Adonis Diaries

Archive for June 21st, 2009

One Step Ahead

1.   My friend, with all his disadvantages,

I quit counting the stars,

Yet, I can’t help feeling awestruck in his presence.

2.   My friend, with all his weaknesses,

A couple of them will make me crawl

In a corner and forgo motion,

Yet, he always finds time

To listen to me, to care for me.

3.   My friend, with all his awkwardness,

When I meet with him,

He is one step ahead of me,

Molding His next Self.

My best friend, my soul.

Reactions to the genocide in the Sabra and Chatila camps, (June 21, 2009)

I am translating from French sections of a book published by a Jewish author, in my own style.

For three nights and two days the genocide went on in the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Chatila on the outskirts of Beirut.  It started at 5 p.m. on Wednesday of September 16 to Saturday 1982 at 10 a.m.  Of the 20 thousands refugees, more than 4,000 have been declared missing and dead; a third of these victims were Lebanese citizens living in the camps.  Less than 1,500 dead have been identified by relatives; the remaining ones had been decomposing for two days and over two thousands have been taken in trucks to Israel, never to reappear.

Saturday, September 18, 1982; Israel’s New Year

By 11 a.m., the outside world of the cordoned off camps by the Israeli army is starting to witness the magnitude of human disaster. The terrorized civilian Palestinian refugees are roaming like ghosts among the cadavers to recognize the lost ones.  All the Palestinian fighting forces had been vacated to Tunisia by the US and French ships a while ago.

By noon, the international press, radio and television reporters are flooding toward the camps. The Washington Post published “Houses were bulldozed over entire families. Cadavers are piled up as dead dolls.  Perforated walls account for lining up killing.  A baby in diaper had his skull crushed. Each alley tells its own story of savage massacre. A woman is dead by a bullet shot at her bosom.”

The ambassador to France Paul-Marc Henri is on location.  During the invasion of Lebanon by Israel in 1982 the UNICEF accounted that for every fallen resistance fighter, 10 babies were dead; but in the two camps the terrorist militias targeted specifically the babies and kids.  Among the piles of cadavers the militias inserted grenades ready to explode as survivors search for their relatives.  Members of body could be distinguished showing out of quickly and freshly dug mass graves.

Foreign journalists start counting the victims, everyone for himself; one journalist counted 80 and then vomited; another counted 150 in just one pack of houses.  Many victims have been dead since Thursday, September 16; refugees have been clamoring even then that the militias were cutting throats and slaughtering everyone they find on their way.

On the walls you can read the militias graffiti “Tony passed by here”; “God, Homeland, and Family (the slogan of the Kataeb, Phalangist militias)”; “The forces of Baabdat (a town in the Metn district)”; and “They are all fucked up”.  A mother was saying “Only those who could run fast were saved”.  The journalists are shown the nearby headquarters of the Israeli army. The Israeli soldiers are not answering questions of reporters; they received orders to say “We had no idea”.

A Phalangist militia is pretty proud of his actions and replies to an American reporter “For years we were waiting for the opportunity of entering the Palestinian camps in West Beirut. The Israeli army selected us because we are far better in the house to house operations.”

Israeli General Amir Drori orders the Israeli soldiers not to enter the camps for any pretext for fear of confirming the strong suspicion that they indeed had participated in the genocide. The Jews in the USA are feeling sick and ashamed.  President Reagan announced “Israel has justified entering West Beirut to avoid blood shedding and these kinds of tragedies”  An Israeli journalist retorted that “those tragedies took place because the USA gave us the green light to invade Lebanon and progress toward Beirut”.

The Lebanese officials have many times expressed their concerns to special envoy Philip Habib and his Deputy Morris Draper of the consequences of leaving the Palestinians unarmed within their camps.  An American diplomat in Tel Aviv proclaimed to the daily Haaretz “The Palestinian Organization and the State of Lebanon had confidence in the USA engagements; but the US displaced Lebanon’s confidence to Israel.  We realized our grave error too late”

In the mean time, the Israeli army is resuming its search and destroys activities in West Beirut, and rounding up thousand of Lebanese civilians for questioning and investigation in a location close to the Sport City.

Sunday, September 19, 1982; “Goys kill goys; then they accuse the Jews” said Begin.

The stench of pestiferous odors is polluting vast areas extending to four hundred yards around the limits of the two camps. Many of the decomposing bodies have been in the torrid sun since Thursday.  The Lebanese army is depositing cadavers at the entrance of Chatila camp by a large ditch. Red Cross’ ambulances are bringing a new load of victims.  A pregnant woman is searching among the bodies for her husband or any member of her family. Frequently, horrible screams disturb this climate of dazed zombies: someone has recognized a dead relative. Then, the identified victim is bagged in a sac of nylon to be buried decently by the remaining family members (around 1,200 victims) or simply taken to a specific ditch. Most of the time, entire families of over 10 members are survived by a single survivor who is left flapping in complete uncertainty for a tomorrow.

By night the remaining refugees prefer to sleep far from camps: they are under shock, terrorized, and need a place with odors different of what they have smelled for days.  Coordination among o the 11 disparate organizations are non-existent. The task of searching for survivors amid the 200 demolished houses is slow and hopeless.

The agency France-Press estimated on September 23 the number of vanished individuals at more than 2,000: they were taken out by truck loads during the genocide.  The Israeli government never divulged the status of the disappeared Palestinians who were supposed to be taken prisoners and handed over to the Israeli army.  An Israeli correspondent to the daily Maariv wrote “I have never witnessed such silence of our soldiers during the entire war”.

In the meantime, the Israeli army is resuming its search and destroys activities in West Beirut.  Thousands more of Lebanese are taken to questioning and investigation.

In the evening, around one thousand militants and intellectuals of “Peace Now” are demonstrating in Jerusalem in front of the residence of Began PM chanting slogans “Begin terrorist”, “Begin assassin”, “Beirut=Deir Yassine of 1982”, “Down with Sharon, the butcher of Kibya (a village in Jordan)”.  Another demonstration of Israelis in Tel Aviv is brutally dispersed by the police; a tract is distributed stating “Begin, Sharon, and Eytan are totally responsible for the massacre of thousands of babies, women, and elderly Palestinian civilians”

At 10 p.m. The Israeli cabinet met in extraordinary session: the main topic is NOT what happened in Sabra and Chatila.  Begin dispatched the entire affair as “Goys kill goys; then they accuse the Jews”.  Minister Itzhak Berman demands the constitution of a commission to investigate the massacre.  Begin replies “Such a commission would be considered by world community as confession of Israel’s responsibility”.  Begin orders that a full-page be published in both the New York Times and the Washington Post blaming only the Phalangists of the massacre; this ad announcement is to cost $54,000.

Television news all around the world are diffusing scenes of the carnage. The American journalist George Weil associate this massacre to what happened in Baby-Yar during Nazi occupation of Ukraine when Nazi allowed local Ukrainians to massacre thousands of Jews.

Monday, September 20; (War crime in Beirut)

Units of the Lebanese army (1,500 soldiers) cordoned off the two camps.  At the entrance of Chatila more than 100 corps are decomposing by two ditches.  The bodies are descended and then covered by lime. A young Palestinian tells a journalist “we will no longer put our confidence in the promises of others.  We will secure by arms our own destiny.”  Once, a truck carrying Lebanese army soldiers sent people fleeing north in horror and screaming “The militias of Saad Haddad are coming back”.

Israel resumed arresting 1,500 Lebanese citizens; they are emptying the rich library of the PLO and its center for research that was created in 1964; they carried away very old collection of dailies published during the British mandate.

West Beirut has not been receiving any food supply for 5 days and the electricity is still cut off and there is no potable water. Even the American Hospital is short on private utility because there is no mazout.

The main title of the daily Haaretz is “War Crime in Beirut”; it demands that Sharon and Eytan be destituted if Israel is to raise its head and look straight at people. The editorial of the daily Davar stated: “It very difficult to be Israelite. We have no recourse to wash our hands of this infamy.  The perpetrators of Deir Yassine (Begin PM) and of Kibya (Sharon) compromise again the people. The government has led the State to moral bankruptcy.” Israel Zamir pronounced “Pogrom is no longer exclusive to Jews. Begin and Sharon have extended it to other ethnic groups”. 

Amos Kennan writes: “Mr. Begin, you have sold without any benefice millions of Jewish babies who died in Auschwitz”.  Joseph Bourg writes: “Begin and Sharon let in hungry lions in the arena. Lions ate the people. Lions are the culprit! They are the ones who killed and maimed, aren’t they?!”  A poll taken in Israel demonstrates that 60% of Israelis assign the responsibility to their government; 80% consider that the war in Lebanon damaged Israel’s standing”

Shimon Peres talks in the Knesset: “Sharon, when the Syrian were bombarding Zahleh on May 1981 you declared that the Christians are suffering the same massacres as the Jews in 1940”.  Sharon replies to Shimon Peres: “When you were Defense Minister you sent Israeli officers to orchestrate the sacking of the Palestinian camp of Tel Zaatar (in the Christian district)”.

On September 25, 400,000 demonstrated in Tel Aviv demanding a commission of investigation; Begin bowed down to that demand on September 28.  The Kahana commission reported a toned down version for the public; the army high officers and Sharon were obliged to step down. The Israeli army withdrew from Beirut by September 29; Multinational Forces will take positions by the camps; they were there before Israel entered Beirut and they vacated their positions for the genocide plan to be executed.

Note: The same kind of genocide took place in the camp of Jenine in the West bank in 2002 and by Sharon also; he was then Prime Minister. The US pressured the UN not to investigate.  The US feared that the world community will realize that Sabra and Chatila camps genocide were not isolated cases but a patter of the tandem Begin-Sharon.  Over one thousand billions dollars were lavished on the State of Israel since 1948 in order to perpetrate the kinds of State horrors that Zionists erect Holocaust monuments so that humanity “never forgets”.   If I want to believe in Hell it is simply because it is fair for those terrorists who were never been brought to court of justice.

Women: Urban and Rural. Part 1 (June 22, 2009)

Egyptian rural women.

Women are not the same; neither are men.

The single main difference among women is the location: urban or rural residency.  Traditions and customs are influenced by opportunities to change; the more the opportunities in quantity and quality the quicker the pace of change.

Since no change is for ever acquired or taken for granted, women have to be more vigilant in preserving the gained rights by more sustained organization and unity: men are always waiting around the bend to usurp any gains that women benefit through legal aspects or State laws.

Men (patriarchal societies are dominant nowadays) rely on the power of religious myths to back their arguments and to hold on and maintain their privileges.

The Internet might bridge the gap to some extent in information, but there is no viable alternative to actual opportunities for diversity in job openings.

This post will report the visit of Laurence Deonna in the Middle East in 1968. The better part of her book “Women: Struggle of the land and of sand” is located in Egypt, in rural Said, thousands of kilometers from major urban centers and the Capital Cairo.

The author takes appointment to join Father Ayrout, a Jesuit Copt, on his regular trip to rural Egypt in the Said. Of the group we find Samira (a young grandmother), Alphonse (a young Jesuit and the designated driver), Farida, and Anissa (a social assistant from Jordan).

Rural Said regions

Knots of urchins gather by the car as it ascends south along the Nile River. The car passes the tiny villages of Beni-Souef and Minia.

The first Christian village they stop at is Manhari. Copt, Catholic, and Protestant cohabit; each sect has its own church.

The “houses” are of mud with no windows; the only entrance could be considered a window; dead wood and straw are saved on the flat roof where the wife and children spend most of their days. On the roof hens are raised, the wash is dried, and cooking done on small petrol stoves.  Inside the only room, the entire family cohabite with a goat, and a few chicken. A large bowl is used to wash cloths and the bodies. As the Nile overflows, it carries away those huts.

Every family cook its own bread; the custom wants that “on bread baking day” the family splash flour on the face as sign of prosperity.

The newly wed bride has to wait to become pregnant before she is allowed to step out the house. Once married, the customs used to be that the wife was not to step out of her house.

Mother-in-law made sure that traditions are observed and honor saved and intact. It was not rare to witness young boy of 14 complaining that their pregnant wives are giving them headaches by frequent complaints.  The wife is to keep the money for selling eggs and vegetables.  Any furniture she carried into the house is hers.

Father Ayrout demands of women to wear long sleeves and cover any mini-skirt with a robe.  You cannot see apparent differences with Moslem villages.

Misery is preponderant as well as odors.  The fellah (peasant) is a carbon copy of paintings shown in Pharaonic times. In church, the genders sit separately; three third of the seating banks are reserved for men; women sit in the back on the floor or stand behind a wooden paravant (separation sliding door) or in the gallery.

Missionaries went as far as offering gifts to encourage women to mingle with men, but the habit of tradition always prevailed.

The group crosses a large canal on an ancient barque carrying donkeys, cows, men, and women to reach the vestiges of a monastery in Deir Abou Phani. This village has been transformed into a necropolis.

Each year, pilgrims of entire families stay for 3 days in chambers inside tombs.  A recently widowed woman keeps her home for months: the more intense her chagrin the longer the reclusive period.

It is a life where people dialogue with the dead and presenting condolences is a central social activity. There are professional women for lamenting, chanting, and crying; they paint their face black or blue and cover their head with mud and clap hands.   The anniversary of the dead is sacred.

The curious little girls wear colorful worn out cloths; their plaits are concealed in handkerchiefs; red or orange colored towels serve as veil.

Women wear long black robes and all the bracelets and necklaces (kholkhal) they own.  Twice a year, henne is applied not only on hair but on hands and feet; apparently, henne takes care of louse, rejuvenates hair and stops its shedding.

Long lines of little girls are cleaning cotton leaves of warms all day long. During harvest periods (September and October),  school classes are empty in the few educational centers. They are relatively freer to move around and dress than in more prosperous villages since survival overtakes the rules of moral.

Contraceptive campaigns are more successful among lower classes since it is a critical matter.  Superstition is prevalent and oral tell-tales of traveling individuals connect the rural people to the urban centers since television and radios are rare commodities.

Girls who terminated high school complain that they have the feeling of being invitees in their homes; they go out together because they are considered different from the lot.

In Sefta, the Sisters of Charity collect abandoned babies in alleys: unwed mothers fear for their lives because “honor” revenge is common and vendettas are carried out from generation to generation.

Women are more severe in observing these tradition; they close the door till the men avenge the dishonor.  Usually, the husband denounces the wife to her family; someone is then ordered the task to kill.  The entire village keeps mute during investigation. 

In rural Said, terror of chastisement pursue girls in their universities; girls are always apprehensive that they are watched when they join universities. After graduation, girls return to their village where no opportunities await them.

In rural Said, women are less affected by the bilharzias disease (affecting the liver) than men; thus they have more energy and vigor.

The newly wed groom has to find excellent reasons, such as the need to search for a job, in order to be relieved of sexual exigencies.  Regular pregnancies render women frail; many of them have trachoma and are almost blind. Many babies die prematurely.

Only male kids are counted; a fellah would say: “I have 3 kids” even if he has four other girls.  Many women wish that the husband is rich enough to marry another wife so that they are relieved of yearly pregnancy.

Sterility is the sole fault of women; they are abandoned to fend for their survival. Giving birth is done at home, the Pharaonic style, in a sitting position.

Superstition demands that no clothes or preparation for the newly born are undertaken for fear of the “evil eye“.  Mothers believe that focusing on beautiful things that interest them will influence the one to be born. Thus, they cut and paste on the wall what they find in magazines.

The newly born is washed for the first time a week later; then he is placed in a sieve and projected three times to the floor; loud noises are produced to accustom the baby to noise.  Five out of ten babies in a family survive.

Excision (mutilation of the clitoris) is practiced among the poorer classes. This custom is African, so that wives would not feel the urge to find pleasure outside her husband.  They say that men smoke hashish to compensate for the lack of sexual desires of their wives and to prolonged intercourse.

Urban Cairo

Women demonstrated along side men in 1919 for self-autonomy of Egypt from colonial Britain. Women snatched the right to walk unveiled on streets in 1923. Women associations attended international forums on women rights in the thirties.

Even in urban Cairo with over 16 millions, women are still superstitious: Many ceremonies, traditions, and practices are pre-Islamic.

Women line up in front of shrines asking favors; stamped letters are also sent to shrines in the present tense with the name of the sender and the name of her mother, as is the Pharaonic custom.  The complaints in the written messages concern mostly the treatments of mother-in-laws.

Many statutes of famous people are wrongly considered as representing saint “sheikhs”.

Note: Read part 2 on urban women in Egypt https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2009/06/23/women-urban-and-rural-2/

Religion resurrects: It must die first

State Ideologies usurping religions: (June 18, 2009) 

            The 20th century was characteristic in serious attempts of replacing State religion by State Ideology.  This was feasible simply because most religions have developed into structured ideologies in concepts and in organization.  Soviet Russia was successful for over 70 years in that endeavor because it emulated communism into religious replica in all premises and criteria.  Soviet communism stated what happens after death, it described what is go and what is evil, it structured its hierarchy on the basis of church, excommunicated the “refusnik”, and it created a God, a semi abstract God with a personified representative on earth.  The Gang of Four in China, after the death of Mao Tse Tong, carried that religion a step forward: all ancient manuscripts of Chinese civilizations were meant to be burned.  The Khmer Rouge in Cambodia went several notches further: every educated person was to be burned; the new generation was to start with a blank brain.

            The trend of State ideologies usurping religions is going on even stronger with a reversed strategy.  State ideologies are basing their premises on a religion; they claim that the concepts of their ideology are consistent to the fundamentals of the original religion.  Those extremist State ideologies are found in all religions: Christian, Moslem, Jewish, Hindu, and Buddha-based religion.  State ideologies are in Afghanistan, Somalia, Israel, Saudi Arabia, India, China, Burma, and in the USA during the George W. Bush two Administrations.

           

            Religions, monolithic or not (it is primarily a mental distinction and never real), did not mushroom spontaneously in specific regions.  Religion is the same and was translated and interpreted into different languages and cultures. Religions were imported/exported along with the material baggage of trade and commerce; they were built upon and modified to correspond to customs and traditions. Religions developed to extreme abstractions in urban centers or reduced to basic common denominators in remote rural areas; they were the primary cultural communication among people based on trust, confidence, and belief that there is always someone more powerful and more knowledgeable than the lot.  

            It is because people need to create a God that religion was the main communicator among nations; religion transcended peculiar customs and traditions and reached straight to the deep fear and apprehension of man.  Fear of the unknown is shared by everyone and all men are similar in that one characteristic.

            There have always been all kinds of civilizations; that the archeologists failed to uncover relics and artifacts is irrelevant to that fact. Every civilization prospered on slavery; whatever names slaves were given.  Slaves had their own God; at day they shared the God of the usurpers of their freedom and by night they unveiled their “True God” and worshiped him genuinely as only desperate souls know how to pay tribute. A few slave “tribes” revolted and confirmed their nightly God at day break and paid retributions.  Most of these “slave tribes” succumbed to the power to be and its social structure (constructed around a religious hierarchy); a few preferred to be chased out and suffer another kind of life hardship.  No, there was no dignity in the daily life of the forsaken slaves who wandered in the wilderness; even their nights were different: they had to reinvent a God compatible to their wretched new life, an altered the God of the One they used to worship at night before the Diaspora.

            Nomadic tribes didn’t need religious clerics to convince them of a “God”: as they sat around by night they could watch the vault of the sky reaching down and they felt they could touch the stars.  There is overwhelming majesty during the peaceful nights in desert like regions, a sky sparkling with millions of beautiful stars twinkling overhead (a few moving, many fixed) that offered reprieve, courage, and hope for another day of desolation, loneliness, and harsh nature.  Nomads appreciate the varieties of Silence: they can feel the God of Silence before major cataclysms and desert storms.

            It is because nomads needed to believe more in a God than other settled people to ward off the persistent and real fears of the days for survival that their God was more powerful and more compassionate than other Gods; the God of the nomads was personified in the one seeking refuge for the night; the visitor was lavished with the respect due to the wandering God paying visit to the tribe members and he was fed with whatever meager substances the clan had saved.  The God of the nomads knew their traditions and customs and refrained from interfering or crossing the lines; otherwise, the visitor was punished for false representation.

           

            There are various God. There is the God of the nomads, the “Night God” of the enslaved, the God of the urban and settled people, and the God of wandering homeless people, rootless, and abandoned because their God refuses to be set free.  My article concerns the God of the stragglers.  This God was created a brute, ruthless, and blood thirsty; an avenger out of ignorance, an insulated, merciless, and uncompromising hatemongering God.  This is the God of Thunder, War, Lightening, Storm, Sword, and Skull.  This is the God who rebuffs any tender offer to mingle with other civilized Gods, to soften His manner, to come to maturity, to associate, to adjust, and to keep pledges.

            This is the God who obeyed his creators; as He started to appreciate modern and civilized habits He was reminded by his creators, called prophets, that He lost his way and the reason why He was created.  This the God who was resurrected countless time from his compassionate leaning and collaboration with other worthy Gods to lead newer generations, whose hearts and minds were burned alive from birth, to take on a chimerical revenge on real people because chimerical stories and myths are truer than reality.

            The Jewish religion is dead.  It was replaced by a State ideology called Zionism. Jehovah (Yahweh) was again called upon to mete out his benediction to countless genocide against the Palestinians, Lebanese, Syrians, Jordanians, and Egyptians. The ancient “prophets” were rejuvenated into modern-day prophets, very much as archaic as Ben Gurion, Menahem Begin, Ishak Shamir, Sharon, Ehud Barak, and all the lot who want their “promised land” that they usurped by the sword, lies, and blasphemy. 

              The Jewish religion is dead as Israel was recognized in 1948.  It is not what the Books say; it is how it is practiced.  It is how Zionism behaved in Gaza, Sabra and Chatila Palestinian camps, the camps in Jenine, Jabalya, the massacres in the villages of Dar Yassine, Kfar Kassem, Yafa, the shelling of the town of Qana, of the UN compounds in Qana, Gaza, and the West Bank, the execution of over 6,000 Egyptian soldiers prisoners in the war of 1967; the destruction of Lebanon’s infrastructure 8 times, the destruction of the infrastructures in Gaza and the West Bank, the demolition of schools and hospitals, the routine assassinations of leaders, the apartheid Wall of Shame, the refusal of abiding by UN resolution 194 for the return of the Palestinian refugees, the insistence of refusing to share Jerusalem Capital to the Palestine State, the transfer methods of the Christians from Jerusalem, and claiming that Israel should be accepted as State for Jews before any peaceful negotiation.

            The Jewish religion is dead.  It was replaced by a State ideology called Zionism, founded by the Eastern Europe Ashkenazi.

 

Note: The UN described Zionism in mild terms as “a form of racism”.  As the USA pressured the UN to desist of this mild description then Zionist ideology was no longer restricted to Jews; it transformed to an umbrella for the fascist, Nazi, Stalinists, Gang of Four, Khmer Rouge, Neo-Conservative, apartheid, and isolationist ideologies; it had contacts with Taliban, Ben Laden, Qaeda, and a variety of religious extremists of Moslems, Hindus, and the Christians of the Sirilanka Tamul terrorists.


adonis49

adonis49

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