Saturday, 4 July 2009

Israel insulta a Inglaterra (uma outra vez)

fonte:Palestine Chronicle

Israel Insults Britain (Again)
British people are waking up to the truth about Israel's lawlessness.

By Stuart Littlewood – London

On Tuesday the Israeli navy, in a blatant act of piracy on the high seas, assaulted the vessel 'Spirit of Humanity' and abducted six British nationals who were taking part in a voyage of mercy. The tiny unarmed ship was bringing a humanitarian cargo of medicines, children's toys and reconstruction materials to the devastated people of Gaza.

Israel's murderous 22-day offensive last December/January left more than 50,000 homes, 800 industrial properties, 200 schools, 39 mosques and two churches damaged or destroyed. The International Committee of the Red Cross says the 1.5 million Palestinians living in Gaza are "trapped in despair", unable to rebuild their lives because Israel, having wantonly wrecked their civil society and infrastructure, is blocking efforts to bring in the necessary repair materials. Those on board the 'Spirit of Humanity' were acting in accord with donors' pledges of $4.5 billion for reconstruction and rehabilitation and US President Obama's request to Israel to let those supplies pass.

The mercy ship sailed from Larnaca, Cyprus, with a crew of 21 human rights activists, humanitarian workers and journalists from 11 different countries, including Nobel laureate Mairead Maguire and former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. In the early hours of Tuesday morning Israeli warships surrounded it and threatened to open fire if the crew didn’t turn back. When they refused to be intimidated, the Israelis jammed their instrumentation and blocked their GPS, radar, and navigation systems, putting all lives at risk.

The ship had been searched and given security clearance by the Port Authorities in Cyprus before sailing, and posed no threat.

Richard Falk, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights, says the seizing of the ‘Spirit of Humanity’ is unlawful and the continuing blockade of Gaza a crime against humanity. Yes, yes, Mr. Falk. But the question as always is, what is your paralytic, useless organization doing about it? Or is hand-wringing all it’s good for?

Many here, including myself, immediately wrote to David Miliband, the British foreign secretary, about the outrage. Two days later I called the Palestine desk at the Foreign Office in London. The person I spoke to sounded uncomfortable having to trot out the same old gobbledigook about "working hard to resolve the problem" and "doing all we can". He said the six Brits were in Israeli custody and nobody was sure where exactly the incident took place. However, the vessel was fitted with a SPOT GPS tracker, so the system should have a record of their position when attacked.

The real problem, as I suggested, is that Israel dares to kidnap Brits on the high seas and doesn't fear the consequences - no doubt confident there won't be any. I was reminded that Israel had issued warnings (and so had the Foreign Office) not to travel in that area. What area? Mustn't one travel in international waters?

The spokesman assured me that progress was being made. There was "movement" on getting humanitarian supplies into Gaza, but I pointed out that nobody had seen any evidence of Israel conforming with international law and Geneva Conventions. He claimed there was also "movement" on halting settlements on occupied territory, although I observed that the Israelis had just OK'd more illegal building.

I also reminded him about the ramming of the MV 'Dignity' on a similar mission by an Israeli gunboat on 30 December, 53 miles from shore, and how people here were still hopping mad that nothing had been done about it. The vessel, with 16 on board, was badly damaged and had to limp to a safe Lebanese port. As far as I know, there was never an offer of compensation and no demand from London. As usual, somebody else had to pick up the tab for Israel’s unbridled destruction.

The 'Dignity' had a cargo of 3.5 tonnes of medical supplies, the majority donated by the Cyprus government, and a British skipper and a Greek mate. It carried fourteen passengers, one of whom was Cynthia McKinney. There were also two surgeons and a Palestinian physician. A friend of mine was among them and wrote this chilling account of the attack:

"At 04.55 hrs EMT on 30 December, searchlights appeared astern. There were two Israeli gunboats. They came abreast, circled and stayed with us. These boats can do over 45 knots, carry ten tonnes of fuel and have sophisticated weapon systems including Hellfire missiles. Tracer bullets were fired skywards, forming ellipses, and flares put up. At 05.30 hrs approximately, one gunboat was playing its searchlight on the port side of 'Dignity'. Suddenly there was a tremendous crash at the bow, and then another almost simultaneously, and another on the port beam… The bow dipped and it seemed the boat was breaking up. It was dark, the wind force was 4 to 5 and there was a 10ft sea. The master shouted 'we have been rammed'. It was feared the boat would sink. He broadcast a Mayday distress signal; there was no response.

“Cynthia McKinney and Caoimhe Butterly could not swim; the life jackets were rapidly deployed to all. The hull was taking water but bilge pumps were working. The first words from a commander of one of the gun boats came over the radio. First there was the accusation that the ship's company was involved with terrorists and that it was subversive. Then there came the threat to shoot. The master was forbidden from making for Gaza or further south to El Arish in Egypt. He was ordered to return to Larnaca – about 160 miles, even though the boat was badly damaged and the Israeli did not know whether there was sufficient fuel, which there was not. He set a northerly course and the boat stayed buoyant in a moderating sea. A crew member arranged with the Lebanese authorities for a safe harbour in Sour (Tyre) where jubilant crowds thronged the quays. A UNIFIL ship came out to escort us and the Israeli gunboats, which were following, fell back.

"Was there lethal intent? A gunboat came out of the black of night with no lights showing whilst a searchlight from the other gun boat displayed our port hull as its target. It would have approached at about 30 degrees to the Dignity's port and at speed. The intention to sink the Dignity and thus to drown its company was clear. If the hull had been GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic) it would have shattered and the boat would have sunk like a stone 53 nautical miles off Haifa. Fortunately, the hull was constructed of marine ply with timber ribs and survived.... The ship's company were repatriated except for a resolute Scot, Theresa McDermott. She was imprisoned in Ramleh gaol. When the British Consulate in Israel was contacted for assistance in finding Teresa, staff refused to help locate her saying they couldn’t provide assistance to a UK citizen unless she personally requested it. Teresa was released after six days, her 'crime' probably being a member of the International Solidarity Campaign like Rachel Corrie before her."

My written question to Mr Miliband was simply this: "Why isn’t Her Majesty's Government providing the mercy ship 'Spirit of Humanity' with an escort to protect against the unlawful, piratical interference and threat to life by the Israeli navy? There have been repeated incidents of harassment, damage, theft and armed aggression on the high seas or in Palestinian waters by the Israeli regime against unarmed vessels".

The British government has loudly pledged Royal Navy help to stop the "smuggling" of arms to the Gaza resistance but won’t protect Gaza’s fishermen from being fired on by Israeli marauders while trying to earn their living. And evidently the government can't be bothered to protect our own people going about their lawful business.

But, sure enough, they kicked up an almighty fuss when Iran nabbed 15 British sailors two years ago for allegedly straying into Iranian waters.

For our sins we are saddled with a foreign secretary who calls for Israeli tank crewman Gilad Shalit's release but not the release of 11,000 Palestinian civilians - some of them women and children - rotting in Israeli jails. On 25 June Miliband said: 'Today is the third anniversary of the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit. Both British Ministers and the British Ambassador in Israel have had repeated contact with Gilad's family and emphasized our support for Gilad's immediate release. Last September, the Ambassador helped to deliver over 2,000 Jewish New Year cards for Gilad to the ICRC as part of a campaign organized by the UK Jewish community. I repeat the UK's call to Hamas for his immediate, unconditional, and safe release. We share the Shalit family's dismay at Hamas's refusal to allow the ICRC access to Gilad.

It’s shameful that his dismay doesn’t extend to the 11,000 Palestinian families.

British people are waking up to the truth about Israel’s lawlessness. In the absence of firm action from the British government they are taking reprisals of their own, in the form of boycotts, which has driven Mr. Miliband to complain that “the Government is dismayed that motions calling for boycotts of Israel are being discussed at trade union congresses and conferences this summer”. He insists that boycotts “obstruct opportunities for co-operation and dialogue and serve only to polarize debate further. Boycotts would only make it harder to achieve the peace that both Palestinians and Israelis deserve and desire”.

Mr. Miliband hasn't learned the lesson of the last 61 years. And our prime minister-in-waiting, David Cameron (a Zionist and, like Brown and Blair, a patron of the Jewish National Fund), is no different. He says: "I think there’s something else we need to do, which is to say to our academics in this country that boycotts of Israel are completely unacceptable, and I think we also need to say that to the trade unions."

Nowadays you have to carefully to pick your way through a veritable obstacle-course of pro-Zionists, Chosen Ones and Israeli stooges that inhabit every nook and cranny in the corridors of power and dominate Britain’s key defense bodies. These Israeli flag-wavers seem only too happy for the Israelis to insult us - and the rest of the world – while rewarding them with more and more trade and scientific co-operation.

- Stuart Littlewood is author of the book Radio Free Palestine, which tells the plight of the Palestinians under occupation. He contributed this article to Visit:

a limpeza etnica como politica do estado

fonte:Palestine Chronicle

Ethnic Cleansing as a State Policy
To ethnically cleanse the Palestinians was the very basis of Israel’s raison-d’être.

By Nicola Nasser - The West Bank

In his speech at Bar Ilan University on June 14, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposed a new Israeli 'peace plan,' with preconditions that a Palestinian negotiator must first meet before he would “promptly” engage in “unconditional” bilateral talks to meet an international consensus demanding the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. His preconditions added to the fourteen conditions the former Israeli government of comatose Ariel Sharon attached to Israel’s adoption in grudge of the 2003 Road Map blueprint for peace with the Palestinian side, on the basis of which the U.S. administration of President Barak Obama and his presidential envoy George Mitchell are now urging an early resumption of “immediate” Israeli – Palestinian peace talks, which Mitchell on June 26 hoped “very much to conclude this phase of the discussions and to be able to move into meaningful and productive negotiations in the near future."

Sharon’s conditional approval of the Road Map has condemned the blueprint as a non-starter, led to the Israeli military reoccupation of the Palestinian autonomous areas, aborted former U.S. President George W. Bush’s promise to Palestinians to have their own state twice in 2005 and 2008, and doomed the twenty – year peace process since the Madrid conference in 1991 to its current impasse that Obama and Mitchell are trying to break through. It is a forgone conclusion that Netanyahu’s preconditions -- Palestinian recognition of Israel as a “Jewish state,” “demilitarization” of the prospective Palestinian less-than-a-sovereign state and preserving Israel’s illegitimate “right” to expand its illegal colonial Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories -- will fare worse than Sharon’s conditions.

Netanyahu demanded that the “Palestinian population,” and not the Palestinian people -- who live “in Judea and Samaria,” and not in the Israeli – occupied Palestinian territory, where there is an “Israeli presence,” and not an Israeli military occupation -- should first agree to a “public, binding and unequivocal” recognition that Israel is “the nation state of the Jewish people” worldwide, and not the nation state of the Israelis. His demand was an arrogant precondition ridiculed by Gideon Levy in Haaretz on June 15 as an “excessive demand that Palestinians recognize the Jewish state by one who has failed to recognize the Palestinians as a people,” sarcastically welcomed the next day by Ma'ariv’s chief political columnist, Ben Caspit, who wrote: “Welcome, Mr. Prime Minister, to the 20th century. The problem is that we're already in the 21st.” Moreover, such a precondition “is almost humiliating and it is unlikely to be met,” by the Palestinian Authority (PA), according to Avi Issacharoff, writing in Haaretz on June 17.

Israeli analyst M.J. Rosenberg wrote on June 19: Acceptance of Israel as a “Jewish state” is a non-starter at this point. And Netanyahu knows it. If that is a precondition for negotiations, there will be no negotiations. But without any definition of borders and with Netanyahu committed to expanding settlements in the West Bank, how can anyone seriously expect Palestinians to recognize Israel as a “Jewish state?” Aaron David Miller, a former senior U.S. negotiator in the Mideast, said Netanyahu’s speech “was less about pursuing Arab-Israeli peace and much more about pursuing the U.S.-Israeli relationship.”

PA’s Prime Minister in Ramallah, Salam Fayyad, noted in a speech at Al-Quds (Jerusalem) University on June 22 that his Israeli counterpart’s speech missed all reference to the Road Map blueprint as well as to the thorny issue of expanding settlements and described the speech as "a new blow to efforts to salvage the peace process." Head of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)’s department of negotiations affairs, Saeb Erakat, condemned Netanyahu’s speech as a “non-starter.” Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urged the international community to isolate him and his government. His Egyptian counterpart, Hosni Mubarak, a close ally of Abbas and the U.S. and Israel’s 30-year unwavering peace partner, said Netanyahu’s precondition “aborts the chance for peace,” although he declined to heed Abbas’ call for the isolation of Netanyahu and received him and others of his cabinet. Al-Baath, the mouthpiece of Syria's ruling party, commented: “Netanyahu has confirmed that he rejects the Arab initiative for peace.” In an editorial on June 16, the Saudi Arabian English daily, “Arab News,” said his speech was “a challenge to the world community.” Walid Jumblat, a leading figure of the March 14 bloc, which recently won the Lebanese elections, lambasted the speech as dragging the region into a “dangerous stage” and one that “completely crippled” any possibility to reach a peace settlement, adding that, “any talk about Israel as a Jewish state means closing the file on the (Palestinian right of) return,” on which there is a consensus among rival Lebanese factions to reject the resettlement of half a million Palestinian refugees hosted by Lebanon since 1948.

However Obama and Mitchell insensitively ignored all negative Palestinian and Arab reactions, repeatedly and on record renamed Israel as the “Jewish” State of Israel, with Obama lightly trying to defuse the explosiveness of Netanyahu’s demand by stating that it was “exactly what negotiations are supposed to be about,” because “this is what both America and Europe are asking,” according to Italian foreign minister Franco Frattini.

Angrily describing Netanyahu as a “swindler” who plays “tricks” with peace – making, Yasser Abed Rabbo, secretary general of the PLO’s executive committee, said the Israeli premier wants Palestinians to “become Zionists.” Mere heartfelt commitment to Zionism will not be enough, however, Hasan and Ali Abunimah wrote in The Electronic Intifada on June 17, for the Palestinians' conversion to have “practical meaning,” Netanyahu explained, “there must also be a clear understanding that the Palestinian refugee problem will be resolved outside Israel's borders.” In other words, “Palestinians must agree to help Israel complete the ethnic cleansing it began in 1947-48, by abandoning the right of return,” Abunimah brothers added.

In a statement, five PLO member factions, namely the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Palestinian People's Party, the Palestinian National Liberation Movement and the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front, said Netanyahu’s speech was “tantamount to a declaration of war on Palestinians' national rights.” For the first time since the Palestinian – Israeli “peace process” was launched some twenty years ago, the voice of the PLO peace partners was much louder and harsher in criticizing Israel than that of their opposition among the non-PLO factions, like Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. Netanyahu seems to have succeeded where four years of Egyptian efforts have failed to make Palestinians speak in one voice.

When Netanyahu makes Palestinian recognition of Israel as a “Jewish state” as the cornerstone of his “peace” policy and has Avigdor Lieberman, who calls on record for the transfer of Israeli Arab Palestinians, as the foreign minister of his ruling coalition, he officially raises ethnic cleansing to the level of state policy, and may be this is why French President Nicolas Sarkozy reportedly urged visiting Netanyahu on June 30 to replace his top diplomat and “to get rid of that man,” whom he declined to meet when Lieberman was recently in Paris, leading Israeli member of Knesset Afu Aghbaria (Hadash) and ten others of his parliamentary colleagues to call on world leaders to declare what they condemn as the “racist” Lieberman a persona-non-grata. Another Hadash MP, Hanna Swaid, wrote to Mitchell: "The recognition of Israel as a Jewish state harms the Arab citizens (25% of the population), undermines their legal status in the country and puts them at the heart of the struggle with no representation in the negotiations.”

Recognizing Israel as a/or the “Jewish state” should be rejected not only because it politically forecloses whatever chance remains for the resumption of peace talks and sets the regional stage for the alternative, which another peace partner to Israel, Jordan’s King Abdullah II, has repeatedly warned against because it “would have adverse and catastrophic consequences on the whole region,” but more importantly because strategically such a precondition, if it gains international recognition, would inevitably be used by Israel as a casus belli to officially resume -- what has been so far claimed an unofficial policy by neutral monitors and officially denied by Israeli politicians – and defend its ethnic cleansing of native Arab Palestinians as an internationally –recognized state policy inside its borders, and in the Palestinian territories it occupied in 1967 outside them, and as an international carte blanche vindicating what the Israeli historian, Ilan Pappe documented as its more than sixty-year old “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.”

Politically this would rule out the Palestinian refugees’ “Right of Return” and legitimize Lieberman’s “transfer” dreams (expulsion en masse of Israel’s Arab - Palestinian citizens as well as Palestinian natives of East Jerusalem) to be made true as soon as the political timing render their realization feasible, to throw “the Arabs into the sea,” according to Aharon Barak, the former president of the supreme court of Israel from 1995 to 2006, who was speaking at the Rabin Center in Tel Aviv on June 25.

Israeli governmental and parliamentary officials of Netanyahu’s ruling coalition criticized Barak's support for “a state for all its citizens.” It would be very instructive here to recall the first Prime Minister of Israel and forefather of ethnic cleansing David Ben-Gurion’s reaction to the news that the world renowned physicist Albert Einstein declined the offer of the Israeli presidency in 1952: “Tell me what to do if he says yes! If he accepts, we are in trouble,” he said, because Einstein “would distinguish between Jewish homeland and state, and argued for a bi-national state where Jews and Arabs shared a common land, not a strictly defined “Jewish state,” according to Fred Jerome, who in June published his new book, “Einstein on Israel and Zionism: His Provocative Ideas about the Middle East” (St. Martin’s Press).

More instructive than Einstein’s arguments and Ben-Gurion’s reaction was the U.S. President Harry S. Truman’s proclamation, just 11 minutes after the state's unilateral declaration, that, “The United States recognizes the provisional government (proclaimed by Jews “in Palestine”) as the de facto authority of the new State of Israel,” and NOT as “the new Jewish State” as proposed by the American Jewish leaders, crossing out the proposed words and replacing them in his own handwriting with “the new state of Israel.” Obviously, Netanyahu’s precondition “was devised because Netanyahu understands that Palestinians will never accept it because it negates their standing in a land they have inhabited from time immemorial.” (Rosenberg on June 14)

Czech Republic Foreign Minister Jan Kohout, visiting Israel on June 28, said in an exclusive interview with The Jerusalem Post: “First we have to understand what is meant by this [Jewish state demand]. So far, I can say that I don't have a clear picture on that.” “Resolution 181 (UN Resolution 181, also called the 1947 UN Partition Plan) calls for recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. But at the same time it gives equal rights to all of its citizens,” said Kohout, who seemed not interested in recent history to note that the Israel recognized by the UN Resolution 181, which at the time had a population of some (500,000) Jews and (438,000) Arab Palestinians, is very much smaller than the one we know now, which enjoys a de facto, but not yet a de jure, international recognition, thanks to Israel’s "War of Independence" using Plan D to “cleanse” Palestine, according to Pappe and to five major territorial expansionist wars, dubbed “preventive” or “pre-emptive” wars by Israeli strategists, who launched them to secure their ethnic cleansing exploits, claiming with their former premier, Golda Meir, that there was “no Palestinian people” to cleanse.

To ethnically cleanse the Palestinians was the very basis of Israel’s raison-d’être. Speaking of the Arabs of Palestine (Complete Diaries, June 12, 1895 entry), Theodore Herzl, founder of the World Zionist Organization, said: “Spirit the penniless population across the frontier by denying it employment... Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly.” The tragic result was summarized by Israel’s minister of defense during the 1967 war, Moshe Dayan, in an address to the Technion, Haifa, (Haaretz, April 4, 1969): “Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushua in the place of Tal al-Shuman. There is not a single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.”

It seems clear now that the UN General Assembly Resolution 4686 of 1991, which revoked an earlier one equating Zionism with racism (the 1975 Resolution 3379), was a premature measure.

Kohout, whose country was the former rotating president of the European Union, is not a rare species in demanding to “understand what is meant” by the “Jewish state” precondition. One could not but recall the Venetian word “ghetto,” once meant for the Jews of Europe. The Israeli leadership seems now in the grips of a “ghetto mentality” racing against the modern times of pluralism and coexistence, when nations are moving towards a globalized 21st-century identity of citizenship by allegiance, regardless of race, creed or gender, and at a time when the French translation of Israeli academic Shlomo Sand’s “The Invention of the Jewish People” is granted this year’s French prestigious Aujourd’hui Award for a book which argues that Zionism in modern times “invented” the concept of the “Jewish people” as well as their “imaginary” historical connection to Palestine.

- Nicola Nasser is a veteran Arab journalist based in Bir Zeit of the Israeli – occupied Palestinian territories. He contributed this article to

fonte:Al Jazeera

fonte:Al Jazeera

o ministro israelita da habitação preocupado com aumento da população árabe


Israeli Housing Minister Concerned over increasing Arab population

by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

sraeli Housing Minister of the extremist Shas movement stated Thursday that it is essential for the state of Israel to construct settlements in the Negev and the Galilee to 'counter the increasing number of Arabs who do not love Israel'.

Um al Fahim - Image Arabs48
Um al Fahim - Image Arabs48

Eitas stated that he is concerned about the increasing number of Arabs in different parts of Israel, and that he believes bringing more settlers to the Horesh religious Jewish settlement is a national task, the Arabs48 news website reported.

As for the Galilee, Eitas said that 'if the current situation does not change, Israel would lose the Galilee', and added that the population there should not be mixed.

He also said that it is not suitable to have Arabs and Jews living together, and that Israel is 'losing' Akka (Acre) due to increasing Arab population. He added that he met with Acre mayor for three hours to discuss the 'means to save Akka.

Eitas said that the Mayor of Akka asked him to bring more Haredi religious settlers to live in Akka, and stated that the Arabs are living in apartment buildings inhibited by Jews, an issue which is 'forcing' the Jews to leave.

He further said that the marketing of the lands for construction purposes should be conducted in a way that Separates between the Jews and the Arabs, and also separates between religious and secular Jews.

Arab member of Knesset, Jamal Zahalka, said that 'if the Arab population is causing concern to racists, then we are on the right track'.

Zahalka added that Eitas and his followers must understand that the Arabs are the natives of this country, and have the right to populate the land.

'We did not steal the land, unlike what Israel did when it exiled our people and annexed our lands and country', Zahalka said, 'Such statements pushes us to counter this racism, and to defend our homes and land'.

The Arab member of Knesset also said that the lands Eitas wants to market to the religious and secular Jews belongs to the Arabs and were illegally annexed from their legitimate owners.

soldados israelitas atacam o manifestao semanal de Nil'in


Soldiers attack the Nil'in weekly Protest

by Ghassan Bannoura - IMEMC News

Israeli soldiers attacked Palestinian villagers along with their international and Israeli peace supporters during the weekly non-violent protest against the wall in Ni'lin village, west of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, on Friday.

The army attacks nonviolent protesters in the West Bank - photo by Haytham Al katyeb 2009
The army attacks nonviolent protesters in the West Bank - photo by Haytham Al katyeb 2009

Villagers and their supporters held the midday prayers near the construction site of the Israeli Wall, and then they marched towards the bulldozers building the wall. As soon as the crowd reached the location and started to dismantle part of the wall, troops attacked them with tear gas. Scores were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.

Friday, 3 July 2009

a política do quotidiano dramatizada em "Oh Well Never Mind Bye"


Newsroom politics dramatized in "Oh Well Never Mind Bye"
Sarah Irving, The Electronic Intifada, 2 July 2009

A scene from Oh Well Never Mind Bye.

Oh Well Never Mind Bye has been focused on by British reviewers as a play about the shooting by the London police of Jean Charles de Menezes, a Brazilian electrician, on an underground train in July 2005.

De Menezes was the victim of the racially-charged hysteria that followed the killing of 52 persons by four suicide bombers on underground trains and a bus in the London rush hour on 7 July 2005, and the failure of a similar series of coordinated attacks two weeks later. A widespread public reaction immediately after his killing suggested that many people were happy to see "another possible bomber" shot dead under whatever circumstances.

But it rapidly became clear that the police had killed an innocent man, and that in an attempt to get away with this they had lied about De Menezes's behavior in the train station in the moments leading up to the shooting.

Oh Well Never Mind Bye is set in the busy newsroom of an unnamed London-based newspaper -- probably a right-wing tabloid -- in the days before and after the De Menezes killing. But in a genuinely brave piece of playwriting, Steven Lally has drawn on wider themes, including the "churnalism" that has turned much of the journalistic profession into a regurgitation of celebrity press releases, the way in which Palestine and related issues are reported in the mainstream media and the influence of the Zionist lobby on news coverage.

Sitting at their desks in the newsroom are Fin (Matthew Duggan), a mouthy tabloid hack who is, apparently, content to write what he's told; George (Charlotte Flintham), a bubbly blonde who is a recent addition to the office and Charlotte (Susanna Fiore), who from the outset appears to be a bitter, sarcastic bully. She has been relegated to the task of checking and updating the newspaper's blog -- and the reason why is one of the various elements that create and maintain tension throughout the play.

The performance handout provides the first clue to Charlotte's anger and demotion. As well as the play's setting in London, it also lists "Ramallah, 16-21 June 2005." Over the course of a series of short scenes in which she appears in a blood-soaked T-shirt, desperately trying to communicate through uncooperative emails and telephone calls, it becomes apparent that Charlotte, until recently the rising star of the news team, has managed to talk her way into a placement with the paper's Middle East correspondent in Israel and the West Bank. There, she has made an unauthorized trip to a demonstration against the destruction of olive groves in a village 10 kilometers from Ramallah which is being enclosed by Israel's wall. And she has witnessed at close quarters the deliberate shooting of a 15-year-old Palestinian boy by an Israeli soldier.

This event has become a pivotal moment in Charlotte's life, as the story she writes is initially barred from the print version of the newspaper and then, at the insistence of a pressure group called "Candid Reporting," is later removed from the website. By the time she returns from the Middle East, Charlotte has been moved to a lower-status place in the office and demoted to menial tasks.

During the play, the pile of hate mail from coordinated Zionist media monitors extends up the spike on her desk, while her fiancé has ended their relationship, saying that he's "ashamed" of her, and her colleagues taunt her as an anti-Semite. Meanwhile, the controversy over her piece provides opportunities for dialogue on the nomenclature of reporting on Palestine -- the "security barrier" versus the "separation wall," "occupied" versus "disputed" territories.

While Charlotte tries in secret to place a feature article on her experiences at the hands of Zionist media lobby groups, and fulfills her work duties by reporting on TV shows and cute animal stories, Lally's writing maps the debates on reporting of Palestine onto the fate of Jean Charles de Menezes. The news editor imposes Israel-friendly terminology on Charlotte's stories, while also shoehorning in phrases from the police and the newspaper's right-wing ownership about De Menezes' "unseasonably thick" jacket and allegations -- later disproved -- that he ran from the police and jumped the ticket barrier, trying to justify the shooting.

And the hysterical cranking out of spurious stories about any non-white male seen acting vaguely suspicious with a rucksack -- the means used by the 7 July 2005 bombers to carry their explosives -- is contrasted with the hard facts and witness statements about the Ramallah killing, which Charlotte tries in vain to get into print.

A play dealing with these weighty topics could easily be tedious, didactic and hectoring. But Lally's great achievement in Oh Well Never Mind Bye is to write something which is also very funny -- mainly thanks to its realistic, fast-paced, sarcastic, bitchy newsroom dialogue. The play is also very moving, with a set of flawed characters who all have their good and bad sides. Anyone who lived or had friends and relatives in London in July 2005 will recognize the frantic phone calls to locate loved ones and the rumors which flew thick and fast. Even the set dressing maintains this attention to detail, with George's "good luck" cards for her new job and Fin's hi-tech, minimal desk where he sits, miming to music when he thinks he's alone.

Charlotte may be courageous in her quest to report the truth about the killing of the Palestinian child, but she is also a vicious bully toward her new colleague. Fin may be a lazy tabloid hack, content to report what he's told from the safety of his desk, but when the chips are down he tries -- momentarily -- to help out, risking his job in the process. And George may be a ditzy girl with no journalistic ethics, but she's also confused and backed into a corner by the vitriol she receives from Charlotte from her first morning in the office.

The three main actors, as well as their editor, James (Benjamin Peters), a cynical tabloid pro who has long abandoned any sense of worth in his profession, all deliver sharp, convincing, moving performances. The cast delivers a genuine sense of complexity and of the conflicts between job security, ambition, real fear of a repeat of the 7 July 2005 bombs -- and a duty, often abdicated, to report truthfully and responsibly.

The play's denouement pulls no punches, and a moment of warmth and solidarity between the newsroom colleagues only makes the final twist all the more painful. The political message behind the play, of the power of Zionist lobby groups and the distortion of the news according to the political whims of newspaper owners, is driven firmly home -- and all the more effectively because of excellent performances which make the audience really feel for the three flawed main characters.

Sarah Irving ( is a freelance writer from Manchester, UK. She worked with the International Solidarity Movement in the West Bank in 2001-02 and with Olive Co-op, promoting fair trade Palestinian products and solidarity visits, in 2004-6. She now writes full-time on a range of issues, including Palestine.

For more information on
Oh Well Never Mind Bye see and

Por que Obama deve pedir a demissão do Geral Dayton


Why Obama should fire General Dayton
Mohammed J. Herzallah, The Electronic Intifada, 2 July 2009

"Peace be upon you" (Nidal El Khairy)

The US-sponsored "security coordination" program headed by Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton, which was launched by the Bush Administration in 2005 to allegedly help the Palestinians reform their security services, has done more harm than good. US President Barack Obama would do well to fire Dayton and put an end to US intrusion into internal Palestinian affairs.

In his recent address at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a pro-Israel think tank, Dayton said that his program has created a "new" kind of Palestinian man. Three battalions of 500 men each have graduated from the program, and more are currently in training. These troops have been vetted by US, Israeli and Jordanian security services. Over the past year and a half, these forces have engaged in a series of offensives against members of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad across the West Bank. According to Dayton, senior Israeli commanders were so impressed with the Palestinian troops' performance that they asked him, "how many more of these new Palestinians can you generate, and how quickly ..."

Setting aside the level of condescension inherent in such statements, the Dayton agenda provides important clues about the scope and nature of US intervention in Palestinian affairs. Through the security coordination program, the US is penetrating the Palestinian Authority's (PA) core organs. The fact that the US is investing millions of dollars in training, arming and financing the Presidential Guard and National Security Force, and that Dayton's team is developing close ties with their first- and second-tier commanders, reflects the growing US influence over the PA's security forces.

The US has been involved in the PA's security establishment since the mid-1990s, and the CIA in particular has played a role in monitoring and training the Preventative Security Service, one of more than a dozen PA militias and intelligence units, in both the West Bank and Gaza. But both the scale and goals of US involvement are much more significant today. Dayton intends to graduate seven highly-trained battalions consisting of 4,700 personnel; provide training, equipment and basic capacity building for another 15,000 troops; and revamp the organizational structure of the PA's security institutions. According to documents leaked in 2008, the program is projected to cost around $1.3 billion. So far, the US has provided $161 million.

The returns the US expects on this sizable investment are not confined to added security or law and order in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The Dayton agenda aims to transform Palestinian Security Forces into an "enabler" of the two-state solution and provide the PA leader with the capacity to contain any resistance to any "strategic" political decisions he makes. The 2007 Hamas Gaza takeover, which according to a Vanity Fair report was triggered by a covert US-sponsored operation to undermine the Hamas-led government -- under the pretext of protecting law and order and holding Hamas accountable for its failure to meet international conditions -- was part of this effort, and essentially intended to restore Fatah's monopoly over Palestinian political life.

More than the meddling in inter-factional Palestinian politics, US involvement extends to affairs within Fatah itself. Efforts on this front are focused on creating the kind of political homogeneity within Fatah that lends itself to American and Israeli terms. An important part of the secretive 2007 "Action Plan for the Palestinian Presidency," a document drafted and prepared by the State Department and later presented as if it had been conceived by the Palestinian leadership, highlights the need for drastic reforms within Fatah. These reforms are primarily focused on getting the so-called "young guard" into higher positions of power within the movement, and boosting their representation in the Central Committee. Needless to mention, the "young guard" is just another label for supporters of Muhammad Dahlan, America's "guy" according to former president Bush. He is also the man Dayton was counting on to undermine the Hamas-led government.

Dayton's security coordination program has weakened the Palestinian presidency, discredited it in the eyes of its people and rendered it critically dependent on American and Israeli support for political survival. It has forced Hamas to seek support from regional powers to counter the US-sponsored scheme against it, and therefore allowed further external meddling in Palestinian affairs. But perhaps the most important negative consequence is that by building direct ties with first- and second-tier commanders in the PA's security establishment and "young guard" elements in Fatah, the US has created new vested interests with a stake in continuing outside intervention. With the power, money and prestige that comes with US support, these new political cleavages start developing their own agendas and hence become a source of further disharmony in the Palestinian polity.

Dayton's program has in effect, if not intent, deepened and solidified Palestinian disunity and discord. Ultimately, one has to see this program for what it really is: another neoconservative initiative that has backfired and caused tremendous damage for all the parties involved. President Obama should do away with this remnant of the Bush Administration and instead focus US efforts on encouraging Palestinian reconciliation and cohesion.

Mohammed J. Herzallah is a former president of the Harvard Palestine Solidarity Movement. He is currently a graduate student at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

as Nedas da Palestina morrem sozinhas!!!!!

fonte:Huffington Post

Neda in Palestine, Sentenced to Die Alone

by Max Blumenthal

For over a week, major American news outlets have broadcast on a virtual loop the video of the killing of Neda Agha-Soltan, an unarmed 26-year-old Iranian woman, by Iranian security services. The poignant footage of Neda dying before a throng of grief-stricken bystanders crystallized the vulnerability experienced by the millions of demonstrators who have filled cities across Iran to confront authoritarian forces determined to suppress their voice through brutal means. When the mainstream American press chose to broadcast the graphic video -- as moving as the footage is, it is difficult to watch -- it made a commendable decision that nonetheless highlighted its hypocritical attitude towards Palestinians who resist Israeli occupation on a daily basis, and who often meet the same fate as Neda.

Every week, in the Palestinian cities of Bi'lin and Ni'ilin, local residents demonstrate beside international and Israeli solidarity activists for their basic human rights. The Israeli separation wall has been constructed through the heart of their communities, cutting them off permanently from farmland they have worked for generations. The Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the path of the wall was illegal, but construction continued unabated. When the demonstrators mobilize non-violently to stop the wall's construction -- to demand that the rule of law be honored -- the Israeli army has responded with massive force, killing, maiming, and brutalizing them on a consistent basis.

Video of the Israeli army's shootings of Palestinians demonstrators are easily accessible through YouTube. The army's unprovoked killing of Bassem Abu Rahem, a respected activist from Bi'lin affectionately nicknamed "The Elephant," can be viewed here at 3:15. Similarly, video of Yusuf Aqel Srur's body being rushed into a Red Crescent ambulance after an Israeli sniper killed him with a .22 round to the chest (Srur was at the time attending the funeral of Ahmed Musa, an 11-year-old boy shot in the head by an Israeli soldier through a jeep's rifle slit) can be watched here at 2:50.

Demonstrator Bassem Abu Rameh is shot to death by Israeli soldiers at 3:15

Demonstrator Yusuf Akil Srur is shot to death by Israeli soldiers at 2:50 while attending a funeral for an 11-year-old neighbor also killed by the Israeli army

These videos are no less outrageous than the video of Neda's death. However, to my knowledge, no outlet from the mainstream American media has ever broadcast them. And as far as I know, no cable news program, including liberal-leaning shows like Olbermann and Maddow, have never even mentioned the non-violent protests in Bi'lin and Ni'ilin, or Israel's brutal response. The videos remain unseen by America eyes. The struggles of Bi'lin and Ni'lin do not even play in Peoria.

Direct action protest tactics only work if the brutal responses they provoke are recorded by influential media sources and projected to sympathetic audiences across the world. MLK's tactics in Selma would not have succeeded had he not been accompanied by camera crews ready to broadcast images of racist savagery to outraged Northern white liberals. The outpouring of American public sympathy for Iranian demonstrators might never have occurred had cable news outlets not made the courageous decision to broadcast Neda's killing vividly and repeatedly.

Yet when Palestinians employ direct action tactics to protest Israeli oppression, and when Israeli forces respond with wanton brutality, they are ignored by the US media, even when footage is already available through online sources. It seems they can only generate media when they resort to violence, a dynamic the Israeli government obviously welcomes. Perhaps it's no wonder only 6% of Americans declared in a recent poll that the US should stand behind the Palestinians in Middle East peace talks. The legitimacy of their struggle is denied no matter how they conduct it.

Porque Jerualem?a agenda escondida de Israel

fonte:Palestine Chronicle

Why Jerusalem? - Israel's Hidden Agenda

Museum drawing of City of David. (Dan Lieberman)

By Dan Lieberman – Jerusalem

Three huge granite stones rest comfortably on the top of Midbar Sinai Street, in Givat Havatzim, Jerusalem's northernmost district. Cut to specification, the imposing stones represent one of several preparations by the Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement’s to erect a Third Temple on the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount. Since the Islamic Wafq owns and controls all the property on the Haram al-Sharif, by what means can these stones be transferred to the Temple Mount and how can a Temple be constructed there? Not by any legal means. The stones are a provocation, which the Israel government refuses to halt. Neglect and passivity lead to a belief that an eventual Muslim reaction to the increasing provocations will give Israel an excuse to seize total control of the Holy Basin – the ultimate of the properties that Israel intends to incorporate into a greater Jerusalem.

For decades, Israeli authorities have spoken of a united Jerusalem - suggesting a spiritual quality to its message – as if Israel wants the home for the three monotheistic faiths to be solid and stable. By being guided from one central authority, a united Jerusalem also offers a preservation of a common and ancient heritage. However, by stressing the word ‘unification,’ Israel disguises the lack of a sufficiently supporting and verifiable historical narrative that could bolster its thrust to incorporate all of an artificially created greater Jerusalem into its boundaries. Coupled with inconsistencies and contradictions, Israel’s eagerness to create a greater Jerusalem under its total control becomes suspect. The intensive concentration on a ‘united’ Jerusalem reveals a hidden agenda that debases Jerusalem’s religious ingathering and heightens division, hatred and strife.

Examine the Holy Basin. The Holy Basin contains well marked Christian and Muslim institutions and holy places that have had historical placement for millenniums. Although people of the Jewish faith had major presence in Jerusalem during the centuries of Biblical Jerusalem, which included rule by King Hezekiah and control by the Hasmonean dynasties, their control and presence were interrupted for two millennia. Extensive commentary has enabled the two thousand years of lack of control and presence to seem as if it never happened and that today is only a short time from the years of Hezekiah. Some remains of Jewish dwellings and ritual baths can be found, but few if any major Jewish monuments, buildings or institutions from the Biblical era exist in the “Old City” of today’s Jerusalem. The often cited Western Wall is the supporting wall for Herod’s platform and is not directly related to the Second Temple. No remains of the Jewish Temple have been located in Jerusalem – not even a rock.

According to Karen Armstrong, Jerusalem, Jews did not pray at the Western Wall until the Mamluks in the 15th century allowed them to move their congregations from a dangerous Mount of Olives and pray daily at the Wall. At that time she estimates that there may have been no more than 70 Jewish families in Jerusalem. After the Ottomans replaced the Mamluks, Suleiman the Magnificent issued a formal edict in the 16th century that permitted Jews to have a place of prayer at the Western Wall.

The only remaining major symbol of Jewish presence in Jerusalem’s Holy City is the Jewish quarter, which Israel cleared of Arabs and rebuilt after 1967. During its clearing operations, Israel demolished the Maghribi Quarter adjacent to the Western Wall, destroyed the al-Buraq Mosque and the Tomb of the Sheikh al-Afdhaliyyah, and displaced about 175 Arab families. Although the Jewish population in previous centuries comprised a large segment of the Old City (estimates have 7000 Jews during the mid-19th century), the Jews gradually left the Old City and migrated to new neighborhoods in West Jerusalem, leaving only about 2000 Jews in the Old City. Jordanian control after the 1948 war reduced the number to nil. By 2009, the population of the Jewish quarter in the Old City had grown to 3000, or nine percent of the Old City population. The Christian, Armenian and Muslim populations are the principal constituents and their quarters contain almost the entire Old City commerce.

In an attempt to attach ancient Israel to present day Jerusalem, Israeli authorities continue the attachment of spurious labels to Holy Basin landmarks, while claiming the falsification is due to the Byzantines, who got it all wrong.

King David’s Tower’s earliest remains were constructed several hundred years after the Bible dates David’s reign. It is a now an obvious Islamic minaret.

King David’s Citadel earliest remains are from the Hasmonean period (200 B.C.). The Citadel was entirely rebuilt by the Ottomans between 1537 and 1541.

King David’s tomb, located in the Dormition Abbey, is a cloth-covered cenotaph (no remains) that honors King David. It’s only an unverified guess that the casket is related to David.

The Pools of Solomon, located in a village near Bethlehem, are considered to be part of a Roman construction during the reign of Herod the Great. The pools supplied water to an aqueduct that carried the water to Bethlehem and to Jerusalem.

The Stables of Solomon, under the Temple Mount, are assumed to be a construction of vaults that King Herod built in order to extend the Temple Mount platform.

Absalom’s Tomb is an obvious Greek sculptured edifice and therefore cannot be the tomb of David’s son.

The City of David contains artifacts that date before and during David’s time. However, some archaeologists maintain there is an insufficient number of artifacts to conclude any Israelite presence, including that of King David, before the late ninth century. In any case any Israelite presence must have been in a small and unfortified settlement.

The Jerusalem Archaeological Park within the Old City, together with the Davidson Exhibition and Virtual Reconstruction Center also tell the story. Promising to reveal much of a Hebrew civilization, the museums shed little light on its subject. The Davidson Center highlights a coin exhibition, Jerusalem bowls and stone vessels. The Archeological Park in the Old City contains among many artifacts, Herodian structures, ritual baths, a floor of an Umayyad palace, a Roman road, Ottoman gates, and the façade of what is termed Robinson’s arch, an assumed Herodian entryway to the Temple Mount. The exhibitions don’t reveal many, if any, ancient Hebrew structures or institutions of special significance.

Reliable archaeologists, after examining excavations that contain pottery shards and buildings, concluded that archaeological finds don't substantiate the biblical history of Jerusalem and its importance during the eras of a united Jewish kingdom under David and Solomon.

Margaret Steiner in an article titled It's Not There: Archaeology Proves a Negative in the Biblical Archaeology Review, July/August, 1998, states:

“...from the tenth century B.C.E. there is no archaeological evidence that many people actually lived in Jerusalem, only that it was some kind of public administrative center...We are left with nothing that indicates a city was here during their supposed reigns (of David and Solomon)...It seems unlikely, however, that this Jerusalem was the capital of a large state, the United monarchy, as described in Biblical texts.”

West Jerusalem is another matter. With banditry prolific and Old City gates being closed before nightfall, living outside the city gates did not appeal to the population. Wealthy philanthropist Moses Montefiore wanted to attract the Jewish population to new surroundings and he constructed the first Jewish community outside of the Old City – Yemin Moshe’s first houses were completed in 1860. From that time Jewish presence played a role in creating a West Jerusalem. Other institutions, Greek Orthodox, Catholic, Russian Orthodox and Muslim soon ventured forth and owned much property in the evolving West Jerusalem.

In 1948, After the Israeli army seized absolute control of West Jerusalem, the new Israeli government confiscated all West Jerusalem property owned by Muslim institutions. Reason – enemy property. Few Muslims and no mosques remain in today’s West Jerusalem.

One contradiction. By attacking and ethnically cleansing the Christian Arab communities of Deir Yassin and Ein Kerem, Israeli forces characterized Christian Palestinians as an enemy. Nevertheless, Israel did not confiscate Christian properties, many of which are apparent in West Jerusalem. The Greek Orthodox Church owns extensive properties in West Jerusalem, many marked by its "TΦ" (Tau + Phi) symbol, interpreted as the word ‘Sepulchre.’

Another contradiction. Israel has cared for the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives and expanded it as a heritage site. Part of the famous Muslim Mamilla cemetery in West Jerusalem has been classified as refugee property and is being prepared to be demolished for the new Museum of Tolerance.

East Jerusalem reveals more contradictions. The repeated warning by Israeli leaders that co-existence is not feasible and that it is necessary to separate the Jewish and Palestinian communities is contradicted by Israel’s desire to incorporate East Jerusalem into Israel. Incorporation means accepting somewhere between 160,000 and 225,000 Palestinians into a Jewish state. Or does it? Whereas the older historical Jewish neighborhoods in West Jerusalem have their character meticulously maintained or are rebuilt in their original style, the older Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem are entirely neglected (all of Arab East Jerusalem is neglected) or destroyed. How much deterioration and destruction can Palestinians absorb before they decide to leave?

Construction of Jewish homes in East Jerusalem Arab neighborhoods proceeds and destruction of Arab homes, either declared illegally constructed or illegally purchased, continues. On 44 dunums of lands confiscated from Palestinian families, a private company has constructed the gated community of Nof Zion, and conveniently separated Palestinian Jabal Al Mukabir from other parts of East Jerusalem. No Arabs need apply. The million dollar condominiums are advertised for American investors.

The Israeli ministry of Interior has approved a plan to demolish a kindergarten and wholesale market in East Jerusalem’s Wadi Joz neighborhood in order to construct a new hotel close to the Old City and near the Rockefeller Museum. The result will be the destruction of an Arab neighborhood and its replacement by Jewish interests, which will one day join other Jewish interests.

These are only two examples of a master plan to replace the centuries old Arab presence in East Jerusalem with a modern Jewish presence. The ancient Arab presence in an ancient land is further subdivided by the Separation Wall, which runs through the East Jerusalem landscape and detaches East Jerusalem from the West Bank, making it unlikely for a Palestinian state to have its capital in East Jerusalem. The master plan extends the boundaries of Jerusalem to include the large Israeli settlement (city) of Maale Adumim. Between Maale Adumim and East Jerusalem, Israel proposes to construct the E1 corridor, which joins settlements in a ring and adds to the separation of East Jerusalem from the West Bank. The E1 corridor will divide the northern and southern West Bank and will impede direct transit between Palestine Bethlehem, which is south of E1 and Palestine Ramallah, which is north of E1. Construction of the E1 corridor, portions of which are owned by Palestinians, could prevent the formation of a viable Palestinian state.

So, if Israel is destroying Jerusalem’s heritage and subjugating its spiritual meaning, why does Israel want to unify Jerusalem?

Israel's Hidden Agenda

Israel is a physically small and relatively new country with an eager population and big ambitions. It needs more prestige and wants to be viewed as a power broker on the world stage. To gain those perspectives Israel needs a capital city that commands respect, contains ancient traditions and is recognized as one of the world's most important and leading cities. Almost all of the world's principal nations, from Egypt to Germany to Great Britain, have capitals that are great cities of the world. To assure its objectives, Israel wants an oversized Jerusalem that contains the Holy City.

That's not all.

Jerusalem has significant tourism that can be expanded. It can provide new commercial opportunities as an entry to all of the Mid-East. An indivisible Jerusalem under Israeli control is worth a lot of shekels.

Israel competes with the United States as the focus of the Jewish people. It needs a unique Jerusalem to gain recognition as the home of Judaism.

By controlling all of the holy sites, Israel commands attention from Moslem and Christian leaders. These leaders will be forced to talk with Israel and Israel will have a bargaining advantage in disputes.

Whatever Israel gains the Palestinians are denied. Even if Israel agrees to the establishment of a Palestinian state, it will direct its policies to limit the effectiveness of that state. Since East Jerusalem and its holy sites greatly benefit a Palestinian economy and increase Palestine legitimacy, Israel will do everything to prevent East Jerusalem being ceded to the new state of Palestine. An "indivisible" Jerusalem is part of that effort.

West Jerusalem only gives Israel a North/South capital. An indivisible Jerusalem gives Israel a forward look towards an East/West capital or a centralized capital of the land of previous biblical Jewish tribes.

The Zionist socialist ideals and the cooperative Kibbutzim received support and sympathy from idealistic world peoples for many years. Israel's attachment to the Holocaust tragedy extended that sympathy and support to more of the world. With the end of the Zionist dream, the decline of kibbutz life and the over-popularizing of the Holocaust, Israel needs a new symbol of identity that captures world attention.

If Israel has legitimate claims to Jerusalem, then those claims should be heard and discussed in a proper forum. However, that is not the process forthcoming. The process has the Israeli government using illegal and illegitimate procedures, as well as deceitful and hypocritical methods to force its agenda. Israel is not presenting its case but is exerting its powers to trample all legal, moral and historical considerations.

In the Museum of the Citadel of David is an inscription: The land of Israel is in the center of the world and Jerusalem is the center of the land of Israel.

This self praise was echoed at a West Jerusalem coffee house in a conversation with several Israelis, A youthful Israeli abruptly sat at the table and entered the conversation with the words: “All the world looks to Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the center of the world and Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Everyone needs Jerusalem and they will need to talk with Israel.’

And that is why Israel desperately wants its greater Jerusalem.

- Dan Lieberman is the editor of Alternative Insight, a monthly web based newsletter. Dan has written many articles on the Middle East conflict, which have circulated on websites and media throughout the world. He contributed this article to Contact him at:

o exército israelita bombardeiou uma casa em Gaza e matou Hiyam Abu Ayish (17 anos)


Army shell kills a 17-year old young woman, wounds her brother in Gaza

Palestinian Medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported Thursday that a 17-year-old girl was killed, and her 24-year-old brother was injured when the army fired an artillery shell at an area close to Juhr Ed Deek in Central Gaza.

File - Image by Palestine-Info
File - Image by Palestine-Info

The slain young woman was identified as Hiyam Abu Ayish, 17, and her brother was identified as Husam, 24.

The sources added that the shell directly hit the house of Abu Ayish.

The Israeli army claimed that Palestinian fighters fired several homemade shells, and that it is most likely that a Palestinian shell struck the house of Abu Ayish.

Meanwhile, Israeli online daily, Haaretz, said that according to Dr. Muawiya Hassanen, an official at the Palestinian Ministry of Health, 3-yeard-old child, and three other relatives of Abu Ayish were also wounded.

Hamas sources reported that the slain girl is actually a 3-year-old child.

Palestinian officials in Gaza denied the claims of the Israeli military and said that the fighters targeted the army with RPG shells, but the house which was struck by a shell leading to the civilian casualties, was completely destroyed, and an RPG shells cannot cause this kind of destruction.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

o impasse político do Hamas: Entre os principios e a necessidade

fonte:Palestine Chronicle

Hamas' Political Impasse: Between Principal and Necessity

Engagement and political validation must not happen at expense of the Palestinian people.

By Ramzy Baroud

Much can be said to explain, or even justify Hamas' recent political concessions, where its top leaders in Gaza and Damascus agreed in principle with a political settlement on the basis of the two-state solution.

On June 25, Damascus-based leader of the Islamic group’s political bureau, Khaled Meshaal reiterated Hamas’ rejection of recognizing Israel as a Jewish State, rightfully dubbing such a designation as “racist, no different from Nazis and other calls denounced by the international community.” However, he did endorse the idea of a two-state solution, which envisages the creation of an independent Palestinian state on roughly 22 percent of the land of historic Palestine.

The announcement was hardly earth shattering, for other Hamas leaders have alluded, or straightforwardly agreed to the same notion in the past. But what was in fact altered is the language used by Hamas’ leaders to endorse the illusive and increasingly unfeasible possibility of two states. Meshaal’s language was largely secular, while past Hamas references to the same principle were engulfed in religious idiom. For example, in past years Hamas agreed to a Palestinian state in all of the occupied territories, conditioned on the removal of Jewish settlements, under the provision of a long-term ‘hunda’, or truce. The term ‘hudna’ is loaded with implicit religious inferences, and was used to present Hamas’ political views as both pragmatic, but also based on time-honored Islamic political tradition.

Ahmed Yousef, chief advisor to the deposed Hamas government in Gaza alluded to the concept of ‘hudna’ in various writings and media interviews. But his calls sounded more like an attempt to find common space between the Islamic movement’s firm religious beliefs and US-led international pressure aimed at forcing Hamas into the same political camp which discredited rival Fatah. But Ahmed Yousef’s variation in rhetoric cannot be understood as synonymous with Meshaal’s recent political revelations.

The boycott of the elected Hamas government in 2006, and the orchestrated violence that led to a Hamas takeover, and subsequent isolation and siege of the Gaza Strip, were all meant to force Hamas to ‘moderate’ its position. Immense collective suffering was endured throughout the Gaza Strip in order for Israel and its backers, including the Palestinian leadership based in the West Bank to force Hamas out of its ideological trenches to join the ‘pragmatic’ camp, which saw little harm in fruitless political compromises.

Hamas’ steadfastness was enough to further demonstrate its revolutionary credence and patriotic credentials to most Palestinians and their supporters around the Middle East and the world. Hamas impressed many, not because of its theological references, but political resilience and refusal to be intimidated. In some way, Hamas achieved the same revolutionary status and recognition as that of Fatah in the 1960’s.

It was not until the Israeli war against largely defenseless Gaza starting December 2008, that Hamas seemed politically self-assured, and for good reason. After all, it was a democratically elected movement representing Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. Their rivals’ failure to accommodate the new political reality, and incessant Israeli attempts at destroying the movement and imprisoning scores of its elected parliamentarians were not enough to de-legitimize it. Then Israel unleashed one of its grizzliest campaigns against Palestinians, aimed largely at civilians and civilian infrastructure in Gaza. The Israeli war was meant to achieve more than the killing of 1,350 (including 437 children) and the wounding of 5,450 others. It was aimed at disturbing the Palestinian psyche that began seeing a world of possibilities beyond the confining and shallow promises of peace infused by the Oslo peace process, which only served to ingrain occupation and entrench illegal settlements.

International solidarity was building up slowly prior to the Israeli attack. As Israeli bombs began raining atop Gaza’s mostly civilian infrastructure, international solidarity exploded throughout the world. Israel’s brutal folly served to legitimize the very group it was meant to crush. The voices that tirelessly demanded Hamas to live up to fixed conditions, handed down by the so-called Middle East peace quartet, were overshadowed by voices demanding the US and various Western powers to recognize and engage Hamas. A lead voice amongst them is former US President Jimmy Carter, one of the first influential Western personalities to engage Hamas, and to break the news that Hamas “would accept a two-state peace agreement with Israel as long as it was approved by a Palestinian referendum or a newly elected government.” (Guardian, April 22, 2008)

Carter’s insistence on involving Hamas in any future peace arrangement took him from Damascus, to Cairo to the West Bank, then, to Gaza. His recent visit to the Strip on June 16 was more than that of solidarity, but it was aimed at convincing Hamas to agree to the vision of two states and the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002. The alternative conditions are meant to present a more dignified exit than the belligerent and one-sided demands of the quartet. It’s unclear whether Hamas would fully embrace his call. But what is clear is that Hamas is sending various signals, such as its willingness to engage in dialogue with the Obama administration, and, again, acceptance of the two-state solution, which according to any reasonable estimation of the Israeli ‘facts on the ground’ created in occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank, is now a far-fetched possibility.

Needless to say, Hamas as a political movement, with an elected government with some jurisdiction over nearly one-third of the Palestinian people has the right, and even more, the obligation to politically maneuver, reposition and even re-brand itself. Breaking the siege on Gaza requires steadfastness, true, but political ingenuity as well. That said, Hamas must be wary of the political, and historic price that will be paid if it fails to learn from the experience of the discredited and corrupted Fatah. Palestinian rights are enshrined in international law, and corroborated by the endless sacrifices of the Palestinian people, in Gaza and elsewhere. Therefore, the price of engagement, dialogue and political validation must not happen at the expense of the Palestinian people wherever they are, as stipulated in numerous UN resolutions including 194, pertaining to the right of return of Palestinian refugees.

- Ramzy Baroud ( is an author and editor of His work has been published in many newspapers, journals and anthologies around the world. His latest book is, "The Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a People's Struggle" (Pluto Press, London), and his forthcoming book is, “My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story” (Pluto Press, London)

Amnesty: Israel realizo ataques indiscriminados contra Gaza durante a última guerra


AMNESTY: Israel carried out indiscriminate attacks during the Gaza war

by Saed Bannoura

AMNESTY International published on Wednesday a 117-page report on the Israeli war against the Gaza Strip, which started December 27, 2008, and stated that Israel breached the laws of war and carried out indiscriminate attacks against the Palestinian people.


The reported stated that Israel launched its war on Gaza without a warning and that its attacks led to the death of 1400 Palestinians, mainly civilians, including 300 children.

AMNESTY also said that most of the destruction in Gaza is unjustifiable as it targeted civilian areas, besides failing to distinguish between civilian and military targets.

It said that this is a direct violation of the International Law.

‘Israel using high-precision weapons killing hundreds of civilians, including women and children’, the report stated, ‘Many civilians, including women and children, were shot at short range while posing no threat to the live of Israeli troops’.

AMNESTY further said that the army killed children playing on rooftops, people sleeping in their homes, and fired white phosphorus shells over and into densely populated civilian neighborhoods resulting in hundreds of casualties, and destroying civilian property.

It said that artillery, and white phosphorus, should not be used in shelling civilian areas, and that such usage is unlawful.

The report also showed that Israeli soldiers used Palestinians as human shields while the soldiers were searching buildings.

AMNESTY slammed Israel for not establishing an independent and impartial investigation into the conducts of its soldiers during the war, and for refusing to cooperate with the international fact-finding mission.

It said that Hamas movement in Gaza cooperates with human rights organizations and missions that investigate the war, while Israel refuses to cooperate.

AMNESTY also said that the Palestinian fighters in Gaza of violating the International law by firing shells into civilian areas in southern Israel killing three civilians. Ten Israeli soldiers were killed during the war on Gaza.

Many of the injured Palestinians died of their wounds raising the number of residents who were killed by the Israeli forces as a result of this offensive to more than 1600.

Um mes en fotografia


Month in pictures: June 2009
Photostory, The Electronic Intifada, 1 July 2009

The below photographs are a selection of images from the month of June 2009. "The month in pictures" is an ongoing feature by The Electronic Intifada. If you have images documenting Palestine, Palestinian life, politics and culture, or of solidarity with Palestine, please email images and captions to photos A T electronicintifada D O T net.

Palestinian children play at the al-Qattan Recreation Centre for Children in Gaza City, 23 June. (Wissam Nassar/MaanImages)

A Palestinian municipal laborer works in a street in the West bank city of Tulkarem, 16 June. (Mouid Ashqar/MaanImages)

Palestinian lands burned by Israeli settlers in the Qalqiliya-Salfit area of the occupied West Bank, 2 June. (Anne Paq/ActiveStills)

Palestinians in Gaza City call for the release of prisoners held in Israeli jails, 29 June. (Wissam Nassar/MaanImages)

Israelis and Palestinian citizens of Israel demonstrate in Tel Aviv to mark 42 years of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, 6 June. (Yotam Ronen/ActiveStills)

Palestinians on the beach during sunset in Gaza City, 27 June. (Wissam Nassar/MaanImages)

UN investigator Richard Goldstone, former chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, leads a team in Gaza to probe alleged violations of international law during Israel's three-week assault on Gaza last winter, 1 June. (Hatem Omar/MaanImages)

Musa Silawi, 91, who witnessed an Israeli bombing of a mosque in January that killed 17 people, including his son and four other members of his extended family, attends the first day of public hearings headed by a UN human rights mission in Gaza Strip, 28 June. (United Nations)

Canadian journalist Naomi Klein stands near the wall in the West Bank village of Bilin where she reiterated her call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, 26 June. (Oren Ziv/ActiveStills)

Bees gather on a cup of juice in the West Bank village of al-Khader near Bethlehem, 26 June. (Haytham Othman/MaanImages)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas attends a meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, Syria, 20 June. (Omar Rashidi/MaanImages)

Palestinian students wait to take their first general secondary school exam in Gaza City, 8 June. (Hatem Omar/MaanImages)

o optimismo falso do Salam Fayyad


Salam Fayyad's false optimism
Rami Almeghari, The Electronic Intifada, 1 July 2009

Appointed Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. (Mustafa Abu Dayeh/MaanImages)

A Palestinian state could become "a firm reality" by the "end of next year or within two years at the most," Salam Fayyad, the prime minister appointed by Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas, was quoted as saying on 22 June in a speech at Al-Quds University in Abu Dis, a village outside Jerusalem.

Such expectations have been frequently voiced before by former Palestinian prime minister and negotiator Ahmad Qureia, or the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

But what is more evident are the facts on the ground that do not provide much support for these expectations. Fayyad's speech came a week after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave his own speech outlining his own "vision" for peace.

If Fayyad's speech was full of the optimism typical of the PA, Netanyahu's revealed the mounting obstacles in the way of a real, just and comprehensive peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

These include the Israeli demand that a Palestinian state be demilitarized and effectively limited to populated parts of the West Bank with no mention of Hamas-ruled Gaza. East Jerusalem would remain forever in Israel's hands, and in addition to giving up refugees' right of return, Palestinians would have to recognize Israel as a "Jewish state."

Israel continues to expand its more than 140 settlements in the occupied West Bank while rebuffing US calls for a freeze on construction. If Israel does agree to a temporary freeze, it will undoubtedly demand a high price for even a temporary halt in construction.

Prolonged years of US-backed peace negotiations between Palestinians and successive Israeli goverments have failed to achieve any real progress, let alone a breakthrough. This failure has occurred even during periods of relatively low tensions between the leaderships. The Ramallah PA, not Hamas, was in charge of negotiations, and on the other side, the last Israeli government led by Ehud Olmert claimed it wanted peace and a two-state solution.

Fayyad's speech did not provide any path through or around these obstacles or any convincing explanation as to why things would be different now and renewed efforts would lead to a sovereign Palestinian state.

One of the most significant facts that cannot be ignored by the parties concerned is the existence of the Islamist Hamas movement, which has been in control of Gaza for the past two years. Hamas came to power democratically through the 2006 election. Fayyad may have the title of Palestinian "prime minister," but much of the real power lies with Hamas, and the PA cannot make any deal with Israel that does not include Hamas.

In his own recent speech to the Palestinians and the world, Hamas leader Khaled Meshal said from his exile in Damascus that his party won't accept peace on Israel's terms, though he emphasized that the movement would accept a Palestinian state in all of the West Bank and Gaza Strip with all Palestinian rights, including the right of return, respected. This of course is something Israel is not offering.

Meshal also set out Hamas' tough positions regarding a national dialogue with the Fatah party of Mahmoud Abbas, particularly the agenda of any renewed "Palestinian unity government" that may emerge from ongoing reconciliation talks in Cairo. Meshal said that the major obstacle to reconciliation remains the campaign of suppression against Hamas carried out by the PA in the West Bank.

With Palestinian unity still far away, there will be no credible Palestinian side to negotiate. There is already no credible Israeli side. All of this means that the prospect of a Palestinian state is still very far away no matter how many optimistic speeches Mr. Fayyad gives.

Rami Almeghari is a journalist and university lecturer based in the Gaza Strip.

7 novos ordems de demolicao em Jerusalem orientale


7 new demolition orders handed out for Palestinian-owned houses in East-Jerusalem

by Katherine Orwell - 1 of International Middle East Media Center Editorial Group
Israeli authorities informed on Wednesday 7 families in the Silwan neighborhood of East-Jerusalem of its plans to demolish their houses.

Reprinted from
Reprinted from

Ever since the Jerusalem municipality made known that it would freeze 70 % of the demolition orders, earlier this week, not a day has gone by without events that demonstrate the opposite.

Yesterday a house on the Mount of Olives has been demolished. Together with today’s events, serious doubts arise on whether the Israeli authorities will live up to their claims. Palestinians in Jerusalem come to fear that the authorities only make these pledges to diminish US pressure on Israel.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

O diabo está nos detalhes

fonte:Palestine Chronicle

The Devil is in the Details

Today, the focus is on Jewish settlements and Israel's tactic is clearer than ever.

By Joharah Baker – Jerusalem

Israeli political tactics are based on a fundamental premise. Disregard the core and delve into the minutest of details. This way, the basis of any given argument is easily lost in details, a pinch here, a dash there. By the end of the hypothetical argument, you are nowhere near your original goal and now, ironically, have ten items more to negotiate than when you first started.

This is nothing new. In order to stall a final agreement and permanent solution, Israel creates facts on the ground, which then must be negotiated. While this has probably been Israel's tactic from as early on as the occupation of 1967 (or even earlier), it has become the most apparent since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993. By then, of course, the bulk of Israeli settlements had been built on confiscated Palestinian land, thus solidifying the occupation in more ways than one.

Since then, any bilateral or multilateral talks between Israel, the Palestinians and the world, have been a flurry of details about issues secondary to the root cause of the problem, which most would agree was the Israeli occupation. Instead, Palestinians (who are partially at fault) found themselves engaged in numbers, kilometers and patches of land for an ostensible "land swap." There has been negotiation upon negotiation over the number of prisoners to be released and the long list of criteria they must meet. We have all heard the numerous and partial proposals for Jerusalem, about this or that neighborhood or about administration versus sovereignty over the Aqsa Mosque Compound, among other truncated solutions.

Today, the focus is on Jewish settlements and Israel's tactic is clearer than ever. Just to put this issue into perspective for the novices among us, there are close to half a million Jewish settlers in approximately 140 settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. All of these settlements, without exception, are illegal according to international law given that they are built on occupied land and should thus be dismantled without further dispute. Israel, as the occupying power, is in contravention of international law every time it lays down a single brick in one of these settlements because it is prohibited from building on or altering in any way, occupied territory.

This goes for Jerusalem too. While west Jerusalem became part of Israel after the 1948 War, east Jerusalem was occupied by Israel in the 1967 war and subsequently annexed unilaterally by the state in that same year. Nonetheless, this annexation was never recognized by the world, even the United States, which at least in theory still views east Jerusalem as occupied.

Hence, the battle should have been well defined from the start. If Israel wants any peaceful solution, if it wants recognition as a state among states in this region, it must abide by international law.

This never came to pass, as we all know. Today, instead of talking about a complete dismantlement of illegal settlements and outposts on occupied Palestinian land, we are talking about the minutest of details. First off, there is no talk of "dismantling" settlements but rather "freezing" construction in the already existing ones. If that were not ridiculous enough, Israel is now haggling over what a freeze would entail. Certainly not construction to accommodate natural growth, its officials say. It would be wrong to deprive settlers, Israeli citizens, of their right to live "a normal life", according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Rather, the premier said he could only commit to not building or expanding new settlements. Isn't building for natural growth a form of expansion?

The point is, the battle has been shifted from arguing the clear-cut point that settlements are illegal and should be removed, to freezing settlements, removing "illegal outposts" and haggling over what kind of construction is allowed. Take, for example, the latest news. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak is to arrive today in Washington, reportedly to smooth out any feathers that may have been ruffled as a result of Israel's refusal to freeze all settlement construction in accordance with new US calls. President Barack Obama explicitly demanded that Israel halt construction in settlements ahead of any restart of peace talks, a demand Israel has clearly not accepted. With Israel's refusal facing off with Obama's insistence, Israel is trying to devise an avoidance plan that would quiet America's grumblings.

According to the Israeli media, Barak plans to offer the US one of two things: either to agree to a temporary complete settlement freeze, or the limiting of building in settlement blocs to high-rise construction only. Neither holds any real meaning. A "temporary" freeze is just that, temporary, which implies that later on down the line Israel will not be obligated to maintain this offer and resume construction. The second has to do with some mumbo-jumbo about high-rise construction. Apartment buildings cannot be high-rise? Business centers? Hotels? Where is the logic in this?

That's right, there is no logic. There is only Israel's evasion of the real issue, which is that these settlements, no matter which way you slice it, are illegal and have no business being on Palestinian land.

What makes matters worse, Israel is already snubbing President Obama's call even before its defense minister sets foot on US soil. Today, June 29, Israeli authorities announced that 50 new homes would be built in the settlement of Adam in the Ramallah area as part of an overall plan to build 1,450 homes for settlers who will be evacuated from the "illegal settlement outpost" of Migron.

While Israel clearly deserves the lion's share of blame in this, the Palestinians are not blameless. We have played our part in allowing Israel to exploit their euphemisms such as "communities" for settlements or "disputed areas" instead of "occupation." With the Oslo Accords, we compartmentalized the Palestinian cause in a hundred little categories, each with its own set of stipulations, exceptions and wiggle room. Our demands have been eroded as a result. Yes, we still call for a Palestinian state on lands occupied in 1967 but in practical terms, we continue to bargain over land percentages, over the number of Palestinian police, over the opening of Gaza borders, and countless other issues. Since it clearly works, this has become Israel's modus operandi for anything related to the conflict. Get lost in the details and further push back any tackling of the main issues.

This is a dangerous path. In Jerusalem, Israeli authorities have handed out hundreds of demolition orders to Palestinian residents of the city in the past few months. When the protests over this policy rose louder than the usual whimper, Israel saved face yet again with Jerusalem's mayor announcing he would freeze 70 percent of the orders. There is that word again: freeze. It is an uncomfortable word that implies minimum and temporary reprieve. It is not a solution, it is a diversion from the real problem in the city, which is the discriminatory policies Israel metes out against its Palestinian residents in a bid to squeeze them out altogether.

The Palestinians should really hold their ground, not in the minute details designed to divert attention away from the problem, but on the problem itself, eradicating Israel's occupation.

- Joharah Baker is a writer for the Media and Information Program at the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy (MIFTAH). She can be contacted at (Published in MIFTAH –

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