Saturday, 11 April 2009

o pesadelo do Olmert


The Growing Belief in a One-State Solution

Olmert's Nightmare


Ehud Olmert's nightmare is at hand. Not only does the former Israeli prime minister now really have to fight those corruption charges. He also faces the realization of his fears that the Palestinians might give up on a two-state solution in favor of a struggle for equal rights that would mean, as he put it, the "end of the Jewish state."

Yo, Ehud, that struggle is a growing movement, and it isn't a threat to Jews -- on the contrary, Jews are very much a part of it.

Just last weekend in Boston, American and/or Israeli Jews accounted for nearly a third of the 29 speakers at a conference organized by TARI (Trans Arab Research Institute) with the William Joiner Center at the University of Massachusetts.

This is the second major public conference on how to achieve a single democratic state for Palestinians and Israelis. The first was held in London in November, and a third is slated for Toronto in June.

In a sign of the one-state movement's persistence, the conference was over-subscribed weeks before it was held; dozens were turned away because the hall only seated 500 people. Those who got in remained glued to their seats as one intense presenter followed another, in spite of limited time for questions and, on day two, no lunch.

For my part, I remain agnostic. As I said in my remarks at the conference, both states must provide equality for all their citizens -- Muslim, Jewish, or Christian, women or men, whatever their ethnicity. And, by the way, this isn't currently the case in either the established Israeli state or the putative Palestinian state.

In other words, even if two states are established, Israel cannot continue to be a state that privileges its Jewish citizens over its non-Jewish citizens. So either one or two states would mean the end of a Jewish state -- although not of the state of Israel.

Besides, I believe other vital challenges face the Palestinians, including how to keep Palestinians physically on the land of Palestine, and how to effectively and non-violently challenge a leadership that represents at best a quarter of the Palestinian people so as to prevent the abrogation of Palestinian rights.

I share the view of policy analyst Phyllis Bennis who warned at the conference that the United States might seek to impose a mini-state with minimal sovereignty and rights.

That's why my talk focused on an analysis of the sources of non-violent power available to the Palestinian people, including economic, moral, cultural, legal, and political power.

One important fact (simple but of utmost importance) was reiterated by several Palestinians -- from the occupied territories, from within Israel, and in exile. They said loud and clear that working for the one-state solution means working with Israeli Jews. As acting TARI chair Hani Faris put it, "The idea of one state cannot fly without a Palestinian wing and a Jewish wing."

Political scientist Laila Farsakh acknowledged this would be difficult given the anger Palestinians feel at Israel after Gaza and given their history of dispossession at Israel's hands. As one strategy to overcome this anger, she suggests a debate on identity that would cover the past and present role of Jews in resisting Zionism. Another is to examine treatment of Jews in Arab societies.

There is no "monolithic Jewish voice," Palestinian activist Omar Barghouti reminded, adding that it is anti-Semitic to claim otherwise. He pointed to the "disproportionate number of Jews" in the movement to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel until Palestinian human rights are achieved.

And political scientist As'ad Ghanem emphasized that no one can decide for a people what their national consciousness is: "I know who I am as a Palestinian; I cannot decide for the Israelis who they are."

As for the Jews, several referred to the way that Zionism had subverted the values of Judaism, and highlighted alternative discourses. As law philosopher Ori Ben-Dor put it, "Zionism abuses the Jewish memory and the humanist message of the holocaust." Historian Norton Mezvinsky said Palestinians and other Arabs have not been the only victims of Zionism.

Historian Gabriel Piterberg held up the poetry of the late Avot Yeshurun as a model of blending narratives and identities by mixing Arabic and Yiddish idiom into Hebrew poetry. Anthropologist Smadar Lavie said a common struggle against the oppression of Jews of Arab descent and Palestinian Arabs offered a way out of Zionism towards co-existence. Historian Ilan Pappe pointed to many concrete "de-Zionising" projects on the ground, including shared kindergartens.

A remarkable aspect of the conference was the way nearly all speakers highlighted the Zionist project -- creating an exclusivist state -- as the root of the problem, and discussed ways to challenge it.

Civil rights advocate Nancy Murray and others suggested presenting the attack on Gaza in the context of how Israel was created as well as pointing to the parallels of the one-state discourse with the values Americans uphold.

One of the few - perhaps only - Zionist speakers at the conference, former deputy mayor of Jerusalem Meron Benvenisti, came to bury Zionism not to praise it. "As a Zionist, I wanted a Jewish state but that option is abrogated. The 'one state' is already here, the only question is what kind of state it will be."
Many critiqued the two-state political platform as the "savior of Zionism" -- especially well argued by Nadim Rouhana.

A shared theme was the urgent warning that future Israeli assaults on Palestinians cannot be ruled out. Ilan Pappe and this author drew the audience's attention to the Israeli High Court decision to allow 100 Israeli extremists, whose leader belonged to a banned Israeli party, to march in the Israeli Arab town of Umm El Fahem guarded by thousands of heavily armed Israeli security forces.

This is a scary echo of former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon's insistence on walking through Al Aqsa mosque, the spark that lit the second Palestinian Intifada in 2000 and set the stage for the brutal crushing of the Palestinian Authority in 2002. It is especially alarming given the loud calls for the transfer of the Israeli Arab population or denial of citizenship, most vociferously by Israel's new foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman.

A major theme was the need to reconstitute the Palestinian body politic. Political scientist Karma Nabulsi outlined existing efforts and strategies as she reviewed how the "discourse about solutions has derailed and disenfranchised the Palestinian popular collective and excludes the people as the source of legitimacy and sovereignty."

Several participants noted the need to move from discussion of the concept of one state to concrete strategies on how to get there to address not just agnosticism but outright opposition among many Palestinians, Israelis and the rest of the world. As law professor George Bisharat put it, one-staters need to address the "image that one state is utopian and unattainable."

Stating that "We are still at the first question," As'ad Ghanem offered a particularly frank critique. The Jewish state, the Islamic state and the two-state options all have more public support. The difficult questions are:

• Who are the citizens of the one-state, Israeli or Palestinian?

• What would be its relationship to the Jewish Diaspora and the Arab national movement?

• How could Palestinians and Israelis be convinced it would serve their needs?

In offering concrete strategies, Omar Barghouti's examples included ways in which restitution of inherent rights could be achieved without harming acquired rights.

The discussion of concrete steps challenged my agnosticism. So did the passion and creativity of the debate. The best vision of the one-state solution does make the alternative debates "barren," Ghada Karmi put it.

Think about it. Who's defending the two-state option today? The Palestinian Authority, its case ever weaker against the decades-long clanging of Israeli bulldozers as they colonize Palestinian land and demolish homes.

And the realists in the United States, Europe, and Israel, whose core argument is that a Palestinian state is the only way to save a majority Jewish state -- an argument that does not inspire.

Those who support a two-state solution must do better if they want to hang on to hearts and minds. For, make no mistake, as American politicians are fond of saying, the adherents of the one-state movement share a faith. And fear and brute force - whether exercised by Israel, America, or the Palestinian Authority - are no match for faith.

Nadia Hijab is a senior fellow at the Insitute for Palestine Studies.

sem trabalho em Gaza

fonte:Al Jazeera (English)

o plano de Israel para o deslocamento dos palestinianos


The Problem Isn't Avigdor Lieberman

Israel's Master Plan for Transfer


No one doubts that Avigdor Lieberman is a thug. His ultimata (“Those who think that through concessions they will gain respect and peace are wrong,” etc, New York Times Thursday, April 2, 2009) were designed to shock. On this site Neve Gordon’s revelations of Lieberman’s many corruptions, his beating of a 12-year-old child, his exhortation to bomb Gaza as the US bombed Hiroshima, supply further ugly evidence against the man, and fuel the flash-fires burning through the Internet in the wake of his appointment as Israel’s foreign minister.

So he should be denounced by all means, but it is certain that the problems attaching to his name are not going away. On the contrary -- particularly given President Obama’s repudiation of Lieberman during the President’s speech in Ankara, Turkey, and his avowed loyalty to a ‘two-state solution’ – these problems will appear in a different form, specifically in regard to the nature of the “two states” under the guidance of Obama, Netanyahu & Co.

If the Lieberman appointment wasn’t specifically designed to have him play bad cop to everyone else’s good cop, it’s certainly turning out that way. A recent J Street petition urges me and thousands of on-line others to denounce Lieberman as a threat to “our community’s values,” and also to endorse J Street’s offer of “our best wishes and congratulations . . . pledging to help Benjamin Netanyahu's government where possible, and push when necessary, to achieve the goal of real peace and security for Israel, the Palestinians, and the whole Middle East.”

This is truly a dangerous path. Three years ago, Lieberman proposed annexing to the northern West Bank parts of the Galilee with large Arab populations. At the heart of this region is Wadi Ara, described in a US media account a few years ago as “a seasonal riverbed adjacent to the West Bank.” With a majority Arab population, Wadi Ara has been Israel’s ever since Ben-Gurion wrenched an agreement from Jordan’s King Abdullah that he cede the land as part of the post-war armistice agreement.

The area’s story goes back farther. During a 2005 US trip, Shimon Peres suggested to American listeners that US “disengagement funds” (your tax dollars at work after the famed Gaza “pull-out”) should be employed to “develop” Wadi Ara – that is, to resettle the “dispossessed” Gaza settlers there. This echoed Irving Howe’s suggestion in The New York Times Book Review (May, 16,1982), that more Jews be sent to the “under-populated Galilee” – “under-populated,” that is, in the sense that New York was “under-populated” by whites until the gentrification projects of the housing “boom years.”

Lieberman set the Peres idea on its head with his “land-swap” notion but both proposals have in common their preoccupation with the “the demographic issue.” On this, just about all of Israel – and much of so called “liberal Jewish” America - is united, extreme-right through left, the devil being only in the details how to resolve it for good.

Lieberman’s suggestion was deemed “illegal” by Israeli scholars, but it has found sympathetic supporters ever since. As it stands now, it could easily trot forward as a “two-state solution” under US-Israeli aegis. 1 This is what is ignored in the hysteria about Lieberman’s actual appointment: “transfer,” long an Israeli option, may actually take place in the near future. (Lieberman’s has been called “soft transfer”)

In the Washington Post February, 2006, Henry Kissinger enthusiastically endorsed the idea without mentioning Lieberman by name: “The most logical outcome would be to trade Israeli settlement blocs around Jerusalem . . . for some equivalent territories in present-day Israel with significant Arab populations. The rejection of such an approach . . . which would contribute greatly to stability and to demographic balance reflects a determination to keep incendiary issues permanently open.”

Incendiary issues” no doubt include Wadi Ara Arabs’ bitter resistance to the “land swap” notion. “Stability” and “demographic balance” are code for the purity of the Jewish state, once it’s been relieved of its “demographic problem,” and once potentially fractious Arabs have come under the boot of the Palestinian Authority, the US-Israel regional puppet.

Around the same time Kissinger wrote his commentary, Israel National News reported that Knesset member Otniel Schneller of Kadima, “considered to be one of the people closest and most loyal to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert,” had proposed something similar to Lieberman’s “swap” idea. Schneller’s plan was “more gradual.” The annexed, former Israeli Arab citizens would still be of the Jewish state. Their land, however, would belong to the Palestinian Authority and they wouldn’t be allowed to resettle anywhere else in Israel. 2

A more recent recruit to this bandwagon is Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who has said a “Palestinian state” could “be the national answer to the Palestinians” in the territories and those “who live in different refugee camps or in Israel.”

One assumes that this plan will keep popping up and that (the incendiary Lieberman kept tidily in the wings while his shoot-from-the-mouth behavior distracts the attention of “the left”) that it could well come to fruition. The New York Times’ Ethan Bronner reported February 12 that “the left” likes Lieberman’s “willingness to create two states, one Jewish, one Palestinian, which would involve yielding areas that are now part of Israel.” Note Bronner’s use of “willingness” and “yielding,” suggesting his own tacit endorsement of Israel’s magnanimity. (Bronner, of course, quoted no Arab voices from Wadi Ara, nor did he mention that what Israel would yield is land inhabited by untermenschen. At best the vast majority of Israelis consider the Arabs to be people who need “help” -- as in the suggestion 32 years ago by Irving Howe’s disciple, Michael Walzer, that the indigenous people are “marginal to the nation.” His solution was “helping people to leave who have to leave.” 3

Again, there’s no need to ask the people of Wadi Ara and such “Arab” areas how they feel because, after all, the land isn’t theirs to begin with. The Jewish National Fund controls more than 90 percent of Israel’s land and the JNF must use charitable funds in ways that “directly or indirectly [benefit] . . . persons of Jewish religion, race or origin.” The JNF is “recognized by the Government of Israel and the World Zionist Organization as the exclusive instrument for the development of Israel’s lands.” Such development is open, forever, only to Jews. 4

And so, amidst much celebration (hand-shakes on the White House lawn, etc.) the new “two-state” solution could well be realized in the not-so-distant future. A Palestinian ghetto would exist alongside a Jewish state, which would of course include the settlements. “The demographic problem” bedeviling Zionists ever since two rabbis returned in the 19th century with the report that the bride was “beautiful but married to another man,” would vanish. Now and then, on a distant hilltop, a lone goatherd might appear, nostalgically suggesting “simpler” and more “traditional” times. Palestinian embroidery would be sold at appointed places, to adorn the persons and furniture of pure Jews commuting back and forth to a now purely Jewish Jerusalem and Tel Aviv from, say, purely Jewish Maale Adumim. American readers wearing exquisite Navajo turquoise jewelry – this writer among them – will recognize these images.

* * *

How could it have come to this? Surely not for want of countless early warning signals. Here, for example, is Moshe Dayan in an interview with BBC reporter, Alan Hart, May 14, 1973:

Alan Hart – Why are you seeking to establish more and more settlements? The Arabs think that your goal is to stay in Transjordan for eternity.

Dayan – That’s right. In fact I think that Israelis should stay in Transjordan for eternity and till the end of time.

Hart—Arabs listening to you now, including President Sadat, will say: “There you are! Dayan has confirmed that he’s only after territorial expansion…

Dayan—OK, if you think the desire to feel at home throughout all of Transjordan is an expansionist ambition. If that’s what you call being “expansionist,” then I’m an expansionist.”

--from Amnon Kapeliouk’s Israel: la fin des mythes (Israel: an end to all myths), Editions Albin Michel, 1975 (translation mine.)

Nor should one forget Dayan’s 1967 comment to colleagues about what they should tell the Palestinians: “[Y]ou shall continue to live like dogs, and whoever prefers—may leave…” 5 Or, farther back in time, Chaim Weizmann’s remarks about the 1917 Balfour declaration, on record with the Jewish Agency Executive: “[W]ith regard to the Arab question – the British told me that there are several hundred thousand negroes there but that this matter has no significance.” In Fateful Triangle, Noam Chomsky quotes US journalist Vincent Sheean, who “arrived in Palestine as an avid Zionist in 1929, [and who] left a few months later a harsh critic of the Zionist enterprise largely because of the attitudes among the Jewish settlers towards what they called the ‘uncivilized race’ of ‘savages’ and ‘Red Indians,’ ‘squatters for thirteen centuries’…” 6

In Defending the Holy Land: A Critical Analysis of Israel’s Security & Foreign Policy, (University of Michigan Press, 2006), Israeli security and foreign policy analyst Zeev Maoz shows that Israel was conceived through deliberate policy choices as a “Sparta state.” All of its governments from Ben Gurion forward have relied on Zeev Jabotinsky’s “Iron Wall” doctrine. This doctrine translates as military blows "to convince the Arabs of the futility and illogic of their dreams. Over time, the Arabs will come to accept the Jewish state and to make peace with it."7 (See this writer’s review at The destruction of Gaza this past winter is the latest of such actions designed to persuade the natives that their dreams are futile and illogical.

It cannot be over-emphasized that without the US, Israel could not have gotten to this point. 8 President Obama is turning out to be more of the same. Announcing the appointment of George Mitchell as his Middle East envoy, Obama said:

Senator Mitchell will . . . help Israel reach a broader peace with the Arab world. Let me be clear: America is committed to Israel's security. And we will always support Israel's right to defend itself against legitimate threats. . . To be a genuine party to peace, the quartet has made it clear that Hamas must meet clear conditions: recognize Israel's right to exist; renounce violence; and abide by past agreements. . . I should add that the Arab peace initiative contains constructive elements that could help advance these efforts. Now is the time for Arab states to act on the initiative's promise by supporting the Palestinian government under President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad, taking steps towards normalizing relations with Israel, and by standing up to extremism that threatens us all. (Emphasis mine.) 9

The emphases on Israel’s “right to defend itself,” the requirement that Hamas toe the quartet’s line, the underscoring of the US-Israel puppet regime – all this is obvious. What is not so obvious is Obama’s deliberate choice to eviscerate the Arab League’s 2002 proposal, the body of which requires Israel to withdraw to its 1967 borders with some modifications. Obama quotes a corollary to the proposal, a small paragraph requiring Arab states to “normalize” relations with Israel – the corollary has as its premise that first Israel must make real (not bogus) land concessions. This was the solution almost reached at the Israeli-Palestinian talks in Taba, Egypt in 2001: Ehud Barak withdrew. 10

Just so, Israel refused in 1971 what was then a dazzling prospect, President Anwar Sadat’s offer of full peace. Egypt was the regional Arab super-power, and peace with it would have ensured future treaties with other Arab countries. (The Palestinians were not considered by Sadat, who was interested only in Israel’s withdrawal from the Sinai, which it had taken in 1967.) The consequence of Israel’s rejection, a choice of expansionism over security -- one that Henry Kissinger, backing Golda Meir, enabled -- was the Yom Kippur War. This cost Israel the lives of three thousand Israeli soldiers; a "staggering" loss of equipment (Zeev Maoz’s term); $10 billion in overall damages. On at least two occasions Israel armed its nuclear warheads, bringing the region to the brink of nuclear war. 11

Israel rejected security for expansionism at Oslo as well, no matter what the “generous offer” myths may say. It continues to do so as I write. More bad news floods our e-mail boxes about the rotting concentration camp in Gaza. US-Israel apparently intends to make it an international charity case, an occasional shooting gallery for WMD testing in dense urban areas, or both. At the same time, bad news comes from the West Bank, where arrests and kidnapping of Palestinians, the shooting of international solidarity workers, home demolitions, settler pogroms, further annexations in East Jerusalem, and all the rest of it, continue at a brisk and unimpeded pace.
Such is US-Israel’s history. Such is the present. In all of this Avigdor Lieberman is merely an exclamation mark. Those who want change should focus on the larger picture.

Ellen Cantarow can be reached at


1. I am indebted to Noam Chomsky’s essay, “Good News, Iraq and Beyond,” for ideas about the Lieberman “land
swap” and some of the politicians who embraced it. See

2. Ibid.

3. “Nationalism, Internationalism, and the Jews: the chimera of a binational state,” in Irving Howe & Carl Gershman, Israel, the Arabs and the Middle East (Bantam, 1972).

4. “Good News, Iraq and Beyond.” Chomsky discusses a recent (only partly successful) challenge to the JNF’s blatantly racist practices.

5. Noam Chomsky, Fateful Triangle (South End Press, 1983, 1989), p. 481. Dayan made this statement in a September, 1967 meeting, suggesting what his colleagues should tell Palestinians. The original sources is Yossi Beilin. Shimon Peres protested that that Israel should preserve its moral stand, and Dayan replied, “Ben Gurion said that anyone who approaches the Zionist problem in a moral aspect is not a Zionist.”

6. Ibid.

7. Zeev Maoz, Defending the Holy Land: A Critical Analysis of Israel’s Security & Foreign Policy (University of Michigan, 2006) p. 9

8. A crucial article recently posted at Znet, by Irene Gendzier, proves through her analysis of a rich assortment of quotes by US officials, that in 1948 everyone in US power knew precisely what was happening to Palestine’s Arab population. They looked on – some with horror, some with skepticism. Those who saw in Israel the prospect of a future Spartan guarantor of US “interests” (post-British-French hegemony in the region and access to its oil) looked on with cold curiosity. After 1967 the deal was, so to speak, signed, sealed and delivered.

9. “President Barack Obama Delivers Remarks to State Department Employees,” The Washington Post, January 22, 2009

10. See Ran HaCohen’s portrait of Barak, whose record is equally as appalling as Lieberman’s, at ) Also see Idith Zerta and Akiva Eldar’s essential Lords of the Land: The War Over Israel’s Settlements In The Occupied Territories, 1967 – 2007, for rich descriptions of Barak’s affection for the most extreme of Israel’s right-wing religious nationalist settlers.

11. Maoz, p. 417.

Friday, 10 April 2009

PCHR Weekly Report: 3 palestinianos mortos, 8 feridos, 27 raptados; 1 morto israelita


PCHR Weekly Report: 3 Palestinians killed, 8 injured, 27 abducted this week; 1 Israeli killed

According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, during the week of 02 - 08 April 2009, two members of the Palestinian resistance were killed by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip. In addition, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian in the West Bank this week. 16 Palestinian civilians, including two children and two journalists, were wounded by Israeli gunfire in the West Bank.

Israeli soldiers attack non-violent protesters (PCHR photo)
Israeli soldiers attack non-violent protesters (PCHR photo)

Israeli forces conducted 26 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During those incursions, Israeli forces abducted 52 Palestinian civilians, including 8 children, in the West Bank and 10 fishers in the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces occupied 8 Palestinian houses, and reclassified them as military sites.

An unknown Palestinian assailant attacked two Israeli settler youth on Thursday April 2, killing one, age 16, and injuring an 8 year old child. The Palestinian attacked the settlers with an axe.

Israeli attacks in the West Bank:

On Tuesday April 7th, at approximately 11:00, Israeli forces border guard troops opened fire at Eyad 'Azmi 'Owaisat, 20, from al-Sawahar village southeast of Jerusalem, when he was traveling in his car in the village. He was instantly killed. Israeli forces claimed that 'Owaisat ran down three members of the Israeli border guard, but eyewitnesses refuted this claim.

At approximately 06:00 on Tuesday, 07 April 2009, Israeli forces police and border guard moved into Sour Baher village, south of Jerusalem. They besieged a two-story house belonging to the family of Hussan Tayseer Dwayat, who was killed by Israeli forces after attacking and killing four Israeli civilians in July 2008. They demolished a flat on the second floor of the house. The Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, had issued a demolition order on 04 December 2008 against the house. The family filed a petition against the order at the Israeli High Court, which approved the demolition of the flat not the whole house. Dwayat was killed on 02 July 2008 after he ran down 4 Israelis using a bulldozer in the center of Jerusalem.

Israeli forces have escalated arbitrary measures against Palestinian civilians in East Jerusalem in order to force them to leave the city. On 03 April 2009, a number of Israeli settlers, escorted by Israeli forces police, stormed a house belonging to Nasser 'Ali Jaber, 30, in al-Sa'diya quarter in the old town of Jerusalem. They removed the door of the house and seized the house, claiming that it belongings to an extremist Jewish association. It is worth noting that Jaber was repairing and maintaining the house, in which he has lived together with his family for more than 20 years. On 06 April 2009, Israeli forces demolished a 100-square-meter house belonging to 'Abdul Rahman al-Fakhouri, 24, in the al-Luqluq quarter of the old town of Jerusalem. The Israeli forces Municipality of Jerusalem had informed the family on Thursday, 02 April 2009, that the house would be demolished, claiming that it was built without a license. On the same day, the Israeli High Court gave permission to Israeli forces to evacuate two houses, belonging to the al-Ghawi and al-Jarrah families in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem, in favor of Jewish groups. The court rejected a petition filed by the families against the evacuation, although the families submitted documents that support their ownership of the house.

On 04 April 2009, a Palestinian child was wounded by Israeli forces during an incursion into Qalqilya.

Two days later, Israeli forces wounded a Palestinian child in Qabalan village, south of Nablus.

On 08 April 2009, dozens of Israeli settlers, escorted by Israeli forces, attacked Palestinian civilians in Kherbat Safa area, north of Hebron. As a result, nine Palestinian civilians were wounded by gunshots, including three who were shot by settlers; 26 others suffered from tear gas inhalation.

During the reporting period, five Palestinian civilians, including two journalists, were wounded when Israeli forces used force against peaceful demonstrations organized in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall.

Also, Israeli forces conducted at least 26 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and two incursions into the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces abducted 52 Palestinian civilians, including eight children.

Following the killing of one Israeli settler youth, and the injury of another, in the “Beit Ain” settlement (northwest of Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron), Israeli forces moved into the Kherbat Safa area. This operation was allegedly conducted in order to search for a Palestinian suspected of killing the Israeli settler. The military operation continued for a number of days, during which time Israeli forces occupied eight Palestinian houses, transforming them into military sites.

At approximately 01:20 on Sunday morning, 05 April 2009, Israeli forces positioned at a checkpoint at the entrance of Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron, stopped an ambulance of the Palestine Red Crescent Society on its way towards the Tunnel checkpoint, south of Jerusalem, in order to evacuate a wounded person. Israeli forces forced the two medics traveling in the ambulance to get out of it. They violently beat the two medics and held them for 20 minutes. The two medics are: 'Ali Mohammed Tumaizi, 25; and Eyad 'Adnan Madiya, 26.

On Thursday afternoon, 02 April 2009, Israeli forces erected a number of checkpoints in areas located to the southwest of Bethlehem. They stopped and searched hundreds of Palestinian civilian vehicles. One of those checkpoints was erected at the entrance of Beit Fajjar village, southwest of Bethlehem. Israeli forces positioned at the checkpoint stopped and violently beat 4 Palestinian workers who were on their way back to their homes in the village. They sustained bruises and cuts.

Israeli Annexation Wall:

When complete, the illegal Annexation Wall will stretch for 724 kilometers around the West Bank, further isolating the entire population. 350 kilometers of the Wall has already been constructed. Approximately 99% of the Wall has been constructed inside the West Bank itself, further confiscating Palestinian land.

Israeli forces continue to harass, and assault demonstrators who hold peaceful protests against the construction of the Annexation Wall. Following Friday Prayers on 03 April 2009, scores of Palestinian civilians organized a peaceful demonstration in Bil'in village, west of Ramallah, in protest at the construction of the Annexation Wall. The demonstrators moved towards the Wall and threw stones at Israeli forces positioned in the area. Immediately, Israeli forces fired gunshots, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators. As a result, two journalists were wounded: Sa'ed al-Hawari, 33, a Reuters reporter, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the leg; and Reebhi al-Koubari, 45, a Palmedia reporter, hit by a tear gas canister to the leg.

At the same time, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders gathered in the center of Ne’lin village, west of Ramallah. They moved towards the area where Israeli forces were razing land to construct a section of the Wall in the village. Immediately, Israeli forces fired at the demonstrators. As a result, three Palestinian civilians were wounded.

Also, scores of Palestinian civilians and a number of international human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration against the construction of the Wall in al-Ma'sara village, south of Bethlehem. The demonstrators moved towards the Wall, but Israeli forces intercepted them at the entrance of the village. Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters at the demonstrators. Dozens of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation. Israeli forces also violently beat two Palestinian children: Usayd Hassan Braijiya, 7; and Yousef Jom'a Zawahra, 14.

Israeli forces started to establish an iron fence on the northern edge of 'Azzoun village, east of Qalqilya, which – when finished – will be 3.5 kilometers long and 2.5 meters high. It will extend from 'Izbat al-Tabeeb area to the intersection of "Ma'ale Shomron" settlement. The fence will separate 'Azzoun village from its northern lands. A week earlier, Israeli forces had closed the main entrance to the village, and a month earlier, they closed its northern entrance, claiming that stones were thrown at Israeli vehicles traveling in the area. According to sources in the local council of the village, at least 200 donums[1] of land belonging to the village will be seized for the purpose of the establishment of the fence. The establishment of the fence is part of the construction of the Annexation Wall near Qalqilya, which has been conducted in four stages, the fourth of which is the current one. According to the local council, there are concerns that a fifth stage may be implemented to the south of the village. At least 8,000 Palestinians live in 'Azzoun village, in an area estimated at approximately 9,000 donums. The construction of the Wall in the area has restricted access of Palestinian civilians to their lands.

On Monday morning, 06 April 2009, Israeli forces positioned near the Annexation Wall to the west of Ethna village, northwest of Hebron, abducted Sameer Mohammed Tumaizi, 55, and his two sons, Younis, 22, and Fares, 20, when they were farming their land. Israeli forces claimed that the three farmers were in a closed military zone.

Israeli settlement activities:

On 02 April 2009, at least 20 Israeli settlers blew up the doors of four shops in the second-hand clothes market near "Abraham Avino" settlement outpost in the south of Hebron. They then removed the rubble and started to rehabilitate the four shops in order to seize them. On 06 April 2009, Israeli forces informed five Palestinian civilians in Deir Sa'da area to the south of al-Zahiriya village, south of Hebron, that their houses would be demolished. Israeli forces claim that these houses were built without licenses. These civilians filed petitions against the demolition orders.

On Wednesday April 7th, at approximately 06:10, at least Israeli settlers from "Gush Etzion" and "Beit Ain" settlements, escorted by Israeli forces, gathered to the north and east of Kherbat Safa area northwest of Beit Uammar village, north of Hebron. Many of those settlers were armed. They opened fire at Palestinian civilians who gathered to protect themselves and their property. The settlers and Israeli forces moved forward and opened fire at Palestinian civilians and houses. Palestinian civilians in response threw stones at them to prevent them from storming their houses. The settlers and Israeli forces used firearms, sound bombs and tear gas canisters against Palestinian civilians. Israeli forces brought reinforcements to the area and declared it as a closed military zone. These attacks continued for 90 minutes, and peaked when Israeli forces broke into the village and raided houses. As a result of these attacks, nine Palestinian civilians were wounded by gunshots, including three who were shot by settlers. Additionally, 26 civilians suffered from tear gas inhalation. Israeli forces also transformed three houses in the area into military sites.

Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:

During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed two fighters with the Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip, in a targeted assassination.

Also, Israeli forces abducted 10 Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip.

Fuel supplies have not allowed fuel supplies into the Gaza Strip – excluding limited amounts of cooking gas – since 10 December 2008. The Rafah International Crossing Point has been opened for a few days for a number of patients who received medical treatment abroad and needed to return home to the Gaza Strip.

Israeli forces have continued to close Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing for Palestinian civilians wishing to travel to the West Bank and Israel for medical treatment, trade or social visits. In the past two months, five patients, including two children, have died due to the denial of access to medical treatment outside the Gaza Strip.

Israeli forces have imposed additional access restrictions on international diplomats, journalists and humanitarian workers attempting to enter the Gaza Strip. They have prevented representatives of several international humanitarian organizations from entering the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian civilian population’s living conditions have seriously deteriorated; levels of poverty and unemployment have sharply increased.

At least 900 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails have been denied family visitation for more than 17 months.

At least 10% of the population of the Gaza Strip is deprived of electricity supplies.

Recommendations to the International Community

Due to the number and severity of Israeli human rights violations this week, the PCHR made a number of recommendations to the international community. Among these were a recommendation that the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their legal and moral obligations under Article 1 of the Convention to ensure Israel's respect for the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The PCHR stated that they believe the conspiracy of silence practiced by the international community has encouraged Israel to act as if it is above the law and encourages Israel to continue to violate international human rights and humanitarian law. The PCHR called upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to comply with its legal obligations detailed in Article 146 of the Convention to search for and prosecute those responsible for grave breaches, namely war crimes.

a tolerância israelita:ele so matou um arabe!!!


All he did was kill an Arab

By Nehemia Shtrasler

Julian Soufir wants to be let out. He doesn't even understand why he's being kept at the Abarbanel Mental Hospital. He says he's recovered and feels fine. His doctors say he has made progress and should be released in a few months. But he already wants to be put in less restrictive conditions and immediately afterward be granted parole. After all, Passover is the holiday of freedom and all he did was kill an Arab.

In May 2007 Soufir decided to murder an Arab. He hated them with all his being. He hated how joyful and passionate they were about Friday prayers at the Dome of the Rock, the same place as our Temple Mount.

Soufir immigrated from France and served in the Israel Defense Forces. He passed the army medical examinations without showing any indications of mental illness. But after a short time in the military he started saying he wanted to kill Arabs and therefore was released. Shortly before the murder he threatened to kill his wife and was sent for observation at Abarbanel, but he was given a clean bill of health and released.
He wanted to kill an Arab - any Arab. So he stopped a taxi in Jerusalem, hoping the driver would be an Arab. But he was Jewish. The driver of the second taxi was also Jewish. On his third try he stopped a taxi driven by an Arab, a man named Taysir Karaki. He asked him to drive him to Netanya, where he grabbed a long kitchen knife from his brother's apartment. Then he told Karaki to take him to his apartment in Tel Aviv. When he got there he invited him to come upstairs. "I'll make coffee and pay you," he promised. Karaki agreed and went inside, where Soufir stabbed him 24 times.

A few hours later Soufir told his interrogators that he felt nothing when he stabbed Karaki in the back and throat and that it was like "slaughtering an animal, because an animal has no soul." He felt no guilt about killing Karaki. The man's wife and five children were left without a husband, a father and a breadwinner, but Soufir wasn't concerned by that for a second.

What would have happened if it were the other way around, if an Arab had killed a Jewish taxi driver in cold blood? Would anyone dare consider declaring him unfit to stand trial and send him home? First they would raze his house, then interrogate his family on suspicions of assisting, and finally he would be thrown in prison.

But last month, the panel of judges led by Sara Dotan ruled Julian Soufir was not fit for trial and would therefore not be jailed. She read the ruling quickly and quietly, so much so that those who attended the reading could barely hear a word. This may have been a sign that she felt uncomfortable with the ruling. It took several minutes for the Karakis to understand that Soufir had been declared "crazy," and when they did, they began to wail.

The problem with the ruling is that Soufir knew very well what he was doing. He was sane enough to pick an Arab driver instead of a Jewish one. He knew what kind of knife to take from his brother's house and how to lure Karaki to his apartment, where he murdered him in cold blood.

It is clear he could differentiate between right and wrong. He chose not to take his own life - is that not sign enough that he was sufficiently sane to stand trial? Instead, he was declared "insane" and is now waiting to start a new life in Paris.

A series of shootings have recently plagued the United States. One gunman killed 13 immigrants in Binghamton and committed suicide. Another killed eight in a suburb near Omaha and then shot himself dead. A student shot five of his friends at Northern Illinois University before killing himself. They really could not tell between right and wrong - they ended up killing themselves. But Soufir could distinguish between his own fate and that of the Arab driver.

Focus on Gaza:o fósforo branco-parte 2

fonte:Al Jazeera (English channel)

Focus on Gaza- o fósforo branco parte 1

fonte:Al Jazeera (English channel)

o documentário do massacre do Deir Yassin


os residentes residentes de Sheikh Jarrah organizam em face das enormes expulsões de casa


Sheikh Jarrah residents organize in the face of mass house evictions
Jeff Pickert writing from occupied East Jerusalem, Live from Palestine, 7 April 2009

A member of the al-Ghawe family stands beside a poster inside his threatened house in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

"We are like the roots of a tree. The Israelis may cut us in places, but we will never die. We will not be transplanted from Jerusalem. I will not leave this house," Maher Hanun tells a crowded room of Palestinian community members supported by Israeli and international solidarity activists. Hanun is one of 51 residents of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem living in two housing units that are facing imminent eviction by Israeli authorities.

The mood is tense as more than 25 individuals pack into a small room in Hanun's house to plan how to fight the house evictions. Palestinian residents, organized under the Sheikh Jarrah Committee, have invited solidarity activists to come and support their struggle. Internationals from more than 10 countries and Israelis sit in chairs and on the floor as Hanun tells them his story. After his speech, they divide themselves into groups to cover the two threatened housing units. Both the families and the activists gathered in support are determined to stay inside the houses as long as possible when the police arrive to carry out the evictions.

The people living in these housing units, belonging to the al-Ghawe and Hanun families, are due to be forcibly removed from their homes this week, as the papers from the Israeli court they were served with are valid between 15 and 22 March. The courts have justified these evictions by saying that the land that the houses are built on is disputed. Yet, the houses were built under a joint construction project by the United Nations agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) and the Jordanian government in 1956, 11 years before Israel occupied East Jerusalem. The houses were given to the families, both made refugees in 1948 after Palestinians living in what became the state of Israel were expelled and dispossessed during what Palestinians call the Nakba, or catastrophe.

Now these families are threatened with another Nakba. Israeli settlers that have moved into Sheikh Jarrah have falsified documents claiming ownership of the land. The Hanun and al-Ghawe families have presented their legitimate documents and an Israeli judge has not yet ruled on the legality of these papers. Yet the eviction orders are still proceeding, even though no official decision has been reached as to whom the Israeli courts recognize as the true owners.

Both the Hanun and al-Ghawe families were forcibly evicted once before in 2002, after which they lived in tents for four months within sight of their former homes. This traumatic experience stands out as a vivid memory even for the children of the families. As they brace themselves to be evicted for the second time, the distress and apprehension in both households is clearly noticeable. Family members have spent many sleepless nights waiting for the police, never knowing exactly which night they will come. Women in the al-Ghawe residence often recount how their small children were thrown from a second floor window by police when they were evicted the last time.

A banner reading "stop ethnic cleansing" hangs in front of one of the houses slated for eviction.

In addition to the al-Ghawe and Hanun families, 25 other households are also threatened with eviction in Sheikh Jarrah, though official orders have not yet been issued by Israeli courts. In November 2008, the al-Kurd family was evicted from their home in the middle of the night despite widespread public support and diplomatic pressure from American and European diplomats on the Israelis to halt the eviction order. The al-Kurd family has erected a protest tent in the middle of Sheikh Jarrah from where they continue to demand the right to return to their homes. The Israeli police have destroyed the tent five times on the grounds that it is an "illegal structure" even though it is built on private Palestinian property.

Now, with the threat of removal again hanging over their heads, community members of Sheikh Jarrah are organizing. "Stop ethnic cleansing" is their main message to the Israeli authorities and the broader international community. These words can be seen on posters hung in the windows of neighborhood shops, on large banners over the entrances to the al-Ghawe and Hanun residences, as well as the T-shirts that organizers have distributed in the community.

This past week has seen a buzz of activity in the neighborhood. The Sheikh Jarrah Committee, supported by the Coalition for Jerusalem, the International Solidarity Movement, and other human rights organizations, have utilized a myriad of tactics to fight the eviction orders. Throughout the week, dignitaries from foreign nations, journalists, consular representatives from numerous European countries, and even Knesset members have all visited the homes and the protest tent to express their support for the residents of Sheikh Jarrah. The committee has held press conferences, demonstrations outside of court hearings and drafted statements condemning the orders.

The community also attempted to host an event as part of the Jerusalem Capital of Arab Culture festival at the protest tent on 23 March. Israeli authorities have banned the festival in occupied East Jerusalem, yet organizers have continued to defy the ban in order to celebrate Jerusalem's rich Palestinian heritage. Sheikh Jarrah residents also gathered to protest the impending house evictions in addition to the increased repression of Palestinian communities in East Jerusalem. Police violently prevented Sheikh Jarrah residents from praying in front of the tent in conjunction with the festival. Participants were badly beaten and eight people were arrested. The following week, another resident was arrested by police inside the tent for refusing to take down a Palestinian flag hanging inside.

The Sheikh Jarrah Committee members view their struggle against eviction as part of a larger struggle against Palestinian dispossession from East Jerusalem. The nearby neighborhoods of Silwan, Beit Hanina and Shufat refugee camp are also facing large-scale house demolitions and evictions. In the al-Bustaan neighborhood of Silwan alone, 88 houses are slated for demolition. Al-Bustaan residents have erected a protest tent similar to the one in Sheikh Jarrah, and this model of resistance seems to be spreading.

For now, the families and supporting activists wait for the police to come each night. They take shifts to make sure someone is up in each house to alarm the community when the Israeli authorities arrive. Some of the family members have removed all of their furniture in anticipation of the coming raids, but they continue to sleep on mats in the floor. The message is clear: they will not go quietly in the face of this injustice.

All images by Jeff Pickert.

Jeff Pickert is an American who has been working in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem for the past four months

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Mais de 150.000 Gazans ainda sem a água


More than 150,000 Gazans still without tap water
Report, The Electronic Intifada, 8 April 2009

GAZA CITY, occupied Gaza Strip (IRIN) - Over 150,000 Palestinians in Gaza (around 10 percent of the population) are struggling without tap water as a result of the damage caused to wells, pipes and waste water facilities during the recent 22-day Israeli offensive that ended on 18 January.

"Our requests via the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to the Israeli military during the conflict to allow shipments of construction materials and spare parts to repair wells and facilities damaged during the war were denied," Coastal Municipalities Water Utility (CMWU) director-general Monther Shoblak told IRIN.

Shoblak estimates that 50,000 people lack tap water after losing their homes, while a further 100,000 have dry taps because of damage to the water supply network.

Eleven of Gaza's 150 wells, the only source of drinking water for Gaza's 1.4 million people (apart from expensive bottled water and water trucked in by aid agencies), are not functioning. Six were completely destroyed, according to CMWU.

Many residents in the north and in Rafah have water from their taps only every four to seven days. CMWU is working to rectify the situation, Shoblak said, but is hampered by lack of supplies.

"Since the end of the war the CMWU has received three out of 80 trucks waiting to enter Gaza containing pipes and spare parts," he said, adding that Israel is obliging the utility company to provide proof -- in the form of photographs of repair work -- that the items received are being used for their designated purpose.

"The three trucks received by the CMWU contained only half a kilometer of piping," he said.

Taxi driver Mohamed Abu Ragheleh, 23, has tap water in his home in Jabaliya only three or four days a week. "We have electricity only eight hours per day so it is difficult to pump the water from the roof-top tanks to our homes ... We have trouble bathing, washing our clothes, and cooking."

"There was severe damage to waste water treatment plants in Beit Hanoun and in the Zeitoun area of Gaza City, affecting water quality," said Shoblak. "After the plant in Gaza City was bombed it discharged raw sewage for 20 days, contaminating groundwater."

Shoblak has asked UN agencies to survey homes and hospitals to identify which areas have contaminated water.

Aid efforts

International aid institutions like Oxfam, Action contre la Faim (ACF) and CARE continue to deliver containers of drinking water to residents in affected areas, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has donated $50,000 to CMWU to begin quick repairs to the water network; ACF has paid $50,000 to local contractors to repair pipes and other infrastructure; and German government-owned development bank KFW had committed $60,000 for immediate repairs, said CMWU.

CMWU's mid-term recovery plan is to re-establish the destroyed water network. CMWU has a commitment of $2.5 million from what is collectively known as the water and sanitation cluster, including UN agencies like UNICEF and the UN Development Programme (UNDP), and international aid institutions like Oxfam, ICRC, Islamic Relief, and the Qatari Red Crescent.

CMWU's long-term recovery plan -- requiring $3.5 million and falling under the larger UN Gaza flash appeal for $613 million -- covers repairs in areas that have been evacuated and will be coordinated with the rebuilding of homes.

However, major repairs cannot take place without the opening of border crossings to allow in spare parts and building materials. The Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) has confirmed it does not intend to revise its policy of prohibiting reconstruction materials from entering Gaza, according to OCHA.

This item comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian news and information service, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. All IRIN material may be reposted or reprinted free-of-charge; refer to the copyright page for conditions of use. IRIN is a project of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

a sociedade civil mostra a sua força moral


Civil society shows its moral strength
Adri Nieuwhof, The Electronic Intifada, 7 April 2009

Palestinians gather around a crater caused by an Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza Strip. (Mohamed Al-Zanon/MaanImages)

At a time when Western governments refrain from using their power to stop Israel's ongoing violations of international law, many civil society organizations silently watch the moral corrosion of their governments. At the "Israel Review Conference" in Geneva this month and the Russell Tribunal slated for early 2010, however, civil society will use its power and call Israel to account.

The Israel Review Conference is organized in response to the efforts to leave out the case of the systematic violation of the rights of the Palestinian people from the United Nations Durban Review Conference in Geneva from 20-24 April. The World Conference Against Racism adopted a Program of Action to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in Durban, South Africa in 2001. The progress made will be reviewed at the UN Durban Review Conference. Israel has tried to avoid a review of its policies and practices by staying away from Durban II, and it successfully influenced its allies to do the same.

In October 2008 the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), representing more than 170 Palestinian civil society organizations, published a solid position paper for Durban II. It gives many examples of Israel's systematic and institutional discrimination against the Palestinian people. This includes the continued prevention of the return of the Palestinian refugees, the ongoing appropriation of Palestinian land in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and in Israel, the adoption of new discriminatory laws to limit the fundamental human and civil rights of Palestinians, the siege of the Gaza Strip, the ongoing segregation and house demolitions of property owned by Palestinians in Israel, and the denial of due process and effective remedies for Palestinians in Israeli prisons.

It is obvious Palestinians have not enjoyed much improvement towards equal rights since Durban I. However, the Durban Review Conference will not examine this issue. To ensure that Israel's treatment of the Palestinian people will be assessed, the Israel Review Conference is organized by a civil society coalition in Geneva on 18-19 April. The partners collaborating on the conference are the Palestinian BNC, the Civil Society Forum for the Durban Review Conference, the European Coordinating Committee on Palestine, the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network and the International Coordinating Network on Palestine. Internationally renowned experts and actors for social and political justice will examine how the UN anti-racism instruments apply to Israel's policies and practices towards the Palestinian people, and develop practical recommendations on how to hold Israel accountable to international law and protect the rights of the Palestinian people.

The exclusion of a review of Israel at Durban II and the formation of the Israel Review Conference follows Israel's deadly assault on Gaza earlier this year, and questions of what international mechanisms exist to hold Israel accountable.

United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, Richard Falk stated that Israel's offensive in the densely populated Gaza appeared to constitute a war crime of the "greatest magnitude." Falk also mentioned that Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip violated the Geneva Conventions. He further suggested that the UN Security Council set up an ad hoc criminal tribunal to establish accountability for war crimes in Gaza. The reluctance of the Security Council to call for an immediate ceasefire to end the bombing and killing in Gaza does not give much hope that meaningful action will be taken at the UN level.

The option to hold Israel to account at the International Criminal Court (ICC) is uncertain. Israel does not recognize the authority of the ICC, because it wants to deal with war crimes in its own way. What this entails becomes clear by how it dealt with serious allegations from Israeli soldiers that included the commission of war crimes and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions in the Gaza Strip. After an inquiry of 11 days, military Advocate-General Avichai Mandelblit closed the case. However, the Palestinian Authority expressed its recognition of the ICC's authority in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in January, with the intention to give the ICC jurisdiction to launch an investigation in Gaza. ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo announced in early February that he will start a preliminary investigation that would include whether the ICC has the authority to proceed further. There are serious doubts that the ICC will bring the abettors of war crimes in Gaza to The Hague.

In this environment of lack of accountability for Israel at the level of international organizations, citizens took the initiative for the Russell Tribunal on Palestine in response to Israel's impunity vis-a-vis its violations of international law. The tribunal aims to reaffirm the primacy of international law as the basis for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and hopes to raise awareness of the responsibility of the international community in the continuing denial of the rights of the Palestinian people. Experts and witnesses committees will establish the facts and build the legal arguments that will be presented to the Russell Tribunal in several world capitals in early 2010. A jury of well-known personalities respected for their high moral standing will consider the reports and hear witness testimony. The jury will announce its conclusions which certainly will attract widespread international public and political support.

The first Russell Tribunal or International War Crimes Tribunal investigated and evaluated American foreign policy and military intervention in Vietnam after the defeat of French forces in 1954. At the establishment of the Russell Tribunal, Bertrand Russell quoted the Chief Prosecutor of the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials, Robert H. Jackson, stating that "If certain acts and violations of treaties are crimes, they are crimes whether the United States does them or whether Germany does them. We are not prepared to lay down a rule of criminal conduct against others which we would not be willing to have invoked against us." Civil society initiatives towards freedom, justice and equality for the Palestinian people confirm that the same counts for Israel.

Adri Nieuwhof is a consultant and human rights advocate based in Switzerland.

A nossa paragem no Cairo!

fonte:diary of a Palestinian mother

Our pause in Cairo Airport

We have been stuck in Cairo airport for nearly a day now. We are neither being allowed entry or exit by Egyptian authorities, who insist that as long as Rafah Crossing is closed, they are under strict orders not to allow Palestinians in.

This is despite a signed letter of consent I received personally from the Egyptian consul-general in Washington the day of my travel from the US.

To quote the Egyptian officials here in the airport "so sue him".

I tried to plead that it was not my fault Egypt was in the way of my home- that if I could,I'd parachute in; that i simply wanted to go back home.

For now, we wait and sleep on the roach ridden floors of the transit hall as our own "Borders" film (a classic Syrian satire by iconic actor Dreid La7am about a man who is stuck between the borders of two fictional countries who speak the same language) unfolds.

We cannot return to the US b/c my visa has expired and I was planning on renewing it in Beirut where I was to meet up with Yassine after my Gaza stay.

And we are not beig allowed entry to Cairo because Rafah is closed.

No one seems to have an answer, other than whast was told to me this morning. No one knows where my file is or what is going to happen. I have an off again on again wifi signal, and tryig my best to keep updates on twitter @gazamom.

Israel criou "terror sem misericórdia 'em Gaza

fonte:The Guardian

Israel created 'terror without mercy' in Gaza

by Rory McCarthy

The Israeli military attacked civilians and medics and delayed - sometimes for hours - the evacuation of the injured during the January war in Gaza, according to an independent fact-finding mission commissioned by Israeli and Palestinian medical human rights groups.

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel and the Palestinian Medical Relief Society yesterday said their findings showed Israel's military committed serious violations of international humanitarian law. In their 92-page report, compiled by five senior health experts from across the world, they documented several specific attacks, with interviews from 44 separate witnesses.

Human rights groups have accused Israel's military, as well as Palestinian militants in Gaza, of war crimes. "The underlying meaning of the attack on the Gaza Strip, or at least its final consequence, appears to be one of creating terror without mercy to anyone," the report said.

In one incident, the researchers found a Palestinian, Muhammad Shurrab, 64, and his sons Qassab, 28, and Ibrahim, 18, were shot by Israeli troops at close range without warning on 16 January during a ceasefire. Qassab was hit in the face and died soon after. Ibrahim was hit in the leg. The soldiers refused to give medical aid, and only after 23 hours was an ambulance allowed to approach, by which time Ibrahim was also dead.

Yohanna Lerman, a lawyer with the medical rights groups, said although their report was a preliminary investigation this one case alone was enough to indict Israel's political and military leaders.

The Israeli military has said it does not target civilians and is conducting its own investigations into some cases arising from the war.

Netanyahu: 'Eu não vou evacuar nenhum colônato'

fonte:Palestine Chronicle

Netanyahu: 'I Will Not Evacuate Any Settlement'

Ben Zion Netanyahu, left, with his son, Israel's new prime minister.

By Ira Glunts

This weekend the Israeli daily, Ma'ariv, published an interview in Hebrew with Professor Ben Zion Netanyahu, the 99-year-old father of the new Israeli prime minister.

The elder Netanyahu is known for his outspokenness and extreme right-wing views--and he did nothing to contradict his reputation. He decreed that the only solution to the conflict with the Palestinians is the use of military force. He stated that he would not return the Golan Heights to Syria because "you do not return land." He also explained that in his view it is impossible to compromise with Arabs. The Prime Minister's father further opines that the Turks used brutal deadly force to suppress the Arab population and that should be an example to Israel in dealing with Arabs whose nature dictates that they live in a state of perpetual war.

There are reports that the Prime Minister's Office unsuccessfully tried to convince Ma'ariv to suppress publication of this article since the elder Netanyahu's controversial views would be embarrassing for his son.

When I learned of the interview, I searched Google hoping to learn more about the father. In doing so, I stumbled across a February television interview with both father and son, again, in Hebrew. In this brief television appearance the then-candidate Benjamin Netanyahu appears very comfortable when his father states that Israel is today in great danger of being completely destroyed and that the "holocaust never ended and is continuing at this very moment."

In this dual appearance, Benjamin Netanyahu, reflecting the direct influence of his father's view that no territory should ever be returned, proclaims that there will not be any evacuations of settlements during his administration. This position places him on a direct collision course with the Obama administration which claims to want to work toward a negotiated peace in the region.

What follows is a translation of Netanyahu's statements (from 3:55 of the video):

Netanyahu: I think that anyone who has eyes in his head understands that today any settlement that will be evacuated will be grabbed by the bitter enemies of the State of Israel.
Question: So you can say that the Likud [Netanyahu’s party] will not evacuate settlements during its term of office?
Netanyahu: Yes.
Question: Will not evacuate?
Netanyahu: Indeed.

As the interviewer stated, Benjamin Netanyahu has been greatly influenced by the views of his father. Under his father’s watchful eye and possibly affected by what some say has been an overbearing parental manner that influence is very painfully apparent.

- Ira Glunts first visited the Middle East in 1972, where he taught English and physical education in a small rural community in Israel. He was a volunteer in the Israeli Defense Forces in 1992. Glunts lives in Madison, New York where he operates a used and rare book business, writes and is a part-time reference librarian. He contributed this article to Contact him at:

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Duplo Normas no clube nuclear

fonte:Palestine Chronicle

Double Standards at the Nuclear Club

'Without comment or pressure from the US, Israel remains free to do as it pleases.'

By Jim Miles – Canada

It was only a short news item, and it probably received much more commentary in the U.S. but on Canwest Global’s evening news (Sunday, April 05, Vancouver, Canada) was an item titled "Breaking the Rules". This is quoting Obama’s comment that "North Korea broke the rules." In order to be clear, I would need to know what rules are being referred to. Are they rules established under international law? Are they rules for the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty to which they never belonged? Or are they the continuing neocon rules that the 'axis of evil' should not be allowed to have nuclear weapons while the U.S. works towards first strike capability, helped in part by expanding its anti-missile 'defences'?

As far as I know, there are no international rules for firing missiles into space, or even into the air. Perhaps he is referring to UN Resolution 1695 (2006) that says in part:

"3. Requires all Member States, in accordance with their national legal
authorities and legislation and consistent with international law, to exercise vigilance and prevent missile and missile-related items, materials, goods and technology being transferred to DPRK’s missile or WMD programmes.."

Otherwise there is only 'grave concern' at:

"the launch of ballistic missiles by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), given the potential of such systems to be used as a means to deliver nuclear, chemical or biological payloads.."

Certainly the world needs to have “grave concern” over ballistic missiles being launched, whether they are Indian, Pakistani, Israeli, Russian or from the United States, especially considering their ‘potential.’ Article 3 does not deny the launching of missiles, and perhaps there is a later resolution that “prohibits” rather than expresses “grave concern”, but for the need of clarity I could not find one.

Article 3 does refer broadly to the intent of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT). Yet all that does is demonstrate the double standards and hypocrisy of mainly the western countries. There are no sanctions against Pakistan, or India. For the latter, even though they are a ‘rogue’ state operating outside the NPT the U.S. has been negotiating with India to increase its nuclear production capacity. Nobody has dared to accost the Israeli’s over their nuclear arsenal, calculated to be on or above two hundred missile ready units by most sources; and they operate with impunity under an almost global media blackout concerning their arsenal.

The NPT also puts the impetus on the nuclear “members” to reduce their own arsenals that now still have dozens of thousands of active weapons globally. There has been no action on this as the U.S., Russia, Great Britain, France, and China still have plenty of overkill potential for the world. Sarkozy to his credit has stated that France would reduce its airborne arsenal (while retaining its seaborne capacity) saying what was left was an “insurance policy.” Not very assuring.

Obama did call for “concrete steps” to reduce its nuclear arsenal. A good call, but the U.S. has ignored much of the NPT ‘rules’ for so long that until it makes a significant unilateral change towards lowering its nuclear weapons, the double standards will remain – and they may well remain even if arsenals are reduced.

"Make No Mistake.."

.. nothing is clear. The U.S. and Russia remain the greatest nuclear weapons states in the world. It will be up to them to lead and begin eliminating their weapons. It is up to them to demonstrate their ability to abide by “international rules” and then perhaps the “rogues” of the world will follow suit.

Pakistan is the next big mistake, a nuclear armed factional Muslim country that is now being drawn into the ever widening “war on terror”. I have always found it interesting how terror ebbs and flows around the edges of empires, whether ancient empires or the current U.S. empire and remnants of the Russian empire. Pakistan is outside the NPT but is considered a U.S. ally, the place that gave birth to the Taliban with much U.S. assistance.

Iran is another mistake in the making if the U.S. government continues to leave “all options” on the table, and regardless of Obama’s call for talks - without mentioning the historical errors of deposing the democratically elected Mossadegh government and supporting the brutality of the Shah’s regime. Its potential for negative interaction with Israel’s arsenal leaves large areas of non-clarity hanging in the wind. Without comment or pressure from the U.S., Israel remains free to do as it pleases, and with Avigdor Liberman flaunting his status as Foreign Minister, the incendiary talk will probably only increase from that perspective.

There is nothing that is really clear. Obama talks a wonderful line but we need to see some action, we need to see more than equitable contributions by the U.S to the NPT as it has the most powerful military in the world. So yes, be clear, be specific, but we also need to see “concrete actions” that will include the elimination of the double standards that ‘rule’ the nuclear club.

- Jim Miles is a Canadian educator and a regular contributor/columnist of opinion pieces and book reviews for The Palestine Chronicle. Miles’ work is also presented globally through other alternative websites and news publications.

crimes de guerra?? Nao!!!apenas rumores...


Tales of War Crimes

Thank God, It Was Only Rumors


Military Advocate General Brig. Gen. Avichai Mendelblit has instructed the Military Police Investigation unit to close the inquiry into Israeli soldiers' accounts of serious violations of the army's rules of engagement during the Gaza Massacre or as the IDF so winningly calls it: “Operation Cast Lead”. It turns out the General discovered all the charges "were based on hearsay and not first-hand experience." Just a bunch of rumors.

Thank God for that. Those shells were just rumors, the ones that hit the U.N. warehouse and the al-Quds Hospital. It wasn’t white phosphorus. The jellyfish-like white tentacles that are a signature for a white phosphorus burst were probably a Palestinian fireworks display. The Abu Halima family was wrong. There was no shell that exploded in their house killing four children. Human Right Watch made a mistake. It must have been a sandstorm or a jinn.

Stories that Israeli soldiers wrecked and defiled Palestinian homes were obviously urban legends. After claiming to visit one home near Jabalya camp Israeli newspaper columnist Amira Hass wrote,

“There are houses where excrement was smeared on the walls, or where dry piles of it were found in corners. In many cases, the smells indicated that soldiers had urinated on piles of clothing or inside a washing machine. In all the houses the toilets were overflowing and clogged, and there was filth all around. When the Abu Eidas returned to house No. 5 in Jabalya, they discovered pots of urine and excrement in the refrigerator.”

Where did she come up with this tall tale? The courageous Israelis who commented on her article nailed her good, “What Propaganda”, said Gershon Reed” , “Yes, Amira War is Hell”, said Baruch Gold. “More Hamas Propaganda”, said “Rambo”.

In an effort to clear up confusion Israeli army chief Gabi Ashkenazi announced, "I can say that the IDF is the most moral army in the world." Well there you have it. It comes from the Chief of Staff, himself. The International Red Cross complained that the Israeli army was firing on ambulances. No doubt the charge is a lie. An Israeli handwritten order on a piece of paper that stated: “Rules of Engagement: Open fire also upon rescue’, was obviously just a joke. Have humanitarian organizations no sense of humor?

Amos Harel, the Haaretz military affairs reporter, tells about the testimony given to Danny Zamir who interviewed soldiers who had graduated from his pre-military preparatory program at Oranim Academic College and who had fought in Gaza. Zamir claimed that soldiers told him accounts of soldiers killing a woman and two of her children, shooting and killing an elderly Palestinian woman, and destroying property at will. Supposedly a soldier told Zamir, "That what's great in Gaza, you could say - you see someone walking down a track, not necessarily armed, and you can simply shoot them. In our case, it was an elderly woman.” Obviously Harel or Zamir made it all up.

In another article Harel brings up testimonies about the army’s use of the so-called "neighbor procedure". What’s wrong with asking a Palestinian to invite his neighbors to come out for a polite chat with the Israeli army? Harel says Israeli soldiers force Palestinians to do this. Nonsense. Hearsay. Baseless slander. Israelis don’t take human shields. By definition that’s only something Arabs do.

Another Haaetz columnist Gideon Levy wrote, “An army whose armored corps has yet to encounter an enemy tank and whose pilots have yet to face an enemy combat jet in 36 years has been trained to think that the only function of a tank is to crush civilian cars and that a pilot's job is to bomb residential neighborhoods.” What does Levy know? An old woman could be a suicide bomber. A six year old could be a suicide bomber. So the IDF destroyed 20 ambulances. Ambulances could be carrying terrorists. As a U.S. bumper sticker said in Vietnam days, “Kill ‘em all and let God sort ‘em out.”

Bleeding heart Amnesty International bellyached about the use of flechettes in Gaza. “Flechettes are 4cm long metal darts that are sharply pointed at the front, with four fins at the rear. Between 5,000 and 8,000 are packed into 120mm shells which are generally fired from tanks..” They are “ anti-personnel weapon designed to penetrate dense vegetation”. Well, doesn’t Israel have to fight the terrorists who hide in Gaza’s vast jungles? Amnesty claims Wafa' Nabil Abu Jarad, a 21-year-old pregnant mother of two, was one of those killed by flechettes in Gaza. Where does it come up with this science fiction?

Since the IDF is a most moral army the photos of hateful graffitti soldiers allegedly wrote on houses in Gaza were necessarily faked. Journalist Amira Hass says there were sentences like “We came to annihilate you; Death to the Arabs; Kahane was right; No tolerance, we came to liquidate.” She writes about scribblings cursing the prophet Muhammad. Clearly bogus. So what if the graffiti “appears alongside the names of army units and individual soldiers.” Hasn’t she heard of Photoshop?

And where did the Israeli journalist Uri Blau come up with this dubious report? “Dead babies, mothers weeping on their children's graves, a gun aimed at a child and bombed-out mosques - these are a few examples of the images Israel Defense Forces soldiers design these days to print on shirts they order to mark the end of training, or of field duty.” He claims “A sharpshooter's T-shirt from the Givati Brigade's Shaked battalion shows a pregnant Palestinian woman with a bull's-eye superimposed on her belly, with the slogan, in English, 1 shot, 2 kills.’ He even has a photo. Still, he must have made a mistake. The most moral army in the world doesn’t shoot pregnant women. It wouldn’t brag about its cruelty on casual wear. Givati Brigade T-shirts no doubt feature purple bougainvillea flowers emblazoned with the slogan “Purity in Arms”.

Stanley Heller is host of “The Struggle” TV news magazine Contact him at

o legado da guerra em Gaza- parte 2

fonte:Al Jazeera (English channel)

o legado da guerra em Gaza-parte 1

fonte:Al Jazeera (English channel)

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