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.”

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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….

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 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.

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 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?

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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.

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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?

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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.
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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?

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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
Afbeelding
– 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?
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– 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:
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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.

Afbeelding
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!!

Afbeelding
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

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 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

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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

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