Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘palestine

Palestine : le mirage d’une démocratie sous occupation

20 mars 2021

Par Ramzy Baroud

De nombreux intellectuels et analystes politiques Palestiniens se retrouvent dans la position peu enviable d’avoir à se prononcer sur le fait de soutenir ou non les prochaines élections palestiniennes qui sont prévues les 22 mai et 30 juillet. Mais il n’y a pas de réponse aisée.

Le décret tant attendu du chef de l’Autorité palestinienne Mahmoud Abbas en janvier dernier pour la tenue d’élections législatives et présidentielles dans les prochains mois, a été largement salué, non pas comme un succès pour la démocratie mais comme le premier résultat positif et tangible du dialogue entre les organisations palestiniennes rivales, principalement le Fatah [le parti d’Abbas] et le mouvement Hamas [la résistance islamique].

Concernant le dialogue interne palestinien, les élections, si elles se déroulent sans obstruction, pourraient laisser espérer que les Palestiniens des territoires occupés bénéficieront enfin d’un certain degré de représentation démocratique, un premier pas vers une représentation plus complète qui pourrait inclure les millions de Palestiniens vivant hors des territoires occupés.

Les forces israéliennes ont mené un exercice d’entraînement à proximité et à l’intérieur des villages de la région de Masafer Yatta, Cisjordanie, le 3 février 2021.

L’activité militaire a causé des dommages aux infrastructures, aux terres agricoles et aux structures résidentielles, et a eu lieu dans une zone qu’Israël désigne comme zone de tir, bien qu’elle soit peuplée de nombreuses communautés, qu’il tente d’expulser depuis plus de 20 ans.

Les habitants disent que son intention est de faire pression sur la Haute Cour israélienne pour qu’elle sanctionne l’expulsion des communautés de leurs terres – Photo : Keren Manor/ActiveStills

Mais une attente même aussi minimaliste est assortie de nombreuses conditions :

* que les organisations palestiniennes honorent leurs engagements fixés dans l’Accord d’Istanbul du 24 septembre
* qu’Israël autorise les Palestiniens, y compris les habitants de Jérusalem, à voter sans entrave et s’abstienne d’emprisonner des candidats palestiniens
* que la communauté internationale dirigée par les États-Unis accepte le résultat des élections démocratiques sans punir les partis et les candidats victorieux [qui ne lui plairont pas]

(Generally, Democratic results that do Not match the desires of colonial powers are considered null and void)


* que les élections législatives et présidentielles soient suivies d’élections plus substantielles au Conseil national palestinien (PNC), le Parlement palestinien en exil – etc…

Il suffit que l’une de ces conditions ne soit pas remplie pour les élections de mai n’amènent aucun résultat pratique, à part donner à Abbas et à ses rivaux un vernis de légitimité, leur permettant de gagner du temps et d’obtenir encore plus de fonds auprès de leurs bienfaiteurs financiers.

Lire également : Élections palestiniennes : la démocratie pour personne

Tout cela nous oblige à nous poser la question suivante : la démocratie est-elle possible sous occupation militaire ?

Presque immédiatement après les dernières élections législatives palestiniennes – sous surveillance internationale et tenues en 2006 – dont le résultat a déplu à Israël, 62 ministres palestiniens et membres du nouveau parlement ont été jetés en prison, et beaucoup d’entre eux y sont toujours.

L’histoire se répète puisque Israël a déjà lancé ses campagnes d’arrestation des dirigeants et des membres du Hamas en Cisjordanie.

Le 22 février, plus de 20 militants palestiniens, dont des responsables du Hamas, ont été kidnappés [par les forces d’occupation], ce qui équivaut à un message très clair aux Palestiniens qu’Israël ne tient aucun compte de leur dialogue, leurs accords d’unité ou leur démocratie.

Deux jours plus tard, le dirigeant du Hamas, âgé de 67 ans, Omar Barghouti, a été convoqué par les services de renseignements militaires israéliens en Cisjordanie occupée et a été mis en garde contre une candidature aux prochaines élections.

« L’officier israélien m’a prévenu de ne pas me présenter aux prochaines élections et m’a menacé d’emprisonnement si je passais outre », a narré Barghouti à Al-Monitor.

La loi fondamentale palestinienne autorise les prisonniers à se présenter aux élections, qu’elles soient législatives ou présidentielles, simplement du fait que les plus populaires parmi les dirigeants palestiniens sont souvent derrière les barreaux. Marwan Barghouti est l’un d’entre eux.

Emprisonné depuis 2002, Barghouti reste le dirigeant le plus populaire du Fatah, plus apprécié des jeunes cadres du mouvement par opposition à la vieille garde d’Abbas.

Ce dernier groupe a énormément bénéficié du système corrompu de favoritisme politique sur lequel le « président » de 85 ans a construit son pouvoir.

Pour maintenir en place ce système vénal, Abbas et ses seconds-couteaux ont fait leur maximum pour marginaliser Barghouti, ce qui amène à suggérer que l’emprisonnement par Israël de ce dirigeant populaire du Fatah sert les intérêts de l’actuel chef de l’Autorité palestinienne [AP].

Lire également : Des élections en Palestine ne résoudront pas l’absence de stratégie pour une libération nationale

Cette idée a beaucoup de pertinence, non seulement parce qu’Abbas n’a guère fait pression sur Israël pour une libération de Barghouti, mais aussi parce que tous les sondages d’opinion dignes de foi démontrent que Barghouti est largement plus populaire parmi les partisans du Fatah – et tous les Palestiniens – qu’Abbas.

Le 11 février, Abbas a dépêché Hussein al-Sheikh, ministre des Affaires civiles et membre du Comité central du Fatah, pour dissuader Barghouti de se présenter aux prochaines élections présidentielles.

Le meilleur scénario pour le chef de l’AP serait de profiter de la popularité de Barghouti en faisant en sorte qu’il dirige la liste du Fatah aux élections pour le Conseil législatif palestinien (CLP). Ainsi, Abbas pourrait assurer une forte participation des partisans du Fatah, tout en se garantissant le poste de président.

Barghouti a rejeté sans équivoque la requête d’Abbas, représentant ainsi un défi inattendu pour Abbas, qui risque à présent de voir se diviser les voix du Fatah, de perdre à nouveau les élections au CLP au profit du mouvement Hamas, et de perdre les élections présidentielles face à Barghouti.

Entre les raids toutes les nuits par l’armée israélienne et les intrigues politiques au sein du Fatah, on se demande si les élections – si elles ont lieu – permettront enfin aux Palestiniens de mettre en place un front uni dans la lutte contre l’occupation israélienne et pour la liberté des Palestiniens.

Il y a également la question de la position qu’adoptera la dite « communauté internationale » face au résultat des élections.

Les reportages parlent des efforts déployés par le Hamas pour obtenir des garanties du Qatar et de l’Égypte «pour s’assurer qu’Israël ne fera pas la chasse à ses représentants et candidats aux prochaines élections», comme le rapporte Al-Monitor.

Mais quel genre de garanties les pays arabes peuvent-ils obtenir de Tel-Aviv, et quelle influence peuvent bien avoir Doha et Le Caire alors qu’Israël continue de ne pas tenir compte des Nations Unies, du droit international, de la Cour pénale internationale, pour ne citer qu’eux

Néanmoins, la démocratie palestinienne peut-elle se permettre de rester dans un tel état d’inertie ?

Le mandat d’Abbas en tant que président a expiré en 2009, le mandat du CLP a expiré en 2010, et l’Autorité palestinienne n’a été créée qu’en tant qu’organe politique intérimaire dont la fonction aurait dû cesser en 1999.

Depuis lors, la «direction palestinienne» n’a plus de légitimité aux yeux des Palestiniens et son existence ne dépend que du bon vouloir de ses bienfaiteurs, pour lesquels la démocratie en Palestine est le cadet des soucis.

Le seul aspect positif de cette affaire est que le Fatah et le Hamas se sont également mis d’accord sur la restructuration de l’Organisation de libération de la Palestine (OLP), aujourd’hui largement monopolisée par le Fatah d’Abbas.

Que la refonte démocratique de l’OLP se fasse ou non, dépend en grande partie du résultat des élections de mai et juillet.

La Palestine, comme d’autres pays du Moyen-Orient et parmi eux Israël, connaît une crise de légitimité politique.

Étant donné que la Palestine est une terre occupée avec peu ou pas de liberté du tout, il est légitime de soutenir qu’une réelle démocratie dans d’aussi terribles conditions reste une chimère.

Ramzy Baroud

Ramzy Baroud est journaliste, auteur et rédacteur en chef de Palestine Chronicle. Son dernier livre est «These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons» (Pluto Press). Baroud a un doctorat en études de la Palestine de l’Université d’Exeter et est chercheur associé au Centre Orfalea d’études mondiales et internationales, Université de Californie. Visitez son site web: www.ramzybaroud.net.

10 mars 2021 – RamzyBaroud.net – Traduction : Chronique de Palestine – Lotfallah

The Debt We Owe Edward Said

A conversation with biographer Timothy Brennan about the enduring political and intellectual legacy of the Palestinian thinker.

By Kaleem Hawa. MARCH 25, 2021

Edward Said was our prince,” the Egyptian novelist Ahdaf Soueif recently said in a conversation reflecting on the Palestinian public intellectual’s life and writings.

An incomparable thinker, Said is credited with founding postcolonial studies, penning histories of cultural representation and “the Other,” and, in so doing, upending the Anglo-American academy.

His Orientalism, published in 1978, is among the most cited books in modern history, by some accounts above Marx’s Capital and Darwin’s On the Origin of Species.

Throughout decades of essays, books, and reviews, Said showed his care for form and the structures of feeling, seeing in their examination a means of understanding music, literature, the world, and Palestine, his home.

Said was a critic, a dandy, a narcissist, a mentor, a polemicist, and a singular wit.

In 1995’s Peace and Its Discontents—the first of his books intended for an Arab audience—Said describes the Oslo Accords as a “degrading spectacle of Yasser Arafat thanking everyone for what amounted to a suspension of his people’s rights,” shrouded in the “fatuous solemnity of Bill Clinton’s performance, like a twentieth century Roman empire shepherding two vassal knights through rituals of reconciliation and obeisance.”

The Palestinian leader for decades, Arafat would come to ban Said’s books in the West Bank and Gaza, a result of Said’s early positions in support of the one-state solution and his criticisms of Oslo.

With Ibrahim Abu-Lughod

Edward Said and Ibrahim Abu-Lughod, 1986. (Photo by Jean Mohr)

Said’s commitment to the liberation of the Palestinian people made him enemies closer to home as well.

Late in his life, and after the Twin Tower 9/11, Said felt isolated by his American friends and colleagues, as if they had “suddenly discovered they were imperialists after all, and had turned themselves into mouthpieces for the status quo,” as he said in one of his final interviews, filmed by English documentarian Mike Dibb in 2003, just a few months before leukemia would take Said’s life.

After being faced with the capricious nature of American letters, Said found solace among Arabs.

Many who opposed Said’s political commitments to Palestine spent years attempting to tear him down, and those who owe a debt to him as a person and a scholar have had to rely on private conversations and his own enormous œuvre to contest those depictions.

Timothy Brennan, an author and professor who was Said’s former graduate student and a close friend, has attempted to change that with Places of Mind, his biography of Said.

As the reviews of the book have come in, though, it has been dispiriting to see a procession of white writers get Said wrong.

Dwight Garner, in his review for The New York Times, “A Study of Edward Said, One of the Most Interesting Men of His Time,” seems to find every possible thing interesting about Said except his identity as a Palestinian, devoting more lines to Said’s sex life than his views on the liberation of his own people.

This reflects Garner’s paper’s own treatment of Said when he was alive (The New York Times Book Review published Said 10 times, zero times on Palestine) and echoes its consistent overlooking of Palestinian voices—publishing almost 2,500 op-eds on Palestine since 1970, with only 46 authored by Palestinians.

This recent review only furthers something white critics have always misunderstood about Said: In treating his Palestinian identity as a curiosity rather than an animating feature of his life and work, they miss how generative the experiences of the (albeit privileged) colonial subject were to the writing of Orientalism (or BeginningsCovering Islam, and The Question of Palestine, for that matter).

These currents are convincingly traced in Brennan’s intellectual history.

In our conversation, Brennan discusses Said’s literary influences, his relationship to Marxism, his views on the growing movement to boycott Israel, his friendship with anti-war leader Eqbal Ahmed, and his experiences with the New York media.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

—Kaleem Hawa

KALEEM HAWA: Some people represent Said as a Palestinian academic “with a gentile intellect” rather than an ultimately Western one, whose project is situated within and in response to the Western canon. Do you believe Edward Said was an “Arab intellectual”?

TIMOTHY BRENNAN: This is probably one of the things that changed my mind about the Edward Said that I thought I knew so well.

First meeting him, it is very difficult to think of him as anything other than a British-educated, Ivy League product. And when you talk to some of the people who became Edward’s political enemies over time, they echo this sentiment, saying, “Don’t believe this commitment he has to Palestine. He never once talked about going back home or that he longed to live in the Middle East.”

But while this is a popular way of thinking about Edward, it is not borne out by the record. He took pains to relocate to the Middle East. He systematically apprenticed himself under the intellectuals of the Nahda [Renaissance], like Constantin Zureiq or Ibrahim Abu-Lughod. And I think it was very important to him to establish a direct line of communication with Arab readers and address them as Arabs.

KH: They didn’t always like what he had to say; I am thinking of the criticisms of Said by Marxist Arabs like Mahdi Amel, for instance. On this, the Irish poet Seamus Deane said that Said was not a Marxist, but only if we recognize the wildly different degrees to which one can be not a Marxist. What would you say was Said’s relationship to Marxism?

TB: I think that Edward couldn’t accept Marxism as somebody fighting for Palestinian nationalism because he felt it was an imported ideology that had been largely negative in the forms that it had taken in the Middle East.

He thought that, however correct a program it might be politically, it did not have the attractive force as a political system in the Middle East context to lead to the successful founding of a Palestinian state.

KH: Are you referring to his book Beginnings in which he attempts to map an indigenous Arab culture, politics, and aesthetics, and criticizes Frantz Fanon and Taha Hussein for using the structures of Freud and Marx to fight colonialism, rather than create their own distinctly native culture?

TB: There is also the famous takedown of Marx in Orientalism. And there’s the complaint about certain Marxist movements in Culture and Imperialism.

But let’s not forget that a lot of Said’s close friends and associates were Marxists. He’s as tight as one can be with another intellectual during a formative period of his life with Sadiq al-Azm.

Marxism wasn’t off-putting to him in any way—in fact, there was some competition between him and al-Azm about who could be the worst enfant terrible in the Middle East, and the relationship that he has with Marxism is consistent throughout his life.

There’s evidence of a more generally politically liberal disposition, yes, but Said also acted as an agent for Marxist intellectuals, reminding people of the vital insights that they had brought to political and cultural theory.

His greatest heroes, apart from [Giambattista] Vico—who you could say was proto-Marxist—were Marxists: [György] Lukács, [Theodor] Adorno, [Antonio] Gramsci. A small cast of characters made up this pantheon.

KH: Were there any women in this pantheon?

TB: Yes, Rose Subotnik, a musicologist, and Gillian Rose, a sociologist and Hegel scholar. Susan Buck-Morss first book on Adorno was also an influence.

KH: You didn’t mention Eqbal Ahmad, the anti-war leader and Pakistani intellectual. Said’s FBI file would call Said the unofficial liaison between the US and the Palestine Liberation Organization. This was perceived as radical in American contexts—though it hardly is nowadays—and was in part attributed to Said’s relationship with Ahmad. How did that relationship come to be?

TB: Eqbal was one of the leaders of the American anti-war movement, and he caught Edward’s attention just when Edward was becoming more overtly political following the Palestinian Naksa in 1967. (The defeat of the both the Egyptian and Syrian armies)

Eqbal took a very bold and unpopular step at the time, giving a lecture to militant Arab intellectuals and activists saying that they would not be able to win their fight against Zionism in a military way, that they had to learn about the techniques of persuasion.

This was not where Edward was coming from at the time; he was very attracted to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which was the most Marxist of the organizations in the Palestine liberation umbrella groups. Said was thinking in military terms at that point.

KH: It’s interesting because you also say that Said would admire his students and peers who would stand outside of grocery stores collecting signatures against the Vietnam War, but he would never do it himself.

He also famously called the campus police on student protesters when they stormed his class at Columbia. Are we talking about Said’s political failings as aberrations explainable by circumstance, rather than as constitutive of a worldview?

Would he have leafleted if it was for Palestine? Was he just not a leafleteer? How do we explain these contradictions?

TB: There are few reasons I can think of.

First, Edward was an elitist. He grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth and did not see himself as being in the trenches.

Secondly, if he’s going to put himself out for a political cause, it’s not going to be the Vietnam War; as much as he despised and was appalled by what the United States was doing in Vietnam, he only had one life to give and one set of energies.

Finally, he thought of the student activists as involved in a sort of middle-class playacting, that they didn’t know what real political danger was. He had seen that danger up close by knowing comrades in Cairo under [Egyptian President Gamal Abdel] Nasser and comrades in Beirut who were getting assassinated. All those things would militate against him handing out leaflets.

KH: I wonder about the role of intellectuals then as a node in a network between other intellectuals and liberation causes. Said claims to have been the person that introduced Fredric Jameson to Palestine—he organized a trip with Ahmad with the intentions of elevating Palestine to a political issue, not just an academic one for Jameson. What do you know about this trip?

TB: Edward admired Fred and Fred’s intellect but would not identify with Jameson’s Marxism. He thought it was not interested in applying itself to real-world conditions, that it had become a kind of a compensatory philosophy where one could feel ethically pure but not engage with the world.

Edward would say things like, “Jameson, he’s as political as that chair over there.” The trip was to Lebanon, and the goal was to show Western academics what it meant to politically resist Israel.

KH: Sometimes I think what is missing in the Western intellectual is a deeply felt anger. Was Said’s rage real?

TB: He was angry. He was really angry. He would have taken up arms if it would have been the way to achieve victory.

I am absolutely astounded at the prodigious energy that went into his writing about Palestine from so many different angles over so many years.

But also, his political strategies vis-à-vis Palestine and the post-9/11 attacks on freedoms in the United States had everything to do with what he learned from studying literature—there is a direct connection between his patient study of rhetoric and narrative and his belief in the authority that the intellectual has in society.

He would talk about the entire Israeli apparatus of stories that had been brought to the public on a mass basis, like the movie Exodus or the eye patch of Moshe Dayan.

Edward would say that Palestinians didn’t register with the public, that they needed to tell their stories and find a way to mythologize their experiences so that people could identify with it. Essentially, Said’s view of narrative was not just as something that literature professors study in a classroom—it had everything to do with the Palestinian national project.

KH: The audiences for these stories are implicitly Western ones, though. What about Said’s visions for communicating with Arabs?

You describe his essay “Withholding, Avoidance, and Recognition” in Mawaqif, the Beirut magazine, as the first time Said addressed an Arab audience, staking out a sort of Arab pessimism, the very thing that Ghassan Kanafani described as a “masochistic festival of self-disparagement.” What was Said arguing in that essay and why?

TB: It’s an absolutely stunning essay. Said argues that what the Arab intellectual most needs to recognize as lacking in their culture is a theory of mind. In the essay he is attempting to show that the challenge with resisting Western imperialism as an Arab has to do in part with the overemphasis on the Arabic language as a reservoir of beauty and perfection, and that Arabs must work to understand what makes them different, what they most need, what they lack. It’s very political, but it’s also psychoanalytic.

KH: You also write that Said was fascinated with fiction writers he should not have liked. He championed Jonathan Swift instead of anti-colonialist William Blake, and he loved Joseph Conrad rather than his anti-imperialist colleague R. Cunninghame Graham.

You argue that in Conrad’s pessimism and moral darkness, Said could find himself as a relief. But Said also saw similarities, describing himself and Conrad both as “exiles in the imperial world capitals of their time.” Can you talk more about Said’s connection to Conrad?

TB: Edward was attracted to those whose politics he disagreed with. This is clear in his early emulation of [Lebanese nationalist and Phalangist] Charles Malik.

In part, Edward sought to get in the minds of those who in some respects he despised, interested in what would be produced by the friction. But I also think his attraction to Conrad was because Conrad had invented himself, creating fictional masks under his own persona in his works.

Edward really identified with that and wanted that, especially in his abortive attempts at writing a novel. Edward wanted to hide himself, and Conrad doing so gave him ideas about how he might do it.

KH: Said also saw in Conrad a duality that replicated in his personal life. You quote Said saying, “When I was beginning to teach at Columbia…I was really considered two people…the teacher of literature…and this other person who did these quite unspeakable, unmentionable things.”

What were Edward Said’s unspeakable, unmentionable things?

TB: Well, I think they’re largely imaginary. I think what he’s really saying there is that despite his eloquence, despite his success as a professor, people could never get over the fact that he was different, he was slightly off, he was from another part of the world.

It was a feeling of inferiority in his presence because he had a global reach and a cosmopolitan depth that they didn’t have.

They saw this man who spoke Arabic and knew the British Empire from the inside out, having grown up under it—all of those things made him formidable. And so it wasn’t what he was doing, it’s what he was thinking.

KH: I always thought that stuff was kind of libidinal, that it operated at the level of psychosexual distrust for Arab people, à la Joseph Massad’s Desiring Arabs. Were there any consequences of this attention for Said?

TB: Yes, it was apparent when he arrived in New York City. He was always in love with New York, always felt at home in New York, and that went way back even to childhood.

He gets there and soon he’s established. He’s the darling. He’s handsome. He’s articulate. He’s funny. He writes perfectly for that kind of intellectual crowd. He’s got the cachet of being from Columbia, and he’s from unidentifiable origins, which makes him intriguing.

But then he publishes The Question of Palestine. And the problem with that book for the New York media world was precisely what made it attractive to people like Cyrus Vance and George Shultz:

He could be “reasonable”; he could patiently explain; he had the rhetorical techniques and the evidence to drive his point home. 

He explained too well, and nobody had ever seen anything like it. They felt endangered. They felt that this person could make a case for Palestine that more and more people would accept. So they start to blacklist him.

It was harder for him to publish in The New York Review of Books after that; he only got to publish certain kinds of things. And there’s lots of correspondence with The New York Times Magazine where they say, “Well, we’re interested, but only if you stay away from politics, if you just talk about your childhood.”

KH: On this point, one of Said’s first essays for the London Review of Books was about the journalist’s relationship to power.

He planted a flag for the idea of media criticism. Why?

TB: You could say that Covering Islam was the book that most perfectly embodied the fruits of the media criticism that he was reading in others.

There are writers who precede Said who are writing these really important studies of the media, like Edward Herman and Armand Mattelart.

Said argues that we need to systematically and structurally unpack media bias on the subject of the Middle East. And he brings to it literary critical notions like the problem of representation and the mediation of the news by capitalism.

KH: Yes, but do you believe his critique is always so structural? I think of his essay in the London Review of Books, “Permission to Narrate,” in which he argues that there is a unique standard when it comes to Palestine. Why did he think this?

TB: The Zionist project both objectively is—and Edward was trying to convince people that it was—a genocidal attempt to disarticulate a people, to deny its existence, to prevent it from associating with itself, prevent it from telling its story.

And so anything that would create the impression that there was this people with a history and a heritage that was conscious of itself as a people had to be anathema.

KH:  Did Said ever describe what Israel has done and is doing to the Palestinians as genocide?

TB: To my knowledge, no, he never uses that word. It is one that I think would be appropriate myself, but I don’t think that he uses that word.

I think Said would have thought it polarizing among the people he was trying to reach, but then he would write several essays about the complete disarticulation, denial, and elimination of Palestinian collective existence, which fits under the official UN definition of genocide.

KH: In some ways this is an evasion, because the enemies of Palestinian people understand this deeply and police the parameters of which language is reasonable and not reasonable. We are seeing this firsthand with the boycott, divestment, and sanctions [BDS] movement, which Zionist groups have tried to present as something that is not discussed in polite society. I struggle with Said’s position.

TB: Right.

KH: I do want to talk about BDS for a moment.

Said died in 2003 and the BDS movement was founded in 2005. The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra program that Said co-founded with Daniel Barenboim [an Israeli citizen] would become the subject of a Palestinian boycott by the cofounder of the BDS movement, Omar Barghouti.

Some in Said’s family, like his sister Grace, took issue with the orchestra project because of the ways that it normalized the Israeli state. Nevertheless, she and others have said that Said would have been a supporter of BDS today.

TB: I agree with Grace. Before 2003, Said himself was actively participating in boycotts of Israeli companies.

And he was absolutely livid with close friends and associates at Columbia for not participating in a boycott of any company that was investing in the occupied territories.

He would have probably taken the position, which is BDS position, that the boycott is not a question of individuals but is a question of institutions, and that these institutions should be punished for what they are doing.

KH: You dedicated your book to the Palestinian people. Why?

TB: I guess being around Edward taught me to throw my energy into trying to do something for the cause. He taught me to risk professional censure to take a stand on Palestine.

To me, it’s a litmus test for whether your anti-colonial politics is sincere or not, whether you risk speaking out on behalf of the great injustice done by Zionism to the Palestinian people.

To me, this is one of the biggest ethical questions of our time.

Kaleem Hawa Kaleem Hawa has written about art, film, and literature for the New York Review of BooksThe NationTimes Literary Supplement, and other publications.

Jewish involvement in the radical changes of the Second Vatican Council

Centuries later, has the Vatican resumed the transformation of Catholic ideology in the steps of Luther?

December 9, 2018

Here’s to our murderless mystery story, where its religious-ecclesiastical background calls for careful threading, though no issues of faith or belief are involved.

I am referring to the Second Vatican Council, (1961–1964), some of its deliberations, the shadowy maneuvers that brought them about, and the implications and consequences for the brethren and the world at large.

The Council implemented profound changes, of which many faithful are probably not fully aware, and from which the Catholic Church has perhaps not yet recovered.

But first some background.

The late 1950s were a time of critical ideological tension. In Italy, Communist governments, provincial and local, ran and administered large swaths of the country. There was a chance that in the next political elections the Communists could win the majority.

Understandably, America was concerned and had disturbing contingency plans should the “enemy” win.

In this, I think, they misunderstood Italy’s collective psychology. For one, many had already perceived the utopian nature of Marxist egalitarianism and sensed that a Communist state would resemble a convent or a prison.

But they also knew that, if the Italian Communists won, they would quickly convert the convent into a brothel and the prison into a discotheque. That is, a change in name but not in substance.

Still, Pope Pius XII, who died in 1958, came from a noble family with a long history of service to the Church.

Now policy and the political winds called for a Pope with a different background, a “populist” we would say today — one whose humble origins would implicitly raise favor among the discontent, hope in the disenfranchised and sympathy in the downtrodden.

Pope John XXIII filled the bill, for he was the fourth among thirteen children in a family of sharecroppers. And soon he acquired the byname of “good.” From then on, the masses knew him as “the Good Pope.

Logic is never a friend of mass psychology, for ‘good’ is a relative term. Good compared to whom? In fact, according to a meaningful section of past and current Catholic thinkers, John XXIII was a disaster.

A digression:

Prior to Vatican II, one the Good Friday’s rituals of the Catholic Church features the reciting of a prayer originated in the fourth century AD. That prayer included the words, “Oremus et pro perfidis Judaeis,” meaning “Let us also pray for (the conversion of) the faithless Jews.

During his last years, Pope Pius XII had received a visit from Jules Marx Isaac, a prominent French Jew who was also a Mason and a Marxist.

Isaac asked the Pope to remove ‘perfidis’ from the prayer. Pius XII declined because,  he explained, ‘perfidis’ does not mean ‘perfidious’ but ‘faithless.’ For the Jews do not recognize the divinity of Christ and consequently have no faith. Therefore, ‘faithless’ was not an insult but a statement of fact.

In the turbulent currents of our world, these historic, semi-theological preoccupations seem quaint.

For today an obscene Jewish comedienne can claim, on American prime-time TV, that she is glad that the Jews killed Christ. Adding, “If I could, I’d do it again, I’d f…ing” do it again.” And both Catholic and Protestant divines have met such statements (and worse), with a stony yet meaningful silence.

But in the 1950s the Zeitgeist was different.

The first signal occurred during the Good Friday rituals of 1959, and we owe this information to Cardinal Bea, right hand of John XXIII. John XXIII reversed the ruling of his predecessor, Pius XII, and ordered the adjective ‘perfidis’ removed from the prayer recited since 400 AD.

Earlier on, in 1937, Pope Pius XI had issued another Encyclical, unusually written in German, and titled “Mit Brennenden Sorge”(With Burning Concern) in which Pius XI also dealt with the thorny issue of collective Jewish responsibility for the death of Christ.

He wrote, “God (the Word) became flesh among a people that one day would crucify him.

In 1959 John XXIII suppressed that sentence from the record of Pius XI’s Encyclical. No Internauts will find it by reading the Encyclical online.

There were other meaningful suppressions, for example, in the ritual for the baptism of adults wishing to become Catholics. In the old ritual the priest asked the applicant whether “he held in horror Judean perfidy and superstition.” To which the expected answer from the soon-to-be-Catholic was “yes.” That question-and-answer exchange was removed from the ritual.

John XXIII, like the current Pope, chose gestures over words to express his thoughts. The hierarchy, the subordinates and Catholics at large were to derive, from his gestures, their meaning and implications, as well as the Pope’s objectives and intentions.

On a Saturday in March, 1962 (the Council had begun the previous October), John XXIII made a well-publicized stop, with his car and caravan, in front of the Synagogue of Rome. The stop was timed to occur at the end of a Shabbat, when the Jews came out of the building. And when, from his car, the Pope blessed them.

More meaningful gestures were to come.

Ariel Toaff, a Jewish professor at Tel Aviv University, has written an interesting book, in French, titled “La Paque des Juifs” (Easter of the Jews).

Toaff examined the records of various trials, through the ages, of Jews accused of killing Christian children — murdered to use their blood in some Jewish Easter ceremonies. That book was promptly removed from circulation a few days after publishing, due to Jewish reaction and furious pressure.

There was, however, a second edition, where the author added statements of sufficient impact as to reduce the ire of his co-religionists.

Among youngsters allegedly killed for the “Paque des Juifs” were Simonino from Trent (Italy), Andrea from Rinn (Austria), Lorenzino from Marostica (Italy) and Dominguito del Val (Spain).

They had all been declared “Blessed,” their embalmed bodies had been enclosed in glass tombs, under a main altar or in a chapel dedicated to them.

By the way, the difference between a Blessed (Beatus) and a Saint (Sanctus) has to do with the number of miracles performed and their timing.

In May 1961, John XXIII wrote a secret letter to the religious authorities of the Churches or Abbeys involved, ordering to remove the tombs and all records, works of art, ex-voto, paintings and statues of these Blessed from their respective Churches, and to suppress immediately all related celebrations, festivities and processions.

For example, Andrea from Rinn was born in 1459 and beatified in 1751. At the Abbey of Wilten, in Austria, his chapel was renamed, his paintings and statues removed, and his sarcophagus relegated to a dark corner against a wall.  

An inscription on the stone masking the sarcophagus asked forgiveness of the Jews, for the veneration of that Blessed had been a cause of anti-Semitism.

Finally, in 1985, the Archbishop of Innsbruck had the body removed from the church to a common cemetery — “for his veneration (Andrea-from-Rinn’s) is not substantiated by reliable historical documentation.” Which, in itself, is a remarkable statement, as the proclamation of a ‘Blessed’ follows a lengthy process and trial of canonization.

In fact, after the death of Pope John Paul II, the Vatican PR machinery created the slogan, “Subito Santo” (A Saint Immediately). Where ‘immediately’ infers a break from the traditional years, decades, and at times centuries, required before sanctification.

Furthermore, the Blessed cannot be unblessed, depending on the political air of the times, though the Archbishop of Innsbruck clearly thought otherwise.

Back to the Council, where — as per the biography of Cardinal Bea — an important character comes to the stage. He is Nahum Goldmann (1885–1982), a Polish Jew, President of the World Jewish Congress (1951–1978) and editor of the “Encyclopedia Judaica” from 1932 to 1934. Later he was the Representative of the Judean Nation at the United Nations from 1935 to 1940, in Geneva and the US.

From 1939 to 1945 he was the director of the Jewish Spying Service, at a time when the Israel didn’t yet exist, though the Organization was recognized by the US Administration — evidence that the US already considered the state of Israel a fait accompli.

In his autobiography, Goldmann writes of having been the first, in 1942, to launch the idea of the Nuremberg Trials.  And he is also associated with the notorious Morgenthau Plan which called for the dismantling of all German industrial concerns, mass transfer of all remaining machinery and industrial tools to England as war reparations, prohibition of any industrial activity, the reduction of Germany to the level of a pre-industrial, medieval agricultural society which would have resulted in millions of deaths.

In his memoirs, Goldmann writes that the Second Vatican Council would not have occurred, but for three events,

— the Shoah
— the Nuremberg Trials
— the foundation of the state of Israel.

Nathan Ben Horin, Israel’s Ambassador to the Vatican, writes in his memoirs, that on February 27, 1962 the draft of the Encyclical “Nostra Aetate” (Our Age) produced by the International Judaic Congress, was delivered to Cardinal Bea, for transmittal to John XXIII.

In 1960, John XXIII through his right-hand Cardinal Bea, had invited Nahum Goldmann for a meeting with the Pope. In the meeting (so Goldmann writes), John XXIII said he wanted to propose, at the forthcoming Council, a revision of the relations between Jewry and Catholicism.

To do so, the Pope needed for the Jewish Congress to send him a formal request for the reconsideration of Jewish-Catholic relations.

That is, John XXIII wanted a change, but he needed the Jewish Congress to ask for it.

Then, with another important step, John XXIII excluded the Holy Office from making any input on such an important matter as the relationship between the Catholic Church and other religions — which was the essence of the “Nostra Aetate” Encyclical.

This raised a bitter internal feud, for the Holy Office had been for centuries the official organ of analysis and deliberations regarding dogmas and general matters of faith.

John XXIII simply ordered Cardinal Ottaviani, head of the Holy Office, to shut up.

John XXIII had several meetings with another influential Rabbi, Abraham Heschel, who also contributed to the writing of the Encyclical — so writes the secretary of Cardinal Bea.

And finally, in an issue of the French Jewish weekly Tribune Juive, Lazare Landau, a Jewish historian, writes,

In a glacial night of the winter 62–63, I was invited to an extraordinary meeting of the “Communitarian Center for Peace,” held at the Synagogue of Strasbourg.  At the end of the Shabbat, the Directors received in secret, in a cellar of the building, an envoy of John XXIII, Yves Congar, [a Dominican friar who had a critical influence on the ‘progressive’ measures taken by the Council as a whole.]

There were ten of us.

Congar, in name of John XXIII, asked us what we expected from the Catholic Church, as regards the millenarian “Jewish Question.” We said that we wanted the complete rehabilitation of the Jews, as regards the death of Christ.

“Nostra Aetate” was a total revolution, as Congar later said to me, in the doctrine of the Church, as regards the Jews.

In fact — so I am told by current practicing Catholics who attend Masses and functions in their churches — some priests praise the greatness of Hebraism, assert that Abraham is our common ancestor and that the Jews are our ‘elder brothers’ of the Bible.

Forgetting the polygamy of the patriarchs, the gallantries of David, the seraglio of Solomon, the incest in the Leviticus, and a general Old Testament undertone of hyper-ethnocentrism, fear and loathing of gentiles, the desire to dominate gentiles, and revenge against their enemies.

The same priests sermonize on the rights of Jews to the ancestral land of Israel.

On the wars in the Middle East, fought for Israel, and on the slaughter of Palestinians, the word is mum.

Though various Popes have at times deplored, and generally lamented that war causes death and suffering, which almost equates to saying that a great cause of the night is lack of sunshine.2

In summary, there is sufficient evidence as to who took the initiative and who were the authors of the Encyclical “Nostra Aetate.”

Nevertheless, the debates at the Council on the issue of the Jews’ involvement in the death of Christ were contentious and combative.

After all, according to the Gospels, the Jews had asked for the blood of Christ to fall “on their head and that of their children.” The Gospel of St. John made this clear, and St. Paul had declared that adopting alternative Gospels would be anathema.

The bishops of the Arab world, in particular, objected to the appeasement of the Jews because appeared to be an indirect Catholic endorsement of the rape of Palestine.

A de-facto endorsement of Israel occurred in 1965, though formal recognition and exchange of embassies had to wait for John Paul II, in 1993.

In the end there was a compromise. The encyclical “Nostra Aetate” would state that only “some,” not “all,” Jews were responsible for the death of Christ.

This did not prevent the (Catholic) University of Notre Dame, in Indiana, from freeing all Jews of any responsibility related to the issue.

Furthermore, as I hear from Professor E. Michael-Jones, the University hired a Jewish psychologist to teach a seminar on “togetherness” and similar topics, to priests and nuns. This had the foreseeable consequence that a number of priests left the ministry and nuns the convent…. to get married.

If there is life after death, Boccaccio will laugh his head off.

To conclude, the Second Vatican Council has puzzled many Catholics. Perhaps John XXIII believed that the stream of time was running in favor of the Jews, with the result that he was forced away from the ancient paths by the rough torrent of occasion.3

But some Catholics would like to know where the Vatican is headed.

For, when a revolutionary change of religious belief is imposed from above, strength of conviction is weakened and judgment confounded.

Resistance shrinks from revolution of beliefs, even if the prime mover of the insurgency keeps wearing the robes of the Prime Minister of God.

At times, the truth may appear grey, but isn’t. It is black and white, at least in patches.

And even the blackness and the whiteness of the patches are often debated and debatable. For nothing is black or white, but thinking makes it so.4

Notes and titbits on FB and Twitter.

Posted on September 5, 2017

Toutes les espéces vivantes sur terre se transformeront pour accommoder la qualité de l’air qu’on a engendrer. Bientot, on pourrait survivre sur d’autres planétes qu’on croyait invivable.

Les mots “de chose” qui sous-entend l’eau, comme caractéristique essentiel , constituent la majeur partie de n’importe quel dictionnaire.

I was having a dream of activities and conversation and the movie froze, picture and sound. Kind my dream-mind wanted to freeze. Exactly as movies freeze on TV. I woke up and realized I was having my siesta/nap and the quota of sleep was over.

It is an experience that can be remembered. In this dream I was having a ride by a young man in the evening and we were driving on a road under repair and he was asking me a question and the dream froze. The car was like parked on a road side and the question in suspension. In vain, my lucid dream was trying to restart the conversation, but the movie was definitely frozen

There’s a little club of countries in the world that offer no national paid leave to new mothers. Care to guess who they are? The first 8 make up eight million in total population. They are Papua New Guinea, Suriname and the tiny island nations of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau and Tonga. Number nine is the United States of America, with 320 million people Onward, fellow humans.

Can We Let Capitalism Die and Move On? How many more calamities, financial crisis, occupations, pre-emptive wars, famine, climate change, indignities… can our existence sustain?

Le jour de l’armnistice, tous ceux prêt á etre fusillés, sont-ils épargnés? Pour ce jour de célébration? On célebre le jour de l’armistice, pas la fin de la guerre: les gens ne sont pas si idiots, quand même.

Les armistice successives en Syrie ont sont la preuve. Une journée sans violence d’armes est une victoire.

Le récitant du conte raconte ce que le hero eut aimé qu’on racontât.

Dans la société capitaliste, les gens de capital n’ont que des destins, et qui nuisent a tout le monde. Des destins d’illusion d’un progres qui doit être instantané, ou rien ne vaille.

Les actes, les emotions, les idées s’installent chez moi, y font briévement leurs nids, et puis me quittent successivement avec des délais. Je constate, mais ne peut affirmer que je les subit: Ils sont malins et ne s’imposent pas tous á la fois. Il serait illusoire de ma part d’assigner de lois á leurs apparitions ou disparitions

Tant qu’il reste une rue, un café, une maison, un cimetiére…que tu n’a pas exploré dans cette ville, tu ne doit pas dire que “tu ne l’a pas trouvé”

Le progres a des niveaux de myths idolatres. Les financial multinationals ont élevés l’illusion du “Progrés Idole” au plus haut degree. Ils savent tout instantanément, decident  instantanément, et transférent des milliars  instantanément.

Les hommes font l’histoire? Plutot, des histoires á n’en plus finir

Occupe toi de ta santé: le Bonheur tombe par hazard. Pas de grâce de la joie sans santé. C’est une autre histoire.

“Toutes les famille heureuses se ressemblent, Les familles malheureuses (sont différents), malheureuses á leur facon”

“Les enfants que je n’ai pas eus ne savent pas ce qu’ils me doivent” Cioran

If this is Death, I don’t think much of it. Neither life, for some balance to my rational pessimism.

Le plaisir, s’il sent agreable et sans soucis, est meilleur qu’un devoir sans grâce et sans concentration.

De ce que j’ai senti en ma vie, sentiments pauvres et sec, je crois que la vie est supportable. Poutant, my experimental mind exige une vie alternative: Une jeunesse fougeuse et bréve.

“If you say, I think the occupation of Palestine is fucked up on forty different levels, people are like, you’re the devil, we’re going to get your tenure taken away, we’re going to destroy you. You can say almost anything else. You could be like, ‘I eat humans,’ and they’ll be like bien, bien.” Junot Diaz

Any man-made system must necessarily be fraught with errors, faults and limitations on its intended usage.

Any man-made system (product, service, administrative, management, political, control…) is doomed to fail when designed to cater for complex tasks and objectives. It will end up tying up many teams targeted for training, maintenance, redesigning…

Author of The Color Purple Not invited over Israel comments?

Posted on December 27, 2016

Alice Walker disinvited from University of Michigan over ‘Israel comments’

Submitted by Ali Abunimah on Thu, 08/15/2013

World-renowned American author Alice Walker has been disinvited from giving a speech at the University of Michigan because a donor objects to her views on Israel, the agent negotiating the contract was told.

Walker, the Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Color Purpleposted on her blog an excerpt of a letter from the agent informing her that the invitation to keynote the 50th anniversary celebration of the Center for the Education of Women at the University of Michigan had been withdrawn.

The agent wrote:

I’m saddened to write this because I’m a proponent of free speech and have been brought up to allow everyone to have their say. But I also realize that there are other considerations that institutions are faced with.

This afternoon I was contacted by the University of Michigan instructing me to withdraw their invitation due to the removal of funding from the donors, because of their interpretation of Ms. Walker’s comments regarding Israel.

They are Not willing to fund this program and the university/Women’s center do not have the resources to finance this on their own.

They are deeply regretful but I wanted to let you know immediately either way. I hope you can appreciate the fact that I’m uncomfortable even having to send this email in the first place. Hopefully we can work together again down the road. Thanks for understanding. I wish things had turned out differently

110617-alice-walker.jpg

Alice Walker speaks in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.

(Lazar Simeonov / TEDxRamallah)

Calling the withdrawn invitation “Censorship by Purse String,” Walker wrote:

“Such behavior, as evidenced by the donors, teaches us our weakness, which should eventually (and soon) show us our strength: women must be in control of our own finances. Not just in the family, but in the schools, work force, and everywhere else. Until we control this part of our lives, our very choices, in any and every area, can be denied us.”

Walker is listed as one of the speakers represented by the American Program Bureau agency.

Alice Walker not “optimum choice”

Gloria D. Thomasdirector of the Center for the Education of Women, acknowledged that Walker had been disinvited, but said that the matter was a “misunderstanding.”

In an email to The Electronic Intifada, Thomas wrote:

The [Walker’s] blog was a result of an unfortunate misunderstanding. As director of the Center for the Education of Women (CEW), I decided to withdraw our invitation because I didn’t think Ms. Walker would be our optimum choice for our 50th anniversary.

Our 50th anniversary funding is assured. All donations, for this and other events, are accepted with no provisos or prohibitions regarding free speech.

In fact, in a conversation with one of Ms. Walker’s friends/representatives, I indicated that I would be willing to speak with other units around campus to serve as a possible co-sponsor for a lecture by Ms. Walker in the near future.

Asked if a speaker had been chosen to replace Walker, Thomas wrote, “No contract has been signed yet. This information will be made available on our website once the contract is confirmed.”

Walker: supporter of Palestinian rights

In recent years, Walker has become increasingly outspoken in her support of Palestinian rights, sometimes likening Israel’s abuses to the Jim Crow racist system she grew up with in the southern United States.

Walker has written about her visit to Gaza, and participated in the June 2011 solidarity flotilla that attempted to reach the territory besieged by Israel, which led to her being demonized by the Israeli army.

Her position on boycott has also been deliberately distorted by Israeli media.

Walker has campaigned for other artists, most recently Alicia Keys, to respect the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS).

In her letter to Keys, Walker wrote:

I have written over the years that explain why a cultural boycott of Israel and Israeli institutions (not individuals) is the only option left to artists who cannot bear the unconscionable harm Israel inflicts every day on the people of Palestine, whose major “crime” is that they exist in their own land, land that Israel wants to control as its own.

Could Walker, one of the most celebrated figures in American letters, now be paying the price of refusing to be silent about Palestine?

Rafah, Gaza. Dead children kept in vegetable refrigerators

Posted on August 3, 2014

Note: Before this butchery, Rafah witnessed a prior butchery in 1956 as Israel participated in the invasion of the Suez canal. Israel army crossed Rafah and committed crimes against humanity: over 60 civilians were exterminated.

#GazaUnderAttack

As Gaza stranglehold tightens, full morgues have forced people to store dead bodies in refrigerators

Corpses of the dead stored in a vegetable refrigerator in Rafah (Twitter / @FoolowGaza)

Mohammed Omer's picture

Mohammed Omer posted this Saturday 2 August 2014

Abu Taha, a farmer in Rafah, opened the refrigerator he normally keeps his potatoes and carrots in.

In it were the corpses of children, young men and women lying on top of one another, soaked in blood.

Many were impossible to identify and only a few have been placed in white burial shrouds.

Such was the savagery of Israel’s bombardment in Rafah, such was the quantity of dead bodies, that there was simply no other option but to use vegetable refrigerators as makeshift morgues.

The closure of hospitals which came under bombardment led to a cascade of corpses. It started when medical staff were forced to abandon Rafah’s main hospital Abu Yousef al-Najjar which came under constant bombardment by artillery shelling from the east of the city.

They evacuated the injured to Kuwaiti Hospital, a facility totally ill-equipped to deal with major trauma injuries from the extended battlefield that the Gaza Strip has become.

Even so, several bodies were left lying on the roads, bleeding for hours without any ambulance crew arriving to rescue them.

Meanwhile, three ambulance crew members have been killed, their bodies were unidentifiable after they were hit by an Israeli tank shell directed at their ambulance.

Several of the cases close to the hospital gate were not reachable by rescue teams, says Abu Ahmed, an ambulance driver. 

Each time I drive through, tank shells are fired nearby,” he says while he is a couple of hundred meters from tens of victims bleeding on the road.

Most cases of those killed in Rafah are civilians slain by canon shells that wiped several homes in Hay al-Junina area.

Meanwhile, Israeli warplanes fired missiles on several homes in Rafah targeting homes of Abu Suliman, Zorb, Alshaer, and Abu Suliman. 

The death toll in Rafah in the past 24 hours is now 110 killed and hundreds injured.  Medics say there are more bodies they could not reach.

The corpses were taken into vegetables refrigerators in Rafah, which have their own electricity generators. 

Even burying the dead was full of hazard, as the cemeteries in the east of the city have also been under Israeli artillery shelling over the past 24 days.

“We had no option but to put the bodies of tens killed in the refrigerators,” Subhi Radwan, mayor of Rafah told MEE.

Al-Nujjar hospital has only enough beds for a few dozen patients, but evacuation has meant nowhere else to go for victims of the attack.

Radwan says, the war on Rafah is not over, and his staff members are unable to offer any facilities to people on the ground, that includes water and electricity lines which were destroyed by strikes.

“We appeal to the international organizations to step in and help us evacuate injured people lying in the east of Rafah,” he says.

Meanwhile, international groups have tried to help evacuate victims, but to no avail.

Survivors of the 24-hour bombardment said they had seen nothing like it in their lives. They were bombed from the air, sea and ground simultaneously.

“It is terrifying, the Israeli military has gone out of control, they bombed a building of families fleeing and killed 23 innocents,” says Abdelraouf Ayyad, a 33-year old whose home he fled in Hay al-Junina when bombing started 24 hours ago.

“No one is safe; no home, no hospital, no shelter” he says as he runs into Tal al-Sultan to seek shelter at his cousin’s house.

Twenty three (23) family members have been killed by Israeli F16 missile, mostly from families that fled bombing in east of the city to the West of Rafah.

Radwan says, there is no other hospital, and now even the Kuwaiti hospital is under canonfire—journalists and rescue teams were forced to leave the area under gunfire.

Ashraf Al Qudra of health ministry appeals to the international community to allow ambulances to evacuate injured people from roads of East of Rafah and Kuwaiti hospital.

“We need safe routes for ambulance to evacuate victims into other hospitals in Khan Younis.”

Israeli tanks could be seen in the east, overlooking Rafah, home of 180,000 inhabitants in the far south border with Egypt.

“There are tens of cases of people bleeding and the hospital is unable to deal with massive number of victims”

Rafah’s massacre occurred two hours into the 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire announced yesterday.

Hamas and Israel exchanged accusations of breaking the ceasefire. However, Israel insisted on carrying out a military ground operation on the eastern border, despite the truce.

Israel announced one missing soldier during its ground invasion, while Hamas’s al-Qassam Brigades say they lost communication with some of their members who were in combat with Israeli troops before the ceasefire started.

Qassam Brigades said in a statement that the Israeli soldier was probably killed during in ambush along with Qassam Brigades members.

The death toll across the Gaza strip is 1680 dead and 8500 injured since the war began 27 days ago – the majority are civilians according to the UN.

Meanwhile, 3 civilians and 50 Israeli soldiers have been killed during the ground attack in Gaza.

Palestinian factions and Israel were expected to travel to Cairo for talks with Egyptian on a long-lasting truce, but the presence of Israeli tanks around the Rafah Crossing point will make this unlikely to happen anytime soon.

– See more at: http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/gazans-forced-keep-dead-bodies-vegetable-refrigerators-1006544969#sthash.7DTcuIEy.dpuf

Why and how Israel decided to flatten Beirut?

Is it Out of Spite, Israel/US decided to bypass their totally impotent and greedy Lebanese leaders’ allies?

Hezbollah has plenty of serious grievances against these militia/mafia leaders who have totally sided with US/Israel for many decades, and many of them who supported the Zionist movement before the creation of this colonial implanted colony Israel in our midst.

In fact, the Maronite Phalange Party, created by the French colonial mandated power in 1936, and headed by Pierre Gemayel, totally supported the Zionist movement and the creation of Israel as a counter-power against the predominantly Muslim population in lebanon.

The successive pre-emptive wars of Israel on Lebanon were supported by these “agent” leaders since 1948.

1) Actually, those who were elected in the parliament are the ones who sold their properties and lands in Palestine to the Zionist movement in order to run for election

2) In the first 3 decades of the “Independence” of this pseudo-State of Lebanon, the Southern region and its people were totally ignored in the successive budgets for any worthy infrastructure, schools and hospital.

And that indignity included the Akkar region in the north and the Bekaa Valley people.

3) The Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini dispatched his cleric Moussa Sader to Lebanon in the late 1960 in order to rally the Chia sect around a leader that was Not a feudal and landlord conventional “leader” or za3eem.

Moussa Sader did a great job and his “Disinherited Movement” called Amal grabbed the attention of the conventional Lebanese leaders in power for all that period and this movement became a force to negotiate with.

Hezbollah General Secretary, Hassan Nasrallah, in a speech declared that “All we need is to launch a couple of missiles on the Ammonium plant in Haifa. The conflagration is as powerful as an atomic bomb”.

It turned out that Israel actually executed this idea and stored an amount of ammonium nitrate in the port of Beirut and let it be forgotten

Who still believes that this calamity is a simple matter of laziness of every responsible during the last 6 years?

Who is still unable to believe that Israel is Not able to prepare for a long-term catastrophe and hangar #12 was being prepared and targeted for a timely decision to flatten Beirut?

Who still believe this conflagration was Not triggered by an electromagnetic pulse bomb, planted in the hangar?

Can you Guess from which town the Third Palestinian Intifada (mass civil disobedience) Will Start? This article was posted in 2013.

Note: the first Intifada took place in 1936 and lasted 3 years against the British mandated power for denying municipality elections to the Palestinians, on the basis that the Jew were a minority (about 20%). Britain dispatched 100,000 soldiers to quell this Intifada and trained Jews to fight. Only the start of WWII stopped the intifada

South of the village of Nabi Saleh, you can see the red roofs of Halamish, an Israeli settlement on the hilltop across the valley.

This settlement was founded in 1977 by members of the messianic nationalist group Gush Emunim, and growing steadily on land that once belonged to residents of Nabi Saleh and another Palestinian village.

Next to Halamish is an Israeli military base, and in the valley between Nabi Saleh and the settlement, across the highway and up a dirt path, a small freshwater spring, which Palestinians had long called Ein al-Kos, bubbles out of a low stone cliff.

In the summer of 2008,the youth of Halamish began building the first of a series of low pools that collect its waters. Later they added a bench and an trees for shade.

The land surrounding the spring has for generations belonged to the family of Bashir Tamimi, now 57 of age,

(Years after, the settlers retroactively applied for a building permit, which Israeli authorities refused to issue, ruling that “the applicants did not prove their rights to the relevant land.” Recently, several of the structures have been removed.)

When Palestinians came to tend to their crops in the fields beside it, the settlers threatened them and threw stones at them.

It took the people of Nabi Saleh more than a year to get themselves organized.

In December 2009 they held their first march, protesting not just the loss of the spring water, but also the entire complex system of control — of permits, checkpoints, walls, prisons — through which Israel maintains its hold on the region.

Nabi Saleh quickly became the most spirited of the dozen or so West Bank villages that hold weekly demonstrations against the Israeli occupation. Since the demonstrations began, more than 100 people in the village have been jailed.

Ben Ehrenreich wrote:

“On the evening of Feb. 10, the living room of Bassem Tamimi’s house in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh was filled with friends and relatives smoking and sipping coffee, waiting for Bassem to return from prison.

His oldest son, Waed, 16, was curled on the couch with his 6-year-old brother, Salam, playing video games on the iPhone that the prime minister of Turkey had given their sister, Ahed (this young girl that defied with fists the Israeli soldiers).

Ahed had been flown to Istanbul to receive an award after photos of her shaking her fist at an armed Israeli soldier and this resistance won her, at age 11, a brief but startling international celebrity.

Their 9 year-old brother Abu Yazan was in tears in the yard, wrestling with an Israeli activist friend of Bassem’s.

Nariman, the children’s mother, crouched in a side room, making the final preparations for her husband’s homecoming meal, laughing at the two photographers competing for shots from the narrow doorway as she spread onions onto oiled flat-breads. Slide Show

On the living-room wall was a “Free Bassem Tamimi” poster, left over from his last imprisonment for helping to organize the village’s weekly protests against the Israeli occupation, which he has done since 2009.

Bassem was gone for 13 months to prison that time, released for 5 months before he was arrested again in October.

A lot happened during this latest stint: another brief war in Gaza, a vote in the United Nations granting observer statehood to Palestine, the announcement of plans to build 3,400 homes for settlers, an election in Israel.

Protests were spreading around the West Bank.

That night, the call came at about 7:30. Twenty people squeezed into three small cars and headed to the village square. More neighbors and cousins arrived on foot.

(All of Nabi Saleh’s 550 residents are related by blood or marriage, and nearly all share the surname Tamimi.)

Then a dark Ford pulled slowly into the square, and everyone fell silent. 

Is This the town Where the Third Intifada Will Start?Peter van Agtmael/Magnum, for The New York Times. Protesters fleeing from tear gas launched by the Israel Defense Forces. In the background, the Israeli settlement of Halamish. More Photos »

Bassem, who is 45, stepped out of the car, straight-spined, his blue eyes glowing in the lamplight. He seemed a little thinner and grayer than the last time I saw him, in July.

He hugged and kissed his eldest son. Ahed was next, then one by one, in silence, Bassem embraced family and friends, Palestinian activists from Ramallah and Jerusalem, Israeli leftists from Tel Aviv.

When Bassem had greeted everyone, he walked to the cemetery and stopped in front of the still-unmarked grave of his brother-in-law Rushdie, who was shot by Israeli soldiers in November while Bassem was in prison.

He closed his eyes and said a quick prayer before moving on to the tomb of Mustafa Tamimi, who died after being hit in the face by a tear-gas canister in December 2011.

Back at home, Bassem looked dazed. Nariman broke down in his arms and rushed outside to hide her tears.

The village was still mourning Rushdie’s death, but the young men couldn’t keep up the solemnity for long. They started with little Hamoudi, the son of Bassem’s cousin, tossing him higher and higher in the air above the yard.

They set him down and took turns tossing one another up into the night sky, laughing and shouting as if they never had anything to grieve.

Nariman told me that by her count, as of February, clashes with the army have caused 432 injuries, more than half the injured were minors.

The momentum has been hard to maintain — the weeks go by, and nothing changes for the better — but still, despite the arrests, the injuries and the deaths, every Friday after the midday prayer, the villagers, joined at times by equal numbers of journalists and Israeli and foreign activists, try to march from the center of town to the spring, a distance of perhaps half a mile.

And every Friday, Israeli soldiers stop them with some combination of tear gas, rubber-coated bullets, water-cannon blasts of a noxious liquid known as “skunk” and occasionally live bullets.

Last summer, I spent three weeks in Nabi Saleh, staying in Bassem and Nariman’s home.

When I arrived in June, Bassem had just been released from prison.

In March 2011, Israeli soldiers raided the house to arrest him. Among lesser charges, he had been accused in a military court of “incitement,” organizing “unauthorized processions” and soliciting the village youth to throw stones.

(In 2010, 99.74 % of the Palestinians tried in military courts were convicted.)

The terms of Bassem’s release forbade him to take part in demonstrations, which are all effectively illegal under Israeli military law.

Thus, on the first Friday after I arrived, just after the midday call to prayer, he walked with me only as far as the square, where about 50 villagers had gathered in the shade of an old mulberry tree.

They were joined by a handful of Palestinian activists from Ramallah and East Jerusalem, mainly young women; perhaps a dozen college-age European and American activists; a half-dozen Israelis, also mainly women — young anarchists in black boots and jeans, variously pierced.

Together they headed down the road, clapping and chanting in Arabic and English. Bassem’s son Abu Yazan, licking a Popsicle, marched at the back of the crowd.

There were the journalists, scurrying up hillsides in search of better vantage points.

In the early days of the protests, the village teemed with reporters from across the globe, there to document the tiny village’s struggle against the occupation.

“Sometimes they come and sometimes they don’t,” Mohammad Tamimi, who is 24 and who coordinates the village’s social-media campaign, would tell me later.

Events in the Middle East — the revolution in Egypt and civil war in Syria — and the unchanging routine of the weekly marches have made it that much harder to hold the world’s attention.

That Friday there was just one Palestinian television crew and a few Israeli and European photographers, the regulars among them in steel helmets.

In the protests’ first year, to make sure that the demonstrations — and the fate of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation — didn’t remain hidden behind the walls and fences that surround the West Bank, Mohammad began posting news to a blog and later a Facebook page (now approaching 4,000 followers) under the name Tamimi Press.

Soon Tamimi Press morphed into a homegrown media teamBilal Tamimi shooting video and uploading protest highlights to his YouTube channel; Helme taking photographs; and Mohammad e-mailing news releases to 500-odd reporters and activists.

Manal, who is married to Bilal, supplements the effort with a steady outpouring of tweets (@screamingtamimi).

News of the protests moves swiftly around the globe, bouncing among blogs on the left and right.

Left-leaning papers like Britain’s Guardian and Israel’s Haaretz still cover major events in the village — deaths and funerals, Bassem’s arrests and releases — but a right-wing Israeli news site has for the last year begun to recycle the same headline week after week: “Arabs, Leftists Riot in Nabi Saleh.”

Meanwhile, a pilgrimage to Nabi Saleh has achieved a measure of cachet among young European activists, the way a stint with the Zapatistas did in Mexico in the 1990s.

For a time, Nariman regularly prepared a vegan feast for the exhausted outsiders who lingered after the protests. (Among the first things she asked me when I arrived was whether I was a vegan. Her face brightened when I said no.)

Whatever success they have had in the press, the people of Nabi Saleh are intensely conscious of everything they have not achieved.

The occupation persists. When I arrived in June, the demonstrators had not once made it to the spring. Usually they didn’t get much past the main road, where they would turn and find the soldiers waiting around the bend.

That week though, they decided to cut straight down the hillside toward the spring.

Bashir led the procession, waving a flag. As usual, Israeli Army jeeps were waiting below the spring. The four soldiers standing outside them looked confused — it seemed they hadn’t expected the protesters to make it so far.

The villagers marched past them to the spring, where they surprised three settlers eating lunch in the shade, still wet from a dip in one of the pools. One wore only soggy briefs and a rifle slung over his chest.

The kids raced past. The grown-ups filed in, chatting and smoking. More soldiers arrived in body armor, carrying rifles and grenade launchers.

Waed and Abu Yazan kicked a soccer ball until a boy spotted a bright orange carp in one of the pools and Abu Yazan and others tried to catch it with their bare hands, splashing until the water went cloudy and the carp disappeared.

Four settlers appeared on the ledge above the spring, young men in sunglasses and jeans, one of them carrying an automatic rifle. Beside me, a sturdy, bald officer from the Israel Defense Forces argued with an Israeli protester. “I let you come,” the officer insisted. “Now you have to go.”

The children piled onto the swing the settlers had built and swung furiously, singing. A young settler argued with the I.D.F. officer, insisting that he clear the protesters away.

“What difference does 10 minutes make?” the officer said.

Every 10 seconds makes a difference,” the settler answered.

But before their 10 minutes were up, one hour after they arrived, the villagers gathered the children and left as they had come, clapping and chanting, their defiance buoyed by joy. For the first time in two and a half years, they had made it to the spring.

They headed back along the highway, which meant they would have to pass the road leading to Halamish.

Ahed, her blond hair in a long braid, clutched a cousin at the front of the procession. As they approached the road, a border-police officer tossed a stun grenade — a device that makes a loud bang and a flash but theoretically, at least, causes no bodily harm — at Ahed’s feet, and then another, and another.

Within a few seconds, the marchers were racing up the hill back toward their village, tear-gas grenades streaking through the sky above their heads.

On warm summer evenings, life in Nabi Saleh could feel almost idyllic. Everyone knows everyone. Children run in laughing swarms from house to house.

One night, Bassem and Nariman sat outside sharing a water pipe as Nariman read a translated Dan Brown novel and little Salam pranced gleefully about, announcing, “I am Salam, and life is beautiful!”

Bassem is employed by the Palestinian Authority’s Interior Ministry in a department charged with approving entrance visas for Palestinians living abroad. In practice, he said, P.A. officials “have no authority” — the real decisions are made in Israel and passed to the P.A. for rubber-stamping.

Among other things, this meant that Bassem rarely had to report to his office in Ramallah, leaving his days free to care for his ailing mother — she died several weeks after I left the village last summer — and strategizing on the phone, meeting international visitors and talking to me over many cups of strong, unsweetened coffee. We would talk in the living room, over the hum of an Al Jazeera newscast.

A framed image of Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa Mosque hung above the television (more out of nationalist pride than piety: Bassem’s outlook was thoroughly secular).

Though many people in Nabi Saleh have been jailed, only Bassem was declared a “prisoner of conscience” by Amnesty International. Foreign diplomats attended his court hearings in 2011. Bassem’s charisma surely has something to do with the attention. A strange, radiant calm seemed to hover around him. He rarely smiled, and tended to drop weighty pronouncements (“Our destiny is to resist”) in ordinary speech, but I saw his reserve crumble whenever one of his children climbed into his lap.

When Israeli forces occupied the West Bank in 1967, Bassem was 10 weeks old. His mother hid with him in a cave until the fighting ended. He remembers playing in the abandoned British police outpost that is now the center of the I.D.F. base next to Halamish, and accompanying the older kids who took their sheep to pasture on the hilltop where the settlement now stands. His mother went to the spring for water every day. The settlers arrived when Bassem was 9.

Halamish is now fully established and cozier than most gated communities in the United States. Behind the razor wire and chain-link perimeter fence, past the gate and the armed guard, there are playgrounds, a covered pool, a community center and amphitheater, a clinic, a library, a school and several synagogues. The roads are well paved and lined with flowers, the yards lush with lemon trees. Halamish now functions as a commuter suburb; many of the residents work in white-collar jobs in Tel Aviv or Modi’in. The settlement’s population has grown to more than double that of Nabi Saleh.

I first met Shifra Blass, the spokeswoman for Halamish, in 2010. She talked about how empty the West Bank — she used the biblical name, Judea and Samaria — was when she and her husband emigrated from the U.S. in the early 1970s, intent on establishing a Jewish presence in a land they believed had been promised to them. Relations with the surrounding villages, she told me, had remained cordial, friendly even, until the first intifada. (When I asked people in Nabi Saleh about this, no one remembered it that way.) During the second intifada, three residents of the settlement, Blass said, were killed by gunfire on nearby roads. They weren’t near the village, but attitudes hardened.

When I visited Shifra again last month, she was not eager to talk to me about the conflict over the spring and the lands surrounding it. “We want to live our lives and not spend time on it,” Blass said. She dismissed the weekly demonstrations as the creation of “outside agitators who come here and stir the pot — internationalists, anarchists, whatever.” It was all a show, she said, theater for a gullible news media. “I’ll tell you something: it’s unpleasant.”

On Fridays, Shifra said, the wind sometimes carries the tear gas across the valley into the settlement. “We have some grown children who say they cannot come home from university for Shabbat because of the tear gas. They call and say, ‘Tell me how bad it is, because if it’s really bad, I’m not coming.’ ”

When the first intifada broke out in late 1987, Nabi Saleh was, as it is now, a flash point. The road that passes between the village and the settlement connects the central West Bank to Tel Aviv: a simple barricade could halt the flow of Palestinian laborers into Israel.

Bassem was one of the main Fatah youth activists for the region, organizing the strikes, boycotts and demonstrations that characterized that uprising. (Nabi Saleh is solidly loyal to Fatah, the secular nationalist party that rules the West Bank; Hamas, the militant Islamist movement that governs Gaza, has its supporters elsewhere in the West Bank but has never had a foothold in the village.)

Bassem would be jailed 7 times during the intifada and, he says, was never charged with a crime. Before his most recent arrest, I asked him how much time he had spent in prison. He added up the months: “Around four years.”

After one arrest in 1993, Bassem told me, an Israeli interrogator shook him with such force that he fell into a coma for eight days. He has a nickel-size scar on his temple from emergency brain surgery during that time. His sister died while he was in prison. She was struck by a soldier and fell down a flight of courthouse stairs, according to her son Mahmoud, who was with her to attend the trial of his brother. (The I.D.F. did not comment on this allegation.)

Bassem nonetheless speaks of those years, as many Palestinians his age do, with something like nostalgia. The first intifada broke out spontaneously — it started in Gaza with a car accident, when an Israeli tank transporter killed four Palestinian laborers. The uprising was, initially, an experience of solidarity on a national scale. Its primary weapons were the sort that transform weakness into strength: the stone, the barricade, the boycott, the strike.

The Israeli response to the revolt — in 1988, Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin reportedly authorized soldiers to break the limbs of unarmed demonstrators — began tilting international public opinion toward the Palestinian cause for the first time in decades. By the uprising’s third year, however, power had shifted to the P.L.O. hierarchy. The first Bush Sr. administration pushed Israel to negotiate, leading eventually to the 1993 Oslo Accord, which created the Palestinian Authority as an interim body pending a “final status” agreement.

But little was resolved in Oslo.

A second intifada erupted in 2000, at first mostly following the model set by the earlier uprising. Palestinians blocked roads and threw stones. The I.D.F. took over a house in Nabi Saleh. Children tossed snakes, scorpions and what Bassem euphemistically called “wastewater” through the windows. The soldiers withdrew. Then came the heavy wave of suicide bombings, which Bassem termed “the big mistake.”

An overwhelming majority of Israeli casualties during the uprising occurred in about 100 suicide attacks, most against civilians. A bombing at one Tel Aviv disco in 2001 killed 21 teenagers. “Politically, we went backward,” Bassem said.

Much of the international good will gained over the previous decade was squandered. Taking up arms wasn’t, for Bassem, a moral error so much as a strategic one. He and everyone else I spoke with in the village insisted they had the right to armed resistance; they just don’t think it works. Bassem could reel off a list of Nabi Saleh’s accomplishments. Of some — Nabi Saleh had more advanced degrees than any village — he was simply proud. Others — one of the first military actions after Oslo, the first woman to participate in a suicide attack — involved more complicated emotions.

In 1993, Bassem told me, his cousin Said Tamimi killed a settler near Ramallah. Eight years later, another villager, Ahlam Tamimi escorted a bomber to a Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem. Fifteen people were killed, eight of them minors. Ahlam, who now lives in exile in Jordan, and Said, who is in prison in Israel, remain much-loved in Nabi Saleh.

Though everyone I spoke with in the village appeared keenly aware of the corrosive effects of violence — “This will kill the children,” Manal said, “to think about hatred and revenge” — they resented being asked to forswear bloodshed when it was so routinely visited upon them.  Manal told me, “lost his father, uncle, aunt, sister — they were all killed. How can you blame Said?

The losses of the second intifada were enormous. Nearly 5,000 Palestinians and more than 1,000 Israelis died. Israeli assassination campaigns and the I.D.F.’s siege of West Bank cities left the Palestinian leadership decimated and discouraged.

By the end of 2005, Yasir Arafat was dead (assassinated by Israeli poison), Israel had pulled its troops and settlers out of Gaza and the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, had reached a truce with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. The uprising sputtered out. The economy was ruined, Gaza and the West Bank were more isolated from each other than ever, and Palestinians were divided, defeated and exhausted.

But in 2003, while the intifada was still raging, Bassem and others from Nabi Saleh began attending demonstrations in Budrus, 20 minutes away. Budrus was in danger of being cut off from the rest of the West Bank by Israel’s planned separation barrier, the concrete and chain-link divide that snakes along the border and in many places juts deeply into Palestinian territory. Residents began demonstrating. Foreign and Israeli activists joined the protests. Fatah and Hamas loyalists marched side by side.

The Israeli Army responded aggressively: at times with tear gas, beatings and arrests; at times with live ammunition. Palestinians elsewhere were fighting with Kalashnikovs, but the people of Budrus decided, said Ayed Morrar, an old friend of Bassem’s who organized the movement there, that unarmed resistance “would stress the occupation more.”

The strategy appeared to work.

After 55 demonstrations, the Israeli government agreed to shift the route of the barrier to the so-called 1967 green line. The tactic spread to other villages: Biddu, Ni’lin, Al Ma’asara and in 2009, Nabi Saleh. Together they formed what is known as the “popular resistance,” a loosely coordinated effort that has maintained what has arguably been the only form of active and organized resistance to the Israeli presence in the West Bank since the end of the second intifada in 2005. Nabi Saleh, Bassem hoped, could model a form of resistance for the rest of the West Bank.

The goal was to demonstrate that it was still possible to struggle and to do so without taking up arms, so that when the spark came, if it came, resistance might spread as it had during the first intifada. Bassem said: “If there is a third intifada,we want to be the ones who started it.

Bassem saw three options:

1.  “To be silent is to accept the situation, and we don’t accept the situation.”

2. Fighting with guns and bombs could only bring catastrophe. Israel was vastly more powerful,

3.  “But by popular resistance, we can push Israel power aside.”

As small as the demonstrations were, they appeared to create considerable anxiety in Israel. Paul Hirschson, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told me that while the West Bank demonstrations do not pose an “existential threat” to Israel, they “certainly could be more problematic in the short term” than a conventional armed revolt.

Eytan Buchman, a spokesman for the I.D.F., took issue with the idea that the weekly protests were a form of nonviolent resistance.

In an e-mail Eytan described the protests as “violent and illegal rioting that take place around Judea and Samaria, and where large rocks, Molotov cocktails, improvised grenades and burning tires are used against security forces. Dubbing these simply demonstrations is an understatement — more than 200 security-force personnel have been injured in recent years at these riots.” (Molotov cocktails are sometimes thrown at protests at the checkpoints of Beitunia and Kalandia but never, Bassem said, in Nabi Saleh.)

Buchman said that the I.D.F. “employs an array of tactics as part of an overall strategy intended to curb these riots and the ensuing acts of violence. Every attempt is made to minimize physical friction and risk of casualties” among both the I.D.F. and the “rioters.”

One senior military commander, who would agree to be interviewed only on the condition that his name not be used, told me: “When the second intifada broke out, it was very difficult, but it was very easy to understand what we had to do. You have the enemy, he shoots at you, you have to kill him.” Facing down demonstrators armed with slings and stones or with nothing at all is less clear-cut. “As an Israeli citizen,I prefer stones. As a professional military officer, I prefer to meet tanks and troops.”

But armies, by their nature, have one default response to opposition: force. One soldier who served in Nabi Saleh testified to the Israeli veterans’ group Breaking the Silence about preparing for Friday protests. “It’s like some kind of game. Everyone wants to arm themselves with as much ammo as possible. . . . You have lots of stun grenades . . . so they’re thrown for the sake of throwing, at people who are not suspected of anything. And in the end, you tell your friend at the Friday-night dinner table: ‘Wow! I fired this much.’ ”

According to a leaked 2010 U.S. State Department memo, Maj. Gen. Avi Mizrahi of Israel “expressed frustration” with the West Bank protests to American diplomats, and “warned that the I.D.F. will start to be more assertive in how it deals with these demonstrations, even demonstrations that appear peaceful.” The memo concluded that “less-violent demonstrations are likely to stymie the I.D.F.,” citing the Israeli Defense Ministry policy chief Amos Gilad’s admission to U.S. officials, “We don’t do Gandhi very well.”

Sagi Tal, a former I.D.F. soldier, who was stationed near the villages of Bil’in and Ni’lin, which also held weekly demonstrations, explained to me that his unit sometimes conducted night raids to gather intelligence or make arrests and sometimes simply so “that they should feel that we are here and we are watching them.”

After dinner one Sunday, Nariman put on a DVD shot both by her and Bilal, the village videographer. (“From the beginning,” Bilal told me at the march on the previous Friday, filming calmly as tear-gas grenades landed all around us, “we decided that the media is the most important thing in the popular resistance.”)

We watched a clip shot in the house in which we sat: soldiers banged on the door late at night and rifled through the boys’ room as Salam and Abu Yazan cowered beneath the covers and Nariman yelled in Arabic: “What manliness this is! What a proud army you’re part of!” The soldiers confiscated a gas mask, two computers, Waed’s camera and two of his schoolbooks — geography and Palestinian history. (In an e-mail, an I.D.F. spokesman described such night raids as “pre-emptive measures, taken in order to assure the security and stability in the area.”)

We watched footage of Nariman being arrested with Bilal’s wife, Manal, early in 2010. Soldiers had fired tear gas into Manal’s house, Nariman explained. Manal ran in to fetch her children, and when she came out, a soldier ordered her back in. She refused, so they arrested her. Nariman tried to intervene, and they arrested her too. They spent 10 days in prisons where they were beaten repeatedly, strip-searched and held for two days without food before each was dumped at the side of a road. (The I.D.F.’s Buchman said, “No exceptional incidents were recorded during these arrests.” He added that no complaints were filed with military authorities.)

We watched a clip of crying children being passed from a gas-filled room out a second-story window, down a human ladder to the street. Early on, the villagers took all the children to one house during demonstrations, but when the soldiers began firing gas grenades into homes, the villagers decided it was safer to let them join the protests. We watched footage of a soldier dragging a 9-year-old boy in the street, of another soldier striking Manal’s 70-year-old mother. Finally, Nariman shook her head and turned off the disc player. “Glee” was on.

One Friday, shortly after the marchers had barricaded the road with boulders and burning tires in order to keep the army out of the village center, a white truck sped around the bend, a jet of liquid arcing from the water cannon mounted on its cab. Someone yelled, “Skunk!” and everyone bolted. Skunk water smells like many things, but mainly it smells like feces. Nariman wasn’t fast enough. A blast of skunk knocked her off her feet. Moments later, she was standing defiantly, letting the cannon soak her and waving a Palestinian flag at the truck’s grated windshield. An hour or so later, smelling of skunk and shampoo, she was serving tea to a dozen protesters.

Every Friday was a little different. Some demonstrations were short and others almost endless. Some were comic, others not at all. Some days the I.D.F. entered the village, and others they stuck to the hills. Sometimes they made arrests. The basic structure, though, varied little week to week: a few minutes of marching, tear gas fired, then hours of the village youth — the shebab — throwing stones while dodging tear-gas canisters and rubber-coated bullets until the sun set and everyone went home. Or failed to make it home.

It was strange, asymmetric combat: a few dozen masked shebab ranging in age from 8 to 38, armed with slings and stones, against 20 or more soldiers in armored vehicles and on foot, dressed in helmets and body armor, toting radios and automatic weapons. The shebab put a great deal of thought into tactics, trying to flank and surprise the soldiers. But even when their plans were perfectly executed, they could not do much more than irritate their enemies. The soldiers, though, would inevitably respond with more sophisticated weaponry, which would motivate the shebab to gather more stones Friday after Friday despite — and because of — the fact that nothing ever seemed to change, for the better at least.

I asked one of the boys why he threw stones, knowing how futile it was. “I want to help my country and my village, and I can’t. I can just throw stones.”

We see our stones as our message,” Bassem explained. The message they carried, he said, was “We don’t accept you.”

While Bassem spoke admiringly of Mahatma Gandhi, he didn’t worry over whether stone-throwing counted as violence. The question annoyed him: Israel uses far greater and more lethal force on a regular basis, he pointed out, without being asked to clarify its attitude toward violence. If the loincloth functioned as the sign of Gandhi’s resistance, of India’s nakedness in front of British colonial might, Bassem said, “Our sign is the stone.”

The weekly clashes with the I.D.F. were hence in part symbolic. The stones were not just flinty yellow rocks, but symbols of defiance, of a refusal to submit to occupation, regardless of the odds. The army’s weapons bore messages of their own: of economic and technological power, of international support. More than one resident of Nabi Saleh reminded me that the tear gas used there is made by a company based in Pennsylvania.

One afternoon, I visited the family of Mustafa Tamimi, who was 28 when he died in December 2011 after being shot at close range with a tear-gas canister from the back of an Israeli Army jeep. (An I.D.F. investigation concluded, according to Buchman, that when the soldier fired the canister “his field of vision was obscured.”) The walls were covered with framed photos: an action shot of Mustafa in profile, his face behind a red Spider-Man mask as he slung a stone at soldiers outside the frame.

In the weeks before her son’s death, Ekhlas Tamimi, his mother, told me that soldiers had twice come to the house looking for him. When she got a call that Friday asking her to bring Mustafa’s ID to the watchtower, she thought he’d been arrested, “like all the other times.” Beside me, Bahaa, a tall young man who was Mustafa’s best friend, scrolled through photos on a laptop, switching back and forth between a shot of Mustafa falling to the ground a few feet behind an I.D.F. jeep, and another, taken moments later, of his crushed and bloody face.

Ekhlas told me about a dream she’d had. Mustafa was standing on the roof, wearing his red mask. There were soldiers in the distance. She called to him: “Mustafa, come down! Everyone thinks you are dead — it’s better that they don’t see you.”

He turned to her, she said, and told her: “No. I’m standing here so that the Israeli soldiers will see me.”

“This is the worst time for us,” Bassem confided to me last summer. He meant not just that the villagers have less to show for their sacrifices each week, but that things felt grim outside the village too. Everyone I spoke with who was old enough to remember agreed that conditions for Palestinians are far worse now than they were before the first intifada.

The checkpoints, the raids, the permit system, add up to more daily humiliation than Palestinians have ever faced. The number of Israeli settlers living in the West Bank has more than tripled since the Oslo Accords. Assaults on Palestinians by settlers are so common that they rarely made the news. The resistance, though, remained limited to a few scattered villages like Nabi Saleh and a small urban youth movement.

I sat down one afternoon in Ramallah with Samir Shehadeh, a former literature professor from Nabi Saleh who was one of the intellectual architects of the first intifada and whom I met several times at Bassem’s house. I reminded him of the car accident that ignited the first uprising and asked what kind of spark it would take to mobilize Palestinians to fight again. “The situation this time is 1,000 times worse. There are thousands of possible sparks,” and still nothing has happened.

In the 1980s, youth organizers like Bassem focused on volunteer work: helping farmers in the fields, educating their children. They built trust and established the social networks that would later allow the resistance to coordinate its actions without waiting for orders from above. Those networks no longer exist. Instead there’s the Palestinian Authority. Immediately after the first Oslo Accord in 1993, the scholar Edward Said predicted that “the P.L.O. will . . . become Israel’s enforcer.”

Oslo gave birth to a phantom state, an extensive but largely impotent administrative apparatus, with Israel remaining in effective control of the Palestine Authority’s finances, its borders, its water resources — of every major and many minor aspects of Palestinian life. More gallingly to many, Oslo, in Said’s words, gave “official Palestinian consent to continued occupation,” creating a local elite whose privilege depends on the perpetuation of the status quo.

That Palestinian  elite lives comfortably within the so-called “Ramallah bubble”: the bright and relatively carefree world of cafes, NGO salaries and imported goods that characterize life in the West Bank’s provisional capital. During the day, the clothing shops and fast-food franchises are filled. New high-rises are going up everywhere. “I didn’t lose my sister and my cousin and part of my life,” Bassem said, “for the sons of the ministers” to drive expensive cars.

Worse than any corruption, though, was the apparent normalcy. Settlements are visible on the neighboring hilltops, but there are no checkpoints inside Ramallah. The I.D.F. only occasionally enters the city, and usually only at night. Few Palestinians still work inside Israel, and not many can scrape a living from the fields.

For the thousands of waiters, clerks, engineers, warehouse workers, mechanics and bureaucrats eeking a living in Ramallah who spend their days in the city and return to their villages every evening, Ramallah — which has a full-time population of less than 100,000 — holds out the possibility of forgetting the occupation and pursuing a career, saving up for a car, sending the children to college.

But the checkpoints, the settlements and the soldiers are waiting just outside Ramallah, and the illusion of normalcy made Nabi Saleh’s task more difficult.

If Palestinians believed they could live better by playing along, who would bother to fight? When Bassem was jailed in decades past, he said, prisoners were impatient to get out and resume their struggles. This time, he ran into old friends who couldn’t understand why he was still fighting instead of making money off the spoils of the occupation. “They said to me: ‘You’re smart — why are you doing this? Don’t you learn? Don’t you want to make money..’ ”

At times the Palestinian Authority acts as a more immediate obstacle to resistance. Shortly after the protests began in Nabi Saleh, Bassem was contacted by P.A. security officials. The demonstrations were O.K., he said they told him, as long as they didn’t cross into areas in which the P.A. has jurisdiction — as long, that is, as they did not force the P.A. to take a side, to either directly challenge the Israelis or repress their own people. (A spokesman for the Palestinian security forces, Gen. Adnan Damiri, denied this and said that the Palestinian Authority fully supports all peaceful demonstrations.)

In Hebron, P.A. forces have stopped protesters from marching into the Israeli-controlled sector of the city. “This isn’t collaboration,” an I.D.F. spokesman, who would only talk to me on the condition that he not be named, assured me.“Israel has a set of interests, the P.A. has a set of interests and those interests happen to overlap.”

Bassem saw no easy way to break the torpor and ignite a more widespread popular resistance. “The P.A  have the power, more than the Israelis, to stop us.” The Palestinian Authority employs 160,000 Palestinians, which means it controls the livelihoods of about a quarter of West Bank households. One night I asked Bassem and Bilal, who works for the Ministry of Public Health, how many people in Nabi Saleh depend on P.A. salaries. It took them a few minutes to add up the names. “Let’s say two-thirds of the village,” Bilal concluded.

Last summer, my final Friday in Nabi Saleh was supposed to be a short day. One of the shebab was getting engaged to a girl from a neighboring village, and everyone planned to attend the betrothal ceremony. The demonstration would end at 3.

Four armored cars waited at the bend in the road, the skunk truck idling behind them. Manal pointed to the civilian policemen accompanying the soldiers. “There is a new policy that they can arrest internationals,” she explained. Earlier that month, as part of the effort to combat what Israelis call the “internationalization” of the conflict, the defense forces issued an order authorizing Israeli immigration police to arrest foreigners in the West Bank.

About half the marchers headed down the hillside. Soldiers waiting below arrested four Israelis and detained Bashir, the owner of the land around the spring. Everyone cheered as Mohammad raced uphill, outrunning the soldiers. (Three months later they would catch up to him in a night raid on his father’s house. He was imprisoned until late December.)

I saw Nariman standing in the road with a Scottish woman. I walked over. Two soldiers grabbed the Scottish protester. Two more took me by the arms, pulled me to a jeep and shoved me in. I showed my press card to the driver. His expression didn’t change. Two frightened young women, both British, were already locked inside.

After almost an hour, the soldiers brought a Swede and an Italian who had been hiding in the convenience-store bathroom. More soldiers piled in. I showed one my press card and asked if he understood that I was a journalist. He nodded. Finally, the driver pulled onto the road. As we passed the gas station, the shebab ran after us.

“They were so beautiful a few minutes ago, right?” the soldier beside me said as the shebab’s stones clanged against the jeep. “They were so cute.”

They drove us to the old British police station in the I.D.F. base in Halamish. While I was sitting on a bench, an I.D.F. spokesman called my cellphone to inform me that no journalists with press cards had been detained in Nabi Saleh. I disagreed. (The next day, according to Agence France-Presse, the I.D.F. denied I had been arrested.) A half-hour later, an officer escorted me to the gate.

As I walked back to Nabi Saleh, the road was empty, but the air was still peppery with tear gas. I made it back in time for the engagement party and flew home the next day. The five activists detained with me were deported. Two nights after I left, soldiers raided Bassem’s house. The following week, they raided the village five days in a row.

This past October, the popular resistance movement began to shift tactics, trying to break the routine of weekly demonstrations. They blocked a settler road west of Ramallah, and the following week staged a protest inside an Israeli-owned supermarket in the settlement industrial zone of Shaar Binyamin. Bassem was arrested outside the market — soldiers grabbed at Nariman and dragged Bassem off when he stepped forward to put his arms around her.

Less than two weeks later, Waed was arrested at a Friday demonstration. Soldiers beat Waed “with their fists and their rifles.” When he appeared in court, Waed was still bruised. The judge threw out the charges. But while he was detained, he was in the same prison as his father and saw him briefly there. “When I said goodbye to him,” Waed told me with obvious pride, “he had tears in his eyes. I was stronger than him.”

On the day of Waed’s arrest, a camera caught Ahed shaking her fist, demanding that soldiers tell her where they were taking her brother. The Internet took over: video of the tiny, bare-armed blond girl facing down a soldier went viral. She and Nariman were invited to Istanbul, where, to their surprise, Nariman said, they were greeted at the airport by dozens of children wearing T-shirts printed with Ahed’s photo. They drove past billboards displaying Ahed’s image. Reporters followed them everywhere. Crowds gathered when they walked in the streets. They were taken to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the southeastern city of Urfa, Nariman said, and flew back with him to Istanbul on his plane.

Not everyone reacted so enthusiastically. One right-wing blogger dubbed Ahed “Shirley Temper.” The Israeli news site Ynet took the images as evidence that “Palestinian protesters use children to needle I.D.F. soldiers in the hope of provoking a violent response.”

In mid-November, Israeli rockets began falling on Gaza. Protests spread throughout the West Bank. “We thought it was the start of the third intifada,” Manal told me. The demonstrations in Nabi Saleh stretched beyond their usual Friday-evening terminus. One Saturday in November, Nariman’s brother Rushdie — who worked as a policeman near Ramallah and was rarely home on Fridays — joined the shebab on the hill. He was standing beside Waed when he was hit by a rubber-coated bullet.

Then the soldiers began shooting live ammunition, but Rushdie was hurt and couldn’t run. As he lay on the ground, a soldier shot him in the back from a few meters away. Nariman ran to the hillside with her video camera and found her brother lying wounded. “I wanted to attack the soldier and die with Rushdie right there, but I knew I had to be stronger than that,” Nariman said. “Why is it required of me to be more humane than they are?” Rushdie, who was 31, died two days later. An I.D.F. investigation found that soldiers fired 80 shots of live ammunition and neglected to “control the fire.” The unit’s commander was reportedly relieved of his command.

When the fighting stopped in Gaza, the protests in the West Bank ceased. I went back to Nabi Saleh in January, three weeks before Bassem was expected home. The village seemed listless and depressed, as if everyone were convinced of the futility of continuing. On my first Friday back, the demonstration ended early: the shebab had a soccer match in another village. It rained the next week, and everyone went home after an hour. “We are still living the shock of Rushdie’s killing,” Mohammad told me.

Elsewhere in the West Bank, though, momentum was building. In late November, Netanyahu announced plans to build 3,400 settlement units in an area known as E1, effectively cutting off Jerusalem from the West Bank. Just before I arrived in January, popular-resistance activists tried something new, erecting a tent “village” called Bab al-Shams in E1, symbolically appropriating the methods of land confiscation employed by settlers. “The time has come now to change the rules of the game,” the organizers wrote in a news release, “for us to establish facts on the ground — our own land.”

The numbers were relatively small — about 250 people took part, including Nariman and a few others from Nabi Saleh — and, on direct orders from Netanyahu, soldiers evicted everyone two days later, but the movement was once again making headlines around the globe. Copycat encampments went up all over the West Bank — some in areas where the popular resistance had not previously been active.

The day after his release, Bassem told me that even sitting in prison he had felt “a sense of joy” when he learned about Bab al-Shams. The popular resistance was finally spreading beyond the village demonstrations. “We have to create a sense of renewal,” he said, “not only in Nabi Saleh but on a larger scale.” The village’s losses — and his own — he acknowledged, were daunting. “The price is now higher,but if we don’t continue, it would mean that the occupation has succeeded.” It would take constant creativity, he said, to hold onto the momentum. He didn’t know what it would look like yet, but just talking about it seemed to add inches to his height.

Within days, thousands of Palestinians would protest around the West Bank, first in solidarity with prisoners on hunger strikes to demand an end to the indefinite detention of Palestinians without trial, later in outrage at the death of a 30-year-old prisoner named Arafat Jaradat. Once again, the words “third intifada” were buzzing through the press. Avi Dichter, the head of Israeli domestic security during the second intifada and the current minister of Home Front Defense, cautioned in a radio interview that an “incorrect response by the security forces” might push the protests into full-out revolt.

When I saw Bassem in February, I asked him whether he was worried that the uprising might finally arrive at Nabi Saleh’s moment of greatest self-doubt, that it might catch the village drowsing. “It doesn’t matter who is resisting,” he said. “What’s important is that they are resisting.”

On the last Friday I was there, the wind was against the demonstrators. Nearly every grenade the soldiers fired, regardless of how far away it landed, blew a cloud of gas up the road right at them. A dozen or so villagers watched the clashes from the relative safety of the hillside. Bassem’s cousin Naji was sitting on a couch cushion. Mahmoud, Bassem’s nephew, poured coffee into clear plastic cups. Bright red poppies dotted the hill between the rocks. The way was clear, but no one tried to walk down to the spring.

When the demonstration seemed over, I trekked back to the village with a young Israeli in a black “Anarchy Is for Lovers” T-shirt. He told me about his childhood on a kibbutz bordering the Gaza Strip. His parents were “right-wing Zionists,” he said, “hard-core.” They didn’t talk to him anymore. A group of soldiers appeared behind us, and we ducked into Nariman’s yard as they tossed a few stun grenades over the wall.

Later that evening, at Naji’s house, I watched Bilal’s video of the same soldiers as they strolled down the drive, lobbing tear-gas grenades until they reached their jeeps. They piled in and closed the armored doors. One door opened a crack. A hand emerged. It tossed one last grenade toward the camera. Gas streamed out, the door closed and the jeep sped off down the road.

Ben Ehrenreich won a 2011 National Magazine Award in feature writing. His most recent novel is “Ether,” published by City Lights Books. Editor: Ilena SilvermanAdvertisem

When the Devil in the details?

When the occupation forces are comfortable in the situation?

Israelis diverge on details of a Palestinian State

Would Israeli support for a Palestinian state (60%) be dramatically lower when they are presented with specific details rather than being asked to support the basic idea?
Right Wing think-tank jumped at the occasion with a biased poll to confirms the argument that Israelis who support theory of two-state solution recoil from concrete details.
 in Jerusalem in The Guardian, Monday 20 October
 Jerusalem
The Jordan Valley
The Jordan Valley, which Israel considers to be its eastern border. Photograph: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images

poll has found that 75% of Israeli Jews oppose the creation of a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 borders if it means withdrawing Israeli troops from the Jordan Valley.

The survey, conducted by a right wing think tank headed by a political ally of the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, makes for stark reading, contradicting previous polls showing up to 60% of Israelis in favour of a two-state solution.

The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, is making a concerted diplomatic push for a UN security council resolution seeking an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories by November 2016.

Of the 60% of those polled who described themselves as right wing, opposition to a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 lines rose to almost 92%, while 72% of those who identified as left wing would support it.

That opposition rises further still if the issue of dividing Jerusalem is included, with 40% of left wingers opposing the division of Jerusalem.

The poll was commissioned by a think-tank run by a former policy advisor to Netanyahu and initially published in the free newspaper owned by the Las Vegas casino owner Sheldon Adelson, one of the Israeli prime minister’s biggest backers.

Left Wing commentators suggested the polling was likely to be an accurate reflection of Israeli public opinion.

“The poll published in Israel Hayom is obviously meant to serve Netanyahu’s agenda,” said Mairav Zonszeinwriting for the +972 website.

“And while it is dangerous to rely solely on a single poll to backup any claim, this specific poll – no matter how flawed or skewed – happens to be an accurate reflection of the Israeli government’s policies, much of its rhetoric, and the reality on the ground.”

Although historical polling has suggested solid Israeli support for a two-state solution, Zonszein argues that the latest poll more truly reflects both how Israelis vote for political parties – and those parties’ agendas – and how they talk about the peace process.

Even though many polls over the years have shown and still show that a majority of Jewish Israelis support a two-state solution based more or less along the 1967 border with land swaps, such sentiment is reflected less and less in the way Israelis vote and talk. This new poll seems to provide a much more honest assessment of the reality on the ground and the reality in the halls of government,” she said.

The latest poll reflects what appears to be an ever-diminishing appetite for a two-state solution on both sides. (Yes, right. And study done by a US think-tank?)

Two sets of polls earlier this year – one of Palestinians for the right-leaning US think tank Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a Pew Research poll in the spring – both identified growing pessimism that a peace deal could be done.

Note: But the details are known if you are interested, though we are under the belief that all the details are secrets because that’s what Israel wants you to believe. The two-State status is a preliminary condition for any sustainable and serious peace negotiation in the Middle-East

Monarchs, Emirs, dictators and colonial powers: Any other people wanting to ally with Israel?

Who are those backward leaders who volunteered to guard the existence for future Israel?

After the dictator Saadat of Egypt and the monarch Hussein of Jordan, here come forward the Emir of this a Gulf Emirate to sign a one-sided peace deal with Israel.

حرس الغد الإسرائيلي..

الكوفية والعقال

تتوالى أخبار استسلام الدول العربية،

لا سيما تلك التي لم تحارب لحماية فلسطين ومنع الإسرائيليين من احتلالها واستيطانها وتهويدها بالتدريج، وآخرها، حتى الساعة، دولة الإمارات العربية المتحدة.

فبين ما نُكب به العرب في هذا العصر أن آبار النفط والغاز التي تفجرت في شبه الجزيرة العربية وسواحلها قد استولدت دولاً من غاز وأخرى من نفط، لا يملك “شيوخها” ما يحمون به أرضهم،

لذلك “لزَّموها” لمن يستطيع استثمار ثروات أرضها وبحرها، مقابل أن يمنحهم لزوم الوجاهة والحضور الدولي والإستعلاء على أخوتهم الفقراء،

الذين كانوا حتى الأمس يتعلمون منهم كيف يعيش أثرياء المصادفة ويتمتعون بما وهبهم الله من نعمه، فأغناهم بعد فقر، وعززهم بعد فاقة وجعلهم ملوكاً وأمراء لهم دول وجيوش وحرس شرف وخدم وحشم، وعلاقات دولية مع “الكبار”، ومطارات فخمة وفسيحة وممتدة في قلب الصحراء لاستقبال ضيوفهم من الملوك والرؤساء وحملة الرسائل العاجلة المنبهة إلى المخاطر.

وها أن دولة الإمارات العربية المتحدة التي اصطنعها النفط قد بدأت تمارس سياستها الخاصة وقرارها الخاص، مستقوية بثروتها وقدرتها على توزيع الرشى على “دول القرار”،

وكذلك على إيفاد بعض المرتزقة التي اصطنعت منهم جيشاً بطيران حربي جبار ومدفعية ثقيلة وسفن حربية وزوارق مسلحة، وصواريخ تخترق الفضاءات البعيدة وصولاً إلى أهدافها-مصدر الخطر المحتمل: في اليمن، جنوبا بالأساس، وشمالاً لتأمين الحماية … توكيداً للإدعاء بأنها أرض الأجداد.

ويمكن للشيخ محمد بن زايد أن يدعي أنه بهذا الإعتراف إنما يضمن حق الفلسطينيين في تحرير بلادهم ومساعدتهم مباشرة، بالمال والسلاح عوضاً عن هدر الوقت عبثاً، بينما دولة العدو الإسرائيلي تزداد قوة وقدرة على رفض عروض السلام، حتى لو لامست الإستسلام.

في سابق العصر والأوان، وبعد إقامة دولة الإمارات من تجميع سبع مشيخات صحراوية كان بينها “دبي” التي جعلها شيخها محمد بن راشد مشروع “هونغ كونغ” جديدة، للتبادل تجارة ومعلومات وأسراراً عن دول قاصديها للعمل والإرتزاق.

في سابق العصر والأوان “رحب” العرب بعنوان مصر وسوريا والعراق بالدولة الوليدة، وأسهموا- بشكل أو بآخر- في مساعدة الشيخ زايد على التخلص من شقيقه “شخبوط” الذي كان تولى السلطة، وهو الجاهل بأصول الحكم وبضرورة العلاقات مع الغير لحماية الذات، والذي كان يحتفظ بعائدات النفط في مقعد يجلس عليه ليكون الأعلى بين الحاضرين،

فلما تعاظمت الثروة جعل مقعده كنبة يجلس عليها نهاراً ويمضي ليله فوقها وهو مطمئن إلى أن خيرات أرضه وبحره في أمان.

…ها قد جاء إلى الحكم من يفهم السياسة، ومن يعرف كيف يحمي نفسه وثروة أرضه وبحره، وذلك بطلب الأمان من “الأقوى” و”الاقدر” على التعامل مع أصحاب الثروات الخرافية وتوفير “الحماية” لهم من الأشقاء الطامعين كما من الأصدقاء المحتلين الذين قد يهددون العروش المذهبة بالخطر الشقيق، بوهم اصطناع الغد الأفضل.. كأنما ثمة غد أفضل مما نحن فيه؟

لقد ذهبت “البراءة” مع “زايد الخير”، وجاء الأبناء الذين ينصب اهتمامهم على شراء المستقبل، وتزيين الأرض وتحضيرها بالقصور والحدائق والجامعات (ولو كان طلابها من أبناء رجال الأعمال والموظفين في الدولة الأغنى من أهلها وأهل أهلها وجيرانها مجتمعين)..

لم يبق غير الكوفية والعقال، وقد خلع العرب الفقراء، في المشرق والمغرب، تراث الأجداد، وتركوه ليكون دليل الوجاهة والثروة وحسن الإدارة عند أهل النفط والغاز، الذين باتوا الآن حرس الغد الإسرائيلي.


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adonis49

adonis49

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