Thursday 1 January 2009

Iran to hold rallies in support of Gazans

Iranians will stage rallies across the country after Friday prayers in condemnation of Israel's heavy offensive against the Gaza Strip.

The demonstrations are to voice support for the people of Gaza who are under Israeli attacks and will be held after Friday Prayers in the capital, Tehran, and throughout other cities.

The Gaza Strip is experiencing massive Israeli airstrikes since Saturday, with 399 Palestinians killed and 1,925 others injured.

Israeli officials say the operation, which has caused a heavy civilian toll, is aimed at ousting the elected government of Hamas from Gaza.

Palestinian resistance fighters have responded to Israel's airstrikes by firing mortar shells and rockets into Israeli occupied territories. Six Israelis have been killed and 16 others have been injured since Saturday.

Israel has also deployed tanks and troops along the border for a possible ground offensive.

Iran along with the international community has condemned Israel's onslaught against Gaza, urging the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the UN Human Rights Council to take appropriate measures to stop the ongoing humanitarian crisis.

Source: Press TV

PFLP: Israeli crimes beyond Nazism

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) has drawn a parallel between the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip and 'Nazi' atrocities.

"What is going on in Gaza is an unprecedented genocide. It is even worse than Nazi crimes," the PFLP representative in Spain was quoted by IRIB as saying.

The Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip have entered the sixth day as international calls for an end to the crisis grow. Tel Aviv, however, has repeatedly rejected calls for a truce with Hamas.

Four hundred Palestinians have been killed and more than 1,938 others including women and children have been wounded since Saturday.

Meanwhile, Israeli military says the preparations for ground operations are complete, as its tanks and troops have massed along the besieged Palestinian territory.

Hamas, however, has warned Israel against any ground operation, saying Gazans have prepared a 'surprise' for Israelis in the event of a ground incursion.

"Israel will embark on a veritable adventure if it decides to invade Gaza," Hamas official Mushir al-Masri said on Thursday.

Source: Press TV

'Fatah marks Hamas targets for Israel'

Hamas has accused Mahmoud Abbas' senior aides of spying for Israel in recent Israeli raids on the Gaza strip, The Independent says.

Hamas spokesman, Fawzi Barhoum, on a movement's website and in remarks broadcasted on al-Jazeera, said that Fatah had formed a cell with the purpose of contacting various Fatah followers in Gaza to collect information on secret Hamas locations and on the whereabouts of the leadership.”

The cell was under the leadership of a senior Abbas adviser, Tayeb Abdul-Rahim, and information gathered would be passed on to Israel 'through the channels of security co-operation with the enemy,' The Independent quoted Barhoum as saying.

According to the reports, Hamas said that the former Fatah leader in Gaza, Mohammed Dahlan, whose forces were defeated by Hamas in June 2007, met Israeli intelligence officials several weeks ago to discuss Israeli plans for a strike on Gaza.

Fatah leaders have denied the accusations.

Source: Press TV

'Israeli attacks, holocaust of Gazans'

Turkey and Syria have described the Israeli campaign against Gazans as a 'holocaust', calling for an immediate end to the 'massacre'.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan held talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday to discuss ways to stop the "massacre committed by Israel'' on Gaza Palestinians.

Following the meeting the two leaders jointly said that it was "essential that Arab and Islamic countries intervene to force Israel to immediately halt this holocaust against an unarmed population," the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported.

More than 399 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the Israeli attacks against Gaza - now on its sixth day -, and some 1,925 others are reported wounded.

Abandoning mediation between Tel Aviv and Damascus following the Israeli onslaught, Erdogan began a four-nation tour of the region to discuss ways to halt Israel's attacks that have killed and wounded more than 2300 Palestinians since Saturday.

The Turkish premier's tour will next take him to Egypt on Thursday and Saudi Arabia on Friday.

Meanwhile, a draft proposal for condemning the Israeli campaign on the Gaza Strip was reject by the United Nations Security Council, despite international calls for a UNSC resolution on the issue.

Source: Press TV

UNSC fails to pass anti-Israel resolution, AGAIN!

The UN Security Council has declined to issue a resolution censuring the Israeli blitz on Gaza despite global calls for an end to the assault.

The draft resolution put forth by Libya, representing the 22 nations in the Arab League, was swiftly rejected in the course of an emergency session held on Wednesday, AP reported.

The US, a permanent UNSC member holding veto power, has been quick to remove the circulated draft on accounts that it was 'unbalanced' as it did not condemn the Palestinian Hamas.

The Palestinian UN observer, Riyad Mansour said that the Arab nations need to work continually to pass a mandatory resolution "that would condemn the crimes committed by Israel and stop the military aggression, and provide protection for the Palestinians and lift the siege."

"We face a very dangerous crossroads in the Middle East as a direct consequence of this Israeli aggression ... (which) is threatening the life and prosperity of 1.5 million Palestinian and also threatens to undermine the peace efforts," He added.

Washington used its veto power on Sunday to block a resolution calling for an end to the massive ongoing Israeli attacks against the Gaza Strip. Following the veto, the council issues a 'non-binding' statement that calls on Israel to voluntarily bring all its military activities in the besieged region to an immediate end.

More than 399 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the Israeli attacks against Gaza on Saturday, and some 1,925 others are reported wounded.

According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, at least 25 percent of Palestinians killed during Israel's onslaught on the Gaza Strip have been civilians.

Source: Press TV

The world must say NO to Jewish Nazism before it's too late


The genocidal Israeli onslaught against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip is strikingly similar to the German blitz in the initial stage of the Second World War. The pretexts are nearly the same and the behaviors of both Nazi and Israeli political and military leadership are nearly identical.

And as the German Nazis sought to justify their blitz against their neighbors to the east, using a plethora of carefully concocted lies and pretexts, Israel is doing virtually the same thing.

However, unlike the Nazis whose naked aggression was widely condemned around the world, the ongoing Israeli onslaught against the Gaza Strip is being condoned, even celebrated, by a huge media network throughout the western world from Sydney to Los Angeles.

Today, Israel is decapitating Gaza while claiming that it is only fighting Hamas. The Israeli air force is targeting and destroying schools, mosques, private homes, charities, public buildings, drug stores, colleges and universities, all under the false pretext of fighting Hamas.

This is not a war against Hamas. It is a war against the Palestinian people as is obvious from the fact that the bulk of the victims are innocent civilians.

And like all criminals, Israel is resorting to the fabrication of lies and half-truths to justify its genocidal blitz against an essentially unprotected people.

Many, probably most Jews in Israel and around the world, are bragging about the “heroic” Israeli army and its “achievements” against Hamas. Some Jews have described the slaughter as the “best Hanukah present ever.”

Well, I don’t really see any heroism in using state-of-the-art machines of death, such as the F-16 warplanes, apache helicopters and laser-guided bunker buster bombs against a people who don’t posses an army or an air force or anti-aircraft defenses.

There is no heroism, but sheer cowardice, in launching these deadly bombs at unprotected civilian buildings just as there was no heroism in the targeting of unarmed civilians by the Nazi war machines.

For sure, even the weakest air force in the world could bomb and destroy unprotected buildings and kill as many civilians as seen fit by morbid minds of Ehud Barak’s ilk.

In short, the Israeli onslaught against a people who don’t possess the means to defend themselves and can’t protect their children from Israeli brutality is an act of sheer cowardice. It can be compared with the Nazi SS strafing Jewish protesters with machine gunfire.

Israel and her mouthpieces in the West claim that Israeli army, a Jewish Wehrmacht by any standard of objective analysis, is merely reacting to Palestinian projectiles fired from Gaza onto Israeli settlements outside Gaza.

Well, this is only a pretext for too many reasons:

The so-called Qassam projectiles are symbolic and nearly innocuous weapons that make more noise than damage. During the past eight years, less than two dozen Israelis were killed by these projectiles. In the meantime, thousands of Palestinians, mainly children and other innocent civilians, were annihilated by the indiscriminate Israeli death machine. These are war crimes because even in war, there is proportionality and using excessive force, mainly against civilians, in reaction to minor provocation puts Israel on equal footing with Nazi barbarianism.

There are those who would argue that Israel has the right and duty to defend its citizens. Well, this is not the real issue, because one could argue that even the worst state in the world has the right to defend its citizens.

But Israel has been savaging an entire people by imposing a Nazi-like siege upon them on no other account than to punish them for electing a government that both Israel and her guardian-ally, the United States, didn’t like.

In short, Israel has been effectively telling the Palestinians, in word as well as in deed, that they face two choices: either to starve to death, or be exterminated by the Israeli war machine. In other words, the Palestinians must die if they resist and die if they don’t. This is while the Israeli hasbara (propaganda) machine keeps telling the world that Israel is only fighting Hamas and defending its citizens.

Well, Hamas may not be completely blameless in a certain sense. However, it is imperative to remind the world that the Islamic movement repeatedly voiced its willingness to stop the firing of “all” projectiles from the Gaza Strip if only Israel would reciprocate and lift the Nazi-like siege.

And as we all know, Israel consistently refused, insisting rather arrogantly that it had the right to kill the Palestinians and invade their territories whenever it deemed fit.

Needless to say, this is exactly the same sort of arrogance, insolence and bellicosity that characterized Nazi behavior.

A few days ago, Israeli analysts described the genocidal onslaught against Gaza as the Israeli version of the American “shock-and–awe bombing” at the beginning of the American invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq. Shock and awe against a thoroughly tormented and completely savaged people who have been through a hateful blockade, unprecedented in its cruelty and wickedness.

I can’t understand why Jews are behaving the way they are. Do the scenes of havoc and destruction and death in the streets and refugee camps of Gaza give them self-confidence? Do they enjoy watching Palestinian kids mutilated to smithereens by these hellish missiles launched at apartment buildings and homes from high altitude?

Does it make them feel that they are finally defeating Hitler?

I am asking these questions because I have seen Jews dancing and celebrating rather joyfully the carnage in Gaza. Indeed, a fleeting glance at the Israeli media these days reveals a sick and cannibalistic society that is as bestial as Nazi Germany was during the holocaust.

Perhaps I am doing some injustice to the Germans. After all, the Germans were living under a hateful and tyrannical dictatorship that would have brutally crushed any protests by conscientious citizens.

But, unlike Nazi Germany, Israel claims to be “a light upon the nations,” “the only democracy in the Middle East” and a civilized western nation.

Well, if such is the behavior of “democratic” Israel, just imagine how the Jewish state would behave once the terrorist entity fell in the hands of manifestly fascist forces and parties.

I have repeatedly warned in my writings that Israel is capable of committing a genocide or a holocaust against the Palestinian people and other peoples of the Middle East.

My warnings are not empty propaganda aimed at besmirching Israel’s image. Likewise, they are not motivated by anti-Semitism or hatred for the Jewish people, many of whom I respect and admire.

But the shocking pornographic slaughter in Gaza should be viewed as a clarion vindication of my warnings. Israel simply represents the Nazis of our time.

I know that many people around the world, especially in the West, realize the veracity of the analogy deep in their hearts. But they are afraid to call the spade a spade lest they be tarnished and hounded and harassed by the powerful Jewish media which more or less controls the public discourse in many western nations.

But the timidity of these cowards will not help them. Today, the Palestinians are the victims. But, surely, tomorrow will bring with it more victims, and Europeans and Americans in particular will not be immune.

Their lives may not be under an immediate threat now. But their freedoms certainly are.

Let us remember on this somber occasion the words of Martin Niemoller who lamented the bankruptcy of German intellectuals in the few years preceding the Second World War.

In Germany, they came first for the Communists,

And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;

And then they came for the trade unionists,

And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;

And then they came for the Jews,

And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;

And then...they came for me...And by that time there was no one left to speak up.

For God’s sake, let us learn from history, because today’s Israel is strikingly similar to 1936’s Germany.

Please, say No to Jewish Nazism before it is too late.

Mr Mubarak, Tear Down That Wall!

WRITTEN BY Franklin Lamb in Beirut (Illustration by Carlos Latuff)

"I'm not calling for a coup d'etat, but go talk to your leaders and tell them you do not accept what is happening in Gaza".

– Hezbollah Sec-Gen Hasan Nasrallah calling for Egyptians "in millions" to demonstrate their support for opening the Rafah crossing from Gaza to Egypt, 28 December 2008

" is essential if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law." (Preamble) - Universal Declaration of Human Rights December 10, 1948

Giggling like smitten teenagers, exchanging Channakah and Eid greetings (neither acknowledges the more Shi'a associated Ashoura) Hosni Mubarak and Tzipi Livni 'hooked up' this past week in Cairo to discuss Gaza.

Both spoke of their desire to see Corporal Shalit returned safely. Both knew Israel's former Mossad operative, current Foreign Minister, and Prime Minister wannabee had a permission slip from the Bush Administration for all-out war against the Palestinians in the 25 by 6 mile territorial snippet along the Eastern Mediterranean. When the correct photo-op was selected for public distribution, it showed a concerned and dour Egyptian President brooding with arching brow.

The duo focused on 'diplomatic logistics and cover' and the urgency to crush Hamas. They appeared oblivious to all who happened to be in the vicinity of American rockets and bombs or institutions leveled by waves of F-16 fighter jets and missiles kept in ready use from the $ 200 million worth of spare parts supplied by US taxpayers from 200l-2006, as well as 186 million gallons of JP-8 aviation jet fuel , and thousands of TOW, Hellfire and "bunker buster" bombs and missiles, freed up for delivery to Israel last year when the Bush administration signed a $ 1.3 billion contract with Raytheon.

What was not on the agenda was what both knew but ignored. The fate of 1.5 million people, one of the highest population densities in the world with nearly 60% of its population 16 years or younger and nearly 75% of whom are malnourished, and according to one recent estimate by the World Health Organization, 46% of whom are afflicted with acute anemia, with 30% suffering from stunted growth as a result of chronic malnutrition and who would need an escape via Rafah.

One wonders if the dynamic duo discussed the fact that 10% of these children have permanent brain damage or that eighty-two percent are afflicted with post-traumatic stress disorder; the great majority of them having witnessed death first-hand or that more than eighty percent of the population as a whole is dependent on food aid? Were Mubrak and Livni aware of reports that the sonic booms associated with Israeli overflights have caused widespread deafness, especially among children?

The UN and eyewitnesses such as members of the Free Gaza Project report that unemployment is rampant upwards of 60% with most Gazans subsisting on less than $2 a day.

Shooting fish in a barrel
Even a cursory examination of the events which began on December 27, 2008 require that Mohammad Hosni Mubarak be added as an accomplice to the pending International Criminal Court (ICC) case concerning international crimes being committed by Israel with American weapons.

HOKOK, the Beirut- and Washington DC-based International Coalition against Impunity, which filed a case against Israeli political leaders regarding Israeli crimes committed in Gaza with the International Criminal Court at The Hague on December 10, 2008, will send international lawyers back to the ICC on January 15, 2009, to amend its complaint under the Rome Statute and indict Egypt's Mubarak among the Defendants.

To his great credit, Professor Richard Falk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories and professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University, has joined HOKOK's call for the International Criminal Court to investigate Israeli violations and determine whether the Israeli leaders responsible for the Gaza siege should be indicted and prosecuted for violations of international criminal law.

The Case against Mohammad Hosni Mubarak
Mubarak knew that Gazans would need a safety valve, an escape route from the coming carnage, which according to the Washington-based Council for the National Interest (CNI), appears to be another Sharpeville Massacre. CNI points out that "Nearly fifty years ago, the South African regime attacked a crowd protesting the conditions in the Bantustan of Sharpeville and in a matter of minutes killed some 69 black South Africans. Eventually, after world reaction to this "incident," sanctions were imposed and they led to the end of apartheid in South Africa. Using American weapons, Israel has just indiscriminately killed more than four times that number in Gaza. In 1960 there were 20 million black South Africans and today there are only one and a half million Palestinians in Gaza. So the first two days of the American-supported Israeli attempt to wipe out Hamas is sixty times as criminal as the Sharpeville massacre.

Mubarak's actions make him complicit in International Crimes outlawed by Article 2 of the Convention on Genocide by assisting in the killing members of a specific ethnic group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.

By sealing its border with Gaza and forcing back many Palestinians at gunpoint who were trying to escape the slaughter, Mubarak violates basic Islamic, Christian and Judaic morality that requires that he open the cork of the bottle and let these men, women and children live. So does international law. Otherwise he is actively responsible and complicit in Israel's project of creating a situation where Palestinians, in Rafael Eitan's infamous phrase, "will only be able to scurry around like drugged roaches in a bottle."

By denying the possibility of a broad range of necessities food, cooking or heating oil, water, electricity, shelter, medicines, for a population unable to be self-sufficient at the end of decades of occupation, and locking them inside Gaza in a blazing holocaust, amidst millions of gallons of untreated sewage is criminal conduct: Moubarak is complicit.

Oh mightiest Pharaoh, Let my People go!
By forcing Palestinians from Gaza back into killing fields and subjecting them to massive collective punishment, Mubarak is in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law as laid down in Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

On Monday morning, Israeli planes bombed a mosque. The house next to the mosque collapsed and inside, five sisters aged 2 to 10 years old were killed. Mubarak is helping Israel turn Gaza into a modern version of the Warsaw ghetto.

By slamming and sealing the life saving escape route Mubarak signs on to the effects of the scorn of international revulsion, the genocide, the political objective, the empirical objectives of Western dominance of the Middle East for a Greater Israel alongside an Egyptian Kingdom, the religious fanaticism, the psychopathology and the indiscriminate brutality and ruthlessness.

Mubarak's actions make him complicit in International Crimes outlawed by Article 2 of the Convention on Genocide by assisting in the killing members of a specific ethnic group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.

Some believe Egypt's President went further. London-based newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi quote sources who say Egyptian intelligence minister deliberately misled the Palestinian organization about IDF intentions. Hamas sources say this is why movement's compounds were not evacuated: "Egypt collaborated with Israel in its Gaza attack and lulled Hamas into thinking the Israel Defense Forces would not attack Gaza", Al Quda al-Arabi claimed The report, based on Arab diplomatic sources, claims that Egyptian Intelligence Minister Omar Suleiman told a number of Arab leaders that Israel was intending to attack the Gaza Strip in a limited manner in order to pressure the Palestinian organization into agreeing to a renewed ceasefire.

Hamas sources close to former Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahar also reported that Egypt told Hamas on Friday evening that Israel had agreed to begin negotiations about a potential ceasefire and would not attack Gaza before Cairo had attempted to settle the issue.

These sources noted that, in general, Hamas' internal ministry orders the evacuation of its security compounds following any Israeli threat of operative action. They had not done so this time based on Egypt's assurance that Israel wouldn't attack and based on the assumption that an IDF attack would not be launched on Saturday.

Colluding with Israel, the Bush administration and the Palestinian Authority in this aggression toward the Palestinians of Gaza, Mubarak reminds one of the Jews who served the Nazis as capos inside the ghettos of German controlled Europe during World War II, their baksheesh being that that they will be the last to be destroyed.

Hasan Nasrallah has reminded the Egyptian people of their duty, and once it becomes widely known that Mubarak cooperated with Israel as an adjunct of its colonial army in the assault against Gaza he may be deposed as un-redeemable. Rejecting the Resistance to Zionism, Mubarak invites Revolution.

UPDATE: Lebanon reacts to the Gaza Massacre
Lebanon has witnessed no fewer than 30 demonstrations and day and night student vigils against the Gaza slaughter during the past 72 hours. Tens of thousands of people massed in the southern suburbs of Beirut and packed the surrounding streets for a Hezbollah-led protest rally yesterday, calling for support for Gaza as it underwent its third day of Israeli attacks. Three more demonstrations are planned for this evening.

Sunday saw a joint Fatah-Hamas demonstration which included Osama Hamdan and Fatah's Abass Zaki outside the UN HQ known as ESCWA (Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia). Hezbollah plans daily demonstrations until Gaza is free according to its Media Office.
All alongside countless smaller manifestations composed of smaller groups, boy and girl scouts from various confessions, individuals, shopkeepers, and increased attendance in Mosques and Churches, some of the latter ringing bells, throughout Lebanon.

The sewage and rain flooded alleys of Beirut's Palestinian Refugee Camps, Shatila, Burj Burajneh and the smaller Mar Elias Camp, are filled with equally steadfast refugees in support of their countrymen to the south.

Franklin Lamb, currently based in Beirut, drafted, for HOKOK, the International Coalition against Impunity, its Complaint/Submission filed, on December 10, 2008, the 60th Anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with the Internationally Criminal Court in The Hague. The Case charges Israel with continuing Rome Statue International crimes in Gaza and throughout Occupied Palestine. In January 2009 HOKOK will petition the ICC to include Mohammad Hosni Mubarak as an additional defendant in the Case.
Lamb can be reached at:

Note from the founder of Action4Palestine in Gaza, Akram Habeeb "Why Would Israel Bomb a University?"

It's a simple legal dream to graduate and to start my way in life, i was supposed to graduate in 20 days. Maybe i was worried about finding a job, regarding the siege here in Gaza and how hard is to find one.
But now it would be silly if i think further than staying safe with my family, 2 nights ago they bombed my university the IUG, i watched my future, my hard work is burning infront of me. Whatever the reason they say, it doesn't matter, the real reason is the same, to kill to destroy and to leave pain.

We have realized a long time ago, that being a Palestinian and living in Gaza Strip, is something different, we have to stand the hard situations and keep going, i have big faith we will rebuild the IUG again and I'll graduate, maybe not soon, but it's my ambition and Israel can't stop that, neither by war nor by threatening.

From AtheoNews Blog


Dr. Akram Habeeb writing from the occupied Gaza Strip

As a Fulbright scholar and professor of American literature at the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG), I have always preferred to keep silent about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I always felt that it was my mission to preach love and peaceful coexistence. However, Israel's massive offensive against the Gaza Strip has spurred me to speak out.

Last night, during the second night of Israel's unprecedented attack on Gaza, I was awakened by the deafening sound of intensive bombardment. When I learned that Israel had bombed my university with American-made F-16s, I realized that its "target bank" had gone bankrupt. Of course Israeli politicians and generals would claim that IUG is a Hamas stronghold and that it preaches terrorism.

As an independent professor, not affiliated with any political party, I can say that IUG is an academic institution which embraces a wide spectrum of political affinities. I see it as prestigious university which encourages liberalism and free thought. This personal point view might seem to be biased; therefore, I would invite anyone who would doubt about my assertions to browse IUG's website and research its history. They would learn about its membership in various international academic institutions, the active role its professors play in scholarly research as well as prizes and research grants they have received.

Why would Israel bomb a university? Israel did not only target my university last night. It also bombed mosques, pharmacies and homes. In Jabaliya refugee camp Israeli bombs killed four little girls, sisters from the Balousha family. In Rafah they killed three brothers, aged 6, 12 and 14. They also killed a mother, along with her one-year-old child from the Kishko family in Gaza City.

These acts made me reflect on some of the commandments given by God to the "Chosen People:" Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house.

No one could be chosen by God to annex the land of other people and kill them. Israel made these ethical choices by itself. Israel itself chose to wage its wars to eliminate the indigenous people of Palestine.Dr. Akram Habeeb is Assistant Professor of American Literature at the Islamic University of Gaza.

Open Letter to the US Mass Media

Yousef Abudayyeh

Dear Editor,

Imagine if more than 63 thousand Americans were massacred in a couple of hours' campaign of F-16 bombing. This number represents (by way of percentage) the number of Palestinians killed by Israel when it launched its massive air strikes in Gaza on Saturday. A friend of mine in Gaza tells me that hundreds are still buried under the rubble and the toll of deaths could easily reach thousands. Already there are more than 1,700 injured with many in serious conditions.
Imagine if all this carnage is being paid for by your tax money.

Israel is carrying out an all out massacre in the Gaza Strip and the Arab American Community is outraged because neither the US Media is covering and reporting the facts nor do the Bush Administration and Congress have the backbone to order Israel, which gets almost 11 Billion Dollars a year from the US, to stop carrying out these war crimes.

The US Administration and the US media keep repeating the Israeli lies that it is doing this mass killing in retaliation to Hamas breaking the cease fire and launching rockets on settlers just outside of the Gaza Strip. Neither have the decency to think for a minute and investigate these lies.

Israel says that it left the Gaza Strip almost 2 years ago and that a cease fire agreement between it and Hamas took place and that Hamas violated it. What it does not say that since then it has been enforcing a very tight siege, were medicine, gas, food, electricity or even clean air is not allowed in. It does not tell you that since then it killed more than 67 people in Gaza and that more than 385 sick people died for the lack of medication and electricity that is needed to power life saving equipment, a very clear violation of the cease fire agreement it had with Hamas.

For almost 2 years Hamas did not retaliate. It actually put in jail members of resistance groups that could not take all these violations laying down.

All of this is well documented and easy to get information, but obviously not to the US Media and the US administration, who are doing a disservice to all of us. The whole world is aware of the US complicity in carrying out these war crimes .It¢s another shameful act that this Bush Administration is adding to its over-filled Dossier.

No crime should take place in our name and with our money. Bush, instead of trying to bring the Car Industry to its knees so he can give them loans to survive and sustain US jobs, should stop all US aid to the rogue state of Israel, and the US Congress should regain its independence and stop being an Israeli occupied Territory.

Yousef Abudayyeh
Please visit

Gaza: It's Terrorism, it's Slaughter. Crime can be reported

WRITTEN BY Pino Cabras - Megachip
Translated by Diego Traversa and Revised by Mary Rizzo for

In the days of the atrocious massacre in Gaza, horror inevitably focuses on the images and the voices of the victims. They are tiny fragments that don’t help complete the picture of the tragedy yet. It’s hard to understand and reflect while such a disaster is underway. Yet, we are required to, in order to reconstruct the facts and the context.

After years of occupation, on September 11th 2005 the Israeli army lowered its flag in Gaza, not before having completed the swift evacuation of the Jewish settlements from the Strip, which was proving to be too a high cost to afford. Military convoys left. It was Ariel Sharon’s unilateral disengagement: there was no political recognition that would regard the Palestinians as peers. The Israelis were saying good-bye, nonetheless, they weren’t actually leaving. The sea and the sky remained totally under Israeli control. And what a control was it!

At sea, the meagre Palestinian marine didn’t even have the right to fish along the coast. No working pier, not even for the trade of some fresh foodstuffs.

In the air, there were countless bombing operations during the last three years. Above all, the jet planes with the Star of David would often fly at supersonic speed, especially at night, in the wanton and continuous act of provoking unbearable noise. A non-stop trauma which didn’t spare children.

On the ground, the entire border with Israel was a sealed, impenetrable barrier. The sliver of an opening at the border with Egypt was not enough to prevent the transformation of this territory into anything than a prison. Once the Karni crossing was definitively sealed, from where the Palestinian imports could enter after having landed at the Israeli harbour of Ashod, located a few chilometres northwards, the Palestinians had to rely on the Egyptian harbours of Port Said or Alexandria, 200 chilometres away the former and 400 the latter, with unsustainable costs for a population already at the end of its own resources.

This was the so-called liberated Gaza. The biggest prison in the world, an entire population (1.5 million) completely locked up. And more than any other prison, one full of innocent people.

When the unilateral “withdrawal” took place in 2005, an unbiased look at the circumstances would have let one understand at once that it wasn’t about a gust of hope but rather the base for a situation that would only get worse. It would be sufficient to go and read again the interview to Haaretz delivered on October 6th 2004 by Dov Weisglass, Sharon’s right hand man, when he stated that the so-called Gaza disengagement plan (which also contemplated building the wall in the West Bank) was nothing but a diversion meant to supply Israel with “the amount of formaldehyde necessary so that there will not be a political process with the Palestinians”.

One month later, the father of the homeland and President of the Palestinian National Authority Yasser Arafat died. All the defects of the top brass of Al Fatah’s secular leadership, until then kept together by Arafat’s charisma, were laid bare. These leaders had been embezzling shamelessly and building Palladian-style villas in the midst of the Occupied Territories’ misery while lacking concrete results to offer as achievements of their negotiation, continuously overwhelmed by the Israeli government’s iron fist and melancholically heading for the label of collaborationist with the occupier.

On the other hand, the prestige of the “Islamic Resistance Movement” was growing amongst the population. Its Arabic acronym, “Hamas”, means “zeal, enthusiasm”. Hamas’ leaders used to live with frugality while putting together a network of material solidarity in the middle of all that havoc, a sort of residual yet infinitely more reliable welfare than the disaster the PNA was sinking into.

It’s under these circumstances that Hamas, in January 2006, won the Palestinian elections by 76 seats out of 132, against only 43 seats gained by Al Fatah. A genuine and electorally clean victory, but also a variable regarded as being unacceptable by the calculations of the affected powers. An example of double-standard democracy.

Again Dov Weisglass, in his role of coordinator of a governmental team which included also the army high-ranks and which was entrusted with implementing anti-Hamas operations, commented in this way immediately after the elections about starting an economic clampdown on the PNA: “it’s like putting them on diet: The Palestinians will get a lot thinner, but won't die.” The audience, among which there was Tzipi Livni, burst out laughing (see Gideon Levy’s “As the Hamas team laughs”, Haaretz February 19th 2006).

After all, Weissglass is witty. In the famous 2004 interview with Haaretz he made clear very well how much formaldehyde was needed to “embalm” the chances of a peace agreement: “we educated the world to understand that there is no one to talk to. And we received a no-one-to-talk-to certificate...The certificate will be revoked only when Palestine becomes like Finland.” Sort of putting off until doomsday, should someone still dare cherish the two-State solution.

The Palestinians from the big prison didn’t turn into Finns. They underwent their “diet” thoroughly, day by day. In spite of a faltering truce, the clampdown got more intense, even less trucks loaded with aid were let in and nothing got out of the camp of concentrated despair.

Gaza has been the most wretched case. But the situation in the West Bank wasn’t that much better. The Israeli government demanded that tens of charity organizations be closed. The cooked-up excuse was that of cutting on any influx of money that might help Hamas. What actually happened instead was the “scorched earth” policy around all the intermediate bodies, all the social organizations within the Palestinian population in order to have the humanitarian emergency handled only by someone else. Possibly by the UN, provided that it wouldn’t be a damned nuisance, just as it was with Richard Falk, UN special rapporteur over the Occupied Territories, a Jew whose entering the Holy Land is by now prohibited on the grounds of his strong criticism of the Israeli occupation.

As usual, when it comes to reporting wars, the leading western media heavily manipulate information. They are colluded with those leaderships who—after 9/11—did all they could in order to trample on international law not founded only on the right of power, to confuse the conceptual cornerstones for the definition of what is “aggression”, “tyranny” or “resistance”, whilst the imperialistic powerful interests make the world economy—by now on the verge of the financial collapse—dependent upon their military priorities. The US is raising no objections against the new wicked action by the Israeli government. But even the European voices are very faint.

When he used to skim through the bulletins noting the victims in the Persian Gulf war of 1991, Ernesto Balducci realized that there were hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis over a few dead Americans: no longer a war codified by rationality and law but sheer slaughter. I think that still today “slaughter” is the best word possible to describe the scenes from Gaza. An unspeakable slaughter. Amongst those accountable, there is the Israeli Defence Minister, former Premier Ehud Barak. He too has excused all this planned savagery in name of the war on terrorism.

In spite of being one of the most exploited terms in politics in recent years, the definition of “terrorism” hasn’t got a univocal interpretation at all. In many occasions, meetings between statesmen have collided with nearly insuperable difficulties when it came to finding a minimal shared definition. If you think rationally about the question, you can detect many nuances depending on the polymorphous definitions of a vague phenomenon. You can hardly discover well-defined cases of terrorism, while you may more often come across words that would certainly fit the description of certain acts of war and espionage that, instead, are covered with some gloss of legality. Forget for a moment the targets usually pointed out by politicians and media, forget the iconography of a suicide-bombing group organizing itself. It’s too simple.

Try instead thinking of some actions carried out through the covering up by armies, States, NGOs, intelligence services, security corporations tied with the espionage world. Much as the covering up by the governments may to some extent be variable, you’ll see that those definitions will come right back like a boomerang.

The first big wave of air attacks in Iraq in 2003 was called “Shock and Awe”. It’s not easy to translate this expression with only two words due to the different meanings it has. The Italian media usually rendered it with “strike and terrorize”, “strike and dismay”, in order to keep the figurative strength of the expression and anyway to get near to the meaning. Yet it’s interesting to lose some of its effect in order to grasp the meaning of another possible translation: “shock and intimidate”. In this way, you can grasp not so much the blind fury of the rough fanatic as the metallic resoluteness of the cold fanatic instilling the “strategy of tension” through a blitzkrieg. How many times do the expressions “State terrorism” and “Terrorist State” occur in the Grozny annihilated by the Russian tanks, in the Lebanon devastated by the Israeli Air Force, in the fights for power in Pakistan, in the memory of the Italian “Years of Lead”? (translator’s note: Years of Lead refers to the period in the 70s when there were frequent terrorist attacks in Italy by forces from the extreme right and extreme left). At any rate, the would-be neo-con Italian paper “Il Foglio” has even this time praised, on the front page, the Israeli-claimed “Shock and Awe” strategy.

So, what is terrorism?

Terrorism isn’t only a matter of terrorists. In a sense, even the Geneva Conventions say it. Albeit while not defining the notion of “terrorism”, the Geneva Conventions of 1949 refer to “measures of terrorism” and “acts of terrorism”. Article 33 of the IV Geneva Convention forbids clearly that the civil population be targeted with “collective punishment, as well as any intimidatory or terroristic measure”. The facts in Gaza represent a glaring case of collective punishment inflicted upon the population. And the ultimatum given to warn them that “we are going to bomb you,” far from meaning “we want to save you, seek refuge,” are indeed intimidating acts and induction of terror. How can one be surprised at the unbiased words pronounced by Richard Falk in 2007, when the siege of Gaza hadn’t still reached the more recent peaks of cruelty? Falk stated: “Is it an irresponsible overstatement to associate the treatment of Palestinians with this criminalized Nazi record of collective atrocity? I think not. The recent developments in Gaza are especially disturbing because they express so vividly a deliberate intention on the part of Israel and its allies to subject an entire human community to life-endangering conditions of utmost 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 in a collective tragedy”.

Article 4 of the Second Protocol Annex of the Geneva Conventions establishes that against “all persons who do not take a direct part or who have ceased to take part in hostilities […]shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever […]acts of terrorism”. Once again, without going as far as the “theological” definitions of terrorism, just to be clear about it, those of the War on Terrorism, international law has tried to codify well-defined cases in point. In both the provisions of the Geneva Conventions it s stressed that neither single persons nor civil populations as such may be the target of collective punishment that, amongst other things, would induce in them a condition of terror.

This concept is strengthened by the First Protocol Annex where, Article 51, it is established that “The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack” and “acts or threats of violence, the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population, are prohibited”.

Anyone well-versed in humanitarian law who would search for the loophole might try to create confusion, relying on the distinctions between internal policy and foreign policy concerning military operations. Yet the provision occurs again nearly literally in the Second Protocol Annex: qualifying the conflict as an international or internal matter is of little importance.

The slaughter in Gaza is a measure of terrorism. An act of terrorism. Stating that they meant to hit Hamas soldiers is a justification as thin as tissue paper. The poor policemen massacred while swearing in weren’t people that “take a direct part in hostilities”. They were part of a fragile infrastructure for home security. As fragile as the mirage of the low wage—a rare thing in a place where everyone is by now unemployed—that maybe kept them away from the spectre of undernourishment that indeed fell on their fellow countrymen. In any respect, also the dead policemen were civil victims, just as the children dead under the schools’ debris were.

That the target was to destroy any civil dimension of the territory is blatantly proved by the bombing of the university. This can be added to the score of devastations inflicted in the past years on the Palestinian infrastructures. All that remains are bakeries, with no electricity or bread.

In the indecent reports by many papers and TV news programs, the idea is conveyed that the Israeli Air Force’s raids will help destroy the perception by the civil population about Hamas’ usefulness. In short, to lead the people to despair so as to overthrow Hamas. Regarding such a purpose, suffice it to take a glance at the official definition of “terrorism” adopted by the US Department of Defence: “Terrorism is the calculated use of unlawful violence to inculcate fear, intended to coerce or intimidate governments or societies in pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological.”

You don’t like it? Do you want FBI’s one? Here is it: “The unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives”.

Are those definitions too American? Let’s get back to Europe then. The Framework Decision on Combating Terrorism, adopted by the European Council on June 13th 2002, defined it as “any terroristic act intentionally committed by one or more individuals against one or more States that may seriously damage a State or an international organisation. It must be intenionally committed with the aim of seriously intimidating a population; or unduly compelling a Government or international organisation to perform or abstain from performing any act; or seriously destabilising or destroying the fundamental political, constitutional, economic or social structures of a country or an international organisation [(a) attacks upon a person’s life which may cause death;(b) attacks upon the physical integrity of a person; (c) kidnapping or hostage taking; (d) causing extensive destruction to a Government or public facility, a transport system, an infrastructure facility, including an information system, a fixed platform located on the continental shelf, a public place or private property likely to endanger human life or result in major economic loss; (e) seizure of aircraft, ships or other means of public or goods transport; (f) manufacture, possession, acquisition, transport, supply or use of weapons, explosives or of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons, as well as research into, and development of, biological and chemical weapons; (g) release of dangerous substances, or causing fires, floods or explosions the effect of which is to endanger human life; (h) interfering with or disrupting the supply of water, power or any other fundamental natural resource the effect of which is to endanger human life; (i) threatening to commit any of the acts listed in (a) to (h)].

Well, let’s give shape to the juridical terms of the subjects, let’s go to the concrete acts. The examples fit the definitions. We are concerned with cases that define such forms of violent and illegal acts that to put in danger the civil population and therefore induce a condition of “terror” that is spread in order to achieve aims of a political nature. We can certainly stick such a definition also to those launching Kassam rockets, which the brazen correspondent from TG1 news program (translator’s note: Italian correspondent Claudio Pagliara, the definition of pro-Israel media bias) defines as “missiles” but which actually are little more than catapults, which bring about certainly tragic, yet strategically unimportant effects. Yet, why not pin this definition on those who have so far used all their tremendous weaponry—other than the atomic bomb—in a disproportionate way?

Does such harsh criticism to the Israeli leadership and its allies mean wanting or aspiring to destroy Israel? No, it’s only about opposing the “normal” and unscrupulous power policy of a contemporary bellicose state. One which—as well as other ones—must not be regarded either holy or wicked but only deemed in the best rational way possible for what it does and plans, for the power it has and for the clash its power engenders. Relativistic perspective needed, also in this case.

Israel’s nation-building process over history hasn’t spared itself unspeakable cruelties and injustices, yet the same applies also to the greater nation-States we all know. France experiencied civil and religious wars and developing its economy at expense of its colonies, the Spain of the “limpieza de la sangre” and of the Conquest, the US of the New Frontier crushing the native people, Russia building an Empire through impressive democides, Germany’s aspiration to rule over the whole world and its huge massacres and genocides, China trampling on minorities’ rights, our Italy itself achieving national unity through bloodshed and where Jesus has more or less stopped at Eboli. (translator’s note: Cristo si รจ fermato ad Eboli is a book by Carlo Levi who recounts his internal exile in southern Italy, with the rural people of the time backwards and oppressed). Behind many national epic deeds there is always a ghastly bloodshed that is supposed to prompt not so much to demonize as to simply recognize crime whenever it shows such devastating capacities. In the case in point, besides peoples’ right to live, besides the Palestinian people’s rights, besides the international law, it’s global peace at stake due to the complex relations of those who contend the Middle East. On the top of which comes the very dangerous, traditional and unilateral views by the Israeli government, once again “pares non recognoscens”, now in a more shaken powder keg.

And, looking at the media’s attitude, what is at stake is the chance to still tell the truth about the barbarities.

To denounce Gaza’s slaughter with as much ability to execrate as was done with Mumbai’s slaughter. Is it allowed?

Opposing, right now, the aggression, not by invisible and belated self-criticism, as was the case with the Georgian aggression against South Ossetia. Is it allowed?

Not letting off awful war crimes, as has been done with Bush who candidly admitted that Iraq’s havoc resulted from forged pretexts. Is it allowed? Can we do it now?

Saying that today Kassam rockets are only a pretext, since even “Haaretz” reports that the attack was planned several months ago. Is it allowed? Unless one is busy doing disinformation, it is.

Translated by Diego Traversa and revised by Mary Rizzo for Tlaxcala.


A horrible truth from the Al-Amal Orphan Society / A message from David Halpin

Mohammed El-Ewadi is a very calm, polite, shy, and clever boy. He is an orphan living at AL AMAL Orphanage in Gaza.

Mohammed left the orphanage early in the morning, to his final exam at school. he was ready for his exam, and looking forward to the winter vacation, as he was planning to learn photography and computer drawing.

He was supposed to come back to the orphanage at 11:00 AM, as he is used to come back from school right away. We waited and waited. Mohammed did not come back. We went out looking for him everywhere, but we couldn't find him. We went to the hospital many times asking about him, the hospital was a total chaos, no one was able to help us. Finally at 7:00 PM we were permitted to enter the ICU to look for Mohammed between the many unknown victims.

Yes, Mohammed was one of the many victims of the crimes committed against Gaza yesterday. He was laid unconscious on one of the beds. I have no words to describe the situation inside the ICU. I can only ask every one receives this message to pray for Mohammed and all the people inside the ICU and in Gaza.

What was Mohammed's crime!!??

The only fault Mohammed made was that he took his time solving the exam questions. He did not know then that these were his last moments, he was still planning to finish school and go to the university. He wanted to go to law school.

Ahmed (Mohammed's younger brother) doesn't want to believe that the one in the hospital is his brother Mohammed. He did not eat anything since yesterday morning. He is still waiting for his older brother and roommate to eat with him.

It seems that he is going to wait for too long!

Yes Ahmed is an orphan, lost his father some years ago, yes he was living in an orphanage, but he was living with his older brother. Now Ahmed is living a new tragedy!!

End of story,

But the tragedy continues,

Enjoy your time.

Al-Amal orphan Society
tel : 009720 8 2861434
fax : 009720 8 2839941

Dear Mary,

Well done to keep going. The gates of hell have opened.

I saw an excellent Latuff cartoon of the IOF shooting into open graves, whilst Uncle Sam, the World and the UN watches. If I could have a link for my web site I should be grateful.

Might well join the boat tomorrow to stand with them and be as useful as I might be.

A piece from me. Six sentences Title -

These police recruits were killed in a millisecond. The photograph shows the same number of mutilated humans as Israelis killed since 2002 by hand made Qassam rockets - over 6 years. The 'laws of war' word that can be applied is 'disproportionate'. Evil and pitiless are others. The flail limbs and scorching suggest that fuel/air - thermobaric weapons are being used. The terrible noise of the explosion will heap yet more terror on all the population.

David Halpin FRCS
Love David