Monthly Archives: April 2008

Cheerleading genocide

Israel is gearing up to celebrate the 60th anniversary of its birth;
six decades of destruction for the Palestinians, writes Khaled
Amayreh.

With spectacular fanfare and a plethora of highlighted events, Israel
is planning to celebrate its 60th birthday on 18 May 2008.

According to an Israeli government website called Israelfestival.com,
the festival will include “non-stop entertainment, [a] fashion show,
a variety of ethnic food for sale, Israeli folk dancing, arts and
crafts, Israeli and Jewish cultural and heritage pavilions and art
exhibits”.

The centrepiece ceremony is expected to take place in West Jerusalem
and be attended by Israel’s political and military leaders as well as
foreign dignitaries. Among those expected are US President George W
Bush, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela
Merkel.

Israeli media and non-governmental organisations have already begun
celebrations in earnest. For example, Israeli television has begun
airing a new series called Shishim (meaning “60”), which looks back
at the six decades since Israel was created in May 1948. The series,
which began 31 March, is divided into six episodes, each devoted to
one of the decades following the founding of the state.

Israel hopes that the high-pitched celebrations will serve as an
opportunity to promote Israel and enhance its questionable standing
abroad. “It is an opportunity to celebrate our achievements, our
successes, our national being,” boasted Israeli Foreign Minister
Tzipi Livni, who was not yet born in 1948.

From the Zionist viewpoint, Israel is a story of success. Today,
Israel is a political and military force to be reckoned with, even if
its power is based on the patronage of foreign entities. A country of
no more than seven million people, including nearly 1.5 million
non-Jews (mainly Palestinians), Israel more or less directs the
politics and policies of world’s only superpower, the United States,
thanks mainly to powerful Jewish lobbies in Washington.

The power of the Jewish lobby largely explains how massive American
financial and military support is to Israel, which is measured in
hundreds of billions of dollars. Were it not for this nearly
unlimited financial, economic, technological, political and military
backing, Israel would never have been able to survive, especially
given its predator tactics.

Israel, which has been mounting a vitriolic incitement campaign
against Iran for its acquisition of nuclear technology, is a nuclear
power on par with other established nuclear powers, and its military
supremacy — at least until summer of 2006 — has covered the vast
bulk of the Middle East from Turkey to Iran and from North Africa to
east and central Africa.

Economically, Israel is also a regional economic superpower, with a
GNP bordering on $0.5 trillion. In fact, Israel is among a few
pioneering states in the field of electronics and the development of
new generations of medicine, with Israeli pharmaceutical firms’ share
of the world market reaching billions of dollars.

Notwithstanding all its success and achievements, Israel remains a
state based on racism, apartheid and criminality against the
Palestinian people whose homeland it seized and whom it is trying to
obliterate to this day. To be sure, Israel has failed. Palestinians
remain, both as a human entity and as a national entity.

Israel, in order to achieve its goals, always sought to acquire, by
hook or by crook, as much Palestinian land as possible while taking
in as few Palestinian people as possible. The policies and tactics
employed by Israel to achieve this goal are both blunt and insidious
and amount to ethnic cleansing and the international crime of
genocide. Israel has institutionalised racism, bulldozed hundreds of
Palestinian towns and villages, shamelessly confiscated Palestinian
land and property, including private homes, and recently built the
so-called “Separation Wall” in the West Bank, aimed first and
foremost at annexing to Israel as much Palestinian land as possible.

On top of all of this, Israel has perfected the practice of
state-sponsored mass terror; a deliberate policy aimed at making
Palestinian life as unbearable as possible with the ultimate goal of
forcing Palestinians to leave their homes and land altogether. This
is done in broad daylight; in full view of key world powers, such as
the US, EU, Russia and China, which either keep silent or issue a few
terse and innocuous words about the need to stick to a peace process
that has form but very little substance.

Today, as Israel is getting ready to celebrate its 60th birthday, the
massive theft of Palestinian land in the West Bank, especially in
East Jerusalem and its surroundings, continues unabated. Against all
odds, the Palestinian people have survived. Indeed, Palestinian
resilience to Israeli oppression is legendary — a trait that
continues to baffle and frustrate Israeli strategists. Perhaps it is
this resilience that is encouraging influential Israeli political,
military and religious leaders to openly call for genocide of the
Palestinians.

Recently, Israel’s Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai threatened to
“inflict a greater holocaust” on Palestinians. Similarly, a growing
number of rabbis associated with the two largest religious camps in
Israel, the Haredi ultra-Orthodox religious sector and the national
Zionist religious sector, issuing one edict after the other,
permitting soldiers to murder at will Palestinian civilians,
including children, on the grounds that in war all among the enemy
population ought to be treated as combatants, including children.

One might imagine that this is exaggerated, but it is not. Recently
Rabbi Yisrael Rosen, director of the Tsomet Institute, a religious
seminary attended by Israeli settlers in the West Bank, declared:
“All of the Palestinians must be killed; men, women, infants, and
even their beasts.” And the chief rabbi of the City of Safad, Shmuel
Eliyahu, urged the state and the army recently to hang the children
of a Palestinian fighter who last month attacked the Merkaz Haarav
Centre, run for Jewish settlers in West Jerusalem, killing eight
pre-military Talmudic students in retaliation for the killing by the
Israeli army of more than 130 Palestinians, most of them innocent
civilians, in the Gaza Strip.

The mushrooming of fascist impulses is not confined to the religious
sector. In March, the Israeli media quoted Knesset members and former
cabinet ministers as threatening to extend discriminatory laws
against non-Jews in ways reminiscent of Nuremberg Laws passed in Nazi
Germany. One Israeli Knesset member reportedly told his Arab
colleague: “the day will come when we will kick you out of this
house.”

Such instances raise no eyebrows in a country where some rabbis, like
David Batsri, openly teach that non-Jews are animals and donkeys. A
recent opinion survey published this week showed that as many as 75
per cent of Israeli Jews support ethnic cleansing of Arabs from
mandate Palestine — Israel proper and the occupied Palestinian
territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
Understandably, the poll drew angry reactions from the Israeli Arab
community. Jamal Zahalqa, an Israeli Arab Knesset member, suggested
that Arabs are being treated in ways similar to the way Jews were
treated in the Third Reich ahead of World War II.

“The hateful smell of racism and fascism is wafting everywhere in
this country. You must know that we didn’t come to Israel from
abroad… On the contrary; it was Israel that invaded us. We are the
indigenous people of the land, and we receive our legitimacy from our
belonging to this land, not from having Israeli citizenship,” he
said.

Zahalqa described the poll as “additional evidence underscoring the
growing rampancy of racism and fascism in Israel as a result of the
ongoing waves of hate against everything and anything Arab.”

The fears of Zahalqa and other Israeli Arabs are real. Recently,
hundreds of Arab residents from Jaffa, Lod and Ramleh took to the
streets to protest against the planned eviction by the state of
thousands of Arab residents from Jaffa. Authorities had issued
warrants for the evacuation and destruction of hundreds of homes,
claiming infringements on building regulations. The state also
claimed that, “the families [had] lost the right to continue living
in their homes, since these homes belonged to their parents … ”

“We are here and we won’t leave. We will either live on this land or
die on this land. We will not let you touch our lands or our holy
places,” said Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the Arab movement in
Israel. “All your rulings belong in the trashcan. We are not afraid
of you. We will continue to live in our homeland,” he added.

Last year, Richard Falk, a renowned American Jewish professor of
international law and practice, wrote an article entitled “Slouching
toward a Palestinian holocaust,” in which he warned that Israel was
moving towards the perpetration of a holocaust against the
Palestinians. “Is it an irresponsible overstatement to associate the
treatment of Palestinians with this criminalised Nazi record of
collective atrocity? I think not,” said Falk.

Justifying the Israel-equals-Nazi analogy, Falk argued that
developments in Gaza (the blockade against its estimated 1.5 million
inhabitants), were especially disturbing because they expressed
vividly a deliberate intention on the part of Israel and its backers
to subject an entire human community to life- endangering conditions
of maximal cruelty. “The suggestion that this pattern of conduct is a
holocaust-in-the-making represents a rather desperate appeal to the
governments of the world and to international public opinion to act
urgently to prevent these current genocidal tendencies from
culminating into a collective tragedy,” Falk wrote.

In sum, from the standpoint of fascism, Israel has much to celebrate
in terms of political and military achievements. But in terms of
justice, morality and humanity, one struggles to name a country on
earth that so openly practices oppression and racism. As such Israel,
on its 60th birthday, remains what it was when born six decades ago:
a state built on blood, murder, theft and lies.

Is Israel about to change its ways? Don’t hold your breath, Israeli
leaders might say. Unless, that is, you’re Palestinian in Ramallah.

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Israel and peace are oxymoron

Khalid Amayreh in Occupied East Jerusalem

26 April, 2008

Israel never fails to prove to the world that it is a criminal state,
an evil entity that murders, steals and lies. And at the end of the
day, Israeli leaders and spokespersons would have the audacity to
claim that Israel is actually a victim of aggression, a lover of
peace, and a light upon the nations.

And like Nazi Germany, which claimed that all the havoc it inflicted
on Europe was for the sake of world peace, Israel is claiming that
its hideous crimes in Palestine, Lebanon and Syria are also committed
in the spirit of seeking peace and reconciliation with its neighbors.

Let us have a quick look at some of Israel’s recent behaviors, which
really demonstrate the sheer evilness and criminality of the Zionist
entity.

This week, the Hamas movement decided to accept an Egyptian proposal
for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. According to the proposal, Israel
would stop its destructive daily attacks on Gaza and lift its harsh
blockade of the coastal territory in exchange for a total cessation
of all resistance attacks originating from the Gaza Strip, including
the firing of homemade rockets on nearby Jewish settlements.

Hamas leaders have also informed former US President Jimmy Carter
that they would be willing and ready to take further steps of good
will if Israel agreed to extend a prospective calm to the West Bank.

Undoubtedly, the dignified Egyptian proposal would save Palestinian
and Israeli blood and allow the estimated 1.5 million Gazans to
resume their normal life after more than two years of unmitigated
death, misery and starvation, probably unprecedented since the
infamous Nazi blockade of Ghetto Warsaw in 1943.

However, instead of dealing positively with the Egyptian proposal and
Hamas’s acceptance of it, the arrogant Israeli leadership rejected it
out of hand, with Israeli government spokesmen accusing Hamas of
“playing games” and “wanting to gain time in order to rearm and
regroup.”

One Israeli spokesman vowed that Israel will continue “to act to
protect its citizens” obviously by murdering and maiming Palestinian
children and civilians.

Indeed, a few hours later, Israeli bullets and artillery shells
killed a 13-year-old Palestinian girl in the northern Gaza Strip and
seriously wounded her mother. The fresh victims are added to tens of
thousands of Palestinians murdered and mutilated by the Israeli death
machine.

So, what are the Palestinians supposed to do in the face of this
Nazi-like arrogance, this innate pugnacity?

For if they seek to defend their children, using whatever desperate
means under their disposal, they are accused of committing “terror”
and “violence” and of “targeting innocent Israeli citizens.”

And if they reach out for a mutual ceasefire and demand an end to the
manifestly criminal blockade of Gaza, they are accused of “playing
games and tricks and wanting to gain time to regroup.”

The truth of the matter is that Israel doesn’t really seek peace with
the Palestinians. A state that bombs homes crowded with sleeping
children and civilians, usually after midnight or in the quiet hours
before dawn, obviously doesn’t have peace on its agenda.

A state that sends its crack soldiers to storm orphanages and
boarding schools in Hebron and terrorize children by throwing them
onto the streets in the dead of night, is obviously an evil entity
not unlike the Third Reich.

And whenever Israeli crimes are criticized, the critics are
haphazardly called “bigots” and “anti-Semites.”

Last week, Israeli officials refused to meet with President Carter
who had arrived in the Middle East in a daring effort to restore calm
to the Gaza Strip and contiguous Israeli settlements.

Israeli officials, most of them are certified war criminals, argued
that they wouldn’t shake hands with a man who shook hands of Hamas’s
leaders.

You see the striking hypocrisy. Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak, who have
thousands of tons of innocent blood on their dirty hands, and who
only two years ago dropped 2-3 million cluster bomblets on southern
Lebanon, wouldn’t shake hands with President Carter without whose
efforts the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty would have never seen the
light of the day.

The effrontery did stop right there. The Israeli ambassador at the
United Nations, Dan Gillerman, had the audacity to call Mr. Carter a
“bigot” for daring to criticize Israel. The rude behavior, which
epitomizes Israel’s perceptions of the non-Jewish world, didn’t raise
eyebrows neither in Israel itself nor in the US, Israel’s
guardian-ally.

But, yes, Israel does want “peace” with its neighbors, particularly
the Palestinians, who have been languishing under its Nazi-like
occupation for several decades. Israel wants to have “peace” with
them not in accordance with international law and human rights, but
through coercion, bullying, systematic state terror, land theft and
settlement expansion.

What else explains Israel’s unrelenting settlement expansion in East
Jerusalem and the West Bank which comes despite the numerous pledges
to the contrary which Israel made to the Americans and the
international community?

Israeli behavior is not inexplicable. Israel, like Nazi Germany did
in 1939, feels it can defy the entire international community,
including the United States, whose politics and policies are more or
less firmly dominated by Israeli pressure groups.

Such arrogance of power produced a Second World War and a holocaust
more than sixty five years ago.

Now, history appears to be repeating itself. Israel’s unbridled
arrogance of power is threatening a genocide in Palestine, a
blitzkrieg in Lebanon and possibly a war of aggression of immense
proportions on Iran.

Hence, it is imperative that the world, especially ordinary men and
women who would suffer most from Zionist madness, act immediately to
rein in Israel, this vicious, venomous snake.

(end)

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Zionism must be dismantled for peace*

by Khalid Amayreh-occupied Jerusalem

“Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not
even know the names of these villages, and I do not blame you because
geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not exist, the
Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of
Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the
place of Hunefis, and Kefar Yehushua in the place of Tal al-Shuman.
There is not a single place built in this country that didn’t have a
former Arab population.”

Moshe Dayan, during an address to the Technion, Haifa, reported in
Ha’aretz, April 1969

“As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both
instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly
unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware
of changes in the air- however slight-lest we become unwitting
victims of the darkness.” William O. Douglas.

As a Palestinian who has been living under the yoke of Israeli
military occupation for over 40 years and who lost three innocent
uncles and several other relatives, in addition to tens of thousands
of my people to Zionist bullets and other tools of death, I should
have no problems comparing Israel with Nazi Germany.

It is true that Israel has not introduced gas chambers into
Palestinian towns and villages. (Gas chambers were not the main
method of killing in Nazi Germany). However, Israel has been killing
and tormenting Palestinians unceasingly in a variety of ways that, in
their brutality and sheer evil, don’t really differ in substance from
Nazi behavior.

Moreover, it is important to remember that the German Holocaust
didn’t begin with Auschwitz and Bergen Belsen, but rather with an
idea, with a book and with a Kristallnacht, the sort of things that
are so rampant in Israel’s collective thinking these days as the
Israeli Jewish society continues to drift menacingly towards
religious and jingoistic fascism.

Indeed, any honest comparison between Israeli behavior and acts and
Nazi behavior and acts would reveal the striking similarity between
Zionist and Nazi thinking.

The manifestly racist public discourse in Israel is an expression of
a society that is poisoned by fascist thinking, a society without a
moral or even a human compass.

This is not liberal Zionism giving way to religious Zionism as some
Israeli and pro-Israeli apologists would argue. There is simply no
such a thing as liberal Zionism or democratic Zionism or even human
Zionism, just as there was no such a thing as liberal Nazism or
democratic Nazism or human Nazism. These are stark contradictions in
terms.

Indeed, the moment a Zionist Jew sets foot in Palestine and accepts,
enthusiastically as is usually the case, to live on a piece of land
arrogated from its rightful proprietors and to live in a house seized
at gunpoint from its native Palestinian owners, this Zionist Jew
loses his humanity and becomes an evil person.

Zionism, we are told, is about ‘building a national homeland for the
Jews.’ However, for millions of its victims, Zionism is a project of
dispossession, it is about the uprooting, expulsion and dispersion of
the bulk of the Palestinian people from their ancestral homeland to
the four corners of the world by way of organized terror and
violence. Indeed, Zionism has always been clear about one thing: The
Palestinians would have to leave by ‘hook or by crook.’ And there is
ample historical evidence to support this fact.

This is the ugly side of Zionism that much of the West doesn’t want
to recognize.

From its very inception, Zionism viewed Palestine as a land without a
people for a people without a land. This arrogant denial of my
people’s very existence didn’t originate in ignorance of reality. It
was rather an expression of virulent and violent racism, very much
like those white European barbarians who exterminated untold millions
of indigenous Americans and called the genocide ‘Manifest Destiny.’

The Zionists did know that Palestine was populated by hundreds of
thousands of Christians and Muslims. In 1897, two Austrian rabbis
visiting Palestine to assess the feasibility of making it a Jewish
state, sent a pithy telegram summing up the situation. “The bride is
beautiful but she is married to another man.”[1]

That ‘other man’ was none other than the Palestinian Arab nation,
long established as a political entity.

Yet, the Zionist movement insisted with unflinching determination on
wresting the bride from her lawful husband.

That was a sheer act of rape, it still is an act of rape and will
always be an act of rape, no matter how much the myth is glorified
and the mythmakers are celebrated. This act of rape has no moral
legitimacy. It has no right to exist.

In 1948, the Zionists ethnically cleansed more than 90% of
Palestinians in pre-1967 Palestine, banishing them to the four winds.
Now, they are dreaming, probably planning, to do it again, and they
want to ‘transfer’ millions of Palestinians to ‘the desert’ in order
to maintain Israel’s pure Jewish identity and have more ‘Lebensraum’
for ‘God’s chosen people.’

Yes, despite the passage of nearly sixty years of ‘Jewish Statehood,’
Israel’s undeclared but ultimate goal remains the expulsion of most
or all Palestinians from the area extending from the River Jordan to
the Mediterranean Sea.

Indeed, any casual observer of the Israeli media will be affronted,
nearly on a daily basis, by remarks and statements by Israeli
officials, including Knesset members and cabinet ministers, calling
for ‘transferring’ the Palestinians, not only from the West Bank,
Gaza and East Jerusalem, but also from Israel proper.

‘Transfer’ is not an innocent term. It is no less than a euphemism
for genocide, at least a partial genocide, since it is almost
impossible to effect the wholesale removal and ethnic cleansing of
millions of people from their motherland without resorting to mass
murder and mass terror.

Well, was not this the method used quite liberally by the legions of
Zionism to force the bulk of the Palestinian people to flee their
hometowns and villages in 1948? Didn’t Menachem Begin, in his book
‘The Revolt’ refer to the Deir Yassin Massacre as a miracle because
it made hundreds of thousands of terror-stricken Palestinians flee in
fear?2

It is imperative that we call the spade a spade, especially when in
the hands of our gravediggers. The Zionists are comparable to Nazis
because their actions and behavior are comparable and similar to Nazi
actions and behavior.

Just as the Nazis sought to obliterate Jews as a people, the Zionists
have been seeking to obliterate the Palestinians as a people. This is
more than Golda Meir saying dismissively “what Palestinians?”!! Or
some Israeli officials referring to us contemptuously as
‘Never-landers.’ The systematic destruction of some 460 Palestinian
towns and villages by Israel (1948-52) was a Nazi act of the highest
order. It embodied total disregard and total denial of ‘the other’ on
no grounds other than the victims being non-Jewish. The relics of
many of these towns can still be seen even today and are meticulously
documented in Walid Khalidi’s monumental work, ‘All That Remains’.3

Unfortunately, this modus operandi of hateful racism and terror
remains Israel’s central policy towards the Palestinian people. There
is no clearer proof of Israel’s malicious intent than the intensive
building of hundreds of Jewish-only settlements on occupied
Palestinian land. Yes, everything here is ‘Jewish-only.’ Jewish-only
settlements, Jewish-only roads, Jewish-only pools, even Jewish-only
rights and Jewish-only tunnels since non-Jews are viewed by Zionism
(religious and secular Zionism) as children of a lesser God or even
outright animals. Israeli and Zionist apologists may not express
these beliefs openly on CNN and BBC. They are not that stupid. But
the daily crimes of the Israeli state, its army and settlers, bear
clarion testimony to this virulent racism, which can only be compared
to the ideology of the Third Reich.

And now we have this evil gigantic wall, the stated goal of which is
to prevent Palestinian guerrillas from infiltrating into Israel,
whereas the real purpose is to carve and steal as much Palestinian
land as possible, under the largely false rubric of security, and to
narrow Palestinian horizons further and further by effectively
converting Palestinian towns and villages into de facto detention
camps. Perhaps a visit to the northern Palestinian town of Qalqilya
will be more eloquent evidence of the brutal ugliness of Zio-Nazism.

In 2004, the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled that
the Wall was illegal and ought to be dismantled. However, Israel,
backed by its guardian-ally, the United States, arrogantly defied the
ruling and implicitly accused the court and its judges of
anti-Semitism.

In addition to the settlements, inhabited by some of the most violent
and racist-minded Jews anywhere in the world, Israel has always
sought to make Palestinian lives so harsh and unbearable in order to
coerce them to emigrate.

To realize this evil goal, successive Israeli governments (Labor and
Likud alike) employed every conceivable legal trick, including the
introduction of dual justice systems, a liberal one for Jews and a
harsh one for non-Jews.

One expression of this judicial apartheid is the open-ended
incarceration of thousands of Palestinian activists, students,
professionals and college professors as well as politicians,
including lawmakers and cabinet ministers, without charge or trial.
(Since 1967 Israel has arrested over 800,000 Palestinians).4

When the notoriously insidious system of institutionalized repression
failed to make significant numbers of Palestinians emigrate, Israel
resorted to brazen physical harm in the form of terrorizing and
killing the Palestinians at the slightest ‘provocation’, very much
like Hitler’s forces did throughout Nazi-occupied Europe more than
sixty years ago.

Needless to say, Israeli ‘pacification’ raids and incursions, like
Nazi pacification raids and incursions, would leave many children and
women killed, homes destroyed, farms pulverized, furniture and house
appliances vandalized and roads and infrastructures thoroughly
bulldozed. In short, everything, every conceivable crime is committed
by this Nazi-like entity, all under the rubric of fighting terror.
And then much of the Western media would just parrot the Israeli
narrative as if the Israeli army spokesmen were the paragons of truth
and honesty.

In the final analysis, when Jews (or anybody else) behave like Nazis,
they should be compared to Nazis. Indeed, a country that sends its
F-16 fighter-bombers to drop one-ton bombs on apartment buildings in
the middle of the night, where children and women are asleep, is not
morally that far from the Gestapo mentality.

A state that allows and instructs its army to bombard with heavy
artillery densely populated neighborhoods, as happened in Beit Hanoun
in northern Gaza on November 8, 2006, when 19 sleeping men, women and
children were murdered and dozens others maimed as they were
sleeping, is a Nazi state par excellence, even if it evokes the
Torah, God, Ten Commandments, and terror.

Moreover, an army whose soldiers blithely and gleefully murder
children on their way to school and then verify the killing by
emptying twenty more bullets into the child’s head, as happened with
Iman al Hams in Rafah nearly three years ago, and then the soldier is
exonerated and given financial compensation, is not really an army of
professional soldiers, but an army of thugs, gangsters and common
criminals. It is an army that differs very little from the Wehrmacht.

In 2002, Portuguese Noble Laureate Jose Saramago, who won the Noble
Prize for literature in 1998, toured the occupied Palestinian
territories and saw for himself the extent to which Israeli
repression of Palestinians resembled Nazi behavior during World War
II. Here is some of what he had to say about his impression following
the tour.

“We must ring all bells in the world to tell that what is happening
in Palestine is a crime, and it is within our power to stop it. We
can compare it to what happened in Auschwitz, even if we consider the
differences in place and time, it is still the same thing. From the
military view point, Ramallah is the barracks, and the Palestinians
are the prisoners inside.”5

When challenged by some Israeli spokespeople that the Israelis were
not shipping Palestinians to concentration camps, Saramago retorted,
telling them, “Gas chambers are not the only way to kill people.”6

In fact, Israel has been waging a ‘total war’ on a virtually
completely unprotected civilian population, and this fact alone
should justify the Zionist-Nazi analogy.

According to the Israeli Hebrew Daily Ma’ariv, quoted by the famous
British journalist Robert Fisk, an Israeli officer advised his troops
to study tactics adopted by the Nazis in the Second World War.

“If our job is to seize a densely populated refugee camp or take over
the Nablus Casbah, an officer must analyze the lessons of past
battles even to analyze how the German army operated in the Warsaw
Ghetto.”7

Well, the Israelis don’t have to learn from the Nazis or anybody
else. In many respects, the Israeli army has succeeded in emulating
and surpassing the Gestapo, the SS, and the Wehrmacht.

The Israeli army shoots and murders wounded civilians. The Israeli
army destroys homes, occasionally right on top of sleeping civilians;
the Israeli army bulldozes farms, olive groves, citrus orchards,
agricultural fields as collective punishment, and Israeli tanks smash
their way through the walls of refugee camp shanties, without the
slightest regard for the inhabitants.

In Jenin, the Israeli army converted the heart of the refugee camp
there into a ‘football field’ ( see the relevant chapter ),
demolishing hundreds of homes and either killing or maiming their
inhabitants. Even the physically and mentally handicapped were not
spared.8

Like the Nazis, Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza, from 15
to 60 years of age, are routinely rounded up, many are stripped
naked, handcuffed, harshly interrogated and tortured. Politicians are
kidnapped and held hostage and left to suffer, often without food and
water. And Israeli occupation soldiers are give carte blanche to
torment, humiliate and even kill innocent civilians at evil
roadblocks manned by equally evil soldiers and border policemen.

In some cases, these soldiers even force innocent Palestinian
youngsters to drink their (the soldiers’) urine as was reported by
the Israeli press on several occasions.9

As with the Nazis, hundreds of wounded Palestinians are left to die
as Israeli troops deliberately block ambulances, and Israeli
warplanes, including F-16s and Apache helicopters, rain bombs and
missiles on major towns and refugee camps, such as Rafah, Khan
Younis, Beit Hanoun, Jabalya, and on cities such as Hebron, Bethlehem
and Nablus. Indeed, the discovery of a single resistance fighter
often results in the destruction of a huge multistory building as
this writer witnessed in Hebron several times.

And yes, like the Nazis detained and interned thousands of Jews in
special camps called concentration camps, the Israeli government also
imprisons thousands of Palestinians in detention camps

Israeli propagandists would argue that Israel could, from a purely
military viewpoint exterminate six million Palestinians in a few days
and that it doesn’t do so for ‘moral and ethical reasons.’

This is simply a big lie. If Israel were truly concerned about ‘moral
and ethical considerations’ it wouldn’t be carrying out these
horrendous daily crimes in Gaza, including the routine killing of
innocent civilians in Gaza and the West Bank and it wouldn’t be
terrorizing and starving the Palestinians by barring them from
accessing food and work.

The real reason preventing Israel from carrying out a final solution
against the Palestinians is the international public opinion.

In October 2006, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert boasted on the
Israeli radio that because of the clever behavior of his government
“we have been able to kill hundreds of terrorists and the world has
not reacted.”

Needless to say, according to the hard-line former Likudist, a
‘terrorist’ is any armed Palestinian, including the tens of thousands
of Palestinian policemen who carry arms by agreement with Israel.
These may be shot freely. ‘Terrorists’ are also the children, women
and men who are killed in the streets of their neighborhoods or,
indeed, while asleep in their own homes at night.

This war criminal, Olmert, can go on and on and on justifying these
daily acts of murder against innocent civilians simply because, as he
says, the world keeps silent.

In other words, it is the world’s reaction, not morality and ethics
that influences the Israeli approach toward the Palestinians.

Indeed, this is one reason why this book has been written, namely to
warn the international community about the Nazi nature of the Israeli
Zionist establishment.

Yes, Palestinian suicide bombers carried out attacks against Israeli
civilians and killed scores of Israelis, often in retaliation for the
killing of Palestinian children by the Israeli army and paramilitary
Jewish settlers. I totally and unhesitatingly condemn all attacks,
suicidal or otherwise, against innocent people, be they Israelis or
Palestinians.

Nonetheless, Israel can’t push the Palestinians to the edge of
physical extermination and national demise, which it is already
doing, and at the same time shout, “Hamas, terror, suicide
bombings.”!!!

Indeed, what would any people do after 60 years of Nazi-like
oppression that transcends reality? What would any people do when
forced to choose between death at the Jewish slaughterhouse and death
as suicide bombers?

Israel claims it doesn’t kill Palestinian children and civilians
deliberately. This is another cardinal lie amounting to fornication
with language. Mistakes happen once, twice, ten times. But when the
killing of civilians happens nearly on a daily basis, it means it is
policy. In the final analysis, killing knowingly is killing
deliberately.

Today, Israel, like the Gestapo did to the inhabitants of the Warsaw
Ghetto, is barring millions of Palestinians from accessing food and
work. In Gaza, under the pretext of freeing a captured Israeli
soldier, Israel has bombed or destroyed the bulk of civilian
infrastructures there, including schools, colleges, streets, bridges,
charities as well as thousands of homes. Israel has also destroyed
the only power station in Gaza, forcing 1.4 million Gazans to live in
total or partial darkness.

This is the same Israel whose army has just destroyed much of Lebanon
and dropped 1.2 million cluster bombs over southern Lebanon. Well,
1.2 million bombs can kill at least 1.2 million children. This is at
least an attempted genocide on Israel’s part.

I know that pro-Israeli apologists, including some who claim to be
followers of the left of standing up against oppression and
identifying with the weak and the dispossessed, are tempted to create
a certain moral symmetry between Israel and the Palestinians.

But, in all honesty, one might ask what symmetry there is between the
rapist and his victim, between the occupier and the occupied, between
the armed fanatical settler and the terrified Palestinian peasant who
has to rely on Western peace volunteers for protection from settler
vandalism and savagery? What symmetry is there between the Judeo-Nazi
soldiers who fire heavy artillery shells from their Merkava tanks and
the helpless recipients of death who are killed for no other reason
than that they do not belong to ‘the holy cult.’

Is there hope for a peaceful solution to this enduring bitter
conflict? Certainly there is, and it lies in dismantling Zionism and
in the creation of a unitary, civic and democratic State in
Palestine-Israel whereby Jews and Arabs can live equally as citizens
as many Jews and Arabs are living in Europe and North America and
many other parts of the world today.

Europe, we should remember, couldn’t have the taste of peace until
Nazi Germany was dismantled and buried in the graveyard of history. I
am convinced that the Middle East and the world at large will not
have peace and stability until Zionism is dismantled and buried in
the graveyard of history.

I say Zionism ought to be dismantled because the anachronistic
concept of ‘Jewish State’ necessarily implies intrinsic racism and
violence against non-Jews. Indeed, Israel is constitutionally defined
as the state of ‘all’ Jews irrespective of where they live. This
means that Israel is also the state of millions of people around the
world who are not Israeli citizens, while it is not a state of nearly
one quarter of Israeli citizens who are followers of different
religions. This scandalous anomaly must come to an end if there is to
be peace and stability in Palestine/Israel.

In short, there can be no civil equality between Jews and non-Jews
under Zionism as long as Israel remains a Jewish state. Hence,
Zionism, as an inherently racist philosophy and political ideology,
must be dissolved.

However, there is much work to be done before dissolving Zionism. It
is necessary to label Zionism as an inherently racist ideology, it is
also paramount to undermine America’s blind support for Israel as an
exclusivist Jewish state. It is important to demolish the myth that
Zionism is a noble ideology of national liberation, and it is
important to make the world realize that Israel’s occupation of
Palestine and oppression of its native Palestinian people are
motivated by a racist ideology.

Moreover, it is always important to underscore the fact that Zionism
can’t correct, let alone undo, its sins since doing so would undo
Zionism itself because the main components of Zionism are racism and
dispossession and if these are eviscerated, Zionism becomes
meaningless.

Indeed, unless these essential pre-requisites are met, no one will
ever gain the political strength or the political will necessary to
force Israel to relinquish the occupied Palestinian territories.10

Needless to say, the ultimate moral and human alternative to Zionism
will have to be a democratic state where all citizens, regardless of
their ethnic and religious backgrounds, are treated equally under the
law. Fortunately, there are Jews of conscience and good will who
would agree with this human solution. These are our natural partners
for peace.

· The bulk of this article, ‘Zionism Must Be Dissolved for Peace’ was
originally published in the Spanish newspaper Diagonal[1] in October
27, 2006 as part of a debate about Zionism, which included, along
with the author, Gilad Atzmon, Santiago Alba-Rico and Rául
Sánchez-Cedillo, with an introduction by Manuel Talens. See Squaring
off on Zionism – Four Perspectives” (
http://www.tlaxcala.es/pp.asp?lg=en&reference=1405 )

Endnotes

[1] The quote, “The Bride is Beautiful but she is married to another
man,” was found cited in several books and articles, including
“Palestine: A Personal History” by Karl Sabbagh, and “As the World
Looks on Ineffectually-Vanishing the Palestinians” by Ghada Karmi,
Counterpunch, July 17-18, 2004.

2 Menachem Begin, The Revolt, 1948; reprint, Los Angeles, Nash
Publishing, 1972

3All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated
by Israel in 1948, Editor Walid Khalidi, Institute for Palestine
Studies, Washington, D.C., 1992

4 Palestinian Prisoner Club, interview by the author, 6 February,
2007

5 Portuguese Nobel Laureate Jose Saramago, Thursday, March 28, 2002,
during a visit to the West Bank.

6 Ibid

7 Robert Fisk, The Independent, London, 30th March, 2002

8 See the chapter on Jenin.

9 See the chapter on Zionist sadism.

10 Zionism as Racist ideology, Kathleen and Bill Christenson,
Counterpunch, page 4, http://www.counterpunch.org/christison11082003.html
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Open letter to John Holmes on the situaiton in Gaza [French & English]

Gaza – 19-11-2007

Lettre ouverte à John Holmes, Secrétaire général adjoint aux affaires
humanitaires et Coordonnateur des secours d’urgence aux Nations Unies
Par Khaled Amayreh > amayreh@p-ol.com

Cher Monsieur, Vous devez être au courant du cauchemar qui se déroule
en ce moment dans la Bande de Gaza. Gaza est tout simplement en train
de mourir d’une mort lente et douloureuse, des mains des enfants et
des petits-enfants de l’holocauste.

Ceci n’est pas une description outrancière ou exagérée d’un peuple
supplicié depuis longtemps par une puissance occupante sinistre qui
veut à tout prix nous décimer, en utilisant les moyens les plus
ignobles et les plus inhumains, comme empêcher que nous parviennent
la nourriture et autres produits de base.

Je pourrais encore et encore et encore décrire et expliquer la
situation catastrophique de Gaza, où, tous les jours, des enfants et
autres civils succombent à leurs maladies parce qu’Israël et d’autres
pays voisins ne les autorisent pas à quitter le territoire sous
blocus pour être soignés correctement.

Je ne sais pas si votre bureau reçoit les rapports quotidiens et
précis de la Bande de Gaza. Mais au cas où il ne les recevrait pas,
un coup d’œil rapide aux nouveaux communiqués venus de cette terre
torturée devrait suffire à vous donner une idée juste de ce qui est
en train de se passer là-bas.

Il est vrai qu’un peu de nourriture et quelques autres produits sont
autorisés à entrer à Gaza. Ils sont cependant complètement
insuffisants pour répondre aux besoins de plus d’un million quatre
cent mille êtres humains assiégés, dont la grande majorité est sans
travail, consciencieusement appauvrie et désespérément sans espoir.

En outre, les Gazans, comme le reste de l’humanité, ont besoin de
plus que de pain et de thé. Ils ont besoin de vivre une vie digne.
C’est leur droit, donné par Dieu, en tant qu’humains. Ce droit ne
doit pas être compromis par le cannibalisme politique qui est
pratiqué impudemment par un monde qui clame qu’il est civilisé et
éclairé, alors qu’en réalité ses actes et sa conduite sont à des
millions d’année-lumière de la civilisation et des Lumières.

Je ne vais pas accuser Israël, les Etats-Unis et leurs alliés et amis
pour cette tragédie en cours. Le Coran dit : “wala Yas’alu ‘an
thunoobihemol Mujrimun”, ce qui signifie que “les criminels ne se
soucient guère de leurs péchés”.

Il est clair que ce verset du Coran, qui a, je suis sûr, son
équivalent dans la Bible, s’applique parfaitement aux états et aux
armées tueurs et affameurs d’enfants, qui tuent des enfants et des
gens innocents en toute connaissance de cause, délibérément, pour des
raisons politiques.

Cependant, en qualité de fonctionnaire des Nations Unies, dont la
responsabilité inclut de surveiller la situation à Gaza et d’empêcher
qu’une catastrophe semblable à celles causées par les nazis ne
survienne n’importe où de par le monde, nous vous enjoignons de
prendre immédiatement des mesures tangibles pour sauver les habitants
impuissants de Gaza de ce qui ressemble à un désastre imminent, en
particulier si le blocus actuel draconien continue.

Il ne fait pas de doutes que les tirs, par la guérilla palestinienne,
de projectiles Qassam artisanaux sur les colonies israéliennes du
secteur sont un problème. Mais c’est un problème créé par Israël
parce que l’Etat juif refuse obstinément de cesser de tuer
d’innocents Palestiniens, de détruire leurs maisons et de passer
leurs fermes au bulldozer. Israël veut continuer à tuer les enfants
palestiniens, que la guérilla palestinienne observe un cessez-le-feu
ou non.

Ce qui explique suffisamment le rejet intransigeant par Israël des
propositions de cessez-le-feu palestiniennes faites en de nombreuses
occasions par le Premier Ministre Haniya et autres responsables à
Gaza.

La raison de ceci n’est peut-être pas assez claire pour tout le
monde, en particulier en Occident où les médias pro-israéliens
transforment souvent le blanc en noir, et les gros mensonges en
“réalités virtuelles” glorifiées par des millions.

En fait, Israël ne se considère pas comme humainement égal aux
Palestiniens et aux non Juifs en général. C’est ça le nœud de la
question et la mère de tous les crimes au Moyen Orient.

Aujourd’hui, le peuple de Gaza ne compte pratiquement plus que sur la
bonne volonté de la communauté internationale pour sa survie, dont
ils ne pensent plus d’ailleurs qu’elle soit garantie, étant donné le
silence indifférent et l’insensibilité brutale de la communauté
internationale envers son calvaire interminable.

Il est malheureux et regrettable de constater que les Nations Unies
aussi observent la tragédie de Gaza avec passivité et une grande
indifférence. Cette passivité, contraire à l’éthique et incompatible
avec la Charte et les idéaux des Nations Unies, ne sert qu’à enhardir
Israël à resserrer davantage son emprise barbare sur cette région
torturée et à exacerber les souffrances de son peuple.

Je dis cela parce que je suis convaincu qu’Israël, sous
l’épouvantable occupation duquel nous nous languissons depuis plus de
40 ans, hésiterait à entreprendre tant d’actions dévoyées de génocide
contre notre peuple si seulement la communauté internationale lui
signifiait clairement qu’une telle conduite est inacceptable. Si cela
n’arrive pas, Israël continuera à tester la volonté du monde et, si
la conscience du monde s’endort ou regarde ailleurs, Israël commettra
l’impensable.

Et on n’en est plus très loin. Un Etat qui seulement l’an dernier a
lancé 2 à 3 millions de bombes sur le Liban peut commettre un crime
tout aussi monstrueux contre les Palestiniens plus vulnérables et
absolument sans protection.

Cette semaine, de nombreux membres du parlement israélien, la
Knesset, ont protesté vigoureusement contre l’échec de leur armée à
“paralyser complètement Gaza”, avec quelques députés demandant à leur
gouvernement : “Pourquoi y a-t-il encore de la vie à Gaza ? Pourquoi
y a-t-il encore de l’électricité à Gaza ? Nous devons leur montrer
qui sont les maîtres !”

Ceci indique que si ce n’était la peur de l’opinion publique
internationale, Israël imiterait le Troisième Reich. Après tout, ne
parlons-nous pas d’un Etat sans conscience, sans morale ?

Israël ne reculera pas tant que la communauté internationale restera
aveugle, sourde et muette et regardera ailleurs, pendant que les
Gazans et les autres Palestiniens se font tuer, affamer, brutaliser.

Monsieur, ne comptez surtout pas sur les états de la région. Leurs
régimes en faillite préfèrent la légitimité qu’ils tirent à plaire et
apaiser les Etats-Unis plus qu’agir de manière honorable.

Maintenant, qu’allez-vous faire pour mettre fin à ce cauchemar ? En
tant que compagnon humain, je vous demande instamment, au nom des
Gazans sans voix et impuissants, des gens ordinaires, non politisés
et presque totalement préoccupés par le moyen de joindre les deux
bouts, d’agir maintenant de façon significative pour mettre fin à
cette obscénité, ce blocus criminel de la Bande de Gaza.

J’espère et je prie pour que vous vous occupiez de cette question
avec toute l’urgence qu’elle mérite. Gaza est réellement en grand
danger d’effondrement et de mort, et nous ne devons pas permettre que
cela arrive.

Gaza est déjà une réplique du Ghetto de Varsovie. Pour l’amour de
Dieu, nous ne devons pas permettre que la criminalité israélienne,
l’assentiment américain et l’impuissance internationale la
transforment en un nouvel Auschwitz.

*Avec cette photo, intitulée “Innocent” et prise dans la Bande de
Gaza, Fady Adwan, reporter photo et membre de Palestine Free Voice, a
remporté, début novembre, le 3ème prix au Concours de l’Association
des Photographes Amateurs de Catania (Sicile) – section “Droits de
l’Homme”.

NOTE :

Vous trouverez ci-dessous la version anglaise de cette lettre à
adresser aux différentes représentations aux Nations-Unies dont vous
trouverez les adresses emails à suivre. Faites-le, c’est important

Dear Sir,

Have you heard about this Open Letter to Sir John Holmes requesting
him to take action against the humanitarian crisis in Gaza? Well I am
hereby begging you to give him a ring and request him to not ignore
it and ask him to act upon it as a matter of URGENCY.

Thank You

Open Letter to Sir John Holmes, UN Undersecretary-General for
Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator

Khalid Amayreh November 19, 2007

Dear Sir: Greeting

You must be aware of the nightmare now unfolding in the Gaza Strip.
Gaza is simply dying a slow and painful death at the hands of the
children and grandchildren of the Holocaust. This is not an
overstatement or exaggerated description of a people long tormented
by a sinister occupying power that is hell- bent on decimating them,
using the basest and most inhumane of means, such as preventing food
and other basic needs from reaching them. I could go on and one and
on describing and explaining the catastrophic situation in Gaza where
on any given day, children and other civilians succumb to their
illnesses because Israel and other neighbouring countries wouldn’t
allow them to leave the blockaded territory for adequate medical
care.

I don’t know if your office is receiving daily and accurate reports
from the Gaza Strip. But in case it doesn’t, a quick glance at news
reports from that tormented land would suffice to give you a fair
idea of what is happening there.

True, some foodstuff and a few other commodities are being allowed to
reach Gaza. However, these are utterly inadequate to meet the minimal
needs of more than 1.4 million beleaguered human beings, the vast
bulk of whom are unemployed, thoroughly impoverished and desperately
hopeless.

Besides, Gazans, like the rest of humanity, need more than bread and
tea. They need to live a dignified life. This is their God-given
right as humans. This right must not be compromised by political
cannibalism that is brazenly practiced by a world claming to be
civilized and enlightened when in reality its actions and behaviour
are millions of light years apart from civility and enlightenment.

I am not going to blame Israel and the United States and their allies
and friends for this unfolding tragedy. The Quran states “wala
Yas’alu ‘an thunoobihemol Mujrimun” meaning that “criminals are not
much concerned about their sins.”

This Quranic verse, which I am sure has Biblical equivalents,
obviously applies fairly and squarely to child-killing and
child-starving states and armies that kill children and innocent
people knowingly and deliberately for political reasons.

However, as a UN official whose responsibility includes overseeing
the situation in Gaza and preventing a Nazi-like catastrophe from
taking place in any part of the world, you are called upon in the
strongest terms to immediately take pro-active and tangible measures
to save Gaza’s helpless inhabitants from what looks a certain looming
disaster, especially if the current draconian blockade continues.

There is no doubt that the firing by Palestinian guerrillas of
homemade Qassam projectiles onto Israeli settlements in the area is a
problem. But it is a problem made in Israel since the Jewish state
stubbornly refuses to stop killing innocent Palestinians and
destroying their homes and bulldozing their farms. Israel wants to
keep up the killing of Palestinian children regardless of whether the
Palestinian guerrillas observe a ceasefire or not.

This sufficiently explains Israel’s adamant rejection of Palestinian
ceasefire proposals made on several occasions by Prime Minister
Haniya and other Gaza officials. The reason for this may not be
sufficiently clear for all, especially in the West where pro-Israeli
media often turn the black into white and the big lie into a
“virtually reality” glorified by millions.

Well, Israel simply doesn’t view herself as humanly equal to
Palestinians and non-Jews in general. That is really the crux of the
matter and the mother of all sins in the Middle East. Today, the
people of Gaza nearly completely rely on the good will of the
international community for their physical survival, which they have
come to no longer take for granted, given the indifferent silence and
brutal callousness of the international community towards their
enduring plight.

Unfortunately and regrettably, the UN, too, is watching the tragedy
in Gaza with passivity and a great modicum of indifference. This
passivity, unethical and incompatible with UN Charter and ideals,
serves only to embolden Israel to tighten its barbaric grip on that
tormented region further and exacerbate the suffering of its people.

I am saying that because I am convinced that Israel, under whose
harsh occupation we have been languishing for over 40 years, would
refrain from taking more pornographic acts of genocide against our
people only if the international community made it clear that such
behaviour would be unacceptable. Otherwise, Israel would continue to
test the will of the world so that if the world’s conscience
slumbered or looked the other way, Israel would commit the
unthinkable.

This is not far-fetched at all. A state that only last year dropped
2-3 million bomblets on Lebanon, could commit a similarly monstrous
crime against the more vulnerable and utterly unprotected
Palestinians.

This week, many members of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset,
vociferously protested their army’s failure to “completely paralyse
Gaza,” with some lawmakers asking their government “why there is
still life in Gaza, why there is still electricity in Gaza. We must
make sure to them who are the masters!”

This shows that were it not for the international public opinion,
Israel would emulate the Third Reich. We are talking after all about
a state without conscience, without morality. So, Israel won’t relent
as long as the international community plays blind, deaf and dumb and
looks the other way, while Gazans and other Palestinians are being
killed, starved and brutalized.

Sir: Don’t you ever count on regional states. These failed regimes
prefer the legitimacy that comes from pleasing and appeasing the
United States more than that which comes from doing the right thing.

Now what are you going to do to put an end to this nightmare? As a
fellow human being, I urge you again in the name of the voiceless and
the helpless in Gaza, ordinary people, un-politicised and nearly
totally preoccupied with making ends meet, to take a meaningful
action now to end this obscenity, the criminal blockade of the Gaza
Strip.

I hope and pray you will deal with this matter with the urgency it
deserves. Gaza is really facing a grave danger of collapse and
demise, and we must never allow this to happen. Gaza is already a
replica of Ghetto Warsaw. For God’s sake, we must not allow Israeli
criminality, American acquiescence and international impotence to
turn it into another Auschwitz.

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Islam and the West: Conflict or cohesion?

By Khalid Amayreh

The recent crisis over the Danish cartoons depicting the Prophet
Muhammad as a terrorist has highlighted the misunderstanding and
cultural divide between Islam and the West.

Author and human rights activist Mahmoud Nammoura, who has written
two books on Islam-West relations, believes the cartoons reveal a
“cultural disharmony” and not a religious clash.

“This is not a showdown between Islam and Christianity,” he said.

“In fact, Europe and much of the West are now living in an era which
might be called a post-religious. It is therefore not Christianity,
but western cultural arrogance, that stands behind this growing
anti-Islamic discourse in certain western circles,” says Nammoura, a
resident of the West Bank town of Hebron.

Bassam Jarar, considered one of the most prominent Islamic thinkers
in Palestine, believes there is a knee-jerk reaction to Islamic
communities asserting themselves in Europe.

“They [Europeans] can’t easily come to terms with the fact that a
militarily and politically defeated umma (community) is asserting a
pro-active presence in the heart of the West and is aspiring to
present itself as an alternative to western civilisation.”

Conflict of civilisations

When asked if the crisis was a vindication of Samuel Huntington’s
theory of conflict of civilisations, Jarar said: “It is not
inevitable if they are (westerners) faithful to democracy. Let them
allow the free market of ideas to take its course.”

Jarar believes that while the cartoon crisis has a negative aura, and
might rekindle old prejudices, it will eventually have a positive
income.

“I believe this is going to be a good lesson for both Muslims and
Westerners. It might lead to a greater understanding in the long
range.”

But Father Peter DuBrul of Bethlehem University, a Catholic
University funded by the Vatican, believes the causes of anti-Muslim
attitudes are rooted in the complex history between Islam and
Christianity.

“As you know, a Christian who has not seriously studied Islam cannot
take the Holy Quran at face value; there are too many contradictions
to Christian beliefs.”

Reduced to stereotype

DuBrul believes it is wrong to overlook or marginalise the religious
dimension in the West-Islam relationship, saying the term
“post-religious” may be a misnomer.

“I think the west is more religious than some Muslims would think and
the Muslim east is more secular than some Muslims would admit …”

Nonetheless, DuBrul, who has been living in the West Bank for many
years, believes that despite recent drawbacks western-Muslim
understanding can be achieved.

“The Islamic mission to the world comes into conflict with other
missions, and such ‘missions’ have much to learn from one another,”
he said.

“We are in the process of learning now, very painfully. The enemy is
always reduced to a stereotype [that] is easier to kill.”

Early seeds of divide

The using of stereotypes to demonise Islam can be traced to early
Western Christian perceptions of Muslims in the Middle Ages.

In Chanson de Roland, a medieval French epic of the Crusades, the
poet envisioned Islam as an unholy trinity of the Prophet Muhammad
and two demons Appolin and Tervagant.

The crusades by the Franks against the Muslim East did succeed in
demythologising some of Western perceptions of Islam.

For many centuries, both Eastern and Western Christendom called
Muslims Saracens. In the Iberian Peninsula, they called Muslims
Moors, and people of the Iberian culture continued to call all
Muslims “Moors” even if they met them in South East Asia. (e.g. the
Moro Liberation Front in the Southern Philippines).

In Most of Europe, Muslims were called Turks, and a convert to Islam
was said to have “turned Turk” even if the conversion took place in a
place as far away as India.

Europe and the Quran

In 1649, the first English translation of the Quran was published in
London by Alexander Ross who based his research on a 1647 French
translation by Andre du Tyer, the French consol in Egypt.

Ross, who did not speak Arabic, added an appendix to his
“translation” of the Quran:

“Good reader, the great Arabian Imposter now at least after a
thousand years, is … arrived in England, and his Alcoran, or
Gallimaufry of Errors (a brat as deformed as the parents, and as full
of heresies as his scald-head was of scurffe) hath learned to speak
English … so should the reading of this Alcoran excite us both to
bless God’s judgments, who suffers so many countries to be blinded
and inslaved with this misshapen issue of Mahomets braine.”

Although Ross’s conceptualisation of Islam reflected the overall
European rejection and fear of it, a few of his contemporaries
treated Islam much more objectively.

Henry Stubbes, born in England in 1632, wrote several manuscripts on
the Islamic faith entitled “Account of the Rise and Progress of
Mahometanism, with the Life of Mahomet and a Vindication of Him and
His Religion from the Calumnies of the Christians.”

Medieval Christian legends

Stubbes ridiculed the medieval Christian legends about Muhammad as
“rubbish”. Some of these legends said Muhammad was an epileptic, and
that Muhammad’s inspiration came to him via a pet pigeon which used
to eat peas from his ear.

In “The Character of Mahomet and Fabulous Inventions of the
Christians Concerning him and his religion,” Stubbes presented a
remarkable image of the Prophet, considering the general anti-Islamic
prejudices and misperceptions of that time.

He wrote:

“I doubt not but by this time your curiosity will prompt you to
enquire after the portraiture of this extraordinary person. His great
soul was lodged in a body of Middle size; he had a large head, a
brown complexion but fresh colour, a beard long and thick but not
grey, a grave aspect wherein the awfulness of majesty seemed to be
tempered with admirable sweetness which at once imprinted in the
beholder’s respect, reverence and love. His eyes were quick and
sparkling, his limbs exactly turned, his mien was great and noble,
his motion free and easy, and every action had a grace so peculiar
that it was impossible to see him with indifference.”

Stubbes’ ideas on Islam, however, were not popular within
contemporary European circles and were not published until 1911.

God-moon?

The belief that Islam was at odds with the mostly Christian west
persisted into the 21st century and reappear in US evangelical
discourse about Islam.

In 2004, Pat Robertson, head of the Christian Broadcasting Network
said in a speech in Hertzlya, north of Tel Aviv, that the conflict
between Israel and the Palestinians was actually a conflict between
the Judeo-Christian God and Islam’s God-moon.

Others have referred to Allah as a pre-Islamic Arabian pagan deity.

This type of discourse, says Nammoura, reflects fears by these
evangelicals that Islam constitutes the main threat and obstacle to
their dispensationalist ideology.

“They see Islam, not Buddhism, not Hinduism, not Judaism, as the main
geopolitical threat, this is why they come up with this rubbish.”

According to Philip Hitti, author of History of the Arabs, the
Christian medieval image of Islam was the aggregate product of a
confluence of streams of multiple sources in Syro-Byzantine,
Hispano-French, Sicillio-Italian and crusading literature.

This literature conceptualised Muslims as pagans worshiping a false
prophet who worked out his doctrine from Biblical sources under the
tutelage of an Arian Monk.

Such beliefs were caricatured not only in religious and literary
works, but also in art. Dante in his “Divine Comedy” was thus
prompted consequently to consign the Prophet and his son-in-law Ali,
to the ninth hell reserved for those who sow scandal and schism.

Gradual change

But with industrialisation western perceptions of Islam began to
change slowly as more Europeans came in contact with Muslims.
However, these perceptions remained basically negative due to the
fundamental doctrinal differences between Islam and Christianity.

However, with the rise of Orientalism in the late 18th and 19th
centuries, Europeans (and some Americans) began to view the world of
Islam less imaginatively.

Following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, European
powers occupied or came to control the bulk of Muslim lands in the
Middle East. At this time, European attitudes changed from fear and
hatred to patronisation and contempt.

Although European occupation of the Arab lands was seen mainly within
the framework of European colonial expansionism, its religious
dimensions remained.

British General Edmund Allenby’s capture of Jerusalem on 10 December
1917 was considered a “Christian” victory against the Turks.

An article published in 1917 in the Catholic magazine “America”
captioned “Crusaders in Khaki,” and celebrated that the Holy Land was
finally in Christian hands.

But Father DuBrul believes such attitudes deepen the cultural divide
and must be challenged.

He urges stereotypes be replaced by discourse, exchange of ideas,
self-knowledge, learning about others and prayers.

“If there is to be a greater understanding in the long range, it has
to start with critical respect for the religious component in both
cultures.”

Source: Aljazeera

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Israël, un cancer sur la conscience juive

Gaza – 26-01-2008

Par Khaled Amayreh

Même si le mur est tombé à Gaza, il est impératif que les
Palestiniens et leurs défenseurs, les millions d’hommes et de femmes
libres partout dans le monde, dont de nombreux Juifs conscients pour
qui la liberté et la justice ont une valeur, ne sous-estiment pas les
intentions et projets maléfiques de l’entité sioniste.

Dans ses efforts enragés pour imposer le socialisme aux fermiers
ukrainiens indépendants (les Koulaks), le dictateur soviétique Joseph
Staline avait ordonné à son Armée Rouge de couper complètement
l’Ukraine du reste du monde. Toutes les routes furent bouclées,
toutes les frontières fermées. Rien ne fut autorisé à entrer ou
sortir du pays. Les fermiers furent fouillés et leur nourriture et
leur fuel pillés.

Alors, rapidement, les Ukrainiens ont commencé à mourir de faim, de
froid et de maladie en grand nombre.

Le génocide a atteint son sommet lors de l’hiver 1932-1933 lorsque le
compagnon juif de Staline, le meurtrier de masse notoire Lazare
Kaganovitch, a été envoyé en Ukraine pour accélérer le processus
d’extermination de millions de fermiers, d’employés et
d’intellectuels.

A l’époque, les Ukrainiens, confrontés à l’une des famines les plus
dures organisées par l’homme dans l’histoire, furent obligés de
manger leurs chiens, leurs bottes et leurs ceintures, et aussi
l’écorce des arbres et les racines. Selon certaines sources, des
parents auraient même mangé leurs nouveaux-nés.

Il est vrai que la situation à Gaza n’est pas identique à la grande
famine ukrainienne. Cependant, il est aussi vrai que le cauchemar
actuel de Gaza s’exacerbe de façon menaçante d’heure en heure, et si
le monde n’arrête pas le plus vite possible la direction israélienne
à l’inspiration nazi, Gaza deviendra à coup sûr une version
actualisée du génocide ukrainien.

Nous ne devons pas prendre ce risque. Ehud Barak et Ehud Olmert,
comme le reste de la classe dirigeante en Israël, sont plus ou moins
en train d’essayer d’imiter Kaganovitch et Genrich Grigorivic Yagoda,
autre tueur de masse juif soviétique, qui ont peut-être tué ou causé
la mort de plus de gens qu’Hitler ne l’a jamais fait.

Mais contrairement à Kaganovitch et à Yagoda, qui n’ont pas cherché à
cacher leurs campagnes génocidaires, Olmert ment comme un arracheur
de dents sur les desseins génocidaires d’Israël contre les 1,5
million habitants bloqués à Gaza. Olmert déclarant qu’Israël
n’autoriserait pas une crise humaine à Gaza est aussi crédible qu’une
vieille putain qui prétendrait que sa chasteté est intacte.

Il ne fait aucun doute qu’Israël exécute un génocide lent à Gaza.
L’Etat choquant de dégradation et de misère submergeant l’enclave
torturée, qui est devenu le camp de concentration à ciel ouvert le
plus grand du monde, le prouve.

Selon Karen Abu Zayd, commissaire général pour L’Office de secours et
de travaux des Nations unies pour les réfugiés de Palestine dans le
Proche-Orient (UNRWA), déclare que la fermeture de Gaza par Israël
est sans précédent.

“Les Palestiniens sont réellement incarcérés. Une écrasante majorité
d’entre eux ne peuvent ni sortir ni entrer à Gaza. Sans fuel et sans
pièces détachées, les conditions de santé publique déclinent à grande
vitesse alors que les services de l’eau et sanitaires se battent pour
fonctionner. La fourniture d’électricité est sporadique et a été
réduite en même temps que la fourniture de fuel au cours de ces jours
derniers.

L’UNICEF rapporte que le fonctionnement partiel de la principale
station de pompage de Gaza ville assure la fourniture pour 600.000
personnes. Les médicaments sont pratiquement en rupture de stocks et
les hôpitaux sont paralysés par les coupures d’électricité et la
pénurie de fuel pour les générateurs. L’infrastructure hospitalière
et le nombre des pièces essentielles de l’équipement, très bas, est
extrêmement alarmant, avec des possibilités limitées de réparation ou
de maintenance, puisqu’il n’y a plus de pièces détachées. Le ciment
est en si petite quantité que les gens ne peuvent plus construire les
tombes pour leurs morts. Les hôpitaux n’ont plus de draps ni de
linceuls.”

Abu Zayd est un être humain formidable et elle mérite tous les éloges
pour ses efforts héroïques à mobiliser la communauté internationale
pour arrêter la catastrophe à Gaza avant qu’elle n’explose à la face
du monde de manière irréversible.

Il est cependant très clair que sa description mesurée du cauchemar
de Gaza est une énorme minimisation de la réalité, parce que Gaza est
en train de mourir du blocus génocidaire prolongé qu’imposent les
enfants, les petits-enfants et les arrière petits-enfants de
l’holocauste à ces Palestiniens impuissants et torturés à mort.

Le mercredi 23 janvier, des dizaines de milliers de Gazaouis parqués
et affamés se sont déversés en Egypte après que des hommes armés
aient fait sauter le mur construit par Israël et qui sépare les
moitiés égyptienne et palestinienne de Rafah. Une chaîne TV a décrit
le déferlement humain à Rafah comme “l’évasion de la plus grande
prison du monde”.

Les scènes d’hommes, de femmes et d’enfants passant par les brèches à
pied, en voiture ou en charrettes à ânes pour acheter de la
nourriture et autres biens de première nécessité suggère que Gaza est
réellement en train d’être confrontée à une situation extrêmement
difficile, au bord d’une tentative de génocide.

L’indignation froide devait s’exprimer. La poudrière devait sauter.
Seuls des imbéciles comme George Bush ont été surpris de la tournure
des événements.

C’est ce qui arrive lorsque vous parquez un million et demi d’êtres
humains, dans une prison surpeuplée, sans nourriture, sans fuel, sans
électricité et sans espoir, pendant que vous dites à un monde
moralement désensibilisé “Je ne permettrai pas une crise humaine à
Gaza.”

Même si le mur est tombé à Gaza, il est impératif que les
Palestiniens et leurs défenseurs, les millions d’hommes et de femmes
libres partout dans le monde, dont de nombreux Juifs conscients pour
qui la liberté et la justice ont une valeur, ne sous-estiment pas les
intentions et projets maléfiques de l’entité sioniste. Israël, un
Etat vil dirigé par des hommes politiques vils qui n’ont aucun
respect pour la morale et l’humanité. Cet Etat ne va pas rester assis
à regarder les Palestiniens profiter d’un rare moment de triomphe,
aussi petit et coûteux soit-il.

Barak et Olmert sont simplement trop néfastes et trop sataniques pour
permettre qu’un sourire apparaisse sur les visages innocents des
enfants de Gaza.

C’est pourquoi il est très vraisemblable que Barak, qui possède la
malfaisance d’Adolph Hitler et l’insensibilité de Joseph Staline,
essaiera de perpétrer un nouveau massacre ou une avalanche
d’assassinats pour “équilibrer la balance”.

Bien entendu, Israël a déjà dit qu’il renforcerait le blocus de Gaza
et il fait pression sur le gouvernement égyptien pour qu’il l’aide à
torturer et à affamer davantage les Gazaouis impuissants.

Israël veut tout simplement s’assurer que les Palestiniens souffrent
et meurent le plus tranquillement possible, pour ne pas provoquer la
conscience morale du monde. Israël pense, probablement à juste
raison, qu’un génocide tranquille est un génocide sans larme qui
tombera finalement dans l’oubli et permettra aux bourreaux de s’en
sortir avec un minimum de remise en cause.

Mais non, nous ne devons jamais nous autoriser à souffrir
tranquillement ni bien sûr à mourir tranquillement. Nous devons
remuer ciel et terre jusqu’à ce que nous mobilisions la conscience du
monde contre cet Etat maudit qui clame être Juif mais pense, se
comporte et agit comme la Gestapo, les SS et la Wehrmacht.

Nous devons mobiliser tous les hommes et les femmes libres aux quatre
coins du monde, pour empêcher Israël de transformer Gaza en un autre
Auschwitz, un autre Treblinka, un autre Bergen Belsen ou un autre
Theresienstadt. Nous devons enfreindre toutes les lignes rouges si
nécessaire, pour empêcher qu’un possible holocauste n’arrive à Gaza.

Les hommes et les femmes héroïques qui ont fait exploser le mur de la
honte à Rafah méritent toute notre admiration. Nous les saluons pour
leur geste sublime de défi en face de la force brute et de
l’insensibilité morale. Nous les saluons pour s’être échappé en face
des calculs politiques froids. Puissent-ils vivre pour voir les
drapeaux de la liberté flotter sur Jérusalem Occupée.

Finalement, il est important que nous, les gens du monde qui refusent
d’être asservis par le Nouvel Ordre Mondial, comprennent que la
bataille de Gaza est la bataille de chacun. C’est la bataille pour
l’âme de l’humanité, c’est la bataille pour la conscience morale du
monde. C’est la bataille pour la lumière contre l’obscurité, la
justice contre l’oppression et la vérité contre le mensonge.

C’est la bataille que nous ne pouvons pas nous permettre de perdre.

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Abbas avocat d’Israël ?

Par Khaled Amayreh

Le Président de l’Autorité Palestinienne Mahmoud Abbas a rejeté avec véhémence les
demandes du Hamas de n’autoriser que les autorités palestiniennes et
égyptiennes à tenir le passage frontalier de Rafah.

“Nous n’accepterons aucune nouvelle condition ; ils (Hamas) doivent
revenir à l’ancien accord sur le passage frontalier. Nous sommes plus
concernés par les intérêts du peuple palestinien que ne l’est Hamas.
Si Hamas les soutient lui aussi, qu’ils respectent cet accord.”

Franchement, est-ce qu’Abbas sait réellement de quoi il parle ? Comme
dit le proverbe arabe, “s’il le sait, c’est une calamité et s’il ne
le sait pas, c’est une calamité encore plus grande.”

Je dis ceci parce l’ancien accord gouvernant les opérations au
passage frontière de Rafah permet à Israël, le pays qui tente de
décimer 1,5 million de Gazaouis en les affamant, d’avoir le dernier
mot sur la date éventuelle de réouverture du terminal, et quand il
fermera.

Nous nous souvenons tous comment des milliers de Palestiniens, dont
des étudiants, des malades, des pèlerins et autres voyageurs, ont
bloqués du côté égyptien de la frontière pendant des semaines et des
mois parce qu’un officier israélien du côté israélien de la frontière
avait décidé que ces victimes impuissantes seraient les otages de son
bon plaisir et de ses instincts de cannibale.

En fait, ce sadisme minable, que M. Abbas défend maintenant
résolument, fut responsable de la mort de douzaines de Palestiniens
qu’on a laissé en rade dans le désert, comme s’il s’agissait
d’animaux et non d’êtres humains. Reprenez les rapports sur ce sujet,
décrivant le calvaire des Gazaouis bloqués, et vous comprendrez de
quoi je parle.

Comment Israël s’est-il arrangé pour maintenir fermé le passage
frontalier la plupart du temps cette année ? Eh bien, c’est très
simple. Selon le “merveilleux” accord qu’Abbas demande maintenant au
Hamas d’accepter sans condition, le terminal de Rafah ne peut être
opérationnel qu’en présence des observateurs de l’Union Européenne.
Mais les observateurs eux-mêmes, qui viennent de plusieurs pays de
l’UE et dont quelques-uns peuvent tout à fait travailler pour les
services secrets israéliens, sont installés dans le petit kibboutz
israélien de Kerem Shalom, à quelques kilomètres du terminal
frontalier. Et selon l’accord infâme, ils n’ont un accès libre au
terminal qu’après avoir auparavant reçu, tous les jours, une
autorisation accordée ou non par l’armée israélienne.

De son côté, l’armée israélienne, agissant sur instructions de son
gouvernement, déclare simplement et systématiquement la seule route
qui relie Kerem Shalom au terminal de Rafah “zone militaire fermée”,
de manière à ce que le terminal reste fermé. Evidemment, l’armée
concocte “des raisons sécuritaires” pour justifier la fermeture
virtuellement perpétuelle, mais chacun, y compris les Israéliens
eux-mêmes, savent parfaitement que les véritables considérations
sécuritaires n’ont que très peu à voir avec les mesures israéliennes,
et que le réel motif est de punir et de torturer les Palestiniens.

Comme mentionné, cet abus flagrant d’autorité n’a pas eu lieu un jour
ou deux, ni même dix jours par mois. Ce fut la norme, le modus
operandi, et la frontière est restée fermée de 26 à 29 jours par
mois, provoquant des souffrances terribles aux Palestiniens.

Ce fut un processus délibéré et calculé, destiné à torturer,
attaquer, brutaliser et humilier le peuple de Gaza, et tout fut fait
au nom de l’ “accord international”.

La direction de l’Union Européenne et les états-membres savaient
pertinemment ce qui se passait à Kerem Shalom. Mais ils furent trop
malhonnêtes moralement et trop serviles à Israël et aux Etats-Unis
pour émettre une quelconque objection sérieuse à la persécution
systématique, par Israël, d’un peuple impuissant dont les hommes, les
femmes et les enfants se cramponnent à la vie comme les milliers de
détenus juifs dans le Ghetto de Varsovie le firent il y a 67 ans.

Alors, j’aimerais demander à Abbas et à ses acolytes et à ses
parasites qui parlent trop et font trop de bruit, clamant qu’ils
servent les intérêts vitaux du peuple palestinien :

Comment pouvez-vous penser que le fait de rendre à Israël le contrôle
de la frontière de Rafah puisse servir les intérêts du peuple
palestinien ? Etes-vous saouls ? Etes-vous stupides ? Etes-vous
aveugles ? Etes-vous ignorants ?

De plus, pourquoi pensez-vous qu’Israël doive être impliqué dans la
gestion de la frontière de Rafah en premier chef ? Le passage
frontalier n’est-il pas un carrefour exclusivement égypto-palestinien
? Israël n’a-t-il pas déclaré qu’il n’occupe plus la Bande de Gaza ?
Le régime sioniste n’a t’il pas répété jusqu’à la nausée qu’il n’est
plus responsable de Gaza ?

Si oui, pourquoi insistez-vous pour que le maître esclave reste
l’ultime décisionnaire, l’ultime patron ? C’est écoeurant, pour ne
pas dire plus, et c’et la preuve d’une sorte de soumission ombilicale
de votre part envers les infâmes envahisseurs.

Je sais qu’il y a des problèmes entre le Fatah et le Hamas.
Cependant, trahir le peuple palestinien et saper ses intérêts vitaux
dans le but d’affaiblir le Hamas et d’apaiser Israël et plaire à
Washington frise la trahison pure et simple.

Que peut-on dire d’autre sur le fait de s’agripper à un accord
invraisemblable qui permet à l’occupant diabolique de nous
emprisonner, nous torturer et nous humilier en toute impunité… parce
que “l’accord” le dit ?

Que l’accord aille au diable, et ceux qui l’ont signé avec.

En bref, Hamas a raison à cent pour cent. Le passage frontalier de
Rafah doit être exclusivement géré conjointement par les autorités
palestiniennes et égyptiennes. Et le régime de Ramallah, peut, s’il
veut, prendre part à cette gestion, comme part d’un processus de
réconciliation d’ensemble entre Gaza et Ramallah.

Cependant, ramener Israël sur la scène est inacceptable. Les gens de
Gaza ont largement assez souffert des mains d’Israël. Leur assassin
et bourreau ne doit plus jamais être autorisé à être également leur
geôlier.

Abbas va-t-il comprendre cela ? J’en doute.

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