Palestinian women try to to persuade Israeli soldiers to let them bring food to Palestinian men waiting to be interrogated in a school yard in the West Bank village of Jalbon, near Jenin, June 25, 2003. Occupation troops imposed a curfew early Wednesday, rounded up all the male residents, around 500 and according to the army, two men were arrested and the rest released after more than five hours of detention and interrogation. - Paltestinian Information Center
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Protest the "Apartheid Wall" - Palestine MonitorMaps and Photos of the Israeli Separation WallProtest the "Apartheid Wall" - Palestine MonitorMaps and Photos of the Israeli Separation Wall

Map of the Separation Wall adapted for clarity from original Gush Shalom map. Click for Gush Shalom 's original.
Map of Israel's planned "security fence", adapted for clarity from Gush Shalom map. Gush Shalom notes: The Israeli government did not publish full, official maps of the wall. The path of the Eastern wall was compiled by the Land Research Center and the Palestinian Hydrology Group, based on expropriation orders issued to Palestinian land owners.

Protest the "Apartheid Wall" - Palestine MonitorMaps and Photos of the Israeli Separation WallProtest the "Apartheid Wall" - Palestine MonitorMaps and Photos of the Israeli Separation Wall



Islam Online:
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And Bush Stories

posted 10/9/02

Another Gaza

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posted 9/25/02

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posted 9/18/02

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"I won't lie down and take the insults"
Information Clearing House/Irish Times, July 1, 2003
Dublin, Ireland -- NORMAN Finkelstein is the nearest you can get to a Jewish heretic. He is a Jew but an anti-Zionist; the son of Holocaust survivors but a ceaseless critic of what he terms "the Holocaust industry"; a left-wing historian whose views are often praised by revisionist right-wingers such as David Irving. He is a pugilist by inclination, never missing an opportunity to fire insults at his enemies among Jewish organisations in the US and Israel. They, it must be said, are not slow to respond in kind. Insults flew within minutes when Finkelstein appeared recently with an Israeli government spokesman on RTE Radio 1's Morning Ireland, and Cathal Mac Coille, the presenter, had to call the two off each other and beg for calm. "You're supposed to lie down and take the insults, and I'm not going to do it," Finkelstein says. "The level of arrogance of these people just boggles the mind." He believes Jewish organisations are "huckstering" the Holocaust by extracting huge sums in compensation that never get to the survivors. "What they have done, by turning the central tragedy of Jews in the 20th century into a weapon for shaking down people for money is pretty disgusting; it's wretched." He denounces some of the campaigns for reparations against Swiss banks and claims that more than $20 billion (E17.5 billion) has been collected in compensation claims arising from the Holocaust. Because he is Jewish, Finkelstein gets away with the kind of language others would never be allowed to use. He accuses Jewish organisations, for example, of conducting themselves "like a caricature from Der Sturmer", the notorious Jew-baiting magazine of the Nazis [see samples on the right]. He repeatedly refers to the organisations as "crooks" and has even called Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust survivor who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, the "resident clown" of the Holocaust circus. The roots of his anger lie in his parents' experience. Finkelstein's father survived the Warsaw ghetto and Auschwitz concentration camp; his mother lived in the ghetto and ended up in Majdanek camp. He describes both as confirmed atheists. His father received compensation from the German government. "I still remember the blue envelopes that came in every month. At the end of his life he was getting $600 a month, or a grand total of about $250,000. Even though there was no love lost between my father and the Germans - he hated them all - there was never any complaint about the money. The Germans were always very competent and efficient." In contrast, his mother's compensation was channelled through American Jewish organisations. "Even though they went through the same experiences, she got a grand total of $3,000 and no pension. That's what you get from Jewish organisations." THE line he takes on the Israel-Palestine conflict is similarly controversial, at least within his community. "A colossal wrong has been inflicted on the Palestinians, and no amount of rationalisation can justify that. There are possibilities for peace, but the Israeli elite won't allow them to happen."

Palestine: Between Racism And Weakness
By Maher Othman, Al-Hayat, July 11, 2003
It seems that all the Roadmap will lead the Palestinians to is this high wall dubbed "the separation wall," which Israel is still building and using as a coercive means to confiscate tens of thousands of meters of Palestinian territory, isolating it from its villages and cities on its eastern flank. Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon doesn't seem to be willing to submit to the Americans' demand following the request of Abbas' government, namely to cease the building of this wall or guaranteeing that it will not go beyond the Green Line separating the West Bank from Israel, also known as the line of June 4, 1967. Strangely enough, no Palestinian minister or official has visited this terrible, racist wall, just to witness the horrible and catastrophic reality for the Palestinian people. It is even stranger that these ministers held meetings with Israeli ministers in occupied eastern Jerusalem, despite the fact that Israel has no legal right to hold any meetings there or exercise its sovereignty there because it is illegally occupied. By doing so, the Palestinian ministers broke one of the constants of the national Palestinian stance as well as an important point in international legality, which is supposed to be their reference. A foreign force might not be able to prevent Israel from building the wall if the racist government wants to encourage the ideology of isolated "secure tower;" however, the international community, and especially the Palestinian people, have the right to expect the international Quartet to make sure that Israel is not violating the Roadmap, which stipulates the end to Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories of June 1967, and also stresses the need to immediately stop stealing Palestinian territory in such a barbarian way.

A place for our dream?
By Mustafa Barghouti, Al-Ahram Weekly On-line, 10 - 16 July 2003
Unless they can work out some form of democratic collective leadership, the Palestinians may lose more than just their land -- As the wrangling over the roadmap continues and the Palestinian people are subjected to unprecedented new forms of horror, we may find it helpful to put the details of that horror to one side for a moment, and sketch a general overview of our situation. The Oslo process produced a truce that lasted for seven years. But it was, with a few exceptions, a one- sided truce -- one which the Palestinians mostly observed, while the Israelis continued their attacks on our interests and lands, thus wrecking the prospects of peace. This assault was carried out on three levels. Firstly, since the assassination of Rabin, Israel has been governed by the right. True, there was Barak in the interval between Netanyahu and Sharon; but once in power, Barak pursued policies which were totally in line with right-wing interests. In particular, he undermined the legitimacy of the Palestinian Authority (PA) by spreading the myth that it was the PA that had rejected the "generous" political offer he had made them, because it was determined to destroy Israel. This myth fed the momentum of the Zionist right-wing as it sought to block the creation of an independent Palestinian state. Secondly, under Oslo, the building of settlements continued unabated. Since the signing of the accords, over 100 new settlements have been created, and the number of Israeli settlers in the occupied territories has doubled. This was not spontaneous, 'organic' expansion. It was the result of a deliberate and programmed attempt to change the status quo to an extent unprecedented during the previous 27 years of occupation. Indeed, the only period during which the pace of settlement building significantly slowed was that which immediately preceded the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, following the outbreak of the 1987 Intifada.....To put it simply, [Israel] wants a new truce -- a second Oslo, that will give it the time to carve off what remains of the occupied territories and break what remains of the resolve of the Palestinian national movement. The Israeli government wants a new cease-fire period -- so long as it is enforced only on the Palestinians. They want a semblance of peace, not the real thing. They want the Palestinians to accept the status quo, in the hope that, weakened by divisions and worn out by economic and daily difficulties, we will eventually just give in.

On The Palestinian Hostages
By Hasan Ahmad Omar, Al-Hayat, July 12, 2003
Ever since the Palestinian Authority regained control over parts of its land in the West Bank and Gaza, after the Oslo Accords, Israel has been planning to reoccupy these Palestinian territories. The opportunity arose when Ariel Sharon made his provocative visit to Al Aqsa Mosque, which triggered the second Intifada. However, the Israeli reoccupation and brutal practices that followed contradict the fourth convention of the 1949 Geneva Accords, which imposes on the Israelis as an occupying force to preserve the heritage and religious freedoms of the Palestinians. Moreover, the annex-protocol that was enacted in 1977 prevents the occupier from committing any act against the historical sites or artwork. The Palestinian Authority should have demanded that the UN activate the Geneva Convention and put to trial Ehud Barak and Ariel Sharon for violating the rights of Palestinians as described by the international conventions. Today, the Palestinians must ask the UN to investigate Sharon's violations of the convention, when he allowed Jews and others to commit sacrilege in the court of Al Aqsa Mosque, which appears as a provocation to trigger yet a third Intifada. Another serious violation is Israel's detention of some 8,000 Palestinian prisoners, of whom no more than 350 have been released. An article published in Al-Hayat on July 7, caught my attention in this respect. It was written by Abdulwahab Badrakhan, and described the Palestinian prisoners as "hostages." Indeed they are hostages according to international law. And those who took them by force in order to compel the Palestinian Authority to carry out a certain act, or to abstain from carrying out certain acts, such as stop the resistance, are in serious breach of international law based on the 1979 agreement against the taking of hostages. This agreement also calls for international cooperation against such acts, which are classified as international terrorism. That agreement is considered as an amendment to the 4th Geneva Convention, which emphasized in its preamble the equal rights of peoples to self-determination as well as the duty of countries to respect the resolutions of the UN General Assembly. Consequently, it is clear that in its treatment of the Palestinians, Israel is not acting as a state, and cannot be considered to be practicing self-defense according to international criteria. It is in fact committing an aggression against a people that is subject to its military force. Moreover, the argument that Israel is a state based on the 1948 partition resolution 194, which is dependent upon fulfilling that recommendation and the repatriation of the Palestinian refugees, and respecting the special status of Jerusalem, is invalid. This argument could have been valid until 1960, when the UN General Assembly resolution 1514, (D-15), revoked the partition resolution, thus ending Israel's existence as a state because it considered it a form of colonization.

A ‘Concession’ That’s No Concession At All
By Dr. Mohammed T. Al-Rasheed, Arab News, July 12, 2003 
I have always been fascinated by the Israeli brand of democracy. No one can deny that it is a democracy on technical points. But I have said it before and say it again: Israel practices Semitic democracy. This is a democracy that is tribal in essence and hue. Among the Jewish people of Israel, the democratic process is healthy and vibrant. To be fair, it also extends (though in limited measure) to the Arab-Israeli population. The Israeli Supreme Court, or its equivalent, just issued a ruling declaring that “political” assassinations are legal. Clearly, that is not a democratic ruling based on law. It is a ruling based on tribal (in other parts of the world known as ethnic) affiliation. That same court has time and again ruled in favor of taking Palestinian prisoners haphazardly and keeping them indefinitely without charge or trial. Since Israel is used to having its cake and eating it as well, we in this part of the world are not surprised to see the Americans singing the praises of Israeli democracy and overlooking such glaring inconsistencies. Actually, the Americans have learned a lesson from this: The American Taleban gets tried in a Virginia court and the others on Cuban shores are to face a military one. America’s Founding Fathers are turning in their graves as I write and you read. Today we are looking at some serious peace negotiations, and the Americans have to deal with this selective tribal democratic process. One of the demands of the Palestinian negotiators is the release of thousands of prisoners taken without charge and kept without legal due process. It is a legitimate demand, and even the Americans concede it. Yet the Israelis and the Americans, and along with them a chorus of Western media outlets, are branding this process as an “Israeli concession.” We might be thick around here, but pray tell: “Concession” to what? Is it a concession for a thief to return what he willfully stole from you? This thief has been robbing the neighborhood for decades in broad daylight. For him to be accepted back into the mainstream, he will “concede” to return what he stole. Never mind that he stole living human beings with families and futures to care for; never mind that he demolished houses in collective punishment; never mind that he breaks the sound barrier over sleeping villages in Lebanon on a daily basis and cries foul when a rocket hits a rock promontory in northern Israel. It is all acceptable since Israel is a democracy and America is its papal authority “conceding” benedictions and blessings.

Political Zionism = Racism
By Paul Eisen, Arab News, July 12, 2003
Political Zionism’s aims were always clear — to establish, in all of Palestine, a Jewish state. There were exceptions of course, cultural Zionists who dreamed of a religious, cultural and spiritual home in Palestine alongside the indigenous population. But for the mainstream the objective, and the way to that objective, was clear — Palestine for Palestinians was to be transformed into Israel for Jews. The strategy for achieving that objective was breathtaking. Above all, the Zionists knew how to wait. “The Negev will not run away,” said Chaim Weitzman and, as he well knew, nor would the rest of Palestine. But wait for what? For what Ben-Gurion called a “revolutionary situation,” meaning a situation in which the takeover of Palestine could be completed. The first of these “revolutionary situations” presented itself in 1947 and 1948. For Palestinians, like so many times before and after, the UN partitioning of their homeland was a no-win situation. Like the Palestinian peasant farmer early in the century, confronted with settlers waving legal documents and demanding his eviction, Palestinians in 1947 simply could not win. If they resisted they lost their land, and if they didn’t resist they also lost their land. In any event, Palestinian society was shattered by the Zionist onslaught, 750,000 Palestinians were expelled and 78 percent of historic Palestine became Israel. Since then, Zionism, now institutionalized as the state of Israel, has continued its policy of discriminating against all non-Jews both within and outside its borders, and of ethnically cleansing Palestinians from Palestine. To this day, the state of Israel, which openly claims to be a state of Jews only, overtly and covertly discriminates against non-Jews. So there’s no nice way of saying it: Zionism is a discriminatory ideology and Israel, the political expression of that ideology, is a discriminatory state. In any other situation, in any other time and place, and with any other people, both would be termed racist. But not, it seems, when applied to here and now and to Israelis and Jews. So why is it that individuals and organizations who found it a simple enough matter to apply the label of racism to apartheid and South Africa find it virtually impossible to apply the same label to Zionism and Israel? The answer is because white South Africans and Afrikaners are not Jews. White South Africans and Afrikaners have their own history of suffering, but this history has not been as protracted nor as intense as Jewish suffering, nor has it become so central to Western emotional and spiritual life. White South African and Afrikaner culture, religion and mythology, unlike Jewish culture, religion and mythology, have not provided the bedrock for much of Western culture, religion and mythology. And white South Africans and Afrikaners are not spread so widely, or so influentially, as Jews. It has also been argued that because of the particularities of Jewish history and suffering, Jews may do what no one else is allowed to do, meaning that, unlike anyone else, Jews are entitled to discriminate. It has therefore also been argued that even taking into account all the attendant injustices, the creation of a Jewish state was, at the time, necessary.

Tragedy and inspiration in Nablus
By Jenny Gaiawyn, Electronic Intifada, July 12, 2003
Today no-one is being allowed to leave Nablus, not internationals (who the Israeli military are usually happy to see the back of), or the family with five small children who Freda saw while at the checkpoint this morning, waiting in the overpowering sunshine. This morning Freda left to travel to Tulkarem, a city not that far from here. She was going to a meeting with some French people who wanted to visit Nablus and her plan was to bring them back here this afternoon, no plans of insurgence, no devise ideas, or direct action. This is a small example of how the Roadtrap to Peace is going nowhere for the people on the street. I don't really know what to write, I have so many conflicting feelings in my mind and have experienced both lovely and awful things out here, met beautiful and horrible people, and heard inspiring and tragic tales. Some hours the occupation seems distant, and at other times it is overwhelming and oppressive. The mood can change in minutes, seconds even. I'll be chatting with a family, them speaking fair English and me speaking terrible broken Arabic, about the weather, gossip, why I am here, how beautiful Nablus is at the moment with the people on the streets, enjoying the cool summer evenings in the park, then the conversation inevitably changes abruptly, perhaps to Nasser the journalist I met last year, shot in the head by the Israeli military, or to the prison experiences of my new friends, or to how many hours it took for Soha to get to Ramallah last week with three children, only to be refused entry because she was from Nablus, the journey should take 30 minutes. It is hard sometimes to hear all these tales, but so vital so I can return to the UK and tell everyone the truth about what is happening here every day in Palestine.

Maginot mentality in Israel  
By Elia Leibowitz, Haaretz, July 12, 2003
Israel's security does indeed depend on a separation fence. Except that the fence we are talking about is a metaphorical one. The essence of this fence is the recognition that Israel must release its grip on the Palestinian people. There is a need for separation, but it must be moral, political and geographical. -- "This territory must be defended against invasion by the enemy. We know the heavy casualties that can be inflicted, for which even a military victory cannot compensate. The defense system we seek to establish along the border has but one goal: keeping out potential invaders. A security fence is better and less costly than a wall of bare chests." Is this taken from a speech delivered in the Knesset this year by some MK from a middle-of-the-road party? Is it a quote from the lecture of a high-ranking army officer at the recent conference on peace and security in Netanya? Is it a passage from the testimony of an expert called in by the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee's subcommittee on anti-terrorism? The answer to all these questions is no. These words were uttered on the podium at a plenary session of the French Senate in Paris in 1930. The speaker was the French minister of war, Andre Maginot. It was a successful speech that achieved its goal. The French parliament approved the minister's request, and budgeted an initial sum of no less than 2.9 billion francs to build a separation fence along France's borders with Germany and Italy. Further investment was approved to extend the fence in the direction of the Belgian border. The security fence bearing the name of the minister was erected with great pomp and circumstance, and constituted the last word in military engineering at the time. For the sake of those who do not remember why this fence was built and what became of it, it is worth quoting British author and historian Ian Ousby: "Hindsight makes it abundantly clear that the Maginot Line was a foolish misdirection of energy when it was conceived, a dangerous distraction of time and money when it was built, and a pitiful irrelevance when the German invasion did come in 1940."

Beautifying a Stateless Country
By Natalie J. Mikhail, MIFTAH, July 11, 2003
So many articles and analyses have been written about the suffering of Palestinians within the West Bank and Gaza, and rightly so, because it is, after all, the main concern in this decades-long conflict. In addition to the invasions and assaults on Palestinians, Israeli forces have left behind destroyed cities and land. But despite the relentless efforts by Israel to suppress and destroy the livelihood of these people, Palestinians are working hard to try and keep order in their stateless country. After last week’s withdrawal of Israeli troops from parts of Gaza, Palestinian workers organized their efforts to clear the streets and buildings of Intifada graffiti. The colorful, and sometimes artistic, graffiti thickly lines every street in Gaza, honoring the memory of Palestinian martyrs (victims of war) and calling for resistance to Israel’s illegal occupation. It has been a symbol of the uprising and one of Gaza’s most memorable sights. But under the resurgent peace process, Palestinians are removing the powerful words and phrases, in compliance with the U.S.-backed ‘roadmap’ to peace and with Israel’s demand for the halt of incitement. Palestinians hope their step will trigger Israel’s fulfillment of their part of the deal so both sides can move forward with the peace process and toward a normal and free life. Palestinian workers began covering the slogans with white paint on Monday. One of the slogans painted over read: “The blood of the martyrs will not be wasted.” These words are typical, announcing motives and events of the resistance. Traditionally, the streets of Gaza acted as newspapers for Palestinians blocked in by Israel soldiers and checkpoints. During the first Intifada, all the occupied territories were under complete Israeli control. Palestinian newspapers, radio and television stations were either controlled or relinquished. So the people turned to the streets to spread news of the resistance. This long-delayed beautification project began after the June 29 announcement of a three-month cease-fire from some of the major Palestinian factions. Osama Al-Aloul, the Gaza city official overseeing the campaign, told Reuters that the Palestinians’ determined spirit for peace promotes the beautification project. “The current climate allowed the municipality to carry out its project of ‘Clean and Beautiful Gaza,’” Al-Aloul said.

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