Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Are we going to see civil war in Palestine?
posted by: beitsahourplayer at 4:47 PM
Are we going to see civil war in Palestine?

Hamas are fighting with Fateh in Gaza, killing each other using weapons that was made to fight the occupation, targeting each other in way as if this what will help to free Palestine.

In the other hand the Israeli occupation army is invading the west bank cities killing people and arresting hundreds and our fighters And Government are busy killing each other

Did not we learn from what happened in Lebanon?

Wake up people …. Our fight is with Israeli occupation not with each other

Wake up and see the wall, the killing around you wake up ……

Just today 4 times the Israeli army invaded Bethlehem 3 arrested

For the freedom fighters: stop fighting each other …..All of you know whom you should fight.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Arab Bethlehem to Arab Jerusalem
posted by: Frubious Bandersnatch at 11:21 AM
Yesterday i escorted a friend from Bethlehem to Jerusalem in order for her to get a visit visa for a holiday in Britain. My friend had to attend an interview because the authorities were concerned about her 'returnability' - in other words, they were concerned that the shear Utopic paradise of the west would prove so tempting that she would not want to return to her own homeland. Enough about that, this is how the trip went; ( '-' marks the restrictions)

- Firstly we found out that she had a pass to enter Jerusalem for 2 days. Her mother forgot to tell us this so we only knew that the pass existed at 10.30 on the second day. Without this pass my friend would have been arrested for attending an interview in her own capital city. Forgetfullness hear can cost people their right to move.

Then we phoned the consulate to tell them that we needed to attend today because it was the only day which would be legally permissable for her to use.

- After a taxi journey to the wall we found several American tourists taking photos of themselves with the warm and welcoming Israeli troops manning the gate. Surreal as it was, this provided us with enough of a distraction to get through this first stage unchecked.

- Next came the checkpoint. At first the soldier said that she could not enter Jerusalem - regardless of the fact that she had a paper from his own milistry of the interior. After two soldiers held a hearty debate about the fact that there was a rather annoyed European pass-port holder standing next to her, they changed their minds and let us through after my friends bags were searched.

- At the consulate my friend was searched by security once again and we were allowed to enter the compound. If this blog were about British immigration policies i would describe the events inside. It is not however so i will leave this section to the imagination.

- On the journey home, the bus was stopped by the 'border police' whose sole job is enforcing the aparthied. If you are anywhere that your religon, skin colour, place of residency or any other factor dictates that you should not be, these all powerful patrol men are the ones who can make your life hell. When they discovered that my friends papers were in order, they decided that they had to get their power kicks another way by stating 'you cant use this after today'. This was such a useful thing to say. Other than the fact that it is written clearly on the paper, this obviosly needed stating!

- When we returned to the Check point we were greeted by the same reminder of supreme power, 'you cannot use this paper again'. My friend was tired and frutrated at this point and so decided to question why they insisted on pointing out the bloody obvious. Speaking in far better English than the soldiers could muster, she confused them and so decided to back down before confusion turned into a masculine display of authority.

Finnaly we were back in Bethlehem, back on the other side of the aparthied, the other side of the wall. This brings a strange feeling of relief with it. On this side there is less money, less jobs, more frustration, lower living standards, but at least the aparthied forces are mostly on the other side.

- Not this time. All of northern Bethlehem is considered 'area C' which means 'full Israeli military and civil control'. In reality this means that unfortunate palestinians have had their houses confiscated to provide sniper points, Israeli flags fly above the buildings and a huge wall (not the boundary wall but a wall inside the city itself) cuts off a number of Palestinian homes in order to annex the 'Rachel's tomb' area. Today we were greeted by yet another road block manned by soldiers searching cars and stopping people. Fortunatly the British passport meant that we could walk through unchecked.

Summary, a trip of about 8km involved passing FIVE military posts, each of which makes the adrenalin rise because of the potenciall of having your journey cancelled, humiliation or worse.

For those of you who do not understand the situation, we at no point in our journey visited an Israeli area. All of this was so that we could pass from Bethlehem in the internationally recognised Arab West Bank to Arab East Jerusalem which is also in the internationally recognised Arab West Bank.

Without being escorted by an international, this trip would not have been possible. On the way home my friend was angry and humiliated. I asked her not to confront the soldiers again like that because i was scared about what might happen to her. In the end, what right do i have to ask such a thing with my comfortable British status?
Thursday, July 07, 2005
Palestine and Africa - Both shrouded in lies and confusion
posted by: Frubious Bandersnatch at 11:57 AM
Africa, Palestine and 1984

The situation that we have in Palestine is covered by one of the greatest deceptions in the world. In order for Israel to maintain control in Palestine, one of the most sophisticated and elaborate deceptions that the Western Governments and media have ever managed to pull off has been in operation for decades. A combination of propagating latent racial prejudices about Arabic people (terrorists, un-civilised, etc), exploiting holocaust guilt ('don’t they deserve a home?'), jamming the media with one of the largest and most sophisticated PR machines in the world, and maintaining a military occupation that focuses as much on psychological manipulation through terror as it does on physical oppression; has created one of the greatest illusions in modern time. Until now…..

To all those people out there who consider themselves 'leftist' or 'radical' I only hope that you can see the connection between this ridiculas web of deceit - which has been developed slowly over many decades - and the current 'plans' being put forward to aid
Africa with the 'make poverty history' campaign. What's the connection?

It's simple really. The theory of total control is being applied to both situations. The way to wield supreme power in any situation is not to stamp out all opposition. This would only create pressure that would eventually explode. What is needed is to allow for an opposition which you can control – and if this opposition believes that it is independent – that’s even better for it will attack the ruling power and lead people to believe that the power is tolerating dissent. In Palestine this comes in the form of the 'road map' and the 'two state solution', whereby Palestine is being slowly turned into a disconnected series of ghettoes in the name of independence and even with the blessing of its own 'government' in the name of 'freedom'. For this days work, the powers that be are probably very proud of themselves.

However, in those cigar lit smoky rooms, where white collar giants can slap each other on the back and congratulate each other on their latest exploits, Palestine is not the current topic of self congratulation and boasting. This is not to say that the situation in Palestine is getting better, the very opposite in fact. It is simply old news to them when compared to the latest little game – the scramble for Africa round 3.

This time, through the cult of the celebrity (exploiting the celeb's deadly combination of naivety, ego and a misguided sense of philanthropy), an entire world wide protest movement is being mobilized which stifles internal decent, refuses to get 'too political' and actually supports the G8's main goals for Africa because they simply do not grasp that they are being manipulated, and have no understanding of the finer points of neo-liberal economics. Eg – Bod Geldof describing Bill Gates as 'one of the world's greatest philanthropists'!?!

The next two paragraphs are a summary of exactly how the opposition is allowing itself to manipulated, written by a close friend who has worded it so well,

Despite the fact that the NGO's have a nice shinny new slogan and the empty headed Celeb's are out in force, "…No-one on today's media has talked about structural adjustment programs, or the fact that debt relief will be granted to poor countries only if they are shown to be 'adjusting their gross assistance flows by the amount given' - that is to say, a matched reduction in aid. No-one has mentioned that the G8 vision of 'good governance' means privatization of natural resources and the opening of domestic agricultural markets to floods of Western- subsidized surplus produce.

This is not the fair trade that the people of Africa have been asking for. This is the establishment of economic conditions to facilitate a massive manufacturing labour force in the model of the far Eastern economies, where worker exploitation is rife.
In these conditions, it is only possible to work for an international elite in sweatshop conditions. The G8 plans to re-enslave the continent of Africa to provide another source of production for the mindless wanton consumerism of the West. This manufactured desire to consume can never be allowed to be satiated, so more (human and non-human) natural resources need to be plundered to provide cheap energy and comfortable trainers no our markets and the gap between rich and poor continues to grow. What's more? They've done it under the banner of 'making poverty history!' 'Bastards!'"

I copied that directly because I couldn’t say it better myself. So why am I writing this article on a Blog designed to give a voice to the Bethlehem Ghetto? I would be worried if you had not already worked that out.

In Palestine the game of controlling the opposition by toying with the ideas of 'two states' and 'the road map', the result – Palestinian ghettoes and a large Pro-western ally to control middle-east oil. In Africa the game of controlling the opposition is through mobilizing a miss-guided mass movement that actually only argues with the G8 on details of policy but refuses to question the legitimacy of a unelected corporate world council, the result – a rapid industrialization of Africa and pillaging of the continents resources to further support the Western economy of endless consuming.

If you consider yourself radical or leftist then have a good long think about this comparison. Whereas the game in Palestine is 60 years old the game in Africa is only just beginning. Calling for a 'two-state solution at the end of a negotiated peace process' is the same as wearing that white band and uttering the phrase 'make poverty history' – in both cases you are behaving EXACTLY how they want you too, think about it.