Julie Webb-Pullman reports

Posts tagged “Palestine

27th Anniversary: Hamas is from the Palestinian people, and for Palestine

by Julie Webb-Pullman

Hamas in Nuseirat Photo: Julie Webb-Pullman

Hamas in Nuseirat Photo: Julie Webb-Pullman

“Hamas leaders come from the people,” senior official Dr Salah Al Bardawil told a huge crowd who took to the streets Friday in Nuseirat camp, Gaza, to celebrate 27 years since the birth of the Hamas movement.

“Hamas does not seek power or government, just Palestine’s liberation,” he said. (more…)


Har Nof Synagogue attack: Israel’s chickens come home to roost

by Julie Webb-Pullman
Source: Gaza SCOOP

A body being removed from the Har Nof synagogue (AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)

A body being removed from the Har Nof synagogue (AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)

Israel’s chickens are coming home to roost, along with those of the UN and the international community. How can anyone be surprised?

You cannot subject a people to 50 years of illegal occupation and expect no response. To illegal demolition of their houses, arbitrary detention, torture and inhumane prison conditions and expect no response. You cannot subject a people to ongoing theft of their land for the construction of illegal settlements, to living behind an illegal apartheid wall and expect no response. You cannot subject a people to an illegal siege and expect no response.

The international community has sat on its hands while the Israeli rogue state rode roughshod over the few rights left to Palestinians, with total impunity.

The UN has not enforced international law even ONCE in response to at least 80 breaches of UN Security Council Resolutions. The US has vetoed many more.

Endless negotiations with dishonest brokers have yielded less than nothing for Palestinians – less land, less water, less natural resources, less houses, less jobs, less opportunities, less travel. It is nothing less than scandalous that this has all taken place under the watch of the Useless Nations. (more…)


Hamas is not a monster, it is a legitimate national liberation movement

By Khalid Amayreh, Occupied Palestine

Hamas

The Judeo-Nazi propaganda machine has been trying rather rabidly to demonize Hamas, the Palestinian-Islamic Liberation Movement. Irate Israeli officials used every conceivable offensive epithet in the dictionary to besmirch Hamas’s image, like calling the group “terrorist” and “genocidal.”

The truth of the matter is that Hamas is neither terrorist nor genocidal. It is rather an Islamic-nationalist liberation group, not so different from other liberation movements, past and present. (more…)


“Best prospect now for realizing Palestinian self-determination is grassroots mobilization”- UN rights expert

PRESS RELEASE
United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

GENEVA (8 May 2014) – The outgoing United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories, Richard Falk, today urged more businesses and civil society “to join the growing global solidarity movement to resist the prolonged Israeli occupation and creeping annexation of Palestine.”

His appeal comes in the wake of the collapsed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks brokered by the United States over the past nine months.

“Both Israelis and Palestinians deserve a just resolution to this conflict with human rights at its core, but the latest round of talks has again created false hopes and fuelled feelings of frustration,” the expert said. (more…)


Islamic Jihad wants unity deal hastened, fears US-Israel meddling

First Published in Middle East Eye

Although not an official actor in the process, Islamic Jihad’s backing of the Palestine reconciliation deal is seen as important for its survival.

Khaled al-Batsh leader of the Islamic Jihad speaking to a press conference (AFP)

Khaled al-Batsh leader of the Islamic Jihad speaking to a press conference (AFP)

As a non-member of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), Palestinian resistance movement Islamic Jihad was not privy to the negotiations between the PLO and Hamas that resulted in Wednesday’s agreement to end the seven-year Fatah-Hamas split.

But as one of Palestine’s most important factions, they are crucial to the success of any deal and say they have considerable interest in participating and helping to build the future of the country. (more…)


Palestinian Administrative Detainees To Hold Hunger Strike

Al Qassam Information Office

Occupied Palestine – The Ahrar Center for Detainees Studies and Human Rights has reported that Palestinian political prisoners, held by Israeli occupation under arbitrary Administrative Detention without charges or trial, have decided to go ahead and start their hunger strike on Thursday, April 24, 2014.

Ahrar said the detainees would be holding the “Freedom Revolution Strike 2014” to protest their illegal detention, and that all administrative detainees, of all factions, will be part of the strike.

The detainees issued a statement revealing that contacts have been made to ensure all administrative detainees will start their strike Thursday.

The planned strike was coordinated between various detained political leaders, including detainee Abbas As-Sayyed of Hamas, and Fateh official and legislator, Marwan Barghouthi.

The committee organizing the strike said the move could eventually turn into a comprehensive strike that includes all detainees held by Israeli occupation.

The detainees called on local media outlets to support them, and to inform the world of their suffering and ongoing violations carried out against them.

One of the main demands, which was on the list of every previous strike, is an end to the illegitimate and arbitrary Israeli police of Administrative Detention, and to allow the Red Cross and their lawyers to visit them during their strikes.

The detainees said Administrative Detention is illegal, and Israeli must stop completely stop it.

Also among the demands of the detainees, including Administrative Detainees, is a stop to all violations and attacks against them, attacks against the visiting family members, granting the detainees access to education and proper medical attention, and various demands guaranteed by International Law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.


Vittorio Arrigoni Commemoration in Gaza: “I am a diamond, and you cannot break me.”

On April 15 a group of Palestinians, Italians, and an assortment of other nationalities bussed down to Khan Younis to honour Vittorio Arrigoni, an Italian activist murdered on this day in Gaza three years ago. Vik, as he was popularly known, was widely loved and respected by the farmers and fishermen whom he accompanied to deter Israeli attacks against them during their work, as well as by the many he helped during Operation Cast Lead.

Arriving at the home of a farmer who worked with Vik, the group was led to a memorial erected in his honour in the front garden of the farmhouse, surrounded with palms and plants, and adorned with posters and Palestinian flags.

Memorial to Vittorio Arrigoni on Khan Younis farm

Memorial to Vittorio Arrigoni on Khan Younis farm

(more…)


“Grave violations and aggression by Israel against the Palestinian people continued in a culture of impunity,” says Human Rights Council

Peace

On 24 March The Human Rights Council held a general debate on the human rights situation in Palestine and other Occupied Arab Territories, in a meeting at which four reports on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories were presented.

The Secretary-General’s report again confirmed continued flagrant violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.

Navi Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said that the reports highlighted the issue of settlements, which, together with settler violence, were at the core of many of the human rights violations in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

Despite repeated calls on Israel to cease settlement activity, their construction continued with devastating consequences for Palestinian civilians. Ms. Pillay also expressed deep concern at the situation in Gaza.

(more…)


Palestinian advocacy group says Israeli soldiers ‘intended’ to kill Jordanian judge

Source: Jordan Times

AMMAN – An independent Palestinian human rights organisation has published the outcome of a self-initiated investigation into the killing of Jordanian Judge Raed Zuaiter, who was shot dead by Israeli soldiers on the King Hussein Bridge on March 10. (more…)


Cairo court bans Hamas activities in Egypt

On Tuesday a Cairo court placed a temporary ban on Palestinian political party and elected government Hamas from carrying out any activities in Egypt, and ordered the confiscation of its offices.

The court action followed a complaint filed by an Egyptian lawyer, Samir Sabry, asking it to declare Hamas a terrorist organisation.

Hamas officials strongly condemned the decision as politically motivated.

“Hamas has neither activities nor official offices in Egypt, whether before, during or after the [2011 revolution],” a Hamas official said in a statement e-mailed to Ahram Online, an Egyptian news service.

“The decision targets the Palestinian people … and is consistent with goals to fight and eliminate the Palestinian resistance, against which Hamas is a bulwark,” the official added.

While the ruling is subject to appeal and to the final judgment of ousted President Morsi’s trial on charges of collaboration with the group to carry out ‘hostile acts’ in Egypt, it has caused considerable alarm throughout Gaza, already reeling under the effects of a seven-year Israeli siege further exacerbated by Egypt’s closure of both the Rafah crossing, and the tunnel lifelines.

“This decision will make the Palestinian people pay the price as it will be used to tighten the blockade on the Gaza strip,” senior Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri told the media.

Hamas said it has been the subject of an “unprecedented media and political campaign of incitement and defamation” in Egypt, and maintains the allegations against it are completely unfounded and unjustified.

After its weekly Cabinet meeting yesterday, the Palestinian Government in Gaza announced it is considering the seriousness of the court decision, and called on officials in Egypt to review the ruling, as it is tantamount to Egypt abandoning its historic role in support of the Palestinian people.

The Egyptian court might also pause to consider the implications of its Hamas ban for its international obligations, such as to Articles 18, 19, 20 and 21 of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights.

Hamas is a legitimate political party that democratically came to power in Palestine in 2006 through a fair, free and open electoral process endorsed as such by national and international observers. Its members and leaders have the right to hold and express their beliefs in any country signatory to the ICCPR.


Is Israel an Apartheid State? Rhetoric or Reality

by Frances H. Remillard

Do Israel’s practices in occupied Palestinian territory, namely the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, amount to the crimes of colonialism and apartheid under international law? A summary of a legal study by HSRC of South Africa.

Old, but worth reading again – or even just once, Netanyahu.

Republished from If Americans Knew

mandela

The Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa, in its efforts to eliminate and prevent the kind of suffering the South African and Namibian people suffered under apartheid, commissioned a legal study of the Israel-Palestine situation. “The aim of this project was to scrutinize the situation from the nonpartisan perspective of international law, rather than engage in political discourse and rhetoric.”

This fifteen-month collaborative study set out to examine legally the question:

Do Israel’s practices in occupied Palestinian territory, namely the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, amount to the crimes of colonialism and apartheid under international law?

The study was comprehensive including discussion of pertinent international law and legal rulings, the legal status and laws governing historic Palestine from Ottoman times to present, Israeli law, discussion and rebuttal of Israel’s various legal arguments as to why international law does not apply, and a very detailed review of Israel’s practices weighed against this legal context and compared to similar practices carried out by the government of South Africa during apartheid.

To fully explore this issue, the evidence offered in the study was very broad including Israel’s practices within the state of Israel proper, Israel’s practices regarding Palestinian refugees, and Israel’s practices in occupied Palestinian territory; however, the legal question asked and conclusions drawn about apartheid were limited to Israel’s practices after 1967 when Israel occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.

Apartheid defined under international law
Apartheid is defined as an institutionalized form of racism in which states enact laws which function as the apparatus to commit inhuman acts for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them.

Apartheid regimes rely on three “Pillars of Apartheid” to maintain their domination

Pillar 1: The state codifies into law a preferred identity, and then establishes adjunct laws that grant preferential legal status and material privileges to the preferred group on the basis of their identity while discriminating against the non-preferred group on the basis of the inferior status afforded them.

Pillar 2: The state segregates the population into geographic areas based on their identity. The favored identity receives preferential access to land, water, other resources, and to government benefits and services while the non-preferred group is confined to ever shrinking non-contiguous besieged territorial enclaves.

Pillar 3: The state establishes security laws and policies designed to suppress any opposition to the regime. The system of domination is reinforced through assassinations; administrative detention; torture; cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment; and arbitrary arrest and imprisonment of the non-preferred group.an advisory opinion on the question of Israel’s practices in occupied Palestinian territory.

Using these criteria, the May 2009 South African study found that “Israel, since 1967, is the belligerent Occupying Power in occupied Palestinian territory, and that its occupation of these territories has become a colonial enterprise which implements a system of apartheid.”

The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions-USA has summarized the findings of this study to make the results accessible to the public, to help people understand that talk of apartheid is more than just rhetoric, and to provide a tool which concerned citizens can use to help bring an end to Israel’s apartheid regime. Our summary briefly describes only the ‘components of apartheid’ and the Israeli practices used by the study group to reach its conclusions.

Israel’s practices, Apartheid Pillar 1: A preferred identity; separate system privileging Jews

Israel’s domestic law codifies the Jewish identity as the preferred identity and establishes that collective rights extend to Jews only. All other people lack the right to a national life anywhere in Israel proper or occupied Palestinian territory.

Israel’s state resources (including land in occupied Palestinian territory which Israel has declared ‘state land’) are specified as being for the exclusive benefit of Jews, administered under the World Zionist Organization, Jewish Agency, and Jewish National Fund. These para-state organizations are authorized agents of the state of Israel; receive funding from the state of Israel; are empowered to manage Israeli state affairs; yet their charters and Israeli Law mandate that they operate in perpetuity for the exclusive benefit of world Jewry.

Since 1967, Israel supplanted existing laws governing Palestinian territory with two separate sets of law: Israeli domestic law to apply to Jewish settlers and Israeli military law to apply to Palestinians (See Table A for examples of Israel’s military orders governing Palestinians).

Right to Housing and Natural Growth
– After occupying Palestinian territory in 1967, Israel froze the municipal boundaries of Palestinian towns and villages. Because Israel, in general, denies Palestinians the right to build outside municipal boundaries, this law has served as the basis for stemming Palestinian growth, denying Palestinians 90% of needed housing permits, and for destroying thousands of Palestinian homes.

– Since 1967 not one new Palestinian community has been established in East Jerusalem.

Settler Benefits
– Israel encourages Jews from anywhere in the world to move into occupied Palestinian territory by providing automatic citizenship, settlement housing, and financial benefits including permanent exemption from real estate and employers’ taxes; grants to cover costs of moving to settlements; loans for rent, utilities and purchasing apartments (these loans convert to grants after three years residence in the settlement); free education from kindergarten through university; and free technical education. Palestinians are not afforded such benefits.

Freedom of Residence
– Palestinians who procure residency or citizenship in another country immediately lose their right of residency in occupied East Jerusalem. Jews, however, can obtain both residency and citizenship in another country and still retain their right to reside in occupied East Jerusalem.

Freedom to Leave and Return to One’s Country
– Palestinians who either fled or were not in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, or the Gaza Strip at the time of the1948 or 1967 wars have never been allowed to return to their homes or reclaim their property. By contrast, Jews from anywhere in the world may ‘return’ to either Israel proper or occupied Palestinian territory even if neither they nor any of their ancestors were born or had previously lived there.

Family Unification
– Jews have no restrictions preventing their living with or being unified with spouses and children who are from a foreign country, not citizens of Israel. By contrast, Palestinians of all categories are not afforded the same right to family unification.

Citizenship
– Israel has refused to allow a Palestinian state to emerge and at the same time has refused Palestinians in occupied Palestinian territory to gain citizenship in Israel. By contrast, Jews from anywhere in the world are rewarded with automatic citizenship and substantial monetary benefits for transferring into and living in occupied Palestinian territory.

Permit System
– Israel has imposed a burdensome permit system which requires Palestinians to get a permit for everything from repairing their home, making a deposit in their bank account, and planting onions, to which fields Palestinians may use their tractors. Often permits are issued or the permit system is enforced depending on the Palestinians’ willingness to collaborate with their Israeli occupier.

Economic Rights
– Israel prevents imports, exports, and Palestinian people from moving freely throughout Palestinian territory. This ‘closure’ policy has halted Palestinian economic development by fragmenting Palestinian economic space, raising the cost of doing business, and eliminating the predictability needed to carry out successful business.

– Palestinians must obtain permits from Israel to grow crops. Permits are granted based on whether Palestinian crops compete with Israeli agricultural production.

– A Palestinian may not establish a factory or business employing more than ten individuals.

Trade Unions
– Palestinians laborers must pay 11% of their wages to Israel’s national trade union, Histadrut, for insurance tax. Yet Palestinians do not receive Histadrut insurance benefits such as unemployment compensation, disability benefits, or old age pensions. In addition Palestinian laborers pay 1% of their wages to Histadrut for membership dues. Yet Histadrut represents only Jewish laborers in disputes, and cooperates with the Israeli military in tightening control over Palestinians.

Right to an Education
– Israel denies Palestinians the right to an education through indirect measures such as creating obstacles to movement so Palestinian students cannot get to their schools; repeated closure of Palestinian schools; military attacks on schools and students; destroying educational infrastructure; and denying Palestinian students exit permits preventing them from studying abroad.

Freedom of the Press
– Israel restricts media reporting information from Palestinian territory by direct censorship; by refusing to issue or renew press cards, restricting the movement of the press, damaging or destroying radio and TV installations; through arbitrary arrest and detention of journalists; and by beating, torturing, and killing journalists.

– The Israeli press practices a codified system of self censorship (Nakdi Report) including prohibition of the use of terms such as “Palestinian,” “Palestine,” “East Jerusalem,” or references to areas in the West Bank by their Palestinian name, instead referring to areas of the West Bank as Judea and Samaria.

– Reporters without Borders, a journalism organization advocating freedom of the press internationally, ranks Israel 146th out of 169 in their annual press freedom index.

– Palestinian newspapers must have an Israeli military permit and publications must be pre-approved by the military censor.
Israel’s practices, Apartheid Pillar 2: Segregation; exploitation of resources

After occupying Palestinian territory in 1967, Israel issued Administration Order #1 annexing Palestinian East Jerusalem to the State of Israel.

In 1967 Israel issued military orders declaring all Palestinian surface and ground water “public property” and the “sovereign property of Israel.”

In 1978, the Jewish Agency/World Zionist Organization/Jewish National Fund declared the West Bank a permanent part of the “Land of Israel.”

These para-state organizations laid out a master plan (the Drobles Plan) placing Jewish settlements and Jews-only highways around and between Palestinian populations with the stated purpose of carving up the territory to promote Jewish domination and prevent the creation of a Palestinian state.

By the 1990s, the corridors of Jewish settlements and Jews-only highways enforced complete segregation of Jews and non-Jews. Palestinians have been pushed into disjointed, ever-shrinking enclaves.

Segregation
– Israel has appropriated over 50% of the West Bank for the exclusive benefit of Jews including settlements and outposts; nature preserves; special security zones; the wall; agricultural development for Jewish settlers; closed military zones; and a Jews-only highway system. Palestinians are prohibited from using, or even crossing, the extensive Jews-only highway system that allows Jews to travel freely between settlements and between the West Bank and the state of Israel.

– Israel’s security wall alone appropriates 10% of the West Bank by fencing that land into Israel proper.

– Tens of thousands of Palestinians have been trapped in the ‘seam zone,’ their homes and villages are walled out of the West Bank. They are not allowed to pass into Israel for services and likewise cannot freely pass through the ‘wall’ into Palestinian territory for services and community. In contrast, a Jew from anywhere in the world, Israeli citizen or not, is free to travel in and out of the seam zones.

– By September 2008, Israel had established 699 restrictions to Palestinian movement within the West Bank including checkpoints, roadblocks, trenches, earth mounds, road gates, 89 ‘flying’ checkpoints (weekly average), and the ‘security wall.’

– As a result of this system of security walls, settlements, and highways, Israel has deliberately severed East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank. The West Bank is divided into reserves in which residence and entry is determined by each group’s identity. Israel has also sealed and isolated the Gaza Strip from the rest of Palestinian territory.

Exploitation of resources
– Israel integrated the Palestinian electricity infrastructure and water supplies into that of Israel, thus denying Palestinians control over their own municipal services and water resources.

– Israel diverts all of Palestinian Jordan River water and 87% of Palestinian ground water to the state of Israel proper and the illegal Jewish settlers. The remaining 13% of Palestinian ground water is distributed back to 2.5 million Palestinians living in the West Bank.

– Israel cuts off Palestinian access to water by destroying wells; destroying all Palestinian pumps and ditches accessing the Jordan River; destroying cisterns and irrigation systems; preventing the construction of new water infrastructure; preventing the repair of out-dated infrastructure; preventing Palestinians from drilling new wells; and hindering access through ‘security measures’ such as roadblocks, closures, checkpoints, and the wall.

– The route of Israel’s security wall delineates the eastern boundary of high groundwater production from the Western Aquifer. The wall fences those areas of high water production into Israel, closing off Palestinian access to more than 95% of their groundwater resources, over 630 million cubic meters of water per year.

– Since 1967, not one permit has been granted for the drilling of new Palestinian controlled wells in the largest and most productive of all the aquifer basins, the Western Aquifer.

– Palestinians pay from four to twenty times more for water than Jewish settlers pay, but are restricted to 10 to 60 liters of water per day, less than the 100 liters-per-day minimum standard set by the World Health Organization. Jewish settlers enjoy from 274 to 450 liters of water per day.

– Five thousand Jewish settlers living in the Jordan Valley consume the equivalent of 75% of the water used by the entire West Bank population of over 2.5 million Palestinians.

– All 149 Israeli-approved Jewish settlements in the West Bank are connected to a running water network, while over 200 Palestinian communities in the West Bank have no running water.

Gaza Aquifer, the only source of freshwater in the Gaza Strip
– Israel, through years of over-pumping deep bore wells along the Gaza Strip, has drawn sewage and salt water contamination into the Gaza aquifer.

– Israel reduced natural recharge of the Gaza aquifer by constructing a physical barrier or “verge” to prevent fresh water from the Hebron Hills from reaching the Gaza aquifer.

– Today 90 to 95% of the Gaza aquifer is unfit for human consumption, much of it unfit even for irrigation or showering.

– Between 2000 and mid-2006, Israel destroyed 244 of Gaza’s wells and destroyed 6.2 miles of culinary water lines.

– By January 2008, 40% of the homes in Gaza had no running water.
Israel’s practices, Apartheid Pillar 3: Matrix of security laws to suppress opposition

Security for the state of Israel has been equated with protection for Israel’s institutions—the same institutions that enforce domination of Palestinians.

All Palestinian resistance to Israeli domination is treated as a “security threat.” Palestinians resisting are labeled “terrorists.”

Israel invokes ‘security’ to justify sweeping restrictions on Palestinian freedom of expression, assembly, association, and movement.

Assassinations, torture, arbitrary arrest and imprisonment, and no due process are sanctioned by the state of Israel and often approved by the Israeli judicial system.

Israel’s military court system is the “institutional centerpiece of Israel’s apparatus of control over Palestinians.”

Military courts
– From 2002 to 2006, Israel’s military courts filed more than 43,000 indictments against Palestinians of which only one third were security related and only 1 per cent involved defendants charged with causing intentional deaths.

– Israel’s military courts do not comply with international standards of due process.

– There is no ‘presumption of innocence,’ placing burden of proof on the defense.

– A Palestinian defendant and attorney are not informed of charges against him or her until the first hearing (after the indictment has already been filed). The defendant is expected to respond immediately with no time to study the indictment.

– Indictments are written and presented in Hebrew—a language the defendant does not understand.

– Court decisions can be based on “secret evidence” not provided to a detainee or his or her lawyer.

– Decisions of the court are not published.

– All judges are Israeli military officers, many without legal background or education.

– If a defendant refuses to plea-bargain, the result is a far more severe penalty.

– 95% to 97% of convictions are the result of plea-bargains.

– The average hearing lasts just 3 minutes and 4 seconds.

– In 2006, acquittals were obtained in only 0.29% of cases.

Mass incarceration

– Over 40% of the Palestinian male population has been imprisoned at some time, many without charges in repeating 6-month administrative detention terms that can go on for years.

– By April 2009, 45 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, over one third of the democratically elected parliament, were imprisoned, most convicted of belonging to a political party Israel deems a “threat,” and eight administratively detained without any charges or trial.

Prosecuting children
– Palestinian children are prosecuted as adults at age 12. Jewish settler children are not prosecuted as adults until age 18.

– Over 700 Palestinian children are prosecuted by Israeli military courts each year, mostly for throwing stones including throwing stones at the wall. Throwing stones carries a prison term of six months to twenty years.

Freedom of assembly and association
– Palestinian public gatherings of more than ten people are forbidden unless Israel is given advance notice and the names of all attendees.

– Israel uses live ammunition, tear gas, sound bombs, rubber-coated steel bullets, and physical violence against public gatherings and demonstrations.

Persecution of organizations or persons because they oppose apartheid
– Israel has declared most Palestinian political parties to be “terrorist organizations.” All charitable, educational, or cultural organizations deemed to be connected directly or indirectly to a political party are subject to closure, destruction, and military attacks.

– In 2008, Israel carried out a military attack targeting a residential area, a school, two medical clinics, and two orphanages because Israel suspected some donors to the charity that built them to be members of Hamas.

Cruel and inhumane treatment: Gaza
– From 2000 to 2004, Israel demolished over 2500 homes in the Gaza Strip leaving 16,000 Palestinians homeless.

– In 2006, Israel bombed the Gaza power plant destroying all six transformers and halting electricity production, leaving Gaza almost completely dependent on Israel as the sole provider of electricity, power, desalination, pumping sewage, and pumping water.

– After years of systematic bombing and destruction, which transformed Gaza into a dependent population, Israel isolated Gaza with an encircling ‘security wall.’ Then in October 2007, Israel initiated a blockade on Gaza limiting fuel, water, and electricity and cutting basic supplies to less than 1/5 their former levels. 95% of Gaza’s industries shut down; poverty levels reached 80%; hospitals experienced power cuts of 8 to 12 hours a day; thirty to forty million liters of raw sewage poured into the Mediterranean sea every day; 1.1 million Gazans were living below the poverty line.

– Gaza’s fishing grounds extend 20 miles off shore, yet Israel enforced a three-mile limit by opening fire on Palestinian fishing vessels beyond three miles, severely damaging Palestinian fishermen’s livelihood and denying a viable food source to Gaza.

– On December 27, 2008, Israel launched “Operation Cast Lead,” a three-week military attack on Gaza, killing 1380 Palestinians and injuring 5380. During this attack Israel prevented Palestinian civilians from leaving Gaza, “subjecting the entire population to the extreme physical and psychological hazards of modern warfare.”

–Since “Operation Cast Lead,” Israel has continued the blockade, preventing Palestinians from rebuilding, thus deepening the humanitarian disaster in Gaza.
Selected Examples of the 2500 Military Orders Governing Palestinians

Military Order #818: establishes how Palestinians can plant decorative flowers.
Military Order #998: requires Palestinians to get Israeli military permission to make a withdrawal from their bank account.
Military Order #93 and amendment: gives all Palestinian insurance businesses to the Israeli Insurance Syndicate.
Military Order #96: forbids transport or purchase of goods on a donkey.
Military Order #537: removes democratically elected Mayors of West Bank cities from their position.
Military Order #811 and #847: allows Jews to purchase land from unwilling Palestinian sellers by using a “power of attorney.”
Military Order #25: forbids public inspection of land transactions.
Military Order #58: makes land transactions immune to review so long as the transaction was carried out by an Israeli “acting in good faith.”
Military Order #58, Article 5: says any land transaction will not be voided even if it is proved the transaction was invalid.
Military Order #101: forbids a gathering of more than 10 people unless the Israeli military receives advance notice with names of all participants.
Military Order #107: bans publications including works on Arabic grammar, histories of the Crusades, and works on Arab nationalism.
Military Order #92 and #158: gives the Israeli military control of all West Bank and Gaza Strip water.
Military Order #128: gives the Israeli military the right to take over any Palestinian business which does not open during regular business hours.
Military Order #1015: requires Palestinians to get Israeli military permission to plant and grow fruit trees. Permits expire in one year or each June 15th.
Military Order #847: declares only Israeli notaries can authenticate signatures.
Military Order #134: prohibits Palestinians from operating tractors or other farm machinery made in Israel or imported from any other country.
Military Order #363: requires Palestinian mechanics to report to the Israeli military the particulars of any and all cars they repair.
Military Order #1147 (amendment): requires Palestinians to get permission from the Israeli military to grow onions.
Military Order #1229: authorizes Israel to hold Palestinians in administrative detention for up to six months without charge or trial. Six-month detentions can be renewed indefinitely.

Discussion: Future Direction

The conclusions of the study by the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa were limited to Israel’s practices in occupied East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The study found Israel’s practices in these territories constitute both colonialism and apartheid.

The study did contain much evidence of similar practices within the state of Israel suggesting the need for studies in other areas where Israel’s laws dominate. That would include Israel’s practices within the state of Israel proper where 1.7 million Palestinian Israelis, nearly 24% of the population, are considered “citizen non-members of Israel and afforded a status inferior to that of Jewish citizens;” Israel’s practices regarding Palestinian refugees where Israel’s citizenship laws place inhumane limits on refugees’ right to return to their homes and reclaim their property confiscated by Israel in 1948 and 1967; and Israel’s practices in the occupied Golan Heights.

Under International Law, practices of colonialism and apartheid are judged damaging to international legal order and seriously threaten world peace and security. Findings of colonialism and apartheid legally obligate third party nations to oppose the colonialism-apartheid system. Findings of apartheid, a crime against humanity, also give rise to individual criminal responsibility.

The State of Israel has the duty to:

Cease its unlawful activity
Dismantle the structures of colonialism and apartheid
Promote full rights and expression of the Palestinian people
Pay reparations and damages to the Palestinians people

Third party States are obligated to:

Not recognize the illegal situation as lawful
Not render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation
Cooperate to bring the illegal situation to an end
Not become complicit in the crimes by failing to fulfill the first three obligations

As a next step, the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa strongly recommends that states take action to meet their legal obligations under international law and urgently request the International Court of Justice render an advisory opinion on the question of Israel’s practices in occupied Palestinian territory.

Concerned citizens play a critical role in bringing their governments forward on this issue, from awareness of breaches of international law and human rights to responsibility. The report of the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa recognizes Israeli apartheid and colonization as a matter of global significance. They have named and delineated this egregious policy. The study warns that states providing aid to Israel can be found complicit in this international crime and implies that individuals aiding Israel may bear criminal responsibility. The study further suggests that international methods that helped end apartheid in South Africa are applicable to ending Israeli apartheid.

Specifically, individuals can meet with their representatives; petition their representatives to request an advisory opinion from International Court of Justice on the question of Israel’s practices in occupied Palestinian territory; hold non-violent protests; and join in international boycott, divestment and sanctions efforts—all strategies similar to those used to end South Africa’s apartheid.


Dr Eyad El-Sarraj, Palestinian psychiatrist, human rights campaigner dies in Gaza

Dr Eyad El-Sarraj, tireless human rights defender

Dr Eyad El-Sarraj, tireless human rights defender

Dr. Eyad El-Sarraj, Palestinian psychiatrist and Commissioner-General of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizens’ Rights, passed away in Gaza a short time ago.

Born in Beersheva, Palestine on 27 April 1944, Dr El-Sarraj arrived with his family in Gaza in 1948 as refugees.

He grew up to become the first psychiatrist to practice in Gaza, beginning in 1977. Dr El-Sarraj went on to found and direct the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP), which he established in 1990 to promote the mental well-being of three major target groups in the Palestinian community: children, women, and victims of organized violence and torture.

“We strongly believe that there is a correlation between human rights and mental health, because sound mental health cannot be gained under violent circumstances, and human rights will not be respected in a society exposed to ongoing trauma,” states the organisation’s strategy document.

His human rights work was not without cost – in 1996 he was arrested and tortured for condemning torture and violation of human rights by the Palestinian Authorities.

But it was also not without recognition – in 1997 he was winner of the Physicians for Human Rights Award, and in 1998 of the Martin Ennals Award for human rights defenders.

In 2010 he was awarded the Swedish labour movement’s largest and most prestigious award, the Olof Palme Prize for his self-sacrificing and indefatigable struggle for the Palestinian people.

“In his professional and political work, Eyad El-Sarraj has stood on the side of the individual human being, regardless of nationality, gender or social position. He has brought into the light the destructive influence of repression on mental health,” the Committee stated when announcing the award.

In the same year, Dr El-Sarraj was jointly awarded the Juan José López-Ibor prize in psychiatry, along with Professor Jules Angst, in recognition of his contribution to advancement of the rights and dignity of people with a mental illness, and his scientific research.

Other notable activities include being a consultant to the Palestinian delegation at the Camp David 2000 Summit, and his appearance as an expert witness before the United Nations-mandated Goldstone Commission on the war crimes committed during Israel’s 2008-9 military offensive “Operation Cast Lead.” His evidence on the long-term psycho-social impacts of the conflict on civil society in Gaza was quoted in the final report.

The light that Dr Iyad El-Sarraj shone into some of the darkest corners of Palestine can not be dimmed by his death.

“You are the window through which I can breathe,” one of his patients once told him.

His legacy of hope, and a legion of Palestinians both taught and inspired by him, will continue his important work, and keep the windows open to let in the air and light that Israel, and now Egypt, are determined to prevent entering.

May Dr El-Sarraj find the peace in death that he tried to bring to so many in life.


Zionist spider Jesus T. Vasquez crawls out from under his rock again

Desperate Zionists are again recycling their fake press release in a pathetic attempt to discredit pro-Palestinian activists and organisations in New Zealand and Australia.[1]

Needless to say, I assert that none of the events I am alleged to have organised or attended took place, and I deny all of the attributions made to me contained in this fiction calling itself a press release. I most assuredly had no part in writing or sending it out.

In a clear sign they must be running out money as well as ideas, they are peddling the same barely-altered nonsense sent out to news agencies and others in 2011 [2] and 2012 [3], in 2011 purporting to be from Alison Weir, Kathleen M. Christison, Prof. John Mearsheimer, Steve Fake, and the illustrious Jesus T. Vasquez, Director of Communications of Bangor, Maine, soon to self-promote to Jesus T. Vasquez Director, Strategic Communications, Christchurch, New Zealand.

The 2011 and 2012 versions differ little, except for the names – they were even too lazy and/or sloppy to remove the page number from the Hasbara manaual that appears at the bottom of each release!

This year there seems to have been some small attempt to update their information – “Ahmadinejad” has been replaced by “Iranian ayatollahs” in the rant – but there has been no attempt whatsoever to disseminate anything that could remotely be considered accurate, or factual.

If this is quality of contemporary Zionist propaganda, we can all breathe a sigh of relief!

[1] The latest:
New Zealanders to Boycott Arab and Iranian Goods

News Release
No. NR – 19,004
For Immediate distribution

WELLI NGTON, 06 July — A new boycott campaign against the Arab world and Iran that will require the cooperation of every lover of Middle East freedom has been launched by a group of outspoken New Zealanders, it was announced today by its founder Julie Webb-Pullman, a prominent international activist and journalist.

“It is high time we exposed the crimes against humanity committed by the modern pharoahs of the Muslim Middle East. Hosni Mubarak and Col. Mouammar Gaddafi, who enslaved the long-suffering Egyptian and Libyan peoples with 30-year dictatorships that are unprecedented in modern history, have now been ousted but democratic government is still not in sight.

Meanwhile Algeria, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon and Jordan are being ruled by fascist thugs and usurpers who are massacring their own people ,” Webb-Pullman stated.

Speaking to hundreds of Syrian students and refugees in the nation’s capital, Webb-Pullman excoriated the Arab and Iranian regimes for plundering their countries of their wealth and depriving their people of their basic human rights. She particularly upbraided Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Iran for their entrenched system of apartheid against their Christian Copt, Maronite, Melkite, Palestinian, Berber, Shia and Kurd populations.

The popular activist who has fought for the downtrodden Palestinian Arabs, bewailed the thousands of civilians recently massacred by the Arab and Iranian security forces in the streets of Algiers, Cairo, Alexandria, Teheran, Manama, Damascus, Deraa, Latakia, Homs, Idlip, Amman, Jeddah, Gaza City, Aden, Taiz and Sanaa.

“It is simply incomprehensible that these bloodthirsty governments are committing genocide against their own people,” she declared. “What’s more, they are committing unspeakable apartheid crimes against the Palestinian refugees in their midst, especially in Lebanon and Syria at the behest of the illegitimate para-state organization Hizbullah and the savage Alawite regime in Damascus,” she averred.

As a consequence, her new organization — New Zealanders for Boycotting Arab and Iranian Goods (NEZBAIG) — will be demanding that New Zealand importers immediately terminate their contracts for the purchase of petroleum, petrochemicals, plastics, cotton yarn and garments, rugs, fertilisers, majdhool dates, taboule, figs, and sheet metal from these countries. In addition, all New Zealand firms and universities with investments and joint ventures in these tyrannies will be pressured to divest their assets from them. Of equal importance is our campaign for the Wellington government to implement sanctions by halting its lamb and dairy shipments to the Nazi-like governments of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

“We are confident that the international community – and particularly the New Zealand public – is prepared to support our initiative until the vicious dictatorships of the Arab Middle East and Iran are overthrown and their civilian populations are finally endowed with classical democracy,” Webb-Pullman affirmed.

“The welfare of the beleaguered Arab and Iranian people must be our number one priority,” she stated.

The new boycott campaign is supported by the Federation of New Zealand Muslims, the Association of Arab Students and Professors in New Zealand, the Palestine Human Rights Campaign, Global Peace and Justice Auckland, the League for Iranian Democracy, as well as by the internationally-acclaimed online news agency Scoop.

NEZBAIG co-founder Leslie Bravery, chair of Palestine Human Rights Campaign who has long crusaded for the seething Arabs of the Middle East, pointed out that the illegitimate Muslim governments there are being targeted by his followers with arrest warrants should they step foot on New Zealand soil or seek asylum here. Under the international law of universal jurisdiction, war criminals and their genocidal ilk are liable to arrest upon the issuance of a certification by the New Zealand intelligence community.
He emphasized that his group’s actions were in complete fulfilment of the treasured New Zealand tradition of seeking justice for suffering humanity. Moreover, it has the complete approval of his Middle East advisor, Samah Sabawi, director of the Al-Shabaka Centre for Australasia and a veteran critic of Arab war crimes.

“We must lose no time in bringing Assad and the Iranian ayatollahs to the gallows just as Osama Bin Laden and Col. Gaddafi were so readily dispatched,” Bravery declared to tumultuous applause. “And we mustn’t forget our obligation to overthrow the unelected thugs ruling in the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas fanatics in Gaza who are torturing their brother Arabs in dismal dungeons,” Bravery added.

Casting aside his long antipathy towards Israel, Bravery praised the Jewish state for striking Syrian military sites. He pleaded with it to invade Syria and Iran under the UN’s Responsibility to Protect Doctrine and wipe out their respective illegitimatel Shi’ite feudal ruling classes.

“Only such a humanitarian gesture can have the desired effect of strengthening the region-wide intifadas in these countries leading to the toppling of their authoritarian regimes and the implementation of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all the Geneva Conventions,” he posited.

Bravery solemnly drew attention to the holocaust nakba that has befallen the Syrian Palestinians who are drowning in blood. Some 3,000 of them have been slaughtered and gassed by their Syrian Arab brethren, 65,000 have been turned into refugees fleeing to Lebanon and Jordan and UNWRA has announced that over 80 percent of the half-million population holed up in 14 concentration camps around Yarmouk have been displaced from their homes.

As a result, both Bravery and Webb-Pullman are making their way to the Turkish frontier where they will enter Syria to document for the whole world the ghastly atrocities being inflicted on the Syrian Palestinians. “These massive war crimes are a violation of international law and New Zealand can help put a stop to this through an effective boycott policy,” the pair stated.

“As for our myriad of friends among the general public, we sincerely hope they will be moved to embrace the boycott of Arab and Iranian goods with the objective of liberating the oppressed Arab masses, ” Webb-Pullman and Bravery concluded.

– 30 –

[2] The 2011 version in the US
Hasbara Disinformation
Submitted by Steve on Thu, 07/14/2011 – 4:40am

I relate the following trivial incident only for its comedic value. Shortly after returning to the U.S. from the U.S. boat to Gaza in Athens, I received an email from one “Jesus Terrence Vasquez.” The email purports to be a press release (reproduced below), announcing the formation of a new campaign dedicated to opposing Middle Eastern tyrannies.

I am listed as a contact, and identified as an organizer for a non-existent organization, “Americans for a Secular Gaza.” One comical aspect is the attempt to demonstrate hypocrisy and selective concern for humanitarian situations. As if Chomsky has not been a long-time dedicated critic of Mubarak, before it was popular to be so, and while all loyal Washington-Tel Aviv loyalists backed the thug.

Americans for Boycotting Arab and Iranian Goods

News Release

No. NR – 327,668
For Immediate Distribution
Updated and Revised at 1100 Hrs EDST

WASHINGTON, July 12 — A new boycott campaign against the Arab world and Iran requiring the cooperation of every supporter of Middle East freedom has been successfully launched by a group of dedicated Americans, it was revealed today by its founders.

“It is high time we exposed the crimes against humanity committed by the modern pharoahs (sic) of the Muslim Middle East. Hosni Mubarak, who enslaved the long-suffering Egyptian people with a 30-year dictatorship that is unprecedented in modern history has now been ousted but a reactionary miltary junta has seized power in his stead. Meanwhile Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman,Tunisia, Gaza, the West Bank and Jordan are being ruled by hereditary fascist thugs and usurpers who are massacring their own people ,” stated prominent Middle East activist Alison Weir.

Speaking to hundreds of Muslim Americans in front of the Syrian embassy, Weir excoriated the Arab and Iranian regimes for plundering their countries of their wealth and depriving their people of their basic human rights. She particularly upbraided Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Syria and Iran for their entrenched system of apartheid against their Christian Copt, Berber, Shia and Kurd populations.

The Executive Director of the lobbyist organization If Americans Knew also deplored the thousands of civilians massacred by the Arab and Iranian security forces in the streets of Algiers, Alexandria, Benghazi, Baydah, Tobruk, Tunis, Cairo, Alexandria, Deraa, Latakia, Banias, Homs, Teheran, Misrata, Manama, Amman, Jeddah, Gaza City, Aden and Sanaa.

“It is simply incomprehensible that these bloodthirsty regimes are committing genocide against their own people,” she declared.

As a consequence, her new organization — Americans for Boycotting Arab and Iranian Goods (ABAIG) — has demanded that all US importers immediately terminate their contracts for the purchases of petroleum, petrochemicals, plastics, cotton yarn, towels and garments, rugs, fertilisers, majhool dates, figs, strawberries, taboule, couscous and sheet metal from these countries. In addition, all US firms with investments and joint ventures in these tyrannies, including Chevron, Standard Oil, Boeing and Starbucks, are being pressured to divest their assets from them. Of greater importance is our campaign for the US to implement new sanctions by halting its tank and missile weapon shipments to the Nazi-like governments of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

“We are now happy to report that the American people is supporting our initiative until the vicious dictatorships of the Arab Middle East and Iran are overthrown and their civilian populations are finally endowed with classical democracy,” Weir affirmed. She particularly lauded President Obama for ordering the divestment of US corporations and personnel from Libya and the Administration’s military strikes against Col. Gaddafi’s kiling machine.

“The welfare of the beleaguered Arab and Iranian people must be our number one priority. It is vitally urgent that the international community quickly bring the genocidal dictators Gaddafi, Assad and Ahmadinejad to the gallows, just as Osama Bin Laden was so speedily dispatched, ” she stated.

She also warned against allowing the criminal Fatah and Hamas factions continuing to rule in Palestine. They operate deathly prisons and torture chambers. She repeated her insistence that their undemocratic leaders be ousted and be hauled before the International Criminal Court in the Hague for their despicable war crimes detailed in the Goldstone Report.

The new boycott campaign is supported by the Prof. Noam Chomsky of MIT, the Presbyterian Church, Code Pink, Americans for a Secular Palestine, the Green Party, the Association of Arab American Professors, Prof. John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, filmmaker Michael Moore, Friends of Middle East Democracy, Veterans for Peace, author Alice Walker, the International Solidarity Movement, Alexander Cockburn, editor of Counterpunch magazine, the League for Iranian Democracy, American Women Against Saudi Gender Apartheid, the Libyan National Council, Prof. S. Makdisi of UCLA at Berkeley as well as by the American Muslim Congress.

ABAIG co-founder Kathleen Christison, former CIA analyst and long a crusader for the seething Arab masses of Gaza and the West Bank, pointed out that the illegitimate Muslim government leaders of the Middle East are being targeted by her bevy of activists with arrest warrants should they step foot on American soil or seek asylum here. Under the international laws of universal jurisdiction, war criminals and their genocidal ilk are liable to arrest upon the deposition of a citizen’s complaint before the Secretary of Homeland Security.

She emphasized that her group’s actions were in complete fulfilment of the treasured American tradition of seeking justice for suffering humanity. Moreover, it has the complete approval of her political mentor former President Jimmy Carter.

In that regard, she echoed the call on the international community to bring to justice Col. Moammar Gadhafi, the fascist ruler of Libya who is bombing his own people with war planes dropping cluster bombs, as well as the war criminals Ahmadinejad and Assad of Iran and Syria respectively. “These greasy rats should be torn limb from limb,” she declared to tumultuous applause before the Washington protestors.

She particularly singled out the apartheid oppression inflicted by the Lebanese government against the Palestinian refugees in its midst, an act advised and consented to by the illegitimate para-state organization Hizbullah.

Casting aside her life-long enmity towards Israel, Christison pleaded with it to invade Syria and Iran and wipe out their respective Alawite and Shi’ite ruling classes. “Only such a humanitarian intervention can have the desired effect of strengthening the region-wide intifadas in these countries leading to the toppling of their authoritarian regimes,” she posited.

“As for our myriad of friends amidst the general public, we do sincerely thank them for embracing the boycott of Arab and Iranian goods which will immeasurably assist in the liberation of the revolutionary Arab and Iranian masses, ” Weir and Christison concluded.

– 30 –

Media contacts:

Alison Weir
Founder ABAIG and Chief Media Spokesperson
Executive Director
If Americans Knew
alisonweir@ifamericansknew.org/contact@ifamericansknew.org
[…]

Kathleen M. Christison
Co-founder ABAIG
Former CIA intelligence Analyst
kb.christison@earthlink.net
[…]

Prof. John Mearsheimer
University of Chicago
Chicago, IL
j-mearsheimer@uchicago.edu

Steve Fake
Organizer, Americans for a Secular Gaza
steven.m.fake@gmail.com

Jesus T. Vasquez
Director of Communications
j.terrencevasquez@gmail.com
Bangor, Maine

Guaranteed Distribution to 450,000 media, government and NGO activists around the world via Internet, Twitter, Facebook, My Space.

I subsequently emailed Mr. Vasquez. I would not ordinarily reproduce correspondence without permission. However, under the circumstances, the normal etiquette seems irrelevant.

Jul 12, 2011 at 4:56 PM
Dear Mr. Vasquez,

Very inventive. May I ask who you are?


Steve Fake

Wed, Jul 13, 2011 at 1:13 PM
Dear Mr. Fake,

Like you, I am an American dedicated to end the wretched suffering of the Arab people by their genocidal rulers.

I am currently organizing a flotilla to smash the brutal Syrian siege of its Kurdish and Druse people who live under apartheid conditions. Our many efforts at liberating the indigenous Berber people under Arab exterminationist rule in Tunisia have been successful.

The UN yesterday stated that the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe is occurring in Somalia where Arab war criminals are committing genocide. We are organizing civil society to reverse this situation as well.

I would like to count on your support. A donation of $9,450 (less than a vacation in Greece) would prove immensely helpful.

Kind Regards,

Jesus T. Vasquez

Putting aside the ludicrous implications of hypocrisy, Mr. “Vasquez” appears to have rather overestimated the budgetary allotments of flotilla passengers while in Greece. I have since requested that he supply me with the necessary routing information to place a donation (perhaps for the oddly precise sum he lists). I will post an update if he responds. One can only hope that “Vasquez” is on someone’s payroll, and not engaging in such inanities on his own time.

[3] Twice sent out in 2012, on 28 August and again on 08 September:

New Zealanders for Boycotting Arab and Iranian Goods

News Release
No. NR – 5,679
For Immediate distribution

AUCKLAND, 07 September — A new boycott campaign against the Arab world and Iran that will require the cooperation of every lover of Middle East freedom has been launched by a group of outspoken New Zealanders, it was announced today by its founder Julie Webb-Pullman, a prominent international activist and journalist.

“It is high time we exposed the crimes against humanity committed by the modern pharoahs of the Muslim Middle East. Hosni Mubarak and Col. Mouammar Gaddafi, who enslaved the long-suffering Egyptian and Libyan peoples with 30-year dictatorships that are unprecedented in modern history, have now been ousted but reactionary governments have seized power in their stead. Meanwhile Algeria, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon and Jordan are being ruled by fascist thugs and usurpers who are massacring their own people ,” Webb-Pullman stated.

Speaking to hundreds of Muslim students and refugees from North Africa and the Middle East at the main university campus, Webb-Pullman excoriated the Arab and Iranian regimes for plundering their countries of their wealth and depriving their people of their basic human rights. She particularly upbraided Egypt, Lebanon, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Iran for their entrenched system of apartheid against their Christian Copt, Maronite, Melkite, Palestinian, Berber, Shia and Kurd populations.

The popular activist who has fought for the downtrodden Palestinian Arabs, bewailed the thousands of civilians recently massacred by the Arab and Iranian security forces in the streets of Algiers, Cairo, Alexandria, Teheran, Manama, Damascus, Deraa, Latakia, Homs, Idlip, Amman, Jeddah, Gaza City, Aden, Taiz and Sanaa.

“It is simply incomprehensible that these bloodthirsty governments are committing genocide against their own people,” she declared. “What’s more, they are committing unspeakable apartheid crimes against the Palestinian refugees in their midst, especially in Lebanon and Syria at the behest of the illegitimate para-state organization Hizbullah and the savage Alawite regime in Damascus,” she averred.

As a consequence, her new organization — New Zealanders for Boycotting Arab and Iranian Goods (NEZBAIG) — will be demanding that New Zealand importers immediately terminate their contracts for the purchase of petroleum, petrochemicals, plastics, cotton yarn and garments, rugs, fertilisers, majdhool dates, taboule, figs, and sheet metal from these countries. In addition, all New Zealand firms and universities with investments and joint ventures in these tyrannies will be pressured to divest their assets from them. Of equal importance is our campaign for the Wellington government to implement sanctions by halting its lamb and dairy shipments to the Nazi-like governments of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

“We are confident that the international community – and particularly the New Zealand public – is prepared to support our initiative until the vicious dictatorships of the Arab Middle East and Iran are overthrown and their civilian populations are finally endowed with classical democracy,” Webb-Pullman affirmed.

“The welfare of the beleaguered Arab and Iranian people must be our number one priority,” she stated.

The new boycott campaign is supported by the Federation of New Zealand Muslims, the Association of Arab Students and Professors in New Zealand, the Palestine Human Rights Campaign, Global Peace and Justice Auckland, the League for Iranian Democracy, as well as by the internationally-acclaimed online news agency Scoop.

NEZBAIG co-founder Leslie Bravery, chair of Palestine Human Rights Campaign who has long crusaded for the seething Arabs of Palestine, pointed out that the illegitimate Muslim governments of the Middle East are being targeted by his followers with arrest warrants should they step foot on New Zealand soil or seek asylum here. Under the international law of universal jurisdiction, war criminals and their genocidal ilk are liable to arrest upon the issuance of a certification by the New Zealand intelligence community.
He emphasized that his group’s actions were in complete fulfilment of the treasured New Zealand tradition of seeking justice for suffering humanity. Moreover, it has the complete approval of his Middle East advisor, Samah Sabawi, director of the Al-Shabaka Centre for Australasia and a veteran critic of Arab war crimes.

“We must lose no time in bringing Assad and Ahmadinejad to the gallows just as Osama Bin Laden and Col. Gaddafi were so readily dispatched,” Bravery declared to tumultuous applause. “And we mustn’t forget our obligation to overthrow the unelected thugs ruling in the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas fanatics in Gaza who are torturing their brother Arabs in dismal dungeons,” Bravery added.

Casting aside his life-time enmity towards Israel, Bravery pleaded with the Jewish state to invade Syria and Iran and wipe out their respective illegitimatel ruling classes. ” Only such a humanitarian gesture can have the desired effect of strengthening the region-wide intifadas in these countries leading to the toppling of their authoritarian regimes and the implementation of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all the Geneva Conventions,” he posited.

“As for our myriad of friends among the general public, we sincerely hope they will be moved to embrace the boycott of Arab and Iranian goods with the objective of liberating the revolutionary Arab masses, ” Webb-Pullman and Bravery concluded.

– 30 –

For Information:
Julie Webb-Pullman
NEZBAIG Founder
Journalist
jwebb@gmail.com

Leslie Bravery
Co-Founder, NEZBAIG
Chair, Palestine Human Rights Campaign
Auckland, New Zealand
leslie.bravery@palestine.org.nz

Jesus T. Vasquez
Director, Strategic Communications
Christchurch, New Zealand
j.terrencevasquez@gmail.com

Ali Kazak
International Advisor
Palestine Human Rights Campaign
akazak@bigpond.net.au


Political thought and strategies of Hamas in light of the Arab uprisings

AMEC Briefing No. 3/2013
MARCH 2013

By Khalid Mish’al

Khalid Mish'al

Khalid Mish’al

Khalid Mish’al is the head of the Political Bureau of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas)

This article is published in terms of a partnership agreement between AMEC and Beirut-based Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations

In August 2010, AMEC published the English translation of an interview with Khalid Mish’al, head of the Political Bureau of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas). The interview laid out the vision and strategies of Hamas at the time. A few months later, uprisings began in North Africa and spread across the Middle East and North Africa, changing the nature of politics and the balance of power in the region. In November 2012, the Beirut-based Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations hosted a conference with the theme ‘Islamists in the Arab World and the Palestinian Issue in Light of the Arab uprisings’ at which Mish’al presented a paper outlining the views of his movement regarding the uprisings and how they affect Hamas’ plans for the future. The paper was rewritten by Mish’al, published in Arabic by Al-Zaytouna Centre and translated into English by Middle East Monitor (MEMO). We publish an edited version here, in terms of a partnership agreement with Al-Zaytouna, in order to expose English-speaking audiences to the views and strategies of Hamas, a critical player in the Palestinian-Israeli context. The paper is an important document reflecting the views of an important player in Palestinian and broader Middle Eastern politics and is therefore an important reference document. It explores Hamas’ vision and the practical application of its strategies.

In the name of God, Most Merciful, Most Beneficent

I begin by thanking Al-Zaytouna Centre for holding this important conference at this critical time. God willing, this conference will result in important conclusions that will guide the Arab Spring, evolve its position on the Arab-Zionist conflict and produce two advantages: first, the advantage of an internal structure based on new foundations of freedom, democracy and combating corruption; and second, the advantage of a strong, coherent, and independent foreign policy that maintains its decisions and improves Arab and Islamic performance in relation to Palestine and the general issues of the ummah (nation).
The importance of this conference lies in the following:

Its timing. It is being held in light of the Arab Spring and the progress of the people’s will, their political role and their control over decision-making.

It is the result of the evolution of the role of Islamists and their rise to power in some Arab countries.

It is being held out of consideration for the growing role of the region’s resistance movements, especially following the decline in their official role over the past decades, and in light of their growing national roles, as well as their significant achievements.

It takes into account the decline of the Zionist project, despite its continued military and technological superiority in the region. This entity is undoubtedly declining and its image in the world deteriorating. It has not achieved any victories for a long time, and perhaps what happened during the eight-day Gaza War in which the Palestinian resistance emerged victorious is a significant indicator of this.

The report we are presenting today in this conference on the vision of Hamas and its positions addresses the reality and not just an anticipation of the future. Hamas has been working and striving for the past twenty-five years, and although it may slip up sometimes, it usually gets it right, and we ask God to accept our deeds.

Hamas’ vision for the Palestinian question
This section perhaps represents the fundamentals and declarations that are well known and familiar. However, a reiteration of these basic principles is always important. When we speak in this context, we do not only speak of Hamas as an Islamic movement, but also as a national liberation movement. Some of what we articulate here falls under the category of fundamental principles, and some under policies and positions.

1. Palestine, from its [Jordan] river to its [Mediterranean] sea, from its north to its south, is the land of the Palestinian people; it is their homeland and their legitimate right. We will not relinquish an inch or any part of it – for any reason or under any circumstances or pressures.

2. Palestine, in its entirety, is an Arab and Islamic land. It has Islamic and Arab affiliations and is considered a blessed and sacred land. Moreover, it has a special place in the heart of every Arab and Muslim, and also has a status and respect in all religions.

3. We will not, in any way, recognise the legitimacy of the occupation. This is a principled political and moral position. We do not recognise the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, nor do we acknowledge ‘Israel’ or the legality of its presence on any part of Palestine, no matter how long it remains – and, God willing, this will not be long. All that has occurred in Palestine, including its occupation, settlements, Judaisation, the changing of its landmarks and the falsification of facts in favour [of the occupation] is wrong and must end, God willing.

4. The liberation of Palestine is a national, domestic and legitimate duty. It is the responsibility of the Palestinians, the Arabs and the Islamic ummah. It is also a responsibility for all human beings in accordance with the values of truth and justice.

5. Jihad and armed resistance is the correct and authentic means for the liberation of Palestine and the restoration of all rights. This battle must, of course, be accompanied by all forms of political, diplomatic, media, national and legal resistance, as well as the investment of the entire nation’s energies and the summoning of all the various strengths we possess.

6. Resistance is a means and not an end. If we had any other way to liberate the land, end the occupation and regain our rights without the shedding of blood and other painful sacrifices, we would have taken it. However, the experiences of nations throughout history have proved that the only option available to expel the occupiers, counter aggression and restore the land and rights of the people is resistance in all its forms, starting with armed resistance.

7. We are not fighting the Jewish people merely because they are Jewish. We are, however, fighting those who are Zionist occupiers and aggressors. We will fight anyone who tries to attack us, seize our rights or occupy our land, regardless of their religion, affiliations, race or nationality.

8. The Zionist project is a racist, hostile and expansionist project based on murder and terrorism. Hence, it is the enemy of the Palestinian people and poses a real threat to them, as well as to their security and other interests. Indeed, it would not be an exaggeration to say that it is a danger to the security of the entire human community, its interests and stability.

9. We hold onto Jerusalem and its Islamic and Christian sacred sites. We will not give them up, nor will we relinquish any part of them. They are our right, our essence, our history, our present and our future. Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine and is cherished in the hearts of Arabs and Muslims as a sign of their status and pride. ‘Israel’ has no legitimacy or right to Jerusalem at all, nor does it have any legitimacy or right to any part of Palestine. All Israeli actions in Jerusalem, such as Judaisation, entrenchment of settlements, falsification of facts and attempts to usurp our history are unacceptable.

10. We stand firm on the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees and displaced individuals, and their right to their homes from which they were expelled or were prevented from returning to, whether in the occupied territories of 1948 or 1967 – that is, to all of Palestine. We refuse to compromise on this right in any way. At the same time, we reject all land resettlement and alternative homeland projects.
Brothers and sisters, this is an opportunity to pause at the ‘symphony’ that plays from time to time; there were once fears of resettlement in Lebanon, Jordan or an alternative homeland, and nowadays it is the Sinai. To the Palestinian, there is no compensation for Palestine but Palestine itself. The actions of our people in the recent Gaza War and wars of the past, as well as in the ongoing intifadas and revolutions is proof of this great nation’s insistence on, and attachment to, its land.

11. The unity of the Palestinian land: The West Bank (including Jerusalem), the Gaza Strip, and the occupied lands of 1948 are all one land, one unit with no part separated from the other. It is, as a whole, the homeland of the Palestinian people. The current situation in Gaza is an exceptional case that has been imposed upon us. We cannot accept that Gaza will be separate from the West Bank, for they are one, and together they are a part of the Palestinian homeland.

12. We stand firm on the unity of the Palestinian people, both Muslims and Christians, and all its intellectual, political and ideological elements, as well as its resistance, militants and political forces and factions.

13. The unity of the Palestinian political system and its institutions and the unity of its national authority through the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which needs to be rebuilt on valid grounds to include all Palestinian forces and components. The current division does not reflect our origin, nor does it reflect reality. This division has been imposed upon us after international and regional forces rejected the results of the 2006 Palestinian elections in which Hamas was victorious. However, the unity of the Palestinian political system is imperative and we are sparing no efforts to achieve this, God willing.

14. Liberation first, the state later. A true state is the fruit of liberation, but a state that is the fruit of an agreement is merely a symbolic entity or a self-governing authority. Call it what you will, but a real state is the fruit of liberation first, and there is no alternative to establishing a Palestinian state with true sovereignty over the entire territory.
On the other hand, the Palestinian Authority is a reality we want to manage through a national partnership with others to serve our people, their rights, and their liberation project in a manner that is consistent with their national principles.

15. Independent Palestinian national decision: This is a principle that is based on non-dependency or reliance on any other country or party in the world, whether it is friend, ally, enemy or opponent. However, this does not mean, nor can we accept it in the context of limiting the Palestinian issue to the Palestinians and terminating or weakening the Arab and Islamic roles. The issue of Palestine was, and will remain, not only an Arab and Islamic issue, but also a humanitarian issue.

16. The establishment of national Palestinian institutions and authorities should always be based on democracy, starting with free and fair elections with equal opportunities. Moreover, the principle of partnership and national coalition work should be present in every phase, regardless of the chances of success, with emphasis on the fact that opposition is a legitimate right for everyone, provided that the opposition is constructive. In addition to this, everyone must refer to the results of the ballot boxes and respect the will of the people, as well as accept the peaceful change of authority. We must also be reminded that we are a special and unusual case since we are still living under occupation.

17. We will not intervene in the affairs of other countries, and we will not engage in debates, conflicts or alliances with other nations. We have adopted a policy of opening up to the different countries of the world, especially Arab and Islamic countries. We certainly strive to have balanced relations, the scale and standards of which will be in the interest and service of Palestine and its people and will support their steadfastness and determination. The criteria for these relations are, of course, the nation’s interests and security and the rejection of dependency on any country or party in the world.

18. The unity of the nation, including all its ethnic, religious and denominational elements. It is one nation in its interests and history – present, past and future – and we deal with it accordingly. As we acknowledge the diversity and variety in our ummah, we realise the need for everyone in our nation to distance themselves from incitement and conflict, as well as to avoid taking sides on this basis. Instead, we must coexist as we have in past centuries. Moreover, everyone in this nation must know their limits and claim their rights without violating the rights of others. The greater good of the nation must outweigh any sectarian or factional interests.

19. Any progressive tactical or detailed political programme must be in line with national Palestinian principles and may not contradict them. Moreover, every partial or full judgement must be subject to this principle, and, therefore, we reject any projects, agreements or peace settlements that diminish these fundamentals and principles and affect Palestinian national rights.

As you can see, this last point on the matter of fundamentals, policies, attitudes, and principles is an important summation of what has been mentioned thus far.

Practical application of principles and positions
Some may wonder what the reality of this strong rhetoric is. Where is its application on the ground?

We say that the movement’s performance on the ground is similar to the performance of all humans: it may be right or wrong. However, as a movement, our performance has mostly been right, thanks to God. Our performance is largely in line with our announced principles and values. Occasionally, there are gaps, mistakes, or sometimes ambiguous images that suggest there are contradictions or conflict with what is announced. However, we clearly say, even if we have a lapse in judgement, or if some images are misleading, that our standards are identical to the principles, fundamentals, policies, and attitudes
we have mentioned.

I will give four examples to illustrate this:

1. Resistance: This is a primary principle and our strategic choice. Some have had doubts that talk of a truce means giving up on the resistance; this, of course, is arbitrary. In short, the path of resistance, in terms of its preparation, organisation and performance for the liberation of Palestine is a path that cannot be interrupted. In addition to this, the management of the decision of escalation and truce, as well as diversifying our methods and manners, all fall under the process of managing the decision, and not the principle of the decision, as the principle cannot be changed.

Moreover, while the enemy and the settlers are out of Gaza, Gaza cannot be taken out of the circle of the conflict, even though necessity calls for a change in its role in the battle by virtue of its circumstances. Thankfully, Gaza is still a source of hope, not only for Palestine but for the entire region. We have just emerged from an aggressive war on the Gaza Strip, which ended with a victory for the Palestinian resistance, and succeeded in ending the war on its terms.

In the case of the West Bank, the absence of the resistance for several years does not change the authenticity or principle of resistance. The absence of resistance in the West Bank has been the necessary course for our people because of the massive security pressures from every direction, both close and distant. We consider the decline of the resistance role in the West Bank as inevitable and a forced reality that we strive to overcome by maintaining our intention and preparing for a new start. God willing, the resistance will return to the West Bank, reassuming its effective and essential role in every phase of the Palestinian struggle, as the enemy will not withdraw from our land without the pressure of resistance.

2. Participation in the Palestinian Authority: Doesn’t this contradict the movement’s position on the Oslo Accords? This is a legitimate question, and there is no doubt that the matter is vague on the surface, but we believe the answer is clear. Our positions on Oslo and all the agreements of surrender are decisive. However, there are obligations that compelled us to enter the authority to change its role and combine the service of the people and the management of day-to-day affairs on the one hand, with the right to resist the occupation on the other. Today we are an authority in the Gaza Strip, while we resist and develop and strengthen this resistance, with the realisation that it is difficult to practically combine all these considerations. However, our support of the principles and our commitment to them allows us to mould the reality to our principles and not the other way around.

3. Agreeing to a state on the 1967 borders: Some people worry that this is following in the footsteps of those before us and that, eventually, the bigger dream will shrink. To this we say ‘No’. We are not necessarily convinced that the liberation of the occupied territory of 1967 is a practical goal. Personally, I believe, in terms of the prevailing reality, that anyone who can liberate the territories occupied in 1967 is able to liberate the rest of Palestine. Furthermore, there is a need to unify the Palestinian as well as the Arab stance on a common position and vision, regardless of how the programme to achieve that vision may vary from one party to another. This is what drives us, the Hamas movement and other resistance movements, to take this political stance – as long as it is not at the expense of the rest of the Palestinian land and does not contain any abandonment of our rights on any part of our land, nor includes any recognition of ‘Israel’.

4. The matter of the division: This is also a reality that has been forced upon us; we did not choose it. As everyone knows, it was imposed on us in 2007 when several international and regional parties rejected the results of the 2006 elections. I attest, at this historical moment, that the division occurred on 13, 14 and 15 June 2007. On 15 June I called the Egyptian authorities and informed them we were ready to settle the matter and reconcile, because the division was not our choice and had been forced upon us. Since then, we have been continuously working on putting an end to that outcome, and striving to achieve reconciliation on national foundations that ensure the rearrangement of the Palestinian internal situation within the framework of the Palestinian Authority and PLO, and the adoption of a national political programme that aligns with Palestinian fundamentals, rights and national interests.

Changes in the Arab World and their effects on the Palestinian question and Hamas’ role
We now move on to the second part of the topic: an understanding of the changes in the Arab world and their impact on Palestinian question and on the role of Hamas, as well as the challenges and opportunities resulting from them.

1. In addition to its significance to the nation in the context of its historical regeneration, the Arab Spring was also a major strategic development in the path to liberating Palestine and confronting the Zionist project. This is because Palestine’s battle and liberation needs a strong and robust nation on its internal front, and a foreign policy that is based on the people’s will and has their approval.

2. There is no doubt that the Arab Spring has increased Israeli concerns and muddled their calculations because the rules of the game to which the enemy is accustomed have begun to change. We will be satisfied with addressing just the main points on this topic due to the limited time.

3. We have no doubt that the Arab Spring and the changes it brought about in the Arab world give Hamas and the Palestinian resistance movements an opportunity to work in a better Arab environment that is more in line with the resistance and consistent to national Palestinian principles and rights.

4. Obviously, the revolutions and the major events succeeding them change the map of Hamas’ political relations, and have added to and impacted on them. Hamas’ political relations with Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco have certainly seen a qualitative improvement in comparison to the former situation. Keeping in mind that Hamas has had varied relations with most Arab countries over the past two decades, the Arab Spring enhanced some of these relations, as well as continued others. We are, of course, concerned about all of them.

As for the impact of the Arab Spring on the movement’s international relations, one issue that is well-known is that our unique relationship with Syria has suffered. We did not wish for events to happen as they did and, from the very first moment, as history will attest, we were keen for matters to evolve differently. We want Syria to remain strong in terms of its security, stability and foreign policies which, over the last few years, have been aligned to the resistance. This is a historical truth, and with the Arab Spring and its natural shift to the Syrian arena, the Syrian people are no less concerned with democracy, freedom and their involvement in decision making than any other Arab nation. We also hope that an internal policy is adopted that responds to the people’s will. We have given many pointers in this direction, not as interference in Syria’s internal affairs, but as honest advice in our attempt to be protective of Arab, including Syrian, interests. Syria will remain the resistance’s fortress, through its foreign policies based on an internal policy that satisfies its people and responds to its demands. However, unfortunately, things moved in the tragic direction we are witnessing today. Resistance is not an official choice made strictly by countries, but has always been the choice of the people first. When a leader feels his people support the resistance, he will be stronger. The people have always supported the resistance, but among the regimes, some support it, some are negative towards it, and some are enemies of the resistance.

This is undoubtedly an example of how our relations have been impacted, and there are other well-known examples as well. However, Hamas – and this is an important point that must be emphasised – has not moved from one axis to another; Palestine and the Palestinian resistance are the essence of the resistance axis. Resistance, and the axis of resistance, is not just a hotel where we merely reside in or leave at whim, and resistance is not linked to geography. When the Hamas leadership was in Jordan, along with its presence inside Palestine, Hamas was supporting the resistance and exercising resistance. Later, even after we moved to Qatar, then Syria, then other countries such as Egypt, Hamas remained a resistance movement. Hamas has and always will be a supporter of the resistance and will be a resistance movement – regardless of its geographical location – because this is its essence and its strategic choice until, God willing, we liberate Palestine.

5. The Arab Spring and its major events temporarily distracted the world from the Palestinian issue. This is certainly a loss, but it is a short and a temporary loss. Arab nations have a right to pursue their interests and concerns, and we are sure that even when Arab nations are busy with their internal affairs, Palestine is present in their minds, hearts, and in their slogans. The last war on Gaza provided us with renewed and concrete evidence that Palestine’s status never changes in the eyes of the nation, even when different parts of it are busy with their internal affairs and developments.

Challenges, problems facing Arab Spring countries
It is clear that there are challenges and problems facing the Arab Spring and its countries that call for a series of observations and alerts. It is also essential for there to be a high degree of directness, honesty and transparency when dealing with this subject, for a leader does not lie to his people. Based on this, I will make a series of recommendations and blunt observations on this subject, only for the objective of contributing to the greater good of our great nation.

1. There is a need to strike a balance between internal priorities – meaning national concerns and national priorities – with foreign priorities. This can be done without creating a conflict between them as success internally strengthens a country’s foreign position, and vice versa. It is wrong to adopt a policy of isolation. What we are saying is that being concerned with the bigger issues does not only enhance a country’s regional and international role, but also serves the country’s internal policies in facing pressures and attempts at external intervention. It is wrong to protect oneself by hiding away; instead, protect yourself with openness, by taking initiative, and by getting involved in broader issues.

2. It is necessary not to manage the substantial current phase in the nation’s history from a small individual location, but to do so from the broader context of the Arab and Islamic nation through cooperation and integration. I assure you that this serves the concerns, interests and the individual internal issues of a country. Economic, security and political integration between Arab countries, particularly during this difficult transitional phase that some Arab Spring countries are going through, serves these countries and their people and eases this transitional phase. The people and their leaders are in their own countries and are busy with their individual concerns, and this is their natural right. But while they are rebuilding their countries, they must think of the nation’s concerns and interests! Where does it stand? What is its role? Where is its place under the sun? The nation has been a field for others to play in and wrestle over, while it has been absent from this field. The time has come for the nation to become a key player and contribute to rebuilding the regional map. This is the responsibility of everyone; we must build our countries and, at the same time, the greater Arab nation. The Arabs have been absent for many decades, and today is the day they return to the stage, not to wrestle with anyone – except for the Zionist enemy and anyone who invades their land – but to build a map of balance, integration and cooperation along with other regional and neighbouring countries, without forgetting the Arab position or their role.

3. The relationship with the West and major countries outside the West must be managed, and this is normal in today’s world for political and economic purposes. However, this must not be at the expense of the Palestinian issue and the Arab role and responsibilities related to it. I say this while I am confident that the nation, God willing, is aware of this. This is just a reminder. We believe that it is necessary not to give free concessions to the West while managing our relations with it. The legitimacy of the Arab Spring countries stems from their people’s will, not foreign support, and addressing major issues strengthens these countries, not weakens them.

4. There is a need to raise the bar of the Arab stance, the Arab League, and for every country in the region, particularly in terms of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Moreover, it is necessary to reconsider and review the current Arab strategy. To begin with, this requires changing the political language. It is true that the people need time, but it is not right, after this Arab Spring, to keep the same language, initiatives, projects and attitudes. I know that full transformation and development requires time, but we must take the first step towards this now; the political language and terms of the Arab political dialogue must change. We must initiate and research reorientation of the Arab strategy on the Arab-Israeli conflict, and from there we must move towards changing the attitude towards the resistance and resistance movements. What in the past were strange, rejected or taboo topics in terms of Arab official norms – such as not supplying arms to the resistance – must become possible today. A strategy must be drawn for the nation on how to support the resistance movements with funds and arms, and how to back it politically. Parts of such a strategy will be announced publicly while others will remain covert. This will be a strong message from the nation that times have changed, and the world must respect the nation’s will, rights and interests. We cannot remain biased to ‘Israel’ and stand by helplessly while it disregards the nation and violates its rights, interests, and sanctities.

If there are no official wars between armies, the nation should at least support the golden option that has proved its worth, with the help of God, especially during the past years. Since 1967, ‘Israel’ has not won a true war, unless we consider 1982 when it expelled the Palestinian revolutionaries from Beirut and Lebanon. Thereafter, ‘Israel’ has not been victorious, neither in Lebanon nor in any part of Palestine, especially Gaza, and this is credited, after God, to the resistance, the heroes of the resistance, the weapons of the resistance and the support of the nation.

Furthermore, there is a need to turn the page on old projects and initiatives, and to search for new visions, projects and strategies, beginning with obtaining assets of real strength, and keeping the nation’s options open.

5. The peace agreements with ‘Israel’ and the positions of the Arab countries that are party to them is certainly a heavy legacy that needs to be reconsidered. However, the question is how, in what way, and when. What is extremely important is that it must be done. Political settlements and agreements with ‘Israel’ are unfair to the nation and to Palestine; they are neither an advantage, nor do they represent a normal situation. ‘Israel’ is not and will not be a friend or a neighbour, but is an enemy to the Palestinians and to the nation as a whole. If we characterise the agreements as such, we must make it a priority to address the relations, contact and normalisation with the Israeli occupier. This is unacceptable, especially in light of the Arab Spring, because the nation’s leaders must realise that the anger of their people is not only a result of internal policies but also a result of the nation’s shame and weak position, weak policies and weak strategies in terms of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

6. With regards to the rise of Islamists to power and the significance and impact this has on the issue, it must be clear that this does not imply that Palestine needs only Islamists, or that Hamas and the Islamic Jihad – as national Islamic Palestinian powers – are only in need of Islamists due to their importance, distinction and firm position on the issue. On the contrary, we need all the nation’s trends and elements: Islamists, nationalists, liberals and leftists. This is our nation, we need everyone in it, and Palestine was and will remain an issue for the whole nation. It is also necessary to dissociate ourselves from any divisions or sectarian, racial or religious alignments. May God rid us of the hateful sectarianism that has spread over the region. May God rid us of racial, religious and denominational divisions. Our nation has always been characterised by this beautiful diversity; this is a history that we have inherited, which has formed the nation’s civilisation and course throughout history. Today, it is wrong for us to explore these gaps into which our enemies pour oil and light fires to destroy us. This not only requires us to instil correct ideas and concepts, but also requires that our behaviour – as countries, movements, academics, or intellectuals – must be in line with these positions and concepts, and does not promote sectarian or ethnic feelings.

In this Arab Spring, we want our nation to be unified for Palestine, and we want it to build its internal front based on the interests of its people. These people are today thirsty for freedom, democracy, development, making a dignified living, progress, advancement and technology. At the same time, they look forward to having an advanced nation comparable to other nations, and a firm grip on managing their relations, foreign policies and their battle with the Zionist enemy.

These are our humble experiences that we wished to convey, and perhaps they will be beneficial. We hope that Hamas continues, as it has always done, to meet your expectations and gain your confidence.

ENDS

Originally Published by:
Afro-Middle East Centre (AMEC)
PO Box 411494
Craighall
2024
South Africa

Tel: +27 11 880-0525
Fax: +27 86 544 9913

eMail: info@amec.org.za

Web: http://www.amec.org.za

AMEC insights is a series of publicly-accessible publications, providing trenchant analyses of topical issues related to the Middle East and the MuslimWorld. If you want to be added to the mailing list, please email info@amec.org.za


Land Day in Gaza: UNdo what you have done

By Julie Webb-Pullman

Palestinians are running out of patience. 65 years since they were ousted from their homes and lands following Israel’s unilateral declaration of itself as a state and the end of the British ‘mandate’, and 37 years since Land Day was established, they are saying, “Enough!”

And they are saying it loud and clear, men and women, old and young. “ENOUGH!!!”

Almina Abdullah Abusalmiya

Loudest of all are the cries from Gaza, where hundreds of thousands of refugees and their descendants still languish in cramped camps lacking the barest necessities, nary a tree for kids to climb, or a space to kick a ball in – the result of replacing one occupying power, Britain, with another, Israel, and all with the tacit endorsement of the United Nations (UN) and its never-implemented partition plan, and its scores of never-enforced resolutions.

Hamas today hosted an event in Gaza City, where people from all levels of society, the Palestinian Legislative Council to camp-dwellers, vented their frustration, and their legitimate demands to return to the homes brazenly stolen from them.

Abu Hussan Dugheeesh, a Palestinian refugee, was unequivocal in his condemnation of the British role in these shameful events.

“Our memory still maintains the history of our land, and how Britain participated in giving the land of Palestinians to the Jews in the biggest armed robbery in history,” he told the crowd to loud applause.

Abu Hussan Dugheesh

Abu Akram Bahar, of the Palestinian Legislative Council, insisted that the right of return cannot – and will not – diminish with time.

Dr Abu Akram Bahar

UN Resolution 194 guarantees Palestinian refugees the right of return. But as Palestinian poet Ghazi Kalakh pointed out, “The international community wants us to disappear, to make the refugee problem disappear. As a refugee, the only way I will disappear is when I return to my land. That is the how the refugee problem will disappear – with the return of the refugees.”

Ghazi Kalakh

Issam Audwan, from the Hamas Division of Refugee Affairs, made it very clear that doing nothing is not an option. With only around 22% of their lands left, and settlements expanding daily, time is running out.

“We must be united,” he said. “We should not wait for another Arab Spring, we have to move.”

This view was vehemently endorsed by Ameena Abdullah Abusalmiya, an 83 year-old woman driven out of her home in Ashkelon in 1948.

“We need action, not talk,” she insisted. “Muslims and Arabs all have an obligation. We don’t need food, we don’t need aid – Allah will give us those. We need our land. Enough! Enough!”

DSC04396


Palestinian Jordanian activist held incommunicado in Saudi Arabia

PRESS RELEASE
Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network

Jordanian activist Khalid al-Natour has been held incommunicado in Saudi Arabia since January 6, when he arrived on a work visa with colleagues. His friends and family have not been informed of any reason for his detention and he has been unable to contact the outside world. Please call the Saudi embassy in your country – in Washington, DC the number is 202-342-3800 and in Ottawa, the number is 613-237-4100. Please inform the Saudi embassy that people around the world are deeply concerned about Khalid al-Natour.

Amnesty International issued the following statement:
DOCUMENT – SAUDI ARABIA: JORDANIAN HELD INCOMMUNICADO IN SAUDI ARABIA

UA: 52/13 Index: MDE 23/007/2013 Saudi Arabia Date: 26 February 2013

amnestyy URGENT ACTION

A Jordanian man has been held incommunicado in an undisclosed location in Saudi Arabia since 6 January. He was last seen being arrested by Saudi Arabian security forces, and has since been denied access to his family and to the outside would. The conditions of his detention may amount to enforced disappearance if the Saudi Arabian authorities continue to refuse disclosing his fate.

Jordanian web developer Khalid al-Natour, 27 years old, was arrested upon arrival at the King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, on 6 January 2013. He had arrived from Jordan with four of his colleagues on a business trip (all five men work for the same internet holding company). Khalid al-Natour was detained by the Saudi Arabian authorities; his colleagues were told they would risk a similar fate if they did not leave the airport immediately.

Khalid al-Natour is a member of Herak, a Jordanian pro-reform movement that has called for political and economic change in Jordan as well as increased political freedoms. In September 2011, he was arrested near the Saudi Arabian consulate in ‘Amman, Jordan, for insulting a Jordanian security officer during a demonstration protesting against Saudi Arabia’s involvement in Bahrain. He was subsequently released on bail a day later; his case remains pending before a Jordanian court.

On 23 December 2012, he was granted a single-entry visa to Saudi Arabia while his four colleagues were granted multiple-entry visas by the Saudi Arabian embassy in Jordan. Neither the Jordanian authorities nor Khalid al-Natour’s family, who have sought information about his case, have been provided with an official response regarding his detention, including his whereabouts and the reason for his detention.

Please write immediately in Arabic, English or your own language:

Calling on the Saudi Arabian authorities to immediately disclose Khalid al-Natour’s whereabouts;

Urging them to ensure that he is protected from torture or other ill-treatment and given, without delay, regular access to his family, lawyers of his own choosing, consular assistance and any adequate medical treatment he may require;

Urging them to release Khalid al-Natour unless he is promptly charged with an internationally recognizable criminal offence and tried in proceedings that conform fully to international fair trial standards.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 9 APRIL 2013 TO:

Minister of the Interior

His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud

Ministry of the Interior, P.O. Box 2933, Airport Road, Riyadh 11134

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Fax: +966 1 403 3125 (please keep trying)

Salutation: Your Royal Highness

King and Prime Minister

King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud

The Custodian of the two Holy Mosques

Office of His Majesty the King

Royal Court, Riyadh

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Fax: (via Ministry of the Interior)

+966 1 403 3125 (please keep trying)

Salutation: Your Majesty

And copies to:

Minister of Foreign Affairs

His Excellency Nasser Judeh

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

P.O. Box 35217

Amman, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Fax: +962 6 573 5163

Email: mofa@fm.gov.jo�

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

URGENT ACTION

jordanian held incommunicado in saudi arabia
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Critics of the Saudi Arabian government face gross human rights violations. They are often held incommunicado without charge, sometimes in solitary confinement, and denied access to lawyers or the courts to challenge the lawfulness of their detention. Torture or other ill-treatment is frequently used to extract “confessions” from detainees, to punish them for refusing to “repent”, or to force them to sign pledges promising not to criticize the government. Incommunicado detention in Saudi Arabia often lasts until a “confession” is obtained, which can take months and occasionally years.

Saudi Arabia has systematically violated international human rights standards that irrevocably prohibit prolonged incommunicado detention of detainees. The UN General Assembly has stated that “prolonged incommunicado detention or detention in secret places can facilitate the perpetration of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and can in itself constitute a form of such treatment” (UN General Assembly resolutions 62/148 paragraph 15, and 63/166 paragraph 20, 17 December 2007 and 12 December 2008 respectively). Similarly, the UN Human Rights Committee has stated that provisions should be made against incommunicado detention (General Comment 20, Article 7, forty-fourth session, 1992), and the UN Committee against Torture has consistently called for its elimination. The UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, recognizing that “torture is most frequently practised during incommunicado detention”, has also called for such detention to be made illegal.

Amnesty International has detailed such abuses as well as the crackdown on freedom of expression and protests in the name of security in a report entitled Saudi Arabia: Repression in the name of security (MDE 23/016/2011), issued on 1 December 2011 (http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE23/016/2011/en).

Name: Khalid al-Natour

Gender m/f: m


PCHR Condemns Raids of Three Civil and Human Rights Organisations in Ramallah by Israeli Forces

PALESTINIAN CENTRE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

______________________________________

PRESS RELEASE

Ref: 150/2012

Date: 11 December 2012

Time: 13:30 GMT

PCHR Condemns Raids of Three Civil and Human Rights Organisations in Ramallah by Israeli Forces

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the raids of the offices of three civil and human rights organisations in Ramallah in the West Bank by Israeli Occupation Forces. The organisations affected were the Palestinian NGO Network, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, and Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights. Israeli soldiers searched the offices and confiscated a number of items. PCHR believes that these raids are an act of Israeli aggression against the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).

According to the findings of investigations by PCHR, at approximately 03:00 on Tuesday, 11 December 2012, Israeli forces, accompanied by military vehicles, moved into Ramallah. They broke the front gates and stormed the Sabat building, in al-Masyon neighborhood in the centre of Ramallah, where the offices of Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights and the Palestinian NGO Network are located. During the raid, Israeli soldiers searched the offices, employees’ desks and the work files of the two organisations. Before withdrawing, they confiscated a number of PCs and laptops from the Documentation and Search Unit of from Addameer, files and documents from the Media Unit, and a memory card, a hard drive, a video camera and papers related to the organisation’s work.

At the same time, a unit of Israeli forces stormed the Headquarters of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, in the Ahmed Ryad building, near Palestine Public Health Complex, in Qadoura Refugee Camp, in Ramallah. Soldiers broke the front gate of the Headquarters, broke in the office doors, searched the offices and interfered with the contents of the office. During the raid, Israeli soldiers confiscated 7 laptops, 3 PC hard drives, the internet server and a number of other items. They also stole nearly NIS 3000.

PCHR strongly condemns this attack by Israeli forces against civil society organisations in the West Bank, and reiterates its call to the international community and the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to take serious measures to put an end to Israeli crimes against Palestinian civilians and against Palestinian civil society organisations.


One Voice in Gaza: normalization at its best!


PRESS RELEASE

5 December 2012

The One Democratic State Group, Besieged Gaza, Occupied Palestine

It has come to our knowledge that One Voice, “an international grassroots movement that amplifies the voice of mainstream Israelis and Palestinians, empowering them to propel their elected representatives toward the two-state solution” has started recruiting youth from The Gaza Strip. This is supposed to be part of its work “to forge consensus for conflict resolution and build a human infrastructure capable of mobilizing the people toward a negotiated, comprehensive and permanent agreement between Israel and Palestine that ends the occupation, ensures security and peace for both sides…” The movement recognizes that violence by either side will never be a means to end the conflict. (emphasis added). In its new Gaza initiative, One Voice “planned an intensive 36-hour training program in leadership skills and teamwork.”

The Palestinian Students Campaign for the Academic boycott of Israel, like Palestinian Youth Against Normalization, considers One Voice a normalizing organization since it ignores the reality which is Israel’s oppression and systematic discrimination against the Palestinian people in its three components: 1948, 1967, and the Diaspora. OV, amongst other organizations, targets Palestinian youth to engage them in dialogue with Israelis without recognizing the inalienable rights of Palestinians, or aiming to end Israel’s occupation, colonization, and apartheid.

We reiterate our commitment to the statement issued by Palestinian youth against normalization which was endorsed by almost all Palestinian youth and student organizations.

We consider One Voice to be an organization that aims to normalize apartheid and the ethnic cleansing of Palestine that took place in 1948. One Voice Movement’s vision is based on a “two-state solution”, without any commitment to international parameters — which assumes equal responsibility of “both sides” for the “conflict”, and suspiciously fails to call for Israel’s full compliance with its obligations under international law through ending its illegal military occupation, its denial of Palestinian refugee rights (particularly the right of return), and its system of racial discrimination against its own Palestinian citizens.

Some of the events organized by One Voice, like the One Million Voices, are sponsored by Israeli institutions (mostly from the private sector) and endorsed by mainstream Israeli political figures from parties including the Likud, Labour and Shas. These Israeli “partners” are unquestionably complicit in maintaining Israel’s occupation and other forms of oppression.

One Voice seems to ignore the fact that the reason why Palestinians and Israelis cannot get together is because the former are colonized and the latter are settler colonists. It also ignores the fact that Israel is an apartheid state, as former American president Jimmy Carter and anti-Apartheid activist and Nobel Laureate Desmund Tutu called it; a state that discriminates not only against the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, but also against the 1.2 million Palestinians living in it as third class citizens.

We, Palestinian youth of Gaza, ask if One Voice trainers and leaders in Tel Aviv are willing to admit that the creation of the state of Israel was responsible for the continuing ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people since 1948? That it illegally occupies the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and racially discriminates against the 1948 Palestinians in what the United Nations Special Rapporteur John Dugard described as, “the only remaining case after South Africa of a Western-affiliated regime that denies self-determination and human rights to a developing people and that has done so for so long”. A state responsible for ongoing house demolitions, illegal settlement expansions and the building of a monstrous Apartheid Wall — not to mention the collective punishment of 1.5 million Palestinians of Gaza, who are subjugated to a brutal, medieval siege entering its fifth year?

The One Voice website never alludes to the children and teenagers killed by Israel in the last two genocidal wars against the Palestinians of Gaza. Or is that considered a form of “dialogue” between “two equal parties” engaged in a “conflict?” Will there be a reference to the violence of the colonizer; the fourth largest army in the world with more than 450 nuclear heads? Will it state the fact that two thirds of the Palestinians of Gaza are refugees who were ethnically cleansed from the towns and villages where Israeli One Voice trainers and leaders live now?

Instead, One Voice is working on “building a mass grassroots movement that will amplify the voice of the moderates on both sides”, wanting to “show that there are partners for negotiations and peace on both sides” Where are the “two sides” of this “conflict?” Palestinian resistance is considered a “form of violence…(which) brings more violence and suffering to people on both sides! ” This is an issue of injustice around continuous dispossession and subjugation of one people by another people. Do we understand from One Voice that there was a “conflict” between the native Blacks of South Africa and the White supremacists of the apartheid regime?

The One Voice programme is one more arrogant attempt to equate the colonizer and colonized; oppressor and oppressed; victim and executioner. This is camouflaged by changing its name in Arabic to “Palestinian Voice!” We ask: will One Voice ever condemn Israel’s policy of apartheid and ethnic cleansing? Will it openly support the Palestinian right to self-determination?

We, therefore, consider One Voice projects in Gaza a continuation of a campaign of normalization that aims at whitewashing Israel’s tarnished image and does nothing but falsely creates the facade that there are actually two equal sides to “the conflict.” No wonder that tens of cultural and other civil society organizations in Palestine and the Arab World called One Voice “peace activities” as “camouflaging of Apartheid.”

We call on all Palestinian youth not to take part in this public relations charade that conceals a misleading political program that falls significantly short of international law tenets and the Palestinian national program. We expect the Palestinian participants to withdraw their support for this movement that only serves to blind the Palestinian public and sidetrack it from struggling, with the solidarity of its international supporters, for its UN-sanctioned rights, for justice, equality and freedom.

Signed by:

The Palestinian Students’ Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel (PSCABI)

Progressive Student Union Bloc

Fateh Youth Organization

Islamic Bloc

Palestinian Student Labor Front

Union of the Palestinian Students struggle committees

Islamic League of Palestinian Students

The Palestinian Popular struggle Front Union

Union of the Palestinian Students struggle committees


UN and Palestine: Justice in the eye of the ‘observer’

Notice the absence from the map of several of the nay-sayers...

Note the complete absence from the map of several of the nay-sayers…prescience, or because they are indistinguishable from their puppeteer?

Maybe someone can one day explain satisfactorily how and why the exisitng state that was ‘partitioned’ by the United Nations to create two states, has then to seek statehood from the same body?

While they are at it, perhaps they could also explain why only ONE of the states created by this UN partition, the original state, has been forced to go through this farcical process…and why the other is not required to abide by UN conventions and resolutions, despite its membership, breaches of its conventions, and failures to uphold any of the UN values….

It seems justice is only in the eye of the observer….


Gaza: The solution is simple

20 November 2012

The simple solution to the current carnage in Gaza is in Israel’s hands – OBEY INTERNATIONAL LAW.

Israel is currently breaching at least 30 United Nations Security Council Resolutions dating back to 1968, resolutions that require action by it and it alone, according to David Morrison in a 2010 Briefing Paper.

The consequence of Israel’s illegal occupation, their illegal settlements, their illegal wall, their illegal murderous attacks right now on civilians in both Gaza and the West Bank are Palestinian exercise of the RIGHT TO RESISTANCE imbued by the right to self-determination guaranteed in Article 1 of the United Nations Charter, and in Article 1 of both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).

All the hasbara in the world, all the PR in the world, all the spin in the world will not change these fundamental facts – Israel has, and continues to breach Palestinian rights, and Palestinians are resisting this illegal behaviour and legitimately defending their rights.

All Israel has to do to ensure its ‘security’ is comply with United Nations Security Council Resolutions, and with International law in all respects – humanitarian, human rights, civil, political, economic, social, cultural – by withdrawing to behind its INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNISED BORDERS and peacefully staying there.

Posturing on the world stage with its coterie of fellow-imperialists cannot and will not change these fundamental requirements.

The lesson that Palestinians are paying for with their blood, their homes, their land and their future is that the United Nations is as weak as Israel is weak-minded, through failure to enforce its own resolutions.

Like a playground bully that no-one dares stand up to, Israel has become arrogant with its own sense of entitlement and impunity. And like the undisciplined child who grows first into delinquency then into outright criminality and a danger to the society in which it lives, Israel has grown into a criminal rogue state that threatens the stability and order of the world of which it is a member state.

Israel has shown no sign that it is prepared to moderate its behaviour, and the last six days have shown the extremes of depravity to which is prepared to go – openly killing women, children, journalists and targeting family homes, vegetable sellers in the street, in fact anyone at all, without compunction.

Four children killed by Israel when their house was destroyed by Israel

It is way past time for the international community to assert its authority, both moral and legal, and call Israel to account – immediately.

Sanctions are too good for it – eviction from the United Nations itself is the least that should be reasonably expected, along with its appearance before the International Criminal Court for the atrocities it has already committed, and continues to commit, in Gaza today.

(For UN Resolutions regarding Palestine, go here


Israeli tactic to foment fear, even in the media

Nothing is off-limits to the Zionist war machine – babies, families, homes of anyone from Cabinet Ministers to farmers – not even journalists.

Roaming the skies like a pack of rabid dogs, US-funded drones, F-16s and Apaches strike fear into the hearts of Gazans, whether or not they are firing rockets – their mere presence signifies that possibility.

Percussion bombs, whose sole purpose is to terrify, are a constant companion.

Israel’s psy-war now extends to telephoning and texting individuals with death threats, particularly journalists.

Palestinian journalist Sameh Habeeb on Thursday received a phone call from an Israeli soldier threatening to bomb his family home, and kill him and his family.

I also received such a call. At around 09:15 am on Thursday while drones swarmed the skies and rockets pounded the city around me, I answered the phone to a person with an American accent, who asked if it was Julie. When I answered “yes” they proceeded to call me an “Islamic-Jihad-supporting piece of shit” and told me that an Israeli drone was on its way to kill me. They asked repeatedly if I could hear it (given the situation, there was little else to hear, apart from their psychotic rantings…), and continued their vitriolic abuse and threats. I hung up, and the phone immediately rang again, this time with no number displayed. Two more calls followed that day.

Such tactics show that despite their nuclear arsenal and US-funded military might, Israel’s hardware is no match for the power of the word, or the power of truth.

That it must stoop to intimidation of the media, especially with death threats under such conditions as currently prevail in Gaza, indicates both the paucity of its justifications for its criminal offensive, and also the depths of moral depravity to which it has sunk – and correspondingly, that even Israel itself realises that despite its big guns, it cannot win the war of hearts and minds.

Like its merciless attacks on and terrorising of the citizenry of Gaza, these attacks on the media will not succeed – they only make us stronger, and even more determined to ensure that truth and justice prevail.

And like every Palestinian with a true heart and an independent mind, I will not be deterred by Zionist threats, and will continue to resist.

Venceremos.


Gaza: Haniyeh aces the Tuneless Trio.

As the United States and the United Kingdom sing from Israel’s songbook, the Arab world is again rising up in protest – this time at the Israeli crimes against humanity again being perpetrated against Palestinians – and anyone else who has remained – in Gaza.

Mainstream media tries to bury the truth of the sequence of events and who is to blame, most shamelessly the BBC, who did not even report the civilian deaths of the son and sister-in-law of one of their own staffers, leaving it to the Washington Post to cover – far enough away, they probably hoped, that few UK readers would see it. But that didn’t stop the Washington Post squealing in the chorus.

Despite their best attempts to entomb the truth, the people of the world have also risen up in support of Gaza, and Palestine.

Protest in London against Israel’s massacre in Gaza


Israel – and its silly songsters – may find that this time they are way off key.

As Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said in his first address to the nation since the assassination of Ahmad al-Jaabari, Palestinians “will remain faithful to our martyrs’ noble blood.”

“It is only the beginning of our journey,” he warned.

“Armed with our faith, we are confident in our resistance fighters standing in defiance. Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, Jerusalem, the Territories of 1948 – it is your battle, your own people, blood, and dignity,” he said in a clear call for unity.

“Yes, we rise in revolt. I hail the unity and united action taken by all factions, we are one people, one front.”

Haniyeh said the Government embraces the Palestinian people, and thanked them for their steadfastness. He also praised the resistance, “our victorious defiant brigades” who remain defending the nation on all fronts.

“We appreciate their fortitude in the face of death and of this ferocious assault. I kiss your hands, our noble fighters.”

The Prime Minister extended appreciation to “all free men and women in the Arab world revolting in our support until this belligerent aggression comes to an end.”

Already standing alongside Gaza are Egypt, Tunisia, Sudan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Qatar – and after Saturday, we can expect even more.

Netanyahu may well have tripped over his own red line, wrapped it around his neck and that of his tone-deaf twins – and strangled his own finale.


Chomsky in Gaza: at Al Mathaf

Noam Chomsky has paid his first visit to Gaza.

Noam Chomsky speaking at Al Mathaf, Gaza

While there, he spoke to a mixed group of Gazawis and internationals at Al Mathaf hotel on Friday 19 October 2012.A (rough!) unedited video of his talk follows, in four parts.

PART ONE

PART TWO

PART THREE

PART FOUR


Al Qassam Military Communique

Military Communiqué

Al Qassam Brigades to Israeli Occupation … Your Crime will not go without a response

The Israeli Occupation Forces continue its crimes against our Palestinian people, keep killing civilians and initiating aggression, to blow up the situation and export its interior crises.

Intensifying incursions, shelling and aggression as what has happened in north of Beit Hanoun city this morning, will not put pressure on us.

Ezzedeen Al Qassam Brigades emphasize that this crime will not go without a response.

Ezzeddeen Al-Qassam Brigades

Information Office

October 22nd, 2012