||Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~
Land Theft and Destruction|
IOA plans to expand Abu Ghunaim settlement in OJ
The IOA in complete
disregard of international laws is going ahead in its construction plans in occupied Jerusalem and is expected to endorse a new expansion in Abu
Ghunaim settlement on Monday.
IOA confiscate Palestinian land in Ramallah
The IOA has ordered the confiscation of 49 dunums of Palestinian land in
Beitonia village, Ramallah district, in order to construct a new bypass
road linking Jerusalem to Modi'in settlement.
Israel: No building restrictions in east Jerusalem
AP - Israel will not restrict construction in east
Jerusalem, Israel's prime minister said Sunday hours before he left for
Washington, despite a clear U.S. demand that building there must stop
and a crisis in relations between the two longtime allies.
'US knew about settlements'
Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said yesterday that he had told
Washington in writing just before heading for talks with the US
President, Barack Obama, that he would not stop Jewish settlement around
Huwaida depicts her detention
from Huwaida on the happenings at Nabi Saleh last Friday, the conditions
of her arrest along with 2 Palestinians (Amjad & Omar) and on the
injury of the American activist (Ellen).
Bethlehem district: al Ma’sara and al Walaja defend
their lands and homes
March 20th, 2010-- While in al Walaja
Palestinians and internationals gathered to defend two homes under
demolition order, the protest in al Ma'sara was dedicated to the memory
of Rachel Corrie, who had tried to prevent a home demolition in Gaza
when a bulldozer of the Israeli military ran over her body seven years
Moroccans organize massive demonstrations in support
of the Aqsa
The justice and charity group organized 33 marches in various Moroccan
cities after the Friday congregation in support of occupied Jerusalem
and its holy Aqsa Mosque in face of Israeli attacks.
in defence of the right to boycott Israel
Solidarity Campaign - "It is no more anti-Semitic to boycott Israel to
end the occupation of Palestine than it was anti-white to boycott South
Africa to end apartheid. Israel has a long history of deflecting
criticism of its policies by calling its critics anti-semitic
— a tactic typical of those who defend the indefensible"
Aggression Against Palestinians
bomb Gaza: officials (AFP)
AFP - Israeli warplanes
struck the southern part of the Gaza Strip in an overnight raid
following Palestinian rocket fire, Palestinian witnesses and the Israeli
military said Monday.
Palestinian youth killed in less that 24 hours
2010-- Today, two 19-year old boys, Muhammad Faysal and Salah Muhammad
Qawariq, were shot dead by Israeli military close to their village
Awarta, south of Nablus. Nablus district has paid a high price for
international recognition of role of popular resistance.
Two Palestinian Teenagers Killed In Iraq Burin: Army
Denies Using Live Ammunition
Two teenagers were killed by Israeli fire during a demonstration in Iraq
Burin, south of Nablus, yesterday. Mohammed Qadus, 16 was fatally shot
in the chest, Asaud Qadus, 19, received emergency treatment after being
shot in the head and died early Sunday. In both cases medical staff
reported the injuries were caused by live ammunition.
2 injured in Beit Jala rally for Rachel Corrie
Bethlehem - Ma'an - Two locals were hurt on Sunday when Israeli forces
used riot-dispersal means in Beit Jala, near Bethlehem, against a rally
commemorating the killing of Rachel Corrie. Corrie, a US peace activist
with the International Solidarity Movement, was killed on 16 March 2003
when she was crushed by a bulldozer operated by an Israeli soldier,
preparing to demolish a Palestinian's home in Gaza.
Two cousins killed in West Bank
Tension escalate in the West Bank between Palestinian's and the Israeli
Israeli warplanes strike smuggling tunnel in Rafah
22 (Xinhua) -- Israeli warplanes early Monday bombed one of the
smuggling tunnels on the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt,
witnesses and local sources said. The sources said F-16 fighter jets
fired at least two missiles targeting a tunnel in the Jeradat crossing
east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. No casualties were reported
in the raid. The Israeli Defense Force has not confirmed Monday's
Security sources say settlers behind fire on Israeli patrol car
Ma'an - Palestinian security source cast doubt Monday on Israeli news
reports alleging young men opened fire at an Israeli patrol car south of
Hebron overnight. The incident, where young men were said to have
attacked an Israeli military patrol car near the Nahal Negohot
settlement, was reported by several Israeli media outlets, all
IOF troops detain Palestinian mother in OJ, 10
workers in northern Gaza
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) detained a Palestinian mother of six
children at a road barrier to the entrance of Shufat refugee camp north
of occupied Jerusalem on Saturday night, eyewitnesses said.
Resistance Opens Fire At Army Vehicles Near Hebron
reported Sunday that a Palestinian resistance group opened fire
at Israeli army vehicles near Beit Awwa town, in the southern West Bank
district if Hebron. The army reported no injuries.
Abbas’s militias kidnap three Palestinian cadres of
Hamas and Hizb Attahrir
Mahmoud Abbas’s militias on Sunday kidnapped three Palestinian citizens
in the districts of Salfit and Nablus, two of them were affiliated with
Hizb Attahrir faction and one with Hamas Movement.
Sha'ath: We will not be dragged into violence
Ma'an – Fatah Central Committee member Nabil Sha'ath said Sunday there
will be no return to talks with Israel until a full settlement halt is
upheld, following a meeting with the PLO executive and leaders of
Palestinian factions in Ramallah. In reference to the recent killing
of four Palestinian teenagers in Nablus, Sha'ath said "we will not be
dragged behind Israeli escalation that wants us to enter into armed
confrontation. Israel is trying to force such a confrontation to cover
up its denial of Palestinian rights."
The Trouble with North Sinai
"I had very good relations with the director of Israeli military
guards detain 2 Gaza fishermen
Gaza – Ma'an – Egyptian
coast guards detained two Gaza fishermen on Sunday evening on charges of
entering Egyptian territorial water, officials said. The fishermen
told Egyptian authorities they had unknowingly entered the country's
territorial waters. Police identified them as Ahmad Sa'id An-Najjar, 17,
and Basim Abed Rabbo, 36.
Rights/Restriction of Movement
Industrial Fuel – Needs Vs. Supply – Feb 14 – Mar 13
Goods – Needs Vs. Supply – Feb 14 – Mar 13
Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip has brought
immense sufferings to Palestinians living in the coastal territory. The
siege even impedes the supply of water, the most basic need for human
survival. Now - 80 per cent of Gazans lack access to clean water. The
head of Gaza's water authority says he has plans and the means to import
water from other countries until self-dependency is reached, but
Israel's blockade is the only thing in the way. Al Jazeera's Casey
Kauffman reports from Gaza.
Gaza': Siege, not Hamas, is the problem
For Majia Shawa, 29,
she has not felt any "direct pressure" from Hamas to change how she
dresses or lives her life: "I still wear the same clothes, I don't wear
the veil, I go to places with men and women." Says Shawa, several Hamas
policies aimed at making social society more Islamic - like the recent
ban on male hair dressers - have been lip service as best. Shawa says
her hair dresser was and is a man: "I saw him the other day and he said:
'Yes, I'm still here, it's my job!' " Of Gaza's future, Shawa says:
"There may not be many [religious extremists] now, but the numbers will
increase unless conditions in Gaza improve... The closure of Gaza
creates the perfect conditions for breeding an extremist mentality. I am
not optimistic about the coming generation, unless Gaza opens up."
denied right to rent home, Jonathan Cook
NEVATIM, ISRAEL //
The Zakai and Tarabin families should be a picture of happy coexistence
across the ethnic divide, a model for others to emulate in Israel. But
Natalie and Weisman Zakai say the past three years – since the Jewish
couple offered to rent their home to Bedouin friends, Ahmed and Khalas
Tarabin – have been a living hell. “I have always loved Israel,” said
Mrs Zakai, 43. “But to see the depth of the racism of our neighbours has
made me question why we live in this country.”
Developments and Diplomacy
Palestinian people have national right to resistance
Mahmoud Abbas on Monday said that the Palestinian people had a
national right to resistance against Israeli occupation, adding that his
government would not acquiesce to any Israeli demands with which it
Shaath: “No Negotiations Amidst Settlement
The Higher Political Committee of the Fateh
movement held a meeting on Sunday in Ramallah and decided that there
will be no resumption of peace talks with Israel while it is ongoing
with its illegal settlement activities.
official to Israel: Jerusalem is not Tel Aviv
foreign ministers met in Brussels on Monday to look for ways to pressure
Israelis and Palestinians into launching proxy peace talks, amidst
fears that the peace process is in jeopardy.
AIPAC: Settlement activity undermines U.S. role in peace process
of State Hillary Clinton said on Monday that indirect talks between
Israel and the Palestinians should be serious and substantive, warning
that new Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank
were jeopardizing progress and undermining U.S. mediation.
Hillary Clinton emphasises US commitment to
Israel's security after settlements row.
Israeli PM defiant before US trip
Netanyahu says he will not stop building in East Jerusalem as UN chief
Obama's Mideast Game Changer: Healthcare
This one is for all the marbles. Democrats
seem poised to squeak through President Obama's landmark healthcare
legislation late on Sunday, and the repercussions could be profound,
especially on America's Middle East policy. Forget for a moment that
Obama's domestic approval ratings are at their lowest - less than 50 per
cent - or that he has disappointed many around the world by failing to
fulfil major objectives, like the closing
of the Guantanamo Bay prison. By scoring a victory of this
scale - one that has eluded American presidents for close to 100 years
- Obama could not only bring the bounce back to the step of his
administration, but provide himself the bandwidth to focus on some of
the changes he campaigned on. He can now begin to fulfil his promise to
recalibrate America's relations with the Arab and Muslim world, starting
with the Arab-Israeli
conflict, as he promised in his Cairo
speech in June 2009.
anti-corruption activist vows to 'go to the end'
getting a top Palestinian official suspended over an embarrassing sex
tape, self-styled anti-corruption campaigner Fahmi Shabaneh feels
employees asked to encourage family to vote
Tulkarem – Ma'an –
Employees of the Palestinian Authority, particularly members of the
security forces, were called on Monday to encourage their relatives to
vote in the July municipal elections. The call was put forward by PA
political advisor Adnan Ad-Dmeiri, where he spoke in Tulkarem of the
role of the Palestinian Security Services, which he said aim to protect
the law, constitution, Palestinian people, and independent
decision-making. Tulkarem governor Talal Dweikat echoed the sentiments.
a "secular democracy"
"Alionel Ltd., owner of the McDonald's
franchise in Israel, was fined NIS 30,000 (about $8,000) for illegally
having a youth work during Shabbat, the Tel Aviv Labor Court announced
Thursday. This would not be the first time that the franchise has
committed the offense. In 2003, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and
Labor filed a complaint against Alionel after finding out that a
McDonald's chain owned by the company employed a Jewish youth on a
Saturday. Under the Youth Employment Law, it is forbidden to have Jewish
youth employees during Sabbath."
Israelis support east Jerusalem construction
War and Peace
Index finds that despite support for Ramat Shlomo homes, most people
don't believe Netanyahu was unaware of plan to announce them during
Ethan Bronner's sources in one article
the sources in one article by Ethan Bronner:
1. "said a former
official who remains a consultant to the Israeli government and would
speak only on condition of anonymity to guard his official
2. "Another government adviser, however, said
neither of the promises had been made, nor would they be."
"A senior official agreed. Speaking on the condition that he not be
named, he said that Israel considered itself sovereign in Jerusalem and
that even though the world
disagreed, Israel would do nothing to foster, even tacitly, the de facto
division of the city."
4. "Yaron Dekel, a morning radio host
and former Washington correspondent of Israel Radio, said in a telephone
5. "Meir Sheetrit, a member of Kadima, said the
tension between Washington and Jerusalem was not really about building
in Jerusalem but about Mr. Netanyahu’s failure to move peace talks
forward in the past year."
6. "Mr. Netanyahu and his top
When asked about such bias in coverage (can you find one article about
the Palestinians in the New York Times, even if it is about Palestinian
poetry, that does not quote and cite Israelis?), he said that the
Palestinians are not allowed to speak but that they are allowed to wash
dishes in the kitchen of his house.
peddles meaningless Peres plan, Ira Glunts
Isabele Kershner, writing
in the NY Times the other day, presented a scoop that surely
made her controversial boss proud. Her boss, Jerusalem Bureau Chief
Ethan “AbuBenTzali*” Bronner, has been criticized for his lack of
objectivity, but his colleague Kershner showed that she too can compose
pro-Israel slanted news stories. Kershner reports that the octogenarian
Israeli President, Shimon Peres, who she incorrectly implies has a
moderating effect on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, floated a
bridging proposal which was meant
to mend the current rift between feuding American and Israeli officials.
Gaza's Old Wounds
At its most distant point, the Gaza
Strip is 25
miles long and seven miles wide. Its total area is only about twice the
size of Washington, D.C. But, as the most recent eruption of violence
there has made clear, its size belies its capacity to stir the fiercest
emotions of billions of people around the world. Once again, the
perennial question returns: why has so much blood been shed over such a
small stretch of land? Here, focusing specifically on Gaza, NEWSWEEK
constructs a chronology of the land's transformation from ancient
city-state to present-day battle zone, to make some sense of its recent
descent into the madness of yet another Israeli-Palestinian war.
Yezid Sayigh on Hamas, Fayyad, Helena Cobban
Palestinian historian and analyst Yezid Sayigh gave a tremendous talk
Friday at the Palestine Center in Washington DC, where he reported on a
recent, four-day visit to Gaza and assessed the situation and standing
of the two rival Palestinian administrations in Gaza and Ramallah.
While he started off by noting that both the administrations have
succeeded in stabilizing themselves since the terrible rift that
occurred between them in June 2007, a lot of the content of what he said
seemed clearly to indicate that he thinks the Hamas-led administration
in Gaza has been significantly better at achieving more public goods at
less cost than the Fayyad administration in Ramallah.
says liberal Jews were right to deplore Gaza war, Philip Weiss
I hit the New Yorker for protecting Americans from the
dark Israeli reality, well David Remnick does
a modified limited hangout of Israel’s bad news in a piece that ends
by acknowledging that Israel faces a crisis if a viable Palestinian
state is not created. (The crisis is already here, but that statement is
progress.) Other info is conveyed to American readers.
Finkelstein's Best Revenge
Norman Finkelstein's enemies will
suffer series of heart attacks when they read his latest book, which is
not published yet. "This Time We Went Too Far: Truth and Consequences of
the Gaza Invasion" (which will be out soon, but I read a
pre-publication copy last night) is a powerful and devastating
dissection of the Israeli war crime festival in Gaza. Norman is at his
best, and he marshals all the facts and use them in a most effective
way. It is a succinct summary of
the Israeli methods of war and propaganda. The polemical skills of the
authors are as sharp as ever. Now, Norman had warned me that I will not
like the conclusions and he was right: I cant stand for the Gandhian
methods of struggle: in fact, my reaction to the Gandhian methods of
resistance as a recipe for Palestinian struggle is probably not
different from Mrs. Gandhi's reaction to Mahatma's explanation to her
regarding his methods of "testing" his chastity. I also bitterly oppose
the two-state solution. But Norman is a special case: I am not normally
tolerant of disagreements regarding Palestine, but the man has paid his
dues and his services to the anti-Zionst, anti-Israeli cause have won
him a special place in the struggle for Palestine.
Either one state for all, or open-ended conflict
Some reluctant voices in Washington D.C. have finally
admitted that the persistence of the Palestinian plight is undermining
American strategic interests in the Muslim world.
History lessons for US policy on Israel?
ties at a low ebb over plans to build new homes for settlers
in disputed East Jerusalem, the BBC's Paul Adams wonders if a former
secretary of state offers lessons for Hillary Clinton in taking on
Washington's powerful Israel lobby.
Avi Shlaim: Cut off the cash and Israel might behave
President Netanyahu is undermining US interests. The sooner President
Obama makes his support conditional, the better.
Israel admits it has an image problem, Jonathan Cook
ISRAEL // A
new government campaign to train Israelis in how to use propoganda in
order to improve their country’s image when they are abroad has been
condemned for advancing a right-wing agenda. The public relations
drive, which includes giving travellers tips on how to champion the
country’s illegal settlements, is the government’s latest attempt to
shore up support abroad following the harsh criticisms of Israel’s
attack on Gaza last year made by the UN-commissioned Goldstone Report,
which produced evidence of war crimes.
Zakaria: Palestinians are ’serfs’
Fareed Zakaria nails it,
in Newsweek: Meanwhile, the central problem persists: Israel rules
more than 3 million Palestinians who will never become citizens of
Israel and yet do not have their own state. As they multiply, Israel’s
status as a democracy becomes more and more complex; the country looks
more and more like an island of rich Israelis set in a sea of
Israel pay an 'occupation tax'
Arab intellectuals and
policymakers have often accused Europe of using financial generosity to
cover up its political impotence over the Arab-Israeli conflict. If
Europe is to be taken seriously as a global player, they argue, it must
also flex some muscle when it delivers the money.In Arab eyes, European
officials implicitly plead guilty to these charges.
Planet AIPAC: Obama should declare ‘I’m a Zionist,’
Goldstone is ‘token court Jew,’ and please don’t boo Hillary, Philip
I watched a
few hours of AIPAC’s policy conference on streaming video today– they
wouldn’t let me attend the conference, said there was no room at the
inn–and had a few impressions. AIPAC is more out of touch than ever.
It’s glaring/weird. Look, even The New Yorker is giving props to J
Street, which termed Obama’s response to Netanyahu "appropriate;" but
AIPAC is in complete denial about the settlements and the Gaza war. The
tenor of the first day was almost purely defensive, all about what a
technological miracle Israel is, making a barren country bloom, with the
occasional spiteful comment about Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinians
being responsible for their serfdom. At the end they brought out Alan
Dershowitz to denounce what is
(truly) the greatest threat to Israel, the recent reports that Biden and
Petraeus look on the special relationship as endangering American
lives. Dershowitz said this was a lie, that it’s Islamic extremists who
endanger American lives because they hate our freedom. That line felt
like a time warp. He invoked the names Walt and Mearsheimer a half dozen
times, along with Goldstone, Joe Klein, and Roger Cohen. The five
horsemen of delegitimization. Dershowitz did not fail to be vicious
towards Goldstone, calling him the U.N.’s "token court Jew," who when
the report was challenged, issued the "ad hominem" argument, But I’m a
Jew, my daughter lived in Israel. That is horse manure. I’ve never heard
Goldstone say such a thing as an answer to factual/legal criticisms of
Plus-ca-change agent Obama to meet Netanyahu
It’s curious but not surprising that this has been first announced by
by Ha’aretz before the NY Times or the Washington Post sent it
out. So apparently there has been no change in the White House’s
priorities. The big question is what will Obama give Netanyahu when the
two meet? Netanyahu already has the keys to the city and to Congress.
How about Air Force One equipped with bunker busters?
Time to Move Past Camp David Envy, Alan Bock
The most significant problem between the United States and Israel,
pace the absurd little flap that developed over Vice President Biden
getting blind-sided on a trip to Israel a couple of weeks ago, is that
the United states still wants to micromanage an illusory "peace process"
that the two entities
directly involved in have little
in furthering – at least for now. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government is frail and dependent
coalition partners who don’t want to talk about compromise just
now, and Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority still has little control,
although recent developments might make a coalition with Hamas, which
controls Gaza, slightly more likely.
tells Israel it faces difficult choices to secure peace
secretary of state vows 'rock solid' commitment to country's security
and future in address to pro-Israel lobby. Hillary Clinton will today
assure Israel it enjoys "rock solid" US commitment to its security while
warning that the country faces difficult decisions if it wants to
secure peace. The US secretary of state will address a leading
pro-Israel lobby in Washington. The visiting Israeli prime minister,
Binyamin Netanyahu, is due to speak to the same organisation, the
American Israel Public Affairs Committee, later in the day.
Assassinating Hamas won't work | Arik Diamant and David Zoneshine
dust settles on the publicity storm triggered by the Dubai assassination of Mahmoud
al-Mabhouh, a deep feeling of disappointment has descended on the
Israeli-Palestinian peace camp. What started as an important public
discourse with a potential for real change eventually missed the
essential point of the affair.
The "I-Word" Hillary Didn't Use, RANNIE AMIRI
diplomatic row over Israel’s smack down of Vice President Joe Biden
unfolds, governmental officials in both the United States and Israel
continue to question the timing of Interior Minister’s Eli Yishai’s
announcement of plans to build 1,600 new housing units in East
Jerusalem. The substantive matter—further expropriation of Palestinian
land—is clearly of secondary importance.
"My fellow Americans, tonight I'm going to talk
frankly about a pesky little nation called Israel ... ", ALEXANDER
Don’t get excited. It’ll never happen. Is there really a crisis in
US-Israeli relations? Yes and No. Yes, because the world’s premier
power doesn’t care to have its vice president publicly humiliated by a
midget of a nation whose entire population is smaller than that of Los
Angeles county. No, because the elected politicians nominally running
the government of the world’s premier power live in mortal fear of the
Israel lobby in the United States. This time, as always, No will carry
the day. (You can find a detailed narrative by Jeffrey Blankfort on this
site today, from which much of this Diary is drawn.)
Israelis are behaving like spoiled rich brats
The terrifying specter of non-violent resistance to the occupation and
the apartheid regime is hovering over the State of Israel, and all the
state's dignitaries have been recruited to battle it. This non-violent
resistance operates both in areas under Israel's reign of control, in
the form of a popular struggle on both sides of the green line, and
across the globe, through the Israeli and international affirmative
response to the Palestinian call for boycotts, divestment and sanctions
on Israel, until it ends the occupation and grants full equality to
people from both nations living under its rule.
Red Rag Column: ’Olei ha-gardom
On 9 March
2010 the Knesset held a special session in memory of 12 Jewish
terrorists, members of the Etzel and Lehi  underground organizations,
who were hanged by the authorities of the British Empire. They have
received the description `olei ha-gardom` and are also sometimes
called “harugei malchut”. 
Terrorists? God forbid! Only in the eyes of the British Empire.
According to Prime Minister Netanyahu, who gave a speech at the session,
they were freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives for their people’s
liberty and therefore, he said, `today we salute the heroism of
the 12 members of the underground.`
A catholic and particularly Palestinian
interpretation of modernity informs the images on display in Al-Hoash's
2010 photography competition. “Modernity in our Lives” was the theme at
the Khalil al Sakakini Centre in Ramallah as the best of the submissions
to Al- Hoash's annual photography competition were unveiled.
art for art’s sake
“The colors of sunset are wonderful but the sun is the most wonderful.
When the black clouds with their golden warm colors play on the sound of
a bird that dialogues with the leaves of trees that were eaten by the
wind and dance with a beautiful golden dress coloured by the sunset
appearing in the far horizon behind the clouds I try to touch the sun
before it closes its eyes to mix my brush with its colour and my white
painting is the mirror.”
in Baghdad shootings (AFP)
AFP - Four people were killed,
including two policemen, in shootings in Baghdad on Monday, Iraqi
security officials said.
Sunday: 9 Iraqis Killed, 20 Wounded
Updated at 6:22 p.m. EDT, March, 21, 2010 At least nine Iraqis were
killed and 20 more were wounded in light violence. Full election results
are now expected on Friday, but calls for a recount reached a higher
level as President Talabani chimed in today.
killed in spate of Iraq attacks (AFP)
AFP - Six people,
including a policeman and a soldier, were killed in a spate of attacks
across Iraq on Sunday, security and ministry officials said.
holds narrow lead in Iraq vote as Maliki demands recount
challenger Iyad Allawi retained a slim lead in Iraq's tight election
race after a preliminary count of 95 percent of votes released on
Sunday. The lead from Iraq's March 7 parliamentary election has switched
several times between Allawi's cross-sectarian Iraqiya coalition and
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's mainly Shiite bloc.
army ran secret torture unit in Iraq'
LONDON: UK's military
intelligence ran a secret torture unit in Iraq which "reported directly
to London" and authorised harsh treatment of detainees, a media report
said on Sunday. In fact, prisoners were kept hooded for long periods in
intense heat and deprived of sleep by military intelligence officers who
were answerable only "directly to London", the Independent reported,
citing documents. The revelations, about the use of illegal "coercive
techniques" in Iraq by Joint Forward Interrogation Team, came during the
inquiry into Baha Mousa, an Iraqi hotel worker who was beaten to death
in the custody of British troops in 2003.
Shadid: in the footsteps of Thomas Friedman?, As`ad Abukhalil
friend once called it the culture of the “kundara,” the word here for
shoe. “When anyone is against you, when anyone has differences with me, I
will put a kundara in his mouth, I will shove a kundara down his
throat, I will hit him with a kundara,” he said in 2006, long before the
spectacle of President Bush’s visit to
Baghdad. “We live in a kundara culture,” he said. The roots of political
violence run deep in Iraq, long a turbulent frontier between Romans and
Persians, Ottomans and Safavids and, now, Americans and Iranians."
Such simplistic cliches and wild generalizations about Iraqi people and
their history. I mean, when I see a reference to the speech of
Al-Hajjaj, I really squirm and I know what is coming. Colin Powell's
presentation on his plan for the invasion of Iraq in 1990 was more
violent and wild than the speech of Al-Hajjaj, by far. And the silly
reference to "kundarah" what does that mean? I can speak about a gun
culture here in the US, where crime is far more frequent than in Iraq?
And did European history have less violence than Iraqi history? I mean,
we speak of the 100 years war, for potato's sake. And the worst part
about the whole article, it draws an offensive and insulting portrait of
the Iraqi people and attributes violent impulses to them and yet, there
is not a single word about the violence that has been imposed on Iraq by
the US since 1991. I mean, Bush has caused inflicted more violence and
harm on Iraq than Hajjaj.
Hizbullah and UAE
When I was in Lebanon last January, I learned so many things that I
forgot to report on so many things. I will be there in late May, so I
will learn more. Here is another one that I forgot about. I was talking
to a friend the other day, and he reminded me of the story that I had
told him in Beirut in January (in light of the Dubai assassination and
the high-profile role of the Dubai chief of police.) Months ago (in
2009), the UAE sent a very high envoy to Beirut on a secret mission to
meet with Hasan Nasrallah. The man met with Hasan Nasrallah for several
hours. His message from UAE rulers was that they want Hizbullah to use
its influence among the Shi`ites of the Gulf to prevent disturbances in
the event of an Israeli/US war on Iran. I am told, that what the man
heard from Nasrallah left him terrified and he told aides that he is not
comfortable in relaying the message to UAE rulers. I am told that the
message said in effect that those countries would suffer if they host an
attack on Iran, and a reference was made to the high rises in Dubai. The
man was shaking when he left to the airport to leave on his private
Egypt's disabled demand assistance
of disabled campaigners protest outside parliament, demanding government
Yemeni women oppose proposed under-17 marriage ban
SANAA: Thousands of Yemeni women demonstrated outside Parliament Sunday
to oppose proposed legislation banning the marriage of girls under 17.
The protesters held up banners proclaiming "don't ban what Allah made
permissible," or "stop violating Islamic Sharia law in the name of
rights and freedoms," an AFP correspondent said.
|For further information contact Shadi Fadda