Saturday, July 29, 2006
When Zionists Behave Like Nazis, They Become Nazis
by Khalid Amayreh
July 30, 2006
On 23 March, 1944, 33 German soldiers were killed when members of an Italian resistance group set off a bomb close to a column of German troops who were marching on via Rasella. Adolph Hitler got furious and ordered that within 24 hours, ten Italians were to be shot for each dead German. Herbert Kappler, the local German commander, quickly compiled a list of 320 civilians who were to be killed. On 24 March, the victims were transported to Adreatine caves where they were summarily executed by the SS.
Numerous similar “pacification operations” were carried out by the Nazi armies against civilians throughout Nazi-occupied Europe, in which men, women and children were brutally killed to avenge the death of German soldiers by local resistance fighters.
I know it is a taboo, especially in the West, to compare Israel, let alone Jews, to the Third Reich. However, if truth is to be upheld as an intrinsic, paramount value, it is inescapable to call things by their real name.
Today, in light of Israel’s criminal aggressions in Lebanon and Gaza, there is no doubt that Israel is thinking, behaving and acting like the Third Reich. And when Jews, or some Jews, think, behave and act like the Nazis, they become Nazis themselves.
Zionists are behaving like Nazis because they are murdering innocent civilians en mass to avenge the death of a few Israeli soldiers killed by resistance fighters in Lebanon or Palestine.
Needless to say, these fighters, whether you call them Hamas or Hizbullah, are struggling to rid their countries of a brutal Israeli occupation, very much like European resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied Poland, France, Greece, and other countries fought to get rid of the brutal Nazi occupation of their countries.
There is no doubt Jews suffered a lot during WWII. Nobody can deny this fact. But Jewish suffering in Europe six decades ago by no means entitles Jews to commit another holocaust against the peoples of the Middle East. Indeed, a Jewish holocaust against the peoples of the Middle East is no less evil (and no less-Nazi) than the German holocaust against Jews.
Evil crimes don’t become lesser when perpetrated by Jewish hands. There is no such thing as kosher genocide, or kosher holocaust or Kosher massacres.
Actually, if Jews are so intent on avenging the holocaust, the “logical” thing, at least from a Talmudic perspective, is that Zionists should direct their wrath to the Germans, the children and grandchildren of the Wehrmacht, Gestapo and SS, not to the innocent Palestinians and Lebanese who don’t have the means to protect themselves and their children.
Isn’t a sign of criminality and cowardice to target innocent and helpless civilians with the most potent machines of death?
I know that many Jews get vociferously furious whenever Israeli-Nazi analogies are drawn, especially by Europeans and westerners. They would claim that the holocaust was a unique event compared to what Israel is doing in Lebanon and Gaza.
Well, nobody is claiming that Gaza is becoming a new Auschwitz. However, nobody can deny that numerous helpless civilians are exterminated by the Israeli war machine. After all there are other means to “evaporate” people than sending them to gas chambers and incinerators (I am using the word “evaporate” because an Israeli newspaper, the Jerusalem Post, gleefully used this very word recently on its internet cite in reference to Palestinians killed in one Israel aerial bombing of a crowded Gaza street in mid July.).
In the final analysis, if brutal collective punishment is a criterion for qualifying anybody for the “Nazi” label, then Israeli behavior and Israeli leaders, politicians and military commanders alike, are undoubtedly the Nazis of our time.
Just compare Israel’s behavior in Gaza and Lebanon, following the capture by resistance fighters of three Israeli soldiers during military operations, to Gestapo and SS behavior in similar circumstances in Nazi-occupied Europe, and you certainly will discover the striking similarity.
Following that capture of an Israeli soldier by Palestinian resistance fighters at Kerem Shalom on 25 June, the Israeli army immediately started a month-long genocidal campaign against Gaza, destroying homes, schools, colleges, power stations, streets, orchards, citrus groves and annihilating entire families while sleeping in the privacy of their homes.
Indeed, by the time of writing this article (29 July), as many as 183 Palestinians, among them 37 children, have been mercilessly killed in the Gaza Strip alone as a result of sustained aerial bombing and artillery bombardment of civilian neighborhoods.
Yes, all of this pornographic bloodshed and wanton destruction in response to the abduction of one Israeli soldier!
And in Lebanon. Well, what is happening in Lebanon defies linguistic description. How can one describe the destruction of an entire country and the blanket bombing of homes, neighborhoods, streets, fleeing civilians riding in trucks and minibuses, all in response to the abduction of two Israeli occupation soldiers during a military operation aimed at freeing thousands of Arab political and resistance detainees languishing in Israeli concentration camps?
If this is not Judeo-Nazism, then what is it (by the way the term “Judeo-Nazism” was coined by the late Israeli writer Yisrael Shahak.)?
And if Israeli leaders, who ordered and oversaw these genocidal campaigns against innocent civilians, are not certified war criminals, then how should we view them?
This is a question that must confront the conscience of the world as it is unconscionable to keep silent while this evil power called Israel is behaving very much like another evil power did sixty years ago..
Friday, July 28, 2006
Matter of Distinction
By Khaled Amayreh
While the vast majority of
Palestinians strongly identify with Hizbullah in the
current showdown with Israel, Palestinian Islamic and
nationalist leaders have been careful to maintain "the
distinctiveness" of their cause. This attitude reflects a
certain amount of anxiety that lumping the two situations
-- Lebanon and occupied Palestine -- in a single package
could eventually harm the Palestinian cause, the central
source of instability and wars in the Middle East.
One Palestinian government minister who has not been
arrested by Israel said, "of course we want to see
Hizbullah win. After all, Hizbullah's is a just cause and
we are facing the same murderous enemy. But we can't
entrust our cause to non- Palestinian hands and non-
This sentiment doesn't necessarily reflect real fears that
Hizbullah may be trying to pull the Palestinian issue
towards the Iranian-Shia axis, as has been suggested in
some regional quarters. In fact, the Palestinians,
including Palestinian Islamists, are too
independent-minded to allow their enduring cause to be
hijacked by their own fellow Sunni Arabs, let alone by the
This week, Hamas spokesman in Lebanon, Mohamed Nazal,
pointed out that the issue of the captured Israeli soldier
in Gaza shouldn't be connected with the capture of two
Israeli soldiers by Hizbullah fighters earlier this month.
Nazal explained that the circumstances in Gaza and Lebanon
were entirely dissimilar, arguing that while Hizbullah
could hide captured Israeli prisoners for years,
Palestinian resistance groups couldn't do the same
With this awareness in mind, Palestinian resistance groups
have given their consent to an Egyptian proposal
stipulating a general ceasefire as well as the release of
the captured Israeli soldier in return for an Israeli
commitment to free an undisclosed number of Palestinian
political and resistance prisoners, including children,
women and veteran detainees. Also to be freed are
Palestinian lawmakers and government ministers held
hostage by Israel for four weeks, ostensibly to coerce
Hamas into freeing the captured soldier.
Palestinian official Ibrahim Abu Al-Naja said the
ceasefire would be mutual and Israel would stop all
assassinations and incursions into the Gaza Strip and
provide "clear guarantees" to free veteran prisoners,
minors and female prisoners incarcerated in Israeli
detention camps. "The purpose of this initiative is to
alleviate Palestinian suffering. We believe that it is up
to Israel to demonstrate a willingness to end this crisis
or keep up its aggression against our people."
So far, the Israeli government has rejected ideas
presented by Egyptian mediators implying a prisoner swap
with the Hamas-led government, insisting rather that
Israel alone will choose if and when to release
Palestinian prisoners. "Israel destroyed half of Gaza and
massacred 118 Palestinian civilians in this latest
aggression, all in the name of freeing the soldier. We
will not free him unless Israel frees Palestinian
prisoners. We are no less determined than Hizbullah in
this regard," said a spokesman of Hamas's military wing.
Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas
was hopeful that he would be able to convince visiting US
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, whom he met in
Ramallah Tuesday, to press Israel to accept the Egyptian
package. Expectations are that Rice would demand a
re-wording of the terms to guarantee that Hamas does not
emerge or appear victorious.
There are two main reasons behind Hamas's perceived
flexibility with regard to Egyptian mediation efforts:
first, the unmitigated campaign of murder and terror by
Israel against mainly Palestinian civilians in the already
bombed-out Gaza Strip. According to the latest
information, 90 per cent of the 118 Palestinians killed by
Israel in the last month were civilians. Victims include
several entire families exterminated in aerial bombings.
The criminal bombing of civilian homes -- a clear-cut war
crime under international humanitarian law -- is meant to
strike fear in the hearts of Palestinians and push them
towards unconditional capitulation to Israel.
Meanwhile, the world seemingly doesn't give a damn; at
best turned towards the new front in Israel's bloodthirsty
quest for regional domination: Lebanon. Indeed, most
influential quarters in the world, including the European
Union, seem to believe that Israeli criminality -- its
systematic war crimes, crimes against humanity and
intransigence in the face of diplomatic efforts and
pressure -- is a fait accompli.
Second, Palestinian leaders and laymen alike are anxious
that Israel, after ending its aggression in the north, may
very well re-start a fresh bloody onslaught in Gaza and
bomb anew the Strip's already tenuous infrastructure with
the purpose of "compensating" the Israeli public for
Israeli casualties in the war with Hizbullah. Such fears
are not fanciful at all. This week, Shin Bet chief Yuval
Diskin told reporters in Tel Aviv that, "after finishing
with Hizbullah, the Israeli army will move against Hamas
in order to teach them a lesson they will never forget."
Diskin's remarks shouldn't be interpreted as rhetoric. The
Israeli army has already stepped up its terrorist
onslaught against Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.
In Gaza, Israeli tanks bombarded civilian neighbourhoods
in Beit Hanun, Beit Lahya and central Gaza, killing and
maiming scores of civilians, including children. According
to Palestinian health officials, Israel is now killing an
average of five Palestinian civilians per day, giving
credence to claims that Israel is actually waging a
slow-motion genocide against a people who want to be free
from decades of a military occupation.
In Nablus, in the northern West Bank, the Israeli army
this week utterly destroyed an extensive compound housing
government ministry offices known as the "mukata",
seemingly a reprisal for the killing of an Israeli soldier
in the city last week. According to local officials, the
financial cost is in the vicinity of $100 million.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
'All Israel Wants'
There is a question that Dr. Phil habitually asks of the troubled guests on his popular US talk show as they start to justify the actions that got them in trouble: How is it working for you?
It could be argued that things are working fine for Israel. It has the power and the US backing to achieve whatever it wants to achieve and to sustain such gains. When these gains prove too costly (as in Gaza), it abandons them, but it makes sure to shift them to other “authorised” colonial posts in East Jerusalem or elsewhere on the West Bank. Another tactic is to instigate civil conflicts among the populations it is manipulating and then step back.
More than peace, more than justice, what Israel wants, what it has systematically worked towards constructing in the Middle East throughout the decades, is a Jewish state on as wide a swathe of land in historic Palestine as possible, with all Jerusalem as its capital and with as few Palestinians inside its borders as possible. It has rounded up the Palestinians outside its chosen borders (but under its occupation) in shrivelled and disjointed walled sections.
Israel’s aim has always been to “change the map” - the geographic and demographic map. This aim is couched in misleading language such as a desire on Israel’s part to have “defensible borders”, meaning that the troublesome Palestinian refugees in Lebanon (404,000 by UNRWA’s latest count) who have never renounced their right of return to their homes and lands in Israel, must be forcibly pushed even farther into Lebanon.
The Palestinian refugees Israel has created and continues to create are deemed to be the responsibility of the UN and international NGOs, of the Arab countries (like Lebanon) that must unwillingly host them and recently of Islamist movements. In 1992 Israel “deported” 415 undesirable Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza into Southern Lebanon, one of its dumping grounds. (More often, of course, it assassinates such Palestinians or imprisons them).
Israel’s “defensible borders” must also do double duty by keeping Palestinian expatriate nationals from residing in the occupied Palestinian territories even if they are married to Palestinian ID holders, and they must allow only Palestinians with Jerusalem IDs to reside in East Jerusalem (whatever is left of them) and to be hemmed in by transplanted Jewish communities.
When it comes to Palestinians inside Israel, the language is couched as a desire on Israel’s part for “residential separation”. In Israel, the state owns 93 per cent of the land and the manner in which it has allocated the land since its establishment has kept the Israeli Palestinian communities in a state of severe overcrowding and total neglect and largely separated from the Jewish population — in some cases by the actual erection of walls four metres high and several kilometres long that prevent both visual and physical contact between the two sides. The implausible excuse here is not “security”, as is the case on the West Bank, but... noise.
By promoting itself as a Western liberal nation-state (“the standard bearer of law and justice”) in spite of the rampant religious zealotry of its “settlers” and the violent racism of both its left and right-wing governments, by brilliantly manipulating US politics to its own advantage and by building itself into a powerful military machine, Israel pretty much has been getting away with murder in the Middle East for decades. Shamefully, the West has failed to exert enough “frown power” (to use a term coined by the Jewish Anti-Defamation League to describe its campaign against bigotry in the US in the 1950s) on Israel’s many violations of international law, let alone its most recent savageries in Lebanon (widespread and indiscriminate bombings) and Gaza, to sway it even slightly from its course.
On the other hand, Israel’s brutal attempts to stamp out Palestinian and Lebanese resistance to its machinations have not been without a physical as well as moral cost. Though the balance of force is still entirely in its favour, Israel now faces Hizbollah in Lebanon, where before it faced the PLO, and it faces Hamas in Gaza and the West Bank, where before it faced Fateh. Sure, it has the power to annihilate them all and the civilians around them, children included. That is the ultimate logic of all that Israel stands for, of all that Israel wants.
Obviously, the same question, “How is it working for you?”, when posed to the PLO or Hamas, will yield a negative answer, for their losses over the years have been devastating. But I am not asking that question of them, because it is Israel, the party holding all the cards, not the PLO or Hamas or Hizbollah, which has always held the key to a just peace. But having the bombs and US backing, Israel sees no reason to use that key.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Back to Roots Salman Abu Sitta speaking to Al Awda
Al-Awda’s 4th International Convention
San Francisco, 14th - 16th July 2006
Thank you Jess for your kind introduction. I have just landed after a 10 hour flight from London, crossing an 8 hour time zone. I had plenty of time to reflect on our situation. Today, terrible news from Gaza and Lebanon, describing the death and destruction sown by Israel, gives us an eerie sense of dejas-vu. Al Nakba is re-enacted everyday of our lives.
Over half a century ago, it would have been inconceivable, that I, a Palestinian boy living peacefully in his home thousands of miles away, would be speaking to you here today, nor that many of you, third generation refugees from Palestine, would be here in such numbers, away from the homes of your fathers and grandfathers. But such is the working of al Nakba
I became a refugee at the age of 10, when strange European Zionist settlers invaded my country, destroyed my home and made me a refugee. I spent all my adult life wondering why this enemy destroyed my life. I tried to put a face to this invisible enemy – for I have never seen one before. Like millions of Palestinians, I started, then in 1948, on the long trek to return home, The trajectory of expulsion propelled us to the four corners of the earth but our compass was always directed towards our home. In unison and in unbelievable resilience, we vowed: We shall never rest until we return home.
This is the ninetieth year in our struggle for freedom and peaceful life in our homeland. In 1916, two European colonial diplomats, the British Mark Sykes and the French Georges Picot conspired to enslave the Arab people after winning the war in alliance with the Arabs against the Ottoman rule. While the Allies’ planes were dropping leaflets expressing devotion to the Arab quest for freedom and democracy, Sykes and Picot charted on a map lines dividing of the territorial spoils of war.
A latent European colonial enterprise came into the fray. The Zionist leader, Weizmann extracted a fateful letter from the British Foreign Secretary, Lord Balfour, in November 1917 addressed to a Jewish millionaire, Lord Rothschild. None of the three conspiring Europeans lived in Palestine or had a legitimate presence in Palestine. The British army then had barely crossed the border of Palestine.
Balfour declaration was a false promise of those who did not own to those who had no title behind the back of the rightful owner. Thus began a relentless Western war against the Palestinian people, now in its ninetieth year.
Balfour was fully aware of what he was doing. True to his colonial heritage, he said in 1918,
For in Palestine we do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country…..[Zionism is] of far profounder impact than the desires and prejudices [not the rights] of the Arabs who inhabit this ancient land..
He said the Arabs are “wholly barbarous, undeveloped and unorganized black tribes”.
The British Mandate ruled Palestine from 1920 to 1948 with the irreconcilable objectives of preparing the Palestinians for free democratic government and building a ‘national home’ for Jews in Palestine.
Nine decades before George Bush came up with his campaign for democracy for the whole world, the Palestinians started their campaign for democracy. When they petitioned, agitated and revolted for their cause, Churchill, the Colonial Secretary, told them in 1921,
Step by step we shall develop representative institutions leading to full self-government but our children’s children will have passed away before that is accomplished…..
They are still waiting. They have not given up.
In his five-year tenure (1920-1925), the Zionist first British High Commissioner of Palestine, Herbert Samuel, laid the foundations for the state of Israel.
Hebrew was introduced as an official language, separate Jewish institutions for banking, education, labor, water and energy were formed. A pseudo government and an embryonic army were established. What was left was to import citizens for the new state, hence the drive for Jewish immigration.
By 1948, with the collusion of the British Mandate, The Zionists failed to acquire, even by money, Zionist-inspired laws and economic pressure, more than 5.5% of the land of Palestine. But they succeeded in increasing the Jewish population from 9% to 30% of the total population and they trained an army of 120,000, or 20% of the Jewish immigrant population. (Compare this with a normal country, where the army makes up 1 - 2% of the population). This Zionist army was ready to bounce on Palestine.
It is often said in the standard Israeli narrative that, at the end of the Mandate, the Palestinians refused to accept the Partition Plan of Palestine, while the Jews accepted it. This narrative deliberately omits and distorts key facts.
How can the Palestinians accept to give away sovereignty over 54% of their country to Jewish European immigrants who controlled only 5.5% of Palestine, many of whom had just waded into their shores under the cover of darkness from a smuggler’s ship?
In the would-be Jewish state, 457 Palestinian towns and villages suddenly found themselves under the rule of foreign immigrants. The Palestinians comprised about half of the total population of this new state.
They did not like it. Neither did Ben Gurion, for different reasons. In 1948, Ben Gurion proceeded to expel his Palestinian citizens even before Israel was declared and he went on, not only to conquer 54%, but 78% of Palestine and expel its population. Al Nakba was born.
Zionists, now called Israelis, conquered 774 Palestinian towns and villages, depopulated totally 675 of them, while 99 remained under brutal military rule for 16 years to be replaced by second class citizen status.
It was the largest planned and foreign-supported ethnic cleaning in modern history.
Never before in modern history has a foreign minority descended upon the national majority of a country as in Palestine, depopulated its inhabitants, confiscated its land, property and records in the largest land robbery since WW II, destroyed its historical and religious landscape and obliterated its identity and history and called this crime as a victory for civilization and a divine intervention.
These who missed al Nakba of 1948 can see it re-enacted every day on their TV screens, albeit in different forms and under different pretexts.
Today the Palestinian population is about 10 million (9.650). Two thirds are refugees, the largest ratio among any people in the world. If you add those displaced in 1967, fully three quarters of the Palestinians are deprived of the normal human right to live at home. The remainder live under Israeli occupation, the longest and most brutal occupation in modern times.
You are the children and grandchildren of those refugees. You are fighting for the same cause: The right to return home. You have not sailed to Poland and Russia. Your adversaries sailed to your shores. You did not conquer, plunder and expel. Others did it to you.
Israel has waged 5 major wars, hundreds of raids by air, land and sea against the Palestinian people for exactly 21,412 days today. But Palestinians are still standing tall. They never surrendered.
In the last 6 years since the second intifada, 3500 Palestinians were killed, over 9000 are prisoners at present, but 40% of all adult male population have been imprisoned at one time by the Israeli occupation forces.
In what the author and film director, John Pilger, calls ‘a war on children’, seven hundred children were killed by Israeli occupation forces since 2000. This is not to mention Mohamed al Durra killed in his father’s lap or Huda Ghalia, the child who lost all her family on a Gaza beach.
Ethnic cleansing is a crime against humanity according the sixth principle of the Nuremberg Charter and the 1998 Statute of Rome. Collective punishment is contrary to Geneva Conventions. The International Court of Justice, the highest legal body in the world, in a landmark Advisory Opinion of July 2004, decreed that the Apartheid wall is illegal and Israel’s brutal occupation is illegal.
The famous UN resolution 194, calling for the refugees’ return has been affirmed by the UN over 130 times. It has been supported by all Human Rights Conventions. The majority of the people in the world support the Palestinian rights. Why then are they not implemented? Why do Palestinians continue to suffer?
I submit to you that a campaign of genocide has been waged against the Palestinian people, a genocide of killing, a genocide of elimination, a genocide of exile and banishment, a genocide of decapitating people by assassinating their leaders, a genocide of starvation, a genocide of slow death by cutting sources of food, water and medicine, a genocide of civilized life by destroying schools, universities and hospitals, a genocide of oblivion by destroying the national identity and denying the right for citizenship and nationality.
Israel has done that and more. It is the raison d’etre of Israel. Ben Gurion said that the destruction of Palestine is a pre-condition for the foundation of Israel.
We know all that. We also know that Israel could not have done that without the massive military, financial and political support of the US Administration. You live here and you know this better than me. You only need to read the report by Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, well-known scholars, not particularly pro-Arab, on the influence of Israel Lobby on US foreign policy and the damage it does to US interests.
While US foreign policy is openly and unashamedly biased in favor of Israel, Europe, The original colonial power, continues to play the same role it did in 1916. Europe gives conditional aid to Palestinians. It tells them: if you accept Israeli occupation and drop your rights, we will give enough aid to keep you alive. If you do not, we will let your starve. We will also not let anybody else help you. Deliberate starvation of a people is a crime against humanity. Yes this is what the hypocritical European politicians publicly declare.
The conditional aid they give to Palestinians is in effect financing the occupation. Israel, the Occupying Power, is obliged under the 4th Geneva Convention and generally Humanitarian Law to pay for all services needed for the occupied people. Europe relieves Israel from this burden and let it free to conduct its brutal occupation
I once said to some European diplomats : Do you not have the courage at least to recover the cost of hospitals you built and Israel destroyed? He could not answer.
The monumental verdict by the International Court of Justice of 9th July 2004 and its subsequent endorsement by the UN did not cause any western power to move Nato forces, apply sanctions or economic blockade, not even make a strong protest, against Israel’s violation of international law, as they have done with ferocity in innumerable other cases.
Outside the UN resolutions, western powers have proposed over two dozen schemes for the so called “peace in the Middle East” since Israel was conditionally admitted to the UN in 1949.
As an exercise, I went through all those schemes. Not one of them, not one, forces Israel to implement International Law. They all require Palestinians to drop all or most of their rights, under the rubric of “realism” and ask them to legitimize Israel’s violation of International Law.
Take the Right of Return. It is enshrined in International Law and affirmed repeatedly, particularly for the Palestinian refugees. It has been implemented in Kosova, Bosnia, East Timor, Ruwanda, Guatemala, Abkhazia, Afghanistan and Iraq. But not in Palestine. Why?
The response we here from sympathetic Europeans: it is not realistic, it is not feasible, there is no room, villages are destroyed, no where to return to…..etc.
What if this is true? This is like saying: If you intend to kill or steal, you will be punished. But if you successfully kill and steal, you are forgiven for the crime and what you steal is yours. There is no moral, legal or even political logic behind that.
But it is not true. Such Zionist myths have been demystified long ago. We have shown that:
- The land of the refugees, which is 93% of Israel, is inhabited by 1.5% of Israeli Jews, largely in the Kibbutz, which is financially and politically bankrupt. The Kibbutz share the refugees’ land with the army for its expansionist and occupation campaigns.
- 90% of the village sites are still vacant, 7% are partially built-over, and only 3% are totally built over in Tel Aviv and West Jerusalem.
- The total number of Russian immigrants is equal to all registered refugees in Lebanon and Gaza. If Israel wanted peace, refugees could have returned. Instead, new conflict is created and the racist Sharansky and Lieberman became new Israel’s leaders.
- 97% of refugees are located within 100 km from their homes and 50% are within 40 km, a mere bus ride. Many can see their houses but they cannot get there.
- Gaza population density is 6000 persons/km2 while their land, a few kilometers away, is empty, at 6 rural Jews/km2. All the rural Jews in half of Israel, from Ramleh to Um Rashrash (Eilat) are less in number than a single refugee camp in Gaza.
We could go on and on. This was published in books and atlases. The facts were never disputed by Israelis, only the motives behind them.
That is about Palestine enemies. But what about the Palestinian position?
PLO was formed in 1964 as the representative of the Palestinian people with the sole aim of restoring their rights. In 1974, the UN passed several resolutions to affirm that these rights are inalienable. In 1988, The Palestine National Council made a major concession. It split its national objectives into two: (1) establishing a Palestine state on only one fifth of its territory and ( 2 ) pursuing the Right of Return of the refugees to their homes wherever they may be, precisely in the meaning of resolution 194.
Oslo Accords of 1993 were a watershed. Palestinian leadership, at its lowest ebb, accepted these Accords which had two major flows: (1) they ignored the massive body of International Law that supported Palestinian rights, and (2) The Palestinian people were neither consulted nor have they agreed to Oslo Accords in any fully representative way through referendum or a freshly elected PNC. The major victim was the refugees rights.
Hence, the Rights of Return Movement was born. Committees, groups and associations were formed in every place in the world where there were concentration of refugees. By 1998, the fiftieth year of al Nakba, this movement became a formidable voice. Dedicated activists, academics, writers and community leaders worked tirelessly and joined forces with liberal and human rights groups. Today no one can deny their presence. But they lacked a unified consolidated political entity. This situation is becoming detrimental to our cause and cannot continue.
The reason is simple. The internal conflict between Hamas, the elected PA government and Fatah, the old largely corrupt faction, stifled any progress towards the essential Palestinian issues.
Last month, I met many Palestinian leaders, including Abu Mazen. It is my considered opinion, supported by many others, that Fatah clings to PLO structure, which it previously marginalized, as the only remaining vehicle for power.
Israel and Western powers support Abu Mazen more or less and act to destroy Hamas government because it is the elected representative that would not forfeit Palestinian inalienable rights. Israel does not consider Palestinians or Arabs a military threat. But Palestinians have a coveted valuable prize that Israel desperately seeks: that is legitimacy, that is for Palestinians to say: there is no Palestine, no Palestinians, no rights big or small. They want Abu Mazen, the nominal head of outdated PLO, to sign on behalf of all Palestinians on the required concessions, in what would be called a historic settlement. Then he and PLO will be dumped in the bin.
Organized members of Fatah, Hamas and other factions do not count for more than 5% of all Palestinians. Where is the voice of 95% of Palestinians? Who represents them now? Who defends their rights? It is, and should be, the Palestine National Council, the source of ultimate power and the arbiter of the destiny of the Palestinian people.
As you know, the old PNC is now defunct, its members have been gathered arbitrarily and it has grown to 600 or 700 unknown people. Many have died or lost touch with the people. There must be a new PNC, clean, lean and truly representative council through elections everywhere. It is our only safety net.
We have a large database to know who the Palestinians are, where they come from, where they are today. Elections could be held in many parts of the world and, where not possible, other representative means may be devised.
The PNC membership should not exceed 250, at the rate of one member for 40,000 or 4 village units. Only 33% of Palestinians now live in Occupied Palestine of 1967, under PA. All Palestinians, including those in 1948, should be represented.
These simple and necessary principles are rejected or obstructed by current leadership. They wish to allocate half the seats to the one-third of the people under PA. They underestimate the weight of Palestinians abroad. One leader, who appears on TV frequently, told me, “we are in the fire. We represent you. That is enough”. He did not mention the secret agreements by his ilk to drop the Right of Return, nor the corruption as his credentials.
This old tired leadership gives lame excuses for not holding PNC elections. They delay endlessly convening the meeting of the Preparatory Committee which should be entrusted with holding the elections.
They ignore the major fact, plain to all, that western powers court the present leadership for the single reason that they sign concessions in the name of PLO on behalf of the Palestinian people. Then they and PLO will be wiped out. The two thirds of Palestinians will be left to their own devices or forcibly settled somewhere.
We must prevent this happening. PLO and PNC are our major, probably only, achievement in the past half a century as the representative of the Palestinian people. A new PNC must be elected soon.
To do that, we have to forge a union of all groups to speak with one voice. We then must hold a popular conference of 1000-2000 people for Palestinians of all walks of life. A venue is already available. We must form a single unified people’s voice very soon. We must participate in the Preparatory Committee of PNC and prevent it being high-jacked by old cronies.
As we have forced our presence in the media and human rights activism, we must now have a real, strong voice in shaping our destiny.
Our resilience and determination has carried us through 58 years. We should carry this message forward, a message of freedom and justice.
And as we always say:
Ma dha’a huqqon wara’hu mutalib.
(No right is lost if pursued vigorously).
Monday, July 24, 2006
Khalid Amayreh: The Vandal State
Zionists in Fassuta dance for the death of Lebanese. They were also photographed today writing on rockets bound for Lebanon. The body of a boy killed today in Beit Lahyia, Gaza.
Editorial by Khalid Amayreh
24 July, 2006
The wanton destruction of Lebanon and Gaza by the Israeli war machine has opened the eyes of the world to the real nature of this Judeo-Nazi entity which knows no language other than the language of war, death and destruction.
It is a criminal state, a venomous viper, a monstrous evil power, unlike any other nation-state in modern history.
What else can be said of a state that enjoys bombing minibuses carrying fleeing civilians? What else can be said of an army that knowingly and deliberately exterminate entire families sleeping in the privacy of their homes in Gaza and Lebanon under the scandalously false pretext that a member of a given family is opposed to Israeli policies?
What kinds of an army is that which bombs boarding schools and beaches crowded with holidaymakers and then lies about the murder? Tis is not an army of professional soldiers, but rather an army of professional thugs, hoodlums and common criminals.
Indeed, one might ask further, what is the difference between exterminating civilians by way of bombing and destroying their homes in the quiet hours before dawn and exterminating them by way of gassing them in a concentration camp? Does mass killings of civilians become kosher and condonable when perpetrated by a Jewish Gestapo or a Jewish Wehrmacht?
Well, suppose that a member of a given family is a supporter of Hamas or Hizbullah, does this give Israel the right to annihilate his entire family, including toddlers and babies?
Perhaps it is futile to evoke logic and common sense when talking to the Nazis of our time, for they do know what they are doing and are fully aware of their own nefariousness and criminality.
However, for those who still don’t know, and they are unfortunately many, Israel must be exposed for what it is, a terrorist state that has no right to exist.
Yes, a state whose entire existence is based on genocide and aggression has no right to exist just as Nazi Germany had no right to exist.
Nations, after all, have a right to exist as long as practicing this right doesn’t impinge on other people’s right to exist and live freely from aggression.
But Israel, ever since its misbegotten birth in 1948 has been exercising its existence by murdering civilians, destroying homes, bombing villages and essential infrastructure, bulldozing farms and orchards and expelling people en mass from their homes.
Whether it is in Palestine or Lebanon, Israel, a nuclear-armed state, has been ganging up on innocent civilians whose main occupation is to live their lives, feed their families and teach their children.
Needless to say, these barbaric behaviors, the gruesome images of which are relayed to people around the world, have created numerous enemies in the region and beyond, just as Nazi behaviors had generated a lot of hatred for the Third Reich.
Hating and resisting Israel for what it has been doing is therefore an inevitable reaction to Jewish Nazism. Just imagine yourself a Palestinian or a Lebanese who has lost his family, relatives, friends and home in an Israeli bombing of your neighborhood; or imagine being forced to live without electricity because the Israeli army decided to bomb and destroy the only power station in your town because two occupation soldiers were captured in an armed clash with guerillas. Imagine that you are barred from accessing food, water and work for years because a given political party won the general elections against Israel’s and America’s wishes? Imagine that you are cut off from the rest of the world and you are unable to receive your monthly salary because your people elected the “wrong” political party?
Well, this is already happening to millions of Palestinians while the so-called civilized world is watching gleefully as morally-bankrupt politicians keep parroting meaningless statements about the need for Hamas to recognize Israel.
Why should Hamas recognize Israel? Does Israel recognize Palestine so that the Palestinians will have to recognize Israel?
By its criminal behavior, Israel has long lost whatever legitimacy it claims to have. Criminal states have no legitimacy and have no right to exist.
Of course Israel’s apologists and spokesperson will not stop arguing that Israel is only defending itself. However, such mendacious arguments don’t stand any scrutiny.
If you are private individual and another person hurled a stone at your car, you can try to stop him and no body will blame you.
But you have no legal or moral right to kill his entire family, destroy his home and property, and set fire to his entire neighborhood or town just to teach him a lesson.
Yet, this is what Israel has been doing in Gaza and Lebanon, which makes her a criminal state par excellence.
It is therefore imperative that the peoples of the world treat this rouge state as they would any common criminal in their midst.
In the final analysis, criminal states are like criminals individuals, they must be brought under control, or murder, theft, rape and vandalism will spread to every neighborhood and every home.
Not My America, Senator Feinstein
Layal Nagib, (photo) 23, photographer for the Lebanese magazine al-Jaras, was killed when Israeli forces struck her taxi near Qana. She was near Qana, fleeing southern Lebanon. Anthony Shadid interviews many of the victims in the Washington Post's heartwrenching "Civilian Toll Mounts in Lebanon Conflict."
But not to worry, according to the New York Times, "The Israeli military said in a statement that its aircraft operations over southern Lebanon on Sunday had targeted 'approximately 20 vehicles' suspected of 'serving the terror organization in the launching of missiles at Israel, and were recognized fleeing from or staying at missile-launching areas.'"
And Senator Dianne Feinstein is most reassuring, KCBS reporting her saying that "Israel and the United States share common values of democracy and the rule of law."
This evidently is the "rule of law" of the jungle that Israel has imposed upon the indigenous inhabitants of Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza.
But it seems to me that Israel is slaughtering innocents to circumvent the law in order to defend its institutionalized racism which maintains that anyone with a Jewish parent or grandparent from anywhere in the world may immigrate to Israel, while refusing to implement the inalienable right of seven million Palestinian refugees to return home.
I would dare say that Eleanor Roosevelt, who helped to write the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which Israel thumbs its nose knows more about "democracy" than Senator Feinstein.
Politicians throwing around phrases like "rule of law" and "democracy" better know what they're talking about if they don't want to emerge as nasty hypocrites defending bigotry and hate.
Murderous, Humiliating Siege of Jenin Continues
"Jenin resident, Barakat Hosni, told PNN, 'The soldiers made me undress, searched me, and kept me like that, naked, for an hour. After all of that, they didn’t let me move. The occupiers used insults and offensive words and I could not move through me own land.'”
These soldiers are immigrants from all over the world who come to Palestine not to adapt to the country which they found nor to blend with the indigenous people. They came to steal and ethnically cleanse its indigenous people, erase its history, and eradicate its culture. These immigrants are vandals, plunderers, liars, and thieves.
Make peace with this? With institutionalized bigotry,with people who refuse to implement the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 13, Section 2, "Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country."
Israelis Kill Three Teenagers 'In Cold Blood Without Guilt or Reason'
Israel, which refuses to implement Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 13, Section 2, which states that "Every man may leave his home and return to his home," displaying their usual immorality and inhumanity did not let ambulances access the youths.
At Husam's funeral a relative eulogized him: “He was in the flower of youth, 18 years old, however, the Israelis killed him in cold blood without guilt or reason.”
But they have their reasons. Dr.Harold Sternlicht, American, recently immigrated to Israel. He says: "I believe that Israel is God's gift to the Jews, and that's where we belong." And his God, evidently, believes Palestinians belong in their graves.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Yoni Got His Gun
Ali Saffiyedin carries the body of his six year old daughter who was killed from an Israeli air strike July 23 on Tyre.
Sergei Valesiuk left the Ukraine for Israel six years ago. He died today defending Israel's right to continue its institutionalized racism; i.e., Jews Like Sergei, who changed his name to Yonatan so he could be more Israeli, may immigrate to Israel and become instant citizens, even though the people indigenous to the land, seven million of whom are refugees, and from whom ninety-two percent of the land was stolen, may not return home, in violation of UN Resolution 194 and also in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The woman with the dog is one of the US Jews, which the organization Nefesh B' Nefesh subsidizes to come and live on the stolen property.
And Israel has another Yoni to replace the Yoni who died today. US Yoni from Boca Raton, Florida, is eager to join in the killing of Lebanese and Palestinians. "'I'm needed by my country,' said Jonathan 'Yoni' Charust, 22, who holds dual citizenship in the United States and Israel."
Evidently unmoved by Israel's violation of the human, civil, personal, and legal rights of Palestine's indigenous inhabitants are the Zucker family.
"The Zuckers will leave their 4,700-square-foot home in Fort Lauderdale and settle in Ra'anana, an affluent suburb of Tel Aviv where he will take Hebrew classes. Zucker, a businessman, said his desire to help 'secure the future of the Jewish people is much more important than a big house.'"
And putting it all in perspective is the Zuckers fellow Floridian Ami Emanuel who sees his move to Israel as part of the "war on terrorism."
"There's always fighting going on. I don't think its anything new, really. And I think that for people to stop making aliyah, that's a win for the terrorists, that's what the terrorists want."
For all the weekend warriors from Florida, a portrait of a warrior; he neither crossed an ocean to settle on someone else's land, nor did he hop on an airplane to participate in bombing of poor people and refugees:
"One of the three men who died defending Maroon el-Raas is 48 years old Samir
Ali Diyaa, a father of 6 children. He was imprisoned by Israel for a number
of years before being freed through a prisoner exchange. In 1990 he was
severely injured in battle and lost one of his legs. He died defending
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Israel's New Immigrants Complicit With Ethnic Cleansing
Today's Washington Post has as a feature "Moving to Israel in a Time of Crisis."
Americans Yossi Silver and Jonathan Klein immigrated to Israel Friday. A good majority of Palestinian refugees, estimated to be 7 million live within a hundred kilometers of their villages. Ninety-two percent of Palestine was appropriated by the Jewish state in 1948 and after. Many Palestinian refugees possess deeds to their property and keys to their homes; however Israel refuses them their inalienable right to return.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 13: Section 2 states: "Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country."
In addition United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194, Section 11: "Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible."
According to BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residence and Refugee Rights, "Israeli military forces adopted 'shoot to kill' policies along the armistice lines to prevent the return of refugees. In some cases refugees were forced to sign papers that they were leaving voluntarily. In 1948, it is estimated that more than fifty percent fled under direct military assault. Sixty percent of refugees displaced to Jordan in 1967 fled as a result of direct military assault."
"'I want to make Israel a better place, by giving my son, Shayadov, to the land of Israel,' said Yossi Silver, a chef from Miami Beach."
Mr. Silver has freely chosen to express allegiance to a state that renounces the Palestinians' inalienable right to return. That's complicity with ethnic cleansing. And ethnic cleansing is a war crime.
For relevant information on Israel's ethnic cleansing and information on the feasibility of return visit the website of the Palestine Land Society.
From Haifa to Marwaheen: Defenseless Refugees Abandoned
Haifa Photo: Right of Return written on sign
Photo: I Love Haifa
Haifa at the beginning of the nineteenth century was a small fishing village with a population of four thousand Palestinians. In 1869 German farmers from the Templar Society immigrated to Haifa and Jews began to immigrate in the 1880s. According to Enclyclopedia of the Palestinians, "Haifa's population grew during the Mandate from 24,634 in 1922 to some 128,000 in 1944, of whom 66,000 were Jews."
In 1948 Haifa City was ethnically cleansed of all but 3,000 of its Palestinian citizens. In addition, fifty-one villages in Haifa District were ethnically cleansed and demolished by Israel's forces.
Rabee' Sahyoun, a native of Haifa, describes the fate of his family:
"My father came from a big family who had many lands, and much influence. On the other side, my maternal grandfather worked for Barclay's Bank in Haifa. In 1948, my mother's family lost their house, the deed to which our family still holds, and became internally displaced refugees, by force of the armed units of the Israeli Haganah, and continued thereafter to suffer the consequences of being persecuted and discriminated against in their own country. My father's house was ransacked in his absence, also by the Zionist Haganah forces, and his belongings taken. Having been a famous radio broadcaster and a fervent Palestinian Nationalist, the Zionists announced that if they caught him, they would put him in a cage, cut his tongue off, and parade him through the streets for all to see. Naturally he fled under cover to Arab East Jerusalem. Those who died in the Deir Yassin massacre, in what is now part of Israeli-controlled West Jerusalem, who were paraded in the streets by David Ben-Gurion's troops before their slaughter, did not share his fortune. To this day, Sahyoun Street still exists in old Haifa, and all of our family 's lands and buildings in tact, all of which Israel gives us no right to return to or possess."
Palestinian nationalism is not dead among the Palestinian residents of Haifa. The spirit of native son Shaikh Izz al-Din al-Qassam, "patriot,social reformer,and religious teacher" who "led...the first guerilla operation of the Palestinian national movement" perseveres (Khalidi 111). Ameer Makhoul, director of Ittijah, a coalition of Arab organizations in Israel, and Haifa resident was quoted in Al-Jazeerah today: "Our lives and our hearts are in Beirut and Gaza - not in Haifa. We are part of the Palestinian nation effort and are too trying to raise our voice to tell people what is happening in Lebanon."
But what's happening in Lebanon in July 2006 is no different than what occurred in Palestine in 1948. Consider the plight of the Palestinians of Haifa. On April 22, wounded and suffering from Haganah attacks, Palestinians in Haifa sought help from the British, who rejected their pleas.
"A state of chaos prevailed as thousands of terrified Arab women and children rushed towards the port hoping to escape. But as the entire Arab area was exposed to the Jewish quarters above, the Haganah snipers killed tens of those trying to flee." Most of the expelled refugees fled to Acre, which was ethnically cleansed in a matter of weeks, and from there made their way to Lebanon, some to Tyre City and its surrounding villages. One of the villages in Tyre district is Marwaheen; one of Mawaheen's villagers is according to Robert Fisk "the child who lies like a rag doll near the charred civilian convoy, whose photograph was taken - at great risk - by an Associated Press photographer, Nasser Nasser." Her picture has become an icon.
Robert Fisk writes that the villagers fleeing Marwaheen "set off for the north in a convoy of cars which only minutes later, close to the village of Tel Harfa, were attacked by an Israeli F-16 fighter-bomber. It bombed all the cars and killed at least 20 of the civilians...." The villagers of Marwaheen had earlier appealed to the UN Battalion of Ghanaian soldiers for protection, but the defenseless villagers were rebuffed by the soldiers just as the Palestinians of Haifa were rebuffed by the British fifty-eight years earlier.
Today on CNN the mayor of Tyre, looking away in tears from the mass makeshift gravesite at El-Buss Palestinian Refugee Camp for seventy-two victims of Israel's barbarity, said that he did not know how many more bodies, unreachable, were buried beneath the rubble of the villages in southern Lebanon that Israel bombed.
Israel has no qualms about obliterating Arab presence and history. Many of Haifa's Palestinian citizens who now live in the city have been dispossessed by the Jewish state. Hanan, whose family returned to Haifa shortly after being driven out by Haganah forces came back to find her family's factory and apartment building confiscated and occupied. Israel's penchant for destruction is ongoing in Haifa. Israel's attempts to eradicate the Arab character of Haifa has included changing street names from Arabic to Hebrew and Zionist names, many named after the "heroes" of 1948.
According to Electronic Intifada, "Orders for housing demolitions are gaining momentum at a frightening pace. The Arab Association for Human Rights (HRA) recently reported that, 'On June 5, 2005 the municipality in Haifa, with the help of police forces, destroyed the home of Basim and Miriam Bushkar on Bar Yehuda Road, where the family has been living for the past 70 years.'"
Although,for the moment, the Palestine tragedy is centered in Lebanon, as well as Gaza and the West Bank, Haifa is a microcosm of the tragedy. How many of its Jewish citizens have read Emile Habibbi, one of Haifa's most famous Palestinian residents. The following story should resonate with Holocaust survivors. He writes about the Palestinian women and children who had made their way back to Haifa after expulsion, "In our alley, the search for those Arab women who had smuggled themselves in along with their children never ceased." He writes about his neighbor, a Jewish woman, Masha, who later left Haifa for Canada, who used to alert the Palestinian women and children to flee when the search parties came to their alley.
"We want to live in a city where our cultural, architectural and historical heritage is kept alive, and not been taken from us. We want equal rights, and this includes the right to our history," says one Palestinian upon a visit to Haifa.
"My father, who is old, will soon die away from the home that was taken from him, and the orchards that ran across my Mother's porch, although still ours by international law, are now enjoyed by those who made my parents refugees," writes Sahyoun.
Samia Abdenour, another dispossessed native of Haifa sums up the identification that Makhoul feels for his brethren in Gaza and Lebanon:
"Though, I thank my lucky stars for all the benedictions with which I have been endowed, yet I feel sad, angry and bitter at the injustice of life, the barbarity with which Palestinians were and are still treated, the wasted lives of the millions of dead youth, the grief of parents and widows, the inhuman state of the orphaned children, the oppression of the camp refugees. I cannot go back to my homeland, I cannot retrieve our possessions, I cannot claim our land, I cannot take my children back to Palestine to share with them my happy past and I cannot visit my father's grave in Haifa."
This much is certain. Until Palestinian rights are not relative to Jewish rights, there is no possiblity for peace. Israel is "in defiance of a wide range of international legal instruments, including numerous UN resolutions, international human rights conventions, humanitarian conventions, and bilateral and regional agreements, as well as general legal principles considered to be binding, which recognize the right of return."
Palestinians quest for equal rights is inspiring; Israelis' defense of institutionalized bigotry and its refusal to implement right of return is deadly, for Palestinians, and now, Lebanese.
Reference: Khalidi, Walid. Before Their Diaspora. Washington D.C.: Institute of Palestine Studies, 1992.
Friday, July 21, 2006
IOF Massacre in Al-Maghazi Refugee Camp, Gaza
Read about Israel's other genocide in the occupied territories:
Hassanain denounced in his report, "the use of the Israeli forces' internationally prohibited missiles that contain chemical materials and burning metals and in addition, have shrapnel in the shape of nails". He pointed out that the injuries received in the hospitals as a result of these missiles are very dangerous because the human tissues and muscles are torn and in addition, the injured suffer from severe bleeding, loss of limbs and broken bones.
The spokesman for the Ministry of Health, Radhi Khalid, told PNN that the 20 injured were all children, as the attack occurred very near to a grade school. He noted that all of the children were transferred to a nearby hospital, where nine are being treated for “serious injuries.”
Early this morning
Four Palestinians, including children, were killed early Friday morning, when Israeli forces shelled a house in Shajaiyeh district, east of Gaza City.
Deaths have been rising, and humanitarian conditions have deteriorated in the Gaza Strip since Israel invaded the region three weeks ago.
Since Israel's 3 day attack on Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza, the death toll has increased to 14, and injuries have reached 130.
That Was the Week That Was (Deadly for Palestinians)
26 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 5 children and two women, were killed by IOF.
At least 200 Palestinians, including 55 children and 5 women, were wounded by the IOF gunfire.
IOF conducted 27 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and reoccupied areas in the Gaza Strip.
IOF moved into Nablus, destroyed a number of governmental and scurrility buildings and detained at least 100 security personnel.
At least 70 houses were partially destroyed and a number of civilian facilities were severely damaged in the Gaza Strip.
IOF arrested 31 Palestinian civilians in the West Bank, and 5 others in the Gaza Strip.
A number of Palestinian civilians were used by IOF as human shields during military operations in the Gaza Strip.
A number of houses were transformed by IOF into military sites.
IOF warplanes launched a series of air strikes on the Gaza Strip; a number of governmental buildings were destroyed; dozens of families in Beit Hanoun and al-Shouka villages were forced to vacate their houses; and electricity networks and transmitters were attacked.
IOF have continued to impose a total siege on the OPT; IOF have imposed a tightened siege on the Gaza Strip; Rafah International Crossing Point on the Egyptian border was partially reopened to allow Palestinians stuck at Egyptian side of the crossing point to travel back to the Gaza Strip; and IOF positioned at various checkpoints in the West Bank arrested 6 Palestinian civilians.
IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall in the West Bank.
Continue Reading the full report of Israel's crimes against humanity and God
Atrocities in Gaza, Lebanon Motivated By Talmudic Mentality
photo courtesy Sabbah's Blog
By Khalid Amayreh
19 July, 2006
“One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail.” (New York Daily News, Feb. 28, 1994, p.6)
When Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s suggested on 22 June that Jewish lives were worth more than Palestinian lives, he was actually making an ideological statement of immense significance and symbolism.
The plainly racist remarks, a repugnant taboo in any western country, encapsulate the entire Zionist discourse toward non-Jews in general an Palestinians, Lebanese and other Arabs and Muslims in particular.
The pornographic killing by Israel of Lebanese and Palestinian civilians, as well as the systematic wanton destruction by the Israeli air-force of civilian infrastructure in Gaza and Lebanon can be viewed as an honest translation of the Talmudic ideology, which more or less has come to dominate Israeli thinking as the Israeli society continues to drift menacingly to religious bigotry and chauvinism.
In fact, one can safely argue that Israel’s brazenly criminal behaviors towards the Palestinian and Lebanese people have consistently been a practical embodiment of the Talmudic perception of non-Jews.
This perception, racist to the hilt if not outright satanic, considers non-Jews as beasts or at best lesser human beings.
There is no doubt that a rudimentary survey of Rabbinic commentaries on the status of non-Jews according to Halacha (Jewish religious law) , of both present and past, reveals that a decisive majority of Talmudic sages view goyim (the derogatory Hebrew term for non-Jews) as either animals or sub-humans.
A few months ago, when Israeli troops vacated Jewish settlers from a West Bank settler outpost, an Israeli Knesset member representing the National Religious Party (NRP), lambasted the army for treating “human beings (Jews) the same way they were treating Palestinians.”
The rabbi’s remarks were reported by the Israeli press and aroused no reactions whatsoever, reflecting rampant racism in Israel.
In 1994, when an American Jewish immigrant named Baruch Goldstein massacred 29 Arab worshipers as they were praying at the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, militant Gush Emunim (block of the faithful) Rabbi Moshe Levenger declared that “I am sorry not only about dead Arabs but about dead flies.”
A few days after the massacre, Goldstein was eulogized by the Rabbi of Kiryat Arba, Dov Lior, who praised him as “full of love for fellow human beings.”
According to Israel Shahak, author of “Jewish History, Jewish Religion-The weight of Three Thousand Years,” the term “human beings” according to Halacha refers solely to Jews.
Shahak’s view is vindicated by numerous Talmudic passages, such as the following:
“All Gentile children are animals.” ( Yebamoth, 98a.); The gentiles are outside the protection of the Law and God has exposed their money to Israel.” (Baba Kamma, 37-b.); “God created them in the form of men for the glory of Israel. But Akum (non-Jews) were created for the sole end of ministering unto them (the Jews) day and night. Nor can they ever be relieved from this service. It is becoming to the son of a king (an Israelite) that animals in their natural form, and animals in the form of human beings should minister unto him. ( Midrasch talpioth, fol. 225d; “the sexual intercourse of a Goi is like that of a beast.” (Sanhedrin, 74-b, Tosephot).
Now, these Talmudic injunctions, merely general examples, are not anachronistic anomalies that have no relevance to Zionism as many Israeli apologists and spokespersons would argue.
In fact, they are being applied, even in brazen manner, in the West Bank and Gaza and Lebanon. The exoneration of Israeli soldiers convicted of murdering Palestinian children (like that soldier who murdered 13-year Iman al-Hamas near Rafah in 2004 while on her way to school), in many ways epitomizes the Israeli-Jewish perceptions of non-Jews.
In short, non-Jews, according to Talmudic teachings, are not men but beasts; even the best of the Goyim should be killed; they are unclean idolaters deserving of death; and the Jews are to rule over the world served by the Goyim.
This is the real explanation of why Israeli soldiers and settlers are killing Palestinian and Lebanese civilians at will without showing the slightest remorse.
This is also what made the Israeli Chief of Staff Dan Halutz remark that “I sleep well and have clear conscience” soon after he ordered an F-6 fighter to drop a one-ton bomb on an apartment building in the middle of the night in Gaza, killing 16 people including 11 children.
This is what makes Israeli pilots annihilate entire families in Tyre and Mirwaheen and then feel good about it.
The Talmud, upon which Orthodox or Rabbinic Judaism is based, doesn’t really distinguish between combatants and non-combatants in time of war. In fact, rabbinic authorities teach that killing non-combatants, including children of the enemy, is a mitzvah (good deed with which one endears oneself to God) in war time.
A few years ago, a leading Israeli Torah sage urged the Israeli army not to refrain from killing enemy children in order to save the lives of Israeli occupation soldiers in the Gaza Strip. When this writer consulted with a number of rabbis and scholars on whether the rabbi was a nutcase, I was told that he represented the mainstream within Orthodox Judaism.
Many Orthodox rabbis consider the international conventions incriminating the deliberate killing of civilians and the destruction of civilian homes and property , such as the Fourth Geneva Convention, as “Christian morals” not binding on Jews.
On 12 July, the right-wing Israeli newspaper, the Jerusalem Post, had this caption on its internet site: “Yesha Rabbis call for extermination of the enemy.”
The report quoted the rabbinic council of Jewish settlements in the West Bank as calling on the Israeli army “to ignore Christian morals and exterminate the enemy in the north and south.” Obviously, the term “Christian morals” here refers to laws of war which prohibit the killing of innocent civilians.
This totally satanic thinking doesn’t emanate from Zionism’s secular traditions, which are no less evil, but rather from the Talmud itself. For example, a prominent Talmudic figure, Shimon Ben Yohai, openly called for the extermination of non-Jews. (His tomb in northern Palestine is a major pilgrimage site for many Jews).
If a Jewish sect or movement can be described as “Nazi,” it is the Chabad movement, which openly advocates annihilation of non-Jews in Palestine on the model of the Biblical Book of Joshua.
Chabad is not a marginal movement. In both Israel and the US, it has been able to amass a lot of wealth and acquire considerable influence. The movement, with which thousands of Israeli soldiers and high-ranking officers are affiliated, views non-Jews as animals or infra-human beings.
According to its famous book, Hatanya, as quoted by Israel Shahak, all non-Jews are totally satanic creatures in whom there is absolutely nothing good. Even a non-Jewish embryo is qualitatively different from a Jewish one.
Indeed, the very existence of a non-Jew is inessential, whereas all creation was made solely for the sake of the Jews.
In conclusion, there is a broad conformity between Israeli behavior in Lebanon and the occupied Palestinian territories and Talmudic teachings on non-Jews. The fact that at least 50 percent of high-ranking Israeli army officers are indoctrinated in the Talmud does explain, at least in part, Israel’s genocidal onslaughts on civilians in both Gaza Strip and Lebanon.
More to the point, it is highly likely that this Talmudic trend of thinking and behavior will continue to grow and eventually come to define Israel’s entire discourse toward the peoples of the Middle East and non-Jews in general.
Letter to SoJO: So-Called Christians
To a Palestinian Soujourners claim that it is a voice for justice and for peace is a joke. The first line from the story could have been written by an official Israeli spokesperson: "What is the proper, appropriate response of a nation to violent attacks by terrorists or other radical extremists?"
The writer is unaware that the day prior to Hamas' capture of the Israeli soldier two Palestinians had been kidnapped from their home in Gaza by Israel's forces. The writer must be unaware that 650,000 Palestinians have been detained by Israel since 1967, and the writer is unaware that IOF kidnaps Lebanese shepherds. Typically, we're all presented as terrorists.
You write further: "The result, not surprisingly, has been the death of many civilians on all sides." Please, with the slow ethnic cleansing the Israelis are inflicting upon the Palestinians, with one hundred Palestinian deaths in a two week period in Gaza, and with 29 Israelis, 12 of whom are soldiers, and 330 Lebanese, almost all of whom are civilians dead, that line is obscene.
Instead of presenting yourself as a "balanced" observer, I suggest that you familiarize yourself with the facts instead of writing stories that make you complicit in Israel's genocide.
" We can ignore neither the horror of suicide bombings against Israeli civilians (including direct attacks on school children)," you write but Israel's attacks on Palestinian children you write off as "collateral damage." Please. One small example of the over 700 Palestinian kids shot since September 2000 usually through the heart and the head by Israel's occupation forces: Johnny Thaljjieh, an Orthodox Christian, like me, by the way, shot while he was standing around his uncle's grocery store. Did you know that 300 Palestinians were killed BEFORE the first suicide bombing?
Palestinian Christian websites:
The new war in the Middle East
by Jim Rice
What is the proper, appropriate response of a nation to violent attacks by terrorists or other radical extremists? We have seen one model illustrated in the response of the British government to last year's attacks on London's public transportation system, in which 52 people were killed and 700 injured. The British rightly understood the attacks as terrorist acts, but responded in a measured manner, dealing both with the investigation of the terrible crime and the need for enhanced security in its wake. Pointedly, the British did not opt for a military response to these acts of terror.
We have also, of course, seen an altogether different model of response, perhaps most clearly exemplified by the U.S. invasion of two countries - one of which was an actual source of the terror - following the horrors of Sept. 11, 2001.
Unfortunately, it seems to be in the latter spirit that Israel responded to terror attacks in the past fortnight. Provoked by the Hamas kidnapping of an Israeli soldier, Israel not only invaded the northern Gaza Strip but also destroyed a significant portion of Gaza's infrastructure, including airstrikes against Gaza's power grid.
Likewise, days later, when the Syrian-backed terror group Hezbollah seized the opportunity to raid northern Israel and capture two Israeli soldiers, Israel responded with a massive attack on Lebanon's civilian structures, from the Beirut airport to a dairy factory, civilian buses, bridges, power stations, and medical facilities, according to reports. Hezbollah responded by firing hundreds of rockets a day - more-modern, longer-range rockets than in the past - aimed intentionally at neighborhoods in Haifa and other Israeli cities. The result, not surprisingly, has been the death of many civilians on all sides.
The situation is clearly complicated by the role of Hezbollah as a part of the coalition government of Lebanon, which seems unable or unwilling (probably both) to disarm Hezbollah, which effectively controls the southern part of the country. The new warfare in the Middle East is also made worse by the sinister political manipulations of both Syria and Iran, who seek to increase their own power in the region no matter the human cost.
But Israel's use of military attacks in response to acts of terror raises many questions. The most important, perhaps, revolves around the issue of legitimate self defense vs. collective punishment. Israel is indeed surrounded by sworn enemies, including many who are demonstrably willing to violently destroy Israel. But does the real need for security justify the massively disproportionate response to an act of terror? Is the collective punishment of an entire population ever morally and ethically justified? As Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican Secretary of State, put it in statement July 14, "The Holy See condemns both the terrorist attacks on the one side and the military reprisals on the other," stating that Israel's right to self-defense "does not exempt it from respecting the norms of international law, especially as regards the protection of civilian populations." The statement said further, "In particular, the Holy See deplores the attack on Lebanon, a free and sovereign nation."
Even apart from the ethical questions raised by Israel's massive retaliation, there are significant issues of efficacy: Does it work? Is Israel made more secure by a militarized approach? Israel has destroyed 42 bridges in Lebanon this week, along with 38 roads, communications equipment, factories, runways and fuel depots at the Beirut airport, and the main ports of Beirut and Tripoli. And along with the material devastation, the attacks constitute a terrible, possibly even fatal, threat to Lebanon's fragile and fledgling democracy.
Does the destruction of much of Lebanon's civilian infrastructure, so painstakingly rebuilt after years of civil war and occupation by both Israeli and Syrian forces, bode well for future peace between the neighboring states? In sum, will the Israeli attacks bring long-term security for Israel, or will they further ensure that the next generation of Lebanese and Palestinians - across the theological and political spectrum - grow up with an undying hatred in their hearts?
The violence of Hezbollah and Hamas should be unequivocally condemned and opposed. It cannot be ignored or underestimated that the two terrorist organizations have as their goal the eradication of Israel. However, much U.S. media coverage of this new Middle East war paints a misleading picture of a tit-for-tat equivalency between the two sides: Hezbollah explodes a bomb in Israel, Israel responds in kind. While their intentions are indeed malevolent, the two terrorist groups have nowhere near the military capability of Israel, which wields one of the most powerful military forces in the world (with the aid, of course, of more than $3 billion per year from the United States). The death toll in Lebanon in the first six days of the war has been tenfold that in Israel - according to The New York Times, 310 people, most of them civilians, have died in Lebanon while Israel has suffered 27 casualties, 15 of them civilians, since Israel began its attacks. (Similarly, 4,064 Palestinians and 1,084 Israelis have been killed since Sept. 29, 2000, according to the Palestine Red Crescent Society and the Israel Defense Forces, respectively.)
One of the most difficult aspects of trying to be a peacemaker in the Middle East context is the "separation wall" of understanding between the two peoples. The very definition of what is happening is understood in vastly different ways by the two sides. Supporters of Israel see the country attacked by its sworn enemies, and see in its response a necessary and justified act of national self-defense. Others see the region's most powerful military force (supported by the world's most powerful military force) illegally occupying Palestinian land and engaging in massive, disproportionate attacks on innocent civilians.
As Christians committed to the cause of peace, our role is not to "take sides" in the struggle, in the traditional sense, but rather to constantly stand for the "side" of a just and secure peace. We can ignore neither the horror of suicide bombings against Israeli civilians (including direct attacks on school children) nor the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories (with all its "collateral damage" to Palestinian children). We must have the vision and courage to stand against the acts of violence by terrorist organizations, as well as the massive state violence by the region's military superpower, while avoiding the trap of positing a false "equivalency" between actions that are not equal.
We cannot allow ourselves to be paralyzed by the political, strategic, and moral complexity of the situation to stand back and do nothing. A first step toward a more comprehensive resolution is an immediate operational cease-fire. But that must be followed by a new way of thinking because, as a U.N. official put it yesterday, "The Middle East is littered with the results of people believing there are military solutions to political problems in the region."
Jim Rice is editor of Sojourners magazine.
A few things that can be done:
Be consistent in denouncing the violence of both sides - especially when it is deliberately aimed at civilians (or targets where great civilian "collateral damage" will be the result).
Pray for the emergence of new political leadership on both sides - both of which seem bereft of creative, courageous, moral, or even pragmatic leadership.
Challenge any religious voices that seem utterly one-sided, completely neglecting the suffering and legitimate grievances of both sides.
Pray for new ways for Christians and our churches to join our Jewish and Muslim brothers and sisters in finding real and practical solutions for a just peace in the Middle East where two states can live with security and democracy.
And pray for better solutions than endless war to solve the real threats of terrorism in our world, because if we fail, all of our children will be at risk.
Cry for Help From Borj El Barajneh Refugee Camp
Thousands Isolated in a sea of destruction
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN,
First I would like to start with the situation here in Beirut. War has
prevailed everywhere and the destruction has become our daily bread.
First and foremost starting with Borj Al Barajneh camp that is stuck in the
middle of the fire and bombardment isolated from the surrounding areas
leaving the residence suffering the tension of war and scarcity of life,
since most of the Lebanese people were able to leave their place and houses
to other parts of Beirut. Whereas the camp residence have no where to resort
to except to stay in the camp.
Al Bourj camp is located in the southern suburb of Beirut surrounded by
Hezbolla area where the bombs strike is very intensive day and night .It has
three main entrances from the airport road other from Haret Horek and
another one from the Borj area. So all the bombing is around it .Therefore,
the best way to reach the camp is from the airport road which has become
very dangerous and targeted at anytime of the day and night with no previous
warning which endangers our lives as well ..
As you could perceive I am the director of the Women's Humanitarian
Organization in the camp as the war started people rushed to the
supermarkets to supply with food but the supermarkets and shops were empty
during the first hours. Immediately, the first idea that came up to my mind
was how to aid my people in the camp and provide them with prompt assistance
as a result of the severe conditions the Palestinians were living before and
during the war were lamentable .80% of them are unemployed or have part time
jobs and sometimes seasonal jobs. They earn their livings on day by day
basis. So the critical question is how they could manage through this hard
situation .On 15-07-06 ,I visited the camp searching for answers to my
question .I found out that people have decided to stay in the camp due to
lack of any other place they can resort to due to shortage of money and
housing .For to leave the camp it will cost them a lot in order to find a
place and hire a car especially that they don't wish to relive the
experience of being refugees for the second time .They told me we are
already refugees do we need to be refugees again ? Today, 18-07-06 I went
again to the camp and god grief I cant really describe that horrific trip
..My car was the only moving vehicle Everywhere was in deep silence and
destruction .It's only 4 km from my house to the camp the first half of the
way was manageable but as we approached the camp it seemed to me from the
first impression as if haunted by ghosts. No one can enter the area as it is
extremely dangerous with the bombed airport on one side and the now totally
destroyed Shi suburbs on the other. It was a scene of total devastation with
all the buildings and roads totally smashed. I was shocked and overwhelmed.
There was the smell of death and destruction everywhere.
The moment I entered the camp I felt I was on an island so isolated from the
surrounding .I joined the other NGOs and arranged for an emergency meeting
with them for a long term plan to aid the camp .We didn't know where to
start from, the needs were so massive and beyond our expectations. It's
true that we have had a long experience during the past war but the
situation now is different .For now we have no hierarchal structure in the
camp or maybe has almost disappeared .In the past the PLO was in charge and
provided people with all the assistance, but now the question is who could
carry this burden along with us (NGOs)? Even the NGOs are very tight with
funds. All the shelters in the camp are not viable for protection at all
..They have not been used since 1987 not even enough medical resources .The
women, children and elderly are terrified and trapped after days of
sustained brutal bombing of the entire area around our camp. There is no
electricity, no fuel for the generators, no medial supplies and we are in
urgent need of food and drugs for the children and the elderly.
As a result of our meeting all NGOs and activists have agreed upon the
Raising health & medical awareness regarding the situation especially that
they are using chemical weapons and bombs and people need to be aware how to
deal with such a situation.
Babies' and children's food, mainly milk and diapers.
Emergency medications: ventoline, for asthma, diabetic tablets, medicine for
high blood pressure .
Dressing materials, cardiac medicine, antipyretic, antibiotics, and
medicine for diarrhea.
Candles and matches.
Drinking water, the camp lacks sources of water (people usually buy the
Detergent and insecticide.
First aid workers (run courses)
Gasoline for electricity generators for the hospitals .
First aid kits and stretchers.
Electricity generators to facilitate life and for the work of the NGOs.
Our recent statistics show the following:
200 families fled into the camp from the surrounding area(those who lived
for a long time ago outside the camp in Hezbollah area )and have no other
place to resort to in Beirut.
1500 children under 6 years .
450 elderly with chronic diseases.
20,000 living in the camp.
By the end of the meeting we divided ourselves and took upon our
responsibilities different tasks upon which to clean the shelters and
mobilize ourselves for emergencies hoping to receive the support and funds
on time to be able to provide our people with the urgent supplies and
provisions needed. I left the camp praying to god to keep this road safe in
order to come back again to our people with the aid and help.
We are facing a humanitarian crisis on an unprecedented scale and we call on
the international community to stop Israel's total destruction of Lebanon
and the killing of innocent civilians. We are in urgent need of humanitarian
assistance and we ask all good people in the world to help us.
Anyhow, a little aid makes difference.
A beam of light gives hope to people in spite darkness.
Women's Humanitarian Organization
Bank of Beirut
Swift code# BABEL BBE
Account number :11 401 091280 01
Women's Humanitarian Organization
Phone no: 00961 3 019 775(mobile)
Tel& fax: 00961 1 840 239
Women's Humanitarian Organization
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Under Cover of its Carnage in Lebanon, Israel Pummels Gaza, Nablus
In a sad update to the Wednesday carnage in Al Maghazi refuge camp, in the evening Israel's Occupation Forces killed a mother and her child and a twenty year old male, totalling nine kills in Al Maghazi for the IOF yesterday.
Please read Rami Almeghari's "A Story from Maghazi Refugee Camp":
Now I have heard that two of my relatives were killed in the ongoing attack.....I'll have to attend their funerals this afternoon. Will Israeli forces attack the funeral? Lately every time there is a funeral, their warplanes buzz overhead, dropping bombs on the attendees and making more funerals necessary. I just hope the next one will not be my own, or that of my dear, dear children.
Palestinians in the past century have found safe shelters to which they have fled. It now seems we have only one choice -- staying in our homes under candlelight. This is the story of Palestinian refugees. Now, in the 21st century, I ask Israel -- where else do you want us to go? It seems that you just want us all to die, and no one in the world seems to care.
Post to follow on Nablus.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Israel's Gunner Shells and Kills Two Palestinian Refugee Kids
This is part of the horror they unleashed today in El-Maghazi Refugee Camp. According to Palestine Center for Human Rights, Gaza, Israel's psychotic occupation forces 1.5 kilometers inside the Gaza Strip put their wretched snipers on rooftops, took over people's houses and started shooting at civilians and resistance fighters protecting an area in Abu Sa'id area, near El-Maghazi Refugee Camp. Omar Farhan Abu Moheisen, 32, was killed, "the fourth member of his family killed" during the Intifada.
Within the refugee camp they riddled resistance fighter, Sa'ed Sami Qandil, 21, who was defending his home, with bullets.
The cowardly bullies used "heavy armored vehicles and bulldozers supported by helicopters and unmanned drones."
They fired a rocket at two resistance fighters,Fuad Abu Osheiba, 20, and Mohammad Omar El-Bashiti, 25 and then sliced off the leg of the medic Anwar Abdel Rahman Abu Holi, 43, who was attending to them.
Ali Kamel El-Najjar, 16 and Ahmad Ali El-Na'ami, also 16, were killed by a valiant Israeli soldier's tank shell. What kind of monster fires a tank shell at a kid in his own neighborhood? What manner of man? What whacked out sick racist pervert drops a one ton bomb on residential dwellings.
According to Maan: "The indiscriminate shelling since the start of the attack on El-Maghazi caused the injury of another 49 Palestinians, raising the number of injured to 65, including 12 children.
"The Israeli forces also launched a missile at the Yasir Abu Holi mosque, causing damage to the mosque."
This is Israel, this is the sick society that touts itself as the "light unto the nations." This is the army that prides itself on its "purity of arms." This is a society of the brainwashed; this is the society of the criminal; this is the society that will be defeated because in spite of its manifold attempts to put a lovely face on its depravity, it is rotten to the core.