- Thursday evening, September 25, 2003, civil and human
rights attorney Carl Messineo spoke at the All Peoples Congress in Baltimore,
MD. It is located near the site of the now razed Memorial Stadium, where
the Baltimore Colts once played some of their greatest football games.
- Messineo is a member of the Partnership for Civil Justice
and the ANSWER Coalition's steering committee. In May, 2002, he had made
a fact finding mission to Jenin, located in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
- At the meeting, the acclaimed film, "Jenin, Jenin,"
which has won an award at the prestigious Carthage International Film Festival,
was also presented. It was co-produced by Iyad Samude, a Palestinian. It
is a riveting account of how the siege of Jenin has affected the psyches
of the survivors. Samude, a co-producer of the film, was himself shot and
killed on June 23, 2002, after leaving an Israeli military-closed area
near his home village of Al Yamun in the West Bank.
- For background purposes, Jenin is a densely settled
refugee camp of about 13,000. It is approximately one square kilometer
in size and is populated by mostly poor residents.
- On April 3, 2002, the invasion of Jenin by the Israeli
Occupation Forces (IOF) began. It lasted for nearly two horror filled weeks.
If you're Irish, think of the sacking of Drogheda, in 1649, at the hands
of Oliver Cromwell. The pretext by the Ariel Sharon Gang for the collective
punishment of Jenin, itself a War Crime under the Geneva Convention, was
that the IOF was looking for suicide bombers.
- Besides desecrating a mosque in Jenin, the IOF buried
people alive, executed POWs, randomly shelled, tear gassed and bulldozed
hundreds of homes, leveled the center of the town, killed infants, unarmed
men, women and children, denied humanitarian and medical care access to
the people, and also used civilians as human shields. At least 63 Palestinians
died, and scores more were injured in the savage attack. No quarter, no
mercy, was given the people of Jenin by the IOF. None! The IOF even mocked
their helpless victims by spraying the Star of David symbol on the walls
of their collapsed homes and using their school as a toilet.
- Crimes that cry to heaven were committed in Jenin by
the IOF. By way of illustration, despite the desperate pleas of Ulm Jamal,
a 68-year old woman, the Israeli thugs bulldozed a house, where her paralyzed
son was trapped. His last words from underneath the tons of rumble were,
"Oh Allah, Oh Allah" (See pp.149-151, "Searching Jenin:
Eyewitness Accounts of the Israeli Invasion," Ed. by Ramzy Baroud.)
The callous bulldozer driver called the mother, and others who were begging
for him to stop, "Whores!"
- One of the bulldozer operators at Jenin was later interviewed
by an Israeli newspaper, (05/ 31/02), "Yedioth Ahronoth." He
said with respect to his official duties during the siege, "If I'm
sorry for anything, it is for not tearing the whole camp down...No one
(in the Israeli army) expressed any reservations against doing it...I found
joy with every house that came down... I have no mercy...I say if a man
has done nothing, don't touch him. A man who has done something, hang him,
as far as I am concerned. Even a pregnant woman- -shoot her without mercy,
if she has a terrorist behind her. This is the way I thought in Jenin..."
- Messineo said, "What happened at Jenin is an acute
manifestation of the state of siege that the Palestinians have been living
under since 1948. At that time, the Israelis displaced by force or threats
of force over 700,000 Palestinians. The Israeli military occupation is
all about dominating the civilian population and the entirety of their
lives. It is about cruelty to break the spirit of the people. The Israelis
have also developed an Apartheid system for control purposes. The bottom
line is the Israeli occupation must be eliminated and the Palestinians'
'Right of Return' must be enforced."
- Of course, the Israelis denied any wrongdoing at Jenin.
Sure! This was also their position with regards to their murderous attack,
in 1967, on the USS Liberty, and their vicious bulldozing death, in 2003,
of activist Rachel Corrie. In fact, when their spy, the traitor Jonathan
Pollard was first caught, Tel Aviv lied again. It claimed he was a "rogue
- Keep in mind that U.S. taxpayers have been subsidizing
the Israeli terror campaigns against the Palestinians. Since 1948, there
has been over $100 billion in direct aid to Tel Aviv, and $3 trillion in
consequential costs absorbed by our national Treasury (WRMEA.com).
- Naturally, the handful of the residents of Jenin who
were armed, fought back heroically in self defense, inflicting heavy causalities
on the invading forces. They knew of Sharon's reputation for bloodletting
from his criminal exploits at El-Bureig; Qibya; Qalqilya; the bombing of
Lebanon, in 1982, (with over 20,000 dead); and of the massacres at Sabra
- It bothers me, too, that there is so much hypocrisy
around the issue of Palestinian resistance to the Israeli Occupation. Take
Roman Polanski for example. His film, "The Piano," depicted in
a positive light, and rightly so, the Jewish resistance, in 1943, to a
Nazi occupied Warsaw Ghetto. Unfortunately, Polanski's sense of morality,
like others, is limited to only the fate of the Jews. At Jenin, in 2002,
and in so many other Palestinian towns and villages, it is the Palestinians,
who are daily being brutally victimized by the oppressive Zionist storm
troopers. The failure of intellectuals, such as Polanski, to honestly address
and speak out publicly in condemnation about the full dimensions of the
Israeli Occupation is also a glaring example of moral particularism.
- In conclusion, the painful memories of the IOF's invasion
of Jenin linger on. However, with the help of activists, such as Carl Messineo,
and many others, too, the day will come when the truth about this prime
example of Israeli state sponsored terrorism will see the full light of
- © William Hughes 2003
- William Hughes is the author of "Saying 'No' to
the War Party" (Iuniverse, Inc.), which is available online. He can
be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.