Archive | January 3rd, 2012

NAZI’S IN GAZA: A NIGHTMARE THAT LASTED THREE WEEKS–MEMORIES OF THE GAZA MASSACRE

NOVANEWS

 

Emergency workers run alongside burning debris

Here comes that difficult time of year again: the anniversary of an event that changed the taste of life for Palestinians inside the Gaza Strip and throughout the world. It is three years since the Gaza massacre, or what Israel called Operation Cast Lead.

I still vividly recall the first hours of this 22-day nightmare, when I was with my classmates at university, sitting a final exam paper. We were almost done with the paper when we heard the first explosion. It is somehow common to hear explosions in Gaza, so we kept still until two louder explosions occurred. It was then that we dropped our pens and looked throughout the clouds of smoke that were getting closer. Supervisors immediately called on us to evacuate the campus through safe routes.

Once we got to the street, it was a different world. There was smoke and ash everywhere and Israeli F16s and drones were filling the horizon. Ambulances and fire trucks were speeding up along the opposite road, civilian cars were going in all directions and people were running as if they had all just entered into a bad dream. No matter how hard you tried to look, there were neither policemen nor officials to help the terrified people running here and there. Up to that moment, we had no idea of what was going on. We just knew that something really bad had happened, and that we were not safe walking on the streets with the lack of of safety procedures and shelters.

However, I will never forget how some young people had the courage to act voluntarily in that crucial time on diverting the traffic and helping other people out, risking their own lives. Two hours later, it was all over the news channels. Approximately forty persons were killed in the first air strikes and Israeli officials were threatening to wipe Gaza off of the map.

Blackout

The bombs kept on falling and the death toll was increasing rapidly. My relatives had gathered at our house, believing that it was in a more secure area than theirs. We were continuously watching the news and had limited our movement outside the house to the extreme. Two days after that, a bomb fell on a main electricity line in our neighborhood, causing a blackout. The blackout remained until after the massacre was over.

By the third or fourth day there was a de facto curfew. Israeli jets were dropping loads of announcements for the people of Gaza to stay at their homes and to call the military about anybody shooting rockets on Israeli towns. The water supply was cut off and we and thousands of other households were isolated from the world. I will never forget how neighbors were so helpful in sharing their water supply with others.

The Saraya, a large security complex near our house, was a military base built during the British mandate of Palestine (1920-1948). This base was targeted during the massacre with heavy missiles until it was totally destroyed. As each missile fell, a window was broken or a door was jammed. We were alerted 24/7 and could barely sleep during the night that was always glowing due to the daily dose of white phosphorus.

Never safe

After the first two weeks, it was apparent that the Israelis had run out of targets as governmental, military and even international aid bases were completely or partially destroyed. Absurdly, the air strikes started targeting open land and already destroyed buildings, presumably just to terrify people. The rubble at the Saraya base was bombed for a third and fourth time.

Some of the blasts were so powerful that rocks and bricks flew for hundreds of meters, hitting all the houses close by. It was a shocking experience witnessing the huge explosions, while seeing and hearing the metal, bricks and wooden parts of your house falling apart all around you. Here I believe is the very basic rule of life in Gaza: the place that was thought to be safer than others is dangerous after all. You are never safe.

During the following days, a two-hour break in the curfew was announced. People rushed to secure their families’ basic needs. I could not forget the long rows of people awaiting their turn to collect some bread or to fill one small gasoline tank (which was the limit per person), but people were sharing their everyday needs with each other It is said that hardship brings people together. The need for unity and helping others was the prevailing feeling inside homes, between families and among neighbors in these harsh days.

After more than 22 days of continuous fear and terror, the operation was over. We lost 1,400 martyrs; thousands of people were wounded with white phosphorus and other state-of-the-art Israeli weapons. Electricity and sewage infrastructure, transportation systems and roads were severely damaged.

International solidarity

In the aftermath of Operation Cast Lead, the international empathy for the Palestinian cause rose and pro-Palestine movements across Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa became stronger than ever. Demands for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel grew louder.

Until today, a number of families that were left homeless by the massacre have not yet managed to find permanent housing. The infrastructure is still damaged and the reconstruction process is moving inefficiently and very slowly due to the banning of construction materials. In the meantime, the Israeli siege remains in place. As I wrote these lines at night, at least two Israeli strikes took place, killing at least one and injuring a dozen, some with serious wounds.

United we can overcome the hurdles and defeat the occupation.

Rafat Abushaban, 23, is a Palestinian activist living in Gaza. His blog iswww.zaitoontree.com

Posted in Gaza1 Comment

NAZI’S IN GAZA: CAST LEAD REMEMBERED–THE AL-ASTAL FAMILY

NOVANEWS

 

“The second of January is no different from any other day. Every day and every minute feels like the moment when I lost my sons. In everything there is a memory of them. I miss them all the time.”

On 2 January 2009 at around 14:30 an Israeli drone fired a missile at an open area in Qarara village, close to Khan Yunis. The missile struck and killed two brothers, Mohammed (12) and Abed Rabbo (9) al-Astal, and their cousin, Abdul Sattar Walid al-Astal (11) while they were playing and eating sugar canes in the land.

“I was at home when I heard an explosion that was close to our area. An Israeli drone was flying in the sky above us at that moment.” Eyad al-Astal recalls. “Approximately ten minutes later, my brother Ibrahim (28) came to my house and told me that my two sons and their cousin were killed by an Israeli shell. I rapidly left the house and headed to the scene about 250 meters west of my house. There I saw a deep hole. Traces of blood and fragments of flesh were still there.”

Three years have passed since Eyad lost his two sons but he still carries vivid memories with him. “Every day and every minute feels like the moment when I lost my sons. In everything there is a memory of them. I miss them all the time.”

Eyad tries to describe what the life of his family is like without Mohammed and Abed Rabbo: “Our lives have been very difficult since they were killed. Every time I see another boy their age, I remember my sons. I still cannot look at their photos, it is too painful.” He says; “I always feel like crying but I try not to. My wife, Jawaher, cries everyday but tries to hide her tears from me. She does not want to add salt to my wounds. My wife always wants to go to our sons’ graves with her mother, but I don’t. I only went once and don’t want to go again. I can’t face the sight of their graves.”

Besides Mohammed and Abed Rabbo, Eyad and his wife have five daughters and two sons. Mohammed and Abed Rabbo were the oldest children and their siblings were either very young or not born yet at the time of their death. The youngest child was born one and a half years after the war and will have no memories at all. “When the children ask us where their brothers are we tell them that they were killed, martyred, and are in heaven now”, says Eyad.

The memory of his sons is at the tip of Eyad’s tongue. “My son Khaled looks exactly like his brother Mohammed and I often find myself saying ‘Mohammed!’ when I actually mean to call Khaled.” In order to keep going, Eyad tries to stay busy all the time, finding some distraction by meeting people and working as a mason.

Since the death of his sons Eyad is tormented by worries and fears for the safety of his other children. Before the death of Mohammed and Abed Rabbo he allowed his children to go anywhere at anytime. Even when there were explosions and shooting was heard in the area. After the incident he became very afraid for his children and he wants to keep them inside. “I am afraid that anything would happen to them, especially for my son Khaled, who is now in the first grade. From the moment he leaves the house I worry that something could happen to him. Every day he walks to school, which is 1 kilometer away from our home. I know education is important, otherwise I would forbid him to go, out of my fear.”

The children themselves are aware that their brothers were killed by a drone: the same type of drone they often hear and see flying above themselves. Eyad explains that “when they hear a drone they are too afraid to go outside. ‘The drone will bomb me if I go out’, is what they say.”

The area where Mohammed and Abed Rabbo were killed was an open area approximately three kilometres away from the border with Israel. “The children were used to playing in that area. Our piece of land is close to it. It is an agricultural residential area, far from any hostilities,” Eyad explains.

Eyad is sceptical about the future, given the continuing impunity. “The Israelis disregard our rights. They kill our children and bulldoze our lands and no one will hold them accountable,” he says. “I expect the Israeli court to reject our complaint. I can even imagine them killing me together with my other children. However, I want to hope that the complaint would have some result.”

PCHR submitted a criminal complaint to the Israeli authorities on behalf of the al-Astal family on 23 June 2009. To-date, no response has been received.

Posted in GazaComments Off on NAZI’S IN GAZA: CAST LEAD REMEMBERED–THE AL-ASTAL FAMILY

Mondoweiss Online Newsletter

NOVANEWS

Israel building walls on its borders with Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon

Jan 02, 2012

Kate

Israel to build new wall on Lebanon frontier
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma‘an) 2 Jan — Israeli military officials plan to build a new wall on the country’s northern ceasefire line with Lebanon, Israeli media reported on Monday. An official in Israel’s northern command told Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth that the 5-meter high and 1-kilometer long wall will be equipped with alarms and separate Israeli kibbutz al-Matala and Lebanese village Kafr Kala which lie near to each other. The wall, the first of its kind along the frontier with Lebanon, will be planned in the coming days and building will start in a few weeks, the newspaper said.
link to www.maannews.net

PM: Security fence to be built along Jordan border
1 Jan — When the security fence along the border with Egypt is complete, a fence will also be built along the border with Jordan, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced Sunday in a Likud ministerial meeting. The move is intended to curb migrant workers and refugees from Africa from arriving in Israel.
link to www.jpost.com

Jordan denies Israeli decision to construct security fence on Israeli-Jordan borders
PNN 2 Jan — On Monday, Jordanian Foreign Minister said that Jordan hasn’t received any official information about what has been published in the media, about the Israeli private decision of constructing a security fence on the borders between Jordan and Israel, in order  to prevent the African migrants from sneaking into Israel.
link to english.pnn.ps

Israel to resolve Palestinian house demolition orders by summer / Amira Hass
1 Jan — If the demolition process is indeed accelerated, around 1,000 Palestinian children in particularly deprived communities stand to lose their schools.
link to www.haaretz.com

Israel bill to force Palestinians to prove ownership over land used for West Bank outposts
1 Jan 03:27 — Cabinet members are facing pressure to approve proposed legislation that would curtail the eviction of Jewish settlers from land that is purportedly owned by individual Palestinians by requiring a court ruling based on specific evidence of land ownership … Peace Now director Yariv Oppenheimer said the proposed law would allow anyone to grab land for a permanent settlement and bar an immediate eviction.
link to www.haaretz.com

Ministers delay discussion of outpost bill
1 Jan 16:34 — At Netanyahu’s request, Committee on Legislative Affairs postpones debate on outpost evacuation bill by three months
link to www.ynetnews.com

State asks court for delay in razing W. Bank homes
2 Jan — The state asked the High Court of Justice over the weekend for a three-month delay in demolishing illegal structures in the Ramat Gilad outpost, on the outskirts of the West Bank Karnei Shomron settlement. It had initially promised the court it would remove nine outpost structures, all built on private Palestinian land, by the end of 2011. The pledge came in response to a petition first filed by Peace Now in 2006, and refiled in 2008.
link to www.jpost.com

Israel to take over land near Salfit for wall
SALFIT (WAFA) 31 Dec – Israeli authorities Saturday issued several notices to take over land in Az-Zawiya and Masha, towns west of Salfit, for the expansion of the Apartheid Wall, according to Az-Zawiya mayor Khader Shuqir. He said that Israeli authorities issued notices to take over more than 50 dunums in both towns and decided to build a new checkpoint in the buffer zone. The notices were not dated and were neither handed to Palestinian landowners, which makes it difficult for them to file objections, added the mayor.
link to english.wafa.ps

Who profits – special update
1 Jan — 2011 will go down in memory as the year in which the Israeli Knesset has intensified its anti-democratic legislation, while the Israeli High Court of Justice validated once again the structural economic exploitation in the occupied Palestinian territories. On Monday, December 26 the Israeli High Court of Justice rejected a petition filed by the organization Yesh Din, which challenged the legality of the use of natural resources extracted by 11 companies quarrying and mining in the occupied West Bank. This validation adds to the stamp of approval the High Court of Justice already gave to the Israeli settlements and the Separation Wall. Whoprofits.org’s findings, providing evidence for the case against the activities of the companies in the OPT, established that 94% of the materials extracted by quarrying and mining companies active in Area C under Israeli control are used for sale in Israel. The companies transfer some of their profits to the Israeli civil administration in the OPT, which in turn facilitates their activities. Only a fraction of the material is sold to Palestinians.
link to groups.google.com

In Photos: Palestinian village squeezed by an Israeli settlement
AIC 1 Jan — The Bedouin community of Umm Al Khair is located in the West Bank’s South Hebron Hills. Because Umm Al Khair falls into Area C, which is under Israeli control, residents face restricted water access, no public services, little freedom of movement, and severe building limitations. In general, the Israeli Civil Administration does not issue construction permits for Palestinians. Villages are unable to expand and Israeli forces frequently demolish existing structures. This photo essay tells the story of one Palestinian village that has been squeezed by Israeli policies.
link to www.alternativenews.org

Settlers

WATCH: Hilltop youth: “Burn down Al-Aqsa Mosque? Of course!” / Ami Kaufman
972mag 30 Dec — The hilltop youth, those wacky young settlers, have been in the news quite a bit of late – the number of price tag actions is on a constant rise. Yet, we rarely get to see who these “kids” really are. Last week, Channel 2 gave us a rare glimpse into the minds of some of the hilltop youth leaders. I just couldn’t miss the opportunity to bring it to you. This translation goes out to my homies in AIPAC, and to the national religious rabbis of the world. Without you, these racists would not be possible. [Transcript here under ‘WATCH Hilltop youth”]
link to 972mag.com

Armed settlers ‘help’ soldiers man roadblocks
Armed Israeli settlers, in civilian clothes, were seen helping Israeli soldiers in searching Palestinian vehicles and checking ID numbers of Palestinians at a number of military roadblocks leading to the Ramallah district, in the central West Bank. The Ma‘an News Agency reported that dozens of settlers in civilian clothes, carrying automatic rifles, stood next to the Israeli soldiers at the Bet El Roadblock, northeast of Ramallah, and even searched Palestinian vehicles and examined the ID cards of the passengers. Israel settlers usually conduct “patrols” on several roads in the occupied West Bank, but are always accompanied by Israeli soldiers. This is the first time that some of the settlers actually participate in tasks that are the sole responsibility of the army.
link to www.imemc.org

Settlers furious over ‘reconnaissance arrests’
2 Jan — The continued custody of six right-wing activists arrested last week on suspicion of monitoring the movements of security forces in the West Bank is creating a firestorm of controversy within the settler community — Police said the suspects, five adults and a minor from West Bank settlements and Jerusalem, regularly carried out reconnaissance on army and Border Police movements, in order to thwart demolitions of outposts and direct fellow activists to scenes of clashes.
link to www.jpost.com

Jewish settlers assault Palestinian teen in Hebron
HEBRON (WAFA) 31 Dec – Extremist settlers Saturday physically assaulted a Palestinian teen from the city of Hebron, according to activists. According to Issa Amro, member of Youth against Settlements, a number of settlers from Tel Rumeida settlement sprayed Arafat al-Bayid, 14, with tear gas and physically assaulted him. Medical sources said that Bayid was transferred to hospital after he was sprayed with gas that irritates nerves and burns the face and eyes.
Amro said Israeli soldiers arrested Mahmoud Abu Hadid, 21, at a checkpoint near Hebron and confiscated his personal identity card and driving license.
link to english.wafa.ps

Sheikh Jarrah settlers let attack dogs loose against protesters / Richard Silverstein
2 Jan — In a scene reminiscent of other times of historic Jewish tragedy in the last century, at last Friday’s weekly Sheikh Jarrah protest against Palestinian home theft, one of the most radical of the settlers,  the Israeli-American Fauci, let loose a vicious attack dog (rather humorously named, if you’re a settler, Shiksa) against the Israeli and Palestinian demonstrators at the scene (be sure to check out the Jerusalem Post video featuring Fauci training the dog to attack the Muslim enemy).  They were protesting Fauci’s occupation (cf. theft) of the Al-Kurd home in the East Jerusalem neighborhood.
link to www.richardsilverstein.com

Israeli forces

Border Police train Israeli teens to detain illegal Palestinian workers
2 Jan — “I consider it a form of pleasure. It simply provides me with values, and I love the action.” This is how Reut, a high school senior from the Modi’in area, describes her experience as part of the “No’ar Magav” Border Police Youth … Approximately 36 teenagers between the ages of 16-18 take part in the project. In their spare time, they help catch “illegal residents”, or stand at checkpoints and help guard the neighboring settlements. According to the regional council, the teenagers have been able to catch dozens of illegal aliens, mostly Palestinian workers who lack Israeli work permits, in the past couple weeks. “I like catching the Palestinian workers,” says Reut. “Generally we look for them because they scare children. The point is to catch them and return them back where they belong.” … According to the Ministry of Education, the project is “not recognized”, and will be investigated.
link to www.haaretz.com

PCHR Weekly Report: One Palestinian killed, 11 wounded by Israeli forces this week [22-28 Dec]
IMEMC 30 Dec — In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 22- 28 December 2011, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that a Palestinian resistance fighter was killed and 5 others were wounded in two extra-judicial execution attempts by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip. 6 additional Palestinian civilians, including two children, were wounded by Israeli forces … During the last week, Israeli forces conducted 32 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they abducted 28 Palestinians, including 4 children and a university professor. In addition, Israeli soldiers abducted two Palestinian civilians at various checkpoints in the West Bank. Full text of the report
link to www.imemc.org

Gaza

Palestinian injured by army fire in northern Gaza
IMEMC 1 Jan — Palestinian medical sources reported Saturday that a Palestinian man was shot and wounded by Israeli military fire, north of Beit Hanoun, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, the Arabs48 news website reported. The sources stated that medics transferred the wounded 32-year-old man to Kamal Odwan Hospital after he was shot in the leg. Israel imposes an illegal buffer-zone along the border, preventing the Palestinians from entering their own lands that are close to the border fence. Dozens of casualties, including several fatalities were reported in similar attacks.
link to www.imemc.org

Lawmaker condemns Israeli decision to demolish crossing in Gaza
GAZA (WAFA) 2 Jan — Chairman of the Popular Committee against the Siege on Gaza, lawmaker Jamal al Khudari, Monday condemned the Israeli authorities’ decision to demolish Karni (al-Mintar) commercial crossing, east of Gaza … The Israeli authorities Monday decided to demolish Karni crossing and move all commercial traffic to Kerem Shalom between Israel and Egypt. It claimed that armed Palestinian groups were targeting the crossing by digging tunnels under it, reported Israel radio … The crossing has been closed for about a year now by the Israeli army. Khudari called on the international community to pressure Israel to cancel its decision, appealing to the European parties, which funded the construction of the crossing, to stop Israel from carrying out its plans to separate Gaza from the rest of the world
link to english.wafa.ps

Video: Gaza — A ticking demographic time bomb
Press TV 31 Dec — Following new figures about global population growth, Gaza has been flagged as being in a “dangerous situation.”  Gaza is home to 1.7 million people, almost three-quarters of them UN registered refugees, who are crammed into a living space with a total area of 360 square kilometres (140 sq miles).  The Head of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics Ola Awad warns that the population in Gaza will exceed two million by 2020. The annual growth rate of 3.3 percent is higher than the world’s average rate of 1.4 percent. Children up to the age of 14 make up 44 percent of the population of the strip.
link to presstv.com

2011 ‘toughest year yet’ for Gaza medics
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 31 Dec — As 2011 draws to an end, medical shortages in the Gaza Strip have reached their highest levels, a spokesman for Gaza’s Health Ministry said Saturday. Ashraf al-Qidra told Ma‘an that medics in the besieged coastal enclave had to cope with shortages of medicine and medical equipment on a daily basis, affecting over one-third of patients. Patients with chronic diseases such as cancer, kidney failure and neuritis were the worst affected, al-Qidra said. Hospitals and health centers have totally run out of 145 basic medicines and 150 types of medical equipment, he added.
link to www.maannews.net

One of Israel’s war crimes coming back to bite it…
White phosphorus found in mortar shells fired from Gaza
1 Jan — The two mortar shells fired Sunday morning from the Gaza Strip at the Eshkol Regional Council contained while phosphorous, an examination revealed. The shells landed in an open field and caused no injuries or damage. The Negev District Police bomb squad unit examined the shells and determined that they contained the substance, which is banned by international law for use inside dense population concentrations.
link to www.ynetnews.com

PRC claims mortars fired into Israel
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 1 Jan — The military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees in the Gaza Strip said it fired two mortars into southern Israel on Sunday morning. The Nasser Saladin Brigades said in a statement they launched the projectiles “in response to the crimes of the occupation.”
link to www.maannews.net

4 more Israeli soldiers linked to Turkish ship looting
Four former IDF soldiers were charged last week with involvement in the theft of laptop computers from the Mavi Marmara – a Turkish vessel which was seized by Israeli commandos on May 31, 2010 as it was making its way to Gaza along with five other vessels in an attempt to breach a naval blockade of the Hamas-ruled territory. Nine of the ship’s passengers were killed and a number of IDF soldiers were wounded during the raid.
link to www.ynetnews.com

EU launches €10M desalination project in Gaza
2 Jan — European Union, Palestinian Water Authority sign memorandum of understanding regarding construction of low-volume desalination plant in Khan Younis; project to be completed by 2015
link to www.ynetnews.com

Hamas cracks down on fortune-tellers, mannequins
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 31 Dec — The Hamas-run government has launched a series of campaigns targeting fortune-tellers, mannequins and cigarette vendors in the Gaza Strip. Police sources told Ma‘an that 142 fortune tellers were forced to sign an agreement at the Ministry of Interior pledging that they would not practice their craft.  As well as predicting the future, fortune tellers sell amulets for protection and are sometimes called on to solve personal or family problems. Another campaign targets boutiques displaying lingerie on mannequins. Police officials told Ma‘an that security forces inspected clothes shops across the Gaza Strip and warned owners not to display naked mannequins, lingerie or “indecent advertisements.”
link to www.maannews.net

Palestinians told to dance to shake off Gaza stress
DPA 31 Dec — Some 45,000 Gazans have participated in program brought by U.S. psychiatrist that teaches techniques to deal with anger, stress, anxiety and family tension.
link to www.haaretz.com

Remembering the Israeli war on Gaza

Slideshow: 2008-2009 Israeli massacre of Gaza, not forgotten
In Gaza 31 Dec
link to ingaza.wordpress.com

31 December 2008: The Abu Areeda family
PCHR — “Before my mother’s death we used to be very happy on 1 January, have celebrations and visit people. Now we are all silent in the last hour of each year and on 1 January we don’t celebrate the new year. We visit our mohter’s grave. We remember.” … It was about half an hour before midnight on 31 December when electricity in the area was cut. Iman went to cover her youngest son, Mohammed, who was sleeping in his room. As she was leaning over him, the missile hit a few dozen meters away from their family home. The shrapnel that came through the outer wall killed her.
link to palsolidarity.org

1 January 2009: The Nasla family
PCHR — “I wish that if our fate is to die, that we die together, I wouldn’t want anybody left to have to bear this sort of pain” On 1 January 2009 at around 15:00, Israeli military planes targeted a water tower across from the home of the Nasla family in North Beit Lahiya. The family were making lunch when the first bomb hit. As the family were trying to escape the smoke filled house, a second and third bomb struck the area, killing Ayoun Nasla, 6, and M’uz Nasla, 2.
link to palsolidarity.org

2 January 2009: Eyad al-Astal
PCHR — “The second of January is no different from any other day. Every day and every minute feels like the moment when I lost my sons. In everything there is a memory of them. I miss them all the time.” On 2 January 2009 at around 14:30 an Israeli drone fired a missile at an open area in Qarara village, close to Khan Yunis. The missile struck and killed two brothers, Mohammed (12) and Abed Rabbo (9) al-Astal, and their cousin, Abdul Sattar Walid al-Astal (11) while they were playing and eating sugar canes in the land.
link to palsolidarity.org

Memories of Gaza: When the victim is called the terrorist / Sarah Ali
I am a terrorist. At least that is what they call me. I grew up hearing the same word being repeated all the time that I thought terrorists were the good guys for a second … It was December the 27th, 2008 when the Israeli warplanes started dropping bombs on every place in Gaza, killing anything or anybody getting — or not getting — in their way. The war left lots of people dead. More than 1450 Palestinians were killed, 5600 injured. There were people dying every day. Then there was Anwar… Just when we began to hear the news of Israel’s intentions to end the war,  Anwar Shehada was killed.  Anwar was a 13 year old neighbor of mine who lived a few meters away from where I live. It was the last day of the war when Anwar told her younger sister she was going up to get the laundry from the roof. Her sister asked her not to go; Anwar told her sister not to worry because the war was almost ‘over’. Before her parents could see her going up to the roof, Anwar was already gone. She probably thought that Israel would not kill a beautiful 13 year old girl. Israel proved her wrong.
link to mondoweiss.net

On anniversary of Gaza war we will remember IDF soldiers who destroyed Palestinian families / Amira Hass
2 Jan — While Yoav Galant’s name is most prominently mentioned in the context of the third anniversary of Operation Cast Lead, we must recall the other, nameless soldiers, guided by the spirit of the army’s top brass. — On the third anniversary of the Cast Lead onslaught, we remember the anonymous soldiers who fired on a red car, in which a father, Mohammed Shurrab, and his two sons were returning home from their farm lands … We will remember the pilot who delivered the bomb that killed Mahmoud al-Ghoul, a high-school student, and his uncle Akram, an attorney, at the family’s home in northern Gaza … We will remember the soldiers who turned the Abu Eida family home in eastern Jabalya into a base and place from which to shoot, and confined in one room an elderly invalid, a blind woman and two older women. We will remember how these soldiers did not allow these four persons to go to the restroom for nine days. We will remember the soldiers who herded members of the Samouni family into one house and were themselves positioned 80 meters from it when it was shelled, with all its residents inside, under orders from brigade commander Ilan Malka – someone else whom we will remember, of course. The list goes on and on, and we ask forgiveness from those we haven’t cited due to lack of space. But on this occasion we shall especially remember the soldiers at a certain post in the eastern part of Khan Yunis.
link to www.haaretz.com

Political detention

Troops kidnap several Palestinians in West Bank
IMEMC 2 Jan — Local sources reported that Israeli soldiers invaded Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank, broke into and searched several homes, and kidnapped six residents. Two of them are from Al Arroub Refugee camp. Soldiers also invaded Salem village, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, broke into and searched several homes, and kidnapped two brothers after sabotaging the property of their home. Two more residents were kidnapped in At-Taybeh, west of Jenin, in the northern part of the West Bank. Clashes were reported as local youths hurled stones and empty bottles at the invading military vehicles; soldiers fired several rounds of live ammunition.  Soldiers also installed a number of roadblocks in the West Bank, and kidnapped 3 residents, local sources reported.
In related news, clashes were reported between local residents in Rommana village, west of Jenin, and Israeli soldiers who invaded the village using armored vehicles. Soldiers fired gas bombs, rubber-coated bullets and rounds of live ammunition; no injuries were reported.
link to www.imemc.org

Israeli army arrests 2 minors near Qalqilia
QALQILIA (WAFA) 1 Jan – Israeli army units Sunday arrested two Palestinian minors in Azzoun, a town east of Qalqilia, according to local sources. They said that Mahmoud Radwan, 14, and Abdullah Hawari, 16, were arrested after more than 20 Israeli military vehicles raided the town at dawn and searched several houses.
link to english.wafa.ps

Haniyeh meets exiled prisoners in Turkey
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 2 Jan — Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Sunday met with detainees sent to Turkey as part of a prisoner exchange deal with Israel, during the Hamas premier’s first international tour since 2007. Sounding a note of hope to the 11 freed prisoners who were blocked by Israel from returning to their homes, Haniyeh told them: “It is inevitable the occupation will end and the resolution (of the conflict) will benefit the Palestinian people.” He thanked Turkey for hosting the prisoners … Some 40 freed prisoners were exiled to Turkey, Qatar and Syria, and 166 others were deported to Gaza and prevented from returning to their West Bank homes.
link to www.maannews.net

Freed Palestinian prisoner to wed in Turkey
IMEMC 30 Dec — One of the Palestinian detainees freed in the latest prisoner exchange-deal with Israel, is scheduled to marry in the capital of Turkey, Ankara, the Turkish daily Vatan reported on Friday. Ayman Abu Khalil, aged 39, was one of eleven Palestinians exiled to Turkey … Vatan claims that Khalil has invited the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to his wedding at the Buyukhanli Park Hotel. The Turkish daily added that the other ten Palestinians exiled to Turkey will also be among the 200 guests at the wedding. Palestinian Ambassador to Ankara, Nabil Maruf, is also expected to attend the wedding.
link to www.imemc.org

Liberated prisoner in coma
BETHLEHEM (PIC) 2 Jan — Liberated Palestinian prisoner Zakaria Issa has been in coma since Monday morning due to deterioration of his cancer condition after he lost his eyesight, speech and ability to move his right arm and leg. Family members said that Issa, 43, was dying after treatment attempts in the West Bank and Jordan failed to cure him. The Israeli occupation authority released Issa almost four months ago after his brain cancer condition greatly worsened. Issa served 10 years of his 16-year sentence on the charge of affiliation to the Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas.
Link to www.palestine-info.co.uk

Israel to close Naqab prison, says official
JENIN (WAFA) 31 Dec — Minister of Prisoners Issa Qaraqe‘ Saturday said the Israeli authorities have decided to close Naqab prison in southern Israel. He told WAFA that the Israeli authorities plan to distribute the prisoners across several jails, take over their personal belongings, and empty the prison. He said the prisoners are on alert as the Israeli administration has called up large military reinforcements to the prison amid wide opposition from the prisoners.
link to english.wafa.ps

Prisoners; Negev jail facility to close for immigrant detention
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 2 Jan — Palestinians jailed in southern Israel said Monday that authorities will move hundreds of prisoners from a tented facility to other jails, to make space for holding illegal immigrants. Officials at the Negev jail have officially notified 730 prisoners living in tents that they will be evacuated and distributed between other Israeli facilities, the detainees told Ma’an.
link to www.maannews.net

Ministers: 200 attacks on prisoners in 2011
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 31 Dec — There were 200 attacks on Palestinian prisoners by Israeli special forces during 2011, Palestinian Authority Minister of Detainee Affairs Issa Qaraqe said Saturday. The attacks usually happened during the night and aimed to humiliate and provoke detainees, Qaraqe said in a statement.
link to www.maannews.net

Imprisoned Palestinian sheikh enters third week of hunger strike
2 Jan — 36-year old Sheikh Khader Adnan, a spokesman for the Islamic Jihad resistance movement, entered the third week of a hunger strike on Sunday, in protest of the conditions in the Israeli prison where he is being held. After being abducted by Israeli troops on December 17th from his home in Arrabah village south of Jenin, Adnan has been held in an Israeli detention center without charges … Adnan told his lawyer that he was interrogated in a harsh manner for at least 2 – 3 hours a day since his abduction. In one instance, he said the Israeli interrogator dragged him across the floor by his beard, and that the interrogator then used Adnan’s beard to polish his boots.
link to www.imemc.org

Detained Islamic Jihad leader rushed to hospital
JENIN (PIC) 2 Jan — The Israeli occupation authority transferred detained Islamic Jihad leader Khader Adnan, 33, to hospital after his health deteriorated due to cruel investigation means and two weeks of hunger strike. Relatives of Adnan told the PIC on Monday that he was rushed from Jalama detention center to the Ramle prison hospital on Friday
Link to www.palestine-info.co.uk

Palestinian detainees might launch Irish-style hunger strike
31 Dec — Leaders of the Palestinian prisoners’ movement in Israeli prisons and detention facilities stated that the situation all political detainees are facing is at its worst, adding that, right now, detainees sentenced to life-terms are thinking about launching an Irish-Style Hunger-Strike, while the rest of the detainees likely to follow their lead.
link to www.imemc.org

Official statistics record 4,500 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons
MEMO 2 Jan — Data issued by the Statistics Department of the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners show that 4,500 Palestinians, including six women, are being held in Israeli jails at the beginning of 2012. The figure takes into account the release of 1,027 men and women as part of the exchange deal agreed between Hamas and Israel in October 2011. In addition to the 4,500 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and detention camps, there are dozens of Arabs of various nationalities, especially from Jordan, Syria and Egypt. The ministry explained that these figures are not static due to the daily arrests of Palestinians by the Israeli occupation forces; more than 3,300 people were arrested in the past twelve months, with an average of nine arrests a day.
link to www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk

PA Intelligence kidnaps senior Hamas figure in Qalqiliya
QALQILIYA (PIC) 1 Jan — The Palestinian authority intelligence apparatus kidnapped on Saturday evening senior Hamas official and noted reformer Riyadh Walweel, 57, from his home in Qalqiliya city, north of the occupied West Bank. Local sources told the Palestinian information center (PIC) that PA intelligence agents kidnapped Walweel after he refused to receive and sign on a summons for interrogation issued against him by the intelligence service in Qalqiliya. Walweel is a noted religious figure and reformer in the city and has been locked in Israeli and PA jails many times before.
Link to www.palestine-info.co.uk

Activism / Solidarity / BDS

Israel treats Europeans with unwarranted arrests in Nabi Saleh
2 Jan — In the morning of the 30th of December three members of the International Solidarity Movement and one other international were walking the streets of Nabi Saleh when two military jeeps drew up and stopped next to them. A group of approximately ten soldiers jumped out of the jeeps grabbing two of the international volunteers, forcing them into the jeeps as they drew away. Inside the car they were told they were under arrest for disobeying orders, stating that when they had instructed the internationals to stop, the internationals had fled and disobeyed.  The ISM volunteers found this strange as they were the ones who actually stopped, and those who ran away were not arrested. The arrested were taken to a military-base where all their belongings were taken from them.
link to palsolidarity.org

Photos — 31 December 2011: Chicago honors Gaza’s children
To mark the third anniversary of Israel’s winter 2008-09 attacks on the Gaza Strip, one balloon was released for each of the more than 300 children who were killed during the massacres. The event was organized by the youth-led Chicago Movement for Palestinian Rights and attended by more than a hundred members of the community. From the event organizers: “There will be a card tied to every balloon with each child’s name and description. The balloons are 100% biodegradable and the cards will be made from flowerseed paper. So wherever they land, these cards will plant seeds in the ground that will bloom into beautiful flowers in the spring. This is our way of paying tribute to the memory of each child.”
link to www.flickr.com

Activists campaign against sale of Israeli drones to France
IMEMC 31 Dec — A group of activists involved in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign in France have launched a campaign calling on the French government to call off a deal to purchase five hundred million dollars worth of Heron TP Predator drones manufactured by the Israeli company IAI. The campaign in France follows a similar action by activists in Finland that was successful in stopping the Finnish government from purchasing military drones from an Israeli company.
link to www.imemc.org

Political developments

Senior Fatah official visits Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 2 Jan — Senior Fatah official Nabil Shaath arrived in Gaza on Sunday evening, in a visit to support the reconciliation deal between his party and Gaza rulers Hamas. Shaath had been due to visit the coastal strip last week, but the trip was postponed for unstated reasons. The Fatah leader, who is also commissioner for the party’s international relations, will meet with all political factions in Gaza, officials said.
link to www.maannews.net

Elections commission meets after restructure
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 2 Jan — The new group of commissioners in Palestine’s official elections agency met in Ramallah on Monday, for the first time since a presidential decree ordered the restructure. Reform of the Central Elections Commission was a key term of the unity deal signed by Hamas and Fatah in May 2011.
link to www.maannews.net

Reconciliation committee meets in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 2 Jan — The cross-party committee overseeing national reconciliation met in the Gaza Strip for the first time on Monday, after the meeting was postponed days earlier. The “public freedoms committee” is tasked with hammering out a number of tenets of the unity deal signed in May, including political prisoners, passports, closure of institutions, travel bans and freedom of political expression, committee member Hani Abu Amra told Ma‘an.
link to www.maannews.net

Abbas: All options open if nothing comes out of Quartet
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 1 Jan – President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday that if the Quartet was unable to revive Palestinian-Israeli negotiations by January 26, then its mission will be considered a failure and all options will be open. Speaking to Palestine TV and Voice of Palestine radio on the occasion of 47 years since the launching of the Palestinian revolution, Abbas ruled out the possibility of a third Intifada, stressing his opposition to it. He said Jordan is trying to help the Quartet, which is composed of the United States, European Union, Russia and United Nations, to bring the parties involved together, stressing that the Palestinians are ready to resume negotiations with Israel if it agrees on the 1967 borders and stop all settlements.
link to english.wafa.ps

Palestinians to seek UN talks on settlements
AFP 31 Dec — Executive committee of PLO says will request sessions with Security Council, Arab League to discuss halting construction in West Bank, east Jerusalem.
link to www.ynetnews.com

Quartet, parties to meet in Jordan on Tuesday
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 1 Jan – Quartet representatives will meet with Palestinian and Israeli negotiators in the Jordanian capital Amman on Tuesday, according to Mohammad al-Kayed, spokesman for the Jordanian foreign ministry. The Jordanian news agency Petra Sunday quoted Kayed as saying that the aim of the meeting is “to reach common ground to resume direct negotiations between the two sides.” Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat confirmed the meeting will take place … Kayed said the Israelis and Palestinians would meet bilaterally as well as with the Quartet … If the talks do take place, it will be the first time the two sides sit on the same table since the negotiations reached a deadlock in over a year.
link to english.wafa.ps

Palestinian factions denounce participation in Quartet meeting
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 2 Jan …Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas spokesman in the Gaza Strip, called on the Palestinian Authority (PA) to boycott the meeting and considered any further political meetings between PA and Israel a “reproduction of the failed policy.” … The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) considered holding direct talks with Israel immediately after re-directing the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to the United Nations a “severe political mistake” and a setback to Palestinian policy. FIDA [the Palestinian Democratic Union] also denounced holding the meeting while Israel was proceeding with its intensive settlement expansion in East Jerusalem and the West Bank … the factions said the Israeli occupation is the only beneficiary of the meeting in an attempt to polish Israel’s image and break its international isolation.
link to english.wafa.ps

Erekat: No negotiations yet
2 Jan — Amid reports about renewal of peace talks, chief Palestinian negotiator says Quartet meeting in Jordan doesn’t signal resumption of negotiations. Sources in Jerusalem: Israel, Jordan share common interests against Hamas, Iran
link to www.ynetnews.com

Erdogan to Haniyeh: talks must include Hamas
1 Jan — Turkish prime minister hosts Hamas leader in Istanbul, says conflict cannot be resolved as long as Palestinian faction excluded from negotiations
link to www.ynetnews.com

Gaza’s Hamas PM visits Turkish aid ship, Mavi Marmara
BBC 2 Jan — The prime minister of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip has continued his tour of Turkey with a visit to an aid ship that was stormed by Israeli troops in 2010. Ismail Haniya paid tribute to the nine activists who were killed during the May raid on the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara.
link to www.bbc.co.uk

Report: Jordan takes in families of Hamas leaders from Damascus
1 Jan –Jordan has taken in families of Hamas leaders from Damascus, including the family of the Palestinian organization’s politburo chief Khaled Mashaal, the London-based Arabic-language newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat reported Sunday … According to the source, Jordan took the families in under the condition that the Hamas members would not engage in political activity in the country. He added that relations between Hamas and Jordan have been normalized following meetings held in the country between government officials and group leaders. “Jordan’s agreements with Israel do not allow it to be entirely open to Hamas, and the Hashemite Kingdom will not let the movement reopen offices there,” the source added.
link to www.ynetnews.com

Jordan ‘not offered benefits’ to host Hamas
AMMAN, Jordan (Ma‘an) 31 Dec — Jordan on Saturday denied reports that Qatar offered Amman incentives to host Hamas, the Jordanian daily Al-Ghad reported. Israeli media reported Thursday that Qatar had offered Jordan financial incentives and natural gas in exchange for allowing Hamas to reopen its offices in Amman.
link to www.maannews.net

Report: Hamas mulls joining Muslim Brotherhood
LONDON (Ma‘an) 31 Dec — Hamas leaders are holding meetings in Sudan to discuss joining the Muslim Brotherhood, the London-based Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported Saturday. Some 59 members of Hamas’ Shura Council met in Khartoum to discuss creating a separate branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine, the report said.
link to www.maannews.net

Racism / Discrimination

‘Bills limiting settlers, Arabs as justices valid’
2 Jan — Two controversial bills on Supreme Court justice selection – one that would disqualify settlers, and another that would not allow most Israeli-Arabs to be considered for the judiciary – were declared valid for a plenum vote by Knesset Legal Adviser Eyal Yinon on Sunday … The first bill, proposed by MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List-Ta’al) declares that a judge may not be appointed to the Supreme Court if he does not live “within the borders of the State of Israel, or if he lives in a place that violates international law.” MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) drafted the second bill, which would only allow judges who served in the IDF or National Service to be selected for the Supreme Court. In addition, any current Supreme Court judges that did not do military or civilian service may not be chosen as Supreme Court president, according to Ben-Ari’s proposal. Yinon wrote t

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Arendt: Born in conflict, Israel will degenerate into Sparta, and American Jews will need to back away

NOVANEWS

Philip Weiss

Hannah Arendt
Hannah Arendt

For the new year, here are some prophetic excerpts from two essays of Hannah Arendt’s, collected in The Jewish Writings (2007). Please note her predictions of the Nakba, of unending conflict, of Zionist dependence on the American Jewish community, of ultimate conflict with that American Jewish community, and the contribution of political Zionism to world anti-semitism. Just what Howard Gutman said recently. For which he was denounced by– Zionists.

Zionism Reconsidered, 1944:

Nationalism is bad enough when it trusts in nothing but the rude force of the nation. A nationalism that necessarily and admittedly depends upon the force of a foreign nation is certainly worse. This is the threatened state of Jewish nationalism and of the proposed Jewish state, surrounded inevitably by Arab states and Arab people. Even a Jewish majority in Palestine–nay even a transfer of all Palestine’s Arabs, which is openly demanded by the revisionists–would not substantially change a situation in which Jews must either ask protection from an outside power against their neighbors or come to a working agreement with their neighbors…

[T]he Zionists, if they continue to ignore the Mediterranean people and watch out only for the big faraway powers, will appear only as their tools, the agents of foreign and hostile interests. Jews who know their own history should be aware that such a state of affairs will inevitably lead to a new wave of Jew-hatred; the antisemitism of tomorrow will assert that Jews not only profiteered from the presence of foreign big powers in that region but had actually plotted it and hence are guilty of the consequences…

[T]he sole new piece of historical philosophy which the Zionists contributed out of their own new experiences [was] “A nation is a group of people…  held together by a common enemy” (Herzl)–an absurd doctrine…

To such [political] independence, it was believed, the Jewish nation could arrive under the protecting wings of any great power strong enough to shelter its growth…. the Zionists ended by making the Jewish national emancipation entirely dependent upon the material intersts of another nation.

The actual result was a return of the new movement to the traditional methods ofshtadlonus [court Jews], which the Zionists once had so bitterly despised and violently denounced. Now Zionists too knew no better place politically than the lobbies of the powerful, and no sounder basis for agreements than their good services as agents of foreign interests…

[O]nly folly could dictate a policy which trusts a distant imperial power for protection, while alienating the goodwill of neighbors. What then, one is prompted to ask, will be the future policy of Zionism with respect to big powers, and what program will Zionists have to offer for a solution of the Arab-Jewish conflict?…

If a Jewish commonwealth is obtained in the near future–with or without partition–it will be due to the political influence of American Jews…. But if the Jewish commonwealth is proclaimed against the will of the Arabs and without the support of the Mediterranean peoples, not only financial help but political support will be necessary for a long time to come. And that may turn out to be very troublesome indeed for Jews in this country [the U.S.], who after all have no power to direct the political destinies of the Near East. It may eventually be far more of a responsibility than today they imagine or tomorrow can make good.

To Save the Jewish Homeland, 1948 [on the occasion of war in Palestine]

And even if the Jews were to win the war, its end would find the unique possibilities and the unique achievements of Zionism in Palestine destroyed. The land that would come into being would be something quite other than the dream of world Jewry, Zionist and non-Zionist. The ‘victorious’ Jews would live surrounded by an entirely hostile Arab population, secluded into ever-threatened borders, absorbed with physical self-defense to a degree that would submerge all other interests and acitvities. The growth of a Jewish culture would cease to be the concern of the whole people; social experiments would have to be discarded as impractical luxuries; political thought would center around military strategy…. And all this would be the fate of a nation that — no matter how many immigrants it could still absorb and how far it extended its boundaries (the whole of Palestine and Transjordan is the insane Revisionist demand)–would still remain a very small people greatly outnumbered by hostile neighbors.

Under such circumstances… the Palestinian Jews would degenerate into one of those small warrior tribes about whose possibilities and importance history has amply informed us since the days of Sparta. Their relations with world Jewry would become problematical, since their defense interests might clash at any moment with those of other countries where large number of Jews lived. Palestine Jewry would eventually separate itself from the larger body of world Jewry and in its isolation develop into an entirely new people. Thus it becomes plain that at this moment and under present circumstances a Jewish state can only be erected at the price of the Jewish homeland…

One grim addendum. In the heyday of the special relationship between the US and Israel, American Jewry felt itself to be one with the Israeli people. We Are One! declared Melvin Urofsky’s book of 1978. That unity is today being dissolved. The haredi-secular conflict in Israel that is getting so much attention here is one means of that dissolution. And the aim, unconsciously, may be a desire by American Jews to distance themselves from Israeli Jews so that when the Arab Spring at last brings a democratic movement to Israel and Palestine, and bloody conflict ensues, and the Israeli gov’t is cast as the bad guys, American Jews are emotionally prepared to regard the bloodshed as inevitable and not their problem.

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Dorothy Online Newsletter

NOVANEWS

Dear Friends,

 

Just 5 items tonight, all from the Israeli press, or to be more accurate, all from Haaretz.  The international commercial press that I checked out. When it commented did so mostly on the Palestinian-Israeli upcoming meeting in Jordan.  No one appears excited about it, not even the two parties involved, as the Seattle Times put it, “Palestinians don’t expect much in Israel talkshttp://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2017139167_apmlisraelpalestinians.html  Indeed, why should they?  An op-ed in the LA Times puts the whole Israel-Palestinian conflict on personalities.  Obama and Bibi dislike one another.  I found the article neither informative nor brilliant, so did not include it among the 6 items below.  But just in case you are curious, you can find it at http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-miller-bibi-barack-20120102,0,4943925.story

The information in the first 2 items is disgusting, the 2nd worse than the 1st in a sense.

Item one informs us that Israel is allocating funds to teach former IOF soldiers to become sushi chefs.  This in itself sounds innocent.  But the reason that underlies the project shows how afraid Israel’s leaders are that the country might become overrun by non Jews.  You’ve got it.  The purpose in teaching former IOF soldiers (not just anyone, mind you, not in this militaristic country) the tricks of the trade is to replace foreign workers in Asian restaurants!!! The problem is that not enough Jews are coming to Israel anymore.  Hence anyone here not Jewish is a potential threat to the Jewishness of this tribal country.  Well, if you are thinking ‘what has Israel come to?” wait till you hear what item 2 tells us.

Item 2 reports that teenagers are being trained by border police to catch permit-less Palestinians from entering Israel.  The report—how these kids are being trained, and why—reminds me of nothing less than the Nazi youth.  Imagine, first Israel steals Palestinian farm lands, then when former farmers who no longer have land to farm try to find a way nevertheless to feed their families, Israel sics its dogs and youth on them!  And what about the youth that is so trained?  Obviously it will not love Palestinians any more than Hitler’s youth loved Jews.  Israel’s Minister of Education says that he knew nothing about these groups.  Presumably now that he’s heard of them, he will take time to look into the matter. And when he finally does, will he stop them?  Only, and this is a huge only, if he feels that Israel’s image will be dirtied by such acts.  My guess is that not only won’t he quash them, he will expand them. Yep!  This is Israel.

In item 3 Amira Hass promises not to forget the Cast Lead episode.  The English version of Haaretz terms it a war.  Well in a sense it was.  It was a war of power and force on innocent civilians.  It was, more properly, a military operation or campaign meant to kill and to damage as much as possible.  Is this really a country that you can love?  No, I haven’t forgotten the missiles flying into Israel from Gaza, but don’t you forget that Hamas several times offered Israel a long-term truce, which Israel never accepted.

I was so happy to read item 4, not because it’s good news, but because finally someone (in this case a commentator, Merav Michaeli_) reminds Israelis (the relatively few who will read her op-ed) that the Arab world has offered Israel peace at least twice, and Israel has in both cases ignored it.  I point this out when I speak, and Zalman Amit and Daphna Levit call attention to other missed opportunities in their book ‘Israeli Rejectionism: A Hidden Agenda in the Middle East Peace Process.’  Hidden indeed!  And Israelis instead of climbing on their hind legs and demanding that their leaders take the offers—any one of them, but at least one—keep silent.  Till when????

Item 5 is more positive.  It relates that the Palestinians plan diplomatic steps to put Israel under ‘international siege.’  Am not sure that they will succeed, but wish them much luck in their endeavors.  Perhaps if governments begin to pressure Israel, there will someday be change for the better, as, for instance, an end to colonization and occupation.  Such change will benefit not only Palestinians, but also everyone who lives here, including Jews.

That’s it for tonight—the 2nd day into the new year, which seems so far to be carrying on like the old one.  Still, we can hope.

Goodnight all.

Dorothy

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1 Haaretz

Monday, January 2, 2012

Israel allocates funds to help former IDF soldiers become sushi chefs

Move is part of an effort to reduce the number of foreign workers employed as cooks in Asian restaurants by training Israeli professionals to replace them.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/israel-allocates-funds-to-help-former-idf-soldiers-become-sushi-chefs-1.404985

By Gili Cohen

Demobilized soldiers will be able to study Asian cooking this year at the government’s expense, as part of an effort to reduce the number of foreign workers employed as cooks in Asian restaurants by training Israeli professionals to replace them.

 

The cooking courses are estimated to cost about NIS 4.5 million a year, about NIS 1 million of which will come from the Defense Ministry budget.

 

The government is trying to match recently discharged soldiers with industries facing a shortage of Israeli workers, Defense Ministry officials said.

 

“There is a lack of Israeli workers in this area, and that is why we are building a program that allows them to learn, get a job, and has lots of ‘treats’ for those taking the course,” a ministry official said.

 

Six courses are scheduled for this year in the north, center and south, with a minimum of 25 students in each course.

 

Some recently demobilized soldiers taking the course may receive aid for housing and living expenses for the first few months. Though the NIS 30,000 tuition is fully subsidized, students will have to pay NIS 1,800 each for clothing and equipment.

 

Graduates of the course will receive a large grant if they work in the industry on a regular basis over the course of the first year.

 

The Defense Ministry said the grant, expected to come to a total of tens of thousands of shekels, will be paid for by the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry. The discharged soldiers will also be eligible to receive the grant given to all demobilized soldiers who work in certain jobs classified as “priority work.”

 

The program is jointly sponsored by the Defense Ministry, the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry and the Gross Foundation, which provides scholarships for discharged soldiers.

 

The ministry’s unit for aiding discharged soldiers is publicizing the cooking course, which includes workshops and classroom studies. Graduates are to be placed in jobs all over the country after finishing the course.

++++++++++

2.  Haaretz

Monday, January 2, 2012

Border Police train Israeli teens to detain illegal Palestinian workers

Several dozen teens between ages of 16-18 take part in project meant to boost security in Modi’in area; Ministry of Education does not recognize program.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/border-police-train-israeli-teens-to-detain-illegal-palestinian-workers-1.405091

By Talila Nesher

Tags: Palestinians

“I consider it a form of pleasure. It simply provides me with values, and I love the action.”

 

This is how Reut, a high school senior from the Modi’in area, describes her experience as part of the “No’ar Magav” Border Police Youth.

 

The initiative is financed by the Public Security Minister of Israel and the Modi’in Regional Council, without any knowledge on the part of Ministry of Education.

 

Approximately 36 teenagers between the ages of 16-18 take part in the project. In their spare time, they help catch “illegal residents”, or stand at checkpoints and help guard the neighboring settlements. According to the regional council, the teenagers have been able to catch dozens of illegal aliens, mostly Palestinian workers who lack Israeli work permits, in the past couple weeks.

 

“I like catching the Palestinian workers,” says Reut. “Generally we look for them because they scare children. The point is to catch them and return them back where they belong.”

 

Eran, another member of the group, describes the activities with joy: “It’s a fun feeling – you are filled with adrenaline and energy during such operations. We also feel pride for protecting our home. For instance, one time we went to a construction site and found a few of them there. We saw them hiding and we caught them, took their identification cards, sat them down in the vehicle, and called our commander to come check them.”

 

Another member, Liad, emphasizes that the Palestinian workers are “taken in gently, the way we were taught. We take them to the patrol vehicle and take them to the station where they undergo investigation. I don’t personally handcuff them.”

 

The official purpose of the Border Police Youth is to aid and strengthen security in the Modi’in area. The presence of teenagers with M-16s is meant to scare away thieves and other threats in the region.

 

“Obviously it’s a good thing that teenagers do this,” says Reut. “I feel that I am doing something for the sake of security, that I’m helping people. Some of my friends told me that they are chased by Arabs that sleep in the construction sites where they work. We make sure they are not there. After they receive their due punishment from the court, they rarely return.”

 

The youth’s training lasts several days, during which they participate in workshops regarding the activities they will partake in, as well as visit shooting ranges.

 

“They teach us how operations work, what is allowed and what is not,” explains Liad. “Before we go out for an operation, we gather in one spot for a briefing on how to use weapons, listen to security measures, and then go out to catch illegal workers.”

 

Corinne Chaim, the group’s coordinator, explains that “these teenagers go out, accompanied by Border Police, in order to work at the checkpoints, to check vehicles for illegal workers. They search buildings. A month ago, at a checkpoint on Highway 443, they aided in stopping and searching a bus for suspicious individuals.”

 

Another Border Police Youth course is set to open in a month or so, to the tune of close to 30 new members. “We are bringing presentations to different high schools, hosting conferences in different towns, and sometimes at private homes,” says Chaim. Every teenager that is interested in the project must get permission from both parents and a doctor.

 

According to the head of the Modi’in Regional Council Yossi Elimelech, the project is intended to “occupy the teenagers, strengthen the Border Police, enlarge the percentage of volunteers among the general population and consolidate a feeling of camaraderie among the teens.”

 

Dr. Nir Michaeli, head of the Education Department at Tel Aviv’s Kibbutzim College, says that “it is sad that these teenagers are taught militaristic principles rather than instilling in them a sense of balance that could serve them during their upcoming military service.”

 

“Non-formal education needs to emphasize giving back to society, but in a constructive rather than a militaristic way,” says Michaeli.

 

According to the Ministry of Education, the project is “not recognized”, and will be investigated.

++++++

3.  Haaretz

Monday, January 2, 2011

On third anniversary of Gaza war, we will remember

While Yoav Galant’s name is most prominently mentioned in the context of the third anniversary of Operation Cast Lead, we must recall the other, nameless soldiers, guided by the spirit of the army’s top brass.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/on-third-anniversary-of-gaza-war-we-will-remember-1.405012

By Amira Hass

On the third anniversary of the Cast Lead onslaught, we remember the anonymous soldiers who fired on a red car, in which a father, Mohammed Shurrab, and his two sons were returning home from their farm lands. It is not fair that the officer who then served as GOC Southern Command of the Israel Defense Forces, Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant, will be the only one remembered on this anniversary. Indeed, the list of fighters who should be mentioned and recalled is long.

 

We will remember the pilot who delivered the bomb that killed Mahmoud al-Ghoul, a high-school student, and his uncle Akram, an attorney, at the family’s home in northern Gaza. We will remember the soldiers who analyze photographs taken by drones, who decided that a truck conveying oxyacetylene cylinders for welding, owned by Ahmad Samur, was carrying Grad rockets – a decision that led to an order to bomb the vehicle from the air which, in turn, led to the deaths of eight persons, four of them minors.

 

We will remember the soldiers who turned the Abu Eida family home in eastern Jabalya into a base and place from which to shoot, and confined in one room an elderly invalid, a blind woman and two older women. We will remember how these soldiers did not allow these four persons to go to the restroom for nine days. We will remember the soldiers who herded members of the Samouni family into one house and were themselves positioned 80 meters from it when it was shelled, with all its residents inside, under orders from brigade commander Ilan Malka – someone else whom we will remember, of course.

 

The list goes on and on, and we ask forgiveness from those we haven’t cited due to lack of space. But on this occasion we shall especially remember the soldiers at a certain post in the eastern part of Khan Yunis.

 

On Saturday, January 17, 2009, at 8:46 (a day before the cessation of the attacks ), I received the following letter from the United States in my inbox: “My father and two brothers were attacked yesterday [Friday, January 16th] while driving home from their farm. One brother [Kassab – 27] died, but the father [Mohammed Shurrab – 64] and the remaining brother [Ibrahim – 17] are now wounded and stranded in an Israeli Defense Force (IDF ) controlled area. They were attacked between 1:00-1:30 P.M. local time during the cease-fire time, and emergency services are unable to reach them.”

 

The IDF did not allow an ambulance to approach this area; the letter writer, Amer Shurrab, believed that media pressure would help bring about such authorization. “We are very desperate, and trying as many avenues as possible to get aid to reach them. If you know even a foot soldier who might be able to push the ball by calling a local commander we would really appreciate any help,” he wrote.

 

Shurrab did not know that while he was writing this desperate appeal to a person he did not know, his second brother was already dead, after bleeding in his father’s arms for 10 hours. The bereaved brother also did not know that from 6 A.M. that same Saturday, Tom, a field worker for the Physicians for Human Rights nonprofit organization, was in touch with me.

 

This was a case of death on via live broadcast: Until the battery of the father’s cell phone went dead, Shurrab phoned his relatives in Gaza and the United States, as well as the Red Crescent and the Red Cross, Tom from PHR, and local journalists.

 

The humanitarian cease-fire, as it was called by the IDF, had lasted on that Friday from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M. The father, who was driving, and his two sons passed an IDF checking position, and were allowed to continue on. Around 1 P.M. they reached the Abu Zeidan supermarket, in the Al Fukhary neighborhood in eastern Khan Yunis, whose residents had fled at the start of the ground attack. The neighboring house, the largest building on the street, had been turned into an army base two weeks beforehand. Shots were fired from this base at the Shurrab car. Wounded in his chest, Kassab got out of the jeep, collapsed and died. Ibrahim jumped out of the vehicle, and was then wounded in his leg by unrelenting gunfire.

 

The father was wounded in the arm, but managed to drag his surviving son to a nearby wall. He saw a tank, and soldiers coming and going. The soldiers could see him. At 11 P.M., 10 hours after the shooting, still pinned against the wall, the father noticed that his bleeding son was becoming cold and that his breathing was becoming labored. He managed to carry his son back to the gunshot-riddled vehicle, hoping it would be warmer there. But half an hour after midnight, between Friday and Saturday, the son drew his last breath, in his father’s arms.

 

All this occurred some 50 or 100 meters from the soldiers. Periodically, the newly bereaved father spoke on the phone with Tom who, stationed in his Tel Aviv home throughout the night, joined the Red Cross in efforts to persuade the army to allow an ambulance to come immediately to the scene. The European Gaza Hospital is located some two kilometers, a one- or two-minute ride, from this area.

 

Around 9:30 Saturday morning Tom was informed that the IDF had given authorization for the ambulance to come at noon that day.

 

At the time, the IDF Spokesman relayed that, “In general, during the cease-fire the IDF opened fire only when rockets were fired at Israel, or shots were fired at the IDF. We are unable to investigate and retrieve the facts of every incident, or to verify or deny each piece of information that is brought to our attention. The ambulance’s entry was allowed only after an assessment was made of the situation in the field, and a decision was reached that operational conditions allowed such entry. The wounded persons [!!] were evacuated by the Palestinian health ministry, and brought to the hospital in Rafah.”

 

I well remember those anonymous solders who destroyed the Shurrab family. Upon my arrival at the site on January 24, I discovered that they had left behind not only the usual images of destruction, and the routine filth, at the Palestinian home from which they fired shots against this family: They also left behind the inscription, “Kahane was right.”

++++++

4.  Haaretz

Monday, December 2, 2012

Israel is missing another opportunity for peace

The Israeli government doesn’t want peace; there’s nothing new in that: It has been the proven way since the establishment of the state. But the public, for its part, does want peace.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/israel-is-missing-another-opportunity-for-peace-1.405001

By Merav Michaeli

Tags: Middle East peace Palestinian reconciliation

Reading through the papers these days gives one a sense of deja vu – as if we are back in 2002 and the Saudi peace initiative is being presented for the first time: All the Arab states are offering Israel full normalization of relations “in the context of peace,” in return for an independent Palestinian state in keeping with the 1967 borders and a just solution to the refugee issue.

 

An amazing historic initiative – and, seemingly, Israel’s greatest dream and its perfect triumph. But the Israeli regime doesn’t even respond, displaying total disregard as if the initiative never existed.

 

In 2007, the Saudi initiative was again approved by the Arab League, and still – not a single voice in response. The initiative was even ratified by the Organization of the Islamic Conference; but from Israel – nothing. It doesn’t even consider the option of entering into negotiations over it.

 

The thing is, it is not only the regime that is displaying total disregard. The Israeli media – frighteningly institutionalized as it has always been – also almost completely ignored the Saudi initiative. In fact, the initiative was so ignored that the vast majority of Israeli citizens – yes, all of you – aren’t even aware of the existence of the initiative and its historic, revolutionary content. And even those who did notice it thought to themselves: If it is getting overlooked that way, it must be really negligible and it’s probably me who misunderstood it.

 

And now, in real time, it is happening once again: Hamas is suspending its acts of terror, opting for popular resistance, recognizing a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders and even joining the Palestine Liberation Organization, the organization empowered to conduct negotiations with Israel. They aren’t saying it outright, but joining the PLO also means accepting the agreements signed with Israel; and there is also the recognition of Israel, as well as responsibility and partnership in political decisions.

 

This, too, is a truly historic event. Granted, Ismail Haniyeh did visit with the Muslim Brotherhood on Saturday and make declarations about the destruction of Israel; but he is the man who wasn’t consulted vis-a-vis joining the PLO and who is about to lose his post as prime minister, and he is kicking and screaming – not at us, but at Khaled Meshal.

 

On the other hand, at the same time, the Palestinian Authority has proposed that Israel release 100 prisoners in return for the resumption of talks – prisoners from the pre-Oslo period, less than one-tenth of the number released in the Shalit deal. But from Israel once again – absolutely nothing.

 

A spokesman for Netanyahu – not even the man himself – explains why it isn’t good and isn’t even being considered; and the media again fall in line, dedicating barely a report and a half with the word “historic,” in the same tone as if the issue at hand was the crowning of the “American Idol” winner.

 

Gideon Levy wrote about it yesterday in an article in Haaretz; and on Thursday, Haaretz published an editorial on the subject – everyone plays his part and the caravan moves on, as if nothing has happened.

 

Instead of drawing our attention to the new opportunity, the media and politicians continue to distract us with their obsessive wallowing in the issue of the yellow stars. The Holocaust again – and again, and again and again. Why give a chance to something that can extricate us from this pattern of the victim that we find so cozy to live in?

 

And meanwhile, in Bibi-land, new settlements are sprouting up and outposts are being authorized; and Minister Yisrael Katz is pushing ahead quickly with the rail line and Israeli sovereignty from Ariel to the Tapuah Junction to ensure the demise of the two-state solution. The Israeli government doesn’t want peace; there’s nothing new in that: It has been the proven way since the establishment of the state.

 

But the public, for its part, does want peace. The public did actually want an agreement. But the public, as usual, is exhausted from it all. Who cares? After all, there aren’t any terror attacks, so we don’t see Palestinians, not even on television. We don’t see the settlements either. Who can remember the particulars about Migron and Ramat Gilad when the cost of living is pressing down so hard?

 

But when the public wakes up one day and wants to know how it became so exploited by its government, how it continued to be sent to man checkpoints and lose sons under the excuse that there is no partner for a deal and no one with whom to make peace, when in fact there was, it would be worthwhile to think back to these very days: Here’s another opportunity that beckons before us, right under our noses; but our noses are stuffed by the stench of political and social rot, which continues to accumulate with every passing day.

+++++

5.  Haaretz

Monday, January 2, 2012

 

Palestinians plan diplomatic steps to put Israel under ‘international siege’

Top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat to meet Netanyahu’s envoy in Jordan Tuesday for preliminary talks aimed at setting an agenda for peace negotiations.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/palestinians-plan-diplomatic-steps-to-put-israel-under-international-siege-1.404973

By Barak Ravid, Avi Issacharoff and Natasha Mozgovaya

Tags: Palestinian reconciliation Palestinian Authority Benjamin Netanyahu UN Security Council UNESCO Israel settlements

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s envoy Isaac Molho will meet with top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat in Amman Tuesday for preliminary talks aimed at setting an agenda for peace negotiations, even as the Palestinians are preparing a diplomatic campaign that aims to put Israel under “a real international siege.”

 

Among those who have been pushing hard for the meeting Tuesday, the first official meeting between Israeli and Palestinian representatives in several months, are Jordan’s King Abdullah and Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh and the Quartet’s Mideast envoy, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Senior Israeli officials said there was very little chance that the meeting would lead to the renewal of negotiations.

 

The diplomatic offensive the Palestinians are planning to launch later this month could include pushing the UN Security Council to pass a resolution condemning settlement construction and urging the International Criminal Court to try Israel for war crimes related to its 2008-2009 incursion into the Gaza Strip.

 

2012 “will be the start of an unprecedented diplomatic campaign on the part of the Palestinian leadership, and it will be a year of pressure on Israel that will put it under a real international siege,” said Fatah Central Committee member Nabil Sha’ath, according to an Israeli Foreign Ministry document. “The campaign will be similar to the one waged against apartheid in South Africa.”

 

According to information that has reached Israel, the Palestinians are considering several steps as part of their campaign:

 

* Asking the UN Security Council in February to pass a resolution that would condemn settlement construction and impose international sanctions on Israel. If a resolution were brought to a vote, all Security Council members other than the United States would be expected to vote in favor.

 

* Urging the International Criminal Court in The Hague to try Israel for war crimes related to Operation Cast Lead. If that fails, Palestinian officials are likely to encourage Palestinian citizens to file lawsuits against Israel in Western courts.

 

* Pushing for the implementation the articles of the Fourth Geneva Convention that ban the construction of communities and transfer of populations in occupied territory. The Palestinians have been trying for some time now to persuade the Swiss government to convene the signatories on the document for a special debate on the subject of applying the Geneva Convention in the West Bank.

 

* Asking the UN General Assembly or the UN Human Rights Council to send an international fact-finding committee to look into the settlement issue.

 

* Renewing efforts in the UN Security Council to secure full-membership status for Palestine, or asking the UN General Assembly for status as a nonmember state. A similar move was suspended last October after UNESCO, the United Nations’ cultural agency, accepted Palestine as a member, in response to which Israel froze Palestinian tax revenues.

 

* Organizing mass rallies against Israel in the West Bank, as part of a non-violent popular uprising. In reconciliation talks between Hamas and Fatah, the head of the Hamas political bureau, Khaled Meshal, said the two movements would focus their activities on a popular uprising in an effort to draw international attention to the Israeli occupation.

 

The diplomatic campaign is expected to begin January 26, which marks the end of the three-month period the Quartet alloted to Israel and the Palestinian Authority for resuming talks and presenting substantive proposals on borders and security arrangements.

 

The Palestinians agreed not to take any unilateral steps in international forums before that date.

 

No breakthrough in Israeli-Palestinian talks is expected before then, according to an Israeli source who met recently with several senior Palestinian officials.

 

In an interview Saturday with Palestinian television, PA President Mahmoud Abbas said that if the Quartet failed in its efforts to renew talks between Israel and the Palestinians before January 26, “all options will be open” as far as the Palestinian Authority is concerned.

 

Speaking about tomorrow’s meeting between Molho and Erekat, senior Israeli officials said there is a deep mistrust on both sides and that the Israelis and Palestinians are each trying to convince the Quartet to hold the other side responsible for the failure to resume peace talks.

 

The meeting does not mark the resumption of negotiations, just a run-up to them that involves deciding on the agenda for future peace talks and the principles on which they would be based.

 

“We’re talking about negotiations on holding negotiations,” said a senior Israeli source.

 

Blair and Judeh will sit in on the first part of tomorrow’s meeting between Molho and Erekat, as will representatives of all the parties that make up the Quartet: the United States, United Nations, Russia and the European Union. In the second part of the meeting, Judeh will hold discussions with Molho and Erekat.

 

In a statement from the Prime Minister’s Bureau, Israel thanked Abdullah and Judeh “for their initiative in convening the sides in keeping with the Quartet guidelines.”

Posted in Nova NewsletterComments Off on Dorothy Online Newsletter

COMMENT ON ZIO-ISLAMOPHOBIC GREENSTI’S BLOG

NOVANEWS

” islam has introduced sectarianism into the Palestinian movement and has nothing to offer but further division” ‘ Bastard Zio-Islamophobic Tony Greenstein’

” The quoran also have passages that are chauvinist and today, in the context of state policy woul undonbtedly be deemed racist.” ‘ Bastard Zio-Islamophobic Tony Greenstein’

Post a Comment On: Zio-Islamophobic Tony Greenstein’s Blog

Blogger Zio-Nazi Anthony Cooper  said…

”Tony I’m confused by the motion you’ve tabled (motion 9). The third point calls for education in order to reinforce the principles laid out in the first two points. However, the things you seek to make people understand seem completely irrelevant to ensuring that anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial have no place in the PSC.

Could you explain why you aren’t seeking to educate the PSC members about the history of anti-Semitism and about the Holocaust if your desire is to ensure that PSC members don’t slip into anti-Semitism or Holocaust denial?”

2 January 2012

Blogger Zio-Islamophobic Tony Greenstein said…Anthony

” The reason is that PSC is a solidarity organisation and it would no more have internal education about the holocaust or anti-Semitism than any other solidarity organisation.

To our mind there is little connection between Zionism, which was a political movement formed, if you take 1881 as the starting point, some 60 years before the holocaust.

Likewise the history of anti-Semitism is likely to be contentious given that Zionist historiography has come into sharp dispute with diaspora historians over this and it seeks to rewrite the past from a distorted view of the present.

As I wrote in my review of Gabriel Piterberg’s superb ‘The Returns of Zionism’:

‘Zionism rejected all the great Jewish historians of the Diaspora – Heinrich Graetz, Simon Dubnow, Salo Baron. They lived in ‘exile’ and therefore could not appreciate ‘real’ Jewish history as viewed from Mount Scopus and Palestine. As Raz-Krakotzkin, described it, Zionist history is the history of the victor. To the ‘Princess of Zionism’ Anita Shapira even the Nazi holocaust could only be understood on Jewish national soil even though it took placed in the accursed diaspora. As Piterberg notes, ‘Arendt committed what is for Zionist Israeli scholars, from Scholem to Shapira, the cardinal sin: she had a universalise perspective’

I suspect our take on the history of anti-Semitism would diverge because I don’t accept the Zionist myth that there were 2,000 years of unbroken anti-Semitism. Jews were oppressors and oppressed. In general they lived far better lives than the peasants and serfs around them. This resulted from time to time in pogroms etc.

But the real point is that the history of anti-Semitism is in any case of very limited value. Anti-Semitism in medieval times cannot be compared with the Nazi genocide. Even in Latvia the Nazis found it hard, as the Situation Reports filed by the Einsatzgruppen testify, to initiate pogroms. In feudal times they tended to die out like brushwood and the state had no interest in such a conflagration.

That was why fascist anti-Semitism marked a sharp break from the past in many ways. I don’t have time to deal with this, but there were Polish anti-Semitic leaders who, realising that anti-Semitism was being used to destroy Polish nationalism, moved to a position of opposition. Poland is another story so I’ll leave it.

The reason we have proposed the things we have is to combat the idea that support for Israel, the Zionist lobby etc. is somehow the property of Jews and is in effect a Jewish lobby.

It is important to show that the main lobby for Israel in the US, whilst using Jews as cover, comes from the Christian Right, in particular Hagee’s CUFI. Hagee, despite the defence of him by Foxman et al, is acknowledged to be a virulent anti-Semite who saw Hitler as fulfilling a divine mission. Likewise Glenn Beck, who was recently accorded an invitation to address the Knesset, waxes lyrical on Jewish financiers, the Rothschilds and other topics not a million miles form Atzmon.

It is, interestingly, in view of the HP discussion, one of the key arguments of Atzmon that Israel is NOT a colonial entity nor was it formed by colonialism. For him it was the Jews, again a mirror image of Zionism.

You will of course disagree with this, but in our view, an education about the origins of Zionism, not least to show how Jews were the main opponents of it and anti-Semites the main supporters (and there can be no dispute about this – from Class to Drumont to Rosenberg etc.)

It is the failure to understand Zionism which leads people to see being Jewish and Zionist as synonymous. That means your side ending once and for all the continual conflation of the two, but we know they won’t, hence the problems that arise.

3 January 2012

 

Zio-Nazi Anthony Cooper  said…

I recognise your approach now. However, I find it troubling.

Your position is part of the continuum of Jewish opinion. This continuum stretches from one extreme (such as wanting all Arabs murdered), through slavish support of every Israel policy, via discomfort and opposition to some and to the other extreme of opposing every policy and wanting Israel to disappear.

This much ought to be obvious. More so, no anti-racist organisation should need education not to realise that an individual’s opinion is not determined by his skin colour or the religion of his parents. As such, regardless of the comments of any Jewish organisation, anti-racists should realise that Jews do not speak with one voice on this issue. How could they be anti-racist if they didn’t?

And so the question is whether you’re approach is helpful. I don’t see that it is, at least not without accepting that your colleagues in the PSC are currently not actually anti-racist.

Your motion and intended education material does not challenge their seemingly racist notion that all (or most) Jews share the same opinion. Educating them about Jewish opposition to Zionism doesn’t tackle the underlying lack of anti-racism.

Moreover, I think your proposal and indeed the entire anti-Israel “as a Jew” phenomenon, may exacerbate the problem. The tendency is to imply a simple dichotomy in which those who oppose Israel publicly are “good Jews” and everyone else is a “bad Jew” who, by virtue of not opposing Israel, must support every policy and action.

In my article that you quoted in your post, I point to one example of this result. The opposition of Neturei Karta to Zionism did not lead to an understanding that there is a continuum of Jewish opinion. It simply led to the racist slightly amending his racism to include a special category for “good Jews”.

I’d be very interested to hear whether you share my concerns and, in particular, whether you accept that an anti-racist organisation ought to understand without special education that no racial, ethnic or religious group speaks with one voice even if some members of that group claim that it does.

3 January 2012

Blogger Zio-Islamophobic Tony Greenstein said…Paul

you ask why it is that when so many of the injustices I complain about have nothing to do with race do I insist on calling them racist.

I make a distinction between racism and racist. There is no such thing as ‘race’, it is a political construct. However racism certainly exists, based on this false construction. I.e. people are arbitrarily discriminated against on the grounds of their perceived ‘race’ or lower status. That is why I say their treatment is racist.

Not all injustices are of course racist and you won’t find me describing the government attack on the low paid, pensions, claimants etc. as racist because of course they apply equally to those of all ‘races’.

3 January 2012

Blogger Zio-Islamophobic Tony Greenstein said.:

”..Anthony, you say that ‘no anti-racist organisation should need education not to realise that an individual’s opinion is not determined by his skin colour or the religion of his parents.’

I agree. However it is not as simple as that. You say ‘regardless of the comments of any Jewish organisation, anti-racists should realise that Jews do not speak with one voice on this issue.’

Therein lies the problem. There is a deafening cacophony of wall to wall noise that says, explicitly and insistently, backed up by the court papers of the establishment, that says to be Jewish is to support Israel. The BOD organises demonstrations ‘Jews Stand by Israel’ when there is an attack on Gaza. Not ‘some Jews’ but’Jews’. And those of us who dissent are ‘self-haters’ i.e. the bad Jews but worse, because they borrow the language and concepts of how Nazi Germany treated anti-fascist Germans.

In short you are trying to have your cake and eat it. Zionism can hardly proclaim to speak on behalf of all Jews as a ‘national’ movement, not individual Jews, and then complain when people take them at their word.

Therein lies the problem. Some supporters of the Palestinians do accept the Zionist claims and therefore all Jews are seen as the enemy. It is a situation entirely of Zionism’s own making. And we have on the HP blog that has discussed, appallingly, your article and in the repeated proclamations of J Hoffman the insistence that ‘aZ = aS’.

I believe that it is only through an understanding of the origins of Zionism, Jewish opposition to it, why Jews opposed it, how Zionism arose and the context, which of course is modern day anti-Semitism, that an understanding can be garnered that it is the growth of AS that led to a growth of Zionism.

In fact the majority of supporters of the Palestinians do understand this. It is a minority we are talking about but it is a minority I wish to see reduced to insignificance.

Well clearly there are some associated with Palestinian politics, including PSC, who are not confused at best, for the reasons I have given above. In fact I believe that nearly all of them, including Gill Kaffash, are primarily motivated by opposition to the primary racism of Israel and Zionism and when Jewish organisations say that Jews AS Jews are responsible, that there then begins a process of what Marxists call false consciousness. The co-existence of 2 contradictory trends inside one’s head.

When I speak ‘as a Jew’ against Zionism I don’t imply that all other Jews are bad. I speak for myself alone but I do so, because there are others, speaking ‘as Jews’ who attack things like Boycott because they are Jewish. That is the context in which I speak as someone who is Jewish.

But certainly, if someone proclaims that they are shackling children, confiscating homes, expelling refugees etc. in the name of all Jews I do think it is incumbent on Jews to speak out. Certainly morally but I’ve never criticised someone who remained silent.

But we could contextualise this. Was there an obligation on Germans to oppose Nazi policies, despite the terrible risks between 1933-41?

Neturei Karta’s oosition is different as it stems primarily from their religious not political views, though religion and politics cannot be separated.”

3 January 2012

Blogger Zio-Islamophobic Tony Greenstein said…

” So yes, of course PSC is an anti-racist organisation. But it is also a solidarity organisation and people come into it from varied backgrounds and opinions. That is a fact. There is so much any organisation can do and we have proposed a modest programme of education. Our activity is the best guarantor.

I should add that the most vociferous opponents of Atzmon, many of whose young activists were on the picket of Atzmon’s book launch were the same people decried as ‘Jew haters’ by Geoffrey Alderman when he rejoiced in the death of an Italian activist, ie the ISM. It is often those who less active and older who seem attracted by Atzmon who in fact opposes solidarity actions.

So when you ask whether I accept that ‘no racial, ethnic or religious group speaks with one voice even if some members of that group claim that it does’ then of course the answer is yes. But the real problem, as I think u understand, is that there are many others who are insistent that Jews are a collective and do speak with one voice and, as you know, there is great pressure in the Jewish community not to rock the boat or criticise Israel.”

3 January 2012

Posted in CampaignsComments Off on COMMENT ON ZIO-ISLAMOPHOBIC GREENSTI’S BLOG

Of Exclusivity, Loyalty and Liberation of Palestine

NOVANEWS

Jewish-Only Organizations . . . A Closer Look

Due to recent events of alienation and/or expulsion of members of Palestine Solidarity Movement, including Palestinians, it became more and more evident that there are elements in the Solidarity Movement who continue to stir up friction and splits amongst activists, that leads to alienation of many genuine activists and even exiled Palestinians.

Such elements also continue to cause distraction by filtering information to prevent members from understanding the role of the larger Jewish community world wide in influencing their respective governments to support “Israel”, and to prevent from understanding the impact of the presence of racist ideology on the standpoints and attitudes of the Jewish communities, and the implication of such ideology on Palestinians;

This state of affairs should raise alarm to anyone interested in Justice and Peace, that means anyone who works to put an end to decades of Palestinian suffering, and its slow genocide, and to anyone who understands that such high objectives require promoting the Liberation of Palestine.

It is also apparent that many of these destabilizing elements are simultaneously members of OTHER organizations, which membership approval operates through exclusivity, and restricted only to people of Jewish background.

Moreover, it is manifest that many of these Jewish-only organizations declare publicly that their prime motive for their activism is out of concern for the welfare of “Israel” and the “Israeli society”. Worse, some of these organizations do not even conceal that their criticism of “Israel” is done out of “love” and loyalty to this criminal entity. Simply put, they criticise and condemn “Israel” primarily to protect and help it thrive and survive.

This kind of blind allegiance and deep loyalty to “Israel is of course expected from and omnipresent amongst hyper-Zionists and their circles, but it is quite disturbing to find the same loyalty amongst “supporters of Palestine” of Jewish background. It also interesting to notice that even hyper-Zionists, through their think tanks, have recently arrived to the same conclusion that their counterparts Jewish anti-Zionists have known for decades; namely open criticism of “Israel” IS the best way to defend it. As we can see for example, in Mick Davis’s article: “Open debate is our best way of defending Israel in the diaspora,” The Jewish Chronicle, 17 June 2010. The article also appears on the website of the Jewish Chronicle under the title “Defending Israel in the diaspora”.

Through my research and extensive work, it became evident that the prime allegiance of many Jewish anti-Zionist organizations is not to Palestine or the Palestinians; their loyalty is to “Israeli” Jews and to the artificially manufactured “Israeli” society. It also seems clear that the prime motive for the activism of many members of such organizations is the concern for the welfare and future of “Israelis” and the perpetuation of their colonial society.

Factual and thorough scrutiny of these organizations invariably indicates that their primary concern and main focus are the following:

How to best consolidate and reinforce a good, secure and thriving future for the INVENTED*** “nation” of “Israel”, on the Historical Land STOLEN from its ancestral inhabitants, the Palestinians;

How to best disculpate the Jewish communities worldwide from their responsibility of decades of financial, political, moral and even military support of their “beacon of light”, “Israel”;

How to best further the interests of such invented “nation”, after the finalization of their imposed facts on the grounds, and getting rid of the banner of Zionism;

How to best ensure and secure the permanent presence of an invading settler society after grabbing most of the LAND of Palestine by wars of terror and conquest;

How to best pacify and allure Palestinians into accepting foreign violent invaders as rightful co-owners of Palestine and future “partners”;

How to best promote “Israeli” settler society as “liberal peace-loving, whose main concern would be to live in peace and security, but who just happened to be “unfortunately” plagued with corrupt leadership;

How to best conceal that their garment of humanism and thin veneer of ethics is directed principally at “saving Israelis from themselves” and thereby their own reputation, rather than unconditional and altruistic protection of the dispossessed, terrorised, besieged and occupied Palestinians, and their moral cause of Liberation.

How best to divert the limited energy of activism into supporting “Israeli peace camp”, “Israeli” organizations, and “Israeli”individuals and treat as angels and heroes those of them who exhibit a minuscule doze of normal human behaviour;

It is glaringly evident that the above listed motives and aims, do not fully hold the Palestinians’ welfare or interest at heart. They are neither intertwined, nor even the slightest convergent with Palestinian aims, who are mainly Liberationist.

What is troubling, is that motives and objectives of such Jewish-only groups, as listed above, also stand in stark contradiction with the Nuremberg Principles, especially the sixth principle which happens to have been established in the aftermath of WW2 crimes, and these crimes are still instrumentalized as a main pretext for the occupation of Palestine, in-spite of the fact that Palestinians had no connection whatsoever with WW2 crimes.

Arguably, standards of moral fiber and legal consistency, are ignored or at best stretched ad absurdum by members of Jewish-only organizations who claim to stand with Palestine.

Those of us who venture into the necessary exposure of this inconvenient reality, are subjected to brutal -and often illicit forms of attacks by the enforcers of Zionist narrative, encroaching on strictly domestic matters of government, including the judicial administration, to strangle our respective freedoms.

Dual-loyalty to two opposed parties, one being the torturer, and the other being his victim, is in practice a myth. Thus it is not surprising that those involved operate in secrecy, in the exclusion of “the others side”.

While non-Jewish candidates are barred from becoming member, by definition membership to Jewish-only organizations is open to ANY person from Jewish background. This makes it piece of cake for SayanimMossad agents, Shin Bet and Zionist sympathisers to effortlessly infiltrate, manipulate and steer such organizations. No wonder then, that so many Jewish-only groups who claim to be “pro-Palestinians” appear to be more interested with aims more in tune with securing the presence of “Israelis” in Palestine, than the restoration of Palestinian sovereignty.

This brings us to the core problem: while those members of Jewish only organizations have the privilege (and rightly so) to be members and never excluded from pro-Palestinian organization, the opposite is not true. i.e we are faced with an alarming phenomenon whereby, Palestinians and non-Jewish individuals are systematically excluded from participating, having an input, debating, voting, influencing or even being informed about or simply being aware with the inner dynamics and the type and topics of discussions that takes place inside such Jewish only organizations.

The outcome of such asymmetrical and un-mutual arrangement is what we have seen lately, matters are discussed amongst these exclusive groups, decisions are taken, and then the pro-Palestinian organizations are approached, persuaded, pressured or coerced to adhere to those propositions and motions.

The secrecy and lack of transparency surrounding that type of activities is allowing inside the solidarity movement people who are not necessary or entirely genuine supporters of Palestine, “fair-weather friends”, people who are in essence more interested in the long term “Israeli” interest, than genuine support of Palestine. At best, their claimed care for the suffering of the oppressed society come secondary.

Signing petitions, giving out leaflets, stating words of support, throwing some crumbs to Palestinians, accompanied with patronizing pats on the shoulders, believing that they have done their humanistic “duty” of siding with justice, while simultaneously continuing to aim and work for securing the right of the invading “Israelis” to practice their “self determination” in someone else Homeland, reflects no doubt ethical blindness and almost moral bankruptcy. Imposing on Palestine forced marriage with a rapist monster is an obscenity.

Such ethical inconsistency of crying with the victim while protecting the criminal, is a regrettable case of hypocrisy and self deception.

Throughout the Palestinian movement, recent events reveal that some people on board of our movement deleterious to the Palestinian cause and some probably are disingenuous. Thus, such unhealthy, asymmetrical and exclusionary structures are indeed destabilizing and crippling the efficiency of Palestine Solidarity Movement, an efficiency vital to a Palestinian population under threat of annihilation… these are not trivial matters.

As a matter of principle, we refuse to apply the same exclusionary methods amongst pro Palestinian organization and will never resort to such racist exclusiveness. We cannot continue to claim to be humanist anti-racist while accepting simultaneously, the exclusionary nature applied by such organizations, especially in the light of compromised loyalty, and what we know about the sinister Mossad activities and the ease with which they infiltrate such groups.

It is therefore essential to crack open the shells of exclusion and secrecy, wherein topics of discussions are about “unfavourable” information to filter, which debates to “allow” and where to draw boundaries, and sinister attacks against activists who might not conform to “permissible” line of discourse are cooked.

Under such conditions, it is imperative for the Palestine Solidarity movement to introduce a regulation that will allow room for transparency and reciprocity. Failure to address this issue would cause the continuation and aggravation of the crippling shift that has already befallen the movement.

.

Whereas, unfounded accusations racism and anti-Semitism between individuals of Jewish background against themselves andagainst others, are used to benefit the occupier; to silence dissenters and push out freethinkers, on the say-so of a few members in the movement, who claim the exclusive right to define and identify racism and anti-Semitism;

Whereas, such accusations and character assassination of activists does not in any shape or form advance the cause of Palestine nor alleviate the Palestinian suffering;

Whereas, such “war of words” can only cause distraction, waste of time and energy, and puts in the spotlight, yet again, people of Jewish background, bickering between themselves about their identity, while shifting the focus away from the core issues: PALESTINIANS and the LIBERATION of PALESTINE;

Whereas, those very same “agents” who go hysterical in their accusation of anti_Semitism and pretend to be enemies of racism, take a lead and join the camp of hyper-Zionist in spreading Islamophobia, liesfear and mistrust against what they call “Islamists” and “political Islam” to discredit the Islamic Movements of the Middle-East which is a product of and a response to the pulse of the Arab street,

[Quote:

Islam has introduced sectarianism into the Palestinian movement and has nothing to offer but further division“~~~Tony Greenstein]

[Quote:

the Quoran also have passages that are chauvinist and today, in the context of state policy, would undoubtedly be deemed racist“~~~~Tony Greenstein]

Whereas some Jewish-anti Zionist supporters call for a two state solution with a thriving and secured Israel they love, whereby they actively support the theft of 80% of Palestine;

Whereas some others insist that the only solution should be a one secular state, one member one vote, whereby they establish a precondition that would not only exculpate the occupiers from any responsibility or blame but also grant the occupier lands that does not belong to them, rights that they have not earned and protection that they don’t deserve.

Whereas, many of those Jewish “anti-Zionists” are full members of the Palestinian movements and have the privilege to be part of and to vote in any organization they desire;

Whereas, they continue to exclude Palestinians and other non-Jewish individuals from being part of and voting in their Jewish-only organizations;

Whereas, Zionist methods of false accusations of anti-Semitism / Holocaust denial are used to neutralize and exclude, or push away certain members of the Solidarity Movement, including Palestinian refugees! (a crass mirror of the ethnic cleansing happening in Palestine);

Whereas, Jewish anti-Zionist individuals and groups have the right to vote and have the weight to even tilt the vote, have access to the minutes of meetings and have the privilege of being heard and their opinions respected in the broader solidarity movement;

Whereas, such affiliated Jewish groups do generally restrict their membership to Jews, hence barring non-Jewish persons from participating, or from having the right of access to their meetings as an observer, let alone from a vote within their tightly knit fellowship;

Whereas, the fundamental element of trust about the authenticity of intentions, about motivation, aims, and actions of such groups, has been profoundly shaken;

It appears evident that:

To put an end to this predicament, the exclusionary nature of such organizations must be revoked, and the fair and mutual openness to membership without discrimination against race, culture or religion must be requested.

The Solidarity Movement needs to have a system of disclosure of political affiliation of its prospective members, making it a contractual obligation of disclosure of their membership to any hitherto Jewish-only organization, or to any other organization linked to either the Palestinian cause, or to the occupiers of Palestine aka “Israelis”.

Representatives of the Solidarity Movements must have the mutual right to have access to and to be fairly represented in the insofar exclusive Jewish-only organizations, in equal numbers, and have rights to vote in these organizations.

To avoid any further mistrust, friction, crippling or fragmentation, reciprocity and mutual open membership is the way forward.

Addendum:

Like many others, I was recently attacked with the usual slander-words “racist, antisemite” (for writingthis article) My mud-slinging antagonists were not mouth-frothing Zionists, but Jewish members from inside the Solidarity movement, whom I used to consider as “friends”, and who know me well and for many years. As soon other friends came to my defence, the accusers -probably feeling a bit awkward, had the brilliant idea to declare that they do not actually accuse me as a person but it’s rather my article which is racist, and is at fault! Therefore, and to their address, I end this article with a note of humour in form of some disclaimers:

  • Disclaimer 1: The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of the author, they are the sole responsibility of the article itself.

  • Disclaimer 2: Healthy Criticism of some Jewish Organizations is NOT anti-Semitic.

  • Disclaimer 3: Political Disagreement is Kosher… Thinking independently is not a Sin… and Striving for Liberation is Halal.

Posted by Nahida -Exiled Palestinian

Posted in CampaignsComments Off on Of Exclusivity, Loyalty and Liberation of Palestine

SANTORUM–I WILL BOMB IRAN NUCLEAR SITES

NOVANEWS

 

US Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has said he would bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities upon his election as president if Tehran does not open up its sites for international arms inspectors.

presstv.com

Talking to NBC television’s “Meet the Press,” Santorum said he would tell the Iranian leaders to either open up those facilities, begin to dismantle them and make them available to the inspectors – or the US would attack them.

The former Pennsylvania senator also slammed US President Barack Obama for not doing enough to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program. This, he said, risked turning the US into a “paper tiger.”

The remarks come as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has conducted numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities, but has never found any evidence indicating that Tehran’s nuclear program has been diverted towards weapons production.

Last week, Head of Iran’s Majlis (parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Alaeddin Boroujerdi welcomed the presence of IAEA inspectors in Iran, saying this can guarantee the presentation of realistic reports by the Agency.

On Monday, December 19, Western diplomats said Iran has reinstated an invitation offer for IAEA inspectors to visit the country after the IAEA chief rejected a previous October invitation, claiming that Tehran has refused to address the agency’s specific concerns.

Following the invitation, Iran’s Ambassador to the IAEA Ali Asghar Soltanieh said on Tuesday, December 20, that Tehran is ready to address any concerns about its nuclear program.

Iranian officials have also expressed numerous concerns about repeated efforts by the IAEA inspectors to leak data about Iran’s nuclear program and scientists to foreign governments, leading to terrorist attacks against a number of Iranian nuclear scholars. The IAEA has so far ignored Iran’s concerns.

The United States, Israel, and some of their allies accuse Tehran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear program and have used this pretext to push for the imposition of sanctions as well as to call for an attack on the country.

Iran, however, refutes such allegations as “baseless” and maintains that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the IAEA it has every right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

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POLICE INVESTIGATE REPORTS OF RACIST ATTACK ON ISLAMIC CENTER

NOVANEWS
The attacks resulted in damage but no injuries, the New York Police Department said.

The attacks resulted in damage but no injuries, the New York Police Department said.

(CNN) — A Molotov cocktail was tossed at an Islamic center in one of three attacks in New York City, authorities said early Monday.

The three attacks in Queens were at the Islamic center, a bodega, and a private house on Sunday night, officials said.

Molotov cocktails were used in all the attacks, resulting in some damage but no injuries, the New York Police Department said.

In a fourth incident, a fire damaged part of house, but it was too early to tell whether it was a result of a Molotov cocktail and was related to the other incidents, police said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo condemned the attacks in a statement Monday, saying such acts “go against everything we stand for as New Yorkers and Americans.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations called for police to increase security around mosques.

“Attacks on our nation’s houses of worship must be condemned by all Americans and should be investigated and prosecuted using all available law enforcement resources,” said Ibrahim Hooper, the national communications director for CAIR.

An investigation is ongoing.http://cache-02.cleanprint.net/media/swf/flashcomm.swf

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NAZI’S IN GAZA: ON ANNIVERSARY OF GAZA WAR, WE WILL REMEMBER IDF SOLDIERS WHO DESTROYED PALESTINIAN FAMILIES

NOVANEWS

By Amira Hass

Haaretz

On the third anniversary of the Cast Lead onslaught, we remember the anonymous soldiers who fired on a red car, in which a father, Mohammed Shurrab, and his two sons were returning home from their farm lands. It is not fair that the officer who then served as GOC Southern Command of the Israel Defense Forces, Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant, will be the only one remembered on this anniversary. Indeed, the list of fighters who should be mentioned and recalled is long.

We will remember the pilot who delivered the bomb that killed Mahmoud al-Ghoul, a high-school student, and his uncle Akram, an attorney, at the family’s home in northern Gaza. We will remember the soldiers who analyze photographs taken by drones, who decided that a truck conveying oxyacetylene cylinders for welding, owned by Ahmad Samur, was carrying Grad rockets – a decision that led to an order to bomb the vehicle from the air which, in turn, led to the deaths of eight persons, four of them minors.

We will remember the soldiers who turned the Abu Eida family home in eastern Jabalya into a base and place from which to shoot, and confined in one room an elderly invalid, a blind woman and two older women. We will remember how these soldiers did not allow these four persons to go to the restroom for nine days. We will remember the soldiers who herded members of the Samouni family into one house and were themselves positioned 80 meters from it when it was shelled, with all its residents inside, under orders from brigade commander Ilan Malka – someone else whom we will remember, of course.

The list goes on and on, and we ask forgiveness from those we haven’t cited due to lack of space. But on this occasion we shall especially remember the soldiers at a certain post in the eastern part of Khan Yunis.

On Saturday, January 17, 2009, at 8:46 (a day before the cessation of the attacks ), I received the following letter from the United States in my inbox: “My father and two brothers were attacked yesterday [Friday, January 16th] while driving home from their farm. One brother [Kassab – 27] died, but the father [Mohammed Shurrab – 64] and the remaining brother [Ibrahim – 17] are now wounded and stranded in an Israeli Defense Force (IDF ) controlled area. They were attacked between 1:00-1:30 P.M. local time during the cease-fire time, and emergency services are unable to reach them.”

The IDF did not allow an ambulance to approach this area; the letter writer, Amer Shurrab, believed that media pressure would help bring about such authorization. “We are very desperate, and trying as many avenues as possible to get aid to reach them. If you know even a foot soldier who might be able to push the ball by calling a local commander we would really appreciate any help,” he wrote.

Shurrab did not know that while he was writing this desperate appeal to a person he did not know, his second brother was already dead, after bleeding in his father’s arms for 10 hours. The bereaved brother also did not know that from 6 A.M. that same Saturday, Tom, a field worker for the Physicians for Human Rights nonprofit organization, was in touch with me.

This was a case of death on via live broadcast: Until the battery of the father’s cell phone went dead, Shurrab phoned his relatives in Gaza and the United States, as well as the Red Crescent and the Red Cross, Tom from PHR, and local journalists.

The humanitarian cease-fire, as it was called by the IDF, had lasted on that Friday from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M. The father, who was driving, and his two sons passed an IDF checking position, and were allowed to continue on. Around 1 P.M. they reached the Abu Zeidan supermarket, in the Al Fukhary neighborhood in eastern Khan Yunis, whose residents had fled at the start of the ground attack. The neighboring house, the largest building on the street, had been turned into an army base two weeks beforehand. Shots were fired from this base at the Shurrab car. Wounded in his chest, Kassab got out of the jeep, collapsed and died. Ibrahim jumped out of the vehicle, and was then wounded in his leg by unrelenting gunfire.

The father was wounded in the arm, but managed to drag his surviving son to a nearby wall. He saw a tank, and soldiers coming and going. The soldiers could see him. At 11 P.M., 10 hours after the shooting, still pinned against the wall, the father noticed that his bleeding son was becoming cold and that his breathing was becoming labored. He managed to carry his son back to the gunshot-riddled vehicle, hoping it would be warmer there. But half an hour after midnight, between Friday and Saturday, the son drew his last breath, in his father’s arms.

All this occurred some 50 or 100 meters from the soldiers. Periodically, the newly bereaved father spoke on the phone with Tom who, stationed in his Tel Aviv home throughout the night, joined the Red Cross in efforts to persuade the army to allow an ambulance to come immediately to the scene. The European Gaza Hospital is located some two kilometers, a one- or two-minute ride, from this area.

Around 9:30 Saturday morning Tom was informed that the IDF had given authorization for the ambulance to come at noon that day.

At the time, the IDF Spokesman relayed that, “In general, during the cease-fire the IDF opened fire only when rockets were fired at Israel, or shots were fired at the IDF. We are unable to investigate and retrieve the facts of every incident, or to verify or deny each piece of information that is brought to our attention. The ambulance’s entry was allowed only after an assessment was made of the situation in the field, and a decision was reached that operational conditions allowed such entry. The wounded persons [!!] were evacuated by the Palestinian health ministry, and brought to the hospital in Rafah.”

I well remember those anonymous solders who destroyed the Shurrab family. Upon my arrival at the site on January 24, I discovered that they had left behind not only the usual images of destruction, and the routine filth, at the Palestinian home from which they fired shots against this family: They also left behind the inscription, “Kahane was right.”

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