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News ::
Arab League reacts to First Israeli Astronaut (english)
19 Jan 2003
The Arab League "strongly condemned" today the launch of the NASA space shuttle Columbia with Israeli astronaut Col. Ilan Ramon on board. "This is surely but the first step towards complete and outright illegal Zionist occupation of space," said Arab League spokesman Abr Souffla.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - The Arab League "strongly condemned" today the launch of the NASA space shuttle Columbia with Israeli astronaut Col. Ilan Ramon on board. "This is surely but the first step towards complete and outright illegal Zionist occupation of space," said Arab League spokesman Abr Souffla. "We will not sit idly by and permit this usurpation of a cosmos that by birthright belongs to the Palestinian people and their Arab and Muslim brethren. The Israeli occupation of Palestine must end, and the Zionists must not be permitted any further territorial grabs of Historic Palestine, whether in the West Bank or in low earth orbit." In Gaza City today, thousands of Palestinians marched in the streets, many firing weapons into the air. "With our blood and our souls, we will strike
the orbital Zionists," chanted the protestors. Sheikh Yermani-Makr,
appearing on Palestinian television, said, "It is not enough that the
unbelievers have come on our land, but now they also take our heavens?
How can this be permitted?" Palestinian youths also took to the streets in Nablus, chanting, "One! two! Where's the Arab manned space program?" In Nablus, three Palestinian youths were dragged through the streets by members of the al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade, who accused them of being "collaborators." I Witnesses said that the teenagers were heard making positive statements about the American science fiction program Star Trek, several of whose main characters were played by Jewish actors. Reports of the teenagers having received "atomic wedgies" were unconfirmed. In New York today, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said that an Israeli presense in space is "unhelpful" and would only serve to further aggravate tensions between Israelis and Arabs. The sentiment was echoed from Madrid by
EU representative Javier Solana, who said that what the Middle East needed was more negotiation, and "less cosmic adventurism."

Yaser Arafat's live speech on the Qatar-based pan-Arab satellite network al-Jazeera today was quickly discontinued as he began talking about "Martyrs by the millions, floating toward Jupiter."
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