Ghassan’s Prediction and the Emerging New Palestinian Reality By James Zogby

Note to James Zogby:  
The cause of Ghassan Kanafani was Right of Return to Palestine Liberated from River to sea, not the so-called “equal rights”
His Cause was Beyond PALESTINE
Image result for ghassan kanafani quotes
The title is often translated as Return to Haifa but that would be العودة إلى حيفا in Arabic. The actual title promises and describes the action of returning, and at the end Said tells Dov and Miriam they can keep the house for now, and admits or asserts that returning to it would mean war.

Ghassan’s Prediction and the Emerging New Palestinian Reality

Global Research, September 02, 2016
Arab American Institute 1 September 2016

During the past year, I’ve had the pleasure of receiving visits from Ayman Odeh, logements PalestineAhmad Tibi, and most recently Basel Ghattas—as they passed through Washington. All are Palestinian citizens of Israel. And all are Members of the Israeli Knesset, part of the Joint Arab List that won a record 13 seats in the last Israeli election. It was a delight to sit with them and learn from them not only about the difficulties they face, but the progress they have made.

I have written about how I first became attached to the Arab community in Israel. It was the insightful Palestinian novelist, Ghassan Kanafani who caused me to divert my doctoral dissertation research from the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon to the Palestinian Arabs who remained in their homes after Israel was created in 1948. He gave me two reasons. While much had already been written about the refugees, there was an absence of good literature about the Palestinians “inside” and, he said,

they are the most promising component group of the Palestinian people since they have been forged like steel in the hearth of Israel. Facing enormous difficulties, they have developed a uniquely progressive identity and, he believed, the day would come when they would be in a position to provide real visionary leadership for the entire Palestinian people.

My meetings with Odeh, Tibi, and Ghattas have given me the sense that Ghassan may have been right. These are remarkable individuals, part of a larger movement that has faced down the increasingly repressive, ultra-nationalist Israeli government while defending their rights and securing their political role.

For the first three decades, the Arabs in Israel couldn’t form political parties or join unions (these were reserved for Zionists or Jews). They lived under a draconian and discriminatory legal system. They lost their lands to widespread confiscation. The Israeli educational system forced them to study Hebrew and Jewish history instead of their own language and history. And those who resisted, were imprisoned or forcibly expelled from the country.

Like other civil rights movements, these Palestinian citizens of Israel used every available opening to win their rights, facing down arrests, expulsions, and lethal violence. While tremendous problems remain, Palestinian citizens in Israel now form political parties, join unions, and teach their language and history. They still face systemic racism in housing, employment, education, allocation of the state’s budget, and many other areas—and yet they have built and sustained a fighting force that continues to press their demands for justice and equality.

In creating their Joint List, the Palestinian citizens of Israel have forged a remarkable national unity bringing together diverse political currents: nationalists, traditionalists, and progressives—Muslims and Christians, alike. Netanyahu’s far-right governing coalition has stepped up its assault on the Arab community in an effort to divide them and break their resolve. Israel has created a fake new identity for Christians—in an effort to divide the Arabs on the basis of religion. They have charged some Arab Knesset Members with “incitement” for advocating on behalf of their Palestinian brethren living under the suffocating economic embargo imposed on Gaza. Israel has passed laws prohibiting Arabs and progressive Jews from supporting the non-violent boycott movement protesting Israel’s settlement policy and making it more difficult for them to receive grants from the EU to promote democracy and human rights. None of these repressive measures have broken their resolve or unity.

In addition to my earlier studies, I have, in recent years, polled the Palestinian Arab citizens in Israel, as well as the Palestinians living under occupation and those in exile. Of all of the component parts of the Palestinian people, the Arabs in Israel are the most forward looking and the most committed to achieving justice for the entire Palestinian people. And as I have watched Odeh, Tibi, and Ghattas in action, I have been impressed by their political savvy. Unlike the divided and visionless leadership of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, the members of the Joint list have vision, a sound political sense of tactics and strategy, and a demonstrated ability to connect with the people they serve. While it is correct to acknowledge that Israel has done everything it could to weaken, punish, discredit, divide, and tie-in-knots the Palestinian leadership under occupation, the Israelis have been no less harsh in the treatment meted out to their own Palestinian citizenry. In this context, it is significant to note that while the efforts of several Arab states have failed, it is fallen on the shoulders of the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel (the collective leadership of the Arab community in Israel) to launch an initiative to bring about reconciliation between the Palestinian factions of Fateh and Hamas.

I have just finished reading a compelling Haaretz article

”Stop with the Nonsense that Palestinians Are a Minority In Israel”.

The writer Gideon Levy argues that since Israel has refused to separate from the occupied territories and continues to entrench its settler colonies deeper into the heart of the West Bank and the Arab areas of what they call “Greater Jerusalem”, the “era of the two state solution [is drawing] to a close” and has been replaced by a de facto “bi-national state” in which the numbers of Jews and Arabs are roughly equal. In this new reality, Arabs are not a minority, they are half of the population.

If this is to remain the case, and I see no evidence that the Netanyahu government will change direction or that any outside power will compel them to do so, then the Palestinian struggle will inevitably be transformed from one demanding independence into a movement demanding equal rights. This will merely be an extension of the fight that the “inside” Palestinians have been waging for seven decades. If this is to be the case, we may well see the day when the Palestinian citizens of Israel will emerge, as Kanafani predicted, as the new leadership of a unified Palestinian community fighting for justice and equality.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the position of the Arab American Institute. The Arab American Institute is a non-profit, nonpartisan national leadership organization that does not endorse candidates. 

Erdogan and travel in a time machine .. for the treatment of political impotence! نارام سرجون: أردوغان والسفر في آلة الزمن.. لعلاج العنانة السياسية

27625 غزة تذبح وسط تصريحات المتاجرين بدماء ابنائها

غزة تذبح وسط تصريحات المتاجرين بدماء ابنائها

نارام سرجون: أردوغان والسفر في آلة الزمن.. لعلاج العنانة السياسية

وكالة أوقات الشام الإخبارية

بالرغم من أنني أعرف أن رجب طيب أردوغان شخص مراوغ ومحتال لكنني عندما قرأت خبرا بأنه يراسل موقع عرب تايمز.. لنشر مقالة ينشرها بين القراء العرب اكتشفت أن الرجل مجنون ومختل وأنه لا يعرف حتى الحفاظ على كرامته الشخصية.. كما أنه لا يحفظ الوعود والعهود والمواثيق.. وهذا التصرف في الحقيقة إما أنه يعني أن الرجل انفصل عن الواقع أو أن مستشاريه منفصلون عن الواقع.. أو أنه بالفعل متأثر بقصص الخيال العلمي ويعتقد أن هنالك شيئا اسمه آلة السفر عبر الزمن إلى الماضي.. الرجل لاشك يعاني من عنانة سياسية.. وعقم سياسي.. ولم يعد قادرا على الإنجاب سياسيا.. ولكنه لايزال يطلب الزواج السياسي على سنة الله ورسوله..

 فقد تلقى مكتب رئيس الوزراء التركي صفعة مهينة وقاسية برفض رئيس تحرير موقع عرب تايمز نشر مقال لرجب طيب أردوغان أرسلته السيدة بيانكا مسؤولة المكتب الصحفي للطيب اردوغان.. ولا أدري من صاحب هذا الاقتراح والعبقرية في العلاقات العامة لأن توقيت الرسالة الآن بالذات فيها صبيانية وولدنة..

فالرجل لم يفعل شيئا لغزة وهي تذبح وتخسر 10 آلاف شهيد وجريح في زمن قياسي في حسابات المجازر والتطهير العرقي.. ولم يطرد السفير الإسرائيلي ولم يفقد أعصابه ولم يطلب حظرا جويا.. ولم يرسل بعض الذباحين إلى غزة لينحروا الجندي الإسرائيلي الأسير كما يفعل أشاوسه الإسلاميون مع جميع الأسرى العرب والمسلمين والأكراد.. ومع هذا يريد إقناعنا أنه مشغول على غزة والمسلمين..

لكن هذه المحاولات من أردوغان تعكس شعورا حقيقيا لدى مكتب رئيس الوزراء التركي وفريق مستشاريه بأن اللعبة التركية في التلاعب بمشاعر العرب والتمثيل لهم تمثيليات البطولة انتهت.. وأن الأتراك دخلوا في مرحلة العيش على الأنقاض في العلاقات مع الشعوب العربية ونخبها.. وهناك إدراك عميق أن تركيا تحولت إلى أكثر دولة مكروهة لدى شعوب المنطقة تماما كما كان عليه الحال عندما كان هناك جيش انكشاري يسرق البلاد وينهب العباد ويسوق شباب العرب إلى السفربرلك ومغامرات السلاطين وحروبهم ليموت أبناؤنا جوعا وتعبا وعطشا قبل أن يموتوا برصاص المعارك.. ويدفنوا دون أسماء..

من الواضح أن هناك حملة علاقات عامة تركية محمومة وحملة استحمام لاستعادة الثقة بسياسة تركيا التي صارت مثقوبة ومثيرة للاشمئزاز بدليل الاتصال بمواقع عربية مؤثرة.. وهناك شعور واسع بالخسارة الفكرية والثقافية والأخلاقية على نطاق واسع.. حيث يسعى الساسة الأتراك بوضوح لاسترداد المعجبين بثلاثي تركيا وإسلاميي حزب العدالة عبر عملية تنظيف الأيدي من الدماء وسكب العسل في الأطباق والصحون وإقامة ولائم الكلام المنافق واختراق حاجز الكراهية الكبير بينهم وبين الشعوب التي عانت من مغامرتهم في سورية ومصر والعراق وليبيا ولبنان وفلسطين.. هذا النشاط والسعي المحموم تحرك بعد أن شاهد الأتراك أن المعجبين بتركيا في حالة هروب جماعي من تلك الأوهام.. وبدا المسرح الواسع الذي يقف على منصته أردوغان خاليا من الحضور التفاعلي بخلوه من العلمانيين العرب والمثقفين الحقيقيين وبدا مهجورا.. ولم يبق في مسرحه إلا ذوو اللحى.. وهؤلاء معظمهم منتفعون ومنافقون يميلون مع كل مائل وينعقون مع كل ناعق وعندما تميل الريح سيميلون معها.. أما خارج المسرح فغضب وحجارة ومظاهرات صاخبة.. وبيض وبندورة وأحذية تنتظر خروج الممثلين الاستعراضيين الأتراك..

المكانة التي بنتها تركيا باللعب على العواطف تحطمت وتتعرض لنزيف صاعق.. ولا يجد الكثيرون في النخب العربية الفاعلة والمؤثرة فرقا اليوم بين دور إسرائيل ودور تركيا في المنطقة فرغم تكامل المشروعين منذ بدأت العلاقات بين الطرفين فإن الربيع العربي كشف أن المشروعين التركي الطوراني والصهيوني متفقان على تدمير الشرق ولكنهما يتنافسان في نفس الوقت على ابتلاعه كل على طريقته.. فقد حول الساسة الأتراك تركيا إلى إسرائيل الشمالية.. فلا فرق بين مشروع إسرائيل ومشروع تركيا.. كلتاهما تريدان السيطرة على الشرق لبناء إمبراطورية على حساب شعوب المنطقة.. تركيا تريد بناء تركيا الكبرى العثمانية.. وإسرائيل تريد إقامة إسرائيل الكبرى.. والمشروعان يقومان بالضبط على حساب سورية الكبرى وشعبها.. من العراق وحتى غزة..

تركيا تنزف بسرعة من رصيدها وأحلامها.. ومستشارو أردوغان يضمدون ثقوبها.. ويحاولون بيأس إعادة إنتاج الكذب والوعود والمبررات.. ولكن رد رئيس تحرير عرب تايمز كان لكمة على أنف أردوغان.. وركلة على قفاه.. حيث يقف أردوغان على الأبواب التي يصفعها الناس في وجهه.. لأنه نذير الشؤم ونذير الشر.. ورئيس الكنيست الإسرائيلي في أنقرة.. الذي يريد أيضا أن تكون إمبراطوريته.. من الفرات إلى النيل..

هل يعتقد هذا المجنون ومستشاروه أن شيئا في الدنيا يعيده إلينا؟.. وهل يعتقد هذا الخائن للعهد أن شيئا في الدنيا يعادل دم شهدائنا؟.. هل يظن هذا المجرم أننا سنغمس أصابعنا في طبق العسل الذي يقدمه لنا بعد أن تذوقنا السم الزعاف في أطباقه..؟؟ هل يمكن أن يراود هذا الأفاق الكذاب شك أن آلة الزمن لن تعود به ثانية واحدة إلى الوراء.. وهل يجرؤ أن يتصور أن يجد من يلبي الدعوة لولائمه وأعراسه وحفلات الزنا التي يقيمها..

موقع عرب تايمز عامل رجب طيب أردوغان بما يستحق من الاحتقار.. ورفض لعب دور المحلل لمجاهد النكاح واللص الذي سرق أساور حلب وضفائرها وحليها وأقراطها.. ورفض رئيس التحرير أن يسمح بهذه الملوثات البصرية والأخلاقية أن تؤذي مشاعر وعيون القراء..

الدكتور أسامة فوزي صاحب موقع عرب تايمز هو مثقف فلسطيني من قرية ترشيحا لا يعرف المجاملة ولا النفاق الذي يجيده المتثاقفون العرب وما أكثرهم.. لم يتردد في الرد على رسالة أردوغان برسالة توبيخ وازدراء قاسية تشفي الغليل وتعكس حالة من تضامن النخب الحقيقية والصافية مع هموم المنطقة وحقيقة أن الدم لا يكون ماء.. فدم السوريين الذي نزف كان دما من عروق فلسطين وشرايينها أيضا.. والعكس بالعكس.. وأن شجرة فلسطين محملة بالشرفاء..

فلسطين ليست خالد مشعل ولا إسماعيل هنية ولا الجاسوس عزمي بشارة ولا عطوان ولا وضاح خنفر.. بل هي كرمة ودالية حبلى بالعنب والثورة إثر الثورة.. وهي خزان من خزانات الوعي المشرقي  والمناضلين.. وحق لا يموت.. منذ زمن غسان كنفاني الذي كتب شعار “حق لا يموت” وناجي العلي.. وكمال عدوان.. وكمال ناصر.. ومحمد يوسف النجار.. ووديع حداد.. وجورج حبش..

قولوا لهذا العنَين رجب.. إن العنانة في السياسة لا دواء لها ولا شفاء ولا تنفع فيها حبة من هنا أو حبتان من هناك.. وأن العنانة السياسية أعيت من يداويها.. فاحمل رسائلك الغزلية وقصائد غرامك وحبوبك المقوية الزرقاء.. فالحبوب والعقاقير والغزل الرقيق واستدعاء الفحولة ربما تنفعك مع “أمينة” في سريرها.. ولكن ما ينفع “أمينة” في السرير ويسعدها لا ينفع السياسة في سرير الشرق.. العنانة السياسية بلاء ليس له دواء.. يا رجب..

وفيما يلي الخبر ورد الدكتور أسامة فوزي على رجب بنيامين نتنياهو:

رفضت عرب تايمز نشر مقال لرئيس الوزراء التركي رجب طيب اردوغان بعثت به إلى عرب تايمز السيدة بيانكا مسؤولة المكتب الصحفي للطيب اردوغان… وكانت السيدة بيانكا قد اتصلت مرتين بالهاتف وطلبت التحدث مع الدكتور أسامة فوزي ولما لم تجده بعثت إليه برسالة تطلب فيها نشر مقال لاردوغان أرسلت نسخة منه باللغتين العربية والانجليزية

وقد رد الدكتور فوزي على مكتب اردوغان الصحفي رافضا نشر المقال مبينا أسبابه.. وقال فوزي في رده:

لقد عمل رئيس الوزراء رجب طيب اردوغان دورا مخزيا في التآمر على الشعب العربي السوري حين جعل تركيا مقرا ومعبرا لآلاف الإرهابيين من مختلف دول العالم الذين يتباهون بقتل السوريين وحز رقابهم بعد أن سرق اردوغان ثروات السوريين وفكك آلاف المعامل والمشاغل من حلب ونقلها إلى تركيا.

وأضاف الزميل فوزي: يلعب اردوغان اليوم دورا تآمريا مماثلا ضد مصر والشعب المصري  كما قدم اردوغان ضمانات أمنية وأسلحة للإرهابيين الذين يفجرون المدن العراقية هذه الأيام

لكن الدور الأبرز لاردوغان -يقول الزميل فوزي في رده-

هو التآمر على الشعب الفلسطيني والمتاجرة بدماء الفلسطينيين وكان اردوغان يوم أمس أول من فك حظر الطيران لإسرائيل وهو ما لم تفعله حتى الولايات المتحدة نفسها هذا عدا عن قمع اردوغان لأبناء شعبه التركي وهو قمع رأيناه على شاشات التلفزيون عقب الكشف عن فساد اردوغان المالي وابنه وعدد من أعضاء حكومته.

وختم فوزي رده قائلا: لهذا لا يمكننا نشر مقالة اردوغان في عرب تايمز انطلاقا من مبدأ أخلاقي أولاً ثم حتى لا نساهم في الترويج لأكاذيبه وإساءاته للعرب ومحاولاته اليائسة لبناء مجده الشخصي على أجساد أبناء شعبنا العربي.


فيما يلي رسالة السيدة بيانكا ننشرها كاملة بعد حذف العناوين وأرقام الهاتف منها.. كما ننشر رد الزميل فوزي على الرسالة

Dear Dr. Osama,

 In light of the current turmoil and divide within the Muslim community, Prime Minister Erdogan has written the below Opinion Editorial (Op-Ed) piece to communicate the virtues and fundamentals of Islam and the humanity and peace that are its founding principles.

 The Op-Ed comes a few days after the completion of the ‘World Islamic Scholars Peace, Moderation and Commonsense Initiative’ conference which took place in Istanbul. Erdogan emphasizes the need to bring about peace stating “we must follow the path of peace and unity” and stressing the importance of the Quran in its teachings, reminding all that Islam rejects extremism of all forms.

 Please find below in the body of this email the English version of the poignant Op-Ed which can be published. Please feel free to contact me directly either via my cell at  xxxxxxxxxxx or by email at xxxxxxxxxxx should you have any questions. Thank you once again.


 Bianca Bahary

 on behalf of the Turkish Prime Minister’s Press Office


رد الدكتور أسامة فوزي

Dear Ms. Bahary,

 Prime Minister Erdogan has played a shameful role in conspiring against the greater Syrian population. He has given thousands of terrorists, hailing from around the globe, safe harbor in Turkey and passage into Syria through Turkey to kill and terrorize the Syrian people. This of course is not Prime Minister Erdogan’s first foray into victimizing the Syrian people, seeing as how he expropriated many factories from their owners in Aleppo and elsewhere.

 Prime Minister Erdogan to this day plays a similar role in Egypt and Iraq, supporting with weapons and security those who would seek to throw those countries into chaos and violence.

 But, Prime Minister Erdogan’s leading role is to conspire against the Palestinian people in his vain efforts to restore Turkey’s relationship with Israel at the expense of Palestinians.

 Perhaps one should not be surprised, however, at Prime Minister Erdogan’s treatment of the other in light of his persecution of his own countrymen, as we recently witnessed on international television, and the rampant corruption within his family and his government.

 For all the above reasons, and more, Arab Times chooses to exercise its editorial discretion and, respectfully, decline to publish this Op-Ed. We are uncomfortable providing Prime Minister Erdogan a pulpit from which to preach his false narrative.

 Best Regards,

 Osama Fawzi

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 the Blog!

Ghassan Kanafani 50 years ago: A Letter from Gaza To Mustafa: Come back, to learn from Nadia’s leg..

Letter from Gaza by Ghassan Kanafani

Dear Mustafa,

I have now received your letter, in which you tell me that you’ve done everything necessary to enable me to stay with you in Sacramento. I’ve also received news that I have been accepted in the department of Civil Engineering in the University of California. I must thank you for everything, my friend. But it’ll strike you as rather odd when I proclaim this news to you — and make no doubt about it, I feel no hesitation at all, in fact I am pretty well positive that I have never seen things so clearly as I do now. No, my friend, I have changed my mind. I won’t follow you to “the land where there is greenery, water and lovely faces” as you wrote. No, I’ll stay here, and I won’t ever leave.

I am really upset that our lives won’t continue to follow the same course, Mustafa. For I can almost hear you reminding me of our vow to go on together, and of the way we used to shout: “We’ll get rich!” But there’s nothing I can do, my friend. Yes, I still remember the day when I stood in the hall of Cairo airport, pressing your hand and staring at the frenzied motor. At that moment everything was rotating in time with the ear-splitting motor, and you stood in front of me, your round face silent.

Your face hadn’t changed from the way it used to be when you were growing up in the Shajiya quarter of Gaza, apart from those slight wrinkes. We grew up together, understanding each other completely and we promised to go on together till the end. But…

“There’s a quarter of an hour left before the plane takes off. Don’t look into space like that. Listen! You’ll go to Kuwait next year, and you’ll save enough from your salary to uproot you from Gaza and transplant you to California. We started off together and we must carry on. . .”

At that moment I was watching your rapidly moving lips. That was always your manner of speaking, without commas or full stops. But in an obscure way I felt that you were not completely happy with your flight. You couldn’t give three good reasons for it. I too suffered from this wrench, but the clearest thought was: why don’t we abandon this Gaza and flee? Why don’t we? Your situation had begun to improve, however. The ministry of Education in Kuwait had given you a contract though it hadn’t given me one. In the trough of misery where I existed you sent me small sums of money. You wanted me to consider them as loans. because you feared that I would feel slighted. You knew my family circumstances in and out; you knew that my meagre salary in the UNRWA schools was inadequate to support my mother, my brother’s widow and her four children.

“Listen carefully. Write to me every day… every hour… every minute! The plane’s just leaving. Farewell! Or rather, till we meet again!”

Your cold lips brushed my cheek, you turned your face away from me towards the plane, and when you looked at me again I could see your tears.

Later the Ministry of Education in Kuwait gave me a contract. There’s no need to repeat to you how my life there went in detail. I always wrote to you about everything. My life there had a gluey, vacuous quality as though I were a small oyster, lost in oppressive loneliness, slowly struggling with a future as dark as the beginning of the night, caught in a rotten routine, a spewed-out combat with time. Everything was hot and sticky. There was a slipperiness to my whole life, it was all a hankering for the end of the month.

In the middle of the year, that year, the Jews bombarded the central district of Sabha and attacked Gaza, our Gaza, with bombs and flame-throwers. That event might have made some change in my routine, but there was nothing for me to take much notice of; I was going to leave. this Gaza behind me and go to California where I would live for myself, my own self which had suffered so long. I hated Gaza and its inhabitants. Everything in the amputated town reminded me of failed pictures painted in grey by a sick man. Yes, I would send my mother and my brother’s widow and her children a meagre sum to help them to live, but I would liberate myself from this last tie too, there in green California, far from the reek of defeat which for seven years had filled my nostrils. The sympathy which bound me to my brother’s children, their mother and mine would never be enough to justify my tragedy in taking this perpendicular dive. It mustn’t drag me any further down than it already had. I must flee!

You know these feelings, Mustafa, because you’ve really experienced them. What is this ill-defined tie we had with Gaza which blunted our enthusiasm for flight? Why didn’t we analyse the matter in such away as to give it a clear meaning? Why didn’t we leave this defeat with its wounds behind us and move on to a brighter future which would give us deeper consolation? Why? We didn’t exactly know.

When I went on holiday in June and assembled all my possessions, longing for the sweet departure, the start towards those little things which give life a nice, bright meaning, I found Gaza just as I had known it, closed like the introverted lining of a rusted snail-shell thrown up by the waves on the sticky, sandy shore by the slaughter-house. This Gaza was more cramped than the mind of a sleeper in the throes of a fearful nightmare, with its narrow streets which had their bulging balconies…this Gaza! But what are the obscure causes that draw a man to his family, his house, his memories, as a spring draws a small flock of mountain goats? I don’t know.

All I know is that I went to my mother in our house that morning. When I arrived my late brother’s wife met me there and asked me,weeping, if I would do as her wounded daughter, Nadia, in Gaza hospital wished and visit her that evening. Do you know Nadia, my brother’s beautiful thirteen-year-old daughter?

That evening I bought a pound of apples and set out for the hospital to visit Nadia. I knew that there was something about it that my mother and my sister-in-law were hiding from me, something which their tongues could not utter, something strange which I could not put my finger on.

I loved Nadia from habit, the same habit that made me love all that generation which had been so brought up on defeat and displacement that it had come to think that a happy life was a kind of social deviation.

What happened at that moment? I don’t know. I entered the white room very calm. Ill children have something of saintliness, and how much more so if the child is ill as result of cruel, painful wounds. Nadia was lying on her bed, her back propped up on a big pillow over which her hair was spread like a thick pelt. There was profound silence in her wide eyes and a tear always shining in the depths of her black pupils. Her face was calm and still but eloquent as the face of a tortured prophet might be. Nadia was still a child, but she seemed more than a child, much more, and older than a child, much older.


I’ve no idea whether I was the one who said it, or whether it was someone else behind me. But she raised her eyes to me and I felt them dissolve me like a piece of sugar that had fallen into a hot cup of tea. ‘

Together with her slight smile I heard her voice.

“Uncle! Have you just come from Kuwait?”

 Her voice broke in her throat, and she raised herself with the help of her hands and stretched out her neck towards me. I patted her back and sat down near her.
 “Nadia! I’ve brought you presents from Kuwait, lots of presents. I’ll wait till you can leave your bed, completely well and healed, and you’ll come to my house and I’ll give them to you. I’ve bought you the red trousers you wrote and asked me for. Yes, I’ve bought them.”
 It was a lie, born of the tense situation, but as I uttered it I felt that I was speaking the truth for the first time.
 Nadia trembled as though she had an electric shock and lowered her head in a terrible silence. I felt her tears wetting the back of my hand.

“Say something, Nadia! Don’t you want the red trousers?”

 She lifted her gaze to me and made as if to speak, but then she stopped, gritted her teeth and I heard her voice again, coming from faraway.


 She stretched out her hand, lifted the white coverlet with her fingers and pointed to her leg, amputated from the top of the thigh.

My friend … Never shall I forget Nadia’s leg, amputated from the top of the thigh. No! Nor shall I forget the grief which had moulded her face and merged into its traits for ever. 

I went out of the hospital in Gaza that day, my hand clutched in silent derision on the two pounds I had brought with me to give Nadia. The blazing sun filled the streets with the colour of blood. And Gaza was brand new, Mustafa! You and I never saw it like this.

The stone piled up at the beginning of the Shajiya quarter where we lived had a meaning, and they seemed to have been put there for no other reason but to explain it.

This Gaza in which we had lived and with whose good people we had spent seven years of defeat was something new. It seemed to me just a beginning. I don’t know why I thought it was just a beginning. I imagined that the main street that I walked along on the way back home was only the beginning of a long, long road leading to Safad. 

 Everything in this Gaza throbbed with sadness which was not confined to weeping. It was a challenge: more than that it was something like reclamation of the amputated leg!
I went out into the streets of Gaza, streets filled with blinding sunlight. They told me that Nadia had lost her leg when she threw herself on top of her little brothers and sisters to protect them from the bombs and flames that had fastened their claws into the house. Nadia could have saved herself, she could have run away, rescued her leg. But she didn’t.


 No, my friend, I won’t come to Sacramento, and I’ve no regrets. No, and nor will I finish what we began together in childhood. This obscure feeling that you had as you left Gaza, this small feeling must grow into a giant deep within you. It must expand, you must seek it in order to find yourself, here among the ugly debris of defeat.

I won’t come to you. But you, return to us! Come back, to learn from Nadia’s leg, amputated from the top of the thigh, what life is and what existence is worth.

 Come back, my friend! We are all waiting for you.

50 Years later

Dramatic photographs and footage capture the moment a Palestinian woman ran into a firing zone to rescue a youth injured during relentless Israeli gunfire and shelling.

Meanwhile, another video has emerged showing Israeli soldiers and religious mystics dancing as they adorn artillery shells with blessings.

On Wednesday, the UN Human Rights Council voted by 29-17 to “launch an independent inquiry into purported violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws” during Israel’s attack on Gaza. Many European Union states abstained in the vote and the United States was the sole country to vote against an inquiry.


The above video of the rescue incident was posted on YouTube on 20 July, the day dozens of people were killed in heavy Israeli bombardment of the eastern Gaza City neighborhood of Shujaiya.

Writer Refaat Alareer, who comes from Shujaiya, was able to identify the exact location of the incident in the video above and the photographs below.

“The video took place in the main street of Shujaiya, near the eastern edge of the border” with Israel, Alareer told The Electronic Intifada. “The area is highly populated and a little bit far from the borders.”

“I am amazed how the Israelis managed to hit them while this far into Shujaiya,” he said of the images and video showing shelling of the area.

Four photos that have been circulating online were posted on Sami Kishawi’s blog Sixteen Minutes to Palestine.

They were apparently taken moments before the video was shot and show the woman running into a firing zone to rescue the youth.

Kishawi said that although he has conducted searches he’s unable to find the original photographer:

It is unclear if the woman is the youth’s mother. In the video, she is deeply distraught as she cries in Arabic “ibni raah” – which translates as “my son is gone!”

It is a phrase that could mean something dreadful already happened to her son, or that something dreadful very nearly happened.

In the video, the youth is first seen sitting on the ground covered in blood as the woman runs to fetch help. She brings another man who carries the injured youth to a taxi as she follows.

The taxi takes them to an ambulance. As the youth is placed on a stretcher and put into the ambulance, it is clear that his left leg has been severely injured.

The ambulance crew tries to reassure the youth, telling him, “don’t be scared” and “you are fine” as they tend to him and head for al-Shifa hospital.

Twenty-two shells in four minutes

Another video, which Sami Kishawi also blogged, shows approximately four minutes of intense shelling in Shujaiya during which 22 shells land – a rate of about one every ten seconds.

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 the Blog!


Israel’s Four-Decade-Long Assault on Palestine

Derek Ide I Social Movement Studies I Commentary I July 16th, 2014

Ghassan Kanafani, the famous Palestinian journalist, novelist, and short story writer, whose writings were deeply rooted in Arab Palestinian culture, inspired a whole generation during and after his lifetime

In Beirut on July 8, 1972, thirty-six year old Ghassan Kanafani entered into his Volkswagen for the last time. The prolific writer and editor of Al Hadaf (“The Goal”) was headed to the newspaper’s office. His seventeen year old niece Lamis Najm was with him. Not long before, he had penned these words to her:

“Dearest: You are rising now, while we start to fall. Our role is almost complete. The role of this generation was the shortest for any generation in history. We live in crucial times for the history of humanity and people are divided between participants and spectators… The battle is harsh and human capacity cannot tolerate this much. I, young one, chose not to be a spectator. It means that I chose to live the crucial moments of our history, no matter how short…”[1]

It was around 11 a.m. that Saturday when the explosion occurred, judging from the watch later found on what remained of Lamis’ hand. [2] Kanafani was a leading member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the heart of the left-wing secular opposition to Israel. He was a noncombatant, and although pictures of Ho Chi Minh and Che Guevara adorned his office, he never personally picked up a gun against his Zionist enemies, despite having every right to resist to the ongoing occupation by whatever means necessary. Yet, he still became a victim of Israeli terror.

The car bomb attached to Kanafani’s vehicle killed him and his teenage niece on July 8, 1972. The assassination was part of a secret operation known as God’s Wrath. The plan, carried out under the tutelage of Prime Minister Golda Meir, was intended to murder leading militants and officials within the Palestinian resistance movement carried out by Israel’s “Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations,” more commonly known as Mossad.

Operation God’s Wrath was a covert operation that utilized methods, such as car bombs, akin to what Arundhati Roy once referred to as the “privatization of war.”[3] Forty-two years later, to the day, after the car bomb killed Ghassan and Lamis, the terrorist state of Israel began a new public operation of a different sort. On Tuesday, July 8, 2014 Israel unleashed Operation Protective Edge onto Gaza, a much more hasbara-friendly initiative. This spectacle of sheer force – conventional terrorism, it might be called – had indiscriminately slaughtered nearly 200 Palestinians within the span of one week.[4] Seven days in and Israel’s casualties had reached a stunning zero.

Unlike the names of the three Israeli teenage settlers who were kidnapped and murdered not long before Operation Protective Edge was initiated, the names of the 192 victims of Israeli aggression have not yet been plastered on the front pages of every newspaper or the headlines on every television set. Sa’ad Mahmoud al-Hajj was 17, the same age as Kanafani’s niece Lamis, was murdered along with seven members of his family when an Israeli bomb destroyed their home in Khan Younis. Sa’ad’s brother Tarek, age 18, and his sister Fatima, age 12, died with him. Ziad Maher al-Najjar, 17 years old, was also killed in Khan Younis days later. 17-year-old Anas Youssef Kandil was murdered by Israeli terror in Jabalia, and 17-year-old Mohammed Isam al-Batash was killed in Gaza city. 10-year-old Bassim Salim Kawareh, 11-year-old Maryam Atieh Mohammed al-Arja, 12-year-old Qassi Isam al-Batash, all victims of this most recent terrorist attack. These names may not find their way onto the pages or television screens of major news outlets in the west, where Palestinian blood has always been worth less than Israeli blood, but they, along with all the other names of victims of Israeli barbarity, should grace the lips and enter the hearts of those engaged in the struggle for a free Palestine.

Thus, forty-two years after the terrorist state martyred Kanafani, its reign of terror continued. The world is a different place from 1972, however, and the voice of worldwide opposition is growing. Just as the movement against apartheid South Africa took decades to build, so did the opposition to the settler-terrorist state of Israel. Today, however, the movement for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS), put forward by Palestinian civil society in 2005, is growing at an even more rapid pace than did its predecessor. Across US campuses, student governments have passed resolutions calling for divestment, and victories in the name of a free Palestine have been on the rise.[5] While the puppet Arab leaders, sheikhs and Israeli pawns wring their hands, donate a pittance of their enormous wealth to clean up the aftermath, and send fighters off to die in Iraq or Syria, they cannot be the face of the Palestinian resistance.

As Ghassan Kanafani explained: “If we are failed defenders of the cause, it is better to change the defenders, not to change the cause.”

 Since his time, the defenders have changed more than once, but Kanafani’s cause lives on. For those of us who live outside the “harsh battle,” we too should “chose not to be a spectator.” Let us, like Kanafani, “chose to live the crucial moments of our history” and contribute to the struggle for a free Palestine. For those of us who face no imminent threat of retaliation, no fear of bombs dropping onto our homes while we eat with our families, no chance of a car bomb detonating as we head to our offices, it should not only be our choice, but our obligation, our duty, to support the movement to boycott and divest from the terrorist state of Israel. As Alice Walker, who refused an Israeli publisher’s offer to publish “The Color Purple,” once said, “Activism is my rent for living on this planet.” Indeed, when it comes to Palestine, it is time for Americans to pay some rent.

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 the Blog!

Remembering Ghassan Kanafani through the watch and the Volkswagen

Palestinian writer and activist, Ghassan Kanafani. (Photo: Archive)
Published Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Forty two years have passed since the martyrdom of the writer and militant Ghassan Kanafani by the Mossad in Beirut. But the author of Men in the Sun transcends time as the spiritual essence of our positive anxiety. He is here as a masked boy in the streets of Nazareth, in his portrait over the gate of Akka, ringing the clock’s bell with the fists of men marching on Palestine’s time.
Every time you look at the clock, it is not necessarily to know the time. Sometimes, it is an attempt to sense what is happening around you. It signifies the calculation of the usefulness of time through an obvious question: Who benefits from the passage of time? Once, Ghassan Kanafani (1936-1972) became more present by the sound of death. It was 11 am on the morning of Saturday July 8, 1972 , as indicated by the watch on what remained of the hand of a young woman called Lamis Najm laying on a rooftop in Hazmieh.
But the clock on the wall seemed as if it were still ticking at that time. He was determined to be the hero once depicted in All That’s Left to You and the pendulum walking with the casket at the funeral. The clock continued to symbolize the acrimony of time and its elusiveness. “Time cannot be against us both, equally. They might be closer to you than I think, but closer to me than they think,” said the hero of that novel. Time could be on the side of Palestinians as long as they resist, not knowing death and never getting tired of life.
He rings the clock’s bell, with the fists of men who walk in the time of Palestine, the living archetypes of creativity and revolution. They may be forced to leave, but are the most present in its endless time. They are the image, spirit, and truth of Palestine, without deception or illusion. You know that time will never go backwards, yet it might race forward.
He is there next to a burning tire at the gates of Shafaat camp, as a masked boy in the streets of Nazareth, as burning rage in Baqa al-Gharbiyye, or a picture of Ghassan Kanafani above the wall of Akka, listening to its fearless uproar and scattering as a mosaic on the children of the camps.
All periods failed to extract him from his Palestinian time. Kanafani’s time erupts every time to knock on the wall of helplessness without hesitation, to curse Abu al-Khaizaran and promise the dawning of real men, the generation of revolutionary upheaval, affording them the creative anxiety, which refuses to falsify time or appropriate righteousness. A giant alarm clock chiming like the conscience of an organic intellectual, who remained in the moment and did not leave. He marched ahead, as the spiritual essence of our positive anxiety and the sentimental embodiment of our dreams, when the murderer committed his preemptive crime to stop the advance of the good times and assassinate, in cold blood, a different future, fearing a new tomorrow before it was born.
Many sands of time passed. Humans are no longer divided between spectators and fighters. Watching has become a paid profession in international funds, to turn the cause of the fight into something which is not noble, the probability of struggle without avail or the absurd passage into the stage of impracticality. This is how critical time operates, so you would not be a trivial spectator, but a real and decisive presence, a fighter and a resistor.
“Dearest: You are rising now, while we start to fall. Our role is almost complete. The role of this generation was the shortest for any generation in history. We live in crucial times for the history of humanity and people are divided between participants and spectators. But the spectators will not live their entire generation or drink it all. The participant, however, will quickly fall. The battle is harsh and human capacity cannot tolerate this much. I, young one, chose not to be a spectator. It means that I chose to live the crucial moments of our history, no matter how short,” Kanafani wrote in a letter to his niece Lamis Najim.
The damned Volkswagen explosion echoes pain and bitterness, each time we hear of an incident of obscurantism putting out a candle or violating culture, in its collective and national heritage. Maybe this is what made the late [Palestinian Arab writer and intellectual] Dr. Anis Sayigh envious; Kanafani was happier than all of us. He left before seeing the reality of defeat. “The Volkswagen explosion liberated you from this world. It took you away from the tragedy we live and hid the flaws of the present, its crimes, and defeats. You closed your eyes on a beautiful picture of struggle, faith, revolution, and values.”
Ghassan’s eyes were not meant to see the latest scandals in politics, the lowered expectations, the deformation of the cause, and what the adulterers did. The deterioration of everything, led to this void and terrifying impotence, which toppled the national values and major aims in which he believed wholeheartedly. The Volkswagen explosion was an example of allowing fools to steer the ship and after them the deluge, as long as they remain in power. They let the homelands drown in symbols, slogans, and rituals evoking the war of Dahis and al-Ghabra. They allowed backwardness to conquer progress and the triumph of confessional, tribal, and ethnic factionalism over what remained of the living fabric of our society.
The clock is the challenge of the new age. The emancipatory project cannot rise without leaders of political thought, a cultured mind, and the beauty of revolutionary creativity. We need leaders to fill the vacuum in the face of ruin. This is at a time when tribal instincts reign supreme, crushing the spirit of national culture, as a necessary precursor to spread the plague of ignorance and letting the takfiri wave sprout idols, not leaders, looking for their lost paradise in the strife stamped by the new caliph, under “Shlomo’s” orders and the commandments of the swordsman, who cuts down the head of justice by the fatwas of petrodollar sultans.
Kanafani was not silenced by the explosives in the Volkswagen. He was an intellectual who believed that remaining silent about the transgression against a single person’s dignity is akin to the violation of all humanity. Those who give up a part of their rights do not deserve the other part. Their presence in the smallest corner of the homeland will not be secure as long as the biggest part suffers from a terminal disease. This difference will remain distinctively patriotic, between the duty of resisting occupation as part of the battle, the duty of spectators who watch as if it was a football game, and that of negative spectators who serve the occupation under the title of “security coordination” or even the lack of ability to defend themselves.
The following is just an anecdote. During the Mongol invasion of Baghdad and the end of the Abbasid Era, the swordsman began to cut down heads. Getting tired at the end of the day, he would tell those waiting in line to go home and come back tomorrow to continue. As if in a trance, people would come back the next day to get their heads chopped without the smallest resistance. The human disposition to rebel inside them was already dead. Time, which transcends the moment, knew what it meant to detach Palestinians as humans from being active to achieve the legitimacy of survival and build a national self.
Ghassan Kanafani captured the Palestinian tragedy in its grief and joy. He kept longing for the men and the guns, because resistance is not an end on its own or a mere option. It is a cry for the rays of joy to shine again around the world and for a revolution of hope, an olive season, and a return to the land of sorrowful oranges. The clock will not stop. The time of revolution continues with the children playing a game of “fidayeen and occupiers” on their besieged beach. Ghassan remains in a camp at home over there, looking for a home, and one here in the diaspora, fleeing to a new diaspora and does not knock at the sea.
Some of what he said:
The question of death is not a question of the dead at all; it is a question for those who remain.
Treason is in itself a wretched death.
To die with my gun in my hand and not to live with my gun in my enemy’s hand.
All the worth of my words were an impudent and silly compensation for the absence of weapons… They now tumble against the dawning of real men who die every day for everything I respect.
If we are failed defenders of the cause, it is better to change the defenders, not to change the cause.
In the clarity of the masses’ vision, revolution is an integral part of water, bread, toiling hands, and heartbeats.
He will remain implanted here
Pulsing alone in the wilderness…
Until he dies standing
We might not be generation prepared for success, but we are preparing the next one for victory.
Marwan Abdel-Al is a Palestinian novelist and politician
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.


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 the Blog!

Lebanon: Tripoli Library Torched, Owner Relocates to Monastery

A man inspects burnt books on January 4, 2014 in north Lebanon’s majority Sunni city of Tripoli a day after a decades-old library owned by a Greek Orthodox priest was torched after “a pamphlet was discovered inside one of the books that was insulting to Islam and the prophet Mohammad” (Photo: AFP – Ibrahim Chalhoub)
Published Saturday, January 4, 2014

On January 3, Tripoli’s Saeh Library was torched and its owner, Father Ibrahim Sarrouj, was assaulted. Contradicting information surrounds the incident, and the motives behind the attack remain ambiguous. Here is the story of Sarrouj’s library.

As you push your way through the crowd to the old souks in Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli, just follow the calls of vendors and the nagging of irritated shoppers. Let the merchants and their carts, the smell of coffee, smoke, and bread, be your guide.

This gentle wave of people and their noise will certainly lead you to the Saeh Library, located between the soap khan and the thrift clothes market. There, you will arrive at a basement door, a bit similar to a wine cellar in an old monastery, where hundreds of books are stacked.
As you enter the large, maze-like space with high walls, the cold of the city is behind you and a warm voice asks how he may serve you. He has a beard and wears a black bandana on his head. He introduces himself as Father Ibrahim Sarrouj of the Tripoli Orthodox Church.
I ask him about a book collection of Palestinian author Ghassan Kanafani. He comments that the number of people interested in his works decreased in recent years. Then, he starts talking about Palestine, pan-Arabism, and progressive revolutions in the world, almost like a monologue. The man aspires to a new flock of activists, ones that would liberate the whole of Palestine.
He is passionate about Syrian, Egyptian, and Tunisian Arab democrats. A voracious reader of their articles, he archives their writings and raises them as a weapon in the faces of those doubting the Arabs’ ability to rule themselves. Then, he moves on to discuss the corruption among the clergy. All of the sudden, he comments that there are fewer book readers in Beirut and Tripoli than there are in Homs, Aleppo, and Damascus.
If you are searching for a certain book, then waste no time, you are sure to find it in his library. This old paper reservoir holds the vast majority of Arab publications from the last 70 years.
Sarrouj took me on a tour of the neighborhood, showing me how a Christian interacts with his conservative Muslim neighborhood and how the city lovingly shows him its affection.
Tripoli has changed a lot, and it keeps on changing. Every day, photos of so-called heroes are torn from walls and new ones emerge. The poor become poorer and fanaticism intensifies. There is no place for dialogue here, not even a place to tell a joke.
“All this will turn into a roaring river that would sweep away Israel. Never mind this fanaticism – I know Tripoli quite well. This is our city, and these are our young men” said Sarrouj.
As Tripoli archbishops change, Sarrouj stays in his place. He declared, “I am against the clergy. Democracy should be restored to the Orthodox Church for the people to elect bishops and the patriarch.”
I ask him his views on some of the recent violence in Syria – the burning of religious shrines and the kidnappings of nuns – as well as the chaos rampant in his own city. He evaded answering the question, instead searching for a piece of fruit to offer.
This Christian-Marxist will never admit that his ambitions have failed him. There’s no young man or woman in the city who doesn’t know Sarrouj’s political position: He is against the regime, any regime, whoever is the president.
Sources told Al-Akhbar that Salafi young men in the library’s neighborhood spread a rumor about finding a book insulting Prophet Mohammad that Sarrouj was intending to reprint. Unknown assailants later shot an employee working for Sarrouj in the foot. Then, during the night, the library was set on fire, and no one intervened to stop it.
Sarrouj was insulted by a city whose residents did not rush to protect his library from barbarians.
You cannot possibly have a dialogue with those those people. They weren’t just targeting his library when they shot his aide to protest a certain political position or the selling of some books that contradict with their faith.
Sarrouj tried to hide his broken spirit under his usual smile. He said he worries about his library far more than he worries about himself. Then, he remembered that the security forces forbade him from giving statements, and he stopped talking.
“I am closing the library in a few days and moving to a monastery,” Sarrouj said. For the first time, he didn’t seem willing to elaborate.
“The city is fine. This river of anger will finally reach Palestine. I know Tripoli. This is our city and these are our people,” he said.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

Israel’s History of Assassinating Palestinian Leaders

The IMEU, Nov 6, 2013

On November 6, several news outlets reported that the widow of former Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Chairman Yasser Arafat announced that the results of a Swiss investigation into her late husband’s death concluded he was poisoned with polonium, a radioactive substance.
In November 2012, Arafat’s body was exhumed in order for medical examiners to take samples of his remains to test for polonium, part of a murder investigation launched by French authorities at the request of Suha Arafat following the discovery last summer of traces of the highly toxic substance on some of his personal effects. In October 2004, after enduring a two-year siege by the Israeli military in his West Bank headquarters, Arafat fell seriously ill. Two weeks later he was transported to a French military hospital where he died. Doctors concluded he died from a stroke caused by a mysterious blood disorder.
At the time, many Palestinians suspected that Arafat was murdered. Over the years, he had survived numerous assassination attempts by Israel, and just six months before his death then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said that an agreement he had made with US President George W. Bush promising that Israel wouldn’t kill Arafat was no longer valid, stating: “I released myself from the commitment in regard to Arafat.”
Two years prior to that statement, in an interview published in February 2002, Sharon told an Israeli journalist that he regretted not killing Arafat when he had the chance during Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982, stating: “I am sorry that we did not liquidate him.” In 2002, current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, then in the opposition following his first term as prime minister (1996-1999), told the Likud party Central Committee: “We must completely and totally eradicate Arafat’s regime and remove him from the vicinity… This one thing must be understood: If we do not remove Arafat and his regime, the terror will return and increase. And only if we do remove them is there any chance of turning a new leaf in our relationship with the Palestinians.” When Arafat died, Netanyahu was serving as Minister of Finance in Sharon’s government.

2012 – On November 14, two days after Palestinian factions in Gaza agree to a truce following several days of  violence, Israel assassinates the leader of Hamas’ military wing, officials know that Jabari is in the process of finalizing a long-term truce, and that he is one of the few people in Gaza who can enforce it, they kill him anyway, marking the start of a week-long assault on Gaza that kills more than 100 Palestinian civilians, including at least 33 children, and wounds more than 1000 others.
Ahmed Jabari, threatening to escalate the violence once again after a week in which at least six Palestinian civilians are killed and dozens more wounded in Israeli attacks. Although Israeli

2012 – On March 9, Israel violates an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire and assassinates the head of the Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees, Zuhair al-Qaisi, sparking another round of violence in which at least two dozen Palestinians are killed, including at least four civilians, and scores more wounded. As it usually does, Israel claims it is acting in self-defense, against an imminent attack being planned by the PRC, while providing no evidence to substantiate the allegation.

Following the assassination, Israeli journalist Zvi Bar’el writes in the Haaretz newspaper:
“It is hard to understand what basis there is for the assertion that Israel is not striving to escalate the situation. One could assume that an armed response by the Popular Resistance Committees or Islamic Jihad to Israel’s targeted assassination was taken into account. But did anyone weigh the possibility that the violent reaction could lead to a greater number of Israeli casualties than any terrorist attack that Zuhair al-Qaisi, the secretary-general of the Popular Resistance Committees, could have carried out?
“In the absence of a clear answer to that question, one may assume that those who decided to assassinate al-Qaisi once again relied on the ‘measured response’ strategy, in which an Israeli strike draws a reaction, which draws an Israeli counter-reaction.”

2010 – In January, suspected Israeli assassins kill senior Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel room. As in the past, the Israeli agents believed to have carried out the killing use forged and stolen foreign passports from western countries, including Britain, France, Ireland and Germany, causing an international uproar.

2009 – On January 15, an Israeli airstrike kills Said Seyam, Hamas’ Interior Minister and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

2009 – On January 1, an Israeli airstrike on the home of senior Hamas military commander Nizar Rayan kills him and 15 family members, including 11 of his children.

2006 – On June 8, Israel assassinates Jamal Abu Samhadana, founder of the Popular Resistance Committees and Interior Minister of the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority government, killing three other members of the PRC in the process.

2004 – On April 17, Israel assassinates Abdel Aziz Rantisi, a co-founder of Hamas and its leader since the assassination of Hamas spiritual leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin a month earlier. Rantisi is considered a moderate within Hamas.

2004 – On March 22, Israel assassinates the 67-year-old wheelchair-bound spiritual leader and co-founder of Hamas, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, as he leaves prayers at a mosque in Gaza, killing nine innocent bystanders in the process.

2003 – On March 8, Israel assassinates Ibrahim Maqadma, one of the founders of Hamas and one of its top military commanders.

2002 – On July 23, hours before a widely reported ceasefire declared by Hamas and other Palestinian groups is scheduled to come into effect, Israel bombs an apartment building in the middle of the night in the densely populated Gaza Strip in order to assassinate Hamas leader Salah Shehada. Fourteen civilians, including nine children, are also killed in the attack, and 50 others wounded, leading to a scuttling of the ceasefire and a continuation of violence.

2002 – On January 14, Israel assassinates Raed Karmi, a militant leader in the Fatah party, following a ceasefire agreed to by all Palestinian militant groups the previous month, leading to its cancellation. Later in January, the first suicide bombing by the Fatah linked Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade takes place.

2001 – On November 23, Israel assassinates senior Hamas militant, Mahmoud Abu Hanoud. At the time, Hamas was adhering to an agreement made with PLO head Yasser Arafat not to attack targets inside of Israel. Following the killing, Israeli military correspondent of the right-leaning Yediot Ahronot newspaper, Alex Fishman, writes in a front-page story:

“We again find ourselves preparing with dread for a new mass terrorist attack within the Green Line [Israel’s pre-1967 border]… Whoever gave a green light to this act of liquidation knew full well that he is thereby shattering in one blow the gentleman’s agreement between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority; under that agreement, Hamas was to avoid in the near future suicide bombings inside the Green Line…”

2001 – On August 27, Israel uses US-made Apache helicopter gunships to assassinate Abu Ali Mustafa, secretary general of the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. In response, PFLP members assassinate Israel’s Tourism Minister and notorious right-wing hardliner, Rehavam Ze’evi, who advocated the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza.

2001 – On August 15, undercover Israeli soldiers assassinate Emad Abu Sneineh, a member of the Fatah linked Tanzim militia, opening fire on him at close range.

2001 – On August 5, Israeli forces assassinate Hamas member Amer Mansour Habiri in the West Bank city of Tulkarem, firing missiles at his car from helicopter gunships.

2001– On July 29, Israel assassinates Jamal Mansour, a senior member of Hamas’ political wing.

2001 – On July 25, as Israeli and Palestinian Authority security officials are scheduled to meet to shore up a six-week-old ceasefire amidst the violence of the Second Intifada, Israel assassinates a senior Islamic Jihad member, Salah Darwazeh in Nablus.

1997 – In September, the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attempts to assassinate Khaled Meshaal, the chairman of Hamas’ political bureau, in Amman, Jordan. Israeli agents using fake Canadian passports attempt to kill Meshaal by injecting poison into his ear. The would-be assassins are quickly captured and in the ensuing diplomatic uproar Jordan’s King Hussein threatens to cut off relations with Israel and publicly try and hang the Israeli agents unless Israel provides the antidote to the poison. The Netanyahu government turns over the antidote, saving Meshaal’s life. As part of the deal, Israel also releases Hamas spiritual leader Ahmed Yassin from prison.

1996 – On January 5, Israel assassinates Hamas military commander Yahya Ayash, known as “The Engineer,” detonating explosives in a cell phone he is using. Over the next two months, Hamas responds by launching four suicide bombings that kill more than 50 Israelis. Israeli intelligence later concludes: “the attacks were most probably a direct reaction to the assassination of Ayash.”

1995 – In October, Israeli gunmen assassinate Fathi Shiqaqi, a founder of Islamic Jihad, in Malta, as he leaves his hotel in Valletta.

1994 – On November 2, Israel assassinates journalist Hani Abed, who has ties to Islamic Jihad, using a bomb rigged to his car.

1988 – On April 16, Israel assassinates senior PLO leader Khalil al-Wazir in Tunisia, even as the Reagan administration is trying to organize an international conference to broker peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The US State Department condemns the murder as an “act of political assassination.” In ensuing protests in the occupied territories, a further seven Palestinians are gunned down by Israeli forces.

1986 – On June 9, Khalid Nazzal, Secretary of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, is shot dead by Israeli agents in Athens, Greece.

1983 – On August 21, senior PLO official and top aid to Yasser Arafat, Mamoun Meraish, is shot and killed by Israeli agents in Athens, Greece. According to later Israeli press reports, future Foreign Minister (currently Minister of Justice) Tzipi Livni  is involved in Meraish’s killing.

1978 – On March 28, Wadie Haddad, a senior member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, dies in East Germany from slow-acting poison ingested several months earlier. It is later revealed that Israeli agents were behind his murder.

1972 – On July 8, Palestinian author and intellectual Ghassan Kanafani and his 17-year-old niece are killed in Beirut by a car bomb, believed to have been planted by Israeli agents. A member of the left-wing Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Kanafani was considered a major literary figure in the Arab world and beyond.

1972 – During the 1970s, Israel carries out a series of assassinations against Palestinians they accuse of being involved with the Black September militant organization, which is responsible for the hostage taking of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany, resulting in the deaths of 11 Israeli athletes and officials. On October 16, 1972, Wael Zwaiter, a renowned Palestinian intellectual and the PLO representative to Italy, is shot and killed by Israeli agents in Rome. Israel accuses him of being involved with Black September, a charge strenuously denied by PLO officials and those who knew him, who pointed out that Zwaiter was a pacifist.

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