Tuesday, October 9, 2007

[wvns] Is this Ben Gurion or Hell?

Palestinians denied access to the Dead Sea shore

In a letter to the Defence Minister Gush Shalom protests the new
policy whereby army roadblocks in the North Dead Sea region completely
deny West Bank Palestinians from having access to the Dead Sea shore.
Many Palestinian families and groups of school children, on their way
to bath in the sea, were turned back by the soldiers. This is the
latest in the acts of petty tyranny by the army against the Occupied
Territories' population.

It should be noted that the Dead Sea is the last sea shore which was
hitherto open for bathing to West Bank inhabitants, to whom access to
the Mediterranean had been denied long since. Moreover, it is worth
mentioning that the North Dead Sea region is an inseparable part of
the West Bank, occupied in 1967, and that in the Olso Agreements the
State of Israel took the specific obligation to let Palestinians have
access to the Dead Sea. This is, however, far from the first
obligation to be simply trodden underfoot.

Some months ago, when the Olmert Government wanted to avoid responding
to the peace proposals of Syrian President Bashar Assad, it claimed
that "the Americans don't allow us to talk to the Syrians". Now, when
the United States made a formal appeal to Israel to remove roadblocks
and ease the Palestinians freedom of movement, the government and army
suddenly display independence and sovereignty. Instead of the existing
roadblocks being removed, they are added to, imprisoning the
Palestinians in ever-shrinking enclaves.

The prohibition on Palestinian entry to the North Dead Sea region
might be connected with the recent campaign conducted by settlers in
this area, organized in the "Megilot Regional Council", to attract new
settlers to the area (http://www.dead-sea.org.il/?CategoryID=156).

Contact: Gush Shalom spokesperson Adam Keller adam @ gush-shalom.org


Poll: Most Israelis support using nukes
Oct 1, 2007
Jerusalem Post

Approximately 72 percent of Israelis support the use of nuclear
weapons in certain circumstances, according to a Canadian survey
released recently.

A nuclear-capable missile. [Illustrative photo]

The survey - conducted jointly at the end of July by the Simons
Foundation and Angus Reid Strategies - was answered by adults in six
countries and showed that 37% of Israelis believed the use of nuclear
weapons to prevent a war would be justified, while 35% believed the
weapons could be justifiably used during a war.

In addition, the survey found that Israel had the lowest public
support for destroying nuclear weapons out of all the countries

Israel also had the highest percentage in favor of the country using
its "power and influence in a way that serves its own interests" -
approximately 55% - as opposed to "coordinat[ing] with other countries
to do what's best for the world as a whole."

Nearly 72% also agreed that "nuclear weapons place Israel in a unique
position, so it is not in our interest to participate in treaties that
would reduce or eliminate our purported nuclear arsenal."

About three-quarters of Israelis also said they would feel safer if
they knew for certain that Israel had nuclear weapons. Israel has thus
far maintained its policy of nuclear ambiguity.

The organizers of the study suggested that Israel accorded greater
importance to the nuclear form of defense due to the Iranian threat,
Army Radio reported.

The study spanned a sample of 1,000 adults in Britain, France, Italy,
Germany and the US along with Israel.


Is this Ben Gurion or Hell?
Remi Kanazi writing from Occupied Palestine, Live from
Palestine, 26 July 2007

(EI Illustration)

Anyone who has traveled through Ben Gurion airport in
Israel knows that it is a unique experience. For most
Israeli Jews, the experience is comforting, a quick
and accommodating entry into a nation created and
developed for their exclusive benefit. For
Palestinian-Americans and many activists working in
occupied Palestine it is quite a different experience.
Most of these travelers are held for hours and
questioned repeatedly, some of who are stripped naked
and in some cases (especially in the last two years)
denied entry.

As I write from Ramallah, I recall my and my brother's
recent experience there. After a sleepless 15-hour
trip from New York, we arrived at the airport and went
directly to the check-in booth. After waiting in a
short line, a friendly woman asked for our passports,
but her demeanor immediately soured once she viewed
them. We were asked to step aside and after about 15
minutes a woman from airport security told us to
follow her into one of the detainment rooms. Given the
countless stories of harassment I had heard and read
about before my trip, I wasn't so foolish to think
that my journey through Ben Gurion would be a walk in
the park. I had initially anticipated a four-hour
wait, interrogation, and a thorough pat down by
Israel's finest.

When we arrived at the first detainment room, several
young female security agents asked us where we were
going, about our ethnic background and family history,
whether we had family in Israel or the occupied
territories (and if we would be staying with them),
and if "there was anything they should know." We were
then taken to another detainment room, where a few
other detainees were being held. Over the next three
hours, several female security officers came into the
detainment room we were being held in to question us,
while at other times we were called into other
detainment rooms for questioning.

After about four hours, pure exhaustion set in. At
this time, we were taken to a large room with metal
detectors, an x-ray machine and a coffee machine that
looked like it wasn't in use. Still, in a token
attempt at friendliness, the security agent offered us
a cup of coffee. But the offer was rescinded once he
noted the machine was out of service.

About every ten minutes another member of airport
security entered the room. After about 30 minutes we
were taken into a back room, patted down, and scanned
with a hand-held metal detector. After being held for
an hour, Sami, who claimed to be a higher up in the
military and airport security, entered the room. He
had apparently been called in by regular airport
security because of certain "red flags" we had raised.

Sami didn't look particularly happy to see us. He
started to go through our bags, which had been checked
by every member of airport security that had
previously entered the room. He had a determined look
on his face as he sifted through my brother's book on
corporate law and became more agitated when he didn't
find whatever holy grail of information he was looking

After about 15 minutes Sami looked up at us and told
us that "something was missing" -- we were "leaving
out part of the story," and he was going to find out
just exactly what that was. He was looking for what he
called the "truth." So I repeated what we had told the
others: we were staying our first two nights in East
Jerusalem, we would be traveling to the holy sites (to
see where baby Jesus was born), Haifa and Yaffa (the
cities our grandparents were dispossessed from in
1948), Nazareth and Bethlehem. We told the truth, but
kindly omitted Ramallah, Nablus, Hebron, Jenin,
Dheisheh, and any other intended stops in the occupied
territories that didn't involve conventional tourism.
In all honesty, we had only planned out our first two
days in East Jerusalem, which inreasingly annoyed

Sami put it bluntly: as of the moment we were called
in we were considered "terrorists" or people intending
to "engage in terrorist activities" because we "lied"
to airport security about the intention behind our
travel. Sami defined terrorism and terrorist
activities as meeting up with the International
Solidarity Movement (ISM), working in "terrorist"
branches of the Alternative Information Center (AIC),
and nonviolently protesting against the Apartheid Wall
in the village of Bil'in. He was trying to a strike
fear in us that exceeded being denied entry. It had
become a matter of whether he was going to tell the US
government if we were terrorists or not. He claimed
that if he told the US government we were terrorists,
it would not only affect us the rest of our lives
(i.e., anytime we try to get a job, buy a plane
ticket, or apply for a credit card), but it would
affect our family, immediate and extended, in a
similar fashion. The explanation was clear: nobody
would believe two Palestinians males over a respected
man in the Israeli military with 40 years of
experience. At this point I started to offer up
information that may or may have not been considered
"terrorist activity," essentially the plans for our
trip, which my brother and I were still faintly
excited about, plans that didn't seem to bring much
joy to Sami.

Sami started to go through our phones, writing down
numbers and asking questions about anyone with an
Arab, Persian or Jewish name. He was particularly
angered when he saw the name of a well-known Jewish
activist who has done extensive work in the occupied
territories in my brother's phone. Ironically, the
number in my brother's phone was actually the number
of a paralegal in New York City, not the well-known
activist, but Sami wouldn't get off the subject for a
solid half hour.

After about 90 minutes of intense bullying, Sami
concluded we weren't terrorists. At this point, Sami
started to warm up, but not without first telling us
what we explicitly weren't supposed to do: no ISM,
stay away from AIC activity, and do not engage in
anything that we would categorize as nonviolent

By the end of our stay at Ben Gurion, Sami informed us
that we were lucky to catch him on a good day. He
became extremely open and candid in the last 30
minutes. He said that while he may not agree with
everything that he does and he may not agree with the
political situation, he's a soldier of the state, and
serving its interest is his job. While I appreciated
his honesty, this type of rationalization has been
used throughout history, justifying war crimes and
human rights violations ad infinitum.

As our seven hour journey came to an end, Sami began
telling us personal stories. I'm not sure if it was an
attempt clear his conscience, but he told us about his
diverse group of friends, which included Arabs, and
how his life had been saved five times, all by Arabs.
It was amazing to see how human and forthcoming some
of the "toughest" people in Israel can be while at the
same time maintaining the walls of discrimination and
oppression, walls that have ultimately been
encompassed by a greater wall of rationalization. For
us, it was seven hours of hell in Ben Gurion. For a
Palestinian here, occupation is a reality every day of
the year.

Remi Kanazi is a Palestinian-American poet and writer
based in New York City. He is the co-founder of
www.PoeticInjustice.net and the editor of the
forthcoming anthology of poetry, Poets for Palestine.
He can be contacted at remroum@gmail.com.


Military communiqué issued by

The Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades and the Martyr Izz ad-Din al-
Qassam Brigades.

No Bargaining for Blood except with Blood.

In a heroic battle – one of the battles of Palestinian glory and
pride, and in retaliation for the blood of the martyr commander and
comrade Naser Ali Mabruk, a cavalier of the Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa
Brigades – a joint unit of the "Martyr Bashshar Hanani Detachment"
of the Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades and the Martyr Izz ad-Din al-
Qassam Brigades laid a pre-planned ambush of a Zionist patrol in the
al-`Ayn camp in Nablus. Our heroes detonated several explosive
devices and sprayed the patrol with a hail of gunfire, clashing with
it using machine guns and explosives at dawn today, 23 August 2007.
The enemy acknowledged the attack and admitted that three of its
soldiers had been wounded. This joint attack on the occupation
forces comes as one of the first responses to the assassination of
the commander of the Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the heroic
martyr and cavalier, Naser Mabruk.

We in the "Martyr Bashshar Hanani Detachment" of the Martyr Abu Ali
Mustafa Brigades and the Martyr Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades are
waging this battle arm in arm and hand in hand, and pledge to you
that the blood of Commander Naser will not be shed in vain, and that
our gunfire will continue to target the enemy until he leaves our

Homeland or death! Victory or Martyrdom!

We will surely win!

The Martyr Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

The Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades.


Military communiqué issued by

The Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the al-Aqsa Palestine Martyrs
Brigades, and the al-Jihad al-Muqaddas.

Erez and Memorial Monument areas bombarded with three mortar shells.

Joint operations in response to the Zionist crimes are continuing
and the Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the al-Aqsa Palestine
Martyrs Brigades, and al-Jihad al-Muqaddas declare their joint
responsibility for bombarding the areas of Erez and the Memorial
Monument with three mortar rounds in an operation that was filmed
and that took place today, Thursday, 23 August 2007, at precisely
7:37 p.m.

This operation is our demonstration that we are continuing along the
path of resistance and that Palestinian weapons are drawn and united
in the face of the enemy – for this is their correct target. We
will continue with the resistance, striking the Zionist positions
until the enemy ceases its dirty crimes and is routed from our land.

Glory to the virtuous martyrs and healing to the heroic wounded!

Freedom to our courageous prisoners and victory to the resistance!

We will surely win!

The Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades.

The al-Aqsa Palestine Martyrs Brigades.

Al-Jihad al-Muqaddas.


Military communiqué issued by

The Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the al-Aqsa Palestine Martyrs
Brigades, and the an-Nasir Salah ad-Din Brigade.

Kuffar `Izzah Settlement Bombarded with two Rockets.

As joint operations continue by the Palestinian Resistance in
response to the Zionist crimes and as our weapons stand united, the
Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the al-Aqsa Palestine Martyrs
Brigades, and the an-Nasir Salah ad-Din Brigade announce their joint
responsibility for bombarding the Zionist Kuffar `Izzah settlement
with two rockets today, Thursday, 23 August 2007 at precisely 8:47

This operation is a part of a series of joint acts by the heroic
resistance in retaliation for the crimes committed by the enemy
against our people and our resistance, for their assassinations,
brutal murders, invasions, and expropriation of our lands. We
declare that our response to the enemy is still continuing.

Glory to the virtuous martyrs and healing to the heroic wounded!

Freedom to our courageous prisoners and victory to the resistance!

We will surely win!

The Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades.

The al-Aqsa Palestine Martyrs Brigades.

The an-Nasir Salah ad-Din Brigade.


Carter Blasts US Policy on Palestinians
Associated Press Writer----presented by The Wistom Fund

DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) - Former President Jimmy Carter accused the U.S.,
Israel and the European Union on Tuesday of seeking to divide the
Palestinian people by reopening aid to President Mahmoud Abbas' new
government in the West Bank while denying the same to the
Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

Carter, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who was addressing a human rights
conference in Ireland, also said the Bush administration's refusal to
accept Hamas' 2006 election victory was "criminal."

Carter said Hamas, besides winning a fair and democratic mandate that
should have entitled it to lead the Palestinian government, had proven
itself to be far more organized in its political and military
showdowns with Abbas' moderate Fatah movement.

Hamas fighters routed Fatah in their violent takeover of the Gaza
Strip last week. The split prompted Abbas to dissolve the power-
sharing government with his rivals in Hamas and set up a Fatah-led
administration to govern the West Bank.

Carter said the consensus of the U.S., Israel and the EU to start
funneling aid to Abbas' new government in the West Bank but continue
blocking Hamas in the Gaza Strip represented an "effort to divide
Palestinians into two peoples."

"All efforts of the international community should be to reconcile the
two, but there's no effort from the outside to bring the two
together," he said.

The U.S. and European countries cut off the Hamas-led government last
year because of the Islamic militant group's refusal to renounce
violence and recognize Israel. They have continued to send
humanitarian aid to Gaza through the United Nations and other

In the latest crisis, the U.S., Israel and much of the West have been
trying to shore up Abbas in hopes that the West Bank can be made into
a democratic example that would bring along Gaza.

During his speech to Ireland's annual Forum on Human Rights, the 83-
year-old former president said monitors from his Carter Center
observed the 2006 election that Hamas won. He said the vote was
"orderly and fair" and Hamas triumphed, in part, because it was
"shrewd in selecting candidates," whereas a divided, corrupt Fatah ran
multiple candidates for single seats.

Far from encouraging Hamas' move into parliamentary politics, Carter
said the U.S. and Israel, with European Union acquiescence, sought to
subvert the outcome by shunning Hamas and helping Abbas to keep the
reins of political and military power.

"That action was criminal," he said in a news conference after his speech.

"The United States and Israel decided to punish all the people in
Palestine and did everything they could to deter a compromise between
Hamas and Fatah," he said.

Carter said the U.S. and others supplied the Fatah-controlled security
forces in Gaza with vastly superior weaponry in hopes they would
"conquer Hamas in Gaza"‹but Hamas routed Fatah in the fighting last
week because of its "superior skills and discipline."



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