Holocaust Exploited

Link

Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 12:38PM Gilad Atzmon

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

FLASHBACKS TO HIROSHIMA IN GAZA

DesertPeace

January 28, 2010 at 6:18 pm (Gaza, Health Crisis, Israel, Palestine, War Crimes)


For years after the bombing of Hiroshima children were born with birth defects…. now it is starting to happen in Gaza.
Same reasons…. same hatred. WAR IS NOT HEALTHY FOR CHILDREN OR OTHER LIVING THINGS….. NEITHER IS ZIONISM!

Newborn in Gaza with severe defects

28gorellaboy1.jpg

Ramallah. Health professionals have observed a raise of mutations at birth in Gaza, since the Israeli offensive last year.

One of these, is a story of a child born at the Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip. The child was born with severe congenital malformations, such as his face, eyes, short stature, flattened nose, reddish-brownish skin discoloration, short limbs with feet and toes severely curled towards the inside in a similar shape to that in gorillas.

The baby weighed 4 kilos, suggesting that he was in good health. His appearance showed otherwise. His parents left him at the hospital and refuse to go back and claim him as their own child.

The baby, also nicknamed the gorilla baby, is still under the custody of the hospital until his parents return to claim him. The hospital has tried to convince the parents to come and take their child especially that he isn’t in a stable condition and has problems in breathing.
According to various medical reports, there has been an increase in the rates of birth defects in newborn children since 2009, with fifty cases of deformity compared to 30 cases in the years prior.

There has also been a significant increase in the number of miscarriages amongst pregnant woman after the end of the war.

Doctors say such malformations cannot occur for genetic reasons, nor are they related to the mother’s age or other factors. these come as a result of the white phosphorus used during the war. A few months earlier, the hospital was faced with a very similar case to this one , however, the baby died directly after it was born.

White phosphorus (WP) is a material made from a common allotrope of the chemical element phosphorus that is used in smoke, tracer, illumination and incendiary munitions.

As and incendiary weapon, WP burns fiercely and can set cloth, fuel, ammunition and other combustibles on fire. Since, WWII, it has been extensively used as an anti-personnel weapon capable of causing serious burns or death.

The Israeli military used white phosphorus munitions in the Gaza War. The Israeli Occupation Forces repeatedly denied using white phosphorus munitions but acknowledged use after the war ended.

Human Rights Watch said its experts in the region had witnessed the use of white phosphorus. Kenneth Roth, the organization’s executive director, added: “This is a chemical compound that burns structures and burns people. It should not be used in populated areas.”
Amnesty International said a fact-finding team found “indisputable evidence of the widespread use of white phosphorus” in crowded residential areas of Gaza City and elsewhere in the territory.

Donatella Rovera, the head of an Amnesty fact-finding mission to southern Israel and Gaza, said: “Israeli forces used white phosphorus and other weapons supplied by the USA to carry out serious violations of international humanitarian law, including war crimes.



Source via Uruknet

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

Gaza War: Scientific Analyses have Shown that the War Caused Increasing Number of Birth Defects!

Intifada Voice




[ Two brothers aged four and five were killed and 14 others were wounded when white phosphorus shells burst above this UN school in Beit Lahiya on January 17, 2009.
© 2009 Getty Images ]

The report said that in the three months prior to the start of the war in December 2008 just twenty-seven children were born with such deformities. During the same period in 2009 the number was forty-nine, a significant increase. The report indicated that 50% of the confirmed cases relate to the nervous system and joining of organs. It also pointed out that the rate of deformities was particularly high in Jabaliya, Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahiya districts, which witnessed the most intense Israeli bombing during the war.

The report attributes this increased number of deformities to the use of weapons containing toxic and radioactive elements. The citizen Anwar Abed Al-Ghfor, who lives in Gaza, said that his wife was in her first month of pregnancy when the Israeli war started on Gaza. White phosphorus bombs targeted the neighborhood where he lives. After 9 months of her pregnancy she delivered a deformed baby who lived 3 months then died!!

Dr. Muawiya Hassanin, the spokesman of the Ministry of Health in Gaza, said that after a year of the Israeli war on Gaza serious results and indicators of using internationally banned weapons have emerged. Besides, using toxic gas, white phosphorus, and weapons doctors did not know before. He said that the results of these weapons appeared a year later as there are 75 cases of deform fetus and newborn of both males and females, in Gaza.

These deformed newborns need special effort to treat them, he added. Dr. Hassanein said: “in addition to deformity of fetus, the sterility in young men and women has risen. This is also proved by international academic institutions and universities in Italy, Sweden and the United States because they took samples from the patients”. He added that Italian research centers in cooperation with human rights organizations published their findings with evidences. He pointed out that there is another serious indicator as the number of blood cancers patients has risen too.

Comment: There needs to be an international medical force to enter Gaza to examine the people for other possible abnormalities. It is clear that the weapons used by Israel on Gaza has caused many illnesses and injuries. The weapons supplied, no doubt by Israels supporters such as the US and the UK. They are also guilty of these war crimes.

***
Israeli bombings of the Gaza Strip in 2006 and in the war this year have left a high concentration of toxic metals in its soil, according to the findings of a study by a weapons research group made up of independent doctors and scientists based in Italy. Doctors in Gaza believe the toxic waste, along with the trauma of war, is the reason they’re seeing a high number of babies with birth defects. Sherine Tadros reports from Gaza.
*****

Arabic Translation by Amal Hamdy in comments..Thanks a lot

In 2010 (75-deformed-babies-caused-by-the-war):Gaza, January 14, 2010 (Pal Telegraph) – Recent scientific analyses have shown that the war was a direct cause of the increasing numbers of birth defects, miscarriages and cancer in the Gaza Strip. A report by Conscience Organisation for Human Rights concerning the environmental and health dangers resulting from the bombardment and invasion revealed that incidents of children born with deformities have risen markedly in the Gaza Strip.


Rise in birth defects after Israeli war alarms Gazans.


Source: shayunbiqalbi.blogspot.com

References:

http://www.paltelegraph.com/palestine/gaza-strip/3636-gaza-75-deformed-babies-caused-by-the-war
http://realisticbird.wordpress.com/2010/01/15/gaza-75-deformed-babies-caused-by-the-war/
http://realisticbird.wordpress.com/2009/09/26/birth-defects-in-gaza-due-to-illegal-weapons-used-by-israel-during-the-war/
http://uprootedpalestinian.wordpress.com/2009/09/27/deformed-embryos-in-gaza-due-to-iof-use-of-banned-weapons/
http://www.paltelegraph.com/columnists/peter-eyre/3125-the-weapons-used-in-iraq-afghanistan-have-far-reaching-effects
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9kqIC3hjik&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KVbvl5xgNk
 Some Scientific References:

Google Scholar search
Gaza war and white phosphorus
Human Right Watch: White Phosphorus
Depleted_uranium
WHO-Depleted Uranium
Heart defects: Who is responsible?

January 27, 2010 Posted by Elias

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

Arab parliamentarian in Israel visits Auschwitz

The Electronic Intifada,

Jonathan Cook, The Electronic Intifada, 27 January 2010

Mohammed Barakeh

An Arab member of the Israeli parliament has sparked controversy among Jews and Arabs in Israel over his decision to join an official Israeli delegation commemorating International Holocaust Day today at a Nazi death camp in Poland.

Mohammed Barakeh will be the only Arab in a contingent of Israeli parliamentarians and government ministers, including Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, at Auschwitz to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the camp’s liberation.

Barakeh has reported receiving a spate of hate mail, including a death threat, since he was invited to the remembrance service by the speaker of the parliament, or Knesset, over the opposition of many right-wing politicians.

Among Israel’s Palestinian Arab population, meanwhile, commentators and public figures have argued that his involvement in a delegation dominated by right-wing politicians sends the wrong message, especially after Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip a year ago, in which hundreds of Palestinian women and children were killed.

“I have every sympathy with the Jewish people for their horrific suffering in the Holocaust,” said Awad Abdel Fattah, the secretary general of the National Democratic Assembly party.

“But Mohammed Barakeh is participating in a delegation that wants to use the Holocaust as a way to win sympathy not for the Jewish victims but for an Israeli occupation and Zionist settler project that come at the expense of the Palestinian people.”

Barakeh, the leader of the Communist Party, the only joint Jewish-Arab faction in the Knesset, has defended his decision, even while admitting that his involvement can be exploited by Israeli officials.

This month he walked out of a lecture at Yad Vashem, the main Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, after accusing the speaker of blaming modern anti-Semitism on Arabs and left-wingers who opposed Israeli policies.

On Monday Netanyahu struck a similar note in an address at Yad Vashem: “There is an evil that can spread and threaten the security of Jews. We know that this just begins with Jews, and then continues on to the rest of the world. There are today new people who hate Jews, with new reasons for [wanting] the destruction of the Jewish state.”

Over the past few weeks a group of right-wing legislators, led by Danny Danon, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud Party, have lobbied unsuccessfully to have Barakeh barred from the commemoration. Danon told a Knesset committee: “Do we want this man representing us at such an important and sensitive ceremony?”

Barakeh, one of 10 Arabs in non-Zionist parties in the 120-member parliament, is reviled by many Israeli Jews because of his opposition to what he calls “racist” government policies, both towards Palestinians under occupation and towards the fifth of Israel’s citizens who are Arab.

A death threat sent to his office this month referred to Arabs as “trash” and contained his photograph with a swastika drawn on his forehead.

A senior member of the Communist Party said in an interview that several of Barakeh’s colleagues questioned him in private over his decision, accusing him of attending with “war criminals.”

Abir Kopty, a Nazareth city councillor in Barakeh’s party, admitted she had doubts. “But after seeing how his participation has shaken up the right wing, I can see there is a positive side … It is important that his attendance at the ceremony challenges the preconceptions and racist attitudes of many Israeli Jews.”

She added that his visit would have a special effect given his image among Israeli Jews as an “extremist.” In December he was charged with using threats and violence against police at four demonstrations since 2005, an indictment he has called “political persecution.”

Barakeh said: “It is my duty to be anywhere I can to demonstrate my very clear position against all forms of racism and genocide. The lesson of the Holocaust, a great tragedy for humanity and the Jews especially, must be that there can be no room for such crimes.”

He added that, although he would join a candlelight march through Auschwitz, he would not take part in symposiums to avoid any danger of colluding with Israeli attempts to manipulate the occasion.

Barakeh’s attendance was backed last week by Ahmed Tibi, an Arab legislator with a rival party.

Other Arab public figures in Israel have been critical. In a commentary, Zuheir Androus, editor of a newspaper in Galilee, reminded Barakeh that his family came from Saffuriya, a Palestinian village close to Nazareth that was ethnically cleansed during the Nakba, the Palestinian name for the 1948 war that founded Israel.

He wrote: “We should be asking Barakeh why he needs to take part in an official Israeli Knesset delegation to the death camp, while other [legislators] in the delegation prevent us, Arab Palestinians, from mentioning the 1948 Nakba.”

Israeli legislators have been seeking to outlaw commemorations of the Nakba.

Abdel Fattah said that, while it was compulsory for Arab children to learn about the Holocaust, the Nakba was excluded from the curriculum in both Arab and Jewish schools.

“The demand from Israel that we recognize Jewish suffering in the Holocaust while we are required to deny our own people’s suffering in the Nakba is just another form of loyalty test,” he said. Far-right parties in the government have proposed that Arab citizens be required to take a loyalty oath or perform national service.

“Barakeh should remember that Israel wants to reshape our political and national identity and is using the Holocaust to do that.”

But Nazir Majali, a journalist who helped to organize a trip of 260 Arabs and Jews to Auschwitz in 2003, at the height of the second intifada, called Barakeh “courageous.” He said the barriers of mutual suspicion between Arabs and Jews needed to be breached.

A poll conducted by Haifa University in the wake of Israel’s attack on Gaza showed that 40 percent of Israel’s Arab citizens believed that the Holocaust had not happened, up from 28 percent three years earlier.

Majali said of his own visit to Auschwitz: “I did it for myself, my people and my children, not for the Jews. I don’t expect something back from them because I participated. If it helps them to look at me a bit differently afterwards, that’s great too but it’s not why it was important I went.”

Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His latest books are Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East (Pluto Press) and Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair (Zed Books). His website is www.jkcook.net.

A version of this article originally appeared in The National, published in Abu Dhabi.

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

HEY …. IT’S OUR HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY, NOT YOURS!

DesertPeace

January 27, 2010 at 1:30 pm (Corrupt Politics, From The Media, Holocaust, Israel, Palestine)

>
Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

Holocaust memorial invite to Palestinian MK raises storm

Nazareth –  An Arab member of the Israeli parliament has sparked controversy among Jews and Arabs in Israel over his decision to join an official Israeli delegation commemorating International Holocaust Day today at a Nazi death camp in Poland.


Mohammed Barakeh will be the only Arab in a contingent of Israeli parliamentarians and government ministers, including Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, at Auschwitz to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the camp’s liberation.

Barakeh has reported receiving a spate of hate mail, including a death threat, since he was invited to the remembrance service by the speaker of the parliament, or Knesset, over the opposition of many right-wing politicians.

Among Israel’s Arab population, meanwhile, commentators and public figures have argued that his involvement in a delegation dominated by rightwing politicians sends the wrong message, especially after Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip a year ago, in which hundreds of Palestinian women and children were killed.

“I have every sympathy with the Jewish people for their horrific suffering in the Holocaust,” said Awad Abdel Fattah, the secretary general of the National Democratic Assembly party.

“But Mohammed Barakeh is participating in a delegation that wants to use the Holocaust as a way to win sympathy not for the Jewish victims but for an Israeli occupation and Zionist settler project that come at the expense of the Palestinian people.”

Barakeh, the leader of the Communist Party, the only joint Jewish-Arab faction in the Knesset, has defended his decision, even while admitting that his involvement can be exploited by Israeli officials.

This month he walked out of a lecture at Yad Vashem, the main Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, after accusing the speaker of blaming modern anti-Semitism on Arabs and left-wingers who opposed Israeli policies.

On Monday Benjamin Netanyahu struck a similar note in an address at Yad Vashem: “There is an evil that can spread and threaten the security of Jews. We know that this just begins with Jews, and then continues on to the rest of the world. There are today new people who hate Jews, with new reasons for [wanting] the destruction of the Jewish state.”

Over the past few weeks a group of right-wing legislators, led by Danny Danon, a member of Mr Netanyahu’s Likud Party, have lobbied unsuccessfully to have Barakeh barred from the commemoration. Danon told a Knesset committee: “Do we want this man representing us at such an important and sensitive ceremony?”

Barakeh, one of 10 Arabs in non-Zionist parties in the 120-member parliament, is reviled by many Israeli Jews because of his opposition to what he calls “racist” government policies, both towards Palestinians under occupation and towards the fifth of Israel’s citizens who are Arab.

A death threat sent to his office this month referred to Arabs as “trash” and contained his photograph with a swastika drawn on his forehead.

A senior member of the Communist Party said in an interview that several of Barakeh’s colleagues questioned him in private over his decision, accusing him of attending with “war criminals.”

Abir Kopty, a Nazareth city councilor in Barakeh’s party, admitted she had doubts. “But after seeing how his participation has shaken up the right wing, I can see there is a positive side. It is important that his attendance at the ceremony challenges the preconceptions and racist attitudes of many Israeli Jews.”

She added that his visit would have a special effect given his image among Israeli Jews as an “extremist.” In December he was charged with using threats and violence against police at four demonstrations since 2005, an indictment he has called “political persecution.”

Barakeh said: “It is my duty to be anywhere I can to demonstrate my very clear position against all forms of racism and genocide. The lesson of the Holocaust, a great tragedy for humanity and the Jews especially, must be that there can be no room for such crimes.”

He added that, although he would join a candlelight march through Auschwitz, he would not take part in symposiums to avoid any danger of colluding with Israeli attempts to manipulate the occasion.

Barakeh’s attendance was backed last week by Ahmed Tibi, an Arab legislator with a rival party.

Other Arab public figures in Israel have been critical. In a commentary, Zuheir Androus, editor of a newspaper in Galilee, reminded Barakeh that his family came from Saffuriya, a Palestinian village close to Nazareth that was ethnically cleansed during the Nakba, the Palestinian name for the 1948 war that founded Israel.
He wrote: “We should be asking Barakeh why he needs to take part in an official Israeli Knesset delegation to the death camp, while other [legislators] in the delegation prevent us, Arab Palestinians, from mentioning the 1948 Nakba.”

Israeli legislators have been seeking to outlaw commemorations of the Nakba.
Abdel Fattah said that, while it was compulsory for Arab children to learn about the Holocaust, the Nakba was excluded from the curriculum in both Arab and Jewish schools.

“The demand from Israel that we recognise Jewish suffering in the Holocaust while we are required to deny our own people?s suffering in the Nakba is just another form of loyalty test,” he said. Far-right parties in the government have proposed that Arab citizens be required to take a loyalty oath or perform national service.
“Barakeh should remember that Israel wants to reshape our political and national identity and is using the Holocaust to do that.”

But Nazir Majali, a journalist who helped to organise a trip of 260 Arabs and Jews to Auschwitz in 2003, at the height of the second intifada, called Barakeh “courageous.” He said the barriers of mutual suspicion between Arabs and Jews needed to be breached.

A poll conducted by Haifa University in the wake of Israel’s attack on Gaza showed that 40% of Israel’s Arab citizens believed that the Holocaust had not happened, up from 28% three years earlier.

Majali said of his own visit to Auschwitz: “I did it for myself, my people and my children, not for the Jews. I don’t expect something back from them because I participated. If it helps them to look at me a bit differently afterwards, that’s great too but it’s now why it was important I went.”

Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His latest books are ?Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East? (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website iswww.jkcook.net.

Source

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

Israelis impose “financial punishments” on Palestinian prisoners!

Silver Lining

Posted on January 27, 2010 by realistic bird

by Ben Heine

This is one of these things when you hear about makes you think, no way! This can’t be true! Even if you got the most sadistic psychopathic serial killer on the planet he might not think of this way to torture and hurt people especially people under occupation but yet the Israelis can’t be compared to anyone can they? Nope, do you think they sit in a room deliberating how to make the Palestinians suffer more? I think they do.

Middle East Monitor
January 26, 2010
Israeli prison staff impose financial punishments on Palestinian prisoners. A human rights organisation has claimed that Israeli prison staff are imposing financial punishments on Palestinian prisoners. In a statement, the Prisoners’ Centre for Studies said that guards and administrators in Israeli prisons force Palestinian detainees to pay for the water and electricity that they consume as a form of additional punishment.
According to the centre, prisoners are also “fined” for trivial reasons, such as reading the Qur’an or praying during the prison’s daily roll call (if officers enter when it is the time for prayer); if the imam, while giving the Friday sermon, utters a word that the guards don’t like; when a prisoner doesn’t manage to get out of the bathroom in the time specified by the guards; and for other similar reasons when the guards abuse their positions and use any excuse to penalise prisoners.
The centre’s director, Raafat Hamdouna, claims that prison administrators withdraw the “fines” from prisoners’ personal bank accounts without informing prisoners. If anyone doesn’t have a bank account, the administration imposes a future fine against his name, provoking the prisoner even further.
Mr. Hamdouna called upon human rights and humanitarian organizations to intervene to stop this unreasonable behaviour. “The Israelis treat prisoners like tenants and force them to pay for water, electricity, food and accommodation,” he added.

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

The Holocaust Backfires

Link

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 9:36AM Gilad Atzmon

Peres in Berlin, Netanyahu in Auschwitz, Lieberman in Budapest and Edelstein at the UN headquarters in New York all plan to attack the Goldstone report into the Gaza war on International Holocaust Day this Wednesday.

Israel’s political echelon will once again try to divert attention from the fact that the Israeli crime is beyond comparison.

Israeli Propaganda Minister Edelstein told Ynet before leaving for New York. “The connection between the Goldstone Report and the international Holocaust memorial day is not an easy thing”. He is indeed correct. The true interpretation of the Goldstone report is that Israelis are the Nazis of our time. “We must learn the lessons from what happened” Says Edelstein, “then too, those who yelled out were told that Hitler is a clown and that all the gloomy predictions of the 1930s were nonsense.”
Someone should advise the Israeli Propaganda man that by now no one regards mass murderer Barak, Nuclear enthusiast Peres, warmonger Livni or ultra racist Lieberman as clowns. We respect them for what they are. Yet, we prefer to see them locked behind bars.

In fact, those world leaders around the world who bowed to Jewish pressure and made the Holocaust into an international memorial day must have been convinced that the Holocaust carries a universal message against oppression and racism. They were actually correct, if the holocaust has any universal and ethical meaning, stopping the ‘Jews only state’ and bringing its criminal political and military leaders to justice is the true interpretation of the lesson of the Holocaust.

Propaganda Minister Edelstein added “on the Holocaust memorial day of all days, which also marks the battle against global anti-Semitism, we must discuss this connection, because today the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces are accused of harvesting organs and murdering children”. The Israelis better internalise that the truth of Israeli brutality is now common knowledge. IDF mass murder of children, elders and women is part of our collective memory. The Israeli institutional involvement in organ harvesting is also well documented and an accepted fact.

Minister Edelstein is wrong when he argues that “After World War II and the establishment of the State of Israel, anti-Semitism is not directed at Jews but at Israel and the Israelis. The Goldstone Report, the publications in Sweden about organ harvesting and similar reports, are simply a type of anti-Semitism.” Edelstein is wrong because all the accusations against Israel are well grounded. Furthermore, the opposition to Israel, its Jewish lobbies and Jewish power in general is politically orientated rather than racially motivated.

In the wake of the ‘International Holocaust Memorial Day’ I will say it loudly and openly. To oppose the Jewish state and Jewish nationalism is the true meaning of the memory of the Holocaust. To say NO to Israel is to say NO to racism. This is what ethics and universalism are all about.

More "lost Jews" to settle occupied Palestine …

Friday-Lunch-Club

“…Shavei Israel, a former assistant to Benjamin Netanyahu & a religious group known as the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, draws on wide support from evangelical Christians in the US…”

In the National/ here

” … A previous attempt to bring the Bnei Menashe to Israel was halted in 2003 by Avraham Poraz, the interior minister at the time, after it became clear that most of the 1,500 who had arrived were being sent to extremist settlements, including in the Gaza Strip and next to Hebron, the large Palestinian city in the West Bank.
Dror Etkes, who monitors settlement growth for Yesh Din, an Israeli human rights group, said there were strong grounds for suspecting that some of the new Bnei Menashe would end up in the settlements, too.
“There is a mutual interest being exploited here,” he said. “The Bnei Menashe get help to make aliyah [immigration] while the settlements get lots of new arrivals to bolster their numbers, including in settlements close to Palestinian areas where most Israelis would not want to venture.” ……
Mr Gangte added that the Bnei Menashe were attracted to the West Bank because life was cheaper in the settlements than in Israel and the settlers “give us help finding housing, jobs and schools for our children”.
Mr Etkes of Yesh Din said “past experience” fed suspicions that the Bnei Menashe would be encouraged to settle deep in the West Bank, adding that the so-called settlement freeze, insisted on by the United States as a prelude to renewed peace talks, was having little effect on the ground.
“There is no freeze because it is being violated all the time. The settlers had lots of time to prepare for the freeze and spent the four to five months before it in a frenzy of construction activity.”
Shavei Israel lobbies for other groups of Jews to be brought to Israel, including communities in Spain, Portugal, Italy, South America, Russia, Poland and China.
Israeli peace groups were outraged in 2002 when Shavei Israel placed a group of 100 Peruvian immigrants, whose ancestors converted to Judaism 50 years ago, in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc in the West Bank.”

Posted by G, Z, or B at 9:16 AM

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

EAST JERUSALEM …. A NEVER ENDING STORY

DesertPeace

January 27, 2010 at 10:32 am (Activism, Human Rights, Illegal Evictions, Illegal Settlements, Israel, Occupied West Bank, Palestine, Status of Jerusalem, Videos, zionist harassment)

Some of the clips below you might have seen… spread them to those that haven’t. We cannot ignore these people…..  ONLY YOU CAN PUT AN END TO THIS NIGHTMARE

Sheikh Jarrah – A look from within

by Eyal Niv

Taking down the tent in Sheikh Jarrah. Again…

The short video clip was filmed during the summer of 2008, in the houses of Sheikh Jarrah, not long before the eviction of the Al-Kurd family from their home. Two teenagers who knew English became the ambasadors of the entire neigborhood, and gave us a guided tour around it. They tell about the neighbourhood  life before the eviction, in the shadow of settlers’ violence (including violence towards children), which is backed by the Israeli police force. The short clip, filmed by the hands of an amateur, may not offer much new, or particularly groudbreaking, in terms of its narration of political events, facts, or circumstances surrounding eviction and settlement in East Jerusalem.  The clip nevertheless brings forth the vantage point of two Palestinian adolescents, refecting over the everyday reality of living in an occupied territory with a pending eviction order for your home. In this way, the narrative of these two teenagers may offer some depth to the -somewhat exhausted- political slogans of the day.


Part I:

Part II:

And to those who want to understand the simple and cruel story of East Jerusalem, I recommend to watch this two minutes clip:

Source

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

Remembering Al-Hakim George Habash: A Revolutionary Life, a tribute to the great Palestinian Arab leade

Goerge Habash is dead: the revolutionary ascetic.
Posted by As’ad

I was very sad all day today. I would feel my tears on my face every time I would see his pictures on Arab TV stations which reported on his death. I told part of the story here before: on the first time I met Habash in Beirut when I was in high school. `Aziz woke me up after midnight. I did not know where I was going, but `Aziz was smiling. He knew that I would be happy. We went on his motorcycle.

We entered the living room in that apartment in Hamra Street, and there was George Habash and his wife, Hilda. I was 17 years old in 1978. Habash was drinking whiskey. I was mesmerized–by him, not by the whiskey. I never was affected by meeting a person, like that meeting. I never since then found anybody with his charisma. In my eyes, nobody had Habash’s charisma, although I am objectively critical of his political role and the experience of the PFLP.

Of course, the Western media will portray him as a terrorist, and House of Saud neo-conservative writer, Waddah Shararah (I disliked him when he was a Stalinist and I dislike him even more as a neo-conservative Arab but my consolation is that nobody reads him and those who read him don’t know what he wants to say–Sadiq Jalal Al-`Adhm once told me that Shararah writes as inside joke between himself) will repeat what he said before on Habash, that he was a terrorist. I know better.

I even know that he was a gentle man, not a violent man at all–current Zionist obituaries in the Western press notwithstanding. Ironically, the era of the early hijacking and “international operations” made him notorious worldwide in the early 1970s although he had nothing to do with that. That was the brainchild of Wadi` Haddad, who did not have the patience for “mass work” that Habash so favored, what is now called “collective action” in the political science jargon. So during the conversation, Habash brought up the issue of that right-wing student at IC (my obnoxious elitist high school) that I have “bothered.” I prevented the student from displaying books by right-wing organizations during an Arabic book exhibit at the school. I was merely observing–as I still do–the “isolation” of the Phalanges Party–the fascist party of Lebanon–in the wake of the `Ayn Ar-Rummanah massacre. The student’s father was Habash’s dentist, and the father complained to Habash. So Habash brought up the issue: and I so arrogantly–I get embarrassed when I remember–told him: there is no “wisatah” (mediation) in revolutionary matters. Who am I to talk like this to a symbol of world revolution at the time? Who did I think I was? How arrogant of me. I still remember what he said. He said: we can’t say that he (the fellow in question) is “in`izali”(isolationist) nor we can say that he is “watani” (patriotic).

I was deeply affected by the encounter, and my (personal) admiration for him grew. You often meet people you have read about, and then you lose your admiration when you see them up close. It was not like that in the case of Habash, although politically I was growing increasingly toward anarchism and opposed Marxist-Leninist organizations in college–one Stalinist organization threatened to kill me because they said that I was having a bad influence on their members who had left. But I managed to smoke Habash’s pipe afterwards–I hate smoking, but did not want to miss the opportunity to smoke his pipe.

So Habash was not in favor of “international operations” and he was adamant about that and was forced in late 1971 to expel his very best friend Wadi` Haddad over “the hijacking and international operations.” Haddad believed in actions, and nothing else, and that was not Habash. Habash’s family was of course expelled by Zionist gangs under the leadership of Itzhak Rabin (he talked about the expulsion in the Hebrew edition of his memoirs, but not in the English language–why harm Zionist propaganda in the English speaking world, he must have calculated) in 1948.

I saw Habash a few times over the years, and the last time was a few years ago when the publisher, Riyadh Najib Ar-Rayyis and Fawwaz Trabulsi suggested that I talk with Habash about writing his biography. Nothing came out of that, and he said that his wife did not agree: she wanted to monopolize the process. Habash was somebody you can disagree with: in fact, he had read a very critical article I had written on the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine back in 1987 in the Middle East Journal. I also gave him in that meeting another very critical article I have written about him for the Journal of Palestine Studies (titled “Neither Unity, Nor Liberation”).

Prior to the meeting, his entourage and my sister kindly asked me to not be too critical: they were worried about him because he had become too emotional and excitable. I noticed that. He would get very emotional. But he was mentally alert, although he would forget a date here and there. I offered some criticisms in that last meeting: about how the Front did not promote women’s rights, as it should have. He fully agreed, and told me that they are working on promoting more women in leadership positions. I told him that secularism was not pushed hard enough, and he also agreed. But what bothered me was his sense of resignation: he basically felt that he was willing to leave the Palestinian question in the hands of Hamas and Hizbullah because “we the left, have failed.”

It bothered me that he was not willing to be critical of the Islamists, or be interested in saving or reviving the Left.

I am very critical of the experience of the PFLP: many things along the way. Oil money (directly or indirectly) reached and corrupted all organizations of the Palestinian revolution. And during the experience of the Rejectionist Front (from 1974-1977), Habash and the PFLP allowed the regime of Saddam Husayn to exercise control over all of them in return for hefty subsidies. That was it. Between Zionism and imperialism, oil money, the Syrian and the Iraqi regime, and the lousy leadership of Yasir `Arafat, they succeeded in aborting the Palestinian revolution. Habash uniquely resigned from the PFLP leadership.

He wanted to found think tank. He gave me a copy of the plan–it was super secret in his mind, as he told me to not share with anybody. I read it later, and felt very sad. He basically had a vision of a think tank, organized Leninistically–with a politbureau and a Central Committee, etc. It never took off of course: he had no money. He barely had money to live, I know that. He also refused offers of financial help from wealthy Palestinians. But lest Zionist hoodlums begin their celebrations too prematurely: I still remember his last words to me: he said, as if to take himself out of a gloomy mood: “and there is and there will be a new Palestinian generation.” How true. Stay tuned.

Posted by As’ad at 8:28 PM

Commemorating the second anniversary of the death of Al-Hakim George Habash, we reprint three articles published in homage to this great man who remains an inspiration and a source for millions. The first briefly recounts the legacy of this great man, the second is an interview in which Dr. Habash in his own words describes the decisive moment of his life and the third is a tribute delivered in London by the Communist Party.
WRITTEN BY Yousef Abudayyeh – With the passing of Dr. George Habash, the Arab people as a whole along with peoples of the world struggling for liberation have painfully lost one of the towering legends of decolonization. Dr. Habash, popularly known as Al-Hakeem in dual reference to him being a medical doctor and the conscience of the Palestinian movement, is unmatched in Arab history.

He is the quintessential intersection of Palestinian democratic nationalism, pan-Arabism, progressive internationalism and egalitarianism.

Yet, even such monumental attributes are but a small part of Al-Hakeem’s legacy. It is his unparalleled principled character, humility, love for his comrades and people and unblemished history that coin him as the archetypical revolutionary leader. From the day he became a refugee in 1948, to founding the Arab Nationalist Movement and subsequently the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, to emerging as one of the most beloved Palestinian Arab revolutionaries in the seventies, to his final departure in Amman, Jordan, Abu Maysa’s 83-year journey is that of Palestine itself. While many barter for mere crumbs the entirety of their once-existing principles, Abu Maysa gave up none – not an ounce. As purported “leaders” construct palaces through thievery from which to command their gangs of fear, he died just as he lived, in modesty, humility and enormous dignity. This is a leader who set the highest example by voluntarily vacating his top political seat while at the peak of his popularity. Al-Hakeem transcended all organizations, political parties, nation-states and borders. He spoke loudly for the deprived, fought for the needy and healed the wounds of the poor. He was Palestinian in heart, Arab in blood and egalitarian in his principles. He leaves a legacy of internationalism situating the Palestinian struggle within an anti-imperialist struggle that transcends the borders of any one state. Al-Hakeem shunned chauvinists and embraced democratic nationalists who valued unity and home-grown socialism. He rejected the blind mechanical importation of political theory, and argued that it must evolve from our particular Arab conditions. He understood the colonial nature of Zionism as an agent of imperial dominance while also recognizing that it is served by functionaries and servants from within the Arab ranks. He was an ardent advocate of the inseparable duality between national liberation and social equality. Unlike others, Al-Hakeem never saluted a Zionist, never “negotiated” under the Israeli flag, never traded kisses with our people’s killers, never knelt before a king and never stretched a hand in beggary.

He remained true to his belief, never oscillating from one political camp to the next in search of a seat of power. Abu Maysa lived and died never distinguishing along religious lines. He was deeply entrenched in the cumulative totality of our Arab history from the Gulf to the Ocean.

And while the wretched of our people searched for meager pieces of bread and drops of clean water throughout the Gaza Strip and the camps of exile, he did not reside in a palace, nor did he enjoy pay-offs of treason. Ironically, the passing of this exemplary unifying pan-Arabist legend comes at a time when our people in Gaza are tearing down fences to join hands with the Egyptian Arab people across imposed colonial divides. How sad it is to lose George Habash at a time when true leadership is scarce and despots are many. How painful it is to lose such a visionary at a time when our people appear to be led by local agents of Empire. How devastating it is to lose an icon of integrity and pride, when Arab pride is trampled every day, particularly by its presumed custodians. And how untimely his loss is when the need to enhance the democratic pan-Arab nationalist alternative is an existential necessity in today’s era of right wing ascendancy. With the loss of this refugee from the town of Lid, we are all painfully so much less, yet due to his life and legacy we are all so much more. How easy it is to pretend to be a revolutionary during times of luxury, and how almost impossible it is to live and die as one during impossible times. Such is painstakingly achieved only by the select few, of whom El Hakeem is undoubtedly unmatched. Farewell Abu Maysa! The struggle continues… The Free Palestine Alliance January 26, 2008

habash 2nd anniversaryAbout his uprooting during the 1948 battle of Al-Lid Palestine

Interview edited by: Adib S. Kawar, a chapter of his book “Testimonies of Uprooted Palestinians”

Al-Hakim George Habash was a born leader, the respect of whom was inevitable and willingly accepted by the people around him without demand on his part… generations of young and old Palestinians and other Arabs in complete devotion and dedication to the Arab cause in general and the Palestinian one in particular, which is in its core… Al-Hakim (doctor and wise man) George Habash, made irreplaceable and unforgettable favors to all those who accompanied and worked with the beginning of the Arab nationalist movement and Palestinian Arab struggle on the road of return to the stolen and occupied homeland, Palestine and its neighborhood, that is ours in the past, present and future. Al-Hakim exhausted his youth and up till the last breath of his life in the struggle for the cause.

He sacrificed his promising and lucrative profession as a medical doctor that he studied and worked hard to complete for long years, but he sacrificed the profession, wealth and his health without regret or request for gratitude. He deserves all the gratitude, respect and admiration by all his people… In the words of Dr. George Habash: Place and date of birth: Al-Lid Palestine 1927 I left Al-Lid twice, the first time to Yafa at age 13 after completing my elementary schooling. I had the patriotic feelings, simply general patriotic feelings, and I still remember demonstrations and resistance that were organized by Palestinian Arab citizens… In Yafa I joined the secondary Orthodox school, and remained in it up till second secondary. I would like to mention here my Lebanese teacher of the Arabic language, Munah Khoury from the Lebanese south. He left in us a deep and strong impression. Arabic as a language was for him his complete, beloved and full world, he was reciting poetry as if being sung, and I admire him today. I still remember him well.
I met him in Beirut when I joined the American University of Beirut, and I learned that he left later for the United States. As Yafa’s school was an incomplete secondary school, I had to move to Jerusalem to join the Terra Santa secondary school. Upon completing my secondary education I returned to Yafa where I taught for two years, and in 1944 I joined the American University. While in Yafa I used to frequently go the Orthodox Club to read newspapers and magazines that came from Egypt, in which I used to read literary and cultural topics. At the American University I was a top student, paying full attention to my lessons. In my spare time I used to practice my hobbies, especially swimming and sometimes I used to sing. I had a good voice. Politics was out of my mind, and never occurred to me that I would get involved in it, and that it would become my whole life.
This condition of mine remained constant up till the beginning of my fourth year in the university, my second year in the school of medicine. When one day a friend in the university, Maatouk Al-Asmar, approached me and said that there was a professor in the university – meaning Dr. Constantine Zureik – who was conducting small closed cultural circles, talking to a limited number of students (20 – 30 students) about Arab nationalism, and about the Arab nation and how and why it should resurrect. He suggested to me the idea of attending these circles. These were lectures the aim of which was enlightenment and stirring debate, and there were no organizational commitments.
To be specific, Maatouk told me about a person called Ramez Shihadeh who at the time had already graduated from the university. “I want you to meet him to talk about Arab unity and the salvation of Palestine and how to achieve these goals,” but as I was at the time planning to go back home, the meeting didn’t materialize. That was at the end of June/July 1948, when Zionists had been trying to complete the uprooting of Palestinians from their homes and land, which at the time had reached its peak. The year ended and the university closed its doors. I told myself that I should go to Palestine and to Al-Lid in particular. Zionist forces uprooted the people of Yafa to temporally settle in Al-Lid. But my parents asked me to stay in Beirut, and sent me money; my mother was always worrying about me a lot. My arrival surprised the family and my mother said, “What do you want to do son?” And my sister for her part asked: “What could you do?” I wondered whether I could fight. I had already started studying medicine and probably I could help in this field. There was in the hospital a doctor of the Zahlan family, and I started assisting him. Al-Lid, like other Palestinian Arab cities and villages was in severe conditions of confusion and worry. Zionists airplanes were bombarding Palestinians and frightening them.
Conditions were severe and horrible. I was involved in my work when my mother’s aunt came to the hospital and told me that my mother was worrying about me and asked me to return home. I refused and insisted on remaining in the hospital, but she insisted and I in my turn insisted on doing my duty. When I continued refusing then she told me that my elder sister whom I dearly loved had passed away. On my way back home I saw people in the streets in a severe condition of fright, and the injured, including some that I knew, lying unattended on the sidewalk. We buried my sister near our house, as reaching the graveyard was impossible. Three hours later Zionist terrorists attacked our house shouting and ordering us to leave in Arabic, “Yala Barah, yala barah ukhrojo”, go out, leave.
My mother and I, along with my sister’s children – including a baby whom we carried – walked with our relatives and neighbors. We didn’t know where to go. The terrorists were ordering us to walk, and we walked. It was a very hot day, and it was Ramadan. Some of those around us were saying “this is resurrection day” and others said, “This is hell”. Upon reaching the end of the town we saw a Zionist check point to search the people. We didn’t have any arms or weapons. And it seemed that our neighbor’s son, Amin Hanhan, was hiding money; fearing that they would steal it from him, he refused to be searched. The terrorists shot him dead right in front of us. His mother and his younger sister rushed to see him and started wailing. His younger brother, Bishara, was a friend and classmate of mine, and we used to study together. You ask me why I chose this path, why did I become an Arab nationalist. This is Zionism and they speak about peace? This is the Zionism I know, saw and experienced.(*) Al-Hakim referred us to details in the book: “Palestinian Struggle Experience. A full dialogue with George Habash”. One of the founders of ‘The Arab Nationalist Movement” and “The Popular Front of the Liberation of Palestine”, and their first secretary general.
George Habash, a revolutionary life The following tribute was delivered to a meeting organised by the Communist Party
(http://www.cpgb-ml.org/) in Central London on Saturday 10 February 2008. Issued by: CPGB-ML Issued on: 10 February 2008 In his 1944 speech, Serve the People, Comrade Mao Zedong said these famous words: “All men must die, but death can vary in its significance. The ancient Chinese writer Szuma Chien said: ‘Though death befalls all men alike, it may be weightier than Mount Tai or lighter than a feather.’ To die for the people is weightier than Mount Tai, but to work for the fascists and die for the exploiters and oppressors is lighter than a feather.”
Today, the heroic Palestinian people are continuing to resist, whether in the breaking of the barrier with Egypt to alleviate the genocidal siege of Gaza, or in the martyrdom operation at Dimona, the nuclear site where imperialism and its stooges do not demand inspections, to express a sense of grief at the loss of Al-Hakim, Dr George Habash, one of the greatest leaders of the Palestinian people, and, more importantly, to celebrate his glorious life and give real political vitality and clarity to the essential work of building solidarity with the Palestinian people in the British working class and in the anti-war and other progressive movements. Comrade George Habash, who has passed away at the age of 82, gave more than six decades of his life to the revolution. He was born into a prosperous Greek Orthodox family in the Palestinian city of Lydda. At that time, the Palestinian people were under the rule of the British colonial mandate, which was systematically preparing the way for the creation of a zionist settler colonial state, which, in the words of Sir Roland Storrs, the first British governor of Jerusalem in the 1920s, would form “for England a ‘little loyal Jewish Ulster’ in a sea of potentially hostile Arabism”.
In the summer of 1948, whilst studying medicine in Beirut, George went back home to help organise resistance to the zionist catastrophe that was sweeping over the Palestinian people, driving them from their ancestral homes and lands into exile and dispossession. At this time, he and his whole family, along with 95 percent of the inhabitants of his native city, were forced out at gunpoint by the zionist terrorists and ethnic cleansers commanded by Yitzhak Rabin. Years later, Habash was to observe: “It is a sight I shall never forget. Thousands of human beings expelled from their homes, running, crying, shouting in terror. After seeing such a thing, you cannot but become a revolutionary.”
During al-Nakba, the catastrophe, more than 700,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes and lands, made stateless and refugees. Graduating as the first in his class, Dr Habash eschewed the chance to pursue a lucrative career, opting instead to open a people’s clinic offering free treatment and a school for refugees in the Jordanian capital, Amman.
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TOON OF THE YEAR ~~ ISRAEL MAKES THE DESERT BLOOM

DESERTPEACE

January 27, 2010 at 8:29 am (Cartoons, Deceit, Ethnic Cleansing, Israel, War Crimes)

Image By Bendib…
Click on image to enlarge

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IsraHell for you…

Link

Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 11:13AM Gilad Atzmon

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Divide to rule

by Carlos Latuff. Our divisions strengthen our oppressors
by Carlos Latuff. Our divisions strengthen our oppressors
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 Uprooted Palestinian

Focus on Israel: Harvesting Haitian Organs

This is Zionism

Israeli and Zionists Vicious Attack about Organ Jacking

On January 15, Haaretz reported that:
“The Israel Defense Forces’ aid mission to Haiti left Israel overnight (January 14) with equipment for setting up an emergency field hospital. Around 220 soldiers and officers (were) in the delegation, including 120 medical staff (to) operate the hospital in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince.”
According to Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it includes “40 doctors, 25 nurses, paramedics, a pharmacy, a children’s ward, a radiology department, an intensive care unit, an internal department and a maternity ward (able to) treat approximately 500 patients each day,” including in two surgery rooms.
On January 20, Lebanon’s Al-Manar TV reported on the mission, citing a damning You Tube video posted by an American named T. West from a group called AfriSynergy Productions.
“The video presents something to think about while exploiting the horrible tragedy that has befallen Haiti where Israeli occupation soldiers are engaged in organ trafficking.”
Israel faced these charges before. In November 2009, Alison Weir’s article in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs headlined, “Israeli Organ Trafficking and Theft: From Moldova to Palestine.” She cited an August Donald Bostrom article in Sweden’s Aftonbladet suggesting that Israel illicitly removes body parts, including from Palestinians.
She stated:
“….Israeli organ harvesting – sometimes with Israeli governmental funding and the participation of high Israeli officials, prominent Israeli physicians, and Israeli ministries – have been documented for many years. Among the victims have been Palestinians.”
Nancy Scheper-Hughes is a UC Berkeley Professor of Medical Anthropology, founder of Organ Watch, author of scholarly books and articles on the subject, and “unflinchingly honest in (citing) the Israeli connection.”
“Israel is at the top,” she states. “It has tentacles reaching out worldwide. (It has) a pyramid system at work that’s awesome….they have brokers everywhere, bank accounts everywhere; they’ve got recruiters, they’ve got translators, they’ve got travel agents who set up the visas.”
They pay “the poor and the hungry to slowly dismantle their bodies” or simply take what they want from fresh corpses. Body parts are commodities, to be harvested and sold to the rich, even though organ sales are prohibited in most countries, but not in international law.

Relevant International Law

The UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime calls organ extraction for profit human exploitation. In 2008, Israel banned the practice, but it persists.
On October 13, 2009 at a UN press conference on the subject, Marja Ruotanen, Director of Cooperation of the Council of Europe, stated:
“We have legislation and definitions covering the trafficking in human beings for the purpose of organ removal, but the study points out that there is a legal vacuum for the traffic in organs, tissues and cells (OTC).”
Human trafficking for any purpose is a crime. Global instruments cover OTC trafficking, but missing are “internationally agreed-upon definitions within an international convention.” One is needed that clearly defines the practice, protects donors, but prosecutes brokers, medical staff, and others engaging in it.
Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics of the University of Pennsylvania, Arthur Caplan, and Austria’s Public Prosecutor, Carmen Prior, say many nations are taking steps to address the issue, emphasizing that OTC material should only be gotten by “voluntary altruism.” In other words, donated, not sold for profit.
Caplan explained that “money for parts” violates “basic human dignity and medical ethics.” It also exploits the poor, and they stay poor after the sale. Also, their organ quality is usually low, and procedures used to extract them often harm buyers and sellers.
UN Secretary-General Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, Rachael Mayanja, didn’t predict when the world body will begin work on a convention, but she hoped it would be soon. Discussions to this point are “just the beginning,” she said, “and it gives us an impetus to go forward.”
Kawther Salam – “The Body Snatchers of Israel”

Salam is a West Bank-based Palestinian journalist, active in reporting on human rights abuses by the Israeli military (IDF). In 2003, she was one of 28 writers in 13 countries to receive a Hellman/Hammett Grant from Human Rights Watch “in recognition of (her) courage in the face of political persecution.”
On August 24, 2009, her above titled article presented what she “witnessed, saw, observed and heard during (her) 22 years of journalistic work under the Israeli military occupation in the West Bank and Gaza.”
She states that from the early 1970s, the IDF kept bodies of Palestinians they killed, then later buried them in secret, numbered graves. In other cases, Israel’s civil administration and military commanders returned corpses to families on condition they be buried immediately, late at night, for “security reasons.”
They followed funeral processions in “armored grey cars,” monitoring them through burial. Why so, asked Salam? “If the burial is normal, and the organs of the victims were not stolen, then why should they be buried in the dark of the night? The families of the victims all knew that they were receiving empty bodies, filled with cotton, to be buried in the middle of the night.”
Salam said she “personally….witness(ed) Israeli soldiers and military vehicles kidnapping the bodies of dead Palestinians from (hospital) emergency rooms. In other cases, (she) saw the soldiers following the Palestinians to the cemetery, to steal the body from the family before burial. This practice became so widespread that many people started carrying the bodies of the murdered to be buried at home, in the garden, under the house or under trees, instead of waiting for the ambulance to take them to the hospital.”
She said “everybody in Palestine” knows that Israel steals bodies for their organs. It was common IDF practice to “kidnap” Palestinians from emergency rooms in Hebron, Nablus, Ramallah, Jenin, and most everywhere throughout Occupied Palestine, then transfer them to an Israeli hospital.
Her article lists names of IDF commanders and civil administration officials involved in the practice. “Everybody knew” they were doing it, yet their families were told sincere efforts were made “to release the bodies of their relatives from the military headquarters,” calling it a favor, when, in fact, their organs were stolen.
Perhaps “thousands of bodies and even people known to have been alive were transferred to the Abu Kabir” Forensic Institute near Tel Aviv, Israel’s only autopsy facility involved in organ trafficking, a matter that became a scandal inside the country. Its director, Dr. Yehuda Hiss, admitted doing it, never was held accountable, and until recently remained the institute’s chief pathologist.
In 2002 and 2005, he was investigated over the large scale theft of body parts, the practice Yediot Aharonot journalists broke, saying he had “price listings” for organs sold to universities and medical schools.
On January 4, 2002, Israel National News.com headlined, “Abu Kabir Operating Organ Warehouse,” saying Hiss was:
“accused of a long list of charges from inappropriate behavior as a medical professional to criminal acts such as the illegal sale of and dealings in organs and body parts, removing organs from deceased persons without consent, and misrepresenting organs in returned bodies.”
Other allegations were that:
“in some cases (organs he took without consent were stuffed with) toilet paper rolls and metallic rods in their place to fill the voids and hide the theft of the organs. A court-ordered search of the institute revealed large supplies of stored organs illegally taken from bodies,” thousands taken without permission.
During the first Intifada and other times, Salam said she “personally witnessed how the Israeli military were kidnapping Palestinian bodies and gravely injured people from the emergency room of Princess Alia hospital in Hebron (and dead bodies from) Al-Ahli hospital.” The area was declared a military zone, the hospitals surrounded and invaded, and no one was allowed to move inside them.
Israeli organ harvesting is a longstanding practice, well known by “most if not all the Israeli medical establishment (who) keep silent because they either get money, or they are rewarded in other ways….”
Jerusalem Center for Democracy and Human Rights Director, Salim Khalleh, said JDCHR documented 270 cases of “reserved” Palestinian bodies, buried in numbered graves in secret cemeteries, or in numbered compartments of cooling facilities.
According to the Palestinian National Authority (PA) Director of the Department of Statistics, Abed Al-Naser Ferwana, many Palestinians were murdered in detention during the second Intifada, their bodies kept in secret Israeli cemeteries, some released weeks later. He calls this more proof that their organs were harvested illegally.

Israeli “Transplant Tourism”
Rich Israelis take advantage, availing themselves of what’s called “transplant tourism,” traveling wherever a needed organ can be found, sometimes from fresh corpses, usually from the desperately poor.
The Israeli government acts as facilitator, providing subsidies of up to $80,000 for “transplant holidays.” According to Scheper-Hughes, Israeli officials exhibit “amazing tolerance….toward outlawed ‘transplant tourism.’ “
She said the Israeli Ministry of Defense is involved in a practice by which “bodies are broken, dismembered, fragmented, transported, processed, and sold in the interests of a more socially advantaged population….,” Israel engaging in more of this globally than any other nation.
Its medical teams apparently are doing it in Haiti, exploiting fresh corpses and the living. The Manar TV cited You Tube said “there are people operating in Haiti who do not have a conscience and are members of the search and rescue teams, including the Israeli occupation forces,” far from home harvesting Haitian organs, and the pickings are plentiful.
Apparently, the publicity about providing humanitarian aid is cover for this illicit operation, another crime against humanity among Israel’s growing list, matched and exceeded by its Washington benefactor with generations more practice.

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to the Lendman News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Monday – Friday at 10AM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on world and national issues. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Posted @ 16:58  

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Auschwitz survivor: ‘Israel acts like Nazis’

Tour flyer

Auschwitz survivor: ‘Israel acts like Nazis’

Exclusive: Graeme Murray and Chris Watt
Published on 24 Jan 2010

One of the last remaining Auschwitz survivors has launched a blistering attack on Israel over its occupation of Palestine as he began a lecture tour of Scotland.
 Dr Hajo Meyer, 86, who survived 10 months in the Nazi death camp, spoke out as his 10-day tour of the UK and Ireland – taking in three Scottish venues – got under way. His comments sparked a furious reaction from hardline Jewish lobby groups, with Dr Meyer branded an “anti-Semite” and accused of abusing his position as a Holocaust survivor.

Dr Meyer also attended hearings at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Thursday, where five pro-Palestine campaigners are accused of racially aggravated conduct after disrupting a concert by the Jerusalem Quartet at the city’s Queen’s Hall.

Speaking as his tour got under way, Dr Meyer said there were parallels between the treatment of Jews by Germans in the Second World War and the current treatment of Palestinians by Israelis.

He said: “The Israelis tried to dehumanise the Palestinians, just like the Nazis tried to dehumanise me. Nobody should dehumanise any other and those who try to dehumanise another are not human.

“It may be that Israel is not the most cruel country in the world … but one thing I know for sure is that Israel is the world champion in pretending to be civilised and cultured.”

Dr Meyer was born in 1924 in Bielefeld, Germany. He was not allowed to attend school there after November 1938. He then fled to the Netherlands, alone. In 1944, after a year in the underground, he was caught by the Gestapo and survived 10 months at Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.

He now lives in the Netherlands, and is the author of three books on Judaism, the Holocaust and Zionism.
Dr Meyer also insisted the definition of “anti-Semitic” had now changed, saying: “Formerly an anti-Semite was somebody who hated Jews because they were Jews and had a Jewish soul. But nowadays an anti-Semite is somebody who is hated by Jews.”
A spokesman for the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, of which Dr Meyer is a member, said criticising Israel was “not the same” as criticising Jews.

Mick Napier    , Scottish Palestine ­Solidarity Campaign chairman and one of the five demonstrators facing charges when the court case continues in March, said: “Palestinians are happy to have him as an ally in their cause.
“Hajo knows that Israel has a long history of abusing the tragic history of the Holocaust in order to suppress legitimate criticism of its own crimes.

“Especially since Gaza, people are no longer taken in by their claim that anyone that criticises Israel is anti-Semitic.”
Dr Meyer’s claims met with a furious reaction from pro-Israel groups, who branded him “a disgrace”.

Jonathan Hoffman, co-vice-chairman of the Zionist Federation, said: “I shall be telling him he is abusing his status as a survivor, and I shall be telling him that if Israel had been created 10 years earlier, millions of lives might have been saved.

“Whether he is a survivor or not, to use Nazi comparisons in relation to Israel’s policies is anti-Semitic, unquestionably.”
The tour was cynically timed, Mr Hoffman added, to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27.
Dr Ezra Golombok, Scottish spokesman for the Israel Information Office, accused the anti-zionist lobby of “exploiting” Dr Meyer, who he described as someone “who’s got into a situation he doesn’t understand”.

“This is a propaganda exercise by Mick Napier     and his friends, and nothing more. It’s preposterous to compare Israel with Nazi tactics.”
The lecture series, entitled Never Again – For Anyone, continues until January 30.

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 Uprooted Palestinian

Zionist regime will disappear one day

Link

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says that Middle Eastern countries will witness the disappearance of Israel.

“Undoubtedly, the day will come when the nations of the region will witness the disappearance of the Zionist regime,” IRNA quoted Ayatollah Khamenei as saying during a meeting with Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz in Tehran on Tuesday.

“Whether that day will be near or far depends on the actions of Islamic countries and Muslim nations,” the Leader added.

Ayatollah Khamenei stated that strengthening ties with Islamic countries is a pillar of Iran’s foreign policy and expressed hope that the Mauritanian president’s visit to Iran would enhance the level of ties between the two countries.

The Leader hailed Mauritania’s decision to sever ties with Israel and observed that the move could be a “good model for some Arab governments.”

Ayatollah Khamenei said that Israel is a “major threat to the Muslim world” because it is trying to dominate the region.

The Mauritanian president said that Iran’s scientific and technological progress makes Muslims around the world proud.

He also called for the expansion of ties between Iran and Mauritania. PressTV

‘Iran showed others how to resist US hegemony’

Posted @ 19:13  

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 Uprooted Palestinian

"I was supposed to be born in a villa by the sea"

“I was supposed to be born in a villa by the sea”
Marryam Haleem writing from the occupied Gaza Strip, Live from Palestine, 26 January 2010

Atef Abu Saif (Marryam Haleem)

Her name meant “lively.” And from the way her grandson spoke about her, she was in nature as in name. Aisha, full of life.

She lived in a beautiful villa on the sea. She was friendly, passionate and generous, like most Palestinians. And proud of her hometown, like most Jaffans. When Jewish refugees rolled in from war-torn Europe in the 1940s, Palestinians took them into their homes. Aisha took in a teenaged girl, gave her a room, and made her part of their family. In 1948, when Jewish terrorist gangs attacked Jaffa and started to round up the people, killing and throwing them out of their homes, Aisha refused to leave her beloved home. But the Jewish girl who lived with her in her home put a gun to Aisha’s head and forced her out of the house. Aisha screamed, “What are you doing?! I gave you my home! I gave you my family! And this is what you do?!”

Aisha, her family, and hundreds of other Jaffans walked until they reached the Jabaliya area in Gaza. She lost everything — her home, her identity, her dignity, and a beloved son who was killed in the fighting. Aisha, so full of heart, lost her sight from crying over his death.

She gained, however, the absolute adoration and undying love of a grandson who was born and raised in that corner of Jabaliya which was now a refugee camp. She gave him all she had — love and memories of a place called home. She told him every detail of Jaffa. The names of the streets. The neighborhoods and houses. The trees. The mosques. Each smell and sound. It was the whole world to a boy who was born in a refugee camp.

Grandma Aisha was not the only one with these stories and her grandson, Atef Abu Saif, was not the only one who took them to heart. These memories and these stories are the only treasure and wealth of the refugee. They are the sole inheritance for the children of the dispossessed generation. Memories of what once was. Stories of what ought to have been.

“The old men in the refugee camp,” said Atef, recalling his childhood days, “in the evenings they would sit and talk about Jaffa.” And the children would gather round, listening with fascination as the grownups talked of the place they knew they were from, but had never seen.

“The refugee in Gaza,” said Atef, trying to explain the significance and meaningfulness of the stories, “the refugee lives in his memories. In the old towns and villages. Even us, the sons and grandsons of that generation, we also live in this moment, this wishful moment.”

Grandma Aisha, her life and her stories, became his inspiration to write. He started at a young age and is now a published novelist and short story writer. He has written four novels, a collection of short stories entitled Everything is Normal, and two plays. Many of his short stories have been translated into English and can be found online.

“One of my first dreams was to capture those moments she gave me and to retell them in writings,” he said, “because in her stories there is a kind of pain which you wouldn’t feel if you didn’t hear her telling it. And this is where literature matters.” To show what can’t otherwise be conveyed.

Atef’s writings reveal the everydayness of oppression, providing a glimpse into how very mundane suffering truly is. The muted scenes of pain catch the reader unaware: one realizes with horror that the grief is inescapable, occupying even the most banal of acts — writing a letter to a brother, driving to the airport, a day at the beach. His stories show, with raw accuracy, the unspoken knowledge that something is deeply wrong in the Palestinian life.

“I want to remind my readers that these people don’t live in the refugee camps by their own choice. The refugee camp is not a place to love. It’s a curse … [In my writing] I have to be faithful, loyal to the people’s suffering. I want to make it clear that this is not a ‘national issue.’ It’s not about ‘the struggle.’ It’s a human issue.”

Paradise lost

“Like my grandmother, if I’d tell her something here [in Gaza] is beautiful, immediately she would be like, ‘Don’t tell me that, Jaffa is more beautiful!’ Or if I’d compliment the sea, right away she would respond, ‘This sea?! This is not a sea! You should see the sea in Jaffa!’ I mean, it’s the same sea,” Atef said, laughing affectionately. “But in her mind, it was not the same sea. It was an entirely different world. If I’d tell her about a place here, immediately, ‘You should see the buildings in Jaffa! But I excuse you,’ she would say to me, like I said something wrong, ‘I excuse you because you didn’t live there.’

The loss of the refugees is as painful as it is irretrievable. The ever-present feeling of injustice is felt by the Palestinians, individually and collectively.

“But the Jaffans,” Atef said, smiling wryly, “we feel that we were done an especially great injustice by being driven out of our homes. You have to understand,” he said facetiously, “we are very racist in Jaffa. We are very proud of our city. We are from the largest Palestinian city. We are urban people, not villagers. Before 1948 we had 20 newspapers. We had 12 sports clubs. We had a union for the railway workers. This was the second Arab metropolitan city after Cairo. Many Arabs would immigrate there to work, especially from the Levant — Syria, Lebanon, Jordan.”

This was what they lost. The memory of the greatness of Jaffa became the symbolic reminder for all Palestinians of what life ought to have been. “Jaffa means Palestine for us, the true Palestine. So in this sense Jaffa is something imagined, the lost Paradise.

“Even we [the children of the refugee camp] had this image of Jaffa as this Paradise, this lost Paradise. When you grew up in the refugee camp, with all this suffering, you believe strongly in this idea that if we lived in Jaffa, this wouldn’t be happening. It’s a real feeling, not just for my grandmother, but for me and my generation.

“I grew up in a home of 80 meters — me, my father, my mother, my grandmother, my brothers. Just three rooms. It was very crowded. And then you think, if the Nakba didn’t happen, we would be living in my grandfather’s villa on the coast of Jaffa,” he paused, “It’s owned by a Jew from Yemen now. Not owned,” he corrected himself, “but he lives in it.”

To be a refugee

The refugee lives with the constantly reinforced feeling that he is illegitimate. From childhood he is taught that in the civilized, established world, the refugee has no place and, by default, no rights.

“I remember,” Atef said, “sitting in a geography class as a kid and the teacher saying that there are three kinds of places where people live: the city, the village and the desert. So I asked, ‘What about the refugee camp?’ I didn’t understand why he didn’t mention the refugee camp. It was real for me and it was all I knew. The teacher responded saying that the refugee camp wasn’t really a place where people lived. It is temporary, he tried to explain. It doesn’t actually exist in normal urban or rural settings. It is something that happens for a moment, or was meant to happen for a moment, until the problem is resolved.”

There is little stability or sense of belonging in life as a refugee.

“We never think of the place as permanent, as ours. Take the architecture of the refugee camps, for example.” It is, in its form and function, incomplete. “You will make your flat very beautiful on the inside. But you won’t care about the outside. Because you don’t care. The place is the thing on the outside. And that place doesn’t belong to you.

A man will build a floor and the rooms he needs for the immediate present and no more. Even if he has money to build a complete house, he will not. He builds for necessity only. He does not build to establish himself. He does not build to make a home. He already has a home, but he is barred from it.

“Take my grandfather,” said Atef. “He refused to buy a piece of land outside the refugee camp in order to build a house, even though he had the money. Because he felt that this is all temporary. It’s not permanent. This refugee camp is temporary. ‘We are going to leave it,’ is the feeling, the hope of every refugee … Palestinians do not live in the today … We either live in a past that was beautiful or a future that would have been beautiful.”

Life becomes a conflict between holding on to the past and taking the reigns of the present. One’s immediate reality is temporary. What is permanent is a place imagined, a Neverland that cannot be.

Visitors only

Atef described this best with a story about his grandfather. It is a scene in his upcoming novel. After being kicked out in 1948, his grandfather refused to ever visit Jaffa again. It would be too painful to see his hometown in the hands of the very people who threw him out. But in 1982, after 34 years of exile, suddenly he ached to set his eyes on his Jaffa again. So they got in a car — Atef, his father, and his grandfather — and headed for Jaffa. When they reached the town just before Jaffa, Atef’s father pulled off the highway and turned onto a side road. This road would take them into the city. In just a few minutes they would be able to see it from the road.

“Stop!” Grandpa Ibrahim said abruptly. He was crying. “Stop and drive back, Talal,” he told his son, the tears falling freely, “drive back.”

“He couldn’t see Jaffa again,” Atef said softly, “he wanted to keep Jaffa as he left it in 1948.”

The old man died without ever seeing his home again. But he died with a pristine memory of how it was, when it was his. That is the strength of the permanency the refugee feels and its unspoken pain. It is passed down to and relived by those who never had the privilege of being born and raised there.

Atef described how, when he visits Jaffa now, he feels the great urge to mentally edit the reality he sees before him with the descriptions Grandma Aisha gave him. With her eyes he imagines the Old Jaffa, “with the same streets, the same buildings, the same architecture … You want to rebuild the city [in your mind], to recapture the old place. So you don’t live in reality even when you see it before you. This is where your life is a kind of metaphor. Our lives are a kind of metaphor.”

The metaphor gives the refugee a kernel of hope. It is a protective cloak that shields away some of the painful reality, that veils part of the humiliating knowledge of one’s status, that covers a little of the irrevocable sense of loss. Visiting a hometown, for a refugee, is like a catharsis without the relief.

“You visit, you don’t return,” said Atef. “I’ve been to Jaffa a few times. The last time I went was in 1998. It was the 50th anniversary of the Nakba,” he explained, referring to the forced dispossession of historic Palestine during the establishment of the State of Israel. “I went for a couple of days and stayed with some relatives that are still there. I cried — mostly for my grandmother. I imagined her walking in Jaffa again … It’s this beautiful villa,” he said, talking of his grandparent’s house, “a very nice house on the sea. Seeing my family’s house was very sad.

“I wrote about it in one of my novels. There is this scene with a dialogue between this Israeli girl and a Palestinian guy. It’s this encounter between the two characters. She tells him, You live in the past. Lets live in the present. The Palestinian responds, telling her, But your present is my past. You live in Tel Aviv now. I was supposed to be born in a villa by the sea. But I was born in a refugee camp.

“I was supposed to be born in a villa by the sea,” he said again, talking of himself this time. “But I was born in a refugee camp. A place where you can hear your neighbor snoring while you sleep.”

He, like every Palestinian, is each day made newly aware of the crushing knowledge that “a stranger came and changed the natural course of my life.”

“And you don’t have hope,” he concluded. “The people now wish they could fly over Gaza and leave. Unfortunately, of course. It is the opposite image of the Palestinian returning to his country. But it’s true. Because life is pushing them. And they have such a hard time. When you lose hope you lose the ability to continue.”

Later that day, I sat brooding as I looked out on the grey Gazan sea and watched the gulls soar majestically overhead, as if they owned the world and had not a care in their hearts. Hope is the thing with feathers, I thought, recalling the first line of Emily Dickinson’s poem. Hope, the elusive metaphor of the Palestinians. A metaphor they daily renew, only for it to be perpetually broken.

Hope is the thing with feathers,
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

The waves crashed loudly against the shore. Yes, I thought, sore, indeed, must be their storm.

Marryam Haleem is a senior at the University of Wisconsin studying philosophy and comparative literature and spent last summer in Gaza doing research for her senior thesis.

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

Agents of Imperial Terror: Aggression and the Goldstone Report

LINK

Posted on January 26, 2010 by realistic bird

{Goldstone report} by Fadi Abu-Hassan-Syria

By Jennifer Loewenstein – Madison, WI, source

At the Nuremburg Tribunal in 1945 ‘Aggression’ was defined as ‘the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.’ Chief Counsel for the United States at Nuremburg, Justice Robert Jackson, defined the aggressor as the state that is the first to commit such actions as ‘invasion of its armed forces, with or without a declaration of war, of the territory of another state.’ Jackson also called attention to the principle of universality, or the simple but too often overlooked fact that what applies to our enemies must apply equally to ourselves. For one state or court of justice to apply international law according to the perceived national security interests of the few, or a one-sided interpretation of ‘evil,’ poisons both the letter and the spirit of the law. Some 65 years after the end of the Nuremburg Tribunal, the definitions and caveats of global justice remain the same; but they are no more universally applied today than they are remembered or summoned to spare various regions of the world the devastation and suffering they are now experiencing. Indeed, at times such as during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead exactly one year ago, one could argue that they were consciously suppressed.

Operation Cast Lead, code name for the US-backed Israeli military offensive against the people of Gaza from December 27th, 2008 to January 18th, 2009, killed over 1,400 people, 85% of them civilians and nearly 400 of them children; it wounded over 5300 people; it devastated the agricultural, industrial and environmental infrastructures of the Gaza Strip, and further gutted the Gazan social and political foundations of what should have been by now one area of a vibrant and viable modern Palestinian state. Instead Gaza, like the other sections of this hacked up land, lies drained of its lifeblood like a severed limb. Its past recalls shockingly brutal years of occupation, torture, degradation and mutilation by an aggressor granted immunity from the principles of world order. But Israel’s exemption from the primary tenets of international law flows straight out of the self-exemption from those same laws that its imperial overlord, the United States, has insisted upon for itself in global affairs. Only when we have mobilized individual and collective courage to challenge the United States’ unpardonable hubris and flagrant disregard for legality and morality, will its clients’ liberty to mimic these same behaviors with impunity fade away.

The Goldstone Report, powerful in its condemnation of the conduct of the Israeli military’s behavior during Operation Cast Lead (OCL), never goes on to say how this operation could have been justified; or to explain how Israel was allowed to get away with such savagery in the first place. Indeed, Justice Richard Goldstone initially refused to take on the investigation into the winter assault at all. He agreed to do so only after the chairperson of the United Nations Committee that had originally sought his assistance agreed to let him write the mandate for the mission in his own words. Goldstone’s personally written mandate insisted that both Israel’s and Hamas’ actions would have to be investigated in order for the report to be fair –a prerequisite that could have been legitimate had it simultaneously emphasized the military and political disparities between Israel and Hamas. In the end, however, Goldstone’s report does the opposite: it equates Israel’s and Hamas’ actions; or those of the occupied with those of the occupier, and then goes on to blame Hamas for the outbreak of hostilities it by firing rockets over the Gaza border into Israel.

Operation Cast Lead has so far never been publicly condemned by a recognized legal authority as an act of illegal and unjustifiable aggression. In fact, ultimately Goldstone’s depiction of Israel’s assault on Gaza as the legitimate exercising of its alleged ‘right to self-defense’ is entirely consistent with what both US and Israeli governmental and media spokespeople claimed from the beginning. Unsurprisingly, US pro-Israel lobby groups and public relations organizations continually repeat the lie in print and over the airwaves that last year’s three-week-long assault on Gaza by US-backed Israeli forces was both logical and forgivable under the circumstances –even if some of the actions that occurred during the operation were ‘excessive’ or ‘disproportionate,’ as if such actions can now be forgiven, forgotten, chalked up to ‘isolated incidents,’ or the ‘natural’ anger and vengeance that comes out in human behavior in times of conflict or war. The 36 war crimes selected for careful review by the Goldstone Commission were but a sampling of literally thousands of illegal and unspeakable acts of savagery committed against the civilian population of Gaza; indeed they defined the operation by being the rule rather than the exception. The entire operation was one monstrous war crime but this plain fact eludes Justice Goldstone just as it is overlooked today in our memorials and analyses of what happened to an imprisoned and defenseless population, 56% of whom are legally considered children. The ‘defensive’ nature of Israel’s military operation is rarely questioned or even noticed, and because Justice Richard Goldstone himself never undertook to question whether or not OCL had any legitimate basis from the start, the overall legal value of the Goldstone Report is seriously flawed.

Under international law acts of aggression are illegal; in addition, no nation has the right to defend itself using force. Articles 2 and 51 of the United Nations Charter prohibit military action even in cases of self-defense until all peaceful means of resolving a conflict have been exhausted. Even then the intervention of the United Nations must precede any move towards a resolution of the conflict by force. Rather than solve the problem of Hamas rocket fire peacefully, Israel responded using violence. More to the point, Hamas had offered to reinstate the cease-fire, even to go back to the agreements of 2005, before Hamas had won the PLC elections. Israel never seriously considered these peaceful options rejecting them out of hand almost immediately although, based on Hamas’ record, it had every reason to believe they would work. After all, Hamas had abided by the ceasefire faithfully from its inception. It was Israel, with a bright green light from the United States, that violated it repeatedly, day after day after day, throughout the six month period in which it took effect.

Just as it routinely violates international law and the agreements it signs with the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, Israel’s record of adherence to international standards of law and morality in the Gaza Strip, which it is slowly and deliberately smothering to death, is worse than abysmal. In the overall historical context of the occupation and dispossession of the Palestinians, we must therefore view Hamas’ rocket fire in the context of resistance despite the fact that this particular act of retaliation is illegal: the rockets are too primitive to distinguish between civilian and military targets and the soldiers who fire them are aware of this fact. Although non-violent resistance has been by far the dominant method of resistance by the Palestinian people for decades, despite pervasive propaganda to the contrary, there are still many people, including Palestinians, who believe that the US and Israel are only able to comprehend the language of force.

Israel’s claim that Operation Cast Lead was the legitimate expression of its right to self-defense was disingenuous for other reasons. Israeli military officials had drawn up the blueprints for it prior to the beginning of the six-month-long ceasefire that Hamas had been faithfully observing. Only after Israel’s most egregious breach of the ceasefire on November 4, 2008 involving an incursion into middle Gaza in which IDF militants killed 6 Palestinians did Hamas begin firing rockets. Otherwise Israel officially recognized that Hamas had fired no rockets during the ceasefire up until then despite the continuation of its deadly siege against the 1.5 million people of Gaza. Israel pursued no non-violent means to stop the rocket fire prior to its aerial blitz on Gaza City on December 27th, 2008, in which more than 300 people died in a matter of minutes—238 of them young civil police cadets unconnected with the Hamas security apparatus at their graduation ceremony, other than phony ceasefire re-negotiation efforts its top military brass pretended to conduct in order to catch the population of Gaza off guard.

By relaxing its border control areas immediately prior to the beginning of OCL allowing in greater quantities of humanitarian aid despite the illegal siege, Israel deceived the public in Gaza into believing that the situation was beginning to calm down. This helped the Israeli military achieve one of its primary war aims, namely to exact the ‘highest number of enemy casualties possible’ once the operation had begun, according to Yoav Gallant, IDF Chief of the Southern Command (Haaretz, Dec. 27th 2008). It is reasonable to assume that by the word “enemy” Gallant and his colleagues meant “Palestinians” and not simply “militants” since more than three quarters of the dead were Palestinian civilians.

Operation Cast Lead was consequently an act of sheer aggression against the people and territory of the Gaza Strip for which there were no justifications. All of the horrors that occurred during this event could have been prevented if the single terrible lie that it was a legitimate act of self-defense had been exposed and challenged from the start.

If the informed public in our own country were not so deeply indoctrinated with the United States’ imperial ideology that what we and our allies do is just and good and what our ‘enemies’ and their supporters do is terrorist and bad, it might then more easily grasp the simple truth that all acts of aggression are illegal and are the source for the collective set of horrors that follow in their wake. Denouncing aggression as such before it begins could help prevent the suffering and violence that await far too many of us in the near future. We have to do more than identify and condemn individual war crimes after they are committed. We must stop the servants and the machinery of war before they embark on their destructive paths.

Overcoming the entrenched propaganda is difficult but not impossible, especially when families, students, educators, workers, activists and other concerned citizens work together to awaken, organize and mobilize public opinion in the United States and across the world.

– Jennifer Loewenstein is a faculty associate in Middle East Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a freelance journalist and a long-time human rights activist. She has lived and worked in Beirut, Gaza, & Jerusalem and has traveled extensively throughout the region.

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

Israel has no legitimacy, period

PIC


[ 26/01/2010 – 08:08 PM ]

Dr. Azizi Duweik, speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council

By Khalid Amayreh

Recent statements by Palestinian Islamic leader Professor Aziz Duweik about the possibility of amending or even abandoning some clauses in Hamas’s charter have elicited a plethora of reactions in occupied Palestine and abroad. Some hostile groups have been quick to conclude that Hamas is now willing to recognize the legitimacy of Israel. Moreover, PA propaganda organs have deliberately twisted Duweik’s remarks, claiming that Hamas is finally following the footsteps of the PLO.

Well, the truth is that none of this is true since sidestepping or even abandoning the so-called “Hamas charter” should never be confused with the Islamic liberation movement’s principled stance on the Zionist entity.

To begin with, the so-called Hamas’s charter was not a “Quran” or a religiously-binding constitution that must be followed meticulously. Nor was it an immutable ideological constant that any deviation from it would consign the deviator to hellfire for eternity.

In fact, the charter was no more than a hastily-formulated mobilizing document issued in the beginning of the first intifada in 1988 for the purpose of recruiting and encouraging people to resist the Israeli occupation.

Therefore, the charter should not be viewed as especially sacred or misconstrued as an inviolable covenant. And while many people would readily accept its basic premises especially with regard to Israel, namely that Israel is essentially an illegitimate body that must be eliminated, others would perfectly legitimately voice reservations concerning the stringent wording of the charter.

Undoubtedly, Zionist propagandists and spin doctors have exploited some of these vaguely-worded clauses in the charter to the fullest to spread the canard that Hamas is anti-Semitic and that its struggle for freedom and justice against the Nazi-like Israeli state is actually a form of anti-Semitism.

Of course, all Zionist claims to this effect are rubbish because Jews had been living in peace all over the Muslim world for close to 1400 years during which there was no Israel and no Zionism and no America to protect them. This happened while Jews living in Europe were constantly persecuted until fairly recently.

In light, it is necessary to set the record straight, namely that Hamas is not anti-Semitic and will never be anti-Semitic. Indeed, how can Hamas be anti-Semitic when the Palestinian people themselves are a Semitic people and when Islam, which constitutes Hamas’s ideology, is decidedly against any form of racism.

In short, Hamas is against Israel because Israel is evil, not because Israel is Jewish. Any claim or insinuation to the contrary is a sheer lie.

Having said that, it should be clearly understood that any amendment to Hamas’s charter, or even its complete annulment, doesn’t imply in any way that Hamas would recognize the legitimacy of Israel.

Never the less, it should be sufficiently clear that for Hamas and hundreds of millions of Arabs and Muslims, Israel has no legitimacy, period.

Israel has always been and will always be an illegitimate child of rape, a state born in sin, an entity based on mass murder, mass theft, mass lies, and mass ethnic cleansing of the natives. So, how can such an evil state be recognized as morally legitimate?

How can any honest human being, let alone Hamas, recognize such an entity as legitimate? How can those who would recognize Israel’s legitimacy face their conscience and sense of rectitude? How can they have eye-contact with five million refugees who have been dispersed to the four winds, having been expelled from their ancestral homeland in what is now Israel? How can they face historical truth? How can they face the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who still preserve the keys to their former homes from which they were expelled at gun point?

Does wrong become right that easily? Does black become white that quickly? Does an illegitimate and infinitely barbarian entity become “legitimate” just because the “big powers” say so?

Besides, since when did all these settlers imported from far-away places become the “natives of Palestine” while the truly indigenous people, now dispersed to the four corners of the globe, become “strangers and foreigners”?

This is why, the recognition of Israel as legitimate would be an unnatural and illogical act, given the manifestly illogical manner in which Israel came into being.

Of course, the Palestinian people, including Hams, do recognize the reality of Israel. It is a prosperous state, a nuclear-armed power, which also tightly controls the policies and politics of the United States. It is a state that very often defines its very existence by committing genocide and terror as it did in Gaza last year. It is a state that never stops committing evil such as stealing Palestinian land, demolishing Palestinian homes and denying Palestinians access to food and work.

However, recognizing Israel’s physical reality is one thing, but recognizing its “legitimacy” is an entirely different thing. The reason is simple: Israel has no legitimacy and never will.

We are not saying or even implying that Jews have no right to live in occupied Palestine. As Muslims and Palestinians, our problem is not and has never been with Jews as Jews. Our problem lies in the brutal racism of the modern Jewish-supremacist entity called Israel, an entity that has more in common with the ideas and ideals of Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin than with the with the Ten Commandments.

Therefore, it is safe to say that Hamas will continue to refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the Zionist entity, even if this rejection cost Hamas, as it does, a lot of political capital, especially in the West. In the final analysis, this is a moral issue first and foremost, and a political issue a distant second.

Actually, a Hamas that is willing to recognize Israel wouldn’t remain intact for 24 hours. It would render itself a degraded, diminutive and demoralized group that can hardly distinguish itself from Fatah, an amorphous entity with no political or ideological constants.

Finally, recognizing Israel would be a stupid act on Hamas’s part since Israel refuses to recognize not only a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, but also the very existence of the Palestinian people itself.

The PLO, due to its intrinsic stupidity, recognized Israel as part of the infamous Oslo Accords more than 18 years ago even without receiving a reciprocal Israeli recognition of a prospective Palestinian state.

Well, we all know the rest of the story.

Hence, a recognition by Hamas of the Zionist entity would actually be a greater act of stupidity and naivety because those who don’t learn from other people’s mistakes are doomed to face graver consequences.

In short, Hamas should never ever recognize the legitimacy of Israel under any circumstances since doing so would render legitimacy to the horrendous genocidal crimes Israel has been committing against the Palestinian people ever since its misbegotten creation more than 60 years ago.

Indeed, what would Hamas tell all these refugees, if and when it had eye-contact with them, should it, God forbid, decide to commit national adultery by recognizing the Satanic entity known as Israel?


Surely, Hamas wouldn’t do that.

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

Wanted: Tony Blair for war crimes. Arrest him and claim your reward

Silver Lining

Posted on January 26, 2010 by realistic bird

by Steve Bell

Chilcot and the courts won’t do it, so it is up to us to show that we won’t let an illegal act of mass murder go unpunished

by George Monbiot, guardian.co.uk, Monday 25 January 2010

The only question that counts is the one that the Chilcot inquiry won’t address: was the war with Iraq illegal? If the answer is yes, everything changes. The war is no longer a political matter, but a criminal one, and those who commissioned it should be committed for trial for what the Nuremberg tribunal called “the supreme international crime”: the crime of aggression.

But there’s a problem with official inquiries in the United Kingdom: the government appoints their members and sets their terms of reference. It’s the equivalent of a criminal suspect being allowed to choose what the charges should be, who should judge his case and who should sit on the jury. As a senior judge told the Guardian in November: “Looking into the legality of the war is the last thing the government wants. And actually, it’s the last thing the opposition wants either because they voted for the war. There simply is not the political pressure to explore the question of legality – they have not asked because they don’t want the answer.”

Others have explored it, however. Two weeks ago a Dutch inquiry, led by a former supreme court judge, found that the invasion had “no sound mandate in international law”. Last month Lord Steyn, a former law lord, said that “in the absence of a second UN resolution authorising invasion, it was illegal“. In November Lord Bingham, the former lord chief justice, stated that, without the blessing of the UN, the Iraq war was “a serious violation of international law and the rule of law“.

Under the United Nations charter, two conditions must be met before a war can legally be waged. The parties to a dispute must first “seek a solution by negotiation” (article 33). They can take up arms without an explicit mandate from the UN security council only “if an armed attack occurs against [them]” (article 51). Neither of these conditions applied. The US and UK governments rejected Iraq’s attempts to negotiate. At one point the US state department even announced that it would “go into thwart mode” to prevent the Iraqis from resuming talks on weapons inspection (all references are on my website). Iraq had launched no armed attack against either nation.

We also know that the UK government was aware that the war it intended to launch was illegal. In March 2002, the Cabinet Office explained that “a legal justification for invasion would be needed. Subject to law officers’ advice, none currently exists.” In July 2002, Lord Goldsmith, the attorney general, told the prime minister that there were only “three possible legal bases” for launching a war – “self-defence, ­humanitarian intervention, or UNSC [security council] authorisation. The first and second could not be the base in this case.” Bush and Blair later failed to obtain security council authorisation.

As the resignation letter on the eve of the war from Elizabeth Wilmshurst, then deputy legal adviser to the ­Foreign Office, revealed, her office had ­”consistently” advised that an ­invasion would be unlawful without a new UN resolution. She explained that “an unlawful use of force on such a scale amounts to the crime of aggression”. Both Wilmshurst and her former boss, Sir Michael Wood, will testify before the Chilcot inquiry tomorrow. Expect fireworks.

Without legal justification, the war with Iraq was an act of mass murder: those who died were unlawfully killed by the people who commissioned it. Crimes of aggression (also known as crimes against peace) are defined by the Nuremberg principles as “planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties”. They have been recognised in international law since 1945. The Rome statute, which established the international criminal court (ICC) and which was ratified by Blair’s government in 2001, provides for the court to “exercise jurisdiction over the crime of aggression”, once it has decided how the crime should be defined and prosecuted.

There are two problems. The first is that neither the government nor the opposition has any interest in pursuing these crimes, for the obvious reason that in doing so they would expose themselves to prosecution. The second is that the required legal mechanisms don’t yet exist. The governments that ratified the Rome statute have been filibustering furiously to delay the point at which the crime can be prosecuted by the ICC: after eight years of discussions, the necessary provision still has not been adopted.

Some countries, mostly in eastern Europe and central Asia, have incorporated the crime of aggression into their own laws, though it is not yet clear which of them would be willing to try a foreign national for acts committed abroad. In the UK, where it remains ­illegal to wear an offensive T-shirt, you cannot yet be prosecuted for mass ­murder commissioned overseas.

All those who believe in justice should campaign for their governments to stop messing about and allow the international criminal court to start prosecuting the crime of aggression. We should also press for its adoption into national law. But I believe that the people of this nation, who re-elected a government that had launched an illegal war, have a duty to do more than that. We must show that we have not, as Blair requested, “moved on” from Iraq, that we are not prepared to allow his crime to remain unpunished, or to allow future leaders to believe that they can safely repeat it.

But how? As I found when I tried to apprehend John Bolton, one of the architects of the war in George Bush’s government, at the Hay festival in 2008, and as Peter Tatchell found when he tried to detain Robert Mugabe, nothing focuses attention on these issues more than an attempted citizen’s arrest. In October I mooted the idea of a bounty to which the public could contribute, ­payable to anyone who tried to arrest Tony Blair if he became president of the European Union. He didn’t of course, but I asked those who had pledged money whether we should go ahead anyway. The response was overwhelmingly positive.

So today I am launching a website – www.arrestblair.org – whose purpose is to raise money as a reward for people attempting a peaceful citizen’s arrest of the former prime minister. I have put up the first £100, and I encourage you to match it. Anyone meeting the rules I’ve laid down will be entitled to one quarter of the total pot: the bounties will remain available until Blair faces a court of law. The higher the ­reward, the greater the number of ­people who are likely to try.

At this stage the arrests will be largely symbolic, though they are likely to have great political resonance. But I hope that as pressure builds up and the crime of aggression is adopted by the courts, these attempts will help to press ­governments to prosecute. There must be no hiding place for those who have committed crimes against peace. No ­civilised country can allow mass ­murderers to move on.

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