THERE WERE WARNINGS THEN, THERE ARE WARNINGS NOW
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THERE WERE WARNINGS THEN, THERE ARE WARNINGS NOW

May 15, 2001

MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 5/15: It's 53 years now since Palestine was fractured, a Jewish State was born, the Palestinian refugee crisis created. There were warnings from both Arab and Jewish leaders what would result if a "Jewish State" were declared when the British withdrew from Palestine in 1948. On the Jewish side important Zionist groups had even testified before a United Nations Commission strenuously arguing for a bi-national single State, rather than a "Jewish State", otherwise there would be "unending conflict" they warned. And they were right. And there were important Jewish leaders -- Martin Buber, Judah Magnes, and Nahum Goldman among them -- all of whom shared in this basic warning urging David Ben-Gurion to understand that there were two distinct peoples with two distinct histories living in the historic Holy Land of that day and that any attempt to deprive the Palestinian people of their rights would lead to "unending conflict". They failed. They failed. The U.N. failed. George Marshall failed. Feisal Husseini, Auni Abdel Hadi, and so many Palestinian leaders failed. The list is so long and so memorable as this was one of the major post-World War II issues of that day. Today there are professors, intellectuals and writers throughout the region, and indeed throughout the world, issuing new and dire warnings which we have often highlighted in the years we have published MER. They too are right. Whether they too will fail is a question of major historic importance in this new millenium of weapons of mass destruction in our own day. These brief articles today about the fractured Palestinian people now living, and demonstrating, in many places, all divided from each other, all controlled in one way or another by military means of the powers that be in the region. And in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, one of the "client regimes" without which history would have been different and some of the past failures might not have been, the majority Palestinian population is even prohibited from demonstrating about the "nakba", "the disaster", that has befallen them; as well as about today's "Intifada" which we all should not only strongly support but which we need to more fully understand and appreciate.

ISRAEL UNLEASHES DEADLY OFFENSIVE AGAINST PALESTINIANS
(Beirut - Future News, 14 May): Israeli troops have killed five Palestinian policemen in the West Bank and launched a missile strike in Gaza, on the eve of the most emotionally charged day of the Palestinian political calendar. Palestinians mark al-Nakba or Catastrophe day when Israel expelled Palestinians from their homes following its creation.

The Palestinian Authority has called for an emergency UN Security Council to condemn Israel's deadly offensive. President Yasser Arafat described the killings as an "assassination and dirty operation" warning Israel will pay the price.

Report: Israel unleashed a fierce naval and helicopter onslaught near the Khan Younes and Jabalya refugee camps in Gaza, injuring 15 Palestinians. Israeli helicopters attacked a security compound 300 meters from Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's headquarters, destroying some eight armored personnel carriers.

Israeli troops also shot dead five Palestinian policemen near the West Bank town of Beituna, after a brief invasion of the autonomous area. Israeli soldiers demolished a police station and a private residence.

The bodies of the policemen were riddled with machine-gun fire and dumped near Ramallah. The Israeli army claimed it opened fire on the policemen after soldiers saw what it described as "suspicious figures" somewhere they are not supposed to be in.

The Palestinian Authority appealed for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council. Top officials also slammed Washington for blocking the dispatch of an international peacekeeping force to protect civilians in the occupied territories.

In Tel Aviv, a bomb was defused Monday. It was hidden in a plastic bag.

Tensions are expected to rise before Tuesday's anniversary of the 1948 "Nakba" or "Great Catastrophe", when Israel expelled hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes following its creation. In a move that will further heighten tensions, Israel vowed to formally reject criticism by a US-led commission investigating the Palestinian uprising...

PALESTINIANS IN LEBANON MARK ISRAELI "CATASTROPHE"

AIN EL-HILWEH, Lebanon 15 (Reuters) - Thousands of Palestinians demonstrated in refugee camps in Lebanon on Tuesday to mark the Nakba, or Great Catastrophe, of Israel's birth and vowed to continue fighting the Jewish state.

"Let us throw away the olive branch and carry our rifles to return to our land," shouted black-clad protesters who marched through the Ain El-Hilweh refugee camp near the southern port city of Sidon.

Thousands of men, women and children looked on while demonstrators burned American and Israeli flags. Schools and shops closed to mark the day.

Palestinians annually commemorate the Nakba, when 700,000 Palestinian refugees were forced to flee their homes in the fighting that accompanied the creation of Israel in 1948.

Palestinians also protested in front of the headquarters of the U.N. Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL) in Tyre and urged international institutions to intervene to protect Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

"We want (Israeli Prime Minister Ariel) Sharon to be tried as a war criminal," refugees said in a petition delivered to the the U.N.Similar demonstrations also took place in other refugee camps in the country.

Ain El-Hilweh is Lebanon's largest Palestinian refugee camp. Lebanon has about 360,000 registered Palestinian refugees.

ISRAELI TROOPS KILL BODYGUARD OF HAMAS FOUNDER

GAZA, May 15 (Reuters) - Israeli forces killed a bodyguard of the founder of the Islamic guerrilla group Hamas on Tuesday and wounded six other people, Palestinian police and Hamas officials said.

Hamas officials said the killing was an assassination and vowed revenge.

The latest violence came as Palestinians marked their Nakba, or Great Catastrophe, a day mourning their exile after Israel was created in 1948.

The Israeli army said a tank shell struck two Palestinians who had exited a car and launched a mortar bomb near the Nahal Oz checkpoint on the Gaza-Israel border.

"These two Palestinians were hit and killed and the army confiscated the mortar launcher," an army spokesman said.

Palestinian police said only one man had been killed. They said Israeli tanks at Nahal Oz fired three shells and opened heavy fire at a Palestinian police post on the Gaza side, also hitting a car in which the man was killed. Six other people in the area were wounded, the police said.

Palestinian witnesses said an Israeli tank pushed the car into Israeli territory after the incident.

Hamas officials said the Palestinians involved were members of their movement. They identified the man killed as Abdel Hakim Al-Manaema, a bodyguard to Hamas founder Shiekh Ahmed Yassin.

Senior Hamas leader Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi accused Israel of a "sinful assassination operation to be added to the long files of Israel's crimes."

Hamas officials gave a different account of the attack, however, saying that an Israeli helicopter gunship had fired missiles at the men. The army denied it carried out a missile strike.

"Hamas will never keep silent and it will chase this enemy in every place and will get the revenge for the martyr soon," Rantissi told Reuters.

Hamas has opposed interim peace deals signed between Israel and the Palestinians and has taken an active role in the current uprising.

Palestinians called for peaceful marches across the West Bank and Gaza on Tuesday to mark the Nakba, or Great Catastrophe, when 700,000 Palestinians became refugees in the Arab-Israeli war that followed Israel's birth in 1948.

SIRENS WAIL FOR PALESTINIAN NAKBA DAY

RAMALLAH, West Bank, May 15 (Reuters) - Palestinians observed three minutes of silence on Tuesday as sirens wailed across the West Bank and Gaza Strip to mark the 53rd anniversary of what Palestinians call their Nakba, or Great Catastrophe.

As the clock struck noon in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Palestinians stood still in the streets and shops to mark the mass displacement of people from towns and villages in British-mandate Palestine that became part of Israel in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

After the sirens died down, the Palestinian national anthem blared and people held up their fingers in a V-sign, symbolising victory in the revolt against Israeli occupation that has raged for almost eight months.

Muslim preachers shouted Allahu Akbar (God is greatest) through loudspeakers from mosques and church bells rang.

Palestinian media broadcast a pre-recorded speech by Palestinian President Yasser Arafat over radio and television.

More than 15,000 people crowded Gaza City's Palestine Square to hear Arafat, whose address was followed by a speech from Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. Some wore black as a sign of mourning, others draped black cloth over small Palestinian flags.

"Our response to the Nakba should be to establish our state and achieving the return (of refugees)," read banners in the square.

This year's anniversary falls against the backdrop of violence in which at least 421 Palestinians, 79 Israelis and 13 Israeli Arabs have been killed since the revolt for independence erupted last September.

Waving Palestinian flags, many of the three million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip took to the streets in protests against Israel.

In the West Bank city of Nablus, around 40 children carried the names of their cities and villages to commemorate the loss of their homeland.

The number of Palestinian refugees has swelled since 1948 to about four million people in camps in the West Bank, Gaza and neighbouring Arab states, where demonstrations were also planned.

PALESTINIANS MARK DISPLACEMENT
By HADEEL WAHDAN

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP - 15 May) - Tens of thousands of Palestinians jammed streets and town squares in the West Bank and Gaza Strip on Tuesday, standing in silence during a three-minute siren to mark ``Al Naqba,'' or the catastrophe, as they call their displacement during Israel's founding in 1948.

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, referring to eight months of fighting with Israel, said his people would not surrender. ``Faith, faith, courage, courage, stand strong in the face of this increasing aggression, for the sake of freedom,'' Arafat said in the taped speech broadcast to the crowds over loudspeakers.

Arafat had left for Cairo earlier Tuesday, drawing Israeli criticism that he had slipped away to avoid being blamed for possible violence on Al Naqba day. Israel commemorates the day of its founding - May 15, 1948 - according to the Hebrew calendar, which this year put it on April 26.

After the ceremonies, several hundred Palestinians threw stones at Israeli troops in several locations. About two dozen Palestinians were wounded by live fire and several more by rubber-coated steel bullets.

In the Gaza Strip, a bodyguard for the founder of the Islamic militant group Hamas was killed by Israeli tank fire after shooting a mortar round at Israeli targets, the army and Palestinian officials said. A second bodyguard for Sheik Ahmed Yassin was critically wounded.

Hamas swore to avenge the death of Abdel Karim Maname, a longtime Hamas activist. ``Our reaction will be like an earthquake that will rock the ground under the feet of the Zionists,'' said Abdel Aziz Rantisi, a Hamas spokesman. The group has carried out a number of recent suicide bombings in Israel.

In last year's Al Naqba commemorations, four Palestinians were killed and at least 320 Palestinians and 15 Israeli soldiers were hurt.

Israeli troops tightened security ahead of Al Naqba, which comes on eight months of violence that have killed 449 people on the Palestinian side and 77 on the Israeli side.

At noon, a three-minute siren rang out, accompanied by the sounds of Muslim prayer calls and church bells. Marchers stood silently and motorists got out of their cars. Some Palestinians flashed victory signs and others pressed their right hand to their heart.

>From the Nusseirat, Bureij and Mughazi refugee camps in the center of the Gaza Strip, some 30,000 people walked to the main north-south road. The crowd chanted ``no surrender'' and ``The uprising will continue until we uproot the occupiers from our land.''

Several old men carried keys to their former homes in what is now Israel, and gunmen fired in the air.

Amina Abu Sadda, 55, wearing a traditional black robe with red embroidery, said she was 2 years old when she was displaced. ``I have fed my children, mixed in with the mother's milk, the words `right of return,''' she said as she walked in the march.

Some 30,000 Palestinians jammed the main square of the West Bank town of Nablus. The governor of the city, Arafat confidant Mahmoud Aloul, told the crowd that the struggle against Israel must continue. ``We must fight the killers of our children,'' said Aloul, whose son, Jihad, was killed by Israeli fire last fall.

In his taped speech, Arafat lashed out at Israel, though he never directly referred to the Jewish state. Arafat said that while Palestinians remained committed to peace, ``executioners continue to walk through the puddles of our blood with their military escalation and siege of our towns.''

He complained that the world has stood by silently while the Palestinians suffered. He said the Palestinians would only accept a peace deal based on a complete Israeli withdrawal from lands occupied in the 1967 Mideast war, and recognition of the right of Palestinian refugees to return to former homes in what is now Israel.

During the 1948 Mideast war that followed Israel's creation, an estimated 750,000 Palestinians, according to U.N. figures, fled or were driven out of their homes by Israeli troops. Many refugees and their descendants live to this day in camps in the West Bank, Gaza and neighboring Arab states.

Israel maintains that allowing the refugees to return would undermine the Jewish character of their state, where about 5 million Jews live. Israel agreed to allow some thousands of refugees return in the framework of family reunification, but said the rest must be resettled in the West Bank and Gaza or countries where they now live. The Palestinians rejected that proposal.


May 2001


Magazine



FEISAL HUSSEINI - DEAD AT 60 IN KUWAIT
(May 31, 2001)
Feisal Husseini will be buried tomorrow in Jerusalem with great circumstance. However whatever else he was, and many think he was a good and committed man, he was a fairly simple man and he certainly was not a great man.

SHARON SHOULD SURRENDER TO HISTORY
(May 25, 2001)
Like many nation states born out of war, Israel must re-evaluate its past in order to move forward, argues Mark Mazower*

THE GAZA GHETTO/PRISON
(May 25, 2001)
The "Gaza Strip" is a huge ghetto; created of course by the Israelis. In a sense it is also the largest prison in the world as the great majority of those who reside in Gaza are unable to leave and return through any of the handful of Israeli army checkposts which control who comes and goes.

APARTHEID ISRAEL
(May 24, 2001)
"There is a huge gap between us (Jews) and our enemies -- not just in ability but in morality, culture, sanctity of life, and conscience. They are our neighbors here, but it seems as if at a distance of a few hundred meters away, there are people who do not belong to our continent, to our world, but actually belong to a different galaxy."

WATER WARS
(May 24, 2001)
In the end its not really the "settlements" that will determine which civilization will prosper in the once Holy Land now so fought over by the descendants of Abraham. Control and use of WATER is even more at the heart of the conflict between the two competing societies.

CONTINUE THE INTIFADA
(May 23, 2001)
It's a terrible deal for the Palestinians actually -- they expected to give up their very justifiable struggle against the occupier in exchange for another promise to "freeze settlements". Gee...it was just last year that Yasser Arafat was proclaiming ad infinitum that no matter what there would be a Palestinian State by the end of the year!

WHAT THE "MITCHELL COMMISSION REPORT" REALLY SAYS
(May 23, 2001)
"Here's your lifeline Yasser, Nabil, Jabril, and all you Palestinian VIPs -- and you better grab it because it may be the last one you get".

THE MITCHELL COMMISSION REPORT -- A LONG SORDID HISTORY
(May 22, 2001)
The big fix is on of course with the "Mitchell Commission Report". Other madmen desperately scampering from one TV studio to the next are "Ambassador" Dennis Ross, now back at the Israeli/Jewish lobby from whence he came, and of course Senator Mitchell, himself retired from the most pro-Israeli political body on the planet ...

ARAFAT AND THE WORLD FORCED TO DANCE TO SHARON'S WAR TUNES
(May 21, 2001)
The Israelis are pushing their lies, schemes, deceptions, and brutality more than ever these days. It's all designed of course to demoralize and confuse the Palestinians, to twist and torture them into submission.

BREAKING NEWS - RAJOUB HIT
(May 20, 2001)
Jibril Rajoub is a favorite of the CIA, the headquarters of which he has personally visited numerous times in recent years on his visits to Washington. His force is the main one trained by the CIA in order to keep the Arafat Regime in power ...

TRUE MARTYRDOM
(May 20, 2001)
Mahmoud Ahmed Marmash -- 21 and now departed -- never knew anything other than Israel's brutal military occupation. He never knew anything other than Arab "client regimes" and the Arafat "Authority". He never knew anything other than a savage Israeli army, fueled by an increasingly racist ideology, armed and financed by America.

ISRAEL - APARTHEID IN THE MIDDLE EAST
(May 20, 2001)
A little trip back in history's lane will result in all kinds of close connections between Israel and South Africa in the days of Apartheid. And during that trip one will discover that Shimon Peres and Yossi Beilin were at the top of the list of those promoting those relations.

THE ARAB AMERICANS and their "CLIENT ORGANIZATIONS"
(May 19, 2001)
There are many desperate and depressed people out there these days, especially among Palestinians, their friends, and the Jewish left that is mortified to awaken to find itself with Ariel Sharon as Prime Minister, the hoped for salvation of the Oslo "Peace Process" destroyed, and one of their false prophets, Shimon Peres, at Sharon's side.

SUICIDE BOMB, ISRAELI AIR STRIKES CAUSE NEW CARNAGE
(May 18, 2001)
A suicide bombing followed by retaliatory Israeli air strikes killed 16 people and injured 200 on Friday in one of the bloodiest days since a Palestinian uprising erupted nearly eight months ago.

ISRAEL'S ARMY - A NEW, PERHAPS DANGERSOUS, FREEDOM
(May 18, 2001)
TRIGGER-HAPPY troops set loose? Questions about the response of Israeli soldiers facing Palestinian demonstrators are being asked, and not just by Palestinians. But suspicions about individual behaviour are less relevant than the clear fact that the army, given its head by Ariel Sharon, has made a deliberate decision ...

SEVEN KILLED, OVER 50 INJURED IN SUICIDE BOMB ATTACK
(May 18, 2001)
A Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance to the Hasharon shopping mall in the center of the coastal town of Netanya at around 11.30 A.M on Friday morning. Seven people were killed in the blast, one of them most likely the bomber himself.

ISRAELI ARMY ON THE RAMPAGE
(May 17, 2001)
The Israelis are more and more specifically targeting children, journalists, and Palestinians at all levels. The goal is to create such fear, such intimidation, such apprehension, that ...

MORE BLOOD AND MEMORIES FLOW ON "DISASTER DAY"
(May 16, 2001)
Yesterday was the 53rd anniversary of what the Israelis believe was the start of their independence and the Palestinians believe was the start of their ongoing and tortuous "disaster", the "nakba".

"SCHOLARS, INTELLECTUALS, EXPERTS BETRAY THEIR VOCATIONS..." - MER FLASHBACK
(May 15, 2001)
The recent orgy of 'activism' surrounding the new "Har Homa" settlement has given 'peace groups' and various Arab Americans groups something to do again.

THERE WERE WARNINGS THEN, THERE ARE WARNINGS NOW
(May 15, 2001)
It's 53 years now since Palestine was fractured, a Jewish State was born, the Palestinian refugee crisis created. There were warnings from both Arab and Jewish leaders what would result if a "Jewish State" were declared when the British withdrew from Palestine in 1948.

NO JUNITY, NO ALLIES, NO FUTURE
(May 14, 2001)
Let's get right to the bottom line here first. Those American Jews, and whoever else for that matter have been looking to what is called "JUNITY" (that's "Jewish Unity For a Just Peace" so they say) ...

AN AFFRONT TO CIVILISATION
(May 13, 2001)
I was on my way to Khan Yunis, a desperately poor Palestinian refugee town in the Gaza Strip, when we learned it was under heavy bombardment. Please, urged my Palestinian guides, could I postpone my visit to the next day?

IN MEMORY OF PROF. CHARLES BLACK
(May 12, 2001)
"Against hugh odds...they decline to submit, and instead go out on the streets and pick up stones. They are beaten without let or mercy. They are imprisoned under obscene conditions, after kangaroo trials, or no trials at all.

THREATENING WRITERS AND MORE ASSASSINATIONS
(May 12, 2001)
Of course what the Israelis are doing in so many areas to many classes of people is dastardly and deserves widespread condemnation. The first article details what the Israelis are doing to Palestinian writers who are citizens of Israel; the second to Palestinian activists who are struggling against Israel's occupation.

HASHEMITE COLLUSION AND REPRESSION
(May 11, 2001)
The Hashemite Regime of King Abdullah the Second is running more and more scared; and for good reason. After all, the collusion of this regime with the Israelis, going way back to the beginning of the conflict...

MAHMOUD DARWISH ON 53RD NAKBA ANNIVERSARY
(May 11, 2001)
Next Tuesday, 15 May, is the 53rd Anniversary of what the Palestinians call the Nakba, the "Disaster", and what the Israelis call their Independence. In a very unusual move some 250 Arab Professors and Intellectuals have issued a call for their own countries to finally join in a serious way the Palestinian struggle.

FROM HERZL TO SHARON - STEALTH DISPOSSESSION
(May 10, 2001)
"The removal of Arabs bodily from Palestine is part of the Zionist plan to 'spirit the penniless population across the frontier' by denying it employment... Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly."

THE POLITICAL PROSTITUTION OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH IN PALESTINE
(May 10, 2001)
We're talking here about political prostitution; for it too is an age-old profession and it too leads to many other vices.

THE POPE GOES VISITING
(May 9, 2001)
With the creation of a "Jewish State" in the Holy Land, in a sense a new era began twisting the modern-day concept of nationality back to one of ethnic and religious identification.

FROM HELL WITH LOVE
(May 8, 2001)
Ironically, in the early years of this ignoble "Peace Process", Dr. Sarraj himself -- a dignified psychiatrist and recipient of the Physician for Human Rights Award -- was arrested three times, tortured, and threatened with death...not by the Israelis but by the forces of the Arafat "Palestinian Authority".

ISRAELIS SEE THROUGH GLOSS OF LIFE AMID ORANGE GROVES
(May 7, 2001)
When the real estate sharks of California began to coax Americans to Los Angeles early in the last century, they stuck oranges on the trees to make the desert more alluring. The oranges are real enough in the groves on the hills around Jerusalem, but the hard selling is just the same.

WE ARE ACCUSED OF TERRORISM
(May 7, 2001)
The incomparable Nizar Qabbani was buried in Damascus earlier this week. "We Are Accused Of Terrorism" was one of his last poems first published a year ago; key excerpts from that poem follow.

GUNNING DOWN ISRAEL SHAMIR - Part II
(May 4, 2001)
Previously we outlined how the regimes-sponsored Arab American establishment, using the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) to try to control everyone as usual...

SHARON'S RISE TO THE PINNACLE OF POWER - HELPED BY THE ARABS THEMSELVES
(May 3, 2001)
Ariel Sharon's becoming Prime Minister of Israel didn't happen overnight. He pursued the job for a very long time and whatever one thinks of his person and policies he carried out a masterful political coup.

GUNNING DOWN ISRAEL SHAMIR
(May 3, 2001)
The worst thing that happened to the people of the Middle East in recent history was the imposition on them by the Western powers of the "Client Regimes" -- those who read MER regularly know what we are talking about...

ARAB REGIMES COWER AND BEG; ISRAELIS CONTINUE TO KILL AND DESTROY
(May 2, 2001)
Shimon Peres runs around the world, especially to the gullible American media, and especially to CNN and PBS, with soothing rhetorical jibberish while his Generals further demolish Palestinian homes making fools of those who believed in the "Oslo Peace Process" and its associated "agreements".

FORMER SHIN BET HEAD TALKS SOME SENSE IN PUBLIC....BUT WHY?
(May 2, 2001)
Motives are of course a very important aspect of life and politics...as is timing. And when it comes to someone who has been head of the Shin Bet, like Ami Ayalon, and who is saying these things now, at this particular crucial and sensitive time, there are good reasons to have many suspicions, and many questions, and many doubts.

EXTINGUISHING THE INTIFADA
(May 2, 2001)
A major effort is underway to somehow smother and snuff out the Intifada, one way or another. Those heading up the effort, in order of importance, are:

ARAFAT'S FIRST INTERVIEW SINCE THE INTIFADA BEGAN
(May 1, 2001)
Yasser Arafat often describes his struggle as a "long march" to the "spires and minarets" of Jerusalem, capital of his Palestinian state-to-be.




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