CONTINUE THE INTIFADA
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CONTINUE THE INTIFADA

May 23, 2001

"The courageous and suffering Palestinian people should continue their Intifada -- they have every right and justification after so much provocation, deception, and brutality over such a long period of time."

"The way to end Israeli settlements is through ending the Israeli occupation. And the way to do that is to build up very serious pressure, politically and economically, against the Jewish State along with a build-up of counter-veiling deterrent Arab military power."

MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 5/23: 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!

In total, there are close to 200 settlements now with about 400,000 total residents, but with considerable empty housing at this point such that a "freeze" would not have much impact for some time actually. About 100,000 of these "settlers" hvae in fact moved to the occupied territories since the "Oslo Peace Process" began! At this stage in history a "freeze" that isn't very clearly permanent and which doesn't envision dismantling or turning over most of these settlements is not meaningful, nor serious, nor credible. Indeed, if the history of Israel's gross duplicity about the settlements is taken into account, the Mitchell Report is a set-up designed to trick the Palestinians into ending their legitimate Intifada once again. We'll have more to say soon about all this, including the details of what really happened back at Camp David I some 23 years ago now when the settlements -- then about half in number and size -- were supposedly "frozen" and a President of the United States actually said as much in front of the U.S. Congress!

The courageous and suffering Palestinian people should continue their Intifada -- they have every right and justification after so much provocation, deception, and brutality over such a long period of time.

The way to end Israeli settlements is through ending the Israeli occupation. And the way to do that is to build up very serious pressure, politically and economically, against the Jewish State for now along with a fast build-up of counter-veiling deterrent Arab military power. Initial steps that should and can be taken immediately are for the Arab states to end all relations with Israel, reinstitute a complete boycott of Israel, and insist that the United Nations General Assembly to suspend Israel a la what was done to Apartheid South Africa. Furthermore a new leadership of Palestinians is urgently needed to declare independence and Statehood without any further delay and to gather up the support of nations and peoples all around the world. And if the Israelis and their American patron don't like it -- so be it. There are political and economic steps that can and should be taken against the United States as well! Long long overdue in fact.

ISRAEL REJECTS MITCHELL REPORT CALL FOR FREEZE
ON GROWH OF SETTLEMENTS

Land is the issue. Land is confiscated, stolen, kept

By Dilip Hiro
[The Guardian - 22 May]: Behind the drama of shootings, stone throwing, fighter attacks, tank incursions, and razing of houses and orchards - that have attracted the world's attention in the eight-month low-intensity Israeli-Palestinian warfare - lies something undramatic: land.

That is, the unceasing, illegal seizure of Palestinian land by Israel in train for the past 34 years, which has created 200 Jewish settlements, including 13 in Arab East Jerusalem, with 400,000 residents.

It is to the credit of the George Mitchell report on the Israeli-Palestinian violence, published yesterday, that it has focused on Jewish settlements.

"Beyond the obvious confidence-building qualities of a settlement freeze, we note that many of the confrontations during this conflict have occurred at points where Palestinians, settlers and [Israeli] security forces protecting the settlers meet," says the Mitchell report. "Keeping both the peace and these friction points will be very difficult."

The report by the US-appointed committee, which includes two former American senators, the European Union's chief foreign affairs representative, Norway's foreign minister and a former Turkish president, is the first official, non-partisan assessment of the events in late September and October. So it should be treated seriously.

In Gaza, the Jewish colonies break up the tiny strip into three parts. Elsewhere they form a barrier between Arab East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and between numerous Palestinian towns and villages on the West Bank. They and the interconnecting roads slice up the territorial continuity of what Palestinians hope will be an independent sovereign Palestine.

Such a state - should it emerge - would cover only 22% of the Palestine under British mandate during 1922-48. It would be less than half of what the Arab inhabitants of Palestine were offered by the United Nations partition plan of 1947.

Taking a long view, therefore, the battle between the inhabitants of Palestine since 691 (when the Dome of the Rock was built in Jerusalem), and the post-1922 Zionist colonisers from Europe has always been about land.

Though Israel has existed as a sovereign state since 1948 on 78% of British Palestine, its top leaders, be they rightwing or left, have yet to declare a whittling down of the original Zionist aim of all of Palestine as the Jewish homeland.

After the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, it was the Labour government which initiated the policy of Jewish settlements in the occupied territories.

The example of Kiryat Arba, a settlement near Hebron, is illustrative. After its 1967 victory, the Israeli military set up its camp on 40 hectares (100 acres) of Palestinian agricultural land, something it was entitled to do as the occupation army.

What it was not entitled to do was to increase the confiscated land 10-fold, to 400 hectares (1,000) acres, over the next two decades and create a complex of four Jewish settlements inhabited by some 6,000 civilians. In the process the Israeli army deprived Palestinians of two-thirds of their cultivated land in the area.

In its various resolutions, starting with 252 in 1967, the United Nations security council has repeatedly affirmed that the fourth Geneva convention relative to the protection of civilian persons in time of war (August 1949) is applicable to the Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967. This convention expressly forbids the occupying power to change the demography of the territory under its occupation through such means as deportation or transfer of "parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies".

"The transfer, the installation of the occupying power into the occupied territories is considered as an illegal move and qualified as a 'grave breach'," said Rene Kosirnik, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross delegation to Israel and the Palestinian territories, last week. "It's a grave breach, formally speaking, but grave breaches are equal in principle to war crimes."

But Israel has ignored this. For a long time Jewish Israeli leaders refused to accept the fact that Palestinians were as much a nation as Israeli Jews. It was the eruption of the intifada in 1987 and its longevity that broke that myth.

The signing of the Oslo accord in 1993 signified Israel's official recognition of Palestinians as a nation represented by the Palestine Liberation Organisation.

But that had no impact on the colonisation programme. Since the Oslo accord, the number of settlements has risen from 157 to 200, and nearly 40,000 new houses have been constructed. The number of Jewish settlers in the West Bank and Gaza has shot up from 125,000 to 200,000, and in Arab East Jerusalem, from 150,000 to 200,000.

T he Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, has refused to accept the Mitchell report's recommendation of an immediate freeze on settlement activity, arguing that the enlargement of settlements is the result of the "natural growth" of the population. It is hard to attribute a 70% rise in seven years in the West Bank colonies to "natural growth".

Sharon forgets that when his Likud predecessor, Binyamin Netanyahu, aired the same reasoning it was shot down by the Clinton administration which leaked the information gathered by US satellites that a quarter of the houses in West Bank settlements were empty.

The source of Sharon's obduracy lies elsewhere. "Many Israeli people today are not much excited by the idea of gaining a hectare and then another hectare [of Palestinian land] for Israel - but for me, that's still exciting," he told Ha'aretz (The Land), an Israeli daily, recently.

That is the view of a 73-year-old Zionist pioneer, who grew up on a Jewish kibbutz during the British mandate; committed to colonising all of the British Palestine.

It is out of line with a majority of Israeli Jews. The latest poll shows 62% favouring a freeze on Jewish settlements in exchange for a Palestinian ceasefire while 36% oppose it.

An editorial in the Yediot Aharonot (Latest News), a Hebrew daily accounting for two-thirds of total newspaper circulation in Israel, summed up the situation aptly. "According to updated polls, most Israelis - in contrast to their elderly military leader [Sharon] - support a settlement freeze," said a recent editorial. "A decisive majority also supports diplomatic activity and not just military pressure, and sees Arafat as a partner."

Given this, the Mitchell report is likely to spur those Israelis who disapprove of the ultra-hawkish stance of Sharon on the issue of Jewish settlements.

. Dilip Hiro is the author of Sharing the Promised Land (Hodder). His forthcoming book is Neighbours, Not Friends: Iraq and Iran After the Gulf Wars (Routledge)


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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