Baroness Cox is Pro Israel and Anti Islam

 by Laura Stuart

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Laura StuartBeing a rabidly pro Israel supporter appears to necessitate being vehemently anti Islam. Baroness Cox is an interesting case in point. Recently Baroness Cox made the news in both the Sun and the Mail with some very incendiary comments about Islam which were clarified later on Islamophobia watch as to have actually not being the following:-
Brutal punishments like whipping and stoning could become widespread in Britain if Islamic Sharia law is allowed to thrive, a member of the House of Lords has warned. 
With David Horowitz fellow Geert Wilders Fan

This was said to be part of a speech in the House of Lords at a symposium called ‘Islamist Resurgence: Shari’a and Freedom‘ held by the Christian Broadcasting Council of which Baroness Cox is the vice president. At this particular symposium Baroness Cox was asked to speak because of the bill that she has written called the Arbitration and Mediation Services Equality Bill which seeks to redress what she sees as problems of equality in the Shariah arbitration and mediation services provided by the Shariah councils in the U.K. The Shariah councils help to provide solutions acceptable to Muslims usually on family issues and divorce and their rulings are not legally binding. Just how Baroness Cox envisages the great leap from providing marital and family mediation to enforcing whipping and stoning in the U.K. only becomes possible to understand when you start to search who Baroness Cox’s friends and associates are.

A search into what Baroness Cox represents tells us that she is very pro Israel in fact she is one of the co founders of “One Jerusalem” you can read here about what they call “The Global Assualt on Jerusalem

As Jewish Jerusalem is under attack from people who have declared their intention to annihilate the Jewish nation we need to redouble our defense of the Holy City.

This is the kind of inflamatory language which would ensure that peaceful participants in the “Global March to Jerusalem” get shot by the Israeli Occupation Forces.
Also from One Jerusalem website is

OUTRAGEOUS: Obama Administration Refuses to State Jerusalem is the Capital of Israel

What might Baroness Cox wear under the Parliamentary Robes?
Indeed Tel Aviv is the capital of the State of Israel as agreed by all governments.I wonder if Baroness Cox knows any of the reported abuses of Christian clergy that take place in Jerusalem? Read about the regular spitting at Christian Clergy by Jews here. Does Baroness Cox appreciate how a Muslim family have been the keyholders to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem? Read the story of Christian Muslim co-0peration here .
Another organisation of which Baroness is vice president of is the “Jerusalem Summit” and we can see exactly what they stand for with this extract from their mission statement
We see Radical Islam as the third onslaught of Totalitarian Evil on the free mankind in the last 100 years. The first two were Fascism and Communism. The free world managed to defeat them by uniting, working out a joint strategy, and mastering resolve to fight and prevail. Now, too, is the time to unite and lay out a coherent moral and political strategy in that crucial fight.

Read the full Islamophobic mission statement here. Even more hair and eyebrow raising is this article which suggests the issue of the” Palestinian problem” might be resolved by giving each Palestinian family $100,000 to go away

This is a problem that can conceivably be dealt with by means of money — specifically generous sums paid to the Palestinians to relocate and resettle elsewhere in the Arab/Moslem world.

The reason for offering this solution

BUT EVEN IF ONE is convinced that the Palestinians are undeserving of a state, the question still remains as to whether they are genuinely desirous of one.

When you are sitting down and have a damp cloth ready for your forehead read the whole article here.

Baroness Cox seems to support ethnic cleansing
This was all information which I found just spending a hour or so searching exactly what Baroness Cox is all about. There is so much more I could say about her but really what I seek to understand is why does being Pro Israel mean you have to be anti Islam? Could it be because Israel knows that the only real threat to it’s existence comes from Muslims? I myself do not believe that there is any political solution to the problem of Israel and its endless need for wars in the region and its ethnic cleansing of the indigenous people. The western governments, the United Nations etc have all proved over the last 60 years that they are not willing or able to bring about a solution to the problem of the occupation of Palestinian land. The best hope in my opinion lies with the Muslims remembering their obligation towards their brothers and sisters under oppression. The borders that separate Muslims are all man made, we are one Ummah and the land that is Palestine should be returned to its rightful owners.
وَكَتَبْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ فِيهَا أَنَّ النَّفْسَ بِالنَّفْسِ وَالْعَيْنَ بِالْعَيْنِ وَالْأَنفَ بِالْأَنفِ وَالْأُذُنَ بِالْأُذُنِ وَالسِّنَّ بِالسِّنِّ وَالْجُرُوحَ قِصَاصٌ ۚ فَمَن تَصَدَّقَ بِهِ فَهُوَ كَفَّارَةٌ لَّهُ ۚ وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّـهُ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ ﴿٤٥
And We ordained for them therein a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth, and for wounds is legal retribution. But whoever gives [up his right as] charity, it is an expiation for him. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the wrongdoers.
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US Report: KSA Seeks to Funnel Arms to Syria’s Rebels via Jordan

Local Editor

The US famous daily, “Wall Street Journal”, unveiled Saturday that “Saudi Arabia has pressed Jordan to open its border with Syria to allow weapons to reach armed groups fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.”

However, officials from both countries warned that “this move could buoy Syria’s opposition and harden the conflict in the country and across the region.”

“In a March 12 meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah asked his Jordanian counterpart to permit weapons shipments into Syria in exchange for economic assistance to Jordan,” these officials said adding that “Jordan hasn’t yet agreed.”

The report further expressed fear that “arming the opposition could escalate prospects for a broader regional conflict.”

“In Baghdad, Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki warned that arming the Syrian opposition could invite a repeat of the insurgency and sectarian strife that consumed Iraq for years after the 2003 US-led invasion,” The WSJ reported
“It will lead to regional and global proxy wars in the Syrian arena,” Maliki said.

Despite all warns, the paper pointed out that “Jordanian officials said they are unlikely to resist Saudi pressure for long.”

“We are a non-interventionist country. But if it becomes force majeure, you have to join-this is the story of Jordan,” said a top Jordanian official.

According to the newspaper, “Jordan remains nervous about arming the rebels, worried that a larger conflict in Syria could engulf the region.”

“Adding to these concerns are beliefs by several governments that extremist groups such as al-Qaeda are now actively fighting against al-Assad’s government, and that they may have been behind bombings in Damascus and Aleppo, Syria’s two largest cities,” the paper asserted.

In parallel, a Jordanian official said “you have to be very careful who you arm and don’t arm. We don’t quite know who this opposition is.”

The paper also noted to the economic crisis Jordan is suffering due to Syria’s crisis.

“The Syrian crisis is already affecting Jordan’s economy. Before the conflict, about 70% of Jordan’s imports and about 25% of its exports were routed through Syria, according to the country’s Transport Ministry, which didn’t provide dollar figures. Now those imports and exports have fallen to virtually zero,” the ministry said.

Source: WSJ, Edited by

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‘We need a Frankenstein insurgency to defeat Assad!’


“… So there won’t be an intervention or, in all likelihood, a diplomatic deus ex machina. What’s in between those two extremes? Last week, the Obama administration announced that, along with Turkey, it would ship communications equipment and other “nonlethal” gear to armed rebels inside Syria. (Saudi Arabia and Qatar have already begun to supply the rebels with weapons.) This is an important shift in policy, since the equipment would permit rebels militias to securely communicate with one another. Such gear may be nonlethal, but it’s still military. How far is the White House prepared to go in helping the Free Syrian Army, as the military opposition calls itself? For the moment, it seems, not much further……………(Giving the rebels satellite phones is, of course, one way to do just that.) And then what? White House officials have not wanted to say what they would do once the opposition begins to present a united front — perhaps in part because they don’t know. But reports that the rebels are literally running out of bullets argue that if outsiders don’t act fast, there will be no insurgency to support — at which point, Assad will be able to crush his opponents with impunity.

One person I spoke to who does have a plan is a former government official with extensive experience in Syria. The opposition, he argues, needs not just weapons but “a comprehensive military and civilian battle plan” to defeat Assad. He envisions a multilateral effort in which the United States would provide not just communications technology but real-time military intelligence to help the rebels respond to government troop movements. Gulf states would provide the bulk of the weapons and funds; the Jordanians might provide special forces to work closely with the militia; Turkey would provide the staging ground itself as well as other forms of aid; and diplomats would give strategic guidance to the SNC.

Such an effort would look less like the bombing campaign in Libya and more like, well, the CIA-sponsored campaign to arm and train the mujahideen who fought the Soviets in Afghanistan. This is, of course, not a terribly encouraging analogy, since yesterday’s anti-Soviet warriors became today’s anti-American Taliban. We need no better reminder of the unintended consequences of supporting foreign insurgencies. But he did not shy away from the comparison. “We need to do what we did under Reagan,” he said, “which is to actively support these insurgencies.” But, he adds, we need to know who we are working with, to set out clear standards of behavior (LOL) and to condition our help on maintaining those standards — as we did not do in Afghanistan. And we need to be careful that the international effort doesn’t exacerbate the problem: The Saudis, for example, are likely to bring an overtly sectarian agenda to Syria. The effort would be better off with a bigger role for the Turks, and a smaller one for the Saudis.

The neo-mujahideen strategy has plenty of problems — beyond the possibility of a Frankenstein insurgency…… there are no good solutions; only less bad ones. And Assad’s evident willingness to kill his opponents, and his opponents’ willingness to keep fighting, compels outsiders to urgently devise and implement a least-bad solution rather than wait for the opposition to demonstrate that it deserves support….”

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Global March to Jerusalem Celebrates Land Day at Lebanese-Palestinian Borders

Land Day Memorial, Sakhnin, Galilee

Land Day and Global March to Jerusalem ceremonies were launched Friday in Lebanon, after participants gathered at Beaufort Fortress in the Southern Lebanese village of Arnon, near the borders with Palestine.

Global March to Jerusalem, Beaufort Fortress; March 30, 2012Friday prayers at the scene were followed by the ceremony activities, starting with the arrival of international delegations coming from Arab and foreign countries to participate in the event, Al-Manar Website correspondent Mohammad Alloush reported.
Waving Palestinian flags and singing Palestinian national songs, participants chanted slogans of death to Israel and support for the Palestinian cause, and lifted a large banner reading “Global March to Jerusalem, the world’s people want to liberate Jerusalem.”
The demonstrators delivered speeches on the occasion stressing that the issue of Palestine will remain the nation’s first cause of priority.
Global March to Jerusalem, Beaufort Fortress; March 30, 2012
Intensive masses from Asian countries of India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Azerbaijan and many other states attended the march, alongside Arabs, Iranians and Turks activists. The most prominent were the anti-Zionist rabbis of “Neturei Karta”.
The Lebanese army conducted intense security checks and barbed wires had been installed around the gathering courtyard.

Global March to Jerusalem, Beaufort Fortress; March 30, 2012Similar protests were held in the West Bank and Gaza. While organizers said the events would be nonviolent, Zionist army and police were girding for trouble after similar demonstrations last year turned deadly.
Thousands of Palestinian demonstrators clashed with Zionist troops at a West Bank checkpoint of Qalqiliya Friday as hundreds more gathered by Jerusalem’s Old City to mark Land Day.
Global March to Jerusalem, West Bank demonstrators commemorating the Land DayTensions were high at the Qalandia checkpoint, just north of Jerusalem, as a handful of Palestinian youths hurled rocks and set tires alight, with Israeli troops firing a barrage of teargas, rubber bullets and stun grenades against the protest.
Troops also fired a foul-smelling liquid called “skunk” into the crowd, an Agence France Presse correspondent said. By 1100 GMT, around 30 people had been treated for teargas inhalation, Palestinian medics said.
At least a dozen rallies were held across the occupied territories, AFP reported.
In annexed Arab east Jerusalem, around 400 demonstrators waving huge Palestinian flags gathered outside the Old City near Damascus Gate.


However, another hundred or so people gathered by Lion’s Gate, where Zionist police arrested four people, and another two were treated by medics after being injured by police batons, an AFP correspondent said.

The main Land Day march took place in the Arab ‘Israeli’ town of Deir Hanna in Galilee, with another march scheduled in the southern Negev desert.

In anticipation of mass protests, the Zionist occupation army imposed a 24-hour closure on the occupied territories late on Thursday, barring Palestinians from entering the entity, excepted for humanitarian reasons or medical emergencies.
Source: Websites 
30-03-2012 – 18:05 Last updated 30-03-2012 – 18:09 
Land Day: Syria
Palestinian lawmaker wounded in Land Day protest

Land Day Clashes: Youth Martyred, 130 Injured Including MP Barghouti

A Gaza youth was martyred and at least five more people seriously injured, including a journalist, at the Erez checkpoint between “Israel” and Gaza, as security forces are clashing with protesting Palestinians.

RT’s correspondent also reported that the Palestinian legislator Mustafa Barghouti was rushed to hospital and is in serious condition after being hit in the head by an “Israeli” tear gas canister at Qalandia checkpoint in West Bank.
“Ambulances are racing to and from the scene,” the agency added.

The standoff between the “Israeli” army and Palestinians continues at various checkpoints, with occasional bursts of tear gas being fired at protesters. “Israeli” forces were using water cannons and rubber bullets.

At least 130 people have reportedly been wounded throughout the West Bank so far, according to medical sources. Reports also suggest that four medics were struck with rubber bullets.

Moreover, two Palestinians have been injured as “Israeli” forces were carrying out mass arrests in al-Quds, particularly around Damascus gate in the old city.

The Palestinian rallies, joined by international human rights activists, are part of an international campaign named Global March on al-Quds, a peaceful international movement that also condemns the “Israeli” occupation of the holy city.

Source:RT, Edited by

Scores Injured as Israeli Troops Attack West Bank land Day Protests

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Huge Victory for the Anti War Respect Party – Galloway Wins Bradford West Seat


Laura StuartA huge win for George Galloway in Bradford West yesterday shows voters total frustration with mainstream parties and their pro war policies. George Galloway and the Respect party stands for
The Respect Party is opposed to war, privatisation and unemployment. The Respect Party stands for peace, publicly owned services and a decent future for all
George Galloway’s Victory in Bradford West
 Exactly what this country needs is a change from the two main parties who dominate politics. It is no democracy that we have because we can only vote for Conservative or Labour and anything else is a throwaway vote. Labour left behind its roots of representing the working classes when Tony Blair came into power and since then it’s been War War War with both Labour and Conservative with nothing to distinguish between them.
Here is an excerpt of a leaflet from the Respect Party Campaign “The Drumbeats of War Are Getting Louder
The drumbeats for war with Iran are getting louder, and the escalating provocations by Western capitals are developing a logic of their own. It admits of no alternative and points in only one direction – towardsmilitary conflict. Or to put itmore accurately, towards openmilitary conflict. The head of Britain’s MI6 has already called for covert military operations in Iran – which are, of course, an act of war – and they have been taking place. So are the drone overflights, which are also legally an act of aggression.
Exactly ! This is exactly the problem, the British public protested in hundreds of thousands against the war in Iraq yet the government did not listen, and all of the ensuing deaths based on lies and the deaths continue every day still in Iraq.
Every voter needs to send a message to the government by not voting at all because none of the main parties represent the will or aspirations of the British people. We need to say NO to 80% of Conservative M.P.s being “Friends of Israel” and the continous aggression in the Middle East that such friendship requires.

Here are the results of the Bradford West by election
The full result (with vote share and change since 2010 in brackets):
George Galloway (Respect) 18,341 (55.89%, +52.83%)
Imran Hussain (Lab) 8,201 (24.99%, -20.36%)
Jackie Whiteley (C) 2,746 (8.37%, -22.78%)
Jeanette Sunderland (LD) 1,505 (4.59%, -7.08%)
Sonja McNally (UKIP) 1,085 (3.31%, +1.31%)
Dawud Islam (Green) 481 (1.47%, -0.85%)
Neil Craig (D Nats) 344 (1.05%)
Howling Laud Hope (Loony) 111 (0.34%)

This decisive victory shows that Muslims will not vote for a candidate just because he is a Muslim if he does not represent the voters interests. The Muslim candidates who stood for the Bradford West seat lost resoundingly. Muslims will not vote like sheep for a candidate who follows the party line of endless war whatever his religion is, rather they will vote for the person who is saying what they want to hear. Any candidate if they be Muslim or not who represents Conservative or Labour is part of a corrupt war making machine and at best they can only offer to throw a few pennies in the voters way by adjusting taxation etc but in reality we are in deep recession and the millions spent on war would be put to better use building up Britain again not destroying someone elses country.

وَأَلْقَيْنَا بَيْنَهُمُ الْعَدَاوَةَ وَالْبَغْضَاءَ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ ۚ كُلَّمَا أَوْقَدُوا نَارًا لِّلْحَرْبِ أَطْفَأَهَا اللَّـهُ ۚوَيَسْعَوْنَ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَسَادًا ۚ وَاللَّـهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُفْسِدِينَ ﴿٦٤

Surat al Maidah 5-64

And We have cast among them animosity and hatred until the Day of Resurrection. Every time they kindled the fire of war , Allah extinguished it. And they strive throughout the land [causing] corruption, and Allah does not like corrupters.

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by Laura Stuart
Friday, March 30th, 2012

Iran Bashing, Terrorism and Who Chose The Chosen People, Anyway?

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Assad’s visit to Baba Amr … Declaration of victory standing at the tomb of the plot

 Amin Htait
الرئيس الاسد خلال زيارته بابا عمروWith professional knowledge of the art of strategic battles leadership, the Syrians leadership fought battles in all its forms and levels, from military and security through diplomacy leading to political and achieved strong victory on the conspiratorial group of states represented by numerous armed groups in many cities and provinces, especially in Homs and its famous neighborhood, Baba Amr
From Baba Amr neighborhood, the central military base to manage the plot and expand to control of the entire country, Assad declared victory not only on Baba Amr militants but on conspirators and all armed squads in the country, and Launched his practical campaign to solve the crisis according to Syrian terms, thus confirmedthe retired strategic and military expert to Manar site.
Brigadier General Htait considered that President Bashar Al-Assad visit to Baba Amr reflect the success of Syria in absorbing the plot targeting Syria, adding that the plot fell and Syria won and risks have receded.
This is a Declaration of military victory.
Assad allowed himself to be move by road from Damascus to Homs (200 KMs).  
In terms of economic and political future Assad wanted Baba Amr to be Syria’s gateway to workshop reconstruction according to specific time plan, added Htait, Assad’s speech on reconstruction is an important indication that the military battle is over. Politically, Htait considered Assad’s statement “Give the construction time plan and let people watch a very important development in Syria, urging people to monitor the authority
The Visit delivered three messages to Syrians:
“The visit renewed the Covenant and promise to embrace the system of correctional movement”. Assad said to citizens who stayed with the system “you were with me and I am with you and amongst you, together we stay and I’m here now”
internal national opposition
meeting in Damuscus 
For internal national opposition not connected with the abroad and rejecting foreign military intervention, Assad “invited them to join the dialogue, because Syrian State is for all Syrians”
Istanbul opposition
For the external opposition abroad, the visit carried a deep message “your dreams buried here” in the tomb of Baba Amr
“We will not consider you and will never beg you..”
The closed the road in front of Istanbul hotels opposition insisting on hand over power dialogue.
To Arabs in General and particularly for Qatari-Saudi League which invited him to step down, Assad said “the people decide and I am among my people let your decisions your anger and irritation explode the tomb within your chests. In that Assad, reflected the Russian position insisting that the people decide who govern, that the calling Governors to step-down lion is a kind of short-sightedness….
“The visit delivered a message to Western leaders (USA and Europe) that Syria is strong and I’m strong President among his people. Peaceful settlement could be held between strong, otherwise its compliance.
According to Brigadier Htait “The visit formed a kick-off moment for peaceful solution based on Syrian terms. Referring to the “bypass the military phase and the start of the political solution phase”.
Htait said that the appointment of Kofi Annan, the UN-Arab Envoy to Syria Secretary-General confirms Syria success in imposing its peaceful solution under the leadership of President Al-Assad, leaving a face-saving window for the Americans and Europeans.
The visit is a message to (Iran, Russia and China) that victorious Syria, after the fall of the plot, shall maintain its strategic position as prior to the. “This will enhance the multi-polar new world order born from the womb of Syria.

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Land Day in West Bank

Two of our friends were among the over >150 people injured today by the Israeli occupation forces.

Demonstrations were held in dozens of locations in Palestine and the border areas of Palestine. Other demosntrations were held for Land Day in cities around the world. The ambulance took our friend and home guest Don Bryant (US Citizen) to the hospital as he was hit in the head by a tear gas canister. We quickly gathered the rest of the group and rushed to the hospital. There we find many injured people (I counted 8 in the emergency room and two at the X-ray). One of the injured there was our friend Yusef Sharqawi hit with a rubber-coated steel bullet that fractured his shoulder blade.
Mohamed Zakout, 20 year old was shot and kileld by Israeli forces in Gaza as he participated in a demonstration near the Erez checkpoint. In Jerusalem, Israeli occupation forces used horses to trample on people and arrested 36 individuals. Before all is done Israel will likely to arrest 300 people. Below is our video and other relevant videos.
Some of my students have more logic/sense than the political leadership of the USA, Israel and the “Palestinian authority” combined. For example, last week we had a lively discussion about roles of politiciansin creating the problems and perpetuuating the disastrous human rights violations here. I don’t teach this course human rights but I coach it so after we exchanged significant information about these issues all of it showing the bad things of politics (collaborations, agreements of surrender, etc), I asked to take time for us to talk just about the positives (no negatives). I was surprised at some of the good comments that came out: persistance of the Palestinain people, demonstrations and many forms of popular resistance happening, the fact that rights are not lost for people even when their leadershuip is corrupt and weak, the fact that many were martyred/injured/imprisoned for their work for Palestine, the fact that while some collaborated and even sold their conscience and tehir heritabe, more simply refused ……
So it is that we can always look at the glass half empty or half full. We can always curse the darkness or light a candle and hope for the best. We can feel depressed and powerless or we can actually do something. I was anxious before the demonstrations today. Our mind racing to worry about level of participation/attendance and about Israeli authorities’ violent reaction to peaceful demonstrators (there is afterall a long history of that including shooting at unarmed demonstrators). We have to remind myself of the positives and forget all the negatives (or at least just learn from them lessons and keep them in the back of our mind). The march was a success even before it started. The thousands who tried to arrive to us here in Palestine got an education THROUGH the process of preparing to come to nearby boerders and they each told many othesr where they are going and why. This ripple effect that started montsh before today’s events is critical. Here are a few other positives before, during and after this event today:
-37 Indian activists were stranded in a ship off the port of Beirut for 36 hours. Activists in India mobilized speaking to parliamentarians and other officials and the indian embassy was able to get the Lebanese government to finally issue the visas for them. This ensured that more people because aware of our predicament here: not only the Zionist regime but the collision sometiems of Arab regimes. It also meant more avtivism in india will be growing and more boycotts, divestments and sanctions.
– Hundreds of actvists from different countries did not know about each other or their common interests until this event. The process of linking together via physical meetings and internet empowered many of them and they became more active in their local communities. I know of several example where new projects (e.g. on boycotts divestment, sacnction, different ways of media work etc) were started in some copuntries or localities because they learned from the networking with other activists.
-Activists learned via doing how to work in team efforts, how to make collective decisions etc. These skills are useful for any kind of collective work.
-The attempts by the Zionist manipulated media to hide and ignore the brutality of the apartheid regime is backfiring. More and more people stopped seeking news via these corporate outlets and started to get news directly via blogs, live feed, email etc.
-Israeli Brigadier General Yoav Mordechai said about the events today “It’s important to remember that this is the first day. The Nakba and Naksa days are ahead of us, and that is where the challenge will be.” It is obvious that they start to worry!
I could go on to list a few more. But we need now to focus on our next events : the Welcopme to Palestine Campaign for 15-21 April. We do need people to work hard on this (volunteers are always welcome). Action is the best antidote to despair.
Our video in Bethlehem:
Other videos


Israel Defense Ministry plan earmarks 10 percent of West Bank for settlement expansion. Newly released maps indicate Civil Administration secretly setting aside additional land for Jewish settlements, presumably with the intention of expanding them. By Akiva Eldar

More links/news on this land day events
Thousands of demonstrators mark Land Day in Jordan
Rabbis of Anti-Zionist Group Join Protest Marking Land Day on Lebanon-Israel Border
Why Land Day still matters: Today, with no resolution in sight to the historic injustices inflicted upon them, Palestinians in Israel and elsewhere use this day to remember and redouble their efforts for emancipation.
By Sam Bahour and Fida Jiryis

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

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Futile posturing at the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit

 US President Barack Obama says he is pushing for “a world without nuclear weapons.” Disingenuously lumping together the nuclear-armed state of North Korea and nuclear-weapon-free Iran, Mr Obama claimed that a “new international norm” was emerging to deal with their “intransigence”. Perversely turning a blind eye towards the West’s double standards and special allowances for close friends, the US head of state asserted, as if it were an accomplished fact, “Treaties are binding. Rules will be enforced. And violations will have consequences.” President Obama did not make clear, though, that the US and its allies exempt close friends from any enforcement of international law and protects them militarily and diplomatically from the consequences that should be due for gross human rights violations.

Iran has been overrun and occupied frequently and its territory has been altered throughout the centuries by Greeks, Arabs, Turks and Mongols. In modern times, the West overthrew the legitimate Mossadeq government and imposed the corrupt regime of the puppet Shah. It was the West, of course, that armed and supported Iraq in its war against Iran. But since the end of the Persian Empire the land of Iran has not invaded its neighbours’ territory for well over 1400 years.

Israel, on the other hand, continues to occupy its neighbours’ land and frequently violates Lebanese air space, from time to time destroying lives, property and infrastructure. The destruction of life, livelihood, property and infrastructure by Israel is an almost daily occurrence in Occupied Palestine. All this, in defiance of international law.

Which Middle East Power, therefore, is the greater threat to global peace and stability? Is it Israel, the only country to have introduced nuclear weapons to the Middle East and that refuses to respect the borders of its neighbours? Or is it Iran, which, unlike Israel, respects its neighbours’ borders and has signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty? Is it Israel that refuses to co-operate with the International Atomic Energy Agency? Or is it Iran, that does co-operate with the IAEA?

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by Leslie Bravery
Thursday, March 29th, 2012

"Like US, Hezbollah Caught in the Middle of Israel-Iran Conflict"


Abu acknowledges: “…The relationship between Hezbollah and Iran remains complex and opaque, which is why it is worth taking with a grain of salt the analysis of anyone who claims to fully understand its intricacies…”

“… Hezbollah eventually forced Israeli troops out of southern Lebanon in 2000 and again defeated Israel in the 2006 Lebanon War, known in Lebanon as the July War. But even if Hezbollah’s senior leadership continues to pledge its fealty to the supreme leader in Tehran, there is ample reason to doubt Hezbollah is enthusiastic about attacking Israel again.

First, Hezbollah’s core strength long ago ceased to be its relationship with Iran and is instead its relationship with its political constituency in Lebanon, which supports Hezbollah both by voting for its endorsed candidates in elections as well as through financial donations. This constituency, almost exclusively Shiite, was long made up of Lebanon’s economic and political downtrodden, but it is much wealthier today than it was in the early 1980s. People living in southern Lebanon and the predominantly Shiite suburbs of southern Beirut have a lot more to lose, materially, today than they did even in the 1990s. Hezbollah knows this, and it knows the war in 2006 was painful for its constituency. This might explain why the group’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, made the extraordinary concession after the war’s conclusion that he would not have ordered the July 12 kidnapping of Israeli soldiers that triggered the fighting had he known that the consequences would be so severe.

Second, Israelis worried in the aftermath of the war in 2006 that they had lost their deterrence capability. Never again, they fretted, will our Arab enemies take us seriously. They could not have been more wrong. From the perspective of Hezbollah, each major Israeli offensive on Lebanon since the end of the Lebanese Civil War has been progressively more severe. Operation Accountability of 1993 was a brutal air and artillery campaign that destroyed more than 6,000 homes in southern Lebanon. Operation Grapes of Wrath of 1996 was likewise an air and artillery campaign, but one that also targeted civilian infrastructure in Beirut. And during the 2006 war, Israeli air and ground forces struck all over Lebanon, killing more than a thousand Lebanese and displacing hundreds of thousands more, while destroying billions of dollars worth of infrastructure. None of these punitive campaigns accomplished any of Israel’s immediate objectives. They were all, in a sense, failures. But all of them laid the groundwork for a pretty credible deterrent threat. When Israeli commanders speak of destroying the entirety of the southern suburbs of Beirut in a new campaign, as they did in 2006, Lebanese and Hezbollah leaders must take them at their word.

Third, while Israel did not, in fact, lose its deterrent capability in 2006, the Iranians just might have. Israelis weathered the war in 2006 relatively well, with very few civilian casualties despite a 34-day bombardment of northern Israel by Hezbollah’s missiles. If the cost of a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, which Israel considers to be an existential threat, were a similar assault from southern Lebanon, that would be a price Israel could live with. If Iran was counting on Hezbollah to intimidate Israel into not attacking Iran, that strategy has obviously failed.

I nonetheless believe that Hezbollah will strike Israel if the latter attacks Iran. The relationship between Hezbollah and Iran remains complex and opaque, which is why it is worth taking with a grain of salt the analysis of anyone who claims to fully understand its intricacies. But the financial, political and ideological ties between the two sides’ senior leadership will likely trump any constraints imposed by Hezbollah’s war-weary constituency.

More interesting than the question of whether or not Hezbollah will strike Israel is the question of how it might do so. An expansion of the battlefield beyond southern Lebanon and northern Israel to Israeli targets abroad, such as embassies, might be one option Hezbollah would consider …

Another scenario, also quite possible, is one in which Israel pre-empts any action by Hezbollah by attacking targets in Lebanon — specifically, sites suspected of housing Hezbollah’s medium-range rockets — simultaneous to an attack on Iran. Such a pre-emptive attack would almost certainly trigger a response in the form of Hezbollah rockets. Previously, analysts had worried that a new war between Israel and Hezbollah would spill over into Syria, but the ongoing crisis there makes that less likely.

In the end, Hezbollah finds itself in much the same position as the United States as it watches the clouds of war gather between Israel and Iran. Like the United States, it has reason to hope conflict can be averted. But like the United States, it is realistic about the likelihood that it will be drawn into a conflict once the first shots are fired.”

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Bin Jeddo: What is going in Syria exceeded reform and democracy calls, transformed into regional, international conflict

Bin Jeddo: What is going in Syria exceeded reform and democracy calls, transformed into regional, international conflict

TUNIS– Renowned Arab Journalist, Ghassan Bin Jeddo, underlined that what is going on in Syria has exceeded the calls for reform and democracy, having been transformed into a regional and international conflict.
Bin Jeddo pointed out in an article published on Thursday in the Tunisian Newspaper of al-Magreb, that Syria, under the leadership of President Bashar al-Assad, has become throughout the past years the most important entrance for supporting the Resistance.
He stressed that the Resistance would not have libratrd South Lebanon in 2000 and triumphed against the Israeli aggression in July 2006 without the Syrian-Iranian support.
Bin Jeddo criticized the Tunisian foreign policy with regards to the Syrian file, pointing out that he wished that the initiative would have contributed to reconciliation in Syria rather than becoming a place for the so-called “Friends of Syria” Conference.

Thursday 29-03-2012

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Bestseller in France

DateThursday, March 29, 2012 at 11:14PM AuthorGilad Atzmon

The Wandering Who is bestseller in France

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Khamenei to Erdogan: Iran Firmly Opposes Foreign Interference in Syria

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Imam Khemenei erdoganSupreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei says Tehran vehemently against any foreign meddling in Syria as it supports Damascus for baking the resistance.

In a meeting with visiting Turkish Prime Minister, Imam Khamenei said:

““The Islamic Republic will defend Syria because of its support for the resistance front against the Zionist regime (Israel) and is vehemently opposed to any intervention by foreign forces in Syrian internal affairs”.

The leader also slammed the way world powers have been dealing with regional states, and in particular the United States, saying:

“The Americans recognize no nation as an independent nation”.

“The Americans treat all countries in this [instrumental] way, and therefore the interests of Islamic countries should be taken into account in decision-makings”.

Talking about the situation of the region, Imam Khamenei emphasized the importance that independent nations make “correct decisions”.

The deployment of a NATO warning system in Malatya’s Kürecik district
has come under harsh criticism by opposition parties and the residents of the region.
On the other hand, Erdogan called for developing bilateral ties between Ankara and Tehran.

“We believe that, given this long history [of bilateral relations], the ties between the two countries should be further deepened, particularly in the area of infrastructural collaborations”, the Turkish PM told the Leader at the holy city of Mashhad.

Source: Agencies

30-03-2012 – 08:13 Last updated 30-03-2012 – 08:13

Khamenei: Iran Firmly Opposes All Foreign Interference in the Syrian Internal Affairs

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister: Foreign Interferences in Syria Have Failed

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Artist of the Month – Hisham Zreiq

DateThursday, March 29, 2012 at 4:01PM AuthorGilad Atzmon

Hisham Zreiq (Zrake) was born in 1968 in Nazareth to a Palestinian family. After finishing school, he studied computer science, and now works as a software developer, but his heart is where his art is. In 1991, he started doing computer animation. He used those same tools when he started doing graphic art using the computer in 1994. In 1996, he started exhibiting his work in galleries and museums. In March 2001, he went to Germany, where he now lives with his wife and son and works as a software architect, artist, and filmmaker.

In 2006, he started his film career with the documentary, The sons of Eilaboun, and in 2009 he made his first short fiction film Just another day, followed by Before You is the Sea in 2011.

Zreiq’s art is his perspective on life, pains, disappointments, happiness, and his philosophical look at life. He uses extensive symbolism and metaphors in both his visual art and films. One example is the cross that symbolises punishment and sacrifice, as Jesus was punished and sacrificed his life. His art is somehow surrealist, and looks like it was extracted from a dream-like world. The intensity of emotions cannot be ignored, and captures the eyes of viewers, encouraging their minds to wander. His pieces are powered by strong composition and powerful representation of colour.

Zreiq used his art to decorate the scenes in his short film, Just Another Day, and the scenes have the same look as his art. The film, Before You is the Sea tells the story of a young Jewish woman and a young Arab man in love, but it is also an allegory for the Middle East peace process when the Camp David Summit abruptly broke off, effectively sealing the fate of the Oslo negotiations.

In both his art and films, Zreiq reflects what he sees and what he experiences in a very powerful and emotional way. One of the best examples is the documentary, The Sons of Eilaboun, about the massacre, expulsion, and return of the residents of a small Palestinian village in the Galilee. But it is a kind of a personal film as well; a film that tells a story that influenced Zreiq’s life, even though it happened twenty years before he was born. When he explained his motivations for the film, he choked and his eyes were full of tears. With a trembling voice he said, “I remember it as if it had just happened.” This is the way he ended the story, the story of a nine-year-old boy from a small village called Eilaboun (Eilabun), in Palestine in 1948. It is the story of his father when he was a refugee.

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Zreiq has just finished writing a script for a new short film. He is planning to start writing his first long film, and the most important thing he is planning to do is to finish a longer version of The Sons of Eilaboun. In the coming years, he is also planning to film a fiction film that tells the story of his father during the 1948 war, a fiction version of The Sons of Eilaboun, focusing on his father’s childhood

 The wandering who- Gilad Atzmon

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Israel Shields Public from Risks of War with Iran!


“… But Uzi Rubin, who was in charge of Israel’s missile defence from 1991 to 1999 and presided over the development of the Arrow anti- missile system, has a much more sombre view of Iran’s capabilities.

The “bad news” for Israel, Rubin told IPS in an interview, is that the primary factor affecting Iran’s capability to retaliate is the rapidly declining cost of increased precision in ballistic missiles. Within a very short time, Iran has already improved the accuracy of its missiles from a few kilometers from the target to just a few meters, according to Rubin.

That improvement would give Iran the ability to hit key Israeli economic infrastructure and administrative targets, he said. “I’m asking my military friends how they feel about waging war without electricity,” said Rubin.

The consequences of Iranian missile strikes on administrative targets could be even more serious, Rubin believes. “If the civilian government collapses,” he said, “the military will find it difficult to wage a war.”

Rubin is even worried that, if the accuracy of Iranian missiles improves further, which he believes is “bound to happen,” Iran will be able to carry out pinpoint attacks on Israel’s air bases, which are concentrated in just a few places.

Some Israeli analysts have suggested that Israel could hit Iranian missiles in a preemptive strike, but Rubin said Israel can no longer count on being able to hit Iranian missiles before they are launched.
Iran’s longer-range missiles have always been displayed on mobile transporter erector launchers (TELs), as Rubin pointed out in an article in Arms Control Today earlier this year. “The message was clear,” Rubin wrote. “Iran’s missile force is fully mobile, hence, not pre-emptable.”
Rubin, who has argued for more resources to be devoted to the Arrow anti-missile system, acknowledged that it can only limit the number of missiles that get through. In an e-mail to IPS, he cited the Arrow system’s record of more than 80 percent success in various tests over the years, but also noted that such a record “does not assure an identical success rate in real combat.”
The United States and Israel began in 2009 developing a new version of the Arrow missile defense system called “Reshef” – “Flash” – or “Arrow 3,” aimed at intercepting Iranian missiles above the atmosphere and farther away from Israeli territory than the earlier version of the Arrow. The new anti-missile system can alter the trajectory of the defensive missile and distinguish decoys from real missile reentry vehicles.
Until last November, the Arrow 3 system was not expected to become operational until 2015. And that plan was regarded by U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) as probably too ambitious, because such a system would normally take a decade from conception to deployment.
But Xinhua news agency reported in November that Israeli Air Force officials said they expected Arrow 3 to become operational by mid-2013, cutting even that abbreviated timeline for development of the system in half.
Nevertheless, the ability of the Arrow 3 system to shoot down an incoming missile still has not been announced, although an Israeli official said Mar. 1 that such a test would take place after the meeting between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu.
In December 2008, Western intelligence sources were reported by Israel’s Ynet News as saying the improved version of the Shahab 3 missile had gone into production earlier that year and that Iran was believed to be able to produce 75 of the improved missiles annually.
Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, then IDF chief of staff, told a visiting Congressional delegation in November 2009 that Iran already had 300 missiles capable of hitting Israeli targets, according to a U.S. State Department cable released by WikiLeaks.
Those reports suggest that Iran now has roughly 450 missiles that can reach Israel, half of which are improved models with much greater precision. Even if only one-fifth of those missiles get through Israel’s missile defenses, Israeli cities could be hit by at least 100, most of which are able to hit targets with relative accuracy.
The Netanyahu government has sought to minimise the threat of Iranian retaliation for an Israeli strike against Iran in part by likening war with Iran to those fought against Hezbollah and Palestinian rockets in recent years, which have resulted in relatively few Israeli civilian casualties….”

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"Do you think we could have turned the tide against the U.S. [Iraq] invasion? Why would Syria be different?"


“…… In a March 12 meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah asked his Jordanian counterpart to permit weapons shipments into Syria in exchange for economic assistance to Jordan, these officials say. Jordan hasn’t yet agreed, they said….

Saudi Arabia has argued strongly for weapons supplies to Syrian rebels despite U.S. concerns. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was traveling Thursday to Saudi Arabia to meet with the king and other senior Saudi officials, was expected to raise any Saudi plans to arm the Syrian rebels, U.S. officials said. The officials said the Obama administration remains opposed to introducing more arms into the conflict……

Many Middle East officials view Saudi Arabia’s arming of Afghan jihadis in the 1980s, through official and unofficial channels, as a prime contributor to the Afghan civil war and the rise of violent Islamic jihad. That has led to worries in many countries over the prospect of Saudi Arabia arming Syrian rebels now.

In Baghdad, Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki warned that arming the Syrian opposition could invite a repeat of the insurgency and sectarian strife that consumed Iraq for years after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. “It will lead to regional and global proxy wars in the Syrian arena,” he said.

Jordanian officials said they are unlikely to resist Saudi pressure for long. “We are a non-interventionist country. But if it becomes force majeure, you have to join—this is the story of Jordan,” said a top Jordanian official.

An arrangement between Saudi Arabia and Jordan, even if informal, would mark the first attempt to send in large quantities of weapons to Syria’s rebels…..


Jordanian officials point to Iraq as a precedent, saying they would expect to support the rebels at the last minute, when sentiment to arm them peaks.

Jordan at first denounced the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq but later aided the war effort, despite the lucrative oil deals it held with Iraq. “We have to have both feet on the ground. Do you think we could have turned the tide against the U.S. [Iraq] invasion? Why would Syria be different?” ……

Jordan remains nervous about arming the rebels, ….”You have to be very careful who you arm and don’t arm. We don’t quite know who this opposition is,” said a third Jordanian official…”

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Hana Shalabi Reportedly Ends Hunger Strike

Both Reuters and the BBC have published reports in the last three hours saying Palestinian prisoner Hana Shalabi, 30, has ended her hunger strike. Under a deal reportedly reached, Shalabi will be freed from prison and deported to the Gaza Strip, where she is to remain in exile for three years.

RAMALLAH, West Bank, March 29 (Reuters) – A Palestinian
woman on hunger strike in protest at her detention without
charges by Israel will be deported to the Gaza Strip under a
deal ending her fast, boths sides said on Thursday.

Hana Shalabi, a member of the Islamic Jihad militant group,
stopped taking food after Israeli troops seized her in the
occupied West Bank on Feb. 16. She was the second Palestinian
detainee in quick succession to go on hunger strike, a protest
since taken up by around two-dozen others.

Qadoura Fares of the Palestinian Prisoners Club said
Shalabi, 30, had agreed to three years’ exile in Gaza, which is
geographically separate from the West Bank and under Israeli
blockade, “in return for ending her strike and being freed”.

“This is her decision and her own life,” Fares told Reuters.

Reuters also quotes an unnamed Israeli military source as saying the deportation will occur “in the next few days.”

The news comes on the 44th day of Shalabi’s hunger strike. Last week, reports surfaced saying the prisoner was near death and being subjected to intense pressure by Israeli officials to end her hunger strike. Today’s BBC report quotes Palestinian Prisoner Affairs Minister Issa Qaraqaa as saying, “She had to accept because Israel put pressure on her. But we are totally opposed to all deportation measures.” 

Shalabi mounted her hunger strike in protest against Israel’s policy of administrative detention, under which Palestinians can be arrested and held for long periods of time without charges and without trial.
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And Tomorrow Is Another Day …

Eslam al-Rihani

Yesterday they arrived .. today they declared determination.. and tomorrow they will do it..

Participants in the GMJ enter into the hall of Lebanese Press Association, Beirut; March 29, 2012Participants of the Global March to Jerusalem, those who came from far continents to support Palestine, announced today clearly that they are well determined to continue their path towards liberating the human of Palestine.

In the Lebanese Press Association headquarters, GMJ organizers held Thursday their last press conference before the promised event. Their entrance to the hall was completely different. It was an international enthusiasm that made us feel they wouldn’t return to their countries until the goal they came for is to be totally achieved.

Participants in the GMJ enter into the hall of Lebanese Press Association. Photos of Turkish martyrs of Mavi Marmara killed by the Zionist enemy appear in the scene, Beirut; March 29, 2012The scene was really an international demonstration launching a cry against the crimes committed by the Zionist entity in the occupied Palestine.

During the conference, AL-Manar Website exclusively met Keneth Stone, a French language professor from Canada and one of the GMJ organizers. Stone expressed that Global March to Jerusalem is being organized “to stop the judiazation of Jerusalem and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, to protect the non-Jewish places of worship and open access to them to the people who are not Jewish and protect them from the so-called excavations.”

Related articles: Global March to Jerusalem.. Countdown Starts

Keneth Stone, one of the GMJ organizers from Canada
Talking to him, Stone stressed that basic motives of this march are to put the right of return for the Palestinians to their homes in Palestine into effect soon, “after the illegal criminal regime in Al-Quds has taken their lands and their farms.”

“He (the Zionist entity) is building settlements in the west bank every day, maintaining an illegal blockade of Gaza, Conducting extra legal assassinations, dispossessing Palestinians of their land and conducting a whole list of crimes,” Stone added.

Jewish rabbis participating in the GMJ conference, Beirut; March 29, 2012 All participants have expressed their solidarity with Palestine and its people, each by his/her own language. Jewish rabbis attending, mainly from Neturei Karta, have stressed their hostility to Zionism and condemnation of terrorism practiced by the Zionist occupation authorities against the Palestinians and Arabs in all the occupied Arab territories.

The participants coming from several countries, notably Canada, the United States, Malaysia, Iran, Bahrain, Turkey, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Russia, India and Greece have delivered short speeches in which they stressed the international and global solidarity with the cause of Palestine and its people oppressed by the enemy – the usurper, and called upon the Zionist enemy to leave the Palestinian territory.

Participants in the GMJ conference: Elsvar Aliyov from Azerbaijan (left) and Ozxan Memmedov from Russia (right)For his part, Elsvar Aliyov from Azerbaijan, told Al-Manar Website that “all crisis and problems of the world are caused by Israel. Israel is an absolute evil. We must help Palestinians to get rid of it.”

Asked whether he is afraid of the Zionist military readiness across the border with Lebanon in anticipation of Friday’s march, Aliyov answered with determination and persistence: “I wrote my will before coming to participate in the march. We have non-Muslim women within our delegation and they are not afraid. It is not possible to feel scared while being a Muslim and a student of Imam Hussein (AS)’s school.”

A Turkish Participant in the GMJ conference holding a banner of Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenie talking about the rights of the peoplesOn the eve of Global March to Jerusalem, those free people of the world hope that the Palestinian people, with the help of good conscience people around the world of every religion and nationality and different political positions, will support the holy cause of Palestinian people and end the occupation.

After the conference, the international delegation went to Cemetery of Martyrs in Southern Beirut, where they put a wreath of flowers on the grave of the martyr Hajj Imad Mughniyah.

Source: Al-Manar Website
29-03-2012 – 21:10 Last updated 29-03-2012 – 21:24

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The Popular Resistance Movement calls for armed resistance

Published today 14:58
(MaanImages, file)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Popular Resistance Movement on Thursday said armed resistance is the only strategy which will liberate Palestine from Israeli occupation.
At a news conference in Gaza City, the movement called on all factions to approve an agreement to protect the Palestinian resistance.

“The enemy’s threats won’t scare us. The killing will be met by killing, the destruction by destruction. The resistance knows how to respond to the crimes of the occupation,” a spokesman for the group told reporters.

He also warned that Israel’s continued provocations against the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Palestinian people could lead to a third intifada, or uprising, and urged Palestinians to join international protests planned to mark Land Day on Friday.

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On Land Day: In Occupied Palestine, Existence is Resistance

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On 04.08.2011, Haj Ibrahim Atallah closed his eyes for the last time. He was over a 100 years old, and from what I’ve heard, he closed his eyes unwillingly, for he had yet so much to fight for, so much to give to the land that has given him and his family so much. Haj Atallah was from a small village in the Bethlehem area called Khirbet Ish-Sheikh Zakariya, locally known as Beit Iskarya, probably to differentiate it from the not-far-away Zakariya that was ethnically cleansed in 1948. Beit Iskarya lies in the middle of the illegal Gush Etzion Zionist colony bloc which consists of 22 illegal Zionist colonies and outposts built on 70,000 dunums of stolen Palestinian land.

The Palestinian village itself is totally besieged by at least 5 of the Gush Etzion colonies: Bat Ayin from the west, Rosh Tzurim from the north, Neve Daniel from the north east, Elazar from the east and Alon Shvut from the south east. These colonies are strangling the village, stealing its land and that of other Palestinian villages and slowly devouring them. They divide Beit Iskarya’s land into two and the only road connecting the village to the outside world passes through this Zionist colony bloc, where often, Beit Iskarya residents, especially students on the way to school, get attacked and beaten by the Zionist colonists. But despite all settler attacks and the continuous threats, Haj Atallah remained steadfast in his land: he planted the land, cared for it and kept it green against all odds. He taught his children that nothing is more valuable than the land itself, and he refused all the enticements offered by the Zionist entity to sell his land or give up even one iota of its earth. He refused to allow them to create another Palestinian-free zone in the heart of Palestine.
A Palestinian legend, a symbol of steadfastness and resistance, an example that Zionism can and will be defeated; Haj Attallah was born in 1910, lived all his life in his land, swore never to leave it and to make his final resting place within its ribs and close to its heart. 5 Palestinian communities, including Beit Iskarya, were living and thriving in this area, which is one of the most fertile areas of Palestine and is famous for its grapevines, figs, apricots, apple and almond trees. The land belonged to the villagers, and they depended on the land for their livelihood, and the land had always been generous to them. Beit Iskarya, with its 9000 dunums, was famous for its agricultural products which were marketed in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Hebron. In one interview, Haj Atallah recalled how the land was always green and how all sorts of fruits and vegetables grew there. Growing up, he watched how the Zionist settlements changed the landscape of the land, how they destroyed it.
In the 1940s, when, with the help of the British Mandate, the Zionists started their colonization plans for Palestine, the basis for the Gush Etzion was laid in the area. First, the Kfar Etzion Zionist colony was built in 1943, to be followed by Mishu’at Yitzhaq in 1945, Ein Tzurim in 1946, Revadim in 1947, and the whole illegal colonial project built on Palestinian land was called Gush Etzion, the Etzion bloc.
In 1948, the terrorist Zionist gangs Haganah and Stern occupied the whole area, killed many and expelled the indigenous Palestinians. Palestinians revolutionaries, together with the Arab fighters who refused to obey their generals’ order to withdraw, fought the Zionist usurpers and forced them out of the area. After 6 months of forced expulsion, the indigenous Palestinians returned to their villages.
In 1967, after Israel occupied the rest of Palestine, wide-spread demolition took place in the area surrounding Beit Iskarya, where houses, schools and mosques were destroyed. The residents of the Palestinian localities were forced out of their homes, and of the over 1000 people who inhabited Beit Iskarya before 1967, only 50 remained: Haj Atallah and his family. The Zionist entity confiscated the lands of Beit Iskarya and the surrounding villages. Slowly, settlements and outposts of all sizes started appearing and spreading, and later grew to form Gush Etzion. The plan was to Judaize the whole area and turn it into a Palestinian-free zone. And out of the 800 dunums Haj Atallah owned, the Zionists left him and his family with only 75 dunums and stole the rest. Fields were uprooted and entire grapevines were destroyed while ripe with grapes.
But despite the terror and harassment of the Zionist colonists and the Zionist occupation army, Haj Atallah insisted he and his children remain steadfast in their village and protect their land. Over the years, he was offered large sums of money, villas, land in other areas of the occupied West Bank, even Israeli citizenship, just to force him to leave his land, but he refused. In an interview, Haj Atallah recalled how after the 1967 occupation: “despite the atmosphere of terror that accompanied the war, the displacement of the population, the demolition of houses and schools, I decided to stay at whatever cost. After two weeks following the occupation, Israeli soldiers came and surveyed the area, and told me to leave or they will demolish the houses on my head and the heads of my family, and emphasized that my existence constitutes a security threat in this area which they consider of vital importance to the Israeli army. I fought them with all means possible.”[1]
In the 1970s, he was summoned to Moshe Dayan’s office in Tel Aviv. Dayan, who was the Zionist entity’s minister of “Defense” at the time, offered Haj Atallah large sums of money (at one time, he was offered over 2 million US Dollars), new houses and land wherever he wanted in return for his land in Beit Iskarya because “the Israeli army needs his land”. Haj Ibrahim refused and his answer was the same every time: “We won’t exchange one centimeter of our land for the money of the whole world”[2]. After that meeting, settler terror and harassment increased and hasn’t stopped since: Often the villagers are attacked while working in the fields, their crops burned and their trees uprooted, sometimes even dogs would be unleashed at the villagers.
“The settlers who surround us from all sides would come to where we live and start throwing stones at us and at our homes. They also use other methods such as stealing our property, our chicken, goats and destroy our crops.”[3] Haj Atallah and his family have not only to endure the terror and harassment of the Zionist colonists, but also that of the Israeli occupation army. He and his children were detained several times by Israeli occupation soldiers, and when told to choose between imprisonment and selling their land, they always chose imprisonment.
To force Haj Atallah’s family out of their ancestral home, the Israeli occupation forces prohibit building in Beit Iskarya. For the last 40 years, and while illegal Zionist colonies thrive and expand on stolen Palestinian land, the over 600 residents of Beit Iskarya have not been allowed to build new houses and facilities on their own land. Of the around 65 houses and facilities in Beit Iskarya 5 stone houses were built before 1967, and 85 houses were built after 1967 using mud and bricks and have tin roofs to avoid demolition.
These houses, although more like sheds than houses, are nonetheless threatened with demolition. In addition, there is a 2-room school, a small clinic and a small mosque. In 2005, 29 houses and other facilities built after 1967 received demolition orders, 6 of which were demolished in 2008, despite their owners’ possession of documents proving their ownership of the land since over 400 years. Another 4 demolition orders were issued in 2010. A house of 10 was demolished in 2011 while the Zionist colonists watched and celebrated. More recently, 10 houses and the small school received demotion orders. And while the homes of Beit Iskarya are being demolished, a mobile tower was erected in the midst of the village, and despite the villager’s complaints and objection, the Zionists refused to remove it. The Israeli occupation forces also demolished the mosque’s minaret, not once but 3 times, and prohibited the Athan (call for prayer) because it annoys the racist European Zionist colonizers. But Haj Atallah used to defy the Zionists colonizing his land and would call for prayer using a loudspeaker. His voice would defy the colonizers and echo in the hills and the valleys of his ancestors. And every time, the IOF would come searching for the loudspeaker but fail to find it.
Haj Atallah continued to raise the Athan until his death. In an interview, Haj Atallah said: “We are living in a continuous fight with them. They besiege us from all directions and stole our land, and left us with only 50 dunums out of the 800 dunums. They cut off our electricity and water, and after a long battle in the courts, we were able to restore these services to the village. When we built a mosque for the village, they demolished the minaret and prevented the call for prayer on the grounds that it bothered them. They burned our crops and destroyed our land and set wild pigs and dogs at our homes, yet we are steadfast until we die in our land.”[4]
Today, the over 600 Palestinian residents of Beit Iskarya continue to defy the never-ending terror and harassment of the Zionist colonists and their occupation army. They face land theft, house demolition, settler attacks, but refuse to be intimidated or forced out of their land. Cameras positioned by the Israeli occupation army around the village monitor the villagers 24 hours, besieging them, imprisoning them in their own homes. Nonetheless, the villages still live on the land, still live from the land, still work the land and give it their love.
For the Zionist entity, Gush Etzion is considered a main settlement bloc and part of the so-called Greater Jerusalem: a Judaized Jerusalem where there is no place for the indigenous Palestinians. Entering the Gush Etzion, one would see settlement houses with their typical structure spread everywhere like a disease that is eating the land from the inside, destroying it slowly. These cancerous cells spread on both sides of the road and occupied every hill top, distorting the beauty of the Palestinian landscape. Here, the indigenous Palestinians have no place, they don’t exist to the alien colonizers, they are deleted from the invented histories and dictionaries of the Zionist mind; the Zionists have renamed the area, gave it Jewish names and forged its history, forged the names of the hills, the water springs, the fields, the valleys, the rocks and even the trees. Here, in this invented world, the language of the indigenous people does not exist, they don’t exist: road signs are only in Hebrew and English, and only cars with the Israeli yellow plate are visible. And with the exception of a few old Palestinian stone houses, the area is colonized. But if you continue driving, you will see in the distance a collection of houses, a small village that does not fit into the fake and invented picture the Zionists wanted to create here. It is because the view of this village, so natural in this landscape, that I recognized Beit Iskarya. No signs referred to it, but its steadfastness and defiance is all the sign anyone needs. And it is when you reach Beit Iskarya that you understand the meaning of steadfastness, of resistance.
To expand the illegal Gush Etzion, the Zionist colonists had over the years stolen the land which Haj Atallah inherited from his ancestors, and he and his family were left with only 30 dunums of their land. Even these 30 dunums had been a thorn in the eyes of the colonizers, because Haj Atallah and his family remained steadfast in the middle of this Zionist project, refusing to leave, and preventing a complete Judaization of the whole area. Haj Attalah refused to accept the theft of his land and fought for it. He went to Zionist courts and fought the usurpers there. And finally, after over 40 years of struggle, Haj Ibrahim Atallah defeated the Zionist entity. Early 2010, the Israeli high court, ordered the Israeli government to return the 730 dunums to Haj Atallah. It hurt him to see the settlements destroy the land. He wanted to replant the trees that were uprooted, give the land back its natural colour, give it life and freedom after so many years of captivity and slow death: “I feel very happy and great joy at the decision, hoping not to die before I cultivate the land again.”[5]
On 04.08.2011, Haj Ibrahim Atallah closed his eyes for the last time, he closed them unwillingly for he still had so much to do. He once said to one IOF officer who tried to convince him to sell his land: “I swear, even if you bring your bulldozers and bury us alive, we won’t leave our land.”[6]
Today, he continues to live in his land, as part of it, and he continues to protect the land. Today, Haj Atallah defies the occupation and defies death and remains steadfast in his land. Before he died, Haj Atallah dug his own grave in his land, in its heart, facing the hills where he ran as a child, overlooking the valleys where he worked all his life. With his body he wanted to prevent the Zionist colonists from stealing what is left of his village, so he dug his grave with his own hands and asked to be buried in his land, never to leave it. He didn’t want ever to leave it, nor allow the Zionists to take it after his death. He wanted to protect the land in his death like he did during his life. And there, in that grave, in his land, among his hills and valleys, Haj Atallah rests today. He still watches over his land and protects it. He still stands as a thorn in the eyes of the colonizers who wanted to expel him from his land. Today, Haj Atallah and the land he so much loved are united, they are forever one.
Haj Attallah is a symbol of Palestinian resistance and steadfastness against the Zionist colonization, against land theft, against the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Together with his children and grandchildren, he fought to protect the land. He stood up to Zionist terror and refused Zionist enticements. He refused over and over to sign away the deeds of the land, to sell it to the occupiers, he refused to betray Palestine. He remained steadfast, he was threatened, his children beaten, but he remained steadfast. Every day, he went to his fields, worked them, defied the terror, the threats, the harassment, and worked the land, every day. They destroyed and he rebuilt. They uprooted and burned and he replanted. They stole and he resisted them.

In Camp David 2000, Israeli negotiators said they wanted to keep Gush Etzion in a “land swap deal”. One PA negotiator declared the PA’s consent and willingness to give up the land on which Gush Etzion stands. This PA official backed away from his statement, at least only publicly, because Haj Atallah’s struggle and steadfastness embarrassed the PA and exposed its empty “liberation” slogans.

Before his death, Haj Atallah spoke of how these officials come with camera teams to Beit Iskarya, talk about resistance and steadfastness in front of cameras, talk about liberating Palestine in front of cameras, but behind cameras they sell the land to the occupier.

When he died, unwillingly closing his eyes for the last time, many attended his funeral. “People came from everywhere, but not one single PA official was present his son told me. “Even some colonists, his enemies, the colonists he fought against all his life, came and paid their respects. They said that despite their “conflict” with Haj Atallah, they had great respect for the man who was so protective of his land, who was so steadfast.”

Haj Atallah’s presence, his life and his struggle annoyed those who wanted to steal the land, to ethnically cleanse Palestine. His presence, his life and his struggle annoyed those who sell and betray the land, and every breath he took, every day he lived annoyed them, because it exposed them. And even in his death, he exposed them, exposed their betrayal.

To him the land was his life, and to resist the colonizer was to exist, unlike those to whom the land is a business, a bargaining chip, a ticket to Swiss bank accounts and to occupation-issued VIP permits. He didn’t wait for the PA, nor did he wait for the international community or for human rights organizations or for conditional activists to help him protect his land. He protected his land with his family and waited for no one.

Haj Atallah didn’t wait for PA officials who came to his humble house and declared the land as liberated, the land he fought so long for while they signed one concession after the other. He didn’t wait for wanna-be-leaders and new-age revolutionaries who come and take pictures of themselves in front of his house and his land and use his struggle as a stepping stone for their activism businesses.

He didn’t wait for the cameras or for social media to make a hero out of him, nor did he call himself or see himself as a hero. He saw himself as one of the tens of thousands of Palestinians, those who love the land, those who daily care for the land, those who daily defy the Zionist colonizers and plant their land, those who are steadfast in their land, steadfast in Palestine. His struggle was genuine, his struggle was for Palestine, not for a short-lived fame nor for an award and a title. He didn’t wait for anyone. He remained steadfast, refused to be expelled, refused to legitimize the Zionist colonization of his homeland, refused to betray the land, refused to betray Palestine.



River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog! 

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