Israel: Massacre At Sea

JNOUBIYEH | 12:22 PM 


By Dr. Chandra Muzaffar
Countercurrents.org

The cold-blooded massacre of 20 unarmed peace activists by commandos from the Israeli army in the eastern Mediterranean in the early hours of 31st May 2010 has once again revealed to the world what this rogue regime is all about. It is evil incarnate.

The regime has as always tried to camouflage its evil by fabricating outrageous lies such as that the 620 peace activists on the Turkish ship, the Mavi Marmara, were terrorists with links to Al-Qaeda and the “Global Jihad”.

The activists have also been accused of carrying an assortment of weapons. A Malaysian peace activist who helped to coordinate the flotilla of 3 cargo ships and 3 passenger ships (of which Marmara was one) swears that those involved— journalists, human rights advocates, professionals, academics and NGO personalities— from a number of countries in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia, are men and women committed to the non-violent struggle for peace and justice. The sharpest weapon that some of them have in their possession is a pencil. The Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee in the Turkish Parliament has also refuted the allegation about terrorists aboard the Marmara as a “lie”.

Anyone familiar with the behaviour of the Israeli regime should not be surprised that it used so much force to crush activists sailing to Gaza to deliver much needed humanitarian aid to the besieged citizens of that small strip of Palestinian land. Resorting to massive violence to thwart any challenge to what is perceived as Israeli security interests is the modus operandi of Israeli leaders. After murdering 20 peace activists, the Israeli propaganda machine is telling the world that its commandos acted in self-defence.

Those of us who are committed to the Palestinian cause should counter these lies and fabrications through effective dissemination of the truth through various channels especially the alternative media. We should let the whole world know what Israel is and why it is rightly described as a rogue state that has utter contempt for international law and civilized norms of conduct. Why the Palestinian cause is just and what the possible solution is to the Israeli – Palestinian/Arab conflict should also be widely publicized. It is a pity that Palestinian peace activists have not done enough work of this sort.

At the same time, in the wake of the Israeli massacre of peace activists, efforts should be intensified to isolate Israel in the international arena. The UN Security Council, it is hoped, will adopt a strong, unanimous resolution condemning the massacre. One must also explore the possibility of dragging the Israeli regime to the World Court since its attack upon the Mavi Marmara occurred in international waters, 65 kilometres from Israel. All countries that have diplomatic ties with Israel should also review their relations with the rogue state with immediate effect. Since a number of its citizens were killed, Turkey in particular may want to suspend — if not rescind—its diplomatic ties with Israel. Civil society groups should also accelerate their divestment and boycott programs which are already gathering momentum.

It is because Israel has lost so much legitimacy in the last few months, that its massacre of the innocent on the high seas may well be the tipping point.

Dr. Chandra Muzaffar,
President,
International Movement for a Just World (JUST).
Malaysia.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

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Tale of Israeli Soldier Being Peace Pigeon Indigestible Anymore

Almanar
Mohamad Shmaysani

31/05/2010 Israeli commentators described what had happened Monday at dawn in the international waters as a “brutal ambush at sea.”

Ynet’s Ron Ben-Yisha recounted Israel’s explanation of the ‘operation; a tale that portrayed navy commandos as peace pigeons and activists including noble prize laureates and intellectuals as rioters.

He said that “when navy commandos slid down the vessel, passengers pulled out bats, clubs, and slingshots assaulting soldiers, who were only equipped with paintball rifles used to dispersed minor protests and handguns.”

Despite the censorship imposed on the circumstance of the ‘operation’, one commando managed to speak out to establish that Israeli peace pigeons were on the defensive when they stormed the flotilla in international waters and killed 19 people, because he saw ‘the tip of a rifle sticking out of the stairwell.’

But is this still a digestible story?

The first panel debate at the “Democracy and its Challenges'” conference sponsored by the French Embassy in cooperation with Haaretz got off to a stormy start Monday.

Pro-Israel French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy expressed shock at the “events.”
“…in the war of images, in the war of pictures and propaganda, it seems to me that the Israeli government that you represent is just losing this war,” Levy said. “They are destructive not only for the image of the government of Israel – this is of no importance; when democratic governments fail, they are replaced. The damage that concerns me is to the country to which I’m bound unconditionally. This seems more dangerous than a military failure.”

Haaretz criticized the Israeli government handling of the ‘incident’ saying that “the government failed the test of results.

“Monday’s bloodshed cannot be dismissed with claims that the demonstrators attacked IDF commandos with guns and other weapons. This type of excuse shifts responsibility from the political and military decision-makers to the soldiers, who acted in the heat of combat and for fear of their lives. It may be convenient to Netanyahu and his partners in government to present the battle as a local incident that escalated – but they cannot escape responsibility for the crisis,” Haaretz said.

The Israeli massacre drew worldwide condemnation, perhaps the first at this scale since decades. Hours after Israel committed the heinous crime, the UNSC held an emergency session, the NATO will hold a similar meeting Tuesday and the Arab League will convene, at a low level, on Tuesday as well.

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Dubai Police Chief….. Praises Nasrallah and Resistance Axis tactics

Via Friday-Lunch-Club

“… On May 31, Dubai Police Chief Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim said in interview with Al-Quds al-Arabi: “In their conflict with Israel, the Arabs should adopt the same method as Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. If they stay in their land and strike Israel with rockets, the latter will lose. I thus advise all the Arab states to manufacture and develop their missiles in order to acquire power and force the other side to respect them and their rights. I believe it is odd that strong states in the region are unable to manufacture rockets while Hamas and the Jihad are doing that locally.

“I do not know Hassan Nasrallah in person and I am in no way connected to him. However, he made everyone respect him, including his enemies. He won the battle on the ground during the July war and was able to defeat Israel and its soldiers in thirty days.”

Posted by G, Z, or B at 2:00 PM

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Brave Israeli Commandos Slaughter Aid Activists at Sea

by Stephen Lendman

Even America’s major media can’t duck a crime this grave – attacking and slaughtering up to 20 Gaza Freedom Flotilla activists and injuring dozens more.

New York Times writer Isabel Kershner headlined “At Least 10 Killed as Israel Intercepts Aid Flotilla, saying:

“The Israeli Navy raided a flotilla carrying thousands of tons of supplies for Gaza in international waters on Monday morning….The incident drew widespread international condemnation, with Israeli envoys summoned to explain their country’s actions in several European countries….The killings also coincided with preparations for a planned visit to Washington on Tuesday (June 1) by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”

Late word is it’s postponed.

The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and Los Angeles Times carried similar reports, trying, but hardly able to downplay a major crime.

The UK-based Stop the War Coalition called it “Yet another act of Israeli barbarism” in announcing an “emergency demonstration” at 2:00PM near the prime minister’s Downing Street residence, saying spread the word and come.

In Gaza, thousands protested, expressing anger, outrage and sympathy, carrying banners condemning willful crimes, and calling for Arab solidarity. Similar demonstrations turned out in Amman, Cairo, Damascus, Tehran, Ankara, Istanbul, Beirut and other regional cities.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak blamed the Flotilla organizers for inciting the attack, while his deputy, Danny Alalon said they were connected to international terrorist organizations and were trying to smuggle in arms. Weapons were found on board, he claimed.

At a hastily called news conference, sparsely attended, he referred to “the armada of hate and violence in support of the Hamas terror organization,” accusing peaceful activists of a “premeditated and outrageous provocation,” saying “The organizers are well known for their ties with global Jihad, Al Qaeda and Hamas. (Their) intent was violent, their method was violent, and the results were unfortunately violent.”

Shameless lies from a criminal caught red-handed, Haaretz’s Gideon Levy saying:

“The Israeli propaganda machine has reached new highs (distributing) false information. It embarrassed itself by entering a futile public relations battle….There is nothing to explain, certainly not to a world that will never buy (its) web of explanations, lies and tactics.”

In Washington, of course, they’re echoed along with toned down pious indignation publicly, but privately, assurances of solid US-Israeli relations are affirmed.

On May 31, White House spokesman William Burton said:

“The United States deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries sustained, and is currently working to understand the circumstances surrounding this tragedy,” stopping short of condemning crimes too grave to ignore and demanding harsh measures in response to premeditated slaughter.

Much the same from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (a reliable Israeli ally) stating:

“It is vital that there is a full investigation to determine exactly how this bloodshed took place. I believe Israel must urgently provide a full explanation,” stopping short of demanding it and full accountability.

Saying he “deplored in the strongest terms the killing of civilians,” Italian Foreign Minister, Franco Frattini, like his EU counterparts, said it was “indispensable that there be an inquest to ascertain the facts, which are still not clear.”

They’re very clear. Israeli forces planned and executed a premeditated attack against peaceful humanitarian activists, trying to deliver essential to life aid to Gazans under siege – to break Israel’s attempt to suffocate and starve them.

The Wall Street Journal online headlined “More than 10 Dead After Israel Intercepts Gaza Aid Convoy,” saying (like most US media reports) that “An Israeli military spokesman said later in the day that some activists ‘appeared’ to be armed with guns, and fired at the Israeli soldiers, though it wasn’t clear who fired first.”

The activists, in fact, were unarmed civilians, delivering vitally needed humanitarian aid to 1.5 million Gazans, trapped under siege for three years this month. Without provocation, they were maliciously and willfully attacked in international waters by armed Israeli commandos with orders to open fire if the convoy failed to abort its mission.

The best Journal writer Joshua Mitnick could say was “whether the military action was warranted or not (it) threatens to further sully Israel’s international reputation, after a series of recent diplomatic setbacks.”

No mention of the Gaza war, daily West Bank and East Jerusalem incursions, the three-year siege, a 43-year occupation, daily killings, targeted assassinations, homes bulldozed, mass arrests, torture, and Palestinian communities throughout the Territories and in Israel threatened by daily terror.

No mention by European nations either, the EU merely calling for a full inquiry, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner (a staunch Israeli supporter) saying he was “deeply shocked by the ‘tragic’ consequences of Israel’s military operation (against) a humanitarian initiative,” but little else. The same hypocrisy echoed from most European capitals, much like already from Washington.

Turkey’s Communist Party’s press statement, in contrast, said:

“The pirate commandos trained by Israel Naval Forces mounted an operation this morning to capture the flotilla carrying aid to Gaza and slaughtered unarmed civilians in the course of this outrageous operation.”

Calling the attack “barbarous,” it “demanded” immediate deportation of Israel’s diplomatic mission, cancellation of Turkish-Israeli military and other agreements, and Israel held fully accountable for its crime against humanity – its specialty against civilians and nonviolent activists.

Al Jazeera reported that “Thousands of Turkish protesters tried to storm the Israeli consulate in Istanbul soon after the news (shouting) ‘Damn Israel’ as police blocked them.”

It also said Israeli radio confirmed at least 19 were killed and dozens injured, quoting IDF spokeswoman, Avital Leibovich, saying, “This happened in waters outside Israeli territory, but we have the right to defend ourselves,” – the usual response from scoundrels caught red-handed.

Video footage on board the Turkish passenger ship Mavi Marmara showed Israeli commandos opened fire during the assault, activists saying it began immediately after storming on board.

Al Zazeera’s Jamal Elshayyal, on the ship, said “a white surrender flag was raised (and) there was no live fire coming from the passengers.”

The Free Gaza Movement reported that “Under darkness of night, Israeli commandos dropped from a helicopter onto the Turkish passenger ship, Mavi Marmara, and began to shoot the moment their feet hit the deck.” No action on board provoked it. It was premeditated, willful slaughter.

The Gisha Legal Center for Freedom of Movement expressed sorrow in denouncing the attack, citing it as further “proof that despite claims to the contrary, Israel never ‘disengaged’ from the Gaza Strip but rather continues to control its borders – land, air and sea….hermetically (cutting off) 1.5 million human beings (from) access to the outside world” and vitally needed humanitarian aid.

Netanyahu’s spokesman, Mark Regev, claimed “They initiated the violence,” and the IDF insisted it responded when its forces “were attacked with knives, clubs, and even live fire.” Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi said soldiers were forced by violent acts to respond with live fire.

They lied.

Viewing the video footage, Al Jazeera’s Ayman Mohyeldin reported that:

“All the images being shown from the activists on board those ships show clearly that they were civilians and peaceful in nature, with medical (and other humanitarian) supplies on board.”

Other footage showed black-clad commandos descending from helicopters, then immediately opening fire on deck against peaceful activists.

Israeli forces seized the ship and a smaller one, took them to Israel’s port of Ashdod, and censored all information on the assault.

The Flotilla, with 700 activists, left Cyprus at 3:00PM (1200 GMT) Sunday, on the last leg of their journey, heading for Gaza, hoping to arrive by daylight. Six hours after departure, three Israeli missile boats left Haifa to interdict it, according to reporters on board before being ordered to turn off their cell phones.

The convoy hoped to break the siege and deliver over 10,000 tons of vitally needed aid, including food, medicines, educational, construction, and other materials. Israel warned it would intercept and abort the mission, giving no details except to say ships would be seized, then taken to Ashdod.

A May 31 Gaza Freedom March.org press release called for a “global response to killings on the Freedom Flotilla,” saying:

“We, Gaza based Palestinian Civil Society Organizations and international activists, call on the international community and civil society to pressure their governments and Israel to cease the abductions and killings….against the Gaza Freedom Flotilla….and begin a global response to hold Israel accountable for the murder of foreign civilians at sea and illegal piracy of civilian vessels carrying humanitarian aid for Gaza.”

“We, from Gaza, call on you to demonstrate and support the courageous men and women on the Flotilla and join the many now murdered on a humanitarian aid mission. We insist on severance of diplomatic ties with Israel, trials for war crimes and the international protection of the civilians of Gaza. We call on you to join the growing international boycott, divestment and sanction campaign of a country proving again” to be an international outlaw. “Join a growing critical mass around the world with a commitment to the day when Palestinian are entitled to the same rights as (all) other people, when the siege is lifted, the occupation over and the 6 million Palestinian refugees are finally granted justice.”

Stand in solidarity for their freedom in peace, and demand nothing less, including full accountability for Israeli officials responsible for high crimes of war and against humanity.

On board the Flottilla are over 700 activists from 40 countries, including 35 politicians and a Nobel Peace laureate, Mairead McGuire, who protesting with Bil’in village activists against Israel’s Separation Wall, in April 2007, was shot and injured with a rubber bullet, then tear-gassed, overcome, and had to be taken by stretcher to an ambulance.

Again, she and 700 others risked their lives to deliver vitally needed aid. In solidarity, people of conscience everywhere must support them and demand full accountability for the latest Israeli crimes too grave to ignore.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

posted by Steve Lendman @ 8:56 AM  

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Through the Fog of Deception

By Nahida

Why I am not writing on Palestine Think Tank anymore

PeaceMonger asked…

“…Nahida, what happened to your article from last year on Palestine Think Tank? ”

=============================================

In April 2010, after years of association, contribution and strong support for Palestine Think Tank (PTT), I took the painful decision to stop contributing to it anymore, and to ask that my articles be removed. I could no longer be associated with it, for reasons I explained to Mary Rizzo, PTT’s editor. To answer to PeaceMonger and to whomever may wonder why I vanished from PTT, and also to shed a light on a pernicious problem inside PTT, please let me share with you excerpts of my letter to PTT’s editor:

Start quote: (links added)

“The clarity of vision and the unconditional support for Palestine with its all shades of resistance -that we were used to and were in love with- is what made me a fervent reader of PTT and a passionate admirer of you and your work

Lately, however, something has changed; I have been very disturbed by the new direction and new political orientation that PTT is taking:

* Attacking the stronghold of Palestinian resistance Hamas, tainting its integrity and participating in spreading unfounded accusations and slanderous myths of corruption, treason, terrorism and drug dealings. (even accusing it of illegitimacy, and equating it with “israel”).

* Smearing the Palestinian society at large, at a moment when they need every drop of support, by focusing on some criminal acts by certain Palestinians and tainting the whole society because of such acts of criminality; it’s not a matter of denying the crimes and wrong doings of few leaders and some members of the society, it’s not a matter neither of silencing the necessary opposition against corruption and self criticism, but rather, it’s the timing and the and the failure to calculate the detrimental effect of over-emphasising such issues, on the Palestinian cause. I view all this as fatal strategic error

* Demoralizing of individuals and groups who –more than anyone else- have sacrificed their time, assets, effort and even lives in order to stand by Palestine and to give the besieged in Gaza a message of love and hope, that the world hasn’t forsaken them, as did Viva Palestina’s convoy recently.

* It has become obvious, that PTT has fallen under the influence of a tiny clique who denies, misses or dismisses the fact that Arab (i.e. also Palestinian) identity is deeply rooted and anchored in Islam as a culture and way of life. Even Christian Arabs and other minorities living in Arab countries, are more influenced by Islam’s customs and social life, than by westernized Euro-centrism.

* This group pretends to be representative of all Palestinians, they gave themselves the right to speak on our behalf without the consent of all Palestinians, which I and many other Palestinian contest and fiercely object to.

* This ultra-westernized tiny circle now influencing and steering PTT sees the USA, NATO and its allies as saviours of Palestine, it sees and promotes racist ideas that Arabs, Muslims and Palestinians are unqualified to sorting their own problems; their societies are corrupt, backwards and dysfunctional.

* Secularization and westernizing of Arab countries is a tool used by the neo-colonial forces, the same who have engaged in ever more bloody wars against Arab countries AND against Islam.

* I see that this change of PTT feeds the zionists propaganda and serve it’s hasbara machine, it offers them precious gifts that justifies their self-promoting leadership as a necessity for peace, progress and stability in the Middle-East

………… I can not afford to be associated with the new direction that PTT has been taking, which is extremely detrimental to the Palestinian cause.”

End quote.

One of the people I allude to is Kawther Salam now co-editor of PTT, who between a few good articles, often inserts massive deconstruction and undermining of the Palestinian support, literally peddling zionist manipulation, smear campaigns and hasbara.

With a “Palestinian” like Kawther Salam –co-editor on PTT- who needs Hasbara:

Start quotes:

“The Palestinian civil society is sick of the so-called Hamas authority”, the radical Palestinian movement which distorts the face of Islam, and which has turned the holy mission of the Palestinian struggle into a struggle for their own pockets and unknown foreign agendas.”

We, all the Palestinians, are sick of both of you..”

“…..you turned yourselves into the puppets of Israel, USA, Khaled Mishal, and other foreign countries and interests

“also remind the President-in-dreams, Ismael Haniyeh, and his unknown gangs of paid thugs and donkeys, that his so-called “presidency” over Gaza is illegal, and that he is guilty of the death and the murders of hundreds of the innocent Palestinians in Gaza, just like the Israeli are guilty of murders, terrorism and other crimes.
You are responsible for the death of hundreds of sick Palestinians in the same way the Israeli criminals who imposed the siege on Gaza and denied many patients the basic rights of medical treatment.

Your illusory presidency is responsible for the death of many poor people trying to bring in needed goods in the tunnels under the earth of Gaza. Your illusory presidency is responsible and guilty of torture of many prisoners detained illegally. Your illusory presidency is responsible for the famine and the poverty in Gaza just like the criminal Israeli regime.”

Most of the Hamas militants, just like their Fatah counterparts, are criminals and extremists. Both organizations are infiltrated by the Israeli intelligence system”

“Both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas regimes are illegal and have no real legitimacy…”

“Both Fatah and Hamas have lost any claims to legitimacy…… Both factions are infiltrated by jewish zionist interests…………….. they have achieved nothing but to disgrace themselves. They have no more legitimacy than israel.”
Kawther Salam on May 20th, 2010 at 12:47:

***********************************************

In contrast here are the views of Kawther Salam about the society of zionist occupier and her “cute” soldiers from her own diary:

***********************************************
My Israeli friends helped me always to survive, and “DINA LEE” is still responsible about all of my expenses.
Kawther Salam, monday, 1st.April,2002

I remembered the Jewish family I lived with them in Tel-Aviv………
and the small child I left him there, I should be with “Romi” instead to be in the middle of the garbage.” 15th,April 2002

(btw; by “the middle of the garbage she means the city of AL-KHALIL/ HEBRON)

The soldiers asked me about my political point of view, we talked together like human being, I respect all what they told me” 16th, April 2002

During the Intifadah, my people made reverse 50 years against women”, Monday, 3rd June 2002

I called my Israeli friends for a help, I don’t have money any more.” !st, July 2002

I looked like the Israelis, like the human being” !st, July 2002

I don’t care if “Tall”, “Sharon” or “Arafat”, will be the winner through
this “Election”.

I will not be sad, if it will be a “Jewish State ….. then we can lead the all Middle East!!….We can lead all the Arab countries, lead the Middle East “Economic“, We will be more strong, more …and more!!” 2ed, July 2002

my Israeli friends, who give me security and confidence in their homes……………. I am part of their daily life.” 7Th. October 2001

“The evening brought a pleasant surprise. Two gentle soldiers who acted politely and even said they were ashamed of their friends.” 9th.& 10th. October 2001

“How could I teach the military commanders serving in Hebron, Colonel DrorWineburg, Colonel Amon Cohen, and Lieutenant Hartzel to overcome racism, discrimination, and intolerance?………………………….. These officers are still victimized” Friday, October 12, 2001

The government corrupts the soldiers today, and corrupts the Israeli civil society for the future, just for political reasons

Lieutenant Hartzel is a good neighbour for my family in Haifa
Friday, October 12, 2001

“I got the news of murdering the Israeli minister Rehavam Zeevi……It was a bad news like all other bad news I received about murdering Palestinians
“Both of us, Palestinians and israelis, are living a big “drama” of daily killing in a close, bloody reveange circle…..Looking at this circle it might be difficult to trace the the first acts that cause revenge that caused revange……………………. The resistane of “non violent” Intifada is Legitimate. But killing of innocent Israeli should not be acceptable in this struggle.”
Wednesday, 17th of October 2001

I love my Israeli friends and really enjoyed the time together. We have the same dreams “just, peace and love”

“after few days in Israel with my good friends, the sea and the fun, i feel that I missMY SOLDIERSwho remainde me always my duity to proclaim how bad is the occupation.” 20th of October 2001

These soldiers and this commander are not responsible to be in the security duties.
They are children who do not know better and so are forced to humiliate ………… I also feel victorious and powerfull with my Israeli friends. Many friends.”
23rd of October 2001

most Israeli citizens are good people and they are victimized
Even the soldiers who harassed me, I am always forgiving them because I don’t have any reason to hate other people.” Wednesday, October 31, 2001

I’m willing to have peace, life for everybody, in this region, including my nice soldiers who harassed me and caused psychological pain for me…..These cute soldiers should return back to their families and live their life” Thursday, November 1, 2001

the officer………………… He came with other soldiers. He looked different than before. he smiled like a child. I tried to turn my face to the other side. But the officer walked and approached me.….He came to say to me good-buy. He decided to make reconciliation with me before I leave.…..We talked together about nice things

We were talking like friends. Other soldiers were serounding us very quietly.”
“It was amazing meeting. The same soldiers who used to harasse me im my appartement and the streetcame to say to “L’hitrot” (good-buy). There was a sade expression on their faces. Even on the face of the officer who said to me the day before that he will be very galde if I will leave Hebron.

“I asked myself what happened. He was sade and not happy. I decided to cut this love and hate, attractive and rejecting meeting. I left them.”

I understood that we are human beings that need love instead of hate
Friday, 2nd November 2001.

the officer. He was listening to me carefully with respect
I told him why I decided to arrive the airport drunk. Because I’m not fond of alcohol and I never got drunk before. The officer said, nothing was against me and he shook hands with me and apologized with respect.” Monday, March 04

It was very clear that the soldiers were harassing me as a result of their commanders instructions” 22nd March 2002

Colonel Igal Sharon was a nice commander of the ” IDF ” soldiers in Hebron. He used to deal with all of the human stories I was published in the newspapers…….And while I cuased alot of criticizem noise for Colonel Igal Sharon in the media, he was a nice Commander in Hebron”

Colonel Barokh Najjar was very nice colonel with me either, while I criticized him alot in the media and I caused noise noise for him, But he was respecting me

“Why nobody interesting to hear, talk or write about the nice stories between the Palestinians and the Israelis under this terrible war??”

End quotes

Just a few observations regarding Kawther Salam’s diary and narrative:

-Her relentless attack on Hamas, Fatah and the entire Palestinian society is cold-hearted, callous and shocking, in contrast with her warm feelings, gentle praise and admiration for her “victimized” “peace-loving” “israeli friends” and “cute, child-like soldiers”

-She spells Nakba like zionist do: Naqbah, no educated Arab would write it with Q, because it would cease to mean what it means

– She said she doesn’t know where her “refugee” parents came from originally, which is rather bizarre for a Palestinian refugee!

-In her diary; she never mentioned Palestinian friends, it’s always “israeli” friends or soldier friends

-She claims she was “forced” to leave Palestine, when in fact she begged and worked hard and with the help of her “israeli friends” until she was finally allowed to leave (according to her diary)

– Her pet animal is called “Zahav”, a name no Palestinian would choose by any stretch of imagination, it’s a Hebrew name!

– She also collaborated on three films for Israeli television stations

– She had magically managed to make unprecedented quantum leaps in writing, from some who can barely construct a simple sentence in English in 2002

– To someone who writes complex sentences and “deep” political analysis with “twists”, in a matter of weeks!
– To someone who received Hellman/Hammett Grant “in recognition of her courage in the face of political persecution” just months after arrival in Austria!
– And for more quantum leap jumping and record-breaking; she has been given asylum in three weeks!

– There is even an infantile blog to promote her, laughable, but not in a funny way, her “talents” are praised, she is promoted as a “gifted” writer and an “inspiration” to all Palestinian women

– Finally, I would like to share one of the “gifted” Kawther’s poems:

Quote: “I’m counting the sky stars, hopefully to see him!! Talking to the birds flying, hopefully to meet him!! Asking the sea waves, the zephyr hopefully to talk to him!! Irrigating all flowers, hopefully to smell him!!
Day and night are equal!!
The hour hand pass slowly!!
I’m waiting and waiting…
They killed my hope…
They killed my dreams…
They killed my feeling…
They killed humanity…
They killed and killed…
But tomorrow is coming…
Tomorrow should coming!!
Tomorrow I’ll dance and sing…
I’ll smile and laugh…
Drink and drunk…
Kiss and hug…
Fly and love…
Tomorrow I’ll meet him!!
I’ll get my Freedom!!
Freedom to live…
Freedom to love…
Freedom to talk…
Freedom to travel…
Freedom to have an ID.
Freedom, and freedom and freedom…
I’m dreaming daily…
Dreaming and dreaming…
But I woke up…!” End Quote
var sc_project=5867155; var sc_invisible=1; var sc_security=”3d25457e”;

In conclusion, whatever is the motivation of those who infiltrated PTT, whether simply hatred and contempt to their people and culture, or utter foolishness, or something far more sinister like for example perception management, the result is the same: their articles and comments contain poison, a poison extremely detrimental to the Palestinian cause at this moment in time, precisely when public opinion just begins to see Palestine and Palestinians in a more favourable light.

I can not be associated with such smear campaigns waged against the entire Palestinian society, leadership, people and culture.
.

.

Eroding Free Expression in Israel

by Stephen Lendman

This writer’s earlier article exposed how Israel restricted free expression protests to suppress opposition to its Gaza war. It covered efforts by the police, State Prosecutor’s Office, General Security Services (GSS), the courts, and academic institutions to support arrests and imprisonments of Israeli Arabs and Jewish protestors, to keep nonviolent resistance from spreading.

See the complete article at: http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/01/isaeli-prohibitions-against-free.html.

A mid-April article stayed on the theme in discussing state persecution of Israeli journalists, Anat Kam and Uri Blau.

For the complete article, see: http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/04/accelerating-fascism-in-israel.html.

On April 28, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) covered more recent abuses by Israel’s West Bank proxy, Fatah’s General Intelligence Service (GIS) against Muhannad Salahat, a writer and human rights activist. Also, writer Walid al-Hodali’s Preventive Security Service (PSS) arrest, confiscation of his personal computer, and refusal to return it after his release. These actions violate international human rights standards, the Palestinian Basic Law, and other relevant PA ones.

Salahat was arrested, prevented from traveling, and summoned to appear before GIS interrogators. He explained what happened as follows:

On March 28 at 10PM, he was arrested at the Jericho Palestinian Crossing and Search Center, interrogated several times, and not at first given reasons. He was then asked about his writings and documentary films for Al-Jazeera television – “crimes and grave errors that he committed against the Palestinian national project, represented by the Palestinian Authority.”

During detention and interrogation, he was mistreated and forced to let GIS read his incoming emails. After release on April 12, GIS kept his laptop, camera, and external hard drive containing documentary film footage. They also required him to call “all his friends and ask them to end the media campaign that they had launched against the Palestinian Authority.”

On April 15, GIS returned his belongings, after deleting 23 hours of video from his hard drive. On April 19, he tried to cross from Jericho to Jordan, was stopped, then allowed to enter, but prevented by a Jordanian officer who said the PA prohibited his entry. On April 26, he was ordered to appear before the GIS on May 1 with a warning that “failure to appear at the specified time and on the specified date, would result in the issuing of an arrest warrant against him.”

Besides his writing and filmmaking, Salahat is a member of the Palestinian Association for Human Rights (RASED). His persecution continues.

On April 26, al-Hodali was arrested at his Ramallah home. His property was also searched and his personal computer confiscated. He was then taken to PSS headquarters, interrogated about his political affiliations, and released. He reported that as of late April, his computer hadn’t been returned.

PCHR expressed “grave concern (about) the re-occurrence of attacks against the right to freedom of expression and press freedoms.” It stressed the importance of protecting journalists, the media, and human rights activists, “and of taking all necessary measures to allow them to perform their work freely.”

The Palestinian Basic Law and international standards affirm free expression and opinion. So is the freedom of movement principle. Violating them by or for Israel or any other authority is unacceptable any time, under any conditions, for any purpose.

Knesset Legislation to Conceal Information and Stifle Dissent

An Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel April 29 press release discussed Israeli human rights groups’ response to a proposed Knesset bill to suppress information exposing serious international law breaches, calling it a danger to democracy.

At issue is a proposed Associations (Amutot) Law (Amendment – Exceptions to the Registration and Activity of an Association), introduced on April 28, that if passed, will prohibit the registration of any NGO if:

“there are reasonable grounds to conclude that the association is providing information to foreign entities or is involved in legal proceedings abroad against senior Israeli government officials or IDF officers, for war crimes.”

Existing NGOs will also be subject to closure under the proposed law.

It’s contrary to international criminal and humanitarian law standards. If enacted, it will be “an official admission (by Israel) that it is committing war crimes.” It will also force human rights organizations (and other public voices) to be silent and cease efforts to prevent the continuity of such actions, or face prosecution.

The bill validates other Israeli crackdowns against human rights organizations in recent months. More on that briefly below.

“The legislation also seeks, contrary to all constitutional principles, to restrict the freedom of expression and freedom of association of these organizations, and also creates public de-legitimization of their educational, legal and public role.”

Further, the bill will impede efforts of victims to seek redress by excluding them from Israel’s legal system. It tells Palestinians and the world that their lives and rights don’t matter, a message well understood in the Territories.

What better argument for exercising universal jurisdiction, the right of all nations to investigate and prosecute foreign nationals who commit the most serious crimes, especially related to war and against humanity – Israel’s specialty, yet they, in fact, used it to convict and execute Adolph Eichmann for his holocaust crimes, only indirectly connected to Israel.

Universal jurisdiction doesn’t supersede national prosecutions. It complements them as an authority to act when criminal nations won’t, and implicit in the principle is they must to assure the rule of law and not let its worst abusers go unpunished.

The following Israeli human rights groups responded to the proposed legislation: Adalah, B’Tselem, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), Bimkom, Gisha, Hamoked, Physicians for Human Rights – Israel, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PACTI), and Yesh Din.

They accused Israel of breaching international law, saying:

“Instead of defending democracy, the sponsors of this bill prefer to reduce it to ashes. This bill is the direct result of irresponsible leadership that is doing all it can to undermine democratic values and the institutions that are the backbone of a democracy: the Supreme Court, a free press, and human rights organizations,” supporting rights that nations and others violate.

If enacted, this measure will represent “an unprecedented moral nadir within the Israeli house of parliament,” that in recent years has become increasingly hard line, embracing a doctrine typical of fascism.

For months, Israel security forces, politicians, and extremist groups have been targeting the above human rights organizations and others (including Breaking the Silence, Rabbis for Human Rights, and international ones) for supporting Goldstone Commission findings and demanding accountability.

In February, 2010, activists were arrested, held in prison and then deported, including Spanish journalist Ariadna Jove Marti and Australian student Bridgette Chappell. Both women belong to the International Solidarity Movement, yet an IDF spokesperson said they were “involved in illegal riots that obstruct Israeli security operations.”

Thirteen human rights organizations condemned this and similar abuses, B’Tselem among them (on February 2) saying:

“A democracy must not silence critical voices; protecting human rights is vital.”

Hagai Ed-Ad, Executive Director of the Association of Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) added:

“Human rights organizations are the moral conscience of our society. Their activity is a critical element of a healthy democracy. A democratic country does not support the deliberate silencing of the critical voices that operate within it but deals honestly with what needs to be corrected.”

Netanyahu’s government has accelerated Israeli fascism with a supportive Knesset, its most racist in history according to a recent Mossawa Advocacy Center study, including passing laws in violation of Supreme Court rulings as well as international norms and standards.

In Israel and the Territories, extremism and repression occur daily. In a May 2 press release, the West Bank-based “Friends of Freedom and Justice – Bilin” highlights one of many abuses, saying:

“Iyad Burnat, a leader in the popular struggle against the Israeli wall, was banned by Israel’s military from crossing (into) Jordan on Saturday.”

Burnat heads the local anti-Wall committee in Bilin, where organized protests have been ongoing for five years, despite repressive violence, arrests, and unprovoked killings.

He called this latest incident “just another episode of Israel’s aggression on us….soldiers detained me for three hours and then told me to go back (saying it was) for security reasons.”

In 2009 and recent months, Israeli security forces killed 29 Palestinians during nonviolent protests against the Separation Wall, including Bassem Abu Rahma, shot at close range in the chest with a high velocity tear gas bomb. Dozens of others have been targeted, arrested, brutalized during incarceration, and held up to 10 months for their activism and popular resistance.

On April 30, in honor of International Workers’ Day by the Union of Palestine Workers, Bilin protestors gathered at the Wall. Straightaway, they were attacked by tear gas, then arrests, including an international activist (roughed up, thrown to the ground, and injured), a female journalist, and Al-Jazeera cameraman, Haitham al-Khatib, struck in the stomach by a tear gas canister.

In March 2010, the IDF declared the area between Bilin and the Separation Wall a closed military zone from 8AM – 8PM on Fridays, the day protest marches and demonstrations occur. Nonetheless, Burnat says:

“We will not be silenced, we will continue to resist, we refuse to die in silence, we will continue to cry out for peace and justice to a world whose ears are deaf to the agony of Palestine,” as well as to increasing harshness against Jews and others who expose Israeli crimes and demand accountability.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

posted by Steve Lendman @ 3:13 AM  

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River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Video: War Crimes Boss Netanyahu meets protest in Toronto Canada

Via Window Into Palestine

Monday, May 31

War Crimes Boss & Criminal Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets protest in Toronto Canada to raise more money for the State of Israhell to commit more crimes against Palestine and the rest of the world. Like a cry baby this punk did not go on his walk for Israel but instead opted to go and tell more bullshit to try and defend Israel’s position in a little conference for pro Israel supporters and Jews.

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River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

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