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said that an agreement he had made with US President George W. Bush promising that Israel wouldn’t kill Arafat was no longer valid, stating: “I released myself from the commitment in regard to Arafat.”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.
PARTIAL LIST OF ISRAELI ASSASSINATIONS OF PALESTINIANS

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.

Two Decades After Oslo: The Agreement That Uprooted Palestine

Mugs with pictures of U.S. President Barack Obama wearing a keffiyeh, right, late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, top right, and Gazan Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, top left, are displayed in a souvenir shop in Gaza City, Tuesday,9 Nov. 2010. (Photo: AP – Adel Hana)
Published Saturday, September 14, 2013
Twenty years ago in Washington, laughter filled the TV screens and love was born between two sides, one supposedly an occupier and the other its victim. Twenty years ago, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people announced the death of armed struggle and the birth of long decades of empty negotiations, which ripped out historical Palestine from its roots.

Gaza – Two decades ago, Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin grabbed each other’s hands on the White House lawn in Washington DC. They celebrated the birth of the Oslo Declaration of Principles. However, Oslo was not the latest step in the national liberation project launched by Yasser Arafat in 1960, aiming for “revolution until victory.” It was to put an end to that revolution and remove the term “victory” from the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) dictionary, replacing it with “permanent defeat.”The defeat was called a “transitional self-authority” over the territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Occupied Jerusalem and the interior of Palestine were not covered. At that time, the PLO’s thoughts did not go beyond peaceful coexistence and a just and comprehensive solution. It was no longer the time or place for arms. All efforts were dedicated to building the state before achieving liberation.Institutions were built and a Palestinian police force was formed to protect security and internal order in the lands occupied in 1967. Oslo provided the Israeli enemy the full right to self-defense. This was without any objection from the Palestinian side, which supported and entrenched these measures, transforming itself into a tool in the hands of the enemy to disarm the resistance in areas under its control.Twenty years were enough for the PLO to take off the robe of the Palestinian revolution and don the suit of security coordination. Twenty years and the permanent solution to the questions of Jerusalem, the refugees, the borders, the water, the prisoners, and security arrangements are still pending and Palestinian negotiators keep avoiding them. Twenty years have passed and settlements continue to spread like cancer in the West Bank and Occupied Jerusalem.

Political analyst, Adnan Abu Amr, told Al-Akhbar, “The Israeli enemy succeeded in transforming the negotiation process to one of buying political time to achieve important gains, mainly the expansion of settlements, construction of the apartheid wall, and relinquishing Palestinian control over 80 percent of territories.”

Twenty years and the refugee question remains the same, ever since the 1948 nakba and 1967 setback took away their villages and towns. Additionally, UN Resolution 194, calling for the return of refugees to their original homes and their financial compensation, was never implemented. It was merely ink on paper.

Twenty years have gone by and Palestinian negotiators still use the same methods, without learning their lessons. In the past, they committed numerous mistakes. But today, the maximum ambition is to establish an airport in the West Bank, explore for natural gas off the coast of Gaza, and inaugurate vital touristic projects in areas classified C. They are only concerned with receiving guarantees from the Israeli enemy to increase the number of permits for Palestinian workers.

Abu Amr indicated that the constant defeats suffered by the Palestinian side were caused by the weakness of Palestinian negotiators and a negotiating team that has not changed in 20 years. The occupation, on the other hand, has changed its negotiating team seven times to date and studied possibilities for political gains against their opponents who were only capable of giving concessions.
Abu Amr maintained that the PLO had options besides Oslo. It could have continued in the path of the first intifada and imposed its conditions on the Israeli enemy.

Twenty years were enough to extinguish the flame of Palestinian aspirations for liberty from occupation. All they care about today is their livelihood and daily bread.

It is true that Oslo accomplished the return of the Palestinian leadership to its land, along with 300,000 families. It built an independent Palestinian administration and produced presidential and legislative elections, but it stabbed the cause in the back.

The land that the PLO fought for historically is now purely Israeli. Palestinians are like aliens. Abu Amr said that the PLO overcooked the political agreement and succeeded in turning the page on resistance, when the Israeli side created the great illusion of the Palestinian Authority, now being contested by Fatah and Hamas.

Twenty years have gone by and will not return. They took with them the Canaanite, Islamic, and Christian identity of Jerusalem. Ultimately, Oslo, where Palestinian negotiators gambled with their fortunes, is a tragedy, whose chapters the Palestinians have endured.

In these long years, Palestinians stood by watching until they decided in the past few years to raise the slogan, “The People Want the Overthrow of Oslo.” The only officially recognized organization to join in the calls against Oslo was the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which maintained that it will remain on the side of the people’s movement, at any cost.

Follow Orouba Othman on Twitter.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

Despite all odds, the Jewish state is gaining

Despite all odds, the Palestinian cause is gaining (the Jewish state is winning)


THE GREAT GAIN; Cairo preparing official welcome ceremony for Haneyya

[ 21/07/2012 – 12:39 PM ]

Following the bombing of the building of national security, Syria declared a farewell to soft solutions.
We are witnessing a new stage in Syria where a new multi-pole world is under making.
The so called Damascus Earthquake and Damascus volcano planed by “Friend’s of Syria” failed to shake the Syrian Army and the people’s support. 

 

You already heard, from inside and outside, and will continue to hear lies, rumors, disinformation, intended
to break the unity of  the Syrian army (Humat Al-diar) and the resistance will of the Syrians.

Beware, not only the known Zionist contolled TV channels. but the dark rooms Hasabra outlets, whether Islamist or progressive liberal. Both are two faces of the same Shekel

Beware big names such as Azmi Bshaa and his likes fed for years to be used as required by their zionist. Don’t be fooled by what they said /did in the past.
Here is a progressive libral ex-libayan who led or at least was among Nato intelligence group to locate Kaddafi and kill him.
This TRUE Libyan (as called by Godden Duff) perfectly did it then using the Golden rule, he left the scene, most likely he called Golden Duff who wrote:  What Time is It?

Nuredin (in fact he is Dhalam-Ela-din)  who swallowed his tongue after the fall of Libya and never said a world about the human right, nor about the tribal wars, is upset with the result of Damascus attack.

He wrote : “We are witnessing the last (hard) days of Bashar “The Butcher” Assad, (the Alawite sectarian dictator (secular) President ruling Syria. Slowly but surely, the revolutionaries of the Free (NATO) Syrian Army (FSA) are closing (Losing) in on his (their) vipers’ nests.” Edited by me
He is dreeming now: ‘Any day, any week, any month now, it will be over and Assad will be all over our television screens – a pathetic, lifeless corpse or sliming his way down the steps of a plane in Moscow or Beijing.”

And, here defeated Khalid Amayerel, at deLibration, where he show his sectarian ugly face and acted like his Islamists Shabeeha fellows in Syria, writing in PIC, in a different language but the same shit inside.

By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Palestine
“A few years ago, a citizen of a key Arab capital in the Mashriq (the Asian part of the Arab world) intimated to this writer that his countrymen would even welcome the Israeli army as liberators in light of the reign of tyranny and terror they were facing at the hands of their regime.
“The terror, repression, corruption permeating through the country defies linguistic description,” he told me…..
Well, we can’t conceal the truth forever. In the final analysis, these manifestly criminal regimes have decidedly more harm than Israel. ….. the ignorant and evil regimes which in the name of Arabism and Palestine were effectively repressing, murdering and humiliating their own people were actually a greater and harsher enemy to the people in comparison to Israel.
An enemy is an enemy and one knows what to expect from one’s enemy. However “national” regimes and governments are supposed to serve and protect the people, create prosperity and welfare as well as maintain citizens’ dignity and human rights and civil liberties….
Therefore, the disintegration of the erstwhile Arab regimes is not and must not be viewed as a negative development for the Palestinian cause.
The opposite is true. Yes, maybe the Palestinian cause is losing some media concentration these days as TV viewers are preoccupied with more dramatic events elsewhere. But this is a temporary phenomenon that will disappear soon.
The important thing is that Palestinians should never bid on police-state juntas, even if their rhetoric filled the ether, to liberate Palestine and defeat Israel.

These are intrinsically terrorist and bankrupt regimes that nothing good may come from…. Interestingly, some of these evil people are now murdering Palestinians, while having the Chutzpah to claim that they are doing the killing for the sake of Palestine!!!

Today, we are witnessing the deepening of the Arab Spring. And, yes, the pangs of labor could be heard from many quarters. But that is quite natural as no one in his or her right mind had expected the stagnation and degeneration that hovered over the Arab world since before the downfall of the Ottoman state to disappear in a few months or even a few years.

But the train of freedom has already left the station and is traveling on the right track and will reach the correct destination sooner or later.


A year after train of freedom left:
Manoubia Bouazizi, 60, was detained in a court
in Sidi Bouzid after an altercation with a judge,

We will hear and actually we are hearing all kinds of rumors, disinformation, and lies intended to confuse us and derail the train of freedom. After all, the enemies from inside and outside will not just give up and raise the white flag so prematurely. We will be called names, we will be condemned and vilified. We will even be lumped with the Zionists, the Americans, and what have you, so that our image would be tarnished and besmirched.

But we shouldn’t pay too much attention to these barking dogs and the caravan must keep going.
One of the most crippling handicaps that caused the Palestinian cause an irreparable damage was that the very people who were supposed to lend the Palestinians a helping hand against Israeli criminality needed help themselves to deliver them from the clutches of their terrorist regimes.
Palestinian cause was betrayed twice,

Hence, the Palestinian cause was betrayed twice, first, knowingly by the tyrannical regimes, and second unknowingly by the thoroughly tormented and repressed masses (Islamists) for which Palestine became the 100th item on their agenda, thanks to unrelenting repression and persecution meted out to them by the regimes.

Hence we shouldn’t be dithering about the looming demise of some Arab regimes which excelled in making loud but mendacious voices about Palestine, Zionism and imperialism while in truth they were harboring dubious if not criminal agendas against the entire Umma.

“The right historical track. “
In the final analysis, only free people can liberate Palestine from the claws of Zionism. Dictators, who are so repressive of their own people, will not help the Palestinians in any strategic manner. The opposite is true.
Charity, after all, begins at home and if a certain regime behaves criminally towards its own citizens, it shouldn’t be expected to behave charitably towards others.
I have no doubt that the Palestinian cause is on the right historical track. The emancipation of Arabs and Muslims from the forces of dictatorship, tyranny and fascism is the first and indispensable step toward the creation of a genuine Arab Islamist force that would champion the ultimate task of liberating Palestine and defeating Zionism.
This is not going to be an easy task. But at the very least, for the first time in recent history, the Umma is putting its feet on the right track. 

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

Parallels between Nazism, Zionists striking


Contributed by Nadia

by Wendy Campbel

This article was inspired by an article by the obnoxious, ubiquitous neoconservative talking head and author Bill O’Reilly. His syndicated article was printed in the local paper today, and the title was “Parallels between Nazism, jihadists striking”.
It was so outrageous I just had to laugh out loud. Honestly. So now I am going to write an article based on it and just interject MY observations which are almost exactly OPPOSITE of his observations. You’ll see what I mean later in the article about how outrageously hilarious his statements get. Of course, he tries to posture that he is completely serious. But does he really think Americans are that dumb? This arrogance will be his downfall along with his cohorts. The lies are becoming so transparent to many Americans. He’ll be laughed out of his high-falutin position for sure. I’m already laughing. Ha ha ha.

Anyway, here it goes. Please note that direct quotes from his article will have quote marks with his name preceding them.

O’Reilly: “Seventy years ago this month, Adolf Hitler began seizing the asset of German Jews. He had waited until the summer Olympics in Berlin were finished and the world had seen the might of the Third Reich. Already, Hitler had established concentration camps for “undesirables” and forced many Jewish professors out of their jobs. He had also harassed Catholics and Protestants who dared speak against his racist policies.”

Hmm…. Sounds an awful lot like what Israelis have been doing to the Palestinians for decades. There are over 10,000 Palestinian people, men, woman and children in what amounts to concentration camps in Palestine-Israel. In fact all of the Gaza Strip and Palestinian enclaves in the West Bank are comparable to open-air prisons. The Israelis dominate, humiliate and basically torture the Palestinians every day, in an on-going ethnic-cleansing campaign against the indigenous non-Jewish Palestinians and yet they are still expected to pay taxes to their torturers. It’s truly unbelievable, but you better believe it. It’s true.

Many activists such as Alex Jones warn Americans that our government is preparing concentration camps for dissident Americans who challenge the government’s policies, especially those which are supportive of Zionist Israel. Let’s hope he is just being paranoid. However, let’s not kid ourselves: there are many crazy Neocons in and around our government who would love to do just that. If you don’t believe me, check this website out: http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/40258.htm and then check this out: http://www.truthtellers.org/alerts/departofantisemitsm.html

O’Reilly: “The parallels between the rise of fascism in pre-World War II Germany and the rise of Islamic fascism today are startling.”

First of all, according to many well-respected polling companies, well over a third of all Americans doubt the official version of 9/11. In fact, in some polls it’s 53% believe that 9/11 was an inside job, orchestrated by rogue elements in “our” government, as well as Israel ‘s. Let’s get that clear right up front here. The truth-out 911 movement is so big that even the mainstream media can’t ignore it anymore. Much of the credit goes to independent videographers, such as Dylan Avery and his “Loose Change”, which can be seen on the amazing website YouTube.com or http://www.loosechange.org. But he is just one of hundreds now doing a great job of asking the questions that must be asked and answered. Justice must be done to this crime of the century against the American people. The war in Iraq is not about justice for 911. 911 was the Riechstag or Pearl Harbor the NeoCons needed to roll out the war on Iraq and other Middle East countries, primarily for Israel ‘s benefit. There were no ties between bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Even the mainstream media confirms this FACT. There were no WMD. “Our” government couldn’t care less about “democracy”— not here, and not in Iraq . It’s about fighting wars for Israel ‘s “security” and actually Israel ‘s imperialistic ambitions; the American politicians who go along with this criminal scheme get to stay power, and line their pockets with gold from political contributions and lucrative reconstruction and corporate deals. Watch now as Zionist Hollywood goes into overdrive trying to convince Americans of the kosher version of 9/11. Any other version, they and the government claim, are just un-kosher “conspiracy theories.” There is only ONE kosher conspiracy theory that we are told we MUST believe and that is the one that asserts that evil jihadist Arab Muslims who operate out of caves and only have boxcutters for tools did it. Uh huh. Right. Sounds like the “one magic bullet” theory with regards to President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

The rogue elements of our government and Israel ‘s had the motive and the means to make 9/11 happen, according to many. The motive was to re-make over the Middle East primarily in favor of Israel ‘s ambitions. Something that is happening, although it’s been rough. Wolfowitz and Perle knew it wouldn’t be a “cake walk” like they claimed. They said anything and everything just to make the war on Iraq happen according to plan, which was stated in the Project for a New American Century, which was based on the Wolfowitz Doctrine, which was based on A Clean Break.

Most of this is common knowledge these days to activists across the country and around the world. Wake up, America ! This is now an information war. Lots of propaganda and outright lies being pushed on you via the Zionist-dominated US media.

O’Reilly: ” Iran , a nation committed to wiping Israel off the map, is defying the United Nations by refusing to obey the nuclear disarmament treaty.”

To that, I write this: Israel, a nation that has been committed since 1948, and even before that with the birth of the Zionist movement in the 1890s, to wiping Palestine off the map, has been defying well over 70 UN resolutions for decades now as well as continues to refuse to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferating Treaty, which Iran HAS offered to sign along with the other countries of the Middle East. Israel is the ONLY country in the Middle East to have nuclear warheads. Double standards don’t breed good will.

O’Reilly: ‘Hitler defied the League of Nations and rearmed, creating a fierce military threat while openly advocating the diminishment of Jews and “Aryan racial purity.””

To that, I write this: Israel continually defies UN resolutions and peacekeeping efforts, and even deliberately kills UN workers, such as the four recent murders in Lebanon , and previously Ian Hook in Rafah, Gaza . Israel is a fierce military threat bludgeoning beyond all proportion its neighboring Gaza and Lebanon over a few captured Israeli soldiers! Unbelievable! But true! Even when Israel has many Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners! Thousands! And all this while many Israeli politicians, even entire Israeli political parties openly call for the “transfer” of all Arabs and Palestinians out of Israel , out of Palestine . And not many people know this, but Israel does not allow Jews to legally marry non-Jews inside Israel . In other words they advocate for Jewish “racial purity”. Even Israeli-American politician Eliot Abrams wrote a book about how can Jews survive in Christian America, and advocates strongly against Jewish people intermarrying with non-Jews. Many Jewish activists state that marrying non-Jews is tantamount to the Holocaust. It is well understood now someone who is Jewish is a complicated mix of racial ethnicity, culture, mindset and religion, with the religion part being the only expendable element to it. Many Jews are so-called “secular” which means they are not religious Jews and they don’t believe in God.

O’Reilly: “If Iran manages to obtain nuclear weapons, it, too, will become a menace to the entire world.”

To that I write this: Israel has already managed to obtain nuclear weapons, covertly. This truth was revealed to the world by a courageous man by the name of Mordechai Vanunu. He is a Moroccan Jewish man who emigrated to Israel , got a job at the Dimona nuclear plant there, not knowing at first what he was doing. Then he felt a pang of consciousness when he realized what he was doing, and he felt compelled to tell the secret of Israel ‘s vast nuclear weapons stockpile to the world. He did this in London , where he spoke to an Australian newspaper man, and the news was out. The Israeli Mossad spy organization then kidnapped him and brought him back to Israel where he was sentenced to 18 years of solitary imprisonment where he has only just recently been released. He also converted to Christianity while in prison, which some Israeli Jews consider a worse sin than exposing Israel ‘s secret nuclear weapons to the world. According to Israeli military history professor Martin van Crevald, Israel has nuclear warheads aimed at every European capital, and if Israel goes down, so too will Europe .

Israel, as the racist, apartheid, ethnic-cleansing Zionist Jewish state, IS a menace to the entire world, especially to the Palestinians and all of the Middle East .

O’Reilly: “But the most unsettling situation is here in the United States . According to polls taken in the 1930s, as many as 80 percent of Americans were against confronting Hitler at that time. Only Pearl Harbor caused public opinion to shift.”

OK. Here we go. As all serious 911 truth movement seekers know, the Neoconservatives actually called for a “Pearl Harbor style catastrophe” to happen in order for the New American Century to begin to happen with the blessing of public opinion, and starting with taking over Iraq . It was actually on their website. I kid you not. If you don’t believe me, do a google search on Project for New American Century and Pearl Harbor . Now the time has come for the average American citizen to become aware of all this. Can you handle the truth? That is the question. Now that you know the truth, are you going to do anything about it?

So it’s clear as day that the Neocons wanted 9/11 to happen to begin the takeover of the Middle East to suit Israel ‘s strategic interests and security. They had the motive. They had the means. The smoking guns are all over the place. The circumstantial evidence is vast. Just do your homework using Google and key words such as “dancing Israeli spies”, missing Fox News clips on Israeli spying in the US, Odigo workers warned, mistaken identity of Arab hijackers who are still alive, WTC7 pulled, WTC explosives, Israeli company was in charge of US airport security at the time of 9/11, Project for New American Century, Wolfowitz Doctrine, A Clean Break, etc. There are zillions of websites with this information, and if you cross-reference them, pretty soon, you will begin to connect the dots. Really, it doesn’t really take a genius to do this, just some time and objective, unbiased, honest thinking.

O’Reilly: “But five years after Sept. 11, 2001, many Americans still do not understand the worldwide jihad and buy into the false premise that there is no linkage between what is happening in Iraq, the polices of Iran, the murderous actions of al-Qaida, and the lethal anti-Jewish strategy of Hamas and Hezbollah.”

I say, many Americans still do not understand what Zionism is and how it is at the root of all the so-called terrorism, and how indeed it is state-sponsored terrorism, funded by our tax dollars and approved of by “our” government. Zionism is a racist ideology that has been lethal to all non-Jews who happened to have the innocent misfortune of living on land that Jews want for a Jewish state, the Jewish supremacist state of Israel .

O’Reilly: “While there are certainly rivalries and differences among all the Islamic fascists, their goals are very similar: Kill Jews and damage America .”

To which I say, while there are certainly rivalries and differences among all the Judeo-fascists, their goals are very similar: “Kill Arabs and use American resources to do so”. There is graffiti all over Israel with “Kill Arabs” and other such hateful mottos. I know it for a fact. I have seen it on the video footage from peace activists who have shared it with me, and it is even featured in my documentary “Neturei Karta: Jews Against Zionism”. See, not all Jews are Zionists, but the NeoConservative Judeo fascists are the ones who are dominating US foreign policy today. By the way, do a google search on the racist Zionist Israeli leaders Meir Kahane and Rehavam Zeevi, who openly called for the transfer of all non-Jews from Israel-Palestine, and referred to Palestinians as “lice” and “cancer”, and other dehumanizing slurs.

O’Reilly: “So why is history repeating itself? Why can’t we Americans wise up and see the Islamic fascist threat? I blame the news media first, and irresponsible politicians like Howard Dean.”

HA HA HA ….. HA HA HA HA HA HA…. HA .. HA … HA HA HA HA ha… O my God! What a RIOT!!!! :-)))))) Oh that is SOOO FUNNY! OK. I mean, can you believe that!?? He actually said “I blame the news media”! Soooo funny!!

Mr. Media Bulldog himself blames the media. That is just too cute.

The question really is: why can’t Americans wise up and see the Zionist-Christian-Judeo-fascist threat? By the way, Bush is a so-called Christian, make that a Christian Zionist. Giving billions of our tax dollars to a racist apartheid state such as Israel is just does NOT make sense! Its state-sponsored terrorism is just making the world a more dangerous place and fosters bad karma in the way of blowback in more ways than one. Not only by fostering counter attacks and bad will around the world but our country is going broke while it’s at it. It’s time to treat Israel in the exact same way that apartheid South Africa was treated. In order to dismantle the Zionist apartheid regime in Israel-Palestine, it’s time to boycott and place sanctions on Israel , cutting off all financial and diplomatic aid at the same time. Yep. That’s the way to do it. One way or another. It must be done.

As far as Howard Dean is concerned, he basically went down the memory hole by the so-called “liberal” media precisely because Howard Dean merely called for a more balanced and fair approach towards the Palestine-Israel conflict. So for O’Reilly to make a big deal about Dean is hilarious. Ha. Ha.

O’Reilly: “The hatred the committed left-wing press has for Bush is almost unprecedented.”

It’s a good thing he wrote “almost” unprecedented, because he’d really be showing his ignorance and disingenuousness big-time. After all, the Republicans’ hatred for Clinton truly WAS and IS unprecedented and they haven’t stopped hating him yet. Do you think it might have had something to do with the fact that Clinton actually wanted for there to be genuine peace and justice in the Middle East and even had Arafat come to the White House and shook hands with him?

O’Reilly continues whining indulgently, pathetically: “The liberal media is obsessed with Bush and devalue him 24/7. This means that even when the president is correct on policy, the Bush haters will not admit it.”

Gee, I wonder when President Bush ever was correct on policy. What does O’Reilly mean by that? Damned if I know.

O’Reilly snivels on: “They have succeeded, especially overseas, in convincing millions of people that Bush is the world’s greatest threat, not the fanatical Muslim jihad.” Actually, polls overseas show that they are convinced that the United States , led by Bush, and Israel are the greatest threats to the world, not the Arab countries.

Gee, do you think it’s because the on-going, unjustified war campaigns by the world’s only superpower the US and it’s “ally” Israel , with the fourth largest army in the world and piles of nuclear warheads aimed at its capitals, have anything to do with it? Even if 9/11 was actually done by some Arab terrorists all on their own (which most people no longer believe), it was not an on-going war endeavor by some superpower, super-armed country. And everyone knows by now that the war on Iraq is a complete mess and immoral, and that Israel is out of control on its genocidal expansionist military assaults on non-Jews in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon and by its proxy US troops in Iraq, and Afghanistan, and if they get their way, Iran and Syria.

Mr. O’Reilly, it’s not about wanting to win the war in Iraq . It’s about how it never should have been fought in the first place! It’s well past time to bring the troops home now, with hundreds of thousands now dead, but better late than never. We owe the Arab people one HUGE apology! And HUGE reparations as well. And a new era of mutual respect, understanding and communicating. Like, Bush should consider debating the Iranian president. What’s he afraid of? Coming off like the village idiot that most people think he is?

O’Reilly: “The Iranian mullahs, bin Laden, Hezbollah and the rest of the racist killers well understand that America is a divided nation.”

Mr. O’Reilly, are you aware that “our” government and Israel ‘s have been purposefully trying to foster civil wars in Palestine and in Iraq and in Afghan and other Middle East countries? Don’t you think for a moment that Israelis and Americans who go to kill Arabs and non-Jews are racists??? As it says in the Bible, before you talk about taking the splinter out of someone else’s eye, take the beam out of your own eye! How self-serving and biased of you to only see it from your angle (and your Zionist bosses’ angle as we all know that the media is Zionist dominated. Just happens to be fact. Don’t bother with hurling the knee-jerk typical slur of “anti-Semite” at me. It’s a meaningless junk term anyway.)

O’Reilly: “Time after time, the Islamic fascists have attacked: time after time the United States and world have failed to respond with a knockout punch.”

Mr. O’Reilly, I do believe you are inciting hate-crimes and genocidal warfare against the Islamic Arab people. Say it ain’t so! By the way, if our troops got OUT of Iraq like they should have a long time ago, they would not get attacked “time after time”. I do not recall the Iraqi people inviting American troops over there to “bring democracy” or even get rid of Saddam Hussein. Au contraire, Mr. Potatohead.

O’Reilly: “Americans are certainly entitled to debate the wisdom and effectiveness of the current campaign to defeat Islamic fascism, but defeat it we must. For if we don’t, it’s just a matter of time before more of us lie dead in the streets.”

Last time I checked, Mr. O’Reilly, you were not any kind of leader, just a dopey talking head paid by his Zionist masters to spout their propaganda like an obedient pit bull on a short leash. You do that quite well, Mr. O’Reilly, but as you concede yourself, no one’s buying it.

The only Americans that are lying dead in the street now are the ones who are over in Iraq and shouldn’t be there. They’re not wanted there. They have no right to be there. They need to be brought home now. No one’s paying me to write or say any of this, unlike you. Your shameless, pathetic fear-mongering just isn’t doing the trick like you and your masters wish it would. Pity about that.

O’Reilly: “Like Hitler and his evil ambitions of seven decades ago, the jihadists of today are not going to stop until we make them stop. Somebody tell Howard Dean.”

To that I write, like Hitler and his evil ambitions of seven decades ago, the Zionist Christian and Judeo-fascists of today are not going to stop until we Americans make them stop. Get it, Mr. O’Reilly?

Somebody had to tell you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by As’ad at 8:28 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Decision of Collaborators Furthers Palestinian Genocide

Link

By: Kawther Salam

Addameer, Al Haq, Al Mezan, Badil, Civic Coalition for Jerusalem, DCI- Palestine. NSAN Centre, Independent Commission for Human Rights, Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Centre, Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Ramallah Centre for Human Rights Studies, Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling, wrote a statement:

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied, Decision of Palestinian Leadership and International Pressure an Insult to the Victims

Yesterday, 2 October 2009, the Palestinian leadership, under heavy international pressure lead by the United States, deferred the draft proposal at the Human Rights Council endorsing all the recommendations of the UN Fact Finding Mission (the Goldstone Report). This deferral denies the Palestinian peoples’ right to an effective judicial remedy and the equal protection of the law. It represents the triumph of politics over human rights.

It is an insult to all victims and a rejection of their rights.

The crimes documented in the report of the UN Fact Finding Mission represent the most serious violations of international law; Justice Goldstone concluded that there was evidence to indicate that crimes against humanity may have been committed in the Gaza Strip. Violations of international law continue to this day, inter alia, through the continuing Israeli-imposed illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The findings of the Mission confirmed earlier investigations conducted by independent Palestinian, Israeli and international organizations.

The injustice that has now been brought upon Palestinians has been brought upon everyone on this globe. International human rights and humanitarian law are not subject to discrimination, they are not dependent on nationality, religion, or political affiliation. International human rights and humanitarian law apply universally to all human beings.
The rule of law is intended to protect individuals, to guarantee their fundamental rights. Yet, if the rule of law is to be respected it must be enforced.

World history, and the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land has shown us that as long as impunity persists, the law will continue to be violated; innocent civilians will continue to suffer the horrific consequences.

Justice delayed is justice denied. All victims have a legitimate right to an effective judicial remedy, and the equal protection of the law. These rights are universal: they are not subject to political considerations.

In the nine months since Operation Cast Lead, no effective judicial investigations have been conducted into the conflict. Impunity prevails.

In such situations, international law demands recourse to international judicial mechanisms. Victims’ rights must be upheld. Those responsible must be held to account.
The belief that accountability and the rule of law can be brushed aside in the pursuit of peace is misguided. History has taught us time and time again, that sustainable peace can only be built on human rights, on justice, and the rule of law.

For many years in Palestine international law, and the rule of law, has been sacrificed in the name of politics, and cast aside in favour of the peace process. This approach has been tried, and it has failed: the occupation has been solidified, illegal settlements have continued to expand, the right to self-determination has been denied; innocent civilians suffer the horrific consequences.

It is now time to seriously pursue justice, and a peace built on a foundation of human rights, dignity, and the rule of law. In Justice Goldstone’s words, there is no peace without justice.

As human rights organizations we strongly condemn the Palestinian leaderships’ decision to defer the proposal endorsing all the recommendations of the Fact Finding Mission, and the pressure exerted by certain members of the international community. Such pressure is in conflict with States’ international obligations, and is an insult to the Palestinian people.

As human rights organizations concerned with rights and justice, we declare that we will double our efforts to seek justice for the victims of the violations of human rights and international law without delay.

Source: Palestine Think Tank

Kawther SalamKawther Salam is a Palestinian journalist. She has had a career of over 20 years working for various newspapers and TV stations in Palestine. She is forced to live in the Exile in Vienna since 2002. Email this author

it is now official: Israel has selected a new Palestinian leader

it is now official: Israel has selected a new Palestinian leader

“During those conversations, Peres referred to the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, Salam Fayyad, as a “Palestinian Ben-Gurion.”” (thanks Sobhi)
Posted by As’ad at 10:40 AM

What We Palestinians Need

What We Palestinians Need

By Dr. Mustafa Barghouti

Irrespective of what political settlement is ultimately embraced, Palestinians need a unified strategy for confronting and overcoming Israeli racism, apartheid and oppression.

Palestinians have only two choices before them: 1) either to continue to evade the struggle, as some have been trying to do, or 2) to summon the collective national resolve to engage in it.

The latter option does not necessarily entail a call to arms. Clearly Israel has the overwhelming advantage in this respect in both conventional and unconventional (nuclear) weapons. Just as obviously, neighboring Arab countries have neither the will nor ability to go the military route. However, the inability to wage war does not automatically mean surrender and eschewing other means to wage struggle.

As powerful as it is militarily, Israel has two major weak points. Firstly, it cannot impose political solutions by force of arms on a people determined to sustain a campaign of resistance. This has been amply demonstrated in two full-scale wars against Lebanon and, most recently, in the assault against Gaza. Secondly, the longer the Palestinians have remained steadfast, and the greater the role the demographic factor has come to play in the conflict, the more clearly Israel has emerged as an apartheid system hostile to peace. If the ethnic cleansing of 1948 and the colonialist expansionism describe the circumstances surrounding the birth of the Israeli state, the recent bills regarding the declaration of allegiance to a Jewish state and prohibiting the Palestinian commemoration of the nakba more explicitly underscore its essential racist character.

Ironically, just as Israel has attained the peak in its drive to fragment the Palestinian people, with geographical divides between those in Israel and those abroad, between Jerusalem and the West Bank and the West Bank and Gaza, and between one governorate and the next in the West Bank by means of ring-roads, walls and barriers, Palestinians have become reunified in their hardship and in the challenges that confront them.

Regardless of whether or not they bear Israeli citizenship, or whether they are residents of Jerusalem, the West Bank or Gaza, they all share the plight of being victims of Israel’s systematic discrimination and apartheid order.

If the only alternative to evading the struggle is to engage in it in order to resolve it, we must affirm that our national liberation movement is still alive. We must affirm, secondly, that political and diplomatic action is a fundamental part of managing the conflict, as opposed to an alternative to it. In fact, we must elevate it to our primary means for exposing the true nature of Israel, isolating it politically and pressing for international sanctions against it.

In this context, we must caution against the theory of building state institutions under the occupation. An administration whose security services would be consuming 35 per cent of the public budget, that would be acting as the occupation’s policeman while furthering Netanyahu’s scheme for economic normalization as a substitute for a political solution, is clearly geared to promote the acclimatization to the status quo, not change. Building Palestinian governing institutions and promoting genuine economic development must occur within the framework of a philosophy of “resistance development”. Such a philosophy is founded on the dual principles of: 1) supporting the people’s power to withstand the hardships of the occupation, and 2) reducing dependency on foreign funding and foreign aid. The strategic aim of the Palestinian struggle, under this philosophy, must be to “make the costs of the Israeli occupation and its apartheid system so great as to be unsustainable”.

If we agree on this course for conducting the struggle, then the next step is to adopt a unified national strategy founded upon four pillars:

Resistance

In all its forms, resistance is an internationally sanctioned right of the Palestinian people. Under this strategy, however, it must resume a peaceful, mass grassroots character that will serve to revive the culture of collective activism among all sectors of the Palestinian people and, hence, to keep the struggle from becoming the preserve or monopoly of small cliques and to promote its growing impetus and momentum. Models for this type of resistance already exist. Of particular note is the brave and persistent campaign against the Separation Wall, which has spread across several towns and villages, offered five lives to the cause, and become increasingly adamant. The resistance by the people of East Jerusalem and Silwan against Israeli home demolitions and the drive to Judaise the city presents another heroic model. Yet a third promising example is to be found it the movement to boycott Israeli goods and to encourage the consumption of locally produced products. In addition to preventing the occupation power from milking the profits from marketing locally produced products, this form of resistance can engage the broadest swath of the population, from old to young and men and women, and revive the culture and spirit of communal collaboration. The campaigns to break the blockade against Gaza, as exemplified by the protest ships, the supply caravans and the pressures on Israel to lift its economic stranglehold, are another major type of resistance.

Supporting National Steadfastness

The importance of this pillar is its focus on strengthening the demographic power of the Palestinian people so as to transform their millions into an effective grassroots force. It entails meeting their essential needs to enable them to remain steadfast in their struggle, and developing Palestinian human resources as the foundation for a strong and independent Palestinian economy. However, in order to achieve these aims the Palestinian Authority (PA) economic plan and budget must be altered in a way that pits their weight behind development in education, health, agriculture and culture, as opposed to squandering a third of the budget on security. For example, the passage and immediate implementation of the bill for the national higher education fund would serve the educational needs of hundreds of thousands of young adults. In addition to elevating and developing the standards of university education, it would also work to sustain the impact of development aid and eventually reduce reliance on foreign support. The fund would also alleviate the school tuition burdens on more than 150,000 families, put an end to nepotism in the handling of student study grants and loans, and provide equal opportunity for academic advancement to all young men and women regardless of their financial circumstances. Equally innovative and dynamic ideas could be applied to other areas of education, or to stimulating the fields of public health, agriculture and culture with the overall aim of developing the educated, innovative and effective modern human resources needed to meet Palestinian needs as autonomously as possible and, hence, capable of weathering enormous pressures.

National Unity and a Unified National Leadership

This strategic aim entails estructuring the Palestine Liberation Organization on a more demographically representative basis and putting into effect agreements that have been previously reached in the Palestinian national dialogues held in Cairo. Over the past few years, the thrust of Israel’s greatest advantage and the thrust of its assault centered around the Palestinian rift and the weakness of the disunited Palestinian leadership. In order to redress this flaw, the Palestinians must adopt a new mentality and approach. Specifically, they must: relinquish the mentality and practice of vying for power over an illusory governing authority that is still under the thumb of the occupation, whether in the West Bank or in Gaza; give up the illusion that Palestinian military might, however great it might become, is capable of leading the Palestinian struggle alone; adopt democracy and pluralistic democratic activities and processes as a mode of life, self-government, peaceful decision-making, and the only acceptable means to resolve our differences and disputes; resist all outside pressures and attempts (particularly on the part of Israel) to intervene in our internal affairs and to tamper with the Palestinian popular will. There must be a firm and unshakeable conviction in Palestinians’ right to independent national self-determination.

The most difficult task that we face today is creating a unified leadership and strategy binding on all, from which no political or military decisions will depart, and within which framework no single group or party has a monopoly on the decision-making processes. Only with a unified leadership and strategy will we be able to fight the blockade as one, instead of evading unity for fear of the blockade. With a unified leadership and strategy we will able to seize the reins of initiative from others, as opposed to spinning from one reaction to the other, and we will be able to focus our energies on asserting our unified will instead of squandering them in internal power struggles in which the various parties seek outside assistance to strengthen their hand against their opponents on the inside. Only then will we be able to shift the equations that subordinated the national liberation movement to the narrow concerns of the PA (both in the West Bank and Gaza) and turn the PA into an instrument in the service of the national liberation movement.

Enhancing Pro-Palestinian Solidarity

That such a movement already exists and is steadily growing is heartening. However, it will take enormous efforts to organize it and coordinate its activities properly so as to ensure it has the greatest possible influence upon decision-makers, especially in Europe and the West. Palestinian, Arab and Muslim communities will need to be orchestrated towards the realization of the same goals. If the solidarity movement has scored significant successes with the organization of a boycott of Israeli products, the decision by the Federation of British Universities to boycott Israeli academics, and the decision taken by Hampshire College and some US churches to refuse to invest in Israel, much work has yet to be done to expand the scope of such activities and build up the momentum of the solidarity movement. The Palestinian plight, which Nelson Mandela has described as the foremost challenge to the international humanitarian conscience, strongly resembles the state of South Africa at the outset to the 1980s. It took years of a concerted unified drive before the South African liberation movement finally succeeded in bringing around governments to their cause. The tipping point came when major companies realized that the economic costs of dealing with the apartheid regime in Pretoria were unsustainable. In the Palestinian case, the success of an international solidarity movement is contingent upon three major factors: 1) The first is careful organization and detailed planning, a high degree of discipline and tight coordination; 2) Second is a rational, civilized rhetoric that refuses to play into Israel’s tactics of provocation; and, 3) The third is to address and recruit progressive movements and peoples in societies abroad, including anti-Zionist Jews and Jews opposed to Israeli policies.

None of the foregoing is new, by any means. However, these ideas have yet to be put into practice. The logical springboard for this is to operate on the principle that while the Palestinian cause is a Palestinian, Arab and Muslim one, it is above all a humanitarian cause that cries out to all in the world who cherish humanitarian principles and values. The success of the freedom fighters of South Africa, the anti-Vietnam war movement, and the campaigners for the independence of India stemmed primarily from their ability to forge a universal appeal. And this is precisely what we must do. Our mottos for the solidarity movement with the Palestinian people must be “the fight against the new apartheid and systematic racism” and “the fight for justice and the right to freedom.” The International Court of Justice’s ruling on the Separation Wall, the illegality of Jewish settlements and altering the face of Jerusalem is a valuable legal precedent that official Palestinian governing institutions have ignored for four years. This ruling should now become our platform for a drive to impose sanctions against Israel, just as the UN resolution against the occupation of Namibia proved a platform for mounting a campaign against the apartheid system in South Africa.

The four-pronged strategy outlined above, which is espoused by the Palestinian National Initiative Movement, can succeed if it is guided by a clear vision, patience, and systematic persistence. I do not expect that it win the approval of all. The interests of some combined with their sense of frustration and despair have deadened their desire to engage in or to continue the confrontation with Israel. We also have to acknowledge that certain sectors of Palestinian society have become so dependent upon interim arrangements and projects and the attendant finances as to put paid to the possibility of their contributing to the fight for real change. Yet, the proposed comprehensive strategy does respond to and represent the interests of the vast majority of the Palestinian people and holds the promise of a better future.

The Palestinian national struggle has so far passed through two major phases: the first steered by Palestinians abroad while ignoring the role of Palestinians at home, and the second steered by Palestinians at home while ignoring the role of Palestinians abroad. Today we find ourselves at the threshold of a third phase, which should combine the struggle at home and the campaign of Palestinians and their sympathizers abroad.

In closing I would like to address the subject of a one-state or a two-state solution. It is both theoretically and practically valid to raise this subject here for two reasons. First, Israel has consistently tried to undermine the prospect of Palestinian statehood by pressing for such formulas as home rule, or an interim state, or a state without real sovereignty. Second, the changes produced on the ground by Israeli settlements and ring roads have come to render the realization of a viable state unrealizable. To some, especially Palestinians in the Diaspora, replacing the call for a one-state solution with calling for a “two-state solution” seems to offer a remedy that gives relief. It is a better remedy, without a doubt, but it is a long way from offering relief. Slogans do not end liberation struggles. Slogans without strategies and efforts to back them up remain nothing but idle wishes or, to some, a noble way to avoid responsibility and the work that goes with it.

Now, let us be clear here. Israel has been working around the clock to destroy the option of an independent Palestinian state on the ground and, hence, the two-state solution. But that does not leave the Palestinian people without an alternative, as some Zionist leaders undoubtedly hope. The single democratic state (not the single bi-national state) in which all citizens are equal in rights and duties regardless of their religious affiliations and their origins is an alternative to the attempt to force the Palestinians to accept slavery under occupation and an apartheid order in the form of a feeble autonomous government that is dubbed a state.

However, whether the aim is a truly independent sovereign state or a single democratic state, both of which Israel dismisses with equal vehemence, neither of these aims can be achieved without exposing and destroying the apartheid system. This requires a strategy. Therefore, instead of allowing ourselves to become divided prematurely over whether to go for the one-state or two-state solution, let us unify behind the common aim required to achieve either: the formulation and implementation of a strategy to fight the occupation, apartheid and racial discrimination. This will lead us to something that is absolutely necessary at this stage, which is to move from the world of slogans to the world of practical activism in accordance with viable strategic plans that mobilize demonstrators against the wall, intellectuals and politicians and other sectors of society. It is high time we realize that diplomatic endeavors and negotiations do not free us from the nuts and bolts of actual struggle. We have one road that leads to a single goal: the freedom of the Palestinian people. There is nothing nobler than to follow this road to its end. This is not a project for some point in the future; it is one that cannot wait. Indeed, we should probably adopt the slogan of the freedom fighters of South Africa: “Freedom in our lifetime!”

– Mustafa Barghouthi, a doctor and a member of the Palestinian parliament, was a candidate for president in 2005. He is secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative, a political party. This article was contributed to PalestineChronicle.com. (Originally published in the Los Angeles Times – http://www.latimes.comMay 18, 2009.)

Fatah strangled at rebirth

Link

Contrary to many reports, Fatah’s conference was marred by claims of vote-rigging, rejection of criticism and even beatings

ben

Ben White

guardian.co.uk, Monday 17 August 2009 13.34 BST

Article history

Last week, Fatah finished up its general conference in Bethlehem, the first time the movement had held such a gathering for 20 years. The conference, which began on 3 August and ran for several more days than scheduled, was billed as the opportunity for Fatah to breathe some life into an ossified leadership structure and kickstart a political comeback.

As the gathering drew to a close, with Abbas re-elected as party leader, new central committee members announced and votes being counted for the revolutionary council, western media headlines gave the impression that it had largely been a success, like the New York Times’s report: Fatah party election brings in a new generation.

There was certainly a change in personnel at the highest decision-making levels of the organisation; into the central committee came Mohammed Dahlan, Marwan Barghouti and Jibril Rajoub. But whether what one commentator in Dar al-Hayat called “the return of ex-security chiefs” somehow represented the kind of victory for transparency and political integrity that the Fatah rank and file were looking for is more dubious.

In fact, the reality of Fatah’s conference was a good deal different to how it was portrayed in many typical western media reports. There was limited acknowledgement of the fact that many Palestinians and Arab commentators were pointing out, as Abdel-Beri Atwan did in Al-Quds al-Arabi on 4 August, that “this is the first time in history that a national liberation movement holds its general conference under the spear of the occupation and with the blessing of its government”. Al-Sharq newspaper also noted that the conference was taking place “with Israel’s sponsorship, and protection”.

There was also little explanation in the media coverage about the mechanisms that had both led to the conference and the questionable events during the meeting. The vast majority of the more than 2,000 delegates were handpicked by a group around the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, who had disbanded the elections committee set up to pick attendees.

During the conference itself, there were reports of 700 extra delegates showing up – but who they were, or why they had been chosen, was unclear. One delegate even claimed “veteran and wealthy Fatah officials had appointed their drivers, secretaries and neighbours as delegates to the conference”, to boost their vote tally.

Abbas was elected uncontested as Fatah’s head by a show of hands in front of the cameras by the mainly appointed delegates. In the aftermath of the central committee results there were a number of allegations of vote-rigging, including from Ahmed Qureia, while a close aide to Abbas went from loser to winner after a “recount”.

Open challenges to the ruling establishment at the conference – or simply calls for genuine accountability – were not well received, and there were also reported beatings administered by Abbas’s security. Little wonder that some have felt it appropriate to make comparisons with the Ba’ath party.

The most positive spin possible on the conference is that there is a newly elected leadership in place to which Abbas will now be accountable. But even if the conference had been characterised by transparency, rigorous debate and radical restructuring, Fatah would still be facing its main challenges: defining the relationships between Fatah-PA-PLO; corruption; unity talks with Hamas; and confronting Israeli colonisation.

With some Fatah members already preparing their protests, the future of Fatah is barely less gloomy than it was before the conference. With no acknowledgement of past mistakes and key leadership positions viewed as sources of personal power and privilege, the conference may not have been a rebirth so much as an exercise in prolonging the inevitable.

"Beiruti in Jaffa, Yafawi in Beirut": Shafiq al-Hout’s story in his own words

Tribute, The Electronic Intifada, 4 August 2009

On Sunday, 2 August 2009, the celebrated journalist and founding member of the Palestine Liberation Organization Shafiq al-Hout passed away in Beirut, Lebanon at the age of 77. The following is part of Shafiq’s story as told to me as part of an oral history project conducted in Beirut in 1999. The project aimed to develop appropriate material for teaching English to Palestinian refugee children based on oral history interviews with five Palestinians old enough to remember their lives in Palestine before the 1948 dispossession. Shafiq was most enthusiastic about participating in the project, explaining, “They want to erase Palestine from the memory of the new generation, and anything I can do to fight that, I will be more than happy.” Shafiq not only agreed to be interviewed, but suggested other Palestinians from his generation for the project, and in some instances helped arranged meetings with them. Tears would well in Shafiq’s eyes when he spoke of his life in his home city of Jaffa and of the experience of being dispossessed from his country, and the story of his grandfather’s death in exile. Shafiq al-Hout was passionate, emotional, critical and a fierce fighter for the Palestinian cause and people. While we are shedding tears over his loss, we must also follow the road to return, a path from which he never wavered. — Mayssoun Sukarieh, Beirut, Lebanon

“The Beiruti Mayor” is what people in Jaffa used to call my father. He had inherited mayorship from his father and used to practice it in his small shop in Manshiyyah Street. The people of Jaffa had affectionately nicknamed him “Beiruti” as a token of their immense gratitude for the services he had rendered to them free of charge. Another reason why he was named “Beiruti” was because the ancestry of his family, the Houts, was deeply rooted in Lebanon. My grandfather, Salim Youssef al-Hout, constantly visited Jaffa at the end of the 19th century. The glamour of the city attracted him like it did other Lebanese people. He then decided to settle there and married a Jaffa woman from the Manshiyyah quarter.

My five siblings were born in my grandfather’s house, while I was born in my parents’ small, humble house. In fact, when my parents decided to have their own house they were accused of being revolutionaries. This unpleasant incident angered both my father’s and my mother’s families equally. Characteristically, the entrance to our home was like most of Jaffa’s houses. It had a well and a palm tree under which we indulged playing for hours on end. It also had a backyard planted with fragrant flowers and juicy vegetables. Not very far from my house was a sandy playground where we played football with our neighbors.

The window of my room overlooked the street below, thus providing me with a panoramic view. I remember being very happy in Ramadan, since during that time of the year I could see Abu Hussein, the musahharati who used to bang the drum and wake people up for suhur — the early morning last meal the faithful are allowed to have before daybreak, when actual fasting starts.

Although my house appealed to me, it was in my grandparents’ house that I really felt at home. In fact, my happiest days were those I spent playing with my cousins in grandparents’ house. Nothing used to stop our noise and our running except my grandfather’s arrival home. My grandfather, by the way, wasn’t necessarily the ideal grandfather. He was a serious, tough man; he never told us stories, or hugged us like grandfathers usually do. All I remember of him is a hand stretched out, waiting to be kissed, and, with much discipline, we all stood in line upon his arrival to do the ritual. On holidays this ritual was our first duty of the day. He would sit on his armchair and next to him was his cloth bag filled with money. Each of us would in turn kiss his stretched hand and take his eidiyyah — a holiday allowance that was always proportional to our age.

In my grandfather’s house, I had the opportunity to meet Jewish kids Mael, Maraz and Sholomesh, with whose parents my father and grandfather had commercial relations. The wedding party of Haim Bazar, whose brother Daoud used to play football with me, was another memorable event that I can still remember vividly.

I received my schooling, up to high school, at Ameriyyah Public School, which was adjacent to al-Zaharaa School for Girls. I used to climb the walls of the school together with my friends to look at girls and be looked back at flirtatiously. The girls from al-Zaharaa School used to do the same.

Next, I joined the boy scouts at school, and as a result, I was able to form a clear picture about this great institution. Our first trip was to the Dead Sea. Upon our arrival there, and as soon as we alighted from our buses, we all dashed towards the sea and furiously dove into its irresistible waters, only to come out as quickly as we could, crying and shouting because our eyes would all be burning with salt!

In addition to our school activities, we had our special hobbies. Swimming on Jaffa’s gorgeous beach with its white, sugar-like sand was our favorite pastime. We used to call each other and go to the shore to swim, wrestle or play football. When bicycles first arrived in Jaffa, we started renting them out and used them to roam in its streets. We’d head towards the clock tower and then back to our quarter.

When we got a bit older, we started enjoying going to movie theaters, which were located in different parts of Jaffa. The al-Hamra movie theater was similar to the Roxy in Beirut. In this theater I watched many plays such as The Green Table, directed by Youssef Wehbeh, and The Street Kids, as well as many other movies starring Ismail Yassin, Abdel Wahab and Layla Murad. One of the movies, which I can still remember very well, was First Look, featuring “al-Sahroura” Sabah and Abdel Wahab.

After watching the movies we used to discuss them and argue about their themes and morals. These movies used to make us aspire to become actors some day in the future. Each of us would choose an actor as his ideal; someone with a nice voice, for instance, would aspire to be like the towering personality of Abdel Wahab; another young fan with a good sense of humor would dream of becoming Ismail Yassin. I personally delighted in taking the role of the great Youssef Wehbeh, maybe because he played the cool lawyer in most of his roles, and becoming a lawyer someday was one of my most cherished dreams. I frequently spent time in front of the mirror and imitated that kind of voice he would have when defending or prosecuting someone. I even used to imagine cases and include every single detail in the courtroom of my mind with its defendants, prosecutors, culprits and judges. I would also visualize myself dynamically defending or prosecuting some troubled soul in my imaginary courtroom.

April 1948 is a month I can never forget. During this month, [Palestinian resistance leader] Abdel Qader al-Husseini was martyred and sadness overshadowed Jaffa and the entire country of Palestine. In this month as well, my rebel brother Jamal attained martyrdom, which added to the sorrow I inherited as a result of being a citizen of an usurped country, the personal sorrow of now losing a very dear spiritual brother.

After al-Husseini died, signs of defeat started to become apparent. We in Jaffa used to hear news about Palestinian villages falling into Jewish hands as well as massacres committed by the Jews. This was news that reached us on a daily basis. The people of Jaffa grew restless after hearing such news. This restlessness turned into fright after the British started shelling Jaffa’s squares and streets haphazardly.

The people of Jaffa resisted, hoping for Arab support, but our patience was running out since this support was taking too long, possibly because Jaffa was far from the Arab borders and close to Tel Aviv, or because of its narrow terrestrial passages, along with the impossibility of the arrival of any troops by sea.

In April 1948, a small number from the Arab Rescue Army, accompanied by some Yugoslavians — fierce fighters with Arab names — arrived, so one would find Khalids, Umars and Jaafars among them. They were more punctual and better organized than the Rescue Army.

News about the Deir Yassin massacre reached Jaffa, causing a wave of anger and fright in the city. Meanwhile, a spontaneous decision was taken to evacuate the children, the women and the elderly from the city until the Arab troops would enter it and until things went back to normal.

Under these disturbing circumstances my family decided to leave the country for Beirut as we had some roots there. This way, we would spend the summer enjoying the beautiful Lebanese landscape. My father insisted on getting an entry visa to Lebanon. The Lebanese Consul, Edmond Rock, used to live in Jaffa, so he granted us a visa free of charge. My visa was stamped on a Palestinian passport numbered 21203. I had that passport prepared a short while before that, since I had planned to travel to Britain and study law there, to realize my dream and stand for people’s rights.

How could we possibly reach Beirut? The land road was closed, and also dangerous, since the [Jewish militia] Haganah had taken positions all over the place. We had no choice but the sea. Thus we headed for the sea where a Greek ship called “Dolores” was awaiting us. Being among the lucky few that arrived early, we were able to rent a cabin in the ship which was so crowded, even on deck, that it was about to sink due to the huge number of people who hoped to seek refuge in the ports of Lebanon.

I can still remember the fright stamped on people’s faces in the port of Jaffa. Thousands from Jaffa were elbowing their way through the crowd trying to escape death. No naval transportation means available was left unused, even boats two meters long. Boats would head to wherever the captain or the wind would take them, regardless of the direction. Some headed north and reached Lebanon, and others headed south and found themselves in Egypt.

The flight was random. There were many families whose members were “distributed” on different boats, going in different directions.

I spent most of the day’s long trip sitting next to the captain, observing two large fish that were escorting us all along our journey. They bade us farewell as we approached Lebanese territorial waters.

We arrived at the port of Beirut the next day in the morning. Thousands of Palestinians and thousands of Lebanese were there to welcome their Palestinian relatives. All faces were bewildered and gloomy, not knowing what the future was going to be like. With unprecedented cordiality and ardor, the port workers greeted us. They were used to seeing Palestinians come and spend their summer vacations there.

Our Lebanese cousin, who was there to receive us, then drove us to his house where we were to spend a few weeks in the summer. Then, we decided to rent a house in the Souk al-Ghareb region to spend the summer as we always did, and we planned to go back to Palestine in the wintertime. However, this much-awaited return was not meant to happen as soon as we had thought. Winter was fast approaching and people started searching for apartments in Beirut to rent. But my grandfather, who originally was Lebanese, had insisted not to settle in Lebanon. He refused to rent anything but a furnished apartment. Toward the end of the summer, he got ill. He had no prayer but to be buried in Jaffa. When he got seriously ill and became delirious, he started confusing the pine trees that his window overlooked in Souk al-Ghareb, with the orange trees that could be seen from his window in Jaffa. He would point to the pine trees and ask my father to bury him under the orange tree that he himself had planted. And this was how the Souk al-Ghareb pine trees became my grandfather’s Jaffa orange trees.

“The Yafawi” [the man from Jaffa]: that was what they started to call me in
Beirut, where we ended up living after spending our summer in Aley [a village in Mount Lebanon]. Our long-awaited return to Jaffa was, once again, postponed. This new nickname triggered in me a lot of new questions pertaining to my identity. In Jaffa we were called the “Beirutis” [the ones from Beirut] and in Beirut we became known the Yafawi. Who am I? Why should we have restricted or specific identities? I must have an identity broader than Beiruti or Yafawi — an identity even broader than Lebanon and Palestine.

At the beginning, we followed my father’s wish to rent a furnished apartment instead of a house, because we felt our return to Jaffa could happen anytime soon and we should be ready to travel light, and therefore, buying furniture wouldn’t be such a great idea. It was in that house that I received a telegram from my friend Ibrahim Abu Loghod congratulating me for passing the matriculation of the British high school. At that very moment, big questions regarding my future began to pervade my mind.

I wouldn’t be able to defend my clients the way my hero Youssef Wehbeh used to do in his movies. Further, I had to abandon that dream because this major didn’t exist at the American University of Beirut (AUB), my only hope, and since I was English-educated, I could not continue my studies in any other institution. So what were my other alternatives?

“Why don’t you join the faculty of medicine and become a doctor — someone who will bring joy to our hearts, someone we’d all take great pride in?” my father suggested, and I obeyed. I enrolled in AUB in 1949.

During my first few months there, I was literally fought for — like all the newcomers — by adherents of the different political persuasions who were at AUB, as the whole of the Arab world was potentially on the brink of an explosion.

“The Arab countries share the same history and use the same language. We
should all be one nation.” This was the theme that George Habash, Hamed Jabboury and Wadi’ Haddad, who constituted the hard-core of the Arab Nationalist Movement, tried to impart to me. Then, I was attracted to Saadoun Hamadi, Fouad Arrikabi and Leila Bouksmati, who stressed on me that unity, freedom and socialism are the only means to liberate Palestine, and that we are an Arab nation with a “lasting mission.”

Virtually all political groups tried to convert us to their ideologies, from the leaders of the Baath Party to Mansour Armaly, who used to grab my hand, drag me away from AUB’s West Hall to invite me for a cup tea and a cigarette at the cafeteria, and assure me that it was the Soviet Union that would help solve the Palestinian cause. “We have to struggle for the oppressed classes because they will revolt and liberate us from oppression,” he used to say. I just couldn’t tell who had the truth.

At the beginning, the university and all that was going in it wasn’t really my concern. I was living there, while my people were outside its compounds. In collaboration with a group of friends, we decided to establish a Palestinian club and applied to the Lebanese Ministry of Interior for a license.

“Let’s visit Mufti Amin al-Husseini, and ask for his support in getting the license. He is quite influential among the Lebanese officials,” I suggested. So we went to al-Nouzha, next to Mansourieh, where Hajj Amin lived, but both Hajj Amin and the Lebanese authorities disappointed us. We didn’t get the license. What to do then?

My friend and I toured the refugee camps, trying to enlist Palestinians capable of shouldering the responsibility for our cause. Despite the horrible conditions that still plagued the refugees, they received us with an unbelievable zeal, repeatedly asserting their readiness to do anything they could to return home. Such admirable commitment to the Palestinian cause was present in the camps of Tel al-Zaatar, Shatila, Burj al-Barajne and Rashidieh. All this great political mobilization, it seems, alarmed the followers of Hajj Amin al-Husseini, who didn’t subscribe to our ideologies. This explains the several threats we received from his followers, which culminated with an ambush they had prepared for us, when we were severely beaten. To make things worse, they also called the Lebanese General Security Services and accused us of being communists. At that time, communism was one of the worst crimes that any person could be accused of.

I then decided that the best thing for me to do was to shift the focus of my work to the university’s campus. During that time, our economic conditions started to deteriorate. We moved to live in the same house where my uncles and aunts were living. Moreover, my dad was no longer capable of paying my university tuition fees.

The competition among the various political movements at AUB was at its peak, and communists, nationalists and Baathists, in addition to others, were fighting for supremacy on campus. I joined the communists who strongly appealed to me because they focused on the students’ basic necessities of life. These necessities were a major cause of suffering to me as well as to my Palestinian colleagues. After the student elections of 1951, as I was working in the chemistry laboratory, I was summoned to the office of Archie Crawford, who was then the university’s vice president. I thought he wanted me to pay the late tuition fees, but it never occurred to me, not for a second, that I was about to be banned from being involved in any political activity henceforward. That was soon to become evident to me when Crawford started his interrogation into the nature of my extra-curricular activities within and outside the AUB campus. Both he and the Lebanese authorities condemned such activities and considered them a sort of breeding ground for riots and mutiny. After the interrogation, I was shocked by two Lebanese inspectors who stepped from behind a curtain, cuffed my hands, and led me beyond the university’s gates to a jeep that had been waiting for us. During the interrogation at the police station, I was accused of being a communist. When I was released a week later, I found that President Charles Helou had issued a presidential decree ordering my deportation from Lebanon.

The Lebanese members of my family tried to approach several political Lebanese leaders in an attempt to get me a permission to stay in Lebanon, but it was all in vain. And then my day of judgment came! It turned out to be a day of joy when we discovered that the judge who was to preside over my case was Mr. Mahmoud al-Nouman, who was married to one of my father’s cousins.

Just a few hours before my trial, my father was surprised by an unexpected visit by Judge Nouman to our house; my father at first he thought that the judge had come to assure him that everything was going well. How wrong he was!

Not knowing how to start, he finally said: “Uncle, I have come to tell you that I have relinquished your son’s case and asked that it be transferred to another judge.” Before my father asked about the reason, the judge said: “In similar cases, the decision are already made and put in a sealed envelope that we simply open and then read. This is high-level politics; it is state politics; we really have no say in these matters at all!”

The next day the judge read the verdict that had already been written for him: “Imprisonment for three months and deportation from Lebanon.” By the time I was released, however, my family had successfully convinced Prime Minister Sami Solh to suspend the presidential decree ordering my deportation from Lebanon.

I went out of prison to find out, however, that the decree banishing my friends Muhammad Lasawi and Nashat al-Shaar was carried out. The first was deported to the Lebanese-Palestinian border where he met a Lebanese shepherd who sympathized with him and helped him cross over to Syria. But the Shishakli government, which shared the Lebanese government’s anti-communist position, arrested and imprisoned him for eight years, and when he was released some time later, he was a sick and disabled man. As for the second deportee, he was lucky enough to escape from Syria to Iraq, where he might still be living.

When I was released from prison I discovered that I had been suspended from the university for one year. This latest setback hurt my father terribly, as he was passing through the worst days of his life; he had to line up in order to receive UNRWA [the United Nations agency for Palestine refugees] rations, given the magnitude of our financial problems … I decided to seek a job and started teaching at the Makassed schools, but the administration disliked the discussions I usually had with the students on the Palestinian cause, and eventually kicked me out. The seemingly unending saga of moving from one school to another without finding a job drove me to an acute state of desperation to the point that I was now even contemplating suicide.

One day I went to see my friend the barber, someone I felt could share with me my misfortunes. A man who happened to be there coincidentally overheard our conversation and said, “You, the Hout people, are a prominent Lebanese family and it is certain that your father and grandfathers are registered as Lebanese, so why don’t you apply for the Lebanese citizenship?” I ran to my father and begged him to apply for the Lebanese citizenship; he cursed me instead and hurriedly answered: “Do you want me to give up my Palestinian identity? This is impossible even if we have to be kicked out of Lebanon.”

My father’s reaction forced me to apply on my own for Lebanese citizenship, and to submit forged papers stating that I was born in Lebanon a year before my real date of birth. Three times the case was rejected and during that period, I graduated from the American University of Beirut. Later, Judge Othman al-Dana summoned me and tried to find out about my reasons for persisting to obtain Lebanese citizenship. I told him that I had signed a contract with a school in Kuwait and that I had to go there before the beginning of the school year. That was how, without any further questions, I was declared Lebanese and given Lebanese citizenship.

When I reached Kuwait [following unexpected complications related to obtaining citizenship], I found out that the Ministry of Education had decided to replace me for being late and hired another teacher, but I found another job at another school. At that time, I started to correspond with Salim al-Lawzi who was the head of al-Hawadeth, a prestigious magazine in Lebanon. I returned to Beirut and started to work as a journalist for al-Hawadeth and this magazine became the platform from which I would vouch for the Palestinian cause. In addition, the magazine provided me with the opportunity to communicate with the Palestinians now scattered in the Diaspora. Through this platform, we were able to start a secretive political movement called the Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and issued a monthly newsletter titled Tariq al-Awda, or “The Path of Return,” which until 1964 was printed at al-Hawadeth Printing House. Membership in the Front increased steadily and by now it included newcomers from the refugee camps in Lebanon, Kuwait, Syria, Jordan, Amman, the West Bank, as well as people belonging to the different Palestinian classes, ranging from simple workers to teachers and engineers. Our aim was to struggle for the liberation of Palestine and emphasize the Arab character of this cause.

Gilad Atzmon: @uprooted palestinian – I happen to agree with every word you say here.

A debate copied from Palestine Think Tank

Originally Posted By Gilad
@uprooted palestinian

Gilad Atzmon is a jazz musician, composer, producer and writer.
Email this author

I happen to agree with every word you say here.

Originally Posted By uprooted palestinian

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Sami,
I hate to see people praise Hezbollah, Just to mock Hamas. I heard Nasralla directly on new TW, answering a hypothical question: Would you cupture the 2 soldiers if you know the results. He said he wouldn’t, but he never said he did a mistake or apologized.

You took what he said like those who say: “Don’t” pray and Ignore “when drunk” Nasrallah thanked God for commiting that mistake, because the War on Lebanon was planed moths before. and Hezbullah could have been taken by surprise.
In blaming Hamas for the destruction of Gaza, you, are spreading zionist propaganda, Like march 14 movement talking about Hezollah holding the War and peace decision, while they know that it is Usrael who hold that decision. Both Hezbollah and hamas hold only the decision to resist and both did within the given condition.

If I read well your last comment, you wanted to end the debate.

Having read your article, and replies insisting in putting Fatah, Hamas, all resistance groups and your people in the same basket, its time to say that Sami Jamil has a proplem. I reposted your article at my site under the title: What’s What is wrong with Sami Jamil Jadallah?

Indeed you have a problem, mainly with Islam, to be more precise I would say with Moslims. You can’t cover your problem with being a born Muslim, or knowing few verses. You may curse Ulamas, and I would join you, because most of them deserve more than cursing, Being the official speaker of Islam doesn’t mean that they are the true representatives.

Extremism is not a Talban trade mark, all those who reject the other and claim to hold the ultimate truth are Talnan. There is Nationalist Talban, Comunist Talban, and secular Talbam. If I have to select betweem the above mentioned Talbans, I select those who applied to fight the occupation in Iraq, in Afghanistan, In lebanon and Gaza, rather than those who applied for residency in the US, the “land of free”or Switzerland,

If I have to chose between Liberation and Democracy and human rights, I chose liberation.

In my previous comment I mentioned that Naasralla said that he leaned from Palestinians, I would add now what Mawwaf Mousawi said few days ago,

He said that it is the Iraqi resistance, not Hezbulah, who statigically deafeated the US middle east project, He said that Hezbollah delivered a new model of resistance. Mousawi was talking about iraqi resistance that included the Iraqi Talbon.

As an audiance, I would say, I am politically a Sunni in Iraq, a Shiit in Lebanon, a Hamas in Palestine, and a Talban in Afghanistan

Like you, I am a born Moslem. I started my political life as a nationalist in Arab nathionalist movement passed by PFLP, and moved with hawatmi to DFLP, In 1982 I decided to get out the box, and think with my own mind, see with my own eyes.

A book, (The book and Quran, a medern reading) I read in early 90’s trigered a great need to know ISLAM, and to read Quran for the first time in my life. I read tens of books.

My intensive reading made me understand why Islam is under attack not only by the enimies of Islam, but by people claimg to be muslims just because they were born to Muslim parent.

They are the victims of Talban version the goes back beyond Ibn Abdulwahab to Ibn Taymeya, and back to Ibn Hanbal. They failed to see the thin thread seperating Islam (I mean by Islam the Holly text -Quran only) and the human understanding of the Holly text, between Islam and the History of Islam.

Quran is Holly, it’s Human understanding (Tafseer) is not.
Quaran is Holly the History of Islam is not.

Those who killed Othman where commrads (sahaba) of our Prophet PUH.
And those who fought Ali in Jammal battle were lead by Aysha (his wife) and his Sahaba, Talhah and Zubair, and it happenned that the three opposed Othman.

Their disagreement was not about relgion, but about power. That disagreement started before the funeral of our Profit, and turned into a revolution (Ulama call it “Fitna” )against Othman, that splitted Muslims till this very day.

I never felt, any contardiction between bein a Palestinian by birth, an arab by nationality, a leftist by idiology, and a moslem by religion,

I hate to stop, but I have to, and would like to end my comment saying that Pharoah, Quroun and Haman mentioned in Quran are not Just names they are symbols what we call now, the alliance of Political power, (Pharoah), financial power (Qaroun) and Media (Haman), Religion, all religions, were in fact revolutions against that alliance. Prophets, all Prophet, were the first freedom fighter in human history. I would say the first “Suicide bombers” , because their mission using your view of “smartness” was by all means suicidal. And remember Our Quran call jews as Prophet killers.

Originally Posted By Gilad
@uprooted palestinian

I happen to agree with every word you say here.

Originally Posted By Gilad

Dear Sami
you say “I wrote what most Palestinians think and say in private but never come out and say it.” I tend to have problem with people who know what ‘most’ other people ‘say in private’…

As far as i am aware there are at least 4 distinct pls discourses: OT, Pls who hold Isr citizenship, Refugees and Western Diaspora. These discourses are different by nature and aspired by different ideas and visions. Thus i would refrain from talking about most pls..

I am also not inspired by the correlation you paint with Iran. It is also possible that in Iran, millions went to the street to protest against a majority vote in favor of Ahmadinejad. As things stand we do not know the truth and we may never know. It is a matter of belief.

I wouldn’t dare suggesting who should be the Pls leader. You are entitled to do so as a pls, however, I would suggest to you to be more careful when you write about your people. Though I am sure that you operate in good will, many of your lines can be used against your cause and the cause of your people (as Uprooted Pls suggested above).

Salam
Gilad

Originally Posted By sami jamil jadallah

Sami Jamil Jadallah is Palestinian-American born in El-Bireh, Palestine, an international business and legal consultant, and a veteran of the US Army. His comments are posted at his website http://www.jeffersoncorner.com.
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Uprooted Palestinian:

Salam… my disappointment is that not many of our people, the Palestinians decided to enter the debate, since there are very few places where forum such as this available, especially on a topic like this. I am sure if we had the courage to debate major issues and major failing some years ago, we will not be in this mess we are in now.

My brush with Palestinians and Arab organization was short lived. In the fall of 74 I was elected as the president of the Arab Student Association, Indiana University-Bloomington chapter. We had some 1000 members and of course they all came from the left and right. I simply refused to be a member of Fatah, or the Popular Front and the Democratic Front, and I did not join the Muslim Student Associations. Because I did not express loyalty to these organizations, the leaders of such organizations decided to call for a general meeting and remove me from office on the premise that I was not an �Arab� but a US citizen.

Rather than promote a long legal fight, I decided to resign but after I collected back my membership fee pro-rata. I did not rejoin the organization ever, and in 1977 I and with my own resources and with support of many of my friends on campus, held a conference on �Zionism and Racisms� attended by an over flow of some 700 students, perhaps one of the largest gathering. I was the speaker and I did not use one single Arab or Muslim or Christian quote, all of my quotes came from Zionist writers and the quotes where displace on the stage. Something the Arab Student Organization simply failed to do.

I am currently reading a book titled â��A Savage War of Peace… Algeria 1954-1962â�� by Alistair Horne and just finished reading a book titled â��Kill Khalidâ�� by Paul McGeough and when you read the book you will see why Arafat and Dahlan were so desperate to destroy Hamas.

Arafat decided to give open ended recognition to Israel without ever defining which Israel he is recognizing, Israel of 47, or 48 or 67 or 93 or 2004 with expanding settlements and Jerusalem in exchange, and here the big story, for Israel giving recognition not to Palestine, but to the PLO so he can undermine and undercut any present or future organizations that can or will take the leadership of the Palestinians.

That is why Fatah always insists on the PLO as the sole representative of the Palestinian people because Arafat and Israel made a deal to talk and negotiate with each other only and no one else. That is why Fatah made sure it undermined Hamas the day of the election and supported and promoted the boycott of the new government.

This is the legal issue that is Mosmar Juha. As long as Israel made a deal with the PLO and recognized the PLO, Israel will never deal with any one else other than Fatah. It is as simple at that. This is what our people fail to see. As for

Hamas, no one say any thing of corruption, I only address the issue of suicide bombing, which I am totally against, and I have problem with the leadership giving full reign to Qassam Brigade without due concerns for the results.

Like any thing else, leadership have an obligation to weigh in all issues and consequences and due a cost benefit analysis… this is something that Hamas fail always fails to do. Why insist on firing useless rockets when they know Israel will use such an excuse to blockade Gaza and not allow any thing in or out.

Why after Israel left, did Hamas fails to promote the idea of opening the sea port under international jurisdiction, not Egypt and Israel, but the UN or NATO and tell Israel and Egypt they can go to hell and close all land access?

Hamas in Gaza is committing same mistakes and same crimes committed by Dahlan, perhaps to a lesser degree. A leadership that builds its success on �security issues� is bound to fail

Israel failed because security was every thing. Fatah and Arafat failed, because they thought that security is every thing. Security must be one of the basic elements of good government, not every thing.

Frankly I am also sick and tired of seeing both Hamas and Fatah spoke person on TV, they make me sick. They tell half truth and lies and they think people believe their lies.

Let us keep the debate if it means perhaps someone can come up with better ideas. I am for that. As for �What is wrong with Sami Jamil Jadallah?� I am sure my wife and children have a lot to say about that. Feel free to write say what you think. You are free to your opinion, but do not use George Bush statement, �either you are with us or against us�

Best wishes.

Originally Posted By Jeff Blankfort

I have been avidly following this conversation from the beginning because from my own experiences as a North American on this issue starting with the four months in 1970 I spent in and out of the refugee camps of Lebanon and Jordan and the offices of Fatah, the PFLP, the DFLP and Al-Saika, I was also frustrated with Arafat and the PLO leadership, but not being a Palestinian, kept it to myself until I could not longer keep silent while watching Arafat undermine the First Intifada and when his reputation among Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza had become so low that I wrote in the Middle East Labor Bulletin,before Oslo, that the Rabin government would have to do something to save him, which was Oslo. I remember a telling cartoon in the Jerusalem Post afterward which showed Rabin and Peres carrying Arafat on a stretcher and he was sitting up and waving his hand.

I thank Sami Jamil Jadallah for saying about Arafat, the PLO and the PA what has long needed to be said. As for Hamas, I cannot speak but from any experience but it faced and still faces quite a different situation in confronting Israel than does Hezbollah with which I do have some experience and greater knowledge.
Hezbollah enjoys the support of the greater part of the Shia population, is well organized, technologically advanced, and enjoys the support of a close ally on its border as well as the backing of a significant segment of Lebanon’s Maronite population. Hamas, on the other hand, must contest with Fatah for the support of the Palestinian population, and as we know,must deal with Israel agents and certain Fatah elements that have been paid to undermine them. As opposed to Hezbollah which has a friendly Syria providing a source for Iranian weaponry on the Lebanese border, Gaza is enclosed by Israel and its and America’s lapdog, Egypt. Regarding the winners and losers, it is therefore understandable that their was sense of victory in Lebanon when I visited there after the 2006 war whereas, from what I understand from a variety of sources, there is no such feeling in Gaza after Israel’s onslaught, which stems from the different situations in both places.

I should note that Hezbollah captured the Israeli soldiers, they did not “kidnap” them as Sami wrote, since only civilians, and as the word, implies, children are kidnapped, which is a crime. Hezbollah’s capture of the two Israeli soldiers was not a crime nor was the capturing of Gilad Shalit by the Palestinians since, as we know, the Israelis have been kidnapping Palestinians and Lebanese with regularity over the years and the world has had nothing to say about it. In fact, the day before Shalit was captured, the Israelis came into Gaza and kidnapped two brothers who presumably are still in prison. Who knows their names?

One of the most important points that Sami made and repeated has been largely overlooked by the Palestinian solidarity movement which is that “Oslo is nothing more than a management contract between Israel and the PLO, whereby Israel got rid of the First Intifada, got rid of substantial financial burden of funding the civil affairs of the Occupation and passed all the expense to the PLO while keeping the benefits of continued occupation such as expanding settlements and water resources.”

Oslo may be dead but the financial situation remains the same.Israel has never been held to accout, either in money or sanctions, for its devastating war on Lebanon in 1982, an earlier invasion in 1978, its war on Lebanon again in 2006 or its onslaught of Gaza earlier this year. Remarkably, not a single payment has been demanded of Israel by anyone and that includes the Palestine solidarity movement with which I have the greater argument and the greater disappointments.

I can not hold the Palestinian people responsible for their present situation any more than I can any other people. Why some rise up in some oppressive circumstances and get new leaders and not in others is something historians have been trying to figure out and haven’t succeeded.

Originally Posted By uprooted palestinian

Dear Gilad

Very glad with you comment, I happen to agree with every word you said to Sami.

Yes “there are at least 4 distinct pls discourses: OT, Pls who hold Isr citizenship, Refugees and Western Diaspora.”

I would add Arab Diaspora (Working mainly in Gulf), even this discouses can be divided into at lest two distict discourses, those who came from refugee Camps, and those who came from OT. You Can’t put all Refugee in the Same basket, In Jodan they are Jordanians, In Syria, they have the same ciivil right as Syrians, In Lebanon, they live in misirable conditions with any civil rights, in Iraq, they are stuck at the Syrian and Jordaian borders. You may go on and on and you shall find these mini “discourses are different by nature and aspired by different ideas and visions.”

So, I understand and respect you refraining “from talking about most pls..”

Our friend Sami, dared to simply put all Palestinians in one basket.

I as an Uprooted Palestinian who came from Refugee came in Lebanon and joined the arab diaspora, don’t dare to give Hamas lectures on Smartness. WE SAY in Arabic:

أهل مكة أدرى بشعابها

(PEOPLE OF MECCA, ARE MORE KNOLEGABLE ABOUT ITS MOUTAINS.).
And for sure Hamas knows Gaza better than me and SAMI, and for sure Gazans living under siege, not Diaspora Gazans Have the right to question Hamas.

I as uprooted palestinian, with lebanese travel document, don’t dare to question OT Palestinian right to have in an Indepandent state, as long as they don’t hijack my ROR. So I refuse statement that Hamas is following the same trak of Arafat.

AND YES, GILAD, you hit the nail saying: “the ‘Wall’ is actually the biggest Pls victory. They dismantled the Zionist project and made the Israeli into a ‘diaspora ghetto Jew’. The Pls have managed to push the Jew back to the ghetto, and this ghetto will shrink as Pls ballistic capability grows. The Jewish state is a matter for Historians, its future is doomed.”

One of the reasons for building the wall was Security, THANKS TO SUICIDE BOMBERS,

BTW, I don’t expect and Arab american to dare supporting Suicide bombing, but I would respect his silence.

The Wall said bye bye to Great and graeter Israel.

It is really sad to find Some palestinians and Arab intellectuals evaluating the outcome of the wars on Iraq, and Lebanon with the number of Casaulies on either side.

Thanks Again

Jeff Blankfor

You wrote: “You are lucky to be alive to tell your tale.”
May be you are right, Naji Al Ali paid his life for a Carton on arafat’s mistress Munshira Mahran.

Sami

From the very begining I said I agree with all said on Arafat/Fateh and PA. I disagree with you on Hamas, On blaiming the People, On Mocking those wanting to go to heaven, and you shall not surprise me if you even talk about Heaven Virgins (I forget their Number). So, Sami, i shall not waste my time repeating myself,

You asked, ” Why after Israel left, did Hamas fails to promote the idea of opening the sea port under international jurisdiction, not Egypt and Israel, but the UN or NATO and tell Israel and Egypt they can go to hell and close all land access?”

Sami, Arafat Excuted the Idea of see and air port and we saw what happenned to both ports, Yes Israel left and without conditions, but we know that Israel is still there on the the north and on the east, in the see, subletting the south to Pharoah. And same we have what happenned to Last Free Gaza Movement trip. What international jurisdiction you are talking about??,

Originally Posted By Gilad
@uprooted palestinian

My dearest Uprooted Pls,
As you say , we do not expect support but silence would be appreciated. It is a war, it is a long one and the enemy is ruthless and inhuman beyond comparison and supported by the west … The last thing we can do is to judge the oppressed.

Mary Rizzo: falastin quote of the day

falastin quote of the day

By Mary Rizzo • Jul 26th, 2009 at 22:17 • Category: Falastin, Palestine, Quotes

Yes, I know that some are saying the question of Palestine is no longer an Arab issue—that it is only a Palestinian problem. But an overwhelming majority of Arabs feel that it is a pan-Arab cause. We are one people with one history, one culture, one language. Millions still believe in what Nasser talked about, what he gave to us. Zionism has divided much of the Arab world. It fosters the elements of division and fragmentation in the land, people and culture of the Arab nation. But we still have a common cause, a common enemy. – George Habash

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Mary Rizzo is an art restorer, translator and writer living in Italy. Editor and co-founder of Palestine Think Tank, co-founder of Tlaxcala translations collective. Her personal blog is Peacepalestine.
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Not better but worse

Abbas has reappointed his unpopular premie

Pre-empting the outcome of national dialogue, Mahmoud Abbas has reappointed his unpopular premier. It won’t do him good, writes Khaled Amayreh in Ramallah


After repeated deference, mainly due to opposition from the Fatah movement, a new Palestinian government headed by incumbent Prime Minister Salam Fayyad was sworn in on Tuesday in Ramallah. The new cabinet comprises 20 ministers, seven of them members of the outgoing government. Said Abu Ali, the governor of Ramallah, is the new interior minister.

One of the major challenges facing Abu Ali is how he will relate to political opposition, especially Hamas. The movement has gained more popularity in the West Bank, especially since the bloody Israeli blitz on Gaza four months ago. Hundreds of Hamas supporters and sympathisers have been rounded up by the Palestinian Authority (PA) security apparatus as part of an all-out campaign to punish the Islamic movement for ousting Fatah from the Gaza Strip nearly two years ago.

Several Fatah members have joined the new cabinet despite opposition from the Fatah parliamentary bloc. The bloc decided to boycott the new government during an emergency meeting in Ramallah on Tuesday. “We object to the way the government was formed. The government was formed without any coordination with the leaders of the movement,” said Ashraf Jumaa, a Fatah representative. Jumaa’s remarks reveal the persistence of sharp differences within Fatah whose top leader is PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

Fatah has been undergoing an unprecedented internal crisis stemming from the movement’s failure to hold its long-overdue Sixth Congress. The last congress was held in Algiers in 1989.

Earlier this week, more than 80 Fatah activists released to the media a harshly worded leaflet against Abbas, accusing the Palestinian leader of “seriously undermining the movement”. “We are fed up with what is happening within Fatah. It is time we speak up loudly in protest against the behaviour of Executive Committee member Mahmoud Abbas. We reject his authoritarian decisions concerning Fatah and the Sixth Congress.”

The signatories warned that Abbas’s behaviour constituted a “scandalous violation of Fatah’s constitution as well as a serious deviation from its struggle”. Their statement continued: “Abbas’s behaviour is tantamount to a coup against the leadership of the movement by way of imposing his personal decisions on the movement, aided by some bad advisors who have changed their skin.”

The leaflet also castigated Abbas’s decision to hold the Sixth Congress in the West Bank, which means that many Fatah leaders in the Diaspora — like head of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) Political Department, Farouk Al-Qadoumi — won’t be able to participate due to Israeli objections. Al-Qadoumi has been a consistent critic of the Oslo process and has harshly criticised the Ramallah-based regime for “collaborating and coordinating with Israel”.

“Is it acceptable to see the veteran leaders of the Palestinian struggle attend the conference after receiving Israeli permits, especially in light of the fact that many of them are still hounded by the Mossad?” the signatories asked. The leaflet stressed that Fatah “will never ever recognise the Zionist regime and all the agreements that won’t shield us from the perfidy of our enemy”.

In addition to opposition from Fatah’s parliamentary bloc, two other PLO factions said they would boycott the new government. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) said the new government would consolidate the “national rift between Hamas and Fatah” and eventually “undermine Palestinian national interests”. The Palestine People’s Party (PPP), formerly the Communist Party, has also declared its opposition to the new government, much for the same reasons.

For its part, Hamas strongly denounced the formation of the new government, arguing that it would place further obstacles in the path of Palestinian national reconciliation. “The formation of a new illegitimate government in the West Bank at a time national dialogue sessions are ongoing in Cairo constitutes an additional political, legal and constitutional chaos,” said Hamas’s spokesman, Fawzi Barhoum.

Barhoum accused Abbas of treating contemptuously popular Palestinian demands for the dismissal of Fayyad. “The government will remain illegal and unconstitutional and Hamas will not recognise or deal with it,” he added.

Hamas and Fatah have just concluded yet another round of Egyptian-sponsored talks in Cairo. While no breakthrough has been reached, the two sides reportedly narrowed the previously large gap between their respective positions.

According to Hamas officials taking part in the talks, the main point of contention is the restructuring of security forces in both Gaza and the West Bank. Fatah is insisting that a joint force of 15,000 members be established to assume security responsibility throughout the Gaza Strip. Rejecting the proposal, Hamas proposed an overall restructuring of PA security forces in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The two factions are supposed to meet again in Cairo at an undetermined date. Egypt has warned the two sides that it won’t allow endless and fruitless meetings between Fatah and Hamas and that Egypt may eventually be forced to present “compulsory bridging proposals” that the two sides must accept.

According to Hani Al-Masri, a prominent political analyst, the new government will be less able to serve Palestinian national goals: “A government not based on national consensus is going to be weak and utterly unable to stand in the face of the right-wing government in Israel. The issue is not who will occupy this or that portfolio. The real issue is the nonexistence of a comprehensive national political platform that would end the Israeli occupation. This is the crux of the matter.”

Indeed, the Fayyad government, despite its rhetorical proclamations against Israel, has utterly failed to impede Israel’s efforts to expand Jewish colonies in the West Bank, and especially in the Jerusalem region. The government has also miserably failed in safeguarding the human rights and civil liberties as thousands of Palestinians, particularly Islamic activists have been incarcerated without charge or trial, with some even tortured to death.

Under the Fayyad government, the security agencies, such as the Preventive Security Services and the Mukhabarat, or general intelligence, assumed disproportionate powers, in many instances outside the rule of law.

Finally, the formation of the new government is likely to further undermine the popularity of Abbas and his allies while strengthening the standing of their opponents within Fatah, especially Marwan Barghouti, the imprisoned Fatah leader.

Abbas on several occasions suggested that he had no choice but to retain Fayyad as prime minister since dismissing him wouldn’t bode well with Western powers that pay the salaries of tens of thousands of PA civil servants and security personnel and generally keep the PA financially afloat. One PA official, who is close to Abbas, summarised the whole issue in a few words: “He who pays the piper, decides the tune.”

"The happy Family" Adjourn Unity Talks for Three Weeks

Fatah, Hamas Adjourn Unity Talks for Three Weeks
02/04/2009 Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas decided on Thursday to suspend Egyptian-mediated unity talks for three weeks, senior Fatah official Nabil Shaath said.

Shaath said the talks will resume between April 21 and 26. “There are new creative proposals and each movement needs to consult its leadership,” he said.

Shaath refused to call the suspension of the talks a failure, saying “it was neither a failure nor a success.”

Senior delegations from the Resistance group Hamas and the Western-backed Fatah movement of Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas had met in Cairo on Wednesday to resume talks on agreeing a unity government.

The factions had agreed to form committees that would resolve their differences and form a unity transitional government that would prepare for general elections early next year.

The committees began their work in Cairo last month, but the talks were adjourned after they failed to agree on a new government.


Flashback:

[TONI’S COMMENT: Keep dreaming, Mr. Mishaal. From one illusion to the next. This is so Yasser Arafat, it is not even funny!]……..”

Stay tuned Tonywill write a longer comment about all these “peace” and “reconciliation” moves breaking out all over, and what could be behind them.

The more things change, the more they stay the same: Hamas wants recognition and a place at the Table and the

Pharaoh will deliver a domesticated Hamas.

# posted by Tony : 2:58 AM

Out of the rubble

Last Updated: January 23. 2009 9:30AM UAE / January 23. 2009 5:30AM GMT

    Mahmoud Abbas and Ismail Haniyeh inspect Haniyeh’s destroyed Gaza City office after an Israeli bombing in 2006. Samuel Aranda / Corbis

    The war on Gaza has brought Palestinian politics to a breaking point. Mouin Rabbani wonders if a new national movement can emerge.

    Speaking to his people on January 18, hours after Hamas responded to Israel’s unilateral suspension of hostilities with a conditional ceasefire of its own, the deposed Palestinian Authority prime minister Ismail Haniyeh devoted several passages of his prepared text to the subject of Palestinian national reconciliation. For perhaps the first time since Hamas’s June 2007 seizure of power in the Gaza Strip, an Islamist leader broached the topic of healing the Palestinian divide without mentioning Mahmoud Abbas by name.

    At a press conference the following day convened by Abu Ubaida, the spokesperson of the Martyr Izz al Din al Qassam Brigades, the Hamas military wing, the movement went one step further. “The Resistance”, Abu Ubaida intoned, “is the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people”.

    What these statements make clear is that Hamas will no longer engage with Abbas, and is even less inclined to throw him a lifeline in the form of a national unity government he would appoint. These statements are not so much a direct challenge to his leadership as a confirmation that his legitimacy has been fatally damaged by the Gaza war. Even his hand-picked prime minister, Salam Fayyad, told journalists that the PA in Ramallah has been “marginalised”.

    Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip has produced a transformational moment in Palestinian politics. It is a moment all too reminiscent of the period succeeding the 1967 War when the credibility of the prevailing Arab order collapsed and – deriving their legitimacy from the barrel of a gun – Yasser Arafat and a coalition of Palestinian guerrilla organisations seized control of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).

    With the peace process reduced from a means to an end, and statehood transformed into a formula to perpetuate Israeli rule and Palestinian fragmentation, the struggle for Palestinian self-determination appears to be again emerging front and centre. Palestinians no longer seem inclined to choose their leaders on the basis of heroism around the negotiating table, frequency of meetings with world leaders, nor even necessarily electoral performance. The devastation in Gaza has made the inclination to challenge Israel and its occupation and the will to defy international pressure the central criteria for Palestinians. But Abbas will not be a party to this process: instead his ejection from the body politic has become its non-negotiable precondition. Because if there is one message it is “no more business as usual.”

    How this process will develop remains to be seen. Hamas may or may not have the will and capacity to replace Fatah’s hegemony with its own, and may or may not have the foresight and wisdom to work with rather than against other Palestinian organisations. It is a process that is certain to see the formal renunciation of the catastrophic Oslo agreements, and perhaps the abolition of the PA as well.

    The reasons for Abbas’s demise are few, and they predate the Israeli attack on Gaza: he long ago placed all of his eggs in the Israeli-American basket. Acting as if his chickens had already hatched, his inability to deliver any tangible achievement has instead meant they came home to roost with a vengeance.

    Key to this is Abbas’s relationship to his people: simply put, it never existed. Arafat saw the Palestinians as the ace in the deck to be played when all else failed, and understood that his leverage with outside actors derived from their conviction that he represented the Palestinian people. If he consistently failed or refused to properly mobilise this primary resource, he at least always held it in reserve.

    Abbas has by contrast been an inveterate elitist, who seems to have regarded the Palestinian population as an obstacle to be overcome so that the game of nations could proceed – there are after all only so many seats at the table where great statesmen like George Bush and Ehud Olmert together create the contours of a new Middle East. For Abbas, legitimacy meant the leverage you have with your voters by convincing them you represent others.

    Cursed with exceptional self-regard, Abbas has always shown disinterest in the opinions of others. From the moment he convinced himself of the sincerity of Bush’s visions, which put the onus on the Palestinians to prove they qualify for membership in the human race and are worthy of being spoken to by Tsipi Livni and Condoleezza Rice, there was no turning back. Henceforth the Palestinian security forces would point their weapons exclusively at their own people, and only Saeb Erakat would be aimed at Israel. At the United Nations, once a primary arena for the Palestinian struggle, Abbas’s emissary Riad Mansour was too busy drafting a resolution declaring Hamas a terrorist entity to deal with more trivial Palestinian concerns. It was simply impossible to steer Abbas towards a change of course, let alone a national dialogue that could produce a genuine strategy.

    By the expiration of his presidency on January 9, his constitutional status had become the least of his problems. Each and every one of his policies had failed. In the West Bank, settlement expansion was proceeding at an unprecedented pace while the Wall neared final completion, rendering talk of a two-state settlement all but moot.

    After Hamas triumphed in the 2006 parliamentary elections, Abbas’s ceaseless scheming to remove the Islamists from office and overturn the election’s results – characteristically in active partnership with outside forces rather than the Palestinian electorate – was a veritable carnival of folly and incompetence. When Hamas acted first in 2007, it took the Islamists only several days to dispose of those few forces still prepared to fight for Mohammed Dahlan.

    While many are arguing that Abbas is now paying the price for his passivity while Israel slaughtered Palestinians in Gaza, this is only one part of the story. At least as important is the manner in which he has conducted himself since December 27 – comprehensively out of touch with his own people, as if deliberately so, and dealing with the Gaza Strip as if it is a foreign country he has never heard of.

    In his initial response Abbas laid responsibility for the conflict at Hamas’s doorstep, in one stroke reducing his role to that of a factional leader opportunistically siding with his cousin against his brother. More to the point, he unleashed the full power of his security forces against his own people. Not to prevent a Hamas coup in the West Bank, or even attacks against Israel, but to suppress pro-Palestinian demonstrations of the kind permitted even within Israel.

    He responded to Israel’s launching of a land offensive on January 3 by announcing that he was delaying for one day his visit to the UN Security Council. Not to lead his people, but rather to meet Nicolas Sarkozy. Since then he has barely visited Palestine; on his last sojourn he stayed only long enough to inform the Qataris that he could not attend their emergency meeting to discuss the war.

    That last was the mother of all miscalculations. Where Arafat would either have skipped all summits, or alternatively insisted on attending precisely because of pressure to stay away, Abbas produced one lame excuse after another: that the Doha meeting lacked a quorum and was therefore not a formal Arab League meeting (as if anything less is undeserving of his presence); that he couldn’t obtain an Israeli permit; and that he was under too much pressure to attend.

    Rebuffing Qatari assurances that no other Palestinians would be invited, he didn’t seem to realise that even an empty Palestinian chair would be a major scandal at home. As it happened, he cleared the way for Hamas leader Khalid Meshaal to speak to the world on behalf of the Palestinian people. If Meshaal has yet to succeed in wearing the cloak of Palestinian national leadership, he has at least irrevocably wrested it from the shoulders of Mahmoud Abbas.

    There is no longer anything Abbas can say or do to remain in power. The only relevant question is if he will jump before he is pushed – with the coup de grace almost certain to come from within the Fatah movement or the ranks of the public rather than Islamist circles.

    No less importantly, there is now also nothing his sponsors and allies can do to save his skin. Utterly cynical initiatives like that by the Europeans promising aid to a national unity government – which, when formed in 2007, served as a pretext for them to continue to boycott the PA – will achieve nothing. Bribes, threats, even wars or peace conferences can no longer prevent the emergence of a new Palestinian national movement. We do not yet know its shape, nor how it will emerge. At this point the only certainty is that unless it can more authentically represent the will and aspirations of its people – by challenging rather than accommodating the status quo – and thereby make more effective progress toward basic objectives, it will not last long.

    Mouin Rabbani is a contributing editor at Middle East Report.

    Fatah: Eject the traitors from your ranks

    Contibuted by Lucia

    by Khaled Amayreh / October 7th, 2008

    The recent revelations by an Israeli journalist about a secret meeting between high-ranking Palestinian security chiefs and the commanders of the Israeli occupation army, which reportedly took place at the Jewish colony of Beit El near Ramallah in September, has shocked the Palestinian community here. According to Israeli journalist Nahom Barnea, the Palestinian officers told their Israeli “colleagues” that “we have no conflict” and that “we have only one common enemy which is Hamas.” Barnea also revealed that Palestinian security chiefs, whom he mentioned by name, asked their “Israeli colleagues” to “equip us with weapons” in order to “re-conquer Gaza.” Barnea, who attended the meeting after receiving the Palestinian participants’ consent, reported that the Palestinians sought to impress the Israeli security chiefs by briefing them on aggressive measures the PA security agencies had been carrying out against Hamas’ civilian infrastructure, including charities and civil society organizations. The Palestinian security chiefs even bragged about raiding mosques as part of their efforts to hound and harass Hamas.

    Interestingly, reports and comments on the “Beit El meeting” were censored by the PA-run and PA-influenced media, including the three main daily newspapers, Al-Quds, al-Ayyam, and al-Hayatul Jadida as well as by the European-funded Maan News Agency, which has been effectively taken over by the Fatah organization. Indeed, had it not been for the coverage of the event by some foreign-based satellite TV stations such as al-Jazeera as well as some internet sites, most Palestinians here wouldn’t have heard about that meeting. The Beit El scandal is most likely just one of many meetings of “security coordination” between the PA and Israel. Indeed, one could argue with little exaggeration that the Palestinian security agencies have been more or less working in concert with the Israeli occupation army in the West Bank.

    Some Palestinian villagers have reported that they saw Israeli soldiers and Palestinian soldiers jointly carrying out raids and arrests in the northern West Bank. Moreover, it is widely believed that the closure by Israel of numerous Palestinian schools, orphanages, charities and businesses in the West Bank was carried out in close coordination with the Israeli army. The PA functionaries and operatives routinely deny suggestions that the PA is collaborating with Israel against its own people. However, there is irrefutable evidence suggesting that the PA is not telling the truth. The daily arrests of Palestinian activists by both Israeli and PA security agencies are very telling, to say the least.

    It may be a bit reassuring that some Fatah leaders in the West Bank, such as Qaddura Fares, have spoken out against the scandalous encounter at Beit El, describing the security chiefs involved as “traitors who have nothing to do Fatah.” However, it remains really disturbing that these men committed a disgraceful act with total impunity. In a recent interview with the London-based al Hewar TV, Fares urged the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah to fire these security chiefs.

    However, one is still deeply disquieted by the fact that the Fatah organization, nearly in its entirety, been reticent and done next to nothing to punish, expose or even rebuke these men who have committed what amounts to be national apostasy. To be sure, Fatah is not a monolithic movement, neither ideologically nor even politically. Nonetheless, there are a lot of honest and patriotic people within the movement. We also understand that the good people within Fatah, who probably constitute the majority, are being marginalized, isolated and impoverished financially by the Oslo gang which has the money and the political backing by Israel and the United States. However, Fatah can’t be forgiven for allowing, even passively, these money-grabbing opportunists and hangers-on to besmirch a movement that has produced people like Abu Ammar and Abu Jihad and thousands of martyrs who lived and died for Palestine.

    Treason is treason whether committed by Fatah or the Southern Lebanon Army or by the infamous village leagues. And there is no real difference between a Shin Beth agent who leads Israeli death squads to the whereabouts of a Palestinian freedom fighter and a PA security officer who carries out Israeli instructions under the disgraceful rubric of security coordination. Needless to say, a Palestinian security chief who tells the commanders of the Israeli occupation army that “we have common interests, common goals, and common enemies” is a traitor par excellence who should be immediately arrested and prosecuted for grand treasons. Just imagine an Israeli officer telling a Palestinian security chief, for example, that “we have one enemy, it is the Jewish settlers.” Would such a proverbial officer stay on his job for 24 hours?

    It is therefore imperative that Fatah press and pressure its top leadership, which is the leadership of the Palestinian Authority, to launch a speedy investigation into what happened at the Beit El meeting and sack those security chiefs who have brought shame and infamy to decades of Palestinian struggle for liberty. Failing to act for whatever reason would only mean that Fatah is effectively being Zionized by allowing itself to be infiltrated and even taken over by Israeli agents who claim to be serving Palestinian national interests while in reality serving the interests of our enemy, Israel. Unfortunately, we can’t give the top Fatah leadership the benefit of the doubt since it is likely that the Beit El meeting took place with its full knowledge, approval and even blessing. This is probably what emboldened those security chiefs and made them attend the meeting and say what they reportedly said with brazen disregard to Palestinian national dignity. The attendance of the Israeli journalist, whom they knew would disseminate the details of their convivial meeting with the Israeli occupation officers, also tells us much about the mental level of these people.

    Finally, one is really at loss trying to understand how Fatah is really sincere about national reconciliation with Hamas at a time when Fatah’s men tell Israeli security chiefs that “Hamas is the enemy” and “give us weapons and training to re-conquer Gaza.” In short, Fatah has to choose either reconciliation with Hamas or cordial relations with Israel, the occupier of our country and tormentor of our people. It can’t choose both.

    Update:

    WHILE FATH THUGS ARE ARRESTING PALESTINIANS WANTED BY ISRAEL ON REQUEST” TORTURE THEM TO DEATH, MASSING TROOPS TO KHALIL TO PROTECT ZION OCCUPATION AND SETTLERS,

    OUT OF SUDDEN, THE “MAN” WHO SOLD 78% of PALESTINE criticises Abbas for considering negotiations as the only option

    [ 15/10/2008 – 12:05 PM ]

    AMMAN, (PIC)– The Palestinian chief negotiator, Ahmad Qurei criticised the line of politics pursued by President Mahmoud Abbas, during a meeting with the PA ambassadors to Arab states.

    In a report published by the London-based al-Quds al-Arabi it was stated that Qurei criticised Abbas’s slogan which says that negotiations is the only strategic option open to the Palestinians describing such a slogan and the practical implementation of it as a serious political blunder and that the Palestinian people should have many strategic options instead of being restricted to negotiations, considering the shape of the present negotiations.

    Qurei was also reported to have said during the meeting, which took place in Amman last Monday, that to consider negotiations as the only strategic option is a bet that is not compatible with the great sacrifices of the Palestinian people and does not take into consideration the real situation on the ground, pointing to the fact that there is a high probability that the negotiations will fail and turn into a punishment for the Palestinian people.

    The Fatah leader, who participated in many rounds of covert and overt negotiations with the Israeli occupation, said that wagering on negotiations alone means losing because the negotiations are a lame duck and ineffective, admitting that long years of negotiations have not produced anything tangible for the Palestinian people on fundamental issues such as Jerusalem, water, refugees and the Palestinian state.

    Qurei’s frank comments caused great surprise and debate amongst around 20 participants in the closed meeting which was held in one of Amman’s hotels, as these comments contradicted President Abbas’s line of politics.

    Meanwhile, many ambassadors, especially those working in the Gulf states, complained that they are increasingly being seen as ambassadors of the Palestinian Authority and not of Palestine and that funds are not being channelled through them to the Palestinian people as the public has more trust in Hamas.

    Lucia

    Do you believe this traitor, the Cement supplier of the Seperation Wall?

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

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