By Marivel Guzman
Sacramento, Calif. On September 29, 2016, Dr Cornel West at Press Conference at Sacramento State University.
I was aware of Dr. West’s role in advising the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, particularly on the Palestine Issue. For over 40 years, Dr. West has been a vocal advocate and supporter of the Palestinian people in their struggle against the Zionist occupation of their nation.
Knowing Dr. West’s position on this important issue-of-the-day, I was intrigued by his deep concern about the plight of the Palestinian people and the need for people in this country to gain an objective and historical understanding of the roots of the current plight of Palestinians.
In my familiarity with Dr. West’s books, he has almost maintained a very progressive stance by tying their oppression to foreign occupation of their country. Therefore, I very eager to hear more about his views when I attended his lecture and press conference at Sacramento State University.
Knowing that the mainstream media would not only shy away, but ignore the conflict in the Middle East, particularly in regards to the Palestinian issue, I made it a point to ask Dr. West about his role in advising the Sander’s campaign regarding the rights of Palestinian that live under Israel’s occupation. His response made it clear that he remained firm in his conviction that the people of this country must understand and support the Palestinian struggle to regain statehood.
When I asked why the Democratic Party after the primaries refused to acknowledge the Palestinian issue, his reply was unequivocally clear,
“if they didn’t address it, they were just wrong, this was cowardly and too indifferent, too unwilling to engage the level of suffering and misery and injustice of precious Palestinians brothers and sisters.”
Dr. West went on to explain that the position of the Democratic Party has been “tied too long to AIPAC (American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee).” He went on to explain that “AIPAC is not representative of Jewish-Americans, it represents a slice of centrist and conservative Jewish-Americans.” He went on to explain that the AIPAC is “very powerful, like the NRA, and any other powerful lobby that is shaping U.S. policy … and for too long the kind of policies that the AIPAC promotes has not recognized the humanity (of the Palestinians) and the evil of Israeli occupation …. I am against foreign domination, I think what we are about is that every human being has some security from domination.”
The topic went on to highlight Assembly Bill 2844 which Governor Brown recently signed into law opposing the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) bill.
There is a broad campaign both nationally and internationally to boycott, divest and impose sanctions upon companies that financially benefit from the Israeli seizure of Palestinian lands and resources.
This campaign included a boycott of those products from the occupied territories. The intent of Governor Browns’ bill is to protect the State of Israel by silencing and suppressing the groundswell support of an every- growing number of people in this country and worldwide of the Palestinian people. Therefore, I asked Dr. West for his opinion of Assembly Bill 2844 and whether he thought groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) would challenge it on the basis of a denial of free speech. He responded that he felt that there would be legal challenges to this bill because he considers himself a libertarian when it comes to freedom of speech.
He went on to state that “there’s no doubt that there are many brothers and sisters in BDS (Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions) who are being targeted and demonized because they have a critique of not just Israeli occupation, they have a critique of the Israeli state that is perceived by very powerful elite at the top as being anti-Semitic …” “It is very difficult to have that conversation in the United States and so those of us who are part of the BDS we get demonized, we get viewed as if we are anti-Jewish, anti-Semitic and we just have to make it clear that we have to rob that kind of shallow characterization of the substance, we have to be very explicit about that fact that we take principled stance against anti-Jewish hatred and anti-Jewish prejudice and anti-Jewish sensibilities and still have fundamental commitment to the self-determination of Palestinians…”
I was very heartened by Dr. West’s formulation of the Middle East conflict and his wholehearted opposition to bigotry of any type. It was evident that he has pondered the issue long and hard or in his words for “30 to 40 years.” I found that his comments about President Obama’s neo-liberal identity that leads him to support the State of Israeli to be on-target. He bravely criticized President Obama for his support and allowing himself to be captive to the right-wing elements in Israel. This included the passage of the $38 billion bill to the State of Israel. Dr. West concludes that the Middle East conflict is a very complex issue that demands “that we have enough people who are willing to tell the truth the best way they know it.”
Originally published on April 3, 2013 on Coast Report
It is hard to describe in words what Anonymous really is. To most, it is a group of hackers who disrupt web pages and steal data. However, some think that they are doing good things for society.
The irony of the situation is that Anonymous is not a group that can be traced to a building or to a country. They are dispersed around the world — they have no offices, no leaders, they do not follow a strategy.
With its ever growing popularity, it has become a case of whether or not they can actually be considered criminals.
At Orange Coast College, most haven’t heard of it, but the students who had agreed that while they are hackers, they do things that benefit society.
Jairo Navarete, 24, computer science major at OCC, said Anonymous is a group of Internet activists and it is good when the group exposes bad information about certain companies.
“The government should not punish them with long sentences, because what they do not affect the company’s people — only the money,” he said.
Another student said the group usually has the people in mind.
“They are a group that speaks in favor of society’s best interest and only mean well,” said Garret Smith, 19, a video-game science major.
Some students said releasing confidential information can be valuable for society.
“I know they expose information that would be valuable for the public to know, that otherwise is kept secret to fulfill the government’s agenda,” said 20-year-old Jimmy Wakem.
The Obama administration says organizations such as WikiLeaks and hacking group LulzSec may conduct economic
espionage against U.S. companies.
In fact, Anonymous members work independently but when they finish, they leave their calling card where they use their famous quote, “We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.”
Anonymous has millions of followers on the Internet. Their Youtube videos have millions of views and they have become a type of cyber heroes.
Heroes or villains, the government has doubled its efforts to stop Anonymous’ activities, but it seems that the hacktivists are multiplying and Anonymous is growing every day.
Disclaimer: This article belongs to Coast report. The article was published on their print and online edition on April 3, 2013.
Posted on Akashma Online News
Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has said that Pakistan and Iran enjoy close and brotherly relations which are rooted in historical, cultural and religious commonalities.
At the same time Closer Pakistan-Iran military ties proposed.
The Senate Defense Committee, which has broken taboos in the realm of national security by opening up debates on defense budget, counter-terrorism policies, civil-military relations, had this time invited a delegation of Iranian parliament led by Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman, National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of Majlis-i-Shura, for security dialogue.
The Prime Minister expressed these views in a meeting with Iranian Parliamentary delegation led by Chairman Standing Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy of Majlis, Alaeddin Broujeri at the PM’s House on Tuesday.
The Prime Minister noted with satisfaction that cooperation between the two countries is on a positive trajectory. He underscored the importance of constant and extended contact between parliamentarians and public representatives of the two countries to further cement the existing warm relations.
The Prime Minister said that the close economic ties between the two countries are reflected in the cooperation on the gas pipeline project, electricity and infrastructure projects, a statement from the PM office said.
On Afghanistan, the Prime Minister said that Iran and Pakistan have shared objectives and both the countries have to work in tandem for peace and reconciliation. He said that a peaceful, prosperous and stable Afghanistan is in the interest of not only Pakistan but the entire region. He said that terrorism and extremism are our common enemies and we must join hands to defeat these, he stressed.
Mr. Alaeddin Broujeri said that Iran is keen to expand and strengthen its relations with Pakistan. In this connection, agriculture is one area where both countries can cooperate more intensely, he added.
Mr. Alaeddin Broujeri thanked the Prime Minister who asked him to convey his best wishes to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.
Other members of the delegation included Mr. Mohammad Esmaeili and Mr. Ali Reza Ayyari.
Mr. Rehman Malik, Minister for Interior, Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed and other senior government officials were also present during the meeting.
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, [Aljazeera] Palestinian 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.
Palestinian youth 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 Streamedia are writing about them it is a different story, and you did it because it sound juicy for your ratings.
When the Youth Of Gaza Broke Out Manifesto first made the light to the streammedia, it was the first time that the manifesto was in the wires and it was not the first time the youth of Gaza broke the silence (GYBO). They have been braking the silence in their struggle with Israel 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 worldwide in a bold move sided with them and we 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 Palestinian Authority closure of more than 300 NGOs in West Bank, charities that Hamas over the years has financed and sponsored, and they [Hamas] 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. Since 1982 Hamas is the organization that has been in charge 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.
I don’t see the UN raising the flag for the 300 Charities closed down in West Bank by the PA, not that Sharek Youth Forum be less important, but my note is in the context of marking the double standards used to emphasize the wrongs of one political party vs the other one, Hamas over their favorite Fatah.
The PA that is being cracking down on the resistance in the West Bank pleasing and 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 PA 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 dispossession of homes, the illegal arrests of Palestinians and other very serious issues that the UN 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 excerpts was taken from an article published 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 [youth] see the situation from their young minds from different perspective.
“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.”
I personally have experienced the disinterest from some Palestinians here in California 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 of fighting, they lived the occupation in their worse times, what can we do to wake up their dreams of freedom again?
Aljazeera Article published March, 05, 2011
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.”
Posted on March 28, 2011 by Marivel Guzman
Islam a Thread to the Western Powers
I think all of us got mistaken their goal. They do not want to destroy Muslims because of their Religion, No! We all got into their game and because we went into their game is that they started controlling us.They want to destroy any movement, any religion that unite humanity.
It is not because Religion itself. Remember already happened in the past, it has happened many times before.
The Crusades, The Inquisition, The Witch Hunt, Pagans Slaughter, Native Indians Holocaust, in every one of those events people got exterminated, murdered, oppressed, always using Religion to excuse the slaughter.
They want the control of the people and Religion it is the best weapon they have.
People get passionate about their religion. Religion Itself is to blame because it is wrongly prescribed, I have my arguments to explain and without any sentiment to disrespect any Religion or Belief; In the Holy Books we read horrible stories of massacres ordered by God Order, they teach us to Kill for our religion,They teach us To defend Our God,they Teach us to Defend our religious ideas. And there is always the argument that those people were slaughtered because they were Away from God.
Some will do “NO MATTER WHAT”! and those are the ones being USED for their Agenda. Those are the ones Called Extremist, Fundamentalists. They are not Too religious per say, but weak minds that let themselves be victims of a doctrine or credo that will work against his own well being, and that of the community.
I do not see it wrong to tell the world my religion, but when I do so, I take the risk to open a susceptibility against me, and this goes for every one on earth that publicly subscribe to a Certain religion. And it is not wrong, not that they should be ashamed, but we must learn and be smarter than them, the Controllers of Earth (Elite-Globalists-NWO) and not allow them to make us players in their game.
This time on Time, Islam is the fastest Religion in the Planet, and because of that, it is a threat to them; There is important for them because Islam it is thought to be a way of life, with their civil rules, and Official Regulations making with this a Secular Government Obsolete, so it is a threat to them that Islam grows as a Governmental Entity. And Why?
“Their Banking System” does not allow Interest to be charged, Does not allow usury. And that it is in the Heart of this “Islamophobia” War on Terror.
Libya Invasion is the best example of their “War in Terror”, when you have a Political Figure such as Moamar Gadhafee that prays 5 times a day, that stands against to the Stronger Country of the world, and works against her spoil brat, Israel and in top of that, do everything for his people, and want to help all Africa to shake out the grip of the west and is planing to Institute a Muslim African Central Bank, for the people of Africa (No interest Bank)
When we have famous and important scholars preaching that Islam is not a Religion but a Way of life, that constitute a danger for the Western Powers, the Colonialist/European powers, that lives out of the sweat of the people and out of ravaging the land that they conquer.
Why we have to be between the two alternatives If Islam is a way of life and Politics are the way to control life why not make a cocktail of the two and Make One. But in a way to not to hurt sensitives leave the name Islam out of the equation. Do your duties as Muslim, respect your neighbors as Christian, respect nature as Buddhist, love humanity as Human.
If only the people of the world understand Islam in its core; is not a Religion per say, Is not a controlling government wing, is not just spiritual realization or human manifestation. Islam is all that we will need if we would only understand the deep meaning of its inception in human conscientiousness.
For Centuries humanity has been being used as a labor hand, as a slavery group on Earth.
Various Religions tried in the pass to enlighten humanity and liberate us from the chains, but time and time again the Religious Strong Heads of the Churches in power oversaw the danger on letting all humanity being enlighten, and united, and with this to be lost as fervent followers or working hands. So All the religions of the Past had felt victims of their own control.
When Islam came to humanity 1400 years ago, it was shown as a great force to unify all humanity, but again the controllers of Earth radicalized the ideas of Islam and converted it by propaganda in a Religion of Violence. And here we are trying to converge the two powers in one. The power of Islam Vs the Power of Politics.
Merciful God, You made all of the people of the world in Your own image and placed before us the pathway of salvation through different Preachers who claimed to have been Your Saints and Prophets. But, the contradictions in their teachings and interpretations of them have resulted in creating divisions, hatreds and bloodshed in the world community. Millions of innocent men, women and children have so far been brutally killed by the militants of several religions who have been committing horrifying crimes against humanity, and millions more would be butchered by them in the future, if You do not help us find ways to reunite peacefully.
IN THE NAME OF GOD, THE COMPASSIONATE, THE MERCIFUL, look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the controversial teachings of arrogance, divisions and hatreds which have badly infected our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; reunite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish Your purposes on earth; that, in Your good time, all nations and races may jointly serve You in justice, peace and harmony. (Amen) Movement for Reforming Society
I want to understand the true meaning under all the published and twisted baggage of all religions. The real meaning of the message so trilled, cropped, changed, misunderstood.
I read the Bible and find beautiful examples of harmony, peace and love, but also find terrible stories of massacres, hate and intolerance.
I read the Qur’an and find more examples of good will, love and compassion, but also find the same stories rehearsed of hate, massacre and intolerance.
I read the Buddha teachings and also has wonderful recipes for a life, and love between men, and love for nature.
So I wonder!
Why doctrines keep changing with the time. We seen that none of the religions had unify humanity in its entirely, they had divided us greatly. Divided so much, that now we have entire encyclopedias written explaining why X religion is better than Y, but in reality we see that humanity has not changed. We still have the same economic problems of the past, political games play. Religion has not fix none of our problems.
Earth still ravaged by greed, people still dying under the bombs of powerful nations, millions living under the line of poverty, thousands dying every day by starvation and diseases.
What religions do to alleviate our problematic?
Do religions make the situation worse fighting each other trying to force the other religions to recognized them as the “true religion” ?
The Elite went into war apply for their advantage and they getting richer, selling their Gadgets of war. They do not care who live or die, they sell their war weapons to the two sides of the conflict. And there is no US, Britain, Israel or UN countries against Muslims, No!, the men behind the curtain are the ones plotting this war in Terror Scheme, and Bush and Company are the Pawns in their Game.
Think for Instance the Most Islamic Country in the World “Saudi Arabia”??? The best Ally and Friend of the Makers of War. GO FIGURE THAT OUT. SO I say, stay out of their game, just STAY HUMAN OUR HEART WILL DICTATE THE BEST FOR HUMANITY
Posted on March 8, 2011 by Marivel Guzman
from original posted by Thee *FREE ARAB VOICE* February 2, 1999
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 ].
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?
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.
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.