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Gaza in the Spotlight – Hamas 25 Anniversay


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)

Israel threatened to cancel ceasefire over Mashaal visit


Posted on December 08, 2012 by Akashma Online News

Source Ma’an

Khaled Meshal Leader of Hamas visits Gaza for first time

Israel threatened to cancel the ceasefire agreement brokered by Egypt if Hamas’ chief in exile and his delegation visited the Gaza Strip for the movement’s 25th anniversary, says senior Hamas leader Izzat al-Rishiq.

In an interview with the Hamas-affiliated al-Aqsa TV Saturday, al-Rishiq said, “We received real threats that occupation could cancel the ceasefire agreement or do anything.”

Al-Rishiq highlighted that Mashaal decided to visit the Gaza Strip even at personal risk.

Describing the “historic” visit by Hamas’ leaders in exile to Gaza, he said, “This is a great view, and we are happy to set foot on the pure land of Gaza and met from the very beginning with our people.”

He added: “Our people should be more assured about resistance.  Hamas is a resistance movement, and without resistance there will be no Hamas.”

On Thursday Islamic Jihad officials said Israel threatened to assassinate the leader of Islamic Jihad if he entered the Gaza Strip, causing the party to reconsider.

Egyptian authorities told Islamic Jihad that Israel rejected the visit and would target leader Ramadan Shalah and his deputy Ziad Nakhla if they went into Gaza, sources close to the discussions told Ma’an.

Islamic Jihad leaders were considering whether to cancel the visit Thursday.

Israel launched an 8-day assault on Gaza that ended Nov. 21 with a ceasefire agreement mediated by Egypt.

 

Where to Go, I’m Palestinian!


Posted on March 17, 2012 by Marivel Guzman in collaboration with Omar Karem

A Place Called Home

The story is similar to thousands of young people in Palestine, every one with minor variations. “I heard this before” somebody told me when I was inquiring about Omar Karem, the Palestinian journalist from Gaza. It’s not that he heard Omar Karem’s name before, but he heard  the same story before.
The harassment of journalists in Gaza is known by the activist community, no one want to be named, or be in the story because a lot of my activists friends dreaming with going to Gaza, and no one want to have trouble with Hamas before they even try to get inside Gaza.

It is not easy to enter Gaza, you might say why? if they need the exposure of the situation, why do Hamas makes it difficult for peace activists to enter Gaza?
There are many stories, really Not official stories, but people that live in Gaza and know the procedures and the politics of Gaza, know that you have to know somebody in the Government, be part of a convoy, or have terrific credentials. If you do not meet the requirements then you need an invitation from an organization from Gaza, specifying your purpose to visit Gaza, then you need to summit that invitation to the Egyptian embassy who at the end is the ultimate and sole authority for your transfer thru Egyptian Land to transit to Gaza, then even after you might have attained authorization or transit visa from the Egyptian Government, you still have to convince Hamas that you are not spy of US or Israel.

Recently I read an article published by a journalist who try to enter to Gaza and was denied because he did not have a “fixer” authorized by Hamas.

I have a dear friend in Gaza, his name Omar Karem by now you know this name, because  we have published few articles on him, related to his multiple arrest by Hamas, his crime taking pictures to share with the world, his photography experience, and his journalistic and photographic work.
He keeps repeating the same answer to the security forces, “my word is my weapon to help Palestine, my camera is my only tool to snap photos, to share to the world, to tell the world the atrocities that Israel commit in Gaza”.

Omar has been detained in numerous occasions by the security forces of Hamas, the first time when he was deported from Egypt on May 2009, after spending 7 months in an Egyptian prison, his crime!, being Palestinian. At his arrival in Gaza in May 2009 , he was kept in jail for one week, after numerous calls to family members, and government official he was finally released.

He is tired of the situation in Gaza, his future is uncertain, Gaza future is uncertain, Omar tried everything to stay sane in a a country, where everyday is surviving day. he has done what many young Palestinians have tried, going to school is a good way to stay sane, to keep the faith in the future, to learn new skills, to be prepare for..’when the Occupation ends’., and working to survive.

It is not easy to get hire in Gaza, there are no jobs in Gaza, the well paid jobs are by UN or other International Organizations but they do not hire Palestinians, and the other jobs that he can take are fill very fast, the opportunities are almost non existent. He become peace activist, journalist and photographer, but Hamas has kept a continual eye on him, why? he does not understand.


He was almost integral part of the Italian Convoy last year, he spend 9 days with them, serving as a guide, translator and companion, seems that this brought some attention from Hamas, he was harassed many times by the security forces, detained, interrogated, his laptop and phone confiscated few times, beat, threaten and there is no reason, he is being investigated in numerous occasions and nothing is found against him, and even after he was released, he still being harassed.

Last year after the last detention, he tried to leave Gaza, he got the authorization from Hamas and he got all his belongings and say good bye to family and friend, only to be returned from Egypt side with the explanation, after two arduous day, that he can not enter Egypt, “For Security Reasons”.

Every time that he has an encounter with Hamas, he has come out clean, well Omar said; “I do not belong to any political Party, I m peace activist, I write for blogs spreading Israel crimes, I want to liberate Palestine, I use my camera, I m not criminal, I m not spy, why do Hamas always attack me”.. Did Hamas become too Extreme?

There are other activists in Gaza that have been under the scrutinizer eye  of Hamas security forces, like Mohamed Mazzer author of GBO Manifesto, who has been arrested more than 20 times, his crime telling the truth.

We wonder what are the arguments to detain journalists and photographers whose only purpose is to give us to the world the events in Gaza, for Omar be treated as enemy is hurtful, he, that knows  the treatment from Israelis, while living in West Bank, and being detained for more than a year in Israel Prison for being Palestinian, for not carrying a permit, a piece of paper that should say that he is Palestinian, what ironic for Palestinians being punish for not having identification card, as if being born in Palestine is not enough.

After the March 15 March on 2011, the situation turned more gray for him, he was arrested 3 more times, and again his camera, his phone taken away, last December while photographing the tunnels in Rafah he was arrested reason, No reason, Hamas will say “non of your business”

“Please come with no banners, no flags, no colors, security forces please do not give bad image to the world. Do not copy the practices of Israel, we are tired of repression and oppression. Support us, in the new Palestine Nation that we all try to build. Tomorrow is a new day, to rectify the errors, to take lessons of the past. Inshallah”   Omar Karem, Gaza, March 15 2011 Palestine One Nation

“I’m Omar Karem, I’m Palestinian. I live in Gaza, Palestine, I want to denounce to the Minster of Interior office of Gaza, the actions of some of their  security officers, abusing their power, they are harassing the citizens of Gaza with out authorization from the Minister office .

On March18, 2011,They stopped me and took my laptop, phone, passport and personal that I was carrying with me that day, they took me to some rooms around the Unknown Soldier Plaza- and they hit, kick me, and threat me…and say bad words and called me Zionist, they said that  I work for American agenda.

Unknown Soldier square, in the room of the jendi mahur. I was going in my way to to sign for the internet, some security officers stopped me.they kick me, 10 or 15 men asking me questions,  before calling to the police station. They took, my passport, id card, my laptop,. They took the file for my cv,  my cell phone, all his certificates from journalism.”

He is organizer of  the Rachel Corrie memorial, and active member of touristic department in Gaza, helping restaurants and hotels to organize events, but none of that matters, he is treated as if he is enemy of Gaza, to the point that he feels unwanted and unwelcome in his own Land.

Last March 2, 2012,  again security forces went to his home, forcefully enter his home, destroyed most of his family pictures, important documents, they took his lap top, his passport,  and went to invade his personal files, he was blind folded and taken to a police station for investigation and release next day, without his passport or ID card, he was advice to report every week with them, they told him if they don’t find anything on him, they will return his passport, well they did not find anything and his passport was returned.

After few weeks of relative calm, he return to his “normal” life, going back to his journalist hobby and photography passion, on March 10, under Israel assault, suffering the fear of being the last day under the bombs, he decided to visit the cemetery to have a moment of quite and could not resist the temptation to shoot few pictures, Gaza Cemetery is a beautiful and peaceful place, and as a bad movie again Hamas security show out of nowhere telling  him, that he can not be there, that it was security area, as if the cemetery is less safe than any other place in Gaza, they demanded the ID, to what Omar told them, that he has the right to be there, that he was Palestinian, that he was just relaxing, they got mad and took his camera and phone and ask him to go next day to the police station to retrieve his items.

How sad, Gaza is being besieged by Israel, for the last two years they have been suffering the worse crisis in the last decade, for the last two months they barely have few hours of electricity, and to top all that Israel has been shelling Gaza for the last two weeks, and Hamas adding more sorrow to their lives, how cruel and insensitive of them.
I can understand that the Government want to be careful with persons, that they do not trust anybody, could be that Palestinians that have contact con internationals give the idea to Hamas to be working for a ‘foreign country’.

I came to this site to take photos of the trees and flowers, two security guards with out any reason came to me and took my camera and my phone, and told me that I shouldn’t be here, that this is security area, and that I put my self in danger and people of Gaza. They know the area of war,  Gaza cemetery its very nice, with orange and lemon trees,  grapefruit and flowers, This is the Gaza Strip’s eastern cemetery.
They told me you have to go at 10 clock, we will be waiting for you, to come to the station of special forces of (alamn aldakhly )
Why Hamas do this to me?, do they want to kill my will to fight against Israeli?, why they always always say, you cant be here, you cant take pics, some others have told me, that I may not stand to good because I live here, because I try to protect the people, I want the world  to watch how Israel kills the civilian population.
It’s not fair Hamas, You are wrong.”


After many times going to the station, they finally returned my phone, they call many of my friends and family, they did not gave me my camera, I have to go to talk to Interior Minister Ahmed Bahar, why I put me thru all these struggles, they are pushing me out of my land. They are making my life impossible to live.

I prepared myself to leave Gaza, and planing to go to Egypt, yesterday I was granted permission from Hamas to go to Egypt, and new surprise

Egyptian authorities tell me that I m in the black list and barred to visit Egypt, because I fought the Mubarack Regine, because I participated in many protests to open the Rafah border, now I feel more trapped than ever, the other place that I could go, has denied my right to dream, they have told me that I can not ever go to Egypt, what I suppose to do now?.

How to fight?, If my weapons are my words, How to fly? if my wings are clipped, How to leave?, when all the doors are closed,
Where to go?, when I don’t have a place to call home. I m Palestinian, This is my home, My Land. I born Palestinian, let me BE.

Israel Concerned About New Offices For Hamas In Jordan and Egypt


Posted on November 7, 2011 Akashma Online News

Deconstructed Article taken from International Middle East Media Center

By Omar Karem

Monday October 24, 2011 14:23 by Saed Bannoura

Khaled Mashal head of the Political Bureau of Hamas - Arabs48
Khaled Mashal head of the Political Bureau of Hamas – Arabs48

Senior Israeli security sources said that Tel Aviv is concerned about Egyptian and Jordanian intentions to allow Hamas to open offices in Amman and Cairo, and considered the move as “granting legitimacy to terror”.

Israel is in the hot seat, can not control the PR any more, the lies, rumors, propaganda is now seen so clearly that we can smell it miles away, right before it gets published. Sometimes I wonder if they really believe their own lies, its amazing that after so much slap in the face they still continue with their Paid Rumors aka Propaganda

The sources said that both Washington and Tel Aviv are concerned that the Muslim Brotherhood in the Arab world is gaining more power, and claimed that the Brotherhood challenges the Arab regimes and presents itself as an alternative.

United States, and Israel will always will try to use the Religious Card, sometimes it seems that the US and Israel are really pushing the Muslim Brotherhood to take the lead, that in equal societies, if the people’s will chooses to be represented by a Muslim Organization shouldn’t be our concern, the Iranphobia that they propagate and that seems they are infected with, is more like a disease than a reality.

The Arabs48 news website reported that Israel considers the move to be a negative factor “especially since Cairo and Amman admit to the rising power of Islamist groups in the region, amidst American talks with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

I m not endorsing, a religious faction party, or secular one, but isn’t Egypt and Jordan Muslim countries?, and why Us and Israel do not worry for Saudi Arabia, after all Saudi Arabia is the most Muslim country that there is, why not call it Islamist Society, do we chose the denomination and the name to be used according to our convenience?

Israeli security and political leaders also stated that, by hosting Hamas, Cairo will be jeopardizing the close relations between the two countries.

Now why the Leaders of any country, will auto-nominate themselves the representatives of All the People?, the last time we check, the Egyptian Society did not want Israel Embassy in their soil, and they showed to Israel, destroying her embassy, to the the world by posting the videos of how much they despise their aggressive neighbors in their soil, they took the Israeli Flag and was burn in front to the whole world. So what close relations Israel is talking about?

The leaders added that Egypt played an important, and undeniable role in the release of corporal Gilad Shalit, “but its decision to host a terrorist group cannot be taken lightly”, and added that Israel will be holding talks about the issue with a number of concerned countries, mainly referring to its strongest ally, the United States.

The role of Egypt was of paramount importance because, Israel is escorting Egypt to open up the doors again post Mubarak era, and help her with the blockade of Gaza, without Egypt Israel can not humiliate Palestinians any longer, without Egypt control and support on the Rafah border, Palestinians will be half free, so, the importance of Gilad Shalit compromise with Egypt was a winning point for Israel not for Egypt. Egypt does not get anything from Israel, beside the enemies that Egypt gets if continue its diplomatic relations with Israel. Now days, the Egyptian Military Government is transitional and does not have much of support from the people, The Millions of Egyptians that took to the streets to take down the dictatorship of Mubarak do not like Israel very much. 

Information Published in the New York Times on May  and Debunked by Hamas Leadership, not once but twice.

Remember The New York Times is Zionist Own Corporation, so most of their News are Paid News in other words, propaganda. Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr.  charman and Editor of the New Yourk time with an outstanding Salary of 1.08 millions dollars and a $6,002,468  2010 compensation, Zionist Corporation that control, his family control The New York Time Co. The Boston Globe,” and 21 other newspapers in six states. It also has a one-half interest in the “International Herald Tribune” ,the Washington Post. The firm owns three magazines (including “Golf Digest”), eight television stations, and two radio stations, and publishes online. Plus serves and license 650 Newspapers around the world. Amazing power his prints have.

Also, a security source in Tel Aviv said that the fact the Turkey hosting a number of former Hamas detainees, who were released under the Shalit swap-deal, “is also a negative indicator showing that Turkey is interested in freezing its relations with Israel and maintaining strong ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Arab regimes”, according to the source.

Another Note to debunk, Turkey was clear when it recalled their ambassador from Israel, Turkey is another country that will be better braking for ever diplomatic relations with Israel. Israel has won the position that she find herself in, has not done anything positive for Palestine, Egypt, Turkey, or any other country in the region, now she is paying for her mistakes.

The leadership of Hamas in exile is hosted by Syria, but after the Syrian revolution started, the movement started talking about the possibility of moving its offices to another country.

Al Hayat, the London-based pan-Arab newspaper, reported Saturday that Hamas’s political wing was decamping to Doha, the capital of Qatar, but Hamas officials in Syria and beyond it denied it. Similar reports circulated on Monday and denials were again issued

Syria also hosts several Palestinians factions, mainly those who split from the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). Hamas was never a PLO member but expressed willingness to join it “should serious reforms be conducted”.

Israel is forgetting that historic reconciliation between the Palestinians factions took place, and if they are not one political party at least they are in the right road to converge with their ideologies, their priorities and the well being of Palestinians in mind, they do not represent themselves but the millions of Palestinians inside Gaza, West Bank and the Exile, and any talks that they conduct are for Palestine.

some of the information was taken and deconstructed from  –  IMEMC & Agencies

Gaza Global Affairs –  Israel abused the leverage she had on the world, and played with the intellect of the people for long time, and she created her own destruction. Israel is dying and swimming in her own mud of deception and lies. She can not control the PR Propaganda any longer, is too late to savage her theater of powerful bully. What it took Israel 63 years to built with Lies and Deceit. The Gaza Strip Illegal and Inhumane siege has to be remember by the Zionist as the spot in the mirror that blur the fake glory of Israel, the 4 years of  widely propagandize siege imposed in Gaza Population showed to the world what a sadistic minds were behind Israel creation and imposition to the world.

Vittorio Arrigoni Humanist, Peace Activist and Lover of Humanity


Posted on August 7, 2011 by Marivel Guzman in collaboration with Omar Karem

Vittorio Arrigoni Humanist, peace and social activist, political writer and lover of humanity. Vik as he was known in Gaza, was not given the chance to continue his work in Gaza. t
Some will think that life is fair and that we die paying our sins. here is a popular saying: “who lives by the sword dies by the sword,” when you know bad people you will understand and even proclaim your disgust for that person, but for the people of Gaza that knew Vittorio could not possibly believe that, the ones that lived the struggles in Gaza with him, -because Vittorio was another Gazanwi under the Bombs- how will they explain his violent death? even if they are religious and think that Allah is fair and rightful in all his decisions, how will they understand that Allah choose a cruel death for this men they knew to be lovely, funny, giver, caring and unselfish., for the ones that knew his humanitarian work thru his writings and the videos, and to all member of International Solidarity Movement; how they see his death?.

There were so many rumors of the reason of his death, some outrageous claims were circulating in the internet about his kidnapping, and lets not repeat those slanderous claims because there were senseless, cruel and clueless.

For my part I m inclined to believe that he was used, I go further to claim that because he was so loved and respected in Gaza he was chosen to be the lamb for sacrifice. Who ever did this horrible crime, they never thought that anyone was going to be killed, they thought that Vik being so loved and appreciated in Gaza was going to be swept in exchange for the political prisoner in Hamas jails.  Even sound childish that the government was going to make the exchange without questions.

I wonder what went wrong in the last hours, why the negotiations did not succeed? why Vittorio life was not secured before any armed man came to the scene of the holding?.

Gaza is a place where kidnappings have happened before, they always negotiated, is not like they have a policy of No to Negotiate with “terrorists” as the US has, at least in public. There were many reports that Vittorio was death hours before the incident took place, that is the official, the forensic finding. I was not there and I did not see Vik leaving in stretchers from the place of the crime, but I only can see that there are many things that went wrong that day. In my opinion I sense a kind of cover up.

Vik  had very good relations with the local government. I have been told by few people that live in Gaza and by others that have been in Gaza either in the convoys or as a reporters that the local authorities take good care of the foreigners that live in Gaza, meaning that they are, or protected, or continuously followed for various reasons. Hamas would not want to have bad propaganda. In the past before Hamas came to power, it was very often the kidnapping but since they assumed the power there was not other cases inside Gaza.

It is terrible to feel unable to find the truth to his dead, I m a very skeptical mind, and the official version of the facts will always be adorned and twisted for public relations benefit. I will refuse to accept that he was murdered in cold blood just because the demands were not meet..

I could be all wrong of all my judgements, my ideas, my thinking but I can not help it but doubt the official history, that’s not make sense at all.

The following is an article that was published on April 23, 2011 by IMEMC (International Meddle East Media Center)

Video Shows Family Members Of Arrigoni Kidnappers Urging His Release

author Saturday April 23, 2011 13:47author by Saed Bannoura – IMEMC & Agencies Report post

“All of the Muslims in the world are wrong, and you three are the only ones who are right?!!” pleads the father of Mahmoud Salfity, one of the kidnappers, in a video published on a the website of the Palestinian Interior Ministry on Wednesday.

The Father Of Mahmoud Salfity

The Father Of Mahmoud Salfity

Two Parts Video

The video shows one family member after another begging the kidnappers of an Italian activist to let him go. Vittorio Arrigoni was killed by his kidnappers just hours after being abducted last week in Gaza. (According to the Official Story)

On Wednesday April 20th, (Five Days After the Murder)the Ministry of Interior and National Security in Gaza, released new details on pleads made by the families of the kidnappers to release Arrigoni.

The kidnappers were barracking themselves in the second floor of a home in Al Nusseirat refugee camp in central Gaza.

The video first shows Hisham Al Sadeeni, detained by Hamas, trying to talk to one of the kidnappers, identified as Abu Amer, urging him to release Arrigoni, and telling him that he would be released by Hamas forces, and that the only thing that delays the release and resolving the issue of the other gunmen depends on the release of Arrigoni. (Where is the Whole video, you can see there are already gun shots holes in the wall, in the two part of the video, un less they are old gun shots)

The second scene of the video shows the father of Mahmoud Al Salfity, one of the kidnappers, trying to speak to his son and bring some since to him, while the voice of another gunman was heard in the background as he was refusing the plead.

“It is my right to speak to my son”, the father said, “I will stay here, I will sleep here if necessary, I urge you, I beg you let me speak to my son”, the father was telling one of the gunmen, “Do you consider yourself right and millions of Muslims in the world wrong?! You three do not represent the Muslims, what you are doing is wrong, the Salafists, the Islamic Jihad and everybody do not approve of what you are doing, everybody… your brothers are begging you to come down, they don’t want you to die, you should be more reasonable than that, please have some sense, please ‘brother’, for your own sake just come down son, I raised you, I took care of you, and you are doing this impiety?!”

The father was also telling his son that Islam is a moderate religion, a humanitarian belief, and does not accept what is happening.

On the third scene the mother of Bilal Al Omary, one of the kidnappers, was urging the release of Arrigoni and assuring him that the Hamas security forces vowed not to harm him.

In the fourth scene, the uncle of Bilal was also urging him to release Arrigoni and telling him that nobody will abandon him and his friends, and will stand by them.

“Do you hear me? Come down my dear Bilal, please come down”, the uncle said, “have some mercy on your father, on your mother, just come down”.

The fifth scene shows the brother of Bilal telling him that Abdul-Rahman, one of the captures of Arrigoni will be allowed back to his country. And that he will be allowed to go wherever he wants without being harmed.

The mother was desperately pleading the release of Arrigoni, and a peaceful ending to the whole ordeal.

The pleads of ended with gunshots fired by the abductors from the second floor at their own family members downstairs.

While the attempts to release Vittorio inside the building occur there is activity of what if seems to be Palestinian Commandos, getting into the roof of the building in Al Nusseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, where reports in the official Palestinians News were already circulating since early, at 2 PM PST the tweets mention of negotiations already going on to secure the release of Vittorio, while the commotion is recorded inside the building Aljazeera Arabic Channel is recording the action outside the building.

The arrest of one accused of killing the Italian solidarity in Gaza (English Subtitles of the Video)

القبض على أحد المتهمين بقتل المتضامن الايطالي بغزة

This is the Official Version of the Events

The government in Gaza made every effort to reveal the details of Vittorio Arrigoni‘s murder and catch those responsible, spokesman of the Ministry of Interior Ehab Al-Ghusein said Wednesday.

Two suspects in the murder of the Italian activist died and another sustained injuries Tuesday when Hamas security forces raided a building in Gaza City after a short standoff outside.

On Wednesday, Al-Ghusein briefed reporters on the specifics of the operation.

At a news conference in Gaza City, he displayed images in which the mother of Bilal Al-Umari, one of the suspects, tries to convince him to surrender saying she had received assurances about his treatment.

Authorities also brought Hisham Al-Saidni, the leader whose release the suspects had allegedly demanded, and he urged them to give themselves up, Al-Ghusein explained.

His ministry has released dramatic footage showing the events leading up to the raid. Relatives of the suspects are seen pleading with them to surrender to police. Eventually, a gunshot is heard.

Let this be a lesson for those seeking to disturb the security of Gaza,” Al-Ghusein said.

“Those behind this crime have failed to disrupt life for Palestinians by creating a state of terror against the International Solidarity Movement,” he added.

Al-Ghusein gave reporters a timeline of events since the kidnapping:

— Forces arrested two Palestinians within “moments” of the kidnapping on Thursday, Al-Ghusein said. They admitted their role in the abduction and actions with the rest of the group.

— After the murder, investigations revealed the location of the three fugitives. Security forces surrounded the home and repeatedly asked the suspects to surrender in accordance with the law, he said.

— When the suspects opened fire, a member of the security was moderately injured.

— After six hours of trying to convince the suspects to surrender, security forces attempted to take control of the house. Two men went to the roof of the building where the men had barricaded themselves.

— When Abdul-Rahman Al-Breizat noticed them, he threw a grenade at the forces which moderately injured one of the security forces outside.

— Al-Breizat then threw a grenade on the second floor, critically injuring Bilal Al-Umari and lightly hurting Mahmoud Muhammad Nimir Salfiti.

— Al-Breizat then shot himself in the head, Al-Ghusein said.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights, meanwhile, has called for an investigation into the deaths of the two wanted persons killed during the clash with security services.

The PCHR urged the attorney general to investigate the deaths and publish the findings.

The rights group also reiterated its condemnation of the “hideous crime” against Arrigoni and stressed the importance of finalizing the investigation into the abduction and murder.

The next article was published by the Italian Magazine IL Manifesto on July 09, 2011 by Michele Giorgio, with updated for Yesterday Court appended to the original article.

Vik Arrigoni, today the process

Vittorio Arrigoni was strangled between the night of April 14 and the early hours of April 15. He was still alive in the video shot by his captors that was placed on youtube. His face was swollen and bleeding shown in the face of the Italian journalist and activist, the images filmed shown in the video was the result of hard blows he had received, in particular one struck in the head with the butt of a gun from Bilal al Omari, his occasional companion at the local gym, with the grip of his pistol in the early stages of the kidnapping as probably Vittorio tried to break free and escape.

Reference to these and many other details, were disclosure to Mohamed Najar lawyer of Jram Khader in Gaza City early today in the opening of the trial of four Palestinians accused of kidnapping and murder of Vittorio. Jram Khader 26 year old from the Shati refugee camp, worked as a firemen, who confessed that he had himself indicated as Victor stranger to capture the group (allegedly) Salafist that last April, under the command of Jordanian Abdel Rahman Breizat, has claimed the kidnapping of Vik. Najar, showing photocopies of official documents received from the military prosecutor’s office, he read the relevant passages of the confessions made by defendants during interrogation.

And ‘the truth of the defendants – Mohammed Salfi, 23 years of Karama; Hasasnah Tarek, 25 years of Shat, Amer Abu Ghoul, 25 years of Shat and Jram Khadr – who perhaps do not fully correspond to what happened. In addition, two other members of the group of kidnappers, the Jordanian and Palestinian Breizat Omari, considered the “leaders” of the Salafist cell, can not tell their version. They were killed a couple of days after the discovery of the body of Vik made during the Blitz in their retreat from one unit Nusseirat choice of Hamas. However, it is the first time, five months after the murder of Victor, which is made known, even if only partially, the files of investigations conducted by the military prosecutor’s office of Hamas (all four defendants are members with various tasks forces safety) and never delivered to the lawyers of the family Arrigoni. Two days ago it finally arrived in Gaza from Italy the prosecution (based on criteria set by the Islamic movement) in favor of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, which represents the relatives of Vik at the hearing tomorrow. It is hoped that Hamas can not find more excuses for not recognizing it.

Because Victor was killed in Gaza who had spent the last years of his life and where he enjoyed the esteem of so many Palestinians? Najar’s lawyer has a long answer to this question that raise many months. “From the confessions and statements of my client and the other defendants is clear that the intent of the group, informally not a real organization, was to seize a Westerner to obtain the release of Sheikh Abdel-Walid al-Maqdisi, arrested by Hamas for subversive activities, “said Najar. “Breizat had returned to Gaza (the first time he entered a year and a half earlier and had returned, with false documents, between February and March 2011, ed) for the express purpose of finding a way to release the sheik that Maqdisi was his teacher in Jordan, “added the lawyer arguing that” through the kidnapping of the young people wanted to affirm the existence of their armed cells (ideologically linked to Tawhid wal Jihad, ed) and had no intention of killing the Italian ” . True, false? Najar raises his shoulders. “This is what I read in the acts.” Vittorio Arrigoni Why? “My client (Jram) that lavorara fire station in front of a building frequented by Victor told me he had insisted on that name because it was known in Gaza and, according to him, the Italian led a life ill-adapted to local customs, too Western. ” In essence, the attorney said, “The end of the kidnapping was to leave before anything else Maqdisi and immediately after giving a lecture to Italian: crush, scare and then release him.”

But things went differently and Vik was brutally killed. “The police of Hamas (the evening of April 14, note) has reconstructed the dynamics within hours of the abduction and arrested immediately Khader Jram which followed the movements of Arrigoni, had spoken to him on the evening of the kidnapping and had reported his movements to accomplices. To avoid capture so Breizat killed the Italian and two accomplices tried to lose the tracks, along with two others (at Omari and Salfi, ed), but were quickly identified. ” The figure of Jordan, described as cold and calculating from other members of the group, remains a mystery even in an investigation conducted by Hamas. Scrolling acts, the lawyer said that the military prosecutor’s office Najar has not been able to establish links between Breizat and “external forces” involved eliminating Vittorio Arrigoni, but investigators do not exclude them.

The impression we gained yesterday that during his trial lawyer and legal Najar set against the other defendants Breizat and Omari, who can no longer speak, the major responsibility. Salfi, for example, said under questioning that when Victor was killed, “he was the toilet” and did not see anything. Hasasnah gave a similar version. Jram but claims to have played a secondary role, not operational, the management of the seizure and the Ghoul says he only rented the apartment used by kidnappers to hide Vittorio and had never heard of the intentions of the armed group. So we will see an intensive “buck.” Jrar meanwhile said “very sorry” for insisting on the kidnapping of Vik and hopefully in a few years sentence in prison.

It is for the military judge clarity Abu Omar Atallah putting an end to the reluctance of the Hamas authorities that five months have not issued any statement on the assassination of Victor. Even the trial date has not been announced.

The world needs to know the sad truth of Vittorio Arrigoni undeserved death, Palestinians need to know why Vittorio was not guarantee before Hamas used any commands to try to rescue him. The truth soon or later will need to surface, even if is painful to know.

Hamas: They Are Not Bad, They’re Just Drawn That Way


Posted on July 21, 2011 by Marivel Guzman


I choose to re-post this article because express very clearly the way the collective conscientiousness  get sway away from the reality, the facts, the Truth. Part of this article is Originally Posted on October 19, 2009 By Mary Rizzo on Sabbah Report

Read in its entirely and think what is written in here, what resonate with your ideas, ideals and inner thoughts.

What is really that you think of the resistance movements around the world, not only Hamas, but every movement of resistance that you know about it, that you have heard on the NEWS.
After reading this article I invite you to go and read about any country that has any sort of conflict and read on their history, their struggles to survive, their patrons, their exploitators, their dictators.

Pick up few articles from diverse news outlets leaving out the Big Media and if possible pick some books on the subject, make sure they are not ‘Best Sellers’, (Leave out Oprah’s Picks), as they tend to be tools of propaganda,  at the end of 3 months of reading and making analysis of what you have read, I want you to to make your conclusions and write down what you thought of that country.

Now open CNN, FOX, BBC or any three  Big News Outlets and find their stories on the country you have studied and make again conclusions and feel the notion of liberation from poisonous social entertaining Business News.

You will see the world with different eyes, you will ‘feel’ the world from your perspective. Take it as a mental experiment, to see how soaked you are with lies, dis-information and debunking information.  I know that after you go to this process of cleansing, you too will be part of the invisible revolution that has overtaken our world, and welcome to the New World Order, our New World Order.

I know for some of you will find almost incredible that I picked this article from this author, happen to be that 2 years ago, she  wrote what she felt was right. And given credit to her authorship is just right. Bear in mind that I do not agree with everything that she write in this article but I do agree with some points she mentions regarding resistance movements. Her article is very extensive and I don’t doubt that she research extensively to created such a lengthy piece, never forgetting that the source of our research is what sometimes makes our state of mind.
I know Hamas subject is very touchy but is very good example of what we need to explore and understand. The reality on the ground is very far from what we imagine, even if we get the pictures of the day, we can not even phantom the fear of war, the moments of terror that the children live day by day. The responsibility of their appointed leaders is enormous, so this is an invitation to see their side of their story, thru the eyes of the independent media and the story portrayed by the PAID MEDIA, and at the end will be their story, vs our story, or the official story, in one word His story/history.

“The Media and the Use of Propaganda in WarIn researching the existing literature pertaining to the issue of the media and propaganda, there must first be proper definitions for the terms ‘propaganda’ and ‘media’ in the context of politics and war. Next follows an analysis of the different articles and works already undertaken on the subject of the media’s role (as a propaganda tool) and the effectiveness of this specific form of propaganda. Thereby also concerns several pending questions regarding the different human perspectives of propaganda that is spread by the media. Lastly, there is the review of literature in relation to propaganda as a whole. Definitions of the media and propagandaIn identifying the topic scope, the term ‘media’ refers to the plural of the word ‘medium’ (Pearsall 1999). In this context, the ‘media’ is defined as ‘the main means of mass communication in forms of television, newspapers and the radio.’ (1999: 884).Petley states, that the term ‘propaganda’ refers to ‘the deliberate use of newspapers, television and other media to influence people’s attitudes (2000:26). Petley also states that propaganda is ‘[used] often [by] employing lies and distortion’.”

hamas-flags-at-sunset

In many parts of the West, certain political parties or movements are treated as if they come from the Moon or are alien to any body politic. Their existence among the people is always scrutinized as negative, transitory and something created in a boardroom or a backroom, imposed upon an unsophisticated public that is unable to differentiate a true political programme from empty and simplistic rhetoric. These parties or movements are depicted as if they only address the margins of society who are disenfranchised from any “normal” democratic bodies, and thus, are ramshackle bands that represent a minority constituency. Given their oppositional nature to pre-existing parties, they are outfitted with the label that will serve to keep them isolated from the structures that are already in operation. All of this is to destroy the party or movement by propaganda work rather than analysis of reality.

An entire mythology has been built around the Palestinian resistance movement (which morphed into a party) Hamas. This construct has actually taken on more legitimacy as a factual interpretation of Hamas than the facts themselves. In most of the Western media, no matter if it is on the right or the left, and in some of the “moderate” media in Arab countries, the very name of the party is coupled with terms such as “fundamentalist”, “radical” or “terrorist”. Clearly, this serves to create a fear trigger that will remove the word from being critically and honestly evaluated. The listener will immediately identify Hamas with a negative connotation and is removed from responsibility for understanding that this is a manipulation of reality. The listener is expected to accept the claims that Hamas is “anti-democratic” and “fanatical”. It is child’s play to then convince the listener that Hamas is Bad, that it is the Enemy of all We represent (in our own eyes, tolerance, democracy, Goodness itself). It is possible to then extend that reading to the belief that action must be taken against them, that they are a “cancer that must be gotten rid of”, as quoted by the institutional peacenik.  How does one eradicate a cancer, once it has been diagnosed? By extirpation or bombardment. With cancer treatment, one “bombards” even the healthy parts of the body with toxic agents, waiting to see if after the battle there were enough healthy parts remaining to allow the organism to continue to exist. Once you have set into the minds of millions of people the idea that destruction is good, because the enemy is just so damaging and evil if allowed to exist, the risk of bringing the entire organism to its grave by weakening it dramatically is taken as a viable risk to run. This is a way to make them justify actions that their own eyes don’t see as therapeutic, but are pure horror and evil.

How did it work that the world was so fooled and allowed Israel to destroy Gaza to “get rid of Hamas”? It was quite simple, and it’s always the same answer: Israel and its allies keep people dis-informed. Those who actually will go slightly below the screaming headlines of the newspapers might find out a few facts buried that that will contradict the spin, but not that many people will go that far, given that they are exposed to something with an element of truth buried deep within. If that were not problematic enough, even the “progressives” have done meritorious services to rendering Hamas untouchable. They might accept them as a “resistance movement” but they won’t allow their personal ideological bias to see Hamas as a progressive force for their own people’s advancement. This may be out of conviction, convenience or even lack of research or a blind spot that does not allow variations on the theme of the class struggle, where everything is “international” and the same type of rules and ideals should be considered applicable and necessary for all, going so far in some cases to “import democracy” under various more or less aggressive forms.

These people, many of whom are armed with good intentions, have chewed, swallowed, and are spitting back quite a few of the outright lies and distortions that are part of the mythology created by opponents of Hamas, created in Israel and the West, primarily.

What are the components of that mythology?
1) Hamas was created by the Israeli Mossad.
2) Hamas represents a marginal portion of the Palestinians.
3) Hamas turned democratic enough just to be able to obtain some legitimacy to later take over and turn the Palestinian Territories into an Islamic State.
4) Their victory in the polls was nothing more than a protest vote against the corruption of Fatah.
5) Hamas is comprised of a bunch of illiterates and their electors are sucked in by their own ignorance.
6) Hamas is a fundamentalist group and therefore inflexible and incapable of any modification or evolution. The oft cited Charter is used against them to stress that they are simply a radical, destructive group poised for Holy War.
7) Hamas does not seek any kind of compromise with other Palestinian political parties or factions, and are therefore the divisionary element that prohibits of the unity of the people.
8 ) Hamas operates to indoctrinate their people with hate propaganda in order to utilize them as cannon fodder.
9) Hamas is a terrorist group that exists only thanks to financing by “fundamentalist regimes”.

That Hamas is merely a resistance movement has been thoroughly disproved by the elections, but this seems to be the safe place that activists can cluster in order to allow themselves to be able to tolerate Hamas, while wishing for their quick demise. They are not viewed then as having a true heritage as a political party that can be compared to those of “democratic nations” of the “international community”, and thus, analysis of them can remain at an elementary level, lending itself to hasty generalizations.

I ask my readers to kindly forgive all the inverted quotation marks, but these words do become ironic and empty of true meaning when they are applied to the objects indicated by the spin doctors, whose task it is to do the bidding of the hegemonic powers. How can a minority of a handful of nations that always pits itself against the will of the remainder of the world community in the UN be considered as the “international community”? It’s a boy’s club that excludes practically everyone. How can a country that puts in office the candidate who obtains the lesser amount of votes be called a “democracy”? It is when we start to question our own foundations that we can detect that there is a lot of convenience in presenting any opposition as being an enemy and outside of paradigms that we consider to be core to our expectations of how to establish a just and equitable world.

It’s time to debunk a few of these myths with facts.

1) Hamas was not created by Mossad. Although Israel does like to claim credit for many things, this one is not their doing. Political Islam in Palestine has had a presence since the early 40s in Mandate Palestine, and Hamas was born as part of the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan), with many of its early leaders formally affiliated. It was the experience of refugeehood that turned Hamas into a more autonomous element with a particular nationalist basis to it, a natural result of the urgent and real human situation of displacement and loss of their cultural and national identity.

There were close relations of this group with the Egyptian base, and the first offices of the Ikhwan in Palestine were created in Gaza in 1945, led by a member of one of the most important families of the zone, Sheykh Zafer al Shawwa. During the first Arab-Israeli war, Islamist volunteers reinforced the ranks, coming primarily from Jordan and Syria, and this support showed the refugees that the Ikhwan had the courage to defend itself, even during the “Israeli War of Independence”. The growing number of refugees gave a stronger identity and sense of purpose to the Islamist movement in Palestine. Therefore, in the civil society and in the population in general, a motivation from any other source was not required to be able to pledge: “I promise to be a good Muslim in defending Islam and the lost land of Palestine. I promise to be a good example for the community and for others.” These were the words spoken by those who swore their loyalty to the Ikhwan in Palestine (source: Beverly Milton Edwards, “Islamic Politics in Palestine”, p. 43). The local Ikhwan had its own agenda, defending its lost land. It didn’t require fanaticism, outside influence or even propaganda. The refugees themselves were living proof of the horrors of deportation and suffering. The identification as part of an international movement was concomitant with the recognition of the particularity of the Palestinian experience. The official foundation, dating 9 December 1987, was only the culmination of an organization in the works for decades. Organized Islamic resistance was further utilized when the situation precipitated dramatically in 1967 and a new generation was born as refugees. For this generation, a return to Islam was considered as a necessity for the moral and political future of a people that was being literally destroyed. The cause of the Nakba was seen by many as the result of the distancing from a normal society, the Palestinian one, in which the ethical, religious, cultural and traditional values had been devastated by the occupation, and the descent into further degradation, poverty, disenfranchisement and social instability was seen not only as the result of the occupation, but part of its cause.

The “international community” would not come to the rescue of these people, the rest of the Ummah was not caught up in their national struggle, largely because they were not directly involved or were even prohibited from involvement. The extreme pain and disgrace of losing one’s land at that time was a new element to the area, where previous colonization avoided expelling the indigenous inhabitants, and throwing off the usurpers was not complicated with the total loss of roots and a base. The basis for the formal dimension of Hamas was thus present for decades prior to its official birth. In order to operate, being under the thumb of the occupation, these organized groups that existed had established charities and benefit organizations for their people. These institutions were tolerated by Israel in the Occupied Territories. Israel conceded some operating space through granting of licenses. As General Yitzhak Sager said in an interview to the International Herald Tribune in 1981, the Israeli government “…gave money that the military governor allocated to the mosques […] the sums were used both by the mosques and the religious schools, with the purpose of reinforcing a subject that would contrast that of the Left that was in favour of the PLO.” If there was some motivation for Israel to be involved, it was really as an act of ‘divide and rule’, a bit of tolerance, a bit of economic support to the various religious associations in order to see if an opposition to the nationalists of the PLO could develop. They really were only looking for a way to see the weakening of the PLO, which was gaining some support in the West, and they did not found, provide major financing or in any way influence a movement that they would in some way infiltrate or control. That is pure mythology. Why give Israel credit where none is due?

2) That Hamas represents only a marginal portion of Palestinians is another myth to debunk. It is indeed true that all Palestinians are not refugees, and it is also true that virtually all of the leaders of Hamas were born in exile or at some point were subjected to the experience of expulsion and loss of their homes and possessions. This is a core Palestinian experience, and it is true that even those (few) Palestinians who were not uprooted can identify with the loss of their cultural and national identity, and all of them know that their national aspirations and cohesion as a group have been destroyed by Israel. Thus, even a movement or party that has its own identity in the refugee camps and in exile or in religious roots, is recognised as an intrinsic, legitimate and natural representative of Palestinians as a whole. They even obtained the majority vote in areas of the West Bank that were not considered as Hamas strongholds, as well as obtaining votes from many Christian areas.

3) The myth that Hamas turned “democratic enough” just to get its foot in the door as the first step of forcing an Islamic State upon the entirety of Palestine is a very widespread one, especially in the progressive circles that do not recognize the popularity of the movement or who have an ideological prejudice against any religious movement. There is much to be said in favour of separation of church and state, but this of course is something that cannot be imposed from afar, and furthermore, there are many levels of separation to take into consideration. Those who subscribe to this position of “Hamas buying time before introducing the Sharia” tend to deny that a democracy has certain characteristics, and it is not necessarily a synonym of “secularism”. When the word “democracy” is applied correctly, it has certain characteristics, and Hamas meets these. Hamas has popular consensus. It has an internal structure that is autonomous and recognized as legitimate by its constituency. It follows the rules of elections, meeting the requirements for participation. Once elected, it assumes its role within the existing system, not having overthrown or staged coups against established structures. It is a political movement with several factions (some of them armed, as is true of many parties in areas under occupation, Fatah included) with a history and an organization. There is widespread discussion among its constituencies, including those who are political prisoners, prior to making decisions, and the majority decides the actions to be undertaken. If one thing must be said about it to set it apart from parties that Westerners are familiar with, highest level leaders generally do not assume the governing roles. This is understandable in a party where a great quantity of the leaders are routinely assassinated by Israel. That the current political director, Khaled Meshaal, must live in exile after having once been victim of an attempted assassination says more about this anomalous situation than a thousand words can.

4) That Hamas’s victory in the Legislative Council election was nothing more than a protest vote (another pet theory of the left) was brilliantly illustrated as false by Paola Caridi in her very good book (despite the sensationalist subtitle) “Hamas, What it is and what the Radical Palestinian Movement Wants”, published by Feltrinelli and only available in Italian at this time. I am translating a few paragraphs that deal with this question.

“There is a precise political reason for which the majority of Palestinians voted for Hamas. It is a reason that concerns the decision made by the Islamist movement formally on 23 January 2005. (translator’s note, a year prior to the Legislative elections): a unilateral truce, reached together with the Islamic Jihad (that had instead broken it on several occasions), which had turned words into facts: that there would be the end of the season of terrorist attacks made by Hamas inside Israel as indicated within the confines of the 1949 armistice, the Israel within the Green Line, in other words. The ending of suicide attacks in Israeli cities, substantially bringing an end to the Intifada as well as (Hamas’s) participative choice is interpreted by the Palestinian population as a precise political proposal: an alternative to those who had governed and controlled them, holding the hegemony up to that moment. A proposal that poses at the same time new de facto limits to Hamas’s resistance strategy. The Islamist movement has not been, therefore, chosen only as a protest against the corruption, patronage and inefficiency of Fatah, which as a party is often confused with the PA. Corruption, patronage and inefficiency that are related, at least from a temporal point of view, with the failure of the Oslo Accords and the “facts on the ground” realized by the Israelis.

“The people of Hamas were considered people who are serious, who did not enrich themselves at the expense of the population, in fact, they continued to live in normal neighborhoods and in the refugee camps.” (Caridi, p. 171).

5) An extremely offensive smear, oft repeated, is that Hamas’s followers and its leaders are a “bunch of illiterates” or “religious fanatics”. Almost all the leaders are (or were, given the number of assassinations within their ranks, the past tense is de rigueur) university graduates in fields ranging from medicine and physics to jurisprudence, economics and theology, is testament itself that this smear is merely to throw dirt on them and paint them as having read only religious texts and therefore “under-developed” when compared to other movements. Education has always been one of the pillars of Hamas and its charity work. The people of Palestine don’t need to be told this, it is a reality for them, where in many cases without this foundation, Palestinians would be left wanting in this area.

6) The inflexibility of Hamas is another myth, especially yanked out when speaking of the 1988 Charter (Mithaq). Shiekh Hamed Bitauri, “religious authority of Nablus, president of the Union of the Palestinian Ulemas, known for his radical positions had no problem confirming that ‘the Charter is not the Qu’ran. We can change it. It is only the synthesis of the positions of the Islamist movement in its relations with the other factions, and its politics.’ Aziz Dweik, founder of the Department of Geography of the University of Nablus, later to become the spokesman of the Palestinian Parliament after the 2006 elections, and imprisoned in Israeli jails since the summer of that year, went even further, declaring the political and pragmatic necessity of distancing from the Mithaq of 1988 to Khalid Amayreh, Palestinian journalist that is sensitive to Islamist positions, he said that ‘Hamas would not remain as a hostage to rhetorical slogans of the past like those of the ‘destruction of Israel’.” (Khalid Amayreh, Hamas Debates the Future: Palestine’s Islamic Resistance Movement Attempts to Reconcile Ideological Purity and Political Realism, in “Conflicts Forum”, Nov. 2007, p.4) (Caridi p. 90).

Haniyeh has mentioned on many occasions that the Charter has been surpassed in its substance by the other official documents, the most important of which, the Electoral Programme of the Reform and Change List (the list in which Hamas ran for office). This programme is structured like a document that goes far beyond the needs of a political campaign, according to the leader of Hamas, and it indicates the policy of the movement. It was not written in the heat of the revolution of the Intifada, and reflects the evolution of the party. The changes present are not ideological so much as ones of a strategic and political nature. The positions have been reiterated so many times in interviews and public interventions, it seems incredible that the complexity and maturity of Hamas should by now not be apparent to everyone. It is clear that they are still dedicated to the liberation of Palestine, but they are attempting to achieve it through reaffirmation of the rights of the people, knowing full well that as a party, Hamas is not equipped to overthrow the occupation in any practical way or to destroy what they recognize as a reality.

Many of us who follow events in the Middle East hope that they do not surrender to pragmatism so far as to recognize Israel not only as a reality, but as a “Jewish State”, however, we must watch from the sidelines and evaluate facts. The people of Palestine will be vigil about what rights are being surrendered, if any, and many of us believe that backs to the wall, they will not capitulate and lose what they know is theirs for reasons of political expediency. Hamas too is aware of this fact.

7) Hamas has been far less divisionary than its principle counterpart, Fatah. The Gaza “coup” that shocked and saddened the world was actually a preventive measure to the thwart the planned takeover by the Fatah forces faithful to Dahlan (in collaboration with Israel). That Hamas was the party that was awarded victory by its own people has never been recognized by the “international community” that nevertheless pushed for elections and insisted that this was the necessity for Palestinians, because this would mean that the resistance had been granted legitimacy and would become policy within the governing body, the rejection of negotiations as sub-alternates with Israel, which was Fatah policy, had been officially sanctioned by the populace and it would only be a matter of time before the programme would become policy. So, any steps by the Fatah “Security Forces” to overtake Gaza would actually have been the coup. But in the backwards way of viewing events, fueled by disinformation, the tragic bloodbath between Palestinians prevented the real overthrow of democracy that would have taken place had Dahlan had the chance. Again and again, Hamas has sought to work together with the opposition party, and this is something they would not tolerate in the vain hope that their economic advantage and political nulla osta from the boy’s club would allow them to command even in absence of the popular mandate to do so.

8 ) It’s not necessary to use propaganda to show to Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and in exile, and even to many within Israel, the ongoing destruction of the Palestinian civilization and people. Blockades, bombardments, assassinations, war, checkpoint humiliations, restrictions, separation of families, imprisonment and further abuses are not isolated incidents, but they are the daily bread and water of Palestinian life. No one needs to invent a rage over a phantasmagoric enemy. There is a real one that is subjecting the people of all ages and conditions to humiliation, deprivation and death. Showing a man in a mouse costume to insist that children are being indoctrinated in hate might go down well with the uninformed masses, but a glimpse into the reality makes Farfur look like the sweetest kind of way for a child to assimilate and tolerate that he or she is a prisoner doomed for life to suffer in the most atrocious way for being born as a lesser being in the oppressors’ eyes.

9) The worst smear against Hamas is the one to keep them as the symbol of evil: that they are a terrorist group, financed by “rogue States in the axis of evil”. Bearing in mind that their financing is abysmally inferior to the gigantic economic and “military aid” package given to Israel by America, Canada and many other nations in the “international community” in an official way, why should the claim of foreign financing be considered as unacceptable when it is simply the way the that Israel keeps afloat through billions of dollars annually, up front, and heaven only knows what other financing comes in through the thousands of “charities” that are really little more than fronts for mass immigration to Israel to curtail Arab growth? If Zionism and its charities are considered as legitimate and noble, why are Islamic ones put on blacklists and the donors treated as if they are financing terrorism? There is a double standard here.

That Hamas has rejected terror operations against civilians and did its best to do so in the service of achieving a realistic improvement for the life conditions of its people is an authenticated fact, corroborated by none other than the USA Congressional Research Service, a Think Tank that basically presents its conservative and Israel-friendly positions to the Congress so that they become policy. In fact, in the document coordinated by Jim Zanotti http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/R40101.pdf Israel and Hamas, Conflict in Gaza (2008-2009), we see that the quoted “reason” for the onslaught of Gaza to “cleanse it of Hamas”, the rockets fired into Israeli territory, was nothing but an excuse that the West drank down with gusto as if it were cherry juice. The extremely rudimentary rockets were recognised as NOT having been launched by Hamas, and not only that, Hamas was viewed as being able and willing to suppress the attacks. It is significant that the first victims of the Israeli attacks in Gaza were the regular police forces who had just been trained, perhaps also for this purpose. Zanotti writes:

For the first five months, the cease-fire held relatively well. Some rockets were fired into Israel, but most were attributed to non-Hamas militant groups, and, progressively, Hamas appeared increasingly able and willing to suppress even these attacks. No Israeli deaths were reported (although there were injuries and property damage), and Israel refrained from retaliation.

Nevertheless, each party felt as though the other was violating the terms of the unwritten ceasefire. Hamas demanded€”unsuccessfully€”that Israel lift its economic blockade of Gaza, while Israel demanded€”also unsuccessfully€”a full end to rocket fire and progress on the release of Israeli corporal Gilad Shalit from Hamas’s captivity.

Israel cited the sporadic rocket fire as justification for keeping the border crossings and Gaza’s seaport closed to nearly everything but basic humanitarian supplies. Hamas, other Arab leaders, and some international and non-governmental organizations involved in aiding Gazan civilians complained that Israel was reneging on its promises under the unwritten cease-fire agreement.

If that were not enough, the author, certainly not sympathetic in any way to Hamas, makes statements about the aftermath of the war where even Israel admits that Hamas was not responsible for the rockets:

Since Israel’s unilateral ceasefire began on January 18, 2009, there have been about 40 sporadic rocket launches into southern Israel, far fewer than occurred on average per day just before Operation Cast Lead. Moreover, Israeli officials believe that smaller militant groups, such as Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, and not Hamas, have fired the rockets, as they did during the cease-fire (although it is possible that Hamas is enabling or acquiescing to these attacks while preserving denialability).

So, Israel used the excuse of Hamas rocket launches to justify the elimination of Hamas (by means of destruction of the entirety of Gaza) through what they call “military operations” but the rest of humanity knows is war, while they were aware that Hamas was neither the author nor the facilitator of the rockets, any kind of excuse they pull out of the magic hat to justify their actions should fall on deaf ears. Complaints about arms smuggling through the most rudimentary of tunnels should stink to high heaven when we see the Defense Budget Appropriations for US-Israeli Missile Defense Programs in that same Congressional Report. Iron Dome, David’s Sling and other “military aid” costing the American people billions of dollars are described briefly. For every five ineffective bottle rockets that are smuggled through a tunnel, the USA is flying in full cargoes of arms and cases of cash to be spent by Israel for their military “needs”. The double standards here also draw innocent blood in violation of international law at the expense of your hard-earned money. Again, from the Congressional report:

Israel may have used weapons platforms and munitions purchased from the United States in its military operations in Gaza, reportedly including, among others, F-15 and F-16 aircraft, Apache helicopters, and, according to Israeli press reports, GBU-39 small diameter guided bombs approved for sale by the 110th Congress following notification in September 2008.

Additionally, all unilateral truces between Israel and Hamas (called by Hamas, not by Israel) were broken in every case by Israel. In many cases, making incursions into the Occupied Territories, which legally they are prohibited from doing, as civilian populations under occupation (even if the “settlers” have left, Gaza is kept under siege by Israel) are required to be protected by the occupier, not attacked. Israel, using weapons and planes supplied for them by the good graces of the people of the United States, bombarded streets where their targets (politicians and clerics that Israel terms as “militants” if not worse) were located, killing in an indiscriminate way anyone in the range, children included. If that’s not terrorism, the word has no meaning.

These are only a few of the myths in circulation. They represent just a portion of the lies, disinformation and hasbara that circulates about one of the major Palestinian parties, born from within, developing as all parties do, from below, and legitimized by fair and legal elections. Debunking these lies is a duty. One doesn’t need to agree to the entire programme of Hamas, but one is obligated to recognise that they are entirely different from the image that they have been straitjacketed into. What Jessica Rabbit said in the film, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” could very well apply to Hamas: “I’m not bad, they just draw me that way.”


* Mary Rizzo is an art restorer, translator and writer living in Italy. 

Gaza Exclusive – Vox Pops On The Flotilla


  Vox Pops From Gaza On The Flotilla

Wednesday, 29 June 2011, 11:24 am

Posted by:Omar Kream Gaza<

This evening on the Gaza beach (where everyone goes to cool down – rich and poor, men and women, singles and families) I asked several people what importance they attach to the upcoming flotilla. Here are their responses, some in English, some in Arabic with English translations. All are unanimous that the flotilla is both necessary, and very much appreciated, as much for its expression of solidarity with their struggle for justice and freedom, as for the goods they are bringing.

Unfortunately, the recordings of additional women were rendered inaudible by a horde of chidlren who swamped us, shouting and laughing and calling out comments, so although there were equal numbers of men and women interviewed, the men were better at keeping the kids at bay!

Gaza beach vox pop -woman
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Gaza beach vox pop -woman
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Men’s translation by:Omar Karem

Gaza beach vox pop - man
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Gaza beach vox pop - man
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Gaza beach vox pop - man
Click for big version

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julie-webb-pullman-gaza-exclusive-vox-pops-on-the-flotilla.htm

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