Saturday, 14 February 2009

Hesham Tillawi - Rahm the Mechanic Goes to Washington: the Jim Zogby Dilemma


By Guest Post • Feb 13th, 2009 at 14:54 • Category: Analysis, Biography, Features, Israel, Newswire, Opinions and Letters, Palestine, Religion, Somoud: Arab Voices of Resistance, War, Zionism

Every day, I am assaulted by something in the topsy-turvey world of US politics that amazes me and makes me say to myself, 'Well I guess I have seen it all now', only for it to be outdone and replaced the very next day by something even more outrageous.

Politics can do that to people. Power and the opportunity to play on the 'big field' is like a drug that makes people do crazy things, things that defy reason, logic, and sometimes decency.

Take for example the most recent article by Arab American Institute James Zogby in his defense of President Elect Barak Obama's decision to appoint Rahm Emmanuel as White House Chief of Staff. In his piece entitled "Rahm Emanuel and Arab Perceptions" he writes "The emails and calls to my office were both troubled and troubling because much of the reaction was based on misinformation". The "misinformation" in this case dealt with Rahm Emanuel, the "brilliant strategist" as Jim puts it and his many "proven" political skills which led to him being "tapped" by Obama. No more no less. That is, as Jim calls it, "First, the facts." I just wonder if Rahm's 'proven politics' is also what dragged Obama to AIPAC's conference this past summer to deliver that infamous shameful speech, as well as the meeting afterwards with the board of AIPAC where he was accompanied by Rahm Emanuel. I don't think Rahm being born to an Israeli parent who once ran guns for the Irgun Terrorist Organization, his faith as a devout Jew or his being a staunch supporter of Israel had "nothing" to do with his appointment as the conventional wisdom would like us to believe. Of course not, it is his 'brilliancy' that got him there. "Its that simple" says the spokesman for the Arab-American community Jim Zogby. Maybe Arabs lack thinking brains to be in positions of power.

Ok, Emanuel may not be an Israeli Citizen, even though Israeli law grants citizenship to Jews who are born for Israeli parents abroad. As a matter of fact the "Israeli Law of Return" grants Israeli citizenship to any Jew who wishes to have it. As a matter of fact many American Jews in high power positions are dual citizens. One such is Douglas Feith, who ran the Office of Special Plans at the Pentagon, and who concocted the 'Yellow Cake' theory giving George Bush the ammo he needed to invade an Arab country. Another one coming to mind is Michael Chertoff, our Director of Homeland Security whose father fought in the Bitar Brigade, a Jewish terrorist group during the Palestinian Holocaust which by the way, started way before the so-
called 'Holocaust' of Europe and which continues to this very day. No doubt the reader is inclined to call me an 'anti-Semite' despite the fact that there is more 'semitism' in one of my eyelashes than there is in the whole of European Jewish community because I said the "so-called" Oh well, I guess I am one of those 'self-hating' Semites.

Jim goes on to defend Rahm's service in the Israeli Army saying: "Emanuel volunteered for a few weeks, as a civilian, doing maintenance on Israeli vehicles." Is he a mechanic? So, not only is he "brilliant" when it comes to politics, he is 'Rahm the Mechanic' as well. Talk about a real Renaissance man. Not only is Rahm "brilliant" in banking and finance, "brilliant" in the way he stabs a steak knife into a hardwood table repeatedly when talking about 'enemies' who must be dealt with, but "brilliant" with cars too, especially the ones used by Israel's military. There is something so familiar between this and the whole "Joe the Plumber" business we heard so much about during the campaign.

Ok, let's get back to that then–What vehicles Jim? What is a civilian volunteer in the Israeli Army? Did you know that there are no 'civilians' in Israel? If someone volunteers to go help a country at a time of war, one can safely assume he will be involved in some kind of a defense position. Was he greasing up the Israeli Tanks before they took positions on the Northern border with Syria and Lebanon in 1991? Or did he just write some nice love notes on Tank Shells? I am not sure, but this "brilliant" American found it necessary to go and join the Israeli Army - ok in a civilian capacity, god don't be so uptight on technicalities - but yet, he did not join the American Army fighting two wars. It makes you wonder what country comes first in Rahm's mind. Is he one of those Israel's Firsters bunch?

As an aside (although one of supreme importance) what should be noted is that if Mr. Zogby–seeing his homeland of Lebanon being bombarded by Israel as it was in July 2006–decided to don his US Passport and go to Lebanon in order to volunteer in protecting another country, he would be arrested upon re-entry into the US and charged with a whole assortment of crimes related to terrorism. However, when it is a Zionist Jew doing so for Israel, he is offered the highest position in the president's cabinet and the rest of the world is not supposed to think anything of it.

Oh yes, this is the killer, I almost left it out. Jim wrote: "The truth is that Emanuel is an effective leader in Congress. He is a strong supporter of Israel. But then, how many members of Congress are not?" It's no big deal, he is just one of the many in Washington who are supporters of Israel. Well Jim you forgot one fundamental difference between "Rahm the Mechanic" and others, namely that the other members of congress prostitute themselves for power, influence and money, but they really don't get much enjoyment out of the deal. On the contrary–just like prostitutes they want the ordeal to be over with asap because deep down they feel so ashamed of themselves seeing Palestinian children dying from Israeli bullets fired by Israeli settlers as well as Israel's imposed starvation and hunger on innocent people and they can't do anything about it. "Rahm the Mechanic" however, Mr Jim Zogby, enjoys what he is doing for Israel. His father, his family, and his "mother country" are proud of what he has become. Israeli Newspapers said "one of us in the White House." He is doing it because he enjoys it. The Arabs are the sworn enemies of Rahm's father and his last name is a reminder of that. Emanuel actually is not the last name of the family they changed it when rahm's uncle, Emanuel was killed by Arabs before the establishment of Israel, and the family changed their last name to, Emanuel. Now do you understand why Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, Christians, and all freedom-loving people around the World are disturbed by Rahm's appointment? Can you take your democratic hat off for a second and voice your concern about Rahm? Can you, Uncle Tom?

I saw you turning the world upside down for a comment that John McCain did not make-even though, we made a big issue out of it- I for one made the biggest stink about it, but I did not see you doing the same when Rahm's father actually, and factually insulted ALL Arabs, dead, alive and yet to be born. Thank God for Mary Oakar and the ADC who forced an apology out of Rahm for what his father had said about how his son will "surely influence Obama's decisions on Israel" while following it with the comment that "he wasn't Arab" and therefore will not be going to the White House to "mop floors". The funny thing in the whole episode is Rahm's apology, and especially when he said that the comment made by his dad did not "reflect the way he was raised and did not reflect his family values". I wonder who raised him?

It was his father who said it, the head of his family, the man who installed the values in Rahm, the very same man who ran guns to the Jewish terrorists to massacre the poor souls of Deir Yasin. Now Jim, do you blame the Arabs for their "perception" of Rahm? Is it just a perception? "Can you hear me now!!!"

Current issues with Hesham Tillawi can be viewed Live every Thursday at 8:00 PM Central Standard Time on Cox Cable system Channel 15 in Louisiana as well as Live on the Internet at and can be contacted at The show is also broadcast on Bridges TV via cable, satellite, and broadband and on Amazonas satellite World Wide. Current Issues the radio show airs live around the World on Broadband and shortwave 5.050 and many stations around the U.S. every Saturday 4-6 PM Central Time on

Israel's Rationale for Murder: No One Is Innocent

Israel's Rationale for Murder: No One Is Innocent

M. Junaid Levesque-Alam


Feb 13, 2009

"When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle." -- Israeli Army Chief of Staff Raphael Eitan, 1983

"Before [the Palestinians'] very eyes we are possessing the land and the villages where they, and their ancestors, have lived. . .  We are the generation of colonizers, and without the steel helmet and the gun barrel we cannot plant a tree and build a home." -- Famous Israeli Army Commander Moshe Dayan

Israel's official excuses for extinguishing over 1,300 Palestinian lives -- half of them civilian and one-third of them children -- are oft repeated by its apologists: Hamas' rocket fire made the invasion unavoidable, and its tactics made civilian casualties inevitable.

Do these positions dovetail with -- or decapitate -- history?  Are they logical?  Are they moral?  Or are they smokescreens, designed to disguise troublesome facts about both Israel's strategy and its very origins?

The Reality behind the Rockets

Israel's first argument about Hamas' rockets fails on several levels.

It neatly -- and falsely -- posits Hamas as the attacker and Israel as the defender.  The only problem with this pleasant fiction is that Israel has been expelling, occupying, and imprisoning Palestinians long before Hamas even came into existence.

As Israeli journalist Amira Hass wrote in January, "Gaza is not a military power that attacked its tiny, peace-loving neighbor, Israel.  Gaza is a territory that Israel occupied in 1967, along with the West Bank.  Its residents are part of the Palestinian people, which lost its land and its homeland in 1948."

But how did it "lose" its homeland?  After unearthing their country's declassified archives, honest Israeli scholars have pointed to an Israeli campaign of rape, murder, and ethnic cleansing that entered full swing in 1947.  Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, said to a colleague shortly after Israel's expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians, "They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country.  Why should they accept that?"

Why indeed?  For one country to rain down rockets on another is an unprovoked crime.  But for a people without a country to fire rockets on those who forcibly took their country -- and who then corralled them into camps, have isolated them from the world, and regularly slaughter them with weapons far deadlier than unguided projectiles -- is a rather different matter.

Just as we would not begin a 10-minute tape of a batterer abusing his wife at the nine-minute mark where she may have struck back, we cannot skip through decades of Israeli ethnic cleansing, occupation, and bombardment and finger Hamas rocket fire as the starting point.

Quite apart from historical considerations, the invasion cannot be justified by rocket fire because scarcely any rockets were being fired before Israel's own escalation.  According to the Israeli military, in the ceasefire months of July, August, September, and October, the numbers of rockets fired from Gaza were one, eight, one, and two, respectively.  Even those few rockets were likely fired by smaller militant groups not under Hamas' control.  In short, Hamas abided by the truce -- a fact Israel recognized during those months.  On November 5th, Israel itself broke the truce by launching a military operation that killed six Hamas gunmen.

On the moral level, too, the terror Israel unleashed on the Palestinian population is indefensible.  A total of 23 Israelis were killed by Palestinian rockets from November 2001 to June 2008, according to a pro-Israel website.  During the Gaza "war," a total of three Israeli civilians were killed by rockets.  If Israel's recent rapid-fire slaughter of 600 civilians is "justified" by rockets that caused the death of a small number of Israeli civilians, then -- applying Israel's own logic -- is Hamas not now more "justified" in continuing to launch those rockets than ever before?

How can the Israeli establishment claim the moral high ground if it borrows from the Hamas formula but ups its application of the deadly dosage one hundredfold?

Blaming the Victim

Israel's apologists would respond here with their second argument: it is not Israel, but Hamas, that is responsible for Israel's killing.

This, too, is specious.

Perhaps it is quaint to insist on ideas that slip out of fashion at convenient intervals, but it should be an accepted principle that those who do the killing should be held responsible for it.  Israel's partisans insist Israel is an exception (is Israel ever not an exception?) because Hamas "hides among civilians" or "uses civilians as shields" or "fires from civilian areas," thus absolving the attacker of culpability for civilian deaths.

The force of historical truth again intercedes.  The people living in Gaza's squalid refugee camps are not there by choice or because of Hamas: they are trapped by Israel.  Ethnically cleansed when Israel stole their lands in 1948, they fled to the tiny strip, which borders the sea.  Then Gaza, too, was captured by Israel in 1967, leaving the people occupied by the Israeli military and surrounded by radical Jewish settlers who took the stolen land.

When this occupation "ended" in 2005 after decades of humiliation, the jailer simply moved from inside to outside the cell to better manage the inmates.  Most of the Jewish settlers relocated to more stolen Palestinian land in the West Bank and Israel imposed a full-scale siege on Gaza, itself as a form of collective punishment, when Gazans elected Hamas, as the alternative choice, Fatah, was hopelessly venal.

The siege destroyed the economy and was never lifted even during the ceasefire.  Israel barred Palestinians entry into Israel for employment, closed the sea route, and shut off fuel and food aid at will, inducing widespread suffering in one of the most densely populated spaces on earth.  One Israeli official boasted of the devastating effect in 2006, "The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger."  Let them suffer, the Israelis said at the time, but do not let them die.  That would come later.

Even the Vatican, not often inclined to pro-Muslim utterances, was recently moved to describe Gaza as a "concentration camp."

Thus while Israel's apologists argue that Israel should be cleared of responsibility for civilian deaths because Hamas "chose" to engage in "civilian areas," the truth is that the Palestinians had no choice of any areas -- they are trapped within the confines of the cage Israel kicked them into by dint of ethnic cleansing, occupation, and the siege.

<EMBED src= width=260 height=210 type=application/x-shockwave-flash allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true">Even on the street level, Israel has herded Palestinian civilians for easy killing.  Several extended families in one part of Gaza, Zeitoun, tell the same story: soldiers forced family members to congregate in one building, fired at it, and massacred the fleeing inhabitants even as they emerged with white flags in hand.  Breaking army orders, one Israeli soldier who was in Zeitoun confessed to a British newspaper that his unit had been instructed to "fire on anything that moves."  The unit was told to "shoot first and ask questions later," he said.

Israel did not provide Hamas with an empty meadow in Switzerland on which to duel.  It did not bestow Hamas with its state-of the-art American weaponry to even the odds.  It did not give civilians any exit avenues before, during, or after the "fighting."  It even began its bombardment mid-day when children were out in the open switching classes.  Israel, far from concerning itself with the fate of civilians, created a dense killing corridor over a period of decades and took advantage of it.

One can argue that even in the most difficult circumstances, militant groups should do their best to avoid mingling with the civilian population during active fighting.  If the majority of Palestinian civilian casualties had occurred because Hamas was grabbing civilians left and right to use as shields, there should be abundant evidence.

But where is this evidence?  For all its sophisticated spying equipment, satellites, reconnaissance drones, and cameras, the Israeli government has never produced any compelling proof of such a pattern.  In fact, Israel officially banned reporters from even entering Gaza during its operation.  Why hide the horrific practices of Hamas from the world's eyes?

The answer, of course, is that Israel was hiding its own horrors instead.  In the few cases where this was not possible -- where international institutions, such as the UN, independent relief agencies, and Reuters reporters, were involved -- a pattern of a different kind emerged: Israel blew up civilians and civilian supplies, agency officials decried the attack, and Israel accused Hamas of having fired from nearby.  Each time, agency representatives emphatically stated that Hamas was not operating in the area and demanded proof of Israel's claims.  None was ever forthcoming.

Only in one case -- the killing of 40 civilians taking shelter at a UN building -- did Israel confidently claim that it had proof of Hamas fighters firing rockets nearby.  But the Israeli military soon changed its story and was forced to invent a new excuse.

As if that weren't enough, it turns out that Israel itself repeatedly used Palestinian civilians as human shields.

Even in these specific cases where Israel should have exercised restraint for sheer public-relations purposes, it displayed absolutely none.  Such is the arrogance afforded overwhelming power.  We can only imagine under what cruel circumstances most Palestinians, far removed from international institutions or Western journalists, were ground to dust.

This combination of history and ground reality demolishes the credibility of Israel's excuse.  For a bully to blame the victim is one thing -- commonplace, even, among colonizers.  But for Israel to expel its victims from their homes, force them into inhuman camps, and then fault them for dying en masse when Israel decided to kill them in a cramped cage of its own design -- this is a truly novel achievement in the sphere of cruelty.

Israel is therefore no less responsible for killing civilians than slaughterhouse machinery is responsible for processing cattle.

Killing Civilians as a Strategy

The mountain of excuses offered by Israel strikes the honest observer as too tortuous to trek and too steep to scale.  Puzzling and poring over its rationalizations is an endeavor that yields diminishing returns.

It is time to consider an obvious alternative to the official line: Israel did not "accidentally" kill hundreds of Palestinian civilians while "targeting" Hamas for launching aimless rockets.  Rather, Israel purposely targeted all Palestinians because it wanted to teach them a severe lesson for not being defeated after 60 years of ongoing brutalization.  The pile of civilian corpses produced by the invasion was not accidental -- it was integral -- to the administration of this lesson.

Advocating and applauding this approach last month was Thomas Friedman, who occasionally comments on Middle East affairs to puff and pout on Israel's behalf from his privileged perch.

Responding to the growing perception that Israel's stated aim of destroying Hamas outright was not feasible, Friedman defended Israel's Gaza strategy in a January 14thNew York Times column by approvingly pointing to the example of Lebanon.

In Friedman's view, the 2006 Lebanon campaign, during which Israel killed about 1,000 Lebanese civilians and 250 Hezbollah fighters, convinced Hezbollah that trading blows with Israel was a bad idea.

To dismantle Friedman's fantasies about Lebanon -- what he smugly calls "the education of Hezbollah" -- would require another article.  What is important for our purposes is to see how this "education" was carried out.

Hezbollah, Friedman asserts, "challenged Israel to inflict massive civilian casualties in order to hit Hezbollah fighters."  These civilians, he continues, were "intertwined" with Hezbollah, and were also, by the way, "the families and employers of the militants."

Translation: the guilty mingled with the innocent and the innocent were practically guilty.

Therefore, concludes Friedman, "the only long-term source of deterrence was to exact enough pain on the civilians. . . ."  Israel was forced to inflict "substantial property damage and collateral casualties on Lebanon at large" in order to faze Hezbollah.

Translation: the only thing Israel could do -- "it was not pretty, but it was logical", Friedman avers -- was to strike at civilian populations and buildings in order to teach those Arabs a lesson ("educate") about the consequences of raising their heads.

This refreshing way of thinking neatly solves any moral problems Israel's actions might pose.

The innocent, as we have seen, were not really innocent: they were somehow related to the militants or related to someone who might have employed militants at the local bakery.  Therefore, it was permissible to kill women and children as part of a careful calculation to inflict "enough pain" and make militants think twice about future resistance.

Yes, the "education" of the Arabs is not "pretty" -- but who said tuition was free?

That Israel intentionally terrorizes and kills civilians should not surprise honest observers.  Giora Eiland, the former head of Israel's National Security Council, bluntly stated what Friedman, with his penchant for unctuous prose, could not bring himself to openly say about the 2006 war:

The only good thing that happened in the last war was the relative damage caused to Lebanon's population. . .  The destruction of thousands of homes of "innocents" preserved some of Israel's deterrent power.  The only way to prevent another war is to make it clear that should one break out, Lebanon may be razed to the ground.

Can any honest person describe Eiland's logic of mass terror as "self-defense?"

That this logic was also applied in Gaza was confirmed by the news side of The New York Times.  In an elliptical January 18th analysis, Times' correspondent Ethan Bronner, a pro-Israel journalist, writes about Hamas' tactical caution during the fighting:

The caution is at least in part because Hamas wants to keep ruling in Gaza, not return to its previous role as a pure resistance movement.  Therefore, Israeli officials say, an offensive that caused average people to suffer put pressure on Hamas in real and specific ways.

This can easily be rephrased as, "Israeli officials launched an offensive that caused average people to suffer in order to put pressure on Hamas in real and specific ways."  Friedman's prayers were answered -- and Eiland's ideology, implemented.

The Times also quotes an anonymous top Israeli military official as saying, "Hamas is the dominant organization in Gaza.  They are the regime and feel very connected to the people.  They do not want to lose that connection to the people."

How does one make Hamas lose "that connection to the people" in an offensive that "caused average people to suffer?"  The question answers itself: kill the people.

Bronner writes that the logic behind the punishing offensive is popularly referred to within Israel as the Hebrew equivalent of "the boss has lost it" -- a kind of "calculated rage" that "evokes the image of a madman who cannot be controlled."

It is an "image" that long ago consumed Israel proper.

A madman is by definition someone who has gone insane.  Israel is a state founded on ethnic cleansing -- a massive attack on civilians.  Instead of confronting its original sin, it has simply repeated the same crime in various ways, each time believing that it will crush the Palestinians once and for all.  Repeating the same action over and over again while expecting a different result is the very definition of insanity.

The reality of a "madman who cannot be controlled" is a traumatic one.  The madman declares civilians and combatants alike guilty and subjects them all to "education" through indiscriminate killing.  Though the madman arrogates the right to determine the guilt of others for acts that are both in response to and dwarfed by his own far greater atrocities, the madman himself goes unquestioned.  Like a convicted batterer presiding over the trial and sentencing of his victims, the Israeli "madman" judges and punishes the very people it has brutalized and dispossessed.

Unfortunately, the prevailing attitude of allowing Israel to rain down its "calculated rage" on Palestinians is applauded not only by the Israeli military and Times newspaper columnists, but also by many American liberals, whose moral senses are conveniently swallowed up by the same serpent that slips away with their spines whenever the subject of the Israeli settler-state presents itself.

Who, then, will stand up for the Palestinians?  Who will control the madman?

M. Junaid Levesque-Alam blogs about America and Islam at Crossing the Crescent and writes about American Muslim identity for WireTap magazine.  He works as a communications coordinator for an anti-domestic violence agency in NYC and can be reached at: junaidalam1 AT

Israel: they washed her, cut her hair, raped and killed her

For 54 years the fate of a young Bedouin girl who disappeared in the Negev desert was relegated to rumour and a single entry in the diary of David Ben-Gurion, the prime minister of the fledgling Israeli state.

"It was decided and carried out: they washed her, cut her hair, raped her and killed her," he wrote.

After that the case became one of the state's earliest secrets, and no more than hearsay passed between soldiers.

Now the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz has used previously classified army documents to reveal the full story of what Mr Ben-Gurion called a "horrific atrocity".

In August 1949, an army unit stationed at Nirim in the Negev shot an Arab man and captured a Bedouin girl with him. Her name and age remain unknown, but she was probably in her mid-teens.

In the following hours she was taken from the hut and forced to shower naked in full view of the soldiers. Three of the men then raped her.

After the Sabbath meal the platoon commander, identified by Ha'aretz as a man called Moshe who had served in the British army during the second world war, proposed a vote on what should be done with her.

One option was to put her to work in the outpost's kitchen.

Most of the 20 or so soldiers present voted for the alternative by chanting: "We want to fuck". The commander organised a rota for groups of his men to gang rape the girl over the next three days. Moshe and one of his sergeants went first, leaving the girl unconscious. Next morning, she complicated matters by protesting about her treatment. Moshe told one of his sergeants to kill her.

The commander's report said: "In my patrol on 12.8.49 I encountered Arabs in the territory under my command, one of them armed. I killed the armed Arab on the spot and took his weapon. I took the Arab female captive. On the first night the soldiers abused her and the next day I saw fit to remove her from the world."

Source article is here.

P.S. Well they had to kill her. After her experience it would be likely she'd be an anti-Semite... she was aware of something bad about Jews. And for that matter, they had to go and kill the rest of her family, her neighbors and her village and anyone else that might have a problem with their killing her.


By Amira Hass

At 1 P.M. on Monday, January 5, 2009, near Rajib Mughrabi’s garage on Saladin Street, in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City, a man of about 60 was pushing an elderly woman in a wheelbarrow. A 15-year-old boy walked at their side, waving a white cloth. Behind them, some 80 people were walking northward, their hands in the air. The day before, during Israel Defense Forces advances under cover of heavy fire, Palestinian inhabitants began their great flight westward, inward, into the Strip’s urban centers. If they thought they were in the soldiers’ line of sight, they waved white flags and raised their hands aloft.
The man pushing the wheelbarrow was Mouin Joha, his mother was sitting inside and his son Ibrahim accompanied them bearing the flag.

“On the night between Saturday and Sunday, between January 3rd and 4th,” Joha recalled a few weeks later, “there was shelling just all around us. They were firing from all directions, and inside the house we were dying of fear. With every shell we thought it was the end. We heard the stones quaking. We ran from room to room. We lay the children down on the floor in the innermost room, like fish, one next to the other.”

Joha is an agricultural engineer who studied in Egypt; for the past 15 years, he has worked for the Palestinian ministry of agriculture, supervising strawberry growers. He lived in his unwhitewashed concrete home with two wives and 10 children. In the now half-destroyed house, he recounted the events of the morning of January 4: “They started shooting from the northwest, firing on our home as though we were a military outpost. The girls were crying in fear. Down below, the ground was covered with soldiers. They were shouting, ‘Open the door.’”

The houses along this part of the main thoroughfare of Gaza - Saladin Road - are some 80 to 100 meters from one another. To the east of the houses is an open area of fields and orchards. To the west, the edge of the Zeitoun neighborhood. Now it is strewn with heaps of concrete and other rubble, the walls of its houses gaping open, revealing evidence of fires that have broken out inside. There are also the ruins of the Swafiri family’s chicken coops. As the army advanced, the bulldozers or tanks ran over them. At the end of January, there was still a heavy stench of dead chickens in the air. Municipal sanitation department workers, wearing white clothes and white masks on their faces, were engaged in gathering the dead birds.

The Joha family sent one of the girls down to open the door for the soldiers. The rest of the family came down the stairs “with hands up in the air.” A soldier started smashing the floor in one of the rooms. In a number of the houses that became temporary outposts, the soldiers filled up sacks for their firing positions with the sand found under the flooring. Mouin Joha went up to the top floor with the soldiers “and I discovered that everything was destroyed”: The shelling had brought down walls, bent columns, opened holes. One of the soldiers “photographed us and the destruction,” he recalled, “and then we were ordered to go downstairs. There were maybe 12 of them, maybe 20. I was so scared I couldn’t count.”

Downstairs, said Joha, an officer shouted: “‘Yallah - everyone to Rafah. I want to blow up this house.’ I couldn’t believe my ears. I’ve been building this house all of my life. I said to him, ‘Ya hawaja [an honorific for a non-Muslim], where will I go? The children are so small.’ But he aimed his weapon at me and said: ‘Go, yallah.’ They suggested we go to the mosque, as a place of refuge. I said that the mosque had also become a target for the shelling.”

Joha’s family went to the home of the neighbor, Abu Zur. There they found other escapees, members of the Swafari family. But early Sunday morning, the same story repeated itself, related Mohammed, Joha’s son: “Firing on the house, the girls screaming in fear. We ran from room to room and overhead there was shooting. We started to crawl along the floor.”

The firing came from the northwest (where the army had already taken up positions the previous day). The soldiers heard the screaming and allowed the people to come out of the house. They ordered them to march - men in front and women in back. When they were out in the street, related Mohammed’s mother, Madlala, “they threw stun grenades near us. One of the soldiers took pictures of us, afraid and with the girls screaming. They told us all to go to Rafah. How am I going to walk to Rafah when I have heart problems?”

Houses as IDF positions

The group started walking southward toward the former Netzarim junction, but then its members were fired on from that direction. Panicking, they fled to Mughrabi’s garage - about 60 people, more than half of them children, Mouin Joha estimated.

After resting awhile, they decided to walk to the center of town. The soldiers already knew them, they thought; they had checked and seen that all of them were civilians. Now the same soldiers were sitting in their houses, including that of Joha, all of them transformed into IDF positions.

“We thought the army would let us keep going because we raised a white flag. I got my elderly mother, whom I couldn’t carry, to sit in a wheelbarrow for transporting cola crates, which we padded with some rags,” said Moha. Madlala reminded him that their son Ibrahim was waving a mandil (headscarf).

“We walked for about 150 or 180 meters,” she continued. “There were many of us, and we all had our hands up in the air. And then a shot was fired in front of the wheelbarrow. It was a sharpshooter from Abu Zur’s house. And then another shot - at Ibrahim. He cried out and everyone ran.”

Mohammed carried his wounded brother back to the garage. Somebody called the Red Crescent to send in an ambulance, and then the teenager began to complain of pains in every apart of his body, the mother related. The IDF did not permit an ambulance to enter the area under its control. That night Ibrahim began to spit up blood. At about 2 A.M., some 13 hours after he had been shot, he died.

It was only a few days later, on Thursday, January 8, when the IDF declared a three-hour break in the firing, that the group - now some 80 people, at least half of them children - were able to remove Ibrahim’s body, as well as three others lying in the road; two of them were the bodies of Palestinian fighters (which Mohammed said he had already seen on Monday). They walked about two kilometers northward .

According to Mouin Joha, from one of the houses that now served as military positions, sacks that the soldiers used to hold bodily waste were thrown down at them. Full ones.

When the Joha family returned home, they found many of these bags, some of them leaking, lying about in rooms with walls that were full of holes or totally destroyed. They also discovered plastic bottles full of urine, parts from smashed computers, a refrigerator and washing machine perforated with bullet holes, books stinking of urine and heaps of rubble. The soldiers had also left behind some graffiti, declaring: “The Zionist occupier was here,” and “We came to slaughter you.”

The office of the IDF Spokesman has responded that the events described by Mouin Joha are under investigation, and that the army “allowed the movement of ambulances insofar as it was possible, within the constraints of fighting in an area inhabited by civilians.”

Army sources have told Haaretz that forces “are instructed to respect anyone who waves a white flag as a sign of surrender or non-involvement in the fighting and to refrain from hurting them.”

Also, according to these sources: “Enemy forces make cynical use of this requirement of the IDF, and wave a ‘white flag’ as a cover when carrying out acts of warfare, and in order to avoid attack.”

The sources added that, “in cases when a suspicion arises that a person waving a white flag is acting in a way that endangers our forces, the latter are entitled to take the necessary steps to investigate the suspicion and remove the threat, in accordance with the relevant orders regarding opening fire.”

A tank driver from an Armored Corps battalion was quoted in the January 9 issue of Bamahaneh: “We stayed inside for four days, during the course of which we fired a lot. We suspect everyone. A lot of people pass by in the street waving white rags at us. We don’t hit women and children, but they taught us to suspect men because there are alerts about suicide terrorists disguised as civilians.”

During and after the operation in Gaza, there were a number of reports about people (including women and children) who were shot at by soldiers while trying to escape and waving white flags. These testimonies come from different places, including Ararah (Beit Lahia), Azbat Abed Rabo (east of Jabalya), Huzaa (to the east of Khan Yunis), this last an incident already reported on in Haaretz). Local and international organizations are investigating them in the context of preparing complaints and lawsuits against the IDF.

"antisemitic crime hoax"

An anti-semite is not someone who hates Jews; it is someone the Zionists hate.

("One has to ask, who does this act benefit").


Los Angeles, Alta California - February 3, 2009 - (ACN) On January 31, 2009, the international Zionist press released, with amazing speed and coordination, two reports concerning a purported attack on a Caracas, Venezuela synagogue that had occurred just the evening before. One report concerned a statement from Abraham H. Foxman of the ADL of B'nai B'rith that said the following:

"Just days after the international community commemorated the Holocaust in ceremonies of remembrance throughout the world, a synagogue in Caracas was the scene of a modern day Kristallnacht. For five hours, violent anti-Semites profaned and vandalized the most sacred space and objects of Jewish life, leaving behind graffiti that said “Get out,” “Death to All,” and “Damn Israel, Death.” This violent attack occurring on the Jewish Sabbath is reminiscent of the darkest days leading to the Shoah, when Jews were attacked and synagogues and Torahs vandalized and destroyed under the guard of the Nazi regime."

The other report was from the Wiesenthal Center that said, "Hugo Chavez's demonization of Israel and the Jewish community set the stage for a shocking five hour invasion and desecration of a synagogue in Caracas on the Jewish Sabbath."

Yesterday, after 3 days of investigation by the "Cuerpo de Investigaciones Científicas, Penales y Criminalísticas (CICPC) and the "Ministerio del Poder Popular para las Relaciones Interiores y Justicia", Venezuela's Minister of Information Jesse Chacon Escamillo said they now suspect that the purported crime was actually committed by the Zionists themselves.

The preliminary findings of the investigation prompted President Hugo Chavez to declare, "Son ellos mismos, asi lo digo al pais! ("It is them, this I say to the nation!"). President Chavez added, "Habrá que preguntarse a quiénes convienen estos hechos" ("One has to ask, who does this act benefit").

Venezuelan investigators became suspicious when many aspects of the purported crime did not add up. The synagogue rabbis first reported that "15 chavistas" had broken into their "sacred place" on the night of Friday January 30th and that they had remain there for hours. The Caracas synagogue is heavily fortified and has high electrified walls surrounding it. In addition it is located in a very busy street and on the night of the alleged crime there were hundreds of person walking by the synagogue because of an international soccer game taking place nearby. Investigators could not locate anyone noticing "15 chavistas" climbing the synagogue walls.

Most telling is that investigators knew that the synagogue has many security cameras installed that tape inside and outside for 24 hours. When the rabbis were asked for the tapes, the rabbis said that the "chavistas" stole them. This is very curious because many expensive items inside the synagogue were not reported stolen. The nature of the amateurish "antisemitic" graffiti on the walls inside the synagogue is also extremely suspect. Most suspicious of all were the photographs that the rabbis provided of the "sacred objects of Jewish life" they say were "desecrated." The menorahs, books and other items are seen on the photographs neatly placed but scattered on the floor.

The claim of phoney antisemitic hate crimes by Zionists and certain Jewish organizations have been a favorite ploy for decades. These accusations are made to gain political advantage, especially when the group is being criticized for their crimes like their most recent ones in Gaza. This is the primary reason why they do not allow anyone to criticize the truthfulness of the "shoa". They claim that Jews were turned into "soap bars", that their skins where made into "lampshades" and that their "gold fillings" were turned into gold bars by the Nazis. This is also the reason why they are presently asking for the Roman Catholic Pope to resign because last week he forgave Bishop Richard Williamson for saying that he did not believe Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps in "gas chambers."

There have been numerous exposed antisemitic hate crime hoaxes throughout history. We reported on a very interesting one that occurred at Claremont-McKenna College on March 9, 2004. On that day, the Zionist press and the Los Angeles Times reported a "vicious antisemitic hate crime" and "the worst incident of hate in recent history at the Claremont Colleges". Apparently Professor Kerri Dunn, who had recently converted to Judaism, reported that when she was returning to her car around 8 p.m. on March 9 she noticed that her front window was shattered, the tires slashed, and the body of her vehicle covered with spray-painted antisemitic epithets. She said that the words “Kike Whore" and a "Swastika" were painted on her vehicle.

The purported hate crime turned the colleges upside down. All five colleges were closed on the following day by the respective college administrations in order to stage rallies and meetings against hate and to show support for the purported victim. It did not take long for the Jewish student organization Hillel of B'nai B'rith to jump into action. Hillel representative D’ror Chankin-Gould said the attack came as no surprise. He linked the incident to growing antisemitism worldwide. “We are here to say that we are scared,” said Chankin-Gould. “Swastikas and broken glass trigger potent memories for Jews.”

Finally, on March 18, the Claremont Police Department as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported that the so call "antisemitic hate crime" was actually a "hoax" perpetrated by Professor Kerri Dunn herself. Two independent witnesses came forward declaring that they saw Professor Dunn commit the vandalism on her own car. Professor Dunn was convicted for filing a false report and other crimes on August 18, 2004.

Doubts cloud Mannichl Nazi stabbing claims:

Investigators have found discrepancies in Passau police chief Alois Mannichl’s claim that he was stabbed by a neo-Nazi in mid-December and leads point to a domestic dispute instead, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Friday.

And the Winner is…. Adolfa Livni!

Contributed by Edna

Posted in Gaza, Israeli elections, Tzipi Livni, war crimes tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 10:39 pm by ednaspennato


Beastie and the Boychicks cc Edna Spennato 2008.

Photomontage made on 13 Dec 2008.

Click on image to enlarge.

These two images were created during the pre-Christmas period when Israel’s sinister foreign minister, Livni, was become more and more vocal about the genocide she and her cohorts had planned for the people of Gaza, about 2 weeks before the start of the so-called Hannukah Massacre on 27 Dec 2008.

And if the world’s people have anything to do with it, Livni, an ex-Mossad agent whose father was a well-known Irgun terrorist, will eventually be arrested to stand trial for war crimes at the Hague. She is likely to go down in history as one of the least nurturing women of all time, despite the fact that she has nursed two sons at her breast.

Using a “shoot anything that moves” approach to wiping out the caged civilians of Gaza and testing out a variety of new and terrible illegal weapons for the demonic American military, this psychopath was the person probably most responsible for the mass murder of over a thousand civilians in a three week period.

The American-Israeli blood-letting spree came to a slow halt literally only an hour or two before the start of the inauguration celebrations in the USA, only because of the request from Barky not to rain (blood) on his parade.

This brought about a terrible juxtaposition of concurrent experiences in the collective consciousness which has really fucked with the minds and hearts of the world’s people, and added massively to the collective desensitization process which Obama took advantage of three days after becoming POTUS.

One of the first actions made by the new POTUS was to pass the order to aerial bomb a rural village in Pakistan, a country with which America is not even at war (i.e. this action made him a war criminal), which gave Barky his first big kill of over 20 people, including many children, without it even being even reported (except on “page 5″) by the mainstream press.

The grisly juxtaposition of the slow ending of the Gaza genocide like a massive snuff movie, at the same time as the music started up in the USA gave us scenes of devastating misery and carnage on our computer monitors, with people in Gaza frantically digging through the rubble to find the bodies of their loved ones, while on our television sets across the room, the first notes of the “Star-Spangled Banner” struck up, and the balloons and glitter and the “Yes We Can” refrain went out up in a pornographically hysterical way from the crowds at the bash.

If we are all really One, this experience has fragmented our collective consciousness in a way similar to the manner in which the CIA programmes its mind-controlled operatives through the Monarch project.

It would have been a lot less disturbing had the Americans made the inauguration a somber affair, with dignitaries wearing black armbands out of respect for the dead civilians of Gaza killed by American weaponry, but being expected collectively to weep tears of sentimentality for Obama while simultaneously swallowing one’s deep disgust at the genocide in Gaza, has brought a deep wounding to our collective soul. It’s going to take a lot of healing to fix this one.

Like the rest of her cohorts in the Knesset, Livni’s ultimate goal is clearly the genocide of the entire Palestinian people, for which she can count on for help, as usual, from the USA and EU.

She has managed to worsen a humanitarian crisis in Gaza already so severe that the world has not seen anything quite as barbaric since the Bolsheviks used starvation as the weapon used to wipe out the entire population of the Ukraine.

Heil, Adolfa Livni!

What terrible plans do you have for the true semitic people of occupied Palestine, that you have locked up in the largest concentration camp the world has ever seen?

Enjoy your freedom while it lasts. See you at the Hague.


Adolfa Livni cc Edna Spennato 2008.

Photomontage made on 15 Dec 2008

Click on image to enlarge.


Friday, 13 February 2009

Self Defense Against Peace


12/02/2009 By Prof. Michael Mandel
Global Research, February 9, 2009 - 2009-02-05 is not responsible for the content of this article or for any external internet sites. The views expressed are the author's alone.

Did self-defense justify Israel’s war on Gaza?

Objections have been raised to this claim on grounds of a lack of both proportionality and necessity. To kill over 1000 Palestinians in 3 weeks, hundreds of them children, and wound thousands more, in order to deter a threat from rockets that did not kill or injure anybody in Israel for the six months the truce was declared by both sides, or even before Israel launched its attack on December 27, is so disproportionate as to be intolerable in any ethical system that holds Palestinian lives equal in value to Israeli lives. It is also so disproportionate as to defy belief that defense against these rockets was the real motive of the war. To ignore the many diplomatic avenues available to avoid even this threat, such as lifting the suffocating 18-month siege, suggests the same thing.

A more fundamental objection, however, is the self-evident legal and moral principle that an aggressor cannot rely upon self-defense to justify violence against resistance to its own aggression. You can find this principle in domestic law and in the judgments of the Nuremberg tribunals.

To quote one Nuremberg judge:

"On of the most amazing phenomena of this case which does not lack in startling features is the manner in which the aggressive war conducted by Germany against Russia has been treated by the defense as if it were the other way around. …If it is assumed that some of the resistance units in Russia or members of the population did commit acts which were in themselves unlawful under the rules of war, it would still have to be shown that these acts were not in legitimate defense against wrongs perpetrated upon them by the invader. Under International Law, as in Domestic Law, there can be no reprisal against reprisal. The assassin who is being repulsed by his intended victim may not slay him and then, in turn, plead self defense. "(Trial of Otto Ohlendorf and others, Military Tribunal II-A, April 8, 1948)

So who was the aggressor here?

There would have been no question as to who was the aggressor had this attack taken place before Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza strip in 2005. At that point Israel had been committing a continuous aggression against Gaza for 38 years, in its illegal and violent occupation of it, along with the rest of the Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, after its conquest in 1967.

By 2005, the occupation had been condemned as illegal by the highest organs with jurisdiction over international law, most notably the International Court of Justice in its 2004 opinion on the separation barrier. A central illegality of the occupation for the International Court lay in Israel’s settlements, which violate the law against colonization, and which are central to the occupation. The fifteen judges of the International Court were unanimously of the opinion that the settlements were illegal and the wall itself was held by a majority of 13-2 to be illegal, partly because it was there to defend the settlements, and not Israel itself, and thus could not qualify as self-defense.

The rocket attacks from Gaza started in 2001 and took their first Israeli victim in 2004. Since then, there had been 14 Israeli victims prior to the current war. Tragic, indeed, but obviously paling in comparison to the 1700 Palestinians killed in Gaza during the same period. One death is indeed a tragedy, but many deaths are not just “a statistic,” as Stalin had it; they are the tragedy multiplied many times over. Given Israel’s illegal, aggressive and violent occupation, prior to the withdrawal, Gaza rockets could only be regarded as necessary and proportionate self-defense, or as reprisals against Israel’s aggression.

Did Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 change the situation?

It has been forcefully argued that the 18-month siege of Gaza, a major reason for Hamas’ refusal to extend the truce, was itself an act of aggression, giving rise to a right of self-defense.

But even more important, though usually ignored, is Israel’s continued illegal and aggressive occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem after the withdrawal from Gaza in 2005. Indeed, the withdrawal from Gaza was intended to strengthen the hold on the other territories and was accompanied by a greater increase in the number of settlers there than those removed from Gaza.

The occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem figured equally with Gaza in the condemnations of the World Court and the Security Council. Furthermore, in the Oslo Accords, Israel and the Palestinians agreed that “The two sides view the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as a single territorial unit, the integrity and status of which will be preserved during the interim period.” Indeed, when Hamas won the elections in 2006, elections declared impeccably fair and civil by all international observers, it won them for the whole of the Palestinian Authority, including the West Bank (it was not allowed by Israel to campaign in East Jerusalem). Many Hamas West Bank legislators remain in Israeli jails.

And the basic fact is that the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza are one people, however separated they are by walls and fences and check-points. Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from one part of that people’s land cannot turn that people into aggressors when they resist the illegal occupation of the rest.

So self-defense cannot justify this attack, or the siege that preceded it. What can? That Hamas is a “terrorist organization?” But terrorism is about deliberately killing civilians for illegal political ends, and in that enterprise, Israel has topped Hamas by many multiples. That Hamas does not recognize Israel’s “right to exist?” But Hamas has offered many times to make a long-term truce with Israel on the basis of the legal international borders, something it is clearly entitled to insist upon. Israel says that’s not good enough, that Hamas first has to recognize Israel’s legitimacy, in other words, it has to concede the legitimacy of the Jewish state and all it has meant to the Palestinians. In other words, as one Israeli journalist ironized, Israel is insisting that Hamas embrace Zionism as a condition of even talking peace with it.

These are not justifications for violence on this or any scale. Indeed, they point to the most plausible reason Israel is fighting Hamas (and the PLO before it): self-defense, if you will, not against rockets and mortars, but against having to make peace with the Palestinians on the basis of the pre-1967 borders as required by international law.

Michael Mandel is Professor of Law at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University in Toronto, where he teaches the Law of War, and the author of How America Gets Away With Murder: Illegal Wars, Collateral Damage, and Crimes Against Humanity (Pluto Press, 2004).

Crossing the Line: US role in the war on Gaza


Podcast, Crossing the Line, 13 February 2009

This week on Crossing The Line: As US President Barack Obama stood before a crowd of two million and gave his inaugural address, he pledged to work with those in the Arab and Muslim world towards peace. But absent in the address was any condemnation of Israeli atrocities committed against the Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Host Naji Ali speaks with The Electronic Intifada co-founder Ali Abunimah about the Obama administration, the recent massacre in Gaza and the prospects of peace in the region.

Also this week, Ali speaks with Gaza-based journalist Rami Almeghari about the current situation on the ground in Gaza in the aftermath of the 22 days of Israeli attacks.

And as always, Crossing the Line begins with "This week in Palestine," a service provided by The International Middle East Media Center.

  • Listen Now [MP3 - 22 MB]

    Crossing the Line is a weekly podcast dedicated to giving voice to the voiceless in occupied Palestine. Through investigative news, arts, eyewitness accounts, and music, Crossing the Line does its best to present the lives of people on the ground.

    Crossing the Line's host, Naji Ali, is an independent journalist currently living in San Francisco. Ali's South African roots and desire for social change are the reason for his strong solidarity with the Palestinian people. In 1990 Ali was arrested in South Africa where he was detained and tortured for nearly two years by the South African secret police. Ali also lived and worked in the Old City of Hebron in the occupied West Bank.

Steadfast Before Goliath


12/02/2009 Steadfast Before Goliath
By Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi
02.09.2009 is not responsible for the content of this article or for any external internet sites. The views expressed are the author's alone.

When I am asked about Palestinian identity, one idea keeps coming to mind. I was told it would be translated into English as "steadfastness." I looked up what a steadfast person would be like and the dictionary says, "One marked by firm determination or resolution--not shakable--of firm convictions and strong resolve. A man of unbendable perseverance and unwavering loyalty."

Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi: A leading Palestinian politician defends his people and their nonviolent resistance to Israeli occupation.

That's pretty close to what I had in mind, but somewhat incomplete--it is hard to capture an entire people in a word. Steadfastness refers to our Palestinian character of never giving in. It refers to our standing up to overwhelming odds time and again, without a friend in our corner. It is about our being beaten and abused in every way known to man, only to get back up with our heads held high.

This is impressive, but if it is understood only in this way steadfastness could easily be exchanged for a different, less appealing word: stubbornness. In itself, refusing to give up is not an admirable quality. After all, the rather unsavory and racist group of settlers in Hebron could also be described as steadfast. They too display "unwavering loyalty" and "firm convictions," and they too seemingly never give in.

What makes our steadfastness admired around the world is not only our perseverance but the justice of our cause, which is freedom, democracy and plurality. It is important to remember this broader definition of our character and our steadfastness. It is even more important for us to more loudly trumpet this, our true identity, throughout the world.

The reason is simple: Israel has dedicated an enormous amount of resources to perverting our identity and the character of our struggle. It has gained a significant degree of influence over the media, especially in the West, and has used this strength to transform and manipulate reality to its own ends. Thus despite our being slaughtered in the streets of Gaza, we are told that we are not only to blame but that the siege we are enduring is unworthy of international intervention.

Despite having thousands of our civilian brothers, sons, fathers, sisters, mothers and daughters in Israeli prisons routinely subjected to torture, we are told to immediately release a single captured Israeli soldier--or face another wave of high-tech brutality.

Despite the fact that we have international and human rights law on our side, it is said that we are "stubborn" because of our refusal to surrender the remainder of our historic birthright to Israeli occupation. We Palestinians are depicted in much of the media as steadfast only in our savagery, irrationality and propensity for violence.

From the 1920s onward, Palestinian resistance has been overwhelmingly nonviolent. The number of peaceful, unarmed Palestinian martyrs of this conflict far outweighs those of us who have fought the enemy on its own violent terms. From boycotts to business and hunger strikes, from demonstrations to diplomacy, we Palestinians are engaged daily in nonviolent struggle against the occupation of our land and the constant abuse of our dignity and security.

The international media do not focus on this, of course; instead they choose to emphasize the rare instances of Palestinian violence to such a degree that in the eyes of the international community, they appear to be comparable to the massive crimes of our occupier. There is no better example of this than the international coverage of the slaughter of our brothers and sisters in the Gaza Strip. The world is told, and thus believes, that a "war" was being waged between two equals, rather than an asymmetric massacre being carried out by the world's fifth-largest military-industrial complex upon one of the world's last remaining stateless peoples.

Israel has not only killed hundreds of women, children and civilian men; it has systematically destroyed the economy and infrastructure of the tiny coastal Strip. It has employed illegal incendiary weapons against heavily populated civilian areas and munitions that burn through our skin, straight to the bone. Israel has killed doctors, journalists and aid workers alike in its "war against Hamas and terror" - and it remains brazenly unapologetic.

Our death toll has climbed well over 1,000 while the aggressor mourns the loss of little over a dozen - most of them soldiers, and many of whom have died as a result of Israeli army "friendly fire." Yet the world is still told it is watching a war unfold rather than a massacre.

The main reason so much effort is put into distorting the character of Palestinians is that if the world were to really know what is going on here, the collective emotion would shift from apathy toward our struggle to one of anger at our oppressor. Israel knows that if the world were able to see Palestine, it would have to draw conclusions and make comparisons. Americans allowed to watch the daily brutality committed against peaceful protesters would immediately connect our plight to that of the African-American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s.

If Africans were allowed to see the conditions of occupation in the West Bank, they would be unable to disassociate this from the South African anti-apartheid movement of the 1970s and '80s - which led to the triumph of the African National Congress and Nelson Mandela.

If the world were allowed to see what is actually taking place in Gaza right now, it would be unable to avoid comparisons with the Nazi ghetto-ization of Jews in the 1930s and '40s -- which culminated in systematic slaughter. But the world is not allowed to see these truths; instead, it is fed a daily dose of rhetoric taken out of context, or images from the occasional backlash of a Palestinian with nothing left to lose.

Despite the fact that our nonviolence goes unnoticed by a world biased in favor of our oppressor, we continue unabated. We continue not because nonviolence, resilience and the steadfast pursuit of justice is a "strategy" we hope will one day turn the tide of public opinion in our favor; we continue because this is who we are. It is our integrity that guides our struggle - not the constant humiliation and provocation of our oppressor.

This integrity, the justice of our cause and the means by which we pursue it are the gravest threat to Israel and the Zionist agenda for our land - far graver than homemade rockets or suicide bombers. Israel understands this, and thus works hard to pervert this reality in the minds of Israelis and the international community.

Their fear is evident in the means by which they suppress popular nonviolence throughout the West Bank. In Ni'lin over the past six months, four nonviolent youth have been turned into martyrs by the Israeli army. Countless others have sustained serious injuries, from tear-gas asphyxiation and beatings to bullets - the live kind and the rubber-coated steel sort.

Recently in Bi'lin, protesters donned the striped garb of Jews at the Warsaw Ghetto to remind Israel how its actions today are reflections of the crimes committed against Jews by the Nazis. This statement so incensed the Israeli soldiers that they abandoned their positions and chased the protesters right into the heart of the village. A number of them were beaten - presumably for reminding Israelis of their past and injuring their contemporary sensibilities.

On a regular basis, peace activists are humiliated, blindfolded and shot in the kneecaps, sprayed with sewage and chemicals, deafened and "microwaved" by newer and ever more sadistic methods of crowd control, imprisoned and tortured. They do it over and over again, usually on Fridays but often throughout the week. They engage the military more often than any or all of the armed militias in Palestine, and they go unarmed -- or at most with stones -- to fight Goliath again and again.

Out of fear and in retaliation, the Israelis resort to the only weapon available to those who neither possess integrity nor follow a just cause: violence. They do so in the hope that we will respond in kind -- that we will fight on their terms instead of our own. They do so in the hope that they can change what it is to be a Palestinian: steadfast in our pursuit of justice. Their efforts have failed and will continue to fail. Our character and our steadfastness are unshakable - and we will have the justice we deserve, in this life or the next.

Israel's most recent crime against our people in the Gaza Strip is only another attempt in its quest to undermine our identity and pervert our methods. The occupier screams from his watchtowers and F-16s, "We only understand violence! Fight! Fight! Fight!" They plead with us to take the bait and dehumanize them as they have done so completely to us.

We are steadfast in our cause and in our methods. We are armed with truth, justice, signs, flags and sometimes stones - nothing more. We will be marching again on Friday throughout the West Bank, and again the Friday after that, and again, and again...until we have defeated Goliath. A defeat that will finally liberate Palestinians and Israelis from the cancer of occupation and apartheid and that will open the way for our dream, where all human beings--whether they are Palestinian or Israeli--will be treated equally, with dignity and without prejudice.

© 2009 The Nation Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, a physician, is general secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative. He is a member of the Palestinian Parliament and was a presidential candidate in 2005. He is a campaigner for grassroots democracy and internal reform as well as a leading figure in the nonviolent, peaceful struggle against the occupation.

The Tip of the Swantzberg


I read today in the Daily Tel Aviv that this Dutch shmegege filmmaker Geert Wilders wasn't allowed to enter into our United Kosher Kingdom.

What a silly goy he is. If he really wants to bash the Muslims, all he has to do is to convert into Judaism and to become a Kosher qualified bigot like Peres, Bibi'le, Tzipi'le and Barkshen. No one stopped Peres from entering Britain 2 months ago, in fact he was knighted! Our Tzipi'le Livni is also welcome to Britain in spite of the fact that she, more than anyone else, is responsible for this Islamofascistcide in Goyza.

You see, my little Blondy Wilders, while we can get away with murder, a goy shmegege like yourself is refused entery just for making a film! Ha ha ha!

Listen to Auntie you little krechzen, just join us, be a Jew, no one will touch you! Our Marxists will defend you from the left and our cash-machine Lords will pay all your expenses. All you have to do is loose the top of your villy.

Shmegege - clumsy
Islamofascistcide - a slightly more extreme version of Neighborhood Watch
Krechzen - burp
Villy - very much like a cock but slightly smaller

From Haven to Conquest: Readings in Zionism and the Palestine Problem Until 1948


Walid Khalidi 1971, with a second printing in 1987

Article/book #1184: From Haven to Conquest: Readings in Zionism and the Palestine Problem Until 1948
By: Walid Khalidi
Date of issue: 1971, with a second printing in 1987
ISBN: 0887281559
Topic(s) addressed:

Timeline event(s) mentioned in this item:

31 Aug 1945:
Truman asks Attlee to admit 100,000 Jews into Palestine

29 Nov 1947:
United Nations General Assembly approves UNSCOP partition plan for Palestine

Commentary: Book published by Institute for Palestine Studies; ISBN: 0887281559; (Second printing, October 1987).
This is an anthology edited by Walid Khalidi. Authors of the articles included in the anthology are: Ilene Beatty, Alfred Guillaume, Burhan Ad-Din al Fazari, Miguel Asin, Cecil Roth, Stanley Lane-Poole, Elmer Berger, Zia Al-Khalidi, Oskar K. Rabinowicz, L. M. C. van der Hoeven Leonhard, Herbert Sidebotham, Edwin Montagu, Leonard Stein, Frank E. Manuel, J. M. N. Jeffries, Chaim Weizmann, Arthur Balfour, Louis D. Brandeis, Eustace Percy, Felix Frankfurter, W. F. Stirling, C. R. Ashbee, Chaim Arlosoroff, Michael Ionides, Vincent Sheean, Sir John Hope Simpson, Kingsley Martin, Alan Bullock, Ernest Main, Vladimir Jabotinsky, Nevill Barbour, Michael F. J. McDonnell, R. J. Manning, Sir Alec Seath Kirkbride, Frances E. Newton, Mahatma K. Gandhi, David Ben-Gurion, Leonard Mosley, A. Granott, Thomas Reid, Jon Kinche, David Kimche, Robert Briscoe, Stephen Wise, Morris L. Ernst, William Ernest Hocking, William A. Eddy, Kermit Roosevelt, Lieut.-General Sir Frederick Morgan, Francis Williams, Robert A. Divine, James V. Forrestal, Walter T. Stace, Abba Eban, Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan, General Carlos P. Romulo, Arnold Krammer, Lieut.-General Netanel Lorch, Jacques de Reynier, Harry Levin, Major R. D. Wilson, Lieut.-General Sir John Bagot Glubb, General aage Lundstrom, Erskine B. Childers, Hans Kohn.
Abstract: From the Book Description: Now a classic in its field, From Haven to Conquest is a unique compendium of difficult-to-obtain or out-of-print material on Zionism and the history of Palestine to 1948. Eighty documents and first-hand accounts are supplemented by an introduction by Professor Khalidi, 22 maps and 30 pages of appendices providing detailed demographic and military statistics.

Extracts available online include:

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