democracy to Israel. We’ve already got it.”

Not true. Within Israel, the 20% of Israeli citizens who are Palestinian do have the right to vote and run for office. But they are victims of systematic housing, workplace and resource discrimination. For example, 93% of Israeli land is reserved for Jews.(3) In the West Bank, more than 2 million Palestinians live under Israeli occupation—that is, their lives are ruled by Israeli military law, while their Jewish settler neighbors are subject to Israeli civil law. Another 1.5 million Gazans live under siege by the Israeli military. Is this democracy?

“Jerusalem must never again be divided. Jerusalem must remain the united capital of Israel.” 

Not true. The original UN charter that created Israel, as still recognized by the international community, identified Jerusalem as an internationalized zone that must be shared by all parties.


I should say that I’m not really shocked by Netanyahu’s speech. But, I am shocked – shocked, stunned, discouraged, outraged – by the reaction of our elected officials. Clearly, they are not hearing from the growing number of people like you and me who are ready for a change. They won’t stop applauding until we speak up – and speak up loudly. 

Rae Abileah is with the advocacy group Code Pink and a member of Young, Jewish, and Proud, the young adult arm of Jewish Voice for Peace. She was physically attacked by some members of the Israel lobby group AIPAC, hospitalized with neck injuries and then arrested after she bravely shouted out the truth during Netanyahu’s speech to Congress.(4) The night before, 5 protesters interrupted Netanyahu’s AIPAC speech and were similarly assaulted.

Not all of us can put our bodies on the line the way Rae and so many others have. But we can all take action today, by telling our elected officials they must represent us, not the interests of one of the most right-wing and intransigent governments in Israeli history.

If you live outside of the United States, please write to President Obama to tell him how you feel this has further damaged the United States’ standing in the eyes of the world.

Thank you,

Cecilie Surasky, Deputy Director
Jewish Voice for Peace

 

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Mondoweiss Online Newsletter

NOVANEWS

 

Europe’s ‘cautious’ cant on Hamas

May 25, 2011

David Cronin

Is the European Union about to give its blessing to the reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah? There is a possibility that it will but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign policy chief, was trying to sound reasonable this week, while actually being distinctly unreasonable.  She appeared to declare support for the idea of a national unity government, led by Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah. “I understand President Abbas’s desire to move forward on reconciliation,” Ashton said. “We have all argued there needs to be reconciliation and with caution we are moving to try and support his efforts. I say ‘with caution’ because we understand it needs to be based on principles of non-violence.”

It is telling that Ashton  has never called on Israel to observe the principle of non-violence.

A statement which she issued after Hamas fired rockets into southern Israel last month exemplified how she applies different rules to different parties to the conflict. While she directed the words “strongly condemn” at the “attacks” by Hamas and said that they  “must stop immediately”, she merely called on Israel to “show restraint”. There was no explicit acknowledgment of how Israel had killed three members of Hamas a few days earlier, inevitably provoking a response.

And why does Ashton laud Mahmoud Abbas at every available opportunity?  His term as president expired in January 2009; since then he has clung to power without any mandate.

Perhaps Ashton feels a sense of affinity with him as she has been a successful politician, without having to go through the messy business of winning elections. Her $435,000-a-year job was obtained thanks to her close ties with two UK prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. Although she had sat in the elitist House of Lords, few of her compatriots had heard ofher until 2009, when she was appointed the closest thing that Europe has to a foreign minister by the Union’s heads of state and government. This explains her apparent bemusement at the warm reception she received when she met Libyan “rebels” last weekend. “I am more popular in Benghazi than in Britain,” she quipped.

Interestingly, the same unelected Ashton has been extolling the virtues of “democracy promotion” in the Middle East. In her contacts with Hillary Clinton, she has been exploring how Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites can help spread liberty, she stated on Wednesday.  Is she telling Arabs to stop worrying about the West’s indulgence of Israel and concentrate on tweeting their way to freedom?

David Cronin’s book Europe’s Alliance With Israel: Aiding the Occupation is published by Pluto Press (www.plutobooks.com)

Your $s at work– Israelis use new electrical device on protesters that stuns from several meters

May 25, 2011

Kate

and other news from Today in Palestine:

Gaza

Egypt to open Rafah crossing
AP 25 May — Egypt’s official news agency says the Rafah border crossing with Gaza will be permanently opened for Palestinians on Saturday, a move that will significantly ease a blockade of the impoverished territory … This gives Gaza Palestinians a way to freely enter and exit their territory for the first time since 2007 … The statement said rules in effect before the blockade would be reinstated. At that time, European observers had a role in operating the crossing, and Israel monitored people and cargo to keep out militants and weapons.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4074059,00.html

Egypt to open Rafah border permanently
Al Jazeera 25 May — “It will allow basically all women to leave Gaza, also children under the age of 18 years will be allowed to leave as well as men over the age of 40 years. However, those between the age of 18 and 40 years will require Egyptian visa,” she said. “Visa would have to come from Ramallah. Sources in Hamas say, they have been told by the Egyptian authorities over the last few weeks that they [Egyptians] do intend to open some sort of representative office inside Gaza so that people can get the visa from there … “One of biggest problem for Gazans besides shortage of food and supplies has been the psychological impact of not allowing 1.5m people to move freely, there’s no doubt if the border is opened freely for all, there’s going to be a massive influx of Palestinians who would want to get out for the first time since the siege was put in place.”
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/05/2011525174117897741.html

Gaza: Revolution and change at the Rafah / Ramzy Baroud
ArabNews 25 May — …”Things will get better,” said a Palestinian engineer from Gaza, who once studied and now works in a Swedish town south of Stockholm. What he meant was that things will get better at the border crossing, in terms of the relationship between Gaza and Egypt. Without a decisive Egyptian decision to reopen the crossing – completely – Gaza will continue to reel under the Israeli siege. Others agree, but Gazans have learned not to become too confident about political statements promising positive changes …For now, things remain difficult at the border. When Egyptian border officials collect passports for examination, and return a few hours later to read aloud the names of those allowed in, a large crowd gathers around them. Tensions soon escalate to yelling, and occasional tears.”Go back or I will not give any his passport back,” shouted a large Egyptian officer with some disdain.
http://arabnews.com/opinion/columns/article427180.ece?comments=all

Palestinian embassy brokers Egypt medical support
CAIRO (Ma’an) 25 May — The Palestinian embassy in Egypt said Wednesday that it had provided treatment for Palestinian refugees suffering from cancer, and provide medicines needed by the Palestinian health ministry … The Cairo embassy’s medical advisor, Hussam Tukan …. added that the Palestinian health minister, Fathi Abu Mughli, had requested around 152 types of medicine and 160 types of medical equipment from Egypt for Gaza’s health system. Tukan said that communications were ongoing between the embassy and the Egyptian health ministry, in order to provide the medicines as soon as possible.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=390950

Limited building materials cross into Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 25 May — Israeli authorities opened Gaza’s sole remaining commercial crossing terminal on Wednesday, for the limited import of building materials designated to international development projects … Supplies permitted to enter Gaza remain well below needs, UN reports say, showing pre-siege levels of almost 3,000 truckloads of goods a week down to just over 700 in the second week of May.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=390856

Crime writer Mankell will be on next Gaza aid flotilla
STOCKHOLM (AFP) 25 May – Swedish crime writer Henning Mankell will take part in the next international flotilla that will attempt to bring aid to Gaza at the end of June, organisers said Wednesday. Mankell, the author of the popular Wallander series of detective novels, will be among a total of 20 Swedish participants in the “Freedom Flotilla 2,” Ship to Gaza Sweden said in a statement.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110525/wl_mideast_afp/israelconflictgazaswedenmankell

Campaign to vilify Gaza flotilla underway in Europe / David Cronin
EI 25 May — Over the past few weeks newspapers in the Netherlands have published articles alleging that some Dutch organizers of the flotilla are “terror supporters.” The main focus of these smears was Rob Groenhuijzen, chairman of the Netherlands Gaza Foundation, who was imprisoned for radical activities more than thirty years ago … “They don’t have the political or legal means [to stop the flotilla] and that’s why they try to criminalize the flotilla’s participants,” he told me. Unfortunately, the government in The Hague has proven receptive to the anti-flotilla campaign. A Dutch office of the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (known by the acronym IHH) was recently placed on a national list of banned organizations.
http://electronicintifada.net/content/campaign-vilify-gaza-flotilla-underway-europe/10009

Land, property, resources theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlers

The expansion of the municipal border of Jerusalem
Settlement Watch 25 May — The Mayor of Jerusalem and the Minister of Interior will announce today in a press conference on the expansion of Jerusalem’s jurisdiction area with some 243 Dunams (60 Acres). Within the current political atmosphere, when every unilateral move by Israel in Jerusalem can cause a diplomatic crisis, this minor change in the Municipal borders of Jerusalem attracts a lot of public attention. The area that is being added to Jerusalem is of an enclave of the Ramat Rachel Kibbutz. 77% of the 243 Dunams to be added to Jerusalem are West of the Green Line (187 Dunams). Some 56 Dunams are in the “No Man’s Land” that was set up between Israel and Jordan, where no side was allowed to enter or to use the area according to the 1949 ceasefire agreement.
http://settlementwatcheastjerusalem.wordpress.com/2011/05/25/the-expansion-of-the-municipal-border-of-jerusalem/

An update on the Bustan
25 May — The Jerusalem Municipality refused to suspend the demolition orders in the Bustan neighborhood. The district court will hold another hearing on the issue at the 22th of June 2011. The Jerusalem Municipality have issued dozens of demolition orders to Palestinians in the Bustan neighborhood in Silwan, in order to use the land as a park. The Palestinian residents prepared a city plan that should legalize the illegal construction, while the Municipality have prepared another plan to demolish some of the houses and allow the construction of others near by, and to create a touristic park that will complete a park in the valleys around the Old City. Both plans are still pending in the planning committees. The Jerusalem Municipality insists to enforce the demolition order despite the fact the the plans are yet to be approved or rejected.
http://settlementwatcheastjerusalem.wordpress.com/2011/05/25/an-update-on-the-bustan/

Occupation bulldozers change features of Bab al-Amoud
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC) 24 May — Israeli occupation bulldozers under protection of occupation police and soldiers started on Tuesday morning to uproot olive trees from a park close to Bab al-Amoud (Damascus Gate) in occupied Jerusalem … The Zionist municipality had announced intentions of building a Talmudic park near the walls of the old city to give the holy city a Talmudic feel. Palestinian youth in Jerusalem protested these acts and fist fights broke out between the protesting youth and the police and soldiers. Two Palestinian youth were arrested and taken to the police station in Salahuddin Street.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd87

Occupation threatens Palestinian farm structures
AL-KHALIL, (PIC) 24 May — The Israeli occupation authorities have handed notices to six Palestinians in the southern West Bank district of al-Khalil giving them informing them that their farm structures will be demolished and their fields in the village of Beit Aula to the West of al-Khalil will be bulldozed. The head of the municipal council of Beit Aul, Rateb al-Emleh, said that according to the notices four water wells in the Jalmon and Twas neighbourhoods near the apartheid wall, as well as other farm structures will be demolished, large swathes of land will be bulldozed and trees uprooted.
Another sixteen such notices have been handed to Palestinians in the southern West Bank claiming that those lands were government properties and Palestinians have no right to develop them
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcO

Israel plans annexation of Salfit land
SALFIT, (PIC) 25 May — The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) has decided to annex 2000 dunums of Palestinian land in Salfit in the West Bank so as to expand Jewish settlements built in their vicinity. Mayor of Qarawat Bani Hassan village in Salfit Abdulkarim Rayyan said on Tuesday that the targeted land is to the north and east of the village and is rich in almond, olive, and fig trees … Rayyan affirmed that more than 40 Palestinian families in the area own documents proving their ownership of the land and would defend their land with all available means and would resist that scheme.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bc

Israel continues to fence in Qalqiliya village
QALQILIYA (Ma‘an) 25 May — Construction continued Wednesday on a barbed wire fence encircling the northern flank of Izbat At-Tabib, a village east of Qalqiliya. Residents awoke Monday to Israeli soldiers guarding work crews, who were installing a barrier between the village and the nearby settler-bypass Road 55. An Israeli military spokeswoman said at the time that the installation was designed to prevent rock throwing. The road, a settler-only facility, was built on village lands, and the fence cuts off further access to properties abutting the road. Seventy meters of fence were installed Monday, residents said, noting work crews returned on Wednesday to continue the installation. Residents were given no warning that the fence would be installed, and were informed Monday by military order that any lands obstructed by the project were being confiscated for security.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=390919

Bedouin refugees complain to UN about discrimination in West Bank
dpa 24 May — Representatives for Bedouin refugees living in an area under Israeli control in the West Bank since 1967 told the United Nations on Tuesday they were being discriminated against and losing their identity and culture. A group of Bedouin took part in the annual meeting on indigenous people at UN headquarters in New York in a program designed to uphold the human rights of the more than 300 million indigenous people worldwide.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/bedouin-refugees-complain-to-un-about-discrimination-in-west-bank-1.363875

Israeli police using new stunning device on protesters
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 25 May — Israeli undercover units are employing a new, unknown electrical device in crowd-control missions in East Jerusalem, say witnesses. Residents of Anata refugee camp stated that undercover police were witnessed brandishing a formerly unseen small electrical device at protesters during clashes in recent days that, when applied, temporarily cripple the movement of those targeted. The stunning device was not seen applied directly to the skin of targeted protesters, needing only to be activated from several metres away and generally pointed at the feet. The device was used as a means of crippling protesters to allow police to move in and arrest them with ease.
http://silwanic.net/?p=17053

Detention

Israel frees mother of exiled senior Hamas man
RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories (AFP) 24 May — The Israeli army released on Tuesday the elderly mother of Salah Aruri, a senior member of Hamas exiled in Syria, AFP reporters said. Aisha Yussef Salah, almost 80, said police had taken her for questioning about the activities of her son, who is considered to be a leader of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas. The Israeli army had no comment on the arrest or the release of the mother of Salah Aruri. She was arrested in a night-time raid by the Israeli army on her West Bank home near the village of Arura, her daughter, Jamila Mohammed Yussef, told AFP.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110524/wl_mideast_afp/palestiniansisraelconflicthamasarrestsyria

Israeli forces detain 12 overnight
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 25 May — …Palestinian sources, however, said four were detained in raids on Nablus, while four were taken from homes in Jericho and five from the southern West Bank regions of Hebron and Bethlehem … Khatib was taken from his home in the Al-Ain refugee camp west of Nablus. While Khatib’s family says he was granted amnesty by Israel ten months ago, PA officials say there is no record of such a deal. Amnesty is granted under a deal between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, which sees former fighters sign declarations of non-violence and hand in their weapons. As they wait for Israel’s agreement to the declaration, the former fighters live under Palestinian Authority protective custody in prison. Upon their release they are supposed to be safe from pursuit.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=390861

Israeli soldiers attack Palestinian boy in Bethlehem
Pal Tel 25 May — West Bank, (Pal Telegraph)-Israeli occupation forces attacked yesterday at night a mentally disabled boy in Al-Khader town in the south of Bethlehem. Security sources said that Israeli soldiers invaded the town arresting the boy,14, and severely beating him before being released. The boy was evacuated to a hospital in Bethlehem for medical treatment due to injuries inflicted on his body.
Today, Israeli forces arrested three Palestinian teens from Al-Uroob refugee camp in the north of Hebron after raiding and searching their homes. According to Israeli radio, the teens were taken after throwing stones at settlers vehicles passing near Al-Khader town without casualties reported.
http://www.paltelegraph.com/palestine/west-bank/9260-israeli-soldiers-attack-palestinian-boy-in-bethlehem.html

Palestinians detained, five injured in Silwan
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC) 25 May — Israeli occupation police forces assaulted inhabitants in Silwan town, south of the Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem , using pepper bombs, eyewitnesses said. They added that the policemen engaged in clashes with youths who threw stones at them, adding that the policemen fired pepper bombs at onlookers one of them a 47-year-old man was treated for breathing difficulty and his son was detained after being beaten. Four others including a photographer working for Wadi Halawa data center called Ahmed Siyam were hurt in the assault.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2b

Refugees

Palestinian workers to get indemnity benefits: NSSF
DS 25 May — BEIRUT: Palestinian refugees working in Lebanon are now eligible to receive indemnity benefits, the National Social Security Fund has announced. A memo issued by NSSF director-general Mohammad Karaki said end-of-service compensation for Palestinian workers would now be calculated based on length of time worked from Sept. 2, 2010. The memo dated May 23, 2011 said, however, that Palestinian workers would not benefit from the NSSF’s health, maternity care or family allowances. The EU estimates the number of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon at around 280,000, below the official registered number of 400,000.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Local-News/2011/May-25/Palestinian-workers-to-get-indemnity-benefits-NSSF.ashx#axzz1NOZ3fFhY

Racism / Discrimination

Damaging affirmative action / Avirama Golan
Haaretz 25 May — Paranoid fabrications are being used to harm an entire community under the aegis of the law, and in effect to revoke their civil status.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/damaging-affirmative-action-1.363922

Woman sues Chevra Kadisha over funeral segregation
Ynet 25 May — A resident of Netanya recently filed a suit for NIS 32,000 (roughly $9,000) against Chevra Kadisha after she was asked to stand separate from men in a funeral she attended. “This is discriminatory and is against our world view,” she claimed.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4073579,00.html

Politics / Diplomacy / International

Cairo: Some names for new government selected
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 25 May — Several names have been agreed on for the new technocrat government being compiled by Fatah and Hamas officials in Cairo, a party member told Ma‘an on Tuesday … Al-Loh said none of the names would be announced until the government was set, and meetings between all factions were concluded.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=390524

Palestinian unity deal exposes divisions in Hamas
GAZA (Reuters) 25 May – Divisions in Hamas have been brought to the surface by a reconciliation agreement with rival group Fatah, exposing splits in the Palestinian Islamist movement that could complicate implementation of the deal. It is the first time differences between Hamas leaders in Gaza and the movement’s exiled politburo in Damascus have been aired so openly in public, supporting a view that the group is far from united. The disagreements have embarrassed a movement that has always denied talk of internal divisions. But analysts do not believe they signal an imminent fracture: neither wing of the Hamas movement can survive without the other.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110525/wl_nm/us_palestinians_hamas_1

Abu Marzouq: Hamas will not make same ‘historic mistake’ as PLO
MOSCOW, (PIC) 15 May — Senior Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouq has declared that Hamas will not repeat the “historic mistake” of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) when it recognized Israel in 1993. “In international laws and norms, no one demands a party, a group or an organization to recognize a state, so it’s unreasonable to demand that Hamas recognize Israel,” Abu Marzouq said during a press conference held by Palestinian factions visiting Russia. Abu Marzouq, who is the deputy chairman of Hamas’s Political Bureau, said that the PLO’s recognition of Israel was “a historic mistake, as it was not a state so as to recognize another state.” “If it was required to recognize it, the recognition should have been mutual, and not just from one side. Recognition should also have been in the last stage of negotiations, not at the beginning,” he said.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2

Europe set for key Palestine role
BRUSSELS (AP) 25 May — Europe, its global influence waning by the day, has long wished for more of a voice in a Middle Eastern diplomatic arena dominated by the U.S. That wish is now being granted, in a limited way: The position of key European nations could determine the impact of the Palestinians’ plan to ask the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian state at its September annual meeting.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110525/ap_on_re_eu/eu_europe_recognizing_palestine

WATCH: Israeli behind Gadhafi spoof song lampoons Netanyahu’s Congress speech
31-year-old music journalist and producer Noy Alooshe remixed Netanyahu’s speech to the tune of the popularremix of Yolanda Be Cool’s “We No Speak Americano.”
http://www.haaretz.com/culture/watch-israeli-behind-gadhafi-spoof-song-lampoons-netanyahu-s-congress-speech-1.363999

Congress applause of Netanyahu ‘pathetic’
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 25 May — The warm reception of the Israeli prime Minister at the US Congress was “pathetic,” President Abbas’ secretary-general At-Tayyib Abdul-Rahim said Wednesday. Benjamin Netanyahu entered Congress to applause the day before, and received more than 25 standing ovations during a speech in which he ruled out international demands to return to the 1967 borders or share Jerusalem, and called on Mahmoud Abbas to “tear up” the reconciliation agreement his Fatah party signed two weeks ago with rival faction Hamas. “We felt as we watched the reception that we were watching a totalitarian parliament,” Abdul-Rahim said.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=390917

Haim Saban hints: No more donations to Obama
Ynet 25 May — Billionaire funder of 2008 Democratic campaign disappointed by Obama’s conduct towards Israel — Media mogul Haim Saban, who has donated millions to the Democratic Party — especially during its 2008 campaign, led by President Barack Obama — has hinted that he will not continue to donate in 2012.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4073720,00.html

Erekat: Netanyahu’s Congress speech full of lies, hampers peace
Haaretz 25 May — Chief Palestinian negotiator says peace process cannot have a chance unless Netanyahu agrees that the Palestinian state should be established along the 1967 borders
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/erekat-netanyahu-s-congress-speech-full-of-lies-hampers-peace-1.363894

The assault on Netanyahu’s heckler / Annie
“Police arrested CODEPINK peace activist Rae Abileah at the George Washington University Hospital in Washington DC. Abileah was taken to the hospital after having been assaulted and tackled to the ground by AIPAC members of the audience in the House Gallery during Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress… “I am in great pain, but this is nothing compared to the pain and suffering that Palestinians go through on a regular basis,” said Abileah from her hospital bed. “I have been to Gaza and the West Bank, I have seen Palestinians homes bombed and bulldozed, I have talked to mothers whose children have been killed during the invasion of Gaza, I have seen the Jewish-only roads leading to ever-expanding settlements in the West Bank. This kind of colonial occupation cannot continue. As a Jew and a U.S. citizen, I feel obligated to rise up and speak out against stop these crimes being committed in my name and with my tax dollars.”
http://mondoweiss.net/2011/05/the-assault-on-netanyahus-heckler-rae-abileah.html

Rightist MKs slam Netanyahu’s ‘painful compromises for peace’
dpa/Haaretz 25 May — MK Danny Danon, from Netanyahu’s own hawkish Likud party, told Army Radio that the premier’s positions, as outlined in the speech, did not represent the views of his party. “We were elected to safeguard, not hand over,” he said of Netanyahu’s comments about settlements remaining outside of Israel after a future peace deal.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/rightist-mks-slam-netanyahu-s-painful-compromises-for-peace-1.363980

Settlers: We won’t live in Palestinian state
Ynet 25 May — Jewish residents of West Bank concerned over Netanyahu’s Congress address. ‘We were sent here by state, if they abandon us to Palestinians’ mercy we’ll resist,’ says settler, slamming ‘talk of ceding ancestral Jewish land’ … “It’s mass suicide, they’ll just destroy us,” a settler claimed.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4073896,00.html

MK tries to hand in a ‘Jordan is Palestine’ petition at the Jordanian embassy
NAZARETH, (PIC) 24 May — The Israeli radio said that Knesset member Aryeh Eldad of the National Union went on Tuesday morning to the Jordanian embassy and tried to hand in a petition which states that Jordan is Palestine and that the Palestinian problem should be solved inside Jordan. The embassy officials refused to receive the petition which was signed by 6000 people from 69 countries around the world, according to the radio.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bc

Analysis / Opinion

Netanyahu’s speech to Congress shows America will buy anything / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 25 May — It was an address with no destination, filled with lies on top of lies and illusions heaped on illusions. Only rarely is a foreign head of state invited to speak before Congress. It’s unlikely that any other has attempted to sell them such a pile of propaganda and prevarication, such hypocrisy and sanctimony as Benjamin Netanyahu did yesterday. The fact that the Congress rose to its feet multiple times to applaud him says more about the ignorance of its members than the quality of their guest’s speech.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/netanyahu-s-speech-to-congress-shows-america-will-buy-anything-1.363897

FACT CHECK: Netanyahu speech ignores rival claims
JERUSALEM (AP) 24 May — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave an impassioned defense of his approach to peace during a speech to Congress on Tuesday. But the address reflected the world view of Israel’s nationalistic right wing, one of several conflicting narratives that divide Israelis and Palestinians. Here is a sampling of Netanyahu’s claims along with what he did not mention. NETANYAHU: “You don’t need to send American troops to Israel. We defend ourselves.” THE FACTS: Israel is a leading recipient of American foreign aid, including more than $1 billion in military assistance each year. | NETANYAHU: “In Judea and Samaria, the Jewish people are not foreign occupiers. We are not the British in India. We are not the Belgians in the Congo.” THE FACTS: While the West Bank, or Judea and Samaria, is promised to the Jewish people in the Bible, the international community considers the West Bank occupied territory. Israel captured the area in the 1967 Mideast war but has never annexed it. Its occupied status is underscored by the presence of tens of thousands of Israeli soldiers who protect Israeli settlements and control the movement of Palestinian residents in the name of security 
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110524/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_us_fact_check

The facts and fictions of Netanyahu’s address to Congress
Haaretz 25 May — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu makes claims about the West Bank, Arab citizens of Israel and the Jewish people’s historic biblical connection to Israel – are these hollow statements or political truths? … “Of the 300 million Arabs in the Middle East and North Africa, only Israel’s Arab citizens enjoy real democratic rights.” When making this claim, Netanyahu failed to mention the “loyalty oath” blitz of Yisrael Beiteinu, that afforded preferential admission to civil service positions for those who served in the Israel Defense Forces and demanded that those seeking citizenship pledge allegiance to a “Jewish democratic” state. What about the law granting town councils the prerogative to selectively admit members into their communities? These examples all appear in a report compiled by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel that deemed the current Knesset “the most racist in state history”
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/the-facts-and-fictions-of-netanyahu-s-address-to-congress-1.363976

Poll: Netanyahu, US Congress, AIPAC stand to the right of Israeli public / Noam Sheizaf
972mag 25 May — According to Maariv’s poll, 57 percent of Israelis accept the principles outlined in president Obama’s Middle East speech. By being more pro-Israeli than the Knesset, the US Congress indicates that the road to peace and justice in the region cannot pass through Washington … What’s even more interesting is how far to the right the Washington establishment is on these issues. If they were Israelis, all of those attacking President Obama on Israel — from the Senate majority leader to the Washington Post’s editorial page — would have been part of the right flank of the Likud, or a moderate settler party. Right now, the Israeli consensus — if such thing exists — is to the left of the beltway (though Netanyahu is working very hard to change that).
http://972mag.com/poll-netanyahu-us-congress-aipac-stand-to-the-right-of-israeli-public/

Congress to Palestinians: Drop dead / MJ Rosenberg
HuffPost 24 May — If anyone had any doubt about whether the Palestinians would declare a state in September, they can’t have them now. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu delivered a speech to Congress that essentially was a series of insults to Palestinians and every insult was met by applause and standing ovations …Congress cheered and cheered and when Netanyahu was finished, they climbed over each other to touch the hem of his garment, hoping that AIPAC’s donors saw them groveling before a foreign leader as they never would for a U.S. President. It was as if Congress thought that no Palestinians or other Arabs (or Muslims) would be watching. It was as if it believes that it can shout its lungs out for Netanyahu (and thereby secure those campaign contributions from AIPAC), without any consequences to U.S. policy and national interests in the Arab world. But Congress is wrong. The message it sent to the Middle East today, to the whole world, in fact, was that Palestinians cannot count on the United States to ever play the role of “honest broker” between Israel and the Palestinians..
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mj-rosenberg/congress-to-palestinians-_b_866565.html

Analysis: 29 years of non-violent resistance to occupation / Mya Guarnieri
Ma‘an 25 May — “Here comes your nonviolent resistance,” The Economist proclaimed in an article two days after the events of Nakba Day. The writer pointed out that the demonstrations demanding an end to occupation and the right of return for Palestinian refugees that took place on May 15 were in the spirit of the First Intifada which was, by and large, nonviolent. My colleague Joseph Dana voiced the same sentiment, in an article on Alternet: “Many in the international press are claiming the Nakba day protests show that the Arab spring has arrived in Palestine…It was Palestinians who organized mass unarmed resistance against Israeli occupation in the late 1980s…” I endorse these articles. They offer important, nuanced takes on the Nakba Day protests, the First Intifada, and Palestinian resistance to the occupation. But they’re both wrong. … Nonviolent resistance began in 1982, in the Golan Heights.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=390802

How Obama became the unlikely ally of an illegal West Bank outpost / Akiva Eldar
Haaretz 24 May — The state prosecutor is arguing that outposts can’t be torn down as long as the delicate ‘diplomatic discourse’ is ongoing.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/how-obama-became-the-unlikely-ally-of-an-illegal-west-bank-outpost-1.363664

Defensible borders for Israel: the 1967 lines are just fine / Gil Maguire
21 May — What are the legitimate security concerns of Israel, and what would be acceptable defensible borders?  Martin van Crevald, Israel’s preëminent military historian and theorist, recently analyzed this issue in the Jewish Daily Forward on December 15, 2010 in an article entitled: “Israel Doesn’t Need the West Bank to be Secure”.  He concluded that an invasion of Israel from Jordan through the West Bank would be suicidal for the attacker … His conclusion is both powerful and persuasive: … it is crystal-clear that Israel can easily afford to give up the West Bank. Strategically speaking, the risk of doing so is negligible. What is not negligible is the demographic, social, cultural and political challenge that ruling over 2.5 million — nobody knows exactly how many — occupied Palestinians in the West Bank poses.
http://savingisrael.wordpress.com/2011/05/21/defensible-borders-for-israel-the-1967-lines-are-just-fine/

The Palestinian right to dream / Peter Beinart
DB 25 May — As Congress applauded Netanyahu’s tough speech, a young Ramallah man talked about creating a Palestinian Tahrir Square, using nonviolence — and the hope that American Jews would back such a civil rights approach. Political reality suggests otherwise, writes Peter Beinart, but Palestinians should be allowed to dream.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/dailybeast/20110525/ts_dailybeast/14321_benjaminnetanyahusspeechandthepalestinianrighttodream_1

Neighbors: The Nakba is over / Zvi Bar’el
Haaretz 25 May — Lebanon likely won’t be seeing any more protests at the Israeli border, which were seemingly unhelpful to the tumultuous country’s interests — Last Friday, residents of the Lebanese village of Maroun al-Ras expected large numbers of Palestinians to come and hold prayers to mark the death of the 11 protesters who were killed during Nakba Day protests on May 15. The Lebanese Army was on alert for memorial gatherings and even another attempt to dash to the border fence. But none of this took place. There were no gatherings, no prayers and no marches.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/neighbors-the-nakba-is-over-1.363920

Teaching Nakba in the education system: tools or weapons? / Dahlia Zonzstein
972mag 25 May — Israelis and Palestinians obviously have competing ‘historical truths’ or narratives, but if we are to cultivate a next generation on both sides that can tolerate each other, shouldn’t we be teaching the conflicting narratives as a bridge towards reconciliation, and not as a weapon with which to crush the other? — Speaking at an education conference in Tel Aviv on Sunday, Israel Minister of Education Gideon Saar addressed the question(Hebrew) of teaching the Palestinian narrative in Israeli schools for the first time explicitly. He asserted (predictably) that Israel’s Ministry of Education will never permit the instruction of the Nakba or anything related to the Palestinian narrative in Israeli schools since “Israeli Independence shall not be treated like the Holocaust.”
http://972mag.com/%E2%80%9Chistorical-truths%E2%80%9D-in-the-education-system-tools-or-weapons/

The absurd US stance on Israel’s nukes: a VIDEO sampling of denial / Sam Husseini
23 May — …Yesterday at AIPAC Obama spoke of the “existential fear of Israelis when a modern dictator seeks nuclear weapons and threatens to wipe Israel off the face of the map — face of the Earth.” He spoke of “our commitment to our shared security in our determination to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.” Obama said to applause from the attendees at the pro-Israel group: “So let me be absolutely clear — we remain committed to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. … Its illicit nuclear program is just one challenge that Iran poses.” Of course, Netanyahu is ever more vociferous in his accusations regarding Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program. But at his first news conference at the White House in February of 2009, Obama was asked by Helen Thomas if he knew of any country in the Middle East that has nuclear weapons. Obama replied that he didn’t want to “speculate.”
http://www.washingtonstakeout.com/index.php/2011/05/23/the-absurd-u-s-stance-on-israels-nukes-a-video-sampling-of-denial/

The perks of traveling while Palestinian / Mohammed-Naji AlKhodari
EI 24 May — As I stood in the line waiting to check in at the Bradley International Airport in the US state of Connecticut, I wondered how overweight my luggage would be. After I handed my Palestinian passport to the woman sitting behind the desk, she paused for a minute.  “What’s wrong?” I asked.. “Nothing, but this is the first time I’ve held a Palestinian passport, which is kind of exciting for me as pro-Palestinian,” she replied. After she gave me the boarding pass, she asked me to put my luggage on the scale…
http://electronicintifada.net/content/perks-traveling-while-palestinian/10006

www.theheadlines.org (archives)
groups.yahoo.com/group/f_shadi (listserv)

I left the corporate bubble — and am now trying to give a voice to the scores of Palestinian Gandhis

May 25, 2011

Pam Bailey

I am an American “corporate refugee” – a woman who worked for 20+ years making a six-figure salary, with my eyes fixed on the next rung up the ladder (in “big pharma” no less). I was aware that there were parallel worlds, and that I was living in what could be called the “Comfort Corridor.” But I didn’t do anything concrete about it, other than read voraciously.

And then I began the odyssey that ejected me from my protected bubble. I acted on an adventurous whim — made possible by a particularly good bonus — and travelled to Palestine in 2007. It changed my life. That first educational trip led to a second one just a year later, this time as an ISM (International Solidarity Movement) volunteer during the olive harvest and protests in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah. The conversion into an activist was nearly complete. The last step was a corporate acquisition that gave me the excuse I was looking for to break free of my “golden handcuffs.” I walked away from my profit-driven existence and…took my first trip to Gaza, a Codepink delegation for International Women’s Day, 2009. Those who have been to Palestine understand how it gets into your blood. I had the extra advantage of now having a “tabula rasa” – a chance to re-invent my work, or at least to try. It wasn’t long before I decided to live and volunteer in the Gaza Strip for six months; if I ever hoped to eke out a living in this arena, I needed a deeper understanding. Six months isn’t long compared to a lifetime, but I felt it was enough to put “my feet firmly on the ground,” as well to teach me the diversity and nuances within the overall culture.

When I returned, I spent the next three weeks on a speaking tour from one coast to the other…and thinking about what I could do as an individual to make a difference, to not squander the experience and connections I now had. I didn’t want to focus on political activity alone; it’s a given for me, but progress just seems too slow. I also feel a need to do something that has a real, concrete, practical impact.

So, I asked myself, what can I do that will use my education and experience in communications to both help the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and chip away at the ignorance and stereotypes that prevent more Americans from empathizing with their plight? (Most Gazans will tell you that the greatest contribution you can make to their cause is to change our own government’s discriminatory and biased policies. The only way to do that, I’ve concluded, is to change public opinion, so that pressure is eventually exerted on their elected officials.)

One of the most common comments I hear when I return from Palestine and speak to various groups, even from relatively educated activists, is “what the Palestinians need is a Gandhi, or Martin Luther King Jr.” It’s the same “cult of the leader” we saw in the United States when Obama was running for president and so many people saw him as a “savior” of sorts. Yet, what the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions should have shown us all once again is that we cannot always wait for a strong leader to emerge, and one is not necessary to bring about the change we need. Palestinians have many “Gandhis” among them who are resisting occupation and corrupt government every day in very creative ways. So, I have joined with a friend of mine to document these stories and given them an audience. The individuals we are interviewing do not have the notoriety of Gandhi and MLK, but all they need is a platform, which we hope to help provide. They also do not have a similar mass following — in many cases, because Israel has attempted to snuff out their budding fame by raiding their homes and imprisoning them or their family members. Others are still young, only needing encouragement and recognition to become the leaders of the future. We hope to provide them a platform to amplify their voices.

When I returned to Gaza this January, I decided to invest some of the funds I still had to kickstart the project by filming interviews with individuals such as:

· The organizer for the popular resistance committee who led weekly protests in the deadly “buffer zone” by the Israeli border, learning from the growing support for protests against the “separation wall” in the West Bank. (Unfortunately, those protests came to a stop the week of my return. The Israeli military began shooting everyone who entered.)

· A businessman who responded to the ban on imports of glass and other construction materials by making tiles, ashtrays and decorative sculptures out of recycled glass from the destroyed buildings.

· Youth who are telling their stories and expressing their emotions through blogs, painting – and even sculpture made from cacti and spent munitions. (I partnered with a graphic artist to produce a poster showcasing some of these powerful images.)

· Troupes who are “acting out” through breakdance and rap, while helping other youth do the same instead of turning to militias or giving in to apathy.

· A young professional who is planning for the return of Gaza’s former status as a favorite tourist spot in the region, refusing to give in to the lack of hope for a “normal” future to which so many others have succumbed.

There are so many Palestinians who need a megaphone. I heard a young Palestinian poet, Dina Omar, recently, who said that sometimes she wants to shout at all the activists to be quiet just a minute and listen to the voices of the occupied. That is what this project is all about, and we hope to expand it into a library that includes voices from the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the refugee camps of Jordan, Syria and Lebanon (which are almost totally ignored). You can help make it happen: here at Palestinian Gandhis.

Bromwich: Netanyahu found the chosenness recipe in America’s bad cookbook

May 25, 2011

Philip Weiss

David Bromwich responds to a post from earlier today suggesting that Congress’s docility before Netanyahu means that the Israel/Palestine conflict has become an irrepressible conflict.

I think your comments about the lobby, in the “irrepressible conflict” piece,
are right but I also think there’s a terrible, and largely separate source of
mischief, from American arrogance and superiority and “exceptionalism,” our own “chosen people” myth; doubly dangerous by its affinity with the Israeli myth. Netanyahu played on this resemblance, to the hilt.

We Americans had a narrow window to outgrow the myth–circa 1975-1980–but Carter’s bad luck (and want of a certain resourcefulness) and Reagan’s good luck in getting credit for the collapse of the Soviet system, drove us back into immaturity.

Obama’s wisest path as leader would have been to inoculate American public opinion against an arrogance that he distrusts, simply by never pandering to the myth. Speak of America with pride, yes, but as a society more than a nation; and don’t hide the madness. Instead, he pandered. Most of all in his Nobel Prize speech, of all places; where, in a setting most definitive of internationalism, he preached the doctrine of the legitimacy of American nationalist pride. As a nation of peace and good wars. Now, he is the captive of a bad cookbook of persuasion–too used to that cooking to find a way out on his own.

About those applauding congressmen: I agree, a sign of prejudice and craven submission to propaganda (supported by money and threats). But I wouldn’t underrate sheer ignorance as a factor. When they heard Netanyahu say Jerusalem must remain undivided and the capital of Israel, how many members of Congress even knew that its status as a capital is (to say the least) disputed and that it was undivided in the sense of being accessible to three religions, without being under Israeli rule, for most of the 20th century?

JPost revises ‘Nakba Day protests’ to ‘Nakba Day riots’

May 25, 2011

Circarre Parrhesia

This article, published a couple days ago on the Jerusalem Post website, was originally entitled “Palestinian group calls for more ‘Nakba Day’ style protests”.

Within moments of the original posting an editor for Jpost dove in and made a simple amendment to the title replacing “protests” with “riots”.

Interestingly, within the body of the article, reporting on the call for a repeat of the non-violent protests carried out on this year’s Nakba Day on June 5, the anniversary of the beginning of the Six Day War, the word protest remains.

The use of the term riot is frequently used by the office of the IDF Spokesperson to characterize non-violent protest throughout the West Bank each Friday and Saturday in their English language releases in an attempt to justify the use of violence against the attendees of such protests, whether Palestinian, Israeli or international.

This semantic correlation between the armed branch of the State of Israel and its media is, in this reporter’s opinion, yet another example of the intertwined nature of the State and Israeli media, which is an incredible shame considering that the Israel has far greater laws protecting the freedom of the press than many countries in the world.

I wonder if a young reporter at the Jpost is being given a stern lecture on his or her choice of language as I type this.

Circarre Parrhesia is an editor and writer for the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, based in the West Bank town of Beit Sahour.

Washington Post columnist reveals his inner child to be, well–

May 25, 2011

Philip Weiss

Dana Milbank in the Washington Post concludes that Obama made a terrible blunder in his speech on the Middle East, based on the responses to Bibi Netanyahu’s speech from “Inna Graizel, my daughter’s 21-year-old Israeli au pair, who is spending a year with my family, learning about America…” I’m guessing they don’t talk about the right of return in that household?

Feeling the ignorance at AIPAC 2011

May 25, 2011

Max Blumenthal

On May 22, thousands of supporters of America’s most powerful pro-Israel lobbying group, the America-Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, converged on Washington for the group’s annual conference. For two days they watched Democratic and Republican congressional leaders pledge their undivided loyalty to the state of Israel, and by extension, to AIPAC’s legislative agenda. Speeches by President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu highlighted the conference, with Obama attempting to clarify his statement demanding that 1967 borders be the “starting point” for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

I interviewed several AIPAC delegates in the streets outside the conference. While few, if any, of them were able to demonstrate the slightest degree of sophistication in their understanding of the Israel-Palestine crisis, they had been briefed inside on how to respond to critics. No one I spoke to would concede that Israel occupied any part of Palestinian territory; none would concede that Israel had committed acts of indiscriminate violence or that it had transferred Palestinians by force; one interviewee could not distinguish Palestine from Pakistan. With considerable wealth and negligible knowledge — few had spent much time inside Israel — the delegates were easily melded by the cadre of neoconservative and Israeli “experts” appearing in AIPAC’s briefing sessions.

As the day wore on, many delegates waded into confrontations with members of Code Pink and Palestine solidarity demonstrators who had set up a protest camp across the street. With conflict intensifying on the sidewalk, Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin invited AIPAC delegates to express themselves from the protest stage. There, their most visceral feelings and deeply held views about Israel-Palestine crisis were revealed. See it for yourself.

Video and text crossposted @ Max Blumenthal

Bi Bi Pro Americano

May 25, 2011

annie

Haaretz:

31-year-old music journalist and producer Noy Alooshe remixed Netanyahu’s speech to the tune of the popular remix of Yolanda Be Cool’s “We No Speak Americano.”

(hat tip Kate)

Sen Udall: Arab Spring shows up the Patriot Act
May 25, 2011 02:57 pm | Philip Weiss

Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico, in an insurgent Senate debate today on the Patriot Act led by Rand Paul of Kentucky:

“In the Middle East…” people are “striving for more freedom, striving for more democracy,” and we support them. “Here on the floor of the United States Senate we are not willing to analyze what this so-called Patriot Act has done to our freedom.”

Paul: “We are being quieted down. We are being told to sit quietly in the back of the room and not make waves.. They call this the world’s greatest deliberative body. We’re unwilling to deliberate [this issue].”

Rae Abileah takes on the ‘culture of silence’ in the Jewish community

May 25, 2011

annie

AMY GOODMAN: What were you just saying? You were tackled by members of AIPAC?

RAE ABILEAH: I just wanted to say that the people that were sitting around me in the gallery of Congress yesterday were mostly wearing badges from the AIPAC Israel lobby conference. And I did not expect that people holding such power and representing such a huge lobby group would respond so violently to my peaceful disruption. And after I spoke out, Netanyahu said, you know, “This is what’s possible in a democracy. And you wouldn’t be able to get away with this in other countries like Tunisia.” And I think that is ridiculous and absurd. If this is what democracy looks like, that when you speak out for freedom and justice, you get tackled to the ground, you get physically violated and assaulted, and then you get hauled off to jail, that’s not the kind of democracy that I think I want to live in.

An awesome interview, read the whole thing.

AMY GOODMAN: And what does it mean for you to speak out? Often in this country, the Jewish community is portrayed as monolithic when it comes toward—to dealing with Israel policy and supporting the Israeli government. Your thoughts on that? And what does it mean for you to speak out, with your family from Israel?

RAE ABILEAH: I’ve been to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza several times. And after witnessing the destruction, the Jewish-only roads, the wall, the bombing of Gaza and the inequality there, I feel like, when I returned to the U.S., I had no option but to speak out for justice. And I feel this tremendous responsibility as a Jewish American to speak out for justice and against these war crimes that are being committed in my name as a Jew, as a U.S. taxpayer. But it’s not easy, for sure. There’s a culture of silence and fear in the Jewish community around speaking out about this. And it’s certainly—I get some blowback from family and friends. But I think it’s so important to follow my principles, my integrity and my heart. And I urge other especially young Jews to do the same. I think that us, as the next generation, we see things differently than the kind of brainwashing—or, we call it “bluewashing”—that we’ve been fed, sometimes by our congregations or by Israel. We have to see through the veil of religious narrative to see that what Israel is doing is not in the best interest of Judaism either. And you were just asking Mr. Barghouti about the Jewish state. I think that what Israel is doing is completely out of line with Jewish values. The value of tikkun olam, of repairing and healing the world, is totally absent from the Netanyahu administration. So we have to reclaim those values—

AMY GOODMAN: I want to thank you—

RAE ABILEAH:—and say that it’s not in the best interest of any faith to do this.

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on Mondoweiss Online Newsletter

“A Strategy for IsraHell in the Nineteen Eighties”

NOVANEWS

 

Published by the Association of Arab-American University Graduates, Inc.

Belmont, Massachusetts, 1982

Special Document No. 1

(ISBN 0-937694-56-8)

Table of Contents

Publisher’s Note

1

The Association of Arab-American University Graduates finds it compelling to inaugurate its new publication series, Special Documents, with Oded Yinon’s article which appeared in Kivunim (Directions), the journal of the Department of Information of the World Zionist Organization. Oded Yinon is an Israeli journalist and was formerly attached to the Foreign Ministry of Israel. To our knowledge, this document is the most explicit, detailed and unambiguous statement to date of the Zionist strategy in the Middle East. Furthermore, it stands as an accurate representation of the “vision” for the entire Middle East of the presently ruling Zionist regime of Begin, Sharon and Eitan. Its importance, hence, lies not in its historical value but in the nightmare which it presents.

2

The plan operates on two essential premises. To survive, Israel must 1) become an imperial regional power, and 2) must effect the division of the whole area into small states by the dissolution of all existing Arab states. Small here will depend on the ethnic or sectarian composition of each state. Consequently, the Zionist hope is that sectarian-based states become Israel’s satellites and, ironically, its source of moral legitimation.

3

This is not a new idea, nor does it surface for the first time in Zionist strategic thinking. Indeed, fragmenting all Arab states into smaller units has been a recurrent theme. This theme has been documented on a very modest scale in the AAUG publication, Israel’s Sacred Terrorism (1980), by Livia Rokach. Based on the memoirs of Moshe Sharett, former Prime Minister of Israel, Rokach’s study documents, in convincing detail, the Zionist plan as it applies to Lebanon and as it was prepared in the mid-fifties.

4

The first massive Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1978 bore this plan out to the minutest detail. The second and more barbaric and encompassing Israeli invasion of Lebanon on June 6, 1982, aims to effect certain parts of this plan which hopes to see not only Lebanon, but Syria and Jordan as well, in fragments. This ought to make mockery of Israeli public claims regarding their desire for a strong and independent Lebanese central government. More accurately, they want a Lebanese central government that sanctions their regional imperialist designs by signing a peace treaty with them. They also seek acquiescence in their designs by the Syrian, Iraqi, Jordanian and other Arab governments as well as by the Palestinian people. What they want and what they are planning for is not an Arab world, but a world of Arab fragments that is ready to succumb to Israeli hegemony. Hence, Oded Yinon in his essay, “A Strategy for Israel in the 1980’s,” talks about “far-reaching opportunities for the first time since 1967” that are created by the “very stormy situation [that] surrounds Israel.”

5

The Zionist policy of displacing the Palestinians from Palestine is very much an active policy, but is pursued more forcefully in times of contlict, such as in the 1947-1948 war and in the 1967 war. An appendix entitled “Israel Talks of a New Exodus” is included in this publication to demonstrate past Zionist dispersals of Palestinians from their homeland and to show, besides the main Zionist document we present, other Zionist planning for the de-Palestinization of Palestine.

6

It is clear from the Kivunim document, published in February, 1982, that the “far-reaching opportunities” of which Zionist strategists have been thinking are the same “opportunities” of which they are trying to convince the world and which they claim were generated by their June, 1982 invasion. It is also clear that the Palestinians were never the sole target of Zionist plans, but the priority target since their viable and independent presence as a people negates the essence of the Zionist state. Every Arab state, however, especially those with cohesive and clear nationalist directions, is a real target sooner or later.

7

Contrasted with the detailed and unambiguous Zionist strategy elucidated in this document, Arab and Palestinian strategy, unfortunately, suffers from ambiguity and incoherence. There is no indication that Arab strategists have internalized the Zionist plan in its full ramifications. Instead, they react with incredulity and shock whenever a new stage of it unfolds. This is apparent in Arab reaction, albeit muted, to the Israeli siege of Beirut. The sad fact is that as long as the Zionist strategy for the Middle East is not taken seriously Arab reaction to any future siege of other Arab capitals will be the same.

Khalil Nakhleh July 23, 1982

Foreward

1

The following essay represents, in my opinion, the accurate and detailed plan of the present Zionist regime (of Sharon and Eitan) for the Middle East which is based on the division of the whole area into small states, and the dissolution of all the existing Arab states. I will comment on the military aspect of this plan in a concluding note. Here I want to draw the attention of the readers to several important points:

2

1. The idea that all the Arab states should be broken down, by Israel, into small units, occurs again and again in Israeli strategic thinking. For example, Ze’ev Schiff, the military correspondent of Ha’aretz (and probably the most knowledgeable in Israel, on this topic) writes about the “best” that can happen for Israeli interests in Iraq: “The dissolution of Iraq into a Shi’ite state, a Sunni state and the separation of the Kurdish part” (Ha’aretz 6/2/1982). Actually, this aspect of the plan is very old.

3

2. The strong connection with Neo-Conservative thought in the USA is very prominent, especially in the author’s notes. But, while lip service is paid to the idea of the “defense of the West” from Soviet power, the real aim of the author, and of the present Israeli establishment is clear: To make an Imperial Israel into a world power. In other words, the aim of Sharon is to deceive the Americans after he has deceived all the rest.

4

3. It is obvious that much of the relevant data, both in the notes and in the text, is garbled or omitted, such as the financial help of the U.S. to Israel. Much of it is pure fantasy. But, the plan is not to be regarded as not influential, or as not capable of realization for a short time. The plan follows faithfully the geopolitical ideas current in Germany of 1890-1933, which were swallowed whole by Hitler and the Nazi movement, and determined their aims for East Europe. Those aims, especially the division of the existing states, were carried out in 1939-1941, and only an alliance on the global scale prevented their consolidation for a period of time.

5

The notes by the author follow the text. To avoid confusion, I did not add any notes of my own, but have put the substance of them into this foreward and the conclusion at the end. I have, however, emphasized some portions of the text.

Israel Shahak June 13, 1982

A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties

by Oded Yinon

This essay originally appeared in Hebrew in KIVUNIM (Directions), A Journal for Judaism and Zionism; Issue No, 14–Winter, 5742, February 1982, Editor: Yoram Beck. Editorial Committee: Eli Eyal, Yoram Beck, Amnon Hadari, Yohanan Manor, Elieser Schweid. Published by the Department of Publicity/The World Zionist Organization, Jerusalem.

1

At the outset of the nineteen eighties the State of Israel is in need of a new perspective as to its place, its aims and national targets, at home and abroad. This need has become even more vital due to a number of central processes which the country, the region and the world are undergoing. We are living today in the early stages of a new epoch in human history which is not at all similar to its predecessor, and its characteristics are totally different from what we have hitherto known. That is why we need an understanding of the central processes which typify this historical epoch on the one hand, and on the other hand we need a world outlook and an operational strategy in accordance with the new conditions. The existence, prosperity and steadfastness of the Jewish state will depend upon its ability to adopt a new framework for its domestic and foreign affairs.

2

This epoch is characterized by several traits which we can already diagnose, and which symbolize a genuine revolution in our present lifestyle. The dominant process is the breakdown of the rationalist, humanist outlook as the major cornerstone supporting the life and achievements of Western civilization since the Renaissance. The political, social and economic views which have emanated from this foundation have been based on several “truths” which are presently disappearing–for example, the view that man as an individual is the center of the universe and everything exists in order to fulfill his basic material needs. This position is being invalidated in the present when it has become clear that the amount of resources in the cosmos does not meet Man’s requirements, his economic needs or his demographic constraints. In a world in which there are four billion human beings and economic and energy resources which do not grow proportionally to meet the needs of mankind, it is unrealistic to expect to fulfill the main requirement of Western Society,1 i.e., the wish and aspiration for boundless consumption. The view that ethics plays no part in determining the direction Man takes, but rather his material needs do–that view is becoming prevalent today as we see a world in which nearly all values are disappearing. We are losing the ability to assess the simplest things, especially when they concern the simple question of what is Good and what is Evil.

3

The vision of man’s limitless aspirations and abilities shrinks in the face of the sad facts of life, when we witness the break-up of world order around us. The view which promises liberty and freedom to mankind seems absurd in light of the sad fact that three fourths of the human race lives under totalitarian regimes. The views concerning equality and social justice have been transformed by socialism and especially by Communism into a laughing stock. There is no argument as to the truth of these two ideas, but it is clear that they have not been put into practice properly and the majority of mankind has lost the liberty, the freedom and the opportunity for equality and justice. In this nuclear world in which we are (still) living in relative peace for thirty years, the concept of peace and coexistence among nations has no meaning when a superpower like the USSR holds a military and political doctrine of the sort it has: that not only is a nuclear war possible and necessary in order to achieve the ends of Marxism, but that it is possible to survive after it, not to speak of the fact that one can be victorious in it.2

4

The essential concepts of human society, especially those of the West, are undergoing a change due to political, military and economic transformations. Thus, the nuclear and conventional might of the USSR has transformed the epoch that has just ended into the last respite before the great saga that will demolish a large part of our world in a multi-dimensional global war, in comparison with which the past world wars will have been mere child’s play. The power of nuclear as well as of conventional weapons, their quantity, their precision and quality will turn most of our world upside down within a few years, and we must align ourselves so as to face that in Israel. That is, then, the main threat to our existence and that of the Western world.3 The war over resources in the world, the Arab monopoly on oil, and the need of the West to import most of its raw materials from the Third World, are transforming the world we know, given that one of the major aims of the USSR is to defeat the West by gaining control over the gigantic resources in the Persian Gulf and in the southern part of Africa, in which the majority of world minerals are located. We can imagine the dimensions of the global confrontation which will face us in the future.

5

The Gorshkov doctrine calls for Soviet control of the oceans and mineral rich areas of the Third World. That together with the present Soviet nuclear doctrine which holds that it is possible to manage, win and survive a nuclear war, in the course of which the West’s military might well be destroyed and its inhabitants made slaves in the service of Marxism-Leninism, is the main danger to world peace and to our own existence. Since 1967, the Soviets have transformed Clausewitz’ dictum into “War is the continuation of policy in nuclear means,” and made it the motto which guides all their policies. Already today they are busy carrying out their aims in our region and throughout the world, and the need to face them becomes the major element in our country’s security policy and of course that of the rest of the Free World. That is our major foreign challenge.4

6

The Arab Moslem world, therefore, is not the major strategic problem which we shall face in the Eighties, despite the fact that it carries the main threat against Israel, due to its growing military might. This world, with its ethnic minorities, its factions and internal crises, which is astonishingly self-destructive, as we can see in Lebanon, in non-Arab Iran and now also in Syria, is unable to deal successfully with its fundamental problems and does not therefore constitute a real threat against the State of Israel in the long run, but only in the short run where its immediate military power has great import. In the long run, this world will be unable to exist within its present framework in the areas around us without having to go through genuine revolutionary changes. The Moslem Arab World is built like a temporary house of cards put together by foreigners (France and Britain in the Nineteen Twenties), without the wishes and desires of the inhabitants having been taken into account. It was arbitrarily divided into 19 states, all made of combinations of minorites and ethnic groups which are hostile to one another, so that every Arab Moslem state nowadays faces ethnic social destruction from within, and in some a civil war is already raging.5 Most of the Arabs, 118 million out of 170 million, live in Africa, mostly in Egypt (45 million today).

7

Apart from Egypt, all the Maghreb states are made up of a mixture of Arabs and non-Arab Berbers. In Algeria there is already a civil war raging in the Kabile mountains between the two nations in the country. Morocco and Algeria are at war with each other over Spanish Sahara, in addition to the internal struggle in each of them. Militant Islam endangers the integrity of Tunisia and Qaddafi organizes wars which are destructive from the Arab point of view, from a country which is sparsely populated and which cannot become a powerful nation. That is why he has been attempting unifications in the past with states that are more genuine, like Egypt and Syria. Sudan, the most torn apart state in the Arab Moslem world today is built upon four groups hostile to each other, an Arab Moslem Sunni minority which rules over a majority of non-Arab Africans, Pagans, and Christians. In Egypt there is a Sunni Moslem majority facing a large minority of Christians which is dominant in upper Egypt: some 7 million of them, so that even Sadat, in his speech on May 8, expressed the fear that they will want a state of their own, something like a “second” Christian Lebanon in Egypt.

8

All the Arab States east of Israel are torn apart, broken up and riddled with inner conflict even more than those of the Maghreb. Syria is fundamentally no different from Lebanon except in the strong military regime which rules it. But the real civil war taking place nowadays between the Sunni majority and the Shi’ite Alawi ruling minority (a mere 12% of the population) testifies to the severity of the domestic trouble.

9

Iraq is, once again, no different in essence from its neighbors, although its majority is Shi’ite and the ruling minority Sunni. Sixty-five percent of the population has no say in politics, in which an elite of 20 percent holds the power. In addition there is a large Kurdish minority in the north, and if it weren’t for the strength of the ruling regime, the army and the oil revenues, Iraq’s future state would be no different than that of Lebanon in the past or of Syria today. The seeds of inner conflict and civil war are apparent today already, especially after the rise of Khomeini to power in Iran, a leader whom the Shi’ites in Iraq view as their natural leader.

10

All the Gulf principalities and Saudi Arabia are built upon a delicate house of sand in which there is only oil. In Kuwait, the Kuwaitis constitute only a quarter of the population. In Bahrain, the Shi’ites are the majority but are deprived of power. In the UAE, Shi’ites are once again the majority but the Sunnis are in power. The same is true of Oman and North Yemen. Even in the Marxist South Yemen there is a sizable Shi’ite minority. In Saudi Arabia half the population is foreign, Egyptian and Yemenite, but a Saudi minority holds power.

11

Jordan is in reality Palestinian, ruled by a Trans-Jordanian Bedouin minority, but most of the army and certainly the bureaucracy is now Palestinian. As a matter of fact Amman is as Palestinian as Nablus. All of these countries have powerful armies, relatively speaking. But there is a problem there too. The Syrian army today is mostly Sunni with an Alawi officer corps, the Iraqi army Shi’ite with Sunni commanders. This has great significance in the long run, and that is why it will not be possible to retain the loyalty of the army for a long time except where it comes to the only common denominator: The hostility towards Israel, and today even that is insufficient.

12

Alongside the Arabs, split as they are, the other Moslem states share a similar predicament. Half of Iran’s population is comprised of a Persian speaking group and the other half of an ethnically Turkish group. Turkey’s population comprises a Turkish Sunni Moslem majority, some 50%, and two large minorities, 12 million Shi’ite Alawis and 6 million Sunni Kurds. In Afghanistan there are 5 million Shi’ites who constitute one third of the population. In Sunni Pakistan there are 15 million Shi’ites who endanger the existence of that state.

13

This national ethnic minority picture extending from Morocco to India and from Somalia to Turkey points to the absence of stability and a rapid degeneration in the entire region. When this picture is added to the economic one, we see how the entire region is built like a house of cards, unable to withstand its severe problems.

14

In this giant and fractured world there are a few wealthy groups and a huge mass of poor people. Most of the Arabs have an average yearly income of 300 dollars. That is the situation in Egypt, in most of the Maghreb countries except for Libya, and in Iraq. Lebanon is torn apart and its economy is falling to pieces. It is a state in which there is no centralized power, but only 5 de facto sovereign authorities (Christian in the north, supported by the Syrians and under the rule of the Franjieh clan, in the East an area of direct Syrian conquest, in the center a Phalangist controlled Christian enclave, in the south and up to the Litani river a mostly Palestinian region controlled by the PLO and Major Haddad’s state of Christians and half a million Shi’ites). Syria is in an even graver situation and even the assistance she will obtain in the future after the unification with Libya will not be sufficient for dealing with the basic problems of existence and the maintenance of a large army. Egypt is in the worst situation: Millions are on the verge of hunger, half the labor force is unemployed, and housing is scarce in this most densely populated area of the world. Except for the army, there is not a single department operating efficiently and the state is in a permanent state of bankruptcy and depends entirely on American foreign assistance granted since the peace.6

15

In the Gulf states, Saudi Arabia, Libya and Egypt there is the largest accumulation of money and oil in the world, but those enjoying it are tiny elites who lack a wide base of support and self-confidence, something that no army can guarantee.7 The Saudi army with all its equipment cannot defend the regime from real dangers at home or abroad, and what took place in Mecca in 1980 is only an example. A sad and very stormy situation surrounds Israel and creates challenges for it, problems, risks but also far-reaching opportunities for the first time since 1967. Chances are that opportunities missed at that time will become achievable in the Eighties to an extent and along dimensions which we cannot even imagine today.

16

The “peace” policy and the return of territories, through a dependence upon the US, precludes the realization of the new option created for us. Since 1967, all the governments of Israel have tied our national aims down to narrow political needs, on the one hand, and on the other to destructive opinions

at home which neutralized our capacities both at home and abroad. Failing to take steps towards the Arab population in the new territories, acquired in the course of a war forced upon us, is the major strategic error committed by Israel on the morning after the Six Day War. We could have saved ourselves all the bitter and dangerous conflict since then if we had given Jordan to the Palestinians who live west of the Jordan river. By doing that we would have neutralized the Palestinian problem which we nowadays face, and to which we have found solutions that are really no solutions at all, such as territorial compromise or autonomy which amount, in fact, to the same thing.8 Today, we suddenly face immense opportunities for transforming the situation thoroughly and this we must do in the coming decade, otherwise we shall not survive as a state.

17

In the course of the Nineteen Eighties, the State of Israel will have to go through far-reaching changes in its political and economic regime domestically, along with radical changes in its foreign policy, in order to stand up to the global and regional challenges of this new epoch. The loss of the Suez Canal oil fields, of the immense potential of the oil, gas and other natural resources in the Sinai peninsula which is geomorphologically identical to the rich oil-producing countries in the region, will result in an energy drain in the near future and will destroy our domestic economy: one quarter of our present GNP as well as one third of the budget is used for the purchase of oil.9 The search for raw materials in the Negev and on the coast will not, in the near future, serve to alter that state of affairs.

18

(Regaining) the Sinai peninsula with its present and potential resources is therefore a political priority which is obstructed by the Camp David and the peace agreements. The fault for that lies of course with the present Israeli government and the governments which paved the road to the policy of territorial compromise, the Alignment governments since 1967. The Egyptians will not need to keep the peace treaty after the return of the Sinai, and they will do all they can to return to the fold of the Arab world and to the USSR in order to gain support and military assistance. American aid is guaranteed only for a short while, for the terms of the peace and the weakening of the U.S. both at home and abroad will bring about a reduction in aid. Without oil and the income from it, with the present enormous expenditure, we will not be able to get through 1982 under the present conditions and we will have to act in order to return the situation to the status quo which existed in Sinai prior to Sadat’s visit and the mistaken peace agreement signed with him in March 1979.10

19

Israel has two major routes through which to realize this purpose, one direct and the other indirect. The direct option is the less realistic one because of the nature of the regime and government in Israel as well as the wisdom of Sadat who obtained our withdrawal from Sinai, which was, next to the war of 1973, his major achievement since he took power. Israel will not unilaterally break the treaty, neither today, nor in 1982, unless it is very hard pressed economically and politically and Egypt provides Israel with the excuse to take the Sinai back into our hands for the fourth time in our short history. What is left therefore, is the indirect option. The economic situation in Egypt, the nature of the regime and its pan-Arab policy, will bring about a situation after April 1982 in which Israel will be forced to act directly or indirectly in order to regain control over Sinai as a strategic, economic and energy reserve for the long run. Egypt does not constitute a military strategic problem due to its internal conflicts and it could be driven back to the post 1967 war situation in no more than one day.11

20

The myth of Egypt as the strong leader of the Arab World was demolished back in 1956 and definitely did not survive 1967, but our policy, as in the return of the Sinai, served to turn the myth into “fact.” In reality, however, Egypt’s power in proportion both to Israel alone and to the rest of the Arab World has gone down about 50 percent since 1967. Egypt is no longer the leading political power in the Arab World and is economically on the verge of a crisis. Without foreign assistance the crisis will come tomorrow.12 In the short run, due to the return of the Sinai, Egypt will gain several advantages at our expense, but only in the short run until 1982, and that will not change the balance of power to its benefit, and will possibly bring about its downfall. Egypt, in its present domestic political picture, is already a corpse, all the more so if we take into account the growing Moslem-Christian rift. Breaking Egypt down territorially into distinct geographical regions is the political aim of Israel in the Nineteen Eighties on its Western front.

21

Egypt is divided and torn apart into many foci of authority. If Egypt falls apart, countries like Libya, Sudan or even the more distant states will not continue to exist in their present form and will join the downfall and dissolution of Egypt. The vision of a Christian Coptic State in Upper Egypt alongside a number of weak states with very localized power and without a centralized government as to date, is the key to a historical development which was only set back by the peace agreement but which seems inevitable in the long run.13

22

The Western front, which on the surface appears more problematic, is in fact less complicated than the Eastern front, in which most of the events that make the headlines have been taking place recently. Lebanon’s total dissolution into five provinces serves as a precendent for the entire Arab world including Egypt, Syria, Iraq and the Arabian peninsula and is already following that track. The dissolution of Syria and Iraq later on into ethnically or religiously unqiue areas such as in Lebanon, is Israel’s primary target on the Eastern front in the long run, while the dissolution of the military power of those states serves as the primary short term target. Syria will fall apart, in accordance with its ethnic and religious structure, into several states such as in present day Lebanon, so that there will be a Shi’ite Alawi state along its coast, a Sunni state in the Aleppo area, another Sunni state in Damascus hostile to its northern neighbor, and the Druzes who will set up a state, maybe even in our Golan, and certainly in the Hauran and in northern Jordan. This state of affairs will be the guarantee for peace and security in the area in the long run, and that aim is already within our reach today.14

23

Iraq, rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other, is guaranteed as a candidate for Israel’s targets. Its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria. Iraq is stronger than Syria. In the short run it is Iraqi power which constitutes the greatest threat to Israel. An Iraqi-Iranian war will tear Iraq apart and cause its downfall at home even before it is able to organize a struggle on a wide front against us. Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist us in the short run and will shorten the way to the more important aim of breaking up Iraq into denominations as in Syria and in Lebanon. In Iraq, a division into provinces along ethnic/religious lines as in Syria during Ottoman times is possible. So, three (or more) states will exist around the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and Mosul, and Shi’ite areas in the south will separate from the Sunni and Kurdish north. It is possible that the present Iranian-Iraqi confrontation will deepen this polarization.15

24

The entire Arabian peninsula is a natural candidate for dissolution due to internal and external pressures, and the matter is inevitable especially in Saudi Arabia. Regardless of whether its economic might based on oil remains intact or whether it is diminished in the long run, the internal rifts and breakdowns are a clear and natural development in light of the present political structure.16

25

Jordan constitutes an immediate strategic target in the short run but not in the long run, for it does not constitute a real threat in the long run after its dissolution, the termination of the lengthy rule of King Hussein and the transfer of power to the Palestinians in the short run.

26

There is no chance that Jordan will continue to exist in its present structure for a long time, and Israel’s policy, both in war and in peace, ought to be directed at the liquidation of Jordan under the present regime and the transfer of power to the Palestinian majority. Changing the regime east of the river will also cause the termination of the problem of the territories densely populated with Arabs west of the Jordan. Whether in war or under conditions of peace, emigrationfrom the territories and economic demographic freeze in them, are the guarantees for the coming change on both banks of the river, and we ought to be active in order to accelerate this process in the nearest future. The autonomy plan ought also to be rejected, as well as any compromise or division of the territories for, given the plans of the PLO and those of the Israeli Arabs themselves, the Shefa’amr plan of September 1980, it is not possible to go on living in this country in the present situation without separating the two nations, the Arabs to Jordan and the Jews to the areas west of the river. Genuine coexistence and peace will reign over the land only when the Arabs understand that without Jewish rule between the Jordan and the sea they will have neither existence nor security. A nation of their own and security will be theirs only in Jordan.17

27

Within Israel the distinction between the areas of ’67 and the territories beyond them, those of ’48, has always been meaningless for Arabs and nowadays no longer has any significance for us. The problem should be seen in its entirety without any divisions as of ’67. It should be clear, under any future political situation or mifitary constellation, that the solution of the problem of the indigenous Arabs will come only when they recognize the existence of Israel in secure borders up to the Jordan river and beyond it, as our existential need in this difficult epoch, the nuclear epoch which we shall soon enter. It is no longer possible to live with three fourths of the Jewish population on the dense shoreline which is so dangerous in a nuclear epoch.

28

Dispersal of the population is therefore a domestic strategic aim of the highest order; otherwise, we shall cease to exist within any borders. Judea, Samaria and the Galilee are our sole guarantee for national existence, and if we do not become the majority in the mountain areas, we shall not rule in the country and we shall be like the Crusaders, who lost this country which was not theirs anyhow, and in which they were foreigners to begin with. Rebalancing the country demographically, strategically and economically is the highest and most central aim today. Taking hold of the mountain watershed from Beersheba to the Upper Galilee is the national aim generated by the major strategic consideration which is settling the mountainous part of the country that is empty of Jews today.l8

29

Realizing our aims on the Eastern front depends first on the realization of this internal strategic objective. The transformation of the political and economic structure, so as to enable the realization of these strategic aims, is the key to achieving the entire change. We need to change from a centralized economy in which the government is extensively involved, to an open and free market as well as to switch from depending upon the U.S. taxpayer to developing, with our own hands, of a genuine productive economic infrastructure. If we are not able to make this change freely and voluntarily, we shall be forced into it by world developments, especially in the areas of economics, energy, and politics, and by our own growing isolation.l9

30

From a military and strategic point of view, the West led by the U.S. is unable to withstand the global pressures of the USSR throughout the world, and Israel must therefore stand alone in the Eighties, without any foreign assistance, military or economic, and this is within our capacities today, with no compromises.20 Rapid changes in the world will also bring about a change in the condition of world Jewry to which Israel will become not only a last resort but the only existential option. We cannot assume that U.S. Jews, and the communities of Europe and Latin America will continue to exist in the present form in the future.21

31

Our existence in this country itself is certain, and there is no force that could remove us from here either forcefully or by treachery (Sadat’s method). Despite the difficulties of the mistaken “peace” policy and the problem of the Israeli Arabs and those of the territories, we can effectively deal with these problems in the foreseeable future.

Conclusion

1

Three important points have to be clarified in order to be able to understand the significant possibilities of realization of this Zionist plan for the Middle East, and also why it had to be published.

2

The Military Background of The Plan

The military conditions of this plan have not been mentioned above, but on the many occasions where something very like it is being “explained” in closed meetings to members of the Israeli Establishment, this point is clarified. It is assumed that the Israeli military forces, in all their branches, are insufficient for the actual work of occupation of such wide territories as discussed above. In fact, even in times of intense Palestinian “unrest” on the West Bank, the forces of the Israeli Army are stretched out too much. The answer to that is the method of ruling by means of “Haddad forces” or of “Village Associations” (also known as “Village Leagues”): local forces under “leaders” completely dissociated from the population, not having even any feudal or party structure (such as the Phalangists have, for example). The “states” proposed by Yinon are “Haddadland” and “Village Associations,” and their armed forces will be, no doubt, quite similar. In addition, Israeli military superiority in such a situation will be much greater than it is even now, so that any movement of revolt will be “punished” either by mass humiliation as in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, or by bombardment and obliteration of cities, as in Lebanon now (June 1982), or by both. In order to ensure this, the plan, as explained orally, calls for the establishment of Israeli garrisons in focal places between the mini states, equipped with the necessary mobile destructive forces. In fact, we have seen something like this in Haddadland and we will almost certainly soon see the first example of this system functioning either in South Lebanon or in all Lebanon.

3

It is obvious that the above military assumptions, and the whole plan too, depend also on the Arabs continuing to be even more divided than they are now, and on the lack of any truly progressive mass movement among them. It may be that those two conditions will be removed only when the plan will be well advanced, with consequences which can not be foreseen.

4

Why it is necessary to publish this in Israel?

The reason for publication is the dual nature of the Israeli-Jewish society: A very great measure of freedom and democracy, specially for Jews, combined with expansionism and racist discrimination. In such a situation the Israeli-Jewish elite (for the masses follow the TV and Begin’s speeches) has to be persuaded. The first steps in the process of persuasion are oral, as indicated above, but a time comes in which it becomes inconvenient. Written material must be produced for the benefit of the more stupid “persuaders” and “explainers” (for example medium-rank officers, who are, usually, remarkably stupid). They then “learn it,” more or less, and preach to others. It should be remarked that Israel, and even the Yishuv from the Twenties, has always functioned in this way. I myself well remember how (before I was “in opposition”) the necessity of war with was explained to me and others a year before the 1956 war, and the necessity of conquering “the rest of Western Palestine when we will have the opportunity” was explained in the years 1965-67.

5

Why is it assumed that there is no special risk from the outside in the publication of such plans?

Such risks can come from two sources, so long as the principled opposition inside Israel is very weak (a situation which may change as a consequence of the war on Lebanon) : The Arab World, including the Palestinians, and the United States. The Arab World has shown itself so far quite incapable of a detailed and rational analysis of Israeli-Jewish society, and the Palestinians have been, on the average, no better than the rest. In such a situation, even those who are shouting about the dangers of Israeli expansionism (which are real enough) are doing this not because of factual and detailed knowledge, but because of belief in myth. A good example is the very persistent belief in the non-existent writing on the wall of the Knesset of the Biblical verse about the Nile and the Euphrates. Another example is the persistent, and completely false declarations, which were made by some of the most important Arab leaders, that the two blue stripes of the Israeli flag symbolize the Nile and the Euphrates, while in fact they are taken from the stripes of the Jewish praying shawl (Talit). The Israeli specialists assume that, on the whole, the Arabs will pay no attention to their serious discussions of the future, and the Lebanon war has proved them right. So why should they not continue with their old methods of persuading other Israelis?

6

In the United States a very similar situation exists, at least until now. The more or less serious commentators take their information about Israel, and much of their opinions about it, from two sources. The first is from articles in the “liberal” American press, written almost totally by Jewish admirers of Israel who, even if they are critical of some aspects of the Israeli state, practice loyally what Stalin used to call “the constructive criticism.” (In fact those among them who claim also to be “Anti-Stalinist” are in reality more Stalinist than Stalin, with Israel being their god which has not yet failed). In the framework of such critical worship it must be assumed that Israel has always “good intentions” and only “makes mistakes,” and therefore such a plan would not be a matter for discussion–exactly as the Biblical genocides committed by Jews are not mentioned. The other source of information, The Jerusalem Post, has similar policies. So long, therefore, as the situation exists in which Israel is really a “closed society” to the rest of the world, because the world wants to close its eyes, the publication and even the beginning of the realization of such a plan is realistic and feasible.

Israel Shahak June 17, 1982 Jerusalem

About the Translator

Israel Shahak is a professor of organic chemistly at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the chairman of the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights. He published The Shahak Papers, collections of key articles from the Hebrew press, and is the author of numerous articles and books, among them Non-Jew in the Jewish State. His latest book is Israel’s Global Role: Weapons for Repression, published by the AAUG in 1982. Israel Shahak: (1933-2001)

Notes

1. American Universities Field Staff. Report No.33, 1979. According to this research, the population of the world will be 6 billion in the year 2000. Today’s world population can be broken down as follows: China, 958 million; India, 635 million; USSR, 261 million; U.S., 218 million Indonesia, 140 million; Brazil and Japan, 110 million each. According to the figures of the U.N. Population Fund for 1980, there will be, in 2000, 50 cities with a population of over 5 million each. The population ofthp;Third World will then be 80% of the world population. According to Justin Blackwelder, U.S. Census Office chief, the world population will not reach 6 billion because of hunger.

2. Soviet nuclear policy has been well summarized by two American Sovietologists: Joseph D. Douglas and Amoretta M. Hoeber, Soviet Strategy for Nuclear War, (Stanford, Ca., Hoover Inst. Press, 1979). In the Soviet Union tens and hundreds of articles and books are published each year which detail the Soviet doctrine for nuclear war and there is a great deal of documentation translated into English and published by the U.S. Air Force,including USAF: Marxism-Leninism on War and the Army: The Soviet View, Moscow, 1972; USAF: The Armed Forces of the Soviet State. Moscow, 1975, by Marshal A. Grechko. The basic Soviet approach to the matter is presented in the book by Marshal Sokolovski published in 1962 in Moscow: Marshal V. D. Sokolovski, Military Strategy, Soviet Doctrine and Concepts(New York, Praeger, 1963).

3. A picture of Soviet intentions in various areas of the world can be drawn from the book by Douglas and Hoeber, ibid. For additional material see: Michael Morgan, “USSR’s Minerals as Strategic Weapon in the Future,” Defense and Foreign Affairs, Washington, D.C., Dec. 1979.

4. Admiral of the Fleet Sergei Gorshkov, Sea Power and the State, London, 1979. Morgan, loc. cit. General George S. Brown (USAF) C-JCS, Statement to the Congress on the Defense Posture of the United States For Fiscal Year 1979, p. 103; National Security Council, Review of Non-Fuel Mineral Policy, (Washington, D.C. 1979,); Drew Middleton, The New York Times, (9/15/79); Time, 9/21/80.

5. Elie Kedourie, “The End of the Ottoman Empire,” Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 3, No.4, 1968.

6. Al-Thawra, Syria 12/20/79, Al-Ahram,12/30/79, Al Ba’ath, Syria, 5/6/79. 55% of the Arabs are 20 years old and younger, 70% of the Arabs live in Africa, 55% of the Arabs under 15 are unemployed, 33% live in urban areas, Oded Yinon, “Egypt’s Population Problem,” The Jerusalem Quarterly, No. 15, Spring 1980.

7. E. Kanovsky, “Arab Haves and Have Nots,” The Jerusalem Quarterly, No.1, Fall 1976, Al Ba’ath, Syria, 5/6/79.

8. In his book, former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin said that the Israeli government is in fact responsible for the design of American policy in the Middle East, after June ’67, because of its own indecisiveness as to the future of the territories and the inconsistency in its positions since it established the background for Resolution 242 and certainly twelve years later for the Camp David agreements and the peace treaty with Egypt. According to Rabin, on June 19, 1967, President Johnson sent a letter to Prime Minister Eshkol in which he did not mention anything about withdrawal from the new territories but exactly on the same day the government resolved to return territories in exchange for peace. After the Arab resolutions in Khartoum (9/1/67) the government altered its position but contrary to its decision of June 19, did not notify the U.S. of the alteration and the U.S. continued to support 242 in the Security Council on the basis of its earlier understanding that Israel is prepared to return territories. At that point it was already too late to change the U.S. position and Israel’s policy. From here the way was opened to peace agreements on the basis of 242 as was later agreed upon in Camp David. See Yitzhak Rabin. Pinkas Sherut, (Ma’ariv 1979) pp. 226-227.

9. Foreign and Defense Committee Chairman Prof. Moshe Arens argued in an interview (Ma ‘ariv,10/3/80) that the Israeli government failed to prepare an economic plan before the Camp David agreements and was itself surprised by the cost of the agreements, although already during the negotiations it was possible to calculate the heavy price and the serious error involved in not having prepared the economic grounds for peace.

The former Minister of Treasury, Mr. Yigal Holwitz, stated that if it were not for the withdrawal from the oil fields, Israel would have a positive balance of payments (9/17/80). That same person said two years earlier that the government of Israel (from which he withdrew) had placed a noose around his neck. He was referring to the Camp David agreements (Ha’aretz, 11/3/78). In the course of the whole peace negotiations neither an expert nor an economics advisor was consulted, and the Prime Minister himself, who lacks knowledge and expertise in economics, in a mistaken initiative, asked the U.S. to give us a loan rather than a grant, due to his wish to maintain our respect and the respect of the U.S. towards us. See Ha’aretz1/5/79. Jerusalem Post, 9/7/79. Prof Asaf Razin, formerly a senior consultant in the Treasury, strongly criticized the conduct of the negotiations; Ha’aretz, 5/5/79. Ma’ariv, 9/7/79. As to matters concerning the oil fields and Israel’s energy crisis, see the interview with Mr. Eitan Eisenberg, a government advisor on these matters, Ma’arive Weekly, 12/12/78. The Energy Minister, who personally signed the Camp David agreements and the evacuation of Sdeh Alma, has since emphasized the seriousness of our condition from the point of view of oil supplies more than once…see Yediot Ahronot, 7/20/79. Energy Minister Modai even admitted that the government did not consult him at all on the subject of oil during the Camp David and Blair House negotiations. Ha’aretz, 8/22/79.

10. Many sources report on the growth of the armaments budget in Egypt and on intentions to give the army preference in a peace epoch budget over domestic needs for which a peace was allegedly obtained. See former Prime Minister Mamduh Salam in an interview 12/18/77, Treasury Minister Abd El Sayeh in an interview 7/25/78, and the paper Al Akhbar, 12/2/78 which clearly stressed that the military budget will receive first priority, despite the peace. This is what former Prime Minister Mustafa Khalil has stated in his cabinet’s programmatic document which was presented to Parliament, 11/25/78. See English translation, ICA, FBIS, Nov. 27. 1978, pp. D 1-10. According to these sources, Egypt’s military budget increased by 10% between fiscal 1977 and 1978, and the process still goes on. A Saudi source divulged that the Egyptians plan to increase their militmy budget by 100% in the next two years; Ha’aretz, 2/12/79 and Jerusalem Post, 1/14/79.

11. Most of the economic estimates threw doubt on Egypt’s ability to reconstruct its economy by 1982. See Economic Intelligence Unit, 1978 Supplement, “The Arab Republic of Egypt”; E. Kanovsky, “Recent Economic Developments in the Middle East,” Occasional Papers, The Shiloah Institution, June 1977; Kanovsky, “The Egyptian Economy Since the Mid-Sixties, The Micro Sectors,” Occasional Papers, June 1978; Robert McNamara, President of World Bank, as reported in Times, London, 1/24/78.

12. See the comparison made by the researeh of the Institute for Strategic Studies in London, and research camed out in the Center for Strategic Studies of Tel Aviv University, as well as the research by the British scientist, Denis Champlin, Military Review, Nov. 1979, ISS: The Military Balance 1979-1980, CSS; Security Arrangements in Sinai…by Brig. Gen. (Res.) A Shalev, No. 3.0 CSS; The Military Balance and the Military Options after the Peace Treaty with Egypt, by Brig. Gen. (Res.) Y. Raviv, No.4, Dec. 1978, as well as many press reports including El Hawadeth, London, 3/7/80; El Watan El Arabi, Paris, 12/14/79.

13. As for religious ferment in Egypt and the relations between Copts and Moslems see the series of articles published in the Kuwaiti paper, El Qabas, 9/15/80. The English author Irene Beeson reports on the rift between Moslems and Copts, see: Irene Beeson, Guardian, London, 6/24/80, and Desmond Stewart, Middle East Internmational, London 6/6/80. For other reports see Pamela Ann Smith, Guardian, London, 12/24/79; The Christian Science Monitor 12/27/79 as well as Al Dustour, London, 10/15/79; El Kefah El Arabi, 10/15/79.

14. Arab Press Service, Beirut, 8/6-13/80. The New Republic, 8/16/80, Der Spiegel as cited by Ha’aretz, 3/21/80, and 4/30-5/5/80; The Economist, 3/22/80; Robert Fisk, Times, London, 3/26/80; Ellsworth Jones, Sunday Times, 3/30/80.

15. J.P. Peroncell Hugoz, Le Monde, Paris 4/28/80; Dr. Abbas Kelidar, Middle East Review, Summer 1979; Conflict Studies, ISS, July 1975; Andreas Kolschitter, Der Zeit, (Ha’aretz, 9/21/79) Economist Foreign Report, 10/10/79, Afro-Asian Affairs, London, July 1979.

16. Arnold Hottinger, “The Rich Arab States in Trouble,” The New York Review of Books, 5/15/80; Arab Press Service, Beirut, 6/25-7/2/80; U.S. News and World Report, 11/5/79 as well as El Ahram, 11/9/79; El Nahar El Arabi Wal Duwali, Paris 9/7/79; El Hawadeth, 11/9/79; David Hakham, Monthly Review, IDF, Jan.-Feb. 79.

17. As for Jordan’s policies and problems see El Nahar El Arabi Wal Duwali, 4/30/79, 7/2/79; Prof. Elie Kedouri, Ma’ariv 6/8/79; Prof. Tanter, Davar 7/12/79; A. Safdi, Jerusalem Post, 5/31/79; El Watan El Arabi 11/28/79; El Qabas, 11/19/79. As for PLO positions see: The resolutions of the Fatah Fourth Congress, Damascus, August 1980. The Shefa’amr program of the Israeli Arabs was published in Ha’aretz, 9/24/80, and by Arab Press Report 6/18/80. For facts and figures on immigration of Arabs to Jordan, see Amos Ben Vered, Ha’aretz, 2/16/77; Yossef Zuriel, Ma’ariv 1/12/80. As to the PLO’s position towards Israel see Shlomo Gazit, Monthly Review; July 1980; Hani El Hasan in an interview, Al Rai Al’Am, Kuwait 4/15/80; Avi Plaskov, “The Palestinian Problem,” Survival, ISS, London Jan. Feb. 78; David Gutrnann, “The Palestinian Myth,” Commentary, Oct. 75; Bernard Lewis, “The Palestinians and the PLO,” Commentary Jan. 75; Monday Morning, Beirut, 8/18-21/80; Journal of Palestine Studies, Winter 1980.

18. Prof. Yuval Neeman, “Samaria–The Basis for Israel’s Security,” Ma’arakhot 272-273, May/June 1980; Ya’akov Hasdai, “Peace, the Way and the Right to Know,” Dvar Hashavua, 2/23/80. Aharon Yariv, “Strategic Depth–An Israeli Perspective,” Ma’arakhot 270-271, October 1979; Yitzhak Rabin, “Israel’s Defense Problems in the Eighties,” Ma’arakhot October 1979.

19. Ezra Zohar, In the Regime’s Pliers (Shikmona, 1974); Motti Heinrich, Do We have a Chance Israel, Truth Versus Legend (Reshafim, 1981).

20. Henry Kissinger, “The Lessons of the Past,” The Washington Review Vol 1, Jan. 1978; Arthur Ross, “OPEC’s Challenge to the West,” The Washington Quarterly, Winter, 1980; Walter Levy, “Oil and the Decline of the West,” Foreign Affairs, Summer 1980; Special Report–“Our Armed Forees-Ready or Not?” U.S. News and World Report 10/10/77; Stanley Hoffman, “Reflections on the Present Danger,” The New York Review of Books 3/6/80; Time 4/3/80; Leopold Lavedez “The illusions of SALT” Commentary Sept. 79; Norman Podhoretz, “The Present Danger,” Commentary March 1980; Robert Tucker, “Oil and American Power Six Years Later,” Commentary Sept. 1979; Norman Podhoretz, “The Abandonment of Israel,” Commentary July 1976; Elie Kedourie, “Misreading the Middle East,” Commentary July 1979.

21. According to figures published by Ya’akov Karoz, Yediot Ahronot, 10/17/80, the sum total of anti-Semitic incidents recorded in the world in 1979 was double the amount recorded in 1978. In Germany, France, and Britain the number of anti-Semitic incidents was many times greater in that year. In the U.S. as well there has been a sharp increase in anti-Semitic incidents which were reported in that article. For the new anti-Semitism, see L. Talmon, “The New Anti-Semitism,” The New Republic, 9/18/1976; Barbara Tuchman, “They poisoned the Wells,” Newsweek 2/3/75

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More bad news from IsraHell

NOVANEWS

 

There is an update of the Greg Philo and Mike Berry book, Bad News from Israel titled More Bad News from Israel. Here’s former BBC reporter, Tim Llewellyn in The Guardian:

Philo and Berry quote the BBC correspondent Paul Adams, a Middle East expert: what is missing from the coverage, he says, is the view that the Palestinians are engaged in a war of national liberation, trying to throw off an occupying force. Any Israeli casualty is headline news, shown in high quality images. BBC teams are based in West Jerusalem, de facto Israeli territory, and are on hand. Arab casualties may be shown in reports of a funeral, usually agency film, the victim anonymous. The Israelis, it seems, are for the BBC “people like us”. The Arabs are “the other”.

Racist bias at the beeb? Surely not. Here’s the beeb’s response published by The Guardian at the bottom of the Lllewellyn article:

BBC News endeavours to report on all matters in the Middle East – as elsewhere – impartially, objectively and accurately.
We have extensive editorial guidelines which all reporters and producers are required to observe.
In a highly charged political atmosphere any impartial and accountable broadcaster will rightly find itself under scrutiny by all shades of opinion.
In the Middle East debate there are organised, motivated and effective lobby groups on both sides of the argument.
We listen to their concerns and act on them where we think they are justified, but in doing so we bear in mind that our audiences expect us to remain independent of political pressure.
Although Tim Llewellyn was indeed a BBC correspondent some years ago, we note that he subsequently was active for a period with the Council for Arab-British Understanding (CAABU).

Aha! So he’d be with “the other” then…

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IsraHell’s Prime Minister Has Just Elected a Republican President

NOVANEWS

 

 

‘Bibi’ Votes Republican

 

Patrick J. Buchanan

 

Not since Nikita Khrushchev berated Dwight Eisenhower over Gary Powers’ U-2 spy flight over Russia only weeks earlier has an American president been subjected to a dressing down like the one Barack Obama received from Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday.

With this crucial difference. Khrushchev ranted behind closed doors, and when Ike refused to apologize, blew up the Paris summit hosted by President de Gaulle.

Obama, however, was lectured like some schoolboy in the Oval Office in front of the national press and a worldwide TV audience.

And two days later, he trooped over to the Israeli lobby AIPAC to walk back what he had said that had so infuriated Netanyahu.

“Bibi” then purred that he was “pleased” with the clarification.

Diplomatic oil is now being poured over the troubled waters, but this humiliation will not be forgotten.

What did Obama do to draw this public rebuke? In his Thursday speech on the Arab Spring and Middle East peace, Obama declared:

“We believe the borders of Israel should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. … Israel must be able to defend itself – by itself – against any threat.”

Ignoring Obama’s call for “mutually agreed swaps” of land to guarantee secure and defensible borders for Israel, Netanyahu, warning the president against a peace “based on illusions,” acted as though Obama had called for an Israel withdrawal to the armistice line of 1967.

This was absurd. All Obama was saying was what three Israeli prime ministers – Yitzhak Rabin, Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert – have all recognized.

To get Palestinian and international recognition for a united Jerusalem and Israel’s annexation of the settlements around the city, Israel will have to trade land for land.

Obama was not saying the 1967 borders were to be the end of negotiations but the starting point. Indeed, where else would one begin land negotiations if not from the last recognized map?

Undeniably, Netanyahu won the smack-down. The president was humiliated in the Oval Office, and in his trip to AIPAC’s woodshed he spoke of the future peace negotiations ending just as Israelis desire and demand.

Nor is this the first time Obama has been rolled by the Israeli prime minister. Obama came into office demanding an end to all new or expanded settlements on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem, and subsequently backed down from each and every demand.

Fed up, his Mideast peace negotiator George Mitchell has quit.

Politically, too, the president has been hurt. To the world, and not just the Arabs, he appears weak.

In Israel, Netanyahu is seen as having stood up for Israel’s vital interests and forced an American president to back down. His right-wing coalition is cheering him on.

Indeed, the issue is not whether Obama has been hurt, but why Bibi, raised in the U.S.A., who knows American politics better than any previous Israeli prime minister, did it. Why wound Obama like that?

Why would the leader of a nation of 7 million that is dependent on U.S. arms, foreign aid and diplomatic support choose to humiliate a president who could be sitting in that office until 2017?

The one explanation that makes sense is that Netanyahu sees Obama as more sympathetic to the Palestinians and less so to Israel than any president since Jimmy Carter, and he, Netanyahu, would like to see Obama replaced by someone more like the born-again pro-Israel Christian George W. Bush.

And indeed, the Republicans and the right, Mitt Romney in the lead, accusing Obama of “throwing Israel under the bus,” seized on the issue and, almost universally, have taken Netanyahu’s side.

This could be a serious problem for the president and his party in 2012. For, consider:

In 2008, Obama won the African-American vote 95 to 4, or 16 to 1. He won the Jewish vote 78 to 21, by 57 points, a historic landslide.

These are arguably the two most reliable of Democratic voting blocs.

And while the Jewish vote may be only one-seventh of the black vote, it has proven decisive in the crucial state of Florida. Moreover, Jewish contributions, by some estimates, may make up half of all the contributions to the Democratic Party.

If, after hearing an Israeli prime minister berate Obama for ignorance or indifference to the cold realities the Jewish state faces, Jewish folks decide Obama is bad for Israel and close their checkbooks, the impact in a tight election could be critical.

On the other hand, for African-Americans to see the first black president treated like some truant third-grader by a prime minister of Israel whose nation is deeply dependent on this country has to grate.

In the short run, Bibi won the confrontation, hands down. Like no other leader before him, he humiliated a U.S. president in front of the world, forced him to revise his remarks of four days previous, then graciously accepted the revision.

But a second-term Obama is unlikely to forget what was done to him.

Article Source:  Lew Rockwell

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“Israel Is Not Alone” member knocks phone out of my hand – Press TV films incident

NOVANEWS

Alison Weir

We had just completed a CNI press briefing at the National Press Club, when the next group scheduled to use the room, “Israel Is Not Alone,” began to enter. One of their members saw our signs and began a discussion with a member of the CNI group. The conversation was heated but within appropriate bounds. Another “Israel Is Not Alone” member, however, then approached the CNI man in a somewhat threatening posture and loudly began to berate him.

At that point Lt. Col Karen Kwiatkowski, who had spoken on our panel, thought she recognized the man and he was asked his name. At first he only gave his first name, Jerry, but eventually also gave his last name: Boykin.

Lt. Gen Boykin (three stars) is known for making offensive statements about Islam and supporting Israel.

For some reason, I actually thought I might be able to convince him to rethink his positions. I told him I had been born at West Point and tried to tell him about Palestine. I was holding a booklet from our press conference, and asked him fervently to read it. He didn’t say anything.

As I was trying to describe the facts, another man came up and began haranguing me. He was almost shaking with fury. He yelled that Muslims tear the fingernails off Christians and similar things. I tried to answer him, but he shouted over everything I tried to say. I got my phone out and tried to video what he was yelling at me. I then tried to resume my conversation with Boykin and tell him about my first trip to Palestine, but the man continued shouting at me, drowning out my words, so I again tried to video what he was yelling at me. He suddenly violently hit my hand and phone, knocking the phone across the room.

I was stunned. A bit shaken, I asked someone to get security, which they did. Some of the “Israel Is Not Alone” group, probably realizing that their member had just crossed a serious line and was guilty of battery, brought me the pieces of my phone (fortunately, and surprisingly, it still works). The man (I haven’t yet learned his name) proffered an unconvincing apology.

Some people have suggested that I file charges. It turns out that a Press TV crew apparently filmed the whole incident and led off with part of it on their broadcast about our conference. You can see the video and news report here.

I’m undecided about filing charges. I know that if the situation were reversed, they would do so.

I don’t know what’s behind this angry, disturbed man. Was he angry because he was spreading such venemous lies? Or is it that the people behind “Israel Is Not Alone” are exploiting a vulnerable man and intentionally creating or fueling his rage?

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Saudi Arabia: How Should a Saudi Woman Demand HER Rights?

NOVANEWS

The carefully orchestrated plan for Saudi women to begin driving on 17 June has hit a road block with the arrest and detention of its organizer, Manal Al-Sherif on 22 May.  It is now uncertain whether Saudi women will actually take to the roadways as planned.  For someone not familiar with Saudi Arabia it is likely mind-reeling to learn that women, regardless of nationality, ethnicity, race or religion, are prohibited from driving.  Saudi Arabia is the only country which legally prohibits women from driving.

Yet when King Abdullah was asked during one of his first television interviews when he became King in 2005, his response was “I believe strongly in the rights of women… I believe the day will come when women drive.”  Even King Abdullah cited how women presently drive in rural areas and the desert.

Tariq Al-Meeana wrote an insightful article in Gulf News in which he explains why women do not drive in Saudi Arabia.  He cites the reason women have not been able to drive in Saudi Arabia is due to the views and influence of Islamic scholars in the Kingdom who are opposed to allow women to drive.  These scholars have influenced their followers that it would be wrong for women to drive. There seems to an underlying fear that if women were to drive in Saudi Arabia it would result in a degradation of the country and its culture.

Tariq’s suggestion is to begin introducing the concept of women driving in baby steps such as opening up driving schools for women and employing women in the traffic department of towns around the Kingdom.

In actuality the issue here is more than women driving.  It is women wanting the natural rights of Muslim women around the world.  There is no law or surah or hadith which prohibits Muslim women from driving.

In today’s society in Saudi Arabia it is more practical for a woman to be able to drive. If a poll were taken most women in the Kingdom do not have drivers and either rely on their male relatives or public transport such as taxis to convey them where they need to go.  Women who do have drivers are being driven all around the Kingdom oftentimes alone with the unrelated male at the wheel.  Why do the Islamic scholars accept that it is okay for a woman to be in a car with an unrelated driver yet are opposed for a woman to drive?  I don’t understand or see any logic in this.

So now we wonder whether women will take to the roadways on 17 June.  Would women from around the Kingdom who dare to go behind the wheel on 17 June be rounded up and jailed like Manal Al-Sherif?  Would they be coerced to sign a statement agreeing that their actions were wrong and they had been led astray?  Or will women with strength in numbers AND support of their families make themselves additional trailblazers in Saudi history for reform of women’s rights?

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