Sabra and Shatila Massacre, 30 years later
Declassified Documents Shed Light on a 1982 Massacre
Thirty years ago, a massacre occurred in Beirut’s Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. The following declassified documents reveal conversations between high-level American and Israeli officials before, during and after the event. These English-language documents were released by the Israel State Archives in Jerusalem earlier this year.
[It includes the statement (first doc, page 2) "We are outraged by the shot fired on a Marine on American Embassy property by an Israeli colonel"]
link to www.nytimes.com
Protestors marking Lebanon massacre clash with soldiers
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Five people were injured on Monday in clashes at Qalandia checkpoint between Israeli soldiers and protestors commemorating the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre, witnesses said. Dozens of young men marched towards Qalandia checkpoint to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the massacre, with Israeli soldiers firing tear gas and rubber bullets at the crowd as it approached the crossing, witnesses said. Demonstrators responded by throwing rocks and empty bottles at the soldiers.
link to www.maannews.net
Officials at Israel’s national archive have refused requests from journalists to have access to documents relating to the 1982 massacre in the Palestine refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila in Lebanon, Haaretz newspaper said on Sunday. The massacre in the two camps was perpetrated by the Phalangist Christian militia, which was under the political and military control of Israel. The killing spree was allegedly in retaliation for the assassination of the Phalange leader Bashir Gemayel, who was the Lebanese president at the time. Israel had invaded Lebanon ostensibly to flush out the PLO from its stronghold in Beirut. The archive material, say officials, includes security information being held by the Israeli Defence Forces, as well as details of the Kahan Commission which investigated the massacre. The latter is still “secret” and unable to be released into the public domain.
Israel duped the United Stated into believing that “thousands of terrorists” remained in west Beirut following the expulsion of Palestinian fighters 30 years ago, providing cover for the 1982 massacre in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, according to recently declassified Israeli documents. The documents include verbatim transcripts of meetings between US and Israeli officials before and during the three-day massacre led by the right-wing Lebanese Christian Phalange militia that left roughly 2,000 people dead, mostly children, women and elderly men. “[The transcripts] reveal that the Israelis misled American diplomats about events in Beirut and bullied them into accepting the spurious claim that thousands of “terrorists” were in the camps,” The New York Times, which obtained the documents, reported.
By allowing the argument to proceed on Mr. Sharon’s terms, Mr. Draper effectively gave Israel cover to let the Phalange fighters remain in the camps. Fuller details of the massacre began to emerge on Sept. 18, when a young American diplomat, Ryan C. Crocker, visited the gruesome scene and reported back to Washington. Years later, Mr. Draper called the massacre “obscene.” And in an oral history recorded a few years before his death in 2005, he remembered telling Mr. Sharon: “You should be ashamed. The situation is absolutely appalling. They’re killing children! You have the field completely under your control and are therefore responsible for that area.” On Sept. 18, Reagan pronounced his “outrage and revulsion over the murders.” He said the United States had opposed Israel’s invasion of Beirut, both because “we believed it wrong in principle and for fear that it would provoke further fighting.” Secretary of State George P. Shultz later admitted that “we are partially responsible” because “we took the Israelis and the Lebanese at their word.” He summoned Ambassador Arens. “When you take military control over a city, you’re responsible for what happens,” he told him. “Now we have a massacre.” But the belated expression of shock and dismay belies the Americans’ failed diplomatic effort during the massacre. The transcript of Mr. Draper’s meeting with the Israelis demonstrates how the United States was unwittingly complicit in the tragedy of Sabra and Shatila. Ambassador Lewis, now retired, told me that the massacre would have been hard to prevent “unless Reagan had picked up the phone and called Begin and read him the riot act even more clearly than he already did in August — that might have stopped it temporarily.” But “Sharon would have found some other way” for the militiamen to take action, Mr. Lewis added. Nicholas A. Veliotes, then the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, agreed. “Vintage Sharon,” he said, after I read the transcript to him. “It is his way or the highway.”
The lesson of Sabra and Shatila??
“The lesson of the Sabra and Shatila tragedy is clear. Sometimes close allies act contrary to American interests and values.” Of all the lessons, you came up with this one? That the lesson of the whole story of the article? Were you reading your own article or some brochure of the State Department?
link to angryarab.blogspot.com
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Rihab Kanaan bursts into tears while talking to Ma’an’s reporter in Gaza about the trauma she suffered after losing her son and dozens of family members in the notorious Tel al-Zaatar and Sabra and Shatila massacres during Lebanon’s civil war. The Gaza-based poet says the Palestinian leadership has forgotten about the Sabra and Shatila massacre in which an estimated 800-3,000 Palestinian civilians were killed by Lebanese Christian militias over a three day period on September 16, 1982. ”I will hold two candles and a poster on which I will write: We are the martyrs of Sabra and Shatila, don’t forget us. I will stand in the Unknown Soldier Square in commemoration of my son Mahir and all martyrs,” she said.
Thirty years later, memories of the three-day massacre of Palestinian refugees in Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, Lebanon, are still crystal clear. The United Nations General Assembly condemned the massacre and declared it to be an act of genocide. While international sources estimate that the number of casualties of the Sabra and Shatila massacre at about 800, Palestinian sources say more than 3,500 people were brutally killed. The massacre came on the heels of the assassination of Bashir Gemayel, leader of the Phalangists (Lebanese Christian militia). The Phalangists wrongly assumed that the Palestinians had carried out the killing and coordinated an attack on the camps with members of the Israeli Defense Force. Zahra al-Hassan, a fiercely strong Palestinian woman known as Um Shawqi, lived in a house in Bir Hassan, an area of Beirut located a few kilometers from Sabra and Shatila.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — On the 30th anniversary of the massacre of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon’s Sabra and Shatila camp, a Palestinian official stressed that no one has been brought to justice. ”Those responsible for slaughtering thousands have not been punished and Palestinian refugees continue to be denied their homeland,” PLO official Saeb Erekat said in a statement Sunday. He urged the international community to ensure that the rights of Palestinian refugees to “return, restitution and compensation” are respected.
The Massacre at Sabra and Shatila, Thirty Years Later, Sonja Karkar
It happened thirty years ago – 16 September 1982. A massacre so awful that people who know about it cannot forget it. The photos are gruesome reminders – charred, decapitated, indecently violated corpses, the smell of rotting flesh, still as foul to those who remember it as when they were recoiling from it all those years ago. For the victims and the handful of survivors, it was a 36-hour holocaust without mercy. It was deliberate, it was planned and it was overseen. But to this day, the killers have gone unpunished.
Today is the 30th anniversary of the Sabra and Shatilla massacre in which 800 Palestinians were raped and murdered by Christian Phalange militamen. The NY Times published an illuminating op-ed
by a doctoral student who found verbatim transcripts of meetings between Israeli leaders including Ariel Sharon, largely responsible for the massacre and U.S. diplomats. It reveals that Sharon not only lied and browbeat the Americans into allowing Israel and the Phalange extra time to murder Palestinians in the camps, but that Sharon explicitly told the Americans that this was what he intended. It reveals Sharon to be an outright war criminal.
The outburst of anti-Americanism sweeping much of the Arab world was ignited by an off-the-wall film insulting Mohammed, but the underlying outrage is fed by decades of resentment against the U.S. and its ally, Israel. Nothing fueled that anger more than the massacre of at least 800 Palestinian refugees in Beirut on September 16, 1982 in the camps of Sabra and Shatila, An Op Ed piece in today’s New York Times detailing U.S. complicity with that slaughter is a must-read for anyone trying to fathom the dynamics between Israeli and American leaders. It is, eerily relevant to the current virulent demands of Israeli Premier Nethanyahu that the U.S. support a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Recently declassified Israeli files, analyzed by Seth Anziska, a doctoral candidate at Columbia University, reveal the bare-knuckle discussions between U.S. and Israeli leaders thirty years ago, as American officials were essentially bullied and brow beaten to do nothing to prevent the slaughter of the Palestinians, nearly all of them elderly men women and children, murdered, raped dismembered. The slaughter went on between September 16th and September 18th while Israeli troops surrounded the camps, their flares lighting the cramped ramshackle streets and homes within.
Bahr stresses Palestinian adherence to their right of return
On the 30th anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila Massacre, Dr. Ahmed Bahar, the senior Deputy speaker of the PLC, called for improving the living conditions of Palestinians in the diaspora.
The Syrian army has attacked Al-Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus, killing two refugees and a Syrian, and wounding a child. Abdul-Basit al-Bitar was killed when an artillery shell landed on his house in Al-Hajar Al-Aswad suburb; the explosion also killed Yahya Yassin as he was walking next to the house. A five-year-old Palestinian child was admitted to hospital after being targeted by a sniper in the same area, while Syrian citizen Montaser al-Maqdisi was pronounced dead on arrival at the camp hospital after being shot by the army nearby. Several sources reported that Haifa Street, Al-Yarmouk Street, Holwat Zeidan area, Al-Oroobeh area and other places in the refugee camps were targets for the Syrian army on Saturday. Many checkpoints were set up at the entrances of Al-Yarmouk and 30 tanks entered the camp.
Hamas’s refugees department calls for protecting Palestinian refugees in Syria
Hamas’s refugee affairs department issued on Sunday a press release about “the ongoing killings and intimidation of Palestinian refugees inside the refugee camps in Syria.
IOF storms Fawwar Camp, arrests two liberated prisoners
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) raided, at dawn Sunday, Fawwar refugee camp south of the city of Al-Khalil in the occupied West Bank, and arrested two liberated prisoners after searching their homes.
Movements restricted for Askar refugee camp
The main street from Askar Refugee Camp leading to Nablus is closed off three times every week by the Israeli army as around 1,000 illegal settlers make their way to “Joseph’s Tomb.” Each time, the street is closed for up to seven hours, leaving the camp essentially under curfew, unable to leave or enter the area. Joseph’s tomb in Nablus has been a source of controversy since its discovery, as many Palestinians assert that it is in fact the tomb of an Islamic patriarch due to its Islamic architecture. In the camp there are three checkpoints, which are often arbitrarily closed by the Israeli military. The refugee camp, in which 6,000 people live in one kilometer space, is technically under international legislation; however, armed Israeli soldiers still patrol the road closures and have been known to arrest residents. There are one hundred and five people from Askar Camp in Israeli jails today. This includes children as well as adults.
Beddawi Camp, Tripoli – Mohamad is a third-year student at Damascus University, which has put back the opening of the new school year until October 25. The date was set based on the presumption that the Syrian regime will have restored order in the capital by that time. Mohamad is therefore hesitant about registering at the Lebanese University where he would have to repeat his second year, thus losing out on a full year of studies. His brother Khaled, a second-year economics student at the same university, looked into enrolling at the college of architecture and business in Tripoli, only to find out that the deadline for registration has passed. Khaled finally found a place at the Lebanese International University (LIU), which accepted him on the condition that he present his report card from his first year at university as well as his high school diploma. While the first condition is possible, the second requires a minimum of two months to process, with his residency papers in Lebanon due to expire after only one month.
Iraqi Jewish Refugees
Iraqi Jews reject ‘cynical manipulation’ of their history by Israel, Zionists, writer Almog Behar tells EI
“The way the Israeli establishment uses our history from the 1950s, is not in order to give us our rights back, but in order to get rid of the rights of the Palestinians,” Iraqi Jews say.
Just how did Iraqi Jews become refugees in 1950?
Ramat Gan Committee of Baghdadi Jews – We most sincerely thank the Israeli government for confirming our status as refugees following a rapid, 62-year-long evaluation of our documents. Now it remains to be investigated if it is true that in 1950 Israeli PM David Ben-Gurion secretly authorized Iraqi PM Nuri as-Said to take possession of the property and assets of Iraqi Jewry provided the Jews themselves were sent to Israel. Also should be investigated is whether the Israeli Mossad was involved in bombing the Masouda Shem-Tov Synagogue in Baghdad, so as to frighten Iraqi Jew and make them flee to Israel.
Land Theft and Destruction / Ethnic Cleansing / Apartheid
Israeli decision to seize cultivated land in Khader village
The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) handed a Palestinian citizen a notice of its intention to appropriate and destroy his agricultural land in Al-Khader village south of Bethlehem city.
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — A private Israeli organization which promotes settlement building in East Jerusalem is planning to build a bridge between a visitors center in Silwan and the Old City, a local group said Tuesday. Settler group Elad is planning the construction to link the City Of David Visitors Center in Silwan to al-Buraq square, where the Haram al-Sharif or Temple Mount compound lies, the Islamic-Christian Committee for Protecting Jerusalem and the Holy Sites said. ”Al-Buraq square is not the only Israeli project that is targeting holy places in Jerusalem. There are dozens of Israeli projects aimed to Judaize Jerusalem, and these projects are implemented in secrecy,” secretary-general Hanna Issa said. Silwan — adjacent to the Old City’s Dome of the Rock compound and Western Wall — is populated by a number of settler homes under heavy Israeli guard, and the site of frequent clashes with forces on arrest raids targeting the Palestinian population.
A group of Israeli settlers uprooted on Friday evening olive trees in the south of al-Khalil, while scores of them stormed al-Majour area near Dura.
Occupation closes the Ibrahimi Mosque in al-Khalil until Wednesday
Israeli occupation authorities informed on Sunday the directorate of Awqaf in al-Khalil in the southern West Bank, about its decision to close the Ibrahimi Mosque to Muslim worshipers.
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces closed the northern entrance to East Jerusalem’s Silwan neighborhood on Monday to allow settlers celebrating the Jewish new year to access the area, a local center said. ”These routes were closed to Silwan residents to allow military vehicles and settler buses carrying settlers from the nearby outposts to freely tour the neighborhood,” the Wadi Hilweh Information Center said. Israeli forces were deployed in Silwan, locals said, adding that at Jewish new year settlers come to the area to perform rituals at a local spring.
Siege on Gaza
Egypt’s crackdown on smuggling tunnels along its border with the Gaza Strip is making shortages ever tighter and has forced the enclave’s Islamist Hamas rulers to consider urgent alternatives. Hamas officials asked Egypt late on Monday to consider alternative trade routes, such as a free trade zone, a direct deal that could boost Hamas tax revenues and circumvent rival Fatah’s and Israel’s control of official imports to Gaza.
Egyptian medical delegation: suffering in Gaza much deeper than media coverage
The Egyptian medical delegation, which visited Gaza for four days, confirmed that the people’s suffering in Gaza strip is much deeper and harder than media coverage.
Egyptian source: Haneyya’s meeting with Qandil was very positive
Palestinian premier Ismail Haneyya met on Monday evening with his Egyptian counterpart Hisham Qandil and discussed with him important issues related to the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip.
Al-Khudari: the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza is not complete yet
MP Jamal Al-Khudari, the head of the popular committee against the siege confirmed that the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip seven years ago was not completed.
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A delegation from Qatar will arrive in the Gaza Strip next week to discuss construction projects in the coastal enclave, a Gaza official said. Minister of housing and public works in Gaza, Yousef Subhi al-Ghareez, said that the proposed construction projects would cost over $100 million. A Qatari delegation headed by Muhammad Emadi will tour Gaza next week and review several projects, including the rehabilitation of main roads and other public infrastructure. Israel restricts the import of construction material and equipment for private sector building under its land and sea blockade on Gaza, tightened in 2007 after Hamas seized power.
Five Injured By Army Fire Near Ramallah
Palestinian medical sources reported Monday that five residents were treated for the effects of tear-gas inhalation during clashes that took place near the Qalanida terminal, separating between occupied Jerusalem and the central West Bank city of Ramallah.
Group: Man assaulted by soldiers in south Hebron hills
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A man was assaulted by Israeli soldiers on Sunday in the south Hebron hills, a peace group said. ”On the morning of September 16, around 8:00 a.m. nearby the Palestinian village of Majaz, a 38 year old man was attacked and injured while he was traveling in his car,” Operation Dove said in a statement. ”According to Palestinian witnesses, 4 soldiers stopped him on the road and started to beat him and to damage his vehicle. Then the soldiers detained him for one hour near their hummer,” the group added. The man suffered injuries to his legs, chest and face. Israeli security sources said that a group of eight infiltrators had tried to enter Israel in the south Hebron hills area and was stopped by Israeli forces. One of the men tried to escape and hurt himself after falling over, the sources said. Operation Dove has maintained an international presence in At-Tuwani and south Hebron hills since 2004.
Akram Taysir Daoud from the Palestinian village of Qusra, was beaten unconscious on Saturday 15,September by Israeli settlers from the illegal settlement of Migdalim. He sustained extensive injuries, including a broken arm and major damage to his eye and face. Akram’s sister Sanora reported that the family had been farming their land, which is on the outer edge of the village of Qusra, when they heard shouts and threats from settlers. Akram urged his family to go back to the house, leaving him alone. In response to a shout in Arabic, Akram moved to a more isolated area, not realising the call had come from settlers. It was at this point that the settlers attacked him.
NABLUS (Ma’an) — A group of settlers assaulted three Palestinian farmers in the Nablus village of Aqraba on Monday, a Palestinian Authority official said. Ghassan Doughlas, who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that Mahir Hashim Bani Jabir, 25, his brother Omar, 26, and Hafith Nitham Bani Jabir, 26, were attacked by settlers from Itamar while checking olive trees on their land. All three men required hospital treatment for their injuries, Doughlas said. Settler violence against Palestinians is systematic in the occupied West Bank but the perpetrators are rarely prosecuted by Israel.
Jewish settlers defile Aqsa Mosque this morning
About 60 Jewish settlers escorted by armed policemen stormed on Sunday morning the Aqsa Mosque and performed Talmudic rituals in its courtyard.
‘Price-tag’ tactics of West Bank Jewish settlers
The settlers who exact revenge on Palestinians and Israel’s army.
Illegal Arrests by PA and Israel
Israel/Palestinian Authority: Charge or Free Palestinian Detainees
Israel and the Palestinian Authority are violating international law when they throw Palestinians in jail for months or years without charge or trial. Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) should immediately charge or release men they are detaining arbitrarily and investigate alleged abuses against them in custody, Human Rights Watch said today.
The Palestinian Authority security apparatus arrested a leader in Hamas Movement in Tulkarm and a liberated prisoners in Nablus, and extended the detention of a political prisoner in Ramallah.
Palestinian Arrested Near West Bank Settlement
Israeli soldiers kidnapped, on Tuesday, a young Palestinian man close to the barbwire fence of an Israeli settlement in the northern part of the West Bank.
Israeli soldiers detain teachers and disrupt education
Education was disrupted on Sunday in Ganba School near Hebron, by Israeli soldiers who detained the teachers and prevented them from getting into the building. The Director of the small school, Khadr Amour, said that the 30 students from outlying villages were deprived of their right to an education due to the soldiers’ actions. The teachers were detained for several hours as part of a wide campaign of disruption by the army which affected workers and farmers in the southern part of the occupied West Bank. According to Mr. Amour, such action has been routine since the start of the school year in early September. Staff members are either prevented from getting to school altogether or are delayed, having a disruptive effect on pupils’ education. On Sunday, he added, Israeli soldiers blocked the road between Ganba and Al-Fakhet with mounds of earth, chasing away farmers and goat-herds. Demolition notices have been issued recently to the owners of properties in Ganba and six other localities in the area. Such notices are part of Israel’s ethnic cleansing policy across the occupied West Bank.
IOF kidnap son of MP Abu Jehaisha
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) kidnapped on Monday evening a son of Palestinian lawmaker Mohamed Abu Jehaisha from Idna town west of Al-Khalil city.
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained three Palestinians trying to cross into Israel from the Gaza Strip on Saturday, Israel’s army said. The group headed through the border near al-Bureij refugee camp around noon, where they were apprehended by soldiers and taken for security questioning, a military spokesman said. They were found to be unarmed, according to military sources. Local rights groups have reported more than 10 teenagers have been detained in the same border area in recent weeks,.
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces arrested an Al-Aqsa mosque official on Sunday from his East Jerusalem home, witnesses told Ma’an. Sheikh Najih Ibkeirat was detained after Israeli forces raided his home in Sur Bahir, East Jerusalem, locals said. Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said he had no reports about the incident.
Palestinian hunger strikers ‘close to death’
Samer Barq, one of the three prisoners refusing food, has been moved to intensive care as his blood sugar level dipped.
link to www.aljazeera.com
One of three long-term Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli detention has been moved to a hospital intensive care unit suffering from a drop in blood sugar, a spokeswoman for the Ramallah-based Palestinian Prisoners Club said on Monday. Amani Sarahna said that Samer Al-Barq, one of three prisoners on hunger strike for weeks to demand their release from detention without trial, was placed in intensive care at Assaf Harofeh medical center, in central Israel, early on Monday evening.
European organizations calls on UN to save three Palestinian hunger strikers
Five European and Middle East human rights organizations warned that three Palestinian prisoners in occupation jails risk death due to their continued hunger strike for more than 3 months.
Waed: Red Cross’ statement regarding prisoners’ situation came late
Waed Society for Palestinian Prisoners and Ex-prisoners expressed its deep concern regarding the status of hunger striking prisoners in Israeli jails.
Israel decides to exile hunger striker Samer Barq to Egypt
Wa’ed society for detainees and ex-detainees strongly denounced the Israeli decision to exile Palestinian prisoner Samer Barq, who has been on hunger strike since May 22, to Egypt.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Former Fatah fighter Zakaria Zubeidi told a Palestinian court in Jericho on Monday that he would not eat, drink or speak until he is released, after his four-month detention without charge was again extended. On Thursday, Zubeidi agreed to partially suspend his earlier strike by taking fluids, after he received assurances from a presidential delegation that he would be freed from Jericho civil jail in five days. But at a court hearing on Monday the judge extended his imprisonment for a further 19 days, citing the need to give the prosecution more time, Zubeidi’s lawyer Farid Hawash said.
Other Prisoner News
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Palestinian prisoners society said Tuesday that Israeli judicial authorities were divided on continuing to jail a lawmaker sentenced to prison in 2011. Jamal Tirawi was sentenced to 30 years in jail on Oct. 31, 2011 but could be freed after new evidence emerged in late August casting doubt on his case, the society said. The court addressed the appeal in an 8-hour hearing on Aug. 27. Onlookers, according to the prisoners society, said the Israeli military prosecution and Shin Bet insisted that the court confirm the old verdict, while justices loudly disagreed. ”Will the head of the appeals court have the courage to make its decision despite the military prosecution’s wishes?” the prisoners society statement said. It said the defendant’s lawyers had presented enough evidence to prove Tirawi innocent.
Israeli occupation forces extended the detention of four youths for 24 hours, pending further investigation, on suspicion of participating in the “illegal” demonstration at Damascus Gate.
Hadarim prison administration prevented lawyer for captive Sheikh Ibrahim Hamed, a Palestinian leader and a commander of the Qassam Brigades in the West Bank, from visiting him on Friday.
Murderers of Italian activist, Vittorio Arrigoni to face life imprisonment
The murderers of the Italian peace activists, Vittorio Arrigoni, were sentenced to life terms in prison after being found guilty of kidnapping and killing Arrigoni.
On Saturday 15th September a group of four internationals from ISM joined the Daraghmah family at their home in al Luban to celebrate son Jalaal’s release from prison. Thanks to many generous donations ISM was able to pay the five thousand shekel bail ($1300) and co-ordinate Jalaal’s release after he had spent 17 days in Israeli jail. Jalaal was arrested for trying to protect his family when 30 settlers invaded their property, destroying their car and beating his two young brothers and his mother. Following the attack, none of the settlers were questioned or detained, yet Jalaal who acted in self defense when he hit one of the intruders with a gardening pick, was arrested at the scene – see previous ISM report here: link to palsolidarity.org
Activism / BDS
Calls for the largest solidarity campaign with hunger striking prisoners
Palestinian prisoners’ studies center called on all those interested in the prisoners’ issue to participate in the largest solidarity campaign with the four hunger striking prisoners.
About 200 Palestinians protested outside offices of the Red Crescent near Ramallah Tuesday, in solidarity with hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. Four men are currently fasting in a demand to be released from Israeli detention without trial. The Ramallah-based Palestinian Prisoners Club said on Monday that one of them, 38-year-old Samer al-Barq had been moved to the intensive care unit at Assaf Harofeh medical center, suffering from a drop in blood sugar.
Recent protests of the increasing cost of living in the West Bank have highlighted demands to abolish the 1994 Paris Protocol, together with calls for the resignation of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and, to a lesser extent, the resignation of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Health unions announced Tuesday that they will escalate protest action as the Palestinian Authority continues to procrastinate in responding to their demands. The announcement was made after health unions met with PA Health Minister Hani Adbin. A sit-in strike will take place Tuesday from 12 a.m. to 2 p.m. and work will be suspended on Thursday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., health union head Osama Najjar said.
Laid-off teachers of W. Bank to resume protests
The West Bank teachers arbitrarily axed by the Palestinian authority government said they would resume their sit-in outside the ministry of education in Ramallah city.
Los Angeles activists put Veolia’s complicity with Israel’s human rights violations in the spotlight
Boycott campaigners confronted Los Angeles city officials and urged them not to renew contracts with Veolia because of the company’s involvement in Israel’s human rights violations.
California student association denounces CA assembly resolution HR 35, demands UC stop profiting from Israel’s occupation
A resolution passed on Saturday by the largest California student association condemns a recent resolution by the state assembly seeking to chill student activism and criticism of Israel’s policies on campuses.
BERKELEY, CA – The University of California Student Association, which represents hundreds of thousands of students at all 10 UC campuses, passed a resolution today condemning recent attempts to censure boycott and divestment efforts by Palestinian human rights activists on campus, and demanding that the UC stop profiting from Israel’s human rights violations. The motion passed without opposition by a vote of 12 to 0 (2 abstentions). The resolution follows a recent motion passed by the California Assembly, H.R.35. While ostensibly aimed at protecting Jewish students from experiencing anti-Semitism on campus, H.R.35 conflates legitimate, principled criticism of Israeli policy with anti-Semitism, raising concerns about free speech rights and academic freedom for students and faculty.
Howard Sackstein, founder of the Jewish Anti-Apartheid movement, says ANC’s latest emphasis on anti-Israel action is the result of trying to win Muslim votes.
Political Developments / Other News
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The PLO’s envoy to the US on Tuesday said presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s videotaped comments about the Palestinians showed a “complete ignorance” of the facts. ”The leaked statements by the Republican presidential nominee once again show complete ignorance of facts and realities regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Maen Areikat said in a statement.
Mitt Romney said privately in May that “there’s just no way” for an independent Palestinian state to be established on the West Bank territory Israel has occupied since 1967.
Why we should welcome Mitt Romney’s Middle East straight talk, Ali Abunimah
Mitt Romney’s comments get at a truth that is widely recognized in the US establishment though rarely spoken in public.
Israel’s national airline says it will stop flying to Cairo, even though the Israel-Egypt peace treaty mandates flights to the country. In a letter to Israel’s foreign minister published Sunday in the Maariv daily, El Al Airlines CEO Eliezer Shkedi said that flights are nearly empty, and the airline cannot afford the high security and operating costs. El Al declined comment. But Irena Etinger, spokeswoman for Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, confirmed the letter. Under their historic 1979 peace accord, Israel and Egypt agreed to operate flights between the countries.
Germany: Israel has no veto on Egypt sub deal
Berlin dismisses Israeli pressure over planned submarine deal with Egypt; but German foreign minister says Cairo ‘not as stable as I would like’.
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The government in the Gaza Strip has conducted an investigation with Egyptian coordination into the deadly border attack last month, and found no Palestinians were involved, a Palestinian official said on Monday. Neither residents of the Gaza Strip nor other Palestinians played a part in the killing of 16 Egyptian security officials on Aug. 5, spokesman of Gaza’s interior ministry, Ehab al-Ghasein, said in a statement. He warned against taking news reports as an accurate account of the attack on the Sinai border post. Egypt and Gaza have continuous official contacts on political, economic and security levels, and formed a Joint Security Committee after the border assault, he said. News circulating about Palestinian involvement is designed to sow Fitna (discord) between Egyptians and Palestinians, especially after the Egyptian revolution increased Egypt’s support to Palestine, al-Ghasein said.
Haneyya in Cairo today to meet with Egyptian premier
Palestinian premier Ismail Haneyya is leaving Gaza on Sunday for Cairo to meet with his Egyptian counterpart Hisham Qandil after his scedulted visit on Thursday was deferred for technical reasons.
Egyptian syndicate of journalists slam Netanyahu’s interference in its affairs
The Egyptian syndicate of journalists condemned Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu for blatantly daring to interfere in the Egyptian press affairs and described his interference as outrageous.
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Deposed Palestinian Authority employees in the Gaza Strip, who receive a wage from the West Bank government, on Sunday expressed outrage that their salaries had received deductions. The PA ministry of finance paid most civil servants the remaining half of their delayed August salary on Sunday, but withheld 10-12 percent of wages above 4,500 shekels ($1,150). ”I went yesterday to get my salary, and I was astonished that 500 shekels were discounted without our knowing about it,” Abu Anwar, a former PA security employee told Ma’an.
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Not a single case of corruption has been reported in the Hamas-run Ministry of Finance in Gaza since 2006, an official claimed on Sunday. Ministry official Ismail Mahfouz made the comments while speaking at a Hamas organized panel discussion, adding that 50 percent of Hamas’ budget comes from taxes and local revenues. The finance ministry serves society indirectly through supporting other ministries which provide services, he said. The ministry also provides services to businessmen who import commodities and pay taxes, he added. ”One aspect of the siege on Gaza is the financial siege, and the government has overcome all the obstacles laid to impede its progress,” Mahfouz said. The ministry collects around $3 million per month in tax revenues, adding that despite price rises in the West Bank, the Gaza government only charges 1 shekel per liter of fuel.
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday urged the Egyptians to deal only with one representative of the Palestinian people, either the PLO or the Palestinian Authority. During a meeting in his office in Ramallah with the Egyptian ambassador, Yasser Othman, Abbas highlighted that “there have been attempts to mess with this decisive issue.” Abbas’ remarks came a day after Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh and the party chief-in-exile Khaled Mashaal arrived in Cairo for talks with Egyptian officials. Senior Fatah official Tayyib Abdul-Rahim attended the meeting in which Abbas pointed out to the Egyptian ambassador that any alteration to the representation issue would amount to “disagreement plans and suspicious solutions to the question of Palestine.”
Palestinian Authority’s Stability Threatened by Financial Strains
As the Palestinian Authority marks the 19th anniversary of the signing of the Oslo Accords, it is facing a financial crisis that experts say could threaten its future operations and stability.
Fatah condemns Fayyad for consulting with the occupation
Fatah leading figure and Palestinian MP Najat Abu Bakr criticized Salam Fayyad for consulting Israeli economic experts to solve the financial crisis in the West Bank.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Former Palestinian cabinet minister Hassan Asfour said Sunday that the Palestinian leadership should declare statehood, end interim agreements with Israel, and threaten to withdraw recognition of the country if it doesn’t engage with peace talks. ”When we talk about the Oslo Accord, the period of the agreement ended after the failure of Camp David summit in 2002,” Asfour said in an interview with Ma’an. He called for leaders to pursue a vote at the United Nations when it meets later this month which would upgrade Palestine’s membership status.
Comrade Khalida Jarrar, member of the Political Bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, said on September 18, 2012 that it is past time to end reliance on all forms of bilateral negotiations and to end the reliance on the agreements and ‘peace process’ that have inflicted numerous losses upon the Palestinian people. She emphasized that the solution to the Palestinian political crisis is to end the Oslo Accords and all subsequent security and economic agreements, and end all forms of security coordination with the occupation state.
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Fatah central committee reiterated its support for President Mahmoud Abbas to seek upgraded status for Palestine at the United Nations this month, an official said Monday. Despite American pressure on the Palestinian leadership, they are determined to go ahead with the bid, Jamal Muheisen told Ma’an after the Sunday evening committee meeting. President Mahmoud Abbas says he will ask the UN General Assembly to admit Palestine as a non-member state during its annual debate, which opens Sept. 25. The United States opposed Abbas’ 2011 bid for UN membership, which got stuck at the Security Council, where the US has veto power. In his speech on Sept. 27, Abbas will explain the bid in light of Israel’s Judaization of Palestine, attempts to bring down the Palestinian Authority, and the standstill in peace talks, Muheisen said. After the speech, the committee will meet again to discuss next steps, he added.
Islamic movement calls for uprising against occupation violations in Jerusalem
Sheikh Kamal Khatib, deputy head of the Islamic movement in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1948, considered Israeli raids into al-Aqsa Mosque a flagrant aggression on Islamic sanctities.
A number of farmers in the West Bank demanded to find external markets for olive oil, with the coming olive season, and stop importing other olive oil from abroad.
Analysis / Op-ed / Human Interest
In Israel its motto is “Defends and Shall Not Be Seen”. Like secret services all over the world, Israel’s is an entity associated with anonymity and invisibility. Yet in a new film that featured at the Toronto Film Festival last week, “The Gatekeepers”, six ex-directors of Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic security service, talk on camera for the first time. With unique access, Israeli director Dror Moreh reveals the challenges, successes and failures of their careers, their views on torture, grooming informants and whether killing innocent civilians is justified if a “terrorist” can be captured.
While the political horizons have collapsed on them, Palestinians now face the deepest economic crisis in recent memory. A backlash is inevitable! Current developments in Palestine drive home the following points: - The Oslo Accords and associated annexes, inclusive of the Paris Protocol on Economic Relations, have reached their inevitable dead end. - The theory, espoused by Western nations, that the promotion of Palestinian economic development and institution building under the ongoing Israeli occupation is the only avenue to the establishment of an independent state has similarly collapsed. - The negotiations that went by the name of the “peace process” and the belief that the US would assert meaningful pressure on Israel in this context were pure illusions. Any residual faith in this process has evaporated and the process is long past is sell-by date.The gruelling economic crisis that grips Palestine today has exposed the magnitude of the fiction of the possibility of Palestinian economic development under an occupation that has developed into the worst model of systematised racial discrimination and apartheid in history. It is no longer possible to escape the essential problem, which is the need to confront the Israeli drive of settlement expansion and subjugation which is destroying all possibility of territorial contiguity and, hence, the prospect of building a viable independent state, and which is simultaneously destroying the foundations of Palestinian economic development and survival.
Missile attacks launched from Gaza aim to put pressure on Hamas to free Salafis detained in crackdown after last month’s attack on Egyptian military post. Israeli retaliation to the attacks continues to decimate civilian life in the Strip.
The upheavals sweeping through the Middle East and North Africa since the end of 2010 have left their mark on the region. Although the Palestinian political scene appears to have weathered the storm, it has not remained unaffected. Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group and ruler of the Gaza Strip, has been particularly touched by these regional changes. This article seeks to shed light on the internal dynamics and struggles faced by Hamas from the group’s inception to the current day.
Is it illegal to express support for Hamas and Hizbullah in the US?
After my post on freedom of speech in the US yesterday, I received several responses. This is from a reader from Yale Law School: ”I don’t mean to paint a rosy picture because nothing about free speech is guaranteed, and it is only there to the extent that people fight for it. But your statement that “the US government has made it illegal for anyone to express support for Hamas and Hizbullah in the US” is not correct, at least not yet. Mere expressions of support are not illegal (that is not to say they won’t have other consequences, like background checks, follow-up investigations, surveillance, etcetera). Only “material support” is illegal, and that can include advocacy that is “coordinated” with those organizations, as well as forms of training, provision of expertise, donations of money or goods, etcetera. It’s a thin line, sure, but the supreme court has tried to maintain a theoretical distinction between “coordinated” speech and non-coordinated speech to justify criminalizing the former. Here is a good write-up:”. I wrote to him my opinion: that “material” support is so vaguely and broadly defined by the courts that it is not clear whether championing the cause of either organizations constitutes material support. Suffice to say, no one has yet tested the boundaries of the law. So there is in effect a ban on expression of support. Furthermore, the US government has also in its legislation against terrorist organization equated media with terrorist organization. So Al-Manar TV and Hamas media are labeled as terrorist organization in order to justify their ban in the US. Finally, there was a case in NYC after Sep. 11 when a man was arrested for yelling words of support for Bin Laden. So the government has plenty of leeway in interpreting the meaning of material support.
David Sheen: Alternate cover for Newsweek that will never see the light of day
Earlier today we noted the Newsweek cover
featuring a story by Islam-basher Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Well, an alternative.
McPalestine, Nidal El-Khairy
Salam Fayyad’s neo-liberal administration has pointed the finger at the Israeli occupation… while at the same time being fully dependent on it and even complicit on the security front.
I take issue with the prevalent accounts
of the birth of the Lebanese National (communist) Resistance against Israeli occupation. The narratives were basically drawn from the biased accounts of George Hawi (leader of the then Stalinist Lebanese Communist Party). I wrote about this in Arabic but suffice to say that the real birth was in the spring of 1978 after the “first” Israeli invasion and not in September of 1982. It is important because the account mentions the role of the Lebanese Communist Party and the Communist Action Organization but says nothing about the pioneering and founding role of the Socialist Arab Action Party-Lebanon.
The Western Art of Offending Muslims: the Sexual Weapon, Asad AbuKhalil
The Western art of offending Muslims is a long established art. Western Christians have excelled in it and modern Zionists (Jewish, Christian, and atheist) have merely incorporated the clichés of Western Christian hatred of Islam and Muslims. Of course, fanatical Muslim groups have deliberately exploited the release of The Innocence of Muslims in order to whip up hate and hostility and to advance their own horrific, fanatical agenda. But their ability to resonate has to do with history.
Antony Lerman has spent his whole working life at the heart of the Jewish community. While he is now well known for his radical views on Israel, it was not always thus. This book traces his personal involvement with Zionism over the course of 50 years, exploring his transformation from a teenager immersed in the 1960s Zionist youth movement to a leading Jewish critic of Israel.
Gaza to host manuscript and historical document exhibition
Gaza City is preparing to host an exhibition of manuscripts and historical documents prepared by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. Examples of Palestinian pounds and stamps dating back to the Ottoman period and the British Mandate will be on display in the historic Basha Palace Museum. Curator Ahmed Al-Parch explained that the idea behind the exhibition is to inform the current generation of Palestinians that their civilisation and culture run deep. “They also need to be aware of the sacrifices that their grandparents made,” he added.
Hot Palestinian Summer, Yacov Ben Efrat
We can relax: the disturbances in the Occupied Territories appear to have subsided, and the would-be third Intifada may have skipped over 2012 as it did over 2011. Back then it was supposed to break out after Abu Mazen vainly sought a Palestinian state at the UN Security Council. Israeli intelligence missed the mark in 2011 and misled others. This year, when all its analysts were worrying about how to get through the Jewish holidays in peace and quiet, they completely missed what was about to happen in the Palestinian territories. The protest broke out in reaction against a hike in petrol prices, derived from a similar price hike by the Israeli government, which seeks to reduce its budgetary deficit. After the Israeli social protestors tired and lost interest in demonstrations, the baton has passed to the Palestinians, who suffer many times more from the cost of living. What can you do: after 45 years of an Occupation that flooded their markets with Israeli goods, they too eat Tnuva cottage cheese, whose price triggered protest in Israel last year.
Galahs in Canberra parrot Hasbara, Vacy Vlazna
‘These matters do not in any way detract from our overall position – that we fiercely, unequivocally, strongly oppose BDS.’ – Bob Carr, Foreign Minister of Australia, 13 September 2012. On reading, Baroud’s “Growing Isolation: Boycott of Israel Crosses to Governments’ Realm” wherein he describes the growing worldwide trend of support by civil society and governments for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel’s brutal occupation of Palestine, one is immediately struck by the stark disparity of morals on the matter of Palestine between South Africa and Australia.
Israel Lobby of Germany: Targeting Judith Butler, Ludwig Watzal – Bonn
Smear campaigns against people who do not follow the narrowly defined, politically correct, rhetoric concerning the permanent violations of human rights and Israel’s brutal oppression of the Palestinian people are regularly conducted by the right-wing pro-Zionist ‘Israel Lobby’ in Germany. Their newest victim was Judith Butler, Professor in the Departments of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature and the Co-director of the Program of Critical Theory at the University of California, Berkeley. Butler is also active in gender and sexual politics and human rights, anti-war politics, and the Jewish Voice for Peace. She was awarded this year’s Adorno prize of the city of Frankfort. The prize is endowed with 50,000 Euro and is awarded every three years.
The Struggle for Rachel Corrie’s Legacy, Patrick O. Strickland – Ramallah
Two weeks ago, an Israeli court ruled that the death of Rachel Corrie, a Palestinian solidarity activist crushed by an Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) armored bulldozer in Gaza in 2003, was her own fault and not the result of military negligence. Brendan O’Neill, blogging for The Telegraph, wrote a scathing critique of Rachel Corrie, her posthumous supporters, and the broader Palestinian solidarity movement.
link to palestinechronicle.com
Charity Economics, Subservient Politics: Why Oslo Must Go, Ramzy Baroud
Recent demonstrations in protest of the rising cost of living have swept across the West Bank. While they are not indicative of a Palestinian version of the ‘Arab Spring’, they are still an important first step. A reasonable demand, however, cannot possibly be for Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to sack the government of Salam Fayyad. Neither has much sway over Palestinian economy, let alone political will. Abbas enjoys Israeli and Western backing because of his ability to manage – if not sustain – a factional split between his party, Fatah, and Hamas, which controls Gaza. He remains faithful to security coordination between his authority and Israel, and continues to crack down on his opponents with an iron fist. He is also desperately clinging to a loyalty to Washington policy – despite the fact that the latter’s prestige and influence is quickly diminishing in the region. In an era of numerous political possibilities, Abbas, 76, is fervently traditional, lacking in nerve and by no means capable of revolutionary change.