"Where Is The World?" "A Future Not Worth Living"
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"Where Is The World?" "A Future Not Worth Living"


The following eye-witness news comes from Dr. Mona El-Farra of the Union of Health Work Committees in Gaza:

Feb 19, 2002 - Gaza: I still cannot got over it, 2 hours ago while visiting our children's library in the Jabalia refugee camp, I heared a large explosion 200 meters away from the library. An Apache helicopter fired a missile, it hit a house in one of the most crowded and deprived areas of Gaza strip, 2 people were killed, 11 injured, 9 of them are children, the firing was during the school closing time where hundreds of children were going home. That explains why there were that number of children who were injured.

I hurried to the Union of Health Work Committees hospital. The medical teams were busy dealing with the casualities,the families were there in a state of shock. I looked at one of the girls who was seriously injured, but thank God she is receiving good medical care, and might be able to survive. I thought about the safety of my own child, the same age. While thinking about this, I heard the mother yelling and shouting, "where is the world to come and see the daily Israeli crimes against our people?"


By Amira Hass

[Ha`aretz - Wednesday, February 20, 2002] In 1996, the cynics in Gaza said that while young Hamas followers found their escape from despair and frustration in suicide attacks, supporters of the Popular Front took refuge in whiskey. Hamas rejected and continues to reject suggestions that the Islamic suicide bombers are driven by economic distress, feelings of bitterness or personal or family failures. But even if it were possible to accept claims that their motives are purely of a national-religious nature, it is clear that today's army of Palestinian suicide bombers includes many for whom religious fervor is not their guiding force.

In the West Bank, secular activists in the Fatah and Popular Front, including those who supported or did not oppose the planting of explosives and car bombs in Israel, were openly amazed over the willingness of people to blow themselves away. Now they don't need to go as far as the mosques to ask young Palestinians how they could be able to press a button knowing that it will kill them, together with Israelis. Now, anyone who fires at Israeli soldiers - even without wrapping himself in explosives - knows that the chances of being killed by IDF gunfire are greater than the chances of escaping.

All of those enlisted in the army of Palestinian suicide bombers are not obligated to enlist. No one in their society will condemn them as "refuseniks" (sarvanim) if they limit their activities to demonstrations or not even participate in them. In Israel, it is comfortable to believe that they were subjected to "jihad" brainwashing and that it is just a case of pure hatred against Jews simply for being Jews. But these explanations will not help understand the reality. The answer to the question of what motivates them must be sought elsewhere, just like the answer to the question of why many adults in Palestinian society, who are pained by the phenomenon of sanctifying death and the readiness to die, do not dare to challenge this.

Is it the poverty that has spread so widely in Palestinian society that has impelled people to kill themselves together with Israelis? Mothers come, their heads covered in shame, to offices of sympathetic Fatah activists and receive notes promising sacks of rice, flour and sugar for the approaching holiday. Some children try to sell chewing gum to drivers at the intersections and drop out of school. But it seems that most of Palestinian society is not frightened by poverty and makes do with what little it has. The supportive structure of the extended family (hamula), the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and various charity organizations are the safety net preventing phenomena of real hunger.

Perhaps it's the wretchedness of seeking handouts? Of lacking a livelihood and the chance of making a living? People have told the UNRWA teams distributing food parcels that more than anything else, they want to work, even on relief projects, so that they will not have to be seek handouts. But when the general situation becomes one of wretchedness, it is no longer a source of embarrassment.

Is it the imprisonment in cages in the West Bank and Gaza? Since 1991, Israel has restricted the freedom of movement of all Palestinians, and during the past 16 months, these limitations have reached new peaks. For ten years, without the freedom of movement, an entire people cannot plan anything. An entire people cannot allow itself to be spontaneous. This lack is perhaps not expressed in words, but it is felt very well in the yearning looks of someone who watches a television program and sees that people all over the world are able to get up and travel and return without having to appeal to the good graces of another people's soldiers. But if this were the motive, there would be thousands, not dozens, going out to take their own lives and the lives of others during the past years and not only during the last 16 months.

What about having no chance to study? To find independent housing? To offer the children more than just food and a roof over their heads? "After all, animals provide food and shelter to their offspring. A person who has children wants more than this for them," said a former activist in a left-wing organization who manages to understand the drive to commit suicide.

Potential suicide bombers know that the near future does not promise them a livelihood, decent housing, chances for study and personal development, travel abroad, life in orderly cities, the development of agriculture in their villages or high-tech initiatives. But each of these deficiencies, and all of them together, are not enough to explain the readiness of so many to die at a young age in order to kill Israelis. These deficiencies, of the past and future, build up to internalize a conviction that there is an omnipotent force, a powerful country that since 1967 has dictated and intends to continue dictating the Palestinian society's scope of development and freedom to make decisions. This is a suffocating, unbearable feeling for the Palestinians, a feeling that the future is not worth living. The society raising this army of suicide bombers is convinced that Israelis, on the other hand, are able to look forward to a future that would be a shame to miss. Without these perceptions, it would be impossible to understand the unceasing growth of the Palestinian army of suicide bombers.

Comment on these article(s)

February 2002


(February 28, 2002)
The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, precisely what the U.S. now insists is the main reason for its expansion of its "war on terrorism" far beyond the what happened and who did it of 9/11, didn't begin with the Arab and Muslim countries, it actually began with American's main ally, Israel.

Thousands of Israeli Soldiers Attack Refugee Camps
(February 28, 2002)
Under cover of diplomatic deception the Israelis, and the Americans, are preparing the way not for a Middle East peace, but rather for a major Middle East war that will attempt to recast the politics and alliances of the region for some time to come.

Israel Further Defies U.N. and Arab League
(February 28, 2002)
More Palestinians have died and been shot in the past weeks than in any other comparable period since the major wars in 1948 and 1967. Adjusted for the size of the U.S. population, about 100,000 Palestinians have been killed by the Israelis, with continual American assistance, just since Intifada II began!

Disappeared...in the Land of the Free
(February 27, 2002)
Since 11 September last year, up to 2,000 people in the U.S. have been detained without trial, or charge, or even legal rights. The fate of most is unknown. Andrew Gumbel investigates a scandal that shames the land of the free.

"Terrorism" For All Seasons and Reasons
(February 27, 2002)
While U.S. Attorney John Ashcroft is busy draping the statue of the Spirit of Justice, and while the White House is busy making excuses for getting rid of the Israeli-centric speechwriter, David Frum, the USG is using the "terrorism excuse" not only to get ready for "regime change" in Iraq but to keep "undesireables" from even speaking up through all kinds of new intimidation and repression techniques.

Diplomatic Deceptions Amidst War and Plunder Plans
(February 26, 2002)
There are so many things going on these days it's not easy to put all the pieces together. But among the things that should be causing people truly concerned about a just and viable Middle East much pause is this: ...

The Real George Bush Junior
(February 25, 2002)
The Bush White House is a little spooked, not quite sure what the public will make of all this For this "wholesome" President who has brought "dignity back to the White House", this video documentary about to debut could be the near-equivalent to Bill Clinton's public denials -- and all those senior officials he enlisted on his behalf -- followed by Monica Lewinsky's now-infamous semen-stained little "blue dress".

Blair and Bush to Plot War on Iraq at White House Summit
(February 25, 2002)
After Vice-President Cheney -- former Pentagon chief and former oil company executive -- makes an unprecedented visit to a dozen countries in the Middle East and central Asia that surround Iraq or that will be involved in one way or another in the coming "regime change" war, British PM Tony Blair and Pres George Bush II will hold a war council at the White House.

Pearl Was Israeli
(February 23, 2002)
We now learn that Daniel Pearl, the kidnapped and killed Wall Street Journal reporter, was an Israeli citizen. What more may we learn next?

Sharon Up Against The Wall - Time of Greatest Danger
(February 23, 2002)
Bulls and Tyrants are most dangerous when wounded. And this is now the case with Ariel Sharon and the powerful Israeli military/intelligence/occupation authorities he now commands.

Uncle Sam, Uncle Tom, and Uncle Ben
(February 22, 2002)
We all know who Uncle Sam is. And there are many who think of Colin Powell as Uncle Tom, thought admittedly he usually plays his role so well in public. The Israelis and Sharon have Shimon Peres. And the Americans and Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld have Colin Powell. But...Uncle Ben?

Israelis Proceed With Long-Term Plans
(February 22, 2002)
The current Israeli Prime Minister probably had plans to do just what he is now doing long ago. Since become PM he's just been manuevering to get things in place to do so. Even at the Wye River talks after he became Israeli Foreign Minister Sharon refused to even shake Yasser Arafat's hand.

Palestinians Under Occupation Fight Bravely While Those in Exile Fail Miserably
(February 21, 2002)
As courageous and in some ways remarkable as the Palestinian struggle is against an occupation army with high-tech weapons supplied by the world's only superpower, the Palestinians now face a potentially even more catastrophic fate.

"Where Is The World?" "A Future Not Worth Living"
(February 20, 2002)
The following eye-witness news comes from Dr. Mona El-Farra of the Union of Health Work Committees in Gaza.

More Strikes Ahead; Or More Justification For the New Crusades?
(February 20, 2002)
In a predawn raid Wednesday, Israeli army F-16 warplanes, Apache helicopters and naval boats attacked Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's beachside Gaza City headquarters, killing at least five Palestinians and wounding 10, Palestinian witnesses said.

The New Pentagon "Office of Strategic Influence" - Media Missiles Ahead
(February 19, 2002)
The big "defense" and "entertainment" corporations have bought up the major American media in the past few decades. Now the Pentagon and the State Department are diversifying into the news business in order to still further manipulate the foreign media and international public opinion.

Modern-Day Saudi Arabia - Crimes, Lashes, and Cover-ups
(February 18, 2002)
It's not a crime in Saudi Arabia to stash away hundreds of millions in totally unearned kick-back commissions in secret foreign bank accounts -- oops it's actually billions now with the total of all "Royal" foreign accounts now estimated to be approaching a trillion!

U.S. Truly Becoming the Star Wars Empire
(February 18, 2002)
The American President is in Asia, touring one past and potential future battlefield in Korea. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is in India touring another. And the Vice-President is preparing for an unprecedented trip that will take him, along with senior military and CIA operatives, to nearly a dozen countries that just happen to surround Iraq.

Saudis To Propose Deal With Israel
(February 17, 2002)
are many ways to do things; and the Saudis have specialized in doing things in the wrong ways for the wrong reasons for a very long time now.

King Bandar of Saudi Arabia
(February 17, 2002)
Is it cowardice or ignorance that lies behind the rule of Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia -- the man effectively in charge of the oil and petrodollar "Kingdom" at this crucial historic time?

To Damn or to Applaud "Speaker Burg"
(February 15, 2002)
The very notion these days of simply "trusting" anyone associated with the Israeli political establishment or more specifically in this case Israel's Labor Party is pretty difficult -- there's such a long history of deceit and mistrust, and such good reasons.

WAR! U.S. and Israel Will Take On Both Iraq and Iran
(February 14, 2002)
Flushed with their "victory" against the primitive Muslim "Taliban" (students) of Afghanistan, the new name of the game for the new Washington -- run more than ever now by the oil companies, the Pentagon/CIA, and the military-industrial-banking complex -- is "regime change".

Arafat Screams "Israeli spy! CIA agent!" at Rajoub
(February 13, 2002)
Jibril Rajoub is not just an "Arafat aide". He's actually the main guy in charge of the West Bank for the "Palestinian Authority", groomed for some time now by both the Americans and the Israelis to possibly take over for Arafat and to help force his people into submission with his thuggish bruttish ways.

Musharraf Panders; Arafat Crippled
(February 13, 2002)
You'd have to be really crazy to buy a used car from Shimon Peres, or even to take it for free as in all likelihood the expensive repairs it would require would be more than it was worth. The idea of buying Peres' warmed over doubly-castrated "peace plan" and "Palestinian State" is even more foolish.

Arafat Slaps and Whips Out His Gun
(February 13, 2002)
The new Intifada, and then the events of 911, have spawned a variety of new press and Internet outlets of various kinds. The aim of many is to try to maintain some control of the information flow to certain constituencies, to "spin" the news in the direction of their sponsors, and to push their own analysts and "experts" onto radio and TV programs.

TV Arabs: Fouad, James, and Clovis - MER FlashBack
(February 12, 2002)
Why have things gotten so depressingly miserable when it comes to mass media coverage of the Middle East, especially in the United States? There is no single answer, no magic bullet solution. The answer is quite complex and multi-faceted in fact.

Kashmir - More Killed and Tortured than in Palestine
(February 12, 2002)
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911 Was Really 'Massive Blown Back'
(February 11, 2002)
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Standing Ovation for Mark Bruzonsky at University of Chicago
(February 9, 2002)
In Chicago the evening of 31 January 2002 Mark Bruzonsky, Publisher of MER, gave the keynote address at the University of Chicago Model United Nations. For the first time in the history of the keynote talks at this annual event the speaker received a prolonged standing ovation.

Jordanian King Takes Desperate Gamble To Retain Power
(February 8, 2002)
Trying to save the final Hashemite throne, the Royal regime in Jordan has decided to get even more in bed with the U.S. and Israel than ever before. It may work and the final Hashemite regime in power after enthronment by the British and the CIA in the last century may survive for the time being.

Washington Scene - Arab and Muslim "Client Orgs" Totally Lacking in Credibility
(February 8, 2002)
Ariel Sharon is on his fourth visit to Washington since both he and George Bush II took power. It is a War Council, coming at a time of unprecedented danger (Sharon clearly sees opportunity), coming at a time when he finally has Yasser Arafat, now the titular figurehead of the Palestinian people, under a newfangled form of town arrest in Ramallah with tanks pointing in his direction just a stone throw away.

"Transfer" the Palestinians Say Many Israelis
(February 7, 2002)
The Moledet party's media blitz for the mass expulsion of Palestinians is gaining momentum.

Triumphant Sharon
(February 7, 2002)
Ariel Sharon has arrived in Washington triumphant as many never believed could or would happen in their worst political nightmares. He may well be the single man who has had more influence on the Arab-Israeli conflict, and on the history of the entire region, than any other.

King Prostrates Jordan for More U.S. Money and "Support"
(February 6, 2002)
King Abdullah II, born of a British mother, Anglo-American educated including at the Jesuit Center of Georgetown University, and essentially enthroned with the help of the CIA (aided by Princeton grad daughter of the former head of Pan American Airlines, Lisa Halaby, reincarnated as Queen Noor), has been ever so helpful to the Americans as now since he was enthrowed as the former long-time Crown Prince was overthrown.

(February 6, 2002)

Lie To Them And They Will Come
(February 5, 2002)
For the holidaymaker in search of a sun-soaked Mediterranean beach away from the crowds, Gush Katif sounds ideal. Or so thinks Israel's hardline tourism minister, Binyamin Elon.

Killing and Refusing
(February 5, 2002)
There is a great deal of moral twisting and turning and cover-up going on among the Israelis; and oh so necessary however late in the day. This article in today's Ha'aretz gives the impression that torturing and shooting to death many Palestinians in cold-blood is something new or rare.

King Bandar of Arabia
(February 16, 2002)

Israel sets up Iran as next target for the US
(February 8, 2002)

"Americans Can Be A BloodThirsty Lot"
(February 4, 2002)

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