OBAMATOON ~~ HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Desertpeace

December 31, 2009 at 6:38 am (Afghanistan, Associate Post, Barack Obama, Cartoons)

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

click on image to enlarge

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

So your job is smearing Haitham and his sites and work? Thus Said Mary Rizzo


Mary Rizzo is an art restorer, translator and writer living in Italy. Editor and co-founder of Palestine Think Tank, co-founder of Tlaxcala translations collective. Her personal blog is Peacepalestine.

mary said…

So your job is smearing Haitham and his sites and work? It is easy to do from anonymity in California, is it not? Haitham may have ideas or thoughts that are mistaken, and all who disagree with him can and should express that, and they should not be put on trial – but his good faith, his total devotion to his people and their total liberation is beyond doubt and your seeking to foment wars between activists and Palestinians who are against Jewish Occupation of Palestine and against all client regimes of the USA/Israel, including Egypt’s I find negative. But, you can’t argue with UP, he will turn it into a public smear war to discredit other activists. At any rate, his work, which you seem to want to in one fell swoop berate, has allowed the Palestinian voice to go viral over the web, and that includes yours. I think you are the only person I know who has doubted his integrity and his commitment to his people. It does not look nice on you, however much Haitham may write things that could be wrong on some counts, Haitham is not doing Pharaoh’s work, and shame on you.

As you may have not noted, Stuart Littlewood, after reading Haitham’s report, amended his own report, and he is in agreement with Haitham’s questioning. You can see it all on Redress: http://www.redress.cc/palestine/slittlewood20091229
and now you can attack Redress and Littlewood, for the sake of consistency.

Littlewood takes direct suggestions from Haitham, that no one should ever have had been put in a condition to be begging or bargaining with Egypt. If you do it, then be prepared to do it. If you don’t want to do it, say so and don’t pretend, and if you want to break the siege, you break the siege, as Free Gaza was able to do, without genuflecting to anyone.

Awaiting your attack of Redress or Littlewood, for consistency’s sake.



Reaching the Gates of Hell is not so easy


Egyptian ruler Mubarak torpedoes international voluntary aid to Gaza

By Stuart Littlewood
29 December 2009

Stuart Littlewood considers the predicament of the Viva Palestina international humanitarian convoy – the culmination of voluntary work by thousands of supporters, fund-raisers and donors in the UK, Europe and internationally – whose journey to besieged Gaza was thwarted by Egypt’s ruler, Husni Mubarak, just four hours before it reached its destination.

The Viva Palestina convoy is being given the run-around by Egypt’s President Husni Mubarak and his “Awkward Squad”.

My heart goes out to the 500 or so dedicated people from 17 different countries who brought their convoy of 200 vehicles almost to the gates of Gaza, only to be stranded at Aqaba just four hours short of their destination.

And not only the 500 driving with the Viva Palestina convoy but the thousands of supporters, fund-raisers and donors back home who have worked for months to provide the medical supplies, the food, the transport and the countless other humanitarian items.

These 500 “salt of the earth” were kicking their heels in Aqaba, and threatening a hunger strike while their precious cargoes spoiled in the heat, because the Egyptian authorities wouldn’t allow them to enter Egypt through the port of Nuweiba. The reason appeared to be that the road across the Sinai from Nuweiba to Rafah ran close to the Israeli border and the 250 trucks and ambulances of the convoy might have caused “a big infiltration problem”.

Why the Egyptian army couldn’t have provided an escort to ensure that no trucks left the column, wasn’t explained. The convoy had already taken great trouble and gone many hundreds of extra miles to avoid Israel.

To have come so far and given so much – in time, effort, money and other resources – and to be thwarted at the last minute, was very hard to take.


However, Egypt is perfectly entitled to lay down rules and its Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying: “The Egyptian government welcomes the passage of the convoy into the Gaza Strip on 27 December, on condition that it abides by the mechanisms in place for humanitarian aid convoys to the Palestinian people, including most importantly the entry of convoys through the port of El-Arish.”


In February 2006 the British MP George Galloway, who leads today’s convoy, was refused entry into Egypt. The last Viva Palestina convoy was pelted with stones and vandalised at El-Arish, which is about 28 miles from the Rafah border crossing into Gaza, after Galloway reportedly called President Mubarak uncomplimentary names and urged the country’s armed forces to overthrow him.

We all know what Mubarak is, but how sensible was it for Galloway to broadcast his opinion to the world when he wanted easy passage for his convoy through the guy’s territory?
There’s clearly no love lost here, and I heard the Egyptians had imposed three conditions if the convoy wished to reach Gaza through Egypt:

  1. It must hand all its vehicles and aid over to UNWRA.
  2. It must drive 500 miles back to Syria, then take ship from Latakia to the port of El-Arish.
  3. It must ask Israel’s permission to cross from Egypt to Gaza.

This information came from members of the convoy, not the organizers. Conditions number 1 and 3 are unthinkable, surely. But this evening the organizers announced that the convoy, after mediation by Turkey, would indeed turn around and head back to Syria and embark from Latakia to El-Arish. Nothing has been said about complying with the other two conditions.

The voyage should take them under the noses of the trigger-happy and piratical Israeli gunboats who think nothing of opening fire on Gazan fishermen. Will the Royal Navy be dispatched to provide an armed escort?

The question remains: did the organizers know all this beforehand – especially the El-Arish stipulation – or was it suddenly sprung on them? Was clearance given for the southern route via Aqaba, then rescinded, or was it left to chance?

The convoy’s organizers are not answering basic questions and the full picture has still not emerged.

“This is a very determined convoy and we’re not going anywhere except to Gaza,” says George Galloway.

God speed you to the Gates of Hell then, George. But next time you should maybe consider going by sea, sailing 200 boats though international waters and demanding that the Western powers guarantee the freedom of the high seas. That way you don’t need to bow to the likes of Mubarak.

And you could become an admiral.


Stuart Littlewood is author of the book Radio Free Palestine, which tells the plight of the Palestinians under occupation. For further information please visit www.radiofreepalestine.co.uk.

Comment:

Mary
I was expecting your visit earlier, to vent. You could have done it there at your site. 
A look at the majority of comments of your reader tells why you prefered to do it here, and explains your accusation. Moreover, you are angry fore something else and you found a chance to vent your anger.
Your are welcome, and free. Therefore I moved you comment up here.

“Haitham is not doing Pharaoh’s work,”

With full respect to his history and good intentions, he didn’t just called Viva Palalestinia to apologize to Pharaoh, he called viva palestina to put pressure on Pharaoh and to “put the blame and the pressure on US, Western Power and the occupation, Israel. Then they will allow PA (Dahlan) to run Rafah border, which in turn will make Egyptians opens it.” Period.


As for attacking Redress and Littlewood, for the sake of consistency. Why should I attack him, at least he is not a Palestinian, and you said he “af’ter reading Haitham’s report, amended his own report, and he is in agreement with Haitham’s questioning.’ I shall disapoint you by saying Littlewood spoiled his own report. Thanks to Admeral Haitham.

Littlewood claimed that the viva palestina organizers said “‘Nothing has been said about complying with the other two conditions.” – the unthinkable Conditions number 1 and 3.


HERE, MARY.
TAKE IT FORM THE MOUTH OF Galloway: I refuse any kind of coordination with Israel

Viva Palestina may fail to deliver the Aid, even so, it did a great work in exposing the TRAITORS, and your guy is paving the way to blaim Viva Palestina for that failure. 

Hopfully, Littlewood, haven’t read Haitham’s “Truth” about the food smuggling used as a “cover to many other businesses”, and a “passage for terrorist groups such as Al-Qaedaa and their likes which Gaza are full with these days.” and party doing “the trading and were the money goes. Definitely not to buy food for the Palestinians in Gaza”I am not working to smear your Guy, his Sites and History. He is doing that to himselve and his sites. I am trying to stop his attempt to smear both missions of the International Freedom Fighters, and speading Abu Alghaitth propaganda about the wall of shame??

Yes we all do mistakes, and non of us holds the ultimate truth. We have to learn the vitue of admitting our mistakes, instaed of storming our minds to justfy it. Finally, why the mistakes of your guys can be forgiven, and the “mistake” of Galloway is not tolerable??


River to Sea
  Uprooted Palestinian

Jewish Settlers: We’ll Burn You All!

Link

Posted on December 29, 2009 by Antievil

While Jewish settlers were burning the mosque of the village of Yasuf near the city of Nablus in the West Bank and writing on the walls of the village “We’ll burn you all”, which is the phrase German Nazis used to write on Jewish homes in the 1930s, EU member states backed down from a resolution proposed by Sweden to recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state after the interference – as a result of Israeli pressure – of France and Germany, two countries involved in building the Israeli nuclear arsenal.

Despite the fact that the draft resolution was better than the resolution taken, they both fell short of meeting the requirements of international legitimacy. The draft resolution stated that the EU Council “urges” Israel to stop all settlement activity immediately, including those in East Jerusalem, and dismantling those built since “March 2001”. It stresses that the settlements, the segregation wall built on the occupied territories, and house demolition were all “illegal practices” according to international law and constitute a barrier to peace.” When the Council expressed “extreme concern” for the situation in East Jerusalem, it “called on all parties”, i.e. nuclear-armed Israel and the unarmed Palestinians to refrain from “provocative practices.” In this way, the settlers who burned the mosque of the village of Yasuf and the unarmed Palestinian civilians besieged in Gaza are considered the same.

The Council also called on “those detaining the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit to release him immediately, while it completely ignored the fate of tens of thousands of Palestinian prisoners [held by Israel] kidnapped years ago, including women, children and elected members of the Palestinian parliament. This timid language does not condemn Israeli crimes like expelling the native people of the land and burning their homes. It considers the whole policy of ethnic cleansing and collective punishment mere “illegal practices” which do not (according to the draft resolution) require deterrent punishments for the Israeli rulers committing them in the same way Hamas should be punished and Iran should be punished for its nuclear policies.

In order to avoid showing the ugliness of Israeli crimes, it calls “all parties to refrain from provocative practices.” Thus the EU considers the Palestinian toddler whose home was demolished by Israel in the Jarrah neighborhood in Jerusalem, and who is sleeping in a tent with his family like hundreds of other Palestinian families in Gaza, as “a party” that should not provoke Israel!

All this European generous tolerance to Israeli crimes and all this timidity in standing up to them, even verbally, was faced by a ferocious Israeli campaign which was able to prevent the draft of a mere modest statement like this to be published. It succeeded in replacing the shy language which “urges,” “applauds” and “encourages” in an abstract, vague and unbinding language that does not have any force to stop the crimes or deter those who commit them.

Such a complacent European stance will not have a lasting political influence in favour of the cause of freedom and democracy in Palestine. That is why, and since the Zionist government realizes that blackmailing Europeans is an effective policy, prevented a European parliamentary delegation from visiting Gaza without fearing any firm European reaction. The Europeans found it sufficient to say “it was strange for the visit to be cancelled a few hours after the EU Council statement which is supported by a strong European position in relation to the creation of a Palestinian state within the borders of 1967, and stopping settlement in the West Bank, including “East Jerusalem.’”

But the fact is that the EU did not express a “strong position” in relation to Jerusalem and the two-state solution. It rather bowed to Israeli blackmail and turned a blind eye to Israeli crimes against humanity. That is why it had to accept more Israeli blackmail when its MEPs were prevented from entering Gaza, and had their permission cancelled three hours after it was given. This official humiliation of the MEPs would not have been accepted by the smallest country in the world. So, how could it be accepted by the largest parliament Europe has ever known?

If the EU Council continues to succumb to Israeli pressures made by an extremist government, Israeli crimes against civilians will continue. International statistics show that between last year’s anniversary of the Human Rights Declaration and this year’s, Israel killed 1,460 Palestinians with Europe watching. Nevertheless, the EU Council equates “the parties”, the Israeli killer and the Palestinian victim.

Nevertheless, some people believe that for Sweden, which holds the current EU presidency, merely to dare propose a draft resolution considering Jerusalem the capital of two states, this means a positive shift and an act of breaking the barrier of fear which haunted Europe for decades as a result of the Holocaust-related guilt complex. I do not understand why the past continues to haunt those who were born after the Holocaust: the current generation of Europeans is not responsible for the Holocaust committed by the Nazis against German Jews. And the Israeli Jews of today are not victims of German anti-Semitism. They are those who kill Palestinian people and deprive them of freedom, democracy and human rights.

The only thing Western papers were interested in, as far as this important issue is concerned, is that Europe finally gave in to Israeli pressure which succeeded in curbing this European move. Articles in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, and the CNN report were all based on an Israeli source saying that Europe backed down from its call for considering East Jerusalem as capital of Palestine, and that this backing down was in the interest of Israel which is planning to Judaize Jerusalem, i.e. ethnically cleansing it by demolishing Palestinian homes and expelling Palestinians. What they are doing is actually leaving future European generations with a guilt complex greater than the one felt by the current generation’s guilt as a result of the Holocaust.

Their children and grandchildren will find it difficult to understand how their ancestors chose not to see facts because they feared Israeli blackmail, because of their greed for Jewish money or in order to get a political position.

In the wake of this shameful European submission to Israeli blackmail, events have shown that this has only boosted Israeli arrogance. There is no difference in this regard between the government and the settlers: while the Israeli government decided to prevent MEPs from entering Gaza so that they do not see the atrocities perpetrated against the Palestinian people, Israeli settlers, as usual, attacked the villages of Nablus this time where they burned a new big mosque in the village of Yasuf in the northern part of the West Bank, including its furniture and library, destroyed the electricity network and left Hebrew graffiti saying: “we’ll burn you all”, “prepare to pay the price.” With all this happening, the EU and others are merely asking for clarifications for the cancellation, clarifications for demolition, clarifications for killing, clarifications for expulsion, clarifications for humiliation. The only reasonable and logical clarification is that the Zionist entity is a racist entity based on the destruction of the native people, destroying their culture and institutions, depriving them of a free and dignified life and accusing them of threatening Israel’s security. But the racist Israeli entity is no longer a danger to the Palestinian people alone; it is endangering the relationship between Muslims and the West and peace and security in our region and the world. It is not the Palestinians alone who should confront this horrendous racism. Europe and the West should shoulder their responsibility in this regard. Hence, Israeli promotion in the West of ideas like banning minarets and veils and putting more restraints on Muslims all lead to aggravating conflicts between peoples.

Fortunately, however, the cowardice of western governments is countered by the courage of conscientious people and opinion leaders of the Western world. This is a transitional phase before the civilized world realizes the danger of the Zionist model not to the Arabs alone, but to international peace and security. Hence, taking a firm European decision against ethnic cleansing, settlement and killing is the Europeans’ duty not only towards Palestinians but towards Europeans themselves.
Ref: asharq-e.

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

OBAMA’S NEW YEAR’S EVE TOON

Desertpeace

December 30, 2009 at 4:13 pm (Afghanistan, Associate Post, Cartoons)

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

click on image to enlarge

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

They Came on a Cold December Day: Gaza in Crisis

Silver Lining

Posted on December 29, 2009 by realistic bird

{Gaza holocaust remembrance} by Ali Khalil-Al Khaleej newspaper-UAE

By SONJA KARKAR, counter punch

They came one cold December day. Not fearless warriors but fearsome hoardes hell-bent on destruction of the genocidal kind that leaves no room for regeneration. That was one year ago in Gaza.

The attack shocked a complacent world into finally seeing Israel’s merciless ferocity against the Palestinians already hounded, herded and imprisoned in compounds throughout their land, if not actually driven out.
More than sixty years of Western devotion to Israel’s security was blown wide open as truth shattered spin in three weeks of carnage and devastation.

Dead bodies do not lie and neither do the maimed and the disfigured. Thousands have been left to make sense of the horrors they saw and the hollow aftermath to which they have been abandoned. Landscapes of rubble as far as the eye can see are still testament to the homes once standing in villages and towns, the homeless now huddled in tents while they wait one year on for materials to re-build. Little food, contaminated water, rationed fuel and electricity and the barest of medical supplies are just more of many cruel and wanton deprivations pushing Palestinian society to the limits of endurance.

This is Gaza: a population of 1.5 million people kept in formaldehyde by Israel’s crippling siege. It is a human catastrophe that has many enablers. World leaders have shut their eyes to the crimes witnessed and documented countless times over by human rights groups. World media continuously sidesteps the truth and deliberately ignores international efforts to highlight the humanitarian crisis. Together they are complicit in Israel’s dehumanisation of a people.

We are also complicit if we remain silent and do nothing. It is not enough to know and empathise. Change can only come from people being engaged – learning, thinking, communicating, and being prepared to act.
Almost 2000 internationals have taken action. Some 200 are in Jordan after a three-week trek through Europe in the Viva Palestina convoy of trucks filled with humanitarian aid while another 300 joined them from Greece, Turkey and Jordan; and then, there are the 1400 who have landed in Egypt from all over the world for the scheduled Gaza Freedom March on 31 December. Neither group has been given clearance to enter Gaza. This is where the rest of us who were unable to join these brave souls can bring some power to bear.
There simply is no time to waste. Letters, faxes, emails must be written to governments, embassies and media outlets. Not one letter, not one time, but a constant stream. We have to urge friends and families to write as well.
We have to urge governments to put pressure on Egypt to open the Rafah crossing and pressure on Israel to lift the siege. We have to hound the media like they hound us when they sniff a story. And Gaza is a story that needs to be told. The marchers and the convoy bringing aid to a besieged Gaza are only a part of that story. The real story is Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians from their homeland.

Israel must be held to account because it is the instigator of all this misery. Israel has acted with impunity for far too long. It is a bully in world affairs and our leaders and media are all shamefully intimidated. Only people coming together collectively can change that dynamic – and we must come together, before we too become craven hostages to Israel’s criminal enterprise.

Standing up for Palestinian human rights is not anti-Semitic because the Palestinians are also a Semitic people. Nor is it anti-Israel, but rather a protest against Israel’s Zionist policies and practices designed to permanently fragment and dissipate Palestinian society. So brutal is its Zionist agenda and so contrary to Judaic teachings that many Jews are already speaking out in shame at what is being done in their name.

As decent and honourable citizens of the world, we too need to speak out in shame at what we have allowed to occur for far too long. Terrible crimes have been committed and some predict that even more terrible ones are to come. The reality is that all along we have been witnessing a slow genocide and we have allowed guilt, pragmatism and self-interest to stand in the way of our common humanity. The world needs to say “enough” and refuse to indulge Israel’s Zionist leaders and advocates whose free ride has taken them to the heady heights of arrogance. That universal effort needs to begin before the bitter winter freezes any kind of hope in Gaza and it needs to be sustained for as long as it takes to free all of Palestine. Anything less, will hasten a 21st century genocide.

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River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

Galloway: I refuse any kind of coordination with Israel

[ 30/12/2009 – 07:05 PM ]

DAMASCUS, (PIC)– British lawmaker and pro-Palestine activist George Galloway stated Tuesday that he had received two weeks ago an Egyptian letter demanding that he obtains an Israeli approval before allowing the Lifeline 3 convoy to pass into the Gaza Strip, but he refused any kind of coordination with Israel.

“Egypt may be at the beck, call and command of Israel, but Viva Palestina is not,” said Galloway in a news conference.

“We refuse to co-operate with a country which continues to illegally hold Palestinian lands, builds even more settlements in the teeth of world opinion and which, just a year ago, slaughtered 1400 people in the Gaza Strip and devastated the infrastructure. Israel refuses to let through one brick, pane of glass or nail to help rebuild the carnage its warplanes caused.”

Galloway added that the land convoy to Gaza was symbolic because its arrival was due to coincide with the first anniversary of the war on Gaza, “which the Egyptian authorities have done all they can to thwart”.

The Egyptian letter read, according to the Viva Palestina convoy, that “the organizers of the third Viva Palestina convoy should assume the responsibility of coordination with the Israeli authorities on the passage of all the vehicles to the Gaza Strip.”

For his part, head of the humanitarian charitable committee in Turkey Bulent Yildirim said that the convoy is aimed to attract the attention of the world to the Israeli blockade imposed on Gaza and to provide humanitarian aid to its people.

Yildirim added that the negotiations between Turkey and the Egyptian authorities paid off and the convoy would enter Gaza through the Rafah border crossing without Israel’s approval.

On a late hour on Tuesday, the third Lifeline convoy arrived in Damascus where thousands of Syrians and Palestinians received it carrying flags, flowers and banners hailing the humanitarian role of the convoy and condemning the Egyptian government for putting a spoke in the convoy’s wheel.

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

NO CONJUGAL VISITS ALLOWED FOR FORMER PRISONER VANUNU

Desertpeace

December 30, 2009 at 1:31 pm (From The Media, Israel)
Image by Bendib

If this wasn’t for real it would be the funniest sitcom Israel ever produced…. but… it’s a good excuse for the Israeli media to ignore the situation of the Viva Palestina Convoy that is attempting to enter Gaza.

His lawyer said he was detained over a romance with a Norwegian woman rather than for revealing nuclear secrets.
“Vanunu was arrested (for) a relationship between a man and a woman, with a Norwegian citizen,” attorney Avigdor Feldman told reporters.
“He is not being accused of giving any secrets. She is not interested in nuclear business — she’s interested in Mordechai Vanunu (and he) is probably interested in her,” Feldman said.

A Jerusalem court ordered Vanunu, who was taken into police custody on Monday, put under house arrest for three days pending an indictment, police said.


On the news last night, Vanunu had the following to say…
“BULL SHIT CHARGE…. BULL SHIT STATE!”
That just about sums up the ridiculousness of the whole situation.


A Reuters report can be read HERE.

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

Massive Pro-Government Rallies Protesting Iran Unrest


Almanar

30/12/2009 Tens of thousands of protesters gathered across Iran for a series of state-sponsored rallies designed as a show of strength following days of pro-opposition demonstrations. Wednesday’s demonstrations in Tehran and several other cities, come as Iran’s police chief vowed to “crush” opposition gatherings.

“In dealing with previous [opposition] protests, police showed leniency,” General Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam, Iran’s police chief, was quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying. “But given that these currents are seeking to topple [the ruling system], there will be no mercy. “We will take severe action. The era of tolerance is over. Anyone attending such rallies will be crushed.”

Alireza Ronaghi, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Tehran, said: “The main thing that we all expect is a huge rally in support of the government, especially in support of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.”Those who are going to be in the demonstration today are annoyed at the fact that some [opposition] demonstrators on Sunday have insulted the supreme leader and chanted slogans against his position.”

Eight people were killed in Sunday’s anti-government protests which coincided with the marking of Ashoura. Police arrested hundreds of protesters during anti-government rallies and many more opposition aides and supporters in the days that followed. Police chief Maghaddam said that 300 of the 500 “rioters” arrested over the weekend were still in detention and that more were likely to have been detained by other security agencies.

Iran’s government has condemned the opposition protests and has blamed the unrest on foreign interferences including Britain, the US and Israel.

A statement from the government said: “The offensive slogans have made the pious Iranian nation sad and the Zionist world happy and in practice they, as pawns of the enemies, have furnished a red carpet for the foreigners who are aiming at the nation’s security.”The knowledgeable people of Islamic Iran will once again put the lackeys of global oppression in their place and will blind the eyes of sedition.”

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

TRAVELING ON ‘THE AXIS OF EVIL’

December 30, 2009 at 8:53 am (Apartheid, From The Media, Israel, Occupation, Palestine)
28 kilometers of distilled apartheid

By Gideon Levy

This highway has told the whole story. They pave a road, expropriate Palestinian land and the High Court of Justice approves the expropriation, in its words, “provided that it is done for the sake of the local population.”

How many of the masses of travelers on this high road to the capital have looked to their left and right? How many of them have noticed the 12 roads blocked by iron roadblocks and piles of garbage? (Is there another country that blocks roads with garbage?) And what about the 22 confined and concealed villages alongside the road? How many people have asked themselves how it is possible that a road that was paved in the heart of the Land of Palestine has no Palestinians traveling on it? How many have noticed the sign that leads to the “Ofer [army] camp”, another whitewashed name for a detention facility or the hundreds of prisoners detained there, some without trial?

The above refers to THIS Court ruling….

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

Saadat warns Abbas of pursuing policy of tinkering with PLO and its institutions

[ 30/12/2009 – 10:28 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)– Detained MP Ahmed Saadat, the secretary-general of the popular front for the liberation of Palestine (PFLP), warned Tuesday Mahmoud Abbas and his authority of pursuing the policy of tinkering with the Palestine liberation organization (PLO) and its institutions.

In a letter leaked from Israeli jails, Saadat called on the Palestinian Authority (PA) to activate the Cairo declaration of 2005 and the national accord document and renounce the policy of waiting after peace negotiations reached a deadlock.

He also called for resuming national dialog to achieve national reconciliation and rearrange the Palestinian house, and urged the national reconciliation committee and the PLO to hold a meeting to conduct a comprehensive political review and formulate a program of national action based on the resistance option.

The PFLP official called for continuing to boycott Israel, fight all forms of normalization with it and unveil its true ugly face and its false claims about democracy, especially on the first anniversary of the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip.

In another context, the independent committee for human rights (the Ombudsman office) challenged judicially the law of security approval set by the PA as a condition for every Palestinian wanting to hold public office in the PA.

The committee said that this condition derogates the fundamental rights of Palestinian civil servants in the West Bank and violates the provisions of the Palestinian basic law as well as the civil service act of 1998 and its executive bylaws.

The committee said it received more than 250 complaints from Palestinian civil servants until the end of last November after the PA sanctioned the condition of security approval which stipulates that any person nominated to hold public office must obtain approval from Abbas’s security apparatuses.

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

Israel,Mossad knew from 9/11, ALL THE PROOF IN THE WORLD!!

Israel did 9/11 UPDATED, REVISED
Who leased the WTC only seven weeks before 9/11?

Afbeelding
Larry Silverstein — Explains his reason for purchasing the towers as “I felt a compelling urge to own them.” Larry had breakfast in “Windows on the World” restaurant every single morning. On 9/11 he never showed up. Neither did his daughter who worked in building 7.

Afbeelding
Frank Lowy — Owner of Westfield America. In May 2001, Westfield paid $US127 million for a 99-year lease on the retail area beneath the New York World Trade Center. Lowywas a member of the Golani Brigade, and fought in the Israeli war of independence. Lowy steered clear of the WTC on 9/11.

Who authorized the lease of the WTC complex to Silverstein?

Afbeelding
Lewis Eisenberg — Chairman of the New York Port Authority.

All three men are high ranking Jews in the Anti Defamation League and United Jewish Appeal.
Afbeelding

Who pushed the WTC for privatization?
Afbeelding-Ronald S. Lauder
He was on the board of directors of the NY board of privatization. He is the key individual who lobbied for the privatization of the WTC, but he also got Stewart Airport, formerly Stewart AFB, to become privatized. Oddly, the flightpaths of flight 175 and flight 11 converged directly over this airport.

Lauder is active in the following organizations:
-Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
-Jewish National Fund
-World Jewish Congress
-American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
-Anti-Defamation League
-Jewish Theological Seminary

Lauder has funded a school for the Mossad in Herzliya, Israel.

Who ran security at all three airports of “alleged” hijackings?

Afbeelding
ICTS International / Huntsleigh USA (wholly owned subsidiary)

Owned by Ezra Harel and Menachem Atzmon. Both Israeli Jews.

It is run by “experts” in the security and intelligence field. Israeli intelligence that is. Most employees were ex- Shin Bet agents.

Is this airport security company, who ran the security at Dulles, Logan, and Newark, really that shotty to allow 19 arabs on board 4 different planes with boxcutters, mace, and even a gun, or is there something else going on here?

Menachem Atzmon was involved in an Israeli political scandalinvolving Ehud Olmert and other Likudnits in Israel.

ICTS was also in charge of airport security when the shoe bomber Richard Reid boarded a plane with a shoe bomb(allegedly).

A few hours before the Patriot Act was voted on, it was edited to make foreign companies in charge of security on 9/11 immune to lawsuits. This would prevent American courts from demanding that ICTS provide testimony or hand over the missing surveillance videos from the airports.

Who was on board flight 11?
Afbeelding-Daniel Lewin

Lewin, an Israeli Jew, was confirmed to be a member of the special Israeli commando unit, the Sayeret Matkal, which specializes in “anti-hijack” takeovers and assassinations. Originally, Betty Ong pointed to his seat, 9B, as the one shooting people with a gun and leading the hijacking. It was later changed to him being shot, later revised to him being stabbed.

Who had the contract to run security at the WTC?

Afbeelding Associates, owned by…
AfbeeldingJules Kroll – Jewish

Kroll was run by…
Afbeelding-Jerome Hauer
Hauer was also the guy chosen to run Mayor Rudy Guiliani’s office of emergency management from 1996 to 2000.

[ur=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerome_Hauer#Familyl]Jerome Hauer[/url] is also Jewish. Hauer’s mother, Rose Muscatine Hauer, is the retired Dean of the Beth Israel School of Nursing and the Honorary President of the New York Chapter of Hadassah, the Daughters of Zion movement that is one of the central Zionist organizations involved in the creation and maintenance of the State of Israel.

Hauer, however, told journalist Sander Hicks in a phone conversation that Larry Silverstein hired a “private” security team on his wtc complex. I wonder who manned this “private” security team, since they are the lead suspects in the placing of explosives.

Were Jews forewarned of the attacks?
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Israeli instant messaging company, Odigo, admitted that two of its employees received instant messages warning of an impeding attack 2 hours prior to the first plane hitting.

This warning was not passed on to authorities, which could have saved thousands of lives.

Odigo has a feature on its service that allows the passing on of messages through a search feature based on nationality, such as Israeli. Knowing these two particular Jews were forewared, it is very likely they passed the message on to other Jews considering that out of the 4000 Israeli Jews believed to work in the trade towers, only ONE died that day.

Odigo has offices in New York, and in Herzliya, Israel. Herzliya happens to be the Head Quarters of Mossad. Do the math.

Odigo was later bought up by another Israeli company called Comverse. The CEO of Comverse was Kobi Alexander, “dual” Israeli-US citizen, with connections to Mossad. He has been charged on several counts of fraud.

Goldman Sachs Forewarned
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– On Sep 10, 2001, the Tokyo branch of Goldman Sachs warned its American employees to steer clear of American buildings.

Israeli ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Forewarned
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– ZIM, an Israeli company, vacated its office (10,000 square feet) in the North WTC tower a few days before 9/11, breaking its lease. 49% of this company is owned by the Israeli government. The lease ran till the end of 2001, and the company lost $50,000 by breaking the lease. Later, FBI agent Michael Dick, who was investigating Israeli spying before and after 9/11 and looking into the suspicious move, was removed from his duties by the head of the Justice Department’s criminal division, Michael Chertoff (Jewish).

Israeli espionage around 9/11

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– Shortly before 9/11, over 140 Israelis had been arrested for suspected espionage. Some of them were posing as Art students. These suspects targeted or penetrated Military bases, DEA, FBI, Secret Service, ATF, U.S. Customs, IRS, INS, EPA, Interior Dept., U.S. Marshal’s Service, various U.S. Attorneys Offices, Secret government offices Unlisted private homes of law enforcement/intelligence officers. Most of the suspects served in military intelligence, electronic surveillance intercept and or explosive ordinance units.

Dozens of Israelis were arrested in American malls kiosks selling toys, acting as a front for a spying operation.

60 detained suspects worked for the Israeli company AMDOCS which provides most directory assistance calls and almost call records and billings services for the U.S. by virtue of its contracts with the 25 largest telephone companies in the U.S.

All alleged 9/11 hijackers had fake IDs. During a joint FBI-CIA operation against the lead patsy hijacker Mohammad Atta in Fort Lee, NJ in 2001, the operation was photographed by Israeli agents and thereby compromised. These Jews were providing cover for the future patsy hijacker teams.

Fox News Report — 4 part series
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAFRgT2w6Dk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4L9Pv2cnNY&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wS0SwyFXjE&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaLGM-0U3d0&feature=related

More Israelis caught after 9/11 — 60 of them!
After 9/11 – More detentions of Israelis

Following 9/11, over 60 Israelis were detained either under the Patriot anti-Terrorism Act or for immigrations violations. Some of them were active Israeli military personnel. A number of them failed polygraph examinations when questioned for surveillance activities against the U.S. Some of them were found to have been spying on Arabs.

This includes the “dancing Israelis” who were caught in multiple places filming, and cheering the attacks. These men admitted being mossad agents.

AfbeeldingAfbeeldingAfbeelding
Their names were Sivan & Paul Kurzberg, Yaron Schmuel, Oded Ellner.

They later appeared on an Israeli talk show and claimed to be “documenting the event”. CIA agent Robert Baer confirmed their cameras were set up BEFORE the first plane struck.

Another group of Israelis were caught with truck bombs around the George Washington Bridge.

A third group of Jews were caught with a van that had a mural painted on the side literally depicting the 9/11 attacks.
Afbeelding

All of the white vans were working for the Mossad front company called “urban moving systems” under direction of Dominic Suter, a Mossad agent, who fled to Israel right after 9/11.

ALL of these Jews were sent back to Israel under direction of Michael Chertoff.

Don’t think Israel could disable Norad? THINK AGAIN!!
http://www.enciclopedia.com.pt/images/ptech.jpgPtech Software systems – computer control backdoor

Most national security computerized systems that would have scrambled jets in the event of national emergencies such as multiple hijackings were running on Ptech software.

Jew Michael S. Goff was marketing manager at Ptech and also worked for Isareli database company Guardium (Jew Director Amit Yoran); Guardium has been funded by Mossad fronts. Ptech was funded by Lebanese and Saudi Americans, but why did Goff leave a well-paying job at a Jewish law firm for the dodgy startup Ptech? Goff was obviously working as a sayanim.

MITRE corporation (computer software)

MITRE – major defense contracting organization headed by former Director of Central Intelligence Jew James Schlesinger.

Ptech was with the MITRE corporation in the basement of the FAA for two years prior to 9/11. Their specific job was to look at inter-operability issues the FAA had with NORAD and the Air Force in the case of an emergency.

This software was installed on the computers of most U.S government agencies. Including the military

Precision guided plane anyone?
Image
The plane hitting WTC North Tower

The first plane to hit the WTC (North Tower) hit the computer room of Jewish-owned Kroll Associates (Managing Director Jerome M. Hauer), the company that had acquired control of building security after the 1993 bomb attack on the WTC. Precision guided by equipment in the office anyone?

Who could possibly remote control planes into the towers? Ask DOV ZAKHEIM!!

AfbeeldingDov Zakheim’s System Planning Corporation – remote airplane control technology

The SPC Corporation provided the flight termination system and command transmitter system, the technology that allows planes to be remote controlled should the pilots be incapacitated or the plane hijacked.

Who quickly shipped off the WTC metal overseas?
Afbeelding

– Alan D. Ratner’s Metals Management and the SIMS group. Ratner is Jewish. Ratner merged with the SIMS group and the Hugo Neu corporation, and they made a handsome profit. Ratner sold over 50,000 tons of crime scene evidence steel to a Chinese company at $120 per ton; Ratner had obtained them for $70 per ton.

9/11 Investigation in Jewish hands from the start!!
Jews were appointed the chief judges:
Afbeelding
Alvin K. Hellerstein – a judge for the U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of New York and has been
involved in several high-profile 9/11 related cases including
consolidated master case against three airlines, ICTS
International NV and Pinkerton’s airport security firms, the
World Trade Center owners, and Boeing Co., the aircraft
manufacturer

image
Michael B. Mukasey – This Jew judge oversaw the litigation between Larry Silverstein and insurance companies after 9/11. Silverstein was awarded billions.

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Michael Chertoff

Kenneth Feinberg set up the victim’s compensation fund ($7 billion); the Jews managed to get 97% of the victims’ families to take the money in exchange for not demanding a legal investigation of 9/11. The minority of family members demanding an investigation had to deal with a special mediator: Jewess Sheila Birnbaum. Nothing happened though.

Benjamin Chertoff – (cousin of Michael Chertoff) wrote the 9/11 hit piece in Popular Mechanics debunking ‘9/11 conspiracies’ using ridiculous strawmen.

Stephen Cauffman – Leader of NIST coverup of WTC 7 destruction. These lowlifes continued to maintain that fire brought down WTC 7, a physical impossibility.

Who wrote the fraudulent 9/11 commission report?
Afbeelding-Philip Zelikow (Jewish Dual Citizen of Israel)

Jews in the Right Positions!

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Rabbi Dov Zakheim
– Co-author of the PNAC paper on rebuilding America’s defenses advocating the necessity of a Pearl Harbor-like incident to mobilize America. Served as Pentagon comptroller from May 4, 2001 to March 10, 2004. Two large sums of money disappeared from the Pentagon under him. In the beginning $2.3 trillion was reported missing by Donald Rumsfeld (September 10, 2001) and later Zakheim was unable to account for another trillion dollars. Zakheim also had squads of American F-15s and F-16s sold as surplus to Israel at a fraction of their value.

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Michael Chertoff – Jew assistant attorney general for the criminal division of the Justice Department; later, Director of Homeland Security.

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Richard Perle – Chairman of Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board. He was expelled from Sen. Henry Jackson’s office in the 1970s after the NSA caught him passing highly classified documents to Israel.

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Paul Wolfowitz – Was Deputy Defense Secretary and a member of the Defense Policy Board in the Pentagon.

plus many many more…

Israel caught creating fake Al Qaeda shortly after 9/11!!!

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First Ariel Sharon attempts to spew propaganda that he thinks Palestine is harboring “Al Qaeda” so as to justify attacks on it…

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon … said that al-Qaeda militants were operating in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon. “We know that they are there. We know that they are in Lebanon, working closely with Hezbollah. We know that they are in the region,” he said. BBC News 12/5/2002

Then Palestinian officials arrested the fake “al qaeda” poseurs who were actually Mossad agents.

“Officials from the Palestinian Authority have accused the Israeli spy agency Mossad of setting up a fake al-Qaeda terrorist cell in Gaza. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat said that Israel had set up the mock cell in order to justify attacks in Palestinian areas.” [BBC News – 12/8/2002]

The BBC’s Jeremy Cooke says that the Israeli Government is keen to demonstrate to the Americans that they are facing a common enemy.

Mossad Agent posing as Al Qaeda, AGAIN!!
Image

Fake Al Qaida videos come from Jewish sources!!

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These fake “Al Qaida” Pearlman videos are conveniently always obtained first by a U.S gov’t contractor called Intel Center. This company is owned and run by Ben Venzke, a Jew. IntelCenter is an offshoot of of IDEFENSE, which was staffed by senior PSYOP officer, Jim Melnick(Jewish), who worked directly for Donald Rumsfeld for a time. Intel Center is probably getting these “Jihad” videos straight from Mossad HQ in Herzliya, Israel.

Afbeelding
Another “intel gathering” company is called Site Intel Group which states its purpose is…

“Studying the primary source propaganda, training manuals, and chatter of terrorists offers insight into terrorists and their activities that can not be obtained anywhere else. To fulfill this need, the SITE Intelligence Group offers its Monitoring Service, which provides numerous daily translations of terrorist propaganda and multimedia from primary source terrorist websites.” – SITE

The director and founder of SITE Intel group is Rita Katz.
Afbeelding

It turns out that Rita Katz is an [urlhttp://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/05/29/060529fa_fact?currentPage=3]Iraqi Jew[/url]! Her father was a Jewish businessman in Iraq and was sentenced to hanging after being caught SPYING FOR ISRAEL in the 1967 war. After her father was hung, Rita and her mother fled to Israel where she served in the Israeli army, which is compulsory, and went to university in Tel Aviv!

Who was related to one of the “alleged” 9/11 hijackers?

Afbeelding– Still image from “laughing hijackers” video showing Ziad Jarrah(left), and Mohammed Atta(right), allegedly making their martyrdom video just before 9/11, all the while laughing hysterically about it!

Afbeelding
Ziad Jarrah’s uncle, Ali Al Jarrah(pictured above), was recently discovered by Lebanese authorities of being a Mossad Spy for 25 years!! Coincidence? I think NOT!

Rebellious Rhymes from a Destroyed Palestinian Refugee Camp

Link

The hip-hop beats ringing through the muddy, unlit streets of the burnt-out Palestinian refugee camp Nahr al-Bared seem incongruous. But the rhymes are camp-grown – and courageous.
“I’m carrying worries / From inside a destroyed camp / I’m preparing an attack / Words that keep turning in my head / Nahr al-Bared is fenced-in with iron bars / In the newspapers they speak about suffering / Every word makes sense.”

Farhan Abu Siyam, 21, is Nahr al-Bared’s first and only rapper. Going by the name of MC Tamarrod (which translates as MC Rebellion), he grew up in the Palestinian refugee camps of Nahr al-Bared and Bourj al-Barajneh.

Abu Siyam knows that hip-hop has few takers within Palestinian society. “Many people don’t like rap because they’re against Western music and its elements like the beat.” But he asks the community to give rap a chance, stressing that he does not sing in a foreign language, but uses Arabic. “I rap in our Palestinian dialect, in the language of the camps where I was born and grew up.”


Abu Siyam says he is inspired by the hip-hop crews ‘Katibe 5′ and ‘I-Voice’ in Beirut’s Bourj al-Barajneh refugee camp and rap groups in Palestine such as ‘Ramallah Underground’ or ‘DAM’ which are regarded as the founders of Palestinian hip-hop and have a style that is serious rather than entertainment-oriented.

Palestinian rappers are usually inseparable from their origins, stress their marginalised or oppressed situation and use their words as weapons in their political and social struggles. Groups direct their rhymes at the discrimination that the approximately 250,000 Palestinians in Lebanon face as well as at their own society’s establishment, accusing NGOs and the political parties of being corrupt and betraying the Palestinian cause.

Abu Siyam raps about the miserable post-war life in Nahr al-Bared. Together with the autonomous media collective ‘a-films’, he has produced a short video clip. Gesturing in front of a bullet-riddled wall in a burnt-out building, he revisits the camp’s devastating war in 2007 and raps:
“Asking me what happened? / Those who hit have run / Those who passed by have looted / And some of them have burned.”

Two and a half years ago, the Nahr al-Bared camp in Lebanon’s north was totally destroyed in a war between the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the non-Palestinian militant group Fatah al-Islam. Two-thirds of the camp’s former inhabitants now live on its outskirts in damaged homes and temporary shacks. Abu Siyam says many people sing or talk about Nahr al-Bared, “but nobody speaks out about the war, the hopelessness and oppression.”

Nahr al-Bared is still closed down and designated as a military zone by the LAF which mans five checkpoints around the camp. Access is restricted and journalists are not allowed to work freely. “We’re surrounded and live like in a prison. In other camps people can come and go in a normal way,” says Abu Siyam. The LAF’s presence in and around Nahr al-Bared is one of the main topics Abu Siyam raps about:
“I’m Palestinian and don’t submit to the rule of your army / Stop building this wall! / From the first time I saw you, I knew what you wanted / ‘Hey you, give me your ID, where’s the permit?’”

The Lebanese army states the checkpoints and permits are necessary to preserve the safety of the people “through preventing the infiltration of terrorists and wanted people, smuggling of weapons, explosives, and illegal material.” However, many refugees in Nahr al-Bared feel humiliated and oppressed by the LAF. Abu Wissam Gharib, leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in Nahr al-Bared, says he understands that warfare required an army, “but once the war is over, why does the army stay?” Gharib wonders why he needs to have special permit to return home to Nahr al-Bared when he can travel everywhere else in Lebanon on his ID.
Abu Siyam records in al-Mukhayyamat studio in the Palestinian refugee camp of Bourj al-Barajneh, located in the suburbs of Beirut.

“The parties are two-faced / Their authority is silly / Fortified by lies / Their politics are sick.”
Abu Siyam is aware of the power of his lyrics. “We’re not against the Lebanese system, but they deprive us of our rights.” Palestinian youth do not see a future in Lebanon and see emigration as a way out. When a delegation from donor states recently visited Nahr al-Bared, the residents of the temporary housing units did not ask them for more aid, but for visas allowing them to emigrate.
In Nahr al-Bared the slow reconstruction and the continued presence of the LAF have led to widespread unemployment. Charlie Higgins, project manager for Nahr al-Bared’s reconstruction at the United Nations Works and Relief Agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) describes the economic situation in the camp as “stuck,” with the economy yet to regenerate and employment situation unimproved since the war ended.
Abu Siyam hopes that whenever Nahr al-Bared is rebuilt there will be a music studio where he might record his songs. He will have to drive to Beirut to record the two new rap numbers that he is currently working on.

This report was written by one of our activists. It was first published here by IPS Inter Press Service.

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December 29, 2009 Posted by Elias

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

Book Review: Gaza’s Untold Story By Mamoon Alabbasi

Link 

Tuesday, December 29, 2009 at 1:19PM Gilad Atzmon
‘My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story” (Pluto Press, London, 2010) by Ramzy Baroud

Gaza’s Untold Story
By Mamoon Alabbasi – LONDON

One year on since Israel’s criminally-insane war on Gaza, many are still unaware of the roots of the ‘conflict’ and the plight of the Palestinian people. Israel would like to have us believe that its latest onslaught was a direct response to resistance rockets or even Hamas’s democratic accession to power, forgetting that both of which came into existence as a response to Israeli policies.

But even those of us who have seen the true light, and are no longer deceived by the barrage of ‘flat earth news’, sometimes forget – if we were ever aware of – the depth and complexity of the tragedy.

And that is the gap in understanding that veteran American-Palestinian author Ramzy Baroud seeks to fill in his latest book “‘My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story” (Pluto Press, London, 2010).

In our preoccupation with the Goldstone report (among other UN probes), human rights groups assessments, war crimes allegations, high civilian casualties, UNRWA statistics, official statements here an there, we become overwhelmed with information that makes many of us lose sight of context. And many of those who do take a step back to get a clearer picture of why such things are happening tend to stop at 1967; Israel’s illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories. Yet for Palestinians, and for those in Gaza in particular, the tragedy goes back to 1948; dispossession.

For those who are serious about achieving peaceful coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians, the issue of Palestinian refugees must be duly addressed. Baroud’s book provides an exceptional understanding of that very topic, beautifully combining the personal experiences of Palestinians (his family as one example, with a special focus on his father) with that of their collective history – in English.

The book shows us an example of the human face to that suffering at a time we have grown accustomed to debating cold facts and figures, and interpretations of humanitarian and international law.

These laws are meant to protect real people, and these statistics correspond to human beings – flesh and blood – who have their own dreams, aspirations, fears and even shortcomings. And these Palestinians are not demons (as some would like to have us believe) but nor are they angels who are above feeling human pain and hardship.

As some of the book’s pages cause you to burst into laughter, others would lead you to flood in tears as you interact with the true stories of his family, but Baroud’s words of reason frequently resurface to the text to provide you with context and relevant collective history and background. This parallel of facts and feelings keeps you aware that these moving  (sometimes comic but mainly tragic) stories are not meant for
entertainment, but are part of history. Yet you could never understand the impact of this history if you did not try to relate to the book’s real-life characters.

Baroud relies on context to explain the moral superiority of the plight of Palestinians, but the book’s characters invite everyone – even, no, especially Israelis – to step into their shoes to understand their legitimate grievances and systematic suffering.

The book is a must-read for even those who are extremely familiar with the Palestinian question. But such narrative should not be confined to educated readers. Its universal message must reach a wider audience
via film.

Palestinians who died suffering in poverty and under oppression should not exit this world without having the last word – even if that last word is only heard after their death. Mohammed Baroud – of Beit Daras – can now rest in peace. There are millions more who are dying – or have already died – to be heard, in their struggle for freedom. Who will step forward to tell their stories? Let history begin and maybe someday Palestinians too would have their own ‘Never Again’ moment in the not-too-distant future. The book is available at Amazon.com and also through the publisher, Pluto Press.

Mamoon Alabbasi is an Iraqi editor in London. He can be reached at: alabbasi@writing.com

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

No justice, no peace: interview with activist Haidar Eid

Electronic Intifada
Bianca Zammit, The Electronic Intifada, 29 December 2009

Haidar Eid

On 31 December 2009, one year after Israel’s devastating attacks on the Gaza Strip, activists plan to converge for the Gaza Freedom March. An unprecedented effort, the march draws inspiration from South Africa’s struggle for liberation from apartheid and from Gandhi’s tactics during the campaign for India’s independence.

The Electronic Intifada contributor Bianca Zammit recently interviewed the Gaza Freedom March Steering Committee member Dr. Haidar Eid about the effort.

Bianca Zammit: What is the aim of the Gaza Freedom March?

Haidar Eid:The goal of the Gaza Freedom March is to commemorate Gaza 2009. In January 2009 right after the end of Operation Cast Lead, we were all faced again with the deadly, hermitic siege. The march is calling for an end to this siege.

BZ: How did the Gaza Freedom March come about?

HE:In June CODEPINK led a delegation into Gaza and they started talking about a march. I was contacted by Palestinian solidarity groups from around the world and asked for my opinion. I liked the idea but it required a political context and it needed to be led by the people of Gaza. That is when Palestinian grassroots organizations came together to discuss the march and we suggested to the International Coalition to End the Siege that they include a statement of context which called for an end to the siege and which acknowledged the long history of Palestinian nonviolent direct action inspired by South Africa and Gandhi. This includes the weekly demonstrations that take place at Bilin, Nilin and al-Masara, the entry of international boats in Gaza’s port, which had not happened since 1967 and the work of international solidarity movements. More importantly, it has to acknowledge the growing BDS [boycott, divestment and sanctions] campaign.

The siege is an effect of the occupation and a continuation of the apartheid system initiated in 1948 [with the declaration of the State of Israel]. Since then two-thirds of the Palestinian people have lost their land. The occupation is illegal and found to be so by the United Nations under resolution 194, which calls for the return of all refugees.

BZ: Who is represented on the Steering Committee?

HE: We have all sectors of society. There are representatives of unions, [representatives from the] labor, political, religious, youth and women’s [sectors], students and also the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC).

BZ: Who will participate?

HE: As soon as we issued the statement of context all Palestinian civil organizations endorsed the Gaza Freedom March and there was global consensus.

The registration has now closed and 1,400 people from 42 countries have registered and processed. Palestinians living in 1948 land will also be participating in the march from the other side of the Erez border crossing.

BZ: What activities are planned?

The 1,400 internationals will join us hand in hand for a march that will start at 10am in Izbet Abed Rabbo towards the Erez Border Crossing with Israel. Izbet Abed Rabbo is the area that suffered the most damage and most horrendous war crimes during Operation Cast Lead, something Judge Goldstone alluded to in his report. When we get to Erez there shall be speeches.

The attacks on Gaza will be commemorated on New Years Eve at the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem [in the occupied West Bank]. A member of the Steering Committee for the March will address the people gathered in Bethlehem for this event. Palestinian refugees living in refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan shall partake in the march by organizing their own rallies.

BZ: How can those people who cannot come to Gaza show their solidarity with the people of Gaza?

HE: We are calling on 1.5 million conscientious people of the world to simultaneously rally with the 1.5 million inhabitants of Gaza in front of Israeli embassies in their country. Richard Falk, the [former] UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories has called Gaza the “world’s largest concentration camp.” [Israeli academic] Ilan Pappe has described the siege as a “slow-motion genocide.” After the 22 day massacre last winter we returned to the ongoing siege.

We ask freedom-loving people to put pressure on their governments to sever all ties with Israel and to support the boycott of Israel.

BZ: Why do you believe this will be a historic moment for Palestine?

HE: The march shall be the first mass mobilization of this size since 1967. Internationals will walk hand in hand with Palestinians, modeled on the South African anti-apartheid movement of the 1980s. This siege has been imposed upon the Palestinian people due to them exercising their democratic choice [during the 2006 parliamentary elections]. The significance of this march however also goes beyond the siege. As Palestinians 750,000 of us were displaced and forced to become refugees [in 1948]. Palestinians living in 1948 land [what is now called Israel] experience racial discrimination on a daily basis and there is a systematic policy of ethnic cleansing in place.

BZ: What is your message to the international community?

HE: If I could put into a slogan the current climate in Gaza, I would say, we are fed up. The international community has only given us empty rhetoric and lip service and in the meantime, we have been suffering. For this reason we rely on the people of the world and their power to change the course of the future. We believe in people-to-people solidarity in order to bring down the Israeli apartheid regime. We want peace with justice. This march shall be the first crack, the first concrete step to end the siege and the illegal occupation. This shall be a wake-up call to the international community that as Palestinians, we shall no longer tolerate hypocrisy.

BZ: What is your message to Israel?

HE: You cannot go on committing war crimes and crimes against humanity as witnessed by Judge Goldstone with impunity forever. Recent events in the UK [where an arrest warrant was issued against former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni] have shown that also the world will not tolerate Nazi-like acts committed by a Nazi-like government against civilians.

To the people of Israel I say, you voted for the most fascist government since 1948 expecting your government to completely get rid of Palestinians. History has shown us that this will only backfire and bring more wars, affecting not only Palestinians but the entire Middle East and inevitably Israel. Exactly like apartheid South Africa campaigned when their state became a pariah state, this is your time to put pressure on your government to implement the UN resolution that call for an end to the occupation and allow the return of refugees. Peace without justice is not peace.

BZ: What will happen after the march?

HE: The march is not symbolic but rather we expect it to be part of a series of events which will lead to the end of the siege. We want to intensify and continue building a global boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign that is human rights-based and call for the implementation of international law and an end to the occupation.

We will continue to host international delegations visiting us and together we will be calling for Israeli war criminals to be tried in international courts.

Image by Bianca Zammit.

Bianca Zammit is a member of the International Solidarity Movement in Gaza active with the BDS movement.

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

"I live today, but I am afraid of tomorrow"

Link

Jody McIntyre and Sema Onbus writing from Tulkarem refugee camp, Live from Palestine, 29 December 2009

Sema Onbus in her home in the Tulkarem refugee camp. (Jody McIntyre)

The following is former Palestinian political prisoner Sema Onbus’s story as told to The Electronic Intifada contributor Jody McIntyre:

My name is Sema Onbus. I am 37 years old, from Tulkarem refugee camp.

My story starts when my brother was killed, on 6 September 2001, when an Apache [attack helicopter] dropped a bomb on him and his friends. It was the same day that my sister was due to get married, and he was on his way from Ramallah to visit the wedding when he was murdered. After my brother’s death, my husband decided to join the resistance, and started working with the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. He had soon joined Israel’s wanted list.

On 28 October 2002, the Israeli army invaded the camp and started shooting at random, spraying bullets through the streets at anyone who happened to be in sight. My 15-year-old cousin was killed … they shot him six times. My husband was shot three times, twice in his stomach and once in his leg, but he survived.

On 28 March 2003, the army invaded the camp again. My husband was fighting back, and they killed him. His body was left lying on the street, riddled with bullets.

Forty days later, the army came to invade our home. They smashed through the windows and started destroying everything in the house, ordering the whole family out onto the street. They arrested my brother Abdullah, telling my father that they just wanted to talk with him for an hour. He was later taken to a military court, and sentenced to 13 years in prison.

Two months later, they came back to invade our house again. This time it was 2am, and again they ordered the whole family out onto the streets, including all the kids. It was extremely cold outside and pouring with rain … I pleaded with them to at least let the children sleep, but they didn’t care.

The military commander went over to my father and told him that they wanted his son Mohammed, again saying that they just wanted to speak to him for an hour. “Like the hour for Abdullah?” my father replied, “You said you wanted to speak to Abdullah for an hour, and now we don’t know where he is!” They told my father that Abdullah is a terrorist, and to go back into the house. They put a bag over Mohammed’s head, tied his hands and threw him into the back of one of the jeeps.

We thought they were finished, and were preparing to go back inside when the commander stopped my father. “We’re not finished,” he told him, “we want your daughter Sema.”

“Is it not enough that you have arrested two of my sons, and killed another?” my father asked. “Why do you want Sema?” The soldiers tied my hands behind my back, and I was taken into another jeep.

At the time I had four children — my youngest son was still breast-feeding, and my three daughters were aged two, four and five. “Now my daughter is in jail,” my father said to the soldiers, “what can I do with her children? You have killed their father, and now arrested their mother and destroyed the house they live in … who is left to look after them?”

I was taken to a military base called Qudomeem, and Mohammed was taken somewhere else … I don’t know where. They left me locked in a room for hours, until 11am, when some female and male officers came in and started beating me together. Afterwards, a commander came in and retied my hands, and I was taken to Jalemah prison, near Haifa.

I was placed in solitary confinement — a room measuring one meter by one meter, with black walls and no light, under the ground. I was to stay in that room for the next two months. The soldiers had a special system which they could use to change the conditions in the room, so in the middle of the winter they would pump in cold air to make it even more unbearable. I was so cold that my hands were swollen and I couldn’t feel my legs … it felt like I was sleeping in a freezer.

When they interrogated me, they told me that if I didn’t speak they would arrest my father and make my children homeless. Sometimes they brought in my brother and beat him in front of me, or beat me in front of him. They tried many things to make me speak, but it didn’t work. After 60 days of living like this, I was moved to a women’s prison called Timon. After six days I was taken to trial at a military court, and sentenced to two and a half years.

I saw a lot of suffering in Timon. The soldiers treated the women very badly; they would beat us, spray us with gas, and throw cold water at us. Our families weren’t allowed to visit, the prison was crawling with insects and mosquitoes, and solitary confinement was regularly used as a punishment. The food was terrible … one day it was beans, the next day macaroni, today beans, and tomorrow macaroni. If you were sick there was no properly trained doctor to help you, and the only thing you would be given was an Acamol [pain killer] and a cup of water, no matter what the problem. Almost all of the women in the jail were ill — because the prison was underground it was very damp, and this caused many health problems; some girls had their hair falling out, some had very bad teeth, and some had stomach problems. The cells had no windows, and this is where we spent all our time; we slept in the cells, ate in the cells, sat in the cells, and there was hole in the floor where we had to go to the toilet in the same room … because of this there were many diseases.

It is everyone’s dream in prison to be free, and when I heard it was time for me to be released I was so happy. When I got home, I was so excited to see my children and my brothers and sisters, but when I went to hug my son, who was now three and a half years old, he didn’t want to hug me. When I left my home he was still breast-feeding, but now I was a stranger to him. I kissed him instead, but he was too scared to sleep in the same house as me that night, so he went to stay with some relatives instead. He loved them because they had looked after him while I was in prison, so they had become like his family. After two and a half years away it was difficult for me to know how to look after my children, because it was like they had forgotten me, and of course, even more difficult for them.

It’s not easy to bring up four children without a father. I am responsible for them and everything they need — to put their food on the table, a roof over their heads, to find a school for them to go to. I have to be a mother and father to them at the same time … you really can’t imagine what this life is like.

The kids ask me about their father all the time. I tell them that he is a martyr and has gone to heaven. They ask me how they can go to visit. Once, my daughter told me to get a ladder, take a knife and climb up and cut open the sky so I could bring their father back. Another time, my son said to go to the place under the ground where my father is buried and break it open with a hammer so you can bring him back. My eldest daughter once told me to speak to God on Jawwal [the Palestinian mobile phone company] and tell him to let us see our father. All the time they ask me why they killed their father and not somebody else. They have so many questions … sometimes I don’t have an answer.

One day, my son asked me for a shekel. I said, “OK, here is a shekel,” but he said “I don’t want a shekel from you, I want one from my father.”

I live today, but I am afraid of tomorrow … afraid that one day I will not be able to provide my children with what they need.

I wish we had peace here, so I could know that my family is safe. Unfortunately, the Israelis do not want peace.

We can speak every day and every night about how we are suffering, but it seems that there is no one listening.

Jody McIntyre is a journalist from the United Kingdom, currently living in the occupied West Bank village of Bilin. Jody has cerebral palsy, and travels in a wheelchair. He writes a blog for Ctrl.Alt.Shift, entitled “Life on Wheels,” which can be found at www.ctrlaltshift.co.uk. He can be reached at jody.mcintyre AT gmail DOT com.
River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

ONCE AGAIN THE BLOGESPHERE SHOWS ITS STRENGTH

December 29, 2009 at 9:36 pm (Activism, Blogging, Collaboration, Corrupt Politics, Gaza, Israel, Occupation, Palestine)

In a display of a true sense of loyalty to the zionist governments of Israel and the United States, the Egyptian government has made their position very clear on their treatment of the VivaPalestina Convoy.

Anyone watching the evening news in Israel tonight would not even know that a Convoy arrived a few days ago and due to the combined efforts of the US, Egyptian and Jordanian governments they have not been allowed to enter Gaza with their supplies of humanitarian aid.

The Blogesphere is playing a more important role daily as the commercial mass media chooses to ignore the REAL issues of the day. DesertPeace is proud to be a part of this phenomenon. Hopefully you are keeping up to date via us and others that tell it as it is.

The following is just one example of what you won’t be reading in the New York Times…..

Egypt: Viva Palestina must obey our rules

The Egyptian government has the right to determine through which port aid convoys to Gaza can arrive, and to request cooperation from the activists, Husam Zaki, spokesman of the Egyptian foreign ministry told Egyptian TV on Monday.

Source

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

Hezbollah: Anis Sayegh Struggle Will Stay in Mujahideen Hearts

Almanar

anis sayegh29/12/2009 Hezbollah extended its condolences to the family of intellectual Dr Anis Sayegh, Palestinian resistance factions and the Palestinian people.
In a statement it released, Hezbollah said that Sayegh’s struggle, ideas and experience will stay in the hearts and minds of the Mujahideen.
Hezbollah noted that Sayegh’s experience will always form an incentive to continue down the path he took until the liberation of Palestine, the restoration of the rights and the Islamic and Christian sanctities and the eradication of occupation and the germ of corruption and criminality embodied in the usurper Zionist entity.
The Resistance party recalled that Sayegh spent his years as one of the pioneers in the intellectual and political struggle and the confrontation field against the Zionist project and its usurping entity of the land of Palestine. “His efforts pushed the Zionist enemy to carry out a flagrant assassination attempt against him; the marks they left on his body accompanied him throughout his life as a medal of sacrifice and selfless giving,” Hezbollah statement added.

SSNP announces the death of Dr. Anis Sayegh

December 26, 2009 9:04 pm   
MP Assaad Hardan, leader of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) announced the death of Dr. Anis Sayegh, in a statement issued today calling him an intellectual and national activist and said, “This is a brave man who has dedicated his entire life to defend Palestine and the nation.”
Born in Tiberius, East of Haifa on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, the son of a Presbyterian minister, Sayegh fled Palestine with his family in 1948. He has lived in Lebanon most of his life since then, first attending the Sidon School and later AUB. He and his Jordanian wife lived in England for five years where he studied and taught at Cambridge. Returning to Lebanon, Sayegh headed the Palestinian Research Center (PRC) for ten years, which at one time had the largest library of books about Palestine outside Palestine.
Sayegh edited the 11 volume Palestinian Encyclopedia, which took around 20 years to complete and is the only encyclopedia in Arabic devoted to one topic. He also served as editor for three magazines during the 1970s and ’80s: Palestine Affairs, Arab Future, and Arab Affairs, the first and only magazine of the League of Arab States. Also active politically, Sayegh has twice been elected to the number two position in the Palestine National Council in 1998 and, most recently, in 2008.
On Jan 1, 2006 he wrote: “I am one of the seven million Palestinians prohibited by Israel from living in my homeland to enjoy my national sovereignty and rights which are guaranteed me by numerous covenants and charters, so that I may live a free and dignified life and practice my traditions, develop my culture and carry on my heritage, so that I may establish a democratic system – which most people desire.”

Anis Sayigh

Nice tributes to Anis Sayigh in As-Safir.

Posted by As’ad at 9:38 AM
  • The Zionist Terrorism File – from 1936 to 1996 
    By Dr Anis Sayegh (1996)
  • River to Sea
     Uprooted Palestinian

    From a tent to a mud house in Gaza

    Rami Almeghari writing from the occupied Gaza Strip, Live from Palestine, 29 December 2009
    Majid al-Athamna standing outside his new home made from mud.

    Majid al-Athamna, 70, stands next to his new home in Gaza’s Izbet Abed Rabbo neighborhood of Jabaliya. Since the Israeli attack one year ago, which destroyed his family’s three-story building, he and his family lived in a tent.

    The al-Athamna family’s new home is made of mud. It is part of an effort by UNRWA — the UN agency for Palestine refugees — to cope with the fact that due to the ongoing Israeli blockade only 41 trucks of building supplies have been allowed in to Gaza during the entire past year. This negligible quantity cannot begin to make a dent in the massive need to rebuild thousands of homes, schools, public buildings and basic infrastructure targeted by Israeli bombing.

    Estimates put the number of Palestinians in Gaza still displaced at around 40,000. Many live in tent camps erected by the UN, while others are staying with relatives or friends.

    UNRWA plans to build more houses like the one the 10-member al-Athamna family now occupies, with two bedrooms, a kitchen and a bathroom. According to UNRWA officials, the mud houses cost around $18,000 each to build, using locally-made mud bricks as well as salvaged bricks from destroyed homes. Cement and iron — normally used in building in Gaza, but now in desperately short supply due to the siege — are not required.

    Majid al-Athamna is relieved that his family now has a home, but said “we are still overwhelmed by this desperate situation.” He expressed his anger at what Israel did to his and so many other families. “Those who destroy homes of helpless civilians can never be called democratic,” he said.

    Suha al-Athamna preparing maftoul.
    The al-Athamna’s new home.

    Al-Athamna’s daughter Suha sat preparing maftoul, a traditional Palestinian version of couscous, in the new home’s kitchen. “Thank God, this house is so much better than the tent. I do look forward to living in peace and security, and I hope the Israelis will not attack us again.”

    Um Raed al-Athamna, Majid’s wife, spoke about how her high blood pressure and diabetes had worsened while living in the tent. “Now at least we have walls to protect us from the heat and cold,” she said.

    The al-Athamna home is the first UNRWA-sponsored mud house in Gaza. The Hamas government has also initiated small-scale reconstruction mostly focused on rebuilding government buildings bombed by Israel.

    The Minister of Housing and Construction in the Hamas government, Yousif al-Mansi, told The Electronic Intifada that mud brick houses are somewhat expensive and inefficient because the technique does not allow buildings to be very tall. In the crowded Gaza Strip, there is a need for higher-density buildings.

    In March 2008, donors including the United States, European countries and some Arab states pledged $4 billion dollars for reconstruction in Gaza, but this aid has yet to flow into Gaza because of the Israeli siege.

    For the al-Athamna family at least, their new home means no more nights in a tent, even if, as Um Raed said, they are still refugees: “We Palestinians have not been living normally as others in this world. Enough of us being pushed from one refuge to another!”

    All images by Rami Almeghari.

    Rami Almeghari is a journalist and university lecturer based in the Gaza

    March 14 Christians ‘Revolt’ against Sayyed Nasrallah’s ‘Advice’

    Almanar
    Hussein Assi

    29/12/2009 Once again, the same scenario repeated itself…

    In the season of greetings, the season of tolerance and forgiveness, Lebanese found themselves witnessing again the same scenario of “mutual accusations.”

    It’s the year 2009 that refused to go away without reminding Lebanese of their “divisions”, at least to prevent “false illusions” that unity was really reached, and for ever…

    Thus, the speech made by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah couldn’t pass without “repercussions,” especially that the Resistance leader delivered through his speech multiple messages in all directions…

    Sayyed Nasrallah has addressed Lebanese Christians, “advising” them to take the right path. His eminence said: “I call Christians for a quiet dialogue away from ardent rhetoric; a dialogue among themselves over their present and future options. I call them to recall past experiences and conclude whether bargaining on Israel, by some parties, was good for Lebanon or was it the contrary. I call on them to review the bargaining of some on the American administration. Today, we have 150 thousand American soldiers in Iraq and they did not provide security for the Christians who can’t even gather in their churches to mark the birth of Christ. Can the United States provide security? I tell them that the interest of the Christian community in Lebanon lies in Lebanon, not anywhere else. It’s in their interest to cooperate with the rest of the Lebanese. Today the Lebanese have the chance to acknowledge one another; and this is a chance that must not be wasted.”

    Of course, the “advice” wasn’t “welcome” in the ranks of the March 14 Christians, who rushed to “reject” it and claim that they were not in “need” of advices…

    “Phalange Party, which is not affected by this intimidation, calls on Sayyed Nasrallah to apply his own advices on himself because he needs them more,” a statement issued by Phalange’s politburo after its weekly meeting claimed. Even more, the statement pretended that Sayyed Nasrallah’s choices are the ones “that embroil Lebanon; diminish its sovereignty; obstruct institutions; and prevent security services from performing basic duties.”

    Meanwhile, Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea “understood” from Sayyed Nasrallah’s speech Hezbollah “negligence of national dialogue table”. Geagea also claimed that Hezbollah Secretary General “considers that he has a Sharia representative who adopts Hezbollah’s standpoint and defends it among the Christians till the last breath,” in a reference to the head of the Change and Reform parliamentary bloc MP Michel Aoun.

    Other Christians, however, hailed Sayyed Nasrallah’s speech and called on Christians to take it positively.

    In this context, former Deputy Speaker Elie Ferzli said that Sayyed Nasrallah’s comments were in the interest of the Christians in Lebanon and not against them. “Sayyed Nasrallah believes in the pioneer role of Christians in Lebanon,” Ferzli told reporters after meeting with Aoun.

    For his part, the head of the General Maronite Council Wadih Khazen said that Christians shouldn’t make doubts on the intentions of Sayyed Nasrallah’s frank advices to the Christian community, pointing in this context to the successful understanding between Hezbollah and the Free Patriotic Movement.

    River to Sea
     Uprooted Palestinian

    A Film review: A Serious Man, the Poetic Side of Self-Hatred by Gilad Atzmon

    Link

    Monday, December 28, 2009 at 1:51PM Gilad Atzmon
    It is pretty embarrassing to discover that not a single Western film critic is courageous enough to tell us what the latest Coen Brother’s film is all about. Those who reviewed A Serious Man inform us that this film is the Coen Brother’s most autobiographical to date, drawing on their upbringing. They assert that A Serious Man is the film many Jewish fans of the Coen brothers have always wanted them to make. One film critic also maintains that the film is deftly balancing bright comedy and bitter darkness. Some critics are genuine enough to confess that it is slightly anti Semitic but for some reason, they all fail to tell us what the film is about. What is the ideology, philosophy and symbolism behind it? They are shy of analysing the film’s metaphysics, they refrain from touching its meaning and cowardly avoid pointing to its message.
    To watch the Trailer:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FYtprwg1As&feature=fvst

    A Serious Man is a cinematic allegory of Jewish cultural detachment from nature. It is a masterpiece that elaborates on the abnormalities of the Jewish tribal existence.

    A Serious Man does not explicitly touch upon issues related to Israel, Zionism, occupation, organ harvesting or anything distinctly identified with the Jewish state. It instead reflects on Jewish Diaspora life, Jewish segregation and the misery of operating within the kosher tribal template. It is about Jewish alienation both natural and human. Yet, A Serious Man also portrays a clear message regarding Israel and Zionism, for Israel is the Jewish state and, in spite of the Zionist promise to erect a civilised nation, Israel functions as a Jewish ghetto and is subject to all the symptoms of abnormality conveyed by the Coens.

    The Coen film ends with a chain of scenes initiated by a tornado alert given during a Hebrew class in a Jewish orthodox school. The young Bar Mitzvah kids are ordered to evacuate the class immediately. Next we see the storm rapidly encroaching towards the boys and girls who are now standing in the open school yard. Paralysed by awe, perplexed they gaze towards their own inevitable disaster. They stare at it, they are hopeless on the verge of impotence. Their elder teacher is right behind them, frantically struggling to find the right key for the synagogue shelter. The key to life should be in his hands, but he is obviously not going to find it. At the same cinematic time Larry Gopnik, the protagonist of the film, receives an urgent call from his doctor, his X-ray diagnosis is back. Apparently, something is horribly wrong with his body. Prior to the call, Larry was obviously totally unaware of his affliction and is thrown into a state of profound shock.

     Allegorically, this is the meaning of Jewish detachment and alienation according to the Coens. The People of the Book consistently fail to detect when something is going horribly wrong. They somehow fail to anticipate the storm that is coming or brace themselves for its devastating impact. They fail to interpret some minor signs of resentment before it turns into a tide of hatred. And even when they do manage to notice a rise in antagonism, they somehow employ the wrong strategy to placate it. As we often read, Jewish ethnic campaigners and institutions (ADL, AJC, BOD etc’) are always flagging up statistics, they prefer to present numbers of ‘anti Semitic’ incidents instead of wondering why these incidents occur in the first place.

    Set in 1967 Minneapolis, no doubt a very significant year in Jewish history, A Serious Man is a story about one Larry Gopnik, a Jewish professor of physics and a family man. In a matter of two cinematic  hours we watch Larry’s life collapse. His son Danny, a Bar Mitzvah boy, habitually smokes marijuana. His wife Judith is dating another man who is physically no less than repugnant. She wants a divorce, she orders him to move out of the house. His daughter Sarah appears to be stealing money from his wallet so she can have a nose job. His brother Arthur has been crashing on his couch for several months, when he is not imposing himself he either drains his spinal cyst or lands himself into trouble with the law.

    Larry is in a total mess, he faces financial ruin, yet his disastrous life is just a cinematic glimpse into a morbid tribal society he is inherently associated with.

    The meaning of the above is pretty obvious. Once captured by Coen’s cinematic realm, we bare witness to an outstanding form of alienation. Larry is totally detached from his surrounding environment. He fails to notice that his wife is cheating on him. His wife seems to be libidinally overwhelmed by Sy Ableman, a greasy fat, patronizing stuffed-shirt widower who hugs those he screws over. Larry’s daughter is horrified by the nose given by her creator and wants a manmade one. Larry’s son cannot cope at all. He spends the best part of his time smoking his brains out while trying to consume American culture via an incurably fuzzy TV. In Coen’s world, even the television aerial is incapable of picking up on the surrounding signals. But it isn’t just nature Larry fails to cope with.

    Along the film, we follow an evolving ethical saga. Larry is put under some severe pressure by one of his South Korean students, who deposits an envelope loaded with cash on his desk to prompt Larry into granting him a pass mark. Larry is fully aware of the moral complexity. He clearly realises that he is subject to a bribery attempt. Initially, Larry is devastated by it all, he grasps that he must report it to the academic authorities. But as the film evolves, first in a dream he has and later in reality Larry ends up pocketing the money and passing the student.

    The dream has a crucial role in the Coen’s allegory. In the dream Larry meets his true nature, his fears, his desires and his non-ethical self. While in life, Larry is an innocent, castrated, dysfunctional family man, in his dream he somehow overcomes it all. He makes love to his friendly, stoned Jewess neighbour. He brings his troubled brother to the river and fearlessly sends him to Canada in a canoe. In the dream Larry is ethically corrupted. He  donates the bribery money to his brother so he can have a fresh start. Yet, in the same dream, both he and his brother are punished immediately. The ‘anti-Semite’ next-door neighbour hunts them both with the rifle he normally saves for animals. ‘Kill the Jew” the Goy orders his son. This is when Larry wakes up.

    ‘Unconsciousness is the discourse of the other’ says the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. In the dream, Larry is confronted with his guilt through his Goy neighbour. As soon as Larry accomplishes his crime, the Goy sees through him and executes him. Rather than just ‘being non ethical’, it is the fear of ‘being caught out being non ethical’ that torments Larry. It is the discourse of the (next door Goy) other that introduces Larry unconsciously to the sense of guilt.

    A Serious Man opens with a quote taken from Rashi. “Receive with simplicity everything that happens to you”. Rashi is a Medieval French Rabbi who offers an eloquent interpretation that is rather similar to the one given by Biblical Job. The Book of Job is seen by most commentators as an attempt to reconcile evil with the existence of God. Such an attempt was very common amongst Jews after the Shoa. Jews both religious and orthodox repeatedly asked, if there is a God out there, how did God let Auschwitz happen? To a certain extent Larry is asking his local Rabbis a very similar question: ‘What is the Shem (God) trying to tell me?’ The Rabbis are left with no answer to offer.  Just like Job and Rashi, they have nothing concrete to suggest other than ‘acceptance’. In Coen’s latest film the Rabbis are there to spin, to convey a pretence of ‘logos’.  They are there to cover a ‘black hole’. In the Coen’s allegory the Rabbis cannot reconcile evil and God, nor can they explain Jewish suffering. In Coen’s film the Rabbis are there to evoke a false impression of wisdom.
    Interestingly enough,  the Coens present an answer of their own to question to do with Jewish suffering. It has nothing to do with the Shem, God or Yehovah. It is actually the morbidity inherent in the Jewish tribal setting that is the root cause of Jewish suffering. While in the film, it is the Goy neighbour who initially leads Larry to face his guilt through self contempt, in reality it is the Goy spectator who is being exposed to Jewish secrecy via the Hollywood big screen. Thanks to the Coens, we are confronted with that which the Jews would prefer to disguise. To a certain extent the Coens are adopting the role of the whistleblower. They bring to light the notion of the Lacanian ‘discourse of the other’, the Coen’s Jewish tribal cinematic reality is the Jewish unconsciousness. It is that which the Jews are far from being proud of. It would be intelligible to argue that, like Al Jazeera and Press TV who transmitted the true Israeli brutality throughout Operation Cast Lead, the Coens are exposing the Jewish Ghetto malaise to an audience of millions.

    The New York Village Voice’s film critic Ella Taylor was rather concerned of the possible anti-Semitic interpretations of the film. She eloquently described the cinematic reality. “A Serious Man is crowded with fat Jews, aggressive Jews, passive-aggressive Jews, traitor Jews, loser Jews, shyster-Jews, emo-Jews, Jews who slurp their chicken soup, and—passing as sages—a clutch of yellow-teethed, know-nothing rabbis”. We are subject, she continues, to the “visual impact of all these warty, unappetizing Jews”. Taylor is indeed correct. The Coens seem to have gone to some considerable effort to pick some of the most unpleasing looking characters around. Taylor is very wary about the film and its current success. “I worry” she says “about what ancient anxieties lie behind the endorsement of a movie that dumps on Jews and Judaism with such ferocity.”

    It is rather obvious that the Coens are not longing for their Jewish past in Minneapolis Jewish Ghetto. For a pretty good reason the film is seen by some as a crude manifestation of self-loathing. Yet, it is hardly surprising that intelligent and creative assimilated Jews indulge in self-hatred. History teaches us that the most universally inspiring Jews, I mean, those who contributed something to humanity rather than merely to their own people or even just themselves, were motivated by some form of self hate. The first names that come to mind are Christ, Spinoza and Marx.

    In the last two decades, due to Israeli barbarism, an influx of Jewish lobbying together with a growing opportunity for Jews to depart from their tribal setting, Jewish self loathing is becoming an intellectual tide. But it doesn’t just stop there, thanks to some great creative minds that are involved in this emerging discourse; Jewish self loathing is also a poetic universal and ethical humanist message.

    It is no doubt a great shame that people who are subject to the Judeo centric tribal setting fail to regard the Coen brother’s and others people’s work as an opportunity to self reflect. But in fact, this is what Coen’s film is all about.

    River to Sea
     Uprooted Palestinian

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