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News ::
El-Aksa
03 Oct 2000
Editorial about Al-Aksa.
Dear Rona,
HI! How's life? How are your classes etc? and how are your living arrangements? What are your plans? At the rate things are burning up around here, there won't be an Israel for you to return to!!!! We are all scared to death. Our soldier is in Officer's Training and we hope that they don't take him out and send him to battle with the Palestinians. It is all very frightning. There is no reason in the world why I cannot go and visit the Dome of the Rock! If the Arabs can wander around West Jerusalem, visit Yad V'Shem, I should be able to visit their holy sites too. It's just a great chance for Arafat to flex his muscles--- but imagine how many people have died on both sides. INSANITY! No more news WRITE!

Dear Grandma,
It's almost 3 a.m. here at the Indy Media Center and I was just about to compose a short editorial about what is going on over there. As usual I disagree with what you wrote although I'm not sure where you were going. This summer, while on a Palestinian led tour of Mosques within the Old City of Jerusalem I was escorted out of the Dome of the Rock. I was kneeling in exhaustion, having waited tables into the morning. They thought I was praying. When I explained my intentions to the guard, he apologized and let me return. I did not. I was confused and insulted. How could they mistake me for the likes of the young orthodox man I saw outside the gate being questioned by ISRAELI police for carrying a Tora and ripping his shirt in mourning to observe the temple's occupation by Palestinians. I asked Muslim friends to explain. Islam has intricate laws that pertain to prayers and conduct at holy sites. My actions were disrespectful of those laws. Furthermore they were threatening because of the long violent history at the site. Ariel Sharon who's violent history of disreguarding UN laws provided Palestinians this week with a reason to fear Middle Eastern Studies majors like me who kneel when they're tired. His presence, along with soldiers and orthodox, was disrespectful and threatening to Muslim Palestinians attending Friday sermons. A slap in the face of those disregarded daily by the state. Muslim Palestinians receive fewer social benefits than any Israeli citizen, only those without a passport are less privileged. Remember, these are bare bones benefits such as medical care, housing, and water rights we're talking about. Palestinians have been forced to patiently watch Clinton dictate orders to his pawns, Arafat and Barak. And hope for a miracle to provide substance and relevance to the "talks", at which there is little. Why are you surprised at their response to Sharon's insults, pouring salt over an open wound, let alone the Israeli Defense Forces' own excessively violent response. It was Israel's responsibility to find a lasting solution as the sovereign power in the lands of Palestine. It had decades to do so, but American interests have left Palestine and Israel divided internally as much as externally. These interests are those of coorporations invested in oil and weapons; not democracy. Democratic or Republican, the US administration is out to promote coorporate interests at the cost of those who cannot defend themselves against capitalism. We should be praying together, brother to brother, this year in Jerusalem.
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IMC begins a dialog
03 Oct 2000
i've been following the conflict in israel/palestine over the past few days and have been quite shocked that the IMC is not attempting to cover this event. this said, i'm glad that this editorial has appeared to begin the process.

i am neither jew nor muslim, though i've studied the region for almost two years now. the issue between isrealis and palestinians is a complex web of issues dating back centuries at some points, so this conflict is a tricky one to solve.

several things i find critical in the past 50 years are these points:

when the british forces left palestine after zionists and palestinians began to get violent, they left all of their equipment, trucks, ect. with the palestinians.

when zionists declared the nation of israel, all middle eastern jews were effectively forced out of their homes thorughout the middle east. over 200,000 jews, living peacefully in iraq, were forced out of their ancestrial homes...with no chance of returning or gaining compensation.

during the late 40s, palestinians fled their homes in fear of retaliation. according to their class status, most of the poorer palestinians ended up in refugee camps. at times other arab countries controlled these camps, but palestinians were never given citizenship status, democratic rights, etc. by neighboring arab countries.

at no time since the israelis took over the west bank, at least from my studies, have other arab nations attempted to assist displaced palestinians in any great means.

of course, the issue regarding displaced jews throughout the arab world isn't even discussed.

as for the Al-Aksa, i find it ironic that any one tribe can claim the temple mount as their own. jerusalem has been conquered by various cultures for thousands of years. king david effectively took jerusalem as the capital of his kingdom centuries before the prophet mohammad started the muslim movement.

to say that israel is a beefed up military zone in the middle east, supporting u.s. needs, is a valid argument. on the flip side of that, you can also view israel as the last stronghold of jewish culture in the whole middle east. of course they'd have a huge military presence, since that is their last front in their historical homeland. the analogy of seeing the fear and rage of a cornered dog comes to mind.

i give no solutions b/c there are many and the way is complex. the situation seems extremely tribal to me, grudges held by two cultures that sometimes don't mix well. but why can't they work out a lasting peace. if jews lived in iraq for centuries among arabs, there should be some common ground for the israelis and palestinians.

i hope my comments are factual (i am not a professional middle eastern specialist) and i hope that the IMC can become a common ground for discussing the issue.
Chicago IMC covers Palestine daily!
05 Oct 2000

Just a brief response to your post. Both the Chicago IMC and San Francisco IMC (indybaymedia) have carried
posts on the latest events in occupied Palestine, and info on the almost daily solidarity demos going on around the US since clashes began after Sharon's provacation the Haram Al Sharif. Indeed, Chicago IMC has offered literally daily updates from the single best website in Palestine on breaking news - produced by the Al Addameer Prisoner's Support Organization. Chicago IMC also has posted info from Al-Awda-The Palestine Right of Return Coalition, and covered other news from Chicago's 80,000 strong Palestinian community. IMC volunteers have also
encouraged groups like Al Awda, ADC and others to post info on the IMC global site as well.

That said, the best way to insure that stories important to you get up is to get actively involved with the IMC process itself. Post a story. volunteer with an IMC working group.in your area. IMC is reader-user driven and
committed to providing an accessable non-corporate democratic media alternative that groups and communities who have been disenfranchised by the corporate press worldwide can use. And that includes Ramallah, Nablus, and Al-Quds, well as Seattle, Chiapas and Prague. As for the Israeli IMC site-well here's hoping we see an
IMC - Palestine as well.

Dick Reilly
Outreach Working Group
Chicago IMC.








Boston Committee on the Middle East web page
06 Oct 2000
Bringing together two topics of interest to Boston IMC'ers, I'd like to let you all know about the web page of the Boston Committee on the Middle East: http://www.salam.org.

We do a semi-regular online zine. The latest issue is about the US presidential elections, including an analysis of the candidates' positions on the Middle East (Israel/Palestine, Iraq, etc). Here is the table of contents for this issue:



Special Issue on the U.S. Presidential Elections
and the sorry excuse of candidates that the two major parties have put forward.
Vol. 4, No. 4

Quotes of the Month (this month we bring you 2)
"What's the difference?"
Moderator Jim Lehrer, after hearing both candidates' answers to one of the questions
during the first of the so-called presidential debates.

"Our admiration for Israel has never been greater; our commitment to Israel has never
been stronger; our friendship with Israel has never been deeper; America stands by
Israel now and forever. Our special relationship with Israel is unshakable; it is ironclad,
eternal and absolute. It does not depend on the peace process; it transcends the peace
process."
Speech by Al Gore (Al Whore?) at the 39th Annual Policy Conference of the American
Israel Public Affairs Committee, May 18, 2000. See below for the full speech.

News and Analysis
- ADC Election 2000 Update: The American Arab Antidiscrimination Committee reviews
the two major parties' foreign policy positions and sees no difference.
- A Voice Crying in the Wilderness, Edward Said endorses Ralph Nader of the Green
Party
- Al Gore's Speech to the Israeli Lobby. No wonder his nickname is Al Whore.
- A Long Hot Summer of Punditry. Norman Solomon analyzes the major-party
conventions.

Activism
- Please take a moment to sign the online petition affirming that every Palestinian has a
legitimate, individual right to absolute restitution of all his or her property and the right to
return to his or her original home.
- Online petition to the E.U. and U.S. governments: Prosecute Israeli war criminal
- Israel/Palestine Update: Will there be peace? Justice? Wednesday, October 25th 7-9pm,
MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Link of the Month
While the Boston Committee on the Middle East does not officially endorse any
candidates, we strongly urge our readers to consider all candidates. One candidate who
has consistently stood with the powerless (and who is on record opposing aid to Israel
and in favor of ending sanctions against Iraq) is Ralph Nader, candidate of the Green
Party. His official web page is at http://www.votenader.org.

See also:
http://www.salam.org
Israel, the land of monsters
07 Oct 2000
These fucking Israeli jews have are completely without conscience. They act worse than hyenas - blowing away kids on the street - you would think that these people might have learned something from the past, but I guess not. They would have made grandpa Hitler proud. Remember when they bombed the hell out of a refugee camp a few years back killing some 100 people? A swedish UN officer did the right thing when he got a video of a Israeli drone scoping out the place right before the bombing, instead of giving the tape to the the US/Israeli lapdogs at the UN (his bosses) he released to French media, and human rights organizations. Yeah, the fucking jews tried to cover that one up too, but I guess when when you are naziesque as they are, it's really hard to hide the blood...Fuck Israel.
Serbia and Israel
07 Oct 2000
There has been little coverage of these events here because they dont relate to the sites content very directly. WTO and convention protests and debates over 'what is anarchism' are hobbies and fashionable poses next to the real deal.
Isreal is not alone
07 Oct 2000
Isreal is not alone in the murder of children or in the opression of minorities. I agree with your criticism of the Isreali police and the murder of children can not go unpunished but I don't think it should be placerd as a blanket criticism of all Isrealis or Jews. The world has certainly seen enough bloodshed and no religious or ethnic group is exempt from atrocities. I think you have to make a distinction between the state which supports the killing and a blanket criticism of an entire group of people.

Peace
-Todd
wait a minute...."fuck israel"?
07 Oct 2000
i don't believe any form of violent war is an ethical thing...and certainly the israeli soldiers that have been firing at unarmed civilians and children are commiting gruesome and sad atrocities....but alot of these soldiers are also basically kids themselves, and have grown up in an environment of war, where palestinian terrorist attacks have specifically targeted buses full of women and children. There are fundamentalists on both sides, and these are the people that are perpetuating the violence, by creating simple extremes of us verse them, when the issues, as raised in one of the above posts, are very complex. Whomever posted the entry that ended with "fuck israel" is creating a violent sculpture of thought forms that closely resembles those that precede all actions one might label as atrocities. Please don't be so dense, as it will surely lead you in this direction.
response to article
08 Oct 2000
thank you for your words of truth, im in israel amid the flurry of bullets and the honest words of the outside world is comforting...i have been shot at number of times, all synchronize by chants of death to jews! there is no and was no hope for peace just autonomy....blessings to all
Let's not equate victimizer with victim here
08 Oct 2000
Regarding the comments from all the apologists for Israel, I would like to say this: In the conflict between PALESTINIANS and Israelis, one side is the opressor, one side is the oppressed; one side is the "ethnic cleansor" and one side has been "ethnically cleansed;" one side is doing 90% of the shooting and one side is doing 90% of the dying. And anybody who tries to equate the two sides is just an apologist for the opressor. And this includes all of those who want peace and "compromise" without justice.

AndI have this to say to the writer who tries to excuse the behavior of the Israeli soldiers by saying that they're kids themselves who grew up as victims of terrorist attacks on buses: you are a hypocrite. First of all, the number of terrorist attacks on Israeli civilian targets has historically been so few and far between (compared to the number of Israeli attacks on civilian targets in Lebanon, Palestine, etc.) that VERY FEW of these "kids" would have experienced one. Besides, if hearing about such an act is an excuse for the behavior that we're seeing, then what the Palestinians have been through during the past 50 years should give them license to do pretty much anything they want, right??? It is true that ultimately the war criminals here are Barak, Sharon, the Israeli generals giving the orders, and of course Bill Clinton, Al Whore, and the Israeli lobby to which Clinton/Whore sold their Middle East policy back in 1992 (another reason to fight for campaign finance reform). On the other hand, the Nuremberg trials established the rule that following illegal orders is also a crime.

Of course there are courageous and fair-minded Israelis too. Gush Shalom (http://www.gush-shalom.org/) has been fighting for JUSTICE as a pre-requisite to peace. Unfortunately they are a small minority.
See also:
http://www.salam.org
First-hand reports
08 Oct 2000
GUSH SHALOM - pob 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033 - http://www.gush-shalom.org/

Press Release


Gush Shalom (The Israeli Peace Bloc) received the following information from our Arab contacts, inhabitants of Nazareth: At about 7.00 PM today, a mob numbering at 1, 000 left the Jewish town Upper Nazareth and descended upon the neighboring Arab town of Nazareth, some holding clubs and other having firearms. They broke into the Eastern Neighborhood of Nazareth and started hitting and shooting indiscriminately at its inhabitants. The police stood aside and did not interfere, but when inhabitants of Nazareth rallied to defend themselves, the police attacked them - first with tear gas and later with live ammunition. There are many wounded, and at least one Arab inhabitant was killed. At the time of writing, the police is still shooting at inhabitants of Nazareth. Today's attack followed an attack yesterday upon the Arabs who live in Upper Nazareth itself, which included an attack upon the home of Knesset Member Azmi Bishara. Then, too, the police stood aside.

What is happening in Nazareth today is a pogrom, bearing all the hallmarks which were well known to Jews in Czarist Russia - primarily te collusion between the racist attackers and the police. This is a day of shame for the state of Israel - and it is a warning sign for the disaster in store, if the country does not rid itself of the racist scourage. Gush Shalom calls for the immediate sacking of Alik Ron, the openly racist commander of the Northern Sector Police, under whose aegis this crime had taken place. Gush Shalom also warns Prime Minister Barak to drop the mad idea of inviting arch-provocateur Ariel Sharon into his government. The mere rumor of Sharon's imminent entry into the government has already aroused extremist groups to violence all over the country; his actual presence at the helm will be disaster which the country may not survive.

Nazareth seems not an isolated case. Reports of the same kind are coming from different places, both from the occupied territories where armed settlers are reported to be simultaneously attacking many Palestinian villages and towns as well as the Arab neigborhoods in East Jerusalem. The simultaneity and the exact similarity in tactics suggests preplanning and coordination.

Further details: Adam Keller, Gush Shalom Spokesperson 972-(0)3-5565804 First hand information from Nazareth: Dr. Nabila Espanyoli 972-(0)50-581709 or Samira Khouri 972-(0)6-6570650

========================================================
JERUSALEM CAPITAL OF TWO STATES
Add this to all your mail
(and suggest to your friends to do the same)
========================================================


[As you read try to put this into perspective. Taking into account population size, it is as if one-third of the population of Washington, DC would have been shot by a foreign occupation army during the past 10 days -- more than all the government officials of the USA.]

Please Help Us !

The killing of the Palestinian civilians continues. The Emergency rooms at our hospitals are still busy trying desperately to safe the lives of kids with shuttered heads, chests and limbs by live bullets, anti-tank bullets and rockets. This is true and serious, it is not an interesting piece of fiction.

Our demonstrations are confronted by every kind of deadly weapon. I've just came from work at the Emergency rooms in Nablus City in the West Bank. The situation is horrible and painful. It is worse than a real war, because in wars both sides have weapons to defend themselves. But here we have nothing to defend our families. We either forget about our occupied land, or get killed wildly, this is the Israeli code of civilization for this millenium. But we choose to say NO. Because we believe that we have rights worth defending, and because we believe in you, our supporters all over the world.

Its time for you to help, as we desperately need you.

In Nablus today, a 9 years old boy taking part in a peaceful demonstration approached a strange object on the side of the street and picked it, minutes later the kid arrived at the hospital emergency room with his right hand shuttered and right thigh severely injured.

In Nablus today, Mohammad was shot in his thigh, as two of his friends carried him to the ambulance both were shot, Musa in his face, and Khaled in his shoulder. Musa went into deep coma as his jaw, tongue, and right side of his head shuttered away.

The situation in Palestine is very bad and dangerous. People are being killed and seriously injured every where. The Israeli army opens fire on every demonstration. Settlers close the roads and attack civilians in their cars and fields. We are not safe to go out side to seek medical care or food.

We are hopeless, we do not have weapons to launch painful attacks against the Israeli army. We only have the stones of our lost land to throw, and we have our bare bodies to receive their bullets and rockets back.

This is our land, and we will continue to fight with all the means and ways we have against the occupying force. But we need your help, our brothers, sisters, friends, supporters all over the world. At these horrible days we critically need every kind of help you can do for the people of Palestine. Whatever your place in the world, whatever your position and circle of influence, you are able to help.

We do not hate the Jews, but we love our land. And for our land, we will fight endlessly. We will continue to throw stones at the merciless occupying forces, and when stones are over we will throw olive branches, and when they are over we'll throw our dishes and forks, and when they are over we'll throw our bodies. It is OUR land, our fields, our trees, our homes, our families, our springs, our sky and clouds.

Please write for Palestine, demonstrate, donate, and create awareness among those who know nothing about our suffering. Please we need you.

Thameen Darby
Medical Student - Rafedia Hospital - Nablus/Palestine - 10/06
Palestinian freedom = Palestinian democracy?
09 Oct 2000
I'm clear on the Palestinians' desire to be free from an oppressive "first world" military state, but I am not quite convinced that this is freedom outside the realm of religious beliefs.

Israel is barely a democratic state that can keep coalition governments in power for full term. They are mostly one religion, though have tolerated other religions during the past 50 years.

The Palestinian Authority and the PLO have constantly displeased the Palestinain people due to corruption. I wouldn't regard the PA and the PLO as a democratic model of government for the occupied territories of Palestine.

Most governments in the Middle East are either monarchies, dictatorships, or theocracies based on Muslim principals.

These observations do not make me want to get involved on either side of the Palestinian issue, eventhough Israeli violence is not acceptable. I do not see the Palestinian fight for freedom as a fight for democratic, or anarchistic, freedom. After their sacking of the Tomb of Joseph, Palestinians simply want to create another Muslim state without the basic freedoms I fought for in Seattle.

Who lived in Palestine is irrelevant. Jews were there centuries before Muslims. The temple mount in Jerusalem was holy to the Jews centuries before it became holy to the Muslims. Jews and Muslims alike were conquered countless times by various empires.

If we are all agreed that corporate control of the planet should cease, then Middle Eastern countries should quit providing the crude oil for all of our SUVs. They should learn what democracy looks like by creating equality for all and not "pushing Jews to the sea". Just like the colonial slave trade: where there's demand, there's someone there to give it to you.

Palestinians are definitely underdogs in terms of weapons, but neither side is right in this argument.

What would happen if the Iraqi government let Iraqi Jews move back to their ancestrial homes?

How about if Spain offered to give all the gold back to the Jews they pushed out in the late 1490s?

What if the Catholic church compensated Jews, Muslims, and Christians in Palestine for all of their atrocities during the Crusades?

I just hope the outcome of this continued struggle will be one where the poeple win a chance to have a voice, not to just control a piece of land.
A Clarification
09 Oct 2000
I never meant to justify the atrocities comitted against the Palistinian people by the Isreali government. I only felt that the post that ended with fuck Isreal streiotyped an entire group of people not all of whom are guilty or support the actions of their government. The Isreali government and those soldiers that indiscriminesntly kill civilians are certainly at fault and I do not blame the palistinians at all for their anger tword the Isealis. Trust me I would be out their as well fighting them if I was in the shoes of the palistinian. However I think one has to draw the line at justified anger and being anti-Isreali or anti-Jew which was all I was trying to get across.

-Todd
Missing the point
10 Oct 2000
Let's backtrack, just a little. Remember just a little while ago, the Israelis and Palestinians were brokering a peace agreement? Now what exactly was put on the table by Barak at these peace negotiations, and how did Arafat respond? Barak offered a capital in East Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority, which was a move that stretched far beyond any imaginable concession from just a year ago. Surely, the Palestinians wouldn't have "sovereignty" over the Temple Mount, but consider these two questions: Why, if Islamic authorities already control the Temple Mount, is political sovereignty necessary? And have the Palestinians really had a problem, before they started their own bloody riot, in getting to their mosque and worshipping freely? For that matter, how much access to the Western Wall was allowed to the Israelis and jews of the world when East Jerusalem was occupied by Jordan and resided in by Palestinians? No access was allowed, and jews were shot and killed by snipers above the Western Wall as a new generation entered their holiest site for the first time in their lives that they have been allowed to. But the difference between the two situations is that in the case of the Six Day War of 1967, jews were not allowed to visit their holy sites, whereas muslims can go and pray on top of the temple mount as much as they desire. Arafat had the opportunity to secure a capital in Jerusalem for his Palestinian state, and for whatever reasons, out of fear of assassination or in some sneaky diplomatic maneuver, he withdrew from negotiations and didn't even suggest an alternative or anything but an ultimatum! And the truth is, if you ask the Palestinians who are rioting in Israel, they don't just want to stop at East Jerusalem, but they want to reclaim the whole country, which is a fine thing to do to the only truly democratic power in the Middle East, and one established by the UN at that! The media is not slanted, or at least not in the way of the jews, as a picture was published of a bloodied jewish american student who was depicted in the New York Times as a Palestinian (although it was later detracted). If you want truth, read the newspaper and not the independent media. A truly intelligent person can discover for themselves where the real slant is.
Israel a democracy? yeah right
10 Oct 2000
If Israel is such a democracy, how come the Jews have shot so many kids and tore down so many Palestinian homes to give to jewish settlers? Are muslims allowed to vote? And yes, let's backtrack back to the UN days, whose land did the Imperial powers under the facade of UN take away to give to the jews? And what happened to the people who were living there before? Oh, I see, after living there for a millenium, the people who in what was then Palestine kindly gave their homes to the Jews. Give me a break...
Aggreeance with Nahvon
10 Oct 2000
I would have to agree with many of the things that Nahvon stated about that region and the conflicts that have been going on over the decades, and actually, over the centuries. I also find it hard to sit there and blame the big bad United States America for all the problems in that region. We aren't that big a puppetmaster. Don't forget, after the "Eight Day War", it was Jimmy Carter and the USA that stepped in and negotiated with Israel for the Saudi Arabia and Egypt concerning returning land back to them. Our support for them is for the same reason that we support Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other Middle Eastern nations. It is because that region is so unstable and always has been this way, that we will help support any nation who states that they will support peace in the region.

Eventhough it is easy for us to grasp the concept of "Can't we all get along?" and believe in the idea that no matter your religous origin, you should be ableto live in and share the same space. Many people in that region find those thought insane.

Only now after coming out of our "Cold War" haze are we as a world realizing that our belief that "bad places are full of good people being controled by bad people" is actually false. If you were to go up to the average person in this region and ask, "Do you want peace?". They would say, "Yes, absolutely with out a doubt." If you were to then ask them, "Even if that means that there would be a Jewish (or Palestinian) leader?", they would immediately reply, "No, I would rather die fighting than see that happen."

They want peace, but ONLY if it is on their terms. This means one of two things are going to have to happen:

1.) One side will have to erradicate the other.

or

2.) They will have to learn to accept compromises.
Hypocrites or fools
10 Oct 2000
While I treasure the insights and input of the many anti-Zionist Jews who I count among my friends, it continues to shock me that most otherwise Leftist and humanitarian Jews can be so blindly devoted to Israel, a viciously racist theocracy with murderous, apartheid-like domestic policies. Such allegiance deeply undercuts any credibility that they might have on all other political/moral issues. All supporters of Israel, Jews and Gentiles alike, are either hypocrites or fools.

Let us consider for a moment the courage it would take to protest with rocks, knowing the pigs would respond with automated gunfire. Kind of makes the WTO/IMF protests look like picnics, no?

It would be difficult to overestimate the contribution of Jews to leftist thought and politics. It is a great shame that Israel and its crimes are the Jewish political legacy.

Long live the glorious Palestinian Resistance!

Permission to kill
10 Oct 2000
Permission to kill

By Yitzhak Laor

On Sunday, November 30, 1972, British paratroops attempted to prevent a march for human rights in the Northern Ireland city of Derry on the basis of a judicial order making the Catholic march illegal. That Sunday ended in the massacre of 14 demonstrators. Bloody Sunday will never be erased from the blood-drenched history of the Anglo-Irish struggle. The British are still studying the events that took place that day in Derry's working-class neighborhoods.The massacre of Palestinians in recent days will be with us for many years, not only because it won the full backing of the media - Israel Television led the favorable coverage, but the entire Israeli press followed in the footsteps of the holiday-eve television reports.
The old instincts came into play: criticism of the Israel Defense Forces is prohibited, because the IDF - God - acted this time as well.

The IDF did not defend Israel. Israel was not in danger. Permission to kill has become "self-evident" even when it comes to defending the thorn-in-the-side settlement of Netzarim. It is permissible to kill a child in the arms of his father and to afterward deny that killing "because he had no reason to be there." It is permissible to shoot missiles at demonstrators, because at stake is not just defense of the state or its citizens, but a "principle": one does not surrender to violence. It is permissible to use violence to make others surrender. And as usual, in summing up the entire event, human life is important only when the human is not Arab.

The Israeli "self-evident" proposition worked overtime. The masses of Palestinian demonstrators had the privilege to be shot at with live ammunition and earned strong denunciations from the entire Israeli media.
"What can you do?" as if it were self-evident that live ammunition be used to end such a struggle, as if it were obvious that "we are all united" in demanding those liters of blood.

In exactly the same way, the closure of roads from Lake Kinneret to the center of the country gave the right to treat the country's Arab citizens as if they were children in the heart of the colonial wilderness of the end of the 19th century, as if we had not seen the television footage of truck and taxi drivers in Europe blocking roads on the Continent to the point of totally paralyzing the economy, without a single shot being fired. The press and the establishment stood up for the "policeman of the Arabs," Police Major-General Alik Ron. In any civilized country he would have been forced out long ago, if only for his racist statements about the mayor of Umm al Fahm and head of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, Sheikh Ra'ed Salah: "Sheikh Ra'ed has a fertile, Middle Eastern imagination."

But one can look for the background to the great massacre of these terrible Days of Awe in the place
where the great silence of the media and the academic establishment can always be found: the main thing is who is governing us when such things occur. If Benjamin Netanyahu were prime minister now, we would have already heard cries to the heavens, or at least some tough questions. This war is being waged by the government of Prime Minister Ehud Barak, "our" government, of "the left." And so, for the sake of peace of course, since after all everything is for the sake of peace, everything is permitted.

The signal was given and the ground prepared for this horror after the collapse of the Camp David talks.
Out-and-out "doves" gave interviews and wrote articles: Yasser Arafat, chairman of the Palestinian
Authority, betrayed them, Heaven forbid. They always wanted peace, they paid a heavy price for peace, and now, when the Palestinians could get from them the best peace that could be given to them (that is, without quarreling with the settlers, without causing a "rift within the people," without dissolving the coalition, without giving up the "dreams of sanctity" that were born in the five historical minutes that preceded the negotiations), Arafat - that is,the Palestinian people - turns his back on them, the cooing doves, and listens to the yearning of his hard-pressed people, without water or work, crowded between bypass roads and sanctified settlements, because everyone knows that "Beit El is the eyes of the country," or whatever organ it is the latest trite metaphor.

How easy it is to beat your breast in contrition this Yom Kippur, when the fist lands on the chest of your
neighbor, Arafat or Ariel Sharon. And you, your hands did not spill this blood, your hands did not fire
missiles at demonstrators, your voice did not denounce.
See also:
http://aic.netgate.net
The failure of Israel's post-Oslo strategy
10 Oct 2000
The failure of Israel's post-Oslo strategy

Amira Hass
Haaretz October 4, 2000

RAMALLAH - Israel's defense establishment is bombarding Israelis with the learned axiom that Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat is in full control of his public. The defense establishment is infected with the virus of contempt for the Palestinians: In its eyes, the Palestinians are nothing more than robots, and all Arafat has to do is to press the right button in order to turn them off.The Israel Defense Forces is a people's army. And the Israeli nation, just as was the case on the eve of the Intifada in 1987, is not listening to what the Palestinians are trying to say during these violent days of bloodshed, and what they have been trying to say for close to seven years - ever since the IDF withdrew from Palestinian population centers and entrusted the maintenance of law and order there to the Palestinian Authority.

No matter what their social position - whether they are senior leaders who have been pampered with the privileges extended to them by Israel as they spat blood in order to ensure that Israel honored yet another subclause in the Oslo agreement, or whether they are ordinary citizens for whom the Oslo process means imprisonment in enclaves of limited home rule surrounded by IDF outposts and flourishing Jewish settlements - the Palestinians have been trying to say that this is not the reward they expected to receive for maintaining law and order and for playing the role of national pacifier that was assigned to Arafat. All of the Palestinians' attempts to explain their position - petitions, demonstrations, protests, articles, boycotts, isolated clashes, speeches delivered overseas, explanations, and warnings of an outburst of violence - have broken against the high, solid wall of Israeli unwillingness to understand or to know the facts. Thus it is easy for Israel to present the current situation as if what we have here is a war between two armies - a war in which the aggressors are, of course, the Palestinians.

Thanks to a convenient case of amnesia, no one is addressing two basic issues: The behavior of the Israel Police at the Al Aqsa Mosque on Friday, September 29, and the precise and deadly fire by IDF and Israel Police snipers on Friday afternoon and Saturday.

During opposition leader and Likud chief Ariel Sharon's visit last Thursday to the site of the Al Aqsa
mosque, the Israel Police demonstrated great restraint. Why did the police not continue to demonstrate understanding for the storm of emotions that was generated by this visit of someone who, in the eyes of Palestinians, symbolizes at least four decades of bloody persecution? The Israel Police, which is under the ministerial responsibility of a university history professor, insisted on maintaining a massive and hostile presence on the plaza of the Al Aqsa mosque during the Friday prayer services there, although police spokesmen said intelligence experts had predicted the situation would remain calm.

Having accumulated much experience in violent clashes, the Palestinians are convinced that rock-throwing can be stopped through nonlethal methods. It is quite possible that, had the police not tried to show in such an arrogant, aggressive manner who the real boss is on the Temple Mount, the rocks might not have been thrown in the first place. The police chose to respond immediately with a massive hail of metal, rubber-coated bullets directed toward rock-throwers behind whom were tens of thousands of worshipers.
The Palestinians are convinced that what was at work here was a desire for revenge, after the police had sustained so many injuries the day before.

The Palestinians feel pain - for the men and women who had come to pray and whose blood was shed on the very spot that unites all national and religious sentiments, for the wail of the terrifying sirens of yet more and more ambulances, for the cries of the muezzin calling on people to donate blood for the wounded, for hands armed with rocks. Only those who are totally indifferent to the pain of others could possibly argue that there was any planning here.

During the first few hours, the Palestinian police officers stood on the sidelines. They were tense, afraid, emotionally dissociated from what was going on. They did not use their firearms. However, reports began to pile up concerning the initial number of persons wounded by IDF bullets. These people suffered injuries to various parts of their bodies: head, eyes, chest, abdomen. The Palestinians concluded that those who caused these wounds took careful aim before firing and were following "shoot-to-kill" orders handed down from the top.

The fatal shooting of a young boy, Mohammed al Duri, whose death was broadcast on television screens throughout the world, is not the only evidence that serves to corroborate this conclusion. There are also the hundreds of injured whose wounds have been hidden from the eyes of Israeli television audiences. And this was the point at which Palestinian security personnel and armed Fatah members could no longer stand on the sidelines doing nothing.

What were the considerations behind the order to fire precise shots at the upper parts of the bodies of
Palestinian children and youths? Perhaps the upper echelons that make such decisions hoped that precise hits at young Palestinians would deter their peers from joining in the fight and from expressing their opinion with rocks and Molotov cocktails. Perhaps they assumed that this was the only way to prevent these young people from getting near the Jewish settlements. Perhaps the Israelis hoped that Arafat would immediately conclude that they meant business and that he would instantly dispatch his police officers to hold back the masses, to carry out arrests and to disperse - by gunfire if necessary - the crowds who had gathered to confront the Israeli forces. Perhaps the Israelis were angry that Arafat had not done from the outset what he had been expected to do.

International diplomatic pressure might succeed in bringing about a sort of cease-fire in this barrage of
bullets and rocks. However, the last few days prove that the strategy Israel has adopted since the signing of the Oslo agreement has failed. On one hand, this strategy aimed at developing and perpetuating a new method of controlling the Palestinians. On the other hand, it aimed at preparing Arafat and his government to serve as subcontractors who would suppress any expression of Palestinian resistance to the continuation of this control and to a humiliating life of inequality in this land.
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The Future
11 Oct 2000
"who controls the past, now
who controls the future.
who controls the present, now
who controls the past."
-zack de la rocha / rage against the machine.

The past is beyond our control or common understading; the future is at hand. Please follow the examples of AIC contributors in focusing on the future instead of arguing aimlessly.
10 out of 10
07 Feb 2001
of been on this site for about 4 mins and i find it very jolly spliffing thankyou for letting me on this site.graeme