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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Israel's war against children

Israel's war against children

http://palestinethinktank.com/2010/03/29/israels-war-against-children/




d7yahWRITTEN BY Shadi Salman AlQarra 


Naseem Jawad Abu Dakka, 14, was playing in front of his grandfather’s house, under the lemon tree in the front of the house, 800 metres from the area where Israeli army the made an incursion, firing tanks shells and bullets. One medium calibre bullet entered his back and exited from his chest, leading to a fracture in the spine in the ninth and tenth vertebrae. The second bullet pierced his chest and has harmed him so much that his spleen had to be removed. 


He is now in the intensive care unit in the hospital 


His injury has also lead to blood poisoning 


His spleen has been removed 


His lung is damaged 


He is breathing through a respirator 


He is in a pharmacological state of coma 


He is in critical condition. 


Source: http://handala2009witness.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Palestinian captive loses eyesight as prisoners agree on strike next month

Palestinian captive loses eyesight as prisoners agree on strike next month

[ 30/03/2010 - 10:18 AM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- A Palestinian captive went blind in Israeli occupation jails due to the medical neglect of his case on the part of the Israeli prisons authority (IPA), a released prisoner told the Palestinian center for the defense of prisoners.

The center in a statement on Monday said that the captive was primarily diagnosed with spring conjunctivitis but the IPA did not offer him the proper treatment and refused to let a doctor check him, which led to deterioration of his condition few months later at the end of which he lost his eyesight.

It warned of the continued IPA deliberate medical neglect of Palestinian prisoners, describing it as "intentional slow death".

The center quoted chairperson of the Mandela institution catering for prisoners Buthaina Dukmak as saying that a number of prisoner patients held in Ramle prison hospital were anticipating death as they suffer critical conditions without any proper medical treatment.

She said that the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) was incarcerating more than 1,600 sick patients in its jails, adding that they are in dire need of check up by specialized doctors.

The center said that the IPA deliberate medical neglect was in violation of international norms and treaties specially the fourth Geneva convention that stipulated among other things a dignified captivity for prisoners.

It championed the formation of a regional and international pressure lobby to demand the release of prisoners especially the sick, children and women.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian prisoners of all factions agreed on refusing visits during the month of April and on three days of hunger strike, which they specified at 7-17-27 of April.

The prisoners said in a statement that the strike is to protest their bad imprisonment conditions, the IPA escalation against them and their relatives on all levels especially preventing family visits, which the Gaza prisoners were deprived of for the past four years.

They would also protest the humiliating searches and treatment of relatives when on their way for visits in the West Bank along with banning entry of books, depriving students from accessing Palestinian secondary exams, and barring Al-Jazeera TV network.

They said that a number of prisons would go on five days of hunger strike such as the Nafha internees to cope with their special demands.

Ra'fat Hamdona, the head of the prisoners' center for studies, urged local and international institutions to launch supportive programs of those prisoners' demands.

Land Day; A Day of Fidelity to the Holy Land






30/03/2010 "There, behind these borders lies our holy land, my dear." This is what Hajj Abu Imad tells his grandsons whenever they go to the Lebanese-Palestinian border, south of Lebanon.

The peak of Hajj Abu Imad’s frequent visits to the border, is on the 30th of March of every year, ever since the resistance forced Israeli occupation forces out of most of south Lebanon in 2000. The date marks Land Day.

The 76-year old Palestinian, who tasted the bitterness of the 1948 displacement from his home in Al-Khalil, accompanies his two grandsons, Ahmed and Jihad, to a point where they can see as much of occupied Palestine as they can. “When we were forced out of our homes, we kept everything we owned right where were, we closed the door and we kept the key..this key with us with the hope of returning back. I was 14 back then, today I’m 76, but I’ve never lost hope. I don’t want you to lose hope either. Everything you see across this borderline is yours, and this is the key to gain it back one day,” the old hajj told his grandsons with a shivering voice and tearing eyes.

Judith Miller and David Samuels wrote in the 2009 article (No way home: The tragedy of the Palestinian diaspora) in The Independent wrote: “For decades, Arab governments have justified their decision to maintain millions of stateless Palestinians as refugees in squalid camps as a means of applying pressure to Israel. The refugee problem will be solved, they say, when Israel agrees to let the Palestinians have their own state. Yet in the two decades since the end of the Cold War, after two Gulf wars, and the rise and fall of the Oslo peace process, not a single Palestinian refugee has returned to Israel – and only a handful of ageing political functionaries have returned from neighbouring Arab countries to the West Bank and Gaza. Instead, failed peace plans and shifting political priorities have resulted in a second Palestinian "Nakba", or catastrophe – this one at hands of the Arab governments.”

Every March 30 of the past few decades, Hajj Abu Imad and all the Palestinians dispersed among various countries mark Land Day to protest Israel's occupation and expansionist schemes in Palestine.

On the 30th of March, 1976, Israeli occupation forces killed six Palestinians and injured dozens more as they were demonstrating against the confiscation of 5,000 acres of land in the Galilee, north of Palestine, between the villages of Sikhnin and Arrabe. Solidarity strikes were also held almost simultaneously in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and in most of the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.

This year’s Land Day comes after the Israeli occupation government announced the will to build hundreds of more settler homes in occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem (Al-Quds). “Building in Jerusalem is like building in Tel Aviv,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier this month.

This year’s Land Day also comes after more than 62 years of occupation, more than 22 Arab summits, more than 18 years of post-Oslo negotiations, two Intifadas and close to 4.5 million Palestinians living in diaspora, like young Ahmed and Jihad, all counting on Arab consciousness and steadfastness and resistance at home to guarantee their return to the holy land.

River to Sea
Uprooted Palestinian

Monday, March 29, 2010

In Obama's White House: "... a suggestion of Denis Ross's "dual loyalties"..."

Via Friday-Lunch-Club

Smith & Rosen in POLITICO/ here

" ... Sources say within the inter-agency process, White House Middle East strategist Dennis Ross is staking out a position that Washington needs to be sensitive to Netanyahu’s domestic political constraints including over the issue of building in East Jerusalem in order to not raise new Arab demands, while other officials including some aligned with Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell are arguing Washington needs to hold firm in pressing Netanyahu for written commitments to avoid provocations that imperil Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and to preserve the Obama administration's credibility.
POLITICO spoke with several officials who confirmed the debate and its intensity. Ross did not respond to a query, nor did a spokesman for George Mitchell.
“He [Ross] seems to be far more sensitive to Netanyahu's coalition politics than to U.S. interests,” one U.S. official told POLITICO Saturday. “And he doesn't seem to understand that this has become bigger than Jerusalem but is rather about the credibility of this Administration.”
What some saw as the suggestion of dual loyalties shows how heated the debate has become.
Last week, during U.S.-Israeli negotiations during Netanyahu’s visit and subsequent internal U.S. government meetings, the official said, Ross “was always saying about how far Bibi could go and not go. So by his logic, our objectives and interests were less important than pre-emptive capitulation to what he described as Bibi's coalition's red lines.”
When the U.S. and Israel are seen to publicly diverge on an issue such as East Jerusalem construction, the official characterized Ross's argument as: "the Arabs increase their demands ... therefore we must rush to close gaps ... no matter what the cost to our broader credibility.”
A second official confirmed the broad outlines of the current debate within the administration. Obviously at every stage of the process, the Obama Middle East team faces tactical decisions about what to push for, who to push, how hard to push, he described.
As to which argument best reflects the wishes of the President, the first official said, “As for POTUS, what happens in practice is that POTUS, rightly, gives broad direction. He doesn't, and shouldn't, get bogged down in minutiae. But Dennis uses the minutiae to blur the big picture … And no one asks the question: why, since his approach in the Oslo years was such an abysmal failure,
is he back, peddling the same snake oil?”Other contacts who have discussed recent U.S.-Israel tensions with Ross say he argues that all parties need to keep focus on the big picture, Iran, and the peace process as being part of a wider U.S. effort to bolster an international and regional alliance including Arab nations and Israel to pressure and isolate Iran. This is an argument that presumably has resonance with the Netanyahu government. But at the same time, Arab allies tell Washington that Israeli construction in East Jerusalem inflames their publics and breeds despair and makes it hard for them to work even indirectly and quietly with Israel on Iran. They push Washington to show it can manage Israel and to get an Israeli-Palestinian peace process going that would facilitate regional cooperation on Iran.
The surfacing of the fierce internal debate underway comes as sources said that the Israeli government is expected to announce as soon as Sunday or Monday that it has struck a deal with Washington on U.S. requests for confidence building steps to advance peace talks.
But officials even disagreed over the nature of the deal or understanding reached.
“There's no deal as would be understood by most,” the first U.S. official said.“That is, there's no shared, negotiated and agreed document. Instead, the Israelis have told us a few things we accept as positive, along with much we don't. So I expect you'll see us put out something that emphasizes our acceptance of only part of whatever the Israelis say.”
On Friday, before details of the internal administration debate surfaced and in response to Israeli news reports that a spokesman for the Prime Minister had suggested an understanding had already been reached between the Israeli and American governments, a White House spokesman said there was no deal yet.
“United States policy on Jerusalem has not changed,” White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said by email. “We have not reached any understandings on this issue with the Israeli Government. This is an issue on which the US government has had long-standing differences with multiple Israeli governments and the President believes that the only way for the parties to resolve these issues is by returning to negotiations. That’s why we’ve been talking to the Israelis about how to create an atmosphere that will allow the negotiations to succeed. Those conversations have been productive and will continue, as will our conversations with the Palestinians, about how to make the talks successful.”
Posted by G, Z, or B at 11:48 AM

A question every voter should ask candidates in the coming UK general election


Redress

By Stuart Littlewood

28 March 2010

Stuart Littlewood says that the forthcoming UK general election will be an opportunity for the British public to call to account those politicians – Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat – who are “cabbing”, or “stooging”, for a foreign power, Israel.

There can be few sights more pathetic than ex-ministers and chums of Tony Blair offering to use their government contacts to help influence policy on behalf of business clients.

"I'm like a cab for hire," said Stephen Byers when secretly filmed by Channel 4 TV’s “Dispatches” programme. Byers could be "hailed" for GBP 3,000 to 5,000 per day.

And so a new expression was born into the sleazy world of Westminster: “political cabbing”.




"I  will continue to do what I can both to defend Israel and to protect the security of Israel’s borders... I count myself not only a friend of Israel but someone who wants to support the future of Israel ...  we will do everything that we can to work with Israel."

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown



The latest revelations come only a few months after another Channel 4 “Dispatches” report, by Peter Oborne, showed how large numbers of MPs were stooging (or "cabbing") for Israel.
Mr Oborne reported that a majority of Conservative MPs and half the shadow cabinet are signed-up Friends of Israel, and millions of pounds flow into the bank accounts of MPs and parties, although only a fraction of these “contributions” are visibly accounted for. Sir Richard Dalton, a former British diplomat who served as consul-general in Jerusalem, observed: "I don't believe, and I don't think anybody else believes, these contributions come with no strings attached."

Mr Oborne showed how Labour and Conservative Friends of Israel take dozens of MPs on free trips to Israel, where they are guests of the Israeli government.

Few, if any, declare this interest when speaking in Parliament.

He showed how one of the Conservative Party's big donors has vested interests in illegal settlement development in the West Bank and in Bicom, an Israeli public affairs outfit, and how the party's leadership is subjected to foreign pressure.

What harm does “cabbing” for Israel do?

Large numbers of MPs (and many parliamentary candidates) are exposed to the Israel lobby's influence, and its message is carried through into parliamentary work, causing great damage to our parliamentary democracy, harm to Britain's reputation throughout the world and risk to our security because a just solution in the Holy Land is prevented by such partisanship.

The majority of Conservative MPs and MEPs are Friends of Israel. The lobby also claims a very large number of Labour MPs and ministers. Membership is said to be a necessary step to high office.

The Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel (LDFI) website brazenly states that its first aim is to maximize support for the State of Israel within the party and Parliament, and develop and maintain a broad-based LDFI membership inside and outside of Parliament.

Conservatives Friends of Israel have a “fast track” group for parliamentary candidates fighting target marginal seats.

Senior Conservatives try to justify their support for the foreign military power by insisting that Israel is "a force for good in the world" and "in the battle for the values that we stand for, for democracy against theocracy, for democratic liberal values against repression – Israel's enemies are our enemies and this is a battle in which we all stand together".





"The belief I have in Israel is indestructible – and you need to know that if I become prime minister, Israel has a friend who will never turn his back on Israel."

UK Conservative Party leader David Cameron



This partisanship undermines a number of the Principles on which our standards in public life are founded. One of these requires holders of public office not to place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organizations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties.
Nowhere is this disregard for principle more dramatically demonstrated than in the appointment of Israel flag-wavers to the chairmanship of our most important security bodies – the Intelligence and Security Committee, the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Defence Committee.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown told Labour Friends of Israel that they were
one of the great influences on the whole of the Labour movement... I will continue to do what I can both to defend Israel and to protect the security of Israel’s borders... I count myself not only a friend of Israel but someone who wants to support the future of Israel ...  we will do everything that we can to work with Israel.
Conservative opposition leader David Cameron has said: "The belief I have in Israel is indestructible – and you need to know that if I become prime minister, Israel has a friend who will never turn his back on Israel."

Both leaders are patrons of the Jewish National Fund, an organization with a sinister purpose.

Lobbying will be the "next political scandal", says Cameron blissfully unaware of the irony of his remark.

“Cabbing” to change the law and protect Israel’s thugs

When Tzipi Livni, leader of Israel's main opposition party Kadima and foreign minister during the murderous blitzkrieg on Gaza civilians a year ago, recently cancelled a visit to Britain after an arrest warrant was issued against her by a British court, Israel complained that “we have to put an end to this absurdity, which is harming the excellent bilateral relations between Israel and Britain."

Gordon Brown responded by insisting that Livni was welcome and promising to change the law that allows British courts to issue warrants for war crimes suspects.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband reinforced this by saying the British government was determined that arrest threats against visitors of Ms Livni's stature would not happen again. "Israel is a strategic partner and a close friend of the United Kingdom. We are determined to protect and develop these ties," he said. "Israeli leaders – like leaders from other countries – must be able to visit and have a proper dialogue with the British government."

Livni is not even a serving minister. And far from apologizing for the slaughter of Gazans a year ago, this odious individual declared: "I would make the same decisions all over again." For decent people she is beyond the pale and unwelcome.

Nevertheless, the attorney-general has told the world that the government intends to protect high-ranking Israeli officials from arrest in the UK. Speaking at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Baroness Scotland said Israeli leaders should not face arrest for war crimes under the law of universal jurisdiction. "The government is looking urgently at ways in which the UK system might be changed to avoid this situation arising again. Israel's leaders should always be able to travel freely to the UK."

Why? There can be no hiding place for those accused of genocide, crimes against humanity, extra-judicial executions, war crimes, torture and forced disappearances.

States that are party to the Geneva Conventions – there are 194 of them, including Israel itself – are obliged to seek out and either prosecute or extradite those suspected of having committed "grave breaches" of the conventions and “bring such persons, regardless of their nationality, before its own courts. It may also, if it prefers, and in accordance with the provisions of its own legislation, hand such persons over for trial to another High Contracting Party concerned, provided such High Contracting Party has made out a prima facie case."

The Geneva Conventions are treaties, solemnly entered into, that contain universal rules limiting the barbarity of war. "Grave breaches" means willful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, the causing of great suffering or serious injury to body or health, and other serious violations of the laws of war. Israel is well practised in all of these.




"Brown and Miliband, 'cabbing' like fury, are happy to dismantle our obligations under international law in order to save their unsavoury friends and allow Israel’s worst thugs to walk the streets of our capital."


Brown and Miliband, “cabbing” like fury, are happy to dismantle our obligations under international law in order to save their unsavoury friends and allow Israel’s worst thugs to walk the streets of our capital.
“Cabbing” for Israel even extends to making light of the theft by Mossad agents of the passport ID of several British citizens in a mission to assassinate a Hamas operative in Dubai. It was not the first time this sort of thing has happened. Mr Miliband announced the expulsion of an unnamed individual on the Israeli embassy staff. This feeble slap on the wrist was not nearly enough to wipe the smirk off Ambassador Ron Prosor’s face.

George Galloway MP called for a more robust response – the closing of the embassy. “Every British citizen travelling in the Middle East has been endangered by the actions of Mossad operating from the Israeli embassy in London. Protecting British citizens abroad demands nothing less than closing that centre of espionage at home."

That’s more like it.

Miliband’s and Brown’s friends are not my friends – or anyone else’s as far as I can see. The idea that Israel and the gangsters who run it have any value to us as strategic partners, is a figment of their tiny imagination. George Washington’s warning of years ago seems all the more appropriate today: "The nation which indulges towards another a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave ... a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils."

Who , if they had any integrity, would "cab" for a regime that thieves, murders, assassinates, carries out ethnic cleansing and shows utter contempt for international law, human rights, UN resolutions and the normal codes of human conduct?

Who would “cab” for a regime that, by using overwhelming military might, has systematically impoverished its neighbours and resorted to starvation tactics to make them submit?

Who, if they had a shred of honour, would "cab" for a regime whose leaders are wanted for war crimes?

Be warned, you parliamentary candidates, when you come a-knocking for my vote. The first question will be “Are you cabbing for Israel?”


Stuart Littlewood is author of the book Radio Free Palestine, which tells the plight of the Palestinians under occupation. For further information please visit www.radiofreepalestine.co.uk.

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

Lenient UK weak over Passports

24 March 2010

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband has announced that an unnamed Israeli diplomat will be expelled following the assassination of Mahmud al-Mabhuh, one of the founders of the "Hamas" movement's military wing, in Dubai. This tells us several significant things:

First: It confirms that British passports used by the perpetrators of this crime were cloned by Israel's Mosad intelligence service, just as Major General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, the Dubai police chief, had asserted in several press interviews and statements.

Second: It provides new and documented evidence for Interpol in their hunt to track those involved in this crime and bring them to justice. Evidence presented to the UK government following investigations in London, Tel Aviv, and Dubai came from its Serious and Organized Crime Agency, the most specialized agency in this kind of crime.

Third: Britain's move will prompt other European and Western countries, whose passports were also abused by Mosad in pursuit of the same crime, such as France, Germany, Ireland, and Australia, to expel Israeli diplomats working in their capitals.

Fourth: We do not know if the expelled diplomat was involved in this crime or not or had prior knowledge about it, since the British Foreign secretary did not mention this in his statement to the House of Commons yesterday, but he is probably one of the embassy's security officers and his expulsion is a clear message to his chiefs in Tel Aviv.

Cloning British passports to provide cover for a Mosad cell to carry out a terrorist act of assassination in a country that is friendly with the West is a blatant violation of British sovereignty and a definite threat to its interests and its citizens' security in a number of countries in the world.

With such a crime against friendly countries like Britain, France, Germany, Ireland, and Australia, Israel is proving it is a "rogue" state which does not respect international norms and charters and acts like an outlawed criminal gang.

Yet this British punishment was very mild compared to the magnitude of the crime and its possible repercussions for the security of Britain and its citizens. The punishment was expected to be much more than the expulsion of a diplomat. When the Israeli security services committed a similar crime in 1987 and cloned British passports to use them in terrorist operations, the British response was the expulsion of more than 13 Israeli diplomats and a total cessation of security cooperation with the Hebrew State for more than four years.

Secretary Miliband said he received "assurances" from the Israeli Government that this scandalous violation of British sovereignty and the cloning of passports bearing the state's symbol and embodying its prestige and dignity would not be repeated but he forgot or pretended to forget that former Israeli Foreign Minister Shim'on Peres gave the same assurances to his British counterpart in 1987, which practically means these assurances or pledges are of no value because Israel considers itself to be above all international norms and laws and can implement its crimes assured that it will not be seriously brought to account.

We know very well that Gordon Brown is unlike Margaret Thatcher but he should have built on her decision and deported a larger number of diplomats than those she deported out of concern for Britain, its dignity, sovereignty, and prestige because the present violation is much greater than the one which happened during her rule and is a blatant breach of official pledges not to repeat it.

Western pampering, particularly by Britain and America, is exactly what makes Israel and its government defy international will with policies such as its apartheid wall, settlement activities in occupied Jerusalem, killing the peace process, committing war crimes during the aggression against the Gaza Strip, and lastly violating the sovereignty of more than seven countries by cloning their passports and sending its assassination team to a peaceful country like the United Arab Emirates to undermine its security and stability and shake its image as an international financial centre and free zone.

These are not the acts of a state claiming it is the only democracy and representative of Western civilization in the Middle East. These are the acts of a "rogue" state which behaves like a criminal gang and a terrorist group. Like other rogue countries it must be stopped through firm international sanctions.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Divine Text and Pluralism in Muslim Societies

The Divine Text and Pluralism in Muslim Societies


by Mohamnicid Shahrour

Plurality may refer to religion, nationality, political views, political jurisdiction, and individual opinion, all gathered with-in a single society. Hence, speaking about pluralism in Muslim societies is to speak about freedom and democracy.

In a Muslim context, freedom and democracy should be understood in relation to Arab and particularly Islamic tradi-tions and heritage, and the ways in which they are related to the events surrounding the establishment of a state in the 5ev-enth century at Medina. This state was based on the emer-gence of a new divine message that completed and sealed all previous ones. At that point, the existing Arab society was cohesive, with its own conventions, morals, and civilization.

In particular, we should understand how people at that time responded to this new state based on their political and social interests. During the time of the Prophet Muhammad's rule, conflict of interests was not conducted openly. With his death, conflict immediately emerged within tribes, families, and other groups, each claiming to be the rightful followers of the Prophet, and claiming as well absolute truth. These conflicts continue to this very day in the Arab-Muslim world, and are manifested in the existence of different Muslim sects.

From the end of the nineteenth century until now, a popular slogan has been heard: "Islam is the olution." This means that Islam is the only guide to salvation, and offers the only way out of different crises. Islam itself is the only way to build a just and free society-in other words, an Islamic soci-ety.

But I often wonder, which Islam is meant? Is it the Islam of the Qur'an and the Prophet Muhammad, or the Islam that emerged through many different historical events and circum-stances? What kind of solution does Islam offer? What problems is it assumed that Islam will solve?

Under such circumstances, the Arab Muslim population has divided into two tendencies. The first group holds tightly to the literal meaning of the heritage, in order to preserve their national identity and
character intact, or at least as they imagine national identity and character to be. Considering that this
legacy contains absolute truth, they believe that what was fit for the first community of believers in the
Prophet's time is fit for all believers in all times. This belief has been absolute and exhaustive.

In today's circumstances, such beliefs are often encouraged by political and economic conditions, where people's dissatisfaction with the status quo in many countries leads them to accept the slogan that "Islam is the solution." Most of this group considers parliaments and elections to be a part of a Western heresy, and not the way that an Islamic state should be governed. Rather, they believe that only Allah provides legitimacy for a state, which means that the state should be controlled either by professional clergy (such as in the case of Iran) or by 'ulamma (religious authorities).

The state is based on a legitimacy derived from the original human heritage, and is untouched by hanges in political thought over time. Their political theory is based on the Caliphate and Imamate (i.e., preeminent Islamic authority) and obedience to decision-makers, and does not have an original theory of freedom and human rights.

The second group has tended to call for secularism and modernity, refusing the Islamic legacy altogether, including the Qur'an, as a part of inherited traditions that would only act as a narcotic on public opinion. For them, ritual is an image of obscurantism. Leading this group have been Marxists,
Communists, and some Arab nationalists. But all these parties have failed to fulfill their promise to
provide modernity to their societies. They have attempted to construct a secular state that monopolizes truth, blocking any public expression of pluralism. This, however, is a perversion of secularism, which does not entail any state monopoly on truth.

A Return to Text

Between these two groups, a third tendency has emerged. A few voices, including my own, have called for a return to al-tanzil, the oritinal text of God's revelation to the Prophet. In what is commonly known as the Qur'an are actually two distinct aspects. The first is prophecy, which describes the difference between reality and illusion. The second concerns law and moral behavior. In this sense, the first aspect is objective and thus independent of human acceptance. The second aspect is subjective, depending on human knowledge, as, for example, in the human capacity to know right from wrong.

In my belief, al-tanzil is a divine whole, encompassing both the objective prophecy and the subjective
message. It is a divine text whereas everything else is part of the inherited legacy. All interpretations,
including tafsir (exegesis) or ijuhad (independent reasoning) are; no more than human attempts toward
understanding and acting on this divine text.

The sense of fatalism that afflicts many Arab Muslims comes from the confusion of God's prophecy and message about how to live a moral life. Prophecy is limited to a certain number of things above all, that all men will die and be resurrected. But humans have a free will to determine their own conduct in relation to God's message, and its relation to their lives. In the afterlife, they will be judged by God for the way they exercised their free will. Unfortunately, however, many Muslim Arabs have confused the inevitability of prophecy with an absence of free will. God may know all of the choices that I will face in makind decisions tomorrow, but it will be me who chooses one of these options. This is my free will.

In 1970, when I was a student at the National University of Ireland in Dublin, a flood of questions started to form in my mind. I decided that the school of modernity, in the Arab Muslim world, had made several mistakes:

1-They understood religion by over-relying on the views of the clergy and religious establishment;

They rejected the Islamic inherited legacy as a whole, which cut them off from their historical roots
and their national affiliation;

2-They denied all divine messages, thereby disregarding morality itself as a principle for society; and
'They believed only in materialism as the basis of existence, resulting in a view of human beings as mere statistical units.

Moreover, I found that classicists, traditionalist fundamentalists, and extreme fundamentalists had also
made several mistakes:

1-They had transformed the universal message of Islam into a narrow, local one, intended only for the
Muslims in their immediate vicinity;

'They gave the traditional, inherited legacy a sacred aspect, even though it is the product of human interpretati6n. Thus, it became a dogma that people had to accept and apply literally. Over time, this
approach reinforced itself, so that the original message was covered by human heritage. As a result,
Islamic culture became petrified;

'They treated different aspects of the divine revelation as if they were the same thing; and
'They did not differentiate between the distinctive parts of al-tanzil. They concentrated on the beauty
of the lan-guage, but ignored the brilliance of the divine logic. In brief, I found Islam, Muslims, and
Islamic thinkers sinking under the burden of ancestral traditions that pulls them backwards.

Under these circum-stances, the formal religious establishment attempts to keep everything as it has been, so as to defend its privileges. In addition, extremist fundamentalis's try to reclaim the authority of religion for themselves and prise it away from the state. Muslims also face the burden of misunderstanding by non-Muslims, who identify Islam in the terms set by the religious establishment or the extreme fundamentalists.

Another ten years had to pass before I was able to free my thinking from this burden of man-made
heritage. I have since tried to clarify the definitions of a number of terms and ideas that were confused
or obscured by traditionalist approaches and writings:

I)AI-tanzil is the revealed, divine text that had been given to Muhammad. And, like all Muslims, I am
personally obliged to understand this prophecy and carry out its injunctions, as if Muhammad had assed away yesterday. This is made clear in the text by hundreds of references, such as 'O mankind," 'O descendants of Adam." O my worshipers," 'O believers."

2)AI-tanzil is assigned for all mankind, and not Arabs only, and has the ability to fit in with every
human culture, at all levels of development.

3)With the exception of al-tanzil, all texts and religious literature are but a legacy, which represents
human understanding of the divine revelation within the conditions of the time and place of production. These conditions of time and place depend also on the state and means of scientific knowledge.

4)A1-tanzil need not be understood through the strict rules of interpretation established ten centuries
ago. Obviously, there are rules of common sense that apply, such as an understanding of the Arabic
language, in order to read the Arabic text.

5)Rejecting the traditional legacy, which I do not believe gives a proper understanding of the divine
messages, at least nowadays, does not mean that Muslims need to be ashamed of their history and
identity. Our legacy is our roots, our history is our identity; and our ancestors are our forefathers. I argue only that we need not borrow others' glasses to see our own reality', or to solve our current problems.

In my opinion, Muslims do not need a new interpretation, or a new tafsir; we do not need a new Islam as some have imagined,. or, God forbid, a heresy. In my own work, I believe I am making a serious, rational attempt to re-read al-tanzil, freed from all historic additions that were added arbitrarily by
authoritarian or sultanic governors. I try to look at this message with the eyes of the present, a gain, as if the Prophet Muhammad had passed away yesterday.

Remember that al-tanzil has characteristics that have been hidden by the literal adherence to human
interpretation rather than adherence to the divine message. I see distinct differences between a number of terms that have been used as synonyms. For example, there is the difference between the term

"Muslim," which originally referred to all believers in God, the afterlife and the performance of good deeds, and the term mu 'minin, which refers specifically to the followers of the Prophet Muhammad.

Everything connected with God is, for me, Islam.

Thus, in my view, all believers in God and the afterlife are Muslims. Those who follow the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad are Muslim-mu'minin. Those who follow the teachings of Jesus are Muslim-Christians, while those who follow the teachings of Moses are Muslim-Jews.

What distinguishes the Prophet Muhammad from previous prophets is that God's revelation to him by

itself constitutes a miracle, whereas in Christianity and Judaism there are historical miracles outside the text. In the Prophet Muhammad's message, the text itself is the miracle, which teaches us that mankind must depend on reason alone and that no further revelation or miracles are needed. We have to make our own miracles, like traveling in outer space.

Nature of the Prophetic Message

There are three noteworthy aspects to the message of the Prophet Muhammad: morality, legislation, and ritual. Morality, in my view, is the common heritage of all religions, and has been built over time from Noah to Muhammad, passing through Moses and Jesus. These prophetic messages constitute the moral pillars of Islam.

The legislative aspect refers to the limits that God sets for dealing with human behavior in different areas of interaction, as in marriage, business, inheritance, polygamy, and criminality. When Arab
Muslims insist on the death penalty for murderers, they are confusing the maximum penalty with the
required penalty. While murderers must be punished, they could be given a life sentence, rather than the death penalty. Both fall within the limits of punishment set by God in the Qur'an, but torture of murderers is beyond these limits.

The idea that murderers must be put to death under all circumstances can be traced back to human interpretation that says there is but one punishment for murder, even though the Qur'an speaks only of "limits" of punishment (hudud). Thus, our heritage confines our ability to make proper legislation.

Yet, at the same time, the theory of God's limits in legislation allows for different solutions to problems-hence, different points of view and, in time, pluralism within societies and parliaments. This means that, in a debate, if all parties respect God's limits, the accusation of heresy is out of place.

Accusations of heresy become the way in which religious establishments try to control or limit
pluralism. In this context, parliaments should replace clergymen and religious institutions in making
legislation.

The development of pluralism also depends on our understanding of the distinction between God's
doctrines as handed down to the Prophet Muhammad, and the Prophet's actual conduct as a man living in a certain time and a certain society. Fundamentalists tell us that we must live as the Prophet lived, and we have to follow his sayings and example from his times. In my view, the Prophet lived an exemplary life within the limits set by God. But his behavior was only one of many choices he could have made, all within God's limits.

Thus, the Prophet is a model to us in the sense that he observed God's limits, not in the sense that we must make the same choices that he made. The life of the Prophet is the first historical variant of how the rules of Islam can be applied to a tribal society of the time. But it is the first variant, not the only one or the last one.

Fundamentalists today confuse the Prophet's choices with Muslim rituals as the whole of Islam. In this way, they would prevent people from making legitimate choices, and they would prevent pluralism in
the name of the Prophet's choices. Everything is compared to what the Prophet did, not to the way the Prophet made choices. My interpretation puts the sunna, or the traditions and sayings of the Prophet, in a new light.

As to ritual, these are specific to Muhammad's teaching of how to worship God, and Muslims know them as the five pillars: bearing witness to Muhammad as God's messenger, praying five times a day,
giving charity, making pilgrimage, and fasting. But this is only the ritualistic side of the universal
message of God. Rituals may differ from one branch of Islam to another, that is, among mu 'mini??,

Christians, and Jews.

Principles of Pluralism

Through my reading of the text, I have come to conclusions that are relevant to the application of the
Qur'an to contemporary society, particularly with regard to democracy and pluralism.

First, one of the core principles of Muslim belief is shura, which means consultation. This was how the Prophet consulted with his companions on making decisions for his society. In the Qur'an, shura is
mentioned twice, as a fundamental belief ,just like prayer, and as a practice, according to the time in
which one lives. In our times, genuine shura means genuine pluralism of points of view, and
democracy.

Second, this view of shura changes the concept of Jihad, which we hear so much about from the fundamentalists. To my mind, jihad is justified in only two cases: to defend the homeland, or to fight for freedom and justice. But if societies are govemed within the limits set by God, then there is no need to confront them with jihad. Fundamentalists again confuse limits with requirements, and so speak of jihad against societies that do not share their view of God's requirements but do respect God's limits.

Attacks on others in order to spread Islam is a deformed historical concept of jihad because, as I have explained, Islam exists among all mankind, insofar as they believe in God, the afferlife, and good deeds. The Qur'an says clearly that it is not allowed to wage war against anyone else to force them to
believe in Muhammad, or to be Muslim. The Qur'an recognizes that most people of the world will not e followers of the Prophet Muhammad; today they are 20 percent of the global population.

A Personal Quest

Since 1990, I have become a target of different accusations. My first book AI-Kirab wa '1-Qur 'an:

Qira 'a Mu 'as Ira (The Book and The Qur'an: A Contemporary Reading) in which I explained my thesis, has been censored in more than one Arab or Islamic country. So I had to choose to invest my personal time either in defending myself or in writing and developing my ideas further. I chose the second option. I published my second book, Dirasat al-Islamiyya al-Mu 'as Ira fi '1-Dawla wa

'1-Mujtama'a (Contemporary Islamic Studies on State and Society), and third book, Al- Islam wa'l-Iman (Islam and Belief), which contained practical suggestions for the state and for individuals based on my conceptual views.

I was fortunate to be living in Damascus, Syria. If not, I could have faced what thinkers in other Muslim countries have faced, like Nasr Abu Zeid, who lives in exile from Egypt. Perhaps my fate would have been even worse. The way I have chosen is very difficult. By training I am a civil engineer, and I know it is easier to build a sky-scraper or a tunnel under the sea than to teach people how to read the book of the Lord with their own eyes. They have been used to reading this book with borrowed eyes for hundreds of years.

Nevertheless, the interest shown in my work by different groups was more than I expected. What
attracted them was my total reliance on the Qur'an itself, not on the sunna or another books, which
are written by men and based on their personal interpretations. My critics also focus on my devotion
to the Qur'an, as if I did not respect the Prophet. But as I have said, I respect the Prophet, in his
human behavior, as the first Muslim who chose his options from within God's limits. What I do not
respect is the way that heritage has become dogma in our thinking.

As far as I know, thirteen books have been published attacking my first book, based on dogma. Since
my starting point was not sectarian, people of all sects and religions have been interested in my work.

Officially, my first book has circulated throughout the Middle East and North Africa. My second and
third books have been banned in many countries. But I know that thousands of copies have been
published, sold, and circulated under the table in these same places. The book circulates as well on
CD-ROM, though I have not been involved in its production.

I believe that traditionalism and fundamentalism in Islam will not disappear as a phenomena. Nor have
Judaism or Christianity eliminated them. But I hope that fundamentalism can have less influence, while
still taking its place within a peaceful, pluralist society. I do not believe in violence against
fundamentalists because their beliefs are at least partly rooted in the consciousness of many people.

Cultural problems cannot be solved by force; attempts to do so have failed. A state that tries to
enforce a single culture tums that culture into an ideology. I have seen that in the Soviet Union myself.

Modemity is not a new dogma that is replacing an older one. It is instead a rejection of fanaticism and offers pluralism to all members of society

"... Obama has limited time to press Israel before it becomes a major domestic political issue during midterm elections ..."

Via Friday-Lunch-Club


"...... Obama, fresh from his legislative victory on health care, is planning an attempt to turn the current disaster into a diplomatic opportunity, according to U.S. officials, former officials and diplomats.
The administration is said to be preparing a major peace initiative that would be Obama's most direct involvement in the conflict to date, and would go far beyond the tentative, indirect Israeli-Palestinian talks that were torpedoed earlier in the month.
"It is crystallizing that we have to do something now. That this can't go on this way," said one of the officials who, like the others, wouldn't speak for the record because of the issue's sensitivity.
Because of the U.S. political calendar, Obama has limited time to press Israel before it becomes a major domestic political issue during midterm elections. Netanyahu, who this weekend confers with his closest allies, has limited political space in which to operate, if he wants to stay in power. His coalition at home is populated with Israeli politicians who support Jewish settlements in the West Bank, oppose any concessions on Jerusalem and are skeptical of an independent Palestinian state next door......
The Obama administration is said to believe that Netanyahu has more control over Jewish settlements than he admits, and political flexibility to dump his right-wing partners and form a government with the moderate Kadima party if he chose. "Fundamentally, he's going to have to decide between his coalition and his relationship with the United States," the former official said......
By all accounts, the White House meetings went badly, both in substance and tone, as the Obama team pressed Netanyahu to make concessions on Jewish settlements and other issues. Netanyahu balked at some of the requests, which the administration hasn't made public.
Now, the ball is in his court."


Posted by G, Z, or B at 10:39 AM

Bubbles, Mere Bubbles: The Mullen-Petraeus Report on the Middle East

Silver Lining

Posted on March 27, 2010 by realistic bird

{The Middle East} by Ali Khalil-Al Khaleej newspaper-UAE

By BOUTHAINA SHAABAN, source

Amidst a cacophony of statements, commentary and analyses about the American-Israeli relationship, and the events since Joe Biden’s visit to Israel, Mark Perry wrote an article in Foreign Policy magazine on March 13, 2010 titled “The Petraeus briefing: Biden’s embarrassment is not the whole story”. Perry explained that on January 16, 2010, a team of central command officers and officials responsible for American national security in the Middle East made a presentation in the Pentagon to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, headed by Admiral Michael Mullen, about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The team had been sent by General David Petraeus to “underline his growing concerns at the lack of progress in resolving the issue”. The conclusion of the presentation was that there was a growing perception among Arab leaders that the U.S. was incapable of standing up to Israel. That is why Arabs have started to lose faith in the United States and its promises, and that Israeli intransigence in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was paralyzing the position, role and status of the United States in the region. It added that “America was not only viewed as weak, but its military posture in the region was eroding, despite the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of American troops in the region”.

Perry says that the briefing given to Mullen, at Petraeus’ request, fell like a bombshell on the White house. That is why the Obama administration sent Mullen to meet Gabi Ashkenazi. Mark Perry adds that Biden passed the content of the Mullen-Petraeus report to Netanyahu saying: “This is starting to get dangerous for us. What you’re doing here undermines the security of our troops who are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. That endangers us and it endangers regional peace”. The message was very clear. “Israel’s intransigence could cost American lives”. He concludes his article by saying that some people think that Biden’s visit to the region changed the Israeli-American relationship, while the real change happened last January when David Petraeus sent a clear warning to the Pentagon through the team which made the presentation: “America’s relationship with Israel is important, but not as important as the lives of America’s soldiers”.

This review of what was published in the media since Biden’s visit is important because it shows that the Obama administration realizes the links between Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict, on the one hand, and what is happening in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, on the other. It also recognizes, albeit indirectly, that the question of Palestine and the occupied Arab territories is at the heart of what is going on in the region; and that the region will not know peace and quiet until justice is achieved in Palestine.

But the real message which the West should hear would be that of the concerned parties, the Arab leaders who are in charge of protecting Arab and Muslim sacred places. The clearer and more forceful and serious the message is the more seriously others would take and contemplate it.
A week of speculation about the course of American-Israeli relations did not
lead to releasing one Palestinian prisoner, protecting one house in Jerusalem against demolition or allowing unarmed Palestinians without protection to praying in al-Aqsa mosque. American, European and quartet positions did not go beyond verbal criticism of settlements such as expressing ‘concern’, accompanied by invoking the strategic alliance between the United States and Israel and of course stressing for the billionth time the United States’ and Europe’s commitment to ‘Israel’s security’ without any consideration for the security, freedom and rights of the Palestinians.

All Western statements will remain mere media bubbles unless accompanied by the tools which the United States uses in dealing with Arabs and Muslims such as passing a binding resolution accompanied by sanctions. But these bubbles have two objectives in American policy: diverting attention from daily Israeli crimes against unarmed Palestinian civilians; and helping those who do not want Arabs to support the Palestinian people.

The importance of the Petraeus-Mullen briefing lies in its implicit suggestion that an Arab and Muslim stand can be effective, not only against Israeli occupation, but also against all those who support Israel with arms and money and all those who provide with international cover to enable it to continue Judazing land and sanctities. It is equally effective in supporting the Palestinian people uprooted from their land, deprived of their freedom and independence and subjected to crimes against humanity, under the full gaze of the ‘civilized’ world.
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ADL’S VIEWS SHOULD NOT BE TAKENSERIOUSLY

DesertPeace

March 28, 2010 at 14:32 (ADL Hatemongering, Israel, zionist harassment)

It must have been a slow week in the offices of the ADL…. they seem to have found time to dig up some dirt on Jimmy Carter and throw it in his face…..

BUT….. they obviously did not read the second linked article on this post or they might not be so quick to condemn.

ADL: Carter has reverted to anti-Israel stance, despite recent apology

Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter’s apology to the Jewish community over his anti-Israel views should not be taken seriously, an Anti-Defamation League statement said Sunday, claiming that Carter had continued attacking Israel even after sending an apologetic letter to the leaders of the U.S. Jewish community.


More HERE

Perhaps the reasons for Carter’s positions can be found in the following…..


Israel should thank Obama for acting like a friend
By Gideon Levy

If Israel had a real peace camp, if the silent majority had broken its sickly silence, if more Israelis approached the situation as a collective rather than individuals yearning for the next holiday or car, if more Israelis refused to accept blindly the deceptions of Israeli diplomacy and propaganda, Rabin Square would have been filled with demonstrators yesterday. Among the banners and flags, one sign would have stood out in this hour of risks and fateful decisions: “Thank you, friend.” Thank you, Barack Obama, friend of Israel.


Read the rest HERE

I AM IsraHell

I AM IsraHell

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 at 4:17AM Gilad Atzmon

                              

http://iamisrael.com/

The Real Identity of Israel

I am Israel. I came to a land without a people for a people without a land. Those people who happened to be here, had no right to be here, and my people showed them they had to leave or die, razing 480 Palestinian villages to the ground, erasing their history.I am Israel. Some of my people committed massacres and later became Prime Ministers to represent me. In 1948, Menachem Begin was in charge of the unit that slaughtered the inhabitants of Deir Yassin, including 100 men, women, and children. In 1953, Ariel Sharon led the slaughter of the inhabitants of Qibya, and in 1982 arranged for our allies to butcher around 2,000 in the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila.I am Israel. Carved in 1948 out of 78% of the land of Palestine, dispossessing its inhabitants and replacing them with Jews from Europe and other parts of the world. While the natives whose families lived on this land for thousands of years are not allowed to return, Jews from all over the world are welcome to instant citizenship.I am Israel. In 1967, I swallowed the remaining lands of Palestine - the West Bank and Gaza - and placed their inhabitants under an oppressive military rule, controlling and humiliating every aspect of their daily lives. Eventually, they should get the message that they are not welcome to stay, and join the millions of Palestinian refugees in the shanty camps of Lebanon and Jordan.I am Israel. I have the power to control American policy. My American Israel Public Affairs Committee can make or break any politician of its choosing, and as you see, they all compete to please me. All the forces of the world are powerless against me, including the UN as I have the American veto to block any condemnation of my war crimes. As Sharon so eloquently phrased it, “We control America”.I am Israel. I influence American mainstream media too, and you will always find the news tailored to my favor. I have invested millions of dollars into PR representation, and CNN, New York Times, and others have been doing an excellent job of promoting my propaganda. Look at other international news sources and you will see the difference.I am Israel. You Palestinians want to negotiate “peace!?” But you are not as smart as me; I will negotiate, but will only let you have your municipalities while I control your borders, your water, your airspace and anything else of importance. While we “negotiate,” I will swallow your hilltops and fill them with settlements, populated by the most extremist of my extremists, armed to the teeth. These settlements will be connected with roads you cannot use, and you will be imprisoned in your little Bantustans between them, surrounded by checkpoints in every direction.I am Israel. I have the fourth strongest army in the world, possessing nuclear weapons. How dare your children confront my oppression with stones, don’t you know my soldiers won’t hesitate to blow their heads off? In 17 months, I have killed 900 of you and injured 17,000, mostly civilians, and have the mandate to continue since the international community remains silent. Ignore, as I do, the hundreds of Israeli reserve officers who are now refusing to carry out my control over your lands and people; their voices of conscience will not protect you.I am Israel. You want freedom? I have bullets, tanks, missiles, Apaches and F-16s to obliterate you. I have placed your towns under siege, confiscated your lands, uprooted your trees, demolished your homes, and you still demand freedom? Don’t you get the message? You will never have peace 
or freedom, because I am Israel.

Another Arab summit: another exercise in political impotence

PIC

[ 28/03/2010 - 12:51 AM ]


By Khalid Amayreh

Once again, hundreds of millions of Arabs and Muslims around the world are affronted with another Arab summit conference, which is taking place in Serte in Libya. There, flamboyant dictators, dynastic despots and presidents-for-life have converged on the North African Arab nation to perform an annual futile ritual known as the Arab summit conference.

Over the years, the annual ritual effectively became a buzzword for futility, incompetence and idiotic wrangling among petty dictators and tribesmen-like heads of state.

Eventually, the chronic, striking inability of these summiteers to get anything worthwhile done earned them special notoriety for political inertness, ineptness and impotence. To cover up their annual season of shame, these leaders would issue a communiqué that is as mendacious as a whore’s mouth.

Take, for example, the Palestinian question. Dozens of Arab conferences have been held since the creation in Palestine of the criminal state called Israel. However, every time these impotent tyrants met, they would regurgitate the same impotence and ineptitude they had displayed the previous year.

Today, we are told that the Serte summit will discuss the ordeal facing Jerusalem which houses al Masjidul Aqsa (Aqsa Mosque), the holy place to which the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was taken from Makka by the night and from which his subsequent miraculous journey to the highest heaven took place.

Jerusalem is being stolen house by house, wall by wall and even stone by stone by the merchants of lie and falsifiers of history, the Khazari Zionist Jews, who have committed the grandest act of theft since Adam and Eve. A few years from now, it is possible that no East Jerusalem will have been left if the present state of affair in the Arab-Muslim world remains unchanged.

It is really sad and lamentable that the issue of Jerusalem and Palestine is being entrusted to essentially morally corrupt leaders who can do no good. In the Quran, it is related in Surat Younus, verse 81, that “Allah prospereth not the work of the mischief-makers.”

This means that nothing good or constructive can be expected from these summits for one simple reason, namely that these Arab leaders are actually part of the problem, if not the problem itself, facing the Arab world and as such they can’t be part of the solution.

To begin with these so-called heads of states have no sovereign will of their own, given their scandalous subservience to foreign powers. We all know that the Arab world can have immense leverage on US policy toward the Middle East, especially the enduring Palestinian plight.

However, instead of dealing with the US in the language of mutual interests, we see that these despots are often willing to surrender all their sovereignty and national dignity to the Zionist-run Washington in return for receiving American assurances and backing, especially with regard to them staying in power for life.

These hopelessly impotent and undignified kings, princes and presidents are not only betraying Arab and Muslim interests, but are also conspiring and conniving with the enemies of Islam in order to enable Israel to liquidate the Palestinian cause.

This shocking perfidy has lately manifested itself in the collective Arab stance vis-à-vis Gaza where 1.6 million Arabs have been on the receiving end of a slow-motion holocaust being perpetrated by the children, grand-children and great grandchildren of the holocaust victims. And instead of adopting a dignified posture in the face of Zionist insolence and criminality, some of these Arab states even refused to sever diplomatic relations with the Nazis or our time.

In fact, some of these Arab despots are not only looking on passively as Gaza children and women are being thoroughly savaged and brutalized by the Judeo-Nazi regime but are actually perfecting and tightening the infernal siege on the people of Gaza on no account other than the fact that the victims had dared elect Hamas, a political party that dared say NO to Jewish Nazism and American hegemony.

Added to this is the fact that most if not all Arab regimes do excel in tormenting and savaging their own peoples by denying them the most basic human rights, political freedoms and civil liberties, including the right to elect their own rulers. Hence, it would be foolhardy and infinitely naïve to expect these dictators and tyrants to help the Palestinian people and their enduring just cause in any substantive manner.

Even the Arab masses, with a few notable exceptions, can’t freely express their solidarity with the Palestinian people because they fear getting arrested and tortured by the police-state agents whose main job is to torment and persecute the citizens in order to ensure that no opposition to the dictator is allowed to see the light of the day.

Besides, and despite all the claims to the contrary, the Palestinian cause has never been a truly pressing priority for most Arab regimes, especially the Gulf Sheikhdoms whose leaders are basking in their oil wealth and having nearly pornographic obsequious alliances with the United States, while Israel, America’s spoiled child, is constantly trying to decapitate the Palestinian cause, destroy Islamic holy places in Jerusalem and liquidate the national existence of the Palestinian people.

Some of these decadent despots and their hangers-on might think that allocating a few hundred million dollars would save Jerusalem and help the Palestinians ward off the Zionist beast.

But this is not the case because money alone will not stop Israel from liquidating the Palestinian cause and obliterating the fast-fading Arab-Islamic identity of Jerusalem.

The liberation of Jerusalem requires competent leadership, strong political will and true statesmanship. The Arabs must give America the “red eye” if they are sincere about linking their relations with Washington to Washington’s enduring embrace of Israeli Nazism.

But America will not take any Arab measure seriously if Arab leaders keep indulging in the same treacherous tradition of denouncing America and Israel during their summit conferences while at the same time intimating to American diplomats that they really didn’t meant it and that they only had to say what they said for Arab public opinion consumption.

For sure, the cause of Jerusalem and al Masjidul Aqsa can’t and will not be served by this treasonous duplicity.

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

Polish MPs harassed in Israeli airport after visit to W. Bank and Gaza



[ 28/03/2010 - 10:15 AM ]

BRUSSELS, (PIC)-- The Israeli airport authorities deliberately harassed a polish parliamentary delegation as they were trying to catch their flight leaving the occupied Palestinian lands after a visit they made to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Omar Faris, the head of the Polish-Palestinian friendship society, strongly denounced Israel for harassing the delegation and restricting their movement in the airport.

Faris said that such behavior is regarded as an insult to the Polish people as it targeted their representatives in the parliament.

He also stressed that this Israeli action is a violation of individuals’ personal freedom and security guaranteed by international and humanitarian laws.

The society head accused Israel of attempting to impose international isolation on the Palestinian people and preventing them from being in touch with the world’s lawmakers who support their just cause.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Dahlan to Hamas: Join forces against Israel


Fatah strongman, considered bitter enemy of organization controlling Gaza, calls for joint struggle in order to 'defend the holy sites, in light of the attack on Jerusalem'. Negotiations with Israel ended before they even began, he adds



Fatah strongman Mohammed Dahlan made a surprising statement Wednesday evening, calling on Hamas to join forces and defend the Muslim holy sites against Israel's policy. He spoke on the backdrop of Tuesday's riots in east Jerusalem and the stalemate in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. Ali Waked


Published: 
03.17.10, 23:11 / Israel News
Dahlan, a member of Fatah's Central Committee who is considered a bitter enemy of the organization controlling Gaza, urged Hamas to become part of a pan-Palestinian national conference which would form a joint policy to defend the holy sites.



Commentary










PA politicians choose state building over struggle, for now / Ali Waked







West Bank streets quiet as Gaza rallies in support of Jerusalem riots. In light of deadlock in peace talks, return to terrorism not on table as upper echelons in Palestinian Authority focus on Fayyad-model state building over path of intifada. Third option of supporting bi-national state small, but gaining momentum
"I truly hope that Hamas will surprise us and join a collective battle, rather than settle for calling on the Palestinians to prepare for an intifada in the West Bank," he said.

He also expressed his hope that Hamas would "favor the interests of the Palestinian people and properly diagnose the seriousness of the situation in light of the attack on Jerusalem, by signing the Egyptian reconciliation document."


'Day of rage' in Jerusalem (Photo: Reuters)

Dahlan went on to say that he expects the American administration to force Israel to honor its commitments. "There are examples in history which have proved the United States' ability to pressure Israel, as it did during the first Gulf War when the Americans pressed (Prime Minister Yitzhak) Shamir not to respond to Iraqi missiles fired at Israel."

The Fatah strongman also claimed that "from a professional aspect," the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians have reached their end – after "we negotiated on everything and got down to details, but did not reach a result due to a lack of seriousness which would commit Israel to agree to the two-state solution within the 1967 borders."

Dahlan expressed his firm objection recently to the Arab League's approval of indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinians. He hinted that Fatah did not rule out discussing different diplomatic solutions other than the two-state solution.

"Our movement is still committed to the two-state solution, but all options are on the table," he said. "If the international community fails to impose this solution on Israel, the one-state solution may become the issue on the agenda. We will not wait for the two states forever, and the one-state solution may be the next issue discussed. The third option is continuing the occupation – and we fully reject this option."

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian