October 31, 2009 at 9:29 am (History, Israel, Peace Process)

shir l shalom...bloody The 4th of November 1995 is known as ‘The Day The Music Died’ in Israel. It was on that day that Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was murdered in cold blood just minutes after singing the praises of peace, a photo of the blood stained sheet music which was taken from his pocket can be seen at left….

The words to the song can be seen HERE

It was not only Yitzhak Rabin that was murdered that day, it was the Oslo Agreements as well. Since that time the right wing has usurped power in Israel making the concept of a real peace nothing more than a distant dream, but one that we hold onto and work towards nevertheless.

A new technology enables viewers to get a clear view of what transpired on Nov. 4th, 1995: The three bullets that changed history, the video from that evening can be viewed HERE….

A Ynet report can be read below…

Special: Video of Rabin’s murder as never seen before

(Video)Twelve years after, new technology enables viewers to get a clear view of what transpired on Nov. 4th, 1995: The three bullets that changed history


“On November 4th, 1995, the prime minister was murdered.” This was the headline we awoke to, as if to a nightmare. The three bullets fired at the prime minister during the peace rally changed the face of Israel forever. Each of us harbors that moment within us, the moment we heard of the murder at the square.

Twelve years on, the enhanced video now clearly shows the moments of the murder.

It was 9:40 pm, and the security personnel accompanied the participants of the peace rally down the back stairs of the municipality building on the way to the prime minister’s car. At first, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres descended the staircase waving to the crowd with a smile. The prime minister descended next, with an assured step.

Suddenly out of the darkness the image appeared. The door of the prime minister’s car had already been opened. Rabin approached the back seat; the first shot was sounded, then another and another.

Yitzhak Rabin’s last steps were captured by the lens of Ronny Kempler’s camera. Now, thanks to new technology, for the first time viewers can see exactly what happened at the square on that night: The unbearable ease in which the prime minister was murdered from point-blank range.



(Ben Heine © Cartoons)

Remembering my friend Yitzhak Rabin

Written by Bill Clinton

Throughout history, human beings have found meaning in our lives through positive identification with what we know: our family, our tribe, our community, our nation, our culture, our politics, our religion – and by negative reference to “others.”

In the 21st century, as our world grows increasingly interdependent, and local challenges and opportunities relate increasingly to the groups we once knew as “them,” the walls that divide us are getting thinner, less important, and ever more transparent. We are compelled to expand the definition of who is “us,” and shrink the definition of who is “them” understand that, as important as our differences are, our common humanity matters more. The inability to embrace this fundamental value lies at the heart of peace and conflict throughout the world today, and of course in the Middle East.

Yitzhak Rabin understood this. My friend knew that the Middle East is highly interdependent, that there could be no final military victory: it would come only through peace and reconciliation based on our shared humanity. He worked tirelessly to forge a just, secure, and lasting peace with the Palestinians, and his ultimate sacrifice proved it.

While the events of the last several years have delayed the dream for which Yitzhak Rabin sacrificed his life, they in no way undermine the logic of his vision, the power of his faith, or the beauty of his gifts to us. Since his life was taken, we have seen the resolution of seemingly intractable conflicts in other regions of the world. In each instance, the parties decided that their interdependence compelled them to lay down their arms and embrace a concept of security through dialogue and cooperation, based on respect for our interesting differences, and the possibility of cooperation rooted in shared values, shared benefits, and shared responsibilities.

No one was more committed to the security of Israel than Yitzhak Rabin. No one understood better that maintaining that security requires a resolution of the conflict with the Palestinians, and a commitment to share a peaceful future with them.

In this spirit, the words of the late King Hussein at Yitzhak Rabin’s funeral resound as powerfully today as they did several years ago:

“Let us not keep silent. Let our voices raise high to speak of our commitment to peace for all times to come. And let us tell those who live in darkness, who are the enemies of life and true faith, this is where we stand. This is our camp.”

We must remember and honor both Yitzhak Rabin and his mission. The future must belong not to those who live in darkness, but to those who stand with Yitzhak Rabin for life and peace.


Both of the above posts are from the archives

End Water Siege

Water Water Everywhere, Nor Any Drop to Drink

October 27, 2009 – Amnesty International

Al-Manar.com.lb is not responsible for the content of this article or for any external internet sites. The views expressed are the author’s alone.

Amnesty International has accused Israel of denying Palestinians the right to access adequate water by maintaining total control over the shared water resources and pursuing discriminatory policies.

These unreasonably restrict the availability of water in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) and prevent the Palestinians developing an effective water infrastructure there.

“Israel allows the Palestinians access to only a fraction of the shared water resources, which lie mostly in the occupied West Bank, while the unlawful Israeli settlements there receive virtually unlimited supplies. In Gaza the Israeli blockade has made an already dire situation worse,” said Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International’s researcher on Israel and the OPT.

In a new extensive report, Amnesty International revealed the extent to which Israel’s discriminatory water policies and practices are denying Palestinians their right to access to water.

Israel uses more than 80 per cent of the water from the Mountain Aquifer, the main source of underground water in Israel and the OPT, while restricting Palestinian access to a mere 20 per cent.

The Mountain Aquifer is the only source for water for Palestinians in the West Bank, but only one of several for Israel, which also takes for itself all the water available from the Jordan River.

While Palestinian daily water consumption barely reaches 70 litres a day per person, Israeli daily consumption is more than 300 litres per day, four times as much.

In some rural communities Palestinians survive on barely 20 litres per day, the minimum amount recommended for domestic use in emergency situations.

Some 180,000-200,000 Palestinians living in rural communities have no access to running water and the Israeli army often prevents them from even collecting rainwater.

In contrast, Israeli settlers, who live in the West Bank in violation of international law, have intensive-irrigation farms, lush gardens and swimming pools.

Numbering about 450,000, the settlers use as much or more water than the Palestinian population of some 2.3 million.

In the Gaza Strip, 90 to 95 per cent of the water from its only water resource, the Coastal Aquifer, is contaminated and unfit for human consumption. Yet, Israel does not allow the transfer of water from the Mountain Aquifer in the West Bank to Gaza.

Stringent restrictions imposed in recent years by Israel on the entry into Gaza of material and equipment necessary for the development and repair of infrastructure have caused further deterioration of the water and sanitation situation in Gaza, which has reached crisis point.

To cope with water shortages and lack of network supplies many Palestinians have to purchase water, of often dubious quality, from mobile water tankers at a much higher price.

Others resort to water-saving measures which are detrimental to their and their families’ health and which hinder socio-economic development.

“Over more than 40 years of occupation, restrictions imposed by Israel on the Palestinians’ access to water have prevented the development of water infrastructure and facilities in the OPT, consequently denying hundreds of thousand of Palestinians the right to live a normal life, to have adequate food, housing, or health, and to economic development,” said Donatella Rovera.
Israel has appropriated large areas of the water-rich Palestinian land it occupies and barred Palestinians from accessing them.

It has also imposed a complex system of permits which the Palestinians must obtain from the Israeli army and other authorities in order to carry out water-related projects in the OPT. Applications for such permits are often rejected or subject to long delays.

Restrictions imposed by Israel on the movement of people and goods in the OPT further compound the difficulties Palestinians face when trying to carry out water and sanitation projects, or even just to distribute small quantities of water.

Water tankers are forced to take long detours to avoid Israeli military checkpoints and roads which are out of bounds to Palestinians, resulting in steep increases in the price of water.

In rural areas, Palestinian villagers are continuously struggling to find enough water for their basic needs, as the Israeli army often destroys their rainwater harvesting cisterns and confiscates their water tankers.

In comparison, irrigation sprinklers water the fields in the midday sun in nearby Israeli settlements, where much water is wasted as it evaporates before even reaching the ground.

In some Palestinian villages, because their access to water has been so severely restricted, farmers are unable to cultivate the land, or even to grow small amounts of food for their personal consumption or for animal fodder, and have thus been forced to reduce the size of their herds.

“Water is a basic need and a right, but for many Palestinians obtaining even poor-quality subsistence-level quantities of water has become a luxury that they can barely afford,” said Donatella Rovera.

“Israel must end its discriminatory policies, immediately lift all the restrictions it imposes on Palestinians’ access to water, and take responsibility for addressing the problems it created by allowing Palestinians a fair share of the shared water resources.”

Agha: AI report ascertains IOA robbery of Palestinian water resources

[ 31/10/2009 – 08:35 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)– Dr. Mohammed Al-Agha, the minister of agriculture in the Gaza Strip, has said that the Amnesty International’s report on the Israeli occupation authority’s (IOA) exploitation of Palestinian water resources is an important document that should be used in suing the IOA.

Agha, in a terse statement on Friday, said that the AI document should be utilized by the Palestinians to demand compensation and file lawsuits at international courts over the IOA robbery of their water.

He pointed out that the Gaza Strip is in need of 200 million cups of water annually, adding that water is being transferred from the West Bank to Gaza to overcome the shortage there.

The London-based AI said in a report that the IOA was curbing the Palestinians’ use of their own water resources while allowing its settlers to tap whatever quantities of water they wish from those resources.

The report published last Tuesday said that the Israeli individual’s water consumption is four times more than that of the Palestinian individual.

Shallah urges PA to stop wagering on the peace process with Israel


[ 31/10/2009 – 08:29 AM ]

DAMASCUS, (PIC)– Dr. Ramadan Shallah, the secretary-general of the Islamic Jihad Movement, on Friday called on Fatah faction to stop obstructing the reconciliation efforts and wagering on the peace process with the Israeli occupation authority (IOA).

During a ceremony held in support of occupied Jerusalem and the national unity, Dr. Shallah stressed that the option of negotiation would never create the Palestinian state, noting that if the IOA had wanted the establishment of a Palestinian state, it would have given it to late president Yasser Arafat.

“The Zionist entity creates wars in the region and not peace. We must not mistake this at all. The making of wars is one of the requirements of maintaining the legacy of colonialism, the equation of Sykes-Picot, and the reality of hegemony and control over the Nation,” he underlined.

The Islamic Jihad leader also shed light on his Movement’s relationship with Hamas and Fatah, saying that his Movement is biased in favor of these two factions as much as they are biased in favor of Palestine and the resistance.

For his part, Sheikh Nafid Azzam, a member of the Islamic Jihad political bureau, stated during the ceremony that the option of negotiations pursued by the Palestinian Authority (PA) proved its futility and called on the PA to return to the national dialog aimed to restore the unity.

Sheikh Azzam highlighted that the resistance is the most correct and feasible option for the defense of the Palestinian people and the protection of their rights.

“We confirm the sterility of the so-called peace process, and Barack Obama who was unable to force Israel to freeze settlement activity, would be unable to make it withdraw (from occupied Arab lands),” the Islamic Jihad official added.

CNN EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Syria’s first lady on Gaza

– October 30, 2009

After Lebanon War Devastation, Hezbollah Suburb Now Booming

After Lebanon War Devastation, Hezbollah Suburb Now Booming

29/10/2009 October 23, 2009 – Haaretz

Al-Manar.com.lb is not responsible for the content of this article or for any external internet sites. The views expressed are the author’s alone.

Dahiyah – meaning the suburb in Arabic – is the Hezbollah stronghold that was heavily targeted by Israel during its war with the militant Shiite group during the Second Lebanon War in 2006. The bombardment leveled Hezbollah’s headquarters as well as entire blocks across the neighborhood.

Now, the sprawling Shiite suburb of south Beirut has made a comeback after the destruction from the 2006 fighting, a symbol of the community’s resilience at a time when its political patron, Hezbollah, is seeking a greater voice in Lebanon’s government.

Dozens of newly built or repaired apartment blocs stand in place of those destroyed, the result of a reconstruction program led by Hezbollah, which receives millions of dollars a year in aid from its ally Iran.

Property prices are soaring. The district’s main streets are congested bumper-to-bumper with cars, while uniformed Hezbollah members direct traffic. Commerce is thriving, restaurants are packed.

“Dahiyah will be more beautiful than it was before,” read billboards at the construction sites that remain.

Beyond the district’s ties to Hezbollah, Dahiyah is a source of pride for Lebanon’s Shiites. For them, it exemplifies how the community has shaken off years of discrimination at the hands of the country’s traditional powerbrokers – Christians and Sunni Muslims – and has established itself as a powerful political force.

Dahiyah literally brought Shiites closer to the center of power: It grew from nearly nothing over 30 years to become a densely packed region of apartment towers and homes for 700,000 Shiites on the southern doorstep of Beirut, historically a mainly Christian and Sunni city.

“In Beirut, people are arrogant and think the world of themselves,” said Nagat Gradah, a bookstore employee in the district who, like many of its residents, migrated from Lebanon’s mainly Shiite south. “But Dahiyah? It’s very special.”

Dahiyah’s revival comes as Hezbollah is seeking to bolster its credentials as a mainstream political power.

For months, it has been in negotiations with Sunni-led pro-Western parties over the creation of a new government, in which Hezbollah and its allies would have a sizable role. The negotiations have been deadlocked, however, in a dispute over who will get which positions, fueled by suspicions in the pro-Western bloc that Hezbollah and its allies will seek to impose Syria’s and Iran’s agenda in the deeply divided nation.

Hezbollah is strongly backed by Syria and Iran, and it touts a powerful armed guerrilla force. But the movement also runs an extensive social welfare network and is the main political representative for Lebanon’s Shiites, who make up about a third of the country’s population of 4 million.

Dahiyah itself may be a sign that Shiite power is not necessarily an omen of Lebanon’s “Iranization” as Hezbollah’s opponents fear.

Despite its undisputed lock on Dahiyah, Hezbollah has not tried to enforce its strict interpretation of Islamic teachings in the district, a show of pragmatism perhaps aimed at casting doubt on the extremist tag critics slap on the group and increasing its appeal to secular Shiites and other sectarian groups.

Billboards advertising women’s couture compete for space with billboards of bearded clerics and images of the young Hezbollah guerrillas who died fighting Israel over the years.

Women in tight pants and low-cut tops shop at boutiques with names like Pascale and La Verna where bikinis, miniskirts and hot shorts are on display in windows – much like in the more liberal districts of Beirut.

“Here in Dahiyah, we have managed to have resistance, freedom and fashion all at the same place,” said Hussein al-Zein, a 40-year-old resident who runs a women’s casual wear store.

“People think Lebanon is either about fighting Israel or whoring with nothing in between. In Dahiyah, we have freedom, but it has boundaries,” he said at his store.

That said, the majority of women in Dahiyah dress conservatively in Islamic headscarves in public. There are no bars or liquor stores and certainly no nightclubs. European nonalcoholic beer ads in the streets don’t mention the word beer, using instead the term barley drink.

Hanein Estiatieh, a graphic design student, says she has no worries about going out in jeans and a tight top in Dahiyah, her birthplace.

“I will cover up only when I marry,” declares the 18-year-old.

“I don’t mind her not covering up,” said Aliyah Sohoura, daughter of the owner of the women’s clothes store where Estiatieh works. “But I pray for her to see the light of faith,” added Sohoura, who wore a headscarf and a bulky coat. The two giggled.

Dahiyah was not always a Shiite stronghold. It was once an area of small villages south of Beirut that were home to Christians and some middle-class Shiites. During Lebanon’s 1975-90 civil war, tens of thousands of Shiites poured into the area from the impoverished, more rural south and east to flee fighting. The Christians largely moved out, though pockets remain.

Beirut itself is sharply divided between Sunni and Christian districts, with very few mixed areas. In the 2006 Second Lebanon War, Israel almost exclusively targeted Dahiyah and Shiite areas in the south and east, while largely steering clear of Sunni and Christian regions – which in turn fed distrust between the sects.

In May last year, sectarian tensions turned violent when Hezbollah fighters clashed with Sunni rivals and briefly seized Sunni districts at the height of a political dispute with the U.S.-backed government. Fistfights and stone-throwing have broken out occasionally since between youths from Dahiyah and adjacent Sunni districts.

Shiites’ sense of solidarity in Dahiyah is reinforced by what residents see as neglect from the central government. The district gets only 12 hours of city electricity a day, compared to 19 in Beirut. Authorities blame large-scale power in Dahiyah, while residents call it discrimination.

Hezbollah handles security in the district, managing traffic and even handling crime cases like drug offenses. The group says it has no choice, saying central authorities ignore the area.

“We don’t try to be a substitute for the state but we just try and come up with solutions,” said Hezbollah official Ghassan Darwish. “We cannot replace the government, even if we tried”.

"Don’t blame Hezbollah for the Marine barracks bombing. The United States is at fault, for becoming a combatant in Lebanon’s civil war"


Nir Rosen, in FP/ here

“…. Last year, former Reagan-era National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane penned an especially ill-informed piece titled “From Beirut to 9/11.” McFarlane blamed Hezbollah, though the Shiite resistance group did not yet really exist and nobody knows who actually committed the attack.

……The United States had just given the Lebanese Army a great deal of military equipment. The opposition forces confronted the Lebanese Army in Suq al-Gharb and were defeating the U.S.-backed forces, which could have led to an end to the civil war and a victory for the opposition forces. There was little consultation within Ronald Reagan’s administration when McFarlane decided to call for the USS New Jersey off the coast of Lebanon to provide gunfire support for its beleaguered allies. Until then, the United States had maintained a fairly neutral stance, but after this attack the U.S. warships continued to sporadically shell the opposition fighters. At this point, the United States became just another militia in the Lebanese civil war…..

McFarlane had made them so, and their blood is on his hands. The attitude among some at the National Security Council was that it was time to teach the Lebanese opposition forces — read: Muslims — a lesson. At the State Department’s political and military affairs bureau, “we were shocked” by the shelling at Suq al-Gharb, one former senior member told me. “We were left speechless.” They knew there would be retaliation for this American act of war.

Interestingly, my views are supported by none other than retired Col. Timothy J. Geraghty, the man who commanded the Marines in Beirut 25 years ago. Geraghty wrote an article last year for the U.S. Naval Institute’s publication Proceedings: “The Marine and the French headquarters were targeted primarily because of who we were and what we represented. … It is noteworthy that the United States provided direct naval gunfire support — which I strongly opposed for a week — to the Lebanese Army at a mountain village called Suq-al-Garb on 19 September and that the French conducted an air strike on 23 September in the Bekaa Valley. American support removed any lingering doubts of our neutrality, …..
Geraghty was not the only military expert who has doubts about the U.S. role in Lebanon during the 1980s. Robert Baer was a CIA field agent covering Lebanon out of Damascus at the time of the bombing. “Don’t forget the Lebanese Christian forces kidnapped the Iranian chargé d’affaires, a senior Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps officer,” he told me. “The Iranians held the U.S. responsible. As far as they were concerned, we opened the first shot in the war.”

(continue here)

Posted by G, Z, or B at 6:29 AM

A Zionist report incites against Palestinian population in Jerusalem

A Zionist report incites against Palestinian population in Jerusalem

[ 30/10/2009 – 12:30 PM ]

A Palestinian home being demolished by the Israeli occupation in East Jerusalem 27 October 2009

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– A recent Zionist report said that the Palestinians in the occupied city of Jerusalem will form a majority in 20 years time despite Israeli occupation policies since 1967 to ensure a Jewish majority in the holy city.

The report which was produced by the Macro Center for Political Economics and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and presented to the Israeli Knesset to be debated said that despite the Israeli measures for many years to check the Palestinian population growth in Jerusalem, the rate of natural growth will be the determining factor and warned of Jerusalem becoming a bi-national city.

The report added that despite land confiscation since 1967 the Arab population of Jerusalem is increasing and they could become a majority in 20 years time, especially that they constitute now 35% of the population, while they constituted only 25% 42 years ago. It was also pointed out that after the occupation of the eastern part of Jerusalem in 1967 Israeli occupation governments followed special policies that placed restrictions on Palestinians with regard to building and residence in the city to guarantee a Jewish majority and prevent the city from being devided.

The report also pointed out that the main mechanism available to Israeli governments was the confiscation of land which is mostly privately owned, but it is doubtful that this was enough to ensure contiguous Jewish neighbourhoods.

The area of land confiscated in east Jerusalem since 1967 totalled 24000 Dunums (35% of its area), the land was confiscated from its Palestinian owners to build Jewish settlements.

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