Alexander 0102-5, Alexander Roger

The Nation
March 12, 2001
==========================================================================

Special Report

Fields of Thorns
by Mouin Rabbani

The Palestinian uprising in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which in late
September 2000 began as a wave of popular protest against Ariel Sharon’s
belligerent incursion into Jerusalem’s sacred Haram al-Sharif, has
developed into a full-fledged war of attrition against the Israeli
occupation, which rather ironically paved the aggressive right-wing
leader’s path to power.

The gradual “Lebanonization” of the occupied territories during the
Al-Aqsa Intifada, in which the activities of increasingly effective
armed cells have been supplanting civil forms of resistance, poses a
challenge to Israel, which, in the context of its stated territorial
ambitions and the external constraints upon its conduct, outgoing Prime
Minister Ehud Barak was incapable of resolving. For all his bluster
about refusing to negotiate under fire, putting an end to Palestinian
“violence and terror” and achieving a “peace for generations,” Sharon’s
dilemma is equally intractable. Any government he forms will prove at
least as unwilling to withdraw to the June 1967 boundaries as its
predecessor, and thereby will insure the continuation of the uprising.
If Sharon opts instead to destroy the Palestinian Authority (PA) in an
updated version of the regional strategy attempted during the 1982
invasion of Lebanon, he will once again create the conditions for the
ascendancy of a more!
radical and uncompromising adversary–with the distinction that the
Palestinian variant will be based in Hebron, Jerusalem and the
Palestinian town of Umm al-Fahm within Israel rather than in Lebanon’s
Baalbek and Beirut. And in contrast to 1982, open warfare with the
Palestinian leadership in 2001 will for Israel entail significant
regional (and perhaps international) costs.

The above notwithstanding, the prospects for a successful Palestinian
guerrilla campaign remain dim. Palestinian efforts are nowhere near as
sophisticated as those of Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Israel is prepared
to sustain much greater losses in the occupied Palestinian territories
than it was in Lebanon. At the same time, the militarization of the
uprising is marginalizing the role of Palestinian society and thus
squandering the potential contribution of a mobilized population; as the
PA and Palestinian civil society are for different reasons gripped by
serious paralysis, Israel’s punitive sanctions and the PA’s haphazard
response have stretched Palestinians to the breaking point.

As the possibilities for either a permanent Israeli-Palestinian
settlement or a resumption of interim arrangements continue to recede,
and those of a wider regional conflagration remain on the rise, a
prolonged low-intensity conflict propelled by yet unable to rupture the
political stalemate, punctuated by occasional bouts of intensified
bloodletting, domestic chaos (whether Palestinian or Israeli) and futile
diplomacy, remains the most likely scenario. On an almost daily basis,
unarmed Palestinian youths trek to the boundaries separating areas under
Palestinian and Israeli security control to take on armed Israeli
soldiers encased in protective gear and positioned behind barriers or in
fortified locations. Unlike the 1987-93 intifada, during which the
military was deployed within Palestinian towns and such confrontations
could occur almost anywhere at virtually any time, the current clashes
generally commence at around noon at fixed points on the outskirts of
Palestinian town!
s such as the City Inn junction in northern Al-Bira, or along other
clear lines of demarcation such as central Hebron or Martyrs’ Junction
(Netzarim) south of Gaza City.

These are not the mass demonstrations of the uprising’s early weeks, in
which hundreds and often thousands of Palestinian demonstrators launched
frontal attacks upon Israeli positions with the intention of
overwhelming them and, determined and disorganized in equal measure,
suffered dozens of dead and thousands of wounded in the process. Rather,
and with increasingly few exceptions, these have become ritualized
confrontations. Separated by more or less permanent barricades erected
by the Palestinians and left in place by the Israelis, groups of youths
typically numbering in the dozens approach smaller concentrations of
soldiers to throw stones, bottles and the occasional firebomb. Their
purpose is to remind Israel, the world and also their own leaders that
Palestinians will continue to resist the occupation until it ends, and
the soldiers confront them in order to demonstrate just as clearly that
they have no intention of being involuntarily dislodged.

Shortly before or after the first stone is thrown, the soldiers begin
firing a barrage of tear-gas canisters (most of which are thrown right
back) and fairly quickly begin supplementing their toxic ordnance with
volleys of rubber bullets and spherical metal bullets (covered in a
negligibly thin layer of plastic), which can be lethal if fired–as
often they are–directly at the head or upper body from close range.
Despite the gross imbalance of power, and with breathtaking courage that
numerous observers have termed suicidal, the youths continue advancing,
eventually and inevitably crossing a threshold at which point the
soldiers begin firing live, high-velocity bullets, which fragment upon
impact and are a surgeon’s nightmare. On other occasions, and
particularly in the Gaza Strip, trigger-happy conscripts eagerly
dispense with this intifada protocol and almost immediately resort to
live ammunition, aiming to permanently maim and kill rather than
temporarily disable. It is dou!
btful a single Palestinian shot dead under such circumstances posed a
genuine threat to the life of an Israeli soldier. Nevertheless, the
Israeli military–which, in contrast to the previous intifada, has done
away with the pretense of investigating the conduct of its own
soldiers–has in addition to the above pattern responded to such
demonstrations with snipers operating at long range (and at times
equipped with silencers), as well as rapid automatic gunfire
indiscriminate enough to wound journalists and kill ambulance personnel.

With increasing regularity, the ritual is brought to a conclusion by a
barrage of 500-millimeter or 800-millimeter bullets (the casing of the
latter easily accommodates a human thumb), or several tank shells
directed at nearby buildings. Sometimes these are fired without
provocation; on other occasions they are in response to Palestinian
gunmen who feel or are compelled to intervene when the situation gets
particularly gruesome. In contrast to a number of incidents during the
uprising’s early phases, the gunmen no longer fire from within the
crowd.

As night falls, and increasingly during the day as well, it is these
armed cadres who are defining the nature of Palestinian resistance to
Israeli occupation. Their cells include Palestinian security personnel,
Fatah activists (who are often one and the same) and almost certainly
members of the Islamist and secular opposition as well (notably Islamic
Jihad), and they operate under previously unknown names such as the
Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade (kata’ib shuhada’ al-aqsa) and Forces of Badr
(quwwat badr). Their weapon of choice is the sniper’s bullet and
roadside bomb, and more recently the occasional mortar round and
antitank missile. Their preferred tactic is hit and run, and their
proclaimed strategy of transforming Israel’s most sensitive assets in
the occupied territories into its greatest liabilities is as simple as
it can be effective.

In this respect the network of settler roads, largely constructed since
the Oslo agreement to connect Jewish settlements to Israel (and each
other) in a manner that circumvents Palestinian towns and villages, is a
case in point. Built on the principle of apartheid (the infamous
Dutch/Afrikaans word, meaning “separateness,” is equivalent to the
“separation” that Barak and other Israeli officials frequently recommend
as a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict), in order both to
consolidate the Israeli presence within the West Bank and Gaza Strip and
to provide the settlers who use them with a sense of security, these
have to the horror of their planners become the most dangerous roads in
the Middle East. Because they are the only ones settlers use, and are in
many cases used only by settlers and the military, any vehicle
traversing them is a potential target.

Isolated settlements–such as those in the Gaza Strip and colonies that,
like Gilo on the edge of Beit Jala and Psagot in al-Bira, abut the
communities on whose lands they were established–have on the basis of
the above principle been exposed as equally vulnerable. To the obvious
satisfaction of the uprising’s armed activists, the total settler
population, which increased by approximately 50 percent in the seven
years after the Oslo agreement was signed, has as a result of their
attacks experienced (with the possible exception of 1988) its first net
reduction since 1967. Additionally, numerous Israeli and foreign press
reports have documented the pervasive fear and sense of imprisonment
felt by those who remain, and many appear eager to leave if their
government will provide them alternative housing and/or compensation.
(The irony that the settlements were established by Israel for the
explicit purpose of encircling and suffocating the Palestinians, and
that the military prov!
ided the settlers with guns and green lights to terrorize their
neighbors, is entirely lost upon the majority of such correspondents.)

While the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade and most similar groups are known to
the PA and are believed to enjoy operational support from senior
security officials (which is unlikely to be provided clandestinely and
through which the leadership would seek to retain a measure of influence
over their activities), these are not PA units established to pursue an
official policy under the cloak of plausible deniability. Rather, they
represent an autonomous and at times independent force within the
Palestinian national movement, with an agenda increasingly divergent
>from that of the PA. Its backbone consists of the activist, militant
wing of the Fatah movement, which espouses its policies and positions
both independently and through the proclamations of the National and
Islamic Forces (NIF), a coalition of fourteen Palestinian political
factions that constitutes the operational command and organizational
infrastructure of the uprising.

The NIF, which includes the gamut of PLO, secular opposition and
Islamist factions save the Fatah-Revolutionary Council of Sabri al-Banna
(Abu Nidal), the Fatah-Provisional Command led by Sa’id Maragha (Abu
Musa) and the Palestine Communist Party-Provisional Command of Arabi
Awad, is not a national political leadership and cannot (yet) be
compared to the United National Leadership of the Uprising (UNLU), which
led the 1987-93 intifada until it was entirely subsumed by the exiled
PLO leadership in Tunis and Damascus. Rather, and by tacit agreement,
its role is limited to popular mobilization and the planning and
organization of the uprising’s calendar (e.g., “Days of Rage”), as well
as the conduct of activities such as the consumer boycott of Israeli
products, which–constrained by formal commitments–the PA cannot itself
undertake. According to the rules of the game, the formulation and
implementation of national policy is the exclusive preserve of the PA.

In practice this is no longer the case. The NIF and its constituent
organizations have been increasingly critical of the PA, particularly
with respect to its domestic policies (or rather lack thereof) and its
conduct of relations with Israel and the United States. On February 10,
for example, at a time when most PA officials were proclaiming the view
that the election of Ariel Sharon was an internal Israeli matter, with
Yasir Arafat emphasizing the point by calling the victorious candidate
to congratulate him and express his desire to resume negotiations after
the formation of a new Israeli government, the NIF issued a statement
openly vowing to bring about the downfall of the “terrorist criminal”
Sharon, like Barak before him. It said the “new phase of confrontation,”
which it predicted, “requires that all Palestinian, Arab and
international forces work to isolate this raging bull by all means.”
Indeed, the NIF “stresses the need to reinforce the isolation of
Sharon,” which “!
requires the escalation of the intifada and resistance in order to make
his aggressive policy a burden upon Israeli society.” “Any Palestinian
or Arab attempt to market Sharon’s spoiled goods,” the NIF pointedly
warned, “will fall into the trap Sharon seeks to use to destroy
Palestinian national unity, eliminate the intifada, and paralyze the
Palestinian National Authority.”

Perhaps more than any other event, the election of Sharon has thrown the
differences between the PA and NIF into relief. To the PA, Sharon is
above all a challenge to the successful conclusion of the peace process.
If it can utilize its regional and international alliances to ensnare
this uncompromising rejectionist in permanent-status negotiations on the
division of Jerusalem, return of refugees and dismantling of settlements
despite his having been elected to cut the Palestinians down to size, it
will have vindicated the PA’s decision to enter into the Oslo agreements
and its performance prior to and since the Al-Aqsa Intifada. Under no
circumstances can it settle for less than was discussed during the final
round of permanent-settlement negotiations in the Egyptian resort of
Taba, and it must establish the understandings reached there as a
baseline for further negotiations with Sharon’s government. The uprising
is therefore an instrument of diplomatic leverage, to help and !
remind the international community to prod Sharon to resume negotiations
at the point where they left off, and to shorten his tenure if they
don’t or he refuses. Keeping alive the prospect of Oslo’s resumption and
successful conclusion, without which neither Israel nor the
international community has much use for the PA, is the red line Arafat
has tacitly communicated to the NIF. The comparative absence of
organized Palestinian attacks across the Green Line, which cannot be
solely attributed to previous Palestinian and current Israeli campaigns
against Hamas and Islamic Jihad, suggests the message is generally being
understood.

To the militants within Fatah and the majority of the NIF, the uprising
is an instrument of a very different sort, and Sharon is the opportunity
to prove its effectiveness. Through its consistent escalation, the
Al-Aqsa Intifada (and attendant Arab support) will, according to this
view, force Israel to surrender its vision of a Palestinian protectorate
under Israeli hegemony, retained even during Taba’s final moments, and
thus allow the Palestinians to transcend the entire Oslo framework.

In the confident words of Fatah West Bank secretary general Marwan
Barghouti, Sharon is Israel’s “last bullet” before it surrenders to the
realization that it can have “either peace and security or occupation
and settlement, but not both.” The uprising is thus a war of national
liberation in which the only negotiations to be conducted are those that
formalize the end of the occupation. If it is, however, exploited as a
negotiating tactic and made hostage to political pressures and the
demands of the moment, it will inevitably be prematurely aborted and end
in failure. Memories of the fate of the 1987-93 intifada are in this
respect particularly strong, and are further reinforced by the stark
contrast between Israel’s consistent disregard of signed agreements with
its Palestinian “peace partner” and its generally scrupulous respect for
informal understandings with its bitter enemy Hezbollah. The red line
for the militants, which has until now been respected by Arafat, is the
co!
ntinuation of the uprising until the end of the occupation.

Thus far, these ultimately contradictory trends have managed to compete
in coexistence, and even to complement one another. Barghouti and other
Fatah leaders can be bitterly critical of the PA, demand that Arafat
root out the corruption in its ranks and collaborators in their midst,
and suggest the formation of an “intifada government” based upon the
national unity and unity of purpose established at the local level.
There has not, however, been an open challenge to the current leadership
or its legitimacy, and Fatah has insured the formal loyalty of the NIF
to the PA. For its part the PA has not definitively severed security
cooperation with Israel, and in fact it reached various understandings
with Barak and Clinton to restore calm to the West Bank and Gaza Strip;
but the PA has avoided measures that would test Fatah’s loyalty or
rupture its relations with other NIF factions. Arafat’s method appears
to be one of ongoing consultations with Fatah and the opposition,
combined w!
ith a consistent disregard of their positions when planning his next
move.

Until Sharon’s election, both the PA and NIF were on the whole content
to see the uprising continue and in the process improve the PA’s
negotiating position, even if the former felt the activities of the
armed units were at times calculated to derail the negotiations, and the
latter viewed the PA’s conduct in negotiations as endangering the
further development of the uprising. The NIF’s pride in Barak’s defeat
notwithstanding, the relative calm in the weeks leading up to the
Israeli election were clearly enforced in deference to the PA. In the
coming period the PA and NIF will continue to cooperate, for example in
seeking the deployment of an international protection force or in
cutting short Sharon’s tenure by making a mockery of his promises of
tranquillity, and they will continue to compete over issues such as
security cooperation. But if circumstances develop in which the PA feels
compelled to curtail the uprising to insure its own survival, or the NIF
considers it necessa!
ry to clean house within the PA to preserve its uprising, an open
confrontation between the PA and NIF cannot be ruled out. Should such a
showdown materialize, it will be the Fatah activists, and particularly
those with positions and connections in the security forces, who will
determine its outcome.

In the meantime, Israel’s blockade and bombardment of Palestinian
population centers is exacting a terrible social, economic and physical
toll. Throughout the West Bank and particularly in the Gaza Strip, a
systematic Israeli defoliation campaign has transformed thousands of
acres into a moonscape of uprooted olive, palm and orange trees, and
increasingly of summarily bulldozed homes as well. The entrances to
numerous towns and villages have been rendered impassable, either
through the erection of concrete or earthen barricades or by the digging
of trenches several feet deep across roads. Such measures, and
particularly the various forms of closure (including the repeated
dissection of the minuscule Gaza Strip into four separate enclaves),
have had a devastating economic impact. According to a recent UN report,
the siege is costing the Palestinian economy $8.6 million daily
(excluding physical damage, loss of tax income and the cost of caring
for more than 10,000 casualties). !
Total losses between September 2000 and February 2001 have amounted to
$1.5 billion, equal to a 20 percent decline in GDP. Poverty has
increased by 50 percent, to encompass 32 percent of the total
population, and unemployment has risen to 38 percent of the work force
(Palestinian sources claim significantly higher figures). While reports
that PA institutions face imminent collapse are in some cases accurate,
security personnel continue to receive their full salaries on time, and
predictions of the PA’s impending disintegration have an air of
politically motivated alarmism about them.

Tanks are currently stationed throughout the occupied territories for
the first time since their conquest in 1967, and their barrels and those
of the heavy machine guns mounted upon them are routinely used against
civilian neighborhoods. By mid-February, a pattern appeared to be
emerging in which more Palestinian casualties are being inflicted by
such shelling than by soldiers confronting demonstrators. In Khan Yunis
in Gaza, which along with Rafah and Hebron has experienced some of the
most intense bombardments, Israeli forces additionally appear to have
used a new form of toxic gas.

The systematic human rights violations, which according to a February 21
Human Rights Watch press release include “indiscriminate and excessive
[Israeli] fire” into civilian neighborhoods and, as documented by
Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights organizations, have
also involved the operation of death squads, have reached a level of
severity where they can no longer be ignored even by Washington. On the
same day that HRW released its condemnation, the State Department
announced it was launching an investigation to determine if Israel has
violated the US Arms Export Control Act, which regulates the use of
American weapons and ammunition. Meanwhile, the UN Human Rights
Commission recently completed a fact-finding mission to examine evidence
of Israeli “war crimes” in the West Bank and Gaza Strip; it is expected
to release its final report in mid-March. At the same time, HRW and
other organizations have also condemned Palestinian gunmen for firing at
Israeli posit!
ions from within Palestinian towns, if pointedly noting that such acts
cannot justify the disproportionate Israeli response.

On February 14 Khalil Abu Ulba of Gaza’s Shaikh Radwan refugee housing
project, one of only 16,000 Palestinians (out of some 3 million) with a
record considered clean and reliable enough by Israel’s intelligence
services to retain his permit to enter and work in Israel, rammed the
empty passenger bus he was driving into a group of soldiers assembled at
a junction south of Tel Aviv. Eight people, including one civilian, were
killed in the attack. It was by all accounts an individual action that
required neither careful planning nor organizational support.

This time around Israel’s intelligence community had not failed. Rather,
its policies have; Abu Ulba’s interrogators have been attempting to
determine whether it was the siege and its economic devastation, the
pervasive violence and killing, the intense bombardment and gassing of
Khan Yunis that same week or the latest aerial assassination of a
Palestinian activist (in nearby Jabalya the day before the attack) that
pushed one of the last Palestinians it certified as kosher over the
edge. As Fatah leader and Palestinian legislator Qadura Faris observed
several months ago, if Israel insists on starving the occupied
territories it is unlikely that the cost will be borne exclusively by
Palestinians, particularly if the PA is unable to meet the people’s
basic needs.

Attacks such as those by Abu Ulba, and eventually others by
organizations affiliated with the NIF, are not going to cease because of
an intensified closure and heightened repression–quite the contrary. If
not the next attack, then the one after that may prove to be the spark
that brings Israel’s confrontation with the Palestinians, and the
pressure that has been building within the Palestinian body politic, to
a new and more dangerous crossroads.

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Israel’s army launches ‘preventative attacks’

Special report: Israel and the Middle East

Suzanne Goldenberg in Beit Jala, West Bank
Thursday February 22, 2001
The Guardian

Palestinians sifted through the charred ruins of their homes yesterday
after Israeli tanks prosecuting a deadly new policy of “preventative
attacks” destroyed 10 houses, and buried one
man alive beneath acrid-smelling rubble in this Christian town on the
outskirts of Jerusalem.

Two weeks after the election of the hardliner Ariel Sharon, the Israeli
army admitted yesterday that its soldiers are now taking a tougher line
against the Palestinian uprising, now in its
fifth month.

Israeli soldiers guarding checkpoints in the Gaza Strip are now allowed
to fire warning shots at pedestrians, the local press reported.

In Beit Jala in the West Bank, a military spokesman said the army had
decided “to hit before being hit”.

For the people of Beit Jala, the change in the rules of engagement had a
devastating effect. Tuesday night was punctuated by the wailing of
children, and the explosive roar of tanks
shells which pounded the town from Gilo, a Jewish settlement on the
opposite ridge.

One man was killed, and at least 10 houses suffered direct hits. Some
were home to extended families with nearly 20 members. “It was just
boom, boom, boom,” Hussein Shenaniri said,
standing in what was once a kitchen. “I never thought we would get out
alive.”

An army spokesman said the shelling marked the first time in the
Palestinian uprising that the military had initiated an attack on Beit
Jala. It was, he said, a response to an escalation of the
uprising following Mr Sharon’s landslide election victory.

Mr Sharon’s huge win ended the two-month ceasefire imposed on the
commanders of Yasser Arafat’s Fatah militia by local notables of Beit
Jala, who were angry that the gunmen were
bringing their people into the line of fire.

However, the army admits there was no firing on Tuesday night. Instead,
it claims soldiers spotted gunmen who were preparing an attack.

“We don’t want to be victims, and then wait and react,”
Lieutenant-Colonel Oliver Rafowicz said. “They were planning to open
fire against us, and we identified them and opened fire
first. We did not wait until they shot us: we shot them. You can call it
a preventative attack.”

The barrage started at about 8.30pm when the Korabi family was settling
in around the television set. The lights went out, and at least 10 tank
shells pounded into their first-floor flat,
sending the family of 17 scurrying for safety.

Osama Korabi, 18, was hit as he tried to run down the front steps, and
was buried under chunks of the outer wall, some 40cm thick.

When his family regrouped at about midnight, they located him by
following the smears of crimson blood on the paving; it took more than
an hour to dig him out.

Yesterday, his younger brothers were sifting through the charred and
acrid-smelling ruins for whatever they could salvage. One plucked out
his yellow piggy bank. “We only have the
clothes we are wearing,” Majdi Korabi, 22, said.

Col Rafowicz acknowledged that a Palestinian man had been killed in the
attack.

“If he is an innocent man, I want to express my deep sorrow,” he said.
“But if the Palestinians want to continue the violence, then there will
be a price to pay.”

• A British citizen was jailed for six months without trial yesterday on
suspicion of plotting attacks by the Lebanese guerrilla organisation,
Hizbullah.

Jehard Shuman, held since early January, has claimed to have been
tortured. Independent doctors said he has suffered injuries consistent
with physical mistreatment.

A statement from the office of Ehud Barak said yesterday that the
Lebanese-born Mr Shuman had been plotting to carry out attacks inside
Israel.

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The Scotsman (daily newspaper in Scotland)
February 21, 2001

Israeli cover-up hinders early resolution of refugee question

Ben Lynfield In Jerusalem

WHILE international attention focuses on Israel”s future under Ariel
Sharon,
the Jewish state is engaged in a cover-up of its past – namely, the
expulsion
of Palestinians during its 1947-49 War of Independence.

Palestinian ghosts from that era surfaced in recent months, but were
put
back
in the bottle by Yossi Beilin, the justice minister. Mr Beilin blocked
the
release of excised cabinet statements and other documents about
fighting in
1948, a time referred to by Arabs as the nakba, or catastrophe. The
documents
were requested by Benny Morris, a Cambridge-educated historian who
teaches
at
Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba, who wanted them for revisions of
his
book, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-49, published
in
1988.

According to Israeli law, classified documents are to be released after
40
years unless they harm state security, foreign relations or the privacy
of
individuals. In this case, closure of the archival material was
reaffirmed
out of concern that opening it would harm Israel”s foreign relations,
Evyatar Frizel, the state archivist, said.

“I can understand the hesitations of Beilin that splashing stories of
Israel
defence force atrocities would harm the negotiations with the
Palestinians,”
Mr Morris said. “But this must be put against the more general argument

that
there will be endless negotiations with the Palestinians and Arab
states
and
that this could remain as the [state”s] contention for the next 50
years.
It”s a question of freedom of information versus foreign policy
expediency.”

Mr Beilin declined to be interviewed for this article. The material
will be
kept confidential for at least another year, according to his decision.

Among the items Mr Morris sought were expunged minutes of a cabinet
meeting
on 16 June, 1948, about the war with Arab neighbours, borders and
whether
to
allow Palestinian refugees to return to areas held by Israeli forces.
According to the transcript of the meeting, David Ben-Gurion, the prime

minister, made clear that there would be no return of the refugees. He
was
also troubled that Israel had not taken Lydda and Ramle, Arab towns
south-east of Tel Aviv. “That two thorns are remaining – Lydda and
Ramle –
is
a serious flaw in our standing right now,” Mr Ben-Gurion said. In the
archives, five blanked out lines follow that statement and other
comments
by
Mr Ben-Gurion and the foreign minister, Moshe Sharett, have equally
ominous
deletions.

A month later, Israeli forces expelled tens of thousands of
Palestinians
from
Lydda and Ramle in an operation commanded by a young officer named
Yitzhak
Rabin. The bluntly honest Mr Rabin wrote later in his memoirs that when
Mr
Ben-Gurion was asked what should be done with the Palestinians, he had
ordered, with a wave of his hand, that they be expelled. Mr Rabin
termed
the
expulsion “a harsh and cruel action” and noted that some of his men
refused
to participate.

Were Israeli intentions to expel the civilian population of Lydda and
Ramle
enunciated by Mr Ben-Gurion a month before the towns were captured? The

answer is not entirely academic. Until Mr Sharon”s election victory,
Mr
Beilin was a key negotiator with the Palestinians, and held discussions

with
counterpart Nabil Shaath on one of the main bones of contention, the
Palestinian refugee issue. The practicalities of how that issue is
resolved
through a return of refugees, compensation or other means derive in
part
from
which historical narrative is given greater weight.
According to the Israeli narrative, the refugees fled of their own
volition
during a war launched by the Arab side to snuff out the Jewish state.
As
the
Israeli prime minister, Ehud Barak, declared repeatedly, Israel bears
“no
moral responsibility” for the refugee problem. In practical terms, Mr
Barak
was willing to allow the return only of tens of thousands of refugees
under
the framework of family reunification, ie, with no Israeli culpability.

According to the Palestinian narrative, Israel bears direct
responsibility
for their becoming refugees. The Palestinian side demands that three
million
refugees in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank, Gaza Strip and
elsewhere
be given the “right of return”, though Palestinian leaders say not
everyone
would exercise the right.

Israeli leaders see this as a blueprint for destroying the Jewish
state.
The
gap promises to become even wider. Mr Sharon has dropped the framework
of
the
1993 Oslo agreement, which called for negotiations about refugees, and
says
he will opt instead for a limited non-belligerency pact. That would
mean he
would not deal with the past at all.

Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, called
on
Israel to release the information. “Allowing the truth to come out and
an
admission of culpability would go a long way to starting a process of
reconciliation,” she said. “If you are seeking peace and conciliation
you
must look at the real truth and come to terms with it.”

From [email protected] Fri Mar 9 16:09:38 EST 2001
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Israel continues to torture prisoners

Published on February 21, 2001 in Palestine Report at
http://www.jmcc.org/media/reportonline.

by Charmaine Seitz

MUHAMMAD ZAHOUR is almost 16. If he were in the United States,
he might be worrying about getting his driver’s license. Instead, he
sits
in an Israeli jail.

Muhammad was arrested on November 14 of last year. When Israeli
soldiers picked him up in the Husan village market, passersby
protested, but the soldiers claimed he had been throwing stones.

By Muhammad’s own account, the boy was taken to the Gush Etzion
military camp near Bethlehem. On the way, he was blindfolded and
beaten with his hands tied. When he arrived at an interrogation room,
two men in civilian dress beat him again, this time focusing the blows
on his head. Muhammad spent 34 days at Gush Etzion camp before
being taken to the Hebron area military court – what Palestinians refer
to as “the crazy place.”

On the way, Muhammad was again battered severely, blood running
>from his hands and fainting twice. The soldiers woke him by repeatedly
pouring ice water, then hot water, over his head. Not until January 16 –

63 days after his arrest – was Muhammad allowed to see a lawyer.

This case, documented by Defense for Children International, is only
one case of mistreatment in Israeli detention, despite a 1999 Israeli
high
court ruling banning “moderate physical pressure” in Israeli
interrogation proceedings. DCI’s February 12 request for an army
investigation has yet gone unanswered.

Not only does torture continue, but a return to military tactics and the

rise of the right wing in Israel have reopened the door to the
legalization of torture in Israeli prisons. Only this week, the Israeli
High
Court took one step back from its 1999 decision against moderate
physical pressure. Soon the Knesset may debate a bill allowing
pressure “in special cases.”

“We know what are ‘special cases’ and we know the definition of such
a law,” says Hannah Friedman of the Public Committee Against Torture
in Israel. Friedman’s group estimates that during the Intifada of the
eighties Israel interrogated 23,000 Palestinians, most of them enduring
techniques sanctioned by Israel as “moderate physical pressure.”

Those techniques included locking prisoners in tiny cubicles, violent
shaking, beatings, deprivation of sleep and food, exposure to cold or
heat and sexual and psychological threats against the prisoner or the
prisoner’s family.

Since the court’s ruling in September of 1999 that struck down this
legalization of force, Friedman says her group has handled fewer
complaints, but still “investigators have found a way to bypass the
High Court.” According to the committee’s documentation, prisoners
are still tortured by being deprived of sleep, tied to a chair for hours
on
end, prevented from seeing a lawyer for months, tortured by Palestinian
collaborators and beaten or deprived of decent living conditions or
medical care.

“Especially since the start of the Intifada, we have seen an increase in

cases like these,” says Shawqi Eissa, assistant director of the
Palestinian human rights organization LAW. The issue is of great
concern, he says, particularly since the closure has prevented lawyers
>from visiting many Palestinian detainees and documenting their cases.

On February 16, attorney Jawad Boulous took on the ongoing use of
pressure. He went to the high court to protest the continuing
administrative detention of Amnah Muna, accused of luring a 16-year-
old Israeli to his death in Ramallah. Muna has been held in Jerusalem’s
Russian Compound without charge since January 19. By her own
account, Muna has been prevented from sleeping for 26 hours straight.

The court rejected Bolous’ petition, ruling that a suspect could be
deprived of sleep as long as the intent was to advance the
investigation and not exhaust the suspect, reported the Israeli daily
Ha’aretz. Muna continues to deny her guilt and Boulous says that the
investigators are seeking a confession for an open-and-shut case.

The ruling has lawyers worried about what is to come. “I don’t think
this is practically allowing torture yet,” says Israeli human rights
lawyer
Leah Tsemel. “It does amount to pressure to isolate the detainee.”

Israeli authorities seem unwilling to question the ongoing beating and
mistreatment of prisoners. Rami Iz’oul, 18, was also arrested from Husan

on October 30. Iz’oul was also taken to Kfar Etzion detention center,
where he was beaten and had freezing water poured over his head
during interrogation. Iz’oul was in bad enough condition to be taken to
Hadassah Hospital for medical treatment over night. He then says he
signed a false confession after a further beating.

When LAW Society wrote to the Israeli attorney general requesting an
investigation into the allegations, the request was refused. The state’s

attorney said that the case was not one of “public interest.”

Now the new Likud leadership is promising to revive a Knesset bill that
would legalize methods of torture when it believes a suspect has
certain information. The bill was first proposed after the high court
decision, but was abandoned by the General Security Services after
being promised a bigger budget. Then-justice minister Yossi Beilin said
the bill would be reviewed after it was determined whether or not Israel

is able to prevent attacks without using torture in interrogation.

“Now we are afraid that there will be a new minister of justice who will

allow this to happen,” says Friedman. One of the candidates for the
post is Likud Member of Knesset Ruby Rivlin – the very man who
sponsored the 1999 “special cases” bill. -Published 21/2/01 ©Palestine
Reports

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Volker Greulich wrote:

> Roger Alexander <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> > The Nation
> > March 12, 2001
> > ==========================================================================
> >
> > Special Report
> >
> > Fields of Thorns
> > by Mouin Rabbani
>
> Hello Roger,
>
> You are very well informed giving us news from March 2001 already.
>
> Thyanks anyway
>
> V.Greulich

World is full of Schmart alecks. This is how the article came to me, and it is
for an issue
of a magazine dated in the future. Many magazines do that.
RLA

From [email protected] Fri Mar 9 16:09:39 EST 2001
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I’m not an expert on that issue. Shortly, I believe that the Arab nations were
angered about the
Israelis expelling the Palestinians. But their reactions were varying. In
some countries, they
expelled the Jews in reaction, in others they did not. In Egypt for example,
there were many Jews
until after the contemptible Lavon affair of 1954, after which most Jews were
expelled. In Iraq,
the Zionists were not satisfied with the results of the Iraqis’ anger, and went
into Baghdad with
bombs and bombed synagogues. This got the Jews to leave. In North Africa,
Zionists leafletted
the Jews saying that they would be killed if they didn’t leave. Zionists went
to Yemen and brought
out the Yemeni Jews, but then treated them abominably, so that many would hav
returned.
They are reputed to have stolen thousands of Yemeni babies and given them to
Ashkenazi couples, telling the parents that their children had died.
The Zionists, during the colonial period, did not want any but young atheist
Jews in robust health
to come to Palestine, but after they had expelled the Palestinians, they needed
people to fill up the land. They still do, and are right now importing
Russians who are not Jewish at all to fill the land.
Meanwhile a half million or more, perhaps a million, Jews have left Israel for
the US and other places.
RLA

Don wrote:

> Could you provide some similar information on the expulsion of Jews in Arab
> countries that could put this type of activity in the region in context?
> What happened to the large Jewish populations in many Arab countries?
>
> “Roger Alexander” <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]
> > The Scotsman (daily newspaper in Scotland)
> > February 21, 2001
> >
> >
> > Israeli cover-up hinders early resolution of refugee question
> >
> > Ben Lynfield In Jerusalem
> >
> > WHILE international attention focuses on Israel”s future under Ariel
> > Sharon,
> > the Jewish state is engaged in a cover-up of its past – namely, the
> > expulsion
> > of Palestinians during its 1947-49 War of Independence.
> >
> > Palestinian ghosts from that era surfaced in recent months, but were
> > put
> > back
> > in the bottle by Yossi Beilin, the justice minister. Mr Beilin blocked
> > the
> > release of excised cabinet statements and other documents about
> > fighting in
> > 1948, a time referred to by Arabs as the nakba, or catastrophe. The
> > documents
> > were requested by Benny Morris, a Cambridge-educated historian who
> > teaches
> > at
> > Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba, who wanted them for revisions of
> > his
> > book, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-49, published
> > in
> > 1988.
> >
> > According to Israeli law, classified documents are to be released after
> > 40
> > years unless they harm state security, foreign relations or the privacy
> > of
> > individuals. In this case, closure of the archival material was
> > reaffirmed
> > out of concern that opening it would harm Israel”s foreign relations,
> > Evyatar Frizel, the state archivist, said.
> >
> > “I can understand the hesitations of Beilin that splashing stories of
> > Israel
> > defence force atrocities would harm the negotiations with the
> > Palestinians,”
> > Mr Morris said. “But this must be put against the more general argument
> >
> > that
> > there will be endless negotiations with the Palestinians and Arab
> > states
> > and
> > that this could remain as the [state”s] contention for the next 50
> > years.
> > It”s a question of freedom of information versus foreign policy
> > expediency.”
> >
> > Mr Beilin declined to be interviewed for this article. The material
> > will be
> > kept confidential for at least another year, according to his decision.
> >
> > Among the items Mr Morris sought were expunged minutes of a cabinet
> > meeting
> > on 16 June, 1948, about the war with Arab neighbours, borders and
> > whether
> > to
> > allow Palestinian refugees to return to areas held by Israeli forces.
> > According to the transcript of the meeting, David Ben-Gurion, the prime
> >
> > minister, made clear that there would be no return of the refugees. He
> > was
> > also troubled that Israel had not taken Lydda and Ramle, Arab towns
> > south-east of Tel Aviv. “That two thorns are remaining – Lydda and
> > Ramle –
> > is
> > a serious flaw in our standing right now,” Mr Ben-Gurion said. In the
> > archives, five blanked out lines follow that statement and other
> > comments
> > by
> > Mr Ben-Gurion and the foreign minister, Moshe Sharett, have equally
> > ominous
> > deletions.
> >
> > A month later, Israeli forces expelled tens of thousands of
> > Palestinians
> > from
> > Lydda and Ramle in an operation commanded by a young officer named
> > Yitzhak
> > Rabin. The bluntly honest Mr Rabin wrote later in his memoirs that when
> > Mr
> > Ben-Gurion was asked what should be done with the Palestinians, he had
> > ordered, with a wave of his hand, that they be expelled. Mr Rabin
> > termed
> > the
> > expulsion “a harsh and cruel action” and noted that some of his men
> > refused
> > to participate.
> >
> > Were Israeli intentions to expel the civilian population of Lydda and
> > Ramle
> > enunciated by Mr Ben-Gurion a month before the towns were captured? The
> >
> > answer is not entirely academic. Until Mr Sharon”s election victory,
> > Mr
> > Beilin was a key negotiator with the Palestinians, and held discussions
> >
> > with
> > counterpart Nabil Shaath on one of the main bones of contention, the
> > Palestinian refugee issue. The practicalities of how that issue is
> > resolved
> > through a return of refugees, compensation or other means derive in
> > part
> > from
> > which historical narrative is given greater weight.
> > According to the Israeli narrative, the refugees fled of their own
> > volition
> > during a war launched by the Arab side to snuff out the Jewish state.
> > As
> > the
> > Israeli prime minister, Ehud Barak, declared repeatedly, Israel bears
> > “no
> > moral responsibility” for the refugee problem. In practical terms, Mr
> > Barak
> > was willing to allow the return only of tens of thousands of refugees
> > under
> > the framework of family reunification, ie, with no Israeli culpability.
> >
> > According to the Palestinian narrative, Israel bears direct
> > responsibility
> > for their becoming refugees. The Palestinian side demands that three
> > million
> > refugees in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank, Gaza Strip and
> > elsewhere
> > be given the “right of return”, though Palestinian leaders say not
> > everyone
> > would exercise the right.
> >
> > Israeli leaders see this as a blueprint for destroying the Jewish
> > state.
> > The
> > gap promises to become even wider. Mr Sharon has dropped the framework
> > of
> > the
> > 1993 Oslo agreement, which called for negotiations about refugees, and
> > says
> > he will opt instead for a limited non-belligerency pact. That would
> > mean he
> > would not deal with the past at all.
> >
> > Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, called
> > on
> > Israel to release the information. “Allowing the truth to come out and
> > an
> > admission of culpability would go a long way to starting a process of
> > reconciliation,” she said. “If you are seeking peace and conciliation
> > you
> > must look at the real truth and come to terms with it.”
> >
From [email protected] Fri Mar 9 16:09:39 EST 2001
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The only place i have ever seen or heard of Israeli aid is where it gets
the most publicity.
RLA

Osric wrote:

> > As for your holocaust survivors, no gas chambers no holocaust. So there
> > are no holocaust survivors.
>
> You undermine all your arguments with this one. There has been much
> mythologising about the holocaust I’ll grant you. I’ve looked long and hard
> at this issue and have a good understaning of Nazi Germany and I cannot see
> how there can be any other rational conclusion other than the Nazis did
> indeed have a policy of extermination against the Jews. There are issues
> that give credence to the holocaust deniers like the use of pictures of
> survivors suffering from typhoid to illustate camp conditions, and the
> cynical extortion racket being practiced at the moment, but the fact remains
> there was mass state sponsored killing of Jews during WW2. It rings hollow,
> however, being told to learn the lessons of the holocaust by a people that
> promptly perpetrated a similar, but by no means equivalent, atrocity on
> another people. Often the Allies are blamed for not preventing the
> holocaust, but then I didn’t see the IDF parachuting into Rwanda to prevent
> a holocaust that was as bad as that perpetrated against the Jews.
> Incidentally, how much Israeli aid went to Rwanda I wonder? Anyone know?
> Seriously?
> —
>
> OSRIC
>
> THE BORDERS OF MY COUNTRY
> RUN AROUND THE SOLES OF MY FEET

From [email protected] Fri Mar 9 16:09:39 EST 2001
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Israeli Forces choose their targets in Al-Bireh

On the roof of the National School For the Blind in Al Bireh, 9 year-old

Israa Zeidan tearfully recounted the horrific hour she and 74 other
blind
children spent jammed under a stairwell seeking safety from Israeli
machine
gun and tank fire. “The loud noises of bullets woke us up from our
sleep,
and we had to be taken out of our bedroom. I was shouting while I was
looking for my 6-year-old brother. I was freezing and scared and I
didn’t
know what was happening because I can’t see and I couldn’t find my
brother.
We were all bumping into each other and everyone was screaming”

Israa’s school is a boarding school that houses 75 blind children age
6-12
who come from different areas of the West Bank to Al-Bireh for special
instruction. Throughout the current Intifada, these children have lived
day
in and day out with the sounds of Israeli gunfire, but on 19 and 20 of
February, Israeli forces stationed at the illegal settlement of Pisagot,

opened fire in the direction of the school, no more than one- half
kilometre
away, for three hours. On Monday night, heavy machine gun fire sprayed
the
windows and the walls, and on Tuesday night, a tank shell tore off a
section
of the roof, heavily damaging the ceiling of the dormitory below where
teachers had evacuated the children only minutes before.

On the day we visited, the ceilings inside the dormitories were leaking
due
to structural damage caused by the tank shell and machine gun fire,
workmen
on the roof were repairing the bullet riddled water tanks, and the
electricity wires cut by gunfire had yet to be restored, leaving the
school
without heat and hot water. Downstairs, small children, both boys and
girls
energetically banged away at Braille typewriters in a small classroom,
while
in the corridor a large group of teenage girls sang a song about Salah
Eh
Din. The children we saw in the classrooms and in the hallways giggled
when
they were told that we were visiting, but their sad, tired and scared
faces
betrayed their giggles and you could tell they knew what we had come to
see.

Across the street, a school for boys and an adjacent Islamic college was

also hit, though fortunately it was shut for the night. Almost all the
windows on one side of the building were destroyed and the walls,
bookcases
and books were riddled with bullet holes. One teacher showed us a book
with
a bullet lodged in it and a metal file cabinet that had been shot
through.
Another teacher showed us a plate piled high with whole and mashed
bullets
they had pried from the walls. The teachers explained to us that the
Israeli
soldiers stationed on the hill above this area know that there are
schools
and a Red Crescent hospital nearby. We were also told that the Israeli’s

know that one of these schools is a boarding school for the blind.

Looking across the valley you can’t miss the settlement looming in the
background high above the residential area. While we talked on the roof
of
the Boy’s school, we could see with our naked eyes the concrete bunkers
erected by the military, and we watched a military jeep and tank slowly
making their rounds of the settlement’s perimeter.

The fact that the Israeli forces know exactly where and what they are
shooting at was only further illuminated during our visit to the Hayat
Al-
Jedeeda newspaper office several blocks from the schools. Large windows
that
face the settlement surround the large single story office building.
From
the office you can clearly see the military fortifications and at night
the
office pressrooms are brightly lit up so that any one passing by can see

inside.

On February 12, at 8:00 in the evening, a staff member was sitting at
his
desk in front of the wide windows that face the settlement, Just when he

reached back to get the phone, a single bullet, the only one fired that
night at the building, penetrated the window and shot across his chest,
lodging in the wall next to him.

According the newspaper’s director, there are about 30 staff members who

work the night shift at the office and on Thursday February 15 at about
10:30 pm, Israeli forces at Pisagot opened fire on the main pressroom.
According to one staff member, they all ran for cover into another room
but
were again fired upon. As they fled from room to room, they were fired
upon
directly and according the staff, systematically.

As we walked from room to room, it was easy to discern the path of
machine
gun fire. On one side of the building, there are two offices next to one

another with large windows facing the settlement. One office window is
in
direct view of the settlement, but a concrete pillar and part of the
outside
wall obscures the second one. Thinking that they were safe in the second

office, the staff ran for cover, but was again directly fired upon from
the
direction of the settlement. Several single shots penetrated the window
one
after the other, each making its way through a 4-foot wide gap between
the
wall and the pillar outside. When we asked about this rather amazing
shot,
staff members reiterated what we have heard many times before. The
Israeli
forces are armed with highly sophisticated weapons, including night
vision
equipment, high-powered binoculars and laser guided sniper rifles. They
are
also stationed above the cities of Al Bireh and Ramallah and have a
clear
view of the areas below the settlement.

>From our visit, several unshakable facts were highlighted. First, the
Israeli forces are indiscriminately targeting residential areas,
hospitals
and schools that are in full view of their outposts. Second, these
soldiers
are armed with highly sophisticated weapons that allow for full sight
even
at night and are excessive even in the face of a random shot fired by a
lone
gunman. Third, these forces are also using this heavy ammunition against

boarding schools and fully staffed offices, and in the case of the Al
Hayat
al Jedeeda office, they are discriminately targeting civilians.

For more information on the current situation in Palestine visit
www.palestinemonitor.org

From [email protected] Fri Mar 9 16:09:39 EST 2001
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THE HEBRON MASSACRE

By Omar Turk

In the early morning of February 25th, 1994, one of the most heinous
acts upon
humanity occurred in the Palestinian town of Hebron. A Jewish zionist
terrorist
opened fire with machine-guns and grenades on men and boys while they
were
bowing and praying to God. This crime against innocent people not only
occurred
in the holy month of Ramadhan, but also in the Ibrahimi mosque, where
the prophet
Abraham is buried.

That frightful morning, over twenty-nine people were killed, and over
one hundred
wounded. The ages of those killed ranged from only eight years old, to
over
seventy years of age! The shear magnitude of how many people were
affected
in that act of racist hatred is almost incomprehensible. The women who
lost
their husbands and sons, the children who lost their fathers and
brothers,
etc, etc. For those who were wounded, even the most superficial wound
leaves
a scar for life. The high number of people permanently debilitated, or
seriously
physically or physiologically scarred, is distressing.

Ironically, this atrocity was committed by a person who hated others
because
of their race. This mass murderer was ironically in Hebron because of
another
person who hated others because of their race; Hitler.

The Isrealis have been granted land, money, and special privileges
because
of the so-called “Holocaust.” In turn, they are creating a “Holocaust”
for
the Palestinian people. The Isreali soldiers and settlers desecrate
every
aspect of Palestinian life, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. These gun
totting,
trigger happy gangsters, kill and maim Palestinian men, women and
children
at the blink of an eye, and without a whisper of shame from the
so-called, civilized, democratic governments, most notably, the United
States.
To add insult to injury, the Isrealis receive more US aid each year
than the
victims of the Midwest floods, California earthquakes, and East
Coast storms have in the last 10 years! I am sure the billions of
dollars
sent to the Isrealis each year, is of no comfort to the many of poor and

homeless
Americans forced to live and die on the streets because of the
bankrupt welfare and public health care system in the US. The Isrealis
also
receive unlimited US veto power and
support in the United Nations, that has not, nor probably never will be,

paralleled.

Through hardship after tragedy, the Palestinian people have remarkably
survived.
Their sheer will and determination for freedom, have been their only
companion
since 1948.

With heavily armed, Isreali soldiers and settlers occupying and stealing

Palestinian
land and lives, and the world turning a blind and ignorant eye,
generation
after generation of Palestinian children will continue to
struggle with stones and hope, until true justice is practiced, and
freedom
is achieved.

The world must realize, that until the illegal settlements are
dismantled,
the refugees are allowed to return to their homes, and Jerusalem is the
capital
of the Palestinian state, peace will not be reached. The Palestinian
dream
is a simple dream, and the same dream of all peoples, to live in peace
and
freedom, and not under occupation and terror.

In the mean time, Isreali zionist terrorists, such as Barouch Goldstien,

will
have a free hand to continue their murderous rampages. (originally
written
March 16, 1994)

From [email protected] Fri Mar 9 16:09:40 EST 2001
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Subject: Re: THE HEBRON MASSACRE
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PUre unadulterated lie. There is no evidence whatever of any plot.
To assert that people who were peacefully praying were plotting
anything is ridiculous on its face. Only Zionists in the world today
try to scam the world with this sort of Big Lie.
RLA

David Lee Makowsky wrote:

> This article is from the same dufus who was forced to post:
>
> “I just post them, I don’t take responsibility for the truth of them.”
> From Roger Alexander <[email protected]> in article
> <[email protected]>
>
> The fact of the matter is that the “palestinians?” were planning a
> terrorist attack from this site. Baruch Goldstein, who had many
> friends killed and injured in previous attacks, learned about these
> plans and tried to have the IDF stop it. They would not do anything,
> so in order to save lives Baruch Goldstein acted.
>
> Any blame for the death of innocents lies squarely with the IDF for
> not taking the necessary actions, and of course with the
> “palestinians?” terrorists themselves.
>
> In article <[email protected]>,
> Roger Alexander <[email protected]> wrote:
> # THE HEBRON MASSACRE
> #
> # By Omar Turk
> #
> # In the early morning of February 25th, 1994, one of the most heinous
> # acts upon
> # humanity occurred in the Palestinian town of Hebron. A Jewish zionist
> # terrorist
> # opened fire with machine-guns and grenades on men and boys while they
> # were
> # bowing and praying to God. This crime against innocent people not only
> # occurred
> # in the holy month of Ramadhan, but also in the Ibrahimi mosque, where
> # the prophet
> # Abraham is buried.
> #
> # That frightful morning, over twenty-nine people were killed, and over
> # one hundred
> # wounded. The ages of those killed ranged from only eight years old, to
> # over
> # seventy years of age! The shear magnitude of how many people were
> # affected
> # in that act of racist hatred is almost incomprehensible. The women who
> # lost
> # their husbands and sons, the children who lost their fathers and
> # brothers,
> # etc, etc. For those who were wounded, even the most superficial wound
> # leaves
> # a scar for life. The high number of people permanently debilitated, or
> # seriously
> # physically or physiologically scarred, is distressing.
> #
> # Ironically, this atrocity was committed by a person who hated others
> # because
> # of their race. This mass murderer was ironically in Hebron because of
> # another
> # person who hated others because of their race; Hitler.
> #
> # The Isrealis have been granted land, money, and special privileges
> # because
> # of the so-called “Holocaust.” In turn, they are creating a “Holocaust”
> # for
> # the Palestinian people. The Isreali soldiers and settlers desecrate
> # every
> # aspect of Palestinian life, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. These gun
> # totting,
> # trigger happy gangsters, kill and maim Palestinian men, women and
> # children
> # at the blink of an eye, and without a whisper of shame from the
> # so-called, civilized, democratic governments, most notably, the United
> # States.
> # To add insult to injury, the Isrealis receive more US aid each year
> # than the
> # victims of the Midwest floods, California earthquakes, and East
> # Coast storms have in the last 10 years! I am sure the billions of
> # dollars
> # sent to the Isrealis each year, is of no comfort to the many of poor and
> #
> # homeless
> # Americans forced to live and die on the streets because of the
> # bankrupt welfare and public health care system in the US. The Isrealis
> # also
> # receive unlimited US veto power and
> # support in the United Nations, that has not, nor probably never will be,
> #
> # paralleled.
> #
> # Through hardship after tragedy, the Palestinian people have remarkably
> # survived.
> # Their sheer will and determination for freedom, have been their only
> # companion
> # since 1948.
> #
> # With heavily armed, Isreali soldiers and settlers occupying and stealing
> #
> # Palestinian
> # land and lives, and the world turning a blind and ignorant eye,
> # generation
> # after generation of Palestinian children will continue to
> # struggle with stones and hope, until true justice is practiced, and
> # freedom
> # is achieved.
> #
> # The world must realize, that until the illegal settlements are
> # dismantled,
> # the refugees are allowed to return to their homes, and Jerusalem is the
> # capital
> # of the Palestinian state, peace will not be reached. The Palestinian
> # dream
> # is a simple dream, and the same dream of all peoples, to live in peace
> # and
> # freedom, and not under occupation and terror.
> #
> # In the mean time, Isreali zionist terrorists, such as Barouch Goldstien,
> #
> # will
> # have a free hand to continue their murderous rampages. (originally
> # written
> # March 16, 1994)
> #
> #
> #
>
> —
> There are three types of people in the world. Those that are good at
> math and those that are not.
>
> [email protected]

From [email protected] Fri Mar 9 16:09:40 EST 2001
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Subject: Bat Shalom – Protesting the closure today
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Friends,

Today felt like another good demonstration against the “closure” of the
occupied territories.

About 300 Israelis, mostly women but with a growing contingent of men,
showed up at the Jerusalem-Bethlehem border-crossing to protest the
so-called “closure”.

“Closure” is sometimes called a “blockade” or “siege”, because the
Israeli
army actually encircles Palestinian towns and prevents residents from
freely
leaving or entering. Imagine how frustrating it must feel to have your
freedom of movement obstructed — picture yourself prevented from
leaving
your own city because foreign soldiers have bulldozed the roads and set
down
concrete slabs. But beyond the insult, there are serious problems —
access
to medical care, food and supplies, education, and jobs. Several sick
Palestinians who were held up at these barriers, pending a decision by
the
young Israeli soldiers on duty about letting them through, actually died
as
a result of the delay, including a baby. It is also shocking for me as
an
Israeli to realize that the closure provides virtually no security
dividend
to Israel; it is simply a deliberate act of intimidation.

The Coalition of Women for a Just Peace held its first “closure” protest

opposite the Defense Ministry in Tel-Aviv three weeks ago (ending in
police
violence, the arrest of 17, and practically no media exposure). Today’s

event was fairly quiet, no one was arrested, but the Israeli media
announced
that we “tried to force our way through the barriers”. Well, not quite.

It was a sunny day, and many Israelis had come from Tel-Aviv and other
cities. Soon after the demonstration began, both sides of the road were

already lined with demonstrators carrying or wearing signs “Closure
kills”,
“Closure starves”, “Closure creates enemies”, and the usual “Stop the
Occupation”. Our presence, of course, caused the quick mobilization of
a
larger contingent of soldiers, who now manned the barrier. At the
signal,
the protesters stepped off the sidewalk and filled the road, marching
quietly toward the checkpoint. We walked slowly and in a dignified
manner.
The soldiers began to scramble to prevent our getting through. At the
checkpoint, they formed a cordon across the road, and our forward
movement
was stopped. We stood there facing them and began to chant the
powerful,
rhythmic slogan, which rhymes in Hebrew:

End the closure in the territories –
Get out of their bloodstream.
End the closure in the territories –
Give jobs to the workers.
End the closure in the territories –
Give food to the children.

We continued chanting for quite a while, and journalists from Israel,
Europe, and the States had some good photo opportunities of this
confrontation. One young man in our group was forcefully shoved to the
ground by a soldier, but after we pointed out to the soldier that he was
on
candid camera, he controlled himself much better. Other than that, it
was a
completely nonviolent action, and therefore powerful. From there, the
entire group walked 100 meters back to hold up our signs to the drivers
headed to the “bypass roads”, which lead to the settlements.

Our demonstration today was scheduled to take place simultaneously with
a
parallel demonstration on the Palestinian side of the border, but there
was
deep concern that Palestinians demonstrating at this location would
provide
a pretext for army violence, regardless of how quiet and dignified they
were. Nevertheless, 50 or so brave “internationals” who were visiting
Israel and Palestine for the Sabeel “peace and justice” conference did
manage to come through the border from Bethlehem and join us. They told
us
that the Palestinians knew of our demonstration, and expressed their
solidarity. A day earlier, these internationals had joined us on a
Women in
Black vigil in Jerusalem, bringing our a total yesterday to about 200.

On the way to the event today, a friend of mine complained that no one
had
called her about the demonstration, but she had fortunately read about
it in
the newspaper ad. “You’re making a revolution,” she said, “and I don’t
want
to be left out.”

The news this evening had good shots of the confrontation. The soldiers

were armed with their M16s and we were armed with our signs and
determination. In the long run, it’s not much of a contest. The
subjugation of a people is always doomed to failure – sic transit
tyrannis.
Ultimately the closure and all the apparatus of occupation will be
dismantled. It’s only a matter of time…and of how many more people
will
have to suffer first.

Gila Svirsky
Coalition of Women for a Just Peace
Israel

PS Thanks to Neta Golan who coordinated the entire event.

————————————————————————–

Bat Shalom is a feminist peace organization working toward a just
peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Bat Shalom, together
with The Jerusalem Center for Women, a Palestinian women’s peace
organization, comprise The Jerusalem Link. Visit our web site for
more information and our latest activities: http://www.batshalom.org

We gratefully accept contributions to help support our work. Checks
in any currency can be mailed to Bat Shalom, POB 8083, Jerusalem
91080, Israel. Tel: +972-2-563 1477; Fax: +972-2-561 7983. See our
web site for information about tax-deductible contributions or bank
transfers.

To subscribe to Bat Shalom’s newsletter, please reply by e-mail with
the word “Subscribe” in the subject line. To unsubscribe, please
write “Unsubscribe” in the subject line.

========================================

The “is” of identity is always false, as the famous semanticist said.
So you can’t say “All Israelis are racists”, they aren’t. The ones who
aren’t are,
though, few and far between. Thank God for people like Gila
Svirsky and her group.
RLA

From [email protected] Fri Mar 9 16:09:40 EST 2001
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Subject: more Straws in the Wind – Jews of Belgium state their position and
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Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2001 09:27:39 +0200
To: News List <[email protected]>
From: The Independent Palestinian Information Network <[email protected]>

Subject: Jews of Belgium state their position and commit themselves

______________________________________________________________________
i n f o p a l — The Independent Palestinian Information Network
______________________________________________________________________

Appeal for a fair settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Jews of Belgium state their position and commit themselves
We, citizens of this country, have decided to state our position
as Jews regarding the events that are setting the Near East
ablaze. As such, we feel it our duty to condemn the policy of
successive Israeli governments towards the Palestinian people, in
utter disregard of United Nations resolutions as well as of
fundamental human rights including the right to self-
determination.
In expressing our opposition to this policy, we deny the Israeli
leaders’ claim to be acting in the name of the Jewish people. We
also wish to bear witness to the diversity of Jewish public
opinion in Belgium with regard to Israel, as opposed to the
picture that some representatives of the Jewish community try to
propagate. We refuse more specifically to be caught in a process
of predefined reaction which aims to divert our conscience and
deeds from supporting a just cause: that of peace based on the
recognition of a sovereign and viable Palestinian State alongside
the State of Israel, with Jerusalem as a capital of both
countries.
We consider that the Palestinian people’s struggle for national
independence is legitimate. The occupation for more than thirty
years, in violation of the principles of international law, and
the forced exile to which the Palestinian refugees have been
condemned have lasted far too long. Any occupation will sooner or
later give rise to resistance on the part of those who suffer
>from this occupation. The climate of violence to which Israelis
and Palestinians are today confined is the result of this long
occupation.The roots of the confrontation are essentially
political and cannot be reduced to a merely religious conflict.
It is not enough to proclaim support for a peace to which
virtually everyone lays claim. It is also necessary to state the
conditions on which peace must rely.
– It is important first of all to implement the decisions of the
United Nations Security Council, and Resolution 242 in
particular, demanding an Israeli withdrawal from the territories
occupied in 1967. We believe that a Palestinian State will not be
viable if Israel maintains under its authority, on the West Bank,
in Gaza and East Jerusalem, settlements illegal in terms of
international law. The annexation by Israel of most of the land
on which these colonies have been set up can only result in a
patchwork partition of the future Palestinian State. Movement
between Palestinian towns or from a Palestinian town to a
destination abroad would then be dependent on the goodwill of the
Israeli authorities. How could a sovereign state ever be able to
accept such an arrangement? Yet this is what the Palestinians
were offered at Camp David in July 2000.
– It is also important that the viability of the future
Palestinian State be guaranteed by measures to promote its
economic development and by ensuring the equal share of water
resources with neighbouring countries.
– The current plight of the refugees is another major obstacle to
real peace between the two peoples. The Zionist movement
instituted, after two thousand years, the Jews’ right to return.
Fifty years on, surely the Palestinians are equally entitled to
demand a right for the refugees to return to the land from which
they were driven or, for those for whom a return is not feasible,
a right to compensation for the property taken from them.
Recognition by Israel of this principle would finally give the
Palestinians the justice they demand and would open the door to a
true reconciliation.
The Oslo agreement could have led in stages to a resolution of
the conflict if moves towards peace had been able to outweigh the
policy of unilateral decisions since pursued by Israel.
Sadly, this opportunity was missed.
In the light of the blatantly unequal balance of forces between
the two sides and leniency shown by the United States towards
Israel, bilateral negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians
have very little chance of success unless pressure is exerted by
the international community and especially by the European Union.
The persistence of the current situation constitutes a serious
threat to peace and political stability in the whole of the
Middle East. We therefore ask the Belgian and European
leaderships to ensure that international law prevail and to act
determinedly so that Israel conform to it. We shall also take
steps to make known all the appeals in this sense issued by those
organisations involved, under extremely difficult circumstances,
in the Israeli peace movement.
We share the hopes and beliefs of the many Israelis who long for
peace with their Palestinian neighbours and who today recognise
their right to a sovereign and viable State. They know that this
is the best guarantee for themselves to live in security in their
own country and to defend its democratic values.
As for us, we shall remain active until a just and balanced
agreement puts an end to a conflict that hitherto has brought
only suffering and desolation.
Brussels, 25/12/2000
Signatories
(227, 23-feb-2001)
Barbara Abramowicz, Bettina Abramowicz, Manuel Abramowicz, Marco
Abramowicz, Stella Abramowicz, Mateo Alaluf, Quentin Alaluf,
Valérie Alaluf, Daniel Apelbaum, Jacques Aron, Cécile Baldwin,
Emmanuelle Balzano, Georges Bauherz, Hugues Pierre Baum, Mylène
Baum, Joëlle Baumerder, Jérome Beghin, Marianne Berenhaut, Daniel
Berkenbaum, Ivan Berkenbaum, David Berman, Henri Bier, Sarah
Blau, Micheline Blust, Francis Borle, Dorette Brat, Ariane
Bratzlavsky, Carine Bratzlavsky, Inge Brinkman, Didier Buch,
Jerzy Buczek, Jacques Bude, Catherine Buhbinder, Maroussia
Buhbinder, Anita Chaberman, Rosy Chauvier, Sarah Chemd, Eric
David, Fransi De Villar Dille, Judith Debroux, Frédérique
Devillez, Koen Dille, André Dimidschstein, Elise Draise, Gisella
Drenger-Nudel, Agnès Dumont, Nathalie Dunkelman, Maurice Errera,
Bernard Fenerberg, Patricia Fenerberg, Fanny Filosof, Maurice
Fogel, Danielle Frank, Norbert Frankfort, Thérèse Frankfort,
Annelise Früh, Laurette Frydman, Mady Frydman, Patricia Geller,
Geneviève Gendebien, Pierre Gillis, Victor Ginzburgh, André
Goldberg, Charles Goldenberg, Marianne Goldfinger, Rosa Goldman,
Charly Goldmann, Maurice Goldstein, Jeannette Goldsztein, José
Gotovitch, Louise Gotovitch, Anne Grauwels, Maya Grinberg, Simon
Gromowski, Catherine Gross, Elie Gross, Laurent Gross, Léa
Grunbaum, Julos Gruszow, Paul Gruszow, Marcel Gudanski, Marco
Gudanski, Michel Gudanski, Edgard Gunzig, Alfred Gutmann, Boris
Gvirtman, Sylvie Harold, Christiane Havet, Anne Herscovici,
Charles Herscovici, Paula Hirsch, Marc Hordies, Berthy Hudes,
Agnès Hurwitz, Henri Hurwitz, Manuelle Hurwitz, Léon Ingber,
Christian Israël, Lolita Iven-Abramowicz, Jean-Pierre Jacquemain,
Gaspard Jedwab, Virginie Jortay, Dolf Kacenelenbogen, Amélia
Kalb, Willy Kalb, Catherine Kestelyn, Simone Klajman, Anna
Klipper, Stéphane Kohn, Jacques Koplowicz, Rachel Kramermann,
Estelle Krzeslo, Edith Kuropatwa, David Lachman, Alain Lapiower,
Hélène Lapiower, Sarah Lefèvre, Cécile Lenkowitz, Florence Levis,
Allégra Levy, Rosine Lewin, Dominique Liebermann, Henri
Liebermann, Sophie Liebermann, Anne Liebhaberg-Scarpa, Adeline
Liebman, Michèle Liebman, Riton Liebman, Sophie Liebman, Claire
Liebmann, Daniel Liebmann, Jean-Claude Liebmann, Léon Liebmann,
Laura Liebstaedter, Lili Liensens, Christophe Lisart, Anne Lucas,
Arié Mandelbaum, Ariéh Mandelbaum, Marcelle Mandelbaum, France
Marage, Vital Marage, Chantal Marissal, Noé Martens, Thérèse
Massart, Nicole Mayer, Robert Minc, Yves Minc, Viviane Mora,
Irène Moskovic, Annette Nicolle, Josée Noël, Emmanuel Nudel,
Michel Nudel, Myriam Othmane, L. Pary, Tessa Parzenczewski, Jenny
Peper, Jean-Marc Picard, Manuel Piette, Alain Potaznik, Léon
Potaznik, Léon Prays, Gérard Preszow, Irène Prowizor, Fabienne
Raindorf, Jean-Michel Raindorf, Nadia Raindorf, Norma Raindorf,
Jacques Rajchman, Jacques Ravedovitz, Léon Ravedovitz, Adi Raz,
David Roger, Pierre Roger, Claire Roger-Wolf, Cécilia Ronsse
Nussenzveig, Suzy Rosendor, Sabine Rozen, Dominique Rozenberg,
Edith Rubinstein, Daniel Saks, Anne Sapir, Marc Sapir, Robert
Scarpa, Herman Schonker, Lisa Schonker, Noémie Schonker, Blanche
Schtourner, Daphné Simon, Jacques Simon, Dora Simonovici, André
Slezingher, Vincent Soubeyran, Michel Staszewski, Marcel Stelzer,
Marka Syfer, Georges Sylin, Henriette Sztajer, Gitla Szyffer,
Anne Thyrion, Daniel Tursch, Lisa Tzavara, Esther Vamos, Muriel
Vamos, Arnaud Van Cutsem, Simon Van Dessel, Eric Van Praag, Dan
Van Raemdonck, Pierre Van Thieren, Jean Vogel, Laurent Vogel,
Ludmila Vondracek, Bella Wajnberg, Henri Wajnberg, Admon
Wajnblum, Henri Wajnblum, Liliane Wald, Axel Wang, Nadine Wang,
Richard Wang, Mathieu Weemals-Rosenfeld, Thierry Wenes, Gilbert
Wolf, Larissa Wozek, Grégory Yarm, Léon Zaidenband.
Further signatures to this appeal can be addressed by e-mail to:
[email protected]
This appeal will be made public at a press conference and will be
widely distributed. This all costs money. If you wish to help the
campaign, contributions -however small – may be transferred
directly to Belgian bank account number 063-9216842-34, which has
been set up for the purpose.
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+–+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
++ for educational and non-profit use only ++
+———————————+ best viewed in courier font
| I N F O P A L |
| Email: [email protected] |
| Web: http://www.infopal.org |
+———————————+

========================================

Zionists posting on this board accuse me of antisemitism. It isn’t
true,
of course, all I want in Palestine is a fair peace, which they do not.
Again, the “is” of identity is false again, as not all Jews are
supporters
of the oppression of Palestinians.
RLA

From [email protected] Fri Mar 9 16:09:40 EST 2001
Article: 258445 of soc.culture.canada
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One of many many items. I’ve been reading so many reports of such
atrocities that it’s really tempting to give in and just “get used to
them.” It is certainly old news by the standards of the US media. Only
a
minuscule amount of the situation in the occupied territories is being
reported.

And yet, pause for a moment and think about Usama. He is 18. He is not
a
soldier. He went to sleep on Wednesday in his own bed in his own house.

We’ll never know if he had a chance to wake up before his death.

And the US media keep referring to Gilo as a “suburb of Jerusalem”. It
is
not. It is a settlement built on land confiscated from Beit Jala, where

Usama lived and died.

-xxx xxxxxxxx (forwarder’s name left out)

[To be removed from, or added to, this list, send me a note]

Usama Al-Zughayer, killed while sleeping in his bed
Usama Al-Zughayer, 18 years old, was killed Wednesday night (February
20-21) while sleeping in his bed.
Facts:
Israeli military sources admitted that the shelling and bombardment of
Beit
Jala was not in response to Palestinian gunfire, but came after
intelligence information indicating that Palestinians planned to fire at

the settlement of “Gilo” from Beit Jala.
Usama’s family, who were visiting friends when the shelling started,
were
unable to reach their house and check on what happened to their son and
their house for nearly two hours, due to the heavy fire directed at the
town from Israeli tanks and armor.
Palestinian Civil-Defense crews were also unable to reach the house
until
two hours later. They found Usama’s body buried under the debris of a
fallen wall. His leg was severed and found a few meters away and his
face
was mutilated. According to the Palestinian Civil Defense, the wall
behind
Usama’s bed took a direct hit from an Israeli shell that penetrated and
exploded next to his bed. The wall also crashed on his body.

==========================================

ISRAEL IS A TRULY HORRIBLE COUNTRY!
Israel is worse than South Africa ever was. Those people at least
had a conscience that could be appealled to (after, ofcourse, their
pocketbooks had first been touched). Israelis have no conscience,
they are true monsters.
RLA

Roger Alexander

From [email protected] Fri Mar 9 16:09:41 EST 2001
Article: 258451 of soc.culture.canada
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February 25, 2001
The Editor
The Globe and Mail
Dear Editor:
Rather than criticizing their International YMCA, as reported by John
Gray,
Feb. 24, the Canadian YMCA should be praising their international
headquarters for their courage, a characteristic absent over most of
Canada
and the United States.
In this Internet age, the media and organizations such as the Canadian
YMCA
cannot long destroy, hide, or distort the truth about Israel and the
Palestinians. The media, et. al, will soon see that they have much to be

ashamed of, as stated yesterday by a Canadian hero, Victor Ostrovsky, a
former Mossad spy agent.
We all have access to minute-by-minute data and photos and can see for
ourselves the facts which go unreported by the media. There is access
now
to historic documents which destroy the myths of the birth of Israel and

the myths which blame the Palestinians for all their difficulties and
the
Israeli atrocities against them.
Betty Molchany
Attorney at Law
31 Blue Ridge Avene
Front Royal, VA 22630-3045

From [email protected] Fri Mar 9 16:09:41 EST 2001
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Canada re Barbara Amiel article
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The leter below is from Monzer Zimmo, an Arab Canadian. Barbara Amiel
is reputed
to be the wife of the publisher of this magazine and of a newpaper.
RLA

Barbara Amiel is at it again. In her piece “The Jewish question”
(Maclean’s – February 26, 2001), Ms. Amiel advances the argument that
“Without Israel, Jews would have to assimilate, convert and disappear.”
Being a committed Zionist, she sees no alternative to that dismal end
other than bearing “the heavy burden” of what she refers to as “some new
set of myths” such as the Jewish
“supposed role as persecutors of the brave victorious Palestinian
people.”

Obviously, Barbara Amiel continues to deny Zionists’ persecution of
Palestinians. In that regard I encourage her to read the Cambridge-
educated historian Benny Morris’ book “The Birth of the Palestinian
Refugee Problem, 1947-49” published in 1988, which is based almost
entirely on Zionists’ own documentation. She will then be reminded of
some facts about Zionists’ direct and deliberate role in persecuting
Palestinians. Most other facts about the subject continue to be blocked
>from being released to the public domain by Yossi Beilin, Israel’s
Minister of Justice, under the pretext
that such release would harm Israel’s foreign relations.

According to Amiel’s argument, Jews who survived over millennia without
Israel are all of a sudden at risk of disappearing as a result of the
failure of the Zionist experiment of a Jewish state in Palestine. This
experiment was doomed to failure before it even started because it
neglected the rights of the indigenous Palestinian population. Instead
of using that failure to exploit Jewish fear, Ms. Amiel should learn
>from failure and start looking for a just
resolution to the conflict in Palestine before it becomes too late to do
so. If Zionists acknowledge their role in depriving millions of
Palestinians from their human rights for over half a century, and if
they accept their responsibility towards rectifying that wrongdoing,
they will find forgiving Palestinian partners who will then welcome them
as equals. Palestinians will never accept Jews as superior, but will
accept them as equals and will accept to live with them in peace as they
did for a very long time before the Zionist experiment.

In 1947-49, Zionists robbed the majority of Palestinian civilians of
their homes, farms, villages, towns and neighbourhoods. Today, there
are more than four million Palestinian refugees living in refugee camps
under extremely miserable conditions less than few hundred kilometers
>from their own homes. Zionists continue to deny Palestinian refugees
their internationally recognized right of return to their own homes,
just so that Barbara Amiel and her Zionist
comrades can have their Jewish state. Furthermore, within that Jewish
state itself, Jews are treated as superior citizens and non-Jews are
treated as inferior ones. Just as one example, examine the level of
municipal services provided within Israel to Jewish neighbourhoods and
the lack of such services to Christian and Muslim neighbourhoods.

Barbara Amiel continues to neglect the facts about Palestinian struggle
for justice. Contrary to what Ms. Amiel implies, the idea of one state
for all is not the creation of some elements of the Israeli “left”. It
is in fact a Palestinian idea. The concept of one state for all was the
core of Palestinian demands from the very beginning. That idea gave
impetus to the Palestinian struggle because it is deeply rooted in
justice. Ms. Amiel should remember
that it was due to Zionist rejection of the idea of one state for all
that the Palestinian leadership had to abandon such idea in favour of
the idea of two states. Hence, the ill-advised Oslo peace process
which is now widely known to be less about peace and more about
process.

Zionists, through exploitation of Jewish fear, convinced Jews to reject
the idea of sharing the Holy Land with Christian and Muslim Palestinians
as equals. First, they claimed all of the Holy Land exclusively for
themselves through the power of arms, thanks to the unlimited and
continuously unconditional support by the USA and other western
nations. Then, in a typically Machiavellian tactic, they gave their
“generous offer” to divide the Holy Land (78% to the Jewish state and
the remaining 22% to be further divided in such a way that the resulting
Palestinian entity over 95% of the 22% would
never be viable because it would lack sovereignty, water resources,
contiguity of land and economic viability). Zionists, like Ms. Amiel,
contend that if that formula for dividing the Holy Land is not accepted
as is, then Jews would have to face the risk of being annihilated. It
is amazing how much energy those Zionists spend on inciting Jewish fear
instead of trying to find ways and means to end it. What about the idea
of having security through justice? What
about the idea of sharing instead of taking and dividing? By exploiting
Jewish fear in perpetuity, the Zionists represent the worst thing that
could ever happen to Jews inside or outside Israel.

Regardless of Zionists’ wishful thinking, Palestinians will not go
away. They will only increase in number. Palestinians will not
evaporate in thin air, and they know that neither will the Jews. The
only “final” solution to the conflict in Palestine is the one that will
be based on both Jews and Palestinians living together as equals. Let
there be one bi-national bi-lingual multicultural state where individual
liberties are secured and collective religious and spiritual rights are
protected. In other words, let us take the example of Canada, the best
country in the world in which to live,
and apply it. What would be wrong with that? I wish Barbara Amiel and
other hard-core Zionists would consider reflecting on such a thought.

The conflict in Palestine will never end with a “victor” and a “loser”.
The simplistic military concept of a victor and a loser means a
continuation by the loser of the struggle resulting in a never-ending
conflict. If we want that conflict to come to an end, we must find a
formula where there are no “victors” or “losers” in Palestine, but
winners on both sides. Such formula can be found through the concepts
of truth, reconciliation, sharing, understanding
and justice.

Monzer Zimmo
February 25, 2001
[email protected]

From [email protected] Fri Mar 9 16:09:41 EST 2001
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Israel stymies U.S. aid efforts
Import curbs, travel restrictions snarl projects in Palestinian
territories

By WILLIAM A. ORME JR.
New York Times
JERUSALEM — Israel’s increasingly strict controls on the movement of
Palestinian goods and people are paralyzing U.S. government economic
development projects in the Palestinian territories, U.S. officials here
said as Secretary of State Colin Powell arrived in the region Saturday.

Building projects have been stalled by Israeli import restrictions, and
local participants in economic training programs cannot travel freely to
courses within the territories or abroad, diplomats said.

The United States has been investing more than $100 million yearly in
development projects in Palestinian areas.

U.S. aid officials here were especially irked last week when Israel
refused to let a high-level delegation of Palestinian economic officials
and private business leaders travel to a long-planned series of seminars
at a U.S.-run economic institute in Rome and the World Trade
Organization in Geneva. Financed and organized by the U.S. Agency for
International Development, the seminars were intended to foster
Palestinian compliance with international norms regarding intellectual
property rights and foreign trade policies.

“We urge the Israelis to cease their policies of economic pressure
against the Palestinians, including limitations on the movement of
people involved in important economic or business activity,” Larry
Shartz, the spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, said on
Saturday.

The delegation needed special Israeli exit permits for 17 of its 21
Palestinian members – the others held U.S. passports or were residents
of Israeli-ruled East Jerusalem – in order to travel to Ben Gurion
International Airport, outside Tel Aviv.

Though told initially by Israeli military authorities that the once
routine permits would be granted, the delegation was informed shortly
before the scheduled departure that all 17 applications had been denied.

“It would defy logic to identify any legitimate security concerns for
the State of Israel to justify its illegal actions in this matter,” said
Maher Masri, the Palestinian minister of economy and trade, who
organized the delegation in collaboration with U.S. aid consultants.

Spokesmen for the Israeli military’s Civil Administration Office said
Israeli government policy now is to reject virtually all travel
applications from Palestinians, even when there is no indication
applicants pose a security risk, unless high-level Israeli officials
specifically endorse the request.

======================================
Israel is just so consistently inhuman, so busy doing evil at every
turn, it is hard to
conceive how a country could be so outrageous. There will eventually be
a resolution
of this terrible oppression, but I suspect that many people now living
will go to their
graves despising the bastards who run that barbaric country.
Note, if you will, that every adult Israeli Jew, less the Orthodox, who
lead charmed lives,
must serve in the army, not once but every year. Thus almost the entire
adult
population of Israel are explicitly complicit with this ongoing
atrocity.
Bastards all.
RLA

From [email protected] Fri Mar 9 16:09:37 EST 2001
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