Archive | March 27th, 2012

LEADERS OF THE ZIO-NAZI REGIME

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Palestine: no two-state solution possible

NOVANEWS

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 225

February/March 2012

In January 2012, the Israeli group Peace Now, issued a report, Torpedoing the Two State Solution – The Strategy of the Netanyahu Government, setting out the record levels of illegal Israeli settlement construction in 2011 in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and its clear objective of strangling any hope for a viable Palestinian state under the two-state solution scenario. Another report, written by European Union (EU) Heads of Mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah in 2011, and leaked to the press this January, comes to much the same conclusion after analysing the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from what is known as Area C in the West Bank. The Heads of Mission report expresses the concerns of European imperialism over developments in Israel and its potentially destabilising effects on the wider region. It also points to a developing rift with US imperialism over the issue. What is clear from both reports is that the strategy of the ‘two-state solution’ is a political dead end for the Palestinians. BOB SHEPHERD reports.

 

Peace Now shows that in 2011 there was a record 20% rise in housing unit construction starts in the colonial settlements in the West Bank, not including East Jerusalem. This means that at least 3,500 housing units were being built in the West Bank during 2011. Since November 2011 the Israeli Ministry of Housing has announced tenders for the construction of a further 1,201 housing units in the West Bank and 2,057 in East Jerusalem. Peace Now says that plans for 3,690 housing units in East Jerusalem have been approved, and that three areas in East Jerusalem are being targeted by Israel for such construction.

Peace Now argues that in a deliberate attempt to create ‘facts on the ground’, the Israeli state is expanding settlement construction on land that would be crucial to a future viable Palestinian state. These include areas between East Jerusalem and the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, development of which would virtually split the West Bank in two, the area around Bethlehem to the south of Jerusalem, and the expansion of the Ariel settlement to the north of the West Bank. During 2011 the Israeli government also recognised 11 new settlements in the West Bank by making official the squatting/stealing of Palestinian land by some 2,300 Israeli settlers.

The EU Heads of Mission report addresses Israel’s control of Area C in the West Bank. This includes ‘crucial natural resources and land for the future demographic and economic growth of a viable Palestinian state’ and comprises 62% of the land area in the West Bank. It has remained under Israeli control since the signing of the Oslo Agreement in 1993. All 124 illegal Israeli settlements are within Area C. The Heads of Mission say that Israel has ‘continuously undermined’ the Palestinian population in this area and through its actions is ‘rapidly closing the window’ on a two-state solution. They demonstrate that Israel is engaged in a policy of ‘forced transfer of the native population’ from Area C – in other words, ethnic cleansing. The settler population now stands at 310,000 while the Palestinian population has fallen to an estimated 150,000. In 1967, there were 200-320,000 Palestinians in just one part of what is now Area C alone, the agriculture-rich Jordan Valley. The Heads of Mission cite home demolitions, severe prohibitions on construction, settlement expansion, movement restrictions, and denial of access to land and water as ways Israel has used to expel Palestinians from this part of the West Bank. Now, fewer than 6% of West Bank Palestinians reside in an area that was expected to comprise the major part of any future Palestinian state.

The report recommends that the EU takes an active role in promoting Palestinian economic development, backing infrastructure projects related to roads, water, schools and medical clinics to ‘support the Palestinian people and help maintain their presence’. It says that the EU should be calling on Israel to halt demolitions of Palestinian houses and structures built without permits: there have been 4,800 since 2000. The EU should also be more vocal in raising objections to ‘involuntary population movements, displacements, evictions and internal migration’.

The EU is concerned that the continued unrestrained expansion of settlements and the suppression of the Palestinian people by the Zionists, supported by US imperialism, are creating a time bomb for imperialism in the Middle East. EU embassies in Israel have underlined this in a separate report leaked in December 2011 which argues that Israel’s treatment of its Palestinian citizens should move from being ‘second tier to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict’ to a ‘core issue’. It catalogues widespread discrimination in education, employment, housing and access to land and notes a surge in legislative proposals targeting the Palestinian minority and ‘a political climate in which discriminatory rhetoric and practice go unsanctioned’. It suggests that the EU should involve itself in promoting Palestinian rights within Israel, as tackling inequality ‘is integral to Israel’s long-term stability’.

The unending blockade of Gaza

At the end of 2011 Oxfam reported that,‘For the vast majority of people in Gaza, life has not become any easier, despite pledges by the Government of Israel in June and December 2010 to ease the ongoing blockade. Not only have certain commitments gone unfulfilled, but the unacceptably high levels of poverty and unemployment show that a token number of trucks cannot deliver what people need to rebuild their shattered lives. Karni crossing has been locked down, exports over the last year have all but ceased, and the entry of materials needed to kick start the economy remains hopelessly delayed. Residents of Gaza do not need more broken promises; they need meaningful change brought through an end to the blockade.’

Oxfam says that the import of goods is only 34% of the level before the blockade was imposed and 1% less than in 2010. There is still a ban on the import of building material for private firms and it is still severely restricted for the Palestinian Authority (PA) and NGOs working in Gaza. This has prevented the reconstruction of the 3,540 homes destroyed and 2,850 damaged during the Israeli onslaught on Gaza in 2008/2009, and the repair of water and sewage plants and other vital infrastructure. 90-95% of Gaza’s water supply from the underground aquifer is now undrinkable. Around 75% of the population is dependent on food aid.

The PLO collaborates with Israel

As the grip of Zionism tightens further, PA President Mahmoud Abbas has gone back on his position that no talks could take place with Israel until the settlement construction stopped by agreeing that the PLO would meet with representatives of Israel in Amman, Jordan. Four meetings were held in January, supposedly to explore the possibility of re-opening peace discussions. All Palestinian political groups apart from Fatah condemned the meetings. In Ramallah, a group called ‘Palestinians for Dignity’ held a number of demonstrations outside the PA headquarters condemning the talks. Its spokesperson said, ‘The PLO’s reneging on their promise to the Palestinian people and their return to negotiations implies that the leadership accepts the continued theft and seizure of Palestinian lands, legitimises the on-going attacks of the settlers, and furthermore undermines the Palestinian people as a whole.’

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انجازات ثورتكم: قتل وارهاب وتخريب

غسان جواد – بانوراما الشرق الأوسط

منذ ما يقلّ من عام تقريبا، كتبت مقالا على شكل رسالة مفتوحة الى احد الاصدقاء ممن سارعوا الى الترحيب بما يسمى “الثورة السورية” حذرته فيها من ذهاب البلاد نحو حرب اهلية، وارتفاع منسوب الخطاب المذهبي والتطرف وامكان وصول الحركات الاصولية الى السلطة على غرار بلدان عربية اخرى، والتدخلات الخارجية التي ستأتي حكما على حساب ما يطمح اليه الشعب السوري في الاصلاح والتطوير والتحديث.. وقد لفتني يومها تعليق كتبه احد “فناني الثورة” تحت مقالتي واقتبس بالحرف: “مع احترامي.. لكنني لم اجد في هذا المقال سوى تصدير للذعر”!!

تخطر في بالي هذه الرسالة الان، وهذا التعليق بعدما تأكدت مخاوفنا جميعها وبات جزء كبير منها متحققا او قاب قوسين من التحقق، اما تعليق الفنان المذكور “المسيحي بالهوية” السلفي في العقل والممارسة، فلم يكن سوى تعبير عن سقوط كبير في الخديعة والوهم حيث كان يظن معظم هؤلاء ان ايام النظام “معدودة” وهذا ما جعل بعضهم يتورط كثيرا ويتكلّم بإستعلاء منفّر كأنما الحقيقة على يمينه ويساره ومن فوقه وتحته. طبعا لم يكن جميع من انحاز للثورة في بدايتها مقتنعا او مؤمنا بها بدليل ان غالبيتهم كانوا منتفعين من عطايا السلطة وجزءا من الفساد الذي هاجموه ويهاجمونه الان، لكنّ الذي اشترته السلطة يوما بحفنة من الليرات السورية على شكل مشاريع ثقافية وفنية، اشترته مجددا “الثورة” بحفنة من العملة الخضراء اياها التي يضعف امامها المفكرون والمثقفون والكتبة المزعومون، الى درجة جعلت احدهم مؤخرا يدبج مقال مديح هائل بشيخ سلفي لأنه “افتى بجواز الشذوذ الجنسي” معتبرا اياه واحدا من “متنوري” هذا العصر من غير ان يتعب نفسه في البحث عن”تاريخ اللواط” لدى هؤلاء وكيف ان بعض مذاهبهم تقول بحليّته في كتب التاريخ والتراث.

لأن القضية السورية تعنيني من زاوية سياسية وثقافية واجتماعية، ولأن موقفي من الازمة السورية نابع من حرصي على سوريا الدولة ووحدة الشعب والارض والمجتمع، ولأن سوريا اليوم مهددة ليس بموقعها ودورها المقاوم وحسب انما بكيانها ووجودها ووحدتها، اجد لزاما علي مجددا ان اقرأ فيما انجزته “الثورة السورية” من تخريب وقتل وارهاب وتدمير ممنهج للنسيج المجتمعي السوري ولمؤسسات الدولة على يد جماعات مدعومة وممولة من اكثر بلدان العالم الحديث تخلفا واحتقارا للإنسان والمرأة وحقوق البشر المبدئية تلك التي لا تختلف عليها قبيلتان متناحرتان في مجاهل افريقيا الوسطى.

اول ضحايا هذه “النهضة المذهبية” كان النسيج المجتمعي السوري المتعدد والمتنوع كما معظم الشعوب الشامية التي لا وجود فيها لأكثريات واقليات بالمعنى العددي للكلمة، وقد نجح “الغزو الصحراوي” في الدخول الى الاطراف والارياف عبر جماعات ارهابية تكفيرية تنطلق في الاساس من حقد دفين على كل مظاهر التعدد والتنوّع لأنها الغائية شمولية في الاساس وتنطلق وتصدر نحو الافكار من زاوية ترفض الاخر وتعتبره عدوا يستحق القتل بمجرد انه صاحب رأي او عقيدة او مذهب ديني او ثقافي او اجتماعي.

ولم تسلم الدولة ككيان معنوي ومرافق عامة من همجية هؤلاء، وكان استهداف المؤسسات المدنية والخدماتية والعسكرية والامنية ممنهجا ومطلوبا من اجل اضعافها وتسهيل تفكيكها ووقوعها في ايدي “الاشرار” على غرار ما جرى في العراق تقريبا. سقط عدد كبير من الشهداء من مدنيين وعسكريين ورجال امن، وتعطّلت مصانع ومعامل ومحطات الوقود والكهرباء والماء، وتراجعت القيمة الشرائية لليرة السورية ونال الاقتصاد نصيبه من العبث والتخريب. وفي موازاة هذا الاجرام الموصوف بحق الدولة التي من المفترض انها للجميع، كانت الدول العربية والغربية تشن اعنف هجوم سياسي ديبلوماسي ضد سوريا وتعمل على اخراجها من الجامعة العربية ومن كل حضور دولتي لها على مستوى المحافل الاقليمية والدولية. وفي هذا المعنى كانت الجمهورية العربية السورية تواجه حربا مزدوجة بالتزامن بين التخريب الداخلي والعبث الخارجي، ولكن بتوقيع واحد عنوانه الغاء كل مظاهر الدولة والعودة الى الهويات الضيقة والاعلاء من شأن الزعران وزعماء الحارات والشوارع والزواريب واطلاق لقب “ثوار” عليهم.

اذا، انجزت “ثورة الدهماء” انجازات كبيرة وكثيرة على مستوى النيل من سوريا المجتمع والدولة، لم تنجح ولن تنجح في تحويل دمشق الى مقديشو ثانية، وهي في طريقها الى الفشل الكامل بعد الجولة المتوقعة قريبا اثر انفضاض عقد مؤتمر “اصدقاء سوريا” الذي يعد العدة لحرب فاشلة سلفا على الشعب السوري، لكنها تركت ندبة وعلامة قاسية على الجسد السوري لن تمحوه بيانات “الاخوان المسلمين” الزائفة والكاذبة عن الدولة المدنية الديموقراطية، ولا قصائد ومطولات المرتزقة من مثقفي الصحراء والجمال والبعير.. وارضاع الكبير، ولا نظريات عزمي بشارة وميشال كيلو وبعض الديكورات اليسارية والعلمانية الموجودة في هذه “الحفلة البشعة” لدواعي التنويع والتسلية.

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حديث لم ينته مع الدكتور صائب عريقات

د. محمد صالح المسفر – القدس العربي 

الحديث مع الدكتور صائب عريقات عن الشأن الفلسطيني لا يمل فهو يعلم حق العلم الموضوع الذي يتحدث فيه، وهو مراوغ من الدرجة الاولى في احاديثه العامة. انه مسؤول، لا يستطيع ان يقول كل ما يعرف وخاصة عن بعض القادة العرب وما يفعلون بقضايا الشعب الفلسطيني، فكل حياته حقول الغام سياسية ليست لها خارطة يستطيع المشي على ضوئها دون ان تتفجر فيه وفي ملفاته .سالت الدكتور عريقات في الصالون الثقافي للسيد سعد الرميحي ماذا جنيتم من اتفاق اوسلو؟ راح يتحدث حول الموضوع دون ان يروي عطشي من نهر معرفته فيما جنت عليهم تلك الاتفاقية البغيضة. لم يتسن لنا مناقشة هذا الموضوع باسهاب مع واحد من اهم واعظم واعلم المفاوضين الفلسطينيين واكثرهم مهارة وحنكة لان كل من حضر ذلك الصالون اراد ان يجد ضالته عن الشأن الفلسطيني من مرجع فلسطيني امين .
اردت ان اقول لكبير المفاوضين الفلسطينيين الدكتور عريقات ان الاسباب التي قادتكم الى اوسلو هي خوف الشهيد ياسر عرفات رحمه الله ان يفقد سلطته بعد احداث احتلال الكويت عام 1990، وراح فريق مفاوض الى واشنطن يرأسه الدكتورحيدر عبد الشافي وكاد ان يُسدل الستار على ياسر عرفات وانهاء دوره، لكنه تدارك الموقف وراح من وراء الستار يعاونه فريقه ابو مازن وابو علاء وغيرهما من الاباء والابناء الى اوسلو في سرية يجرون حوارات ومفاوضات مع الاسرائيليين بعيدا عن اعين الخلق، وحوارات اخرى كانت تجري في مدريد امام العالم اطرافها دول مجلس التعاون وبعض الدول العربية الاخرى والدول دائمة العضوية في مجلس الامن الدولي والمجموعة الاوروبية واسرائيل .
اردت ان اقول ان اتفاق اوسلو نكبة ثالثة للشعب الفلسطيني بعد نكبة 1948، ونكبة 1967 لان منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية تحولت من حركة كفاح مسلح الى حركة تنشد البقاء كسلطة مسيطرة على البعض باي كيفية كانت. في ظل اتفاق اوسلو كما نعلم تحولت المنظمة من حركة تحرر وطني الى حركة تؤدي ‘وظيفة’ لاسرائيل تتمثل في استمرار اسرائيل في سيطرتها على الاراضي، بينما تكون مسؤولية السلطة الفلسطينية عن الفلسطينيين المقيمين في الضفة وقطاع غزة، ولم تقبل اسرائيل بنقل السيادة الى الفلسطينيين، وستبقى معظم الضفة الغربية تحت سيطرة الجيش الاسرائيلي .
الدكتور عريقات يستشهد باقوال الكثير من الاسرائيليين والغربيين لاقناع سامعيه بما يريد اقناعهم به، وهنا انضم اليه في الاستشهاد بأقوال بعض الاسرائيليين في شأن اتفاق اوسلو. يقول السيد داني روبنشتاين ـ صحافي اسرائيلي ـ ‘ان اتفاق اوسلو لم يقدم ولو تلميحا حلا للمشاكل الاساسية القائمة بين اسرائيل والفلسطينيين’ ونذكر بان اتفاق القاهرة عام 1994 قد اكد دون لبس ان تبقى السيادة الاقتصادية والعسكرية في المناطق التي تحت سلطة عرفات لاسرائيل.
‘يقول نائب محافظ القدس الاسبق ميرون بنفنستي معلقا على توقيع اتفاق القاهرة آنف الذكر’ ان هذا الاتفاق يمنح الادارة العسكرية الاسرائيلية صلاحيات لدرجة يصعب على المرء ان يصدق عينيه وهو يقرأ ‘سلطة حصرية في التشريع، والتقاضي، وتنفيذ السياسات’ وايضا ‘المسؤولية عن ممارسات هذه السلطات بما ينسجم مع القانون الدولي’ الذي تؤوّله امريكا واسرائيل كيفما شاءتا. كذلك يحتفظ القضاء الاسرائيلي بسلطة حق النقض ضد اي تشريع فلسطيني قد يعرض المصالح الاسرائيلية للخطر .
يقول الدكتور صائب عريقات اننا قد جنينا فوائد كثيرة من اتفاق اوسلو اهمها ان اسرائيل اعترفت بان منظمة التحرير الفلسيطينية هي الممثل الشرعي والوحيد للشعب الفلسطيني وهذا اعتراف كبير لان اسرائيل كانت لا تعترف بشيء اسمه الشعب الفلسطيني، قلت لاستاذنا الدكتور صائب في مقابل هذا اعطيتم اسرائيل اعترافا بالحق التاريخي في فلسطين وهذا ما كانت اسرائيل تحلم به، اذن انتم منظمة التحرير اعطيتم لاسرائيل دون وجه حق ذلك الاعتراف، الامر الثاني لقد توسعت اسرائيل في عملية الاستيطان في الضفة الغربية ومدينة القدس وهي في طريقها الى تهويد المدينة المقدسة كاملة، قاطعني استاذي الكبير بالقول كم مساحة البناء الذي شيدته اسرائيل حتى الان في الضفة الغربية والقدس انه لا يتجاوز 1.1′ قلت وماذا عن الطرق والارتدادات لكل هذه المباني والخدمات، قلت انه رقم تضليلي 1.1 ‘ غير مقبول لكنه والحق لم يسمعني لانه انشغل بسؤال اخر من احد الحضور.
اردت ان اقول انتم في السلطة تتحدثون عن الديمقراطية كثيرا، لكنكم ناصبتم العداء لحركة حماس التي فازت في الانتخابات ولم تمكنوها من ادارة السلطة منذ اليوم الاول وما كان يفعله دحلان ورجاله والسلطة الامنية في غزة ابان تكليف حماس بتشكيل الحكومة كانت عملية افشال، واردت ان اذكره بما قاله ‘ابو علاء’ ساعة اعلان النتيجة وعلى شاشات التلفزة العالمية وهو يلوح بيده احتجاجا على النتيجة ‘خلينا نشوف شو بيقدروا يساووا’ وعندما قال دحلان ‘سارقصهم خمسة بلدي’ وغير ذلك.
اخر القول: انه حديث لم ينته ولكني اعترف انه سحرني برقته وتواضعه وغزارة علمه وتجربته فتحية له ولامثاله من الشرفاء.

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“إخوان” سوريا.. وسلفيوها

ساطع نور الدين- صحيفة السفير اللبنانية  
إنهم صادقون فقط، لأن سوريا لا تحتمل غير الصدق، ولأن شعبها لا يقبل بأقل من دولة مدنية تعددية ديموقراطية، تختلف عن مصر التي أنجبتها الثورة، وتنافس تونس التي أنتجتها «النهضة».
لم تكن حركة «الاخوان المسلمين» في سوريا تقدّم في برنامجها الذي أعلنته من اسطنبول تنازلاً للرأي العام السوري والعربي والعالمي، بل كانت تسلم بحقيقة سورية رسمتها انتفاضة العام الماضي وهي أن أحداً، فرداً كان او طائفة او حزبا او جماعة، لم يعد يستطيع ان يحكم الشعب السوري وحده، وبناء على شرعية او فكرة او وظيفة مستمدة من القرن الماضي، او من القرون الغابرة.
الإعلان عن البرنامج قد يكون جزءاً من التحضير لمؤتمر المعارضة السورية ثم لمؤتمر أصدقاء سوريا، لكن الوحدة الداخلية «للإخوان» السوريين حدث بحد ذاته، كما ان التزامهم المسبق بالعناوين الجوهرية لمطالب الثورة العربية الكبرى، خطوة مهمة على طريق التغيير المنشود في سوريا، وعلى أمل ان تكون الكلفة، الباهظة حتى الآن، هي الحد الأقصى الذي يفترض أن يدفعه الشعب السوري الشقيق.
كان لا بد من تبديد الخوف المقيم لدى شرائح واسعة من السوريين من ذلك التنظيم الاسلامي الذي يتقدم نحو الصفوف الأمامية، لكن الخطوة كان يمكن ان تشكل اختراقاً للوعي السوري العام، لو انها أرفقت بتجديد المراجعة التي سبق للحركة نفسها أن أجرتها قبل ست سنوات لتجربة الثمانينيات، ولو أنها توجت باعتذار عن الأخطاء التي ارتكبت في تلك المرحلة المثيرة للجدل والقلق.
مع ذلك، فإن اندماج «إخوان» سوريا في ذلك الخطاب السياسي العام الذي يتردد على لسان رفاقهم المصريين والتونسيين واليمنيين، تميز بليبراليته السورية الخاصة، التي تفرض الإقرار الصريح بحق الولاية للمسيحي وللمرأة، والاعتراف الواضح بالآخر مهما كانت هويته السياسية او الطائفية او القومية.. وإن كانت لا تبدد الشكوك في أن الحركة الاسلامية السورية الأقوى تمارس التقية على غرار شقيقاتها العربيات. وهي تقية لن تقاس الا عندما تظهر المفاجأة السورية المقبلة، ويتقدم السلفيون الخارجون للتوّ من التحالف السابق مع النظام، في الشارع او في صناديق الاقتراع، على تلك الجماعة التقليدية العريقة التي باتت تبدو بالمقارنة معهم حزباً عصرياً يرمز الى الحداثة والتحضر، ولا يمت الى الأصولية الإسلامية بأي صلة!
لن تكون سوريا استثناء لهذه الظاهرة السلفية الواسعة الانتشار والتي باتت جماعة الاخوان الدرع الواقية وربما الوحيدة من خطرها الداهم.. الذي لا يمكن حصره إلا بمثل ذلك البرنامج السوري الذي أعلن في اسطنبول، وأرسى الأسس الصلبة لخطة المعارضة السورية التي باتت وحدتها السياسية والتنظيمية مطلباً جماهيرياً سورياً وعربياً وعالمياً إجماعياً.

Posted in Arabic, SyriaComments Off on “إخوان” سوريا.. وسلفيوها

كمب ديفيد والثورة

بقلم غسان جواد

في 26 آذار من العام 1979 تمّ في العاصمة الأميركية واشنطن التوقيع على اتفاقية السلام المصرية – الاسرائيلية، واليوم بعد مرور 33 عاما على هذا التوقيع يبدو الحديث عن هذا الحدث في تاريخ الصراع العربي – الاسرائيلي جزءا من النقاش الدائر حول التحولات العربية والتغييرات التي تشهدها المنطقة ومن شأنها ان تترك اثرا على كل ما قامت به «دولة ما قبل ثورة 25 يناير».
لم تمر هذه الاتفاقية على عقل ووجدان الشارع المصري الذي ظلّ ممانعا لكل ذيولها الثقافية والاجتماعية والسياسية بشكل كبير ولافت. 
ومع ان السلطة القديمة اشتغلت بقوة على دعم «التطبيع» وعلى إعطاء حوافز للمطبّعين من رجال الدولة والاقتصاد والسياسة والفن والثقافة، الا ان السلوك العام والواضح لغالبية الشرائح الاجتماعية المصرية ظل رافضا لأي نوع من انواع العلاقة المباشرة مع اسرائيل بالرغم من كل العروض والاغراءات التي قدمتها السلطة. 
وفي حين بدا ان هذه الاتفاقية قد «اخرجت» مصر الدولة من الصراع العسكري المباشر مع دولة الاحتلال، ظلّت مصر الشعب والمجتمع في دائرة الصراع من خلال رفض كل شكل من اشكال التعامل هذه الدولة،  وقد وصل الامر الى حدود نبذ ومحاصرة كل شخصية عامة تزور اسرائيل او تُقيم علاقات خاصة معها، ولعل ابرز ما انتجته الفطرة المصرية في التعبير عن هذا الرفض اغنية الفنان الشعبي شعبان عبد الرحيم «بكره اسرائيل وبحب عمرو موسى»، التي يُجمِع النقاد الفنيون على انها رديئة فنيا وقوية كرسالة سياسية بسيطة تختزل ما يدور في عقل ووجدان المصريين حيال هذا الملف وتلك القضية.
لم تتغيّر الامور كثيرا بعد 25 يناير والثورة التي اطاحت بالنظام ورأسه، لم يحدث شيء كبير بما يخص جوهر الاتفاقية واستمرار سريانها القانوني ولا بما يخص النظرة الشعبية حيالها. ابرز حدث كان في اقتحام السفارة الاسرائيلية اواخر العام الماضي احتجاجا على مقتل ضباط وجنود مصريين برصاص اسرائيلي، بعد ذلك عادت الامور الى طبيعتها مع فارق واحد: الذين يرفضون الاتفاقية اصبحوا في الشارع والذين يريدونها اصبحوا في السجن، وعلى هذا تنعقد النظرة نحو مستقبل اتفاقية كمب ديفيد.. المثيرة للجدل.

Posted in Arabic, EgyptComments Off on كمب ديفيد والثورة

الصدر توفي بعد سجنه وجثته فُقدت بعد سقوط القذافي

صحيفة الأخبار اللبنانية

منذ سقوط نظام الزعيم الليبي معمر القذافي، وفي لبنان اهتمام بكشف مصير الإمام موسى الصدر ورفيقيه. والتقارير المتبادلة بين بيروت وطرابلس تجزم بموت الصدر، غير أن الجميع يترقبون معلومات حافظ أسرار العقيد، عبد الله السنوسي، لكونه يملك الحلقات المفقودة في الرواية المأسوية.

كشفت جهات لبنانية مطلعة أن الأوساط الحكومية اللبنانية تلقت منذ مدة معلومات دقيقة ومفصلة من الدوائر الليبية الرسمية الجديدة، عن مصير الإمام موسى الصدر. وأكدت أن الليبيين كانوا قد انكبوا منذ سقوط طرابلس في آب الماضي على مراجعة عدد من الملفات المتعلقة بانتهكات نظام القذافي لحقوق الإنسان، وخصوصاً القضايا الكبرى منها، التي طاولت عدداً من الشخصيات البارزة.

وفي هذا السياق، ذكرت الجهات نفسها، أن الليبيين توصلوا مثلاً إلى جلاء حقيقة المعارض الليبي السابق منصور الكخيا؛ إذ تأكدت السلطات الليبية التي تسلمت زمام الحكم في طرابلس بعد سقوط القذافي، أن الكخيا، وزير الخارجية الليبية السابق، الذي كان قد اختفى في القاهرة في كانون الأول 1993، نقله إلى ليبيا عملاء استخبارات القذافي، على عكس كل المعلومات السابقة عن تبخره في الأراضي المصرية. وتأكد الليبيون بالشهادات والإفادات والوثائق، أن الكخيا وصل إلى طبرق الليبية بعد أيام من خطفه. حيث كان ينتظره مسؤول استخبارات القذافي، عبد الله السنوسي، الذي اعتقل قبل عشرة أيام في موريتانيا. ومن هناك نُقل المعارض الليبي البارز إلى سجن أبو سليم، أحد أشهر سجون القذافي وأكثرها قسوة ووحشية، في العاصمة الليبية طرابلس الغرب. وأضافت معلومات الجهات اللبنانية المطلعة، أن الكخيا ظل حياً حتى التسعينيات، قبل أن يموت على الأرجح، من دون التمكن من تقفي أي أثر لجثته أو مصيرها.
وتسوق الجهات اللبنانية الموثوقة هذه الوقائع، لارتباطها بنحو ما بمصير مؤسس المجلس الإسلامي الشيعي في لبنان، الإمام موسى الصدر، الذي اختفى بدوره في ليبيا، في 31 آب 1978؛ إذ تنقل هذه الجهات عن أوساط رسمية أن الجهات الرسمية في ليبيا تمكنت من تتبع قضية الصدر في الأشهر الماضية، من بين نحو 23700 مفقود من الحقبة القذافية. وتشير إلى أن الجهات اللبنانية تسلمت من الليبيين معلومات مؤكدة تكشف الآتي:
أولاً، إن الإمام الصدر لم يغادر ليبيا منذ اختفائه على أراضيها في التاريخ المذكور. لا بل نُقل مع رفيقيه الشيخ محمد يعقوب والصحافي عباس بدر الدين، بعد اعتقالهم في طرابلس الغرب، إلى معتقل سري في جنوب البلاد، في المناطق الموالية مباشرة للقذافي.
ثانياً، ولأسباب مجهولة حتى الآن، نُقل الإمام الصدر من معتقله الأول، إلى سجن أبو سليم المذكور سابقاً، في طرابلس الغرب، وذلك في فترة ما لم تحدد بدقة، من عام 1997. ومنذ ذلك التاريخ ظل معتقلاً حياً يرزق، وكان يعاني مرض السكري في الدم.
ثالثاً، وُضع الإمام الصدر حياً، في زنزانة فردية في السجن المشار إليه، بإشراف أحد المسؤولين الاستخباريين التابعين لنظام القذافي، هو عبد الحميد السائح، الذي اشتهر بأنه أحد أكثر الاستخباريين القذافيين وحشية، وكان قد شغل منصب قائد الحرس الثوري في نظام القذافي، فضلاً عن أنه آمر فرع الإرهاب في استخبارات النظام ومدير سجن أبو سليم. وتشير معلومات الجهات اللبنانية الرسمية نقلاً عن الليبيين، إلى أن زنزانة الإمام الصدر كانت تقع مباشرة تحت مكتب السائح. وهو كان قد كلف اثنين من رجاله مهمة حراسة الإمام بنحو دائم.
رابعاً، تؤكد المعلومات تعرف الجهات الليبية إلى حراس زنزانة الصدر، وأجرت معهم تحقيقات طويلة ومفصلة بدقة، وضبطت إفاداتهم كاملة، ما سمح بكشف المعطيات السابقة كما التالية.
خامساً، في أثناء اعتقاله في سجن أبو سليم في العاصمة الليبية، بدأ الصدر يعاني عوارض سريرية من مرض السكري. غير أن المشرفين على سجنه تمنعوا عن معالجته وعن إعطائه أدوية كان اعتاد تناولها وهو في حاجة إليها. وهذا ما أدى إلى وفاته في فترة لم يتمكن التحقيق من تحديدها بدقة بعد، مع ترجيح أن يكون تاريخ وفاة الإمام الصدر مطلع العقد الماضي.
سادساً، بعد وفاته، أمر القذافي بعدم مواراة جثمان الصدر في الثرى، بل طلب إبقاءه في زنزانته، ومن ثم تحويلها إلى ثلاجة _ براد، على طريقة مشارح المستشفيات المعدة لحفظ جثث الموتى. وإذ نُفذ أمر القذافي، ظل حارسا الزنزانة يتناوبان على حراسة جثمان الإمام الصدر طوال ما يناهز عقد كامل، وهو ما كانا يقومان به تماماً، عند اندلاع الأحداث الليبية في 17 شباط 2011، والتي أدت إلى سقوط النظام. لا بل ظل الحارسان قبالة جثمان الصدر، حتى ليل 22 آب الماضي، تاريخ سقوط طرابلس في أيدي الثوار.
سابعاً، في ذلك التاريخ المحدد بالذات، وتحت وطأة الهجوم الكبير الذي شنته قوى التحالف الغربي والعربي على نظام القذافي، تعرض سجن أبو سليم في طرابلس لقصف شديد. وتركز القصف في شكل محدد على الأمكنة المحتملة لوجود العميد عبد الحميد السائح، ومنها مكتبه القائم مباشرة فوق زنزانة _ براد الإمام الصدر. وبنتيجة ذلك القصف انقطعت الكهرباء عن الجثمان، ومن ثم أصيبت الزنزانة ودُمرت بالكامل. وتفيد المعلومات المنقولة عن الجهات الليبية، بأن جثمان الإمام الصدر بات خارج مكان حفظه. وفي الأيام التالية للمعارك، نُقل مع عشرات من الجثث الموجودة أو تلك التي وقعت ضحية المعارك، إلى الفناء الخارجي للسجن. وقد أفاد أكثر من شاهد بأنهم رأوا العمامة والعباءة اللتين كان صاحب الجثمان يرتديهما.
ثامناً، عند دخول قوات الثورة إلى طرابلس، كانت قد مضت عدة أيام، تخللتها فوضى كبيرة في مختلف أنحاء العاصمة، وخصوصاً في مقار النظام السابق ومراكزه الرسمية والعسكرية والأمنية. وهذا ما جعل مسؤولي الثورة يصلون إلى موقع سجن أبو سليم ليجدوا أن الجثث قد نُقلت من هناك. وبعد بدء التحقيق في موضوع الإمام الصدر وتتبع قضية جثمانه، ظهرت أكثر من معلومة. منها أن الجثمان قد نقل إلى المستشفى المركزي في طرابلس، الأمر الذي تبين عدم صحته، بعد تدقيق وتحقيق كاملين في ذلك المكان. ومنها أن الجثث التي ظلت في فناء السجن أياماً عدة، نقلت ودفنت في أماكن مختلفة، بعد ظهور تحلل سريع عليها، وخصوصاً في ظل عدم تعرف أحد من ذويها إلى أصحابها. وهذا ما يحصر الأماكن المحتملة لدفن الجثمان، في نقاط قليلة يجري التأكد منها حالياً، للتعرف إلى جثمان الإمام الصدر.
تاسعاً، تشير الجهات اللبنانية إلى أن الأوساط الليبية في المقابل، لم تنقل إليها بعد أي معطيات عن مصير الشيخ يعقوب أو الصحافي بدر الدين، وهو ما تقوم السلطات الليبية بمتابعته ومواصلة التحقيق حوله.

Posted in Arabic, Lebanon, LibyaComments Off on الصدر توفي بعد سجنه وجثته فُقدت بعد سقوط القذافي

Mondowiss Online Newsletter

NOVANEWS

The Toulouse killings and the false specter of European anti-Semitism

Mar 26, 2012

Alex Kane

Manif 1 edit
Thousands took to the streets of Paris Sunday in a silent march against racism, anti-Semitism and terrorism. (Photo: Leela Jacinto/France24)

The anti-Semitic killings in Toulouse, France last week predictably led a slew of Israelis to raise the specter of European anti-Semitism. This scary prospect was invoked to promote the idea of Israel as the only safe home for Jews. But a close reading of the evidence on anti-Semitism in France, and in Europe as a whole, reveals the specter to be a cheap political trick, perhaps meant to help fix Israel’s “demographic problem.”

Israeli Members of the Knesset Danny Danon (Likud) and Ya’akov Katz (National Union) led the way in exploiting the murders. The Times of Israel reports:

MK Ya’akov Katz called Monday for Jews to leave France in the wake of a deadly attack on a Jewish school in Toulouse.

“There is no Jewish future in France,” Katz, of the National Union party, said, adding that the state of Israel is the future of the Jewish people, and that Jews should not trust their fate to “Sarkozy, Obama or other world leaders…”

In the wake of the deadly attack, MK Danny Danon (Likud), called for an urgent session Tuesday of the Knesset’s Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee, which he chairs, to discuss the attack.

“We will not allow the pogroms of the beginning of the 20th century to return to Europe,” Danon said.

Katz and Danon are expressing the basic Zionist principle that Jews will never be safe in Europe and that Israel is their haven.

The Anti-Defamation League is also peddling a similar line of thought. “ADL Survey In Ten European Countries Finds Anti-Semitism At Disturbingly High Levels,” read the headline on a survey released March 20, a day after the killings in France.

But decades after the Holocaust, just how bad is it for Jews in Europe? It’s nowhere near the point of “pogroms,” to say the least.

Anti-Semitism in Europe exists, for sure. But Dov Waxman, an associate professor of political science at Baruch College, takes a close look at the evidence on anti-Jewish sentiment in Europe in an excellent piece of analysis on +972 Magazine. His takeaway:

The truth is that anti-Semitism in France and in Europe as a whole, though it certainly exists, is not nearly as great a danger as many outside observers in Israel and the United States believe. While the threat of anti-Semitism is real and must be taken seriously, it should not be exaggerated or blown out of proportion. In fact, far from being on the verge of catastrophe, European Jewry is experiencing a renaissance that we should be celebrating.

And his evidence:

To properly gauge the threat posed by anti-Semitism in Europe today we must rely upon empirical data, not traumatic collective memories. In France, the data reveals that anti-Semitic incidents have generally been declining in recent years since an upsurge of incidents in the first half of the 2000s following the outbreak of the Second Intifada (there was another upsurge in 2009 prompted by Israel’s war in Gaza). According to statistics compiled by the French Jewish community’s Jewish Community Protection Service (SPCJ), last year there were 389 anti-Semitic incidents, this was down 16.5 percent from the previous year (when 466 incidents occurred). Although more serious acts of anti-Semitic violence (physical assaults, vandalism, and arson) have not decreased, it is simply wrong to claim that France is experiencing a growing wave of anti-Semitism. In reality, anti-Semitism ebbs and flows in France and elsewhere.

Waxman also skewers the ADL survey:

When it released its most recent survey last week (I can’t help but wonder whether the timing was just a coincidence?) its press release declared that the survey revealed “large swaths of the population [in the ten European countries surveyed] subscribe to classical anti-Semitic notions.” While this was true in some of the countries – Hungary, Poland, and Spain – in others, anti-Semitic views (specifically, that Jews have too much power in business and in international financial markets, are more loyal to Israel than to their own country, and “talk too much” about the Holocaust) were held by only a minority of people, less than a quarter of respondents in most countries, while clear majorities rejected such views.

The press release also highlighted an increase in the overall level of anti-Semitism in France despite the fact that the purported rise in anti-Semitic attitudes there from 20 percent of the population in a previous ADL poll conducted in 2009 to 24 percent in 2012 was actually within the survey’s margin of error. Nevertheless, this didn’t stop Abraham Foxman, the head of the ADL, from simply asserting that: “France has seen an increase in the level of anti-Semitism.”

Danon and Katz may very well know that there is no danger of anti-Jewish pogroms erupting in Europe. But they won’t admit it, because that would undermine a different struggle, what they see as the demographic struggle in Israel/Palestine.

An ulterior motive for the calls for Jews to move to Israel exists. The motive is the fear of Israeli Jews losing their edge in numbers over Palestinians in the territory between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea. This is the “demographic threat” one hears so much talk about. Both Katz and Danon talk of it.

In a New York Times Op-Ed, Danon advocated for the annexing of the West Bank by Israel, but emphasized that in his plan, “Palestinians would not have the option to become Israeli citizens, therefore averting the threat to the Jewish and democratic status of Israel by a growing Palestinian population.” Likewise, Katz has warned that African refugees coming to Israel pose a “demographic threat.”

So Africans and Palestinians need not apply. But French Jews? Come along.

It’s important to realize that Danon and Katz are not primarily concerned with the safety of Europe’s Jews. Their knee jerk reactions to the killings in France were not concerned with the facts. So it’s not a leap to suggest that the specter of European anti-Semitism is raised in the service of consolidating a Jewish majority so that Israel will always be a “Jewish” state.

Israeli diplomat chased out of Morocco after mass protest

Mar 26, 2012

Allison Deger

 

Yesterday, Israeli diplomat David Saranga was chased out of Morocco after a mass demonstration for Palestinian rights spread across the capital. Saranga told the Jerusalem Postthat he did not feel in danger, but he chose to leave Morocco at the behest of a security officer.

The protests began in Morocco last Thursday, when the diplomat first arrived and continued to grow through the weekend, until Saranga left the country. “As early as Saturday, when we were discussing the environment, energy and women’s rights, I could see people protesting outside,” said Saranga. On Sunday “there were maybe a 100,000 demonstrators who yelled and waved signs – and that was that,” said Saranga who today spoke with Ynet News.

The protestors in Rabat called for equal access to Jerusalem and for freedom to Palestinian political prisoners. Also Israeli flags were burned. Today PressTV reported the demonstration was held in conjunction with the Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ), an upcoming international day of action where protestors will walk to the holy city. GMJ is scheduled for March 30th, also known as Land Day, or yom al-arda, in order to call attention to the unequal access to Jerusalem, as imposed by the Israeli occupation.

In 1994 Morocco became the second Arab country in North Africa, following Egypt, to establish diplomatic relations with Israel.
 

‘Be on our side’: Bay Area ad campaign features Palestinian and Israeli women calling for U.S. sanctions against Israel

Mar 26, 2012

Barbara Erickson

Berkely BART ad
Northern California Friends of Sabeel ad in Downtown Berkeley BART Station.                       (Photo: Barbara Erickson)

Two Israeli women, one Palestinian and the other Jewish, are the latest activists to appear on San Francisco Bay Area transit posters calling for an end to U. S. military aid to Israel. Images of Lubna Masarwa and Michal Zak, who work together for the threatened Bedouin of the Negev/Naqab Desert, are now greeting commuters on Bay Area Rapid Transit stations in San Francisco and the East Bay.

“Join with us,” the posters say. “Build peace with justice and equality. End U.S. military aid to Israel.” The five advertisements also invite viewers to read about Lubna and Michal atwww.BuildPeace.org.

Northern California Friends of Sabeel, with help from members of Bay Area Jewish Voice for Peace, produced the posters as part of a campaign inspired by the Chicago group, Committee for a Just Peace in Israel Palestine. (The project is now under the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.) Last year NorCal Sabeel ran ads featuring Jeff Halper of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions with his friend and colleague Salim Shawamreh. Two posters of Jeff and Salim are appearing concurrently with those of the women.

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Stand With Us ad. (Image: Stand With Us)

NorCal Sabeel began its advertising campaign in December 2010 using the Chicago group’s posters of two unnamed fathers, one Israeli and one Palestinian, with their young daughters. In response to these, the Israel Lobby group StandWithUs ran provocative counter ads showing a pair of angry eyes peering out from a keffiyeh, but BART removed these ads after receiving complaints that they were racist. Since then StandWithUs has placed new posters claiming that Israel lacks a partner for peace and directing viewers to a web site that charges Palestinians with teaching their children to hate.

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Culture jammer’s re-branded Stand With Us ad, February 2011. (Photo: Jamnation/IndyBay)

StandWithUs, flush with millions of Israel Lobby dollars, is able to run several times the number of ads that NorCal Sabeel can afford. So Mondoweiss readers are encouraged to help out by visiting www.BuildPeace.org and making a donation.

Visitors to the web site can read about Lubna and Michal, who guide delegations to the most vulnerable citizens of Israel, the remnants of Israel’s historic Bedouin communities. The women accompany visitors to villages like Al Araqib (demolished and rebuilt over thirty times) and Wadi al Na’am, home to 8,000 who live in the shadow of contaminating industrial plants, and they visit other Palestinian communities “unrecognized” by Israel and denied water, transportation, electricity and services readily available to Jewish settlements.

They also escort delegations to the Regional Council of Unrecognized Villages, where newcomers learn that Israel is drafting a law to force the Bedouin off their ancestral lands and into townships blighted by unemployment and poverty. As Israel destroys the “unrecognized” villages, the Jewish National Fund moves in to uproot their trees and plant forests under the pretext of reclaiming the desert. Israeli media meanwhile vilify the Bedouin and say they are “invaders” on their own land.

Michal, a resident of the bi-national community Neve Shalom/Wahat al Salam, spent 20 years working as a political educator, facilitating dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians, and when Lubna attended one of her workshops six years ago, the two women met for the first time. But both of them became disillusioned with dialogue that fails to challenge injustice, and they chose instead to take more direct action in confronting the racism and abuses in Israel and the Occupied Territories.

Lubna highlights the Israeli policy of dividing Palestinians into separate groups and enclaves, and she works with those in the Diaspora, within the state of Israel, and under occupation. She has joined with the Palestinians of East Jerusalem and villagers in the occupied West Bank who are fighting the confiscation of their land, water and homes. She took part in four attempts to break the siege of Gaza by sea and succeeded in entering the strip twice, and she spent six months in Belgium as an advocate for Palestine at the European parliament. At the invitation of Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire, Lubna also attended a forum on nonviolent strategy held in Hawaii.

Two years ago, Michal joined the staff of the Regional Council of Unrecognized Villages that advocates for the 90,000 Bedouin of Israel’s southern desert. She coordinates outreach to Jewish groups and human rights organizations and helps the council tell the story of the persecuted Palestinian Bedouin.

She recounts their stories of dispossession, going back to the early days of Israel, when the tribes were driven off their original land to make way for Jewish settlements and their remnants were forced into a small corner of the desert. She also describes the current assault on their way of life, which threatens to demolish the last Bedouin communities in the name of an exclusive Jewish state.

“There is a plan to concentrate people,” she said, “to take their land and make everyone around, including the international community, think it is all in the name of progress.”

Michal has been called a traitor by some of her fellow Jews, but she finds fulfillment in her work. As a staff member of the regional council, she said, “I feel liberated.”

Lubna has faced harassment from Israeli security services. They call her to say that they are watching her. They have held her for hours of questioning and accused her of threatening the security of Israel, but she is willing to pay the price for her work. “It will not stop me from raising my voice,” Lubna said.

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Culture Jammer’s ad in Bay Area BART system, February 2011. (Photo: Jamnation/IndyBay)

We who believe in freedom

Mar 26, 2012

Noah Lepawsky Emily Katz Kishawi and Mich Levy

In response to the recent debate regarding the Palestinian civil society call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, we offer a view from a Jewish anti-Zionist perspective. We welcome debate as a part of the growth and success of an international movement deploying BDS against Israeli occupation, apartheid and colonization.

claim has been made by Dr. Norman Finkelstein (known for his condemnation of Israel’s use of the Holocaust to justify and perpetuate Israeli atrocities both historic and current) that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign will not win over public opinion towards support of Palestinian rights because its goals imply destruction of Israel. This claim contradicts his own eloquent evocation of humanitarian and human rights law – which is precisely the basis for the Palestinian call for BDS.

South Africa was not ‘destroyed’ or ‘dismantled’ when apartheid ended; rather, the illegal nature of the state was transformed.  BDS does not call for the ‘destruction of Israel’; it calls for the enforcement of international law.

Meanwhile, a call has been made to Zionist American Jews to implement a “Zionist BDS” that isolates and condemns Israeli expansion in the Occupied Palestinian Territories in order to “save Israel.” The Zionist “left” argues that Israel is a “flawed but genuine democracy” with an “ethnically-based non-democracy” beyond the green line (the land occupied in 1967), and that the latter threatens the existence of the former.

This is the fundamental contradiction of Zionism: If the occupied territories are not a democracy due to “ethnically-based” oppression, how can a Jewish state – defined by its sectarian identity – possibly be democratic? Too many defenses of unjust Israeli policy rest on a refusal to recognize that a state organized on privileging one sectarian identity is, by definition, anti-democratic.

We all share a responsibility to reject unjust laws and practices – including discrimination, exclusion and ethnic cleansing – and to insist that the guidelines by which we live are those which maintain the rights and dignity of all people.  In the United States, many believed that an economy built on slavery was compatible with democracy; that wasn’t true.  We reject the Zionist assertion that a Jewish settler-colonial state can be democratic.

The international call for boycott, divestment and sanctions to end the occupation challenges individuals who profess to respect principles of human rights and dignity to question and rescind their support for an apartheid State of Israel. Supporting the Palestinian call for BDS of Israel is one way to stand on the right side of history.

Many divergent visions of the future of Palestine exist. We can agree and disagree. Nevertheless, we welcome and encourage all initiatives, particularly from among Jews, that genuinely seek to challenge existing oppression in Palestine. We remind all participants in these debates that it is not the role of people in the US to determine the future of another people, and call for respect for the fundamental Palestinian demand for self-determination.

History has taught us that no oppression can be challenged effectively except through the participation and active leadership of those who are principally affected. We are therefore particularly alarmed by suggested campaigns that seem to seek to remove Palestinian demands from the center of the struggle against the occupation. Such campaigns, even if they outwardly challenge the occupation, will, at best, result in a less explicit apartheid and a less recognized occupation.  A just resolution needs to include, at minimum, the three stated rights of the Palestinian civil society call: 1) Ending the occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the apartheid wall; 2)Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and 3) Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

The ‘clash of civilizations’ and the death of an Iraqi mother in San Diego

Mar 26, 2012

Adam Horowitz

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Students don hijabs and hoodies in solidarity with slaying victims Shaima Alawadi and
Trayvon Martin (Photo: eastcountymagazine.org) For more see Facebook here.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

Reporting from San Diego— El Cajon police are asking for the public’s help in its investigation into the fatal beating of an Iraqi immigrant and have not ruled out the possibility that Shaima Alawadi was the victim of a hate crime.

“We’re investigating all aspects of this crime,” Lt. Mark Coit said Sunday. “The minute you rule out a possible motive, you start to get tunnel vision. As of now, we have not ruled out any of the motives for why people kill people.”

Near the body of the 32-year-old Alawadi, police found what has been described as a threatening note. Police have declined to release the text, but relatives and friends say the handwritten note warned Alawadi to “go back to your own country” and labeled her a terrorist.

The family told police they had received a similarly threatening note several days earlier but considered it a prank by teenagers.

Alawadi was found unconscious Wednesday morning in the dining room of the family’s home by her 17-year-old daughter. She was taken to a hospital, where she was diagnosed as brain-dead. Her family decided on Saturday to discontinue life support.

Police said that whatever the motive, the attack appears to be “an isolated event,” not part of an overall pattern of violence toward immigrants.

Justin Raimondo offers some more details and context at Antiwar.com:

On Wednesday, in the quiet San Diego suburb of El Cajon, California, the teenage daughter of Shaima Alawadi returned home to find her mother drowning in a pool of blood. There were signs of forced entry at the back of the house. Someone had broken in and beaten her mother nearly to death with a tire iron.

Next to her body was a note: “Go back to your own country, you terrorist.”

A similar note had been found tacked to the family’s door a few weeks earlier, but Shaima had dismissed it as a kid’s prank.

This kind of hate is nothing new for San Diego. In 2010, a plan to build a mosque in nearby Temecula resulted in a series of protest  demonstrations by local nut-jobs. A woman in a hijab was hauled off a Southwest Airlines flight in at San Diego airport in 2011 by TSA agents, and told the captain didn’t “feel comfortable” with her on the flight: this was around the same time braying demagogue Peter King (R-New York) was holding hearings on the “Muslim fifth column in America.” Last year, a similar“go back to where you came from” message was delivered by someone who repeatedly punched a Muslim cab driver, who had been observed praying. See herehere, and here for more evidence of the climate of hate darkening the otherwise sunny skies of this California redoubt of bigotry and military families.

If you want some idea of what’s going on in Southern California, these days, take a look at this video of a demonstration in Yorba Linda, where an inter-religious charity event for the homeless was surrounded by hundreds of screeching banshees, screaming their hatred of Muslims. And lest you think this is just a fringe phenomenon, note that no less than three elected officials addressed this hate-fest: congressmen Ed Royce and Gary Miller, and Villa Park councilwoman Debra Pauly – all three of them Republicans, naturally.

As children and women in hijabs walk with quiet dignity into the charity venue, the crowd unleashes its fury of hate: “Go home, go home, go home!” they yell. Is it a coincidence that this is the very same message in the note from Shaima’s killer?

(h/t Dan Crowther)

Barghouti and Waskow debate BDS on Democracy Now

Mar 26, 2012

Adam Horowitz

 

Cultivate Hope – a poem for Hana Shalabi

Mar 26, 2012

Adam Horowitz

 

From YouTube:

Hana Shalabi is a Palestinian political prisoner. She was released from over two years in administrative detention on 18 October 2011, as part of the prisoner exchange deal. She was re-arrested less than four months later on 16 February 2012, and immediately began a hunger strike in protest of her detention.
Cultivate Hope, a poem written on day 40 of Hana Shalabi’s hunger strike, by Rafeef Ziadah / music by Phil Monsour.

UPDATE: Hamas, family misled AP reporter on death of five month old child

Mar 26, 2012

Today in Palestine

UPDATE: Hamas blames fuel shortage for Gaza baby’s death
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A Gaza man said Sunday his 5-month-old baby died two days ago after the generator powering his respirator ran out of fuel, but the report was called into question after it emerged that the timing of the baby’s death was misrepresented.

The baby’s death — which was confirmed to The Associated Press by a man identified as the father and a Gaza hospital official — would have been the first linked to the territory’s energy crisis, and the report appeared to be an attempt by Gaza’s Hamas rulers to use it to gain sympathy.

However, the AP later learned that news of Mohammed Helou’s death first appeared March 4 in the local Arabic-language newspaper Al-Quds, in an article written by a relative of the bereaved family. . .

The Al-Quds article contained the same details as the one recounted by the Helou family on Sunday, saying Mohammed died from choking on his own phlegm. The story quoted that father as saying their generator ran out of fuel, causing their son’s respirator to stop working and ultimately causing the baby to choke to death.

The fuel crisis was relevant in early March as well, but Hamas apparently missed the report in Al-Quds — a publication considered loyal to its rival, Fatah — and Hamas was now trying to recycle the story to capitalize on the family’s tragedy.

Confronted by the AP with the newspaper story, the family and Hamas Gaza health official Bassem al-Qadri continued to insist the baby arrived dead at a Gaza City hospital on Friday night.

AP reporter Diaa Hadad who covered the story and the Hamas spin commented on Twitter:

bit.ly/GQMAz9 #Hamas misrepresented a story. Two Hamas officials misled us and so did the family.

— Diaa Hadid (@diaahadid) March 25, 2012

@richards1052 One of the worst days of my professional life, because I am obsessive about checking and cross checking

— Diaa Hadid (@diaahadid) March 26, 2012

Gaza baby dies as power cut shuts breathing aid
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A seven-month-old baby in Gaza died on Friday evening after medical equipment he was connected to switched off as a result of a power cut, a Hamas-affiliated TV channel said. Gaza medical spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya confirmed the incident, adding that the infant was born with respiratory problems and doctors had recommended the use of mechanical breathing apparatus to be used at home. The father of the child had turned on the apparatus before going to sleep but during the night a power cut caused it to switch off, resulting in the infant’s death, Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV reported.
link to www.maannews.net

Israel’s claimed easing is false. Besieged Gazans remain isolated. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) assessed conditions in January. Except for limited amounts of agricultural products, Gaza’s export economy’s suffering. In addition, imports of basic needs and raw materials fall well below minimal needs. Karm Abu Salem crossing was closed nearly 30% of the time. Incoming truckloads are 28.5% of pre-siege levels.

link to sjlendman.blogspot.com

Ethnic Cleansing / Destruction of Homes / Theft of Natural Resources / Refugees
IOA serves demolition notice to Palestinian family in Bethlehem
The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) served demolition notice to a Palestinian family in Nahalin village to the west of Bethlehem on Friday.

There are approximately 50 outposts – essentially baby settlements – in the West Bank, all illegal according to Israeli law. Migron, established in 2002, is supposed to be dismantled by the end of March, 2012. So why isn’t that going to happen?

Israel’s Exploitation Highlighted on Water Day
In the wake of World Water Day, both local and international organisations have issued reports and organised demonstrations to raise attention to the exploitation and demolition of water resources by Israeli settlers to the detriment of Palestinians living in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).

Thabet: Stop oppressing Palestinians in Iraq
Thabet organization for Palestinian refugees right of return has called for ending the oppression befalling Palestinian refugees in Iraq.

Violence / Aggression Against Palestinians
Two Children Injured By Army Fire Near Ramallah
A Palestinian child was wounded in the face by a rubber-coated metal bullet fired by Israeli soldiers who attacked nonviolent protesters against the Wall and Settlements in Nabi Saleh village, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah; a second child was shot and injured in the leg.
link to www.imemc.org

A family’s nightmare: Beaten and kidnapped by illegal settlers near Qadumim as Israeli military facilitates the crime
A family of four were kidnapped by settlers on Thursday afternoon while having a picnic close by an outpost near Qadumim. When soldiers arrived at the scene they chased away the relatives of the kidnapped family with tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets alongside settlers throwing stones. It was around 4.30 pm on Thursday that the El Seddi family, who were eating almonds on their families land in the outskirts of Jit, east of Nablus, was kidnapped by a gang of settlers. The settlers approached the family on four wheelers in a group of about ten young men with their shirts wrapped around their heads to conceal their faces.

Jewish settlers shoot at, wound Palestinian villager
A Palestinian man in his forties was wounded in his shoulder when Jewish settlers shot at Palestinian villagers in Burka village to the east of Ramallah city on Saturday.

The bullet shot from a short distance hit the boy in the face penetrating his right cheek and piercing it. Israeli Border Police officers shot a rubber-coated bullet at 15 year-old Ezz Tamimi’s face from a distance of about 20 meters, during the weekly demonstration in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh today. The bullet, which hit the boy’s cheek, went through it, gouging a large hole in it. The Israeli army’s own open-fire regulations forbid the use of rubber-coated bullets against minors.
Israeli soldiers attack South African and Portuguese ambassadors with tear gas
The South African and Portuguese ambassadors to occupied Palestine were reportedly attacked with tear gas grenades by Israeli soldiers during their participation in Kafr Qaddum march.
Soldiers Invade Several Towns Near Hebron
Israeli army invaded on Thursday at night several towns near the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and also invaded several neighborhoods in the city, clashes were reported.

A few nights ago the Israeli military raided the home of imprisoned Palestinian protest leader Bassam Tamimi. During the raid in Nabi Saleh, in the occupied territories, a relative of Tamimi filmed four soldiers traipsing through the family home—pawing around in the children’s bedroom. While the kids are sleeping, the soldiers read through their school notebooks, confiscating one with a pink top cover. And they break a shelf in the closet. They are clumsy and oafish.

Nabi Saleh Stands Strong in the Face of Nightly Raids
Friday 23 March 2012–The tiny village of Nabi Saleh once again assembled together to hold another of its weekly nonviolent protests against the neighboring illegal Israeli settlement of Halamish, as well as Israel’s occupation at large.
link to www.palestinemonitor.org

It was under a bright, sunny sky that the people of Kufr Qaddoum once again gathered to protest against the roadblock which isolates them from the rest of the West Bank. The past week there had been much frustration and anger since Murad Ashtawi, member of the Popular Committee, was arrested during last week’s demonstration.
Palestinian Hunger Strikers
Israel may force feed a Palestinian hunger striker in a bid to prevent her from continuing her protest, Amnesty International said on Friday. The rights group condemned any attempts to force Hana Shalabi, who has been on hunger strike for 37 days in protest of her continued detention without trial, to eat as “cruel” and called on Israel to either charge or release her. “There are reports that the Israeli authorities may be considering force-feeding her, which could constitute cruel and inhuman treatment. As a general rule, hunger strikers should not be forcibly fed,” a statement from the group said.
Ashqar: Number of solidarity hunger strikers on the rise
The number of Palestinian prisoners going on hunger strike in solidarity with detained hunger strikers Hana’a Shalabi and MP Ahmed Al-Haj had risen to 26 in various prisons.

Political Prisoners & Detainees
The Israeli occupation forces escalated their arrest campaigns in lines of Palestinians since the start of 2012 and rounded up around 900 including children, women, lawmakers, and liberated prisoners.

Early Monday morning, on the 20th of March, Israeli soldiers raided a Palestinian home in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, terrorized a family and arrested a young woman named Amani Al Khandaqja. The soldiers arrived at 2am, whilst the family was sleeping, they surrounded and then entered the house. One of Amani’s brothers was awoken by loud voices outside his window, upon looking out he saw a number of soldiers interrogating members of a neighboring household. As he ran to wake up his father, Saleh, a series of loud, hard bangs could be heard on the front door of the household.  After repeated banging, Saleh went down to open the door, and the Israeli Occupying Forces violently forced entry into Amani’s home. The entire family of 9 were forced onto the roof of their own home with their hands held above their heads and held at gun point.
The Palestinian Ministry of Detainees reported Saturday that Palestinian political prisoners in Nafha, Majiddo, Galboa’, and Ramon Israeli prisons, returned their meals on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday morning, in protest to forced DNA tests conducted on them by, under gunpoint, the Israeli soldiers.

Confined Cruelty: Israeli Treatment of Palestinian Minors, Graham Peebles
For many Palestinian children their childhood is lived under a cloak of fear, and the threat of violence and abuse at the hands of an armed force that stalks the streets of their homeland. In the eleven years since 2000, Israeli forces have killed “1,471” (1) children in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the bulk of which are aged between 13 and 17 years old. The children of Gaza have been and continue to be at greater risk, with almost a thousand murdered in the last twelve years, on the streets of their city, on their way to and from school, whilst playing with friends, shopping for their family or simply relaxing in their homes. Most are shot randomly, indiscriminately, or killed as a result of Israeli air and ground attacks. Around 50 were taken prematurely from their families by unexploded ordnance.

Popular Protests / Activism / Solidarity / BDS
Dozens of local residents, and International peace activists, held the weekly nonviolent protest against the Annexation Wall and Settlements in Al-Ma’sara village, near Bethlehem; Israeli soldiers attacked the protestors leading to clashes leading to clashes between local youths and the army, no injuries were reported.

Beit Ommar Weekly Demonstration Against the Occupation

On Saturday, March 24, 2012, Palestinian, Israeli and international activists held a demonstration in Beit Ommar against the Karmei Tsur settlement. Karmei Tsur is built on stolen Palestinian land and makes it impossible for the farmers of Beit Ommar to access parts of their land. The settlement is highly secured by military forces and fences. Today’s demonstration was against the settlement, and against any further encroachments on Palestinian land. It also marked the 38th day of Hana Shalabi’s hunger strike in protest of her administrative detention. Additionally, demonstrators protested the expulsion of eight minors from Beit Ommar, to be followed up in Ofer Military Court tomorrow.

Campaign Against the Israeli Occupation Military Decision to Deport 8 Minors from Beit Ommar

The Ofer Israeli occupation military court demanding the deportation of 8 boys from the area of ??their residence in Beit Ommar. In a precedent the first of its kind against Palestinian children, Ofer Military Court, which was held on Tuesday, called for the deportation of 8 young minors from their homes In Beit Ommar for a distance of at least 30 kilometers from the town, according to Israeli military prosecution claim: that these young minors are a danger to the security of the settlers who are going through from Hebron Jerusalem Road.
The words come from Hana Shalabi, on hunger strike for 38 days. On Monday, March 19, 2012, there was a demonstration in Hebron in support of her and others in administrative detention. 18th of October 2009 Hana was released after more than two years in administrative detention, connected to the prison exchange (1027 Palestinians for Gilad Shalit). 16th of February this year, 50 soldiers with dogs showed up at her door, arresting her once again, without charge or further explanation. She went on hunger strike immediately, in protest against the violent and chargeless arrest. After one week her lawyers received a court order putting her in administrative detention.

A demonstration was organised on Thursday afternoon at Ibn Rushd Square, in the southern West Bank city of al-Khalil to protest political detention by the PA in Ramallah.

Global March to Jerusalem Set for 30 March
On 30 March thousands people from throughout the world will join Palestinians from the Middle East and the Diaspora in a Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ), in a day of non-violent demonstrations in Palestine and in the surrounding countries aimed to promote Palestinian self-determination.

Imperfect revolution: Palestine’s 15 March movement one year on, Linah Alsaafin
One year after the 15 March movement’s call for national unity, what has the youth-led mobilization achieved?

Phan Nguyen exposed a good deal of the seamy underside of the StandWithUs-Ministry of Foreign Affairs pinkwashing campaign here in the Pacific NW that ended with the Seattle city LGBT Commission cancelling a gala reception it had planned with an Israeli LGBT delegation brought here to showcase Israel as a haven for gay rights (in opposition to the supposed repression of said rights in the Arab world).  The Seattle city commission took this action after a hearing at which proponents and opponents of the visit by the Israeli delegation got to air their views.  Opponents did not object to meeting with the Israeli delegation.  They objected to the government funding of the tour and the political/hasbara ramifications that went along with such funding.

Over the past several years, the Israeli far-right think tank, the Institute for Zionist Strategies, has accused Tel Aviv University (TAU) and other academic institutions of being hotbeds of anti-Zionism.  Here is how I described the campaign waged by IZS in a

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The Toulouse killings and the false specter of European anti-Semitism

Mar 26, 2012

Alex Kane

Manif 1 edit
Thousands took to the streets of Paris Sunday in a silent march against racism, anti-Semitism and terrorism. (Photo: Leela Jacinto/France24)

The anti-Semitic killings in Toulouse, France last week predictably led a slew of Israelis to raise the specter of European anti-Semitism. This scary prospect was invoked to promote the idea of Israel as the only safe home for Jews. But a close reading of the evidence on anti-Semitism in France, and in Europe as a whole, reveals the specter to be a cheap political trick, perhaps meant to help fix Israel’s “demographic problem.”

Israeli Members of the Knesset Danny Danon (Likud) and Ya’akov Katz (National Union) led the way in exploiting the murders. The Times of Israel reports:

MK Ya’akov Katz called Monday for Jews to leave France in the wake of a deadly attack on a Jewish school in Toulouse.

“There is no Jewish future in France,” Katz, of the National Union party, said, adding that the state of Israel is the future of the Jewish people, and that Jews should not trust their fate to “Sarkozy, Obama or other world leaders…”

In the wake of the deadly attack, MK Danny Danon (Likud), called for an urgent session Tuesday of the Knesset’s Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee, which he chairs, to discuss the attack.

“We will not allow the pogroms of the beginning of the 20th century to return to Europe,” Danon said.

Katz and Danon are expressing the basic Zionist principle that Jews will never be safe in Europe and that Israel is their haven.

The Anti-Defamation League is also peddling a similar line of thought. “ADL Survey In Ten European Countries Finds Anti-Semitism At Disturbingly High Levels,” read the headline on a survey released March 20, a day after the killings in France.

But decades after the Holocaust, just how bad is it for Jews in Europe? It’s nowhere near the point of “pogroms,” to say the least.

Anti-Semitism in Europe exists, for sure. But Dov Waxman, an associate professor of political science at Baruch College, takes a close look at the evidence on anti-Jewish sentiment in Europe in an excellent piece of analysis on +972 Magazine. His takeaway:

The truth is that anti-Semitism in France and in Europe as a whole, though it certainly exists, is not nearly as great a danger as many outside observers in Israel and the United States believe. While the threat of anti-Semitism is real and must be taken seriously, it should not be exaggerated or blown out of proportion. In fact, far from being on the verge of catastrophe, European Jewry is experiencing a renaissance that we should be celebrating.

And his evidence:

To properly gauge the threat posed by anti-Semitism in Europe today we must rely upon empirical data, not traumatic collective memories. In France, the data reveals that anti-Semitic incidents have generally been declining in recent years since an upsurge of incidents in the first half of the 2000s following the outbreak of the Second Intifada (there was another upsurge in 2009 prompted by Israel’s war in Gaza). According to statistics compiled by the French Jewish community’s Jewish Community Protection Service (SPCJ), last year there were 389 anti-Semitic incidents, this was down 16.5 percent from the previous year (when 466 incidents occurred). Although more serious acts of anti-Semitic violence (physical assaults, vandalism, and arson) have not decreased, it is simply wrong to claim that France is experiencing a growing wave of anti-Semitism. In reality, anti-Semitism ebbs and flows in France and elsewhere.

Waxman also skewers the ADL survey:

When it released its most recent survey last week (I can’t help but wonder whether the timing was just a coincidence?) its press release declared that the survey revealed “large swaths of the population [in the ten European countries surveyed] subscribe to classical anti-Semitic notions.” While this was true in some of the countries – Hungary, Poland, and Spain – in others, anti-Semitic views (specifically, that Jews have too much power in business and in international financial markets, are more loyal to Israel than to their own country, and “talk too much” about the Holocaust) were held by only a minority of people, less than a quarter of respondents in most countries, while clear majorities rejected such views.

The press release also highlighted an increase in the overall level of anti-Semitism in France despite the fact that the purported rise in anti-Semitic attitudes there from 20 percent of the population in a previous ADL poll conducted in 2009 to 24 percent in 2012 was actually within the survey’s margin of error. Nevertheless, this didn’t stop Abraham Foxman, the head of the ADL, from simply asserting that: “France has seen an increase in the level of anti-Semitism.”

Danon and Katz may very well know that there is no danger of anti-Jewish pogroms erupting in Europe. But they won’t admit it, because that would undermine a different struggle, what they see as the demographic struggle in Israel/Palestine.

An ulterior motive for the calls for Jews to move to Israel exists. The motive is the fear of Israeli Jews losing their edge in numbers over Palestinians in the territory between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea. This is the “demographic threat” one hears so much talk about. Both Katz and Danon talk of it.

In a New York Times Op-Ed, Danon advocated for the annexing of the West Bank by Israel, but emphasized that in his plan, “Palestinians would not have the option to become Israeli citizens, therefore averting the threat to the Jewish and democratic status of Israel by a growing Palestinian population.” Likewise, Katz has warned that African refugees coming to Israel pose a “demographic threat.”

So Africans and Palestinians need not apply. But French Jews? Come along.

It’s important to realize that Danon and Katz are not primarily concerned with the safety of Europe’s Jews. Their knee jerk reactions to the killings in France were not concerned with the facts. So it’s not a leap to suggest that the specter of European anti-Semitism is raised in the service of consolidating a Jewish majority so that Israel will always be a “Jewish” state.

Israeli diplomat chased out of Morocco after mass protest

Mar 26, 2012

Allison Deger

 

Yesterday, Israeli diplomat David Saranga was chased out of Morocco after a mass demonstration for Palestinian rights spread across the capital. Saranga told the Jerusalem Postthat he did not feel in danger, but he chose to leave Morocco at the behest of a security officer.

The protests began in Morocco last Thursday, when the diplomat first arrived and continued to grow through the weekend, until Saranga left the country. “As early as Saturday, when we were discussing the environment, energy and women’s rights, I could see people protesting outside,” said Saranga. On Sunday “there were maybe a 100,000 demonstrators who yelled and waved signs – and that was that,” said Saranga who today spoke with Ynet News.

The protestors in Rabat called for equal access to Jerusalem and for freedom to Palestinian political prisoners. Also Israeli flags were burned. Today PressTV reported the demonstration was held in conjunction with the Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ), an upcoming international day of action where protestors will walk to the holy city. GMJ is scheduled for March 30th, also known as Land Day, or yom al-arda, in order to call attention to the unequal access to Jerusalem, as imposed by the Israeli occupation.

In 1994 Morocco became the second Arab country in North Africa, following Egypt, to establish diplomatic relations with Israel.
 

‘Be on our side’: Bay Area ad campaign features Palestinian and Israeli women calling for U.S. sanctions against Israel

Mar 26, 2012

Barbara Erickson

Berkely BART ad
Northern California Friends of Sabeel ad in Downtown Berkeley BART Station.                       (Photo: Barbara Erickson)

Two Israeli women, one Palestinian and the other Jewish, are the latest activists to appear on San Francisco Bay Area transit posters calling for an end to U. S. military aid to Israel. Images of Lubna Masarwa and Michal Zak, who work together for the threatened Bedouin of the Negev/Naqab Desert, are now greeting commuters on Bay Area Rapid Transit stations in San Francisco and the East Bay.

“Join with us,” the posters say. “Build peace with justice and equality. End U.S. military aid to Israel.” The five advertisements also invite viewers to read about Lubna and Michal atwww.BuildPeace.org.

Northern California Friends of Sabeel, with help from members of Bay Area Jewish Voice for Peace, produced the posters as part of a campaign inspired by the Chicago group, Committee for a Just Peace in Israel Palestine. (The project is now under the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.) Last year NorCal Sabeel ran ads featuring Jeff Halper of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions with his friend and colleague Salim Shawamreh. Two posters of Jeff and Salim are appearing concurrently with those of the women.

standwithus ad 1000
Stand With Us ad. (Image: Stand With Us)

NorCal Sabeel began its advertising campaign in December 2010 using the Chicago group’s posters of two unnamed fathers, one Israeli and one Palestinian, with their young daughters. In response to these, the Israel Lobby group StandWithUs ran provocative counter ads showing a pair of angry eyes peering out from a keffiyeh, but BART removed these ads after receiving complaints that they were racist. Since then StandWithUs has placed new posters claiming that Israel lacks a partner for peace and directing viewers to a web site that charges Palestinians with teaching their children to hate.

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Culture jammer’s re-branded Stand With Us ad, February 2011. (Photo: Jamnation/IndyBay)

StandWithUs, flush with millions of Israel Lobby dollars, is able to run several times the number of ads that NorCal Sabeel can afford. So Mondoweiss readers are encouraged to help out by visiting www.BuildPeace.org and making a donation.

Visitors to the web site can read about Lubna and Michal, who guide delegations to the most vulnerable citizens of Israel, the remnants of Israel’s historic Bedouin communities. The women accompany visitors to villages like Al Araqib (demolished and rebuilt over thirty times) and Wadi al Na’am, home to 8,000 who live in the shadow of contaminating industrial plants, and they visit other Palestinian communities “unrecognized” by Israel and denied water, transportation, electricity and services readily available to Jewish settlements.

They also escort delegations to the Regional Council of Unrecognized Villages, where newcomers learn that Israel is drafting a law to force the Bedouin off their ancestral lands and into townships blighted by unemployment and poverty. As Israel destroys the “unrecognized” villages, the Jewish National Fund moves in to uproot their trees and plant forests under the pretext of reclaiming the desert. Israeli media meanwhile vilify the Bedouin and say they are “invaders” on their own land.

Michal, a resident of the bi-national community Neve Shalom/Wahat al Salam, spent 20 years working as a political educator, facilitating dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians, and when Lubna attended one of her workshops six years ago, the two women met for the first time. But both of them became disillusioned with dialogue that fails to challenge injustice, and they chose instead to take more direct action in confronting the racism and abuses in Israel and the Occupied Territories.

Lubna highlights the Israeli policy of dividing Palestinians into separate groups and enclaves, and she works with those in the Diaspora, within the state of Israel, and under occupation. She has joined with the Palestinians of East Jerusalem and villagers in the occupied West Bank who are fighting the confiscation of their land, water and homes. She took part in four attempts to break the siege of Gaza by sea and succeeded in entering the strip twice, and she spent six months in Belgium as an advocate for Palestine at the European parliament. At the invitation of Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire, Lubna also attended a forum on nonviolent strategy held in Hawaii.

Two years ago, Michal joined the staff of the Regional Council of Unrecognized Villages that advocates for the 90,000 Bedouin of Israel’s southern desert. She coordinates outreach to Jewish groups and human rights organizations and helps the council tell the story of the persecuted Palestinian Bedouin.

She recounts their stories of dispossession, going back to the early days of Israel, when the tribes were driven off their original land to make way for Jewish settlements and their remnants were forced into a small corner of the desert. She also describes the current assault on their way of life, which threatens to demolish the last Bedouin communities in the name of an exclusive Jewish state.

“There is a plan to concentrate people,” she said, “to take their land and make everyone around, including the international community, think it is all in the name of progress.”

Michal has been called a traitor by some of her fellow Jews, but she finds fulfillment in her work. As a staff member of the regional council, she said, “I feel liberated.”

Lubna has faced harassment from Israeli security services. They call her to say that they are watching her. They have held her for hours of questioning and accused her of threatening the security of Israel, but she is willing to pay the price for her work. “It will not stop me from raising my voice,” Lubna said.

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Culture Jammer’s ad in Bay Area BART system, February 2011. (Photo: Jamnation/IndyBay)

We who believe in freedom

Mar 26, 2012

Noah Lepawsky Emily Katz Kishawi and Mich Levy

In response to the recent debate regarding the Palestinian civil society call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, we offer a view from a Jewish anti-Zionist perspective. We welcome debate as a part of the growth and success of an international movement deploying BDS against Israeli occupation, apartheid and colonization.

claim has been made by Dr. Norman Finkelstein (known for his condemnation of Israel’s use of the Holocaust to justify and perpetuate Israeli atrocities both historic and current) that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign will not win over public opinion towards support of Palestinian rights because its goals imply destruction of Israel. This claim contradicts his own eloquent evocation of humanitarian and human rights law – which is precisely the basis for the Palestinian call for BDS.

South Africa was not ‘destroyed’ or ‘dismantled’ when apartheid ended; rather, the illegal nature of the state was transformed.  BDS does not call for the ‘destruction of Israel’; it calls for the enforcement of international law.

Meanwhile, a call has been made to Zionist American Jews to implement a “Zionist BDS” that isolates and condemns Israeli expansion in the Occupied Palestinian Territories in order to “save Israel.” The Zionist “left” argues that Israel is a “flawed but genuine democracy” with an “ethnically-based non-democracy” beyond the green line (the land occupied in 1967), and that the latter threatens the existence of the former.

This is the fundamental contradiction of Zionism: If the occupied territories are not a democracy due to “ethnically-based” oppression, how can a Jewish state – defined by its sectarian identity – possibly be democratic? Too many defenses of unjust Israeli policy rest on a refusal to recognize that a state organized on privileging one sectarian identity is, by definition, anti-democratic.

We all share a responsibility to reject unjust laws and practices – including discrimination, exclusion and ethnic cleansing – and to insist that the guidelines by which we live are those which maintain the rights and dignity of all people.  In the United States, many believed that an economy built on slavery was compatible with democracy; that wasn’t true.  We reject the Zionist assertion that a Jewish settler-colonial state can be democratic.

The international call for boycott, divestment and sanctions to end the occupation challenges individuals who profess to respect principles of human rights and dignity to question and rescind their support for an apartheid State of Israel. Supporting the Palestinian call for BDS of Israel is one way to stand on the right side of history.

Many divergent visions of the future of Palestine exist. We can agree and disagree. Nevertheless, we welcome and encourage all initiatives, particularly from among Jews, that genuinely seek to challenge existing oppression in Palestine. We remind all participants in these debates that it is not the role of people in the US to determine the future of another people, and call for respect for the fundamental Palestinian demand for self-determination.

History has taught us that no oppression can be challenged effectively except through the participation and active leadership of those who are principally affected. We are therefore particularly alarmed by suggested campaigns that seem to seek to remove Palestinian demands from the center of the struggle against the occupation. Such campaigns, even if they outwardly challenge the occupation, will, at best, result in a less explicit apartheid and a less recognized occupation.  A just resolution needs to include, at minimum, the three stated rights of the Palestinian civil society call: 1) Ending the occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the apartheid wall; 2)Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and 3) Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

The ‘clash of civilizations’ and the death of an Iraqi mother in San Diego

Mar 26, 2012

Adam Horowitz

martin
Students don hijabs and hoodies in solidarity with slaying victims Shaima Alawadi and
Trayvon Martin (Photo: eastcountymagazine.org) For more see Facebook here.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

Reporting from San Diego— El Cajon police are asking for the public’s help in its investigation into the fatal beating of an Iraqi immigrant and have not ruled out the possibility that Shaima Alawadi was the victim of a hate crime.

“We’re investigating all aspects of this crime,” Lt. Mark Coit said Sunday. “The minute you rule out a possible motive, you start to get tunnel vision. As of now, we have not ruled out any of the motives for why people kill people.”

Near the body of the 32-year-old Alawadi, police found what has been described as a threatening note. Police have declined to release the text, but relatives and friends say the handwritten note warned Alawadi to “go back to your own country” and labeled her a terrorist.

The family told police they had received a similarly threatening note several days earlier but considered it a prank by teenagers.

Alawadi was found unconscious Wednesday morning in the dining room of the family’s home by her 17-year-old daughter. She was taken to a hospital, where she was diagnosed as brain-dead. Her family decided on Saturday to discontinue life support.

Police said that whatever the motive, the attack appears to be “an isolated event,” not part of an overall pattern of violence toward immigrants.

Justin Raimondo offers some more details and context at Antiwar.com:

On Wednesday, in the quiet San Diego suburb of El Cajon, California, the teenage daughter of Shaima Alawadi returned home to find her mother drowning in a pool of blood. There were signs of forced entry at the back of the house. Someone had broken in and beaten her mother nearly to death with a tire iron.

Next to her body was a note: “Go back to your own country, you terrorist.”

A similar note had been found tacked to the family’s door a few weeks earlier, but Shaima had dismissed it as a kid’s prank.

This kind of hate is nothing new for San Diego. In 2010, a plan to build a mosque in nearby Temecula resulted in a series of protest  demonstrations by local nut-jobs. A woman in a hijab was hauled off a Southwest Airlines flight in at San Diego airport in 2011 by TSA agents, and told the captain didn’t “feel comfortable” with her on the flight: this was around the same time braying demagogue Peter King (R-New York) was holding hearings on the “Muslim fifth column in America.” Last year, a similar“go back to where you came from” message was delivered by someone who repeatedly punched a Muslim cab driver, who had been observed praying. See herehere, and here for more evidence of the climate of hate darkening the otherwise sunny skies of this California redoubt of bigotry and military families.

If you want some idea of what’s going on in Southern California, these days, take a look at this video of a demonstration in Yorba Linda, where an inter-religious charity event for the homeless was surrounded by hundreds of screeching banshees, screaming their hatred of Muslims. And lest you think this is just a fringe phenomenon, note that no less than three elected officials addressed this hate-fest: congressmen Ed Royce and Gary Miller, and Villa Park councilwoman Debra Pauly – all three of them Republicans, naturally.

As children and women in hijabs walk with quiet dignity into the charity venue, the crowd unleashes its fury of hate: “Go home, go home, go home!” they yell. Is it a coincidence that this is the very same message in the note from Shaima’s killer?

(h/t Dan Crowther)

Barghouti and Waskow debate BDS on Democracy Now

Mar 26, 2012

Adam Horowitz

 

Cultivate Hope – a poem for Hana Shalabi

Mar 26, 2012

Adam Horowitz

 

From YouTube:

Hana Shalabi is a Palestinian political prisoner. She was released from over two years in administrative detention on 18 October 2011, as part of the prisoner exchange deal. She was re-arrested less than four months later on 16 February 2012, and immediately began a hunger strike in protest of her detention.
Cultivate Hope, a poem written on day 40 of Hana Shalabi’s hunger strike, by Rafeef Ziadah / music by Phil Monsour.

UPDATE: Hamas, family misled AP reporter on death of five month old child

Mar 26, 2012

Today in Palestine

UPDATE: Hamas blames fuel shortage for Gaza baby’s death
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A Gaza man said Sunday his 5-month-old baby died two days ago after the generator powering his respirator ran out of fuel, but the report was called into question after it emerged that the timing of the baby’s death was misrepresented.

The baby’s death — which was confirmed to The Associated Press by a man identified as the father and a Gaza hospital official — would have been the first linked to the territory’s energy crisis, and the report appeared to be an attempt by Gaza’s Hamas rulers to use it to gain sympathy.

However, the AP later learned that news of Mohammed Helou’s death first appeared March 4 in the local Arabic-language newspaper Al-Quds, in an article written by a relative of the bereaved family. . .

The Al-Quds article contained the same details as the one recounted by the Helou family on Sunday, saying Mohammed died from choking on his own phlegm. The story quoted that father as saying their generator ran out of fuel, causing their son’s respirator to stop working and ultimately causing the baby to choke to death.

The fuel crisis was relevant in early March as well, but Hamas apparently missed the report in Al-Quds — a publication considered loyal to its rival, Fatah — and Hamas was now trying to recycle the story to capitalize on the family’s tragedy.

Confronted by the AP with the newspaper story, the family and Hamas Gaza health official Bassem al-Qadri continued to insist the baby arrived dead at a Gaza City hospital on Friday night.

AP reporter Diaa Hadad who covered the story and the Hamas spin commented on Twitter:

bit.ly/GQMAz9 #Hamas misrepresented a story. Two Hamas officials misled us and so did the family.

— Diaa Hadid (@diaahadid) March 25, 2012

@richards1052 One of the worst days of my professional life, because I am obsessive about checking and cross checking

— Diaa Hadid (@diaahadid) March 26, 2012

Gaza baby dies as power cut shuts breathing aid
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A seven-month-old baby in Gaza died on Friday evening after medical equipment he was connected to switched off as a result of a power cut, a Hamas-affiliated TV channel said. Gaza medical spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya confirmed the incident, adding that the infant was born with respiratory problems and doctors had recommended the use of mechanical breathing apparatus to be used at home. The father of the child had turned on the apparatus before going to sleep but during the night a power cut caused it to switch off, resulting in the infant’s death, Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV reported.
link to www.maannews.net

Israel’s claimed easing is false. Besieged Gazans remain isolated. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) assessed conditions in January. Except for limited amounts of agricultural products, Gaza’s export economy’s suffering. In addition, imports of basic needs and raw materials fall well below minimal needs. Karm Abu Salem crossing was closed nearly 30% of the time. Incoming truckloads are 28.5% of pre-siege levels.

link to sjlendman.blogspot.com

Ethnic Cleansing / Destruction of Homes / Theft of Natural Resources / Refugees
IOA serves demolition notice to Palestinian family in Bethlehem
The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) served demolition notice to a Palestinian family in Nahalin village to the west of Bethlehem on Friday.

There are approximately 50 outposts – essentially baby settlements – in the West Bank, all illegal according to Israeli law. Migron, established in 2002, is supposed to be dismantled by the end of March, 2012. So why isn’t that going to happen?

Israel’s Exploitation Highlighted on Water Day
In the wake of World Water Day, both local and international organisations have issued reports and organised demonstrations to raise attention to the exploitation and demolition of water resources by Israeli settlers to the detriment of Palestinians living in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).

Thabet: Stop oppressing Palestinians in Iraq
Thabet organization for Palestinian refugees right of return has called for ending the oppression befalling Palestinian refugees in Iraq.

Violence / Aggression Against Palestinians
Two Children Injured By Army Fire Near Ramallah
A Palestinian child was wounded in the face by a rubber-coated metal bullet fired by Israeli soldiers who attacked nonviolent protesters against the Wall and Settlements in Nabi Saleh village, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah; a second child was shot and injured in the leg.
link to www.imemc.org

A family’s nightmare: Beaten and kidnapped by illegal settlers near Qadumim as Israeli military facilitates the crime
A family of four were kidnapped by settlers on Thursday afternoon while having a picnic close by an outpost near Qadumim. When soldiers arrived at the scene they chased away the relatives of the kidnapped family with tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets alongside settlers throwing stones. It was around 4.30 pm on Thursday that the El Seddi family, who were eating almonds on their families land in the outskirts of Jit, east of Nablus, was kidnapped by a gang of settlers. The settlers approached the family on four wheelers in a group of about ten young men with their shirts wrapped around their heads to conceal their faces.

Jewish settlers shoot at, wound Palestinian villager
A Palestinian man in his forties was wounded in his shoulder when Jewish settlers shot at Palestinian villagers in Burka village to the east of Ramallah city on Saturday.

The bullet shot from a short distance hit the boy in the face penetrating his right cheek and piercing it. Israeli Border Police officers shot a rubber-coated bullet at 15 year-old Ezz Tamimi’s face from a distance of about 20 meters, during the weekly demonstration in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh today. The bullet, which hit the boy’s cheek, went through it, gouging a large hole in it. The Israeli army’s own open-fire regulations forbid the use of rubber-coated bullets against minors.
Israeli soldiers attack South African and Portuguese ambassadors with tear gas
The South African and Portuguese ambassadors to occupied Palestine were reportedly attacked with tear gas grenades by Israeli soldiers during their participation in Kafr Qaddum march.
Soldiers Invade Several Towns Near Hebron
Israeli army invaded on Thursday at night several towns near the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and also invaded several neighborhoods in the city, clashes were reported.

A few nights ago the Israeli military raided the home of imprisoned Palestinian protest leader Bassam Tamimi. During the raid in Nabi Saleh, in the occupied territories, a relative of Tamimi filmed four soldiers traipsing through the family home—pawing around in the children’s bedroom. While the kids are sleeping, the soldiers read through their school notebooks, confiscating one with a pink top cover. And they break a shelf in the closet. They are clumsy and oafish.

Nabi Saleh Stands Strong in the Face of Nightly Raids
Friday 23 March 2012–The tiny village of Nabi Saleh once again assembled together to hold another of its weekly nonviolent protests against the neighboring illegal Israeli settlement of Halamish, as well as Israel’s occupation at large.
link to www.palestinemonitor.org

It was under a bright, sunny sky that the people of Kufr Qaddoum once again gathered to protest against the roadblock which isolates them from the rest of the West Bank. The past week there had been much frustration and anger since Murad Ashtawi, member of the Popular Committee, was arrested during last week’s demonstration.
Palestinian Hunger Strikers
Israel may force feed a Palestinian hunger striker in a bid to prevent her from continuing her protest, Amnesty International said on Friday. The rights group condemned any attempts to force Hana Shalabi, who has been on hunger strike for 37 days in protest of her continued detention without trial, to eat as “cruel” and called on Israel to either charge or release her. “There are reports that the Israeli authorities may be considering force-feeding her, which could constitute cruel and inhuman treatment. As a general rule, hunger strikers should not be forcibly fed,” a statement from the group said.
Ashqar: Number of solidarity hunger strikers on the rise
The number of Palestinian prisoners going on hunger strike in solidarity with detained hunger strikers Hana’a Shalabi and MP Ahmed Al-Haj had risen to 26 in various prisons.

Political Prisoners & Detainees
The Israeli occupation forces escalated their arrest campaigns in lines of Palestinians since the start of 2012 and rounded up around 900 including children, women, lawmakers, and liberated prisoners.

Early Monday morning, on the 20th of March, Israeli soldiers raided a Palestinian home in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, terrorized a family and arrested a young woman named Amani Al Khandaqja. The soldiers arrived at 2am, whilst the family was sleeping, they surrounded and then entered the house. One of Amani’s brothers was awoken by loud voices outside his window, upon looking out he saw a number of soldiers interrogating members of a neighboring household. As he ran to wake up his father, Saleh, a series of loud, hard bangs could be heard on the front door of the household.  After repeated banging, Saleh went down to open the door, and the Israeli Occupying Forces violently forced entry into Amani’s home. The entire family of 9 were forced onto the roof of their own home with their hands held above their heads and held at gun point.
The Palestinian Ministry of Detainees reported Saturday that Palestinian political prisoners in Nafha, Majiddo, Galboa’, and Ramon Israeli prisons, returned their meals on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday morning, in protest to forced DNA tests conducted on them by, under gunpoint, the Israeli soldiers.

Confined Cruelty: Israeli Treatment of Palestinian Minors, Graham Peebles
For many Palestinian children their childhood is lived under a cloak of fear, and the threat of violence and abuse at the hands of an armed force that stalks the streets of their homeland. In the eleven years since 2000, Israeli forces have killed “1,471” (1) children in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the bulk of which are aged between 13 and 17 years old. The children of Gaza have been and continue to be at greater risk, with almost a thousand murdered in the last twelve years, on the streets of their city, on their way to and from school, whilst playing with friends, shopping for their family or simply relaxing in their homes. Most are shot randomly, indiscriminately, or killed as a result of Israeli air and ground attacks. Around 50 were taken prematurely from their families by unexploded ordnance.

Popular Protests / Activism / Solidarity / BDS
Dozens of local residents, and International peace activists, held the weekly nonviolent protest against the Annexation Wall and Settlements in Al-Ma’sara village, near Bethlehem; Israeli soldiers attacked the protestors leading to clashes leading to clashes between local youths and the army, no injuries were reported.

Beit Ommar Weekly Demonstration Against the Occupation

On Saturday, March 24, 2012, Palestinian, Israeli and international activists held a demonstration in Beit Ommar against the Karmei Tsur settlement. Karmei Tsur is built on stolen Palestinian land and makes it impossible for the farmers of Beit Ommar to access parts of their land. The settlement is highly secured by military forces and fences. Today’s demonstration was against the settlement, and against any further encroachments on Palestinian land. It also marked the 38th day of Hana Shalabi’s hunger strike in protest of her administrative detention. Additionally, demonstrators protested the expulsion of eight minors from Beit Ommar, to be followed up in Ofer Military Court tomorrow.

Campaign Against the Israeli Occupation Military Decision to Deport 8 Minors from Beit Ommar

The Ofer Israeli occupation military court demanding the deportation of 8 boys from the area of ??their residence in Beit Ommar. In a precedent the first of its kind against Palestinian children, Ofer Military Court, which was held on Tuesday, called for the deportation of 8 young minors from their homes In Beit Ommar for a distance of at least 30 kilometers from the town, according to Israeli military prosecution claim: that these young minors are a danger to the security of the settlers who are going through from Hebron Jerusalem Road.
The words come from Hana Shalabi, on hunger strike for 38 days. On Monday, March 19, 2012, there was a demonstration in Hebron in support of her and others in administrative detention. 18th of October 2009 Hana was released after more than two years in administrative detention, connected to the prison exchange (1027 Palestinians for Gilad Shalit). 16th of February this year, 50 soldiers with dogs showed up at her door, arresting her once again, without charge or further explanation. She went on hunger strike immediately, in protest against the violent and chargeless arrest. After one week her lawyers received a court order putting her in administrative detention.

A demonstration was organised on Thursday afternoon at Ibn Rushd Square, in the southern West Bank city of al-Khalil to protest political detention by the PA in Ramallah.

Global March to Jerusalem Set for 30 March
On 30 March thousands people from throughout the world will join Palestinians from the Middle East and the Diaspora in a Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ), in a day of non-violent demonstrations in Palestine and in the surrounding countries aimed to promote Palestinian self-determination.

Imperfect revolution: Palestine’s 15 March movement one year on, Linah Alsaafin
One year after the 15 March movement’s call for national unity, what has the youth-led mobilization achieved?

Phan Nguyen exposed a good deal of the seamy underside of the StandWithUs-Ministry of Foreign Affairs pinkwashing campaign here in the Pacific NW that ended with the Seattle city LGBT Commission cancelling a gala reception it had planned with an Israeli LGBT delegation brought here to showcase Israel as a haven for gay rights (in opposition to the supposed repression of said rights in the Arab world).  The Seattle city commission took this action after a hearing at which proponents and opponents of the visit by the Israeli delegation got to air their views.  Opponents did not object to meeting with the Israeli delegation.  They objected to the government funding of the tour and the political/hasbara ramifications that went along with such funding.

Over the past several years, the Israeli far-right think tank, the Institute for Zionist Strategies, has accused Tel Aviv University (TAU) and other academic institutions of being hotbeds of anti-Zionism.  Here is how I described the campaign waged by IZS in a

Posted in Nova NewsletterComments Off on Mondoweiss Online Newsletter

Hypocrisy of Humanitarian Aid to Syria

NOVANEWS

By Dr. Elias Akleh

In her address at the U.N. Security Council Monday 3/12 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated: 

“The US believes firmly in the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all member states, but we do not believe that sovereignty demands that this council stand silent when governments massacre their own people, threatening regional peace and security in the process.  And we reject any equivalence between premeditated murders by a government’s military machine and the actions of civilians under siege driven to self-defense”.

 For a while I thought that Mrs. Clinton’s heart had a touch of compassion for the 5 years long besieged and starved Palestinians in Gaza, who have been the target of unprovoked assassinations, murder and extensive aerial bombardments in a graduated extermination scheme by the Israeli military machine. Last such unprovoked attack took place weekend of 3/10-11 in 37 aerial sorties during four days that murdered 27 Palestinians many of them school children while on their way to school. The real reason of this Israeli attack was to draw out Palestinian rockets in order to test the Israeli “Iron Dome” defense system in a real life situation.

Unfortunately Clinton was defending instead the Western/Qatari/Saudi armed foreigners, al-Qaeda, and Syrian rebels, who had been terrorizing and massacring Syrian civilians in many Syrian border cities. As for the Palestinian self-defense Clinton had this hippocratic contradictory response: “Let me also condemn in the strongest terms the rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel, which continued over the weekend.”   Clinton’s fake humanitarian sentiments towards the Palestinians were also expressed in her threats to stop the American financial aid to Egypt if it exports fuel to Gaza to operate its power station. Gaza has been in total darkness for weeks due to shortage of fuel. It seems that in Clinton’s twisted logic Palestinians have no right for self-defense and Syrian government has no right to fight terrorists.

US State Department spokeswoman, Vicoria Nuland, , had also stressed the American disregard to Palestinian’s right of self-defense and the continuous unconditional prejudiced support to Israeli terror when she condemned “in the strongest terms”  the rocket fire from Gaza towards southern Israel.

The 60 years long suffering of Palestinians under the Zionist occupation, the Israeli theft of their land, the daily destruction of their homes, the imprisonment of their children, the never ending destruction of their economy and uprooting and burning of their farm trees and slaughter of their farm animals by religiously extremist occupiers (so-called settlers), the assassination of their leaders and political dissidents, the extreme violations of their human rights and freedom, and the ethnic cleansing of their families had never moved any humanitarian feeling in the heart of any American senators while the defeat of the Syrian armed terrorists and their flight to Syrian border towns during just one year had moved many senators to demand military intervention in Syria to protect those “poor” Syrian citizens.

The most enthusiast among these senators is the Zionist-bribed, “bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” warmongering, power-drunk senile Republican John McCain. We should also mention here the “soft hearted” US ambassador to Lebanon, Maura Connelly, who called on Tuesday March 6th for the protection of all whom she called disarmed Syrians including members of the terrorist Free Syrian Army during her meeting with Lebanese Interior Minister Marwan Charbel. Connelly wanted Lebanon to create a “safe buffer zone” on its border with Syria to host “Syrian refugees” where this zone would become a military base to train terrorists and a launching pad for terrorist attacks within Syria. The Pentagon, also, has prepared basic plans to attack Syria including limited airstrikes, the establishment of a no-fly zone and a humanitarian corridor to deliver $10 million worth of relief (and military) supplies, as revealed by Army General Martin Dempsey. An internal email dated December 7th 2011 from an official at Stratfor Global Intelligence Agency exposed that the US had sent American special operation forces to Syria to train and to arm Syrian armed militia to topple Syrian Assad’s regime in an act of war.

This humanitarian Pentagon would not even ponder neither the idea of establishing a no-fly zone nor spending $1 worth of relief supplies delivery to the Palestinians besieged and starved in Gaza for the last seven years in the dark without electricity and under the unprovoked routine Israeli air strikes, rather it gives Israel more sophisticated weapons to murder more Palestinian children. If we forget about the besieged Palestinians because the US supports Israel unconditionally, then we would ask for support to Bahraini and Yemini popular uprising to obtain social freedom and adopt democratic rule.

The US would be better off helping its own people before helping other countries. The American tax payers are suffering from high rate of unemployment, homelessness, budget cuts on all social services including medicare and education, increase of crime rate, and millions of families living under the poverty line. The number of beggars; young and old, standing on major freeway exits in a metropolitan city of Los Angeles is on the increase. Where is Clinton’s humanitarian help for her own citizens?

The US is not the only hypocritical party when it comes to Syria. European countries, especially France, are also guilty. France wants its old colony back; Syria was under the French mandate (occupation) since WWI until independence in April 1946. Along with the US France had tried hard, but failed due to Russian and Chinese veto, to secure a UN resolution calling for military intervention in Syria. French military special operation forces, some of which have been captured by Syrian security forces when they reclaimed Baba-Amr in Homs, had been sent to Syria to train and arm militias.

This is an act of war.  Humanitarian France, the birth place of the French Revolution defending human rights and freedom, had justified sending fighter planes to Libya causing the death of thousands of Libyans in order to free them from Qaddafi, and is now calling for arming Syrian rebels to affect another civil war and destruction, had stood dumb silent for sixty long years watching the Palestinians butchered by Israel. French humanitarian mouth is also shut tight about Yemini and Bahraini peaceful demonstrations faced with savage attacks by their governments.

The most hypocritical of them all are the Arab States especially the Gulf absolute dictatorships of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, who, instead of helping their Arab brothers reach a peaceful resolution, have become the western tools to divide, destroy, and ignite civil wars within other Arab States. Qatar is an absolute monarchy ruled by Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, who seized power from his father in a coup d’état in 1995. He persecuted, imprisoned, tortured and killed most of his father’s loyalists and revoked citizenships from almost five thousand dissidents. Qatar has no constitution, no democracy, no freedom, and no human rights. Qatar served as a launching pad for American invasion of Iraq and has been turned into an American military base since 1992.

The Emir and his foreign minister, Hamad bin-Jassim, had turned into Arab enemy combatants through their cooperation with Israel. Their pictures with Israeli war criminals are all over the internet. They also planned to run gas and oil pipe lines from Qatar to Israeli port of Haifa and had invited Israeli companies to invest in Qatar. When Israel attacked Lebanon in 2006 and Gaza in 2008/9 the Emir and his foreign minister stood cheering the Israeli army and predicting the end of Hezbollah and Hamas. Their antagonism to Arab causes was also apparent when Qatar sent military trainers, advisers and weapons to help Libyan rebels destroy Libya, while similar armed military troops were also sent to Yemen and Bahrain, but paradoxically, to oppress the peaceful civilian demonstrators demanding freedom and democracy.

Bin Jassim was heard vowing vehemently to topple Syrian Assad’s regime, and Qatari money, weapons, and military officers have not been spared for this purpose. Qatari weapons have been sent to Syrian rebels through Jordan, and Bin Jassim, in a meeting with Lebanese, Saudi, Turkish, American and French intelligence officers, had pledged to pay a million dollar to every terrorist group who would perpetrate a terror attack in Syria’s main cities. Car bombings in Damascus and Halab killing scores of Syrian citizens seem to come as a result of such a pledge. Through Qatar’s leadership of the Arab League Bin Jassim had pushed hard to adopt resolutions against Syria, to call on UNSC to pressure Syria, to organize Friends of Syria Conference, and to call for arming Syrian militias.

Similar to Qatar Saudi Arabia is an absolute dictatorship. There is no constitution, no freedom, no democracy and no human rights. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch had criticized Saudi Arabia for grave human rights violation in death penalty by beheading for many crimes and especially when it comes to women’s rights. Saudi women have no rights at all. They must be completely veiled, not allowed to walk in the streets alone without an escort and not even drive a car. Although considered the richest Arab state due to oil revenue it is estimated that 20% of citizens are below the poverty line while 30% are jobless when foreigners occupy Saudi jobs. Saudi Arabia was virtually occupied by American forces and became the launching pad for war against Iraq in 1990 and again in 2003. Saudi foreign policy has been covertly pro-American and pro-Zionist and did not serve the interest of its citizens or the interest of the rest of Arab world.

This was clearly exposed lately during the American invasion of Iraq, by sending troops and weapons to Libya to get rid of Qaddafi, by sending troops to Yemen and to Bahrain to aggressively oppress the popular demonstrators and finally by arming Syrian militias. While claiming to protect Syrian human rights Saudi troops are savagely crushing their own citizens demonstrating in the eastern and northern towns, especially university female students and professors, demanding political reform, freedom and democracy. Demonstrations and strikes are spreading largely to Saudi pilots and to government employees fighting corruption and demanding equality. The Saudi Spring seems on the verge of exploding.

After playing the lead role in criticizing Assad’s regime Turkey’s rhetoric was quickly subdued after the capture of Turkish officers in Baba Amr and the economic loss Turkey had suffered due to economic boycott by Syria. Turkish oppositional parties had criticized Prime Minister, Erdogan’s, policy towards Syria, and had opposed his decision to establish a safe buffer zone on the Syrian border to harbor Syrian rebels. Turkey has its own Kurdish problem and has been militarily suppressing Kurdish liberation movements. Armed clashes between Turkish troops and Kurdish groups are on the rise. During this month, March, five Turkish soldiers and seven armed Kurds were killed on 22nd during clashes in Istanbul and Diyarbakir while Kurds were celebrating Nowruz Day. In the 24th of the month the Turkish Interior Ministry announced the killing of fifteen Kurdish militia men in skirmishes in south eastern part of the country. The Kurdistan Workers’ Party, an organization fighting an armed struggle against Turkey to establish autonomous Kurdistan, vowed to hit Turkish targets if Turkey interfered in Syria’s affairs by establishing a buffer zone. Before meddling in its neighbors’ affairs by harboring, training and arming Syrian rebels Turkey should instead handle its own Kurdish problem first.

Syrian citizens have the right to demonstrate peacefully demanding change in their government. Unfortunately the so-called Syrian opposition was not peaceful and was not political. It did not offer any political program and refused to negotiate with the ruling regime. It also rejected the new constitution that guaranteed democratic reform. They have turned armed terrorists whose goal is to topple the regime by force rather than reform it.  Opposition is always political and never calls for armed struggle otherwise it becomes a coup. Some western and Arabic countries hijacked the demonstrations, and turned them militarized in an attempt to topple Assad’s regime.   Foreign fighters; Lebanese, Libyans, Iraqis, Qataris, Saudis, Turkish, French, and American, were sent to Syria to train and arm rebels, who call themselves “Free Syrian Army”

This armed militias are divided among themselves in different groups under different leaderships with different goals. They have occupied neighborhoods by force, destroyed oil pipelines, bombed bridges, car-bombed government buildings, ambushed Syrian security forces, and massacred pro-Assad citizens, at times whole families. They have disrupted basic services critical to citizens’ survival including access to food supplies, medical care, water, electricity, transportation and education. These are grave human rights violations and extensive war crimes as was reported by Human Rights Watch (HRW). Countries that support and arm these terrorist are guilty of terror attacks as well. There is no sovereign state in the world that would accept foreign calls to arm oppositional militias, whose goal is to topple the government through terrorist attacks, and Syria has every right to fight these armed terrorists.

Syrian Assad’s regime has responded positively to his people’s demands, accepted Arab League’s resolutions, received international monitors, offered political negotiations through Russian mediation, offered a new constitution in a referendum to the people, and announced new parliamentary election on May 7th. Yet arms are still flowing into the country. The goal here is not spreading democracy for the new Syrian constitution guarantees democratic rule with multiple political parties, it is not getting rid of Assad’s rule for according to the new constitution once he serves his terms he would be replaced by an elected president, rather it is the destruction of anti-Zionist, anti-American, pro-Palestinian and pro-Iranian Syrian foreign policy and replacing it with a friendly Israeli and American regime in the backyard of Iran.

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