Saturday, 8 August 2009

para além da Chutzpah

fonte:Palestine Chronicle

Beyond Chutzpah - Book Review

This is an essential read, containing a breathtaking range of material.

By Iqbal Jassat

Beyond Chutzpah On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History. Norman G Finkelstein. ISBN 1-84467-049-X. Verso 2005.

The imminent visit to South Africa by Norman G. Finkelstein following a major new initiative by SA NGOs to mount a legal campaign seeking the arrest and prosecution of Israeli war criminals and those who hold SA citizenship and participated in the recent brutal military onslaught in Gaza, is anticipated with great excitement.

After all, Finkelstein whose earlier international bestseller The Holocaust Industry, created a huge stir in Jewish circles – particularly in the United States and Israel, for daring to posit a distinction between the Nazi holocaust and The Holocaust.

The Nazi holocaust is the systematic extermination of Jews during World War II. Distinctly different to it is The Holocaust that Finkelstein describes as “the instrumentalisation of the Nazi holocaust by American Jewish elites and their supporters.”

This may sound to be semantically gibberish to the uninitiated. Yet his incisive and scholarly study on the abuse of the Nazi holocaust has been welcomed as a major landmark. Finkelstein has been able to not only make the distinction; he has also contributed to an understanding of the abuse of anti-Semitism.

Like The Holocaust, “anti-Semitism” is an ideological weapon to deflect justified criticism of Israel and, concomitantly, powerful Jewish interests according to the author. In its current usage, “anti-Semitism” alongside the “war against terrorism”, serves as a cloak for a massive assault on international law and human rights.

“Beyond Chutzpah” is a sequel and as the title explains continues the same theme in a systematic and accurate analysis that is impossible to reproach.

This is attested to by the blurbs on the back cover by a range of credible historians, academics and analysts. Noam Chomsky describes the book as “very solid, important and highly informative”.

Avi Shlaim says that Beyond Chutzpah displays all the qualities for which Finkelstein has become famous: erudition, originality, spark, meticulous attention to detail, intellectual integrity, courage and formidable forensic skills.

For a South African audience, Finkelstein and his study will hopefully articulate a discourse allowing media practitioners the confidence, courage and resolve to confront Israeli apologists who constantly “cry wolf” whenever reports critical of the Zionist regime emerge.

Indeed, an entire chapter called “Crying Wolf” is at the heart of this book. It deals with issues of exaggeration and fabrication and what’s currently called the “new anti-Semitism”. According to Finkelstein this incorporates two main components in addition to exaggeration and fabrication: mislabeling legitimate criticism of Israeli policy, and the unjustified yet predictable spillover from criticism of Israel to Jews generally.

As victims of a deliberately contrived smear campaign by local apologists of Israel, my NGO, the Media Review Network [MRN] know only too well that demonizing us as “anti-Semites” is a tool deployed to deny us space in the mainstream media.

Of course as Finkelstein states, many claims of this anti-Semitism prove on investigation to be wildly overblown or fabricated.

This is an essential read, containing a breathtaking range of material. As Mouin Rabbani states: “He has left no stone unturned”.

- Iqbal Jassat is chairperson of the Media Review Network (MRN), an advocacy group based in Pretoria, South Africa. He contributed this article to Visit:

quebrando o silencio ou silenciando os criticos?


"Breaking the Silence" or silencing the critics?
Louis Frankenthaler, The Electronic Intifada, 7 August 2009

Settlers in Hebron harass a cameraman from a Breaking the Silence tour of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, June 2008. (Anne Paq/ActiveStills)

"Breaking the Silence" is a member of the Israeli human rights, peace and social justice community. The group's only crime, so it seems, lies in its effort to offer an alternative ethical voice in a society that is arguably losing its way. Breaking the Silence provides a platform for soldiers to testify to acts of violence and other violations of Palestinian rights that they may have witnessed or taken part in during their service in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The group's most recent report details soldier testimonies that raised serious concerns about Israeli military behavior during the war on Gaza, "Operation Cast Lead." The publication is unique but it is only one example of many public statements, reports and legal advocacy in response to the prosecution of the war, which Israel consistently maintains was both moral and legal. Why then is the Israeli government waging a battle against this organization, trying to thwart its funding and, essentially, to shut it down?

The answer, perhaps, lies in the genealogy of the occupation. For 42 years Israel has argued its one acceptable and official truth: "Israel is not an occupier and it is not violating international law." The problem is that this narrative has been accepted only by Israel, tolerated by the United States, and perpetuated by a broad spectrum of Israel's "supporters," largely in North America and Western Europe. In the aftermath of the war the Netanyahu government feels threatened by US President Barack Obama's demands to halt one of Israel's most visible violations of international law, settlement building. Part of the Israeli reaction is to try to manipulate discourse and impugn those who have exposed Israeli infractions over the years, choosing to begin with an organization that provides the public with direct insight into the behavior of soldiers. Ironically in its actions the government actually corroborates the group's work and that of other organizations who report and represent the voices of the Palestinian abject Other, the torture victims, those evicted from their homes, denied access to their fields and those beaten by settlers with impunity.

As reported by the Israeli daily Haaretz, Israel has been inquiring into foreign funding of Breaking the Silence, asking what state would tolerate outside funding of opposition groups, implying that only in the "third-world" would this be acceptable. Reality, as always, is a bit different. In states that can at best be described as questionable democracies the status of civil society organizations is questioned. Their funding is scrutinized and even forbidden and these states, like Iran, for instance, often claim that democratic and human rights activity is an effort by outsiders to undermine their regimes. On the other hand, democratic states can live very comfortably with a vibrant, vociferous and critical civil society.

In Israel there are many organizations that struggle for human rights, economic justice, equality and peace largely funded by a variety of overseas sources, none of which are secret or used for illegal purposes. Therefore it is interesting that while Israeli governments have had no problem with an ongoing influx of foreign currency that contributes to or facilitates the illegal Israeli occupation activity: evictions of Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the illegal settlement enterprise, etc., it has grave problems with those who dare fund democratic opposition to the occupation and to human rights violations. For Jews and others in democratic societies outside of Israel this should be an especially vexing absurdity. But for years the Jewish communities of North America, for example, have supported Israeli policy at times without question, allowing Israel's flawed vision of its actions to become hegemonic. Today there is a counter voice among Jews in the Diaspora and in Israel yet our legitimacy is questioned and our motives distorted by those whose core goal is to preserve the occupation. Recent efforts to gag opposition voices are evidence of this intolerable anti-democratic trend.

While it is true that many states do their best to close down non-governmental organizations who oppose state policy this list does not include proper democratic states. Israel needs to decide where it belongs.

Louis Frankenthaler resides in West Jerusalem and works for an Israeli human rights organization, The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel.

Friday, 7 August 2009

4 feridos na manifestao semanal de Bil'in

fonte:Palestine Chronicle

Scores injured at the weekly Bil'in nonviolent protest

As the villagers of the Bil'in village central West Bank staged their weekly nonviolent protest against the Israeli wall, troops fired tear gas at them causing dozens to suffer tear gas inhalation effects.

Youth injured in Bil'in protest today - photo by IMEMC's Haytham Al Khateeb
Youth injured in Bil'in protest today - photo by IMEMC's Haytham Al Khateeb

The villagers were joined by International and Israeli supporters. As is the case each week, the march left the village after the midday prayers and headed towered the wall built on the villagers' lands.

The protesters demanded the release of Muhammad al-Khatib and Adib Abu Rahma, both from the local committee against the wall and settlements and all detainees from the village. All were kidnapped by the Israeli military this week along.

As soon as the crowed reached the gate of the wall troops began spraying the demonstrators with green - colored water contaminated by waste animal manure and chemicals case of vomiting were reported among the protesters because of the Water. Others were treated for the effects to tear gas inhalation after soldiers used it heavily on the crowed.

PCHR Weekly Report: 4 civis feridos, 25 raptados pelas forcas israelitas neste semana

fonte:Palestine Chronicle

PCHR Weekly Report: 4 civilians wounded, 25 abducted by Israeli forces this week

According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, during the week of 30 July- 05 August 2009, 3 international human rights defenders and a Palestinian journalist were injured when Israeli Forces used force against peaceful demonstrations organized in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall in the West Bank. Israeli Forces conducted 31 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.

Israeli settlers move in to Palestinian homes after eviction of Palestinian families (PCHR photo)
Israeli settlers move in to Palestinian homes after eviction of Palestinian families (PCHR photo)

During these incursions, Israeli Forces abducted 25 Palestinian civilians, including two children, and an American human rights defender in the West Bank. Israeli troops positioned at military checkpoints in the West Bank abducted 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child.

Israeli Forces seized houses belonging to Palestinian civilians living in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and handed them over to Israeli settlers; 52 Palestinian civilians, including 25 children, have become homeless. Israeli Forces ordered the demolition of 5 houses in al-Bustan neighborhood.

Israeli attacks in East Jerusalem:

During the reporting period, Israel escalated arbitrary measures against Palestinian civilians in East Jerusalem to force them to leave the city. On 02 August 2009, the Israeli police besieged the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and closed all roads leading to it. They stormed houses belonging to the al-Ghawi and Hannoun clans and violently beat their residents. They forced 52 civilians and at least 20 international human rights defenders out of the houses. Four civilians were injured. Following the evacuation of the families, Israeli forces allowed a number of Israeli settlers into the houses.

Also on 02 August 2009, a bulldozer of the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem razed an area of land, on which Fawzia al-Kurd had set up a tent; Israeli forces seized al-Kurd's house on 09 November 2008.

On the same day, Israeli forces used force against peaceful protests organized by Palestinian civilians and international solidarity activists in the area. They abducted 15 protestors. On the following day, Israeli forces dispersed a solidarity sit-in in the area and abducted at least 10 Palestinian civilians.

On Tuesday, 04 August 2009, Israeli forces abducted 3 Palestinian civilians, including two children, who used to live in the confiscated houses. On 05 August 2009, Israeli forces moved into the al-Bsutan neighborhood in the south of the old town of Jerusalem. They stormed 5 houses belonging to the 'Ouda and 'Abbassi families, and issued demolition orders. Israeli forces plan to demolish the whole neighborhood, which includes 88 houses, to establish a park. During this raid, Israeli forces attacked residents of the area. As a result, 8 civilians sustained bruises.

Israeli forces have established checkpoints in and around Jerusalem, severely restricting Palestinian access to the city. Civilians are frequently prevented from praying at the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

Israeli attacks in the West Bank:

During the last week, Israeli forces conducted 31 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.

In one example of the week's invasions, on Monday, 03 August 2009, at approximately 00:30, Israeli forces moved into Bil'in village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched a number of houses and abducted 7 Palestinian civilians and an American human rights defender.

In another example, on Wednesday, 05 August 2009, at approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Seilat al-Zaher village, south of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses. No arrests were reported. Also at approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into 'Attara village, south of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses. No arrests were reported.

There are approximately permanent 630 roadblocks, and manned and unmanned checkpoints across the West Bank. In addition, there are some 60-80 ‘flying’ or temporary checkpoints erected across the West Bank by Israeli forces every week.

At least 65% of the main roads that leads to 18 Palestinian communities in the West Bank are closed or fully controlled by Israeli forces (47 out of 72 roads).

Israeli forces have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. In an example of the restrictions at one of the 630 checkpoints, Israeli troops positioned at an iron gate established on the Nablus-Tulkarm road have continued to conduct prolonged checking on Palestinian civilians, especially in the morning. Israeli troops positioned at Shavi Shomron checkpoint on the Nablus-Jenin road, and at Za'tara checkpoint, south of the city, have also continued to restrict the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Sunday morning, 02 August 2009, Israeli troops positioned at the two checkpoints stopped Palestinian civilian vehicles on both sides and checked all passengers.

Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:

Israeli forces have continued to close all border crossings to the Gaza Strip for more than two years. The Israeli-imposed illegal closure of the Gaza Strip, which has steadily tightened since June 2007, has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip.

1.5 million people are being denied their basic rights, including freedom of movement, and their rights to appropriate living conditions, work, health and education. The main concern of 1.5 million people living in the Gaza Strip is to obtain their basic needs of food, medicines, water and electricity supplies.

On Wednesday August 5th, in the evening, Israeli gunboats stationed opposite to Beit Lahia beach in the northern Gaza Strip opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats. Palestinian fishers were forced to sail back to the beach. No casualties were reported.

Israeli settlement activities:

Israel has continued settlement activities in violation of international humanitarian law and Israeli settlers living in the West Bank have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.

On 31 July 2009, a number of Israeli settlers gathered and camped on a tract of land in Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqilya, which overlooks Nablus-Qalqilya. On the same day, at least 30 Israeli settlers broke into areas of Palestinian land in al-Baq'a area. They set up a tent, fenced it and planted some trees. Palestinian civilians living in the area foiled this attempt to seize the land. On the same day, a number of Israeli settlers razed large areas of Palestinian agricultural land to the north of Hebron. They uprooted many trees and destroyed the fence of the land, which belongs to 26 Palestinian farmers, who have been denied access to their land.

On 01 August 2009, at least 10 Israeli settlers living in Beit Hadasa settlement in the center of Hebron attacked a Palestinian civilian using sticks and sharp tools. As a result, he sustained cuts and bruises all over his body. At approximately the same time, a number of Israeli settlers from "Abraham Avino" settlement in the center of the old town of Hebron mounted up to the roof of a nearby house belonging to Nidal Salem al-'Owaiwi. They damaged water tanks on the roof. On 02 August 2009, a number of Israeli settlers set fire to at least 10 donums of Palestinian agricultural land planted with grapes and olives, located to the east of the aforementioned settlement. At least 80 trees were burnt and equipment was damaged.

Israeli Annexation Wall:

Israeli forces have continued to construct the Annexation Wall inside West Bank territory. 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.

During the reporting period, Israeli forces used force against peaceful demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders in protest to the construction of the Wall.

Following the Friday Prayer on 31 July 2009, dozens of Palestinian civilians gathered in the center of Bil'in village, west of Ramallah. They moved towards the Wall and, following altercations, threw stones at Israeli troops positioned in the area. Immediately, Israeli troops fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators. Dozens of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation. Israeli forces also used an unkown substance with a disgusting smell against the demonstrators.

Also following the Friday Prayer on 31 July 2009, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders organized a mass wedding party and a peaceful demonstration in al-Ma'sara village, south of Bethlehem, in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall. They clashed with Israeli troops positioned at the entrance of the village. Israeli troops fired sound bombs and violently beat the demonstrators. As a result, 3 international human rights defenders and a Palestinian journalist, Mohammed Abu Haniya, sustained bruises.

Recommendations to the international community:

Due to the number and severity of Israeli human rights violations this week, the PCHR made several recommendations to the international community. Among these were a recommendation that the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention 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. PCHR believes that the conspiracy of silence practiced by the international community has encouraged Israel to act as if it is above the law and encourages Israel continue to violate international human rights and humanitarian law.

The PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to convene a conference to take effective steps to ensure Israel's respect of the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and to provide immediate protection for Palestinian civilians.

For the full text of the report, click on the link below:

Related Link(s):

Gaza:o tornamento Rachel Corrie Ramadan de Football

fonte:Palestine Chronicle

2009 Rachel Corrie Ramadan Soccer Tournament, Gaza

The Rachel Corrie Football Tournament is a way of promoting healing.

By John Harvey - Olympia, Washington

"Reeling from the Israeli occupation, a crippling siege and the after-shocks of a violent factional struggle, Palestinians in Gaza face a grim and grinding daily fight to prevent social collapse and cultural extinction."

This was my assessment after I visited Gaza in the winter of 2008 as a citizen-representative of Sister Cities International. With the added brutality and destruction of the December massacre, the situation has since worsened.

In the US, the question I hear from many people is “What can I do to help?” There are many ways to become involved and make a difference, but for me the answer came directly from my friends in Gaza.

As an officer of the Olympia-Rafah Sister City Project and a friend of Rachel Corrie’s family, my travels took me to Rafah, where my friends Khaled and Adnan live. It was there I was introduced to a special community project.

We toured a field located at the border between Gaza and Egypt: a wasteland where Israel had demolished whole neighborhoods to create a ‘security’ buffer. Not far from here, Rachel Corrie died defending a home while Khaled’s wife and children watched fearfully from inside.

The community had cleared the rubble that was once their neighborhood. There was no hope of rebuilding (Israel allows no construction supplies to enter Gaza). So with great effort they leveled it off, placed sand over it and dubbed it the “Unity Field." Its purpose was to provide a safe community space that provided not only a respite from the brutality of the Israeli siege but one which was free of Gazan factional enmity.

Khaled and Adnan told me they wanted to put on a special event at the field for Ramadan: the "Rachel Corrie Soccer Tournament.” “Rachel did not think in terms of this faction or that faction,” Khaled explained. “She joined us in our struggle for justice as Palestinians.”

Adnan, who worked with Rachel Corrie with youth in Gaza, added, “The great fear is that factional divisions are driving the young in the wrong direction. There is an increase in rage amongst the youth as a result of infighting and lawlessness that have recently taken place in the Gaza Strip.” The result is a retreat from the basic values of good citizenship, democracy, participation and humanitarian action, all replaced by the exchange of accusations and violent actions.”

Khaled and Adnan had conceived the Rachel Corrie Football Tournament as a way of promoting healing within their own community and providing relief from the intense stress caused by the dire situation, particularly as it affects youth.

I was captivated by the project and returned to the United State determined to help them achieve their goal. We raised enough money to support the first Rachel Corrie Soccer Tournament during Ramadan 2008. It was a tremendous success that provided a lively tournament for the whole Yebana community, with prizes for the winning team and a festive finale. Please visit our website to see photos and commentary.

Gaza is an intensely traumatized land. Her people need investments to help them rebuild relationships, trust, and community. "It is not enough just to eat and be alive," was a refrain I heard again and again. "We need help creating programs that support our community and young people. We need activities that relieve the intense stress of the occupation and siege, that sustain our spirit and bring us together."

The 2009 Rachel Corrie Ramadan Soccer Tournament Fundraiser is underway, and we ask you to join us in supporting this innovative, community-developed event. Help strengthen the Gaza community by providing a wholesome activity for young and old during the celebration of Ramadan.

To learn more and make secure online donation visit us at:

Or send your tax-deductible check to:

1101 Eighth Street, Suite 100, Berkeley, CA , 94710
(Please indicate “Rafah Soccer” in the memo line.)

-John Harvey is a Buddhist Priest and a great admirer of the Palestinian people. He contributed this article to Contact him at:

carta aberta: o estado de apartheid nao merece a amnistia


Letter campaign: Israeli apartheid deserves no amnesty
Appeal, Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel and other groups, 6 August 2009

The following action alert was issued on 5 August 2009 by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), Adalah-NY: The Coalition for Justice in the Middle East, Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within (Israel), British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP), International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, Jews Against the Occupation-NYC, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (UK), New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel (NYCBI), New York City Labor Against the War, Palestine Solidarity Campaign (UK), US Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and groups around the world have been calling for months for musician Leonard Cohen to cancel his planned September concert in Israel. With the international community failing to take action to stop Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people, and inspired by the international boycott movement that helped bring an end to apartheid in South Africa, Palestinian civil society has launched calls for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, including an academic and cultural boycott of Israel. Ninety-three artists, writers and other cultural workers have signed onto the Palestinian cultural boycott call. Many dignitaries signed the "No Reason to Celebrate" pledge and refused to participate in any artistic or literary event during Israel's year-long 60th anniversary celebrations.

Feeling the heat of the protests, Cohen and his PR staff tried to schedule a small concert in Ramallah to "balance" his concert in Israel. However, Palestinians rejected the Ramallah concert and any claimed symmetry between the occupying power and the people under occupation.

Now Cohen and his PR staff are trying to whitewash the concert in Israel by using Amnesty International USA's good name. According to a July 28th article in The Jerusalem Post, Amnesty International USA will serve as sponsor of a new fund. The fund will launder the money raised at Cohen's concert in Israel by using it to finance programs for "peace."

In response, 16 groups and coalitions issued a 30 July Open Letter to Amnesty International calling on Amnesty to be true to its values and immediately withdraw support for Leonard Cohen's ill-conceived concert in Israel. The groups noted that by supporting Cohen's concert, Amnesty International is undermining a successful effort by Palestinian and international civil society to end Israel's occupation and other violations of international law and human rights principles. Amnesty International also is partnering in the initiative with Israeli institutions that undermine peace, including a bank directly involved in supporting Israeli settlement construction. The only alleged Palestinian partner has announced it is not taking part.

Take action

Please email Amnesty International, calling on Amnesty to withdraw from support for Cohen's concert. Amnesty International is recognized by many as defending human rights worldwide, so please be respectful and courteous in your message.

You can write and email your own letter, or use the sample letter below and email it, or send an editable form letter via the website of the New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel. Linked here, for reference, is the full Open Letter to Amnesty International.

-If you send your own email, please email your letter to:,,,,,,

(Larry Cox, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA; Curt Goering, Senior Deputy Executive Director of Amnesty International USA; Zahir Janmohamed, Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International USA; Irene Khan, Amnesty International Secretary General; Claudio Cordone, Amnesty International (UK) Senior Director, Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International (UK) Middle East Director, Research and Regional Programs; Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International (UK) Researcher on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories)

-If you email your own letter, please cc it to: so that we can keep track of the responses.

Sample letter to Amnesty International

Dear Amnesty International,

I hold Amnesty International's worldwide work for human rights and international law in high esteem. For this reason, I was very troubled to learn that Amnesty International has agreed to manage a fund that will disburse the proceeds from Leonard Cohen's planned concert in Israel in September. I call on Amnesty International to be true to your values, distance yourself from efforts to normalize Israel's occupation and apartheid, and immediately withdraw support for Leonard Cohen's ill-conceived concert in Israel.

By supporting Cohen's concert, Amnesty International will be subverting the worldwide movement to boycott Israel, a non-violent, effective effort by Palestinian and international civil society to end Israel's violations of international law and human rights principles. Accepting funds from the proceeds of Cohen's concert in Israel is the equivalent of Amnesty accepting tainted funds from a concert in Sun City in apartheid South Africa.

Ninety-three artists, writers and other cultural workers have signed onto the Palestinian cultural boycott call. Many dignitaries signed the "No Reason to Celebrate" pledge and refused to participate in any artistic or literary event during Israel's year-long 60th anniversary celebrations.

In his protest resignation from Amnesty International over this issue, Irish author and composer Raymond Deane wrote:

"By assisting Cohen in his ruse to bypass this boycott, Amnesty International is in fact taking a political stance, in violation of the premise of political neutrality with which it so regularly justifies its failure to side unambiguously with the oppressed. Amnesty is telling us: resistance is futile, the voice of the oppressed is irrelevant, international humanitarian law is a luxury."

Furthermore, the Israeli partners in the concert, the Peres Center for Peace and Israel Discount Bank, actively hinder efforts to achieve a just peace. A columnist in Israel's Haaretz daily called the Peres Center for Peace a patronizing and colonial organization that is in the business of training "the Palestinian population to accept its inferiority and prepare it to survive under the arbitrary constraints imposed by Israel." According to research by Who Profits, a project of Israel's Coalition of Women for Peace, Israel Discount Bank is deeply involved in supporting Israel's settlement enterprise. Israeli settlements violate the very tenets of international law that Amnesty International works to uphold.

Finally, the only Palestinian organization falsely reported in the 28 July Jerusalem Post article as being a partner in this project, the Palestinian Happy Child Center, has confirmed that it is not taking part. There is no Palestinian organization participating in this whitewash.

Thank you for your attention to this vital human rights issue. I look forward to learning of Amnesty International's withdrawal of its support for the Leonard Cohen concert in Israel.

a academia incapaz de recuperar-se em Gaza


Crippled academia unable to recover in Gaza
Rami Almeghari writing from the occupied Gaza Strip, Live from Palestine, 6 August 2009

One of the laboratories at the Islamic University destroyed by Israel more than six months ago is yet to be rebuilt. (Rami Almeghari)

More than six months after Israel's winter invasion of Gaza, a number of partially or largely damaged universities await reconstruction. Raw materials essential for rebuilding are unavailable in Gaza primarily because of Israel's 26-month blockade of the tiny territory. Coupled with the wide-scale destruction from Israel's 22-day onslaught, the siege has crippled most aspects of public life for Gaza's 1.5 million residents.

In late December 2008, Israeli operated, American-made F-16 jets bombed Gaza's Islamic University. The university's laboratories and several buildings were destroyed.

Dr. Kamalin Shaath, President of the Islamic University, explained that "The buildings are still demolished, all we did was remove the rubble. We are looking forward to beginning the reconstruction."

Dr. Shaath added that "The students of the engineering faculty lost their graduation projects. Other sectors in Gaza were impacted due to the destruction of the laboratories. For example, the agriculture sector used to benefit from the university's labs for testing soil."

Ahmad al-Asmar, a student at the Islamic University of Gaza, explained that he has been "greatly impacted and saddened due to the destruction of our laboratories. However, we are determined to continue our academic life."

To cope with the needs of students and faculty the university has created makeshift labs. The university also sent out messages of protest to relevant international organizations like the International Federation of Universities. However, Dr. Shaath stated that "All we received from various bodies were merely message of verbal solidarity. I can understand there must he some kind of political pressure. But I can assure you that we are determined to keep up our academic life, despite such a great loss."

There is a similar scene at nearby al-Aqsa University, which was also damaged during Israel's invasion. The entire community education facility that was under-construction was completely destroyed. Also destroyed was al-Azhar University of Gaza's agricultural college and its Spanish institute. According to university officials at the al-Aqsa University, financial losses due to the invasion are estimated at more than $1.5 million dollars.

Ayman al-Derawi, head of al-Aqsa University's Engineering Department, stated that "There are many essential goods and commodities that are lacking here because of the Israeli siege. We have had to place plastic covers over broken windows in order to cope with the situation."

International organizations have been unable or unwilling to assist the university because of Israel's siege and pressure by the United States. Dr. al-Derawi explained that an organization based in the United Arab Emirates "has offered a small portion of funding for an immediate reconstruction" of several buildings.

Ahmad Abu Aisha, an undergraduate math student at al-Aqsa University expressed his outrage at the situation, stating that "The Israeli army deliberately attempted to damage our academic life. More than one university was either partially or largely damaged."

In addition to the universities, an American school in northern Gaza was totally destroyed by Israel. Moreover, several schools run by the UN agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) across Gaza were damaged by Israeli shelling. As the new academic year approaches, the third under Israel's siege, Gaza's universities and schools remain in desperate need of reconstruction.

Editor's note: due to an editing error, this article originally stated that it was al-Aqsa University's school of agriculture that was damaged during the Gaza invasion and that the financial losses to al-Aqsa University as a result were estimated at $6.5 billion instead of the correct $1.5 billion.

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

Thursday, 6 August 2009

os soldados israelitas raptaram 2 pescadores palestinianos em Gaza


Israeli Navy kidnaps two fishermen in Gaza

The Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture – The Fishing Branch, reported on Thursday morning that the Israeli Navy kidnapped two Palestinian fishermen in Palestinian territorial water in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Navy Ship - Image captured from youtube
Israeli Navy Ship - Image captured from youtube

The Ministry added that Israeli Navy boats attacked a fishing boat on Thursday approximately at 6 a.m, and kidnapped two fishermen.

The two are brothers, they were identified as Ziyad and Abdullah Miqdad. They were one mile away from the shore.

The ministry held the Israeli authorities responsible for the lives of the detainees, and demanded their immediate release.

It also demanded international protection to the Palestinian fishermen as they are subjected to daily attacks and violations by the Israeli navy.

rabis israelitas banem casamentos com judeus 'untouchables'

fonte:Palestine Chronicle

Israeli Rabbis Ban Marriage for Jewish 'Untouchables'

An underclass of Jews has emerged in Israel since the early 1990s. By Jonathan Cook - Tel Aviv

Two immigrants from the former Soviet Union staged a very public wedding in the streets of central Tel Aviv this week to highlight the plight of hundreds of thousands of Jews barred from lawfully marrying in Israel.

Nico Tarosyan and Olga Samosvatov chose to tie the knot in a special ceremony on Tuesday -- watched by family, friends and curious passers-by -- after Orthodox rabbis had denied them the right to wed.

The rabbinate says that Mr. Tarosyan cannot prove he is Jewish according to its strict standards and therefore should not marry Ms. Samosvatov, who is considered a proper Jew.

Mr. Tarosyan, aged 34, who moved to Israel from Moscow in 1995, called his treatment by the rabbis “humiliating”.

“In Russia we were hated because we were Jews and here in Israel we are discriminated against as Russians,” he said.

An underclass of Jews has emerged in Israel since the early 1990s, when more than one million immigrants began pouring into Israel following the collapse of the former Soviet Union. Many were entitled to emigrate to Israel under the Law of Return, which requires only that they have a single Jewish grandparent. But the authorities -- keen to bolster the number of Jews in Israel’s demographic battle with the Palestinians -- also allowed some to arrive with little documentation or faked papers.

This set the new immigrants on a collision course with Israel’s Orthodox rabbis, who regard themselves as guarding the Jewish people’s ethnic and religious purity, said Ofer Kornfeld, the chairman of Havaya, an organisation that officiates at unrecognized weddings like the one conducted in Tel Aviv this week.

“Civil marriages are not possible in Israel,” he said. “So the rabbis get to decide who can marry and who cannot.”

Israel has passed control of all matters relating to personal status -- births, marriages and divorces, and deaths -- to rabbis belonging to the strictest stream of Judaism, Orthodoxy.

Havaya, said Mr. Kornfeld, offered unrecognized, secular and non-Orthodox Jews the chance to marry in a ceremony that retained Jewish rituals while tailor-making the event to their own convictions.

Official figures show that as many as 350,000 Jews are classified by the rabbinate as having “no religion”, and are therefore unable to marry in Israel. Their only option is to wed abroad -- the marriage is then recognized on their return.

These immigrants face major hurdles in seeking to prove their Jewishness to the rabbis’ satisfaction. They must produce evidence that they have a Jewish mother or grandmother in a procedure that can be upsetting to those affected, said Mr. Kornfeld.

“Many don’t even try because they know it’s a difficult and humiliating process that can take months or even years to complete and there is no guarantee of success.”

For a man, the rabbis demand that he prove he is circumcised and produce a birth certificate stating that his mother was a Jew, a proof many immigrants from the former Soviet Union have difficulty providing.

“It may help if you can prove that your mother spoke Yiddish or, if she is dead, supply a photo of her gravestone with a Magen [Star of] David,” said Mr. Kornfeld.

Mr. Tarosyan, a computer engineer, said that, although he failed to impress the rabbis, both his parents were considered Jews in Russia. In Moscow, he said, neighbors had daubed anti-Semitic graffiti on the family’s door.

Ms. Samosvatov, 29, who immigrated from Ukraine with her mother when she was 15, said although the couple considered this week’s wedding in Tel Aviv to be the true ceremony, they were saving to travel to Prague later in the year to conduct a recognized wedding.

Mr. Kornfeld said they would be following in the path of a growing number of Israelis. “About 6,000 couples wed abroad each year, often in eastern Europe. That’s about a fifth of all marriages.”

It is not only Jews classified as without a religion who are forced to leave the country, he said. Many recognized but secular Jews, who do not wish to submit to an Orthodox ceremony, tie the knot abroad, as do those marrying across religious divisions.

Israel’s Muslim, Christian and Druze citizens -- comprising nearly a fifth of the population -- have their own separate religious authorities who are given exclusive oversight of weddings.

Demands to reform the law have been growing for more than a decade, but every parliamentary bill on civil marriage has been defeated, usually following stiff resistance from the religious parties.

However, a new bill, approved by a ministerial committee last month, seems more likely to become law. It allows for a limited form of civil marriage that applies only to couples where both lack a religious status. Mr. Tarosyan and Ms. Samosvatov would not qualify as the rabbis consider one of them a Jew.

The religious parties were forced to agree to the Civil Marriage Bill as a condition for entering the government of Benjamin Netanyahu in the spring. The compromise was needed because civil marriage was the key platform of another coalition partner, the far-right Yisreal Beiteinu party of Avigdor Lieberman, the foreign minister, who is now facing corruption charges. The party draws heavy support from the Russian-speaking population.

The liberal Haaretz newspaper welcomed the bill as a “first crack in the religious monopoly” on marriage, but other observers have doubts.

Avirama Golan, writing in the same paper, warned that the law would apply only to a tiny number of couples and would in practice entrench the power of the rabbis, who before approving a wedding would still force couples to submit to lengthy and humiliating investigations to ensure that neither was a Jew.

She added that such couples would be forced into a ghetto, giving “birth to their shunned children who will marry among themselves and be registered separately in the communal records”.

The rabbis’ agreement to the reform, analysts point out, was possible because the bill maintains barriers preventing assimilation between the majority designated as real Jews and those the rabbis consider “without religion”.

Mr. Kornfeld said the rabbis’ grip on marriage has continued even though nearly 70 per cent of Israeli Jews defined themselves as secular. Even among the religious, some regard themselves as belonging to the more moderate Reform and Conservative streams of Judaism.

Conversion to Orthodoxy is tightly restricted by the rabbinate, with only a few hundred people approved each year. Those converting are forced to adopt a strictly observant lifestyle for themselves and their children.

A general lack of sympathy for the problems of recent Russian immigrants was reflected in a survey conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute this week. It found that half of all Israelis polled believed that only those born in Israel could be a “true Israeli”. Conversely, only 28 per cent of Russian-speaking immigrants in their 30s saw their future in Israel.

- Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). He contributed this article to Visit: A version of this article originally appeared in The National - - published in Abu Dhabi.

ex-presidente Mary Robinson atacada pelo lobby pro-Israel

fonte: Belfast Telegraph

Former Irish president Mary Robinson 'bullied' by pro-Israel lobbyists

Monday, 3 August 2009

Former Irish president Mary Robinson accused "certain elements" of the Jewish community of bullying after a number of pro-Israel lobby groups voiced concerns over her being awarded the top US civilian honour.

US President Barack Obama has come under fire from a number of pro-Israeli online sources for honouring Ms Robinson with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

But Ms Robinson hit back yesterday at what she described as allegations "totally without foundation" of her condoning anti-Semitic behaviour at the Durban World Conference Against Racism in 2001.

"It's totally without foundation but when stuff is out on the internet, I'm not quite sure what you can do," Ms Robinson told RTE Radio One yesterday.

Ms Robinson insisted that she never supported any anti-Semitism and cited her decision at the conference to reject a civil society document which she deemed racist.

"There's a lot of bullying by certain elements of the Jewish community. They bully people who try to address the severe situation in Gaza and the West Bank. Archbishop Desmond Tutu gets the same criticism."

Ms Robinson said she was "very honoured" to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

2 novas criancas palestinianas feridas....


Two Gaza children injured from exploding ordinance left behind by Israeli army

Two Palestinian children sustained injuries as an ordinance that was left behind by the Israeli army exploded in Al-Bureij Refugee Camp in the central Gaza Strip on Tuesday evening.

Gaza after the war - Photo by Gloucester2Gaza
Gaza after the war - Photo by Gloucester2Gaza

The two brothers, eight and ten years old, were taken to the hospital to receive treatment. The youngest was treated for light wounds and released, as the oldest had to be hospitalized at a specialist eye hospital, Palestinian media sources report.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

revelacao divina.....

Fonte:Yahoo News

Texan says God sent him to seek oil in Israel

Patrick Moser – Mon Aug 3, 2009

MAANIT, Israel (AFP) – Texan John Brown says he is on a divine mission to find oil in the land of milk and honey.

Brown, who calls himself Zionist Christian, is convinced that oil-dependent Israel is sitting on vast reserves of crude. Their location is mapped out in the Bible, he says.

Standing on the platform of a 45-metre- (150-foot-) high rig in central Israel, Brown says he expects the black gold to start flowing within months. "There's no maybe -- it's going to happen," the 69-year-old says.

He is not the only one who has faith that there is oil under the Holy Land. Brown points out that his Zion Oil and Gas company, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, recently raised 21 million dollars.

But his claim that the Bible shows where the treasure is buried has raised more than a few eyebrows.

He is prospecting in a country where former premier Golda Meir once joked that Moses took the Jews through the desert for 40 years only to end up in "the one spot in the Middle East that has no oil".

"I think she was wrong," says Brown, holding the well-worn Bible he always carries with him, and which he says is clear in mentioning "the blessing of the deep that lies beneath".

a comemoracao do massacre de Shafa Amer


Shfa-Amr marks fourth anniversary since massacre

On Tuesday evening, hundreds of residents of Shra Amr town, north of the country, marked the fourth anniversary since the deadly attack carried out by a settler-soldier who boarded a bus in the Arab town and opened fire at the passengers killing four, including two sisters.


Dozens of residents were wounded until the passengers managed to subdue and kill the settler.

The four slain residents were identified as Michael Bahhout, Nader Hayek, Dina and Hazar Turki. The anniversary was marked by hundreds of residents of Shfa-Armr in addition to residents and Arab officials who came from different Arab cities and towns.

The ceremony started with a protest that took off at 6 on Tuesday evening, while the protesters chanted against the Israeli violations and commemorated all Arabs and Palestinians killed by the Israeli occupation and its settlers.

The protesters first gathered in front of Shfa-Amr municipality and then marched towards the Christian cemetery to pray for the souls of Nader Hayek and Michel Bahhout, and placed roses on their graves.

They then marched towards the Muslim cemetery to visit the graves of Hazar and Dina Hayek, and read ‘Al Fateha’ (The Chapter of Opening in the Holy Quran).

The protestors continued their march in several parts of Shfa Amr, chanting for liberation and steadfastness while carrying Palestinian flags.

Several officials addressed the protestors and called on the Arabs to remain steadfast and to counter the Israeli violations and attacks against them.

Arab members of Knesset Dr, Jamal Zahalka, Mohammad Barakeh, Hanin Zo’by, And Afo Eghbariyya participated in the protest along with Mohammad Zeidan, head of the Higher Arab Follow-up Committee, and Ramiz Jaraysa head of the Regional Committee of the Local Authorities.

Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement, Mohammad Kana’a of the Abnaa elBalad – “Sons of the Land” movement, Sheikh Yousef Abu Obeid of the Druze sect, laywer Ahmad Raslan, Ahmad Hamdi, head of the Popular Committee in Shfa-Amr, Nahedh Khazim, Mayor of Shfa-Amr, and several other figures addressed the protesters and called for steadfastness and ongoing determination to end aggression.

The final speech was presented by Nisreen Turki on behalf of the bereaved families.

Arab MK Zahalka said that Arabs in Israel are not allowed to defend themselves, while extremist Jews do whatever they wish, and commit crimes against the Arabs and Palestinians.

He added that the leadership in Israel is also responsible for crimes against thousands of Palestinians in the country.

Twelve Arab residents were arrested by the Israeli police after the massacre, and faced charges for ‘killing the settler’. Zahalka said that the twelve youths were among hundreds of Arabs residents who rushed to the scene and the only thing they did was to defend themselves and stop the settler who was firing his automatic gun at random.

The attack in Shfa-Amr was carried out by Eden Natan-Zada, 19, an army deserter and a settler who moved from Rishon Letzion in Jerusalem, to the West Bank illegal settlement of Tapuah.

In spite of the fact that Natan-Zada was known to police as a member of the outlawed far-right terrorist Kach movement, he was not removed from the army and his weapon was not confiscated.


Explorar terrenos e Gás Natural

fonte:Palestine Chronicle

On Exploiting Land and Natural Gas

War on Gaza may have been launched because Israel wanted to control the natural gas.

By Dina Jadallah

There is a paradox at the heart of recent news stories from Egypt, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority concerning various natural gas and land 'business deals.' For in this day of seemingly unsurpassed state power there is a tendency to downplay its true extent. It is frequently proclaimed that the exigencies of international power structures limit state agency. Often, the aim is to shield the state and/or the true holders of power in the state from the consequences of rapacious behavior toward citizens and resources.

This is accomplished by subordinating political issues and political space to private economic entities. The latter are presented as imposing their own supra-national legitimacy and agenda dissociated completely from the political sphere of the state and thus, (conveniently) circumscribing and directing the actions of the state itself.

The “political’ space includes the questions of poverty; access and influence over the direction of government; historical national rights and their protection; distribution of benefits from national resources; adherence to and application of national and international laws; and so forth. Many times, the “political” imposes limits on the state even when it is dictatorial as is the case in the Arab world.

To counteract these limits, economic supra-national structures and the ideology of free market capitalism, liberalization, globalization, and privatization are used by the state as rationalizations. Thus, the state can: a) escape its responsibilities to its citizens; b) usurp the “national interest” in the sense of distributive benefits to the widest number possible; c) eliminate the threats of legal sanctions imposed on states by international legal norms; and d) derive even greater control and exploitation of national resources for the benefit of the holders of state power. Increasingly, private companies are the favored vehicle through which these aims are achieved.

This phenomenon exists equally in ostensibly “democratic” Israel where it is used in an even more pernicious way. Non-state structures are used to hide the true machinations and aims of the state from the potentialities of legal or public condemnation. In fact, their power has been extended well beyond what is traditionally within the purview of the state in order to usurp what historically and politically pre-existed the state, such as Palestinian national, cultural, and territorial rights.

Israel, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority proto-state are engaged in this dance of hide and seek.

Arguably, the recent push by the United States for Arab states to “normalize” relations with Israel prior to any negotiations or compromises or concessions by the latter, may be indicative of the extent to which the divestment movement has succeeded. Importantly, it is also a strategy by which the political is avoided and subordinated to super-imposed “solutions.”

Exploiting Land and Natural Gas

The following examples will illustrate how these governments hide behind companies that serve as tools of economic theft, of usurpation of political rights, and of escaping international laws.

The Israeli Supreme Court is currently looking at a case whereby the World Zionist Organization (WZO) is accused of acting as an agent of the Israeli government when it “took” private land in the West Bank, and “sold” it to Jewish settlers. What makes this noteworthy is that earlier similar actions usually involved smaller “outposts” whereas this one involves the massive settlement of 3000 Jews in Ofra north of Jerusalem. Notably, the Israeli state itself had declared that the property is off-limits to settlement. And even though the “state” had issued demolition orders against construction at the site, the Defense Ministry “froze” demolition and the settlers hastened to complete construction. They even got a special dispensation from the Ofra rabbi to work on the Sabbath. (Amy Teibel, “Lawsuit throws light on murky West Bank real estate deals for Israeli settlers,” Breaking News 24/7, June 20, 2009)

This is but one in a long history of similar actions. Israel has settled almost 500,000 Jews on internationally recognized occupied lands. Since 1967, Israel has used the WZO to avoid international laws prohibiting “settling” on occupied land by creating a special settlement division which is ostensibly not part of the government, but is wholly funded by it. Land deals are usually secret and confidential, with the settlers claiming to be protecting Palestinians who “sold” their land.

In a similar vein, the Knesset formulated a “land reform” bill allowing the “sale” of refugees’ property in public auction. The Israeli government again used a private front for its essentially political usurpation of Palestinian rights. It forged a deal between the Jewish National Fund (Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (KKL)) and the Israel Land Authority (a state entity) in order to “transfer” control from the latter in preparation for auction.

Again, this action has historical precedent, since the Israel Land Authority has been “selling” Palestinian refugee land for the last two years to the Antiquities Authority.

According to the British survey of 1945, only 6% of land in Palestine was Jewish owned. The remainder was 50% Palestinian private property and 45% public land. (Zuheir Andraus, “Knesset formulates a bill allowing the sale of Palestinian refugee property,” Al-Quds al-‘Arabi, 7/8/2009)

By so doing, the state of Israel is trying to escape the limitations of its own Absentee land law that had frozen the properties of refugees until there is a “solution.” It also contravenes UN Resolution 194 and other international laws, but escapes the consequences of its actions by hiding behind “private” non-state actors. Thus, it discards its responsibilities to its Palestinian citizens by substituting a private organization (KKL) that exists for the sole benefit of Jewish population in Israel. According to KM Jamal Zahalqah, those disaffected are not just Palestinian refugees but also Palestinian citizens of Israel.

In the above two examples, talk of privatization is basically an avoidance of confronting the central (political) issues of who owns the land, of the historical rights and struggles of Palestinians, and of national and cultural rights. Hiding behind economic rationalizations and entities constitutes a theft of the widest scope possible all over again.

The following examples also show how by hiding itself, the state (specifically those who hold true power) eliminates political space and therefore any form of resistance or check on its actions. All is subordinated to economic formulae completely independent from society and politics (and sometimes, reality).

The Egyptian East Mediterranean Gas Company (EMG) first signed a deal to supply (private Israeli) Dorad Energy in 2007 with natural gas. EMG already had a deal to supply state-owned Israeli Electrical Corporation (IEC) under a 20 year agreement signed by then Minister of Petroleum Sameh Fahmi in 2005. Although the terms were secret, it was widely reported that natural gas was being “sold” to Israel at $2 per cubic foot when the market price is $14 a cubic foot. (1)

Needless to say, these deals were and are controversial in Egypt. Not only for their political implications in supplying a precious resource to what most Egyptians still see as an “enemy” state. But also for the obvious “discount” involved. The flow was not stopped even during the Israeli war on Gaza this winter. And to add insult to injury, the CEO of Dorad is Reserve General ‘Amos Yaron who was indicted by a Belgian court in 2003 for his involvement in the Sabra and Shatila massacres in 1982.

A lawsuit was filed to ban the export of natural gas to Israel. The courts ruled in favor of the petitioners. But this earlier ruling was overturned following a petition by the Egyptian Prime Minister, Finance Minister, and Minister of Petroleum. (Media Line Staff, “New Egypt-Israel Gas Deal Signed,’, 7/28/2009) Again, hiding behind “private” economic structures, they argued that this is solely under the jurisdiction of the state and not the courts nor the State Council. But in a practical legerdemain, the state itself could not act to prevent this deal because it was an agreement signed by an Egyptian private company. Minister of Petroleum Sameh Fahmi hid behind the ideology of privatization and free markets saying it is a private-stock company “established under investment law” and “we can’t ask this company to sell gas to some countries and not to others.” (2)

Disingenuously, EMG was granted a monopoly to export natural gas to the eastern Mediterranean without having to even submit a tender. (And unlike Israel, Jordan and Syria are charged market rates.) EMG is “owned” by Hussein Salem who is widely believed to be a front man for Mubarak. His investment vehicle is called Masaka Group. (Salem was formerly in Egyptian intelligence.) (“Egypt: Middle East oil refineries, (Midor),”, 1/7/2008)

The “deal” has been rejected by most Egyptians. A week ago, Egyptian ambassador Ibrahim Yusri has filed another lawsuit to stop the export of natural gas to Israel. He questioned the authority by which a national resource could be taken and “sold.” And he further asked that considering Egypt’s large and growing needs, does Egypt have any “surplus” gas to export? (Khaled al-Shami and Zuheir Andraus, “Egyptian ambassador Ibrahim Yusri: New deal to export gas to Israel means Egypt is now a private estate,” Al-Quds el-‘Arabi, 7/30/2009) This follows on the heels of Muslim Brotherhood objections last year to the start of pumping natural gas to Israel. (Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa al-Omrani, “Egypt: Opposition Slams Gas Sale to Israel,” IPS News, 2/25/ 2008) Wafdists likewise questioned the validity of the deal because it contravened Article 51 of the Constitution which stipulates that a strategic agreement must be presented, discussed, and approved in the Peoples’ Assembly. (Gamal Essam el-Din, “Sales Strategies,” Al-Ahram Weekly, 2/26 -3/4, 2009)

Despite opposition, this deal signals to the US that Egypt cooperates with Israel economically. And the economic “exchange” is maintained by hiding behind private entities, thereby negating any political element that might interfere with supra-national agendas.

Israel has forced a cut for itself from the exploitation and development of natural resources in countries that surround it. Very blatantly, this happened in 1999 when British Petroleum (now BP Group – BG) discovered deposits of natural gas 10-15 nautical miles off the coast of Gaza. Initially, BG drafted an agreement to share them with the Palestinian Authority and Egypt. But under pressure from Tony Blair, BG added Israel to the consortium. That agreement was signed by ‘Arafat and gave BG 90% and Athens-based Palestinian Consolidated Contractors Company (connected with the PLO) the remaining 10%. Once again, a private business entity was used to “deal” national resources.

Despite the facts that international maritime law allows a 12 nautical mile corridor of national sovereignty and that the Oslo Accord allowed for 20 nautical miles, Israel (lethally) harasses anyone that ventures beyond 2 nautical miles off the coast (if that). There is speculation that the latest war on Gaza was launched because Israel wants to control that resource. (Between June 2008 and through October of 2008, Israeli PM Olmert contacted BG to reopen negotiations over the deal. Israel Corporation negotiated with BG in November of 2008 to buy BG’s holdings in Gaza Marine natural gas. (Avi Bar-Eli, “Israel Corp. looks at BG’s Share of Gaza natural gas,” Haaretz, 5/11/2008) And then on 11/18/2008, the Egyptian Administrative Court banned the export of natural gas to Israel. Thus, the potential cutoff of gas gave Israel more incentive to invade Gaza. Israel is also questioning the validity of the PA’s deal with BG by arguing that the PA did not have the authority to grant BP a franchise.

The subordination of the state to private interests is detrimental to both the rights and the entire political space inside of which “citizens” may act. (More accurately, they are subjects in most of the Arab world. Even in “democratic” Israel, Palestinians are either an Occupied and subject population or, at best, qualified citizens within the state.) Hiding the state behind supra-national and non-state actors detracts from the very same state power, whose “aims” holders of power are assiduously trying to protect. Specifically, the examples of the second usurpation of Palestinian land via the “private” vehicles of the World Zionist Fund and the KKL, show how hiding the state undermines and puts the final nails in the coffin of the two state “solution” that Israel is supposedly pursuing in an effort to preserve its “Jewish” character. For by stealing Palestinians’ land -- the essence of their political, historical, and national rights -- Israel is eliminating the very basis of that second state, even in its nascent and still incomplete form.

And that may not be a bad thing.

- Dina Jadallah-Taschler is an Arab-American of Palestinian and Egyptian descent, a political science graduate, an artist and a writer. She contributed this article to Contact her at:


(1) After much controversy, the deal was “re-negotiated,” but the terms of the agreement remain secret from official Egyptian sources. But Israeli newspapers estimate that gas prices are to increase between 10-30%. That is still significantly below international prices. (MEES, “Egypt raises gas supplies to Israel after reaching new price agreement,”, 6/22/2009)

(2) These arguments are selectively used by the holders of power in the Egyptian state. In contrast to the EMG deal, Egyptian businessman Wajih Siaj had all his assets in Egypt seized by the Egyptian government for concluding a land deal with Israel to develop land in Taba for tourism. It is widely assumed that the double standard is because he did not pay those holding power in the state their “due” in the deal. In other words, he actually acted as an independent economic agent as opposed to an economic instrument by which the “state” can conclude politically and economically dubious agreements. (Khalid al-Shami, “Paris unfreezes the assets of Bank Misr, and the Egyptian government seizes the assets of Siaj,” Al-Jazeera, 8/1/2009)

os soldados israelitas raptaram 13 civis palestinanos na Cisjordânia


Israeli army kidnaps 13 Palestinians from the West Bank

13 Palestinians from different areas of the West Bank were taken from their homes by the Israeli army, during pre-dawn invasions on Tuesday.

Night time round up of Palestinian men by Israeli soldiers in Hebron - Photo by Christian Peacemaker Team
Night time round up of Palestinian men by Israeli soldiers in Hebron - Photo by Christian Peacemaker Team

Five Palestinians were taken from the area of Qalqilya, four from the Bethlehem area, two men from the Hebron area and another two from around Jericho.

uma vida em clausura: em casa no estado colonialista israelita

fonte:Palestine Chronicle

Life in the Bubble: At Home in the Israeli Settler State

Israel is an expansionist 'settler states'..

By Ed Kinane

Given my Judeo-Christian roots, I’ve long wanted to visit 'The Holy Land.' The US-supported Israeli attack on Gaza this past winter lent urgency to that longing. This spring I joined a delegation going to Israel and the West Bank of the Israeli-Occupied Palestinian Territories. Altogether I spent a month experiencing those tense and militarized lands.

What most surprised me on this tour was how at home I felt – not in the West Bank, but in Israel. Except for signs in Hebrew, things often seemed so “American” that it was like we were in the 51st state. For example, even in the Arab quarters of Israeli cities, many non-Arab Israelis dress with an immodesty that surely offends the indigenous Muslim people they live among.

But this at-home feeling went beyond appearances. It was in the attitudes. The non-activist Israelis I met reminded me of many folks back in the US. Here were nice, hospitable, English-speaking people who – just as in the US – live in what I call the “Bubble.” Colonizing and nationalizing our minds, the Bubble is spun by our governments and mainstream media. It narrows our horizons, drowns our dissent, stifles the voices of the voiceless. Distracting and trivializing, the Bubble shelters us from others’ pain.

The non-activist Jewish Israelis I met seemed oblivious to – or were quick to rationalize – how predatory their military and the Israeli settlers they protect were being in the Occupied Territories. They took for granted the great theft of indigenous Palestinian land supported with their taxes (and with $3 billion a year of our taxes). After centuries of inhabiting what has become Israel proper, in recent decades Palestinians have been either pushed into exile or relegated by force to the caged reservations and “Bantustans” of Gaza and the West Bank. Israeli scholar Ilan Pappé calls this historical process “ethnic cleansing.”

The fear that some Israelis feel regarding Palestinians mirrors the fear some US whites feel toward people of color. These Israelis also were quick to blame the victim and to shudder at the “other.”

My sense is that these good people had little idea how Israel was economically strangling Palestine. Or that the (much publicized) Palestinian terrorism perpetrated on Israelis was a fraction of the (inadequately publicized) episodic terrorism of the Israeli Air Force and the daily systemic violence that the Israeli Defense Force, the IDF, perpetrates on Palestinians. (One Jewish Israeli woman referred to the protracted aerial bombing of Gaza, killing 900 civilians, as an “incident.”)

Those Other Settler States

I was prepared for what I saw in Israel/Palestine thanks to my knowing what European settlers did to First Nations people in what became the United States. The five or six weeks I spent back in the early eighties in South Africa was also good prep. There too I was struck by how at home I felt. White South Africa was also a 51st state – one then backed by the US government.

In Johannesburg, the commercial and government center, many of the affluent white minority lived in gated communities while by law blacks lived in the grim sprawling Soweto ghetto – whose few roads in and out were controlled by the South African Defense Force.

The South Africa I experienced was legally and physically divided by ethnicity and skin color. “Divided,” though, doesn’t begin to acknowledge the stark disparity of wealth, power and opportunity.

In Israel – and in the US – there are similar disparities, the product of similar apartheids. (Another thing that surprised me, in both Israel and Palestine, were the legions of young male and female Israeli soldiers…many casually toting automatic weapons.)

The US, South Africa, Israel: all three are/were expansionist “settler states.” All three have been populated by land-hungry Judeo-Christian Europeans. These outlanders arrived with far more capital and political and military backing than the indigenous people whose land they coveted − and, by hook or by crook, eventually confiscated...or are now bent on confiscating.

Our delegation spent a week in the occupied West Bank. We passed through the Separation Wall, the Berlin-like barrier dividing Israel from its hapless – but stubborn and resisting – colony. The thing to note about the Wall, four times the height of a man, is that only 20% of it is built on the Green Line, the internationally recognized border between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

The Israelis built most of the Wall well inside the West Bank on inhabited or cultivated Palestinian land – thereby seizing more Palestinian territory. That land grab is part of achieving “facts on the ground” ASAP before some “peace process” forces the Israelis to stop multiplying their (illegal) settlements throughout the West Bank.

The Last Surprise…Sort Of

In the West Bank I was also surprised – or rather would have been if I hadn’t already read Anna Baltzer’s Witness in Palestine – by all the military roadblocks. As privileged foreigners, the Israeli soldiers waved our vehicles on. But these same soldiers might hold up Palestinians for hours at a time, or delay market-bound Palestinian produce until it rots.

Like the Wall, most of the roadblocks aren’t at the Green Line, but are sprinkled all over the West Bank. They strangulate Palestinian movement, both personal and commercial, within their own territory. They fragment the West Bank, undermining its commerce, leashing its people, generating resentment.

The roadblocks seem intended to ratchet up daily misery. Maybe even more Palestinians will simply pack up and flee. The goal: to transform the West Bank (in the words of the old Zionist canard) into “a land without people for a people without land.”

One way I’ve come to visualize the Occupation is to imagine the indigenous Onondaga Nation here in Onondaga County (NY), a Nation that white settlers long ago reduced to a fraction of its former territory. But to make the situations more comparable, suppose a 25-foot wall separated the Onondagas from the surrounding white-controlled county. Imagine that the Onondagas risked being shot from sniper towers or detained for months without trial if they somehow passed thru the wall without a permit. Imagine further that within the Onondaga Nation there were numerous militarized roadblocks cutting Onondagas off from their neighbors or their crops. Such a bizarre scenario would be a microcosm of the occupied West Bank.

- Ed Kinane is a member of Central New Yorkers Working for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel. He contributed this article to Contact him at: (This article was first published in

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Israel trabalha para silenciar grupos de Direitos Humanos

fonte:Palestine Chronicle

Israel Seeks Ways to Silence Human Rights Groups
Israel's first goal is to stop Gaza war crimes revelations. By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth

In a bid to staunch the flow of damaging evidence of war crimes committed during Israel's winter assault on Gaza, the Israeli government has launched a campaign to clamp down on human rights groups, both in Israel and abroad.

It has begun by targeting one of the world’s leading rights organisations, the US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW), as well as a local group of dissident army veterans, Breaking the Silence, which last month published the testimonies of 26 combat soldiers who served in Gaza.

Additionally, according to the Israeli media, the government is planning a “much more aggressive stance” towards human rights groups working to help the Palestinians.

Officials have questioned the sources of funding received by the organisations and threatened legislation to ban support from foreign governments, particularly in Europe.

Breaking the Silence and other Israeli activists have responded by accusing the government of a “witch hunt” designed to intimidate them and starve them of the funds needed to pursue their investigations.

“This is a very dangerous step,” said Mikhael Mannekin, one of the directors of Breaking the Silence. “Israel is moving in a very anti-democratic direction.”

The campaign is reported to be the brainchild of the far-right foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, currently facing corruption charges, but has the backing of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Early last month, Mr Lieberman used a press conference to accuse non-government organisations, or NGOs, of replacing diplomats in setting the international community’s agenda in relation to Israel. He also threatened reforms to curb the groups’ influence.

A week later, Mr Netanyahu’s office weighed in against Human Rights Watch, heavily criticising the organisation for its recent fund-raising activities in Saudi Arabia.

HRW has pointed out that it only accepts private donations, and has not accepted Saudi government funds, but Israeli officials say all Saudi money is tainted and will compromise HRW’s impartiality as a human rights watchdog in its treatment of Israel.

“A human rights organisation raising money in Saudi Arabia is like a women’s rights group asking the Taliban for a donation,” Mark Regev, a government spokesman, told the right-wing Israeli daily newspaper the Jerusalem Post.

HRW recently published reports arguing that the Israeli army had committed war crimes in Gaza, including the use of white phosphorus and attacking civilian targets.

HRW is now facing concerted pressure from Jewish lobby groups and from leading Jewish journalists in the US to sever its ties with Saudi donors. According to the Israeli media, some Jewish donors in the US have also specified that their money be used for human rights investigations that do not include Israel.

Meanwhile, Israel’s foreign ministry is putting pressure on European governments to stop funding many of Israel’s human rights groups. As a prelude to a clampdown, it has issued instructions to all its embassies abroad to question their host governments about whether they fund such activities.

Last week the foreign ministry complained to British, Dutch and Spanish diplomats about their support for Breaking the Silence.

The testimonies collected from soldiers suggested the Israeli army had committed many war crimes in Gaza, including using Palestinians as human shields and firing white phosphorus shells over civilian areas. One soldier called the army’s use of firepower “insane”.

The Dutch government paid nearly 20,000 euros to the group to compile its Gaza report, while Britain funded its work last year to the tune of £40,000.

Israeli officials are reported to be discussing ways either to make it illegal for foreign governments to fund “political” organisations in Israel or to force such groups to declare themselves as “agents of a foreign government”.

“Just as it would be unacceptable for European governments to support anti-war NGOs in the US, it is unacceptable for the Europeans to support local NGOs opposed to the policies of Israel’s democratically elected government,” said Ron Dermer, a senior official in Mr Netanyahu’s office.

He added that many of the groups were “working to delegitimise the Jewish state”.

Jeff Halper, the head of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, said the government’s position was opposed to decades-old developments in human rights monitoring.

“Every dictator, from Hitler to Milosevic, has said that there must be no interference in their sovereign affairs, and that everyone else should butt out. But international law says human rights are universal and cannot be left to individual governments to interpret. The idea behind the Geneva Conventions is that the international community has a duty to be the watchdog on human rights abuses wherever they occur.”

Mr Halper, whose organisation last year received 80,000 euros from Spain to rebuild demolished Palestinian homes, was arrested last year for sailing to Gaza with peace activists to break the siege of Gaza.

Other groups reported to be in the foreign ministry’s sights are: B’Tselem, whose activities include providing Palestinians with cameras to record abuses by settlers and the army; Peace Now, which monitors settlement building; Machsom Watch, whose activists observe soldiers at the checkpoints; and Physicians for Human Rights, which has recently examined doctors’ complicity in torture.

The government’s new approach mirrors a long-running campaign against leftwing and Arab human rights groups inside Israel conducted by NGO Monitor, a rightwing lobby group led by Gerald Steinberg, a professor at Bar Ilan University, near Tel Aviv.

NGO Monitor has also targeted international organisations such as Oxfam and Amnesty, but has shown a particular obsession with HRW. Mr Steinberg recently boasted that HRW’s trip to Saudi Arabia in May reflected the loss of major Jewish sponsors in the US following the publication of its Gaza reports.

In an article in the Jerusalem Post on Sunday, Mr Steinberg claimed that European governments treated their funding of Israeli human rights organisations “as ‘top secret’, reflecting the realization that such activities lack legitimacy”.

Mr Mannekin said the Breaking the Silence report listed donors on the first page. “We are far more transparent than NGO Monitor. We don’t know who funds them.”

NGO Monitor, which according to its website is chiefly funded by the shadowy Wechsler Family Foundation in the US, is closely linked to Dore Gold, a hawkish former adviser to Ariel Sharon.

Mr Mannekin added: “The government cannot suppress information about what happened in Gaza by shutting us down. You can’t send 10,000 soldiers into battle and not expect that some of the details will come out. If it’s not us doing it, it’ll be someone else.”

The government’s current campaign follows a police raid on the homes of six Israeli women peace activists in April.

The women, all members of New Profile, a feminist organisation that opposes the militarisation of Israeli society, were arrested and accused of helping Israeli youngsters to evade the draft. The women are still waiting to learn whether they will be prosecuted.

- Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). He contributed this article to Visit: A version of this article originally appeared in The National - - published in Abu Dhabi.

Israel: 60 Anos em Negação

fonte: Global Research

Israel: 60 Anos em Negação

Por Ramzy Baroud

“Não peças aquilo que nunca tiveste”, esta é a mensagem implícita dos apoiantes de Israel quando afirmam que a Palestina nunca foi um Estado.

Esta afirmação é, claro, facilmente refutável. No seguimento da queda do Império Otomano no início do século XX, as potências coloniais dividiram o espólio. Quando a Grã-Bretanha e a França assinaram o acordo secreto Sykes-Picot em 1916, que dividia a Ásia Ocidental em esferas de influência, dificilmente existiam quaisquer “Estados-Nação” na região que corresponderiam a actual definição do termo.

Todas as fronteiras eram fabricações que serviam os interesses dos países poderosos que procuravam controlo estratégico, influência política e matérias-primas. A maior parte de África e da Ásia foi vítima de experiências coloniais que desfiguraram a sua constituição geopolítica e socio-económica.

Mas os palestinianos, como qualquer outro povo, viram-se como um grupo único ligado historicamente a uma entidade geográfica específica. “All That Remains” do professor Walid Khalidi é um volume que documenta a vibrante história pré-Israel da Palestina e do povo palestiniano. Este período é várias vezes desvalorizado se não inteiramente ignorado. Alguns preferem acreditar que nunca existiu nenhuma civilização na Palestina, nem antes ou entre a destruição do Segundo Templo pelos romanos em 70 A.C. e a fundação da Israel em 1948. Então e os factos irrefutáveis? Por exemplo, o jornal israelita Jerusalem Post chamava-se Palestine Post quando foi fundado 1932. Porquê Palestine e não Israel? Qual existência, definida como entidade política, precedeu a outra? A resposta é óbvia.

Não é a aceitação ou negação da existência de Israel que me preocupa. Israel existe, mesmo que se recuse a definir as suas fronteiras ou a reconhecer a injustiça histórica que cometeu contra o povo palestiniano. A brutal e sistemática limpeza étnica da maioria de cristãos e muçulmanos palestinianos entre 1947 e 1948 foi o que originou a maioria judaica na Palestina e, subsequentemente, o Estado Judeu de Israel.

Igualmente importante são as tentativas sistemáticas de desumanizar os palestinianos e negar-lhes qualquer direito. Quando Ehud Barack, primeiro-ministro de Israel na altura, numa entrevista ao Jerusalem Post (Agosto de 2000), comparou os palestinianos a “crocodilos, quanto mais carne se lhes dá, mais eles querem,” eles estava a continuar uma tradição sionista que equipara os palestinianos a animais e a parasitas. Outro primeiro-ministro, Menahim Begin, referiu-se, num discurso ao Knesset, aos palestinianos como “animais que andam sobre duas pernas”. Também já foram descritos como “gafanhotos”, “baratas” e mais por parte de estadistas israelitas.

Incrivelmente, estas referências podem ser vistas como uma melhoria relativamente àquilo que a primeira-ministra Golda Meir declarou: “não há nada disso de palestinianos…eles não existem.” (15 de Junho de 1969).

Para justificar a existência, Israel tem vindo a submeter os seus próprios cidadãos a uma amnésia colectiva. Será que os israelitas se apercebem que vivem sobre as ruínas de centenas de vilas e aldeias palestinianas, cada uma destruída durante uma trágica história de sangue, dor e lágrimas, resultante numa limpeza étnica de quase 800 000 palestinianos?

À medida que Israel celebra o sexagésimo aniversário, nada que manche o heroísmo dos pais fundadores ou daqueles que lutaram em seu nome é permitido. Palestina, os palestinianos e uma relação infinitamente duradoura entre um povo e a sua terra, dificilmente seriam motivo de pausa nas festividades continuadas pelos representantes israelitas e as suas contrapartes ocidentais.

Enquanto algumas partes esquecem vários capítulos históricos pertinentes para o sofrimento palestiniano, os líderes israelitas – especialmente aqueles que tiveram parte na colonização da Palestina – estavam inteiramente conscientes do que fizeram. David Bem Gurion, o primeiro primeiro-ministro de Israel, avisou em 1948: “temos de fazer tudo para a assegurar que (os palestinianos) nunca regressem.” Ao assegurar que os palestinianos eram cortados da sua terra, Ben Gurion esperou que o tempo se encarregasse do resto. “Os velhos vão morrer e os jovens vão esquecer”, disse ele.

Moshe Dayan, um antigo ministro da defesa israelita, também não tinha ilusões no que respeita à verdadeira história por detrás das conquistas de Israel. O seu discurso na Technion em Haifa (4 de Abril de 1969) foi citado pelo diário israelita Haaretz desta forma: “Viemos para um país habitado por árabes e estamos a construir aqui um Estado hebreu, um Estado judeu; em vez de aldeias árabes, foram estabelecidas aldeias judaicas. Vós nem sabeis os nomes dessas aldeias e eu não vos culpo porque essas aldeias já não existem. Não há um único colonato judeu que não tenha sido construído sobre uma antiga aldeia árabe.”

Desde a sua fundação, Israel tem trabalhado para minar qualquer sentido de identidade palestiniana. Sem a sua terra histórica, a relação entre palestinianos e a Palestina só poderia existir na memória. Contudo, eventualmente a memória conseguiu transformar-se numa identidade colectiva que tem provado ser mais duradoura do que a existência física da terra. “É o testemunho da tenacidade dos palestinianos o facto de manterem vivo o sentido de nacionalidade face a tanta adversidade. Os obstáculos à sua coesão como povo são hoje maiores do que nunca,” noticiou The Economist (8 de Maio de 2008).

Viver em tantas áreas separadas entre si, expulsos das suas terras, desligados uns dos outros, lutar em casa esquina, os palestinianos não são oprimidos apenas fisicamente por Israel, mas também psicologicamente. Existem tentativas de todos os ângulos para os forçar a ceder, a esquecer e a ultrapassar. É a rejeição por parte do povo palestiniano destes conceitos que tornam a vitória de Isreal e a sua “independência” superficial e não convincente.

Sessenta anos depois da Catástrofe (Nakba), os palestinianos continuam a lembrar-se das injustiças passadas e presentes. Claro que é necessário mais do que memória; os palestinianos precisam de encontrar terreno comum para a unidade - cristãos e muçulmanos, pobres e ricas, seculares e religiosos – de forma a impedirem Israel de explorar avidamente a sua desunião, as sua facções e o tribalismo político.

Mas, apesar das esperanças e dos esforços de Israel, os palestinianos não esqueceram quem são. E não há negação possível que possa mudar isto.

Ramzy Baroud ( é autor e editor do O seu trabalho foi publicado em vários jornais pelo mundo fora. O seu último livro é The Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a People's Struggle (Pluto Press, London).

Traducao: Ana Sofia Gomes
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