Ghassan Kanafani 50 years ago: A Letter from Gaza To Mustafa: Come back, to learn from Nadia’s leg..

Letter from Gaza by Ghassan Kanafani
Dear Mustafa,
I have now received your letter, in which you tell me that you’ve done everything necessary to enable me to stay with you in Sacramento. I’ve also received news that I have been accepted in the department of Civil Engineering in the University of California. I must thank you for everything, my friend. But it’ll strike you as rather odd when I proclaim this news to you — and make no doubt about it, I feel no hesitation at all, in fact I am pretty well positive that I have never seen things so clearly as I do now. No, my friend, I have changed my mind.
I won’t follow you to “the land where there is greenery, water and lovely faces” as you wrote. No, I’ll stay here, and I won’t ever leave. I am really upset that our lives won’t continue to follow the same course, Mustafa. For I can almost hear you reminding me of our vow to go on together, and of the way we used to shout: “We’ll get rich!” But there’s nothing I can do, my friend. Yes, I still remember the day when I stood in the hall of Cairo airport, pressing your hand and staring at the frenzied motor.
At that moment everything was rotating in time with the ear-splitting motor, and you stood in front of me, your round face silent. Your face hadn’t changed from the way it used to be when you were growing up in the Shajiya quarter of Gaza, apart from those slight wrinkes. We grew up together, understanding each other completely and we promised to go on together till the end. But… “There’s a quarter of an hour left before the plane takes off. Don’t look into space like that. Listen! You’ll go to Kuwait next year, and you’ll save enough from your salary to uproot you from Gaza and transplant you to California. We started off together and we must carry on. . .”
At that moment I was watching your rapidly moving lips. That was always your manner of speaking, without commas or full stops. But in an obscure way I felt that you were not completely happy with your flight. You couldn’t give three good reasons for it. I too suffered from this wrench, but the clearest thought was: why don’t we abandon this Gaza and flee? Why don’t we?
Your situation had begun to improve, however. The ministry of Education in Kuwait had given you a contract though it hadn’t given me one. In the trough of misery where I existed you sent me small sums of money. You wanted me to consider them as loans. because you feared that I would feel slighted. You knew my family circumstances in and out; you knew that my meagre salary in the UNRWA schools was inadequate to support my mother, my brother’s widow and her four children.
“Listen carefully. Write to me every day… every hour… every minute! The plane’s just leaving. Farewell! Or rather, till we meet again!” Your cold lips brushed my cheek, you turned your face away from me towards the plane, and when you looked at me again I could see your tears. Later the Ministry of Education in Kuwait gave me a contract. There’s no need to repeat to you how my life there went in detail. I always wrote to you about everything. My life there had a gluey, vacuous quality as though I were a small oyster, lost in oppressive loneliness, slowly struggling with a future as dark as the beginning of the night, caught in a rotten routine, a spewed-out combat with time. Everything was hot and sticky. There was a slipperiness to my whole life, it was all a hankering for the end of the month.
In the middle of the year, that year, the Jews bombarded the central district of Sabha and attacked Gaza, our Gaza, with bombs and flame-throwers. That event might have made some change in my routine, but there was nothing for me to take much notice of; I was going to leave. this Gaza behind me and go to California where I would live for myself, my own self which had suffered so long.
I hated Gaza and its inhabitants. Everything in the amputated town reminded me of failed pictures painted in grey by a sick man. Yes, I would send my mother and my brother’s widow and her children a meagre sum to help them to live, but I would liberate myself from this last tie too, there in green California, far from the reek of defeat which for seven years had filled my nostrils. The sympathy which bound me to my brother’s children, their mother and mine would never be enough to justify my tragedy in taking this perpendicular dive. It mustn’t drag me any further down than it already had. I must flee!
You know these feelings, Mustafa, because you’ve really experienced them. What is this ill-defined tie we had with Gaza which blunted our enthusiasm for flight? Why didn’t we analyse the matter in such away as to give it a clear meaning? Why didn’t we leave this defeat with its wounds behind us and move on to a brighter future which would give us deeper consolation? Why? We didn’t exactly know.
When I went on holiday in June and assembled all my possessions, longing for the sweet departure, the start towards those little things which give life a nice, bright meaning, I found Gaza just as I had known it, closed like the introverted lining of a rusted snail-shell thrown up by the waves on the sticky, sandy shore by the slaughter-house. This Gaza was more cramped than the mind of a sleeper in the throes of a fearful nightmare, with its narrow streets which had their bulging balconies…this Gaza! But what are the obscure causes that draw a man to his family, his house, his memories, as a spring draws a small flock of mountain goats? I don’t know.
All I know is that I went to my mother in our house that morning. When I arrived my late brother’s wife met me there and asked me,weeping, if I would do as her wounded daughter, Nadia, in Gaza hospital wished and visit her that evening. Do you know Nadia, my brother’s beautiful thirteen-year-old daughter?
That evening I bought a pound of apples and set out for the hospital to visit Nadia. I knew that there was something about it that my mother and my sister-in-law were hiding from me, something which their tongues could not utter, something strange which I could not put my finger on. I loved Nadia from habit, the same habit that made me love all that generation which had been so brought up on defeat and displacement that it had come to think that a happy life was a kind of social deviation.
What happened at that moment? I don’t know. I entered the white room very calm. Ill children have something of saintliness, and how much more so if the child is ill as result of cruel, painful wounds. Nadia was lying on her bed, her back propped up on a big pillow over which her hair was spread like a thick pelt. There was profound silence in her wide eyes and a tear always shining in the depths of her black pupils. Her face was calm and still but eloquent as the face of a tortured prophet might be. Nadia was still a child, but she seemed more than a child, much more, and older than a child, much older. “Nadia!”
I’ve no idea whether I was the one who said it, or whether it was someone else behind me. But she raised her eyes to me and I felt them dissolve me like a piece of sugar that had fallen into a hot cup of tea. ‘ Together with her slight smile I heard her voice.
“Uncle!
Have you just come from Kuwait?” Her voice broke in her throat, and she raised herself with the help of her hands and stretched out her neck towards me. I patted her back and sat down near her.
“Nadia! I’ve brought you presents from Kuwait, lots of presents. I’ll wait till you can leave your bed, completely well and healed, and you’ll come to my house and I’ll give them to you. I’ve bought you the red trousers you wrote and asked me for. Yes, I’ve bought them.” It was a lie, born of the tense situation, but as I uttered it I felt that I was speaking the truth for the first time.
Nadia trembled as though she had an electric shock and lowered her head in a terrible silence.
I felt her tears wetting the back of my hand.
“Say something, Nadia! Don’t you want the red trousers?”
She lifted her gaze to me and made as if to speak, but then she stopped, gritted her teeth and I heard her voice again, coming from faraway.
“Uncle!” She stretched out her hand, lifted the white coverlet with her fingers and pointed to her leg, amputated from the top of the thigh.
My friend … Never shall I forget Nadia’s leg, amputated from the top of the thigh. No! Nor shall I forget the grief which had moulded her face and merged into its traits for ever. 
I went out of the hospital in Gaza that day, my hand clutched in silent derision on the two pounds I had brought with me to give Nadia. The blazing sun filled the streets with the colour of blood. And Gaza was brand new, Mustafa! You and I never saw it like this. The stone piled up at the beginning of the Shajiya quarter where we lived had a meaning, and they seemed to have been put there for no other reason but to explain it.
This Gaza in which we had lived and with whose good people we had spent seven years of defeat was something new. It seemed to me just a beginning. I don’t know why I thought it was just a beginning. I imagined that the main street that I walked along on the way back home was only the beginning of a long, long road leading to Safad. Everything in this Gaza throbbed with sadness which was not confined to weeping. It was a challenge: more than that it was something like reclamation of the amputated leg!
I went out into the streets of Gaza, streets filled with blinding sunlight. They told me that Nadia had lost her leg when she threw herself on top of her little brothers and sisters to protect them from the bombs and flames that had fastened their claws into the house. Nadia could have saved herself, she could have run away, rescued her leg. But she didn’t.
Why?
No, my friend, I won’t come to Sacramento, and I’ve no regrets. No, and nor will I finish what we began together in childhood. This obscure feeling that you had as you left Gaza, this small feeling must grow into a giant deep within you. It must expand, you must seek it in order to find yourself, here among the ugly debris of defeat.
I won’t come to you. But you, return to us! Come back, to learn from Nadia’s leg, amputated from the top of the thigh, what life is and what existence is worth.
Come back, my friend! We are all waiting for you.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
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A Graphic video that shows war crime: A Sniper Shooting a Relief Worker on a Gaza Street

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

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Britain warns Israel Western opinion is turning against it over Gaza

Amal Saad

Reuters reports that Britain’s Foreign Secretary basically urges Israel to act more like a liberal imperialist than a histrionic Zionist nut-case which is alienating a once sympathetic western public:

“I am appealing to my Israeli counterparts, to their Western values, to do everything they can in exercising their legitimate right to self defense to minimize the casualties that are caused….As this campaign goes on and the civilian casualties in Gaza mount, Western public opinion is becoming more and more concerned and less and less sympathetic to Israel.”

Apprently, the daily massacres of women and children holed up inside their homes with nowhere to run, the bombing of hospitals and UNRWA schools, the deliberate targeting of children playing football, the calls for the “extermination” of Gazans by Zionist rabbis, Zionist politicians’ and academics’ calls for the killing and rape of Palestinian mothers, the depiction of Israel’s war crimes as [Palestinian] “self-genocide”, the reference to Palestinian child victims as “telegenically dead”, the Israeli public’s macabre rejoicing over the slaying of Palestinians (AP reports that those who oppose the invasion are a “minority”), the bloodthirsty social media campaigns launched by Israeli teenagers and youths, all this has started to embarrass Israel’s western liberal allies.

The Zionist regime’s denunciation of the United Nations Human Rights Council as a “kangaroo court” and its portrayal of Brazil as an “irrelevant” “diplomatic dwarf” have only reinforced the world’s growing awareness that Israel is bat-shit crazy.

Full report here

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Isis orders all women and girls in Mosul to undergo FGM, says UN

Iraqi families displaced by the Isis offensive in Mosul and northern Iraq at a refugee camp near Irbil. Photograph: Kamal Akrayi/EPA

Jul 24, 2014, The Guardian

The militant group Islamic State (Isis) has ordered all girls and women in and around Iraq‘s northern city of Mosul to undergo female genital mutilation, the United Nations says.

The “fatwa” issued by the Sunni Muslim fighters would potentially affect 4 million women and girls, the UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Iraq, Jacqueline Badcock, told reporters in Geneva by videolink from Irbil.

“This is something very new for Iraq, particularly in this area, and is of grave concern and does need to be addressed,” she said.

“This is not the will of Iraqi people, or the women of Iraq in these vulnerable areas covered by the terrorists,” she added.

No one was immediately available for comment from Isis, which has led an offensive through northern and western Iraq.

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Hamas’ military wing to political leaders: we have the final say

Abu Ubeida (R), the official spokesperson of the Palestinian militant group Ezzedine al-Qassam brigade, the armed wing of Hamas, give a press conference on July 3, 2014 in Gaza City.
Published Thursday, July 24, 2014
It is clear that what sets the bar for the efforts of the political leaders of the Palestinian factions are the achievements of the Resistance in the field. But while the military cadres have their own political views that are sometimes ahead of the politicians’, in the end, the two converge to shape the final outcome.
Gaza – Israel initiated the current war, assigning a name for its assault on the Gaza Strip under the banner of eliminating the Resistance, taking advantage of favorable regional developments and the end of the Muslim Brotherhood-led administration in Egypt, as the military took over power there. This has put the Palestinian factions, led by Hamas, in a corner, and subjected Gaza to a crippling economic and political crisis in parallel with a hostile campaign in the media, all circumstances that almost brought total catastrophe to Gaza. But the war has reset the compass, so to speak.
The Resistance is now affirming that the party that initiated the war will not be the one to decide when it would end, in reference to the occupation. Furthermore, even though the military wings take their orders from the political leaderships of the respective factions in accordance with their chains of command. It seems that the military wings and the Resistance fighters on the fields will this time have the final say.
In this regard, an informed source in al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, told Al-Akhbar that the Brigades had been vigilant and had taken stock of many important indications and political climates prior to the war. Accordingly, plans and strategies were drawn up to cope with and prepare for a broad assault on Gaza that they saw was coming.
Perhaps this battle is different from previous ones in that the military commanders seem to be the ones in control, as they plan, implement, and dictate the terms. According to the source, politicians must therefore convey the voice of the military leaders and negotiate on their behalf, “unlike before, when al-Qassam would wait for political decisions to escalate what is now an open-ended confrontation.”
This should not be surprising. Shortly before the war, in an interview with Al-Akhbar, the al-Qassam official spokesperson Abu Ubaida had confirmed more or less the same thing. He had said, “The occupation is an enemy and it will always remain so. So what need is there for political decisions in responding to a war waged by Israel? Is it reasonable to wait for a decision to defend oneself when it is a natural right that is also stipulated in the reconciliation agreements?”
Meanwhile, since, as observers have indicated, communications are being monitored, the political leadership, especially for those leaders based abroad, does not specify exact targets the Resistance must strike or give it instructions regarding the nature of its work. Instead, it gives general orders while giving freedom for the field commanders to operate within its general guidelines.
Regarding this specific point, political sources inside Hamas say that the traditional rules that govern the organization’s work have been turned upside down. The sources explained, in the context of affirming the division of labor between the government and the military wing within the movement, “Efforts are underway to emulate Hezbollah in Lebanon [...] in leaving negotiations and the management of people’s affairs to governments and other national forces.”
What confirms the above is the fact that the developments on the field have been the most important factor influencing the course of political negotiations. Even as Israel sought a ceasefire at any cost, Hamas, and specifically al-Qassam Brigades, rejected a ceasefire for not factoring in its demands, as it sought to prove its strength and its ability to dictate the terms that the other side must implement.
The military source from al-Qassam Brigades also told Al-Akhbar that the group has the ability and capacity to continue the battle for many more months. For this reason, he said, “We have told the leadership not to compromise on any of the demands for a ceasefire, including reopening the crossings, lifting the siege, and facilitating the movement of citizens.” The source stressed that this is well known to the political leadership, as evident from the remarks made by the head of Hamas’ political bureau Khaled Meshaal on Wednesday evening.
The source continued, “No matter how long the negotiations regarding a ceasefire will last, neither Hamas nor the [Palestinian Islamic] Jihad will change their position. The leaderships of both organizations are aware of the capabilities of the military leaderships on the ground.”
In effect, this has given the military wings of the Palestinian Resistance factions greater freedom to move in the north, south and east of Gaza, as evident from the impressive operations carried out by the Resistance. Israel itself has been forced to admit to its casualties, and has described the current conflict in Gaza as one of the most difficult battles it has ever fought there.
However, the political source said that the current information war between Israel and the Resistance makes it more difficult to assess the situation, especially for some analysts who see what is happening as a high-stakes gamble. However, he explained that the current phase of the war, now in its third week, is the most difficult phase, “because the Resistance is fighting an existential battle, especially in light of changing political equations.”
Writer and political analyst Hussam al-Dajani has a different assessment. He said that al-Qassam does not have a monopoly over decision-making, and that its primary reference is the political leadership, something that applies to all other Resistance factions in his view.
Yet Dajani admitted that the main determinant of the decision-making would be the course of the events on the ground. He told Al-Akhbar, “As long as the Resistance has the upper hand, it is the right of the politicians to cling to their terms that are consistent with the demands of the people, which explains why they have doubled down on their demands.”
Dajani believes it likely, based on what is going on in the field, that Israel would want to bring about a quick ceasefire through mediations and that it would show some flexibility in considering the conditions of the Resistance, though he said Israel would also be looking to save face. Dajani reckons that the coming two days will be crucial in this respect.
For his part, Akram Atallah, a commentator, stressed that Hamas is an integrated, interdependent organization, “where no one can distinguish between what is military and what is political, because the two arms in the end are wedded to the same approach.”
Concerning the current developments, Atallah believes there is a shared view within Hamas to reject the Egyptian ceasefire initiative, saying, “It is possible to infer that the rejection was based on the military arm’s input, but it is certain that the Resistance cadres would not be able to fight the negotiations’ battle, which the politicians will handle.”
Back to the military source from al-Qassam, he said that Hamas’ military wing had been able to keep the former captive Israeli soldier in custody for five years, during which the slain Ahmed Jabari was directly responsible for the negotiations until the deal in 2011, adding that “success would not have been possible were it not for the shrewdness of the military [wing], which is characterized by firmness and confidence, and does not cave in to any changes on the field or in politics because it knows its own capabilities.”
Commenting on this, Atallah said, “No doubt, the battlefield affects the politicians’ efforts, but the decision in the end will be in their hands because they, the politicians, are aware of how regional and international events play out, although their discourse will clearly reflect what the Resistance fighters and the people want.”
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.
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Gaza Curse: AZA SAMI died after thanking Netanyahu for the Gaza Genocide.

الصحفية عزة سامي، نائب رئيس صحيفة الأهرام رئيس قسم التحقيقات

توفيت الصحفية عزة سامي، نائب رئيس صحيفة الأهرام، رئيس قسم التحقيقات، الخميس، بعد تعرضها لمرض مفاجئ، لم يتمكن الأطباء من إنقاذها.

وقالت مصادر لـ«المصري اليوم» إن عزة سامي، كانت تقضي إجازة في العين السخنة، وإن صلاة الجنازة والدفن سيتمان خلال ساعات.
عزة سامي كانت تشغل رئيس قسم الخارجي سابقًا، وكانت تعمل بوكالة أنباء الشرق الأوسط.
وذاع صيت «عزة سامي» بعدما وجهت الشكر لرئيس الوزراء الإسرائيلي بنيامين نتنياهو، على ضربه قطاع غزة، وقالت في حسابها الشخصي على «فيس بوك»: «كتر خيرك يا نتنياهو ربنا يكتر من أمثالك للقضاء على حماس أُس الفساد والخيانة والعمالة الإخوانية، وقسما بالله اللي هيقولى حرام مش عارفة ممكن أعمل إيه».
 

تحالف صباحى يتضامن مع حماس لتعديل “مبادرة مصر”

تحالف صباحى يتضامن مع حماس لتعديل "مبادرة مصر"

 

كتب- محمود فايد ومحمد مصطفى:الخميس , 24 يوليو 2014 16:53
أعلنت الأحزاب المصرية المؤيدة للمرشح  الرئاسى الخاسر حمدين صباحى، تضامنها  الكامل  مع القضية الفلسطينية، ووقف العدوان الصهيونى على قطاع غزة، مؤكدين ضرورة تعديل المبادرة المصرية التى تقدمت بها مصر لوقف العدوان والعمل على تحقيق مطالب المقاومة الفلسطينية.
يأتى ذلك فى الوقت الذى ترفض المقاومة الفلسطينية  المبادرة المصرية، وتطالب بتعديلها فيما يرفض الكيان الصهيونى  التعديل،فيما أكد حمدين صباحى، المرشح  الرئاسى، ضرورة أن تتسع المبادرة المصرية  لتعديلات  تحقق مطالب المقاومة الفلسطينية”، مطالباً فى الوقت ذاته ضرورة أن تتوحد الفصائل الفلسطينية تحت راية واحدة لتحقيق مطالبهم قائلا: “موقف مصر من عدوان غزة لابد أن يكون فى صف فلسطين  وليس محايد كما هو الآن”.
جاء ذلك بعد أن نظمت الأحزاب وقفة تضامنية مع الشعب الفلسطينى أمام السفارة بعد عقد اجتماع داخل السفارة، وذلك تنديدًا واعتراضًا علي القصف الإسرئليى في قطاع غزة والأراضي الفلسطينية.
وشارك فى الوقفة الدكتورة هالة شكر الله رئيس حزب الدستور وحمدين صباحى المرشح الرئاسى السابق والناشط الحقوقى جورج إسحق، وحمدى السطوحى رئيس حزب العدل، ومحمد سامى، رئيس حزب الكرامة, وعدد من الشخصيات السياسية.
وطالب القيادات السياسية، بإغلاق السفارة الإسرائيلية وسحب السفير المصري من تل آبيب، وفتح معبر رفح بشكل دائم .
وقال جمال الشوبكى, سفير فلسطين بالقاهرة، أن  الجهود المبزولة من الجانب المصرى لوقف العدوان على إسرائيل جهودة محمودة ولها التقدير الكبير، حيث الدور الفعال من  مصر  فى إطار دفاعها المستمر عن القضية الفلسطينة.
وأكد”الشوبكى”، على أنه لا توجد أى مبادرات تم  طرحها إلا من الجانب المصرى ، مشيراً إلى أنه يأمل أن تكلل جهود مصر بالنجاح لدعم فلسطين وشعبها.
قال حمدين صباحى، زعيم التيار الشعبى, أن الإعتداء الصهيونى على قطاع غزة هو إعتداء على  الأمة العربية والمصرية  خاصة لمايقوم به من جرائم حرب فى حق الإنسانية المصرية قائلا:” الاعتداء  على فلسطين  اعتداء على عروبتنا ومصريتنا وما تقوم  به إسرائيل جرائم حرب ضد العروبة”.
جاء ذلك فى تصريحات له  أثناء الوقفة التضامنية بالسفارة  الفلسطينة بالقاهرة،  مؤكداً أن الشعب المصرى مع المقاومة  الكاملة ضد الكيان الصهيونيى من أجل رفع الحصار عن قطاع  غزة  وفتح  المعابر تحت السيادة المصرية ،مشيرا إلى  أنه من الضرورة أن يكون موقف مصر واضح  فى تأييدها للشعب الفلسطينى  وقضيته  وليس موقف المحايد”.
وأوضح  صباحي، أن  مصر ليست طرفًا مفاوضًا أو وسيطًا  ولكن دورها أكبر بكثير من أى دولة عربية، خاصة أن القضية الفلسطينة هى قضية مصرية وعلى القيادة المصرية أن تكون  فى صف الدولة الفلسطينة وليست الكيان الصهيونى.
وبشأن المبادرة المصرية التى تقدمت بها لوقف العدوان قال  صباحى:” لابد  أن تتسع المبادرة المصرية  لتعديلات  تحقق مطالب  المقاومة الفلسطية”، مطالباً فى الوقت ذاته ضرورة أن تتوحد الفصائل الفلسطينية تحت راية واحدة لتحقيق مطالبهم قائلا:”موقف مصر من عدوان غزة لابد أن يكون فى صف فلسطين  وليس محايدًا كما هو الآن”.
واختتم صباحي كلمته، بالتأكيد علي ضرورة  أن تسعى مصر فى إطار تحالف إقليمى ودولى  للدفاع عن حقوق عروبتنا وقوميتنا ومواجهة إسرائيل  وعدوانها  الغاشم على الأمة العربية.
وحصلت “بوابة الوفد” على بيان من القوى السياسية ورد فيه: ستظل فلسطين   القضية المركزية من أجل الأمة العربية للتمسك بحقوقها وحقوق شعبها  التاريخية فى الأرض والعودة  هى قدس أقداس العرب فى تاريخ الشعوب ،حين تقاوم الاحتلال فإنه يصيبها  غالبا الخسائر  أكثر  مما تصيبه  بخسائر  إلا أن  هدف المقاومة ومعيارها  يكون دائما  هو أن  الاحتلال  لن يستقر أو يدوم  وفى النهاية ستنتصر  مقاومة الشعوب وتفرض إرادتها وينتهىى  الاحتلال.
وفى ظل هذه الظروف العصيبة والصعبة  التى يسجل  فيها أهلنا  فى غزة  أروع  أيات  العز  والفخار  ويظهر  العدو الصهيونى  حقيقته العدوانية  الدموية الاستعمارية  تؤكد الأحزاب والشخصيات  الموقعة على البيان ،حتمية  وقف العدوان  ووقف المجزرة  التى ترتكب  ضد  شعبنا  الفلسطينى  وسحب  السفير المصرى  لدى العدو الصهيونى  أقل  إجراءا  يمكن  اتخاه  أمام الجريمة  ضد الإنسانية  التى ارتكبتها ويرتكبها الكيان الصهيونى.
فلسطين هى قضية وطنية  لأنها من صميم الأمن القومى  لمصر وفقا للجغرافيا  والتاريخ والواقع  الذى نعيشه  وفى ذات الوقت  إسرائيل هى العدو الاستراتيجى الأول وخطر دائم  والمقاومة الفلسطينة هى حق وشرف وواجب.
وثمن  السفير الفلسطينى  زيارة الأحزاب المصرية له، مؤكداً على أنه زيارة مشكورة ومحمودة وليست بجديدة على المصريين ونبلهم.

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Imminent Understanding Underway to Ensure Safe Exit of Qalamoun Terrorist Groups

Behind the Scenes

Local Editor

— Negotiations and mediations are underway to reach an understanding to ensure a safe exit of the military takfiri groups in Qalamoun area. The groups expressed interest and willingness to finalize a deal that would help them leave the area into other parts of Syria.

—  Expectations are high that the Iraqi authorities and different political parties would finally reach an agreement to elect a new prime minister and a new president. Many political groups and influential figures are exercising pressure to hammer a deal that would bring the country out of the deadlock soon.

—  The Israeli occupation is heading to receive a humiliating devastating blow from the resistance fighters in  Gaza Strip. The hysteric military reactions of the occupation forces reveal the dilemma they were engulfed in. Israeli occupation is begging a deal that would save its face to avoid more major blows to its military.

Source: Al-Manar Website

23-07-2014 – 16:40 Last updated 23-07-2014 – 16:40


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A chessboard drenched in blood

By Pepe Escobar

“The intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.” Everyone remembers the Downing Street Memo, which unveiled the Bush/Blair “policy” in the run-up to the 2003 bombing/invasion/occupation of Iraq. The “policy” was to get rid of Saddam Hussein via a lightning war. The justification was “terrorism” and (non-existent) weapons of mass destruction (WMD), which had “disappeared”, mounted in trucks, deep into Syria. Forget about intelligence and facts.

The tragedy of MH17 – turned, incidentally, into a WMD – might be seen as a warped rerun of imperial policy in Iraq. No need for a memo this time. The “policy” of the Empire of Chaos is clear, and multi-pronged; diversify the “pivot to Asia” by establishing a beachhead in Ukraine to sabotage trade between Europe and Russia; expand the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to Ukraine; break the Russia-China strategic partnership; prevent by all means the trade/economic integration of Eurasia, from the Russia-Germany partnership to the New Silk Roads converging from China to the Ruhr; keep Europe under US hegemony.
The key reason why Russian President Vladimir Putin did not “invade” Eastern Ukraine – as much as he’s been enticed to by Washington/NATO – to stop a US military adviser-facilitated running slaughter of civilians is that he does not want to antagonize the European Union, Russia’s top trading partner.

Crucially, Washington’s intervention in Kosovo invoking R2P – Responsibility to Protect – was justified at the time for exactly the same reasons a Russian intervention in Donetsk and Luhansk could be totally justified now. Except that Moscow won’t do it – because the Kremlin is playing a very long game.

The MH17 tragedy may have been a horrendous mistake. But it may also have been a desperate gambit by the Kiev minions of the Empire of Chaos. By now, Russian intel may have already mastered the key facts. Washington’s predictable modus operandi was to shoot from the hip, igniting and in theory winning the spin war, and doubling down by releasing the proverbial army of “top officials” brimming with social media evidence. Moscow will take time to build a meticulous case, and only then lay it out in detail.

Hegemony lost
The Big Picture spells out the Empire of Chaos elites as extremely uneasy. Take Dr Zbigniew “The Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski, who as a former foreign policy mentor has the ears of the increasingly dejected White House paperboy. Dr Zbig was on CNN this Sunday challenging Europe’s leaders to “stand up to Putin”. He wonders if “Europe wants to become a satellite” and worries about “a moment of decisive significance for the future of the system – of the world system”.

And it’s all Putin’s fault, of course: “We’re not starting the Cold War. He [Putin] has started it. But he has gotten himself into a horrendous jam. I strongly suspect that a lot of people in Russia, even not far away from him who are worried that Russia’s status in the world is dramatically being undermined, that Russia’s economically beginning to fail, that Russia’s threatened by the prospect of becoming a satellite to China, that Russia’s becoming self-isolated and discredited.”

Obviously Dr Zbig is blissfully unaware of the finer points of the Russia-China strategic partnership, as well as their concerted voice inside the BRICS, the G-20 and myriad other mechanisms. His trademark Russophobia in the end always gets the better of him. And to think that in his latest book, Strategic Vision (2012), Dr Zbig was in favor of an enlarged “West” annexing Turkey and Russia, with the Empire of Chaos posing as “promoter” and “guarantor” of broader unity in the West, and a “balancer” and “conciliator” between the major powers in the East. A quick look at the record since 2012 – Libya, Syria, Ukraine, encirclement of China – reveals the Empire of Chaos only as fomenter of, what else, chaos.

Now compare a fearful Dr Zbig with Immanuel Wallerstein – who was a huge influence in my 2007 warped geopolitical travel bookGlobalistan. In this piece (in Spanish) Wallerstein argues that the Empire of Chaos simply can’t accept its geopolitical decadence – and that’s why it has become so dangerous. Restoring its hegemony in the world-system has become the supreme obsession; and that’s where the whole “policy” that is an essential background to the MH17 tragedy reveals Ukraine as the definitive do or die battleground.

In Europe, everything hinges on Germany. Especially after the National Security Agency scandal and its ramifications, the key debate raging in Berlin is how to position itself geopolitically bypassing the US. And the answer, as pressed by large swathes of German big business, lies in a strategic partnership with Russia.

Show me the missile
Slowly, with no hype and no spin, the Russian military are starting to deliver the goods. Here, courtesy of the Vineyard of The Saker blog, is their key presentation so far. As The Saker put it, Russia had – and has – a “20/20 radar vision”, or full spectrum surveillance, on everything going on in Ukraine. And so, arguably, does NATO. What the Russian Ministry of Defense is saying is as important as the clues it is laying out for experts to follow.

The damaged MH17 starboard jet engine suggests a shape charge from an air-to-air missile – and not a Buk; that’s consistent with the Russian Ministry of Defense presentation graphically highlighting an Ukrainian SU-25 shadowing MH17. Increasingly, the Buk scenario – hysterically peddled by the Empire of Chaos – is being discarded. Not to mention, again, that not a single eyewitness saw the very graphic, thick missile trace that would have been clearly visible had a Buk been used.

Way beyond the established fact of a Ukrainian SU-25 trailing MH17, plenty of unanswered questions remain, some involving a murky security procedure at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport – where security is operated by ICTS, an Israeli company based in The Netherlands and founded by former officers from the Israeli Shin Bet intel agency. And then there is the unexplained presence of “foreign” advisors in Kiev’s control tower.

As much as Bashar al-Assad in Syria had absolutely no motive to “gas his own people” – as the hysterical narrative went at the time – the Eastern Ukraine federalists have no motive to down a civilian airliner. And as much as Washington doesn’t give a damn about the current civilian slaughter in Gaza, it doesn’t give a damn about the MH17 civilian deaths; the one and only obsession is to force Europeans to sanction Russia to death. Translation: break up Europe-Russia commercial and geopolitical integration.

One week before the MH17 tragedy, the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies was already sounding the alarm concerning the Empire of Chaos’s “policy” and its refusal to “adhere to the principles and norms of international law and the rules and spirit of the existing system of international relations”.

Moscow, in building its case on the MH17 tragedy, will bide its time to debunk Kiev’s claims and maximize its own credibility. The game now moves to the black boxes and the cockpit voice recorder. Still Ukraine will remain the do or die battlefield – a chessboard drenched in blood.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

He may be reached at pepeasia@yahoo.com.

(Copyright 2014 Asia Times Online (Holdings) Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing.)
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إلى محمود عباس: أطلق سراح الضفة

إلى محمود عباس: أطلق سراح الضفة

 

ابراهيم الأمين

 قيل سابقاً إنه لو شوهد الملك حسين على حصانه يقتحم ــــ ولو رياءً ــــ معبر اللنبي فاتحاً الطريق إلى القدس، للحق به الناس، لأنهم لن يسيروا إلا خلف من يرفع الراية.

وقيل، أيضاً، لو أن حسني مبارك قاد ــــ ولو رياءً ــــ تظاهرة لإغلاق السفارة الإسرائيلية في القاهرة، لصفح الناس عن خدماته لأميركا وإسرائيل.

وقيل، أيضاً وأيضاً، لو أن حكام العرب غضبوا ــــ ولو رياءً ــــ ورفضوا التحدث مع الغرب، وأقفلوا أنابيب النفط ليوم واحد نصرة لفلسطين، لرفعت صورهم إلى جانب صور الشهداء.
أول من أمس، كادت شرايين ياسر عبد ربه تخرج من رقبته وهو يصرّح نصرة لأهل غزة. قبله، كان صوت محمود عباس يصمّ آذان المشاركين في اجتماع القيادة الفلسطينية، وهو يتحدث عن حق المقاومة في القطاع المستفرد. لكن فلسطين لا تحتاج إلى مزيد من الصراخ، ولا تحتاج إلى أفعال فوق الطاقة أو فوق المرتجى. ما يمكن سلطة رام الله أن تقوم به هو أن تترك الناس يدافعون عن أنفسهم بأنفسهم. وما يمكن عباس أن يفعله هو أن يحفظ كرامة نفسه وأهله وشعبه، وأن يعتصم في مقره، ويجمع معه كل قياداته السياسية والأمنية، وأن يطلب إلى شرطته العودة إلى منازلها، أو حماية الناس الغاضبين في الشارع.

 

ليترك عباس أهل الضفة ينتفضون لدماء إخوتهم في غزة. وكل خشية من مآل الانتصارات غير منطقية. فلا أحد يخاف انتصار المقاومة إلا عدوها. هذا ما خبره الفلسطينيون منذ عقود، وخبرناه نحن في لبنان.

 يعرف عباس أن إسرائيل لا تقيم له وزناً. وهي كانت تطرده كلما طرق بابها قاصداً التسوية والصلح. وكانت ترفض أي وساطة دولية معها لدعمه أو شد إزره. وكانت تقمع كل محاولة لتثبيت سلطة مستقلة عن أوامر الحاكم العسكري. وكانت تقابل كل تنازل منه بفوقية تجعله يستعد لتنازل جديد. وهي لم تقابله يوماً إلا بالإهمال والإهمال والإهمال.

 على ماذا يخشى عباس بعد؟

 هل يعتقد إن هو أعلن مقاطعة العدو وحلفائه، بأن إسرائيل ستعيد احتلال كل فلسطين؟

 وهل يعتقد بأن القتل سيكون أكثر قسوة مما يجري الآن؟ وهل يصدّق، فعلاً، أنه رئيس سلطة يخشى عليها من الانهيار؟ وهل يعتقد بأن الاحتلال المقنّع أقل قسوة من الاحتلال المباشر؟

 إذا كان بعض من حوله ممن يستفيدون من هذه السلطة الكرتونية، ويستثمرون قهر أهلهم في مكاسب تافهة، يخشون على أنفسهم ومصالحهم، فليس لهؤلاء قيمة من دونه. إذ إنه الغطاء الحقيقي لكل هؤلاء. ومتى قرر إعلان الغضب، ووقف قمع الناس، سيدرك أن مكانته عند أهله ستكون أعلى بما لا يقاس من المكانة التي يضعه فيها العدو اليوم.

 في «فتح»، اليوم، أزمة هوية وأزمة الانتماء. وما الاتصالات والاحتجاجات وبيانات التمرد، إلا إشارة إلى أن الكوادر الذين هم على تماس مع الشارع، يعرفون أنه لم يعد هناك من مجال للصمت، وأنه لا مجال بعد اليوم لبيع الناس أوهام السلام والحلول السلمية. هؤلاء يعرفون أن إرث «فتح» النضالي يمكنها من لعب دور محوري في قيادة حركة الاستقلال الوطني. ويدرك هؤلاء، تماماً، أن مقاومة غزة تحتاج نضالات «فتح»، وأن الهوية الوطنية الفلسطينية لا تقوم من دون مقاومة قادرة على تحرير الأرض، وأن الانتماء إلى فلسطين ليس عبر ورقة صدر الإذن عن إسرائيل بطباعتها وحيازتها.

 ثمة أسباب كثيرة تدفع أهل الضفة إلى الانتفاضة، أو أقله لهبّة شعبية، تكفي لإشعار العدو بأن الأزمة تتجاوز حدود القطاع. والمعنى الفعلي لأي مصالحة وطنية، هو بانضمام الضفة اليوم، وقبل الغد، إلى معركة الدفاع عن فلسطين التي تخوضها غزة. وإذا كان في الضفة، كما في مناطق كثيرة من فلسطين أو العالم العربي، من لا تعجبه حركة حماس، أو لا يريد موالاة حركة الجهاد، فما عليه إلا رفع لواء المقاومة. وليحجز له مكانته الحقيقة في قيادة الشعب الفلسطيني.

 هبّة الضفة ستكون الدافع الأكبر لجعل الشارع الفلسطيني في مناطق الـ48 أمام استحقاق وطني هو الأكبر في تاريخه. وستلمس إسرائيل لمس اليد، أنها مرفوضة في كل مدينة وقرية وناحية من أرض فلسطين. وأن كل سنوات الاحتلال لا تمنحها شرعية امتلاك الحق المغتصب.

 يا عباس، أغث الضفة ولو رياءً!


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2014


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“ISRAELIS” CALLING FOR GENOCIDE

Eva Bartlett

Mahdi Nazemroaya noted:

“People need to listen to Israeli Hebrew-speaking media and read Haaretz.Listen to what most Israeli officials and politicians are saying. They are openly talking abut genocide, killing all Arabs, and even raping Palestinian women systematically…

The current state of Israel is not the real Israel and has nothing to do with the Torah or Judaism and most the current Israelis are not the descendants of the Israelites of the past — let alone Semites —- or even practicing Judaism.

There is also major media censorship about the tens of thousands of practicing Jews that have held marches in opposition to Israel and who refuse to recognize this “Israel” as a Jewish State. Why is this not being reported? Because it would make people question the claims of this “Israel” and the religious criteria it presents for its justification.

Those practicing Jews opposed to Israel — true Torah Jews — that have done their best to preserve Judaism know that Biblical Scripture is VERY clearly against the formation of Israel, unlike some ignorant Western Christians who read mistranslated and defaced Bibles. To those who really want to learn about “the Way” (the name that Jesus and his early followers used to name their faith), go learn Aramaic and Koine Greek and visit the practicing Christians in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East.

Stop hiding behind the Bible and using it to justify murder, transgression, and the appropriation of other peoples’ lands.

Read about the Irgun gangs and what they were doing to civilians in villages in an effort to “cleanse the land,”

Read the words of Israel’s preeminent historian Benny Morris.who admits that from the start they were forcing civilians to leave. I quote him: “A Jewish state would not have come into being without the uprooting of 700,000 Palestinians. Therefore it was necessary to uproot them. There was no choice but to expel that population. It was necessary to cleanse the hinterland and cleanse the border areas and cleanse the main roads.”

***

I posted this earlier, but it is relevant and cited by Nazemroaya: Calls for genocide enter Israeli mainstream

“Here are comments from three rightwing Israelis – two leading politicians and a professor – who very much reflect a strain of mainstream thinking in Israel, one that the international media largely avoids noting.

Each, in their different ways, is advocating a genocide of the Palestinians.

Ayelet Shaked, of economics minister Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home party, calls on her Facebook page for murdering the mothers of what she terms Palestinian “terrorists” (a very broad concept indeed in current Israeli thinking) so that they cannot give birth to more “little snakes”:

They have to die and their houses should be demolished so that they cannot bear any more terrorists. They are all our enemies and their blood should be on our hands. This also applies to the mothers of the dead terrorists. …

[The terrorists] are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.

Mordechai Kedar, a lecturer on Arabic literature at Bar Ilan University, believes the sisters and mothers of Palestinian “terrorists” should be raped:

A terrorist, like those who kidnapped the boys [in the West Bank on June 12] and killed them, the only thing that will deter them, is if they know that either their sister or mother will be raped if they are caught. What can we do? This is the culture that we live in.

Note that his university did not reprimand him. They defended his comments:

The purpose was to define the culture of death of the terrorist organizations. Dr Kedar illustrated in his words the bitter reality of the Middle East and the inability of a modern and law-abiding country to fight the terror of suicide bombers.

And finally we have Moshe Feiglin, a deputy speaker of the Israeli parliament and a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, urging the Israeli army to kill Palestinians in Gaza indiscriminately and use every means possible to get them to leave:

[Netanyahu] announces that Israel is about to attack military targets in their area and urges those who are not involved and do not wish to be harmed to leave immediately. Sinai is not far from Gaza and they can leave. This will be the limit of Israel’s humanitarian efforts. … All the military and infrastructural targets will be attacked with no consideration for ‘human shields’ or ‘environmental damage’. …

The IDF will conquer the entire Gaza, using all the means necessary to minimize any harm to our soldiers, with no other considerations. … The enemy population that is innocent of wrong-doing and separated itself from the armed terrorists will be treated in accordance with international law and will be allowed to leave. Israel will generously aid those who wish to leave.

This psychosis is not going to get better on its own. In fact, it’s going to get much worse. How much worse will depend entirely on the continuing inaction of western leaders.

http://jonathanturley.org/2014/07/17/they-have-to-die-israeli-politicians-comments-calling-for-killing-of-mothers-of-palestinians-trigger-international-backlash/

http://972mag.com/nstt_feeditem/israeli-scholar-only-raping-the-sister-of-a-palestinian-can-deter-him/

www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/15326

Christian leaders express shock at world silence after ISIS expels Iraqi Christians

Iraqi Christians pray during a mass at the Saint-Joseph church in Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, on July 20, 2014.(Photo: AFP-Safin Hamed)
Published Thursday, July 24, 2014
The patriarchal residence in the town of Atchanah in Lebanon’s Metn region brought together yesterday representatives of the churches of Mosul five days after the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) forced Iraqi Christians out of the city. This is the first time that Mosul’s Christian population has been driven out of the city and is the largest forced displacement since the Armenian genocide. Nevertheless, there are people who still believe in returning despite a Western and Arab failure to act.

About 10,000 Christians left Mosul. Nothing like this has happened since the Armenian genocide in Turkey about a hundred years ago.

 

Until last week, ISIS was just a “joke” or a “boogieman created by the Syrian regime to scare minorities and keep them by its side.” That is why kidnapping the two bishops, Boulos al-Yazigi and Youhana Ibrahim, near Aleppo a year and a half ago did not serve as an adequate warning of how serious and extremist these fundamentalist movements are. The occupation of Maaloula and the burning of its churches did not change anything in the Syrian scene and the kidnapping of the nuns was not met with a response proportional to the crime. All this passed in absolute lightness as some Lebanese politicians scoffed at the fundamentalist danger: this is the people’s revolution.
Last February, ISIS issued a decree similar to Mosul’s decree in the Syrian city of al-Raqqa, asking Christians to pay a religious levy in gold and minimize the appearances of any of their religious paraphernalia. Then they began carrying out judgements based on “Islamic law” from lashes to killing, crucifixions and stoning. But it is that same old lightness – intentional perhaps – that drove some to say “there are people extending the life of the regime by fabricating news and videos and misleading journalists and foreign news agencies.” That is why it took ISIS crossing the Syrian border towards Iraq for some people to become conscious of the danger… and recognize it, if only to avoid embarrassment.
Last Saturday was the deadline that ISIS gave Christians in Mosul to either convert to Islam, pay a religious levy, leave the city or die by the sword. As a result, about 10,000 Christians left Mosul. Nothing like this has happened since the Armenian genocide in Turkey about a hundred years ago.
Ignatius Aphrem II, patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Antioch and All the East, said that most of the Christian families fled to Kurdistan and the Nineveh Plains while others went to Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Remarkably, Aphrem II said that some families insisted on staying in Mosul, adding: “we lost contact with them.” Until now, “there is no information whatsoever about the fate of these families,” he confirmed.
Yesterday Aphrem II headed a meeting at the patriarchal residence in Atchanah – Bikfaya, five days after the “war crime,” as he called it in his message, that included representatives of the five churches found in Mosul to discuss the situation of Christians in the city. The ecclesiastic gathering was large, it included patriarchal vicar of the Syriac Catholic Patriarchal Diocese, Youhanna Jihad Battah, Chaldean bishop of Lebanon, Michel Kasarji, priest of the Assyrian Church of the East in Lebanon, Fr. Yathroun Koulianos, general secretary of the Middle East Council of Churches, Fr. Michel Jalkh, Fr. Carlo Yeshuah, associate secretaries of the Middle East Council of Churches, Deacon Jimmy Danho and Mr. Elias Halabi, bishops of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Lebanon, president of the Syriac League, Habib Afram in addition to the Iraqi cleric Abdel Rahim al-Musawi, Iraq’s Ambassador in Lebanon Dr. Raad al-Alousi and Iraq’s consul in Lebanon, Dr. Walid Abdel Qader al-Issa.
In his message, Patriarch Aphrem II condemned incidents “considered barbaric and unprecedented in the history of Christian-Muslim relations in this region. ISIS systematically forced Christians out of the city of Mosul labeling them with racist signs and symbols, humiliating and luting them.” He called on Muslims and their leaders to “take a clear stance,” expressing astonishment at the prevailing silence “except for some Muslim religious leaders and civil dignitaries.” He went on to say that injustices such as “burning churches and taking over holy sites will not compel us to ask for Western protection or help.”
He declared however: “We are going to address the United Nations (UN) and the highest international and human rights fora to hold them accountable to the Bill of Rights they claim to support.” He called on the Iraqi government and “Kurdish brothers” to protect Christians. He also said that an urgent meeting will be convened soon with the patriarchs of the East and a Christian delegation from the East will be formed to take this issue before the UN and other international platforms.

“Mosul deserves a united news bulletin like Gaza.”

 

In response to a question on whether the church is in contact with Iraqi authorities, Ephram II said there is no direct coordination with any of the civil or political authorities in Iraq but the bishops are in contact with Kurdish authorities to “secure a decent living for our children.” The patriarch asserted that “these terrorist parties are supported by states.” At the same time, he held the Iraqi government responsible for the security and safety of Iraqi Christians.
 Sheikh Abdel Rahim al-Musawi described what is happening as “ethnic cleansing. It is our moral, national and religious duty to stand in solidarity. Not just stand in solidarity but we should go a lot further than that, we should go to the highest international organizations in the world to put a stop to this abuse of people’s lives, blood and property.”
The conference, which was broadcast live on a number of TV stations, did not last more than half an hour. However, as expected, its resonance ended with the end of the broadcast. Iraq’s Christians were forcibly displaced from their homes in 2003 and now they are going through the same experience again after 11 years amid a lethal Western and Arab silence. One of the churches of Mosul, built 1,500 years ago, was burned and crosses have been removed from other churches.
Mosul’s Christian families have fled to relatively safe areas in Iraq. Most of them today are housed in schools or are simply out on the sidewalks as they wait for refugee camps to be built or to be transferred to decent housing. According to those present, there are no armed Christian groups except those guarding villages and cities.
This is the first time that Mosul is emptied of its Christians amid fear that ISIS might reach other areas in the Nineveh province. Patriarch Aphrem II and the heads of other churches are trying as much as possible to put pressure on relevant parties, for “we still believe in returning.” In the end, they issued a message to the Lebanese media: “Mosul deserves a united news bulletin like Gaza.”
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.
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Face of Demented Zionism yet Again Revealed: Will Americans Keep Funding It?

Local Editor

Beirut

The “up and coming” well-known  and much adm.ired Israeli politician and parliament member Ayelet Shakedof the ultra-nationalist Jewish Home  has again branded  Palestinians as terrorists, declaring  as the 4th Zionist invasion of Gaza in the past ten years was being unleashed: “Mothers of all Palestinians should also be killed” she told the  Daily Sabah, as she called for the slaughter of Palestinian mothers who give birth to “little snakes.”

In a call for Genocide, she added, “They have to die and their houses should be demolished so that they cannot bear any more terrorists,” Shaked said, adding, “They are all our enemies and their blood should be on our hands. This also applies to the mothers of every dead terrorist we eliminate.”

On 7/7/14 Shaked wrote on her Facebook page:

“Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.”

The development comes as many officials from various countries have slammed Israel’s airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.  Manyhave condemned the offensive diatribe, accusing Israel of massacring the Palestinians and have lashed out at Israel, saying it is committing state terrorism against the Palestinians in the region.  Reacting to Shaked’s remarks, the Turkish premier said Israel’s policy in Gaza is no different than Hitler’s mentality. “An Israeli woman said Palestinian mothers should be killed, too. And she’s a member of the Israeli parliament. What is the difference between this morality and Hitler’s, he said peaking in parliament, as he also questioned the world’s silence toward Tel Aviv’s ongoing atrocities.

As the Zionist regime busies itself “Mowing the lawn, “ the obscene phrase used in Israeli military circles to describe how, every couple of years or so, Gaza is subjected to massive international crimes against humanity is a massive display of firepower to “trim back Hamas’s military capabilities and ambitions” in the words of its allies in the US Congress. Its US funding armed forces areyet again attacking and invading Gaza in violation of international and U.S. law. As former US Congressman Dennis Kucinich reminds us, its construction of settlements violates the Oslo agreement. Its Central Bank dries up the Gaza economy and blocks payments to Gazan civil servants. Its total control brings the Palestinians to utter subjection and total despair. Israel can kill, injure, and humiliate Palestinians at will, with impunity, which is exactly what gave rise to Hamas and strengthens Hamas’ hold in Gaza.

As journalist Rami Khoury reminds us, military assaults against Gaza cause Israel to lose ground in three vital respects inasmuch as they enhance Palestinian military resistance, intensify global condemnation and pressure due to Israel’s disproportionate military savagery, and “deepen the nationalist identity and will to struggle for justice among all Palestinians, especially those children in Gaza who will grow up with a single aim in life: to vanquish colonial Zionism”.

Israeli Occupation TroopsMeanwhile, on 7/22/14 on of Americas largest airlines, Delta, has announced it is canceling all flight to Israel citing reports that a rocket landed near Tel Aviv’s airport. This against the backdrop of a growing BDS campaign increasingly similar to the one that destroyed the pro-Zionist Apartheid regime in South Africa. The development come as the UN agency for Palestinian refugees has recently said women and children make up a sizeable number of Palestinian fatalities caused by Israeli attacks on the besieged region.

Undeterred, the US Senate, while claiming to be overworked, did find time to passed (100-0) an AIPAC-drafted resolution supporting the Gaza invasion. There is not one word of compassion for Palestinians killed or injured, not a word calling for peace, not a word indicating that the Senate would perhaps prefer to see the invasion end. On the other hand, it calls for dissolution of the Palestinian unity government which has been Netanyahu’s goal since it was established.

For example, the Senate Resolution declared that it was:

“Expressing the sense of the Senate regarding United States support for the State of Israel as it defends itself against unprovoked rocket attacks from the Hamas terrorist organization. Whereas Hamas is a United States-designated terrorist organization whose charter calls for the destruction of the State of Israel; Whereas Hamas continues to reject the core principles of the Middle East Quartet (the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, and Russia)–recognize Israel’s right to exist, renounce violence, and accept previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements; whereas Hamas has killed hundreds of Israelis and dozens of Americans in rocket attacks and suicide bombings.”

The same kind of Resolution that AIPAC sends more than 80 to Congress each year to make sure Congress does the right thing by the Zionist regime still occupying Palestine.

On 7/22/14, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. to the media that Israeli soldiers should be given the Nobel Peace Prize for the “unimaginable restraint” they are showing in fighting Hamas, has said, backing his country’s right to self-defense.Ambassador Ron Dermer made the comments at an event hosted by the Christians United for Israel group late Monday, according to a text of the speech posted on his Facebook page.Comparing Hamas rocket fire on Israel to Germany’s bombardment of London during World War II, Dermer slammed those “shamelessly accusing Israel of genocide and (who) would put us in the dock for war crimes.The truth is that the Israeli Defense Forces should be given the Nobel Peace Prize… a Nobel Peace Prize for fighting with unimaginable restraint.”

As for the truly pathetic Ms. Shaked, whose psychotic  words and deeds not only trumpet savagery against Palestinians and praise those who would undertake a genocidal  mission such as today  being witnessed and documented in Gaza, but have also become a clarion call corrupting further  the minds of Israeli youth and  colonial squatters. May the sick woman live to see the dismantling of the last of the 19th Century colonial enterprises which she calls to slaughter those whose land it still criminally occupies.

Source: Al-Manar Website

23-07-2014 – 23:15 Last updated 23-07-2014 – 23:21

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Gaza Ground Invasion: What Has Resistance Gained? What Has Enemy Achieved?

Local Editor

Palestinian ResistanceOn Friday, July 18, Zionist army launched a ground invasion in Gaza strip and pushed its elite Golani troops to destroy the tunnels network which was used by the Palestinian resistance fighters to carry out specific operations behind the enemy’s lines and to end the resistance rocket fire.

The high number of deaths and injuries at the side of the Israeli army (officers and soldiers) at the first confrontation with the Palestinian resistance altered the Zionist situation and diminished the entity’s hopes.

In the battlefield, the Israeli tanks kept positioned at the northern as well as the eastern outskirts and could not prevent the well-prepared Palestinian resistance from encountering the Zionist aggression.

Israel’s failure has also been evident because of its inability to track the variety of attacks being done by the Palestinian resistance.

The Palestinian resistance has recently attacked the Israeli army patrol in Eshkol, conducted a martyrdom operation in an Israeli tank, and continued carrying out retaliatory strikes in response to the Israeli attacks in Al-Maghazi and Khan Yunis.

The Palestinian resistance fighters of Saraya Al Quds released a video, confirming they had seized and destroyed the Zionist machine gun of the military tank that targeted Beit Hanoun.

Resistance fighters also said they intercepted a radio communication, in which the Israeli soldiers admitted that many of the Zionist military members were killed when their tank was destroyed.

‘Israel’ further faced the toughest battle strike since the July 2006 war in Lebanon, when 13 Golani soldiers were killed, and many others were injured.

Among those wounded was Ghassan Elian, the commanding officer of the Golani Brigade.

The Zionist entity’s failures in Gaza have become so clear, with former Israeli Air Force General, Amos Yedlin, even admitting that ‘Israel’ has not yet achieved any of the military operation’s goals in Gaza.

Source: Al Manar TV

23-07-2014 – 18:45 Last updated 23-07-2014 -19:26 |

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The return of the prodigal sons: Mashaal and Abbas???

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In case you missed it: Upated
“With Egypt and the PLO out of the picture, I predict that this latest bout will be resolved by Turkey and possibly Qatar. Both countries maintain a good relations with Hamas and a relationship, albeit strained, with Israel. ” Mosab Qashoo said

[Alex: Palestinians are paying the price for Hamas sins - Relation with Qatar and Turkey - and Hamas is paying the price for Brotherhood's historical sins - in particular pulling Hamas out of the axis of Resistance]
[Alex: As long as Hamas is under the wing of Turkey and Qatar Gaza will continue to bleed. The only way out is RESISTANCE, reinforcement of  the Palestinian's UNITY, the return of Hamas as a national resistance movement which would pave the way for good relations with Syria and Egypt because they share physical borders with Palestinian territories, that Explain why Islamic Jihad insists that there would be no solution without Egypt]
—–

uprooted Palestinian said…

I was right, yesterday in above comment on the author prediction that this latest bout will be resolved by Turkey and possibly Qatar.According to «Reuters» a «Saudi source» said that King Abdullah told Tamim to stay away. All issues related to the Palestinians was and will always be Egypt’s issues ».

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas adresses journalists as he meets with members of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on July 22, 2014 in the West Bank city of Ramallah, after he prayed for the Palestinians who were killed during the Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip. (Photo: AFP-Abbas Momani)
Moreover the steadfastness of the resistance in Gaza, forced Abbas to cancel his visit to Saudi Arabia and return to Ramallah to adopt the the demands of the resistance

July 23, 2014 at 4:20 AM 4 years ago

خامنئي يؤكد لـ"مشعل وشلح وجبريل" استمرار المقاومة هو الحل لتحرير ارضهم المحتلة
Khamenei confirms for “Mashaal and Shallah and Jibriel” The continuation of resistance is the solution to liberate the occupied land
Resistance’s popularity is soaring, specifically for the benefit of Hamas, while Abbas popularity has reached. 
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Fatah’s sudden volte-face

Published Wednesday, July 23, 2014
The Resistance factions have pulled the rug from under the feet of the Palestinian Authority, having demonstrated their real weight and impact during the current assault on Gaza. Ramallah has sensed that the Resistance’s popularity is soaring, specifically for the benefit of its arch-rival Hamas, while its own popularity has plummeted to new lows a week after several adverse developments.
Gaza – One look at the events in the city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank is enough to see why the leaders of the Palestinian Authority have been forced to make an about-face on many of their previous positions. There have been two demonstrations in the city: the first was attended by thousands in support of the al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, while the other was attended by a few dozen in support of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

The Palestinian Authority has adopted a rhetoric that is radically different from previous attitudes voiced throughout its existence.

Faced with this new reality created by the Resistance factions, the Palestinian Authority had two options: retreat to the confines of the peace process and denounce the Resistance, but become a pariah in the street in the process; or change its usual tone on the Resistance to contain popular anger and be involved in any agreement concluded between the Resistance and Israel – which would help the Palestinian Authority resolve the crisis of confidence it has with the Palestinian public and end its marginalization, especially at the level of initiatives for de-escalation involving Arab and regional parties.
Until Tuesday, it seemed that the Palestinian Authority was inclined to take the second option.
But it is also important to pay attention to other ulterior motives, because some Palestinian Authority members are no doubt fixated on who will succeed Abbas after he goes. This has prompted them to adopt a discourse that is close to the Resistance and that emotionally engages the Palestinian public. It is worth nothing, however, that Palestinian Authority figures did not gradually move away from criticizing or downplaying Resistance factions, as much as they made a sudden shift from one extreme to another.
This shift appeared in the clear reversal in their political discourse, with the Palestinian Authority adopting a rhetoric that is radically different from previous attitudes voiced throughout its existence. Even Palestinian Authority figures known for their extreme hostility to Hamas have toned down their statements criticizing the Islamic Resistance Movement and its agenda.

“Gaza’s demands to lift the siege is the demand of the entire Palestinian people, and not just one particular faction” – Yasser Abed Rabbo, PLO official

What’s more, it would be inaccurate to describe this about-face as an individual phenomenon. To be sure, it is clear that it is the result of a joint decision agreed upon by the leaderships of the Palestinian Authority in meetings behind closed doors, perhaps out of fear of full-scale unrest in the occupied West Bank that would go out of control on account of the Authority’s weak attitudes regarding the assault on Gaza in the first week of the war, specifically prior to the massacre in al-Shujayeh.
In that week, the Palestinian Authority was still blaming Hamas for the escalation while defending the Israeli enemy’s “right to self-defense,” as the foreign minister in the reconciliation government Riad Malki suggested. Secretary-general of the presidency, Tayeb Abdul-Rahim, also made an appearance on Al-Awda TV last week and lambasted Hamas. Abdul Rahim said, “Opening a front to fight Israel is designed to score [political] points against the president,” adding that “Hamas’s military escalation intends to embarrass the Palestinian Authority as well as Egypt.”
When the Resistance made up its mind and rejected the Egyptian-Israeli ceasefire initiative, some leaders in Ramallah railed against Hamas again, blaming it for the bloodshed in Gaza. But after those leaders realized that the Resistance was standing on solid ground, and defending from a position of strength, the Palestinian Authority began to sense its weakness and proceeded to appease the public with a rhetoric praising the Resistance.
This new direction has been led by one of the chief normalizers with the enemy, Secretary of the Executive Committee of the PLO Yasser Abed Rabbo, who has appeared on Palestine TV multiple times with a discourse that is reconciliatory toward the aspirations and objectives of the Resistance. On Monday, Abed Rabbo said, “Gaza does not sponsor terrorism. It is an enduring shield against Israeli occupation…woe to us Palestinians if Gaza is defeated.”
He continued, “Gaza’s demands to lift the siege is the demand of the entire Palestinian people, and not just one particular faction,” stressing that neither Hamas nor its weapons should be blamed for what is happening, but that “criminal Israel” must be blamed instead.
Even the president’s adviser for religious affairs Mahmoud Habash, who had consistently poured scorn on Hamas and accused it of being subservient to the Muslim Brotherhood’s agenda, got on the pro-Resistance bandwagon, proclaiming, “All the Resistance’s demands are legitimate.” He also said, “The rockets have now reached Tel Aviv, and Israel should expect more.”
On the other hand, Fatah Central Committee member Jamal Muheisen denies this interpretation for Fatah’s duplicitous discourse. Speaking to Al-Akhbar, he said, “Fatah and the Palestinian Authority’s position is unambiguous. From the outset, we denounced the assault on Gaza and held the Occupation responsible for the escalation that began in Hebron.”

”The Palestinian Authority wants a stake in a new agreement without any real effort or role” – Adel Samara, political analyst

He added, “There is no change in our discourse, but each phase has its own circumstances and messages, requiring different battles fought through either armed or popular resistance. Now, specifically, there is no alternative to supporting rocket launching to stop the aggression.”
Muheisen continued, “Gaza has united us all in the same trench, because our entire people are caught in the Israeli guillotine, which requires unifying the discourse of the Palestinian Authority and all factions toward defending Gaza and exposing the occupation.”
However, one cannot ignore in this context the fact that the Palestinian Authority has not called for an intifada in the West Bank, and instead continues its security coordination with Israel and prevents demonstrators from reaching the settlements. Political analyst Adel Samara explained this by saying that the change in the discourse led by Abed Rabbo “is only an attempt to take advantage of the situation and lead the confrontation, though the Palestinian Authority is not a party to it.”
He continued, “Abed Rabbo specifically is opposed to the national movement, but it seems that this leadership senses it is in deep trouble, with all people rallying around the Resistance; so a decision was made to preserve some standing and improve odds to succeed Abbas in power.”
What about the ambition of these leaderships who want to become major players in any truce agreements? Samara said, “The Palestinian Authority wants a stake in a new agreement without any real effort or role, but this is political opportunism that we have become accustomed to; so much so that it has become a school with its own roots and rules in Palestine.”
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.
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The violence didn’t begin with the three abducted Israeli settlers

If Americans Knew
July 21, 2014

Updated: July 22, 2014

Since Israel began its latest offensive “Operation Protective Edge” on July 8, 2014, 693 Palestinians and 29 Israelis have been killed, as of July 21 (the numbers continue to grow). Although the media is largely portraying Israel’s actions as defensive, violence in the region did not begin with the kidnapping and murder of the three Israel settlers on June 12, 2014. In fact, Israel has been kidnapping and murdering Palestinian adults and youth on a regular basis for decades (read about how the conflict was started), yet this is rarely covered in U.S. news.

It’s also important to recognize that rocket attacks from Gaza began decades after Israel had already been militarily occupying Palestinian territory. The first rocket (largely home-made projectiles that rarely caused any death, injuries, or even damage) was fired from Gaza in April 2001 – after Israeli forces had already killed 35 Gazans that year, and had repeatedly shelled Gazan neighborhoods. From April 2001 through July 2014, rockets killed approximately 29 Israelis. During the same period, Israeli forces killed over 4,700 Gazans.

Here are the facts:

  • From January 1 to May 31 of this year, Israel kidnapped 2,330 Palestiniansand held them in Israeli prisons. During these months, there were an average of 203 Palestinian children in Israeli jails on any given day. Palestinians help captive by Israel can be denied access to a lawyer for up to 90 days, and torture is routine. But the media only expresses outrage when Israelis are kidnapped and held prisoner by Palestinians.
  • From January 1 to June 12 of this year, Israelis killed approximately 30 Palestinians, 4 of them children. None of the Israeli killers were held accountable for the murders. Mainstream media outlets almost never reported on any of these killings. Yet everyone was made aware of the names of the three Israelis abducted and murdered in June.
  • Since “Operation Protective Edge” began (July 8 through July 22), Israeli forces have killed 693 Palestinians155 of them children. During this time, Palestinian resistance forces killed 29 Israelis, none of whom were children. Approximately 76 percent of the Palestinians killed during this period were civilians, while approximately 7 percent of the Israelis killed were civilians.
  • Israel actually rejected a legitimate ceasefire offer, not Hamas. The ceasefire Hamas has offered Israel would ensure that Gazans have the same freedoms that most people view as basic human rights (right to trade with other nations, right to travel freely, right to worship at Holy places, etc).

Click to view full infographic:

Number of Children Killed Per YearIsraelisPalestinians

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Al-Shujayeh: Palestine’s Saigon

A displaced man from the Shejaiya neighborhood in the Gaza Strip sleeps at the UN school where he and others have taken refuge after fleeing heavy fighting in their area on July 21, 2014. (Photo: AFP-Marco Longari)
Published Wednesday, July 23, 2014
The bitter reality of the Palestinians in Gaza is that they are alone, beleaguered, under siege, and are undesirables even for some of those who are supposed to be their brethren. Fifteen days of barbaric massacres have claimed the lives of more than 600 Palestinians – more than 90 percent of whom are civilians, 159 are children, and dozens are women and senior citizens, while the rest were either young men sitting in or outside their homes, doctors who were on duty, university students doing household chores, or nurses tending to the wounded. Entire families have been slaughtered in broad daylight, with reports that 20 families have perished completely, in conjunction with the systematic destruction of hundreds of Palestinian homes.

Worse still, some Arabs have begun to blame the Palestinians for the situation they are now in, instead of demanding Israel to halt its unjust aggression.

And yet, the “State of Palestine” is still considering whether or not to sign up to join the International Criminal Court.
For 15 days, Palestinians have been left alone against the onslaught of the world’s fourth strongest army, an army that possesses 450 nuclear warheads, thousands of soldiers bolstered by Merkava battle tanks, and hundreds of F-16 jets, Apache attack helicopters, and gunboats.
During those days, the humanitarian tragedy in Gaza reached unimaginable levels. As hospitals were struggling to cope with the injuries, some Arab regimes did nothing more than issue timid statements, denouncing and condemning.
In reality, Arab regimes have let down the Palestinians since 1948, and to this day, official Arab attitudes are a combination of cowardice and hypocrisy. The time has come to deconstruct this Arab position and its failure to bring an end to the Israeli siege on Gaza for more than seven years now, not to mention the overall subpar official Arab efforts in solidarity with the Palestinians who are at the receiving end of a brutal Israeli military offensive.
Worse still, some Arabs have begun to blame the Palestinians for the situation they are now in, instead of demanding Israel to halt its unjust aggression. The recent Egyptian media campaign hostile to the Palestinians is but proof of this dramatic deterioration in Arab attitudes.
We in Gaza are now wondering how the timid expressions of support coming out of the streets and capitals of the Arab nations can be turned into concrete action in the absence of democracy. We wonder whether the Arabs living under the rule of authoritarian regimes can change them in nonviolent ways. We exhaust ourselves trying to figure out the possible means available to achieve democratic political change, because with the massacre continuing in Gaza and the apartheid regime in Palestine growing in strength, we have not seen any practical translation for the solidarity shown by some Arab peoples with Palestine.
Desmond Tutu, the South African social rights activist and retired Anglican bishop, once said, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” The international community, the United Nations, the European Union, and Arab leaders have remained largely silent about the atrocities committed by racist Israel. Therefore, they are on Israel’s side, since dozens of corpses belonging to women and children have failed to convince them of the need to act. This is what Palestinians realize today, whether in the streets of Gaza or the West Bank, or in the refugee camps of the Diaspora.

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” – Desmond Tutu

The Palestinians have realized that they have only one tenable option. This option does not wait for the UN Security Council, Arab summits, or the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to convene. The option is popular power, the only force capable of tackling the huge asymmetry of power in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
 The two choices for the Palestinians in Gaza therefore are: dying dishonorably while thanking their killers, if not asking them to tighten the blockade, a slow death rather than a quick death; or fighting for their dignity, for themselves and the coming generations. It is clear that the option that they have chosen is to fight for dignity, in a departure from years of self-deception that portrayed slavery to the occupier as a fait accompli.
It is noted in this context that the ceasefire initiatives that have been proposed – even though the violence is essentially a brutal assault by a racist oppressor against an oppressed party that has decided to resist – do not take into account the two stated Israeli objectives behind the attack on the Palestinians:
Eliminating the largest possible number of Palestinians by targeting homes, and killing women and children (a war crime that must not go unpunished).
Maintaining stability in the open-air concentration camp we know as Gaza, for as long as possible, by eliminating any possibility of resistance or source of inconvenience to the Israeli occupation.
Instead, the initiatives that have been put forward equate the legitimate resistance against the illegal occupation to a regime of systematic oppression. It is as if what has become required of the Palestinians is to conduct themselves as “house Palestinians,” like the house slaves who were grateful to their white masters and who were satisfied to eat the leftovers from their tables. It is as if it has become required of Palestinians to accept their slow death and show no form of rebellion, and to accept that if they die, then it is of their own fault.
But Palestine, of which Gaza is part, will not oblige.
Accordingly, any agreement that does not lead to the immediate lifting of the blockade and the reopening of the Rafah crossing 24/7, and all the other crossings in a manner that allows the introduction of fuel, medicine, and all other needs, in conjunction with a ceasefire without any delays – to end what is in reality occupation and apartheid – will not be acceptable to the people of Gaza. Indeed, the conflict cannot be seen in isolation from the root cause for what is happening in Gaza: the multifaceted settler-colonial enterprise, the occupation, the apartheid, and the ethnic cleansing.
The biggest source of concern for the Israeli “masters” and their US allies, and their Arab lackeys, would be for us to raise the ceiling of our demands by calling for an end to the blockade and the contexts that had led to it; that is, without separating the conflict from our demand for the right of return, since two-thirds of the people of Gaza are refugees who have this right under international law.
Al-Shujayeh here is a pivotal moment in Palestinian history. Gaza (Palestine) yearns for a leadership that rises up to the level of this historic moment, a leadership that would take the following measures without any further delay:
  • 6b8b6-daytonthugsA full stop to security coordination with Israel.
  • Signing up to join the International Criminal Court, and suing Israeli political and military leaders for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
  • Reviewing all agreements signed with Israel, particularly the Oslo Accords and related agreements.
  • Sending all members of the Executive Committee and the national reconciliation government to Gaza to remain there and show solidarity with the people they represent in their steadfastness and resistance.
  • Supporting the brave Resistance and deeming it an essential part that represents the Palestinian people and its three components [Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and within the 1948 territories].
  • Declaring a clear position on any initiative that does not take into account the need for the immediate end of the siege, the reopening of all crossings, and the restoration of the full freedom of movement.
Any talk about improving the conditions of oppression (and even this is seen as too much for us) in light of the great sacrifices is a betrayal of Palestinian martyrs. Let’s start discussing radical solutions away from the “interim program” and the Bantustan-like state, and adopt a clear slogan: end the occupation, end the apartheid, and end settler-colonialism. This way, the families and lives that have been lost in Gaza would not go in vain.
Otherwise, we shall turn it into Palestine’s own Saigon.
Haidar Eid is a political analyst and a member of the Steering Committee of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.
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Gaza: Displaced Palestinians forced to leave UNRWA schools

Displaced Palestinian children from Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip gather on July 23, 2014 at a UN school in the refugee camp of Jabalia where families fleeing heavy fighting in the besieged Palestinian territory have taken refuge. (Photo: AFP-Mohammed Abed)
Published Wednesday, July 23, 2014
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) displaced Gazan refugees again when it asked them to leave its schools serving as shelters in al-Maghazi refugee camp to a nearby camp after informing them that their lives were at risk. The UNRWA has condemned the targeting of one of its schools by Israeli forces.
Gaza – Without prior notice, 50-something-year-old Ashraf Radwan was forced to evacuate with his family from the UNRWA’s al-Maghazi Preparatory Girls School, located in Deir al-Balah governorate in the central Gaza Strip. They had taken refuge in the school that became a shelter for residents of the area whose homes were demolished as a result of Israel’s aerial bombardment and limited land incursion along the border area.
Radwan and his family were displaced yet again as they left the school in a hurry to the sound of falling bombs. They walked on foot west towards al-Nusairat refugee camp after they were notified by the UNRWA of the need to evacuate the school without providing them with protection from the bombing. Radwan arrived at al-Nusairat about two hours before evening prayers. His mother, an elderly woman in her 80s, was moving very slowly and leaning against walls from time to time because she could not walk as fast as the others.
The residents of al-Maghazi refugee camp faced the dilemma of hiding from the barrage of rockets and shells while the UNRWA’s decision for evacuating them from the school was based on the fact that remaining there put their lives at risk. Some people started calling local radio stations, appealing for help to at least secure their exit.
The refugees found no excuse for pushing them out of the school doubling as shelter because they know of the level of coordination between the UNRWA, the Red Cross and the Israeli military. A number of them told Al-Akhbar that they were evacuated from four schools, two were intermediate schools and two were elementary schools. Right after their evacuation, the Israeli military targeted the first two schools directly.
Om Mohammed al-Nahawi, one of the women who left her home in the east of the camp, said she spent one night inside al-Maghazi school. The next day, two UNRWA employees told the 1,600 refugees that they must evacuate the school right away because the international agency cannot be held responsible if the lives of any of them were to be endangered.
Nahawi, who lives today in one of her relatives’ homes in al-Nusairat camp, said they learned from those staying in the shelter that the UNRWA coordinated with the Israeli side to avoid targeting the school where people sought shelter in order to protect their lives. They were shocked, however, when they were kicked out suddenly and without prior warning.
The woman in her 40s told Al-Akhbar: “The UN staff told us that our lives are in danger and we have to leave right away. We were shell-shocked because we were in the street again and did not know where to go.”
The UNRWA spokesperson in Gaza, Adnan Abu Hasna, said he has no accurate information about this issue but added: “I think the reason people were told to leave is because their lives were in danger.”
He surmised that al-Maghazi school’s proximity to the shelling might be “the reason for evacuating the people.” He recalled a similar story that happened at a school in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza and “the people living in it were in danger.”

 

Abu Hasna reiterated that currently, “there is no safe place in Gaza.” He said the UNRWA has about 72 buildings that have been damaged as a result of the Israeli assault. Nevertheless, he did not deny the ongoing coordination between them and the Israeli side and the fact that they notified the Israelis of the coordinates of the schools where civilians are taking shelter, which “number about 68 schools.”
Abu Hasna pointed out that 130,000 people sought shelter in UNRWA schools in different areas to escape the shelling.
He said, however: “These schools are for education, they are not houses… The UNRWA incurs huge losses every time because the refugees ruin the schools’ furniture.”
Heading north towards the Jabalya refugee camp, other crises emerge in the lives of refugees there. More than 400 families live in Jabalya’s Intermediate Boys School A.
These families had fled the bombing in Um al-Nasr village and do not have enough clothes or blankets. Abu Ahmad Alian is one of those people. He told Al-Akhbar that he sent his wife at night to the school’s neighbors looking for blankets for their children, stressing that they are living in tragic circumstances as they lack life’s basic necessities inside the the schools.
Alian also said that they suffer from a lack of drinking water and food and are currently dependent on philanthropists to provide them with food and water as the school’s water supply ran out.
Abu Hasna promised to provide blankets for the refugees within 24 hours, stressing that Dubai International Humanitarian City donated blankets, and efforts are being made to bring them in through Jordan “after the UNRWA’s supply of blankets ran out.”
He reissued his call to provide $120 million to support the agency in order to “continue supporting the refugees and providing relief to people displaced by the war.”
The strangest thing about UNRWA’s position is that if Israel is keen on protecting the lives of civilians living in UNRWA’s shelters and Israeli information that they were going to shell schools prompted the UNRWA to ask displaced Gazans to leave its schools, as happened in al-Maghazi school, then how did Israel, in its first war on Gaza in 2009, kill 43 Palestinians living in al-Fakhoora shelter in northern Gaza and burn three others with white phosphorous in Beit Lahiya school? Where was the coordination then?
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.
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ISIS exposed at House of Lords

Dr. Morrow is bringing the ancient Covenants of the Prophet to the world - at a propitious moment

Source

Dr. John Andrew Morrow is the author/editor/translator of The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World. Based on some of the oldest manuscripts in the history of Islam, this book shows that the Prophet Muhammad (peace upon him) made agreements with various Christian communities that are binding on all Muslims till the end of time. These agreements require Muslims to protect and defend Christians. Today, some self-styled Muslim extremists and obscurantists are persecuting Middle Eastern Christians. This must stop!

According to credible reports, ISIS has killed hundreds if not thousands of Christians in Syria, and is now in Iraq ethnically cleansing Mosul of its ancient Christian community. Yet the US and its allies are not just standing by – they are the ones who created, trained, and funded ISIS and unleashed it on the people of the region!

On Tuesday, June 24th, 2014, Dr. John Andrew Morrow, author of The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World, delivered the following declaration at the House of Lords in the United Kingdom:

I am here to express my solidarity with the people of Iraq.

The Muslim world suffers from a crisis of leadership. The traditional religious and political infrastructure was dismantled by Western colonialists and imperialists as well as internal decay.

A void was created and that void has been filled by those who offer the loudest voice and the biggest bank accounts.

The situation in Syria and Iraq is the product of poor foreign policy.

Western powers have a history of sometimes supporting terrorists abroad and then they expect us to contain them domestically.

Who created ISIS? Who supported ISIS? Who funded, armed, trained, and advised ISIS?

You cannot mobilize 100,000 foreign-backed fighters and mercenaries in Syria and Iraq without the complicity of the surrounding countries and without the support of regional powers.

History is our greatest teacher.

Experience should inform our decisions.

Present decisions impact our future.

Supporting the Mujahidin, in the way we did, gave us al-Qaeda.

Supporting the Syrian rebels, the way we have, gave us al-Nusra and DAISH, this so-called “Islamic” State of Iraq and the Levant.

In their attempt to remove little devils, they replaced them with greater devils.

It’s sad to say, but Libya had more stability under Qaddafi.

It’s sad to say, but Egypt had more order under Mubarak.

It’s sad to say, but Syria was more stable under Assad.

What can we do? What can be done?

1) For starters, pressure Western powers to stop supporting groups, directly or indirectly, that persecute Christians, Shi’ites, Sunnis, and anyone else who opposes them.

2) Help put a halt to religious colonialism. Take steps to prevent outside interference in our religious affairs in the West. Stop the spread of Takfiri-Jihadi preachers and propaganda.

3) Support the dissemination of traditional Islam and by traditional civilizational Islam, I include the Sunnis, the Shi’ites, and the Sufis.

4) Help reconnect Muslims to their spiritual tradition: the Qur’an, the Sunnah, the true Shari’ah, and, most critically, the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World.

The Covenants of the Prophet provide an authentic model for Muslims to follow with real implications. They can’t solve the ISIS crisis. They can, however, help undermine the theological and political foundation of so-called “Islamic” extremism. They can also help galvanize Muslims around foundational primary sources which came straight from the Prophet.

The real army of Islam is not ISIS.

The real army of Islam are those who oppose them while abiding by the Islamic rules governing combat.

Who speaks for Islam?

It certainly isn’t ISIS and other terrorists who slaughter, unarmed men, women, and children; who crucify Christians and who cannibalize corpses.

Who speaks for Islam?

THE PROPHET SPEAKS FOR ISLAM!

And those who terrorize Muslims and Christians have broken the Covenant of the Prophet, made a mockery of Islam, and merit the malediction of Allah.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

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

Abbas backs Hamas ceasefire demands as Gaza death toll reaches 649

A relative carries a nine-year-old Palestinian girl, Shahed Qishtah, into the Kamal Adwan hospital in Beit Lahia after she was injured in an Israeli strike while playing on July 22, 2014 in the northern Gaza Strip. Shahed died later of her injuries.(Photo: AFP – Marco Longari)
Published Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Updated 10:26 am: The Palestinian Authority on Wednesday endorsed demands by Hamas for halting Gaza hostilities with Israel, a closing of ranks that may help Egyptian-mediated truce efforts as the Palestinian death toll in the Israeli assault rose to 649.
As the violence entered its 16th day, Palestinian emergency services said that at least six people were killed early Wednesday during prolonged shelling of the southern town of Khan Younis and 20 more were wounded, most of them seriously.
Two more were killed by Israeli fire in the north of the Strip, they said. According to Gaza Health Ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qudra, at least 4,120 Palestinians have been wounded since the beginning of the US-backed Israeli aggression.
Hamas and other armed factions had balked at a truce proposal drafted by the Israeli-backed regime in Cairo, saying they wanted assurances of relief from an Israeli-Egyptian blockade and other concessions.
In a move that could effectively turn Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas into the main interlocutor for a Gaza truce, his umbrella Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on Wednesday formally supported core conditions set by the Hamas-led fighters.
“The Gaza demands of stopping the aggression and lifting the blockade in all its forms are the demands of the entire Palestinian people and they represent the goal that the Palestinian leadership has dedicated all its power to achieve,” senior PLO official Yasser Abed Rabbo said in Ramallah.
“We are confident Gaza will not be broken as long as our people are standing beside it to support it through all possible means until the invaders understand that our great people inside the homeland and outside will not leave Gaza alone.”
Abbas’ Fatah faction on Tuesday proposed a truce followed by five days of negotiations on terms.
There was no immediate response to the PLO statement from Hamas or Israel, which pressed the Gaza offensive it began on July 8.
Abbas pledged that Israel would be held accountable for Gaza deaths.
“We will pursue all those who commit crimes against our people, however long it takes,” he said in televised comments ahead of an emergency meeting of the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah.
The meeting’s concluding statement called for “widespread popular protest in solidarity with Gaza and the resistance.”
Shortly afterwards, Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian man in clashes at the West Bank village of Hussan, near Bethlehem, Palestinian security sources told AFP.
Israel said it would only halt its Gaza offensive after laying waste to a sophisticated network of tunnels allegedly used for cross-border attacks.
Gaza Tunnels Doom
A ceasefire “won’t happen before we really finish the tunnels project,” Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said.
She said Hamas’s “completely unacceptable” preconditions for a truce had “no chance of being accepted by anyone.”
Hamas has laid out a list of demands for halting its fire, including a lifting of Israel’s eight-year blockade on Gaza, the release of dozens of prisoners, and the opening of its Rafah border crossing with Egypt.
The Egyptian plan for a ceasefire does not specify a timeline for easing the blockade, saying “crossings shall be opened and the passage of persons and goods through border crossings shall be facilitated once the security situation becomes stable on the ground.”
Since the Egyptian army toppled President Mohammed Mursi in July 2013, relations between Egypt and the besieged Palestinian enclave have been severely frayed, as Sisi accuses Hamas of being allied with Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement.
An Egyptian ceasefire proposal was rejected by Hamas last week as the Palestinian group said it had not been consulted by Egypt.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, on a visit to Tel Aviv, appealed on Tuesday for Israel and Hamas to “stop fighting” and “start talking.”
Following top-level talks in Cairo, Ban went to Tel Aviv and appealed to both sides to lay down arms.
“Stop fighting, start talking and take on the root causes of the conflict so that we are not at the same situation in the next six months or a year.”
The UN chief described rocket fire by Hamas and other Palestinian groups as “shocking” and said it must “stop immediately.”
He added that Israel must exercise “maximum restraint” in Gaza — in contrast to his stronger exhortations for Palestinians — and he urged it to take a hard look at some of the root causes of the conflict “so people will not feel they have to resort to violence as a means of expressing their grievances.”
Meanwhile in Cairo, Kerry discussed ceasefire proposals with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
The top US diplomat again placed the onus on Hamas to accept a ceasefire, backing an Egyptian truce initiative as a “framework” to end the fighting.
Meanwhile in Gaza, Israeli fire on Tuesday hit a UN school sheltering the displaced for the second time in two days, said the United Nations’ Palestinian refugee agency, UNRWA.
“UNRWA condemns in the strongest possible terms the shelling of one of its schools in the central area of Gaza,” it said in a statement.
“The location of the school and the fact that it was housing internally displaced persons had been formally communicated to Israel on three separate occasions. We have called on the Israeli authorities to carry out an immediate and comprehensive investigation.”
During the offensive, more than 100,000 Gazans have fled their homes, seeking shelter in 69 schools run by UNRWA.
Early Wednesday the Israeli military announced the deaths of two soldiers killed in the Gaza fighting the night before, bringing the Israeli toll to 29 soldiers and two civilians.
The army on Tuesday confirmed the death of a soldier who Hamas claimed it had kidnapped, but said his remains were unaccounted for.
The European Union appealed to Israel to keep its military operation in Gaza “proportionate” and for “all sides to implement in good faith an immediate ceasefire,” a statement from a meeting of European foreign ministers in Brussels said.
It added that “All terrorist groups in Gaza must disarm,” a comment welcomed by Israel.
(AFP, Reuters, Al-Akhbar)

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

Gaza conflict exposes France’s own struggles with xenophobia

A protesters hold a placard reading “We are all Palestinians” as he kneels on a giant Palestinian flag near the Barbes-Rochechouart aerial metro station prior to the departure of a demonstration, banned by French police, in Paris on July 19, 2014 to denounce Israel’s military campaign in Gaza and show support for the Palestinian people. (Photo: Francois Guillot-AFP)
Published Tuesday, July 22, 2014
As Israel continues its deadly onslaught on the Gaza Strip, tens of thousands across the world have descended into the streets in support of the Palestinian people. But amid this wave of international support, France has become the only country so far to ban pro-Palestinian protests, leading to widespread outcry by French activists who denounce this infringement on their freedom of expression and reject accusations of anti-Semitism. With France witnessing the growth of a xenophobic political discourse over the past decade, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has become the latest receptacle for tensions in a divided nation.

The violent police operation in this low-income neighborhood of northern Paris, compared to the calmer situation for protesters in more touristic areas, “was a reminder of the most somber hours of the colonial era,” according to protest organizers.

On July 13, an estimated 15,000 people gathered in Paris to call for an end to the Israeli assault on Gaza. However, coverage of the large gathering was quickly overshadowed by clashes between members of the Jewish Defense League (LDJ) and pro-Palestinian demonstrators outside of the Don Isaac Abravanel Synagogue on rue de la Roquette.
It was later revealed that the altercation had been provoked by the LDJ — a far-right Zionist militant group that is banned in both Israel and the United States — whose members had sent taunting tweets calling on “propalo” activists (a derogatory word for pro-Palestinians) to find them near the synagogue of la Roquette. French media was quick to jump on the story, initially framing it as an anti-Semitic attack by pro-Palestinian activists against the synagogue before retracting its coverage in light of testimonies and video footage of the scuffle.
The government, however, strongly condemned the incident. “Anti-Semitism cannot be used because there is a conflict between Israel and Palestine,” President François Hollandesaid on July 14, warning that there would be “no tolerance” for disturbances to public order, adding that he “had asked for these demonstrations to be banned.”
Disregarding the context behind the altercation at la Roquette, a decision was taken on Friday to ban a pro-Palestinian protest planned to take place in Paris on Saturday July 19, as Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve argued that “the conditions [were] not right to guarantee security” and calling on police prefects across the country to consider banning other pro-Palestinian rallies on a “case by case” basis.
Transgressing such a ban is punishable for up to a year in prison and a €15,000 ($20,200) fine, penalties that triple if a demonstrator covers their face. Advertizing a banned demonstration on social media is also a punishable offense, which can reach up to seven years in prison and a €100,000 ($134,800) fine if it the post is found to have sparked violence.
Thousands of demonstrators nevertheless gathered at several locations in the French capital on July 19. French riot police cracked down on the gathering in Barbès, which quickly turned into a full-blown altercation between security forces launching tear gas cannisters and protesters throwing slabs of pavement. The violent police operation in this low-income neighborhood of northern Paris, compared to the calmer situation for protesters in more touristic areas, “was a reminder of the most somber hours of the colonial era,” according to protest organizers, who estimated that some 10,000 people had defied the ban.
Xenophobic climate
The government’s blundering and short-sighted management of the Gaza assault and its repercussions in France has highlighted enduring fractures in French society. Ever since Jean-Marie Le Pen, then-leader of extreme-right party Front National (FN), reached the second round of presidential elections in 2002, France has been struggling with the fact that a growing number of citizens espouse xenophobic or outrightly racist views, often at the expense of its citizens of immigrant origins from former colonies.
Instead of addressing the root causes of this increasingly hostile mentality, including the country’s bleak economic prospects, French politics have shifted further right of the political spectrum in an attempt to capture FN votes. This has led to an increasing focus on Muslim citizens and their public expressions of faith, notably with the 2005 ban of “ostentatious religious symbols” in high schools – ie, the hijab – and the ban of the niqab in 2010, a garment thought to be worn only by an estimated 2,000 women in France.
This crackdown in the name of France’s particular brand of secularism, laïcité, has led many Muslim French citizens to feel ostracized in their own country. The situation is only exacerbated by the strong correlation between immigration, discrimination and poverty in France, a subject that remains taboo in a country skittish about public conversations on race.

France has still not figured out how to make space for citizens who choose to hold on to their roots, whether religious or national.

France has still not figured out how to make space for citizens who choose to hold on to their roots, whether religious or national. Instances of vandalism by some supporters of the Algerian football team during the World Cup were used as a pretext by Mayor Christian Estrosi to ban the “ostentatious” display of foreign flags in downtown Nice, while current FN leader Marine Le Pen called for an end to dual nationality. Nice, not quite so coincidentally,has also banned some pro-Palestinian protests.
In this context, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resonates deeply with many citizens with origins from former French colonies, who identify with the Palestinian struggle to assert their rights.
As pointed out by Benjamin Joyeux on website Médiapart, France “continues to treat its children from traditionally Muslim popular neighborhoods as second-class citizens.[...] After that, we can’t be surprised that young and old, most of whom having never set foot in Palestine, (who are) victims of a double discourse of the Republic for all but not really, are affected by what the Israeli army is now doing in Gaza, according to international law for all but not really.”
It is important, however, to note the diverse support for the Palestinian cause in France, which brings together anti-racism movements, anti-Zionist Jews, anti-capitalists, environmentalists, communists, as well as secular and Muslim groups. But in a country where 74 percent of respondents in a 2013 Ipsos poll said they felt that Islam was “incompatible with French society,” and a 2011 poll showed that 76 percent thought “foreigners” were not making enough efforts to integrate themselves in France, visibly Arab or pro-Arab public movements make many French citizens and politicians uncomfortable.
This xenophobic discomfort has come to a head with the Gaza protests, even though the vast majority of the demonstrations across France have gone smoothly. Prime Minister Manuel Valls has said that France “will not tolerate attempts to – with violence, words or acts – import the Israeli-Palestinian conflict onto its soil,” a call which has been repeated by Hollande and other major French figures.
This hand-wringing conveniently ignores Valls’ own outspoken pro-Israeli stance, as he once proclaimed that he was “linkedin an eternal way to the Jewish community and Israel” through his marriage to a Jewish woman.
Hollande has also repeatedly supported Israel’s “right to self-defense” since the beginning of Operation “Protective Edge,” without addressing the legitimacy of Gaza’s own self-defense faced with a highly equipped military force - whose nuclear arsenal France has directly contributed to.
The relationship between France and the Israeli occupation goes further, as pointed out by Alain Gresh, the editor of Le Monde Diplo:
”When the Israeli army organized in May 2014 a meeting at the Victoire synagogue to extol its merits and to register recruits, who was creating the link between Israelis and Jews? [...] When a gala is organized in support of the Israeli border police every year in Paris, who is importing the conflict in France? The French ambassador to Tel Aviv doesn’t forget to hail the ‘courageous engagement’ of young French in the Israeli army. What would the French government say if young French Muslims went to fight in Palestine? And yet it accepts that some participate today in the [Israeli] offensive against Gaza.”
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict takes on an even bigger significance in France, home of the third-largest Jewish population in the world and frequently accused by Israel of being rampant with anti-Semitism. In a joint press conferencewith Hollande in 2012, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu openly called on French Jews to immigrate to Israel. This controversial position has been regularly trotted out by Zionist writers over the years, as they argue that France has become uninhabitable for Jews who should seek refuge in Israel.
While France has undisputably witnessed extremely troubling incidents of anti-Semitism in the past several years, including a 2012 shooting in front of a Jewish school which killed four people – not to mention French complicity in the Holocaust during World War II – the Zionist conflation between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism has bled into French discourse in a troubling way; delegitimizing the pro-Palestinian movement by letting the actions of dozens speak louder than the political outcry of thousands.
The very public condemnation of the pro-Palestinian movement compared to the perceived leniency towards the LDJ has also tragically stoked the flames of anti-Jewish resentment for some, directly contributing to religious tensions in the country.
For Pascal Boniface, director of the Institute of International and Strategic Relations (IRIS) and author of France ailing from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has called for a more frank discussion of Israel and Palestine in France:
”Forbidding demonstrations in solidarity with Palestinians, as has been suggested by the president of CRIF [Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France], would be a remedy worse than the wrongdoing itself. Or should we then also forbid events in support of Israel, which one would think includes CRIF’s annual dinner? Fear of dividing the public, of heightening tensions, of adding fuel to the fire, means that far too often we don’t tackle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict frankly. The will to not import it is often highlighted. Inasmuch as it is part of our daily lives and that things can only exacerbate it, this is not the good solution. We must to the contrary advocate so that we can discuss it completely freely without restriction.”
A protest in support of Gaza in Paris has been approved for Wednesday, a political recognition, perhaps, that the ban only served to create more national antagonism over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But the situation has highlighted on an international scale the tensions within France and the country’s inability to face full-on its responsibility to its ostracized citizens, as well as the political complacency of the “country of human rights” (as France likes to call itself) with regards to Palestine.
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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!
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