Archive

Archive for the ‘Education and History’ Category

Zionist Congress 1923

September 18, 2013 Leave a comment

Shared from JTA-Jewish Telegraph Archive

Zionists Adopt Agency Proposal 164 to 87

August 17, 1923

Carlsbad (Aug. 17)

The protracted debate on the Jewish Agency question which has been the principal object of discussion since the first day of the Zionist Congress almost a fortnight ago, was settled in the early hours this morning, when the Assembly by a vote of 164 to 87 voted to approve the proposal to have the Zionist Organization draw in outside forces willing to help in the upbuilding of the Jewish Palestine.

As finally adopted the proposal provides that the representatives of the non-Zionist organizations shall be invited to form a council which with the Executive of the Zionist Organization shall form the Agency. The resolution provides also that within three years a World Congress of Jewry shall be convoked, the Agency serving until this gathering creates a permanent one.

Supporters of the proposal included the orthodox Mizrachi group, which had been among the leaders hitherto in the opposition to the Weizmann Administration and plan. Their action indicating a departure from their demand for an immediate Congress was a surprise to all. Those opposing the Agency on the final roll call were the labor groups consisting of 33 Zeire Zion (Young Zionists) delegates. 9 Poale Zion delegates and 9 Socialist Zeire Zion.

Of the Executive, Dr. Weizmann, Dr. Soloweitchik, Isaac Naiditch and Dr. Georg Halpern voted in favor. Opposing were Dr. Lichtheim and J. Sprinzak, a labor member of the Executive. Nahum Sokolow, M. Ussishkin and Dr. Arthur Ruppin were absent during the balloting. While this absence may have been entirely accidental and due to the hour (2 A.M.) the roll call took place, it is possible also, it is said, that they remained away in order not to commit themselves.

The question of the new Executive is the only matter that remains to be decided before the adjournment of the Congress. The question of the reelection of M. Ussishkin, at present in charge of the Zionist activities in Palestine, is one of the most bitterly fought in the election slate. Dr. Weizmann favors his elimination, Mr. Sokolow, on the other hand, demands the continuance of the present Executive without change.

Indications are that the plan first sponsored by Dr. Weizmann and Sokolow for a “homogeneous” executive will not be carried and that a “coalition” executive will be approved instead. Dr. Weizmann contends that the headquarters of the Executive must remain in London, but that the Palestine office must be increasingly strengthened. It is believed Dr. Weizmann favors for the Palestine branch Dr. Arthur Ruppin as colonization expert and Colonel Kisch, as political representative, with Mr. Ussishkin eliminated. For the London cabinet he is said to favor Dr. Georg Halpern as financial expert and Dr. Berthold Feiwel as organization chief.

While the Permanent Committee was busy drafting the final form of the compromise agency proposal and others busy slating the Executive. Thursday was given over to consideration of reports and adoption of concrete proposals.

The Land Commission, reporting through Dr. Schmarak recommended that £160,000 be appropriated for colonization work, £120,000 to be expended on actual colonization work and the balance used to create a reserve fund for the purchase of land, under the  Keren Hayesod’plan. A plan for the establishment of an industrial bank to provide credit for small industry and agriculture was adopted as also the proposal to extend credit to those engaging in handicraft.Dr. Rufeisen who reported on the credit scheme recommended that at least five per cent of the Palestine budget should be used for such credit facilities for mechanical laborers and that 20,000 pounds should be set aside for credits to suburban residents.

A proposal was carried for an “arbitration court” to be established jointly by the Zionist Organization, the Vaad Leumi and the labor organizations for the settlement of labor disputes and the elaboration of a minimum wage scale.

The report of the Immigration Committee evoked heated discussion, a portion of the Center and labor parties urging the continuance of the present policy of favoring the immigration of Chaluzim The Mizrachi who opposed preferences for chaluzim were voted down.

The Congress adopted a resolution providing for the creation of the office of a travelling inspector whose duty it will be to act as coordinate of immigration to Palestine.

Dr. Sapir on behalf of the Sanitation Commission urged that the Congress ratify the agreement of the American Zionist Organization, the Hadassah and the Joint Distribution Committee under which all three agree to contribute in virtually equal part to the continuance of the medical work in Palestine. The Commission also recommended that the Congress should voice its especial thanks to the Joint Distribution Committee and to Nathan Straus.

Recommendations for the improvement of the service connected with the quarantine activities in Palestine and also improved medical supervision over immigrants were adopted.

A cable from Henrietta Szold, read by Morris Rothenberg, announcing that Jewish physicians of the United States had agreed to give $10,000 for a Roentgen (X-Ray) institute in Jerusalem was received with cheers.

Burma Student Uprising

January 22, 2013 1 comment

Posted on January 22, 2013 by Akashma Online News

Source Burma VD Documentary

8.8.88 marked a moment of nationwide unity in the Burmese democracy movement. The demonstrations were held in a “spirit of unity, sacrifice and setting aside differences

Twenty-two years ago on 8 August, Burma’s army brutally massacred as many as 3,000 peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators marching against increasing poverty and oppression, and calling for an end to the military dictatorship. The serious human rights violations and economic mismanagement that led to the national uprising in 1988 have continued to worsen under the current regime.

Twenty-two years ago on 8 August, Burma’s army brutally massacred as many as 3,000 peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators marching against increasing poverty and oppression, and calling for an end to the military dictatorship. The serious human rights violations and economic mismanagement that led to the national uprising in 1988 have continued to worsen under the current regime.

“This is my country and this is the way it has been for more than 40 years.
I only remember a few weeks when things were any different.

In 1988 I was only a little boy. But that’s when every one in Burma was in the streets went out,  they were tired of Military rulers. they wanted a change. It was the students who led the demonstrations.
They become more and more outspoken and demanded that the generals give up power. We have even Aung San Suu Kyi when came back from Europe to lead up the people, but the generals wanted it differently.
At the end of the day, 3000 lay dead in the streets and it was all over. I feel as I wanted to fight for democracy ..but I think it better make a long plan We can not go out into the streets again.

Another student massacre still fresh in the minds of Rangoon Residents was like a spear punching their fears, On 7th July 1962, Burmese university students were massacred and Rangoon University Students’ Union building was dynamited down where students were still inside.

 General Ne Win notoriously justified his action by saying “Dar Dar Chin and Hlan Hlan Chin shin mae” which is laterally meaning aggressive challenging words in Burmese saying “I will fight Sword with Sword and Spear with Spear (to wipe out the opposition)” but in reality he killed un-armed non-violent students protesters with guns and dynamites. Burma Democratic Concern

The first uprising since the Military Junta took power in Burma was in 1988, the students took to the streets and 3000 of them were massacre and the soldiers killed them with their dreams and their hopes to ask for something different. The Military Junta killed the revolution’s seed.

“From the 8.8.88 uprising, we were able to bring down a 26 year old military dictatorship because we were united as a country. It was so pure, that spirit of unity. We were able to transcend our differences for our common unified vision of justice and democracy for all. My greatest wish is for us to retain that same spirit of unity that captured the nation’s imagination over twenty-two years ago, as that cohesiveness is our only chance for genuine national reconciliation and democracy in our country.” Burma Parnership

The fear was stronger than the dreams of liberty and with the students bodies, was buried the unborn revolution.

For years the secret service was every were, they had eyes in every corner, no cameras were allowed to film the misery that the people was living. Well so they thought, but an underground network of young reporters were risking their life and filming every aspect of the misery. They were filming every act of repression. The broken buildings of the society tired of living. For 19 years was silence, no dissent was heard off. But one day the spirit of the revolution, that seeds that was buried with the students in 1988 start its first sprouts aiming to the sun. And one day, the seed cracked open and the people felt the hope again. The hope to fight again for a dream stolen more than 60 years ago, and in 2007 the hope came dressed as a women his name is Aung San Suu Kyi  was daughter of Aung San, who founded the modern Burmese army and negotiated Burma’s independence from the British Empire in 1947; he was assassinated by his rivals in the same year. Aung San Suu Kyi was raised in England and came to her country to pick up the pieces scattered all along the delta river.

Aung San Suu Kyi was no new to the Military Junta, she was loved and cherished by the people, when in 1990 she run as an opponent of the Military Junta, almost the whole country vote for her and she was placed in house arrest. Her crime was been loved by the people. That could have been the only reason why she has not been disappeared. For years the Junta was hoping for the people to forget about her, but her memory is fresh in the heart of the people. They know Aung San Yi is their only hope.

Some students have asked me which politicians are standing behind me. They are apprehensive that such politicians might manipulate me and then take over the students. I am happy that the students have been so open and honest with me. Young people are frank and free from deviousness. I answered them truthfully. There are no politicians behind me. What I am trying to do is to help achieve the democratic system of government which the people want. For the achievement of this system, there are some veteran politicians who wish to help me in various ways. I have told such politicians that if their object is to obtain positions of political power for themselves, I would not support them in any way. Should these politicians try to obtain positions of political power I promise in front of this assembly of people that I myself will not hesitate to denounce them. Speech Given in 1988 by Aung San Suu Kyi

The network of young reporters from DVB (Democratic Voice of Burma), it is a network of dissidents in exile, with headquarters in Oslo, they smuggle the footage with trusted carriers, and using satellite when it is possible, this way they have been able to export the repression out of Burma for the world to see. They have one of the most risky jobs, not for money but for the dream of freedom, to see Burma free of the Military boot rule” Burma Journalist.

I sadly announce that the Burmese military junta has cut off the internet connection… I therefore will not be able to feed in pictures of the brutality by the Burmese military junta. I will try my best to feed in their demonic appetite of fear and paranoia by posting any pictures that I receive though other means (Journos!! please don’t ask me what other means would be). Please lobby the Chinese government or UN to get junta to switch on the Internet. Please! Sept 27, 2007 Burma Voice Democratic

Burma documentary assembled entirely with video clips recorded with hidden cameras.
The camcorders bring you the students uprising, their massacre. They bring you the fear in an oppressed and hungry population. They bring you the Monks uprising, their massacre. They bring you the people uprising, their massacre. And they bring you the lies and the repression of the Military Junta.

Thousands of Buddhist monks have been on the streets of the big cities of Burma (Myanmar) for the past few days, and the numbers are only growing. They are now calling explicitly for the overthrow of the military regime which has ruled the country for almost two decades, and they say they will not stop marching until the government is gone. Burma's democratic leader and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize Aung San Suu Kyi has been in prison or under house arrest for many years.

Thousands of Buddhist monks have been on the streets of the big cities of Burma (Myanmar) for the past few days, and the numbers are only growing. They are now calling explicitly for the overthrow of the military regime which has ruled the country for almost two decades, and they say they will not stop marching until the government is gone. Burma’s democratic leader and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize Aung San Suu Kyi has been in prison or under house arrest for many years.

20 years later another protest shocked the Nation, this time were not the students but the beloved Buddhist Monks of Burma that came to the streets with their bowls upside down refusing to receive alms from the Military Junta and their families. The scene took by surprise the Military Junta and gave hope to the people that came to the streets to add their protests in hope that the rude-less government will respect the Monks. The Monks protest  was allowed for several days, and even when the Monks marched to greet Aung San Yi the Military Junta removed the barricades leading to Aung San Yi home. This unexpected event gave strength to the people to dream for a change, but as 20 years before the protests were beat and killed. The Monks Monastery was raided twice and the 247 Monks were taken away and the bodies started to show up in the river. Once again the people’s hopes was killed and buried with the Monks.

Burmese monks have taken part in protests in the past, against British colonial rule and against a half-century of rule by military dictatorship. The most notable recent occasion was in 1990.

Their militant resistance to the British produced the most prominent political martyr of Burmese Buddhism, U Wisara, who died in prison in 1929 after a 166-day hunger strike.

The silence of the United Nations, EU, US and the elite keep a complete silence for more than 50 years.
The question is why?.
Now, US parade Aung San Suu Yi. Why?.
The world ignores the sacrifice of the Buddhist Monks. Now, is no different than 50 years ago. What’s had changed?. Why the Elite insists on dividing Burma in slices of religious blocks. They always had fought together as an oppressed nation, during the 1962, 1988, 2005, 2007 uprising was never a sectarian divide.
Ask yourself Burma, ask yourself peace activists, ask yourself political activist in Burma, in whose interest is served when the Media feeds a war between Muslims and Buddhists. Why Aung San Suu Yi sided with the dividers? These questions need to be ask before we make any judgements.
In 1988 Aung San Suu Yi asked for unity of the Nation against the Military Boot, because of her standing against the Junta she become an instant hero, remember her words:
“Reverend monks and people! This public rally is aimed at informing the whole world of the will of the people. Therefore at this mass rally the people should be disciplined and united to demonstrate the very fact that they are a people who can be disciplined and united. Our purpose is to show that the entire people entertain the keenest desire for a multi-party democratic system of government.”

The Children of the Revolution

January 21, 2013 Leave a comment

Children of the revolution

Fusako Shigenobu

Cinematic re-imaginings of 1968 have flooded our screens in recent years to mark the 40th anniversary of the global phenomenon of revolutionary action. Such films are often coloured in a dangerous hue of nostalgia or, even worse, attempt to market their subjects as seductive youths titillated by violence, cheapening the political vigour that drove them. Shane O’Sullivan’s documentary Children of the Revolution is certainly immersed in the same fascinations, yet comes from a different vantage point, offering a unique point of reference: the daughters of the revolution.

Generational conflicts are always complicated, and even when the times allowed it, certain memories can be very unpleasant, if not painful to revisit. Especially when you are confronted with a past little out of the ordinary.

As in the case of Bettina and May, whose life as girls was marked by the radical choices of their mothers, who, at some time in their lives, they decided to go underground.

Children of the Revolution looks at the immediate aftermath of 1968 in Germany and Japan, from where revolutionary politics burst globally in the 1970s to have a long-lasting impact on our contemporary age. O’Sullivan positions Germany and Japan alongside each other for their shared histories as aggressors in the Second World War, as broken nations in its aftermath and, most importantly for this documentary, as countries that experienced large-scale civil revolt in the 1960s and into the 1970s. Both the Baader-Meinhof Group and the Japanese Red Army, leading activist groups of their respective nations, came up against limitations while operating within their own national borders and broke through internationally, ending up in Palestine to join its liberation movement. Both activist organisations involved women as central leading figures, namely Ulrike Meinhof and Fusako Shigenobu, and O’Sullivan details their personal histories through interviews with their daughters, Bettina Röhl and May Shigenobu, who were born and raised amid the chaos.  Sep 06, 2011 Electric Sheep Magazine

It is in this intimate territory, but at the same time political, which pushes the powerful documentary by Shane O ‘Sullivan, “Children of the Revolution”, which tells, through the eyes of their daughters, the stories of two women who become figures center of the revolutionary movement in Germany and Japan in 1968, Ulrike Meinhof and Fusako Shigenobu.

Their stories are pretty much public, even if Europe is more familiar with the figure of Ulrike Meinhof than Fusako, but the private aspect of it which moves Shane to offers us new insights on the vicissitudes of a history destined to leave many questions open.

The film opens with the disturbing images of an attack plane and continues at a rate very close and decided to tell the events, with lots of interesting archival material, photographs and never before seen interviews with people around you.

One can not help but breathe violence. Nevertheless, the documentary manages to capture something different, more profound that goes beyond the story we all know. Shane enters the complex mother-daughter relationship, investigating their memories and their opinions about the choices of their mothers and of those who may be the limits of revolutionary action. What comes out is also the portrait absolutely unusual at the time, by reflecting, in a broader analysis, on how the media basically build a certain image of the story and its protagonists. “This is where you decide to start the story that makes the difference.” (May Shigenobu) Both Bettina and May did not follow in the footsteps of their mothers policies, but their opinions about it are very different. Bettina Meinhof and her twin sister Regina were little more than teenagers when their life changes completely after the choice of Ulrike, an established journalist and intellectual figure on the left, to devote himself to the cause of German revolutionary movement. By daughters of the middle class become daughters of the revolution and almost end up in Jordan to be trained as soldiers. May is already born as a daughter instead of revolution. His mother Fusako was part of the armed forces when the Japanese as’ the light in response to the report with a rebel Arabic. In the coming years would move from time to time, constantly changing identity for security reasons, but the relationship with his mother, though fleeting, still managed to stay strong and to create understanding and comprehension.

While Ulrike seems to have been less aware of what would be the consequences of his choices, to the point of being torn between her identity as a mother and that of revolutionary Fusako seems to have had a more consistent and conscious path, connecting the two women who were her mother, and the revolutionary.

In fact, the testimony of Bettina May and create a strong emotional contrast. Both know, however, that those years were complex, where the revolution was everywhere in the air and the actions of those who remained involved should be clear, sharp, impressive, because every age has its own means of communication and their voices to be heard. Filmed in Tokyo, Beirut and Germany, “Children of the Revolution” is the third documentary written and directed by Shane O’Sullivan, who agreed to answer some probing questions about his work.

Ulrike Meinhof

As to the idea of ​​working on a topic as complex as the revolutionary movement in Germany and Japan, where it started the idea? My research on these stories are started before 9/11. The anti-capitalist demonstrations in Seattle and Genoa drew the student revolutions of the ’60s and the spirit of that time. Then the attack of 9/11 made it all fall into the nightmare of terrorism and anti-globalization movement is eclipsed. When the war in Iraq reported on protests in the streets, the government ignored them and “Operation Free Iraq” began. So I became interested in the energy and idealism of ’68 and what ensued. In Germany and Japan, the movement had a more international footprint so as to bring their own representatives in the Middle East.

In the documentary you wanted to mainly occupy the two female protagonists of the movement. What made them so interesting to you?

I considered the strongest characters of the movement and, after reading childhood of their daughters, Bettina and May, I found a way to tell a great political event through an exclusive point of view. The mother-daughter relationship, which is the focus of the documentary, highlights not only the personal aspect of the story, but it also reveals other motivations of the two protagonists.

In the documentary, have always maintained a neutral position and distant but telling the story of two women from a very intimate point of view. Do you think this is an aspect of the story that was left out and instead is important in the analysis of events that happened?

I believe that, as often happens, it creates the myth around so controversial figures. These two women have been slandered and defamed, but there were very human and complex motivations behind their actions that have been taken in a political and cultural context very different from that of today. Aspects of the society of which we are now almost careless were instead a source of conflict at the time. I do not condone their actions but I try to understand them.

I think the strongest aspect of the film is the subjective point of view of Bettina May and in telling the story of their mothers. A unique point of view that comes from personal experience and extensive research and knowledge of the history and politics of the time.

Their personal stories help us to reflect in a more wide variety of political issues: the nature of protest and resistance and how to defy an unjust war, the company or an economic system. Relazionandoci to them and the mother-daughter relationship you can imagine, up to a certain point, as it may have been their lives.

The mother-daughter relationship of the two protagonists seems to have been very complex to analyze. Where have you found it harder?

The relationship between Fusako-May was easier to understand why, despite the ongoing events, May continued to maintain a relationship of love and support to his mother and his comrades of the movement. Ulrike between Bettina and the relationship was much more complex and psychologically unstable. The transformation of Ulrike, divided between the maternal feelings and ideals of the movement, has a great influence on children and the growth of Bettina, distorting the relationship between the two.

As they affect the differentiating cultural and Bettina May is the approach to the past of their mothers and the idea of ​​revolution in general?


I would say a lot of influence. May grew up in the Middle East where his mother was seen as a heroine. The environment in which she grew up shared the same ideals of his mother, and the revolution was seen as a just cause against imperialism, despite the West were seen as terrorists. In Germany, Bettina lived in a society much more bourgeois, capitalist, with a father in a suburb alienated in Hamburg, away from his mother and his revolutionary ideals. To date, the generation of ’68 found opposite judgments between right and left, and Ulrike is seen as an idealist or a terrorist psychopath.

The documentary explores parallel both the past and the present in a manner that causes it to reflect on those which can be broadly human errors. What is your opinion?

The issues behind the student movement of ’68 are still alive: the struggle for education within the reach of all, the protest against a corrupt economic system that threatens to implode Europe, trying to stop a war. The nature of the protests has been transformed: from hijackings and sieges embassies to the popular revolutions in the Middle East; operations of hacker Western societies and looting shops in the streets of London, as part of a youth discontented. But the question is always the same: what are legitimate means to fight social injustice?

In the 70s, the only way that the Japanese or the Palestinians had to attract the public was hijack a plane and then give a press conference to present their demands and be known as a movement. Now things have changed. We have more sophisticated tools to communicate, organize and mobilize the people that make the operation of control by the authorities, a job much more difficult. The movements of the “Arab Spring” pointing to a more effective way to be heard and demand changes. But how do we evolve into a movement that comes to have a permanent voice in the political system? The protests are much more powerful now, but we are still waiting for a new wave.

Karin Bauer author of “Everybody Talks About the Weather..We Don’t: The Writings of Ulrike Meinhof”

Germany: Release of ex-Red Army Faction terrorists sparks hysterical debate

January 18, 2013 Leave a comment

Source World Socialist Web Site

By Justus Leicht and Wolfgang Weber
8 March 2007

UPDATED By Marivel Guzman

How a legitimate student movement is forced to become violent

Follow the links provided in the article, watch the original version of the events of the student protest in 1968 recorded by journalist Ulrike Meinhof. Make your own opinion of what happened on Germany. What was before the “terrorist organization RAF”. How the government responded to the demands for dialogue?. The Film released in 2008 give us a light on the other side of the story. Every story has its victims and perpetrators, but specially every story has a precedent and has an end. But there is something that insist to be in every human story, it seems never to end,  injustice and inequality . Now it is you the readers who has to make your opinion. At the end it is what count.

Brigitte Mohnhaupt Paroled in GermanyThe state court in Stuttgart recently ruled that the former Red Army Faction (RAF) terrorist Brigitte Mohnhaupt should be released on probation in March, after serving 24 years in detention. Federal President Horst Köhler is also expected to announce his decision soon as to whether another former RAF terrorist, Christian Klar, will be pardoned. The only remaining RAF members still in prison are Eva Haule and Birgit Hogefeld, with Haule qualifying for parole in August.

A court paroled a one-time leader of Germany’s notorious Red Army Faction Monday after 24 years in prison, amid bitter memories of the left-wing terrorist group’s attacks on law enforcement and business leaders, which plunged the country into fear three decades ago.

Brigitte Mohnhaupt, 57, is to leave prison March 27, the first day she becomes eligible for release, the Stuttgart state court ruled.  Sketchy Thoughts. Mohnhaupt walked free from Aichach prison on March 25, 2007.

The impending release of these former terrorists has met with a vicious response from the German political establishment and media. The main question at issue has been whether their release should be made conditional on an expression of remorse. While conservative politicians, victims’ family members and representatives of the security services are demanding such a statement be made prior to release, some media outlets, and a handful of Green and Social Democratic Party (SPD) politicians, say the government should show its strength through clemency.

Burial of the RAFMembers Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin and Jan-Carl Raspe in a common grave at the Stuttgart Dornhaldestrasse cemetery., Masked at the grave; Motiv: 6 von 12; Foto: Abishag Tüllmann, Stuttgart, 27.10.1977; Publication must show the following: Picture Archive of Prussian Cultural Heritage - Abisag Tüllmann Archives

Burial of the RAFMembers Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin and Jan-Carl Raspe in a common grave at the Stuttgart Dornhaldestrasse cemetery., Masked at the grave; Motiv: 6 von 12; Foto: Abishag Tüllmann, Stuttgart, 27.10.1977; Publication must show the following: Picture Archive of Prussian Cultural Heritage – Abisag Tüllmann Archives

The head of the Christian Democratic (CDU) parliamentary faction Volker Kauder told the press, “There should be no mercy for those who mercilessly murdered wives’ husbands and children’s fathers with the aim of destroying our democracy.” The former head of the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) Horst Herold was no less vehemently opposed to the early release of Mohnhaupt. Another former BKA chief, Hans Ludwig Zachert, also opposed a pardon and denounced Klar as a “mass murderer” and “ice block.” He was supported by former Stuttgart prosecutor general Klaus Pflieger, who co-authored the indictments against Klar and Mohnhaupt.

The Bavarian Prime Minister and chairman of the Christian Social Union (CSU), Edmund Stoiber, even demanded the prisoners expressly renounce violence and make a positive commitment to the state. He told the press a condition of their release should be an “open” expression of “genuine” regret. “It is not the state that should signal its reconciliation to the RAF terrorists, but the terrorists must first honestly express regret for all their crimes and profess their allegiance to the constitutional state.”

Such “confessions” are typical not for a democracy based on the rule of law, but for dictatorial and totalitarian regimes.

According to German law, a convict’s request for the suspension of the remainder of his or her sentence on probation, after the completion of a minimum term, must be approved by the courts. A condition for a positive decision is the prognosis that the person will not commit any more criminal offences. The law does not stipulate that a convict must first make an expression of remorse, much less issue a political statement supporting the state.

At present, those given life sentences must serve at least 15 years. On average, they are released after 17 to 19 years. In cases of “especially serious guilt,” as was found in the case of the RAF terrorists, the minimum sentence is extended. In these cases, the average detention amounts to 23 to 25 years.

In the cases of Mohnhaupt and Haule, it is not a matter of “clemency” or a “signal of reconciliation,” but the granting of legally enshrined rights, guaranteed through a 1977 judgement of the Federal Constitutional Court, and the principles of rule of law and human dignity, which are due to any offender who has served an appropriate sentence, even in cases of the most serious crimes.

The Badeer Meinhof Gang Trial

The Badeer Meinhof Gang Trial

One of the most repulsive examples of the hysteria with which politicians and the media have reacted to the impending release of the RAF terrorists was the Sunday television talk show hosted by Sabine Christiansen. Christiansen had invited three “victims of terrorism” onto her show: Michael Buback, the son of the German attorney general murdered by the RAF in 1977; Michael Esper, a victim of the Al Qaeda bombing of the synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia; and Bettina Röhl, the daughter of RAF founder Ulrike Meinhof. The highly emotional contributions of these individuals were then supported and deepened by the Brandenburg interior minister and retired lieutenant general, Jörg Schönbohm (CDU).

To refresh the memory to the German society The Badeer Meinhof Complex Documentary brings  the story of the main players of the student movement of 1970 in Germany .

 Nominated for the Golden Awards for the best foreign film, The Badeer Meinhof Complex 2008 German Film brings you the factors behind the upraising. The first part of the Film show us the injustice, the inequality of world wide political game of oppression, repression and silencing the dissenting voices of the youth. The common denominator for a revolution has always has been Injustice and inequality.

You can have all the sociologists of the world studying the patterns of revolutions and every time they will miss the point. Purposely they will miss the point. Usually studies of any subject are conducted by prestigious Universities. Universities “Paid” to “Find” something.
You can have hundreds terrorism strategist and spies agencies around the world trying to stop “Terrorism”, you can have hundreds Benjamin Netahagus’s books written giving lessons to how to combat terrorism. Every time the strategist will miss the point. There is no terrorism, it is a wake up call to show the governments that something it is wrong.  Something wrong that it is answered with State terrorism.

The Badeer Meinhof Complex Film give you the aspects of German’s wrongs of the 70′s. The US’s wrongs of Vietnam, The Israel’s wrongs of the Occupation of Palestine, the wrongs of injustice and inequality.

The Badeer Meinhof Complex Film was nominated for the best foreign language Film and it could have been very well  nominated  for the Best Documentary, doing it so would have given a truth to the German  student movement of the 70′s.
There is an immense archive of the Badeer-Meinhof gang that could had been used, but the producers of the film decided for a more socially accepted category of film. Not too Radical, not to political, not to human. The characters of the film are all real, the events are truth story, even the government response it is very real.  Akashma News
Intricately researched and impressively authentic slice of modern German History, with a terrific cast, assured direction, and a cracking script. Rotten Tomatoes

In this heated atmosphere, Christiansen carried out a viewers’ poll and announced at the end of the programme that 91 percent of those questioned had expressed opposition to the early release of Mohnhaupt and Klar. The daily Süddeutsche Zeitung called the programme “a declaration of journalistic bankruptcy,” and added, “If Christiansen had asked whether terrorists should face the death penalty, 91 percent would probably have supported this.”

Andrees Badeer left 05

Andrees Badeer left 05

Anyone who believes in a humane society can only welcome the initiative to release the last of the RAF prisoners. In 1992, one and a half decades ago, the RAF announced the end of its armed struggle. In 1998, nearly 10 years ago, the organisation dissolved itself, and most of its members were then released. Most had served their sentences; others were pardoned by the German president and released early. All four predecessors of the present federal President Horst Köhler have pardoned RAF members, none of whom has since returned to the armed struggle.

This March, Brigitte Mohnhaupt will have served the minimum sentence for her offences. The federal prosecutor’s office has supported her request that the balance of her sentence be suspended, and the state court in Stuttgart has sustained this view. Politicians and the media—some more reluctantly than others—have accepted that the letter of the law is being followed.

Unlike Mohnhaupt, Christian Klar received a minimum sentence of 26 years, which only expires in 2 years’ time. In 2003, in his application for a pardon, he expressed his regret for the consequences of his actions: “Naturally, I must recognise my guilt. I understand the feelings of the victims and regret the suffering of these people.”

In 2001, Klar had been interviewed on television by the now-deceased journalist Günter Gaus, who also advised Klar on his application for a pardon. According to Gaus’s daughter Bettina, the impression made by Klar—seriously scarred physically and psychologically by decades of imprisonment—left Gaus “deeply unsettled.” This assessment is shared by the author of these lines, who also witnessed the interview. The 54-year-old Klar, who had studied philosophy and history, although probably healthy in a purely medical sense, was absent, unsure of himself and evidently had trouble following the journalist’s questions and articulating his own thoughts.

Several RAF prisoners have spent many years of their detention in total isolation, and their prison conditions were consciously designed to destroy their personalities.

The political dead-end of individual terror

Meinhof

Meinhof

Marxists have always rejected and opposed the politics and methods of individual terrorism and the RAF. Revolutionary politics aims at the emancipation of broad layers of working people, seeking to raise their political consciousness and cultural level so that they might abolish capitalism and organize society on a humane and truly democratic basis. Socialist politics are therefore always linked to the struggle for democracy and humanity.

Terrorism, on the other hand, feeds on contempt for the general population, acts independently of it and, in the long run, always ends up seeking to influence one section or other of the ruling class through violent attacks and opportunist manoeuvres. At the same time, it provides the representatives of the state with a pretext to weaken fundamental democratic rights and makes the struggle for socialist politics more difficult. A glance at the history of the RAF makes this very clear.

Mohnhaupt and Klar are generally regarded as prominent leaders of the RAF “second generation.” The initial public appearance of the Red Army Faction “first generation,” around Ulrike Meinhof, Andreas Baader and Gudrun Ensslin, occurred in 1970. Its members came from the student protest movement that was directed against the colonial war of the US in Vietnam, and the preponderance of former Nazis in the post-war German Federal Republic (West Germany).

Human relations are political, because they show if the people are opressed or free, if they can act throughful or not, if they can act in any way or not. 1969 Ulrike Meinhof

Interview of Ulrike Meinhof considered by German Police one of the founder of the Red Army Faction, she was a journalist

In the period that shaped this generation and drove them to rebellion, the Nazi lawyer Hans Globke was chief of staff to Chancellor Konrad Adenauer; a Nazi naval judge, Hans Filbinger, who had condemned a sailor to death in March 1945 for desertion, was prime minister of the state of Baden-Württemberg; and many Nazi professors still delivered their lectures at the universities as if nothing had happened. Only a few of the judges who had served on the Nazis’ so-called “people’s courts”—which had imposed thousands of death sentences—faced trial after the war, and they were then acquitted.

The Social Democratic Party, which had long since abandoned a socialist perspective, still had significant support in the factories and trade unions. In East Germany, the Stalinist bureaucracy, along with its followers in the West, were also hostile to any revolutionary movement of the working class. At the same time, the student movement was strongly influenced by the anti-Marxist theories of the Frankfurt School, which wrote off the working class as a revolutionary factor, regarding it as a bourgeoisified mass “intoxicated by consumerism,” instead glorifying the guerrilla movements in the Third World and other petty bourgeois forces.

The RAF was from the outset marked by this contempt for the working class and broad sections of the population. In April 1968, Baader, Ensslin and others started fires at two Frankfurt department stores. In October of the same year, the trial of the arsonists ended with three-year sentences being handed out. Ensslin took sole responsibility for the arson, arguing she had done it out of “protest against the indifference with which people were watching the genocide in Vietnam.”

In 1972, 11 Israeli athletes attending the Olympic Games in Munich were kidnapped and subsequently killed by Palestinian terrorists. The RAF glorified this as an “anti-imperialist, internationalist and anti-fascist act.” The RAF attacked US army facilities in Germany without any regard for the lives of the young soldiers who often came from the most oppressed layers of the American working class.

For its part, the German state acted with extreme aggression not only against the RAF, but also against left-wingers and socialists. The media and politicians used the attacks to slander all critics of capitalism as terrorists.

In 1972, shortly after the beginning of the so-called “May offensive,” practically the entire “first generation” of the RAF was arrested. In the same year, the so-called “Anti-radical decrees” were introduced, which threatened to prohibit any member of a left-wing organization from working in the public service.

The politics of the RAF “second generation” consisted essentially of attempts to induce the state to release the RAF prisoners through a campaign of assassinations and hostage-takings. It was characterised by a mixture of violence and opportunism.

From the mid-1970s, the government under Social Democrat Helmut Schmidt launched a counter-offensive against the strike wave and student radicalisation that had persisted since 1968. It ruthlessly suppressed all attempts to free the RAF prisoners by means of hostage-taking. The rights of the prisoners, who were being kept in high-security facilities, were further limited, including imposing total isolation, which is a form of torture.

Original Film Presented by Journalist Ulrike Meinhof in 1967 to Parliamnet to explain her siding with the student protest

In the following video you see excerpts of Ulrike own accounts of the events of June 2, 1967

When she is asked why you side with the students? she honestly answered: “The right wing-press blame the student for the catastrophe of June 2th, 1967, The Springer Publishing uses its newspaper to demonize the critical voices of students as hooligans. “For these Juvenals is no longer enough to raise hell, they have to see blood” Meinhof continues; “The truth is that the protest of these students had exposed our state as a police state, Police and press terror reached a peak on the 2th of June in Berlin, and we know that freedom in this country means freedom for police brutality.Then she goes on to say that The Battle for Jerusalem is demagogy, and while the US discusses or, whether or not to use Nuclear weapons in Vietnam, Israel, with American support, initiates a war of aggression and shamelessly labels it a preventive war.”

The RAF leadership were surprised by this harsh response and the unwillingness of the state to compromise. During the occupation of the German embassy in Stockholm by RAF members in April 1975, for example, the government did not yield, even after the murder of two embassy workers, and instead ordered the storming of the embassy.

Two years later, as the RAF prisoners were conducting a hunger strike for improved prison conditions, the German attorney general and two colleagues were assassinated. Later, a rocket attack failed on the building of the federal prosecutor’s office. The banker Jürgen Ponto was killed in a botched kidnapping attempt. The seizure of a German civilian airliner by a Palestinian commando group associated with the RAF led to the pilot being murdered. Instead of the RAF prisoners being released as demanded, the German government again ordered the ending of the hostage crisis by force.

The most prominent episode of the RAF’s “1977 offensive” remains the abduction of Hanns-Martin Schleyer, the president of the employers’ federation. His three companions and his driver were shot during the kidnapping. As the RAF admitted later, its goal was to use “his connections and influence” for an exchange of prisoners. However, the SPD-led government was determined not to make any compromise and even to accept Schleyer’s death as a result. This view prevailed, even against the wishes of Schleyer’s family, who had already assembled the ransom being demanded.

The callousness and brutality with which the RAF acted made it easy for the ruling elite and the media to encourage a climate of hysteria and trample on democratic rights. It was not only political opponents who were destroyed psychologically, physically and morally, but also many completely innocent people were shot during house searches, traffic controls and such like—”in self-defence” or “by mistake.”

At the same time, the terrorist attacks served the ruling class as a pretext for new and ever harsher attacks on democratic rights.

Two years after the Anti-radical decrees were introduced, a law was passed in 1974 making possible the exclusion of lawyers during a criminal trial and precluding several defendants being represented by a single attorney. This was aimed at preventing a lawyer acting as a conduit for communication between the prisoners. The number of appointed defence counsels was limited to three.

The law also made it possible for a trial to take place in the absence of the accused if he or she was mounting any protest actions such as a hunger strike for improved prison conditions.

The monitoring of communications between attorneys and their clients was legalized. In 1976, wide-ranging expressions of political opinion were criminalized, such as the “anti-constitutional endorsement of violence” and “supporting” terrorist organizations. The prosecuting authorities were given the right to order detention on remand in cases involving state security, even when there was no suspicion that an accused might collude with others or seek to flee the trial.

In 1977, the so-called “law banning contact” followed, legalizing the total isolation of the RAF prisoners, a situation that had had already been practiced without any legal basis. One year later, further possibilities for excluding for attorneys and extending the authority of the police to conduct searches followed.

At the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s, it became increasingly difficult to determine which actions were being carried out by the RAF and which could be attributed directly to the state. There are suspicions that the final attacks were not committed by the RAF and that the letters claiming responsibility on the part of the RAF only served to divert attention from the real culprits.

For example, at the time of his murder in 1989, the spokesman for the executive board of the Deutsche Bank, Alfred Herrhausen, was under sharp attack by other members of the bank and was due to be replaced on the day he died. After Herrhausen had argued in favour of debt cancellation for several Third World countries, which had accumulated massive debts mainly with American banks, he received death threats. He took the threats so seriously that he wore a bulletproof vest at international finance meetings. Whether the RAF was at all responsible for his murder remains disputed to this day.

The present campaign against the release of the former RAF members takes place at a time when democratic rights are once again being sharply attacked. In the name of the so-called “fight against terrorism,” the government is pressing to legalize the deployment of the army inside Germany, together with the use of confessions obtained under torture as well as preventative detention merely on the basis of suspicion.

The hysteria surrounding the issue of whether Mohnhaupt and Klar should be released sooner or later after serving a quarter-century in prison is in fact part of a campaign to create the climate for a massive increase in the powers of the state apparatus—a development that seriously threatens basic democratic rights and is directed against growing popular opposition.

This link provided take you to the Film German Version caption translated to Portuguese The Baader-Meinhof Complex

Red Army Faction: Baader-Meinhof Gang

Red Army Faction: the Second Generation

Verena Becker, the former German Red Army Faction (RAF) member arrested last week over her links to a spectacular political murder committed 32 years ago, worked for years as a secret service informant, it emerged yesterday.

Becker, 57, was paid to help capture leaders of the left-wing terrorist group, also known as the Baader-Meinhof gang, according to senior former intelligence figures who spoke in a television documentary screened in Germany yesterday. The revelations came after she was arrested at her home in Berlin last Saturday when police found new evidence implicating her in the killing of Siegfried Buback. September 04, 2009 NZ Herald News

The June 2nd Movement

Revolutionary Cells

Other Terrorists

Proto-Terrorists: Socialist Patients Collective

Proto-Terrorists: West Berlin Tupamaros

Read More…. on Japanese Red Army Student Struggles

The similar political positions of the “Terrorists” of the 70′s , the Vietnam War, Israel Occupation of Palestine, US imperialist goals and fascism they all play a role in the student uprising of the 70′s. The state of constant alert from part of the governments against the students, sent the movement to a higher grounds of protest.
Injustice and inequality are the two main forces that drove the students movement rise. The repressive tactics of the governments sent the movement from vocal to violent. The events caught on cameras, and the accounts from witness of those movement let us know that the students were forced to become violent to protect themselves, and to be heard by a dormant populace.

40 years later the governments of the world are in the same state of alert against a movements that started to grow. Injustice and inequality the two factors of the past still the same factors affecting the modern political movements.

All the material utilized in this article are taken from public sources for education purposes.

Political Prisoner George Ibraheem Abdullah

January 15, 2013 Leave a comment

Posted on January 15, 2013 by Akashma Online News

Some excerpts were originally posted 12/29/2011 Published on France24
UPDATED by Marivel Guzman

George Ibrahim Abdallah 28 years in Frech prison
Most of everything published in the original article is one side of the story, off course we know that every story has many faces, many sides to the same  story.
Being in the internet era we can not be conformed with what the “News” tells us. Take your time and research every news outlet, blog and forum. Find the truth of the story. Make your own opinion, at the end of the story your opinion is what it matters.
Every bit of material written about PLO, Palestine and any other Palestinian supporter groups in the last 40 years needs to be revised. Every person incarcerated related to Palestine events was done according to Israel side of the story. Remember that for the first 50 years or so of the partition of Palestine, the only news coming out of the occupied territories were Israel News. Just recently with the internet wide use  the more information is being filter out without Israel mingling with the truth. Anything that came out from the territories before the internet it is considered now Israel propaganda. Think again when you read old articles.
Palestine is an occupied land. It’s people being displaced and made refugee by the millions. For years, the world did not know about Palestine Occupation, unless you did have family inside. The News never bother to report Palestine’s side of the story. It is until recently with the coming of the internet that the world is unveiling the truth. Little by little the veil in coming off and Israel’s true colors are been seen by the world.
Resisting the occupation has been an everyday affair of every Palestinian, so do not get duped by Propaganda Hasbarista.
I had included some links to articles related to names and events related to the arrest of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah.
It is my intent to unveil the truth and to shed some light to events leading to the activities of some of the persons named in this article.

Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, the unpardoned terrorist will be release and deported to Lebanon .

The news were spreading like a wild fire in the net when the court released the information of the granting of his parole, but as part of his conditional release, Abdullah, 62, is required to leave France before January 14.

Over the years, Abdullah became a miscarriages of justice for resistance . He became eligible for parole after 18 years in prison, but each of his seven applications for release were turned down since 1999, a major breach of French legal procedures and the European Convention on Human Rights.

This came as the United States and “Israel” pressured France over the years to prevent Abdullah’s release, under the pretext that he had never apologized or expressed regret for the murders. Meanwhile, US Ambassador to France Charles Rivkin criticized the decision to grant him parole, arguing that Abdullah never expressed remorse and could yet be a threat if released.

For his part, Abdullah’s lawyer welcomed the ruling and said he hoped the government would not give in to US pressure by refusing to expel him.

“I hope that we have an independent enough government to expel him,” said the lawyer, Jacques Verges. ABNA NEWS

But a French court has postponed its decision until Jan. 28 on whether to release a pro-Palestinian Lebanese militant who has spent 28 years in jail.

During a visit to France last year, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati also called for Abdallah to be freed, calling him a “political prisoner.”

Updated 5:48pm: Several hundred protesters gathered outside the French embassy in Beirut Monday to demonstrate against the postponed release of former Marxist rebel Georges Ibrahim Abdallah.

Some demonstrators began hurling eggs and rocks at the embassy after shutting down traffic to demand the political prisoner’s immediate release following his 28-year imprisonment in France. Al Akhbar English January 14, 2013

Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, the unpardoned terrorist

Despite the fant that he completed the minimum term of his sentence in 1999, Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, sentenced to life in prison in 1987 for killing two US and Israeli officials, is still behind bars.

Earlier in December, a French court sentenced notorious Venezuelan militant Carlos the Jackal to life in prison. Now, another radical pro-Palestinian militant has resurfaced in France – this time, by proxy. France24

Carlos the Jackal figures prominently in Robert Ludlum’s Bourne Trilogy. In the Trilogy, Carlos is depicted as the world’s most dangerous assassin who’s trademark execution is a single well placed bullet in the throat, a man with international contacts that allow him to strike efficiently and anonymously at locations anywhere on the globe. His actual name (Ilich Ramirez Sanchez) is used and details – a mixture of fact and fiction – are given about his upbringing and training, including the fictional account that he trained with Russian intelligence at Novgorod. In the Trilogy he keeps residence in France disguised as a priest, protected by a close network of contacts. Born Trilogy

On December 22, several dozen protesters gathered in front of the Ministry of Justice in Paris to call for the liberation of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, former leader of the Marxist-Leninist guerrilla group Lebanese Armed Revolutionary Factions. The 60-year-old Abdallah has been imprisoned in southwestern France since 1984, despite the fact that he completed the minimum term of his sentence in 1999.

The Factions Armes Revolutionnaires Libanaises (FARL) formed in 1979 is a Lebanese revolutionary group seeking to create a Marxist-Leninist state in Lebanon. Although this group was one of the three groups that emerged from the breakup of the PFLP-Special Operations Group [#CR0001639] upon the assadination of its leader, Wadi Haddad by Mossad. FARL According to CIA

Abdallah was sentenced to life in prison in 1987 for his involvement in the 1982 murders of US military attaché Charles Ray and Israeli diplomat Yakov Barsimentov in Paris, as well as in an assassination attempt on Robert O. Homme, an American consul in Strasbourg. The Lebanese Armed Revolutionary Factions has claimed responsibility for these acts, saying they were carried out in response to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

‘A resolute and pitiless militant’

Yves Bonnet, former director of France’s Central Headquarters for Surveillance of the Territory and founder of the International Centre for Research and Studies on Terrorism, contributed to the hunt that led to Abdallah’s arrest in Lyon in 1984. Despite that, he declares himself in favour of the prisoner’s release. “This injustice has lasted long enough,” he recently told FRANCE 24.

Abdallah in 1986. (AFP)

“It’s gone beyond the limits of what’s reasonable, and at this point nothing justifies his imprisonment. We should put him on a plane and send him back to Lebanon, where the authorities are willing to receive him.”

Described as a shy teacher from northern Lebanon who became – in his own words – a “revolutionary Communist and anti-Zionist militant”, Abdallah has filed for parole seven times – to no avail.

In November 2003, the local entity that grants parole in Pau, the southern city in which Abdullah is detained, gave the green light to one of Abdallah’s requests. But the minister of Justice at the time, Dominique Perben, appealed the decision, calling the prisoner’s case “extremely serious”. Abdallah remained in prison.

Abdallah’s most recent request for release on parole, filed in May 2009, was rejected by a Paris appeals court that deemed the prisoner “a resolute and pitiless militant” who might take up his “combat” again upon returning to Lebanon.

The court justified its decision by citing a 2008 French law that aimed to maintain in detention prisoners seen as likely to resume criminal behaviour once their prison sentence is completed. Contacted by FRANCE 24, the former justice minister did not wish to comment on “legal decisions made by independent judges”.

‘Hostage of the French government’

Abdallah is supported by a network of anti-imperialist, Marxist, and anti-Zionist activists who have continually denounced what they consider judicial mistreatment of “a hostage of the French government”. They compare him to a more celebrated former political prisoner: Nelson Mandela of South Africa.

Meanwhile, Abdallah’s lawyer, the controversial Jacques Vergès, has slammed the United States for what he alleges has been US pressure on French authorities not to release Abdallah. In 2007, Vergès urged French judges “to show our condescending American friends that France is not a submissive girl”. Demonstrators in Paris on December 22 used that argument in a scathing slogan, chanting: “French justice at the feet of Zionists and Americans”.

Maurice, Georges Ibrahim Abdallah’s brother, protested in front of the French embassy in Lebanon in April 2010. (AFP)

Like Abdallah’s supporters, Yves Bonnet contends that the US and Israel are still manoeuvring to keep the former leader of the Lebanese Armed Revolutionary Factions in jail. “France has faced enormous pressure to prevent the man who assassinated two people who were not, in fact, diplomats, but rather a CIA agent and a member of Mossad [Israeli secret service], from being freed from prison,” Bonnet said.

Meanwhile, the Shiite party Hezbollah has frequently called on France to liberate Abdallah, and the Lebanese authorities have already asked France to hand over the man they have called “one of their oppressed sons”.

‘France did not keep its promise’

In the late 1990s, Yves Bonnet appeared before a union of lawyers and judges to plead the case of a man who he said was likely “cursing” him from his jail cell. “I was received by four magistrates who listened attentively before turning me down politely,” Bonnet recounted. “They explained to me that Abdallah’s alleged conversion to Islam had turned him from a Christian into a dangerous Islamic propagandist, and for that reason it was impossible to release him.”

France’s former top intelligence official says he is especially “uncomfortable”, because he had secured a deal in 1985 to swap Abdallah for French diplomat Gilles Peyrolles, who had been kidnapped in Lebanon by the Lebanese Armed Revolutionary Factions in March of that year.

Peyrolles was freed just a month later in exchange for a guarantee to send Abdallah to Algeria instead of keeping him imprisoned in France. “The hostage was freed, but Abdallah stayed in jail,” Bonnet explained. “France did not keep its promise, even though I personally was willing to uphold my part of it.”

A French diplomat who was held by kidnappers for 10 days has been freed in Lebanon. The envoy, Gilles Sidney Peyrolles, director of the French cultural center in the northern port of Tripoli, was the fourth kidnapped foreigner to gain freedom in less than a week. Mr. Peyrolles said today that he he had been kept in Syrian-controlled territory by a group that treated him very well. April 03, 1985 New York Times

In an article published in French daily Le Figaro in January 2011, Middle East specialist Georges Malbrunot wrote that some of Abdallah’s supporters had even warned the French government about possible kidnappings of its citizens in Lebanon.

“The Clotilde Reiss case showed certain people in Lebanon that it was possible to get a prisoner back through blackmail,” a journalist close to Hezbollah is quoted as saying in the article.

For the first time, a French journalist was allowed to travel to the University of Isfahan, where French academic Clotilde Reiss taught prior to her arrest on charges of spying. Here is an exclusive report by special correspondent Alain Chabod.

Who is Bassem Abu Rahmah in 5 Broken Cameras

January 15, 2013 Leave a comment

Posted on January 15, 2013 by Akashma Online News

Oscar Nominated Film 5 Broken Cameras

Bassem life and death in 5 broken Cameras

This important documentary Film 5 Broken Cameras brings you the story of the life of struggles in Bil’in, a small Village of 1800 residents in Palestine. Bil’in it is just an example of the situation lived in Palestine, a situation sustained for 65 years.

Every family in Palestine has somebody injured, in jail, or  killed. Every face has a story. Palestine is not a place of people invented as some ignorant people said.

Bil’in residents have continued to withstand these injustices despite the frequent night raids of Israeli soldiers in the town followed by an increasing number of arrests of inhabitants and of activists. But now, the army has toughened the oppression by systematically arresting members of the Bil’in committee in charge of organizing the non-violent resistance actions. The aim of the arrests is to discourage Bil’in residents and reduce their resistance to the occupation.

By supporting Bil’in, you will help its inhabitants to continue their struggle and maintain hope in their fight for liberty. This site is dedicated to all people of good will – Palestinian, Israeli and the internationals who fight side by side against the injustices endured by the people of Bil’in.

Bassen Abu Rahmah RIP-One of Bassem’s ideas was to fly a kite during a protest, symbolizing the freedom that Palestinians are striving for.

Bassen Abu Rahmah RIP-One of Bassem’s ideas was to fly a kite during a protest, symbolizing the freedom that Palestinians are striving for.

Bassem Abu Rahmah (Phil),  known for his Charisma, beautiful smile and kindness. A pacifist struggling to keep his land.

Who Was Bassem Abu Rahmah?

Bassem Abu Rahmah was a 30-year-old Palestinian from the town of Bil’in in the occupied West Bank. Nicknamed “Elephant”, he was known to friends and family for his charisma and kindness, and for his creative ideas for protesting Israel’s confiscation of lands belonging to local residents for the construction of its separation wall, which has had a devastating impact on the lives of Bil’in’s residents, cutting them off from their farmlands and grazing pastures, restricting their movement and their access to employment, education and health care. One of Bassem’s ideas was to fly a kite during a protest, symbolizing the freedom that Palestinians are striving for.

What happened to Bassem?

On April 17, 2009, while taking part in a weekly peaceful protest against the building of the wall, Bassem was struck in the chest and killed by a high-velocity tear gas canister fired by Israeli soldiers in an incident that was caught on videotape.

Bassam Abu Rahmah, who was killed within minutes of receiving a direct hit to the chest from an IDF-fired high-velocity tear gas cannister at a regular Friday anti-Wall demonstration on 17 April 2009.

Bassam Abu Rahmah, who was killed within minutes of receiving a direct hit to the chest from an IDF-fired high-velocity tear gas cannister at a regular Friday anti-Wall demonstration on 17 April 2009.

The day that he was killed was like most Fridays in Bil’in, however on this occasion several Israeli peace activists who had joined the weekly protest became trapped in a no-man’s land dividing Israeli soldiers and village residents. Amidst the confusion, Bassem went to help them, calling on the soldiers to stop firing tear gas and allow the Israeli protesters to escape to safety. Instead, the soldiers fired an extended-range tear gas canister directly at him, hitting him in the chest and knocking him unconscious.

Click On the Image to Read about Phil RIP

There were no ambulances in Bil’in that day. After a car arrived to take Bassem to hospital, Israeli soldiers shot tear gas at it, forcing villagers to carry his body a distance to the waiting car. During the 30 minutes it took for him to reach the hospital, Bassem died.

What was the Official Israeli Response?

The Israeli army claimed that Bassem’s death was an accident and that the tear gas canister that killed him had hit a wire and changed direction in air. A similar claim was made by Israeli authorities after American citizen Emily Henochowicz lost an eye after being hit in the face by a tear gas canister fired by Israeli troops during a demonstration in May 2010. In July 2010, the Israeli Army’s Judge Advocate General announced that it would open an investigation into Bassem’s death after his family threatened to petition the Israeli High Court of Justice. The results have yet to be released.

The Israel Defense Forces first said Abu-Rahma was in a group of Palestinians hurling rocks at troops. But video footage showed him shouting, not throwing rocks, when he was shot.

Video footage filmed during the April 2009 protest against the separation fence in the Palestinian village of Bil’in also showed IDF troops firing tear gas canisters directly at demonstrators while in the presence of commanding officers. See 5 Broken Cameras

U.S. Involvement

Along with other more advanced and lethal weaponry, the U.S. is a primary supplier of tear gas canisters and dispensers for Israeli forces and other repressive regimes across the region. A number of non-violent Palestinian and international activists, including American citizens, have been seriously wounded or killed by Israeli soldiers using American-made tear gas canisters and launchers. A month before Bassem’s death, American Tristan Anderson was seriously injured after being hit in the head with a high-velocity tear gas canister fired by Israeli troops at a demonstration in the West Bank town of Ni’lin.

The video shows plainly that the demonstrators were not violent. Here is a rough translation of the words on the video, supplied by an anonymous friend: The demonstrators are telling the soldiers in Hebrew that there are children and Israelis present and they are asking them not to shoot. Bassem is shouting “Listen, wait a minute, wait a minute!” before he falls to the ground. The soldiers then fire another round of tear gas as the demonstrators yell that he is injured and needs an ambulance.

In the longer video, as [Mohammed] Khatib is arguing with the soldier,  you can clearly hear the soldier say, “Do you want more gas?” They can see someone is on the ground and bleeding and because they know it’s a Palestinian, they don’t care.

And the soldier is telling Khatib “Are you going to shut up?” as Khatib pleads with him to stop shooting. The Israeli who’s next to Bassem right after the shooting is just saying, “There’s an injured man, bring an ambulance quickly.” He asks Bassem where he was hit. The demonstrators also repeat throughout, this is a non-violent demonstration. The soldiers merely respond with tear gas.

Bassem Abu Rahmah like the other Bil’in Villagers and the International Activist, and Israel Activities risk their life every Friday to protest the Occupation. Please Watch 5 Broken Cameras, Watch this video, enough evidence to be presented at the ICC in its due time. RIP Bassem

Follow the narrative of “5 broken cameras” as it was made, planned, edited and made in a documentary as a final piece of art, 5 broken cameras presskit, gives you the most intimates details and difficulties presented with the reality of the Israeli occupations and continuous nigh raids and harsh tactics of the IDF trying to stop Bi’lin Village from demonstrating on Fridays after pryers in front of the illegal wall.

The Evidence of  A Crime

More Stores……..

Emat Burnat Palestinian Filmaker take you on a road of desperation, occupation, outrage and tears. In 5 years IDF (Israel Soldiers) destroyed 5 cameras, but he continue filming Palestinian Struggles. 5 Broken Cameras

They started this war 7 years ago  protesting the Land grab for Settlements and the construction of the Apartheid Wall. They are not deterred by the gas, arrests, the bullets, the bullying and the death. Every Friday after prayer they gather by the Wall pacifically protesting the stealing of the Land. 5 Broken Cameras Exposes Israel True Colors

Society inequalities keeps me busy!

January 10, 2013 2 comments

Posted on January 09, 2012 by Akashma Online News

Educating in the economics of the poor.

akashma-web-blogs-logo1.jpg
“Half of the world population starves.. other half diets”  this statement it is not an over exaggerated sentence. I think it tells the whole story in few words. But to know how wide the disparity is between the rich and poor and the effect of concentration of wealth and power in few hands we need to carefully look beyond the surface and be willing to learn the world we are living in.

Here are some facts from an extensive research about world poverty.
According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death.” other 25,000 die of poverty related diseases. Every year nearly 11 million children living in poverty die before their fifth birthday

Around 27-28 percent of all Children in developing countries are estimated to be underweight or stunted. Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names.

1.4 billion people live below poverty line, that means they earn less than $1.00 per day.
About 0.13% of the world’s population controlled 25% of the world’s assets in 2004.
The wealthiest 20% of the world’s population consumes 76.6% of the world’s goods while 80% of humanity gets the remainder.
For every $1 in aid a developing country receives, over $25 is spent on debt repayment.
A mere 12 percent of the world’s population uses 85 percent of its water, and these 12 percent do not live in the Third World.Source .
Less than one per cent of what the world spent every year on weapons was needed to put every child into school by the year 2000 and yet it didn’t happen.
For the price of one missile, a school full of hungry children could eat lunch every day for 5 years.
The assets of the world’s three richest men are more than the combined GNP of all the least developed countries on the planet.
One out of every eight children under the age of twelve in the U.S. goes to bed hungry every night.
The Capitals of the 3 major religions in the world and the Church of England control the money of the world.

The Country Invented For the Rich

Country Invented for the Super Rich Arabs

Stolen Money, Unaccounted. Rich individuals and their families have as much as $32 trillion of hidden financial assets in offshore tax havens, representing up to $280 billion in lost income tax revenues, according to research published on Sunday.

Pope Benedict XVI

The Vatican Gold belongs to the world

The study estimating the extent of global private financial wealth held in offshore accounts – excluding non-financial assets such as real estate, gold, yachts and racehorses – puts the sum at between $21 and $32 trillion.  Reuter Report

Extreme Poverty

Invest on people Not War

The Vatican Billions

The Catholic Church, therefore, once all her assets have been put together, is the most formidable stockbroker in the world. The ‘Wall Street Journal’ said that the Vatican’s financial deals in the U.S. alone were so big that very often it sold or bought gold in lots of a million or more dollars at one time.

Therefore, the Vatican was, and still is, the most redoubtable wealth accumulator and property owner in existence. No one knows for certain how much the Catholic Church was, or is worth in terms of dollars and other currencies, not even the pope himself.

That is the true situation borne out by a Vatican official who, when asked to make a guess at the Vatican’s wealth today, replied very tellingly, “Only God knows.”   The Battle Cries, 1986 The Vatican Billions

Saudi Royal Family The Emirates Palace

Saudi Royal Family The Emirates Palace-Extreme Luxury

Extreme Poverty

The Saudi Family Billions

Where is the money accumulated? Saudi Arabia hosts the largest market of ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNW) in the Middle East, representing 1,225 people holding a collective wealth of $ 227 billion, according to a global wealth intelligence report released Thursday.

A few kilometers from the binged-out shopping malls of Saudi Arabia‘s capital, Souad al-Shamir lives in a concrete house on a trash-strewn alley. She has no job, no money, five children under 14 and an unemployed husband who is laid up with chronic heart problems.

Saudi Arabia’s riches conceal a growing problem of poverty, In a country with vast oil wealth and lavish royalty, an estimated quarter of Saudis live below the poverty line

“The state hides the poor very well,” said Rosie Bsheer, a Saudi scholar who has written extensively on development and poverty. “The elite don’t see the suffering of the poor. People are hungry.”

The Saudi government discloses little official data about its poorest citizens. But press reports and private estimates suggest that between 2 million and 4 million of the country’s native Saudis live on less than about $530 a month – about $17 a day – considered the poverty line in Saudi Arabia.

Gold of England Bank

Gold of England Bank

Extreme Poverty

Average home of the poor

The Church of England and The Bank of England-The Crown

Parliament of the United Kingdom  gives the Church of England the power to pass primary legislation called Measures. Measures have the same force and effect as Acts.

The  Governors of the Bank of England are appointed by the Crown for periods of five years, and the Directors for three years.

The Crown Gold The Crown Estate is one of the largest property owners in the United Kingdom with a portfolio worth £7.0 billion, with urban properties valued at £5.179 billion, and rural holdings valued at £1.049 billion; and an annual profit of £240.2 million, as at 31 March 2012.The majority of the estate by value is urban, including a large number of properties in central London, but the estate also owns 144,000 ha (356,000 ac) of agricultural land and forest,[3] more than half of the UK’s foreshore, and retains various other traditional holdings and rights, for example Ascot racecourse and Windsor Great Park. Royal Residences

thanks God is Friday Sucking the Cow’s Shit to Eat while billions of dollars are stored in gold in the banks of the Rich. And billions of grains stored in multiple warehouses around the world.

The Usurers Billions and the Banking Industry Central Banks Issuers of Debt Paper Money

This prophecy, by Benjamin Franklin, was made in a “CHIT CHAT AROUND THE TABLE DURING INTERMISSION,” at the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention of 1787. This statement was recorded in the dairy of Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, a delegate from South Carolina.
“I fully agree with General Washington, that we must protect this young nation from an insidious influence and impenetration. The menace, gentlemen, is the Jews.
In whatever country Jews have settled in any great number, they have lowered its moral tone; depreciated its commercial integrity; have segregated themselves and have not been assimilated; have sneered at and tried to undermine the Christian religion upon which that nation is founded, by objecting to its restrictions; have built up a state within the state; and when opposed have tried to strangle that country to death financially, as in the case of Spain and Portugal.
For over 1,700 years, the Jews have been bewailing their sad fate in that they have been exiled from their homeland, as they call Palestine. But gentlemen, did the world give it to them in fee simple, they would at once find some reason for not returning. Why? Because they are vampires, and vampires do not live on vampires. They cannot live only among themselves. They must subsist on Christians and other people not of their race.
If you do not exclude them from these United States, in their Constitution, in less than 200 years they will have swarmed here in such great numbers that they will dominate and devour the land and change our form of government, for which we Americans have shed our blood, given our lives our substance and jeopardized our liberty.
LUTHER, MARTIN. 16th century German religious reformer. “They are the real liars and bloodhounds, who have not only perverted and falsified the entire Scriptures from beginning to end and without ceasing with their interpretations. And all of the anxious sighing, longing and hoping of their hearts is directed to the time when some day they would like to deal with us heathen as they dealt with the heathen in Persia at the time of Esther… On how they love the book of Esther, which so nicely agrees with their bloodthirsty, revengeful and murderous desire and hope.

Now what are we going to do with these rejected, condemned Jewish people?… Let us apply the ordinary wisdom of other nations like France, Spain, Bohemia, et al., who made them give an account of what they had stolen through usury, and divided it evenly; but expelled them from their country.

HENRY FORD in (The Dearborn Independent, 12-19 February 1921

“Jews have always controlled the business… The motion picture influence of the United States and Canada… is exclusively under the control, moral and financial, of the Jewish manipulators of the public mind.”

HARRINGTON, LORD. 19th century British statesman. Opposed admission of Jewish immigrants to England because:

“They are the great moneylenders and loan contractors of the world… The consequence is that the nations of the world are groaning under heavy systems of taxation and national debt. They have ever been the greatest enemies of freedom. (Speech in the House of Lords, July 12, 1858)

The kings Who are these people

The Privileged by “God”
Oil Wealth belongs to the World

Rohingyas Refugees October 30 2012 Jakarta News

Rohingyas Refugees October 30 2012 Jakarta News

Rohingya in a boat seeking refuge

Rhingya refugees seeking refugee
in Indonesia are forced to go back.

Rohingyas Refugees languish in poor refugee camps

Rohingyas Refugees languish in poor refugee camps

Rohingya Culture-Kaladan News Photo Credit

Rohingya Culture-Kaladan News Photo Credit

Starvation is an engineered social disease

Starvation is an engineered social disease

children diggin for food in landfill

Guatemala children digging for food

Palestinians Refugees Camp Black and White Story

Palestinian Refugees 1948

Palestinians Refugees Camps 65 years Later Color Photos! Same Struggles

Palestinians Refugees 65 years later

Tents in gaza and Destroy Buildings

Palestinians refugees in Gaza after
Israel assault 2009-2010

23327973

Orphans children soldiers in Africa

images

orphan children soldiers

child-soldiers

orphan children soldiers

rosie-child-soldier

Orphan child soldier in Serbia

IMF Shark

people protesting IMF
International Monetary Fund

sweatshopschild labor

Small child working building bricks

Chinese Flip Flop Slaves Feet

Chinese Flip Flop Slaves Feet

sweatShop

Chinese Sweat Shop Crowding living and working space
Chinese slavery-illegal Chinese born out of One Child
state policy. They do not have Chinese citizenship, they
are not allowed to go to school.

HOW ISRAEL TRY TO DESTROY EVERYTHING UNJUSTICE

Palestinian Child in Gaza under the rubles of his house
after Israel missile destroyed it. He lives now in a tent

APTOPIX MIDEAST ISRAEL PALESTINIANS

Gaza-Egypt underground tunnel-food and products
are transported day and night thru these dangerous
tunnels. Israel black listed more than 5000 needed
items

Dead for Starvation in Africa Nobody Cares

Hungry Children in Africa

Can we watch these imagines and go on with our daily routine? – 75 percent of the world in under treat of a revolution because of the conditions in their countries.

The Vatican Billions

January 10, 2013 2 comments

The Vatican Billions

Source: ‘Battle Cry’, September/October 1986

by Avro Manhattan

Origin of the Current Colossal Wealth of the Catholic Church

The following is an excerpt from chapter 26 of “The Vatican Billions” by Avro Manhattan.

The current spectacular accumulation of wealth by the Catholic Church is a comparatively recent phenomenon. It really was initiated when the See of Peter was deprived of the Papal States by the Italians in 1870. These states included Rome itself and comprised almost one third of the Italian peninsula.

It was then that she began the accumulation of riches according to the success formula of the modern industrial and financial world. The main foundation stones however, were laid by Pope Benedict XV (1914-22) during and after the First World War (1914-18).

He originated today’s Vatican policy that church and papal investments should not be limited by political or religious considerations, but instead should be handled purely on the basis of sound, good, concrete and profitable business.

The Vatican at that time had not the liquid resources which it received a decade later from Fascist Italy, but it had sufficient millions to invest in the world markets. Benedict XV, to prove that he meant business when he promulgated the new policy, promptly invested most of the Vatican’s money.

Where? Shades of the crusading pontiffs! In Turkish Empire Securities! It was the beginning of a road which was to bring the Catholic Church into the ranks of the top billionaire corporations of the twentieth century.

By 1929, the time of the Lateran Treaty, the Vatican’s State treasure had become an official fund. In that same year Mussolini turned over 1,750 million lire (the equivalent at that time of 100 million dollars) to the Vatican as a final settlement of the Roman question.

Pope Pius XI, no less a good businessman than Benedict, invested most of this vast sum in America immediately after the market collapse. The move was a profitable one, for, following the great depression of the thirties, the Church reaped colossal profits when the U.S. economy recovered.

But, while investing largely in the U.S., the Vatican was sufficiently astute to invest a good portion of the Lateran compensation in Italy itself. The results, by any standards, have been staggering. It is estimated that the Holy See presently owns between 10 and 15 per cent of all the stocks and shares registered on the Italian Stock Exchange.

The matter-of-fact British periodical, ‘The Economist’ put it: “It could theoretically throw the Italian economy into confusion if it decided to unload all its shares suddenly and dump them on the market.”

This was confirmed a few years later by the Italian finance minister when, in February 1968, he declared that the Vatican owned shares worth approximately 100 billion lire.

The wealth of the Church, besides becoming an increasing moral embarrassment, had also become a financial dilemma. The Church found herself top-heavy with wealth, not only because of the laborious collection of money derived from thousands of religious, ecclesiastic and lay organisations, but equally because of the skill of top financial brains which, since the Second World War had invested the Vatican’s billions in most parts of the world with dexterity second to none. Their skill, with the help of the global intelligence at their disposal, had truly turned the Vatican millions into billions.

Special Investment Office Created

The accumulation of such colossal riches made the haphazard methods of the past obsolete, indeed, dangerous. The pope was compelled to set up a special Prefecture for Economic Affairs.

The Prefecture, directed mostly by American, French, German and other brains, has to operate mainly outside Italy, since the investments were spread over a global field. The celebrated Jewish house of the Rothschilds – who, incidentally had been lending money to the Vatican since 1831 – came once more to the fore with the buying, selling and amalgamating of millions of shares and other investments on behalf of the Vatican.

Vatican financial operations can trespass into semi-illegality at times because of their diversity and secrecy. Scandal erupted in the eighties to the astonishment of millions of Catholics and the chagrin of many who genuinely thought the Vatican was engaged only in charitable operations.

By and large, however, its investments are well looked after by those financial experts whose experience is second to none! The Vatican’s traditional financial dealers are a mostly non-Catholic fraternity of Protestants, agnostics, non-Christians, Jews and even atheists.

Its traditional financial transactions have been handled for years by the great banking concerns of J. P. Morgan in New York (mostly for American investments), Hambros of London for British investments, and the Swiss Credit Bank of Zurich for European investments – without mentioning the Vatican’s own concerns such as Banco di Roma, Banco Commerciale, Banco Santo Spirito.

Now, it must never be forgotten that all the above form only the “liquid” financial assets of the Holy See. We have entirely excluded the solid properties, real estate, land, industrial and commercial concerns owned and controlled by the Catholic Church in Italy, Spain, Germany, Great Britain, and North, Central and South America. To estimate the actual current values of the Churches tremendous possessions and real estate properties is an impossibility.

It must be remembered that the Vatican – or rather, the Catholic Church – owns thousands upon thousands of churches, cathedrals, monasteries, nunneries and sundry edifices throughout the Western world.

What is the value of the land upon which all these buildings stand, in current money? What is the value of the actual buildings themselves? If one should give modest prices for the humble parish churches and parish halls, what prices would an estate agent give, for instance, for St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, Notre Dame in Paris, and St. Peter’s in Rome, to mention only a few?

The claim that such property is not owned by the Catholic Church is like saying that a Communist dictatorship does not own anything because all the property is owned by the people.

When the Catholic Church sells a piece of land or buys one, the bishop as a rule signs the deed, which means his See becomes the owner or receives the money. Whether the transaction is localised to the diocese, or deputised from the national hierarchy or from the Vatican, is basically irrelevant since ultimately it concerns the property of the Catholic Church.

Government Collected Millions for Vatican

In some countries, not only does the Church evade taxation, but the state itself collects taxation on her behalf. This absurdity has been one of the most extraordinary peculiarities of Germany, which “compels” German citizens to pay a “Kirchensteuer” (Church Tax).

It was first inspired by the Weimar Constitution of 1919, and confirmed by the pact between Hitler and the Vatican in their concordat of 1933. The Kirchensteuer was made constitutional in 1949, after the Second World War. The Catholic government – that is the Christian Democrats – not only enforced the church taxation upon an unwilling populace, it put the state machinery at the disposal of the church. Thus the Government collected the tax, enforced its payment, and then handed over the money thus collected to the Church.

Before the Second World War, the German citizens used to pay an average of two or three marks a year. By 1972, the figure rose to between fifty-five and sixty marks.

In Germany, therefore, the Vatican, besides enjoying outstanding financial benefits from its skilful penetration of the giant industrial concerns (as it did in Italy and in the United States), had its coffers replenished with additional millions from the Kirchensteuer, to the tune of some 350 million dollars a year. The scheme being the result of the political Catholicism which dominated the life of post-war Germany for so long.

World’s Biggest Stock Broker

The Catholic Church, therefore, once all her assets have been put together, is the most formidable stockbroker in the world. The ‘Wall Street Journal’ said that the Vatican’s financial deals in the U.S. alone were so big that very often it sold or bought gold in lots of a million or more dollars at one time.

Therefore, the Vatican was, and still is, the most redoubtable wealth accumulator and property owner in existence. No one knows for certain how much the Catholic Church was, or is worth in terms of dollars and other currencies, not even the pope himself.

That is the true situation borne out by a Vatican official who, when asked to make a guess at the Vatican’s wealth today, replied very tellingly, “Only God knows.”

by Avro Manhattan

Source: ‘Battle Cry’, September/October 1986

Search history for Jews instances of usury, abuse of power, assimilation, intolerance and abuse of religion to emotionally black mail people’s minds and hearts.

The Jews are the only people in the world who have found hostility in every country in which they settled in any numbers. The big question is – WHY?

Today it is taught in the schools that “Anti-Semitism” began in Germany in the 1930s after which they were deported. What is not studied is the fact that at one time or other the Jews have been expelled from every nation in Europe! When the Jews first began to immigrate to America the early colonialists in New York, Charleston and Savannah tried to ban their entry. Benjamin Franklin pleaded with the members of the Continental Congress to enter a specific ban against Jewish immigration into the U. S. Constitution to bar them for all time to come.- What’s famous man says about the Jews thru out history

The Japanese Red Army’s Black Widow — Fusako Shigenobu

January 2, 2013 2 comments

Posted on December 27, 2012 by Akashma Online News

Principal story by John S. Craig, Yahoo! Contributor Network

UPDATED with materials from the WWW from different sources by Marivel Guzman.
All the information provided in this article is done with the purpose of informing the public of events that occurred more than 30 years ago, but this events had shaped our present reality. All the material presented here needs to be revise. The official story had been the only story known to the public. The JRA was considered a terrorist organization by the government of Japan. But there is always the other side of the story. The story behind curtain that covers the life of ordinary citizens.

Japanese Red Army (JRA)

The JRA is an international group formed in Japan around 1970 after breaking away from the Japanese Communist League-Red Army Faction. Fusako Shigenobu was one of the known leaders of JRA up until her arrest in Japan in November, 2000.

Fusako Shigenobu

Fusako Shigenobu

The JRA’s historical goal has been to overthrow the Japanese government and monarchy and to help foment world revolution. After her arrest, Shigenobu announced she intended to pursue her goals using a legitimate political party rather than revolutionary violence, and the group announced it would disband in April, 2001. JRA may control or at least have ties to the Anti-Imperialist International Brigade (AIIB) and also may have links to the Antiwar Democratic Front—an overt leftist political organization—inside Japan. Details released following Shigenobu’s arrest indicate that the JRA was organizing cells in Asian cities, such as Manila and Singapore. The group had a history of close relations with Palestinian resistance groups—based and operating outside Japan—since its inception, primarily through Shigenobu.

Fusako Shigenobu could be very well known  as  on of the survivors of the first Nuclear blast in history; Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a devastating terrorrist attack on the unarmed civilian population of Japan.

She was one of the principal leaders of the group known as the Japanese Red Army, Fusako Shigenobu, nicknamed “Mata Hari” by her revolutionary colleagues and also known as the “Red Queen of Terror.”

Fusako Shigenobu-The Children of the Revolution, The story told by the daughters of two revolutionary Japanese  leaders of a movement that started on the 60's-May and Bettina.

Fusako Shigenobu-The Children of the Revolution, The story told by the daughters of two revolutionary Japanese leaders of a movement that started on the 60′s-May and Bettina.

Fusako Shigenobu was born in 1945 only a few weeks after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Her father was a member of right-wing organization, the Blood Oath League, dedicated to ridding Japan of corrupt politicians. Due to her family’s poverty, she was unable to afford college. A remarkably beautiful young woman, she eventually married and supported herself as a topless dancer writing, “I hated the men who pawed me . . . I had murder in my heart . . . I saw every kiss turn into a rice ball for the Red Army.” Her social misery led her to the promise of communism’s elimination of hunger and social status. Determined to place the JRA on the terror map, she allied her group with terrorists that already had made their mark in the world: the Palestinian terror groups, claiming that the “revolution is my lover.”

At a 1972 meeting the Japanese Red Army was asked by Dr. Wadi Haddad,  a founder of the PFLP, to help avenge the failure of a hijacking of an El Al plane. On May 30, 1972 three Japanese Red Army terrorists, in a suicidal fervor akin to the ancient Japanese spirit of kamikaze, fired indiscriminately in the Tel Aviv airport with VZT-58 Czech automatic rifles killing 24 , and injuring 78. Many of the victims were Puerto Ricans on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

One of the shooters was Takeshi Okudaira, the husband of Fusako Shigenobu. Due to a previous arrest, Shigenobu was unable to leave Japan and travel to the Middle East to expand the Japanese Red Army’s revolution. She married Okudaira and the marriage of convenience allowed her to leave the country with a new name. She then conveniently ordered her husband to be part of a suicide squad that would attack bystanders at the Tel Aviv airport. All three were trained for seven weeks by PFLP. Two of the three attackers were killed, Yasuda Yasuyuki and Okudaira. The surviving Japanese Red Army , Kozo Okamoto, used a fake passport with the name Daisuke Namba, the name of the man who had attempted an assassination of Crown Prince Hirohito in 1923.

The connection with the PFLP had started in 1970 when an Iraqi revolutionary, Bassim, traveled to Tokyo and established contact with the Japanese Red Army. The two groups made a film called Revolutionary War Declared. Okamoto was involved in the showing of the film at a university and eventually became involved in the Japanese Red Army. Before being convicted of the murder and sentenced to life in an Israeli court, Okamoto described the link between his Japanese Red Army and the PFLP as a means to propel the Japanese Red Army on the world stage, claiming the Arab world lacked “spiritual fervor, so we felt that through this attempt we could stir up the Arab world. The present world order has given Israel power, which has been denied the Arab refugees.” The PFLP praised the attack. The PFLP’s Abu Sherif rationalized the atrocity as an attack against Zionism and imperialism. Shigenobu declared the massacre was to “consolidate the international revolutionary alliance against the imperialists of the world.”

Okamoto was sentenced to life imprisonment but was released in 1985 during a prisoner exchange between Israel and the Palestinians. During his prison time he converted to Islam, then wished to be converted to Judaism and tried to circumcise himself with a pair of nail clippers. In 1975 he called himself a Christian. When he was released in Libya in 1985 he was greeted as a hero and met by Fusako Shigenobu. He was later arrested in 1997 with five Japanese Red Army companions in Lebanon for carrying false identity papers and again did some jail time.

Black September was encouraged by the success of the Japanese Red Army. In August of 1972, the group successfully destroyed a Trans-Alpine oil terminal at the Adriatic port of Trieste, Italy but failed in another mission when they tried to blow up an Israeli El Al Boeing 707 in mid-air. However, their next and most infamous attack would occur in the RAF’s backyard: the Munich Olympics. Abu Iyad and Abu Daoud were the main masterminds. Iyad would eventually be murdered in 1991 by direct orders of Sadam Hussein through one of Abu Nidal’s hitmen, possibly because Iyad condemned Hussein’s attack on Kuwait.

Shigenobu secretly returned to Japan and was arrested in Osaka in November 2000 and remains imprisoned in Japan. In February of 2006, she was sentenced to 20 years for involvement in kidnapping of embassy workers of a French Embassy in The Hague during a 1974 Japanese Red Army operation. She is also believed to have played key roles in a 1975 seizure of the U.S. consulate in Kuala Lumpu, a 1977 hijacking of a Japan Airlines jet over India, and a bomb attack on a club for U.S. servicemen in Naples in 1988 that resulted in the death of five Americans.

Israel Target Assassinations of Palestinian Leaders

December 31, 2012 1 comment

Posted on December 28, 2012 by Akashma Online News

by Marivel Guzman

Various Sources

 Benjamin Netayahu best known by Bibi in 1986 co-authored a book called TERRORISM How The West Can Win. In the Chapter “Defining Terrorism”, you find the following statement.

“For in addition to random killing, terrorist often engage in assassinations of society’s leaders. Assassinations, in fact is important to the genesis of modern terrorism, emerging from an older tradition that maintains that a society can be reshaped, or a creed cleansed, by eliminating its leaders or ruling class. For the TERRORIST, assassination is the precursor of mass murder, and both constitute the principal weapons in his arsenal.” Benjamin Netayahu, 1986 in his book TERRORISM

After reading the book few times to get acquainted with the mind of a TERRORIST I will present to you excerpts of the book followed by past and present actions from Israel TERRORIST activities and State Policy of Terror Against Palestinian population and its supporters. This list does not include the previous assassinations of Palestinians before the creation of Israel Pre-1948, which by all mean could be considered a genocide. Most of the massacres were done started at beginning of the 19 century and subsequently by the Irgu militias  and other groups that Planed the Terror that created Israel.

“It is the horrific story of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, a crime against humanity that Israel has wanted to deny and cause the world to forget. Retrieving it from oblivion is incumbent upon us; it is the very first step we must take if we ever want reconciliation to take a chance, and peace to take root, in the torn land of Palestine and Israel.” lan Pappéthe Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine

The next it is a comprehensive list of Israel Target Assassinations of Palestinian Leaders and supporters
July 13, 1956  Gaza Strip Mustafa Hafez Egyptian Army Lieutenant-Colonel
July 14, 1956  Amman Salah Mustafa Egyptian Military attache Parcel bomb

September 11, 1962 Munich, Germany Heinz Krug West German rocket scientist working for Egypt’s missile program Abducted from his company offices on Munich’s Schillerstrasse, his body was never found. Swiss police later arrested two Mossad agents for threatening the daughter of another scientist and found that they were responsible for the killing. Part of Operation Damocles.
November 28, 1962 Heluan, Egypt 5 Egyptian factory workers, Workers employed at Factory 333, an Egyptian rocket factory. Letter bomb sent bearing Hamburg post mark. Another such bomb disfigured and blinded a secretary. Part of Operation Damocles. Mossad
February 23, 1965 Montevideo, Uruguay Herberts Cukurs Aviator who according to Israel had been involved in the death of Latvian Jews during the the WWII, he was Lured to and killed in Montevideo by agents under the false pretense of starting an aviation business. Mossad

July 25, 1972 Beirut Attempted killing of Bassam Abu Sharif Member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine who held a press conference with Ghassan Kanafani during the Dawson’s Field hijackings justifying the PFLP’s actions. He lost four fingers, and was left deaf in one ear and blind in one eye, after a book sent to him that was implanted with a bomb exploded in his hands. Mossad
October 16, 1972 Rome Abdel Wael Zwaiter Libyan embassy employee and PLO representative, considered by Israel to be a terrorist for his alleged role in the Black September group and  Munich 72. Shot by two gunmen in his apartment. Mossad
July 8, 1972 Beirut Ghassan Kanafani Palestinian writer and a leading member of the PFLP, and claimed to be one of the planners behind the Lod Airport massacre.   Killed by car bomb. Mossad-12 surviving  families of the deceased on the attack placed a civil law suit against  the Democratic Republic of Korea for the massacre attached find the court papers.
December 8, 1972 Paris Mahmoud Hamshari PLO representative in France and coordinator of the Munich Olympic Games massacre. Killed by bomb concealed in his telephone.
January 24, 1973 Nicosia Hussein Al Bashir Fatah representative in Nicosia, Cyprus Killed by bomb in his hotel room bed.
April 6, 1973 Paris Basil Al-Kubaissi PFLP member and American University of Beirut law professor Killed by two gunmen.
April 9, 1973 Beirut Muhammad Youssef Al-Najjar Black September Operations officer and PLO official Killed during Operation Spring of Youth. Sayeret Matkal
April 9, 1973 Beirut Kamal Adwan Black September commander and member of the Fatah central committee[14] Killed during Operation Spring of Youth. Sayeret Matkal
April 9, 1973 Beirut Kamal Nasser PLO spokesman Killed during Operation Spring of Youth. Sayeret Matkal
April 11, 1973 Athens Zaiad Muchasi Fatah representative to Cyprus Killed in hotel room.
June 28, 1973 Paris Mohammad Boudia Black September operations officer Killed by pressure-activated mine under his car seat.
July 21, 1973 Lillehammer, Norway Attempted killing of Ali Hassan Salameh High-ranked leader in the PLO and Black September who was behind the 1972 Munich Olympic Games massacre Ahmed Bouchiki, an innocent waiter believed to be Ali Hassan Salameh, killed by gunmen. Known as the Lillehammer affair. Mossad
March 28, 1978 German Democratic Republic Wadie Haddad PFLP commander, who masterminded several plane hijackings in the 1960s and 1970s.  Killed by a poisoned chocolate, sent to him, which caused his death several months later. Claimed to be Mossad (Israel never claimed responsibility)
July 26, 1979 Cannes Zuheir Mohsen Leader of the pro-Syria as-Sa’iqa faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization Shot in the front of casino. Mossad
January 22, 1979 Beirut Ali Hassan Salameh High-ranked leader in the PLO and Black September who was behind the 1972 Munich Olympic Games massacre Killed by car bomb, along with four bodyguards and four innocent bystanders. Mossad
1980s
Date Place Target Description Action Executor
June 13, 1980 Paris Yehia El-Mashad Egyptian nuclear scientist, lecturer at Alexandria University Killed in his room at the Méridien Hotel in Operation Sphinx. Marie-Claude Magal, prostitute, client of El-Meshad, pushed under a car and killed in the Boulevard Saint-Germain. Mossad
August 21, 1983 Athens Mamoun Meraish Senior PLO official Shot in his car from motorcycle. Mossad
June 9, 1986 Athens Khalid Nazzal Secretary of the DFLP (Democratic Front for Liberation of Palestine) Assassinated in Athens by Mossad agents who enter Greece with fake passports, shot Nazzal while leaving his hotel, and fled the country. Mossad
April 16, 1988 Tunis Abu Jihad Second-in-command to Yassir Arafat Killed in Tunis Raid.[10] Israeli commandos
1990s

March 20, 1990 Brussels Gerald Bull Canadian engineer and designer of the Project Babylon “supergun” for the Iraqi government Shot at door to his apartment Mossad (speculation and denied by Israel)
February 16, 1992 Leader of the Lebanese resistance Abbas al-Musawi Secretary-General of Hezbollah Killed in his car convoy by missiles launched from two Israeli helicopters, with his wife and their son. Mossad
June 8, 1992 Paris Atef Bseiso Palestinian official involved in Munich Massacre Shot several times in the head at point-blank range by 2 gunmen, in his hotel (Aaron Klein’s “Striking Back”) Mossad
October 26, 1995 Sliema, Malta Fathi Shaqaqi Head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad Shot and killed in front of Diplomat Hotel.
January 6, 1996 Gaza Strip Yahya Ayyash “The Engineer”, Hamas bombmaker Killed by bomb in cell phone. Shabak
September 25, 1997 Amman Khaled Mashaal (failed attempt) Hamas political leader Attempted poisoning. Israel provided antidote, after pressure by Clinton. Canada withdrew Ambassador. Two Mossad agents with Canadian passports arrested

According to an Israeli research centers, Israel carried out 135 assassinations until May 2003, killing 249 members of various Palestinian resistance factions

November 22, 2000 Gaza Strip Jamal Abdel Raziq Senior official of the Fatah faction Tanzim Killed with driver, Awni Dhuheir, when their car was fired upon by IDF troops. Two bystanders in car in front of them also killed (Sami Abu Laban, 29, baker, and Na’el Al Leddawi, 22, student). IDF
December 17, 2000 Qalandiyya Samih Malabi Senior Fatah member using Mobile phone bomb. It is unclear whether he had been killed by his own explosive device or by Israeli security forces.
February 3, 2001 Gaza Strip Massoud Ayyad Lieutenant-colonel in Force 17, who allegedly led a Hezbollah cell involved in firing on Jewish settlements, plotting to kidnap Israeli soldiers and smuggling arms. Killed while driving in Jabaliya refugee camp by three helicopter-launched rockets.
June 24, 2001 Nablus Osama Jawabiri Member of al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade Bomb planted in public phone
July 17, 2001 Bethlehem Omar Saada Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades regional commander Two wire-guided missiles fired into his home. One other Hamas member killed.
July 31, 2001 Nablus Jamal Mansour High-ranking official of Hamas’ West Bank political wing Killed when office struck by helicopter-launched missiles.
August 5, 2001 Tulkarim Amr Hadiri Hamas student activist Missiles fired at car.
August 20, 2001 Hebron, West Bank Imad Abu Sneneh Leader of Tanzim Shot and killed. Israeli undercover team
August 27, 2001 Ramallah, West Bank Abu Ali Mustafa Secretary General of the PFLP Killed in his office by two missiles fired from an Apache helicopter. IAF
January 14, 2002 Tulkarem, West Bank Raed Karmi Head of al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades Killed by blast.
January 22, 2002 Nablus, West Bank Yusif Suragji West Bank head of Izzaddinal_Qassam Brigades. Three other Hamas members also killed. Palestinian Authority claims it was an assassination.[29] Killed in a raid on an alleged explosives factory. Israeli army
January 24, 2002 Khan Yunis, Gaza strip Adli Hamadan (Bakr Hamdan) Senior Hamas member missile attack on car. Israeli Air Force
February 4, 2002 Rafah Ayman Bihdari DFLP member wanted for 25 August 2001 raid in which three Israeli soldiers were killed. missile attack on car. Four other DFLP members killed. Israeli Air Force
March 5, 2002 Ramallah Mohammad Abu Halawa and Fawzi Murrar Wanted AMB members Missile fired at car from helicopter.
June 24, 2002 Rafah Yasir Raziq, ‘Amr Kufa. Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades leaders. Missiles fired at two cars. Four other Palestinians killed.
July 22, 2002 Gaza City Salah Shahade Leader of Hamas Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades Killed by 2,205-pound explosive dropped by F-16. The attack also killed fourteen other Palestinians including his wife and 9 children.
August 6, 2002 Jenin Ali Ajuri, Murad Marshud al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades members. Killed by air to surface missile.
August 14, 2002 Tubas Nassa Jarrar Senior Hamas member. Rockets fired into house from helicopters. The victim was wheelchair bound.
March 8, 2003 Gaza City Ibrahim al-Makadmeh He and three of his aides killed by helicopter-fired missiles
August 21, 2003 Gaza Strip Ismail Abu Shanab High-ranking Hamas official, Missile strike
December 25, 2003 Gaza Strip Mekled Hameid PIJ commander. Helicopter gunship attack on car. Two PIJ members and two bystanders also killed. IAF
February 28, 2004 Jabaliya refugee camp Muhammad Judah PIJ military commander Missiles at his car. Two passengers are also killed and eleven bystanders wounded.
March 3, 2004 Gaza City Tarad Jamal, Ibrahim Dayri and Ammar Hassan Senior Hamas members Missiles from helicopter fired at car.
March 22, 2004 Gaza Strip Ahmed Yassin Co-founder and leader of Hamas He, 2 bodyguards, and 9 bystanders killed by Israeli Air Force AH-64 Apache-fired Hellfire missiles. IAF
April 17, 2004 Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi Co-founder and leader of Hamas, and successor of Ahmed Yassin as leader of Hamas after his death Killed by helicopter-fired missiles, along with his son.
October 21, 2004 Gaza Adnan al-Ghoul Hamas weapons expert He and Imad Abbas killed when Apache helicopter fired missiles at their car.
May 25, 2006 Sidon, Lebanon Mahmoud al-Majzoub Commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Injured in car bombing, and died the next day. Islamic Jihad blamed Israel, though Israel denied it.
June 8, 2006 Jamal Abu Samhadana Founder of the Popular Resistance Committees militant group, a former Fatah and Tanzim member, and number two on Israel’s list of wanted terrorists. Killed by Israeli airstrike, along with at least three other PRC members.
February 12, 2008 Damascus Imad Mughniyah Top Hezbollah commander Killed by car bomb. Some news reports indicated the Mossad was responsible, though Israel denied carrying it out.
August 1, 2008 Muhammad Suleiman Syrian General, and top liaison between Syria and Hezbollah Killed by sniper fire. Israel never takes credit for the killing, but is widely suspected.
January 1, 2009 Nizar Rayan Top Hamas military commander and decision maker,  Killed in Israeli airstrike, along with his 4 wives and 11 of their children. He is the most senior Hamas member to be killed since 2004. According to Israel, Rayan was not the target, rather, the strike aimed to destroy Hamas’ central compound which included several buildings that served as storage sites for weapons. Israel further stated that phone warnings were delivered to the residents.
January 3, 2009 Abu Zakaria al-Jamal Senior Hamas military wing commander, and leader of Gaza City’s rocket-launching squads Killed in Israeli airstrike.
January 15, 2009 Jabalia Said Seyam Hamas Interior Minister Killed in Israeli airstrike with his brother, his son, and Hamas general security services commander Salah Abu Shrakh.
March 4, 2009 Gaza Strip Khaled Shalan Senior member of Islamic Jihad Killed in Israeli airstrike, in retaliation for[dubious – discuss] Palestinian rocket attacks on the Israeli city of Ashkelon. IAF

2010s

January 12, 2010 Iran Masoud Alimohammadi Iranian nuclear scientist Killed in a car bomb. Mossad (Alleged)
January 19, 2010 Dubai Mahmoud al-Mabhouh Hamas senior military commander, believed to have been involved in smuggling weapons and explosives into Gaza. Widely reported to have been killed by Israeli intelligence members. Israel stated that there is no proof of its involvement, and refused to confirm or deny the allegations. Dubai police report that Israeli agents used Australian, French, British, Irish, and Dutch passports. Mossad
July 31, 2010 Gaza Strip Issa al-Batran Hamas military commander in central Gaza, thought to have been involved in manufacturing rockets Killed in retaliation for earlier rocket attack on city of Ashkelon IAF
November 3, 2010 Gaza Strip Mohammed Nimnim al-Qaeda affiliated, Army of Islam commander Car explosion, due to either a bomb planted by Israel or an Israeli airstrike. IAF, with Egyptian intelligence
November 17, 2010 Gaza Strip Islam Yassin al-Qaeda affiliated, Army of Islam commander Israeli airstrike on his car, killing him, his brother, and injuring four others. IAF
November 29, 2010 Iran Majid Shahriari Iranian nuclear scientist Killed in a car bomb. According to the German newspaper Der Spiegel Israel was behind the killing. Mossad
November 29, 2010 Attempted killing of Fereydoon Abbasi in Iran. Iranian nuclear scientist Wounded in a car bomb.Mossad
January 11, 2011 Gaza Strip Mohammed A-Najar Islamic Jihad operative, suspected of planning attacks against civilians and launching rockets at Israel Attacked by the Israel Airforce while driving his motorcycle in the Gaza Strip. IAF
April 9, 2011 Gaza Strip Tayseer Abu Snima Senior Hamas commander Killed along with 2 of his bodyguards by the Israeli air force during a period of escalated rocket fire from Gaza. He was the most senior Hamas commander killed since 2009.[60] IAF
July 23, 2011 Iran Darioush Rezaeinejad Iranian nuclear scientist Killed by unknown gunmen on motorcycle. The German Newspaper Der Spiegel claimed Mossad was behind the operation. He is the third Iranian nuclear scientist killed since 2010. Mossad
August 18, 2011 Gaza Strip Abu Oud al-Nirab and Khaled Shaath Popular Resistance Committees Commanders Killed hours after a terrorist attack killed 7 Israelis in southern Israel. 4 additional members of the group were killed in the strike.IAF, Shin Bet
January 11, 2012 Iran Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan Iranian nuclear scientist The bomb that killed Ahmadi-Roshan at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility, and another unidentified person was a magnetic one and the same as the ones previously used for the assassination of the scientists, and the work of the Zionists [Israelis],” deputy Tehran governor Safarali Baratloo said. Mossad
March 9, 2012 Gaza Strip Zuhir al-Qaisi Secretary-General of the Popular Resistance Committees According to Israeli intelligence, he was planning an imminent attack. IAF  Preempty strike
November 14, 2012 Gaza Strip Ahmed Jaabari Commander of Hamas’ military wing Killed in an airstrike at the start of Operation Pillar of Cloud.

References-Use your common sense, some of the references and information are taken from some Israeli sites,  use caution. Taking in consideration the modus operandi of Israel, which is, lying, distorting the truth always to serve their agenda. The ultimate truth in this article is to give you the toll on the number of Israel Target Assassination. Being the point of the opening statement. Statement taken from Benjamin Netayahu book -TERRORRISM 1986.

^ Abraham D. Sofaer (March 26, 2004). “Responses to Terrorism / Targeted killing is a necessary option”. The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
^ name=USA: ‘Targeted killing’ policies violate the right to life|url=http://www.amnestyusa.org/research/reports/usa-%E2%80%98targeted-killing-policies-violate-the-right-to-life%7Cdate=16 November 2012
^ name=Targeted Killings|url=http://www.aclu.org/national-security/targeted-killings%7Cdate=16 November 2012
^ a b Burns, Lieutenant-General E.L.M. (1962) Between Arab and Israeli. George G. Harrap. Page 164
^ Sirrs, Owen L. (January 2006). Nasser and the missile age in the Middle East. Routledge. p. 61.
^ a b Lavy, George (October 1996). Germany and Israel: moral debt and national interest. Routledge. p. 63.
^ Josifs S̆teimanis (2002). History of Latvian Jews (Illustrated, revised ed.). East European Monographs. ISBN 0-88033-493-2, 9780880334938.
^ Guerin, Orla (June 29, 2002). “BBC Article”. BBC News. Retrieved October 21, 2010.
^ a b Palestinians’ Way Forward Al Jazeera English, June 19, 2009
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Israeli “Hits” On Terrorists, Jewish Virtual Library, last updated December 18, 2007. Retrieved December 24, 2007.
^ Bar-Zohar, Michael & Eitan Haber. Massacre in Munich. The Lyons Press, 2005, p. 146
^ Stich, Rodney. “FBI, CIA, the Mob, and Treachery”. 2007. p.188
^ Strategic intelligence, Volume 1 By Loch K. Johnson, p. 67
^ The terrorist list: A-K, By Edward Mickolus. p.28
^ a b “Death of a Terrorist”. Time Magazine. 1979-02-05. Retrieved 2007-03-27.
^ a b Poisoned Mossad chocolate killed PFLP leader in 1977, says book. Middle East Times. May 6, 2006
^ http://www.science.co.il/ilan-ramon/Osiraq.pdf Ford, Peter S., Major, USAF, “Israel’s Attack on Osiraq: A Model for Future Preventive Strikes?”, INSS Occasional Paper 59, USAF Institute for National Security Studies, USAF Academy, Colorado, July 2005, p. 15
^ a b Ostrovsky, Victor, “By Way of Deception: The Making and Unmaking of a Mossad Officer”, St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1990, p. 23f.
^ “Agent Livni Makes British Headlines”. YNet News. June 1, 2008. Retrieved October 23, 2008.
^ Toolis, Kevin (26 August 1990). “The Man Behind Iraq’s Supergun”. The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
^ Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor of the US State Department, February 23, 2001. Retrieved October 14, 2006.
^ Israel’s death squads: A soldier’s story, Donald Macintyre, The Independent, March 1, 2009.
^ Mid-East peace hopes shift to US, BBC, 17 December 2000
^ The Independent, 14 February 2001
^ Philips, Alan. “Arafat aide killed in helicopter ambush”, Telegraph, February 14, 2001. Retrieved October 14, 2006.
^ Profile: Hamas activist Jamal Mansour, BBC News, July 31, 2001. Retrieved October 14, 2006.
^ “Palestinian activist shot, killed”, CNN, August 20, 2001. Retrieved October 14, 2006.
^ “Killing sparks fresh Mid-East violence”. BBC News. January 14, 2002. Retrieved November 11, 2009.
^ a b c d Journal of Palestine Studies. XXXI, no. 3 (Spring 2002), University of California Press, pp. 172-194.
^ Journal of Palestine Studies. XXXI, no. 4 (Summer 2002), University of California Press, p 203.
^ “Hamas terrorist Ismail Abu Shanab – 21-Aug-2003″. Mfa.gov.il. Retrieved October 21, 2010.
^ Journal of Palestine Studies, Summer 2004, Volume XXX111, no 4 (132). Page 189, Chronology compiles by Michele K. Esposito. citing Agence France-Presse, New York Times, Washington Post and Washington Times.
^ JoPS. Page 190. cites Ha’Aretz, Palestine Report.
^ “Al Jazeera English – The Life And Death Of Shaikh Yasin”. Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on August 16, 2007. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
^ PIWP database: Assassination of Majzoub brothers in Sidon
^ Hamas defies ‘security force’ ban, BBC News Online, 21 April 2006.
^ [1], Haaretz, June 8, 2006.
^ [2], Yediot Acharonot, June 8
^ Mahnaimi, Uzi; Jaber, Hala; Swain, Jon (February 17, 2008). “Israel kills terror chief with headrest bomb”. London: The Sunday Times. Retrieved March 28, 2008.
^ Powell, Robyn (February 26, 2008). “Israel denies assassinating Hizbollah chief”. London: The Telegraph. Retrieved March 28, 2008.
^ Yoav Stern (August 3, 2008). “Sniper kills Syrian Pres. Assad’s Hezbollah liaison”. Haaretz. Archived from the original on 2009-05-08.
^ Harel, Amos (September 28, 2010). “ANALYSIS / In bombing Sudan, Israel sends message to Iran”. Haaretz. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
^ a b Kalman, Matthew; Kennedy, Helen (2009-01-01). “Israel fells key Hamas strongman, escalating conflict; says it’s ready for ground invasion”. New York Daily News. Retrieved 2009-01-01.
^ Factual and Legal Aspects, IMFA, July 2009
^ Israeli ground troops enter Gaza
^ Katz, Yaakov (January 3, 2009). “Tens of thousands of IDF combat reservists called up”. The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved November 11, 2009.
^ Yaakov Katz (Jan 15, 2009). “IAF kills Hamas strongman Siam”. The Jerusalem Post.
^ al-Mughrabi, Nidal (March 4, 2009). “Israel kills Gaza rocket commander in airstrike”. Reuters. Retrieved November 11, 2009.
^ Issacharoff, Avi; Harel, Amos (2010-01-31). “Mystery explosion kills senior Hamas militant in Dubai”. Haaretz. Retrieved 2010-01-31.
^ “Israeli politician Livni hails Dubai Hamas killing”, BBC News, February 23, 2010.
^ Ravid, Barak (July 30, 2010). “Hamas vows revenge after Israel kills commander in Gaza strike”. Haaretz. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
^ Yitzhak Behorin (November 11, 2010). “Egypt ‘tipped’ Israel on terrorist”. ynetnews.
^ Anshel Pfeffer, Avi Issacharoff and News Agencies (November 3, 2010). “Israel claims assassination of top Islamist militant in Gaza”. Haaretz.
^ Avi Issacharoff (November 17, 2010). “IDF kills senior Gaza militant planning to abduct Israelis in Sinai”. Haaretz.
^ Yaakov Lappin (November 17, 2010). “IAF kills Army of Islam leader in Gaza”. The Jerusalem Post.
^ Robert Zeliger (August 2, 2011). “Report: Mossad behind string of assassinations in Iran”. Foreign Policy.
^ http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/bomb-blast-blamed-on-israel-and-us-kills-iran-nuclear-scientist-2146996.html
^ http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/sabotaging-iran-s-nuclear-program-mossad-behind-tehran-assassinations-says-source-a-777899.html
^ a b “Israeli air strike kills one Palestinian in Gaza”. Thaindian News. Jan 12 2011.
^ Kevin Flower (April 9, 2011). “Arab League meeting urged over Gaza”. CNN.
^ “‘Der Spiegel’: Mossad behind Iran scientist assassination”. The Jerusalem Post. August 2, 2011.
^ Elior Levy (August 18, 2011). “Revenge: 2 Top terrorists killed”. ynetnews.
^ The Express Herald Tribune’s reporter Web Desk (February 10, 2012). “Mossad training hit-squads in Iran to kill nuclear scientists: Report.”. Tribune.
^ MSNBC’s reporter Brian Williams (February 9, 2012). “Israel teams with terror group to kill Iran’s nuclear scientists, U.S. officials tell NBC News.”. MSNBC.
^ BBC’s reporter Mohsen Asgari (January 11, 2012). “A university lecturer and nuclear scientist has been killed in a car explosion in north Tehran.”. BBC.
^ http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4201508,00.html
^ Kershner, Isabel; Fares Akram (14 November 2012). “Ferocious Israeli Assault on Gaza Kills a Leader of Hamas”. The New York Times. Retrieved 15 November 2012.

The ‘Usual Suspects’: Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau

December 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Posted on December 28, 2012 by Akashma Online News

Source Daily Kos
by James Risser
If you give it some thoughts to the UN Vote for Palestine only 5 countries VOTE NO,  US, Israel, Australia, Panama and Czech Republic, the other 4 countries couldn’t even be considered independent countries. Even thought they are declared independent Nations, they wholly depend on US.

So Israel should really be concerned about its standing against the world.

The only time I personally ever hear or read about the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau is after a vote at the United Nations.

There has never been a diary written about this grouping of four countries, so why are they considered ‘the usual suspects’?  In fact, I have no idea why anyone would even click on this diary, and if there is an award for the least significant diary of the day, this may be it.

But, if you did click here, you may now be curious and are asking: ‘why oh why are they ‘the usual suspects”? Well, these countries form the supporting block of countries that the United States can depend on, along with Israel and Australia, to customarily vote as a block of six.

In fact, the only time I personally ever hear or read about the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau is after a vote at the United Nations.

This brief diary offers an explanation of why this unbreakable pact exists.

For the geographically-challenged, such as myself, who have no idea where these four countries are, here is a map, courtesy of wikipedia.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

NAURU-Population 14,000

The first secretary in the Australian Embassy, Jonathan Chew, gently but firmly set me straight. Nauru is an independent nation, he explained to me. He could assure me that Australia does not dictate to independent nations how to vote in the UN. Australia opposed the draft resolution this time, too, as it has before, because it felt that it was not sufficiently balanced and therefore would do nothing to promote peace, and Australia, of course, supports efforts to promote peace. Evidently, this is also the view of the United States, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau and Nauru. At least half the people of Israel support the main points of the UN resolution, as does the vast majority of the people on the planet, but it’s nice to know, that we have friends and that we’re not alone.

The Australian writer of this piece goes on to explain that:

Nauru is very much dependent on Australian financial support. It is hardly a tourist resort and its main service for Australia is running an offshore detention centre.

Parenthetically, the writer adds:

(While the conditions there are atrocious it is no Guantanamo Bay. The people kept there are asylum seekers who fell foul of the Howard government’s “pacific solution” policy.)

I had never heard of this ‘pacific solution‘ before today; maybe everyone else knew about it.  Sounds rather sick though:

The Pacific Solution was the name given to the Australian government policy of diverting asylum seekers to detention camps on small island nations in the Pacific Ocean, rather than allowing them to land on the Australian mainland.

Regardless, it does have a vote at the United Nations.  I leave it to the reader to ponder on how many votes it has cast inconsistent with Australia.

REPUBLIC OF THE MARSHALL ISLANDS-Population 54,816

Between 1946 and 1958 the United States tested 67 nuclear weapons in the Marshall Islands, including the largest nuclear test the United States ever conducted, Castle Bravo.

The results of these ‘nuclear tests’ are still to be found in its residents.  Here is young child:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The United States also maintains the U.S. Army’s Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll. It is an important aspect of the Marshallese economy, as the Marshallese land owners receive rent for the base, and a large number of Marshallese work at the base.

The combination of the litigation over the nuclear remains of America’s experiments, and the fact that the

United States Government assistance is the mainstay of the economy.

may be the reason why we can count on their vote, no?

PALAU-Population 20,609

Palau’s government web-site

Palau has a constitutional government in free association with the United States. The Compact of Free Association was entered into with the United States on October 1, 1994, also marking Palau’s independence.

Following the defeat of Japan in WWII, the Carolines, Marianas and Marshall Islands became United Nation’s Trust Territories under US administration. Palau was named one of six island districts. As part of this arrangement, the US was to improve Palau’s infrastructure and educational system in order for it to become a self-sufficient nation. This finally came about on October 1, 1994, when Palau gained its independence upon signing of the Compact of Free Association with the United States.

The Compact of Free Association with the United States provides Palau with $500 million in US aid over 15 years in return for furnishing military facilities

Those freely associated states are where we tested some dozens of atomic bombs even as the locals went about their daily routines. As a Nation we did great harm to the indigenous peoples of these islands and we owe them some restitution.  In 1986 we entered into a Compact of Free Association (Compact) with the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). Each year between 1986 and 2003 the US sent $1.5 billion to FSM and $1 billion to RMI.  It may be these large sums of money that helped to attract Abramoff and the GOP to the Pacific. It certainly helped to attract the Tan Family to the islands.

Now, in November 2003, Congress passed and Bush signed the Compact of Free Association Amendments Act of 2003. This increased the funding to $2.1 billion for FSM and $1.5 billion for RMI for every year until 2023.

Under the terms of the Compact of Free Association with the United States, Palau will receive more than $450 million in assistance over 15 years and is eligible to participate in more than 40 federal programs. The first grant of $142 million was made in 1994. Further annual payments in lesser amounts will be made through 2009. Total U.S. grant income in 2005 was $25.9 million.

Having once boasted the second highest per capita GDP in the world thanks to its fabled phosphate mines, Nauru is today destitute. With the seeming depletion of readily accessible phosphate reserves in 2000, mining on a large-scale commercial basis ended  [snip]

Although Nauru had a nominal per capita GDP in excess of $2,700, its economy is in deep crisis, and the resumption of mining promises only a limited respite as the country seeks to find a sustainable economic future. [snip]

Trade between the United States and Nauru is limited by the latter’s small size and economic problems. The value of two-way trade in 2005 was $1.6 million

MICRONESIA-Population 111,542

Micronesia Population

They too, are part of the Compact of Free Association, and receive millions of dollars of support for furnishing the United States military facilities.

Hmmm, that may explain it.

It is rather sad that the only way America can get people in the world to vote in accordance with its extremist ideology is to simply buy them from states whose people, if they want to eat and live, have to sell their vote to the United States.

So there you have it; ‘the usual suspects’ explained.  Four countries, spread over hundreds of the world’s tiniest islands, most uninhabited, each of the four with a vote in the United Nations.  Each beholding to either the United States or Australia for their very existence.  It is downright shameful that this country stoops so low…

But, 150-something to 6 or 7 sounds a lot better than 150-something to 2 or 3, doesn’t it?

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari launches political career

December 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Posted on December 27, 2012 by Akashma Online News

Excerpts Daily News and Analysis India
UPDATED by Marivel Guzman

The 24-year-old only son of assassinated former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto is due to launch his political career on Thursday, the fifth anniversary of his mother’s death.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is among hundreds of high-ranking Pakistani officials, including the current president, his father Asif Zardari, who gathered to commemorate Bhutto’s killing in a gun and suicide attack during a 2007 political campaign rally.

Ms Bhutto, whose father founded the PPP, was prime minister from 1988 to 1990 and from 1993 to 1996.

The Pakistan Peoples Party was launched at its founding convention held in Lahore on Nov 30 – Dec 1, 1967. At the same meeting, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was elected as its Chairman. Among the express goals for which the Party was formed were the establishment of an egalitarian democracy and the application of socialistic ideas to realize economic and social justice. A more immediate task was to struggle against the hated military dictatorship at the height of its power when the PPP was formed.  Pakistan Peoples Party

On both occasions she was dismissed from office for alleged corruption.

The PPP government oblivious of miseries of the people is solely interested in completing its five-year term. It is confident that it will once again win the elections by buying the voters. Opinion Maker

“Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, following in the tradition of generations, will prove to be an important turning point for democracy and politics,” said Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf. “This journey will continue forward.”

A five-member bench ordered Mr. Ashraf to appear before the court on Aug. 27 to explain why his government had refused to revive a corruption investigation into President Asif Ali Zardari’s finances in Switzerland. New York Times

Oxford graduate Bilawal Bhutto Zadari has so far kept a low profile because of his inexperience

The Oxford-educated Bhutto, who was due to make a speech launching his political career later in the day, was named chairman of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party after his mother’s death.

But he is not yet old enough to contest an election – the minimum age in Pakistan is 25 which Bhutto, who has his mother’s good looks, will reach in September. Benazir Bhutto has become a powerful symbol for the ruling party, which often refers to her as a martyr. The capital’s airport and a scheme to give cash to poor families have been named after her. Officials hang her portraits prominently on their walls.

With parliamentary elections set to be held in 2013, the governing PPP is keen to use the rally as a show of strength to demonstrate that despite widespread criticism over its performance during the past five years, it still enjoys popular support.

Her husband, who was elected following her death, is less popular. Zardari was jailed on corruption charges from 1996 to 2004 that he has said were politically motivated. Elections are scheduled for next spring but many Pakistanis are angry that Zardari’s government has failed to tackle Pakistan’s pervasive corruption or end the daily power cuts that have brought its industrial sector to its knees The elections should mark the first time in Pakistan’s history that one elected civilian government has handed power to another. The nuclear-armed country of 180 million people has a history of military coups.

After one such coup, the new military ruler hung Benazir Bhutto’s father in prison in 1979. Later, Benazir Bhutto served civilian governments as prime minister twice but was dismissed on corruption charges both times.

Her killer has never been caught, and a UN inquiry found that Pakistani authorities had failed to protect her or properly investigate her death. The UN also said that high-ranking Pakistani officials had tried to block its investigation.

Benazir Bhutto was campaigning for reelection when she was assassinated 5 years ago. She plead for protection from Israel and the US.

Benazir Bhutto exposed that Osama Bin Laden dead since 2001, she says

Are the Palestinians Ready to Share a State With Jordan?

December 27, 2012 7 comments

Published on December 27, 2012 by Akashma Online News

By

Source The Atlantic


President Abbas may be pursuing a confederation with Jordan — a move that could finally break the stalemate in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) speaks with Jordan’s King Abdullah upon his arrival in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Dec. 6. (Yousef Allan/Reuters)


In the summer of 1993, I was granted a rare scoop as a Palestinian journalist: an exclusive interview with the prime minister of Israel at the time, Yitzhak Rabin, the first ever given to a reporter working for a leading Palestinian newspaper. Midway way through the one-hour meeting, I asked Rabin for his vision as to the ultimate political status of the West Bank and Gaza in 15 or 20 years. Rabin, who at the time, we later discovered, had approved the Oslo back-channel, took a puff at a cigarette given to him by one of his aides, and answered that he envisions It being part of an entity with Jordan.

I remember this response almost 20 years later, and at a time now when the Oslo Accords — which Rabin signed on the White House lawn in September 1993 — have all but been declared dead by all parties involved. Mahmoud Abbas, who signed the Memorandum of Understanding with Israel on behalf of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) that fall, is now on the verge of leaving political life with no clear successor for him or for the Palestinian Authority that has been established in parts of the West Bank since the agreement’s implementation in 1995.

The failure of this approach has led some to suggest other avenues of breaking up the logjam  – the result of U.S. President Barack Obama’s lack of political will and the failure of the rest of the world to pick up the pieces without U.S. involvement. It is in this political limbo that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is finding itself toying with an old-new formula: A role for the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

In a meeting with members of the Ebal charity in October, which is made up of Jordanians of Palestinian (Nablus) origin and hosted by Jordan’s speaker of the upper house, Taher al Masri, Jordan’s Prince Hassan bin Talal opened up the issue. In the speech, recorded and posted on the jordandays.tv website, the prince stressed that the West Bank is part of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which includes “both banks of the [Jordan] River.” He added that he “did not personally oppose the two-state solution,” but that this solution is irrelevant at the current stage.

The October 9 talk received little attention until a former PLO leader repeated the idea, albeit in a different tone. Farouk al Qadoumi, one of the founders of the PLO’s Fatah movement, gave an interview to the London-based Al Quds Al Arabi, in which he suggested the return of the West Bank to Jordan as part of a federation or a confederation. Qadoumi, who opposed the Oslo Accords and has refused to step foot in the Palestinian Authority areas, has little clout in the PLO, and at one time accused Abbas of being behind the poisoning of the late Yasser Arafat. Qadoumi’s statement was quickly opposed by the secretary of the PLO, Yaser Abed Rabo, who called it “naïve.”

But earlier this month, Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported that Abbas informed several PLO leaders “to be prepared for a new confederation project with Jordan and other parties in the international community,” and that his office has already issued reports that evaluate “the best strategies to lead possible negotiations with Jordan” toward “reviving the confederation.” He has reportedly asked PLO officials to prepare themselves to pursue this strategy. This report, if confirmed by official sources, could be a watershed moment for the Palestinian national movement, and the highest profile endorsement of this persistent proposal.

Abbas’s willingness to explore a Jordanian confederation comes on the heels of the United Nation’s recent declaration of Palestine as an observer state by a 138-9 vote. This clear victory for Abbas gives him the political capital to explore such a potentially controversial move — and also the international recognition of sovereignty that would allow Palestinians to enter into a confederation with Jordan as equal partners.

The idea of Jordan having a greater role in Palestine is attractive for various parties. With the Israelis claiming that the Palestinians might repeat the Gaza rocket problem if they withdraw from the West Bank, the idea of a Jordanian security role in the West Bank can defuse such Israeli concerns. A role for Jordan in Palestine would be publicly acceptable in Israel, where the Hashemite enjoy consistent respect among everyday Israelis. Americans would also find such an idea easier to deal with if talks ever return. And even among Palestinians who are unhappy with the PLO and its failures to end the Israeli occupation, any process that can end Israeli presence in Palestinian territories is welcome — even if that is replaced, temporarily, by an Arab party, whether it is Jordan or any other member of the Arab league.

The suggestion that Jordan returns to a direct role that can include sovereign control (and therefore responsibility) for the West Bank is a long shot for most Palestinians — and more importantly, Jordanians. Palestinians will see it as infringing on their independence. Jordanians will see it as a burden that will weaken their attempts at building a new East Bank Jordan with as few citizens of Palestinian origin as possible. Such a deal would certainly make Palestinians a majority in a federal system, bringing about the scenario that right-wing Israelis have been pushing, namely that Jordan is Palestine.

A Palestinian-Jordanian confederation, however, is another issue. Confederations are political systems that include two independent countries. For some time in the 1980s, this was the most talked-about term in the region. The late Salah Khalaf (Abu Iyyad), the former head of intelligence for the PLO, was quoted as saying that what Palestinians wanted was five minutes of independence and then they would happily agree to a confederation with Jordan. However, the issue became politically poisonous as soon as the late King Hussein of Jordan said publicly that he doesn’t want anyone to ever utter the term “confederation.” And so it has been for the past two decades.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II, whose wife is of Palestinian origin, doesn’t have the same sensitivity, nor do Palestinians have the same concerns about him and a possible Jordanian lust for Palestinian land. Since 1988, Jordan, which had controlled the West Bank until it was lost in the 1967 war, has declared that the unity of the two banks back in the early 1950s is no longer the case. Shortly after the eruption of the 1987 Palestinian intifada, King Hussein declared a cessation of its role in the West Bank. This cessation, which has yet to be constitutionally mandated, has been rejected by the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood — the largest and most organized opposition group in Jordan.

It is not clear whether the idea suggested by Prince Hassan and Farouk Qadoumi, and apparently espoused secretly by U.S. envoys to the region, will ever get traction. It is also not clear whether the words of the late Rabin of the Labor party that I published in the leading daily Al Quds at the time are still valid in Israeli governmental circles now headed by the Likud’s Benjamin Netanyahu and most likely will continue so after next month’s election. Ironically, Jordan’s parliamentary elections, which the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamic Action Front Party will boycott, will take place the following day.

While it is unclear if Jordan will ever end up having any sovereign role in the West Bank, support for a greater role for Jordan in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will no doubt increase in the coming months and years if the current decline of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority continues. The one determining factor in all of the discussions will have to come from the Israeli side, which has yet to decide whether it will relinquish sovereignty over the areas occupied in 1967 to any Arab party, whether it be Palestinian or Jordanian.

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

Daoud Kuttab’s bio

 Daoud Kuttab is a Palestinian journalist and media activists. He is the former Ferris Professor of Journalism at PrincetonUniversity. Daoud Kuttab is currently the director general of Community Media Network (CMN) a not for profit media organization dedicated to advancing independent media in the Arab region. CMN is registered in Jordan and Palestine and administers Radio al Balad in Amman, and www.ammannet.net

 Born in Jerusalemin 1955, Kuttab studied in the United Statesand has been working in journalism ever since 1980. He began his journalism career working in the Palestinian print media (Al-Fajr, Al-Quds and Asennara) as well as the audio visual field (Documentary producer). He established and presided over the Jerusalem Film Institute in the 90s. In 1995 he helped establish the Arabic Media Internet Network (AMIN) a censorship free Arab web site www.amin.org.  He established and has headed between 1996 until 2007 the Institute of Modern Media at Al-Quds University. In 1997 he partially moved to Amman (because of family tragedy and remarriage) and in 2000 established the Arab world’s first internet radio station AmmanNet (www.ammannet.net). Mr. Kuttab is active in media freedom efforts in theMiddle East. He is a regular columnist for the Jordan Times, The Jerusalem Post and the Daily Star inLebanon. He has co-produced a number of award winning documentaries and children’s television programs. His op-ed columns have appeared in the NY Times, TheWashington Post, The Los Angles Times, The Daily Telegraph and Shimbum Daily inTokyo. He has received a number of international awards among them the CPJ Freedom of Expression Award, the IPI World Press Freedom Hero, PEN Club USA Writing Freedom Award, the Leipzeg Courage in Freedom Award and the Next Foundation (UK) Peace through Media Award. He is a regular columnist for the Huffington Post, Palestine News Network, Al Arrabiya.Net and the Jordan Times.

Jerusalem-born thinker Meron Benvenisti has a message for Israelis: Stop whining

December 20, 2012 1 comment

Posted on December 20, 2012 by Akashma Online News

The notion of a Jewish-democratic state is an oxymoron and the two-state solution will never work. ‘This country is a shared land, a single homeland,’ he says.

Originally Posted on October 11, 2012 in Haaretz Daily Newspaper

By

Meron Benvenisti

Meron Benvenisti (b:1934) was born in Palestine in to a Sephardic father (from Salonika) and an Ashkenazi mother (Suvalki on the border of Prussia, Lithuania and Poland). Meron Benvenisti is a former Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem (from 1971 to 1978) and the author of numerous books

Meron Benvenisti was my first editor. At the beginning of the 1980s, Ariel Sharon established more than 100 settlements in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. At the beginning of the 1980s, Meron Benvenisti founded a Jerusalem-based information center to monitor the settlements Sharon established. At the beginning of the 1980s, I was a very young, very enthusiastic young volunteer in Peace Now, which thought ‏(rightly‏) that the settlements Sharon was establishing and that Benvenisti was monitoring were going to lead Israel to perdition. Thus I found myself working for the tempestuous Meron.

In a small apartment on the edge of Jerusalem’s Rehavia neighborhood, he would roar in a booming voice while I documented every new settlement in the territories, every new road in the territories, every industrial zone. He would shout and rant while I noted a land expropriation and another land expropriation and yet another land expropriation. The country’s leading journalists came and went. And the leading American journalists came and went and foreign embassies requested information, whose compilation was funded ‏(barely‏) by foreign foundations. But after the melee subsided, I cast my gaze on the man who caused a media storm by claiming that the occupation was irreversible. An overgrown boy, I said to myself. An overgrown − and delightful − boy.

He was born in 1934 in Jerusalem, went to a kibbutz ‏(Rosh Hanikra‏) for self-fulfillment and left the kibbutz. He studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem ‏(history of the Crusades‏), and left the Hebrew University. He joined Teddy Kollek ‏(Tourism Ministry, Jerusalem Municipality‏), and left Teddy Kollek. After he ceased to be deputy mayor of the city and after failing to enter the Knesset, he went to Harvard and earned a Ph.D. in conflict management and founded the West Bank Data Base Project in Jerusalem, to document the establishment of the settlements. Betwixt and between, Benvenisti wrote books about the Crusaders, about Jerusalem, about the conflict and about cemeteries. For 18 years he wrote a column in this newspaper. He now divides his time between Caesarea and the city in which he was born, where he will be buried and for which he grieves.

I plead guilty to having a weakness for Meron. I love his volcanic temperament and I love his authenticity and his unbearability. I love his sabra quality and his earthiness, and I love the intensity of his tragic romanticism. Benvenisti is not only an out-of-the-box person; he is an out-of-the-system, out-of-the-mold, out-of-every-convention person. Being irresponsible, immature and unrestrained, he does not feel a commitment to any solution or any stream of thought. Being all chutzpah and provocation and quarrelsomeness, he does not belong to any group. But it’s precisely that lone-wolf intellectual wildness that makes him so fascinating. Serious and not serious, logical and illogical, Meron Benvenisti contains within him all the contradictions and all the vicissitudes and all the irreconcilables of the land with which he is engaged in a relentless wrestling match.

It has been 10 years since we last met. The man who opens the door for me is older and less healthy than the man I knew. After two major heart operations, he is thinner, softer and a bit more conciliatory. When I enter, he does not tell me what he thinks about my articles and my path and my worldview. Instead, he gives me a gift: a short letter written in a refined hand that my mother’s aunt wrote to his father in the village of Zichron Yaakov 92 years ago. Surprisingly, this delicate letter is what opens the subversive autobiography ‏(“The Dream of the White Sabra,” 2012, Hebrew‏) of the subversive Zionist I have come to listen to. Because, when all is said and done, what’s important for this subversive Zionist to say is that he is from here. From within. From this land. From the guts of the story against which he rails.

***

What is it you are saying, Meron? That we are South Africa? That we are white settlers like the Boers and are suppressing the natives like the Boers and that we are doomed to collapse like the Boers?

The comparison to South Africa is wrongheaded, simplistic and dangerous. There was something there which does not exist here: biological racism. The whites there were only 17 percent, and the blacks 83 percent. But on the other hand, the whites and the blacks shared the same religion and lived with one another and the blacks were not expelled. So, I do not accept the allegation that Israel is an apartheid state. Even what is happening in the territories is not exactly apartheid. But what is taking shape here is no less grave. This is a master-nation democracy; in German, a “Herrenvolk democracy.” We are a country that behaves like a full-blooded democracy, but we have a group of serfs − the Arabs − to whom we do not apply democracy. The result is a situation of extreme inequality.

There is a society here of settlers who dispossess others by seizing their place and pushing them out and creating a unilateral power system of migrant rule. That system cannot survive. Ultimately, the good Israelis will not be able to sustain the tension between their liberal values and the brutality of the reality amid which they live. They will leave. They are already starting to leave. Therefore, what’s needed is a transition to a different paradigm. The Jewish nation-state is doomed. It will implode. In the end, the only way to live here will be to create an equality of respect between us and the Palestinians. To recognize the fact that there are two national communities here which love this land and whose obligation is to channel the unavoidable conflict between them into a process of dialogue for life together.

Just a minute. You are saying more than I can take in. I have no argument with you about the settlements and the settlers. But that is exactly why the solution of two states for two nations was devised. That is exactly the reason that the majority of Israelis are ready for a partition solution. It will take time, it will be hard, but in the end we will have a Jewish-democratic nation-state here and they will have a Palestinian nation-state there. That is the way, it is the only way.

It is time for you and your friends in Tel Aviv to understand: it is impossible to divide this land. Impossible. You cannot tell the Arabs to forget about Jaffa and Acre. They will not forget. And you cannot get any Palestinian to sign off on “the end of the conflict.” They will not sign. And the Green Line, which was the great alibi of the left, no longer exists. The Green Line is dead. The separation fence: that is truly apartheid. Separation is apartheid. Tel Avivans don’t want to understand this, but the Land of Israel is whole. It is a single geopolitical unit. It follows that the partition of the land is impossible. It is as impossible geographically and physically as it is psychologically. What’s impossible is the solution you are proposing. Even in Spain and Canada and Belgium, the binational structures are breaking up and falling apart. So, do you expect that in the Middle East, of all places, the Jewish fanatics and the Palestinian fanatics will be able to live under one roof?

You’re dreaming, Meron. You are more divorced from reality than any Tel Aviv leftie.

First of all, I am not proposing solutions. That is not my job. I am saying that the dominant paradigm is a lie, and I am fighting it. I am proposing an alternative paradigm of equality with honor. I am bringing a different terminology and a different way of looking at reality; because the “villa in the jungle” approach won’t work. If you bring about a coerced and unjust division, you will end up with a Palestinian state that is crippled, hurting and angry, which will turn violent. The right wing is correct about that. You saw what happened in Gaza. The disengagement solved nothing and brought Hamas to power. And in the future, you are liable to get something worse than Hamas in the West Bank. That is why division is not a solution to the problem − it is an exacerbation of the problem. It’s true that the Middle East is not a comfortable place. But you came to live in the Middle East. So, what will you say now: “Sorry, it was a mistake, so pack your bags and leave”?

I am not about to pack my bags and leave. I do not have a foreign passport and I will not have one. I am a native son. I am native-born. I am from here. That is why I know that two national communities emerged in this land, both of which are an integral part of it. There are two national communities here that live together in the same place, one within the other. In this situation, partition is not an option. There was a time when it was possible, but no longer. This country is a shared land, a single homeland.

Fine, I get it. Now let’s go back. To the bedrock. Was Zionism born in sin?

Zionism was not born in sin, but in illusion. The illusion was that we are coming to a land in which there are no Arabs. And when we figured it out, we pulverized the country’s Arabs into five different groups: the Arabs of Israel, the Arabs of Gaza, the Arabs of the West Bank, the Arabs of Jerusalem and the refugee Arabs. We succeeded in creating a divide-and-rule system that made it possible for us to rule them and to preserve hegemonic power between the Mediterranean and the Jordan.

I do not want to say that Zionism is racist, but a constellation of traits developed here that is generally identified with racism, albeit without the biological element. We are imbued with a combination of hatred for the goy, which we inherited from our forebears, and hatred for the other whom we encountered here. The result is what we see today. Among a large segment of the public, there is an element of racism vis-a-vis the Arabs, but I would not categorize us all as racists. I would say that what characterizes us collectively is ethnic hatred, ethnic recoil, ethnic contempt and ethnic patronizing. Instead of progress, Zionism brought reaction. It became a movement of dispossession based on nonuniversal, non-egalitarian values.

When did this deviation by Zionism occur − in 1967 or in 1948?

In June 1948. How so? Because that was when state institutions were created here that were supposed to operate according to universal values. That was the moment at which the Zionist revolution was supposed to stop behaving by means of revolutionary force and bring into being a normal Western state. But [David] Ben-Gurion, who until that moment was the head of an ethnic group, did not internalize the fact that he was no longer the head of an ethnic group. He transformed the nascent state into the continuer of the ethnic struggle. Thus, the Arabs who remained within the boundaries of the state were immediately subjected to ethnic discrimination. Discrimination was institutionalized by means of the Military Government, land expropriations, budgetary inequality and the continued existence of organizations such as the Jewish National Fund and the Jewish Agency, which served only Jews.

But in 1967, that distorted situation, which was implicit in the state, underwent a quantum leap. Now it was no longer the Judaization of Galilee but the implementation of a wild policy of dispossession across the Green Line. Seizure of land, settlements, bypass roads: the creation of a declared situation of one law for Jews and another law for Palestinians. Oslo was a purported attempt to stop the rampant situation. There was mutual recognition between the nations, which is important. But in practice, it turned out that it was not Yossi Beilin who shaped the process but those who saw in Oslo an opportunity to continue the occupation indirectly and conveniently. Thus, a neocolonialist situation was created in the territories. We enjoy maintaining a captive market there which enriches us all.

At present we are talking about 350,000 settlers; or, if you also take Jerusalem into account, 550,000 settlers. So, everyone now understands what I said 30 years ago: it is irreversible. Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni can say whatever they like − it is irreversible. There is no way out of this mess.

Zionism, which did not undergo a metamorphosis in 1948 and did not desist in 1967, became a kind of revolution-in-progress and thereby became like the other revolutions-in-progress of the 20th century. It forged a situation that a liberal democrat cannot live with and cannot accept. This is a situation that cannot endure indefinitely.

I will tell you where you differ from the Zionist left. For most of us, the key concept is the “State of Israel.” As we see it, the Zionist enterprise was intended to bring into being a place where the Jewish people would constitute the majority and enjoy sovereignty. If there is no majority, there is no sovereignty and no democratic-Jewish state; there is no point to all this. It’s more convenient to live as a minority in Manhattan. But for you the basic concept is the “Land of Israel.” In that sense, you resemble the right wing and the Palestinians. You have a soil fetish. You come from the soil and you live the soil and you speak in the name of the soil.

It’s true that I live the story of the soil. I live the whole land and I am mindful of all the people who live here. That is how I know that the land cannot tolerate partition. And I know the land is hurting. The land is angry. After all, what two great monuments have we built here in the past decade? One is the separation fence and the other is [architect Moshe] Safdie’s terminal at Ben-Gurion Airport. The two monuments have something in common: they are intended to allow us to live here as though we are not here. They were built so that we would not see the land and not see the Palestinians, and live as though we are connected to the tail end of Italy. But I see all the fruit groves that were demolished in order to build the fence. I hear the hills that were sliced in two in order to build the fence. The heart weeps. The heart weeps in the name of the soil. For me, the soil is a living being. And I see how this conflict has tortured the soil, the homeland. I grieve for the torments of the homeland.

For years, we built against the Arabs. We dried the Hula Valley and we wrecked Jerusalem and we tore apart Judea and Samaria. But afterward, the Arabs started to build against us. They are no better than we are. We raped the soil and they raped the soil, and now the soil is violated. But I know that in the end it will be the soil that laughs at us: because we cannot exist without it and it cannot exist without us.

In the past, there were so many nations that thought they had succeeded in wresting control of the land. None of those nations was willing to share the land; they wanted the land for themselves and tried to seize it the way you seize a mare. But that noble untamed stallion shook them all off. The point is that if you want to live here, you cannot live alone and you cannot live without listening to the soil. You need to know that the soil breathes and the soil remembers. If you do not understand that, you are not truly a native son. Not truly a native. Your place is not here.

Now we have reached the heart of the matter: nativism. You have a nativist obsession, Meron. And I must tell you that there is something dangerous about your worship of the soil and your admiration for the natives, something undemocratic and illiberal and unenlightened. Why this contempt for migrants? What is the justification for rejecting those who seek a haven here? I discern in you a hidden preference for the Palestinian story over the Israeli story because you are enthralled by the fact that the Palestinians are natives here.

I am drawn to the Arabs. I love their culture, their language, their approach to the land. Our love of the land is an acquired love. Look at the heritage project of [Education Minister] Gideon Sa’ar and [cabinet secretary] Zvika Hauser: it is kitsch. First we defined some sort of theoretical Land of Israel and then we fell in love with the concept, and then we destroyed everything that did not fit the concept. We destroyed the Palestinian landscape, dug to find the remnants of Herod and King David in order to justify our existence, and we came up with a landscape of asphalt and malls that even we do not like. “Man is a tree in the field” − that is not us. Our love of the land is a love that we imposed on the land and foisted on the land. With the Arabs, it is the opposite. Their love for the land truly sprang from the soil. Love of the fig, of the tree, of the house.

It’s true that we have managed to mess them up, too. They are doing terrible things in Ramallah. But I love their love of the homeland. I love what [Palestinian national poet] Mahmoud Darwish writes about it and what [Israeli writer] S. Yizhar writes about it. I see a great closeness between Darwish and Yizhar. And I believe in a future in which the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Darwish and Yizhar live together. Because, as Yizhar wrote: Deep down, the soil does not forget. Only those who are capable of listening to the unforgetting silence of this tormented soil, from which everyone begins and to which everyone returns, Jews and Arabs, has the right to call it homeland. I believe in that with all my heart. In my perception, anyone who does not believe it is not a Zionist.

After everything you have said here, about the masters and the dispossessors and the suppressors, do you still consider yourself a Zionist? Is there such a thing as a Zionist who is against the Jewish nation-state? Is there such a thing as a Zionist who is in favor of a binational state?

Look, despite everything, Zionism is a success. It created a Jewish national community here that is alive and kicking. It forged a Jewish-Israeli nation that was not here. That’s why everyone wants to be a Zionist − to be part of the success. And I will not give all kinds of Revisionists and Likudniks the pleasure of saying that they are Zionists and I am not. In my view, the Revisionists and the Likudniks are good only in verbiage. They’re all talk. Look at this prime minister: All he knows how to do is spout verbiage. To go to the United Nations and speak excellent English and show some ridiculous drawing. In this matter he is totally his father’s son. With them it’s all verbiage. With them there is no coping with real life. And it disturbs me deeply that these Likudniks were able to transform the tremendous project of the working Land of Israel into something flawed. Because, despite all my criticism, I am very proud of my kibbutz past. I am very proud of the United Kibbutz Movement and of socialism, and of everything we succeeded in doing. I am thrilled to hear the “Internationale” and to sing the “Internationale.” What were the Revisionists, after all? A few thousand breakaways who purport to claim that they expelled the British. The only thing they were good at is talk. Only talk.

And it’s the same with the Mizrahim [Jews of Middle Eastern or North African descent]. I do not accept all this Mizrahi whining. Because, what would the Mizrahim have done if we had not been here to take them in? What would they be worth? What would have happened to them if we had not created the Israeliness to which they connected and turned into some sort of cartoon? If it had not been for us, the Mizrahim would have remained a potpourri of migrant cultures. True, we made plenty of mistakes. But we made a heroic decision to take them all in. And by that decision we effectively committed suicide. Our Hebrew-Israeli culture dissolved under the flood of immigration. That is why we now have Likud governments and constantly hear Mizrahi whining. But I do not accept either the one or the other. I am proud of being a white sabra. And I will not allow anyone to expel me from the Zionist camp. I am one of the founders of this place. I am from the Zionist Mayflower. I will not allow anyone to treat me as a non-Zionist.

So, on the one hand you are a Zionist, but on the other hand you want full justice and full equality for the Palestinians. How does that work in the real world? Do you evacuate settlements or not? Do you take in refugees or not? Do you accept the right of return or reject it?

The settlements are of no interest to me. Lawbreakers should be expelled. The rule that should be applied in Judea and Samaria is full equality between the Jewish settlers and the Palestinians. After 45 years it is no longer possible to hide behind the term “military occupation.” There is no such thing as military occupation that is not temporary. But in the same degree that the settlers live there, the Arabs have to return to their villages here. There are 140 Palestinian villages inside the State of Israel on which no communities were built but were turned into nature reserves and national parks. Some of them, at least, can be rebuilt. The people of Ikrit and [Kafr] Bir’im [in Upper Galilee] have to be allowed to return to their lands. There is no justification for Kibbutz Baram to occupy so much pastureland. The Palestinians have to be allowed to pray in the abandoned mosques. And every time people make billions from lands that belonged to Arabs, a certain percentage should go for the refugees. The Palestinians should be given a share of the profits that are raked in when all those huge malls are built on lands of kibbutzim and moshavim [cooperative villages]. And certainly the quarter of a million “present absentees” who live in Israel should be given their rights: to build a home, be hooked up to the power grid, not to have to live in “unrecognized villages.”

Don’t be so frightened of the Palestinian villages and mosques that I am talking about. There is no cause for the demographic fear. Most of the refugees don’t even want to return. We need to break down the highly charged question of the right of return into a series of acts of conciliation that address the trauma and move toward some sort of more equitable arrangement. I do not believe that it will be possible to live in one state according to the principle of one person-one vote. If so, the side that gets a majority will exploit its majority to seize the power centers and suppress the other side. We need to find a structure that will not be either a Jewish nation-state or a Palestinian nation-state, but a shared framework in which the two nations will go on squabbling − but on a foundation of equality. A foundation that consists of my acknowledgment of their story and their acknowledgment of my story, with an attempt to find some sort of reasonable balance between the two.

When did all this happen to you? After all, your father was one of the first of the Zionist educators who taught local geography [in Hebrew: “knowledge of the land”] and preached love of the land. You were a student leader of Mapai, the ruling party at the time and the forerunner of today’s Labor Party. The deputy of Teddy Kollek and one of the unifiers of Jerusalem. When did you suddenly cut yourself off from the umbilical cord of the Zionist establishment and become an anomalous figure who promotes weird ideas that infuriate both the right and the left?

The subtitle of my book is “An autobiography of disillusionment.” And that is exactly what it is. I went through an interesting process. My father wanted me to be one of the cornerstones of this country. He wanted the small soles of the feet of his son to touch this soil and no other. He tried to forge in me − and in many thousands of others whom he taught − a feeling of absolute belonging to the Land of Israel. And he succeeded. That is why I went to Kibbutz Rosh Hanikra in the 1950s and experienced the transcendent feeling of working in the banana groves − without noticing that in order to plant the banana trees, I was uprooting olive trees, thousands of years old, of a Palestinian village. That is why in the 1960s I bribed Arabs to remove hundreds of graves from the Muslim cemetery on the Tel Aviv shore so that it would be possible to clear the land on which the Hilton now stands. After the Six-Day War, I was with Teddy [Kollek] and “Chich” [Maj. Gen. Shlomo Lahat, afterward mayor of Tel Aviv] when we decided together to remove the 106 families of the Mughrabi neighborhood to create the large plaza of the Western Wall. I remember to this day the bulldozers and the clouds of dust that rose into the air and the old woman who was buried under one of the houses.

In all those cases and during that whole period I was a go-getter. I did not understand the meaning of what I was doing. But when I started to deal with the Arabs of East Jerusalem, I began to understand. I saw that the problem is not only the individual rights of the Palestinians but also their collective rights. And when I monitored what Arik Sharon was doing when he established 120 settlements in the West Bank, I suddenly realized that it’s irreversible. Finished. The Green Line is finished and the hope of a Jewish state here is finished. After all, the notion of a “Jewish-democratic state” is an oxymoron, and the two-state solution is no solution. And the terms the left uses − “peace,” “occupation,” “Green Line” − are lying, stock phrases. Their only purpose is to give Israeli liberals the good feeling that they are not responsible for the injustice and the dispossession and the terrible deeds their country is doing. I decided that I was no longer going to take part in that fraud. I would not take part in the left’s conceptual [population] transfer. I am not David Grossman of “The Yellow Wind,” who went to describe the occupation in the West Bank like some Captain Cook describing the life of the natives in some remote country. I am not Ze’ev Sternhell, who is constantly waiting for the arrival of some deus ex machina by the name of Barack Obama to force on Israel a peace that will not happen.

The fact is that, in the end, because my father so much wanted me to be a native, I am truly a native. And as a native, I see all the natives who live here − both the Israeli natives and the Palestinian natives. I am not afraid of them and do not flinch from them and do not patronize them. I believe that there is a possibility that they will find some imperfect way to live in the one common homeland.

Strangely, you are less pessimistic than many of the left-wing veterans. You, of all people, are not saying that the country is finished and all is lost. Do you feel that your generation succeeded or failed?

My generation both succeeded and failed. Mostly failed. Look, I belong to the population group that was here in 1948 − people who were 6 years old or more before the state’s establishment, and who were therefore shaped by prestate Zionism. Now I am an extinct species. But when you look back, you see that we played a tremendous part in forging this society and this national community. At the same time, you see that we lost all the wars we fought. We lost the war of creating a new person and creating a new culture and creating a new society. All in all, it came out pretty crappy for us. Everything was debased. And we, because of our bourgeois way of life, let the other forces take over in Israel and vanquish us. And the reason they vanquished us is that they were more steadfast in their goal and we were more pampered.

Living in Jerusalem today, I live in a bubble. Jerusalem outside my bubble is a city that has disintegrated completely. It is on its last legs. It does not exist. And it is too painful for me to see that. When I travel around the country today, I don’t understand exactly what is happening. Everything is different. Not what we wanted it to be; not something I can understand.

But all of that pales in the face of our huge achievement in establishing a Jewish-Israeli national community here which, despite everything, is alive and kicking. That is why I do not accept the whining of the Mizrahim and I also do not accept the white whining of the veteran Israelis.

It was not by chance that I titled my autobiography “The Dream of the White Sabra.” As the white sabra, I am not ashamed of anything. I made mistakes and I admit the mistakes, but in the end I am proud to be a son of the founding fathers. I of all people feel myself to be a Zionist. Sometimes it even seems to me that I am the last Zionist.

Books and Article written by Meron Benvenisti

  • Benvenisti, Meron (1970): The Crusaders in the Holy Land, New York [1]
  • Benvenisti, Meron (1976): Jerusalem, the Torn City, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, ISBN 0-8166-0795-8)
  • Benvenisti, Meron (1984): West Bank Data Project: A Survey of Israel’s Policies, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, ISBN 0-8447-3544-2 [2]
  • Benvenisti, Meron (1988): Conflicts and Contradictions, Villard, ISBN 0-394-53647-9 [3]
  • Benvenisti, Meron (1995): Intimate Enemies: Jews and Arabs in a Shared Land University of California Press ISBN 0-520-08567-1 [4]
  • Benvenisti, Meron (1996): City of Stone: The Hidden History of Jerusalem University of California Press ISBN 0-520-20521-9 [5]
  • Benvenisti, Meron (2002): Sacred Landscape: Buried History of the Holy Land Since 1948. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-23422-7 [6]
  • Benvenisti, Meron (2007): Sons of the Cypresses: Memories, Reflections and Regrets from a Political Life. University of California Press [7]
  • Benvenisti, Meron (2012), The Dream of the White Sabra(Hebrew)

Articles

Syria’s National Coordination Committee Visit Russia

December 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Posted on December 17, 2012 by Akashma Online News

Source The voice of Russia
Yelena Suponina Original Posting Nov 30, 2012 21:23 Moscow Time

“We want Russian troops to stay in Tartus”: head of Syria’s National Coordination Committee.

Hassan Abdel-Azim Representatives of the Syrian opposition Photo: AFP

Representatives of the Syrian opposition traveled to Moscow to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The National Coordination Committee is one of most moderate opposition groups which are ready for talks with the government. However, now its members fear arrest on their arrival in Damascus and are seeking Russia’s protection.

The head of the National Coordination Committee (NCC) of Syria says the “internal” opposition strongly opposes foreign interference in the affairs of the country.

Hassan Abdel-Azim, the head of the Coordination Committee and Syria’s delegation to Moscow, told the Voice of Russia about the Moscow talks and further plans of the opposition.

Upon arrival in Moscow for the NCC delegation’s talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Hassan Abdel Azim said the committee wants to radically change the situation in Syria to build a democracy.

Deputy Coordinator Aref Dalila, in turn, said that the opposition was ready to negotiate with the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

During the meeting with Russia’s Minister the Syrians hope to hear Moscow’s assessment of events unfolding in their country, and shall offer their views on how to stop the violence and what should be done by “external players” in order to facilitate this.

Have you noticed any changes in Russia’s stance when meeting with Sergey Lavrov?

Not a single change. We had extremely frank talks and Moscow perfectly realizes that Syria is now following the most dangerous possible scenario. When we came to Moscow last April, we warned of this possibility and our fears came true – the more Syrian government resorted to force, the more violence they saw from the opposition. Syria now has jihadists from the Arab and the neighboring countries.

Minister Lavrov told us that he had forwarded a warning letter to Syria’s government against using military hardware and jets in the conflict. This was a right move. I wish this letter had been sent earlier, taking into account that all these tanks and warplanes are Russian-made. When people are hit by shells and rockets, it certainly affects their attitude to the country.

What else was on the agenda?

We all agreed that the conflict can be solved only through joint efforts of the global community. We need the UN Security Council members to be unanimous and agree on the ways to end the conflict. We also need Iran, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia on the one side and the Arab countries on the other to act together.

What can become the common ground?

For example, the Geneva resolutions adopted this summer.

Lakhdar Brahimi’s mission in the country should also carry on with its work and we need a transitional government as well as a new constitution. The amendments adopted in early 2012 didn’t take into account the opposition at all. And we really need to stop the bloodshed.

What can the global community do?

Syria needs the resumption of international peacekeeping mission and it should be expanded – not some hundred of troops we had before.

We need observers in every province, especially in the border regions to stop weapon supplies and smuggling. We already spoke about this with Lakhdar Brahimi. We also don’t mind a peacekeeping contingent comprising Arabs and other nationalities.

Have you discussed Russia’s Mediterranean naval facility at the Syrian port of Tartus?

Yes we have, and we think that Russia has a right to stay there even when Syria becomes a real democracy. The talks made us feel that we are trusted, as we had always opposed foreign interference in Syrian affairs and backed maintaining close ties with our former partners. We need a balanced foreign policy and ties with all countries except Israel, which still occupies the Golan Heights. They should be freed and here we’ll need Russia’s help.

Egypt’s New Pharaoh And The Useful Idiots

December 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Posted on December 17, 2012 by Akashma Online News

By Chris Hedges

Opposition rally over Morsi decreesWhen Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned to Iran after 14 years in exile on Feb. 1, 1979, he set out to destroy the secular opposition forces, including the Communist Party of Iran, which had been instrumental in bringing down the shah. Khomeini’s declaration of an Islamic government, supported by referendum, saw him rewrite the constitution, close opposition newspapers and ban opposition groups including the National Democratic Front and the Muslim People’s Republican Party. Dissidents who had spent years inside Iran’s notoriously brutal prison system under the shah were incarcerated once again by the new regime. Some returned to their cells to be greeted by their old jailers, who had offered their services to the new regime.

This is what is under way in Egypt. It is the story of most revolutions. The moderates, who are crucial to winning the support of the masses and many outside the country, become an impediment to the consolidation of autocratic power. Liberal democrats, intellectuals, the middle class, secularists and religious minorities including Coptic Christians were always seen by President Mohamed Morsi and his Freedom and Justice Party—Egypt’s de facto political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood—as “useful idiots.” These forces were essential to building a broad movement to topple the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak. They permitted Western journalists to paint the opposition in their own image. But now they are a hindrance to single-party rule and are being crushed.

The first of two days of voting on a new constitution was held Saturday. According to reports Sunday, the document is being approved. The second round of voting, next Saturday, includes rural districts that provide much of the Brotherhood’s base of support, and it is expected to end in the constitution being ratified by the required 50 percent or more of Egypt’s 51 million voters. Opposition forces charge that the first round was marred by polling irregularities including bribery, intimidation, erratic polling hours and polling officials who instructed voters how to cast ballots. A large number of the 13,000 polling stations will have had no independent monitors; many judges, in protest over the drafting process, have refused to oversee the voting.

The referendum masks the real center of power, which is in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood. The party has no intention of diluting or giving up that power. For example, when it appeared that the Supreme Constitutional Court would dissolve the panel—stacked with party members—that was drafting the new constitution, the Brotherhood locked the judges out of the court building. Three dozen members of the panel, including secularists, Coptic Christians, liberals and journalists, quit in protest. The remaining Islamists, in defiance of the judges, held an all-night session Nov. 29 and officially approved the 63-page document.

The draft constitution is filled with disturbingly vague language about democratic rights, civil liberties, the duties of women and the role of the press. It gives Islamic religious authorities control over the legislative process and many aspects of daily and personal life. One reason the constitution is expected to pass, apart from voting fraud, is because many liberals, secularists and Copts have walked away in disgust from electoral participation.

The Brotherhood, ironically, was not part of the vanguard that led the 18 days of protests in February 2011 that brought down Mubarak. It was reluctant, after decades of being severely repressed, to throw its weight behind the protesters clogging Tahrir Square. It said at first that it would not compete in the presidential election or run a full slate of parliamentary candidates. But once it saw the chaos, squabbling and disarray among its secular opponents, who ran three competing presidential candidates, it seized the opportunity.

Passages in the proposed constitution such as “The state is keen to preserve the genuine character of the Egyptian family” and the state guarantees freedom of the press except “in times of war or public mobilization” are vague enough to allow the Muslim Brotherhood to severely curtail women’s rights and ruthlessly silence press criticism. Morsi’s imperial presidential declaration of Nov. 22, until he rescinded it last week after street protests, effectively placed him above the law. Rescission of the decree will not, however, prevent the party from attaining dictatorial power.

The Brotherhood does not shrink from the use of deadly force. The violent street clashes between thousands of pro- and anti-government demonstrators outside the presidential palace last week left 10 dead and about 700 wounded. Some anti-government protesters said they were beaten in a makeshift detention and torture center that the Brotherhood set up close to the palace. Morsi showed no remorse. He announced in a nationally televised broadcast that anti-government demonstrators had confessed to being “paid thugs.” And the new government, to curb further street protests, including those that took place in Alexandria this weekend, has authorized the military to arrest civilians.

The Muslim Brotherhood, like all revolutionary parties that replace an ancien régime, has inhabited the traditional structures of power. Government ministers and cabinets have been appointed. Parliamentarians have been elected. Judges have been named. But actual power is held, as in most post-revolutionary societies, by parallel party organizations. There are two systems of authority. One is public and ceremonial. The other is secret and unassailable. It is this realization—that the formal positions of power no longer mean anything—that led to the withdrawal of 30 percent of the Constituent Assembly, including several presidential advisers. Public figures in official roles are window dressing.

Successful revolutionaries, as Crane Brinton wrote, “combine, in varying degrees, very high ideals and a complete contempt for the inhibitions and principles which serve other men as ideals. They present a strange variant of Plato’s pleasant scheme: they are not philosopher-kings but philosopher-killers. They have the realistic, the practical touch very few of the moderate leaders had, and yet they have also enough of the prophet’s fire to hold followers who expect the New Jerusalem around the corner. They are practical men unfettered by common sense, Machiavellians in the service of the Beautiful and the Good.”
Read more…

Cameco Sk-Canada is the major supplier of Uranium for Nuclear Weapons

December 12, 2012 3 comments

Follow Fallujah Aftermath

“We’re the Major Supplier of Uranium for Nuclear Weapons” Cameco

A horrific example of the birth defects suffered by babies in Fallujah

A horrific example of the birth defects suffered by babies in Fallujah

Originally Published 2008

UPDATED

Canada is violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

An Interview with Professor Jim Harding

While the U.S. appears to be on the verge of attacking Iran just for having a nuclear reactor, Washington and its allies continue to be the biggest nuclear proliferators in the world. Chief among these nuclear allies is Canada, which provides up to 40% of the world’s uranium, the largest amount. Eighty percent of Canadian uranium is exported, with 76% going to the U.S.

Canada has long been the main source of uranium for the U.S. nuclear arsenal, globally the largest and deadliest at 10,000 warheads and bombs. Washington has a first-strike nuclear policy and is actively preparing for nuclear war. It is also the only country that has actually used nuclear weapons–not once, but twice, on Japan in 1945.

We recently spoke to Professor Jim Harding about Canada’s contribution to U.S. nuclear aggression. A nuclear war could, of course, wipe out all human life. Harding is a retired professor of environmental and justice studies at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan. He is author of the recent book, Canada’s Deadly Secret: Saskatchewan Uranium and the Global Nuclear System.

A study recently published in the Environmental Contamination and Toxicology bulletin, found that the weapons and ammunition used by the US and its Imperial apparatus – NATO – in the illegal destruction and occupation of Iraq have led to significant rise in birth defects and unexplainable illnesses. In fact, there has been a five-fold increase in birth defects since the occupation began.

Before the invasion of Iraq just 2 per cent of babies were born with a defect. Between 2007 and 2010 the study found more than half of all babies were born with a defect. Just to repeat that, every other baby born has a congenital birth defect. In addition, during that period 45% of pregnancies ended in miscarriages. In young infants, the toxic metals mercury and lead were found to be at levels 5 times higher than normal  Sott.net

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

Q: Tell us about Canada’s role in the creation of the Western nuclear system.

Harding: We were involved at the very front end of the Manhattan Project that created the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. The uranium that was used in the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima was refined at the uranium conversion plant at Port Hope, Ontario, and the two sources were probably some from the Belgian Congo and some from the Port Radium mine that was reopened.

But the early work with the CANDU reactor in Montreal at McGill University, and then at Chalk River, also played a role with the production of plutonium for the bomb that was used in Nagasaki, because they were trying two different ways to create nuclear weapons.

The CANDU design that is now in 18 reactors in Ontario was actually created because of its capacity to produce weapons-grade plutonium. So that was shipped out of Chalk River into the U.S., I believe, into the 1960s. And the U.K.’s weapons program was also based on research at McGill and the prototype reactor that ended up as the CANDU. So Canada is right smack at the beginning of both the U.S. and U.K.’s nuclear weapons programs, and the history of nuclear weapons begins with these. We can’t seem to get it through our consciousness that we are not just used by the Anglo-American imperial system; we were willing compatriots in the creation of nuclear weapons.

Q: How did Canada help build the U.S. nuclear arsenal?

Harding: The arms race is already in place by 1946, a year after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs are dropped. The U.S. has the Strategic Air Command system in place, with the strategy of carrying atomic weapons towards Russia as a supposed deterrent, but of course Russia doesn’t have the atomic bomb at this point. And when the USSR actually develops the atomic bomb by 1949, the U.S. moves to the H-bomb and the whole thing escalates.

Canada is at the centre of that, because we are one of the main sources of uranium, both at Elliot Lake and Uranium City, for the U.S. arms race escalation from about 1953 on. So every speck of uranium that was mined out of northern Ontario and northern Saskatchewan went into nuclear weapons, mostly the U.S. ones, although a few contracts also went to Britain. That went on till 1966, and in some cases those contracts carried to the end of the 1960s. So, for that whole period, the 1950s and the 1960s, Canada is a major uranium fuel source for the escalation of the nuclear arms race.

Q: How is Canada violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty?

Harding: Canada signed this treaty in 1970 and claimed that it would not be using uranium for weapons production. We now know that uranium out of Saskatchewan has been diverted through the depleted uranium (DU) system and has been fuelling the weapons stream. The public, I think, is largely unaware that we are still complicit directly in the weapons stream. It’s a tricky thing to track, but it goes something like this: After refining the uranium at Port Hope, we send it to the enriching system in the U.S. This system integrates both the military and the industrial uses of nuclear power. The U.S. Department of Energy and the Pentagon both take uranium from this system.

The uranium that is to be used in electrical generating nuclear reactors is concentrated to about 5%. This is uranium-235. About nine-tenths of the mass of what’s left after enrichment is called depleted uranium. This is then available to the Pentagon to use for weapons. And it’s not really depleted. That’s a misnomer. It’s still uranium. It’s primarily uranium-238, which can be put into Pentagon reactors to create plutonium. All the Pentagon needs to do is bombard the depleted uranium with neutrons and it can create a plutonium stream for weapons. Also, the depleted uranium is the packing on the H-Bomb. What makes the H-Bomb the mega-bomb is the amount of packing of the depleted uranium around the plutonium trigger.

Then the various weapons-producing companies such as Aerojet and ATK take this uranium and make the conventional depleted uranium weapons that are now contaminating probably the last four war zones in the Middle East and Southern Europe. Uranium out of Canada that’s got into the depleted uranium stream has already been dropped on Iraq during the U.S. invasion. So the weapons connection got obscured when the Non-Proliferation Treaty came, because technically the uranium is shipped to the U.S. for their reactors, but in fact the depleted uranium that’s left is then in the control of those countries. So it fundamentally abrogates the intentions of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, but not technically.

Q: What are the implications of Canada’s continuing support for U.S. nuclear militarism?

Harding: It’s frightening stuff to think about. We’re really talking madness here in terms of the capacity. How few of these mega-bombs it would take to create a catastrophe that makes climate change look insignificant! The U.S. had 37,000 nuclear weapons during the 1980s, armed and ready to go. And we’re talking about using a very small number of those and having disastrous global implications.

When you dig below the surface, the complicity issue is always there. It was there in Vietnam, in terms of companies in Canada exporting armaments and even chemicals that were used in the napalm bombing. And in Canada we’re still doing that around depleted uranium. It just tends to be hidden behind the public statements of us being a non-nuclear power and having made the decision to focus on exporting medical isotopes and not nuclear weapons. This is an effective PR and propaganda system, but it just doesn’t happen to be true.

Q: What are the effects of depleted uranium on humans when it is used in conventional weapons, aside from immediate death and injury?

Harding: The number of cancers and death by cancer are significantly greater (than if the depleted uranium were not present), as are permanent sterility, birth deformations, and death from birth deformation. Depleted uranium affects the whole embryonic development, as well as increasing the risks of thyroid leukemia and other childhood cancers. They are seeing increases in a number of cancers in Basra and in other areas where they know there were high levels of depleted uranium weaponry used.

Q: Does Canada’s involvement in nuclear weapons production go beyond providing uranium to the U.S.?

Harding: There’s a story under this, not just about the diversion of uranium into DU weapons, but possible complicity recently in the actual production of the weapons metal. The uranium that’s going into the U.S. for enriching becomes part of the depleted uranium stockpile, and that’s accessible for weapons, but the Inter-Church Uranium Committee had an invoice leaked to it showing that uranium that went from the Key Lake mine in Saskatchewan to the U.S. then went back to the Port Hope uranium conversion plant which is run by the Canadian mining company Cameco (which also runs the Key Lake mine). From Port Hope, this uranium then went to Aerojet for depleted uranium uses. So as late as the early 1990s, there is some evidence that not only are we sending the uranium that ends up in the depleted uranium stockpile but we’ve also actually been involved in some processing of the depleted uranium in Canada. At that point, Cameco was licensed to refine uranium, but not licensed to work with depleted or enriched uranium.

Right now, Cameco has a license to do some slightly enriched production at Port Hope, and that is a contentious issue, but back then, when depleted uranium was coming to Port Hope, they had no license to work with DU, which did go to Aerojet, which is a munitions company.

Q: Does Canada supply any other nuclear power with uranium?

Harding: We’re also the major source of uranium for the French nuclear system, and that’s their 58 reactors, but likely their weapons program as well, because they don’t have another major source.

Q: Which Canadian companies are involved in uranium extraction?

Harding: Cameco is the big company in Saskatoon. It was started by an NDP government as a public enterprise and is now the largest uranium mining company on the planet. It’s a private company. It came out of the Saskatchewan Mining Development Corporation, the Crown corporation that developed the mines. This was privatized in 1988 under Mulroney when Grant Devine was the Conservative Premier of Saskatchewan. Denison is another Canadian company in uranium exploration. There are a hundred [junior] companies that are prospecting; they’ll sell to a bigger company if they find anything.

Q: What is the role of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and NAFTA in Canada’s uranium exports?

Harding: In the U.S., under the FTA, the depleted uranium is actually defined as being of domestic origin. So once the FTA and NAFTA came into effect, the U.S. shut down its uranium industry because it had security of supply from Canada.

Asad Ismi is the CCPA Monitor’s international affairs correspondent. Kristin Schwartz is a journalist and radio producer in Toronto. This interview was recorded for Asad and Kristin’s radio documentary Path of Destruction: Canadian Mining Companies Around the World, scheduled for release this month. For Asad’s publications, visit http://www.asadismi.ws

According to information from Cameco Inc., the last shipment of depleted uranium for use in arms manufacture occurred
in 1988, when the company was known as Eldorado. Apparently “thousands of tons” of depleted uranium have been
exported to the U.S. for this purpose, in accordance with the federal government’s export policies and permits, which do
not consider the uses to which Canadian exports to the U.S. may be put.

This depleted uranium would have been used as shielding for bombs,bullets, tanks, guns, etc., and would have penetrated brick or cement walls used to protect civilians in bomb shelters, basements, etc. in the Gulf War and in Yugoslavia, causing thousands of civilian deaths, contrary to the Geneva Conventions and every other international agreement designed to protect humans and their rights. The radioactive fragments from such exploded bombs and artillery would then remain in the environment, poisoning water supplies and food crops. Depleted uranium in the environment was almost certainly responsible (in part) for the Gulf War Syndrome which ruined the lives of hundreds of servicemen, including Canadians. Activistmagazine

http://activistmagazine.com/index2.php?option=com_content&do_pdf=1&id=259

Gaza in the Spotlight – Hamas 25 Anniversay

December 10, 2012 Leave a comment

Posted on December 09, 2012 by Akashma Online News

Hamas leader hits out at Israel

Palestinians attend the 25th anniversary of the creation of Hamas

Palestinians attend the 25th anniversary of the creation of Hamas

(Reuters) – Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, in an uncompromising speech during his first ever visit to Gaza after decades of exile, told a mass rally  on Saturday he would never recognize Israel and pledged to “free the land of Palestine inch by inch”.

A sea of flag-waving supporters filled wasteland in Gaza city to hear his fiery speech at an event marking the 25th anniversary of the founding of his group, which has ruled Gaza – a small splinter of coastal land – since 2007.

Khaled Mesaal-Photo Team Palestine

Meshaal was born in the nearby West Bank but spent all his adult life in exile before arriving in Gaza on Friday for a 48-hour visit. The trip comes just two weeks after an eight-day conflict between Israel and Hamas that ended with a ceasefire.

“Palestine is ours from the river to the sea and from the south to the north. There will be no concession on an inch of the land,” he told the crowds, saying he wanted the Palestinians to have all the territory that makes up modern-day Israel.

Gazawans celebrating Hamas 25 Anniversary December 09 2012

“We will never recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation and therefore there is no legitimacy for Israel, no matter how long it will take,” he said.

Hamas said 500,000 attended the four-hour rally, held under a leaden winter sky. There was no independent crowd estimate.

“Oh dear Meshaal, your army struck Tel Aviv,” supporters chanted, referring to the recent war in which Hamas’s Qassam military brigade fired missiles for the first time at Israel’s largest city, 70 km (40 miles) up the coast, and also at Jerusalem.

“Oh Qassam, do it again, hit Haifa next time,” the crowds said, referring to a port city north of Tel Aviv.

Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal raises hands with Greek Orthodox Archbishop Alexios (L) and senior Muslim cleric Hassan Al-Jojo (R) during a ceremony in Gaza City December 9 2012

Hamas said it won the short conflagration, which killed some 170 Palestinians and six Israelis, mostly civilians. Israel disputes this, saying it not only killed Hamas’s top military commander but also destroyed much of the group’s arms stockpile.

HAMAS MAKES PRIME TIME

Once treated as a pariah organization by its neighbors, Hamas has seen its standing in the region rise on the back of Arab Spring uprisings that have ushered in several sympathetic Islamist governments sharing much of its own ideology.

Underlining its improved status, delegations from Qatar, Malaysia, Turkey, Egypt and Bahrain all attended the rally.

Meshaal picked out neighboring Egypt for particular praise, calling it “our backer”. By contrast, he appeared to take a swipe at Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has led a deadly crackdown against a nationwide rebellion in his country.

“Hamas does not support any regime or state that launches a bloody battle against its people,” said Meshaal, who quit his home in Syria earlier this year after falling out with Assad.

Meshaal is viewed as more moderate than many other Hamas officials, and although he stuck to the group’s hard line on Israel, he held out the chance of reconciliation with the rival Palestinian faction Fatah, which holds sway in the West Bank.

“After the Gaza victory, it is time now for ending this chapter of division and build Palestinian unity,” he said. Hamas kicked Fatah out of the Mediterranean enclave after a brief civil war and all attempts to reconcile the two groups have failed so far.

HAMAS OPEN TO LONG-TERM TRUCE

While Hamas rejects dialogue with Israel, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah party say they want a negotiated deal based on the lines that existed before the 1967 war, when Israel took the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.

Israel unilaterally left Gaza in 2005, but still imposes a land and sea blockade that it says is necessary to prevent arms smuggling. It continues to occupy the West Bank and has annexed East Jerusalem – a move not recognised internationally.

Hamas’s charter calls for the destruction of Israel but its leaders have at times indicated a willingness to negotiate a prolonged truce in return for a return to 1967 lines – something Meshaal made no mention of at Saturday’s event.

Israel tried and failed to assassinate Meshaal in 1997 and has largely ignored his visit to Gaza. However, Israeli officials ridiculed the anniversary commemoration.

“Hamas celebrates 25 years of murdering Israelis by rockets and suicide bombings as well as executing Fatah members and violating … human rights,” Ofir Gendelman, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said on Twitter.

In another shot across Israel’s bows, Meshaal promised to free Palestinians jailed in the Jewish state, indicating Hamas would try to kidnap Israeli soldiers to use as bargaining chips.

Israel last year released 1,027 Palestinians from its jails in return for the liberation of Gilad Shalit, a conscript soldier who was seized by Palestinian guerrillas in 2006 and hidden away for more than five years in Gaza.

Thousands of Palestinians remain in Israeli jails, many held on terrorism charges. Hamas says they are freedom fighters.

“We will not rest until we liberate the prisoners. The way we freed some of the prisoners in the past is the way we will use to free the remaining prisoners,” Meshaal said to loud cheers.

TOY GUNS, MODEL ROCKET

Meshaal, born in the West Bank in 1956, left with his family for exile in 1967 after Israel captured the territory.

He now spends his time between Cairo and Qatar, and was expected to cross back into Egypt on Sunday or Monday to resume his position as Hamas’s key point person with foreign donors.

Saturday’s rally was staged against the backdrop of a gigantic, panoramic picture of Jerusalem, including the golden-domed al-Aqsa mosque, which is one of Hamas’s symbols.

A massive model of a Gaza-manufactured rocket dominated the set and small boys in army fatigues holding toy guns trooped onto the platform to be embraced by Meshaal.

Speaking before him, a man identified only as a senior leader of the Qassam armed wing, his face covered by a checkered keffiyeh, said Hamas had used just a 10th of its capabilities in the November conflict with Israel.

“This is evidence that the time of the occupation is over, your time Zionists is over. Your Frankenstein state is collapsing,” he said.

(Additional reporting by Marwa Awad; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

Nelson Mandela Admitted to Pretoria Hospital

December 9, 2012 Leave a comment

Posted on December 09, 2012 by Akashma Online News

by Marivel Guzman

Sources: AP-Sky News-iol News
UPDATED

Nelson Mandela 89 years Celebration

South Africa’s former President Nelson Mandela was admitted to a military hospital Saturday for medical tests, though the nation’s president told the public there was “no cause for alarm” over the 94-year-old icon’s health.

The Boy From the Transkei

The rolling green hills of the rural Transkei (see map) is the place Mandela thinks of as home; it is there he has built his retirement house. Growing up in the royal kraal of the Madiba clan, Mandela was groomed to be advisor to the King of Thembus.

 

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”~Nelson Mandela

The rest of the world knows him as Nelson Mandela. We, as South Africans, choose to call him Madiba, his Xhosa clan name.

The statement issued by President Jacob Zuma’s spokesman said that Mandela was doing well and was receiving medical care “which is consistent for his age.” The statement offered no other details.

Former president Nelson Mandela‘s hospitalization has left many of his associates in the dark, it was reported on Sunday.Nelson Mandela Foundation spokesman Sello Hatang told City Press he was unaware of Mandela’s admission to a hospital in Pretoria for tests on Saturday.

“They have issued a press release?” he asked.

Mandela’s ex-wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, was also not made been aware of the hospitalisation, United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa told the newspaper. They had attended a soccer match together.Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe was to have visited Mandela in Qunu, in the Eastern Cape, but the visit was cancelled at the last minute.

“City Press further understands that the airplane that was supposed to carry Motlanthe to Qunu was reassigned to fly medical personnel to attend to Mandela,” the newspaper wrote.

An SA National Defence Force (SANDF) aircraft crashed in the Drakensberg in bad weather last week.

According to Beeld newspaper, the flight had gone ahead despite the weather, because it was carrying medicine for Mandela.

The SA Air Force has denied the claims.

The presidency said on Sunday it would issue periodic updates on Mandela’s condition. – Sapa

Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison for fighting racist white rule, became South Africa’s first black president in 1994 and served one five-year term. He later retired from public life to live in his village of Qunu, and last made a public appearance when his country hosted the 2010 World Cup soccer tournament.

“We wish Madiba all the best,” Zuma said in the statement, using Mandela’s clan name. “The medical team is assured of our support as they look after and ensure the comfort of our beloved founding president of a free and democratic South Africa.”

While the government sought to reassure South Africans about Mandela’s health, he remains viewed as a father figure to many in this nation of 50 million people. Each hospital trip raises the same worries about the increasingly frail former leader of the African National Congress — that the man who helped bring the nation together is slowly fading away.

In February, Mandela spent a night in a hospital for a minor diagnostic surgery to determine the cause of an abdominal complaint. In January 2011, however, Mandela was admitted to a Johannesburg hospital for what officials initially described as tests but what turned out to be an acute respiratory infection. He was discharged days later.

Mandela contracted tuberculosis during his years in prison. He also had surgery for an enlarged prostate gland in 1985.

While Zuma’s statement offered no further details about who would provide medical attention for Mandela, the nation’s military has taken over caring for the aging leader since the 2011 respiratory infection. At 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria on Saturday night, the facility that previously cared for Mandela in February, everything appeared calm, without any additional security present.

Mac Maharaj, a presidential spokesman, declined to say whether Mandela had been flown by the military from Qunu to Pretoria. He also declined to say what the tests were for.

“It’s quite normal at his age to be going through those tests,” Maharaj told The Associated Press.

Mandela’s hospitalization comes just days after the crash of a military aircraft flying on an unknown mission near Mandela’s rural home in which all 11 onboard were killed.

The plane was flying to a military air base in Mthatha, which is about 30 kilometers (17 miles) north of Qunu. Military officials declined to say whether those on board had any part in caring for Mandela.

___

Associated Press writers Thomas Phakane in Pretoria, South Africa, and Andrew Meldrum in Johannesburg contributed to this report.

As the Arabs see the Jews

December 6, 2012 Leave a comment

Posted on December 06, 2012 by Akashma Online News

His Majesty King Abdullah, The American Magazine November, 1947

This fascinating essay, written by King Hussein’s grandfather King Abdullah, appeared in the United States six months before the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. In the article, King Abdullah disputes the mistaken view that Arab opposition to Zionism (and later the state of Israel) is because of longstanding religious or ethnic hatred. He notes that Jews and Muslims enjoyed a long history of peaceful coexistence in the Middle East, and that Jews have historically suffered far more at the hands of Christian Europe. Pointing to the tragedy of the holocaust that Jews suffered during World War II, the monarch asks why America and Europe are refusing to accept more than a token handful of Jewish immigrants and refugees. It is unfair, he argues, to make Palestine, which is innocent of anti-Semitism, pay for the crimes of Europe. King Abdullah also asks how Jews can claim a historic right to Palestine, when Arabs have been the overwhelming majority there for nearly 1300 uninterrupted years? The essay ends on an ominous note, warning of dire consequences if a peaceful solution cannot be found to protect the rights of the indigenous Arabs of Palestine.

As the Arabs see the Jews
His Majesty King Abdullah,
The American Magazine
November, 194

I am especially delighted to address an American audience, for the tragic problem of Palestine will never be solved without American understanding, American sympathy, American support.
So many billions of words have been written about Palestine—perhaps more than on any other subject in history—that I hesitate to add to them. Yet I am compelled to do so, for I am reluctantly convinced that the world in general, and America in particular, knows almost nothing of the true case for the Arabs.

We Arabs follow, perhaps far more than you think, the press of America. We are frankly disturbed to find that for every word printed on the Arab side, a thousand are printed on the Zionist side.
There are many reasons for this. You have many millions of Jewish citizens interested in this question. They are highly vocal and wise in the ways of publicity. There are few Arab citizens in America, and we are as yet unskilled in the technique of modern propaganda.

The results have been alarming for us. In your press we see a horrible caricature and are told it is our true portrait. In all justice, we cannot let this pass by default.

Our case is quite simple: For nearly 2,000 years Palestine has been almost 100 per cent Arab. It is still preponderantly Arab today, in spite of enormous Jewish immigration. But if this immigration continues we shall soon be outnumbered—a minority in our home.

Palestine is a small and very poor country, about the size of your state of Vermont. Its Arab population is only about 1,200,000. Already we have had forced on us, against our will, some 600,000 Zionist Jews. We are threatened with many hundreds of thousands more.

Our position is so simple and natural that we are amazed it should even be questioned. It is exactly the same position you in America take in regard to the unhappy European Jews. You are sorry for them, but you do not want them in your country.
We do not want them in ours, either. Not because they are Jews, but because they are foreigners. We would not want hundreds of thousands of foreigners in our country, be they Englishmen or Norwegians or Brazilians or whatever.
Think for a moment: In the last 25 years we have had one third of our entire population forced upon us. In America that would be the equivalent of 45,000,000 complete strangers admitted to your country, over your violent protest, since 1921. How would you have reacted to that?

Because of our perfectly natural dislike of being overwhelmed in our own homeland, we are called blind nationalists and heartless anti-Semites. This charge would be ludicrous were it not so dangerous.
No people on earth have been less “anti-Semitic” than the Arabs. The persecution of the Jews has been confined almost entirely to the Christian nations of the West. Jews, themselves, will admit that never since the Great Dispersion did Jews develop so freely and reach such importance as in Spain when it was an Arab possession. With very minor exceptions, Jews have lived for many centuries in the Middle East, in complete peace and friendliness with their Arab neighbors.

Damascus, Baghdad, Beirut and other Arab centers have always contained large and prosperous Jewish colonies. Until the Zionist invasion of Palestine began, these Jews received the most generous treatment—far, far better than in Christian Europe. Now, unhappily, for the first time in history, these Jews are beginning to feel the effects of Arab resistance to the Zionist assault. Most of them are as anxious as Arabs to stop it. Most of these Jews who have found happy homes among us resent, as we do, the coming of these strangers.

I was puzzled for a long time about the odd belief which apparently persists in America that Palestine has somehow “always been a Jewish land.” Recently an American I talked to cleared up this mystery. He pointed out that the only things most Americans know about Palestine are what they read in the Bible. It was a Jewish land in those days, they reason, and they assume it has always remained so.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. It is absurd to reach so far back into the mists of history to argue about who should have Palestine today, and I apologize for it. Yet the Jews do this, and I must reply to their “historic claim.” I wonder if the world has ever seen a stranger sight than a group of people seriously pretending to claim a land because their ancestors lived there some 2,000 years ago!
If you suggest that I am biased, I invite you to read any sound history of the period and verify the facts.

Such fragmentary records as we have indicate that the Jews were wandering nomads from Iraq who moved to southern Turkey, came south to Palestine, stayed there a short time, and then passed to Egypt, where they remained about 400 years. About 1300 BC (according to your calendar) they left Egypt and gradually conquered most—but not all—of the inhabitants of Palestine.

It is significant that the Philistines—not the Jews—gave their name to the country: “Palestine” is merely the Greek form of “Philistia.”

Only once, during the empire of David and Solomon, did the Jews ever control nearly—but not all—the land which is today Palestine. This empire lasted only 70 years, ending in 926 BC. Only 250 years later the Kingdom of Judah had shrunk to a small province around Jerusalem, barely a quarter of modern Palestine.

In 63 BC the Jews were conquered by Roman Pompey, and never again had even the vestige of independence. The Roman Emperor Hadrian finally wiped them out about 135 AD. He utterly destroyed Jerusalem, rebuilt under another name, and for hundreds of years no Jew was permitted to enter it. A handful of Jews remained in Palestine but the vast majority were killed or scattered to other countries, in the Diaspora, or the Great Dispersion. From that time Palestine ceased to be a Jewish country, in any conceivable sense.

This was 1,815 years ago, and yet the Jews solemnly pretend they still own Palestine! If such fantasy were allowed, how the map of the world would dance about!

Italians might claim England, which the Romans held so long. England might claim France, “homeland” of the conquering Normans. And the French Normans might claim Norway, where their ancestors originated. And incidentally, we Arabs might claim Spain, which we held for 700 years.

Many Mexicans might claim Spain, “homeland” of their forefathers. They might even claim Texas, which was Mexican until 100 years ago. And suppose the American Indians claimed the “homeland” of which they were the sole, native, and ancient occupants until only some 450 years ago!

I am not being facetious. All these claims are just as valid—or just as fantastic—as the Jewish “historic connection” with Palestine. Most are more valid.

In any event, the great Moslem expansion about 650 AD finally settled things. It dominated Palestine completely. From that day on, Palestine was solidly Arabic in population, language, and religion. When British armies entered the country during the last war, they found 500,000 Arabs and only 65,000 Jews.

If solid, uninterrupted Arab occupation for nearly 1,300 years does not make a country “Arab”, what does?

The Jews say, and rightly, that Palestine is the home of their religion. It is likewise the birthplace of Christianity, but would any Christian nation claim it on that account? In passing, let me say that the Christian Arabs—and there are many hundreds of thousands of them in the Arab World—are in absolute agreement with all other Arabs in opposing the Zionist invasion of Palestine.

May I also point out that Jerusalem is, after Mecca and Medina, the holiest place in Islam. In fact, in the early days of our religion, Moslems prayed toward Jerusalem instead of Mecca.

The Jewish “religious claim” to Palestine is as absurd as the “historic claim.” The Holy Places, sacred to three great religions, must be open to all, the monopoly of none. Let us not confuse religion and politics.

We are told that we are inhumane and heartless because do not accept with open arms the perhaps 200,000 Jews in Europe who suffered so frightfully under Nazi cruelty, and who even now—almost three years after war’s end—still languish in cold, depressing camps.

Let me underline several facts. The unimaginable persecution of the Jews was not done by the Arabs: it was done by a Christian nation in the West. The war which ruined Europe and made it almost impossible for these Jews to rehabilitate themselves was fought by the Christian nations of the West. The rich and empty portions of the earth belong, not to the Arabs, but to the Christian nations of the West.
And yet, to ease their consciences, these Christian nations of the West are asking Palestine—a poor and tiny Moslem country of the East—to accept the entire burden. “We have hurt these people terribly,” cries the West to the East. “Won’t you please take care of them for us?”

We find neither logic nor justice in this. Are we therefore “cruel and heartless nationalists”?

We are a generous people: we are proud that “Arab hospitality” is a phrase famous throughout the world. We are a humane people: no one was shocked more than we by the Hitlerite terror. No one pities the present plight of the desperate European Jews more than we.
But we say that Palestine has already sheltered 600,000 refugees. We believe that is enough to expect of us—even too much. We believe it is now the turn of the rest of the world to accept some of them.

I will be entirely frank with you. There is one thing the Arab world simply cannot understand. Of all the nations of the earth, America is most insistent that something be done for these suffering Jews of Europe. This feeling does credit to the humanity for which America is famous, and to that glorious inscription on your Statue of Liberty.

And yet this same America—the richest, greatest, most powerful nation the world has ever known—refuses to accept more than a token handful of these same Jews herself!

I hope you will not think I am being bitter about this. I have tried hard to understand that mysterious paradox, and I confess I cannot. Nor can any other Arab.

Perhaps you have been informed that “the Jews in Europe want to go to no other place except Palestine.”

This myth is one of the greatest propaganda triumphs of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, the organization which promotes with fanatic zeal the emigration to Palestine. It is a subtle half-truth, thus doubly dangerous.
The astounding truth is that nobody on earth really knows where these unfortunate Jews really want to go!

You would think that in so grave a problem, the American, British, and other authorities responsible for the European Jews would have made a very careful survey, probably by vote, to find out where each Jew actually wants to go. Amazingly enough this has never been done! The Jewish Agency has prevented it.

Some time ago the American Military Governor in Germany was asked at a press conference how he was so certain that all Jews there wanted to go to Palestine. His answer was simple: “My Jewish advisers tell me so.” He admitted no poll had ever been made. Preparations were indeed begun for one, but the Jewish Agency stepped in to stop it.

The truth is that the Jews in German camps are now subjected to a Zionist pressure campaign which learned much from the Nazi terror. It is dangerous for a Jew to say that he would rather go to some other country, not Palestine. Such dissenters have been severely beaten, and worse.

Not long ago, in Palestine, nearly 1,000 Austrian Jews informed the international refugee organization that they would like to go back to Austria, and plans were made to repatriate them.

The Jewish Agency heard of this, and exerted enough political pressure to stop it. It would be bad propaganda for Zionism if Jews began leaving Palestine. The nearly 1,000 Austrian are still there, against their will.

The fact is that most of the European Jews are Western in culture and outlook, entirely urban in experience and habits. They cannot really have their hearts set on becoming pioneers in the barren, arid, cramped land which is Palestine.

One thing, however, is undoubtedly true. As matters stand now, most refugee Jews in Europe would, indeed, vote for Palestine, simply because they know no other country will have them.

If you or I were given a choice between a near-prison camp for the rest of our lives—or Palestine—we would both choose Palestine, too.

But open up any other alternative to them—give them any other choice, and see what happens!

No poll, however, will be worth anything unless the nations of the earth are willing to open their doors—just a little—to the Jews. In other words, if in such a poll a Jew says he wants to go to Sweden, Sweden must be willing to accept him. If he votes for America, you must let him come in.

Any other kind of poll would be a farce. For the desperate Jew, this is no idle testing of opinion: this is a grave matter of life or death. Unless he is absolutely sure that his vote means something, he will always vote for Palestine, so as not to risk his bird in the hand for one in the bush.

In any event, Palestine can accept no more. The 65,000 Jews in Palestine in 1918 have jumped to 600,000 today. We Arabs have increased, too, but not by immigration. The Jews were then a mere 11 per cent of our population. Today they are one third of it.

The rate of increase has been terrifying. In a few more years—unless stopped now—it will overwhelm us, and we shall be an important minority in our own home.

Surely the rest of the wide world is rich enough and generous enough to find a place for 200,000 Jews—about one third the number that tiny, poor Palestine has already sheltered. For the rest of the world, it is hardly a drop in the bucket. For us it means national suicide.

We are sometimes told that since the Jews came to Palestine, the Arab standard of living has improved. This is a most complicated question. But let us even assume, for the argument, that it is true. We would rather be a bit poorer, and masters of our own home. Is this unnatural?

The sorry story of the so-called “Balfour Declaration,” which started Zionist immigration into Palestine, is too complicated to repeat here in detail. It is grounded in broken promises to the Arabs—promises made in cold print which admit no denying.

We utterly deny its validity. We utterly deny the right of Great Britain to give away Arab land for a “national home” for an entirely foreign people.

Even the League of Nations sanction does not alter this. At the time, not a single Arab state was a member of the League. We were not allowed to say a word in our own defense.

I must point out, again in friendly frankness, that America was nearly as responsible as Britain for this Balfour Declaration. President Wilson approved it before it was issued, and the American Congress adopted it word for word in a joint resolution on 30th June, 1922.

In the 1920s, Arabs were annoyed and insulted by Zionist immigration, but not alarmed by it. It was steady, but fairly small, as even the Zionist founders thought it would remain. Indeed for some years, more Jews left Palestine than entered it—in 1927 almost twice as many.

But two new factors, entirely unforeseen by Britain or the League or America or the most fervent Zionist, arose in the early thirties to raise the immigration to undreamed heights. One was the World Depression; the second the rise of Hitler.

In 1932, the year before Hitler came to power, only 9,500 Jews came to Palestine. We did not welcome them, but we were not afraid that, at that rate, our solid Arab majority would ever be in danger.

But the next year—the year of Hitler—it jumped to 30,000! In 1934 it was 42,000! In 1935 it reached 61,000!

It was no longer the orderly arrival of idealist Zionists. Rather, all Europe was pouring its frightened Jews upon us. Then, at last, we, too, became frightened. We knew that unless this enormous influx stopped, we were, as Arabs, doomed in our Palestine homeland. And we have not changed our minds.

I have the impression that many Americans believe the trouble in Palestine is very remote from them, that America had little to do with it, and that your only interest now is that of a humane bystander.
I believe that you do not realize how directly you are, as a nation, responsible in general for the whole Zionist move and specifically for the present terrorism. I call this to your attention because I am certain that if you realize your responsibility you will act fairly to admit it and assume it.

Quite aside from official American support for the “National Home” of the Balfour Declaration, the Zionist settlements in Palestine would have been almost impossible, on anything like the current scale, without American money. This was contributed by American Jewry in an idealistic effort to help their fellows.

The motive was worthy: the result were disastrous. The contributions were by private individuals, but they were almost entirely Americans, and, as a nation, only America can answer for it.

The present catastrophe may be laid almost entirely at your door. Your government, almost alone in the world, is insisting on the immediate admission of 100,000 more Jews into Palestine—to be followed by countless additional ones. This will have the most frightful consequences in bloody chaos beyond anything ever hinted at in Palestine before.

It is your press and political leadership, almost alone in the world, who press this demand. It is almost entirely American money which hires or buys the “refugee ships” that steam illegally toward Palestine: American money which pays their crews. The illegal immigration from Europe is arranged by the Jewish Agency, supported almost entirely by American funds. It is American dollars which support the terrorists, which buy the bullets and pistols that kill British soldiers—your allies—and Arab citizens—your friends.

We in the Arab world were stunned to hear that you permit open advertisements in newspapers asking for money to finance these terrorists, to arm them openly and deliberately for murder. We could not believe this could really happen in the modern world. Now we must believe it: we have seen the advertisements with our own eyes.

I point out these things because nothing less than complete frankness will be of use. The crisis is too stark for mere polite vagueness which means nothing.

I have the most complete confidence in the fair-mindedness and generosity of the American public. We Arabs ask no favors. We ask only that you know the full truth, not half of it. We ask only that when you judge the Palestine question, you put yourselves in our place.

What would your answer be if some outside agency told you that you must accept in America many millions of utter strangers in your midst—enough to dominate your country—merely because they insisted on going to America, and because their forefathers had once lived there some 2,000 years ago?
Our answer is the same.

And what would be your action if, in spite of your refusal, this outside agency began forcing them on you?

Ours will be the same.

Turkey strengthen ties with Iran

December 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Posted on December 04, 2012 by Akashma Online News

Source IRNA
UPDATED
by Marivel Guzman

IRNA Iran Relations with Turkey

Ankara, Turkey Dec 5, – Head of Iranˈs Islamic Culture and Relations Organization Mohammad Baqer Khorramshad on Wednesday called for expansion of cultural cooperation with Turkey.

He made the remarks in a meeting with Turkish Ambassador to Tehran Umit Yardim.

Khorramshad highlighted the cultural affinity between Iran and Turkey and said that the common grounds in the field of culture serves as longstanding heritage for the two nations to bring them closer and bolster their friendship.
He said that ICRO   is willing to work with Turkish cultural organizations to help develop multilateral ties.
He called for implementing the cultural agreement signed between Iran and Turkey last year and forming a cultural expert group to follow up the agreement.

Khorramshad and Yardim agreed to implement the articles 11, 13 and 15 of the existing cultural agreement to repair late Imam Khomeiniˈs old house in Bussan, Turkey.

He invited the head of the Turkish Language Academy to pay a visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Mohammad Javad Khorramshad, who was speaking in the inauguration ceremony for Iran’s sacred defense film festival in Ankara, said he was conveying this message that there is no limitation for expansion of bilateral ties between Iran and Turkey. Referring to visits of officials from both countries in different levels, Khorramshad said that senior officials of the two countries have always underlined expansion of relations and now in the section of cinema and theater we are witnessing the process. He stressed that OCIC is ready to develop its relations in different sectors with related organizations and ministries in Turkey.
Turkey-Iran relations goes way back in the history of the two countries. Regardless of the regional conflicts they both faced, their relations had been steady with its ups and downs. When the news broke out that Turkey will be hosting the defense missiles system and missiles tracker Iran discouraged and made clear to Turkey that this could jeopardize their relations.

Turkey had asked guarantee to the US that this system should not be shared with Israel, with this Turkey is looking to apace Iran and at the same time to become an intermediary between Iran and the West.

Reza Shah visiting Turkey June 2 1934

Reza Shah visiting Turkey June 2 1934

Reza Shah took off on his only travel to a foreign country Turkey on June, 2, 1934. He was accompanied by 17 people, mostly high ranking military officers.
A brief background of Iran-Turkey Relations : Reza Shah was the first person to congratulated Ataturk after foundation of the Republic of Turkey

in 1923, sending him asword and a Quran as gift. On Apr, 22, 1926, a treaty of friendship and security was signed between the two countries. Although some incidents in the Kurdish region and foreign meddling prevented the two countries from approaching further, the leaders of these two neighboring countries tried to resolve border disputes and signed a new treaty in Ankara on Nov, 5, 1932
Reza Shah’s trip to Turkey marked the beginning of a new era in Iran-Turkey relationship. After short stops in Tabriz, Khoy and Maku, the Iranian mission entered Turkey on June, 11. They were accompanied by Turkish authorities through Kars, Erzurum, Trabzon, Samsun and arrived in Ankara on June, 16, 1934. They stayed in Turkey for 38 days and visited military, historical and other installations before returning to Tehran On July, 11.
Among other things, Reza Shah was very much impressed by modernization in Turkey and believed that Iran lacked participation of women in the society in order to develop. He founded many modern educational and public institutions and passed regulations that practically banned veil and changed the way Iranians were to dress on Dec, 23, 1935.

Turkey Iran relation

On April 22, 1926 the First “Treaty of Friendship” between Iran and Turkey was signed in Tehran.

On January 23, 1932 the first definitive frontier treaty between Turkey and Iran was signed in Tehran. It should be mentioned that the border between Turkey and Iran is one of the oldest in the world and has stayed more or less the same since the Battle of Chaldiran in 1514.

On July 8, 1937 a Treaty of Non-aggression was signed between Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. This treaty would become known as the Treaty of Saadabad. The purpose of this agreement was to ensure security and peace in the Middle East.

In August 1955 CENTO (Central Treaty Organization), a mutual security-pact between Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Pakistan and Britain was established.

In July 1964 the RCD (Regional Cooperation for Development), aimed at joint economic projects between Turkey, Iran and Pakistan was established.

A period of coldness passed after the 1979 Iranian Revolution which caused major changes in Iran and the Middle Eastern status quo. Today Iran and Turkey cooperate in a wide variety of fields that range from fighting terrorism, drug trafficking, and promoting stability in Iraq and Central Asia.

Employment of nuclear weapons is illegal and “haram” – Sin


Posted on October 04, 2012 by Akashma Online News

By Marivel Guzman

How can a set of countries seating on thousands of nuclear weapons heads are barking at another Nation that wants to take advantage of the nuclear age discoveries. The word nuclear is not necessarily to be linked to “Nuclear Bomb”, all the applications of the Nuclear Technology: Energy generation, In Medicine to diagnosis to treatment, Food and Agriculture, Industry.
I know that Hiroshima and Nagasaki comes to your mind when you think nuclear, but remember not every Nation has the desire to control the world as US, UK, France and Israel do.
Think twice before supporting the mentality of war and empty strikes of US and Israel, the way they do their dealings with other Nations is wrong. Educate yourself on the possibilities of a world of peace without the bully in the block dictating global policies that benefit Corporations and not people.

Iran’s Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a message to the international nuclear disarmament conference held in Tehran on April 17, 2010 said employment of nuclear weapons is illegal and “haram” (Arabic for Sin) but using nuclear energy was the right of all nations.

Although several countries have produced and stockpiled nuclear weapons that could lead to commission of a major nuclear crime and have seriously threatened world peace, only one government has committed the ultimate nuclear offense(Hiroshina and Nagasaki), the United States of America,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.

“A careful study of the critical events leading up to 6 August 1945 offers many distinct explanations. Contemporary discussions on the subject matter introduce a host of theories but taken individually they are far from satisfying. To suggest that a single overriding factor dominated the decision calculus of American policymakers would be to miss the point entirely. Rather, President Harry Truman’s decision to drop the bomb on Japan was a culmination of military, political and social motivations used to promote the self-interests of the United States, whether it be in the number of American lives saved in a potential invasion of the island or in shaping the geopolitical structure of the postwar era. Given the magnitude of what transpired during the summer months”The deception to drop the Bomb

The full text of his message is as follows:

“In the name of God the most merciful, the most gracious”

I wish to welcome the honorable guests that have gathered here for this conference. It is a source of pleasure for the Islamic Republic of Iran to be the host for this international disarmament conference. I hope this occasion will be an opportunity to yield enduring and important results from your dialogues and discussions for the whole humanity.

Atomic and nuclear sciences are among the greatest achievement of humankind and must be at the service of welfare and advancement of all human societies. The application fields of nuclear science cover a wide spectrum of medical, energy and industrial uses, each being of essential importance. For this reason, we can rightly say that nuclear technology occupies a prominent position in our economic life and its importance will only rise as we move forward. As the needs of industry, the health and energy sectors grow, so do the efforts to make more use of nuclear energy. The nations of the Middle East, like other nations of the world, are thirsting for peace, security and progress. They have the right to ensure the economic position and prosperity of the future generations. Most likely, one of the reasons behind efforts to cast clouds of doubt on the peaceful nuclear activities of the Islamic Republic of Iran is to hold back the nations of the region from paying serious attention to this natural and important right of theirs.

The deceptive ploy by the sole nuclear offender that falsely claims to be advocating non-proliferation of nuclear arms, while doing nothing substantive for this cause, will never succeed. If the campaign by the United States were not fictitious, could the Zionist regime refrain from accepting the rules of international law, especially the non-proliferation regime, and turn the occupied land of Palestine into an arsenal with huge stockpiles of nuclear weapons?

The word “atom” implies as much the advancement of human knowledge, as it does remind us of the most appalling event in history, the most dreadful genocide, and the gravest exploitation of scientific achievements of humankind. Although several countries have produced and stockpiled nuclear weapons that could lead to commission of a major nuclear crime and have seriously threatened world peace, only one government has committed the ultimate nuclear offense, the United States of America. The innocent people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were attacked by atomic bombs in an unequal and cruel war.

From the time of the first explosion of an atomic weapon by the government of the United States in Hiroshima and Nagasaki that caused human catastrophe with colossal proportions, the security of the entire humankind has been threatened and there has been a global consensus on the need for complete elimination of these weapons. The use of nuclear weapon not only caused massive loss of lives and destruction, but was also totally indiscriminate toward military and civilian population, young and old, women and men. Its ruthless consequences crossed political and geographical boundary lines and even wreaked irreparable losses on the next generations. As a consequence of these devastating effects, any use of or even threat to use nuclear weapons is a serious and material violation of indisputable rules of humanitarian law and a cogent example of a war crime. After a few countries acquired these weapons, it has been proven beyond any doubt that there is no winner in a nuclear war and entering such a war is irrational and inhuman. Nevertheless, despite these simple moral, rational, humane and even military facts and justifications and emphatic and repeated desire of the international community for the total elimination of these weapons, a small number of governments that have built their illusion of security on the insecurity of others continue to ignore this global call.

The insistence of these governments on holding on and increasing the destructive powers of these weapons will have no use but to serve as a tool for collective intimidation and terror and to create a false sense of security based on deterrence resulting from assured destruction and perpetuation of the global nuclear nightmare. Colossal amounts of resources have been spent in this irrational arms race, so each superpower could have this illusion and power to imagine that it is able to destroy its rivals and other inhabitants of the planet Earth, even their own population, many times over. It is for good reason that the deterrent strategy based on “mutually assured destruction” is referred to as MAD.

Over the recent years some government have gone beyond the “mutually assured destruction” deterrence doctrine in facing other nuclear powers. They have gone so far that their nuclear strategy emphasizes on maintaining nuclear choice in countering conventional threats by violators of NPT, while the greatest violators of NPT are those powers that, in addition to violating their commitments under article 6 of NPT on nuclear disarmament have even taken over others in the race for vertical and horizontal proliferation. They have played a direct role in proliferating these weapons by helping to arm the Zionist regime with nuclear weapons and supporting the policies of this regime. This is contrary to their undertaking under article 1 of NPT, and poses a serious threat to the Middle East region and beyond. The bullying and aggressor regime of the United States is leading these efforts.

It behooves this international conference on disarmament to review and examine the perils resulting from production and stockpiling of nuclear weapons in the world, and to present sensible and practical ways and solutions to counter this threat against humanity so, serious steps could be taken toward protecting world peace and security.

We believe that other weapons of mass destruction, in addition to nuclear weapons, such as chemical and biological weapons, also pose a serious threat to humanity. The people of Iran were themselves victims of the use of chemical weapons and are better aware of the dangers of production and stockpiling of these weapons. We are prepared to make resources available to us to counter this threat.

We regard the use of these weapons to be illegal and haram, and it is incumbent on all to protect humankind from this grave disaster.

Plan Is Opposed as Source of dissension


Plan Is Opposed as Source of dissension

 

To the Editor of the NYT-March 23, 1944

At the annual meeting of the American Palestine Association Senator Taft announced it as the primary purpose of his bill “to find a place of refuge for the 4,000,000 surviving Jews of Europe”. To achieve this end extraordinary means are proposed. Our congress is asked to exert pressure on the British government to revise its White Paper of 1939. In my judgment, Senator Taft and American public need to weigh carefully to what extent the proposed means will serve the humanitarian end, and to what extent it will serve other ends.

On the humanitarian objective; places of refuge for Jews driven from Europe must be provided. This is an imperative international responsibility. It is easy to run from this axiom to the conclusion that Palestine ought to be thrown open at once to freer immigration, and without the terminus proposed in the white paper. This conclusion would follow if Palestine were the only place, or the best place, or even a possible place for more than a limited number; and if there were no substantial obstacles in the way.

Agricultural possibilities are limited.’ Only half of the total area of this New Hampshire-size country can be cultivated. The best parts are occupied.

 

The Industrial Possibilities

 

What of a program of intensive industrialization? Each must judge for himself the lasting promise of forced industrializing of a land so little favored by nature for this purpose. In any case there can be no industry without market outlets and lines of supply. And these cannot be developed on any but a local scale prior to a general world settlement. As a immediate resource for Jewish refuge this program has no extensive contribution to make.

It is not as a place of refuge, but as a “National Home” for the Jews, that Palestine is all-important. On one ground, Palestine is not only the best place but the only place for a National Home-the ground of religious association.

Not only are these two purposes distinct-the place of refuge and the national Home-they are to some extent at odds with each other. For the Jews who are in Palestine because of a burning and historical piety are not at easy with the recent influx of refugees from Europe, pregnant with nationalism and animated by visions of social futures rather than by devotion to the historic sacred law and the return to Mount Zion.

New, the Balfour Declaration was concerned with the National Home, not primarily with the place of refuge.

The declaration (issued November, 1917) held out no engagement for “the reconstitution of Palestine as the National Home of the Jews”, although it is now being frequently so represented.

It committed Great Britain to “view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a National Home for the Jewish people. “it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”. There is a world of difference between building a Home within Palestine and reconstituting Palestine as a Jewish commonwealth.

When, therefore, one of the groups now pressing for these bills announces that the Jews of Palestine “did not come to form a new minority”, they are in effect not appealing for enforcement of the Balfour Declaration but for its replacement.

In 1919 (to use the figures of the Palestine Partition Commission of 1938) there were in Palestine 58,000 Jews and 642,000 Arabs (Moslem and Christian): Jews were roughly 10 percent of the total. In 1937 there were about 402,000 Jews and 990.000 Arabs.

Today we may estimate about 600,000 Jews and 1,000,000 Arabs. Allow some weight to the concentration of Jews in towns and their superior skill and practice in political action, and it would seem that a Jewish-controlled Palestine is not far out of reach. It is this which the Arabs fear.

Putting these various items together, does it not appear that the animus of the present drive is not primarily humanitarian but political?

The Arab has certainly profited by the general improvements incident to the influx of new capital and the energy of the settlers. At the same time he feels his total economic position less secure. One item, relating to farm labor, must suffice. The Jewish National fund buys land in Palestine, to “be held as the inalienable property of the Jewish people,” and leases it to Jewish farmers.

But why should not the Arabs give up a small percentage of their immense domain” (chiefly desert, with a thin “green crescent” around the rim) and even accept an exchange of population, if it will make for the realization of the Jewish dream?

Those who are now urging this view do not explain what they propose to do with the detail that to the Moslems also Jerusalem is a sacred city; that the very site of the former Jewish Temple is now occupied by the great El Aksa Mosque (began in 690 AD);

And that to maintain these and other religious establishments in Palestine a considerable local Moslem population is required as well as a free flow of worshipers and pilgrims. The entire Moslem world is concerned in this.

But look at the matter from the national and economic point of view. The material advantages of Palestine come largely from its position on the Mediterranean coast.

Commercially it belongs to the European area. Though its natural harbors are few and poor, it stands in a strategic position between Europe and the building industrial development-not of Palestine so much as of the Arab lands behind Palestine, as far as Iraq and the Nedj, which will need the aid of outside finance. A direct face on the Mediterranean is as important for the Arabs as for the Zionist; and the important Northern harbors are in Lebanese or Turkish hands.

Cultural relations with Europe, too, will be increasingly important for the new Arab life. Surrender of Palestine to exclusive Zionist control would amount to the surrender of an eye toward Europe.

Arabian Cultural Status

 

The disconcerting thing about these proposals, to which the United States is asked to become a party, is not the rivalry of interest but the silence of political-Zionist spokesmen in regard to the existence of any such Arab interest. They tend to backwash the cultural status of the Arab peoples, to ignore their new university life, their new literature, their new economic prowess and their wonderful museums.

It is not the bad effendis, it is the entire Arab population of the Near East which protest. And we are asked to make a national commitment whose consequences would be not only a new tension in a situation already strained with the demands of war but a revulsion against everything Anglo-American on the part of the Moslem world.

I speak with all consideration when I say that I believe the political Zionists at this moment, as distinct from the cultural Zionists who have built the noble Hebrew university on Mount Scopus and who know what a National Home must be, these political Zionists are the chief enemies of the Jewish interest in the world of tomorrow. What can they hope to gain by extricating their brethren from the prejudices of Europe only to build a community in Palestine which has to be protected by Western force because it is cradled in an environment of sedulously cultivated distrust and fear?

WILLIAM ERNEST HOCKING

Cambridge, Mass, March 23, 1944

Whose Cause!? The BDS Controversy!

July 11, 2012 1 comment

Posted on April 29, 2012 by Akashma Online News

By Marivel Guzman Edited by  Gail Baker

BDS The Non Violent Movement That Can Change The Odds

Whose Cause!.. Gilad Atzmon, Norman Finkelstein, Ali Abunimah, Omar Barghouti or Palestine? The BDS Controversy!

 

What Does it mean to be a Pro Palestinian Activist?

– To be pro-Palestinian does not necessarily mean you want the state of Israel to be wiped off the map; nor does it imply that you agree with either the two-state or one- state solution. The pro-Palestinian movement embraces many ideas and offers much diversity in way of critique and pro-active solutions.  For instance, some activists take a stand, drawing upon the premise of Human Rights and International Law while others pursue different strategies outside of U.N. sanctions, precisely because the legal precepts have never been enforced. Similarly, it is with this context in mind,  that we can view the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement where we witness much diversity in terms of strategy and goals.  The international community of peace activists has been preoccupied with boycotting Israeli products, goods, and services;  and also, has taken up the campaign for Cultural/Academic Boycott.  However, some blocks of the solidarity movement participate only if the products were exported from the settlements inside the occupied territories, namely the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Essentially, BDS is not a uniform or homogenous movement with a strict set of standards which would end up being restrictive and narrow in focus.  Some may view this as a weakness. And yet many others put another spin on it where the BDS is seen as holding out much promise due to its open, versatile, and dynamic appeal to a diverse range of groups. It is this versatility that allows for broad-based support that can only strengthen the movement all the more. As such, it would be a mistake to think that the BDS has to strike a consensus in order to work.  We really cannot expect such a consensus since the movement has so many different branches, strategies, goals, and supporters.  Nonetheless, one thing is clear in the minds of all supporters:  inspired by the South African  BDS campaign,  most people simply want to put an abrupt halt to the apartheid practices of Israel!  On this, I believe, there is a consensus and so it represents the rallying point that shall galvanize the movement into a potent force.

So it is we witness various scenarios where you have Israel citizens who support BDS because they want peace and know that for this to happen, there needs to be compliance with international law to the extent that rights of Palestinians within occupied territories are upheld. Therefore, they will not engage in talks or entertain the ideas of one or two-state solution. Their main concern is to maintain stability within Israel. Meanwhile, other activists take the stance that it is morally wrong to purchase any Israeli-made products;  simultaneously, they will target any companies known to have ties with the apartheid state, especially those corporations associated with providing arsenal and weaponry which are used to kill Palestinians.  This in turn will weaken the financial empire that continues to support Israel.  Whatever the goal of the BDS participants,  I personally think that it is a moral duty of every citizen in the world to support the BDS movement! This movement is not exclusive to any one leader or faction.  Even Omar Barghouti, often credited as the founder, does not claim a monopoly on BDS;  he does not own the movement but prefers to follow and act on the direction of the Palestinian BDS factions.  This in no way diminishes the value of the BDS movement!  On the contrary, BDS has become massive and global in it’s appeal and  should inspire us all the more as active participants, realizing that each and everyone of us has an important integral role to play.

We are already observing the inroads made.  Not only has BDS tarnished the false image of Israel as a progressive democratic state,  but it has been successful in financially crippling certain sectors of the economy.  Furthermore,  every time a company comes public in its support of BDS and severes its economic ties with Israel,  this captures the attention of the media and serves to act as counter-propaganda to that once-well oiled Zionist machine.  Every time we hear of these BDS triumphs,  awareness is stepped up a notch or two so that more is known about how Israel’s apartheid system really operates.  Subsequently, we cannot discount the achievements nor diminish the value of this campaign based on the opinion of one group, organization, or a handful of high profile activists.  While everyone is entitled to their opinion and deserves to be heard, we should take precautions not to restrict our own perspective to one particular position when it comes to BDS, or any issue for that matter.  It would help to put the movement, itself, in proper context and consider the implications.  For instance, recall that in South Africa it took more than 20 years for the BDS to gain some recognition around the world until finally it did take root as to have moral effect on the conscience of the people. Compare this to the contemporary situation where, with the assistance of technology, the Palestinian BDS campaign, since it’s inception, took only 5 or 6 years to be known at a global level.  By this time,  the BDS already has taken on a life of its own;  the ideology of the founders and/or their political aspirations have nothing to do with BDS anymore. There is no office at this point that can control or organize what people around the world do to support Palestine, so the rhetorical question of the two -state solution that some want to use against the founders or against the movement, itself, cannot undermine the global support for Palestine that BDS is awakening in the people of conscience.

WHAT IS BDS

BDS stands for Boycott and Disinvestment Sanctions and it is aimed primarily at Israel. This movement is intended to pressure Israel economically, financially, and culturally.  By no means was it created with the intention to undermine Israel’s legal status as an official recognized State. But as the movement has grown and thousands of organizations and universities across the globe are being more and more involved in the BDS movement, the perception of Israel is changing rapidly and many important academic figures that have been following the development of the conflict over the years are drawing the conclusion that Israel  is losing its legal status in the world.

In 2005 the Civil Society of Palestine called the attention of the world when they founded a movement that is known globally simply as BDS and every sector of the population is participating, whether on a small or a grand scale.

“Boycott – basically is a tool of the weak, who individually are weak but collectively can have some strength against overweening power. The first use of the word [originated] with tenant farmers in Ireland against their land agent.  Famous cases are the Montgomery Bus boycott and, more recently, the sporting boycott and other boycotts against South Africa. There are differences between all these boycotts, and I would stress that by taking the archetypal case of that of the tenant farmers who resisted the land agent Charles Boycott, who gave his name to the whole process, in the 1880s in Ireland.  Boycott was the land agent for an absentee English noble. And what they did, when he became too domineering, is they denied him labour to save the harvest, they put him into isolation -refused to talk to him under any circumstances, the shops wouldn’t serve him, the workers wouldn’t go and look after his house for him, and the person wouldn’t deliver him letters. And in reasonably short order, by the end of the year Boycott had been forced out and returned to England. So very direct.” Professor Jonathan Rosenhead, Novemeber11, 2011

Professor Jonathan Rosenhead is chair of the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) which is the main organization in the UK supporting the academic and cultural boycotts of Israel, it parallels PACBI in Palestine. Professor Rosenhead is also an activist, took part in the flotilla, sailing to Gaza to break the Israeli siege.

If we take this case as an archetype, or at least one standard by which to view the BDS movement in general, it reminds us to use our own critical thinking whenever high-profile people as intellectuals, writers, emeritus, professors, Nobel Prize laureates, politicians, scholars, and internationally-acclaimed activists speak on a issue.  Many of us may be tempted to automatically think and feel that our support for an issue is validated merely because someone of high stature takes a stand in favor. On the other hand, if these same people speak against a campaign that we support, we may feel betrayed and angry. Some of us even go to the extreme of doubting our own convictions and moral standing and then we prematurely switch sides.  It is, at that moment, we become followers and lose our ability to think independently for ourselves. This should be taken as a precautionary note, especially when we are addressing the issue of the BDS movement since the campaign is so immense and, therefore, cannot be accepted as a uniform doctrine expected to fit all necessities. Rather it is versatile, diverse, and dynamic in appeal. What we can say in terms of technicalities, it is not a movement that necessarily seeks the liberation of Palestine, because at its CORE, it was founded on 3 main premises:  rights of return for refugees, equality for Arabs in Israel, and the end of occupation. These three points, if satisfied, will comply with international law! Even as we consider this official position, it is important to realize that the movement, itself, has evolved, the ideas have evolved as well, and by natural effect, the goals have changed, at least for some.

For pro-Palestinians that seek the liberation of Palestine, it is not enough to satisfy the 3 points, because such according to their interpretation would be akin to recognizing and legalizing Israel as a one-state solution. Palestinians and non- Palestinians alike, who take this line of reasoning, refer to the partition of

Palestine as illegal and thereby,  will never accept Israel as legitimate state. While we may understand this position, the concern and grievances are misplaced:  the original founders of BDS and the fulfillment of the three premises, does not entail  debating the one or two-state solution; nor does it imply recognition of Israel as either legal/legitimate or illegitimate.  One could argue to the contrary, that the original founders of the movement,  whether they accept Israel as legitimate or not, nonetheless view the BDS goals as a beginning for a broader movement with effective outcomes that perhaps could eventually lead to dissipation of Israel. Consider the various variables at work here,  such that the population growth of Palestinians is on the rise and could imply the best tool to defeat Israel.

Norm Finkelstein’s Position on BDS:

On his Interview with Frank Baratta, a well known Human Rights Activist, on February 9, 2012 attended the Imperial college London,  and delivered astonishing statements that left us all surprised and wondering “what got into him????”.

Norm Finkelstein is now famous for repeating The Law is Clear, and he shields his views on BDS charging the founders of the movement as dishonest that Israel it is a State and that it is the law, but sadly he forgets easily how Israel had disregarded the law thousands of times when it comes to respect the life and property of Native Palestinians.

“When the law is criminal, you must break it to be human.” – FendLOTRO youtube user responded to Norman Finkelstein

Norman G. Finkelstein received his doctorate in 1988 from the Department of Politics at Princeton University.For many years he taught political theory and the Israel-Palestine conflict. He currently writes and lectures.

The controversy arose when Professor Finkelstein slammed the BDS movement as a cult!  I heard his argument and he does not mean the literal definition of a cult;  but rather is referring to the centralized idea that forcing Israel to comply with the 3 points of the BDS movement will destroy Israel. He goes on to say that he will support the BDS movement if the organizers will honestly speak on their goals, because he senses that they are not being genuine due to what he considers “vague” statements made by Barghouti. In this sense, Finkelstein’s interpretation imparts a misleading and inaccurate appraisal of the BDS movement.  Meanwhile, Ali Abu Nimahk, from the electronic intifada who has been a harsh critic of  Finkelstein, started a campaign against him by drawing the line on disinformation coming from Finkelstain side, accusing Finkelstain on supporting Israel on the two state solution.  When every body knows that it is not possible, but this point does not discredit Finkelstain as a pro-Justice man,  Subsequently, Ali Abu Nimahk supporters,  fell for his arguments, without question, and failed to seriously consider the words of Finkelstein where he stated  “I support the BDS, but I said that it will never reach a broad public, until and unless they’re explicit on their goal, and their goal has to include recognition of Israel, or it is no starter. It won’t reach the public, because the moment it goes out there, Israel will start to say, what about us? and they won’t recognize our right, and it fact that is correct, you can’t answer the Israelis on that, because they are making a statement that is factually correct. It is not an accident and unwitting omission that BDS does not mention Israel….you know that and I know that…is not that OH! we forgot to mention Israel!”  Professor Norman Finkelstein.

I highly respect the point of view of these personalities and their approach to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict because each of them have worked tirelessly for the Palestinian cause! Nonetheless, all of them have their own goals, and because their goals differ in nature, their arguments also differ. It becomes problematic, however, where this turns into a “mud-slinging” fest and divides the various supporters affiliated with each of these high-profile personalities, as those aforementioned. We all can be peace activists and be pro-Palestinians and not have an opinion on the one or two-state solution – that has been the center point for Ali Abu Minah. Yet when he criticizes Finkelstein, he ignores the position regarding the legal question  of Israeli actions against occupied territories. Furthermore, he fails to pursue the probable outcome of the BDS movement where we could envision the prospect of an eventual dissipation of Israel as a legitimate state according to international law.

Ali Hasan Abunimah is a Palestinian American journalist and co-founder of Electronic Intifada, a not-for-profit, independent online publication about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

I make mention of these disparate views above because they have played a role in disseminating rumors regarding the BDS. Furthermore, it would be unfair to give credit to or to discredit the words of any of these heavy-weights, without first analyzing their background, their profession, their nationality, and ultimately, the real motives behind the positions they promote in public forums.  Take the case of Norman Finkelstein where many questions arise regarding his recent, often contradictory and confusing arguments.  What goals does he have in mind?  He has been a peace activist for years and out of moral duty has stood firmly behind the Palestinian cause to defend truth, justice, and law.  He has in the past taken enormous professional risks to do this.  But now he is in the process of selling his image as a writer, political scientist, scholar, and activist, as well as his books.  This means his integrity is at stake and once again he is taking a risk and has to step cautiously into the Mid East arena regarding BDS. When he bashes Israel, we give him credit for his courage. And yet, we must be skeptical here since, of recent, he has taken the position that “the law, it is clear.  We cannot be selective with the law”. Moreover, he slams the BDS for not staying within the bounds of the law because the movement doesn’t explicitly give recognition to the state of Israel.

Did Finkelstein forget the stipulations placed on Israel by the League of Nations during the time that Palestine was partitioned to create Israel?  And it isn’t it true that Israel, in order to have legitimacy, would have to respect the rights of the inhabitants of the land with particular emphasis on all groups including Palestinians  Muslims, and Palestinians Christians?  Now it is obvious to human rights watch groups and it should be obvious to Finkelstein, himself,  that since the moment of it’s inception,  Israel has violated every international law in the books and was never held accountable! Due to this violations, it’s status as a legitimate/legal state should be considered dubious, at best.  Ironic it is, then, that Finkelstein criticizes the BDS movement due to it’s failure to make an official statement in recognition of Israel.   Why should the founder/s be pressured to do so, in the first place?  especially when Finkelstein stresses the idea that “the law is clear and is not selective”?  What he fails to address is the obvious -  why when it comes to Palestine, is the law selective and why are those legally-binding resolutions (in favor of Palestinians rights) NOT enforced?  Disturbing about this is the fact that he takes a legal stance against BDS, but in this case he appears to use it selectively in favor of Israel. Below I provide two screen shots of the original documents of the United Nations – Resolution 194-8 and 194-11 agreed and signed

All things being equal, the truth will prevail. When given a fair chance, the truth should survive, because it is more natural, more attractive, and less contrived than falsehood. In a democracy, certain rights are inalienable, so that all men are equal before the law. On that assumption we must pressure Israel to adhere to it’s own propagated idea that as “the only democracy in the Middle East”, it must abide by the law. Since this stands as a fundamental principle of democracy, defending the truth will reach a conclusion.  The anti-BDS propaganda must be challenged at it’s source.  The fact that such heavy-weights as Ali Abu Nimah, Omar Barghouti, Norm Finkelstein, and Gilad Atzman have all entered the fray and media frenzy,  opinions have likely been taken out of context and the issues have  been blown out of proportion.

Gilad Atzmon’s Position on the BDS:

Gilad Atzmon: “For more than a while, myself and others are very suspicious of the BDS. For some peculiar reason the BDS in the West is dominated by Jewish activists. Though the BDS’ principle is valid and worth a fight, it has become clear to many of us that something went wrong along the way. Last month we have seen BDS calls to stop Norman Finkelstein; this month we see BDS calls to stop me. Great, isn’t it. The BDS is now used to stifle freedom within the solidarity discourse.”

I m not blaming Gilad Atzmon for the anti-BDS sentiment that is circulating! Rather, I am quoting those words that were picked up by media and likely contributed to the the controversy that arose following the interview of Norman Finkelstein,  as well as, Ali Abu Nimah‘s heated debate on the issue. I think we can trace the roots here. In addition, the people pushing hard on the surface of the BDS movement, are hijacking the campaign where we observe attempts to silence the dissident Jews as Gilad Atzmon and Norman Finkelstein. Because they are taking center stage in the Palestine Justice Movement, many people followed the line being pushed by an anonymous group that seems to operate behind the scenes, implying that there may well be a few spy rings. (Where these spy rings arise, they can do damage because they plant “ideas” that are hurting the BDS). Many of the same dynamics mentioned above were also witnessed during the Jewish global boycott of Germany goods to weaken Hitler’s economic power during WWII, as well, to force the government to finance the Jewish Transfer to Palestine. Additionally, we saw similar factors at work in South Africa during the horrible apartheid era.
I  agree with Gilad Atzmon where he criticizes certain groups that have infiltrated the BDS and have been used to silence Jewish dissidents as himself.  Unfortunately, though, his defensive position has become offensive and imparts a false impression that the BDS campaign in general is not trustworthy. Sadly, I have seen good friends and pro-Palestinian activists write against BDS,  without considering the consequences of doing so. We must put this in a broader perspective and push aside the infighting upon realizing that this is an immense movement in which millions of people are doing their level best to keep up the campaign against apartheid.  Meanwhile, I can only hope that those people of high-profile who have great influence over public opinion reflect upon the damage that could be done to Palestine whenever they overgeneralize their personal opinions in attempt to defend themselves against rogue BDS elements/agents.

With this in mind, I cite Gilad’s own words to remind us to stay focused on the real issues:

“For more than ten years I have been writing about Israel, Zionism and Jewish identity. I am engaged in a process of deconstruction and critique of different Jewish texts, ideas, politics and practice. My intent is aiming towards some deeper realization of what Zionism is. In my opinion, Zionism is one of the most dangerous political movements. It is a global operation that threatens world peace on a daily basis.” Gilad Atzmon

 

When citing any position, it is important to keep in mind that the BDS movement is not the property of few persons. This is a global campaign of awareness, to pressure Israel to end her apartheid practices inside the occupied territories and to force Israel to respect the human rights of Palestinians that live in West Jerusalem, Gaza and West Bank.

Boycott is a real complicated issue. For years we’ve been arguing in favour of divestment and boycott. At the time I supported any form of boycott in Israel, its products and its culture.There are some elements in the boycott that are obviously very welcome. For instance, the fact that UK unions are standing up against Zionist evil is a major shift in the very right direction. The Boycott is certainly bad news for Israel and this is wonderful news in itself. Yesterday, I went to a reading of a play, it was actually a theatrical adaptation my latest book. The producer is Jewish, and at a certain stage when we were discussing the meaning of the play he stood up and said. “You see, we had a Jewish State, it is now sixty years later, and it is a very horrible place, it is so horrible that it has now been boycotted. And this is there to make us think, where did it go wrong?” This is the most positive impact of the boycott. It makes people reflect.” Gilad Atzmon July 2007

Gilad Atzmon is an Israeli-born British jazz saxophonist, novelist, political activist, Pro Palestinian Peace Activist, and writer. Atzmon’s album Exile was BBC jazz album of the year in 2003.

When Gilad Atzmon refers to the Jewish, you have to understand his philosophy and point of view regarding the modern Jewish sentiment of ” the chosen ones”. This mentality is more intrinsic and is best exemplified by the Jewish Only political spectrum in Israel, as well as, powerful Jewish lobby groups around the world. But let us not confuse Israel Jewish Only Policies with Judaism. “Jewish” refers primarily to ethnicity while “Judaism” refers to religion. For instance,  those who support “Jewish only” policies in line with apartheid, play upon the concept “the chosen few”, not as  a matter of religious principles, but more so, a matter of political arrogance. Furthermore, it is notable that there are a number of Jewish groups of orthodox faith who take offense to Israeli Zionist practices of apartheid and occupation. Neturei Karta Orthodox Jews are but an example.

Recently a group of intellectuals, and pro-Palestinians endorsed Ali Abu Minah in a letter against Gilad Atzmon. I think that some people are using the spotlight of others to upstage their popularity within the Palestinian movement. Meanwhile, there are thousands of pro-Palestinians who have invested their time and sometimes their money without thinking twice. Additionally, there are those who have and continue to make a profession out of the Palestinian cause, dedicating much of their life to this. Such is to be respected where and when these people are clearly focused on the objectives to serve justice. Moreover, it is only fair that they be paid for their time and service since they, as anyone else, need money to live and support themselves and families. Sometimes the tasks do involve various campaigns for private donations, or setting up Non-Profit Organizations where the structure is similar to the official NGO’s that participate in charities (unlike many NGO’s, this participation in charities is not merely a means to deduct taxes). Then, too, there is a group of individuals who have thrown their support behind Palestine, not out of love for Palestine, but more so as a matter of fighting injustice due to violation of human rights. Chomsky and Finkelstein may very well fall into this camp since they do not want to see Israel wiped off the map; rather, they would prefer to see an Israel that behaves democratically by working inside the parameters of international law. Like Professor Horowitz,  Finkelstein engages in discussions with pro-Israeli supporters. BUT UNLIKE Horowitz, Finkelstein cites factual information regarding atrocities against Palestinians and also clearly recognizes the need for Israel to put an end to human rights abuses. As mentioned earlier, the argument may initially sound appealing. However, delving further into Finkelstein’s various discussions and interviews,  many contradictions arise and are worthy of further examination if we are to assess his position on BDS.

Assessing the Implications of the Key Players Involved in the Controversy:

On February 2012 a video clip was released on youtube entitled “Arguing the BDS Movement: Interview with Frank Barata and political Scientist, Writer, and Activist Norman Finkelstein“.  According to Finkelstein,  international law is unambiguous and could be used as a tool to compel Israel to adhere to human rights.  Meanwhile, he sees little value in the so called Palestinian Authority’s efforts to conduct peace talks and negotiations that have led nowhere, and also implies  that the P.A. is a collaborator of Israel since the leaders often strike bargains that actually come at the expense of the Palestinians, themselves. In a sense, he is right!  This rather cozy relationship became more evident especially after Abbas’ presidency. For instance, corruption is observed in many instances, among all things, the criminalization of protests against the occupation.  Given the P.A.’s collaboration with Israel,  along with U.S. aid to the Zionist entity, it is hard to envision the possibility of a peaceful outcome. According to Finkelstein, Palestine will never win the conflict since it is inconceivable that Israel will give an inch.  Not only is it equipped with one of the most technologically advanced military and powerful armies, Israel too has the moral and financial backing of the United Sates, as well as other nations.  The fact that the U.S. provides more than 3 billion dollars a year in military aid and loan guarantees makes the prospects for Palestine look all the more bleak, especially considering this one-sided war, if it can even can be called a war.  In reality this is unprecedented and unwarranted aggression against the virtually defenseless Palestinian population. As such,  Israel would have to be extracted by force,  either through the Palestinians use of militancy or through strict judicial procedures within the bounds of international law.

It is on the point of international law that Finkelstein makes his case for Palestine, but in the meantime, also applies the argument to undermine the legitimacy of the BDS campaign. What unravels in his position, is an argument replete with serious  flaws, contradictions, assumptions, and confusion.  It is no wonder then that many of his own supporters have been left bewildered. The major criticism regards the three  strategies put forth by the BDS. To Finkelstein,  while these may be “ideologically possible”, on pragmatic terms and according to international law, the three-pronged approach can’t work since it excludes Israel as a viable state.  Even if these strategies did have effect,  eventually this would culminate in the end of Israel.  This is particularly problematic to Finkelstein because the scenario is feasible given that the return of 6 to 7 million Palestinian refugees will shift the balance of power due to disproportionate representation in terms of a diminished Israeli population. This prospect, accompanied by the BDS’ call for equal rights to Arabs within Israel will quite likely result in a panorama view where Palestinians as majority will be the major political players. On these grounds,  Finkelstein accuses the BDS of being dishonest since it does not acknowledge this possibility nor officially claim it as a goal.  Subsequently, he believes the campaign will never take root because the international community simply will not accept these terms, whether they are explicitly stated or not.

The bewilderment and confusion arising out of Finkelstein’s stance can be traced to the manner in which he takes comfort in citing the 1967 borders that are supposedly the legal borders of Israel!  Disturbing about this argument is the failure on behalf of Finkelstein to acknowledge those disenfranchised Palestinians who were illegally driven and forced out of their homeland prior to 1967.  Did he forget the history,  the Nakba for instance, which violated international law prior to 1967?  Did he forget how the so The State of Israel was created through war crimes when it was violently inserted into the heart of the Middle East?  There is reason for concern insofar he draws scarce attention to and virtually ignores the atrocities and plight forced upon Palestinians who became refugees in neighboring countries where they are not accepted as citizens, and on the other hand Majority of Israelis enjoyed double Nationality.  If it is so as Finkelstein reiterates over and over that “the law is clear”,  why is it that he ignores the resolutions adopted by the General Assembly at it’s third session on  November 27, 1948? (refer to illustration 1 and 2). Moreover, if he is going to use the stance that “the law is clear”,  it is incumbent on him as a political scholar, to admit that Israel violated most of the U.N. resolutions and was never held accountable since the moment of it’s inception.

Yes, the law in this case is clear, but it is unfair and unjust, because it has not been enforced!!!!  By all standards then,  Israel’s legitimacy as a state, is dubious and up for question.  So we are left to ponder why Finkelstein places the burden of proof upon the Palestinians rather than on Israel.   And why does he uses such a flawed argument to slam the BDS campaign?  If anything, one could turn the tables here and apply “the law is clear” premise to work in favor of the BDS.  Finkelstein’s argument would be far more credible had he used it to acknowledge that, by all international standards/UN resolutions,  Israel technically is  not a legal nor legitimate state.  In this sense, the BDS movement, could satisfy the three pillars, and could very well become a potent force enough to garner the attention of the international and global community.  It could reach a climax of mass proportions in which the international players will no longer have the luxury of appeasing Israel.  The world will soon become weary and tired of Israel arrogance and impunity.  Sooner or later, Israel will be forced to follow the path of South Africa!

Upon revisiting controversy surrounding Gilad Atzmon’s position, it is important to note that he is very critical of the Zionist ideology,  insisting with reason, that the state of Israel has instilled exclusivity of “the chosen few” in the minds of Jewish citizens to advance colonial rule in Palestine.

Meanwhile, Atzmon’s detractors are working hard to undo the work that he has done on behalf of Palestine. They are using the wrong arguments for the wrong reasons for the right cause, that is Palestine. Some of these people get entangled in the criticism,  some are genuine pro-Palestinians, and some are misled by the well- oiled Zionist propaganda that is trying to destroy the career of Gilad Atzmon, that it is being cemented on the Palestine Conflict and Zionism. It is no secret, after all, that

has published in favor of the Palestinian cause and due to his fame and popularity, has much influence. Subsequently, Zionist groups have an obvious motive for bashing his work.  But the move to do so may be premature, ill-conceived, and in fact, may backfire.  As with any issues that come under the spotlight due to controversy, the media attention can serve both sides of the divide: on one hand it reinforces arguments by the detractors, and on the other, it inspires greater interest and curiosity in Atzmon’s work. The same could be said of  Finkelstein as well. So the question comes to mind, whether or not this anti-BDS campaign is actually a stunt employed to sell books, or at the very least, an  opportunistic ploy conveniently playing in the hands of the authors and publishers.

The claims articulated by both Finkelstein and Atzmon, strongly suggest both are pro-justice, pro-peace, and ultimately, pro-Palestine.

“For me to be Jewish is, above all, to be preoccupied with overcoming injustice and thirsting for justice in the world, and that means being respectful toward other peoples regardless of their nationality or religion, and empathetic in the face of human suffering whoever and wherever victimization is encountered” (Gilad Atzmon, “On Jewish Identity,” 1/15/2011).

In Atzmon’s words, we find credibility in his cause and struggle for justice. However, if this trumped up anti-BDS campaign has been used as a propaganda scheme to gain free advertizement for books recently published, then this is disturbing, to say the least. To attack the BDS campaign as a means of serving one’s own interests is beyond irresponsible and irreproachable since authors of high stature have great influence on the pro-Palestinians.  I would hope that these are not the motives here. Whatever the case, there is no doubt that the controversy did have spin-off effects that have undermined BDS proponents and, meanwhile, divided the solidarity movement. For instance, I recently heard some statements against the BDS movement asserting that the strategies have not worked since Israel’s economy is more “economically solvent than ever”.  Yet pursuing this at greater length,  tells us that nothing can be farther from the truth -  the economic meltdown is a global phenomenon and it’s to a point where even Israel is not immune. Taken in this context, we can quite confidently assume that certain sectors of the economy will inevitably be hurt, as some already have suffered losses. Add to this, the Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.   Many high-profile personalities, as internationally-acclaimed author and activist Alice Walker,  have already entered the fray, inspiring the BDS campaign once again with enthusiasm and optimism; meanwhile, striking fear into the heart of Zionist lobby groups. Indeed Zionist Israel has reason for concern; and it is high time that the key political players are shaken enough to take note!  Economic collapse may be more imminent than they are willing to admit! And if this is what it takes to put an end to apartheid, occupation, and genocide; then we owe at least some credit to the BDS movement.

Consider too, how the average Israeli citizen is impacted by the government’s heavy investment into security and weaponry used against Palestinians. Simultaneously, the middle class is beginning to feel the crunch as elsewhere in the world. Growing inequality, in terms of both socioeconomic status and political policies, is the first sign spotted by the ordinary citizen.  The Occupy movement has actually reached the Holy Land and has stirred up protests. Change is on the horizon. Even Israel can no longer afford it’s own arrogance. Moreover, there is no magical wand that can grant them immunity from global or economic evolution where society is evermore awakening to mass consciousness. The conditions exist and the time is ripe for the BDS to make inroads and impact enough to dismantle apartheid Israel.  On this optimistic note,  it is relevant to examine the ideas of Omar Barghouti.

Revisiting the Controversy Surrounding Omar Barghouti’s Position on BDS:

It would be remiss not to assess the credibility of Omar Barghouti also,  since he too has become central to this BDS debate and as mentioned earlier,  he did emerge on the scene to espouse the values and the 3 main objectives of the campaign against apartheid Israel: right of return for refugees, equal rights for Arabs within Israel, and termination of the occupation. Barghouti, also emphasizes that the direction of  this movement is to be in the hands of the Palestinians themselves.  While other affiliated groups and participants across the globe are recognized as major players, the movement must not be monopolized by any set of elites.  It belongs to the grassroots people, particularly guided by the Palestinians. While statements have been embraced by most in the BDS movement, he too has come under attack by both Finkelstein and Atzmon. According to Finkelstein, the goals are too vague and cannot work. Atzmon makes similar claims but stepped it up a notch when he unfairly referred to Barghouti as a racist against whites . Such an accusation, however, should not be taken seriously since Atzmon took Barghouti’s words out of context without giving accurate representation to the postmodern argument from which Barghouti implied that those of Euro centric ethnicity/background have no right to dictate the terms or set the agenda for the Palestinians. Here, Barghouti was making reference to the colonial mentality where white supremacy is still very much a denominator in international relations between the imperialistic “colonizers/occupiers” and the “colonized/occupied”.

In yet another instance, March 7/2011, the London Review Bookshop was host to Barghouti’s launch of the work entitled “BDS: Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions – The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights”. Here Barghouti again came under attack, accused of taking a “hypocritical position on academic boycott” simply because he had attended an “Israeli University” to obtain his Ph.D.. Even so, Barghouti’s rebuttal was swift, to the point, and “very rational” which according to staff of Inminds.com suggests “that unless someone is being dishonest with themselves, they will have no choice but to accept the arguments”. The integrity with which Barghouti replied is nicely captured in the following excerpt:

 

Audience Question: Omar, you are living in Israel, you are doing a PhD, you are

studying in an Israeli university. How does that equate with your boycott campaign, isn’t that hypocritical to live in Israel and consume everything Israeli, then call for a boycott of Israel? And secondly, if God forbid, you ever needed a life saving medicine, or a member of your family in Israel, would you accept that medicine or would you reject that life saving medicine?

Omar Barghouti: I think Mandela went to an apartheid university, when you are living under apartheid you have no choice. You pay taxes to the apartheid regime, you accept services from the apartheid regime, how else can you survive? You go to hospitals, you go to universities, you go to the post office, you go to government offices in the apartheid regime. You are a ‘subject’ of that colonial system, there is no other way. Gandhi studied at a British university as well. The point is that when you are under occupation, when you are under apartheid, you have no moral choice. There is no choice. We ask people from outside to boycott because they have a moral choice. Responsibility comes with choice. Germans under Nazi rule who couldn’t open their mouths were cowards; but we can perhaps forgive them for not opening their mouths when you think you would be shot by the Nazi genocidal regime if they opened their mouths. Israelis that stay silent are far more cowardly because they do have a choice and they wont get shot if they stand up against the occupation. So we measure this with how much choice you have. When you have no choice what do you do? So there is absolutely no double standard for people under oppression to call on people who are not under oppression, standing in solidarity with them, to oppose and boycott a completely the oppressive regime. What we cannot do, you can do in the UK.  The second part of your question.. of course we do not boycott Israeli medicines in Israel. What else can we buy? We are not irrational. I don’t know your view of the Arabs.. but you know we are not suicidal..

A Q. [interrupts]: Why do you live there if you don’t like it there?

Omar Barghouti: Its my country, I’m a Palestinian.

A Q: You were brought up in Egypt

Omar Barghouti: I’m a refugee. Refugee’s have a right to go home. I’m a Palestinian. The two-state solution, besides having passed its expiry date, it was never a moral solution to start with. In the best-case scenario, if UN resolution 242 were meticulously implemented, it would have addressed most of the legitimate rights of less than a third of the Palestinian people over less than a fifth of their ancestral land. More than two thirds of the Palestinians, refugees plus the Palestinian citizens of Israel, have been dubiously and shortsightedly expunged out of the definition of the Palestinians. Such exclusion can only guarantee the perpetuation of conflict.”

If Israel doesn’t want to obey international law then why should Israel be recognized as a legitimate state? Israel can’t have it both ways! The Case for BDS:

Reflecting upon the controversies, debates, and the infighting, we are left to assess and evaluate the merits of the BDS campaign. Essentially, we need to do some of our own soul-searching, put aside petty disputes, and ask the key question: What variables  should we consider in using our discretion either in favor or against the BDS? Because Omar Barghouti says we should? because Ali Abu Minah says it is the right thing to do?  because Gilad Atzmon has been unfairly accused of anti-Semitic by some rogue boycott members? or because Gilad Atzman has unfairly accused Barghouti of racism? or because the highly respected Norman Finkelstein suggests that the boycott has no clear goals and is unworkable?  Do these questions make your head spin,  and confuse the issue rather than clarify it?  If so, then we need to get beyond the ambiguity and propaganda that the infighting and divisiveness has created.  If we really are focused on the goal of serving the interests of Palestine, then it is necessary to put an end to the “mudslinging” and dirty politicking.  After all, this is playing into the hands of Zionist tactics of divide and conquer.  Wouldn’t we fair much better if we refused to be followers,  used our own critical thinking, and put an abrupt stop to the ungrounded attacks that deflect from the goal to end injustice?  The BDS campaign, in a sense, has become a battleground, a war zone.  And now is the time when we can refuse to enlist in that war and instead, become conscientious objectors as we collaborate under the banner of BDS to restore justice to Palestinians.  By doing so, we shall partake in the movement, doing so for Palestine only for Palestine! To restore their rights, to help them to be heard by a world that for years has turned its back and failed to listen.

Letter from Palestinians To the World

“The goal of the Palestinian people has always been clear: self determination. And we can only exercise that inalienable right through liberation, the return of our refugees (the absolute majority of our people) and achieving equal rights to all through decolonization. As such, we stand with all and any movements that call for justice, human dignity, equality, and social, economic, cultural and political rights. We will never compromise the principles and spirit of our liberation struggle. We will not allow a false sense of expediency to drive us into alliance with those who attack, malign, or otherwise attempt to target our political fraternity with all liberation struggles and movements for justice.

As Palestinians, it is our collective responsibility, whether we are in Palestine or in exile, to assert our guidance of our grassroots liberation struggle. We must protect the integrity of our movement, and to do so we must continue to remain vigilant that those for whom we provide platforms actually speak to its principles.

When the Palestinian people call for self-determination and decolonization of our homeland, we do so in the promise and hope of a community founded on justice, where all are free, all are equal and all are welcome”.
Until Liberation and Return

Signed:

  • Ali Abunimah, Naseer Aruri, Professor Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, Omar Barghouti, human rights activist
  • Hatem Bazian, Chair, American Muslims for Palestine, Andrew Dalack, National Coordinating Committee, US Palestinian Community Network, Haidar Eid, Gaza. Nada Elia, US Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. Toufic Haddad, Kathryn Hamoudah
  • Adam Hanieh, Lecturer, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London, Mostafa Henaway, Tadamon! Canada
  • Monadel Herzallah, National Coordinating Committee, US Palestinian Community Network, Nadia Hijab, author and human rights advocate. Andrew Kadi, Hanna Kawas, Chair person, Canada Palestine Association and Co-Host Voice of Palestine
  • Abir Kobty, Palestinian blogger and activist, Joseph Massad, Professor, Columbia University, NY, Danya Mustafa, Israeli Apartheid Week US National Co-Coordinator & Students for Justice in Palestine- University of New Mexico
  • Dina Omar, Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine, Haitham Salawdeh, National Coordinating Committee, US Palestinian Community Network, Sobhi Samour, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London
  • Khaled Ziada, SOAS Palestine Society, London, Rafeef Ziadah, poet and human rights advocate

Other Voices

It is my hope that the non-violent BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement, of which I am part, will have enough of an impact on Israeli civilian society to change the situation. In that regard, I offer an earlier example of THE COLOR PURPLE’s engagement in the world-wide effort to rid humanity of its self-destructive habit of dehumanizing whole populations. When the film of The Color Purple was finished, and all of us who made it decided we loved it, Steven Spielberg, the director, was faced with the decision of whether it should be permitted to travel to and be offered to the South African public. I lobbied against this idea because, as with Israel today, there was a civil society movement of BDS aimed at changing South Africa’s apartheid policies and, in fact, transforming the government. Alice Walker

Israelis have many other ways to show their dissatisfaction with the status quo: They can boycott institutions that profit or take part in the occupation, avoid the draft, take part in Palestinian-led protests or lead their own demonstrations. Ultimately, this debate will also lead to dealing with the question of BDS, though it’s clear that actual support for BDS will remain very marginal in Israeli society. Still, as long as no real alternative for the occupation is brought from the Israeli side, I think it’s very important not to oppose any form of Palestinian non-violent resistance, even if one is not taking part in it personally. Noam Sheizaf

In the frenzy to discredit BDS, it’s perversely easy for critics to forget these facts, to get lost in the abstraction (and sometimes distraction) of arguments about the uplifting effects of transnational corporations, the benevolence of 1948 Israel and the lurking anti-Semitism of the BDS agenda. These arguments are not just misleading but often downright dangerous and offensive; the anti-Semitism charge in particular is probably the most often cited and potent. So let’s be clear: vile and frightening anti-Semitism certainly exists, but BDS is not an example of it. As a nonviolent movement dedicated to human rights and nondiscrimination it is, in many ways, its opposite: the lesson of “Never Again” interpreted universally, a reminder that in the face of extreme horror, it is incumbent upon people of conscience to rally around the inalienable rights of the abused. Lizzy Ratner

Some BDS Triumphs

250 European academics call for exclusion of Ahava and Israeli arms companies from EU research projects - Article 3 of the Treaty on European Union obliges the EU to uphold human rights and to strictly observe and support the development of international law in all of its external
relations.

The largest Presbyterian group in the US is considering divesting from three major global companies over the Israeli military’s use of their products in the Palestinian territories.Pension funds in Norway and Sweden have divested themselves of holdings in some firms involved in building settlements or helping to erect Israel’s contentious West Bank separation barrier. European activists have stepped up pressure on companies by exposing their West Bank ties and picketing stores that sell goods produced in Israeli settlements.

Last week, the US investment firm MSCI Inc. announced it had removed Caterpillar from three of its popular indexes that track socially responsible investments, leading mutual fund giant TIAA-CREF to divest $72 million in Caterpillar stock.

Israel cited in Caterpillar’s delisting from influential investment index – The sale of Caterpillar tractors to Israel was a factor, but not the determining one, in the delisting of the company from an influential index that prioritizes good governance and human rights.The move, however, is poised to further complicate the difficult ongoing conversation about Israel taking place between American Jewish gruops and the Presbyterian Church (USA).

BDS it is the Only Hope For Palestine to Become Independent

Palestine Treasure Land; Holy Land Economic Independence

Do you know that Palestine will be self sufficient if Israel stopped stealing the natural resources?

Palestine will be rich if allowed access and control over the minerals in the Dead Sea or the Natural Gas recently discovered in Gaza Shores?

If Israel would stop uprooting The Olive Trees that have been one of the sources of income for Palestinians – they have commercialized the olive oil and olives for hundreds of years.

If Israel would would remove the physical barrier that separated Palestinians from their farms and business, this alone will save them thousands of hours that are wasted on walking great distances to cross the check points illegally installed by Israel in Palestine.

Just the time saved in removing barriers and checkpoints, itself means money. Ultimately, efforts and resources to be fighting a worthless occupation will be employed to restore people’s  properties and revive the Palestinian economy. Just Imagine the possibilities!!!! These are just some of the issues that the BDS is trying to resolve for Palestinians.  Of course, there are more pressing  issues yet that need to be acknowledged by the international community;  but we should not underestimate the capacity of BDS to play a pivotal role in these very factors.


Right now under apartheid Israel, Palestine loses close to 7 billion dollars every year:

“The economy of the Palestinian suffers annual losses of seven billion dollars because of the occupation, which has turned these territories into one of the most aid-dependent economies in the world. In this respect, the ambassador of PNA in the UN, Riyad Mansour, said in an interview with Prensa Latina that the cost of domination is easily quantifiable, so that if this policyends, “we will be able to be self-sufficient and not need external help.”The seven billion dollars lost to the Palestinian economy in 2010 amounts to almost the entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP) annually, and this damage was produced by depriving the residents in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza from using their natural resources.” Correspondent for Prensa Latina in Egypt.Palestinian numbers, a despicable occupation – Translated from the Portuguese version by: Lisa

KarpovaPravda.Ru

 

Follow your conscience. Follow what you feel is right. Propaganda is cheap and costs great division. Use your own mind, heart, judgement on this matter and try not pin your hopes and faith exclusively on one source or person of influence. What ever works to create awareness counts; any efforts aimed to let the world know that Palestine has been suffering under apartheid for 60 plus years.  We know BDS is working. We know that boycotting Israel is one means of reigning in this rogue state! It is a human duty and obligation to rally together against any state that continually uses brutality and violates human rights and international law, in the manner that Israel has done, to the point of genocide. The BDS is beyond reproach, and trying to stop us from exercising a rightful humanitarian cause is a treason against our own human nature.

“The end of the Cold War, moreover, changed the West’s attitudes towards Africa. Western governments no longer had strategic interests in propping up repressive regimes merely because they were friendly to the west. Along with the World Bank, they concluded that one party regimes lacking popular participation constituted a serious hindrance to economic development and placed new emphasis on the need for democratic reform” The Struggles for Democracy- Martin Meredith -The Fate of Africa

At The End The US and Britain were forced to Boycott South Africa Apartheid: Library of Congress 1987

References

The Fate of AFRICA – Martin Meredith -Public Affairs Series – 2005

How Israel was won – - June 17, 1999

Palestinians Civil Society Calls for BDS- BDS National Committee- July 9, 2005 -

BDSmovement.net

Gilad Atzmon Interviewed: Each Village is a Reminder by Brian Lenzo- July 13. 2010 -

Palestine Chronicle

Why Is BDS a Moral Duty Today? A Response to Bernard-Henri Levy – Omar Barghouti

- January 11, 2011- Huffington Post The Blog

Boycott Divides Jews In Britain, The New York Times, March 26, 1983 -0 Pasadena Library

Opening Chris Hedges-Norman Finkelstein, Talk, 6 December 2011 – Video-Cultural

Freedom,Nonfiction,Video-Recorded at the James A. Little Theater in Santa Fe, New

Mexico on December 6, 2011.

Alice Walker Stand on BDS: She has visited many places that have suffered injustices like Post Apartheid South Africa and knows of the terrible life the Afrikaans had it, and because she knows thru her own experiences the real story, she adds her voice to the people of Palestine, which sufferings are very similar to the blacks of the south where she grew up, or the South Africans of the Apartheid Era.

On Gilad Atzmon-Disavowal: “…a mental act that consists in rejecting the reality of

a perception.”-by William A. Cook

A Sacred Moment – A Call to Truth: The Words of a Lakota Elder | LIBERATION FROM THE LIE


 

HolyEagle James

 

I ask you to read this post in a spirit of reverence for those who came before.

When I was a teen, I read a book about the Plains Indian wars. I already knew that the Native people of North and South America were the victims of European conquest and genocide, but until I read this book, I had little idea how savage the destruction of Native cultures truly was.

After my sophomore year at college, I received an invitation to visit the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Busby, Montana.

Me with Randy Kills On Sight (N. Cheyenne) – The summer when this talk happened

As someone raised in a large Eastern city, the barren, high prairie of Eastern Montana was at once a place that was entirely foreign, but also oddly familiar to me. It felt both powerful and sacred. I was struck by the incredible silence of the infinitely spacious sky of Eastern Montana. However, beneath that sky was the glaring rural poverty and sadness of the Cheyenne communities. This once proud and independent buffalo hunting society of the high plains was now living in decrepit houses in a barren world. Reduced to eating processed meat sticks and endless quantities of Kool Aid. The reservation suffered from an unemployment rate approaching 90%, an average life expectancy of 39, and it was a place where suicide was the second leading cause of death. It was not unusual for old people to sit outside on freezing winter nights so that they might die of exposure by morning. My summer on the reservation changed me forever. My brief time in Montana suggested to me that Cheyennes dealt with emotional crisis differently than what I observed growing up in our primarily Jewish suburb outside of Philadelphia, but I could not put my finger on what it was.

As that summer was drawing to a close, I had a remarkable conversation with an old Lakota man at the Crow powwow. It was dusk, on a hill above the Little Big Horn River, right where Arapaho, Lakota, and Cheyenne warriors wiped out Custer and his men 94 years ago (at that time). He spoke to me in questions, which I later learned is a fairly common way of teaching in the “Indian” way. He had previously told me many “tall” tales and then would ask me if I believed them. I would politely reply that I didn’t and he would chuckle good-naturedly. On this day, he was more solemn and he said that he was going to tell me a different sort of story. He wondered if I would believe this tale.

He asked, “Do you know why we Indians view white people with pity and contempt?” His question confused me. I didn’t know what he was referring to, nor what he was trying to tell me. So I answered, “Is it our obsession with money, material things?”

He smiled and then asked me to look around and tell him what I saw. I told him that I saw hills, grasses, sky, and the river below us. He nodded in agreement. Then he said, “Where are the wolves Eric?”

“They are gone.” I answered. “Where are the bears? Where are the buffalo?” and he asked about many animals that are now gone. “Were they all here, before your people came to this land?” I hesitantly nodded yes.

“Did not the white people kill the wolves, the bears, the buffalo and all the other animals that once lived here? Is this a story you can believe Eric?” I said, “Yes, I can believe that story.”

Then he asked me to look down at the river and he asked me, “Eric, would you drink from that river?” I answered no. He then asked, where are the many fish that use to fill that river? Isn’t it true that the white man killed them all? Do you believe that to be so?” “Yes”, I said, “I believe that to be so.”

A deepening sadness now filled the air. I started to tremble with the power of that sadness.

Then he asked me to look at the all but empty sky. He said that before the white man there were many more birds. He asked if I knew why there were so many fewer birds now than then. I said that I didn’t know. He explained to me that birds feed on the grasses, but that the white man did away with the wild grasses and covered the land with grasses that need poisonous chemicals to live. The plows and chemicals of the white man destroyed the original vegetation, which killed off many of the birds.

“Poison and death everywhere.” He said softly.

He paused and then he looked at me sadly. “The white man kills anything that is wild. Do you believe that Eric?” He paused again and peered pensively into the darkening sky. He had become very serious, as if he was unsure how to present his next question.

He then sadly asked, “Where are the wild people that filled this land before the white man came?” I then eagerly pointed out all the Indians who were attending the powwow. “They are here,” I said trying to sound hopeful. But he responded with a quiet, “No, these are not the wild Indians, they are the reservation Indians, they are the conquered Indians.” He then asked again, “Eric, where are the wild Indians?”

I said very softly, “They are gone with all the rest.” I had to hold back tears.

“What has the white man killed?” he asked. I reluctantly uttered the long list we had now amassed … the animals, the grasses, the birds, the wild people, and even the earth itself. For each increasingly heavy category of life now destroyed, he would tirelessly repeat the question, “Do you believe this to be true Eric?” And for each point, I had to say “Yes, this is true.”

“Now I will ask you again, why do the Indians have pity on the white man?”

Confidently I replied, because of the killing. The white man is a heartless killer, I answered quite sure that I was definitely on the right track.

He said that was part of it, but not the whole story.

“What is it the white people kill?” he asked. I answered “Anything that stands in their way”.

He said, “Can you be a little clearer?”

http://liberationfromthelie.com/2011/07/28/a-sacred-moment-a-call-to-truth-the-words-of-a-lakota-elder/
For Information and Donations go to the above link

I became flustered and wasn’t sure what he was trying to get me to say. I was confused and didn’t know where he was taking this conversation.

He then answered his own question, “The white man kills anything that is wild. More than anything else, the white man fears anything that is wild.”

He paused, “The white man depends on control. Anything that he cannot control, he must kill or control in some extreme way. But that is not the answer to my first question.”

He then asked, “Do you know the answer now?”

I was frustrated with myself, because I just couldn’t figure out what he was getting at.

There was a long pause.

He then said the answer. “If it were only the killing, if that was the only issue, we would not pity the white man. We would think that he is crazy, but we would not pity him.”

“We pity the white man because this killing gives him pleasure. He loves to kill. The killing gives him a sense of accomplishment.”

“He looked out onto this land and saw it as useless the way the Great Spirit made it. He has to fashion it in a way that serves his interests. That meant that his pleasure became killing as the work of God. We Indians lived in peace with God. Your people have no peace with God.”

The old man let his head drop in silent contemplation. I began to weep and I truly wanted to die at that moment.

There was a long silence. I was so sad. He put his arm on my shoulder and said, “It’s okay Eric, this too will pass. Life is a much longer journey than we can possibly imagine and I have faith in you. You’ll be different.”

He smiled and we walked down to the river together. We walked down to the banks of the Little Big Horn River, the river the Lakota call the Greasy Grass as the sun fell beneath the horizon.

I never saw him again.

If you found inspiration in this post which is true in every word, you might want to read this post. It will raise your heart in the blaze of the beauty of this day.

32 Votes

Did you find this information helpful? If you did, consider donating.

Nelson Mandela’s Legacy


Posted on July 11, 2011 by Akashma Online News

by John Carlin
The Cairo Review

Nelson Mandela after his release from twenty-seven years in prison, Soweto, South Africa, Feb. 17, 1990. Photograph by Louise Gubb

Nelson Mandela after his release from twenty-seven years in prison, Soweto, South Africa, Feb. 17, 1990. Photograph by Louise Gubb

Ever since Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa after winning his country’s first democratic elections in April 1994, the national anthem has consisted of two songs spliced—not particularly mellifluously—together. One is “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika,” or “God Bless Africa,” sung at black protest rallies during the forty-six years between the rise and fall of apartheid. The other is “Die Stem,” (“The Call”), the old white anthem, a celebration of the European settlers’ conquest of Africa’s southern tip. It was Mandela’s idea to juxtapose the two, his purpose being to forge from the rival tunes’ discordant notes a powerfully symbolic message of national harmony.

Not everyone in Mandela’s party, the African National Congress, was convinced when he first proposed the plan. In fact, the entirety of the ANC’s national executive committee initially pushed to scrap “Die Stem” and replace it with “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika.” Mandela won the argument by doing what defined his leadership: reconciling generosity with pragmatism, finding common ground between humanity’s higher values and the politician’s aspiration to power.

The chief task the ANC would have upon taking over government, Mandela reminded his colleagues at the meeting, would be to cement the foundations of the hard-won new democracy. The main threat to peace and stability came from right-wing terrorism. The way to deprive the extremists of popular support, and therefore to disarm them, was by convincing the white population as a whole that they belonged fully in ‘the new South Africa,’ that a black-led government would not treat them the way previous white rulers had treated blacks. In a political context so delicate, Mandela pointed out, you had to be very careful with the messages you put out. Strike a false note and you risked undermining the nation’s stability; make the right gesture and national unity would be reinforced. The matter of the anthem offered a case in point, Mandela said: the short term satisfaction of banning the despised old song might come at a dangerously high price, whereas the magnanimous act of retaining it could yield mightily valuable returns.

And so it proved. Mandela’s wisdom in reaching out to the old enemy, repressing any vengeful impulses he might have accumulated during his twenty-seven years in prison, is the principal reason why South Africa has consolidated its transition from tyranny to democracy, and done so not, in the time-honored style of revolutions, through repression, but by persuasion. The triumphant expression of Mandela’s life’s work is seen in a political system that, seventeen years after he took power, remains as stable as it is authentically democratic. The rule of law, freedom of speech, free and fair elections: these are the gifts Mandela has bequeathed his nation.

Flaws, nevertheless, abound today, stemming from corruption in all its creeping manifestations. These could in time destroy the edifice Mandela built. But they will not undermine Mandela’s place in history, which is more durable than any political construct. As with Abraham Lincoln, his deeper legacy lies in the example he has left for succeeding generations.

Mandela is Africa’s Lincoln. You don’t do Lincoln too many favors if you scrutinize the detail of what came after him: he fought against slavery, yet black Americans would remain second-class citizens for more than one hundred more years; he appealed to “the better angels of our nature,” yet genocidal massacres of American Indians continued for some time after his death. It would be as unfair to tarnish Lincoln’s memory with the shortcomings of those that followed him as it would be to question Mandela’s lasting value by pointing to the mediocrity or venality of his successors.

The big truth is that Mandela, like Lincoln, achieved the historically rare feat of uniting a fiercely divided country. The feat is rare because what ordinary politicians have always done is seek power by highlighting difference and fueling antagonism. Mandela sought it by appealing to people’s common humanity.

It was behind bars that he learnt his most valuable lessons in leadership. As he himself has acknowledged, prison shaped him. He went in angry, convinced that the only way of achieving his people’s freedom was by force of arms. This was neither an original nor a morally opprobrious approach back then, in 1962, given every attempt to negotiate with successive white governments over the previous half century had been contemptuously rebutted; and given, too, the enormity of the injustice to which the eighty-five percent of the population who were not white had been subjected since the arrival of the first European mariners in 1652.

What the experience of prison did was elevate Mandela to a higher political plain, setting him apart from the great mass of ordinarily brave, ordinarily principled freedom fighters within his country and beyond. He learnt that succumbing to the vengeful passions brought fleeting joys at the cost of lasting benefits; he learnt, through studying his jailers closely, that black and white people had far more in common, at bottom, than they had points of difference; he learnt that forgiveness and generosity and, above all, respect were weapons of political persuasion as powerful as any gun.

When his time came, he deployed these lessons to devastating political effect—through countless small gestures in the same spirit of the big one he made on the national anthem, and, equally important, in the critical encounters he held, one on one, with figures from the white establishment whose influence on South Africa’s political destiny was almost as great as his own. During Mandela’s last four years in prison, he held secret talks about talks with the minister of justice of South Africa and the country’s top spy, and—once—with the president himself, the iron-fisted and (by reputation) ogreish P. W. Botha. The outcome of these meetings was that he was released from prison and the process of negotiations began that led to his people’s freedom and his rise to the highest political office in the land.

How did he convince his enemies to succumb to his will? First, by treating them individually with respect, by showing them trust, and by making it clear that he had a core set of values from which he would never be persuaded to depart. The human foundations having been laid, his sincerity having been established, he set about rationally persuading them that violent confrontation would only lead to the peace of the cemeteries, to everybody losing out, and that the only hope for all parties lay in negotiation.

I have talked at length to two of those three men with whom Mandela met secretly when he was still in prison, the minister of justice, Kobie Coetsee, (Interview:  He was South Africa’s Minister of Justice under South Africa Apartheid).

In 1986 he initiated secret talks with the imprisoned Mandela.and the intelligence chief, Niel Barnard. Coetsee wept while describing Mandela to me as “the incarnation of the great Roman virtues, gravitas, honestas, dignitas.” Barnard referred to him continually as “the old man,” as if he were talking about his own father.

Mandela had the same effect on practically everyone he met. Take the case of General Constand Viljoen, who in 1993, with the path set for multiracial elections a year later, was anointed leader of South Africa’s far right, charged with heading “the white freedom struggle.” Viljoen, who had been head of the South African Defence Force between 1980 and 1985, travelled the country organising what he called armed resistance units, others called terrorist cells. Mandela reached out to him through intermediaries and the two men met in secret at his home. Viljoen, with whom I have talked about this encounter, was almost instantly disarmed. Expecting a monster, having conditioned himself to regard Mandela as a fearsome Communist with little regard for human life, Viljoen was dumbstruck by Mandela’s big, warm smile, by his courteous attentiveness to detail (“Do you take sugar in your tea, General?”), by his keen knowledge of the history of white South Africa and his sensitivity to the apprehensions and fears white South Africans were feeling at that time. When the two men began discussing matters of substance, Mandela put it to him that, yes, he could go to war and, yes, his people were more skilled in the military arts than black South Africans; but against that, if it came to race war, black South Africa had the numbers, as well as the guaranteed support of practically the entire international community. There could be no winners, Mandela said. The general did not disagree.

That first meeting led to another, then another. Viljoen succumbed to Mandela’s lethally effective political cocktail of charm, respect, integrity, pragmatism and hard-nosed sense. He called off the planned “armed struggle” and, to the amazement of the South African political world, he agreed to take part in the all-race elections of April 1994, thereby giving his blessing to the political transformation Mandela had engineered, agreeing to the peaceful hand over of power from the white minority to the totality of the population. Viljoen won a parliamentary seat in representation of his freshly formed right wing Freedom Front and I remember watching him on the day the new, all race parliament was inaugurated. Mandela was the last to enter the chamber and, as he walked in, Viljoen’s eyes settled on his new black president. His face wore an expression that could only be described, I thought at the time, as adoration. I asked him when we talked some years later whether I had been right in that description and he said I had been. The retired general also reminded me that before taking his seat on that inaugural parliamentary occasion Mandela had broken protocol by crossing the floor to shake hands with him. What had Mandela said to him? “He said, ‘I am very happy to see you here, general’.” And what did the general reply? “I said nothing. I am a military man and he was my president. I shook his hand and I stood to attention.”

Viljoen, who has had many encounters with Mandela since then, told me that one left his company feeling as if one were a better, more virtuous person. Viljoen was not alone. Mandela did appeal, and with uncanny success, to the better angels of people’s natures. But he did so—and this is very important—not primarily out of a desire to win a place in heaven, or to be well-liked. Mandela was the quintessential political animal: he did everything he did with a clear political purpose.  Not to understand this—to insist only on his admirable ‘lack of bitterness’ and his spirit of forgiveness—is to miss the bigger point that Mandela’s widely applauded saintliness was the instrument he judged to be most effective in the achievement of his political goals. Had he calculated, as he once did, that violence was the way to liberate his people, he would not have hesitated to pursue that route. Luckily for South Africa, he reached the conclusion that there could be no democracy without reconciliation, no justice without peace.

He acted wholeheartedly on this understanding, investing every last drop of his boundless charm, his political cunning, and his farsightedness in achieving his life’s goal by following the only strategy he knew could realistically work. Mandela’s legacy, the imperishable lesson he holds for the ages, and the reason why he stands head and shoulders above every leader of his generation, or practically every leader there has ever been, is that he showed it is possible to be a great human being and a great politician at the same time; that showing respect to friends and enemies alike can get you a long, long way; and that nothing beats the combination—in Mandela’s case, the seamless convergence—of magnanimity and power.

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————

John Carlin is a senior international writer for El Pais,the world’s leading Spanish language newspaper, and a former correspondent in South Africa for the London Independent. He has written for theTimes of London, the Observer, the BBC, the New York Times and TIME, among other media outlets. He is the author of Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation, the basis for the film Invictus directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon.

The Lockerbie Trial in The MaltaMedia Daily Online News Service archives

June 17, 2011 1 comment

Posted by Marivel Guzman from
The MaltaMedia Daily Online News Service Archives.
Special Note: I would like to make the link to this Special Report but for some reason the antivirus service keeps blocking the URL where the Special report was published, so I copied and pasted in its entirely the Trial Special Report written by Darrell Pace.


Scottish investigative journalist Ian Ferguson in an interview published in an Egyptian newspaper said that he believes that the running of the secret drug line operated between the Middle East and Europe in 1988 could be linked to the disaster.

The Lockerbie Trial in The MaltaMedia Daily Online News Service archives

Al Megrahi starts serving life sentence written by Darrell Pace – 15 Mar, 2002

Libyan Abdel Basset Al Megrahi on Friday woke up for the first time at the Scottish maximum security prison of Barlinnie Prison, Glasgow at the start of his life imprisonment sentence after Scottish judges turned down his appeal.

Megrahi was flown there by helicopter on Thursday evening, hours after Lord Justice General Lord Cullen said that the appeals judges had concluded that none of the grounds of appeal presented by the convicted Lockerbie bomber were well-founded.

“The appeal will accordingly be refused. This brings proceedings to an end.” he concluded.

A trail jury made up of three Scottish Judges had found Megrahi guilty of placing the bomb that downed a Pan Am Boeing 747 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988. 270 people perished in that disaster. He was then sentenced to life in prison, and must serve at least twenty years in a Scottish jail.

Megrahi’s imprisonment will be monitored closely by the United Nations. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said his office would now enter into “appropriate arrangements” agreed previously with British authorities to monitor the conditions of the imprisonment.

A spokesperson for Annan said that the Secretary General hoped that with Thursday’s court decision, the time had come when suffering families of the victims “can at last close this tragic chapter in their lives.”

Libya criticised the ruling. The Foreign Ministry compared al Megrahi to a “Jesus Christ of modern times.”

“The verdict confirms once again that the United States and Britain have imposed their sway on the court to enforce a political verdict,” a statement read.

The Libyan government went on to say that Libya wanted compensation for losses inflicted on Libyans by U.N. sanctions, imposed to force it to hand over Megrahi and another suspect in the Lockerbie attack.

The United States, in turn, urged Libya to take the remaining steps so sanctions could be lifted – by admitting responsibility for the bombing and paying compensation to families of victims. Libya has already committed itself to paying compensation, even in the eventuality of Al Megrahi being acquitted by the appeals jury.

Some relatives of the victims who died in the attack said the end of legal proceedings gave them some satisfaction, but the tragedy would continue to haunt them.

Meanwhile, Thursday’s ruling was severely criticised by one of five U.N. observers who followed the trial as part of the deal with Libya.

Hans Koechler described the ruling as a miscarriage of justice. “My impression is that justice was not done and that we are dealing here with a rather spectacular case of a miscarriage of justice,” he told BBC Radio Scotland.

“I am not convinced at all that the sequence of events that led to this explosion of the plane over Scotland was as described by the court. Everything that is presented is only circumstantial evidence,” he said.

Megrahi’s only avenue of appeal under the Scottish legal system is the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, which sits in London, and has a supervisory jurisdiction over constitutional matters within the UK.

Al Megrahi loses Lockerbie appeal written by Darrell Pace – 14 Mar, 2002

Five Scottish judges have refused the appeal of the Libyan Abdel Basset al-Megrahi arguing that none of the grounds of his appeal were well-founded.

Al Megrahi in the courtroom Delivering a verdict almost a month after the jury finished hearing the appeal at the Scottish court in the Netherlands, the head of the jury, Lord Justice General Lord Cullen said “For the reasons given in the opinion, in which we all concur, we have concluded that none of the grounds of appeal is well-founded.

“The appeal will accordingly be refused. This brings proceedings to an end.” he concluded.

A trail jury made up of three Scottish Judges had found Megrahi guilty of placing the bomb that downed a Pan Am Boeing 747 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988. 270 people perished in that disaster. He was then sentenced to life in prison, and must serve at least twenty years in a Scottish jail.

Megrahi is now set to be flown by helicopter to Scotland at a specially-built jail at a maximum security in Barlinnie Prison, Glasgow.

Relatives of the 270 victims of the tragedy were reported to be relieved at the ruling of the appeal judges. Megrahi, on the other hand remained straight-faced while his wife wept in the court.

Megrahi’s only avenue of appeal under the Scottish legal system is the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, which sits in London, and has a supervisory jurisdiction over constitutional matters within the UK.

Lawyers for former Libyan secret agent in the appeal had urged the judges to reject Megrahi’s guilty verdict. Their reasoning was based on evidence from six new witnesses during 14 days of hearings earlier this year. The defence claimed that the new evidence shows that the original guilty verdict was a miscarriage of justice.

The appeal focused on two areas crucial to Megrahi’s conviction: where the bomb was originally loaded and evidence from a Maltese shopowner, Tony Gauci, who said he sold Megrahi clothes found wrapped round the suitcase bomb.

One of the new testimonies in the appeal came from a former security guard who said that he had found evidence of a break-in at London’s Heathrow airport the night before the tragedy. The testimony contradicted the crown’s original thesis that the bomb was first loaded on an Air Malta flight to Frankfurt.

Prosecutors, however, said the new evidence was “flawed and weak,” saying that an airport baggage worker eager to go home probably broke open a security door at Heathrow.

The appeal ruling effectively confirms that the bomb that destroyed the airliner did in fact leave from Malta.

Lockerbie appeal verdict set for 14th Marchwritten by Darrell Pace – 5 Mar, 2002

The destiny of Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, the Libyan convicted last year for the Lockerbie bombing, will be revealed next Thursday when five Scottish judges will rule on the appeal of the former secret agent.

A trail jury made up of three Scottish Judges had found Megrahi guilty of placing the bomb that downed a Pan Am Boeing 747 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988. 270 people perished in that disaster. He was then sentenced to life in prison, and must serve at least twenty years in a Scottish jail.

Scotland’s authorities said Tuesday said that the Scottish judges who heard the appeal will deliver their ruling on Thursday 14th March.

Lawyers for former Libyan secret agent have urged the judges to reject Megrahi’s guilty verdict. Their reasoning was based on evidence from six new witnesses during 14 days of hearings earlier this year. The defence claims that the new evidence shows that the original guilty verdict was a miscarriage of justice.

The appeal focused on two areas crucial to Megrahi’s conviction: where the bomb was originally loaded and evidence from a Maltese shopowner, Tony Gauci, who said he sold Megrahi clothes found wrapped round the suitcase bomb.

One of the new testimonies in the appeal came from a former security guard who said that he had found evidence of a break-in at London’s Heathrow airport the night before the tragedy. The testimony contradicts the crown’s original thesis that the bomb was first loaded on an Air Malta flight to Frankfurt.

Prosecutors, however, said the new evidence was “flawed and weak,” saying that an airport baggage worker eager to go home probably broke open a security door at Heathrow.

Journalist says CIA drug line linked to Lockerbiewritten by Darrell Pace – 4 Mar, 2002

Scottish investigative journalist Ian Ferguson in an interview published in an Egyptian newspaper said that he believes that the running of the secret drug line operated between the Middle East and Europe in 1988 could be linked to the disaster.

Ferguson is the journalist who revealed that Maltese shopkeeper Tony Gauci had received free holidays to Scotland compliments of the Scottish police. He is one of the few journalists who are still coming up with new leads in the case.

Speaking to Al- Ahram Weekly Ferguson said that his investigations into the bombing have often come under fire since he started work into the case in 1991.

One such case was when he was probing an alleged secret drug line run by the Central Intelligence Agency in 1988 between the Middle East and Europe. Ferguson told Al-Ahram that when he was putting together a radio documentary about the Lockerbie bombing for American public broadcasting, his colleagues at the Washington desk pressured him to cut the part about the drug running. Meanwhile, he was also receiving threats. “I know I have been followed whilst making the documentary, and that telephone calls were intercepted,” he says. “When my wife phoned me in Switzerland, she heard a voice saying: ‘American wife of the journalist, we are watching you’.” Ferguson says the drug case and the threats are clearly linked. “Every time I got near something to do with that case, the threats would increase.”

In his book Cover-up of Convenience, which was released last year, Ferguson says that the Libyan defendant Abdel-Basset Al-Megrahi who is appealing his conviction for the attack, is not guilty. He believes that the two Libyans that the original two defendants of the trial were fall guys in a web of political intrigue.

In his interview with Al- Ahram Weekly Ferguson was also critical of the Scottish judges in the case, who he maintains never gave Al- Megrahi the benefit of the doubt. He dismisses the defence as “very weak,” and blames the defence team for not using his scoop about Gauci’s Scottish holiday to further their case.

His main frustration in Al-Megrahi’s conviction, however, is that the real culprits have been allowed to escape. “Justice will only be done when the real people responsible are caught and prosecuted. But the problem there is, the truth lies with the secret services, especially in the United States,” he said.

Libya will pay compensation to Lockerbie victims’ families written by MM News – 1 Mar, 2002

A son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has been quoted saying that Libya agreed to pay compensation to families of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing victims even if the former Libyan agent convicted of the attack is acquitted on appeal.

Reuters quoted Seif el Islam in a news conference in Paris saying there was no link between the agent’s criminal trial and the civil case.

Seif el Islam said that Libyan government representatives were in talks with relatives of the 270 victims in the French capital but an agreement had not yet been reached and Libya was resisting demands for $4 billion.

Islam compared the reasoning to O.J. Simpson’s case during the press conference. The former American football star, was acquitted of murdering his estranged wife and her friend in a celebrated trial in 1995. But two years later a civil court ordered him to pay $33.5 million in compensation to the victims’ families.

“It is the law of the jungle,” Gaddafi’s son said. “It’s unfair but we have to be realistic and realize we are dealing with a superpower. It’s the United States not Malta.”

In an interview with newspaper Asharq al-Awsat published on Thursday, Seif el Islam said he expected talks to be wrapped up within five months but no payment would be made before a verdict had been reached on Megrahi’s appeal.

Lockerbie appeal ends written by MM News – 15 Feb, 2002

The Lockerbie appeal court on Thursday heard the last witnesses, bringing the appeal to an end. The witnesses were brought to the stand by the prosecution in an effort to counter a theory suggested by the defence that the bomb was put on flight Pan Am 103 in London, not Malta.

Defence lawyer William Taylor on Wednesday put a former security guard at Heathrow airport, and a superior, to testify that had found that a door leading to a baggage storage area had been opened, the night before the tragedy on December 20, 1988.

Taylor contends that the break-in shows the bomb could have been smuggled on board the New York-bound plane in London.

But prosecution witnesses on Thursday, however testified that airport staff at Heathrow occasionally forced open a door to a baggage area to take a shortcut, undermining the defence theory that the bomb was planted by an intruder at Heathrow.

The defence however says that the door carried no signs of kicking, indicating that it had been forced open. Guard Raymond Manly and his supervisor, Philip Radley, testified that the break-in looked like a professional job and had reported it to the police.

The five judges of the appeal have retired to decide on Abdelbasset ali Mohmed al-Megrahi’s fate.

New testimony heard in Lockerbie appeal written by Darrell Pace – 13 Feb, 2002

A new witness in the appeal of a Libyan found guilty of masterminding the Lockerbie bombing said that he found that a baggage store padlock had been “cut like butter” the night before the tragedy.

The five Scottish judges of the appeal started hearing the testimony of Ray Manly, a former Heathrow Airport security guard on Wednesday. Manly was called to the witness stand by the defence team of Abdelbasset ali Mohmed al-Megrahi in its efforts to prove that the bomb that downed the Pan Am airliner did not start its deadly journey in Malta, as the prosecution alleged in the trial.

Manly was on a night shift in Terminal 3 on the night of 20/21 December 1988. In his testimony, he told the Scottish Court in the Netherlands that the doors separating landside from airside were unmanned at night after they had been locked. He noticed that one of the padlocks was broken during one of his rounds.

“The padlock was on the floor. In my opinion it was as if it had been cut like butter – very professional,” Manly told the judges. The court was also shown Mr Manly’s security report, written soon after the incident in which he described the break-in as “a very deliberate act, leaving easy access to airside”. Manly was only interviewed by anti-terrorist squad police officers about the incident the following January, after the Lockerbie disaster.

Philip Radley, a superior of Manly at the time also took to the stand on Wednesday. He said that the doors were secured by a 4ft long iron bar and a heavy-duty padlock and security guards were on duty on each side.

Megrahi’s defence asks for admission of new evidence

Lawyers defending Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, the Libyan convicted of masterminding the bombing of a Pan Am airliner over the Scottish town on Lockerbie in 1988 has asked an appeals court to admit new evidence showing that lax security at Heathrow airport could have allowed the bomb to be loaded onto the aircraft from there.

The new evidence comes in the form of an affidavit by a former security guard at Heathrow airport who found that a gate leading to a luggage depot had been forced on December 21, 1988 – the night of the tragedy. The guard, Ray Manly had never testified in the trial. He had been interviewed by the police a month after the bombing but his testimony was not pursued further and Megrahi’s defence only came to know about the testimony after the conviction last year.

The five appeal judges will rule on the defence’s request to admit the new evidence on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, defence attorney William Taylor on Thursday continued dissecting the trial’s written verdict. He told the court said that the crucial testimony of Paul Gauci, the brother of shopkeeper Tony Gauci could have shed further light on the date when Megrahi allegedly made the purchase of clothes from Mary’s House. The defence lawyer however said that Paul Gauci’s testimony was never heard by the court. Taylor also argued that the accomplice required by Megrahi to load the luggage carrying the bomb onto an Air Malta flight to Frankfurt was never identified by the prosecution.

The denial of Tony Gauci’s testimony, the tearing down of the theory that the bomb left from Malta and the admission of the new evidence are the three main arguments of the defence in this appeal.

The court has adjourned till Tuesday.

Lawyer says Gauci’s identification of Megrahi was prejudiced

The accuracy of the testimony of Maltese shopkeeper Tony Gauci that weighed heavily on the Lockerbie verdict – finding a Libyan guilty of bombing a Pan Am airliner in 1988 continued to be the focal point when the appeal of Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi continued on Monday.

Attorney William Taylor this time claimed that Tony Gauci’s identification of Megrahi as the Libyan who had bought clothes from his shop was unreliable because the witness was prejudiced after seeing a picture of the Libyan in a magazine. The defence argues that Gauci had seen the photograph and read the article claiming that Megrahi was a main suspect. This, the defence says, led Gauci to single out the Libyan from a line up in April 1999, more than ten years after the bombing. Taylor also pointed out that there were discrepancies in Guaci’s earlier statements to police regarding Megrahi’s height and age.

Meanwhile, the British media gave more fuel to the theory that Megrahi was being framed on Sunday when a report claimed that Gauci had been taken to Lockerbie to be shown the damage caused by the mid-air explosion of Pan Am flight 103 by the Scottish police. The allegation caused uproar in the British Parliament with MP Tam Dalyell saying that he wanted the government to respond to the claim.

Megrahi’s defence continues to dissect Gauci’s testimony

Lawyers defending the Libyan convicted for the Lockerbie bombing during his appeal continued dissecting the testimony of Maltese shop owner, Tony Gauci, during the trial in a bid to show that the presiding judges of the trial had ignored contradictory evidence in the testimony.

Gauci had identified Megrahi as the Libyan who bought clothes from his shop, Mary’s House in Sliema, that are thought to have been placed around the bomb that downed Pan Am flight 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie on December 21, 1988. It was the only witness account directly linking the Megrahi to the contents of the suitcase where the bomb was packed. Gauci, however, could not pinpoint the exact date when the purchase had been made.

Defence attorney William Taylor on Friday – the third day of the appeal – went to great lengths to explain that Gauci during his testimony had indicated two dates. Gauci had testified he sold the clothing about one week before the Dec. 21, 1988, attack, when Megrahi was known to be in Malta. Taylor cited ambiguities in Gauci’s account about the exact date when a man resembling al-Megrahi was in the shop, contradicting himself on whether Christmas decorations were already up. He said that the court should have recorded the contradiction instead of ignoring one of the versions.

Taylor also questioned the credibility of Gauci’s identification of al-Megrahi from a photograph he was shown more than two years after the purchase, which did not match the description of the buyer that he gave investigators earlier. (MM)

Maltese shop owner’s testimony rebuffed by Megrahi’s defence

The testimony of Maltese shop owner, Tony Gauci, during the Lockerbie trial last year took centre-stage during the second day of the appeal of Libyan Abdel Basset al-Megrahi. Gauci, who ran the shop Mary’s House in Sliema at the time, had identified Megrahi as the person bought garments that were packed around the bomb that downed a Pan Am aircraft over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988 killing 270 people.

William Taylor – one of the lawyers defending Megrahi – on Thursday quoted the written judgement of the judges who had found Megrahi guilty of the bombing saying that the judgement read that Gauci’s identification of Megrahi was “not unequivocal” and was reliable “so far as it went.” The defence also said that the court was in error when saying that the same clothes were bought on December 7, 1988. Taylor said that that the trial judges’ guilty verdict was weighted upon these two elements.

Lockerbie appeal begins

The Lockerbie tragedy which left 270 people dead after a Pan Am Boeing 747 airliner exploded in mid-air over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988 took the world’s news centre-stage on Wednesday as a panel of five Scottish judges started hearing an appeal of a Libyan that was convicted for the bombing last year.

The appeal started exactly at 10:10 CET. The defence and prosecution addressed the panel of judges about which way they deemed fit for the appeal to proceed.

The defence team then submitted a nine-page document detailing the grounds of the appeal. William Taylor, one of Megrahi’s lawyers told the five appeal judges he intended to show that the trial judges had effectively misdirected themselves as jurors and led to a miscarriage of justice. He said that he would be questioning the trial judges’ written verdict and proposed bringing in fresh evidence that will cast doubt on Megrahi’s conviction. Taylor argued that the evidence had not been available at the time of the trial and brought several examples from cases handled by the Scottish juduciary when new evidence was allowed in an appeal. Alan Turnbull QC, for the Crown, on the other hand, argued that the evidence was not sufficient to justify being heard in the appeal.

The fresh evidence that the defence will try to introduce could clear Abdel Basset al-Megrahi’s name and – more importantly for Malta – prove that the suitcase carrying the bomb did not start its deadly journey on a Frankfurt-bound Air Malta flight from Luqa.

Should the court approve the admission of the new evidence, the defence will be intent on proving that the suitcase was first loaded at Heathrow airport, from where the Pan Am flight departed. The defence’s case will almost certainly revolve around the testimony of a security guard at Heathrow who claims that a luggage bay had been broken into that same night of the bombing. The guard had only come forward with his testimony in March 2001, only after the Scottish judges of the nine-month trial had found Megrahi guilty.

Two weeks ago, the Court that will hear the appeal led by Scotland’s top judge – Lord Cullen – gave the go-ahead for its broadcast on the internet. The British Broadcasting Corporation started live coverage of the appeal on its website at 9:00 GMT (10:00 CET) on Wednesday. (MM) [Wed 23/1/02 - 16:21:01 CET]

Convicted Lockerbie bomber owes thousands of Pounds to lawyers

The Lockerbie tragedy which left 270 people dead after a Pan Am Boeing 747 airliner exploded in mid-air over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988 took the world’s news centre-stage on Wednesday as a panel of five Scottish judges started hearing an appeal of a Libyan that was convicted for the bombing last year.

The appeal started exactly at 10:10 CET. The defence and prosecution addressed the panel of judges about which way they deemed fit for the appeal to proceed.

The defence team then submitted a nine-page document detailing the grounds of the appeal. William Taylor, one of Megrahi’s lawyers told the five appeal judges he intended to show that the trial judges had effectively misdirected themselves as jurors and led to a miscarriage of justice. He said that he would be questioning the trial judges’ written verdict and proposed bringing in fresh evidence that will cast doubt on Megrahi’s conviction. Taylor argued that the evidence had not been available at the time of the trial and brought several examples from cases handled by the Scottish juduciary when new evidence was allowed in an appeal. Alan Turnbull QC, for the Crown, on the other hand, argued that the evidence was not sufficient to justify being heard in the appeal.

The fresh evidence that the defence will try to introduce could clear Abdel Basset al-Megrahi’s name and – more importantly for Malta – prove that the suitcase carrying the bomb did not start its deadly journey on a Frankfurt-bound Air Malta flight from Luqa.

Should the court approve the admission of the new evidence, the defence will be intent on proving that the suitcase was first loaded at Heathrow airport, from where the Pan Am flight departed. The defence’s case will almost certainly revolve around the testimony of a security guard at Heathrow who claims that a luggage bay had been broken into that same night of the bombing. The guard had only come forward with his testimony in March 2001, only after the Scottish judges of the nine-month trial had found Megrahi guilty.

Two weeks ago, the Court that will hear the appeal led by Scotland’s top judge – Lord Cullen – gave the go-ahead for its broadcast on the internet. The British Broadcasting Corporation started live coverage of the appeal on its website at 9:00 GMT (10:00 CET) on Wednesday. (MM) [Tue 22/1/02 - 10:06:13 CET]

Lockerbie appeal to be heard in January

The Libyan convicted for being the hand behind the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988 will have an appeal against his conviction heard as from January next year.

A Scottish Appeals Court meeting in the Netherlands, where the trial first took place has given Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi’s counsel four weeks to lodge the outlines of its arguments. The defence team is claiming that it will be presenting a barrage of new evidence during the appeal.

The prosecution side has also been given four weeks to present counter arguments. The Camp Zeist court will begin to hear the case on 23 January.
(MM) [Tue 16/10/01 - 00:14:14 CET]

New twist to Lockerbie case as relatives and friends re-live tragedy

A former security guard at Heathrow airport says he discovered a break-in at a Pan Am baggage facility early on the day that 270 people died in the bombing of a New York-bound jumbo jet, the English newspaper The Mirror reported.

This revelation came as friends and relatives of the victims of the Pan Am tragedy were shocked at the extent of the loss of life on Tuesday and had to relive the deaths of their loved ones almost 13 years ago.

Ray Manly, 63, was quoted as saying he was surprised the incident was not mentioned during the trial of two Libyans for the bombing, Manly’s statement suggested the possibility that the bomb was sneaked into a luggage area in London.

The trial found Abdel Basset Al Megrahi, a Libyan intelligence agent, guilty of the bombing that killed 270 people on board Pan AM flight 103 and on the Scottish town of Lockerbie in December 1988. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. A co-defendant, Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, manager of the Libyan Arab Airlines station in Malta, was acquitted

The Scottish Office, the government executive office in Scotland, said that it could not comment on the report because an appeal by Al Megrahi is pending. The hearing will start on the 15th October. (MM) [Thur 13/9/01 - 15:02:59 CET]

Details of Lockerbie appeal revealed

The team of top-notch lawyers who are representing a Libyan convicted for planting the bomb that downed Pan Am Flight 103 have revealed details of an appeal they intend to file in October.

Miami attorney Frank Rubino said he and the other lawyers defending Abdel Basset al-Megrahi will focus on security issues at the airports of Frankfurt and Malta, to determine whether the suitcase with the bomb inside it had started its journey from Luqa Airport. The appeal will also allege that the court took into consideration only part of the testimony of Tony Gauci, the Maltese merchant who said he sold clothes that were packed inside the suitcase with the bomb to Megrahi from the outlet Mary’s House in Sliema.

A Scottish court in January had convicted Megrahi of the murder of 270 people in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. The bomb exploded over Lockerbie 33 minutes after the Boeing 747 left Heathrow for New York.

Rubino said the appeal would be filed at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands, the site were the original trial was held. (MM) [Tue 28/8/01 - 15:55:31 CET]

Law professor has doubts about Lockerbie verdict

International reports say that Harvard law Professor Alan Dershowitz, hired to help in an appeal, said that he has doubts about the conviction of a Libyan intelligence agent in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.

Malta features prominently in the trial as the prosecution insisted that the bomb that brought down the flight originated from Malta.

Dershowitz said he has been hired as a consultant by a British law firm for an appeal on behalf of Abdel Basset Al Megrahi, who was sentenced to life imprisonment by a Scottish court last January. Al Megrahi was found guilty of masterminding the bombing from Malta.

The Scottish Court, sitting in the Netherlands, acquitted co-defendant Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, a Libyan Arab Airlines official, of all charges in the bombing that killed 270 people.

Dershowitz said he has questions about the reliability of an eyewitness account that alleged that Megrahi bought incriminating items of clothing in Malta two weeks before the Dec. 21, 1988, bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland. He said he fears “that the wrong person may well have been convicted of the crime.”
(MM) [Fri 10/8/01 - 14:33:54 CET]

Maltese witnesses intimidated in Lockerbie trial

Journalist Joe MifsudMaltese journalist Joe Mifsud revealed that Maltese witnesses in the Lockerbie trial were intimidated by the prosecution before giving their witness during the trial in Camp Zeist, the Netherlands.

He was speaking during the first edition of the new current affairs programme Wara l-Ahbar (After the News), broadcast every Monday at 1800 CET on ir-Radju ta’ l-Universita’ and webcast on MaltaMedia.

Joe Mifsud, the Maltese journalist who took most interest in the case for many years, said the judges were wrong in giving a guilty verdict to Abdel Basset Al Megrahi, blaming him for the bombing that left 270 people dead in 1988. He also said that Malta has been cleared of all suspicion in the case. He said that the other Libyan acquitted in the verdict, Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, sent in a letter where he expressed his appreciation for the support shown by the Maltese who always believed in his innocence, and expressed his wish to come back to Malta among friends, where he worked for many years as station manager for Libyan Arab Airlines. [Tue 06/2/01 - 00:43:17 CET]

One Libyan convicted, one acquitted in Lockerbie trial

The 3 judges in the Lockerbie trial sentenced Abdel Baset Al Megrahi to life in prison after finding him unanimously guilty of the 1988 Pan Am jet bombing that left 270 people dead. A second defendant int the case Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah was found unanimously not guilty of the same charge. Al Megrahi was put on trial under Scottish law in a Scottish court set up at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands. Fhimah is a free man and is expected to be flown back to his home country in United Nations plane this afternoon.

The verdict was delivered on Wednesday at 1100 CET while Al Megrahi’s sentence was given at 1400 CET. Megrahi must serve at least 20 years in prison to be eligible for parole. His lawyers have already appealed the case but this could take as long as year before it gets underway. Megrahi was chief security officer for Libyan Arab Airlines at Luqa Airport at the time of the bombing.

Meanwhile, the full verdict has been put online here . In it the judges state that the prosecutors have proven beyond reasonable doubt that the suitcase that contained the bomb had t-shirts bought in Malta in it and that the person who bought those garments was a Libyan.

Interviewed on U.S. TV channel CNN International, the Libyan Ambassador to the U.N., Abduzed Dorda, said his country was shocked by the verdict but will respect it. He denied the involvement of the Libyan government in the case and said that the prosecutors did not venture into those grounds because they could not prove it.

The United States said that the verdict does not mean the end of sanctions against Libya. A spokesperson for British Prime Minister Tony Blair said that now that justice has been done, the British Government expects Libya to pay compensation to the victims. The U.S. Deputy Attorney General said that the investigations into the case are now set to continue to find who was really behind the bombing. (MM) [Wed 31/1/01 - 21:04:20 CET]

“No evidence that bomb in Lockerbie tragedy came from Malta” – defence lawyer

A defence lawyer in the Lockerbie Trial on Thursday attacked the prosecution’s case against two Libyans and insisted that there is no evidence that the bomb that brought down Pan Am flight 103 in December 1988 was made in Malta and then transferred to Frankfurt where it boarded the fatal flight. Instead, it suggested that Palestinian extremists could have staged the bombing that killed 270 people.

Reuters reports that as the eight-month-old trial drew to an end, the defence sought to convince judges that the prosecution case was too leaky to prove Abdel Basset al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima had committed mass murder and should be jailed for life.

Megrahi’s lawyer William Taylor said there was no proof his client was a member of Libyan intelligence services at the time of the bombing. Instead it was the Syrian-backed Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) and the lesser-known Palestinian Popular Struggle Front that masterminded and executed the bombing.

Reuters says that Taylor challenged the prosecution’s key contention that a suitcase containing an improvised bomb was placed on a Frankfurt-bound plane at Malta’s Luqa airport, insisted that the prosecution failed to prove the bomb got on at Luqa airport.

The defence need prove nothing; it need only sow “sufficient doubt” in judges’ minds. The onus is on the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused committed murder, which carries a mandatory life sentence in the Scots law under which the pair is being tried. (MM) [Thur 11/1/01 - 23:18:30 CET]

Key witness finally appears in Lockerbie trial

A Palestinian terrorist began his testimony Friday in the trial of two Libyans accused of bombing Pan Am Flight 103, describing his role in attacks against Israel in the 1970s. Mohammed Abu Talb, whose appearance at the special Scottish court had been delayed for weeks, testified for the prosecution. He was called in an effort to discredit the defendants’ claim that the group he led, the Palestine Popular Struggle Front, played a role in the 1988 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland. Abu Talb, has been jailed in Sweden for attacks against Jewish and American targets in Europe. He has denied any involvement in the Lockerbie bombing, which killed 270 people.

Evidence presented at the trial, including passports and travel documents, showed Talb had been in Malta in October 1988. But stamps on his Swedish travel documents showed he had left Malta on Oct. 26 that year. Although he had bought a return ticket, he claimed that was cheaper than a one-way ticket and he had no intention of returning.

Defendants Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah blame Abu Talb and other Palestinians for the 1988 attack. However prosecutors say the two defendants, who are alleged to be Libyan secret agents, sent a suitcase from the Mediterranean island of Malta carrying an explosives-laden cassette recorder and routed it through Frankfurt, Germany, to the doomed airliner in London. (MM) [Sat 11/11/00 - 15:16:33 CET]

Another death in the Lockerbie Case: Prof. John Buontempo

Prof. John Buontempo, former ambassador to Jordan, Syria and the Arab League, and one of the protagonists of the Lockerbie case, passed away on Thursday in Camp Zeist, The Netherlands, while attending the trial with his wife. He was 69. He tried, single-handed and without official backing from Malta, to bring the trial to be held in Malta. Although he did not succeed in his mission, his efforts contributed to the commencement of the trial in a Scottish court set-up in a former military base in the Netherlands. He was a physician by profession. His body will be brought to Malta for burial. (MM) [Fri 06/10/00 - 12:08:22 CET]

Maltese airport official testifies in Lockerbie case

Sign pointing towards the Scottish court in the NetherlandsA Maltese airport official admitted that airliners leaving Malta may have routinely carried bags whose owners were unknown, reinforcing prosecutors’ contention that the suitcase bomb that blew up Pan Am Flight 103 came from an Air Malta jet. The two Libyans charged with the murder of 259 people on board the Pan Am airliner and 11 people on the ground in Lockerbie, Scotland, worked in the Libyan Arab Airlines offices in Malta. Prosecutors claim that on the morning of the Dec. 21, 1988, explosion, the defendants planted an unaccompanied suitcase with the bomb on Air Malta Flight KM 180 to Frankfurt, Germany. They say the suitcase was transferred there onto a feeder flight connecting with New York-bound Flight 103 at Heathrow airport in London. Wilfred Borg, general manager for ground operations, appeared testy and defensive as the Scottish prosecutor Alan Turnbull pressed him on baggage security procedures at Malta’s Luqa Airport . AirMalta had always denied that the suitcase with the bomb left from Malta on board its flight to Frankfurt, were the suitcase was eventually loaded on the Pan AM flight. (MM) [Sat 15/7/00 - 15:10:16 CET]

Lockerbie trial adjourned for three weeks

The appearance of a key witness in the Lockerbie trial has been delayed by a further three weeks after judges suspended the trial on Thursday, ordering its resumption on September 21st. Reuters reports that the adjournment, to let U.S. intelligence services CIA dig up any further information on the witness, was the latest delay in the 48-day-old trial of Libyans Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima and Abdel Basset al-Megrahi at the former U.S. airbase in the Netherlands.
The judges conceded that the final and most important witness so far, Abdul Majid Giaka, could not testify until the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had confirmed that all relevant material about him in its archives had been handed over. This includes cables of CIA agents in Malta about Giaka’s defection to the U.S. He is central to the prosecution claim that the two accused posed as employees of Libyan Arab Airlines (LAA) in Malta to place a suitcase containing a bomb hidden in a Toshiba cassette recorder on an aircraft bound for Frankfurt. The prosecution maintains the bomb was transferred onto a London-bound flight and then onto Pan Am Flight 103 that blew up over the town of Lockerbie, Scotland in December 1988, killing 270 people. Majid, who worked with the two accused at LAA, is expected to provide vital testimony, directly linking them (MM) [Fri 01/9/00 - 00:37:22 CET]

Witness says Libyan suspect dealt with timer firm

The owner of a firm that made the timing device said to have been used in the Lockerbie bombing identified one of the Libyan accused as someone he had done business with. Reuters and Associated Press report that Irwin Meister, co-owner of Swiss company Mebo Ltd , told the murder trial of Abdel Basset al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima that he recognized al-Megrahi from business dealings that took place in Libya and Zurich prior to the bombing. Pan Am flight 103 exploded as it flew over Lockerbie, Scotland in December, 1988, killing all 259 people on board and 11 on the ground. The Swiss said that he received an urgent order for 40 timers just days before the 1988 explosion. Meanwhile, the CBS News program 60 Minutes isn’t backing down from its story about a self-described Iranian terrorist czar, even as the CIA and FBI reportedly brand him a liar. The Iranian defector claimed that he had coordinated Iran’s overseas assassinations and terrorist operations. The man, who identified himself as Ahmad Behbahani, said it was Iran that blew up Pam Am flight 103 over Lockerbie. But after interviews conducted by intelligence officials, the CIA and FBI concluded the man lied and lacked basic knowledge of Iran’s intelligence apparatus. (MM) [Sat 17/6/00 - 16:46:42 CET]

Explosion in cargo container brought down flight over Lockerbie

An explosion tore through a cargo container aboard the Pan Am jumbo jet that disintegrated over Scotland in 1988, an air accident investigator told the Lockerbie trial Tuesday. Pieces of the container, with blue Pan Am insignia on its mangled side panels, were exhibited in court. Reuters reports that British accident investigator Peter Claydon testified that a “high energy” blast occurred within the container, supporting prosecutors’ allegations that a bomb hidden in a suitcase brought down the plane on December 21, 1988, killing all 259 people on board and 11 on the ground in the Scottish town of Lockerbie. They accuse Libyans Abdel Basset al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima of hiding an improvised bomb in an unaccompanied brown Samsonite suitcase which originated in Malta, where they were working for Libyan Arab Airlines. The floor of container AVE 400 was cratered but not blackened, so the bomb was probably in a suitcase sitting on top of another one, Claydon added. (MM) [Tue 30/5/00 - 23:08:48 CET]

Iran could be behind Lockerbie disaster

CBS 60 minutesA TV program which aired on Sunday in the United States revealed details about the alleged involvement of the Iranian government in the Lockerbie disaster. The CBS current affairs program 60 minutes carried a report about an Iranian intelligence service defector who says that the bombing of a Pan Am aircraft over Scotland was devised by Iran to take revenge on the United States after U.S. Navy vessel accidentally shot down an Iranian Airbus in July 1988, killing 290. Prosecutors in the case being heard in a Scottish court in the Netherlands claim that two Libyans placed a bomb on an Air Malta flight to Frankfurt bomb that eventually found its way onto the doomed Boeing 747. The defector, Ahmad Behbahani, says he has documents in his possession that prove that his Islamic fundamentalist country and not Libya was behind the bombing. (MM) [Mon 05/6/00 - 01:32:30 CET]

Lockerbie bomb was allegedly wrapped in clothing bought from Maltese shop

The two Libyans accused of the Lockerbie bombing that killed all 259 people aboard the New York-bound plane and 11 residents of Lockerbie, Scotland, in December 1988, allegedly stuffed the suitcase holding the bomb with clothing bought from a shop in Sliema, Malta, called Mary’s House. Reuters reports that another witness in the Lockerbie case, a man who worked for a clothes manufacturer in Malta, identified fabric scraps found in the blast debris as coming from his factory and from a clothing distributor who sold shirts similar to the fragments to Mary’s House. Almost a month has passed since the start of the trial of the two Libyans Abdel Basset al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima accused of the bombing of the Pan Am plane over the Scottish town of Lockerbie. The prosecution says the pair were intelligence agents who posed as employees of Libyan Arab Airlines and put a bomb in an unaccompanied suitcase in Malta that eventually was loaded onto Flight 103 in London. The defense is expected to argue that Palestinian extremists operating in Frankfurt were responsible for putting the bomb on board. Malta has always denied the allegation that the bomb was transported from Malta to Frankfurt on an AirMalta flight. (MM) [Fri 03/6/00 - 23:30:30 CET]

Expert explains Lockerbie report error

The reconstructed wreckage of the Pan Am Boeing 747On Thursday a British air accident investigator told the trial of two Libyans accused of the Lockerbie bombing that there was a mathematical error in the official report on the disaster. Christopher Protheroe said a complex formula used to calculate blast wave effects after the explosion had been incorrectly applied in the 1990 Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) report. This could mean that the bomb which destroyed the Pan Am plane 12 years ago went off only 12 inches away from the fuselage skin rather than the 25 inches which were originally calculated. The prosecution alleges that Abdel Basset al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima planted a bomb in a suitcase in Malta. However, Protheroe’s witness shows that the bomb might not have left Malta, as it is being alleged, since the indications now show that the bomb exploded on the aeroplane and not in a luggage container. As such this development continued to cast a dark shadow on the two Libyans accused of the bombing. (MM) [Thur 25/5/00 - 22:31:08 CET]

Lockerbie trial postponed again after technical glitches

Technical glitches in the courtroom Tuesday forced the adjournment for 24 hours of the trial of two Libyans accused of the 1988 Lockerbie aircraft bombing. Reuters reports that the trial at a former U.S. airbase in the Netherlands was to have resumed after a 12-day adjournment called by the prosecution. Proceedings were scheduled to resume on early Tuesday morning but a problem was discovered in the system used by court stenographers in the courtroom. Chief prosecutor Colin Boyd adjourned the trial until Wednesday morning. Libyans Abdel Basset al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima have been on trial since May 3. (MM) [Tue 23/5/00 - 15:25:30 CET]

Lockerbie trial adjourned until May 23 According to Reuters services, the judges sitting on the Lockerbie trial agreed to adjourn the examination until May 23 after prosecutors and defence lawyers hammered out an agreement on certain evidence from the crash of the Pan Am jumbo jet in 1988. It was the prosecutor Alastair Campbell who requested the adjournment saying more time was needed to interview expert defence witnesses. According to legal experts, this means that the prosecutors could skip more than 100 witnesses, cutting up to seven weeks of testimony dealing mostly with the debris that was scattered over 845 square miles of southern Scotland and northern England by the explosion. As a result, the trial, which was expected to run over a year, could end after six months. Relatives of crash victims, who waited more than a decade for the trial to begin on May 3, said they understood the reasons for the adjournment. Many Maltese citizens were summoned to testify in the case. (MM) [Fri 12/5/00 - 13:24:25 CET]

Lights turned on Malta as the Lockerbie trial starts

The Courtroom in Camp ZeistAbdel Basset al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima, the two Libyans who are facing the trial for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988 which left 270 people dead, said the Syrian-backed Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) and the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front (PPSF) were responsible. The trial has just started in Camp Zeist in the Netherlands after years of legal contrivances. The Maltese authorities in particular will be interested in the outcome of the trial as the lights are turned onto Malta and its airport. It is alleged that the plan which later led to the crash was masterminded in the Malta, and that the bomb passed through the local airport in Luqa and loaded on an Air Malta flight to Frankfurt where the bomb was transferred later on the Pan Am flight. Two of the best Maltese defence lawyers, Dr Giannella Caruana Curran and Dr Emmanuel Mallia, are forming part of the defence team of the accused. Former judge Godwin Muscat Azzopardi is defending the interests of Air Malta. Malta has always denied these allegations. (MM) [Wed 03/5/00 - 22:42:32 CET]

Lockerbie trial to start on May 3rd

The trial of Abdel Basset al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima, the two Libyans accused of the 1988 Lockerbie airliner bombing, will start as planned next Wednesday after a Scottish judge on Thursday rejected prosecution requests for a two-month delay. Prosecutors wanted the delay so as to have time to assess many witnesses and other evidence, which the defence revealed it, would use. At the pre-trial hearing at Camp Zeist, defence lawyers for the two accused Libyans revealed plans to try to prove that others were responsible for the bombing of a Boeing 747 over the Scottish village of Lockerbie which killed 270 people. The two accused were in court for the hearing. (MM) [Fri 28/4/00 - 00:57:47 CET]

No TV of Lockerbie Trial

According to Reuters services, a Scottish court on Tuesday rejected the British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) bid to televise the trial of two Libyans charged with bombing a Pan Am jumbo jet in 1988. “In my opinion the petitioners have failed to demonstrate that televising the proceedings would entail no risk to the administration of justice,” Lord MacFadyen, a Scottish High Court judge, said in a written ruling. MacFadyen later rejected the BBC’s request to appeal the decision to a three-judge panel. The BBC Scotland has shown its disappointment and has already stated that it will consult with lawyers about further steps. Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah pleaded innocent to charges including murder and conspiracy to murder in the bombing of the airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, on December 21, 1988. The attack killed 259 passengers and crew — including 189 Americans — and 11 people on the ground. Allegedly the bomb used in the operation passed through the Maltese jurisdiction. Libya agreed to hand the two men over for trial only after an agreement that the case would be heard in the Netherlands. (MM) [Wed 08/3/00 - 15:45:05 CET]

Scottish top prosecutor to meet relatives of Lockerbie bombing victims

Scotland’s top prosecutor will meet families of American victims of the Lockerbie bombing on Saturday to assure them that his predecessor’s resignation will not affect the upcoming trial, officials said. Reuters reports that Lord Advocate Colin Boyd has said the resignation of Lord Andrew Hardie on February 16 would not hurt Britain’s case against two Libyans charged with the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am aircraft that killed 270 people — most of them Americans. Boyd was due to meet relatives in Boston on Saturday, moving on to visit Washington families on Monday. He was also expected to meet U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno to brief her on the case. (MM) [Sat 04/3/00 - 19:07:49 CET]

Lockerbie suspects enter no guilty pleas in pre-trial hearing

The two Libyans accused of blowing up Pan Am flight 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in December 1988 killing 270 people – 259 on the plane and 11 on the ground – pleaded not guilty at a pre-trial hearing in the High Court in Edinburgh, Scotland. This left the way for a full trial of the two suspects on May 3 in the Netherlands. (MM) [Thur 03/2/00 - 17:29:02 CET]

Malta sent back to Britain parts for Scud Missiles destined for Libya

Scud missileThe Maltese Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that it intercepted a consignment of Scud missile parts destined for Libya in April and sent them back to Britain several months later. Reuters reports that a spokesman for the Maltese Ministry confirmed to the news agency the reports which said that consignment landed in Malta from London’s Gatwick airport. The cargo of 32 crates was inspected on the island after suspicions it contained weapons equipment. They were subsequently confiscated and returned to London, where they were discovered to be Scud parts. An official for the British Foreign Office on Monday told Reuters that suspicions were first roused in April 1999, but he said the issue was not raised with Libyan officials during talks to end the 15-year diplomatic break between the two countries because Britain “did not want to prejudice the inquiry.” Formal seizure of the shipment took place in November 1999, and the whole story was uncovered last Sunday on the Sunday Times of London. Malta served as a main transit point for Libyan travellers and cargo when Tripoli airport was closed during years of international sanctions against Libya over the Lockerbie case. Export of missiles to Libya is illegal under a European Union arms embargo and an international treaty against the proliferation of ballistic missiles. Scuds are short-range, road-mobile, ballistic missiles that can carry chemical, biological or nuclear warheads in addition to traditional explosive payloads. This is not the first time Malta is mentioned as a transit point for smuggling of arms in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. (MM) [Tue 11/1/00 - 21:52:47 CET]

Maltese-born pathologist receives honours

Professor Anthony Busuttil, a Maltese-born pathologist was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) at Buckingham Palace in London, England. Professor Busuttil had earlier been awarded the National Order of Merit during last December’s Republic Day activities in Malta. Professor Busuttil has worked on many cases including Lockerbie and the massacre at Dunblane Scotland. The two Libyan suspects in Lockerbie bombing, which left 279 people dead, are currently undergoing a trail in Holland. (MM) [Mon 17/1/00 - 14:08:42 CET]

Lockerbie prosecution dealt another blow

British prosecutors in the case over the bombing of the Pan-Am Boeing 747 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988, have suffered yet another setback after a key witness apparently changed his side of the story. Reuters cited the Scottish newspaper Scotland on Sunday which quoted sources close to the case as saying that Abu Maged Jiacha, whose witness is crucial for the prosecutors’ theory, had changed parts of his story when he was interviewed recently by defence attorneys. Jiacha is now saying that he has seen one of the accused removing a suitcase from a luggage carousel, not loading it on, at Luqa Airport in Malta. The prosecution’s charges so far stated that the bomb which downed the aircraft was loaded on an Air Malta flight to Frankfurt by the two suspects, Abdel Basset al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima. The bomb eventually made it to the Pan-Am aircraft through London. The key witness’s reconsideration practically nullifies the prosecution’s hypothesis. (MM) [Sun 23/1/00 - 22:18:50 CET]

First public appearance for the Libyans accused in Lockerbie case

On Tuesday, Abdel Basset al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima, made their first public appearance in the Lockerbie case. The two are accused of masterminding the explosion on board Pan Am Flight 103 over the Scottish village of Lockerbie on December 21sy, 1988. All 289 people aboard, mostly Americans, were killed along with 11 people on the ground. The bomb that caused the explosion was allegedly manufactured in Malta and transferred on the Pan Am flight in Frankfurt airport in Germany. The lawyers for the Libyans accused of the bombing asked the special Scottish court hearing the case in the Netherlands to delete an indictment for conspiracy to murder and omit references to Libya’s intelligence service. Several localities in Malta, related to the movements of the Libyans before the bombing, were mentioned in the indictment. (MM)[Tue 07/12/99 - 23:15:20 CET]

Lockerbie trial start postponed

The start of the trial in the case of the Lockerbie bombing has been postponed for three months, as requested by the defence, and a hearing has now been set for May 3rd 2000. However, Scottish judge Ranald Sutherland dismissed a defence motion calling for the dismissal of the conspiracy charge against the two Libyans accused of masterminding and executing the Lockerbie bombing. The judge said that he was satisfied that on the basis of what is set out in charge one (the conspiracy charge) the Scottish courts do have jurisdiction. The defence counsel of Abdel Basset al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima had argued the charge should not be brought. (MM)[Thur 09/12/99 - 13:10:03 CET]

Malta mentioned in Lockerbie bombing indictment

Malta was mentioned extensively in the indictment against the two Libyans accused of the bombing of a Pan Am Boeing 747 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988, killing 270 passengers. The two Libyans were accused of placing a suitcase containing explosives on a flight departing Malta, which were then transferred on the Pan Am flight. Several localities in Malta, related to the movements of the Libyans before the bombing, were mentioned in the indictment. (MM)[Sun 31/10/99 - 17:31:46 CET]


Qadhafi Defiance after 20 years of UN and US Sanctions: Who Benefits from it?

June 17, 2011 3 comments

Posted on Jun 16, 2011 by Marivel Guzman Originally Posted on Global Research

“Humanitarian” Bunker Buster Bombs: NATO cranks up air campaign in Libya
by Atul Aneja
Global Research, June 14, 2011
Gadhafi
Green Book
StumbleUpon Submit Twitteer  More On Libya  Lockerbie Trial- Special Report
The downfall of Gadhafi
In this photo taken on a organized government tour smoke rises from debris as foreign journalists take photographs next to a damaged truck at the Hadba agricultural area, outside Tripoli, Libya, on Wednesday, which Libyan officials claim was a target of a NATO air strike on Tuesday night.
AP In this photo taken on a organized government tour smoke rises from debris as foreign journalists take photographs next to a damaged
truck at the Hadba agricultural area, outside Tripoli, Libya, on Wednesday, which Libyan officials claim was a target of a NATO air strike on Tuesday
night.

The strikes, which hit on Tuesday afternoon, continued overnight. Early Wednesday, some 10 explosions shook the Libyan capital.It was not immediately clear what was hit.

The NATO has markedly stepped up its aerial bombardment of Tripoli in a fresh effort to hasten the fall of the Qadhafi regime, which refuses to throw in the towel despite a spate of recent defections.

Since Tuesday morning, Tripoli was subjected to relentless bombardment which appeared to pause only at dawn on Wednesday. The attacks, with heavy “bunker buster” bombs that can easily rip through concrete structures or destroy underground complexes, smashed large parts of Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi’s Al Aziziya compound.

Witnesses said a large area of the compound had been devastated. Six to seven buildings lay in smoldering rubble of concrete and mangled steel. The wrecked buildings included one which had a reception center for foreign dignitaries, and housed a VIP guest house as well. Some of the other ruined structures were used for administrative purposes, said local officials. Libyan authorities said 31 people had been killed in the bombing spree. Officials claimed around 10 to 15 people were buried in the rubble of one building.

Analysts say the aerial bombardment alone is unlikely to cause the collapse of the regime. The intent appeared to be psychological — to conveying the impression that the regime was doomed and stir larger defections from Mr. Qadhafi’s camp. Labour Minister Al-Amin Manfur is the latest senior official to part ways with Mr. Qadhafi. He announced his defection to the opposition Transitional National Council (TNC), based in Benghazi, at a meeting of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva, AFP reported.

Steeling the impression that the Libyan leader’s days are numbered, U.S. President Barack Obama announced on Tuesday that Mr. Qadhafi’s political exit from Libya was “just a matter of time”. Speaking in Washington at a news conference with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Mr. Obama said: “What you’re seeing across the country is an inexorable trend of the regime forces being pushed back, being incapacitated.”

Stung by the air strikes, Mr. Qadhafi struck a defiant note, declaring that in no way was he fading away. In a nine-minute audio address amid the bombardment, he said: “You are setting fire to the sea, you are setting fire to the desert, and you are chasing a mirage. What do you want? What do you want? Did we cross the sea and attack you? Why this consistent bombing? Are you trying to force us into submission? You will not; we will never submit.”

Regardless of Mr. Qadhafi’s verbal riposte, NATO appeared unlikely to lower the tempo. NATO officials met in Brussels on Wednesday, with its Secretary-General urging member countries to expand their participation in the Libya campaign.

The International Contact Group is set to meet in Abu Dhabi on Thursday to build on the May 5 decision taken by the group in Rome to establish a new fund to support the opposition. Discussions include prospects of the opposition tapping the frozen assets of the Qadhafi regime.

With military pressure on the Libyan government mounting, Russia on Wednesday offered to mediate between the opposition TNC and Tripoli.

“I met with Muammar Qadhafi before and I am ready to meet with him now as well, if he is willing to receive me,” presidential envoy Mikhail Margelov told Russian radio station Ekho Moskvy. He said that the TNC, with whom he had already held meetings, was ready for a dialogue with Mr. Qadhafi.

Gadhafi defiant after 20 years of not bending to US-UK-Israel rule. The man that stood alone against the giants with the dreams of creating a Unifying Greater Africa. The African Puppets made kings exchanged their dignity for crowns, and a bad society.

These clowns were the laughing stock of the media for years, but Gadhafi with his dialect that refuse to change for English and his very peculiar speeches never gave up to the West.
He used billions of dollars over the years to support the resistance around the world, he knew that without resistance his dreams will die with the fighters. Palestine, Scotland and other countries received great support from the coffers of Libya, the African countries got hands full of Libya money but they never appreciated the gift.

Israel never like the idea of Libya investing in Palestine, Gadhafi was one of the bigger financier of Yaset Arafat campaign of awareness around the world on the Palestinians struggles. But you never saw anything positive in the media regarding Gadhafi good will, as long as his benefactor hand touch it Palestine he will be the enemy NO 1 of Israel-US-UK. Do not forget that Libya was under UN and US embargo for more than 2o years, all on baseless assertions of the Pan Am Flight 103 that exploded on Lockerbie Scotland, for more than 20 years the Media repeated the propaganda spread by US-UK, even after the 1 of the suspects was acquired of all charges and the other one got a bad trial under the pressure of the US, still the Stream Media never got out of their way to make an investigative report on the Pam American flight 103 since the day of the bomb 1988 they repeated the US official story, even now 24 years later when more evidence was made public and the second suspect could probably be acquired the Media does not change the story.
Gadhafi was politically forced to acknowledged publicly that he did have something to do with the bombing, but is believed that the Lockerbie affair could have been an Israel/UK flag operation to stop Gadhafi from giving financial support to the PALESTINIANS AND THE SCOTLAND RESISTANCE.

The situation in Libya is not Black and White as you see in the stream Media, the economical situation is not because corrupt leaders or recent social unrest. Libya is being on UN and US sanctions for more than 20 years, and I want you think about who really benefit from this sanctions. Taking in considerations that for UN to impose sanctions there has to be a really serious violations of the UN Charter.

And knowing also that for a country to be in UN sanctions it has to be economical one and the country it has to have some natural resources from which they benefit economically. So all the countries that used the UN sanctions to buy Libya’s oil at cheap prices are all part of the conspiracy or lies, spies and flag operations to keep Gadhafi from surviving the embargo. And with Libya political history and enemy of Israel Gadhafi was not able to bring his country to rapid economic rehabilitation since he nationalized the Oil industry in 1972. Even thought that he kept strong stand against the US, UK, and Israel pressure for 20 long years, he even tried to get a coalition of African countries to defeat the Western Powers, but the bribes to the African leaders did not help Gadhafi with his plans.

He turned to the Arabs countries making an alliance to boycott the oil prices to force  and again his efforts were fruitless.

An enemy of Israel, Libya contributed some men and matériel (especially aircraft) to the Arab side in the Arab-Israeli war of Oct, 1973. After the war, Libya was a strong advocate of reducing sales of petroleum to nations that had supported Israel and was also a leading force in increasing the price of crude petroleum. Qaddafi was severely critical of Egypt for negotiating a cease-fire with Israel, and relations between the two countries declined steadily after 1973 when Qaddafi failed to push through a merger with Egypt.

On Aug. 21 Scotland freed Libyan intelligence officer Abdel Baset Ali al-Megrahi-convicted under Scottish law at a special court in The Netherlands of destroying Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland on Sept. 21, 1988. Killed were 259 persons, including 189 Americans on board and 11 people on the ground. The terminally ill Megrahi, after dropping his second appeal, was released on compassionate grounds. Back in Libya, he continues to protest his innocence.

Robert Black, professor of criminal law at Edinburgh University, thought for the first two and a half years after the disaster, investigators focused on Palestinian Ahmad Jabril’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) as the culprit. In 1991, however, pressure became so intense to focus on Libya that Black concluded that only the governments of the U.S. and Britain could be behind it. It was Black’s idea to hold the trial in The Netherlands under Scottish law and with Scottish judges.

Convicted Lockerbie Bomber Probably Not Guilty—So Who Is the Real Criminal?

Edwin Bollier, the owner of MEBO which manufactured the alleged bomb trigger device used in the explosion, revealed that he had turned down an FBI offer of $4 million to testify that he had sold the device to Libya.

Who will have benefited from this operation?  Israel, United States and United Kingdom, and other small players in the Oil Industry, taking one competitor out of the game.

According to US Department of State; “Much of Libya’s income has been lost to waste, corruption, conventional armament purchases, and attempts to develop weapons of mass destruction, as well as to large donations made to “liberation” movements and to developing countries in attempts to increase Qadhafi’s influence in Africa and elsewhere.” being Palestine Resistance in the list of “liberation movements” a lower blow to Israel, and

On March 2004 Martin S. Indyk, Director, Saban Center for Middle East Policy wrote a very interesting article regarding Libya’s offer to the administration of Clinton back in 1999 to  abandon WMD programmes which in reality were only wishes to built a nuclear plant but nothing in concrete, he was looking also to make a deal with the US to surrender the “2 suspects in the Lockerbie crash” to play the good boy so the Sanctions from the UN and US be lifted. After 10 years of tight sanctions and not able to buy technology to modernize the oil fields the economy of Libya was not in good shape. But the US knowing that the only excuse for the sanctions was Libya “apparent” involvement in the Lockerbie Crash so the administration play deaf ears to WMD programmes leaving a door shut for US sanctions.

That was why the Clinton administration opened the secret talks on one condition—that Libya cease lobbying in the UN to lift the sanctions. It did. At the first meeting, in Geneva in May 1999, we used the promise of official dialogue to persuade Libya to co-operate in the campaign against Osama bin Laden and provide compensation for the Lockerbie families.

Courts of the 2 suspects of the bombing left more answered questions, the records and evidences has shown that the Libya was not involved after all on the crash. Why did Gadhafi accepted the responsibility? There has been much talk about the secret deals of the US to pressure Gadhafi to be more “manageable”.

After the imposition (1992) of economic sanctions by the United Nations and long negotiations, Libya turned the suspects over in 1999, and they were sent to the Netherlands for trial (under Scottish law). After a nine-month trial, one of the two defendants was found guilty (2001) and sentenced to life imprisonment; the other was acquitted. In 2003, after Libya acknowledged involvement in the Lockerbie bombing and agreed to settlements with the families of the victims of the two bombings, the UN Security Council lifted its sanctions. A Scottish judicial review board, however, ruled in 2007 that the convicted defendant had legitimate grounds for a new appeal based on new evidence and questionable testimony at the trial.

A son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has been quoted saying that Libya agreed to pay compensation to families of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing victims even if the former Libyan agent convicted of the attack is acquitted on appeal.  LOCKERBIE TRIAL SPECIAL REPORT 

Americans Need to Know More About Palestine

May 20, 2011 2 comments

Americans Need to Know More About Palestine
Posted on 28. Oct, 2010 by Marivel Guzman from original Post Raja Mujtaba in Interviews

Interview with Jamal Krayem Kanj: Author Children of Catastrophe
Interview by Elias Harb
Author Jamal Kanj talks about life in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon. In his recent book “Children of Catastrophe: Journey from a Palestinian refugee camp to America”, he provides an account of life from Palestine to refugee camps in Lebanon and the events leading for the creation of the state of Israel.
Jamal Kanj joined me in an exclusive interview to discuss his book Children of Catastrophe.
ELIAS HARB: In your book you convey the personal aspect of the life of the refugees. Can you tell us what inspired you to write Children of Catastrophe?….
ELIAS HARB: In your book you convey the personal aspect of the life of the refugees. Can you tell us what inspired you to write Children of Catastrophe?

JAMAL K. KANJ: The Americans and the West in general are not well aware of the Palestinian experience. On the surface and at an emotional level, they are generally more sympathetic towards Israel, but this is mainly due to their lack of understanding or total disconnect with the human side of the Palestinian story.

Also one must recognize that the peculiar relationship between Israel and the West is deeply rooted in a long history of abhorrent Western anti Semitism culminating in the Holocaust. Hence, it was a mix of sympathy, guilt, and religious institutions in America and Europe which played an important role in shaping the lopsided view towards the Palestine Israel conflict.

Having lived in the US for thirty years after leaving the camp, I discovered that most people tend to switch off when trying to make an intellectual or historical argument explaining the Palestinian position. At the same time, I observed that the majority can better connect and listen when the intellectual or the historical argument is framed within the personal experience. During those 30 years, almost everyone whom I came to know at a social level consciously or subconsciously became more sympathetic with the Palestinians.

To sum it up, the main impetuous for writing this book remains my strong conviction that we, as Palestinians have a powerful story to share with the rest of the world, especially in the West. Throughout the pages of this book, I hope to connect with all those whom I have not, or may not have the honor meeting personally, to share with them the personal aspects of the Palestinian side of the story.

EH: Can you briefly tell us of the British role facilitating the Zionist colonization of Palestine?

JKK: While the World Zionist Organization (WZO) was founded in Europe in the late 1800s, their plan to colonize Palestine did not start to take shape until the 1920s and 1930s. One major reason, up until 1917 and in addition to Palestine, the Zionist movement contemplated other options for this “Promised land” such as Uganda, Cyprus, Sinai and parts of Argentina.

They basically were willing to take any “real estate” property a colonial power was willing to sell them. But in November 1917, and to sway the purported “influential” Jewish opinion in the US on the war (at the time, WZO had very close relation with the German Kaiser and maintained its headquarter in Germany) the British Foreign Ministry issued a letter to a Jewish banker, Baron Walter Rothschild, promising the banker with a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

Opinion MakerRead More Opinion Maker Foresight with Insight

Buy The Book in Amazon.com This interview is only little of the great amount of information that you can find in the book, read it make your mind, read the stories of the victims, the refugees that fled the massacres.

“There is no more negligence to the truth when we choose to stay ignorant of our world realities and we take the easiest road and become numb and stay in the dark, Why? because we do not want to deal with our world. We insist that we can not do anything and become piled up with the Rest, the ignorant, the deaf, the careless and eternal whimpers that complain of everything but do nothing.” Marivel Guzman

We have countless notes, articles, books written on the subject “Palestine” we see a glimpse once and while in the evening news and for a moment we become glue to the screen for only for the grotesque pictures, and for the lack of sensitivity as if Palestinians as less than humans. I grew up seeing those images but not in News, no those images where portrayed in sensationalist magazines those that people regard as gossips, how little I knew back then that those stories were the truth, how little I knew that the News were just lies, feed by the propaganda machine. Now I can not get confuse from truth or lies, now I SEE, I invite you to try at least to revisit your memories and analyze what you learn, what you read and try to give Palestinians their humanity back. They were wronged, they were abused, killed, tortured, massacred, they are ethnic cleanse and still there are No News on the Paid Corporate Media about them. Research for yourself, see the picture, talk to Palestinians, they have another story to tell.

I insist sometimes in making distinction in titles, labels given to people, I do not agree with the title because I m American and that title “Americans” tend to generalize, first on the wrong idea that all Americans live in United States, and that All Americans think like their leaders.
Just in the US of North America we are littler over 300 million people and believe we all are one mind of our own and not all are Bad, or corrupted minds, some have make the leap and are awake and know the different from Good and Bad..

STAY HUMAN CONVOY ENTER GAZA VIK 2 GAZA -STAY HUMAN


POSTED BY : Omar Karem
May 12, 2011 by
Stay Human convoy: “Let’s go to Gaza!” enters Gaza Vik2Gaza

Sammack Restaurant Hosted The Italian Solidarity Convoy


- The convoy will last six/seven days in order to give the possibility to participate for as many people as possible.
- It will take place between the 11th and 19th May.The exact dates will be agreed in few days with the people in Gaza that will host us.
So, lets start to get ready!
After leaving Cairo this morning at dawn, the 80 activists of the VIK2GAZA convoy have entered Gaza at 4pm after crossing five Egyptian check-points.
The convoy will be Staying in the Gaza strip to meet the Palestinian people who day by day are trying to resist the Israeli military occupation. The convoy will also join Gaza in the mourning of the Nakba, the day of the Palestinian catastrophe, which will take place between the 14 and the 15 of May.
A Second convoy, with over 100 buses, will leave from Tahir square in Cairo, the square that has become the symbol of recent popular revolutions in the Middle East , and will try to cross the Rafah pass on the 15 of May. This is a collective movement that wants to show full support to the fight of the Palestinian people for self-determination, to their everyday resistance against military occupation and to the right of all Palestinian refugees to come back to their land.
On the 21st April, a meeting regarding the discussions and reflections on the murder of Vittorio Arrigoni was held in Rome amongst different activists. From the gathering, the need to organize a convoy to Gaza through Egypt was decided.
Let’s start this process by sharing those points:

80 Peace Activists from Italian Solidarity Convoy Entered Gaza Today

- We want to go to Gaza through Rafah Border Crossing with all in the world that need to say aloud what Vittorio used to say: Stay human! We want to do it from Egypt because, in the post Mubarak era, that border must be opened to break the siege imposed for too long on the people in Gaza.
- We want to be in Gaza on the 15th May which is the 1 month anniversary of Vittorio’s death. It will be also Nakba day, when thousands of young Palestinians, as already announced, will go back to the street all over the world to ask for the end of the occupation and also, a new unity and the end of the internal division within the Palestinian authorities.
We want to go to Gaza for different reasons:
- Although Vittorio was killed, it has to be clear that they can not stop the international support for the Palestinian people. Also thanks to him now the international support is much stronger and united against the occupation both of Gaza and of the West Bank.
- We want to give voice and continuity to the work that Vittorio, together with Palestinian men and women was bringing forward. Particularly the independent information that he managed to pass to the world from the besieged Gaza strip. For this reason, we will bring materials, tools and all we need to give life to a Media Center dedicated to Vittorio.
- The Freedom Flotilla will soon sail towards Gaza. Even though the two initiatives are organized separately, the two journeys, both via land and via sea, could reinforce each other to break the siege of Gaza.

Welcome To Gaza


Press release: in the name of Vittorio Arrigoni, the ‘Stay Human’ convoy has entered GazaVik2Gaza

The sun had not yet risen in Cairo, as the Stay Human convoy began to prepare the departure for Gaza. The journey about to be embarked upon was one filled with expectations and hope. The importance of the crossing the border at Rafah following the protests that brought down the Mubarak regime was on the minds of everyone, as well as the desire to remember Vittorio Arrigoni in the same place where he dedicated his life. The convoy will carry a message to the people of Palestine addressed to the entire world: Palestine is not alone, Vik’s dreams are also ours, solidarity towards those who struggle against oppression and exploitation knows no borders.

Ten checkpoints slow the journey, one in particular, blocks it for 2.5 hours in the Sinai desert, with the usual issues, the same from the previous days, about not being able to cross Rafah. The Italian embassy “concerned and ernest” had announced that the convoy would never enter Gaza, but obviously the facts have proved him wrong: we are here!

The Stay Human Convoy now follows in the footsteps of Vittorio, imprinted in the land of Gaza and underscored by the spontaneous affection shown by the Palestinians who welcome our arrival. The Stay Human Convoy breathes in the determination, courage and extreme humility of Vittorio, characteristics that we recognize in the unrelenting resistance of the Palestinian people. For many of us this is the first time crossing the border of the Gaza Strip, a victory for those who never surrendered, whether by land or by sea, to the categorical “Denied Entry”: nothing to see here, no one to meet.

Omar Karem journalist from Gaza Joins the Stay Human Convoy in a day of Jubilee

The historical importance of the moment is heightened by the infectious enthusiasm of the many Palestinians present to welcome the convoy, who accompany us to Gaza City.
Once there we retrace Vittorio’s footsteps, in the places he frequented during his long stay in Gaza, where he met the friends that we now meet. To the tunes of Bella Ciao, Unadikom and Gazawi rap, images of Vittorio greet our arrival.
Ciao Vik, Free Palestine.
The Activists take a major role in the future of Gaza, the convoys that have managed to brake the siege will leave their footprints in the live of Gazan, the unknown soldiers as Vittorio Arrigoni and Rachel Corrie can be known, as they without planing their future they marked a different type of soldier for the liberation of Palestine.

Gaza Was and Still Lives, Under Occupation and Under Attack We Still Gaza,Palestine

April 9, 2011 3 comments

Posted on April 9, 2011 by Marivel Guzman

Oldest as Time Itself

The name Gaza means “strength and prevalence”
Gaza is one of the world’s oldest living cities. It is a city held to be of major strategic importance. It was the only overland route between Africa and Asia, which led Egypt to establish, in 3500 B.C., the citadel of Tell Sakan on the banks of the Wadi Ghazzeh, some 12km from the modern city.

We know that back in 2007 when the European Donors cut the money destined to the Palestinian Authorities, The PA was in hardship, and the holding of the Taxes from the Israeli government put the government in more stress, but now 4 years later the situation have changed, the money given to the Palestinian Authority and the Loans and Help from the US government are in place, we are appealing for justice and distribution of the money owned to us by just cause. Gaza Families whose salaries were withhold by the PA in 2007. More than 100,000 Gazan still waiting for salaries to be paid

The Military Occupation that has kept us from prospering as a Nation is already a rope in our necks, and by adding an undeserved punishment from The PA government Gaza is put in an unusual situation, and the conditions worsen by the lack of central support, and World Support.

Unemployment in Gaza

The last estimates of the population in Gaza 1,657,155 (July 2010 est.)
0-14 years: 43.9% (male 374,110/female 354,088)
15-64 years: 53.5% (male 453,253/female 432,855)
65 years and over: 2.6% (male 17,326/female 25,523) (2011 est.)

These numbers might seem meaningless to you if you overlook them, but the working age in Gaza due the siege, military occupation is from 12 years and up, you can see children as young of 12 years old picking rubles close to the border of Rafah to make a few shekels to support their families, thousands of families in Gaza do not have a male head of household, either because he was killed, or is incarcerated, So more and more children and women are in the necessity to work to provide for their families. In a regular country where the legal age is 18 a 50% of unemployment will means a completely paralyzed society, but for Gaza after so many years under military occupation and more than 4 years of crippling siege their residents have survived and have shown the to the world their tremendous surviving spirit. But that by no means is a motive to keep ignoring their plight. Israel has gone away with so much injustice and ignore her obligations as an occupier power because sadly the Club of the United Nations even have set rules and regulations for bullies countries that wish to occupy illegally another people’s land.

Their residents in their attempts to survive have to resource to all types of occupations,  working in the tunnels being on of the most dangerous of all the occupations, but when you have a family to feed you need to do what ever is available. United Nations seems to ignore what Gaza is suffering.

They venture dangerously close to the border fence to unlock metal and steel rods from their demolished home heaps. They are Gaza’s recyclers, and in a Strip where unemployment hovers at nearly 50 percent and poverty soars over 80 percent, environmental considerations are far from their minds. They do this work out of necessity.Yousef, 14, leads two of his younger brothers in

Yousef, 14, leads two of his younger brothers in their daily hunt for concrete materials off the highway between Khan Younis and Deir al-Balah.

They come by the hundreds every day to sand dunes and rubble sites to sift for pebbles, stones and sand that can be used in making concrete blocks. They lean into trash bins across the Gaza Strip, and wade through piles of rubbish scavenging for plastics, metals and any bits worth reselling.

their daily hunt for concrete materials off the highway between Khan Younis and Deir al-Balah.

Gaza is plagued by poverty, malnutrition and unemployment 3 factors that are like a ticking bomb for the population, without counting the health conditions and the environmental damage due to continuous bombing with plutonium and others unknown chemicals that on recent years have done multiples mutations in newborns and caused fertility problem in their population.

The toxic waste one of the main concerns in Gaza, Israel air strikes have destroyed most of the sawyer system making a hazard problem comparable to a radiation explosion, the waste is being mix with the clean water reservoirs. Palestine is being forced to buy water from Israel as its drinking water is contaminated. And the lack of resources and legal binding from drilling for more wells put Palestine in a more difficult situation.

1967, when Tel Aviv occupied Gaza, the forces built three sewage treatment facilities there, which failed to treat most of the inflowing waste. The system was poorly modified during the 1980s.
Gaza, home to close to 1.7-million Palestinians, is currently almost four times more populous than the 80s but still dependent on the system.
The already dysfunctional facilities were further damaged during Israel’s frequent incursions over the past four years.

The damage done to the waste water-treatment facilities in the northern Gaza City during a December 2008-January 2009 war by Israel made some raw sewage find its way into the ground water sources, our reporter noted. The offensives also killed more than 1,400 Palestinians and

While dumping parts of its wastes in the coastal sliver and hogging its water supplies, Israel has made it extremely difficult for Gaza to bring in waste disposal equipments.

inflicted a damage of above USD 1.6 billion on the strip’s economy.

Tel Aviv, meanwhile, continues to aggravate the problem by partially disposing of its waste water in the Gaza valley. Israel’s all-out land, aerial and naval blockade, meanwhile, blocks the entrance of food, medical fuel and electricity supplies to the coastal sliver.

Gaza’s Coastal Aquifer yields more than 500 million cubic meters of water of which a little over a tenth is allocated to Gaza residents, and the rest is taken by Israel.

One of the groundwater wells in Khan Younis area in the Gaza Strip under regular monitoring program by the research shared project between the University of Heidelberg and the Gaza Governorate. Water is sampled and analyzed in both Gaza and Heidelberg for anions, cations, heavy metals and organic contaminants. (Credit: Environment and Information Center at Gaza Governorate, Gaza)Drinking Water In Gaza Strip Contaminated With High Levels Of Nitrate
Groundwater is the only source of drinking water for the majority of people living in the Gaza Strip. In babies younger than six months, nitrate can lead to methaemoglobinaemia, to diarrhea and to acidosis. The WHO therefore recommends keeping nitrate levels to 50 milligrams per litre or less. 90 per cent of their water samples were found to contain nitrate concentrations that were between two and eight times higher than the limit recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) The Global Organizations spend their millions of dollars making rules, making Reports, collecting Data but most of their resources is a waste of money and efforts because their findings and recommendations are completely ignored or shelved. Israel does not care for the damage that it inflicting to the environment, and to the people, IF EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) was in charge of Palestine, by this time Israel would have been forced to paid hundreds of billions of dollars in Fines.
War induced environmental threats continue to confront the population of Gaza: Health hazards resulting from the fractured sewage system caused by the bombings and toxic radiation contamination caused by Depleted Uranium (DU) and other Heavy Metal weaponry are manifesting at a staggering speed.

DIME weapons were first used against Gaza  by Israeli drones in the summer of 2006, when Palestinian medical personnel reported that it significantly increased the fatality rate among victims. Shortly after the DIME weapons were also trialled during the first week of the war in Lebanon in July 2006.

DIME weapons were first used against Gaza by Israeli drones in the summer of 2006, when Palestinian medical personnel reported that it significantly increased the fatality rate among victims. Shortly after the DIME weapons were also trialled during the first week of the war in Lebanon in July 2006.

Gaza is being used as a human experiment by Israel. There are reports from 3 Universities that conducted studies in bodies of martyrs and found Toxic and carcinogenic metals, able to produce genetic mutations, have been found in the tissues of people wounded in Gaza during Israeli military operations of 2006 and 2009. The research has been carried out on wounds provoked by weapons that did not leave fragments in the bodies of the victims, a peculiarity that was pointed out repeatedly by doctors in Gaza. This shows that experimental weapons, whose effects are still to be assessed, were used.


“Nobody – says professor Paola Manduca, spokesperson for the New Weapons Research Group, genetics teacher and researcher at the University of Genoa – had never conducted bioptic analysis on tissue samples from wounds. We have focused on wounds made by weapons that do not leave fragments, as the doctors from Gaza reported on them repeatedly. We wanted to verify the presence of metals that remained on the skin and in the derma. It was suspected that these metals were present in the weapons that leave no fragments, but it had never been demonstrated before. To our surprise even the burns provoked by white phosporus contain high amount of metals. Moreover, the presence of these metals in the weapons implies that they have been dispersed in the environment, in unknown amounts and range; they have been inhaled by the victims and by bystanders, thus constituting a risk for survivors and for people that were not directly hit by the bombing.”

 

Hot topics
There are reports that Israel is using a new weapon in the Gaza strip. More specifically, the claim is that Israel is using something called a DIME weapon. Say what? Yes, DIME weapons are real, it stands for Dense Inert Metal Explosive. In a nutshell a DIME weapon is a bomb or missile that detonates with powerful and lethal explosive power confined to a small area. The idea being to minimize “collateral damage” when using military weapons in urban areas. Yes, this is a humane killing device, science marches on!DIME-Dense Inert Metal Explosive

More allegations were brought to the light of the world when According to a Norwegian MD who was working at a Palestinian hospital in Gaza during the recent war the type of injuries that were inflicted on war casualties ,during this campaign, were different than anything that he has seen before in a war theater and he has seen quite a few conflagrations over the past thirty years. Another Norwegian doctor named DR. Gilbert told the Oslo Gardermoen that “there is a strong suspicion that Gaza is now being used as a test laboratory for new weapons.”

DIME EXPLOSION-Dense Inert Metal Explosive

The suspicion as expressed by many medical doctors is the use of what the US Army calls DIME, Dense Inert Metal Explosive. This weapon was originally designed by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories to inflict severe damage on people but cause lighter destruction on buildings. Dr. Brommant , a German Doctor , who was also present in Gaza, describes the injuries that he has witnessed by saying that “It seems to be some sort of explosive or shell that disperses tiny particles that penetrate all organs, these miniature injuries, you are not able to attack them surgically.” Those who are lucky to survive the initial injuries are most likely to develop RMS a deadly cancer related to the tungsten tiny particles.

Bodies with dead tissues and no apparent wounds; ‘shrunken’ corpses; civilians with heavy damage to lower limbs that require amputation, which is nevertheless followed by unstoppable necrosis and death; descriptions of extensive internal wounds with no trace of shrapnel, corpses blackened but not burnt, and others heavily wounded that did not bleed.

Many of these descriptions suggest the possibility that the new weapons used include ‘direct energy’ weapons, and chemical and/or biological agents, in a sort of macabre experiment of future warfare, where there is no respect for anything: International rules (from the Geneva Convention to the treaties on biological and chemical weapons), refugees, hospitals and the Red Cross, not to mention the people, their future, their children, the environment, which is poisoned through dissemination of Depleted Uranium and toxic substances released after oil and chemical depots are bombed.
Angels Of Death – The Nazi Doctors

Gaza, Palestine unique situation needs to be brought to the attention of the world, Israel uses Gaza as a tool of control to manage the “Peace Talks” conditions.
After all the analysis of Gaza conditions, seeing how malnutrition have made so much struggles in the health of the children, the elderly and pregnant woman.
The use of banned and illegal weapons on its population, the lack of clean drinking water, the destruction of its infrastructure including the purposely destroyed sewer system, the systematic bombing of their camps and cities using toxic chemicals that could be regarded as Chemical Weapons under United Nations Atomic Agency IF inspected, the psychological trauma of all Gaza Residents, the lack of safe housing and shelter, the shortage of everyday food supplies, the deliberately destruction of their agricultural lands, and ultimately the siege that do not allow them to run for refugee as other populations have done when their countries are invaded, attacked or plagued with internal conflicts.
Gaza is unique in every aspect of their struggles.
And as if their plight is not enough, the US and “ALLIES” named their Elected Party Official as a terrorist Organization with the only purpose to control more their lives not allowing friendly countries to freely help Gaza with their economical struggles.
The International Community, activist, independent media outlets, bloggers and peace activists that have followed Gaza situation, have worked arduously to raise awareness on the Truth about Israel Occupation and latest invasion of Gaza giving its residents hopes to change their lives. Gaza that enclave in the Mediterranean Ocean was one of the oldest places on Earth and Gaza Still Stand. They do not lose hopes that soon the World as a whole will see them as equal, their humanity still intact still praises the raise of the sun on that beautiful Gaza Sea, they pray everyday for a better tomorrow, their hopes are intact.
Gaza was and still Lives, Under Occupation and Under Attack still Stand Gaza Palestine.
Welcome to Come, Come To Gaza and meet the friendliest people in the planet.

Resistance Is the Right to The People to Exist With Prospect For Peace


Posted on March 28, 2011 by Marivel Guzman

How to subsist without resistance, when the law of the jungle is enforced on the weak of the world?

We have the West with its mighty Army of paid soldiers and hungry mercenaries enforcing ‘Democracy’, planting death and destruction. Ravaging the land they chose to destroy. They bend the will of the people using the most horrifying methods men have invented in the last 100 years.

US and its Allies went to Iraq and have killed close to a million people, destroyed the infrastructure of one of the oldest and most advance societies of the World. Iraq with its glorious history, it wealth, pride and natural resources taken as a booty as ordinary theft. They invented all the preliminary excuses to corner the government of Sadam Hussein, they enforced a no fly Zone In the North and in the South of Iraq, destroyed all Military Power of Iraq, they got the UN to imposed terrible sanctions, the Oil was to be sold to the Agencies specified by the UN only, in a term of 10 years Iraq was economically destroyed, military destroyed so when US and Allies invaded it was easy pray.

Now we have the story repeating itself with another Oil Producer Country this time is Libya in the North of Africa and one of the 10 exporter of Oil, in this case as the African Oil Producer are in a specific situation they have this Light Oil Crude, cheap and easy to Refine. The US and Allies prepare the territory with a fake civil war, CIA style and once the situation is right, again they are using the UN to imposed a No Fly Zone, where the only missiles that kill will be that of US and Allies.

Who gives the right to the UN to sign death sentences of unarmed population,
Who say that they have the right to disposed of the Natural Resources of a Sovereign Country?


Israel The Other Bully in the Block, every year with made up excuses, force the US or the UN to brake up a government or two.
Israel has kept Palestine isolated from the world, has kept Palestine unable to defend herself, her society destroyed, her economy to receive crumbs from the International Community, her agricultural lands ravaged, her people terrorized, incarcerated and tortured, and as if all the horrors that Palestinians live every day are not enough Israel has made believe the world that they are the terrorist. So outrageous for the people that knows the truth, it is unbelievable that the West and its allies knowing the truth they have financed and armed Israel.

The UN Club of 5 knowing the truth, they have kept a blind eye on the massacres perpetrated by Israel, the murders of Palestinians citizens, the target assassinations of her leaders all being cover up and ignore by the international body that suppose to enforce human rights around the world, the International body that supposed to enforce peace.

Lies that Stick, Struggles that Sell. The Media Broke Out the Silence

March 30, 2011 4 comments

Posted on March 29, 2011 by Marivel Guzman

Palestine Youth Broke the Silence! Not after the Tunisia Revolution and certainly not after the Egyptian Revolution.

“Palestinian youth have been inspired by uprisings in Arab countries, Pushing for a Palestinian Tahrir” Aljazeera Channel

I don’t think so, Palestinians youth have plenty of inspiration to uprise in their own merit, I think 63 years are few generations of struggles, pains, death, suppression and oppression being from their own leadership, but mostly from Israel IDF soldiers. The Palestinian Youth of today have suffered more than other youth around the world, and I don’t think that the inspiration born out of Tunisia or Egypt.

They have been resisting their own internal struggles, they have been in the walls of facebook, youtube, myspace and other networks for years, in these days, you taking notice of them is different because it seems that you the Big Networks, the Big Media never have paid attention to their cries.
That you the Stream Media are writing about them it is a different story, and you did it because it sound juicy for your ratings.

The Struggles of Palestine

When the Youth Of Gaza Broke Out Manifesto first made the light to the stream media, it was the first time that manifesto was in the wires, and it was not the first time the Youth of Gaza Broke the Silence, They have been braking the silence in their struggle with Israel and with the world, they have been dying in front of your cameras and they have been called the perpetrators, they have been fighting with bare hands and rocks against tanks and you the media have been calling them the terrorists, they have been incarcerated and tortured and you have been silenced.

You the Media is the one that broke the silence on January when the activists in the world in a bold move sided with them and all push for their voices to be heard. When you saw that they were making waves, then you took advantage of their light and you decided that the story was good enough to be written about it.

They did not inspire out of Jasmin Revolution or the Tahrir Square, NO! Sandy Tolan, you picked up that title because it is catchy and sounds good and will be grab in the crawler of the web.

Now there are conflicts with the two main political parties in Palestine, from one side we have the PA closure of more than 300 NGO in West Bank, charities that Hamas over the years has financed and sponsored. And they were doing the right thing in the Occupied Territories, but the Egos got lose and the PA could not accept Hamas Victory without inflicting low punches, without seeing that the only losers are the Palestinians. Hamas since 1982 is the organization that was in charged of most of the health and social life of Palestine.

The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the occupied Palestinian Territory, Maxwell Gaylard, today voiced his concern about the forced closure on 30 November by the local authorities in Gaza of all Gaza-based offices of the non-governmental organization Sharek Youth Forum.

“I am very concerned about the recent forced closing of Sharek Youth Forum in Gaza. Sharek is an important NGO partner of the United Nations in its work on behalf of children and the youth in Gaza”, Mr. Gaylard said.

Mr. Gaylard noted that “Sharek’s work forms part of the many important activities carried out by civil society organizations in the occupied Palestinian Territory promoting development and the protection of human rights.“

He stated that freedom of association and freedom of expression are fundamental rights protected by international law as well as the Palestinian Basic Law and expressed his hope that Sharek would be permitted to continue its work in Gaza without further delay or undue hindrance.

Statement by Maxwell Gaylard,
United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the occupied Palestinian Territory
On the Closure of Sharek Youth Forum in the Gaza Strip

Jerusalem, 7 December 2010

Since 2007 the Fatah-dominated government in the West Bank has also closed more than 300 Hamas and Islamic-linked charities and NGOs.

Jared Malsin

I don’t see The United Nations Raising the Flag for 300 Charities close down, not that Sharek Youth Forum be less important, but my note is in the context of marking the double standards used to emphasized the wrongs of one Political Party such Hamas over their favorite Fatah, that is being cracking down in the resistance in the West Bank pleasing or serving the interest of Israel. Maybe the goal is toward “The Peace Talks”, but we all know that Israel does not recognized Abbas as a “Peace Partner”. Seriously speaking Israel does not know the Meaning of Peace.

And let’s mention also the continuous arrests of Peaceful Protesters in West Bank and Jerusalem, but not from the Palestinian Authority but from IDF forces that without mercy, use lethal force to stop the demonstrators from expressing their opposition to the illegal Wall, the closure of Shuhada Street in Hebron, the demolitions of Homes in East Jerusalem, the disposition of Homes, the illegal arrests of Palestinians and other very serious issues that the United Nations keep ignoring. Even the murder of Internationals is not a serious topic for our Peace Keepers in New York Headquarters.

Where is the Big Media in these important events that take place inside Palestine? Why don’t you Brake the Silence and exposed Israel Once and for all?..Will be the day that we will be celebrating Earth Day.

The next article was presented to you by Aljazeera I bring it to you, because it has some good information, I do not agree with the way they portray the youth of Palestine taking the merit of their struggles, but now they are taking their time to give you a taste of the Occupation with the Big Media flavor. Even thought in their article I see the youth of West Bank is not Numb as the great majority of the population, they see the situation from their young minds.

“If you look at our social situation, people in Ramallah don’t care, mostly speaking,” says Dina Shilleh, a 27-year-old piano teacher who returned with her parents from Serbia during the heady early days of Oslo. “If they can go out, they have their car, they have their house, they can dress nicely, that’s kind of what it’s about. There’s a lot that’s been sedated. Because in the end you want to live. It’s like, hey, how long do you want to keep fighting? My grandparents fought, my parents fought. Am I gonna do it? My kids? It would have to be something that would really spark the people to get out of this numbness.”

And I personally have experienced the disinterest from some Palestinians in here in CA and in Ramallah, they simply don’t care, they can come to the US, they work, eat and entertain themselves as long as they are not taking the heat from the IDF they care less for Gaza or for the struggles of Shuhada Street residents or East Jerusalem.

It is disappointing but also I see they are tired to fight, they lived the occupation in their worse times, what can we do to wake up their dreams of freedom again?

“Palestinian youth have been inspired by uprisings in Arab countries, Pushing for a Palestinian Tahrir”Sandy Tolan on her article of March 05, 2011, Aljazeera Channel

On a cool January evening at the height of Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution, Najwan Berekdar and a few friends were sitting at a smoky café in Ramallah, puffing on water pipes and strategising. “We were talking about what’s happening in Tunisia, and we decided, maybe this is the momentum – we should use it,” Berekdar remembers weeks later from her office at Sharek, a youth-oriented Palestinian NGO. “We were, like, five people. We were sitting with our laptops and we said, ‘Okay, let’s make an event.’ We wanted something to encourage people to go out.”

Within days, masses of Egyptians began filling Tahrir Square, and 27-year-old Berekdar, her friends and like-minded Palestinian youths were even more inspired. “We wanted to send this message that it is time for us to do something. And obviously we can do it. Look at other people. If they managed to do it, we can do it.”

The demonstrations these Palestinian youths helped organized were quickly banned, sometimes with clubs, by a Palestinian Authority (PA) with deep historic and political ties to the Tunisian and Egyptian dictatorships. But then other groups began forming their own demonstrations. And Berekdar and her friends, through email loops and a face-to-face “thinking group” of about 20 academics and intellectuals, organized new protests. “We were suppressed by the PA a second time and a third time,” she says. Soon Palestinian authorities began to investigate the group.

“One of our group members was called by the police, and by the intelligence, and by – I don’t know, we have four security forces, I think,” Berekdar says. (Actually, there are five.) “They stayed at his home until one in the morning.” The mukhabarat assumed the young man was the ringleader, Berekdar recalls with amusement. They pressed him for details of the hierarchy of what is in fact a loose, ever-shifting coalition that only recently got a name: Hirak Shebab, or Youth Movement. It is an informal, mostly leaderless group – a concept the centralised PA does not seem to grasp.

As Berekdar spoke, at 1:30 on a recent afternoon, an email came in from a friend. About the demonstration that day at 6:00: Should they do it at Manara Square in the centre of Ramallah or outside the Muqata, the PA headquarters? Berekdar was not sure. Scarcely four hours before the event, she seemed unhurried, and confident of Hirak Shebab’s ability to get sufficient numbers to show up at the last minute.

Berekdar is trying to involve young people, both unaffiliated and from different Palestinian parties, including Hamas. She estimates that so far about 2,000 people connect with the group’s message pushing for democracy and fundamental change. “It’s about changing the whole discourse of the Palestinians,” she says. “It is time for us to start doing something. Because obviously the political leadership is not doing anything.”

The ‘pulse of Palestine’

In the revolutionary spirit spreading across the Middle East, Palestinian youth groups have become a small but important catalyst in a building wave of discontent with PA repression and complicity in a failed “peace process” backed by the US. The groups’ actions are sparked not only by events in the region, but by the US veto of the UN Security Council’s condemnation of Israeli settlements. A widening circle of Palestinian groups are calling for an end to negotiations with Israel, an end to the political division between the West Bank and Gaza and wholesale reform of the PA and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO). Some advocate dissolving the PA completely.

“Fatah and Hamas have failed Palestinian society,” says Nader Said, a Palestinian pollster and political analyst. Youth, he says, “represent the pulse and conscience of Palestine”. In Gaza, Said says, young people “are the ones who have demonstrated in the middle of the shooting, covering their faces with paper bags,” so that security forces would refrain from possibly shooting a brother or cousin. “They are the soul of the Palestinians,” but by themselves, “they’re not strong enough to carry the emancipation agenda.”

Yet the message is resonating well beyond the youth groups. As Palestinians under a 43-year occupation watch their Arab neighbours fight for democracy, pressure increases on the PA to reform itself – or at least, to appear to do so. Faced with the threat of the US veto, the PA sought to burnish its resistance credentials by refusing to yield to American pressure to call off the Security Council vote. And Salam Fayyad, the prime minister, recently sent a message to Palestinian youth via Facebook, asking for input as he forms a new Palestinian cabinet. Within hours, he received hundreds of replies – some supportive, some sceptical.

“Now suddenly they’re this nationalistic body that’s clinging to Palestinian rights?” scoffed Diana Buttu, a Palestinian lawyer and former PA negotiator, in a recent interview. “They’ve put their finger to the wind, and realised that the wind has changed. Right now you don’t want to be seen as the one nation that’s clinging to the United States. So they had to do something.”

But others say the pressure from emerging Arab democracies, and what one insider called the “betrayal” by the US, may force the PA to turn inward, and thus make the kind of core changes it has long resisted.

“We do not want an authority that is a buffer between the people and the occupation,” says Qais Abu Leila, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and a founder of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine. “We need a Palestinian Authority that is part of the people and a continuation of the struggle against occupation.” Abu Leila believes the shifting political landscape may force the PA to confront its increasingly undemocratic, authoritarian character.

“We are now facing the danger of the emergence of more or less police regimes” in Gaza and the West Bank. Under the PA, he says, “gradually the democratic checks and balances of government are fading away”.

‘A quiet colonisation’

Fundamental change within the PA, if it happened, would likely include a reassessment of its security cooperation with Israel. Some coordination of visas and safe passages, and movement of Palestinian police between West Bank towns, would continue, reformers say. More draconian measures seen as collaboration with Israel’s occupation could be suspended. These include the extralegal arrest and detention of hundreds of Palestinians, and incidents of torture, documented by Palestinian human rights groups, in the name of fighting terrorism and preventing a Hamas takeover in the West Bank. Human Rights Watch recently called on the US and EU to suspend aid to the PA “pending concrete steps to end a culture of impunity for security service abuses, including torture”.

But a Palestinian decision to suspend security cooperation would likely have huge financial consequences. In recent years the US has spent nearly half a billion dollars in training and “professionalising” key parts of a 25,000-strong Palestinian security apparatus under three-star American general Keith Dayton. The money flow would likely reduce to a trickle if basic principles of the arrangement were suspended. Some analysts believe the PA could survive possible cuts in US funding, especially if the EU stepped into the breach.

Others are sceptical. “The PA is a security subcontractor for Israel,” says Buttu. Despite the pressure the PA is facing, she does not foresee any change. “The whole aim is to allow Israel to have a very quiet occupation, a very quiet colonisation.”

“We alleviated the occupation from its responsibility,” agrees Ali Jarbawi, a longtime critic of the authority who recently joined the government as the Palestinian minister of planning. “And they [Israelis] are living happily ever after when you go to Dizengoff Street and sip wine with the yuppies at these sidewalk cafés. As if the West Bank does not exist. As if Gaza does not exist. As if the Palestinians do not exist.”

Jarbawi believes the two-year state-building plan the PA put in place in 2009, overseen by Fayyad, should be given a chance to work – but only until September 2011. Jarbawi insists there must be a limit to official Palestinian patience. “You can’t keep the negotiation track open forever, and keep the dependency on aid also open forever, so the world is paying for the continuation of the occupation. And at the same time they are building settlements on the ground, eating what’s supposed to become our state.”

Jerusalem: ‘The next Tahrir?’

After September, Jarbawi says, the Palestinian strategy could include an end run around the US, through an appeal to the other members of the “Quartet” – the EU, Russia and the UN – to recognise a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders. Already nine Latin American nations have stepped forward. “Brazil, through this letter, recognises the Palestinian state on the 1967 borders,” Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the then Brazilian president, wrote to Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, in December.

Other options Jarbawi envisions include asking for an international presence in the West Bank, building a new, nonviolent intifada – “one million people walking down the streets, chanting for an end to occupation” – or even dissolving the very authority in which Jarbawi now works. “That has to remain a viable option,” he says.

Abu Leila believes dissolving the PA is unrealistic. But he insists the pressure for reform has become too great to ignore. “There is an almost universal recognition that there must be radical change in Palestine, and that it must start with ending the division” with Gaza, he says, echoing comments by Berekdar and many others. He calls this step essential “in order to face the occupation and a hostile policy adopted by the US. The PA could organise the Palestinian society in a way that could fuel the struggle against the Israeli occupation. This is a meaningful option.”

This may be starting to happen. In February, Tawfiq Tirawi, a member of the Central Committee of the PLO and until recently the PA security chief, called for “days of rage” protests against the American veto in the Security Council. “They consider themselves the masters of the world,” said the man who until recently helped coordinate security arrangements with Israel and the US. “They [the Americans] call for democracy and freedom. They say that they want this for all nations of the world, but when it comes to the Palestinian people, it just evaporates. The interest of our people is the most important thing. We will say no to the Americans if it is not in the interest of our people.”

Some Palestinians believe a nonviolent popular uprising is coming in Palestine – whether backed by the PA or not. “Resistance has always been a unifying force,” says Hani Masri of Badael, the Ramallah think-tank. “The youth, they are telling the leadership, either you will be changing or you will be changed.”

Masri and others are discussing mass mobilisations, including 50,000 to 100,000 Palestinians marching peacefully to Qalandia, the checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah that now resembles an international border crossing. Beyond that, he asks, “why can’t we turn Jerusalem into the next Tahrir?”

Weekly protests in the Palestinian towns of Bili’in, Budrus and Nili’in have already received international attention as focal points of a nonviolent Palestinian resistance. But whether mass mobilisations will actually take place to confront the Israeli occupation is another matter.

High price of confrontation

“The big question today is whether the Palestinian society has the juice to create a real civil disobedience, refusing-the-occupation campaign,” says Gershon Baskin, the co-director of the Jerusalem-based Israel-Palestine Center for Research and Information, and a strong advocate of the two-state solution.

“There are 24,000 Palestinians working in settlements. Two Rami Levi supermarkets opened up in the West Bank, and many of the shoppers are Palestinian. If you’re going to wage a campaign to simply say we’re not cooperating any more with the occupation, then what that means is you’re not going to work in Israel any more, you’re not going to work in the Israeli settlements … You’re going to have confrontation with the occupation. And that has a very high price.”

Would Palestinians, so dependent on the foreign-funded jobs and services that Buttu calls “donor heroin,” be willing to forego the sharp reduction in aid that would surely accompany a new strategy of confrontation?

“In the short term we would really pay a heavy price economically,” Buttu agrees. “For one thing, you wouldn’t see people sitting around in nice cafés like this,” she says, smiling ironically while sitting in Ramallah’s Café de la Paix. But confronting the occupation “would definitely unite people who are not united now”.

“Something could spark it,” Baskin says. “Who would have predicted Tunisia, Egypt, Libya? But I don’t see Palestinian society having the energy today to do it. Israelis and Palestinians today feel much more comfortable pushing a ‘like’ button on their Facebook page than going out to the street.”

That may or may not be true. As major checkpoints have come down recently, the occupation has loosened around Ramallah, Nablus and Jenin, and relative freedom within a small portion of the West Bank has created a sense of limited breathing room. For some Palestinians, quality of life has gone up. Some say the “donor heroin” has created a sense of comfort, even complacency, in the small enclave inside the West Bank.

“If you look at our social situation, people in Ramallah don’t care, mostly speaking,” says Dina Shilleh, a 27-year-old piano teacher who returned with her parents from Serbia during the heady early days of Oslo. “If they can go out, they have their car, they have their house, they can dress nicely, that’s kind of what it’s about. There’s a lot that’s been sedated. Because in the end you want to live. It’s like, hey, how long do you want to keep fighting? My grandparents fought, my parents fought. Am I gonna do it? My kids? It would have to be something that would really spark the people to get out of this numbness.”

And yet, when Hirak Shebab organised demonstrations at Manara Square recently, Dina answered the call. “We need a new leadership,” she says, recalling her chants against the occupation and in favour of democracy.

“We need a new idea.”
At the end the story that is told is not the real story, you are the Opinion Maker at the end. Make your judgement, make your call for justice and peace. It is up to you the Readers of the Events that cover our world that will make an opinion and act upon it.

Laila Khaled-Palestinian Resistance Hero-March 8 Internation Woman’s Day


Posted on March 8, 2011 by Marivel Guzman
from original posted by Thee *FREE ARAB VOICE* February 2, 1999

Leila Khaled (also Layla Khalid), long-time activist and Central Committee member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), was born on April 9, 1944 in Haifa, Palestine. Her family left Haifa as refugees to Lebanon on April 13 1948, just before the State of Israel was established

In this issue of the Free Arab Voice we interview Laila Khaled.

Laila Khaled is a Palestinian Arab woman, an activist, fighter, and a leader that has become now a familiar part of the Palestinian psyche. She turned almost overnight from another refugee in Lebanon into an unfurled Palestinian flag. Unlike others who folded their flags though, she remains as true to the faith today as when she was fifteen, only smarter. Understanding what she has to say is tantamount to understanding what many Palestinians have to say.

We will not rain on her parade. She will introduce herself by herself.

[This interview was conducted for the Free Arab Voice (FAV) by Ibrahim Alloush ].

Introduction:

FAV: Welcome Laila Khaled. Would you like in the beginning to introduce us briefly to yourself: your position in the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine), the Palestinian Woman’s Union, and the Palestinian revolution?

Laila: I’m a Palestinian woman of Lebanese origin, my belonging is Arab, and hence my belonging is Palestinian. I joined the Arab Nationalist Movement early, early with respect to me, cause I was barely 15 years old then.
I moved to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine since its inception in 1967, and continue to be with them until today.
I was a member of the Union of Palestinian students, in the Administrative Committee, when I was still a student in the American University of Beirut in 1963. In 1974, I became a member in the General Secretariat of the Palestinian Woman’s Union. Also I’ve been a delegate in the Palestinian National Council [parliament] since 1979. FAV: What’s your official position in the PFLP?

Laila: I’m a member in the Leadership Council of the PFLP. “Who Are the Palestinians?”:

FAV: We’re not going to well long on that military operation you partook in, and which drew fame and glory. We have surpassed that stage in a sense. We’re in a different stage now, perhaps even at your own personal level. Would you give us a quick glimpse though about that operation so our younger readers may get an idea about what happened then? When exactly, and what was your role in it?
Laila: It was one of the operations undertaken by the PFLP to hijack airplanes. I was the first woman to participate in one, but the PFLP had done a few before. One of those was the hijacking of an El Al flight from Rome to Algeria. The PFLP took this path under the motto of “Going after the Enemy Everywhere”, as one of the tactics or phases of the armed struggle. The main goal behind these operations was to pose a big question to the world: who are the Palestinians? At the time Palestinians were being treated merely as refugees who may need humanitarian aid. So we got showered with tents, UNRWA programs, and so forth!

The other goal behind these operations was to release our political prisoners from “Israeli” jails. From 1968 until 1970, the PFLP performed operations abroad to achieve those two goals. But having posed the question of who are the Palestinians, the answer was not in the final analysis to be answered by the operations themselves but by the Palestinian revolution. There was now a big commotion. People all over the world were asking who those were who were hijacking airplanes and what they wanted.

Regarding the second objective of releasing prisoners, we succeeded in that respect partially. Had we had a liberated base from whence we could have held planes and passengers, and from whence we could have exchanged and negotiated, we could have succeeded much more. The Arab regimes had a clear position of not supporting us, and of compromising us as needed to white wash any affiliation with us.

I participated in two of these operations. One was the hijacking a TWA that Isaac Rabin was scheduled to be on. At the time he was the “Israeli” Ambassador in the U.S. That flight was supposed to go through Rome. We boarded the plane there, and re-directed the plane to Damascus, Syria. Unfortunately however, Rabin was not on board!

FAV: When was this?

Laila: This was in August 1969.

FAV: What happened after you came to Damascus?

Laila
: When we came to Damascus, the airport we landed in was still not in use so we inaugurated it. We blew up the cockpit.

FAV: None of the passengers were hurt though!

Laila: No, no, not at all! That was made very clear throughout. We had strict directives not to hurt any passengers or members of the crew at all. Only in the case of clear self-defense, we were told, will you repel anyone who attacks you.

FAV: So you released the passengers upon arrival to Damascus?

Laila: Immediately. We told them to get off calmly, and showed them how to do it safely. Then we handed ourselves over to the authorities. We said we admit having done this, and would like to tell you why we did what we did.

FAV: The second operation you took part in?

Laila
: The second one was an El Al plane. Now that’s a different story because it’s an El Al! An “Israeli” thing per se! That flight was carrying Ahron Yarev, the head of “Israeli” Military Intelligence at the time. We boarded that flight in Amesterdam. It was supposed to be headed to New York, but we were going to turn it back east. We had just inaugurated an airport near Amman, Jordan, that became known as the Airport of the Revolution where we had held three planes there already, and we were going to bring our El Al plane there too. But the pilot took us to London instead, and our comrade from Nicaragua, Patrick Aurguillo, was killed there.

FAV: What went wrong?

Laila: What went wrong was that we were to be four doing this, but only two of us, Patrick and me, managed to get on board. Because Yarev had bodyguards too we simply got outnumbered and outgunned. The route the plane took was not the one we thought they would. Landing in London was totally unexpected. We bet that they won’t come near us. I was in charge of the operation and had two hand grenades. I didn’t think they would ever dare to come near me, but it seems that “Israelis” think lightly of dying as well.

They attacked the two of us, and managed to kill Patrick savagely. I wasn’t shot, but tackled and beaten. Media reports later indicated that the body of the plane was riddled with eighty bullet holes. Patrick had one handgun and I had two grenades, so guess who was doing most of the shooting?

FAV
: Then?

Laila: The Brits took me. The very following day however a Palestinian guy from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, hijacked a BOAC plane to Beirut because he couldn’t handle the thought of me getting arrested. He requested to talk to the PFLP when he got to Beirut International Airport, and asked them where he should go with the plane. The pilot didn’t know how to get to the Airport of the Revolution because it wasn’t in the official charts. So, he was given directions. Then I was released in exchange, along with a couple of other comrades, after 28 days in custody. All this also raised the political question worldwide of who we were and what we sought.

A Critical Evaluation:

FAV
: How do you respond to those who say that this particular type of operations did not help out very much, but had in fact hurt the Palestinian cause? Sure we got the attention of the world, but it was perhaps negative attention, the kind that’s not very good for us?

Laila: There’s an intrinsic difference between armed struggle as one of the main strategies to overcome the enemy, and these transient tactics which we employed only during a very brief period. On the internal Palestinian level, other groups condemned our earlier tactics only to end up adopting them after we abandoned them totally in 1970, as Fatah did with the “Black September” organization! So these were short-run tactical measures that can and should easily be given up if needed.

Anyway, hijacking planes was not the only type of overseas operations we engaged in. In 1972 for example, the PFLP hit the oil tanker Coral Sea which was clandestinely carrying Arab oil & gas (butane), from one of the Gulf states, to “Israel”. It took about a year of careful surveillance and planning to ascertain the route and method by which Arab oil went to “Israel”. But nobody likes to talk about this.

FAV: Where did this happen?

Laila: The Red Sea. Let me also add here that this operation cost “Israel” a great deal in terms of maintaining tight security. From that point on, every tanker that went out to sea had to have military escort, by planes sometimes. Protecting their energy supplies became a real pain.

FAV: So do you call now for resuming this type of operations?

Laila: Now circumstances are different. Every act has to serve a political end. Hijacking airplanes is NOT in our best interest today. Anyway, we in the PFLP totally quit that after the Central Committee took a resolution to that effect in 1970. In this regard I would like to mention, with great admiration and respect, the contributions of the martyr Wadi3 Haddad, who is also one of the founders of the Arab Nationalist Movement. I owe this man most for having taught me how to love Palestine.

FAV: But you continue to be today for the continuation of the armed struggle to liberate Palestine?

Laila: There is a simple and clear formula that I follow which doesn’t require much theorizing. Since there is still today an enemy that raped and cast us out of our land, there is no language to communicate with him but that which he understands best. He talks the language of terror, so we have a legitimate right to resist. History, reality, and the whole world concede the people’s right to resist occupation. That’s all there’s to it.

The Calculus of War and Peace:

FAV
: Some say Arafat obtained more for the Palestinian people, with his readiness to condemn and cooperate against Palestinian “terrorism”, than what we have obtained from decades of operations which cost us tens of thousands of martyrs, injured, prisoners, not to mention international public opinion. How would you respond to that?

Laila: Arafat lost and made us lose with him.

FAV: How come? Some say he obtained a small piece that could later become the nucleus of a Palestinian state? Can’t this become a foothold from whence we may liberate the rest? Didn’t he bring back about forty thousand Palestinians with him from Tunisia?

Laila: Arafat as the epitome of a stratum of leaders of the Palestinian movement that embraces the same way of thinking, has chosen to favor its personal interests over those of the people. Consequently they deemed their own return to Palestine, under humiliating conditions, synonymous with the “right of return”.

We have in Palestine today about three million Palestinians. These have conducted one of the greatest uprisings in the world. Their problem was never the right of return for Arafat and a small group with him. Our problem has always been that we are a people that have had its land occupied and that was forcibly evicted from that land.

The Zionists built their state on our land. Our problem can be summarized in two points:

1) sovereignty over the land,
2) the return of refugees.

This is the essence of the Palestinian problem. Now let’s see what Arafat did. Arafat got the legitimacy to speak for Palestinians from the blood of our martyrs, and from our suffering. He got legitimacy because he adopted initially the strategy of armed struggle. Then he stopped halfway. When this stratum got some perks and privileges, they balked on the notion of resistance. Our leadership was spoiled into submission, among other things. They liked hotels, travel, official receptions at their honor and what have you too much. But at the same time they were selling their own selves out.

Those selling themselves out can’t be said to be “obtaining” anything for their people, can they now? It’s true that “Israel” re-deployed its forces in this alleged solution. But even before that was done, Arafat had to sign on to the enemy’s right to exist on our land. That is a negation of the all the precepts of Palestinian struggle.

The PFLP’s Stand on the Existence of “Israel”:

FAV: But some claim that the PFLP has shifted, and is no longer totally opposed to the principle of “Israel’s” right to exist if that meant a sovereign Palestinian mini-state on the side. Is that true?

Laila: Let’s judge the PFLP on the basis of its documents, and I’m part of the PFLP. When we say that we agreed to the program of Palestinian national consensus:

1) the right of return,
2) self-determination, and
3)The Palestinian state. That means a Palestinian state on the land occupied in 1967, not Haifa. But here are our documents, and our strategy, and here’s the Palestinian National Charter that Arafat compromised. They all talk of liberating Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.
em


FAV
: So this is what the PFLP remains formally committed to today?

Laila: Of course. We haven’t changed. We believe in liberation in stages, but we believe in our historical right to all of Palestine as well.

Laila Khaled Prevented from Flying in December to the Palestinian Conference in Damascus:

FAV: With respect to the Palestinian National Charter, there were reports that you were on a plane headed from Amman to Damascus earlier in December 1998, when you were asked to get off the plane right before take-off by Jordanian authorities.
What happened there?
Did they get nightmares from the mere thought of Laila Khaled on a plane?
Was it a matter of flashbacks from the sixties or is it more complicated than that?

Laila: I still travel by airplane by the way : ) : ) I don’t frighten anyone there. I was actually headed for Beirut, not Damascus, to participate in the Second Arab meeting for the post-Peking Women’s conference. No body told me why I was not allowed to fly that day, but I think they expected me to be going to the Palestinian opposition meeting in Damascus that convened on the 12th of December to re-endorse the Palestinian National Charter.

But in fact the real reason is Wye River, and the security deals that took place behind the scenes between the security apparatuses in Jordan and “Israel”. Laila Khaled is a Palestinian activist, and for her to travel and express her views here and there just doesn’t fly very well with the authorities. So they harass me as a member in the Palestinian opposition, not as an individual. But eventually, I traveled again later on, and nobody stopped me

FAV: So what if they thought you were going to participate in the opposition conference in Damascus? What’s their beef?

Laila: I wasn’t the only one prevented from going to Damascus last December. All the delegates headed to that opposition Conference from Jordan were intercepted and turned back. Specifically, 53 delegates were turned back. I left several days before the conference date because I was going to attend another in Beirut, then go to the conference in Damascus.

FAV: But why? What’s the point of preventing you and those people from attending the conference in Damascus?

Laila: The point as expressed rather comically by the Jordanian Minister of the Interior, Nayef al Qadi, was that those 53 delegates were going to Syria to say stuff that was “contrary to the security of Jordan”.

The response to that is straight forward:
The Palestinian opposition was simply going there to discuss its position and options after Arafat went ahead with the annulment of the Palestinian National Charter. That’s all. But let’s not forget I live in a state that has signed an agreement with “Israel” in Wadi Arabah. This agreement, or maybe one of its secret appendices, entailed that the opposition be oppressed, as long as that is done with all the “democratic means” available to the system!

[We will later go back and discuss in depth with Laila Khaled's the Peking Woman's Conference and her position on the question of Woman's Liberation. There's about 30 minutes of tape here that FAV will reproduce separately due to the extreme importance and the independent nature of that subject- FAV].


Future Strategies for Palestinian Action:

FAV The position you occupy now Laila Khaled in the Palestinian memory and the Palestinian conscience forces us to pose all the hardest questions to you. The Palestinian activism has reached a predicament at this point as is evident.
Can we say that the old forms of struggle have fallen?
Is there a need for new forms to replace them? If so, what are some of the features of these new forms? In short what is a good strategy for Palestinian action for the coming period?
What is to be done? Whence do we begin?

Laila: You posed the question of whence do we begin, so let me say here that we’re not starting out from zero. Every time a new leadership arrives at the scene, it doesn’t study the phase preceding it, and assumes that history began with it. Since the Balfour Declaration in 1917, we’ve had a series of uprisings and leaders in Palestine, culminating in a major armed revolt under the leadership of the Qassam in 1936.

Then there was Abdul-Qader al Husseini in 1948, then el Hajj Amin, and in the sixties the present PLO leadership emerged. We need to study therefore our history and draw hard lessons as much as we need to thoroughly evaluate the previous phase of the Palestinian struggle.

We may have entered a new phase though, characterized by a political settlement in favor of the enemy. The cornerstones of Palestinian activism have been upturned. The precept that the Zionist enemy is occupying our land has been clouded with false rhetoric about peace. The notion of armed struggle has been distorted as well by those who signed shameful agreements, like Arafat and his group.

We have to study thus the previous phase in a comprehensive and careful manner. We have to examine where we hit and where we missed. The great achievement the Palestinian people has perhaps been the Palestinian national identity. We learned how to resist, but the strategies of action now will have to be different from the ones we adopted before. The notion of armed struggle itself though remains necessarily constant because this enemy has not changed its nature.

This enemy does not seek peace. It is still racist, expansionist, and violent.

FAV: What is it that should change then?

Laila: Only the mechanisms have to change, not the objectives. The strategy of armed struggle has to carry on from one generation to the next. It has to remain a historical struggle on all fronts. The military front is not currently open, while the usual measures like demolishing homes, confiscating land, arresting activists, air raiding south Lebanon, and killing civilians continue. We still have Palestinian and Lebanese funerals daily. This means the enemy does not understand any other language.

FAV: This is regarding the objectives of the Palestinian action. How do we get there?

Laila: The objectives of the PLO have not been achieved, including the right of return, self-determination, and the Palestinian state. Some say we still have to uphold those betrayed objectives, and I’m one of those. The problem now is that this [Palestinian] opposition, which is made up of Islamic, nationalist, and leftist components IS NOT UNITED IN ONE PROGRAM OF ACTION.
We don’t have to unite them ideologically. They do have to find a way however to deal jointly with the two most important current issues of Palestinian struggle:

First, how to confront and escalate the fight against the occupation, and second how to tackle the contradiction with the limited self-rule authority of Arafat whose main task is to provide security for the occupation, and to oppress Palestinians. We can’t adopt the same approach in dealing with the two. I don’t think twice about the legitimacy of resisting the occupation by all means necessary.

FAV: How do you respond to people like Edward Said and Azmi Bshara who insinuate sometimes that we need new approaches to Palestinian activism, for example by opening up Palestinian organizations to “Israelis” who recognize “Israel’s” right to exist, yet support Palestinian rights!

Laila: We have to look at the tasks of every concentration of Palestinians in the light of its own circumstances. We have a goal that unites us all, which is to liberate Palestine. But there’s about a million Palestinians right now living in the land occupied in 1948. Those will have tasks that are different from the ones to be addressed by the Palestinians of Lebanon.

In the former, the Palestinian struggle focuses on removing the discrimination they suffer under “Israel”. But in Rou7ah and Um Es-sa7ali when “Israelis” tried to confiscate more land and to demolish homes a while back, the reaction of the Palestinians of 1948 made the Shin Bet report to the “Israeli” government that after fifty years of “Israeli” rule, nationalist feelings among the Arabs of “Israel”, as they call them, are on the rise.

It’s true there are a couple there that call themselves “Israelis”, but the Palestinians of 1948 have overall preserved their Palestinian Arab national identity. Within the framework of the overall objective, these people have the local objective of achieving equality before the law in “Israel”…

FAV: But we can’t generalize the tasks of the Palestinians of 1948 to other Palestinians?

Laila: Yes, that part of our people will have different local objectives because it has different local circumstances. We are a dispersed people you know. Those in the West Bank and Gaza will have different tasks as well.

FAV: So the idea of including “Israelis” in our struggle applies only to the Palestinians of 1948, right?

Laila: No, no, no! Neither including nor excluding, no! I’m talking about something totally different. I’m talking about a relevant Palestinian program for action. I said there are general Palestinian objectives for all Palestinians, and then there are particular Palestinian objectives specific to the local circumstances for each concentration of Palestinians. For example, what is right now the main concern of a Palestinian in Lebanon who is not allowed to work? S/He wants to make a living. But even s/he is trying to observe the general objective of preserving his Palestinian national identity.
He remains steadfast in the refugee camp as a Palestinian under very harsh conditions. His tasks however will have to be different from those of a Palestinian in Gaza, who has to deal with persecution by Arafat’s PNA, and the Zionist occupation. Local strategies have to be decided locally, not imposed from without. There has to be coordination though between the local parts so each complements the other.

FAV: But where do the “Israelis” who allegedly support our rights fit into all this? Some say that our main task on the general level now should be to intensify our efforts amongst Americans and “Israelis”. How do you respond to that?

Laila: Look, there are hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in North America. The main task of that group is to publicize the Palestinian cause and win support. They also have the additional task of not forgetting, and letting their kids forget who they are and where they came from.

They should think about coming back in the long-run. It’s high-time we learned from our enemies, isn’t it? But let’s also not forget here that this is part of the overall struggle. The children of the West and Gaza didn’t peddle theories about winning over the West in the uprising. They peddled stones. And they won the support of the world nevertheless. The essential thing is to not forget that the things that created the conflict with Zionists are still there. They’re not gone. The land is still occupied and the people are still dispersed.

That’s why we revolted. These agreements are like some ash over the coals. Pour a little gasoline and we revolt again. The gasoline is how to make our local tasks complement each other. The axis of the combined work should be to hit the enemy on the head through and through. They only withdrew from south Lebanon because they were shipping back too many coffins. So coffins is what they understand. And we should make no apologies here because our own graveyards are full. Before preachers try to teach you about the humanity of our enemy, teach them about how we have been dehumanized. They said: “The Palestinians don’t exist”! We have been subjugated to a process of extinction here. Now they’re even talking about making genes-smart bombs that kill only Arabs. These people are not about coexistence.

They still have their kids sing in Kindergarten: this bank of the Jordan River is ours, and the other one too! Why are you asking us to change?

FAV: ..and the “Israelis” that support our struggle!

Laila
: This is something that concerns the Palestinians of 1948. It is not a task on the national level, except insofar as it contributes to flaming differences within “Israeli” society, and weakens the occupation. Full stop. But I don’t tell our Palestinian masses there to go to the booth to vote for Labor or Meretz. These still say our land is theirs.


I CHALLENGE ANY OF THE PARTIES THAT CLAIM TO SUPPORT PALESTINIAN RIGHTS IN ‘ISRAEL’ TO SAY THAT JERUSALEM IS OURS. None of them do. So what the heck? We don’t need more empty slogans from “Israelis” who claim to be supporting us. The United Nations resolution that recognized “Israel” tied that recognition to the return of refugees. But that was not observed because in this jungle the strong imposes its code. Let those “Israelis” who say they support us call for our return. Look, if you want to note with appreciation a large demonstration by “Peace Now”, fine. But don’t fantasize.

FAV: Are you willing to share Jerusalem?

Laila: No way and never. I want to go back to Haifa where I was born. What are you talking about?

—————————————————————————————————————–

We can not negate that the PLO headed by Yasef Arafat put Palestine in the Map again, if it was not for him the Palestinian Plight could have been ignored maybe until now. Even if we did not like the methods used by the PLO was the only way that Israel and her supporters were going to negotiate with him. And even if we disagree with the agreements Yassef Arafat was forced to accept we need to understand the circumstances of those agreements.

Not everything was done because personal preferences of Yassef Arafat, most of the documents that he signed were the less of the evils. I do not doubt for one moment that when Yassef enter the United Nations conference he have in his mind to sell Palestinian Identity. For the contrary he enter the conference with his head high and his rifle by his side. And after that day the whole world started speaking about Palestine again.

Even thought after the years the light shed on Palestine will diminish again, the Resistance took form, because the PLO brought energy to the old struggle. We can not deny the power that Yasser Arafat had and have in the young Palestinians. He never wanted divisions, he always spoke as Palestine as one nation, and that we also own to him and his group.

Our woman hero Laila Khaled fought along with Yasser Arafat and she knew the situation, and the agreements in its time, she speaks of her disapproval in some of the issues, I wonder if she have had the power of the pen, if another Palestine have resulted.

We can never underestimate the power of woman intuition. That is another story.

STUDENT PROTEST IN EYGPT TO END THE SPLIT OF PALESTINE

February 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Posted on February 28, 2011 by Omar Karem

Students protest in Egypt to end the split PALESTINE
Stand and saw several interventions for the children of Palestine, particularly of students of different social strata
And groups to calls for emphasizing the importance of the unity of Palestinian ranks; has asked Mohammed Amarna (Doctor of Law – Cairo University) wondered: “How we live each day and the … occupation Jassim to our hearts, if not split ends Fsndao to change in favor of?? How to fall asleep our eyes and we We still say I’m from the West Bank and Gaza!! Palestine is One .. enough of the names scattered .. so it came to stress the importance of the Palestinian legitimacy and the transfer of all of our leadership Palestinian Let the people stand up by himself to end the division .. how long will insist on wearing the dress division? ”

He said student David David (spokesman for the students of Arab Media Research Institute) on the importance of the fooled BC rallies in Gaza and the West Bank and abroad and at home for one goal: to bridge the divide Filstiniy behind the legitimacy of President Abu Mazen, and Mohammed Al-Baghdadi (official Palestine Students in the academy naval branch of the Sheraton) In the appeal, saying: “For all the youth of Palestine and they are voice of the nation working to end division to guide the effort against the real enemy of Israel and to establish our Palestinian state and Jerusalem as its capital. ”

And crossed the press Salsabil Bseiso hoped that culminated in the revolutions of the Palestinian Popular, which was launched both on Facebook-style revolutions in the Arab region to the inevitable outcome in the near future, she said: “We have noticed in recent times in various countries how the collapsed every official of adherence to chair his reign in order to the protection of personal interests and narrow in front of the voice and will of the people reject him; and therefore everyone must learn a lesson and takes care of the national interests of the public to back Palestine as it was and return the brothers loved ones as they were .. Gaza is known flesh sons together enough of the accounting both for differences in our policy only; and we promise to Palestine just do not and to come back the Palestinian social fabric is known for its history as it was to live Palestine .. again ”

The Fady Madhoun (human medicine – University of Alexandria), saying: “came in this student delegation to emphasize the principles established in our dictionary Palestinian We are all talking and his eyes on Palestine, which in the most difficult their situations over the past five years, if we revisit the years of the five that have elapsed in the history of our Snagdna harvested Segmentation is not is that brought us back This could spur us to terminate as soon as .. the Palestinian cause is stronger humanitarian issue passed in human history; and here the aspects of a letter of thanks to the Ambassador of Palestine to assimilate to our demands in order to uphold our voice, hence the call for a protest in all embassies world, because the national unity is the main Mnfzna, Fadi and the message to the brothers to end the division in order not to reach the abyss and said: “We have a lot to go back Palestine as it was before 2005, why not start now ..”.

The sound Talouli embassy official student activities at the end of paragraph hair stand calling for national unity, and concluded by the Palestinian stance on the Palestinian Ohtav revolutionary songs which merged the votes of those present, saying: Hamas and Fatah unity is the foundation.

GAZA FACE A STRONG PROTEST LED BY YOUNG PEOPLE TO END INTERNAL DIVISIONS

February 28, 2011 1 comment

Posted by on February 28, 2011 by Omar Karem

Square of the Unknown Soldier in Gaza City

Gaza, Palestine(Akashma Web Blogs) The Day is March 15, 2011, Palestine Youth have made a call to all sectors of Palestine Society to come forward and unite as one force, forgetting differences of the past. Hamas as the leading Party in Gaza and Fatah as representative of West Bank they should unite their confidence with the people that is tired of so much violence, division and diversion. The occupation have for 62 years worn out their energy, is time to regain their fighter spirit that have characterized Palestinians but United as one Force, because the enemy have rejoice with their division and used it against them. “The People United will not be Defeated” is has been a slogan of fighters for centuries, lets remember that and be One Nation. Gaza and West Banks are districts of Palestine, and Palestine is One.
Gaza is under attack, Israel have stepped up her attacks in the Besieged Gaza Strip and even under such circumstances the Youth of Gaza leading “The Initiative Call Home” staged a protest in the Square of the Unknown Soldier in Gaza City before they were ordered to evacuated the Plaza. The protest led by Young Palestinians to end the internal divisions is a sign that the Revolution that started in Tunisia and Egypt has sparked the light in Palestine. There is not to say that they did not want to brake the old rule, but with the air of Revolution and the global support is a good moment to engage the world in their calls for Freedom.

The protest was broken up by security agencies of the Government by force, today they organized a sit-in group where
Young People peacefully gathered to demand an end to the internal divisions, in the Square of the unknown soldier in Gaza City, Palestine. Their demands have been growing stronger since last December when the Youth of Gaza Broke Out, a movement started growing support around the world, when they declare in their Famous “Gaza Youth’s Manifesto For Change”  made public by blogger, Opinion Maker Online Newspaper and many others News Outlets around the world.

Such Manifesto was not welcome for factions inside Palestine and for many activists around the world, they saw in this Youth Manifesto more divisions, but in reality was a desperate call for a change.

“F**k Israel!,F**k USA!  F**k Hamas!, F**k Fatah!, F**k UN. F**k UNWRA.
We, the youth in Gaza, are so fed up with Israel, Hamas, the occupation, the violations of human rights and the indifference of the international community! We want to scream and break this wall of silence, injustice and indifference. Like the Israeli F16’s breaking the wall of sound; we want to scream with all the power in our souls in order to release this immense frustration that consumes us because of this f*****g situation we live in.” Excerpt from the Gazan Youth’s Manifesto for change.

 

Said Hassan Farhat, one of the coordinators of youth initiative “Call Home” Monday, said that the security services of the Government blocked a sit in the courtyard of the Unknown Soldier in Gaza City to end the internal division in Palestine.

He said in a telephone Farhat told “together”: “A group of young people and the founders of  “The Initiative Call Home” visitor in the courtyard of the soldier carrying Palestinian flags and posters but the police officers asked the protesters to withdraw from Square to the young people that started gathering in the Square of the Unknown Soldier.”

Farhat Said: “Despite the rejection of young men to withdrawal they were resolute to sit-in, police officers  intensified their presence in the place, and was attended by four security agents dressed in civilian clothes that mix with the crowd and arrested Ahmed Arar coordinator of The Initiative Call Home among the demonstrators and took him to an unknown place and in addition to three others activists.”

Demands to End the Division:
From here we call on the governments of the West Bank and Gaza to respond to the legitimate demands of the people:
1 – the release all political detainees in the prisons of the PA and Hamas
2 – the end of all forms of media campaigns against each others
3 – the resignation of the governments of Haniyeh and Fayyad to re-build a government of national unity agreed by all Palestinian factions representing the Palestinian people.
4 – the restructuring of the Palestine Liberation Organization to contain all the Palestinian factions and get back to its initial aim: Palestine’s freedom
5 – the announcement of the freeze of negotiations until the full compatibility between the various Palestinian factions on a political program
6 – the end of all forms of security coordination with the Zionist enemy
7 – the organization of presidential and parliamentary elections simultaneously in the time chosen by all the factions

To Be or Not To Be

The initiative called for protests to call home in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and abroad to end the division.

For his part, said Mizan Center for Human Rights; “Had been almost a heavy police presence in the yard of the Unknown Soldier in Gaza City at around the morning of Monday of February 28, and they beat  the coordinator of the campaign Call Home Ahmed Atawneh, where eyewitnesses have reported that he had been beaten before being stopped by police and transport out of the place and the whereabouts where unknown.”

This pool of about (20) people, including journalists on Monday morning, in response to a call launched by the campaign “Call Home”. The invitations were distributed via the Internet and short messages via mobile phones.

The invitations Identify Square Unknown Soldier as a center for gathering in the Gaza Strip, after the lifting of the sitters banners people want to end the division, people want to end the occupation, end the internal division is the way to building a Palestine State), according to eyewitnesses, one police personnel to Atawneh and got between them altercation then the police beat him and when journalists tried to take pictures of the attack warned members of the police take any photos.

The participants broke up the rest of the demonstration after the security forces attack, and came to the place in a civilian silver car and Atawneh was forced to step out and taken to an undisclosed location.

Mizan Center for Human Rights in a statement received by the Agency “together” connote concern over the use of force in the resolution of a peaceful gathering, adding that the Public Meetings Law No. (12) for the year 1998, provides special protection measures to ensure the right of citizens to organize public meetings, without the requirement to obtain a prior authorization, where only actions on the notice in writing to the governor or police chief before (48) hours in advance of the date of the meeting and for the police to make its observations on the details of peaceful assembly for the purpose of protecting and ensuring the safety of participants, and without prejudice to the right to freedom of peaceful assembly, before they are in writing, in the absence of receipt by the Organization of any written answer has the right to organize public meeting in a timely manner. Which is what I think they Astvuoh organizers notify the Ministry of the Interior.

PCHR calls upon the dismissed government in Gaza to open an investigation into the incident, calling for meetings to facilitate the peaceful and protected by the law enforcement bodies.

According to Hassan Farhat, a participant in the sit-in, and the Last Sunday morning in the courtyard of the soldier, that the coordinator of the campaign has notified the Ministry of Interior, under the book was delivered in the ministry’s headquarters complex, located in government ministries (Abu Khadra) on 02.24.2011, did not receive a response.

It is noteworthy that the activist Hassan Farhat has a “memorandum of review issued by the Department of custody and interrogation in the Internal Security Agency should come as 2/3/2011 in the central governorate.

Farhat also pointed out that the activity has not been implemented in the West because of calls to the security organs of the coordinators who have declared their names earlier.

The unrest inside Palestine have been felt since December after the Manifesto of the youth of Gaza Broke out, in a response to the unwelcome for their request the Youth of Gaza released a second document on January 05, 2011.

“We’re NOT calling for a political coup, let’s be clear on this. We’re young people who want to work for the PEOPLE, we denounce the misery we live in, we denounce their division, and reject their fight, because they are not helping us. But more than Fatah and Hamas, who remains Palestinians just like us, ABOVE ALL we denounce the Occupier & its puppet the International Community who fails, day after day, in its duty to impose sanctions on “Israel”. From Do not Distort Our Speech

Such divisions are sweet deal for Israel who entertained the idea for many years to brake down Palestine in two Lands and disengage completely from Gaza.

Hezbollah Strong Army

Gaza have become a liability for Israel as their policies and political ideas are back up by Hezbollah a strong political party in Lebanon and sworn enemy of Israel. Israel was defeated by Hezbollah back in 2006 and they have become stronger than ever.

If There got to be Freedom in any society, Justice must be the base of the same. Human Rights is an inalienable right of every human being, being Gaza, US, Germany, Lebanon, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba(should not exist),Cuba, China, Iran, Mexico, Congo, Russia..or any place on Earth that humans co-habit under any authority of any type.

The right to disagree, the right to have a different opinion, or different feelings is a right that we all humans have a primordial born right, it calls dissent from the Status Quo, governments of the world dissenters are not criminals, they are free minders that choose their own path, and oppression only make them more aware of the situation that you want to force them to be.

This right is inalienable is part of the human rights that we all must enjoy as a citizen of this Earth.

History Of Palestine

February 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Posted on February 27, 2011 byOmar Karem

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    الخطة التفصيلية لكل محاضرة
    سيتم وضع خطة تفصيلية لكل محاضرة على النحو التالي :
    • أهداف الوحدة الدراسية وملخص لما سيتم تناوله في المحاضرة.
    • عرض المادة العلمية بالاستعانة بالوسائط المساندة.
    • ذكر للموضوع الرئيسي الذي سيتم تناوله في المحاضرة القادمة.

    ثالثاً: حلقات النقاش:
    العمل على تفعيل حلقتي نقاش للمقرر،الأولى للدارسين ويدير هذه الحلقة المشرفون الأكاديميون في المناطق التعليمية، أما حلقة النقاش الثانية فستكون للمشرفين الأكاديميين في المناطق التعليمية والذين يشرفون على مقرر تاريخ القدس تناقش فيها كافة المسائل الفنية والعلمية المتعلقة بالمقرر، ويدير هذه الحلقة منسق المقرر.

    رابعا ً: التعيينات:
    سوف يكون هناك تعيين واحد شاملاً لجميع وحدات المقرر عن طريق إرساله عبر الانترنت إلى الدارسين.

    خامساً: الامتحانات:
    ستكون الامتحانات النصفية والنهائية مركزية لكافة المناطق التعليمية .

    سادسا ً: مصادر التعلم والقراءات المساعدة:
    سيتم وضع رابط على موقع المقرر يشير الى مصادر التعلم والقراءات المساعدة للدارسين للاستزادة حول المادة العلمية .

    سابعا ً: دور كل من المشرف الرئيسي ( منسق المقرر ) والمشرف الأكاديمي للمقرر في المنطقة التعليمية:
    يمكن توزيع الأدوار بين المشرفين على النحو التالي :
    1- منسق المقرر :
    1 . إعداد وتقديم المحاضرات ( Video Streaming ) على مدار الفصل الدراسي.
    2. إدارة حلقة النقاش الخاصة بالمشرفين الأكاديميين في المناطق التعليمية.
    3. إعداد الامتحانات النصفية والنهائية ( مركزية ).
    4. إعداد التعيين.
    5. الإشراف العام على تنفيذ خطة المقرر.

    2- المشرفون الأكاديميين (المساعدون) في المناطق التعليمية:
    1. تنفيذ اللقاءات الوجاهية كل في منطقته التعليمية.
    2. تصحيح الامتحانات والتعيينات.
    3. إدارة حلقة النقاش الخاصة بالمقرر مع الطلبة والرد على استفساراتهم وتساؤلاتهم.
    4. التواصل مع منسق المقرر.
    5. إرشاد الطلبة للتفاعل مع محاضرات video streaming

    مع الاحترام والتقدير

WHEN Israeli Jets Bombard Gaza Strip

February 26, 2011 1 comment

Posted on February 27, 2011 by Omar Karem
HOW TO BE SAFE AND HELP OTHERS
How to react and help others in Gaza if Israel bombard this tiny peace of land in the Mediterranean?
Gaza more than an occupied nation under siege look more like a big open prison, where close to two millions residents live under the military boot of Israel.
With the daily military excursions invading our land and air space, disrupting every bit of life in Gaza.
When the Israel planes come in the middle of the night blasting their sonar bombs, braking windows, and dreams, what we suppose to do?.
When the tanks cross inside Gaza destroying farm land, and the bulldozers come to destroy the houses and business of Palestinians, how we suppose to react?.
When the F16 show up sending missiles to an unarmed population, inflicting terror, destruction and death, what we do?
When the Jenin Massacre occurred ambulances were not allowed to enter the refugee camp for 12 days to help the wounded, how Palestinians supposed to help each other when Israel bombard Gaza?

Do not be gross with the next images, they were Palestinians like me before they were shred to pieces by Israel Bombs, I do not like these images, and I do not want to be one of those images. I hate those images, but when they were alive they were part of Jenin Camp Population, please! do not be gross out. Have pity for us, be compassionate and tell our story, our true story to the world, we need help.

By Jennifer Loewenstein Article Posted 19 April 2002 :”Eyewitness Report of the Atrocities in Jenin, Palestine”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

http://www.aztlan.net/jeninmassacre.htm

Don’t believe what CNN and BBC, among other western news agencies, are telling you. You be the Opinion Maker. Ask why there can be no investigation; why it must be called a “humanitarian tragedy” rather than a crime against humanity; why the EU has not imposed sanctions on Israel for its actions; why no international monitoring force is immediately leaving for the region; why Israeli political and military spokespeople are telling reporters that “only (sic) 45 people died” and that they were all armed “militants”. Why no one challenges these comments or reminds these spokespeople that Israel conducted a massive military offensive against people who have the right to resist the occupation of their land. If your blood doesn’t run cold when US President George W. Bush calls Ariel Sharon a “man of peace” then you’re getting nothing but lies packaged as news and information by a massive propaganda machine. Americans, you are paying for the dehumanization and destruction of an entire people. Jenin is only the most ominous and recent reminder of where Israel’s 54 year old policies against the Palestinians are leading.

Sabra and Shatila Massacre 1982

Sabra and Shatila is another of the massacres perpetrated by Israel on unarmed population, and gone unchallenged by US, UN Club and other Israel allies. Why? Who is going to bring Israel to Justice?

The Sabra and Shatila Refugee Camp Massacre took place between 15 to 18 September 1982. This massacre is considered the bloodiest single atrocity committed against the Palestinian people in living history.

Can the world please tell us, how after 62 years of empty talks and promises, how we suppose to sit and cross our arms and wait for another attack, while the US keeps stopping resolution in The UN security council.
We the residents of Gaza are fighting an every day battle, with little or no arms to defend ourselves.
What Can We DO?

And the world leaders after all the carnage Israel have done to our brothers and sisters Palestinians in the last 62 years, we are portray as criminals and terrorist, what we need to do to be seen as we have been since Israel was created? The displaced population, murdered, terrorized and wronged.

Why will the US will veto any resolution that promise justice for Palestinians? How can they go to sleep at night knowing that we are being massacre, that we are being exterminated slowly. Can you see that Israel is committing genocide? How many of us need to die under Israel War Planes and Tanks before someone come to our rescue?

I live in Gaza, Palestine and I m tired of waiting for the world to help us to bring justice and Peace, at least the certainly that tomorrow we can have a full day of peace, a whole night without sonar bombs, a day where I can plan my day without having to be worry if I will come back home to write or enjoy a peaceful dinner with my family.
I do not want to be part of the numbers, I want to Live in Peace and Freedom, I want my land back.
What can I do when Israel Jets Bombard Gaza again?

“I m not just another Palestinian writing about the horrors that we are forced to live every day, I m a human being, a young Palestinian that is a witness and victim of Israel Criminality. I do not know other life but this one that I m narrating to you, it is in my mind, in my heart, my genes, my reality is now, in this moment only, I can not have the luxury to dream a better future, I do not see another future but my present reality.” Omar Karem

During Gaza Massacre 2009, that the Main Stream Media insist in calling it a war, where more than 1400 Palestinians died under the bombs, and hundreds were burn alive under the white phosphorous bombs, we were like sitting ducks, unable to defend ourselves, we lived in a giant prison, where there is no way out. We were continuously bombarded for 22 days, and the world did not moved a finger to help us.

The US did not even call Israel to slap her in her wrist, for the contrary they were accomplices in our slaughter, as most of the bombs, white phosphorous and other weapons are either made in US, or directly financed by American dollars.

What the world is waiting to say “Enough” , will they want to wait 50 years after Israel have exterminate us, and then declare it in for “HISTORY” A GENOCIDE, as happen with so many massacres gone unnoticed in the world?

 

If the US and UN club do not change their position about Israel, me and the other close to 2 millions Gaza Residents have the same bleak future as me. It is not fair, we all born equals and free.

Tell me, What can I do next time that Israel War Planes come and Bombard Gaza again?

A Nation Under Siege

February 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Posted on February 22, 2011 by Marivel Guzman

Palestine: A Nation Under Siege


Life is not easy in Gaza, Palestine. Palestinians are in a continuous battle for survival, Physical and Emotionally. Israel makes sure that the population feel unsafe on their persona and their future.

The psychological war that Israel wages against her people is more provocative than the physical one.

Israel continual excursions in Gaza air space and in West Bank keep the population in an upheaval situation every day. The destruction of Gaza dwellings and the complete disruption of their social life have made Palestinians to look for ways to heal their uncertain condition as a ‘Nation’ under the grip of a military power that have drained the natural resources and the energy of the people of the Holy Land.

For more than Six Decades, Palestinians parents have tried to give their children a better future, they have tried to send their children to foreign schools and Universities, or have them married to other Palestinians that have ‘successfully’ established in the ‘Exile’, two main reasons push them to do this:

- To save them from their uncertain future

- Guarantee the future of Palestine.

The seed and future of a Nation reside in every human.

Culture of Palestine.

Anybody that have made it outside of Palestine have the responsibility in their hands to grow as a Nation on the exile and to keep the history of the land from being corrupted, as well as the costumes, and traditional recipes intact.

Every year few Palestinians manage to escape the daily struggle that is living inside a Territory Occupied by a Military Power, specially the people of Gaza where every day more and more try to cross to freedom using what they called Under the Line (illegally crossing from the tunnels). Another modality of human trafficking with their consent but without the authorization of their local Government.

The series of Tunnels that started as illegal corridors to import products, goods and construction material to Gaza, have become part of the official Gazan bureaucracy as Hamas control the import/export of products and they issue permits to dig tunnels.

The people that have escaped through the tunnels have exhausted all the official mechanism such visas, medical care and scholarships as a last resort they use the tunnels to leave, not easy task because they see themselves exposed to the greed of the tunnel operators that take bribes as a payment, after all they are exporting prohibited merchandise. and they encounter another obstacle the handles in Egyptian side that have to be paid as well, and

transported them to the closest Port to take Ships to sail out of Egypt or to the Airport, every step of the way is a risky business for Palestinians as they are not well perceive by the Egyptian authorities, the sentence for being in Egyptian territory is 6 months to a year, step price to paid for trying to get a better future.

“As all of us watched recently on CNN, BBC and Aljazeera news networks, Gaza is being subjected to a new style of holocaust. What the Gazans have to counter the IDF’s state-of-the art high-tech weapons with? They have their right to resist, and they improvise in making their primitive missiles. After all, they are imprisoned by the IDF.

Gazans are denied the necessities of existence. Why? Don’t we campaign for animal protection? Don’t we argue with the Japanese over whaling, don’t we pass laws against foxhunting? Why then ignore what is happening to the millions of refugees from Palestine? They are under attack on daily basis, for demanding the implantations of the UN resolutions that definitely granted them the right to return to their homes. The irony is that the same resolutions gave birth to the State of Israel!”
Dr. Saeb Shaath is a writer, thinker and public speaker on Middle Eastern affairs, and a former diplomat

For the ones hat choose to stay in Palestine or have no other options to leave, life in Palestine is double jeopardy, resisting the occupation inside Palestine is painful, dramatic and sometimes deadly.

The Palestinians that have got out of Palestine on Student Visas or other type of Visa and they have expired them, or simply they got to another country illegally they still face many obstacles that the host countries place on them, their stateless situation make them target of the draconian Immigration Laws that many countries have adopted in the last 15 years, thousand of Palestinians are in Immigration detention facilities around the world, when their Visa expired and their Passport expired they lost their ability to travel, some of them being in infinite detention until their status change, if they have any family or friend that pay for lawyer they have a slim chance to leave those detention camps but for many their only hope is that Palestine Become a state so they can return.

The world is changing their view on the Palestine-Israel conflict and every day more and more people around the world are adding their efforts to the global resistance, against the occupation, being virtual activist or International Observer we all are taking part of Palestine struggle.

May soon all of our brother Palestinians enjoy of freedom of movement and freedom to chose their own destiny as a Free Nation.

Gaza and West Bank As One Nation. Viva Free Palestine.

The Times They Are A-Changin’

November 4, 2010 1 comment

Posted by Marivel Guzman on November 4, 2010

We are in an important moment, the world is awakening, we are taking responsibilities never before felt as a duty. The situation of Gaza has gone now for 5 years and we were asleep, in a lethargic state, pacified by the lies of the
Media. Now we are the Media, we are broadcasting directly from the ground. Our friends in Gaza send us the News every day, all day. Now our brothers that took the challenge of delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza are Stranded in the border of Egypt, we have said that the convoys are non political movements, for that reason we need to participate, and help them in a non violent fashion way writing to the embassies, to your head of state to make the transfer of the Aid to Gaza. The activists are in a difficult situation they take enough money to travel but not
luxury is allowed. Please spread the message and do you part also. Maybe Bob Dylan and Eddie Vedder Explain it better with this message made song. Thanks to all

We seen more and more that that standoff of the
Road to Hope Convoy is awakening the ordinary citizens their humanitarian side, their voluntarism, it is so important the union, the show of great force of the people of the world, do not leave this courageous justice and peace seekers on their own. To Show our Governments that we can created a tremendous force. To all the peace activists in the world from all nationalities, to keep raising their voices in support of this noble cause.that we won’t stop to the effort to deliver the aid to Gaza. That the stubbornness of the Egyptian government needs to stop and cooperate with the humanitarian convoy and with their neighbors. Gaza.

5 days ago our brother Ken O’keefe important member of this delegation for peace speaks from the Libyan Border.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,672 other followers