- Here in occupied Palestine, we are faced with hate so
thick that as the cliche goes "you can cut it with a knife".
Nearly a dozen Palestinian students were injured when the floor collapsed
under their feet in Silwan neighborhood in Jerusalem, a neighborhood that
has been targeted for ethnic cleansing. Many homes were already demolished
and over 40 homes are cracking because Israelis occupation forces are digging
tunnels underneath them. No home repairs are allowed and no legal recourse.
The neighborhood has undergone slow ethnic cleansing and more Jewish settlers
are moving in to recreate a "city of David" Arabrein. In the
West Bank, an Israeli army unit decided to shoot an unarmed man and riddle
his body with bullets as an example for other workers who try to cross
imposed lines of the ghettos (in this case the Ghetto of Hebron) to
seek work. And everyday we hear new stories of Gaza horrors coming out.
- Today, we saw doctors explain in frustration the unusual
effects of expanding burns (of white phosphorous) and effects of DIME weapons
on civilians and children. We also saw remaining family members on the
ruins of their homes describe how their wives, husbands, mothers, fathers,
and/or children killed in front of their eyes while ambulances were prevented
from getting near the injured and dying victims (in one incident a guy
who lost his wife and son in law described how the ambulance was hit as
it tried to reach them instantly flattening it). I tried to imagine losing
a child, losing a home and then to imagine losing two or more children
plus a home (a story that is the case for over 200 families). We learn
that the few homes visited by Israeli soldiers and left standing (most
were demolished) were left with racist graffitti (Ynet news).
- In PR news, the Israeli public by a majority has been
convinced that a massacre of 420 children in 3 weeks, destroying 70% of
the agricultural sector in Gaza, destroying most factories and food processing
plans, shelling several schools and 27 mosques is all justified! Justified
for what: for defense of the colonizers and occupiers from any potential
resistance by the colonized and occupied. In election news, Ehud Barak
of the Labor party hopes to boost his party's election chances by striking
a deal with racist colonial settlers (the Yesha council). The deal? They
agree to voluntarily evacuate an illegal outpost (called Migron) built
on private Palestinian lands and the army will build them a new settlement
on other Palestinian land ("Adam" area in the occupied West Bank).
- Settlers do not have to move until the new settlement/colony
is built. Other Israeli leaders are competing for who can be more racist
in their pronouncements to gather maximum votes from a society that has
been built on racism and the denial of the rights of the natives while
claiming "chosenness" (rights for Jews from around the world
to come here and displace us). So even Avigdor Lieberman who has no compunction
about getting rid of "Arab Israelis" (ie. Finish the ethnic cleansing
that started in 1948) is not extreme enough for some Israelis who want
us gone from even the heavily populated areas of the West Bank.
- Ofcourse Israeli leaders can get away with this now because
of an International system of supine and/or arrogant stupid governments
and because of Palestinian divisions. While there are many Palestinian
factions that have dueled politically in the past, the two main factions
now have entered a dark tunnel of idiocy. Some leaders of one party (Hamas)
believes in violent resistance and historical determinism and is convinced
that Zionism's (some in Hamas would say Judaism's) main target is Islam.
This even though they know very well that Christians were also ethnically
cleansed and that if Palestine was populated with those who worship the
camel, that we would still be a target of Zionism.
- Some leaders of the other party (Fatah) believes they
can abandon resistance for endless negotiations (which they call pragmatism)
while they brandish the long history of resistance as a club to bash anyone
who dares critique their current policies. The former wants to emphasize
their current achievements including at the ballot box while the latter
wants to emphasize the glorious past achievements. In both cases to hold
on to imaginary positions as leaders of different cell blocks (Gaza cell
block and West Bank cell block) in the larger jail of Palestine. The former
wants to build a new PLO while the latter does not want to accept that
the current PLO has been rendered almost nonexistant (or at least badly
in need of reforms). and on and on.
- I for one think it healthy to have different points of
views in society (religious, secular, right, left etc). I also believe
it is possible to have healthy functioning societies with such pluralities.
I detest the efforts to dominate and control and set a single political
line while oppressing others who disagree as much as I detest manufactured
differences that escalate from calling each other names to violent confrontations.
I would hope the rational heads in Hamas and Fatah realize how dangerous
this is not only to their own prestige (not behaving like adults) but more
importantly to the Palestinian cause of return and freedom (afterall our
cause was never about "authority"). The most significant danger
to Palestine after the Nakba may be coming because of divisiveness. While
this jostle goes on, the people of Gaza suffer a fate of a starved targeted
population in a concentration camp with Israeli SS guards happy with the
infighting of inmates. Colonization in the West Bank has accelerated over
the years. Gaza was impoverished and besieged and bombed so massively ("set
back decades" per the description of one Israeli leader) that it is
indeed a major humanitarian catastrophe. The "International community"
is playing politics even with reconstruction and humanitarian aid efforts.
- So instead of massively sending in the aid, politicians
squabble while people starve and die (yes, people are still dying from
lack of medicines, food, water, etc). I myself feel like throwing up at
the callousness of those saying this is because of "Hamas rockets".
I feel like screaming at the top of my lungs that collective "punishment"
is a crime against humanity (haven't we learned anything from WWII atrocities).
Punishment is in quotes here because according to International law, Palestinians
do have a right to resist a foreign military colonizer/occupier "by
any means." But even if one considers the resistors to have used unjustified
means of resistance (I do in certain cases), punishment of an entire civilian
population like what Israel did in Gaza is a war crime and a crime against
- I leave you with three short questions for contemplation
before I post the weekly links: 1) how are we to stop the ongoing colonial
settlement activities in the West Bank that has suffocated liufe for this
segment of Palestine?, 2) how have we prepared for the inevitable Israeli
upcoming violent attack on the West Bank (Israel prepared plans of attack
Gaza a year before the actual attack)? And 3) with hate so strong, how
are we to increase love and peace especially when the oppressors have such
- Action 1: protest censorship by DIRECTV censorship
of Gaza ad
- Action 2: Contact Congress to support a positive
resolution on Gaza for a change
- Can Mitchell turn Jerusalem into Belfast? Ali Abunimah
The Electronic Intifada 2 February 2009
- Exchange between journalist Bil Moyers and Abraham Foxman
(who defended genocides before
- Chris Hedges, Peace Is in the Eye of the Beholder
- US "Increasing evenhandedness in the Middle East"
- Photos from Mohammed Fares El Majdalawi in Gaza
- Mazin Qumsiyeh