Haggai Matar, +972 Magazine 10/23/201
Israeli military court convicts Abdullah Abu Rahmah of obstructing a bulldozer building the separation barrier. His previous trial and imprisonment was followed closely by western governments.
Abdullah Abu Rahmah, one of the central organizers of the popular resistance protests against the separation barrier in the West Bank village of Bil’in, was convicted of obstructing the work of a soldier by an Israeli military court this week. He will likely be sentenced to four months in prison.
Abu Rahmah, who was recognized by the European Union as a “human rights defender” dedicated to non-violence, previously served over a year in prison for organizing “illegal marches” as well as for “incitement.” All political demonstrations are illegal for Palestinians under Israeli military law.
+972 named Abu Rahmah “person of the year” in 2010. The choice was made, we wrote at the time:
"Because he has become the face of the grassroots, unarmed resistance movement to Israel’s security barrier; because he is the person who has raised international awareness not only of the devastation caused by the barrier, but also the existence of a well-organized, non-violent grassroots opposition movement – one that brings together Palestinians, Israelis and international supporters in a joint struggle. Because he is the answer to the question, “Where is the Palestinian Gandhi?” (answer: there are many; and they are languishing in Israel’s jails). Because he has never wavered in his commitment to non-violence – not even after his cousin Bassam Abu Rahmah was killed by a high-velocity tear gas canister shot by Israeli soldiers directly at his chest; nor after his cousin Adeeb Abu Rahmah was arrested and imprisoned for participating in weekly demonstrations against the barrier that separates the people of Bil’in from their own farmland." more.. e-mail Is it time to bypass governments in the search for justice?
Ibrahim Hewitt, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 10/23/201
One of the conundrums about Israel is that the country's media often carries far more robust stories about the state than the many pro-Israel media outlets in the West. Discussions take place within Israel that are blocked or stifled by lobbyists in Europe and Americas; its activists appear to be more Zionist than the Zionist Israelis themselves. Indeed, such is the power of the zealots within the pro-Israel Lobby in the US that it more or less dictates Washington's foreign policy; it is inconceivable that any administration in America would be able to do anything meaningful in the Middle East which might have a negative impact on Israel.
As Robert Fisk reveals in his book The Great War for Civilisation, the same holds true for defence matters. During his investigations over many years into the global arms industry, and his efforts to find out how and why a US-made Hellfire missile sold to the US Marine Corps ended up being fired by an Israeli helicopter at a civilian ambulance in Lebanon, killing two women and four children, Fisk was told by one senior US officer: "Anyone on [Capitol] Hill knows that challenging any [arms] transfers to Israel is not going to help their political career... The Israeli [sic] lobby is very, very powerful. It's not going to be criticised." (p968)
In the space of the past few days, a Palestinian child was knocked over and killed by a Jewish settler in the occupied Palestinian territories, and a Jewish child (from America) was hit and killed by a car driven by a Palestinian. US state department spokesperson Jen Psaki called the killing of the Jewish child a "terrorist" act; she made no comment about the killing of the Palestinian girl. How many more children are going to be killed to satisfy Israel's apparently untouchable demand for "security" at the cost of innocent lives on both sides; before America stops being more Israeli than Israel.
Despite its claims to be an honest broker for peace, the US is behind Israel 100 per cent and will never take a truly neutral stand in orde more.. e-mail Ignoring the other side of the Palestinian story
George S. Hishmeh, Arabic Media Internet Network (AMIN) 10/23/201
An unbelievable half-page advertisement appeared in the New York Times last Saturday that included key excerpts from a speech delivered by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on September 22 at The Cooper Union, a prominent New York-based university where Abraham Lincoln once spoke. A record number of students and guests, totalling about 800, attended the session, but regrettably, the country’s two leading newspapers — the New York Times and the Washington Post did not cover the event. The Cooper Union was founded in 1859 by a famed industrialist, Peter Cooper, described as a prolific inventor, successful entrepreneur and one of America’s richest businessmen at the time.
The advertisement was sponsored by Churches for Middle East Peace [link follows], but neither would the president of this nonprofit organisation, former ambassador Warren Clark, reveal the cost of the advertisement nor would the staff of New York Times respond to calls in this respect. However, a year-old announcement put the cost at more than $30,000 (Dh110,340).
The Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) is a non-profit Washington-based advocacy organisation and composed of a coalition of Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant churches. Its objective is to influence American policy “in ways that will bring justice and peace for all people and countries in the Middle East”. Abbas’ remarks were blunt, describing to his American audience the situation at home clearly and forthrightly: “The people of Israel live today as our occupiers and without a permanent vision of a peaceful coexistence with their very closest neighbours. Not acceptable. My people in Gaza live under siege by Israel, without freedom of travel, or of trade, with 80 [per cent] of them now reliant on foreign aid and in constant fear of being randomly bombed. They live locked in an open-air prison. Not acceptable. To date, Israel maintains Gaza’s air space, territorial waters, electromagnetic sphere, population registry and the movement of all goods and people. The relatives of the very people in Gaza that Israel just killed more.. e-mail The process of reconstructing Gaza
Lamis Andoni, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 10/22/201
As usual, whatever Israel fails to impose by war, it tries to achieve by means of the subsequent agreements, and the reconstruction of Gaza agreement under the supervision of the UN is no difference. It is the manifestation of international complicity in not only solidifying the siege, but also using it to eliminate the resistance, using the UN as a cover.
The expected competition over bids, which are subject to Israeli veto, opens the door wide open for, not only Palestinian and international warlords, but also to the main Israeli companies at the expense of the affected families. These companies always take a significant share of the profits, as they deal with importing construction materials to the besieged Strip.
We all know what is going on. It is a repeat of the reconstruction process of Gaza after the 2012 war, but with new restrictions that allow Israel to gather detailed information about Gazan families and institutions and to have the process of rebuilding the homes destroyed by the bombing subject to Israeli supervision. Hence, Israel can disrupt or completely hinder reconstruction. According to the agreement signed by the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations, the reconstruction of housing in Gaza is subject to inspection and monitoring according to specific conditions, including "Israel's security considerations with respect to the use of building materials that have 'dual uses'"; i.e. materials that Israel suspects may be used to build rockets or explosives, and these materials may include cement, iron and plastic, according to Israel's contraband list.
It is clear that Israel wants to use the "reconstruction" process to not only firmly root the blockade under UN sponsorship and through the PA, but also as a means by which Israel can punish the people of Gaza. This is possible because, based on the monitoring and inspection permitted by the agreement, Israel can prevent the reconstruction or repair of any Palestinian house, building, or institution which it accuses of being affiliated more.. e-mail
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