Alan Dershowitz Pens Tirade Against U.S. Congresswoman Over Child Protection Bill

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) introduced the “Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian children Act.”

By Richard Edmondson

Alan Dershowitz, former Harvard law professor and pro-Israel to the core, apparently thinks Rep. Betty McCollum has committed a cardinal sin–introducing a bill that calls for monitoring of Israel’s treatment of Palestinian child prisoners.

The bill, entitled “Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian children Act,” or H.R. 4391, would require the U.S. State Department begin certification–on  an annual basis–that US funding to Israel is not going “to support the military detention, interrogation, abuse, or ill-treatment” of Palestinian children.

The bill was introduced by McCollum on November 14. Dershowitz’s hit piece, published on November 23 at the Gatestone Institute, appeared under the headline “How Ten Dem (Dumb) Members of Congress Encourage the Use of Child Terrorists.”

The former trial lawyer and now CNN regular asserts that McCollum’s bill has been co-sponsored “by nine other ‘progressive’ members of Congress,” though in reality the bill has now picked up a total of 12 co-sponsors.

Dershowitz doesn’t exactly accuse its backers of being anti-Semites–although he comes close.

He asserts that McCollum’s “hypocrisy” is “palpable,” and he accuses her and the co-sponsors of giving “terrorist leaders” (the term is used a total of 7 times) an incentive, in effect, to use children to attack Jews. The bill, he insists, “would further incentivize terrorist leaders to keep using children in pursuit of their key objective: wiping Israel off the map,” and he goes on to contend that:

“…rather than condemning the abhorrent and unlawful use of children as pawns in this deadly process, this group chose to single out only the nation-state of the Jewish people for punishment, as it tries to protect its own citizens from indiscriminate terror attacks. People of good faith on both sides of the aisle should call out this double standard for what it really is: an attack on Jewish victims of teenage terrorism and their state. For shame on this group of biased anti-Israel “progressive” Democrats…

The article seems to be a heavy-handed attempt at intimidating other members of Congress from supporting the legislation.

The Harvard legal scholar also informs his readers about the modus operandi of “Palestinian terrorist leaders,” asserting that it is “well established” that “recruiting and using young Palestinians to wage terror on Israeli civilians” is a part of this “modus operandi.”

He further asserts that these “terrorist leaders” (it’s not clear if he means Hamas or if he counts Mahmoud Abbas as a “terrorist leader” as well) “have been stirring up young people to wage war against the Jews and their nation state.” If this is the case, it would seem Israel makes their jobs easy for them. After all, how much external “stirring up” does it require when school kids see their classmates mass arrested, handcuffed, locked in cages, and blindfolded by squadrons of Israeli soldiers?

Heavily armed Israeli Occupiers kidnapping 18 Palestinian children. They were taken into one room and blindfolded, questioned with the blindfold on, and some were subjected to beatings and threats. while beating them.

Suppose the federal government had sent troops to arrest your students at Harvard in this manner, Mr. Dershowitz? How much “stirring up” do you think it would have taken to get the rest of the campus angry about it?

Rep. McCollum’s bill cites a UNICEF report released in 2013 which found that “ill-treatment of children who come in contact with the [Israeli] military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized throughout the process, from the moment of arrest until the child’s prosecution and eventual conviction and sentencing.”

Dershowitz, however, identifies what he believes is a major shortcoming in the bill, namely that it “fails to acknowledge that some of the most barbaric terrorist attacks against Jewish Israelis have been committed by Palestinian teens who have been recruited by terrorist leaders.” Actually, however, this is a bit disingenuous. While it doesn’t use the same inflammatory rhetoric seemingly favored by our Doctor of Jurisprudence (who, really, is “stirring up” whom, Mr. Dershowitz?), the bill does enumerate the problem of children being recruited by armed groups, this in section 2, paragraph 4:

Approximately 2,700,000 Palestinians live in the West Bank, of which around 47 percent are children under the age of 18, who live under military occupation, the constant fear of arrest, detention, and violence by the Israeli military, and the threat of recruitment by armed groups.

Of course, if Mr. Dershowitz insists on bringing up the subject of “barbaric terrorist attacks,” we should not omit to mention Israel’s periodic attacks upon Gaza. Take a good look at the girl in the photo below–she was killed in the Gaza attack of 2008-09 known as “Operation Cast Lead.”

Yes, she definitely looks like she’s had some lead cast at her, Mr. Dershowitz.

Or let’s look at this boy who fell victim to Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge” attack of 2014 when he and some friends were playing football on a Gaza beach:

Or these kids who died in the same 2014 conflict:

By the way, Israel investigated itself on the Gaza beach bombing and found that it had acted “legally.”

Barbarism. It is defined as: “1. absence of culture and civilization; 2. extreme cruelty or brutality.”

The attacks on Gaza would seem to meet that definition. This is not to say there haven’t been cruel and brutal attacks on Israelis. In his article, Dershowitz cites two examples:

Consider the terrorists attack that took place over this past summer in Halamish (an hour outside Jerusalem) where a Palestinian in his late teens — from a nearby PA-controlled village — chose a Jewish house at random;, and fatally stabbed three members of a family as they ate Shabbat dinner. The Palestinian “child” murderer also wounded several other family members, while one mother hid her young children in an upstairs room until the terrorist left. This scene of carnage is reminiscent of a similar attack that occurred only six years earlier when two Palestinian teens armed with knives broke into the Fogel family home in Itamar as they slept on Friday night; the teens butchered the mother, father and three of their children — including a three-month-old baby as she slept in her crib.

What he doesn’t mention is that both Halamish and Itamar, where the two attacks occurred, are Israeli settlements in the West Bank and are therefore illegal under international law. This does not excuse the murder of civilians. But it does supply us with some additional context in which to evaluate Mr. Dershowitz and his disingenuous opposition to H.R. 4391.

Moreover, Halamish is designated as a “community settlement,” that is to say it was formed out of a legal construct in Israel whereby residents are organized into a cooperative that “can veto a sale of a house or a business to an undesirable buyer.” Most community settlements in Israel are entirely Jewish, according to Wikipedia: “Some community settlements openly require applicants to be Jews (e.g., by declaring themselves a religious community), while other community settlements find more indirect ways to reject non-Jewish candidates, us usually claiming ‘lack of social compatibility.’ Another problem for non-Jews is that the Jewish National Fund, the owner of the land in many community settlements, views itself as a Jewish organization whose mission is to spread the Jewishpopulation, and therefore refuses to lease to non-Jews.”

Perhaps here we get down to the core of the problem–the illegal settlements and the apartheid, or separation, policies. In his article, Dershowitz tries to apply Israeli standards to America by asking the “what if” question. He writes:

So I ask: what do these members of Congress think Israel should do? If children as young as 13 or 14 were roaming the streets of New York, Los Angeles or Boston stabbing elderly women as they shopped at the supermarket or waited at a bus stop, would they protest the apprehension and prosecution of the perpetrators?

But he is comparing apples to oranges. Discrimination is against the law in the US. There are no neighborhoods or communities–in Boston, New York, Los Angeles or elsewhere in America–where people can be prohibited from purchasing homes or taking up residence on the basis of their race, religion, or ethnicity.

Another thing to consider is that discriminatory policies are applied in Israel not only with regard to home sales but also in the issuance of building permits. Back in August, I put up a post about Israel’s destruction of a Palestinian kindergarten as well as its seizure of mobile classrooms that were to have served as an elementary school. The official reason given in both cases was the lack of a permit. The seizure of the mobile classrooms took place on Tuesday, August 22–one day before the new school year was set to begin. A photo was published at the time of children who showed up on the first day of school only to find their classrooms missing:

Children arrive on the first day of school only to discover that their classrooms have been taken.

It seems rather mean-spirited to come and steal the classrooms one day before school is about to start. By the way, the kindergarten is in the village of Jabal al-Baba, east of Jerusalem; the elementary school in Jubbet al-Dib, near Bethlehem. Both villages are in the West Bank–both under military occupation.Occupation tends, by its very nature, to involve “extreme cruelty or brutality.” Destroying schools would seem to denote as well a certain “absence of culture and civilization.”

In order to maintain its occupation Israel apparently also employs torture–apparently even upon children. This we find in the text of McCollum’s bill, from section 2, paragraph 11:

In 2013, the annual Country Report on Human Rights Practices for Israel and the Occupied Territories (“Annual Report”) published by the Department of State noted that Israeli security services continued to abuse, and in some cases torture, minors, frequently arrested on suspicion of stone-throwing, in order to coerce confessions. The torture tactics used included threats, intimidation, long-term handcuffing, beatings, and solitary confinement.”

Additionally, paragraph 12 notes that the same report discusses “signed confessions by Palestinian minors, written in Hebrew, a language most could not read,” while paragraph 13 cites a later “Annual Report”–issued in 2016–and which noted a “significant increase in dententions of minors” that year. An additional quote from the 2016 report reads: “Israeli authorities continued to use confessions signed by Palestinian minors, written in Hebrew.”

The full text of H.R. 4391 is available here in PDF. You can also go here to access a list of its co-sponsors.

Given that it maintains all of these settlements, and given that they are built illegally on Palestinian land, one must ask the question: how does Israel go on credibly maintaining to the world that it is truly interested in seeking peace with the Palestinians? Perhaps part of the answer is that it gets lots of help from people like Dershowitz.

In essence painting McCollum as a terrorist sympathizer as well as an anti-Semite, Dershowitz accuses the Minnesota Democrat of refusing to “condemn the Palestinian leadership for perpetrating acts of child abuse by recruiting children to commit terror attacks on Jewish women and children.” And he adds that the co-sponsors of her bill “give a bad name to the Democratic Party, to the Progressive Caucus and to Congress.”

Broad brush strokes. Inflammatory rhetoric. Both seem to work like charms in curtailing criticism of Israel. Of course a standard argument we hear from Israelis is that the settlements don’t pose an obstacle to peace, but this is a load of hasbara hooey.

Maybe it all comes down to history and who is on the right or the wrong side of it. As someone once said, the path to peace is by learning to love your enemies. The same person also said that he who lives by the sword will die by the sword. It’s a lesson all of humanity needs to learn, and if Israel were led by truly enlightened people it would teach that lesson to humanity by setting aside its sword and making peace.

In either event, the bottom line is that if Israel wants to be a state for all its people it will build Palestinian schools. If it wants to go on being a state that gives political preference to one group of people only–the definition of apartheid–it will continue to tear them down.

What the rest of us can do in the meantime is provide our support for those truly seeking to advance the cause of peace. McCollum is such a person. She is, in other words, a peacemaker.

Peacemakers are said to be blessed, Mr. Dershhowitz. It’s a pity you chose to attack this one.


Zionism’s Violent Legacy

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[ Ed. note – The article below was originally published in January of 1996. It discusses, among other things, the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, which had occurred only a few months earlier. The author, Donald Neff, was a journalist who worked many, many years in the mainstream media, including a term as Time Magazine’s Jerusalem bureau chief.

But Neff was not your typical mainstream media presstitute. Over the years he began to experience a major shift in his views on the Palestine-Israel conflict, and in 1979 he left Time Magazine, his articles thereafter being published mainly by the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. According to Wikipedia, Neff “wrote a retrospective piece in 1995 detailing the change in his pro-Zionist perspective during his years as correspondent in the Middle East.”

In the article below, Neff discusses what he refers to as “revisionist Zionism,” a particularly virulent strain of Zionism founded in the 1920s by Zeev Jabotinsky, who had a slogan he often used: “We shall create, with sweat and blood, a race of men, strong, brave and cruel.” It was a philosophy that ran somewhat counter to the “mainline Zionists,” who were concerned more with the pragmatic aspects of founding a state while maybe doing a little kibbutz farming on the side.

It was in the 1940s that the revisionist Zionists came into full prominence with the emergence of Jewish terror groups, one of which was the Irgun, led by Menachem Begin, a Jabotinsky follower who would later go on to become prime minister of Israel. Among the Irgun’s exploits were the bombing of the King David Hotel in 1946 and the Deir Yassin massacre in 1948–while Begin, as prime minister, would go on to preside over the Sabra and Shatila massacre in 1982.

Neff discusses all this history in the context of the Rabin assassination–for while Jabotinsky died in 1940, and Begin left this life in 1992, revisionist Zionism has of course remained. Neff says the assassination, which took place on November 4, 1995 was carried out by the “spiritual heirs” of the Irgun…and of course the same ideology is pervasive in Israel today. In fact, Benzion Netanyahu, the father of the current prime minister, was another revisionist Zionist–one who actually served for a while as Jabotinsky’s personal secretary. ]


Rabin’s Murder Rooted in Zionism’s Violent Legacy

By Donald Neff

It was 48 years ago, on Jan. 4, 1948, when Jewish terrorists drove a truck loaded with explosives into the center of the all-Arab city of Jaffa and detonated it, killing 26 and wounding around 100 Palestinian men, women and children.1 The attack was the work of the Irgun Zvai Leumi—the “National Military Organization,” also known by the Hebrew letters Etzel—the largest Jewish terrorist group in Palestine. The Irgun was headed by Revisionist Zionist Menachem Begin and had been killing and maiming Arabs, Britons and even Jews for the previous 10 years in its efforts to establish a Jewish state.

This terror campaign meant that at the core of Revisionist Zionism there existed a philosophical embrace of violence. It was this legacy of violence that contributed to the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on Nov. 4, 1995.

The Irgun was not the only Jewish terrorist group but it was the most active in causing indiscriminate terror in pre-Israel Palestine. Up to the time of the Jaffa attack, its most spectacular feat had been the July 22, 1946 blowing up of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, with the killing of 91 people—41 Arabs, 28 Britons and 17 Jews.2

The other major Jewish terrorist group operating in Palestine in the 1940s was the Lohamei Herut Israel , “Fighters for the Freedom of Israel,” Lehi in the Hebrew acronym, also known as the Stern Gang after its fanatical founder Avraham Stern. Two of its more spectacular outrages included the assassination of British Colonial Secretary Lord Moyne in Cairo on Nov. 6, 1944, and the assassination of Count Folke Bernadotte of Sweden in Jerusalem on Sept. 17, 1948. 3

Both groups collaborated in the massacre at Deir Yassin, in which some 254 Palestinian men, women and children were slain on April 9, 1948. Palestinian survivors were driven like ancient slaves through the streets of Jerusalem by the celebrating terrorists.4

Yitzhak Shamir was one of the three leaders of Lehi who made the decision to assassinate Moyne and Bernadotte. Both he and Begin later became prime ministers and ruled Israel for a total of 13 years between 1977 and 1992.

They were both leaders of Revisionist Zionism, that messianic group of ultranationalists founded by Vladimir Zeev Jabotinsky in the 1920s. He prophesied that it would take an “iron wall of Jewish bayonets” to gain a homeland among the Arabs in Palestine.5 His followers took his slogan literally.

Begin and the Revisionists were heartily hated by the mainline Zionists led by David Ben-Gurion. He routinely referred to Begin as a Nazi and compared him to Hitler. In a famous letter to The New York Times in 1948, Albert Einstein called the Irgun “a terrorist, rightwing, chauvinist organization” that stood for “ultranationalism, religious mysticism and racial superiority.”6 He opposed Begin’s visit to the United States in 1949 because Begin and his movement amounted to “a Fascist party for whom terrorism (against Jews, Arabs, and British alike), and misrepresentation are means, and a ‘leader state’ is the goal,” adding:

At the core of Revisionist Zionism there existed a philosophical embrace of violence.

“The IZL [Irgun] and Stern groups inaugurated a reign of terror in the Palestine Jewish community. Teachers were beaten up for speaking against them, adults were shot for not letting their children join them. By gangster methods, beatings, window-smashing, and wide-spread robberies, the terrorists intimidated the population and exacted a heavy tribute.”

Ben-Gurion considered the Revisionists so threatening that shortly after he proclaimed establishment of Israel on May 14, 1948, he demanded that the Jewish terrorist organizations disband. In defiance, Begin sought to import a huge shipment of weapons aboard a ship namedAltalena, Jabotinsky’s nom de plume.7

The ship was a war surplus U.S. tank-landing craft and had been donated to the Irgun by Hillel Kook’s Hebrew Committee for National Liberation, an American organization made up of Jewish-American supporters of the Irgun.8 Even in those days it was Jewish Americans who were the main source of funds for Zionism. While few of them emigrated to Israel, Jewish Americans were generous in financing the Zionist enterprise. As in Israel, they were split between mainstream Zionism and Revisionism. One of the best known Revisionists was Ben Hecht, the American newsman and playwright. After one of the Irgun’s terrorist acts, he wrote:

“The Jews of America are for you. You are their champions …. Every time you blow up a British arsenal, or wreck a British jail, or send a British railroad train sky high, or rob a British bank, or let go with your guns and bombs at British betrayers and invaders of your homeland, the Jews of America make a little holiday in their hearts.”9

The Altalena was loaded with $5 million worth of arms, including 5,000 British Lee-Enfield rifles, more than 3 million rounds of ammunition, 250 Bren guns, 250 Sten guns, 150 German Spandau machine guns, 50 mortars and 5,000 shells as well as 940 Jewish volunteers. Ben-Gurion reacted with fury, ordering the ship sunk in Tel Aviv harbor. Shellfire by the new nation’s armed forces set the Altalena afire, killing 14 Jews and wounding 69. Two regular army men were killed and six wounded during the fighting.10 Begin had been aboard but escaped injury. Later that night he railed against Ben-Gurion as “a crazy dictator” and the cabinet as “a government of criminal tyrants, traitors and fratricides.”11

Ben-Gurion’s deputy commander in the Altalena affair was Yitzhak Rabin, the same man who as prime minister was assassinated by one of the spiritual heirs of Menachem Begin’s Irgun terrorist group. All his life, and especially in his last years, Rabin had opposed Jewish Americans and their radical allies in Israel who continued to embrace the philosophy of the Irgun and who fought against the peace process, thereby earning their enduring hatred.

Thus at the heart of the Jewish state there has been a long and violent struggle between mainline Zionists and Revisionists that continues today. Despite cries after Rabin’s assassination that it was unknown for Jew to kill Jew, intramural hatred and occasional violence have marked relations between Zionism’s competing groups.

The core of that conflict, one that continues to divide Israel and its American supporters as well, lies in the different philosophies of David Ben-Gurion and Vladimir Jabotinsky…

Continued here

Issam Zahreddine and Marzouq Al-Ghanim عصام زهر الدين ومرزوق الغانم

Issam Zahreddine and Marzouq Al-Ghanim

Written by Nasser Kandil,

أكتوبر 23, 2017

القوات والفشل الحكومي

There is an incomprehensible equation that dominates the contradictory feelings, on one hand, the tears of farewell for the departure of a hero as the Major General Issam Zahreddine, while he writes the history of the steadfastness of Syria, the legendary of its victory, and the epic of leaders who write with blood an algorithm equation for victory. Those leaders at the forefront line of war are martyrs whose their martyrdom is equal the victory of the homeland, on the other hand, there is a pulse of joy in the words of the Speaker of the Kuwaiti parliament Marzouq Al-Ghanim at the International Parliament Union conference in Petersburg, while he addressed the Israeli parliamentary delegation with his stark words saying “Pack you bags, and leave, you are terrorists and murderers”, but with the return to the first sparkle where the warm feelings stroke, the two speeches have one message, it is the time of the vivid spirit of a resistance which neither the strife, nor the policies of intimidations, normalization, or wars  succeeded in extinguishing it.

In a country which sacrificed of tens of thousands and even thousands of thousands of martyrs, the news of the martyrdom of the Major General Issam Zahreddine was an interpretation of the secret of victory, where the leaders who are martyred are as the good omen for the victory to come, and where the trace of the steps of the leaders and the soldiers are signs of the progress in the Syrian geography from a battle to anther and from an epic to another, and where the photo of the martyr who met his friends across Badia to lift the siege on the Airport of Deir Al-Zour, hugging them as brave conquerors on the day of the Great Conquest, carrying one of the wounded soldiers in one of the battles going through the fire, smoke, and ruin, as the image of Syria and its army is clear far from the lie of partisanship, regions, and sects. The Syrian legend of victory through its champions is full of hundreds of stories that are mixed with blood and which unifies its unity. It is a great victory that is a result of the great patience and great pain, thus the cost of the great victory of the great homeland is no less than the blood of great leaders.

In Petersburg where dozens of the speakers of parliaments gather at the International Parliament Union conference, and where the Arab official situation is at its worst condition through disintegration, loss, and normalization of the relationship with the enemy which usurps Palestine and which is ready for more aggression, and where the definition of the enemy especially in the Gulf countries has become Iran rather than the entity of the occupying entity, and where the priority to overthrow the spirit of the resistance and its forces excel everything else,  and where there is no objection to tamper with the extremism and the terrorism as a partner in the war of overthrowing the resistance. moreover where the US President who boasts of being the closest friend to Israel among the presidents of America is being celebrated as a salvager and a hero among the rulers of the Gulf, and where the parliaments in our countries are not contradictory to the policy of the government Marzouq Al-Ghanim got out of his seat among the attendees as a speaker of the Kuwaiti parliament and the head of the delegation which participated in the conference, his eyes were filled with anger and rage from the speech of the Israeli delegation about terrorism, he did not hesitate and he did not care about the considerations imposed by politics, alliance, analyses, and  interpretations, he held the microphone and in few seconds he addressed the Israeli delegation saying. O, you are terrorists, killers of children. Pack your bags and depart, he kept shouting, Leave.. Leave… until the Israeli delegation left.

It is not important to interpret and to analyze the martyrdom of the Major General Issam Zahreddine, as it is not important to analyze the words of the Speaker of the Parliament Marzouq Al-Ghanim. Because they are expressions of deep pulse, they are not subject to the cold considerations; the spirit of the resistance is stronger than to be tamped by the calls of the spineless political reality and the dull rationality. Israel will remain the enemy and the resistance will remain the recipe of victory through the bloody way of the great leaders.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

عصام زهر الدين ومرزوق الغانم

أكتوبر 19, 20

ناصر قنديل

القوات والفشل الحكومي

– معادلة غير مفهومة تستولي على المشاعر المتناقضة، فمن جهة بدموع الوداع لترجّل فارس ورحيل بطل كاللواء عصام زهر الدين. وهو يكتب سيرة صمود سورية وأسطورة نصرها وملحمة قادة يكتبون بالدم، معادلة خوارزمية لوصفة النصر، القادة في الصف الأمامي للحرب شهداء تعادل صناعة نصر الوطن، ومن جهة مقابلة نبض فرح بكلمات رئيس البرلمان الكويتي مرزوق الغانم في مؤتمر الاتحاد البرلماني الدولي في بطرسبورغ وهو يتوجّه للوفد البرلماني الإسرائيلي بكلماته الصارخة وهو يقول «احزم حقائبك وارحل يا إرهابي يا قاتل». لكن في العقل البارد، وحيث تشتعل الشرارة الأولى للعواطف الحارة، للحدثين رسالة واحدة، إنّه زمن الروح الحية لمقاومة تنبض في العروق، لم تنجح الفتن ولا سياسات الترويض والتطبيع والحروب بقتلها.

– في بلد قدّم عشرات الآلاف، بل مئات الآلاف من الشهداء ليحيا، لا يتقدّم خبر استشهاد اللواء عصام زهر الدين فيه إلا كتفسير لسرّ النصر، حيث القادة يُستشهدون كبشارة للنصر الذي يتقدّم، بمثل ما كان وقع أقدام القادة والجنود يرسم التقدّم في الجغرافيا السورية من موقعة إلى موقعة ومن ملحمة إلى ملحمة، وحيث صورة الشهيد يلاقي رفاقه الذين قدموا عبر البادية لفك الحصار عن مطار دير الزور وهو يهتف لهم كأبطال فاتحين في يوم الفتح العظيم، تلاقي صورته وهو يحمل أحد الجنود الجرحى في إحدى المعارك على كتفه ويمضي به وسط النار والدخان والركام. كما ترتسم صورة سورية وجيشها، فوق أكذوبة العصبيات والمناطق والطوائف، وأسطورة النصر السورية بمحطات البطولة مليئة بمئات الحكايات عن خريطة الدم ترسم وحدتها، وعن فاتورة الشهادة الغالية مهراً لنصر، نصر عظيم يولد من رحم عظيم الصبر وعظيم الألم، ومهر النصر العظيم لوطن عظيم لا يمكن أن يكون أقلّ من دماء قادة عظام.

في بطرسبورغ، حيث يحتشد عشراتُ رؤساء البرلمانات في مؤتمر الاتحاد البرلماني الدولي وحيث الحال الرسمية العربية في أسوأ ما مرّ عليها من تفكّك وضياع وانخراط في التطبيع مع العدو الذي يغتصب فلسطين ويستعدّ للمزيد من العدوان وحيث تعريف العدو خصوصاً في دول الخليج، يحطّ رحاله في إيران كبديل يشغل مقعد العدو، بدلاً من كيان الاحتلال وحيث الأولوية إسقاط روح المقاومة وقواها، تتفوّق وتتقدّم على كلّ ما عداها، خصوصاً حيث لا مانع من اللعب والعبث مع التطرف والإرهاب كشريك مضارب في حرب إسقاط المقاومة وحيث يُحتفل بالرئيس الأميركي المتباهي بكونه أكثر أصدقاء «إسرائيل» بين رؤساء أميركا، يُحتفل به كمخلّص وبطل بين حكام الخليج وحيث في بلادنا لا يعبّر البرلمان عما يناقض سياسة الحكومة، يخرج مرزوق الغانم من مقعده بين الحضور كرئيس للبرلمان الكويتي ولوفد بلاده المشارك في المؤتمر، وقد امتلأت رئتاه غيظاً وغضباً من كلام الوفد «الإسرائيلي» عن الإرهاب، فلم يتردّد ولم يتمهّل، ولم يقم الحسابات المريضة التي تفترضها أحوال السياسة والتحالفات والتحليلات والتأويلات، وأمسك المذياع أمامه وفي ثوانٍ قليلة خاطب رئيس الوفد «الإسرائيلي» قائلاً، «أيها الإرهابي، يا قاتل الأطفال، احزم حقائبك وارحل». وبقي يصرخ مكرّراً، ارحل، حتى رحل الوفد «الإسرائيلي».

ليس مهمّاً تفسير وتحليل شهادة اللواء عصام زهر الدين، كما ليس مهمّاً تحليل كلمات الرئيس مرزوق الغانم، فكلتاهما تعبير عن نبض يمتدّ عميقاً بين القلب والرئة، لا يخضع للحسابات الباردة عندما تغلي الدماء الحارة لتكتب، أنّ روح المقاومة أقوى من أن تروّضها دعوات الواقعية السياسية البليدة والمتخاذلة، والعقلانية الصفراء الباهتة، وأنّ «إسرائيل» ستبقى العدو، والمقاومة ستبقى وصفة النصر، والقادة العظماء مهر الطريق المعبّد بالدماء.

Syria to Bid Farewell to “Lion of Republican Guard” 

Issam Zahriddine's body has arrived late Wednesday in Damascus after being flown from Deir Ezzor.

Issam Zahriddine’s body has arrived late Wednesday in Damascus after being flown from Deir Ezzor.

Syria is to bid farewell to late Major General Zahreddine who was martyred in Deir Ezzor Wednesday, when his convey ran over a landmine placed by ISIL Takfiri terrorists.

General Zahreddine led elite divisions of the Syrian Republican Guard, one of the fiercest and most dedicated fighting forces throughout the Syrian war of resistance against Takfiri terrorism and foreign aggression.

Well known as the “Lion of Syria” or “Lion of the Republican Guard,” Zahreddine’s forces ultimately broke the three-year-long ISIL siege over Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria, paving the way for the penultimate defeat of the terrorist group as a fighting force in Syria.

Prior to this, Zahreddine played a crucial role in liberating Aleppo from Takfiri terrorists.

General Zahreddine’s martyrdom has sent Syria into mourning. His body has arrived late Wednesday in Damascus after being flown from the Deir Ezzor Governorate.

While full details about his funeral have not been released, it is believed that his body will be transported to his ancestral village of Tarba in the Al-Sweida Governorate.

Source: Agencies

Kuwaiti Official Slams ’Israeli’ Comments at An Int’l Conference, Orders Delegates to ‘Get Out’

19-10-2017 | 11:20

Local Editor

Kuwait’s chief lawmaker was angered by an ‘Israeli’ parliament representative’s comments on imprisoned Palestinian lawmakers at an international conference on Wednesday, Kuwait’s news agency, KUNA, reported.



Get out of the hall right now if you have an atom of dignity … You occupier, child killers, National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem told parliamentarians gathered at Inter-Parliamentary Union talks in Russia.

“The saying ‘if you have no shame do as you please’ applies to the comments made by this rapist [‘Israeli’] parliament,” Al-Ghanem said.

During a discussion about the condition of Palestinian lawmakers arrested by ‘Israeli’ authorities, Al-Ghanem said that this “represented the most dangerous types of terrorism – the terrorism of the state”.

“You should grab your bags and leave this hall as you have witnessed the reaction of every honorable parliament around the world,” he said, addressing the Zionist delegation.

“Leave now if you have one ounce of dignity, you occupier, you murderer of children.”

The ‘Israeli’ delegation left the talks following the remarks by Al-Ghanem and several other parliaments in the midst of applause.

The 137th session of the IPU is currently underway in St Petersburg, Russia. The international organization sees representatives from 176 sovereign states come together for negotiations and talks.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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البطل حبيب والخائن بشير

البطل حبيب الشرتوني والخائن بشير

ابراهيم الأمين

حيلة من يعاني ضائقة الفعل اليوم، العودة الى قديمه. هي حال «القوات اللبنانية» وفريقها السياسي، بمن فيهم يتامى الجبهة اللبنانية ما غيرها. ليس لدى هؤلاء اليوم من خطاب، أو شعار، أو أغنية، غير ما يعيدنا الى سنوات الحرب الاهلية. لم يتوقف الزمن عند هؤلاء فحسب، بل توقف العقل أيضاً. لا خيال ولا إبداع حتى في عملية إحياء عصبية دينية أو سياسية أو حزبية.

وما من مجد يراه هذا الفريق إلا ما يرونه مجداً، عندما حرقوا البلاد، وقدموها لكل غزاة الكون، من العرب الى الاسرائيلييين الى الاوروبيين والاميركيين. ثم عادوا بعد كل هذا الخراب يتفاخرون بمجدهم ــ جرائمهم، إذ بينما يفترض أنهم يحتفلون أمس بالعدالة التي انتصرت لقضية أكثر رموزهم التصاقاً بالعمالة للعدو، لا يجيدون سوى إرفاقها بالاحتفال بمجازرهم. وهو ما فعلته ستريدا جعجع، عندما قالت إن إعجابها بسمير جعجع نابع من كونه «دعوَس الزغرتاوية»، وهي تتذكر مجرزة إهدن التي هاجم فيها جعجع مع مجموعة من مقاتليه مركز زعامة آل فرنجية، قاتلاً ابنهم طوني وأفراداً من عائلته. تبدو ستريدا في هذه اللحظة مسرورة بإرث يشبه حقيقة «القوات»، ويكشف موروثاً غير منسيّ، فيه ما بقي ثابتاً من عادات وأنماط تفكير لجماعة لم تخرج بعد من عقلها الذي قاد البلاد الى حرب أهلية، يبدو أن هناك من يحنّ الى زمانها!

من يشارك في ملاحقة «الأخبار» في قضية
حبيب، مهما كان موقعه أو اسمه، سنعتبره منتمياً الى فريق «الاحتلال الإسرائيلي وعملائه»

أمس، احتفل بضعة آلاف (في منازلهم) وبضعة مئات (في الشارع) بقرار المجلس العدلي الحكم بالإعدام على المقاومَين البطلين، نبيل العلم وحبيب الشرتوني بجرم اغتيال بشير الجميل. لم يكتفِ المحتفلون باعتباره نصراً، بل طالبوا بأن يكتمل عبر «اعتقال المجرمين»، ثم الذهاب نحو تجريم الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي باعتباره التنظيم الذي ينتمي اليه العلم والشرتوني.

لنضع اللحظة العاطفية لمحبّي بشير الجميّل جانباً. فهذه عوارض لا علاج لها. لكن للرجل إرثه الحقيقي عند لبنانيين، بعضهم كان رفيقاً له في الكتائب أو «القوات»، وبعضهم صار اليوم مستقلاً يندب حظه العاثر، وبعض ثالث التحق بقوى وأفكار مختلفة. لكنهم جميعاً يحنّون الى الزمن الأحب الى قلوبهم، يوم كان بشير الحلم، ويوم وصل الى رئاسة الجمهورية، ثم يوم جاء من أطفأ الحلم بكبسة زر وتوقف الكلام… وهذه العودة مهمة لتوصيف ما حصل بالأمس، وما حصل يومها، وما قد ينعكس علينا في القادم من الايام.

عملياً، يرى هؤلاء أن بشير بطل، ولا يريدون أي مراجعة أو نقد. وعند هذا الحد، يجري تقديس الرجل، ويراد لبقية الناس أن تتصرف على هذا الاساس، بينما لم يكن بشير الجميّل سوى مجرم حرب صغير، وسليل عائلة سياسية اشتهرت بالعنصرية والتعصّب الديني والاجتماعي، وتسبّب حزبها بويلات على المسيحيين ثم على جميع اللبنانيين وعلى المنطقة أيضاً. وكان بشير يمثل ذروة هذا المشروع محلياً، عندما قام بتصفية جميع خصومه المسيحيين، وألزم المعارضين بالطاعة له. ولكن هذه الذروة كان يراد لها أن تكون على مستوى لبنان. ولذلك، لم يكن متاحاً لبشير، بما يمثله، سوى انتظار العدو الاسرائيلي، الذي يتولى سحق الخصوم، قبل أن يتم تنصيبه رئيساً للجمهورية، وهذا ما حصل.

لكن المشكلة أن محبّي بشير، أو المتعاطفين مع قضيته حتى اليوم، يصرّون على تجاهل هذه الحقيقة، وبالتالي، هم لن يفهموا معنى قرار «مقاومة الاحتلال الاسرائيلي وعملائه»، هذه العبارة التي كانت تتقدم أو تذيل بيانات جبهة المقاومة الوطنية وأحزابها، وبالتالي، اعتقدوا أن بشير لا علاقة له بما تقوم به إسرائيل، وأنه خارج الحساب. لكن مثلما فوجئوا هم بمصرعه في وقت سريع، أيضاً فوجئ أنصار المقاومة بقدرات التخطيط والجاهزية العالية عند المقاومين القوميين، عندما نفذوا «حكم الشعب» بإعدام بشير. وحكم الشعب هنا يمثّل غالبية لبنانية، بعكس «حكم الشعب» الذي صدر أمس. ومهما قيل عن القضاء والقضاة، فما صدر أمس حكم يعود الى زمن الحرب الاهلية، والى زمن سلطة كانت تحت وصاية الاحتلال وعملائه. وليس فيه من العدالة شيء.

أمر آخر، يتعلق بنوبة الهستيريا التي تسود الاوساط الاعلامية والسياسية لأنصار بشير، والتي تسعى، بموافقة جهات رسمية لبنانية، لأن تلاحق «الأخبار» والرفيق ايلي حنا، ربطاً بالمقابلة التي نشرت قبل يومين مع البطل حبيب. من المفيد لفت انتباه هؤلاء، الى أنه، وفي قضايا لها بعدها الوطني، فإن «الأخبار» بغالبية العاملين فيها، لا تكترث لكل القوانين والاجراءات مهما كانت السلطة متعسفة، وان أصل استدعاء ايلي الى التحقيق لن نقبله، وسوف نقاومه، وسوف نعتبر كل من يشارك فيه، وزيراً أو قاضياً أو مسؤولاً أمنياً، أنه ينتمي الى فريق بشير في حياته، أي الى فريق «قوات الاحتلال الاسرائيلي وعملائه»… شاء من شاء، وأبى من أبى!

وبما أن المحتفلين بالحكم يريدون إضافة اسم المجرم الى جانب اسم حبيب الشرتوني لاغتيال البطل بشير، ويقولون إن ذلك يحاكي وجدان فئة من اللبنانيين، فمن المفيد القول أيضاً، وبنفس اللغة، إن الحكم على البطل حبيب الشرتوني، لتصفيته مجرم الحرب بشير الجميل، يستفزّ فئة أوسع من اللبنانيين، وإن من لا يتحسّسون وصمة العار على جباههم، رغم كل ما مروا به من ويلات سببها بشير وعائلته السياسية، فإن ما يرونه إنجازاً، هو وسام استحقاق كبير على صدر حبيب ومحبّيه الذين سيظلون يهتفون: لكل خائن حبيب!

الشرتوني مجرم والجميل بريء!!

الشرتوني مجرم والجميل بريء!!

 السبت ٢١ أكتوبر ٢٠١٧ – ٠٢:١٥ بتوقيت غرينتش

بعد 35 عاما من اغتيال الرئيس اللبناني الاسبق بشير الجميل، يصدر القضاء في بيروت حكما بالاعدام والتجريد من الحقوق المدنية على منفذ عملية الاغتيال حبيب الشرتوني والمخطط نبيل العلم، المنتميان الى الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي.

العالم – مقالات

هذا الحكم سيتفهمه الشارع اللبناني والعربي لو كان قد صدر بحق من اغتال قادة المقاومة مثل الشيخ راغب حرب، او السيد عباس الموسوي، او حتى من قام بالتآمر على الجيش اللبناني في معاركه ضد الارهاب، او ان صدر بحق قادة جيش لبنان الجنوبي او ما يعرف باسم (جيش لحد) حتى وان ماتوا. ولكن يكون هذا الحكم صدر بحق من اغتال بشير الجميل يحمل الكثير من علامات الاستفهام لدى الشارع اللبناني والعربي، لانه لا يمكنك ان تفصل ما جرى في لبنان بتلك الحقبة عن العالم العربي، كما انك لن تستطيع ان تفصل ما يجري في سوريا الان عن العالم العربي.

من هو اذا بشير الجميل ولماذا  كل هذه البلبلة حول حكم الاعدام بحق من اغتاله؟ الرئيس اللبناني الاسبق والذي شغل هذا المنصب اقل من اسبوعين اشتهر بقوته العسكرية وتنظيمه لكتائبه بشكل مميز مما جعله مفصلا مهما ومشاركا اساسيا في الحرب الاهلية في لبنان، ولكن شهرته الاساسية كانت في قربه من رئيس وزراء الاحتلال الاسرائيلي الاسبق أرئيل شارون، والذي كان وقتها وزير حرب الاحتلال.

وكان الجميل يزور شارون في الاراضي المحتلة وشارون يزوره ايضا في بكفيا ليضع معه خطة احتلال لبنان، واجتياح العاصمة العربية التي كانت تسمى بباريس العرب بيروت، حيث تم التعرف على جثة بشير الجميل من الخاتم الذي كان قد اهداه له شارون وعليه نجمة داوود وذلك في تصريح للقيادي البارز في الكتائب كريم بقردوني، وطبعا حصل ما خطط له وتم اجتياح لبنان حيث دخل بشير الجميل على متن دبابة اسرائيلية سهلت عبور ميليشياته لارتكاب المجازر واحتلال جنوبه وهو ما ادى لاحقا الى سقوط الالاف من الشهداء والجرحى والمعتقلين حتى خرج هذا الاحتلال على يد المقاومة الاسلامية حزب الله.

في جميع الدساتير العربية والدولية والسماوية ايضا عقاب الخائن القتل، وما فعله الجميل اعتبره حبيب الشرتوني خيانة للبنان والامة جميعها، لانه لا يوجد في العالم جرم اكبر من وضع يدك بيد المحتل وتسهيل دخوله الى بلادك واحتلالها والتنكيل بشعبك وتشريده، فقام الشتروني باغتيال الجميل.

وإنتقاما لبشير تم إعدام والدة حبيب الشرتوني عند باب منزلها من قبل الكتائب، واعدام شقيقة الشرتوني من بعد تعذيبها داخل معتقلات الكتائب، وإحدى أساليب التعذيب كان إرسال لها أصابع والدها وعلى مدة ١٠ أيام الذي أعدم أيضا من بعد بتر أعضاء جسده داخل المعتقلات.

وإنتقاماً لبشير تم إعدام أكثر من ألف شخص في ٤٨ ساعة من قبل الكتائب. وبعد يومين من مقتل بشير قامت الكتائب وجيش لبنان الجنوبي اي جيش لحد والجيش الاسرائيلي بمجزرة صبرا وشاتيلا بحق اللاجئين الفلسطينيين. وذلك دون حسيب او رقيب.

بشير الجميل قام بتصفية خصومه حيث امر بارسال قوات بقيادة سمير جعجع انذاك الى منطقة اهدن وقتل قائد قوات تيار المردة طوني فرنجية ابن الرئيس سليمان فرنجية و عائلته جميعها والمقاتلين التابعين له، وهي الواقعة التي سميت فيما بعد بمجزرة إهدن، وطبعا لم يحاسب بشير او اي شخص قام بهذه العملية.

ويتسائل الشارع العربي انه بعد صدور حكم الاعدام بحق حبيب الشتروني هل يمكن القول انه تم تشريع الخيانة وتجريم المقاومة؟
ويبقى السؤال من يستحق الاعدام حبيب ام بشير؟
ابراهيم شير/ كاتب واعلامي سوري

سلسلة نشر غسيل | بشير جميّل اللقيط الاسرائيلي : الحلقة الأولى

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مع الاعتذار من حبيب الشرتوني

ستون دقيقة عن اشتشهاد البطل عصام وهر الدين والحكم باعدام البطل منفذ حكم الشعب في العميل بشير الجميل

«أنا حبيب الشرتوني أقر وأنا بكامل أهليتي القانونية بأني نفذت حكم الشعب بحق الخائن بشير الجميل وأنا لست نادماً على ذلك بل على العكس إذا آتى مرة آخرى فسوف أقتله وستصح مقولة لكل خائن حبيب وأبشركم أن هناك ألف ألف حبيب لكل خائن عميل في بلادي».

مع الاعتذار من حبيب الشرتوني

أكتوبر 21, 2017

ناصر قنديل

أنّ عملية الشهيد خالد علوان في شارع الحمراء وعملية الاستشهادي أحمد قصير بتفجير مقرّ الحاكم العسكري «الإسرائيلي» في صور وعملية المناضل حبيب الشرتوني شكّلت ثلاثي الاستنهاض للمقاومة وثقافتها، وثلاثي الانهيار لمشروع الاحتلال،


– سأكتفي بوضع النقاط على حروف وعينا المتشكّل خلال الاجتياح «الإسرائيلي» للبنان وولادة المقاومة بوجهه، بعيداً عن جدل عقيم حول معاني القوانين واستنسابية تطبيقها، عندما تدخل في زواريب الاسترضاء السياسي والزبائنية بين العائلات الحاكمة، وإعادة إنتاج الحصانة للبكوات بوجه تبعات ارتكابهم لفعل خيانة الوطن، وسقوط حصانة العمل الوطني النبيل والشريف للمقاومين عن أبناء الفقراء والبسطاء والفلاحين إذا مسّوا شعرة من رأس البيك وابن البيك، فكيف إذا صار بلقب رئيس جمهورية، ولا أظنّ أنّ بين اللبنانيين المأخوذين بغير الغريزة العمياء، والخاضعين لفعل العقل وحده، مَن يجادل بكون بشير الجميّل صار رئيساً بقوة الاحتلال، وأنّ وصوله للرئاسة كان من رهانات اجتياح «إسرائيل» للبنان، ولا مَن يناقش في أنّ الطريق الدستوري للمحاكمة بتهمة الخيانة العظمى مغلق بقوة التركيب السياسي المريض، وبقوة حضور الاحتلال، وأنّ كلّ حكم قضائي هو ثقافة ورسالة، وأنّ محاكمة حبيب الشرتوني هي خلاصة مضمون سلّم القيم الذي يحكم لبنان اليوم بعيون التاريخ والأجيال القادمة، فما هي الرسالة التي يحملها الحكم اليوم؟

– من الزاوية المنطقية ارتكاب جرم التعامل مع العدو وخدمة سياساته والعمل على تحقيق أهدافه يصير أخطر، كلما ارتفعت المكانة التي يحتلّها مرتكب الجرم في بنية المجتمع وهيكلية الدولة ومؤسساتها، ومنطقياً يجب أن ترتفع العقوبة بالتناسب مع ارتفاع حجم الخطر المترتّب على ارتكاب الجرم ذاته، وأعلى مراتب الجرم بالتعامل هي التي ترتكب من موقع رئيس جمهورية، والذي يصير في لبنان هو العكس تماماً، فجرم سعد حداد وأنطوان لحد أكبر من جرم بشير الجميّل، وربّما جرم عريف في جيش العملاء تحت إمرة حداد أو لحد أكبر من جرمهما، فكلّما صار العميل برتبة أعلى وينتسب لمكانة اجتماعية أقرب لقيمة البكوات ورتب الشرف الإقطاعية، وصارت بالتالي خدماته للعدو أخطر وأكبر، صغر جرمه ولو كان خطره أكبر وضرره أكثر، لا بل صارت ملاحقة مَن ينفذ به حكم الشعب، واجبة ولا تموت بتقادم الزمن.

– من الزاوية المنطقية أيضاً عندما يقع بلد تحت الاحتلال، يُمنع إجراء أيّ تغيير في المواقع الدستورية تشتمّ منه رائحة التأثر بما نتج عن الاحتلال، فكيف عندما يجلب الاحتلال النواب بدباباته وتحت تهديد عملائه لانتخاب مرشحه الرئاسي الوحيد بلا منافسة، ويُصاب نواب بالجروح، ويُنتخب المرشح الأوحد الذي تكتب عنه صحافة العدو علناً كحليف وصديق، ويقيم حفل التهاني العائلي بحضور جنرالات الاحتلال. وفي مثل هذه الأحوال يستحيل الرهان على اشتغال آليات دستورية لعزل الرئيس المنتخب بحراب المحتلّ، كما تشكّل الدعوة لترك الرئيس التابع للاحتلال في منصبة يخدم المحتلّ دعوة لتحقيق أهداف الاحتلال. فما هي بالضبط الدعوة التي وجّهها المجلس العدلي للمواطن حبيب الشرتوني ورفاق جيله الذين رأوا جريمة الاحتلال والتعامل مع الاحتلال من موقع رئاسة الجمهورية، والرسالة المماثلة للأجيال القادمة تجاه خطر مماثل، أن تدع الرئيس يُتمّ المهمة وتدع الاحتلال ينعم بالنعمة، أليست الوظيفة الأصلية للأحكام القضائية ثقافة؟ فما هي الثقافة التي أراد القضاة توجيهها؟ دعوا الاحتلال يحقق أهدافه كي لا تحاكَموا لاحقاً وتدانُوا، لأنّ الاقتصاص ممن تعامل مَنْ هم دون الرئيس لن يؤثر طالما بقي الرئيس، والاقتصاص من الرئيس إذا تعامَلَ يُدينكم، حتى لو ارتكب الخيانة العظمى فهو طالما لا يُحاكَم بتهمتها، فلا يُدان بارتكابها، أليست هذه هي الثقافة التي يطبّقها نظامنا في جرائم الفساد، الرؤوس الكبيرة لا يطالُها قانون، وإنْ طالَها الشعب يحاسَبْ ويُدَنْ.

– من الزواية المنطقية ليس أشدَّ من توهين وإضعاف للحال الوطنية من تعامل رئيس جمهورية مع محتلّ، وليس أشدّ من رفع معنويات المقهورين في ظلّ الاحتلال كمثل النيل من أعلى رموز التعامل معه، وإصابة مشروعه في الصميم، ويعرف كلّ أبناء أجيال المقاومة التي قاتلت المحتلّ أنّ عملية الشهيد خالد علوان في شارع الحمراء وعملية الاستشهادي أحمد قصير بتفجير مقرّ الحاكم العسكري «الإسرائيلي» في صور وعملية المناضل حبيب الشرتوني شكّلت ثلاثي الاستنهاض للمقاومة وثقافتها، وثلاثي الانهيار لمشروع الاحتلال، وأنّ إدانة حبيب الشرتوني اليوم تشبه إدانة مفترضة لخالد علوان وأحمد قصير بتهمة حيازة السلاح والمتفجّرات من دون ترخيص وتأسيس جماعة مسلّحة خارج التشكيلات النظامية للدولة. فأيّهما يوهن الروح الوطنية ويُضعفها، فعلُ المقاومين أم الأحكامُ التي تنال من شرف المهمة التي أدّوها، وارتقى بها الوطن إلى مراتب الشرف والكرامة لتليقَ به المقاومة؟

– الحكمُ على حبيب الشرتوني لا يُقاس بمفاعيله العملية، بل بنتائجه الثقافية. ومضمون الرسالة التي يحملها لمنظومة القيم التي يُدار الحكم على أساسها، في أعلى مراتب العقل، حيث يتولّى القضاة الكبار النظر في الأمر، ولو كنّا في بلد آخر يريد كتابة تاريخه عبر أحكام قضاته، بدلاً من كتابة مجاملات العائلات التي تتداول الحكم وتدير النظام، وتقيم الحصانات لبعضها البعض، لكانت المحاكمة فرصة لفتح ملف تلك المرحلة، وبالحدّ الأدنى كان الحكم المقبول، اعتبار ظروف الانتخاب الرئاسي مشتبهاً في صحتها وقابلة للطعن، وشروط الإحالة للمجلس العدلي غير مستوفاة، واعتبار العملية وجهاً من وجوه الصراع الذي تداخل فيه القتال ضدّ الاحتلال بماضي الحرب الأهلية واصطفافاتها، وشمول الفعل بقانون العفو.

– سؤال بريء:

لماذا لم تتمّ محاكمة حبيب الشرتوني خلال وجوده في سجن أمين الجميّل لسنوات؟ أليس لأنّ حالنا الوطنية كانت أفضل؟ وكان التجرّؤ على المقاومين دونه الكثير من التهيّب والخوف والرهبة؟ وكانت ثقافة النفاق تخجل من نفسها أكثر؟

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Some Thoughts on the Latest Church Vandalism in Israel

Father Antonio Scudu, caretaker at the St. Stephen Church, west of Jerusalem, examines a portion of a shattered statue of the Virgin Mary. The vandalism of the church took place on September 19, 2017.

By Richard Edmondson

There still has been no arrest in the vandalism of St. Stephen’s Church, a Christian site near Jerusalem which vandals entered and desecrated on the night of September 19. I am, for that matter, not especially hopeful an arrest will be forthcoming. Israel has an extremely sorry history when it comes to investigating and prosecuting criminal cases of this sort. The record speaks for itself.

An article published by Haaretz on September 24 reports that over 50 Christian and Muslim religious sites have been vandalized since the year 2009. In that time only nine indictments have been filed, and only seven convictions have been handed down. That’s bad enough, but an article published Tuesday at Crux, a Catholic news site, suggests the record may be even worse than Haaretz is reporting. “There have been some 80 incidents of vandalism against churches and Christian sites in the Holy Land over the last decade. In most of the cases, no arrests or indictments have taken place,” that article states.

All I can tell you is that over the years since I’ve been blogging, which is about seven years now, I have reported on numerous attacks by vandals on religious sites in Israel, yet still the practice remains an acute problem.

My initial report on this month’s attack at St. Stephen’s was posted September 23. In that post I noted that the church is located on the grounds of a Catholic monastery, Beit Jamal, a Salesian monastery that lies near the city of Beit Shemesh. I also noted that this is the third time in four years that the site has been vandalized and commented, “Apparently the site is on somebody’s hit list.”

The previous attacks occurred in 2013, when a firebomb was thrown at the door and hateful graffiti scrawled on the walls, and in January of 2016, when the cemetery was vandalized. At the time, I put up a post on the 2016 cemetery attack, which you can access here. All this taken into consideration, it does seem as if the church might be on a hit list of some sort.

Whether this has anything to do with the fact that the locale is believed to have been the burial place of St. Stephen, I can’t say. But indeed, there is a longstanding tradition in church history that the saint’s remains were buried here. This of course is why the church is named after him, and perhaps for this reason, it is worth recounting a bit of St. Stephen’s story

Stephen, his speech before Jewish leaders and his death by stoning at their hands, are told of in the sixth and seventh chapters of the Book of Acts. Initially selected to help with daily distribution of food, Stephen was described as “a man full of God’s grace and power” who “did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people,” and he seems to have risen quickly to prominence among the disciples in Jerusalem. This of course in the months after Christ’s crucifixion.

Jews from one of the synagogues began to accuse Stephen in a manner very reminiscent of the charges brought against Jesus–and, like Jesus himself, Stephen ended up before the Jewish ruling council, or Sanhedrin. He was, among other things, accused of speaking “words of blasphemy against Moses and against God,” and he was also alleged to have invoked Jesus’ prophecy about the destruction of the temple. It’s probably not too much of a stretch, then, to speculate he may even have told people that God didn’t live in the Jewish temple (as Jewish leaders claimed) and that it was not necessary for people to actually go there in order to worship God, that God can be worshiped anywhere. This would have reflected Jesus’ teaching in John 4:21-23, and if Stephen indeed spread such teachings, then it would have infuriated the Jewish leadership all the more, for the temple was an enormously lucrative enterprise for them.

Then the high priest asked him, “Are these charges true?”

This is the opening line in Acts chapter 7, and it is at this point that Stephen launches into his lengthy speech. Basically, it’s a speech recounting the narrative of the Old Testament. The Abrahamic covenant, the stories of Issac and Jacob, the twelve patriarchs, the bondage in Egypt, Moses and the Exodus–all of this is spoken of by Stephen. All of it makes up about ninety percent of his speech, and for the most part it doesn’t ruffle too many feathers, but then we get to the following passage–and it is at this point that all “heck” breaks loose. Here again, the speaker is Stephen:

You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit! Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him–you who have received the law that was put into effect but have not obeyed it.

Notice that Stephen chooses the same adjective–“stiff-necked”–used by Moses in describing the Israelites. He is in effect saying that the Abrahamic covenant is hereby abrogated. If you consistently disobey the law–most especially if you murder God’s son–what other conclusion than that can be drawn? The covenant is dead. Jews can no longer consider themselves God’s “chosen,” Stephen is basically saying. It’s a pivotal moment. It is literally earth shaking. And the reaction from the Sanhedrin is spontaneous and immediate:

When they heard this they were furious, and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city, and began to stone him.

Thus Stephen became the first Christian martyr in recorded history. Interestingly, the text notes that one of those present, giving his approval to it all, was Saul–later Paul–who, somewhat astonishingly, ended up becoming an apostle of Christ himself.

Could this narrative in the New Testament have anything to do with why St. Stephen’s and the monastery have been attacked repeatedly?

The night of September 19/20, when the vandal(s) entered the church, was the eve of the Jewish New Year. “The monastery is open for visitors and generally has good relations with its Jewish neighbors,” the Crux article notes, “including the residents of an ultra-Orthodox town.” The “ultra-Orthodox town” being referred to here is Beit Shemesh, located nearby, a city of about 103,000 population.

Beit Shemesh is mentioned in the Book of Joshua as being among the towns allotted to the Levites, or priestly class. In the modern, post-1948 era it was settled by Jewish immigrants from Bulgaria, though by the late 1970s it had become a major center of the Likud Party. The “good relations” mentioned in the Crux article probably pertain to Neturei Karta, which has a small community living in Beit Shemesh, primarily in one neighborhood of the city. You can go hereto see video of a protest in which an NK member, holding a Palestinian flag, is attacked and chased by Israeli police. The date on the video is 2015. An earlier video, also shot in Beit Shemesh, shows a confrontation between police and a large group of Orthodox men demanding enforcement of segregation between the sexes. It is perhaps not terribly surprising that a Christian church and monastery located in proximity to such a city would come under attack.

The vandals destroyed a statue of the Virgin Mary, a cross, and smashed stained glass windows depicting events in the life of Jesus. While Hebrew graffiti has been a hallmark of previous church attacks in Israel, nothing of the like was left in this case. Still,  Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, the Catholic patriarchal vicar for Jerusalem and Palestine, expressed the view that the attack was most likely carried out by “Jewish extremists.”

“Vandals broke into the church and destroyed the crosses, the statue of Our Lady and the stained glass, as well as the faces of the saints,” Mgr. Marcuzzo said.

“In the Old Testament, it is written to destroy the statues as a symbol of idolatry. Here, these people distort the Scriptures and promote fanaticism. Perhaps it is not a direct attack on Christians, but it is certainly a message against those who do not share their ideology and it is scary because it shows that there is no respect for others. Living together is undermined,” he added.

Anther cleric who commented on the matter is Salesian Father Antonio Scudu, who serves as caretaker of the church.

“I was shocked. I didn’t expect to see something like this. The church is always open. If you see what happened, you feel they did it with hate. They smashed everything,” he said.

Israeli Police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld told the Catholic News Service that the case is being given “top priority.”

“There have been arrests in previous cases. We are looking into this case to see if it was an individual or a group. These are all separate cases,” Rosenfeld said. “People can say what they want. This kind of case is top priority.”

Yet as the report posted by Crux notes:

Christians in the Holy Land, including Catholic leaders, have expressed frustration with lack of legal action against cases of desecration and vandalism of sacred places.

Even as the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land issued a statement condemning the September 20 desecration and vandalism of a Catholic shrine in Israel, some people criticized the statement’s “weak language” and asked, “How long will we be tolerant?”

“Unfortunately, in these situations we feel how vulnerable we are,” one person wrote on Facebook.

The words “how long will we be tolerant?” have a certain poignance to them, for in Israel there are “Jewish extremists” who seem to feel the nation has been overly “tolerant” by even allowing Christians and Christian churches to exist inside the country’s boundaries. One such individual is Benzi Gopstein, whose views I discussed in the post I put up in January of 2016 on the St. Stephen’s cemetery desecration.

Gopstein is the leader of Lehava, the far-right Israeli organization that opposes intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews. He also hates Christianity. My 2016 post included an excerpt from a Times of Israel report in which Gopstein is quoted as referring to Christianity as “that accursed religion” and likening Christians to “vampires.”

Interestingly, the Lehava leader has also been referred to as “Israel’s teflon man, nothing sticks to him.”

The Israeli government may be feeling mounting pressure to do something about the wave of attacks upon religious sites, and if that is the case, we could end up seeing an arrest in the St. Stephen’s case. This of course would not alleviate the anti-Christian hatred felt by Jews like Gopstein, and if anything will make it worse. There is a reason the Christian Church, founded by men like Stephen, ended up breaking off from Judaism: the two faiths are pretty much incompatible.

Uranium and microfission in Gaza, a particular case / Uranium et microfission à Gaza, un cas particulier [français plus bas]

Source: Uranium and microfission in Gaza, a particular case / Uranium et microfission à Gaza, un cas particulier [français plus bas]

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