Saturday, 3 October 2009

gênio cômico do Netenyahu

fonte: PC

The Comic Genius of Netanyahu

What exactly are these 'risks for peace' Israel has so bravely taken?

By Stuart Littlewood - London

Knowing that Iran won't surrender its right to civil nuclear power, the schemers in Tel Aviv and Washington were bound to mount a hysterical campaign to scare the rest of the world into believing this would bring terror to our own streets.

And at the United Nations we saw the process swing into action as Netanyahu tried to whip up support for another Middle East war for Israel's benefit.

Yesterday, the man who calls the Holocaust a lie spoke from this podium… To those who gave this Holocaust-denier a hearing, I say on behalf of my people, the Jewish people, and decent people everywhere: Have you no shame? Have you no decency?"

Who with a speck of decency would have given Netanyahu a hearing after the atrocities of the Gaza blitzkrieg and the Goldstone Report condemning Israel's war crimes?

"This Iranian regime is fueled by an extreme fundamentalism... anyone not deemed to be a true believer is brutally subjugated."

Netanyahu could be describing the Israeli regime.

"…The greatest threat facing the world today is the marriage between religious fanaticism and the weapons of mass destruction."

He should know. Israel is bristling with both.

"The most urgent challenge facing this body is to prevent the tyrants of Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons."

That would be nice for the warmongers in Tel Aviv, who already have them.

"Will the international community thwart the world's most pernicious sponsors and practitioners of terrorism?"

I do hope so. But are we all agreed who they are?

"Rather than condemning the terrorists and their Iranian patrons, some here have condemned their victims. That is exactly what a recent UN report on Gaza did, falsely equating the terrorists with those they targeted. "

Substitute American for Iranian and it begins to make sense.

"In 2005, hoping to advance peace, Israel unilaterally withdrew from every inch of Gaza… We didn't get peace. Instead we got an Iranian backed terror base fifty miles from Tel Aviv. Life in Israeli towns and cities next to Gaza became a nightmare. You see, the Hamas rocket attacks not only continued, they increased tenfold. Again, the UN was silent."

Defenceless Gazans know all about nightmares. Israel, camped on their doorstep and still occupying Gaza’s airspace and coastal waters, lobs high explosives into the tiny enclave’s 1.5 million starving civilians, and there’s no escape.

"There is only one example in history of thousands of rockets being fired on a country's civilian population. It happened when the Nazis rocketed British cities during World War II. During that war, the allies leveled German cities, causing hundreds of thousands of casualties."

The Nazis launched sophisticated rockets with huge destructive power at London and Southern England from territory they had invaded and occupied. They weren’t firing makeshift missiles built in a garden shed to defend their homeland.

“Israel... tried to minimize casualties by urging Palestinian civilians to vacate the targeted areas. We dropped countless flyers over their homes, sent thousands of text messages and called thousands of cell phones asking people to leave. Never has a country gone to such extraordinary lengths to remove the enemy's civilian population from harm's way.”

How considerate. But where were Gaza’s terrified civilians supposed to run to? Into the sea? Bombing their homes was the ultimate terror act. There’s no excuse.

“…If Israel is again asked to take more risks for peace, we must know today that you will stand with us tomorrow. Only if we have the confidence that we can defend ourselves can we take further risks for peace.”

What exactly are these “risks for peace” Israel has so bravely taken? In 61 years what peace dividends has Israel’s risk-taking delivered?

The Pot Calls the Kettle Black

Netanyahu has a rare genius for irony, except that he himself doesn't see it. That’s what makes him such a comedian. The irony of what he says is totally lost on him. Nearly every offensive remark he makes about Iran and Palestine can be flung back in his face because Israel is no better and in most respects far worse. Netanyahu’s speech to the UN was the most hilarious example in history of the pot calling the kettle black.

His scriptwriters evidently feed off the Zionists’ propaganda training manual, which teaches the art of lying and distortion and how to sugar-coat it all for easy swallowing by gullible audiences. Notice how everything Israel dislikes, and everything that thwarts their lust for domination, is now labeled “Iranian-backed”… and how everyone else, too, is in mortal danger from Iran and must therefore huddle together in Israel’s axis of aggression. Also note how situations are defined in language that suit only Israel’s case.

Less amusing is Netanyahu’s arrogant rejection of the UN Human Rights Council’s Goldstone report condemning Israel’s conduct. “By these twisted standards… [they] would have dragged Roosevelt and Churchill to the dock as war criminals. What a perversion of truth. What a perversion of justice... Will you accept this farce? If this body does not reject this report, it would send a message to terrorists everywhere: Terror pays; if you launch your attacks from densely populated areas, you will win immunity. And in condemning Israel, this body would also deal a mortal blow to peace. Here's why.

“When Israel left Gaza, many hoped that the missile attacks would stop. Others believed that at the very least, Israel would have international legitimacy to exercise its right of self-defense. What legitimacy? What self-defense?

“The same UN that cheered Israel as it left Gaza and promised to back our right of self-defense now accuses us – my people, my country - of war crimes? And for what? For acting responsibly in self-defense. What a travesty!

“Israel justly defended itself against terror. This biased and unjust report is a clear-cut test for all governments. Will you stand with Israel or will you stand with the terrorists?”

The false choice in that last sentence is a propaganda favourite. Why would anyone with any sense wish to stand alongside either?

And how dare Netanyahu equate Roosevelt and Churchill’s epic struggle against the rampaging Nazis with Israel’s brutal crushing of Palestinian resistance against the illegal occupation of the Holy Land?

What has the UN come to when a regime that is armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons and not even a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty can call on the world’s nations to gang up against another country for starting its own nuclear programme? Israel itself refuses to submit to inspection and poses an alarming nuclear threat. It hasn’t signed the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention either, nor the Chemical Weapons Convention.

And is it not an insult to everyone’s intelligence to hear the UN being lambasted by the leader of a regime that is in open defiance of international law and countless UN resolutions?

The UN Human Rights Council is due to debate the Goldstone report today, when a vote will be taken on how its recommendations should be acted on. There are fears that the British government plans to reject the report’s key recommendations. If that’s the case and others follow suit, Israel will be let off the hook and allowed to continue its crime spree.

It will hand Israel’s comic genius a personal triumph. The Zionist network will no doubt show their gratitude in the usual way

- 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:

Conselho dos Direitos Humanos adia votação do relatório Goldstone para Março 2010. O bloqueio dos EUA não deve adiar a justiça

fonte: Forum Palestina

1. Apenas o primeiro paragráfo deste comunicado:

"A decisão no Conselho de Direitos Humanos das Nações Unidas para adiar a votação do relatório Goldstone sobre Gaza, até Março de 2010, obriga os Estados Unidos e outros governos, que bloquearam a acção no conselho a pressionarem Israel e o Hamas a dar início a uma investigação credível, declarou a Human Rights Watch hoje. A missão encontrou provas de violações das leis de guerra durante o conflito em Gaza, que deverão desencadear investigações credíveis do comportamento de ambos os lados.


2. Um comentário da responsável da secção para o Médio Oriente da HRW, Sarah Leah Whitson, sobre o adiamento.

"Os Estados Unidos conquistaram para Israel um adiamento (da decisão sobre) o relatório Goldstone, então agora deve garantir que Israel realmente investigue as denúncias de abuso. Se isso não acontecer até Março, então os E.U. A. devem endossar o apelo do relatório de Goldstone para os mecanismos internacionais de responsabilização."

3. E o ónus do adiamento recai... sobre os sponsors da resolução sobre a Situação dos Direitos Humanos nos Territórios Ocupados da Palestina, incluindo Jerusalém Oriental (A/HRC/12/L.12).

Zamir Akram (Paquistão), falando sobre o projecto de resolução L. 12, sobre a Situação dos Direitos Humanos nos Territórios Ocupados da Palestina, incluindo Jerusalém Oriental (A/HRC/12/L.12), disse que, levando em consideração a elevada importância atribuída a esta resolução por parte da comunidade internacional como um todo, e para dar mais tempo para uma análise abrangente e ampla do relatório da Missão Internacional de Averiguação, os co-patrocinadores ou seja, a Organização da Conferência Islâmica, o Grupo Africano, o Grupo Árabe e o Movimento Não-Alinhado, solicitaram que a apreciação do projecto de resolução fosse adiada até à décima terceira sessão do Conselho dos Direitos Humanos. (Março 2010)

Mas de facto quem conduziu a orquestra foi... o representante dos EUA.

o negócio de vídeo

fonte: PC & AlAkhbar
الأسيرة لينان أبو غلمي لدى خروجها من معسكر عوفر في الضفة الغربية (دارين وايتسايد ــ رويترز)
a prisonieira Linan Abu Ghelmi (Reuters)
Video Deal
Israel has set free first 20 Palestinian women prisoners in exchange for a one-minute video showing the fate of a captured IDF soldier, Gilad Shalit. Bra'ah al-Malki, 15, was released late on Wednesday (Oct 2) after a judge ordered her freed. She was released to her family in Jenin as part of a rare agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) to trade the 20 female prisoners for a confirmation of the young soldier's condition. According to a newly recorded videotape, kidnapped Israeli soldier is alive. The videotape has already been turned over to German mediators, and will be given to Israel on Friday when the prisoners are due to be set free. An Israeli government official said Wednesday the German mediators have already viewed the tape and confirmed that Shalit is alive, though no other details were released regarding his condition or the contents of the video. Shalit has been in Palestinian captivity since he was abducted by Gaza Strip fighters in a cross-border raid on June 25, 2006. In exchange for the soldier, Hamas has demanded the release of 1,400 Palestinian prisoners, including about 450 long-serving inmates. (Reference for text: Press TV. Photo:


Israel: Dezanove palestinianas libertadas em troca de video que mostra soldado Shalit vivo

Obama deve coincidir princípios e retórica

fonte: EI

Obama must match rhetoric with principle
George Bisharat, The Electronic Intifada, 1 October 2009

So far, the Middle East has seen words not actions from Obama. (Hatem Omar/MaanImages)

US President Barack Obama has placed restoration of the stature of the United States among his primary foreign policy goals. He has already achieved substantial progress in Europe, where polls indicate that he is widely admired. The president's June Cairo University speech also won praise in the Arab and Muslim worlds. Yet many across the globe still await the substantive policy changes implied by his inspiring words.

President Obama can solidify broader global respect by supporting the recommendations of the just-released Goldstone report in the United Nations Human Rights Council. Richard Goldstone, an eminent South African jurist, led a mission to investigate allegations of war crimes in Gaza last winter.
Indeed, the Goldstone mission concluded that Israel and Hamas committed war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity. The report recommends that both parties be given six months to mount independent, internal investigations -- and if they fail, that the UN Security Council refer the matter to the International Criminal Court for investigation and possible prosecutions.

Much of the 575-page report documents Israeli violations of the laws of war and human rights surrounding the intense fighting of last winter. That is fair, as the scale of harm Israel caused to lives and property in Gaza vastly exceeded that inflicted by Hamas. Israel killed approximately 100 Palestinians for every Israeli who died, and destroyed vast swaths of private housing, industrial buildings, agricultural facilities and public infrastructure.

The Israeli government boycotted the Goldstone mission; Palestinian authorities, in contrast, cooperated with it. Doubtless, the group's conclusions would have been more definitive had Israel shared information with its authors. Israel now seeks to discredit the report, attacking everything from Justice Goldstone himself to the UN Human Rights Council, and claiming that the report's findings would hamstring other nations -- including ours -- facing "asymmetric warfare."

This is nonsense. Justice Goldstone is a man of impeccable credentials and great personal integrity, and his colleagues are similarly distinguished.
The report is judicious and even-handed, and cannot be casually dismissed.

Nor is there anything novel about "asymmetric warfare," at least not of the kind waged by Israel, requiring departures from standard international law.
Colonial powers that displace indigenous peoples, as Israel does regularly in Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank, have always faced armed, and sometimes crude, popular resistance. Israel's war against the Palestinians shares more with the French in Algeria than it does with our fight against al-Qaeda. Israel might prefer that international law revert to pre-World War II levels, but that would undermine protections for us all.

The Obama Administration should echo the Goldstone report and urge Israel to mount serious investigations of its military's documented misdeeds. In fact, US ambassador to the UN Susan Rice already did so in her January inaugural address to the UN. We should also not quail at the Goldstone mission's recommendation that the Security Council refer the matter to the International Criminal Court, if Israel fails to credibly investigate, as it has to date. Enforcement of international law cannot only be for the losers of international conflicts; indeed, the legitimacy of international law depends on its universal application. The world will take notice when President Obama's warming rhetoric is matched by equally principled deeds -- and will likewise take notice when it is not.

George Bisharat is a professor at Hastings College of the Law and writes frequently on law and politics in the Middle East. This op-ed was originally published by The San Fransisco Chronicle and is republished with the author's permission.

Abbas ajuda Israel a enterrar seus crimes em Gaza

fonte: EI

Abbas helps Israel bury its crimes in Gaza
Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 2 October 2009

Representing the moribund Palestine Liberation Organization, the executive committee of which seen here, Mahmoud Abbas has abandoned a resolution to hold Israel accountable for its alleged war crimes in Gaza. (MaanImages/POOL/Omar Rashidi)

Just when it seemed that the Ramallah Palestinian Authority (PA) and its leader Mahmoud Abbas could not sink any lower in their complicity with Israel's occupation of the West Bank and the murderous blockade of Gaza, Ramallah has dealt a further stunning blow to the Palestinian people.

The Abbas delegation to the United Nations in Geneva (officially representing the moribund Palestine Liberation Organization) abandoned a resolution requesting the Human Rights Council to forward Judge Richard Goldstone's report on war crimes in Gaza to the UN Security Council for further action. Although the PA acted under US pressure, there are strong indications that the commercial interests of Palestinian and Gulf businessmen closely linked to Abbas also played a part.

The 575-page Goldstone report documents evidence of shocking Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity during last winter's assault on the Gaza Strip which killed 1,400 Palestinians, the vast majority noncombatants and hundreds of them children. The report also accuses the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas of war crimes for firing rockets into Israel that killed three civilians.

Goldstone's report was hailed by Palestinians and supporters of the rule of law worldwide as a watershed; it called for suspects to be held accountable before international courts if Israel failed to prosecute them. Israel has no history, ever, of holding its political and military leaders judicially accountable for war crimes against the Palestinians.

Israel was rightly terrified of the report, mobilizing all its diplomatic and political resources to discredit it. In recent days, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that if the report were acted on, it would "strike a severe blow to the war against terrorism," and "strike a fatal blow to the peace process, because Israel will no longer be able to take additional steps and take risks for peace if its right to self-defense is denied."

Unsurprisingly, an early ally in the Israeli campaign for impunity was the Obama Administration, whose UN ambassador, Susan Rice, expressed "very serious concerns" about the report and trashed Goldstone's mandate as "unbalanced, one-sided and basically unacceptable." (Rice was acting true to her word; in April she told the newspaper Politico that one of the main reasons the Obama Administration decided to join the UN Human Rights Council was to fight what she called "the anti-Israel crap.")

Goldstone, whose daughter has publicly described her father as a Zionist who loves Israel, is a former judge of the South African Supreme Court, and a highly respected international jurist. He was the chief prosecutor at UN war crimes tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.

That the Goldstone report was a severe blow to Israel's ability to commit future war crimes with impunity is not in doubt; this week bolstered by the report, lawyers in the UK asked a court to issue an arrest warrant for visiting Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak. That action did not succeed, but Israel's government has taken extraordinary measures in recent months to try to shield its officials from prosecution, fearing that successful arrests are just a matter of time. Along with the growing international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions, the fear of ending up in The Hague seems to be the only thing that causes the Israeli government and society to reconsider their destructive path.

One would think, then, that the self-described representatives of the Palestinian people would not casually throw away this weapon. And yet, according to Abbas ambassador Ibrahim Khraishi, the Ramallah PA shelved its effort at the request of the Americans because "We don't want to create an obstacle for them."

Khraishi's excuse that the resolution is merely being deferred until the spring does not pass muster. Unless action is taken now, the Goldstone report will be buried by then and evidence of Israel's crimes -- necessary for prosecutions -- may be harder to collect.

This latest surrender comes less than two weeks after Abbas appeared at a summit in New York with US President Barack Obama and Netanyahu despite Obama abandoning his demand that Israel halt construction of Jewish-only settlements on occupied Palestinian land. Also under US pressure, the PA abandoned its pledge not to resume negotiations unless settlement-building stopped, and agreed to take part in US-mediated "peace talks" with Israel in Washington this week. Israel, meanwhile, announced plans for the largest ever West Bank settlement since 1967.

What makes this even more galling, is the real possibility that the PA is helping Israel wash its hands of the blood it spilled in Gaza for something as base as the financial gain of businessmen closely linked to Abbas.

The Independent (UK) reported on 1 October:

"Shalom Kital, an aide to defense minister Ehud Barak, said today that Israel will not release a share of the radio spectrum that has long been sought by the Palestinian Authority to enable the launch of a second mobile telecommunications company unless the PA drops its efforts to put Israeli soldiers and officers in the dock over the Israeli operation." ("Palestinians cry 'blackmail' over Israel phone service threat," The Independent, 1 October).

Kital added that it was a "condition" that the PA specifically drop its efforts to advance the Goldstone report. The phone company, Wataniya, was described last April by Reuters as an "Abbas-backed company" which is a joint venture between Qatari and Kuwaiti investors and the Palestinian Investment Fund with which one of Abbas' sons is closely involved. Moreover, Reuters revealed that the start-up company apparently had no shortage of capital due to the Gulf investors receiving millions of dollars of "US aid in the form of loan guarantees meant for Palestinian farmers and other small to mid-sized businesses" (See "US aid goes to Abbas-backed Palestinian phone venture," Reuters, 24 April 2009).

Just a day before the Abbas delegation pulled its resolution in Geneva, Nabil Shaath, the PA "foreign minister" denounced the Israeli threat over Wataniya as "blackmail" and vowed that the Palestinians would never back down.

The PA's betrayal of the Palestinian people over the Goldstone report, as well as its continued "security coordination" with Israel to suppress resistance and political activity in the West Bank, should banish all doubt that it is an active arm of the Israeli occupation doing tangible and escalating harm to the Palestinian people and their just cause.

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada, Ali Abunimah is author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse

Friday, 2 October 2009

Sobre a desobediência civil palestiniana

fonte: PC

On Palestinian Civil Disobedience

Thoreau, I believe, would have been proud of Nofal, Snitz and their fellow activists.

By Neve Gordon

Sometime in 1846, Henry David Thoreau spent a night in jail because he refused to pay his taxes. This was his way of opposing the Mexican-American War as well as the institution of slavery. A few years later he published the essay Civil Disobedience, which has since been read by millions of people, including many Israelis and Palestinians.

Kobi Snitz read the book. He is an Israeli anarchist who is currently serving a 20 day sentence for refusing to pay a 2,000 shekel fine.

Thirty-eight year-old Snitz was arrested with other activists in the small Palestinian village of Kharbatha back in 2004 while trying to prevent the demolition of the home of a prominent member of the local popular committee. The demolition, so it seems, was carried out both to intimidate and punish the local leader who had, just a couple of weeks earlier, began organizing weekly demonstrations against the annexation wall. Both the demonstrations and the attempt to stop the demolition were acts of civil disobedience.

In a letter sent to friends the night before his incarceration, Snitz writes that "I and the others who were arrested with me are guilty of nothing except not doing more to oppose the state's truly criminal policies." Snitz also explains that paying the fine is an acknowledgment of guilt which he finds demeaning. Finally, he concludes his epistle by insisting that his punishment is trivial when compared to the punishment meted out to Palestinian teenagers who have resisted the occupation. These thirteen, fourteen, fifteen and sixteen year olds, he claims, are often detained for 20 days before the legal process even begins.

Snitz is not exaggerating.

In a recent report, the Palestinian human rights organizations Stop the Wall and Addameer document the forms of repression Israel has deployed against villages that have resisted the annexation of their land. The two rights groups show that once a village decides to struggle against the annexation barrier the entire community is punished. In addition to home demolitions, curfews and other forms of movement restriction, the Israeli military forces consistently uses violence against the protestors-and most often targets the youth-- beating, tear-gassing as well as deploying both lethal and "non-lethal" ammunition against them.

Since 2004, nineteen people, about half of them children, have been killed in protests against the barrier. The rights groups found that in four small Palestinian villages - Bil'in, Ni'lin, Ma'sara and Jayyous - 1,566 Palestinians have been injured in demonstrations against the wall. In five villages alone, 176 Palestinians have been arrested for protesting against the annexation, with children and youth specifically targeted during these arrest campaigns. The actual numbers of those who were injured and arrested are no doubt greater considering that these are just the incidents that took place in a few villages.

Each number has a name and a story. Consider, for example, the arrest of sixteen year-old Mohammed Amar Hussan Nofal who was detained along with about 65 other people from his village Jayyous on February 18, 2009. According to his testimony, he was initially interrogated for two and a half hours in the village school.

"They asked me why I participated in the demonstrations, but I tried to deny [that I had]. Then they asked me why I threw a Molotov cocktail [at] them. I said I never had, which was true. My parents were there and witnessed [what happened]. They can confirm I never [threw a Molotov cocktail]. I later confessed to [having been at] demonstrations, but not [to having] thrown a Molotov cocktail."

After being beaten for refusing to hold up a paper with numbers and Hebrew words on it in order to be photographed, Nofal was sent to Kedumim and was interrogated for several more hours. During this interrogation Captain Faisal (a pseudonym of a secret service officer) tried to recruit the teenager to become a collaborator.

"The Captain threatened that he would arrest my parents and my whole family if I did not collaborate. I said they could arrest [my family] any time, [but] it would be worse to become a spy. He then said they would confiscate my family's permits so they could not pick olives."

Nofal's only crime was protesting against the expropriation of his ancestral lands. He spent three months in prison, during which time the Civil Administration decided to punish his family as well and refused to renew their permits to work in Israel.

When compared to Nofal and thousands of other Palestinians, Kobi Snitz is indeed paying a small price. But his act is symbolically important, not only due to his solidarity with his Palestinian partners, but also because he, like thousands of Palestinians, has decided to follow the lead of Henry David Thoreau and to commit acts of civil disobedience in order to resist Israel's immoral policies and the subjugation of a whole people.

The problem is that the world knows very little about these acts. A simple google search with the words "Palestinian violence" yields over 86,000 pages, while a search with the words "Palestinian civil disobedience" generates only 47 pages - this despite the fact that for several years now Palestinians have been carrying out daily acts of civil disobedience against the Israeli occupation.

Thoreau, I believe, would have been proud of Nofal, Snitz and their fellow activists. It is crucial that the media and international community recognize their heroism as well.

- Neve Gordon teaches politics at Ben-Gurion University and is the author of Israel's Occupation. He contributed this article to Contact him at:

Primeira Conferência sobre Prisioneiros Palestinos

fonte:Viva a Palestina

Primeira Conferência sobre Prisioneiros Palestinos
O Ministro dos Assuntos dos Prisioneiros da AP, Issa Qaraqe, anunciou a realização de uma conferência, intitulada "A liberdade é um direito e não uma ferramenta para violações" que reunirá 50 personalidades internacionais e defensores dos direitos humanos no hotel Intercontinental de Jericó.
Qaraqe convocou a conferência, que considera o evento mais importante do ano, o primeiro deste tipo na Palestina, para mobilizar o apoio internacional para prisioneiros palestinos em uma tentativa de fazer pressão sobre Israel para pôr termo às violações dos direitos humanos contra detentos. Há uma estimativa de 11.000 palestinos em prisões israelenses

responder aos críticos do movimento de boicote

fonte: EI

Answering critics of the boycott movement
Sami Hermez, The Electronic Intifada, 1 October 2009

The boycott call invites Israelis to stand alongside in solidarity with Palestinians. (Wissam Nassar/MaanImages)

Over the last three years, the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel has been gaining stride. Individuals around the world have been joining this call, from organizing actions in supermarkets in France and Great Britain protesting Israeli products made in settlements, to filmmakers withdrawing movies from film festivals, to prominent Israelis making a public stand with the BDS movement. Only recently, a multi-billion dollar Norwegian wealth fund divested from the Israeli arms company Elbit, while other companies, like Veolia, a French conglomerate involved in building and managing the Jerusalem light-rail, have suffered setbacks due to the bad publicity the boycott movement has generated.

The list of successful BDS actions has now become too long to list, yet, there are still many out there who do not believe in this movement and have reservations on a number of grounds, offering two main concerns that are rarely tackled, and when they are it is only cursory. The first is the criticism of why a boycott movement against Israel and not countries like China, Sudan or the US. This claim often gets tagged on with the idea that this is due to an inherent anti-Semitism. The second concerns the argument that boycott is against dialogue, which often comes along with accusations that it promotes censorship and is a form of collective punishment.

Boycotting other countries

Two recent open statements on boycott over the summer, by Naomi Klein and Neve Gordon, both anticipated the first criticism, but neither went far enough in explaining why it is necessary to boycott Israel and why we don't boycott other countries. Gordon asked the question only to almost completely ignore it, while Klein has provided two explanations that when combined begin to form a coherent response. In her article published by The Nation on 8 January 2009, in response to the question of why we do not boycott other western countries that are also human rights abusers, Klein wrote that "Boycott is not a dogma; it is a tactic. The reason the BDS strategy should be tried against Israel is practical: in a country so small and trade-dependent, it could actually work." While this is true it does not fully respond to the critics.

There are several other reasons why we do not boycott some of the other countries mentioned above. By far the most important of these, outlined by Klein in an interview with Cecille Surasky for Alternet on 1 September 2009, is that individuals around the world are not boycotting, but rather, they are responding to a call for boycott coming from Palestinian civil society. Klein is not the first to say this; veterans of the South Africa anti-apartheid campaign who led a successful boycott have also stressed the need to stand with indigenous communities. Boycott is a move to heed the voice of an oppressed group and follow its lead. The idea is that there are no movements out of Tibet, in the case of Chinese oppression, or Iraq in the case of the American occupation, that are calling for boycott and for the international community to respond to that call. This is important! The BDS movement comes from within Palestinian society and it is this factor that makes it so powerful and effective. If there were calls for the boycott of places like the US, China or North Korea coming from those the governments oppress, then it would be worthwhile to listen to such calls.

Naomi Klein's original comment that BDS is not dogmatic but tactical is crucial, in that the movement does not claim that BDS can successfully be used in fighting all oppression wherever it is, but that in certain cases of apartheid and colonial oppression, this tool is highly effective. The case of Israel proves very salient here because it receives an almost surreal amount of aid and foreign investment from around the world, most notably the US, with which it enjoys a special status. This makes the daily operations of the Israeli state and its institutions far more accountable to the international community than a place like Sudan, frequently brought up by boycott critics because of the violence in Darfur. It also means, in the case of economic boycott and divestment, that the international community is withdrawing its gifts and support, rather than allowing it to enjoy its special status -- hardly a punishment. It is the high level of support that Israel enjoys that makes it susceptible to BDS, whereas in some of the other countries that are often promoted in debates for boycott, as Klein says, "there are [already] very clear state sanctions against these countries."

In the same September article, Yael Lerer, an Israeli publisher interviewed alongside Klein, echoed this position: "these countries don't have these film festivals and Madonna is not going to have a concert in North Korea. The problem here is that the international community treats Israel like it was a normal, European, Western state. And this is the basis of the boycott call: the special relationship that Israeli universities have with European universities and with universities in the United States, which universities in Zimbabwe don't have. I do believe that Israel could not continue the occupation for one single day without the support of the United States and the European Union."

Critics of BDS must keep in mind the tactical aspect of the movement. We cannot boycott all countries in the world, but this does not mean that BDS against Israel cannot be applied as a tool to force a restructuring of relations between Palestinians and Israelis. This leads into the next criticism regarding boycott as being anti-dialogue.

Boycott is dialogue

Since the signing of the Oslo accords in 1994, many have walked down the path of dialogue -- I tried it for several years -- and found this to be a strategy to stall for time while the Israeli government was building facts on the ground. We saw dialogue become the slogan for former criminals to clean their bloody hands and appear as peaceful while they continued their strategies of oppression; Israeli President Shimon Peres has been the master of such tactics. I found on college campuses in the US where I studied that dialogue was a way to neutralize confrontation and sanitize a dirty conflict. But avoiding confrontation favors the status quo, and the status quo has been, until BDS, in favor of occupation.

The boycott movement is, to be sure, against this dialogue, but not dialogue in an absolute sense. In fact, at its very core, BDS is a movement that is premised on dialogue and of re-appropriating the meaning of dialogue to its rightful place -- one that sees a communication between two equal partners and not one where the occupier can force demands and dictate terms to the occupied. BDS is supposed to foster dialogue by locating those who are committed to real and consistent struggle against Zionism -- and this is most appropriately seen not in economic forms of boycott but in cultural and academic boycott where artists, musicians, filmmakers, academics and other cultural figures are able to come together, converse and build networks in the face of oppressive institutions that are the real target of these boycotts. Where economic boycott creates economic pressure, cultural boycott fosters dialogue and communication precisely because it shames and shuns those that directly collaborate with the Israeli government and its institutions.

The power of all these forms of BDS is in their recognition that true justice can only be achieved when Israelis and Palestinians work together for a common cause, when they realize that their struggle is shared, and when Israelis understand that they must sacrifice alongside Palestinians if they want true peace. The power of BDS is that it offers an alternative to the national struggles of Hamas and Fatah, and calls on Israelis to join Palestinians in their struggle, and to move beyond the comfort zone of preaching peace, and into the realm of action that requires a "no business as usual" attitude. Indeed, BDS provides the means to generate a new movement that can respond to the main Palestinian political parties that have made a mockery of a people's right to resist, despite their achievements of the past. A significant part of this is that BDS enables a discourse that moves beyond "ending the occupation" to place demands for the right of return and equal rights for Palestinians in Israel as top priorities.

If Israelis and Palestinians can build a movement together, can struggle together, then this movement will embody the world they wish to create, one that is shared. Thus, BDS is not a tactic for a national movement; as it gains strength it will prove to have foes on both sides of the nationalist divide. Its power as a tactic lies in its ability to foster a movement that challenges nationalist discourse. It can create the conditions to make possible a movement that recognizes that while national self-determination remains a central element in a world ruled by antagonistic nationalisms, it should not be constrained by traditional notions of nationalism based on superiority and ethnic exclusion, or by the force of current political parties. In this way, BDS is not anti-dialogue, on the contrary, it is a call out to Israelis to be partners in struggle. It is a call out to Israelis to take a step forward towards envisioning collectively an alternative relationship in the land of Israel-Palestine.

It is time to step out of our comfort zones, to confront, to not be satisfied in talking about tolerance and dialogue for the sake of dialogue. It is time to realize that people already recognize the humanity of the other, but that politics intervene to ensure "we" do not grant "them" this humanity. It is time to realize that it is not the Israeli who is targeted by BDS, but the Israeli government and Israeli institutions that collaborate in the occupation of the Palestinians, and degrade and demonize them. Finally, it is time to realize that BDS is a winnable, nonviolent strategy precisely because it works on slowly changing attitudes and building bridges towards a common vision of justice and equality, and because it creates a real feeling of loss, therefore real pressure, on Israeli governments and institutions, that go beyond the lip service of the "peace process."

Sami Hermez is a doctoral candidate of anthropology at Princeton University working on questions of violence and nonviolence.


fonte:Palestine Chronicle


The head of the UN Human Rights Council commission on Gaza war said Israel intentionally targeted some civilian sites during the 23-day offensive in the Gaza Strip. "Some of the killing...was certainly intentional. There was no mistake in bombing factories. The Israeli intelligence has very precise information," Richard Goldstone told CNN on Wednesday (Oct 1). The former judge, however, did not endorse targeting civilians was the Israeli army's policy during its attacks on Gaza. "A fully fledged formal investigation will find that out. We didn't get near being judicial." On Tuesday, the Goldstone report, mainly highlighting evidence of war crimes by the Israeli army during its military action against the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, was formally presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council. The 575-page document listed several instances of alleged war crimes, such as Israel's deliberate shelling of civilian targets, opening fire at fleeing civilians and 'direct and an intentional attack' on hospitals. It also documented Palestinians' complaints of having been used as human shields by Israeli soldiers. On the Palestinian side, the report charged armed groups operating in Gaza with failing to distinguish between military targets and the civilian population in their rocket attacks in southern Israel. Goldstone said his committee did not find any proof for Israeli accusations against the Islamic Hamas movement of storing their weapons near civilians. "We looked for proof but didn't find it." He expressed satisfaction with the debate the report has opened in Israel and internationally, saying he hoped 'the report will have consequences in the future in the protection of innocent civilians'. (Reference for text: Press TV. Photo: Via Google/file)

manifestante de paz em Gaza preso na própria casa

fonte:Palestine Chronicle

Gaza Peace Protester is Prisoner in Own Home

The report said 830 Israeli demonstrators were arrested for participating in peaceful protests.

By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth

Nine months after he helped to organise protests against Israel's attack on Gaza, Samih Jabareen is a prisoner in his home in Jaffa, near Tel Aviv, an electronic bracelet around his ankle to alert the police should he step outside his front door.

The 40-year-old actor and theatre director is one of dozens of Arab political activists in Israel who have faced long-term detention during and since Israel's winter assault on Gaza in what human rights groups are calling political intimidation and repression of free speech by the Israeli police and courts.

A report published last week by Adalah, an Arab legal rights group in Israel, said 830 Israeli demonstrators, the overwhelming majority of them Arab citizens, were arrested for participating in mostly peaceful demonstrations during the 23 days of the Gaza operation.

According to the report, the police broke up protests using physical violence; most protesters were refused bail during legal proceedings, despite the minor charges; the courts treated children no differently from adults, in violation of international law; and Arab leaders were interrogated and threatened by the secret police in a bid to end their political activity.

This month's report by the UN inquiry into Gaza, led by Judge Richard Goldstone, dedicated a chapter to events inside Israel, concluding similarly that there was wide-scale repression of political activists, non-governmental organisations and journalists in Israel.

The goal, the committee said, was "to minimise public scrutiny of [Israel's] conduct both during its military operations in Gaza and the consequences that these operations have had for the residents of Gaza".

Abir Baker, a lawyer with Adalah, said the police and legal system had resorted to mass arrests and a declared policy of "zero tolerance" as the most effective way to suppress peaceful protests.

According to Adalah's statistics, a third of all those arrested were people under the age of 18, and, in a break with normal legal procedure, 80 per cent were refused bail for the entire period of legal proceedings. Detention is usually reserved for people considered a danger to the public. Most charges related to participation in a prohibited gathering, disturbing the peace or assaulting a police officer. Some children were charged with stone-throwing.

Ms Baker said it was telling that all the detainees in northern Israel, where most of Israel's 1.3 million Arab citizens live, were kept in detention throughout proceedings, while in Tel Aviv, where joint Arab-Jewish protests were held, all those arrested were quickly released.

She said: "The police used the power of arrest not to punish criminal behaviour, but as a weapon to deter the Arab population from staging entirely lawful demonstrations. This is a tactic we have seen used before in Israel, particularly in the first and second intifadas."

She noted that there were echoes of events in October 2000, at the start of the second intifada, when Arab citizens held demonstrations in solidarity with Palestinians in the occupied territories. Thirteen unarmed Arab demonstrators were shot dead and hundreds were beaten and arrested.

A later state inquiry castigated the police for treating the Arab minority, a fifth of Israel's population, as an "enemy". Unlike in 2000, however, police commanders on this occasion did not resort to rubber bullets or live ammunition.

Mr Jabareen, a prominent political figure in Jaffa, said that during the Gaza assault he had been put under a three-day house arrest and faced a series of interrogations where he was warned he would be jailed.

Three weeks after the Gaza assault ended, at a small demonstration in northern Israel, he said the police set a "trap" for him. "When I arrived, the police commander clearly knew who I was. He immediately had seven officers surround me. I was soon on the ground and they were beating, hitting and kicking me."

Mr Jabareen was jailed for three weeks and has been under house arrest ever since.

Ms Baker said of his case: "The police commander accused him of assaulting him and yet they have produced no video footage, even though they filmed the entire demonstration, and no medical evidence that the commander was ever harmed."

Mr Jabareen said his treatment contrasted with that of the ultra-Orthodox in the Mea Shearim neighbourhood of Jerusalem who have been clashing with police for months to prevent the opening of a car park on the Sabbath.

"They are shown on TV throwing punches at the police and hurling stones at them. A few arrests have been made, but despite the high levels of violence, they are almost always released the same or next day. How can I still be under house arrest for eight months? It is clear that different legal standards are being applied."

Ms Baker said the police had created new offences during the Gaza operation, such as "protests detrimental to public morale".

Adalah found that a new directive was issued to police commanders about how to handle the protests, though the police have refused to divulge its contents. Ms Baker said she would petition the attorney general for the information.

The Goldstone Committee noted widespread intimidation and humiliation of community leaders. Saleh Bakri, a public figure who participated in a silent candle-light vigil on January 1 in Haifa, was arrested and forced to stand motionless facing the Israeli flag for half an hour as police officers filmed him.

The committee also recorded that at least 20 Arab leaders were forced to attend illegal interrogations by the Shin Bet where they were asked about their political activities. Student activists were asked to collaborate with the authorities and threatened with arrest or harm to their studies if they refused.

Police demanded Amir Makhoul, the head of the Ittijah co-ordinating body for Arab organisations in Israel, attend an interrogation following a speech he gave on December 29 in Haifa. After he refused, he was forcibly escorted to a police station where he was interviewed for four hours.

"They told me I would be thrown in jail if I continued my political work and that they could arrange for me to be dumped in Gaza. Their main concern seemed to be that I was urging the younger generation to be more politically active," he said.

The Arab minority is staging a general strike on Thursday to protest the increasingly harsh climate and to mark the failure to prosecute any of the policemen responsible for the 13 deaths in 2000.

- 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). Contact him at: (A version of this article originally appeared in The National,, published in Abu Dhabi).

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

os interesses dos E.U e do estado judeu

fonte:Palestine Chronicle

US Interests Versus The Jewish State

Obama’s conduct removed all doubt of Israeli influence on the US presidency.

- By Jeff Gates

Barack Obama’s recent conduct at the U.N. removed all remaining doubt as to Israeli influence inside this latest U.S. presidency. When he uttered the phrase 'the Jewish state of Israel,' he provided precisely the provocation required to ensure that peace in the Middle East will continue to be deferred.

When, in May 1948, Christian-Zionist Harry Truman agreed to recognize an enclave of Jewish-Zionist extremists as a nation state, he struck out “Jewish state” and wrote the “state of Israel.” Despite assurances from Zionist lobbyist Chaim Weizmann that Israel would be a democracy, Truman feared the Zionist state might become what it became: a racist theocracy committed to an expansionist agenda that endangers U.S. interests in the region.

Barack Obama is a political product of Chicago’s West Side Jewish community and the nation’s “first Jewish president” according to former Clinton White House counsel Abner Mikva. Though branded an agent of change, when the zeitgeist of his campaign suggested that change might encompass a shift in the U.S.-Israeli relationship, those Ashkenazim who produced this presidential phenomenon let their displeasure be known.

The candidate of change quickly made the requisite rounds of pro-Israeli venues where he promised his benefactors there would be no change in an entangled alliance that, in retrospect, is the primary reason the U.S. finds itself at war in the Middle East. His U.N. performance thrilled those colonial Zionists whose duplicity troubled Truman. Meanwhile his “Jewish state” comment was guaranteed to inflame tensions in the region.

In the lead-up to this speech, Israelis told Obama what they intended to do—and then did it. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he would use agreed-to terms of the Road Map to trade for stronger action against Iran. When Obama blinked and failed to insist that Israel comply with the agreed-to freeze on settlements, Netanyahu got what he sought—an emphasis on war with Iran rather than peace with the Palestinians.

Rather than announcing progress in negotiations, Obama announced only his hope that negotiations could soon resume—maybe. When Tel Aviv saw how easily they outwitted this novice negotiator, their agenda became more audacious. Obama’s mention of the code phrase “Jewish state” confirmed the ongoing role of the same stage managers who flew him directly from his speech in Cairo to a photo-op at Germany’s Buchenwald death camp.

Confirming the Zionists’ insider influence, Rahm Emanuel, widely described as the most powerful Chief of Staff in decades, assumed a prominent position in the U.N. chamber alongside the Secretary of State, the U.N. Ambassador and the National Security Adviser.

As with Cairo, Obama not only missed another opportunity to build goodwill, he missed a chance to restore the tattered credibility of the U.S after eight years of a Christian-Zionist president. Instead of progress toward peace, he offered yet another photo-op featuring Israeli and Palestinian leaders in yet another handshake signifying ... nothing.

At what point will Americans realize they’ve been played for the fool by a purported ally? At what point does presidential conduct become culpable complicity? Why would The New York Times report a decline in Barack Obama’s approval ratings in Israel?

Pundits put a positive spin on this foreign policy disaster by suggesting that Obama boxed Netanyahu in by finessing the settlements issue and forcing the Israeli leader to mention final status negotiations. That analysis misses the point. For Tel Aviv, there is no final status. The point of this six-decade process is more process—to avoid resolution.

Should Washington maneuver Israel into a box, Tel Aviv will collapse yet another coalition government. Or announce a resignation. That was Ben-Gurion’s ruse in June 1963 when John F. Kennedy insisted on inspections to stop Israel’s nuclear arms program. Ehud Olmert used the same negotiating tactic when it appeared that the Road Map could lead to a final status agreement. His well-timed resignation brought back Netanyahu.

The only party in a box is the U.S. The way out is to end this entangled alliance and the perils to U.S. interests that this “special relationship” was certain to create. In practical effect, in order to keep an Israeli government intact with which to negotiate, the U.S. must satisfy the most right-wing elements of the most right-wing political party of an infamously right-wing foreign government. How can that be in America’s interest?

Harry Truman’s recognition of this enclave as a legitimate state was an overwrought reaction to a unique combination of domestic and international circumstances that were manipulated to the advantage of violent religious extremists. Their ethnic cleansing of Palestine has yet to be either acknowledged or addressed.

After six decades of occupation and oppression, the best a U.S. president could offer Palestinians was an assurance that a U.S. ally—should negotiations resume—would come to the table with “clear terms of reference.” What greater insult could a U.S. president inflict on the Arab world than such an empty promise?

Obama’s performance was pathetic. Also, in effect, he gave the green light for another mass murder in the U.S. or in the European Union. As part of the pre-staging of another plausible rationale for the invasion of yet another Middle Eastern nation, mainstream U.S. media misrepresented remarks to the U.N. by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, giving credence to Iran as a nuclear threat. That Evil Doer portrayal is consistent with the pre-staging of other operations by which the U.S. was induced to war on false pretenses.

The next incident could be nuclear. While Obama was conceding to Israeli demands, Defense Minister Ehud Barack was meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates to assure him that Tel Aviv may yet attack Iran. In yet another signal to a worldwide audience about just who shapes U.S. foreign policy, the Pentagon chief was accompanied by Dennis Ross who joined Obama’s Iran advisory team from a think tank affiliate of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

For the first time in history, a U.S. president chaired a meeting of the U.N. Security Council. Presented with an occasion to caution an ally not to aggravate the nuclear arms race that Kennedy sought to halt in its infancy, Obama focused instead on Iran, forgoing a warning to the one nation in the Middle East known to have a nuclear arsenal. And the only nation able to deliver on the threat of deployment.

As an additional insult to Arab nations, the U.S. negotiating team urged—despite no sign of good faith by Tel Aviv—that those nations offer diplomatic gestures of goodwill. Or make “substantive concessions” as Netanyahu put it. No reason was offered why, after enduring more than sixty years of nonstop duplicity, they should agree to do so.

For anyone to assume or suggest that Israel is operating in good faith reflects a perilous misreading of history. What we just witnessed at the U.N. is how warfare is waged in the Information Age. This was neither the behavior of a U.S. ally nor a nation deserving U.S. support, friendship, arms or even recognition. Any further appeasement of this extremist enclave and Obama can rightly be charged with breach of his oath of office to defend the U.S. from all enemies, both domestic and foreign.

- Jeff Gates is a widely acclaimed author, attorney, investment banker, educator and consultant to government, corporate and union leaders worldwide. Gates' latest book is ‘Guilt By Association - How Deception and Self-Deceit Took America to War’ (2008). His previous books include ‘Democracy at Risk: Rescuing Main Street From Wall Street’ and ‘The Ownership Solution: Toward a Shared Capitalism for the 21st Century’. For two decades, an adviser to policy-makers worldwide. Counsel to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee (1980-87) He contributed this article to

o tempo para boicotar Israel

fonte:Palestine Chronicle

Jewish Author: Time to Boycott Israel

The Israeli state and Jewish Israelis have to feel like white South Africans did 20 years ago.

- By Stu Harrison

'The war could have finished the day before I arrived', independent journalist and author Antony Loewenstein told ‘Green Left Weekly’ of his recent trip to the besieged Palestinian territory of Gaza.

His trip in July was months after the December-January war, in which more than 1400 Palestinian deaths were recorded. Gaza remains under a near-total land, sea and air blockade by Israel and Egypt.

"The devastation still exists and people are undoubtedly angry, they are frustrated, they're disillusioned with Israel certainly, with Egypt undoubtedly and with the international community", he said.

Loewenstein recently released a fully updated third edition of his best-selling book, ‘My Israel Question’. The book explores the Jewish identity and its attachment to Zionism and the state of Israel.

It was first released in 2006 and has since been the subject of heated debate in Australia and around the world.

Loewenstein told ‘GLW’ the war still loomed large over life in Gaza: "Being there, you get the sense that people are being forgotten. The war has only led to further desperation. You see massive areas of destruction, neighborhoods destroyed, houses flattened, and because Israel and Egypt don't allow any cement into the [Gaza] strip nothing is being repaired." But despite this, Loewenstein said he found a people trying to move on with their lives.

"I found that people were determined to continue the struggle for more self-determination whatever that might mean. Whether they believe in a one state solution, two state solution, whatever. Those arguments, in some ways, seem rather academic when you're talking to people who have just experienced war.

"People are essentially living on life support. What astounds me is that there is an ability to ignore these facts by much of the international community and focus on the supposed terrorism committed by Hamas."

Despite Hamas being democratically elected as the Palestinian government in 2006 and subject to a US-backed coup by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party in 2007, the international community has fiercely condemned Hamas. Hamas is labeled a terrorist organization in the United States and much of the western world.

However, Loewenstein said the decision by Israel and the US to not engage with Hamas was a mistake.

"There is no doubt that Hamas is trying very hard at the moment to be engaged by the international community, particularly the US under Barack Obama and I'm a bit sceptical about that actually happening. But they are hoping that by showing pragmatism that they can be accepted by the international community."

Much of the recent international media reporting has reflected on the growing Islamisation within Gaza.

Last month, Hamas helped suppress an extremist Islamist group who called for an Islamic emirate in Gaza. But Loewenstein said Israel's subjugation and oppression of the Palestinian people was responsible for a rising fundamentalist militancy in Palestinian popular opinion.

"Every human rights group in the world [...] notes that the cause of extremism in Gaza and throughout much of the Palestinian territories is the occupation", he said.

"Inevitably, extremism breeds when you lock the people down and tell them that they have to reject the leaders they have voted for, such as Hamas.

"People feel like they have to prove themselves and they have to stand up for very strong beliefs."

Instead of negotiating with Hamas, Israel and the US have consulted with only Fatah, which they label as the "moderate" Palestinian opposition. But Loewenstein said Fatah had become a tool of Israel and the US. "The US is very keen and does negotiate with Fatah because they have essentially bought them off", Loewenstein told ‘GLW’. "They prop them up, they financially support them, they militarily support them, and they train their troops.

"The Palestinians [in the West Bank, which Fatah seized in the 2007 coup] themselves are now managing the Israeli occupation for them [Israel]. In that way, Fatah is a very handy friend and Hamas on the other hand is not. Hamas will simply not accept those rules and it shouldn't.

"The fear is that there will be some very unjust solutions pushed through in the next year agreed upon by the Palestinian Authority under Fatah, which leaves the Palestinians and Palestine in very bad shape.

"The real question is whether the international community actually wants the West Bank and Gaza, Palestinians as a whole, to be independent. All that they have said and done suggests that they don't. [The] occupation is just far too beneficial for too many people."

In June, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu endorsed a call for a demilitarised Palestinian state to be developed. In response, the US issued a press release saying the announcement was "an important step forward".

On August 25, Fatah-aligned Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad released a report that sets forward a plan to create a de facto Palestinian state within two years regardless of the "peace plan".

But falling in line with Israel's apartheid regime has not gained Fatah more support with the international community or the Palestinian population. Calls from the US and the European Union to halt illegal settlement construction on Palestinian land in the West Bank have been ignored by Israel.

Fatah's congress last month was held amid vicious infighting, with claims of corruption and of the congress being "hijacked" by the party's old guard.

Loewenstein said: "Even if they have a state of their own, and that's a big if, it will be incredibly weak and lacking in any kind of viability."

When more than 175 Palestinian civic organisations signed on to a callout for an international boycott, divestments and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel in 2005 it was hailed as a new direction for the Palestinian rights campaign that was international and non-violent.

Loewenstein described the boycott campaign as a "blunt instrument" in the first edition of 'My Israel Question'. Now, he is a strong supporter of the campaign and believes it to be a key measure in the fight for Palestinian justice.

"I think the situation now has got so dire in Palestine that to simply wait and hope that the international community will somehow wakeup and move toward peace is delusional. It's too late to hope for that anymore.

"So for that reason, the BDS movement, which is a non-violent movement, is an attempt to try and make Israeli Jews realize, along with the international community, that we simply won't stand by and watch apartheid deepen and deepen.

"Israel is an occupying nation and as long as Israel occupies the Palestinian people, the Israeli state and Jewish Israelis have to feel like white South Africans felt 20 years ago."

The international movement against the South African apartheid regime promoted a similar strategy of boycotts, divestment and sanctions. The campaign played a part in apartheid's downfall in 1994.

Loewenstein said: "The only reason, in the end, that white South Africans realised that the status quo of apartheid couldn't continue was enough of the world said we will not treat you as a normal country until you end this apartheid [and] that is what happened. Not because a lot of white South Africans went: 'Gee suddenly we like blacks.'

"No. Of course there were some that did. But the majority did not because their lives were good."

He recounted accusations raised by pro-Israeli activists at a September 15 meeting he addressed at the University of Sydney. They asked him why Israel should be "singled out" for criticism.

Loewenstein said: "The reason we are picking on it [Israel] is because it calls itself a democracy and democracies behave in certain ways and Israel is not behaving in any kind of way which is even vaguely democratic.

"If you're a Jew in Israel life is pretty good, but if you're a Palestinian it sure isn't. And in the West Bank and Gaza even less so.

"I think it is important there is an attempt to try to open Israeli Jewish eyes that if they continue behaving in this way they will be treated as a pariah, which is how they should be.

"I think what the boycott movement does is to say that so-called normal life, having a situation where the Israeli Jews are able to enjoy cultural events and political events in a normal way is not going to be sustainable any more."

- Stu Harrison is a writer on Palestine related issues for Australian newspaper Green Left Weekly. He contributed this article to (Originally published in Green Left Weekly -

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Os ataques noturnos contro os ativistas de Bilin


Night raids in Bilin target activists
Interview, The Electronic Intifada, 29 September 2009

An Israeli soldier threatens a Palestinian man during a night raid in the West Bank village of Bilin, 20 August 2009. (Hamde Abu Rahme)

For the last three months, residents of the West Bank village of Bilin have been subjected to constant night raids by the Israeli military. The raids are in retaliation for their five-year campaign of nonviolent resistance against Israel's wall, which is being constructed on the village's land. The Israeli authorities have arrested members of the Bilin Popular Committee as well as teenagers and young boys from the village in order to obtain forced confessions against committee members. The home of Abdullah Abu Rahme, the Bilin Popular Committee's Media Coordinator, was raided on 16 September 2009. The following is his account of the raid as told to The Electronic Intifada contributor Jody McIntyre.

It was a Wednesday morning [16 September]. At around 1:30am, my wife heard sounds outside, near our home in Bilin. She rushed to the window to see what was going on and saw scores of Israeli soldiers climbing over our garden fence. Within a matter of seconds, they had reached the front door.

My wife ran downstairs as quickly as she could to open the door, which the soldiers were beating ferociously. They asked her, "Where is Abdullah?" and she replied, "Abdullah is not here, he is Ramallah." The soldiers didn't care, they just pushed her aside.

Masked and heavily armed, they poured into all the rooms of our home, damaging cupboards, ransacking drawers and leaving our belongings strewn across floors. My wife and nephew, whom they had woken from their sleep, were ordered to stay in one room as they searched the house.

My two daughters, Layan, 5, and Luma, 7, awoke to find themselves staring at many masked strangers in green uniforms. They wondered why they were looking through their toys. Immediately, they burst into tears -- their mother asked if she could take them from the bedroom but the soldiers stopped her from doing so.

Feeling helpless, my wife called my friend Mohammed Khatib, a fellow member of the Bilin Popular Committee. International volunteers who were staying in the village distracted the soldiers at the front gate, which allowed Mohammed to climb over a garden wall and get into the house. The moment the soldiers saw him inside, they brutally attacked him -- they didn't want anyone to see the damage they were doing to my home and, more importantly, my two young daughters.

The international volunteers, still standing outside, heard Mohammed's screams as he was beaten so badly that he could barely stand, but still they were prevented from entering the home. Luckily, my wife was able to release him from the soldiers by standing in their way.

The soldiers moved on to the first floor of the house, where there is an apartment for internationals to stay in. They started to destroy the door, which was locked. My wife told them that she had a key and could open it for them, but they refused her offer, and smashed down the door. It was clear that the army wanted not only to arrest me, but to leave a path of destruction in their wake.

They continued on to the second floor, where they stole Palestinian flags and shields we use to protect ourselves from harm during our weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the wall. The shields bear the image of Bassem Abu Rahme, a close friend of mine who was killed during one such demonstration in April, as he called on soldiers to hold their fire because an Israeli girl had been injured. They also took a banner we had made to welcome my brother Ratib home from studying his Ph.D. I really don't understand how such a banner can be perceived as a threat to Israel.

But what hurts me the most is that the soldiers broke into my mother's room, again destroying the door in the process. It was also locked, but only because my mother died a month ago. She died in al-Makassed hospital in Jerusalem. I wasn't given a permit by the Israeli authorities to pass the checkpoints and the wall which separate Palestinians in the West Bank from Jerusalem to go visit her. My mother and I had a very close relationship, but I didn't get to visit her as she suffered. She died alone, and I didn't get to see her, to tell her one word, or to put my hand on her face for one moment. The Israeli occupation separated me from my mother when she was at her most vulnerable -- I hate it.

Our nonviolent struggle against the wall and settlements which are being built on our land is now in its fifth year. Before she died my mother would wait at the door of our home every Friday to welcome me back from the weekly demonstration. She would ask if I was OK, and thank God that I hadn't been injured. I love her very much, as I love my wife and daughters who the Israeli soldiers woke in the middle of the night, and as I love my land which the wall has stolen.

Finally, the army gave my wife an "invitation" for me. They told her I had to go visit the Shabak [Israel's internal security service, also known as the Shin Bet], and threatened that if I didn't they would do the same terrible things to my home every night. They told her that I wouldn't live to see Eid.

But it was my children and my brother's children who were affected most by the whole experience. Particularly my nephew Mahmoud, 8, who ran screaming into the street when the soldiers invaded. Two days later he had facial spasms for more than an hour, leaving his entire family heartbroken as they tried to reassure him. How can we reassure our children when we know this will happen again and again?

My daughter Layan told me that she didn't want to sleep at home because she was afraid that the soldiers would come to arrest her father and kill the rest of the family. Five days later she went back. But she woke up in the middle of the night and pleaded with her mother to take her away, fearing that the soldiers were on their way back.

My daughter Luma was the top student in her class at school. But two days after the invasion she told me that she hated school and didn't want to go. I told her a joke and she burst into giggles, and I said I was happy to see her laughing. "Daddy," she said, "I'm laughing, but inside I'm crying."

I haven't done anything wrong, but they want to arrest me because I am a nonviolent activist. Israel does not want our model of nonviolent resistance to spread, and this is one of the ways they are trying to crush us in Bilin -- by invading the village and attacking our homes. But until we remove the wall and settlements from our land, our struggle will continue.

Abdullah Abu Rahme is Media Coordinator of the Bilin Popular Committee.

Jody McIntyre is a journalist from the United Kingdom, currently living in the occupied West Bank village of Bilin. Jody has cerebral palsy, and travels in a wheelchair. He writes a blog for Ctrl.Alt.Shift, entitled "Life on Wheels," which can be found at He can be reached at jody.mcintyre AT gmail DOT com.

os soldados arabes no exercito israelita

fonte:Palestine Chronicle

Israel's Palestinian Soldiers

Participating in the Israeli army is regarded by many in the minority as tantamount to treason.
By Jonathan Cook - Arrabeh

Demands from Israel's chief commander this month that all Israeli citizens should be required to perform national service has turned the spotlight on a rarely discussed group of soldiers: members of Israel's Palestinian minority.

Though no official statistics are available, an estimated 3,000 of Israel's 1.3 million Palestinian citizens have broken one of their society's biggest taboos and are currently serving, often as combat troops on the front line of the conflict with their Palestinian kin, in the occupied territories.

These Palestinians - nearly a fifth of Israel's population - are the descendants of Palestinians who managed to avoid being expelled when the Jewish state was established in 1948. Unlike Palestinians in the occupied territories, who are ineligible to serve in the armed forces, they have Israeli citizenship.

In calling for mandatory national service, Gen Gabi Ashkenazi observed that those Israelis who refused to serve could not expect "civil equality".

His comment echoed those of politicians who have been calling on Israel's Palestinian minority to prove its loyalty in the wake of the winter attack on Gaza, in which some 1,400 Palestinians were killed, most of them civilians. Hundreds of Palestinian citizens were arrested for participating in protests during the operation.

Israel's education minister, Gideon Saar, announced this summer that school budgets will in future be based on the number of pupils who enlist in the army or agree to do an alternative civilian programme of national service.

Although most Palestinian citizens oppose their rights being conditional on national service, a small group of Palestinians appears more open to the idea.

S, who spent two years in the army patrolling the borders to prevent Palestinian "infiltration" at the start of the second intifada, agreed to talk to The National on condition of strict anonymity.

He believes it is reasonable for the state to connect citizenship rights to military service: "After all, we are citizens of this country. True, we're also Arabs but this is our state and there is no way we can avoid that."

Asked if he felt any conflict between being a Palestinian and serving the Israeli army, he replied: "Sure, and it's for that reason I believe strongly that Israel should be pursuing peace."

Soldiers like S are extremely wary of speaking publicly, as Rhoda Kanaaneh, a Middle East expert at New York University, discovered when she began the first study of the group a decade ago. Her findings were published this year as a book, Surrounded, published by Stanford University Press.

She interviewed 72 Palestinian soldiers and policemen, as well as three women, whose trust had to be won slowly by intermediaries, including relatives, former classmates and friends. Many more, however, refused to talk, and those who did required anonymity and would often "just give yes-no answers".

Dr Kanaaneh, who was raised in the Palestinian village of Arrabeh in northern Israel before her move to the US, said none of the soldiers was prepared to go into detail about what they did during their service. She suspects that this reflects in large part feelings of shame associated with their role enforcing the occupation.

Participating in the Israeli army is regarded by many in the minority as tantamount to treason, given that Israel is still engaged in a war against the wider Palestinian people and neighbouring Arab states.

S was quick to justify his time in the army, saying he had worked hard to treat the Palestinians well, sharing sweets and his food rations with local children.

Although Palestinian soldiers are excluded from the elite combat units, they have traditionally carried out some of the army's most dangerous work and been stationed in some of the toughest locations.

Bedouin soldiers, for example, who are usually recruited as trackers, have to search for mines and booby-traps. Last year, a 28-year-old Bedouin man was blown up by a roadside bomb along the perimeter fence around Gaza as he went ahead of soldiers from the Givati brigade. Unlike Jewish soldiers killed in action, his family did not want his name published.

It is also certain that Palestinian soldiers were among the troops involved in the ground assault in Gaza, though none are likely to admit publicly to participating.

Most Israeli Jews, apart from those who dedicate themselves to religious study, are conscripted -- three years for men and two years for women -- when they leave school. Men continue to do a month of reserve duty each year until their 40s.

The decision to exempt Palestinian citizens from military service was taken at the state's creation, said Dr Kanaaneh. Then, as now, the authorities were worried about arming on a large scale a potentially hostile Palestinian minority.

The only exception was the small Druze community, today numbering about 100,000, whose leaders agreed in the 1950s to their sons' conscription.

Nonetheless, a small number of Palestinian citizens from the country's Muslim and Christian communities have chosen to join the army. Dr Kanaaneh says the figure of 3,000 is her best estimate after many failed attempts to get the military to provide precise numbers.

She offers a possible reason why.

"The statistic people would really like to have is the ratio of deaths in service to the number of soldiers from each community. For example, there are claims that the Druze have a higher casualty rate than Jewish soldiers because they are sent on more dangerous operations. If such a statistic were confirmed, it would be powerful one and maybe that's why they want to make sure it doesn't get out."

"Minority soldiers", as the state refers to them, mainly came to public notice during the second intifada when they were reported killing Palestinians or foreigners in dubious circumstances.

The most high profile cases are Taysir Hayb, a Bedouin soldier who shot dead the British activist Tom Hurndall in Gaza in 2003; and a high-ranking Druze officer, known only as Captain R, who was put on trial after junior soldiers revealed he had fired many bullets into a 13-year-old girl in Gaza in 2004.

This has encouraged a view that Palestinian soldiers are the "bad apples" in the army. Dr Kanaaneh is unpersuaded.

"My impression -- and that of the Palestinian soldiers too -- was that they were being used to set an example and to show that rules were enforced. In other cases where Jewish soldiers were suspected of using brutality, inquiries were made but things were smoothed over and nothing came of it."

She notes that Sgt Hayb, who received an eight-year jail term, was the first soldier to be given a lengthy sentence for an intifada-related killing since the 1980s.

There has also been little attempt to integrate Palestinian soldiers, Dr Kanaaneh said. Segregation between Israel's Palestinian and Jewish soldiers was strictly enforced until the 1970s, and is still the norm. In addition, the air force and elite combat units continue to exclude Palestinian soldiers.

Dr Kanaaneh said the refusal to allow even one Palestinian citizen to become an air force pilot illustrates the army's continuing view that these volunteers cannot be trusted. "The fear," she said, "is that a pilot can make independent decisions and wreak quite a bit of damage, unlike a soldier in a combat unit."

Incorporating a small number of Palestinian soldiers into the army is good public relations for Israel, said Dr Kanaaneh, but arming most Palestinian young men is not something Israel wants.

Equally she regards as disingenuous the comments of Gen Ashkenazi, and similar ones from Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, linking civic equality to national service, typically involving volunteer work in schools and state institutions.

"National service is not as valued as military service in Israeli society -- it is very clearly regarded as inferior service. So the idea that performing national service will make you equal to Jewish citizens who do military service is fundamentally a flawed logic."

A significant proportion of Palestinian soldiers, she said, justify their decision to join by claiming that it is the best way both to overcome the institutional discrimination they face as members of the Palestinian minority and to gain some of the material rewards reserved for soldiers.

Many rights and benefits in Israel are tied to military service and therefore claimed mostly by the Jewish population, including a wide variety of jobs, entitlement to state-controlled land and economic privileges such as cheap loans, government allowances and tax breaks. The noted Israeli jurist David Kretzmer has called this a policy of "covert discrimination" against the Palestinian minority.

Certainly S, aged 29 and married with two children, said the chief reason he joined was to receive benefits such as higher child allowance, a lump sum on his release from the army and, most importantly, a heavily discounted parcel of land on which to build a home.

In Palestinian communities, where most of the land has been confiscated by the state and where new houses are often classified as illegal and subject to demolition, the offer of land is a powerful incentive.

Dr Kanaaneh points out that these financial perks and the possiblity of a later career in "security jobs" such as the police force or as a prison warden are attractions for young men who often struggle to find work.

But, while there are benefits that individual soldiers can gain, Dr Kanaaneh says they're often nullified by larger discriminatory policies, such as house demolitions, directed towards the minority as a whole or against specific communities like the Bedouin. There have been several reports of former Bedouin soldiers having their homes destroyed by the state.

Equally, says Dr Kanaaneh, it is apparent to even the casual visitor to Druze villages in Israel that they suffer from the same overcrowding and lack of infrastructure common to other Palestinian communities, despite conscription among the Druze.

Even at the individual level, she adds, it is a gamble whether the connections made during army service help further a Palestinian soldier's career and opportunities after he is demobiliised.

A comment she heard from several soldiers was: "Once your uniform is off, you're a dirty Arab again."

Dr Kanaaneh is also dismissive of the view that military service allows Palestinian soldiers to integrate fully into Israeli society.

"A surprising number I interviewed tried to compare themselves to Muslim-Americans or African-Americans serving in the US military. They said that through army service they expected to become Israeli like other Israelis."

Dr Kanaaneh says this promise of integration never materialises. In her book she reaches a harsh conclusion: "In the end, the military, like all other [Israeli] state institutions, is a tool the dominant majority wields to preserve Jewish privilege."

- 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 Contact him at: (A version of this article originally appeared in The National - published in Abu Dhabi.)

O Viva Palestina Convoy- EUA e UK- junta-se ao esforço internacional para derrubar o cerco à Gaza

fonte:Viva a Palestina

Depois do comboio do Reino Unido e dos Estados Unidos, o Viva Palestina espera sair da Venezuela seguindo para Gaza, com a sustentação e o comparecimento do presidente Hugo Chavez

27 de Dezembro marca o aniversário do começo do assalto israelita em Gaza. Entrar em Gaza tem por objetivo chamar a atenção do mundo sobre os massacres, atendendo também às reivindicações dos palestinos que desejam ter a sustentação máxima na relembrança da tragédia.

O sucesso do combóio britânico, que partiu do Reino Unido , atravessou vários países da Europa e África do norte até chegar à Gaza em fevereiro/ março deste ano, despertou um grande desejo nos ativistas dos Estados Unidos de repetir a experiência. De fato, o primeiro comboio Viva Palestina- EUA já cumpriu sua missão e agora, já está sendo organizado um “mega-combóio” que envolve voluntários dos E.U. e do Reino Unido e dae (dispositivo automático de entrada) das nações para entregar ajuda humanitário aos irmãos e irmãs em Gaza neste inverno. O Viva Palestina Convoy olha para frente junto com cada voluntário para entrar em Gaza, triunfante, manifestando a grande solidariedade com este povo valente que se esforça diariamente para sobreviver e lutar sob o cerco.

O Viva Palestina Convoy dos EUA conseguiu um sucesso notável em seu esforço para levar ajuda médicas e humanitário á faixa de Gaza nas primeiras semanas de julho, enfrentando obstáculos significativos na viagem. Quase duzentas pessoas, a maioria cidadãos dos E.U., passaram através do cruzamento de Rafah em Gaza em 10 de julho de 2009, carregando com eles um valor de 250 mil dólares de ajuda médica .
O grupo contou com a ajuda de Cynthia McKinney, ex- congressista dos E.U. e candidata presidencial, que foi injustamente detida em alto mar por forças Israelita, quando entrou em Gaza pela primeira vez. Na delegação estava também o membro do conselho de New York, Charles Barron, cuja participação sinalizou um re-forjamento da aliança entre figuras do Movimento Negro Americano e o Movimento de Solidariedade à Palestina, como aconteceu há mais de 30 anos no movimento monumental dos direitos civis.

Associando todos os esforços
A coordenação do Viva Palestina nos EUA e Reino Unido está estudando as condições logísticas e as dificuldades enfrentadas por este último comboio e por missões de outras organizações que tentaram se cruzar em Gaza durante este cerco brutal e de longa data , para planejar a superação desses entraves.
O comboio Viva Palestina espera sair da Venezuela com a sustentação e o comparecimento do presidente Hugo Chavez . Na avaliação dos dirigentes do movimento, eles têm possibilidade de organizar um comboio incrível, saindo de lugares mais distantes e mais significativos do que os anteriores. Devido ao bloquei o à Gaza , pelo ar, pelo mar e pela terra, nada menos do que um aumento significativo do tamanho e do impacto do comboio seguinte . O Viva Palestina Convoy se junta aos esforços internacionais. As razões para o projeto de combinar os comboio emergiu das discussões entre os coordenadores britânicos e americanos dos outros comboios e outras organizações.
Beth Monteiro
Tradução livre de matéria publicada no site:

a anoitecer

fonte:Palestine Chronicle

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