by the Al Rantisi Family
Source: Middle East Monitor
Over 400 asylum seekers, including 100 children, were drowned in international waters on their way to Italy after the boat they were travelling on was rammed on 10 September, 2014 by people-smugglers angry because the migrants refused to transfer to a smaller boat.
As a report into the mass murder by human rights organisation EuroMid says, the travellers from the Gaza Strip, Syria, Egypt and Sudan had been promised a safe journey to Europe on a secure and comfortable ship.
One of them was our son and brother, Mohammed Al Rantisi, a 23 year old Management and Technology graduate heading to Europe in search of a brighter future. His favourite song was a message of farewell. (more…)
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.
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.”
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.
After this morning’s event I took up the Rafah issue with another attendee, Dr Mahmoud Zahar, Hamas co-founder and politburo member.
“Firstly, we need to make it clear that we appreciate and understand that President Mursi has many internal troubles, and he is concentrating on his own country’s national and global interests. Perhaps we were a bit too optimistic. The old regime is still running many things, like security, and no change is possible yet. We need to wait, and not pressure them,” he told me.
“The Free Trade Zone was not an official proposal, it was a Muslim Brotherhood project, but they started talking about it in the media.”
What about the closure of the tunnels we have been reading about, I asked. Is this going to create shortages in Gaza?
“The only tunnels being closed are those being used for illegal purposes, so we are happy about that, the ones being used to bring in drugs, weapons and for other illegal purposes. Egypt will not allow the closure of tunnels to such an extent that it causes food shortages,” he replied.
“1500 people daily are passing through Rafah now, it is open seven days a week. There are still some restrictions, though – the list of names of people banned from crossing is still reliant on Fatah information given to the old Mubarak regime, and the list has to be gone through one by one because many people have similar or the same names – sometimes even babies are banned. The names have to be confirmed, or cancelled, and many have been, but Egyptian security has other priorities than updating the lists.”
The events in Tahrir Square last Friday indicate that despite the lip-service paid to democracy, many are reluctant to accept the results, and subsequent decisions taken by majority governments. Does this suggest that the notion of democracy itself needs attention?
“We need to distinguish between the instruments or models of democracy, and its conceptualisation. In the Arab world we are moving from dictatorships to elected presidents, and building our own models will take time. We are not just adopting a US model, we are developing our own. It is not just how we choose our representatives, but also how we punish wrongdoers, how we reward people who succeed in doing well, the sort of administrations we create to enable public participation and to end corruption. President Mursi has achieved a lot of successes already. Sudan and Syria are much bigger problems for him right now than Palestine,” Dr Zahar said.
How do you see Egypt’s role in relation to Syria?
“ Egypt has a big role to play as the peacemaker in Syria, with the help of Iran and Turkey. I think the current situation between Turkey and Syria will finish. Turkey and Iran and Egypt are all seeking a political solution, and that will enable the Syrian regime to be replaced with a democratic administration. Recovery will take time.”
So the Rafah situation will not change quickly?
“We need to speak to the people around the President, he is surrounded by groups from the old regime who don’t understand, or don’t want to change. We need to wait.”