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September 28, 2001

MID-EAST REALITIES © - MER - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 9/28: Last summer, the summer of 2000, it was Bill Clinton, Ehud Barak, and Yasser Arafat gesturing to each other at the Camp David doorway over whom symbolically would enter before whom. Then one year ago on this date it was Ariel Sharon and a thousand armed police and soldiers violating the area of the Dome of the Rock and reigniting the Intifada, since dubbed Intifada II. No way to know for sure, no way to prove or disprove the assertion, but many experts of the region believe that had it not been for the extraordinary emotional climate generating in the Arab and Muslim worlds by the constant pictures of Israelis killing Palestinians using American helicopter gunships and F-16 jet fighters, what happened this fateful month of September 2001 would not have happened as it did.


"Israeli closure policy has planted the seeds of hatred for a long time to come" Palestinian analyst, Khalil Shikaki

[BBC News Online, UK, 28 Sept, by Fiona Symon]: A year since the outbreak of the intifada, living standards among Palestinians have fallen dramatically.

Israel's stranglehold over the Palestinian economy is virtually complete and takes the form of over 150 military blockades erected in the West Bank and more than 40 in Gaza.

To these must now be added the new buffer zone, established this week along the border between Israel the Palestinian areas.

All entry and exit points to the West Bank and Gaza - even mountainous paths and dirt roads - have been closed.

Daily humiliation

Palestinians experience daily humiliation, and sometimes intimidation, at these checkpoints.

B'Tselem, an Israeli human rights group that monitors army activities in the occupied territories, says it is aware of at least six cases in which soldiers have shot and killed Palestinians "without provocation" at roadblocks during the uprising.

The Israeli army denies this, but what is not in dispute is the impact the checkpoints have had on the economy.

Palestinians face long waits at border crossings

This has virtually ground to a halt, according to a report by the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction. It puts the total loss in all economic sectors at $4.25bn dollars during the period between September 2000 and September 2001.

Tourism, which previously accounted for 11% of the Palestinian gross domestic product and was an important source of hard currency, has come to a complete halt as a result of the closure.

Farming, trade and industry have all been severely hit - PECDAR estimates that around 150,000 fruit trees alone have been uprooted. More than 4,000 homes have been destroyed, in addition to a large number of public buildings and projects, says PECDAR, which puts the cost of infrastructure losses at $165m and transport losses at $5m during the period.

Airport closure

The closure of Gaza International airport - the site of today's long-delayed meeting between Yasser Arafat and Shimon Peres - has had a disastrous effects on tourism and investment.

The Palestinian Authority has spent millions of dollars on attracting investment and upgrading tourism, but the airport closure has resulted in large numbers of investors taking their money elsewhere.

Meeting took place amid a hardening of attitudes

The siege has been particularly damaging because of the extent to which the Palestinian economy is dependent on Israel, says PECDAR, noting that 85% of trade is done through Israel, and Palestinians buy their electricity, water and telecommunications from Israeli companies.

Before the intifada the number of Palestinian workers was 651,000, of whom 133,000 worked inside Israel. As a direct result of the closure, unemployment has risen from 12% to 51% of the Palestinian workforce.

"A natural consequence of unemployment is poverty. As a result of the Israeli closure, thousands of Palestinians lost their jobs and consequently their main source of income," says PECDAR

Business paralysed

Palestinian analyst Khalil Shikaki said Israel's closure policy "has planted the seeds of hatred for a long time to come".

The blockades have not provided security for Israel, but have radicalised moderate Palestinians whose businesses have been paralysed, he says.

This view is reflected in the latest public opinion poll conducted by the Jerusalem Media and Communication Centre.

Palestinians saw Mr Sharon's visit to the holy site as the final straw

It surveyed Palestinians last week and found that attitudes towards the peace process have hardened. Support for the peace process fell from 38% last June to 29% this month and the percentage of Palestinians who regard the peace process as dead has risen to 42% from 27%.

Ghassan Khatib, director of the centre, says Palestinians are in no mood to compromise because they believe the one achievement of the intifada so far has been to prevent Israel from imposing its blueprint for a final settlement. "Palestinians believe that Israel initiated the violence, and that they are simply reacting and resisting Israeli aggression," said Mr Khatib.

By Jamie Tarabay

[Associated Press - 28 September - RAMALLAH, West Bank] -- Thousands of Palestinians on Friday marked the anniversary of their uprising against Israel with marches, rock-throwing and three minutes of silence. Three Palestinians, including a 10-year-old boy, were killed by Israeli troops in confrontations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Forty-five Palestinians were wounded, two of them critically, doctors said. Six Israelis, including three civilians, were also hurt.

In another incident, a Palestinian man was killed in the West Bank town of Hebron when a bomb he was putting together exploded prematurely, Palestinian security officials said.

Despite the bloodshed, both sides said they remained committed to a fledgling truce arranged at the urging of the United States. Senior security commanders from the two sides met to work out the next steps, such as an easing of Israel's blockades of Palestinian towns.

Washington has been pressing for calm in the Middle East as it tries to bring Arab and Muslim states into an international anti-terrorism coalition.

Rallies were also held in Arab nations, where the public has been outraged by images of Palestinian deaths. In the Iraqi capital, a crowd of about 20,000 waved Palestinian and Iraqi flags.

In several rallies and mosque sermons, speakers urged Palestinians to keep fighting Israel. However, Palestinian officials said they were determined to make the truce stick.

"It's a matter of life and death for our people, and for the Israelis," Palestinian Planning Minister Nabil Shaath said of the cease-fire.

Yarden Vatikay, a spokesman for the Israeli Defense Ministry, said that the Palestinians had not lived up to their promises, but that Israel was not walking away from the truce.

The truce was affirmed Wednesday in a meeting between Arafat and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres. Israel has said it would ease its security blockade of Palestinian towns in the coming days, while the Palestinians said they were considering Israel's request to arrest suspected militants.

Despite the truce, there has been sporadic fighting, with seven Palestinians killed by Israeli fire since Wednesday. The U.S. State Department has criticized Israel for what it said was a "provocative" military strike in the Rafah refugee camp Thursday, scene of most of the violence this week.

Israeli-Palestinian fighting erupted Sept. 28, 2000, after Ariel Sharon, now Israel's prime minister, visited a contested holy site in Jerusalem's Old City, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Haram as-Sharif, or Noble Sanctuary. Since then, 649 people have been killed on the Palestinian side and 177 on the Israeli side.

Across the region, Arabs rallied Friday to mark the start of the uprising.

In Syria, about 1,000 people marched through the capital in silence out of respect for the dead, while in south Lebanon, more than 1,000 people marched through the Palestinian refugee camp of Ein el-Hilweh to protest Israeli policy. In Baghdad, demonstrators chanted slogans calling for President Saddam Hussein to "liberate Jerusalem" and "blow up Tel Aviv," the commercial capital of Israel.

In Egypt, however, security forces turned out to deter demonstrations, and mosque preachers -- who mention the intefadeh nearly every week -- made only brief references to the anniversary.

In the West Bank and Gaza Strip, sirens wailed in several towns, including Jenin and Qalqiliya, as residents observed three minutes of silence in public squares to mark the anniversary.

Thousands joined a march in Gaza's Nusseirat refugee camp, streaming into the street after prayers at two local mosques. Marchers carried banners reading: "The uprising will continue until we uproot the Zionist occupation from our land."

A member of Arafat's Fatah movement, addressing the crowd through a loudspeaker mounted on a truck, said the fighting would continue "with all means," despite Arafat's orders to stop attacks on Israelis.

In the West Bank town of Ramallah, traffic stopped as Palestinians observed three minutes of silence. In the city's central Manara Square, masked men burned a cardboard model of a Jewish settlement.

After the rally, a procession made its way to an Israeli checkpoint, where dozens of youngsters threw stones at soldiers. Three stone-throwers were wounded by live Israeli fire and 24 were hurt by rubber-coated steel pellets, doctors said.

However, Palestinian police kept gunmen away from the area, traditionally a scene of firefights during Friday marches.

In the West Bank town of Hebron, Palestinian gunmen opened fire on Israeli troops, drawing return fire that killed a 25-year-old man and wounded 12 other Palestinians. In two nearby villages, two boys, ages 10 and 17, were killed by Israeli troops dispersing stone throwers with live ammunition, Palestinian doctors said.

The army said that troops briefly entered one of the villages _ Al Khader -- to chase Palestinians who had thrown an explosive device at an Israeli outpost. The army said a gun battle ensued, and that troops eventually left the village.

In Rafah, a Palestinian was critically wounded in what Palestinians said was an unprovoked shooting from an Israel tank parked at the outskirts of the refugee camp. The army said it had no reports of shooting in Rafah.

Many Palestinians said they were skeptical about truce prospects.

Some said they had sacrificed too much during the past year to end the uprising now. Others said there was little point in returning to negotiations because they felt Israel's hard-line prime minister, Ariel Sharon, had little to offer them.

"We have given a lot for this land," said Walid Ifha, a 35-year-old Ramallah school teacher. "To end the uprising without results is not fair. We should continue until we get what we want."

Israeli security forces in Jerusalem's Old City barred Palestinians under the age of 40 from attending prayers at the Haram as-Sharif.

In his Friday sermon, the top Muslim cleric in Jerusalem, Mufti Ikrema Sabri, called the uprising a "holy war" and said it would continue until Israel no longer controlled the holy city, which he said was under "military siege."


A year ago 12-year-old Mohammed al-Durrah died before the eyes of the world, instantly becoming an icon of the new intifada. Since then more than 120 children, 28 of them Israeli, have been killed. Suzanne Goldenberg visits the parents of the conflict's most famous victim and asks: has anything been achieved?

[The Guardian - UK - Thursday September 27, 2001]: On the wall of a breezeblock house, on a sand-spattered lane called Martyrs Street, there is a spray-painted rendition of the Palestinian pietà: a father, cradling his dying child in his arms, with both figures scored by red and black gashes representing bullets and blood.

This is the home of the al-Durrah family, unremarkable people transformed into modern-day icons when their son, Mohammed, was shot dead by Israeli soldiers in the very first days of the Palestinian revolt last year. Mohammed was 12 years old when he was killed on September 30, two days after the start of this second intifada. Within hours, the world was familiar with the final 40 minutes of his life, captured by a Palestinian cameraman for French television: the mask of terror on the face of a child, the convulsive twitches from each new round, and then the gradual loosening of the dying boy's grip on his father, Jamal.

Jamal al-Durrah and his wife, Amal, have been immersed in those scenes ever since, their sitting room plastered with images of Mohammed: cowering in his father's arms in propaganda posters; smiling in childhood snapshots; and serious in a large portrait in pastels donated by an Egyptian artist.

His death has been re-broadcast relentlessly by the Palestinian authorities on the television that is almost like an extra member of the family, and his short life has been re-lived in excruciating detail for the countless reporters, television crews, and dignitaries who have made their way here, drawn by the cult of the first child martyr of the intifada.

"I feel like he died only yesterday," says his mother, Amal. But while the constant attention makes it impossible to move beyond the first stages of grieving, she says she takes comfort in Mohammed's posthumous celebrity, and finds herself drawn irresistibly to the images of his death on TV.

"Even if they are horrible pictures, he was my son, and I still like to look at him," she says. "All the world saw Mohammed dying on television, and all the mothers felt that this child was their baby. When he died, he awakened the world, and so I think it was worth it."

Mohammed's father, Jamal, was hit by 12 bullets. He emerged from four months in a Jordanian hospital with a withered right hand, a slight limp, and a burning sense of mission.

"I believed in the struggle before the death of Mohammed," he says. "The main difference is that I have turned myself into an ambassador to tell the world about our struggle."

That sense of calling has taken the al-Durrahs - who had only left the Gaza Strip on one occasion before Mohammed's death, and who still do not own a telephone - to Egypt, Algeria, the United Arab Emirates, and the anti-racism conference in South Africa last month. Their home - a standard refugee shelter with a corrugated asbestos roof - is sparsely furnished with plastic chairs and badly scarred wooden divans.

But there are reports they have received thousands of dollars from well-wishers in the Arab world, in addition to the obligatory $220 a month pension doled out by the Palestinian Authority to the families of victims, and the $10,000 cheque from Saddam Hussein. Some of the donations paid for a marble headstone for Mohammed. An unemployed labourer before his son's death, Jamal muses about establishing a foundation for children with disabilities, or maybe a scholarship fund for needy university students.

Meanwhile, he and his wife have been consumed by the whirlwind of the past year. As they speak, their six surviving children pummel each other and scream, but fail to attract their parents' attention. The neighbours say they have run wild for the past year.

The celebrity, and their understandable bitterness at Mohammed's death, has also steeled the al-Durrahs' hearts against any chance of a compromise with Israel. To Jamal's mind, the carnage in New York and Washington on September 11 was a product of the Israeli secret service, Mossad, a theory he is willing to expound on at some length. Ask Mohammed's mother and father if they would be willing to contemplate living in a Palestinian state made up of the West Bank and Gaza, with Israelis as their neighbours, and both reply: "We must have all of Palestine."

Tomorrow, it will be exactly a year since the eruption of the violent Palestinian rising, which followed the provocative visit of the then hardline opposition leader, Ariel Sharon, to the hallowed ground in Jerusalem revered by Muslims as the Haram as-Sharif, and by Jews as the Temple Mount, site of two destroyed biblical temples. Since then, more than 750 people have been killed, including scores of children - Arab and Jewish - many far younger than Mohammed.

The spot where he was killed - Netzarim junction, a crossroads presided over by a hunkering Israeli army position - is unrecognisable. The concrete barrel where Mohammed and his father sought cover was destroyed by the Israeli army a few days after his death, along with a shack belonging to the Palestinian security forces. Two blocks of flats overlooking the Israeli army camp were razed later. In the man-made wasteland that remains, a lone Israeli tank now prowls, and a machine-gun nest looms from a mound directly opposite the spot where Mohammed was killed.

So what has the revolt won for the Palestinians? "There are no political solutions in the air as we enter the second year of the intifada," says Hussain Sheikh, the commander of Yasser Arafat's Fatah organisation in the West Bank. He says the uprising has achieved three broad aims: it has roused the international community to the Palestinian struggle against the Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza; it has exposed claims that Israel was willing to make painful concessions for a peaceful settlement of the Middle East dispute; and it brought renewed scrutiny to the role of the illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza as the focal points of conflict.

What Sheikh does not say, however, is that the primary accomplishment of the uprising was achieved with the images of Mohammed's death, when international sympathy for the Palestinians was never higher. The impact of those images was acknowledged by the Israeli authorities. Ever since, the army has stubbornly tried to promote an alternative explanation for Mohammed's death - that he and his father were in fact targeted by Palestinian gunmen.

The death of Mohammed did not stop other children from being killed. By the time the first reporters descended on the al-Durrah's home, the uprising had claimed an even younger victim than Mohammed: Sara al-Haq, a chubby two-year-old with copper-coloured ringlets, shot dead in her village near the West Bank city of Nablus. Instead, the killing of children has, in a way, defined the intifada, feeding the cult of martyrdom that has engulfed children cut down while throwing stones at Israeli tanks and, most ominously, the suicide bombers who have carried out dozens of attacks on Jewish civilians.

It has also provoked a macabre competition between Arab and Jew to claim the youngest victim of the revolt. According to the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, 140 of the Palestinian victims of the uprising have been under the age of 18 - or about a quarter of the entire toll. The Israeli human rights group, B'Tselem, counts 127 minors among the dead. Twenty eight Israeli children have been killed - including 22 who were blown up by suicide bombers inside the Jewish state. Yesterday there was still one more casualty: a 16-year-old Palestinian stonethrower shot in the head by Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip, three miles from the spot where Yasser Arafat and the Israeli foreign minister, Shimon Peres, were holding ceasefire talks.

In his iconic status among Palestinians, Mohammed al-Durrah now has a counterpart in a Jewish baby girl, Shalhavet Pass, who was shot dead in her stroller at the gates of the Jewish settlement in Hebron. She was 10 months old. Shalhavet's chubby face now stares out of websites, T-shirts, and amulets produced by the Hebron settlers in her memory.

However, the youngest Jewish victim of the uprising is Yehuda Shoham, aged five months, who died from wounds sustained when a rock was thrown at his family's car near the West Bank settlement of Shilo on June 6. The youngest Palestinian victim was not killed by Israeli soldiers, but by Jewish extremists. Diya Tmeizi, a three-month-old baby boy, who was born after his parents underwent a decade of fertility treatment, was shot dead with two other Palestinians when their car came under fire as they were returning from a wedding in Idna village, near Hebron, on July 20 this year.

Other children have died unremembered - as has a principal actor in the drama surrounding Mohammed al-Durrah's death: the ambulance driver, Bassem al-Bilbeisi, who was shot dead trying to rescue father and son. "I hear the al-Durrah family got money and has become famous now," says Hanan al-Bilbeisi, his widow, who says she and her 11 children have been reduced to penury by his death. "I know money is no compensation for losing a child, but I wish we could have been given a chance to have our say in the media. My husband also deserves to be known."

Those hundreds of dead - the celebrities such as Mohammed and the overlooked such as al-Bilbeisi - are the reason most widely cited by Palestinians for their unwillingness to go along with the ceasefire declared last week by the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat. How can they give up now when so many have died?

Sharon and Arafat have been made well aware that Washington does not want their conflict to intrude on its efforts to forge a broad war coalition, and that it cannot recruit Arab states so long as the intifada continues to rage.

Last week's truce was the fifth declared so far, but people had given it a breath of hope because of the unprecedented pressure from Washington for it to succeed. For some Palestinian leaders, who admit the intifada has brought them no closer to their aims, the ceasefire is a last, unexpected chance: they can abandon the largely military means by which the uprising has been fought, and return to mass protests. They realise they can hardly expect the international community to pay attention to their regional conflict when the world is transfixed by the attack on the US, and the awaited reprisal. Fifteen Palestinians were killed in the 24 hours that followed the carnage in the US; their deaths provoked little international comment.

The Palestinian leadership is also terrified that if they do not rein in the militants from Hamas and Islamic Jihad, there could well be another suicide attack inside the Jewish state - an eventuality that, in the present international atmosphere, could destroy for ever support for the Palestinians. However, Palestinians officials also say the ceasefire is tenuous, and the region could easily explode once more unless the truce produces real gains, such as an end to Israel's suffocating siege of the West Bank and Gaza.

"If the situation remains like this, we will have very many people who will want to die, especially if Sharon stays in his closed mentality, and remains opposed to any negotiations on a final settlement," says General Abdul Razak Majaida, the head of Palestinian security in the West Bank and Gaza, and the enforcer of the ceasefire. His security forces are also going to have to deal with popular resentment at Arafat's Palestinian Authority for making heroes of some of the dead - such as Mohammed - while others remain forgotten. Many Palestinians feel betrayed by their leaders.

But most of all they are going to have to convince a people who have surrounded themselves with images of their dead children to overcome the hatred that now rules their hearts. Emblazoned on the wall of his home, beneath the mural of the dying Mohammed, is a slogan evidently painted on with the al-Durrahs' approval. It says: "What was taken by force can only be returned by force."

September 2001


FBI accuses people who are alive of hijacking 911 planes
(September 13, 2001)

(September 30, 2001)
What goes around comes around, the Americans say. They and their allies, including feisty little Australia, are marching into battle, to be confronted by weapons they sold to the Taliban when the Muslim maddos were on our side against the damned Russkies.

(September 30, 2001)
It is not often onegets to meet a childhood hero. But Imran Khan, Pakistan'sfinest-ever cricketer, and still the heart-throb of a million adolescent girls, is not in the mood for nostalgia. There is a strong atmosphere of foreboding in Islamabad, Pakistan's gleaming modern capital, following the country's decision to back the US in its war on terrorism.

(September 29, 2001416)
Americans are preparing for the long, arduous and necessary task of bringing the perpetrators of Tuesday's unspeakable horror to justice. But as we do so, we must also ask ourselves why this happened -- and why it might happen again.

(September 28, 2001)
Last summer, the summer of 2000, it was Bill Clinton, Ehud Barak, and Yasser Arafat gesturing to each other at the Camp David doorway over whom symbolically would enter before whom.

(September 28, 2001)
It was to be expected. Looks like the Saudi Royals have recovered from their "crusade" induced political/historical heart attacks along with a somewhat repentant President Bush. They are caving in, as they always do when Washington really comes calling, aware that in the end the legitimacy of their rule of "the kingdom" is no more (and never really was) and that only the direct protection of the Americans can keep the despicably profligate Royals on their petro-thrones.

(September 27, 2001)
How fitting that the descendants of the first crusades have now signed-on to the modern-day new Crusades II through their flambouantly right-wing business-tycoon Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

(September 27, 2001)
Written by a thoughtful young American academic, recently graduated with Ph.D. from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., "George Bush's Global Crusade" is an important contribution to thinking through what is unfolding as a result of 11 September 2001.

(September 26, 2001)
At the last moment, quite literally, Yasser Arafat called off his visit to Damascus, probably under severe threats from both the Israelis and Americans that if he dared defy them now his days truly would be numbered and he would be put on the to-be-vanquished "terrorist" list and suffer the consequences.

(September 25, 2001)
"The problem is that America wants its own version of justice, a concept rooted, it seems, in the Wild West and Hollywood's version of the Second World War. President Bush speaks of smoking them out, of the old posters that once graced Dodge City: 'Wanted, Dead or Alive'."

(September 25, 2001)
Pakistan's most powerful triballeader, Ajmal Khattak, yesterday pleaded with the country's leading fundamentalist agitator, Sami ul-Haq, "to keep Pakistan calm during the present crisis."

(September 25, 2001)
The American government has a long long history of militarism and deception; but under the new circumstances post-11 Sept many who normally have grown skeptical and partially independent over the years are doing what they are told, "complying" so to speak.

(September 24, 2001)
Osama bin Laden called on Muslims to join a holy war against "the American crusade," and the United Nations said Monday that Afghanistan's ruling Taliban militia have virtually shut down its humanitarian operations by threatening to kill its remaining staff.

(September 24, 2001)
"The attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center are the most important event in world history since the collapse of the Soviet Union."

(September 24, 2001)
When the American mass media needs to flash "Arab" on the screen pretending to some kind of semblance of "balance", they know whom to call on. These are the faces, names and "Arab" identifications one sees on the screen politely commenting these days about "terrorism" and "peace process".

(September 23, 2001)
There is a strange and growing tension coming from the Middle East this weekend; and we don't mean from Afghanistan and Pakistan this time, rather we mean from America's closest allies, Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. We're in no position to know for sure just what is happening. But in each of these countries very unusual and potentially historic developments are unfolding.

(September 22, 2001)
It's impossible to know what to believe at the moment. It's possible the U.S. and Britain have no real idea where bin Laden is but are leaking reports of this kind in papers tomorrow in Britain hoping to "smoke him out" from what could be a secretly secure location. It's also possible that someone somewhere is trying to collect a reward of $25 million, the highest in history.

(September 22, 2001)
History will tell of course; but today's situation is far too pregnant with massive destruction to simply watch while the militarists and the terrorists of all sides take charge of the future.

(September 22, 2001)
No question about it now, the U.S. is playing with fire, even with the possibility of things spiraling out of control and leading to a real World War whose destruction and devastation could be far greater than 11 September 2001.

(September 21, 2001)
The UNITED NATIONS has shamefully bowed out, right when it is needed more than ever. Urged to do so by Secretary-General Kofi Annan -- who had been urged to do so by Washington, which he has quite a habit of taking orders from -- for the first time in history the General Assembly has put off its important international gathering and not even set an alternative date.

(September 21, 2001)
Especially under current circumstances, whether the excuse be that it is being talked about for "deterrence" against further terrorist attack, or God forbid whether it be the actual recommendation and desire of the American military, the advocacy of nuclear weapons at this time shows how dangerous the American militarists who have control of the United States really are.

(September 21, 2001)
KIM HILL [Radio New Zealand on 19 Sept]: Can I talk to you about Osama Bin Laden? I don't know whether you are in favour of him becoming public enemy number one at the moment but I do know that you have met him and I wonder if you could give me some kind of insight into, first of all, is he capable of this.

(September 20, 2001)
Ten years in our modern world is forever. Whatever President George W Bush proclaims this evening before what will surely be overwhelming applause and repeated ovations from the Congress, American military and imperial goals are now much bigger than ever.

(September 19, 2001)
Though the naive American public didn't get it, Europeans, Middle East experts, and especially American allies in the Middle East did! Warning calls came quickly over the weekend after President George Bush used the word "crusade" a number of times; apparently knowing so little about the Arab and Muslim history that he wasn't aware of the origins and associations of that single word; apparently so badly served by his advisers that he hadn't been warned never ever to use it.

PAKISTAN COULD SPLIT IN REVOLT, images of 'crusader' america
(September 19, 2001)
General Pervez Musharaff has now spoken to his own country, invoking stories of Mohamed and the Koran. Clearly he is shaken...and shaking. All former bets about the "new world order" now need to recalculated and recast. A multitude of historic forces have now been set in motion. Not only did the world of the United States change because of what happened on 11 September 2001. A political, even an existential earthquake is potentially underway now in various locations on the globe with events threatening to spiral possibly out of control.

(September 19, 2001)
The Americans are making "demands" on everyone right now. "You're either with us or against us" is the constant refrain. Risking revolution in nuclear Pakistan, bio terrorism at home, and even a real world war, what is going on in Palestine is not at the top of Washington's concerns for now -- but even so it must be all be manipulated, coordinated, and presented in public very carefully in view of the larger worldwide goals.

(September 18, 2001)
Asked "Do you expect U.S. to profoundly change their policy to the rest of the world?" Professor Noam Chomsky replied today: "The initial response was to call for intensifying the policies that led to the fury and resentment that provides the background of support for the terrorist attack, and to pursue more intensively the agenda of the most hard line elements of the leadership: increased militarization, domestic regimentation, attack on social programs... Terror attacks, and the escalating cycle of violence they often engender, tend to reinforce the authority and prestige of the most harsh and repressive elements of a society."

(September 18, 2001)
"If the campaign against terrorism is to be successful, there has to be an introspective American review and reappraisal of its policy in the Middle East. For the last one year, the only image that is etched in the popular Muslim mind is that of innocent and unarmed children, women and men being attacked by armed Israeli soldiers backed by tanks, missiles and planes.

(September 16, 2001)
Like the term "Star Wars" before it "New World Order" had too many negative associations, too much imperial baggage. George W. has however evoked the refrain "This will not stand", just as his father did before him a decade ago. What is in essence a continuation of the building of the "New World Order" designed by the Americans to replace the "Cold War" paradigm is now being heavily masked under tons of rhetoric about "the war against international terrorism".

(September 15, 2001)
The terrorist attacks were major atrocities. In scale they may not reach the level of many others, for example, Clinton's bombing of the Sudan with no credible pretext, destroying half its pharmaceutical supplies and killing unknown numbers of people (no one knows, because the US blocked an inquiry at the UN and no one cares to pursue it). Not to speak of much worse cases, which easily come to mind. But that this was a horrendous crime is not in doubt.

(September 14, 2001)
The Arab "client regimes" daddle as usual, unable to even convene an Arab League meeting, not to mention assert major influence in the world, even in their region.

(September 10, 2001)
Arafat readies to meet once again with Peres, even as his senior allies are gunned down, his top lieutenants ridiculously proclaim victory in Durban, the Arab League can't even manage to hold a summit meeting, the battle of Orient House was quickly given up, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers starts building facilities for the Israeli army, and 100+ more American F-16s (plus large numbers of the Arrow anti-missile missile) are now on order for shipment to Israel!

(September 9, 2001)
Once again the weak Arab regimes and the incompetent organizations they support have stumbled and bumbled to nowhere.

durban, the rascists' confrence
(September 8, 2001)
Muslim countries claimed they were threatened and intimidated to accept the compromise statement on Palestine which was proposed by the President of the Conference earlier this week.

(September 8, 2001)
The American sub-agents in Durban did all they could, which was quite a lot, to undermine the will of the vast majority of the world's nations and peoples.

(September 7, 2001)
THE SOOTHING WORDS that come from the Americans destined to be headlined in the media of the Arab "client regimes" to cool off if not totally pacify the Arab masses have no credibility, even though far too many continue to repeat them ad infinitum.

(September 7, 2001)
Israel is paying a price -- and this is not a reference to economics. But even so the price being paid by the Palestinians is immensely greater.

(September 7, 2001)
The power and political elite were gathering on the White House lawn four years ago today practically giddy with excitement. The popular media was filled with expressions of how startling was the breakthrough, how wonderful and irreversible was the 'peace process', how the "New World Order" and the "New Middle East" were finally dawning.

(September 6, 2001)
Some eighty Federal Agents descended on Richardson, Texas, yesterday striking a blow against Muslim organizations raising funds for Palestinians groups not approved by the USA and thus accused, largely by those associated with the Israeli/Jewish lobby, of "terrorism".

(September 6, 2001)
The former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, Denis Haliday, quit the U.N. a few years ago in moral protest over the U.N.'s complicity in genocide against the people of Iraq.

(September 6, 2001)
The worst massacres in the recent history of the Middle East have not been perpetrated by Arabs, but rather by Israelis. This simple fact is often overlooked in the Western media. In 1982 thousands of Palestinian refugees were slaughtered in the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatilla -- this on top of the estimated 20,000+ Lebanese and Palestinian civilians killed during Israel's barbarous war on Lebanon.

(September 5, 2001)
Ariel Sharon in Moscow had to call off his visit to the Duma as well as with Patriarch Alexei II today, reasons not spelled out but not that hard to contemplate.

(September 5, 2001)
Even as the Americans and Israelis continue desperate moves to try to prevent the Final Conference Statement at Durban from being as harsh as it could and should be, the Israelis are working furiously to begin to unilaterally implement their post-Oslo, post-Camp David "separation" program -- which in its actual implications on the ground is in fact the neo-apartheid approach everyone is screaming about in Durban.

(September 4, 2001)
The Americans and the Israelis have tried everything regarding the Durban Conference to prevent Israel from being specifically mentioned as a racist state in the final conference document. They have repeatedly used all kinds of threat and bribes to get their way.

(September 3, 2001)
Thirty years ago most of the area now known as Gilo was part of the Palestinian town of Beit Jala, next to Bethlehem. Gilo has been built from scratch across the "Green Line" in areas Israel occupied at the time of the 1967 war. In the past three decades Israel has followed a basic and sustained policy of Arab dispossession and Jewish building.

(September 2, 2001)
When plans were being made for the World Conference on taking place in Durban, SA, it was the heyday of the "Peace Process" and the very term "apartheid" was nowhere to be heard in much of the establishment media, certainly not in the USA.

(September 1, 2001)
Even while Israel continues to assassinate senior Palestinians the developments in Durban are telling. As usual the Arafat regime is selling out everyone else for its own gain -- continuing to earn its money so to speak even under the unprecedented circumstances of 2001.

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