Tuesday, October 24, 2006
"Librairie Resistances".. Palestine & liberation movements history
posted by: Ameer at 11:58 AM
Dear Friends,

We are pleased to inform you of the creation of a new bookshop in Paris called "Librairie Resistances" which offers you :

- Several thousands of essays, novels and DVD's
- A reading and research room, with a multimedia space
- A room for exhibitions, lectures and projection of films

Specialised in the history of liberation movements and of all battles for human dignity across the world, this new space brings to life a wish to say :

- NO to the "clash of civilisations", to ethnic divisions, to colonialism and to racism
- YES to the right of peoples to be free to be themselves, to justice and solidarity, to resistance against all forms of oppression, especially that suffered for dozens of years by the people of Palestine.

Palestine having been occupied for so many years is effectively one of the most obvious symbols, on the surface of the planet, of the refusal of international law and human rights, replaced by reliance on force. An extrermely dangerous situation which we would like to change together with all those who place their hope in humanity against barbarity.

Culture is a force which should help us to win. This is why, with the help of Palestinian artists such as Kamal Boullata, Hani Zu'rob, Naseer Arafat, Najwan Darwish, Alia Rayyan, Nathalie Handal, Muthanna Al-Qadi, Steve Sabella, Taysir Batniji, who were willing to advice us in this field, the Résistances Bookshop will promote Palestinian talents all over the world, and will try to show through literature and other arts (cinema, paintings, photos..) that Palestinian culture is quite alive and does not oppose itself toother cultures, but vibrates with many influences and specificities, as Edward Saïd kept explaining during his whole life.

Algeria, Vietnam and South Africa - the fight against fascism. Palestine and Iraq - the fight against exclusion. The many battles waged across the world, yesterday as today, are rich in lessons for us. They allow us to understand what brings us together, the ties which unite the citizens of the whole world and the different cultures and civilisations.

In a world where objective information is a rarer and rarer commodity the Résistances Bookshop gives everyone the chance of judging on the basis of facts.

Coming Meetings with authors and artists:

Friday 27th October from 7.30pm: Eric HAZAN, writer and editor at the Editions La Fabrique, back from Palestine, will present his book: "Notes on the occupation : Nablus, Qalqilia, Hebron" (coming out the same day)

Saturday 4th November at 5pm: Said LALOUH-PREVOST, novelist, author of "The lift to Ursa Magna" (Editions Danger Public)

Thursday 9th November at 7.30pm: Serge PORTELLI, Judge and author of "Treatise of Appied Demagogy", and Jean-Pierre MIGNARD, Avocat and author of "The Clichy Affair" will discuss with us the situation in France, one year after the "crisis in the suburbs".

Saturday 18th November at 5pm: Richard LABEVIERE, journalist (RFI), will present his latest book "The Great U-turn", an enquiry into French policy in the Middle East, especially in the Lebanon.

Thursday 23rd November at 7.30pm: Recital of poems by the Franco-Maroccan writer Abdulatif LAABI

Thursday 7th December at 7.30pm: "The consequences of Israeli policy" : a debate led by Tanya REINHART and Aharon SHABTAI, Israeli writers

Librairie Résistances - 4 Villa Compoint, 75017 Paris - Métro Guy Moquet - Bus 31: stop Davy-Moines - Tel : 01 42 28 89 52 - Fax : 01 42 28 95 29

We are open from Tuesday to Saturday (2 pm to 8 pm). Please, come and visit us ! Circulate the information !

A site will shortly be at your service to allow you to know what works are available, as well as a complete list of events organised by the Librairie Résistances.


Olivia Zémor and Nicolas Shahshahani
Friday, October 20, 2006
Bethlehem Ghetto: Tag the Apartheid Wall
Posted by Odog

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Israeli Occupation Forces Make Several Arrests in the Bethlehem Area

As with most arrest campaigns it is difficult to know who has been taken, where they are and for what purpose. Detainees may be affliliated with the armed resistance or maybe implicated through association. Detainees can be community leaders or academics who have arracted attention to themselves by criticising the occupation and are subsequently taken from their beds in the middle of the night. Detainees can be ordinary children throwing stones at armoured jeeps. Detainees may also have nothing to do with resistance and are arrested due to false information.

There are over 9000 political prisoners in Isreali jails of which approximately 1000 are being held indefinetely without trial. Both Israeli and Palestinian human rights organisations have indicated that prisoners are subjected to varying levels of physical torture and phychological abuse.

Its worth noting that detainees come from a variety of social, political, religious and economic backgrounds however, they all hold one thing in common. They have been arrested as part of the Israeli occupation's ambition to intimidate the Palestinian people and crush any form of dissent.

Friday 13 2006

The Israeli forces invaded tTaqua, Za'tar and Al Khader village in Bethlehem district south of the West Bank on Friday at dawn and took three residents prisoner. Soldiers and jeeps stormed Taqua village, east of Bethlehem, taking Hanni Al Eroj, 33, to an unknown location after searching and ransacking his house.

Meanwhilem, Israeli force invaded Za'tra village, also east of Bethlehem, and searched several houses before taking Ahied Al Wahish, 24, to an unknown location. Al Wahish works as a Palestinian security officer in the city of Bethlehem, his family stated. In Al Khader, south of Bethlehem, more than 6 army vehicles entered the village and took Ramzi Salah, 32, to unknown location after searching his house.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Peaceful Demonstrations in Al Khadr

Last sunday a peaceful demonstration was organized in the village of Al Khadr located on the outskirts of Bethlehem. One of the main food items to be produced by Al Khadr is grapes. The potest concerned the increasing ghettoization of the village which preventing access to external markets adding to already high levels of poverty in the area. Anyway there is no need to explain, when we have this action packed cartoon "The Grapes of Al Khadr" .

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Just Another Mother Murdered

Alison Weir - USA - Monday, 09 October 2006, 23:50

Almost no one bothered to report it. A search of the nation’s largest newspapers turned up nothing in USA Today, the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Chicago Sun-Times, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Houston Chronicle, Tampa Tribune, etc.There was nothing on CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, PBS, NPR, Fox News. Nothing.The LA Times, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and Associated Press each had one sentence, at most, telling about her. All three left out the details, the LA Times had her age significantly off, and the Washington Post reported that she had been killed by an Israeli tank shell. It hadn’t been a tank shell that had killer her, according to witnesses. It had been bullets, multiple ones, fired up close.

Neighbors report that Israeli soldiers had been beating her husband because he wasn’t answering their questions. Foolishly or valiantly, how is one to say, the 35-year-old woman had interfered. She tried to explain that her husband was deaf, screamed at the soldiers that her husband couldn’t hear them and attempted to stop them from hitting him. So they shot her. Several times.

Her name was Itemad Ismail Abu Mo'ammar.She didn’t die, though. That took longer. It required her life to flow out of her in the form of blood for several hours, as Israeli soldiers refused to allow an ambulance to transport her to help. Her husband and children could do nothing to save her. Finally, after approximately five hours, an ambulance was allowed to take her to a hospital, where physicians were able to render one service: pronounce her dead, a few days before the commencement of Ramadan, a season of family gatherings much like the Christmas season for Americans. She left 11 children. None of this was in the Washington Post story, which had reported her death in one half of one sentence.

Her husband's brother, who lived in the same house, was also killed. He was a 28-year-old farmer.Why did this all happen? The family lived behind a resistance fighter wanted by Israel. They were simply “collateral damage” in a failed Israeli assassination/kidnapping operation. All together, five Palestinians were killed that day. The other three were young shepherds killed in another area, two 15 years old and one 14, who seem to have simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Gaza.

None of this was reported in most of America's news media, and so the American public never learned about a mother bleeding to death in front of her children, or young shepherds being blown to pieces. Apparently, it just wasn't newsworthy.

A Case Study of “Good” News CoverageThe Washington Post at least mentioned these deaths, so perhaps those who care about journalistic standards should laud the Post for its coverage. And yet, the Post in its short report got so much so wrong. In addition to misreporting Itemad's cause of death and omitting critical facts, the Post's story portrayed the entire context incorrectly, telling readers that these five deaths had broken a period of “relative calm.”

The fact is that while it was true that in the previous six months not a single Israeli child had been killed by Palestinians, during this period Israelis had killed 75 Palestinian young people, including an 8-month-old and several three-year-olds. I phoned the Post and spoke to a foreign editor about the need to run a correction, providing information on Itemad's murder. The editor said that she would pass this on to their correspondent (who is based in Israel), but explained that it was "impossible for him to go to Gaza.” When I disagreed, she amended the "impossible" to "very difficult." She neglected to mention that the Post has access to stringers in Gaza available to check out any incident the editors deem important.

Next, I wrote a letter to the paper containing the above information. Happily, the Post letters department apparently checked it out and decided it was a good letter. They sent an email informing me that they were considering my letter for publication and needed to confirm that I was the one who had written it, and that I had not sent the information elsewhere.

I replied in the affirmative, we exchanged a few more messages, and everything appeared on target. Normally, when publications contact you in this way, your letter is published shortly thereafter. I waited in anticipation. And waited.

It is now almost two weeks after their report, and I have just been informed that the paper has decided not to print my letter. The Post has apparently determined that there is no need to run a correction. I think I understand.

Although the Washington Post's statement of principles proclaims, “This newspaper is pledged to minimize the number of errors we make and to correct those that occur... Accuracy is our goal; candor is our defense,” the American Society of Newspaper Editors clarifies these ethical requirements: corrections need only be printed when the error of commission or omission is “significant.” And, after all, these were only Palestinians, and it was just another mother dead.--

Alison Weir is Executive Director of If Americans Knew, which has produced in-depth studies and illustrative videos on American news coverage of Israel-


Saturday, October 07, 2006

posted by odog

Israeli Border Gaurd Kills Palestinian Worker
Last wednesday an Israeli border guard shot and killed a Palestinian worker in an apparent case of "excessive force" and was later charged with "improper use of a firearm". The incident occured during an operation whereby Israeli forces were searching for illegal Palestinian workers. Appart from the obvious tragedy, this event highlights a number of wider issues within the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

  • It is another example of abuse of power by Israeli forces which is effectively sactioned by the Israeli state and legal system.
  • This event is indicative of the severe economic crisis in Palestine, whereby at great personal risk Palestinians are willing to enter Israel illegally in order to work.
  • It raises the question of why there are so many illegal Palestinian workers in Israel when there is a "security barrier" which is apparently preventing unwarrented infiltration.
A nineteen-year old Israeli security officer who shot and killed a Palestinian worker in Jaffa Wednesday lied under investigation, but was still released the same day, according to Israeli sources. The police investigation revealed that the officer cocked his weapon unprovoked, contrary to the officer's original version that Palestinian tried to snatch his weapon. The teen subsequently confessed to having lied about the worker attempting to grab the weapon. Police released him on bail the same day, saying he would be charged with 'improper use of a firearm'.

Human rights workers expressed outrage that this was the officer's only charge, adding that he should be charged with murder of the unarmed worker.The incident took place shortly after 8 a.m. Wednesday when Border Guard officers were patrolling the market in search of illegal workers. The officers spotted several Arab-looking workers and signaled them to stop near a construction site.The police investigation team collected testimonies from all those involved, including eyewitnesses and other border officers. None of them confirmed the teen's account that the worker had tried to grab his weapon - instead, the officers and civilian witnesses confirmed that the Palestinian worker was quite a distance away from the teenage officer when he was shot and killed. The man who was killed was a resident of Tarqumiya, near Hebron in the southern West Bank, who had crossed into Israel illegally in order to work. Unemployment levels in many parts of Palestine (West Bank and Gaza) are over 70% in many areas, and a lot of Palestinians risk crossing the border to work for Israeli employers.
Thursday, October 05, 2006

Bad faith and the destruction of Palestine
-Jonathan Cook

A mistake too often made by those examining Israel’s behaviour in the occupied territories -- or when analysing its treatment of Arabs in general, or interpreting its view of Iran -- is to assume that Israel is acting in good faith. Even its most trenchant critics can fall into this trap.

Such a reluctance to attribute bad faith was demonstrated this week by Israel’s foremost human rights group, B’Tselem, when it published a report into the bombing by the Israeli air force of Gaza’s power plant in late June. The horrifying consequences of this act of collective punishment -- a war crime, as B’Tselem rightly notes -- are clearly laid out in the report. The group warns that electricity is available to most of Gaza’s 1.4 million inhabitants for a few hours a day, and running water for a similar period. The sewerage system has all but collapsed, with the resulting risk of the spread of dangerous infectious disease. In their daily lives, Gazans can no longer rely on the basic features of modern existence. Their fridges are as good as useless, threatening outbreaks of food poisoning. The elderly and infirm living in apartments can no longer leave their homes because elevators don’t work, or are unpredictable. Hospitals and doctors’ clinics struggle to offer essential medical services. Small businesses, most of which rely on the power and water supplies, from food shops and laundry services to factories and workshops, are being forced to close.

Rapidly approaching, says B’Tselem, is the moment when Gaza’s economy -- already under an internationally backed siege to penalise the Palestinians for democratically electing a Hamas government -- will simply expire under the strain. Unfortunately, however, B’Tselem loses the plot when it comes to explaining why Israel would choose to inflict such terrible punishment on the people of Gaza. Apparently, it was out of a thirst for revenge: the group’s report is even entitled “Act of Vengeance”. Israel, it seems, wanted revenge for the capture a few days earlier of an Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, from a border tank position used to fire artillery into Gaza.

The problem with the “revenge” theory is that, however much a rebuke it is, it presupposes a degree of good faith on the part of the vengeance-seeker. You steal my toy in the playground, and I lash out and hit you. I have acted badly -- even disproportionately, to use a vogue word B’Tselem also adopts -- but no one would deny that my emotions were honest. There was no subterfuge or deception in my anger. I incur blame only because I failed to control my impulses. There is even the implication that, though my action was unwarranted, my fury was justified. But why should we think Israel is acting in good faith, even if in bad temper, in destroying Gaza’s power station? Why should we assume it was a hot-headed over-reaction rather than a coldly calculated deed?

In other words, why believe Israel is simply lashing out when it commits a war crime rather than committing it after careful advance planning? Is it not possible that such war crimes, rather than being spontaneous and random, are actually all pushing in the same direction? More especially, why should we give Israel the benefit of the doubt when its war crimes contribute, as the bombing of the power station in Gaza surely does, to easily deciphered objectives? Why not think of the bombing instead as one instalment in a long-running and slowly unfolding plan?

The occupation of Gaza did not begin this year, after Hamas was elected, nor did it end with the disengagement a year ago. The occupation is four decades old and still going strong in both the West Bank and Gaza. In that time Israel has followed a consistent policy of subjugating the Palestinian population, imprisoning it inside ever-shrinking ghettos, sealing it off from contact with the outside world, and destroying its chances of ever developing an independent economy. Since the outbreak six years ago of the second intifada -- the Palestinians’ uprising against the occupation -- Israel has tightened its system of controls. It has sought to do so through two parallel, reinforcing approaches. First, it has imposed forms of collective punishment to weaken Palestinian resolve to resist the occupation, and encourage factionalism and civil war. Second, it has “domesticated” suffering inside the ghettos, ensuring each Palestinian finds himself isolated from his neighbours, his concerns reduced to the domestic level: how to receive a house permit, or get past the wall to school or university, or visit a relative illegally imprisoned in Israel, or stop yet more family land being stolen, or reach his olive groves. The goals of both sets of policies, however, are the same: the erosion of Palestinian society’s cohesiveness, the disruption of efforts at solidarity and resistance, and ultimately the slow drift of Palestinians away from vulnerable rural areas into the relative safety of urban centres -- and eventually, as the pressure continues to mount, on into neighbouring Arab states, such as Jordan and Egypt. Seen in this light, the bombing of the Gaza power station fits neatly into Israel’s long-standing plans for the Palestinians. Vengeance has nothing to do with it.

Another recent, more predictable example was an email exchange published on the Media Lens forum website involving the BBC’s Middle East editor, Jeremy Bowen. Bowen was questioned about why the BBC had failed to report on an important peace initiative begun this summer jointly by a small group of Israeli rabbis and Hamas politicians. A public meeting where the two sides would have unveiled their initiative was foiled when Israel’s Shin Bet secret service, presumably with the approval of the Israeli government, blocked the Hamas MPs from entering Jerusalem. Bowen, though implicitly critical of Israel’s behaviour, believes the initiative was of only marginal significance. He doubts that the Shin Bet or the government were overly worried by the meeting -- in his words, it was seen as no more than a “minor irritant” -- because the Israeli peace camp has shown a great reluctance to get involved with the Palestinians since the outbreak of the intifada in 2000. The Israeli government would not want Hamas looking “more respectable”, he admits, but adds that that is because “they believe that it is a terrorist organisation out to kill Jews and to destroy their country”. In short, the Israeli government cracked down on the initiative because they believed Hamas was not a genuine partner for peace. Again, at least apparently in Bowen’s view, Israel was acting in good faith: when it warns that it cannot talk with Hamas because it is a terrorist organisation, it means what it says. But what if, for a second, we abandon the assumption of good faith?

Hamas comprises a militant wing, a political wing and a network of welfare charities. Israel chooses to characterise all these activities as terrorist in nature, refusing to discriminate between the group’s different wings. It denies that Hamas could have multiple identities in the same way the Irish Republican Army, which included a political wing called Sinn Fein, clearly did. Some of Israel’s recent actions might fit with such a simplistic view of Hamas. Israel tried to prevent Hamas from standing in the Palestinian elections, only backing down after the Americans insisted on the group’s participation. Israel now appears to be destroying the Palestinians’ governing institutions, claiming that once in Hamas’ hands they will be used to promote terror. The Israeli government, it could be argued, acts in these ways because it is genuinely persuaded that even the political wing of Hamas is cover for terrorist activity. But most other measures suggest that in reality Israel has a different agenda. Since the Palestinian elections six months ago, Israel’s policies towards Hamas have succeeded in achieving one end: the weakening of the group’s moderates, especially the newly elected politicians, and the strengthening of the militants.

In the debate inside Hamas about whether to move towards politics, diplomacy and dialogue, or concentrate on military resistance, we can guess which side is currently winning. The moderates not the militants have been damaged by the isolation of the elected Hamas government, imposed by the international community at Israel’s instigation. The moderates not the militants have been weakened by Israel rounding up and imprisoning the group’s MPs. The moderates not the militants have been harmed by the failure, encouraged by Israel, of Fatah and Hamas politicians to create a national unity government. And the approach of the moderates not the militants has been discredited by Israel’s success in blocking the summer peace initiative between Hamas MPs and the rabbis.

In other words, Israeli policies are encouraging the extremist and militant elements inside Hamas rather the political and moderate ones. So why not assume that is their aim? Why not assume that rather than wanting a dialogue, a real peace process and an eventual agreement with the Palestinians that might lead to Palestinian statehood, Israel wants an excuse to carry on with its four-decade occupation -- even if it has to reinvent it through sleights of hand like the disengagement and convergence plans? Why not assume that Israel blocked the meeting between the rabbis and the Hamas MPs because it fears that such a dialogue might suggest to Israeli voters and the world that there are strong voices in Hamas prepared to consider an agreement with Israel, and that given a chance their strength and influence might grow? Why not assume that the Israeli government wanted to disrupt the contacts between Hamas and the rabbis for exactly the same reasons that it has repeatedly used violence to break up joint demonstrations in Palestinian villages like Bilin staged by Israeli and Palestinian peace actvists opposed to the wall that is annexing Palestinian farm land to Israel? And why, unlike Bowen, not take seriously opinion polls like the one published this week that show 67 per cent of Israelis support negotiations with a Palestinian national unity government (that is, one including Hamas), and that 56 per cent favour talks with a Palestinian government whoever is leading it? Could it be that faced with these kinds of statistics Israel’s leaders are terrified that, if Hamas were given the chance to engage in a peace process, Israeli voters might start putting more pressure on their own government to make meaningful concessions?

In other words, why not consider for a moment that Israel’s stated view of Hamas may be a self-serving charade, that the Israeli government has invested its energies in discrediting Hamas, and before it secular Palestinian leaders, because it has no interest in peace and never has done? Its goal is the maintenance of the occupation on the best terms it can find for itself. On much the same grounds, we should treat equally sceptically another recent Israeli policy: the refusal by the Israeli Interior Ministry to renew the tourist visas of Palestinians with foreign passports, thereby forcing them to leave their homes and families inside the occupied territories. Many of these Palestinians, who were originally stripped by Israel of their residency rights in violation of international law, often when they left to work or study abroad, have been living on renewable three-month visas for years, even decades. Amazingly, this compounding of the original violation of these Palestinian families’ rights has received almost no media coverage and so far provoked not a peep of outrage from the big international human rights organisations, such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. I can hazard a guess why. Unusually Israel has made no serious attempt to justify this measure. Furthermore, unlike the two examples cited above, it is difficult to put forward even a superficially plausible reason why Israel needs to pursue this policy, except for the obvious motive: that Israel believes it has found another bureaucratic wheeze to deny a few more thousand Palestinians their birthright. It is another small measure designed to ethnically cleanse these Palestinians from what might have been their state, were Israel interested in peace. Unlike the other two examples, it is impossible to assume any good faith on Israel’s part in this story: the measure has no security value, not even of the improbable variety, nor can it be sold as an over-reaction, vengeance, to a provocation by the group affected.

Palestinians with foreign passports are among the richest, best educated and possibly among the most willing to engage in dialogue with Israel. Many have large business investments in the occupied territories they wish to protect from further military confrontation, and most speak fluently the language of the international community -- English. In other words, they might have been a bridgehead to a peace process were Israel genuinely interested in one. But as we have seen, Israel isn’t. If only our media and human rights organisations could bring themselves to admit as much. But because they can’t, the transparently bad faith underpinning Israel’s administrative attempt at ethnic cleansing may be allowed to pass without any censure at all.

Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His book, Blood and Religion: the Unmasking of the Jewish and Democratic State, is published by Pluto Press. His website is www.jkcook.net
Monday, October 02, 2006

Settlers attack, wound a Palestinian resident in Hebron
IMEMC & Agencies - Saturday, 30 September 2006, 13:41

Local sources in Hebron city, in the southern part of the West Bank, reported that one resident was injured in his face after he was attacked by a group of violent settlers in Tal Romeida area near the center of the city. The assailant are residents of the Ramat Yishai illegal settlement outpost, in the center of Hebron. Resident Hana' Abu Haikal, said that she saw at least twenty settlers attacking several Palestinian homes and throwing stones at them. One resident, identified as Hisham Al Azza, 45, was injured in his face after being hit with a stone hurled by the settlers at his house. Abu Haikal added that the settlers, for the third time in less than two weeks, sabotaged water pipes providing several Palestinian houses with drinking water while Israeli troops intensively deployed in the area did not attempt to stop them.

There is a big military camp in the area, but soldiers and despite of their intensive military presence, did not attempt to stop the settlers from attacking the Palestinian residents and their properties, and did not even arrest of file charges against them.