A determining speech where Sayyed Hassan Nasrullah (may God preserve him) defines again the position of the Resistance. The Resistance will protect Lebanon against fanatic thugs and CIA agents , as it protected Lebanon from the Israelis, and is still protecting, in times where the Lebanese government had given up strengthening the army or supplying it, or building shelters or equipping hospitals or simply encouraging people to stay in their land in the south . Nothing has been done on behalf of the government which could strengthen the resisting elements in the country which reflects the usual official Lebanese attitude of not considering Israel an enemy and acting accordingly . The People had to provide for themselves and the Resistance did its best and now while Israelis are arming the settlers on the borders , a faction of the Lebanese want to disarm the people of south . There prevails a vision that is somehow distorted and totally out of place and disconnected from reality, The Lebanese Resistance does not want the struggle to be transferred to Lebanon from Syria. Let the struggle remain limited to Syria but the Resistance has to protect its back and to assure its safety , the Lebanese Resistance cannot become exposed , therefore this war has to be fought and Lebanon should be spared.. The Resistance had tried so many times to reason with the Syrian so-called opposition trying to involve it in the reform process started by the president of Syria but they had set their minds on defeating Assad and would not accept any talks or dialogue . This opposition that is made of fanatics is dangerous , dangerous to all Lebanese and its victims among Sunnis surpass the Shi’as . The Resistance has no choice but to confront this enemy , and the Resistance does not need to call for Jihad , just by uttering two words hundreds of Freedom fighters will come out of their own will to fight . The families of the martyrs and the resisting families are ahead of me said Sayyed Hassan they are the ones insisting on pursuing the path of the Resistance. We are ahead of an altogether new phase with a different enemy and I promise you victory as I had already promised.
(The TV studios of WTFN’s award-winning current affairs newsmagazine Face of the Nation. It is a few days after the May 14th B.C. provincial election. Host Brian Cohen is seated at his newsdesk.)
BRIAN COHEN: “Good evening. With a commanding lead in the polls and anti-government sentiment widespread, nobody gave the government of premier-designate Christy Clark much chance of re-election. Yet, by Election Day the opposition New Democratic Party’s 16-point lead in the polls had vanished.
“How did the British Columbia government, which did little more than generate public outrage and epitomize ineptitude, pull off the seemingly impossible? To shed light on this bizarre reversal of misfortune we are joined in the studio by WTFN’s political correspondent Eric Blair. (Camera pulls back into a two-shot and Cohen looks to his left). Eric, what happened?”
COHEN: “…You can say that again!”
BLAIR: “No, seriously! It wasn’t ordinary. Something very… disturbing took place!”
COHEN: “What are you talking about?”
BLAIR: (struggles to find the right words) “Look…an election is supposed to be the time for voters to use their best judgment to select their leaders, right? Well, that didn’t happen.”
COHEN: “Yes, that much we know. Why didn’t it happen?”
BLAIR: “Zombie apocalypse, Brian! The government spread a mutated zombie virus through the media to turn otherwise intelligent voters into pro-government drones.”
COHEN: (Looks at Eric Blair with utter incredulity.)
BLAIR: “I know what you’re thinking, but it’s true! It’s happened before! During the last Canadian federal election, zombies streamed to the polls to re-elect a government that had openly violated Canadian law, been found in contempt of Parliament, and secretly colluded with a foreign government, Israel, behind Parliament’s back. Remember how Canadian voters gave Harper a majority because they said they were tired of voting in general elections? That was the result of the zombie virus. The B.C. Liberals used a mutated form to intellectually anaesthetize B.C. voters.”
COHEN: “I hate to admit it, but that does sort of make sense. For starters, the B.C Liberals quintupled the provincial debt, imposed a sales tax without obtaining legislative authority, and coerced residents into having “smart” metres installed on their homes, despite legitimate claims of health and privacy concerns. It’s hard to see how the party stood any chance.”
BLAIR: “Yes, especially when you remember that Clark’s predecessor, Gordon Campbell, was overwhelmingly loathed—just a 6% approval rating. She inherited a sclerotic, corporatist party and was even having to put down an internal party revolt.”
COHEN: “So, Eric, tell us how the virus works.”
BLAIR: “Essentially, it’s designed to attack the brain’s cognitive and short-term memory centres and overstimulate the areas responsible for fear and prejudice. The Liberals knew it couldn’t run a campaign on their accomplishments—they didn’t have any—so they had to make voters fear the opposition.
“In the last weeks of the election, especially during the final week, we saw ad after ad smearing the NDP and its leader Adrian Dix. Standard slogans were ‘Weak Leadership /Weak Economy’ and ‘They did it before; they’ll do it again’—meaning ‘screw up the economy’ with public spending and taxes. The TV ads were the most effective, and after the election, TV talking heads were orgasmic with glee at the result. Instant experts even praised Clark for having a ‘vision’, rather than blind luck.”
COHEN: “But the virus didn’t affect everyone. The NDP still won many seats, and Clark was defeated in her own riding.”
BLAIR: “True, but that’s only because some voters had been inoculated with education, and had not forgotten the government’s record of ineptitude. They were immune to fabricated anti-socialist scare tactics.”
COHEN: “Why weren’t more people ‘inoculated’?”
BLAIR: “Much of the blame for that goes to Dix, ironically. The NDP was so sure of victory that the party thought it could be both politically victorious and morally virtuous, so they did not counter with its own negative ads. By undervaluing the virus’s virulence the party left voters vulnerable. In the end, the government’s abysmal record ceased to be a factor, and the election turned on anti-socialist fearmongering.
“One of the most ludicrous examples was the smear against NDP candidate Frank Huang because was once a member of the Chinese Communist Party. As anyone who has ever studied communist states knows, party membership is often necessary just to get a decent job. It does not connote ideological support for communism. Yet that didn’t stop a scurrilous government attack on him for being a security risk, as if that were even remotely credible.
COHEN: “Admittedly, the NDP are politically to the left but that doesn’t make them socialist, and certainly not communist. In fact, there is no socialist party anywhere in Canada. Not even the federal NDP could be considered socialist in any European sense. So how did a propaganda campaign based on a rhetorical nonsense succeed?”
BLAIR: “Easily, really. The virus also exacerbated a pre-existing mutated CIT1 gene in the body politic. The mutation first appeared in the U.K. with the 1979 election of Margaret Thatcher, followed by the 1980 election of Ronald Reagan in the U.S. and, of course, the 1984 election in Canada of Brian Mulroney.
“Once established this mutated gene spread its undemocratic encoding throughout all aspects of society, changing the attitudinal orientation of voters. The socially conscious person who cared about the greater good (citizen) regressed into the atavistic ‘economic man’ who cares only about his pocketbook (taxpayer). Government spending, which used to be seen as respectable, even necessary for a civilized society, became anathematized, and social spending of any kind became associated with socialism and anti-individualism.”
COHEN: “I can see how this mentality could spread in the U.S., given its culture of radical individualism and unenlightened self-interest, but governments were chiefly responsible for building Canada. We have always had a mixed economy, and social services like universal health care and Crown Corporations like the CBC are some of our proudest achievements.”
BLAIR: “Well, there appear to be two causes. The first is that the mutated CIT1 gene had a cascading effect. It passed on its faulty political encoding to ‘tumorsupressor genes’ via the media. In times past, intelligent people could be counted on to oppose malignant policies, but the CIT1 mutation switched off the defensive genes that govern voting behaviour, civic pride and compassion. Many anti-government voters are now apathetic, resigned and cynical toward politics in general. The absence of a strong anti-government turnout allowed the zombie virus to overwhelm B.C.’s ‘anti-cancer defences’. Only now does Dix acknowledge his failure to take anti-viral measures.”
COHEN: “What’s the second?”
BLAIR: “The second is the rising proportion of wealthy Asian immigrants to Greater Vancouver, especially from China. Exceptions like Frank Huang notwithstanding, they tend to vote overwhelmingly for pro-business parties and buy into the myth that social spending is harmful. It is here that we most clearly see the ascendancy of the taxpayer mentality.”
COHEN: “Given this disturbing scenario, do you think the province is doomed to one-party government?”
BLAIR: “Unless people become educated, take voting seriously, and demand honesty from their media, I fear politics in B.C. is over. So long as the zombie virus is allowed to spread unchecked, and the educated among us die off, insufficient numbers of citizens will realize that government is a corporate façade and a threat to the well-being of the province and the country. I think we need to remember what the late U.S. philosopher Sidney Hook said 60 years ago:
‘Exaggerated claims of economic ineptitude and fearmongering stereotypes of socialist or even communist state control are harmful because they divert attention from real threats to our freedoms. They emanate from the cultural vigilantism of certain pressure groups in economics, education, immigration and politics.’”
COHEN: “That’s brilliant. (turns to camera) Well, that ahout does it for another show. Stay tuned to WTFN for our feature film presentation Zombieland, which seems only fitting. Good night.”
Through support for Israeli occupations and participation in American invasions of Muslim countries, Britain has ended up spawning tens or even hundreds of millions of “radicalized Muslims” across the world, British MP George Galloway told RT.
Resistance is the sacrifice and is the purification no doubt, and Resistance is much more than what the mere word conveys . What we have experienced in Lebanon in Year 2000 and then in year 2006 was much more than a victory over an enemy .Victory there was no doubt, and an outstanding one . The enemy himself has not ye…t awoken from such bad dream and has become lost as what to do and from where to start again.
What we have witnessed in fact in year 2000, and after that in year 2006, were the signs of a real revolution that had taken place at the deepest level of the human being . These two victories were but the fruits of such revolution. There were potentials and capacities and spiritual dimensions that needed to materialize. There was commitment and determination and faith and forbearance and courage and a will to sacrifice that needed to be brought and experienced and tested and there was much more than that also .
These were attempts at reaching higher levels of consciousness and existence no doubt , a need to prove that truthfulness or morality or sacrifice was not just an ideal or an idea, these were truths that lived in the deeper layers of the human being and needed the proper opportunity to materialize and live and blossom in the freedom fighters beautiful heroic acts and deeds. The human being – that the freedom fighter is- was struggling for this experience , people were also longing for this experience that is a potential human experience and a spiritual one above all, thus people were challenged by the most beastly occupation and invasion , by the most shocking abuse and mistreatment , by the most acute violation and injustice .
What to do when challenged by such an enemy? It is natural law that had arranged for all this , it is natural law which engendered the quest of the people to explore their inner being and unravel- within – the mysteries and the purpose of creation which is to know one’s real identity . It Is not just the enemy that the freedom fighters had to overcome , it is every form of weakness and surrender and want of faith and absence of courage and lack of intuition and indecision that had to be confronted and overcome . It was a whole operation of discovering and producing a new individual who is up to the challenge, an individual who -before defeating the other- be it Israeli or other than Israeli- had already defeated or was in the process of defeating every aspect of weakness within himself.
We are talking here about a rebirth in the spiritual and religious sense, and not just a revolution or a liberation or a war victory . We are talking about real solidarity and real oneness and real identification with the plight of man .What we are witnessing in the Resistance is the personification of all basic religious and ethical values that have been deteriorating lately at the hands of the corrupt world administration . This Resistance is here for all to redress this state of things, and not just to win over Israel, and all are required to support the mighty Resistance and answer the call of nature in supporting the oppressed and standing with right cause as a way to win the battle of life itself .
“LONDON – The BBC’s political editor Nick Robinson has apologized for quoting a source who apparently described the people who attacked a soldier with a machete as being “of Muslim appearance.”
The BBC received a host of complaints after the high-profile TV journalist used the phrase during the flagship channel BBC One’s 6 p.m. bulletin on Wednesday. Robinson was reporting a few hours after a savage machete attack that saw a serving soldier killed in London.
“In his apology Thursday, Robinson said he regretted his choice of words, writing on his official BBC blog: With minutes to go before the BBC News at Six I was told by a senior Whitehall source that the incident was being treated as a suspected terrorist incident and being taken very seriously indeed. This information changed the news from a crime story to something of more significance. The police had, I was told, described the attackers as being ‘of Muslim appearance…
“That phrase ‘of Muslim appearance’ clearly offended some who demanded to know what it could possibly mean. Others were concerned that it was a racist generalization. His report was picked up by media organizations around the world, who described it as evidence of a terrorist attack.”
In his defense Robinson said he was just quoting the police. If they are worried about the Muslims in Britain being upset they don’t know the half of it:
I have it from a reliable source that “the Bosnians [think Kosovo Liberation Army] are really pissed.” (Note: my source uses American, not British slang). They are sure Robinson had them in mind. They have additional gripes that may aggravate their ire: Britain’s close ally, Israel, opposed the designation “Bosnian Holocaust” and even worse, has been pushing them out of the market of organ trafficking.
I am not saying religion does not confer a uniform appearance to most of its adherents; how else could one explain the recognizable physiognomic similarity of faces like those of Madeleine Albright, Alan Greenspan, Alan Dershowitz, Henry Kissinger, etc? It is also precisely why Bosnians, Chechens, Iranians, Malaysians, Palestinians, Pakistanis, Turks, etc. all look alike.
But I worry about the Bosnian blowback. I worry for Nick Robinson. By the way, does Robinson look like an Anglican to you? To me he seems more like Ba’hai.
In view of the Bosnian revenge danger, he should change his appearance. Perhaps a toupee would help:
The creator of Bitcoin– who I think he is, and why.
HEADLINES for 21 & 22 MAY 2013:
Israeli military exercises set fire to Palestinian village crops
Israel Army destroys two Palestinian homes and an apartment building
Israeli Navy twice opens fire on Palestinian fishing boats
Israeli Army shoots its way onto Gaza farmland and bulldozes crops
Israeli Army shoots its way into Palestinian villager’s home
Settler militants invade Palestinian village and set fire to crops
2 Palestinian youngsters (aged 9 and 16) hospitalised by settler vehicles
Israeli soldiers raid village and interrogate sick 9-year-old boy
13-year-old boy seriously injured in Israeli Army assault with rubber-coated bullets
Israeli Army bulldozes Palestinian land for new segregated settler road
Settler mob assaults and hospitalises 16-year-old Palestinian youth
Night peace disruption and/or home invasions in refugee camp and 27 towns and villages
5 attacks – 45 raids including home invasions – 1 beaten – 9 injured
6 acts of agricultural/economic sabotage
29 taken prisoner – 17 detained – 112 restrictions of movement
…and banish Hezbollah to outer darkness
Earlier this month an MP got up in the House of Commons and proposed that the UK government outlaw, or “proscribe”, the whole Hezbollah organisation, not just its military wing. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm130509/debtext/130509-0004.htm#13050920000001
”I accept that a full ban on Hezbollah may be difficult to achieve,” he said, “but even an EU ban on the military wing of Hezbollah would send a powerful message that we do not tolerate Hezbollah’s and Iran’s terrorism….
“It is beyond doubt that Hezbollah does Iran’s bidding in upholding the bloody regime of President Bashar al-Assad, and that it perpetuates the misery of millions of Syrian civilians.”
The MPs argument included gems like these….
“This organisation [Hezbollah] is aggravating the current situation in Syria, creating instability in Lebanon and threatening not only Israel but nations across the globe. The heartbreaking news coming to us from Syria every day reminds us how complex and fragile is the situation all over the Middle East. One large cloud lurking over all these difficult situations is the presence of Hezbollah….”
“Hezbollah is Iran’s proxy and is used by Tehran to exert its sphere of influence over Lebanon and the wider region. It has also been used by Iran to help prop up through military means the murderous regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.”
“Hezbollah continues to maintain its military capacity in contravention of UN Security Council resolutions 1559 and 1701.”
“Hezbollah leaders continue to maintain that they are not only re-arming, but acquiring more sophisticated military technology.”
“Iran and Iranian-backed Hezbollah are supporting President Assad’s crackdown, and are supplying military and intelligence assistance to the regime and shipping weapons to Syria that have been deployed in violence against civilians.”
“It is to the eternal credit of the state of Israel that it alone has sought to intervene in the crisis in Syria, and its intervention was purely intended to prevent weapons transfers designed to allow Hezbollah to increase its military threat throughout the region.”
“Iranian-backed Hezbollah remains a clear and present danger to the people of Israel. While Israel faces the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran committed to the destruction of the Jewish state, the Iranian regime’s clients lurk just over the border. Make no mistake about it: Hezbollah is committed to continued war against Israel.”
“The leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, is on the record as saying: ‘I am against any reconciliation with Israel. I do not even recognize the presence of a state that is called Israel. I consider its presence both unjust and unlawful… Hezbollah refuses any conciliation with Israel in principle.’”
“I have been to northern Israel and stared over our ally’s northern border, acutely conscious of the 60,000 rockets that are pointed at Israeli civilians.”
“Israel’s reported actions are entirely understandable and, I would suggest, commendable. The House should unequivocally condemn that Hezbollah threat and support the state of Israel.”
“Hezbollah in its entirety should be proscribed by both the UK Government and the European Union. I urge the Minister to take decisive action to show that this country stands against terrorism in all its forms.”
The MP did at least declare an interest: “I am one of the vice-chairs of Labour Friends of Israel.” Well, there’s a surprise. Unfortunately he’s also a member of the Select Committee on International Development.
“Hezbollah remains as long as Israel remains”
For a start, what’s causing instability in the region are the armed jihadist groups in Syria and the thousands of international terrorists backed by the West (including Britain), the Gulf states and Turkey who provide them with weapons or money or both. There is an EU ban on supplying arms to these terror groups but our foreign secretary, Agent Hague, is working feverishly to overturn it in his eagerness to topple Assad, presumably for the benefit of Israel whose devoted friend he has been since schooldays.
Reuters report him telling a meeting of the ‘Friends of Syria’ alliance: “We do want to amend the arms embargo on the (opposition) National Coalition in order to be able to … have the legal right to provide … increased assistance, including if we decided to do so, lethal assistance.” He said he wants “decisions about sending lethal equipment”. He seems to love that word “lethal”. I wonder what a shrink would make of it…
I’m no expert on Lebanon or Hezbollah, but even I know that Hezbollah, a Shi’a group, came together as a result of the Israelis’ 1982 invasion and for the purpose of resisting their vicious occupation. The Israelis prepared the ground for war by manipulating their provocations and Lebanese responses in order to provide ‘justification’, a tactic they also use against Hamas in Gaza. When the ‘justification’ came Israel retaliated with disproportionate air and artillery strikes against Palestinian targets in Lebanon, including the refugee camps.
The Sabra and Shatila camps were bombed for four hours and the local “Gaza” hospital was hit. The PLO retaliated with rockets at northern Israel. An international commission concluded that Israel “committed acts of aggression contrary to international law”, that the government of Israel had no valid reasons for its invasion of Lebanon, and that the Israeli authorities or forces were directly or indirectly responsible for the massacres and killings carried out by Lebanese Phalagist militiamen in Sabra and Shatila. The Israeli army had re-occupied West Beirut and ‘invited’ the Phalagists into the camps, even supplying jeep transport. The United Nations General Assembly declared the Sabra and Shatila massacre an act of genocide.
So Hezbollah (the ”party of God’) came into being for perfectly good reasons. If Iran helped them, so what? The US funds and arms Israel.
In their 1985 manifesto Hezbollah’s aims included Israel’s departure, an end to imperialist power in Lebanon, bringing the Phalangists to justice, and allowing the people to choose the system of government they wanted while maintaining their own preference for Islamic rule. Yes, Hezbollah dreams of Israel’s demise but who in the Middle East doesn’t?
In Israel’s 2006 war on Lebanon, Amnesty International called on both Hezbollah and Israel to end attacks on civilian areas and identified the destruction of entire civilian neighbourhoods and villages by Israeli forces, attacks on bridges with no apparent strategic value, and attacks on infrastructure indispensable to the survival of the civilian population. They said Israeli actions suggested a “policy of punishing both the Lebanese government and the civilian population”. AI also highlighted the IDF’s use of white phosphorus shells, and after the ceasefire some parts of southern Lebanon were uninhabitable for a long time due to unexploded cluster bombs left lying around by Israel.
Israel began overflying Lebanon on a regular basis in May 2000 when its troops vacated parts of southern Lebanon they had occupied since 1978. These flights are mainly for intelligence-gathering, are illegal under international law and a serious non-stop provocation. In June 2008 Lebanon’s Cabinet confirmed Hezbollah as an armed organisation with the right to “liberate or recover occupied lands”.
UN Resolution 1559, mentioned by the MP, calls for the disarming and disbanding of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias but reiterates strong support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognised borders. Mohamad Issa, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lebanon, told the UN that there were no militias in Lebanon, only the national Lebanese resistance which would remain as long as Israel remained. The resistance force exists alongside the Lebanese national forces and Lebanon determins the presence and size of that force, depending on the country’s need.
UN Resolution 1701 required the Israeli army to withdraw behind the Blue Line and both parties to respect that boundary. It also required Israel to hand over all maps of landmines in Lebanon.
However Israel still occupies the Shebaa Farms area. There is discussion as to whether this formally belongs to Syria or Lebanon, but it certainly doesn’t belong to the Israelis, so what are they doing there if not to cause perpetual trouble and unrest? In fact Israel repeatedly breaches 1701 by crossing the Blue Line or violating Lebanese airspace. No way is Hezbollah going to disarm.
Hezbollah, long-time allies of the Ba’ath party in Syria, have perhaps unwisely allowed themselves to become embroiled in the civil war, supposedly to defend Shi’a villages and the Sayida Zeinab Shrine threatened by the Sunni rebels. However, they are seen to be fighting alongside Assad’s forces and this joining-up, if true, could harm their reputation and cost them much goodwill in the Arab world. On the other hand they cannot neglect their key alliances and supply chains.
In another House of Commons debate a year ago this same MP said Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and its support for Hamas meant “it is a spark that could ignite the powder keg of the Middle East… We should remain resolutely focused on challenging Iran and its illegal nuclear programme, using sanctions…” He surely knows that Iran’s civil nuclear activities are legitimate and there’s still no clear evidence of a nuclear arms programme. He should worry instead about Israel’s hundreds of nukes, some of which are said to target European cities, and the regime’s refusal to sign up to the Non-Proliferation Treaty or submit its nuclear facilities to international inspection and safeguards.
He urges the House of Commons to support Israel. He may be a very good MP in other respects so why spoil it by letting himself to be so misled by a violent and criminal foreign military power?
Why can he not accept Hezbollah as a legitimate resistance organisation that defends the Lebanese homeland against Israeli aggression?
Note that he also talks of “Iran-backed Hezbollah” as instructed by the Zionists’ hasbara manual. Perhaps when referring to Israel (whose interests he so enthusiastically promotes in Britain’s parliament) he should, for balance and clarity, call it the US-backed racist regime.
Meanwhile that other avid fan of Israel, Agent Hague, is still working flat-out to get the EU to brand Hezbollah a terrorist entity. The world should know that Hague may speak for the UK’s warmongering government, which still includes many of the loons who voted for the Iraq war, but not for the man in the street.
Recent reports suggest that Syria’s citizens who initially supported the anti-Assad uprising following those appalling events in Deraa in March 2011, are now having second thoughts. Owing to fear and distrust of the likely alternatives, the pendulum seems to be swinging back in favour of Assad’s regime.
And Israel’s attacks on Syria using a bunker-buster bomb – possibly nuclear – may prove to be a provocation too far. The West’s policy of fomenting and escalating the struggle by any means in order to oust Assad and implant themselves into the chaotic aftermath, has brought the Russian navy to the Mediterranean for what looks like a permanent stay to protect their interests.
Where does all this leave the schemers in the US and Israel, and their lapdogs in the UK parliament?
happy as a pig in shit
“I had a female-commander who didn’t stop cursing, dirty words that I had never heard before,” complained a few days ago Yosef Duvdevany while describing his IDF service as a Haredi soldier. Despite his heartbreaking descriptions, anybody aware with the IDF reality couldn’t help but giggle in embarrassment at his naivety. In the last minutes of May 16, 2013, so that the item would be missed by many, Haaretz published in its Hebrew online edition that the commando’s filmed shitting on their friend’s head were dismissed from their duties. In other words, they were thrown down the sewage of oblivion into the deepest ocean. They’ll spend the rest of their service filing papers in a dusty office.
Due to the very unusual graphics of the page, I reproduce the headline here. Please note the items that I won’t comment upon.
Barak hits the IDF
Ehud Barak was IDF Chief of Staff between 1991 and 1995. Having served as soldier, officer and commander of Sayeret Matkal, the army’s top commando unit, he was the first Chief of Staff with enough power to tackle the Princes. While entering office he promised to transform the IDF into a “small and smart” army. When he left, the IDF was larger, fatter, and definitely not smarter. Yet, he made order in the commando units scene, his monster-baby. Until he arrived, high quality infantry brigades were controlled directly from the large Commands (North, Central and South) instead of being part of a regular division. Commando units could be found randomly placed in the army’s hierarchy, with Sayeret Matkal being controlled directly by the General Command Headquarters (the Matkal).
Media reports on the structure of IDF commando and reconnaissance units (adding to the confusion, both enter under the Hebrew term “sayeret,” which can be loosely translated as “wanderer”) are fuzzy due to the intentional operative matrix* adopted by these. These units overlap in their capabilities, adding flexibility to the General Command in their use. Barak kept this functionality but changed the chain of command. For example, Infantry Brigade #1, Golani, was downgraded from the North Command to Division 36 on the Golan Heights. Beyond adding order, it added confusion to media reports.
A third issue is related to the naming of these units, which appear and disappear randomly. Ariel Sharon’s Unit 101 was disbanded in the 1950s; probably the Command got tired of what was defined once as “his chicken-robbing in Gaza.” A generation later it was recreated as a battalion in the Paratroopers Brigade. One must be careful while referring to these units in order not to mix up the culprits. Something similar happens with “Egoz” the star of this report.
Is Egoz Golani’s Commando?
Golani is considered an elite infantry brigade. It is characterized for the bulk of its soldiers being Sephardic (Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi** is a good example, he advanced in the unit from soldier to its commander), and for being unruly. Recently several of its soldiers deserted the Mt. Hermon Stronghold. The soldiers saved in The Cross of Bethlehem from an RPG7, were from Golani. They didn’t even say “thank you.”
“Sayeret Egoz” was the commando unit of IDF’s North Command until it was disbanded after the 1973 War. In 1995, it was recreated as the “Egoz Unit” within the abovementioned Golani Brigade. At this point, one may be tempted to say “Ah, it is another name for Sayeret Golani,” and dismiss the issue; yet, this is not true. Following Barak’s work, a “gadsar” (acronym for “gdud siur,” “reconnaissance battalion”) was created in most brigades. It includes a “sayeret” or “palsar,” which is the proper commando unit, an anti-tank company, a communications company and an engineering company, Until Barak’s reorganization, these were “Brigade Companies” under the direct command of a Brigade’s commander. “Sayeret Golani,” the Golani Commando, is part of this conglomerate of special units. “Egoz Unit” is a different monster.
In this New World Order, Egoz needed to be placed within an infantry brigade, and thus it was incorporated as a unit within Golani. Yet, it is practically independent, acting also beyond the borders of the North Command. Egoz is defined as the IDF “complex ground operations” commando unit. It is considered an elite unit. This is important, Israel cannot blame the event on misfits.
Several times in the past, I commented upon Israeli humiliation techniques (Humiliating Abbas). It is part of local culture, with Israelis being unable to realize that it antagonizes the victim. This is the epitome of Judaism and the antithesis of Christianity. Most IDF elite units have unofficial humiliation ceremonies performed on their rookies. This year, the one performed by Egoz went wrong because one of its soldiers refused to surrender to the horror and was forced to be shat upon his head by his friend.
Even this would have gone unnoticed; I have heard about no less shocking events. However, the event was videotaped and circulated to the extent that Haaretz published the picture opening this page. The issue became public. North Command Commander, Major General Yair Golan was requested to investigate and issue a report to Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, IDF’s Chief of Staff. The report was given in the afternoon of May 16, and during the night the issue was half-hidden in Haaretz Hebrew site.
The report dismissed the involved aggressors and their commanders from the unit. Its commander, whose name is State-secret, got a note in his personal record. Following the initial publication, Golani’s Commander, Colonel Yaniv Asor, assured that justice will be done. He got involved, because the soldiers were using T-Shirts identifying them as Golani soldiers. Only later, it was found that they belonged to the elite unit Egoz. This is yet another camouflage technique of such units; in this case the use of the T-shirts was justifiable, but misleading. The soldiers surrounding the horror were telling jokes and encouraging the aggressor to continue. The investigation defined the event as “real torture.”
A few days ago, a Haredi former soldiers complained about the language used by his female commander; today we are reminded of the full horrors of Israeli crappy culture.
* Finding errors in reports and reviews of IDF special units is common. Contradictions between different descriptions seem to be the norm and eventually discredit most sources. Oddly enough, many times the reports are correct; their only fault being that they are incomplete. With few exceptions (Kingfisher being the most obvious one), these units rate as battalions. However, beyond the formal definition and their subdivision into platoons, there is no operational similarity between them and regular battalions. Each commando platoon has a specific training, which transforms it into a military expert in that topic. Then, specialties are constructed in a matrix fashion across the army. Every commando unit has a counterterrorism specialized platoon. This makes it easier for the IDF to have at any moment an available specialist on the topic. Moreover, it allows a combination of capabilities that increases maneuverability. In special conditions, such a grid-organization enables it to answer complex situations. Imagine a need to perform a counterterrorism operation atop Mount Hermon, at the ski resort. Sending a commando unit accustomed to work in the desert will cause difficulties. The soldiers would not have proper equipment; they would not know how to behave in the snow. In such a case, a mixed team from Sayeret Matkal Alpinist and its Counterterrorism platoons would be formed and delivered.
** In one of my stays in the US, I was asked regarding the surname “Ashkenazi.” The person that asked was very surprised when I commented THAT it was a popular name among Moroccan Jews. “That can’t be true!” was the answer I got. As usual, things in the Jewish community are complex and the popularized conceptions are – to say the least – oversimplified. “Ashkenaz” is a name given by Pharisaic-Jews to the area now known as Germany. An “i” added at the end of a noun in Hebrew denotes possession. “Ashkenazi” means “from Germany.” So how come a Moroccan Jew is called Ashkenazi? Actually, it will be very hard to find a German Jew called Ashkenazi. The best way of illustrating this is taking the issue into neutral grounds. Imagine a Canadian family moving to Honduras and settling down there. It won’t take much until some neighbours would refer to them just as the “Canadians.” In some cases this name would stick. In the case of Moroccan Jews the name is related to the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492. Some of these moved northwards, and settled down all over northern Europe, including “Ashkenaz.” Some of them failed settling down and moved back southwards – toward the beautiful Mediterranean sun. Spain was then closed for them, so they moved to the nearest country, where modern Morroco is. They were “Germans” among “Moroccans,” i.e. Ashkenazis. The same is truth in all settlements of Oriental Jews. Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi’s father was a Bulgarian Jew (most consider this community closer to Oriental than to Western Jewish practices) and his mother was a Syrian Jew. With such a background, the general is considered an Oriental Jew in Israel.
The Syrian army has stopped an attempt at entering al Qusayr to rescue the opposition that has been trapped inside al Qusayr in the northern part of the city and the fifteen intruders were all killed and their equipment destroyed . The Coalition of the Opposition head , George Sabra, had issued orders for the thugs to rescue the trapped fighters in al Qusayr .
Meanwhile, the battles have resumed today in the northern part of al Qusayr . It is worthwhile saying that the events the Syria -that started as what they called revolution – has now become a security issue , what the so called revolution is doing is just threatening the security of Syria and the Syrians and hopes to use this in future negotiations. This situation will last probably till after Geneva 2 and maybe until the presidential elections scheduled for 2014 where Assad is expected to be the major candidate gathering the approval of more than 60% of the population who will vote for him in democratic elections out of their free will .
The situation in Tripoli has been escalating and the Lebanese Army has evacuated its positions in the troubled area after it has been targeted by the thugs who abide by the orders of Hariri . The orders have not been issued by the government to the army to act and protect the troubled area and while some are accusing the minister of defense , the truth is that the order should be issued by the whole cabinet to the army and the cabinet- that is resigned but still administering the country is divided upon this issue.
The Coalition of the Opposition will meet now for three days in Istanbul to decide for its stand in the Geneva 2 Conference- which Syria has agreed basically on attending- and to elect its new leadership. There is a tendency to replace George Sabra by Michel Kilo of the local opposition to give the Coalition the secular color it needs after its extremism and fanatic and criminal behavior have been largely exposed and to limit the power that Qatar and Turkey have over it , but this will not solve the problems the opposition is facing that is division and absence of unity and – above all- corruption .
At the same time the Arab foreign ministers are meeting in Cairo – today- under the auspices of the Arab League and with the presence of Russian and Turkish ambassador as observers . all this to come up with a decision regarding Syria and prepare for the Geneva Conference in June .
Israel has now gathered more than 30 thousand soldiers in the Golan heights and will start soon extensive maneuvers that will mimic the shelling of Israeli settlements by hundreds of missiles.
What has not been disclosed by the media is the number of Arabs who are coming now to Syria to join the Syrian Army and to volunteer in the Syrian People committees, among them martyrs have fallen in battles like Egyptian martyr Shehade Mohammad Metwalli.
Written by Ken Freeland, 19th May 2013
The Israeli regime’s security bodies are working on a plot to assassinate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by the help of terrorist groups and armed rebels in the country after Damascus showed strength and months of resistance against the terrorist attacks orchestrated by US, Israel and their Arab partners, the Israeli media reported on Tuesday.
The Israeli Vala news website reported that the Israeli security and spy agencies were shocked at Assad’s resistance against two years of terrorist and sabotage operations against the country and are mulling other ways to topple him.
Meantime, the report underlined high security measures adopted by the Syrian forces in safeguarding the roads to Damascus where government buildings are located and Assad himself resides, and said the only way to assassinate the Syrian president is designing a complicated operation and coaxing the people close to Assad into betraying him.
Earlier, a documentary movie posted on a Lebanese website unveiled details of a plot by the French and Turkish intelligence services to assassinate President Bashar al-Assad and other senior officials of Syria.
The video posted by Lebanese Asianews website, which was produced in March by Khedar Awarake, a well-known Syrian media activist, included part of the confessions made by those involved in France-Turkey joint plot to kill Assad.
The report said that the Syrian security apparatus defused Turkey and France’s attempted assassination plot on the lives of Assad and Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Mualem.
The report noted that the Turkish and French spy agencies embarked on the establishment of a joint operation room to direct a well-concerted operation to carry out the mission after they failed in their earlier plot to overthrow Assad’s government, adding that their mission had overlaps with security services of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the US on many aspects.
The report further unveiled that the new mission to kill Assad started by Turkey and France’s joint effort to recruit high-ranking officials in Syrian governmental offices, including the office of Mualem and offices related to the presidential palace in Damascus.
The report also said that Turks wished to bring along French in their operation since Paris has strong relations with Kurdish parties and could help recruit the Kurdish staffs in Assad’s offices.
The report at the same time noted that Syrian security services were able to thwart the plot due to their intelligence supremacy and close watch on the plot.
In January, informed sources had said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has ordered his army commanders to target Israel and the US interests in the Middle East region in case he is assassinated by the terrorists.
President Assad’s remarks came after he attended several meetings with his senior commanders, and discussed the country’s security situation with them, the Algerian Al-Shorouq Oline newspaper quoted informed sources close to the Syrian government as saying at the time.
In the meetings presided by President Assad, Syria’s top army commanders told him that “the foreign hostile states will strive to assassinate him instead of launching a military attack on Syria”.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 with organized attacks by well-armed gangs against Syrian police forces and border guards being reported across the country.
Hundreds of people, including members of the security forces, have been killed, when some protest rallies turned into armed clashes.
The government blames outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups for the deaths, stressing that the unrest is being orchestrated from abroad.
In October 2011, calm was eventually restored in the Arab state after President Assad started a reform initiative in the country, but Israel, the US and its Arab allies are seeking hard to bring the country into chaos through any possible means. Tel Aviv, Washington and some Arab capitals have been staging various plots in the hope of increasing unrests in Syria.
President Obama called Lebanese president -two days ago-telling him that US would like to see the parliamentary elections taking place in time and a government formed soon . But this does not seem to be realizable in Lebanon ,and while US is looking so keen on democracy to have elections happen in due time , what it is doing in fact is hindering the democratic process by forcing on Lebanon a voting system that is not representative of the people and not adequate to the country . A voting system that will give- unjustly- the allies of US the majority, but where people will not be fairly represented… US of course doesn’t care . A fair voting system will cause the resistance to win the majority and this US cannot afford, better keep the old voting system that had actually expired and that has caused among others – the Lebanese civil war .But what suits US should pass at the expense of what suits Lebanese. US is really afraid of fair elections and of real participation of people in the elections.
As for the coming Iranian presidential elections, the authorities have excluded from the competition the two controversial candidates : Rafsanjani supported by the reformists and by what remains from the Green so called Revolution, and Masha’i the candidate of the actual president Amadinejad., the reason is that the authorities think that there is need not to act on the will of the Iranians by offering them the same scenario as in the previous elections, and repeat the same pattern and the same polarizations among the two opposites that are reformist Rafsanjani and the candidate promoted by Ahmadinejad . In order to give more freedom to the Iranians and avoid ready made patterns and promote the freedom of choice, there is need to reshuffle the cards and start a fresh so that the voting remains a real expression of what the Iranians really want.
What the Iranians are going to get is an exceptional extraordinary democratic elections in the proper sense of the word where the people primarily and above all vote for a strong and sound Iran.
The Syrian army is still trying to chase the thugs out of al Qusayr in the vicinity of Homs the battles now are taking place in the triangle of al Dab’a , ‘Arjoun , al Qusayr in the north of al Qusayr and there are 8 deaths among the thugs and 20 prisoners 7 among them are non Syrians . The battle is extremely difficult because the snipers are hiding everywhere in the fields which makes the progress of the Syrian army slow.. The thugs of the opposition have sent a call to all fighters to head to al Qusayr and men and ammunition are still reaching the thugs through the northern part of al Qusayr . Lebanese thugs are rushing from Wadi Khaled Lebanon towards al Qusayr while the road of supplies and ammunitions is completely cut from the Lebanese side . Some 25 thousand civilians are still living in the area which makes the battle more difficult.
On the other hand the battle, of al Rastan outside al Qusayr in the vicinity of Homs-between Homs and Hama- has started as scheduled before and three of the major leaders of the opposition have found their death there .
The repercussions in Tripoli ,north of Lebanon, cannot be overlooked the battles between the Sunni and the Alawite quarters have caused the death of thirteen people until now. This has for goal to relieve a little bit the Al Qusayr front where the major battle is taking place. The repercussions in Iraq are not less important.
The fifth conference of the so called Friends of Syria taking place in Amman, Jordan today is almost a fiasco with only 11 ministers of foreign affairs present among them Uglu , Hamad and Kerry . We are far from the previous conferences who used to gather 150 ministers from all over the world . This conference has one goal which is to have the opposition accept unconditional negotiations with the Syrian government that do NOT require the stepping down of Assad and to prepare for Geneva 2 Peace Conference scheduled in June and sponsored by US and Russia..
The Syrian opposition has taken different stands and the US administration wants a unified opposition . The opposition inside Syria is preparing itself, as for the outside opposition it will have to get its act together and become one and start negotiating with the Syrian authorities .There are many impediments to this mainly the factions fighting on the ground and the opposition defector officer Saleem Idriss -of the FSA -wants the US to provide the factions of opposition with 700 tons of ammunition weekly as a prerequisite to attend the June peace conference taking place in Geneva, .The ammunition should include anti tank missiles as expressed by the defector.
Israeli Navy opens fire on Palestinian fishing boats in four areas and robs fishermen of their boat
Israeli Army shoots its way onto Gaza farmland and bulldozes crops
Israeli Army destruction rampage: a well, homes, farm buildings and more
Hebron: Israeli Occupation troops bulldoze Palestinian crops
Israeli Army destruction in Jerusalem – homes and business
Israeli Army destroys a Palestinian well and livestock buildings and issues destruction orders on four family homes
Settlers set fire to Palestinian wheat crops as Israeli troops assault villagers defending a home from settler assault
Youth (16) among the injured in Israeli Army assault with rubber-coated bullets
Night peace disruption and/or home invasions in refugee camp and 24 towns and villages
5 attacks – 47 raids including home invasions – 2 beaten – 8 injured
9 acts of agricultural/economic sabotage
21 taken prisoner – 21 detained – 107 restrictions of movement
This was liable to happen that Hizbullah would have to defend the Country and defend the Resistance as is doing now in al Qusayr . This battle was imposed and not wanted . It happened that there was no one to defend the country . A government – now resigned- that has let armed thugs take hold of Lebanon and use its territories to attack Syria breaking all agreements between Lebanon and Syria whereby neither countries should share in the destabilization of the other . It is as if Syria and Lebanon were two things and as if Lebanon could live without Syria..
Lebanon did not honor this agreement nor it honored its agreement to protect Lebanon and to protect the Lebanese and support the Resistance and turn down evil schemes . The policy of “ self distancing” regarding the Syrian events was a big hoax because what happened is not self distancing , what happened is turning a total blind eye to what was happening not only in Syria but mainly in Lebanon , leaving armed thugs to move as they please- in the northern Lebanese area – along the borders with Syria- and rally and call for mobilization and recruit and arm and train thugs and hire others and conspire and coordinate with foreign ad local intelligence and smuggle weapons and equipment across the borders non stop..
Tons of weapons were thus smuggled and thousands of thugs transferred among them criminals who were released from Lebanese prisons through especially designed tunnels, and from Arab prisons -as well -especially Saudi. This was the shameful policy of the government, as if Lebanon could afford more civil wars and bloodshed, as if all what Lebanon needed – with its seventeen or eighteen or maybe more religious communities – was to become the haven of al Qa’ida and al Nusrat land . I don’t know where our politicians in the government come from, and on which planet they live, and how they think . Why encourage these extremists and fanatics to use Lebanon as a platform for their attacks and as a resort place to rest between two battles and receive medical care and contact their suppliers and order weapons and you name it ?
What is the logic behind all this ? The logic behind this is that Lebanon- or the conspirators in Lebanon that occupy the highest positions- think that Lebanon is not a Resistance land and could become something alien to the Resistance . Had these officials given orders to the Lebanese army to stand in the way of the thugs preventing them from carrying on their criminal schemes, they would have protected Lebanon and protected Syria and protected the Resistance and spared the country so much instability and havoc and innocent blood ; or they think they can do without Syria and enjoy peace while Syria is burning and while they are adding fuel to the fire ?
Lebanon and Syria are one country and because of this everything in Lebanon is pending now waiting for the outcome of the battle in Syria , there will be no government and no parliamentary elections and no political decisions before the situation is cleared . The shortcomings of the actual resigned government have caused the battle to spread to Tripoli – northern Lebanon – where the thugs of the opposition are compensating their losses in al Qusayr by attacking the Alawite community in Tripoli – the capital of the north- while the Lebanese army is watching because no orders have been issued for it to act .
Now more Lebanese blood will be spilled in the poorest quarters of Tripoli and the situation will escalate . No one protects the country and the people except the Resistance. There is nothing in Lebanon but the Resistance , and all have everything to gain from supporting it . Many heroes are falling in this unwanted battles , the Resistance is invincible and officials should go over their stands and positions .
Now for more than ten years we have been commemorating Rachel Corrie’s martyrdom at the hands of Israelis, and- as happens with heroes- the more we read about Rachel the more we learn about her and how she has chosen to fight for this cause to the end , and at whatever price. Corrie is the personification of real activism that is directly related to the people’s cause and fully identified with it .
The sad thing is that BDS or the so called boycott campaign- funded by Soros Institutes- and other NGOs and by the European Union – is trying to use Rachel Corrie and employ her name in their anti Apartheid campaign that seeks to recognize Israel- as a legal state- and give legality to the usurping state under the pretext of fighting its racism. Instead of boycotting the usurping state of Israel , BDS recognizes the state and boycotts the goods . This -of course – has nothing to do with Rachel Corrie who knew more than anyone the truth about Israel, and the friends of Rachel should object to using Corrie’s name in the mess that BDS is responsible for by calling for the return of Palestinians and recognizing the legality of Israel leaving them with no place to go back to . BDS is responsible for the great distortion of the Palestinian cause and for wasting the sacrifices of martyr heroes in order to reach a settling that benefits the usurping state at the expense of Palestinians . How far is this from Rachel’s noble goals !!
This is an extremely touching letter from the beautiful person Rachel Corrie is. It is so rare to find westerners getting to know – to the bottom- the core of the Palestinian problem . Even some Arabs have some difficulties understanding this . In this beautiful letter addressed to her parents, Rachel tries- the best she could- to reproduce the whole picture of the Palestinian plight , to spread the word and have people know what is really happening. Rachel has great difficulty doing this, she knows she’s alone in this battle as true heroes are . She has had an insight into the whole matter and which she wants to share and transmit ..
People should know what it is like to live tracked and chased and threatened in one’s life and one’s livelihood by some usurpers who have taken your land and are threatening every aspect of your life. And Rachel goes on relating the unbelievable thing happening in front of her eyes : the slow death of entire families of children and mothers and fathers . Rachel wants humanity to feel responsible for this, because humanity is accountable for what happens to humanity . Let humanity know and then act accordingly and Rachel starts with the closest persons to her: her parents and even there she has difficulty making herself understood .How to allow gardens to be destroyed and green houses and flowers and everything that makes a livelihood to be wiped out ? How to allow people to be chased out of their houses and what are those people to do when they are shelled and their houses targeted and their windows blown and broken ?
The big question for Rachel remains.: How are we letting all this happen and what makes people allow this to happen? This should not be allowed to happen . And Rachel cannot go on leading an average life and dancing and enjoying life when this is happening to Palestinians; she simply cannot . This should stop before she could resume her normal activities and go back to her life in USA. Rachel knows that the enemy might break at any moment his “racist “pledge not to attack foreigners . Rachel was intentionally killed because she knew too much , not only she had diagnosed the disease but she almost found the cure for, what was left for those people except to resist, and this is not violence said Corrie , but self defense . Thank you Rachel Corrie for this beautiful unforgettable sacrifice !!
From Rachel Corrie’s Journal, Let Me Stand Alone
Excerpt: ”I thought a lot about what you said on the phone about Palestinian violence not helping the situation. Sixty thousand workers from Rafah worked in Israel two years ago. Now only 600 can go to Israel for jobs. Of these 600, many have moved, because the three checkpoints between here and Ashkelon (the closest city in Israel) make what used to be a 40-minute drive, now a 12-hour or impassible journey. In addition, what Rafah identified in 1999 as sources of economic growth are all completely destroyed – the Gaza international airport (runways demolished, totally closed); the border for trade with Egypt (now with a giant Israeli sniper tower in the middle of the crossing); access to the ocean (completely cut off in the last two years by a checkpoint and the Gush Katif settlement). The count of homes destroyed in Rafah since the beginning of this intifada is up around 600, by and large people with no connection to the resistance but who happen to live along the border. I think it is maybe official now that Rafah is the poorest place in the world. There used to be a middle class here – recently. We also get reports that in the past, Gazan flower shipments to Europe were delayed for two weeks at the Erez crossing for security inspections. You can imagine the value of two-week-old cut flowers in the European market, so that market dried up. And then the bulldozers come and take out people’s vegetable farms and gardens. What is left for people? Tell me if you can think of anything. I can’t.
If any of us had our lives and welfare completely strangled, lived with children in a shrinking place where we knew, because of previous experience, that soldiers and tanks and bulldozers could come for us at any moment and destroy all the greenhouses that we had been cultivating for however long, and did this while some of us were beaten and held captive with 149 other people for several hours – do you think we might try to use somewhat violent means to protect whatever fragments remained? I think about this especially when I see orchards and greenhouses and fruit trees destroyed – just years of care and cultivation. I think about you and how long it takes to make things grow and what a labor of love it is. I really think, in a similar situation, most people would defend themselves as best they could. I think Uncle Craig would. I think probably Grandma would. I think I would.
You asked me about non-violent resistance.
When that explosive detonated yesterday it broke all the windows in the family’s house. I was in the process of being served tea and playing with the two small babies. I’m having a hard time right now. Just feel sick to my stomach a lot from being doted on all the time, very sweetly, by people who are facing doom. I know that from the United States, it all sounds like hyperbole. Honestly, a lot of the time the sheer kindness of the people here, coupled with the overwhelming evidence of the willful destruction of their lives, makes it seem unreal to me. I really can’t believe that something like this can happen in the world without a bigger outcry about it. It really hurts me, again, like it has hurt me in the past, to witness how awful we can allow the world to be. I felt after talking to you that maybe you didn’t completely believe me. I think it’s actually good if you don’t, because I do believe pretty much above all else in the importance of independent critical thinking. And I also realize that with you I’m much less careful than usual about trying to source every assertion that I make. A lot of the reason for that is I know that you actually do go and do your own research. But it makes me worry about the job I’m doing. All of the situation that I tried to enumerate above – and a lot of other things – constitutes a somewhat gradual – often hidden, but nevertheless massive – removal and destruction of the ability of a particular group of people to survive. This is what I am seeing here. The assassinations, rocket attacks and shooting of children are atrocities – but in focusing on them I’m terrified of missing their context. The vast majority of people here – even if they had the economic means to escape, even if they actually wanted to give up resisting on their land and just leave (which appears to be maybe the less nefarious of Sharon’s possible goals), can’t leave. Because they can’t even get into Israel to apply for visas, and because their destination countries won’t let them in (both our country and Arab countries). So I think when all means of survival is cut off in a pen (Gaza) which people can’t get out of, I think that qualifies as genocide. Even if they could get out, I think it would still qualify as genocide. Maybe you could look up the definition of genocide according to international law. I don’t remember it right now. I’m going to get better at illustrating this, hopefully. I don’t like to use those charged words. I think you know this about me. I really value words. I really try to illustrate and let people draw their own conclusions.
Anyway, I’m rambling. Just want to write to my Mom and tell her that I’m witnessing this chronic, insidious genocide and I’m really scared, and questioning my fundamental belief in the goodness of human nature. This has to stop. I think it is a good idea for us all to drop everything and devote our lives to making this stop. I don’t think it’s an extremist thing to do anymore. I still really want to dance around to Pat Benatar and have boyfriends and make comics for my coworkers. But I also want this to stop. Disbelief and horror is what I feel. Disappointment. I am disappointed that this is the base reality of our world and that we, in fact, participate in it. This is not at all what I asked for when I came into this world. This is not at all what the people here asked for when they came into this world. This is not the world you and Dad wanted me to come into when you decided to have me. This is not what I meant when I looked at Capital Lake and said: “This is the wide world and I’m coming to it.” I did not mean that I was coming into a world where I could live a comfortable life and possibly, with no effort at all, exist in complete unawareness of my participation in genocide. More big explosions somewhere in the distance outside.
When I come back from Palestine, I probably will have nightmares and constantly feel guilty for not being here, but I can channel that into more work. Coming here is one of the better things I’ve ever done. So when I sound crazy, or if the Israeli military should break with their racist tendency not to injure white people, please pin the reason squarely on the fact that I am in the midst of a genocide which I am also indirectly supporting, and for which my government largely responsible.”
The seven convicted men in the Oxford grooming case were identified by their ethnicity. In contrast, similar cases involving white men are rarely scrutinised along the same line, provided the case is given any media coverage in the first place. This sends out a crude racist message: when white men rape white girls it’s bad, but when non-white Pakistani men do it, it is so bad that it becomes unbearable to remain politically correct, and their ethnicity is identified. What is the difference between the discrimination of racially segregated America in the 1800s and the attitude towards Pakistani men in the united kingdom of 2013? Naturally, the discussion that ensued from the media headlines is how the ethnic mindset is shaped by their religion and culture; the driving force behind the crime. Alternatively the media could have simply treated the case as it is, a group of criminal men acting on opportunities and exploiting vulnerable young girls.
This is a clear example of how the main media is stoking Islamophobic culture as the norm which the far right amplifies using vulgar and crude language.
This racist message endorses the narrative of the far right who are busy demonising the entire Muslim community as paedophiles, and they resort to the usual slur of citing the lone example of the Prophet’s marriage to young Ayesha. The next morning as I was driving to work, listening to the callers on LBC, they all claimed the Quran directs Muslim men to take non-Muslim women as fair game. One would think that they had actually studied the Quran and Islamic law; this type of response shows the success of disseminating Islamophobic materials by the media. Even the host (Nick Ferrari) made the point, these criminals were not devout Muslims, and thus there are no grounds to bring religion into the discussion. Therefore, it must be a cultural disposition, although, the problem with this conclusion is that the culture of the Pakistani men is largely shaped by religion.
Why cite their ethnicity in the first place? Surely, these men are a product of our society. Moreover, they were using alcohol, drugs and having extra marital sex, these activities conform to the liberal British values and run contrary to their ethnic Pakistani culture that is shaped by Islam. Yet, suddenly, these seven men were conveniently not British but of Pakistani and Somali origin. Had these men won gold medals like Amir Khan or Mo Farah (instead of street grooming), their ethnicity would have vanished and the media would have portrayed them as model British citizens.
Through sensationalised news headlines, the media created the false impression that Pakistani men are predominantly involved in such crimes, and it is representative of the ethnic culture and mindset, hence the community is responsible.
The only way the media could make its case was by ignoring the actual crime and focus on the model of exploitation which is specific to the street groomers of Pakistani origin; thus, giving justification to the headlines inferring that Pakistani men are highly represented in such crimes. The crime is not in grooming, there is no law against establishing a relationship with a girl by giving her various gifts. It was the subsequent events of raping, injecting drugs, and prostituting the girls by force that transgressed the law. Such crimes can take place in various ways, one of which is street grooming. Indeed, is the rape of a girl via street grooming any worse than one raped at a Children’s home, on the BBC premises or in the care of a Catholic convent? Young girls could be molested in schools, their family homes, children’s homes or by celebrities such as Jimmy Savile and now with Stuart Hall, where ethnicity, culture and religion conveniently played no role.
In terms of rape, prostitution, and drugs, it is well-known that the majority of the criminals are white, as one would expect being the dominant community. The statistics show that Asian men are not disproportionately represented. Nor are the men representative of the entire Pakistani community, in fact they are a very tiny group; A group of criminals such as this exist in all ethnic groups. But subsequent explanation hardly mitigates the initial damage done, the media managed to tarnish the entire community by playing with figures. If we talk of real paedophilia involving child porn and it even includes babies on the international circuit, the majority of the culprits are white. The same argument goes for serial killers.
It is not enough for non-Muslim white pundits to make the case, they needed someone from within. Hence, they roll out the usual suspects; one of them is the so-called self-appointed Imam, Taj Hargey, until he was paraded in front of the media as an ‘expert’, nobody from the community really knew of his existence. Apart from his unorthodox and offensive views on Islam, he excels the hostile Islamophobic media, like the coolies of the British Raj he is always ready to carry the media-luggage, no wonder the Daily Mail rush to publish his baseless claims, which is: the Pakistani Muslim men view white women as cheap and thus fair game for exploitation, this happens because they are being taught this in the Mosque by the Imams.
Can anyone furnish one such lecture given by the Imams in our Mosques? Anyone with a basic knowledge of Islam knows that illicit drugs, non-consensual sex (rape) and even consensual sex (i.e. adultery and fornication) are clearly forbidden. If you want to witness such things, go to the pubs and clubs, not the Mosques! In fact, the verse in the Quran associated with forbidding these sins also refers to lowering one’s visual gaze towards the opposite sex, and not just physical contact; prevention is better than cure. The verse does not only refer to the gaze upon Muslim women by Muslim men and that would not make sense, as one can get aroused by women of any ethnicity. If we are ordered to observe this level of modesty, how can one say illegitimate sexual intercourse outside the fold of marriage is endorsed?
We have attended many mosques, and have never heard anything remotely close to what this slanderous Taj Hargey is blurting out to the media like an obedient Coolie Imam; I assume he needs the funding to continue in times of austerity. Likewise, he has no following in our community, an unknown quantity until he was paraded in front of the media, which can easily manufacture ‘Imams’ and personalities as representative of Islam or Muslims.
The media portrayal has also created the impression that Pakistani men are sexually repressed; they cannot gain easy access to Muslim women, and living in a sexually charged liberal society they prey on the abundant supply of available white women. On the LBC, callers were phoning up with tales of individual experience to tarnish the general community, and I guess the implication here is white men are upright walking saints. Men in general are predatory, that is their sexual role, they are the hunters across the animal kingdom and they would see any women that appeal to their eyes as a potential catch, especially one giving off certain signals – but regardless of how the women or girls are behaving, biology has nothing to do with ethnicity. Does anyone seriously suggest that the Oxford groomer would have turned down non-white women if the opportunity arose?
Yamin Zakaria (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Published on 20/05/2013
Richard C. Hoagland of Enterprise Mission shared his analysis of the strange hexagon (photos & video) observed on Saturn by the Cassini probe. The hexagon is made of ammonia clouds (stretching 25,000 kilometers across) that race around as though they were on a huge hexagonal racetrack, he detailed. The structure is an example of “hyperdimensional physics,” and there is a similar formation around the North Pole of Jupiter, he added.
Richard C. Hoagland is a former space science museum curator; a former NASA consultant, and during the historic Apollo Missions to the Moon, was science advisor to Walter Cronkite and CBS News. For over 20 years, Hoagland has been leading an outside scientific team in a critically acclaimed independent analysis of possible intelligently-designed artifacts on Mars. Richard and his team’s investigations have been quietly extended to include over 30 years of previously hidden data from NASA, Soviet, and Pentagon missions to the Moon.
Saturn’s hexagon is a persisting hexagonal cloud pattern around the north pole of Saturn, located at about 78°N.The sides of the hexagon are about 13,800 km (8,600 mi) long, which is longer than the Earth is wide. It rotates with a period of 10h 39m 24s, the same period as Saturn’s radio emissions from its interior. However, the hexagon doesn’t shift in longitude like other clouds in the visible atmosphere.
Saturn’s south pole does not have a hexagon, according to Hubble observations. But it does have a vortex, and there is also a vortex inside the northern hexagon.
The Holy Land needs advocates for the truth. “It is the truth, and only the truth, that will lead to peace and justice”
While the Jewish State was putting its finishing touches to Operation Cast Lead (the horrific blitzkrieg launched over Christmas-New Year 2008/9 against Gaza’s civilians, including the Christian community there), the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, joined Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks in a visit to the former Nazi camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau to demonstrate their joint solidarity against the extremes of hostility and genocide.
“This is a pilgrimage… to a place of utter profanity – a place where the name of God was profaned because the image of God in human beings was abused and disfigured,” said the Archbishop. “How shall we be able to read the signs of the times, the indications that evil is gathering force once again and societies are slipping towards the same collective corruption and moral sickness that made the Shoah possible?”
Read the signs? He needed to look no further than the hell-hole that the Holy Land had been turned into by Israel’s occupation and unfettered aggression, with Britain’s blessing… and, dare one say, without too much fuss from England’s established church either.
If ever there was a place where “the name of God was profaned” the so-called Holy Land is it.
And in 2010, just a year after that slaughter, the Archbishop announced he was planning a visit to Gaza. I asked his Lambeth Palace office if he would sit down and talk with the elected prime minister Ismail Haniyeh, man of God to man of God (for Mr Haniyeh is an imam). Would he do Gaza (and all of us) proud by spending a generous amount of his time with senior members of the Islamic faith?
His office didn’t reply.
According to the Archbishop’s website he did none of those things. And on his return he said nothing about Gaza in the House of Lords, where he had the ear of Parliament and the support of 25 other Church of England bishops.
Yet he began his Ecumenical letter that Easter by declaring: “Christians need to witness boldly and clearly”….
I was told afterwards that the Israelis initially refused the Archbishop access to Gaza and only at the last minute granted him a piddling 90 minutes, just enough for a hurried visit to the Ahli hospital and no more.
But this didn’t stop him hobnobbing with the Chief Rabbinate, paying his respects to Yad Vashem and the Holocaust, and talking with the President of Israel. Didn’t Lambeth Palace realise that his meekly accepting a situation where Israel’s thugs prevented him seeing what horrors they had inflicted, only served to legitimise the Israelis’ illegal occupation and give the Anglican Church’s stamp of approval to the vicious siege, the continuing air strikes, the persecution of Muslim and Christian communities and the regime’s utter contempt for international law and human rights?
When is ethnic cleansing not ethnic cleansing? When it’s “Newtonian energy transfer”.
In June 2011 Kairos Palestine, the voice of Palestinian Christians, felt it necessary to give the Archbishop of Canterbury a strong ticking-off for remarks he made during a BBC interview.
Rifat Kassis, co-ordinator of Kairos Palestine, said he was “deeply troubled” by the Archbishop’s “inaccurate and erroneous remarks” about the situation of Christians in the Middle East. He called the Archbishop’s failure to mention the Israeli occupation and the regime’s oppressive policies “shocking”.
In a letter to Williams he said: “You know very well that in the Bethlehem area alone there are 19 illegal Israeli settlements… and the wall that have devoured Christian lands and put Bethlehem in a chokehold. You know well that only 13% of Bethlehem area is available for Palestinian use and the wall isolates 25% of the Bethlehem area’s agricultural land. Not to mention the situation of Christians in Jerusalem, which you know very well, since you should have received reports from the Anglican Bishop in the City whose residency permit was denied by the occupying power.”
Mr Kassis ended by saying: “We would like to remind Your Grace that Christian Palestinians need advocates for the truth. It is the truth, and only the truth, that will lead to peace and justice in our home.”
So what did Archbishop Rowan Williams say to the BBC http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/articles.php/2071/christians-in-the-middle-east-archbishop-on-world-at-one that so infuriated his Palestinian brethren? Apparently it was his remarks about the ethnic cleansing of Christians, referring to extreme pressure in Iraq while suggesting that the exodus of Christians from Palestine was due to much more “un-dramatic” pressure. Williams seemed happy to use the term ‘ethnic cleansing’ in connection with Iraq but not Israel’s programme to dispossess and terrorise Palestinians.
He was also content with the UK government’s attitude. “I think the issue of religious freedom in general has very high priority in the Foreign Office at the moment. So I hope that continues.” The truth is that the British Foreign Office is infested with pro-Israel placemen and has not lifted a finger to ensure religious or any other freedoms in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Williams went on the say: “I think there are still perhaps too few people in this country who are aware of the haemorrhaging of Christian populations from the Holy Land. The fact [is] that Bethlehem, a majority Christian city just a couple of decades ago, is now very definitely a place where Christians are a marginalised minority. We want that to be a little bit higher on people’s radar… “
Interviewer: “Would you see what’s happening in Bethlehem as another example of what you’ve described as ethnic cleansing?”
Archbishop: “It’s not ethnic cleansing exactly because it’s been far less deliberate than that I think. What we’ve seen though is a kind of Newtonian passing-on of energy or force from one body to another so that some Muslim populations in the West Bank, under pressure, move away from certain areas like Hebron, move into other areas like Bethlehem. And there’s nowhere much else for Christian populations to go except away from Palestine.”
The Archbishop’s comments were “faulty and offensive”, according to Kassis, especially his claim that Muslims coming into the Bethlehem area, where space is limited, were forcing Christians out.
And I daresay exiled Palestinian Christians will be relieved to hear that their misfortune is all down to Newtonian energy effects.
Now that Williams has gone, what are we to make of the new Archbishop, Justin Welby, who came from nowhere and has Jewish immigrant roots? He was ‘accelerated’ up the ladder and served as Bishop of Durham for barely five minutes before landing the top job. It makes you wonder what influences are at work behind the scenes. Welby is touted as an expert in conflict resolution although he is not known for his concern about the Holy Land. Indeed, the Jewish Chronicle reported that Welby helped mount a Holocaust Memorial Day exhibition in Liverpool Cathedral and abstained in the vote at the Anglican Synod which endorsed the EAPPI.
Frankly, anyone who cannot bring himself to give wholehearted backing to a worthy humanitarian project like EAPPI (the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel which provides protective presence to vulnerable communities, monitors and reports human rights abuses and supports Palestinians and Israelis working together for peace), shouldn’t be leading a great Christian church.
It’s a religious war
The residency permit issue mentioned by Rifat Kassis referred to the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, Suheil Dawani, who is a classic victim of the evil machinations of the occupation. The Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem covers Israel, the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Dawani was installed in April 2007, but in March 2011 Israel cancelled his residency permit making it impossible for him to carry out his duties properly. As a non-Israeli he needed a temporary residence permit. The Israelis played silly-buggers, initially granting one then turning him down.
Here’s the explanation http://www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=17766 . “The bishop is a native of the Holy Land and has spent most of his life and ministry there, but cannot obtain either citizenship or legal residence in Israel, since he was born in Nablus, in the West Bank, which has been under Israeli occupation since 1967, but has not been annexed to Israel. East Jerusalem, on the other hand, where the Anglican Cathedral and Diocesan offices are situated, was also occupied at the same time, but Israel annexed it and considers it part of its national territory (although no other country in the world recognizes this annexation). Therefore, Bishop Dawani is considered by Israel to be a foreigner who can only visit – let alone live in – East Jerusalem with a special permit, which the Israeli authorities can either grant or deny at their sole discretion.”
Dawani was wide open to this sort of dirty trick. After six months of aggravation and international pressure the illegal occupiers granted residency permits to the bishop and his family. But here’s the catch… those permits will have to be renewed when they expire, whenever that may be or whenever the Israelis choose.
Do Christian clergy need an Army thunderflash up their collective cassock before they understand there’s a religious war going on in the Holy Land and the churches of Western Christendom, regrettably, are not engaging in it, even though the source from which they draw their authority, inspiration and teachings is right there? They much prefer to appease the invader regime and leave their brother churches in Jerusalem and the Middle East to fight alone.
The Zionist wing of the Church of England?
Ever heard of the CMJ (the Church’s Ministry among Jewish People)?
Apparently it has a proud 200-year history and feels a need to provide in-depth teaching on the Jewish roots of the Christian faith. In its statement of faith the CMJ says Christians have “a special responsibility to love, defend and share the Gospel with God’s historic, chosen People, the Jews”.
And this is the CMJ’s attitude to the Israel-Palestine struggle…
- CMJ believes that both Jewish and Gentile believers (including our Palestinian brothers and sisters) are united in the one “olive tree”. In fact, Jesus has made Jew and Gentile believers one “and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility…”
The reality is that the Israelis are still building the hated barrier and love nothing better than destroying whole groves of olive trees.
- Gentiles are “fellow-citizens with God’s people”… God loves all people equally. This means that he loves the Israelis and the Palestinians equally.
So we can safely ignore all claims, including those made by the CMJ, that Jews are God’s “chosen ones”?
- CMJ… has always seen the return of the Jewish people to their ancient land, and on a national scale to their Messiah, as a precursor to the return of Jesus in glory.
Their return is achieved by expelling the Arabs (whom God loves equally), slaughtering those who resist and trashing just about all of God’s commandments. Jesus is really going to be impressed when he arrives.
- CMJ rejoices that, after 2000 years… the Jewish people now, at last, have returned to the land from which the majority were dispersed in AD70…
Rejoice in the Jewish occupation and you rejoice in the murderous crime spree that goes with it.
- CMJ recognizes that the State of Israel was set up as a result of a majority vote of the United Nations in 1947… However the Ministry does not hold any official position as to the appropriate location of the borders of the state.
If CMJ recognises the UN’s 1947 Partition Plan it should also accept the borders on which it was based. Instead the CMJ appears to advocate a ‘blank cheque’ for the Zionist entity’s territorial greed
- CMJ Ministry recognizes that the Israelis, after 2000 years of anti-Semitism, face a resurgence of anti-Semitism, a military threat from various nations, Palestinian terrorism and a threat to the stability of their safe homeland through demographic factors.
Is it any wonder? Israel, with its nuclear arsenal and American-supplied state of the art weaponry, easily outguns its neighbours in the Middle East and even threatens Europe. Its lack of restraint and contempt for international law, demonstrated repeatedly, makes it the prime menace to the region. Meanwhile Palestinians have every right to defend their homes as best they can.
It’s obvious that the CMJ adopts the Zionist position and encourages the physical restoration of the Jewish people to the biblical Land of Israel regardless of the suffering and injustice this causes. Nevertheless the CMJ was adopted as an official ministry of the Church of England in 1995, Archbishop George Carey presiding, and has been operating in the shadows all this time. Is this the Church of England’s official Zionist wing?
Carey is remembered for opposing the Church of England’s divestment from companies, such as Caterpillar, which profit from Israel’s illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories, saying he was “ashamed of being an Anglican”. http://www.jpost.com/International/Lord-Carey-ashamed-to-be-an-Anglican
Signs of hope from Scotland
Altogether it’s been a dismal performance by most (though not all) churches. But this week, hopefully, the Church of Scotland will give a new lead at their Assembly in Edinburgh to stop the rot.
Although under great pressure to re-write the Church’s report ‘The Inheritance of Abraham?’, which challenges the Jews’ divine right to the Palestinians’ homeland and is condemned by a furious Jewish lobby as a “truly hurtful” and “inquisition-era” document, they actually beefed it up! For example, the revised version re-states emphatically that they do not support the idea that ancient scripture offers anyone a privileged right to territory, and it not only urges the UK Government and the European Union to use pressure to stop further expansion of Israeli settlements but also to remove the existing ones.
In its Response to the Church of Scotland (revised version) 17 May 2013, the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC) referred to what it called, “The arrogance of telling the Jewish people how to interpret Jewish texts and Jewish theology . . . “which ScoJeC describes as “breathtaking”. For an example of truly breathtaking arrogance ScoJec should take a look at the Zionist ideology’s claim to speak for all Jews, which necessarily implicates them in Israel’s war crimes and flagrant violations of humanitarian law. The voices of Jews who are appalled by this assumption are ignored. Two such voices can be discovered in the books by Anna Baltzer (Witness in Palestine) and Miko Peled (The General’s Son). In Witness in Palestine, Anna Baltzer describes her first-hand experiences of Israel’s cruel and discriminatory persecution of the Palestinian people. Miko Peled, who was brought up with Zionist mythology, writes in The General’s Son of the journey of discovery that he undertook, prompted by the death of his much-loved niece at the hands of suicide bomber.
The ScoJeC response refers to “the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security” and expresses approval of the Church of Scotland’s condemnation of “all acts of terrorism, violence, and intimidation.” The ScoJeC response also refers to “the near disappearance of Christians from the Palestinian Territories.” This last observation is an insulting blast of arrogance and ignorance. Israel is directly responsible for the plight of Christianity in Palestine. Both the Occupation Army and the settlers, sometimes jointly, assault and intimidate Palestinians at prayer, targeting both mosques and churches. As a Kairos document explains, “We Palestinian Christians declare that the military occupation of our land is a sin against God and humanity, and that any theology that legitimises the occupation is far from Christian teachings . . .” (http://www.kairospalestine.ps/) One might add that it is also far from the teachings of pre-Zionist Judaism. When it comes to the oft-repeated “right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security” it should be borne in mind that Israel, along with the political leadership of powerful Western countries, never refer to the right of Palestine to exist in peace and security. Regarding the condemnation of “all acts of terrorism, violence, and intimidation”, the Zionists would have us believe that Israel never commits such acts, yet the day-by-day reality of life under Zionist rule proves the inhumanity of the ideology.
The Israeli Occupation Army enforces a permit system for the benefit of settlers that determines where Palestinians may live in their own land. Every area of Israeli-Occupied Palestinian territory experiences varied and arbitrary restrictions of movement imposed by the Israeli Army. The lack of freedom of movement is the frustrating and humiliating background to daily life for the Occupied Palestinian people, whose suffering includes a variety of human rights abuses, from night home invasions to wanton acts of agricultural and economic sabotage.
Access to safe, clean water is a fundamental human right yet, across the Occupied West Bank, Israel’s illegal settlements have completely free access to water. Settler homes enjoy full swimming pools and well-watered gardens while Palestinian access to their own water is severely restricted. Israel compounds this crime in two ways: (1) The Zionist state forces Palestinians to pay the Israeli government for what little water they are allowed and (2) at the same time, Israel forbids Palestinians to sink wells or even build water storage facilities. Thus the Israeli regime profits while maintaining crippling control over a captive population’s water supply. In addition, reports by both the World Bank and the United Nations Environment Programme (www.unep.org/PDF/dmb/UNEP_Gaza_EA.pdf) show that the water crisis in Gaza is likely to be both critical and irreversible by 2020. The reports show that Gaza is almost completely dependent on a coastal aquifer but that, due to low rainfall, it has now become filled with undrinkable sea water. Both international bodies express concern that Israeli military occupation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip means severe limitations on people’s access to essential water supplies.
Israel places checkpoints at the entrances to towns and villages to prevent people entering or leaving. Interference with people attempting to move around towns and villages consists of blocking roads with concrete blocks, barbed-wire and/or earth mounds on roads. People attempting to transport farm produce and other goods find obstacles placed on the roads by the Israeli Army. Trucks have to be unloaded by hand and similarly re-loaded onto vehicles brought from beyond the obstructions. Road closures are used to isolate areas wherever the Israeli Army considers the presence of Palestinians to be ‘illegal’. When the Israeli Army declares a curfew, anyone appearing in the street or at a window is liable to be shot dead. There are instances of Palestinian mothers giving birth at checkpoints, having been denied ready access to hospital.
Agricultural and economic sabotage
Farmers are prohibited, and often terrorised by both illegal settlers and the Israeli Army, from going to work on their land. Occupation settlers and the Israeli Army uproot or set fire to olive trees and bulldoze Palestinian crops. The Gaza fishing industry is ruined by the enforcement of a draconian fishing limit. The Israel Navy forces Palestinian fishing boats to remain within an alternating three- to six-nautical-mile, over-fished zone, sometimes at the cost to crews of life, limb and property.
Gaza City’s ruined international airport is permanently closed. Palestinians needing to enter or leave Palestine can do so only with Israeli permission. In addition to Israel’s occasional massive bombing raids, Gaza residents are forced to live with the constant fear of overflying drones and the traumatising effects of sonic booms created by Israeli war-planes. The effects on the children of Gaza are particularly distressing.
House demolitions and evictions
The Israeli Army destroys Palestinian houses built without Israel’s permission and invades homes, very often at dead of night, often abducting Palestinian minors. The soldiers frequently terrorise the youngsters with threats and/or by blindfolding them and tying their wrists behind their backs. Many children are illegally taken to prison in Israel, where more terror is practised against them, such as solitary confinement and shackling in painful positions for long periods.
Israel’s toxic hazard weapon
Israel has devised yet another technique designed to to drive Palestinians from their land and weaken their resolve to resist. It is a direct assault on their health that carries the menace of further agricultural and economic sabotage. For instance, activity at Israel’s Barkan industrial complex generates growing quantities of polluting waste-water from the production of plastics, lead and other commodities that endanger human health. Pollution from Barkan flows into the streams that run through valleys or wadis where there are Palestinian farms as well as towns. Israeli Occupation settlements discharge their untreated waste to add to the pollution. This practice poisons Palestinian land, crops, farm animals and essential, if meagre, water supplies. Settlers – with Israeli Army assistance – release wild pigs, that reproduce rapidly, into Palestinian areas, spoiling agriculture and damaging olive trees, fencing and small buildings. The pigs cannot be controlled because Israel will not allow the people to own or use firearms, or even knives to kill the pigs. Poison cannot be used because of the danger to Palestinian farm animals.
Israeli Army checkpoints feed semi-wild dogs to release at night in Palestinian areas. Even in towns like Beit Sahour, the sound of dogs continually barking during the small hours makes sleep difficult and discourages people from moving around during the late evening or early morning. In addition, when conducting home invasions, the Israeli Army often uses dogs to terrorise residents.
Forced evacuations of homes to facilitate Israeli Army military exercises
An example of this practice is contained in an International Women’s Peace Service (IWPS) report (No 459 / Human Rights Summary: Weekly Military Training in ‘Atuf, Jordan Valley http://iwps.info) on the Israeli Army’s terrorising of a Bedouin community in the Jordan Valley. The report tells of a continual programme of Israeli military training in the village of ‘Atuf that traumatises the population. Every week 22 families amounting to 172 individuals, are displaced from their homes from 4am to 5pm by Israeli military live-fire exercises. Since 1967 Israeli troops have been forcing the Bedouin people to leave their houses each week. Whole families and their livestock are displaced to outlying fields to the sound of gunfire and explosions. The entire area is designated area “C” and there is a ‘closed military zone’ where nothing is allowed to be built or improved. An entire valley of fertile farmland lies uncultivated while the nearby Occupation settlement of Beqa constantly expands. In both ‘Atuf and Tamun countless houses have been demolished by the Israeli Army and many more are under demolition orders. Since 1970, 14 people have been killed and 30 have lost limbs due to exploding abandoned Israeli Army ordnance. The explosives can be as small as a pen, easily mistaken by children as harmless. The continual sound of explosions and gunfire results in many cases of psychological trauma, especially to children, and the only school in the district is within earshot of the weekly Israeli military exercises.
Israeli Army violence
The Israeli Occupation Army enforces many of the above restrictions with the threat, or actual use, of military action as well as personal physical assault. Thus, daily life for Palestinians is conducted in an all-pervasive atmosphere of violence and fear imposed by an occupying foreign army. In addition to all of the above, Palestinians have to contend with Israel’s anti-Palestinian laws of discrimination: There are more than 50 Israeli laws (http://adalah.org/eng/Israeli-Discriminatory-Law-Database) that discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel in all areas of life, including their rights to political participation, access to land, education, state budget resources and criminal procedures. Some of the laws also violate the rights of refugees and Palestinians living under belligerent Israeli military Occupation.
There is nothing more arrogant than the mind that ensnares itself in blind adherence to ideology. The belief that one people, ethnicity or religion has superior rights over others, when put into practice, necessarily leads to acts of inhumanity and war crimes. Thus it has all too tragically come to pass in Palestine with Palestinian refugees refused their internationally-recognised right of return purely because they are not Jewish. The world community forced the Palestinian people into this nightmarish existence, ignoring their pleas to be treated justly in their homeland. The Church of Scotland has been a shining example to us all, reminding us of the world community’s responsibilities towards the Palestinian people as well as to the wider cause of upholding the dearly-bought provisions of international humanitarian law.